Sex, Lies, And Videotape (1989) Review

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Sex, Lies, And Videotape (1989)

Directed & Written by Steven Soderbergh

Starring: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Running time: 100 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

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My Opinion:

This should probably be one of my mini-reviews with a couple of other movies but I’ve not had time to write anything for the blog yet this week so… here’s just one quickie! And I guess you can take that in a dirty way since I’m talking about yet another movie where James Spader is being a kinky bastard. What’s with that guy?!

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Look at that awesome 1989 hair…

I didn’t see Sex, Lies, And Videotape at the time. I have to say that it looks SO late 80s/early 90s now. Especially Andie MacDowell’s clothes! What an ugly time (but I’ll always love that time as I was in my teens then). Well, I was too young to watch this at the time anyway so I’m sure I appreciated it a bit more seeing it for the first time now as an adult. I quite liked it, actually! Although I’m not sure why. I found Spader creepy, as always, but this time there was a sexy sort of creepiness going on. Yeah. Did I just type that? Gross. I mean, I liked his character for a change. He wasn’t an asshole like in Pretty In Pink. I’ve hated him ever since that movie! But here he just seemed misunderstood, I guess, and somehow managed to be a sympathetic character despite the fact that he videotapes women talking about their sexual desires & stuff and then watches the videos over and over again like a filthy perv.

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Seriously, though – Spader’s character was the most likeable person in this. I also thought Laura San “Cinder-fuckin-rella” Giacomo was really good as the dirty slut. I don’t mean that in a nasty way – I mean that these two did a good job in their roles and were the best things about the movie. Andie MacDowell was of course crap as usual (how was she in so many movies?!) but I really liked her unusual relationship with Spader’s character. Finally, we have Peter “Eyebrows” Gallagher as MacDowell’s husband. I hate this guy. Maybe he’s a lovely person in real life but has he ever played someone who wasn’t an asshole? I’m too lazy to go look. I don’t think he’d be able to play anything else – he just has an asshole face. I’m really glad he & MacDowell are probably far too busy to read my blog…. 😉 Well, they’re married to each other in this and don’t have sex – I guess they did a good job playing a married couple who really shouldn’t be married to each other.

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I’m really not selling this movie to anyone, am I?? Lol. It’s definitely not for everyone but I think it was a good exploration of relationships and how we behave differently with different people. Like I said, Spader & San Giacomo were really good and I liked the story, although it was a pretty simple one. I’d even go so far as to say this may be my favorite Soderbergh movie that I’ve seen. Let’s see… I’ve not seen a lot. I thought Side Effects was pretty good, Magic Mike sucked ass BIG TIME, Erin Brockovich was overrated, Out Of Sight was underrated, The Limey was okay, and Contagion was meh. Oh yeah – I forgot about Ocean’s Eleven! That was fun & I remember really enjoying it but I’ve not watched it since, so…. Yeah, I’ll say that Sex, Lies, And Videotape is actually my favorite Soderbergh film that I’ve seen. And mullet-head Spader was kind of creepy sexy.

That was a fairly long quickie. Here’s my rating!

My Rating: 7/10

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Check out the Polish poster for this:

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Groundhog Day (1993) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Barry of The Filmnomore Movie Blog. Thanks for the review, Barry! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about Groundhog Day, IMDB rank 178 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews.

**I have 1 remaining IMDB guest review to post but have a lot still outstanding. Let me know if you still wish to review the movie(s) you’ve signed up for. If not, I’ll add them back to the list of available films. Thanks!**

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I was delighted when I discovered I had been granted the rights to review this classic 90’s comedy. Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as cynical local news weatherman Phil Connors who sees himself as the big fish in the little pond of Pittsburgh. He is on his way to endure the annual ritual that is Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where an oversized rodent (I’ve checked Groundhogs are rodents) predicts whether winter is coming to an end. Unfortunately Phil finds himself having to relive the same day over and over again.

The film sees Murray teaming up with his now dearly departed Ghostbusters (1984) co-star Harold Ramis who directed and co-wrote this feature. It’s amazing to look back at the writing career of Ramis whose credits include Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Analyze This (1999) and Bedazzled (2000) to name just four. Groundhog Day follows a classic rift of a character (Phil) going on a journey of self discovery that has been imposed upon him by a change in circumstances. He finds himself coming out the other side a better person and as with any fairy tale he has a princess to woo in the form of his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell).

Of course the journey to love and happiness is not a straight forward one and it is only when he learns the importance of being selfless that Phil is released from his nightmare and he can continue with his life. Within this age old tale of redemption is a story about dealing with loss. In Groundhog Day the loss is the life that he knew and the certainties this brought. During the film Murray’s character experiences denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. He acts out in various ways including the now classic sequence when he abducts the Groundhog himself, Punxsutawney Phil.

This film works for two main reasons. The first is that it has Bill Murray in his prime (I don’t get along with the reinvented dour-faced Murray) and playing a role tailored to his style of comedy. The second reason is the film uses a classic structure that we’ve all seen a thousand times before but keep lapping up. We all appear to be suckers for characters who find redemption (preferably in the arms of a new lover) and Groundhog Day delivers the feel good factor in spades.

I can’t really find much to criticise in this film beyond the slightly annoying Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) who is just that little bit over the top. Hell even MacDowell is tolerable. Groundhog Day doesn’t overwhelm me with emotion so I can’t give it that elusive fifth star but it is an all time comedy classic. My rating 4/5.