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Rating History

Our Lady of the Assassins
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[img]http://www.filmsondisc.com/images/our-lady-of-the-assassins.jpg[/img]
Schroeder is trying very hard to understand why young men are drawn to violence in the streets of Medellin. The film however feels far to repetative. This material could have been vastly condensed by trimming out so many excess scenes of the couple wandering, talking about politics and random acts of violence. The story of a wealthy gay writer adoping young teen kids as his lovers (and attempting to teach them why they are pawns in such a big picture) is certainly very daring. Also, the film's final act involving a sort of psychological revenge is moving as well. As the man has an affair with the killer of his former lover, he tries to understand why the circle of violence, drugs, and poverty will never end. I donno...looking back on this film as a whole it is quite effective, but I'm afraid it's too little too late as it's much longer and monotonous than it really needs to be.

Gates of Heaven
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[img]http://www.reel.com/content/boxart/vhs/2942.GIF[/img]

Errol Morris' stunning documentary explores these involved with the animal cemetary business, but underneath there is so much more. In the first story a sensitive elderly man struggles to maintain a cemetary. Unofrtunately he cannot afford to keep it, and they all have to be moved. Morris intercuts this man's testimony and dear love for animals wit hthe insensitive business man at the evil rendering plant. The passion of the poor man is felt, butwe can also sympathise with the rendering man just trying to do his job. He makes it quite clear that this has to be done. In the second story we meet a more successful family who have turned the pet cemetary into a profitable business. Again industry clashes wit hemotional grief, the parallel's can be seen within our own funeral business. but through these characters and their relationships with their pets Morris finds a poweful point on the nature of unconditional love. We see how drastically it effects the human condition, more than we have realized. The difference between conditonal and unconditional love is examined; the difference between human and animal companionshiop. Humans betray, can be two faced and can turn on those they once loved. Perhaps this is why these people have made the everlasting memory of pets their business. If only this unconditonal love could done by humans. Or can it? In the end that is up to each of us, but I'm certain that's what these group of people needed. Brilliant and powerful along with being very, very funny

Strangers on a Train
13 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[img]http://www.chasingthefrog.com/ClassicPosters/Alfred_Hitchcock/Strangers/strangers-2.jpg[/img]
Hitch's perfect thriller, Strangers on a Train explodes because of it's fantastic direction. It's simply increadibly made. We are given one of Hitch's greatest villains, Bruno, a free spirited and spoiled brat who's more interested in playing mind games than living his life with any seriousness. Bruno is so wreckless and apathetic towards the world and himself that he has become a murderous madman. After a chance encounter on a train he meets tennis pro Guy Haines, and fools himself to believe that they will commit each other's desired murder. However when Guy doesn't fufill his end of the deal, he sets out to destroy Guy's life. Hitchcock's thriller works because of his masterful set pieces, his tight control of his plot and characters, and the wonderful way he entertains and thrills us.

Hellboy
Hellboy (2004)
13 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[img]http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/153/826813.jpg[/img]
Although Hellboy strains a bit, it does gel enough to become a rousing original comic book film. It has a character more fascinating than any we've seen in a while. A tortured devil who wants to be human. Director del Toro throws us directly into the middle of this story, and though there is a prologue and some introductions, the feeling is that we are to pick up on things as they come along. It's just another day in the Bureau of Paranormal Research. The villians and the logistics of their plot seems almost irrelevent. For the heros only stopping them is important, not figuring them out. Instead the emphisis of Hellboy lies in the title character himself. The story is the struggle with who he's supposed to be and who he wants to be. Hellboy wants to be a man, and his validation of this comes from a woman he's having an on-and-off relationship with. Ron Pearlman as Hellboy gives a startling complete performance, and underneath all those layers of costume he creates a character that is touching. Pearlman carries the entire film on his shoulders and it works because of him.

The Passion of the Christ
13 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

[img]http://angrywhitefemale.net/passion-gibson.jpg[/img]
Mel Gibson's gruesome tale of the last 12 hours of Christ's life is so intent on giving us one dimensional characters that we feel at arm's length from all that happening in the film. The result feels like exploitation. Gibson wants us to witness and feel all of Jesus' pain, but he neglects to give us the reasons why. Perhaps the problem is Gibson's obsession with sticking word for word to the bible, which is kind of impossible, there are four gospels, so how can you be word for word with all of them? For in the Bible we get the [i]whole[/i] story of Jesus, the [i]whole[/i] characters, not just the climax of it. Alas in this film the only fully realized character remains Pilate, with the characters of Jesus and Caiphas made so black and white it shames the importance of what actually happened. These things feel very Hollywood, full of it's silly conventions. Of course there are many disgusting things that could be said about everything that's connected outside this film, it's advertising, sponsership, the people who made it. Reams of material could be written about it. However that (for me anyways) exists outside the film and not within the film itself. So then, on it's own, the film stands cold and distant because it decides to trade character in for gore, story for violence, and love for malice. It feels like the climax of a much larger movie, one that could have celebrated the story of Jesus, and how the revelations he made inspired so many. These revelations were reached because of what he learned on his journey, and how he developed into the man he was. Instead, this is a film about how much blood he spilt.