psthad

IMDb member since August 1999
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Reviews

Transporter 2
(2005)

Why can't my car stay that clean?
My favorite aspect of this film (and its predecessor) is that Frank's car is driven through standing water, mud, walls, concrete, sprayed with bullets, etc...but never has a single scratch or the tiniest bit of dirt on it. How dey doo dat? But seriously, this film was pretty fun. Not as fun as the first one, though. Didn't feel as smart or clever to me. And what's the point of having only one 2-second piece of film where Statham has his shirt off? The man worked hard on his physique, so let's see it!! Course, I'm thinking that maybe it was Jason's idea to keep his clothes on to avoid being typecast as just eye candy - who knows? Anyway, as expected, it's all mindless goofiness and fun. Just be sure to leave all knowledge of physical science at home when you go to see this!

When Worlds Collide
(1951)

There is nothing like a dame.....
Goodness, what a lot of silly comments about the so-so science and primivite SFX in this extremely serviceable picture. Whad'ja expect in '51, for Pete's sake? Okay, it's not "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (although same year), but to my mind, it's definitely a classic of its type and era. Let's get serious, folks - the real reason to see this movie? Because BARBARA RUSH WAS/IS A BABE!!!!! Just that simple.....and unlike today's female stars, she didn't have to dress like a tart to convey enormous appeal. Oh, BTW - for you Fox News Channel fans who don't already know - Claudia Cowan (an FNC associate in San Francisco) is Barbara's daughter and a babe in her own right.

Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
(2002)

Suffers from the three "P"'s......
The three "p"'s being ponderous, pretentious and pedantic. I'm speaking here of the voice-over narrative, as cited by several other viewers before me. The three short stories presented in the film could do just as well - wait, check that - better without it, regardless of the gender of the narrator (several people seemed disturbed by a male filling this role - I guess because they wanted it to be a "woman's" picture exclusively). But in the end, the three vignettes emerge as intriguing alley-ways which lead nowhere. If you ask me (I know, you didn't...), the three principal actresses were terrific, as were many of the supporting players. It's just that the material they were handed is a bit thin, one more example of the "could've-been" picture that relies too heavily on a sense of "high art" and its own "indie-ness" to draw the audience in.

Joy Ride
(2001)

Formulaic as all heck - but worthwhile anyway
Yes, yes, we've all seen it a million times, starting with the oft-referenced "Duel". And "JR" is in many ways a very by-the-numbers kind of picture, loaded with cliches of this genre (gosh darn it, the dang car won't start at a critical moment!). Still, it manages to be entertaining enough most of the time, with a little help from a few twists and turns, however implausible, that the viewer might not see coming. And it is blessedly free from the gratuitous sex and foul language that pervades most film today (okay, there are a few "bad" words, but not every other word is the "f" word - they must've hired real writers!). There is definitely some gore - this isn't "Finding Nemo", after all - but nothing you've not seen before. In summary, a reasonably tidy little thriller with an attractive cast that holds together pretty well.

The O.C.
(2003)

Exactly what you think it is.......
which is to say, formulaic, tired, you've-seen-it-a-million-times-before drivel. That's not to say it's necessarily bad, though! It will definitely entertain people of a certain age group, and that's what it's all about - big profits for the network and the show's sponsors. So just don't expect deep, thoughtful drama, 'cuz it ain't here. What is here are pretty people saying goofy lines with mostly straight faces. Oh, and nothing personal Ben (Ryan), but dude, you are 24 and look every second of it. For us to believe that your character is 16 is a major stretch, but that's the casting director's fault, not yours....

The Transporter
(2002)

Excellent rental material!!
Does your mind need a break from the harshness of reality and all that painful "thinking" you have to do every day? Then rent this epic, hit your mental "pause" button, sit back and ignore all the laws of physics you learned in school, and the stunts will seem waaay kewl..(almost rhymes, eh?) I do agree with many of the other commenters here, this is a so-bad-it's-kinda-good film. But I don't really get all the comparisons between this and "Matrix Reloaded". To me, they are not even really the same genre. But everyone has their own ideas about that... One other point I'd like to make is that it doesn't seem quite fair to judge whether or not Statham has acting ability based on this film. Apart from the stunts, the script doesn't call for him to do much more than occasionally glare menacingly at the camera and look great with his shirt off. Heck, a lot of us ordinary guys out here could do that (okay, we might have to spend a little more time at the gym first). So maybe I'll wait until Jason plays "Hamlet" to decide if he can really act (I know he's worried now......)

Carrie
(2002)

Please, momma - talk to me......
and explain why this was needed. Not a total waste of one's time, perhaps, but pretty darn close. I won't take up even more of your time here by re-hashing the whole works for you, I'm sure you know the score by now. Personally, the thing I missed most in this bland re-make was Piper Laurie. Yes, I like Patricia Clarkson, and I'm sure she did the best she could with the direction and script she was given. The fault here lies with the writers' failure to include the lewd sexual undertones that were a part of Margaret White's mania in the original film. We are given no clue in this "update" as to why Margaret is a Bible-thumping nutcase. All the background of how she became pregnant with Carrie, her "rape" by Carrie's boozy, horny father - that's all deleted. Go back and look at the '76 version, check out the scene where Margaret is crucified by Carrie's telekinetically-driven knives. Listen to Margaret's screams of orgasmic ecstasy as each wound is inflicted. Study her beatific smile as she dies in the same pose as the one traditionally used to portray Jesus on the cross. Now that's camp for you!! Not a single trace of that is present here - too bad.

Sweet Home Alabama
(2002)

Not one of Reese's better Pieces......
.....although she does as good a job as could be expected, given the material. I won't re-hash the plot for you, many of the other commenters have already done that, so....let me just give you my opinion (I *know* you're dying to hear - well, read - it!) and say that there are some half-way decent ideas in the script, but nothing ever comes together. The story just sort of meanders and never gains any momentum or energy. It's almost as if it had no direction at all. And I guess the state of Alabama didn't want anything to do with it either - it was shot almost entirely in Georgia. Maybe we should infer something from that (or not)....anyway, not awful, just a disappointment.

Zabriskie Point
(1970)

Caution: not for the mainstream viewer
If you are a fan only of movies with coherent storylines or great acting, better skip this one, because those things it ain't got. However, it does have a definite sense of the mood of 1969's American Youth (I was 17 at the time the film came out, and it seemed to me - both then and now - to be a pretty accurate reflection of what was going on way back then), a great score, some incredible cinematography, and two great-looking leads. True, Mark Frechette couldn't act worth beans, but after all, he wasn't really an actor - just an aimless guy they grabbed off the streets, who spent most of him time after this film until his death 6 years later in prison on a couple of armed robbery raps. As for Daria Halprin, she looked fantastic, was a somewhat better actor than Mark, and I can say with little fear of contradiction that this picture was probably her greatest achievement, unless you wanna count being married to Dennis Hopper for 4 years!! If you do see the film, just be prepared - it's a loooong wait in between highlights. But if you can stick with it, the justifiably famous finale is worth waiting for.

Terms of Endearment
(1983)

Maybe if I'd seen in it 1983......
but somehow, all these years I have managed (unintentionally) to never see this film. However, it was being run on television today and I had nothing better to do, so I thought why not? Well, I got about halfway through it before I became so bored that I started checking my TV Guide (who, by the way, rated this thing with 4 stars!!) to see what else was on.

Maybe this was hot stuff in '83, but today it's - well - let's just say you can probably find a better use of your time, although I'll admit it is kind of fun to laugh at the '80's music, home decor, clothing and hair fashions. But worthy of the Oscar(s) it received? Yikes!! Oh, one other thing (maybe some other imdb user can help me out here): if MacLaine and Winger's characters (as well as Winger's first-born child) were all born and bred Texans, how come not one of them has the accent that is invariably associated with Houston (and I'm not stereotyping here, I've spent a lot of time in Texas and I know how people talk down there). Perhaps the actresses couldn't pull it off, although anyone who has seen "Steel Magnolias" knows MacLaine is quite capable of it. Maybe she just couldn't work up the energy......

Stolen Hours
(1963)

Good re-working of classic material, with one critical misfire
A very intelligent screenplay by Jessamyn West, updating the classic 1939 "Dark Victory" (which in turn was derived from the 1934 Broadway play of the same name). Although some of the character structuring is changed (the best friend of the protagonist now becomes her younger sister, for example) and the geography moves from NYC, Long Island and Vermont to London and the English countryside, still the basic story and message remain intact - to use one's life to achieve something of value. My only complaint, and an ambivalent one to be sure, is the casting of Susan Hayward in the lead. Although this legendary actress does a terrific job with the part, she was simply too old for the role at the time. (In "D.V.", the doomed heroine was 23, in this picture Hayward was already 45 - so her untimely death seems a little less tragic, the talk of having children with her much-younger doctor-husband is less credible, etc.); overall, however, a perfectly sound film, with some truly lovely photography of the Kentish countryside and the Cornish coast.

A Guide for the Married Man
(1967)

Topical sex comedy with one big caveat.....
Racy-for-its-time satire of mid-1960's American (and particularly Southern Californian) sexual mores, this picture features an endless parade of then-familiar faces in often side-splittingly funny cameos. My only complaint (I see some of the other commenters agree with me, some don't): the casting of Walter Matthau, at least with Inger Stevens as his wife. Not to take anything away from Matthau, who was probably the best rubbery-faced, sad-sack looking comic since Buster Keaton, but it's simply beyond comprehension that (1) a woman who looked like the incomparable Swedish beauty Stevens would marry such a schlump and (2) that he would want to cheat on her; it just doesn't ring true to me. But perhaps that's only meant to add to the comedy. At any rate, definitely an artifact of a long time ago in another America far, far away.

Scary Movie
(2000)

Y'all need to not take it so seriously, son.....
Okay, I just rented and watched this flick, then proceeded to read the comments posted here by others, and frankly I don't understand all the folks who were disappointed with this epic. For my money, it delivered everything it promised. It is incredibly moronic, mindlessly stupid, and basically abysmal - exactly what it's supposed to be! The cross-film references are great, but what I appreciated most were the small background details, e.g., coroner's wagon in the school parking lot (which none of the characters notices), the menu board in the cafeteria, brand-names of the beer in the fridge, descriptions on the condom machines in the boys' bathroom - all of those were hilarious (but you gotta be sharp to catch 'em, 'cuz they go by in only a coupla frames!). Anyone who expects this movie to be the "Airplane!" of teen slasher pics is bound to be let down; the Wayans never lead us (well, me anyway) to believe it would be that. Is it vulgar and offensive? YES! Is it also harmless and does it have several genuinely funny bits? YES! So my advice? Like dating, lower your expectations and you just might have a good time......

Gone in Sixty Seconds
(2000)

Be sure you have some light reading material on hand for the first 1.5 hours.....
because that's about how long it takes to get this thing off the ground.

Okay, okay, I can accept - perhaps even embrace - a film that boasts uniformity of scripting, acting and direction, i.e., all poor, poor, poor. I can even accept the idea of wasting a group of very talented people, 'cuz the picture's not about them - it's about the cars. Fine by me. That said, why then are the cars given sooooo little screen time when they are supposed to be the real stars? Nothing remotely automotively exciting happens 'til about the last 20, 25 minutes or so of the film. So if your FF button is in good shape, you might want to skip up to that point, IMHO.

Final Destination
(2000)

One teen slasher film to go, hold the slasher.....
What a lot of laughs I got out of this flick! Don't get me wrong, though, it's actually pretty good for this genre. Lots of improbable if not impossible situations are presented for the viewer's pleasure, and one is given innumerable opportunities to do the usual yell-at-the-characters-on-the-screen bit (y'know, "don't open that door!", "watch out for that bus!", "how stupid ARE you?", etc.). One nice touch is that there is no "slasher" per se, just plain old death, whose acquaintance we will all make some day.... A few insults to the intelligence are present (e.g., Vancouver, B.C. pretending to be New York and (stretch your mind for this one!) Paris, early-to-late-twenties-actors trying to pass for high-schoolers), but overall I had fun with it. Hope you will too!

My Cousin Rachel
(1952)

Another great duMaurier novel transported to the screen
Like its predecessor, "Rebecca", this Daphne duMaurier story made it to the screen relatively untinkered with. The screenplay is quite faithful to the novel, and although Richard Burton seems to be chewing the scenery rather fiercely at times, it was after all an early performance of his. deHavilland displays a serene face that may (or may not!) have something dreadful to hide, much as her character in "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte". Try it, you'll like it!

Hawaiian Eye
(1959)

what, no car chases?
Ah, TV was a much simpler place back then. They didn't have gimmicks like car chases or explosions, and the plots were fairly transparent by today's standards, but it still holds up well as solid entertainment. Only one thing - the idea of an exotic Hawaiian location was nice, but we all know that not one foot of film was shot there, right? All done on the Warner Bros. sets in Burbank.....still, it paved the way for H-50 a few years down the road! Aloha

The Good Life
(1975)

Absurdist British comedy - not to be missed (nor sniffed at, Margot would say...)
One of the BBC's most endearing sitcoms from the 70's. Great fun all round, but most of all (my personal favorite, anyway), the Christmas episode entitled "Silly, But It's Fun". This has become a perennial "must-see" during the holiday season in our household, right up there with the Alastair Sim version of "A Christmas Carol". Worth seeing if only for the look of horror on Margot's face when she finds that her Christmas cracker "hat" is an issue of "The Daily Mirror".....or her blank look of non-understanding upon reading her motto, (I hope this isn't a spoiler) "The ooh-aah bird is so called because it lays square eggs". Cheers, all!

Psycho
(1960)

Any detail freaks out there? Just a few little things to add....
I love this film, and see no need for me to add to the HUGE number of opinions already posted here about it. There are, however, a few minor things that might be of interest to some of you. Several of the comments from other folks include references to various types of instrumentation in the music, such as tubas and other brass, etc. In fact, the entire score is strings only - listen closely next time and you'll hear it!! Another great little overlooked detail is Saul Bass's main titles, converging and then flying off the screen. Okay, here's a little continuity problem that no one else I've ever talked to has noticed (possible spoiler coming): when Marion skips Phoenix with the cash, she's driving her black 1956 Ford when Mr. Lowery sees her on the street. Later, on the highway out of town, there is a point-of-view shot over the hood of the car - but the shot is of the hood of the white 1957 Ford which Marion does not acquire until later in the picture - oops!! I guess the editors figured no one would notice. By the way, that '57 Ford used to belong to Ward and June Cleaver before Marion bought it (the car was a Universal Studios property; "Leave It To Beaver" was filmed on the same lot as "Psycho"). Anyway, enjoy the film (p.s. you do know that the blood in the shower scene is really chocolate syrup, don't you?)

Burnt Offerings
(1976)

easily the best horror movie ever filmed at Dunsmuir House..
To use the vernacular, this film cracks me up. It is one of those deliciously awful, cheesy horror movies that could only be a Dan Curtis production - the American answer to England's Hammer Films Studio. I love the fact that the location where it was shot (Dunsmuir House and Gardens in Oakland, CA) is just down the road from me. It's fun to identify with the house as evil incarnate, or rather in-clapboard-ate, a true Victorian monster!! Karen Black gives her usual cross-eyed performance and Bette Davis plays a parody of Bette Davis, puffing and panting away. The plot is as predictable as a Swiss train schedule, but it's fun to watch it unravel to its gory climax nonetheless. Truly silly for all ages, although it may frighten realtors!!

Portrait in Black
(1960)

Suffering in Pacific Heights....
Poor Lana Turner is forced to wear Jean Louis gown after Jean Louis gown in this picture, a veritable sea of sequins. To add insult to injury, she is kept like a bird in a gilded cage in her magnificent Pacific Heights mansion. Her lover (Anthony Quinn) lives only a couple of blocks away, but in order to tryst with him, she must first go down to Union Square and pretend to shop at the old I. Magnin store (now Macy's), then take a cab back out to Divisadero - very inconvenient. An uncommonly silly movie, but great set decoration and use of locations. If you ever come to visit San Francisco, you can see the house that Lana, Sandra and Lloyd lived in; it's at the corner of Broadway and Baker, just about the ritziest neighborhood in town, natch....enjoy!

Moment to Moment
(1966)

Sleek, soapy suds in the South (of France, that is..)
An excellent example of the "Hollywoodized" Jean Seberg, as opposed to her better-known persona as the cropped-blonde gamine girl of the French New Wave cinema. In this silly-but-likable bit of pseudo-suspense fluff, Jean gets to wheel around the Nice flower market and the Corniche in her elegant Citroen DS21 ragtop with an equally elegant YSL wardrobe to boot!! If the juvenile-bullfrog sounds coming from her son Timmy (child actor Peter Robbins) sound vaguely familiar to you, it is perhaps because Peter provided the voice of Charlie Brown in those classic "Peanuts" TV specials (Chas. Brown Xmas, Great Pumpkin, etc.). Too bad Universal had to shoot so much of the film on a backlot set that is quite obviously NOT the Cote d'Azur, but weather conditions (an unseasonable cold snap) precluded most of the location shoot. Overall though, a fun film (how can you not have fun when your next-door neighbor is Pussy Galore, aka Honor Blackman?). A votre sante!

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