daffyphack

IMDb member since June 1999
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Reviews

The Glass House
(2001)

I dunno...
You know, I'm under the impression that most people just wait to find out what the critics think, and they hop on that bandwagon. Same people who act like they think "Mulholland Drive" is the greatest movie ever also say the same thing about "Shrek", and if you compare the two, you know that's bull. Which brings me to this movie. Granted, it's not art. Not by any stretch of the imagination...but it's not a bad movie. It's not the most exciting thriller I've ever seen, but it was fun. Maybe the dialogue wasn't great, but it was visually pretty impressive. Don't just hop on the bandwagon, have your own opinion. Sheep don't always follow shepherds. Sometimes they'll just follow other sheep.

Resident Evil
(2002)

"Take him to the nemesis project."
Bollicks to you, Glacier. You talk as if a midget with brass knuckles was punching you in the balls during the duration of the movie. I'll agree with anyone who says this film wasn't art, but it was NOT a bad movie. I'm not gonna nominate it for an Oscar, but it was entertaining, and much more so than "Tomb Raider." And before we get into the "you don't know the game" issue, let it be known that I am a diehard fanatic of the Resident Evil series, having played all of the games, owning two, and having beaten both "2" and "Veronica". The game itself consists of walking around rooms being frightened by sounds, and very often there isn't much zombie fighting involved. Granted, ninja kicks to the heads of Dobermans forced my eyebrow to rise a little, but I let it pass, especially once they showed the Licker (only complaint I have is that such a weak character would be made into the "boss"). The special effects weren't great, and I found myself chuckling to myself at the sight of the zombies, but what got me into the film was the constant ambience. It played just like the game, with more moments where you're scared of the silence than gunplay against approaching zombies. As for accuracy to the game, it's not all there (if it was, they'd be able to hold eight guns at a time, and eat plants to cure their wounds), but as it is a prequel, it doesn't have much to stick to anyway. The beginning introductions were accurate, and the ending was seamless, as well as being extremely creepy. And while I had expected to hate this movie, as video game transitions typically suck eggs (i.e. Super Mario Bros), I was very pleasantly surprised, and while I can't repeat enough that I wasn't blown away by the depth or artistry involved with the film, it was a good, mindless, lets-shoot-the-hell-out-of-some-zombies movie. And if this series which seems like it's gonna sprout is true AND chronological, it's only gonna get cooler. Anyone who remembers a specific line from the end of the movie, and knows what it's referring to...you know I'm right.

American Psycho
(2000)

99% brilliant
I saw this movie when it first came out, and there were over twenty people in the theater, including me and my friend. By the time it was over, it had fallen to six, but we both thought that the film was, as a whole, a masterpiece. Yesterday, I rented it for the first time (since no one else will ever check it out) and watched it with another of my friends. Once again, totally blown away.

This IS indeed among the most underrated films to come out. It's got an amazing cast, amazing acting by the cast, and beautiful locations. On the other hand, it's one of the most gratuitous movies I've ever seen. Doesn't bother me in any way, but it's very easy to see why the Oscar committee might run and hide. One look at the threesome sex scene, and they were hiding under their seats.

The true beauty of this film comes out in the acting of Christian Bale, a virtual unknown. True, he had held a bit part in "Pocahontas" and the role of that kid Jack in "Newsies", but I doubt he'd want us to talk about that. The role of the psychotic, yet well organized Patrick Bateman came almost immediately after him being in a role as far to the other side of the spectrum as possible...Jesus. His incredible breadth is shown throughout such tense scenes as the business card showdown, the hilarious phone message ("I just had to kill a lot of people!"), and the disturbingly funny murder of Paul Allen, done to a personal review of Huey Lewis and the News.

The one problem, the very ending. This second time, I figured out what was really going on, but it took me a damn long time. I'll probably end up watching it again today...just to make sure I was completely right. Still, I can stand up and say "I completely understand the ending to American Psycho!", and people will respond "What are you talking about?"

Tenchi Muyô!
(1992)

The Japanese gift to America: anime
I used to not understand anime at all. After sitting through another anime tv show, I grew to like it, enjoy it, and now love it. And "Tenchi Muyo" is, aside from "Slayers", my favorite anime television.

First of all, there are so many different characters with which to fall in love with. From the sexy space pirate Ryoko, to the precious space princesses Ayeka and Sasami, to the vapid Mihoshi (and her companion Kiyone, who I haven't seen yet since I'm only on the OVA series) to the cute scientific genius Washu. And it all revolves around Tenchi.

Secondly, it has a wonderful music score. From the rousing opening theme, to the little background music throughout (especially Ayeka's theme), to the ending credit music, it is well conducted, especially for an anime, where music is usually conducted by cheesemakers.

Finally, the plots are well done. Aside from the difference between Tenchi Universe and the OVA series, the plots are well-sculpted, well developed, and have a proper blend of action and humor. The biggest problem with anime today is it's lack of humor, which Tenchi Muyo will simply not allow.

I thank the nameless station which has actually begun to air this wonderful series. And as for you "Tenchi Muyo", all we can do is bow, oh great respected one.

Sleepy Hollow
(1999)

Johnny Depp...coming back!
"Johnny Depp?" "Yeah. Heard of him?" "No. What was his most recent film?" "Ummmm….I think…."Nightmare on Elm Street." He played the kid who got eaten by the bed." "Oh, yeah! Him…yeah, I guess so…Hey, he was also Edward Scissorhands!" "REALLY?"

This conversation may have been slightly exaggerated, but as a whole it could certainly be possible. No offense to you Depp fans out there, but Johnny hasn't exactly been setting standards in Hollywood. He seems to me to be rather reclusive or selective or what have you. Mr. Depp has not appeared in a great deal of films which have been widely accepted by the public, and after "The Astronaut's Wife" fell, some wondered if he ever would have a career. However, all of this may be ready to change. Johnny Depp has just appeared as the main character in a box office hit that came out the week before Thanksgiving of 1999: "Sleepy Hollow." This film may be the stepping stone he needs. "Sleepy Hollow" is a wonderfully dark film by Tim Burton (as if he does anything besides dark films), which is based on the Ichabod Crane story by Washington Irving. Depp plays Ichabod, a constable in 18th century New York, whose scientific means of criminology are alien to the old school torture lovers who are his compatriots. He is sent to investigate three murders in a small town called Sleepy Hollow (hence the name). There he meets up with the Van Tassells, a rich family who practically owns the town. Crane also runs into Mr. Van Tassells' mysterious daughter Katrina, played by Christina Ricci ("Casper"). Ricci is one of the few actresses whose career I have watched throughout my life. It's always interesting to watch Wednesday Addams and the nice girl from Casper go on to star in "The Opposite of Sex," but anyway… Ichabod is informed of the situations of the murders by five important men of various occupation. A little back-story is included, where the origin of the horseman is revealed. An interesting trivia fact is that the growling Hessian horseman is played by Christopher "always playing a villain" Walken ("Pulp Fiction"). Afterwards, the shaking Depp tells his informers in true Shatner-like speech that "the killer…is a man of… flesh and blood, and I will…discover him." And so the search begins. As Depp is preparing, we see Jonathan Nesmith, one of the citizens of the town, get chased down and decapitated by the horseman, whom we now see. After this tragedy, Jonathan's son decides to avenge his father by helping Ichabod. More heads get cut off, and more violence ensues, until Ichabod, Katrina, and the Nesmith boy go to a huge, strange looking tree in the forest. It is discovered that the tree bleeds, and inside of it are all the heads that the horseman has collected. More importantly, the Hessian's skull is missing, and it is immediately deducted that whoever has the skull is controlling him. Pure genius. They don't have much time to sit around and think, though, for as it gets dark, the Headless Horseman flies out of the tree on his steed and heads out to get another victim. Even more violence ensues, and more heads roll, but names shall not be given to protect the ending. Aside from the regular plot, the audience is often given flashbacks which help illuminate Crane's childhood, and explain how he thinks now…the effect is amazing. This movie is rated R only for violence: no profanity, and only one slightly suggestive scene (with nothing actually seen). There is blood and bone galore in this film, the presence of which is heightened by the sheer darkness of the film. The choreography of the killing scenes is astounding, especially the sword play, which I can't even begin to describe. It can only be seen. Other plusses: good acting, good setting, not too modernized, and Christina Ricci is hot. Some minuses: it may freak out some people, it may trouble the weak of stomach, and it may bring back bad memories for those who have already been attacked by a Headless Horseman. However, the biggest minus is the movie's cruel and unforgiving portrayal of the skull-deficient among us. Headless people well definitely be offended by this awful stereotype, but apparently this movie is not attempting to appeal to them.

Instead, it appeals to everybody who likes a good action movie, a good mystery, a good drama, Tim Burton, or anybody who loves dark movies. I know I do, and I loved this movie (Johnny Depp shall live again!). So go to the theater, watch "Sleepy Hollow," and revel in your bliss…but don't lose your head.

Superstar
(1999)

Lorne Michaels obviously a creative genius...oh, wait...I'm getting Michaels confused with Walt Disney...silly me.
Every now and then, there comes a movie that is so good and so well done, it is sure to be a classic. "Superstar" isn't one of them. The director of "Superstar" is not very important, at least compared to the producer Lorne Michaels, the creator of "Saturday Night Live."

Of course, this movie is based on sketches featuring a recurring character, Mary Catherine Gallegher (played by Molly Shannon). She is most known for her "moves" and for her habit of putting her hands under her arms and then smelling them. It is easy to understand why Mr. Michaels would want to keep capitalizing on his SNL sketches. After all, both "It's Pat!" and "Night at the Roxbury" did great at the box office (enter sarcasm here). Now I'm just waiting for the movies "The Spartan Cheerleaders" and "The Bill Brasky Story." The movie focuses on Mary Katherine as she goes through her school years at a Catholic school. Her lifelong dreams have been: A. To kiss someone the way she has always dreamed about, B. To be a "superstar", hence the title. She has worked on this dream mainly by working at a video store and rewinding all the tapes and watching how everybody does stuff in the movies. References to "Carrie" abound in this story. During a key scene, I found myself saying "They're all gonna laugh at you." Anyway, Mary's main goal is Sky (I think that's how it's spelled), who is played by SNL veteran Will Ferrell, who later in the film plays Jesus (no, I'm not joking). The only problem is, he's dating the head cheerleader, Evian, who by the laws of teen-oriented movies is must be snotty and mean to the heroine or else suffer a 5-minute penalty. Mary is placed in the Special Ed class with a wannabe drug addict, a gothic chick, a obsessive-compulsive guy, and a strong, peppy girl who becomes Mary's best friend. One of the other member's of the class is the silent kid, Slater, who takes a special interest in Mary Kate, much to her dismay. Anyway, this movie has the predictability of a sunrise. Everything is expected, nothing new ever occurs. What could be worse? How about if it isn't funny? The gags are all pretty stupid, which is to be expected in an SNL movie. The only time I laughed was when Mary Kate's dog was squashed to death by a television. Yes, I'm morbid, but it truly was the only funny scene. However, it doesn't do anything for the movie, and five seconds later it is like it never happened. Sigh. This movie was better than I expected, but then I expected something worse than "The Avengers." That's hard to achieve. All I can really say is, that if somebody asks you to go to a movie with them, don't see "Superstar." I have much better suggestions, and you can ask me for them at some point.

Fight Club
(1999)

A wonderfully done movie, innovative, intelligent, and plain old cool..
First of all, I must apologize for one of my shortcomings with this article. Due to my slackness in getting into the theater, I missed the first few minutes, but don't worry. Everything still came together. "Fight Club" is the newest dark film from director David Fichner ("Seven"). The main difference between the two is that this has a lot more undertones of comedy. The story itself follows the nameless main character, played by Edward Norton (American History X). This character (let's call him Jack) is having severe problems with his life: he feels like it is caving in on him. The entire movie is narrated by Jack, whose sense of dry wit is often amusing. He tries to make himself feel better by buying kitchen sets from catalogs, which is illustrated with an amazing shot of Jack walking through a living catalog, but nothing helps. Finally, Jack turns to support groups, visiting under false names and crying about diseases and afflictions he doesn't have.

Just as he starts to get his life to a tolerable state, "she" starts getting involved in the groups. "She" refers to Marla Singer, a trashy looking girl played by Helena Bonham Carter ("Hamlet"), who has a certain aura of Sadie Burke around her (if you don't understand, read "All the Kings Men"). Marla is a faker, like Jack, and Jack can't cry with another faker in the group. This leads the two of them to split up the seven support groups among themselves, and they each get each other's numbers. Now, Jack works for a transportation company and he has to make trips about accidents or other problems with vehicles. One of his trips leads him to meet Tyler Durden, an egotistical young soap salesman who is intrigued by Jack's cleverness. When Jack goes back home to his condo, he finds that his room is now a pile of smoking rubble. Needless to say, Jack needs help and calls upon Tyler, played by Brad Pitt ("Interview With a Vampire") for shelter in a run-down large house. One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes when Tyler and Jack sit down at a bar and discuss the way that life works. The conversation inside concludes with a statement by Tyler: "The things you own end up owning you." Then they take their talk outside, where Tyler asks Jack to hit him, after which they get into a full-fledged, good-natured fight.

This inspires the two of them to create the titular organization of "Fight Club", which becomes a haven for guys who want to, well, fight. The first rule: you do not talk about fight club. The movie then follows the evolution of the club and a romance involving Tyler and Jack with Marla as the center of attention. And everything goes smoothly. Until Tyler takes it too far. "Fight Club" is one of the cooler-looking movies I've seen this year. It's not my favorite, but it certainly was amazing in certain perspectives. The narration by Jack was, as said before, often hilarious. It constantly shows us the thoughts of Jack, and they're always interesting. There are a lot of cool flashbacks, interesting shots (such as a zooming out close-up of a filled trashcan), and weird thoughts (Jack's cave and his power animal).

This movie was not without drawbacks. I felt that some of the scenes were unnecessary and could have stood to be taken out. Plus, some of Tyler's actual antics bothered me quite a bit (but don't miss the pigeon thing). Also, this may not be a movie for girls, as it is more of an action movie than anything and makes itself quite clear that it is made for males. However, Tyler's basic philosophies kept me captivated. He holds many of the same views that I do. I especially like his statement from the previews: "We've all been raised by television to believe we'd all be rock stars and movie gods.but we won't." So, feel free to watch this movie if you can. I would say that it is worth the five or six bucks for a ticket. In the meantime, I shall be making and selling soap.

Bowfinger
(1999)

Martin shows that he still knows comedy, even if other people don't.
Have you ever been in a movie where you were duly unimpressed at first, but at the half-way point you started to have fun, and enjoy it? I recently did, and the movie was "Bowfinger." I don't mean ecstatic, "this is the best I've ever seen" fun, but basic enjoyment of a film. First let me set the record straight. I believe that Steve Martin is the funniest comedian out there, even funnier than (please don't hurt me for saying so) Adam Sandler. Steve Martin's name on a movie always ensures some humor. In this movie directed by Yoda and Fozzie voice Frank Oz, Mr. Martin ("The Jerk", "Father of the Bride") plays Bobby Bowfinger, a third-rate filmmaker. He reads a script which he enjoys thoroughly, then goes looking for the cast and crew. This leads him to popular actor Kit Ramsey, played by Eddie Murphy ("Beverly Hills Cop"). Kit is to play the lead in the film…only he doesn't know it. Filming is done in a very creative manner, where the actors go up to Kit whenever they can film him and read their lines to him, recording his reactions. One of the actors is Heather Graham playing the slightly "friendly" leading lady, Daisy. Her character is nice to look at, but I got a little bit sick of her escapades (with 6 different people, I might add). Anyway, over time, Ramsey starts getting scared of his surroundings, in which people come to him off the street and read strange lines to him. Of course, he doesn't know he's being filmed. Eventually, the stress gets to him and he needs to be sent away and Bobby is without an actor. So he hires a lookalike geek (also played by Murphy) to play the part in some scenes (including the highway scene). I was rather disappointed by the use of the geek. The previews played him up to be a really important character, but really you see most of his scenes in the previews. The pace of the movie starts to pick up at this point, having good scenes such as Bobby setting up for a date with Daisy, the "hot" scene from the previews ("You're doing great!"), and an absolutely hilarious scene involving Kit again and the shooting of a sort of FBI agent. This is where the movie starts its upward climb. All in all, this was a pretty good movie. It was played cool at times, and often over the top, but in the end it all flows together. While "Bowfinger" may not be a potential classic (as Regis predicted), it certainly is a good way to spend a few hours of your time if you're in the vicinity of a theater.

The Bachelor
(1999)

Good date movie, but not one that should be seen alone.
I have to admit that I wasn't exactly thrilled to have to see "The Bachelor." However, with deadlines weighing down and other stuff to do, I knew I had to get it done, no matter what the pain. I thought this would be a chick flick. Or, at least so I thought, but it later turned out.that I was right. It was a chick flick. "The Bachelor" starts out with a scene of mustangs (horses, not the cars) running across the Western plains as Chris O'Donnell ("Batman & Robin") narrates a comparison of men to mustangs, trying to run free while looking for the "sweet grasses," but still trying to avoid getting roped. The use of the metaphor throughout the whole story bears strange resemblence to another movie (out in theaters now) which uses the same technique. The actual meat of the story begins with Mr. O'Donnell, playing Jimmy Shannon, a (duh) bachelor. At the time, he is trying to break up with his girlfriend in the restaurant while sitting at a booth next to one holding Anne, played by Renee Zellweger (who has a strange name). After Jimmy's breakup, Anne flirts with him, and they for some strange reason start to date. At this point, I must point out that I went into the theater expecting O'Donnell to be a wooden emotionless actor, but I was surprised. He is decent, at least. I cannot say the same for Zellweger, who's irritating voice, irritating pouting, and irritating lack of emotion were, needless to say, irritating! Hmm.what other movie has a leading lady like this ("I'll never let go, Jack!")? Aside from her though, the acting is overall good.

Anyway, the story proceeds to explain the dating of Anne and Jimmy, and the evictment of all of Jimmy's friends from bachelor hood by the most dreaded of events: the tossing of the bouquet. Eventually Anne catches it and Jimmy, being commitmentphobic, doesn't want to go through with it. He tries to get advice from a bunch of his fellow workers at the pool hall he owns. One of these workers is the folically challenged Ed Asner (I don't care if you haven't heard of him), who tries to help, but fails. When Jimmy is at a high class romantic restaurant with Anne, he makes a horribly botched attempt at proposal. The words of love: "You win." Anne is ticked off. She doesn't respond to his phone calls and doesn't take notice of the three zillion roses she sends to him. Then Jimmy's grandfather dies. Now, the grandfather's main prospect for his grandson was that he marry and procreate, as required in the old man's will. Unless Jimmy marries a girl, lives with her for ten years, hangs around with her practically all the time, and has children by her, he cannot collect the inheritance. The inheritance? Oh, not much, just One Hundred Million Dollars! So now Jimmy is desperate. He tries one last time to propose to Anne, but it also fails, as Jimmy can't keep the proper game face for proposal. Anne goes away with her sister on a retreat, and Jimmy is left asking every girl he ever dated to marry him. These escapades are at times amusing, as Jimmy goes through six or seven women, always getting "no" for an answer, or even better, a slap or an effigy of himself up in flames. The best part of these scenes is the fact that a few of the girls are big name stars. Jennifer Esposito plays Daphne, a cop. Brooke Shields plays Buckley, the girl who gets closest to marrying Jimmy. The best cameo was Ilana, played by everyone's favorite "Heartbreaker," Mariah Carey, who surprisingly plays a singer (who would've thought?). The basic plot line from then on is Jimmy's attempt to hook up with Anne, while all of the workers at his pool hall just want him hitched, for without the money, the place will shut down. It's a race against time, as the marriage must be made by 6:05pm on Jimmy's 30th birthday! What will happen? Will they make it in time? Does anybody care? Not me, frankly. This is not the sort of a movie that a guy could just sit down and watch. You need a significant other to enjoy "The Bachelor." Guys, you gotta bring your girlfriend to this, otherwise you will not enjoy it. You need support when watching this film, at least for the first half. It perks up after that, but if you don't have someone to revive you, you'll sleep through the whole thing, and the ushers in the theater will pop your limp form into a bag and you'll wake up in a trash can.

Balto
(1995)

The best non-Disney animation ever.
As I say above, this is definitely the best non-Disney attempt at animation to date. This movie just has something others don't.

The basic plot is engrossing, as we watch Balto and the sled team attempt to get the medicine back in time, with the subplot of Balto trying to find acceptance within himself. The moment he truly discovers who he is is a powerful scene for an animated movie. The characters are great, with a very good cast representing them. Kevin Bacon of "six degrees" fame plays the hero wolf-dog Balto convincingly, as Bridget Fonda does with the heroine, a collie named Jenna. Jim Cummings (the true voice man of Hollywood) is delightfully malicious as Steele. The comedy relief comes in a hilarious Russian goose played by Bob Hoskins, and two polar bears (the funniest characters in the film) played by Phil Collins.

As a whole, I hate dogs, and any movies about them...but this movie is just different, and I think that I would be lost without it.

Balto
(1995)

The best non-Disney animation ever.
As I say above, this is definitely the best non-Disney attempt at animation to date. This movie just has something others don't.

The basic plot is engrossing, as we watch Balto and the sled team attempt to get the medicine back in time, with the subplot of Balto trying to find acceptance within himself. The moment he truly discovers who he is is a powerful scene for an animated movie. The characters are great, with a very good cast representing them. Kevin Bacon of "six degrees" fame plays the hero wolf-dog Balto convincingly, as Bridget Fonda does with the heroine, a collie named Jenna. Jim Cummings (the true voice man of Hollywood) is delightfully malicious as Steele. The comedy relief comes in a hilarious Russian goose played by Bob Hoskins, and two polar bears (the funniest characters in the film) played by Phil Collins.

As a whole, I hate dogs, and any movies about them...but this movie is just different, and I think that I would be lost without it.

The Leech Woman
(1960)

A good bad movie...
Now the only reason I've seen this film is because I am a MST3K freak, and it was the second show of the new season. However, it certainly wasn't the worst of all the films they've shown. I am inclined to agree with all those people who say that the plot was actually pretty good, but the cast stank.

One of the most hokey parts was when we kept seeing the tons of stock footage....

"Real Africa...(scene change)...Hollywood Africa!"

From Russia with Love
(1963)

The best Bond ever!!
Out of every Bond film, this is definitely my favorite.

It has all the perfect elements: action, suspense, sex...etc. Connery is absolutely the greatest Bond ever, and Daniela Bianchi makes a good Bond girl. Robert Shaw ("Show me the way to go home...") is an incredible villain as Red Grant, the Russian superhuman. From the gypsy fight, to the helicopter escape (which nearly killed Connery in real life), to the hotel room, the action never really stops...slows down, maybe, but never stops.

Just one more view of how Nobody does it better...than Connery.

On the Fiddle
(1961)

Sorry, Sean.
Sean, you know I think that you are absolutely the greatest actor in the world, but I can't commend you for this. Comedy just isn't your strong suit.

However, it wasn't all your fault. Some of the stuff was just too hard to understand. Alfred Lynch did a decent job, but you gotta wonder where the lines came from from the beginning.

Once again, Sean... I apologize.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
(1999)

ONE WORD - OVERHYPED
"Star Wars: Episode 1:The Phantom Menace" was grossly overhyped. I shall discuss the major problems in four main categories.

One, I hate Jar Jar! Damn Jar Jar! What were you thinking, Lucas, when you created Jar Jar? This is no Chewie, my good man! I think everyone understands the problems with him.

Two, Anakin was quite annoying. "Yippee!" should not be heard in a sci-fi film. I don't even think "ET" did that. Also, the end was quite irritating; Anakin was ACCIDENTALLY destroying the Trade Federation at the same time that Jar Jar was ACCIDENTALLY destroying tons of droids...sigh...

Third, what is the deal with Amidala's makeup? Is she a Kabuki actress in her spare time?

Fourth, Darth Maul was overhyped. They made him sound really important to the story. He's barely in it. R2 has more screen time than him.

However, Lucas saved the film for me when he added one character: Sebulba. if it weren't for Sebulba, I would absolutely hate this film. He was so awesome!!! Pudu!!

Anyway, with Sebulba I give this movie 5 stars, but without I give it more like 3.

And as for Episodes 2 and 3...I have this advice for Lucas..

Try not...do or do not...there is no try...

Sadly, TPM's powers were weak.

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