Romper Stomper is so close to being a great small film. So very close that I was loving this movie for every single minute it was on my screen and then it just slipped from my grasp. What I mean by this film coming close, well it's like this, I could compare this film to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, it comes so close to being that disturbing, although I believe it falls short in a couple of areas. First, the only explanation for these people to be skinheads is a short little dialog between Russell Crowe and his new girlfriend about Hitler's Mein Kampf. Maybe the director assumes we know enough about skinheads already. There is also a climatic death in this film that left me not caring at all. I won't say who died, but it was a background character. I never felt one thing for this character, it was a total waste. I will say that Russell Crowe is amazing in this film, very intimidating without saying a single word. It's always tough when a film comes this close to being great, I will say that it is a film worth a look and it won't soon be forgotten. I do believe American History X is a better film on this subject.
All the Pretty Horses (2000)Torn.
12 May 2001
I really wanted to love this film and from the opening scenes to the last third I really did like this film. I love surreal films as much as the next guy, but this film seems like it was made by Oliver Stone on Valium. The film is really slow, now that can be a good thing, but in this case the pace just keeps getting slower and slower. I heard that Thornton's original cut ran almost four hours, it seems that the film has a whole other film missing from it. I didn't read the novel and I'm guessing that I should have read the novel because I couldn't figure this film out for the life of me. When it was all over I felt empty. The performances are all great, I especially liked Lucas Black in the role of Blevins. Matt Damon and Henry Thomas are both very good in their roles and this is first movie Penelope Cruz has appeared in where I could see that she has real talent and isn't just another pretty face. I loved the cinematography, the outdoor landscapes were beautiful. The film has all the flavor and no real substance. I am torn with this film, I wanted to love it so bad. Even great film makers slip every now and then.
Miss Congeniality (2000)Something to be said for Sandra Bullock.
3 May 2001
Although Miss Congeniality isn't the most original film you will ever see in your lifetime, it is a fine example of Sandra Bullock as a movie star. This film has been done to death, it has a truly unoriginal screenplay that is packed with cliches to the point of insanity. It might sound like I didn't like the film...that isn't true at all. This movie lives and breathes Sandra Bullock, without her the film is a total bust. Only a few actors can hold a movie together and she definitely has the screen magic that is needed for Hollywood. I'm not trying to take away from the rest of the cast, they are all just victims to a terrible screenplay, but the actors also fall victim to Bullock's unique ability as an actor. She stands out and convinced me that this film isn't a total waste. I wasn't the most excited person in the world when this film appeared in theaters because it looked like a complete chick flick. I don't really have anything special to say about the film as a work of art or entertainment, but I am a Sandra Bullock fan for life.
Blow (2001)The culmination of modern cinema...
8 April 2001
It has been a very long time since I have sit down to write a review for a film in the IMDB. It's a practice I am happy to resume with a film that I believe is definitely a must-see movie. I gave the film a 9 on the voting scale, not a 10 only because of some weak acting in spots. Maybe it was some of the old age makeup on Johnny Depp, but at any rate the film is very good. Depp is probably the best actor of his generation and he doesn't step wrong in this film. Ray Liotta is very solid in a role that reminded me of Corrina,Corrina for some reason. I also want to add that it is a very huge pleasure to see Paul Reubens back on the big screen. Forget Pee Wee Herman or don't forget him, welcome back Paul. I started feeling sorry for the guy Johnny Depp portrays in this film, that has to be the convincing nature of acting because the man George Jung is probably a real scumbag in some ways. Although every American has a right to pursue the American dream, it's just that George Jung pursued his in Colombia. I believe more now than ever before that Ted Demme has arrived as a director. There is true inspiration in his directorial style and his choice of shot selection. I will always be one of the biggest fans of The Ref, but as of this film, Ted Demme is here people. Take notice. Some reviews I've read have compared this film to Boogie Nights and Goodfellas as if it's a terrible rip-off of those pictures. All I can say is, if your gonna rip-off any movie, why not Goodfellas or Boogie Nights?
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)Over looked gem.
16 May 2000
Two-Lane Blacktop is an overlooked film and if there are any fans of Easy Rider out there who have not seen this film, go check it out. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson portray two car fanatics on the roads of America racing their custom '55 Chevy. Warren Oates plays GTO, the object of their passion for a race from the west to Washington D.C. The film is full of style and wit, basically a comment on the culture of the time when men judged each other very much the way they judged their cars. I had heard of Monte Hellman from a friend and I'm glad I decided to rent this film. Hellman shoots for style while keeping his screen compositions simple. The film is very subversive and sneaks around like a prowling cat. I fell for the characters, especially GTO, but I never really understood the drifter played by Laurie Bird. She comes into the film unexpected and tries every way to get away and just when you think she's gone from the picture, she reappears. I felt she was in the way. There is also a small performance from Harry Dean Stanton that is endearing. This is a treasure for independant film makers as the film was made for very low cost. If you can rent the DVD of Two-Lane Blacktop do so, the transfer is very nice and the film really is a standout on disc.
For Love of the Game (1999)Baseball....movies....cool.
9 April 2000
Although I didn't like For Love Of The Game the way I liked Bull Durham or Field Of Dreams, it's still a very entertaining film. Directed by Sam Raimi in a very subtle style, this is Costner's best film since Tin Cup. Raimi only shows flashes of his visual theatrics, Costner is very solid and I liked Kelly Preston very much. The way the story is told in the film is very fresh for a baseball movie and this is the high point for me. Baseball is just the background to a very touching love story. I hope this film more than anything else shows Hollywood that Sam Raimi is one of or greatest talents behind the camera.
Brokedown Palace (1999)Could have been better.
6 March 2000
I think that Brokedown Palace misses an oppurtunity to become a really interesting film. It's not even a good B-movie about girls in prison. Kaplan seems to know the territory, but lost his direction. I never really cared for the characters. There are so many better films about this subject.
Lake Placid (1999)Oh boy.....nature runs amok.
6 February 2000
Now we have entered into that most sacred of movie genres and that genre is the nature runs amok film. I've only seen a couple of these films actually work, obviously Jaws and Pirahna. Just let me say that I think this film makes mistakes from the very beginning. The character of the sheriff is a total bore and Brenden Gleeson should feel ashamed for such terrible acting. Bill Pullman is just going through the motions and his acting is terrible as well. Bridget Fonda....nuff said. The only saving grace this film has going for it are special effects and Oliver Platt. It's always interesting to me that these films garner such wonderful casts and make actors seem so much more untalented. The croc is a joy to watch eat, I really did like the bear sequence. If you are in the mood for a terrible and enjoyable monster movie, rent Pirahna.
Toy Story 2 (1999)A very funny film.
6 February 2000
The amount of detail that Pixar studios puts into their films is really amazing. The reflections and the shadows on characters and surfaces alike is really cool. Toy Story 2 is just as good as the first Toy Story, in some ways even better. It seems the film is more comfortable with its characters and the humor doesn't seemed forced at all. I can't imagine a better film for small children to see and adults as well. I have alot of friends who won't watch animated films because they are made for children. I think that my "grown-up" friends should stop thinking these films are for children and start realizing how great animation can make you feel.
Detroit Rock City (1999)There's a better film here.
27 January 2000
Detroit Rock City seems like it is totally incomplete. The film never gets rolling in the right direction.The comedy isn't very funny and the characters you never really care for at all. I think that the characters should have at least met their idols, instead they just make it to the concert and that's the end of the story. I wish they could have went into more detail about Mystery, the band that the main characters play in and perform in their basement. It would have been interesting, more so than watching four characters do really crazy and stupid things just to get a ticket. There's a better film here.
American Pie (1999)Funny.
27 January 2000
American Pie will no doubt shock some people and make others laugh all night long. If you are a fan of Dumb And Dumber or Kingpin, you will definitely like this film. The film is about a group of young teenage boys trying to lose their virginity. It reminded me of the hgh school films I used to watch when I was growing up and sneaking into the living room to watch movies on cable late at night. My parents would be fast asleep in their room and my brother was too young to care, it was just me and a dirty movie about high school or a private boarding school. Those were the days. This film is very funny and full of sexual overtones, I definitely enjoyed American Pie.
Forces of Nature (1999)Interesting characters and crazy visuals.
27 January 2000
I wonder if the director of this film thought that the story wasn't good enough, so then decided to shoot the film in extreme style. The characters in this film are interesting enough without all the fancy shots and film bravado. The style showed that the director has talent, but ultimately took the story away from me. Sometimes simple is alot better, especially in a story of two people falling in love and out again.
Notting Hill (1999)Great film.
27 January 2000
I absolutely loved Notting Hill. It made me feel good the way a romantic comedy should make you feel and the performances were outstanding. There really isn't anything bad about this film at all. The soundtrack is perfect, the cinematography is beautiful, the editing is well done. It's as close to perfect as you can really get, I just wish they could have explored the background characters a little more. I enjoyed Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts performances so much however that I can forget about those background characters very easily. My favorite sequence in the entire film is when Hugh Grant is walking through Portebello Road and the seasons are changing. The way the film shows time passing is very creative and there is another great shot involving a huge crane, that's just great film-making. If you can't watch this film and smile, you should have your head checked.
The General's Daughter (1999)Strong entrance...lousy entrance.
12 January 2000
First of all let me say that this film blows away Con Air, the director's first film, by a wide margin. It's obvious that Simon West can shoot an action picture well, he just doesn't seem to find very good stories. The General's Daughter starts strong and gets very limp toward the end. This is one of those film's where you know that someone of star status is involved because the casting is full of known faces. Travolta seems wooden in this film. I did like Clarence Williams and Madeline Stowe's performances however and the lighting for the film was nice to view. The film looks sharp but just isn't strong enough to hold together.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)A nice little action picture.
18 December 1999
Although I'm sure this film won't win any awards, it should be noted that it is a good film for what it is trying to do....entertain you. I'm not the world's biggest Renny Harlin fan but I know he can make action movies very well. The cast is nice for a change, no real big stars, there are a few surprises as to the picking order of the victims. The special effects at times were very nice and at other moments in the film they were a little too cartoonish for my taste. I want to be the first to put in my bid for a remake of Grizzly, a film about a killer bear. It seems there are alot of rappers in these nature run amok films, such as LL Cool J in this one and Ice Cube in Anaconda. If you can get Method Man and the Wu-Tang Clan to go up against a killer grizzly bear, that sounds like a bonafide hit to me, but then again who's asking me?
Arlington Road (1999)Suspenseful and stylish.
22 November 1999
I enjoyed Arlington Road most of the way through. I think the thing that bothered me was how the film looked. I didn't care for the lighting in this film very much. I loved the ending which I was surprised by completely. Jeff Bridges was very good in his role and Tim Robbins was a quiet and charming bad guy. It's a good film.
The Sixth Sense (1999)Great Twist.
19 October 1999
Every now and then a film comes along and really surprises you with its power. The Sixth Sense is such a film. I followed this film very carefully and still didn't see the ending that was heading my way. My jaw literally dropped to the ground and I had to wipe my chin of all the sticky cola product syrup. Bruce Willis is very subtle in the film and the young boy is very sweet. The credit really goes to the director, he sets up atmosphere and mood and does a very nice job. I really liked the cinematography and the production design as well. Do yourself a favor and get up off your butt and go see this film.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)Nice try.
19 October 1999
I'll give the film-makers credit for giving it a shot anyway. I thought this film lacked any real suspense, to think of what Hitchcock could have done with this screenplay. The special effects aren't fancy, but they don't have to be, this is a simple film. I'm thankful Dean Devlin didn't write the script, although I can tell Roland Emmerich had something to do with this film. I believe The Matrix handled this subject matter in a much better way.
Ravenous (1999)Interesting for awhile....
19 October 1999
I thought Ravenous was very interesting for awhile and then it just got lost. The film has a great look and some great acting, especially from Robert Carlyle. The direction is pretty tight and the cinematography is nice. I didn't care for the film's soundtrack very much however, it seemed silly. I had really high hopes for this film and I feel sort of let down by its slow pace. The subject matter of this film isn't for everybody, although I think it was handled as well as it could have been.
The Corruptor (1999)Looks nice but...
3 October 1999
I'm really a big fan of Chow Yun Fat's films. He's a great action hero and a very charismatic actor. This film looks great but is also kind of boring. I enjoyed watching Yun Fat alot, Wahlberg on the other hand seems stiff. The direction by James Foley has alot of style, the film just seems empty.
3 October 1999
Films that deal with a group of thugs seem to always have very colorful characterizations. I really enjoyed this movie alot, everyone in it looks to be having a blast. Andy Garcia is laid back, Treat Williams is out of control and Christopher Walken is amazing. The screenplay is written very well although I bet there was quite a bit of improvisation. My only real complaint about this film is its length. It could have been shorter by about 20 minutes, but if I knew everything I would be making films. Steve Buscemi is fun in a supporting role and the direction from Gary Fleder is very nice. This is one of those films where you quote lines from it for days after viewing. Boat Drinks Everyone!!
Thelma & Louise (1991)Ridley Scott Rules!
3 October 1999
Thelma And Louise isn't the type of film you would really expect from Ridley Scott, but he does it well. The film is visually stunning like most of Scott's films and it has a very interesting story of independence and freedom. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon are great in the title roles and there is a heart felt supporting performance from Harvey Keitel. This film has moments that will make you laugh, moments that will make you cry and moments of pure action. I went into this film not expecting much and got more than I could have imagined.
The Thing (1982)Great flick.
3 October 1999
I've watched this film countless times and it never bores me. This film sets up atmosphere from the very start and never lets up. Kurt Russell is great in the lead role and the rest of the cast is perfect. John Carpenter uses lighting and music to develop nice moods and textures. I've seen this film at least 100 times, it isn't perfect in some ways, but I've neverminded that at all. It's a pure horror film with great special effects from Rob Bottin and great lighting by Dean Cundey. I think Carpenter should get back to this type of horror film, it really is his strength as a director.
26 September 1999
Only a handful of directors know atmosphere the way Akira Kurosawa does, only a handful. Yojinbo opens with a tracking shot of a ronin samurai walking down a dusty road. The camera wisely stays behind the samurai, played by Toshiro Mifune, so we cannot see his face or expressions. This samurai is desperate. Mifune has no master and no money. Kurosawa doesn't let you see his desperation, instead focusing on the back of his head and his profile to set up one of the most memorable characters in cinema history. The film has been copied many times, its practically the most influential film of the modern action genre. Yojinbo isn't action packed however, Kurosawa takes his time setting up characters and plot. The fact that this masterless samurai has deep compassion for strangers is different than most modern action movies alone. Toshiro Mifune is magical in the lead role. His presence is felt all throughout the film even when he isn't on camera. All film buffs should watch this film, it is a perfect example of a director and actor with confidence in their craft.
Edtv (1999)I liked it.
20 September 1999
Although Edtv wasn't as good as The Truman Show, I enjoyed the movie. The similarities between the two films are obvious. Ron Howard's film, on the other hand, goes for more of a comedy feel. I thought the acting was solid even though it seemed like some people just showed up for a paycheck. I didn't like the Dennis Hopper/Ed's real father part of the story very much. It just didn't seem logical and it felt unresolved. All of the characters in the film are entertaining. A good film.