Average User Score: 8.6May 1, 2013Not quite the movie you'd like to watch for easy viewing and enjoyment, this sad and often disturbing view into the world of the "oldest profession on earth" is sometimes unmerciful in it's portrayal of the truth. Unflinching and never once letting off, the three stories from three different parts of the world will leave you all dizzy with enough substance, style and compelling honesty to make you cry. A haunting documentary with an equally arresting soundtrack, Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger will have you begging for a break without ever taking his foot off the pedal. Ever more so was the truth upon viewing the final 20 minutes. A documentary you will soon never forget. **4.5 out of 5 stars**… Expand
Average User Score: 2.6Apr 14, 2013A quick review if you will, but what else did you expect from the fifth (and may god have mercy on our souls if this isn't the final) installement of the scary movie franchise?
In a word? No. There is nothing here worth the time writing about, if only to mention the blatant (and by all means institutionalized) formula of the film's producers... putting in the "red list" celebrities of the past couple of years and giving them "jokes" to say in front of the camera. Bad "jokes". Terrible "jokes". No, that's not true....nor is it fair. To say the cast is a common vehicle for delivering "bad jokes" would imply these jokes are of a certain merit for having been developed by a tellers unique ability to create original material. These, on the other hand are used jokes. these, on the other hand are D.O.A. type jokes you've heard before in some other form or another (which by chance were not funny then) and rehashed with a large production cost tag attached to the end of it's dead toe.
The highly totted cameos by Lindsay Lohan (who couldn't catch a break if it were gently handed to her in a Faberge egg), Charlie Sheen and Katt Williams fall dead on their face given the amount of respect their dealt with a terrible script; managed by producer types who try to keep the film length as low as possible.....so as to meet the budget quo. In the end, I find it ironic and strangely humorous about the movies existence, wherein those who brought the franchise into inception (shawn and marlon wayans) favored better (though really not by much) with "The Haunted House"; which now acts as a giant size 'suck it' gesture aimed solely at the cats who bought the rights to this aging turkey and actually thought they could turn a lucrative profit. Whose laughing hardest now? The Wayans bros? I sure as hell hope not, their no funnier than Dane Cook on a free college tour. That can't possibly be the funniest thing to come out of both of these messes of two movies, can it? Yikes!
No words. Skip it. *0 out of 5 stars*… Expand
Average User Score: 4.8Apr 14, 2013A silly "teen beat" approach to typical sci-fi invader tropes, this overly done and half baked psuedo love story provides more laughs than gasps. exhibit a) the chemistry between these kids is non existent, making for some unintentionally hilarious scenes. not the fault of our young cast, who struggles with utterly ridiculous dialogue though with promising conviction. exhibit b) the narrative get's lost into an ostentatious dive by the whim of over dramatic "love cues" or quite simply, poor writing. let's face it, Stephanie Meyer doesn't really know what she's doing. an unlearned writer who got lucky with 'The Twilight Series' by tapping into the narrative routine that was more like a "teen idol poster" to a novel, Meyer was able to exploit what teenage girls "really want"; having been undermined with sexist literary schemes that harken back to the "damsels in distress" or "suzie homemakers in white aprons", with a twist. what's her modus operandi? a subversive heroin who balks and crumbles at the feet of a prototypical blue-eyes, who reminds them what it's like to be a woman. you couldn't write dialogue anymore jarring to 50 years of women's lib if you tried. exhibit c) there must have been a better way to engage the audience with the pivotal "two voices in my head" scene. a scene wherein both the writer and director attempt to circumvent the drama with a true, honest to god commentary on the anagonist's jungian state, which would translate into this sort of thematic reveal and open up the plot and central theme of the movie. unfortunately, it's far more sillier on screen than it was on paper. in fact, who even writes this stuff? oh, yeah.....exhibit b.
cold special effects that add to the atmosphere but operate as nothing more than breaks of eye-candy, this story will expose Meyer for what she really is. a fake. *2 out of 5 stars*… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Apr 12, 2013While many have complained about the heavy handedness and self-righteousness of the movies general theme (or great moral lesson) there is no escaping that it is still well acted by it's grade-a class of actors including Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly and the incorrigible John Goodman who even at a brief 10 minutes of total screen time is by far the most memorable side character of the film. Yes, in parts, the movie plays like a triple A recruiting tool for Alcoholics Anonymous. That isn't to say that the movie is bad. As a viewer, I realized I had been feeling impassioned by characters who spent no more than 10 minutes in front of the camera (one of them making her appearance as a topless flight attendant in a skinny red thong). However trite or mundane these characters are introduced, it only takes a few key scenes to be locked into their own web of misfortune, while feeling the deep seeded morose of Washington's Whip Whitiker. In the end, giving it time and consideration, the movie is far from trite and as moving as Washington's past performances. Not an outstanding movie (and maybe even one that could very well crawl under your skin sometimes), it's not all bad. Given a chance, there'll be moments when it surprises you. **3 out of 5 stars**… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5Apr 12, 2013it disturbs me as to how many of those "users" who reviewed this film did so only at face value, and did nothing more than judge it by it's superficial exterior without giving any thought of it's social commentary. Maybe they'd forgotten that typical high school tropes (once viewed as benign) had taken a dramatic and violent left turn over the course of the last 30 years. Maybe they've forgotten the dirty ramifications of our countries past and flippant attitude pertaining the law of guns (using the second amendment as the proverbial crutch to further purify their agenda). Maybe, and just maybe, a movie like 'Elephant' gives supporters of lax gun laws another reason to cry bloody murder, re-thrown back towards the film industry. Who knows. regardless, there is a story to tell in Gus Van Sant's shocking (though cathartic) tale of a typical (or "typically violent") day in america's public school system......and for once, it doesn't have to be soft, or even pretty.
not a bad film (though not an extraordinary film) 'elephant' is a vivid and fictional depiction of a typical American high school shooting; one that nearly mimicks to the 'T' the events of April 20, 1999....or simply, the Columbine Massacre. Whether it mimicks it or not, it follows in a series of many shootings that has kept the nation in proverbial stalemate, often times being the catalyst to current gun laws and the feasability of an archaic second amendment to the American constitution. No matter what side of the fence you reside on, the connotations of lax gun laws in this film are not only prevalent, but glaring. Take for instance a scene depicting an 18 year old kid purchasing a high powered assault rifle over the internet. Is that troubling enough for you?
This isn't exactly a far fetched Suspense/Horror film shot with an art-house aesthetic.......these things actually happen.
Whether there is validity in the films claims, it really doesn't matter. Albeit, not entirely a moot point, the fact that the fllm was still met with a barrage of unnecessary bad reviews says a lot about our nations apathy towards gun violence, and the kids who remain victim of it today.
As for the movie......it is a bit trite and somewhat pretentious at times. It still manages a decent commentary on today's standards of low morals, false empowerment (by both the bullies and those who kill them) and the collective apathetic eye of the world. If you are bothered by this movie, or in any way find it to be in bad taste, try to remember what you did the day you learned about the Sandy Hook Murders. If you only read an article about it, congrats. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, absolute congrats. If you can tell me the name of the killer, some of the names of the children, the rifle that was used in the killings and some of the conspiracy theories passed around the internet........well, then you are in fact the reason major news corps love reporting on these things; 24/7 and for the world to see. *3.5 out of 5 stars"… Expand
Average User Score: 3.1Apr 11, 2013A movie so banal in it's writing, you would've thought the script was written by a group of 16 year old kids who still laugh at piss, puke, fart, crap and sex jokes. A 90 minute endless barrage of "aristocrat jokes" that play off as lame as the last. I wasn't offended, so much as I was insulted. Insulted to think that the Farelly brothers continue to "push the envelope" thinking their audience is said 16 year old kid who still laughs when people fart. There is a way to do low brow, and this isn't that way. "Edgy" is not created by doing something so off the wall and offensive, it's gotta be funny. Edgy is doing something different, so unique and "thought provoking", it's funny. If this movie was trying to be Patton Oswalt, it took a terrible left turn and ended up being a mix between Carrot Top and Dane Cook; telling a 90 minute long Aristocrat joke. *0 out of 5 stars*… Expand
Average User Score: 5.5Apr 11, 2013It has occurred to me that the majority of those watching this movie are really only watching it for one of two reasons (or both). To see Disney starlets prance around on drugs and alcohol, all in bikini's wielding assault rifles. That, or a chance to see one of them topless (which by the way, they are; at least two of them...if only for a brief couple of seconds). A good 80 percent of them will have absolutely no idea who Harmony Korine is, nor any clue to his style of filmmaking. Granted, either you like it or you don't you have to understand that Korine is in fact an art-house director, and rarely follows conventional film standards. Having said that, for those who've never witnessed films like 'Kids', 'Gummo' and 'Ken Park' expect to see something different.
.........now the review.
Not the greatest of narratives, though writer Harmony Korine has a knack for delving into the psychology of characters and atmosphere by hard contrast visuals and tropes pertaining to the stories theme. Whether it's spoiled skateboard kids on the upper west side of Manhattan, or socially disfigured freakazoids urinating off the overpass of a highway like it or not, these visuals will stay with you forever. These have been the timeless images tattoo'ed to our film going history and continue to stand out among the rest as the proverbial middle finger to contemporary cinema. This is what Korine has been able to do well for over two decades, as pretentious as he comes and just as pretentious as he so lovingly admits to being. There are several moments in 'Spring Breakers' that will stain your brain (like it or not) and keep you interested. Newcomer Selena Gomez never strays far enough from her good-girl image, though has earned a second chance at Hollywood-life-post-Disney. Also worth noting is a strangely tender moment when the other former Disney darlings (Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson) are serenading a "blinged-out" James Franco (who gives the performance of his career) with a rendition of some Britney Spears' song, standing poolside, bikini clad and gripping onto semi-automatic assault rifles. Bikini girls with machine guns...Lux Interior would've been proud. Granted, Hudgens, Benson and Rachel Korine (wife and ingenue of Harmony) may come across as trite and flat, they are still fun to watch in many ways. An often-times obnoxious though mesmerizing valley of decadence and debauchery journey'd, the viewer will have felt closer than ever to spring break (or at least beholden of vivid flashbacks). More than that, it dares to take you farther. As ostentatious as it seems, it never apologizes for how far it goes. A different kind of Korine movie, with all of the stuff you've come to love about him since the inception of his career nearly 20 years ago. I recommend for it's strange art house meets 'Jersey Shore' aesthetic, if only to witness James Franco at his best. *3 out of 5 stars*… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Feb 27, 2013trite, mundane, pretentious, hackneyed, sloppy, arrogant and dull......i never did understand the cult following this film has garnered. if ever the movie said anything to me, it said that writer richard kelly is way too in love with his own material (southland tales and the box being proof of this). there is nothing wrong with wanting to endeavor into your project like a child, nurturing it and loving it just as such. however, once a director reaches the state of "i don't care if it does make sense", you have then left your audience in the ditch and are now lost. there is an obvious disdain and further disconnect with kelly's audience, as the movie is only experienced in stylized sequences, complete with "plot twists" askew. oh, the plot twist. ever was there a more cheap though effective technique in fiction writing. this brings me to my next point. the story is so convoluted, there have been countless websites developed for the simple function of either identifying or deciphering the movies message, plot, theme and "code" like a child who recently discovered the usesfullness of a Marvel styled decoder ring. only whence identifying these modes (or theorizing them, as there really is all you can do with this film), the former just seems so wishy washy in the end, you'd just as soon begin thinking of this film as a classic because if it doesn't make sense, it must be cool, right? Kelly has no business directing, as there is only a subtle hint of character in every one of these one or two layered protagonists. Richard Kelly really is the Omar Rodriguez of film and i see no other reason to praise him, save for the fact that he knows the Gyllenhaals? i assure you, rich.....your farts smell the same way as mine, and as your movie. **1 out of 5 stars**… Expand
Average User Score: 9.0Feb 27, 2013I find some negative reviews to be pointless either yammering on about how "long" the movie was, slow is another one (though many of these reviewers being kids and not quite used to the expository routines of late 60's drama) and committing the reviewers sin of comparing it to other hyper-spastic (almost cartoonish) crime dramas like Scarface and Pulp Fiction though exceptional in their own right. There is a quality of this film that tributes a long forgotten style of story telling within subtlety; the end result a beautifully woven opera of deceit, betrayal, loss and violence. It is and will always be a film that reaches the highest levels of fiction, wherein the film is preformed....and not spoon-fed to the audience. heaven forbid you'd have to do some actual thinking in order to complete a relatively easy 3 hours of story telling.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Feb 15, 2013Today's music industry is widely considered to be a jumbled mess of confusion regarding quality vs. craftsmanship of the music, deciphered and taken in by (most) consumers who haven't the ability to tell the difference. In truth, a non-musician would be hard pressed to pick up on the subtleties of classic analogue production over contemporary digital recreation while being inundated with the gospel of technology convincing them otherwise that; "it's really the same thing, only easier". Well, Dave Grohol, lead singer of "The Foo Fighters" and director of "Sound City" would convince you otherwise. How? For starters, what's the difference between a robot of astute perfection and flawlessness and a flawed human with a burning soul? Since the inception of "pro tools", artists have been allotted a standard of mediocrity, later to be corrected by technology of the next level. This is true, and is not to say that tech in general hasn't made our lives easier. However, in order to the get to the core of Grohl's thesis, we don't necessarily need to ump into a deloreon, phone booth or sled and rewind ourselves to the good ol days of analogue tech and tape reels. Just reach into your vinyl and listen for yourself. Do you hear it? That's the sound of perfection, which is what makes vinyl as pure as it is. You see, before the age of digital correction and over correction, a musician had to stand up to the standards of flawlessness honing in their craft and developing great respect with their simian connection to their instrument. with regards to the recording. This is what Grohl was hoping to address in his new documentary "Sound City", and I am pleased to say that he has pulled it off well.
The documentary is a sentimental ode to the machine that acted as the HUB of Sound City's success, and has become something of legend among the inner circles of both classic and contemporary rock 'n roll.; the Neve Console. It's also a love letter to the days of pure, smoky and rough analogue recording; that which has transcended Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" and Nirvana's "Nevermind" into classic album status.
For the true audiophile, the doc never misses a beat. Observing the technical ferociousness of the Neve, by lending credence to the genius behind those who had mastered the console and helped give birth to their respective masterpieces. For others, it's a story of the awakening and subsequent death of an engineering Juggernaut empire, unto which became the unfortunate victim of digital technology.
The documentary never skips a beat, and even rewards the viewer with a seminal reunion of rock music's royalty few of whom have been waiting in the wings of a music snob's dream. Stevie Nicks recording with Pat Smear of the Germs, or the impromptu reunion of Nirvana's line-up with a legendary Beatle and Wings frontman Paul McCartney is enough to send any music junky into orbit, and beyond, By the way, if you ever wondered what Nirvana would've sounded like with Paul McCartney jamming with them on his cigar-box guitar and screaming improvised lyrics? Look no further. The film fires on all cylinders, and subtly infuses the very element it claims has been lost in the record industry for nearly decades humanism. Grohl does an exceptional job at conveying the birth of music magic, with little to no modern technology, and at the whim of a simple analogue recorder, human chemistry, magic and imagination. As far as cons are concerned, it would've been nice to see a great litany of performers at the films climax, recording with the mythical Neve console at Grohl's home. However, a nitpicky complaint at best.
I can not recommend this film more. For an audiophile, you may find yourself rewinding in various stages as you'll feel the need to take in every bit of information that has been said. For others, there is a certain spiritual catharsis attached to watching Nirvana improvise a song from a few bars of notes, and turn it into a piece of rock and roll history with Sir Paul Mcartney singing the vocals and playing with a damm classic cigar box guitar.
**PERFECT SCORE 10/10 Do yourself a favor and put aside 100 minutes of your life to watch this extraordinary film.… Expand