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Breathtaking and epic
This is the film that for many people (including myself) will have filled the gap that George Lucas' first episode in the popular Star Wars saga had created. Why I don't think Episode I is bad or even mediocre, it hasn't captivated me as much as the original trilogy or this incredible film. The Fellowship of the Ring is classic moviemaking. It's Star Wars for the fantasy-genre. I've seen this film for the second time yesterday on the silver screen and was again in complete awe, even moreso. Only Titanic had done this to me back in 1998. Everything is just inspired, from the set decoration to the costumes, from the sound design to the visual effects, from a point of storytelling to the performances. For me, this is the movie of 2001 and if George Lucas doesn't deliver his goods this year, he'd better watch out for the next two installments. I cannot think of a bad word to say about this film: it has everything you could wish for: a fantastic story, characters you care for, delicious set-pieces and landscapes, brutal fight sequences, haunting and memorable music, wonderful sound design and brilliant cinematography (those sweeping cameramoves in the land of Isengard are just incredible). Let's not forget the actors who share their torment and internal battles with us, the public; and the crew for giving us such a riveting piece of art, even in these sad and dark times. I for one cannot wait to see the rest of the trilogy. Can I book my seat in the theatre for the following years. No? Thought not... Anyway, see this flick and get ready to be amazed!
The Haunting (1999)
I didn't have too much of a hope I would like this new Jan De Bont film, but after giving it a go today, I was impressed. De Bont is a terrific creator of suspense and camera setups. All his hard work as a cinematographer paid off in movies such as these. He really knows how to build up an atmosphere accompanied by subtle visual effects and sound design. The way that big house groans and 'breathes' just makes my heart beat faster. Equally great is Jerry Goldsmith's score. In some scenes when combined with the atmospheric sound effects it made my neckhair stand up. I was genuinely terrified. A special mention must go to the art direction and set decoration. The house has such wonderful and at the same time disturbing architecture, the thought of having to spend a night there gives me the chills. About the acting, I thought it was nothing special. The Haunting is a solely audiovisual experience, where acting is only of secondary importance. In short, I enjoyed this movie and didn't think the ending was bad. I see about 200-300 movies each year, and I see a lot of bad ones, but this is not one of them. Go see it and decide for yourself.
An epic SF/action film that has yet to be bettered...
Aliens must be my favorite movie of all time (I think I've seen it at least 30 times), and I still can't get enough of it. Sigourney Weaver is superb as the leading action heroine. I also liked Michael Biehn (as Hicks), Jenette Goldstein (as kick-ass Vasquez), and especially Bill Paxton (for his over the top macho performance as Hudson). This is truly a ground breaking film in that it uses all the elements of film making perfectly into a sensational mix of nonstop action and SF/horror. Get ready for the time of your life in the final hour of the film. I got my hands on the Director's cut a couple of years ago, and it is truly awesome! In the mighty genre of SF/action this film has yet to be bettered.