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The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
First viewing... thoughts may change. Probably not though.
Well, here we are - 5 years after the first Matrix and onto the third film - and I'm frankly underwhelmed, disappointed even.
I watched all three movies, one immediately after the other. The first two naturally having been watched many times in the past, and the third watched for the first time tonight.
And, well, ahh, meh etc. If you've read previous reviews here on IMDB then to the most extent you know what to expect; a neat yet unsatisfying conclusion to what began as a stunning premise. You'll get some guns, some kung fu and some stunning visuals... this time though it's seemingly *ALL* CGI, all fake, all lifeless and so really why bother? Where's the story? The Revoltution?
If you've been avoiding reading reviews of Matrix:Revolutions just in case a terrible spolier hits you, well don't worry - it won't. There's no great revelation, no reason and purpose.
This movie is set for one thing.
4 out out 10.
Gangs of New York (2002)
Felt like a TV miniseries.
Perhaps unfairly I was kind of indifferent to seeing GONY mainly due to the surprising cast choices that was headlining, and it seems my fears had merit. Sure Liam's the man, tall and stricking and so obviously suited to being an Irish leader in a strange land, but (Spoiler herein) he's in it for all of ten minutes. Yup. That leaves us with the marvellous Day-Lewis who again is perfectly placed to his role, but this movie is about scores of characters - gangs - and not just one man. Unfathomably, DiCaprio is exactly the same character as his Titanic counterpart - I swear he's even wearing the same costume. Sure he throws us a little irish twang but other than that it's Jack Dawson through and through. I'm surprised he didn't teach Diaz to spit. Speaking of Mz Diaz - urgh, how does she get work? It's certainly not by expanding her character roles. If Daniel Day-Lewis' acting range goes from A to Z then Cameron Diaz's goes from A to A. And A's not that great in the first place. So yes, I wasn't thrilled with the cast.
But what of the story, the direction, the sets? Well story-wise it's all by the numbers; no surprises and no major twists, turns or great moments that enable the viewer to feel the road is leading somewhere. It's a long drawn out straight-line which left me zero ability to share any sort of affinity with the characters or their lives. They seem to be 'playing' at life and despite the ultra gore in places I still felt everything was nice and safe. With a few cuts for content it could be edited to three neat little one hour specials and shown on network TV. Fisher-price filmaking.
The set (after all there really is only one major set) is stunning albeit a little clean, but hey - send me a postcard of it and I'll save three hours of my life.
For a movie entrenched in the dark era of 19th century New York I expected something grittier, wittier and not so prettier.
Changing Lanes (2002)
Instantly forgetable snooze-fest
Sheesh, maybe I set my sights too high these days but I honestly expected more from this movie given the actors involved. The premise had promise but the execution, dialogue and plot stank, and the movie darted from boring to tedious and back with a tiresome, predictable regularity.
After an hour of nothing happening... something happened! I fell asleep - thank god. 2 out of 10.
The Tuxedo (2002)
Owww my head...
Oh dear... After years of pleading with the American people to take JC to superstardom we do he brings this? THIS? The worst Jackie Chan movie to date, and it was up against some pretty stiff dross that he's made recently. Jackie me old mucka - we loved your original stuff; it had heart and extraordinary bravery coupled with amazing martial arts sequences. Your last few movies have been at best mediocre though and this is just eye-manure. One last thing - wires. Don't use them mate they make you look crap. Avoid - 3/10 out of pity for Jackie.
Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
Fun, fun... trails a little... then more fun!
Anyone who's seen The dubbed martial arts sequence in Wayne's World 2 will instantly appreciate where this style is from - cross that concept with every other dubbed comedy where footage from another movie is used, and you have a pretty darn funny flick in the shape of Kung Pow. In fact the first 20 minutes or so had me in tears almost choking on my ale. Sure it lags in the middle and Steve O's voice (all the voices are performed by him) are a little grating at times, especially the falsetto wee-ooo-eee whoeeech bint, but if you've got some time and fancy switching off yer noggin for 80 or so minutes I guarantee this should muster a good few laughs. The rating is surprisingly low for this movie and I do recommend giving it a rent at least.
A blast on every level
Utterly fab movie that, like wine, improves with every swig. Much like Pulp Fiction, this movie draws you in and in... and then, just as you're at the money shot, you're torn from the moment and transported back through time to where you were 30 or so minutes ago... except this time you're viewing another character's life experiencing the same events. After several radically diverse trips down the now familiar lane it all blends together and then this movie delivers a perfect tie-twist punch. Worth a rental? Nahh - worth a purchase!
Ermm, oh... not good
Firstly, I don't really have a *huge* problem with the movie per se, more the abundant praise rained on it here and elsewhere. Sure it's nice to escape the manipulative Hollywood sacharin of "Pay It Forward" and friends into the realistic quasi-intelligent pastures offered up by Traffic, but gritty grime alone does not a good movie make. This is a busy film with lots flitting in and out by scores of similar characters seemingly not doing much. Brief scenes dart from one part of the country to another relieve the boredom but I walked away fully aware of the fact that I hadn't enjoyed the last 150 minutes at all. None of the characters are developed beyond their pop-up introduction and they may as well have tattooed 'bad guy', 'corrupt policeman', 'dea wife' etc onto the actors' heads. Ultimately my biggest issue with Traffic was that I simply didn't feel anything about a single one of these people; they could have all died or got married or flown into space for all I cared, and frankly I wish they had. It would have at least offered some entertainment value that this docu-wood rendition of a Mexican edition of 'Cops' failed to deliver - the movie didn't move me. Avoid.
Jackie Chan: My Stunts (1999)
Let me preface by saying I'm a huge JC fan. With that out of the way it's fair to note that I was expecting a lot from this DVD of his incredible stunts... but I felt cheated. Sure there's several great clips of his most famous moves - but there's also huge amounts of yapping and surprisingly boring recreations. I wanted to see the outtakes of his stunts, the rushes not used, the top 10 most dangerous, most complex et al. Instead I got to endure night-schoolesque classroom workshops on do-it-yourself fight scenes, albeit JC style. If you can, I recommend simply recording his best scenes directly off-air onto a home-made compilation tape. "My Stunts" is worth a rental but I'll bet your finger will not stay too far from the fast-forward on the second viewing. Shame.
I didn't really want to bother commenting on this stinker - but seeing how the current set of votes park the movie in an almost 'must see' bracket I have to interject. So, deep breath... What on earth were they thinking? By 'they' I mean everyone who was involved in this turgid nonsense. Sure it has some reasonable social commentary, but it's all wrapped up in an absurdly, childish premise combined with quite the worst performance I think I've seen from an established, confident actor. He raps? Craps more like. It's so bad I wouldn't know where to begin, so here's a summary of the pluses and minuses - Pluses... um... it's in color... okay, minuses... it's a boring, nonsensical, badly directed, amateurishly edited, unbelievably mediocre, rambling, story-less, glowingly foolish waste of time and money (i.e. yours). It's so god-awful that if this movie were to step in dog pooh, the pooh would wipe IT off it's shoe. Please believe me when I say you MUST avoid this rubbish.
South Park (1998)
An dull waste of time and money
PC VERSION: For me, this video game had a lot going for it; I've been enjoying the TV series for some time and I loved the recent movie, plus this game is a first-person-shooter - a particular favourite game type of mine. So I should have been all set to thoroughly enjoy the antics of Comedy Central's animated fab four. Unfortunately, the programmers singularly failed to capture any of the South Park magic. There's no story per se - you simply wander around shooting turkey after turkey (or any one of the few tedious 'bad guys') using a variety of orignal yet boring weapons - actually you may as well use the infinite snowballs as the game is just so easy. Occasionally you'll meet a larger 'boss' who's predictably easy and mind-numbingly tiresome to kill, and then it's onto the next uninspiring, graphically identical level. Sure, the eye candy is extremely true to the SP series and the leap into 3D is a pleasing one... but once you load up the game and play for a few minutes you realise that the game is a hurried, repetitive waste of time that leaves you feeling very conned. Quite how this game got released is beyond me! Did Matt and Trey ever play it? What an apalling use of such a fantastic license. Respect my authorat-a and AVOID!