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All reviews - Movies (22) - TV Shows (1) - Books (5)

Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown review

Posted : 7 years ago on 14 July 2011 03:34 (A review of Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown)

Despite a somewhat choppy script - and one that maybe moves too swiftly, the superb emotion of Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connolly as Queen Victoria and John Brown carry the film. These flawed and other-worldly characters are believable despite the controversial history of the two real-life persons and the unlikelihood of such different people becoming friends. Other excellent performances round out this good, but not great, film. Anthony Sher as Disraeli was excellent.

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Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) review

Posted : 7 years ago on 8 July 2011 04:24 (A review of Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993))

One of the best of of the Allen cannon. It's got Manhattan vistas that make NY seem timeless- is it the 90's the Oughts or even back in Annie Hall's time? Doesn't seem to matter, the same gritty excitement and lifefullness shines through here. Combine that with a classic murder plot, some twists and suspense, the chemistry of Allen and Keaton, and the lovely comedic writing of Allen and you have a great escape of a film.

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Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices) review

Posted : 7 years ago on 2 July 2011 05:08 (A review of Voces Inocentes (Innocent Voices))

A friend of mine from El Salvador lent me this video, which is stunning and epic in its content, acting, cinematography, set design and story. I knew little about the Salvadoran civil war struggle, but this film opened my eyes. The plight of so many children - recruited into war - is captivatingly portrayed through the life of Chava and his friends and family. The story that unfolds is one of every childhood - games, rebellion, puppy love - but the conditions and backdrop of endless violence makes this childhood very different. We become so invested in Chava and his well being that the realities of ware are all to brutally evident. Maybe not the best move to start off my summer vacation because of the topic matter, but it is a real masterpiece. The kicker- its based on a true story, but as the film says, it could be the story of any suffering young Salvadoran in the days of the Civil War.

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Iron Man 2 review

Posted : 7 years ago on 1 July 2011 09:31 (A review of Iron Man 2)

My kind of superhero movie. Combines interesting pots and subplots, not-too-serious dialogue and just enough realistic action. I dislike when the explosions and clanging overtakes the characters; in this film sometimes even the folks in the iron suits will keep their faceguard up! perhaps not realistic, but it proves the point that this film is about the characters. I want to see the actors doing action, not a featureless robot face. This is also my kind of superhero movie sequel- with just the right type of new plots (not rehashing old stuff, things have moved on) and two fascinating new characters in Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson (maybe 3? i can't remember if Hammer was in the first. A worthy sequel.

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Inside Deep Throat review

Posted : 7 years ago on 1 July 2011 04:11 (A review of Inside Deep Throat)

Interesting, if not altogether thrilling documentary about the makers, actors, and societal affect of Deep Throat. Remarkably one of the biggest grossing films of all time. I was unaware of the cultural influence that it was. Some deep thinkers (ha!) in the documentary like Norman Mailer seem to indicate the film was a sort of turning point in a turbulent time. It was apparently expected by many that hard core sex would become mainstream in Hollywood following the film. It did not, and porn became even more commercialized, less of an art. The bad luck (perhaps) and the back and forth lives of the performers and those associated with the film is sad but fascinating. The lead actor convicted of obscenity charges, didn't do time, but never worked again and became an alcoholic. Lead actress had a coming to Jesus, then went back into porn and died young. All were broke by the end. Even the movie house managers feared the mafia. A strange and fascinating time is depicted in the film. So the story i found interesting, but the documentary itself suffers in pace and attempts to be too "cutsie". Flashes of clips of rockets and cars while folks are recounting their tales is annoying. Raw moments of an aged movie house owner and his wife do make it worth watching.

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Wet Hot American Summer review

Posted : 7 years ago on 30 June 2011 03:57 (A review of Wet Hot American Summer)

A star-studded cast (surprisingly!) for this silly entrant in the summer camp genre. This was the second retro 80's themed movie I watched in 24 hours (the other Hot Tub Time Machine) so that might affect my review. This one didn't seem as retro- perhaps because it came out barely a decade after the 80's. Som of the hyperbolic characters worked well (like Paul Rudd's scornful resident hottie counselor/life guard), but others (like Molly Shannon's twice divorced craft counselor) lacked believability, and really, humor. Did people really always wear shorts that tight?

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Four Days in November review

Posted : 7 years ago on 30 June 2011 03:13 (A review of Four Days in November)

Fascinating look with original footage at the four days that changed America forever. We have become numb to the video and pictoral "soundbites" of such iconic events. But this film fills in between the soundbites, making the situation deeply raw and emotional. Unlke so many films and even documentaries, where clips are flashed at a rate too fast for the mind to absorb, this film takes its time. There are lengthy raw, unedited primary sources throughout that bring you to the time and make you long for equal patience in other documentaries. The focus is on the emotional toll the events took on a nation and a family. The hard police facts are there, but are almost ancillary (particularly when compared to the Oliver Stone type rehashes that have been done.) Among the lingering elements from this film for me: how quickly it all happened. Only four days from joy to death, to new president, to capture of assassin, to death of assassin! It is hard to comprehend how it all transpired in such a short time. I would be interested to learn more about how the film was put together, which pieces are reinactments, for example.

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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) review

Posted : 7 years ago on 29 June 2011 03:18 (A review of Hot Tub Time Machine (2010))

Surprisingly funny and enjoyable. Did not take itself too seriously, had a clever nod to the back in time genere's and some truly funny moments. I watched it late at night and it kept my interest. The tension with the man bellhop who lost his arm was genius.

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