Valentine & Black History February Challenge

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JohnS, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    05 Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) (bluray) :star::star::star::half: First movie I saw Hugh Grant in and I totally fell for that little boy innocence and cheeky grin. I love the whole layout of this movie, hopping from wedding to wedding with different stories to be had at each. Hugh Grant is made for these type of movies and as we know he's made several, playing the same charming and sometimes befuddled character. I've never been too big of a fan of Andie MacDowell but she was great here as the character who meanders in and out of the various scenarios. This is a quirky and charming story one I'm glad to have in my collection. 06 The Decoy Bride (2011) (Netflix) :star::star::half: Famous Hollywood actress can't get married without attracting a lot of attention from the paparazzi so they devise a plan for the wedding to take place in a remote location, a small out of the way Scottish island. Katie is an island native unlucky in love and she is chosen as the decoy bride in the hope of distracting the press. Wasn't really a fan of this one. The acting was fine, but the script was irritating and lifeless and frankly I was bored for most of it.
     
  2. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    Change of Heart (1934) :star::star: Four friends (Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, James Dunn, Ginger Rogers) graduate college and decide to move from California to New York City so that they can make their dreams come true. At first the four stay together but soon personal relationships start to tear them apart. CHANGE OF HEART has pretty much been forgotten by everyone except for fans of Gaynor and Farrell as this here would be their final film together. They did a total of twelve together and I think it's easy to say that this one here isn't among their best. There are many problems with this film but I think it's rather obvious that the screenplay is simply tired and it doesn't give us anything fresh or original. If you've ever seen a romantic-drama-comedy then you're going to see every twist and turn coming. Even by 1934 standards this thing is pretty cliché ridden and even worse is that it's all too predictable. As you'd expect, along the way there are crossed romances going on. Person A loves person B but person B is in love with person C who in returns is in love with person A. The only thing that keeps this film remotely entertaining is the terrific cast led by Gaynor who is always bright enough to light up any film no matter how routine it is. She's certainly the stand-out here but Rogers is also very good in her role of the not-so-nice girl trying to become a rich actress. Both Farrell and Dunn are good as well and we've even got Dick Foran in his first role. Fans of Shirley Temple will find her here playing a girl named Shirley. CHANGE OF HEART has been forgotten over the years and it's easy to see why. The only ones needing to check this out are fans of the actors. Warm Bodies (2013) :star::star::star: Cute and different take on the living dead genre has zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) going against the rules and not eating Julie (Teresa Palmer) but instead he falls in love with her, which sets a whole new thing into motion. WARM BODIES isn't a flawless films but for the most part it's very charming and has enough clever moments to make it worth watching. I will start off with the flaws and I'd say that it takes the film quite a bit before it starts to (no pun intended) warm up. The first ten-minutes of the film are pretty boring but this might be because we're basically watching the so-old zombie stuff, the same old apocalypse stuff and it's not until the two leads meet does the film finally start to pick up. I think once the love story kicks in is when the film finally gets going and a lot of the credit has to go to Hoult and Palmer for their strong work. I thought Hoult was extremely believable in his part as the zombie and this includes when he's just a dead creature searching for humans but he's also very believable the more human he becomes. Palmer easily steals the film with her warm and rather bubbly character. The actress certainly nailed the part and I look forward to seeing her in other films. John Malkovich plays her father, a man also leading the battle against the zombies. I wouldn't say he's great but it's still fun seeing someone like him in a movie like this. The screenplay also offers up a few funny gags including the girl holding up a Blu-ray case Lucio Fulci's notorious ZOMBIE to compare what that zombie looked like compared to R. Another great thing going for the film is that we're given quite a terrific soundtrack with the works of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Guns 'n Roses, Roy Orbinson, John Waite and others. Fans of vinyl will also enjoy how the format is worked into the story. Again, WARM BODIES features all sorts of flaws but for the most part it's entertaining enough to make it worth viewing.
     
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    133
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    Never Been Kissed (1999) (Blu-ray) Not so much romantic, as this has to do with Drew Barrymore going undercover in a high school to get a news story for her first reporting assignment. The romantic elements are there with Barrymore falling in love with a teacher and a prom that has a theme of, "Made for each other" The prom costumes are great as you'll recognize a lot romantic couples from movies and novels The movie also features a great cast of John C. Riley, Jessica Alba, Molly Shannon, David Arquette and Gary Marshall. Any Barrymore fan should find this movie a nice pleasure.
     
  4. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    The Holiday (2006) :star::star::star::half: Should have watched this one during the Holiday Challenge. Forgot I had this one. Both Cameron Diaz and Jude Law are a delight here as well as Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Not a fan of Black but I could actually tolerate him here. All the leads had great chemistry and this was delight from beginning to end. If you don't like fluffy, sugary chick-flix then stay clear of this one. Shakespeare in Love (1998) :star::star::star::star::star: The writer did a wonderful job of managing that awesome prose and poetry while giving it a contemporary flare. Even my brother who would never watch a Shakespearean play mainly because he doesn't understand the language, understood and enjoyed this. Everything is top-notch here from the set designs to the costumes and the acting was superb. This is everything you want in a romance. A lot of people unfairly maligned this movie only because it won the Academy Award that year. In my estimation it was worthy of the prize.
     
  5. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    Jane Eyre (1996) (Netflix) :star::star: There are many different adaptations made from Charlotte Bronte wonderful novel. I've seen many but not all, my favourite being the latest that was brought to screen and my least favourite, the1970 version with George C Scott. I've always skipped the 1996 version because I could never picture William Hurt as Mr. Rochester. Sadly I was justified in my feelings. There was absolutely no chemistry between Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg who played Eyre and that is unfortunate because it's a wonderful looking film. Much credit for that goes to Franco Zeffirelli who has a lot of talent for these types of period dramas. Hurt was wooden and just bland as Mr. Rochester and Gainsbourg lacked the fire and spirit of the character. The supporting cast did much better especially Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fairfax and Anna Paquin as a young Jane Eyre. Unfortunately a movie rises and falls on the charisma of its leads and with a better script one might have overlooked that. This just didn't do it for me. Finding Neverland (2004) (bluray) :star::star::star::star: Not really a traditional romance but more a romance between a lonely man and a family consisting of a mother and four fatherless boys that he takes an interest in. The man is question is J.M.Barrie the author of Peter Pan and the boys became as you would say his muses. This is a lovely film with superb acting especially from its young cast. It's maybe a tad overly sentimental but who cares.
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    133
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    I really love Finding Neverland I should revisit it soon as I just bought the bluray not too long ago I watched two movies that in someway had to do with San Francisco, which is my favorite place to visit. Five-Year Engagement A first time viewing for me. I thought it was underwhelming. For the most part it was stale and light on the comedy. What I enjoyed most about it was some of the locations in San Francisco they filmed in. Going the Distance I like this film not only for Drew Barrymore, but the idea of two people carrying a relationship from New York and San Francisco. While this usually isn't my type of movie, I still found it to be quite enjoyable and really funny. Especially with the scenes involving Charlie Day.
     
  7. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    Yeah, I had just picked up the bluray recently of Finding Neverland along with Doctor Zhivago which will probably be next on my list. Going the Distance sounds interesting. I'll have to look for it on Netflix.
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is one I'm going to try and get on this month. It's one I've never seen. The Black Godfather (1974) :star::half: The title to this Blaxploitation flick pretty much tells you all you need to know. Rising gangster J.J. (Rod Perry) wants to get his black brothers buying dope from their own kind and in order to do this he must battle the evil white gangster (Don Chastain) who keeps pushing into his neighborhood. THE BLACK GODFATHER is a pretty lame entry in the genre for a number of reasons but the biggest is that it's simply got a cash-in title and very little else. A lot of these Blaxploitation films were nothing more than cash-ins but every once in a while you'll come across one that's actually good. Sadly, this here isn't that type of film as this here is pretty boring from start to finish and there are only a couple campy scenes that keep it from being a real disaster. I think the biggest problem is the rather lackluster direction, which just never pumps any energy or excitement onto the screen. The film just seems to be going through the motions and there's nothing that happens that you won't see coming from a mile away. Even the lead character isn't all that interesting and not for a single second do you care about his cause, care about his friends or even care if he's killed or not. As with most of these films, all the blacks are hard-working people just trying to make some cash for themselves while all the whites are evil racists. This simple set up can be fun when it's done correctly but here it just seems tired and old. I actually thought Perry was good in the lead role but it's really too bad that the screenplay didn't give him something better to do. I also liked Chastain as the bad guy. The highlight of the film is when a group of blacks break in on a couple and the white woman is needing a fix and offers herself for one. This entire sequence is pretty hilarious and it's too bad we didn't get more moments like this. Grad Night (2006) BOMB Beyond awful film about a group of teens who are warned about sex, drugs and alcohol but decide to do it anyways on their last night in high school. GRAD NIGHT is a downright horrid film with nothing going for it but at the same time did you really expect anything more? This is a pretty bad movie on all levels but for the life of me I can't understand what the writer was trying to do. For starters, the entire story is so stupid that it's hard to take any of it too serious. It also doesn't help that the subject matter is all over the place. It starts off wanting to be your typical raunchy comedy but around the half way point we start getting into serious moments like graduating high school and then into dark moments including a bullied guy bringing a gun into the school to kill classmates. The film doesn't do a very good job at juggling these items and it also doesn't help that all of the characters are downright annoying and you really won't care what happens to any of them. Another problem is the obvious low-budget, which just makes the film look cheap. The editing is beyond bad but then again I'm sure the editor was having problems trying to get much footage that actually worked. The performances aren't the worst I've ever seen but they're certainly not good and that goes for Coolio and his brief cameo. The entire film is just one big mix-up as nothing really sticks. The story is boring, the characters horrid and there's just no point in watching this thing. Sadly the film is so bad that it never falls into that "so awful it's laughable" category. Abar, the First Black Superman (1977) :star::star: Dr. Kincade (J. Walter Smith) moves his wife and two children into an all white neighborhood where they soon become targets of physical and mental violence. Turns out the white folks aren't too happy about blacks moving in so the doctor must get a bodyguard named Abar (Tobar Mayo) to help. After a tragic death the doctor uses a chemical he's been working on to turn Abar into a superhero. ABAR, THE FIRST BLACK SUPERMAN is a pretty campy movie that thankfully has enough funny moments to make it worth sitting through. With that said, if you're wanting a "good" Blaxploitation film then this here certainly isn't it, although I must say there's some good stuff scattered around and with some more editing I think you could have had a very good movie. What's so strange is that the title refers to the character as a "Superman" type but he actually turns into a mix between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesus. Abar walks around with special powers that can produce storms, put snakes into women's beds and he even has the power to turn black men's alcohol into milk. This entire sequence is rather bizarre and I'm not exactly sure what the point was but you have to admit that it's rather entertaining. The hilarious moments come from the racist white people. If you've seen a Blaxploitation movie then you know all whites are racist and that stays true here. Just wait until you see the neighbors reaction to the blacks moving in and her "breakdown" is among the funniest scenes I've seen in a very long time. How long it takes for the protests to start was rather hilarious as was a bit where the news station warns people that blacks have moved into town. The performances for the most part are forgettable but both Smith and Mayo are mildly interesting in their parts. The biggest problem is that the film runs on way too long and it takes way too long for the story to get going. I'm really not sure why they waited nearly an hour for the powers to kick in but by then you've really lost interest in it. This is certainly far from a "good" movie but fans of the genre should get a few laughs out of it. Welcome Home Brother Charles (1977) :star::half: Small time pusher Charles Murray (Marlo Monte) gets arrested, beaten and thrown into prison by a group of racist cops and judges but when he's released he's a changed man to say the least. Soon he decides to take revenge on those who cheated him and he's weapon just happens to be his penis, which has grown to such a length it can strangle a person to death. OK, that there is what this film is known for today but even though the entire sequence is jaw-dropping, there's still no question that the rest of the film is rather slow, confusing and boring. WELCOME HOME BROTHER CHARLES is always going to be known for that infamous death sequence and I guess you have to recommend this movie to fans of bad or weird cinema because this one scene is just so silly that you can't help but wonder what they were trying to say with it. I mean, seriously, this is such a bizarre scene that I'm sure many will be hitting the rewind button to watch it again because they won't believe their eyes. However, it's too bad the rest of the film doesn't have quite as much, ahem, imagination. For the most part the story really doesn't make too much sense but I guess everyone was just following the Blaxploitation 101 handbook. The blacks are all just trying to make a living while every white person is either evil, racist or a combination. The one difference here is that Charles also has the ability to have white women become his sex slave but how these scenes are presented today you can't help but think of rape. The performances aren't what you'd call "good" but I did enjoy Monte in his role as he at least kept you slightly into the film. The soundtrack, cinematography and the overall look of the picture is quite weak and there's no question that a stronger story was needed. Our Gang: Men in Fright (1938) :star::star: Football Romeo (1938) :star::star::half: Practical Jokers (1938) :star::star::half: Alfalfa's Aunt (1939) :star::star::star:
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,616
    Likes Received:
    3,791
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    I think more specifically than whitey, it's Italians and the mafia that are frequently depicted as really racist bastards in blaxploitation pictures. I guess since so many of those movies dealt with the underworld in the city and The Godfather was a recent popular movie, the mafia was a logical choice to be a frequent bad guy but it seemed like blaxploitation movies were trying to knock the fat southern sheriff out as king of the stereotypical racists and replace them with Italians.
     
  10. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    498
    Real Name:
    Brian Camp
    I recently watched GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967), so I'm assuming that qualifies for both the Valentine and Black History challenges here. I was surprised, actually, at how compelling the film is, given its origin as a white liberal racial fantasy with an all-too-perfect Sidney Poitier character at the center of it. The joke about this movie has always been that the ditzy girl he's marrying is way beneath him and her parents should be grateful as hell that she's marrying someone way out of her intellectual class. I would like to have seen this played with more of an edge to the Poitier character, someone with a "chip on his shoulder," with a little resentment of the treatment he's gotten over the years as he's risen to the top of his profession and irritation at having to "prove" himself to her parents. Maybe with a little arrogance and conceit, so the parents wouldn't have such a clearcut decision and it wouldn't have been so easy for the audience. Oh, well... Having said all that, I must say that Tracy and Hepburn are great in it and make the whole thing watchable. They bring some emotional honesty to the proceedings. Also, the actor and actress playing Poitier's parents, Beah Richards and Roy Glenn, are quite good. I especially liked the scene between Glenn and Poitier because it's the only time in the whole film in which Poitier loses his cool and behaves with some believability.
     
  11. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    Just Friends (2005) (Netflix) :star::half: Can I just open by saying I hated this movie. Not only do they make fun of fat people but it's so clichéd. Fat looser can't get the girl he wants in highschool. He moves away slims down considerably and now the chicks are falling all over him. How boring. All the characters were unlikable and I was so tempted to turn it off after the first hour. I'm being too generous giving it one & half stars.
     
  12. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    Caveman's Valentine (2001) (Netflix) :star::star::star::half: Romulus is a schizophrenic man who lives in a make-shift cave in the park. At one time he was considered a musical genius until his illness got the better of him. One day he finds a young man frozen in a tree. Convinced by someone else that the youth was murdered he sets out on his own investigation despite being hampered by his own hallucinations. I had seen part of this movie when it first came out and was intrigued. Samuel Jackson puts on a good performance here and this time his tendency to overact and shout works well with this character. The rest of the cast was adequate. It's one of those movies that I'm glad I watched but have no interest in seeing again. Parts were genius while others fell below the mark.
     
  13. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    133
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    I started season 1 of the Cosby Show. Really enjoying it. I only seen a handful of episodes when it first aired. I also watched the final Valentine's episode of The Office. Not that funny. I wish they had more scenes with the office staff taking advantage of the couples discount. I also watched My Bloody Valentine (1981) Never seen it before. While I didn't care for the movie. I did like the way it ended, which is different from most horror movies. The horror makeup was pretty bad. I also hated the all of the killing moments happened off screen or as a close up and didn't show anything. The killings were also not too original. I'm curious to see the remake in 3D. Although I'm not expecting much. Maybe I'll watch it for the Halloween challenge.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,616
    Likes Received:
    3,791
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    I'm a big fan of slasher movies so I dig this one but I can understand your criticisms. Unfortunately, they had to cut nearly all the violence to get an R rating. A few years ago, there was an unrated version that was released and you can see that they tried to match Friday The 13th in terms of gore but the MPAA neutered the movie. And on The Office, anything Kevin does still makes me laugh. He's only got one or two lines per episode but he's just so enjoyably dumb.
     
  15. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    Yeah, these things are pretty strange because it seems to targets are all over the place. The early Blaxploitation were pretty violent towards the South and then they started to changed. By the later 70s blacks and whites were working together against other evil blacks and whites so I guess they became more "fair" over a period of time. It's still pretty shocking to see how violent and politically incorrect some of the earlier ones are. Especially when you consider how much heat something like THE BIRTH OF A NATION gets yet it never called for rape, murder and torture! Almost Famous (2000) :star::star::star::star: Cameron Crowe's masterpiece about high schooler William Miller (Patrick Fugit) who gets a job with Rolling Stone to do a story on an upcoming band named Stillwater. The young and naive kid gets to go out on the road with them where he quickly grows up and sees that the world isn't always perfect. ALMOST FAMOUS is one of the greatest coming of age movies ever made and it's perhaps the greatest love story to rock 'n roll ever filmed. I think a strong argument could also be made that it's the greatest film of the decade as well. There's so much love and passion during every single scene that you can't help but see and feel that this is Crowe's baby and it's easy to see why since much of this is based on his life growing up. This film contains so many terrific moments but I think what makes it so special are the various relationships that are built on the road. This includes William trying to mix it up with the band's guitar player (Billy Crudup) who refuses to give him an interview as well as the girl (Kate Hudson) that both of them love for different reasons. The overly worried mother (Frances McDormand) is perfectly written and thrown into the story for some comic relief but even the smaller characters are so well-written and detailed that by the time the movie is over it's almost like you've seen a documentary of a real band. Crowe's direction has never been better as this film has quite a bit of different emotions going for it yet he perfectly holds it together and really makes the film take off to levels one wouldn't expect. As a fan of rock and roll you have to love the behind-the-scenes look at a tour and the various problems that come from the sex and drugs. You also have to have fun and admire this young kid being able to go out on the road as this would be an ultimate dream job for many. The film mixes in some terrific music but the highlight is of course 'Tiny Dancer' from Elton John, which is without question one of the best and most magical scenes from any movie. The performances are all a major plus from the bigger acts to the smaller roles. Everyone fits their roles perfectly and help bring the story to life. ALMOST FAMOUS is a flawless picture that just keeps getting better with each new viewing. Some say the film is too soft and should have attacked the music harder or been more raw but I really disagree with these comments. The film is a love story to the music and one of the greatest out there. Ax 'Em (1992) BOMB Writer, director, producer and star Michael Mfume is the son of a former NAACP President and legend has it that the father rented out a theater to show this movie to members of the group. Rumor has it that the night was pretty depressing and embarrassing. The basic story is that a group of black friends go into the woods and end up running into a maniac with a hatchet (not an ax). I had heard of this films reputation from several sources but I don't think every negative review in the world can really prepare you for this film. This thing is extremely bad and it's almost so bad on a technical level that you could honestly start to debate if it's not one of the worst ever made. We can start with the opening text of the film, which goes by so fast that you really don't have time to read it. You'll need to hit the pause button but once you do read the text you'll realize that the filmmakers might have decided to move it fast because of how poorly written it is. The sound here is beyond horrible and it's actually a lot worse than some of those earlier talkies that were full of hiss, cracks and poor sound because of the new technology. I'm not sure what the excuse is here but the majority of the dialogue is so bad that you can't hear what's being said. The special effects really aren't any better as we get several killings and they'll all awful. Check out the suicide sequence with the gun and see that the blood is flowing before the trigger is pulled! The performances are extremely bad as well but I'm not going to be too hard on these people as I'm sure they were just friends of the director. Lets see, I'm really struggling to find anything good to say about this film so we'll just continue with the bad. The killer himself is pretty laughable with a bad face paint and what appears to be an egg smashed on his face. The editing is beyond bad as is the cinematography. The rap soundtrack should have been used to torture suspects and I'm sure we would have captured bin Laden much sooner. AX 'EM, somehow, got a theatrical release as well as getting a distribution deal on both VHS and DVD. I'm really confused because most films like this are hidden from the world yet this one here seems to be getting a big cult following with people just wanting to see how bad it is. The film certainly lives up to its reputation and I'm sure even MANOS could tell a few jokes on it. Mean Mother (1974) :star: Another patch job from director Al Adamson and producer Sam Sherman. This here was originally a Spanish movie directed by León Klimovsky but Sherman bought the U.S. rights but when he realized it wouldn't sell, he hired Adamson to shoot new footage and turn it into a Blaxploitation film. The story centers on two Vietnam men, one white and one black (Clifton Brown), who go AWOL and get into a life of crime, which adds up to nothing. Whenever you take one film, edit it down and then try to add new scenes around it, more often than not you're going to be left with some incomprehensible mess, which MEAN MOTHER certainly is. With that said, I've actually seen worst from Adamson who was used to mixing and matching movies since it was something he'd do throughout his career. I think what keeps this film slightly entertaining is the fact that both films are just so different yet seeing them together just as a unique and weird feel to it. I will also admit that I thought Adamson did a decent job at mixing the two together and especially when you consider how this type of thing should never be done and especially with these two stories. Still, the film is a complete mess with the typical low-budget bad acting, bad direction and bad cinematography. This is to be expected whenever the director's main job is to get a film in the can for cheap and not to be trying to make some sort of masterpiece. As awful as the film is there's still something that unique to the work of Adamson and it rings true here. I don't think anyone would consider him a good filmmaker but you've got to at least give him credit for trying anything to try and bring a film together. Black Heat (1976) :star::star: A tough black cop (Timothy Brown) from Las Vegas, with the help from his white partner (Geoffrey Land), tries to stop some criminals who are bringing heroin, weapons and other items into a local hotel. Director Al Adamson tackled just about every genre and he managed to make both decent and horrible films in each of them. BLACK HEAT might not be as much fun as something like Dracula VS. FRANKENSTEIN but for the most part it's probably the best made film I've seen from the director. Had the running time been edited down another ten-minutes you might even say this was a good film from Adamson and that there would have been quite rare. The storyline itself certainly isn't anything we haven't seen from other Blaxploitation pictures but for the most part the cast is fun and we're given a couple good villains to help keep everything moving. On a technical level it appears to a little more effort went into the picture including a higher production value and some nice cinematography. There's a car chase towards the start of the picture that might be the best sequence from the director's filmmography and this includes a terrific shot of the action from on top of a cliff. Brown isn't the greatest actor in the world but I think he's good on screen and manages to help keep the film entertaining. Russ Tamblyn plays a drug dealer named Ziggy and adds a lot of fun and especially during his introduction scene. The film eventually runs out of gas and it drags too much during the finale but overall this is a minor effort in the genre that fans of the director's should like. The most bizarre scene is when a woman offers to do a gang bang if she loses a card game. She does lose but then tries to back out when the men force themselves on her. I'm really not sure what Adamson was trying to go for during this scene but it's pretty bizarre with the type of score on it.
     
  16. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    I'm lukewarm on the original (about as good as a lower Paramount F13) but I really enjoyed the remake when I watched it in the theater back when it was released. The 3D was pretty good but the gore, sex and nudity made it a real throwback to the 80s slasher.
     
  17. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    21
    Real Name:
    Patricia
    King Kong (2005) (bluray) :star::star::star::star: There are two romances going on in this movie, one between Ann Darrow and Jack Driscoll and the other of course between Ann and King Kong. In fact for me the relationship between Ann and Kong was the more believable one. The CGI animation for the gorilla was outstanding and we have the wonderful talented Andy Serkis to thank for that. This is a beautiful film. It does lack some of the eroticism of the 1976 version which I'm grateful for. The relationship in this film was innocent and one of sheer beauty, something that didn't come across in the other films. Naomi Watts and the gorilla were mesmerizing the others not so much. If they cut out about 45 minutes then it would be nearly perfect. Though I liked the 1933 movie the best, this one was still a fantastic watch.
     
  18. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    7,421
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    KY
    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott
    Amour (2012) :star::star::star: Married couple Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anna (Emmanuelle Riva) find themselves in the hardest challenge of their lives when Anna is struck with a stroke, which quickly gets worse. Michael Haneke's AMOUR isn't the easiest film to sit through since you are pretty much watching someone slowly die while the person who loves her has to pretty much stand by without much he can do to help her. The film certainly is going to have a limited appeal but those who can make it through the subject matter are going to see two of the best performances of the year. Oscar-nominee Riva really does an impressive job with the physical nature of the role. This includes how her body slowly begins to fall apart after a stroke and everything that comes with it. The way Riva handled herself early on with half her body paralyzed but she's even more impressive once the condition gets worse. It's really too bad that Trintignant is getting so overlooked because in my opinion he gives the best performance in the film and I think he has the much harder role. The actor does an incredible job in the way he tries to hold back his emotions as he watches him wife slowly die. I thought he was very believable in the part but he's also so raw with the emotions of the situation that you can't help but be impressed. Isabelle Huppert is also good as their daughter who isn't always there for them. I will admit that I didn't feel the film was quite the masterpiece that many are making it out to be. I thought the first thirty-minutes were rather too slow for their own good and things didn't really pick up until the woman's condition got worse. I also thought there wasn't anything overly original in regards to the screenplay but Haneke's direction is certainly very good and helps carry the film. The reason to see AMOUR is certainly for the two terrific performances. Sparkle (2012) :star::star::half: Remake of the 1976 film about sisters Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dolores (Tika Sumpter) who decide to try and make it in the music business even though their mother (Whitney Houston) objects to them doing so after her life was ruined by an attempt. The original movie was quite predictable but it was still very much worth watching because of the performances and the music. I'm really not sure why we needed a remake and especially since this one here takes place in the 1960s just like the previous ones. Either way, for the most part this is a mildly entertaining film but there's still no question that it falls short of the original. There are actually quite a few things that do work here including the performances but especially Ejogo as the troubled sister whose decisions are going to cost her and her sisters. I thought she was incredibly believable throughout the picture no matter what the story was calling for. It could be for sexiness in the music or the downfall of the drug addiction. This here was actually the first time I had seen Sparks in anything and I thought she was fine in the role, although, like the original, her character is pretty much in the background. As for Houston, she's not too bad in the film but I must admit that I think her death somewhat hurt the movie, which is strange to say because I doubt anyone would have gone to this had it not been her final film. Hearing her character talk about drug abuse, bad choices and other things just makes you think of Houston and her death. This really has a negative impact on the film that it might not have had if the actress didn't die during the post-production. Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Curtis Armstrong are all extremely good in their parts. Another negative thing is that the majority of the music is pretty forgettable with none of the songs really jumping out at you. This includes Houston's one number, which is just pretty weak. Still, SPARKLE manages to have enough in it to make it worth sitting through even if the end result isn't nearly as good as most would have hoped for. Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) :star::star::half: Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase) accidentally gets turned invisible and soon an agent (Sam Neill) will stop at nothing to capture him. Nick soon starts to fall for the one person (Daryl Hannah) who is willing to help him. Whenever people talk about the films of either John Carpenter or Chase, this one here seems to be overlooked. I'm not sure if it's because the film isn't among either of their best films or because it's not bad enough to warrant more discussion. Either way, the film isn't nearly as bad as many have made it be but there's no question that Carpenter and Chase just don't go together and in the end the film just can't overcome them. I say that because there's really nothing here that looks like a Carpenter movie. I don't want to use the director for hire slogan but it really does seem like he was just doing a job. With that said, he does a pretty good job with the material as he at least keeps the film moving at a nice pace and he also manages to handle some of the comedy situations a lot better than you'd think. Early on some of the comedy scenes are extremely good including one where Chase uses a drunk to get a taxi and go on a little trip. The timing by Chase during this sequence is extremely good but the set-up by Carpenter also works. Where the film doesn't work is with the special agents. This is where I think the fighting and troubled production probably cost the film the most. This entire subplot just never comes to life and in reality it's pretty boring. I think a lot of better things could have happened and one problem is that we just never get to know these guys, their intentions and you have to wonder why others aren't involved in such a new story as an invisible man (not to mention what happens to the building). Chase actually delivers a pretty good performance even though the screenplay, again thanks to the subplot, gives him little to do. He's at his best during the comedy moments but these quit after a while. Hannah makes for a good love interest and has some nice chemistry with Chase. Neill is pretty much wasted in his role. The special effects are certainly the highlight here as they look extremely good even after all of these years. The effects certainly deserved more attention when the film was originally released. MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN isn't a masterpiece and it doesn't quite reach a "good" level but I still think it offers enough for fans of the director and Chase.
     
  19. John Stell

    John Stell Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    914
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Real Name:
    John Stell
    I actually saw this in the theater back in 1992 or 1993. It played in Maryland since Mfume's son lived there. It screened at the now-defunct Westview Cinema (right next to a drive-in.) It was originally called "The Weekend it Lives." Part of me wants to buy a copy for "I remember when..." reasons, but would I ever actually watch it again? I prefer the original title.
     
  20. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    133
    Real Name:
    John Steffens

Share This Page