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It's like a cartoon version of something that was once good.
WOW! I absolutely loved the original. This one is so bad, I almost hate the first movie. Seriously awful. It's full of terrible acting performances from actors who put in a good turn first time around. I hate when a character knows what's quirky about themselves. I can't believe in them when everyone appears as though they know they're in a movie and are IN on the joke. They're not supposed to be, only the audience is. The movie is filled with forced references to what came off in the first film as spontaneous but simply now fall flat. Reedus and Flanery are slumming here. Also slumming is Julie Benz who is basically playing Kyra Sedgwick as The Closer (2005 TV Series). I understand the draw to be in this film, knowing the cult following of the original but this was a big mistake for everyone involved from top to bottom. I don't want to blame the actors totally, there's hardly a good performance to be seen, but with what they had to work with, good lord.
I wanted to love this so bad. I even lowered my expectations in order to have a buffer to allow me to think it was better than expected. Impossible. Boondock Saints one was lightning in a bottle. Perhaps even a fluke. Sure, I saw "Overnight" and bore witness to the train wreck that was Troy Duffy but I always felt saddened by the fact that the original movie showed that he actually had talent and that his demise meant never seeing what he could do if given all of the right ingredients to make more films. If they are anything like this one, I would say that BS1 was indeed a fluke not to be repeated. Furthermore, it makes me wonder if he actually directed BS1.
Unless your character's are Ferris Bueller, they shouldn't be so self aware. It takes them and your audience out of the movie. We need to discover the path WITH our heroes, not have it all drawn out like Wyle E. Coyote's moronic designs. Repeatedly in this film a character will say something and, as the audience member you think, "I knew he was going to say that. And I wish he hadn't"
By the way, I sure wish Judd Nelson would could land some major films. Given the right script and director, we could get some great performances out of him. Right when he seemed to be channeling Pacino, he was derailed with asinine dialog injected to sound witty , profound or even just profane but landed like a thud. I hearken back to Saints 1 where Carlo Rota as Yakavetta is yelling at someone on the phone as he gets his sandwich. That exchange is confusing and out of contexts but feels so real. It was either his brilliant acting or a combination of that, script and direction. That movie was filled with that brilliance. BSII had NONE of it. I'd say the best part of this movie is the tease we get of Rocco and his voice over at the opening of the film. The rest goes downhill so fast it's almost a free fall.
I will forever try to forget that this movie exists so I can still enjoy the raw energy and relentless pace of the first film. This movie is the second Boondock Saints film, yes, that's right, it's NUMBER TWO!
Miami Vice (2006)
Gritty, emotional, serious, hard-hitting, involved, masterpiece...
Yes, I said masterpiece. What an out-of-the-park home run this film is. Frame one to the appearance of the film's title after the fade to black. The FILM, not movie, went far beyond any expectations I'd had. A fan of the TV show, I admit that I'm guilty of what so many others are guilty of. That being a complete and utter misconception of what I remember the 80's series to be. Admit it, we think of the wardrobes and the 80's lifestyles and don't even remember the story lines. It almost as if we just can't get past Don Johnson's singing career to remember what Miami Vice really was. Trust me, pick it up on DVD and you'll see from the get-go how raw and hard the TV show really was.
This film will not make the money it deserves to make. Too many nay-sayers and those fed up with TV-Show-To-Movie projects. That's too bad because Michael Mann is only getting better. An amazing accomplishment here is that the story (what's up with all the critics finding it hard to follow?) is so engrossing and involved that not even the celebrity of it's two stars can distract. Credit the director, the writing and the actors to be sure. Collin and Jamie become all new people of flesh and blood. I, for one, appreciate the subtlety displayed by all of the players. One of my favorite movies of all time is Scarface, but even it has it's moments where suspension of disbelief is shaken by and actor here or there that just doesn't get the line out or seems overzealous. Not here. From stars to bit parts to extras this film bleeds authenticity. I felt as though I was taken into this world and literally experiencing it with the characters.
All too often "bad guys" are played out in such a stereotypical way that it's hard to be fearful for the heroes. Not here. Much care was put into making them HUMAN. A much darker way to approach the subject matter. Avoiding stereotypes, we watch our villains in everyday settings and having conversations that feel like real people conversing, not simply spoting off lines that drive the plotting of their evil schemes. These are businessmen who's business is crime and they do it well.
I was emotionally involved and concerned. This is a brutal film. I don't say that to infer that there's an excess of violence but to illustrate that even beyond the violence displayed is another dynamic altogether where it's understood that the unknown is far more frightening than what's right in front of your eyes.
Watching JAWS, we all know that the shark is a fake yet we were scared out of our minds. What was ultimately more frightening than seeing the shark itself was watching those barrels move around the water, disappear and the re-surface and just bob there a bit. I felt that same anxiety here. I'm reluctant to go into plot points but we all know that the film involved drug dealers and undercover officers. What makes this film truly stand out is the insider's view to both sides of the conflict. I love HEAT but wanted so much more of the investigative and criminal sides of the story. I understand now why it was made the way it was but Miami Vice delivers all of what I would have wanted and more from a film of this genre.
I love where this film took the characters. I want more. Really, this film is the "hang your balls out there" film of the year. Probably won't get nominated (by virtue of name only) but it certainly deserves to be. Look out for another outstanding performance from Barry Shabaka Henley. Stellar acting all around. I want this entire cast and crew when I make my films.
Nanny McPhee (2005)
You can't handle the tooth!
What a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and this film's over-the-top storytelling reminded me of what I thought was lacking in that other film. There was much joy to be had. It really was a lot of fun and quite the breath of fresh air for children's movies since the slump between The Incredibles and now.
The actors are perfectly cast. So often children can only distract from a movie with very few turning in believable performances. Not the case here.
My only regret was the missed opportunity for the perfect tag-line...maybe they's take my idea for the DVD promotion...
"You can't handle the tooth!"
A real HACK job...of film-making.
I knew exactly how I wanted to review this film until I read most of the reviews here. Now, I'm almost at a loss for words but that won't last long. I have a few things that need saying. What set me back were all of the positive reviews praising this movie. To me, that was more shocking than anything the movie attempted to deliver. Many reviewers have pointed out, and I agree, that the positive reviews are most likely the director himself, signing up a bunch of IMDb accounts. Note that those reviews are from persons who have reviewed only one film, MALEVOLENCE. Curious, don't you think? To be honest, I wouldn't take the time to sign up just to talk about this movie. But, I have an account so, here goes:
The DVD starts up with classic trailers like Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, Clive Barker's Hellraiser and Carpenter's Halloween. WTF? If it's a matter of Anchor Bay distributing them it's one thing, unfortunately, I think it was an attempt to somehow hypnotize us into thinking what was about to unfold would be forever linked to those classics. BULL(expletive deleted)!
The most tragic thing about this film is the fact that the opening story scroll is ominous with it's use of statistics regarding missing persons. I was actually drawn in for a brief moment. The scene with the woman chained up and the boy being brought in, revealed when the sack holding him was opened, hinted that this was a dark journey and it got me expecting a psychological thriller. Even the murder of the woman as seen by the boy (complete with parts of the framework of the house obstructing the view) was well done.
Then what happened? I could trash the acting all day long but, I'll give the players the benefit of a doubt. Some of our best actors have had directors who coaxed dead pan performances. It's been known to happen. I won't waste any time on that issue other than to say that this film would not serve any of them well as a reference.
Early on, the most interesting character is killed off. He's got a small part but he should've been a driving force for the action of the film. Nothing after his death works. The motivations of the characters are all wrong. Come on, a mother who has been kidnapped with her daughter (who manages to escape) falls asleep after some feeble struggling? Give me a break! Maternal instinct alone dictates that that woman would rip her flesh to get free. There would be no stopping her. Other than the young girl, there is not a single protagonist in this movie. We're supposed to feel for the man who was reluctant to participate in the robbery but, he participated and deserves what's coming to him. Be it from the law or a deranged killer.
The entire film is a rip-off of much better films. Every attempt at a "jump" scene is old and tired. Come on, we know the killer is going to get up when the others aren't looking. I want a movie where, when the victim gets the drop on the killer, they keep pounding, slashing, kicking and pummeling him until there's no possible way he could get up. (See Bruce Willis in Sin City, attaboy!)
There's been bragging about the low budget and the resulting "high quality" of the film despite it. I'm not seeing it here. I commented to my wife about the incredibly crappy soundtrack (plink, plink, synth string chords, blah blah blah). How shocked I am to see so many reviews complimenting it. (Mostly due to some comment padding by people involved, no doubt). In all honesty, this movie is made worse than it needs to be because of all of the false hype.
Overall, the best experience of the evening was the trailers that preceded the feature. As a child, I saw the same Halloween trailer in the theater and was scared out of my mind. It was interesting to see how it still had the same effect. Shame on Anchor bay for packaging the DVD so beautifully. They sold me on the movie with that alone. Shame on Anchor Bay for putting those trailers on the DVD as well. Shame on Stevan Mena for hyping his film and himself so much that God Himself couldn't live up to it. Movies have changed. I know Mana doesn't like the "Hip" modern horror films. Most people don't. However, there are examples of where to find success. SE7EN, for example: You don't witness a single murder (unless you count Pitt shooting John Doe) on screen. It's all psychological. The first SAW was similar in it's execution. Now those are scary movies.
If Mena set out to make a slasher flick paying homage to (or ripping off) the greats, he succeeded. If he set out to make a film to match the greats, he failed. If he wanted to make something amazing and groundbreaking, he failed miserably. I do wish him luck, however. You need passion first. That, he has. But, I beg, please, please don't make those other two Malevolence movies. Do something better with whatever budget you are given.
In the movie, after all the main carnage is over and we're supposed to feel at ease, mom has a nightmare and wakes up screaming to find that her daughter has entered the room. She cannot sleep because of the horrific ordeal. She gets in bed with her mom and smiles. Sure, I walk into my mom's room and she lets out a blood curdling scream. I feel safer now.
I notice that there were two films called Malevolent released last year. IMDb designates films and even people that have the same name with roman numerals to differentiate them. The other film was # I. Very fitting, because this movie is definitely # II.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Fiction is stranger than the truth...well, here, at least.
This movie is not a real documentary. Moore is a storyteller. An the tales grow longer on down the line.
It's not a partisan thing to say that this film is full of lies. It's a fact. Moore is very creative but far from a credible journalist/filmmaker. Funny how "FahrenHYPE 9/11" isn't getting the exposure it deserves. This is a TRUE documentary that doesn't applaud Bush, nor do I feel is it completely PRO Bush. It simply does a scene by scene analysis of Moore's falsehoods and misrepresentations of his own thoughts as fact.
Many of the people featured in Moore's film are in "FahrenHYPE 9/11" to say that they were taken out of context or that they never even met Moore or his people. Much of Moore's footage was purchased by Moore and was originally shot by other media outlets doing stories not even closely related to Moore's subject.
Consider the soldier with no arms describing "phantom pains". His arms were not lost in the war but while changing a tire on an armored vehicle. This soldier never wanted to be associated with Moore. Yet now he's in his film and appears to be a "forgotten" soldier.
There are so many blatant lies that it will be a tragedy if this election is influenced by Moore's falsehoods.
There have been many "stunts" and segments produced by Michael Moore that I agreed with because of their cause but now question the validity of any information they are based on. He has his own agenda and he won't let the truth get in the way.
To say that this is crafty film making would be true. To say that it's intelligent would be irresponsible. To say that it's a documentary would be an outrage. To say that it's true would be a lie.
I like to think of this film as Moore being hypothetic, well, pathetic is "Moore" like it.
Plot holes a-plenty....
Wow, what a bad movie! If you want to call them spoilers, there'll be lots of them. I personally don't consider this movie spoilable.
It's like the screenwriters had good ideas but didn't have a clue how to execute them. The entire film consists of inconsistent laws of time and memory. My review may be as sporadic in it's own presentation but, hey, shoot me.
OK, Ben's memory can be erased from a certain point in time to the moment when, well, it's being erased. Good place to start. But, let me ask you this: When you remember yourself banging some blonde, do you actually see YOU banging the blonde from a bird's eye view or, do you see the blonde up close---in the first person--through your own freaking eyes? When we see parts of Ben's memory being zapped, all of his memories seem to be "out of body" experiences. That's ludicrous. That blonde was not hot enough to warrant an OBE in my book. All of Ben's memories are shown this way.
Moving a lot further ahead, the machine that sees into the future sees the future the same way. It's all in John Woo vision with close-ups of chambering rifle rounds and slo-mo falling. I guess it makes sense. If Ben remembers in Woo vision then the machine he builds should certainly do the same.
Ben's character has his memory erased after working on top secret projects and profiting. His memory is erased so he doesn't have the secrets to sell to anyone else. But, he still remembered buying a new 3D computer monitor and getting down to the guts to see how it ticks and he also knows that he invented a better one-he just doesn't have the memory of the process. What's to stop him from picking up one of the monitors he made and tearing it apart to make it better and create something that Bill Gates would pay a billion for? None of the memory crap makes sense.
He meets Uma at a party and wants to quickly move to the blonde banging he is apparently accustomed to but cannot remember. He crashes and burns. Then, he meets her while going into a lab to do the work that ultimately sends him off into our silly little adventure. He's luckier this time, she blows him right away...with a weather machine.
I bring up their first meeting to illustrate this point. Ben's memory is erased after the 3 year job. Apparently, during those three years, he strikes up a relationship with Uma. But, when another woman rendezvous with Ben at a Café, posing as Uma, he doesn't remember her at all. He should have known the woman was lying just by introducing herself as Uma. Regardless of the 3 year memory loss. He'd met her twice. But what does trigger his memory and makes him realize is that she's wearing contact lenses to change the color of her eyes. This is a really smart movie.
He has 20 objects that work as clues and tools to help him on his journey. He sent them to himself to help him out. It's said in the movie by the big bad guys who run the lab that they were everyday items that wouldn't catch the attention of the guards. Among them are the everyday sunglasses that allow clear vision through Halon gas and the ever so 'every-day-plain-old-harmless-45-acp-hollow-point-BULLET. Good GOD!
The bullet is used to destroy the future viewing contraption. Come on. Where did he get that thing while in seclusion for 3 years. Furthermore, if he's so damned smart he should know that it MacGyver can launch a Sherman tank into orbit with a stick of chewing gum and some Jiffy-Pop popcorn, a bullet may not be necessary to accomplish this task.
The FBI examines the 20 items while interrogating Ben. He swears the crap isn't his but when an agent slips the watch on his wrist----it FRIGGIN fits. These guys are master detectives. Even my four year old knows that in fairy tale land there had to have been hundreds of chicks with the same size foot as Cinderella and the Prince should've called in the CSI crew to swab for epithelials. But a watch that fits the wrist of a thirty year old man? Must be his. Oh, I left out the important part about there being a tan line for the watch. That's some tan ya got there, Ben. My tan fades in a few weeks but you've got that bronze skin after three years of confinement in a science lab with fluorescent lighting. Market how you did that and you won't have to do all of this world-threatening research. Think about it.
The theory behind this future telling machine is that Ben discovered an 'arc' that if followed would return to its point of origin, only later. Thus, you would be looking at yourself only further into the future. Apparently, it's not very consistent because Ben got to watch almost two days of his future but the bad guy henchman only saw ten second into his.
Another of the items Ben has is a fortune cookie's fortune with the wining lotto numbers to the next day's drawing and a clue on the other that reads 'If you only look where you cannot go, you'll miss the treasure down below.' Ben's character gives away over 90 million dollars apparently just to p**s himself off enough to start investigating what it was he did the past three years only to gain is back by wining 90 million in the lottery. Where was the lotto ticket? We find out what must be weeks or months after the main plot of the film has played out. The ticket was under, get this .one this sheet of newspaper at the bottom of a birdcage with two birds in it. If someone had changed the paper during even the last two days they'd have found the thing. But the paper is clean. Those birds should be rushed to the vet. The damn things have to be constipated as hell and ready to burst.
In a John Woo film, doves appear out of nowhere and all the other birds don't pee or poop. Incredible!
I haven't even scratched the surface of this huge pile of bird poop. Hopefully, I've played the roll of the 'Future telling machine' and now you know your fate that you won't waste your time on this movie as I did.
By the way, I have a mint copy of 'Paycheck' for sale on DVD starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. Used only once, regretted for eternity.
Complete waste of time.. SPOILERS.
Come on! De Niro's "Pandora's Box" line from the trailer was supposed to be the "I see dead people." line that got you out to see the movie just so you could hear it and all the while be enthralled in the suspense of the moment. But, by the time this line is delivered, long passed are any feelings of suspense or excitement. All you want to do come this point is leave.
I wanted Greg Kinnear's character to die. I wanted Rebecca Romjin-Stamos' character to die. I wanted Robert De Niro's character to die. And by God I wanted that damn kid to die.
I felt absolutly no emotional attachment to any of these characters. I can certainly sympathize with the loss of a child but this movie is so poorly written and executed that all real human emotion is sucked into some unspeakable void.
I have no idea where to begin and I certainly cannot comment without providing some spoilers however I strongly feel that spoilers of a film as awful as this are really non existant. If I can stop just one person from wasting their time as I did, my job is done.
Now, I must comment on the film in order to back up my above sentiments.
The film opens with Kinnear running through the rain with a birthday gift. Kinnear's character is "almost" mugged in a dark alley but the attacker recognizes Kinnear as one of his old school teachers and lets him go, since he was a good teacher and all. Interesting moment of suspense and relief but for what? This did nothing to help the story along and quite honestly was the best moment in the film. It's as though this was a scene that the writer wanted desperately to put in a film and just threw it it. Sadly, I would have wanted to see a movie about Maurice (the attacker) and his relationship to Kinnear.
But this film is about a couple who loses their son just after his eighth birthday. They are approached by a scientist/doctor (De Niro) who has the answer to their woes. A new baby made from the genes of their lost son. The catch? They must move away and sever all family/frindship ties, quit their jobs, and remain gone forever! Oh, and they have to decide quickly because time's a wastin and Adams cells will only be good for 72 or so hours.
There would be no movie if they didn't go for it so, flash forward to the new house provided by the Mad Doctor VonNiro and the subsequent fertilization of the mother at the capable hands of the forementioned doctor and voila, an perfect copy of their beloved baby Adam...or is he?
Cue an almost endless barage of freaky halloucinations on behalf of the boy who is remembering something from the past. Something is definately not right about him. By the way, watch these obvious inspirations and you'll have seen this entire film... The Good Son, The Omen, The Sixth Sense, What Lies Beneath.
This film starts with a strong set up but fails on every level imaginable. There's a sluggish attempt at a plot twist but it can only be seen a mile away and yet it does not deliver any payoff.
The movie ends without the bad guy getting some payback. Actually, there is no perfectly defined "bad guy" unless you want to say that the bad guy is De Niro's own dead son who's genes he spliced with Adam's in order to "Get a glimps of him." Adam 2 killed a bully from school but when that happened, I was elated. Heck, the bully deserved it and damn it anyway I'd been waiting for SOMEONE to die in this film. Anybody! We may as well start with him and, if the movie really wanted to be good, let's go Quentin and kill evry last living thing on the screen.
To hell with the cloning debate and whether or not it's ethical. Apparently it's not important to put the talents of Kinnear and De Niro to good use so why stick with the plot that you can't even resolve? Kill 'em all dammit! I want some carnage.
But no, you don't so much as see anyone else maimed. Just Mr. Kinnear getting bashed in the head and De Niro running away to start a new Evil Cloning Clinic. Dr. Evil would be proud.
In the end all we get as reward for watching was Greg and Rebecca accepting the fact that they have an f'ed up kid and a new house to raise him in.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
I've seen it before....but this is excellent.
This is not a film to watch to be entertained. However, I feel it delivers in all of the areas that it touches. I was moved and shocked. It is very violent but shouldn't it be? For me, it showed me what suffering really is. I might have preferred the suffering in Gethsemane to be more pronounced to meld with the spiritual message but I really don't have any criticism except that I've seen this before in a video from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints called "The Lamb of God".
"The Passion" is identical in it's structure and even in most of the shots. From frame one to the last frame they are the same film and not just because of the subject matter and the fact that they are the same story. I'm convinced that Mr. Gibson saw the Lamb of God and set out to make a feature film.
I don't fault him if this is the case, however. Mel Gibson is a gifted Filmmaker and I applaud him for bringing this film to light and giving it to the world. There are countless lives that might come to or return to Christ because of it. Mr. Gibson, how great shall be your joy.
A spellbinding, funny and tragic film.
There are few directors that I will go out and see a movie just because they directed it, regardless of the subject matter or who's in it. M. Night is now on my list.
Movies can be picked apart on so many levels, even the greatest ones (Citizen Kane, Ben-Hur, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest etc...) I avoid second guessing anyone's work. So, dismiss the naysayers who didn't like this film. here's what I thought:
Signs is in my top 5 of 2002. For a couple of hours, I visited a farm in Pennsylvania. I got to know a wonderful family. I laughed with them, got scared with them and even cried. SIGNS is indeed NOT the movie that the trailers portray. It's better. *******Possible spoilers follow********** I'll do my best not to reveal key plot points or surprises.
In SIGNS, you get to know Graham hess, a former reverend who lost his faith in God after a terrible tragedy. He lives on a farm with his brother and his two children. A large crop circle is discovered on the farm's property. Confused, the police are contacted. It is deemed a prank until hundreds more are discovered all around the world.
The most successful execution of the entire film is that it is told completely from the view of the family and through television and radio broadcasts, exactly the way we might all experience the same thing. I was reminded of my morning watching the September 11th attacks on the news several times during the film especially as Joaquin Phoenix sees footage from Brazil where "something" was caught on tape. His reaction of horror was astounding.
IMDB doesn't allow me enough room to put all of my feelings down. I've really only just begun to touch on my review, but, let me at least get these points out: Mel Gibson is a phenominal actor with unending passion. Joaquin Phoenix has put in his best performance to date. His character is a real, living, breathing human being. Rory Culkin is destined to be the first Culkin in history to maintain a career in acting and little Abigail Breslin is a charm and beats out Drew Barrymore's E.T. performance 100 fold.
M. Night, you are a fantastic storyteller. Directing a film is obviously not a job for you but a passionate means of telling great tales and drawing people into your world. Keep on making YOUR movies. If I could one day realize my dream of making movies, I'd want to make films like this.
SIGNS is a PERFECT film.
Scooby DON'T, please!
I am a fan of the original Scooby Doo program. I've seen them all. I've been picking up the old episodes on DVD as they have become available. I now have children of my own and, thanks to Cartoon Network, they are also very big Scooby fans.
I took the children to the movie to celebrate Father's Day with me. I found myself aching to leave the theater not long after the film began. I was very hopeful with the opening sequence as it so closely resembled the formula of the original cartoon.
Set a trap, it gets goofed up, accidentally capture the "ghost", discover that the ghost is an unlikely person from earlier in the case, explain how the whole scheme worked etc...
What follows in my review may be considered spoiler material but, I don't really think so, just seeing the film spoiled my day:
This movie is a terrible bastardization of what was a tried and true formula. In the old cartoon, an endearing quality was that there were no real monsters, aliens or ghosts. We always found out in the end that it was a person or persons just trying to scare people away for one reason or another. This movie is flawed. The monsters are real, souls get stolen, there's dealing with the occult. This is not Scooby Doo. Even some of the recently made SD cartoon movies venture way off of the formula. The ghost are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE REAL. That's what made it so fun.
Old Looney Tunes cartoons always had "adult" jokes in them. What I mean is that there were jokes that kids might miss but the adults could enjoy. But "adult" didn't mean dirty. It simply meant that the jokes could be understood or caught by adults only. I was outraged by the amount of "pot/marijuana" humor in this movie. Not to mention the use of terms like "bi-atch" (bitch) and "bootie" that have no place in ANY children's film.
The ONLY and I mean ONLY saving grace in the film is Matthew Lillard's performance as Shaggy. But, you can get enough of that in the trailer.
I buy DVDs for my children to watch. Sometimes I edit out things that aren't appropriate. I will not buy this film as I'd only allow them to see the opening sequence...stopping right before we see smoke bellowing out of the top of the Mystery Machine while "Pass the Dutchie" plays in the background.