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8 Mile (2002)
Thanks Curtis Hanson!
Curtis Hanson is turning out to be one of our great directors. LA CONFIDENTIAL was a look at LA during the 1950's that was near perfection as far as films are concerned. WONDER BOYS was a highly entertaining look at characters who live in PITTSBURGH, again the city was as much a character as any of the actors.
Now Curtis brings us a look at DETROIT in 8 MILE and I was so impressed. Yes I am a fan of Eminem and yes I think he's cute (that combination of bad boy and lost little boy is just irresistible) but the movie is a quality drama which I think all audiences will appreciate if only they'd open their minds a little and go see it.
I was so happy to be in a theater with a mostly under 25 crowd (at 31 I was the oldest person in the place!) and we were there to watch a quality film about a kind of life that most of us can only imagine. The audience of young people were silent at first - the anticipation of Eminem's entrance was almost palpable. And throughout the film the audience continued to be engrossed by the realistic characters and the story. A whole audience entertained by drama and acting and not one special effect! Not one!
We weren't there to watch a stupid brainless action film or a gross-out comedy. 8 MILE is one of those classic films that most A-list actors can only hope to appear in maybe once or twice during a long career and it's the kind Eminem makes on his first time out? The boy has brains for sure and talent. I don't think the John Garfield, James Dean comparisons are too far off - Eminem has charisma to spare. I don't think I want to see him continue to do more acting because 98% of the films he could do are such crap. How do you follow up a truly great film like this?
I'm so impressed. I just hope that older people and hip-hop haters will get out and see this film too, it'll open their minds.
Book of Numbers (1973)
Young PMT in a classic blaxploitation film
Philip Michael Thomas has probably only been seen by most audiences in the MIAMI VICE television series, the quintessential action TV show of the 80's. But prior to MIAMI VICE PMT was seen in quite a number of blaxploitation films in the 1970's. BOOK OF NUMBERS is nearly impossible to find but it's one of the best blaxploitation films from the 70's that I've seen and it's one of PMT's best early roles. The film is no holds barred in its depiction of African-American life in the 30's in the South and the language and violence is fairly intense. It's got great atmosphere, an interesting plot and lots of attitude (but when you're fighting the KKK anything goes!) If you enjoy these kinds of films I'd definitely recommend this one, and especially if you enjoy PMT's acting in MIAMI VICE, you'll love him in this.
Cronenberg's finest yet
I saw SPIDER at the Telluride Film Festival and was really impressed by it. I'm a big fan of Cronenberg's films - Videodrome and The Dead Zone in particular - and I think Spider is right up there with the best work he's ever done. I was beginning to wonder where Cronenberg's mind had gone after viewing Crash which was entertainingly weird but ultimately just a bad movie. Spider is the most restrained film Cronenberg has done since The Dead Zone in that it deals more with the character's mind than with morphing body parts and typewriters that turn into insects. Spider is a movie you could watch and not even know you were watching a Cronenberg movie and I think that's a real compliment. He's branching out and doing something really different here but also something that only he could make. Ralph Fiennes is absolutely brilliant in this, I think it's his best work yet. And Miranda Richardson is incredible! Gabriel Byrne also gives a fine performance. It's a haunting film you won't forget.
Step into the late 60's world of ANDY WARHOL!!!!
This could be the definitive film of Andy Warhol's New York sub-culture...and a rare one to find at that! It captures the decadence, the confusion, the drugs, the music and the 'boredom' of this underground world, and it all revolves around the character of Stanley Sweetheart. Don Johnson, in his first film role, plays this character brilliantly, capturing all of this insatiable desire for sensation in this beautifully androgynous performance. There also seems to be an underlying text of hidden homosexual desires, which Stanley continually suppresses, although he seems drawn to Danny character. It's a fascinating work of decadence and decay, and you can just feel Andy Warhol overlooking the whole world of Stanley's decline.
Regina Roma (1982)
if you like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
if you like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" then you'll love this offbeat, interesting little movie that's more like a play than a film. 4 actors in one room, that's it! A great script, fantastic acting by all involved. It's a look at a tense family relationship with an overly doting mother (Ava Gardner), her beaten-down husband (Anthony Quinn) and her 36 year old son who returns after being away from home for 3 months. He brings his shy new girlfriend (Anna Karina) home with him and that's what fuels the dialogue and action of this movie. If you're a fan of any of the actors in this definitely buy the DVD. So what if it's a cheesy DVD, this is one rare movie so we're lucky it's available at all!
70's exploitation at its best
Miami Vice's Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) in his first movie from the early 70's - it's one of those so bad it's good kind of movies. I got a video copy that obviously was rereleased after Thomas' post-Vice fame. If you enjoy early 70's exploitation this one's got a bit of sexploitation and blaxploitation elements that are entertaining in an after-midnight fashion. And despite the low production values and b-movie quality Thomas is in fact quite good - far too good for this movie.
A Fight for Jenny (1986)
excellent tv movie with great acting
Managed to find this long out of print film and enjoyed it very much. As a fan of Philip Michael Thomas (Tubbs on Miami Vice) I really liked seeing his performance in this film. It's got great acting by Thomas and Leslie Ann Warren and an intriguing true story.
a good b-sci-fi flick
if you like science fiction like i do then i think you would enjoy this movie. it's got very good acting, good effects and a darkly futuristic set and i found it to be a good escapist hour and a half. i sure enjoyed it more than AI (the last sci-fi film i went to the theater to see). sure it's B but what's wrong with a nicely paced b-sci-fi movie? nothing at all.
Very good slasher flick. If you like horror films, you'll love it.
If you're a fan of the Nightmare, Scream, Friday the 13th or Halloween films then you'll find VALENTINE entertaining. Most critics pan horror films so don't bother even reading their reviews. Good suspense, fun settings, pretty girls (Denise Richards), sexy & gloomy gothboy David Boreanaz, what more could a horror fan ask for in 2001?