Clintus M.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Prefontaine (1997)
37 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Some have criticized "Prefontaine" as too bland, colorless, akin to a tv movie. Those people probably hated Rocky, The Karate Kid, and The Natural too. No, this is a well-made film, inspirational, and also received two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert. Much of the story is told as flashbacks by the people in his life, long after his death--mother, father, girlfriends, and coaches.

As opposed to the Warner Brothers bio of Steve Prefontaine "Without Limits," this film makes more use of other people in "Pre's" life, especially his parents and his high-school girlfriend.
No one could fault either actors' performance as the iconic "Pre." Both actors bear an uncanny resemblance to the real man, even his upright running style. Analyzing the Olympic scenes of both the real guy and the actor, its hard to distinguish the two. Prefontaine spends more time on the Olympic hostage crisis, a good lesson for those who may have forgotten or never knew what happened there.

One amusing difference between the two films is the explanation for how Pre hurt his foot (requiring stiches) on the eve of his first NCAA championship meet. In "Without Limits" it resulted from some acrobatic sex with a local girl, while it was a foolish swimming stunt in "Prefontaine."

Any critic must recognize "Prefontaine" as an example of the great work Jared Leto has created since this film. His version of Pre is more combative, determined than Billy Crudup's. He's not trying to win any popularity contests, although both films stress Pre's confrontational attitude with those governing amateur American athletics at the time. The film is about fighting the establishment and hypocrisy but even more about single-minded determination and not allowing any limitation to stand in the way of achievement.

Lesson for life both films drive home: While winning is important, giving every things you have every second is more important. Pre was quoted prior to competing in the 5,000 meter race at the the Munich Olympics: "if it's a guts race, I'm the only one that can win."

I hope the folks at The University of Oregon appreciate this film; it's a testanment to the greatness not only of Pre but also Bill Bowerman, and the whole track program. I know it sold me as the preeminent track school, the gateway to Olympic gold.

It is hard to imagine such a monumental cultural impact on sport and culture coming from a track athlete, but it really happened-Nike co-founder Phil Knight compared him to Muhammed Ali, and the obvious comparison is to actor James Dean. I highly recommend this film to track and field fans and also movie-lovers who cherish true-life inspirational stories.

Life (1999)
7 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

If you go to the movies to be entertained, it doesn't get much better than this. It certainly is no serious take on a subject that would be all-too serious elsewhere, but the double entendre of the title belies the reason, besides all the talent present, why this film works so well. While on the surface, Claude and Ray are sentenced to life in prison for a crime they didn't commit, the real story here is about life-the ups and downs, the choices you make, and the friends you sometimes can't stand but ultimately depend upon along the way.

Both Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence became known for, along with being very funny, the characters they create. Murphy with the Nutty Professor characters, demonstrates serious acting ability while creating laughs. They don't do that so much here, but these guys age from mid-20s to 90s convincingly. Their love-hate "old married couple" bickering will leave you in stitches.

The rest of the cast is as underappreciated as this movie is in general. They're hilarious and memorable. I've been repeating Bernie Mac's lines and the "cornbread" scene for years. Casting R. Lee Ermey as the racist bad guy was genius too.

Watch this movie please, and if you've seen it watch it again. I was prompted to write this review having just seen it uncut for the first time. While the edited version delivers the plot well enough, you'll laugh along with the theatrical version much more. They're "keepin it real!"

Pretty When You Cry
12 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Seduced: Pretty When You Cry is an entertaining film in the erotic thriller genre, though not too original and not without other flaws as well. As you may have heard before though, if you're going to ape-ape from the best. Seduced is very reminiscent of Body Double, with a little Basic Instinct thrown in too. I bought it on a whim, not having heard of this 2001 film, because I collect erotic thrillers and I'm a big Sam Elliott fan. This one delivers on both counts.
The box advertised female lead Carlton Elizabeth as the British Angelina Jolie. While I do not completely agree with that perception, she possesses a smoking hot body and is seductive in a twisted psychotic sort of way.
Male lead Jamie Kennedy is miscast. He is believable as a kind-of nerd caught up in a dangerous love triangle above his head, but there are plenty of actors who could have played it better. He was better cast as a wanna-be white rapper in Malibu's Most Wanted.
Seduced has a good surprise ending that I won't reveal. For the rest of you Sam Elliott fans, I recommend this. It's good to see him in vehicles like this film and We Were Soldiers, not playing a cowboy. I'm sure that's how he will always be remembered though.

Johnny Handsome
19 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I somehow missed this Walter hill-directed earlier-career Mickey Rourke film back in its day, and that's too bad because it's got plenty of great qualities. The noir-ish story is excellent, from the director of 48hrs and The Warriors; if you liked those, this will appeal to you also. Rourke's acting chops are great here, superior in performance to Angel Heart, though maybe not on par with The Wrestler. The grimy New Orleans setting is perfect, although I could have done without the phony Louisiana accents.
The supporting characters are also memorable. Morgan Freeman and Forrest Whittaker are convincing in telling the story of the doomed, ill-fated Johnny. Ellen Barkin is magnificent as well. It's a great evil role, and she's the toughest, sexiest broad from this era. It's easy to see why she was cast as the cougar in Ocean's 13. With such star power, this modern noir should have amassed longer-lasting popularity. The oddest irony regarding this film now is Rourke's facial disfigurement. In the film, he transform from disfigured to "handsome," but in reality, shortly after this film, his boxing career and subsequent surgeries render him unrecognizable as the 80s matinee idol.

The Magic of Belle Isle
23 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This is a hidden gem from director Rob Reiner, reconnecting him with Morgan Freeman from The Bucket List. If you enjoyed that film, you'll probably like this one as well. This concerns a journey through life's turmoil, although without the presence of Nicholson-much less acerbic. Belle Isle is a beautiful, tender story about characters you really care about. Like Bucket List, this movie is about second chances in life, making the best of what time you have left. I appreciated that it had a theme for every stage of life, although it centered on Monte Wildhorn (Freeman). The intersection of his life with the newly-divorced mother and children of varying ages next door was the perfect complement and foil for Wildhorn. The film does venture into schmaltzy, Hallmark territory, but just go with it. Allowing yourself simply to be inspired and entertained won't hurt.

One criticism: The sort-of romantic angle between Monte Wildhorn and Charlotte O'Neil (Virginia Madsen) seemed forced, not plausible or realistic to me. Madsen was quoted as saying that her on-screen relationship with Freeman (albeit brief) was the first on-screen romance in his long, storied career. Kudos to Reiner, then for thinking outside the box.