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Reviews Written by
Tim Lieder "Founder of Dybbuk Press" (New York, NY)
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Bodies Rest & Motion [Import]
Bodies Rest & Motion [Import]
VHS
2 used & new from CDN$ 12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Dull storyline, but the acting is good, Aug. 8 2001
The problem with this movie is that not much happens in it. You don't care about the characters as they are written and you don't know if anything ever is going to happen in it. THe only thing that makes the movie bearable is Tim Roth, Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates and Eric Stoltz. I saw a similar movie (Don't Do It) recently and I wanted to throttle everyone. In this one there's at least enough acting that you feel for these people marginally.
Mostly the movie rests on Tim Roth. He's the disgruntled television salesman that steals a tv and then runs away. Everyone else in the movie is a dull Generation X cliche. The left girlfriend who doesn't know if she can love again. The pot-smoking stable painter. The best friend. We've seen these types in other movies and it'd be nice if we didn't have to see all these types again. At least Tim Roth's character is itneresting. He's fairly horrible and Tim Roth is pulling in one of his scary performances but he's utterly fascinating.
...

Dont Do It
Dont Do It
VHS
2 used & new from CDN$ 1.56

1.0 out of 5 stars It's like Swingers/Slackers/Clerks/whatever except BORING, July 29 2001
This review is from: Dont Do It (VHS Tape)
Do you ever wonder why independent films don't take off? Why do we watch movies with explosions and slick production values? If you wonder it, then you never saw this thing.
Three couples can't figure out what love is like and they keep sleeping with each other. Heather Graham keeps yelling "why don't you tell me that you love me" which might be a scene out of a play that she's rehearsing and it might not. She's stuck with a guy that looks like John Malkovich but yet can't act. He's supposed to be a writer but he's horrible. Then there are two people that meet in a bar and talk about relationships. ONe of them is Sheryl Lee from Twin Peaks. The third couple is a musician (he's playing his guitar in the living room - oh cool) and his pregnant girlfriend. Oh yes, everyone in this movie has cheated with soemone from another couple.
And there's a couple of guys driving around Los Angeles. The dumped boyfriend and the supportive friend. Unfortunately, they are too much like the guys from Swingers for you NOT to miss Vince Vaughn (and that other guy-- what's his name - the lead from Swingers)
Eventually all 6 people from the couples meet up to which we are treated to such earthshattering truths as "men are afraid of commitment", "women change their minds as to what they want" and "everyone in relationships lies occasionally". SHOCKING!
Like Entropy, this movie shows the perils of a person attempting a chick movie for guys. Unlike Entropy, this thing has no redeeming values. You think with 8 characters ONE of them would be interesting. But every single one is a cliche. A hideous movie and one hopes that the producers are filming wedding videos now.

Moondance
Moondance
Offered by dodax-online
Price: CDN$ 12.89
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Somehow life is just good when this is on, July 24 2001
This review is from: Moondance (Audio CD)
[...] and I needed to know whether or not Moondance was written afterwards. It was. I'm happy. I have faith in Van Morrison again. In the space of two years, he got rid of the hippie garbage, threw out the sitar and learned to wail when he needed to wail and croon when he needed to croon.
And he came up with this album. THere is not a bad song on it. Wheter it's the sexual confusion of Moondance or the strange romance of "Crazy Love" and "Into the Mystic" this CD will make you remember the weirdest girl you ever loved, the friends you don't keep touch with and the moments outside under a summer moon with a tequila bottle, strangers that you love and a fire. Or maybe other things.
But for this CD, I can forgive Van Morrison the pain that is Astral Weeks. I can almost forgive the entire 60s music scene with its 5 hour guitar solos, but I won't go that far. Just play "Brand New Day" a couple of times, and you will be in a forgiving mood too.

Astral Weeks
Astral Weeks
Price: CDN$ 9.36
44 used & new from CDN$ 3.34

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So utterly horrible it's beyond reason, July 24 2001
This review is from: Astral Weeks (Audio CD)
Ever wonder why no one seems to play any Van Morrison songs that aren't off of Moondance (with the exception of Brown Eyed Girl)? Ever wonder what happened to all those "experimental" albums of the 60s? Ever wonder why sitar music is just not cool these days? Listen to this album, and if you are still wondering after it's over, get help.
Echoes of a much better version of Van Morrison pervade this CD. You hear his wail in many songs but instead of sounding soulful, it sounds hackneyed. He repeats lyrics that are stupid. His musical solos go on forever. There's one song that sounds passable in this whole mess of an album and that one sounds like a Vegas act. Most of the instrument choices he uses are from some Be-in that he attended.
I'm only thankful to see that it's an EARLY album by Van Morrison. This is the kind of music that your friends in college might have made you listen to. THey would say "you got to be on drugs to really appreciate it, man" and then try to convince you that it is IMPORTANT music, that it is LYRICAL or SOULFUL. But the only drug you really need for this kind of music is Ritalin.
If you find yourself listening to this CD or any CDs of it's ilk, run to the nearest record store, buy a New York Dolls cd and play it on auto-repeat. There are reasons why the punk era was so popular -- the main being that the songs are 3 minutes long and they don't pretend to be great art.

Tribulation
Tribulation
VHS
6 used & new from CDN$ 12.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Actually pretty good. I'm surprised., July 24 2001
This review is from: Tribulation (VHS Tape)
As I am not a Christian nor an Apocalyptic, I view these movies based on Revelations as guilty pleasures. While reading Good Omens may be more up my alley, there's something altogether intriguing about Apocalypse art written by people that take it all very seriously.
And usually I'm vastly disappointed. I really despised the Left Behind series for example. Dull, pedantic, preachy junk.
Now this movie is interesting because it has the "where are they now" file on Gary Busey, Margot Kidder, Howie Mandel and Nick Mancuso (who I'm sure is famous for SOMETHING). It begans with Howie Mandel going nuts in a pre-apocalyptic world. As Gary Busey (the cop) tries to have him committed, Margot Kidder playing the Christian sister preaches a lot.
It's a little unfair to say it but Margot Kidder does seem just a little more nutty that Mandel. She has this earnest desperation which fits the character but it's just a little TOO earnet.
ANyhow Gary Busey ends up in a car wreck, goes into a coma and when he's come out the Rapture has happened. It's a lot of chases until he gets to his wife whose broadcasting the words of Jack Van Impe and Ken Hagge (sic?) who just happened to bankroll this thing. One interesting bit is that everyone puts on helmets and the anti-Christ tempts them. If they say yes, they get 666 carved into their hands (by the way -- just a theory but the 'mark' on the hand and forehead is probably early Christian anti-semitism as that is where you place Tefillan according to halacha -- but that's just a theory) and if they say no, they die.
Nick Mancuso does a fairly workable Hannibal Lector impression, and Howie Mandel is a welcome addition to the movie. There's a scene where a guard threatens everyone with death and Mandel runs away, which is nice to see. Too often people in these movie are bland talking heads for the writers. An interesting scene is the confronatation between the British "Jesus is lord" girl and Satan. He pretty much says that he wants company in the Lake of FIre, which was reminding me of Dr. Faustus, but I'm weird that way. But it is nice to have the writers try to figure out Satan somehow.
Overall, it's a fairly simple story. Nothing too great. Preachy as you might expect. Raised above standard fare by good performances all around.

End of Days (Widescreen)
End of Days (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Price: CDN$ 11.99
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Make sure that you are very very drunk if you watch this, May 8 2001
This review is from: End of Days (Widescreen) (DVD)
Satan needs to spawn with the right child in the right place on the right night which turns out to be New York City when midnight hits on the millenium. Arnold is there to stop him.
This movie fails because Satan is so dumb. Forget the amalgamation of every other armageddon movie from Rosemary's Baby to Devil's Advocate, this one bites on its own merit. Satan can't just meet this woman at a party somewhere. He has to run around blowing things up first. And why is Robin Turney the designated mother of all that is evil if she can't stop crying and whining for a second. Maybe if the Satanists that raised her had actually trained her in the task that she is supposed to perform, they'd never have had a problem with her.
But when you know that this movie is a true failure is when Satan shows up at Arnold's apartment adn tries to tempt him into joining with him. Besides calls of "Say YES Arnie! Say YES! Make this movie interesting and just join the legions of the damned!!" I couldn't be more perplexed when Arnie asked Gabriel Byrne what he wanted and didn't get an answer. That's when I thought "What DOES G-d need with a spaceship" after all. And there it is, what does Satan want to take over the world for anyhow?
And there's nothing like a theological plothole to ruin a movie.
Watch it for the loopy sex scenes and the explosions, but I implore you, drink heavily beforehand. That's the only thing that's going to keep you from the bad plot.

X-Men (Widescreen)
X-Men (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Patrick Stewart
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 17.99
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Yay! A comic book movie that [isn't horrible]!, May 8 2001
This review is from: X-Men (Widescreen) (DVD)
Let us pause to mourn the passing of the Kevin Smith script for Superman once more as we remember not so fondly the comic books to movies that have crashed and burned. It seems so easy to make a comic book into a movie. Comic books use frames and shots and the storyboards are already there, just adapt. Yet when they get to the screen, the tights look silly, the villains aren't what you expect and the whole thing seems to be an origin story even if you are familiar with these characters from long back.
This movie could have been horrible. There are so many characters in the comic book that the origin portion of the movie could have rivaled the original Superman for tedium. The cliched storyline running through the comic book has the theme of "oppression is wrong".
This movie gets it right by focusing on Wolverine and Rogue. Already the two most interesting characters in the comic, these are the ones you want to watch anyhow. Preserving the Wolverine loves Jean Grey and hates Cyclops storyline from early X-men helps to drive the story along. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are the best distinguished actors in Hollywood now that John Gielgud is dead. And there is a real plotline. Sure, it sufferes from the action movie problem of random bits thrown in for no reason, but you feel like someone actually sat down and wrote this. As opposed to most Batman movies where you think that a bunch of producers sat on the set yelling things at the director to do.
Of course there are problems and no comic book fan is going to love a comic book movie unconditionally. Sabretooth is supposed to be Wolverine's bigger and meaner double, but since they hired a pro wrestler (and not a very talkative one) they didn't give him anything but a lot of grunts. Ray Park is a great martial artist which you can tell from his too-few-scenes. And a lot of the other X Men are just sort of there.
But still this is a fun movie and one that almost takes the bad taste of eitehr Punisher or Captain America out for only a moment.

Entropy
Entropy
VHS
5 used & new from CDN$ 27.49

3.0 out of 5 stars I might have liked it better if I hadn't seen High Fidelity, May 8 2001
This review is from: Entropy (VHS Tape)
Ah, the confessional genre. When a director who does movies for U2 (and pretty much almost ruins U2 in the process) gets Bono and U2 to provide cameos for his movie, you kind of hope that he'll get a real story out of it. Instead it looks like his life story. And his life story isn't all that interesting.
Briefly, hotshot video director gets a picture deal. Ends up with a model girlfriend. Life is good until he realizes that he can't deal with the producer and he lets the girlfriend fall by the wayside. He begins to drink and smoke a lot. Somewhere along the lines he gets married to Kelly MacDonald whose a little more irritating than she was in Trainspotting, but still great at stealing movies out from under the angst-ridden stars. Eventually he is left with nothing but the wisdom from his experience (and a film script).
It's a pretty good movie. It's just that I've seen the immature artistic type learns how to grow up through a failed relationship before. It's a fairly novel approach I know, call it a Chick movie for guys. And where actual chick movies can have men who are more or less window dressing, a guy movie needs a little more going on if you are going to sit for 2 hours watching a guy blather on about his feelings.
And where this movie fails is the girlfriend character. She's written poorly and the actress is not good enough to get anything out of the character. This is why Kelly MacDonald with her annoying accent and obnoxiousness steals the movie. She can act. The other chick just sort of emotes. At the end of the movie you are left wondering what he ever saw in this woman in the first place. She's cute. They have sex on the first date and she's got a silly little accent. That's about it.
But still it's an enjoyable little movie. And the talking cat cracks me up. Great if you are a U2 fan.

Orpheus Process
Orpheus Process
by Daniel Gower
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Yay for the skinless monkeys, May 7 2001
I was very disappointed with this book for the first two-thirds of it. I didn't like the main character and the characterization of the secondary characters seemed cliche. The daughter and her punk friends were just sort of there and Dr. Helmond was just being dopy. The reanimation material provided some tension but it took forever for things to happen.
Then the skinless monkeys ate the lab assistant. Things were fun from then on. Sure the prose was just as awkward and you didn't like or believe Dr. Helmond any more than before but the sheer amount of gross zombie stuff was great. And when the one child gets eaten it does take some shock effect.
This book isn't up to the other books published by Abyss (Tanith Lee and Poppy Z. Brite being the stars of that lamented publishing house) but it's still pretty good as far as gross horror is concerned. If it had been written 30 years ago it would have been a cherished classic.

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist
Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist
by Tim LaHaye
Edition: Paperback
127 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not for the unbeliever. Probably not for believer, April 12 2001
This was the book where I finally stopped giving these books a chance based on their freakishness value and just put them away for good. Even though all the events of this book were supposed to be exciting and revelatory, they just seemed limp. The only time when the book picked up was when the King James Bible was being quoted and then it's just because the writing style suddenly improves.
Various points of this book rankle me that have nothing to do with the uberChristian, anti-Semitic bias. They include:
Writing the Marvel style: Every character has to repeat every plot point so far, ie. "Buck couldn't believe that that was the anti-Christ behind him in the plane but he knew it was and when the anti-Christ hired him in the last book, etc., etc." Apparently Jenkins believes that the reader is too stupid to remember a plot point that only took place 50 pages back.
World War III: It's supposed to be happening but it affects no one in the plot. If the entire world is going to war against Nicolae, wouldn't there be some fallout? Chicago is still standing at the end of the book which is kind of hard with all these missiles.
Bad characters: If we are going to be with these characters for hundreds of pages the authors could have made them interesting. Instead they are little more than talking heads for the fundamentalist Christian philosophy.
While the escape from Israel offers some tension (if you can ignore the characterization of Jews as rabid dogs out to kill converts to Christianity) it's too little too late. And the earthquake kills off a couple of characters who were even duller than the main ones.
So if you have a fundamentalist Christian friend, give this book to them. But don't read it if you aren't already fully believing in the whole Armegeddon deal. Actually if you are a fundamentalist Christian you might feel insulted by the simplicity of the book too.

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