Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 197262 times)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #375 on: August 27, 2009, 05:20:54 PM »
Blue Velvet



Beneath the surface of small-town serenity lies a dark domain where innocents dare not tread and unpredictability is the norm. It is the haunting realm of  Blue Velvet. Spawned from the mind of David Lynch (Mulholland Drive, "Twin Peaks"), Blue Velvet is a "shocking, deeply disturbing...startling mixture of the heartfelt and the horrific" (Newsweek).
Clean-cut Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) realizes his Mayberry-like hometown is not so normal when he discovers a human ear in a field. His investigation catapults him into an alluring, erotic murder mystery involving a disturbed nightclub singer (Isabella Rossellini) and a drug-addicted sadist (Dennis Hopper). Soon Jeffrey is led deeper into their depraved existence... to the point of no return.


David Lynch is like the marmite of directors, you either love him or hate him. Unfortunately I fall into the second camp, only ever previously enjoying one of his movies.
My opinion has not changed after viewing Blue Velvet. Certainly there is a shock value to the film, albeit dated after 2 decades, it subtly hits you on the bonce like a sledgehammer, your senses are tickled as if with a taser, and seedier elements of the film will stay with me.
Dennis Hopper as the vicious psycho was superb, but the rest of the cast just didn't work for me in this, Laura Dern was too old for the role, and MacLachlan a feeble lead. Lynch's style is not my cup of tea, very slow and arty, brooding looks, pans to a tree, or to a specific prop, just doesn't work for my simple brain.
I am sure the cardigan and pipe brigade will tell me how wonderful this movie is, exploring the dark side and sexual frustrations of human nature, with the backdrop of suburban America. But I just found it too pretentious, empty, depressing and confused.
 :-\


**Laura Dern mini-marathon
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 10:18:48 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #376 on: August 28, 2009, 10:21:24 AM »
We Don't Live Here Anymore



Jack Linden (Mark Ruffalo) and Hank Evans (Peter Krause) are best friends who both teach at the same university in a small New England town. They both have young children and Jack's wife, Terry (Laura Dern) is close with Hank's wife, Edith (Naomi Watts). But while things appear happy on the surface, there are smouldering pockets of discontent underneath. Financial struggle and domestic boredom has drained the passion from Jack and Terry's marriage, while Hank's numerous infidelities and self-absorption has prompted Edith to find both comfort and sexual fulfilment with Jack. As Jack begins spending more and more time with Edith, it becomes obvious to Terry, whose anger culminates in a sexual encounter with Hank. Now that the deception has come full circle, both couples are left to decide the futures of their shattered unions...

Depressingly honest, frighteningly accurate, an adult drama that is guaranteed to make you feel shit!
It's view on infidelity, and the damage it can cause to all parties, is reflectively portrayed with brutal performances from all 4 leads. The pace works well, and you feel you know the characters intimately by the end of the film.
But the subject matter for me is too near the bone, the film is a bit too Hollywood in parts, and the ending is fairly unreal.
 :-\

**Laura Dern mini-marathon
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 12:09:45 AM by Rich »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #377 on: August 28, 2009, 10:47:31 AM »
Blue Velvet
...
David Lynch is like the marmite of directors, you either love him or hate him. Unfortunately I fall into the second camp, only ever previously enjoying one of his movies.
...
I am sure the cardigan and pipe brigade will tell me how wonderful this movie is...

*Snicker* I'm probably the only one around here in that brigade. I have no strong opinion on Blue Velvet, it's simply too long since I have seen it. So what's the one you did like? My personal favorites are Mullholland Dr. and Wild at Heart. I also really like The Straight Story, but that's as un-Lynchian as you can get. It wouldn't be that one, would it?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 10:49:34 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #378 on: August 28, 2009, 12:42:47 PM »
Blue Velvet
...
David Lynch is like the marmite of directors, you either love him or hate him. Unfortunately I fall into the second camp, only ever previously enjoying one of his movies.
...
I am sure the cardigan and pipe brigade will tell me how wonderful this movie is...

*Snicker* I'm probably the only one around here in that brigade. I have no strong opinion on Blue Velvet, it's simply too long since I have seen it. So what's the one you did like? My personal favorites are Mullholland Dr. and Wild at Heart. I also really like The Straight Story, but that's as un-Lynchian as you can get. It wouldn't be that one, would it?

I haven't watched Mulholland Dr. in such a long time I can't say too much on that, other than it didn't appeal or repel me. The one I liked was The Elephant Man, but having thought about it I remember Eraserhead favourably also. Wild at heart again is unmemorable for me, and The Straight Story (the lawnmower trip?) I have never seen.
Perhaps his stories and direction is generally beyond me in intelligence, I sit down for a movie typically to be entertained, so I would class myself as a 'popcorn viewer'. I'd have thought the majority of Lynch's fans are professors, arty types, film students and 'thinkers', smoking pipes, wearing jackets and cardigans with elbow patches, and discussing 'meaningful' things in trendy coffee bars.  :headscratch:
I know that is typecasting (with tongue firmly in cheek) as there are no doubt millions of fans of his who may not fall into those categories, but I wonder who can enjoy having their senses and emotions pulled in all directions by some of his peculiar films. What I would say is he is totally original, and treads his own path without thought of critical acclaim.
The only thing i find more preposterous than Lynch's directing - is his hairstyle  :hysterical:
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 12:47:51 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #379 on: August 28, 2009, 09:33:46 PM »
I can't get on with Lynch's stuff, and normally you accuse me of belonging to the elbow-patched cult!  :whistle: Wild at Heart was very close to being good, but then... it wasn't. Just too damn odd! I appreciate his stuff, because it's impossible to not have an opinion.

I enjoyed The Straight Story. It's supposedly true, if I remember correctly, and it's very gentle and straightforward. Slow, but poignant and might leave you with a big smile. It's certainly odd, but not completely bonkers and the story is only as deep as you want to think about it. Guy drives hundreds of miles to reach his brother, using a lawnmower. He meets various people along the way. That's it.

I'd try something similar, but I doubt I'll get too far out of my garden. The cable won't reach...  :bag: :laugh: :tease:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #380 on: August 29, 2009, 12:14:24 AM »
The Good Girl



Jennifer Aniston turns in "a fantastic performance" (Us Weekly) in this quirky comedy about first encounters and second chances. Thirty-year-old Justine Last (Aniston) longs for a life more fulfilling than the one she leads with her boring husband (John C. Reilly) and dead-end job at the Retail Rodeo. But when a passionate young co-worker (Jake Gyllenhaal) catches her eye and steals her heart, Justine's good-girl existence takes a turn for the worse — with unexpected and comical results.

Aniston wipes off the mak-up and glamour and displays an acting talent in this serious role I haven't seen from her before, and was impressive in the lead.
Sadly the script was not as ambitious, and although a fairly realistic and dark plot, the movie was only mildly impacting.
Gyllenhall yet again plays a moody teen character to great effect, and the portrayal of the love-sick nerd living in a dream world is convincing.
Certainly not a comedy, despite a few classic monets (sperm bank), more a small town moral choosing mild drama.
Needed a bit more directive oomph to make this one to recommend.
 :D
 
**Jennifer Aniston mini-marathon
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 08:00:01 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #381 on: August 30, 2009, 08:08:12 PM »
Iron Giant



Something huge is on the horizon. Hogarth Hughes just rescued an enormous robot that fell from the stars to Earth. Now young Hogarth has one very big friend and an even bigger problem: How do you keep a 50-foot-tall, steal-eating (junkyard cars are especially tasty) giant a secret? It's even harder when a nosy government agent arrives in town to hunt down the "alien invader" and the combined land, sea and air might of the U.S. military is sent to demolish the giant. The result: an incredible adventure that's part metal, part magic, all heart.

Enjoyed this excellent animation, not for any groundbreaking technology but for a thoughtful, fun storyline that you couldn't hate even if you tried. The film has a huge heart and is not sickly sweet like the latest Disneys, it has genuine humour and feeling, adventurous and blessed with a pace that makes the film feel like it has ended too quickly. Congratulations to the director, and the host of voices who bring this movie alive.
Perfect for all ages
 ;D



**Jennifer Aniston mini-marathon

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #382 on: August 30, 2009, 08:25:48 PM »
The Soloist



Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr.* and Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx** star in an extraordinary and inspiring true story of how a chance meeting can change a life. The Soloist tells the poignant and ultimately soaring tale of a Los Angeles newspaper reporter who discovers a brilliant and distracted street musician, with unsinkable passion, and the unique friendship and bond that transforms both their lives. The remarkable performances make for an unforgettable experience in what is hailed as "a courageous and uncompromising film" (Gene Shalit, TODAY).

True story, a very interesting and unique story, but unfortunately delivered to probably only half of its potential. What a shame given the acting talent available, although I am not blaming them. Downey Jr has been a revelation in the last few flicks I've seen him in, but here he is wasted.
This disappointment in the film is heightened after watching the extras, which interviews the real life characters, who are wholly more interesting than their celluloid doubles.
This isn't to say the film is awful, it truly isn't. It was enjoyable, enlightening, moving, uplifting and tragic rolled into one. There are scenes that will stay with me, moments of wonder, musical genius, the harsh difference between have and have nots.
This should have been so much more.
 :D


**Catherine Keener mini-marathon

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #383 on: August 30, 2009, 08:41:14 PM »
S1m0ne



His leading lady just walked off the set. Now to save his career, Viktor Taransky (Academy Award® winner* Al Pacino) must find the ideal actress to replace her.
Enter S1MØNE. She's beautiful, she's talented - in fact she's perfect in every way except one. She's not real. It's lights, camera, and lots of distractions as Vicktor struggles to keep the truth behind Hollywood's latest sensation away from the Paparazzi's prying eyes. But, with S1MØNE launching a singing career and the whole world watching, that's going to be virtually impossible. From the creator of 'The Truman Show' comes this "highly intelligent and highly entertaining" ('David Sheehan', KCBS-TV) comedy about creating a star.


Intriguing concept exposing the fickleness of Hollywood and stardom, sharply written with the right dose of satire. It is clever and fairly original, but sadly after a bright start it becomes monotonous as it drags for 2 hours. It is too one-paced and never bites, staying in 2nd gear for the last 90 minutes. Pacino is not at his best in an unsuitable role, and the support seem a little resigned to playing second fiddle.
This is a light-hearted distraction, of course far-fetched and fantastical, and will not insult your intelligence
 :D

**Catherine Keener mini-marathon
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 08:45:29 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #384 on: August 30, 2009, 08:49:16 PM »
Simpatico



Vincent (NICK NOLTE) and Lyle (JEFF BRIDGES) were once the best of friends - training thoroughbred horses in 1970's California, tearing up the highway in a '58 Buick, spending nights around a campfire, dreaming about the future. Seduced by the highstakes world of horseracing, they plan the perfect scam. In the process, they destroy an innocent man's life and the friendship of a lifetime.
Twenty years later, Carter is the multi-millionaire owner of a Kentucky horse farm while Vinnie is a down-and-out deluded barfly living on the edge in California. The time has come, in Vinnie's mind, to settle the score.
Tricking Carter into travelling back to California, Vinnie sets off for Kentucky to ruin Carter and his wife (SHARON STONE) and offer restitution to Simms (ALBERT FINNEY), the man whose life was destroyed all those many years ago.


Very disjointed, contrived and purposeless film, despite an enviable cast list, you feel little sympathy for the characters and it all feels very awkward. The leads have little chemistry together and are generally unconvincing, the plot becomes ludicrous as it searches for entertainment, and the most unfulfilling ending imaginable is coughed up.
Perhaps the only interesting part of the film is watching Nolte clean himself up in a suit, and Bridges's decline to drink and a vest, a real role reversal.
Keeners role as the messenger in particular was unbelievable, seriously is anyone really that stupid?
I read this was adapted from a play, one can only be grateful we were not subjected to this on a stage!
 :yawn:  

**Catherine Keener mini-marathon
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 12:29:00 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #385 on: August 31, 2009, 12:25:45 AM »
The Interpreter



Academy Award® winners* Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn star in the action-packed thriller, The Interpreter. In one of the hidden corridors of power at United Nations headquarters, translator Silvia Broome (Kidman) overhears a potentially explosive secret about a planned assassination attempt. But when federal agent Tobin Keller (Penn) investigates her claim and digs deeper into Silvia's dangerous past, he begins to question whether she is a victim - or a suspect. From Oscar®-winning† director Sydney Pollack comes the riveting, edge-of-your-seat story of international intrigue that Ebert & Roeper  give "Two thumbs up!"

Enjoyable pacy Hitchcock-style thriller, intelligently scripted and directed with aplomb by Sydney Pollack.
Penn and Kidman worked well together with an enthusiasm for their parts, creating suspense in spades and developing the plot through to an obvious, but not disappointing, conclusion. The only criticism would be her attempted South African accent, which regularly lapsed between Australian and American.
Was the Motobo president meant to be Mugabe?? Unjust ruler, violence, racism, ethnic cleansing etc.
Political thriller well worth watching.
 ;D

**Catherine Keener mini-marathon
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 12:14:52 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #386 on: September 01, 2009, 12:19:48 AM »
Full Frontal



Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts (Best Actress, 'Erin Brockovich'*), David Duchovny ('The X-Files') and Blair Underwood ('Rules of Engagement') star in another acclaimed triumph from Oscar®-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Best Director, 'Traffic'*). It's a chaotic day for seven strangers from Hollywood who end up at the birthday party of a mutual friend. Before the night is over, relationships are tested, hearts are broken and passions are renewed! Also starring David Hyde Pierce (TV's 'Frasier'), Catherine Keener ('Being John Malkovich'), Mary McCormack ('K-Pax') and Nicky Katt ('Insomnia').

Self indulgent boring film, thats 2 hours of my life I won't get back!
Tediously done in docu format, a confusing blend of uninteresting characters merge into nothingness, without context or apparent union, plotless and an insult to the viewers intelligence.
What were the likes of Keener, Underwood and Julia Roberts thinking putting their names against this crap? Did a director who handled films like Oceans 11, Traffic and Brokovich really mastermind this home movie?
If I videod my fingernails growing, it would be more interesting.
 :yucky:

**Catherine Keener mini-marathon
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 12:29:57 AM by Rich »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #387 on: September 01, 2009, 12:49:19 AM »
Full Frontal
...
Self indulgent boring film

Haven't seen it myself, but Roger Ebert's review ends with: "There is a scene in "Full Frontal" where a character comes to a tragic end while masturbating. That could symbolize the method and fate of this film."
Matthias

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #388 on: September 01, 2009, 01:10:06 AM »
Full Frontal
...
Self indulgent boring film

Haven't seen it myself, but Roger Ebert's review ends with: "There is a scene in "Full Frontal" where a character comes to a tragic end while masturbating. That could symbolize the method and fate of this film."

 :hysterical: :thumbup: :hysterical:

Oh how i wish i had thought up that perfect description of this dire film

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #389 on: September 01, 2009, 11:15:38 AM »
This has been on my unwatched list for a long time now... sounds like it will remain there for a while!  :P
Pete