This steaming pile of crap is premiering in high definition where I am, so this is the first time I'm seeing it. I know it's been out for some months now and I knew it was bad, but I had no idea. I feel I must warn the world about its existence. It is like a 2 hour-long infomercial with product placements for any brand dumb enough to be tricked into financing this disgusting heap of vile tripe. It is a celebration of all the superficiality of American consumerism, indeed of everything that is wrong with the world today. Stay away from this bomb, it will declare a ruthlessly efficient blitzkrieg on every one of your brain cells.
Beginning with Jackie Brown, Tarantino's slow decline from brilliantly original to vainly self-indulgent reaches a new low with Death Proof. What came across as quirky, off-beat and insightful in RD and PF becomes self-indulgent, vacuous and -quite simply- boring in this sub-par "exploitation" flick. Instead of memorable round-table discussions concerning the hidden meaning behind "Like a Virgin", here we are treated to mindless girly talk about boyfriends and making out. Instead of intense character conflicts concerning universal themes such as loyalty and honor, we get cheap thrills and kills. Unfortunately, DP is "proof" that Tarantino is running out of ideas to exploit. At least when he was doing it in the early nineties, there was some originality to it.
A gun-shot gumshoe stumbles upon a secluded villa inhabited by a certifiably insane, incestuous, sadomasochistic mother-daughter couple. The daughter straps him down and administers high electric voltage through his forehead, while the mother rides his convulsing pelvis and then proceeds to cool him down with a golden shower. Then things get weird...
I won't give you a play by play of this sick and twisted piece of European cinema. If you're simply interested in seeing some of the most extreme S&M stuff ever put on cinema, then by all means see it. However, if you're looking for a little bit more than that, then you might be left wondering "what was the point of all this?" Interesting themes are developed in this film, such as the omnipresence of the absentee father who is the root cause of the womens' insanity, the gumshoe's Pygmalion-like stubborn attempt to "rescue" the girl from her predicament, the mother-daughter rivalry with the inevitable matricide, death as liberation from the misery of life. But none of these themes are adequately fleshed out, making the plot feel disjointed and incomplete.
Some of the scenes in Singapore Sling would make Marquis de Sade proud, but Nikolaidis' storytelling would make Pasolini wince. Still, the movie is competently directed and photographed and overall is worth a look. Just don't eat anything before you watch it. You'll thank me later.
Once in a great while you walk into a theatre with low expectations and you leave pleasantly surprised. "No Man's Land" was like that for me.
Superbly written and directed, "No Man's Land" deals with a complicated subject with stinging humor and great moments of drama. My only reservation is with the character that spends the length of the movie lying on his back on a mine. I can't help but think that this movie would be a masterpiece if only the writer/director had made an effort to make him more sympathetic. As it is, I didn't feel very sorry for him. Still, a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Tanevic and yet another fine product of the former Yugoslav school of cinema.
How do you make a film about one of the greatest generals of all time leading a dazzling military campaign that led to the conquest of the known world? If you're Oliver Stone you don't. Instead you treat your viewers to an intimate psychological profile of the man: how he thought, what moved him, what were his dreams and aspirations. Sound boring? That's because it is. But that doesn't mean that it's not interesting. If anything, Oliver Stone proved that he has the balls -so to speak- to push the envelope, scoffing at -mostly American- viewers' latent homophobia. Well, historical evidence seems to point that he was in fact bisexual. Why is that a big deal? Mainly because Stone allowed it to become a big deal. For crying out loud Oliver, he wasn't just a bisexual -or "pansexual"- King who loved another man. He conquered the freaking world and all you offer us is two battles. Gloriously directed as they were, they are not enough to give us a sense that Alexander was in fact "Great". Stone let Alexander the person dominate the film, when he should have balanced him out with Alexander the soldier. In anticipation for the Final Cut DVD, I'm giving this a 7. Then I'll adjust my vote accordingly.
The Virgin Mary is the deus ex machina in the four storylines of this ambitious Greek art film. August 15 is the day of the Dormition of the Virgin in the Orthodox calendar, but for Athenians it is little more than an excuse to leave the city for the countryside. Four social classes are represented -the nouveau riche, the middle class, the working class and the sizeable "scrounging class" of Athens- and the director does an excellent job of delving into the characters. The young hitchhiker, the car mechanic, the lady on the highway who gets run over and the young girl at the end are the manifestations of the Virgin who change the course of the four plot lines. Some inexplicable endings, however, left me unfulfilled and disappointed. Some might say that's what the director intended, but I say hogwash. This great movie seems incomplete.
It's hard to comment on this adaptation objectively if you've already seen the terrific "Abre los Ojos." It's hard to make an already well-told, well-directed and well-acted story any better, and that was Crowe's most challenging task. It was a lost cause to begin with. See the orignal if you haven't already.
One scene in this movie sums up the entire experience of "Moulin Rouge": The gleeful throng gathered at the Moulin Rouge/nightclub dances frenetically to a techno beat and breaks out into a chorus from Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Here we are now/Entertain us." Kurt Cobain had something like this in mind when he wrote that song. Today's audiences would flock to see any piece of crap that is promoted. Not only that, they will eat it up and call it ice cream.
I'm not sure if Baz Luhrman made this movie deliberately to raise this rather intriguing issue or if this is simply the worst movie ever made. At times it feels as if he's poking fun at the indulgent, extravagant excess that is today's pop culture or if he is a part of it. Maybe it's both. I found this ambiguity interesting and watched the entire movie, even though half the audience walked out during the first twenty minutes. If anything, the positive comments on this board prove that people today will put up with anything to be entertained. See this movie and judge for yourself.
In the past decade there have been a string of movies trying to define dating and relationships in the 90s. Chalk it under America's preoccupation with compartmentalizing trends and pop culture in easy to file time periods. The "turbulent 60's", the 70's "me decade", the "Reagan 80's." What do we do with the 90s? This movie thinks it has the answer. Apparently, the genders are at war and sex is something that happens after consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Lots of post-feminist feminist angst and confused males struggling to exhibit an aggressive attitude within the confines of the female-dictated political correctness. Welcome to the "cynical 90s." Now aren't you glad they're over?
This movie is definitely worth watching. Interesting, different, absorbing and even funny.
However, what I was trying to figure out after walking out of the theater was not the confusing plotline (It's easier to follow when you know what to expect), but rather this: would the movie be interesting if it was not presented backwards.
Although it's a good effort, I can't shake the idea that this movie is more of a gimmick than a serious study in relativism, as many will have you believe.
It wasn't that bad really, just a little misguided.
This movie had all the earmarks of becoming a nice parody of East Coast aristocracy, but instead turned into a gumdrop chick-flick centered around a milk-toast teenage girl who falls in love with one of the gayest "rockers" I've ever seen.
Still, it's pretty insightful and clever. It deserves a better rating.
Stone is always good at writing and directing engaging drama. There's always a strong conflict of ideas in his films and this one is no exception.
However, he's going way over-board with his camera antics. I can understand the hand-held camera shots at the line of scrimmage, but he does the same with nearly every scene. C'mon, do we really need hand-held close ups of Pacino when he's having a simple conversation with Quaid. After a while you feel like pulling a Jamie Foxx and throwing up in the theater with all the motion sickness.
My other gripes about this film are petty and not worth mentioning. Overall, I felt like Stone settled for a field goal rather than going for the TD.
"Futurama" started off slow but it is definitely improving. Groening hasn't lost his touch for subtle -and not so subtle- social commentary (even though the show is situated a thousand years from now, in New New York!) and he still garners an undying love for characters with glaring personality flaws. Dysfunctional and proud of it!
We could talk about similarities with the Simpsons until the cows come home, but really Futurama should be enjoyed for what it is: a great half-hour .
Lynch has created a wonderfully elegaic and lyrical world out of the cornfields of Iowa. It is a part of America that is forgotten, struggling to keep its identity in a modern world, much like the main character. Certainly a welcome change from the blood and guts movies we're used to in the nineties. This is good evidence that you don't necessarily need violence or sex in a movie to make it poignant.
Fincher punches you in the nose, kicks you in the ribs, tells you a joke while he's picking you up, and hits you again.
I've never had a movie experience like this before. Creepy, dark, brutal, funny and ultimately dangerous and subversive. This movie is a complete and total affront to the Western capitalist system we live in. Many feminists I know have argued that it is a disgusting "dick flick", a testosterone overdose, but most viewers will see much more to this movie. Pay extra attention! There are subliminal messages in the first act that flash for a split second. Keep your eyes peeled.
A confusing and dizzying collection of stories that leaves you wondering: should I leave the theater or should I stay?
I chose to stay despite the movie. The plot had no focus at all and it seemed like a collection of half-baked ideas and Animal-House style pranks and gags. Did Kusturica really expect us to care about characters that are the Yugoslavian equivalent of American white trash? I'm being kind, the characters were obscene caricatures, thoroughly unappealing. I enjoy a good farce like the next guy, but this was B-A-D and not in a good way.
Call me uncultured, but I don't care about movies whose only merit is that it comes from a different culture. Give me a reason to like your movie, Mr. Kusturica.
The most politically inclined and intellectual viewer would analyze this movie as a political satire, and they would be right. However, this movie is more enjoyable if seen as a road movie and a look at America through the eyes of a foreigner. Funny and poignant.
I've always admired Yugoslavian filmmakers, but what bothered me was their dark outlook on life. I guess I can't blame them, they've been at war for 10 years and everyone in the world thinks they're bloodthirsty monsters. Still, I believe the real triumph is to find the good in evil. The reason why I think this is one of the best movies that deals with the Balkans is because it focuses on ethnic strife, but is made with a nostalgic longing for the past and a hope for the future. Through all the death that is foreshadowed in the last part of the movie, what I will remember is the image of the sheep being born. Beautifully elegaic.
I'm sure you already know what this movie is all about. You've probably read reviews like "the scariest thing since the exorcist." Not quite, but it's different. If you haven't seen it on the big screen, don't bother. You can wait till it gets released on video. The entire movie is shot with 16mm cameras and it would actually be better on the small screen.
I was skeptical about Kubrick's willingness to explore human feelings and desires, but he does it in this film. Definitely a film that fits well in his repertoire, I'd say it even completes it. Kubrick fans will not be disappointed, neither will Tom Cruise fans.
Take out your thesaurus and look up the synonyms for: stylish, slick, engaging, and you can begin to describe this movie.
Luc Besson retells Pygmalion in such a way that it seems truly original. His directing is truly a work of art; simply fascinating, like Kubrick with a heart. The soundtrack is absolutely magnificent. There is not a boring scene in this movie. I'm sure Tarantino got his Winston Wolfe idea in "Pulp Fiction" from Jean Reno's "Cleaner."
For all the lovers of action films, you will not be disappointed with this amazing tour-de-force.
As far as documentaries go, this one is the best. Shot over a period of four years, the director does a masterful job of presenting the lives and dreams of two young kids in the Chicago ghetto. But this movie goes beyond that. We get to see just how important it is for a young black kid to dream of playing in the NBA. It is the only way for these youths to escape the cycle of poverty, to make their families proud and to be respected in a white man's world. Both William Gates and Arthur Agee start at the same level. They both get partial scholarships from the prestigious St. Joseph's high, they both have the same amount of talent, they come from the same background. But fate has different paths in store for them. Gates lucks out and gets a sponsorship that would allow him to finish his education at St. Joe's. Agee does not show improvement, no-one seems to believe in him either and he is kicked out when his parents cannot pay for half the tuition. High hopes are pinned on Gates. The director does a terrific job of coming again and again back to Isiah Thomas'-the famous St. Joe alum- trophy case. He is the ghost that constantly haunts Gates. The young boy is under a great amount of pressure to succeed, from his coach, from the school, from his brother -the former basketball star who never made it big-, his mother. A knee injury makes him lose his confidence and his hopes of playing in the NBA are lost. Agee, on the other hand, is thrown back in the gutter. No one thinks he will ever make it big after leaving St. Joe's. He is tempted by drugs and gangs, his father abandons them at a very critical time, his mother loses her job. He no longer dreams of playing in the NBA. He still plays ball for Marshall, a poor inner-city school. Through another twist of fate, he leads his school to a miracle run in the state championships in his senior year and all of a sudden he can dream again. I'm giving all these details because I know this documentary is worth watching. It's not just an insight in African-American culture, but also a story of two kids who you can root for, and perhaps even see a part of your life in them. I was genuinely touched and moved. Congratulations to whoever made this documentary.
I love road movies and I have seen just about every one that has come out in the nineties. Love and a .45 rates above Lewis & Clark & George, but definitely below U Turn and Natural Born Killers.
I've noticed that biggest problem filmmakers have with this genre is ending the movie. This one is no exception. The climax has nothing new and is actually kind of corny, not to mention the rip on Tarantino and John Woo with the three-way gun pointing (you'll understand when you see the movie). Nevertheless, it's still worth a watch if you are a lover of the genre. 7/10.
For the record, I rented this movie to see Penelope Cruz speak English. As for the story I didn't expect much and didn't get much.
It starts out good: men fighting, challenging each other, driving the cattle. I felt like smoking a cigarette, although I hardly need an excuse. The movie had promise. An interesting conflict developed between Harrelson, who played the conservative poor cowboy reluctant to give up the old ways of cattlin' and chewin' tabacca, and Sam Elliot, the rich land and cattle owner who believed everyone had a price. As the movie seemed to develop this tradition vs. progress theme, it sort of collapsed. Sam Elliot faded from the plot and it turned into a conflict between brothers and friends. Too bad.
By the way, Penelope Cruz needs to work on her English if she is to have a Hollywood career. Even so, I'd rather see her in Spanish films.