Marshall Bell

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The Rum Diary Review


Good
Depp's Hunter S Thompson fixation continues with the adaptation of this loosely autobiographical novel. Despite some crazy antics, the film takes an earnest, slightly too-faithful tone that makes it strangely leaden.

In 1960, Kemp (Depp) applies for a job at the San Juan Star in Puerto Rico, working for the sardonic editor Lotterman (Jenkins). He shares a ramshackle flat with photographer Sala (Rispoli), who home-brews super-strong rum with another journalist (Ribisi). While getting slowly pickled, Kemp also gets to know the fast-talking Sanderson (Eckhart), a public relations expert who is using property developers to increase his fortune. Sanderson also has a sexy girlfriend, Chenault (Heard), who immediately catches Kemp's eye. Trouble is brewing everywhere.

Continue reading: The Rum Diary Review

The Rum Diary Trailer


Freelance journalist Paul Kemp decides one day that's he had enough of the hectic lifestyle that the early 1960's New York brings. He moves to Puerto Rico in the Caribbean to take a job at a rundown local newspaper, 'The San Juan Star', run by the equally run down Lotterman.

Continue: The Rum Diary Trailer

Marshall Bell Wednesday 21st October 2009 leaving a medical building Beverly Hills, California

Marshall Bell
Marshall Bell
Marshall Bell

Rescue Dawn Review


Very Good
In 1997, Werner Herzog made Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a documentary about German-born American Navy pilot Dieter Dengler who, in the early days of the Vietnam War, was captured and held in a Laotian POW camp from which he staged a daring escape before being rescued by Navy search teams. What emerges through Dengler's first-hand accounts is a portrait of a lucid and courageous survivor. Rescue Dawn is a companion piece to Little Dieter (rather than the other way around); on the level of character study, Herzog manages nothing as affecting in the fictionalized feature version of Dengler's story as the real-life documentary version of it.

This isn't to say Rescue Dawn isn't good. It's often great, and in all the ways that Herzog's cinema can be great. As in Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo (his undisputed masterpieces) Herzog plunges himself (and the rest of us) once again into the jungle, in all its deceptive beauty. The jungle is that twilight zone, the border between life and death that is the domain of Herzog's cinema, and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger (who also shot Little Dieter) ably carries the torch that his predecessor Thomas Mauch held aloft so heroically in those aforementioned Conradian tales of men endeavoring to overcome nature (and failing). Herzog lives in awe and terror of the natural world (he goes into this at length in Grizzly Man), and nowhere is that paradox more palpable than in Rescue Dawn, in which the jungle can be jaw-droppingly gorgeous one moment, and a stultifying prison the next.

Continue reading: Rescue Dawn Review

Virus Review


Terrible
Or, how many cliches can one film incorporate or steal from other movies? Energy from outer space is evil and wants to destroy humanity (hint: WE are the virus). Computer builds half-man/half-machines out of spare parts, a la Star Trek's Borg. Or how stupid can a movie actually be? Witness Donald Sutherland's ridiculous accent. And what is Donnie's job? He's piloting a tugboat which is towing a giant barge across the ocean! If Virus wasn't so ridiculously awful it would be funny. As it is, it's derivative, boring, and stupid -- and it vies for one of the worst films of the year. Need I include the disclaimer, "Based on a comic book..."

Black & White (1998) Review


Weak
A promising thriller noir is ruined in its second half by a meandering plot that tries to get clever but ends up being pretty dumb. Gina Gershon and Rory Cochrane as cops investigating the elusive "inside job" are pretty bland and have no chemistry, even if Gina spends most of the film naked. Never mind the plot.
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Marshall Bell Movies

The Rum Diary Movie Review

The Rum Diary Movie Review

Depp's Hunter S Thompson fixation continues with the adaptation of this loosely autobiographical novel. Despite...

The Rum Diary Trailer

The Rum Diary Trailer

Freelance journalist Paul Kemp decides one day that's he had enough of the hectic lifestyle...

Rescue Dawn Movie Review

Rescue Dawn Movie Review

In 1997, Werner Herzog made Little Dieter Needs to Fly, a documentary about German-born American...

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