(nl) wrote: Living in in California can be described as a great place to be. With its large cities, wide variety of tourist spots, and historical culture, it's no wonder why California has often been considered one of the greatest places to be in the United States of America. This is especially very important when it comes to the educational system in California. All of the universities located in California are well known, and are some of the best that the state has to offer. However, what happens when a person wants to attend a Californian university so badly, he'll do anything to get in? That is the premise for the 2002 comedy "Orange County", starring Colin Hanks and Jack Black. Here, a distraught teen does everything he can to try and get into Stanford, a highly recognized university in California. And the end result just sucks. There are a lot of issues with the movie, and that makes the film falter for them. "Orange County" is a unique mess of a movie that tries to be funny, but fails due to awful characters and a short story.In fact, the story involves teenager Shawn (Hanks) desperately wanting to be a writer, as well as getting into Stanford. His life, on the other hand, includes dumb friends, a hysterical mother, a deadbeat dad, and a drugged out brother (Black). It only gets worse when Shawn gets a rejection letter from Stanford, crushing his dreams entirely. Now, Shawn must do everything he can think of in order to get himself admitted into Stanford."Orange County" is a bad film that suffers from a wide variety of problems. The story for this film feels tired and beaten down; it almost acts like some did not put in a lot of effort in writing this script. Mostly because the dialogue in this movie has a bunch of pop culture lingo from the early 200's that makes the movie sound dated. This, in turn, can be attributed to the cast, who provide the biggest problem with the film. Everyone portrays idiots here, and despite the movie having some big names- Chevy Chase, Lilly Tomlin, John Lithgow, etc.- they all play dumb people who have problems of their own, and do not have a clear understanding on how the world works. An in some cases, like Chase, Tomlin, and even Gary Marshall, and Harold Ramis, are just there to provide quick cameos in order to get a paycheck. Even Jack Black plays this idiotic moron addicted to drugs, and he stays that way throughout the entirety of the film. The point is the characters should have been wither written better, or given a better motivation as to why they are here.But wait, there's more! The pacing of this movie goes by really quickly, and there are moments that happen within an instant of each other. In fact, the whole production feels like a made for TV movie, which is ironic considering that MTV co-produced the film. The music, while not a bad selection, features contemporary hits of the time and there's no actual orchestrated moments within the running time of the movie. All of this feels dragged and disjointed, and most of all, unnecessary, which adds to the tedium of an already tedious movie.Despite all this, there are two good things that can be said about the movie. For one thing, the direction from Jake Kasdan is admirable at best, because there are a lot of things happening, and he does manage to control the entire production. Secondly, Colin Hanks does give out a decent performance, despite the completely moronic supporting cast. But everything else about this film does not work.In conclusion, "Orange County" is just a lame mess that makes you not want to attend a Californian university, and go somewhere else.
(gb) wrote: After he officially retired from directing, Ingmar Bergman wrote this screenplay about his parents ... their meeting, marriage and early life together. Billie August, straight from "Pelle the Conqueror" with Max Von Sydow, was chosen to direct. Von Sydow appears as Bergman's maternal grandfather. August's wife Pernilla stars as Bergman's mother Anna. The couple come from very different socio-economic backgrounds, so both families oppose the marriage. Anna is advantaged and somewhat spoiled, so she has difficulty adjusting to a life as the wife of a rural preacher. Bergman's father Henrik comes from a background of extreme poverty and nurses a deep hurt that lashes out at others when conflict arises. The version I watched is the 3 hour feature, edited down from 5 1/2 hour version originally aired on Swedish television. Everything about this is top notch, from the performances to the production design to the direction.