Movie Reviews - P
The Painted Veil: I just like seeing a movie where the characters actually grow, yet stay true to themselves. It's such a rare thing... rare enough in the movies, rarer still in real life.
Pan's Labyrinth: Yes, it was good and stylish, and eerie and... but, I felt there were a few key scenes where a character did something illogical to keep the plot moving. But, that's a small criticism - it was one of the more well-done movies I've seen in a while.
Paradise Now: See this movie before you form an opinion about the situation in Israel/Palestine.
The Patriot: Better than I thought it'd be, but not awesome. I liked the fact that a lot of the main characters (if not all of them) die. Plus, I think they captured the period really well. I didn't really care for Mel though... I've seen him do the "rage thing" too many times now.
Patton: I guess Patton was a hero, but then I wonder... aren't wars fought because of people like Patton in the first place? I mean, not people like Patton specifically, but people with some of his traits. Oh well, I shouldn't judge the man, this was a movie, and the movie was good.
Pay It Forward: Sure, it's a feel-good movie with a difficult to believe premise, but I liked it because it didn't slide into the realm of ridiculousness. It wasn't really as much about the "pay it forward" concept as it was a love story. There were a few eye-rolling bits though - the suicide on the bridge scene & the ending... but that's forgivable. It would have been so easy to have made this a really silly movie... which is what I expected, but didn't find.
Pearl Harbor: Probably the most marketing-oriented movie I've ever seen - Something for women + something for the men = big bucks! It's like they were trying to make another Titanic or something. It was entertaining, but the whole end-thing was a bit much. Apparently that did actually happen, but I was watching the movie just waiting for the one guy to die dramatically - it was the only way to make everyone happy. They could have squished the plot a little bit and made a better and shorter movie. (he could have died at pearl harbor instead)
Pecker: John Waters does.... a John Waters movie. I don't know whether these movies are good or just a bunch of crap. I suppose they're their own genre, so what can I say? This one is a little more "normal" than most John Waters movies, but it has the same elements: a straightforward although wacko story, overblown (intentionally?) characters, homosexual overtones... My favorite scene in the movie was the "teabag incident" at the very end. The one character gets his teabag, everyone stops for just an instant... looking for a reaction, then they all start dancing/partying again all at once. A brilliant 5 seconds of film.
Peewee's Big Adventure: You know, Peewee started out with a rather raunchy comedy routine. So why was anyone surprised by the fact that he got busted for pulling his pud? (why was that illegal anyway?). So, now we've lost Peewee. Too bad, because this guy had some kind of talent... I'm not sure what kind, but it was something.
The People vs. Larry Flint: Free speech champion (and porn king) Larry Flint defends his right to make fun of people. As for the rest? Yes, there are drugs, violence, nudity, sex, people going to jail, etc. we've seen it all by now. Sorry Larry, nothing's shocking.
The Perfect Storm: I had the feeling I was watching a carefully constructed hollywood entertainment product... and I was. It had elements which appealed to both adult (braindead) men and women, thus increasing the total market. The directing, cinematography and writing in this movie were totally flat. There was nothing imaginative or interesting throughout the whole movie. That was a shame because there was a lot of opportunity to do some interesting stuff. For example, when the main character talks about the "Zen of Fishing", they could have filmed some really cool stuff for him to talk over. The only redeeming qualities were some of the special effects and the acting. The rest of the movie played like it was made-for-TV.
Personal Velocity: 3 shorter slice-of-life stories about women at turning points in their lives. The stories all seemed "true" to me, but I'm sitting here wondering... what did I learn? that life sucks? that happiness is fleeting?... Do I really need to be reminded of those things?
Pi: This was pretty unique. I think it's the only mathematical mystery/conspiracy movie I've seen. This is the story: A mathematics genius discovers that the key to all kinds of perplexing chaotic systems is a single 216 digit number. This knowledge drives him toward insanity - the closer he gets to understanding it, the more his life falls apart (not that he had much of a life to begin with). This movie probably tells us something about something, but I'm not sure what... if you knew the 'secret to everything' what would you do? how would it affect you? The whole movie was filmed in black and white... which worked pretty well (I'm not usually a big fan of b&w) since the main character had a pretty simplistic black & white view of the world.
The Pianist: I can't decide if I really needed to see people graphically executed at random for about an hour straight, but I haven't been able to put the image out of my mind since seeing it. Is that good? productive? I don't know. A part of me wants to say that we've had enough movies about the horrible things that happened to the Jews in WWII, and there are all kinds of museums, books, TV shows, magazine articles, etc etc etc.. it's really overload! There have been plenty of simlarly awful genocidal episodes in recent history that don't get fair play - Cambodia, Rwanda, Tibet, etc. Then again, this movie was so well done that I can't be at all negative about it. It's a compelling story that was worth telling. The gradual descent into chaos was shown really well, one can't pinpoint the time when things got completely out of hand, and I guess that's just how it happens.
The Piano: Somewhat twisted... One of those movies that is essentially about anarchy - what kind of strange behaviors people develop when they're dislocated from society.
Picnic at Hanging Rock: This is an old Australian movie which is based on a true story that happened like 100 years ago. It's about a bunch of girls at a boarding school who go for a picnic at a wilderness area called hanging rock. A few of them wander off, never to be seen again. The movie goes beyond the simple tragedy of the event though, and into how it affects the lives of all the people involved. It does a pretty good job of transporting the viewer to a different time and place.
The Pillow Book: Peter Greenaway makes really cool movies. 'Movie' really doesn't describe them well though, they're more like 'paintings which move'. I predict that 500 years from now, when movies are nothing more than a historical novelty, Peter Greenaway's movies will have a cult following. I haven't seen all his movies... just the more recent ones. "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover" was probably his most well known. "Prospero's Books" was the most 'out there', and "Drowning by Numbers" was just fun to watch. I can't really do justice to any of these movies with words. If you must know, "The Pillow Book" is about... um... calligraphy, and one woman's obsession with it. If you are expecting a normal movie, you'll probably be disappointed. if you have an open mind, you'll really dig all of these movies.
Pink Flamingos: Finally, I've seen this. Yup, it was every bit disgusting as I'd heard. I had heard quite a bit about this before I saw it, but never any mention of the plot. So, in case you're curious... It's about a struggle between two parties of people to be called the "filthiest person alive". Group 1 is a couple who lives in the city and makes money by selling the babies born to women who are chained-up in their basement. Group 2 is headed by "Divine". They live in a trailer in the woods and keep their egg-addicited scantly-clad fat grandma in a playpen. Both groups go through a number of acts to prove how filthy they are. The movie includes depictions of stuff like: sex with a decapitated chicken, masturbation, oral sex, Divine eating dog poop, full nudity, people licking feet and furniture, drool, public exposure, public urination, murder, arson, rape, and bad haircuts. The movie's production value is about as low as humanly possible, but that's part of the appeal I guess. It's definately an offensive movie through and through... (just like I'd expected!) so be warned if you decide to see it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Arrrgh! there be pirates among ye lads! and they be dastardly, cursed, bloodthirsty pirates! Yup, it's full of cliches, but who cares... there are lots of fun characters, swordfights, plot twists, and good old fashion fun to keep even the most sturdy landlubber entertained. Say ya didn't like it & I'll make ya walk the plank! Arrrgh!
Planes Trains and Automobiles: Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if we put Steve Martin and John Candy in a movie? It's kind of like one of those cocktails that you made up late one crazy night (ok, I've never done that... but) um... I'm not sure where I'm going with this. It was good and funny and stuff, but so are a lot of movies.
Planet of the Apes: A lot of people are really amazed the first time they see this movie from start to finish. It is really a good movie. Yes, the title makes it sound corny... and if you've only seen a couple minutes of it, you'll probably think it's just another campy sci-fi movie. But it's much more than that.
Planet of the Apes (remake): I was expecting more. They should have just left the plot of the original alone. For me, the movie was ruined when the humans did their "escape" throught the ape village. They ran through every damn house in town - real sneaky! How stupid can you be? That said, I did like the makeup and look of the movie - it had some style.
Platoon: A bunch of hot young Hollywood hunks get all emotional and kill people.
The Player: Really cool movie about movies... or the movie biz anyway. Fun to watch just for the "reel life" cameos. I don't remember much about the plot, but it was good.
Pleasantville: I'm sorry if you liked this movie, but I thought it was completely full of itself. After a half hour, I was sitting there saying "ok, I get it... when people 'wake up', they turn into color... oooh! a metaphor or something". But that was the whole movie. This was just stupid, they were living in an artificially constructed reality in the first place, any growth of the characters was just stupid.
Point Break: Surfers rob banks and Keeaneaueau Reeves does his best to look cool. Kind of dumb, but watchable all the same.
Poison Ivy: I know I saw this, but I must have been half-awake, because I remember none of it. If I was awake, that doesn't bode too well for this movie - i.e. forgettable.
Pollock: I don't know anything about the "real" Pollock, except for the squggily lines... Considering how hard it must be to dramatize painting, this movie does a good job, especially in the way they don't try to over-idolize Pollock. In the end, he's just a slut like everybody else.
Poltergeist: I liked this better than ET. They both came out at the same time, and I thought the whole "media attention" thing was misdirected. I guess that was the first time I realized that I was smarter and cooler than everybody else. No, REALLY!!!
The Postman: Yes, the Kevin Costner movie that nobody saw. This movie had possibly the worst trailers I've ever seen. They made it out to be this epic story... I remember turning to the guy next to me in the theater and asking "is this a joke?". I was serious, but... so was Kevin Costner. I've seen a lot of worse movies, I think 'The Postman' just got a bad vibe and was doomed before it ever came out. Some people have called this "waterworld without the water". That's actually a pretty good description. It's about a loner in a post-apocalyptic world who accidentally finds something to believe in, and rises up against a tyrant (oh, he falls in love with a strong, independent woman too). Except in this one, Kevin is trying to get to the water (some ocean-side village) instead of land. The story & writing in this movie is a little better than waterworld, but the special effects weren't as numerous. Remember how you felt about waterworld because you'll probably feel the same way about this movie. If you haven't seen either movie, you didn't miss that much.
Popeye: I suppose it had to be done. I guess it couldn't have been done a lot better either. One of the few movies where Robin Williams isn't "Robin Williams". This doesn't even compare to the really old b/w popeye cartoons from the 30's though, where he'd beat up on people for just looking at him wrong - before the Hollywood morality police took over.
Nobody understands me, I'm just an
albino guy who channels lightning - I'm a person too dammit!
Predator: Kind of like a movie version of that survivor TV show - except that you know who's going to live at the end.
Predator 2: Ditto.
Pretty in Pink: I don't really remember much about the specific plot of this movie... something about Molly Ringwald falling in love with some wanker. This was made back in the heyday of John Hughes. At least, I think he made this movie...
The Princess Bride: Awesome. This movie was pieced together perfectly. There are indeed clever intelligent funny movies being made.
Princess Cariboo: I wish the end of this movie was longer - they just figure out the secret and the movie ends about 10 minutes later. It would have been more interesting if she had confided the secret to somebody, so we could know more about her motivations and real character.
Prospero's Books: Wow. Only Peter Greenaway could pull off a movie like this. This is an adaptation of Shakespeare's "the tempest". John Gielgud speaks every line for every character. The costumes and sets are beyond dreamlike. I think this movie also set an all-time record for sheer number of naked people. Don't expect to understand it, just let it melt your brain.
Psycho: Nutcase kills people.
Pulp Fiction: You know what they call Pulp Fiction in France?
Puppetmaster: Your typical cheeseball "aliens take over human bodies" movie. This time, they've picked Iowa as their starting point. There were a lot of "missing" scenes in this movie. It was like they figured some scenes would just be too expensive to film, so they just skipped to the next one. That was a little annoying. I was pretty darn impressed with the "hang on to the helicopter" scene at the end - chilling.