Permanent Midnight- (Rated R for Drug use, sexual conduct and other nasty things) Work in Progress
Pleasantville- (Rated PG-13 for adult ideas and sexual comments)Tobey Maguire plays David, a young, nerdy high school student with a very popular sexually active sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon). Their family is a modern family where it's just the mother taking care of her children and trying to find a new love. Each one of the children reacts to this in their own way. David is a huge fan of the show Pleasantville. Pleasantville is an old black and white that portrays the ideal family of the 50's. This family is made up of a working husband (William H. Macy), a housewife (Joan Allen), and two teenage children, Bud and Mary Sue.
One night David wants to watch the Pleasantville marathon, Jennifer has a big date coming over to watch a concert. Of course, this leads to a major fight of control over the TV. While fighting over the remote, it flys out of their hands and breaks. Immediately, the doorbell rings. It's the TV repairman (Don Knotts), what a coincidence. He gives them a weird looking remote with a little more "oomph!". When the TV repairman leaves after a very nice little meeting, they fight over this weird remote and accidentally press a button. Next thing they know, they're in Pleasantville. David is Bud, and Jennifer is Mary Sue. The TV repairman appears on their TV screen in Pleasantville. He tells him that he sent them there and that he's not gonna bring them back. He says they must stay there and he'll check back on them. David loves this because he always has wanted to live in Pleasantville, it's kind of his dream. Jennifer hates it. She hates the clothing, the town and that she missed her big date.
From this point on the movie becomes pretty formulaic in repeating over and over it's ideas of breaking out of your shell, being free. The movie becomes a discovery movie in which everyone finds his or her inner beauty. Jeff Daniels plays the owner of an ice cream shop that Bud works at. He is a very simple man who when his shell is cracked, he gets inspired to paint and he admits his love of Allen's character. Jennifer and David are the sparks that ignite the inner fire of the people.
Then the town becomes opposed to these ideas, freedom, openness, and sex. The people who have these ideas turn colors everyone else is black and white. The town makes laws to separate these coloreds from the non-coloreds. They limit the music they can listen to and the paint colors they could use. This is comparable to the restrictions and the generalizations in the 50's about the African Americans. One thing weird in the movie is that I didn't see one African-American anywhere in the movie.
The leader of this opposition to the coloreds is the Mayor, Big Bob (J.T. Walsh). Walsh was very good in his final performance. William H. Macy is an assistant to the Mayor in making of these Laws even though his wife becomes a colored. Then there is a struggle for their freedom and boycotting of the colored stores.
My reaction to this movie was definitely a positive one but not by much. The movie is beautifully done in its imagery and cinematography. The acting itself is OK. The ensemble cast is one of the best of the year. Some of these actors are my personal favorites like Macy. I give Macy a lot of credit for picking good roles like in this movie, Boogie Nights, and Fargo. The main problem of this movie was that the main focus of this movie is freedom, and that is the only focus for at least the last hour and a half. The movie is a little drawn out. The movie is very simple. Everything is given to you in this movie. There really isn't anything to figure out. I don't like it when you can figure everything out from the first second either. The movie is visually amazing and worth seeing just for that. Also, I think that in honor of J.T. Walsh's final performance everyone who reads this should see another one of his movies. I recommendA Few Good Men, or Breakdown. Anyway I give this movie 2 1/2 stars for ok performances and one of the most beautiful movies to look at.
Rounders- (Rated R for naughty words)
Michael McDermott (Matt Damon) is a high stakes poker player who changes his ways for a woman (Gretchen Mol). But you can't keep that part of him and hidden forever. It comes out when an old buddy, Worm, gets out of jail. Mike and Worm went to high school together. Michael has left his poker days behind him after he had a big loss to Teddy KGB (the awesome John Malkovich). He pretty much starts his life over again by working his way through law school without poker.
But when Worm comes back and owes money a lot of money to some people, he needs Michael to hail him. He needs him to give him some money to get him started, but Mike isn't going to play. He's only going to watch. Then, Mike starts to play but for just a few hands. Soon him and worm are back to old form, but Worm still owes a lot of money. So they decide they are going to go to some card games and mop them up. They need to make 25,000 dollars in like a week. Good Luck.
This movie had potential yet it was lacking that special thing to make it great. Damon is the glue to this ensemble cast, which includes Norton, Malkovich, John Turturro and Martin Landau. John Turturro is a great card player who makes sure Damon doesn't get in too much $#!t. Martin Landau is a judge who befriends Damon. Damon is his law clerk, trying to get in good favor with important people. All the actors give good performances but I guess it seems that Damon was a fugging dumbass. He would lose and then mope or something. That annoyed the hell out of me, I was hoping they'd murder Damon and that Norton would take over. He would have been a better in the starring role. His character was much more interesting. Anyway I give this 2.25 stars for good performances but just missing something.
Simon Birch (Rated PG for some foul-mouthed things) Simon Birch is a classic tale with a great little twist and I do mean little. Simon Birch is an 11-year old boy the size of a 5-year old. As he says it, he's a miracle. The smallest birth in his town. The movie starts out with Joe Wentworth (Jim Carrey), during recent times. Telling us about Simon Birch. How Simon changed his life. Then we flash back too about 30 years earlier and we see Joe at about 12 years old. We meet him and his best friend Simon Birch. Simon is free spirit, feeling since he is a miracle he can say whatever he wants. He says whatever is on his mind, and usually it's funny but true. He's a special young boy who doesn't hide anything. He is a big believer in G-d, he goes to church every Sunday. His parents on the other hand feel punished by having him as a son. They are ashamed of him. That bothers Simon somewhat but not that much because he gets a lot of parental guidance from Joe's mom (Ashley Judd). She treats him as a son because that's what she thinks he needs. The reverend and the church schoolteacher think he is a menace because he disrupts church and class. He has ideas that people don't want to hear and that's why they're afraid of him. Simon thinks he's going to be a hero. He doesn't know when or what he's gonna do. He just thinks He'll be a hero. Oliver Platt plays Ms. Wentworth's boyfriend. Joe's a bastard child and his mother won't tell anyone who the father is. Platt is great as a drama professor who isn't there to get in with Joe's mom but also wants to help Joe and Simon. He's an all around nice guy. Theyre when you need him. Then some things happen, I won't tell you what, but Simon starts to doubt his faith. He thinks his life is a waste. He needs guidance and no one can give it to him. Simon Birch is a great movie for kids and adults. I loved it, I thought it was very smart, touching and well done. All the parts were casted well. Everyone was in his or her right place. Unlike in Rounders, this movie had nothing missing. Young Simon was the glue of the movie and he was one of the best characters I've seen in a while. I really advise you to see this movie. I give it 3 1/2 stars. What an excellent movie.
There's Something about Mary- (Rated R for gross out- sickening humor)
One of the funniest movies ever. Cameron Diaz is Mary and every man in the movie is in love with her. Ben Stiller is a guy who is suppose to go to the prom with her gets to her house and something happens and the date never happened. 10 years later, Stiller can't get Mary out of his mind so he sends a private eye Healy(Matt Dillon) to go find her. He finds her and decides not to tell Stiller, because he wants her. Stiller figures it out and goes to Florida to find her with his friend, played by Chris Elliott. He finds her and gets a date with her but there are others who want her and they all want to take each other out. That's a basic plot.
This movie kicks so much @$$, it's incredible. During the movie I was laughing so hard I couldn't contain my flying body parts. I kicked the guy in from of me's head 3 times. I lost my food twice and my drink 3 times through my nose. I have seen it four times and it stills cracks me up. I also punched my uncle in the face and almost broke his nose, SORRY ROB. If you didn't see this movie, RENT IT WHEN IT COMES ON VIDEO. It kicks so much ASS!!!! Ben Stiller was great, Cameron Diaz is hot, the only negative to this movie is Matt Dillon, his characther was done bad even though it was funny. It was funny because it was so bad. Anyway 3 1/2 sTARS FOR ONE THE FUNNIEST MOVIES EVER TO BE RELEASED ON THE BIG SCREEN.
Velvet Goldmine- (Rated R for male (YUCH) and female nudity, cursing, and drug usage.)
This movie is about the English rock scene, in the glam era, circa 1974. Brian Slade( Jonathan Rhys Meyer) was biggest music star of his time (late 60's and early 70's). Another big star of the time is Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor), who is a very good stage performer.They are both very good musicians so they decide toperform together, but they are also lovers. The story of the movie is about a reporter, around 1984, who is sent out to find this Brian Slade ten years after an infamous incident which ruined his career. The incident involves Slade setting up his own fake assasination which causes all of his fans to hate him. This reporter has to start from scratch. He interviews his ex-wife and band members. This really gets him nowhere except it lets the movie include some dumb flashbacks the reporter who was a huge fan of Slade. There really no way to explain the rest of this movie. It involves the new big band in the 80's and there conection to Slade. It makes pretty much no sense.
The whole movie is pretty much concerts and performing. The music is good but it's just a mishmosh of old 70's songs. Here's my main criticism besides the actual movie sucking; McGregor, an english actor tries to act American. The movie is probally based on the lives of 70s British rock stars like David Bowie (Slade) and Iggy Pop (Wild). The man who played Slade, Christian Bale, was very good. The rest of the acting in the movie was not so good. Actually it was very weak and bad. This movie wasnt to bad but I think it would have been better if the reporter role was played better. The reporter was someone trying to act but showing his inner dorkiness. It was a very annoying characther that kind of acted like a little kid. 1.5/4 Stars.
The Waterboy- Rated PG-13 for Sexual connotations and other things-
Adam Sandler is Bobby Boucher, a 31-year old retarted waterboy with a stupid and horrible southern accent. In this movie he's playing a dummy, what he does best and what he does all the time. Anyway, he's a geeky waterboy who likes his job a little too much and loves his mama. he gets fired by one of the top teams in the country. He loves being a waterboy, or an H2O dispenser, so he joins up with a small college, SLSCU. The football team is a team of misfits. Then suddenly, after everyone makes fun of him, he snaps and tackles the quaterback. The coach wants him on the team but his overprotective mother (Kathy Bates) says no, "foosball is da devil". (Everything is the devil to her.) So he sneaks behind her back and plays football. His motivation is imagining all the people who have made fun of him. In his first game he gets like 16 sacks and he is still being made fun of. By the end, everyone loves him and the team is playing the team he was fired from. They go off head to head new team versus old team.
I went into this movie with pretty high expectations. This is a sort of funny movie with almost no plot. What I got was a somewhat funny movie with absolutely no plot. Another absurds plot unlike the hilarious The Wedding Singer, in which the underestimated hero comes and saves the day. This is called the underdog formula and this is a bad version of this overused formula. Lets make this simple: THIS MOVIE SUCKS THE BIG ONE. This movie is going to do extremely well while other good movies do badly and get shafted.The tackling scenes were funny and so was his retarted southern accent (for a couple seconds). Anyway I would give this movie about 1 out of 4 for about 2 minutes of comedy with a couple of funny jokes.