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Member's Reviews

Rachel Getting Married, a review by Jon


Rachel Getting Married
3 out of 5


When Kym (Anne Hathaway) returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), she brings a long history of personal crisis, family conflict and tragedy along with her. The wedding couple's abundant party of friends and relations have gathered for a joyful weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym – with her biting one-liners and flair for bombshell drama – is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic. Filled with the rich and eclectic characters that remain a hallmark of Jonathan Demme's films, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED paints a heartfelt, perceptive and sometimes hilarious family portrait.

I've found Rachel Getting Married pretty tough to give a fair rating to. While it's quality is beyond reproach and it can ultimately be seen as a very adult film with a purpose and superb craftmanship, I disliked it immensely!

I largely agree with Matthias' review and while I can't go as far as saying it could have been the film of 2008, it's certainly in the upper tier, with first and foremost a very good cast delivering a well judged script, although I will say it is predictable and oft convenient. Jonathan Demme's documentary experience though gives the handheld style sharp relevance and realism. It's easy to dismiss it as "shaky cam", but this is no gimmick. It's organic and Cinema Verite at it's finest for some time and the atmosphere is tangible. As a whole, there are no gimmicks and everything is absolutely convincing and honestly told. Which may be part of the problem.

My problem with the film is I simply did not like anyone in it! I cannot stomach that family who are so far up their own collective arse, the only noise they can make is incessant whining. If I was at that wedding, I would scream in frustration. I mean, they chant the bride and grooms names as they enter the ceremony; they have dishwasher filling races; they sing to each other. It's all very bloody bohemian, I'm sure, but I was struck with the feeling that this is the sort of class in a classless society that can afford to be bohemian (they wear Saris, yet none of them are actually Indian, so far as I could tell). They can also afford therapy, another refuge of the well-off.

That's unfair of me though. I don't fully understand what seems to be an accepted and encouraged practice in America. Kymmie (Hathaway) is clearly a deserving case, but it's pushed so front and centre to be taken for granted by her and her family. The fact the Best Man happens to go as well, plus the sodding hairdresser even, just shows how much so! In the UK we probably have too much of a "just get on with it and stop whinging" attitude, but still, I know one person who went to a psychiatrist, and I was only told in absolute confidence. One. Kymmie talks about it openly, meets two fellow sufferers by accident and her sister is in training, it's so prevalent. Different world. :shrug: I should point out, the script does note the ironies and addresses them very cleverly (the hairdresser mentions briefly not being able to get the level of help Kym had, which is a sobering thought). It should be funny how touchy-feely everyone is, yet they get nowhere until its almost too late. If I was enjoying the film more, I would have appreciated it better.

But, on a lighter note, I'm alienated further by the way they speak. The script is well written, but the characters practice lazy sarcasm. A sentence doesn't seem complete without a raised eye here and a "what-ev-errr" there. It's said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Only by people who can't use it properly, I say!

I did find the story predictable, but then we have this sort of stuff on TV every night in soap operas, which while they err on the side of short lived sensationalism, are also very well produced, written and acted. I don't like Eastenders, but I can identify with the people in it far easier than this lot.

Anne Hathaway gives a brilliant performance of the best character and she frequently kept me watching and not pressing fast-forward. Kym just needs a bloody good slap though, which would be duly delivered if the story was set in the UK! Empire's review first got me interested in the film as it led me to imagine a less realistic dialogue that lent itself to pithy one-liners as Kym acts as a cat amongst the pigeons of her family, but the truth is, it's too realistic to be any fun. That's clearly the aim and in the end, it's my fault, but this is not a film for everyone.

(From Jon's Random Reviews on May 18th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

The Manitou, a review by Jimmy


MOVIE / DVD INFO:



Title: The Manitou (1978)

Genre: Horror
Director: William Girdler   
Rating: PG
Length: 1h44
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2:35.1
Audio: English
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Tony Curtis   
Michael Ansara
Susan Strasberg
Stella Stevens
Jon Cedar

Plot:
What surgeons thought to be a tumor growing on the neck of patient Karen Tandy (Susan Strasberg of PSYCH-OUT) is actually a fetus growing at an abnormally accelerated rate. But when Karen reaches out to former lover and phony psychic Harry Erskine (Academy Award® nominee Tony Curtis), he discovers that she is possessed by the reincarnation of a 400-year old Native American demon. Now with the help of a modern-day medicine man (Michael Ansara), Erskine must survive this ancient evil's rampage of shocking violence, and forever destroy the enraged beast known as THE MANITOU.

My Thoughts:
This is the kind of film that make you say "WHAT???" when you read the synopsis. We sure don't see often movies about evil indian shaman growing in a woman neck like a baby. William Girdler was one of the most succesfull independant movie director of the seventies and after the box-office success of Grizzly and Days of the Animals he got a call from Hollywood. This is the first and only studio movie he did (he died in a helipcoter crash while doing scouting locations for his next project in 1978). As we can see he was welcome with open arms with a film cast of big names. Strangely from all his films this the one I like the least. The film is too conventional for my taste (not the subject, but the way he is made) and a little bit silly (the end sure is). But I like the performance of Tony Curtis and Michael Ansara (even if he play a way too stereotypical indian). BTW the evil indian isn't named the manitou but Misquamacus, no idea why they wrote that in the synopsis since a manitou, in this film, is a power that each thing in the universe possesses.

Not bad, but a little bit too long...

Rating :

(From Jimmy's - 2013 Ooctober Horror Marathon on October 13th, 2013)

Member's TV Reviews

Angel Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd


Angel: Season 3

22. Tomorrow
Original Air Date: 5/20/2002
Cordelia and Angel make their way towards a private rendezvous unaware that both of their lives are about to change forever.

Guest Stars:
John Rubinstein
Vincent Kartheiser
Laurel Holloman
Mark Lutz
Stephanie Romanov
Daniel Dae Kim
David Denman
Keith Szarabajka

My Thoughts:
This is a pretty good season finale. Though not the best I have ever seen. It went more of a story route then an action one. And seemed to worry more about setting up the next season then was actually necessary. But the story they told is an interesting one... so it is not a really big deal they went more the story route.

My Rating:

(From Angel Marathon on March 15th, 2010)