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This movie is very disappointing. Ridley Scott has clearly stopped trying. This movie is absurd. The plot is ridiculous, and riddled with holes that a 10 year old would see through, the acting is like something from stage school, and the dialogue borders on the hilarious (the plot is so bad that much of it is articulated by various characters just so you can follow it). Just about every movie clique is here... the dysfunctional crew, a romance, gratuitous religion, unnecessary gore, etc. After an hour, I gave up on it as a serious movie and started to enjoy it for the farce that it is. I gave it 3/10 for special effects (+1), the 3D (+1), and some of the science fiction (+1). Everything else about this movie is worthless. This movie is the antithesis of Alien, which is a thoughtful, clever, serious piece of science fiction.
The Social Network (2010)
Difficult subject done exceptionally well
The thought of a movie about Facebook sounded awful. But the movie is, actually, very good. Most movies about computers are terrible and it's a difficult subject to make a movie about. But Fincher manages it. There is a great deal of dialogue in this film so you have to pay attention. If you do, you will be rewarded with some interesting and intelligent dialogue. The acting is good by everyone involved but particularly the lead actor.
It's great to see a movie celebrating intelligence. It's as close as you can come to glamorising Computer Science.
Some of the other reviews, in my opinion, exaggerate how good this movie is. It's no classic. Just an intelligent, well directed, interesting movie about the cultural phenomenon that is Facebook. But American Beauty it ain't.
A smart movie for smart people. Recommended.
It should be called "Deception". Or "James Bond Meets The Matrix". Take the worst bits of James Bond and the worst bits of The Matrix movies, randomly mix them together, and you have "Inception".
It's pretentious nonsense from start to finish. The characters are caricatures, the acting is formulaic, and the plot! Jeez. It starts badly and gets worse. By the end, even the director couldn't be bothered and lets it degenerate into a standard James Bond movie (complete with men in snow suits fighting on skis).
The age rating (12A in the UK) means the ideal demographic for this movie (8 year-old boys) can't see it. This film is so bad, it creeps into classic-bad-movie territory. Oh, by the way, I "get it". I just don't "like it". And the movie is not existentialist. It's pointless.
I like to say something positive about every movie I see but I am struggling with this one. Oh, I have something: it has a great ending - because it ends.
Youth in Revolt (2009)
Farce more than comedy
My wife and I watched this movie last night and we both left with the same impression, that it was not very funny. I really doesn't deserve its (current) 7+ IMDb rating since it simply isn't very funny. In fact, the only positive thing I can say about it is that is a gentle movie about a topic that everyone can relate to (teenage angst about sex)... and if that sounds like I am damning it with faint praise that's because I am.
The movie is a romantic farce in parts (but not very romantic and not very farcical) and it has quite nice surreal moments (the sex book coming to life was particularly well done) but these good bits were not enough to save the movie.
I thought the acting was no more than functional and the storyline was weak and not engaging. But the big problem with this film was the humour -- or lack of it.
Up in the Air (2009)
My wife and I both enjoyed this movie. It's no classic and, in my view, doesn't merit an 8+ IMDb rating but it is a nice movie and I'm sure that most people will enjoy it.
"Nice" maybe isn't the right word since it has a message about how to live your life - and reminds us how awful being fired really is. So it has a serious message -- and it's a pleasure to watch, thanks to excellent performances by all the lead characters. So what's not to like? Well, for one thing, the story is worthy and well-told but don't expect some great movie since the plot isn't up to those expectations. I preferred Michael Clayton, which was a much deeper movie than this one.
But you won't be disappointed with this film unless your expectations are too high to begin with. A worthy 7/10. Time and money well spent.
Milestone in movie history
Avatar was better than I expected. The trailers and previews don't do this movie justice. The real strength of this film is its visuals, which ordinary TVs can't come close to reproducing. The visuals are revolutionary and would make this movie worth watching alone.
Its main weakness is the storyline. It's not awful, just pretty standard. There is no chance the screenplay is going to win any prizes. But it's no worse than 75% of movies and better than many, and there are one or two serious messages in the movie, such as the way Capitalism ruthlessly exploits natural resources.
If the storyline matched the imagery, this movie would the best film ever. The 3D effects and special effects and imagery in this film are truly amazing. Don't even consider the 2D version.
Apart from the plot, there are other weaknesses. The back story (why they chose the main character, who is a paraplegic) is ridiculous (in fact, the whole disabled marine storyline is unnecessary), some of the acting is wooden (Sigourney Weaver looks like she is going through the motions), and it's too long (2½ hours).
Apart from the visuals, there are other strengths. The sci-fi is sound (including the concept of an avatar), Pandora (the alien planet) is superbly rendered, some of the acting is good (Zoe Saldana), and the movie doesn't feel like it's 2½ hours long.
A milestone in movie history due to the visuals. In spite of this, I gave it 8/10 because of its routine storyline and ordinary acting. But not one to miss.
Serious sci-fi, serious tedium
I came away disappointed from this movie. The reviews made it sound a great deal better than it was. Some of the comments about the movie are inexplicable. Good special effects? Some scenes look like they were stitched together from Thunderbird out-takes. The low production costs of the movie are apparent throughout.
But good movies don't need good special effects. The trouble is this movie has other failings - such as any sort of pace. It plods along. The middle section, in particular, feels like Purgatory.
I wanted to give this movie 6½ out of 10 but gave it 7 because, at its heart, it is a serious science fiction film with something, maybe not very much, to say about humanity and consciousness. Several interesting themes run through it, but most are confusingly presented and none are very well developed.
I agree that it's a good first movie and Duncan Jones has potential. It's a pity they don't give you a discount on the price of a ticket because of this.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
What's not to like about this enjoyable movie?
I'm not a fan of TV game shows. So the premise of this movie was not appealing. But the game show is only a backdrop to this movie. It's really a romantic film that has something to say about a few other things such as poverty. The story line is fast-paced and the movie is often funny and sometimes challenging. It tells its story in an entertaining way. So, what's not to like about it?
Having said that, it's no classic. I gave it 7/10 because it's... err... a 7/10 movie. Enjoyable, fun to watch, interesting, has something to say... but nothing new and the story line is amusing but not gripping.
At the time of writing this movie is #34 in to the top 250 movies on IMDb but don't let that fool you... it will slip down the chart as more people see it. Not because it's bad, because, at the end of the day, it's a slight movie with not a great deal to say that has not already been said.
But if you go the movies to be entertained, you will not be disappointed.
Revolutionary Road (2008)
Not revolutionary but interesting adult drama
I'm a fan of Sam Mendes' direction and his style in clear in this movie, which is one of the film's strong point. There are other strengths: the acting is good by just about everyone involved but especially Kate Winslet (who does a much better American accent than the usual grating attempt); the topic is interesting (marriage problems); and the treatment is mature. And there are some genuinely deep moments in the movie that any married couple will relate to. Mendes does suburban angst better than anyone in cinema but his theatrical roots show at times with the staged scenes and clunky dialogue.
DiCaprio just can't carry off heavy roles - he looks like a wee boy in a grown-up's suit. The film is based on a Sixties' book and inherits some of the sexism from that era (but not intentionally or ironically). And, at the end of it, it doesn't say a great deal... except that marriage is not the idealised perfection that romantic novels lead you to believe.
But for the acting, interesting topic, cinematography, music and atmosphere, it's well worth catching and markedly better than most movies. Watching this movie is time and money well spent.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
There will be boredom
If fantastic acting, cinematography and direction made a great movie then this is a great movie. In fact, this movie in perfect in every respect... except the storyline. The story really plods. It's 158 minutes of slow, and not very interesting, storytelling.
But, boy, the acting really is something. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant but so is the rest of the cast. DDL's performance is so good that it commands your attention and conceals the movie's great weakness. You're so mesmerised by him that it's easy to overlook the fact that the storyline is uninteresting. In fact, there isn't a storyline as such. It's just a chronological sequence of events showing how this "oil man" makes his fortune and uses people along the way. There's no depth (to the story), no great insights.
EDIT: Watched it on TV last night and liked it much more. This movie is maybe deeper than it first appears. I changed my vote to 9/10 from 7/10.