The Bothersome Man Movie Review

The Bothersome Man (Norwegian movie, 2006, Den brysomme mannen), on the topic of the afterlife, is great watching. Here I compare it to The Good Place (American TV series, 2016), also about the afterlife.

The Bothersome Man is about a man in the afterlife who is stuck in “The Medium Place”, craves “The Good Place”, and ends up on a doomed bus ride to “The Bad Place”. “The Good Place” is hinted at by the aroma of breakfast pastries and sound of children on the other side of the wall, tormenting him and convincing him there’s a better place. Just as “The Bad Place” of Eleanor Shellstrop’s world is ominously implied as the destination of an old-fashioned train ride, here it is implied as the destination of a bus driving off into the barren snow. The places in The Bothersome Man are not named, there is a bus not a train, and the movie is sombre, but the theme resemblance is otherwise uncanny.

Interestingly, Wikipedia treats the setting as present-day, not afterlife: The story is about a man suddenly finding himself in an outwardly perfect, yet essentially soulless dystopia, and his attempt to escape. … The two dig frantically, in secret, through the wall and discover it leads into a house, presumably back in the real world. 

I disagree, Wikipedia.

See it for the sombre and nuanced depiction of the afterlife

The Last Winter Movie Review


The Last Winter stars Ron Perlman as an oilman whose corporate intentions threaten the pristine icy setting. Pretty soon, people start dying. A scared and dwindling set of survivors are set against the frigid north. At first no one knows what the source of the problem is, except that it comes from the ice. I liked The Last Winter a lot, because the terror was largely psychological. Make no mistake, there is a lot of gore/grossness, but it starts really slowly and builds up to it.

Subtract points for a little heavy-handed “don’t spoil nature” message. Add points for the suspense and building dread. Compare and contrast with these other horror movies and tv.

See it for the slow-building mood and fine characters

paramecium etching

The Thing (1982) Movie Review

The Thing is great watching

Remember that gory horror classic from 1982? Remember how awesome it was when the man’s head turned into a hellishly-creepy spider? If you recall that fine piece of cinema, the source of the bone-chilling gross-out was somewhere deep in the ice of a remote Antarctic outpost. Here was another film set in cold, snowy conditions. Compare and contrast with these other horror movies and tv set in a frigid environment.

See it if you don’t mind gore

Orlando Tilda Swinton Movie Review

Tilda Swinton is amazing in Orlando as the son of Queen Elizabeth I who lives for 400 years, the first half as a man, the second half as a woman. Her transformation and the nuances of her facial expressions are subtle and convincing. She starts out gawky and awkward and slowly gains grace as the years pass. It’s extremely believable.

Tilda Swinton. TILDA SWINTON. Need I say more?

See it! Gender-bending Tilda Swinton, damn.

Steal This Movie Review


See it if you like docudramas

Steal This Movie is a pretty good informative look at the life of 60’s radical Abbie Hoffman. The character (played by D’Onofrio) becomes more interesting as the movie progresses; it starts out with a bit too-much-information. Janeane Garofalo is great as Anita Hoffman. Sadly, I have been deprived of the last fifteen minutes through an evil conspiracy of VCR and DVD players.

[EDIT] When did I have a VCR? Not in many moons.

Nunzio’s Second Cousin Movie Review


See Nunzio’s Second Cousin if you can handle a downer.

In Boys Life II, Nunzio’s Second Cousin (short), Vincent D’Onofrio plays a gay cop who terrorizes some would-be gay bashers, forcing one to have dinner with him and his wacky mom. Harsh, interesting, unpredictable, and very well-acted. I found it hard to watch, a little gut-wrenching, but worthwhile.

Happy Accidents Movie Review


See it, for the love of all that’s good in movies!

Happy Accidents is an extremely quirky romantic comedy with Morisa Tomei and D’Onofrio as the leads. D’Onofrio plays a sweet-hearted guy trying to win his girl’s heart, but her doubts grow as he tries to convince her that he’s a time-traveler from the future. His excuses and stories get more complex over time, causing her to become more frustrated despite her attraction.

I usually hate romantic comedies, but this one has a sci-fi bent to it that takes it completely 180 degrees. The chemistry between them is palpable. Everyone is completely believable, including D’Onofrio’s crazy. There is also a cameo that I won’t spoilerize for you, but it’s a good one. This is on my top ten list of movies. This movie’s a real sleeper, I’m not sure why it’s not more famous. Very well written and unpredictable.

Naked Tango Movie Review


Naked Tango: D’Onofrio as a sexy assassin!

Naked Tango is a sexy schlocky flick with Mathilda May playing a woman who tries to escape her boring marriage but ends up enslaved in a brothel. D’Onofrio, is a dashing young assassin who likes to tango. Beautifully filmed, moody, and over-the-top melodramatic. It’s not a serious intellectual film but it’s good eye candy. Especially if you are a big fan of Vincent D’Onofrio. Not that I obsess over his movies, or anything. This one’s pretty good. I have reviewed many movies featuring D’Onofrio.

See it for the eye candy!

Imposter Movie Review

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See it if you enjoy silly science fiction!

A sci-fi action flick. Aliens are attacking, and the world is a mess. Gary Sinise’s character runs around sweating and looking his paranoid best as he tries to escape the clutches of the guy in charge of security, played by Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio’s character is convinced that Sinise’s character is really just a vessel for an alien bomb. Tony Shalhoub has a small part and is excellent as always. Fun and silly. You will enjoy it if you don’t take it seriously. Don’t fall asleep in the middle third, it gets better.

The Whole Wide World Movie Review

See it if you like critically acclaimed period films.

The Whole Wide World features D’Onofrio playing the writer who’s responsible for the Conan the Barbarian stories. He’s moody, socially inept, and too attached to his mother. His girlfriend-wannabee is demanding and sometimes whiny. Given this, you’d be surprised at how interesting they are together. Extremely well done; very easy to forget that it’s a period piece. D’Onofrio received critical acclaim for his role.

Full Metal Jacket Movie Review

Full Metal Jacket is serious watching.

It’s the acting that makes this movie a classic. D’Onofrio is heartbreaking as Gomer Pyle, an overweight Vietnam War recruit who unravels under the pressure of marine boot camp. Matthew Modine plays a successful recruit looking to get into war journalism. R. Lee Ermey was convincing and nuanced as the cruel drill sargeant, Gny. Sgt. Hartman. R. Lee Ermey’s character represented the conflict that is always present in war. He needs to prepare his men for war for the sake of keeping them alive, but does he go too far? Is “Hartman” a pun on “heart”? Modine is also good as the fast-talking ambitious one, although I found his joker schtick a little irritating after a while. That may have been intentional.

D’Onofrio is the shining, crunchy, fire-ball center that holds many chaotic points together

He has a brilliant spell toward the middle in which he demonstrates that he can be as frightening as Jack Nicholson with sheer application of eyebrow expression.

There are no happy endings in Full Metal Jacket. It gets harder and harder to watch as it also gets harder to turn away from. However, this film should be seen for the believability, the lack of stereotypes, its historical relevance, and the unveering straight eye on painful gray areas.

SEE IT. Possibly D’Onofrio’s best role.

The Player Movie Review


Tim Robbins plays a slimy movie exec who mistakenly kills the wrong writer. Terrifically entertaining, funny, and dark. There are about ten million cameos, too. D’Onofrio plays the writer who is mistakenly killed. As far as D’Onofrio parts go, it’s not a very big one, but his story arc is crucial to the movie.

See it! It’s very funny.

The Spanish Judges Movie Review


See it if you like bizarre con-artist flicks.

D’Onofrio is a dissatisfied small-time crook, Valeria Golino is his fed-up girlfriend, and Matthew Lillard is the con-artist who comes between them, offering to make them rich but ultimately playing them against each other. The plot was pretty good. I enjoy con films. I deduct points for Matthew Lillard’s ridiculously mannered face; your mileage may vary. D’Onofrio is over the top, too. “Mars girl”, the strange idiot-girl character, is fabulously weird.

Men in Black Movie Review

The over-arching plot isn’t much to speak of.

The beauty of this movie is in the cute and funny details. Vincent D’Onofrio plays the cockroach guy, with tons of hilariously gross makeup. D’Onofrio does a great homage to the titular character of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Watch his arm movements as he drives the truck.

See it! It’s hilarious all the way through.

The Cell Movie Review

D’Onofrio plays a creepy serial killer in a coma.

Jennifer Lopez plays the child psychologist who’s sent into the reality-space of his mind in order to find out where he’s trapped his most recent (still living) victim. Visually stunning, over-the-top with the shock effects, and occasionally well-acted. Not for the easily disturbed. The director (Tarsem Singh) is better known for his music video direction, and that is obvious.

See it if you don’t mind creepy gore.