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6/10
Brian Cox and Paul Dano
2 April 2010
Brian Cox & Paul Dano are a remarkable pairing in a film that doesn't really accomplish much, but somehow remains okay. Jacques, a bitter bartender looking for someone to carry on his legacy stumbles upon Lucas, a homeless young adult who is hopelessly giving. The pairing between the two is what allows the film to float above complete disaster, as their on screen chemistry elevates the otherwise nonexistent storyline to a level slightly beyond entriguing. As Jacques determines to break the kid and turn him into a "proper bartender", one who does not help people but destroys them, he finds a kid unwilling to bend in his giving ways. This changes Jacques, but the seeds of contempt Jacques has planted within Lucas in his "lessons of life" rub a lot deeper. This movie would've easily gotten an 8 had it ended about 5 minutes earlier. I must say that there was a scene in the beginning where I knew exactly what would happen at the end of the film, and this not only cripples any film revolving around this as a plot device, it destroys the very purpose of the entire piece. The only reason to watch this film is Brian Cox & Paul Dano's amazing on screen chemistry, and that alone places this film slightly above palatable.
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9/10
Believable
1 April 2010
Lovers of Hate tells the story of a social outcast who's entire life has been outshadowed by his kid brother Paul. Rudy, the "failure" so to speak, can't hold a job and is living out of his vehicle. He tries desperately to hide the fact that his relationship with Diana has eroded knowing it would give his brother the one up. The conflict between brothers becomes more complicated when Paul and Diana end up together. Although Sundance knocks the character study for making Rudy off to be too childish in dialogue, I found the ending lines poignant, and allows forgiveness of Rudy's behavior earlier in the film by shadowing what has led up to this point. It was a remarkably touching film that did what it set out to do. My only real complaint within the movie is its length. The film wasn't remarkably long, but at times scenes did drag on. Overall, I feel the film was an accomplishment. 9/10
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What happens when you stretch a good rubberband too much, it snaps!
22 September 2004
First of all, let me add I was not a fan of the original Ginger Snaps but did find the sequel mildly enjoyable. When I rented Ginger Snaps Back, I knew that it would probably disappoint me, that being said I surprisingly found this movie alright. Forget the fact that it steals the exact same plot from the original with only "minor" changes, this movie can still entertain. It does have some key problems, like how at points it got incredibly boring, and how a monster roamed throughout the town without anyone seamlessly knowing, and how Ginger had obviously changed, yet nobody seemingly noticed it. The story had characters that were, well, boring. Ginger, in the original, at least had some character. In this one they are about as dull as watching dust collect. However, despite how it seemed this movie dragged on for hours on end, it had a good ending that leaves some links to the original. The problem was, this movie was completely unneeded to the series, and provided no real connection, despite the one you could sorta kinda make at the end, to the other stories. And the same story happening twice with two girls named the exact same, who look the exact same, but cannot be related due to the fact their parents are dead seems slightly odd. Like any good series, if you stretch it out too long, it eventually snaps. This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it isn't worth putting on your shelf either.

5/10
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Elephant (2003)
Did I get a shortened version???
25 March 2004
I will make it perfectly clear, this movie is not a masterpiece as it was portrayed. that being put away, this film is a good low budget art film. When I first watched it, it seemed like it was building up to something huge. It makes a ton of references and has some neat things that symbolize. However the cons outweigh the good. The film is about a regular day at high school in any old Rich Town USA and shows certain characters throughout their day. The day plays out normal for the first say 50 minutes of the film, which is not nearly exciting but it does portray accuracy, not like every high school has climactic events nonstop. The choice of characters was not really relevant with the exception of the perps, mainly because you could probably showcase everyone else in the High School and their day would have been just as interesting. This film has a lot of energy and will keep you waiting on the edge of your feet for something to happen, and it does. But when looking at this film in a broader view, you can see so so many problems. First, the characters have no real purpose in the end, it just honestly shows a bunch of teens and their day. Second, there is no backstory or character developement to any of these kids, they seem like cardboard cutouts. The acting doesn't help, and most teens show little or no emotion throughout the entire thing. The music is minimal, even during scenes that seem to drag on forever and never really lead anywhere but to fill up a shortened movies space. The camera work is decent at best, but there are times I thought to myself "honestly, is the camera guy even trying, my little sister could do better than that!". And finally, my biggest complaint, the ending. It isn't and ending at all. Its like watching fight club and in the middle of the first fight the credits come up. So it makes you think of what happened, I like those endings in other movies, but really it leaves way way too much out. I felt shorted and robbed. However, those perks aside, it was a decent film at the very least, and it does deserve props for creating a realistic rich highschool and a ton of symbolism and irony.

6/10

Pros: Keeps you waiting on the edge of your seat, tons of irony, lots of symbolism, shocks and minor twists at the end.

Cons: Unlikable characters, bad camera work, bad acting, abrupt ending, bad musical score, and useless scenes

I recommend you watch this film, but do not expect to be wowwed at the end of it. If you go watching this film with an open mind, you probably will enjoy it a bit more than I did.
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Shockwork Orange
25 March 2004
If I could sum up Clockwork Orange in two words, they would be shocking and delightful. Being made in 71, I found it hard to believe half the stuff they showed in this movie could even be shown now without angry moms revolting. But behind the tremendously dark sattire is surprizingly much substance. The film showcases quite possibly the craziest guy I have ever seen shown in a movie, he makes villains in comic books look perfectly normal. They also make him the hero, recounting exactly what led him up to the conclusion. I cannot sum up the rest of the story, because to try to say the plot would probably make me look stupid. It really is something that must be seen to be believed.

9/10 Pros: Brilliantly written script, funny dark humor, Review value [I've seen this film 10 times and it keeps getting better!], Great acting, and a brilliant score.

Cons: The only real problem I could think of is the language, which at times can seem a chore to listen and comprehend.

A cult classic that needs to be seen to respect filming, period!
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Run Lola Run (1998)
Cool Runnings
23 March 2004
Was the story just so jaw dropping? Well, no. Was the acting superb? Not really. Does it have a shocking "twist" at the end? Nope. So why the heck was I so entertained by it? I have never seen anything like this film at all. It is probably one of the greatest art films I have ever seen, and it will keep you interested the entire time. The story follows Lola, who is running to save her boyfriend. What is unique is the fact that it doesn't happen just once, but 3 seperate times! It is pretty much the same story, but minor changes lead to completely different scenarios and different outcomes. Trust me, you won't want to look away from this film. My heart was racing the entire time. If your a fan of Snatch, this movie is a given, it may not follow the same style, but fans of that genre will probably love the way this film is made. Even if you hate Snatch, this film is something to see. There are few people who hate this film, you will atleast have a good time. It doesn't require you to keep your mind open, and it doesn't require you to follow the plot for clues to the ending, it is just a fun film. And a film I wish would continue, its biggest flaw was the fact I didn't want it to end, and when it did I was stunned. I almost cried, I didn't want to move, there had to be more!

Pros: Exciting, fast paced thrill ride

Cons: Who really cares? Lets just say there are a lot, but it really doesn't matter!

9/10! Sure it won't stick in your head for weeks on end, but hey, if you want to pay for entertainment, I cannot think of a better film
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Vanilla Sky (2001)
Vanilla, the worst scoop of Ice Cream you can get.
22 March 2004
Really, I would love to say that this film blew me away to an unmeasurable height. It was a treat, to say the least, and it did offer entertainment. However, as many pros I can say about this movie, I can also mention cons. The movie has some quality grade A actors and actresses, but it seems the performances they play are week at best. The story is hardly simple, a man who vows to never fall in love does, but of course once he does it upsets his Ex and she drives him off a bridge severely disfiguring his face. Sounds interesting, and the execution is descent enough to keep you watching. Towards the end though, everything changes. And I mean everything, the nice Romance turns into a bizarre horror story from hell. That is all this movie ends up being, and unfortunately, the ending makes you even angrier. Hardly, if I do say so myself, a good twist. It seemed more or less like the entire movie revolved around this "twist" and the depth leading up to it was shallow. A descent movie, to say the least, but hardly my favorite scoop of ice cream.

6.5/10 Pros: Good first half, some funny moments, cool scene at the dance room, very quotable

Cons: To many twists and turns in what could have been a good film, low quality acting,

I recommend watching this film, but don't go in expecting a masterpiece. It is descent, but hardly the greatest film I have ever seen
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Bully (2001)
I will never pick on anyone again
21 March 2004
I must hand it to Larry Clark, after seeing his previous work, I thought it would be impossible for me to find a movie of his with a good storyline. Everything from Clark's other films are in this, a ton of nudity, unneccesary sex, drug use, and teens so stupid that it borders on stupidity. However, all of Clark's films are also entertaining, not because they are art, but because they keep you surprised and paying attention. Same goes with this wonderful film. The story seems straight out of fiction, so I was surprised to find out it was based on true events. A group of friends, after being harrassed by a kid who seems to be part evil part senile decide to kill him. I won't ruin any of the story after that point, but I must add that the characters are so stupid in this flick that it seems, oddly enough, real. The acting is right on, although I have something against the directing. The directing and camera work seems to pin in incredibly useless places. I have two knacks against it, one being a useless closeup on a girl's crotch, and another that has the camera circling around the group atleast 10 times, enough to make anyone sea sick. However, those minor problems aside, this film strikes a chord not soon to be forgotten. This film is a good flick if you look past the minor problems, and it will leave an impression on you for a while.

8/10 Pros: good-par acting, well written script, good character developement, and tons of shocks.

Cons: Poor camera work and useless sex scenes.
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there is no waking up from this Dream
18 March 2004
Let me be the first to mention exactly how powerful this film is. This film can very well change your life for the better. It is quite possibly the greatest gem in filming to be released since American Beauty. But even though this diamond is huge, it has a few faults. First it seems to lose its seriousness at points, and certain points seem random and err, well quite odd. That being said, this could be the greatest film ever. It has that eerieness that even when something seems so comical you cannot laugh. It is terrible to see what happens to these people, and I could hardly say that this movie will make you feel good once its over. At the end, more than likely you will sit in your seat for a minute just processing what you saw. This movie gives no hope, no beaken of light, and it shows the absolute worst case scenarios. If you think that our world is perfect, then Requiem will wake you up from that dream quickly, and once you wake up, you will only want to go right back to sleep. Definitely a powerful film. 9/10

Pros: Characters feel real, it remains dark and bleak, tremendous acting.

Cons: Repetition of one scene in particular where drug use is shown, however different the drugs or the process of using it, this scene stays the same. Honestly, thats all I can think of.

Go buy this film, or at the very least, rent it and never bring it back to the store.
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Ken Park (2002)
Sorry George, the term Shock and Awe is already taken
17 March 2004
It is really hard to rate this movie, mainly because it is so graphic yet that is what makes it so appealing. The movie never stops shocking you, and with such wonderful characters that feel real [although I have never, ever seen Teens like this]. They are all individuals, who feel different things and have different opinions. It shows that sex is not what teens live their lives for, but is just a part of it. I did feel if they cut some, err, unnecessary scenes out that it could have elaborated on the plot a lot more.

Are Teens really evil? Well, I think this movie, for the most part, shows a good light on how teens feel about matters. It also takes a bold move into showing that parents are not the best role models in all situations, and that it isn't always the teens fault. My favorite character, however, is Tate. He was wonderfully acted and seemed so real, it seems a pity that after this piece and what he does in it he probably will not get another movie except for some low budget porno. Tate is the kid all parents hate, he fascinates about death and hates his grandparents, well, just because. He shows no remorse, and it seems he takes life as sort of a joke, a way he can pleasure himself. It felt real, although what he ultimately does is sick and disturbing. The rest of the characters play out like real teens, and towards the end, you realize that quite possibly the single most innocent character in the movie is Ken Park, despite what he does. I got some great advice from this movie, it seemed it went in the right direction, and it always kept me interested. Would I recommend this film? Well, actually no. As much as I liked it, I really cannot judge this movie. A movie where half of the film feels like a softcore porn is kind of a touchy subject, but for what its worth, I enjoyed it.

7/10 Pros: Great acting, realistic families, flawed characters, shocking, and it keeps you interested.

Cons: Some moments seem a bit, umm, pointless. It kind of cliffhangs on a few characters, and some scenes were a bit too disturbing.
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9/10
Lost in the Magic
16 March 2004
Let me be the first to tell you that love stories and me do not mix. I usually hate them, and never ever find the stories real or even thought provoking. Now putting that aside, I absolutely love this film.

The story is about a man named Bob going through his MidLife crisis. He feels uncared for, especially in a completely foreign place like Japan. He does commercials, and absolutely hates it. He used to be a movie star, what a disgrace! Anyways, he is in Japan when he runs into Catherine. Now is the time I started thinking "OH GREAT, another one, they will fall in love and get married yadah yadah yadah." Imagine my surprise that this film stays as down to earth as it can get, even in an area I [living in America my entire life] found almost alien. The film portrays emotions and the problems between two completely different people who have a chance meeting. The film is so incredibly deep that it can satisfy anyone who enjoys Indie films. Plot? There is none! Absolutely none! And I still loved this movie!

See it once, then view it again. It is a must see!

9/10

Pros: Wonderful acting, realistic portrayal of people, funny yet at the same time sad.

Cons: One particular scene involving a red head. I shouted "Bob how can you do that!" The movie would have done great without it.
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A Match that sparks and keeps lit through the entire film
16 March 2004
Ahh the con movie, right? Another movie with sappy twists and turns that makes you want to become a detective because you figure it out so fast. Imagine my surprise when I found this film good and entertaining.

This film certainly does not play as a con film, it actually plays sort of as a Dramedy. Roy Waller suffers from a terrible problem in which he hates being outside and being around dirt. His partner Frank is a likeable guy, and their trade is conning innocent people. One day, Roy finds out he has a daughter, and that is when the movie completely shifts directions from being a con movie. The movie starts to feel like a good film of the relationship of a man and his daughter. It is obvious he has no clue as to what he is doing, but still, he tries. Over time, he falls in love with her and really wants to start being with her more. Watching this part of the film made me quite touched at multiple moments, do to the tremendous if only a bit over-the-top acting of Cage, and all the secondary actors and actresses. The movie really shows exactly how money and having a great house is not everything, and that some things are more important.

This film is spectacular, and definitely deserves much more respect. The characters are not all likeable, and you might find yourself hating every one of them at some point during the movie, but they are real. A con movie with real people, now that is a shocker. This movie doesnt need a twist, with its spectacular acting and already great tale of the bonding between daughter and father, this film gets a 10. One of my favorite films of 2003, only topped by Thirteen. Rent the DVD today!
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Thirteen (2003)
10/10
A work of art
14 March 2004
When I first saw Thirteen, I had little expectations of it being nearly as good as it was, and the first 10 minutes simply reinstated my opinions that it would just be a decent movie to the likes of Kids. But to my surprise, I found myself marvelling every minute of it, mainly do to the superb acting. Tracy, a troubled yet good kid, goes through troubles at home and had a very bad childhood. Her mother [played by Holly Hunter] tries her hardest to make ends meet and also tries to bond with her daughter, but by doing so forgets her obligation as a mother. Tracy finds herself unwanted both at home and at school, and thinks she is a complete loser. Just by a change of wardrobe, she catches the eye of a popular girl by the name of Evie. What follows is a slow but at the same time lightning fast decent into trouble, complicated by a continuous trouble at home. The movie grabs you, and once it does, it doesnt let go. There are a few problems that need to be addressed with this film that prevent it from being perfect. The story leaves some issues left unsolved, and at times you feel confused as to how relationships were patched up almost over night [There are times where the daughter and mother have a major fight, then the next day it was like it never happened]. These points aside, the movie offers the bad look on life, and many claim it shows teens doing things they dont, however in some areas the girls catagorized in this film would not be that bad. The acting is tremendous, and I would recommend this film to anyone. This film deserved a shot as best film at the Oscars. 10/10
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10/10
If this were bowling, it gets a 300
13 March 2004
This movie was absolutely spectacular. At the very least, you go out of the theater with a bit of knowledge or statistics, which is good that at the very least youve been educated. If you are a believer in what he says, or even a nonpartial nonbeliever, you can take out his message and understand the point he is trying to address. The documentary is really one of the few documentaries I have seen in past years that actually keeps your attention. It has great balance, one scene is a dark comical approach, and the next is straight forward facts, and when it finally grabs you, it shows footage that will shock you and further reimberse your newly found opinions on the matter. During the film, there will be times where you will feel ignorant, angry, happy, understanding, compasionate, confused, and saddened. It really is a rollercoaster ride, and the best Documentary in the past 2 years. 10/10
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Thirteen (2003)
10/10
Changes the way you look at films.. and life
11 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
When i first saw the corny box of two girls sticking their tongues out, I got the impression it would be a comedy of some sort. When I read the back, I realized that it would end up being one of those dark comedy movies. Never have I been more wrong in my entire life. The movie starts off strong, in a way that your shocked to see, and when it flashes back to how things lead up to that point, you are hardly sure if your even looking at the same person. The fall into a world that seemingly places all the troubles in your life is a hard one, and never have I seen a better representation of it. Scenes will stick out in your head for weeks after the film, and nothing seems unable to happen, especially during the conditions. There are problems, like all movies, with this one, in particular [at first glance] most notably is the Camera. Seemingly, the video quality is poor, and the cheap use of a regular camera takes away from the experience. However, when you view it a second time, you realize exactly how many things are special and unique. First off, the color changes to fit the mood of the characters, which is incredibly powerful even if you do not recognize it. It makes the sad parts that much more sad and the happy parts seem innocent and, although you probably shouldnt feel this way, good. Some may be disturbed by the characters in this movie, let me say that the acting is, at first glance, passible, but never once did I question whether these characters were fake. The mother is someone who tries to be a friend, and is actually deeply in denial of her behavior. The daughter is a follower, but at the same time she seemingly wants, and enjoys, to cause pain to her mother, a very common feeling of many girls at a young age. The father just wants to forget his children exist, and feels bad about his actions but only because he thinks it might make him look bad. The friend, probably one of the worst friends anyone can ever have, is actually trying to impress the main character as well. SPOILERS!!!! She whispers I love you in one scene, and she always tries to act cool around the main girl, probably trying to fit into the cool image herself. Many would claim she was like that before, but by evidence of the other friend seen early in the movie, she seems kind of like a trouble maker but not like a terrible person. So, in my opinion, both characters try to top eachothers actions in order to, at the same time, fit in with eachother, thus making two people who are never themselves, or even eachother. This movie is powerful, and if you see it, it would be hard to turn away, I give this movie a 10/10 mainly do to my tremendous enjoyment while watching this film. I dont think a single film has changed the way I looked at life like this one. This movie is rated R for themes that children should not be exposed to. But, after watching this movie, its hard to say your kid cant see it, mainly because many teens their age are exposed to much worse.

10/10

Positives: Brilliant cast, Tremendous gripping story, strong scenes, and factual basis

Negatives: Minor moments left unsolved or even unvisited and the camera.

You must see this film,
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