Celluloid Junkie - 4309 Film Ratings
Member Since: Oct 21, 2010
Bio: "The complete filmgoer is open to the movie on the screen, and asks it to work in its own ways for its own purposes. He does not fault one for not being the other, but is grateful for both if they are successful." - Roger Ebert, Review of "Keane" (2004)
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|96 89%||American Splendor (2003) - Aug 17, 2019
"Brilliantly offbeat character study of Pekar is a fascinating meld of drama, documentary and animation, with Pekar and Giamatti in essence tag-teaming the performance of this movie's portrait of Pekar; even more amusing in the context of schlubby Pekar's apparent rejection of his celebrity life and status. Outside of its unique structure, the film is dryly funny and beautifully performed by all, with Giamatti in beautiful, duck-to-water form in the lead."
|69 26%||Blue Murder: Killer Cop (2017) - Aug 17, 2019
"A reliably solid and charismatic reprisal from Roxburgh is the centrepiece of a disappointingly pasteurised and sanitised return to Rogerson's scummy world; lacks the grit and epic scope of the first go-round, content to present the 'suitable for prime time' version; a disappointing step back given the golden age of television we are living in! Nable is also impressive as a fellow crooked cop, and indeed the show may have been more compelling if it had followed his story instead."
|80 53%||The Man with the Iron Heart (2017) - Aug 17, 2019
"Largely compelling thriller echoes DAY OF THE JACKAL contrasting the hitmen's preparation vs a character study of their target. Fragmentary, overly showy storytelling style (as if there was a lack of confidence in the inherent strength of the tale) is a weakness, and hurts the dramatic impetus of the final act. A shame because the story is interesting, and performances roundly superb, with Clarke especially good bringing distinction to the umpteenth portrait of an (unwitting?) Nazi leader."
|67 23%||Daddy's Home (2015) - Aug 15, 2019
"Amusing comedy is no world beater, but manages to genially play to its two stars' comedic strengths while spotlighting a fun supporting cast (Buress and a near unrecognisable Church are standouts). Gags are overly familiar, but those that land do produce mandatory chuckles; the teeter into mawkish sentiment in the third act is not a surprise, but still somewhat disappointing. Enjoyable enough, but forgettable."
|54 11%||Deep Blue Sea (1999) - Aug 15, 2019
"Passable JAWS/POSEIDON mashup has a few well executed attack scenes (especially involving a largely restrained Jackson) but the premise is so absurdly stupid that the film largely produces bad chuckles rather than scares; it might not have been a problem if the film-makers had fully embraced the overripe elements of their production rather than going for pious earnestness. It doesn't help that the sharks themselves are largely unconvincing, CGI'd creations."
|32 2%||A Safe Place (1971) - Aug 14, 2019
"A hopelessly self-indulgent mess - makes you realise that love or hate Godard (who Jaglom is clearly influenced by), he does have a grip on form and rhythm which is almost completely absent here. Numbing, pretentious monologues alternate with numbing, pretentious abstract images; it's difficult to know (or care) what point Jaglom is trying to make. Some amusing moments with Welles (and the striking image of a levitating silver ball) are the only scant pleasures."
|97 91%||Field of Dreams (1989) - Aug 13, 2019
"Utterly charming and captivating fantasy shouldn't work as well as it does (especially for someone in whom baseball holds no sentimental appeal) but the sincerity and utterly straight acceptance of what's a fairly outlandish idea sells the Capraesque fantasy perfectly (we also get a Jimmy Stewart shout-out as if there was any doubt!). Costner is perfectly warm and stoic here, matched by some of Jones' best work and a lovely cameo from Lancaster. Touching, moving and even profoundly spiritual."
|79 50%||Duck Soup (1933) - Aug 13, 2019
"Arguably the best known Marx collaboration is an enjoyable enough outing for the brothers, though (and this is beside the point) the lack of plot and structure means that it ultimately becomes a series of revue skits and quips, rather than creating and developing a comic tension, which becomes wearying after a while. Still, some great and memorable scenes, especially the hilarious mirror sequence which does indeed build a considerable amount of comic tension (and with Chico's perfect capper!)"
|79 50%||Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) - Aug 13, 2019
"Silly but enjoyable action flick has enough stupendously over-the-top action sequences (Cage on the bridge at the finale is swoon worthy!) to make up for occasional lulls in between times. A first rate-cast are not required to do much heavy lifting (one feels Duvall signed on for a bigger part), but all and sundry give themselves over to the overwrought style of the enterprise, especially Jolie whose sardonic demeanor is a perfect livener to her "eye candy" character."
|70 28%||American Graffiti (1973) - Aug 12, 2019
"Ramshackle, freewheeling depiction of youth culture circa the 60s (though feeling more like the point HAPPY DAYS became WOODSTOCK) is a little too loosely structured and labored to be entirely successful; Lucas' flat, at times uncertain direction doesn't help matters. Almost feels like a dry run for Spielberg's 1941, though not nearly as frenetic and abrasive; the well-stocked cast of future stars and a general amiability keep it watchable. Ford is particularly amusing as a stoner tough."