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A complete mess of a movie.
This film, the third in the trilogy, is definitely the weakest. Now I was not a huge fan of it's predecessors, but part 3 is just such a mess that I was often left completely bewildered by the storyline. Characters come and go with no explanation for who they are or what their connection to other characters are... the whole storyline with the woman that has to be released or whatever made no sense and had no big payoff at the end since she basicaly just disappears! The sudden decision by Orlando Bloom that he needs to get married during the big fight seemed to be just to create some comic moments because there was no chemistry at all between him and the girl in the film.. they really seemed to dislike each other for much of the film... Really I could not even figure out why the pirate group didn't kill Bloom since he kept double crossing them repeatedly during the film, his motivations remained unclear the entire time and the "ending" didn't do anything to help with that.
The only thing at all good about this film were the effects, which of course were excellent.. so if you want to sit through a 2 1/2 hour film for the chance to exclaim "wow... cool effects" then go right ahead.. but after half an hour of that.. it just gets dull and repetitive...
I'm giving it a 4 out of 10... for the effects and sound design mostly... everything else is terrible.
The Dream (2001)
Good film with heart
A touching little film with Big Dave Jacobs giving one of his more nuanced performances as the father with a love of motorcycles. The "free extras" in the motorcycle gang are great characters as well. Little Sam Everitt as the wide eyed little boy is also perfect for the role. The editing and camera angles add much to the film as does a perfectly chosen musical score. An exceptionaly well done short film. Tim Everitt displays a mastery of the medium of the short film. All involved should be comended for their work. I saw this movie at the 48 Hour Film Festival, but you can still view it on a few different websites. Be sure not to miss it. You won't regret it. Honest. GRADE: A-
Too Fast Too Young (1996)
action and art together
This film could be described as a lot of action with a little bit of art. It rightfully won the Bronze Award at the Houston International Film Festival (Worldfest Houston 1996). Some of the thoughtful comments by the lead actress push the picture into more interesting territory than the average action film.
The action sequences are uniformly good, some even cool and inventive. The cast is OK, with a strong centering performance by Michael Ironside, along with his cop sidekicks Marshall Bell and Richard Reilly.
But my favorite is just watching Kashia Figura, the Polish bombshell ("Pret a Porte", "The Pianist")... one dress she wears becomes a character in the film, which you have to see for yourself.
A good, cool independent actioner.
Mediocre but somewhat entertaining.
Ok, well when you go to a movie with a title like this one I suppose you should know what to expect. This film has very little to do with the original "Anaconda", no Jon Voight, no J-Lo, not even Eric Stoltz... its just another hapless group of dumb Americans traveling down a river (in this case, to find a mysterious orchid that might yield the fountain of youth!!!) and getting picked off by giant snakes. This time we have a whole slew of Anacondas (in heat no less) attacking our little group. Yea, none of this makes the slightest bit of sense.. but hey.. its kinda fun anyways in a trasy low grade B movie kinda way.. Check your brain at the door and enjoy the CGI lizard picking off mediocre thespians. GRADE: D+
Fun but silly
Before i start this, let me tell you that I actualy loved the first "Princess Diaries" movie... a charming and entertaining story about a teenage girl who finds out she is a princess. That film worked because of the energetic direction and the charisma of the actors. Part 2 takes place several years later, as Princess Mia (once again played by the charming young actress Anne Hathaway) has graduuated from college and moves to her foreign country to take over the thrown from the Queen (a bemusing but always fun Julie Andrews). This one is a bit more formulaic and silly in the plot structure as Mia is told she must marry or forfeit the thrown. Her unnamed European country (where everyone speaks perfect English) looks alot like Disneyland... but still.. Yes its very silly, but I still enjoyed the film.. primarily because Hathaway and Andrews look like they are having a blast making the movie and its just hard not to like them and with them, the movie. Sure, there are a lot of flaws, but does that matter with this kindof film? GRADE: B
Good except for the ending
Michael Mann's latest thriller has Tom Cruise cast as a hitman who rides along in Jamie Foxx's cab on his way to comit his murders. The film relies primarily on the personalities of its two leads and their interaction. And in the scenes between Cruise and Foxx the film is very good. The two of them play their parts well and have a nice dynamic that makes their conversations interesting. The film is also shot very stylishly, making good use of digital video... The film is very good up until the ending, which takes several wrong turns into "Die Hard" territory with a silly cat and mouse bit in a highrise. Until then I was completly in the film. Jada Pinkett Smith shows up in a completly unbelievable performance as well, the films other weak point. Still, on the whole a fairly effective thriller featuring two solid lead performances. GRADE: B+
King Arthur (2004)
Entertaining but weak
A re-telling of the classic story that turns Arthur into a Roman and Merlin into a terrorist... kind of an interesting approach.. This films entire concept I find to be somewhat ludicrous and I found many of the supporting players to be hard to tell from one another.. the various "knights" all kind of merges with one another.. still the film does have some good things to recommend it.Clive Owen as Arthur resonates with honor and integrity and does a fairly good job with his role and Keria Knightley is well.. quite fetching in her "battle wear"... Some of the fights are fun, particularly a showdown on a sheet of ice... and the film is never boring... certainly a forgettable piece of summer fluff... but it is a watchable film that has some nice diversions. GRADE: C-
I, Robot (2004)
This film, very loosely based on the Isaac Asimov book, has Will Smith as a police officer in the future trying to unravel the truth behind the death of a scientist who invented robotics (James Cromwell). A robot emerges as the prime suspect, something no one else will believe... and Smith winds up on the outs with his bosses... This is all pretty familiar material, owing more to "Blade Runner' and "RoboCop" than it does to the source material. Still, Smith is an engaging personality and the film has some fun action sequences, though the animation of the CG robots is very hit and miss. All in all though, its a very forgetable film that seems cobbled together from parts of other, better, movies. GRADE: C+
Ok, first off.. this film has absolutely nothing to do with the DC Comics character of the same name, or the character from the "Batman" movies.. and this is a problem I have with the general concept of the film... but besides that quibble.. the movie is really quite terrible. Halle Berry seems to be having a blast playing the mild mannered girl who dies, gets brought back to life by a group of cats, and suddenly is a sexy cat burgler/revenge vigilante.. Still, we dont get to know enough of her before she is murdered to really care too much for her or notice the differences upon her transformation. Benjamin Bratt, who seems to be making a career out of playing cop boyfriends here is the police detective who becomes involved with her.. of course since there is absolutely zero chemistry between Berry and Bratt the romance doesnt work at all.. in fact very little in this film works. Sharon Stone as the egomaniacal villain just makes you feel sorry for the state of her career.. the action sequences are weak and the CG Catwoman animation is just terrible and looks like a video game. Really one of the worst films of the year. GRADE: F
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Solid suspense film
A sequel to "The Bourne Identity" and also based on the stories by Robert Ludlum , this film brings back Matt Damon as the former CIA assasin with only vague memories of his past. In this effort, he returns from seclusion after he is framed for the murder of some government agents. The film is not quite as good as the first, lacking the originality of the original as well as the mystery elements.. However Damon remains quite good in this role and gets some able supporting work from Brian Cox and Joan Allen as competing government agents. Julia Stiles, who has a brief role in the previous film, has a more substantial role here.. but doesnt really register. Some of the editing of the action sequences was a little distracting, but overall it was a rather enjoyable film.GRADE: B+