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      Adam Lippe

      Adam Lippe

      Tomatometer-approved critic

      Movies reviews only

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      Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
      The Merry Gentleman (2009) It is a slow film, which could work, if it eventually became intriguing, but all we get is a showcase for annoying people who would have nothing in their lives, if they weren't already in a movie. -
      Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2013
      Ultraviolet (2006) The repetition of the action scenes play like an avant-garde joke about the indistinguishable nature of Hollywood fight scenes. Think Warhol's soup cans, only with actors posing with swords. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2012
      Escape 2000 (1983) Castellari is a very accomplished action director. There are several hundred people killed in Escape from the Bronx, but it's never boring, as there's a lot of variety in the way people die and the camerawork is excellent for such low-budget film. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2012
      The Lift (1983) Maas gives us a whole bunch of family strife and then doesn't resolve it. The elevator is far more important to him so when that business is done, so is the movie. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 04, 2012
      The Master (2012) There seems to be a large gap in the third act of either material deleted to shorten the film or Anderson simply never worked it out. But don't get me wrong, I'd certainly be interested in seeing The Master 2: Ghost Protocol or Look Who's Master Now. -
      Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2012
      Montenegro (1981) The first half of Montenegro seems to be a parody of Ingmar Bergman films, where characters wallow instead of doing anything about their problems. It's no accident that director Dusan Makajevev cast Bergman-regular Erland Josephson as the miserly husband. -
      Read More | Posted Sep 08, 2012
      Swimming to Cambodia (1987) Gray is never too far from reminding you of your own self-indulgence, and that he also knows how he sounds. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2012
      (undefined) Tavernier slips in subtle touches that seem meaningless and would normally have a big circle around it and an arrow pointing at it and saying "look at me, I'm important," but instead reinforce the droning, impersonal nature of this particular society. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2012
      Death Watch (1980) Tavernier slips in subtle touches that seem meaningless and would normally have a big circle around it and an arrow pointing at it and saying "look at me, I'm important," but instead reinforce the droning, impersonal nature of this particular society. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2012
      The Music of Chance (1993) Haas' literal-minded adaptation, something he also did effectively with the more visually opulent Angels and Insects, is helpful in directly laying out our own moral debate, where our sense of social obligation bumps up against our moralistic outrage. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2012
      Dream Lover (1994) Eschewing his standard performance of smugness and distance, using intense, blank stares, Spader actually emotes with his lips too, suggesting that there's more going on than just a slimy scoundrel who we should pity because his livelihood is threatened. -
      Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2012
      Rad (1986) Rad fits so snugly into Needham's oeuvre that it's unclear whether the movie is an excuse for the 8 minute BMX montage that opens Rad or he's just lazy about setting up the slobs vs. snobs beats in his 30 year-old-teenagers in high school magnum opus. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2012
      City of Hope (1991) Sayles' strategy is unique and sneaky without being self-serving... An epic-scale examination of how the bad guy never knows he's the bad guy. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2012
      Lookin' to Get Out (1982) Ashby's instincts are so off throughout Lookin' To Get Out that he only accentuates his major weaknesses as a filmmaker - plot twists, slapstick, chase sequences and lots of screaming that eschews any character development or scenes of insight. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2012
      Comfort and Joy (1984) Like most Forsyth films, Comfort and Joy is warm and gentle without being cloying or maudlin. And it somehow avoids off-putting levels of cynicism. Like its main character, Alan, it's just the right amount of not important. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2012
      Virus (1999) The conclusion is so rushed it almost functions as parody. But the biggest impression the movie leaves is that William "Kangaroo Head" Baldwin makes lots of unintentionally goofy faces. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2012
      This World, Then the Fireworks (1997) Sheryl Lee, as the cop who Billy Zane is scamming and sleeping with gives such a terrible performance that is simultaneously absolutely perfect. She's the most accurate representative of the movie as a whole. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2012
      Parade (2009) Director Isao Yukisada does avoid clichs as best as he can, including a fascinating bit where it appears that the roommates are happier to accept Satoru, the male hustler, if he's gay, and that being straight would threaten his image. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2012
      Trespass (2011) It's so routine that it's as if Joel Schumacher showed his final cut to producer Avi Lerner and said, "Avi, look, I put together a thing!" "You mean you finished the movie?" "No, it's not a movie, it's a thing. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 06, 2012
      Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) "The prophecy says the ritual will take place ..." tells you that this movie was entirely dictated by location. The ritual could take place in the middle of Times Square and it would still end up looking like it was shot in an anonymous Romanian nightclub. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 06, 2012
      Justice (2011) The movie opens with an embarrassingly obvious scene of exposition and ends in an abandoned mall with a laborious explanation by a talking killer and further villainous actions cleared up by a trusting local detective who can sweep things under the rug. -
      Read More | Posted Apr 06, 2012
      A Man in Love (1987) The title may refer to Coyote's obsession with his own wonders, but it's clear that in her way, Kurys has really made it about her love for the artificiality of cinema. But mostly her love of mediocrity. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 13, 2012
      Burn! (1969) If there's a better filmic explanation for how people can justify exploitation and colonialism, I don't know what it is. -
      Read More | Posted Mar 05, 2012
      Paperhouse (1988) The scenes of Anna running around mountains in a moment of escape or toward an enormous lighthouse don't have the feel of something whitewashed like The Sound of Music but rather the dark undercurrent of the delusions of the girls in Heavenly Creatures. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2012
      Manhattan (1979) Manhattan is Allen's most fully realized film, especially in the way perspectives are developed. It's the rare movie that can be watched from a number of different points-of-view, without feeling cheated. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2012
      Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) Goodbar features flash forwards and flashbacks, hallucinations so hammy they would fit right into a Naked Gun movie and religious and sexual subtext so heavy-handed you'd think if a studio couldn't get Oliver Stone, Brooks would be next on the speed dial. -
      Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2012
      The Reflecting Skin (1990) When you name a character Dolphin Blue, saddle her with a dead husband she didn't know, which causes her to lose her mind, and suggest that she might be a 200 year-old vampire, you should probably suggest that she's more of a representational figure. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2011
      A Bittersweet Life (2005) It's all artifice. No matter how good the acting, how stylish the visuals, or efficient the screenplay, A Bittersweet Life never convinces us that it's not a movie. -
      Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2011
      (undefined) Rodriguez said that he cast Arquette for the "good sleaze factor." Arquette's constant sneer throughout the film proves that Rodriguez was absolutely right. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2011
      Roadracers (1994) Rodriguez said that he cast Arquette for the "good sleaze factor." Arquette's constant sneer throughout the film proves that Rodriguez was absolutely right. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2011
      The Brain (1988) In the history of fantastic bad ideas, none may seem as foolhardy as the fact that director Ed Hunt originally intended for the titular character, an alien from outer space encased in gelatinous goo who uses TV to brainwash humans, the ability to speak. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 06, 2011
      Tatie Danielle (1990) Tatie Danielle is like a treatise on how to defang passive aggression, which would clearly benefit us all. -
      Read More | Posted Nov 04, 2011
      Surf II (1984) Surf II makes the surfers look like condescending elitists (the slobs are actually the snobs), opportunistic heels who will cheat on their loyal girlfriends whenever possible. On the other hand, the zombified punks come off as goofy but harmless dopes. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2011
      Farewell, My Lovely (1975) Like the noir bible says, the only time Marlowe gets actual rest is when he's knocked out by some unseen party, always waking up surrounded by a corpse or two. -
      Read More | Posted Oct 09, 2011
      Backtrack (1989) Foster's scenes where she is utterly surprised by Hopper's lack of knowledge of the world, are so inviting without being condescending, eerily reminiscent of how she responded to De Niro in Taxi Driver. -
      Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2011
      Megaforce (1981) One can only speculate where the money went (up their nose?) because it certainly isn't in the shoddy miniatures, or the fantastically abysmal blue-screen work. Maybe all the money went to a wrangler for Barry Bostwick's headband? -
      Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2011
      F for Fake (1973) Welles' assurance that you will be enthralled by his every word and oversized gesture is so arrogant, so refreshingly contemptuous, that you'd give him a round of applause, if you weren't sure he was doing that for himself every time he called, "cut." -
      Read More | Posted Aug 20, 2011
      The Circus (1928) It is the political subtext and discussion of capitalism vs. communism that is the saving grace of The Circus, since the surface material, comprised of frantic slapstick mixed with maudlin and melodrama, is very standard for Chaplin. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2011
      Camille (1936) Garbo seems to be dying of an unspecified movie disease where star power is more apparent than actual illness. Issues of plausibility do not, however, get in the way of the snappy dialogue, which is a big surprise for such a standard melodrama. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2011
      La Grande Bouffe (1973) There's a disconnect since the four main characters aren't likable people and they don't act reasonably towards themselves or anyone else, but we aren't give any real POV. They aren't comic slobs to laugh at nor do they have any aristocratic dignity. -
      Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2011
      Gravehopping (2005) Cvitkovic has a sneaky approach... The actors have such a unique look, often with sad, oval-shaped faces, which might suggest a slowness or simplicity, exacerbated by what appears to be a mostly farm and fishing culture. -
      Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2011
      Vigil (1984) Alun Bollinger's absolutely stunning photography brings all this grimness to life in a unique way; never before have I been so aware of the effectiveness of a 16mm blow-up to 35mm. The earthiness of the grain is so essential to what works in Vigil. -
      Read More | Posted Jul 30, 2011
      In a Glass Cage (1987) It's actually worse that Villaronga is such a terrific filmmaker, as he's able to hold our throats that much tighter, not allowing us to even sip from our inner iron lungs. -
      Read More | Posted Jul 01, 2011
      The Big Fix (1978) The wonderful irony is that Dreyfuss is able to blackmail all his former revolutionary friends by threatening to tell everyone all the good things they were a part of. No one needs to know that they might actually be decent, upstanding people. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2011
      Bullet in the Head (1990) Eschewing the glamorous contract killers of Woo's previous films, Bullet has its carefree and idealistic characters repeatedly in untenable situations, bound to corrupt them. Shooting their way out is a temporary solution which only digs them in deeper. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 17, 2011
      Submarine (2010) Refreshingly, it appears that Oliver and Jordana are one of the few couples in a high school movie who have sex too soon in their relationship, but don't totally regret it later, as if it all has to fit in some sort of relationship utopia. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2011
      Super 8 (2011) The kids have no effect on the story, not the military's interference in the accident clean up, not the finale, etc. Even the Super 8 reel doesn't change their behavior, so it's almost as if the entire movie is a MacGuffin. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2011
      Lisztomania (1975) There's no reason to suggest that Russell was just earning a paycheck on Lisztomania; clearly his full attention was on the giant penis, or the giant penis marble columns, or the giant heavenly penis pedestal. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 04, 2011
      The Tree of Life (2011) Scenes build up seemingly without meaning, until it becomes clear who Jack's father has become, and you find yourself sympathizing with both sides. It's oddly profound for a movie that is so nakedly sloppy and self-important. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 03, 2011
      X-Men: First Class (2011) The last 1/2 hour of First Class, after 100 minutes of hyperventilating cross-cutting and "meanwhile back at..." scenes, is where the film excels. -
      Read More | Posted Jun 03, 2011
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