Movie Reviews (601-650)
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An engaging crime mystery with supernatural overtones that is more believable than a lot of those other mass-produced horror films out there. Cate Blanchett works perfect as a psychic medium and Katie Holmes do the most believable role in her career as "white trashy girl". Sadly the killer is a little obvious killer and should have been a bigger surprise than it manage to be.
The Ups: The best of the best of British actors are gathered to play the Roman elite who keep slaves for pleasure and for entertainment, but American Kirk Douglas rebel and get all his followers to scream out "I am Spartacus" - one of the memorable movie quotes and scenes of all time. A good film with a deep meaning and the only Stanley Kubrick film that actually seem to have gone through a Hollywood compromise. Could probably have needed one extra battle sequence in order to show Spartacus in a better light as a military leader, but still this is a epic film that deliver moments after moments of great scenes.
A very influential erotic thriller genre. It has excellent photography, music and good acting made the film better than the story is, especially Michael Douglas is perfectly cast as a dirty old "pig" and Sharon Stone is memorable as icy love lust object, but my favorite is Jeanne Tripplehorn as the poor girl who gets sidelined and date-raped. Only the ending is annoying obviously put there for a potential sequel.
A little bit funny and little bit charming, mainly for the fact that Robert De Niro have fun with all the mobster roles that made him famous as he goes to his head shrink, Billy Crystal, who is also surprisingly acceptable here. A solid spoof that "The Sopranos" did amazingly enough seriously on TV the same year.
A completely unnecessary sequel that ruin the impact of the original. It was only fun for the actors so they could have a couple of extra weeks together hanging out and having a ball trying to make some extra quids out of it. Mostly embarassing for everyone else and the jokes fall flat on it's face.
There are very few big budgeted animated movies about colorful fishes in the sea and the threats there - it almost feel like a completely new universe to explore. Even Pixar will have a hard time to top this film that has many fun moments and is good fun for the entire family.
A romantic story that manage to challenge the mind and show a complex mystery that takes some different paths. Visually it is a nice package of cute and dark moments delivered like a bag of M&M's.
Without a doubt one of the best dragon movies out there as it present a varied group of unique dragons with different fun personalities. Likable human characters for a change in an animation movie too and the village and background design is also believable for a Norwegian style village. Story has the typical problematic relationship with a parent and a kid who don't understand each other and there is some moralistic storytelling to it - but luckily it doesn't drown the film.
David Lynch returned to his dark surrealistic fantasies and weird secretive characters. It is as close a companion piece to "Twin Peaks" that we will ever come on film and is filled with excellent acting. Surrealism, dream landscapes and wacko twists that only Lynch can deliver. Great music and a haunting atmosphere too and a lesbian scene that is out of this world. That this was a TV pilot with the potential for countless hours of great entertainment is enticing but then again there could only have been cable TV that could have embraced this kind of show to begin with - and in a way this film is even better for being just that. A masterpiece in dream-filled surrealism with meaning.
A good gimmick idea about a person born into the world as an old man and living life in opposite direction to other people. Brad Pitt is not that half-bad as the old Benjamin Button and manage to sell the old man's make-up too. It is manipulative enough that it actually twist a few tears of me at the end, but it doesn't break any new ground as a typical romantic drama and doesn't it feel a tiny bit disturbing during the old man/small girl situations for comfort?
The film that made Morgan Freeman an important actor in Hollywood even if he play the kind of stereotypical role that white upper-class people tend to like from dark-skinned people in Hollywood films (as servants!!!). Hans Zimmer has made a sweet memorable tune to the film and there is a light touch over it that makes it very sweet, but it is also uneventful and afraid to comment on anything important and interesting like prejudice, class conflicts or racism in any depth so the film is a very harmless film to say the least.
Laurence Olivier do a tour de force as both Richard III and as a visual director with this beautiful Technicolor Shakespeare drama topped with quality support.
Any film where you put an out-of-this-world gorgeous woman called Mathilda May in it and let her perform the entire film in the nude as a newborn baby is an instant classic. Tobe Hooper make an extreme update of the sci fi classic "Quatermass and the Pit" but with more light effects, strange makeup and the already mentioned nudity. Probably the last really watchable film that Tobe Hooper has put together that I know of.
Gives you the chance to see the notorious sex scene between Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg (and for added orgy fun) and Michele Breton that ruined Anita's relationship with that other Rolling Stone fellow, Keith Richards. The surrealistic quality of the editing makes one question when dream, illusions or reality begin. Harsh treatment from moral people and producers at WB made this film one of the most talked about and notoriously censored films of all time and therefor worth a watch by anyone seeing what all the fuzz was about.
Based upon the novel about a schoolboy class stranded on an island with all the adults killed. It is filmed in style as a documentary with only natural sound and un-actors making it feel like a very real film.
Film noir thriller that feels real and doesn't have that artificial studio feel that was normal at that time. I like the story that not only is a manhunt to catch a killer, played by a very young Jack Palance, but also a race against time in order to stop him to become a walking death virus. Only the scenes where we follow Richard Widmark in his private life with his wife drags down the film and doesn't add anything interesting to the film.
"The Mummy" is rebooted as a "Indiana Jones" movie but with more comedy and effects that takes no time to let the suspense and effects breathe. John Hannah is excellent in a thankless supporting role, but main hero Brendan Fraser misses many times with his comedic timing.
The Egyptian girl fight with Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez is the best new and good thing about the film as the entire film is effect overkill after overkill and one of the worst CGI effects ever put on film we see here - The Scorpion King. What charm existed is replaced with stressing action set-pieces. and there is an annoying kid added. Terrible sequel from beginning to end.
Refreshing new location as the explorer family leaves Egypt for China and favorite fighter babe Michelle Yeoh is a nice new addition for this film. It is the first film that actually gives the action more time to breathe so it is then sad that this script is also the worst of the trilogy. Maria Bello is the weakest link - she is no good replacement for Rachel Weisz and a major disappointment in the role. And where is the Dragon? DISAPPOINTED!!!
Kurt Russell IS STILL Snake!!! (the entire reason for the greatest game series "Metal Gear Solid" to exist). Cliff Robertson play a good Christian-crazy President. Love the cool updated title music, but sadly the rest of the film feels like a scene-for-scene copy of the original but with new terrible adjustments so it is to appeal to a kiddie audience. The worst is a surfing scene that was the worst of it's type until "Die Another Day" kicked it off it's throne. One of the most unbelievably bad showdowns put on film too where our hero and his friends come down shooting on the villains from slow-moving flying hang-gliders as sitting ducks - the heroes should have been easily killed. Inferior in almost every single scene and even Kurt seem to lack passion at the project in the end. A huge missed opportunity.
All good friendship come over a pint of Guinness and I love that the Irish people has the same black humor as me - at least this film has it. A great film about an unpolitical correct copper with a free spirit and mouth. Superior cast, but Brendan Gleeson is the whole film here. Only, the scenes with the mother (even if Fionnula Flanagan is always a solid presence) drag the pace of the film and is not as good as they could have been.
Bright colors and fast-paced editing makes it easy to be hypnotized and paralyzed of the movie. It is an burlesque orgy where Set decor and costumes are top notch. The pairing of Kidman and McGregor works and it has a energetic pace that never loses it's grip. Sometimes goes so fast in pace that one could almost believe it was directed by someone with a short-term attention disorder. It is also pretty confusing in the beginning before my brain adapt to the mayhem and insanity of it all. The actors also are deliberately over-the-top which can be hard to accept in it's first viewings. A film that grows upon the viewer and gets better on the second viewing.
Excellent atmosphere with great "old" music hits and acting that is top notch. The direction has the usual high quality that we are used to get from Martin Scorsese. It demands more viewing in order to get all details and understand every character motives and there is a lot of information through the narration in the movie making this a thinking man's mafia movie that demands all my attention as it's like a filmed novel.
Supersleazy prison movie with Laura Gemser returning as Emanuelle who gets side-lined in her own film as this film has every inmate and jailer participating in twisted naughty stuff and being cruel bastards. Fast edits, hateful dialogue and insane twists make it impossible not to be entertained in a way few other bad films manage to be.
Sam Rockwell does a very good role of a white angry man that gets convicted for a murder with no real proof. It is a solid true story and a solid film about fighting the system that treats you unfair and unjust. It is a story seen many times before and it all goes predictable at the end with a "TV Film" of the week feel to it. Still the acting makes me continuing watching it to the end.
A seriously twisted love story where assassin Dennis Hopper falls in love with his intended murder victim Jodie Foster and her naked melons. John Turturro steals the show seemingly channeling the spirit of the dead Harold Lloyd. The great Vincent Price get to play a mafia boss in a small cameo too. But, I want to see the director's cut even if it is enormously flawed and twisted since those fucking Hollywood producers decided we weren't fit for it as this version miss at least one hour from it's narrative and has huge plot holes and strange character motivations due to it.
Remake of "Manhunter" but now with it's proper book title so everyone manage to "find it" and with the "correct" Hannibal as Anthony Hopkins get to finish his Hannibal-trilogy by doing this prequel to "Silence of the Lambs". Even with a bigger budget and glossier cinematography it feels like a recreation of the best moments from Michael Mann's film and doesn't do anything new with the material. It also annoys me that this version add the "serial killer attacks his enemy's family" ending. Edward Norton also seem too young and "inexperienced" to the role compared to William Petersen phenomenal take on the role. Sadly, Brett Ratner is no visionary like Michael Mann and this is just an acceptable different take on the story. See the original and best instead.
A gruesome account of what happens to a person in war and during the Communist Soviet Union. It is an okay "biography" of how Hannibal became a killer written by the writer of the character, but why do all psychopaths and evil villains need to have a tragic childhood and how is it possible to see past the introduction when he kills his baby sister? Terrible acting by the lead actor too and the movie seem more made for shock value and gore than for class like the other films about Hannibal.
Atmospheric Gothic Mario Bavia horror film has great castle interiors and his usual atmospheric touch. It is a movie clearly made to Vincent Price's talents but Joseph Cotten do an okay replacement as he clearly enjoys his time in the spotlight as a baddie. Sadly some of the story drags like the baron's corpse and Elke Sommer's hysterical screams annoy. Leading actor Antonio Cantafora will also never win any price for his acting.
Musical full of ABBA hits which never goes out of fashion and filmed in beautiful Greek location that make you want to go on vacation at once is the highlights of this romantic film. Except only that Pierce Brosnan can't sing and have to flash his pretty white teeth instead to compensate and that it has no surprises in the main story.
An excellent idea about oconvicted Norwegian spy Arne Treholt who was framed in a conspiracy and was actually a super Ninja that did assignments for the king. Mads Ousdal is a dead-on as Arne Treholt with a great screen presence and the film had a great marketing campaign which made me think this could be a epic film. I starts good with some news footage of real events to build up the story to make me come into the mood, but when the film has no budget with home-made CGI effects done in the basement, pathetic improvised action and unfunny jokes it becomes a major disappointment. The editing is also very confusing and I have seen better films put together on the internet by fan boys. The worst thing is that I really wanted to love this one and it clearly wasn't up to anything good.
Animated fantasy with a darker edge to it and a likeable title song, but not much really happens. The animation varies between good to poor and the film is dragged down by lackluster songs. Christopher Lee, Angela Landsbury and Mia Farrow do nice voice work but this is mainly for fans of the book and animation.
One of the better introductions to an action movie as it is inspired by Tarantino's long movie speeches and let John Travolta shine. Hugh Jackman do another of his sympathetic heroes but end up being the most forgettable thing about the film as he is overshadowed by Halle Berry's tits. A scene with Jackman getting a gun to the head while getting "A head" while trying to crack a password is insane and unintentionally hilarious. Film is also filled with overlong chase sequences and after the excellent dialogue at the beginning the film lacks anything good from the character's lips. Okay for a watch but that is that.
A glossy sailing experience with excellent sea battles. Gregory Peck grows into the role after a while as the title hero, but this film shouldn't have tried to cram three stories into one.
This film has a cute quirkiness to it that makes it better than most "coming of age" films and has a visual style that make it pleasing to watch. British wit is much more funnier than the banal easy American teenage comedies when all comes down to it.
The Ups: Unique mix of traditional crime movie and high tech technology shaked with a little sex - yes, please, but why do Hollywood films always need to partner two cops that are so unique and different that it could only work in this kind of fiction? Sadly, the true killer is a little obvious, especially when one see the cast list.
A horror movie that deserve it's success and made Vincent Price the leading star of Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic stories. Price is excellent here with dyed white hair and a role where it's uncertain if his character really is mad or he tells the truth as no one make better sympathetic villains than him. He steals the film and only the transformation of the female character at the end really stands out. There is some incestuous themes here too that is pretty disturbing when one start to think about it. Weaknesses is Les Baxter's music that becomes lightly annoying in some places and the surreal nightmare sequences is outdated and lack any punch.
Catastrophe movie where Stacy Ferguson (Fergie) is no longer a star singer and instead sings bad tunes on a cruise boat where she eventually will die sinking together with the fish. Sadly, there are too few A-list stars to really qualify as one of the funnier and memorable "spot the death of the famous actor" films in the genre and the film is pretty repetitive as there is just set pieces after set pieces where people die gruesome deaths. A fun companion to Wolfgang Petersen's "The Perfect Storm" though.
Creepy birds give a Good atmosphere to this "when birds attack" horror movie. Teppi Hedren show already in the first scene why sometimes the mother outshine the daughter, but I find Suzanne Pleshette as the most gorgeous one as the teacher you wish you had in school but never saw there. Rod Taylor is also underrated in an excellent supporting role at the height of his career. Some dated effects will provide a laugh on teenagers that don't know better and think computers have exited since the beginning of time but I like them and see them as a cool cinematic touch.
Three horror stories for the price of one. One of them star Boris Karloff and the film is also introduced by him making this essential for his fans. All three stories have different type of atmospheric styles too - one is a psychological thriller, one a ordinary thriller and one is pure Gothic horror. There is a lot of beautiful European starlets in distress and I like that it doesn't take itself too seriously - which we especially can see in the film's priceless final shot. A favorite anthology movie, but be careful to see the original version as the order of how the stories were told was changed in America so that the darkest story was shown first and not last.
Vincent Price play one of these great over-the-top organ-playing villains that try to kill his enemies by using the Old Testament as the blueprint. Virgina North is perfectly cast as his sexy companion. It's tongue-in-cheek approach worth a watch even if Dr. Phibes should have left his revenge plans as he has such a sexy helper that there is no way he could have forgotten his wife being dead. Still, pure fun.
Absorbing crime mystery with memorable death scenes and a room full of suspects. Creative way to expose the killer with a mirror at the end too. It saddens me to learn that director Torino Valeni only did one movie of this kind as he show with this movie that he really had a talent for it.
Classic Argento, classic giallo. The death set pieces builds up and are beautifully shot and still grisly and bloody and are memorable like when one murder victim is forced to eat the pages from a book and another one sprays her blood up the walls after getting her arm chopped off and getting axed to death. John Saxon is likable in a supporting role and the film is filled with memorable music from Goblin. One of the better "who dunnit's" where everyone is a suspect. It is also one of the better acted films in the genre. It is a grisly film though.
The usual high quality animation that one expect from Disney as they make a science fiction version of "Treasure Island". I like the film and especially that the film lacks singing numbers. The first race sequence from the police was even ripped by J.J. Abrams for the "Star Trek" reboot. It goes out of steam during it's mid part though and the over-familiar story may make some people bored.
Christina Lindberg with an eyepatch take a shotgun and shoot away bad guy in one of the grimmest and most disturbing rape-revenge stories as she plays a young girl sold to a prostitution ring. Even if it is technically inept in it's action sequences, has lousy editing and badly acted the memory of Lindberg is etched into my brain. A full-on porno version is weak as it's only edited-in body-doubles that had nothing to do with the real production and should be skipped.
Sleazy nun-exploitation helped by the fact that the actresses look great but Mario Cutini is a rotten leading actor and the script is lousy written.
Another sleaze party movie from Jesus Franco where it is only one reason for this movie existing: to show European babes naked. It looks by the way fantastic and has great location work. Decent enough ending and surprisingly one of the better films he did during the 1980s.
The first few minutes of this movie is among the best Franco has ever done as he really gets into his fetisch: female whipping. Jesus Franco sleazes around as a psychopatic priest and tries to have intercourse with his former niece.
Jesus Franco's best photographed films and Soledad Miranda is a gorgeous vampire. The psychodelic jazzmusic add to the fun. Among his best films but a better editing would have done wonders.
Martine Stedil is a hot Euro German blonde after my taste who undresses a lot, but there is nothing Swedish about her or other slaves and they ain't nympho either. Instead this is another of Franco's sex fever dreams where he forces his spouse and several other girls to take off clothes and perform in soft sex scenes while the story is improvised on the spot.
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