Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (TheDudeLebowski65)Private Residence, Man
Jeff's Recent Reviews
Cocaine Cowboys is an interesting documentary about the cocaine trade in Miami in the 1970's. The subject is fascinating and the interviews are from the guys who took part in the illicit trade. Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday recount their experience. The film also takes a look at the lawlessness of Miami due to Cocaine wars. This film is raw, gritty and intense. The film is quite good, but due to kinetic editing and awkward pacing, it is hard to follow. It almost feels like the director didn't know to find a perfect pace for the film. Aside from that, this is still entertaining and there is plenty of information that will bring to light this interesting subject. This is not a film for everyone, but it is a must see for people interested in true crime subjects. This is a compelling film, but it should been done better. The way it was put together feels amateurish, but luckily enough the subjects tell a good account of events, which what makes this standout and overcome its flaws. Some of the accounts are quite bone chilling and disturbing. This is a worthwhile documentary, but not the best I've seen. The film feels like a made for TV documentary, but nonetheless it's interesting for what it is, but is not a film worth watching again and again. Cocaine Cowboys is flawed of course, but if you love true gangster stories of real accounts, then this is the film for you, but be warned, it's not well edited and it feels a bit rushed in terms of the way it was filmed. For such a topic, you'd think that it would be a great documentary, but it's merely a good one at best.
Pain & Gain is the latest effort from director Michael Bay. Based on a real story, this film should have been a far better film than what it turned out to be. Bay is good for one thing only, mindless popcorn movies that are designed to thrill, and even then, he is hit and miss. Of all the films that I have seen that he has directed, The Rock and Transformers were his best films. Afterwards, his career was laughable. Bay struggles to tell a dramatic story, but it just ends up being a decent affair. The dialogue is too often cheesy and the cast seem to struggle with the material, but they do what they can with the script. I didn't hate the film, but I felt it could have been done better and I also believe that a different director could have done a far better job in directing this film. The actors are what kept me interested in the film, and the story itself is interesting, but it definitely deserved a proper treatment. I really thought that this film could have been much better than what it turned out to be, but to summarize it, it's typical Michael Bay trying to do something serious, and the results are mixed. The film decent, but it doesn't warrant multiple viewings. Mark Wahlberg has made some very good films in the last few years, but with Pain & Gain, he acts in a film that just wastes his potential. There are parts where Bay tries to put light hearted humor in disturbing scenes, and it just makes you feel uncomfortable. If you hate Bay's work, avoid it because it won't change your mind about his directing style, but if you can tolerate him, watch it, but it's not a stand out film either. Pain & Gain should have been much better than this and you can just imagine how good it could have been.
Jeff's Favorite Movies
John Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece is a milestone in horror. The movie's plot is very simple, but very effective. Michael Myers is a terrific villain stalking young women on Halloween night. The movie is complemented with a great cast with such actors as Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence . This is by far my all time favorite movie and with solid directing and a great story line, this film should be viewed by every die hard horror fan. One of the best things about Halloween is the fact that it uses suspense to steadily build the horror. This is a film that doesn't have any gore and John Carpenter uses Alfred Hitchcock trick to create the tension. Halloween is one of the first slasher flicks; there have been two other films before it, Black Christmas, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both excellent horror films. However Halloween is much different, the virtual absence of violence and blood in the film is what separates this slasher film from all the other that came before or after it. Halloween is a film in the same style of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. In total there is maybe less than 10 minutes of on screen violence. For me, that's one of the reasons that Halloween is one of my favorite films, because it's a horror film that uses suspense very well. Usually in a slasher film you'll have a masked killer leaving a bloody trail of gore. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm the type of horror fan that likes to have a lot of suspense, and thrills with the killing. Not saying that I hate the slasher genre, in fact I love it. But I absolutely adore Halloween for its sheer knack building the suspense, and creating effective scares. This one great film to watch on Halloween. Every cast member delivers strong performances, especially Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis. Halloween is by far the best Slasher film ever made, and is a definite classic of the genre.
Fright Night has the reputation of being one of the best vampire films of the 1980?s, maybe of the genre. Long before The Lost Boys, Near Dark and The Hunger, there was Fright Night. A little horror gem with such a simple story that it makes it that more enjoyable. Fact is, is that Fright Night strips away anything really original or unique, however, director Tom Holland pulls it off with great precision. What makes Fright Night a lot of fun, is the characters, the story, Brad Fiedel's incredible soundtrack and Nostalgia of the 1980?s. I mean these were the years where vampire films mattered. Vampires were evil and charming. Fright Nigh delivers all that. Many people have said that this film looks dated. I reply, "so what?" the film manages to still be entertaining and fun after all these, and that's what counts in the end. Hell, mostly every film made in the 80?s are starting to show their age. Doesn't mean they still can't be fun. Fright Night is one of my personal favorite vampire films for that matter. Not only that, but its one of the best horror films of the 1980?s. Seeing this for the first time, I was blown away. Tom Holland's direction on this flick is super, the writing brilliant, the characters enjoyable to watch on the screen. This is one vampire flick that deserves to be treasured. Fright Night is a fun ride throughout. There's a great blend of comedy and horror that's sure to satisfy. Amanda Bearse, Roddy Mcdowall, William Ragsdale all deliver in this fine vampire film. But obviously the best performance of all is Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge. This is a phenomenal Horror yarn that you shouldn't miss. To those that say that they don't want to watch Fright Night because it's a "cult" film, you're probably an idiotic person who wants to watch Twilight instead.To those who say that the film looks dated, well nearly every film of the 80?s looks dated, so tough luck. Oh well, at least fans of the film aren't missing out, because revisiting this again and again, makes it worthwhile and makes us fans remember that vampires were once evil creatures of the night.