Reviews (1,192)

  • After reading the Harold Schechter book, Deranged, I found this documentary on the cannibal killer Albert Fish. Albert had a taste for human flesh and also enjoyed both giving and receiving pain. The reenactments are silly, especially the repeated shot of Fish whipping himself with a cat 'o nine tails. A man with some sort of crime museum is extensively interviewed and he is in possession of a demented letter sent by the killer to the family of the main victim, ten year-old Grace Budd. In it, All informed them that Grace made a delicious stew, but the good news was that she died a virgin. A shrink is given frequent screen time to offer her obvious opinions. We also get numerous scenes of a pot being filled with onions and carrots with pieces of flesh. Ugh! This is an extremely unpleasant film.
  • 16 September 2022
    I took a shot at this Croation drama as I have a blood connection to that country from my mother's side of the family. She grew up with a mother and father who spoke Serbo-Croation and learned English at the age of five in the New York City school system. The scenery of the Adriatic coast is spectacular but the story is nothing new or special as a seventeen year-old girl is controlled by her domineering father. A former boss visits his island home and the fireworks begin when the guest is shown to have had a relationship with the girl's mother. The actors are all fine and the underwater sequences nice but, in the end I was left unhappy with the ambiguous ending.
  • 11 September 2022
    With over one thousand reviews on IMDB, this may be the most difficult one I will ever write. The timing is impeccable, as here in America, the landmark Roe vs Wade decision has turned the nation into a state by state battleground regarding the freedom to choose whether or not to have an abortion. As a pro choice Catholic, I am in disagreement with the views of my church. The film portrays a young woman in a France of the 1960s, when abortion was illegal. Some of the scenes are quite graphic and disturbing. The lead actress is outstanding and the story compelling. I am sure that Happening will receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign movie.
  • Ovidie is apparently a former porn actress and she has made a documentary critical of the way that the industry has, excuse me, screwed the stars of the "films". She has got to be kidding. The internet has changed the world of entertainment and the adult movie industry is certainly no exception to this trend. Ovidie interviews some of the performers and travels the world in search of answers, and in the end, finds none. A site called Pornhub seems to be the leader in streaming XXX videos without paying any royalties to either the producers or "talent". I am so upset that I must pause here for a tissue to wipe away my tears. The only positive aspect to this mess is that it runs under ninety minutes.
  • A fair warning for animal lovers in the audience. In the first half hour there is a scene involving a kitten which almost had me turn off the film. A little boys act of cruelty was not necessary. The boy here has Carrie like abilities and he befriends a neighbor who has a sister with autism. The handicapped girl cannot speak and she meets another preteen who brings out the best in her. Unfortunately, the cat hating boy shows a mind controlling power which he does not good to good use. The adults are all secondary to the story and the children are all terrific young actors. The atmosphere is sufficiently creepy but the ending was quite predictable. Due to the superb cast, especially the kids, the movie is a solid seven.
  • The Green River Killer was in the news for almost twenty years before his capture. Because the victims were, for the most part, prostitutes, little concern was given, when compared with Ted Bundy, who killed a good number of "innocent" college co-eds. Ted makes an obligatory appearance as he volunteered his advice on catching the killer. One of his predictions was hauntingly accurate. No serial killer doc would be complete without the Tedster. The reenactments are, as usual, overdone, but the final portion with Ridgway interviews are the highlight of the documentary. Interviews with his third and final wife are bizarre. Overall, a very entertaining film.
  • Adam Long is on screen for most of this docudrama. He portrays Ted Bundy and he is not up to the task. I was expecting more of the real footage but was subjected to bad narration, blaring music and more God awful acting. My fascination with Ted began forty years ago with Ann Rule's book, "The Stranger Beside Me". Author Kevin Sullivan is interviewed and I am now reading one of his books on Bundy. There is enough material available, both video and audio, to produce a worthwhile film. Scenes are repeated ad infinitum and the result resembles an MTV music video, with quick edits made for those with a short attention span. As a voracious reader of true crime, I am certainly not the intended audience. Instead of this garbage, I recommend Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer and Conversations with a Killer. Both are excellent.
  • I was drawn to this film by the movie poster. I expected a comedy but did not find much to laugh about. Anna Ammirati is Lola, a young woman who is seen at the opening riding a bicycle while bent over and flashing her panties at the mostly appreciative bystanders. She is engaged to be married within a few days and wishes to lose her virginity before the wedding. Her partner refuses to engage in premarital coitus, leading to a few scenes of attempts by Lola to seduce the man. Anna is frequently nude and has an undeniable allure, but the film is just not funny. The sex scenes are surprisingly graphic for a supposedly mainstream movie. The acting is not at a high level and the only saving grace is an excellent soundtrack.
  • I learned of heaven, hell and purgatory as a child at St. Ann School in Ossining, NY in the 1960s. The theme of an afterlife has been done before. The problem here is the disconnected nature of the segments. A man has lost his wife in a car accident and is visited by a spirit guide. A follow up story involving a child molester made no sense. The final segment is the best one with a little girl seeking immortality. The young actress is the best part of the film. If that portion had been expanded to full length, this could have been a good movie.
  • As a white Catholic, I was mesmerized by this incredible documentary. I belong to a parish in Westchester County with an all white congregation. The history of my church is shown here, warts and all. The struggles endured by those profiled are heartbreaking. I was unfamiliar with most with the exception of Pierre Toussaint. The final candidate for sainthood, Sister Thea Bowman, is the highlight of the film. A beautiful and charismatic woman from Mississippi became a powerful figure within the Catholic community. Her rendition of I feel like a motherless child brought me to tears. The time is right for all to be elevated to the level of sainthood. A 10/10 and my pick as the best documentary at the Oscars.
  • Almodovar is a talented director who gets the most out of his cast. It begins with Penelope Cruz giving birth on a bus but she exits the film quickly. The major role is taken over by Javier Bardem who plays a cop who has many issues to overcome, one being a sexy spouse who he cannot satisfy physically. It gets more complicated with more quirky characters along the way. I was captivated by the story but disappointed in an unbelievable ending with a missing element involving Bardem's character.
  • A group of adolescent boys and girls are left home with a fourteen year-old named Maria, whose mother is away without explanation. She cooks and rules and they live in a gated community with other spoiled and privileged brats. They break into homes, and, for some reason, no adult is ever present in what looks like the children of the damned. One twenty something woman appears for no apparent reason and is asked by a little girl how to make the Sign of the Cross. Say what! The movie opens with a "presented by Martin Scorcese" credit. I was bored to tears by this film.
  • The producer of the movie is the author of the book A Beautiful Child, which I highly recommend. It is a page turner with a story stranger than fiction. The documentary repeats reenactments over and over which seems to be the norm with true crime dramatizations. I did not need to see the same clip of a woman walking away from the camera in a thong. I get it, the victim was a stripper. Two of her co-workers are interviewed and they look as if their former "profession" has sucked the very life out of them. Sharon's life was a disaster from beginning to end and by the final few minutes we can see why with the interviews of family members. Oh my God, is this a downer.
  • Sharlto Copely is mesmerizing as the Unabomber and is on screen for 95% of the film. He is Ted. The script relies mostly on Ted's writings, including the manifesto. He may be crazy, but the man is far from stupid. A math prodigy with few social skills, he escaped to the wilderness, like Thoreau. Henry tried to change the world with his pen whereas the Unabomber used more radical and violent means. The film has a strong environmental message and the use of Montana's breathtaking scenery is a huge plus. The K is one of the best movies of the year and Copely is my early frontrunner for the best actor Oscar.
  • Viggo Mortensen was in two of my favorite movies, History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Here he is as a man who constantly grunts and makes sounds similar to those of Beavis and Butt-head. He is a performance artist whose body continuously forms new internal organs which are removed as works of art. Graphic scenes of surgery are used ad nauseam and the final one is just plain ridiculous. Cronenberg has lost it.
  • Watcher has been done many times before, the best being Monsieur Hire, a French classic. Ms. Monroe is very good in the lead as a woman who is seen as paranoid by her clueless husband. They live in Romania and a good portion of it is in that language without subtitles, which I found annoying. The ending was predictable but overall a decent movie.
  • I watched the original series and thought that Judge showed creativity with the pair of misfits. He is back with the boys at NASA and in search of their "first." In pursuit of their dream they baffle everyone around them and it sticks with the juvenile humor we expect. I only laughed infrequently and was disappointed with the film overall. At only eighty-six minutes it is a passable diversion.
  • 20 June 2022
    This is a dark Chinese black and white film noir which is vicious. I would put it in a category with both Seven and Kalifornia. Two detectives, a rookie and a salty veteran investigate the murders of junkie prostitutes. The killer has cut off their hands and the police are stumped by the crimes. The cinematography is excellent and the two leads credible. A completely unpredictable ending make this a must watch film.
  • Caleb Landry-Jones somehow is able to mimic an Australian accent which would have fooled me if I hadn't read a synopsis before watching the film. Nitram is an outcast with no friends who is mocked by others and it builds to a resentment of a society of so-called "normal" people. Circumstances lead to a horrible real life tragedy Down Under. The cast is superb and story well told. So far, Nitram is one of my ten best movies of the year.
  • Mark Wahlberg put his heart and soul into Father Stu, even providing the financing of the project and the result is an inspiring, old fashioned story of faith and redemption. As a cradle Catholic, I was moved to tears by the Oscar worthy performances of both Wahlberg and Mel Gibson as Stu's father. From beginning to end, not a minute is wasted in the transition from angry young man to man of the cloth. I cannot praise this film highly enough. Please see this journey of salvation.
  • Probably an unfair comparison with the great film, Seven, but the writers are pretty obviously infuenced by it. Even so, Resurrection is an entertaining movie, although some glaring plot holes are evident along the way. Christopher Lambert is good as the lead detective investigating a a serial murderer with a religious bent taking body parts for a Jesus project. Some scenes are graphic and the mood extremely dark. As a small piece of trivia, look for the director David Cronenberg playing a Catholic priest in a couple of scenes. Overall, Resurrection is worth your time.
  • What a performance by Ben Kingsley. He chews up a viciously dark script with great enthusiasm. He is sent to Spain to recruit a fellow criminal who has retired there for some peace and quiet. Flashbacks reveal a plot with plans to pull off a major heist. Kingley works with fervor to convince his reluctant old partner to join in the festivities. Tarantino must have worked on the script, because it is that good. Watch this little known gem.
  • My favorite comedian is given a proper tribute by HBO, which made George Carlin a household name. Jon Stewart compared him with Bach and Beethoven, a completely accurate assessment. Stephen Colbert calls him the Beatles of comedy, and again, a perfect comparison. The early to late clips show an artist evolving from a safe performer to a no holds barred angry old man with a message. We have no one out there now with Carlin's balls. Oh boy do I miss him now. Watch this great film.
  • The horror here is in the form of an E. T. kind of creature hatched from an egg discovered by a young girl. Mom is a domineering shrew and dad us a clueless wimp. I was entertained by the concept but did not like the ending. Not too bad and only ninety minutes.
  • I was entertained by this Korean film with two priests unofficially assigned to remove the devil from a teenage girl. The acting is top notch and the script has a decent sense of humor. As a Catholic with some knowledge of my church's beliefs, I found the story to be well done. Nothing new in the popular theme but I was o.k. With the result.
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