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Emily McB's Profile

Customer Reviews: 72
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Helpful Votes: 307

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Emily McB RSS Feed (Vancouver, Canada)

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Sunday Bloody Sunday [VHS]
Sunday Bloody Sunday [VHS]
Offered by gruvswerve
Price: $4.69
26 used & new from $0.01

8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Premise, June 10, 2002
This film follows the fascinating relationship between three Londoners--a 50 plus homosexual man, a 40ish straight woman, and the 20 something young man they are both in love with. The idea is a fascinating one, and the screenplay examines and analyses the nature and limitations of this kind of love.
It all sounds great, but there are definate problems in the execution. Firstly, the film is long and somewhat slow-moving, which is a fairly minor complaint. More importantly, the character with whom we are supposed to identify the most, and certainly the one with the most screen time, is Glenda Jackson's Alex, and she proves to be the most frustrating of the three. Her possessive need to have Bob to herself is understandable as a concept, but Jackson fails to make it seem reasonable, and the character comes accross as selfish, especially as Peter Finch's Daniel seems to pose very little threat, and to be able to subsist on only occasional visits from the beloved Bob. It's easy to see why Bob loves the older doctor, it is less apparant what he sees in Alex, who never seems to be much fun. She should be a little more likable if we are to be caught up in the film.

No Title Available

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instantly Redeems Hugh Grant for all those bad movies, June 10, 2002
Of the three Hornby adaptations I've seen--High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, and About A Boy--this one is probably the most enjoyable, although it perhaps doesn't have quite as much depth as High Fidelity. As soon as it began I forgave Hugh Grant on the spot for Sense and Sensibility, The Englishman..., and all those other movies where he bumbled and stuttered. This is a performance reminiscent of his work in Bridget Jones' Diary, and as good as that in An Awfully Big Adventure. He is suitably shallow, self-consciously good-looking, unapologetically self-motivated, and deeply insecure. Moreover, it is a joy to watch his relationship with young Marcus, (Nicholas Hoult) develop into a skewed father-son type friendship. The supporting cast is led by three appealing actresses: Toni Collette as Marcus' manic depressive "daft hippie" mother, Rachel Weisz as Grant's ideal match, and Victoria Smurfit as an unsuccessful date who introduces the 40 year old boy to the 12 year old. While Hoult is generally very convincing as Marcus, the best child performance is by Augustus Prew, as Weisz's jealous son, who is by turns hilarious and threatening. The Weitz brothers direct very well, with surprising subtlety, and the use of "Killing Me Softly" as the films unofficial theme song is just classic.

Say Anything [VHS]
Say Anything [VHS]
Offered by momos_romance
Price: $1.82
114 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Just Perfect, June 10, 2002
This review is from: Say Anything [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This one immediately skyrocketed to being one of my favourite movies with its funny screenplay, engaging characters, and complete honesty about its subject. It's like an accessibly fantasy, the type of thing we'd all love to happen to us: it's suitably unlikely, but seems really possible when you see this film.
All the supporting characters are great, from Diane's misguided but loving Dad to all the various teenagers screaming at one another at the party. Lloyd Dobbler's friends are perfect, especially Lili Taylor as the talented Cory, obsessed with her cheating boyfrient to the point where she's written 63 songs about him. She is the perfect confidente, giving out good advice and loony theories in the same breath. Another standout in a small part is Joan Cusack, who's always great in anything, but brings a lot of depth to the character of Lloyd's single mom sister. Her chemisty with her brother is unforced; affectionate but not sappy. All the tiny parts are equally good, from the lady who works in the luggage store, to the two lawyers making deals with each other.
But all this wouldn't work if the two leads weren't good too. They are though, giving convincing and heartfelt performances as two nice, charming people, who are perfect for each other despite their many differences. I love the awkward hug after their first date, and I love the scene where Lloyd teaches Diane to drive.
It's just a great movie all round.

A Slight Case of Murder [VHS]
A Slight Case of Murder [VHS]
Offered by warehousefinds
Price: $1.89
26 used & new from $0.45

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Slight, June 10, 2002
I found this movie to be cute and funny in some places, and strangely repellent in others. The overall premise was good, and there were lots of great scenes like the bank robbery, and appealing characters like the detective with a screenplay (Adam Arkin) and the protagonists sassy girlfriend Kit (Felicity Huffman) but as the story continued, the main character became less and less likable, and the so called villains more likable. Nor was this just some ploy to show that we're all human underneath or something, because the tone of the film was still flippant and disturbing. The screenplay was unbalanced. In its attempt to give us a flawed anti-hero like all good film noirs, it created a bit of a monster.

Gattaca [VHS]
Gattaca [VHS]
Offered by archwaytech
Price: $6.96
56 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Entertaining, June 3, 2002
This review is from: Gattaca [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A great, understated, low-key film that is intelligent and philosophical. The filming is beautiful, austere without being cold, and nicely uncluttered. Ethan Hawke turns in a nice performance as a normal man battling his natural genes and the society that rejects him because of them. He has an easy chemistry with both his co-stars, Uma Thurman, who is perfectly believable and looks convincingly like a genetically engineered human, and Jude Law, turning in an effectively heart-breaking performance, and a spoilt, genetically perfect man, who nonetheless cannot live up to his potential.

Age of Innocence [VHS]
Age of Innocence [VHS]
Offered by Geneva Marketing
Price: $1.74
82 used & new from $0.90

7 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long and Bloated, June 3, 2002
This review is from: Age of Innocence [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie is ridiculous beyong words. To begin with, the plot might justify a brief hour and a half to 2 hour film, but nothing like this 15 hour (feels like it, really) snooze-fest. It's very simple, and has been done thousands of times much better. Two people fall in love but for some reason they can't get together or they wouldn't still be in love if they did (I only saw it two weeks ago and already I can't remember). Then there is the dialogue, which is mostly schmaltzy and overly melodramatic, and is completely mangled by most of the actors. Especially annoying is Joanne Woodwards voice-over narration, which chirps up whenever the music swells to tell you a) what just happened (which you know if you've been paying attention at all) b) what everyone's thinking about (which you know because most of the performances are so cartoonish) and c) what the fallout will be (which you don't need to know because they'll show you the scene about it later). Daniel Day-Lewis looks grumpy most of the time, whereas Michelle Pfeiffer is suitably radiant, but says most of her lines in a breathless whisper with her eyes unfocused, gazing dreamily at the wall. In the supporting cast, Scorcese has a miniature stable of British actors in near-cameos. Unlike their American counterparts, they look comfortable and relaxed doing a period peice, but the dialect coach seems to have them all doing ridiculously exagerrated American accents. Basically, had the Brits made this movie, it might have been a lot better, because they do enough costume dramas to know not to get caught up lingering on the pretty sets. So I'm giving the film one star for itself, and one for Winona Ryder, as the only cast member who doesn't look like a rank amateur, despite being the youngest person there.

Strictly Ballroom [VHS]
Strictly Ballroom [VHS]
Offered by booksaremyfriends
Price: $1.99
80 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectatular Early Baz Luhrman, June 3, 2002
This review is from: Strictly Ballroom [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is actually my favourite of Baz Luhrman's films, closely followed by Moulin Rouge and miles ahead of Romeo and Juliet. The story is simple and predictable, but that only adds to its charm, rather than detracting from it. The joy of this film comes from all the little moments, like Scott and Fran's father dancing beside the railway track, or flashback's to Scott's parents careers. The sets and costumes are great, and in many ways this film is a kind of prequel, or companion piece to Moulin Rouge. The performers are for the most part dancers before they are actors, but they are all perfectly competant. The dance numbers really make the movie with wonderful music, slow motion, and slightly less frenetic editing than Luhrman's other movies. The great, funny, romantic, sweet movie, to enjoy time and again.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High [VHS]
Fast Times at Ridgemont High [VHS]
Offered by GreatNewMovies
Price: $2.00
62 used & new from $0.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was anyone's High School actually like this?, May 30, 2002
I felt that the movie itself had serious problems (not knowing what direction it wanted to go in, leading to pacing catastrophes) but was made watchable and occasionally really funny by its exellent cast. Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh (who looked about 12) were very good, but my favourite by far was Phoebe Cates as Leigh's good-natured, Promiscuous friend. She had an energy and charm beyond everyone else.

Snatch [VHS]
Snatch [VHS]
Offered by Bat Country Books, LLC
Price: $4.83
69 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure, May 30, 2002
This review is from: Snatch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Snatch got plenty of bad reviews when it came out and didn't seem much like my type of movie anyway, but I found it immensly entertaining and funny. The insane, convoluted story and wonky editing were all part of the experience, the violence was frequently hilarious, and the characters were great. I laughed as much as anyone at Brad Pitt's ridiculous oirish accent, but I loved his character, and felt that it wouldn't be half as good with decent diction. And I felt that Vinnie Jones was the best of the bunch as the always somewhat bored looking gangster who is totally unfazed by anything.

Limey [VHS]
Limey [VHS]
Offered by more_books_less_money
Price: $3.89
56 used & new from $0.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Conclusion to Fabulous Movie., May 30, 2002
This review is from: Limey [VHS] (VHS Tape)
First of all, I'll say that I found the climax of the film a bit of a let-down. Oh, it was clever, but not in a particularly believable way, it was all a bit convenient the way people kept turning up. But never mind; the build-up was so flawless, Soderberg's direction so stylish, and the central performances so convincing, that it's really barely worth grumbling. The editing was mainly to thank for the effective increase in tension. Scenes from all over the time line of the story were spliced together with no explanation as to where they fit in. This could be potentially irritating and confusing, but Soderberg proves, as he did again with Traffic, that he is fully capable of keeping track of different aspects of the same story through colour and light. So the story flashes backwards several years and forwards several days without disrupting the narrative flow.
Peter Fonda and Luiz Guzman are both very good, but the film belongs completely to Terrence Stamp. He keeps the audience hanging off of his every ground out word, and his face, even, or rather especially in repose has endless emotion lingering in it. Best of all, the flashbacks are actually scenes from a film much earlier in Stamp's career, so while the young man does not particularly resemble the older one, the patterns of speech and the movements of the face are the same. This, like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, is a classic Terrence Stamp performance, and the film is a credit to both him and Soderberg.

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