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Very good movie
This film is about a cancer victim who remains relatively sane and calm after finding out about his illness, compared to all those around him. His friends, family, therapist, acquaintances all go crazy. This is a great premise for a story about cancer. I enjoyed this film very much. Also, I disagree with those few who criticize Seth Rogen's performance. I think he is brilliant. There are so many men essentially like his character, hard and profane on the outside, who have trouble communicating their feelings, with a soft lump hidden on the inside. I think he portrays this type brilliantly. Joseph Gordon Leavit (sp?) is terrific in the lead role. He is perfect for the role and gives such a measured performance, it builds beautifully. And Angelica Huston is so solid and believable as the mother.
Plan B (2009)
Love is Not Always Blind
When you first see Pablo, the character Lucas Ferraro plays in Plan B, you think he is a nice-looking guy, but nothing that special. However, during the course of this film, he becomes very beautiful through the eyes of his friend who reluctantly falls in love with him. And you really see this as a viewer, because the acting is so good. Pablo is worthy of being loved because he is intelligent & interesting, but humble, kind, without vanity -- all those good things. His eyes and facial expressions are so endearing that you totally understand how Bruno falls in love against his will. The characters are not glamorized; they have faults, which makes the movie more plausible. I was impressed with this film, especially with the acting of Ferraro.
Defying Gravity (1997)
I must say, I love the continuity in this film. Others have said that it should be shortened a bit, because writer/director John Keitel feels compelled to tie up every loose end. But that is what I love about this film. When a character is sitting on a hillside looking at a view, the director actually shows you the view! So many much more expensive movies fail to provide the viewer this simple courtesy. The view shot is just a physical example, but there is emotional continuity in the film as well. Defying Gravity has given me a great deal of pleasure. I wish John Keitel would direct more. He seems more interested in editing which I am sure he is great at. I noticed he edited Latter Days, another favorite.
All or Nothing (2002)
In the beginning, while watching this film, I was alternately disgusted and infuriated. I was looking at the characters thinking things like "get a job", "say something" or "take a bath!". Needless to say, I ended up being humbled and deeply moved. We glimpse each character's inner world, revealing their pain, faults and strength. And it literally turned the tables on me and got me to examine myself--my capacity for understanding and love. This is truly a great film.
Dominick and Eugene (1988)
I just purchased and viewed the DVD of this film. The DVD transfer is from last year, 2001. This 1988 film is really a great little film. Overlooked by most people. I saw it in the theater in 1988 and have loved it ever since. I love the opening shot of Pittsburgh (not Baltimore, as another user commented). Makes Pittsburgh look like one of the most beautiful cities in the world! And I must say, the tour of Pitts on the garbage truck with Nicky is a very scenic, interesting one! Tom Hulce, as everyone else has said, gives a remarkable, wonderful performance. The DVD is a good transfer, with no extras, but a widescreen format. I recommend it to those who love the movie.
Summer's End (1999)
Good little film
Very powerful performances by James Earl Jones and Jake Ledoux elevate this film above the average made-for-TV movie. It's worth watching just to see James Earl Jones' controlled rage on the one hand and his tenderness on the other -- it's amazing to behold. I was also impressed with the acting ability exhibited by Jake Ledoux. I hope he continues his acting career, because he has honesty and an emotional range that many current young actor "stars" should envy.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
DVD is beautiful!
Just finished wallowing in the beauty of this film on DVD. I think this film, in its own way, is an even more impressive achievement than "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Ang Lee's latest film). After watching the film in its entirety, I viewed it twice more with the commentaries provided! First commentary with Emma Thompson and Lindsay Duran (co-producer) and second commentary with Ang Lee and James Schamus (another co-producer). I wish Emma and Ang had done commentary together. Lindsay Duran was actually insightful and nice, but James Schamus came off as a jerk. Every time Ang would try to say something heartfelt or artistic, Schamus would interrupt or make some tacky remark. Oh well, producers can be crude, as we all know or suspect. Emma's comments are wonderful of course. This is such a great film. I highly recommend the DVD transfer to those who love the film.
I did not think this film was at all sentimental (if you are using the word in its pejorative sense). In reading the comments on this film, I noticed the Czechs who responded were rather lukewarm about it. This surprises me. Kolya works as a film on several levels at once -- political, artistic, personal, etc. and I do not think it is at all predictable. The performances are magical and the entire film is encased by music of very great beauty and humanity by Dvorak and other great Czech composers. Music from Dvorak's "Four Biblical Songs" is at the heart of the film. It is the song that Klara sings at the funerals and the song Kolya is singing before and during the closing credits. The vintage film footage of Kubelik conducting Smetana's Ma Vlast at a concert at the end of the Russian occupation is a wonderful touch. Although I'm sure many other Czech films deserve Oscars, I am glad Kolya was recognized. I hope this film is released on DVD soon.
There is something quite special about the quietness and subtlety of this beautiful film. I don't think reviewers "got" this film. The setting is spectacular -- British Columbia. My only criticism is that the music is a bit overblown. Quite nice actually by itself, but a little over the top of the story. Nothing however can detract from the vision of the director and the wonderful acting. This film conveyed aspects of my life with childhood friends and family (and the extended family provided by Nature). It seems to say that just beneath the surface of some ordinary lifeforms, there is strength and depth. Yes! That is worth saying. I would love to have seen the film on the big screen. Jesse Bradford is great! I don't think I've seen this kid do one false thing in front of a camera. He plays or embodies youthful promise and that in-between adolescence and adulthood stage like no other actor I've seen. The same expressiveness is in "King of the Hill" -- astonishing really. Oh yeah, and the dog is great too!
Parting Glances (1986)
Friendship is a Haven
I think that Parting Glances is a brilliant film. One thing I can add to the other comments on this film is to say that I think Parting Glances resonates so strongly with everyone because it is primarily a film about relationships, particularly friendship. The characters just happen to be gay, even though it spares no details about their lives. This approach actually gives more integrity and advocacy to the characters' lives. I can't tell you how refreshing this elevation of tone was to me. Nick and Michael admit that their short affair quickly turned to friendship. If you have ever had a real friend, someone you see and understand and who sees and understands you, you will relate to Nick and Michael, no matter what your sexual orientation. Plus, the texture of the film is so rich -- with scenes funny, touching, sad, biting and complex.
I agree with the user comment made by Helena that Bill Sherwood is a great director. I too was very saddened by his early death.
Americana with an English twist.
I think that Pollyanna is a fine film. Its humor and charm are broad and rough-hewn of the Mark Twain variety. Thrown into this American mix, in the leading role, came a wonderfully subtle and natural, English actress named Hayley Mills. In her American film debut, she captivated audiences to the extent that she received a special Oscar that year for outstanding performance by a child actor. Hayley was unlike anything we (Americans) had ever seen. Disney's adaptation of Pollyanna from Eleanor H. Porter's novel is good. The supporting characters are uniformly fine. Karl Malden's "fire and brimstone" sermon is still hilarious.