When Guy (Frank Whaley), a recent film-school graduate with big ideas, takes a job as assistant to major studio executive Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey), he believes his ship has finally come in; little does he know it’s a slave ship, for his boss is indeed worse than a slave driver. But yet, he still puts up with it all thinking he has the dream job in the palm of his hands.
Anybody who has ever worked in a day in their life, probably know that bosses suck. There’s always a time and place where a boss will get on your nerves, piss you off, and just make you want to beat the shit out of them with no end in sight. However, that’s what bosses are there for and if you decide to break they teeth, just be ready for a pink slip and possible lawsuit some time soon. That’s why we hate bosses: they yell and scream at us, and we can’t do shit about it. That’s what I love about being un-employed. Yay for me.
Writer/director George Huang does a pretty impressive with this film, showing us the highs and lows of working in Hollywood, the people that can make it some of the worst days of your life, and just what it may do to all of your dreams of one day running rampant, happy, and free through Hollywood, making as much mooolah as you can. We all know that Hollywood is a vicious place to make money and work, but this film really hits that idea home hard and shows just what psychological effects it can have you. You probably won’t go full, Travis Bickle-psycho working in Hollywood, but it will definitely ‘eff with your mind and probably make you feel like you’re worse than you really are. It makes you wonder how much pain and agony like this Huang had to endure before making this movie. Poor guy, but at least he was able to get this one out there and show his former bosses over the years that he could kick-ass.
The film starts off very dark, showing us a hostage situation where Guy traps Buddy into his house, but then keeps on flashing-back to Guy’s early days of working with Buddy and finding out just how they go to this point. This is particularly interesting because the film seems to juggling two types of genres (dark comedy and psychological thriller) and making it work since everything here (including the comedy), is so damn bleak. Honestly, all of the shit that Guy has to go through is some really, painfully sad stuff that I barely even laughed at because I just felt so sorry for the guy. But even though I didn’t really laugh at this flick, it was still well-written by Huang and I thought the balance of dark comedy and psychological thriller worked well just because he never fully changed the pace and kept it one, long, sad adventure through the inner-day workings of Hollywood.
What didn’t work for me was that Guy isn’t really a character you can’t get behind, no matter how hard the film tries to make us feel for him. Yeah, it’s pretty easy to feel bad for a guy that gets shit on at work as much as he does but the guy (pun intended) never shows any backbone and is pretty much just an ordinary, stepping-stool for Buddy. I get that this is what Huang was trying to do, but it seemed like almost every scene with Buddy and Guy was just going to show Guy effin’ up and having Buddy insult him in a very witty, but terribly mean way (then again, when are insults ever nice?). This sort of formula of gets a tad old and repetitive after awhile and you just want Guy to stand up for himself, which he never does, that is until when we know and it’s a shame cause this could have been a whole lot more interesting if that idea was pursued more thoroughly.
Guy is also a pretty bland character no matter how hard Frank Whaley may have tried here as well. Whaley is a good actor, and even if he isn’t a mainstream name (his villain role in Vacancy is probably his biggest role, which really isn’t saying much), can still prove that he has the chops to pull-off any character but he seems a bit miscast here as well. Whaley is good when it comes to showing the bumbling, bright-eyed boy who comes into a new work office expecting to hit the big times, but when all of that starts to change and he gets a little crazy, Whaley doesn’t seem that powerful or freaky to make psycho work. I could believe that a guy like this would go so insane to capture and torture his boss, but Whaley just doesn’t have that strong of a delivery to make you believe so. Maybe it was also the character of Guy himself that didn’t feel all that fleshed-out for but either way, something was just missing here.
But where Whaley seems to fail, Spacey succeeds and flies with flying, fucking colors. Basically, anybody who has seen Horrible Bosses knows that Kevin Spacey can play one, bad motherfucker of a boss but even if you haven’t seen this movie; you still don’t even know. Spacey is so detestable as Buddy, that it’s almost likable. Spacey is perfect at playing this prick that almost everything that comes out his mouth, seems to fit his character so well and it just gets better and better as the insults start to get meaner and meaner. But it’s not all about being a terribly-mean asshole that makes Spacey’s performance work so well as it does, he actually shows a lot of compassion behind it all that works, mainly because of Spacey’s talents as an actor. Spacey gives us a reason as to why he is, the way he is and it makes sense but it also seems unfair, making his character a very hard one to feel compassion for even when he seems to be deep down inside, a very sad, angry, and lonely person that just preys on making the weaker ones feel inferior to him. He’s an asshole, but he’s an asshole that has depth and only Spacey can show that in as perfect of a way as this. Way, way better character that blows Guy right out of the water in terms of complexity.
Consensus: Swimming with Sharks is perfectly acted by Kevin Spacey, who is at the top of his game here as the detestable Buddy Ackerman, and features a lot of insight into how vicious of a place like Hollywood is to be working at, but it’s main character seems very ordinary. Hell, maybe almost too ordinary and takes away a lot of the promises that this material could have easily went with, had Huang decided to go down that path.
7 / 10 = Rental!!
It doesn’t matter who you are, you love this damn film.
The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who spends nearly two decades in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation.
Let me just say this, if you have not seen this film, stop reading and get out there to your local video store/Redbox/Netflix account/illegal movie download website and check this ditty out. Honestly, everybody loves it. Of course when people say that about anything, it usually means that it’s just their opinions and that about 2 people they know agree with them so they feel like hot shit but that’s not the case here at all. You could ask anyone their thoughts on this and I’ll bet they’ll all tell you the same thing: perfection.
The craziest thing about this flick is how this was writer/director Frank Darabont‘s first movie he ever made. That’s right people…..FIRST MOVIE HE EVER MADE! Darabont really deserves all the credit for this story and for this flick because he found a way to match all of Stephen King’s writing in such a perfect way that it made every line of dialogue, feel like a piece of art itself. When the film wants to be funny, it’s funny; when the film wants to be emotional, it’s emotional without ever being hokey; and whenever the film wants to find its own little sly ways of getting us more and more involved with this story, it does and never stops the whole time. All of the dialogue, if placed in a lesser hand, could have been written off as corny but Darabont and King work wonders together, and it’s no surprise that Darabont went after another King adaptation about 5 years later with The Green Mile. Oh yeah, and he’s the guy who also adapted The Walking Dead so that definitely earns some brownie points in my book.
I think what really makes me truly love this film the way that I do is that I have seen it about 5 times and not once does it ever get old. That’s the true sign of a good movie. Since you know everything that goes down in the end, you get the chance to look at everything once again and see all of the little hints and clues that this film throws at you, without you ever really knowing in the first place. It’s really cool how Darabont was able to throw these little things in there to have it all make sense in the end but still allows you to get something new out of the movie each and every time you watch it. The film is all about the human spirit and how we can all be free no matter where it is that we are at in our lives. These prisoners feel trapped but it’s all about how they can all break free from these walls without ever having to take a step over them. It’s a message that we have all seen done and talked about before, but for some reason, this film does it the best and really makes you want to just get out there and live like a free person anywhere you go.
At the center of this whole film though is the performances of everybody involved, especially those ones of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. These guys were already big names before this film came out but I think it’s definitely the best performances of their careers by far, and if you have ever seen any of their other work you know that this is a very bold statement to make in the first place. Robbins is very mysterious and strange as Andy, but he’s also a very likable character that makes it easy to see why all of these guys take such a liking to him in the first place. We also see Andy as a free soul that wants to do anything in his power to do right for everyone around him and gets even better and better once you start to see just how smarter he is than he lets on. It’s such a shame that he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar here because he really brings a whole lot to Andy. Morgan Freeman is also the perfect choice as Red. Red is our narrator for the whole movie and shows us a look at everything that’s going on with Andy from the outside-in and it just works because you feel a huge deal of warmth and comfort from this character that it really shows as one of Freeman’s signatures when it comes to him playing in any role. I heard that Darabont chose Freeman over such legends like Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford, and to be honest, I couldn’t see any of them playing the part as perfectly as Freeman does here.
What made this film work the way it does on me is the friendship these two create together. Red sees something in Andy that he never expected in the first place and from then on, we see two people who are both struggling for freedom in a place where all hope is lost, gain some sort of hope together. What I’m describing right now may sound a bit too much like a mixture between Brokeback Mountain and Cool Hand Luke, but it’s honestly the best aspect of this whole movie because you see this friendship blossom over time and you see how they each look out for one another in every single situation they have. By the end, everything they have together starts to come in full circle and that’s where I actually started to tear up a bit because this is where the film’s message comes around and it’s also where you notice that these two guys were meant to best buds and live free after all.
Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is just one of those perfect movies that seems to have it all: great writing, great direction, amazing performances, a message that is meant to inspire anybody who watches this, and so much more to it. Basically if you are reading the end of this review and have still not checked this one out, then get off your butts and do so. I promise you will not be let-down in the least bit.
10/10=Love and Cherish Forever!!
Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek were secretly in cahoots this whole time.
This is the true story of Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), who rocketed to national fame as a repeat winner on the TV quiz show “Twenty-One.” In the late 1950s, prime-time game shows were a cultural phenomenon. But the American public didn’t realize it was being hoodwinked … until persevering congressional investigator Dick Goodwin (Rob Morrow) unmasked the corruption behind the show’s glittering façade.
I never fully knew anything about these cases that took place back in the 50′s but I was somehow always interested in them. However when my interest is compared to the interest of Robert Redford, I don’t even stand anywhere close.
Redford is a great actor but also a great director and he shows that well here with showing true passion that he feels for this subject material. Every little fine detail that Redford can get, he puts right up there on screen and you can feel that he not only feels strongly about what is happening here but what is also being told through these historic events.
We as people do not look at the way we make our own choices. Most of the time we look at the rewards we get from making that choice, or what happens to us after wards, or just anything that has to do with something positive coming out of the choice, but we never look at the moral side of it. Is what I am doing right, not just for me but for another person as well? There were many moments where this film brought this up and by the end of the flick a lot of it really starts to show up but not in a very over-powering way. It’s somehow a subtle message that this film shows very well without throwing it right into our faces.
Screenwriter Paul Attanasio is the real reason why this film works so well because he does a lot of great stuff with this subject matter and keeps it going and going. There is a lot of the constant talking back-and-forth between two characters with plenty of intelligence, wit, and sharpness to what everybody is saying and made this film so entertaining in the first place. It’s weird to even say that I was actually tense in many occasions and I could tell that Attanasio had a lot to do here as a screen-writer, but does a superb job at handling it all.
The problem that I had with this screenplay was that I felt it felt too much like historical fiction, which I knew that it was going for in the first place, but for some odd reason took me out of the film a bit. The film uses real characters in some real situations but then there are other times where the situations these characters find themselves into seem a bit too fake to even be considered real. Yes, I do wish these actual real-life people had these type of conversations but it was almost too hard to believe that anyone would ever talk like they were reading an Aaron Sorkin script.
Something that Redford should really receive big-time credit for was getting this whole ensemble cast together and have them all do perfect jobs. John Turturro is fun to watch as the crazy and a bit loopy former-champ, Herb Stompel, and actually provides a very zany character that is also very sad; Ralph Fiennes is just about perfect as Charles Van Doren who is so cool, so charming, and so smart that it almost is a total shocker that he ends up being a bad dude after all, and no that was not a spoiler because they basically show you within the first 20 to 30 minutes; and Paul Scofield is terrific as his father, Mark Van Doren, and makes it abundantly clear why he was the only actor from this whole cast to get nominated for an Oscar. To be honest though, how could they have picked from this huge cast of A-list actors that all have reputations to do great.
The one performance I felt that was the weakest of all was the one given by Rob Morrow as Dick Goodwin. This guy is essentially our main protagonist who goes through this whole discovery and gives us his little insight on everything, which was supposed to have us root for him but it made me just want to see more of Fiennes instead. The problem with Morrow is that this Jewish-like Brooklyn accent he does throughout the whole film seems a little too flat and almost like he just went to a baseball game in New York and came back doing impersonations of the Yankee fans for his buds. Another reason why it was a big problem because without me really being able to believe or even stand seeing Morrow up on screen, I couldn’t get behind him fully and that sort of created an empty center.
Consensus: Robert Redford may lose some moments in script-writing with Quiz Show but other than it’s amazing with pitch-perfect performances from the whole cast (except for maybe Morrow), a nice deal of subject material goes a long way, and just a great message about morals and why they should come in the way of almost every decision we ever make in our lives, even if it does concern a game-show. That Robert Redford, not only is he handsome as hell, he can write and direct like a legend.
The main reason why I refuse to travel to New Zealand.
Heavenly Creatures is true story of two teenage girls (Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) from New Zealand who form a very strong friendship that changes both of their lives as they live through their own imaginations. However, things start to get strange when their friendship turns into obsession, which soon leads into murder.
The most disturbing aspect of this whole film is that this is an actual true story and while that is effed up in it’s own right, the chicks are still alive and well today, roaming the streets of only God knows where. Then again, this is a Peter Jackson film which means it’s always going to be strange.
The one thing about this film that sets it apart from other films of this nature is the direction and vision from Jackson himself. This is a pretty straight-forward story but the way Jackson tells it through extreme close-ups, awkward camera angles, constant zooming in-and-out, and not many regular shots, gives this flick a real different feel that I haven’t really seen before in a film that’s about two teenagers who go bat-shit crazy.
However, my problem with this whole direction is that everything here is practically going just about a mile a minute and I just wanted this film to slow down a bit. I get what Jackson was trying to do here, he wanted us to see the world through these girls’ own eyes and imaginations but after awhile it felt like Jackson just wanted us to know that it’s him directing so of course we need gigantic clay figures running rampant killing people. The best scenes for me here were when Jackson kind of just let the tension flow and come on in itself without Jackson ever getting in the way of that but for some reason, he just tried a little too hard and got in the way of what was going on.
The film also opens up with these girls covered in blood from head-to-toe screaming about a murder so right off the bat, I knew exactly what was going to happen by the end and for the whole time, I was just sitting there waiting for it to happen. If they didn’t show us this scene right from the get-go, I think I would have been more into this film like I had wished because it was only till after the flick that I actually checked out the actual case itself.
Even though I still bitch about all of these problems with the film I still found myself totally involved with the very disturbing story that this flick is all about. Seeing two girls go from being friends, to obsessive lover types, to stone-cold killers is downright frightening and the fact that everything here is true is what kept me really disturbed. Every film always shows the bright side to friendship and finding your bestie, but you hardly ever see the dark side of that and what it can do to not just everyone around you, but also yourself. The last 10 to 20 minutes are probably some of the most tense and disturbing I’ve seen ever since ‘Bully’ and I have to say that is something worth recommending.
The performances given by the two girls here are awesome and I think elevated this film completley. Melanie Lynskey is great as Pauline Parker and gave me that very angsty but dangerous teen-vibe the whole time. I still cannot look at her the same and actually be able to call her hot seeing this film. Kate Winslet gives a break-through performance here as Juliet Hulme and steals the show giving this incredible energy that keeps the film entertaining every time she is on-screen. It’s crazy to see where these two really got their starts and it’s also even more great that they sort of made me feel something for their characters, even if they are totally effed up in the head.
Consensus: Peter Jackson has way too much style here for me to actually be involved with this story, but regardless, Heavenly Creatures is a flick that is very disturbing, well-acted, and makes you feel as if you are in these girls’ heads as they go from normal to completley insane.
Talk about keepin’ it in the family. Woo-hoo!
The rugged Ludlow clan — father William (Anthony Hopkins) and brothers Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Samuel (Henry Thomas) — splinters when Sam goes off to fight in World War I despite his father’s opposition. To protect Sam, his siblings follow suit. But their efforts fall short, and tragedy ensues. Upon returning home, Alfred and Tristan face a new battle when both fall for Sam’s beautiful fiancée (Julia Ormond).
Looking at this film from a far, you can already tell that you’re going to get some schmaltzy stuff here. However, it isn’t as bad as people would have you expect it to be.
The main problem with this film and it’s story is that it is a little too hokey for some viewers. It feels like an epic film but then starts to turn into some deep levels of melodrama that just don’t work if you’re say, a dude. Some of the stuff they have here from the cheesy score, to the hot guys (not including Anthony Hopkins, although I think he is very sexy), and to the romantic love triangle will probably all appeal more to women looking to lay down and watch a nice little story while their having their Ben and Jerrys.
Although it does get a little too cheesy at times, this film still kept my interest because I actually did like this story and where it went. The story starts off pretty average, and then goes into places that I didn’t quite expect it to, but I’m glad it did because it kept the story alive, even if it doesn’t strike an emotional cord. The cinematography is also beautiful and some of the images here almost remind me ones reminiscent of a Terrence Malick picture. Nothing like the beautiful farmlands.
The cast is what really brought this film together and with good reason. Brad Pitt is amazing as the blue-eyed, crazy kid, Tristan. He’s sort of that one boy in the family who gets in all the trouble, causes most of the trouble he gets into, and at the end of the day, you still love more and more. Pitt carries this film from start to finish and there are scenes here that would seem hammy if it were another actor in the role, but I have to say that Pitt does a great job here and has you love Tristan right from the get-go. Anthony Hopkins is good as their father William, and brings that great father-like figure that still works 7 years later in films like Thor. Aiden Quinn probably has the toughest role because he has to make a bad guy, seem actually likable and pulls it off for the most part. Nothing really special, just a good performance from a good actor, it’s just a shame that Pitt totally blows him out of the water. Julia Ormond is great in this role as the romantically troubled, Susannah, who’s character is kind of a hoe, going to all of the brothers, but somehow Ormond allows us to stand behind her character and only hope for the best as the story goes on.
Consensus: Though it gets into some pretty hammy situations, and the story may not be as emotionally involving as it likes to think, Legends of the Fall is a beautifully-filmed, and well-acted love triangle, that will hold your interest even despite how cheesy it might get.
The 90′s looked so cool, and kind of annoying.
A small circle of friends (Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn) suffering from post-collegiate blues must confront the hard truth about life, love and the pursuit of gainful employment. As they struggle to map out survival guides for the future, the Gen-X quartet soon begins to realize that reality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
This along with Singles, has to be those early 90′s, Generation-X defining films that probably seemed all hip and cool then, now, not so much.
First-time writer/director Ben Stiller, maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe not, does a good job of combining good elements of comedy, romance, and a dash of 90′s reality. There’s a lot of pop-culture references that some people like myself didn’t quite get, and others you will get and think are kind of funny. Underneath, all of that humor though, there’s actually a sweet little romance that works well here, especially with the tone and everything, since it’s both at times dark, and light. There’s also a lot of insight about the constant struggles there were to actually get a job, and do something with your life after your schoolio days are over.
However, the insight starts to lose it’s flavor, and kind of actually becomes a little annoying, probably because it all seems so dated. These chumps are so used to fighting the system, and saying no to the common man, that they literally don’t do anything with their lives and just sit around and mope a lot about how people have dreams and ambitions, while their doing the same things. I liked some of the discussions about living in the world of AIDS, and the Clinton era, but after awhile those witty discussions start to die down into some annoying territory.
There are also many moments where I felt like this film was almost trying way too hard to be different and cool, just for the sake of being different and cool. I know I have said the word, “cool” a lot during this review, but that’s only because I feel like Stiller was just there behind the camera trying to do some cool things with this film because it’s the 90′s. Maybe it’s dated because that’s the point because it’s a snapshot of a generation and an age. However, I still wish it didn’t try so hard to be so damn cool.
Winona Ryder is a natural in this role as the quarter-life crises infected, Lelaina, who just wants something to do with her life and get pass all of these problems she faces. Ryder is good in this role, and it’s easy to follow her character on a day-to-day basis, because she has that cuteness and charm, but also that harsh reality of someone stuck in a jobless life. Ben Stiller does a good job as Michael, the yuppie that comes into Lelaina’s life, and does that nerdy and nervous awkward shtick that he has in a way perfected, and it works well with his character here. Steve Zahn and Janeane Garofalo are also here and do some nice jobs bringing more humor to the film. My favorite out of this whole cast was Ethan Hawke as Troy, the definitive 90′s slacker. Filled with so many quotes, one-liners, and insightful sayings, Hawke perfectly captures the mind sight and speech of what it was like to live in this generation when all you had to work with were your words. He is at times a dick, and at others, a total charmer, and Hawke plays him so well that he gives off a great early performance that shows what talent he would have for later on in his career.
Consensus: Though it’s insight start’s to get annoying, and may seem just like random conversations after awhile, Reality Bites has a sweet, romantic comedy-like tone, with good performances and a nice snapshot of Generation-X.
Perfectly titled, and that’s why I love it.
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels star as the dim-bulb title characters who get more than they bargained for when they try to return a briefcase left at the airport by socialite Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly). Unaware that the case is crammed with cash intended for the baddies who abducted Mary’s husband, the two cretins set out on a cross-country trip to find her — with the kidnappers not far behind.
This is a film I have probably seen about 15 time sin my life, and literally every time I have laughed again, and again. There are certain things like seeing a movie too much, but this is not one of them.
My favorite thing about this film is that it’s humor is down-right the best. It’s dumb and immature, but at the same time it’s kind of smart and hilarious. The plot is pretty ridiculous but that’s not why you came to see the film, the things that happen in it, are what makes it all great. The film is full of memorable one-liners that are just hilarious, and will have you laughing till the ribs are hurting.
The Farrelly Brothers have directed many films like this since then, but it hasn’t really captured the real flavor that is within this film. Yeah, There’s Something About Mary is also really funny too, and Shallow Hal is pretty sweet tasting, but their not killing you with laughter, and this does just that. My only problem with this film is that watching it so many times, certain scenes don’t seem as funny anymore as they once were, and it all does feel a bit too 90′s. But hey, the 90′s were actually pretty bangin’ so I really can’t discriminate too much.
Jim Carrey has always been one of my favorite comedic actors of all-time, cause he literally can make the most bland characters, seem hilarious and likable. He does that just so with Lloyd Christmas, and gives him some of the best scenes with his signature goofiness, as well as his random noises and faces he makes throughout the course of the film. The guy hasn’t done much great in awhile, other than I Love You Phillip Morris and a couple of others, but this is always a reminder that he was the king of goofiness. Jeff Daniels doesn’t get that much love as Carrey does, but he is equally as funny as Harry Dunne. He provides plenty of great one-liners, and a goofiness with his acting that we don’t quite see as much nowadays, but it’s easy to say he does bring out plenty of laughs. Their chemistry as good buddies feels so genuine, and plenty of scenes that rely on them just being goofy with each other, feels real and you can tell by the chemistry that they have been friends for so long. I wish one of these days I can see these guys back on screen together.
Also, don’t ever check out that shit-ass prequel, Dumb and Dumberer. That will make you lose your appetite, and possibly your love f0r this film.
Consensus: It may be too dumb for some viewers, but Dumb and Dumber features hilarious comedy that works, as well as perfect comedic performances from Carrey and Daniels.
The movie that got Jim Carrey on the map, and with great reason.
Barely competent pet private eye Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is put on the case when kidnappers abduct Snowflake, the Miami Dolphins’ mascot. As Ventura tries to unravel the mammal-napping and save the day, the perpetrators have something else in mind.
This film is the one that is basically known for introducing us to the crazy goon himself, Jim Carrey. And let’s just say that I’m so thankful for that.
The film is genuinely funny, but also goofy. If you don’t like the kind of humor, where it’s jokes are just crazy, and the things that happen are even crazier, then this is not your cup of coffee. But for me I laughed my ass off so much during this movie, mainly because I love this type of humor.I think the main reason why this film is so funny, is because it’s pace is quick, and so are the jokes, which makes it even better, cause it’s a lot more enjoyable.
Even the action in this film is pretty good. There’s a nice car chase in here that actually works, and even when it’s tone does change into the mystery, it doesn’t get really serious the whole time, which is hard to say about a lot of mystery comedies, all seem to get serious at one point, and this film doesn’t even take itself that seriously, which I liked.
The only problem with this film is if you don’t like really stupid, dumb movies, your not going to like this one. I liked this one a lot, cause I like certain comedy films that don’t take themselves so seriously, and can do it with a smile on their face, which this one did very well. Some I know hate the hell out of this film, but for me I couldn’t hate it at all.
Jim Carrey is the main reason this film works. All of his crazy physical comedy, gags, faces, poses, and everything else makes this film funny, and his character ultimately likable. Some that don’t like Carrey won’t like this, cause all he is in this film is a goofy dude, that you can’t take seriously. Courtney Cox shows up, and is pretty good as the love interest, who looks as banging as she always has. And then you got the nice cameos from Dan Marino, Tone Loc, and Sean Young.
Consensus: Some will hate this, depending on their fondness of Carrey, or the type of humor, but others who don’t mind it, will have a great time, watching Carrey’s great performance, and the funny jokes that come throughout this film.
I never thought making the Hula Hoop was such a dangerous job.
This film follows a schmuck (Tim Robbins) who falls into good — or bad? — luck when he becomes the CEO of a successful business. The evil Sidney J. Mussberger (Paul Newman) chooses Barnes so he and the other board directors can make a fortune on the falling stock price. Meanwhile, reporter Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) befriends Norville in hopes of landing a big scoop.
This film is written and directed by my favorites, The Coen Brothers, and just like any other film they have ever made, yes this one is good too.
I liked how the whole film looked. It reminded me of those old screwball comedies of the 1930′s and 40′s. The production is just beautiful, with a lot of the settings look like they came right out of an old-time photo, or a museum. Literally, you will be looking at this film forever, and the look and style really is, something to die for.
That’s where the major problem lies. We are so interested, and in love with these sets, that they actually up-stage the characters. The film has some funny moments, that are at times dark, but never too funny, nor emotionally resonant. I couldn’t find the main message, or heart behind all this material, and I think that’s the major problem when you got a film that has so much to look at, but nothing else to show for it. In all honesty I don’t even think the story took itself seriously either. The characters are all treated as satire, and not given anything really serious.
Tim Robbins was very good in this lead role as this lovable loser, that is given this big job, as a joke, and then totally changes everything. Jennifer Jason Leigh was pretty funny with her old-style New York accent, and she brings a lot of laughs, even though her and Robbins don’t have the best chemistry. Also, let’s not forget to mention that Paul Newman does a great job, as usual, as the villain, in a way, but the guy was never too menacing to the point of where I despised his every move.
Consensus: It’s beautiful to look at, and entertaining, but overall not that much heart, and the film doesn’t take itself seriously, so therefore we can’t either.
One of the best films, about one of the worst directors of all-time.
Johnny Depp plays Ed Wood, a grinning goof with a sunny disposition who was heralded as the “worst director of all time” — and certainly made the movies to prove it. (He also loved to direct his epically bad films while dressed in women’s clothing.) Martin Landau turns in an Oscar-winning performance as aging horror icon Bela Lugosi, while Sarah Jessica Parker and Bill Murray co-star. Tim Burton directs.
I have never seen classic crap-fests like Plan 9 From Outer Space, or Bride of the Monster. However, seeing just how creative Ed Wood was, makes me want to go out there and find them.
The best thing about this film is that the direction from Burton is solid beyond belief. We understand this Ed Wood guy from his zany personality, his love for movies, and the art of everything in his movies being perfect, regardless of what others think. There is never a time in the film, where it seems like saying, “Ed Wood was terrible”, instead its more about how much the director took passion in his work rather than worry about the critics, something we never see in today’s world.The comedy in this film works so well with its main subject, because his movies were that bad, that they are liable to laugh at.
The performance here given by Depp is honestly one of his better earlier performances of his career, as he captures the zany character of Ed Wood, a director no matter how bad his films were viewed as, he never gave up in achieving his vision of his movies. The rest of the cast does well like Bill Murray who’s playing a gay man, Sarah Jessica Parker playing Sarah Jessica Parker, but none of them quite add up to the great Martin Landau. Landau probably gives one of the best supporting acts in a comedy in a long time with his act as the legendary, Bela Lugosi. I loved almost every time he was on-screen, capturing the real essence of what its like to be this old, cranky actor, who just doesn’t give a shit anymore.
The bond that Wood and Lugosi is where the real heart of this film lies. It feels genuine, because of the their great chemistry, but because in the film, they are put through situations where you can obviously tell they care for one another (no homo). However, I just feel like the film could have hit that more and more. Not necessarily the relationship between the two, but more of the dramatic elements to the life of Ed Wood, and also the repercussions he had for making these terrible movies. We just saw them talking about it, but never how it officially messed up his career, and the others around him.
Consensus: Ed Wood not only celebrates the life of the “worst director of all-time”, but also embraces the fact that he was one of the more important ones of our life time, with great performances from the cast, especially Landau, and a great script, or laughter, tragedy, and film-making.
Its like Funny Games, on the river.
What was already a turbulent family vacation turns deadly when a fugitive (Kevin Bacon) and his crew kidnap river rafting guide Gail (Meryl Streep), her husband Tom (David Strathairn) and their son in this thriller from Curtis Hanson. As they steer toward a series of dangerous rapids, the criminals force Gail to abandon Tom, who immediately embarks on a courageous mission to save his family.
So the film starts out as any typical hostage film. People meet, its all nice and fun, then shit gets crazy. The one thing that most of these suspense thrillers, is a deal of suspense. However, this had one scene of that, and then after that one scene, was totally lost. The film’s writing is not so good, and where it could have most definably succeeded in being witty, and suspenseful, the film goes for the predictable mark.
I mean the film is PG-13, so I don’t think that much grizzly killing would be going on, but at least excite me with something rather than these people getting held hostage, and going down a river. Like in all honesty, find something to spice up the story!
The film does work in some ways though. I liked how the setting of the film looked. This forest actually almost has a life of its own, because the film tries to make it seem like all these people are totally secluded from the world outside, and the film does that very well, by showing the good and the bad of the forest.
Another reason the film works is also because of the performances, mostly Streep and Bacon. Streep plays her role of a former river guide turned wife and mother, so well and so believable that I actually did stand behind her a lot of the times, cause she was smart, tough, and overall believable. Bacon also is very good here starting off as this ridiculously creepy, inappropriate dude, and then totally switches the other gear when he is scary and sadistic, actually making me hate him. Which in film, is a good thing.
Consensus: Though its good to look at and well acted, The River Wild suffers from an incredibly predictable, and badly written screenplay, that has so many stupid scenes, it all just seems pretty dumb.
What a messed up title for a non-porno.
Steve Martin stars as Philip, who runs a suicide-prevention hotline staffed by tetchy Mrs. Munchnik (Madeline Kahn) and lovesick Catherine (Rita Wilson). After getting an eviction order on Christmas Eve, the counselors think they’ve hit bottom — till they cross paths with an array of wackos, including a psycho St. Nick (Anthony LaPaglia).
So watching this movie did get me a little in the holiday spirit, because I thought that “wow although my family is crazy as well, at least nobody is dead”. Thats the message I got from this one.
So the director from Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron does this film, and not once shows that she can at all direct. This whole story is just trying so hard to be so dark, and so bleak, but yet so funny at the same time. Not once does it work.
The jokes are just piled on, and on, and on to the point of where your just saying to yourself “what the hell??!!!”. The lame jokes that were at times offensive started to really become just a total annoyance for me.
So many great stars are in this film, and are just so misused. Steve Martin is not very funny here, if at all, and Madeline Kahn’s whole role is just basically screaming in an elevator. Juliette Lewis is in this film and gets terribly annoying in this film, not like any of her others. Liev Schreiber was probably the only one that really made me laugh, considered it was just one big gay joke after another.
Consensus: Mixed Nuts has a horrible title, horrible dialogue, and just a horrible way to use the A-list cast they have. Also, a horrible way to spend my holiday.
I never knew that the mafia was attracted to Broadway so much.
The story follows a hack 1920s playwright (John Cusack) who uses a mobster to finance his newest play. When the gangster’s bodyguard (Chazz Palminteri) starts rewriting the play to make it more believable, he shows more talent than Cusack. The complications of the play come within it’s stars who also include Diane Wiest, Jim Broadbent, and Jennifer Tilly.
This is directed by one of my favorites, Woody Allen, and I thought this film was a whole lot more funnier than any other of his films. The film doesn’t break any new ground or give us a new spin on the way we watch film, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless.
Allen writes one of his best scripts ever, when in this film he does know that it takes time to create these characters until we find out their funny. I liked how a lot of these antics from these characters were all just so funny. Not the kind of chuckle funny, but really big laugh out loud funny, and found this as a very interesting take on a not so inspired plot.
The film is very funny but it’s also very sly. You can read it as a comedy, but you can also sense that in a subtle way, Woody Allen is making some comments on his own roles as an artist. Is he the Cusack character that is earnest but lacking in emotional strife? Or the gangster who follows art with a sure conclusion of what’s really going on? It’s very fun to actually figure it out for yourself, and keeps you thinking about the statement.
The only problem I had with this film is that it seemed to much of a parody. I felt like it was a Woody Allen parody film on a late-period film. The jokes, stage direction, some of the characters, and even the killings. Though they were funny I still felt the parody sense of the film that lied within.
The performances are one of the most vibrant I have seen in a long time from any film. Cusack does a good job, as usual, but it’s really the witty side characters that are really good. Chazz Paliminteri does one of his best jobs in this film, and is used in the beginning as a side character, then one after another, is used more and more and he creates this wonderful character that you love and hate at the same time. Wiest is amazing in this film and totally steals the show with every scene, also with Jennifer Tilly turning in a surprising Oscar nominee performance.
Consensus: Not very inspired, Bullets Over Broadway features some eccentric performances, a hilarious script and a great message, which ultimately climaxes in one of Woody Allen’s best films.
ABBA songs are so fun to just dance to!
Invited to perform at a casino in remote Alice Springs, Australia, drag queens Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and Felicia (Guy Pearce) and transsexual Bernadette (Terence Stamp) hit the road in a broken-down lavender bus named Priscilla in this campy comedy classic. Along the way, the friends change into their most outrageous costumes and lip-synch disco tunes — including plenty of ABBA — for the outback’s befuddled locals.
If you do not like big grown strong men fully exposed and dressed in woman’s clothing then do not see this film. This movie will surely test your homophobic ways and if you can get past the very gay themes you will enjoy the film almost as much as me.
This film showed off to be a film that supported the gays and was going to be the calling card for the gay community, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I liked how this film humanizes these three men and shows how all people gay or straight should be treated all equally. The trip is metaphor for the life journeys each of the characters are involved in with each growing in some important way by the time they reach their destination.
Adventures is funny but not laugh out loud hilarious. I found a lot of the scenes to be very clever due to the writing of the script. There are many moments in this film that just made me smile and have a little chuckle here and there but its mostly the memories of a lot of these scenes, that make me smile.
This film surely takes a lot out of its actors to play gay men dressing in woman’s clothing. The trio of leads are all great. Guy Pearce (Memento) is highly energetic and brings much comedy, Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) is your normal average gay man but is very good as well. But the one performance that sticks out in my mind is Terence Stamp. He surely does give a very touching performance as making these three characters very believable and true. The chemistry between these three is also very well done as you can feel these three all have known each other for a long time.
If there is any problem with this film at all is that I wish the ending was handled a little bit better. I feel like the ending was a bit too bland and wasn’t very effective for when it came to a film about being accepted as a human being.
Consensus: Not for the slight bit of homophobia, but is a funny but true look on being accepted in life gay or straight.
The one night in hell, during Christmas Eve.
Crooked brothers David (Jon Lovitz) and Alvin (Dana Carvey) are sprung from jail and hook up with their third partner in crime, brother Bill (Nicolas Cage). Three-time losers, the larcenous siblings know that crime doesn’t pay, but that doesn’t stop them from knocking over a bank in the small burg of Paradise. What they didn’t reckon was that fleeing Paradise would be much harder than stealing the loot!
I’m really glad I haven’t finished my list for some of the worst films of all-time till I saw this one. The movie occasionally seems to know its bad, so try again and shake it off, but fails, and is just a movie about no one and nothing in general.
This film is labeled as a comedy but I found nothing funny about this at all. The film thinks that having its actors do twerp accents, and have Jon Lovitz be as obnoxious as usual. There are sometimes when the film really does not fit in with the comedy genre, because probably the funny things in this movie are only for 12 year olds or younger, that’s if they can get the joke.
The plot for this film is OK, but then starts to dissent into madness when everything just starts looking tired. So tired that the actors in this film look like they just want to get it over with and eat a sandwich or go home. The only thing that kept these actors from denigrate this god-awful screenplay was the paycheck that went to them.
I feel bad for the actors in this film I really do. What is Nic Cage doing? He is very miscast and so is Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz. The problem I had with these characters was that they were all supposed to be brothers considering they didn’t look or act one bit alike at all, and Carvey and Lovitzs’ characters are so annoying and dumb that you are tired of hearing them talk. Nic Cage tries his hardest in this film but to no avail.
The film did have at least one funny moment, and it was probably unintentional. The set looks great too like a portrait right from Norman Rockwell and it does look amazing, but in the end its all just put to waist.
Consensus: A comedy that isn’t funny and characters we just don’t care about.
One of the craziest acid trips, that I didn’t take acid for.
Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, respectively) hit the road on an interstate killing spree that triggers a manhunt and garners amazing ratings for a tabloid TV star (Robert Downey Jr.).
Wow this surely is one of the craziest movies I have ever seen. The thing I can say about this film is that the violence, blood, gore, and everything else in between this film is what surely makes this film so controversial and insane.
With Natural Born Killers, the first time you watch it, it goes with visceral overload and you have to sort of stand back and catch the satire and comedy that’s interlocked with all that violence. The second time I watched and found the satire and mostly I found out what the real message behind it all was but it still didn’t come in too clearly as it may have been.
This is directed by Oliver Stone, who has always seemed to be my favorite. He directs this film with such pure authenticity and such art that it really is a beautiful movie to watch if you can get past the blood and violence. The visuals are certainly dazzling and overall amazing. Stone uses so many different takes within a scene that you can’t take your eyes off the screen cause your afraid you may miss a little footnote in the story, through the images shown. The color of this film is beautiful to watch and most colors during one scene change about 12 times and it surely is a beauty to see.
The message of the film is that the media praises and follows murderers as if they are some sort of celebrity. Through many other scenes Stone shows how evil and television pretty much do work hand in hand. Though I understood this message the second time, the first time not so much. I think that by the 3rd act the message does get a little over stated and worn out cause the violence is right there in your face and there’s really no message behind all the violence, it’s just violence and nothing else to it.
There are many parodies in this film all on old TV sitcoms, and cheesy crime TV shows which are pretty well done and actually funny. Stone’s ambition to show that the violence in this film influences what happens with the media and the rest of society. The message is comes pretty clear after the second watch if you can get past all the violence and blood.
The performances from the cast are very over-the-top. Harrelson and Lewis are great and you can actually feel the love and also the psychotically from these two that lies beneath them in every situation. The supporting cast of Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, and Robert Downey Jr. all do equally as good as supporters and show their own type of parody’s as well.
Consensus: Not for the faint of heart. Natural Born Killers is bloody, satirical, violent, and chock full of a message that can be easily understood even if Stone does put a lot of guts in your laps.
For all those guys working behind the counter in suburbia this film is for you.
Convenience and video store clerks Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed, and bored out of their minds. Between serving nonstop shoppers, the overworked counter jockeys play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and deal with their off beat love lives.
The one great thing about Clerks is that it was only made for $27,575, and it grossed over a million at the box office. The dialogue in this film is like Pulp Fiction but with much more crudeness and a lot more humor. Kevin Smith shows that he has a great ear for colorful speeches, his characters are dropouts from Generation X who look at life with distrust and talk about marriage as if they were from another planet.
The film certainly is an up-close look at the Clerks, it basically is as normal as you get it. The customers walk in they walk out and you see these two clerks interact with one another and talk about the lives they dislike but the lives they understand.
Smith creates dialogue for these characters that seem so real and we feel like we know some of these characters from somewhere. They talk with such obscurity and rawness that you are grossed out but you laugh at the same time and know this is how real people talk.
The problem I had with this film was that I just wish there was more scenes about anything. The film isn’t very long and I liked to hear the insight of these two and the people around them and I just wanted more.
Consensus: Clerks. works because of it’s raw but insightful and entertaining dialogue mixed in with very short budget and some very original real-life characters.
Now I have seen this film about 4 times but only on TV so everything was censored. Then I got the director’s cut and oh god did I miss a lot.
An inside look at a memorable community of criminals. Prizefighter Butch Coolidge has decided to stop payment on a deal he’s made with the devil. Honey Bunny and Pumpkin are a couple of young lovers and small time thieves who decide they need a change of venue. Meanwhile, two career criminals, Vincent Vega and Jules, go about their daily business of shooting up other crooks who are late on payments to their boss. While one is asked to babysit their boss’ dangerously pretty young wife, the other suddenly realizes that he must give up his life of crime.
OK let me just say this about the film it is great!!! Tarantino makes one of the greatest films of all-time right here. This is film making of an high order. This is a narrative movie that walks a long rope so complicated that if you don’t stop to think about the movie it starts to kinda double-back itself.
This is surely one of the greatest and probably on of the first that mix humor and crime together in one movie. Tarantino has made some of the most original material in the whole world of film. The stuff these characters talk about are hilarious but also very true. The topics of conversation range from foot massages, pot belly’s, double cheeseburgers, and of course crime. But all conversations are equally as funny as the last, and you don’t want these people to stop talking. Another great film from Tarantino is that he prepares us for one thing and gives us something else we weren’t expecting. The pop culture insight is surely a life of its own during this film.
The humor gets blind sided by some violence and pretty graphic violence but it’s not the violence that will make you turn away. Each story is not shown in chronological order but its still shown and well told through the stories that you don’t become confused. This is a movie you have to think about and when you do, you will love this movie even more by its cleverness.
The ensemble cast is purely amazing. There are many big name stars who don’t have huge parts but still do amazing and make their presence known on camera. The one thing I mostly loved about some of these big names is that they were sort of poking little jokes at themselves if you watch carefully. Travolta does the same walk at the end of the story that he did in Saturday Night Fever and Bruce Willis pokes fun at his character from Die Hard with the tough-nosed character that has a soft side. Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s story is probably the most entertaining and best well-acted where in which every scene with them the always steal the scene. This was a movie that made a lot of careers such as Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, and Tim Roth. Also be on the lookout for a cameo from the great Christopher Walken who is actually pretty funny in his 5 min. scene.
There basically is nothing bad about this film other than I wish there was more. I know 154 minutes is a long time but this film could’ve added so much more and been even better. But still I loved it no matter how long it was.
The greatest movie ever, ummm…maybe. But it’s clever, funny, violent, well-told, greatly acted, and surely an amazing classic for everyone to see.
How Johnny Depp got his role of Captain Jack Sparrow: doing a Charlie Chaplin impersonation.
Benny (Aidan Quinn) is the overprotective care taker of his mentally ill, but artistically talented, sister, Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson). When the eccentric Sam (Johnny Depp), who looks and acts like a silent-movie comedian, falls for Joon, the siblings’ frail bond is put to the test.
In one sense this movie really doesn’t “play fair” since it avoids the very issue that it’s about: mental illness. However, the movie is so cute that I just forgot the issue entirely. The movie suggests that love (and magic) can overcome madness, and, at least for the length of this film, I was prepared to accept that. The story tries to weave together the before mentioned “love and madness,” and the two entwine with that famous Hollywood-quality charm that makes the real world look simple and carefree.
The strong point of this film, however, lies with Johnny Depp. He plays a sort of time-warped character from the era of silent film, and his movements are just as graceful and smooth as one would expect from that period. Depp mimics the slapstick styles of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to perfection. This is surely an understated performance from him that is pretty touching, if not too close to the heart. Also, Aidan Quinn and Mary Stuart Masterson avoid all of the normal brother-sister clichés that make the characters real, which made them easier for me to connect to.
At points, however, I thought that the film lacked connection to others. There were many moments that could have prevailed in being pure romantic comedy gold, but instead it just sticks with the romance and ditches the comedy. The film stayed with that tone of being cute, but it just quite missed the mark that would have made it a great romantic fable. This movie had so much promise to be great, but instead it just stuck with being cute, which ended up killing the film in the end.
“Benny and Joon” does not attempt to evoke real life, the characters are too quirky, and the situations are too out of the ordinary, but the performances are riveting and it’s a very enjoyable and uplifting film to watch.
Being a great rock musician sure can have its consequences. Such as, being murdered and thrown out of window while your girlfriend is being raped by a bunch of junkies. The ultimate anti-musician movie, I think i’ll try becoming a baker.
The Crow stars Brandon Lee, in his final film, as Eric Draven, a rock musician who comes back from the dead to avenge his own murder, as well as that of his fiancée. Exploiting his undead ability to heal quickly, he delivers murderous justice with both glee and bitterness to each criminal who snuffed out his life on the brink of happiness. The ones he gets revenge on are lets just say not the most normal people in the world. Either there crazy ass junkies, Satan-worshiping Asians, or simply lets just put it bad guys.
While filming in the closing weeks of production, Lee was killed when a dummy bullet, which had become lodged in one of the guns, was fired into his abdomen. If this is the film for which Brandon Lee shall be remembered for, man, poor guy. He is not a very good actor, more of like his father, Bruce, he is just plainly an action star who has little talking that seems intimidating. His several little speeches about death and resurrection seem all too cheesy for a very dark film like this, and I believe are horribly delivered.
Despite Brandon Lee, the rest of the film is an action-packed neo-noir adventure straight from hell. The action scenes are awesome and very exciting, the look of the town is very depressing and dark, which is ultimately captured by the look and color. For some moviegoers this will not attract you, but for some very depressive 15 year olds Also not to forget the metal/rock soundtrack perfectly fits in with the setting.
Though in all I was entertained and visually stricken, The Crow for now will be a classic in the genre of art films. This is one of those typical revenge stories that are used through its vision and not so much its story and acting. Good film but not great. Rest In Peace Brandon Lee you will be missed.