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Overall Rating
4.21

Awesome54.81%
Worth A Look: 20.74%
Just Average: 17.04%
Pretty Crappy: 5.93%
Sucks: 1.48%

8 reviews, 87 user ratings


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Pleasantville
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by Erik Childress

"Pleasantville Isn't All Black-and-White"
5 stars

Pleasantville (****) - Who would have thought that 1998 was going to shape into a year with so many wonderful films? Looking at the greater spectrum of crap thatís come out this year and in subsequent years that itís so refreshing to see a film like this come along and take a high-concept script and turn it into something thatís so much more than originally meets the eye.

Using elements from Back to the Future, The Truman Show, and the little remembered failed concept comedy Stay Tuned with John Ritter, writer/director Gary Ross has molded an ingenious film into a large-scale entertainment. The first 45 minutes of this film are a lot of fun. Introducing us to the 50ís TV world of Pleasantville sets up a lot of big laughs and not-so-subtle satire. But when the 90ís kids start straying from the script of the past - thatís when it starts turning truly special. The special effects are groundbreaking and are used as they should be - as part of the story - not as simply just a need trick with a computer. And just when you think you know where the film is headed - it takes several sharp turns and develops into a complex commentary on society. You literally watch a form of history happening. Just as history was presented in Forrest Gump, Pleasantville takes us through some of the same territory and you literally watch the 50s transform into the 60s and so on. All the performances are top-notch. Joan Allen and William H. Macy are getting a lot of well-deserved recognition, but I was equally drawn to Jeff Danielsí soda shop character.

This is one of the richest scripts of the year and one of the best films. My only quibble with the film was something that happens towards the end of the film. I wonít give it away but I felt it was the only questionable thing in the whole film. I recently saw the film a second time - and Iím no longer questioning the logic. In fact it only made the film even better and it raised my original rating of 3 Ĺ stars up to the full-blown 4. What a great film.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=175&reviewer=198
originally posted: 02/16/00 13:14:12
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell nice visuals but very overrated 3 stars
4/27/14 Jeff WIlder Lacks bite as a satire. But entertains and provokes some thought. 4 stars
9/13/09 the dork knight Film has trouble committing between farce and comedy. Feels uneven 4 stars
3/17/09 Dr.Lao Fascinating idea, could have used one more re-wright though 4 stars
8/20/08 Amanda if you feel the need to judge a movie based on face and not on morals, grow up. 5 stars
5/23/08 PAUL SHORTT A MORE FITTING TITLE WOULD HAVE BEEN 'UNPLEASANTVILLE' 1 stars
5/26/07 WalkingDisaster Love this movie! 5 stars
11/19/06 lil not bad 3 stars
3/25/06 krystal You have to see this movie its an olie but a goodie 5 stars
8/12/05 ES Strong message about intolerance and the loss of innocence= one for the ages 5 stars
3/14/05 RUDI BRINK THE MOVIE WAS VERY INTERESTING, SOME OF THE MOVIE WAS CHEESY BUT OVER ALL IT WAS MADE WELL. 4 stars
2/09/05 Jeff Anderson A great looking, richly acted, & dreamy film! ANYWAY, THREE CHEERS FOR DON KNOTTS!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/04/04 DM Really good movie 5 stars
5/16/04 Daveman It's really sad that such an awesome technical triumph doesn't realise its potential. 3 stars
3/26/04 Ghetto Smurf 5 stars
11/23/03 smartmusician good 4 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick two thumbs up 5 stars
1/05/03 BAM A GREAT FILM 5 stars
11/12/02 Andrew Carden Nostalgic Film Is Also Realistic and Greatly Dramatic. 5 stars
8/08/02 palaboy101 the twilight zone premise put to good use, the ending though was a bit of a letdown. 4 stars
7/16/02 R.W. Welch Imaginative premise undermined by slow pace and preachy tendencies. 3 stars
4/04/02 ellie Funny and clever, Tobey Maguire proves he's one of the best actors around. 5 stars
2/07/02 Meredith Harshaw Moving at first but silly on further reflection. 2 stars
2/01/02 kinkykaty Brilliant film,loved Jeff daniels sweet,naive role most of all. 5 stars
11/17/01 Jim Amazing satire with a lot on its mind -- maybe TOO much, but most movies have too little! 5 stars
9/22/01 Matthew Bartley Great film.It stands up to so many repeat viewings 5 stars
8/02/01 Elvisfan It was all right, a little bit much by the end 4 stars
7/16/01 The Hamburgler THE TOXIC BUTTHOLE WILL PREVAIL!!!!! 5 stars
7/07/01 Dom Corleone superb 5 stars
4/14/01 LiL Cool film Reese and Toby rock! 5 stars
3/28/01 Joel Great movie! 5 stars
12/16/00 The Evil Penguin I agree with Ionicera 3 stars
6/12/00 danilo starts off good -- but gets VERY boring in the end 3 stars
3/09/00 David Rogers I didn't know what was going on! 2 stars
3/01/00 Ionicera interesting message that was stretched past its limits and spoon fed to the audience 3 stars
2/18/00 Richard Wright Decent special effects wasted on a sentimental slop of a film.The last 30 mins suck esp. 2 stars
2/17/00 Starla EXCELLENT! A strikingly memorable film, everyone should see it-now! 5 stars
2/05/00 Kyle Broflovski Pasted a cheesy smile on my face for hours. Reminds me of my own neighborhood. :-) 5 stars
12/27/99 Malini Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon were great in this cool in a way 50s film! 5 stars
12/14/99 Paul Extremely funny and witty with drama mixed it. Not to be missed 5 stars
10/29/99 Bozo enjoyed it very much but it could have been better 4 stars
8/14/99 Marshy Got rave reviews but still underrated... See it! Great movie! 5 stars
7/28/99 Matthew Bartley Brilliant 5 stars
6/23/99 Tristynn I just don't understand the hype.. not that great of a movie.. 3 stars
4/29/99 Matthew Bartley Brilliant cast,stunning effects. Top marks for this one! 5 stars
4/05/99 David BORING ONLY A POMPOUS ASS WOULD LIKE IT! 2 stars
4/05/99 Michael Grimm masturbation scene ruled!!! 4 stars
3/09/99 Wolfy316 A truly wonderful film, telling a moral tale with being overly moralistic. 5 stars
3/07/99 CanadianChica Going into this movie, i was thinking fun- going out, i was thinking...awesome!!!!!! 5 stars
3/05/99 MR HOLLYWOOD!! IN-DEPTH AND ORIGINAL,A PLEASURE TO WATCH. 4 stars
3/04/99 stuck in lilydale Did anyone else think this was one of the most annoyingly pleasant films ever made? 3 stars
1/24/99 donkey_dew More special effect shots than Titanic, Armageddon, and Jurrasic Park combined? Fucking aye 5 stars
1/12/99 Miss Scarlett Ok, the bathtub scene? 'Nuff said. 2 stars
1/11/99 demon_shredder Not bad...not too bad at all. 5 stars
1/10/99 Diogenesnutz This movie was really annoying. I don't know what else to say. 2 stars
1/04/99 JLB Derivative, too many mixed metaphors, pure yuck, but kinda nice visually 3 stars
12/30/98 Todd Great - though a bit preachy at the end 4 stars
12/17/98 Edward The Great Beyond 5 stars
12/16/98 A Gen Xer I thought it was spot-on. My black n' white dad didn't like. Go figure... 4 stars
12/10/98 Bryan Technical wizardry 4 stars
12/06/98 Mr Showbiz A flawed but beguiling directional debut. 4 stars
12/02/98 Kirgo .......... 5 stars
11/29/98 Bill C. A nostalgic look back at the innocent 50's 5 stars
11/25/98 John Maybe intensify the dark side/more impact! 4 stars
11/24/98 Brimley Sentiments for the Gen-X age- I'd take the less confusing Frank Capra any day 1 stars
11/21/98 Bic W Should be called Dullsville - neat technical tricks, but not worth a full length film 2 stars
11/20/98 Craig Big Eagle This movie is just great. Makes you think a little...even if your a brainless amoeba 5 stars
11/19/98 evil buffy better than i thought i would be. nice effects but issues too. 4 stars
11/19/98 Jumbles Very enjoyable film of ideas, but a bit slow and heavy-handed in spots. 4 stars
11/11/98 Tracy incredible! Makes me want to have sex.... 5 stars
11/10/98 JC Kick-ass! 5 stars
11/08/98 Spice come on baby lets get in technicolor! 4 stars
11/06/98 David Torpey Unusual movie. Worth the ticket. 5 stars
11/03/98 The Graduate Gorgeous visuals, great characters. Too bad the trailer gives 90% of the plot away. 4 stars
11/02/98 grunter Doesn't live up to the hype, has NO CHANCE of winning an Oscar fanboy geeks!! 3 stars
10/28/98 dana Yow! 5 stars
10/28/98 Phil Scroggs Moderately entertaining; cool effects. 4 stars
10/27/98 Milhouse Faqw What a great movie! It had a great plot, script and special effects! Bravo! 5 stars
10/26/98 Paige Blackheart I laughed, I cried, I loved it! 5 stars
10/26/98 Blake This movie sucked 2 stars
10/26/98 i8bozo props to my co-workers for a job well done 5 stars
10/25/98 Gamma Outstanding Performances all around. Visual Effects A++. Terrific story. All Great! 5 stars
10/24/98 Negative Creep Its DON KNOTTS! And He's FUNNY! Someone Get this Man Some WORK! Oh yeah movie was a'ight ;) 4 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool I really feel this is the film to watch this year. Pleasantville is a worthwhile movie. 5 stars
9/30/98 katherine great story, and pretty funny. 4 stars
9/29/98 brian Amazing! More like Back to the Future then Truman Show! 5 stars
8/29/98 {{{OZ}}} Teenagers find themselves stuck in a 50's sitcom. Works really well, a great film. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Oct-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 01-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Feb-1999


Directed by
  Gary Ross

Written by
  Gary Ross

Cast
  Jeff Daniels
  Don Knotts
  William H. Macy
  Reese Witherspoon
  Tobey Maguire
  J.T. Walsh



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