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Member's Reviews

L.A. Confidential, a review by Dragonfire

L.A. Confidential

Director Curtis Hanson and a terrific cast serve up a "ravishing, thrilling tale of police corruption and Hollywood glamour" (Marshall Fine, Gannett Newspapers) in this film of James Ellroy's novel. Three cops (Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce), a call girl (Kim Basinger), a mysterious millionaire (David Strathairn), a tabloid journalist (Danny DeVito) and the Chief of Detectives (James Cromwell) fuel a labyrinthine plot rife with mystery, ambition, romance and humor. The film captured nine 1997 Academy Award® nominations (including Best Picture*) and won Oscars® for Best Supporting Actress (Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson) after scoring an unprecendented number of Best Picture/Best Director honors from critics groups nationwide.

*Other Nominations: Best Director (Hanson), Art Direction/Set Decoration, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music - Original Dramatic Score (Goldsmith) and Sound.

My Thoughts

I wasn't interested in this one when I first saw previews for it.  I just didn't think I would like it.  Then I kept seeing the trailer and I started changing my mind and I eventually saw the movie..and I loved it.

The plot is rather complicated, so people could get confused or lost if they don't pay attention.  Things do start off slower while characters are introduced and situations are set up.  Some of what is shown doesn't seem that important at first, but it all ends up being tied to what is going and adding to the set up of things.  I think there ends up being a decent amount of mystery and I didn't find the movie to be predictable at all.  I remember being really shocked by one thing that happens - though it does make sense for the story. 

I did end up reading the book after I had seen the movie.  I think I'd seen it a few times by that point.  The book is even more complex than the movie with even more characters and events going on.  I think the movie is a really good adaptation since it focuses in on the most important elements of the story.  From what I remember, a lot more time is covered in the book.

Even though there aren't any actual sex scenes in the movie, sex does have a big impact on the story.  Sid, the tabloid reporter, is always hoping to catch famous or sort of famous people in some sort of compromising sexual situation.  Sid even sets some of them up, promising one person that no one else will ever know..and then he plasters the pictures all over the cover of Hush-Hush, the tabloid magazine he writes for.  Lynn, the main female character, is a call girl who looks like Veronica Lake.  There are other call girls who look like other actresses, though they are mostly just talked about and only one of them is briefly seen.  Bud and Lynn have a relationship and it is very clear that it involves sex even though not much is shown. 

There is a lot of violence in the movie, some of which is rather graphic and extreme.  There are shoot outs and fights with several people getting hurt or killed.  The violence didn't really bother me, though some people may feel differently.  The movie definitely deserves the R rating and it isn't one for children.

Several of the characters are just in a few short scenes, but they still manage to be interesting.  This was the first movie I saw Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce in.  I really didn't like Pearce's character Ed at first.  Technically he is the good guy since he is out to end corruption, but his attitude at first makes him unlikeable.  I don't see Bud as really a bad character, though he isn't all good either.  Jack has gotten use to being a bit of a celebrity thanks to the exposure from working with a tv show and the busts that he sets up for Sid to take pictures of.  Jack is a bit corrupted, but no where near the level that some other cops are.  The cast is wonderful in their parts.

I really like this movie and think it is has held up very well. At the time, I was ok with Titanic winning more Oscars, including best picture.  Now I'm thinking this one really should have won. 

I posted a review on Epinions last night - my 1300th review there.  :)

L.A. Confidential

(From L.A. Confidential on June 16th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

A Town Called Panic, a review by GSyren

TitleA Town Called Panic (5-055201-811578)
DirectorStéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
ActorsStéphane Aubier, Jeanne Balibar, Véronique Dumont, Bruce Ellison, Frédéric Jannin
Produced2009 in Belgium
Runtime74 minutes
AudioFrench Dolby Digital 5.1
OverviewFrom acclaimed animators Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar comes A Town Called Panic, a surreal and hilarious tale of adventure, romance, and villainous treachery in a small village where panic is both name and nature.

Cowboy and Indian's plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they accidentally destroy his house. To their dismay, no sooner have they built a new home when it is stolen from beneath their noses by a stealthy and cunning midnight assailant. Strange adventures ensue as the trio travel to the centre of the earth, trek across frozen tundra and discover a parallel underwater universe where pointy headed (and dishonest!) creatures live. With panic a permanent feature of life in this papier mâché world, will Horse and his girlfriend ever be alone?
My thoughtsHoly crap! This is one of the most bizarre films I have seen in a long, long time. “Toy Story on absinthe” is a fairly good description. Although this is stop motion animation, and nowhere nearly as polished as Toy Story. But that is intentional, and part of its charm. A big difference between the two films is that this one uses toys, but they don't really represent toys. There are no children playing with them. These toys live in a world entirely of their own.

The story is almost impossible to describe. It's a bit like trying to describe Terry Gilliam's animation for Monty Python. Absurd might be a good way to describe it. But absurd in a good way. Very good.

I loved it. I was surprised, but pleased, that it had not been dubbed into English. The French dialog just matches the absurdity so well that I doubt that an English dub could have made it justice. So don't let that discourage you. Definitely recommended!
My rating

(From Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar on March 3rd, 2014)

Member's TV Reviews

The One Where It All Began: The Pilot Marathon, a review by DJ Doena

Alien Nation

What's the show about?
250,000 aliens from the planet Tencton are stranded on Earth. The aliens were bred to be slaves. They are stronger and often more intelligent than Humans and they have to adapt to the live among the population of Los Angeles. Five years have gone since their arrival on Earth. The Human cop Matthew Sikes and the Newcomer cop George Francisco solve cases both in the human and the newcomer community.

What happened before?
The TV show is loosely based on the movie, but the story of the movie is not connected to that of the show. In fact, parts story of of the movie are re-written for the pilot.

"Alien Nation"
The first "Newcomer", Sam 'George' Francisco, has become a detective and he gets assigned to a Human. Detective Matthew Sikes on the other hand has lost his partner, who was shot by a Newcomer. Together they have to solve a case of mysterious deaths that are somehow connected to Matt's old partner...

My Opinion
Can't wait to get my fingers on the five TV movies they've made afterwards. It was a really good show even when it lasted only one season.

(From The One Where It All Began: The Pilot Marathon on January 3rd, 2008)