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The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Erin Bana and Jennifer Connelly were not the reason why the 1st Hulk film bombed. That was Ang Lee's fault; he should stick to other things. Although, I must admit Edward Norton and Liv Tyler are much better actors and a refreshing change for "The Incredible Hulk". Louis Leterrier is a relatively unknown director with very few films, but he knows a little something about action. Leterrier also director "The Transporter" and "The Transporter II." Marvel comic films thrive from great action.
Doc Sampson (Ty Burrell) Gen. Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) were all great cameos for Hulk Comic Fans. Also the appearance of Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) indicates Hulk villain "The Leader" might be a future Hulk sequel. Tony Stark's comments open the gateway for an Avengers Film.
The film itself is filled with great action sequences. The computer created battle between Tim Roth's Abomination and Edward Norton's Hulk, was in my opinion, one of the greatest fight sequences ever filmed. High marks for helping regain hope for future Hulk films.
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Losing It's Touch
Trying to scare up some laughs for the 4th time is getting to be tricky. If you have seen the trailer for this film, then you have seen almost all the good stuff. There were a few laughs but the film cannot hold a candle to its predecessors. The cameos were nice (Shaq, Dr. Phil and Charlie Sheen) and its ability to draw from many other popular films as it has done before really helps in getting the laughs. SAW, WAR OF THE WORLDS, AND BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN are only a few of the films spoofed for Scary Movie 4. Big fans of the franchise will not want to miss this one, but don't expect as much. Despite its fall from grace, I would encourage another installment, if only to show it can still bring in the laughs.
The Mating Call (1928)
Compelling to the End
Another treasure released from the achieves and shown on TCM. This is a gem and a silent picture that you will not want to miss. Now that it has premiered for the first time on television since its theatrical release in 1928 it will likely been shown many more times, but that of course is up to TCM and/or the owners of the film.
Thomas Meighan plays (Leslie Hatton) a farmer who returned from war to find his marriage to (Rose Henderson) played by Evelyn Brent had been annulled by her parents. She however eventually marries another man, but one who is unfaithful to her. In her desperate situation she tries to seduce Leslie to have an affair with her, but he has lost all interest in her and her lack of moral character.
He eventually decides to find an immigrant wife by going to Ellis Island and finds a young woman who agrees to marry him in exchange for taking her and her parents into the country under his care and responsibility. Problems arise however when Rose's persistence puts Leslie in a bad situation with a black mask group known as "The Order" who think they are the judge, jury and punishers of moral issues in their town.
Two Arabian Knights (1927)
TCM came through by acquiring this wonderful, silent, comedy/drama for television. Until recently it had been locked away in an achieve somewhere. It premiered on TV for the 1st time since its theatrical release in 1927. Two Americans fighting in World War I (William Boyd and Louis Wolheim) are hiding in a defensive position with German soldiers advancing. They however are fighting with each other and working the nerve of one-an-other. They of course are caught, but after an inventive escape they are taken on a whirlwind adventure in Arabia, with all the humor you might find in an Abbott and Costello movie. Very funny and sometimes even touching. A great silent picture and winner of an Academy Award for "Best Comedy Direction". Directed by Lewis Milestone.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The Power of the Sun in the Palm of His Hand
I believe that is the way Sam Raimi, must feel after witnessing the success of this movie in it's first few days.
Since I was old enough to go to the movies by myself, I have never seen a film twice in the theater. I mean it's expensive $8 bucks for the film and then $10 more for soda and popcorn, but that all changed today. Some 20 years later I have found myself in a strange position, I have returned to the theater only a few days after watching the Midnight Screening to see this astonishing film again. I paid without feeling like I had wasted my money. I hope to return once more for a 3rd time. It is simply that good. Worth every penny.
I don't know if Tobey Maguire or Kirsten Dunst turned in Oscar winning performances, but that's not why I went to see Spider-Man. The film was delivered in pure comic book form. Although you do not need to be a Spider-Man comic book fan to love this film it helps if you want to follow some of the inside jokes and why some dialog may sound familiar from old issue of Spider-Man.
The film is graced by a great many things, fantastic special effects without over doing it, astounding performances from the entire cast, the right amount of comic relief to get you past the more somber moments, a super evil villain to set the pace and last but not least the beautiful and talented Kirsten Dunst who can keep your attention all by herself.
It is not surprising that both men and women will love this film. Guys and kids will flock to see the greatest superhero ever swing through the best superhero movie ever, while women will surely enjoy the love story and moments that will bring a tear to ones eye. The only thing that was bad about this film is that it set the stakes to high and may be impossible to follow up this film with another squeal of equal or greater appreciation, I mean this truly is a hard act to follow. I have given a score of ten out of ten to movies that I can count on one hand from over 1400+ I have rated, but their is no doubt that this film gets that rating as well.
In short this is the best film of 2004 and I doubt anything else will even come close.
The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
Frankenstein more frightening than Frankenstein's Monster
If you try to compare this remake to the original, it will of course fall short as most recreated films do, but this feature is still very good for a late night scare. The biggest difference between this and the original is Victor Von Frankenstein is practically more frightening than the monster himself. He is a cold blooded, emotionless character, who uses Frankenstein as his personal executioner. He is also intelligent and careful to tie up loose ends. Great Halloween time film. No need to worry about watching it alone, but a fine flick with some exceptional acting to boot.
Sinful Temptations (2001)
It was a Sin to sit through this movie
No acting ability, a predictable plot a horribly bad film. It looks like they picked up a bunch of fair looking people off the street to get naked in front of a camera. 95% of the cast got nude at some point during the film some more often than others and this went on throughout the entire film. Too weak for Porn and to strong to be taken seriously. Don't waste you time unless you just want to see a bunch of T&A.
Spectacular Spider-Man Movie
A few liberties were taken with the origin of the web slinging hero, but a dated character will need a little help making it in today's world. This created a modern day Spider-Man that took block-buster to a whole new level, shattering box office records in it's opening week. Adults and kids alike could finally experience a big screen adventure with Spider-Man. He's a character that's been in comic books for decades. It even crossed gender lines as many girls flocked to the theater, perhaps because of the kookie little love story. Spider-Man's CO-creator Stan Lee had a cameo in the film. The special effects were great and the action was almost nonstop. Don't analyze the movie just enjoy it. Millions of dollars in sales can't be wrong. Lets hope the sequels turn out to be half as good.
Superman and Batman were products of DC Comics, Marvels biggest competitor. Did anyone notice that only the 1st Superman and 1st Batman films were really big hits and their sequels all were huge disappointments? Hopefully this curse will not befall the Amazing Spider-Man. Spidey has a few things going for him though. First of all he is Marvel's flagship character and not to take anything away from DC, but Marvel super villains have always been a whole lot cooler. Second advances in special effects can do almost anything today so we can expect to see spidey do a lot of really neat stuff. Finally Tobey McGuire actually looks like Peter Parker making him a perfect fit. Batman suffered changes in 3 lead actors throughout 4 movies which got consistently worse and none resembled Bruce Wayne the man behind the mask.
Spider-Man appears on the screen exactly the way you would expect him to be in the comics. They captured that image perfectly. The liberties I already mentioned, work a lot better in an updated version recreated for the BIG screen. This must be Marvel's decade as we await more super powered action flicks such as, The Incredible Hulk, X-2 and sequels to Spider-Man. Keeping comics cool with movies is a great way to enjoy your favorite childhood super-heroes all over again!
Film about doomed ocean liner attracts the masses
What can be said about `Titanic' that hasn't already been said? Seriously who hasn't seen it? Well if your one of the few and you finally decided to take the uhmm . Splash (pun intended) there are a few rules you need to remember. First, give yourself time for an intermission the film is quite long. Second, the film caters to all people. There is a love story for the pre-teen girls and for hopeful romantics (generally women) and for us guys there are some cool special effects in one of the most intense disaster films ever made. The final rule, sit back and enjoy.
Working with a `Titanic' budget James Cameron (director) put this gem together and created this intriguing story. Obviously the fate of the doomed ocean liner is true, but the fictitious love story is thrown in to attract more viewers. Warning there is a brief, but tastefully done nude scene and parental guidance is suggested. Also the illustrations of death and dying in the later parts of the film may be a bit too much for younger viewers. Now aside from that, I mean honestly, what more convincing do you need? The film earned over a billion dollars worldwide and scored a number of Oscars including best director and best picture.
Action Packed Fun
The greatest comic book of all time is transformed into a very well made film. Incredible special effects and a great cast make this a must see film. You do not need to be a comic book or X-Men fan to enjoy this action packed block buster, but you may enjoy it more if you are a fan. The film does not have the best acting in the world, but action films aren't necessarily made for superb acting. Still there were a few performances worthy of mentioning. Patrick Stewart better known for his "Star Trek: The Next Generation" role is one of the better performances. In this film he plays Professor X the leader of a school for gifted children. Film veteran Ian McKellen turns in the best performance of the bunch. He plays the powerful revenge seeking mutant Magneto. Coincidentally both Stewart and McKellen are English and about the same age. Stewart enjoyed a birthday the day before the "X-Men" premiere.
Australian born actor Hugh Jackman has his hands full playing the X-Men's principal character Wolverine. He appears to be a good casting choice despite the fact that the comic version Wolverine has a stronger build and has a Canadian accent. Oscar winning actress Anna Paquin plays the character known as Rogue, but she suffers from the same problems as Wolverine, she is supposed to have an accent. In her case that of a southern belle, but she is observed only a few times actually trying to muster one. However aside from the few flaws the film is really sensational. You get to see three beautiful and talented ladies Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
Look for Ray Park's particularly entertaining role as the otherwise disgusting mutant called Toad. The best costume of the bunch would go to Tyler Mane's character Sabretooth whom most closely resembles his comic book counterpart. Halle Berry's costume would follow a close second.
The film is about two groups of mutants living in a world were they are not wanted. One group focuses there unique individual powers on bettering themselves and one day protecting those who do not trust them. The others are revenge seeking mutants and want to wage war on humanity because of their differences. It will take mutants against mutants in order to save humanity.