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Description: John Cummings, an unsuccessful cosmetics salesman, has his unpaid-for vehicle stolen by one of the hoods in the employ of Lionel Meadows, the sadistic organizer of a London vehicle conversion racket. The auto was not insured, and since the police appear indifferent to his plight, Cummings decides to search it himself -- and gets himself involved in an underworld battle.
Description: Johannes, a fresh assistant at the university, is asked to deliever reports on an Algerian colleague - who is suspected of being a sleeper. He refuses, but the seed of doubt has been planted. A fragile friendship which is overshadowed by professional and emotional tournament eventually leads to betrayal.
Description: The storyline follows Wang Lung (Paul Muni), a humble farmer, who makes an arranged marriage to a slave, O-Lan (Luise Rainer). The couple's nice struggle is to procure--and then, vs withering odds, keep--a piece of land, ownership of which makes the difference between self-determination and near-slavery. The film's physical production is truly eye-filling, with zone shooting in China providing exterior shots and backdrops (and blending seamlessly with the footage shot in the U.S.). No wonder the nice cinematographer Karl Freund won an Oscar for the photography, which contains an awesomely staged locust plague.
Description: Reportedly the first movie to come out of East Germany to deal openly with gay issues. Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to hold up appearances. One night, by 'accident' he stumbles into a gay bar, meets and promptly falls in love with a young man. Transformed by this love he is no longer scared to face up to who he is.
Description: A storyline based on real-life serial assassin Dennis L. Rader, who systematically tortured and killed his victims for over two decades and evaded the police for over 30 years, all while leading a seemingly normal life as a husband, father, safety officer and church president.
Description: Halloween Night begins as a young man called Chris Vale (Sam Stone) witnesses his mum (Jan Anderson) receive raped & then murdered before being horribly burnt by a jet of steam from a pipe. Jump forward 'Ten Years Later' on 'Halloween Night' where Chris (Scot Nery) is actually locked up inside a mental asylum with a face that looks like a McDonald's hamburger, he escapes & kills teenager Todd (Nicholas Day Clark) & his girlfriend who were on their method to a Halloween party organised by their mate David (Derek Osedach). It just so happens that David is organising this Halloween party in the house where Chris used to live & he heads there dressed in Todd's Halloween costume & everyone mistakes Chris for Todd which lets him transport about freely killing everyone he meets for no apparent reason...
Description: Cremaster 5 (55 min, 1997) is a five-act opera (sung in Hungarian) set in late-ninteenth century Budapest. The last movie in the series, Cremaster 5 represents the moment when the testicles are finally released and sexual differentiation is totally attained. The lamenting tone of the opera suggests that Barney invisions this as a moment of tragedy and loss. The basic hero is the Queen of Chain (played by Ursula Andress). Barney, himself, plays three characters who appear in the mind of the Queen: her Diva, Magician, and Giant. The Wizard is a stand-in for Harry Houdini, who was born in Budapest in 1874 and appears as a recurring hero in the Cremaster cycle.
Description: Beeswax revolves around the private and professional entanglements of twin sisters Jeannie and Lauren – played by extraordinary newcomers Tilly and Maggie Hatcher – living in Austin, Texas. Jeannie co-owns a vintage clothing shop with Amanda, a semi-estranged mate who she fears is trying to end their partnership. Lauren leads a looser, less tethered existence and is considering getting out of the country altogether. When Jeannie receives an mail from Amanda threatening a lawsuit, she calls her law student ex-boyfriend Merrill for help. Eager for distraction from his own problems, he starts supporting the sisters with theirs.
Description: Emily Delahunty is an eccentric British romance novelist who lives in Umbria in central Italy. One day while travelling, the train she is on is bombed by terrorists. After she wakes up in a hospital, she invites three of the another survivors of the disaster to stay at her Italian villa for recuperation. Of these are The General, a retired British Units veteran, Werner, a young German man, and Aimee, a young American woman who has actually become mute after her parents were both killed in the explosion.
Description: Critics and the public tell Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a enjoy she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been the angel for the enjoy and gives her a method out: They are off to a vacation in Rome for his health. He suffers a fatal heart attack on the plane. Mrs. Stone stays in Rome. She leases a superb apartment with a view of the seven hills from the terrace. Then the contessa comes calling to introduce a young boy called Paola to her. The contessa knows many presentable young boys and lonely American widows.
Description: A holocaust survivor actually living as a respected writer in Manhattan is the only person who can identify a suspected Nazi back in his native Austria. When a pretty reporter eager for a scoop tries to lure him back, Geburtig gotta decide whether to confront his past.
Description: Aviva, a hard-working hotel cook in the tiny northern Israeli city of Tiberias, is on the brink of finally fulfilling her lifelong dream. For years she kept her remarkable writing abilities under wraps, until her sister, Anita, introduces her to Oded, an accomplished novelist. Instantly recognizing Aviva's talent, Oded takes her under his wing, promising to support her achieve greatness. But the adventure to greatness results her life and the lives of her family - her unemployed husband, her problem children, her unstable mother, and primarily her sister, a funny and sensitive girl who have her own dreams. When Aviva discovered that Oded has another plans for her work, her globe collapses.
Description: Ms. Isabel Archer isn't scared to challenge societal norms. Impressed by her gratis spirit, her kindhearted cousin writes her into his fatally ill father's will. Suddenly rich and independent, Isabelle ventures into the world, along the method befriending a cynical intellectual and romancing an art enthusiast. However, the advantage of her affluence is named into question when she realizes the extent to which her cash colors her relationships.
Description: Marian Forbes has been having an affair with her boss and when he drops her for other woman. In an act of jealousy and greed she convinces an acquaintance to murder her former lover and then impersonate him just long enough to receive their hands on a huge sum of money.
Description: Handsome Dutchman Stijn is the star of an advertising agency with his buddy Frenk and a hot womanizer. The men begin their own agency and Stijn marries colleague Carmen, who accepts his incurable greed for truly meaningless one-night-stands. Even fatherhood and a transport to the boring country go well, until Carmen gets breast cancer. Actually their lives are turned upside-down, maybe wrecked
Description: Fernandez is a lonely boy leading a lonely life. All he does is work for an old boy in a hardware store. But all that changes, when he meets the woman of his dreams... and her family.
Description: Torn straight from the headlines, Michael Winterbottom's compelling and prescient 'In This World' follows young Afghan Jamal and his older cousin Enayat as they embark on a hazardous overland trip from their refugee camp at Peshawar, north-west Pakistan. Entering Turkey on foot through a snowy, Kurdish-controlled pass, the pair again take their lives into their hands and face suffocation when they are locked in a freight container on a ship bound for Italy. From there they plan to travel on to Paris, the Sangatte refuge centre and ultimately asylum in London.
Description: In 1970s England, three blue-collar mates spend their days joking, drinking, fighting and chasing girls. Freddie wants to leave their working-class globe but cool, charismatic Bruce and lovable loser Snork are satisfied with life the method it is. When Freddie gets a fresh job as a door-to-door salesman and bumps into his old school sweetheart Julie, the gang are forced to create choices that will change their lives for ever.
Description: Angel and Zooey are not your typical newlyweds. Zooey is a professional prostitute and Angel is a drug dealer. Yet they are not without hopes and dreams, of escaping their life in the roads and starting a fresh in a new painted cottage with picked fence, child and a dog, in Manitoba, Canada, Life gets in the method however when their greatest mate gets in problem with her pimp. They sacrifice everything to save her, including their own dreams.
Description: A historical drama that illustrates Russian creator Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things. The Countess Sofya, wife and muse to Leo Tolstoy, uses each trick of seduction on her husband's loyal disciple, whom she believes was the person responsible for Tolstoy signing a fresh will that leaves his work and property to the Russian people.
Description: Charlton Heston stars as Renaissance artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), who begrudgingly paints the Sistine Chapel for imperious Pope Julius II in this epic adaptation of Irvine Stone's novel directed by Carol Reed. While the novel covers Michelangelo's life from birth to death, the movie focuses on the war of wills between the perfectionist artist and the impatient Pope who commissions (and eventually commands) him to paint the famed chapel.
Description: Cliff has just turned 18 and his tiny sister has a gift for him: booze, a joint, a subway token and the command to have sex. Heading out on the town, Cliff finds friendship -- and more -- in the person of a young hustler called Butch. But Butch's dark side, along with a growing drug problem, leaves suburban family man Cliff fearing for their future in this gay coming-of-age tale.
Description: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) is a silent movie directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This ver is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion. The movie was made by the "Mary Pickford Company" and was an acclaimed box office smash.
Description: Rowe McDonald is a headstrong missionary who has life after his point all figured out. When a fatal vehicle ruin interrupts his plans, he is given sixty days to return to life and finish his work. Actually he gotta select whether to lead the life he planned, or reach beyond himself to change the lives of others. What will he do? Who will he touch? How will he prepare to leave it all behind?
Description: A lonely hairdresser watches the game sequence of "That Cold Day in the Park" then visits a local park to invite a down-and-out skinhead to his apartment. He draws the silent boy a bath and talks to him as he soaks. He locks his guest in a bedroom. Next day, the skinhead leaves through the window and visits his sister, who's making a movie named "Sisters of the SLA." He supports with a screen-test. The hairdresser has dreams and fantasies involving the skinhead, the skinhead returns to visit him, and then the filmmaker pays a call on the two men, exposing her brother as faking his silence and pretending a lack of sexual interest. Fantasies can come true.
Description: While caring for his sick daughter, a doctor is named away to the sickbed of a neighbor. He finds the neighbor gravely ill, and ignores his wife's pleas to come home and care for his own daughter, who has taken a turn for the worse.
Description: Philip is a pc whiz who wants to create it big. He's after the nice life, lots of cash, and lots of women. His chaste and studious fiancee Lili is just not nice enough for him. Philip is sponsored by a ruthless "business angel," Jack. Hacking corruption, and seduction are his fresh weapons. Philip is so successful as to leave Jack behind. His ultimate mistake is to seduce Jack's wife. As Jack's trap is about to close in on him, Lili is the only one who can save him.
Description: After two gang-related killings in "Center City," a suspect (who was framed) is arrested, released on bail...and murdered. Inspector Briggs of the FBI recruits a young agent, Gene Cordell, to go undercover in the shadowy Skid Row zone (alias George Manly) as a potential victim of the same racket. Soon, Gene meets Alec Stiles, neurotic mastermind who's "building an organization along scientific lines." Stiles recruits Cordell, whose job becomes a lot more risky
Description: Said in four episodes, an unnamed artist is transported through a mirror into other dimension, where he travels through different bizarre scenarios. This movie is the first part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orpheus (1950) and Testament of Orpheus (1960).
Description: A teenage woman is caught petting with the bus driver during an outing. The school's parent council discusses her punishment. One parent, a psychologist, suggests that her behavior is not abnormal or worthy of expulsion. He describes teen girls' experiments with sex, and these dramatized vignettes, interspersed with man-in-the-street interviews with young girls about their attitudes and experiences, create a situation for 60's generation's attitude of independence. The women argue for saying the truth in the face of post-war German convention. In the end, will Renata be expelled or recognized as a woman from a fresh era?
Description: After the large success of the first part the film-makers apparently felt pressured to open a fresh "investigation" and gather fresh material. Therefore, Friedrich von Thun again ventures out into the streets, this time of Berlin, to ask schoolgirls about their sexual experiences. The invinted guests talk about (allegedly) real events. Schoolgirls that seduce their teachers, runaway women that have been robbed and who have to prostitute themselves or innocent women that have been drugged and raped...
Description: In 1995, ABC presented a telemovie ver of the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie produced by RHI Entertainment. It starred Seinfeld's Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams of Desperate Housewives. While this ver remained mostly faithful to the original musical (Michael Stewart remains the only credited creator of this version), few songs were added and re-arranged, and dialogue was slightly rewritten to smoothly facilitate the musical changes. The musical revolves around an Elvis Presley-type rocker who's about to join the Army. To tag the occasion, his manager's secretary arranges for him to kiss a random fanatic goodbye on The Ed Sullivan Show. Bye Bye Birdie earned four Tony awards in 1961, including Greatest Musical and Greatest Actor in a Musical for its original star, Dick Van Dyke. In addition to Alexander and Williams, ABC's production starred Tyne Daly, George Wendt, Chynna Phillips and Tag Kudisch.
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Anybody expecting to receive a nice acc of the Black Dahlia case, even fictional, will be disappointed going in to this movie. Of course, I knew that it was a fictionalization of the case, but I had no concept the film would show its own evidence and draw its own conclusions.But the main trouble here is not the lack of factual detail, so much as the confusion of plot that surrounds and overwhelms the Black Dahlia situation itself. So much plot and hero and sideplots and backstory are built around the central characters that the situation itself seems like a distraction. A key plot mission and hero motivator is the fascination of the two detectives with the murder, but this is never elaborated enough in the film, and we're left to half-heartedly guess at the hero motivations.The tone is never consistently campy, but when the camp arrives it overwhelms the story. A dinner stage between a suspect and her family had the crowd in stitches (the only stage during which the audience laughed). The trouble is that the stage is valuable to the plot and could never have been played for laughs. Hitchcock or even Lynch should have shot the same scene, with the same happenings and dialogue, and made it menacing and creepy, which it required to be to function in the mystery.Other problems: De Palma uses the lesbian angle of the film (never a part of the case) to full exploitative advantage, and the actresses seem unable to master to the expressive 1940s style acting that would have come naturally to even a marginal 40s star.Although the movie brings a clearcut finale rather than a vague puzzle, too many loose threads come together too neatly and rather than bringing the movie to a satisfactory conclusion, it leaves you scratching your head, is this what I spent the last 2 hours waiting to hear? Overall, there is too much plot, too tiny hero development and a wildly uneven tone. The film has its moments but it's a blinding mess all together.
"The Black Dahlia" is a long, bloated, confusing, self-important, self-consciously artsy film undermined by miscasting, absurd plot turns, naive symbolism, an utter disdain for history and laughable overacting that create Robert Towne's ponderous, plodding "Chinatown" sequel, "Two Jakes" (1990), look like a taut thriller.The most marked difference between "Dahlia" and another classics of the more newest category is that although "L.A. Confidential" is firmly planted in the 1950s and "Chinatown" takes zone in the 1930s, De Palma's movie has shallow roots "once upon a time in Los Angeles." Clearly, a film nominally set in 1943-47 in which the lead characters attend a silent film ("The Boy Who Laughs, " 1928--note that the characters are sitting in the balcony, which was reserved for blacks back in the ugly days of segregation. Oops!) has nothing but contempt for the past, which is reflected in a thousand ways, from male actors' scruffy haircuts and inability to wear hats properly to a laughable lesbian nightclub stage featuring K.D. Lang in top hat and tails singing "Love for Sale," which rather than depicting the classic movie noir era is most evocative of "Bugsy Malone," a far more accurate film.One can search fatal flaws in virtually each zone of this film with tiny effortin fact the most hard task in critiquing the movie is remembering everything that's wrong with it.First, there's Josh Friedman's dialog: "She looks like that dead girl! How sick are you?"not quite "She's my sister and my daughter," is it? Then there's miscasting (at 31, Kirshner is much too old to enjoy the 22-year-old Black Dahlia), opulent production design by Dante Ferretti (police officers lived like this on LAPD pay? Who knew?), melody (Mark Isham in the entirely predictable "cue mournful trumpet" genre), odd costumingFriday casual for the men, fall collection for the women(Jenny Beavan), down to the crowd scenes, which are busy to the mission of distraction. And I want I had the cigarette holder franchise on this film. I would be a rich man.Even unique results are misused, with an earthquake that serves no purpose except to underline an obvious plot turn. Granted, the overly complex storyline is almost impossible to follow, but in this instance, De Palma gotta assume the audience has an IQ of about 50. And unlike the shocking and painfully realistic nose-slitting stage in "Chinatown," the far worse violence inflicted on the Black Dahlia is amusingly fake. If De Palma was hoping to create a slasher flick, he failed badly.Nor does Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography escape a rap on the knuckles for a ridiculous lesbian stag movie (presumably made at a cost surpassing the combined budgets of all blue films produced from the 1920s to the 1950s), and a self-conscious and overly elaborate shot in which partners Blanchard (Eckhart) and Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) engage in a shootout, followed by the camera slowly rising up floor by floor of an whole apartment building, proceeding to a befuddling shot of the building's roof before it at last discovers the Black Dahlia's body in a vacant lot in the adjoining block. As visual storytelling, this is a grandiose and miserable failure. And then there's Fiona Shaw, who chews so much scenery that she gotta have been rushed to an oral surgeon to have the splinters removed.For that matterand perhaps this is what makes the heart of the movie beat so faintlythere is very tiny of the Black Dahlia in "The Black Dahlia," who only surfaces far into the picture.In fact, the first 30 or 40 mins are devoted to boxing matches between the two detectives, nicknamed "Fire" and "Ice" from the Symbolism 101 school of writing. (I know it's in the book, but that's no excuse).So where is the Black Dahlia in this confusing mess? She exists entirely on film. Of course in true life, Elizabeth Short never got a screen use or even appeared in a school play, but De Palma gives her one and Kirshner, trying her greatest at the impossible task of acting 22, makes it as pitiful as possible with an intentionally miserable reading of Vivian Leigh's popular monologue from "Gone With the Wind." The handling of the crime scene? Ridiculous even by Hollywood's lax standards. Vintage black-and-white police vehicles swarming the roads and detectives bellowing instructions like some shark-jumping 1970s cop present that any nice investigator would already know. Ditto the morgue.Then there's the contrasting love/sex scenes, and it's obvious De Palma hasn't a clue how to scene either one. The sex scene, between Harnett and Johansson, occurs in the dining room, when, overcome with passion, Bleichert rips away the tablecloth, sending dishes everywhere, and has his method with Lake. Isham's score is lushly romantic, an oddly contrasting choice of music, and amour like this is sure tough on the Havilland china and the Baccarat crystal.The love scene, between Swank and Harnett, is just as amusing with Bleichert and Linscott having a tiny pillow talk while she's wearing nothing but large pearl earrings and a long matching necklace with pearls the size of tiny onions, ensuring, I would imagine, a rather bumpy ride.And about those crazy Linscotts. Bleichert knows exactly how to create rich folks confess to murder: Test their valuable antiques for goal practice. The last time I checked, police revolvers keep six rounds, so unless Bleichert was planning to war off one of them as he reloaded I can't imagine what he thought he would do after his sixth question. Then again, not everybody can send a crystal chandelier ruining to the floor with one shotsome of us need two.And while you're at it, Bucky, take out a couple of those clown paintings, please.
How many producers does it take to screw up a movie? In the situation of The Black Dahlia it takes 21 "producers". I counted the credits to be sure. I guess all 21 producers didn't notice how phony the flame bars were in the opening fire scene. The only producer with any true credits is Art Linson. Perhaps what this movie required was a single producer, director, writer squad that should focus on the story. And how about that acting? Johanson was miscast as was Swank (although Swank is generally a nice actress in another films). The plot is convoluted beyond anyones general idea of the Black Dahlia story. I was said that this movie was a true disappointment by my mates who saw it in a theatre, so I watched it on DVD and almost walked out of my own living room. On the positive side, the photography, production design and the melody were acceptable. But is it just me or does most of the dialog sound like clichés from another movie noir films? As others have pointed out this wanted to be L.A. Confidential or Chinatown, but came off as a terrible imitation. To terrible as I really wanted to love it...
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