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Pingo-2

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86 reviews in total 
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Elysium (2013/I)
Looks nice, but has too many problems., 5 February 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With a cast of Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley and Wagner Moura, directed by Neill Blomkamp, with a huge budget - what can go wrong? Apparently, a lot.

ELYSIUM is like OBLIVION (2013) (the sci-fi-disaster starring Cruise). It is visually really neat, cast and budget is as good as it gets and directors are considered some of the best right now.

But both have major problems. I won't go into Oblivion - that's a different story.

Elysium starts out with great visuals, which is its strength. It then goes on to try to describe the main character Max (Damon), but fails to deliver something interesting. It's a misch-masch of boring scenes where nothing really happens.

Introduction to other (major) characters, as Spider (Moura) is sloppy. Foster gets a lot of screen time, but her direction was obviously not great. Feels like she's reading cue-cards. She looks and feels extremely uncomfortable until her death scene - which seems to be a relief of finally being written out of this mess. That's also her best performance in this film, maybe just because of that.

Best of the actors, however, is the too little used character Frey, played by the excellent Alice Braga. She doesn't seem to have anything to prove, and because of this, she makes a small and pretty insignificant character believable and good.

Worst if the character Spider (though the always good Moura does what he can with the badly written part), who is presented as a bad-guy in the beginning, but turns good in the end - for no particular reason at all.

But it is the script that makes this a bland and uninteresting film. It simply doesn't make sense.

Yes - SPOILERS ahead: If the "med bays" was so important to the story - why not introduce them a bit better and earlier? And why didn't we see that this is the reason why Elysium is fighting against the Earth population? As it is presented now, there seem to be an enormous amount of med-bays - and if that is the case, why not give the Earth population access to them (as they do in the end, which doesn't affect Elysium at all, by the way) and in one blow remove the will and reason for the Earth population to try to gain access to Elysium. Now sure, there are other reasons to go to Elysium, but the Elysium powers-at-be, would have a stronger power over the Planet's population.

All this is never addressed, and it's the main flaw in the whole script. Worse is: the whole story hangs on it. Which actually makes the whole movie completely illogical and totally useless. What's the point, really? I still give this movie a 5 out of 10. It deserves some points for visuals, cast and for some interesting scenes. I like the locations (most, except those that look like taken from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK), props, costumes and vehicles.

Music is bland, gore and violence is extremely uneven (very gory at a few points, and nothing at most other instances), script is terrible and direction is lacking.

It's disappointing to see such a promising director as Bloomkamp not being successful here. I can only assume it has something to do with the high budget. With this high budget, the producers and investors get way too much power - both over storyline as over final edit. Maybe Bloomkamp can, in the future, go back and re-edit something better out of this. It kind of deserves it.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Corny and childish - but nice action., 16 October 2013
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It still surprises me that one can get $190M USD to make superior action and wonderful CGI in a 131 minute movie - but leave out character development and serious and realistic sounding dialog. The "scientists" sounds like mice (are probably supposed to be funny) and the characters are, well... kinda boring.

Too many HOORAH's and applauding scenes for me - not really sure why they're there anyway, it just makes a pretty stupid film more dorky.

That said - the action sequences are beautiful and cool. The "aliens" are nice, though nothing you haven't seen before. Conveniantly, they have flashlights in their mouths too! It's sad that there are almost no Huge Robot-movies that can handle this theme with respect and make something serious. All Giant Robot movies doesn't have to be for kids. GANHEDDO (1989) is probably one of the only darker live-action giant robot films ever made.

Pacific Rim is nothing but CGI animations battling it out for total destruction. There's no suspense, no build ups, no real movie here. But as a CGI show-reel, this is amazing.

To be honest - the live action parts can be fast-forwarded (except for the Mako flashback scene, which is good - especially since it lacks dialog).

I give it a 6 out of 10 anyway, because the director is a hero, Rinko Kikuchi did a great job - and I simply LOVE Giant Robots!

Oblivion (2013/I)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Directed by Captain Obvious for kids., 30 July 2013
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First - OBLIVION has a great cast and looks wonderful! The post-apocalyptic setting is one of the best I've ever seen, it's beautiful and cool, tough and a bit epic.

Sounds - especially the sound effects of the drones - are equally great. Maybe the sounds of the drones are actually the best thing of the whole film! Yes - they are.

However, that's it. The story is messy with tons of irregularities. It doesn't stick to it's own logic/realism and is very obvious. You will know what's going to happen next - you can even tell what LINES they're going to say! It's that obvious.

This makes it a bit boring at places. Especially the whole dream-sequence (which the film-makers for some reason seem forced to show you ten times) is a tired shot that doesn't add anything to the film at all. Yes - we understood the concept in the first frame - now get on with it! Yes, it's a summer-blockbuster-movie, but it's so dumbed down that it feels like the title should be OBVIOUS FOR DUMMIES instead.

It's based on a graphic novel (which I haven't read), but the film uses re-hashes from IMMORTAL (also graphic novels from the 80's + a 2004-feature film), the FALLOUT games and a bit of MATRIX thrown in for the "mystery" + MOON of course.

It's a pretty stupid film though, even though it's entertaining at parts. If it was a low-budget feature with no known names I wouldn't complain. But this is a major sci-fi with a $120M budget! Question is: why didn't they spend at least a few hundred bucks on a script that was air-tight? Watch this with your brain turned off.

Prometheus (2012/I)
8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Doesn't live up to the hype., 1 June 2012
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I expected more. ALIEN + the trailer tells the whole story. There's just nothing more in this. And sadly, there's no characters and no antagonist either.

That said - this is a very well made movie with tons of great effects and nice settings. Beautiful at places and down right nasty at others. Really cool.

But you know - if you stretch out a film over 120 minutes, you should really have material for it. Sadly, PROMETHEUS does not have that.

Sure - Scott wants to save something for the sequel to this, but we who pay to watch the film actually wants to see THIS film. Hence, this film has to stand alone - and it doesn't.

Without the next installment, and ALIEN, this movie would make no sense at all - and scriptwise, it would go directly to an extensive re-write.

Most significant of script errors is the lack of an antagonist. There's just no suspense in the first part of the film. The second part kicks off good - and is really watchable - but only because of cheap thrills and tricks.

It's still a far better film than much else being made today, but for $120M dollars you'd expect them to hire writers that can really really write. We've actually seen much of this in tons of other films, and it's just not fun anymore. Give us something new! If it was a $1M movie, then I wouldn't complain. For that budget, this would be super.

But when you play around with $120M and you still make old-make-up that looks like in the BACK TO THE FUTURE-films - then you know that someone needs to get a reality check.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Looks great - is boring., 6 November 2011
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Extremely well made. Looks wonderful. Child actors in the first 30 minutes are super impressive. Actually, ALL actors in the film are impressive! So are the action, the music, the sound effects, the CGI - everything is impressive! Except one thing and that is Conan the character. He's Superman without cryptonite. Which makes him completely boring. Which makes the movie boring.

Sadly, but the film is so well made that they forgot to make the main character interesting. Well - if you have a billion dollars and don't care about what you're doing, this is what you end up with.

Schwarzenegger's version was more entertaining - this one looks better.

If you're looking for a movie - rent the 1982-version.

If you're looking for something visually cool - watch this.

5/10

Mass Effect 2 (2010) (VG)
6 out of 73 people found the following review useful:
A bit boring., 23 January 2011
4/10

I don't know what I expected, but I felt ME2 was a bit boring. It felt like I've already played through this. Story is very straight forward and narrow.

Overall, everything is very competent done, and voice-acting is extremely good, graphics are good, music nice etc. But it feels like something is lacking.

It felt like someone else was controlling Shepard. I didn't have enough choices, everything was already there. Not like filling blanks, but more like following a drawing-by-numbers.

In 2011, we actually expect more from a super-high-budget game than this.

12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Back to Italin post-nuke!, 15 January 2011
6/10

Since I've made low-budget films myself, I first must say that I am impressed by what Simone put together with Philip Kim's script.

It's a professional product and very nice production value throughout. Especially some of the car-scenes had some complicated and really nice filming. I enjoyed the editing with the German-like experimental split-screen - especially since it was mostly used to tell two sides of the same scene.

Of course, we have seen most of this before. Especially in the MAD MAX-films, of course, but mostly, this film resembles A BOY AND HIS DOG (1975) and there's also a lot of nods to Enzo Castellari's incredible Italian Mad Max-rip off I NUOVI BARBARI (1982).

Downstream IS very Italian. If you haven't seen any of the Italian post-nuke films, then you're missing out on a lot of the films inspiration.

Mostly, I thought this was well-made and for the low budget these people worked with, they created a nice film that works. Sadly, the ending is a bit slow.

Otherwise, the fights and car-action was very good. It reminds me a lot of Marshall's DOOMSDAY (2008), of course - but do remember that that film had a $30M budget and this only a $1M! So if you like the casual Italian post-apocalypse thing, then this is for you.

Predators (2010)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Nothing special..., 7 October 2010
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We've seen humans being hunted by predators before. Many times. This is just one more movie showing the same thing. Sadly! PREDATORS could have been a great film. It has nice CGI (I love the spaceships and the planets!), good acting and nice filming and editing. Sound is OK, but nothing unique.

However, the storyline and the locations are actually pretty boring. There's nothing new presented here, even AvP and its sequel are more interesting than this.

The film is placed in some generic forests, not even jungles, and low camera hints of small and cheap sets and locations. The predator "main camp" looks like a small camp-fire setup that was built for $1000. The rest is, well, nothing special...

Storywise we see much more interesting development in PREDATOR 2 (1990). The story could've used much more predator-character development, and almost tries, but looses it. Instead, the film goes for a generic (and extremely boring and unfit!) character "twist" in the end, which is just silly. (And the "yakuza sword fight scene" in the middle is even more misplaced - and boring).

$45 Million in budget should show a better script than this.

Sad - could've been so much better. Right now, it's just plain.

Surrogates (2009)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Made by people who doesn't understand technology., 2 February 2010
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SURROGATES is a cliché ridden film based on the idea that we sometime in the future will have robots doing our dirty work. In this film, however, every person is in their bed controlling their robot's daily life. A completely stupid idea since that's not how and why robots are made. Why not an AI for simple tasks? Would people really like to lie in the bed and do boring stuff every day? Where's the fun in that? The plot roams around a boring conspiracy. Boring, since there are too few characters in this mess to make the conspiracy work. You'll figure it out after a few minutes, and after that, the only thing that will keep you awake is the incredible make-up and the not-so-incredible action-scenes.

Actors are "good", but not perfect. Bruce Willis is OK, but hey - it's Bruce Willis. The rest - well, I didn't really care. Because the movie doesn't make you care.

And that's sad, because the basic idea here with robots that we can send out to do our daily life - that is a GREAT idea! Sadly, the writers messed it up. But what do you expect from the creators of CATWOMAN and THE NET? It's pretty obvious that these writers LOVE technology - but they don't understand it. They take what they see on the surface, tries to make it their own ideas - but misses the point.

SURROGATES is one of those movies that will pass and become forgotten, along with TIME WALKER (1982). It's OK if you can watch it for free somewhere - especially since the make-up is always in Uncanny Valley.

The rest of the film however, is simply boring.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Boring, 10 July 2009
3/10

This was not only a totally unnecessary remake - it is also a extremely boring film. Meryl Streep is great as a total bitch and the Odipus-story played out between her and her son is at least a little bit interesting.

The rest of the film is a sleeping pill. Denzel Washington has nothing to work with, and he looks like an amateur actor here. Miguel Ferrer - a wonderful actor - has approximately 1 minute of screen time. The rest of the cast is just bleak and predictable.

Nothing in this film feels realistic or true. Everything is plastic, ugly and obnoxious. The special effects - especially in the "dream sequences" - are extremely awful.

This film had a budget of $80M. I would suggest to the film makers that next time you have that much money for making a film - at least use a few bucks on the script. That will help.


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