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Let Us Be Gay (1930)
Marie Dressler and Norma Schearer for the win
Oh I do so love this film. Except for Bob, he needs a good bop on the nose, and if I weren't a gentleman let me tell you I'd be the first to supply it.
I would have given it 10 if not for the last scene.
That accent though
I thought it was fantastic and am kind of surprised by the relatively low rating. But, and this is probably the big one, I love slow, plodding, tension building plots and this one delivered on that front, for me at least. I did have to turn on the sub-titles though because I couldn't understand half of what Thomas Jane was saying, but I didn't live in Kansas (or wherever it was supposed to take place) in the 1920s so who am I to judge. I also loved Molly's portrayal of the strident, bored, ambitious housewife although I almost sympathised with Wilfred for her single-minded desire to leave, and the threat to take everything away from him. Almost. In the end it was an excellent cinematic portrayal of what happens when a moral dilemma results in the wrong avenue of choice.
Escape from Planet Earth (2013)
Could have been so much better
Okay, let's see. Animation, pretty good, I'll give it a 7. Plot, not bad, another 7. Characters, pretty likable ... how about 7 for this one too. Family fun -- my 4 and 7 year old kids liked it, but didn't rave over it, not like Despicable Me 2 -- another 7. Hrm, it looks like this movie should be rated 7/10 if we average these individual ratings. So why, you may ask (but probably won't), do I want to give this film a 3/10? The reason, dear readers (assuming again that anyone will ever read this) is simple, they got the plot, but forgot how to tell a story. There was no suspense, in a plot that should have been driven by suspense, I mean, it's about an escape. Every time one of the films heroes encountered anything resembling an enemy he or she was immediately caught. Plots require suspense to bring them alive. So, while the writing was average, the pacing of the film was horrible with few surprises along the way, something (anything) to cause the viewer to feel some level of angst about the characters' predicament. Scortch lands on earth and gets caught by the bad guy. Gary lands on earth, drinks a slurpee and gets caught by the bad guy. Gary's wife tries to rescue him and gets caught by the bad girl. Gary's kid tries to get away from the bad guy but gets caught. At least he finally displays some moxie and frees his mother with his roll of explosives. As written this film should have been called "Aliens are Caught but Escape in the End", but I would prefer if the writers had injected a bit of suspense and a few chases here and there. I'm surprised the Weinstein's let this one out the door in this state.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Why is everyone so bloody negative about this adaptation
I am astounded by the negative reaction to this film adaptation of the first book in Pullman's excellent trilogy. I avoided the film in the theatre because of the negative comments by fans of the books and had assumed that they must have really screwed up the story. I was happily proved wrong when I rented this this past weekend. The story has changed somewhat, but not detrimentally, in my opinion. The special effects are very very good, I really liked how they showed Lyra's use of the Alethiometre, and Iorec (Yorrick, of course, that drove me nuts while reading the books almost as much as Hermione drove me nuts while reading Harry Potter) seemed remarkably realistic. The acting was a little over the top in places, perhaps, but other than that I thought it ranked up there with the LoTR as adaptations go, especially ones with such rapid fan bases. If you've ever seen the atrocity that is Ralph Bakshi's adaptation of LoTR, you'll know what a truly bad adaptation is like.
I for one would really like to see the results of books one and two brought to screen. You fans of the books who are dissing the film are doing so to spite yourself. Get a grip.
Good B movie
My take on this film is that it is a good B movie, or a very good C movie. Come on people, it's time to suspend disbelief. The acting wasn't bad, Ron Perlman and Michael Ironside were in it, and of course there's the Naomi Watts eye candy element. And who doesn't enjoy seeing people get sliced in half by elevators, or well, who hasn't secretly feared being sliced in half by an elevator? Not going to win any Oscars, but hey, considering some of the dreck that comes out of Hollywood, this was pretty refreshingly bad. Of course it gets silly at the end, the bio-computer story line was completely inane. It's a classic B movie, and mostly because of the fact that it made so many creepy 9/11 predictions. Suspend disbelief, kick back, enjoy.
Hard Candy (2005)
Disturbing, but in a good way
This is an excellent film. The delivery of the story is fraught with suspense, even before the most disturbing scenes begin. As with other rape revenge fantasies like the 1978 film "I spit on your grave", you may find yourself somewhat conflicted over the behaviour of the victim. It is not clear though in this film whether the 14 year old female antagonist, played remarkably by the 19 year old Canadian actress Ellen Page, is herself a victim or a vigilante. The viciousness of her revenge, both physically and psychologically may lead you to sympathise with the alleged paedophile, but by the end of the film all becomes clear. Most men will find it very hard to not sympathize with the helplessness of the paedophile, at least up to the point when it becomes clear that he really is a paedophile, given the impromptu medical treatment he receives. Keep your legs crossed.
Ghost Ship (2002)
Interesting film, as are the comments here. I was surprised by the number of negative comments, and the relatively, for imdb, low rating. Hell, even the under 18's didn't really like this and they're usually like Mikey when it comes to this type of film. Me, I loved this flick. The beginning was beautifully done. I knew within seconds what was going to happen with the cable but couldn't have envisioned the lovely cleanness of that scene. What a way to die!
Some of the scenes were literally skin-crawling, I haven't experienced that level of skin-crawliness since the first time I saw the exorcist in the mid-70's. The scenes in the first half, before they all start communicating with the ghosts, were especially good.
And, at the risk of sounding like a pervert, that little girl is going to be gorgeous some day. Absolutely beautiful child.
I have to admit, in retrospect, that the end of the film was lacking, and part were downright annoying (like the souls all flying up to meet their sky god). But all in all I enjoyed the experience immensely. I'd say that the user rating of 5.8 / 10 is low, especially for imdb.
I give it **** out of ***** just for the opening sequence, and the creepiness of the first half of the flick.
Quiet Killer (1992)
Pretty good for a TV movie
I was pleasantly surprised by this flim. Kate Jackson was a bit wooden, but overall the acting was pretty good. The scenes early on when the young woman becomes ill, and eventually succumbs, were great. It is horrifying to think what would actually happen if a plague like this really struck a large city like New York. And SARS is nothing compared to what this sort of epidemic would be like. It seemed to be well researched, and the reactions of the poeple involved seemed realistic.
*** out of five
The Weight of the World (1994)
A very funny and touching short film. The actors, and director, do a wonderful job of portraying a world with an acceleration due to gravity of about 2 times that which we experience. Seeing them clomp clomp as they move through the difficult routine is funny. And the three guys working together to help the postie drag his mailbag up the stairs to the third floor is hilarious. I'm sure most women would relate to the woman who steps on the scales only to discover that her weight has shot up to over 230 lbs. A sci-fi film that doesn't rely on idiot alien shoot-em-ups, which, no doubt, explains some of the low ratings that it has received.
Legion of the Dead (2001)
First half great ...
Sometimes I think I must live on a different planet than the rest of the world out there (and I'm speaking of you philistines who gave this harmless little flic a 1 out of 10.) Okay, it wasn't Citizen Kane, or Gone With the Wind, but it was pretty funny as gore flics go. The first half of the film was really well done, but I do admit, I found myself halfway through the second half wishing that the first bit had continued somehow to a finale. Unfortunately the second bit was a bit too disjointed and the silliness factor went way up to 10 (on a scale of 10, everyone knows that the silliness factor is a scale based on 10, sheesh!)
Anyway, this was better than most of the crap that Hollywood spews out of its gates, certainly in the Horror or Gore genre.