toxiemite's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Return
The Return (2004)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Those of you who actually read my reviews will know that I am generous with my praise of films... but that said, I rarely consider a film to be perfect. I have just watched one such film; The Return. This Russian film tells the story of two brothers who were raised by their mother. After a 10 year absence their father returns from out of the blue and takes them away on a short holiday. The boys don't know where they are going and are apprehensive of this stranger who has just entered their lives. He is strict and merciless and puts the two sons to the ultimate test. Isolated in the wilderness the three of them hardly communicate and live off the bare necessities. This is a haunting and stark moviegoing experience. So much is left unsaid and frustration plays an overwhelming part in the journey. I imagine a lot of viewers will hate it though but I won't mention why. Cinematically its beautiful. Every shot is perfectly framed and gentle pans slowly sweep across the landscapes. The tone is grey, wet and dreary adding a sombre mood to an already gloomy story. It's superbly acted and adding a sad note to a beautiful film is that fact that the actor who played the eldest brother drowned only days after finishing the film. He never got to see it finished. His performance is elevated.

The Lady
The Lady (2012)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In 2006 French director Luc Besson announced his retirement and vowed that 'Arthur and the Invisibles' was his final film... and then he made Arthur 2... and then Arthur 3... and well, I guess he just got the bug and thought "to hell with retirement!!!". If anything, his readiness to ditch retirement emphasises his passion for film making and strengthens his resolve. His most recent film is The Lady, a biopic about Aung San Suu Kyi who has spent the past few decades fighting for democracy in Burma. Her story is familiar to most who pay attention to foreign affairs and the film gives an accurate and poignant look into her own personal fight. It's an impressive film and Michelle Yeo is rock solid in the lead role. Just as impressive is David Thewlis who played her long suffering husband who is her absolute bedrock. It's a stellar performance from him. This is not a film that Besson pursued and the script was brought to him. Upon reading it he signed on immediately and took on the project as though his own child. Production notes state that he secretly toured Burma in disguise so that everything depicted in the film was accurately done. I have read that his film is very factual and precise and that people close to Aung San Suu Kyi have praised it. She is a remarkable woman and the story of Burma is astonishing. Her fight continues to this day, albeit she is a free woman... nevertheless a sound democracy for Burma is one that demands time. An excellent film.

Permanent Midnight
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Permanent Midnight is based on the autobiography by Jerry Stahl, a Hollywood writer who's life spiralled out of control due to a heroine addiction. At the time he was writing for the tv series ALF he was earning $5000 a week and had a $6000 per week drug habit. His story is legend in Hollywood and his exploits rivalled that of Hunter S Thompson. Ben Still is perfectly cast as Stahl. He looks just like him and his performance is incredible... in fact he has never been better. The film is heavy and some of the scenes of him shooting up are grotesque and difficult to watch... a scene of him injecting heroine into his neck while he sits beside his baby daughter is heartbreaking. The film is also backed with some great support actors such as Maria Bello, Owen Wilson, Charles Fleischer, Janeane Garofolo, Fred Willard and Peter Greene. As the poster suggests, Elizabeth Hurley also stars but she's the weakest link in this chain. I've never considered her a good actor and she is sadly miscast in this one. Nevertheless it's a powerful film and most definitely a rarity for Ben Stiller. He puts his entire being into the role.

Safe
Safe (2012)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I have had many conversations about Jason Statham. He has a screen presence that mesmerises me... even when he makes shit movies, they're still easy to watch. There's just something about him... and his latest is a fast paced mob thriller called Safe. He plays a former cop, turned cage fighter who finds himself on the wrong side of two mobs when he rescues a young Chinese girl who holds the numerical code to a secured safe which both the Triads and Russian Mafia are racing to open. This is mostly a pursuit thriller, packed with violence and loads of car chases. I found the story to be convoluted when it didn't need to be. There's too much happening at once which (for me) was distracting. Statham puts on his cruddy American accent but thankfully he doesn't talk much. LOL. Keeping a level of cred to the film is a support cast of actors like Chris Sarandon, Robert John Burke and James Hong. It's a mediocre affair and not one I would recommend you rush to see... but if you stumble upon it and there's little else to watch then you might just enjoy it for what it is. I was surprised to see Kevin Spacey's name attached as producer...

National Lampoon's Bag Boy
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Once upon a time the National Lampoon's branding was a sure thing when it came to selecting a comedy. Titles like Animal House, Vacation and Class Reunion cemented their cred in the genre... but the cement got soggy and their name all but guaranteed a terrible movie... crud like Golf Punks, Senior Trip and Men In White. Eye Curumba!!!! And every now and then a few half decent ones slip thru the cracks, like Val Wilder, Going The Distance and Homo Erectus. So there you are, I've listed a string of National Lampoon's movies and you get the gist of their schtick (if you didn't already). And so I just watched Bagboy. It's about a supermarket bag boy who, with the guidance of his store manager, competes for the national bagging championships. Stupid stuff but strangely amusing. Watching it reminded me a lot of the Farrelly Brother's movie Kingpin. And then midway through the movie, low and behold, a character from Kingpin shows up and reflects back on events from that movie. WTF? Then I read up to discover that Bagboy was written and directed by the guy who wrote Kingpin and that this is a spin-off of sorts... the same universe and all that. So yeah, it's a stupid movie but has it's moments. Lots of gags miss the mark but enough of them strike bullseye to have kept me watching. It's certainly not worth rushing out to see (as if anyone would) but it is worth your time if you're couch surfing a stumble upon it.