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All reviews - Movies (149) - DVDs (1)

My Favorite Movie About Baseball.

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:41 (A review of A League of Their Own)

It's ironic that, a game mostly associated with male players, a film which focuses on the women's first professional entry into the sport, would be the one that, for me, truly captures the feeling which best reflects of why this sport is truly an American pasttime. That the purpose of a game is, no matter how the political world events may be turbulently transpiring, we all can just escape for a little while, catch a ballgame & hopefully return into the real world with our spirits a little higher & our perspectives a little bit clearer.
Because,
as we all know by now,
there is no crying in baseball.






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"Bond. James Bond."

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:39 (A review of Casino Royale)

I was never too big on the James Bond series, and I didn't think that Daniel Craig had the right look for to be an Agent 007. Therefore, I ended up avoided this film when it was theatres. However, after I watched it on DVD, it became one of those films that I wished I had caught whilst still in the theatres.
Suddenly, Mr. Bond felt like a new character ( which is no surprise, considering that this story focus on the secret agent at the beginning of his career) & absent were the schtick of the goofy sex-pot sidekicks & the cartoonish weaponry & the over the top comicbook-like villains bent on world domination. All that was left was the energetic action sequences ( still-high powered, yet still in the realm of logistical suspended belief that one walks into for a film such as this), international spy intrigue, antagonists of a more believable & sophisticated level & even an intricate romance sub-plot that reveals the mechanics of the mindset required to achieve the level of double-o seven.
IMO, this is the James Bond movie for non-James Bond enthusiasts without sacrificing the heart & soul of loyal fans.





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The Man Of Steel

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:38 (A review of Iron Man)

As a comicbook nerd, it's really cool for me that more of these types of movies are being made with more attention to the quality, visually & "creatively".
I found this one a much more cohesive origin story than Marvel's major player, Spiderman's first go-at-it. The problem with the first film of any superhero flick is to be able to show enough of a detailed origin while still leaving enough room in the film for a transition of the character learning to deal with his/her powers & then some kind climatic confrontation with some sort of antagonist figure. I found this movie to be much better paced than other initial efforts of Marvel properties like the Hulk or Spiderman, with a much more naturalness to the characters, as evidenced by Downey Jr's humor & the comfortable chemistry between he, Gweneth Paltrow & Terence Howard.



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"All Work & No Play...."

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:31 (A review of The Shining)

First of all, I'm always partial to Stanley Kubrick. IMO, he tends to make movies that are an inch away from being abstract beyond understanding, but keeps the flow of the film reeled in just enough to make seem like it makes sense on some kind of creative level. Add in the grounding of a Stephen King story & a role taylor made for Jack Nicholson, & what you have is one of my top favorite horror movies of all time. And with very little slashing, gore, or shock that most films of this genre (especially today) tend to rely on in order to frighten their audiences. The horror stems more from Jack's delivery & facial expressions as his character, writer Jack Torrance, gradually slips into the madness of a haunted hotel's dark intentions.
The phrase "Here's Johnny!" wouldn't be a very scary line at all if it weren't for Jack's maniacal mug peering thru the door's craggled "peephole", freshly smashed thru by the axe-wielding author who suffers from writer's block & a possesed spirit, not to mention from a severe case of "redrum" on his mind.




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My favorite Jack Nicholson film.

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:29 (A review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)




One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest tops off a list of movies wherein my favorite top three are all on this list specifically because of the performances of the leads in each film. Al Pacino is what made Dog Day Afternoon bark; the shark in Jaws bought the oversized man-eating sea predator to life; and finally, in the number one spot, it was Jack Nicholson's performance that provided the strong sense of rebellious sanity that was needed to take on the state of oppressiveness that ratchedly ran the looney bin.



Whenever I watch this movie, I'm always reminded that, for me, this is about as good as it gets (...sorry). Randall McMurphy is a mischievious criminal who first ends up becoming a leader of squirrelly rebellion & then, eventually, a friend to Billy & the rest the cracked eggs residing in the Cuckoo's Nest.
Jack's portrayal in this movie is determined not to follow the feel-good formula of a self-centered man with a salt-encrusted background who then becomes overly or angelically transformed. Instead, Randall is someone who is so deeply steeped in his own irresponsibility and with a hard to reach ability to care that is only gradually bought up to the surface by the only type of people who could cause such a subtle & internal catalyst in his disfunction: a group of guys who are crazier than he is.





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A Forgotten Gem

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:27 (A review of Dolores Claiborne)

I pretty much ignored this film when it was first released. I watched on it's first airing on TV, & I literally couldn't believe at how good it was. So I went out & rented it, & yep, I was right. It's that good.
The story is just perfect from beginning to end. And Kathy Bates, IMO, turns in an even better performance than she did in Misery. The plot may tend to come off as a bit complicated, but the movie does a great job of walking the viewer thru the intermingling flashbacks & various plot points that show the main character's redemptive journey. A journey which includes a mother's fight against against a man's world to save her daughter from the father's "parental indulgences" & how that struggle can lead one to find strength in the most unlikely of places.



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Battlefield Earth review

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:21 (A review of Battlefield Earth)


I so wanted to walk out on this movie, but I was on a first date & since she was the one that recommended this, I didn't want to diminish my chances of getting laid.
Probably the only movie that I ever sat thru where upon the diasterous feeling that resulted from watching it, along with the diaster that the movie itself is, overwhelmed the story of diaster that the movie was supposed to depict.
I may have survived watching this movie,
but the sane aspect of my mind & every part of my soul have been permanently scarred.
A diaster flick in every sense that is possible to imagine.

I genuinely wanted to die during this movie.

( I know, I know......"So why did I award this film even a 1/10 when it actually deserves a 0/10?"
B'cuz at one point, there are scenes that have cavemen flying around in Harrier jets.
And with those kinds of balls, this movie, at least, deserves something ....)



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My fave Paul Newman flick.

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:13 (A review of The Verdict)

One of my favorite court dramas of all time.
With almost a seasoned ease, Paul portrays a disheveled, aging, never-has-been, malpractice lawyer who finds within himself the humanity which never really had a chance to surface due to the layered weight of his chronic alcoholism. The movie & Newman's performance sets up very well the desolation & loneliness that the main character moves his life thru as he goes up against the legal system that giganticly favors the "big guys" over the "little guys". One can really get the sense that Newman knows that he stands no chance of winning the case, but continues moving on forward because he is, for the 1st. time in his barely neglible career, fueled by the honesty & goodness of what is right. A feeling that is so new to this character, that, combined with the realizaton that a human life is totally dependent him for justice, it becomes emotion exhilirating enough to keep an almost broken old man to keep fighting on, no matter how high the price.
One of those rare times when the performance comes thru real enough to make us (oh, what am I'm talkin' about this "us" bullsh#t? What I really mean is "me" ) almost believe that even under the most insurmountable odds, there is always some kind of hope.




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What Happens In Sin City, Stays In Sin City

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:09 (A review of Sin City)

The weird thing about this movie is that the male lead characters are all practically the same guy.
And the individual stories don't seem to stray too off far from each other or from a theme that we've all seen on the big screen millions of times before.
The thing is, the visuals on this thing are so goddamn striking that, for me at least, it almost felt like I was watching a much more unique set of plotlines than was actually being told.
Rather than trying to bring the Sin City graphic novel into movie "reel life", it seemed almost like this was more an exercise to bringing reel life into the Sin City comicbook. That the actors weren't trying to portray comicbook characters as much as they were trying to integrate their 3-D physicality into 2-D flat-figured Frank Miller drawings (as was most evident with the make-up jobs on Marv & the Yellow Man.



I know that there are some people who criticized the simplicity & graphic "pointlessness" of this movie, but it's art direction was so full of energy & depth ( for my visual senses, at least) that I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen & found myself truly embedded in the illusion that I was watching something original.






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Ghost World review

Posted : 9 years ago on 4 August 2008 08:06 (A review of Ghost World)

While I had seen Scarlett Johansson before in other movies, this was the first one where I had actually "fallen in love" with her.
I always liked Dan Clowes' comics. His work definitely subscribed to the idea of having a "style that was all his own". And for my money, this style fits in even more effectively in the medium of film than it does in the comicbook version of what is known as the "alternative" genre (a genre that his printed works mold into quite successfully). Dan Clowes' movies bring a well-welcomed shot of something new & different to watch just as effectively as his comics bring to the experience of reading.





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