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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Magic Mike (2012) Review

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You may be aware that The IPC was taken over this week by these lovely ladies: Zoe, Smash, and Cara (or should I say Miguel?? I don’t want to piss him off!). 😉

Anyway, Eric stupidly kindly agreed to let me take over today. The fool! So I posted about a shitty movie full of half naked men. You can read my review of Magic Mike HERE.

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Side Effects (2013) Review

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Been putting off reviewing this because I really don’t know how to go about it. It’s a hard plot to discuss at all without ruining the entire movie. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (supposedly his final film), Side Effects is about a depressed girl (Rooney Mara) who, after a suicide attempt, is prescribed a new drug by her psychiatrist (Jude Law). It also stars Channing Tatum as the girl’s husband and Catherine Zeta-Jones as another psychiatrist.

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I won’t go into the plot at all – I’ll just discuss the performances and what I liked about the movie. I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying this is a psychological thriller and has a Hitchcock feel to it (as every review I’ve seen seems to say the same thing). I love Hitchcock and I love a good twisty-turny thriller that keeps you constantly guessing through the whole thing. There are so few quality movies in this sort of genre nowadays so I found Side Effects very enjoyable.

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As for the acting, I thought everyone did well in their roles. I thought Rooney Mara was the highlight of the movie. I’ve not seen her in her biggest role (Dragon Tattoo) but I can see how she was probably the perfect choice for the role of Lisbeth Salander – I’m looking forward to watching that now. But I have sort of a thing for “cold & aloof”. Both her Side Effects & Dragon Tattoo characters are that way so I’m not sure how great she’d be playing a different sort of character. And the “don’t give a fuck” attitude can get annoying after a while (smile Kristen Stewart!). So Rooney Mara will be an interesting one to watch to see if she can pull off playing characters who are less mentally unstable. And I think she has lovely eyes!

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I also thought Jude Law did a very good job. I liked him in this & I normally don’t like him. I can’t explain this – I have no good reason for not liking him! Just like I have zero reason to hate Channing Tatum. This is the ONLY thing I’ve ever seen him in. I think he reminds me of the type of arrogant jocks I hated SO much in high school. That’s probably unfair as I’ve never seen him in anything, not even an interview. 😉 He’s fine in Side Effects – you don’t really notice him. He’s just… There. Catherine Zeta-Jones is also fine but for some reason I felt that she wasn’t quite right for the role – I’d have maybe liked to have seen a different actress play that role. Not sure who – not thought about it that much.

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I have to make a mention of the music in this movie. I thought the score was really good, as is always the case with Thomas Newman. I think Thomas Newman scores are amazing and think he doesn’t get the credit he deserves – I plan on doing a post dedicated to him at some point.

I’m not one for ever noticing symbolism in movies (I leave that to clever people to notice & then write about). I’m sure there’s plenty going on in Side Effects. Dunno! But I kept noticing a pair of scissors always fairly prominently displayed on every desk you see in the movie. Maybe someone smart can explain that one to me – I’m too lazy. 😉 But it did make me think of Dial M For Murder – a great Hitchcock film. I did think Side Effects had a Dial M For Murder vibe to it (and definitely Vertigo. And maybe a hint of Rear Window). I’ll just think of it as a nod to the master of suspense. Nothing beats Hitchcock. 🙂

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Side Effects is obviously not as good as classic Hitchcock but at least it tries. And it comes a lot closer than most current psychological thrillers. It was a thrilling ride and one I definitely recommend if this genre is your type of thing.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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