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I understand that a band - especially a few cute guys playing instruments - with lots of pictures documenting their experiences recording some songs is catnip to hungry music aficionados. But I honestly don't get it... this documentary is more about a bunch of people surrounding a few of these guys who recorded some mediocre songs, had a couple of songs recognized by great songwriters like Elliott Smith, etc. But the story is a jumbled telling of a couple of guys who accomplished almost nothing, who joined in at one point with a guy who was a one-hit wonder. Kind of boring....
Certain Women (2016)
Low Budget Low Energy
Don't be fooled by all the exaggerated hype about this film. It's all a bunch of b.s. The actors were low energy, with no emotions to speak of. The story line is non-existent. It's boring and drags on and on and nothing ever happens. And I don't get this ridiculous description - 3 women's lives intersect - because they never do. None of them have to do with one another and it's all leading nowhere. The best actor in the whole film was the girl playing the farm hand - she was REAL. The others were blah, with not one interesting or redeeming quality. I feel bad for anyone who actually bought a ticket to this farce.
The Brittany Murphy Story (2014)
Infinitely Worse than Lohan as Liz
They've got to be kidding with this actress playing Brittany! She looks NOTHING like her, she's too big and heavy, her face is chubby, her hair is all wrong, her voice - it's just ridiculous! Of all the actors that might have been chosen, why her? Poor Brittany... she would have been so disappointed. I'd just like to know how they got funding for this movie with that girl in the lead role! Brittany was sparkly, funny and bubbly... not to mention her gorgeous looks. This girl sounded like she had a sinus condition, her face was too round and pudgy and she was talking in that hoarse voice trying to emulate someone with whom she had ZERO resemblance. I didn't think anything could be worse than Lindsay Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor... but, boy, was I wrong! It was just plain laughable when this so-called actress as Brittany in the film was told that she's young and beautiful! She should be embarrassed by this casting decision and her awful performance! I saw her in an interview before the airing of the movie justifying her role, even though she was already aware of the disgust people felt about it.
De Niro, Jr.'s Penance?
"I felt I had to. I felt obligated," Robert De Niro, the famous actor, says of the new short documentary, 'Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.' "It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him. I was always planning on doing it, but never did. Then Jane Rosenthal, my partner at Tribeca Enterprises, said, 'We should start doing that now.' It was just something I wanted to do." But why wait until WAY PAST after his father's death on his own birthday in 1993? Throughout the film, the actor is obviously racked with painful memories and guilt over having eclipsed his father whose lack of recognition gnawed away at him, his life and his art... and eventually gnawed away as much at his son.
In Wikipedia, Robert De Niro, Sr., the artist, is listed as being known for: "Painter, School of Paris." But is that a fact? I think I'm very knowledgeable about culture and the arts but never heard a thing about the actor's father until this.
After seeing the film, I walked away thinking Robert De Niro, Sr. was a mediocre painter; the actor, an unforgettable superstar. De Niro, Jr. felt obligated to get his father recognized, though his delivery does not convince us that he really believed his father was a great artist. Rather, he's sentimental about his father's work and even preserved his father's gallery intact for future generations of De Niros to appreciate. The actor is not ACTING in this film; he's being himself and appears to be serving a penance for not having paid enough attention to his father in his lifetime. An entry they chose from the artist's own journal calls his son, the actor, "an angel" - for having saved him from himself, perhaps for having brought him home from Paris where he was ill and failing as an artist, or for having physically shopped his paintings around to galleries in Paris with no results.
The oft-mentioned quote about the artist receiving the recognition he deserves after death makes us think of Vincent van Gogh who, reportedly, only sold one painting in his lifetime. It took Vincent's industrious sister-in-law's (Johanna Bonger) tenacity to make him famous... or at least to start the ball rolling. The rest, as they say, is history. But how will the ages and passing of time treat De Niro, Sr.? History is being rewritten, in this film before our very eyes. I got the impression that the actor was being his father's good son by convincing himself that his father was a great artist - true to himself, not like any other, unable to fit into any movement or category, moody, depressive, uncompromising - all the makings of the cliché artist. This is evidenced by the obvious omission of quality footage, being that the actor had access to all the cameras in the world and the artist did live into the '90s. Since the actor became world famous back in '73, that would have given him 20 years to document his father's so-called accomplishments as an artist! The actor obviously only recently felt an appreciation for his father's life work enough to prompt him to participate in this film.
Another glaring omission is that they never mention what the artist really did to make a living. It was obvious that he was broke most of the time, yet he should have been blessed by his superstar son's meteoric rise to fame and could have spent most of his 50s and all of his 60s painting to his heart's content AND being documented for staying the course! They, instead, fill the frames with images of artists and Garbo (he painted her obsessively) - those famous icons the artist admired. He was in an elevator with Garbo and never said a word to her? That set the tone for the entire "victim of his time" theme. He was a lost soul who had rotten timing? I think not. He was an emulator, an imitator, and too much of a loner. There's too much more to this story that we don't - and probably never will - know.
One "newsmaker" stated that Robert De Niro was opening up about his "openly gay father." What better way to start a buzz - world famous actor reveals his dad is gay! However, the short film about his father never reveals that he was openly gay. In fact, his own journal writings reflect a man who was somewhat ashamed and conflicted about his sexuality.
Okay, so the actor did dedicate one of his movies ("A Bronx Tale") to the memory of his father - after he died; but I think the more interesting story that was not revealed in this film is what REALLY happened to De Niro, Sr., the artist, from 1973 to 1993. Now THAT would make a great movie!
That's What She Said (2012)
This is one of the most vulgar, dreadful, meaningless movies I've ever seen. Anne Heche is a hyperactive nut running around the city with two creepy characters - a dogooder weirdo and a criminal sex addict. Can they get a little LESS creative?? Trashy, disgusting, gross... there is no way to describe this pile of garbage. It makes women look stupid, shallow and pathetic at every turn. I can't believe they wasted their time on this mess. I thought it was going to be at least insightful... but it was just a giant disappointment on every level. ZERO talent on display here! Don't waste your time ... you'll be so nauseous after the first 15 minutes, you won't want to watch the rest.
Worse than a Soap Opera
How this movie ever got made is beyond me. Not one person in the movie knows the first thing about acting. It was worse than bad! If they let us post zero or a half star, it would be more accurate than one star. Definitely in the top ten worst movies ever made. It's embarrassingly atrocious! There was no rhyme or reason to the story line. It was one bad cliché after another. This Jurnee woman is skin and bones and has ZERO acting talent. If I saw that disgusted look on her face one more time, I thought I'd throw up. Brandy's storyline seems to have been tossed in as an after thought - kind of like that awful wig she was wearing. Robbie Jones has ZERO acting talent and his ridiculous facial expressions prove that. Lance Gross's fake tears looked like someone ran in and dripped an eyedropper full of water on his face. No emotion - just the same ridiculous bad acting throughout. It's comical to watch these amateurs trying to flesh out the horrendous writing in the script! Don't even mention Kim K. - she's just there for her looks because she not only can't act, she's dumb as a stump. The only white person in the movie - Renee Taylor - tried to interject some comic relief, but failed miserably due to the bad writing. It was all around a BAD BAD POORLY MADE movie.
Rock of Ages (2012)
Out Hough and Musical
If they'd cast someone else other than Julianne Hough, this movie would have been much better. She is a terrible actress! And her Minnie Mouse voice is awful. If it hadn't been a musical with people breaking out into song every five minutes, it would have been a really good idea. Tom Cruise is actually really good in this... he captured the era's ego-maniacal rock overdrive effectively. I just couldn't take anything about the storyline seriously having to listen to Hough's minimal singing talent. Typical blonde bimbo, same old story... it was too much like "Burlesque," which was also an awful movie full of boring clichés. They could have done so much better with the story line.
Liz & Dick (2012)
Amateurish with a Capital "A"
Not for one minute was Lohan believable in the role as Taylor. This role should have been given to a seasoned actress at least in her 30s. Lohan mostly looked like a little kid playing dress-up with her mother's makeup. And what was with her puffy-looking lips? And her double chin? And the AWFUL hair/wigs? And the fake eyelashes that always looked like they were about to fall off? Whomever wrote the script obviously has no talent. It was worse than shallow. There were so many mistakes and the characters were never fleshed out; they only scratched the surface of who these two really were. Elizabeth Taylor was a complex woman. Lohan is arguably just a one-hit wonder whose acting ability is extremely limited, if it exists at all. Her raspy deep-throated voice is in stark contrast to Taylor's elegant way of speaking. Not to mention the obvious: Taylor was one of the most beautiful women of all time. Lohan is a 20-something child with mediocre looks. And the freckles made her look even more like a cartoon character. It's a shame she was cast in this role - they used her for publicity knowing the movie would end up being nothing more than a silly parody.
The Ramen Girl (2008)
Brittany: Modern Day Monroe
Watching Brittany Murphy's films posthumously makes you realize that although many of her movies weren't that great, SHE was a REAL shining star. She was the Marilyn Monroe of her era - bright-eyed, innocent, full of life and wonder. Her childlike hunger to learn is most evident in The Ramen Girl and this part was made for her. Too bad the supporting actors weren't as good... too bad the script was mediocre. It was a terrific idea and Brittany's acting makes it worth watching. She will charm you and, like other coming of age movies, you'll be inspired to want to change your life somehow or do your best at what you're doing now. Watch Brittany and take in her many-faceted soul in this and her other films and you'll be enchanted.
Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)
Kidman Miscast Again
I don't understand the praise for Kidman in this role. I couldn't get past her overly botoxed expressionless face (she only showed two emotions with facial gestures throughout the entire movie - a deer in headlights and disgust). Owen doesn't look anything like Hemingway and certainly didn't capture his essence - not even slightly. The sex scenes were nauseating and far too explicit in many ways. Everything about the movie came off as phony, fake, contrived. The sepia effect flashing in and out in certain scenes looked odd. The interaction between the two characters looked forced and unnatural. I kept thinking how much I loved that movie "Julia" (1977) and how wonderful Jane Fonda and Jason Robards were as Lillian Hellman and Dashiel Hammett. Kidman and Owen should have watched that movie before making this one - they could've learned a thing or two about two writers in an intimate relationship and how it should be acted.
The Dilemma (2011)
Who Writes this Dreadful Dialogue??
If I see one more movie with Vaughn "improvising" some long-and-drawn-out speech that makes ZERO sense and is so NOT entertaining, I'm going to throw up! Like "Couples Retreat" or "The Breakup," this is more of the same lame, bad writing... pairing him with men that he seems to like much more than his gorgeous on screen wives! Is he gay? How in the world would these two end up with these beautiful women in real life? And what's with the "dark Winona"? She looks haggard! Connelly is completely miscast - like she accidentally stepped into the wrong movie. I'm shocked that this disaster was directed by Ron Howard! Vaughn is the worst actor in Hollywood!
I Hate Valentine's Day (2009)
This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen! My Big Fat Greek Wedding was so charming and it worked! This mess of an idea is gawd-awful in more ways than I can express! Nia Vardalos has got to be the worst actress EVER. Her frozen-on smile was so idiotic and obnoxious throughout the entire movie... and her clothes made her look like half grandma/half ditz. And John Corbett was so mis-cast in this movie. He's usually so sensitive and a basically good actor... but with the horrible writing in this lopsided script, he couldn't make it work if he tried! "Get on Tappas"???? That's the best they could do? Don't waste your time watching this hideously horrendous bad movie!
The Guitar (2008)
Could've Been Better, but Compelling
I confess, I didn't see the very beginning, so I shouldn't be reviewing this movie. However, I did see most of the movie and found it to be very interesting, reflecting a beauty of its own. Saffron was an excellent choice for this character, though the script could have been a bit more imaginative for her. It does make you think, however, of the many different scenarios that could arise from such a dilemma/blessing in disguise. My big disappointment came at the end when she got with the band and the song she seemed to really enjoy playing sucked so bad! The song accompanying the titles at the end would have been a better choice for her big moment on stage. I also think they could have developed the characters more - they seemed really shallow. But the film did make me want to throw all my clothes out the window!
Reign Over Me (2007)
Adam is Oscar Worthy
I'm no Adam Sandler fan, but he deserved an Oscar for this role. It was heartfelt and sincere... and I was amazed at how much he resembled Bob Dylan! Such depth of character! His child-like demeanor really worked, but the depth of pain that shone from the darkest recesses of his soul is what really grabs you! The wounds from the horror of 9/11 can never be healed, but the movie gives us hope. Don Cheadle is always great... and he was wonderful in this role. What a compassionate character! What a true friend! I really was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie, since I have never cared much for Adam Sandler's personality or appearance. But he really made a believer of me in this one!
Evan Almighty (2007)
The Animals Were Good... But...
Steve Carell was so unfunny in this ridiculous movie - he couldn't even come close to Jim Carrey who has that certain quality that is touching, yet hilarious. And why in the heck did they take an anchor and suddenly make him a Congressman? Carell was so good in 40 Year Old Virgin, and held his own in Bruce Almighty, but his exaggerated goofball schtick is only funny the first time.
Wanda Sykes is usually so clever - but in this mess, her one-liners are so inane, she just seems to be an accent babbling on when no one is listening.
John Goodman, who is so talented and versatile, was awful and totally miscast in this role! What was the purpose of all the animals? What? They just appear and then go back home when it's all over?
Lauren Graham is one of the worst actors I've ever seen! She has no idea how to deliver a line and make it believable. And who was that ugly kid with all the lines? Even the great Morgan Freeman couldn't save this turkey!
Broken Flowers (2005)
There Is An End
The music's haunting... Bill Murray's character is a strange guy. Each woman's reaction is based on chemistry and experience. Obviously he'd been either abusive, chauvinistic, self-absorbed or impossible in some way - based on the reaction of these women from his past and present. (We can't camouflage our feelings with flowers.) This film made me realize once and for all that the past is gone and the past is passed and it's probably best to leave well enough alone and just keep things as memories. There Is An End.
It does remind me so much of the film "Ruby in Paradise."
P.S.: Is that Mick Jagger singing in the background?