Noby's Movie Reviews
by Noby Nobriga

Totally Awesome, 2006
Totally Aweful.

King Kong, 2005
Way too much fighting on the island.  "Hurry up and fall from the building, already."  Too many computers.  Not that great.

Forbidden Planet, 1956
Send people into space.  Send others to check in with them.  Find them all dead, save two.  It's unbelievable to me that this movie was created in the 1950s because of the wonderful special effects and science.  The special effects here are many times better than more recent movies.  Except for a very few aspects, it's not overburdened with datedness.  A great classical Greek sci-fi drama.

American Dreamz, 2006
It tries too hard to be two different movies. If it would concentrate on one theme (American Idol spoof or political satire), then it might be
all right to pretty good. We're given the most (relatively) complex character development with Omer, but the evolution is way too brief.
We're too busy bouncing around between all of these uninteresting, one-dimensional characters (some more than others) that we have no time
to care about anyone. We have no reason to care about Martin or Sally. They're just unlikable. To me, the entire movie feels like a group of
people locked themselves in a room and scribbled out a script in an overnight marathon writing session. The sun begins to rise and they need
an ending, quick. So, they slap something on that one could only imagine as brilliant at the crack of dawn while deprived of sleep. It has a few
moments and lines here and there. But, just here and there, and just a few. It's got good people in it. But, it's not that good itself.  Good people.  Bad movie.

Insomnia, 1997
A pretty good thriller from Norway.  A detective and his partner setup a trap to catch a murderer.  The detective accidently shoots his partner and tries to cover it up.  The suspect witnesses the killing.  And, everything takes place in the Land of the Midnight Sun.  Good direction, great dialogue, and a guilty conscience.  A great movie.  (Norwegian and Swedish with subtitles).

Election, 1999
The race for student body president and an obnoxious overachiever turns a teacher's life into decadence and chaos.  Very funny.  It took me six years to see this movie.  In that time, I saw other movies and grew to like and enjoy Reese Witherspoon.  But, this movie made me fall in love with Reese Witherspoon.  A really great movie.

Flirting, 1991
In Australia, a boy in a boarding school meets a new girl from across the lake, they fall for each other.  Well, it's just about as simple as that, and you can guess the numerous things that they might do.  A couple of scenes are a little arousing... To complicate things a little, she's black and he's white.  And, although in many places you find the synopsis of the movie to be more about interracial relationship prejudice, that's minor and almost a non-issue.  It's more about, simply, young love, including all of the obstacles.  Oh, Nicole Kidman plays a minor role.  A very enjoyable movie.  (Australian with subtitles.)

Fröken Sverige (Miss Sweden), 2004
Getting walked all over is never fun.  Fitting in with her protesting, vegan friends is more work than natural for Moa.  Conflict erupts between them when she finds out that they think of her as a silly cartoon character.  As well, she has trouble maintaining normal relationships with men.  A good and funny movie.  Directorial debut for Tova Magnusson-Norling, and starring the lovely, and very talented, Alexandra Dahlström.  Well-directed.  My favorite performers are Alexandra (Moa) and Leo Hallerstam (Jens).  I like it a lot. (Swedish with subtitles.)

Roadie, 1980
Nice guy Meat Loaf plays nice guy Travis Redfish who falls into a roadie job. Lots of horrible 70s cookie-cutter, stereotyped, one-dimensional, plastic characters bound about. Including one of the sub-plots to the love story sub-plot: Groupie-chick Meat likes wants to lose her virginity to Alice Cooper. I think I just made the movie sound more interesting than it really is. There's nothing good about this movie except two things.

1. It has a number of famous people (However, they don't even play interesting parts or are interesting).
2. Blondie fights with a bunch of midgets.

Of course, I'm biased. Blondie is really the only reason I watched the movie. And, I'm glad I did. I got to see Blondie being cool. But everything not Blondie is crap. Blondie performs "Ring of Fire." Cut out everything except for the Blondie stuff and package that stuff as some obscure Blondie release, and you'd have something good. However, that's not what this is. This is a bad movie along the lines of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

10, 1979
Dudley Moore and Bo Derek. The classic. To me, the classic bore. Dudley is with Julie Andrews (this was her "return" movie), and goes through a mid-life crisis with Bo Derek. The only interesting things about the movie is you get to see Bo Derek naked, other miscellaneous chicks naked, and Julie Andrews is sexy and curses. Even the mother of all dirty words. That's it. Other than that, nothing but tedious boredom. Did I mention it was a boring movie? Mr. Sellers, should've just stuck with La Pantera Rosa.

Midnight Cowboy, 1969
An all right movie. A lot of references are made to this movie. It has some good scenes and the story is a little interesting. A naive male prostitute tries to make it in New York and tries to help his new friend get better. A good ending. All right.

Easy Rider, 1969
Simply, a boring movie that meanders. Nothing interesting except perhaps the ending. Though, it's only slightly interesting because it's abrupt and nonsensical. A couple of hog ridin' dudes head to New Orleans with some weed. Not good.

Ponette, 1996
If you want to see a movie that is very sad (and perhaps depressing). If you want to see a movie with a four-year-old girl (Victoire Thivisol) who can really act (I'm talking about the complete opposite of Baby Geniuses). If you want to see a great movie that you might just want to see once. See this movie. A four-year-old girl must come to terms with the fact that her mother died in a car wreck and is not coming back. It's got a French ending. A lot of people would probably argue that the whole movie is just trying to "force an emotion" onto you. I would disagree. I don't like attempts at "forced emotion." A great movie. (French with subtitles).

The Passion of the Christ, 2004
The Passion of the Christ is one big glass of tea. There is some ice in there. However, they're all different shapes. Some are cubes. Some are crescent-shaped. Others are cylindrical with holes through them. A bit of crushed ice swims around, too. Someone tries to stir the tea vigorously with a blender. At the same time, the tea-maker is dumping in five-pound bags of sugar one after the other. Eventually, a little more than two hours later, the blender is turned off. There's some remnants of a few pieces of ice still hanging around, though you can't quite tell if they were once cubes, crescents, or some of shape. They're not able to cool the tea much anymore. Most of the sugar dumped in has not been able to dissolve, but, instead, has settled into a huge mound at the bottom of the glass. Even that little extra bit of sugar that dissolved when the water was still warm has come out. The tea looks more syrupy, now. But, someone picks up the glass and gulps down almost every drop of the tea and half of the mound of sugar. Now, there is a glass still with sugar filling the bottom. Sprinkles of un-dissolved sugar along one side of the glass on the inside. A small lump of ice still sits in the bottom. And, a tiny bit of tea just won't let go of the bottom edge of the glass. The drinker states, "Mmm! That's the sweetest tea I ever drank!"

So, I must ask: Were you drinking for the sugar or the tea?

Vaudeville, 1997
A documentary about the lost arts and world of vaudeville. Not a terribly great documentary. For me, it stay just interesting enough. It can teach you some things and you can see some things. The things they show weren't all terribly funny, though there was some comedy now and then. Overall, informative. You don't get any words from any of the big shots of the time. Mostly just their names mentioned. You learn about funny people you never heard of. Don't see it unless you are interested in vaudeville or such things. You'll just get really bored. An all right documentary.

Kissing Jessica Stein, 2001
A story about a woman out of "man-luck" who takes a chance at "something new" and finds someone great. Indie. Everyone in it is indie. In almost a bad way, but just short of bad, I think. I like the actress/writer in the lead. A typical romantic comedy about relationships. Includes a "blind dates gone bad" montage. Not a movie guys would normally be interested in... No guys, really, you wouldn't be interested... An all right movie.

The Good Girl, 2002
Jennifer Aniston in a wonderful role. A married woman unhappy, seeks a little more from life than monotony and finds it in a young man who seems to be a little bit off center causing her to make decisions she never dreamed she would have to make. Jennifer Aniston is one of my favorite actresses, if not my very favorite. A little melancholy. Though it seems a bit passé to say, it is interesting and enjoyable to see Jennifer play a "bad girl" role. I can't really divide the film into components, but, as a whole, I see it as a good average film worth a try with some interesting events within. But, if you care about Jennifer Aniston at all, it's a "must-see." A great movie.

Lost in Translation, 2003
Excellent. I really like The Virgin Suicides, but I think this is Sophia's best. A B or C-List actor from California makes a few commercials in Tokyo, where he's popular. He's not very enthused. He meets someone else from the States who is in a gray mood. The two form a relationship connected by the melancholy lives into which each has married. With each other, they're able to find a little joy in the middle of their seemingly dreary lives. From the beginning, even watching the mysterious trailers, I fell in love with the environment, this skewed Bob and Charlotte view of Tokyo. Like many people may turn up trance grooves and somewhat "zone out," I can play this movie and drift away within my head. Watching this movie feels like I'm drifting through night-time, floating along comfortably and well-rested, with a smile somewhere in me. I can't see it or pull it out, but I know it's there. A little like nitrous oxide in a darkened room. Dreamy. Funny, not hilarious. And that's exactly how this movie should be. Not pretentious like my reviews. And, not trying too hard. She hit it. An excellent movie.

Fucking Åmål (Show Me Love), 1998
In the small town of Åmål, Sweden, two girls fall in love. I'll use a word that is a bit of the most overused word to describe anything with teenagers in it: angst. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of Welcome to the Dollhouse. But, they're not similar. To me, this is much, much better. A lot of hand-held work. Some great (translated) dialog. Is and looks indie and low-budget, but in a good way. Certainly has a fan following (as do the actresses). An excellent movie. (Swedish with subtitles. I find Swedish intriguing.)

Love Story, 1970
The classic. He's the rich boy and she's the poor girl. It's a story of love. Heartswells and heartaches. Directed by Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak, Outrageous Fortune, Married To It, The Babe), starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal. A great movie.

Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past), 2002
Directed by Aki Kaurismaki (Leningrad Cowboys Go America, Ariel), in the vein of Ariel, the story of a man who gets beat up, then is put down, has to deal with crap after crap, meets a woman and ends up in an all right place. All with no change of expression. He just stands up and moves on. It almost seems depressing, but you know that things were once worse. Humor so dry, Hawkeye Pierce can be seen crawling through the Sahara in search of a dry martini. After all, it's Finnish. A good movie. Uplifting in a sort of dreary gray way (like Ariel). (Finnish with subtitles.)

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie), 2001
It looks French. But it's great! Artfully directed with a very interesting story around a very interestingly pretty girl who finds happiness for herself while making others happy. It's good in spite of being French. (French with subtitles.)

All Quiet on the Western Front, 1930
An excellent movie if you're one of them war protesters. A great movie if you can appreciate early cinema. Young men with misguided dreams go off to war to die. Excellent battle scenes. Some of the best work I've ever seen in action and war movies. A good classic film (in terrible technical quality). (Black and white.)

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