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Apt Pupil (1998)
Interesting Concept hurt by Underdeveloped Plot
Perhaps I need to read the book on this one. From what I've read from other comments, the book delivers exactly what I found to be lacking from the movie, character and plot development.
With the start of the movie, you immediately sense you've been thrust into the middle of the story. The motivation for Todd's interest in Nazi Germany is weak. And from Todd's explanation of how he discovered the true identity of Kurt Dussander, it seems as though such a discovery came naturally and with little effort. Are we seriously supposed to believe that a Nazi war criminal who escaped authorities for 30 some odd years would be discovered so easily by a 16 year old kid? On top of this, we never really see much of a plot here. Most of what we do see is uninteresting and lacking motivation. While I did find myself more disturbed with Todd's character as time wore on, I hardly found his actions "frightening" or "chilling".
Another large problem here is that I never really began to care too much about the two main characters. On one hand we have the high school honor student who is portrayed as somewhat disturbed from the beginning and who spends the entire movie dicking everyone around. Yet somehow I'm supposed to feel concerned for him when Kurt Dussander threatens to drag the kid down with him? And I'm supposed to feel happy for the kid when he escapes any punishment in the end? On the other hand we have a Nazi war criminal, who despite coming off as a somewhat helpless old man who has left his violent past behind, never really shows any remorse or emotion for the heinous things he did in his younger years.
The movie does pick up a bit in the last 30 minutes, but it hardly begins to make of for the 80 yawnable minutes that preceeded it. And despite this build-up towards the end of the movie, we never really reach much of a climax, and the movie ends almost as abrubtly as it began. While this movie showed some promise at times, most of the times it simply fizzled out.
In the end I give the movie a 5/10...mostly for some decent acting and for some mildly interesting moments.
A Walk to Remember (2002)
Sappy, Predictable, Unoriginal
I have nothing against watching a romantic movie from time to time, but this movie made me want to vomit. First of all, how much more unoriginal and cliche filled can a movie get? This made the movie completely predictable and incredibly laughable.
Mandy Moore herself wasn't all that bad, except the scene of the school musical where she transforms to herself and comes completely out of character...but I suppose that's more of a script problem there. The rest of the actors in this movie were atrocious. It's almost if they were putting little effort into their roles and that lack of sincerity smacks you in the face over and over again.
Mandy Moore and Shane West had absolutely no sparks between them. There's was nothing that really made you care if the their relationship worked out or not because it just seemed to be void of all emotion. And what attracts the two characters together in the first place is beyond me as they had nothing in common and all they ever shared were a few terribly sappy moments. It leads me to believe that it was only a physical attraction and that they weren't really in love and it was just infatuation. As a result, I couldn't care less about their relationship.
Even my girlfriend who loves chick flicks just as much as the next girl puts this movie up with some of the worst she's ever seen. I gave this movie a 2 out of 10 only because it featured a few decent songs throughout the movie and it was good for some cheap laughs.