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

The Red Violin review

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 07:05 (A review of The Red Violin)

This film has a story hook that follows along the lines of one of those "follow the history" of a dollar/coin/ object that is continuingly passed from one person to another, each involving it's own unique plotline, & each centered upon the object of focus in some angulated manner. It's a technique that I've always had a liking for, & probably b'cuz , I've been lucky enough in that almost all of the ones that I have seen use this storytelling technique have been pretty well above average. All the stories are of a high quality & solidly crafted in it's linear structure.
And even though, Jackson is probably the most famous of the ensemble cast, he is still but one in an ensemble cast., that no matter which character role any of theses actors have in The Red Violin,
the movie is strong enough for any of 'em to be proud to have this work included in their filmography.

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Bourne To Run

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 07:04 (A review of The Bourne Ultimatum)

The spy theme was never really one of my favorite genres. Therefore I avoided the first Bourne flick when it came out in theatres. However, when I did catch it on TV, I was surprised & impressed by it's ability to both keep me intrigued & "thrilled". I rented the second, which I liked even better & it resulted in me making the effort of seeing the third in theatres. After the Ultimatum, the Bourne Trilogy became for me one those extremely rare trilogies where each successive movie actually was consistantly better than the one that preceded it. I can't get away from looking at this movie as part of it's collective whole, with the Ultimatum acting as an intelligent bad-ass ending to an intelligent bad-ass series.

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The Bay Of Pigs

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 07:02 (A review of Thirteen Days)

This is another one of those films that I refrained from seeing in theatres because I know the story of the Cuban Missle Crisis from my high school American history class. However, upon hearing mostly positive reviews after the fact, I decided to give it a view when I came across it the DVD rental store. And I have to say that movie does an excellent job of depicting the build-up of sophisticated international political tension that must've filled the White House during this period of history. As cliche as it sounds, despite knowing how this story ends, this film still managed to keep me at the edge of my seat.

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Cruisin' in a Timeless DeLorean

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 07:00 (A review of Back to the Future)

'Ey, it's that's one dude from Family Ties teaming up with that one other dude from Taxi and that one chick from Howard The Duck.
Michael J. Fox, Leah Thompson, Christopher Loyd, along with Crispin Glover, form a cadre of actors whom, at the time of that BTTF occupied theaters, were not considered top marquee celebrities, a situation that would change, particularly for Fox, after this surprise hit's release. 

[img id=1189103 width=500full]

Marty McFly may seem like just a typical, whitebred kid from the 80's, but the truth is, well.... he <I> really</I> is just a typical whitebred kid from the 80's. Okay, maybe his dad never shrugged off his 1950's brand of nerdiness, but let's be honest here, back in the 80's, we all sorta knew that that was more the norm than what was usually portrayed on TV and in the movies as to what typical was. And maybe every once in a while, Marty tended to hang around with an offbeat, weirdo professor, but the fact that Marty could play guitar pretty good, was in a band and had a good looking 80's style girlfriend sorta balanced all that out, didn't it? <I>And</I> he wasn't doing drugs.
But whatever, this so-called "atypical" kid gets caught up in one of his professor friend's experiments, and next thing you know, he's driving a super-souped up DeLorean (the "car of the future") through time, and finds himself stuck in the past. And with an empty flux capacitor,  a younger version of the professor and his teen-aged so-to-be dad, McFly must find a way back.... to the fut....well.... you know.

[img id=1941984 width=500full]

Directed by Robert Zemekis, Back To The Future is a time-traveling tale which inarguably solidified the fact that it's never a good idea to take your mother to the school dance. Even if it's before she becomes your mother.

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Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:59 (A review of The Insider)

Russell Crowe is the insider trying to expose the truth of the mega-business of tabacco & Al Pacino is the outsider who finds himself involunteerily pitted against the corporate politicks of the media which both men were counting on to help in the cause. Watching both actors on screen is an example of the kind of movie chemistry that can result from the combination of solid acting abilities along with the directing & writing powess of Mr. Mann. And all this without the need of any special effects or CGI, & yet a film that still provides a level of entertainment on par with that of any big budget blockerbuster.

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Time To Take A Shower.....

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:53 (A review of Psycho)

Due to the era that Psycho was released, Norman Bates may not have had the opportunity to cut through a swath of teenaged bodies (not that most teenagers back then didn't deserve it) in the manner that the Freddies, Michaels & Jasons do these days, but he definitely pioneered the crazed, almost supernaturally-empowered maniacs that the modern masked comtemporaries have become famous for.
Though the datedness of this movie has seemed to lessen the shock & horror of this b/w classic, the energy of it still reverberates today & the ending shot of Norman Bates' visage is still one of the best creepy endings on film.

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Living In America

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:45 (A review of In America (2002))

Is it possible to watch a tale of a family that struggles to make their dreams come true without it seeming too corny? Or to watch 'em suffer personal traumas that bind 'em with friends from completely different worlds that doesn't come off as formulaic? Or is it possible to watch a film where they try to come to terms with life's hard curveballs in a manner that will make you laugh & cry but without having to worry about embarrassingly getting a face bloated with the snotty tears of over-sentimentality?
In a word,
But only In America.


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A Project Gone Awry...But In A Good Way

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:43 (A review of The Blair Witch Project (1999))

First of all, I couldn't care less how over-hyped this movie was. Anyone's whose opinion of this movie was as an adverse effect from this, it's their fault for giving it any attention in the first place. No hype, no matter how well-founded, should ever be believed.
Secondly, as kid, sure, but as an adult, I really can't get scared from movies anymore. Especially, if there's a monster or a Jason/Freddy/Michael Myers involved. The minute I see any of these guys on the screen wearing some kind of fright-enhancing mask or wielding a sharp object with a screaming Abercrombie & Fitch-looking teenager's name all over it, I am instantly reminded that I'm watching a movie, & thereby negating any chance of suspending my belief enough to being frightened anymore. However, Blair Witch tried to bring the horror of cinema as close to the real world as any fright flick could since Night Of The Living Dead (IMO, that is), thus making it seem like this situation could actually happen in this frame of reality. Plus, a major part of the fear-factor for this story's premise is that the lead characters, or even the viewers themselves, never actually get to see the witch in question. And as it has been stated many times over centuries, "The unknown is one the greatest fears to the human mindset".

So while it still didn't scare me, TBWP probably came as close as it possibly can come to at this point in my life. As far as I can remember, I've never had any real inclination to go out on a camping trip of any sort.
But now, because of this film, sleeping under a tent overnight in the middle of the woods, is a situation that I can definitely say that I will never expect to try & initiate.
And for me, The Blair Witch Project earns a couple of extra points just for that.

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I Ain't 'Fraid No Ghost

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:35 (A review of Ghostbusters)

Ghostbusters is a fun, 80's summer-blockbuster defining sci-fi comedy that not only features Bill Murray at his sharpest & Sigourney Weaver at her sexiest (even though at one point, she does turn into a dog....), but also cool specials effects, a couple of proton packs, sliming goblins, a key master, a gatekeeper, streams crossing, cats & dogs living together, not to mention one really big "Twinkie".

In this story, the dead are starting to rise on the streets of New York. Well, moreso that usual that is. And at the center of it all, is the head ghost demon known as Gozer The Destructor. Who, even in marshmellow form, is still a destructor. So when ol' Goze decides to start giganticly rampaging down through the avenues of the Big Apple, who you gonna call....?
The only guys around who know how to show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.
Simply some of my favorite summer blockbuster movie memories growing up as a kid.

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Some Like It Hot review

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:33 (A review of Some Like It Hot)

Being a movie from the late 50's, with it's screwball comedy centering on the now-over-used theme of cross dressing men, you'd think that Some Like It Hot would've gone cold by now.
And yet, in large part due to Billy Wilder's sharp-edged yet still slapstick script, it hasn't.
And let's not forget that adding fuel to fire, as always, is Marilyn Monroe. Even through modern eyes, the way she seems to always melt perfectly into her dress throughout the entire film is still an important contribution to the movie's enduring high heat factor.

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