guides: reference | web basics | computers | look | think | exotic
passions: books | film | domestic | gothica | music | gaia
ntk: weblog | handbook | other words | news | webloggia
.: film --> 2001 minreviews
best in show [ ***** ] funny, brilliant. recommended without reservation.
legend of the drunken master
[ ***-- ] jackie chan automatically gets a good rating in my book; i would have enjoyed fewer jackie vs masses of men and more jackie vs one or two or three men.
castaway [ **1/2-- ] while surprisingly effective (and very, very sad) i felt that the film failed to make its own point.
crouching tiger, hidden dragon
[ ****1/2 ] a wonderful, romantic, action-filled film. ang lee understands feminine strength - and he's not afraid of it.
shrek [ **1/2-- ] while by no means destined to become a film classic, shrek is pleasant. i found the modern rock a bit jarring, and the princess's movements had a weird spazzy quality, but it's otherwise inoffensive. safe to take your kids to.
Evolution [ **1/2-- ] A poor script, a few funny moments, and good acting combine to make this is pleasant evening at the movies. Probably worth the price of a matinee or a rental, depending on how seriously you take your movies.
AI [ *1/2--- ] Disney does Blade Runner. Skip it.
Final Fantasy: the spirits within [ ***-- ] A run of the mill script which interestingly mimics the computer game's structure of adventure, mystery, object acquisition, repeat. The animation is almost there--I could have watched for hours, endlessly fascinated, the eyelashes and pores offset by the unhuman smoothness of skin and hair and movement keeping the people not quite real, but so very close.
From Hell [ ****- ] rough. wuss that I am, I was hiding my eyes through fully half of the film in fear that a murder was about to happen. the writing, directing, acting, and photography in this film is exquisite. highly recommended for those who are not bothered by scary or gory films. (for those who find themselves bothered by the violence, murder number 4 is the most graphic.)
Monsters, Inc [ ****- ] Thoroughly delightful, I recommend this movie to adults as well as children.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [ ****- ] I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the movie. Brilliant casting. I do think there was little of that 'first glimpse of the enterprise' about it: just a little too much lingering on each new magical part of Hogsworts.
2001: A Space Odyssey [ **1/2-- ] Yes, I know this makes me a cretin, but this is a pretty poor film. The first section is the strongest, to be sure; the second is little more than a fun look at the future (two plot points move the story forward); and the third section is just self-indulgent (oooh, now I'm inside a lava lamp!) Perhaps this film has value as an illustration of modernism, but as a story it mostly fails.
< current >
say anything [ ***-- ] while the film feels a little unpolished, this is a very sweet film, a simple story with characters you love. so romantic.
quiz show [ ***** ] one of my favorites, a wonderful study of character and naiveté; well written, well acted, well worth your while.
raising arizona [ ***1/2- ] holly hunter and nick cage (wonderful as usual) + the coen brothers (who are smart, irreverent, and funny). rent it if you haven't seen it.
dogma [ *---- ] I expected a smart, irreverent, funny film, but was disappointed on all counts. poor script, mediocre acting, the theology isn't even very good. the cinematic equivalent of the go-go's latest album cover, dogma tries hard, but suffers from an utter lack of imagination.
traffic [ ****1/2 ] four characters journey from innocence to experience to illustrate the complexity and ubiquitousness of the drug trade in mexico and the US. well acted, mostly well written (if a little informational in places). like US drug policy, the movie focuses on the supply side with precious little attention paid to successful treatment conditions and strategies.
fight club [ ***1/2- ] a dystopian peter pan gathers his lost boys and keeps wendy at bay. brutal fight scenes. philosophically, this film loses its way early on, starting as an exploration of modern manhood, then almost indicting modern materialism, finally dropping all pretense to transform into something of a thriller. highly entertaining, well written and acted; you'll learn little about the human spirit from this film, but you'll have fun watching.
unbreakable [ **--- ] despite an intriguing premise, this film just never comes together. too bad--with two more rewrites, this script could have been top-rate.
this is spinal tap [ ****- ] the classic. highly recommended.
mediterraneo [ ***-- ] pleasant, predictable.