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Reviews Written by
Daniel S. "Daniel" (Geneva, Switzerland)

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Wonder Boys [DVD] [2000]
Wonder Boys [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Michael Douglas
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.71

3 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BLANK SHEET, 3 May 2003
This review is from: Wonder Boys [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I don't think that the problem of Curtis Hanson's WONDER BOYS lies in its screenplay. Even if the influence of Martin Scorsese's AFTER HOURS is patent. MichaŽl Douglas, like the hero of Scorsese's movie, is the passive witness or victim of a succession of strange events. The symbolic beginning of this journey into wonderland is a dog's bite. Curtis Hanson will never miss an occasion to remind us of MichaŽl Douglas's painful leg as long as the dream isn't over.
No, the problem lies elsewhere. In fact, WONDER BOYS misses the mark simply because you don't care about the characters. It wouldn't have been so important if the intention of the director would have been to present a comic movie but since WONDER BOYS is a psychological comedy, the lack of interest you feel for the characters involved is fatal.
I really don't care about MichaŽl Douglas's problems with his wife, his lack of inspiration or with Frances Mc Dormand. Robert Downey and Tobey Maguire characters are shallow and empty. And frankly, I don't have the slightest desire to read Douglas's first book " The Arsonist's Daughter " if it would have been really written.

Girlfight [DVD] (2001)
Girlfight [DVD] (2001)
Dvd ~ Michelle Rodriguez
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £29.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, 3 May 2003
This review is from: Girlfight [DVD] (2001) (DVD)
Written and directed by Karyn Kusama, a former assistant of John Sayles, GIRLFIGHT is a film for you if you're interested in independent american movies. Michelle - Diana - Rodriguez is boxing the screen in this role which seems have been written specially for her.
While most of the male boxers of Hector's boxing school consider this sport as a way to make money in order to leave their poor neighborhood, Diana is boxing because she has too much aggressivity in her. The school authorities want her to see a psychiatrist but what's the use with a girl who doesn't want to be helped. So boxing will replace the doc at a lower cost and allow Diana to face her father for a cathartic final confrontation.
Karyn Kusama is without any doubt very talented and knows how to make you feel the rage of the boxers during a fight. Michelle Rodriguez is outstanding, giving a stellar performance that our young starlets should study again and again in order to understand what is cinema really about. A movie highly recommended.
A DVD zone Raging Bull.

Interiors [DVD] (1978)
Interiors [DVD] (1978)
Dvd ~ Diane Keaton
Price: £4.72

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AUTUMN SONATA, 3 May 2003
This review is from: Interiors [DVD] (1978) (DVD)
I was a little anxious before playing this DVD. I saw Woody Allen's INTERIORS more than 20 years ago when it was theatrically released and I never had the opportunity to see it again since then. Well, I must say that the movie stands perfectly the test of time. There is a simple reason for that. Woody Allen, in his first - serious-movie, chose to present a universal story that could touch the european viewer as well as the New -York intelligentsia.
Apart from the choice of different subtitles and a trailer, no bonus features with this DVD. Sound OK but average images.
A DVD zone your library.

The Yards [DVD] [2000]
The Yards [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Mark Wahlberg
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £7.87

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORGET "GLADIATOR" , TRY "THE YARDS", 3 May 2003
This review is from: The Yards [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
After LITTLE ODESSA in 1994, THE YARDS is quite an impressive second movie of american writer/director James Gray who plays in the same league than Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola or Sidney Lumet. Furthermore, James Gray has given two important roles to James Caan and Ellen Burstyn and a choice like this can only be made by a clever and talented person. If you are not so fond of Ridley Scott's bodybuilt gladiators, try for a change a movie with more brains than muscles. In the long run, it gives more satisfaction.
THE YARDS is a movie about ambiguity, a mood created firstly by the images of the movie, cold and almost metallic for the exterior scenes but warm and always red, brown or yellow for the interior scenes. This antagonism is also underlined by the recurrent theme of the electric lights which suddenly plunge the characters in a black no-man's land several times during the course of the movie.
James - Frank Olchin - Caan is the most ambiguous character of the movie. He may appear as a rotten businessman ready to corrupt anything that has power at times but can also develop a "Don Corleone" à la Brando attitude when trying to protect his family. Superb job from James Caan. Mark - Leo Handler - Wahlberg is also not a straight character and one important scene of the movie confirms this point. After having been abandoned by his pairs, he's ready to join the enemy and crucify his former friends.
A DVD zone your library.

The Left Hand Of Darkness
The Left Hand Of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A LESSON OF GEOGRAPHY, 14 Mar. 2003
Well, after having read here the reviews written about Ursula Le Guin's 1969 THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, I was a little puzzled. " Hate it " or " Worship it " were the only alternatives ! I must confess that this book didn't create in me such passionate feelings. This novel, in my opinion, is an above average science-fiction book but doesn't deserve so much praise nor so much hate.
Descriptions of the arctic deserts of Gethen and of the different cities of the planet are well written and made me believe in this strange world. If one excepts the special sexual status of its inhabitants and its urban architecture, Gethen is not so strange for the common Earthly reader. That is the reason why we care a lot about the love-friendship story of the two main characters which is the principal plot of the novel. But THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS is way too short in pages and in analysis to be considered as a masterpiece.
A book to read. Once.

Violent Cop [1989] [DVD] [1993]
Violent Cop [1989] [DVD] [1993]
Dvd ~ Takeshi Kitano
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RISING GUN, 14 Mar. 2003
VIOLENT COP is the first movie directed by japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano in 1989 and the film is a very good surprise for the Film Noir amateur. As often in japanese movies, silences are more meaningful than dialogs but physical violence is filmed with a scalpel objective when necessary.
The movie is resolutely pessimistic from its first scene to the last images. The first minutes of VIOLENT COP will make you feel very uneasy, the director destroying in two scenes the universal phantasm of the innocence of childhood. In order to let the audience breathe a little, Kitano brings a little humor in the relations between the old cop and its new partner, a rookie who has chosen to learn the job by following him.
Takeshi Kitano has without a doubt a style of his own and the final duel involving all the characters still alive is a piece of anthology that stands masterfully the comparison with the final à la John Woo or à la Quentin Tarantino that have invaded our screens from the beginning of the 90's on.
A DVD zone Dirty Harry.

Black Notice (Scarpetta Novels)
Black Notice (Scarpetta Novels)
by Patricia Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars REMAKE, 14 Mar. 2003
I liked a lot the two or three first books of Patricia Cornwell with this unusual new character, Kay Scarpetta. Pete Marino and Lucy were also well described second roles and the serial killers involved in the stories very disturbing. I was then pretty sure that Patricia Cornwell would become one of the major crime stories writers of the years to come. But with books and years passing by, I realized that I was wrong : Patricia Cornwell is a one-and-only idea writer. And the soup, more and more salted, isn't digestible anymore.
So, like in the precedent Cornwell books, we have in BLACK NOTICE a serial killer on the loose, Lucy with a new girl-friend, rain and snow in Virginia ( is there such a season as spring downthere anyway ? ), a bad guy among Scarpetta employees ( this is not a spoiler, it is a recurrent theme in Cornwell's books ), pizzas and soups cooked by Kay, a deficient alarm system, Mercedes, three showers a day for Kay, a computer related subplot and a lot of scientific terms in order to remind us that Scarpetta is a doctor after all.
So, if you are interested in discovering what is all the fuss about Patricia Cornwell, I strongly suggest that you read her first books and leave this one for later if you are still curious.
A book zone the Return of the Son of the Mummy.

Clans of the Alphane Moon
Clans of the Alphane Moon
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SF NOVELS OPUS TWELVE, 14 Mar. 2003
Years before computers could create virtual realities by dozens, Philip K. Dick, by the sole power of his words, was describing books after books virtual mental universes that were a lot more frightful than those our beloved techno-directors try vainly to shape nowadays. Among the four novels he published in 1964, MARTIAN TIME-SLIP and CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON were treating this Dickian theme by essence.
After an interstellar war that ended 15 years ago, the world has forgotten this alphane moon and its inhabitants. Alpha III was considered as a giant hospital for mentally ill people by the Earth; now maniaco-depressives, schizophrenics and obsessive have founded cities and try to leave peacefully. But Alphans and Earth want to retake possession of this forgotten moon for obscure political reasons.
If you liked EYE IN THE SKY, a novel published 7 years before by PKD, you will appreciate CLANS OF THE ALPHANE MOON and its numerous points of views. The same events are described and analyzed by the different characters and one is lead to understand very soon that there is no objectiveness in Reality and that the actions of so-called sane people often obey to rather perverse motivations. Anyway, if you're a Philip K. Dick fan, you already know by now that there is no such thing as Reality !
A book to discover.

The Virgin Suicides [DVD] [2000]
The Virgin Suicides [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Kirsten Dunst
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE FROM THE HEART, 27 Feb. 2003
I understand very well that you can be a little bit confused after having read the reviews here at Amazon. You still don't know whether the movie THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is a masterpiece or the worst movie of 1999 directed by the worst director of the world. Well, it is certainly not the worst movie of the world, the co-producer Francis Ford Coppola being not a man who has the reputation to invest his money in bad movies. No, if the movie deserves the masterpiece or the triple 0 qualification , it depends only on you.
Let's say that if you like Peter Weir's PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK , movies with an eerie atmosphere or european films, I'm pretty sure you will adore THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. The director Sofia Coppola, in her first movie, describes the ordinary life of an average american family with treasures of delicacy and never tries to explain why the Lisbon sisters chose to depart in such a dramatical way. She leaves hints now and then but never judges the parents of these overprotected young girls.
One can recognize in THE VIRGIN SUICIDES the light influence of F. F. Coppola and his video experiments in certain scenes that remind me at times of one the masterpieces he directed : ONE FROM THE HEART. But all in all, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is a superb first movie of a new director one will soon hear from again. The cast is also outstanding with a special word for Kathleen Turner and James Woods who impersonate the Lisbon parents in a magistral manner.
A DVD zone your library.

The Zap Gun
The Zap Gun
by Philip K. Dick
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SF NOVELS OPUS FIFTEEN, 19 Feb. 2003
This review is from: The Zap Gun (Paperback)
THE ZAP GUN reminded me a lot of another PKD novel published in the same year 1965 : DR. BLOODMONEY. In both novels, one can find material for at least four or five other books but infortunately the different themes don't get along very well in the same novel.
In THE ZAP GUN, the main theme is political and has already been treated the year before in THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH : humanity is clearly separated in two fractions, people who know the Truth and people who don't know it. If you happen to know it, you will be extracted from the common masses and belong to the ruling class. Another themes treated are a treacherous alien invasion, Empathy that will maybe save the world and cause the alien to depart, tragic romances and pharmaceutics. In fact, nothing very new for the PKD faithful fan. But remember ! an under-average book from Philip K. Dick is still better than the majority of today SF production and always offers 4 or 5 hours of sheer intellectual pleasure.
A book for ultra-hard PKD fans. Like me.

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