Archive for the ‘Rating – 2 1/2 Stars’ category

Fatal Attraction (Adrian Lyne, 1987)


Just a few flaws about plot:  boiling rabbit, abduction of child from school (mind you), you got the attack in Close’s apartment between Douglas and Close.  Where are the police in all this?  They don’t materialize until the end.  Dramatic tension was building but this giant gaffe sinks the story just a little.  Its a barnburner and one I still can’t turn off if its on (probably seen it 20 times, gulp).  Michael Douglas at his high point and adulterous men at their low point.

** 1/2 / ***** (used to be *** 1/2 / ***** before this realization)

The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan, 2008)



1.   Worst direction in the performance of extras – many instances of smiling children at the time of worst peril.
2.   Worst moment in film history– Wahlberg singing the Doobie Brothers’ Black Water.
3.   Worst diffusing comic banter of any disaster film ever made.
4.   Second Worst moment film history– Wahlberg’s conversation with the plant.
5.   Best looking leads (Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel) who maintain fine apparel and pristine makeup throughout the calamity.
6.   Most disinteresting and superficial insertion of marital problems in a complete failed attempt at story narrative.
7.   The worst case of “I cannot believe what I am watching here” ever.
8.   Worst case of counting down the minutes to the end of the film.
9.   Worst line ever written – “there is something ‘exorcisty’ about her.”
10.   Poor Betty Buckley – she seems to be an underused actress and is pretty jolting in her brief appearance.
11.   1:16 – worst marital reconciliation in the face of certain death
12.   The end – the best ending ever because it ended this disaster.

1/2 * / *****


This has become a guilty pleasure.  I start to get the humor in this film, incidental or not.  Every time its on Directv, I tune in.  This could be the Fatal Attraction of 2008!

** 1/2 / *****

The Bridge (Eric Steel, 2006)



A little bit of gonzo doc!

From IMDb:

“The documentary caused significant controversy when Eric Steel revealed that he had tricked the Golden Gate Bridge committee into allowing him to film the bridge for months and had captured 23 suicides which took place during the filming phase of the project.  In his permit application to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Steel said he intended “to capture the powerful, spectacular intersection of monument and nature that takes place every day at the Golden Gate Bridge.”
 Steel interviewed relatives of the suicide victims, not informing them that he had footage of their loved ones’ deaths. Later, he claimed that “the family members now, at this point, have seen the film, [and are] glad that they participated in it.”
 The filmmakers captured 23 of the 24 known Golden Gate suicides in 2004.”

The film opens with a beautiful montage toggling between tourists and would be victims competing for space on the Golden Gate Bridge.  There is early emotion and eerie juxtaposition of witness testimony and bucolic nature scenes in San Francisco.  The eyewitness accounts are very effective early on and the family member accounts so creepy, sad and very difficult to watch.  Heartbreaking to hear these folks describe, in detail, the nature of the victims’ behavior up until death.  

However; the stories, given the nature of the affliction these poor people suffer, turns out completely unsurprising and this is the biggest fault of the film – the filmmakers forgot the distinction between making a film about suicide and making a film about a bridge where people commit the act.  And in between dramatic bits we get rather stock footage of the bridge at its eerie best – fog, wind, rain, whatnot.  And the sound editing, well….(technically the film is a disappointment).

15 minutes in the filmmakers build the blocking of shots to allow the viewer to slowly adjust to the projective of the bridge in all its massiveness.  But I wanted to see more history of the bridge – the history of what had taken place.  30 minutes in I am ready for a new story.  The prophetic observations of the victim when he visited the bridge for the 1st time fell flat.  In the last 1/3 of the film it’s still engrossing particularly the details of victims’, friends’ and families’ plight (other than two interviews with friends who acted oddly complicit).  The woman preparing for another chance to illegally give a friend prescription medication and trying to talk him out of doing himself in is genuinely unhinged.

** 1/2 / *****