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joshcali's reviews view profile

Schizophrenic Entertainment at it's Best  
on November 8, 2003 - 2:29 PM PST
  of Schizopolis (Criterion Collection) (1996)
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful

In looking to understand this film, the title is the clue to this entire movie. "Schizopolis" is a highly intelligent, hilariously sarcasticm and very schizophrenic look at american society. It may seem disjoint, but the entire movie is actually promoting the theme and experience of living in a schizophrenic society, and does this very successfully.

There are various schizophrenic themes throughout the movie. To begin with, Steven Soderburgh plays the main character, and his own brother throughout this film. He even interviews himself for the commentary! The editing and story are very disjoint, and really conveys a sense of the random thoughts that all of us experience every day. For example, using different film grains to indicate when people are doing things that they are thinking about, but not really doing (like kissing that woman you are talking too).

How should the story be described? There's the office worker who's office is actually the support team, and speech writers for a new-age self-help guru. The workers are hysterically myopic, and are worried about being spied on by a mole planted by their boss, and are also worried about a spy from an outside company. There's exterminator who is involved with the houswives in the neighborhood, but is easily succeptible to becomming a superstar when his ego is stroked. There's a Doctor who goes off the deep end by expressing himself to an attractive patient who is actually named "Attractive Woman #2."

But the story is less important than the overall funny and schizophrenic theme of the movie. Look for great sarcastic touches, like characters talking in foreign languages when they're just going through the motions and not really talking to each other.

This is also the director of Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and this is the movie that seemed to re-launch his carreer which continued on to do movies such as Erin Brochovich, Solaris, Ocean's Eleven, and Out of Sight. Don't expect this to be as hollywood as the others, it is well done, but independant.

I highly recommend this movie for people who are not looking for standard hollywood fare, but really enjoy dark comedies, and introspective looks on society. Very funny if taken in the right mood.

Good for diehard pratchett fans... But not "Good" at all  
on September 28, 2003 - 4:33 PM PDT
  of Discworld: Soul Music (1997)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful

After a fantastic book, this disc is completely disappointing. The charm of terry pratchett's discworld is lost, and the animation is around the level of a saturday morning cartoon for pbs.

Why does it fail so horribly? the voice acting is poorly directed, and lacks any understanding of the characters. So while the books are fantastically funny, the jokes are all lost in the delivery of the dialog. (I read one reviewer that called the delivery "flat").

The dialog/overall story is faithful to the book, so there is some novelty in "seeing" the book, but don't expect a good adaptation, just an adaptation.

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