These guys were facing off against aliens, before that was even cool.
Working for a highly-funded yet unofficial government agency, K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Will Smith) are the Men In Black, providers of immigration services and regulators of all things alien on Earth. While investigating a series of unregistered close encounters, the MIB agents uncover the deadly plot of an intergalactic terrorist who is on a mission to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies currently in residence in New York city.
So with Men in Black III coming out soon, I thought it would be a nice idea to go back and check out the first one that not only did I love as a kid, but so did every other kid around me. Sad to see how things change as you grow older, and then become a d-bag movie critic.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld did a pretty good job with this material, which is based on a comic book series that’s full of darkness and violence, by making it somewhat light and fluffy with humor and slime instead. There was plenty of jokes to go around in this flick and I liked that because it showed that the film didn’t really take itself too seriously, which was never more serious than it needed to be at all in the first place. I mean you have two guys dressed in ALL black, going around looking for aliens: how much goofier can you get? Liked the tone of this film because it could have easily fallen apart by taking a serious look at the world of alien hunting. It’s actually more cool than it is goofy, but I think it’s all in a day’s work and that’s all that really mattered to me.
What really took me away was the fact that Rick Baker‘s art direction was something only he could do. Baker is a dude that’s known for doing all of the make-up and costume features on plenty of films ranging from Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, The Nutty Professor, and the one he just recently won an Oscar for, The Wolfman. If you have watched any of those three, you will notice that this guy isn’t messing around when it comes to making some crazy make-up look real and this is probably one of his best examples. Whether it’s the giant bug Edgar, or the little worm aliens with the Mexican accents, or even Jack Jeebs, Baker’s detail to make-up and costumes look funny, scary, and surprisingly, very believable. This was one of the main selling points of the flick when it first came out and it’s understandable as to why because they still hold up in today’s day and age of constant IMAX 3D flicks filled with CGI out the wahzoo, coming out almost every weekend.
What I was a little bummed out by this film was that a lot of this just feels very generic, which is mainly due to the plot. The plot is so 1-2-3 that you can usually tell everything that’s going to happen within the first 5 minutes and even though it’s not as bad here as it is with plenty of other flicks of this nature, I still couldn’t get past that I wasn’t really going to see any surprises. Still, I think it’s Sonnenfield’s direction that kept my mind off of this problem for a short time anyway. Speaking of short time, the film is only 98 minutes long and it actually went by pretty quick, even though I do think they could have done a little bit more developing when it came to the characters and just what exactly their main objective was. I get that they were going after the one big, bad alien dude but I don’t know how he was going to tear down the galaxy. Hmmm, maybe it’s just a mystery I’ll never know about.
Where I think this film really worked well with was the two performances from Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K and Will Smith as Agent J. This is one of those polar-opposite, buddy-buddy combinations we see all of the time in these types of flicks but it’s so much fun to watch here because of the type of performers Jones and Smith both are. Jones’ sense of comedy (or lack thereof) is very dry and sometimes non-existent, while Smith is constantly up in everybody’s grill, making slang jokes at everybody he meets and is constantly just shoving his attitude in other peoples’ faces. They both make a good team together because they work well and you can tell that they both do have chemistry, even though the film doesn’t really focus on it all that much. But hey, at least they’re having fun.
Vincent D’Onofrio‘s performance as Edgar was pretty impressive when it came to his physical stature, like how he moved his body and neck in some crazy places, but he really just left me feeling uncomfortable every time he was on-screen. I don’t really think that was any problem with D’Onofrio at all, as it was more of the writing that made him look and feel like an uncomfortable, dirty slob that looks like he hasn’t bathed in years. It was also pretty bad to see Linda Fiorentino absolutely do nothing with the character she was given as Dr. Laurel Weaver. Yeah, I know that the female character in any action movie isn’t really supposed to be a big role by any means, but you could at least try and make it the least memorable instead of just making it seem like you obviously don’t want to be there with you dry deliver and “phoning it in” looks from start to finish. Never really been impressed by this chick and it’s really no surprise that she hasn’t done much in the past decade.
Consensus: Men in Black is what you would expect: funny, light, filled with cool-looking special effects and monsters from Rick Baker, and entertaining but is also very light on plot, which doesn’t really bring up many surprises as it goes along. However, it’s a flick that will always be in my childhood.
This is what Coppola has done ever since his days of The Godfather. But that’s not so bad.
When Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), a young attorney with no clients, goes to work for a seedy ambulance chaser, he wants to help the parents of a terminally ill boy in their suit against an insurance company (represented by Jon Voight). But to take on corporate America, Rudy and a scrappy paralegal (Danny DeVito) must open their own law firm.
Director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, etc.) is a guy known for making classics, but has recently fallen off the map. However, even an OK effort by him isn’t so bad.
Coppola does a very good job with this script because he just directs this the way it should be directed. He isn’t really trying to go for any big emotional punches with this story, he just shows what this court case is all about and how to win it basically. I actually found this more entertaining than anything else because I just want to watch a courtroom drama, and I don’t really need some big life-lesson out of it.
The screenplay is also very well done here and not only has a lot of good moments where their all in the courtroom “duking it out”, but there are also a lot of moments of actual comedy that had me laughing a lot much to my surprise.
However, there are still problems that lie here. The problems that Damon’s character has to go through to win this case, aren’t so deadly as the film makes it seem to be. His character is made to be looking like he’s struggling against all odds, when really he’s just a rookie lawyer going up a lawyer who’s been in the game for about 30 years. I mean yeah, that is pretty nerve-raking but the film made it seem like he would never be able to pull it off, when in reality, it was pretty obvious he could.
Another problem with the movie is the sometimes ridiculous names these characters were given. A major insurance company named “Great Benefit” seems just a little corny to me, as does a sneaky lawyer named “Deck Shifflet,” and a woman who is looked on by her insurance company as a piece of trassh, named “Dot Black.” I mean, come on, you actually expect me to believe these almost comic-book-like names.
The real benefit of this whole film is the cast that really brought these characters to life. Matt Damon is charming here as our hero, Rudy Baylor; Danny DeVito is perfect as this sneaky and shady para-lawyer named Deck Shifflet; Mary Kay Place is good and emotionally there as a mother; and Claire Danes is sort of chilling in her performance as Kelly Riker, who has to constantly put up with the assault from her hubby. There are also some nice little spots in here from the likes of Virginia Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Roy Scheider, and a randomly uncredited, Danny Glover as our judge. He was probably getting too old for that shit too! OK that was lame I know.
The best out of the whole cast though is Jon Voight as this smarmy and ruthless lawyer named Leo F. Drummond, who on paper seems like a totally cliche and predictable character, but the way Voight plays him makes this character a great guy you just love to hate because you can always see that he’s one step ahead of everyone else. The film brings no actual surprises but at the end of the film, there’s this little touch that the film provides and basically tells us that even when you win, sometimes you lose, and this is what Voight shows perfectly.
Consensus: The Rainmaker may not offer any real surprises, but the strong direction from Coppola and the good performances from this ensemble cast, keeps this film watchable and interesting as it goes along.
Who cares what Michael Douglas does on a regular basis anyway?
In honor of his birthday, San Francisco banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas), a financial genius and a coldhearted loner, receives an unusual present from his younger brother, Conrad (Sean Penn) — a gift certificate to play a unique kind of game. In nary a nanosecond, Nicholas finds himself consumed by a dangerous set of ever-changing rules, unable to distinguish where the charade ends and reality begins.
One night I was just hanging around when I found an old VHS of this and I have to say, I’m going to have to start watching my VHS’s from now on.
Director David Fincher is a great director as much of us know. He takes a lot of material and can make it incredibly more chilling, tense, and stylized like no other. He does not disappoint one bit here and just proves why he is one of the best mystery directors of all-time.
Fincher kept me guessing at every single scene just what was going to happen next, and what is real and what isn’t? I knew it was a game, because the title tells us that right from the get-go it was just so great to feel the claustrophobia from this film and being shocked at every single turn this film took. There’s a lot of twists and turns here that may confuse you, but Fincher makes it all seem pretty easy to follow. Also, Fincher uses this very bleak look to portray a lot of the emotions an ideas that are going through Nicholas’s head at certain points, and none of it ever feels too artsy-fartsy for my taking. Basically, Fincher is great, the story is where the problem lies.
I liked this plot and how it all came out on film, mainly because of Fincher but the problem with this story is that although it’s placed in the real world, it almost could never happen. Reason being that is because there are almost way too many co-incidences in this story to actually ring true. How do you know that somebody will get into this certain taxi cab? How do you know they will get into a room with a camera, where you will be seeing them all the time? How do you know that someone will be coming to the office at that exact moment? Also, how exactly do you know that someone will fall exactly off a roof, on the right side of the building, and not be killed? All of these questions and probably more will be raised when you’re watching the film and although I was along for the whole ride, I almost never thought that any of this could actually ever happen.
The ending also was pretty lame probably because I was expecting a big twist at the end, and I never got it. But saying that, I was disappointed that at the end of the film, we don’t learn anything or nothing really has changed about the character’s involved. I don’t want to give too much about this film away but I really did feel that we deserved a way better than what we got and some actual lessons learned at the end. Maybe it was just don’t be a little rich dickhead, and you’ll be fine. Well that’s at least what I took from it.
Although I don’t really like much of Michael Douglas in many films, here I actually kind of cared. This guy is such an asshole at times and when all this starts to happen, you start to see him actually lighten up about things because he doesn’t know what to do or who to trust, so I kind of actually stood behind him. He’s good in this role because he looks angry when he’s angry, he looks confused when he’s confused, and he always knows how to solve everything the right away. I think this is one of Douglas’s better performances mainly because Fincher directed him so well. Sean Penn is here as Conrad and is pretty good for what he does. Nothing special really, just sort of there I guess.
Consensus: Sparked by an incredibly dark and tense direction from David Fincher, The Game will have you guessing at every turn but as a whole the film seems too coincidental, and although by the end you feel a bit satisfied you never quite feel like you wanted to end on the note that it did.
Shows that the dudes who clean the toilets in my school, aren’t as dumb as they seem.
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) spends his days as a janitor at MIT, but the aimless young man is also a mathematical genius. So when his talents are discovered, a therapist (Robin Williams) helps Will confront the demons that have been holding him back.
Good Will Hunting is directed by Gus Van Sant and right away you can tell that there’s going to be a little quiet, and subtle indie-feel to this film, but since it’s not written by him, it doesn’t go in that direction it goes plenty of other places you wouldn’t expect.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon both wrote this screenplay, which actually won an Oscar, and it was their first script ever written! I like the script because there is a lot of great one-liners and quirks here that will have you laugh with this story and enough truth about life here as well that will open your eyes to a lot of what is being said here. My problem with this script and the film as well, is that it does get overly sentimental at times and gets too carried away with it’s dialogue.
It’s hard to describe but there are times here that a lot of the things that are said here, just feel like long speeches that just seem overlong and not needed. This is about over two hours and for that time limit I was entertained but I have to say that there were many times where some of this could have gotten knocked down, because there were just too many speeches that didn’t need to be used, mainly because they didn’t feel like it was actual conversation between these characters, it was more of just verbal diarrhea. But for a rookie job at writing a screenplay, these two kiddies do a great job of creating a story that keeps you glued in.
Many times with plenty of Van Sant’s films, I feel like his direction and style can sort of get in the way of his story, but here it’s different. He just lets the story tell itself off for once and provides beautiful images of Boston during the “falling leaf” season. Let’s not also forget to mention Elliot’s Smith’s amazing score/soundtrack that adds perfectly to the overall feel and nature of this film. If you’ve never heard of him before, watch this film and you’ll see why he’s a great musician.
The characters in this film are fleshed out so well here and the performances add a lot to that reason too. Matt Damon is perfect as Will, the troubled working class man who needs to address his creative genius and with almost every scene shows why he is the real reason why Will is so likable. Damon has that cocky and smart attitude that makes Will seem so witty but he also has that emotional depth within his acting that makes him so damn vulnerable as a character. Robin Williams won an Oscar for his performance as Sean and shows why he should just stick with dramatic roles. The scenes he has with Damon are just about perfect and fully add up to the whole drama effect that this film gives off. Ben Affleck is good as Wil’s best buddy, Chuckie, and Stellan Skarsgard ain’t that bad either as Will’s math professor at MIT, Lambeau. Minnie Driver is good here as Will’s main squeeze, Skylar, and although her accent isn’t that good, she’s still equally as likable as the rest of the dudes here.
Consensus: Some toning down was needed here and there, but Good Will Hunting is still an emotional and at times witty tale of being the best to your ability, anchored by great performances from the cast, as well as a great first-time script job from Damon and Affleck.
Not as amazing as everybody says it is, but still awesome.
In 1950s Los Angeles, three wildly different cops (Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey) form an uneasy alliance to ferret out deep-seated police corruption. But some people will do anything to land their faces in the pages of trashy Hollywood tabloids such as Hush-Hush magazine.
This is one of those films that almost every film geek has as one of their all-time favorites. I wouldn’t really put it in mine but I will say I had a great time.
The best thing about this film is it’s overall feel is just very cool and slick. The story is your typical detective story that you would see in any neo-noir film, but there are little twists and turns that really keep you involved with it. But this is also a great “whodunit” as well because you have to pay attention real well to the story as it moves along because all the little clues, double-crosses, and twists come when you least expect it too. The whole time you’re constantly wondering just what’s going to happen next, and the script really adds to that suspense level well.
Curtis Hanson does a great job here as director because he takes this pretty enjoyable script, and makes it even better on-screen. This is a great detective story, but also a very fun one because it just looks beautiful, with the 1950′s look and the action is great too. You have a lot of great shoot-outs here, to add to the mystery appeal of this film, and the pace is very taut and gives enough detail to the story so we’re not totally lost.
However, my only problem with this film is that something just didn’t fully glue me in like I was expecting it too. Something was just not there and I don’t know if it was the script that kind of left me hanging, or the direction that was just a little too taut for me, I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t get fully involved with this story, even though I liked the angle on police corruption. Not much really has changed in the past 50 years, and that is a real damn shame.
The ensemble cast is what really had me going with this film. The best thing about this cast is that they do so well with characters that are so fully fleshed out, that they could have had about dozens of spin-offs of each and every one of these cool characters. Kevin Spacey is great as Jack Vincennes and plays that cool, but slick cop so well. Guy Pearce is very good as Ed Exley because he starts out as this smiley-faced, bright-eyed rookie who just wants to do the right thing and make sure justice is served. However, he starts to get a little more vicious as he soon starts to realize all the corruption within the force, and he does a believable transition too. This was probably the first introduction of Russell Crowe to the world, and with good reason because he’s awesome as brutish, brawling and self-righteous police “Bud” White. Crowe is great at playing those big and bad characters who have a lot more to them then meet’s the eyes. Kim Basinger won an Oscar for her role as Lynn Bracke, which is OK, but she didn’t do an amazing job here, just pretty good. Danny DeVito is perfect as the slimy and snarky gossip magazine writer Sid Hudgeons, James Cromwell is ever so evil and corrupt as Dudley Smith, and David Strathairn is only in a couple scenes as Pierce Patchett but does a good job as well.
Consensus: Though there was something that just didn’t compel me as much, L.A. Confidential is still a well-directed, perfectly scripted, and fun detective story, that keeps you guessing with it’s smart story and will just entertain any popcorn-friendly watcher.
Blame Canada! And the bus driver!
Director Atom Egoyan’s adaptation of Russell Banks’s novel follows a grieving mountain community in the wake of a tragic school bus accident that takes the lives of numerous local children. A lawyer (Ian Holm) arrives in town to persuade the survivors to initiate a class-action lawsuit, driving apart the once tight-knit hamlet. Meanwhile, a teen crippled in the crash (Sarah Polley) must choose between mourning and moving on.
I have to say that I was really looking forward to seeing this film, knowing that almost everyone who has seen it, loves it. But for me, I didn’t love it as much as everyone else did.
Atom Egoyan does a great job here with telling this story in such a meaningful and powerful way. He plays up the subtlety of this story very well and doesn’t try to smash what he’s trying to say over our heads. Instead, his brisk pace creates a sense of anger and underlining tension between all of the townspeople and let all their decisions be their own, rather than have us drop-down into crappy soap operaish material. Egoyan also did a masterful job of filming this in Canada, because I have to say that some of the visuals here are absolutely beautiful I don’t know if this is the real way Canada actually looks, but this place is empty, sad, and overall just a depressing place to be around, which totally worked for this film when it came right down to it’s overall mood.
Egoyan also examines tragedy in such a great way because he shows plenty of insight and shows us some real dark places that are inside the human soul. People change as grief hits us, and it’s hard to cope with the loss of loved ones especially after an accident as tragic and shocking as this. I also have to say that this film does justice to the novel that this is based off of because when you have simple story like this, it’s hard to make it as effective as it would like to be. But somehow it just seems to work very very well.
My main problem with this film is that I didn’t feel any connection to these characters that I really wanted to. I think the fact that these people were so messed up after the tragedy, but before it, they all seemed like not-so likable people and I have to say that I didn’t enjoy watching these characters. Something here just didn’t grip me like I was expecting it too, and I don’t know what it was but just took away from my whole experience of watching this film. Also, the medieval score music really bugged me and made me feel like I was watching something like The Shining or a really old horror film.
The cast is filled with a bunch of total unknowns that I have probably never seen before, but a couple of them are worth mentioning. Ian Holm plays the lawyer and made me realize how much of a great actor he is. There are a lot of scenes that rely on him to bring out these heart-wrenching moments and I have to say Holm does a great job. Bruce Greenwood plays one of the townspeople who has the worst problem of coping with this accident and does a good job being one of the most interesting townspeople to watch. Sarah Polley is good in this very early role as a young girl who was crippled in the crash and makes use of her great screen presence.
Consensus: Though it may be too dark for some viewers, and may or may not grip you, The Sweet Hereafter still has some effective material about coping, or not coping with grief and the loss of loved ones.
I never ever tell a lie, so if this happened to me, it wouldn’t much matter…
Lawyer Fletcher Reede’s (Jim Carrey) mendacious ways destroyed his marriage and alienated his son, Max (Justin Cooper). But when Max makes a birthday wish that magically comes true, Fletcher finds himself incapable of telling a lie for 24 hours. That’s great news for Max and his mom (Maura Tierney), but terrible timing for Fletcher, who’s due in court to try a major divorce case.
I don’t know how many times I have actually seen this film, but it’s been many, many times. Somehow, it still never gets old.
The premise here is actually very good and scores plenty of laughs to go along with it. There are many moments in this film where it almost seems like the plot will actually run dry, however, the comedy keeps on going. Kind of like lying itself, sometimes it’s nice and sometimes it’s mean, the comedy from the plot keeps you laughing.
There’s a whole heap of froth and bubble which is unfortunately spoiled by traditional American family values as interpreted by Hollywood demographic doctors. The whole film just gets very sentimental and cheesy at many points and especially towards the end, to give off a great message about being a father and staying true to your family. This was all done on purpose to stay with it’s family audience, and kind of bothered me because the comedy here is sometimes so mean that it seems strange that they would actually have these little sweet moments about family.
The premise is good, but the only real reason this is funny, because of that man at the top right there. Jim Carrey is a guy that a lot hate, but others love. I’am one of those others. Fletcher Reede is one of his best comedic performances because everything he does here from the goofy faces, the weird exclamations, and non-stop craziness work so well. Carrey is one of those guys that will do anything for a laugh and here he is no different, bringing out some well-deserved laughs with everything in his might.
Consensus: The sentimental value may be a little bit annoying, but Jim Carrey brings Liar Liar’s good plot, to becoming a hilarious time.
A rare horror sequel, that actually works.
In the two years that have passed since the fateful events in Woodsboro, newswoman Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) has written a best-seller, which has been turned into a film starring Tori Spelling as Sidney (Neve Campbell). As the movie premiere looms closer, the cycle of mysterious deaths begins again. Dewey Riley (David Arquette) heads straight to Sidney’s college in an attempt to protect her from impending doom.
So awhile back I reviewed an old horror gem, Scream, and let’s just say, I loved the hell out of it. I haven’t seen this one, in quite some time now, and I can’t say that my views on it, haven’t changed really, I still love it as much as the first one!
Of course the best thing about this film is the writing. The first film dealt more with the conventions a slasher/horror film, in this one its more about the conventions, of a sequel, and horror movies themselves. The dialogue is surprisingly a lot more funnier than the first, and there are parts in this film, just like the first, I found myself laughing at, even in the midst of all this violence. There is also a lot of references to the first movie, which at first are annoying, but as it goes on, they sort of move the story along, as you see how both are actually connected.
But the writing, is nothing without it’s bloody violence, straight from the horror master, Wes Craven. This film does a much better with showing great, bloody killings. In the first film, the killings were bloody, but never treated as something great, in this one, you can kind of tell that Craven loves seeing these kids murdered, and that love is soon transferred to us. I know it all sounds weird, and sick, but it’s just how Wes Craven is, that sick sick bastard. There’s also a great deal of suspense with this film, especially one scene in a audio recording room, that had me very very tense.
The problem I had with this film, that I didn’t have for the first one was that I wasn’t guessing at the end who was the killer. By the last 30 minutes you kind of guess who is doing all of this, and it’s because that one person isn’t around for the whole like last hour, so of course its going to be a little bit obvious.
In the first movie, the characters were more of stereotypes than actual people themselves, but in this one, we actually get to know them a little. Neve Campbell is back, and better than ever, doing what she does best. David Arquette, and Courtney Cox, are back, with a lot more sexual feelings between each other now. Jamie Kennedy also is back, with some even funnier insight into just how horror sequels actually work, and as usual, he’s always a riot. Jerry O’Connell, plays the new boyfriend, who is kind of a schmuck. Liev Schreiber has also got some good scenes, where he plays the good guy, and bad guy, at different times very well, and Sarah Michelle Gellar is also in this, with a good scene from her. Must I not forget Timothy Olyphant, who as always, plays his character to the brink of greatness. Also, the film begins with Jada Pinkett Smith, and Omar Epps, and not only is that sequence very very good, but their performances are even better.
Consensus: Scream 2 may not be breaking new ground like the first one, but it still has funny moments, many scary moments, as well as enough blood, to satisfy any horror fan, that wants to be surprised by a horror sequel that actually works.
Damn I cannot wait till I get married, I can only hope it’s to Cameron Diaz too.
Food writer Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) panics when she receives word that her longtime platonic pal, Michael (Dermot Mulroney), is finally getting hitched, to a debutante named Kimberly (Cameron Diaz). Realizing her true feelings for Michael, Julianne enlists assistance from her gay companion (Rupert Everett) and sets out to sabotage the wedding, making a last-minute play for her man.
This film totally took me by surprise. Here I was expecting, a really cheesy, dumb, and unfunny romantic comedy chick-flick. But as gay as I may sound I actually liked this film.
Alright folks, before you all start calling me gay, because I liked a romantic comedy starring Rupert Everett, and Julia Roberts, go over to my main boys at TalkingFilms. So go on over and check them out, and get the skinny.
I hope they don’t know what I did last summer. Or that’s a whole new type of horror story. Holla!
When some North Carolina teens flatten a stranger with their car, they leave him for dead and try to get on with their lives. He returns to give ‘em, uh, the hook (literally) — the gore is leavened by some much-needed laughs. The well-known cast includes Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe.
This film is what you call your typical, run-by-the-numbers, slasher film. You got stupid teens, doing stupid things, and therefore, being killed for it. Doesn’t get much more complicated than that.
I wish this film was as intentionally laughable as it promised, cause in reality I didn’t find anything funny, other than the fact that this screenplay is just stupid as hell. First of all, the main killer in this film, is dressed up in a fisherman outfit, and kills you with a hook. Corny? I think so. Also, I couldn’t believe how this fisherman, would take the dead bodies, and get them out of where they were at that time, clean everything up, in a matter of 10 seconds without being seen. Like I understand it’s a horror film, and not all of them are believable, but at least give me a little something to believe.
The only thing that is enjoyable about this film is that it is a fun, and quick slasher pick. If you liked Scream, you’ll like this maybe, but I only liked the film when it was moving very fast-paced. Also, for an R rated slasher film, there wasn’t enough blood, especially when you got a guy killing people with hooks, so I think die hard horror fans, won’t be as happy when they see the deaths here.
The performances are basically whatever. Jennifer Love Hewitt is OK here, but she’s got a great scream, so I can’t lie about that. Ryan Phillipe is good as a total dick basically, Freddie Prinze Jr. sucks, probably because I still think of him as Fred, and Sarah Michelle Gellar is actually good. But all these characters, with the exception of one, we can’t really care about that much, so when one of them are killed, we just don’t care really.
Consensus: It has enough kills, jumps, and scares, to satisfy most horror fans, but is way too lauaghable with its overall premise, bad guy, and everything else.
A job that I could make millions in, if I really wanted to. Yeah, it’s that huge.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic about the adult film industry stars Mark Wahlberg as a nightclub busboy who transforms himself into porn king Dirk Diggler and ultimately becomes intoxicated by success, cocaine and lofty aspirations. Set in the 1970s, the film features Oscar-nominated supporting performances by Burt Reynolds as skin-flick auteur Jack Horner and Julianne Moore as a veteran porn icon with maternal instincts.
When it comes to PT Anderson, he can take a normal script, and put it places you weren’t expecting. The screenplay is just pitch-perfect. There is a lot of dark comedy in the beginning, probably cause the whole idea of making these 70′s style porno films is pretty laughable, but by the end it dives into some deep, deep, dramatic areas that I wasn’t quite expecting. The story moves along at a narrow pace, and doesn’t lose you as Anderson is constantly going from one character to another. And that’s probably my favorite thing about this film, is that yeah, it’s a story about Dirk Diggler, but there’s also plenty of other stories to go along with it, and add on to the film.
The only problem with this film is that it never delves into anything more than a just a film about the porno industry, and “stardom”. I didn’t see what the message behind all this was, and although Anderson wasn’t down-grading porn, he wasn’t saying how great it was either. So I was confused on what the central message was behind this whole film, and I think it could have used one if went into deeper territory.
PT Anderson the director is even better, because not only does he do a great job at showing all these other different characters, but he follows them in such good pace, like your literally behind these people, and your there. And you feel like your there, because of the constant lively music (which I loved, get that soundtrack now), vibrant colors all over the place, and an overall feeling of a constant party. There is also some tense, well-played out scenes by the end, that just get inside of you, as their going on.
I have to give the most praise to the casting in this film, because everybody fits their own character so well. Mark Wahlberg gives his break-out performance here, and is just perfect and fits Dirk Diggler so well. he’s still a boy that was taken into a very adult world early, and you believe him when he has these problems, with his emotions, rage, and trying to become a star. Burt Reynolds give his best performance ever as Porn director Jack Horner, he’s calm, cool, and overall relaxed. He’s just a pretty chill guy, and I ‘d feel pretty comfortable getting busy in front of him. Julianne Moore is good here too, as basically the mom who can’t love herself, but can love everybody else. Her performance is just tragic and you feel so bad for her. John C. Reilly is in here too, and is as easily as likable, him and Wahlberg create this great buddy-buddy chemistry, that plays throughout the whole film, and has you still liking both even when they become total deuches at times. Philip Seymour Hoffman has another tragic performance as the man that becomes infatuated with Diggler, and can not just understand what love really is. Other people in this film are Don Cheadle, Thomas Jane, Alfred Molina, William H. Macy, the always funny Luis Guzman. The cast is perfect, and you can tell that Anderson really does have a lot of love for these people and how they react to life.
Consensus: Though it never goes deep enough, Boogie Nights is a great ride from PT Anderson, complete with a pitch-perfect cast, inspired script and direction, and just the overall feel of your actually there.
If only my girlfriend was a lesbian. Then things would be very interesting.
After comic book artist Holden (Ben Affleck) falls in love with the perfect woman, Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), he discovers she is a lesbian in this comedy from writer-director Kevin Smith. With no help from his friend, Banky (Jason Lee), Holden tries to make a relationship with Alyssa work. Although Holden knows Alyssa cares deeply about him, her homosexual past may conspire to come between them and ruin everything.
Look at every film that Smith has written/directed, and compare it to this. You’ve got Clerks, Mallrats, Zack and Miri, Clerks II, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, and Cop Out. There are all crazy, stupid, and raunchy comedies, this is the farthest thing from.
Kevin Smith has always been perfect with showing how real people actually speak, especially when it comes to talking about dirty shit, but with this he explores more into the world of sex, love, and desire. Yes, there is that occasional raunchy bit, but Smith never gets too wild with it to the point of where we lose main focus of where we’re at. We see and hear the sexual politics that go into both sides of the sexual desire, and gender, and both sides are equally understandable. The insight is huge, and it all seems to realistic to be from a movie by slacker Kevin Smith.
The film shows us how we look at sex from one gender to another, and can either see it as something wrong, or something that has to do with love. We are always quick to judge somebody or something for what they love, or do, and never to get down to the core of what love really is. This point struck a huge core with me, and it moved me as the film went along. Smith doesn’t just badge the other sex and stay with the guy’s point of view, he gets sensitive with his points and never seems like he’s ranting or telling us how we should treat others, he’s just simply showing us the world we live in where sexual criticism is around every corner. There is also some big points on friendship brought up, and how far it gets to a point of where it actually may become something more. Smith never lets loose of the brutal reality that we face when we are in love, where we start to alienate others, and we focus on the big mistakes our lover has made in their past. We sometimes never see a person for what they are in front of our faces, but what they did in the past, and as sad as it may be, I know I have defiantly done that in the past.
However, despite all this raw and emotional stuff about love, there still is a lot of comedy, and humor that will have you chuckle. Theres crude dialogue, blunt descriptions of sex, and obviously an overkill of Star Wars and Comic book references, but it all pertains to the story, and shows how all these people live, and makes the subject material go more deeper and more accessible.
The whole cast, that was fairly un-known at the time, does a great job here. Ben Affleck in the main lead, as Holden, is kind of a deuchy character to begin with, but after awhile you get to see him as somebody more. There is one scene that really does show off his great emotional strive he can go into as an actor, where he is telling his love for Alyssa, and it seems so true and genuine. Joey Lauren Adams is perfect with the bisexual Alyssa. Her high-pitched voice may get annoying with some characters, but with her it adds on a lot more to her likability as female lead. She’s funny, raw, and overall very confused, just like any other woman in her shoes would be. The chemistry her and Affleck have feels genuine, and as the friendship builds up, you can feel the love between these two also build up. Jason Lee is also great as Affleck’s best friend, who is funny, but also jealous in a way of Affleck and his love for Alyssa.
I just wish there was so much more I could tell you how much I loved about this film. It will take you by surprise by how loving, touching, insightful, funny, and moving it really is. There is so much to see here, but don’t take my word for it, get out right now and go and see it.
Sorry guys no consensus, this is just too great for that.
Changes any sexual fantasies I had about Demi Moore, forever.
Lt. Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore), a Navy topographer chosen as a litmus test for women in combat. O’Neil trains with the elite but punishing Navy SEALs — and with a 60% dropout rate, no one expects her to succeed. But the steely-nerved and tightly muscled O’Neil attempts to prove everyone wrong. Viggo Mortensen co-stars as a crusty instructor who dishes out the grueling training regime.
A lot of people discarded this film due to its lack of an accurate portrayal of the Navy SEALS and their training- you can watch almost any documentary and will realize this is true, but who cares this is Hollywood! Where everything is totally wrong!
The screenplay is the one main thing that works, cause although it is still a big-blast summer action flick, the movie still has an idea. An idea that self-reliance, not self-pity, is the key to the feminist revolution, or any revolution. Ridley Scott directs this pick as if it were a documentary, showing the training, and how everything goes down behind closed doors, in the training, and the base itself.
The problem with this film is that there isn’t enough depth into this picture. The first part of the film raises the question as to if she’s going to make it or not, we already know the answer. But there were also parts that had to do with her sexuality, the love for her man back at home, or even the fact that she may have to go to war to fight. Some of these issues I wish were actually brought up, however, some of the stuff they had actually made it OK.
Demi Moore, is sometimes criticized for her mainly voice, and awkward body shape, however here she uses it to her advantage, and gives a great performance, probably her best. The role is demanding, using a lot of energy, strength, and muscle for the role, and Moore uses this all, even more. She looks the part, and can act the part, especially when she’s telling guys to “suck my dick”. Viggo Mortensen is good here as a guy that at first is a total d-bag, that you just wanna see get his ass beat, then, he’s suddenly a cool as hell dude.
Consensus: G.I. Jane doesn’t go far enough, but still features a great performance from Demi Moore, and an inspired script and direction from Ridley Scott.
What if I saw Obama getting bust too, I think I would be acting a little like Clint.
Cat burglar Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) finds himself in the president’s doghouse when he spies the chief executive (Gene Hackman) trysting with a trophy wife. When their rough romancing turns lethal, efforts to cover up the scandalous situation spiral violently out of control. Now, Luther must survive a desperate pursuit from the back streets of the nation’s capital to the halls of power.
I can’t lie when I say this, but Eastwood is one of the better actor turned directors, in the history of film. I mean he does make a film almost every year, but still he makes films that are entertaining enough, to where you aren’t bored with his films. This one here is no different.
While Absolute Power isn’t a particularly great thriller, it still was rather entertaining in a quiet sort of way. Maybe that was the problem, Eastwood’s little thriller about political abuse was more about Eastwood’s relationship with his estranged daughter, played professionally by Laura Linney, than about anything really exciting or original. If the film was just about the reconciliation of father and daughter, it might have worked more for me.
Also, the fact of a standing president being almost directly involved with a murder of a well known wife of the philanthropist that put him in office, all feels a little implausible and Eastwood just could not quite make it plausible.
The emotional stuff worked so well here it was hard to see it get tonned down, by the kind of unbelievable plot. It moves slow and at times, the film doesn’t quite focus on the main plot at hand, but overall the film sort of still works. I mean the things that really work, as I mentioned before, is that the film has a lot of good screen time dedicated to its characters. I thought it was cool to see how all these different people interacted with each other, and the believable dialogue that followed their conversations. The suspense does build up to the end, even though there is a pretty shallow ending.
Eastwood’s role here is still one of the highlights of the movie, cause he isn’t what you would expect from good ole’ Clint. He isn’t a grumpy-gilled, old man, instead he is very smart, and still has a lot of things in his life that he wishes he would have changed, and you can see that in his performance. The others in the cast are good to like Ed Harris playing his usual bad-ass self, and Laura Linney surprisingly bringing a lot of emotion to her character that I wasn’t expecting, but the big disappointment in this movie was Gene Hackman. I reviewed Welcome to Mooseport awhile back, and that film had Hackman playing the president, but it was a good performance, and it seemed like he had a lot of fun with it. Here, his screen-time was taken down, and his performance was too one-note. We only saw this president that was an asshole, and why would we ever want him nominated in the first place.
Consensus: Though it isn’t Eastwood’s best mostly due to its unbelievable story, Absolute Power still has great moments of emotion, suspense that works, and good performances, despite a disappointing Hackman performance.
Sometimes Woody Allen can be such a trip.
Self-absorbed novelist Harry Block (Woody Allen) sees his literary chickens come home to roost after he pens a roman à clef that offends, enrages and alienates everyone in his orbit. The film’s sterling cast also includes Elisabeth Shue as Harry’s ex-girlfriend, Kirstie Alley as his former spouse, Bob Balaban as his best pal and Judy Davis as the erstwhile sister-in-law who wants to murder Harry.
The central plot features Block driving to a university from which he was once thrown out, in order to receive an honorary degree. Three passengers accompany him on the journey: a prostitute, a friend, and his son, whom he has kidnapped from his divorced wife. However, there are many flashbacks, segments taken from Block’s writing, and interactions with his own fictional characters. The random cuts between fact and fiction may confuse some but once you understand the characters who are real and fake, then you’ll get the story.
A lot of this is taken from Woody Allen’s own life as sort of an autobiographical take, and I must say this is probably one of his most challenging, tragic, and mature work to date. This film still has his great writing that is witty and packed with many of his smart ideas about his own personal life and overall everything else in the world. There is a lot of dirty talk which I was very surprised about coming from an Allen film, and I think he hits the mark on how he uses his art to connect.
The jokes I had a huge problem with though, and its that it isn’t the smart way Woody Allen uses his jokes. Its too much about the stereotypes of Jewish people, and black people that kind of got old by the third act. Also, the joke of how Robin Williams was always out of focus was funny at first then they used the joke probably about 14 more times to the point where it became an annoyance.
The best thing about this film is its leading performance from the always great Woody Allen who basically takes this lead role, and make it into a real-life person. He captures the confusion, and depression of his characters life, and always seem real. Except that his character is such a dick and has messed his life up so much that its kind of hard to root for him and enjoy him when he’s on-screen. The film has a lot of good side performances but nothing memorable, except for probably the Billy Crystal who uses a lot of ad-lib between him and Allen, and is a great thing to see.
Consensus: Woody Allen doesn’t make his best work with Deconstructing Harry, but surely one his most mature work. Too many jokes seem out-of-place, and over-used, but with enough smart writing and a good central performance from Allen, its a pretty difficult enjoyable trip.
One of those sci-fi thrillers that actually mean something in today’s world.
With one eye on his lifelong dream of working in outer space, a genetically flawed but determined “In-Valid” (Ethan Hawke) hires a DNA broker (Tony Shalhoub) to help him obtain more desirable genetic material from a paralyzed man (Jude Law). In the process, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful “Valid” (Uma Thurman) with a heart defect.
One of the things about this film that may throw a lot of people at first sight, is that it does have an odd premise, and weird future of the world. But I can tell you one thing, do not let that spoil you, its something completely different.
I’m always against these odd sci-fi films cause quite frankly I feel like their all the same formula. But Gattaca here is an exception cause it poses the same question about idenities but in a slightly less harmful way. We get the story front up about this person and what he wants to do, and we see his whole story through his eyes and we get the sense of this person’s tragic life.
I liked the film most importantly for its message that it shows very well. It shows what our world is fast becoming and the lack of privacy we will have roughly 20 years from now. I like this movie however, because of the point it gets across so well: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It shows us that even with all the up-and-coming technology, intelligence and security improvements, one who is strong enough willed can still “beat the system”. I think the tag line for this movie says it all “There’s no gene for the human spirit”.
I think the film would have worked better as just a character study drama than the little thriller pieces it added on. Randomly by the end we had these slight bolts of tension that I don’t think quite worked, mostly cause the whole film was just based on watching these characters. Also, the film does get a bit slow in points, mostly just about them talking all this futuristic junk, but this did kind of break down my attention span.
The most engaging part of this movie here is the strong characters, along with the performances that inhabit them. Ethan Hawke does good job as playing our main protagonist, who in every way beats the system and tries to achieve his ultimate goal, and that comes out very well in this performance. The real shining star in the film is a younger Jude Law, who adds a lot of pizazz to his flat character, and makes him a lot more interesting that you want to see more of him. The only thing I wondered about him was if science was so intelligent why couldn’t he walk and still in a wheelchair? Just a question.
Consensus: With obvious little plot holes, Gattaca does a superb job at creating engaging and interesting characters that make this sci-fi trip a lot more believable, with a future that we may not be able to overcome, mostly due to the direction we are heading.
Proof that John Singleton can do other stuff than just gang films.
The film stars Ving Rhames who travels to the town of Rosewood, Florida, United States, and becomes a witness to the 1923 Rosewood massacre. The supporting cast includes Don Cheadle as Sylvester, a non-fictional character who also became witness to the atrocities, and Jon Voight, as a white store owner who inhabits a village near Rosewood. The three characters become entangled in a desperate attempt to save whomever they can from the rage of the racist whites of Rosewood.
Now when everybody thinks of John Singleton they always say one movie: Boyz N The Hood. Well, he makes one similar to that, but different setting and different time period.
African American History Month so I’m reviewing this film. This is another movie that makes me want to go out and beats up white people. This movie shows the violences that was displays by jealous people. And it uses a whole bunch of vicious violence, and murder to further the point that all these people wanted to do was kill black people.
The problem I had with this film is that it wasn’t powerful enough. We saw these black people and cheered them on hopefully to get away from the bad white people but we never get to know these black people other than their scared and were supposed to cheer them on. We never see them doing good deeds neither do we get any insight into what their lives are really like. The screenplay was written-well but I still found it to be cliched with lines when it came towards the end and actually getting to the heart of the story.
During some of the parts of the film I wondered, as did the film, how this was all going to turn out. Times, it felt like a straight-up race drama, but then it lingered on the lines of typical action epic. Towards the end of the film this surely showed with the pace up-tempo and violence that was right in your face.
The best thing of this film is its strong performances from the cast. I liked Voight as the only good white guy in the film and found him to be the one everybody else liked the most. But the film really is given to Rhames who brings out a strong performance as the main hero in this film, although he does not have those typical traits, and is fighting for something more, his race. I wish there was more of Don Cheadle in the film as he sort of disappears out of nowhere, and I had a problem with Michael Rooker who was sometimes a good cop, then turned into a bad cop, even though it seemed like he had enough sense to end this massacre.
Consensus: Singleton directs this film with his signature simplicity and strong enough performances to keep it alive, but doesn’t know whether to be a action flick or epic drama, and doesn’t quite have the strongest screenplay.
I highly doubt any of these guys would be cops at all.
When a local patrolman is implicated in a controversial shooting in a small New Jersey town, put-upon sheriff Freddy Heflin teams up with Lt. Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro) to investigate a connection between the mob and the NYPD officers who live in the town. Sylvester Stallone delivers a dramatic performance in this arresting crime thriller as Freddy. Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta also star.
Cop Land is a cop drama that is filled with a lot of those cliches that always rid every single cop film like this. The us vs them mentality, dirty cops, and most of all down-on-his luck cop. I mean I have seen this story plenty and plenty of times, and I just wish a bit more was added on to this film to make its story seem more and more fresh.
But the real reason for seeing this film is its rich plot. The story has plenty of twists and turns that actually keep you interested. The film doesn’t try to act like Goodfellas or The Godfather with its mob tie-ins, it more of acts like itself with some really nice set-up suspenseful scenes.
I liked how the film didn’t just try to show one story and just leave it at that. No, it had all these three exciting stories all having to do something with crime and justice, and putting them all together at the end. It actually felt like three NYPD Blues episodes put into one long film but it didn’t feel like a TV show and actually had a lot of depth added to it.
Sylvester Stallone totally gets rid of his macho action star look that he has done for so long in this rare but effective dramatic role. He gives this down-and-out cop we have seen time and time again, but adds an extra dimension to this character as we understand who he used to be and who he is now. The only problem I had with this huge ensemble cast is that not all of them were quite used as well as Stallone. I mean each does get a considerable amount of screen-time, but they aren’t as focused on as Stallone and I would have liked to see more of these characters lives instead of just one part of them.
The problem with this film by the end actually kind of killed the momentum it had going for it. I think the ending as predictable as it was, should have been made in a different far more realistic way. I mean its very very sappy, and doesn’t quite feel right in the film.
Consensus: Cop Land has its obvious cliches and bad ending, but features a fun and interesting story, backed by an effective dramatic performance from Stallone, but not enough time was given to the others in my opinion.
PT taking a page out of Tarantino’s book.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film charts the relationship between reckless youth John (John C. Reilly) and world-weary card shark Sydney (Philip Baker Hall), who takes John under his wing after showing him how to exploit the casinos’ perks. Years later, the surrogate father and son are successful gamblers until John falls for a cocktail waitress (Gwyneth Paltrow) and gets mixed up with a shady stranger (Samuel L. Jackson).
The film looks like as if its going to be your usual gambling drama film, but then suddenly switches into the mode of suspense thriller, which totally took me by suprise.
The one extraordinary thing that this film does is that it does focus so much on the thrilling aspect but on the characters at hand. PT Anderson gives us these interesting and compelling characters who from the get-go we know nothing about, but want to know so much more as the film goes on.
PT Anderson really does show off some of his best work here, as he uses the camera to make so many things work. For example, he uses the camera to move with the same action as somebody handing another person a paper, instead of just the usual thing in big-time Hollywood, and blowing it up. Also, there is a lot of very good writing here as it seems all so realistic as it goes along with the scene.
The problem with this film is that its pacing in the middle is a little off. The beginning is energetic and entertaining, but in the middle the film starts to drag. The ending I had a lot of problems with, one because it ends with this random bolt of violence that we don’t see once throughout the whole film until then, and two because it just seems like the big twist at the end was a little tacked on. I will say it did throw me off a bit, but it didn’t feel right in this story and just added on to put in more shocking things to happen.
Baker Hall is just without a doubt so mesmerizing in this role, and I’m just so surprised to see how some performance of this nature, and of this talent couldn’t land him any more big roles. Samuel L. is basically as crazy as usual but I would have liked to see more from his character until he just randomly starts more combustion near the end of the film.
Consensus: Hard Eight is an impressive debut from PT Anderson, with great performances, catchy writing, and a wonderful character study, but misses the mark with its pacing, and its random use of its ending.
If Philadelphia was a screwball comedy.
When dim-bulb actor Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon) wins an Oscar for playing a gay Marine, he outs his high school drama teacher, Howard Brackett (Kevin Kilne), in his acceptance speech. It all comes as a surprise to Howard — not to mention his long-suffering fiancée, Emily (Joan Cusack). With his wedding just days away, Howard’s under the gun to get everything (ahem) straightened out.
The film is basically a riff on Tom Hanks’ 1994 Oscar speech where he outed his own high-school teacher in front of the whole world. And for some reason I kind of wish it stayed that way.
This movie takes delight in poking fun at stereotypes of many varieties and does it all with a straight face (pardon the pun). There is no mean spirited about the film. Not every joke hits a perfect target, but when it does I laughed out loud.
That was my big problem with this film that a lot of the comedy didn’t actually feel like it hit the right mark it wanted to. The gay jokes kind of did get annoying and didn’t really change for me, and at times made the film even more excruciating to watch.
The film also takes a horrible and way too sympathetic ending that really did kill the movie for me. In my mind, the ending was just a cop-out for not having to show anymore gay things happen. Director Frank Oz has his heart in the right place but it doesn’t quite come out near the ending.
Kline gives a very funny and stellar performance here as Howard, and basically shows he can play the zaniest of characters. However, the best here really is Joan Cusack who every time is on the screen just really did make me laugh even more and more as the film went on. The screen-time for her wasn’t huge but with the time she was given she made the best of it.
Consensus: Doesn’t quite hit the mark with its humor and sympathy, but In & Out does feature funny performances from the cast, and some genuine funny moments that do hit the right spot.