IN THE CUT (2003)

Directed By: Jane Campion 
Written By: Jane Campion, Susanna Moore & Starvos Kazantzids
Based On The Novel By: Susanna Moore 
Cinematography: Dion Beebe 
Editor: Alexandre De Franceschi

Cast: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Bacon, Sharrief Pugh, Nick Damici, Heather Litteer, Arthur J. Nascarella, Patrice O’Neal 

A psychological thriller: a lonely New York woman discovers the darker side of passion after becoming involved with a tough homicide detective who is investigating a series of murders in her neighborhood.


This film seemed to be dismissed and quickly forgotten by audiences and critics at the time of its release. Seen more as a failure or embarrassment. When actually it is a film that is worth exploring for the rules it abides by and the many it doesn’t. 

It’s grimy ugly not all that sexy. You don’t want to be there but are kind of forced to. As the film starts off disorienting and claustrophobic, it constantly feels like it’s tightening a noose. It stays intense with barely any noticeable score. 

Not a pleasant experience but this film is worth exploring. 

It’s strange as it is Jane Campion making a movie that is more seen as the most mainstream for her at that point and you have America’s sweetheart who wants to challenge herself and be seen in a different more dramatic light. In other words, trying to be anti-mainstream 

So you have these two working together trying to tell a tale that seems mroe obsessed with sex and maintain interest in a murder mystery that seems to be in the background until it hits close to home 

It certainly doesn’t help that all the male characters seem to be creepy as hell. Though make up a long suspect list 

The violence is more told or shown in the aftermath. After a while, the film’s problem is that you wonder what this is all about and what we are waiting for as it gets a bit monotonous at times but stays interesting. As you never know quite where it is going to go next so it feels alive 

The film is certainly well-directed though the material might not be the best. It works as everyone seems ordinary and doesn’t feel like a glamorous Hollywood production. As it does get down and dirty 

So can’t say you like or really care about too many of the characters. Especially when every cop character seems to have an overworked New York accent 

Then throw Kevin bacon into all this madness as a psycho stalking ex. He usually wears red so he might as well be labeled a literal red herring. Where you wonder why Meg Ryan’s character slept with him in the first place. As he seems to be there as a recognizable face and kind of a waste of time.

As Meg Ryan plays a nerdy teacher who is brought into all of this erotic and sexual obsession. At first, she seems Miscast almost like this film is more an experiment for her watching one time America’s sweetheart in a down and dirty role that for some might come across as desperate but for others, it shows she is up for the challenge. Between this film and her other dramatic performances in COURAGE UNDER FIRE and WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. 

Mark Ruffalo gives the most convincing performance. As he comes across as a simple character with a lot of secrets and heMs not the type to talk about his feelings. More direct as he seems to inhabit the role than play it. Though will admit him, Nor most of the cast are the first you would think of or fantasize about seeing in an erotic thriller 

Though the film would have been easily welcomed and probably lauded had it come out in the ’70s or 80’s as it seems to agave that kind of grit and seriousness of those films even if it would have felt like more of the norm back then. Though it does show classic early 2000 New York 

It feels like a welcome daring film especially for the times that was just too gloomy for audiences of the time to really get into as it is far from enjoyable 

Doesn’t play into bigger-budgeted thrillers with plenty of tension but not as much suspense and lead up. The score is barely noticeable 

The film shows the violence that men do to women that isn’t always physical or sexual but mentally and emotionally. 

 No matter what you think you are going to get going into this film. Do you actually get, It’s A challenging film that has a mind of life or energy if it’s own. That isn’t quite like anything you might have seen before. Not for everybody 

The film is sexual and erotic but not sexy necessarily. When it comes to the more erotic scenes and nature of the film. In the cut is the first Hollywood movie where I have seen someone a man eat ass booty 

Even by the end of the film once the killer is revealed there are no real answers. It’s more left for the audience to put together from what they have seen. Not only when it comes to the murder mystery but even most of the characters’ motivations.

Grade: B- 

LAND OF THE LOST (2009)

Directed by: Brad Silberling
Written By: Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas
Based on the television series “LAND OF THE LOST” created by: Sid Kroft & Marty Kroft
Cinematography: Dion Beebe
Editor: Peter Teschner

Cast: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone, Sierra McCormick, Bobb’E J. Thompson, Matt Lauer, Brian Huskey 

Palaeontologist Rick Marshall takes Will and Holly into a new world of danger, dinosaurs and big bug-eyed lizard people while trying to find their way back home and, too, save the universe and in doing so saving his reputation. With the dinosaur with brains, brawn and personality and the adventure of scientific advancement and exotic beasts in a far away land, it all adds up to time traveling fun and frolics.


This is truly a case of why did this movie get made it just seems like a waste of time and talent.

I remember the show not being all that good but it has it’s fans and a cult following  behind it and with Hollywood either remaking or rebooting everything in sight. It seemed like this movie was inevitable. Though films like this and SPEED RACER Seem to have a limited audience appeal. Even if recognized more than a random title. They just never seemed to have a following enough to believe these films Would be hits but by casting bigger names it hit directors and actors if the time may be the shine from their star will be all that the film needs to keep shine and get an audience. Even though they Don’t really help the film or the audience for that matter.

It seems like it is made up as it goes along while trying to stay true to the series. Which was something that seemed ridiculous. All that mattered was having a summer film filled with special effects. Even if they are limited and not that Impressive.

Whereas they try to stay true but also try to make some sense. As the material does leave itself easier served as a comedy with some science fiction thrown in.

The film is inventively filmed and the film Looks great as usual when Director Brad Silberling directs but his and the cast contributions can’t save this film. That just feels like a total waste of talent, time. 

As the film never seems to be funny at all and more like a Hodgepodge of cliches that tries to be offbeat but feels like no one is trying to har but the powers that be are left to riff on what is supposed to happen. In the scene or where the script seems to leave them With little to do at times. It seems like the actors try to make it work but feel more like they are on autopilot.

As it tries to be a more subversive psychedelic kids film with humor and material that serves maybe more to an older teenage audience but still comes off more as silly and downright dumb. So you wonder who this film is really for or supposed to appeal to. 

As even though the technology and special  effects are better and updated they still look and feel kind of corny and uninspired. Even Will Ferrell feels like he is on autopilot.

One glaring problem is that this is supposed to be an adventure tale and as big as it is built up to be there is barely any sense of wonder or exploration. So that it just feels grounded and never takes off. 

It feels like a heavily researched slot that goes on way too long and should have never been made.

It plays like a bad futurama episode.

Grade: F

INTO THE WOODS (2014)

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Directed By: Rob Marshall
Written By: James Lapine
Based On The Musical, Music & Lyrics By: Stephen Sondheim & James LaPine
Cinematography By: Dion Beebe
Editor: Wyatt Smith 


Cast: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Tracy Ullman, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Christine Baranski, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie Mauzy, Simon Russel Beale 

Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

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GANGSTER SQUAD (2013)

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Directed By: Ruben Fleischer
Written By: Will Beall
Based On The Book By: Paul Lieberman
Cinematography By: Dion Beebe
Editor: Alan Baumgarten & James Herbert 


 Cast: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Michael Pena, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Mireille Enos, Troy Garity, Nick Nolte De’Aundre Bonds, Giovanni Ribisi, Jon Polito, Michael Bacall, Don Harvey, Derek Mears

It’s 1949 Los Angeles, and gangster Mickey Cohen has moved in, with the intention of controlling all criminal activity in the city. He has bought local judges and police, and no one is willing to cross him or testify against him. Everyone except Seargant John O’Mara, a former World War II soldier, whose goal is to settle with his family in a peaceful Los Angeles. Police Chief William Parker decides to form a special unit whose mission is to take down Cohen, and chooses O’Mara to lead the unit. O’Mara chooses 4 cops and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters to join him but Wooters is not interested. But when he witnesses the murder of a young boy by Cohen’s people, he joins them, and they decide to take apart Cohen’s organization. Cohen wonders if a rival is going after him, but eventually he realizes it’s the cops.

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