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The Flick Chick
Been a bad day. TV dinner for dinner. No good e-mail. No calls.
Does that mean no hope? Not! There is always the hope (and the opportunity) of leaving it all behind and being swept away by a truly great film or of having a buddy over to watch and abuse and laugh at a terrible one . . . via video. So how do you know what to choose? (Tum-te-tum-tum . . . clash of symbols) The Chick knows! Looky here.
Master and Commander
Naturally, if you've read
eighteen Aubrey-Maturin books (yes, neophytes, there are eighteen of
them!) you've already seen the film, you already have an opinion, and
whatever the Chick says, you will agree or discount it, depending on
whether you thought Russell Crowe was blonde enough, shrewd enough,
nautical enough, musical enough (and so forth) and whether you thought
Paul Bettany was sufficiently brilliant, sensitive, saturnine, silent,
and noble. Personally, the Chick has always had a real weakness for the
dark, sensitive & noble types, and she felt that Bettany was a bit too
pretty, and that the Maturin part suffered from having the BIG STAR
taking all the limelight in the Aubrey role. Also, she felt that the
Master & Commander
alone was more than sufficient
to carry the film, and they didn't need to use up two books in one
flick. Because if they take them two at a time, there will only be
enough for NINE, which would be a tragedy.
Like Woody Allen films, but hated this one. Same reason that Closer was a bummer. All the characters were selfish, shallow, and without redeeming social characteristics. Let me know how it ended, if you get the chance. We left 2/3rds of the way through. (2/06)
Matrix I & II & III
Loved the first one, even with all the
violence: Innovative plot. Excellent casting; Deeply sympathetic
characters, Socko climax.
Man With No Memory: What is he forgetting? How did he know that! What
has he lost? What has he regained? What happened first? Was his wife
really killed? And the clues tattooed on his body . . . are they all
correct or all wrong?
Oh Wow! Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith chasing BEMs. And SUCH BEMs ! And there's even a nicely-engineered plot. What could be sweeter!
Really enjoyed it, didn't mind laughing at the same jokes again, had read all the grumpy reviews, went expecting very little, and was agreeably surprised. Of course, Tommy Lee Jones and Rip Torn are splendid, Will Smith's panache and versatility are amazing, and there is also the not-offensive appearance of wotzername in skimpy underwear. Those old in affection for ancient Space Opera will be tickled by the sight of all those BEMs gathered under one roof, though it's doubtful that so many of them would be so stupid. And the guy in the backpack a real hoot. Go. Enjoy. (7/8/02/02)
Men in Black III
You must take into consideration
that any film that stars both Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith is going
to be a winner, even if it's the same film you saw last time. But this
one is the same film plus new goodies. And
There is the lovely Emma Thompson in a very small love-interest role.
There is a flashback of Tommie Lee Jones as a younger cheerier man. But
best of all there is a very strange and charming character
Right!) who sees into alternate futures. And
. . . well . . . he won the Chick's heart.
Men Who Stare at Goats
Now, that was FUN! George Clooney
was loony! McGregor (Ewan) was stewin'! Jeff Bridges was (running out
of bad rhymes now) an off-kilter guru and Kevin Spacy was an intensely
disagreeable corporal (never recognized him until 3/4 of the way
through the movie!). To the Chick, the storyline was somewhat
reminiscent of the hi-jinks in
only without anything
grim about it. And nothing particularly smutty. Just funny. And fun.
And mildly crazy. And with a completely unexpected and
satisfying finale. It's probably not in theaters any more, so
get the DVD, settle down on the sofa and . . . enjoy.
this is not exactly a new film. One of the silent grand-daddies of SF
flickdom, it was produced by Fritz Lang in Germany, in 1927 (well
before the Chick's D.O.B., my friends). I had seen bits and pieces over
the years, but never the complete film.
Just a another slasher-type movie. The larger luminaries show their faces minimally. The multiple killings are far-fetched. The climax is not especially satisfying. Miss it unless you're desperate. (5/18/05)
Troubled, edgy, running for his life, trying to justify his life to his brothers, his five-year-old, and himself, our protagonist (George Clooney) stands on the knife edge, holding to his integrity with both hands as he wends his way through the staggeringly speedy, deeply textured, well written thriller. Chameleon Clooney's versatility never ceases to amaze us. This is a fine film experience that you don't want to miss. See it on DVD if you missed the original. (Reviewed 10/07)
Dick storyline, Stephen Speilberg directing, and Tom Cruise, who may
finally be learning to act a little. There are stunning SF stunts, a
powerful supporting team (Max van Sydow, Collin Farrell, for starts),
and some great spooky future-of-high-tech stuff for example,
holograms now work, only not very well. The ads follow you around,
scanning your retinas, and speaking to you by name, reeling out your
most recent buying history as they hardsell. Cars run up and down the
sides of buildings their visual profile front-to-back from
present-day cars, so they all looked as if they were going full-bore .
. . backward!
Hair in her eyes, falling upstairs and down, dressed in combat boots and with shirt-tail flying, do what she will, Sandra Bullock is charming. And there is no way Michael Caine can ever manage to be less than delightful. But it's a foolish, skimpy plot. The still-ravishing Candace Bergen is wasted. And Captain Kirk proves yet again that, much as we loved him aboard the Enterprise I, he shoulda stood in space. Yet with it all, it's a very pleasing, good-humored film, and when it appears on late-night TV, I'll be happy to watch it again! (12/00)
Miss Congeniality II
What's not to like about this film? Sandra Bullock appears once again as slobby-but-beautiful FBI agent, Gracie Hart, snorting with laughter, beating up bad guys, and being forced by unlikely circumstances to dress up both cute and funny. This is a humorous buddy-story, rather than a humorous romantic story, like the original. The star is paired with Regina King who plays her tough-gal heart-of-gold bodyguard as they fight their way through a variety of toughs and miles of bureaucratic red tape to rescue Miss America who has been kidnapped by murderous gangsters (one of whom is a would-be arteest). Not a superior film, but plenty of fun and games, with enough action to entertain the kids, enough cheesecake to entertain the guys, and enough plot to string it together. 3/05
At one point in
(one of the Chick's fave films), the protagonists (both
young Native Americans) set up a memorable chant about John Wayne's
teeth. Ah, that I had their skills. Some 30%-45% of this third and lame
Mission Impossible is devoted to closeups of Tom Cruise's teeth. While
the afore-mentioned teeth are neither "plastic nor steel" they
certainly do get good play throughout. And as if there were a more
powerful spotlight directed at The Grin, other characters in the film
are portrayed as faded and interchangeable. One exception: Ving
Rheames, unquenchable as ever, despite the fact that his dialogue is
limited to exclamations such as, "I'm with you, Buddy," and "No-no,
that's too dangerous!" Whatever happened to IM Force missions that had
interesting characters and a
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Three-sentence review: Brad Pitt is still (appropriately) to die for. Angeline Jolie is still luscious to look at. But Sorry! they are both professional assassins who kill everybody in sight, and this film has no socially redeeming aspects whatever. (Yes, big compound sentence. I cheated.) (7/05)
Mr. Margoriam's Miss-This- Emporium
It was embarassing to watch the (formerly) great actor (who remains nameless here in order to avoid humiliating him further) smirk and swiggle through this terrible mistake. And Natalie Portman should fire her agent for getting her involved with it. Miss it. Spare them. (11/07)
Monsters, Inc. - *****
Worn out by the daily grind? Glum over
stock market fluctuations? Out of peace with yourself and the world?
Well, have I got a solution for you! With voices supplied by Billy
Crystal, John Goodman, et al, these monsters will help you forget your
real-world troubles while you laugh, feel tender, and root for the
goodguys against the bad guys just the way we always did in days of
This is a hard film to watch. Billy Bob Thornton's tortured tough guy, Peter Boyle's grim mind-of-stone father, and Hallie Berry's toothsome, desperate heroine entwine within a dark story of guilt, passion, mixed motives, and ambivalent redemption. Brilliantly written, splendidly performed, and convincingly produced, this is a real master work. But it's not easy, and it's not for the faint of heart. (3/14/02)
Mozart's Sister (video)
What an odd film. Did you even know
that Mozart even had a big sister? Who played the piano as well as he
did? And was nice looking? She really did exist, and although much of
the substance of the film is fictional, the predicament she faced
as a creative, talented woman in the deeply chauvenistic social
settings of France and Germany was only too true. The film holds
you, the characters are appealing, the actors have an un-Hollywoodish
beauty, and we enjoyed it.
And if you've never seen it, you could
rent worse. It's a poor-man's
only much sappier
and with less ingenuity. Nevertheless it has charm, chiefly because it
stars Brendan Fraser. After various forgettable kidpix roles and one
delightful one George, in
George of the Jungle,
large photo credit in my book he gave us a bit of really
memorable acting in
Gods and Monsters.
(That was a well-received
and seriously snooty-art film, for those illiterates who see only
kidpix & BadFearFlicks.)
Murder by Numbers
This is a nicelittle picture. Sandra Bullock is always watchable. Ben Chaplin is appropriately attractive. Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling are very effective as the murderous teenagers. And if it never did ratchet up the fear-flick-factor to the point where my teeth hurt . . . it still provided a really pleasant evening, well worth the time and money. Sometimes you want simply to enjoy the movie without hurting your teeth, you know? (4/23)
Must Love Dogs
inevitable that online dating would get its day in the sun:
My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding
Now just why would a tall, cute, smart, capable young man throw away his whole previous life and make an idiot of himself and live next door to his eccentric and opinionated in-laws for the sake of a woman who was not particularly charming or clever and was not even especially good looking? Only Hollywood has the answer. (The envelope, please . . . . Thank you.) And the answer to that mystery is that they needed another female chauvinist hit, that's why. Consider: if she had been the sweet, sensitive one who had to change her religion, make herself the butt of his brothers' and sisters' jokes, be sneered at by her lover's father, and live next door to her husband's parents — would we have been up in arms, or wouldn't we? This is not about the Greeks. Greeks are great people. They invented the theater, wooden horses, democracy, philosophy, and olive oil, and long may they wave. But friends, this is nothing but a trash-the-guy flick. Some people seem to think that bad sass for the goose is bad sass for the gander too. But fair is fair. Comprende? (8/1/02)
Oh, dark, dark, dark . . .this is a really dark film. Sean Penn is great if a little heavy. Kevin Bacon is great, if a little chill. Tim Robbins is just great! Marcia Gay Hardin, does an excellent job. By now you know the story line. Great performances. Worth seeing. But it's mighty, mighty dark. (12/03)
Night of the Vampire
Whoa! This one is
out! Malkovich is wierdly smashing, as always. And am I the only
one who think he looks like Lawrence Olivier? I mean when he was
the same age.
More Film Reviews. Click the appropriate letter for films whose titles begin with . . .
A-B # C-D # E-F # G-H # I-J # K-L # M-N # O-P # Q-R # S # T-U # V-W # X-Y-Z
A few choice foreign films (subtitles)