Denise Shaw

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Bodies, Rest & Motion Review


Good
The early '90s were a bonanza for indie filmmakers. Digital video hadn't hit the scene yet, so producers had to raise a lot of money to buy film and equipment, and they often got access to indie-friendly celebs to help them with the picture. Bodies, Rest & Motion is a high-end indie archetype, and it's populated by nothing but stars. The story is also proto-'90s-indie: Four aimless slackers, each with a spurious agenda, couple, de-couple, and go nuts at random. The driving force, if you can call it that, is Tim Roth's sudden urge to leave Arizona for Butte, Montana ("The city of the future!"), which culminates in his girlfriend (Bridget Fonda) sleeping with the guy (Eric Stoltz) who comes to paint their house. Because in 1993, that's just what you did. It's overall well-acted but often too stupid to bear.

Imaginary Heroes Review


Very Good
Considering that Imaginary Heroes starts off with a teenager's suicide and then follows what happens to his family in the following year, it's a surprisingly energetic film that refuses to send its characters through either easy therapeutic resolution or cinematically pretty depression. This is more about how people grieve in reality, how they keep on moving through the days and plowing through the grief. And though it can't avoid all the potential clichés that come into its path, this is a tale of suburban angst that can easily stand beside works like American Beauty and The Ice Storm, if not surpass them completely.

The feature directing debut of Dan Harris, the scriptwriting wunderkind behind X2 and a batch of upcoming superhero flicks (from Superman to The Fantastic Four), Imaginary Heroes is a breathtakingly assured piece of work. Notable are the shimmering cinematography and unusually nuanced performances from both veteran actors we tend to take for granted and several fresh, younger faces. It starts off with Matt Travis (Kip Pardue), a high school swimming legend who always hated swimming and so shoots himself in the head one night. Although we only really see him in retrospect, talked about in narration by his younger brother, Matt (Emile Hirsch), it's quickly obvious that Matt was the shining star of the family and so everything quickly goes to pot in his absence. The dad (Jeff Daniels) collapses into an unshaven, sullen drunk, and the sister (Michelle Williams) dashes back to the safe haven of college. Matt - the film's closest thing to a protagonist - buries everything deep, hiding all emotions from his best friend Kyle (Ryan Donowho) and girlfriend, breaking up with her after she keeps asking how he's feeling and why his body is covered in bruises.

Continue reading: Imaginary Heroes Review

Bed Of Roses Review


Weak
Stalker guy delivers flowers to girl he spies late one night. No, it's a romantic comedy! Short on comedy, but still a romance, I suppose. Bed of Roses, starring the badly mismatched Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson, tries so hard to be that Very Special Date Movie but fails all around. The dramatic moments are scary, the characters are unbelievable, their "problems" are pathetic. Only the soundtrack makes much of an impact.
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Imaginary Heroes Movie Review

Imaginary Heroes Movie Review

Considering that Imaginary Heroes starts off with a teenager's suicide and then follows what happens...

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