Dianne-Wiest Movie Reviews


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VHS movie reviews for "Dianne-Wiest" sorted by average review score:

Independence Day
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (29 January, 1992)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Robert Mandel
Average review score:

Awesome Movie that Tackles Serious Heartaches
This movie was one of the most moving stories I had seen during the 1980s. The seriousness it addressed concerning spousal abuse, suicide, cancer, and true romance was unforgettable. It was the sleeper movie of the 80s. The performances in this movie by David Keith, Kathleen Quinlan, and Diane Weist are exceptional.

Kathleen Quinlan is a tour de force in this film!
A young woman who dreams of leaving her small town to follow her dreams of becoming a photographer. Particailly held back by her love for local mechanic and a terminally ill relative;she fights to make her dreams a reality. Diane Weist gives a superb performance as the physically abused housewife.


Hannah & Her Sisters
Released in VHS Tape by Orion Studios (16 November, 1994)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, and Dianne Wiest
Considered by many to be Woody Allen's best film, even over Annie Hall. Hannah and Her Sisters follows a multitude of characters: Hannah (Mia Farrow), who plays den mother to her extended family; her sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), emotional and a bit of a flake, who's involved with a much older artist (Max Von Sydow), who treats her like a child; and Hannah's other sister, Holly (Dianne Wiest), a neurotic who feels incapable of managing her life. Hannah's husband Elliot (Michael Caine) falls in love with Lee, which sets off a series of upheavals. Allen gives one of his best performances as Hannah's ex-husband Mickey, who--much like Allen himself--is obsessed with death and unhappiness. But a simple summary doesn't begin to capture the warmth and intimacy of this movie; though the story follows a capsizing family, the outcome is surprising, joyous, and richly human. --Bret Fetzer
Average review score:

Home For The Holidays
Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" is one of my personal favorite films. Than again, many people see it as one of Allen's best films.
I think that along with "Crimes & Misdemeanors" this is one of Allen's best comedy\drama's and one of his best ensemble cast.
When I first saw this film, I didn't like it. All the characters story-lines tied up together, it just didn't seem interesting. Then one day I decided to watch the WHOLE film this time. As I watched it, I thought it was great. The acting was wonderful, infact to this day I can't understand why Barbara Hershey didn't win the Oscar over Diane Wiest instead. I think Hershey had the better role.
"Hannah and Her Sisters" tells the story of one very large family as marriages break up,people find new loves, and others carry around secret crushes. Without spoiling anything here's a somewhat brief out-line. Elliot (Michael Cane) is married to Hannah (Mia Farrow) but, Elliot has a crush on Lee (Barbara Hershey). Now, Lee on the other hand is living with a much older man, whom is more like a mentor now than a lover, the reclusive Frederick (Max von Sydow). There is also another sister, Holly (Diane Wiest). Holly is seen as the "wild" one and is the youngest of the three. A fraction of the story is about the bond these sisters have with each other.
Now, Hannah was married once before to Mickey (Allen) a once famous and respected tv producer now caught with a flop on his hands.
Meanwhile, Hannah, who is seen as the "center" of the family must keep her parents from driving each other crazy. They are played by Farrow's real life mother Maureen O' Sullivan and Lloyd Nolan.
"Hannah and Her Sisters" has such a bittersweet tone to it. Allen really displays a wonderful talent of being able to pull off these ensemble pieces. He is able to make each character seem exciting, and devotes enough time to each character where we get a sense of knowing them. Not to mention the way Allen throws in his style of humor when dealing with sometimes serious subjects. One character through-out the film is trying to find out the meaning of life (I'll leave it up to you to figure out who it is).
Some of my personal favorite moments in the film include a scene where Allen goes out on a date with Holly (Diane Wiest). She is the complete opposite of him. After a while Allen takes her to the Cafe Caryle to hear Bobby Short. Another favorite scene has to do with Elliot (Caine) and Lee (Hershey) going to a bookstore and finally Allen watching "Duck Soup" near the end of the film.
"Hannah and Her Sisters" won three Oscars; "Best Supporting Actor" (Caine), "Best Supporting Actress (Wiest) and "Best Original Screenplay" (Allen)
Keep your eyes open for Tony Roberts and Sam Waterson both appear unbilled. Carrie Fisher, J.T. Walsh,Julie Kaver, Daniel Stern, & Julia Louis-Dreyfus have minor roles.
Bottom-line: One of Woody Allen's best films. A modern classic. A movie that shows Allen's ability to combine comedy and drama so well. Sets a great pace and has a wonderful "feel" to it.

"woody allen's film hits the jackpot!"
In one of woody' best film, he is able to captivate the lives of 3 totally different sisters (and a hypocondriac husband) into an oscar winning film! The first sister is of course Hannah, the kind nurturing mother/ wife, who has remained good friends with her ex (allen) and her new husband (Michael Caine in an oscar winning role) who finds her hard to live with, because she gives so much and expects so little in return. The other sister is Lee (Barbra Hershey who is great) the beautiful, but emotionally sad sister, who wants to escape from her college professor boyfriend, and eventually falls in love with Hannah's husband.
The last sister is Holly (Dianne Wiest in an oscar winning role) the eccentric original person, who strives to find herself, while accidentally bringing down her sister hannah, and her rival April (Carrie Fisher). But by the end of the fillm they have all found happiness. Hannah has become more close to her husband. Lee has shrugged off her affair with Hannah's husband (who has fallen back in love with Hannah), and found new love. woody Allen (who has converted to Catholicism, but then tries several other religions) becomes lesser of a hypocondriac,and Holly & woody allen have married. And Allen (unable to have a child with hannah has a child with Holly)! crackerjack cameos by Maurren O' sullivan, and Daniel Stern! A great film all around! A+!

Great film, great story.
This film is considered by many to be Allen's comic masterpiece. The ensemble cast includes the best in the business during the mid 80's: Michael Cain, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, Carrie Fisher and an extraordinary performance from Max Von Sydow. We have all the Allen concerns in this film - death, love, religion, ethics and the comic situations that arise in family relationships when its members choose the wrong path. The adulterous (Michael Cain) husband falls in love with his wife's sister, whom also happens to be involved in a relationship with an older man, (Max Von Sydow) which, ironically, in the end, frees her from this affiliation because of its smothering nature. Cain puts in a magnificent performance, as the guilt-ridden adulterer who cannot keep his impulses under control. The way he goes about instigating the affair is adolescent-love-struck-infatuation- behaviour at it most laughable form.

Allen plays Allen, of course, but at his most charming and funny best. As a hypochondriac, he needs his pseudo illnesses in order to have meaning in his life. After a simple physical, the doctor hints that he might have something seriously wrong him; soon Allen suspects that he could have a brain tumour (the size of a basketball) and frets and frets until almost having a nervous breakdown. Later, to his great relief, he's told he's fine, but his life changes and now must discover life's 'true' meaning. This is true to the mark because after a 'close call' some of us do in fact go on a 'what's the meaning of life' journey. This of course is a natural thing to do. He tries everything from Nietzsche to Catholicism and finally discovers something very simple.

This is a family saga that is at once tragedy and comedy where you'll be laughing one second and crying the next. All the characters are searching for one meaning or another except Hannah. In the eyes of her family she's perfect. But she's anything but perfect and comes to realize this ... Mia did a wonderful job playing Mia and I had a great amount of sympathy for the character by the end of the film.

This is a film that one never grows tired of - it is undeniably a work of genius.


The 10th Kingdom (Extended Play Version)
Released in VHS Tape by Hallmark Home Entertainment (18 September, 2001)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Directors: Herbert Wise and David Carson
This epic 10-hour miniseries from the Emmy-winning writer of Gulliver's Travels was a ratings bust on television, but on video and DVD, where it can be enjoyed at one's leisure, it has a better chance to cast its magical spell. Kimberly Williams has never been more enchanting than as Virginia, a waitress who still lives with her janitor father (John Larroquette) and yearns for something exciting to happen to her. Her wish comes true when she and her father are transported from New York City into a dimension that, with apologies to Rod Serling, can only be called the Fairy Tale Zone; nine kingdoms populated by characters from fairy tales of yore. They team up with a dog who's really a prince--Wendell, grandson of Snow White--changed into canine form by the evil Queen (Dianne Wiest), who plots to usurp Wendell's throne. Father, daughter, and his royal dogness are relentlessly pursued through the nine kingdoms by the Troll King (Ed O'Neill) and his three bumbling and horrible children, and the conflicted Wolf (Scott Cohen), who is allied with the Queen but, with the aid of some Oprah-esque self-help books, tames his inner beast and falls in love with Virginia. The 10th Kingdom is a special effects extravaganza. There is indeed, as one character marvels, magic to behold here. But despite the Hallmark brand name and the presence of a grown-up Snow White (Camryn Manheim) and Cinderella (Ann-Margret), bewitched animals, magic mirrors, and trolls, this is not kid's stuff. It can get scary, surprisingly violent, and quite intense; you know, just like real fairy tales. --Donald Liebenson
Average review score:

The best TV miniseries in recent memory.
"Merlin" with Sam Neill comes close, but in the end it's "The 10th Kingdom" that takes the prize.

This is due in part to Simon Moore's excellent script. Although it's more than 400 minutes long, never once does "The 10th Kingdom" get boring or lag in anyway. The bit near the end with the singing magic mushrooms is funny beyond all reason.

And this is also due in part to the superb acting. Rutger Hauer is chilling as the predatory Huntsman, while Dianne West is ice cold as The Queen. Ed O'Neill brings just the right mix of evil and idiocy to his role of Relish the Troll King, while Hugh O'Gorman, Dawnn Lewis, and Jeremiah Birkett are hilarious as his children Burly, Blabberwort, and Bluebell. Daniel Lapaine is very good as both Prince Wendell and the canine impostor, Kimberly Williams gives a great performance as Virginia Lewis, and Scott Cohen almost steals the show as Wolf.

The one who DOES steal the show--at least, to me anyway--was John Larroquette as Tony Lewis. His sarcastic asides and continual flipping between optimism and pessimism make him possibly the best realized character, and John Larroquette does a magnificent job portraying him.

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend "The 10th Kingdom." Just be sure to make plenty of time, because once you start, you won't want to stop.

The 10th Kingdom- A Review
This movie is absolutely fantastic! It is the perfect mixture of comedy, action and fantasy. Wolf, half- man and half- wolf, definitely steals the show, but the rest of the cast is great, as well. The story revolves around Virginia (Kimberely Williams), her father, Tony (John Larroquette), and Wolf (Scott Cohen) trying to save the Nine Kingdoms and restore Prince Wendell, who is now a dog thanks to the evil Queen (Diane Weist), to his throne. What results is a breathtaking adventure which makes you hold your breath and laugh out loud at the same time. Scott Cohen plays Wolf to perfection and John Larroquette is brillantly funny as usual, constantly lamenting about the weird ways of the Nine Kingdoms. "What is it with you people?" He finally cries out. This movie is definitely worth its incredible length- 10 hours. If you don't buy it, borrow it from a friend!

The Tenth Kingdom
I saw this on TV and had to get the movie; mine came on three VHS tapes, so I don't have the extras for the DVD version.

The movie is about a girl named Virginia who lives with her father in New York city. Her father's a janitor, and she's a waitress, and she has a pretty pessimistic view on life.

Then one day, some trolls and a wolf-man from the nine kingdoms of fantasy come through a magic mirror into the modern world looking for a prince who'd been turned into a Golden Retriever.

Virginia and her father get caught up with the trolls, the wolf man, and the prince, and the wolf-man falls in love with Virginia, even though he's pledged allegiance to the evil queen and Virginia is for the good side.

This is an epic movie with great music and actually a really good plot for a movie on TV. I would definitely recommend getting this movie if you can sit through a, like, five hour long movie in one stretch.


The 10th Kingdom
Released in VHS Tape by Artisan (Fox Video) (09 May, 2000)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Directors: Herbert Wise and David Carson
This epic 10-hour miniseries from the Emmy-winning writer of Gulliver's Travels was a ratings bust on television, but on video and DVD, where it can be enjoyed at one's leisure, it has a better chance to cast its magical spell. Kimberly Williams has never been more enchanting than as Virginia, a waitress who still lives with her janitor father (John Larroquette) and yearns for something exciting to happen to her. Her wish comes true when she and her father are transported from New York City into a dimension that, with apologies to Rod Serling, can only be called the Fairy Tale Zone; nine kingdoms populated by characters from fairy tales of yore. They team up with a dog who's really a prince--Wendell, grandson of Snow White--changed into canine form by the evil Queen (Dianne Wiest), who plots to usurp Wendell's throne. Father, daughter, and his royal dogness are relentlessly pursued through the nine kingdoms by the Troll King (Ed O'Neill) and his three bumbling and horrible children, and the conflicted Wolf (Scott Cohen), who is allied with the Queen but, with the aid of some Oprah-esque self-help books, tames his inner beast and falls in love with Virginia. The 10th Kingdom is a special effects extravaganza. There is indeed, as one character marvels, magic to behold here. But despite the Hallmark brand name and the presence of a grown-up Snow White (Camryn Manheim) and Cinderella (Ann-Margret), bewitched animals, magic mirrors, and trolls, this is not kid's stuff. It can get scary, surprisingly violent, and quite intense; you know, just like real fairy tales. --Donald Liebenson
Average review score:

The best TV miniseries in recent memory.
"Merlin" with Sam Neill comes close, but in the end it's "The 10th Kingdom" that takes the prize.

This is due in part to Simon Moore's excellent script. Although it's more than 400 minutes long, never once does "The 10th Kingdom" get boring or lag in anyway. The bit near the end with the singing magic mushrooms is funny beyond all reason.

And this is also due in part to the superb acting. Rutger Hauer is chilling as the predatory Huntsman, while Dianne West is ice cold as The Queen. Ed O'Neill brings just the right mix of evil and idiocy to his role of Relish the Troll King, while Hugh O'Gorman, Dawnn Lewis, and Jeremiah Birkett are hilarious as his children Burly, Blabberwort, and Bluebell. Daniel Lapaine is very good as both Prince Wendell and the canine impostor, Kimberly Williams gives a great performance as Virginia Lewis, and Scott Cohen almost steals the show as Wolf.

The one who DOES steal the show--at least, to me anyway--was John Larroquette as Tony Lewis. His sarcastic asides and continual flipping between optimism and pessimism make him possibly the best realized character, and John Larroquette does a magnificent job portraying him.

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend "The 10th Kingdom." Just be sure to make plenty of time, because once you start, you won't want to stop.

The 10th Kingdom- A Review
This movie is absolutely fantastic! It is the perfect mixture of comedy, action and fantasy. Wolf, half- man and half- wolf, definitely steals the show, but the rest of the cast is great, as well. The story revolves around Virginia (Kimberely Williams), her father, Tony (John Larroquette), and Wolf (Scott Cohen) trying to save the Nine Kingdoms and restore Prince Wendell, who is now a dog thanks to the evil Queen (Diane Weist), to his throne. What results is a breathtaking adventure which makes you hold your breath and laugh out loud at the same time. Scott Cohen plays Wolf to perfection and John Larroquette is brillantly funny as usual, constantly lamenting about the weird ways of the Nine Kingdoms. "What is it with you people?" He finally cries out. This movie is definitely worth its incredible length- 10 hours. If you don't buy it, borrow it from a friend!

The Tenth Kingdom
I saw this on TV and had to get the movie; mine came on three VHS tapes, so I don't have the extras for the DVD version.

The movie is about a girl named Virginia who lives with her father in New York city. Her father's a janitor, and she's a waitress, and she has a pretty pessimistic view on life.

Then one day, some trolls and a wolf-man from the nine kingdoms of fantasy come through a magic mirror into the modern world looking for a prince who'd been turned into a Golden Retriever.

Virginia and her father get caught up with the trolls, the wolf man, and the prince, and the wolf-man falls in love with Virginia, even though he's pledged allegiance to the evil queen and Virginia is for the good side.

This is an epic movie with great music and actually a really good plot for a movie on TV. I would definitely recommend getting this movie if you can sit through a, like, five hour long movie in one stretch.


Edward Scissorhands
Released in VHS Tape by Fox Home Entertainme (20 May, 2003)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
Edward Scissorhands achieves the nearly impossible feat of capturing the delicate flavor of a fable or fairy tale in a live-action movie. The story follows a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp), who was created by an inventor (Vincent Price, in one of his last roles) who died before he could give the poor creature a pair of human hands. Edward lives alone in a ruined Gothic castle that just happens to be perched above a pastel-colored suburb inhabited by breadwinning husbands and frustrated housewives straight out of the 1950s. One day, Peg (Dianne Wiest), the local Avon lady, comes calling. Finding Edward alone, she kindly invites him to come home with her, where she hopes to help him with his pasty complexion and those nasty nicks he's given himself with his razor-sharp fingers. Soon Edward's skill with topiary sculpture and hair design make him popular in the neighborhood--but the mood turns just as swiftly against the outsider when he starts to feel his own desires, particularly for Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder). Most of director Tim Burton's movies (such as Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman) are visual spectacles with elements of fantasy, but Edward Scissorhands is more tender and personal than the others. Edward's wild black hair is much like Burton's, suggesting that the character represents the director's own feelings of estrangement and co-option. Johnny Depp, making his first successful leap from TV to film, captures Edward's childlike vulnerability even while his physical posture evokes horror icons like the vampire in Nosferatu and the sleepwalker in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Classic horror films, at their heart, feel a deep sympathy for the monsters they portray; simply and affectingly, Edward Scissorhands lays that heart bare. --Bret Fetzer
Average review score:

Burton's Best
In a large, gothic-looking hilltop castle overlooking a pastel colored suburb, Avon Lady Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) goes calling in her neiborhood, and finds Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) living all alone. The unfinished creation of an inventor (Vincent Price), Edward has everything a human should have, except, instead of hands, he has a pair of lethal shears. Feeling sorry for Edward, Peg demands that he comes with her to her suburban home to live with her family. I must say, this is one of the best films I have seen. Alongside a great story, Edward Scissorhands also has a deeper theme contained in it: the alienation of being different. Combined with a brilliant soundtrack,(Composed by Danny Elfman) that is both genius and touching, I would reccomed this movie to anybody. I wish there was a 6 star standard, because this movies deserves it.

Tim Burton's finest hour
This tenth anniversary edition is sure to be a superb addition to any DVD collection. All of Tim Burton's films are worth looking at, but the fairytale qualities and heartfelt emotion in this film make it close to his best, second only to "Ed Wood". A simple fable of a boy, Edward (Johnny Depp) whose inventor (Vincent Price, in a beautiful finale to his career) dies before completing him, leaving Edward with scissors for hands. Edward lives alone in the inventor's gothic mansion until Avon comes calling, and he is taken in my Dianne Weist's hilarious Avon lady. In surburbia, Edward finds love (Winona Ryder as the ultimate fairytale princess) as well as prejudice - Tim Burton is always making films about outsiders who just don't fit into society. The performances are great - Depp is a revalation - the production design and cinematography are breathtaking, and Danny Elfman's best ever score envelopes and enriches the entire film. Outstanding!

Even better than I'd expected
I'd heard that this was a very good movie about a misunderstood social outcast with a beautifully gothic appearance, but it exceeded even my wildest expectation. What caught me by surprise was Edward's complete innocence. He's not brooding and angsty. I like that sort of character, but they're rather over-done. The movie has an almost whimsical nature. Things that would be absurd in other types of films (Why does he have scissors instead of something more logical like hooks or droid hands a la Star Wars? What is such an out of place castle doing looming over a hilariously cliche suburb?) instead help to transport you to this world where such innocence, such a pure desire to simply love and be loved, can be embodied in one beautiful young man. And yet that very innocence is also his weakness, as people with intentions less pure can easily exploit his naivete and caring heart.

I think this movie can be best summed up by one of it's taglines: His story will touch you, even though he can't.


Edward Scissorhands
Released in VHS Tape by Twentieth Century Fox Home Video (05 September, 2000)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
Edward Scissorhands achieves the nearly impossible feat of capturing the delicate flavor of a fable or fairy tale in a live-action movie. The story follows a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp), who was created by an inventor (Vincent Price, in one of his last roles) who died before he could give the poor creature a pair of human hands. Edward lives alone in a ruined Gothic castle that just happens to be perched above a pastel-colored suburb inhabited by breadwinning husbands and frustrated housewives straight out of the 1950s. One day, Peg (Dianne Wiest), the local Avon lady, comes calling. Finding Edward alone, she kindly invites him to come home with her, where she hopes to help him with his pasty complexion and those nasty nicks he's given himself with his razor-sharp fingers. Soon Edward's skill with topiary sculpture and hair design make him popular in the neighborhood--but the mood turns just as swiftly against the outsider when he starts to feel his own desires, particularly for Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder). Most of director Tim Burton's movies (such as Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman) are visual spectacles with elements of fantasy, but Edward Scissorhands is more tender and personal than the others. Edward's wild black hair is much like Burton's, suggesting that the character represents the director's own feelings of estrangement and co-option. Johnny Depp, making his first successful leap from TV to film, captures Edward's childlike vulnerability even while his physical posture evokes horror icons like the vampire in Nosferatu and the sleepwalker in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Classic horror films, at their heart, feel a deep sympathy for the monsters they portray; simply and affectingly, Edward Scissorhands lays that heart bare. --Bret Fetzer
Average review score:

Burton's Best
In a large, gothic-looking hilltop castle overlooking a pastel colored suburb, Avon Lady Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) goes calling in her neiborhood, and finds Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) living all alone. The unfinished creation of an inventor (Vincent Price), Edward has everything a human should have, except, instead of hands, he has a pair of lethal shears. Feeling sorry for Edward, Peg demands that he comes with her to her suburban home to live with her family. I must say, this is one of the best films I have seen. Alongside a great story, Edward Scissorhands also has a deeper theme contained in it: the alienation of being different. Combined with a brilliant soundtrack,(Composed by Danny Elfman) that is both genius and touching, I would reccomed this movie to anybody. I wish there was a 6 star standard, because this movies deserves it.

Tim Burton's finest hour
This tenth anniversary edition is sure to be a superb addition to any DVD collection. All of Tim Burton's films are worth looking at, but the fairytale qualities and heartfelt emotion in this film make it close to his best, second only to "Ed Wood". A simple fable of a boy, Edward (Johnny Depp) whose inventor (Vincent Price, in a beautiful finale to his career) dies before completing him, leaving Edward with scissors for hands. Edward lives alone in the inventor's gothic mansion until Avon comes calling, and he is taken in my Dianne Weist's hilarious Avon lady. In surburbia, Edward finds love (Winona Ryder as the ultimate fairytale princess) as well as prejudice - Tim Burton is always making films about outsiders who just don't fit into society. The performances are great - Depp is a revalation - the production design and cinematography are breathtaking, and Danny Elfman's best ever score envelopes and enriches the entire film. Outstanding!

Even better than I'd expected
I'd heard that this was a very good movie about a misunderstood social outcast with a beautifully gothic appearance, but it exceeded even my wildest expectation. What caught me by surprise was Edward's complete innocence. He's not brooding and angsty. I like that sort of character, but they're rather over-done. The movie has an almost whimsical nature. Things that would be absurd in other types of films (Why does he have scissors instead of something more logical like hooks or droid hands a la Star Wars? What is such an out of place castle doing looming over a hilariously cliche suburb?) instead help to transport you to this world where such innocence, such a pure desire to simply love and be loved, can be embodied in one beautiful young man. And yet that very innocence is also his weakness, as people with intentions less pure can easily exploit his naivete and caring heart.

I think this movie can be best summed up by one of it's taglines: His story will touch you, even though he can't.


The Lost Boys
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (02 August, 1993)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Jason Patric and Corey Haim
This 1987 thriller was a predictable hit with the teen audience it worked overtime to attract. Like most of director Joel Schumacher's films, it's conspicuously designed to push the right marketing and demographic buttons, and granted, there's some pretty cool stuff going on here and there. Take Kiefer Sutherland, for instance. In Stand by Me he played a memorable bully, but here he goes one step further as a memorable bully vampire who leads a tribe of teenage vampires on their nocturnal spree of bloodsucking havoc. Jason Patric plays the new guy in town, who quickly attracts a lovely girlfriend (Jami Gertz), only to find that she might be recruiting him into the vampire fold. The movie gets sillier as it goes along, and resorts to a routine action-movie showdown, but it's a visual knockout (featuring great cinematography by Michael Chapman) and boasts a cast that's eminently able (pardon the pun) to sink their teeth into the best parts of an uneven screenplay. --Jeff Shannon
Average review score:

THE BEST VAMPIRE MOVIE EVER
When this movie came out in the eighties, I dont think many people realized that it would become a classic film from that decade. Its not just a good vampire movie, its a good movie...period.

Jason patric and Corey Haim are brothers whos mother has moved them to be with their grandfather. Their new home is Santa Clara, otherwise known as the murder capital of the world. While there the older brother Michael (Patrick) meets a gang of teenagers who just happen to be vampires responsible for most of the murders. The younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) runs into a couple of self professed vampire killers. The fact that they are twelve doesnt douse their intensity. Michael appears to be on his way to becoming a vampire and the only way to stop it from happening is to kill the head vampire (The identity of which is revealed at the climax of the movie)

The movie flows nicely with a good script. The acting is good, the effects are good, the music is great. The humor throughout the movie adds some chuckles without forcing it. It all gels together into the best vampire movie I have ever seen. (My humble opinion).

The movie is one of my top ten favorites, but I was a little dissapointed with the DVD. There are very few extras, just a trailer and some production notes. Still worth adding to your DVD collection, but I have my fingers crossed for a collector's edition.

Not Just Ordinary Vampires
As one of two teenage vampire movies released in 1987, (the other was the miserable "Near Dark")"The Lost Boys," is a hip, modern retelling of the vampire myth set in a Southern California setting. Brothers Michael (Patric) and Sam (Haim) are the newcomers to the small seaside town of Santa Clara, which is known as the murder capital of the world due to the mysterious disappearances of many town residents.

At the town's amusement park, Michael gets himself involved with a gang of vampires, who appear as normal street punks. Meanwhile Sam, meets the Frog Brothers, who run a comic book store at night, but are vampire hunters by day. After Michael himself becomes a vampire due to drinking the blood of a vampire, he is determined to find a way to save himself, the girl he loves, and his family from the impending danger that lurks them.

Directed by Joel Schumacher ("Batman Forever," "Batman & Robin," "Flatliners," etc.), the film's appeal to teenagers is due to its young cast, great soundtrack, and great, yet campy storyline. Dianne Wiest is excellent as Michael and Sam's mother, and Kiefer Sutherland in one of his first major roles is wicked as David, the leader of the gang.

Keep an eye out for a pre-"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adveture" Alex Winter as Marco, one of the vampires. This film also marked the first collaboration of the two Cories, Cory Haim & Cory Feldman, in a string of movies they made together in the 1980's ("License to Drive," "Dream A Little Dream," etc.) that capitalized on their teen-idol status. Reportedley, Jason Patric (who is Jackie Gleason's grandson) hates it when fans mention this movie as one of his best works, but the truth is it still remains one of the late 1980's cult classics.

If you like a funny, yet scary movie in the same tradition as "Scram," then check out this movie. It gave me many memories watching it on DVD as it did when I first saw it at the theater.

Garlic breath
Vampires are alive and well in Santa Cruz and they might just be dating your mom!


The Lost Boys
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (29 August, 2000)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Jason Patric and Corey Haim
This 1987 thriller was a predictable hit with the teen audience it worked overtime to attract. Like most of director Joel Schumacher's films, it's conspicuously designed to push the right marketing and demographic buttons, and granted, there's some pretty cool stuff going on here and there. Take Kiefer Sutherland, for instance. In Stand by Me he played a memorable bully, but here he goes one step further as a memorable bully vampire who leads a tribe of teenage vampires on their nocturnal spree of bloodsucking havoc. Jason Patric plays the new guy in town, who quickly attracts a lovely girlfriend (Jami Gertz), only to find that she might be recruiting him into the vampire fold. The movie gets sillier as it goes along, and resorts to a routine action-movie showdown, but it's a visual knockout (featuring great cinematography by Michael Chapman) and boasts a cast that's eminently able (pardon the pun) to sink their teeth into the best parts of an uneven screenplay. --Jeff Shannon
Average review score:

THE BEST VAMPIRE MOVIE EVER
When this movie came out in the eighties, I dont think many people realized that it would become a classic film from that decade. Its not just a good vampire movie, its a good movie...period.

Jason patric and Corey Haim are brothers whos mother has moved them to be with their grandfather. Their new home is Santa Clara, otherwise known as the murder capital of the world. While there the older brother Michael (Patrick) meets a gang of teenagers who just happen to be vampires responsible for most of the murders. The younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) runs into a couple of self professed vampire killers. The fact that they are twelve doesnt douse their intensity. Michael appears to be on his way to becoming a vampire and the only way to stop it from happening is to kill the head vampire (The identity of which is revealed at the climax of the movie)

The movie flows nicely with a good script. The acting is good, the effects are good, the music is great. The humor throughout the movie adds some chuckles without forcing it. It all gels together into the best vampire movie I have ever seen. (My humble opinion).

The movie is one of my top ten favorites, but I was a little dissapointed with the DVD. There are very few extras, just a trailer and some production notes. Still worth adding to your DVD collection, but I have my fingers crossed for a collector's edition.

Not Just Ordinary Vampires
As one of two teenage vampire movies released in 1987, (the other was the miserable "Near Dark")"The Lost Boys," is a hip, modern retelling of the vampire myth set in a Southern California setting. Brothers Michael (Patric) and Sam (Haim) are the newcomers to the small seaside town of Santa Clara, which is known as the murder capital of the world due to the mysterious disappearances of many town residents.

At the town's amusement park, Michael gets himself involved with a gang of vampires, who appear as normal street punks. Meanwhile Sam, meets the Frog Brothers, who run a comic book store at night, but are vampire hunters by day. After Michael himself becomes a vampire due to drinking the blood of a vampire, he is determined to find a way to save himself, the girl he loves, and his family from the impending danger that lurks them.

Directed by Joel Schumacher ("Batman Forever," "Batman & Robin," "Flatliners," etc.), the film's appeal to teenagers is due to its young cast, great soundtrack, and great, yet campy storyline. Dianne Wiest is excellent as Michael and Sam's mother, and Kiefer Sutherland in one of his first major roles is wicked as David, the leader of the gang.

Keep an eye out for a pre-"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adveture" Alex Winter as Marco, one of the vampires. This film also marked the first collaboration of the two Cories, Cory Haim & Cory Feldman, in a string of movies they made together in the 1980's ("License to Drive," "Dream A Little Dream," etc.) that capitalized on their teen-idol status. Reportedley, Jason Patric (who is Jackie Gleason's grandson) hates it when fans mention this movie as one of his best works, but the truth is it still remains one of the late 1980's cult classics.

If you like a funny, yet scary movie in the same tradition as "Scram," then check out this movie. It gave me many memories watching it on DVD as it did when I first saw it at the theater.

Garlic breath
Vampires are alive and well in Santa Cruz and they might just be dating your mom!


Falling in Love
Released in VHS Tape by Paramount Studio (25 January, 1995)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Ulu Grosbard
Starring: Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep
Average review score:

Gentle and Romantic
There is a romantic glow to this very undervalued film. It is a throwback to films of the 40's and 50's. Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep give old style performances to match the story's atmosphere, which is sweet and sentimental. It does not make light of the subject matter of having an affair but instead is a film about finding love itself. In keeping with that theme there is no sex in this film. The love that gently blossoms is one of the heart.

Frank Raftis (DeNiro) and Molly Gilmore (Streep) are going about their mundane if uninspiring lives amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season in New York when they literally run into each other at a bookshop. Both are married and when they meet again on the train both are taking to work, a friendship begins. Even the small prospect of riding to work together is handled gingerly as both are good people who would not want to hurt their spouses.

As they become more dependent on each other the moral dilema escalates. There are charming scenes as each almost misses the train, and the chance to talk. Her father is sick and her response is to call him. It is the little things that separate this film from others. Frank and Molly fall in love for the reason we all do; because of how we feel about ourselves when we are with that person.

When they finally can not stand it anymore they have a clumsy, and aborted, attempt at making love. Both DeNiro and Streep are wonderful at capturing the moral dilema of two people already married who have found the love of their life. Dianne Wiest has a nice turn as Molly's best friend Isabelle and Harvey Keitel as DeNiro's pal Ed is engaging. Jane Kaczmarek, of television's 'Malcolm in the Middle' fame, gives a nice performance as Franks's wife Ann.

This film begins at Christmas and ends at Christmas a year later. It is a sweet and charming film about falling in love and finding happiness. Dave Grusin helps the atmosphere with a nice score that perfectly captures the sweet exhilaration and anguish of Frank and Molly's love. If you enjoy films like 'An Affair to Remember' then chances are you'll love this one also. It's a nice film to own.

Flawless acting
The acting that De Niro and Streep exercise within this film is truly exemplary, proving once again (The Deer Hunter) that the chemistry between the two is so powerful. They don't need to be talking in order to show it either. The amount of emotion that Streep and De Niro convey within a subtle face gesture is enormous. There remains no doubt within my mind that true lovers of the acting craft will appreciate their skill within this gem of a film. Everything about their acting makes this story so credible-- that extraordinary love can flourish and blossom among two everyday people who are currently living within two decent, good marriages.
No, this will not be the De Niro you may see in your hard core gangster filck, but that's just a sign of a great method actor! De Niro is man of many faces and emotions! He's not simply playing himself in all his roles, as opposed to many other actors. He pulls this role off brilliantly!
Bottom line: If you appreciate great acting, and are a romantic at heart, you will not be disappointed with this film. I hope that De Niro and Streep make another movie together!

A gentle & romantic DeNiro, a canvas of emotion from Streep
Warning, a few spoilers here! I am a big fan of Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep, especially Deniro. So, I know I liked this film more than people who aren't appreciative of them would. Still, its nice to finally see a film for adults that does not have profanity, violence, or nudity. That is a rarity these days. There is good chemistry between these 2 actors and the only other film they were in together was "The Deer Hunter", another great film!. I could not take my eyes off of them, especially DeNiro! I only wish they had done more films together. There must be other big ones in them, so I hope they do! The movie builds up the tension nicely before they really meet and get to know each other, and I found myself really wanting them to meet even though they are married to other people. I did not find it plausible that in a city of so many millions that they would bump into each other as much, but hey, if they did not, we wouldn't have the movie. Each character has a friend in which they confide (Streep ruluctantly so) about the possibililty of an affair, and their friends are'nt really concerned that they might lose their marriages as they have allready played around some. DeNiro's friend, played by Harvey Keitel, is getting divorced and likes the change, so its frustrating that no one tells them the obvious, that an affair changes things for good. It is a treat seeing DeNiro and Keitel together again. These 2 great actors were first seen together in 1973's "Mean Streets"! Check that one out if you want to see chemistry between those 2 although to warn you, it is a very violent film! After seeing them in the gritty, realisic "Mean Streets" its hard to imagine them in business suits chatting. The 2nd film they were in together is 1976's "Taxi Driver" a film I rate even higher than these 2 films! A powerful study of loneliness in isolation in a city, "Taxi Driver" is one of my all-time faves.


Ok, back to this review. This movie starts out pretty thoughtful, showing what falling in love can do to one's married life where you allready have commitments, but I felt that the end was not as realistic as the characters deserved, but I am not one for unhappy endings and I really wanted to see these 2 characters happy. I know, its a cliche, someone running to meet someone on a train that has allready left, but I love romance and I know I'd want Robert DeNiro running after me! Streep does a great job at showing her inner turmoil and resulting guilty feelings as she knows she has spent time w/Frank (DeNiro's character)and not with her ailing parent. The sadness and the stress that this romance causes her is human and real. Its sweet to see these approaching midlife characters become caught up in an all-new blush of love! They are in each other's thoughts, especially when away from each other. I thought DeNiro did a nice job in the hard-to-watch scene where his wife sees his moodiness and asks him what's wrong and he is caught up in this delemma of wanting to be really happy and not wanting to hurt his wife and family. One thing the screenwriter could have clarified better is what actually brings these 2 characters together? since they have great lives living in nice neighborhoods and shop in upscale places. Streep's character, Molly, had a serious dud of a husband, so there I can see why a bit, but Frank seems happy w/his 2 children and married life. So I only wish this fun-to-watch film had been longer so we could get a sense of the why.


I want to also add that with the not-strong plot, this movie really needed 2 strong performances and DeNiro and Streep give it all they got. Their facial expressions are just perfect and wonderful in their subtlety and complexity. You can tell, just from watching their faces and the way their eyes move, what the weak script could not portray, so to me, that is a true test of great acting and they deliver!


Frank and Molly try to make love, and I won't say what happens but I really wish their attempt at love-making had been longer. I know, its more of a feeling oflove film, but with their chemistry that would have been something. In these times where hollywood always portrays infidelities w/violence and carnality, a film like this is memorable and greatly needed.


And its so refreshing to see DeNiro in an unviolent role where he is not playing a threatening, mean character who mistreats women, so this film showcases a different side of his acting. If you want to see a very rare, gentler DeNiro, as I do, I also recommend "Stanley and Iris". You can tell this film was made in the 80's and they should have given Streep less frumpy clothes to wear, but the theme is timeless--2 people who have something between them that they know is there. That other person makes them feel good. They don't know what to do with these feelings of fondness for the other but they do want to feel something.

This is an undervalued film to which critics did not give great reviews and was not a box-office hit, but box office records mean little when you look at the load of pitiful movies that have action w/no character development and I feel the critics did not give this film a chance. That was partly due to the fact that there were huge expectations in these 2 actors and if it had been 2 other actors the critics would not have been as serious. They kept saying that one problem was that there was not much to it, but that is what I like about this film--I felt there was allready enough plot in the film and there isn't the overload of plot and subplots that most movies have. This movie does not assault you like so many w/choppy editing and loudness and action, thankfully! If you want your 100% us rda of DeNiro and want to complete your Streep collection, this is definitely for you. If you do not, you still get a fun movie about love.


Parenthood
Released in VHS Tape by Universal Studios (11 January, 2000)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Steve Martin
Ron Howard's 1989 hit, written by fellow family men Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (Splash, A League of Their Own), is an original comedy about contemporary life and the eternal responsibilities of raising children. Steve Martin has never been better than as a dedicated husband and father trying (and inevitably failing, as do most of us) to balance the demands of his kids and his job. The actor, like his character, throws himself into the part quite touchingly, never more so than in a scene where a hired clown fails to show up at a children's party and Martin's character unabashedly provides the entertainment. Good as Martin is, this is actually an ensemble piece with numerous actors playing members of the same family, with cross-generational joys and disappointments in the air--and parents in conflict, children in love, and so on. Jason Robards is very good as a patriarch who finally accepts the reality that the son he adores (Tom Hulce) is a major screwup. --Tom Keogh
Average review score:

Flawless film, comic, touching, endearing, and real
This is a great film. Keanu Reeves is fabulous as is everyone in the cast. Just so nicely done. Parenthood and choices and pressures and not having the answer and what to do with family... All rolled up into one great film. Don't miss this

Will have you alternately laughing and crying!
Steve Martin is top billed in this film and he is excellent but the rest of the cast is just as good. This movie is actually divided into four separate parts-four different branch off's of the same family (the father, his kids and their families)-that allows this fine ensemble to portray all the ups and downs of family life. It is a film that teaches without preaching and it's lesson is clearly understood: in life, you can't have the peaks without the valleys. And because of it every character comes to stark realizations about themselves and their relationships with other people. All the characters, that is, except the one played by Tom Hulce. But even that character is correctly written; it just simply isn't the right time for him to realize.The interactions between the father (Jason Robards) and his two sons (Hulce and Martin) tell us much about all three characters' past, present and future. Unfortunately there isn't any interaction between the father and the two daughters, played by Martha Plimpton and Dianne Wiest, but with so many characters to deal with and so many ties to bind, there simply wasn't time. But the time the writers have is well spent indeed. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel have taken a very basic idea and expanded on it in a realistic and original way. It's no wonder that all the characters are tied together so perfectly in the end.Ron Howard has taken that script and directed these tremendous performers to superlative work. Very seldom have any of them been better. Martin shines in an everyman IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE portrayal of the father of three and the second oldest child of the four earlier mentioned. Not since ROXANNE had he given a performance of such range and depth. Dianne Wiest as his older sister won another Oscar nomination and is just as good as she was in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS. Martha Plimpton as the next oldest child is fine as a mother torn between her high-tech-education-supporter-husband (Moranis, his best work since LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS) and her young childhood deprived daughter. Tom Hulce is the youngest of Jason Robards' four kids and has the toughest role to play. He wasn't given the one-liners the others have. His character isn't likeable. His father obviously favors him at first, which is hard for the rest of the family as well as the audience to understand. But he portrays the character as it should be played-a wanderer with unstoppable dreams who is also to be pitied. Robards' portrayal of the father is one of his best and should have garnered him another Oscar nomination. Through Robards' father character we see how his kids turned out the way they did. And we see him growing and learning as he finds you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Joaquin Phoenix, here billed as Leaf (River's kid brother as Wiest's youngest) and Helen Shaw as Grandma, the matriarch of the family are also excellent. Keanu Reeves (Wiest's son-in-law) and Mary Steenburgen (Martin's wife) round out the cast beautifully. Randy Newman's score is perfect and the song "I Love to See You Smile" is very infectious.Pulling everything together for a production is not an easy thing. When you couple that with the fact that in this movie, comedy and drama are blended together seemlessly, Howard and his cast and crew have created a true treasure. Being a perfect parent is not easy. Being a perfect person is impossible. If you are anything less, see this movie.

kids
This movie will explain all about kids and the reasons not to have them.


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