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Trite, predictable, yawn
Nothing to challenge the actors; nothing to think about...your own mortality, maybe, and the precious minutes you are wasting watching this. In fact, it's a wonder I'm spending times to write a minimum of 10 lines to ward you off. It reminded me of the old Hurcules (and other) cheesy Italian (?) reruns you'd see on TV... except in this one the lips were synced with what was being said (no language overdub). I found the 3-D to be well balanced with the content (not overdone). The female lead is beautiful, and the male lead is definitely buffed out. I guess if you're into fight scenes with major blood and gore, slow motion sections, and fairly good CGI, you may find some technical interest. I didn't find the film emotionally engaging or redeeming in any way, really. I guess I was hoping, to, for something that resonated more with history or myth. I don't think there was much going on here in terms of research. In retrospect, I wouldn't have gone to see it for free if I'd known how bad it was... the 6.6 (whatever) rating amazes me. My 4 is generous.
Finding Nemo (2003)
Not just for kids
I've seen this movie at least twice, parts of it four or five times...the humor resonates on all levels (not just age levels, but visual versus audio, double indentures. etc, and reflects realities of modern industrial family and existential experience; it's a simple but great story line (although, much of the entertainment is in a series of vignettes; characters you (well, sort of) care about; spectacular animation. The casting of actors doing the voices is about as good as it gets. One of the amazing things for me in watching this movie a second and third time was the subtleties in the facial expressions and these animated characters. I highly recommend this movie - even for people (such as myself) who don't normally care for animated films.
What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004)
Truth: stranger than fiction
The balance of comments, special effects and story work together in this film to make 111 minutes go by quite quickly. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in quantum physics, religion, philosophy, personal growth, or any combination of these. I'll be buying the DVD when it comes out to watch more than once and to share with special friends; thought provoking indeed! Entertaining as well. I'll also be reading more than one of the books by the principal commentators, as this is truly intriguing stuff. If you are looking for something that entertains while making you think, see it! If you are looking for an action movie or major drama, this may not be your cup of tea.
Open Range (2003)
I gave this an 8, more as a score within the genre than as a score for a film in general (which might have been closer to a 6). It's not Unforgiven, by any means, which I thought was a truly great Western. This has more the "fairy tale" Western quality and a happy and satisfying (if not highly plausible) ending. The directing and acting are excellent, but the writing suffers throughout, I think, both in some of the dialogue and the unfolding of the storyline. Very black and white characters and predicatable plot; but hey - like I said that's what we expect from Western's, and I was entertained.
In my all-time top 10
A delight! To laugh (hard and often), chuckle, well-up with tears, and be provoked to think about self, relationship, and the cultural/family contexts that shape these...all in one film - well, there are others that have done that for me but not made my "all-time top 10". If you haven't seen this, you are missing a major piece of work. It is so authentically human in the quirkiest, creative way. (Yes, I gave it a 10). See it. Don't wait.
Writing, acting, and direction were outstanding. I chuckled, laughed, brimmed with tears, during, and thought differently after this film. The character interaction captured so well the kinds of behavior one might see (but not necessarily expect) under such highly unusual circumstances. Midwest setting underscored the challenge and the humanity. HBO should release this to theaters next.
Fight Club (1999)
Punching through the fog of alienation in the land of packaged meat is no small challenge.
The talent that came together in this movie succeeds in delivering a powerful gut-punch that is both disturbing and affirming. Pitt and Norton are excellent as archetypes of a push/pull many of us feel- between comfortably numb and the stark reality of existence with all its terror and tender sweetness. What didn't come through enough, perhaps (delivered in a number of lines by Pitt but not shown as experience) was just how amplified the sweetness is once we embrace and accept the terror. A movie worth seeing twice, talking about, mulling over and, ultimately, acting on. But how to do that in an urban landscape, without the extremes of fight club, is a puzzle left to sort out alone. Blowing up buildings, of course, is a symptom of, not at solution to alienation. We must embrace our mortality - someone said you must die in some sense to understand your true self.