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|266 reviews in total|
Jurassic Park is an idea that will spawn a multitude of sequels, of varying quality. The second movie, "The Lost World" was pretty good (and I for one loved the ending), and the third is slightly better. We're back to the confines of Isla Sorna, Site B, and the ferocious Velociraptors and Tyrannosaurs, the cast is small and the action is pretty much constant. Fun for everybody. The idea to play around with a mobile phone is very clever. But why did they have to make this huge monster that bellows like Godzilla (and acts pretty much the same)? It doesn't look like a dinosaur. The T-Rex is a lot more effective ('cause everybody knows they existed).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The world is awash with awful police movies, and Sweden has contributed
to this fact. "Livvakterna" (The Bodyguards) is a fresh new attempt at the
Swedish police thriller, and actually succeeds. The victim of a Russian
mafia scam, Sven Persson (Fröler) is blackmailed by some mercenary ex-Stasi
super-criminal and his gang. When Persson refuses to pay up, well... you
know the drill. Nothing really revolutionary. Meanwhile, former police
investigator Johan Falk quits the force because he is ostracized by his
superiors (again, nothing new) and joins a team of bodyguards to back his
old pal Sven Persson up against the mafia gang.
No new twists and turns, the same old story. Then why is it good? Well, the characters are believable, the performances are good, and there is something different about Swedish action-thriller flicks. This one is far more violent than most, but is still kept at a fairly decent level, no tremendous explosions and stuff, just plain shooting, car chasing through the Swedish forest (very nice) and then shooting some more before the quite exciting finale. Of course, in line with tradition, there's a lot of looking confused, grim, confused again and then very, very dedicated before the good guys win (oh, gimme a break, that's not a spoiler).
Performances are fine, except for maybe Alexandra Rapaport who should just stay away from this kind of film for she is clearly not cut out for it. The action itself is believable and even cool at some points. So, all in all, a good action movie. And Swedish at that.
A movie that gets the amount of attention that "Bridget Jone's Diary" has
received is thought to have some deeper point to it, but pretty much like
"Notting Hill" or "Four Weddings...", this one is very, very enjoyable
without actually having one. I'm not saying that it is completely
- I'm saying that the diary of Bridget Jones really doesn't reveal
revolutionary or cast any new light on men vs. women. Some men are
most are not. Some women are degraded gold diggers, most are not. Most
people are just like Bridget Jones - willing, kind and really low in the
confidence department. Therefore, all the fuss about this being such an
"insight" is bull. In the end Bridget Jones just wants stability, love and
calm and shies away, quite rightly, from sleazy s.o.b. men like her boss
It is a very funny movie though - not quite in the caliber of "Notting Hill", but still a good laugh. The acting is impeccable (with that cast it would be impossible to miss), Zellweger, Grant and Firth are all enjoying their respective roles so clearly, some of their good mood spills over the brim.
The third APES movie is better than the second (almost anything would be),
but lags behind the first one a great deal, to nobody's surprise. It is
witty but painfully slow - the escape of Cornelius and Dr. Zira from the
doomed future Earth lands them right smack in the 70's, where they are
greeted with surprise and fear. The films borders on ridiculous at some
points, but some echoes from the 1980 "Elephant Man" by David Lynch can be
detected, suggesting Mr Lynch took a good look at this one before the making
of that fantastic movie.
Slowly the film degenerates and just seems to end without any adequate point having been made, and as it gets slower and slower towards the end, it gets hard to understand the need for making it. But the initial surprise and the human reactions are still enjoyable.
The second movie in the saga is by an extremely wide margin the very worst
of them - it is actually completely awful in itself, let alone as a sequel
to the great first APE movie.
Most of the story is a heavy-handed commentary on religion, war and the use of nuclear weapons - the dialogue is so pompous and the idea so pretentious that most of the acting seems more fit for the stage rather than the screen. The ending is disastrous, actually making the entire point of the film meaningless.
A great sci-fi-classic, almost legendary in proportions - and it's easy to see why. Serious sci-fi movies very often speak to its viewers, commenting on the world and society. The setting is very different and the ending is just fantastic. An amazing movie with a lot of facets. Arguably, while the effects and makeup seem a bit stiff and 1960-ish (what else?) nowadays, the performances, the story and the compelling scope of this film makes one forget in instantly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
No matter what can be said about the remaking of classic films, "Planet of the Apes" makes for the best of them. This can be attributed to not being very much like the original since only some basic premises and plot lines are the same. And being so lush with fantastic scenery, great makeup and effects, the 2001 edition is much more exciting to watch, despite being a little less concerned with afterthought. Tim Burton is a favorite of mine. His dreamscapes are sometimes a tad lacking in the meaning department, but they are always resplendent with true artistic ambitions. "Planet of the Apes" is no exception.
One could argue about some of the differences from the first movie of 1968. A major one is making humans able to speak, which can be seen as a weak spot. Though helping Leo Davidson (Wahlberg) considerably, this "new" feature makes some of the philosophizing somewhat dimmer - the apes ask themselves whether humans have souls. But would one actually argue that a being that is able to form its own thougts and speak them would not have one? I wonder. On the other hand, since Davidson is responsible for the entire future scenario on this planet of apes, ancient grudges can make the apes selective in their thinking: humans tortured them for so long. Philosophic arguments might not go a long way with them.
Humor is an important ingredient in the new "Planet of the Apes". While the original is sternly sober and not very witty at all (Heston's grim look is heavy to bear), this one flirts quite handsomely with human characteristics transferred to apes. Very funny and Burton-esque. I also appreciate the careful depiction of the apes movements and behavior. While clearly developed beyond their ancestors, the apes still retain a great deal of "monkey" characteristics - growling, aggressiveness and jumping around rather than walking. The original "Planet of the Apes" had the monkeys walking around much like ordinary humans, which flattened some of the impact.
Still, it is unnecessary to compare them in other respects, since the new one is not really a remake and not really a sequel either. I for one welcome it. It doesn't contain the same degree of commentary on humanity that the 1968 movie did, but that one is not anywhere near as spectacular. A good job. I bow my head to Tim Burton and his crew.
Some parts very funny, some parts just ordinary homegrown American all-that-is-vaguely-taboo-is-fun (hence the ass-poking scenes), some grossness thrown in and, last but surely not least, a famous actor well-known for his TV-series to which some jokes can be directed. "Evolution" is a bit strange, a combination of fun and not so fun that just doesn't really land very well and that has an extremely silly ending. Stupid characters and some redundant along with a dimwit script (I mean the periodic table deal, what the hell is THAT!?) - but sometimes it manages to be very funny. I have a soft spot for Duchovny, so lets hope he finds better movies after this one.
Critics have been eager to berate this film, which is understandable.
Filmmakers have to be very careful when taking on a historic event of this
magnitude. The reason for the success of "Titanic" was that, beyond a
somewhat lowbrow script and mushy love story, great care was taken to depict
in detail just what the great ship Titanic was all about. The legend of
Titanic was treated with respect (if not augmented). "Pearl Harbor" lacks a
great deal of historic insight and care for details.
There are two major flaws with this film. The first, and most important one, is the love story itself. Dizzy with the immense success of "Titanic" amongst the young communities, the makers saw their chance to make big money in a grand love story set in an event of legendary proportions. The story feels really added-on, though, the attack and the ensuing retaliation effort (I will get to THAT part later) suddenly strip the story of its heart and soul. Furthermore, the characters are one-dimensional - despite fine acting by all parties - and one is never really given a chance to connect to them in any way.
The second major flaw is the entire last hour of the film. It seems to be (and probably was) added to the script just to educate the world that the USA always wins, no matter what. The fact that the attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most astounding military successes of all time is downgraded by the need to emphasize on US greatness. A suicide mission to drop a few pathetic bombs on a factory in Tokyo didn't really deter the Japanese from continuing their massive offensive in South East Asia. It is an unnecessary part, and the movie becomes terribly overlong.
What, then, makes it okay? Well, obviously the attack itself is depicted with incredible force and with a great feeling for drama and action (which Bruckheimer-Bay team is no stranger to), some of the scenes are just awesome. The aerial battles are also very well envisioned - even though no American planes took to the sky during the battle. The acting is pretty good, not bringing a lame script to life like DiCaprio and Winslet did in "Titanic", but nonetheless helps keeping it afloat. I also appreciate the fact that the Japanese were not depicted as cruel, insane killers who just attacked for fun. From their perspective, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the only sensible thing to do in order to keep their aggressive expansionist politics intact. I'm not defending it in any way - I'm just stating the facts.
So quite why the critics have to massively downgrade this movie, I don't really understand. It's very far from being the grand historic spectacle it could have been - it is merely entertaining - and it doesn't bring any new light to the actual event. Ultimately, it isn't the kind of film that I will remember with any clarity. It's just fiction. As such, it works pretty well.
It's funny how scary ordinary life can be - even though Close's character
nowhere near normal, she sure is believable, and that makes it a lot more
frightening. This is a good story that from a rather innocent (no pun
intended) start gets really chilly after a little while.
It's well worth watching.
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