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The Night Stalker (2016)
Brilliant Lou Diamond Phillips
Lou Diamond Phillips gives a Brilliant and mesmerizing performance as Ramirez "The Night Stalker". It's a wonderfully sustained characterization, and deserves probably more attention that it will get. In truth it's an award winning performance and should be remembered at the time Emmy's are distributed. Unfortunately the female role is nowhere near as interesting. Whether this is a fault of the writer, director or the actress, she just seems so much less interesting than Phillips.
But Phillip's performance is so good, h never stoops to the obvious and makes no effort to ingratiate himself or the part he's playing. I have never been a particular fan of his, but no I will pay more attention.
Love Field (1992)
Gret underrated enjoyable movie
Can't believe that this is another movie that I find the legendary Roger Ebert's review to be totally worthless. The performance are uniformly great particularly Michelle Pfeiffer and Dennis Haysbert. The story is involving and ultimately moving. The little girl's almost numb with abuse and fear, shock is well portrayed. The story is believable, and the ending happily, optimistic. A shame that the film is comparatively unknown. See it, if you like something more substantial than a simple chick flick, or the latest blood and gore offering. A movie for people with an adult mentality. It once again proves that Michelle Pfeiffer was perhaps the most under appreciated actress of her time.
Winter Passing (2005)
The Start of the movie i so unpleasant, it lost any sympathy that I might have.
I give this movie a very low rating purely because of the opening irresponsible opening scene. The lead character played by Zoe D.( a career handicapped by awful last name) takes and nurses a sweet kitten, and then she zips it into a bag and throws it in a river. She had other options, she could have taken it to an animal shelter, she could have gone door-to-door and said "Please, I am homeless, can you take my kitten", She could have stood outside a Wal-Mart with a sign. SHE COULD HAVE TAKEN IT With her, but no she cold blooded condemns the poor little thing to a terrifying and long death. I did watch the movie because I am a strong Ed Harris fan, but hate the initial scene and the message it sends out, and that no one Director, Crew, Actors, would think this perpetuation that drowning is an acceptable way to kill. Not her fault but I find myself disliking Zoey D, and will probably not watch another of her films.
Coast to Coast (1980)
Totally Disregard Roger Ebert's review
I saw this movie when it came out, in a PX movie theater in West Berlin. I found it very Funny, particularly because of Dyan Cannon's hysterical performance.
Roger Ebert goes to quite some stunning detail in revealing the plot and then mind numbingly completely stuns you when he says it is basically a remark of ...."The African Queen"! Absolute RUBBISH! It is nothing like The African Queen, no resemblance WHATSOEVER. I don't know what he was on when he wrote the review ,but trust me you too will be completely baffled as to why or how he could come up with such a notion.
But this is a very undemanding film, and if you accept it, at face value a very pleasing way to spend a couple of hours.
Underrated and excellent entertainment!
This might be THE Ginger & Fred movie for people who are not huge great fans of the memorable team. The reason being is that there is a little more story than the earlier ones, and also because it is really quite Funny, Thanks in NO small amount to Ginger's performance. Often somewhat rudely underestimated in the partnership( And after all, she did everything Fred did ,but backwards and in heels, AND had to be Damn Pretty while she was doing it(even the kindest amongst us would find it difficult to make a great argument for Fred as being a "looker"). Fred is often given solo numbers in their films but here Ginger gets a good one "The Yam' which she performs with great style and wit. In fact Ginger dominates the film , and it is quite reasonable to point out that after the partnership ended it was Ginger who had the most initial success winning a Best Actress Oscar for "Kitty Foyle". But it is ginger's fun and very amusing performance that makes the film particularly watchable.
Music Box (1989)
An excellent Film
I have this movie on ape and occasionally re watch it. I think it is very watchable. Jessica Lange is excellent in a very difficult role, as is the man playing her father, I found him very believable in his portrayal. The story and development are all very good. I easily recommend this movie. it is interesting , moving and well done. It should be more well known. Certainly the basic story is compelling, the details are enough to move you without the need to resort to too much graphic images. The predicament of Jessica Lange's character is just awful to imagine. We know that many people who have done wrong things lie to themselves and pretend that they haven't, this story of such a case is harrowing.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Great Courage from Marlene Dietrich
I just want to make a Special note about Marlene's contribution to this film. Her outspoken bravery and support of the Allies during the 2nd World War are legendary. But here years later, she steps up to the Plate again. To take the role of the Deluded woman in complete denial of the evidence was a remarkable thing for her to do. She later appeared in live concerts in Germany and was met with very mixed reactions. Some even spitting at her and calling her a "Traitor". It was a display of integrity that we have witnessed very rarely in history. I had the privilege of seeing her a dozen years later in concert in London. The visual impression was stunning, she looked absolutely gorgeous to this impressionable young fellow. I think her contributions and her career have been somewhat neglected in recent years. They shouldn't be, she was really one of the most remarkable women in History.
Eyes of an Angel (1991)
Awful sand Offensive
This is a truly awful and Offensive film. The other reviews seem almost to have seen a different movie than me. where to start with so much badness on view. The "plain" girl- (oh dear what Tatum O'Neals turn in paper Moon did to the child actor parts is unforgivable- she is not Cute because she has an awful hair cut, and never smiles, (one wonders how come Travolta's hair is always great- kind of like a case of neglect if you can't be generous enough to make something of your child). She encourages the dog to follow them, with no thought for the dog's well being, the ludicrousness of the plot that shows Travolta and child driving for hours and the dog somehow picking up the scent and covering the distance in not much more time isn't even logical) The dog's poor pads are ripped, but it seems all he needs is an overnight nap and can bound off again, Even the dog lead is poorly served, the other 2 dogs in bit parts give better performances. At the end in the "dog fight " scene, the revolting people who would attend an event like this somehow find their humanity and mug emotions for the camera when the girl identifies the bond she has with the dog, I just wanted to machine gun the lot of them audience, thugs everybody. It lack of true moral integrity is so offensive it really is a waste of money. The fans who write praising this film as heartwarming and moving are in serious need of counseling, your critical and emotional values are vastly lacking.
Spring Breakers (2012)
Awful, Just Awful
I was almost numb with a mixture of boredom and disbelief while watching this movie. In fact I kept watching it solely because I thought that somehow, something worthwhile would come from it-WRONG!
The 4 "leads' females were so void of charm, intelligence and character-never mind personality, that the continual shots of them heads grouped together gave them an identity that they never individually achieved- they never emerged as individuals- the 3 blonds just were much of a muchness, pouting, prancing and generally making less of themselves than you would think possible. It was impossible to care or even be interested in any of them. James Franco, provides some entertainment as a druggie/ crook, but not much( and WHY does he always look a bit grubby? His skin seems to have greasy film of dullness in every picture, so much so that you wonder if he has a personal grooming problem- I want to pass him some facial scrub, and hope that it gives him some bloom or glow.) The ending is so preposterous that it cannot be taken in any shape, form or way seriously. that these 2 dumb-I mean Really Dumb, girls would pull off this shoot out killing professional crooks, and thugs with no problem whatsoever is laughable-if only the movie was Not so bad. It was (on TV) listed as having strong sexual content and nudity- but even on that level it fails. Why do these directors, STILL continually have the female cast flashing their boobs, and rarely equivalent nudity from the males in their cast- talk about sexism. As I was the bare breasts etc. provided added little to the plot(Ha-Ha) or anything else. You have to believe that the director had them strip off just for his and the crew's pleasure Appalling, truly Appalling!
Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
Another Underrated Goodie!
Amazes me how this movie receives so little attention. It is far more complex than many similar Hollywood themed films. Some great actors.. Natalie Wood, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Roddy MacDowell and the always extraordinary Ruth Gordon( quite heart rending here). Bearing in mind when it was made and who it was made by. It is a great story, obviously based on Judy Garland, but with a richness that is absorbing and never ceases to be entertaining. Natalie was about 27-28 at the time but she looks great and if you didn't know she was 28 , she does not look that much older than the part she is playing of a street wise old before her time kid. ( Someone in another review says she thought she was miscast and it should have been played by Tuesday Weld, and the reviewer endorses this opinion- well, much as I admire ms weld's talents, it is hard to imagine her as Daisy and harder still to see her improving upon Natalie's performance). I would recommend this movie to any film fan, and while not perfect (how many films truly are?) is much better than it's reputation allows.
The Boy Next Door (2015)
What a Piece of Dustbin!
What can you say? Jennifer Lopez "produced" this movie, and so she must take the Lions' share of the knocks. It hits such ridiculous points en route to it's ludicrous ending. Why she would feature herself in a film that exploits her nudity , like a soft core porn movie one has to wonder about her levels of taste. As for poor Kristin Chenoweth, one has to wonder about her career sense. At exactly one year older than Lopez( Both July 24th birthdays) she allows herself to be referred to as a blankety, blank "dried up old C**t". She is still a lovely woman, and has a strong religious leaning, one wonders if her choice of role as a spinster like senior is something she will ever be able to recover from.
Made Me Angry!
I give this a middling vote, as it wasn't a "bad" movie. But it was certainly upsetting and I admit to switching channels at some of the more upsetting scenes. It doesn't really add very much to the other similar kind of films about wartime brutality, it has been said. But what really angered me was the final few frames where we are provided with the information that after the war the lead got "god' and went back and forgave the Japanese soldiers except his tormentor, who we are led top believe he would have also forgiven except that the guy would not meet with him.
I don't know why so many moronic fools are hooked onto this idea of "Forgiveness". It has it's origin in some kind of specious holy idea that there is some kind of virtue in forgiving someone of the crime. It appears the more atrocious the crime the more IDIOTS think it should be forgiven! Well GET REAL! It is NOT OK to forgive murderers, rapists, torturers etc. In fact it is WRONG TO FORGIVE THEM. The Forgiver might feel better for the rest of their days, but at what cost? To make a BAD person feel GOOD! How STUPID is that? I much more respect the parents and Family of Ron Goldman who were relentless in their pursuit of getting some kind of justice for his Killer O.J. SImpson.
Lost Boy (2015)
Made me Angry!
Not a particularly bad or good film. The only character that interested me was the 2nd wife, who seemed to be trying to behave responsibly and concerned. The ending really made me angry, in a sense they abandoned the "son" was abandoned again. As he is presented at the beginning of the film, as turning "tricks' to survive, one assumes that he will be back working the sex trade at the end, until drugs/ death or Aids gets him. If he survives then h will find the market drying up as he gets older.
Admittedly he exhibits anti-social and frightening behavior. But the DNA questions I viewed as his uncertainty that if he turned out not to be the missing son, then he would be abandoned, so rather than run the risk he tried to ensure the result by trying to get DNA form the younger brother. The anger and resentment displayed at the end. Well, as they never bothered to try and deal with the past- even though the father at least was presented with some of the details of his sexual abuse and torture, he was not given counseling-it was not even mentioned. We don't know at the end if he is really the son or not, but when both parents make the decision to just not pursue it or him, the feeling of emptiness and hopelessness I felt for the boy's character was upsetting. "Ok he's a problem let's just abandon him" was the message I got.
Project X (2012)
Stupid and irritating!
Watchable, but such a waste of time. The performances are OK, the cast, OK, the direction competent, but it pretends to have a message. And that message is so offensive that it grates. By the films end, where the stupid cast of "Young" party goers, who are game for everything and ignore the world around them. treating people who do not find their mindless destruction of property-And here it is fair to point out that the property destroyed is not there own- as unimaginative and unsympathetic. The stupid lead and his equally stupid father, stand reviewing the total wreckage of the house and property. They exchange mild comments as though it didn't really matter that much , and that the father has some kind of sneaking admiration of his son, for achieving the disaster. Only morons will find this waste of money worthwhile.
The Squeeze (1977)
Shameful humiliation of Carol White
While this film packs a few punches. One scene has lingered with me for all the years since I saw it. The actress carol White is forced to do a humiliating and fully revealing strip for David Hemmings and three other actors. Stacy Keach is also shown nude, but protected. White is fully nude and to be honest not in the greatest shape. The point of sexual degradation and subsequent rape could have been made without showing the Actress in quite so exploitative a manner. I remember at the time feeling embarrassed for her, and angry that she had been made to do this scene to the extent she was.
It could have been balanced out by showing Stacy Keach fully nude or David Hemmings could have been shown just as revealed.
Did He Do It? (2015)
Interesting but flawed
There's a number of these kind of reality shows. The biggest fault I find with most of them is that they show Actors in the parts of the characters and never show an actual photo of the real perpetrators. (Although they tend to show photos of the victims). The one I recently watched was about the Killer Melvin Ignatow, a man who tortured raped and murdered his girlfriend with the aid of another female. He was found not- guilty of the murder and then several months later, film was found in his home of him committing the acts, but because of Double Jeopardy legal rubbish, he could only be charged with Perjury for lying and only served a few years in jail- how appalling is that? One thing I did find disturbing-apart from the Smug arrogance of host Darren Kavinoky is the detail of how the accused Ignatow was forced to strip and pose for photos so that they could try to identify him from the found film which did not show his face. While I have nothing but loathing for this killer, he did not want to do this in front of a female investigator, and I do think it is wrong in these kind of situations for someone of the opposite sex to be present. Supposing he was not the killer? Why should he be e put through this? Just as I would find it wrong for a female accused perpetrator to have to submit to being stripped and photographed by a male investigator. There are enough professionals of both genders for this to be avoided.
Catch Hell (2014)
Could have been much better
I give this movie a 5 because it is watchable. There are certain scenes that both repel and fascinate. Watching the guy skin the alligator was too much for this viewer, too graphic and detailed. Somewhere there was the essence of a good movie. But some things stand out as odd. This is not the first film I have seen with Ryan being held prisoner and tortured and beaten. When the "gay" part came up it seemed odd that it hadn't figured in the scenes of him going to the bathroom. Wouldn't the "Junior" character have said "I can't untie you, I'll have to unzip your pants and hold you stuff"? Which would have allowed a nice shot of Ryan's junk and not just his backside later in the movie. Ryan seems to think that a homo would only be interested in intercourse with his backside, -admittedly very pleasant to look at, and quite courageous I guess to put it on display in such a fashion.
I found the role of the older kidnapper difficult, it just seemed too much of a caricature, seen in too many films.
probably not the actor's fault but my feeling was "If you've seen one ,you've seen them all".
Ryan certainly looks good for his age.
I have no idea what the final sequence was about... was he thinking "I wish that me and junior had got it on...", or "it wasn't all bad..."
I dunno, not a bad film, but not good. Maybe Ryan's next effort will be better.
PS" my use of the words "intercourse" "stuff" and "backside" were forced because the review site would not accept the more "real' words I used.
Wolf Hall (2015)
Not Overly impressed.
The trouble with Historical Dramas is that their most likely audience, is going to have some familiarity with the content, and often obvious flaws alienate the most likely audience. I watched the first Episode of Wolf Hall last night on PBS and immediately it gave me problems. Cardinal Wolsey died when he was about 57,. I have never seen an older looking Wolsey. He looked to be about 70. The actor playing him is in face only about 68, but unlike most actors he looks-at least in tis appearance- older than his years.
Anne Boleyn is always a problem, as so little is accurately know about her appearance and character. To me the most likely and convincing portrayal was by Genevieve Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days, and also an intriguing silent portrayal by Vanessa Redgrave in a tiny but significant appearance in A Man For All Seasons. At first encounter it is too soon to tell how this actress will fare.
Most productions go for showing Katherine of Aragon as A dusky black haired typical Spaniard, but history shows she was fair skinned and fair/ auburn haired.
As for Mark Rylance, a the moment he seems to be playing the part all on one note, I.E. dour. I am not overly familiar with Mr Rylance's work, but seem to recall that he had real sex in one movie. Which to me seems a little strange. I mean if he plays a murderer is he going to really kill someone? Oh, no I guess he'll act it.
At the moment, I am not overly impressed. Henry viii seems a little odd to say the least. In his day he was though of one of the handsomest "princes' ever seen, this guy looks like he could be happy in a rugby scrum, or tossing chips in a fish and chip shop. Also not impressed wit costumes, check out some of the actual paintings at the time, Henry's clothing was sumptuous.
Stunningly Beautiful Ursula Andress.
I give this movie a high vote purely because of the stunning beauty of Ursula Andress. I had read the book of "She" as a teenager, and was obsessed with it and when I saw this film, I became obsessed with Ursula. She(Ursula) never became the Huge Star her beauty should have made her,but in her white Goddess, dresses she simply did look like a legendary goddess. I think her best performance was in a little known movie at the end of her "star' days called "Perfect Friday"- although she is somewhat unfairly required to be nude -a lot- as opposed to her male co-stars.
See She and admire her loveliness.
Sweet Charity (1969)
Vastly underrated! Seek Out This Gem!
I watched this movie for the 'umpteenth time again last night. I saw it when it first came out, and have encouraged people over the years to search it out.
Checking the Oscar nominations, for 1970, it's shocking it was so neglected. I do remember a British magazine "Films & Filming" did award their Best Actress that year to Shirley Maclaine for Charity. To consider detail and depth that Shirley brings to her role, and to not even get nominated is just plain ridiculous. Particularly when you consider some of the winners for that and other years. Bob Fosse's direction is also a revelation. At the time the "freeze frame" was relatively new, and the way he uses it to reveal, Character, events and plot is wonderful Think of the images of Shirley after being dumped by Charlie an meeting Vittorio, or her dates with Oscar, and then their usage during "I love to cry at weddings' to indicate the problems that Oscar is having with Charity's past. I cannot believe Vincent Carby's New York Times review, it appears to be an attack on Shirley Maclaine( I think because he seems to think she was somehow at fault for Gwen Verdon not getting the part). To think that he was a supposedly qualified Film Critic and to come up with this ridiculous "review" which faults the performer's acting/ dancing and singing, is scandalous. My only reservation about the film is the ending, hen the words "..and she lived hopefully ever after" are flashed on the screen, it implies that Charity Hope Valentine never did find happiness, and I like to think that she did.
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Upsetting AND annoying
A difficult movie to review , because it IS emotionally wrenching, but then having said that, I found myself very angered by the actions of the daughter and the wife of Richard Gere's character.
The daughter takes the dog home and then bids it "Goodbye Hachi" and opens the gate and lets the dog wander of to it's lonely last 9 years of life. The wife finds the dog at the end of the film, aged and still mourning his owner, she hugs him and weeps and then she too leaves(abandons ) him. Does any dog lover think that these are appropriate actions? To see this poor animal, every winter sleeping under a train in the cold/ frost and ice is very upsetting. Yes, for the emotional tug of the story it works, but totally inappropriate to treat an animal like this. If a spouse was so upset at the loss of their partner, and they wanted to haunt the railway station for the rest of their life to be linked to their lost spouse would you let them do it? To put it in human terms the animal was traumatized and needed love, care and attention. They should have taken him to the train station at the time of the professor's daily arrival and then taken him home, loved him, and made him comfortable. But these people just abandoned him. I admit at the end I was sobbing, but I also was very angered, by this story. Poor Hachi...
Perfect Friday (1970)
Underrated Andress steels the Movie
It's unfortunate that this movie happened close to the end of Ursula's most successful years, as she is easily the best thing in it.
Looking absolutely gorgeous-in or out of her clothes- and it must be said she is treated very much as a sex object in places, she is seen fully frontal nude, while the men (admittedly pretty unattractive are kept under wraps, but you can't help seeing it as sexist and exploitative to a degree. But she is still funny and entertaining in this underrated movie.
Somewhat of it's time =swinging London etc, but nevertheless deserved to be seen more than it was.
Strange but unsettling
I watched this in a kind of morbid sense of dread way. I have always found the notion of how the professionals handle and deal with the dead very upsetting. The idea of someone stripping and handling and generally disposing of a body and all the associated indignities truly repulses me. I found the nudity of Christina Ricci a little exploitative it could have been more balanced with the character of Justin Long being similarly exposed. Also I found some of the lines that the young boy is involved with a little distasteful. I don't really think it will do a lot for that young child to have to deal with the grim and harsh realities of death so graphically. I was always a little concerned with the plots of "two and a half men" and the ugly sleazy aspects that the youngster had to deal with, and now as an adult he has discussed that it did have a detrimental affect on him. The film in it's way is fascinating, but not for the faint hearted or overly sensitive.
Blue Denim (1959)
A welcome surprise
I watched this by chance yesterday. And was quit pleasantly surprised, it's a terrific little film. Far more sophisticated than I would have expected for a film made in 1959 dealing with teenage pregnancy. The two leads, were only about the same age as their characters at the time and looked it, it was quite surprising. Of course nowadays the early consummation of their relationship would have been shown in far more graphic detail, and this film made me realize that those kind of scenes aren't really needed to get the message across. I am not a prude, but I find sometimes the full revelation of a young performer's(normally female)unnecessary and exploitative. This mall film , makes it's point and is quite sensitive in doing so. Contrary to some of the other critics , I did not find myself tempted to laugh at all.
Dating Naked (2014)
Lack of truth in Advertising!
Let's see we've had "Naked and Afraid", "naked and Afraid -UNCENSORED!", "Buying Naked" (supposedly buying a home for nudists). Now we have "Naked Dating". The problem is NONE of them are Naked or Nude. These poor saps are conned into appearing on a show naked , but what actually happens is that these shows generate a new career for someone. The blur artist. These is no more nudity involved than many shows that do not feature the word "nude" or "naked" in the title. Just bare butts and a lot of blurring of boobs, cocks, vagina's -even long distance shots of gays balls-from behind are blurred. So the obvious hook is to appeal to the voyeur in all of us. But if I am going to be tempted to watch a show which features the word "nude" or "naked' then I expect to see things that are not normally on display, otherwise what's the point? The TV show crew obviously get o see all the "naughty bits". And I guess the show's casts are too some degree exhibitionists. But the cast of "Naked and Afraid" could be in Speedos and bikinis-why make them go nude? They'll be just as cold and wet in minimum gear. Likewise the stupid reals estate show-"Buying naked" -this one is really pathetic, the cast are shown with table lamps clutching folders, behind candles etc. it disrespects the nudists it's supposed to represent. Can you imagine the direction? "OK, we want you naked, but we DO NOT want to see your cock or your pussy, you MUST always have something in front of them, Er hows that angle Bob, can you see cock?" and then the dating show? Surely if you are going to hook up with a potential mate, then an erection or two is going to happen? Obviously this will not be shown, but again, it's all so deceitful. I posted comments on one site about the "Naked and Afraid" show and got attacked for being a voyeur and somehow being a pervert, but honestly if you're not in some shape form or sense a voyeur why on earth would you tune in to a show promising nudity?