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Minority Report (2002)
Lets make a movie about idiots with technology
I WANTED to like this movie.. I TRIED to like this movie.. But lets face it:
A: They WOULD have turned off Anderton's access to "the Temple" when he was 'convicted' of murder. Failing that, they WOULD have revoked his access to the facility after he kidnapped the PreCog. It CERTAINLY WOULD NOT have still worked for Lara (Or is it Laura? Make up your minds!) to spring John from the stasis prison.
B: Eyes in a ziploc baggie WOULD have shown SOME kind of degradation over the time period in question.
Suspension of disbelief is one thing. Slapping you in the face and insulting your intelligence and asking you to enjoy it is something other entirely.
Nice try.. But what a lot of wasted potential.
The Stand (1994)
Its long.. Almost painfully so. But top notch performances by everyone involved make up for it. Personally I thought some of the effects were a little below standard, but in a made for TV movie that took 5 months to film and covered much of the US in the process, budgets were probably slightly strained. It takes a lot of movie, however, to get me to use the word "epic" in a description. This one, though, deserves that designation. When you consider how often movie makers take a wonderful piece of literature and destroy it by meddling with what the writer's conception was supposed to be, as in so MANY of King's novels turned movies, the fact that The Stand, by so many reports, falls short of the book can hardly be a surprise. I must confess, I have never read The Stand. The reason for this is that I enjoyed the movie greatly. My fear is that reading the book will make the movie a much less impressive accomplishment. I'd hate to ruin what King hath wrought.
Sci Fi comes of age - Dates Horror
If you have not seen this one yet, stop reading these User Comments and go rent it. I'm sure by now you have heard, or possibly read, plenty of people's opinions regarding this movie and don't need any more. Its worth watching several times. Its action, its Sci-Fi, its horror, its drama. All rolled up in one compact little package. I saw it on DVD recently and there are some excellent Special Features including deleted scenes and director's comments. Ridley Scot had a real winner here.
A movie with something for everyone
The first time I saw this movie I knew it was going to be a lifelong favorite. With all the years that have gone by since then, and the repeated viewings I have given it, The Highlander still remains one of the best pieces of film I have ever seen. There are enough fight scenes to satisfy the most adamant of action movie fans, and there is an incredibly touching scene with Lambert and Beatie Edney (Heather) when she is dying of old age, Connor is still youthful in appearance, and the Queen song "Who Wants To Live Forever" is playing in the background. It still brings tears to my eyes when I see Connor in modern day New York lighting a candle for her on her birthday. The swordplay is extremely well choreographed and the sets are remarkable. To be fair, the special effects are not what I would consider up to the standards of the day, however the writing and acting is more than enough to make up for it. If you want to see a movie that doesn't NEED special effects to make it worth watching, this is one for you.
The Omega Code (1999)
Looked Great - Less Fulfilling
I've never been a fan so to speak of the big Angels of Light Battling The Angels of Darkness type of movie, and yet somehow when I see one, I am drawn into it. Then there was Omega Code. Faltering on the unconvincing acting of Casper Van Dien, this movie never really managed to convince me to take it seriously. As an over-caffeinated motivational speaker, Gillen Lane would barely rate a 3:00am paid infomercial on the lowest rated of cable access channels, much less the fame and adoration of the majority of the planet. And the movies troubles only BEGIN there. It attempts at several points to draw in the viewer, moments which had me hoping for this movies salvation, but then failed to follow through. Some very weak dialogue between Michael York and Van Dien simply contributed to this film's chuckle factor as the two threw cliches at one another at about the talent level of your typical middle school drama class performance. The movies big climactic scene ends with an unexplained explosion in Rome that wipes out the bad guys (And if the special effects are to be believed, the rest of the planet as well) and leaves you wondering, "Okay, what about the REST of humanity? A terribly weak ending to a mediocre movie. Only because the underlying concept was sound can I even go as high as a 3 on this one. Save yourself the bother of watching this apocalyptic nightmare.
Analyze This (1999)
Everything I expected and more..
I don't even know where to begin with this one. What I expected was a fair parody of Mafia movies, ala Naked Gun, and what I got was a legitimate movie with a serious plot centered around an absolutely hysterical premise. De Niro and Crystal both played their roles with the level of skill you would expect from veteran actors. What I did not expect was to be so totally drawn into the story line and care as much about the characters as I did. Excellent writing and acting all around. To be fair there was one point where the movie had seemed to bog a bit and felt like it should have ended, but it picked up again pretty quickly. This stumble, combined with only a marginal performance on the part of Lisa Kudrow (The script's fault, not hers) were the only things which kept me from voting higher than a 7. Want a good laugh and a good drama at the same time? Check it out.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Missing Scenes, Good Anyway
There were two scenes cut from the final release that I think would have made this movie notably better, since they explained things that were somewhat ambiguous as it stood. If these two scenes were left in my vote would have been higher than it was.
The first scene was from the opening of the movie. John Connor, in the future, finally breaks into Skynet. When he gets there he finds that the machines have developed a time machine. Computer logs indicate that it has been activated twice. The first time was to the early 80s, where we first met the CyberDyne model 101. The second to the early '90s. John gets a volunteer (His father whether he knew it or not) to go back in time to combat the first terminator. While his crew is working on sending Kyle back, another crew is working on programming a terminator for the second trip.
The second scene was cut from the scene where Sarah, John, and the Terminator are hiding out in a gas station for the night. In this scene the Terminator explains that the chip that powers all the CyberDyne model 101 terminators is a "learning" chip. He went on to explain that when terminators were assigned to a field duty, such as this one, their chip was set to "read only" mode. Their learning function disabled. This was to prevent the terminator from becoming a rogue and threatening Skynet. On hearing this, John decided it would be best to set the switch back to "read-write" mode. The terminator allowed John to shut him down in order to reset the chip. THAT is why, the following morning when they broke into the station wagon and the Terminator smashed the steering column to hotwire the car, John flipped the visor down, revealing the keys and said "Are we learning yet?" Also, the resetting of the chip to learn mode was the ONLY way the Terminator could see that in order to assure the safety of the human race from machines like himself, he had to be destryed at the end. If he were left in read only mode, he would have simply carried on protecting John for the rest of John's life.
It is my opinion that these two scenes wrapped up what I saw as a couple of loose ends in the series. I'm hoping that there will be a later release with both of these important scenes restored. Even so, the series was VERY well thought out and written. Its a keeper for certain.
The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
One of the most God Awful Movies I've Ever Seen
In fact I think the only thing I have ever seen that was worse would be the Blair Witch Project.
Seeing The Skipper (Gilligan's Island) playing a redneck, podunk, cheesehead, sausage eating, backwoods, badly-in-need-of-a-shower, sherrif has totally ruined my opinion of the man. Ok, that is not entirely true. I never had much of an opinion of him to begin with.
The best thing that could ever have happened to this movie did. The folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000 picked it up and ran with it. A better use for this movie (Other than shredding the tape to be used as confetti) could not be considered.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Biggest, Most Publicized Disappointment of the Year
I had to go see Blair Witch. The newspapers said so. They told me I would be in for the thrill ride of my life. Scarier than "The Exorcist". "The Most Frightening Movie Of The Year". What scares me about this movie is that there are people who think it is so good. Most of them seem to be critics. I certainly do not know anyone who has seen this movie who liked it. Of the eight people in the theater when I went in, three left before the end. I wish I had been so smart. In short, the movie was dull. Nothing happened. Three kids get lost and drop their cameras. The end.
The concept was good. Nothing else was. Terrible script. Terrible camera work. Terrible lighting. Terrible actors. The best thing that could happen to the entire crew on this film is to be lost in the woods and never return. This movie would have been the most dismal failure in all of film history had the media not played it up to be something spectacular. The only good thing about Blair Witch is that Ed Wood can finally say there is someone worse than him at film making.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Most Surprisingly Entertaining Movie I've Seen In Years
First, I am not a fan of Bruce Willis movies (Except for the first Die Hard). People may remember that when Willis did that movie they did not think he would be able to pull it off because they were so used to the character he played in Moonlighting. Well, I'm sure that by now most people will admit that he can handle an action movie with no problem. But keeping in mind that people didn't think he could do it back then, why are people surprised to now see him playing a more intelligent role (ala Moonlighting)?
Willis' portrayal of "Dr. Malcomb Crowe" was flawless. With a depth of character rarely seen by "action movie actors", Willis manages to be a fully believable "average guy" in The Sixth Sense, giving what may be his finest performance to date. Accepting this role may surprise people as much as Mel Gibson playing Hamlet, but he plays the part with no less style or skill than Gibson used in the Shakespearian classic.
Having said that, Willis does NOT put on the best performance in this movie. (Sorry Bruce) Haley Joel Osment, who plays Cole Sear, is astounding. Child Actors do not typically have the experience to play the role of someone as psychologically disturbed as Cole. Not so in this case. Haley makes you believe that he has experienced everything his character has with every tear shed and look of horror on his face. If there was ever an actor who deserved recognition in the form of an Oscar, Osment is in the running.
Some critics claim the movie is slow moving, and in a way it is. At least if you can consider starting a movie with a madman breaking into the house and shooting the leading man in the gut as "slow moving". The Sixth Sense is not as fast paced as some movies, but in that is much of the movie's appeal. Since it is less "in-your-face" than your typical horror/thriller it has a much better chance to get "in-your-mind". And getting in your mind is what this movie is all about.
In an era where horror movies are all about high budget special effects and large gnashing teeth, The Sixth Sense is very subdued. You are lulled into complacency and then brought to the edge without a moments warning, and all with a class and style that lets you know the Hitchcock style of film making is still very much alive.
This movie wraps itself up neatly with a plot twist to make the writers and producers of The Game green with envy. The final scene answers questions you did not even know needed asking. You leave the theater knowing you will never be able to feel the same way about life and death.
If the Blair Witch Project will make you afraid to go into the woods, The Sixth Sense will make you afraid to ever be alone.