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Dylan and Klebold "make a killing" for Gus Van Zant.
Spoilers ahead because THIS IS THE WHOLE MOVIE.
Okay, we have one kid with a drunk for a dad. There's a couple who get a permit to leave school for a bit. There's a photographer. There's a homely-looking girl who doesn't wear shorts during P.E. and works in the school library. There's three brainless bimbos who intentionally vomit their lunch after eating (the first bit of something remotely entertaining).
So, there's nothing to do with them except follow them around quietly as they quietly walk and walk and walk and walk and WALK AND WALK, etc. ad nauseam ... Until one of them crosses another one's path to talk about ... NOTHING!! In fact, there's one bit of interaction of that nothing we get to see at least 4 times because it was an intersection of the fully UN-developed characters.
So, let's follow these non-characters around for what seems like eons and eons and eons with next to Zero Dialogue (or story for that matter) until we START giving an expansion of one (and ONLY one) character of the two kids who, as we might say today, "Pull a Columbine".
If you must see it, don't pay for it: see it for FREE!!!
I give two out of ten because 1 goes to the bulemia scene and the other 1 (which makes the 2) goes to the "Columbine Recreation": the only things that make this film worth wasting what seems like an eternity.
Oddly, any similarity to characters or events is purely coincidental.
Now That's a RIOT!!!!
Aaannnnnd CUT!!! ... That's a wrap.
Super Size Me (2004)
Pathetic, Imbecilic, Retarded American Claptrap! This movie proves NOTHING except what everyone already knew!
First of all, the Average American Citizen doesn't have over 450 dollars to feed just themself for a month. A "Supersized" meal cost at least $5. Three meals a day would make it 15. Multiply that times 30 and you have at least 450, which is the minimum spent on this guy's food for a month, if you don't count expensive New York prices. You might remember the part when he paid almost $14 for ONE meal.
And that's without "In between meal" snacks.
Second, the Average American Citizen doesn't subsist on Fast Food.
Third, the only reason there's a McDonald's all over the place is because people in general want to eat and go and McDonald's wouldn't make any business whatsoever if they weren't LIKED. If we want to talk about them sprouting up all over the place, why don't we consider the SLIM JIM or Jerky Stick at any convenience store, which is located for CONVENIENCE. McDonald's gets business because it's CONVENIENT.
Fourth, this guy FORCED HIMSELF to take the SUPER SIZE meal when it was OFFERED, NOT FORCED. Just like everyone else was OFFERED and not FORCED.
Fifth, he forced himself to swallow every bite and drink sip at that point of the day instead of stopping when he was FULL. Otherwise, there'd be a new job position called "Vomit Mopper" at every restaurant you could name.
Sixth, no one has ever gone to a fast food for Nutritious Food; they're Snacks to tide you over, because everybody knows that making your own food from the grocery store is LESS EXPENSIVE.
Seventh, how can you possibly say you're physically addicted to a Specific Fast Food restaurant's Specific Food when you don't even try to eat anything else? If you're not going to have a sandwich or anything else (from home or elsewhere), it's a pathetic conclusion.
There are many more things I can point out that prove this movie is nothing more than Pathetic, Imbecilic, American Claptrap, but I don't have all night, nor do I have enough space to put it on this page.
By the way, the reason I mention the word American in this review is because although there are reviews from all over the world, only an American would be stupid enough to think something was "Discovered" in this movie and had no common sense to question anything from it.
Watch both versions and make your OWN cut
As a huge fan of Tangerine Dream and Jon Anderson, I praise the fact that their music is in the "American" cut of this film; their music has always sounded like they were trying to do soundtracks to a movie. You hear a song, you get visual images in your head and make a movie of your own.
I do have to say that the American Version with Tangerine Dream's soundtrack only makes this movie into a "Cult" film. It could have been great, but (well, you fill in the blank).
Fortunately, I've seen the way it was SUPPOSED to have been released in the States (which you can find on the 2-disc DVD, which has both versions).
The Non-American version has a story which is much fuller, and the music (with a full symphony orchestra) is much better and adds more drama and punctuates the mood of each scene more properly.
I do find the American version's end much more climatic musically and story-wise with Jon Anderson (singer of Yes)'s angelic voice thundering with Tangerine Dream's score in the background.
So, pick an afternoon when you got about 4 hours to spare and watch BOTH. Then, take parts of each version and make YOUR OWN wonderous story.
And another thing, keep in mind that this movie came out a whole 20 years ago. The early 80's. Next year it can buy it's own beer (if it was a person). So, Tim Curry and a lot of others would have been just voices over CGI characters instead of being in actual makeup and there would have been MORE to the story and script if CGI was as available back then as it is now.
There IS such a thing as knowing limitations, you know.
American Version, good enough to make one wonder what was more.
International Version, done much better and fuller (though I like the American ending better)
As I said, watch both versions and make your OWN version to enjoy.
Aaaaannnd ... CUT!
That's a wrap.
Schindler's List (1993)
The Passion of the Jews ... DEVASTATING! Excellent movie, but devastating.
First of all, I hope that no one takes my title out of context and thinks that I like watching movies that show the suffering of ANYONE, unless, of course, the suffering is on an obvious villian or villians, thank you.
I also need to mention that I have seen this film at least three times before I even HEARD about what Mel Gibson was working on.
Anyway, after seeing "Passion of the Christ", I thought that was THE most devastating (but excellently done) film ever made about Anything or Anyone that took place in History. Then I remembered watching "Saving Private Ryan" (another Spielberg movie, excellently done) and it's being so intense that I literally had to remind myself a few times that I was in my living room watching a video; the intensity of the scenes and the sound made me almost FEEL bullets whizzing by my head.
Then I remembered THIS movie.
It is one of the hardest movies to sit through. And it's hard to sit through almost the ENTIRE TIME.
Even though everyone and their brother has at least HEARD about the Holocaust, this is a movie about two things. A)Yes, of course, The Holocaust, and B) a person who was a womanizing, sweat-shop owner type (who was, at first, only nice for the sake of production) member of the Nazi Party who eventually SAVED so many people from annihilation.
It is one thing to see the story of some "Plain old guy" save a life or two,... but to see someone who was FRIENDS WITH THE ANNIHILATORS manage to save over a thousand Jewish people and still be more or less friends with the Nazis during that time ...
All I can say is WOW!!!
Before any violence even takes place, a dark cloud forms just by watching the Jewish people being marched toward the ghetto and there's that girl screaming out "Bye, Jews!" over and over again along with other people being nasty.
A) It's like watching a whole bunch of Jesuses being marched down the road to their eventual crucifixions while the crowd throws insults and objects at them. B)You don't know whether you want to jump into the film and strangle her for her hatred (or her parents for teaching it to her, perhaps), or cry because of her innocence of not knowing better because the parents TAUGHT her that level of hatred because of buying into what was Politically Correct at the time and place.
I know it was just a fictitious character, but such things as hatred toward specific types of people being taught by the parents DO happen in REAL LIFE.
I won't tell what actually happens with the women at Auschwitz (or was it Dachau?), but that was another one of the most chair-gripping "Oh no ... Oh GOD NO!" moments in the picture.
And, of course, there are all the "Liquidation" scenes and the especially significant scenes with "The Little Girl in Red", which requires a cast-iron stomach to watch at that point in the film. By the way, don't you, Dear Reader, just love that euphemism "Liquidation"? ACCH!
Not to mention, all the people who get picked off simply because ... well, they were ALLOWED to be. Double-ACCH!
I read earlier of a comment about how there should have been more focus on Hitler, as it was a movie regarding the Holocaust. But this movie wasn't about Hitler's List of People He Wanted Dead; it was about Oskar Schindler's List of People He Could Afford to Keep ALIVE!
Even after all the carnage is over, it still makes anyone who is a human being get a huge lump in their throat when Oskar is breaking down because of however many more he could have saved with his own possessions.
As I said in my title and opening of this commentary, this is one of the best movies ever made about something that took place in history, but it's also one of the HARDEST movies to watch.
I really gotta give Spielberg credit not just for making this picture, not just for releasing it with as much as it has intact (after editing and getting past the authority boards and such), but ESPECIALLY for having the "juice" to get American television stations to show it without a single frame edited or altered. Even the private parts you DIDN'T want to see when the prisoners are given physical exams and they're so skinny that their spines are almost glued to their belly-buttons.
Take a bow, Stephen.
Aaannnnd ... cut!
That's a wrap.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
The Media, The Devil, and The Parent
First thing I need to address is that I don't care (nor should anyone else care) about whatever Mel Gibson's dad allegedly said some time ago. That has nothing to do with Mel, as I'm sure he's capable of making up his own mind. This movie is not the view given by ANY specific type of Christian; it's the story from universal details. Unless, of course, you're a Jehovah's Witness, where it was a stake and not a cross. but who cares about that detail; Jesus was nailed to Something and the wounds were all the same.
There's nothing Anti-Semitic about it either; the religious leaders of the time and place who had a lot of power just Happened to Be Jewish. Just like "In the Name of the Father" is not Anti-English, "The Burning Bed" is not Anti-Marriage, "Schindler's List" is not Anti-German, etc.
Okay: Second Thing. The only thing that keeps this movie from absolute perfection is the Devil character. My idea of a perfect movie is when I feel like I'm actually there, instead of just in a theatre watching a picture. Like "Saving Private Ryan", there were times I had to Remind myself that I was not in danger of being shot or blown up.
During almost the entire film, I felt like I was warped back in time to Israel and watching the actual events take place. But then, this Devil character kept popping up and zapping me back to the theatre with the feeling of "Oh, it's just a movie and this is supposed to be ...". I hated having that emotional impact taken away so many times.
What would I do differently? Delete all the scenes with that character like Denis Leary's character was deleted from "Natural Born Killers". I guarantee no one would miss it and none of the movie's flavor would be less spicy.
Finally, fortunately, we are sentenced to the showing of only one lash of The Scourge when applied to Jesus and then it's left to the imagination. But during this torture and on and off through the film, we see Mother Mary sitting and watching this whole process, and totally unable to do ANYTHING!
It's hard enough to watch this movie as a believer or an unbeliever, it's just as hard to watch (and stomach) any movie featuring anyone going through such graphic torture even though we know it's make-up and special effects, etc. But the VERY IDEA of watching a Parent watch their child go through this just doubles it up and it's Downright Heart-Wrenching!
I'll never forget the look on her face as she held his body in her lap when he was pulled off the cross. Her eyes stared right into yours and STAYED staring right into yours, and although she didn't speak a word I could just imagine her thinking "This is my son ... look at what happened to my son." Kind of like those commercials you see of parents with pictures who lost their children due to drugs or drunk driving or something of the like.
Like what I imagine was every theatre on Opening Night, no one said a word when the movie was finished; we all just got up and didn't say a word. Of course, I'm sure the reason is because the utterance of one word out of a sentence would lead to breaking down and puddles of tears.
As I said earlier, the Devil character is the only thing that keeps this film from being Perfect.
Take a bow, Mel.
P.S. My condolences to the family of the woman who died of a heart attack while she happened to be watching this movie.
That's a wrap.
The Ring (2002)
Thank Heaven for Little Girls ...
Linda Blair in "The Exorcist", the twins in Stanley Kubrick's version of "The Shining" and now this girl in this movie. CREEEEPYYYYYY!!!!
I've been watching movies filed under "Horror" since I was about 8 years old and I'm in my early 30's right now. There are very few "Scary Movies" I've found to be genuinely scary and able to make one feel uneasy: "The Exorcist"(especially if you have your VCR hooked up to your stereo), "The Shining" (again, the sound among many other things), "Hallowe'en" (mainly the music), David Cronenberg's version of "The Fly" (for his audacity to put in everything he DID put in), ...
And now, THIS MOVIE.
Okay, there are a whole bunch of things that can be found wrong with this movie; a lot of it seems like you're watching This Movie meets That Movie meets Another, and so on. But originality (or lack thereof) aside, THIS MOVIE SCARES.
Oddly, there are movies I find scary that don't get filed under Horror, even though they do scare. For example, there were quite a few times during the first half-hour of "Saving Private Ryan", I had to keep reminding myself that I was not in danger of getting drilled into Swiss Cheese or being blown up, I was sitting at home in my Living Room watching the most unsettling battle scene I'd ever seen on ANY screen.
I'm not saying "Saving Private Ryan" should be filed under Horror; I'm just giving an example of the difference between a Movie that Scares and a Scary Movie.
The Ring is BOTH of these. To the folks who made it, both behind the camera and in front, TAKE A BOW.
That's a wrap.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Junkies by choice come to Junkies' ends
One Little Junkie wound up with a bad arm that had to be amputated.
One Little Junkie wound up in jail.
One Little Junkie wound up in a cheaply made porn film she didn't want to be in at the time.
The only person to feel the least bit sorry for is the one Junkie's mother, who did not CHOOSE to be a drug-addict, but wound up insane with shock treatments due to certain ingredients of the prescription medication she was taking.
Very well done "sit-through-able" movie about what happens when you choose to be a Junkie.
But the only one to feel sorry for is the one who didn't obviously CHOOSE to wind up where they did.
That's a wrap.
The Filth and the Fury (2000)
Best of all, we're all told the answer to the big question ... WHY???
MUSIC: In the same way the meaning of the word Scientific means "of or pertaining to Science", we all know that Music means "of or pertaining to a muse". It's a sound that punctuates (Punk-tuates?) the feeling, emotion, idea, thought, etc. that the person/s are feeling at the time.
There are many today who still wonder how "that "God-awful noise made by a bunch of underclass hoodlums" came into being and caught on as a style that spread. Especially when they hardly had any musical skills whatsoever.
Here's one example of why:
If you listen to the song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", you'll notice that the lyrics are very bitter, to say the least. But there's nothing bitter about the accompanying music. It doesn't punctuate nor put to sound the extreme emotion that the singer/songwriter was feeling at the time of the song's conception, it's just cutesy and nauseatingly nice, a sugar-coating until you realize "Wait a minute, this isn't a nice song, it's totally angry and bitter."
That's why it came into being (in Britain, anyway): the Sex Pistols were not just making the loudest noise at the time, but the noise also seemed to be the only one that fit what they as well as many others were feeling at the time.
This documentary is not a P.R. film that is clipped to portray the Sex Pistols as great and wonderful geniuses of music who changed the world, as most movies and documentaries do; it explains what it all meant to the members of the band in THEIR time and place and why they HAD to come into being then and there. Their sound, their attitudes, their antics represented EVERYTHING they were feeling, had to say, etc.
From the way they tell Their case, it seems to me as the plain and simple balancing of Nature in the same way you'll find that the more churches there are in a neighborhood, the more crime and corruption you'll also find. Don't like that last explanation? Okay, it also seems to me that they were the necessary musical (and cultural) fuel to one of many fires during an already existing social upheaval.
I haven't seen the VHS version but the DVD also comes with a documentary featuring other people who were in the scene during its roots and why THEY were a part of it, as Punk had different meanings, depending where and when you were. That's probably where the explanation "If you don't know what it means/meant, then (up yours)" came from.
By the way, in case you're wondering about how biased my opinion is, I should let you know that I'm fully aware that such groups as Black Sabbath (who knew more about instrumentation) more or less started that "God-Awful Noise" approximately 10 years prior to Punk's conception, much less given its title. So, as much as I enjoy Punk and Metal [as well as Mozart, Bjork, 2-Live Crew, and many others (depending on my mood)], I know very well that there is nothing new under the sun and that they were no more original than "Grunge" groups like Nirvana; if you stick a pearly-white tooth and leave it in a glass of cola for a month, is the brown tooth you see later a different tooth? Of course not.
Anyway, for the fans as well as those who didn't understand, this is one very well-told explanation. Love the subculture and/or the music, hate it, feel what you will about it. At least you'll have a clue to understanding (maybe not supporting, but at least understanding) why it WAS. And that clue will also help you at least theoretically understand such other things like Hardcore Rap, Industrial, and any other punctuated sounds from those who at least Felt Like they're in the "Underclass" at one time or another.
Aaaannnnnd ... CUT!
That's a wrap.
In the Name of the Father (1993)
Completely different genre than "Green Mile"
First thing I wanted to address was that although it does take place in a prison, this cannot be compared with such movies as "The Green Mile" or "Shawshank Redemption". Those two are completely fictitious stories, although they are entertaining. You wouldn't put "Stripes" or "In the Army Now" in the same basket with such films as "Full Metal Jacket" or "Shaving Ryan's Privates", would you? Oops, excuse me; I meant "Saving Private Ryan".
Anyway, excellent film. I don't see anything anti-English about it; it just Happened in England. Just like "Murder in the First" Happened in The States. Things like this happen in all sorts of places, so making a movie on them doesn't make it an Anti-(country of choice) film.
Kinda funny how a previous comment mentioned Pete Postlethwaite and Tommy Lee Jones in the same sentence; I spent half the time debating to myself whether the actor was Tommy or not (until I read the credits, of course). Sometimes they're spitting images of each other, sometimes they're not.
Anyway, very well done film and I look forward to reading the book sometime. Good soundtrack, too.
Hard Core Logo (1996)
Jump on the bandwagon ... 12 YEARS LATER!!!
According to this website, "This is Spinal Tap" was released in 1984.
That movie was a satire of Heavy Metal Rock Stars. It was funny, and it had at least a few good tunes that were actually written by the actors who played the band. So, in a way, they were a real band.
All I see in this movie is that 12 YEARS LATER, someone decided to try to jump on what was hardly a bandwagon; the success of "This Is Spinal Tap" hardly created a new genre.
This is what I expected when I first rented the film, as I love Punk music, among many other genres. About 30 minutes into the film, I had to turn it off as I realized that what I rented was exactly what I expected and GOT:
Just someone trying to jump on the bandwagon or milk someone else's cash cow.
And there was nothing to laugh at, either. I expect Something to keep me at least remotely intrigued to watch more of this. But, there's nothing. No jokes, no idiocy, no nothing.
Fortunately, I only lost one dollar of my money and half an hour of my time watching this feeble attempt to copy a film from 12 years before it was made.
This feeble attempt is even worse than "Mac and Me" (feeble rip-off of E.T.), "Battle Beyond the Stars" (one of the many feeble rip-offs of Star Wars), as well as many others.
This is not a satire; this is a Rip-Off of a Satire!!!
And a weak one at that.
Jason X (2001)
At least I could LAUGH at the Leprechaun ...
So, now we have a Jason movie made on a budget probably higher than all the other ones put together.
INCLUDING THE ONES WHERE IT WASN'T JASON (Part I and V).
I rented this because it lasted only a week in the theatres. I was expecting a good laugh because "Stalk and Slash" films are just that way: Laughable. They're not to be taken seriously; they're meant to be laughed at for the schlock acting, the bad jokes, and cheers when the Class-A Dummy or Class-A Jerk gets killed.
I wanted to laugh at it in the same way I laugh at Ed Wood films. There's nothing funnier than watching Bela Lugosi scream in the throes of being attacked by a mechanical-octopus-with-no-motor badly mixed with documentary footage of an actual octopus.
Even satires of horror movies with God-awful humor ("Repossessed" and the "Scary Movie" series, to name a few), get a few laughs out of me because I'm not expecting intellect or ingenuity in these films. I expect to laugh like the Nelson Muntz character of "The Simpsons" for the cheapness.
I laughed even harder when I watched "Leprechaun in the Hood", which I think is the best of the Leprechaun series, if you're looking for the same cheap laughability I've been mentioning in the past few paragraphs.
This movie was just a high-priced, piece of nothing that couldn't scare a stray cigarette ash off your finger tip, ...
And I had to make an effort to find things to laugh at.
Okay, the smashing of the frozen face was cool.
I don't care what the documentaries on the DVD say, do, or show; they don't justify the lameness of trying to release this. The fact that had other release dates that didn't pan out shows how utterly bad this is, no matter what you're looking for.
If you must watch this movie, STEAL IT from the thieves who charge you more than a micro-ounce of your belly-lint to watch it.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Praise Bjork, Pan Movie
First of all the music. When I first heard of "Industrial Music", the clatter, clash, bang, of factory machinery was exactly what came to mind. I love the sounds that introduced the songs.
The story was an okay idea, but needed better writers because I've been more intrigued observing what happens when a tooth sits in a glass of cola for a month. Well, outside of the musical numbers.
The ending was great for two reasons: A) the suddenness of it. B) the movie was finally over and I could go on to doing more exciting things, like picking out my belly lint for starters.
If it wasn't for Bjork, I don't think anybody except for a few friends of the cast and crew would have seen this film. She is a true artist.
Lastly, get a new camera crew! I've been steadier after drinking 120 ounces of malt liquor. I was wide-awake and completely sober watching this, but after a while I felt like I had just spent a couple hours going for a ride in the clothes dryer. Or maybe it was supposed to be dizzying to descend your mind into the "madness"?
That's a wrap.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
I'm sorry to sound like Homer but ...
And, worst of all, I love almost everything David Lynch has had to offer up to this point. I guess I'll just look at it the same way I look at any moviemakers' "Runt of the Litter" (i.e. Episode I of the Star Wars Saga, and the A-list actors who wound up in "Dick Tracy").
I don't see much to not understand about this movie: One girl gets in a car accident, has amnesia, and eventually we find out what happened.
Oh, and some weird stuff happens, too. Typical Lynch style.
I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but this time around, I honestly don't give Squat One what that would be, because after getting up and out of the house to go rent it, I was almost put back into a deeper sleep than the one I'd just awakened from an hour earlier.
If you've seen anything by Lynch before, you've basically already seen this movie.
Unfortunately, I can't recommend this for anyone who has a pulse; at least my interest in "Lost Highway" was saved by the rock stars' cameos and Trent "Nine Inch Nails" Reznor producing the soundtrack.
ATTENTION PARENTS: Here's a movie that both your kids AND YOU should enjoy, unlike other "kid" films ...
Back in the mid-1970's, George Lucas started a wonderful saga for children of all ages, children between 7 and 107! It was wonderful and it appealed to ALL ages, whether or not there were huge amounts of toys to be spawned for the children's third of the fanbase.
Later, unfortunately, came the remake of "Return of the Jedi" and the abominable "Phantom Menace", ... which could have been shown as double features with STRICTLY FOR CHILDREN's movies "Pokemon" and any film with the Olsen Twins.
I'm 32 years old, I have no children, and I have never read a Harry Potter book. So, I have no idea how loyal this movie is to the book series' mythology, setting, etc. Nor do I hear about it 24/7 from any kids who live around me, so I can't be bloody SICK of hearing anything that mentions Muggles, Quidditch, ANY-flavoured jelly beans, etc.
I HAVE, however, seen this film and found it much more enjoyable as an adult (with or without kids) and as the kid I once was.
And both of those sides of me find it much more fun to watch and ENJOY than the "Special" version "Return of the Jedi" and the nightmare "Episode 1" of the Star Wars Trilogy. If those two are any sign of things to come, I say George Lucas should hang it up, because ...
HERE COMES HARRY!!!
By the way, does anybody wonder about any kind of lawsuits between This Harry Potter and the Harry Potter character in the movie "Troll", which came WAY BEFORE the first book was even written?
EXCELLENT FOR ADULTS AND KIDS OF ALL AGES!!
That's a wrap!
American History X (1998)
A more realistic "Clockwork Orange"
I don't know how many viewers of this movie (or non-viewers who are just reading these comments) have read Anthony Burgess'"A Clockwork Orange" with the 21st chapter, but in that chapter, it shows that it's a "Coming of Age" story when Your Humble Narrator, Alex, doesn't have his heart in the things he used to do anymore. He's no longer into it.
If you take out the rhetoric about personal choice, then this excellently-done movie is quite parallel to that plot:
The surrounding story is that Edward Norton's character, Derek, was a bad guy who turned his life around in prison and is now trying to stop his brother (who idolizes him) from making the same mistakes, which gives us the premise of all the flashback scenes/Clockwork Orange plot.
You see all the scenes of Derek being "not just A skinhead but THE skinhead" and all the rhetorics he preaches that sometimes start off seemingly intelligent but always go downhill from there and ultimately into utter chaos and disorder. Alex from "Clockwork Orange" is a gang leader, too, and they all go out and steal cars, beat up bums, and create other chaos and disorder.
In both stories, the title character goes to jail for over two years.
Alex in Clockwork Orange had the Ludevico Technique to "rehabilitate" and release him and, unfortunately for him, show him what it was like on the other end of the atrocities he used to commit. Derek was apparently White, but while in jail, he was a "minority" and it was clear that without any kind of "friends", it meant big trouble if he was caught by his lonesome (to put it nicely).
Both characters have some leader-figure to help them while they're in the slammer: Alex had the prison chaplin and Derek had the school teacher. Both characters also have horrible things done to them by people who were once their friends.
At the end of it all, they are "cured" of what they were before jail (Although Derek didn't have to be cured of the first "Cure").
As I said, the plot is not original, but it is excellently done.
By the way, the ending is hugely tragic, to say the least. So see this movie for a better version of the "Clockwork Orange" plot but be prepared for the ending.
That's a wrap.
Big Daddy (1999)
Adam Sandler meets Charlie Chaplin. "Huh?" You ask. Read on ...
Around 80 years ago, Charlie Chaplin brought us "Six Reels of Joy" with a feature-length film called "The Kid". It featured Jackie Coogan, Jr., who would eventually grow up to be Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family.
This film is basically a modernization of that film from way back when and here are the similarities:
A "Ne'er-do-well"'s mundane life is interrupted by the arrival of a kid who needs a home. Although he's not what most people have in mind as a father-figure, he takes him and raises him as well as he can. Together they get into much mischief and misbehavior. The Ne'er-Do-Well tries not to become too emotionally attached, but finds out just how much he already IS attached when the authorities take the kid away. And the Ne'er-Do-Well does anything he possibly can to keep him.
Now, don't get the wrong idea; I'm not hyping "Big Daddy" and saying it's as good as Chaplin's version, but I DID enjoy the film. And, even though the courtroom scene was unrealistic, well, A) It's just a movie, and B) It's a Comedy Movie.
As far as bad influences are concerned (whizzing on the walls, tripping rollerbladers, and swearing), well what about how The Little Tramp kept himself and "the kid" fed (the kid throws rocks at people's windows and breaks them, and instantly Charlie sells them new windows)?
Oh well, I enjoyed this film.
And, by the way, in mention of Charlie Chaplin, I need to correct an error on my comment for the movie "Chaplin". I wrote it on the day after his 112TH Birthday, not the 119th.
FREDDY KRUEGER WITH STATEMENTS ON POLITICS AND "ISSUES". NO THANKS!!
First, the good news: I loovvee books by John Skipp and Craig Spector. They wrote the story to this film. The special effects are amazing, I particularly like the final scenery, which looks like something out of an M.C. Escher painting.
But, it is incredibly obvious that this film, and other films and TV movies made around this time, was really nothing more than an attempted voice on the "issue" of abortion. It was made at the time when Operation Rescue (or, as their feminist opponents called them: Operation "Oppress You") was in the news all the time and in the newspapers all the time.
This movie does make one "Pro-choice" statement: The skateboarding, comic book-reading and -drawing guy says "If there's no baby, there's no baby's dreams" and "Alice" says why she decides she's not going to go along with that idea/suggestion.
However, ALL OVER the rest of the movie, there are scenes and pieces of dialect where she's meeting her baby as a person, and how her baby already has feelings and emotions for her, has a personality, etcetera, and so on, and so forth ... even though in the real space and time the story takes place, this "baby" is really nothing more than an egg cell that's only been fertilized for about three or four days (the ultra sound scene shows a huge hole in the script).
Although I appreciate the fact that many movies are made to voice a person's opinion or two on social "issues" or whatever you want to call them, telling them through a FREDDY MOVIE????
Gimme a BREAK!!
Freddy Krueger is a villian in plain old ordinary stalk and slash/special effects horror films made for "leave your mind at the door" entertainment. The very thought of this character in a movie that's supposed to alert you to current "issues" and political agendas and influence your opinion on them is completely ABSURD!!
As I said, I love Skipp and Spector, and the special effects and scenery were amazing, but a "Freddy" film being used to speak a political view or two is a bloody stupid idea.
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Unrealistic artsy tripe.
Okay, first the good news: The flashback scenes starting as tiny dots that grow into little movies in front of flashbacking character was a good idea. The switching of the cameraman's seat at the dinner table was also, uh, ... neat. And the kinda/sorta 3D freeze-frames in the strip bar were also a good touch. Plus it has Yes in the soundtrack.
So, the photography was good and I'm partial to one of the bands in the soundtrack. Other than that, all we have is nothing more than just another artsy f**tsy movie that just plain stinks.
Holes in the script make swiss cheese look as solid and sturdy as one of the gurders holding up the Sears Tower. I.E. How did the guy know that the random girl he picked up even had a car, let alone that it was parked nearby, let alone nearby as in just outside in the parking lot?
I seriously wondered why Christina Ricci's character wasn't taking every chance she had to get away. Two of these chances were the guy's "bathroom break" ACROSS THE STREET and her own "break" at the house, where she could have climbed out the window.
What was the purpose of the tap-dancing scene? It had nothing to do with anything.
And, let me see if I got this right, a girl who is kidnapped by a complete stranger falls in love with him AT ALL, let alone in less than 12 hours?
GIVE ME A BREAK.
There are plenty of films that are worse than this, of course, but I still say it's a loser. See it for the sake of having one of the "Name" actors on your screen, but other than that, don't bother.
Sorry I'm a day late, Charlie
I don't know when this will be available to be read on IMDB, but I'm sending it just one day after what would be Charlie Chaplin's 119th Birthday.
I saw this film when it first came out, knowing of Charlie by pure osmosis and having never seen one of his films. Not too long afterward, I wound up on a binge of wanting to know everything about him (I read his autobiography, along with the book by his second wife that he only dedicated a few lines to, and one by his son Michael, who also had a major role in "A King in New York")
Okay, so the film does run slow, but it's not supposed to be an action film, it's a biography. It's not going to be like "The Doors" because he wasn't that kind of a "wild man". Anyone who complains about it being too much about his personal life should get a dictionary and find out what a biography is, because, as anyone at least should know, one cannot find too much about a person just by watching his movies. That would be like telling VH1 to just play videos of the artists' songs on a "Behind the Music" or "Legends" documentary and leave out who the artists are/were and where they came from, etc.
Although it does leave out more than just a few details, like his hanging around with the Hearsts a lot, and that the "Stan" who gives him the telegram in Butte, MT was supposed to be Stan Laurel, who would later become famous for his films with Oliver Hardy (Yes, THAT Laurel and Hardy), it does give an overall picture of who Charlie was and what was behind all the films Charlie Chaplin made.
I don't know if it's a quote from the actual Charlie himself when he says, "You want to understand me? Watch my movies" but this movie does give insight to that statement, as you can see that through "The Little Tramp" and other characters he played once he went to sound, he did express his beliefs, his personality, his background story, things he'd wished he'd said, things he wished he could do, wished had been done, would have done if he'd had the power, etc.
A perfect example of this shown at the end of the film, especially when clips of the end of "The Kid" (featuring the original Uncle Fester when he was just a tyke) are shown; as you have already seen from the beginning of the film of the events of Charlie's childhood, you can see all the heart and emotion that was poured out into that film.
There was only so much of his life that could be squashed into just over two hours, but remember, it's not as though there are many studios who would say yes to a biography film that would be much longer. It was 1992 when this film was released and VH1 was not showing any movies let alone a 5-hour bio-film of the Jacksons. What other channel would do any of the same at the time? Especially when TV channels have to worry about ratings? How many people would actually tune into this bio, whether it was a mini-series or whatever?
Anyway, had it not been for this movie, I probably would have only known OF Charlie Chaplin, and never would have taken the opportunity to see any of his films. I'm sure there are many others who were pleasantly introduced to Chaplin this way.
It is for that reason, I salute this movie.
Great Balls of Fire! (1989)
I'm surprised "Alan Smithee" wasn't the ENTIRE CREW!!
First, I must explain that the name "Alan Smithee" is the pseudonym for anyone who doesn't want their name on the credits. (See also the TV Version of David Lynch's "Dune", "The Shrimp on the Barbie", etc.) You're on IMDB right now, so you can look up everything by "Alan Smithee" and see the many people the name for which the name has covered.
I don't know which was worse, this or "Wired". "Wired" was a horrible biography movie that summed up everything everyone ALREADY KNEW about John Belushi.
Wynona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, and Dennis Quaid may not have too many awards to their names, but they are all excellent actors. Whoever was behind the camera should have been flogged by the entire crew for desecrating their skills and talents with this god-awful excuse for a biography.
The actors were made to act horribly with horribly written lines to recite. The entire thing seemed to be a satire of itself. And the musical scenes where everyone outside the school are doing dance numbers with choreography and other scenes where Dennis/"The Killer" is driving around and everyone's brushing their fingers to say "Shame on you"; apparently, the people in charge of this film had no idea what they wanted to make. Were they trying to make another sequel to "Grease" (Even though "Grease II" was a total loser) or were they trying to do a tribute to one of the most amazing musicians of the 50's and 60's?
It's a good thing that the headliners of this film (Dennis, Alec, and Wynona) had other hit movies under their belts, otherwise it might have destroyed their careers (Unless, of course, Dennis and Alec both took the "Alan" and maybe Wynona could take "Alice Smithee"). If you disagree, well do you know anyone who knows anyone who's seen Patsy Kensit since "21"?
An embarrassment to Jerry, an embarrassment to the cast and crew, an embarrassment to the viewer. Don't waste your money on this waste of celluloid; wait until VH1 does a bio on him on some "Legends" or "Behind the Music" documentary.
A bad movie made out of a small paragraphed obituary
Before I watched this movie, this is what I knew of John Belushi:
He was a comic who got a gig on Saturday Night Live, was great friends with Dan Ayckroyd (who was on the show with him), they did "The Blues Brothers" on the show and in a movie (and he did other movies as well), he was married and he died from dope. Oh, and Bob Woodward wrote a bio on him.
That's exactly ALL this movie tells.
So, save yourself a few bucks at the video shop and RENT SOMETHING ELSE!!
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Amazing!! What's not to like?
I've just watched this movie for the somewhere-between-5th-and-10th time.
The only thing that confused me until this night was the mention of a daughter, whom I'd never seen; I thought he had two sons, but it turned out that what I thought was the younger son was the daughter.
Other than that, what could there be to hate (or at least intensely dislike) about this movie? A nice, sweet, sensitive guy named Christy (played excellently by Robin Williams) meets the love of his life, they get married, have some kids, and (as is LIFE), tragedies and mid-life crises occur down the road. In this case, first it's by losing the kids, and FOUR (not ONE) years later, Christy's life is taken away ... both from himself and the love of his life.
At first, he can't accept it and he tries to comfort his wife as she tries to get through the fact that she's lost yet another and therefore, ALL her loves. As Christy sees, this only worsens things for her, so he leaves and finds comfort in a place he felt he would be comfortable to spend eternity in when he was alive: The landscapes of her paintings mixed in with his own bliss.
Through Christy's journey through "His Own Private Heaven", he's guided first by his son (taking the form of someone who PERSONIFIED someone he knew his father trusted with his life). Eventually, Christy meets his daughter again (taking the form of what she knew PERSONIFIED what her father respected in a woman). And here, I guess, comes the message that Christy is fine with who he is and is therefore why he retains his own shape and likeness.
Amazing graphics for the heavens. "God's" Heaven, Christy's heaven, as well as the individual heavens for each of his kids.
But, when Christy finds out that his wife killed herself and is now in "Her Own Private Hell" for the rest of eternity, he does all he can to find her and get her back and reconcile with the entire family.
Of course, the images of Hell are disturbing, to say the very least (The sea of faces and the thought of being buried up to my head so only my face sticks out FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY really got to me). But all I can say for those who thought it was too disturbing is "Well, DUH! It's HELL! A place of eternal torment and discomfort, etc.
And, for those who are reading this who've attempted suicide, failed, and might have been offended by the "Hell for Suicides" message, I think all it was saying was that death wouldn't take the mental and emotional pain away; you take whatever you were feeling before you died with you.
All in all, we have a movie that depicts the romance of going through terrible things to spend eternity with our loved ones. The same kind of romance that has been told in every love song and/or poem, every pillow talk, every wedding vow, every one-night-stand scam, and everything that everyone has ever tried to put to words what they explain to be Love depicted on the screen.
Along with that, we have a small message from Whomever-Dreamed-Up-This-Story that DOESN'T say that you deserve eternal torment because you committed suicide, but that succeeding in doing the deed will not take the problems away because you take whatever you died with WITH YOU.
Christy took Positive with him; his wife took Negative. What will YOU take?
I read somewhere that this movie was based upon a book. I didn't know this until I wrote this, so I don't know how loyal it is to the book. But the only offense I can find by watching this is that it's not what we are told that the Bible allegedly preaches. So, it's the movie-makers' idea of the afterlife.
It's just a movie, and a good one at that.
By the way, as far as "Afterlife" movies are concerned, this one blows both "Ghost" and "City of Angels" out of the sky!!
That's a wrap.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Darn that theory/reality dichotomy!
In theory, this would have made a great film. The theory was no actual script because the entire story is explained in the first frame you see, have no stars playing the roles, and that the viewer watches "actual footage" of the blow-by-blow events of these people who were investigating the local folklore.
In reality, it didn't work. There's nothing really scary that happens except maybe for being lost in the woods, unfortunately no one gave the "Rodney King Treatment" to the guy who tossed the map after getting lost (which was well deserved), and, all in all, paying a single dime to see this is as much a rip-off as paying anyone to watch the video of their kid's birthday party on the RCA Handi-cam.
Fortunately, I got to see the movie for free since I UNfortunately worked in a video store at the time (see also my tirade in my "Clerks" review).
Comedy Relief for those who work at a "Monkey's Job"
I've seen this film way more than 20 times and I'm writing this after having watched it yet again and reading a good portion of the comments.
First of all, I understand that one of the reasons this film was done in black and white was because it was all they could afford at the time. So, what's wrong with black and white films? I don't know any serious movie or TV show buff who doesn't think it's an abomination to colorize such classics as the original "Miracle on 34th Street" and "The African Queen" (What's next? Colorization of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton?). We also know that it would have been "Just Plain Wrong" for David Lynch to do such movies as "Eraserhead" and "The Elephant Man" in color.
As far as artistic value is concerned, I think color would have ruined this film pretty much because as it takes place in a convenience store and video store, the black and white almost gives the effect that you're watching your average neighborhood clerks and all the goings-on through the stores' surveillance cameras.
Second, I'd like to mention that it's stupid to think that one would have to be from New Jersey or at least the East Coast to understand anything that's going on in this film or that this satire is a representation of just these areas. Even before travelling all across the States and Commonwealths of this country, I didn't see or hear anything in this film that was remotely alien or exotic. Are there really people in this country who have the single-digit-IQ mentality to think that New Jersey is the only place on the face of the planet where people work in places like this and have this kind of attitude towards life, let alone the customers and other things satirized in this film?
Having had the misfortune of working in a video store, I know what it's like to deal with customers who are looking for totally mentally devoid movies, don't know what section to look under when they want a comedy, and other things as well. Even worse, as is mentioned in the film, is the stunning and embarrassing notion that some people have that working in such a place is anything more to be proud of than landing and maintaining the highly prestigious career opportunity of delivering newspapers or scooping fries. It's something to do for money, start your work ethic, and that's all. Unless, of course, you're the owner of the place.
So, having had the indignity of working in such places, Kevin Smith has delivered us the perfect satire of what it's like being there, plus shockingly silly dialogue of things we all know about but hardly talk about, let alone see on the screen. Along with that are also the many outrageous, off-the-wall, no-holds-barred lines to remember from this film (i.e. "So your girlfriend f***ed a dead guy, big deal. My mom's been f***ing a dead guy for years ... I call him Dad.")
By the way, if you watch the other films first (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma), a really hard critic may find this film to be weak in comparison to the others or just plain weak as a movie by itself. But remember, this was just the foundation of things to come as Kevin and the View Askew crew developed and matured. And the others wouldn't have been able to be developed had it not been for the success of this film.
Higher Learning (1995)
Education means nothing without the wisdom to know how to use it
I find it quite disturbing that even those who've gone to college and are supposedly better at using their minds have missed one of the biggest points this movie made, which I made in my headline.
Here are all these kids getting roped up into crazy situations. They're getting into groups that allegedly have the solutions and are being influenced and are being completely programmed by their peers and what they read. And, even worse, because they're in college, they think they already have the wisdom to know what everything they're learning even MEANS!
Larry Fishburne plays one of the two people who seem to know this. He has the knowledge but also the wisdom. That's why when Malik (played by Omar Epps) is talking to him with his new-found "knowledge" and why he called Larry's character a "sell-out" for giving him a bad grade, Larry pipes back what does it have to do with Malik's being able to spell a word properly, etc. He also says that instead of complaining about being a "second-class" citizen, he should do something about it by improving himself ... by "running faster".
The other one who doesn't get programmed is the guy who's into Kristy Swanson. She says that the rally for a non-sexist society is for women only and he points out the hypocrisy in such a thing (Non-Sexist and it's for Women Only?). He doesn't get roped into anything and just floats along.
Although this movie gives highly extreme examples and hypothetical situations of just how far the programming can go when one is in college (and has the ego like they know the secrets of the universe BECAUSE they're in college), it is IMPOSSIBLE to say that it's an unrealistic movie; to this day, I have never met a college student who didn't mistake being in-the-process-of-being educated for being educated. This is the same as thinking that a slice of pizza that was chewed and swallowed one minute ago is already digested instead of being in-the-process-of being digested.
And, as I said, in my opening line, even people with "Higher Learning" have totally missed the point this movie makes. I rest my case.