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Kirasjeri

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133 reviews in total 
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Star Trek (2009)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Great, BUT beware the PARADOXES of Time Travel and Alternate Realities!, 13 May 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've always had issues with time travel and the inherent paradoxes. Beyond that, alternate realities/alternate time lines is another issue for me, and there were very many of them in all the ST TV series.

One time in "Yoyager" it became so obvious a crewmen asked Captain Janeway about the paradoxes, and she replied quizzically, "the best thing to do is just not think about them".

Usually, broken time lines end up back to normal, but in this film nothing ends up as it was.

Remember the infamous episode of "Dallas" when an entire season of shows was wiped out as they were depicted merely as a dream? That is what this "Star Trek"movie just did on a gigantic scale - wiped out EVERYTHING we saw and know and accept as a given as part of the "canon". No Federation-Klingon Alliance, perhaps no Borg, and on and on.

In the movie, in the future, Spock fails to reach Romulus in time to create a singularity to save that world from a supernova. How exactly that was Spock's fault I failed to discern.

But Nero's Romulan ship, a mining ship, went with Spock's vessel through a singularity (created too late), and somehow went back through time instead of being scattered to the subatomic level or turned into pure energy, or whatever happens in a Black Hole. Romulus was destroyed by the supernova.

Nero blamed Spock, and somehow every planet in the Federation. This is not logical, and if Nero is merely insane, well, that detracts from his validity as a villain. Khan was not insane, certainly not to that degree.

Nero manages to drill a hole into a defenseless Vulcan, insert some "red matter", that can create a singularity, and this all of Vulcan and six billion people are destroyed, while Spock watches! Off next to Earth, which was also equally defenseless, except for their relatively few star ships. The excuse for that was they were off elsewhere on another assignment.

Well, after some heroics, Nero and his ship get sucked into another singularity and they vanish. To reappear in the sequel, in the present, past or future?? Who knows.

So Vulcan is gone in the film. Romulus is still there as it got destroyed only in the future. Kirk, while still a cadet at the academy, get command of the Enterprise and, at the film's end, permanent promotion from the Federation from mere cadet to captain! Puhleeze.

Why can't Spock go back through another singularity and change the time line?? How one can determine where in the past or future you will end up in going through one of those I can not figure out.

So, there is no single reality. There is any number of time lines depending on who changes what in the past. as I said, I always had issues with this. And also as I said, even Spock made a reference at the end to "cheating". It does make it easier for the screenwriters to just blow up everything that happened in the Star Trek world and "canon".

Weirdest paradox, at the end. Young Spock meets old Spock, and they have a conversation!! Think about that. It should be impossible.

So, you can see the paradoxes. Right captain Janeway? What's that, captain? "Just don't think about them"?? Isn't that "cheating", as Spock said? Guess so. As with so many shows, be it "24" or whatever, suspension of disbelief is required.

So turn off your scientific logic and just enjoy the fun. But remember, like Vulcan, everything you knew about the Star Trek universe is now gone - at least until someone goes back and corrects the time line! The movie is PG-13, and almost a PG. I would have preferred an R with some real gore.

Superb special effects, sound effects, score, set design, costumes, etc. Well acted, and many touches that are reminiscent of episodes, scenes or events from the original series.

The interior of the Enterprise looked nothing like that on the cheesy set of the first TV series, thankfully.

When did Romulans become giant super-powerful bald guys covered in what looked like Maori facial tattoos?? Or was that supposed to be only typical to that crew? Of course, the Federation first saw Romulans quite late, in "The Balance of Terror" episode.

Major Plot Hole: apparently both Vulcan and Earth were totally defenseless without so much as a phaser bank available. Even Star Fleet headquarters in California, a population center, had no defense, neither shields, nor phasers, and certainly not photon torpedoes. Nothing. That big "drill" in the film was easily knocked out with light hand-held weapons.

Minor Plot Hole: The Romulan vessel was not originally some all-powerful doomsday machine from another race; it was a working mining vessel. Even though from the not too distant future, it all too easily handled not only Federation but Klingon warships.

Winona Ryder played Spock's mother! Who dies. Ben Cross played his father Sarek, now that Mark Lenard is dead. And Leonard Nimoy played one of the Spocks. Speaking of Spock, a much thinner and less stacked version of Uhura makes out with Spock in the film. And when did they become an item??

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable. Adequate. But Pales Compared to the 1939 classic., 29 September 2002
7/10

If you did not see the 1939 Korda brothers classic of the same name you will find this version entirely adequate and satisfying; if you did, you will likely be disappointed.

This version is apparently based far more faithfully on the novel - which means it is set in 1885 instead of 1898, and does not include the huge Battle of Omdurman or the prison revolt. The one battle in this version, the breaking of the British square, was better done in the earlier version which was far larger in scope and size than this more modest effort. Basing it on the novel also means more talk, more romance, and that is too bad.

Various attempts are made to humanize the natives, and there is some PC questioning about British imperialism, although nowhere does the movie mention that the British in Sudan in the 1880's were stopping the slave trade, besides protecting the Suez Canal.

The plot we basically know: a young British officer who resigns from his regiment when they are about to go off to war is denounced as a coward by his friends who give him the feathers; he then has to prove his courage by rescuing some of them disguised as a native.

That is where there is a real problem. In the 1939 version, Harry Faversham, the officer, goes to considerable lengths to disguise himself, such as being branded on the face and pretending to be a mute. Here, he just sort of muddles through. It is not convincing. He is befriended in a way by an all-too muscular native - a hackneyed convention.

The acting is no more than adequate, and in that it is not that different from the earlier version, although missing here is the great scene at the dinner table with C. Aubrey Smith, the venerable actor playing an old general, discoursing on past battles and the tradition Faversham needs to uphold. A shame that wasn't in this film.

Some of the actors having pierced left ears is entirely out of character. The final fight where a drugged and half dead Harry is further beaten almost to death - but then suddenly kills his attacker - is tired and old and almost embarrassingly bad.

Well, this was better than the old TV version of some years ago, but it pales compared to the 1939 version. So be warned.

Maytime (1937)
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Superbly Crafted. And One of the Saddest Films I've Ever Seen., 6 September 2002
8/10

I won't repeat what some of the other reviews have said, other than to add my perspective. This was a marvelous film, made with great skill in every way, from screenplay to songs. It is also, along with "Waterloo Bridge" and "How Green Was My Valley" (see reviews), one of the saddest movies I have ever seen.

Of course it manipulates us into reaching for the hankies, but it does a good job at it. I consider myself a big cynical guy, but this movie! Man. I saw it many years ago, and to this day if someone mentions the word "sweetheart", I think of the song "Will You Remember?" and start getting teary-eyed!

Yes, I have it on video. I ALSO HAVE THE RADIO BROADCAST! In 1944, the Lux Radio Theater reprised the popular film in an hour long broadcast with the original stars. The adaptation was wonderfully done. The only change of note was Nelson Eddy sang the rousing French march, "Le Regiment du Sambre et Meuse" instead of Jeanette MacDonald. I downloaded this gem from the Bearshare peer to peer service. It is worth looking for and downloading.

Just don't anyone ever say "Sweethearts" to me - in any context at any time I think of "Maytime" and get sad. Of course some people love those types of films.

One memorable movie. But it made me so sad I almost wish I never saw it. Almost!

Signs (2002)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
MANIPULATIVE, EMPTY, PRETENTIOUS. In otherwords, IT STINKS., 2 August 2002
3/10

I for one am very tired of being manipulated by M. Night Shyamalan, and offered movies with pretentious messages and warped little twists. "Signs" is similar to "Unbreakable" in that style, and this is a real disappointment.

In the trailers and ads we are shamelessly deceived into thinking this is about aliens and will be real scary. It is really about some corny internal spiritual journey the main character (Gibson) takes after his wife's death in a car crash. What the message is remains unclear; supposedly it is about "faith", those who have it and those who don't. But the dopey end seems to mock Christian beliefs, leaving us with an entirely empty message with no point or reolution.

Shyamalan uses film school tricks and ideas lifted from various other movies to build the tension, while trying to get us to emotionally "bond" with the farm family being visited by aliens. This direction is so obvious I sat there analyzing it more than feeling it.

At the end what have we? A dead alien who is more than a mere alien, a baseball bat, water phobia, and no discernible resolution on the matter of faith and The Great Beyond. What the alien really is up to struck me as ridiculous for various reasons.

WAIT FOR THE DVD.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
SUPERB STUDY IN COMMAND - Not Just another "Submarine Movie"., 19 July 2002
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Any reviewer who sees this fine film - and great character study - as merely "another submarine movie" is braindead. The location happens to be on a submarine, but "K-19" is in fact a marvelous study of the problems of command, its responsibilities, and the ongoing struggle between the new captain's methods and those of the former captain whom he replaced. It is their battle of styles and personalities that makes this movie a great success.

This film depicts (and dramatizes) an historic event, for decades kept secret until the end of the Soviet Union. So I don't believe there are SPOILERS BELOW, but there might be.

The date is 1961 - the height of the Cold War - and the Soviet Union has launched its first nuclear-powered submarine complete with an unarmed ICBM. The purpose is to show the Americans the Soviet's nuclear capability by launching the test missile from the Arctic ice cap, thus making a first strike on "The Motherland" less likely. It is another step in the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Captain Polenin (Liam Neeson) of this new K-19 submarine is pushed down a notch in the chain of command when an electric circuit fails during a test firing and he is rather arrogant with the resident admiral observing. Polenin becomes Executive Officer and Captain Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) is appointed to command the boat - a vessel already plagued with bad luck and construction deaths; hence, the nickname "The Widowmaker".

Vostrikov is under strict orders to complete his mission (the test firing) on schedule which the Soviet high command is pushing to have completed as soon as possible. The problem with this, a fatal flaw. is that hurrying the mission has resulted in shoddy workmanship on various ship components; they don't even have radiation suits in case of a nuclear accident the ship carrying only useless chemical suits.

Vostrikov (Ford) takes over the boat to some resentment by the crew, especially the officers, who favored Polenin (Neeson). The drills that Vostrikov immediately begins clearly shows the crew is unready, with some of the drills looking highly inept and chaotic - a bad reflection on Polenin. Vostrikov continues to push the crew despite injuries and even more resentment, a near-crisis comes when K-19 is ordered to dive to 300 meters (near crush depth) and then it emergency surfaces crashing right through the Arctic ice, at which point Vostrikov immediately, and successfully, launches the missile.

Throughout all of this Polenin advised against what Vostrikov was doing, even to the point of leaving his post in a huff and later berating Vostrikov for endangering the crew. Accurately, the captain tells his XO the men had to be pushed to the limit not only to see what they could do but to, in effect, mold them into a stronger crew ready to die as needed in the future. Their camaraderie while playing on the polar ice is indication of this.

Vostrikov, whom someone I read stupidly compared to "Capt. Bligh", was right, and Polenin, whose crew was so sloppy in drills, was mostly wrong. But there is more to this.

Vostrikov's father was both a Soviet hero - and a prisoner in the GULAG. Perhaps as such, he has always made special efforts to be totally loyal to his country and the Party. That blind loyalty will eventually be tested by the disaster about to befall K-19, a situation where the humanity and flexibility of Polenin will be found to be more than appropriate.

The boat's nuclear reactor's coolant suddenly develops a leak and fails. Despite what we heard in the film there was no real danger of "a thermonuclear explosion"; there WAS a danger of the core melting right through the hull and likely exploding as it hit the cold water. The movie's attempts to suggest that there would a nuclear explosion and possible war between the U.S. and Soviet Union were strained. Polenin's emotionalism hits bottom when he foolishly blames Vostrikov for this disaster for having ordered the former reactor officer off the ship for being drunk on duty.

Vostrikov now is confronted by the horrid reality: there is no way to save the submarine and crew and avoid nuclear core meltdown without repairing the reactor coolant - and to do this sailors have to enter the radiation-filled chamber wearing nothing more than useless chemical suits. Heroically, they do, and more heroically others also do even after seeing the first repair crew leave the reactor deathly sick and vomiting. Only the new young reactor officer balks at entering this chamber of death, although he redeems himself later with great bravery. We fairly well knew he would succumb having seen him earlier kiss his fiance good-by.

K-19, the reactor in no immediate danger of meltdown but now filled with radiation, is forced to surface, and Vostrikov initially resists all suggestions from Polenin and others to evacuate the boat, or request assistance from the Americans who have seen the submarine. At this point, one of Polenin's officers, and even the commissar (political officer) stage mutiny and seize the vessel from Vostrikov at gunpoint. That is the same commissar who ironically earlier indoctrinated the crew with anti-American propaganda.

Polenin refuses to take command and puts down the mutiny. There seems little doubt now that he now understood better the loyalty and devotion to duty of Vostrikov, and how effective and cool in the crisis the captain was. Vostrikov, on the other hand, better recognizes the need to appeal to the humanity of the crew, and shows his own humanity by seeing to it K-19's sick crew is evacuated to another Soviet sub despite orders to the contrary.

Vostrikov and Polenin have finally reached a mutual understanding as they finally recognize and respect each other's views and methods.Together they were better than either could have been individually. The final scene twenty-eight years later at the graves of those sailors who died saving the sub and their crewmates was moving indeed.

Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson were excellent both separately and in their chemistry. Comments by some about their accents not being adequate are trivial, although Sean Connery's was better "Hunt for Red October". The rest of the cast, though no-name, was also fine. Kathryn Bigelow's direction is quite suitable and good, although it doesn't take a genius to figure out how to use moving cameras, quick cuts, and dramatic closeups aboard a submarine to great effect; there are enough submarine films out there already to supply examples.

One of those films, "Crimson Tide", depicts a different sort of power struggle between the senior captain and the new XO over nuclear launch protocol. That is entirely different than the more subtle struggle in "K-19" which I found fascinating.

The sets are suitably grimy and dark to depict a Soviet sub in 1961 that does not even appear to be very well made or especially advanced technologically. The danger of something going wrong on K-19 always seems probable.

"K-19" is an intelligent film and I found it absorbing. It is not a puerile exercise in special effects. The relationship between Vostrikov and Polenin was simply compelling. A wonderful movie.

COMPELLING, STYLISH, and EXCELLENT. (With flaws)., 13 July 2002
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Road to Perdition" is not up to the great standards of the classic "The Godfather", as I've heard some reviewers suggest; there are just too many small problems with the plot, to be related below. But it certainly one of the best made films I have seen in a long time (dark and gloomy though it is) and is just a damn fine piece of art; it is in fact so consciously stylish it is almost overdone at times, but isn't.

Directed by Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") the film is beautiful to look at; the scenes of 1931 Chicago are especially memorable. Yes it's dark, but Winter in Chicago at the height of the Depression was very dark indeed. David Self wrote the screenplay, and played down some of the violence in the book; I had the most problems with the screenplay for reasons I'll get to. Conrad L. Hall filmed "Road to Perdition" perhaps with too much detail and concern for evocative imagery.

We are taken back to eastern Illinois early in 1931 where Michael Sullivan (a laconic Tom Hanks) works as an enforcer and possible hitman for wealthy gangster boss John Rooney, played with effective emotion by Paul Newman. Sullivan is also raising a family with a wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh in what amounts to a cameo role) and two boys.

Sullivan and Rooney had an almost father-son relationship for decades. The problem is Rooney's son, Connor, who is a weak, corrupt, and homicidally psychotic, and Daniel Craig portrays him superbly within the limits of the script. And this is the biggest problem I had with the movie.

Connor is so very despicable and beneath contempt, so entirely evil and without any shred of redeeming qualities, he is painfully two dimensional. His murderous actions destroy the relationship between his father and Sullivan and are what drive everything that happens in the film. There is no attempt to even explain what motivates Connor to do what he does. This is a real flaw in the film. Villains with depth, going back to such as Magua in "Last of the Mohicans", make the events that transpire more meaningful. His attack on Sullivan's family, after one of the boys sees Connor and his father kill three people, begins Sullivan's search for vengeance and retribution.

This brings up a plot hole. Rooney (Newman) knew all along his son was not only robbing him but killing his own men to cover up his actions. And yet he did nothing about it, not even just cut him out of the business and exile him to Ireland, where he suggested Sullivan go. Instead, he allowed Connor to inexorably bring him to ruin. Just because Connor is his son does not explain this adequately.

Sullivan, on the run with his twelve-year-old son, is out for vengeance, and he sees Frank Nitti (a superb Stanley Tucci), whom he knows, running the Chicago mob with Al Capone in Alcatraz, but Rooney has already convinced Nitti that for business reasons Connor should be kept in protective custody from Sullivan - and to contract a hitman to kill him. So, Sullivan is forced to wage war by stealing Mob money in various banks while avoiding - or shooting it out with - the hitman, a creepy and odd fellow named Maguire played by Jude Law. It is also obvious that Nitti despises Connor, who will survive so long as his father lives. It is a business decision, after all, by Nitti.,

Sullivan demonstrates his naivete when he brings proof to Rooney of Connor's ongoing theft. Of course Rooney already knows. . . and then Sullivan finally realizes what I realized at least half an hour earlier: the only way to get to Connor is to first take out his father - who had been a surrogate father to Sullivan. His delayed awakening to what had to be done came too abruptly to satisfy me.

Sullivan's son, played introspectively by Tyler Hoechlin, follows his father around throughout his six week odyssey, learning to both drive and handle a gun. It seems as though "Road to Perdition" could very easily have been told more through the eyes and mind of the son. Nevertheless, he gave a good performance.

Despite my complaints with parts of the plot and excessive attempts at artistic cinematography, this remains an excellent film well worth seeing. It is just no classic, such as "The Godfather". Nine out of ten! Newman is guaranteed to get awards for this, as is Mendes for the direction.

There are other plot holes listed below but they may be spoilers.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!

After Connor committed his first murder, and then saw Michael Jr. watching, why didn't Sullivan perceive the obvious and kill Connor blaming it on the already dead guys? Everyone hated Connor anyway.

When Connor gave him that sealed letter, supposed from Rooney, to take to that coke head club owner/pimp, why was Sullivan so naive as to not open it and read it first? Why would he trust Connor after that murder?

During the first shoot out with Maguire, why didn't Sullivan finish him off when he was down? It would have taken a second and prevented him from resurfacing later. It only made sense.

Was Maguire acting on Nitti's orders at the end? Didn't Nitti say it was all over on the phone?

Why was Sullivan so nonchalant at the end of the film in that house? Like he didn't have enemies including Maguire, among others?

When Sullivan was shot, his son sure lucked out finding that farm family that neither called the police nor objected to Sullivan recuperating there, and then didn't mind Michael Jr. moving in. That kind of luck strained credulity.

Why did Rooney do absolutely nothing to stop Connor even when he knew he was robbing him and even committing murders of his friends? There were any number of things he could have done besides just kill him.

When Sullivan shot Maguire in the back at the end of the movie why didn't the bullet go through Maguire and hit Michael Jr. standing in front of him?

FUN, BUT DUMB HUMANS MAKE YOU ROOT FOR THE DRAGONS, 12 July 2002
5/10

The concept borders on the ludicrous: a subway construction site in London (deeper than those in the U.S.) unearths a live DRAGON that spawns a multitude of other dragons who destroy London, and manage to virtually take over the earth despite nuclear weapons being used against them. Humanity is scattered to small communities.

It gets more crazy. Two hundred soldiers can be quickly reduced to nothing but ashes, totally cremated, by the fire breathing dragon, but their leader is unharmed hiding under a tank - he should have been dry roasted by the heat.

It gets crazier. To fight the dragon scourge humanity decides that if they kill the one male who is fertilizing that host of female egg-laying dragons no more baby dragons will appear and they will die out. One problem with that: just because only one male animal fertilizes many females does NOT mean there are no other males! How many male trout, or other animals, die or are fought off by the dominant male, when trying to fertilize or mate with the female? A great many. So the method of defeating the dragons is ridiculous. It would never work.

Even more ridiculous is Matthew McConaughey, leading the soon-to-be-cremated American army unit. He overacts so much he is almost laughable, while at the same time looking like he is undergoing Steroid Rage; he is so pumped up since the last time we saw him he must have been hitting "the juice". Perhaps he thought "Reign of Fire" was a satire.

Now for the good parts. The dragon FX are great. The dragons are fun. Burned out London reminds me of Stalingrad in World War Two from "Enemy at the Gates". Very nicely done.

The bottom line is that the humans were so stupid and obnoxious in this film I am very sorry the dragons didn't kill them all.

BTW, if you like movies about London subway stations unearthing some sort of other-worldy horror, check out "Quatermass and the Pit"; it got a 7.0 on this site.

COMPELLING, STYLISH, and GREAT! (With flaws)., 12 July 2002
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***



"Road to Perdition" is not up to the great standards of the classic "The Godfather", as I've heard some reviewers suggest; there are just too many small problems with the plot, to be related below. But it certainly one of the best made films I have seen in a long time (dark and gloomy though it is) and is just a damn fine piece of art; it is in fact so consciously stylish it is almost overdone at times, but isn't.

Directed by Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") the film is beautiful to look at; the scenes of 1931 Chicago are especially memorable. Yes it's dark, but Winter in Chicago at the height of the Depression was very dark indeed. David Self wrote the screenplay, and played down some of the violence in the book; I had the most problems with the screenplay for reasons I'll get to. Conrad L. Hall filmed "Road to Perdition" perhaps with too much detail and concern for evocative imagery.

We are taken back to eastern Illinois early in 1931 where Michael Sullivan (a laconic Tom Hanks) works as an enforcer and possible hitman for wealthy gangster boss John Rooney, played with effective emotion by Paul Newman. Sullivan is also raising a family with a wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh in what amounts to a cameo role) and two boys.

Sullivan and Rooney had an almost father-son relationship for decades. The problem is Rooney's son, Connor, who is a weak, corrupt, and homicidally psychotic, and Daniel Craig portrays him superbly within the limits of the script. And this is the biggest problem I had with the movie.

Connor is so very despicable and beneath contempt, so entirely evil and without any shred of redeeming qualities, he is painfully two dimensional. His murderous actions destroy the relationship between his father and Sullivan and are what drive everything that happens in the film. There is no attempt to even explain what motivates Connor to do what he does. This is a real flaw in the film. Villains with depth, going back to such as Magua in "Last of the Mohicans", make the events that transpire more meaningful. His attack on Sullivan's family, after one of the boys sees Connor and his father kill three people, begins Sullivan's search for vengeance and retribution.

This brings up a plot hole. Rooney (Newman) knew all along his son was not only robbing him but killing his own men to cover up his actions. And yet he did nothing about it, not even just cut him out of the business and exile him to Ireland, where he suggested Sullivan go. Instead, he allowed Connor to inexorably bring him to ruin. Just because Connor is his son does not explain this adequately.

Sullivan, on the run with his twelve-year-old son, is out for vengeance, and he sees Frank Nitti (a superb Stanley Tucci), whom he knows, running the Chicago mob with Al Capone in Alcatraz, but Rooney has already convinced Nitti that for business reasons Connor should be kept in protective custody from Sullivan - and to contract a hitman to kill him. So, Sullivan is forced to wage war by stealing Mob money in various banks while avoiding - or shooting it out with - the hitman, a creepy and odd fellow named Maguire played by Jude Law. It is also obvious that Nitti despises Connor, who will survive so long as his father lives. It is a business decision, after all, by Nitti.,

Sullivan demonstrates his naivete when he brings proof to Rooney of Connor's ongoing theft. Of course Rooney already knows. . . and then Sullivan finally realizes what I realized at least half an hour earlier: the only way to get to Connor is to first take out his father - who had been a surrogate father to Sullivan. His delayed awakening to what had to be done came too abruptly to satisfy me.

Sullivan's son, played introspectively by Tyler Hoechlin, follows his father around throughout his six week odyssey, learning to both drive and handle a gun. It seems as though "Road to Perdition" could very easily have been told more through the eyes and mind of the son. Nevertheless, he gave a good performance.

Despite my complaints with parts of the plot and excessive attempts at artistic cinematography, this remains an excellent film well worth seeing. It is just no classic, such as "The Godfather". Nine out of ten! Newman is guaranteed to get awards for this, as is Mendes for the direction.

There are other plot holes listed below but may be spoilers.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!

After Connor committed his first murder, and then saw Michael Jr. watching, why didn't Sullivan perceive the obvious and kill Connor blaming it on the already dead guys? Everyone hated Connor anyway.

When Connor gave him that sealed letter, supposed from Rooney, to take to that coke head club owner/pimp, why was Sullivan so naive as to not open it and read it first? Why would he trust Connor after that murder?

During the first shoot out with Maguire, why didn't Sullivan finish him off when he was down? It would have taken a second and prevented him from resurfacing later. It only made sense.

Was Maguire acting on Nitti's orders at the end? Didn't Nitti say it was all over on the phone?

Why was Sullivan so nonchalant at the end of the film in that house? Like he didn't have enemies including Maguire, among others?

When Sullivan was shot, his son sure lucked out finding that farm family that neither called the police nor objected to Sullivan recuperating there, and then didn't mind Michael Jr. moving in. That kind of luck strained credulity.

Why did Rooney do absolutely nothing to stop Connor even when he knew he was robbing him and even committing murders of his friends? There were any number of things he could have done besides just kill him.

When Sullivan shot Maguire in the back at the end of the movie why didn't the bullet go through Maguire and hit Michael Jr. standing in front of him?

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
SUMPTUOUS and MAGNIFICENT, 4 July 2002
9/10

No movie could ever do more to personify the word "sumptuous". The film spared no expense in recreating the court of the French kings in pre-Revolution France in the 18th century. It is immensely enjoyable. It was definitely a prestige movie for the studio.

It starts with the young Austrian princess, Marie Antoinette, going to Paris for her arranged marriage with the grandson of the King who will be the next French monarch. (All of the king's male children had died young). Marie's reception as a wide-eyed innocent by the opulent French court, complete with fanfares, is remarkable and memorable.

Marie soon experiences the byzantine intricacies of the French court and the realities of her new life with Louis - her diffident and none-too-bright young husband. Both we in their mid-teens when married. France soon heads inexorably towards revolution and it will mean a tragic fate for the Royal family.

My only complaint bout the film is not that Norma Shearer was just a bit too old for the role; her fine acting and the makeup and lighting take care of that well enough. The complaint is an historical one: it was a bit too sympathetic towards Marie, and even Louis, both of whom ended up beheaded because they encourage foreign armies to invade France and put the king back on the throne. Marie's over-spending is also glossed over. But she was tragic in her way.

Louis, played beautifully by Robert Morley, was even more tragic. In another life he would have been happy and accomplished as the clock maker he always wanted to be.

Joseph Schildkraut was superb as the unctious and conniving Duke who had no problem switching sides as the political winds blew. Gladys George was very effective as Madame du Barry. Tyrone Power was merely OK as a love interest for Marie which seemed rather gratuitous.

Along with Abel Gance's "Napoleon", and "A Tale of Two Cities" (the Ronald Colman version), this is as good as it gets as an historical drama of the French Revolution. Exciting, emotional, sad, affecting, and very memorable. Superb.

OK, but A DISAPPOINTING COMMERCIAL, 4 July 2002
4/10

You know the plot - if you can call it a "plot". What MIB II really is is a big excuse for the latest digital FX, and shameless product placement commercials. Was it bad? No. But besides being surprisingly SHORT in length, there is really nothing original here nor anything that tries to surpass the first MIB. It is just bigger explosions and weirder aliens, with absolutely nothing of a real plot nor characters we care about.

Lara Flynn Boyle - the ultra-skinny Lara Flynn Boyle - is one of those digital creations: she actually has a computer-enhanced body here. She's fine as the cartoonish villain.

Will Smith is always good, but the attempts to give him a romantic relationship with a human female are strained and go nowhere. If the movie was a little longer they could have done something with this, but I assume the film is aimed at ten-year-olds with a short attention span.

Rip Torn and Tommy Lee Jones, also fine actors like Smith, but are limited by the script which doesn't give them much to work with. We've seen all these same expressions with MIB I.

The most memorable "actor" is the talking dog. Which tells you everything you need to know about how lame the script is and how shallow the characters are.

MIB II also goes right into shameless product placement with ads for actual products and brand names all over the place. They even got in a plug (or cameo) for Michael Jackson - who looks like more of a freak than the two-headed alien. And I wasn't impressed that much by the digital FX either on him. The alien, not Jackson. Michael always looks very weird and scary.

Anyway, it was a passable ninety with lots of effects. I saw it at a half price matinee and even then it was hardly worth it.


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