Reviews by Ezikiel

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Do you know my poetry?
I know what your all thinking, there's already too many review threads. Well I wanted to start yet another one, I wanna practice writing some reviews. I don't think I'm very good at writing them, but I'm trying.

My rating system:

**** - Masterpiece

***1/2 - Great

*** - Good

**1/2 - Watchable, almost good.

** - Not too good, but somewhat watchable

*1/2 - Bad

* - Horrible

1/2* - Beyond Horrible

Zero Stars - One of the worst movie I've ever seen.

My first review will be on Waking Life, I'm writing it as I'm typing all this you read here. So stay tuned for my review on the very great film Waking Life.

There will never be too many review threads at a movie forum. Bring 'em on bud, I'm anxious to read them.
"Today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids."

Do you know my poetry?
Waking Life - ****

Written by: Richard Linklater
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Rated: R for language and some violent images
Starring: Wiley Wiggins

Never before have I been so interested in an animated film the way I was with Waking Life. This is one of the oddest, yet one of the most interesting films I have ever seen. Since the very first minute of the film, I was so very fascinated by it, that for the rest of the film I didn't want to miss one visual image. I really loved the animation in this film, never had I seen a film in that type of animation before. Storywise, dialogue wise, and visual wise, Waking Life never dissapoints. I'm very proud to call this film my favorite animated movie of all time.

The film starts off with the main character (whose name we are never told) riding in a train, but unfortunately, we are never told where he is headed. From here he meets two men who give him a ride in a "Boat Car". And from here on, the main character played by Wiley Wiggins starts having conversations with complete strangers about life, death, and the message of the film, dreams. There are many different characters all with different views of Dreams, and all discuss them. These views are very interesting, and yes, really make you think.

In my opinion, the film should not have been rated R at all, I mean sure, there are some violence and curse words here and there, but I think this is another one of those times the MPAA really rates a movie badly. While seeing this film, I realized most of the things the characters were saying are very true to the story, and to life, and never before thought about these different views on many subjects. While thinking about it, it kind of depressed me a bit to think about these things.

This is a review I'm having a little trouble writing, because basically, the plot is very hard to explain in a review. But what makes it very interesting is it's direction and animation style. The animation style is the main reason I love this film very much. The animation is very realistic. These people do things like real humans would do. The animation is very detailed, such as just taking a second to see a character put out a cigarette. The direction is some of the best I've seen on a animation film, the facial expressions on the characters are beyond great for animation.

The film starts off with this message: "Dream is Destiny". The destiny of the main character is in his dream, but the bad thing about his dream is, he cant wake up. I think the film is explained best when the main character goes to a theatre and the film he's watching explains everything I think the film is trying to say. He knows he's gonna wake up from his dream, but he can't feel it.

Richard Linklater does both a great job on directing and writing, his style is very unique. This movie had great dialogue, every word that was said really made you think, and sometimes maybe even made you believe in these theory's. When we see the film, we experience the theory's and idea's, we can't help but think maybe some of the things most of the characters are saying is true. We are given questions that fear us, and we may want to explore these questions. I want to see this film again, to experience it's greatness once more.

"They say dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn't you say the same thing about life?"

Thanks for the review Ezikiel, I'll check this out and get back to ya'.

Good job!

Do you know my poetry?
Originally Posted by LordSlaytan
Good job!
I don't really think I did a good job on this review, I could've done much better. But Thanks for the compliment.

You did a great job Ezikiel... thanks for sharing...
You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough.
~William Blake ~

AiSv Nv wa do hi ya do...
(Walk in Peace)

Do you know my poetry?
Originally Posted by Caitlyn
You did a great job Ezikiel... thanks for sharing...
Thanks Slay and Cait, I really appreciate your good comments. My next review will be on American Splendor, which I will post on Tuesday.

Kaiser "The Devil" Soze
This one is one of my favourite animated movies too. I'm interested to know which views impacted you the most, or which ones do you most strongly agree with?

As for myself I would say I agree most closely with the evloutionist and the collective unconscious interpertations. And I agree with you about what you had to say about the plot, it may be hard to describe. But simply put, I'd say the plot was about how different people look at the world differently all voiced in this movie, you get the scientific aspect, the psychological aspect, the religious aspect... and by the end of the film when they fill you with all these ideas, you realize that its really all of them.
And like that .... he's gone

I liked your review, it has made me rethink my repulsion for animation
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Do you know my poetry?
American Splendor - ****

Based on the Comic Book Series "American Splendor" by Harvey Pekar and
"Our Cancer Year" by Joyce Brabner.

Written by: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Directed by: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Rated: R for Language
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Judah Friedlander, with Appearences by Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner, and Toby Radloff.

American Splendor is a very brilliant, smart film. Definately one of the best of 2003. The film is based on the Comic book series by Harvey Pekar. This was the best screenplay of last year, and I was very dissapointed it did not win the Academy Award for it. The screenplay is only one of the many reasons I loved this movie, the other being the actors, including the great Paul Giamatti. He's always great, even in some bad films (Big Fat Liar). His transformation of Harvey Pekar was brilliant, he both acted and sounded like the real Harvey, who makes appearences in the film as himself. Another reason being why I loved this film so much was it's documentary/motion picture style, it would go from a scene from the film, to a documentary style interview with the real life Harvey Pekar. This was Paul Giamatti's best performance and definately the best performance of 2003. I was very mad over the fact he did not get a nomination for it here.

The story begins in the year 1958, when Harvey is a little boy. He's out trick-or-treating with other boys, but the problem is he's not in a costume. When not given candy he walks off and says one of the funniest lines in the film: "Man, why do people have to be so stupid." From here we go to Harvey as an Adult, with a hoarse voice, having relationship problems. During this time of his problems, one of his friends R. Crumb becomes a comic book artist and becomes quite famous. This persues Harvey to do something else instead of his clerk filing job at a local hospital. He then decides to make a comic named American Splendor about the real troubles in life, for example: Losing your keys.

Paul Giamatti plays this role perfectly. While watching this film, I was very impressed with his performance. But I have to give alot of credit to another reason why the film was great. Judah Friedlander playing the very funny Toby Radloff. Toby was Harvey's best friend, he was the funniest person in the film. Some people thought he might of played Toby a bit over the top, but once you see the real Toby talking, you know he's playing this role just perfectly. The funniest scene in the film in my opinion is a scene where Toby tells Harvey he's driving many miles to see a film, he tells Harvey this film was inspiring, and when he said the name of the movie, I just couldn't stop laughing. That was one of the funniest scene's I've seen in film history.

Harvey is having troubles with his comic, not with the story, but with the illistrations, he puts it this way: "I can't even draw a straight line." But appearently, his fellow friend R. Crumb who was also a comic book artist liked his style and agreed to illistrate it. From here we meet Joyce Brabner (played by Hope Davis very well), a women who thinks there are very little comic stores at her town, so decides to start her own. She loved the American Splendor series, but misplaced a copy and every other one was sold out, so decides to write a letter to Harvey. They have a letter writing relationship until they finally decide to meet and go on a date.

Harvey would write stories about his real life in the American Splendor comics. He would write about his friends, about his life, about people from the hospital who are also clerks, and Joyce. This film is also based on the comic by Joyce Brabner, Our Cancer Year, when Joyce documented everything that happened during the year Harvey had cancer in his testical. Harvey doesn't write about fiction things. He writes about true life, for example: about real arguments we would have. Not arguments on something fictional. Pekar writes about real things we do, people we hate, things we enjoy, conversations like real people would have, etc.

Harvey made many appearences in The David Letterman Show in the 1980's, he knew they were only calling him back to get some ratings. Harvey just didn't want to be on the David Letterman show anymore, so he did something on his final appearence and went a little too far. Dave then wispered into his ear during the commercial break: "You blew a good thing." Some of these appearences we see with Letterman are real footage, but there is a re-creation of his final show where Harvey insults Letterman and NBC. Shari Spinger Berman and Robert Pulcini tried to get this footage but couldn't. The scene where he makes his final appearence was very funny, and we don't really believe this happened, but it did. Harvey didn't care "he blew a good thing" as Letterman said, he only did what he believed in.

What we learn from this film is that Harvey is a real person, and acts like a real person, just like each and every single one of us. And Berman and Pulcini show us this person in a very fascinating way. They both did a fantastic job in the writing and the direction of the film.

WARNING: "The Last Scene of the Film" spoilers below
The last scene of the film is a retirement party for Harvey, he has finally retired from being a hospital clerk, but we learned all that he accomplished in his life, and can't help but feel very good for him.

American Splendor is the best directed and written film of last year, and if anybody who has read this review has not seen it, I strongly recommend you do. All in all, American Splendor is brilliant, smart, great and just pure genius.

"Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff"

Cyberdine Systems Model 101
American Splendor is the best directed and written film of last year, and if anybody who has read this review has not seen it, I strongly recommend you do.
Will do. To be honest, when I go to my local video store I think of this place right away. There are never too many review threads around here because every single one of them has something special. Each and every review someone writes will at least help a single person. And that's exactly what you are doing, Ezikiel. You're recommending us to view a certain film and I can assure you that someone will check that movie out.

Good reviews you have so far
Last 5 films Iíve seen

An American In Paris ****/*****
Once Upon A Time In China *****/*****
Father of the Bride ****/*****
Spartacus *****/*****
The Hidden Fortress ****/*****

You can view my review for each of those films at T-850's Reviews

Do you know my poetry?
Thirteen - ***1/2

Written by: Nikki Reed and Catherine Hardwicke
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Rated: R for drug use, self destructive violence, language and sexuality - all involving young teens.
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, and Nikki Reed.

Thirteen was a great, very interesting film. The film stars the young and very talented Evan Rachel Wood as Tracy, a young teenager who hangs out with her friends, spends time with her mom, does her own thing, just minds her own business, just doing teen stuff. On the year of the film, she is starting her 7th year of school, one day she notices all the boys love this girl named Evie, played by the writer of the film Nikki Reed. Evie one day makes fun of Tracy's style of clothes, this makes Tracy very upset and immediately wants to purchase new clothes. She impresses Evie with her new clothes, but not nearly as enough as we think. Evie gives Tracy a fake phone number. This leads to Tracy's first act of crime, stealing a purse full of money just to impress Evie.

Nikki Reed wrote an excellent screenplay here, the teen characters never speak corny dialogue like most teens in films do. Reed really impressed me with her writing, but all the credit just doesn't go to her. We have to give some credit to the co-writer and director Catherine Hardwicke, she does a terrific job as a first time director. These events were really based on the life events of Nikki Reed, which is in a way kind of sad and makes you feel bad for this person and the character. Reed and Hardwicke only wrote the screenplay in six days, which really impresses me.

Eventually Evie becomes so attached to Tracy that she moves in with her, from here on, Tracy goes very wild. After Evie moves in, everything in Tracy's family life goes to hell once she starts doing the following: Drugs, having sex with boys, buying slutty clothes, and starts to cut herself. Evie always acts nice to Tracy's mom Mel, which is played by the great actress Holly Hunter. We can never be sure Evie is telling the truth or lying, her specialty is lying. But when she talks to Mel, she sounds so serious, that we can't be sure if she's telling the truth.

Evan Rachel Wood has some real talent, not to be wasted. She makes this character seem so real, like she's Tracy. Wood never shows a moment of dissapointment in her acting, her acting is Grade A for an actress her age. I just wish she appears in more films like this, I hope she comes out in more great films to come. Nikki Reed never dissapoints either, for her first film, she does a terrific job. Her acting is above average, she really has it. For a first time actress and screenwriter, well let me just say I'm very impressed.

Holly Hunter's character, Mel the mother, I think is the hardest to play. Her character had to put up with all this crap from her daughter, her acting is always excellent. Mel loves Tracy, but she just can't take anymore of her bad behavior. She doesn't suspect that Tracy learned this bad behavior from Evie. She doesn't wanna send Evie back to her home because Evie and Tracy always tell Mel stories of abuse at Evie's home. Hunter really does an excellent performance with this character, and does deserve a nomination for it. Mel just can't take it anymore and tries to see if Tracy's dad can help, but that only makes things worse.

WARNING: "Thirteen" spoilers below
In the last scene of the film, Evie turns on Tracy, she doesn't want to get in trouble for herself and blames everything on Tracy when in fact everything bad that has happened is her fault.This is probably the most emotional scene of the film, the reaction we get at the end from Tracy and Mel is very emotional and probably the best scene of the film.

I don't think Thirteen is for everyone, if you wanna see a good movie with excellent writing and direction, see this one. If you wanna see a very serious teen film about serious teen issues, see this one. I loved the camera movements in this film, I thought they were very cool. Great direction by Catherine Hardwicke, I hope she directs more films in the future, I would definately love to see them. This film is what it is, a teen film, but a very serious and good one. This movie almost had everything, great direction, great writing, great acting, great editing, and great cinematography. If you wanna see one of the best films of last year, then see Thirteen.

Your review of Waking Life reawakened my interest in the film, after having read several ngative ones.
I wanted to see American Splendor just because of Paul Giamatti, but a good review always helps.
Also, nice work on Thirteen.
Let us go, Through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells

From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S.Eliot

Hey Ezikiel, wonderful, wonderful, stuff here!

Iíve only seen one of the three films youíve reviewed here; American Splendor. I agree with you 100%! This is one of the best movies of last year and also had one of the greatest performances in Paul Giamatti. It is a travesty that it was so largely ignored at the Oscarís while Lost in Translation was worshiped. Itís not that I didnít like Lost in Translation, because I loved it, but I think it was equal in its greatness with American Splendor. How one could get so much recognition while the other is principally overlooked just irks the hell out of me. Jude Law should have been passed over for Giamatti. But then again, it was a honorary year for Jackson which caused a lot of snubbing in other areas. I mean. Címon! City of God is nominated for four awards and doesnít win a single Oscar!

I have Thirteen on order and will be checking into the other one as well. I always knew I wanted to see Thirteen, but never thought of Waking Life before, It is because of your review that it is on my list. I canít hardly wait for more reviewís by Ezikiel. Thanks, bud.

Do you know my poetry?
Punch-Drunk Love - ****

Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Rated: R for strong language including a scene of sexual dialogue.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Phillip Semour Hoffman, and Luis GuzmŠn

Paul Thomas Anderson has easily become one of my favorite directors of the past decade. Before Punch-Drunk Love, he had already done two masterpieces. The first one being Boogie Nights, wonderful film filled with great performances and a great script. I didn't think he could top himself, until he made Magnolia, which I believe is his best film and one of the best ever made. Here Anderson gets a very great cast with some of the best storylines I've ever seen on film. One of the reasons I love Anderson's films so much is because of how he uses his dialogue, it's very realistic. His most realistic dialogue was of course in the very great, Punch-Drunk Love. After years and years of seeing crap romance movies with horrible dialogue, we finally get a film romance that is both realistic in love dialogue and acting. This is a different romance story from the rest we've seen, because in this one, the characters talk like a real couple. I love Anderson's stories, because they are all very well told and very well acted.

Anderson always has one leading man in his cast, Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, Tom Cruise in Magnolia, and now Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. This was a very odd choice, because we've never seen Sandler act serious, but just goofy. But I was amazed at his talent of acting, he did something a lot of people though he couldn't, he could act. Finally Adam Sandler, a man we've seen in many dumb films acting like an idiot, does a serious role for once. He really impressed me while playing his character, Berry Egan. I think alot of us can relate to Berry, sometimes we're lonely, or depressed, or just annoyed. I don't think Berry is so different from us, he's just a lonely human being trying to mind his own business. Berry just has a normal lonely life, then something happened to him that I think happens to all of us, he found love.

The film starts off with Berry Egan, a man with his own company of selling toilet products. In an instant he witnesses a car accident, then a harmonium is left in the street by an unknown source. Berry, who has no idea what has just happened, nervously walks away. That same day he meets the women who he will soon fall in love with, Lena Leonard. We are never told about Lena's life, but we assume she's also very lonely. Their first meeting was a bit awkward when she leaves her car purposely to meet Berry. Berry is always awkward towards women, we find this out when his sister tries to set him up and Berry just replies: "I just don't do stuff like that." Berry is always annoyed by his seven sister's because they are always on his case, and during a party for one of them, he just explodes and breaks the patio windows.

This film has some terrific acting. It's not only Sandler who's great in the film. Emily Watson does an outstanding performance as Lena. Her character is not so different from Berry's, you can see how they relate. I think she was the perfect choice for this role, her look just felt right. There is also one more man who I always think does an excellent performance, PTA regular, Phillip Semour Hoffman. In Boogie Nights, he played Scotty, a nice guy who helped around and was very fond of porn-star Dirk Diggler. In Magnolia, he played Phil Parma, a nurse who was trying to be the nice guy and just do the right thing. But here, in Punch-Drunk Love, he plays the jerk, the "bad guy" if you like to put it that way. He never dissapoints in his acting, not one time have I ever seen a performance of Mr. Hoffman which I didn't enjoy. And here I think he does one of his best acting performances as Dean Trumbell, a man who runs a Mattress store when also running a phone sex company.

Another thing I just have to mention is the film's score, it's just simply beautiful, Jon Brion has made one of my favorite musical score's here, and I thank him for putting all this beautiful music into this great film. The Punch-Drunk Love theme he put in the film has become one of those songs I can just hear over and over again. You can also hear Jon Brion's great music in another great romance film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

When I saw this at the theater, I was very surprised at how many people walked out. I suspected they were Sandler fans that were expecting another stupid goofy Sandler film. I was very mad that these people were not even giving this film a chance, in the first 20 minutes, about 10 people walked out. It's really sad how people won't even give it a chance and see Sandler's real talent here, they just refuse to see that Sandler can do something good for a change.

There are two different stories going on here: 1. The love story between Berry and Lena, and 2. A very well written story of Berry vs. a Phone Sex company. Before Berry met Lena, he wanted to talk to somebody, he didn't have anyone to talk to about his problems, so he tries a phone sex company. After talking to Georgia, a girl from the phone sex line he called, she calls him the next morning with several threating statements because she wants some money from him. Berry ignores her so she sends out 3 brothers that work for Dean Trumbell, the phone sex company owner, to force Berry into giving her money. After getting his money stolen, Berry decides to join Lena and goes to a trip to Hawaii, and we finally see, Berry has found love. Love makes him stronger and more powerful, before love, Berry was just a lonely awkward man. Now love has made him realize now he has something, someone he can talk to, and it makes him more confident about himself. He is finally happy.

This film is a romance masterpiece, Paul Thomas Anderson has created one of my favorite love story films. I was very mad over the fact that Anderson nor Sandler got any Academy Award nominations at all, and I also really think Phillip Hoffman should of gotten a Best Supportting Actor nomination. When I see Anderson's film's, he inspires me, he inspires me to write a screenplay because of his wonderful work. His screenwriting is wonderful. He's one of the best, other great screenwriters of past years of course include the very very talented Charlie Kaufman and the great Quentin Tarantino. What all these have in common is that their dialogue seems very real. This film will always stand out in my mind as, a great romance story, Adam Sandler's best performance, and yet another Paul Thomas Anderson masterpiece. Best film of 2002.

"I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine." - Berry Egan

Mother! Oh, God! Mother! Blood!
Punch Drunk Love is the type of film that requires a couple of viewings. When it was over, I didn't know whether to say, "Wow!" or "What the ...?" There are some wonderful, wonderful scenes in this film, and P.T. Anderson sure knows how to draw our attention to a scene. However, half the time, when the scene is over, I had no idea what I was supposed to get out of it (hence the multiple viewings). The more time I put between my first viewing and my next viewing, the more intrigued I get. Thanks for the review, Ezikiel.

Regarding Thirteen: this is a powerful film and should be an eye-opener to parents of teens. I had one small problem: the portrayal of the junior high school and the total lack of discipline and presence of authority. I teach junior high, and the scene in which the science teacher is lecturing while the class isn't paying attention is ridiculous. Tracy walks into the room very late and blows off the teacher, and he lets her! She does this later in the film as well. Also, the scene portraying the first day of school: I don't care if it's Hollywood or Dorkwood, junior high boys don't hoot and whistle and make comments about girls as they go by, especially on the first day of school in JUNIOR HIGH!

I would have given more credit to Thirteen if the girls were entering high school. I'm not saying the things that happened in the film don't happen to junior high girls because I'm sure they do, and I don't have a problem with the portrayal of these two characters. However, overall, it was an over-generalized portrayal of 13-year-olds as a whole in order to sensationalize the events and get people shaking their heads.
NEW (as of 1/24/05): Quick Reviews #10

Nice. Great movie and great review. I too love PDL, it's one of the best of its kind. Everything about it makes me glad to see it.

You know, if I had a choice for your next review, it would be for The Royal Tennenbaums. *hint-hint*

Do you know my poetry?
Originally Posted by LordSlaytan
You know, if I had a choice for your next review, it would be for The Royal Tennenbaums. *hint-hint*
That's a terrific idea, I love The Royal Tenenbaums, it's one of my favorite films of past years. I will write a review for it and post it here sometime in the next few days.....

Nice Review. It always astonishes me how surprised everyone is when a comedian turns out to be a good actor in general, I've always felt that good comedic acting can be more demanding of an actors skills than serious acting.

Cyberdine Systems Model 101
Nice review Ezikiel. I also recommend that you write a review for The Royal Tennenbaums. I know youíll do great. Again, great Punch-Drunk Love review!