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And yes, I recognize that many will say, "Hey, that's an art-house movie, not a B-movie!" I admit having a particular definition of "B-movie"... for me, it's a non-mainstream movie, created on a budget, and not really seen by the masses. Not necessarily the same definition everyone has. Still, I think you will find some movies on here that you enjoy if you like thoughtful, non-mainstream movies, so call them what you will.
Campus Code (2015)
Something fishy is going on
The concept was actually pretty good. The acting wasn't bad. The movie did suffer due to some of the dialogue, and I'm not expert on cinema, but I suspect the directing and budget hurt it as well. I was shocked to see Liotta and Martin Scorsese, then I realized that the director was Cathy Scorsese. I can only assume a family member decided to break into directing and Martin and Ray gave them a little help. Hey, that's cool. I would do the same for my kids. Everyone wants their kids to be successful. In any event, it's a weird ride that comes together at the end... well, as much as a low-budget mediocre movie can pull that off. It wasn't the worst way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Banshee: The Truth About Unicorns (2014)
Different directorial feel...
It felt like someone was trying to give it an emotional impact through slow motion, stop motion, lots of music with nobody doing anything. Miami Vice pulled it off in the '80s, but not much else has done it successfully since then. This episode failed miserably. It was very slow. However, if you liked the movie Drive (I hated it), then this may be the episode for you, as they have directorial similarities. This episode felt very different than most of the other Banshee episodes, especially the early ones, although some of the more recent episodes are introducing the stop motion editing (I also hate this). Moving car... music... long stares at nothing or each other... this episodes got it all. Perfect for the insomniac.
Fantastic Four (2005)
Another lost opportunity....
Okay, I saw this movie tonight and it was fairly enjoyable, but nowhere near great. (I'd like to give it a 6.5/10, but since we have to choose whole numbers, I went ahead and gave it a 7.) Marvel is blowing it big time. With every mediocre movie, they are further "expending" their most valuable characters. They've now used up X-Men, the Hulk, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Elektra, the Punisher, Man-Thing, Spider-Man, and more to come, like Ghost Rider. With the exceptions of X-Men and Spider-Man, the movies ranged from absolutely terrible (Man-Thing) to various shades of okay/decent (Punisher, Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra). Avi Arad of Marvel just doesn't seem to be getting it--once these characters are used, they're done for at least several years! Not every mediocre comic book movie gets revitalized like the Batman franchise. More likely, they'll fade away and be forgotten, and the more often it happens, the less Hollywood will want to create comic book movies. Marvel should know this! So why are they letting mediocre and little known directors/talent work on their their flagship characters? Where is Stone, Cameron, Howard, Spielberg, Singer (okay, he did do two X-Men movies) and the other A-list talent that should be spearheading the biggest comic book movies? And why the heck would Marvel put a great brand like Fantastic Four in the hands of a guy that did "Barbershop" and not much else? Sadly, I just don't get it.
So from all that, I'm sure you can tell I wasn't overly impressed. It was an okay action flick and decent special effects. The acting seemed wooden at times, and some scenes were either edited heavily or just didn't make much sense. The actors gave it a valiant try, but at least two of them weren't even close to up to snuff. The writing was cheesy and not nearly serious enough for the epic this movie should have been. And of course, we had the obligatory change of events from the comic to the screen. You know what I mean--when the Hollywood writer/director decides that the comic story was "silly" and adds his own ideas into the character's origin, thus alienating many comic readers by ignoring comic book cannon. This doesn't bother me IF the change is really necessary or adds to the story, but too often it's an arbitrary change (i.e. changing the Hulk's name from "David" to "Bruce" in the TV show) that really adds nothing to the story. Also, a few cheesy lines are fine, but this movie went overboard. My personal (un)favorite for "Absolute Worst Line in this Movie(tm)" was the Johnny Storm one-liner: "You're Hot", "Why thank you--so are you!" Ugh. How lame.
I do admit that Chris Evans, who I wasn't familiar with until now, did an excellent job as the Human Torch, but it wasn't enough to turn this movie around.
If I had to briefly describe the movie's faults, I'd say it's a combination of mediocre acting and mediocre writing/directing. Avi, please start demanding top talent for your movies. I promise you it will pay off!
The Longest Yard (2005)
This movie is crap
I really hate to say that, because I wanted to like the movie. I just couldn't. It was the same old tired gags that guys like Chris Rock and Adam Sandler have been peddling for years. Sandler had a chance to make a serious motion picture with some real drama, and he blew it. There were various changes made from the original movie, from specific lines to entire scenes, and I honestly can't think of one that was an improvement. All the times where Crewe was a tough, underspoken character that really shined, well... he just became a smartmouth in the new movie. They also "sanitized" a couple of scenes that really bothered me...
**SPOILER ALERT** Crewe no longer slaps the girlfriend at the beginning, but now locks her in a closet. Not a big change, and at the time I didn't think much about it, but later on when it's revealed that he actually did shave points for money, the new movie subtly changes it so that a reason is given, and he says that his life was in danger if he didn't do it. I guess Sandler wasn't happy with Crewe having real, human flaws like the rest of us, and needed to justify Crewe's actions. I liked the original better, where Crewe just made a mistake and felt regret for doing it. It somehow felt more real to me.
**END OF SPOILERS** They basically turned a great movie into a movie with nothing but cheap gags. It was very disappointing.
Not great, but underappreciated
I kept hearing how Catwoman was SO bad, so a friend and I went to see it today. Don't listen to the hype. It's certainly not great, but it's getting way more abuse than it deserves. Halle Berry does an excellent job--she's quite talented. Some scenes are genuinely good and interesting, athough it did have many flaws. Berry hissing at the dogs was very funny (unfortunately), and the director/writer chose not to delve into the duality nature of Catwoman to any degree, which would have made for an excellent story (remember the dance/discussion between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle in the Batman movie?).
Lastly, why do people seem to love when villains are constantly "over the top", ala Bullseye in Daredevil and Sharon Stone's character in Catwoman? I'm incredibly tired of hearing how great the acting was because the character was "over the top." Well, guess what? That over the top villain is the one that's farthest from real life behavior! They're positively goofy. That's not a plus to me.
The great soundtrack and great acting from Demi Moore in a couple of scenes are not nearly enough to save this horrible production. I enjoy wild summer action flicks as much as anyone, but this movie was just plain stupid most of the time, with no real "acting"--more like posing.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
The old cliche, "they don't make 'em like they used to" is certainly true here. I grew up on Disney animation in the 70s-90s and even today. I used to think Disney has pretty good animation. I'd never seen anything from them as old as this movie. The animation is SO MUCH SMOOTHER and more realistic than the stuff Disney cranks out today. You can actually take the villain in this movie seriously, as opposed to the "gnashing teeth" villains in today's Disney movies. Everything today has been so watered down and "PC" that the scary edge is gone.
Disney, take a clue from your old work. Sleeping Beauty is enjoyable by both kids and adults, yet doesn't need subtle references to adult topics in order to maintain that enjoyability.
This easily ranks 9/10.
This movie is a piece of crap
I am very generous when it comes to rating movies. If a movie has any entertainment value at all, I'll usually give it a 5. Feardotcom got a 3. This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The dialog and the plot are the main culprits. Most of the actors seem reasonably competent.
This is going on my "avoid at all costs" list, right up there with Crazy Six.
You've been warned.
An innovative, original, extremely entertaining series!
I honestly have to say that I'm not sure if I've ever seen another series this entertaining. It has the slick feel of a movie, with some twists that even good movies can't compare with. I was repeatedly exasperated, shocked, and fearful for the characters.
Don't be fooled by some people's comments that implied the "real-time" gimmick is what makes this show innovative, because it's actually just an incredibly well done series. The idea that the series takes place in a 24 hour period simply heightens the intensity.
Buy Season 1 on DVD. It makes my other favorite series (Oz, Sopranos, X-Files) look slow.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
This movie goes beyond disappointing, and is downright disgusting. A friend of mine who was a history major laughed all the way through it. It tried to show the Japanese as the "honorable enemy" who regretted their attack, but thought it was necessary. Ha! The movie did not show all the motivation behind everything. We showed that the US intended to block oil shipments, but not why. We did it because Japan had invaded China (which was apparent at the end of the movie, but the link wasn't made clear). Does anyone really think the Japanese didn't want this attack? If they wanted a fight, why not call us out and face us down? It was a low-life dirty attack, and the writer should be fined for presenting such a ridiculously "politically correct" joke such as this.
Oh, but the hour-long massacre of men, women, and children had great special effects.