'Lude Snooze Movie Reviews

Get me Outa here!!! Back to Allan's Web Site.

completely unedited movie review snippets, either me or things from other people I thought I agreed with when I read it at 3am. OK, so I edited it a little. To add html doohickeys to it. Don't ask me who wrote what, I don't remember. You might see some of your words here!!! Just remember that everything is one person's opinion.


Since my friend and I share a taste for the absolute best in bad movies, we flipped a coin between Double Team (Van Damme and Dennis Rodman team up to fight crime) and Anaconda ("if you can't breathe . . . you can't scream!") and Anaconda won. We'd read some pretty awful reviews of this movie, but nothing prepared us for the reality: Jon Voight, fresh from weight training with Hans and Franz, overacting his way through the Amazon jungle with an outsized nonstop sneer that only got broader as the movie progressed. I tried to imitate it when I went to the restroom, and my face hurt badly after only a few seconds. Eric Stoltz is in the movie too and literally sleeps through most of it (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not), and the actress who played Selena has a chance here to pull a Ripley and doesn't do badly at all for a first outing. And there are assorted other snake-fodder victims who play their parts with verve and gusto and are dispatched accordingly (though without relish or other condiments).

In theory the real star of the movie should be the snake. There are two, actually, and though they're very long, their heads aren't big enough to make the kind of dramatic impression you really expect in a movie like this (I thought he looked kind of cute and well-meaning -- maybe the poor guy was just sadly misunderstood). Even better, when the snake's in motion, for example when it wraps itself several times around someone in a fraction of a second, there's no feeling of mass or momentum. It's like watching a CGI of a phantom from Ghostbusters rerendered with an anaconda, and the effect is just wonderfully fake.

In other words, the movie was all we'd hoped for.

(annoying Mission Impossible-esque game-based so-hip-it's-useless website: http://www.spe.sony.com/Pictures/SonyMovies/movies/Anaconda/entry.html)


Movie you must see: Anna. A Russian director asks his daughter the same questions every year as she grows and it is interesting to see her answers change in the context of her development and the changing conditions in the USSR/Russia. Here is the blurb from a local art cinema.

(1996, Russia) dir Nikita Mikhalkov w/Anna Mikhalkov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Nadia Mikhalkov Two years ago, Nikita Mikhalkov's poignant Academy Award winning film Burnt By the Sun gave American audiences a widespread glimpse into contemporary Russian cinema as well as personal history and politics. This remarkable documentary, his newest release - at once intensely intimate and sweepingly ambitious - juxtaposes the collapse of the Soviet Union with the growth of his daughter Anna over the course of thirteen years, beginning in 1980. Because of prevailing censorship restrictions, Mikhalkov decided that the best way to express his thoughts on his ailing nation was to make a "home movie," shot in secret at considerable risk. Anna's personal evolution is interwoven with a caustic collage of news footage and propaganda films tracing the Soviet Union from the end of the repressive Brezhnev regime through the brief heyday of Perestroika to the shaky arrival of democracy.

Belle De Jour

This woman, who was apparently molested as a child, ends up with a wealthy husband who she can't make love to. But she keeps on having fantasies. She finally ends up getting a job as a prostitute during the day. Late 60's France with boufaunt hairdos and stuff. Apparently a big taboo thing when it first came out, this is a rerelease. Not a top-shelf movie, but she's great looking. I went to a movie with Patty, Belle du Jour. [Totally awesome blonde. Not recommended for a date.] She picked up my spirits and reminded me of stuff that's important but easily forgotten after being dumped. As men are attracted to women partly based upon universals (cute, smart, thin) and partly based on specfics (mannerisms, opinions, specific looks), so are women. This woman, who was apparently molested as a child, ends up with a wealthy husband who she can't make love to.

It's the darling of the art cinema set around here. I think Catherine Deneuve is the woman.


Cool sifi story about these replicants and the cop sent to apprehend them. The science of making them gets better and better, and it's harder to tell them apart from real humans. The only way to tell them apart is by a painstaking interviewing process, where an electronic device is used to monitor the subject's iris size as Harrison Ford asks them questions designed to evoke an emotional response. Pretty violent, but, hey, I'm willing to see it again (and again...) "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long... and you have burned so very very bright, Leroy."

The Champagne Safari

Biography of Charles Bedaux, an arrogant entrepreneur from the 1930's who shaped our world in more ways than you realize. He was the original "Efficiency Expert". He eventually ended up trying to work with Hitler during the war.

The name of the movie comes from one of his high-profile trips he took through the Canadian Rockies.


The guy who drew the "Keep On Truckin" image with the guy with big feet, this is a documentary on his life. Big 60's cartoonist. Drew and drew and drew and drew, drawing was his life. All the rest of his family are barely hanging onto their mental health. One of them commited suicide soon after the movie was made. Another refused to be interviewed. A really bizzare movie.

Dead Man Walking

Sean Penn is a murderer and rapist on Death Row. Susan Sarandon is a nun that he has asked to help him obtain a stay of execution. This ia a very powerful and depressing movie. I have not made my mind up on the correctness of capital punishment and this movie did not help me. You will see both sides. Penn and Sarandon are both excellent in this movie. The best movie I seen in a few months.

The Earthling

I saw this movie about a guy who went back to the australian outback to die, he had cancer or something. And there was this kid who was stranded,.... it's late, can't think.


Homeless girl grows up on the street and encounters her estranged father, none other than Gerard Depardieu. This is like, after she's grown up, and she's so pissed she thinks of seducing him. In Korean with Farsi subtitles. just kidding.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I never saw this movie until just recently, but it's a must-see if you have any appreciation for cynical westerns.

There's these three guys, one good, one bad, and one ugly. Of course, they're all bad guys. Clint is good because... because he has SOME morals. The ugly guy is ugly because... because he's Mexican. The bad guy is... really bad.

So they go off romping through the southwestern US territories in the sad, waning days of the civil war, in search of a secret stash of gold kept in a grave. To them, the war is an annoyance and they see no problem in diverting the course of history for their own selfish needs.

At one point you get to what is called the Good Band and Ugly paradox: three guys forming the corners of an equilateral triangle, each with a gun, neither one trusting the others. Any one could take out another, but if he did so, the third could take him out.

Ha, you'll have to see the movie.

Flirting with Disaster

Go see "Flirting with Disaster". A man finds his biological parents after a cross-country adventure with his wife, a shrink at the adoption agency, and a couple of friends that they meet along the way. Very hilarious. From the guy that wrote and directed "Spanking the Monkey" (which has very little to do with its namesake and a lot to do with the Oedipus complex).


Coy on ni scott see. It means "life out of balance" or "life that calls for another way of living". It's a Hopi language word.

The movie is all video with no live audio. The audio is the music track.

The music is Philip Glass. Glass has a unique and unusual style, it's "not for everyone". It's called "minimalist" sometimes, because he goes back and breaks fundamental rules, but I find the music to be complex and stimulating. Often it's classified under "new age" but just as often you find it under "classical".

You know almost all of western music follows 4:4 time, there's four beats to a measure. Sometimes he does four beats, but he also plays games with the time, changing it in the middle. For "Einstein on the Beach" (not this movie), in one part, the beat changes on every measure, each one gaining another beat, each one becoming more complex than the last. In another part, at first, it sounds like this awful buzzing, but then you listen and notice that really the singers are saying "one two three four" really really fast, over and over again. Hey, it's Einstein.

Although originally a piano player, a lot of his work uses synthesizer and chorus, except it's nothing like a church. For this movie they used lots of classical brass and string instruments, and The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble.

It starts off and you're looking at this stuff and you have no idea what it is. Really it's a closeup of the side of a Saturn Five moon rocket on the launch pad. One of the arms is holding it down as it's launching. The whole thing is throbbing, and ice condensation from the liquid oxygen tanks is cracking and falling off of the side. But it's just a close up on the arm attached to the side of the rocket, so it's hard to see what's going on. And it's slow motion; in real life it all takes just a few seconds. Then the arm moves up and the rocket moves up and finally you see the engines pass by and it whites out and cuts to another scene.

The beginning of the movie concentrates on landscapes out west. Mesas. Tetons. Mountains. Valleys. Deserts. Rocks. Aerial photos. Waterfalls with huge quantities of water gushing over the ridge. Really beautiful.

Then you start to get into man and technology. The transition shot is amazing. You see the rocks like you saw before, but they're exploding. And collapsing. And you realize that it's strip mining. There's this big swirl of black dust, a big cloud, and as it clears, the devil appears - really a big, huge dump truck. The kind they use for mining, so big it can't go on the highways. But it's like this big devil image, come to rip up the landscape, appearing out of a black cloud.

It's a sortof pro-environment, anti-industry-fucking-up-our-world movie.

Then it has all these scenes from the city. Lots of them are time lapsed. You see a city and the sun comes up and moves across the sky as clouds waft by like they're tumbleweeds in the wind. And you see the streets clog up and people racing about as the shadows race across the other buildings, hours of a day compressed to mere seconds of the movie.

They have these scenes looking down Manhattan streets. The buildings form canyons, with traffic acting as the river rapids at the bottom. You see cars zipping to and fro along the street you're looking down, really fast. Then they stop as the traffic light changes. Then you see cross traffic scurrying by really fast. Then it stops with the traffic light again. Then the forward backward traffic resumes. And it stops.

they have scenes from grand central station where you see these banks of escalators with oceans of people, pouring over them like Niagra Falls, only it's people. All of this is timelapsed so it seems to match the speed of a waterfall. Makes you feel like the people are really insignificant.

Then they have this part towards the end where they set up a camera on the street and wait for people to notice it. Ususally with movies, you know, they cut out the parts where people are waving to the camera, but this time they wanted to capture that. People's reactions to a camera. People waving, they want recognition. The expressions on their faces. There was this one young woman who smiled appreciatively, she thought that maybe this was her big break in movies. But I'll never forget this old homeless guy with white hair. You just see him there. And then he looks at the camera with a look of scorn and anger that just paralyzes you.

At the end of the movie you see this rocket launch, one of Nasa's early tests in the early 1960's. The rocket launches, but at some point something goes wrong and it explodes. Then you follow it, this flaming rocket, as it falls. You know you never see this on TV because they cut to another shot. It's on fire and it's falling. It's tumbling and you can see that it's still a rocket, but it's falling. You see it coming down and you know in just a second it'll hit the ground, you know out in the desert where they do those tests. But it's falling and tumbling, and flames are coming out of certain parts of it. And it tumbles and the flames lick around it, and it's falling. And you know in just a second it'll hit the ground. But it's falling and tumbling and you wonder how far it can go. But it keeps on falling.

the last wave

austrailian thriller w/ Richard Chamberlin about dream time and Aboriginal culture

Lawrence of Arabia

My dad dragged me out to see this when it first came out in the sixties. For days, I pretended I was an arab, despite the fact that I had no sheet to wear, and my sword was a curved cheese knife.

It's the dramatized story of E T Lawrence, a British officer in the Great War, stationed in British Palestine. He had gotten his degree in archeology nearby and was fluent in Arabic. He was frustrated that the British hierarchy had no idea what was going on around them because they never read the Arabic language papers, which he read to his friends.

He gets transferred out to an encampment where Prince Faisal (name sound familiar?) is trying to lead an army from yesteryear against Turkish forces with modern weapons like aircraft and machine guns. [If you have turkish sympathies, you might not like this movie.]

He ends up leading them and trying to fight for their own self-determination, which doesn't work out.

Incredible scenery. Don't just pop a VHS in the VCR, go see it on a big screen. The mountains, the desert, it's incredible.

The movie is incredibly long (like four hours or something). If you leave at the intermission, all you're missing is a bunch of political arguing that only a history-f-middle-east buff could appreciate. Don't miss the beginning, though. The motorcycle ride is famous, although a bit hokey.

Leaving Las Vegas

It's been playing forever, I finally caught it. Nicolas Cage is a drunk who loses it all and goes to Las Vegas to self-destruct. Elizabeth Shue is a hooker that he falls in love with. There are few scenes in the movie where he is not without booze. It is hard to watch Cage kill himself with booze. It pained me so much that I almost left halfway through. He plays the part very well. She is OK but not great.

Leaving Seattle

A Spoof of "Leaving Las Vegas"

It is expected that the reader is familiar with the Mike Figgis production.

Abstract: A software engineer from Microsoft develops a coffee addiction, and moves from Redman to Seattle to kill himself by drinking coffee. He is befriended by a Starbuck hostess and cared for by her until his death.

The story begins with Ben going from cafe to cafe, bingeing on coffee. A rush of visual images of cafes and coffee drinking. Double mochas, pints of espresso, drinking large lattes while driving in his car. A cop passes him, and slows to investigate what Ben is doing while driving. Ben hides the coffee and the jelly donut from the cop.

Ben is then called into Bill Gates' office. Bill informs Ben that he has to let him go. His severence pay includes a copy of Windows 95 and coupons for Starbucks.

Ben then decides, in a fit of rage, to destroy all of his computer equipment, his software, everything, and move from Redman to Seattle to kill himself by drinking coffee.

When he arrives in Seattle, he gets a room in a little college-town bed and breakfast, near four different coffeehouses. The reason for the choice of accommodations: the sign on the outside of the inn reads "Gourmet Coffee".

A scene of Ben sitting in his room, eating General Foods International Coffees straight from the can with no water, just the powder, can by can. Ben is watching the scene in Pulp Fiction where Travolta and Jackson are in Tarantino's house, sipping fresh coffee. Ben just loves the line, "Sheeeeeit, Jimmie, this is gourmet coffee. This is the good shit." Ben keeps rewinding it over and over again.

Ben then goes to Starbucks to cash in his coupon from Bill Gates. He meets Sera, a former coffee waitress from the Royal Ground Coffeehouse in San Francisco, but now she is making espresso drinks for Starbucks in Seattle. She has violated the Royal Ground Coffeehouse Coffee Club rule: you can't go into Starbucks. Her manager appears one day to question her about this, and shake her down for some free Starbucks coffee.

"Will you make me a pint of espresso? I will pay you $10, " says Ben.

"That isn't on the menu. I am not supposed to make it," replies Sera.

"Ok then, I will pay you $20. I will go over here and distract everyone while you make it. You can put it in a paper cup so everyone thinks it is a mocha."

"Yeah, ok, shhhhh. Just go wait over there, I will bring it to you."

Ben goes to sit at a counter chair, shaking and sweating. He sees a cute girl. "Want to play a game of chess?" he askes the coffeehouse-fly. Her boyfriend is not pleased with this cafe come-on.

Sera brings the pint of espresso, and Ben drinks it in one gulp. It is love at first sight.

Sera brings Ben back to her apartment. She puts on a pot of coffee. Ben starts chewing on fresh grounds. The love story begins.

Sera buys Ben some presents. A cafe shirt and "Bottomless Cup" plastic coffee mug from a local cafe. "I have met my dream girl," Ben remarks.

The story ends the same way "Leaving Las Vegas" does. Ben does finally die of coffee poisoning. Sera is left alone, and still working at Starbucks making coffee drinks she doesn't believe in.

Liste Noir

Quebec. A prostitute to judges and high-profile figures tries to blackmail them all. Quite a few twists in this story of murder and mayhem. Great movie. Violence, but more mystery.


In the fifteen minutes before the election results are announced, we see about a half dozen story lines interacting, all taking place in an apartment building with thin walls. The first gunshot, the second gunshot, the motorcycle, the woman moaning from sex, all the sounds are explained eventually, but it's great to see it unfold.

Mighty Aphrodite

You wanna see a good movie? Check out "Mighty Aphrodite" the latest woody allen movie. After the first scene (in this weird Greek Amphitheatre thing) I thought 'this movie sucks' but by the end I thought it was great. There was a group of feminists in front of us who were at first annoyed by some possible Woody-Mia parallels but at the end even they were applauding.


Its very philosophical. I liked it. It reminds me why I don't live around dc anymore. It says an awful lot about everything. It is basically a conversation between a poet, a politician, and a physicist at mont saint michelle. Its about the heaviest thing I've seen in a long time - and it actually parallels alot of stuff I've been thinking about since I was 14.

Mother Night

Kurt Vonnegut wrote and cameos towards the end. Intense story about a guy who works for the nazis during the war as a propogandist, and double agents for the US, only to be persecuted after the war. Pure vonnegut, little jokes are tossed in here and there - you have to see it.

It starts out, you see him being marched through an Israeli prison, to his prison cell. The door slams behind, kerchung. Later the door opens. Guards bring in a table, with a typewriter, and a box of paper. You are to write your memoirs. You have so many days to do so. Kerchung.

He gets up. He puts a sheet of paper in the typewriter. He's about to start typing, and he looks down at the keyboard. You see, during Nazi times, they made special typewriters with a punctuation mark that was the "SS" lightningbolt symbol. And here he was, typing on one of those typewriters.

He was a playwright, born in America but raised in Germany. He remembers back to the day that the guy from the US War Dept talked to him in the park. He didn't do it because of any political leanings; he did it because it was so dramatic to do it; he was living one of his stories almost. He became a sortof Rush Limbaugh for the Nazis, broadcasting propoganda in English. In his broadcasts were encoded details prepared by someone else, for the Allies.

After the war, he ended up an anonymous person in Manhattan, home of lots of jews of course, many of them with numbers on their wrists. Of course, his name was now one of the most hated among jews.

Well, I'm not going to tell you the rest of the movie.

My Dubious Sex Drive

This woman works by day at an abortion clinic, and at night at a fertility clinic. Her boyfriend is a bike messenger and rock critic. Then other stuff happens. Whew. SF location.

The Net

Don't bother with The Net. It is a pathetic attempt to build suspense by use of email. Though the main bad guy does look a lot like Bill Gates.

New Zealand: Long on Shorts

The government of New Zealand, trying to find a niche for its creative but forgettable country, heavily funds the creation of short movies. This year, there's eight movies that are all shorter than 15 minutes that add up to 95 minutes. Last year's were distinctively Twilight Zone-like. Strom Thurmond would not approve. Should make for an interesting afternoon.


A good movie to see is Outbreak. Dustin Hoffman is a convincing infectious disease researcher with real weaknesses, a sloppy big dog, an ex wife. The thing that makes it moving is that it's all a little too realistic to be stupid and easily dismissed. Whatever you do, don't cough in a movie theater.

Things they got right:

  • a monkey in Zaire
  • a military organization that can't be trusted
  • lots of details about the biology
  • white trash shitheads who endanger everyone when they don't understand

    Things they maybe didn't:

  • I think they were making a vaccine, and using it as a cure.
  • I think they were making a vaccine in large quantities in just a few hours.
  • the typical hero/villian stereotypes and coincidences needed for a good story
  • maybe the infection was a bit too easy to spread There is the goodguy/badguy shit, certainly. But there also is this ominous virus.

    The monkey spits on the driver. "Hey, you stupid monkey" and he wipes it off. Yuck. Hope I don't catch any diseases, he must have kidded himself.

    A guy is coughing in a movie theater. Coughing coughing. You are a particle of liquid wafting through the air, over the crowd, being inhaled by other movie goers. Meanwhile Dustin Hoffman is in washington saying Hey, it's just a matter of time before this thing spreads.

    Interesting that you liked "Outbreak". I haven't seen it myself, but I've been reading a lot about it lately. There's this group called bionet.virology that I read, and ever since the movie came out half the posts have been people who wanted to know how realistic it was from real virologists. The consensus seems to be : entertaining but way wrong scientifically. I think you caught most of the flaws in your review. Sort of like a bad Star Trek where everybody is half dead and then McCoy comes up with the magic andidote and they all recover in 5 minutes.

    The Postman (Il Postanasomething)

    This guy starts out the movie almost unable to speak he's so awkward, and ends up befriending a famous poet, learning to write poetry himself, and marrying the most beautiful woman in the town after charming her with poetry. A bit slow, but charming and good scenery of the italian coast.

    Richard III

    You know the story but imagine that it is taking place in 1930's England. Weird but still fascinating none the less. They keep the original diologue and it is strange to see people in automobiles speaking in 16th century English. They even manage to throw in the obligatory "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!" A good choice.

    Smilla's Sense of Snow

    A decent new movie is "Smilla's Sense of Snow." Takes place in Copenhagen and in Greenland. A Native Greenlander (played by Julia Ormand) senses foul play in the death of a little boy who lived in her apartment building in Copenhagen. She pursues her hunch despite the police and some very important people. No car chaces. A decent action/thriller.

    Shawshank Redemption

    In it you will see Tim Robbins play this convinct who writes the Maine State Legislature once per week for 6 years until they give him $200 for library books for the prison (and they tell him to shut up and stop sending letters). Then he starts sending 2 letters a week, and after some span of time, the legislature gave him an annual budget of $500 for library books.

    aw, c'mon, that's just the first fifteen minutes of the movie. He goes and has this brilliant scheme, it's really cool. He's a white collar guy in a peasant prison. He becomes the accountant for the warden's illegal profiteering scheme where he sends prisoners out on work projects and pockets big profits. But I'm not going to tell you the rest.

    Tank Girl

    A bad movie to see is Tank Girl. Pretty dumb. Mad Max is far better.

    To Die For

    Really weird. This woman is sortof an egomaniac. She'll do anything to get into TV, and does really well, not just because of her good looks but because of her ambition. Her husband is in the restaurant business and would rather she be a nice housewife. She tries to shoot this documentary on disillusioned teenagers, and befriends these really scrappy kids. So she seduces one of them to get him to murder her husband. All of the characters were right-on and you can see their personalities doing what they did.

    Later on I talked to someone who taught psychpathology, and she used this movie to illustrate the sociopathic personality.

    12 monkeys

    Great movie, in the tradition of Brazil or THX 1138.

    WHats-his-name, he's crazy, they find him and put him in a mental hospital. Has these stories about how he's a time traveler, you know the usual. 'Cept he's really strong and he breaks out and later kidnaps his shrink, and it sortof becomes a patty hearst kindof deal, and she actually starts to believe his bullshit.

    WHats-his-name, he's selected to go back to the past to figure out the origins of this terrorist group that sets a virus to kill everyone in the world. Of course, nobody believes him at first, they stick him in a mental hospital, but eventually he gets his shrink to listen.

    Head Injury Cases

    During World War 1, they found this shell-shocked french soldier. He had completely lost his ability to speak French, but spoke English in an unknown local dialect.

    Best to see the movie with a clear mind, it's hard enough to follow all the interlocking details.

    You know, seeing a movie multiple times is like going back into the past. Every time you do it, it's a little bit different. But maybe that's because you're a different person each time. And, you want to change things, but you can't; the same thing happens again.

    The War at Home

    Their boy came back from 'Nam. He was a hero. Sortof. I guess, what do you call it, I guess he was "shell shocked". It wasn't that he was in an explosion or anything. He looked OK, he just had trouble dealing with it all. They didn't really know how to react. They tried to pretend that it wasn't really a problem.

    The story centers around thanksgiving dinner one year, as a texas baptist family tries to go through the yearly harvest ritual, in denial about their troubled war hero son.

    Emilio directed and starred. A labor of love. I saw it at the film festival, he got up on stage himself. Stunningly good acting, deeply moving film. Somehow you end up feeling for the vet, hating the mom, resenting the dad, being pissed at the sis. just like him. Quite brilliant.

    When Night is Falling

    "... a teacher at a Protestant college. She's never questioned her sexuality, and is just steps away from marrying..." You know what happens. It's from Canada. "Wildly Amorous". Hey, that's what it says.