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This group of 72 members is led by Walter

I'm Not There is a Bob Dylan biopic in the same sense that his Chronicles amount to an autobiography. It's a portrait, certainly, and perhaps most of the story of his life is in there somewhere, but it's really not about the narrative.

Like the book, and the songs, and the man himself, the film is self-consciously fragmented, and if there is any overall coherence it is buried beneath the surface. What we get instead is poetry, posturing, vivid impressions and catching emotions, truth told mainly in the wide arc being danced around it. When it works, it's as beautiful and honest and moving as anything America's ever produced. When it misses the mark, it leaves you baffled and wondering if wasting your time was really the intention, or maybe it's you who is missing the point.

In many ways the films an amazing achievement. Almost all of the actors playing facets of the man put in great performances; it would have been hard to believe that a bullshitting thirteen-year-old black kid and a willowy blonde woman in a wig could ever bear such an uncanny resemblance to the grizzled Jewish singer, and many scenes from his life are enacted pitch-perfectly and paced with style.

The film owes a great debt to Scorsese's excellent No Direction Home, both in the tropes it borrows and the stories it tells - but of course, where Scorsese was limited to interviews and archive footage, Todd Haynes dramatises freely. We get to witness the reaction of the crowd to Dylan's too-loud electric set at a folk festival, watch Pete Seeger grab a fire-axe to cut the power to the amps only to be restrained just in time.

The soundtrack is a gift to Dylan fans - and if you're not at least a latent Dylan fan, I'm afraid this probably isn't this film is for you. We are treated to a collection of many, many of his best songs, a mix of his original recordings and consistently good cover versions. Marcus Carl Franklin, the extremely talented little black kid who claims to be Woody Guthrie in the film, appears on the soundtrack with his own versions of the songs he sings. He is the only actor to do so, though Christian Bale in particular has been said to be a pretty good singer. Elsewhere we have original Dylan recordings as background music, or illustrating the narrative. One dramatic, dream-like sequence is essentially a music video for Steven Malkmus' extended version of Ballad of a Thin Man. It works very well. The official sountrack album apparently consists mostly of songs that aren't in the film itself, and leaves off all but one of the original Dylan tracks - a strange way of doing it, but I guess it's quite in keeping with the whole approach of I'm Not There.

The film is far from flawless. For my money it's at least half an hour too long, and the entire Richard Gere/Billy the Kid segment of the film did nothing for me. Was it there as a reminder that Dylan at his very worst is rambling, pretentious and impenetrable? Is that a valid artistic point to be making? Whatever, it's lost on me, and Gere's also the only actor in the film who totally fails to convince as Dylan - although Heath Ledger's performance works best if you bear in mind that he's technically playing an actor playing the singer. For all its faults, it is mostly a truly excellent film; if you're interested in Dylan at all, I'm Not There is well worth experiencing.

Miami Vice: The Movie was based on an excellent television show of the mid-80s. The movie, completely ignoring everything that made the television show great, was released in the summer of 2006. It starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. This movie will be a stain on both their resumes that may keep me from seeing another movie that either of them is in. Ever.

Do Not See This Movie

Before I talk about Miami Vice in any depth, I would like to point out a few of my feelings after seeing it, in hopes that you don't judge me too harshly. Or rush off to see it.

  1. This movie sucked.
  2. I would rather be kicked in the genitals by every single person involved in the making of this movie than have to see it again.
  3. Little known fact: Michael Mann hasn't seen this movie yet. He actually tried a new form of directing. It involved a monkey sitting in his chair and throwing feces at the actors. All of that footage has been cut out of the movie. Which is unfortunate. That movie would have been incredible.
  4. No, seriously. This movie sucked. A whole god damn lot. The first seven seconds of ANY other movie is millions of times better than Miami Vice.
  5. My language is horrible. This node contains swearing to a degree which 50 Cent is appalled by. I supposed this is a testament to "If you have something intelligent to say, you can say it without swearing".


Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Michael Mann
Producer: Michael Mann

Colin Farrell as James "Sonny" Crockett / Mr. Moustache
Jamie Foxx as Rico Tubbs / Black Dude
Gong Li as Isabella / Female Lead
Luis Tosar as Jesus Montoya / Mysterious Big Bad Guy
John Ortiz as Jose Yero / Original Bad Guy



Do you hate your job? I do. I'm a starving student and my job is necessary for my survival. This is unfortunate, because I work at McDonalds. I bring this up only for background information so you realize I am a human being with real emotions and feelings. No, I am not a mindless jackass who hates things with no regard for content. In fact, I am even going to try to describe this movie's storyline without spite or malice. And yes, I made sure to put the word "try".

After one of my many shifts, I decided to catch a movie. The only thing really playing was Miami Vice. Well shit! Miami Vice? I loved that show. Don Johnson was a hero of my time. Latin lovers. Cocaine like crazy. BOATS! BOATS! So, I got into my car and pretended I was fast and furious. Didn't want to be late.

Too bad! I missed the previews. This movie is off to a shitty start. I love previews. I go to movies FOR the previews. Already in my bad books, Vice. Thanks for nothing! Strike One.

You know those cool James Bond movies with the sexy/sleak intros? They take like four minutes and are really artsy and stuff. Yeah? Well, too bad. Miami Vice took the "unconventional" route. That is to say, they didn't even tell you what the hell you were watching. Which was both confusing and annoying. I wasn't sure if I had the right theatre. Was this Miami Vice or a really fucked up movie about strippers in tight silver clothing? Eventually, some black dude beat up some big dude. Maybe I was watching Blade and that dude was actually a vampire. Hell yeah! Vampires!

God damnit, no! I'm watching a movie about some guy who gets a phone call from some other guy who is driving really fast and sweating. Does that sound like a really vague and useless description of the opening of the movie? Well, I had to piece it together later on. Because it certainly didn't make sense then

Maybe they're being really "unconventional" and are going to show us the title splash at the end... Naw. That's just weird.

At this point, we still don't know who any of these characters are. I do know that Colin Farrell has some admirable facial hair. Seriously. That dude? He can grow it. I wonder if he's always been that hairy or it came later in life. I hope it came later in life. I want to be able to have a moustache that allows me to pick chicks up. And yes, I mean literally pick them up. Because he is not suave at all. And the fact that women like him is because women don't make any sense.

Lots of other phone calls are made and then everyone shows up behind crazy sweating dude. Did I mention he was crazy before? I should have. He's running away from... Uh... Okay. No. They didn't explain that. Nevermind. But he's running. And for some reason, he told Mr. Moustache. And then suddenly we're looking at a completely different scene with a shady deal going on. Some people trying to buy guns/cocaine/women/feudal slaves from some other people. And then it all goes wrong! Holy shit!

The white guys are actually working for the FBI! Or the Russians are (In retrospect, I think they were Cubans. Not Russians. Fuck that. Another strike for confusing me). One of these groups was trying to set the others up. And then failed. And then just when you think they're all going to get off and go their separate ways, a ship with giant cannons sails in and starts blowing the fuck out of some dudes. Okay. So there was no ship. But there are snipers. With GIANT FUCKING RIFLES. Holy crap. Everything goes quiet for a minute and then the white dudes blow the fuck up. It's beautiful.

This would be a beautiful time to give us a splash screen telling us what movie we're watching...

Or not. Whatever.

Now it's time to pay close attention, because the shit gets confusing here. For some reason, black dude and Mr. Moustache have gotten in on some really secret operations. Because the FBI/CIA/NSA/Autobots have all got traitors in their midst. Or something. Again, I got really confused because Mr. Moustache got really hostile towards... some dude who we don't know. And this dude basically says, "Go find bad guys. Do whatever you want. I'm really unimportant, since they would have anyway." Because they're badass. You know this because they don't take shit from nobody. Including their boss. If I ever acted like that with my boss, she'd smack me across the head. I guess that's why they're cops and I'm not. At least... I think they're cops. Nobody has really explained that yet.

Oh hell yeah! Black dude and some hot girl are in the shower together. We're gunna see a sex scene!


They washed each other's backs.

What the FUCK?!

Okay. Now it's after the shower. Are they just really... really flirty friends or is there a relationship involved?

Ahh. They have sex. And she tells him to fall asleep inside her. I get it. Romantic.

Or not. Falling asleep with a semi-erect penis inside of you isn't fun, girlie. It's how condoms fall off and get lost in the deep chasm that is the vagina. Kids, don't try that at home. It's not cool. Unless they're having unprotected sex. In which case... Jamie Foxx, you should be ashamed of yourself.


Go get something to drink. I am. Vodka. Lots of it. Remembering the movie this hard is hurting my brain and I need that to stop. Lets play a game. Every time this movie sucks, I drink. Sound good? Awesome.

Alrighty. Time passes and we're back to black dude and Mr. Moustache. I think I need to stop calling Jamie Foxx a "black dude". Some might consider it racist. But since we're something like forty-five minutes into the film and I still don't know what the character's name is, the nickname stays.

They're undercover now. Again, they're badass and convince somebody who is apparently really freaking important that they're "good". By telling him that they won't tell him they're good. Normally, this kind of logic wouldn't fly with anyone. But they have a grenade and that allows them to win.

Oh look. The female lead. *poof*

Push comes to shove and we spend too much time NOT getting to the guy who is the big bad. And then we get to him eventually. Great. He basically says, "You'll never see me again." Awesome. Here, Mr. Moustache sees two of the same watch and gets all spooked. But that doesn't matter, because we have another fast forward.

Go team Vice. They do a successful job. And get another one. This time, it's the female lead who sends them out. If you're about to bet that Mr. Moustache is about to fuck her brains out, you'd be in the money. Say goodbye to black dude, because his screen time is next to zilch while the movie goes on a side-plot.

Sorry, did I say side-plot? What I meant was a fucking goose chase. Mr. Moustache asks the female lead out for drinks. Cleverness about to come in. She asks him his favourite drink. He says something along the lines of, "I'd love a Mai Tai." She responds with, "I know the perfect place."

Yeah? What if he said, "I'd love a Rimjob right now."? I bet you'd know the perfect place, you little minx.

So they're in a boat. And they go to Cuba. From Miami (maybe. This is speculation). Now, I don't really know any geography what-so-ever. But that's like the distance from New York city to Australia, isn't it? Won't they run out of gas along the way? (Okay, so volcanic informs me of something important here. Apparently, it's like 90 miles from Miami to Cuba. Whatever. I stand by my previous statement. That ocean looked fucking huge.)

Guess not. But seriously, this shit gets inane. I'm going to sum up this entire side-plot and move back to the last half hour of the movie.

He fucks her brains out.

We get back to the original bad guy who our duo had to convince way back in the first half of the movie. He really doesn't like Mr. Moustache and sets him the fuck up. How does he do it? He kidnaps black dude's lady. And puts a bomb on her. At this point, I cannot fucking wait. Nothing has been shot or exploded or been messed-the-fuck-up in too damn long.

The ploy works. Kinda. See, somehow Mr. Moustache found the trailer park where original bad guy's dudes are keeping the lady. After way too much build-up, we see Mr. Moustache choke a guy to death with his fucking machine-gun thing. I orgasmed. About damn time.

Bad guys die. One of them dies with HIS HEAD EXPLODING. But they offer no explanation as to why. His head just went "splody".

Here's the best part of the entire movie: Black dude leaves his wife in the building with the giant explosives to... go outside for a second. And then it blows up! AWESOME! She is sent flying. Maybe she's dead.

Guess not. Mr. Moustache steals a cop car. She goes to the hospital. With their cover blown, the duo resign to cut their losses.

OR NOT! Original bad guy phones Mr. Moustache. They want to exchange the cargo for money. Well, Mr. Moustache can't have this. OR CAN HE?! He makes them pay 12$ million dollars for 60$ million dollars of cocaine. That seems like one hell of a deal. The bad guys think so too. They take it.

It turns out to be a set-up. Who would have guessed. Everyone from the movie shows up except dude who said they'd never see again. Damn. He was right. Smart of him, too. Because everyone starts shooting. I would comment on this scene in some helpful manner, except I had NO clue what was going on. We saw people die a lot, but never really understood which side they were on. Maybe the director was making a statement on how when violence occurs, it doesn't really matter what side you're on, because everyone gets hurt from it in the end... Or maybe I'm drunk.

The female lead finds out that Mr. Moustache is a cop. Doesn't that mess up their relationship? She starts hitting him in the chest. And instead of stopping to explain or anything reasonable, what does he do? He pulls her to the ground and, at the same time, shoots a bunch of dudes. They all die. Holy shit.

Black dude comes out of nowhere. He shoots just about everybody. Including original bad guy. Because it's all his fault. Fucker.

The movie kind of dies off here. Lady doesn't die. But she does wake up from her chemically induced coma. On her back. Where her burns were. I'll bet that hurt a whole fucking lot. Thanks modern medicine, for totally being a bitch. Meanwhile, female lead disappears on a boat. Mr. Moustache doesn't chase her. Oh well. He was just using her anyway.

And we... fade to black.

And there's the title splash. "Miami Vice"... Jesus H. Christ!

Excalibre says re Miami Vice: This was funny, but it spoiled the entire plot, so I had to downvote on principle. Plus, the summary was a bit long, and it dragged.
Sontra says Fair enough.
trembling says I was gonna downvote Miami Vice because I loved the movie but then I realised that your wu is ridiculously funny so I upvoted anyway. Of course,the next time you disagree with my opinion on movies I'll find you and...well....make you watch Miami Vice again.

You can blame TenMinJoe for this entire node. Thanks for all the help!
And Lord Brawl made me rethink things a bit. Thanks!

And I'm serious. DO NOT see this movie.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) - Weasello Rating: {>>>-} (Great!)

I'm not an ass so you won't find any spoilers in this review without decent warning.

"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls... but the only thing that worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge..."

--Hunter S. Thompson, 1971

This quote is special to me in various ways. The most prominent is that it comes right near the beginning of the book and the movie, and in all formats and languages this one paragraph remains untouched. I beleive this is because the paragraph sums up the entire plot, and yet it has an oddly simplistic and very powerful message. Anyways, onto the review!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a book turned movie, and both are amazing copies of entertainment. The book's full title is "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas : A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," and the movie is simply named "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

The book is written by Hunter S. Thompson, biographical information can be found here. The paperback version (2nd edition) is 204 pages long, and published by Vintage Books. ISBN#: 0679785892.

The movie is directed by and in Terry Gilliam's style. Find his biographical information here. The movie hit the big screens on May 22, 1998, and was produced by Universal. The original director, Alex Cox, had creative differences with Universal and left the movie after creating the script. At this point, Terry Gilliam took over. Many people think that Alex Cox would have been a perfect match for the movie.

Now that we have the facts out of the way, what did I think of the movie?

I loved it. In a silly, goofy way. I'm no crack-fiend; heck, I haven't even smoked a joint in my life. But you have to have a sense of humor towards these things to enjoy the movie. There isn't really too much plot to worry about - just two guys and their adventure through Las Vegas, trippin out on drugs.

You know, I thought I'd have more to say about it than that. Hmm. All I remember about the movie was that it was really good, funny, and visually cool. But I can't remember anything worth mentioning.

I feel compelled to mention that Johnny Depp's voice throughout the movie is awesome. I've never heard anything like it before nor since.

Recommendation: Watch this movie this week, without your parents around.

Lead Cast List: DVD Features (thanks to mat catastrophe):
Special Features:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Spotlight on Location
  • Production Notes (Text Only)
  • Cast & Filmmakers' Bios (Text only)
  • Film Highlights (This is listed on the box, but does not appear in the disc menu!)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Web Links
Technical Features:
  • Region 1
  • Dolby 5.1
  • Dolby Digital
  • Languages and Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
  • Dual Layer
From the Box:
"Excruciatingly Funny." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"A Spectacular Wipeout" - David Kronke, Los Angeles Times


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
based on the book by HUNTER S. THOMPSON

-- Credits too small/unreadable --

Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Mins.
Rating: 18A (Canadian Home Video Rating)
When a writing assignment lands journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and sidekick Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) in Las Vegas, they decide to make it the ultimate business trip. But before long, business is forgotten and trip has become the key word.

Fueled by a suitcase full of mind-bending pharmaceuticals, Duke and Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through nonstop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of the craziest characters ever (including cameo appearances by Cameron Diaz, Christina Ricci, Gary Busey and many others). But no matter where misadventure leads them, Duke and Gonzo discover that sometimes going too far is the only way to go.

Capturing the insane madness of Hunter S. Thompson's literary classic was the challenge that director Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys) openly embraced. Critics hailed it as: "Mindblowing. Bizarre. Outrageous. Wild."

Buy the Ticket.
Take the ride!

Sources: Memory, the fantistic fabulatron IMDB.COM, and the back of the box. Book stuff: Amazon.com. Thanks to dem bones for the origional quote.