Mark's Message Wall

Mister Caple 4 months ago

See my complete list of the worst movies of the decade. I put this there.

Pamela De Graff 4 months ago

Very nice review of Oculus.

About Mark

Redwood City, CA
Favorite Movies:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Shawshank Redemption, Schindler's List, Yellow Submarine, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark, It's a Wonderful Life, Alien, The Fifth Element, Rebecca, Amadeus, Gladiator, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Ben-Hur, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, A Simple Plan, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Marty, Superman, Young Frankenstein, Die Hard, The Wizard of Oz, Metropolitan, The Elephant Man, GoodFellas, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Notorious, Donnie Darko, Brazil, Slumdog Millionaire
Favorite Actors:
Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Andrew Garfield, Rachel McAdams, Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey Jr., Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meryl Streep, Zachary Quinto, Keira Knightley, Steve Carell, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sigourney Weaver, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Jason Statham, Jim Carrey, James McAvoy, Laura Linney, Jim Sturgess, Michael Cera, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Jack Black, Heath Ledger, John Malkovich, Emily Watson, Emily Mortimer, Shia LaBeouf, Jean Arthur, Humphrey Bogart, Irene Dunne, Steven Spielberg, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Evans, Sean Penn, Christian Bale, Emile Hirsch
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3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Director Vincente Minnelli fills the screen with so much color and pageantry, the eyes can barely contain it all. There's a magnificence to the presentation that seems to have spared no expense in recreating the French fashions. Cecil Beaton's production design, costumes and scenery is the ultimate. It is sumptuous. There's such an old fashioned grandeur that relies so heavily on sets and wardrobe that it is kind of fascinating. Even for 1958, Gigi was a bit of a throwback to an earlier time. It was the last great MGM musical of Hollywood's golden age, although Minnelli would direct Bells are Ringing in 1960 and that's pretty wonderful too.

The cast is captivating. My favorites are Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. They are an absolute delight, particularly in their witty duet, ""I Remember It Well". Other song highlights are "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and "Gigi". Leslie Caron is a spirited vision as the title character. No one conveys indignant exasperation like suave Louie Jourdan. The script is rather funny too. Isabel Jeans as the highly strung Aunt Alicia delivers some of the best lines with perfect timing and intonation during her tutelage. Classic lines abound. "A topaz? Among my jewels? Are you mad?" "Bad table manners, my dear Gigi, have broken up more households than infidelity." "Wait for the first-class jewels, Gigi. Hold on to your ideals." The social mores and customs are amusingly dated, but that's really the point now isn't it? Let's just say, they don't make 'em like this anymore.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The characters are shockingly devoid of merit, especially for a drama in these "enlightened" times. Film noir has always highlighted the femme fatale. However these women have little to do other than display their physical attributes. The narrative unrepentantly parades Jessica Alba, Eva Green Jaime King, and Juno Temple through the production like skewered selections by waiters at a Brazilian BBQ. Women are either prostitutes, strippers, or evil temptresses. At least one gets to be a good luck charm. Rosario Dawson literally wears what looks like metal saucepan lids over her breasts in one scene. Jamie Chung doesn't even get to speak. Oh but she displays her knife wielding skills. Can I re-emphasize the violence? The unending obliteration of human beings is gruesome. It's like watching a chef at Benihana chop up various meats and vegetables for 102 minutes and then calling it a drama. The men aren't any more carefully drawn either. Their lack of humanity is disheartening. These guys are rotten to the core. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character is just a body to destroy. He serves no purpose. For the first 10 minutes, I marveled at the visual style. It's remarkable, but soon after the ugliness beneath the production seeps through and overstays its welcome fast.



9 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Frank is a black comedy with a dark undercurrent. How dark? Well someone who has committed suicide by hanging himself from tree is presented as a visual joke. In another instance a man is suddenly hit by a car in a sonic surprise that virtually slaps the audience with a punctuated jolt. Frank is definitely an odd little film with a sensibility that will charm some and irk others. There are some amusing moments. Frank's attempt at his most likable pop song is something called "Coca Cola, Lipstick, Ringo." In the words of screenwriter Jon Ronson, it would be the result "if someone with manic depression tried to write a Katy Perry song." The final ditty "I Love You All" is strangely affecting as well. Unfortunately those occurrences are few and far between. Most of the picture isn't that funny or even particularly memorable. Frank isn't a bad movie. There are some touching episodes amidst the bleak humor, but I'll liken its appeal to food. Frank is a heaping plate of fava beans. There's nothing wrong with fava beans. I just wouldn't call myself a fan. I'll take a plate of broccoli instead.

What If

What If

13 days ago via Flixster

What If is all about when men and women enter the "friend" zone. The picture frequently recalls the far superior When Harry Met Sally both in subject matter and alliances. Wallace and Chantry embark on a platonic relationship. She opens up to her sister Dalia (Megan Park) for advice. He confides in his buddy Allan (Adam Driver). Allan also happens to be Chantry's cousin. More quirkiness. The production was originally titled The F Word when it was released at the 2013 Toronto film festival in September. That the filmmakers ditched that significantly more zesty title for a humdrum one, actually belies the movie's true heart. What If is pleasant enough but the slightness of the story ultimately relegates this affair to little more than passable time filler.



20 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

So how does a priest spend what might possibly be the very last week of his life? By keeping mum on the threat to his existence and sublimating himself in the mire of his own congregation. Brendan Gleeson is a conscientious man of the cloth with his heart in the right place. He's mostly a positive portrayal of a Catholic father in an age where that is an original concept. In contrast, writer/director John Michael McDonagh surrounds Brendan Gleeson with a coterie of oddballs and miscreants. A circus freak show would look like the picture of normality when compared to this parish. It's very self consciously arty. The one actually nice person in this whole depressing production is actress Kelly Reilly who plays Lavelle's daughter. He was once married and entered the priesthood following the death of his wife. She provides a bit of a respite from the miserableness. Along the way we endure situations brought down by dialogue that challenges the very nature of what it means to produce an engaging drama. The ending is one last expression of disregard for an audience that has endured a narrative that ultimately goes nowhere. Calvary is the hill in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. And that's a pretty good description of how I felt after this film was over.

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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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