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Posts Tagged ‘peter weir’

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Million Dollar Baby: I hate the second and third sections of Hotel California. Don Henley and the gang hardly do anything to break up the monotony of the rhythm that gets tiring after 2 minutes. When the song eventually does take a turn, it is in the form of THE lamest solo ever. Clint Eastwood gets the audience nodding to a pretty decent groove  for about 75% of Million Dollar Baby; neither spectacular nor terrible, just a bland sports film about a working-class heroine. The last half-an-hour of the film is cringe-worthy. I’m talking about “Step Mom” bad here, people. I wanted to rip that dam respirator tube out of Hilary Swank and throw it at Paul Haggis. First Crash, now this. Have a heart, man.

Ordinary People: I think Ordinary People won an Oscar in 1980 because Kramer vs Kramer had won the previous year, beating out Apocalypse Now and someone in the jury thought this would make for a really funny extended joke. David Lynch’s Elephant Man and Scorsese’s Raging Bull shared the same ignominy in 1980 as they lost out to Robert Redford and this bore-fest of a movie. Many of us still don’t get the joke.

Saving Private Ryan & ET: Guns don’t kill people, Steven Spielberg kills people. Only Paul Haggis and the irritating couple sitting behind us in the theatre would enjoy this sort of crap.

Mel Gibson South Park

Braveheart: At least for national security purposes, the last scene in Braveheart with Mel Gibson screaming “FREEDOM” needs to be kept in a top-secret vault. With more and more people binging on  hallucinogens and sedatives these days, it is only a matter of time before the truth serum becomes impotent; either that or terror mongers will start realizing how well it goes with whole grain bread and start becoming immune to it. Don’t panic, Mel Gibson has given us a secret weapon.

Which embassy are you planning to blow up tomorrow?” (Silence) “I said, which fucking embassy you fucking planning to blow up tomorrow, you terrorist fuck?” (Silence) “Play that last scene from Braveheart again” (Noooooooooooooo)

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Dead Poets Society: Giving Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society an Oscar for best screenplay is like giving one of those dudes who design gnarly cigarette packets a Nobel Peace Prize for promoting cancer awareness. Some of the dialogues involving Robin Williams waxing whimsical about transcendentalism are so awful that I got the shivers. The torment continues with his pseudo-rebellious students attacking conformism by vying for a spot in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Are you friggin kidding me? We should have known that the once great Peter Weir had lost his mind when he chose Harrison Ford for a lead role. Twice.

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Shrink: Kevin Spacey has been misconceieved as one of most talented American actors of our generation. Maybe it has to do with all the really cool characters he gets to play. Just to set the record straight, he neither ad-libbed the final speech in American Beauty nor did he impulsively straighten his limbs and walk out of the police station as Kaiser Soze. If you ask me, both Chris Cooper and Gabriel Byrne acted circles around him in those films. Yes, he was good in Seven; I’m sure the staleness of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman did wonders to his confidence. In Shrink, the character he plays brings out the worst in him. Awkward, boring and full of chicken soup for everyone’s soul. Jonas Pate’s film about the quasi-tragic life of a celebrity psychiatrist/ best-selling author isn’t any better. It swallows any semblance of talent that its actors might have and spits out the bits that matter. Then there’s Dallas Roberts playing a second-rate House MD-type guy and the desecration of Mary Jane. Please stop the pain.

Scent Of A Woman: I’ll let Tony Montana handle this one.

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Happiness

Director Todd Solondz gets no points for subtle irony. His 1998 effort Happiness blatantly involves characters that are anything but happy. A pedophile lecturing his son on sex? Check. A desperate woman constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Check. A homophobic father coming to terms with the sexual abuse of his gay son? Check. It’s almost sadistic that such people are even allowed within close quarters of each other, much less have their lives entwined with one another. But that doesn’t make this a bad film. No. No. No. It’s really good, in fact…just not, you know, the happy sort.

Picnic At Hanging Rock

Directed by high priest of the Australian New Wave Peter Weir, this film is based on a “true” story about a couple of Catholic high school girls gone missing during a picnic at Victoria’s Mount Macedon. On a personal note, it was representative of what I have always enjoyed about Australian films. Ethereal, almost hallucinatory landscapes that expand only if our imagination permits. A storyline that grudgingly moves along against its natural instinct to remain calm and perfectly quiet. And stillness that occurs on camera when the director thinks beyond breaking even with the budget. Exhilarating without any sort of visible movement. Nice.

Funny Games

While the brilliant Caché was Haneke’s most inspired moment yet as a director, Funny Games catches him in a ghoulishly creepy mood. Tim Roth and Naomi Watts play a wealthy couple tormented by two sadistic locals portrayed by Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet. Sadly, there is little else to say about the film. While certain scenes are satisfyingly disturbing, the film – on the whole – displeases with its dour sense of imagination. At best, you can buy the DVD to make your grandma squeal. If you don’t harbor such intentions towards your loved ones, give it a miss.

Ghost Dog

Jim Jarmusch gives his protagonists neither closure nor comeuppance for their actions, as evidenced in his previous films such as Dead Man, Down By Law and Night on Earth. In Ghost Dog, it is the main character who seeks neither. Forrest Whitaker plays a hitman “who follows ancient code of the samurai as outlined in the book of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s recorded sayings, Hagakure.” It actually was how I thought it would be…a gangster-samurai Indie film with a delightful sense of irony and an imaginative soundtrack.

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