Tricia Vessey

Tricia Vessey

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On The Edge (2000) Review


Weak
Paddy, interrupted.

This rather bleak entry into the rapidly expanding genre of "mental institution" movies (a la Girl, Interrupted) has newcomer Cillian Murphy sent to a clinic after driving a convertible off a cliff... and ending up with a broken pinky.

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Coming Soon Review


Terrible
If Coming Soon is not the worst film of all time, it's damn near close. This horrifying movie follows three prissy, stuck-up New York City high-school girls whose two problems are 1) getting into college with the aid of bribes/daddy/lying and 2) having an orgasm (see if you can figure out that oh-so-clever title now). Kids, you can't make up shit like this. And oh, how I wish the writer hadn't made it up either. Not only is it in horrible taste, it's just plain horrible -- and oh, Mr. Gray, how sad I feel for you to be a part of this dreck.

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Trouble Every Day Review


Bad
French filmmaker and provocateur Claire Denis has provided movie audiences with stimulating cinema over the years, with fare such as Nenette et Boni, I Can't Sleep, and the award-winning Beau Travail. Clearly, Denis has proven herself as a progressive and provocative director whose cinematic vision remains dauntingly confrontational. However, in her perversely passionate sexual artsy thriller Trouble Every Day, Denis revels in the hedonistic arena of extreme nudity, graphic sex, and even cannibalism. As a result, her film ends up wallowing in the mundane seediness of its ludicrous and salacious conventions. Although quite raw and caustic, Trouble Every Day is an awkwardly garish showcase that diverges from anything remotely probing or penetrating.

Vincent Gallo (Buffalo '66) and Tricia Vessey (Town & Country) portray American newlyweds named Shane and June Brown, spending their honeymoon in romantic Paris. A reluctant Shane appears fearful about consummating his marriage with an eager June, causing him to seek refuge in a nearby Parisian medical clinic where he explores his unexplainably weird sexual urges. And there's also this tendency for him to want to devour his spouse during sex. Yes, as in literally eating his loving partner's flesh right down to her human bone. Hence, Shane has to resort to masturbation in order to overcome the desire to chew on his new bride as if she were a juicy pork chop. Bottom line: If Shane doesn't get the help he needs to control his bizarre behavior, he will inevitably end up killing his woman.

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Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review


Excellent
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai embodies a variety of genres from Mobster to Urban to Martial Arts. Jarmusch, critically acclaimed for Mystery Train (1989) and Stranger Than Paradise (1984), stays true to his uniquely languid and methodical style in telling the fascinating story of Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker - The Crying Game, Phenomenon), a contract killer who has isolated himself from society by taking refuge in a shack atop an inner city rooftop that he shares with a flock of pigeons.

Ghost Dog studies the early eighteenth century Japanese warrior code from the book, Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai, and the story is told as a sequence of verses from the ancient text. Each morning he bows to the altar he has constructed and practices the ancient disciplines of the samurai training. In the spirit of the ancient warriors, he has pledged his loyalty to a single master, a small-time mobster named Louie (John Tormey - Kiss Me Guido, Jungle 2 Jungle), who saved Ghost Dog's life when he was young. As an assassin, Ghost Dog communicates only via carrier pigeon and moves through the night like a phantom, killing with the skill and speed of a true Samurai.

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The Alarmist Review


Good
Also known as Life During Wartime, The Alarmist is wacky fun mired in sheer oddity. For starters, why is the video title different than the theatrical title? Why do these characters act so strangely? Probably because the story -- about a burglar alarm salesman who breaks into houses to drum up business -- doesn't carry the picture on its own. Only by stretching the characters into ridiculousness does the film get more interesting.

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Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review


Very Good

Mixing ancient Eastern philosophy with hip-hop street smarts and a Scorsese undercard gangland atmosphere, fiercely independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch paints a strangely serene portrait of a surgical, stealthy and enigmatic hit man in the understated and penetrating "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai."

Deeply immersed in the title role is the stoic Forest Whitaker as an assassin with unshakable focus. A high-tech thief, a loner from a ghetto background, a taciturn savant and a proselyte of 18th Century Japanese warrior code, he performs hits for a mobster (John Tormey, "Safe Men") who once saved his life. But after his most recent job -- killing a mafia turncoat in front of the mob boss' daughter -- he has a price on his head and is forced to eliminate his enemies before they eliminate him.

Jarmusch and Whitaker have conspired to lend a mesmerizing calm to this uncommon story of a violent but internally peaceful life. The simultaneous union and juxtaposition of oil-and-water elements -- the deeply reflective samurai mentality, ghetto life, the mafia honor, a surprisingly light comedic vein and a hardcore rap score by the RZA -- left imagery and axioms tripping around in my head for days after seeing the film.

Continue reading: Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Review

Tricia Vessey

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Tricia Vessey Movies

Trouble Every Day Movie Review

Trouble Every Day Movie Review

French filmmaker and provocateur Claire Denis has provided movie audiences with stimulating cinema over the...

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Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Review

Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai embodies a...

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai Movie Review

Mixing ancient Eastern philosophy with hip-hop street smarts and a Scorsese undercard gangland atmosphere, fiercely...

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