Requiem For A Dream (2000) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Darren of Movie Reviews 101. Thanks for the review, Darren! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about Requiem For A Dream, IMDB rank 73 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.

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Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Hubert Selby Jr (Screenplay) Hubert Selby Jr (Book)
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser

Plot: The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions become stronger.

Verdict: Incredible

Story: We start by seeing the dysfunctional relationship between Harry and his mother Sara by seeing him take her television which seems to be happening on a regular occasion. This happens to help fuel his drug habit, while they keep their relationship together. While the Sara gets a chance to be on her favourite show but is worried about her weight, Harry comes up with an idea to make money by selling more drugs and making a business with his best friend. While both are trying to deal with their addictions their lives take turns for the worse when they releases what is happening.
When I first watched this I was too young to understand what was really going on and never really appreciated it, but now I have re-watched I have to say this is an incredible story of how four people decent into the world of drug and addiction takes over their lives. I like the fact that there was no happy ending for these people because it shows the harsh reality of the drug user and how far they will go. Each of our four characters ends up going in a direction that is heart breaking for some and each ends up showing the real fear what could happen to them. This ends up being hard to watch but because of that we see the real truth behind the problems. (9/10)

Actor Review

Ellen Burstyn: Sara Goldfarb mother to Harry who spends her time watching television and when she gets a chance to be on her favourite show. She ends up taking pills to help her lose weight but in the end she becomes addicted to them causing much more serious issue to her health. Ellen is fantastic in her role and most of her part is just her in her own apartment dealing with the side effects of the drugs.(10/10)

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Jared Leto: Harry Goldfarb young stoner who dreams of making it big by selling drugs, while keeping his girlfriend happy and keeping his drug habit happy. He is a loyal family man who wants to look after his mother the best he can but when things go wrong in the business he takes a chance that will begin to ruin his life forever. Jared gives a great performance and you can clearly see he was ready for a chance to show even more skills in later projects. (9/10)

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Jennifer Connelly: Marion Silver against her parents who have given her everything, she wants to make an impact herself but doesn’t know where to start while her drug habit keeps everything in a dream stage. She enters into the world of selling herself to fix her habit and before long she ends up happy just having her fix. Jennifer gives a great performance that was risky too. (9/10)

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Marlon Wayans: Tyrone C Love Harry’s best friend who helps him come up with the plan to make money. He ends up being the one who gets into trouble and before long he pushes Harry to risk more. Marlon gives a great performance and it is refreshing to see him in a serious role after all the parody roles. (8/10)

Support Cast: Dealers, friends and doctors all play big parts in helping our characters fix their problems but it is the host of Sara show that ends up helping with her downfall.

Director Review: Darren Aronofsky – Brilliant direction from Darren showing that he was always going to go on to make bigger projects but would always struggle to beat this. (10/10)

Drama: Just showing the decent our four characters make during their drug problems is wonderfully put together and you actually start to feel for the characters by the end. (10/10)
Music: Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell makes a haunting choice for music through the film always indicating something will be happening. (10/10)
Settings: Solid setting showing the busy lives but most of the film is set in apartments. (8/10)
Suggestion: Even though I am going to give this a really high rating I still think it won’t be a lot of people’s cup of tea, it does come off hard to watch and very much in your face. (Try It)

Best Part: Reality of the story.
Worst Part: It will be hard to watch.
Lessons Learned: Don’t do drugs, Jared Leto was always going to be a star.

Believability: The reality that people will get that hooked on the drugs comes off real, but I think how far things go could be seen as too much. (5/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Ellen Burstyn was nominated for best actress.
Box Office: $7.3 Million
Budget: $4.5 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Overall: In your face consequences of drugs

Rating 93%

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Dutch (1991) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, again, from Rob of Movie Rob. Thanks so much, Rob – you’re a Hughes-reviewing MACHINE! Lol! Let’s see if he liked Dutch. 🙂

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“I feel the pain in my crotch in my teeth!” – Dutch

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A man agrees to accompany his girlfriend’s son on a trip from Georgia to Chicago in order for them all to be together for Thanksgiving.

My Take on it – This movie is a bit of a disappointment for me because John Hughes tries to take a formula that worked so well for him in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) and reinvent it for a child and an adult road trip.
The characters in this movie (Dutch and Doyle) just aren’t as interesting as those of Del and Neal. Hughes also “dumbs”-down the humor here and most of the supposedly funny lines just make you roll your eyes instead of cracking a smile.

I think that that’s the key as to why many of Hughes’ later movies didn’t work. He tried so hard to recreate the success of his earlier movies that he recycled many of the situations and tried to use new characters and locales that just don’t work as well. This is actually quite apparent in many of his movies, not just here.

Ed O’Neill, is a very talented actor. This is easy to see in everything he does because instead of always being typecast as an Al Bundy kind of guy, he is usually able to transcend that kind of role and successfully create new characters for himself very different from the Al Bundy’s of the world.

The few scenes that do work well here are few and far between.
Stick to Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) if you want to see a movie like this that does it right!

Bottom Line – Hughes’ attempt to make a more kid friendly road movie in a similar vain to Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) just doesn’t work so well despite Ed O’Neill trying his best.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

Flubber (1997) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of MovieRob. This is his second review after Home Alone. And he intends to do many more! Thanks for being so excited about this blogathon, Rob! Now let’s see if he liked Flubber. 🙂

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“I love you with every cell, with every atom. I love you on a subatomic level.” – Philip Brainard

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – An absent minded professor creates a new substance and wants to use it to save his college from being closed down.

My Take on it – In general, I’m not much of a fan of remakes and this one is not an exception to that rule.

As I kid, I recall seeing the original Absent-Minded Professor (1961), and my memories at least make it better than this one was.

I was soooo bored during this movie even though it had Robin Williams with his exuberant energy throughout. The effects (even for 1997) were atrocious. Apparently there wasn’t much of a budget for this movie in order to make it seem like it was made in the 90’s and not in the 60’s or 70’s.

This movie also gave off the feel and vibe of possibly being a made for TV movie. Besides the special effects, everything just seemed really dumbed down that it seemed like a movie of the week and not a feature film.

There is little to no chemistry between the characters. Williams is suppose to be madly in love with Marcia Gay Harden, but I felt absolutely nothing for them and the fact that she was ready to marry someone else if Williams forgot again to make it to the chapel on time.

Wil Wheaton is horribly cast as a sniveling rich kid who tries to do mean things because Williams is threatening to flunk him and it doesn’t work. He will always be the goody-two shoes Wesley Crusher in my eyes and every attempt to put him elsewhere just doesn’t work. I recall seeing him in Toy Soldiers (1991) as a gangsters son and he was also way outta place there.

This was one of Hughes worst screenplays IMHO. Stick to the original with Fred MacMurray.

Bottom Line – Complete waste of time. Watch the original, it’s much better!

Rating – Razzie Worthy

The Iron Giant (1999) Review

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The Iron Giant (1999)

Directed by Brad Bird

Based on The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Starring:
Eli Marienthal
Jennifer Aniston
Harry Connick, Jr.
Vin Diesel
Christopher McDonald
John Mahoney

Running time: 87 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film is about a lonely boy named Hogarth raised by his mother (the widow of an Air Force pilot), who discovers an iron giant who fell from space. With the help of a beatnik named Dean, they have to stop the U.S. military and a federal agent from finding and destroying the Giant. The Iron Giant takes place in October 1957 in the American state of Maine during the height of the Cold War.

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My Opinion:

This is a great film and I don’t understand why it isn’t more well known than it is. Well, maybe it is – It must be popular amongst certain artistic types since there are lots of amazing alternate posters for the film online. Someone collected a bunch of them here – they’re awesome!: geekynerfherder.

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I’m not going to go into this much. I re-watched it last summer after not seeing it for years and it’s the only film that I watched in 2013 that I have yet to review. With over 100 reviews here now, I decided it was time to finally alphabetize them all (You can make me really happy by clicking on this link because it took me ages to do this!: Reviews A-Z). 😉

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The Iron Giant was directed by Brad Bird, the genius behind Pixar greats The Incredibles & Ratatouille. There are two main things that I love about The Iron Giant. The first is The Giant himself. I love the look of him and of course the way he becomes friends with Hogarth and the way he learns about humans and develops a personality. He reminded me a lot of the Laputan robots in Laputa: Castle In The Sky – I loved that movie & the robots are a big part of the reason why. I also absolutely adore WALL-E (one of my all-time favorite films) so I think I may just be a sucker for robots with a heart….

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Secondly, I love the message in this film. I know it’s not one that’s for everyone, though. From what I read on Wikipedia, Bird pitched this film around the idea “What if a gun had a soul?”. The book was written in 1968 but Bird chose to set the film during the Cold War in 1957 and I think this time period works perfectly for the film and its peaceful anti-war, anti-weapon, anti-paranoia message. It also works in that this was a time of great sci-fi B movies and The Iron Giant’s look and feel fits in perfectly with that as well. Its story is like that of many of the great old Twilight Zone episodes (which is a huge compliment as I think that’s the greatest TV series ever). It would be interesting, actually, to see another adaptation of The Iron Giant set in modern times as the paranoia during the Cold War is nothing compared to today’s and gun violence is ridiculously out of control. Oh shit…. Back away from that topic…. Back away…… Slowly….!

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Summary:

The Iron Giant is a classic. Don’t let my talk of its “message” put you off – It doesn’t ram its beliefs down your throat (I hate movies that do that). It keeps things simple & just tells it like it is. Come on – it’s made by Brad Bird, who became a part of Pixar. You know you can trust anything Pixar-related! And you can trust me too. I think all families should sit down and watch The Iron Giant together. If they did, maybe the world would be a better place. 🙂

My Rating: 8/10

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