Movie Reviews (701-750)
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A romantic comedy where even one of the sexiest males alive, Ben Affleck, doesn't stand a chance to have girl since she is gay.This makes it one of the better romantic comedies out there and it has great comic book and film references for the geek in us, but I always find the Silent Bob and Jason routine annoying in all the films I have seen from Kevin Smith and while they are more bearable here I still think the film would have been better without them.
Feels like a French love letter to American films and Paris but done in a documentary style. It is presented greatly but it is Anna Karina in the female lead that carries the film forward while the two leading men are no way as memorable. Blame it on Jean-Luc if the movie feel improvised, experimental or if things happened by fluke - it probably did.
Interesting surreal and sometimes disturbing thriller with imagery "stolen" from art and dreams. The basic idea is old, but good one about an invention that can solve a murder mystery by entering the mind of the killer. Excellent costumes and good design help a lot. There is even a deathtrap here that predicts the "Saw" craze a few years later on the cinematic road.
With it's frank and explicit language and a cast that consisted of mostly newcomers this film felt fresh and realistic when it first arrived on us unknowing people. The necrophilia scene in the movie is pretty tasteless though.
Addition to "Clerks" - it is a lost deleted scene that is animated and can be seen returned into the film as it was intended even if it was first done as a comic and later an animated short film, but beware it is a reason why it was deleted. It would easily have become the most vulgar and controversial moment in the film and the scene sticks out as a little out-of-place with the rest of the film even if it sticks out as a huge missing moment in the original film.
Former hostage negotiator Samuel L. Jackson takes hostages himself and Kevin Spacey try to solve the solution in a thriller that has such good ensemble that it makes you think the film is much more intelligent than it really is since the ending disappoints heavily. Would also have been better for the film if we didn't see the heroic rescue of the hostage girl at the beginning making us sympathize heavily with Samuel L and instead making him a mysterious person.
You get two teenage idols in one and the same film - Depp and DiCaprio. This was DiCaprio's true breakout role and he shines as a mentally challenged soon-to-be eighteen year old in a role that has given him his one and only Academy Award Nomination so far. It is beautifully shot by cinematography legend and Ingmar Bergman favorite Sven Nykvist. Mary Steenburgen also steals scenes as a femme fatale horny housewife.
A romantic comedy about two spy colleagues fighting over the same woman while trying to woo her by using cool gadgets. It has charming male leads in Chris Pine and Tom Hardy and some good funny moments especially when they sabotage each other's attempt to sleep with the girl. There are some single scenes that work very good like the paintball scene, but there is also that tired annoying older friend character that gives advice for no apparent reason and Reese Witherspoon do nothing in the film but smile and trying to charm herself through the film with no real personality to act with - just a horny woman who wants to try double dating. Would any woman in the right mind really be with anyone of these two rivals that have used any means to get her - except this girl? The action is also sloppy and a boring after-thought.
Claudia Cardinale in her prime with a lovely thick accent doing circus stunts is the main attraction in this movie about "accidents" happening in a circus. John Wayne just had to kick the "small person" in the butt, didn't he?
Class acting from Sam Rockwell in the leading role, Julia Roberts as a seductive dangerous spy and Rutger Hauer as a ruthless but charismatic killer. It looks good with a lot of sets, cars and costumes from the middle of 1960s to 1980s but it takes itself too light to be taken serious and too damn cruel and full of profanity to become too funny.
Heist movie with an ensemble that doesn't manage to leave any impression. The direction lacks inspiration and there is no true intensity, tension or urgency in the film. The dark "conspiracy plot" was easy to predict as I can count the years back to when Christopher Plummer was in his prime. It's potential is never achieved with this one.
Robert Duvall manage to make a difficult role as an outsider who become sympathetic and likable. It is inspired upon a true event / myth. Some great character drama and comedy and good historic atmosphere over it. I do end with an annoying "I confess my past and regrets to an entire crowd" sequence at the end that I dislike though.
Extraordinary concept and adaptation of a well thought-out novel about two men who meet on a train and one of them encourages the other to "swap" murders, "I kill your wife if you kill my father". Filled with Hitchcock's notable dark humor, a memorable ending and the usual visual finesse that one expect from the master director, but it is Robert Walker's memorable portrayal as the psychopath that steal every scene in what is his signature role.
The two most internationally known French-speaking male actors alive, Jean Reno and Gerard Depardieu star in the same movie together. It is a simple-minded but fun little story that doesn't harm anyone as they play two prisoners that end up as friends and partners and they repeat characters they have done throughout their careers. The first half before leaving prison is the best part of the movie while the last half is predictable as "more evil" guys and police chase our heroes in the streets.
Tense realistic-looking action movie which feels close to what actually happens in reality. While using unknowns and real Navy SEALS instead of known actors it also become a little more unpredictable who lives and who will die, but it would have been better had we gotten to know the characters a little bit more. Some excellent visuals and action sequences add to the experience.
Magic tricks and film are perfect combination together because both art forms are made to trick and twist people into believing they are watching something more believable and realistic than what is possible and here we are transported for a time into a world that we love to explore. This film is told in three different time periods demanding concentration but rewards those who keep their attention. Excellent production values, acting and direction as expected when you sit down to see a Christopher Nolan film and David Bowie has one of his best film roles as Tesla.
Basic premise and interesting version of the Hitchcock classic "Strangers on a Train" but with a big organization that control the murder-swapping business instead of two people agreeing to do it. Human feelings are non-existent and there is no way January Jones and Nicolas Cage are believable together as a married couple. Roger Donaldson's over-dramatic direction and overuse of flashback sequences and unintentional funny moments, especially the entire scene where a security guard closely follows the 'suspicious' purchase of a candy bar is enormously stupid. The final confrontation and showdown is also tired and typical in the genre ruining what could have been an okay film.
Reunites the stars and crew from one of the most bankable romantic comedies of all time, "Pretty Woman", 10 years later in a hope of repeating the success and it is a good choice because Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are still charming together. A good pop music soundtrack and the always reliable Joan Cusack in a supporting role help through a predictable and harmless romantic comedy that will surprise no one.
Rolling Stones on the top of their career, but also on their most downbeat and worst as they discover that someone has died while being on one of their concerts. A very memorable documentary that also showcases some of the band's best songs.
Disney has drawn Pocahontas into a memorable heroine and is recommended viewing to all those people who thought "Avatar" was an original story. Maybe a little too serious for the smallest kids and it lacks good songs and a strong climax.
If Alfred Hitchcock had ever made a sequel to his masterpiece "Psycho" and changed the point of view from the female victim to the killer's point of view I think the film would have looked something close to this one. Catherine Deneuve is excellent as both fragile and extremely dangerous in a performance that captivates from the first second. It has some captivating shots of surrealism, terror, gruesomeness and beauty in it. I like that the reason for the character going into the depth of hell are never truly explained even if there is hints. A great psychological study and one of Roman Polanski's best films.
The remake of "Straw Dogs" show that the story and content still can deliver some punches in the gut and it is nice to see James Marsden actually show little more of his acting skills after getting nothing to do in the "X-men" movies than to be smug and pose a little bit, but why did they change the location from England to the U.S and have rednecks as the bad guys making this feel more like a remake of "Deliverance" instead? It may have been an attempt to show the heroine in a "stronger" light but Kate Bosworth become too bitchy in her role and when she even hides her own rape from everyone because she doesn't want to admit she was wrong questioning her husband she loses all sympathy with me. I was also sad to see James Woods reduced to play a moronic aggressive sleazebag as he deserves much better roles. All in all this is a more stupid dumber version of the original where everything is told more clearly for those who didn't understand subtlety and the original film. Sam Peckinpah's film will withstand the passages of time - this one is already forgotten.
Really shows the D-day for what it was: a gory and uncensored bloodbath. Steven Spielberg's rescue story with all it's action set pieces feel brutally realistic and the excellent cinematography, editing and music never lets go. Only, the sentimental "old man remember the past" - wraparound segment that bookends and starts the film didn't work for me.
A superb concept about being trapped in an advanced arcade game / supercomputer. It was the first film that mixed computer generated effects, traditional animation and live action into something unique and the universe we are introduced to here has never been copied. I like the mix of cold bleak color on the people in this universe and the suits of either blue (for the heroes) or red (for the bad guys). That this film was disqualified from getting even an Academy Award Nomination for best visual effects because some idiots felt that using a computer were "cheating" must be on of the most stupidest things that has ever happened by the Academy too - we have gotten a lot longer now haven't we? The villain could have gotten a better demise though.
A sleazy, dark nun-explotation movie that spits in the face of religion and warns us about how people get exploited by it - and sometimes even those who say they are nice are actually worshiping Satan. Susan Hemingway is totally believable as a young adorable girl who gets forced into sexual acts with the Dark One himself. William Berger is one of the wicked, meanest and sickest priests ever put on film. Ana Zanatti is the best sleazy Susan Sarandon look-alike I have seen on film. This is one of Franco's best films actually and ends for once (unrealistically) happy for a Franco film.
Susan Hemingway and Esther Struder are chained up, stripped nude and forced into sex in this jungle prison movie that is Jesus Franco making a film about what he likes best: naked women. The acting is extremely weak and it has no plot to talk about. Disappointing film after just seeing him directing a film in top form from the previous year and with the same actress.
Jesus Franco continue to deliver nudity with "girls next door" in a S&M setting and since I'm a "dirty old man" I don't mind it. The last few minutes hint of the Franco of the old wicked times, but it is exactly what this film is: a rehash of themes and things that the director has done better many times before and the pace is like that of a snail's. Extremely boring film.
The voice of Boris Karloff make this a pleasant and cute holiday short about a creature who hate Christmas but ends up loving it. A classic of it's type.
If one ever was to learn your own children the power of classical music and ballet through an animated movie and create interest about the dance this is probably the best place to start. This Russian animated short is cute, powerful and feels not too long or short. The animations are memorable, especially the Evil Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince itself.
A surreal sexual "Alice in Wonderland" fairy tale for grown-ups about a girl coming-of-age with a fascinating and unafraid Cathryn Harrison in the leading role. A lot of symbolism and controversial moments that touch on incest and disturbing scenes of an old woman breastfeeding herself on a young girl's breasts. Unicorns and flowers that cry like small children add to the strangeness. Beautifully filmed by Sven Nykvist.
A few funny mistaken identity moments and fall stunts. Inspired wild chase and an over-the-top elevator crash through the roof is a memorable moment. One of the funnier shorts in my eyes from Keaton.
Buster Keaton doing multiple roles in a surreal dream even appearing as a monkey. The resolution is a little boring and I lost some interest in this short.
There is probably no one more unlucky and who have a worse maiden journey with a boat than Donald Duck or Buster Keaton so there is a lot of fun slapstick moments here. The 360 degree spin effect of the boat is a fantastic moment.
Some fun chase sequences like when Buster Keaton tries to escape down a slope and getting trapped in a tree and the hilarious absurd moment when he doesn't burn up in a fire - these moments make this short stand out over almost any comedies of today.
It stars funny with Keaton "behind" bars and a couple of good visual gags and while it has many similarities with "The Goat" and consist mostly of repeating chase sequences and predictable (but good) gags this one has a surprising "depressing" ending with Keaton's tombstone, his hat and the words "The end".
A fun idea at it's core with a surprise wedding, the wife from hell and a family of in-laws that one just want to avoid. Ruined by a predictable ending where everyone suddenly wants our hero's money and a boring chase sequence.
Buster Keaton always have the charm and rubber body to pull his silent comedies through even on a bad day as this short lacks that memorable scene that makes it stand apart from the rest of the better Keaton shorts and this feel more like the comedian on auto-pilot. Only the moment when a train crash to it's impending doom with the romantic pair on it seem inspired until it is revealed it was only a toy train.
Buster Keaton ruthlessly portraying a killer gunman who wrongly shoots down a married couple because he thought it was his own wife is so far out for a Keaton short and unpolitical correct that it becomes hugely funny and surreal. Sadly ends with an annoying "it was all a dream" at the end showing that Keaton didn't dare make this one of his darker efforts and maybe get problem with the censors in the process?
One of the classic ideas where Buster Keaton tries to show a "house with problems" is reused -but it still works and Keaton's new attempts at failed suicides is funny. What weakens this short is the missing footage that has been lost and one must hope someone has stacked up in an attic.
A varied short with a lot of different stunts and ideas. The ending is surprisingly downbeat but this one is also incomplete making you wish someone finds the whole short somewhere.
It is a likeable Keaton short where our hero tries to get the girl to like him in the wild nature after disappointing her in a theme park - and yes there is a twist with a balloon at the end that is good. While a little hit-and miss in the middle it never really disappoints.
The brutal fishing captain that throws everyone that makes a small mistake to the sea and to their deaths is a fun character but I hate it when the stories end up being another one of those bloody nightmares / day dreams / status quo endings so I have to warn everyone about the same before watching it.
Intriguing take on "Alice in Wonderland" from writer Neil Gaiman animated and directed by the unique Dave McKean who deliver graphics that are unique and unlike anything else shown on film. Sadly the characters are flat and the world feels too bleak for the youngest viewers.
A wise-cracking cat steals every scene he's in as we follow a witch delivering goods with her broom. It is a harmless, cute hand-drawn animated movie but I recommended skipping the English version as Kirsten Dunst deliver to my ears a flat voice performance compared to the Japanese soundtrack.
interesting mystic feel and a great quest story makes this one of the true epics from Studio Ghibli with tons of charming moments.
The obligatory female heroine and the cute pet try to save their world from collapsing but it goes a little overkill with the action at the end and made me lose some interest, but it is a fantastic film to behold that is certain.
The most wacky and psychedelic animated movie that Disney ever made but also brings all the greatest moments from the book into what is still the best filmed version of it. The worm that basically smokes opium would never pass the Disney censors today. A movie that prepares the child for more demanding and adult movies in future life and to be honest I'm sad it isn't that many films of this sort made.
A film that defies normal storytelling and combines elements of thriller, crime movie, folk music numbers and horror. It has an aura of realism through it too and memorable cinematography. While it's ending can be said to be predictable there is something natural about it as this is the only way it could and should end. Britt Ekland's nude dance is unforgettable, but I'm beyond angry and sad that the complete and longest version of the film is gone forever - destroyed by studio heads who hated it.
Extremely advanced storytelling technique for a silent movie. It has four parallel story lines told at the same time all taking place in different time periods but with the same themes. It is gripping and presented and acted in a way few silent films manage. So ahead of it's time and did things that directors and producers today don't even find time and money to make anymore because it is "too risky". A masterpiece not only for it's time but for all time.
Sean Connery said he would never do Bond again but he did in this American reboot and remake of "Thunderball". This film's biggest asset with the exception of Connery himself is the memorable Bond girls - Kim Basinger and Barbara Carrera and I like the villains too. Connery looked a lot better in health than Roger Moore did at the time and is a better film than some of the official ones in the series. Edward Fox is a sore thumb in the film though who behave more like a barking angry politician then as 007's boss and Rowan Atkinson is hugely embarrassing in a cameo role and the film drowns a little too much in underwater sequences to my liking. Still a good entry and I love the introduction.