"Shut Up and Kiss Me" is a disappointment for low-budget gay cinema. What could have a been an examination of modern relationships being approached from an old-fashioned mindset turns into a noxious portrayal of settling for less than you deserve. Our story revolves around Ben, a man in search of love in ALL the wrong places. He tries video dating, internet profiles, setups from friends, all to no success. Finally, by pure fate, his new neighbor, Gray, comes running into his life. For all of Ben's troubles with trying to find Mr. Right, Gray has Mr. Right and a ton of personal troubles. For the better part of an hour, we are given a cutesy development of their relationship as they try to dispose of their emotional baggage. The journey is sweet, though very short-lived, for by the time we reach the final fifteen minutes, we are given stupid choices stacked atop one another by both of the leads. This would be suitable enough if this were a study in how easily one can be blinded by love, not knowing the person you thought you did, or even just trying to look past someone's flaws that will inevitably be a relationships downfall. However, what started out as enjoyable quickly turns into disgust as you will find yourself chastising the characters like you would a friend in an abusive relationship. You know it does no good, but you still have to voice your opinion. For those looking for a sweet, light, decently made low-budget gay-themed film, stop at the one hour mark and save yourself from disappointment, which unfortunately is not what the characters in this film do.
Well, actually, I can say a bit. Ok, we all know this is direct-to-video, but it is actually pretty good considering. Actually, the late 90s produced a few direct-to-video flicks worth viewing. At times I even think that the direct-to-video flicks are better than some horror films that manage to go to theaters. I mean, at least these know they're bad and don't pull us in with good marketing.
But that's enough about horror movies in general. "The Clown At Midnight" is a slasher film that brings you back to the 80s, when horror movies were trying to be fun, and occasionally scary. That is what this movie is like.
First off, unlike some direct-to-video slasher films, this movie has some potential. The cast is surprisingly pretty talented. We are actually given actors that we might have heard of somewhere out of the horror realm: Margot Kidder (well...), Christopher Plummer, Tatyana Ali, James Duvall, etc.
Second, the story is reasonably good. Maybe it's just my general paranoia of clowns, but I actually found the movie creepy. At times, the movie actually delivers some pretty good scares. Wow! Yeah, I'm just as surprised as you.
Finally, this movie tries to give it's body count some depth. Yeah, most of the teenagers in this film are just there to get killed off, but they have personalities. Back in the eighties, around the time we got to "Friday the 13th part... 30," characters in horror movies were just meant to show up, have sex, and get killed. The characters here, though a couple do follow this pattern, still have... something to them. We are given bitchy characters, smart-ass characters, sweet characters, wimpy characters, and, of course, horny characters. You know, the kind that figure: "hmmm... we're in a creepy old theater house where people were murdered before and, as far as we know, the killer was never found. Let's have sex!"
Ok, so we have a bunch of teenagers in a place they should never have gone to and die off one by one. We've all seen it before, but who cares. Some of us actually appreciate cheese... and this cheese tries to be scary... and delivers at times. It's direct-to-video, it's not classic, it's fun, and it's creepy!
This is a teen sitcom I honestly miss. Where I live, it was shown at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings, so I would have to wake up earlier than usual to tune in. And I did! This teen sitcom was better than practically all of that T-NBC junk on the air now. The show had a talented cast, clever (and realistic) dialogue, originality (the comic scenes are uproarious), and reality. For a teen sitcom, it surprisingly had teenagers acting the way modern teenagers really do, not like little kids in teenagers' (actually, 20-somethings') bodies. A great teen sitcom that just could not find its place on television.
This is one of the greatest sitcoms, and television shows, ever! I rank it amongst "The Simpsons" and "I Love Lucy" as one of my favorites. It had the guts not to put up with the average family fluff crap that was popular at the time it was first aired. Now, this show has become classic. Who cannot recall when Buck died, or when Joey Lauren Adams took Bud's virginity, or when Peggy convinced Al to come home for a nooner. These are moments in television history. This was a hilarious sitcom that, though I was sad to see it go, was smart enough to depart, unlike many other sitcoms ("Boy Meets World," anyone?) before it was no longer funny! Fox needs to show re-runs of this show sometime, maybe in that "Simpsons"/"Drew Carey" block somewhere.
I'm convinced that when you watch this movie you either going to absolutely love it or truly despise it. The Talented Mr. Ripley opens to a group of black lines running up and down the screen, much like the beginning of Psycho, and continues on the same level as the classic all the way throughout the film. Matt Damon gives a chilling performance as Tom Ripley, a 1950's sociopath with a love for the piano. While borrowing a Princeton jacket from someone to tickle the ivories, Tom runs into Mr. Greenleaf who mistakes Tom for a Princeton graduate, therefore associating him with his playboy son, Dickie, played perfectly by Jude Law. Mr. Greenleaf offers Tom $1,000 to go to Italy and bring back his spoiled brat. Being nothing but a poor boy, Tom does not correct the man on his assumption and gladly takes the trip and money. While in Italy, Tom meets up with Dickie and his betrothed Margie, Gwyneth Paltrow, convincing them, as he had done with Mr. Greenleaf, that he knew Dickie from college. Dickie and Tom strike up an instant friendship, and perhaps more, making each the brother the other never had. As the story progresses, it does not turn into a typical slash and gash flick, but a slower-paced, tense psychological thriller, putting you directly into the mind of a truly disturbed man, and in doing so, making you actually root for the bad guy. Tom Ripley is the obvious villain, but you just cannot help but like him. Making Tom so enjoyable is his complexity, and the disgust you feel for the other characters. Tom is confused man with motives that do not depend on revenge or hatred, but love. When Tom meets his socialite companions, he believes they actually care him. Margie puts out an `I'll be your best friend' demeanor while Dickie confuses Tom, who is already flustered by his sexuality, into believing he loves him. Dickie is a spoiled, rude, angry, adulterer, his girlfriend is an overbearing back-stabber, his best friend, is almost as bad as Dickie himself, and then there's Meredith, another pampered, egocentric rich girl. With a group of `innocent' victims like this, it is no wonder that Tom becomes the most amicable. Anthony Minghella combines lush landscape, spine-tingling music, and deliberate pacing to create a chilling classic. True-to-life characters, exotic locations, a conceivable story, and the surprise of homosexual overtones, we are given a film that will, no doubt, go down in cinematic history as a landmark masterpiece. Every performance is right on the money. Matt Damon has that boy-next-door look that really scares you into thinking that anyone could be a psychotic murderer. Where many actors would overdo Ripley by giving him evil grins or wide eyes around every corner, Matt Damon underplays this and makes Tom frighteningly realistic. Along with him, the supporting actors are excellent. Jude Law manages to pull off an American accent to perfection and turns Dickie Greenleaf from a self-centered rich boy into a hated bastard. Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchet are also wonderful in their contrasting female leads, Philip Seymour Hoffman pulls off another great performance as Freddie, Dickie's counter spoiled-brat, and Jack Davenport is incredible as Peter, the only character that is actually ultimately good-natured. Sensational direction, superb casting, and a tight-locked script make The Talented Mr. Ripley one of the 10 Best films of the year. A+! A chilling good time!
"Kolobos" is just what you would expect it to be, a direct-to-video B-Flick for the 90s... with a twist. OK, there are substantial amounts of gore (a little too much for my taste), sub-par acting, and a dark house full of victims, but it actually tries to be intelligent. Our main character, Kyra, actually has a bit of depth to her. She is not just another big-breasted ditz out of the eighties; she actually has problems that don't relate to who she is going to take to prom or if her outfit is slutty enough to attract her dream man. Although, the rest of the characters are pretty annoying and you kind of wish they get offed quickly... and, of course, they do, and in a variety of clever ways. It's not just the axe or meat-cleaver for this serial killer. No, no, what we have here is a murder that knows how to cope with their surroundings, using anything in their grasp to eliminating the "Real World" crew, which, let's face it, is what we've all been waiting for. And as for the ending, for those of you that can't figure it out, e-mail me to find out what was going on, because this is not the place to spoil the movie. Personally, I thought the ending was quite intelligent for a piece of direct-to-video schlock, digging deep into the mind of a psychologically disfunctional artist. Overall, not too shabby, but, as always, it could have been so much more.
I just came back from watching "DOGMA" and let me tell you it is a hilarious, comic-romp in the world of Catholicism. The story alone is worth the admission price: Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), an abortion clinic employee is sent by an angel (portrayed perfectly by Alan Rickman) to stop Loki and Bartleby, two fallen angels, from returning into heaven after being booted out and beating the system by finding a loop hole to get back in. Along the way, Bethany runs into two prophets who are, of course, Kevin Smith's timeless characters Jay and Silent Bob. While traveling to New Jersey with the two hormone-driven goofballs, the travelers encounter Rufus (Chris Rock), the 13th apostle not mentioned in the Bible because he's black, and Serendipity (Salma Hayek), an abstract (muse)-turn-stripper. As the road trip continues, we learn that many of the Christian myths are really not myths: Jesus was a black man, God is a woman, sex is a joke, etc. Dogma is part road-movie, part buddy-flick, part religious escapade, and, basically, it's "The Bible: The Comic Book!" Throw in Jason Lee as a Demon, skaters from hell, and a mission to destroy everyone behind the Mooby conspiracy and what else could you ask for. Perfect performances, classic direction, and a laugh-out-loud funny script make this one of the best films of 1999. So, take the advice of the movie's tag-line and "Get touched by an angel!" A MUST-SEE! A! 9/10!
"Untamed Heart" is an absolutely touching tear-jerker romance. Every once in a while, I just want to find a movie that allows me to let go and just cry. This is definitely one for the records. The chemistry between Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei is so strong that you just can't help but believe these two people actually care about one-another. Marisa Tomei as Caroline, a waitress that seems to work all hours of the night and Christian Slater as Adam, her quiet, secret admirer dishwasher with a heart problem. Throw in Rosie Perez as Caroline's smart-ass best friend and what more could you ask for? These characters have such depth that, even though the plot is a bit predictable, you feel so much for them and by the end, you will be reduced to tears. I still tear up every time I see this movie. The perfect film for any sap with a taste for sentiment. It will always have a special place in my heart. A romance to go down in movie history. 9/10!
OK... Watching this movie, I was thinking "Deep Blue Sea" meets "Cube," but that doesn't detract from it's entertainment value. A group of very... unusual characters get together and crash on a planet infested of flying, nocturnal, man-eating creatures and, of course, terror ensues. Yes, yes, the plot has been done, but still an entertaining flick. What really saves this film is the group of un-likeable characters. Basically, there is not really a character you find yourself cheering for... and I find that a big plus. You have a criminal with cats' eyes, a pilot who'd realistically save her own ass before thinking about anyone else, a cop-like character who's almost as dangerous as the criminal he's captured, and several other disposable characters that predictably turn on one another as soon as the suns go down. The special effects are good, but I preferred how they didn't focus to much on them. What gives this film the bit of creepiness it has is what you don't see hiding in the shadows. To think of it now, you don't actually SEE the monsters all that much. What you have is a "Blair Witch" element of "sometimes it's what you don't see that scares you." In any case, not a bad movie, but I can't help but feeling like I was watching a direct-to-video flick that got mixed up with a film with better production-values.
Oh geez! What the hell were they thinking when they came up with this one? This is one of the most... stupid movies I've ever seen. This is absolutely nothing below-average direct-to-video 80s slasher-crap made in the 90s. I swear, I think Columbia Pictures must have had about 10-million dollars laying around the studio that they didn't know what to do with, so they made this piece of garbage.
The story, oh geez the story, is just so out-there unbelievable. GET READY FOR SOME SPOILERS, THOUGH I MUST SAY IT ISN'T SPOILING MUCH. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brandy win a trip to a sorry tourist island by answering the radio station question "What is the capital of Brazil?" with "Rio." Oh please! I'm not going to lie, I'm a pretty smart person, but anyone with a sense of geography knows that just ain't right. Brasilia, dammit! Like a person that has been faking his death for a year would manage to dig up the money to send four people to the Bahamas. Yeah sure. I'm going to get revenge on the people (a pair of whom are dead) that hit-and-run me two years ago by sending them on a bit of a vacation first. What a nice serial killer am I? STUPID! Which reminds me, why is it called "I Still Know What You Did LAST Summer"? Sorry, Ben Willis, you're a couple of years behind. Anyway, for a reason I have yet to figure out, Jennifer Love Hewitt runs in the rain wearing a sweater and bikini bottom to tell Brandy and the rest of the victims that she ran over Ben Willis 2 years prior and that he went after her and Ray and killed 2 of her friends last year. In one seen, that I think is incredibly stupid, Jennifer's character is in a tanning machine when the psychotic Gordon's fisherman locks her in with one of those cable ties and turns the machine to full blast. As stupid as her friends are, they waste time breaking the machine when they could simply pull the plug. HELLO? Anyway, people die, killer dies, the end. And if that ain't bad enough, now we have the cast.
Jennifer Love Hewitt, as lovely as she and her assets are, is not enough to save this film. Neither are Freddie Prinze Jr. and Mekhi Pheifer, who, despite the terrible story, do a good job. And as for Brandy, oh poor Brandy, as much as I like her music, the girl can't cut it (no pun intended) in cinema. Sorry girl, stick to your day job.
Basically, this is a terrible film that only has 2 good points: a scene that I must admit surprised me, and 2 likeable characters, and no I don't mean Jennifer's breasts. For these two highlights and the fact that this gives people who like bad movies another one to watch, I give the film a 2/10. If you must see it, I suggest you wait until someone else rents it from the 99-cent rack and mooch off of them.
I absolutely love this movie. It is a genuinely creepy, sci-fi flick with plot twists and turns around every cubical corner. Absolutely wonderful! The story is simple enough, a group of strangers wake up in a rubix-cube and need to find a way out, but the film is so much better than it sounds. The characters, eventually suffering from a bit of cabin fever, of course begin to turn on each other. Like I've always said, "You don't need to worry about monsters, people are scary enough." To describe this film in a word, "CREEPY," plain and simple. This movie really gets you thinking and may even make you a bit paranoid. Despite what has been said by others, the acting is quite good. I've seen FAR worse in bigger-budgeted Oscar winners. Anyway, a good movie, definitely worth a viewing.
OK, so we've all heard the story before: a man with a hook for a hand escapes from a mental institution and goes on a rampage, killing stupid, hormonal teenagers. But this movie is actually not that bad for a direct-to-video piece of garbage. Yes, there are several typical slasher cliches. Quote: "Michael, hurry! He's coming!" "I'm getting the flashlight!" "Leave it!" "It's all we have!" But the acting is surprisingly not bad and there is a hint of a plot, so give this movie a chance if you've got the bucks to spare and you want to rent something that you haven't seen before. Let's face it, we all get those occasional urges to stay up throughout the night having a hokey, slasher film marathon. This is definitely one of those movies perfect for the job. Overall, it's trash, but it's good trash. C+. Worth a rent. Also recommended: "The Clown At Midnight."
Being a loyal fan to the "Scream" franchise (as short as it may be) I of course was eager to see this movie. Not bad, but not in the same vein as the "Scream" franchise. What we have here is horror/comedy ghost-masked as a psychological thriller. Interesting concept, but could have had so much more done with it. This could have been one hell of a thriller if it did not have so many expendable characters or twists & turns that run into dead ends. Not to say this is a bad movie. I only wish it would have gone in a different direction toward the end.
I love how Sidney's character has really matured as a real person would. Secluded... paranoid... a bit crazy? Hell, if I'd been through all the crap she's been through, I'd definitely feel a little nutty. Another wonderful sub-plot to the story was the digging back to the past and the entire Maureen Prescott revisit. If the "Scream 3" would have focused more in these particular areas, we could have come up with one of the finest suspense films of the decade (despite the decade just starting). But, eh, whatcha gonna do? Another nice touch was how the film chose to spoof the "Scream" series itself instead of coming out with the same predictable jokes about slasher films in general.
Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers are just as enjoyable as ever. Sexual tension just under their hostile exterior. So suspicious, yet so likeable. Two great characters dumbed down just a bit for humor's sake.
Overall, probably not the best film you'll see this year, but definitely something to watch for entertainment. Great direction, mostly wonderful performances, a nice storyline, and a pretty good ending. B average. 8/10.
When I went into the theater to watch this film, I was expecting a terrifying experience. Well, I can't say I was disappointed, but I was not scared. Many people find this movie incredibly scary. Sadly, I can't relate. Maybe it's the fact that I love nature and actually respect it, I don't know, but I just didn't find it scary. Not to say that it wasn't good. I do like this movie. In my eyes, this is one of the most creative films of all time, sort of a NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for the 90s, so to speak. Overall, though I don't think the movie is scary, I must say it is still well played off and definitely worth a viewing. Thumbs up.
Let me just say that I truly love this movie. It is my pick for best film of 1998. A truly wonderful film. From the previews alone, I knew I was going to like this movie.
The cast alone is worth a viewing. Tobey Maguire is a hidden talent. Most enjoyable. In my eyes, Reese Witherspoon, cannot make a bad film. I have loved her since MAN IN THE MOON. She is truly talented and is surely one of the best contemporary actresses. Jeff Daniels is one of the most underrated actors of our time and he pulls off a great performance here. The same can be said for Joan Allen who brings such depth to any character she plays and is no different here. As for William H. Macy, he is always a pleasure to see, from FARGO to BOOGIE NIGHTS to right here in good old PLEASANTVILLE.
Gary Ross is a true artist. Almost everyone can agree he is a wonderful writer (I remember his masterful work since I saw BIG), but who would've thought he'd turn out to be such a wonderful director as well. This man is a film genius. I can hardly wait for his next masterpiece.
PLEASANTVILLE is the best film of 1998 and what I would consider a modern classic. A+! Perfect 10! Two thumbs up! A must see!
Once every decade, there comes a film so well-made that it provides enjoyment for everyone. In the 70s there was STAR WARS, in the 80s we had THE GOONIES, and, for the 90s, we are brought THE MASK OF ZORRO. This film does something that not many contemporary films do. It entertains.
This movie is an action-packed, comedic, romantic, swashbuckling adventure, much in the tradition of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. I was truly surprised that a "movie of the summer" could deliver such cinematic masterfulness. It is a rare action/adventure film that has great direction, writing, and acting.
No one could ask for a better Zorro than Antonio Banderas. He brings such a heroic presence to Zorro. I would compare him to Errol Flynn. Anthony Hopkins, not surprisingly, delivers a wonderful performance and Catherine Zeta-Jones is perfect in her role as Elena. No one could have pulled it off better. Who would've thought two Welsh actors would make such wonderful Mexican heroes?
I am so pleased that Martin Campbell was the director to bring this film to life. He has a wonderful ability to bring classic heroes into the nineties without making them TOO nineties. First, he brought a wonderful James Bond and then a superb Zorro. I'm just waiting for him to bring us a Spiderman movie (we can hope can't we?).
Overall, this a wonderful film for all to enjoy! One of the best movies of the year (second only to PLEASANTVILLE)! A+! Thoroughly entertaining!
Chilling. Absolutely chilling. One of those rare horror films that actually scared me. I saw this movie when I was about 9 and couldn't really sit through to the end because it scared me so. The character of the Candyman was so scary, not just because he killed people (though that had a lot to do with it), but because the person he was chasing was not believed (and actually framed for his murders). Believe me, if someone was popping up killing people unexpectedly like Candyman did, I would not stick around to see what was going on. I still won't go up to a mirror and test the Candyman theory out. Definitely one of the best slasher films of the 90s. Rent or buy it.
I remember first seeing this movie when I was about 5 and being so scared it gave me nightmares. Do not take this lightly. I had been watching horror films since I was 2 and no horror film had really scared me until I saw this one. Anyway, I saw it again recently and it was still pretty scary. It may be considered a "Friday the 13th" rip-off, but I personally thought it was better.
The killer in "The Burning" was incredibly creepy because he is never really seen, other than the first and last five minutes of the movie. You are left with your imagination to visualize how horribly disfigured this man has become from the cruel prank played on him. And unlike the murder of almost every other horror film, Cropsy isn't afraid to take his anger out on anyone, adult or child.
Remembering this film, I reminded of one particular scene which has been mentioned several times. THE RAFT SCENE. No other horror movie (to my memory) has ever had the guts to pull off what was done here. This scene is still implanted in my mind and will no doubt go down in horror movie history.
Another attribute which makes this movie completely frightening is the haunting score. I still hear those haunting keyboards playing in my occasional nightmares. Creepy.
Creepy atmosphere, haunting score, and acting just cheesy enough to work make this a memorable 80s slasher. Totally underrated and a must-see for any horror connoisseur.
This is no doubt in my mind the best movie of 1999. Sitting through this movie, something happened to me that has never happened to me before. I found myself so impressed with the movie that I completely forgot I was watching one. It was as if I was peering into someone's life. Usually, no matter how good a movie is, I find myself looking at my watch to see how much time is left for the movie to end. With this movie, I didn't want it to. The movie took such a hold on me that I never wanted it to end, but when it did, I was still satisfied. The movie ended on such a unique note that words cannot describe the emotions I had when leaving this film. From start to finish it was excellent.
I am a true lover of films, so it was difficult for me to choose this as my FAVORITE movie of all time, but I finally accepted it. This is definitely my favorite movie. A+! Perfect 10! Wonderful performances from all, great direction, and superb script. A definite must-see. To describe this movie in one word: BEAUTIFUL!