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OH man what a GREAT movie! I can't believe I haven't seen this yet! This was one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and without a doubt the best performance by Judge Reinhold.

And I have to say, this is now #1 on my list of best nude scenes ever. Phoebe Cates is on par with Monica Bellucci.
Ele n
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) ****

Taking an all-too typical 80's-high-school setting, director Amy Heckerling and screenwriter Cameron Crowe craft a film that somewhere between a straight-up John Hughes comedy and a more toned-down drama. It works rather well; if not entirely realistic in its events, its characters' thoughts, motivations and reactions are spot-on. Fast Times revolves around a gaggle of high school students: Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) a constantly-stoned surfer dude; Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is just being introduced to the joys (and deceptions) of sex; her brother Brad (Judge Reinhold), who struggles with many different low-paying jobs because he feels it'S what he "ahs to do"; Mike Damone (Robert Romanus), a self-proclaimed charmer who may not be all he's cracked up to be; Mark AKA Rat (Brian Backer), a shy movie usher with a crush on Stacy, and Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), Stacy's sexually-experienced co-worker. Their lives cross as they deal with the incoming threat of adulthood, blah blah blah... it certainly has a more down-to-earth approach; it never goes for the big easy gag, which is certainly good to see, and it has a more natural feel to it than most comedies of its type (even, dare I say, my beloved Dazed and Confused). It's not subtle, but it works. Those who like to play spot-the-famous-face will be in heaven; besides the main cast (most of which had very little previous movie experience) and the presence of Ray Walson and Vincent Schiavelli as teachers, we can also spot Forest Whittaker, Eric Stoltz, Nicholas Cage (who's in, like, 2 shots), Anthony Edwards, director Martin Brest, Taylor Negron, Nancy Wilson (of Heart... Crowe's wife) and Lana Clarkson (the infamous victim of the Phil Spector murder case). Whew.

eXistenZ (1999) **

Downright ridiculous sci-fi film from the usually reliable David Cronenberg casts Jennifer Jason Leigh as a creator of videogames in a world where X-boxes and Playstations have been replaced with big rubbery mounds of flesh that you plug in a rectum-like hole in your back. After being attacked by a guy during a demonstration, she escapes with security guard Jude Law and tries to make sense of things; the viewer does the same. It's one of those movies that keeps doubting wether or not it's actually happening and goes deus ex machina on its own ass repeatedly. The idea is original, and on paper it certainly would've looked good, but what's on-screen is ridiculous, confusing and devoid of absolutely any interest. The heavy-handed symbolism (for sex, obviously; Cronenberg wouldn't have body cavities for any other reason) becomes tiresome after maybe ten minutes and the top-notch cast (most of whom, it seems, would have signed on before reading the script) is given precious little to do. Leigh is pretty good, but Law is wasted in a part that amounts to little more than saying "What is happening?! What are you saying?!" a lot. Cronenberg would've been better off writing this as a short story and keeping it as far as possible from a camera.

Intolerable Cruelty (2003) ***1/2

It seems rather unlikely that indie mavericks like the Coen Brothers, who have built a career on offbeat, quirky fare, would tackle something like a romantic comedy about a divorce lawyer falling in love with a golddigger... starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, no less. But they have, and although purists may shy away from the premise, Intolerable Cruelty remains a Coen film at heart. George Clooney plays Miles Massey, a hugely successful divorce attorney who takes the case of Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who is divorcing her millionaire husband (Edward Herrmann) after finding out he was having an affair. Turns out she's after his money (obviously)... and not just his. It's pretty flimsy stuff when compared to what the Coens usually do, but its sly sense of humor and potshots at the genre's conventions are enough to make it stand out. Add to that a crack team of supporting actors (Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton, Cedric the Entertainer, Richard Jenkins and Paul Adelstein give sterling support... not to mention a blink-and-you'll-miss-him cameo from Bruce Campbell) and some endlessly quotable dialogue ("I'm gonna NAIL yo' ass!") and you've got yourself a solid way to pass a couple of hours. Clooney is hysterical in his Cary Grant-esque role, Zeta-Jones is stunning... it's pretty lightweight filmmaking from heavyweight talent, but it works.

The Verdict (1982) ***1/2

There's something about courtroom movies (and movies about law in general) that turn me off. I can't tell what it is exactly, but in any case, whatever it is... it's not in this film (or very little of it, anyway). Paul Newman plays a down-and-out, alcoholic lawyer who gets a medical malpractice lawsuit by some stroke of luck and decides to redeem himself by giving it his all. It takes a while to get going, and even when it does get going, it tends to get a bit dull with the lawyer-speak and all... but the story is gripping enough (and Newman good enough) to keep you engrossed in the story. Newman gives a great performance (and is ably supported by the likes of James Mason, Edward Binns, Charlotte Rampling Milo O'Shea and Jack Warden) and Lumet's typically efficient direction makes the most out of silence. It's much more interesting to see the actors playing off each other than it is to actually pay attention to the story, however.

Scanners (1981) ***1/2

Early Cronenberg concoction is most famous for its shot of a man's head literally exploding; but sit down and actually watch the thing, and you'll find that's it's actually a pretty good sci-fi yarn. Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) is an average man who finds out from semi-mad professor Patrick McGoohan that he is in fact a 'scanner', capable of reading people's thoughts. He's not the only scanner; in fact, there are 'evil' scanners who are attempting to take over the world. From this relatively silly premise, Cronenberg is able to make a rather nifty little sci-fi thriller; I dig its gritty, low-budget Canuxploitation roots, plus it's got some great action scenes. It's also, as far as I can tell, Cronenberg's most straightforward flick... but it works better than the overblown rectal sci-fi of eXistenZ, for example. The acting isn't always very good (the cops in the car chase scene are especially horrible) but the leads are decent, and (miraculously) the usually wooden Michael Ironside shows up to give a semi-emotive performance as the leader of the bad scanners. That in itself is an achievement.
It's a fun, silly parody or high school stereotypes. There's nothing amazing about it besides the fact that it's a classic that does that so well.
I don't know what to make of this movie! I thought it was supposed to be a comedy, and while it was funny, it also dealt with some heavy issues. Very weird.

Also, who in their right mind finds Judge Reinhold believable as a high school student? He looks 35! It's worse than James Van Der Beek as Dawson!

The highlight of the movie was definitely Sean Penn as Spicoli. I wish he would do more roles like that these days, hee!
I think they're fun! Some people hate them, but I love watching them! Well, some are better than others, but still, I think they're usually entertaining.

Two high school movies were on tv today: "Whatever it takes" and "Fast times at Richmont high". "Whatever it takes" was a regular romantic comedy, nothing special, nothing original. I didn't like it that much, so I'm giving it 4...I think. "Fast times" was better, but I think the ending was kinda weird...I mean, the whole movie was just a bunch of things that happened to the students in the movie and then after one thing happened to one of the guys, the movie was suddenly over. Sean Penn was in it, and he made me think about another high school movie I think is really great, "Clueless", cause the character he plays is kinda like Travis in Clueless.

My sister bought it Clueless on VHS when it was new, and I've watched it a million times since then. It's been ages since I've seen it now though, but since I'm talking about high school movies, I thought I'd rate it! I love this movie, so I'm giving it 10!

Edit: Not that anyone cares, but I just noticed that Amy Heckerling, who wrote and directed "Clueless" also directed "Fast times at richmont high". And she also directed (with other people) the TV-series based on the two movies.
Comments pending.
Starring: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, and Robert Walton.
Directed by Amy Heckerling.
Written by Cameron Crowe.
Rated R (for strong sexual content, drug use and language).
Running time approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Maybe I missed the point - if there was one to catch. This movie and I just didn't agree with each other. I found Fast Times at Ridgemont High to be insipid, boring, stupid and annoying, all while evoking not a single laugh from my belly. Crowe, credited with the screenplay, adapted from his book, seems to have decided to take a day off with this one. Where his more recent films are fresh anf funny, Ridgemont is vulgar and cliched. It's hard to believe that, based on this ridiculously awful performance as a "surfer dude," Sean Penn has won any awards at all. Or maybe it's just the character I hate - I guess he does play a jackass pretty well. Well, I guess all's well. Jennifer Connelly stunk it up big time in Labyrinthe, and she's one of my favorite actresses now, as is Penn (not actress, actor - don't get smart!). Well, I know all of you probably loved this little goofy-ass, retarded retard of a movie, but it just didn't click with me. I do apologize. * (out of ****) D
it's not that i dont like this movie but one sene got to me this girl has a abortion which i dont agree with but it wasnt really just that it was like oh she had a abortion and she's fine not feeling or anything it's wrong it like telling people that it doent matter and there nothing right with it ,but with that aside this was a good movie but that one sene ruined the whole movie for me
Fast Times was actually rated #1 on Star! 25 Best Teen Movies. I might disagree, but this is certainly one of the original stoner flicks. Sean Penn is probably the best stoner ever lived and the rest was fairly funny. I can say that this movie should get a few laughs out of someone with a stupid sense of humour and if you aren't into 80s movies, rent Harold and Kumar.
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