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Amari S (nl) wrote: Overview: A period drama in which a woman decides between slightly boring but dependable, and a talented, slightly erratic, artist.Trigger Warning(s): Scene of attempted rapeReview (with Spoilers)It has been almost a year since I have last seen an Emily Browning movie, and while I could have certainly watched Pompei, I didn't want to since it seemed so bleh. However, with Summer in February I thought this was going to be a cute period drama, something which could work well for Browning since she seems destined, due to her porcelain doll looks, to be in quite a few British period dramas. But with her not having the best record when it comes to movies, at least with me, does this one continue the trend or break it?Characters & StoryAfter having a fight with her father about a man who was the perfect match for her, Florence (Emily Browning) runs away to live with her brother Joey (Max Deacon) in the pursuit of not just getting away from their father, but also to paint. And what better a place to end up for with the great AJ Munnings (Dominic Cooper) sharing the same circle as Joey, as well as Harold Knight (Shaun Dingwall), there are many possible teachers and mentors in town. Though it seems with Florence's beauty, these artist would prefer her to replace local model Dolly (Mia Austen) over really providing tutelage. So she has to force the point she came to learn to paint.However, in the pursuit of justifying her stay to her father, she ends up attracting two men. The first being AJ, the wild and passionate painter, and then Gilbert (Dan Stevens) who is this calm, cool, and collected military man. And while the film, at first, presents Florence as a girl who isn't looking for love, just good company, knowledge, and maybe someone to match wits with, she soon falls for one of these boys and the quality of the film falls with it.PraiseAs noted in the introduction, Browning certainly has the perfect look for a period drama. Add in the right amount of cheekiness she possesses in her voice, as well as a look which screams naivety, innocence, and perhaps privilege, and I think you have a prime candidate for a Jane Austen adaptation. However, in terms of this story, while Austen-esque sarcasm isn't on display, for the first 40 or so minutes Browning is quite a sight and her character Florence seems like someone who demands to be taken seriously. With this you are presented a rather interesting picture in which a woman seems to not mind male attention, even enjoys it a bit, but seems committed to becoming a better artist over anything else. Which, for me, I thought was a perfect direction for the film. Though with it being based on a true story, and set in the early 1900s, I should have knew it was too good to be true.CriticismIf just because, unfortunately, with Florence falling in love, or perhaps more so in great admiration, her story as an artist slips away as she ends up a love interest. One who seemingly picked the wrong man, slowly loses reason to draw, and becomes a bore to watch. Mostly due to all her wit, and any sense of moxy, just disappearing. Making the hour after she becomes married, at first, a bit interesting since we see her deal with insecurities and what not, but after a while things feel like they are just dragging on and it makes you wish what happened in those first 40 minutes still was going on rather than the mess you are left with.Overall: TV ViewingDespite rarely giving any Emily Browning film an overall positive review, I do remain a fan. Not just because I think she is attractive either, if anything I think it is because she certainly has talent, but the issue is she doesn't find films which are good throughout. They start off strong but once the drama starts to really kick in, usually the film falls apart. Which is what leads to the TV Viewing label for this film since the film started good, not strong but good, and I liked seeing Browning use her great ability to seem vulnerable, a bit cheeky, and certainly someone who could hold her own against not just the male gaze, but all the talent around her. However, once she got diminished to a love interest it was all downhill. Her life became about who her husband may have been with, her wondering if she made the right decision, and then her wanting to escape from her husband. All making for the type of drama done far too much for this film to not put any effort into trying to stand out and make things interesting.
Sosanya J (mx) wrote: This documentary was informative, especially for consumers of mainstream American press who may have not been exposed to this perspective. It comes off as pretty biased, with a definite viewpoint, but no one said a documentary had to be objective. The American media certainly isn't. The perspective is from those whose voices are not commonly featured- Latino immigrants from a diversity of countries. Some nuances about the impact of immigrant migration and the consequences of U.S. foreign policy were not explored or even mentioned, but the documentary does a good job of sparking enough interest to encourage further reading. Which really was the point. The viewer is being encouraged to not make assumptions about immigrants before becoming more knowledgeable about the history and factors that have created the current immigration situation. The art direction is really wonderful. Images pop off of the screen, and there are some really nice statistics and captions that drive the point home.
Jesse O (it) wrote: I really liked this movie, I can't quite put my finger on what it is I liked, but I was intrigued by the subject matter. Detective movies, like heist and capers, tend to be really boring movies for me unless, obviously, the movie is outstanding. I just feel that most of these movies are dependent on the reveal of what is actually going on at the end, so you have to wait for two hours of an uninteresting story and hope that the reveal is good enough to where it would redeem the entire movie. This movie is sort of like that but it adds the twist that Bun (yes that is his name) can see a person's inner personality. It's a nice little twist, that could've been used better, but it adds a little bit of intrigue to the story and there's some funny moments as well so that helps. I also liked how the movie built up to the final gunfight and how important it felt within the context of the movie. That's something not a lot of movies can do, where it just feels like they're shooting at each other for the fuck of it. It also helps that Ching Wan Lau is delightfully wacky and loony in his role. Overall this is a really good and unique take on a tired genre.
John W (us) wrote: Clear-eyed, interesting documentary about a genuine free-love hippy commune and its residents. Watch as young, naked, and dirty idealists with wavy dark locks transform into white-haired, retirement-age pragmatists with real jobs and typical middle class lives. Affecting not just for its portrayal of the loss of innocence and erosion of youthful idealism but also for the glimpse at the reality of the dreams that so many once entertained -- and in some cases still do.
Lissa (fr) wrote: Not too bad of a movie. Was surprised to see Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker in it. The Awful Truth was crazy! I would definitely get cut eating there. The plot isn't really original but it was kind of interesting. You knew they were going to finally meet and after awhile you probably didn't really care if they did.No such thing as Mr. Perfect, just Mr. He'll Do Because Life is Too Short.
Kami B (gb) wrote: This movie had serious potential. However as is...Disappointing- at best. Good idea just poorly executed.
Tyler M (ru) wrote: Cut! Tito. Didn't feel like laughing, did ya? Well... It's... Ummmm... Hmmmm... I think... I don't know. The Story: A chaotic day on the set of a no-budget film... That's about it. It takes place throughout the course of filming three scenes, only two of which are real... I think... It's a little confusing, and may warrant a second viewing if you can take it. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it doesn't go anywhere and it's got no real story. Like Four Rooms, it's just a lot of chaos, making this one yet another love it or hate it film. One thing to be said about this film though is that it isn't without style. Within' the first forty minutes of the film, you'll see 4 distinct styles ranging from scratchy black and white to vibrant colors. While the film goes virtually nowhere in it's hour and a half, it does have an interesting if not eccentric sense of humor, a dwarf in a dream sequence, a cocky actor, a pretentious cinematographer, a self conscious actress, an overwhelmed director, and a crazy mother who's somehow managed to wander onto the set only after claiming the ability to walk through solid objects... And more. The Cast: Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney, James LeGros... Steve Buscemi is Nick Reve, the director. His world is falling apart with every take. He gives a good performance and it's always nice to see him in a leading role, but this isn't his best work *cough*Ghost World*cough*... Catherine Keener is Nicole Springer, the actress. She gives a great performance, but as with Buscemi this is far from her greatest role. Dermot Mulroney is Wolf, the cinematographer. He's got problems of his own, one of the more humorous characters to be found here, he could easily steal the show if there was a show to actually steal. A great (if not cheesy) performance from him. James LeGros is Chad Palomino, the actor. Trying to "get the creative juices flowing" in more than one way. He gives a good performance, but he's the most unlikable character here and you'll only see him for little bit. One to Five Scale: 3 Not bad if you know what you're getting into, fans of Buscemi will love his performance, but others should definitely rent first and buy later. Tyler
Terri H (us) wrote: No thankyou - Not interested
Harry W (ca) wrote: Although On Deadly Ground had no positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and 24 negative, its semi-ensemble cast and the fact that it was directed by Steven Seagal pushed me to watch it. Steven Seagal considers the film On Deadly Ground to feature the most important moment of his career where he gives a long environmental speech at the end, so it is clearly a film he is proud of while not many others are proud to watch it because many people consider it to be a vanity project of his disguised as a social statement. So that is what I was prepared for, but the one thing that I was not so much prepared for was the quality of the script. On Deadly Ground is Steven Seagal's Citizen Kane as it is a project that he has directed, produced and starred it. The one thing he did not do was write the script, and coincidentally the script is the weakest aspect of the film because the dialogue is just awful. Full of deadbeat lines and cliches, On Deadly Ground supplies nothing to its cast and wastes many talents. Some actors actually work through it, but it is hard to survive a script as bad as the one in On Deadly Ground. The collaboration between Ed Horowitz and Rubin U. Russin shows that neither of them can write dialogue or handle a decent story sensibly, and one wonders if each person was put in charge of each of these two script aspects while forgetting to collaborate together. On Deadly Ground doesn't write up the finest story either.The context of the story is poor. The first scene in the movie shows Forrest Taft blowing up an oil rig to put out its fire. I know this is the appropriate way to so it because somebody told me on the way back, but the film does not explain how this works and on the surface it is ridiculous to put out a fire by blowing something up so it sounds like an unintentional comedic theme, and the moment when Forrest Taft stands in front of an explosion looking the other way is a serious action movie cliche which gives it a generic start. And although it didn't bother me, apparently protagonist Forrest Taft is a former high level CIA operative but the film never explains this and leaves him as another random action hero who hasn't got his background explained. It would explain his confidence in blowing up oil rigs, but I had to learn it from the back of a DVD cover which is weird.And although the story uses Eskimo culture as a theme, it touches upon it simply on surface level without going into depth with it, focusing simply on the places they live in and the naked women of such ethnicity. It captures the stereotypical visual aspects of the culture but is too unintelligent to actually look into the culture and plays it off as an expendable commodity.Some scenes just don't make sense such as when MacGruder randomly begins smashing the cupboards and pulling the dishes out of the washer that belong to Hugh Palmer while his partner Otto tortures and murders him. Why was Doctor Cox throwing dishes around? I don't know.Lastly, despite attempting to be a story about nature, the writing in the film barely emphasises it. The negative way that antagonist Michael Jennings' actions are affecting the environment are barely referenced and instead On Deadly Ground attempts to make itself a nature story by splicing in random moments of Steven Seagal fighting wolves and bears as well as a lot of random nature scenery. It is left to the implications but left out of the story, so On Deadly Ground touches upon its environmental theme worse than its Eskimo theme, so its desperate attempts to try do nothing but prolong he the film with appealing but pointless imagery. I'll admit that I like the sight of animals and that Steven Seagal harnesses some excellently beautiful scenery for his film which keeps it up ok a larger scale and makes it a mostly convincing story, but there are random moments of scenery which contribute nothing to the story.Steven Seagal doesn't do too bad in his independent feature, but a large scale film and a $50 million budget is too much weight to place upon his shoulders. Steven Seagal is an inexperienced director, so his debut feature can not coincide as a film about the importance of the environment and a serious action film which proves to be its secondary ultimate flaw. I will give it to him that it isn't bad because many people have done a lot worse in their directional debuts, and he does make On Deadly Ground entertaining in parts while delivering quality action, but the weak material is simply not what he was ready for. If Steven Seagal started with smaller profile work then he could make a good action film which is bad in other areas, but due to the large scale of On Deadly Ground and the way it desperately attempts to touch upon so much when it is rooted in poor writing, it is not something that Steven Seagal can save. I can admire him for trying and I would say that the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director that he won was more deserved at Oliver Stone for directing the awful Natural Born Killers which is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and the prestigious Razzie award should instead have gone to the script. Many people discredit Steven Seagal, but I saw his potential as a film director in On Deadly Ground and while it wasn't the best film, it is by far one of his most underrated films.Overall, I half enjoyed On Deadly Ground because from an action perspective, it wasn't too bad. Although the quantity of action isn't really enough, the quality of the action in On Deadly Ground is impressive. There is plenty of blood and explosions without going overboard, and with all the awesome shootouts, fight scenes and tactical ways of killing the enemies that Forrest Taft executes, Steven Seagal kicks some major ass. It is all captured with some firm cinematography and strong editing against the backdrop of a strong musical score, so On Deadly Ground delivers the action and had some fine technical qualities which makes it a decent visual experience even it it's a shallow one.The only real bad visual aspect is the occasional use of slow motion effects. It isn't excessive, but it's notable and the quality of it is weak.And when it comes down to the cast, some of the actors simply cannot shine while others manage to do it just fine.It's not hard for anyone to say that Steven Seagal is not a great actor. He is convincing as an action hero due to his extensive aikido training and as an environmental hero due to his legacy as an outspoken environmentalist, but as an Eskimo he is simply not convincing. He makes a half assed attempt at an Eskimo accent which is so weak that it almost isn't there, and yet it is and it is reinforced by the style of the jacket he wears. Granted I'm not too familiar with the accent, but it is clear that what Steven Seagal spoke with the tongue of was not the right answer. Once you're able to make it past that, that is when you realise that the true fault in his performance is the way he reacts in intense situations for his character. When he tries to act intense, his physical acting is mostly ok but his facial expressions refuse to change and his line delivery has excessive restraint on it which keeps him out of touch with himself. His only redeeming moment is his final speech. Although a widely criticised moment, I admired it because Steven Seagal stepped out of the character Forrest Taft and said something which he generally cared about as a person. For this one moment, Steven Seagal is the actual Steven Seagal without his action movie facade or his cocky demeanour. Although his final lines aren't great because the script is dull, it is at its finest moment during Steven Seagal's monologue simply because you can tell that he really has passion for what he is saying. Despite it being nothing but another vain attempt to reconnect with the vague environmental theme of the film, it is one of Steven Seagal's finest moments in delivering lines. So Steven Seagal does enough to pass.Joan Chen doesn't deliver all that much either. Although she has proved to be a fine actress in works such as the TV series Twin Peaks, her acting in On Deadly Ground is so repetitive and unimpressive that it is easy to forget that she is even in the film. By the end of On Deadly Ground I had completely forgotten of her existence in the film and in comparison to all the other actors, she just faded away. On Deadly Ground pretty much doesn't even have her in it but she isn't especially bad so she doesn't really deserve a Golden Raspberry Award nomination. But it is hard to remember Joan Chen's presence in On Deadly Ground whatsoever.But the rest of the cast prove to do a decent job.Michael Caine is a very convincing antagonist in On Deadly Ground. He's proven before that he can play a character mercilessly in the 1971 British crime thriller Get Carter, and in On Deadly Ground he returns to that notion for the part of antagonist Michael Jennings, the ruthless CEO archetype. Yet the thing that elevates him beyond the role is the fact that it is Michael Caine in the role. The high profile Academy Award winning actor had a difficult time finding roles in the 1990's and On Deadly Ground is an example of one of the limited roles he could get. But he completely nails the part. Without stopping to think about the script, he just delivers his line with fierce aggression which makes him more than convincing. He is the one actor able to make the script not sound so bad because he takes a lot from it and makes a memorable villain, elevating On Deadly Ground above potentially being too melodramatic.But the most impressive actor in the film is John C. Mcginley. The actor who is recognised nationally for his hilarious long running role as Doctor Cox on the comedy series Scrubs takes his charismatic aggressive persona and pushes it over the edge in On Deadly Ground so that he goes into very convincingly intimidating territory. I was very impressed with him because you can tell that many of his lines are weak and he doesn't try to change that. He simply delivers them so strongly that it is hard to notice it. I mean, if you study his performance very closely you can tell that the material is terrible, but he says the words so naturally that it is easy to miss. John C. McGinley's performance is impressive and proves just what kind of talent he has on board years before he went on Scrubs, and his intimidating demeanour is fiercely strong in grabbing the attention of viewers. I feel like any fan of Scrubs should watch On Deadly Ground for his performance if nothing else, because it is actually one of his finest film performances to date, and if he can work with bad material so well then good material should earn him many awards. John C. McGinley is thoroughly impressive in On Deadly Ground.R. Lee Ermey is also a good touch simply as his legacy as a soldier and the fact that On Deadly Ground capitalises on that, even though it gives him too little screen time to do so.So despite On Deadly Ground having a terrible script and Steven Seagal's direction being unable to balance the story's intended themes with a good quantity of action, it is a mostly well acted feature which is visually great and boasts some awesome action scenes.
Jason A (ag) wrote: Great story, good movie. Suffers from poor editing and some bad casting. Mickey is good but seems to be dialing it in for the most part. He has some excellent scenes with Bob Hoskins, but the rest of the cast comes across as way over the top (save Liam Neeson).
Sharon N (mx) wrote: This remains my favourite movie of the decade. I've watched it over and over again and never get sick of it. Strong performances from so many in the cast. Just magic. Christian Bale was brilliant, truly transformed. He's one of the best actors out there. I knew he was going to be great the first time I saw him in that amazing movie Empire of the Sun. 5/5
Avery M (gb) wrote: Everything about Citizen Kane is film done the right way, even 75 years after the fact.
John F (us) wrote: What a horrible movie. The twist at the end makes no sense, its abrupt and answers nothing. I have never yelled so many times "GO GET A GUN". The movie is full of bad script writing and terrible plot twists. Only watch this if you are EXTREMELY inebriated
vincent s (gb) wrote: It has great actors, but the story line did not develop the characters in the movie. It seemed like they wanted to put so much into it that no scene lasted long enough to develop the character's relationships.
Jud W (jp) wrote: not really a bad movie like some people make out but still a major step down from its previous movie, the more kid friendly version of conan is still an enjoyment that even with its faults remains a classic adventure film if you can take it for what it is rather then what it is not.