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The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
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"You're only as healthy as you feel" -Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver
Favorite Scene From A Movie
"Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" (last 23 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)), The Mexican standoff at the end of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966), any scene in Network (1976) where Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is delivering a spiel against society, "Walls of Jericho" (last scene of Fight Club (1999)), and the Christening/mafia murders at the end of The Godfather (1972)
Fight Club, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Spacey
Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Coen, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Stanley Kubrick
Roger Ebert, Peter Travers, Jeremy Jahns, Schmoes Know (Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis)
Best Movie Seat
When I'm not watching movies, I'm...
Thinking about movies, writing about movies, listening to music
I last saw Inception as a whole over a year ago, but even so it remains fresh in memory, thanks to the endlessly inventive visuals and captivating plot and pacing. Its construction is that of any conventional heist movie, though it is underlain by original concepts involving dreams and the subconscious mind, thus finding originality in presenting its ideas with such force and visual splendor that it is hard to resist and rewards several viewings. The story follows Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who steals ideas in target's dreams for a living, and suddenly when his life crumbles from beneath him upon his wife's death, Cobb must do one last job with his team of experts, except this time, they are looking to plant an idea into a subject's mind rather than take one. The subject in question is the heir to a large corporation which the team is looking to take down. If Cobb succeeds, then he will be reunited with his children, bringing his life back together, and the other members will find peace as well. If they fail or die within the dream, they will be caught in another dream space, called limbo, within the one they are already in, where time doesn't pass and they could be stuck there indefinitely. The stakes are high, the consequences are real, and the dream could be, too. On a side note, the protagonist in the film, Cobb, is also the name of the villainous thief in director Christopher Nolan's debut, Following (1998). In this film, Nolan takes the basic character structure of the first Cobb (he is a thief and is persuasive, clever, and cunning), and builds on it, tapping its full potential and creating an emotionally and psychologically unstable man who is entertaining to watch and portrayed excellently by the particularly talented actor that is DiCaprio. Inception spins an excellent yarn and makes you think to bring all the ends together, and it is among Nolan's best works.
A good, simple, old-fashioned crime story that marked the debut of acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.
Sydney (Philip Baker Hall) is an experienced gambler in Las Vegas who comes across the down-on-his-luck John (John C. Reilly), who is in need of six thousand dollars to bury his mother. Reluctantly, John agrees to be taught by Sydney how to make it in Vegas, and two years on is doing well and has a new friend, Jimmy (Samuel L. Jackson) who Sydney doesn't like. John also falls for cocktail waitress and prostitute Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), but it's not long before the two find themselves in a sticky situation where the only one who can help fix it is the sympathetic, resourceful Sydney.
While viewing Hard Eight, I was reminded often of another crime story (or stories), that being Pulp Fiction (1994). In both cases, the writing is sharp, clever, and rather than having the characters explain things to each other all the time like most story-driven crime movies, the ones here simply talk the way they normally would, the way most people talk in real life. This way, the characters and the situations they find themselves in are much more realistic and fun to watch.
The performances here are all done with sincerity by very talented character-actors, especially Philip Baker Hall. I've seen and remembered his face in bit roles in other movies, but now I know to look out for him in other films and that he can be a powerful leading man. Other Anderson regulars Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman (in a memorable little scene midway through the film) show here the kind of potential that the director taps into in his future films. I was hoping for more from Jackson's character, but for what he was given he does well, and its a nice follow-up to his performance in Pulp Fiction.
Story here is minimal and only serves as a backdrop for the actors and writing to shine, and to allow Anderson to utilize many shooting techniques including tracking shots, zoom-ins, and close-ups that will be used in his later films to greater effect. Sure, it's style over substance, but when it's done well it's hard to refuse.