phmurphy

IMDb member since December 2003
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    17 years

Reviews

Stop Making Sense
(1984)

A Masterpiece
This concert/movie is simply a brilliant collaboration of music and film. First off, you have the Talking Heads, perhaps one of the most creative and interesting bands in the history of music who put on a concert that is so imaginative that I still cannot believe it happened. Second, you have veteran Director Johnathan Demme who brings the darkness and creepiness that he used in such films as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, to a concert with sort of a dark and creepy demeanor, i.e. David Byrne in general, the style of music, the dancing. I mean dark and creepy in a good way however. I cannot help to think that this movie is also a comedy. David Byrne's movements, the bass players dancing, the songs and just everything i get a kick out of. I have always been a big fan of the Talking Heads, but after seeing this movie, my love for them skyrockets. They are a unbelievable band with an imagination that rivals that of the likes of Shel Silverstein and the Cohen Brothers. I could literally go on and on about how brilliant this movie is. I think the next time i watch it, i may actually get up and dance. I only wish that I could have been at the actual show. I also cannot figure out what I like better, The Last Waltz or this. Shame on anybody who badmouths this movie or the band in general. See this and then see it again and again and again. 10/10

Ed Wood
(1994)

What A Gem
I have to say that I was blown away by this movie. I mean you have all the right stuff in it. A veteran actor like Martin Landau who out does himself as the struggling, junkie actor Bela Lugosi...You have fan favorite Johnny Depp in probably his best role ever. His voice, his peppy behavior and of course his false teeth are simply outrageous. Also, not too mention great supporting roles by both Sarah Jessica Parker and Bill Murray...Every actor captures what I'm sure these people were like. I find it hard to believe how somebody cannot laugh out loud at the times when Johnny Depp is so excited about a terrible and rushed scene that he just shot (which happens a lot throughout the movie, so lots of laughs will be had.) Also, add in the brilliant eye that Tim Burton has in directing his movies. This film just got me that much more excited about the new Willy Wonka movie..Depp and Burton create masterpieces when they team up..Do not hesitate to see this movie and I didn't want to add too many spoilers on this one because I do not want to spoil anything for any potential viewers...A remarkable movie over all...10/10.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
(2004)

Wes Andersons worst
I just saw the Life Aquatic today and i have to say that i am a little disappointed. I had a general idea of what the movie was about and how it would look on the screen, but what i didn't realize was how much Bill Murray overacted. Hes trying to be this art house movie guy and i don't buy it. I'll be the first to admit that he is unbelievable in Rushmore, but now Lost In Translation, Tenenbaums, Aquatic....i miss the old Bill Murray...Lets bring back Dr. Venkman, Meatballs Murray, Groundhog Day Murray....i guess i'm just not used to Bill Murray changing the roles he takes.....Also, Wes Anderson failed by not teaming up with Owen Wilson in writing the movie.....Why would he take out Owen Wilson, who i think is the brains behind so much of the humor in Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and the Royal Tenenbaums....his acting in the Life Aquatic was not that humorous..the only thing that was humorous about his character was that he worked for Air Kentucky...The writing was just a little weaker than Andersons previous movies and he needs to keep Owen Wilson on his writing team......The directing was very unique and Anderson clearly scored points in that category, but i was just disappointed all around with this movie.....i have to admit, without Jeff Goldblumes and Willem Dafoes characters, I may have walked out early on this one.

The Dreamers
(2003)

Not great
After watching this movie, i was very disappointed with it. I am a big fan of Bernardo Bertolucci and his style of directing. I'm not saying that this is a poorly directed movie, but i feel like Bertolucci was trying too hard to make a modern Last Tango in Paris. The story was very weeak and it never really went anywhere in the end. The one aspect of the movie that was very good was the soundtrack and how they made several references and movements to their favorite movies. The acting from the French girl was very good and she was a typical Bertolucci character. Michael Pitt played a very annoying character as the young American who finds these two french siblings. He seemed to just be trying too hard to really give a very dynamic performance and ended up over acting in my opinion. THis movie does live up to its reputation of being very erotic and how it is "Pure Bertolucci." Only he could direct some of the sexier scenes and like i said, he does do a good job directing. But overall, i give this movie a 4/10.

Garden State
(2004)

Well Done
After wanting to see Garden State all summer, i finally got a chance to see it last week and was very satisfied. All of the ads are correct in that Zach Braff does have a very good filmakers eye and a rather witty sense of humor. Some of the shots and camera work were very original, for example, the shirt blending in with the wall and the mirror shot of him in the morning. It was also visible that he was truly passionate about exposing various memories of growing up. I also see room for improvement as this was his first movie. For example, he did try to get a little too cute in some scenes and was trying a little too hard, but for the most part this was a very well done film for a first time director. But he does not steal the show at all. Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgard truly were the more talented actors here and really kept the movie going. I think that Natalie Portman should be considered for possible Academy Award or Golden GLobe nominations. Overall, i give this movie a 9/10.

Exorcist: The Beginning
(2004)

Nothing Special
I recently viewed this film last night and i have to say that it is pretty bad. The story is lame and the makers of the film just tried too hard to match the intensity of the Exorcist. The actor who plays father Marin was what kept me in my seat. His performance was very good playing the younger version of the Old priest in the original Exorcist. ***POSIBLE SPOILER*** The only good part was his story of how he lost his faith and regained it to reenter the priesthood and at the end of the movie, we see him walking off with the same priest attire that we see father marin wearing in the original exorcist when he shows up to Ellen Burstyns house. Also, when the female doctor is possessed by the devil and looks like young Reagen does when she is possessed, it is very agressive. The things that she says when possessed are just stupid and not as catchy as they are when Linda Blair was possessed. i feel like this film just tried too hard. I think that they just need to leave a classic film such as the Exorcist alone and let it just be. I mean whats next, a Prequel to Psycho or Halloween directed by Ridley Scott??? Other than the acting of Father Marin, the sound in this movie was rather extraordinary and the directing was around par level. But overall, i give it a 4/10.

Entourage
(2004)

Could be better
After two episodes of the new comedy series from HBO, i have mixed emotions about the show. On the good side, i think that it is original, funny, and will last for a while. On the negative side, i think that the writing and overall demeanor of the show needs to intensify. This could be because the show just got started and will intensify as the episodes continue. I think that the success of HBO has been due to the fact that the shows are quality, yet vulgar and violent. Think about Sex and the City, it was a great show, with great characters who are basically four whores living in NYC. The show was so successful because the writing matched the concept. The writing was very dirty and very vulgar and at the same time, hilarious. The Sopranos has been successful due to the fact that it is extremely violent yet mixed in with brilliant acting and writing. Other shows such as Curb, Oz, The Wire, etc. have stuck to great writing and acting, but at the same time, keep that traditional HBO level of vulgarity going right from the start. Now look at Entourage. Here we have a Hollywood hotshot and his closest friends just living the life in LA. The premise is great for an HBO series, but think of how much more they could do with the show. There is the level of swearing and sexual references, but this is a show where nudity, severe drug abuse, and a little violence should come about. Hollywood is not a normal place. It is probably one of the scummiest places in the world and this show needs to capture that better. There has got to be more going on behind the scenes of these big time actors that just spending money and taking bong hits on the couch. Maybe I'm wrong and perhaps this is what actors do, but it never hurt HBO to exaggerate a little bit. Also, Jeremy Piven and Kevin Dillon i think are holding the show together. I mean come on, its Dillons best work since Platoon. I give it 7/10 because it is a clever show that has potential.

Mean Creek
(2004)

Very Good (possible spoiler)
For a first time director, Jacob Aaron Estes is off to a good career. This movie, which carries with it a touch of "Kids" and "Bully" like themes and dialogue is very well made and powerful. This director has quite the eye and talent to make very strong characters and each and every character in the movie played a very intirical part in the movie. It was a very balanced picture and was just flat out made well. **SPOILERS** The scene when the kids are in the boat and the fat kid has just found out that he was tricked into coming out to the lake and begins to verbally lash each and every kid, especially the one whose Dad died may have been one of the more powerful scenes that i have seen in an Indie in a while. You could see the anger rising in the kid who was being mocked because of his father who shot himself. This young director did a magnificent job in building up the key scene in which the fat bully accidentally dies. Overall, a very good movie. 10/10.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1
(2003)

Not Impressed
I just saw Kill Bill vol. 1 for the first time and i am not impressed. To me it wasn't Tarantinos best work at all. I thought that a lot of the dialogue was weak and not nearly as quick, creative, and original as we are used to most Tarantino scripts and dialogues being. For instance, watch this movie and then watch Dogs, Pulp and True Romance(which he wrote) and listen to how much better the dialogue is in those films as opposed to Kill Bill. The fighting of course was great and the music was what really held the film together. Quentin stayed true to his eye of matching music to the scene very well. I'm not saying that it was a bad movie, but i just wasn't impressed. I haven't seen Vol. 2 yet but i hope that Michael Madsen has some more lines and face time in it because some of the things that flew out of his mouth in Reservoir Dogs were great and he is a true Tarantino actor. I hope that for Quentins next movie, he goes back to those wild ideas that he had in Pulp and Dogs, instead of this kung fu s**t. Overall, i give this movie a 6/10.

Entourage
(2004)

Could be better
After two episodes of the new comedy series from HBO, i have mixed emotions about the show. On the good side, i think that it is original, funny, and will last for a while. On the negative side, i think that the writing and overall demeanor of the show needs to intensify. This could be because the show just got started and will intensify as the episodes continue. I think that the success of HBO has been due to the fact that the shows are quality, yet vulgar and violent. Think about Sex and the City, it was a great show, with great characters who are basically four whores living in NYC. The show was so successful because the writing matched the concept. The writing was very dirty and very vulgar and at the same time, hilarious. The Sopranos has been successful due to the fact that it is extremely violent yet mixed in with brilliant acting and writing. Other shows such as Curb, Oz, The Wire, etc. have stuck to great writing and acting, but at the same time, keep that traditional HBO level of vulgarity going right from the start. Now look at Entourage. Here we have a Hollywood hotshot and his closest friends just living the life in LA. The premise is great for an HBO series, but think of how much more they could do with the show. There is the level of swearing and sexual references, but this is a show where nudity, severe drug abuse, and a little violence should come about. Hollywood is not a normal place. It is probably one of the scummiest places in the world and this show needs to capture that better. There has got to be more going on behind the scenes of these big time actors that just spending money and taking bong hits on the couch. Maybe I'm wrong and perhaps this is what actors do, but it never hurt HBO to exaggerate a little bit. Also, Jeremy Piven and Kevin Dillon i think are holding the show together. I mean come on, its Dillons best work since Platoon. I give it 7/10 because it is a clever show that has potential.

Da Ali G Show
(2000)

Brilliant
Da Ali G show is an absolute masterpiece. Sacha Baron Cohen is perhaps one of the funniest people on the planet. He will certainly go down as a comic genius and legend. His skits are original, his writing is creative and his alter egos are just downright hilarious. I did not think that the new season would top last seasons unbelievable episodes, but it already has. The first two Borats have been out of this world and Ali G's interviews are just ridiculously funny. This is comedy that i have never seen before which is why i think that it is the best comedy on TV right now. This is coming from a big Curb your enthusiasm fan. I have a lot of respect for the big comedy series out right now such as the Simpsons, the family guy and arrested development, but i do not laugh harder than i do when i watch Ali G. I am in tears almost every episode. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it is the best show on television right now (since the Sopranos is currently in between seasons). If you haven't seen it, i strongly recommend you see it and if you don't think its funny or if you do not even chuckle the slightest bit at his antics, then you have absolutely zero sense of humor.

True Romance
(1993)

Tarantinos Best Script
I know that all the great stories and movies that Quentin Tarantino has written and made have been nothing short of brilliant, but i think the best story/script that he has ever done is True Romance. Not necessarily everybody knows that he wrote it too. It is so brilliant and The story is so original. Im not saying that Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs aren't, but think about all the genres that are rolled into one here. Theres love, comedy, drama, violence, crime, mafia, drugs, hollywood, and the list goes on and on. I think that it may be one of the top 5-10 best screenplays ever written. Also, aside from the writing, the casting is superb. I mean we have Christian Slater (his best role), Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Samuel Jackson, Tom Sizemore, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini (the role that pretty much had Tony Soprano written all over it) and other great actors. When you put a lot of marquis actors in a movie, it doesnt always work out because sometimes its just too much, but in this movie, their appearances in the movie are all balanced out that it works. I mean Christopher Walken is only in the movie for about 10 minutes and in that 10 minutes, he has the most memorable scene in the movie. Same goes for Gary Oldman. Tony Scott's directing is also remarkable. All in all, if you haven't seen this movie in a while or havent at all, rent it, buy it, order it, or whatever means of movie purchase you are accostomed to, and enjoy it because i think that it is a true classic. You literally will laugh, cry, and cringe, but most importantly, you will be satisfied......10/10.

The Player
(1992)

Right on target
This movie is great. For anyone out there that has ever worked in the film industry or wants to work in it, watch this movie. this is exactly what it is like in hollywood, especially around the people that are making big budget films or just your basic hollywood ending movie. The story was very interesting and the ending was great, but what Altman does brilliant here is capture what Hollywood execs are. Also, Altmans directing style is flawless in this movie and it is his best film since Mccabe and Mrs. Miller or MASH. 10/10

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
(2003)

Its Ok
I think that the only good thing about this movie is the directing. The story drags on way too much and the acting really is not that good. If this movie wins best picture then why dont we just give the new Star Wars movies best picture oscars. The only reason that it will win best picture is simply due to the fact that the other two didnt and the Acadmeny of motion pictures is like that. I find the LOTR movies to be annoying, however peter jackson is a fine director. But this movie is not one of the best ever made. Think about how much they had to digitally enhance and to me that isnt film making. Im happy the trilogy is over....but i will give the movie a 6/10 just because it was directed well.

Carnivàle
(2003)

Great Show
For those of you who like this show i am very happy to hear because i dont know what kind of reviews it is getting. I think this show is great and very creative. Think about all the crap that is out on TV. HBO has truly done it again with its string of great shows. The acting is great, especially by Nick Stahl who i think is one of the best young actors around (Bully and In the Bedroom). The Season Finale was amazing and should be looked at when the Emmy nomitations roll around. Im happy to see that there is something very very creative and intriguing on TV instead of watching six friends who live in NYC and say annoying jokes all the time.

Bully
(2001)

Larry Clark is great
For those of you who dont like this movie, first of all watch KIDS and second of all learn a little more about Larry Clark. He is a great director and depicts this actual true story brilliantly. I can understand why people think that the acting is bad, but i cant say this enough: THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND THESE KIDS WERE REALLY LIKE THAT. This movie is great and larry clark does such a good job to show you what these degenerate florida kids really did to their so called friend. THere are some scenes that i can see would turn people the wrong way, but it is such a good depiction of juvenile delinquents and what actually happened. 9/10

Mulholland Dr.
(2001)

Great Movie
I understand that there are people that do not like or understand this movie and that is their opinion, but this movie is an ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE!!!!! If you like David Lynch, then there is no possible way that you can not like this movie. Its his best since Blue Velvet. The way it depicts Hollywood as a truly weird and bizarre place is great and Lynch is right on point with that depiction. I'll be the first to admit that this movie is weird and mentally exhausting, but it is a brilliant display of artistic film making. If you are someone who appreciates good filmmaking, art, and David Lynch, you must see this movie....however if you are someone that is into crap like Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Boondock Saints, Blade or any other marginally talented actors and movies, then you may want to steer clear of this movie. 10/10

The Boondock Saints
(1999)

Bad Movie
I dont understand why people think this movie is so good. Is it because they do cool things when they kill someone or because of the bad ass prayer that they say. Come on. This movie is not that great. Willem Dafoe is the only good actor in it and even he doesnt do a great job. this is an overated movie.

Solo
(1996)

NEVER SEE THIS MOVIE
i was forced to watch this garbage. I had control of the remote, yet my friends would bitch and moan if i changed this movie which makes Gigli look good. this is so bad and mario van peebles continues his marginal talent on and on.....So in closing, never see this movie...0/10

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