MyNameIsAmberLev's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

186 Dollars To Freedom
9 years ago via Flixster

The real title of this film is City Of Gardens and make sure you get the proper, subtitled, Peruvian original, and not a silly dubbed version. City Of Gardens is a Peruvian MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, minus the exceptionally hard edge of the 1978 Alan Parker movie.

In GARDENS, a stupid American goes to Peru to surf, where predictably, he's essentially kidnapped. What actually happens is he's busted on phoney drug charges, and "lost" in Peru's hopeless penal system, pending a payoff from his "rich American father" that the local cops are just sure he must have (along with a swimming pool -all Americans are rich and have swimming pools.)

Of course, this is the allegedly "pre-civil rights" Peru of 1980. We all know nothing like this could ever happen in a safe, modern, America-loving, enlightened nation like the modern-day Peru (snickers.)

Anyway, stupid-surfer-boy refuses to give in -or maybe he really doesn't have a rich American father or a swimming pool back home. But either way, he's in a real hell-hole of a prison and has to deal with weirdos, each one a standard prison movie cliche: brutal guards, corrupt officials, an impotent US Consul, a crazy queer bunkmate, an inmate who thinks he's Jesus Christ, a pacifist flower-power Zen-Buddhist inmate, thugs, and various protestors, predators, and revolutionaries.

Light on surprises and suspense, but rich in grim atmosphere, City Of Gardens is effective and well-made. It's worth a viewing, but it doesn't have a lot of point other than, KEEP THE HECK OUT OF COUNTRIES WHERE YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING!

It gives you that wonderful, THANK GOD THAT'S NOT ME!" and "No matter what my problems are, my life is wonderful BECAUSE I'M NOT ROTTING AND GETTING SODOMIZED IN A SOUTH AMERICAN PRISON !" feeling.

Because that's a great feeling! Even though you'll want a hot shower after you watch this movie.

Killer Joe
Killer Joe (2012)
9 years ago via Flixster

I recently watched streaming with a Flixster friend on one of her private websites. Killer Joe is a dark comedy (very dark) though the characters and their world is not one I find myself taking much interest in, although it certainly managed to keep my attention just for its story being so bizarre and debased. Read the Flixster synopsis above. That about covers it.

I had wanted to discuss it on chat as i watched it with my friend, but she showed it to me mainly because right up front, it features a prominent exposition of Gina Gershon's vagina. I found myself staring at a freeze-frame of this shot as chat suddenly grew very quiet on the other end. Then after a few minutes, my host continued the movie, but seemed much less interested in it than before.

So, to reiterate: dark comedy, strange and tawdry, Gina Gershon's vagina.

Yup. That about covers what I remember as my friend distracted me with sex patter for the remainder of Killer Joe's duration.

Gina Gershon btw, now ranks right up there with Noomi Tapace in my list of favorite slightly butchy, sexually dominating actresses who keep a deeply provocative and sensual, but controlled au natural look below the waist. I'm going to ask my friend to email me the still.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
9 years ago via Flixster
½

Duddy (Dreyfus) wants desperately to get a leg up in the wold. As he trawls for opportunities, he finds that a number of capitalist paradoxes limit his options. Receiving colorful, irreverently funny, but all-too-true pragmatic advice from mentors and questionable role models along the way, he hatches an ambitious but tenuous business model. To pull it off he will need guts, friends, and lot of luck. But here's the rub: Duddy, who has been learning and wrestling with ethical dilemmas faces his biggest test when he must decide whether to dive for the brass ring, or listen to his inner conscience.

The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, is both poignant and extremely hard hitting; A tragic comedy, the story delves into the manner in which Duddy's character changes as he balances priories between what is most important to him and what he wants most to achieve.

This interplay of what fate decides will be mutually exclusive goals is expressed via his altering relationships with the important people in his life. The essence of the story is conveyed by the way these relationships reflect his actions and evolving attitudes. With strong character performances, and some heavy cultural commentary, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz is an offbeat, comically honest movie that might not be easily produced today.

Girl, Interrupted
9 years ago via Flixster

I'm not a fan of Winona Ryder or her films, but I will make an exception for this dark, moving, multiple character portrait about a misunderstood girl struggling with minor mental illness. When Susan lands in a mental hospital there's some doubt about the accuracy of her diagnosis even though part of the description seems to fit her.

Exasperated, cynical, emotionally fragile Susana, who has committed herself to escape what she perceives as the craziness of the world around her, soon learns what crazy really is when she must deal with an calloused, irrational bureaucracy, and truly disturbed fellow patients. She precariously allows herself to become institutionalized, fighting the system and forming a tenuous alliance with a psychopathic lesbian, while struggling to make some sense of her experience.

Unwilling to grow up and confront her condition, Susan's actions lead to a tragedy which sets off a chain of events that finally enable her to gain some perspective But does it all come too late?

Billion Dollar Brain
9 years ago via Flixster
½

Michael Caine is recruited by turncoat agent Karl Malden to take part in a convoluted intelligence scheme orchestrated by a sinister, colossal mainframe computer. The electronic cerebellum can weigh millions of variables to forecast the complex cause and effect of various intelligence community actions

A super right wing association of capitalist whackos are employing the computerized brain to dominate the world intelligence community, lubricate the wheels of commerce, and when the time is right, insanely invade the USSR via the frozen Bering Strait. (If they'd waited a few years, maybe they could have used the Palin house as their base camp.)

Caine is recruited to courier a deadly virus, and infiltrate the right wingers as a double agent. But can he trust or believe anybody he has contact with?

Black humor and intrigue combined with memorable action sequences make Billion Dollar Brain an exciting but dark Cold War satire..