Movie Review Archive - G
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Gangs Of New York (R)
After making and seeing countless gang related films set in the 1940's, 50's, 60's and beyond, I'm sure a mob story set in 1860's New York was irresistible to director Martin Scorsese. As the Irish, who Gangs focuses on, are fond of saying, "He shouldn't have bothered." Despite some great performances, especially by John C. Reilly, Gangs Of New York, like most of its characters, is a bloody mess. Implausibilities and bad accents abound. Loosely based on actual events, this turkey is an overblown, violent, laughable marathon and surely an embarrassment to the Scorsese legend. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel-Day Lewis (pick TWO names dude) and Cameron Diaz. 167 minutes.
Ghost World (R)
Thora Birch (American Beauty) plays Enid, an underachieving and offbeat high school graduate who meets the older Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a nerdy, record collecting office worker. The two turn out to be kindred spirits of sorts. Is Enid a refreshingly intelligent and perceptive free-spirit who is universally misunderstood or is she in fact a typically arrogant and lazy teen who will not accept any advice or help from well meaning teachers, friends and family? The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Sure, she recognizes the hypocracy and banality in much of society but is she so much better than us? She's certainly younger that most of us. This film tries very hard to get us to love the stylish and wry Enid. She does have a good heart. Get back to us in a few years there Enid, after you've worked a job and grown up a bit. Become a pathetic cog like the rest of us. We might not all seem quite so stupid then. Sequel!
The Glass House (PG13)
In The Glass House, Leelee Sobieski (whom whom we are now now beginning to see a lot of, though I can't figure out why. The future poor man's Helen Hunt perhaps?) stars as Ruby Baker, a high school student who, along with her younger brother, has been orphaned and goes to live with old friends of the family, Erin and Terry Glass. It turns out that these "friends" are only after the young Baker children's trust fund. This is one cheesy mystery. If Ruby is so smart, then why doesn't she just dial 911 when the spit hits the fan? Also starring Bruce Dern, Diane Lane (whom we are now also seeing too much of) and a cameo by Chris (I'd like to buy an "r") Noth. Caution: This film can cause drowsiness and vomiting.
In Glitter, attractive singer Mariah Carey tries to establish herself as a serious actress. Nafeesha (Carey), a back-up singer for an established star (Carol Burnett), is discovered by Bernard Flapdoodle (Ward Bond), a famous record producer. Bernard wants to make her a star in her own right. Nafeesha moves in with Bernard and they become lovers as well as business partners. All is well until Nafeesha agrees to record a song with a stunningly handsome rival producer (Marty Feldman). Bernard goes through the roof and the usual love triangle situation plays itself out. There are no surprises in this film, with the notable exception of the very funny scene with the monkey and the maple syrup, and the ending was just infuriating. Ms. Carey gets to strut around in her underwear and bed down hunky guys but this is more of an extended MTV video than a motion picture. Carey was reportedly treated for exhaustion during the making of this film. I now understand why. I had trouble staying awake myself. Also starring Rosemary Clooney, Ernest Borgnine, Bob Hope, Randolph Mantooth, Jimmy Walker and Mel Brooks as the monkey.
The Good Girl (R)
Jennifer Aniston is as cute as a bug's ear but can she really act? Aniston portrays Justine, a small town retail clerk. Thirty year old Justine is bored with her stoner husband, her job and just about everything else. She begins an affair with a younger co-worker that has a profound effect on her life. The Good Girl is quite good and Aniston is fabulous. Remember folks. Friends don't let friends watch Friends. Also starring John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights). 93 minutes.
Good Night And Good Luck (PG)
In the late 1950's Joseph McCarthy, the Junior Senator from Wisconsin, began a sensational witch-hunt. He recklessly accused many innocent Americans of being Communist sympathizers or as they were then known, "pinkos". Popular CBS television journalist Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his producer Fred Friendly (former heartthrob George Clooney) decided to expose McCarthy as the lying megalomaniacal hypocrite that he was. Taking on a powerful U.S. Senator was risky business back then. Actual film, videotape and kinescopes are deftly woven into the film in order to heighten the realism. People sure smoked a lot of cigarettes back then. Like the recent Capote, Good Night is fascinating but a bit dull. Also starring Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Alex Borstein (The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and former heartthrob Robert Downey Jr. 100 minutes in black and white.
Gosford Park (R)
Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, The Player, Nashville) directs a humorous, complex and leisurely paced murder mystery set in an English country estate. The year is 1932. A group of about fifteen guests (and their personal valets) convene on a luxurious mansion for a weekend of dining, cocktails, gossip, hunting and assassination. Great attention is paid to detail and nuance, especially the fascinating "below stairs" sub-culture of the butlers, servants and valets. Altman, as always, has assembled an amazing group of first-rate acting talent to flesh out an interesting story. This is definitely a movie-buff's movie. It's worth seeing more than once. Pardon me. Have you any Grey Poupon? Starring Emily Watson, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas (pick two names honey), Bob Balaban, Helen Mirren, Alan Bates, Stephen Fry, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gambon, Clive Owen, Richard E. Grant, Jeremy Northam, Ryan Phillippe and Derek Jacobi. 137 minutes.
Grizzly Man (R)
This biopic examines the strange life and gruesome death of grizzly bear advocate Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell spent thirteen summers in the Alaskan Wilderness living unarmed (especially just before he died) amongst some of nature's most ferocious carnivores in order to "protect" and document them. Director/narrator Werner Herzog combines interviews with Treadwell's vast collection of video journals. Depending on who you believe, Treadwell was either a compassionate bear advocate, a frustrated would-be actor longing for attention or a foolish amateur naturalist who crossed a line and got what he deserved. A truly powerful documentary. 103 minutes.
Guess Who (PG13)
A young black woman (Zoe Saldana) surprises her parents (Bernie Mac and Judith Scott) by bringing her white boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher) home with her. Had this loose interpretation of 1967's Guess Who's Coming To Dinner been the least bit funny, contained any likeable characters or been poignant at all, it might have succeeded. It wasn't, it doesn't and it's not. Plus, aren't we all getting just a little bit sick of Bernie Mac's routine? 105 minutes.
A Guy Thing (PG13)
A young man (Jason Lee) realizes that he is in love with his fiancée's cousin (Julia Stiles) in this new comedy which was directed by Chris Koch (Snow Day). It all takes place in Seattle. We are constantly reminded of this through endless shots of The Space Needle. A goofy sit-com complete with elderly drunks and marijuana laced gravy. Also starring Selma Blair, James Brolin and the bland Julie Hagerty (Airplane, Lost In America). 101 minutes.