Reviews written by registered user
|47 reviews in total|
I picked this up as a "blind buy" because I love all the actors
involved and enjoy a good period picture. This seemed right up my
alley. Hell no. The story petered along at molasses pace with the final
hour being the most painful to watch. The story really went nowhere.
Thinking this is about Mildred Pierce is only half true - and the last
two parts are mainly about her oldest daughter, payed by Even Rachel
Guy Pearce is terrific. Winslet uses the same accent she mastered in Revolutionary Road but this character is much more boring. If we are supposed to be rooting for Mildred, I can't figure out why. All I wanted was for something interesting to happen at some point in the film. The most exciting event takes place in the last 10 minutes and then it stops just short of making it interesting. I would recommend watching The Reader or Revolutionary Road instead of this. Or for Guy Pearce, watch the Proposition or Memento. Evan Rachel Wood was great in Thirteen, and okay in the Wrestler. Not so impressive in anything else.
Sorry. I really wanted to like this but have to be honest. It really sucked.
Although an avid Marvel comics reader I never once read Thor comic
book. I was hooked on X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Alpha Flight and
others, but for some reason Thor never interested me much. So when this
movie was announced I wasn't all too interested. The trailers weren't
much help, though they perked my interest. A few good television spots
and the final trailer convinced me to give it a try. So yesterday I
took my 3 teenage kids to see it on opening night here in Oslo, Norway
at (allegedly) the biggest screen in Europe.
I was effing blown away! Maybe because I wasn't expecting much. Or maybe because it was a great film. I like to think it was great.
Remove your biases and (even if you didn't like the trailers) if you loved the first Iron Man movie you will LOVE this!
Personally, I didn't much like Iron Man 2, didn't like either of the Fantastic Four movies but loved Iron Man 1 and all the X-Men, Spider-Man and (Nolan) Batman movies. (Just for your comparison with taste.)
Only word of caution/advice is to see it in 2D if possible. We watched it in 3D and though the 3D was pretty good (comparable with Green Hornet if you've seen that) it made several of the scenes blurry. Our projectionist said it was because the theater is so big and the screen is too far from the projector for this particular movie to work in 3D, but that others (Avatar, any animated movie, etc) work just fine in that theater. So either watch it in 2D or on a medium or small screen in 3D.
I'm really torn between a rating of 7 and 8 and should probably see it
again before a final verdict. But my initial feeling is this one had
too much talk and too little heart.
While there certainly was more action, the action scenes - especially the last - did not feel threatening at all. The one possible exception to this is the first battle between Iron Man and Whiplash - the one on the race track from the trailer.
The main problem is probably too much dialog, possibly too much happening, and too little heart. Too few quiet moments. I'm not sure.
My guess is the film makers heard that people loved the humor from the first (which was mostly ad-libbed from the actors) but missed more action. So they apparently gave the whole cast (of GREAT actors all around!) free reign to talk up as much as they want in each and every scene. And they added action sequence after action sequence to make up for the mere two major sequences from Iron Man 1.
The end result was slightly underwhelming, yet almost satisfying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
More aptly, "An Experience" (as a friend pointed out during the end
Opening Night with 3 friends: One knew NOTHING of the film or book (had seen the trailer, that's all) and expected this to be like X-Men (boy was he in for a shock!), one was an old-school fan, like myself, and one (his girlfriend) was newly introduced to the book and had read it a few weeks before the film's release.
I was mostly worried about how my uninitiated friend (who was expecting the X-Men) would react. I was nervous throughout the film - especially during the more wordy scenes - that he would not like it or not understand it. This guy is a Truck Driver. Mostly into horror movies like the new Halloween and Devil's Rejects and he liked 300. So he really digs hardcore violence, action and gore and isn't usually so big on story. However, one of his favorite movies is No Country For Old Men, so I knew there was hope! :)
Well, he says he loved it! He realized about 10 minutes in that this was not going to be anything like he expected. He changed viewing modes from "sit back and enjoy the popcorn" to "pay attention, this is deep and important." My other two friends loved it too. The girlfriend is the one who said, "This is one of those few movies where you want to walk out, buy another ticket, and go right back in to watch it again." And "This is hardly like a movie and more of An Experience".
She's right. Absolutely. But I'm not sure I embrace it whole heartedly. Part of me thinks it would have been better if it was in fact more like a movie and less like a graphic-novel put to screen.
For one, there was far too much dialog and not enough emotion or "acting". While Rorschach, Manhattan and Dan/Night Owl were great, Laurie and Veidt were hardly watchable. Really!
Laurie was played as a shallow, naive, sex-dependent, childish brat. Granted, she was never that exciting in the book but I would have preferred a more interesting character than a shallow facsimile of the graphic novel.
Veidt played as a monotone, emotionless, brainiac villain. He never seemed convinced of his own convictions and always appeared to be bored out of his mind.
The scenes with Dr. Manhattan (especially on Mars) were far too stuffed of dialog. The movie could have been cut down 20 minutes if more time was spent showing emotion and less on exposition and pointless dialog. Did we really need to hear philosophical exposition on quantum mechanics and physics? While it might have worked in the book (I had to force myself NOT to skip over it to get to "the good stuff") it could have been avoided in the film, replaced with music and the flashbacks. Did we need more?
One very minor gripe is the need to call the group "Watchmen". I was hoping that Dan's line in the trailer was the only time we would hear it, but I counted 5 times, spoken by Dan, Rorschach and Veidt. So it's not just a subtle line thrown in but a part of the story. No more "Crime Busters" (which was intended to sound silly).
And then there's the "old" makeup. Unforgivably bad. Gawd Awful! Just plain amateurish. Seriously, how they could get so much right on the visual side, but completely drop the ball on makeup is beyond me. And since I'm not alone in spotting it (Garth Franklin, etc) it's more than just a minor annoyance.
My final complaint would be the overly exaggerated action scenes - particularly during the finale at Antarctica. These guys are SUPPOSED to be normal humans. NOT real superheros. That's part of the point and it's completely lost during the last battle sequence. People are thrown 10 feet in the air, smashing pieces of concrete without pause. It really just looked ridiculous. Like one of the old Batman movies or worse the Batman TV show. All we lacked was the "Wham!" and "Pow!" blurbs.
One complaint I have heard which I can NOT AGREE with is that the music was terribly bad. That the songs almost never matched the scenes. This is so completely wrong that I wonder why one would even suggest it. To me everything worked so well I was absolutely stunned. I was skeptical about the music going in but agreed with every single piece I heard. All the songs worked perfectly with their scenes, from Simon and Garfunkel to Jimmy Hendrix to Philip Glass. Absolute, pure Genius!
So why do I rate the film 7/10 with so many complaints? Really, I did like the film and could write more good about it than bad. But so many other reviewers have done that and better than I could. I agree with much of what has been said. The main point in its favor is what my friend said when we walked out. It's unlike ANY movie I have ever seen before. It's more of an "experience" - one that should be repeated as many times as possible in the ideal format of the Big Screen. Preferably, I presume, on Imax (we don't have one in Norway).
EDIT: After a couple weeks I have increased my rating to 8/10. It really grows on me over time. It may even go up more but for now I think 8 is the right score.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I took my kids, ages 6, 9 and 11 to see this. With that in mind, here's
my take, based on their reaction and my own experience.
My background is: I saw SW on the big screen back in 1977 and have been a fan ever since. Today I am a member of the Star Wars fan club (Hyperspace, on sw official site) and follow along with SW news, buy the video games and novels, and have a VAST collection of the toys (invested over $5,000 I'm sure - but hey, I have kids!). So I suppose you could say I am a "fanboy" or at the very least a more than average fan. :) I knew this was being made for television - NOT for the big screen - and thus viewed it as a pilot for a "made for kids" (Nick or CN) television series. With the budget and baggage that implies.
With that background, and thanks to some scathing reviews (AICN Harry, CHUD, etc.) my expectations were phenomenally low before entering the theater. (Basically, I was just watching this for the kids' sake because they were begging me to take them.) Verdict: It was actually pretty good! Yes, there were parts that sucked, there were even a few things I hated (just like there were in the prequels and ROTJ), but for the most part, I was very impressed and even blown away by the shear scope of this made-for-TV movie! I couldn't believe the quality (again, for a TV-show). It was funny, exciting, even engaging at times. And considering the budget and target audience, it was really very good.
Here's what didn't work for me:
1) As much as I tried, I really didn't like the new teen-padawan, Ahsoka. She was annoying and imo inconsistent with the established rules for Jedi: They are always (Anakin being the sole exception) enlisted as infants or toddlers. They grow up being indoctrinated by Jedi teachings. They learn respect, humility, patience, etc as "younglings" long before being assigned to a Master. Thus Ahsoka's rebellious high-school attitude is very much askew.
2) The bantering may have been OK, but the pathetic (American High-School style) nicknames got old REAL fast. Not one single time did Ahsoka call Anakin by his real name (Skywalker or even Anakin). It was always "Sky Guy" - complete disrespect! I can't recall one single time Anakin referred to Ahsoka by her name either (though a friend of mine disagrees), he was always calling her "Snips"! WTF? And the final straw was them both constantly referring to Jabba's son as "Stinky". All. The. Time. (Just thinking of it raises my blood pressure.)
That's pretty much what I hated. There were some other very minor annoyances, but easily forgotten in the big picture. Now, here's what really worked:
1) Beautiful animation. I dig the style. I've read lots of reviews that diss on the animation and even on the style. While I agree that the characters look like they've been chiseled out of wood and hand-painted, I really liked it. Yes, the quality is no where near as good as Pixar or Dreamworks, (and close-up shots look more like a video game cut scene than a movie,) but this was MADE FOR TELEVISION! The budget was probably about a tenth what any Pixar film costs to make. So put it in perspective and appreciate what they can do with such a low budget! It would be more fair to compare it to an episode of Jimmy Neutron (not the movie, the TV show). If you still think it sucks, then at least you are making a valid comparison. It's not Shrek 2 or The Incredibles. It's Hoodwinked.
2) The music! So many have complained that "This is not John Williams" but why does that have to be a bad thing? Williams' music was respected, and even used in the opening and closing sequences, plus a few times between. The music was GREAT! It was engaging and beautiful, and at times had me wanting to hear the rest of the song! Seriously, I can't imagine it being any better. It baffles my mind that people can complain about it. Really. I don't get it.
3) The Clones. We see clones as Imperial (um, I mean Republic) officers, wearing the green officer garb (woo hoo!), and the ground troops showing ways of making themselves unique (mostly by tattoos and haircuts). It's just as it should be and makes them more human and real.
4) The humor (overall)! I laughed my eyes dry every time a droid had any dialog. I didn't much like the slapstick humor in the films, but as a cartoon it fits a lot better. Like when two clones are surrounded by an army of battle droids: Droid: "Surrender" Clone: "But we have you outnumbered." (Droid looks around, "What?" (counts droids) "One, two.." And then out of the sky comes two clone ships filled with men, blowing the droids away "Kaboom!" And when a droid is looking over a cliff through binoculars to see the approaching clones, but loses his balance and falls down the cliff. His droid commander says, "Come back here, soldier!" Very funny stuff! Yes, it's "kiddie humor" but it works here and got me laughing.
In addition, the story was engaging for a TV cartoon. Compare it to a throw-away episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender (my fave kid-TV show by far) and it stands up pretty well. Remember "The great divide", "The Fortuneteller", "Avatar Day", "The Beach", "The Ember Island Players", etc. etc.
For a TV show, I would rate this 8 out of 10, but for a "movie" only 6 out of 10. And since it's kind of both, I give it a 7.
I can't wait to see more of this series on TV! But hope Ahsoka dies a long and painful death. :)
After watching the first couple of trailers for this I was very
unimpressed and even began to doubt (big time) that this would be any
good. Thank goodness I was SO wrong!
Let me start by admitting I actually liked HULK (2003) aside from Nick Nolte and the last 10 minutes or so. Sure, it was a little short on action and heavy on drama, but I thought the effects were awesome and the acting very good.
This Hulk blows that one completely away! It is so much better I couldn't even believe it! Maybe the reason I liked it so much was because of my very low expectations but this movie delivered in every way a comic-book movie should!
Before watching I read the first 15 or so comments here on IMDb to see how people were reacting. Most of them positive, there were still a handful of negative reviews that had me questioning. However after seeing the film I must wonder what those people expected. I just can't imagine it being any better! Seriously. It freaking rocked!
Marvel, I can't wait for more!
If you want to compare your tastes with mine, here's my opinion of some other comic book films (rating out of 10)... Spider-man: 8 ::: Spidey 2: 9 ::: Spidey 3: 5 ::: X-Men: 7 ::: X2: 8 ::: X3: 7 ::: Superman Returns: 4 ::: Batman Begins: 9 ::: Iron Man: 9 ::: Hulk (2003): 6 ::: The Incredible Hulk: 8
Suffers from being too preachy, too long, and far too unexciting (until
the last 20 minutes).
The first Narnia was interesting and exciting. This was just plain boring - even though it looked stunning and beautiful!
But worst of all was having to feel like I was sitting through a Sunday school lesson. Honestly, it was that "preachy" to the tune of:
"Have faith in what you have no evidence for - even when all else points to it being false." and "Even if everything is against you and all is bleak, if you believe you will come out on top."
The Good: * Amazing visuals, including costumes, sets, locations, and effects. * The newcomer lead who plays the young Prince does a fine job.
The Bad: * WAY too long (2½ hours) for such a simple story. * Slow pacing and uninteresting (too many?) characters. * The sermons. * The child actors (Lucy excepted). * Annoying animal characters. None as endearing as the beavers from the first film. * Crappy bad-guy. The White Witch was sorely missed. Spaniard king was just plain annoying. Too much of the movie was based around his character. * Too many characters to follow and too much happening.
The book kept the story simple and told it in a brisker pace. The movie tried to add too much more to "flesh it out" a bit, but this hurt it rather than helped. Too boring and far too long.
Sorry for the long review. I hope you find it balanced and honest. I could have spent more time on how beautiful the film was and how excellent the effects were (for the most part) but that is kind of a given. Even with a higher "production value" this film just isn't up to par with its predecessor.
Unless you're a huge fan of the books, loved the first film and don't mind a slow-paced preachy film, skip this one and watch Iron Man, Indy or even Speed Racer instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a huge fan of the books. I own a popular fansite,
snitchseeker.com, just so you know I'm more than an average fan.
At the same time, I have enjoyed the other movies, in spite of the many changes from the books.
Admittedly, I have been skeptical about this film since the announcement of the director, David Yates.
However, when two from my site's news team got early peeks of the film, they both had overwhelmingly positive reviews! (One slightly more positive than the other, but still!) If you want to read their positive reviews, go to snitchseeker.com and click the reviews links (one contains spoilers, one does not).
So I decided I would watch the film, completely unbiased - even excited about it!
** SPOILERS START HERE **
It starts out very well: Harry sitting on a swing in a small park, watching some kids playing, the kids and mums leave, Dudley and gang enter, Dudley teases Harry about crying for Cedric in his sleep, Harry gets mad and threatens Dudley with wand, the sky clouds up real quick, Dudley's gang flee the scene, rain begins to pour, Harry and Dudley run under an overpass for shelter, Dementors attack.
This is where it goes downhill.
I wonder if Yates has even read the book. He says he has, but maybe he only skimmed through it quickly. He certainly missed the details and nuances other directors have picked up.
Mrs. Figg was not in the slightest annoyed or frightened about the attack. She was casual, nonchalant, not really caring about Harry at all.
The Advanced Guard scene was hacked to bits with only the bare necessities remaining - and without Lupin. I swear, the entire affair is about 30 seconds long.
In the movie, the guard consisted of Tonks, Moody, Shacklebolt and a silent Elphias Doge. (Nice to see him!) However, it left out the other witches: Hestia Jones and Emmeline Vance. And no Lupin! Fine, I can live with that. But they arrive in Harry's bedroom, they don't explain anything, only say he is to come with them, and then it shows them lined up outside the house with their brooms and they take off! That's the whole scene!
On the positive side, they made the flight more interesting by soaring them through London rather than high up in the clouds.
The arrival at Grimmauld Place was done well enough. I liked seeing the houses magically stretch to make room for number 12. But the house was a MAJOR disappointment: No Mrs Black, no house-elf-heads on the walls, no disinfecting, no Buckbeak, no murderous ghouls, and hardly any Kreacher. While Lupin was present here, he had only one or two lines and Tonks had even less. Sirius Black gets all the dialog here.
On the positive side, the "extendable ears" and the twins apparating were cool and Mrs. Weasley was terrific. It was also nice to see Tonks changing her face a bit to resemble a pig and then a duck, with Ginny laughing at her.
After about three minutes of "The Order" we are whisked off on a speedy journey to the Ministry for Harry's trial. This was another major disappointment as it wasn't explained to the audience exactly what they were doing nor why they were traveling as muggles. I missed a line from Arthur along the lines of, "Harry, we must travel as muggles this morning, using no magic because we want to give a good impression before your trial." Instead we get a 5-second glimpse of their trip (a subway station and a sidewalk) and then the phone booth.
Perhaps the most disappointing of the whole film was the lackluster design of the Ministry of Magic. Supposedly a Governmental establishment and yet ALL of the walls and floors of this place are simply BLACK! It's just ridiculous! Not only that but it looks so small compared to how it read in the books. Supposedly 10 levels, my house looks bigger than this place.
Department of Mysteries? They only show the Hall of Prophesies and the Death Chamber (the room with the infamous veil). No exciting ROTATING ROOM (which you'd think would be a major part of this since it's even pictured on the cover of the US edition of the book!), no Time Room, Planet Room or Brain Room. Very, very sad.
I just realized this review is turning into an essay, and that's not the point here at IMDb. So let me finish off.
Here is the order in which I place the films (best to worst):
Goblet of Fire (9) :: Prisoner of Azkaban (more Marauders would have placed this on top) (8) :: Chamber of Secrets (7) :: Philosopher's Stone (better CGI would place this one higher) (7) :: Order of the Phoenix (6)
I fear for the end result of my second-favorite book so far: Half-Blood Prince. It's a shame Yates will be directing that one too. Let's hope the franchise ends with a bang by allowing another director in for Deathly Hallows.
Thanks for reading! :)
Whoever says this is "not a kids movie" is fooling them self.
I really liked it. I enjoyed it emensely. But it is so clearly just a toy commercial with a HUGE budget.
Shia steals the show as far as the actors go. I laughed my head off at some of his lines. He did a great job delivering some cheesy dialog and he has a natural talent that sells the story.
Aside from him, it's the toys that steal the show! Those GIANT ROBOTS are AWESOME!!! This movie had more action than all of the other summer films this year combined! (The only exception may be Die Hard 4, which I haven't seen yet.)
I was one of those kids who purchased the very first Transformer toys back when Optimus Prime was a gun, and one of the characters was a cassette player. So my affection for the Transformers franchise goes way back.
Without making this very long, suffice to say that it is well worth your money as long as you can appreciate that it is a Michael (explosions) Bay movie, full of cheese dialog, a ridiculous story, and its main purpose is to sell toys.
Heck, I bought four Transformers after watching this. (For my sons, of course.)
BRING ON THE SEQUEL!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed Spider-Man 3 quite a lot. However, there were so many
problems with it that I ended up only "liking" it instead of loving it
like the first two films.
Let me get to the pros vs the cons:
The Effects: Birth of Sandman is the coolest effect on any film I can remember. Amazing! The fight scenes were also incredibly well realized.
The Humor: J.Jonah.Jameson had some hilarious moments - especially his first scene. Bruce Campbell plays a waiter (Maitre D really) in a French restaurant, and it is probably the best scene in the whole movie! Peter dancing!
The Action: The first Sandman vs Spidey scene was very exciting. Maybe the best battle sequence from all three films. CGI-Venom looked great in the whole four-minutes of screen time he got. All the fight-scenes were EXCELLENT, well choreographed and exciting.
The Acting: James Franco has improved much as Harry. Gwen Stacey was much better used than I expected. (And she was beautiful!) Thomas Haden Church was perfect for Sandman! Topher Grace did a fine job as Brock, not so great as Venom.
I guess that is a good intro for...
Venom has WAY too little screen time. His story was too rushed. Sandman is made to look like a good guy, then bad, and at some points we're not sure what to think. Do we feel sorry for him? Fear him? The filmmakers couldn't decide, and it shows.
The Costumes: Harry's mask was just ridiculous! Seeing Brock's face in the Venom suit looked stupid. And the Dark Spidey suit wasn't "alive" enough. It just looked like a suit, not a living organism.
The Score (music): Some parts were OK but some parts were SO bad it ruined the scene! An example is the over-scoring of the first Dark-Spidey scene (where he's hanging upside down looking at himself in a building window). It was painfully bad, screaming out for the audience to be amazed. Like holding up an applause sign. Tacky. Then there were plenty of similar moments, mostly in other action scenes.
American Cheese: Spidey landing in front of a HUGE, randomly placed, waving American flag. The camera panning back from a crying MJ and Peter atop a huge building, to make sure we see a sunset in the background, etc. Manipulative tripe.
The evil-dudes team-up in the end was very contrived. I didn't buy it. How Spidey deals with Sandman in the end was also quite silly. Not cool at all.
The biggest problem is trying to squeeze too much into one film. Spider-Man 3 should have been about Sandman and Harry/Goblin. Venom should have been held back for the next one. The fourth film could have been all about Venom, giving him more screen time and the treatment he deserves.
I know this was Sam Raimi's original plan (not to include Venom in this film) but Avi Arad convinced him to add Venom into the story, for the fans, since everybody loves Venom.
Too bad Sam didn't follow his plan. I doubt he'll come back for more now. Let's just hope he gets to make The Hobbit (unless by some miracle Peter Jackson gets to do it after all).
Thanks for reading! :)
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