Reviews written by registered user
m.p.

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21 reviews in total 
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24 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
Be careful what you wish for..., 14 January 2006
1/10

One of the commonest complaints about sci-fi movies is that there is too much reliance on special effects and not enough character development. In this movie, the sci-fi story is just background noise to one of the planet's most dysfunctional families. Cruise's character is a clueless jerk and his kids are obnoxious. Every time that little girl screamed or decided to be a pain in the butt at the worst possible times, I was hoping that the death ray would get her - or at least that someone would stuff a sock in her mouth. When the son is determined to go off and fight the aliens, all I could think was, "Great, 1 down, 2 to go, and now maybe the real story (of a war between the worlds) will begin." It's usually a big mistake to make your main characters and hero totally unlikeable and lacking in charm - I didn't care if they were all pureed into alien V-8 juice. This could have been a great movie if it had used the title as its storyline. As it is, it should have been called, "Father Doesn't Know Best, His Kids Think They Do And They Never Let Him Forget It."

Timeline (2003)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Like a Disney movie gone wrong, 24 July 2005
5/10

There was something a little too shallow and bubbly about this; it reminded me of a Disney movie trying desperately NOT to be a Disney movie. It should have been a great adventure but instead it comes off as a kiddie movie with gore and violence. A major problem were the characters themselves: most of the main characters were annoying and irritating and definitely charisma-less. In particular, one of the lead female characters (Kate the archeology student) comes off as such a strident and shrill pain-in-the-butt that I had high hopes of her meeting an early demise. If I had been there and it was up to me, instead of catching her, I would have given her a little shove off that thatched roof - ooops! Another annoying character, who seemed essential to the group, was surprisingly disposed of early on and all I can say is, "Merci beaucoup!" As for the other problems with plot holes, etc., such as that the English and French that was spoken at the time would probably not have been intelligible to a modern speaker of those languages...well, so what? You have to suspend logic in the first place to accept the main premise of the movie (time travel). To sum up, not the worst movie I've ever seen but I wouldn't recommend it either.

They Are Among Us (2004) (TV)
17 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Clean the bathroom instead of watching this, 18 July 2004
1/10

I am very tolerant of really bad sci/fi and horror movies - I've been watching them since I was 4 or 5, so I've seen some really bad stuff, but I deal with it. I've even watched a lot of SciFi Channel movies so I know not to expect much - a usually promising movie that has no ending to speak of. Hope springs eternal, I guess - or the triumph of hope over experience, as they say. Unfortunately, this is a dog right from the beginning and I knew it, but like a moth to the flame, I kept thinking something, anything, interesting would happen. It doesn't. All of the actors give a decent performance - given the script, I don't know how they all kept straight faces. It has something to do with collagen-starved worm parasite creatures who are slowly taking over the human race, one body at a time. There's an evil plastic surgeon who collaborates with the enemy by giving them the outward appearance of humans...don't worry, he gets what's coming to him. The slug people themselves don't really know where they came from, they think they might have thumbed a ride on a meteor that landed on earth, but...somehow they know about the members of slug royalty among them - the slug princess has managed to breed with a human being who knows that she's the worm queen and loves her for her self...oh, must I go on? Please, I implore you, do not waste 2 hours of your life watching this...anything would be better...think of the worst, least enjoyable way you can spend two hours...it would be better than this.

The Sea (2002)
1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
As the Stomach Turns, 17 April 2004
5/10

This has to be someone's nightmare version of a family reunion. What an ugly, repulsive bunch of human beings - and it's all daddy's fault!!! While I give credit to the actors, this just isn't my idea of entertainment. I'm a big DALLAS fan so I can certainly enjoy a classic dysfunctional family setting, but this was just sordid and nasty. I felt queasy at the end and was glad it was over. I also feel the beauty of Iceland was fleeting at best - instead we see the suffocating house scenes, the inside of the fishery, and the local pub with assorted barflies acting like barflies everywhere. And did I mention the bored sullen spoiled teenagers - apparently a universal affliction wherever you may go. These people are what remains of the mighty Viking race - Thor should put them all out of their misery with his mighty hammer!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A sad enigmatic film..., 18 January 2004
8/10

This is a sad little film that disturbed me and left me thinking about it for hours afterward. At first it seems like a simple tale of a selfish father who wants to be rid of his young blind son who is perceived to be a barrier to the father's future happiness. However, after one scene where the father explains his feelings of anguish at the hand that life has dealt him, it's easier to see his point of view, and his side of the story. He loves his children, we see that when he returns home one night and checks on his two sleeping daughters, lovingly adjusting the blankets around them. Western viewers have to keep in mind that social safety nets for the poor and elderly do not exist in all countries. In the Iranian culture, an elderly parent will eventually become dependent on the sons of the families - and clearly the father here knows that there is little hope of his blind son ever being independent and self-supporting, let alone able to support the father when the time comes. He tells himself he is doing the best thing for his son by apprenticing him to a blind carpenter far from home, but even the grandmother says this is a self-serving gesture. It's probably a little of both. The little boy's own grief at being abandoned and unloved by all, even his granny (so it seemed to him), is heartbreaking. All in all, although beautifully filmed in the surprisingly (to me) lovely countryside of Iran, this is something of a downer movie, maybe even a tearjerker. The finale is somewhat ambiguous and the viewer can imagine whatever longterm ending s/he prefers.

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Takes Place after a War with Iraq!, 23 August 2003
1/10

Drab, dreary and a total waste of my time. The plot is incomprehensible (so don't think about it too much). The acting is odd and wooden - I would have sworn that they were all professional body builders trying their luck at acting, but that might be an insult to body builders. There are no interesting special effects to redeem this disaster, but lots of fires, explosions, a gratuitous sex scene, etc. The only thing that caught my attention was that it takes place after a war between the US and Iraq that somehow goes nuclear...hmmm. Is Roger Corman psychic? Let's hope that "Iraq" was just a lucky choice for Corman and that the rest of his scenario doesn't come true.

1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Bad vehicle for a poignant story, 8 January 2003
4/10

This story of yet another small child, abused and battered to the point of death, is heartbreaking and poignant. Unfortunately, the actors and the movie itself just aren't up to the task. Almost everyone seemed like an amateur acting in a high school production, reading their lines in strangely stilted tones. Beverly D'Angelo's portrayal of the birth mother was so shockingly off-balance that I began to wonder why I never noticed what a poor actress she is. When trying to enlist the help of a reporter to investigate the possible murder of her son many years earlier, she reverts to flirting and teasing. When he asks her who the murder victim was, she answers with a big smile, bright eyes (still flirting) and a strangely triumphant grin on her face, "My son!" It was grotesque and repulsive. Initially the assistant D.A. who is going to prosecute the case is hostile and unsympathetic to the birth mother - the next thing you know, the A.D.A is trying to convince the victim's surviving brother to be a witness for the prosecution because she (the A.D.A) was "adopted too" blah, blah. We are never told or shown how this turn of heart came about. Eh...why go on, it's a heartbreaker but the acting was so bizarre and annoying it's almost unbearable to watch.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"The Angry Red Planet" Meets "Night of the Living Dead", 8 October 2002
6/10

John Carpenter explained in an interview that the Native Martians were not technologically advanced, but they had developed magic and the supernatural. As the last ones died out, they put a curse on the planet to prevent anyone else from ever living there again. Like someone breaking into King Tut's tomb, an accidental break-in to a Martian mass mausoleum by some miners unleashes the Martian curse. And the rest of the movie is what you'd expect: Earth colonists fighting off the angry spirits of the long-dead Martians. As one character says, "This is about dominion - it's not their planet anymore..." I think my one line summary above rather cleverly says it all.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
"I am No. 1", 4 September 2002
6/10

As a long time "The Prisoner" and McGoohan fan, my mouth dropped open when the theme of "Who is No. 1?" popped up in this movie. At some point, McGoohan as "Red" even says, "I am No. 1..." Talk about recycling an idea! The most interesting thing about this movie may be the cast of actors - 3 of the most famous fictional spies of the 1960's (Connery, McGoohan and McCallum - and Connery is almost unrecognizable with that shock of bushy black hair); Jill Ireland as a brunette, barely 21 when this movie was made; Gordon Jackson, known best in the US for his role as Mr. Hudson, the quintessential British butler in "Upstairs, Downstairs." Great for the curiosity value, if nothing else.

Flying Monkeys?, 2 February 2002
2/10

At some point, while watching the hordes of marching soldier apes as they rocked side to side like Stevie Wonder on speed, I had a sudden cinematic flashback - yes, I had seen this before: the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz! Slow paced (it's a thin story, so the plot had to be squeezed out for all it was worth like the last tube of toothpaste on a deserted island) and mundane, I started wondering when something was actually going to happen. Nothing ever happens, not even an ending. Ok, there was an ending, but it wasn't like finding the Statue of Liberty buried in the sand... Skip this and watch reruns of FARSCAPE on the telly - far more entertaining. And why *is* Mark Wahlberg a movie star, anyway? The chimp astronaut had more charisma than Markie Mark.


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