I’m telling you, us Irish guys know our women, and beer. Definitely more of the latter than the former.
Three Irish-Catholic brothers (Edward Burns, Mike McGlone, Jack Mulcahy) from Long Island, New York, all love the hell out of each other and would do anything for the other. However, they also have a lot of problems that they need to let out every once and awhile. Whether it be the wife at home giving them a hard time, the kids are getting up your ass, or you feel as if you’re getting too old for this shit anymore, they are always there. That’s what brothers are for and that’s what these ones do for one another. Why? Cause they Irish, they Catholic, and they are, above else: McMullens.
Is it me, or does it seem like Edward Burns deserves more roles? This flick pretty much put him on the map back in the day and all because it was pretty much his brain-child: he directed it, wrote it, funded it, produced it, advertised it, gave birth to it, and practically did everything else one person can do a for movie. Heck, I even think the guy played the bagpipes for the score? Probably didn’t, but it’s always a nice thought. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this is his baby and it’s a film that shows this guy has some real talent, so any problems here, are all put onto him. Thankfully, there’s not too much I can throw against his Boston-ass.
What I liked most about this flick was Burns’ writing and just how natural it felt. Take it for granted, this whole movie is dedicated to a bunch of dudes just sitting around, shooting the shit, talking about what’s on their minds, what’s on their weenies’ minds, and what they think about when the ladies aren’t around. That would definitely bore the hell out of some people, but not me. I actually enjoyed everything that these guys talked about and a lot of it came off as very true. I know I may sound like I’m jumping the gun here because I’m only 19 years of age (for now, ladies?) and I wouldn’t know a single thing about love, marriage, sex (I sort of do now, ladies?), or kids for that matter (I hope I don’t, ladies!!??!?!), but what I do know, is men (sounds a little strange, but you know what I mean). And what I know most about men is that they all talk like about their problems in this sort of way, and react to their problems just like they do in this flick as well. It all feels real and that’s one of the best things that this movie has to offer.
Other than knocking down a pretty solid screenplay, Burns also does a great job behind the camera even though he doesn’t do anything flashy. There’s this very grainy look that makes the film seem as if it’s filmed in documentary style and made me feel like I was there, with these guys while they go through all of this tough shit with their lives. But other than the look, nothing else Burns does here gets in the way of the story which is great. Oh wait, there was that annoying-ass Irish music score that came in almost every single 5 minutes that obviously was there because it went along with the theme of these guys being Irish and all, but did it really need to be here? Especially in a film like this. I don’t know, it just bothered me because it made me feel like I was watching Braveheart.
The only other annoying aspect of this flick was how sweetie-pie everything begins to get by the end of the movie. Before the last 30 minutes or so, these characters were hard-hitting, talking about all of this bad shit, and actually doing some bad shit while they were talking about it, but by the end: it all goes away. Then, once the paths have apparently been cleared, we get some cheesy scenes where everything end nicely, with a little cherry at the top. A bit too too nicely you may wonder? Damn skippy! But trust me, I’m not trying to give away any spoilers here or anything, but you’ll start to see it all once a certain-part in the end shows up. d
Bummer too, because everything Burns was doing here beforehand felt honest and real. It’s almost as if he was speaking for men all-over-the-globe (especially from New Yaaark, booo!), and to see him sort of cop out in the end and get all sentimental with us, seemed like a bit of a cheat. Kind of as if Burns was too afraid in going that extra-mile and really hitting us dudes where it hurts the most (you know where that is, ladies). Also, while I’m at it, why not bag on Burns some more? To top that all off, they played it all of with some crappy and depressing track from Sarah McLachlan. You know, that chick that makes you want to kill yourself for not saving an animal from the pound. Yeah, no reason for her to be in this kind of a flick, let alone, any flick for that matter. Please don’t find and kill me, SPCA. Please.
Aside from all of that though, Burns lifts himself up with a pretty good performance that definitely makes you wish you saw more of his character around, but then again, you got to give it to a guy who isn’t trying to just steal the spotlight in his own show. Instead, he gives it to two other dudes that play his brothers, Mike McGlone and Jack Mulcahy. Both of these guys are good here and it’s a real shame that, along with Burns, they haven’t really been doing much. Well, that is except for McGlone who I see from time-to-time in Geico commercials. That’s right, one second the guy is in a critically-acclaimed film that premiers at Sundance, and the next second he’s cuing up jokes for Elmer Fudd. Funny where your career will eventually take ya, that’s why I stay far away from Hollywood and relish ion the days of appearing in small, indies. Hopefully that stays and hopefully I start making money. Aww, fuck it! I’m going to Hollywood and moving out of my parent’s basement!
Consensus: With plenty of great insight to what really goes on inside dudes’ heads, Edward Burns makes his directorial debut, The Brothers McMullen, a very funny and realistic comedy that touches on some hard-hitting issues with life for the male-gender, it just doesn’t know how to resolve them in a realistic-way. Or maybe it was realistic, who knows.
7.5 / 10 = Rental!!
Who cares about family when you got a plate full of turkey right in-front of you?
Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) is a divorced, single-mom who just lost her job and now has to fly home for the traditional family Thanksgiving Dinner in Baltimore. Thing is, her parents (Charles Durning and Anne Bancroft) are a bit out-of-whack, her gay-brother (Robert Downey Jr.) likes to start a whole bunch of trouble, and her sister (Cynthia Stevenson) doesn’t like anything that anybody else does.
Ohhh, Thanksgiving. The family, the mashed potatoes, the turkey, the corn, the butter, the bread, and most of all, the fights. Yes, not matter how perfect your family may be, there are always fights to be had around this joyous time because let’s face it, any time you get a group of people together, to sit-around and eat dinner, there’s going to be some words thrown around and about and that’s just the way it works. Me, on the other hand, I eat, talk, watch football, and that’s it. If my family fights, then so be it because I know I’m not getting myself involved and I’m sure as hell not missing out on some turkey, that’s for damn sure. To be honest though, I think eating turkey was something that was more interesting to think about than watching this movie.
Jodie Foster went behind the camera for the 2nd time with this flick and you can sort of tell that she’s connecting with this topic through her own experiences with her, and her family, especially around Thanksgiving. Now maybe since Foster was such a big-name at such an early-age, maybe she didn’t really have nice, little, suburban-cooked meals of turkey with her ordinary-family of regular-day people, but you can definitely tell that she enjoys that aspect behind Thanksgiving because it shows a lot in this film, and there’s just a certain easy-going feel to it that makes it so pleasant of a watch. All holiday movies are cheery and happy-go-lucky, and this one is no different but it’s something about the family-dynamic that this movie nails so well that got me all cheerful.
All of the interactions these characters shared with one another, all felt real for about the first hour or so. I liked how everybody in this family, knew each other, had their own ways of communicating with one another, and didn’t hold-back when it came to expressing their real-feelings about something, whether it be each other or the world around them. That’s how a real family is and I liked watching everybody just talk and be themselves around one another, even if themselves was just a selfish, condescending piece-of-crap that you wouldn’t want to be around, let alone spend all of Thanksgiving Dinner with. I don’t know how many actual, normal Thanksgiving Dinners Foster has had in her life, but I can definitely tell that she enjoys the look and feel of a believable family-dynamic and how everybody gets that all families are wacky, dysfunctional, and always, I do repeat, always fight about something stupid or meaningful.
However, this whole realistic family-dynamic doesn’t go on forever. After the first hour of this movie, it seemed like Foster sort of lost what she was going for originally, and just decided to make this one, long soapy melodrama and sort of abandon all of the realistic, family-stuff that was going on before. I liked when the family was arguing and how they couldn’t decide on what to eat or not, but I didn’t give a single-crap about how the father remembers the good old days and how he could wish to go back in-time and do them all over again. I’m sorry, but it didn’t interest me and it seemed like Foster lost herself because instead of focusing on the whole family and what they’re all about, she focuses more on Claudia as time goes on and as good as interesting as she may be at-times, she’s never fully-developed.
You have to give Holly Hunter a lot of credit for really nailing her roles as Claudia. Claudia is a bit of nut-job that obviously has problems with her professional and personal life, and even though that is touched-on within the first 20 minutes or so, it never feels like we really care all that much to begin with. Then, the film starts to really focus on her and what’s going on with her life, and it makes no sense as to where all of this crap is coming from. I get it, she’s a bit sad, and she misses her daughter, but what does that have to do with her and her personality. I didn’t get what Foster was touching on with her and even though Hunter is very-good here, I still wish that her character was more fully-developed and wasn’t used so randomly.
Everybody else in the cast is pretty good, too, and to be honest, a lot more interesting than Claudia in-ways. Robert Downey Jr. seems like he’s having a ball as Claudia’s trouble-making brother, Tommy, and just uses that “talking-really-fast” shtick oh so well here as he does everywhere else. Him and Hunter have a nice chemistry that really does feel like they are brother and sister, and that they have always loved each other through thick-and-thin and just watching them together was great to see, especially since Downey was probably all coked-up out-of-his-mind while he was doing this. Anne Bancroft plays the mother, Adele, and is very, very good as we all know her as being and just nails the whole cooky, paranoid mother-role very-well. Hell, in a way, it even reminds me of what my mom may be in the near-future but I’m not banking on it. A super young-looking Dylan McDermott shows up here as Leo Fish, a friend of Tommy’s, and he’s okay but he seems way too comfortable with this family, way too quick. Literally, as soon as the guy stops in, he starts making wise-cracks to Claudia about how much of a hell the house has got to be and it’s obvious that he wants to get into her parents, because why else would he randomly be talking to her like that, but it didn’t seem believable. Instead, it just came off as a bit creepy and if he was a guy that one of my relatives brought over for dinner, I’d probably want him the hell out. Then again, it’s Dylan McDermott and I’d be pretty honored if the guy showed-up in my house in the first-place so never mind that noise that I’m spraying.
Consensus: Home for the Holidays has the look and feel of a cheery, good-spirited holiday movie, but also feels like it’s trying to go for a bit more and instead, bites off a little bit more than it can chew.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Gobble Gobble!
Being controversial does not make a good flick.
The film follows teens over the course of two days during the mid-1990′s where the HIV/AIDS epidemic started to run rampant. Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) is on a mission to deflower as many virgins as possible with an addle-brained theory that boffing first-timers will protect him from contracting HIV. Trouble is, he already has it.
As everybody knows director Larry Clark is a dude that loves to shock people with his constant showings of teens shirtless, doing drugs, banging a lot, and just doing evil things that parents don’t think they would normally do. In ways, this works for me, but in others, it just doesn’t even seem like it matters.
Yes, this film is an eye-opener for parents if not one of the first flicks to do that, so I will give Clark that. There’s a lot of dirty stuff that goes on here that is very shocking, but it’s also somewhat true considering I see a lot of this now that I am in my last year of high-school. Now I don’t know any kids that go around deflowering chicks like Telly here but I can say that the weed smoking, the drinking, and the constant partying with sex everywhere is definitely what goes down in high-schools in real-life. It’s not as effed up as this flick makes it out to be but in reality, this stuff does happen and I think that’s where the film at least had me at.
However, despite this realistic view, the film still had its major flaws that took me out of this film completley. Within the first 10 minutes we realize that the two main character, Telly and Casper, are not only the biggest assholes in the world but two kids that have no redeeming quality about them whatsoever. It’s not like they didn’t seem realistic, because I may actually know some kids that are just like this, but it’s the fact that they are so unlikable makes you just wanna beat the crap out of them the whole film and actually pray that they do. These are the types of kids you see messing with old people on the boardwalk and get themselves bootie-raped in jail because they weren’t wise enough to watch the eff they say in the clink. It sucks because we spend the whole film watching them to do stupid shit considering they are terribly unlikable but then again, not every main character in films have to be likable.
Another problem with this flick is that even though there is so much damn shock-value, everything still feels rather dull. There are moments here that are totally devoid of plot and just have these characters talking frankly about their sexual experiences, smoke weed, and drink beer for long-ass periods of time. I’m not saying that this sort of stuff isn’t done amongst teenagers, but after about the 3rd time in the first 30 minutes you see these kids getting high and talking about boning, then it just gets old real quick. I also couldn’t help but think that I highly doubt kids talk about how they are going to find every virgin and have sex them and then talk about how they did it and whatnot. I don’t really think actual kids talk about this kind of stuff but writer Harmony Korine apparently does.
Clark was pretty smart in choosing actual young, teenage actors for these roles because it actually makes us feel like were watching real kids up on-screen rather than some 30-year old who’s trying to play a sophomore in high-school. Chloe Sevigny is good here as Jenny, and her story is not only the only actual sight of any heart in this flick but it’s also one of the more realistic; Rosario Dawson also shows up in one of her first ever appearances and that’s pretty cool too; and Justin Pierce is actually pretty good as Casper, but it’s a shame that the kid died 5 years later because he seems like he could have actually done something with his career.
Most of you probably noticed that I didn’t even mention the main character, Telly. One of the main reasons for that is because the actor who’s playing Telly, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act for shit. Telly is a character that is supposed to be a total stud because of his sly moves, sexy look, and just overall cool act but Fitzpatrick is neither of them. Instead he says every word as if he was reading notes he wrote on his hands before filming, he’s skinny as Kate Moss, and the things he says is laughably bad and I don’t know if that was actually intentional or not but I caught myself laughing a whole lot at what this dick-head was saying to these girls just to get them in bed. Hell, they should have called me up for this role even though I was probably 2 at the time but still, I got more game than this joke for a kid.
Consensus: Kids has shock value and rings true in certain elements, but feels rather dull mainly because the script features moments that have no actual development of plot, or even its awfully flawed characters for that matter and the lead actor, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act one bit and we have to watch him struggle the whole 90 minutes.
Pitt being Pitt, Morgan being Morgan, Spacey being Spacey, and Fincher being Fincher. Hell yeah.
Two homicide detectives are on a desperate hunt for a serial killer whose crimes are based on the “seven deadly sins”. The seasoned Det. Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) researches each sin in an effort to get inside the killer’s mind, while his novice partner, Mills (Brad Pitt), scoffs at his efforts to unravel the case.
David Fincher is a total mad-man and I think he has only gotten better as the years have gone on, but it’s great to see where it all started.
This film is straight-up messed up however, it is also a very smartly written one to say the least which is a lot of thanks to writer Andrew Kevin Walker, who did a lot of junk before and after this film but somehow got thing clickin’ at the right time and place. The film shows the characters always one step behind the killer so we’re constantly left wondering how is this damn guy so freakin’ smart and we don’t quite know what he’ll do next. It fully keeps you on the edge of your seat, until the grand finale comes up and then were left with, “Wow”.
However, it’s not the smarty-pants that the killer has is what’s so good about this screenplay, it’s the fact that it is actually horror/thriller film that has something to say. The killer’s motives really stuck into my head because he is only doing this to people that are not innocent, but more as to people who deserve it because of the hurt and pain they push onto others so subtly. This film will mess with how you view the world and most of all will take you inside of the mind of the serial killer it’s showing, which is unlike any thriller I have ever seen before. What the killer says is still in my mind and will stick with yours probably too.
The real reason this film works though is Fincher’s direction, that is almost nothing short of brilliant. His use of lighting still works in any film, and especially here because he knows how to make any place, no matter where it may be, and just make it the most dirty, grimy, and disturbing place you have ever seen on film. The thing is though, that he’s making Chicago look like this shit-hole where it doesn’t stop raining for a whole week. All of Fincher’s visual flairs add to the depressed and dark setting of this film and just about every sequence is thrilling just by the way he keeps the tension and mystery going.
Oh and let’s not forget the opening title sequence to the remix of the song “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. Like that damn song didn’t already have me creeped out. Thanks Finch.
I also liked the fact that we never actually got to see any of the killing’s happen, and more of just the aftermath of these grisly murders. There’s a lot to be shocked by after seeing this film, and although I have seen this about 4 times now, I have to say that I still get a little grossed out by what I see. Others may like this, may despise it and this is one of those films where it’s just “not for everybody”. That can be said for a lot of Fincher films except for maybe his last two that came out, but with The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, I think he’s back on-track for grossing people out again.
The cast is also nothing short of magnificent either. Brad Pitt is great as the young, cocky, and headstrong cop David Mills who wants to get the bad-guy at any way possible, and Morgan Freeman is even better as William Somerset, the laid-back, seasoned cop who plays the voice of reason every time Mills gets a little loose with it. They’re contrast of old school vs. new school is amazing to see on-screen and they work together so well having me actually believing them as a real-life detective team. The real shining star of this whole film is probably Kevin Spacey, who you will probably be stuck remembering long after the final credit reels off the screen. I can’t say much else about this role, but this is easily the best performance from the whole film by just how much he gets into not only the character’s heads, but also the audiences head as well.
Consensus: Although it may not be for everybody, Seven is still one of Fincher’s best with a tension-filled atmosphere, brilliant script, superb writing, and a grand finale that will be sure to stay in your mind way long after the film is over.
Sexy Alien: two words that don’t seem like they would go together well until now.
When government scientists (led by Ben Kingsley) receive a transmission from space containing alien DNA, they create the ultimate femme fatale: a hybrid woman named Sil (Natasha Henstridge) with supermodel looks, deadly shape-shifting abilities … and raging hormones. When Sil escapes, a team of specialists scrambles to find her before she can reproduce.
If you have ever seen the sight of an alien, they are always known to be ugly, hideous, and just downright nasty. Finally, somebody came up with the idea of actually having a sexy female alien but it’s just a shame that the idea wasn’t cool enough really.
To be honest this is actually a clever premise that is a creature feature, horror film, and altogether a total B-flick that does well with what it has. You have some good cheap thrills that come when you expect them but still effective, and the idea of having this sexy female alien looking for her next prey and the people she encounters along the way actually kept me glued.
If you are also looking for some nice gore, action, and explosions to be popping up out of nowhere than look no further than this film because half of the demographic actually looking at this film, will expect that and actually get it.
However, despite the actual good action and premise, there’s not much else here other than some pretty lame dialogue with an even more disappointing screenplay. I thought it was pretty funny how they made this film with a super-sexy and horny alien who just basically wants to get it on, but when she doesn’t get it, she get’ pissed and kills people. This was a pretty funny idea considering the film actually has us taking it seriously and trying to get scared by this idea, even though it had me doing just about neither.
There are also many lines of total cheesiness and just bad wording overall that will make you cringe even worse. There’s this one incident where the whole team stumbles upon one of Sil’s murders and a member of the crew says, “Something bad happened here”. Wow, no shit Sherlock. And just about every other scene where these people are talking just reminded me how cheesy it was and took from other sci-fi films as well.
The cast here is actually impressive with a lot of good names that I didn’t expect to actually take material like this. I have no idea why Ben Kingsley was even in this and he’s pretty cheesy as Xavier Fitch; Michael Madsen is his usual bad-ass type as Lennox; Forest Whitaker is sweet and confused as Dan Smithson (although other times people call him Darren); Alfred Molina is just here as Dr. Arden; and Marg Helgenberger is just there to keep this team of scientists from just being a total sausage fest. Nobody here is that good really but they at least try, but to almost no effect thanks to the script.
The best performance of the whole cast here is actually Natasha Henstridge as Sil who is very sexy but also scary as well and with a “character” like this, that really means a lot. It’s a shame that she showed so much promise with this performance, and nothing really happened with it other than The Whole Nine Yards and that unspeakable sequel. Also, be on the lookout for a short little kiddy performance from Michelle Williams, which makes me see why she was picked for Dawson’s Creek a couple of years later.
Consensus: There’s enough gore, action, sexy scenes, and some good shock moments to keep you watching, but the script’s problems with believable dialogue and even worse plot holes, just make this another cheesy sci-fi B-flick.
Makes even more a reason as to why I should go to Vegas. Hookers are everywhere!
Nicolas Cage stars as a suicidal alcoholic who has ended his personal and professional life to drink himself to death in Las Vegas. While there, he forms a relationship with a hardened prostitute, played by Elisabeth Shue.
When it comes to depressing films, this one takes the cake. However, depressing isn’t so bad when it comes to this film.
Director Mike Figgis did a near-perfect job here with telling this story in a straight way, with still adding enough style of his own to it without being too artsy fartsy with it. Figgis uses a super 16 mm film instead of a 35 mm film and it works so well because it shows the sleazy underground of Las Vegas and the scenes he films on the streets of Vegas just loom so perfect with all the beautiful colors everywhere and the whole area surrounding the story.
The one real attribute to this film that works so well is the story itself which will make more people involved than they’d like to think. The story is real simple and it shows how these were before they met each other, their problems with life, and how they live their lives, then when they meet it is really a beautiful thing. Figgis works against the usual cliches of a romance story and shows two troubled lives coming together and forming a very troubled but loving romance that isn’t about changing one another, it’s more about how they need each other’s companionship. It’s the dark side of love, but in a way, it’s love and still beautiful.
Many people will actually complain about how it’s also very dark and depressing but I still actually found it a bit up-beat and compelling to the point of where I cared what happened to these two people. The film pulls no punches away when it comes to showing alcoholism for what it is, sex, and a lot of violence that gets very gruesome and actually pretty disturbing as well but I still felt involved with this story and just how beautiful and unusual this romance really was.
My only problem with this film is that the plot doesn’t really go anywhere. This didn’t bother me in this film as much as it would have in another one, because I had more distractions here to keep me away from the non-moving plot, but I still was a little annoyed that this plot didn’t really do much except linger around their love. But what a love it truly is.
I have always stood behind Nicolas Cage in everything that he does and it’s just amazing to be able to watch him in his only Oscar-winning performance, and what a performance it truly is. Cage is perfect as Ben Sanderson, the unapologetic drunk that is hammered throughout the whole film but you still feel something for this guy. Ben is a sad character but at the same time he has this endearing sweetness about him that you can sort of actually stand behind and wish for everything wrong with him, to eventually get better. Cage plays Ben so well because he channels all the craziness that this character has and all of the sadness that lies behind all of the drinking he does day-after-day. A great performance from a great actor and I’m so glad that he got the Oscar for this.
Elisabeth Shue is also amazing here as Sera, the whore with a heart of gold, and as cliche as that sounds, I can assure you it’s not at all. Shue seems so natural in this film because she is very sexy and bad when she needs to be but she has that sadness to her character as well that shows she needs somebody in her life, as much as he does as well.
Their chemistry is perfect together and how they are with each other is something that’s almost in a way a bit heart-breaking because you know how great of a couple they could be, they just have so many problems in their lives. These two seem so natural and comfortable with one another that I believed just about everything that happened to them.
Consensus: The plot may not go anywhere, but Leaving Las Vegas is a perfectly performed, and well-directed romance that shows two very messed up people, who need each other more than anything but will never change each other and that’s what a beautiful love story is all about.
Wish I had more first encounters like this.
This film from director Richard Linklater stars Ethan Hawke as an American backpacker who strikes up a conversation with a lovely fellow traveler (Julie Delpy) on the train to Vienna and persuades her to spend his last day in Europe with him. Wandering the picturesque streets of the Austrian capital, the two share stories of their pasts and their dreams for the future, ultimately forging a bond that leads to love.
Writer and director Richard Linklater really does know how to show real emotions, between humans on screen. Although Dazed and Confused may be more of a comical way of showing it, this is the more serious, and romantic way.
The script is basically superb in all the right ways. The film starts off a bit awkward with talks here and there about philosophies, but nothing special, but then these two start to get an actual feel for each other and that is when things start to pick up. I love the fact that these two talked about life, love, and the great big city of Vienna, and just how they want their life to be something but somehow just isn’t.
Not much happens here, but just these two walking and talking about a lot of things, and there are plenty of philosophies that are brought up, but never do they feel forced out on us or used in a preachy way. In a way this actually made me think more about the world I live in where people expect me to do something, and have this huge understanding of what I’m going to do next, and you feel like everything is so planned. Why not take risks sometimes? And why not do something that may change your outlook on life, or possibly something that may change your life forever because you went with your gut-feeling? Many themes are brought up, and this insightful script gives us a beautiful glimpse into these two people’s minds as they discover that love is something more powerful and rich when you least expect it. The human nature really is a beautiful thing, and this film is an examination of that and how this a relationship is something we all want, but to often sadly see slip away. It’s such a shame that this is more true than some would actually expect, but listening to these two talk about love, and everything else in between, I realized that there’s so much more to the huge, transient universe we live in.
I think my only problem here is that I do wish I was older to actually fully understand everything that these two are talking about, so I could actually relate more to. But I think later on in life, I’ll check this out and it will have a bigger effect on me however I must say that I loved what I got here.
These two together right here are just downright amazing. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy may seem like polar opposites from the beginning but by the end of the film, they create what is one of the more realistic and believable romances I have ever seen on screen. Obviously, there is a lot of talking here, and that’s all it really is but these two create these perfectly textured three-dimensional characters that seem so real, that even with this short amount of time, you actually do believe they could make it all work and fall in love over night. I was so happy that I with these two throughout the whole night and listening and watching them talk, walk, sing, dance, and gaze at the beautiful sights of Vienna, just had me believe every part of this film, and just totally fall for these characters.
Consensus: Writer/Director Richard Linklater has created a perfect script about love, life, and the universe we live in, by putting it along with a perfectly acted romance from Hawke and Delpy, which culminates in being one of the most believable and lovely romances ever put on screen.
Black vs. White, in a submarine.
Controversy boils over when Soviet rebels point nuclear weapons at the United States, and a message for the nuclear-missile sub USS Alabama gets cut off during transmission. Capt. Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) thinks he’s been ordered to launch a pre-emptive strike, while Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington) believes the submarine has been ordered to stand down. Will the Alabama prevent a nuclear holocaust, or start one?
Crimson Tide is directed by my not-so favorite director, Tony Scott. He has always been known to make crazy action/thriller films with no real purpose, other than to just have you brainlessly entertained.
This film film looks like a thriller and plays like a thriller, but what distinguishes it, are it’s ideas it has. In the high pressure world of submarine-in-crisis, this film stages a debate that gets to the very heart of nuclear deterrents. The paradox is that nuclear weapons only deter war as long as you don’t use them, and you have to be instruction of your own side. There is also a lot of questions about right-and-wrong, which will stay in your mind long after your done watching this film. You’ll also notice some pop-culture references randomly in here, probably because some of this script is written by Quentin Tarantino. That crazy bastard finds himself in everything!
Tony Scott also does a good job at directing this film keeping a lot of tension built to the point of where you think something just terrible is going to happen. With this film, I knew exactly where Scott was going but he puts us in this submarine with these men, and we feel stuck in there with them as their lives are being threatened. When the energy picks up Scott kicks it into high gear, but when its slow and working on suspense, it works as well. In my opinion, this may be one of Scott’s best directorial efforts.
The only problem I had with this film was the ending. I felt a little bit too much of it was uninspired, and way too hokey for a film of this raw nature. Now I know you can’t judge a whole film on it’s ending usually, but in this case I can, cause when you see it, your honestly going be so letdown.
Denzel Washington is as usual, awesome here, and keeps that strong and smart man act up. He doesn’t do anything completely different here, but that’s not a problem, cause he is just great at it. Gene Hackman is down-right amazing playing Frank Ramsey, the guy who we all soon start to hate, and love at the same time. He is just so callous about his job and so prideful, that when he starts to see his high-position getting taken away from him, he just gets so pissed and does things you would have never expected. However, you believe it because Hackman is so good at playing this type of character. Others who are good in this are Steve Zahn, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini, and Matt Craven.
Consensus: It may look like slam-bang action thriller, but it has more ideas and messages than just your ordinary popcorn thriller. The cast is having a ball with this material, and Scott is probably at his best keeping the suspense, as well as energy up the whole time.
Is it weird to say that I thought these guys looked good in make-up?
Three New York drag queens (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo) on their way to Hollywood for a beauty pageant get stranded in a small Midwestern town for the entire weekend when their car breaks down. While waiting for parts for their Cadillac convertible, the flamboyant trio shows the local homophobic rednecks that appearing different doesn’t mean they don’t have humanity in common.
This film is basically an American rehashing of an Australian comedy called The Adventures of Priscilla. I actually really liked that film, this, well not so much.
I think the problem with this film was that it was all pretty stale. There was no hilarious moments that had me going crazy with laughing, and there was no big points brought up, that had me thinking: “Wow we should be so much nicer to drag queens”. This film does have a heart but the problem is that it rarely shows up in this film, and ends up being something I have seen times, and times before.
The campy approach to this material, I liked but I wish it was just more funny. I chuckled every once and awhile, but I was expecting so much more laughs. The movie is at its best when the girls are throwing insults back and forth, dressing to the nines, and decorating like, well, drag queens. Then, in true Hollywood style, it turns a promising farce into yet another lecture on love and kindness and family values, blah blah. Something I should have totally been expecting since this was indeed, a Hollywood remake of a classic foreign film.
The most enjoyable part of this film comes from the cast. Wesley Snipes is good as Noxeema, and brings out some hilarious moments with his always hilarious delivery of comedy. Patrick Swayze is awesome as Vida, and brings out the most heart out of the three, and it’s easy to see why he always could do everything so well. John Leguizamo was the funniest because he does a great job of adding that signature crazy Mexican act to this role, and it works so well as Miss Chi-Chi.
However, these guys try so hard to look and act like these three ladies, that it’s just a shame that they we can’t believe them as their characters. Their big, muscular, and pretty manly so when you see these rednecks reacting to these three as if their women, it’s an idea that’s a little too far-fetched. They try so hard to be funny, and in ways they do, it’s just that the script let’s these guys down, which is always a shame.
Consensus: To Wong Foo may feature some funny moments, much ado to the good performances from the three head-liners, but the script is a let-down, and never goes anywhere to make a point about sexual identity, or being accepted.
If this is what college is like, well I better start taking boxing lessons.
College is a battleground in the hands of writer-director John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood). As several students make their way through school, they find themselves traversing a minefield of race and sexuality. The stellar cast includes Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly and Michael Rapaport.
Higher Learning is a very underrated film for many reasons. One of the major reasons is the fact that it’s directed by John Singleton, who everybody considers a one-hit wonder, because of Boyz N the Hood. That is all bull-crap, because he does a good job here as well.
One of the best things about this film is that it’s script really is amazing. Singleton does a good job at combining all these little, inter-twining stories, that each show conflict in every way. There are always problems with sex, race, and heritage, everywhere we go, and we are shown that it can always lead onto something more serious than we originally think it will. Racism is never a good thing, and through this we see how both whites, and blacks, criticize one another, and how that leads onto more serious consequences.
The problem with this film is that Singleton’s direction kind of gets distracted by the middle, and you can see that he doesn’t know what to do with all of this story-telling in one movie. He has a strong message, no doubt about that, but he doesn’t know how to deliver it. He steps into way too much melo-drama, that seems misplaced, and handles bigger issues than he should be. I will admit, he keeps the film interesting, but there are parts in this film that just had my head turned sideways, and too cliche.
I did like Singleton’s style however. He’s a very energetic director in this film, and there are some nice shots that show emotion, like how dark this world can be. The campus he filmed this on seems so real, and adds a lot to the realism this film was going for, especially when you got all these young adults running around, drinking, having sex, and causing havoc.
The performances here are actually quite good. Omar Epps never shines away from being stunning at all. Ice Cube is good with what he does, but doesn’t show up enough, and literally is gone for about 30-minutes of this film, which is odd considering he has top-billing. Laurence Fishburne is very good here as Professor Phipps, and the character is very smart, witty, and true to himself, and Fishburne handles that pretty well. Kristy Swanson is good here, as the shy, naive school-girl, that just wants peace, and Jennifer Connelly kind of got annoying after awhile. She would show up at random times, and then we had no idea why her character was there in the first place. My favorite performance of the whole film was Michael Rapaport, who does a great, and strong job at playing this weird, lonely, and out-of-place dude, that soon follows in with the Neo-Nazis, and you see how he transforms into something more. Every time he’s on screen, you can feel the tension, and presence within him, and it sucks that he doesn’t get much of a credit in today’s world, cause he knocks this one out of the park.
Consensus: It has its flaws, and problems, but Higher Learning has a great message, that is shown with its terrific script job, and acted so well, that you almost forget your watching a fictionalized film.
A film Chris Farley will be remembered for, forever. R.I.P. bro
Party animal Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) is a few cans short of a six-pack. But when the family business starts tanking, it’s up to Tommy and number-cruncher Richard Hayden (David Spade) to save the day.
The film is always remembered as a cult classic, that finds its way onto television every once and awhile, and it’s a film I always catch myself watching, but not fully.
The comedy here is too slapstick for me. I like it when people get knocked in the face with something, or breaks, when it’s used in the right context, but here it just seems too lead-on. We get constant slapstick happenings, and its just to bring out some cheap laughs, and didn’t have me laughing all that much really. Also, there is way too many fat, and dumb jokes that just got annoying, and at times really mean. I didn’t laugh at them although I could have, cause I just found them cruel after awhile.
However, despite the slapstick, this film still does have a lot of funny stuff going for it. It’s not trying to go for an award, or trying to make people cry, their just trying to have a good time, and make people have belly laughs by the end of the movie.
The best thing the film has going for it is the chemistry between David Spade and Chris Farley. They are both complete opposites but its great to see how these two actual real-life friends, put their comedic timings together, to make an irresistibly funny on-screen duo. The best thing is the Farley-esque schtick, and the wonderful self-deprecating comedic lines and excellent physical comedy that Farley could throw out. His rotund boyish physical appearance just adds to the mix. There is also some funny side performances from people like Rob Lowe, Bo Derek, and the best of the best, Dan Aykroyd, who no matter what you put him, can always be somewhat funny.
Consensus: Tommy Boy isn’t great, and it isn’t striving to be anything pure and amazing, but it has a great on-screen duo of Farley and Spade, that produce a fun time, with some good laughs.
Reasons why aliens aren’t the only thing we have to fear out there.
Technical troubles scuttle the Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1971, risking the lives of astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) and his crew in director Ron Howard’s chronicle of this true-life story, which turns a failed journey into a thrilling saga of heroism. Drifting more than 200,000 miles from Earth, the astronauts work furiously with the ground crew to avert tragedy. Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris also star.
I have always been interested in the idea of US landing on the moon. The whole idea, happening, people, everything just about it interests me a lot in such a weird way. So to finally see the one that couldn’t play out like it did, was really a treat.
Director Ron Howard probably gives the best directing job of his career with this one. Its not so much the story that’s so perfect as much as it is the special effects, and the use of sound in a film like this. There is a great scene of when the shuttle is on for liftoff, and you see how everything heats up and goes up in flames, and also some great scenes showing the outer world of space, all together great looking scenes. The scenes when they are also in the shuttle itself, and just floating around is something miraculous, to see it played out so well, and not as a humorous thing.
I had a problem with this film that actually did ruin the experience for me. The film acts almost as if it were a suspense thriller in space, when I think anybody that has had high-school history should know that these people lived. Hate to give you guys a spoiler alert, but if you don’t know that then, well get your head back into those history books.
There was also a problem when they focused on the wife of Hanks in the film, played by Kathleen Quinlan. It’s a good performance don’t get me wrong, but watching those scenes were not as effective as the ones when they were in space. They could have been better and I kind of do blame Howard for not hitting the marks he could have off the shuttle.
When it comes to playing almost the same guy in every movie, Tom Hanks does it the best. He is very good here showing off his usual heroic like appearance. Also, the chemistry between him, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton (who’s basically coughing throughout the whole movie), shows a lot of great scenes between each other. Although Ed Harris was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, the one who should have gotten nominated was Gary Sinise. Who brings a lot to his character who is actually left out to dry in the beginning and middle part of the film.
Consensus: Apollo 13 doesn’t work on its suspense level, and some of the scenes aren’t as effective, but is fun, emotional, great to look at, and wonderfully acted by the cast.
If poetry can get you laid like it did to this dude, I need to start brushing up on my skills.
Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi), the mailman on an Italian island, pines from afar for a beautiful waitress. But when exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) comes to live on the island, Ruoppolo delivers Neruda’s mail and picks up lessons on love, life and poetry.
This film is most noteworthy because just about a couple hours when filming was wrapped up, Massimo Troisi, had a fatal heart attack and died. Leaving the film without any showing of its lead man in real life. It sucks mostly cause the guy had great potential.
Troisi is great and likable in this performance, cause of the way his character is written. A sweet, but also kind of awkward guy, that wants nothing more to love, and be loved back, and Troisi really plays this character with enough enthusiasm to give him that quirky push. Philippe Noiret is also very good, providing this “superhero-like” figure that the film is actually going for, but we never see his real-human reactions come out by the end.
I know the film is all about the bittersweet romance it has featured in its plot. But underneath it all, is the heart-breaking story of the friendship that comes between these two. You see how these two build a bond over the one thing that they love the most, poetry. He aspires to be one, the other uses it to his advantage. It all comes together so well, with the great romance, and some witty lines as well.
The problem with this film that actually hurts it a lot, is the fact that it is kind of snooze fest in parts. It moves at a slow-pace and you feel like this film should have ended a lot earlier than it actually did. The last half of this movie, is pretty powerful, but still drags on, and if your looking to catch z’s watch this film.
Consensus: Though slow, Il Postino features great writing , about love, poetry, and the things that inspire us to write, as well as two great performances from the cast, as well as to a perfect farewell to an actor that never got his shot.
Just look at that pig! How can you not love this movie!!!??!
A piglet, who is won by Farmer Hoggett, is brought onto his farm to live and eventually get big and become dinner. However, Hoggett notices something special in Babe, and decides to enter him into the national sheep-dog competition, and Babe soon starts to think he is a dog himself.
Listen, I know I’m going to get a lot of crap for at least reviewing a movie like this, but this is a classic, make no ands, ifs, or bigggg buts about it.
A movie like Babe, doesn’t have zillions and millions of dollars for promotion and advertising behind it, but as family films go, its the perfect score. The script is written so well, mostly cause its almost like the animated film Up, and by that I mean it c0vers on everything possible so well: comedy aspect, family aspect, fun & adventure aspect, as well as being totally tearful.
I laughed and almost cried so many times during this film. Its a witty script that gives these animals, an almost human feel, by adding personalities to their characters, and realism. There is a lot of great themes about animal cruelty which I’am totally without a doubt against, prejudice, family, and overall life, and never backing down from the biggest odds. All themes hit so well in a film about a talking pig, when some others can’t do that right at all.
I will say that although this film filled my heart with a lot of sorrow, I did not cry. As I stated in my Top Ten Movie Facts!, I have only cried at three movies, and this came so darn close to pulling those heart strings just enough to shed a tear. But me being the big, machismo man that I’am, did not fall victim to the heart that is within Babe (Yes, I’am proud of this).
Also, there’s plenty of other good things to this film. The rural area that it’s filmed at is beautiful and totally makes for a great deal of great-looking scenes to add to the heart-warming appeal of the film itself. There is also another thing that this film touches well on, but never really wants to bring it out, and that is being a vegetarian. By showing these animals as more than just stupid, useless creatures that we eat, gets us thinking: maybe we shouldn’t be eating this meat after all? These are single-highhandedly the cutest things I have seen in films in a long time, so why would I want to get rid of them for food? Just after watching this and thinking about it, you never can fully look at a hamburger, or bacon the same way again.
Christine Cavanaugh voices Babe, and does one of the best jobs I heard in a long time. Having a chick voice a boy pig, is just great and adds a lot more innocence, and charm that is within his character. Also, let’s not forget to mention that James Cromwell gives off a great performance here as Farmer Hoggett. You wouldn’t look for a good performance by a human in a talking pig movie, but look what he’s playing against: nothing basically. He’s joyful, enthusiastic, and we capture his enthusiasm while watching him perform.
Consensus: Don’t be fooled, Babe is one of the best family fun adventures featuring, great performances and voicing, a screenplay that touches on the themes it wants to very well, and pulls a lot of heart string, while providing enough fun for the whole family.
Just proof as to why you don’t mess with the Scottish, they will always beat your ass.
Enraged at the slaughter of Murron (Catherine McCormack) — his new bride and childhood love — legendary Scottish warrior William Wallace (Mel Gibson, who also directed the film) slays a platoon of the local English lord’s soldiers. This leads the village to revolt and, eventually, the entire country to rise up against English rule.
There’s a lot to be said about this film that hasn’t already been said before. It’s a great film, but its influence seems to be over-shadowed.
The influential thing about this film starts with its gritty look. Many epics before this film have either romanticized or cleaned up the look of 13th century locations. However, with this film, Gibson gives us a dirty, disgusting look, something that many back in 1995 haven’t seen before. The people in this movie are dirty (even though they have clear teeth), and the habitats they choose to live in are even worse looking them they are. Without this film we wouldn’t have been able to see the true disgusting side of the 13th century.
Another great thing about this film is that the great epic battle sequences are straight up in your face bloody. The best part of this film is obviously the awesome battle sequences that occur, but some seem to forget that these battles being so effin’ bloody, got other directors thinking, more blood the better. I mean look at any other epic battle film after 95: Gladiator, Troy, 300, hell even enough to say, Lord of the Rings, even though it isn’t as bloody as this. They all have a lot of bloody action, that brings out a lot of emotions by showing how brutal mid-evil times were.
Gibson as director, is spot on perfect here. He captures every single emotion there is to capture in a epic like this. The battle scenes are great mostly because of the way he films them showing every single detail of brutality. Another reason for it’s greatness is the message. The reality of freedom we live and enjoy started with a dream. A dream turned into reality by men with conviction like William Wallace.That comes with pain and sacrifice,and sometimes involves violence.
I did have some problems with this film though, as many others did when it won Best Picture. There is not much we know about William Wallace, a poem I think, but I couldn’t help myself to think that none of this actually happened. I remember quite faintly, that the big battle scene in the beginning, happened on a bridge in real history, and the primae noctis was never used by King Edward which starts the battles off in the beginning.
Mel Gibson possibly could be the greatest action star of all-time mostly thanks to this. Gibson creates this great character William Wallace, by backing him up with so much charisma, so much courage, and so much humanity, that it’s hard not to wish that he defeats the English. Wallace will be an icon in film for some time now, and when you scratch your head and wonder why, then check out this wonderful scene. Why Gibson wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, still baffles me.
Patrick McGoohan also does a great job at playing Edward Longshanks. He plays the villain the old-school way, but still shows us a great deal of depth, when he’s fighting against his son, demanding terrible orders, and overall being a total and complete jack-ass to everyone he knows. But hey, I hated him so it must have worked.
Consensus: Though it’s not completley accurate, Braveheart is still one of the best epics, with its great action sequences, influential gritty style, as well as a great directing job and acting job from one of the greats, Mel Gibson.
I’m getting annoyed of these sappy romantic period pieces.
Jane Austen’s classic tale of 19th-century etiquette and ethics chronicles the troubles and triumphs of the marriage-minded Dashwood sisters — sensible oldest sibling Elinor (Emma Thompson) and her romantic younger sister, Marianne (Kate Winslet). While Marianne deftly charms two suitors (Alan Rickman and Greg Wise), Elinor must weather a circuitous courtship with an aspiring clergyman (Hugh Grant) of considerable reserve.
The film is directed by Ang Lee, who has won of the craziest resumes ever. He goes from this, to The Hulk, to Brokeback Mountain, then to Taking Woodstock. I have to praise his direction here cause he isn’t familiar with this material, and tries his hardest to make it entertaining and fun to watch. However, he fails at doing so.
The one problem with this film is that it tries its hardest to be emotional, when its just boring. I will admit there are some funny moments in the film, but by the end of the film their all all thrown away. It got sappy, then sappier, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any sappier, well it does so, by getting even more sappier.
I think the main reason I didn’t like this film cause period pieces like this, unless interesting, just aren’t my cup of tea. I mean I enjoyed looking at the costumes and settings and thought that was well-done, but it just all seemed one emotion for me, sad. There are happy moments but they just feel put on to bring out some joy when in reality there is none cause I’m still watching this movie. I can see why so many others like it, but I just can’t put myself on that list.
The acting here is good, but most of the time I was brought down by the script so I payed less and less attention to the acting. Emma Thompson is as good as she is beautiful in this film, showing once again, she can play the strong female character like no other. But the best in this film has to be Kate Winslet, who shows so much promise with her performance, that you can see why she was nominated for an Oscar 4 times before actually winning the big one.
Consensus: Though it looks good, with some credible acting, Sense and Sensibility is not a very entertaining film, mostly due to its bleak screenplay, as well as its uninteresting twists it tries to put on its viewers.
I was so pissed to see how the poster for this film, totally ripped-off Anatomy of a Murder. But my temper soon calmed down as soon as I saw this movie.
Strike (Mekhi Phifer) is from the mean streets, working his way up in the drug rackets. When a local kingpin (Delroy Lindo) tips him off to an opportunity for advancement, a rival dealer is killed, and Strike gets caught between two homicide detectives (Harvey Keitel and John Turturro).
I have always been very very mixed with some of Spike Lee’s work. Sometimes, their just way too racy and themed that I can’t stand them, other times the amazing to watch, fully gripping your attention almost every second of the way. This is one of those films.
I have to say Lee does direct this to his fullest. In the beginning, the film seems like its going to fall underneath the tracks of a racial hood film. However, totally turns the other chick into being a character-driven thriller film about, well, the hood. The thing that Lee does is make this film about something, not what you see much in Hollywood today. The bullet holes in the bodies of the black men in the beginning of the film, are resurrected and given some sort of individuality, rather than just some broke-ass bluff from the street. Thank you for that Boyz N the Hood.
The film is slighlty fair-minded with its script. The script shows how all of these people are human, and not just a bunch of stupid stereotypes you see in many other hood films. You see these people for what they are, human just like you and me. The whole film shows how all these people are blocked into one world, where they have no idead what’s going on, on the outside. And the ending proves, that there is another block of the world to see. Hope I didn’t give too much away there.
However, the problem with this movie is that there are many other times where Lee depends his looks on the urban enviroment these people live in. I knew that they lived in a shitty hood, where drug deals were always going down, and people were getting constantly locked up, and I they showed that way too many times. There was a little sub-plot with another detective, trying to nab this little yuppie for drugs. Totally random, and a pointless story.
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the film, O, starring Clocker’s own, Mekhi Phifer. I said that he is one of the most underrated actors of all-time, and doesn’t get enough rep because he’s known for like two performances. And I will stand by that statemeant until the day I die. He gives a knock-out performance, in his first performance, I may add. Showing so much anger, but also remorse for the things that he has done, and giving us, the viewer, a great protagonist we can root for. Keitel and Turturro are great s the two detectives, and although I think their could have been more scenes dedicated to the both of them together, ehh they were good just for being in the film. Delroy Lindo is also one scary-ass dude in this film, showing that even though you don’t look like a pimp, you can be one just by the way you act. Isaiah Washington, is also quite something to talk about, since he hasn’t been for the last couple of years due to his big mouth. But he does show some great emotionally tied-down scenes here, and shows that he does have a lot of talent and heart, he just can’t stop from saying that “word”.
Consensus: Lee’s script gets a little messy, but still has great performances the wonderful cast, that can handle Lee’s direction, character-driven script, and plot twists and turns.
I wish crap like this was going down in my mall, or I’d be there everyday of my life.
Young, suburban every men Brodie (Jason Lee) and T.S. (Jeremy London) lose their girlfriends on the same day, so they take to the mall in search of solace in writer-director Kevin Smith’s (Clerks) comical look at love and loss between the escalators. Ben Affleck co-stars as a smarmy clothing store manager, while rabble-rousing regulars Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) are the icing on the cake in this offbeat treat.
This film was one of those cult followed films that I saw as a kid, understood a little bit of it, and laughed, without knowing what I was laughing about. We don that a lot as kids? But watching it now I laughed a little bit more, but not too much.
Obviously the first thing to credit in this film is the writing from writer-director Kevin Smith, who is also playing Silent Bob. He uses that inventiveness when it comes to quotable and witty dialogue, that came right from Clerks. I mean “critics” hated this film because it goes over-the-edge at times, when it actually does, but there are still a lot of little funny jokes about the media such as comic books, and surprisingly true tales about love and what we do when its gone. The writing here is definably not as quotable than Clerks, but certainly is something to laugh about once the thought of the movie comes to mind.
Also, another thing the film has going for it, which Clerks did so well, was that you were there in this shopping mall, and it is a really kick-ass time. You feel like your with these guys as they roam around the mall, looking and talking about random shit, or Jay & Silent Bob trying to get their masterful trick of destroying the TV show set to finally work, and as they run away from the cops. Your glad your with them on this ride, and for some reason, you just wish that you were there with them in real life, instead of watching this happen through a screen. :’(
The one thing I will say negatively about this film is that what “critics” complained about the film is true, the bigger the budget, the worser the movie. I think that Smith was given lots of money to do this film since he was so successful with Clerks, and he just did all the shenanigans that he always wanted to do in his movies, and I just felt was obvious, and too stupid, even for this movie. I also felt that at times, the film does for some reason get randomly dirty, and why? Hell, I don’t even know, but that’s just Smith’s trademark, even though it may be off-putting sometimes.
The cast here is exceptional. Jason Lee as Brodie gives a very funny and iconic performance, because his character is hilarious, and Lee just has that comedic timing that works so well in a film like this. Jeremy London as T.S. is also the man, showing even though he’s serious throughout the whole movie, he’s still a cool cat too. But the random little side performances are even better too: Ben Affleck is funny in his deauchy kind of way, Shannen Doherty is a funny bitch what else is new, and of course Jay and Silent Bob steal the show. Oh and must I not forget the funny Stan Lee cameo, that guy has so much humor its not even funny! (yeah that was bad, I’ll stop there)
Consensus: Though its not Smiths best, and surely doesn’t measure up to Clerks, Smith’s sophomore debut Mallrats is still a funny, if too edgy comedy, with insightful nuggets about love and comics, and good performances from the cast.
If only Obama was as cool as Michael Douglas.
Widowed U.S. president Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), one of the world’s most powerful men, can have anything he wants — and what he covets most is Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), a Washington lobbyist. But Shepherd’s attempts at courting her spark wild rumors and decimate his approval ratings in this romantic comedy. Rob Reiner directs, and Michael J. Fox and Martin Sheen co-star.
The reviewers who moan that this is a liberal propaganda movie have missed the point, plain and simple. This is a story of romance in the White House, a unique theme which is a new and fresh idea. The politics were a backdrop and used to keep the movie moving.
The writing here is smart and very good. Its funny without making itself too funny, so you don’t take it seriously. There are still plenty of moments where this film actually takes an idea that was big in politics during the 90s and sets it in this film, and it works so well here. The comedic timing this film has makes sure it balances out a great deal of smart comedy but also important ideals about politics that were going on at the time.
This movie effectively shows the human side of a president. There is no political pretense or agenda, this is and old fashion pure charmer that wins with clever script, great acting and likable characters. And most of this has to go the performances from its wonderful cast. Douglas is starting to grow on me a bit, even though he is basically playing the same one he always does but the charm works well here cause he still has a side that even the president you wouldn’t think had. Annette Bening is even better playing Wade with the great comedic timing but also wonderful sense of realism that leading ladies like Diane Keaton and Jodie Foster all go for, and she does that plus a lot more. Their chemistry in this film builds over time and it feels real and you could actually see these two together in office.
The problem I had with the film was that its satire that the film looked for didn’t hit the marker so well like it could have. I think the film was trying to poke fun at George Bush when he was in the office, and how politics have changed into being more controversial than real, was a little stretching its boundaries. Also, the Richard Dreyfuss character was just stupid cause he only played this bad guy that was one-note the whole time and barely ever changed at all during the movie.
Consensus: The American President doesn’t succeed with its satire and patronizing, but still is written and directed in an old fashioned way that its new and fresh, while Douglas and Bening give out a believable chemistry between the two.
One of Scorsese’s best, and most underrated.
Martin Scorsese draws on Nicholas Pileggi’s book about Las Vegas in the 1970s and ’80s as inspiration for his tale contrasting the city’s glamorous exterior with its sordid interior fueled by excess — and the mob. Against this backdrop, the story chronicles the rise and fall of a casino owner with mob connections (Robert De Niro), his friend and Mafia underboss (Joe Pesci) and an ex-prostitute with expensive taste and a driving will (Sharon Stone).
Upon a first viewing, you would think of it as a companion piece to Goodfellas, mostly cause its about the mob, and De Niro and Pesci are mobsters in both.
The thing with Scorsese and this film is that he is one of those directors that has a vision, and just goes for it whether or not people like it. The film is fast, featuring the over-the-top narration that could almost be viewed as a docudrama. It moves on so quick and fast that its so hard not to lose track of the time, because what you think has been 20 minutes into the movie, is just the first 10. The film is written in such a way, that most of it is given to characters, and getting inside the business of the mob, so you know exactly how everything is handled in this business. You feel like you’re sitting across the table from an ex-casino manager as he tells stories and random facts about how things in Vegas really were.
The problem with this film, and it was kind of a problem for me just a bit, was that the film didn’t break too much grounds. It does a little bit what Goodfellas did 5 years earlier. You have the excessive violence, realistic screenplay, look inside the mob, and even narration from its main character, that all Goodfellas has. I don’t think with this film that Scorsese brought out any new points to make about the mob cause he did already make them earlier, and that is what causes this film to get barely any recognition.
The acting in here is what makes this film, the best. De Niro plays the character we all love him as, he goes through so many emotions as this guy that we can see how realistic his character really is. Pesci is also great playing the hard-boiled little guy that we all love and know him for. The scenes with them two are just great, cause you can see the chemistry these two have, and how good they are is just one sight to see the most. Sharon Stone also give the knockout performance in this movie bringing a lot of heart, but by the end more havoc, and she goes through this whole transformation as a character, and it seems believable rather than just made for story purposes.
Consensus: Casino doesn’t break any new grounds mostly due to Goodfellas, but is still a fast-paced information mobster flick, with a terrific direction from Scorsese, and memorable performances by the trio of leads.