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CITY OF ANGELS

One of my bros came up with a system of reviewing films. The less words it takes to describe a film, the worse the movie actually is. For example: The feature Junior can be described as "Pregnant Schwarzenneger (sp?)". Now, to relate this to City of Angels: "Cage Wants Out". But, I don't want to say so outright that it's a bad movie. It was mildly entertaining, but we needed a more interesting rising action. The scenes that led to the climax were dragged out too long and had no real merit in and of themselves. And people who are capable of having your own emotions beware! The music plays director in this one. But I will say that the scenes in which Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan are BOTH human and in love together (however few there are) are really spectacular. But here I ask you, why would Ryan's character leave to go to the store on such a spur of the moment craving for a pear? And IMHO, pears are yucky.



GOOD WILL HUNTING

So, I saw this one. Obviously. It was an amazingly cool movie. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have great feelings throughout, and I was happy to see them present it. Also, I was glad to find out that this isn't just another "feel-good" movie. I hate that kind of stuff (because, you know, I'm cultured! Heh heh). But, no, this movie is an interesting perspective of a boy/man prodigy (Matt Damon) who has finally been discovered as such by a professor at MIT, where he is janitor. An interesting battle of emotions ensues. Will (Matt Damon) goes to see a psychiatrist (Robin Williams) and learns a lot about himself and others. I was ecstatic (gee, that's not an exaggeration) about the sub-plot involving the aforementioned professor and Williams. It was refreshing to see that the film didn't completely center around the main character, like so many movies do these days. Oh, and if you must know, it's a definitive fact that Ben Affleck is better looking than Matt Damon. ;)



DECONSTRUCTING HARRY

Another score for my fave, Woody Allen! This was a great film, rich with the neurotic director's original brand of humor. One of the opening scenes with Julia Louis Dreyfus and Toby Maguire(?) - ahem - having sex - is made especially funny with the old woman being totally clueless. I personally loved all of Harry Block's stories. The one about the boy and Death is quite amusing. Allen's prostitutes are quite hilarious, although, as someone (!) pointed out, his first black person in all his movies turns out to be a prostitute. What is Allen trying to say with that, I ask you? But that's about the only bad think I can think of. Ha! Billy Crystal as the devil was a good choice. And the conversation between he and Allen was hilarious. Oh, and I absolutely loved Allen's representation of Hell! Production Designer Santo Loquasto has done an incredible job with that evil netherworld. Over all, I was extremely happy with Woody Allen and Deconstructing Harry. And Cookie was pretty sweet, too.



SPICEWORLD

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking. Well, now you're thinking: She doesn't know what I'm thinking, she must be crazy! But before that, you were thinking: Fluff Movie!!!!! And if you really were thinking that, you're right. Spice World *was* entertaining, though. I guess. For the most part. I guess. The movie follows the marshmallow-y Spice Girls on a "day-in-the-life" tour of London. They lend a distinct amount of charm to it, each playing up their public personas. While the Spice Girls are being their cute little selves (or, at least Geri's small self; I never knew she was so damn short!) little sub-plots that don't go anywhere begin to spring up. There's the tabloid editor who's out to bring about the downfall of the Spice Girls, in order to get a new and fresh story. There's the B-grade film writer trying to pitch a movie that would somehow (?) involve all five Spice Girls. Of course, he happens to stumble on genius just when we thought he could go no lower than Spice Force Five (did you give the rights to that, Tarantino?). But, you came for the Spice Girls, right? Well, you might be short-changed. Spice World switches back and forth too much between the Fluff, er, Spice Girls and the little extra storylines. And I wonder what was going on in the minds of those British when they decided to show scenes in the commercials that just weren't in the movie? Actually, it seems a good marketing ploy to me. Devote all the actual talent to a couple of scenes, use them for the trailers and commercials, and spend whatever ideas are left on the actual movie. I suppose you'd draw in a good audience. But then, this movie was made for all the fans out there who just can't get enough of the Spice Girls. I'm sure Bob Spiers knew that whatever the living quality of the film, millions of little pre-teen girls and boys will go to see it, just so they can watch their favorite Spice Girl on the big screen. Speaking of which, I was quite impressed with the distribution of lines, roles, camera shots between all the five girls. I didn't feel that any one girl was being picked out and centered around. I've also decided something after seeing the movie: I don't like their music, but Victoria is super-cool!



AMISTAD

All right, we're talking about Amistad here. It was a good movie. The opening scene was exciting and never lost my interest. Also, the use of African words with English subtitles was quite intriguing. The story: Africans are being taken by ship to America where they will be sold as slaves. One night, they break free and kill all of the white people on the boat except for the two navigators, but of course, they have no where to go, since they're on the boat. The "leader" of the group tells the navigators to sail them back to Africa, but the man sails them to America instead. Now there is a chain of court trials to decide if the group of blacks on the ship were already in Portugal as slaves or if they were born in Africa, therefore insuring them as free citizens. This movie could almost be called "wonderful" except that the supposedly emotional music is somewhat too forceful with the emotions it carries with it. At some points, one feels like just about rising up and conquering the movie theatre with the feelings the music tries to invoke. No, no, no. Exciting music does not a good movie make! I want to enjoy the movie for what it has to offer in content. Also, the movie is a little long. What is up with the trend of movies getting increasingly longer nowadays?? Oh well, John Addams, played by Anthony Hopkins, was exceptionally convincing, up until the point when Hopkins renounces his accent for a seemingly (Irish?) one. To sum up: Amistad is worth viewing at home, not spending the $6.25 for a movie theatre ticket. But , hey, there's always the Sunday matinee! :)


AS GOOD AS IT GETS

Please excuse the obvious cliche, but this movie was just about "as good as it gets". A stunning and endearing portrayal of Melvin Udall by Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt was exquisite as Carol the Waitress. Nicholson has quite the winning smile as the prejudiced and obsessive compulsive Udall. He plays the part well, giving us the impression that he is disgusted by most of the people in New York. And what a great performance that is! Watching Nicholson's face contort when some nasty person touches him is practically hilarious. And all those scenes featuring Verdell, that adorable little toy dog, were to die for! The looks that animal gives are simply magical. This movie would be wonderful for a date or sitting at home without a date. Like most movies, I would suggest waiting for it to come out on video. With the prices of a movie theatre ticket these days, you won't be ripped off.

JACKIE BROWN

Ah, Pam Grier... Now, of course I was never able to see her as a "super-babe" during the seventies , but after seeing Jackie Brown, I can recognize her talent as an actress. And Tarantino! When will this guy run out of creative juice?! Well, now, of course it wasn't perfect. A little too long and perhaps a bit ridiculous at times, but the silliness lent a sort of unpredictable atmosphere. I've always loved an unpredictable film. Twister was awful for the reason that it was so obvious exactly what was going to happen. Also, I don't particularly like action movies. But enough about Twister! This is "jackie Brown". Bridget Fonda was somehow cute as Melanie, the "sexy beach bunny". All the deaths in the movie were hilarious, and I had a such a good time watching it. Dragged by my family to see it, I ended up quite enjoying myself. This movie would be best seen in the theatre, extraordinarily. But then, a lot of excellent movies centered around guns are. :)


Nell

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