rustydog

IMDb member since March 2002
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    17 years

Reviews

I.Q.
(1994)

a true little gem of a movie
While the sparkling chemistry between Ryan and Robbins alone is reason enough to see this movie, the supporting cast (including Matthau, Fry, Shalub, Durning and the hilarious trio of Jacobi, Saks and Maher) is an additional plus. Matthau shines as Einstein, Fry is perfect as Ryan's clinical fiancé, and Shalub's line about Einstein's gonads is, as has been noted, one of the highlights of the film. The speech that Robbins delivers at his first appearance in public is sheer poetry. Kudos to the writers for handling this froth with wit and levity. I also thought that Keene Curtis was wonderful as Eisenhower. This might be considered something of a chick movie, but I think everyone will get a kick out of it. Eight very solid points.

Guarding Tess
(1994)

A delightful movie with outstanding performances
This perfect little gem of a movie deserves watching. With such a wonderful cast and such a great script, if this movie has any fault at all, it is under-appreciation. Shirley and Nick play off each other like the pros they are. The photography is on cue, the pace is keen and the underlying message of learning to love and care for what you have instead of squandering your energies on unrealistic ambitions is heart-warming. Among the many great moments are the calls from the President, Tess's temper tantrums, the scene at the opera, the "stand-off" in the car, and Tess's last scene from the hospital. I don't think this submission contains spoilers, but if they are, they're harmless. Please, please see this film.

American Playhouse: Pilgrim, Farewell
(1982)
Episode 11, Season 1

an unforgettable piece
I, too, only saw this once, over 25 years ago, and it still resonates in my mind. Lloyd is especially memorable as Paul, a low-key performance for him, but haunting in its quietly intense presence. The motif of the coffin being built as the lead character dies is a borrowing from Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," and is just as effective in this brilliant little film. The scenes between the mother and daughter and especially revealing, especially with the daughter's lesbian relationship. Frankly, I don't remember so much more (the traumatic and bloody hospital scene springs to mind), but if you happen to run up on this in any form or fashion, I highly recommend it. Yes, it's sad, but it's also wonderful in its own way.

Alive
(1993)

Anything is possible . . .
While I agree that this movie deserves a better rating, any movie of this sort, however moving or well-crafted, is still limited by its roots in reality, and in my opinion great works of art use reality as only a touchstone.

Having said that, and having read the book and watched the film, "Alive" is one of the most remarkable movies of any generation. The script is lucid and intelligent; the cinematography is both beautiful and horrendous in its detail; and it addresses one of the oldest taboos in Western culture.

From the breath-taking crash sequence until the final scenes (made even more poignant by the fact that they did go the wrong way) where the expedition finally reaches a green, warm valley, this is a gripping cinematic experience.

Murphy's Romance
(1985)

A Chick Flick?
Sure, this is a romantic comedy, but I wouldn't call it a chick flick. It's a great story, and all the principals work effortlessly towards making the film just downright entertaining.

Garner is at his best as an understatedly charming small-town pharmacist who becomes entangled in the life of a fiercely independent single mother with a deadbeat ex-husband. Field hits all the right notes with her character, but I can't tell if she's stepping back, or she just doesn't know how to play against Garner's lackadaisical style. Brian Kerwin gives his best screen performance as her ex, and sure, he plays a deadbeat, but he just oozes sex appeal.

Looking for Richard
(1996)

a fine film that brings Shakespeare a living edge
This film has fascinated me ever since I first happened upon it in the library of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. By a happy coincidence, I also checked out Ian McKellen's quite excellent "Richard III" on the same day and spent most of the afternoon viewing and comparing the two.

It all works: the performances, the interviews, the clowning around on the set. I thought Spacey was wooden, but Baldwin . . . wow . . . who would have expected such a performance.

Highly recommended for anyone who reads and thinks.

Rusty

Manhunter
(1986)

a worthy predecessor
This film really deserves more recognition that it has received; not only does it have some really good acting, but I found the script compact and compelling.

This is the role that propelled Petersen into his enormously successful CSI character. Farina delivers his usual good, solid performance as Crawford, Stephen Lang has a great time with the Lounds role, Noonan is (to my mind) mesmerizing as the Dragon and Brian Cox deserves a round of applause as Lector, even though Tony Hopkins trumped him solidly in "The Silence of the Lambs." I recommend this film to anyone who has a fascination for the "Hannibal Lector" series as well as for anyone who has a taste for forensics and criminal investigation. The original novel, "Red Dragon," is far more complex than this version manages to convey, but then anyone who has actually read "Gone With the Wind" should realize the limitations of translating a complex piece of writing into film.

All in all, a great, great "B" movie. The only severe drawback is the soundtrack, which blows chunks.

Evolution
(2001)

Not great, but consistently clever and entertaining
I thought this movie was quite up to the level of TREMORS, maybe even a little bit more sophisticated. The F/X is great, and if you pay attention to the dialogue, the double entendres and the puns redeem a fairly predictable plot line. Julienne Moore is quite good, and Orlando Jones is hilarious. Duchovny is rather wooden, as usual, but he seems to fit. All in all, a fun movie to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Warriors
(1979)

One of the best gang movies ever made
A truly well-thought out and dynamic film with hints of brilliance. The references back to "West Side Story" are obvious, but not over-played, and the suspense is well-sustained. Excellent photography and costuming and the theme song, by Joe Walsh, is classic `70's rock. Great stuff.

Carrie
(1976)

On the lines of a Greek tragedy
Yes, certainly, the characters in this film tend to be portrayed in a single dimension, yet even as an admixture of stock characters, this film works, and works splendidly, primarily because of the acting, yet also upon an intelligent script.

When you watch this film, keep in mind the Aristotilian precepts for a tragic character, and apply them to Carrie White, for this film, and the book as well, has all the dimensions of a classic tragedy.

This is a very human film, and should not be judged by its shortcomings in terms of scariness or shock content, but on the development and downfall of that brief and flowering flame which was Carrie White.

This is one of the best films made of a Stephen King novel, and a wonderful demonstration of De Palma's talents at mining human emotions.

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