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A poor endeavor
Jackson and company took such great pains to remain true to the books in their rendition of The Lord of the Rings, but apparently had no such attachment to The Hobbit. Making The Lord of the Rings (aka the Trilogy) as 3 films was a no-brainer, since it encompasses 3 books in most printed versions. The Hobbit is, in contrast, a single book, yet they're milking the project for every penny by stretching it out (and BORINGLY SO) to 3 films. The first half of this film is a complete snorer! Far, far too long with no action other than a bit of a food fight in Bag End. Next, while the Trilogy had lovable characters in Aragorn, who is noble, yet humble. The 4 hobbits in that film were all well-developed character-wise and thus became popular due to their love of the hero, Frodo, brave but reluctant. In this film, we're supposed to love a batch of dwarfs who are coarse, boisterous, and only after gold. There is nothing noble in their quest at all. Richard Taylor and company did a great job again with the props and the weapons, but I thought the animation, particularly some of the digital work, was below the standard set by the Trilogy. Once the pace picked up, the action picked up as well, with lots of fighting. Unfortunately, I found some of the fights to be too kung-fu movie like. Some of the falls, such as the fall of the bridge in the Goblins lair, would have definitely killed any living thing, yet the dwarfs all hop up and start fighting again without so much as a groan. Too many characters who shouldn't be in The Hobbit appear, I think to stretch the films length and because they were popular in the Trilogy. I was very disappointed in this film. I'm not certain I'll even bother with the next 2, but I probably will since I'm a huge Tolkien fan. But I won't spend any of my money to see it in a theater. I'll wait for the DVDs to come out.
May contain spoilers
Mark Wahlberg stars in yet another action flick.Ho hum, you say. But fasten your seat belts and hang on. This film will keep the viewer guessing what's coming next. There are plot twists and turn enough to satisfy anyone. There is a bit of romance with a very awesome lady (naturally!) And, if you want pyrotechnics, they're in this film in abundance. The action is nearly constant, and I was never tempted to watch something else. Once you start this film, you're in it until the end. I didn't see any plot holes, so I believe the script and screenplay were well-written. Acting and direction were great. Special effects (the aforementioned pyrotechnics, especially) were well-done as well. All in all, it's a sort of mindless entertainment action film, but this one stands above most, I think.
SPOILERS for a stinker of a movie
sci-fi meets world war 2 hardware flick. After defeating several modern us and Japanese warships, aliens threaten to wipe out Earth. the museum ship USS Missouri is humankind's last chance to defeat the aliens. the entire premise is completely preposterous. first, there's probably no fuel aboard the ship. second, there would be no live ordnance aboard the ship. third, the boilers have been cold for over a decade...they'd blow up if pressurized now. fourth, the fire control is old, world war 2 analog stuff...not accurate at all by today's standards. the acting is fair at best, the story laughable. I got this out of the $5 bin at wally world, so I'm not out much as far as money goes. it was, however, pretty much a total waste of a couple hours of my life. the special effects are overall pretty decently done, but not spectacular. i'm so not a fan of this film and I'm a huge navy movie fan, being a navy vet. drivel. tripe. junk. rot. whatever you want to call it. don't bother.
Transporter 2 (2005)
Because the first film was half decent, I watched this drivel. The stunts are typical Hong Kong kung fu crap. The car stunts are, simply, impossible. The acting is fair in most characters. But the story is so poor that even decent acting can't carry it. The bad chick with the dual machine guns should have run out of ammo at least 2-3 times in the doctor's office sequence. There are several fight scenes with our hero against multiple takers. The bad guys come at him so obviously one at a time while the others do an obvious and really bad job of staying back until it's their turn to get hammered by Mr. Driver. I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone unless there is no other film available. And even then, it might very well be better to just read a good book instead of watching this worthless junk. I will not bother with Transporter 3. And you just know there'll be one.
A swashbuckling tale
This is a fabulous film in all respects. The actors are all and I mean ALL absolutely spot on with their performances. Russell Crowe, in particular, plays the part of the Captain perfectly, with just the right mix of the stern mixed with a good sense of humor. Paul Bettany, one of the worlds' most underrated actors, interplays perfectly as the ships' surgeon with Crowes' Captain. I'm not much of a sailor (especially when dealing with a huge ship), but all the seamanship type work was all done very realistically. Action? You want action? PLENTY! They're chasing a French privateer during the Napoleonic wars and they end up slugging it out very realistically, with splintered wood flying everywhere. There's close quarters fighting as well after boarding the enemy ship. Men were men back then! A very enjoyable action thriller!
Main character miscast
Yes. Tom Cruise was miscast in this film. The story of the Valkyrie plot against Hitler has been told many times and there's pretty much no derivation from the actual events in this film. The problem arises with the casting of Tom Cruise. He simply did not or could not carry the powerful character of Claus Von Stauffenberg and the entire film suffered from it. Everyone else in the film did a creditable job and thus the film doesn't actually venture into the "bad" category, but it's close. I was expecting a powerful performance from Cruise but it just isn't there in this case. Heck, Cruise even bears a slight resemblance to Von Stauffenberg. Overall, I was quite disappointed in what should have been a good film. Perhaps others will see it differently, but I'd skip it if reruns of nearly anything else were on TV.
Very well done WW1 film
I've seen some grousing about the fact that the characters in the film are all composites of several of the real American airmen. They tell us in the very beginning that the film is BASED ON facts, not that it's actually totally factual. I found the film to be an excellent quasi- historical film. The training of the pilots, their quarters, the aerial combat sequences were all very realistic, I thought. Yes, some of the aircraft were computer generated, but it's difficult to gather many actual aircraft of that era together to use in the film - there simply aren't that many flying anymore. The only thing that really hit me as not being true was the fact that nearly all the German aircraft shown in the film were the triple winged ones. They were never the only aircraft in the Luftwaffe and only about 300 were built. It was much slower than many other fighters of it's day, but more agile. I'm sure the filmmakers chose to use them because they're somewhat "iconic" of WW1 German fighter aircraft. In fact, most German aircraft were biplanes. But that's my only complaint. I found the acting, direction and cinematography were very good, editing was very good also. So the execution of the film was very good. There are some great films about WW1 out there and I think this film belongs with them
Red Tails (2012)
Underrated by most people
It IS difficult to review this film and NOT compare it with Tuskegee Airmen, but, without that comparison, I think this is a pretty decent film. The film is actually about the same group of airmen, facing the same odds and the same discrimination. But the approach to making this film is different and that's why it should be considered as a separate work. I have seen both films and I enjoyed each about the same as the other. It's good to see a subject from different perspectives sometimes. Occasionally, one film will actually help you understand the other. So I consider this film and Tuskegee Airmen to be complimentary to each other. The acting, direction, cinematography and editing are all very well done. I'd recommend watching both these films back-to-back or on successive evenings. You'll see what I mean.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
WOW - what an action film!
To say this film is a good film is to completely understate how good it really is. The basic plot has been reviewed by dozens of reviewers before me, so I'll not bother to wear my fingers out typing it again. I think that the best sequence in the film is the somewhat long one in the bar when the SS officer joins the commandos. You just know that "it's" going to hit the fan any minute. It was drawn out just long enough to generate real tension yet not too long that the film drags. However, my favorite part was actually near the end, when the cooperative German officer gets his "punishment". Poetic, I'd call it. A great action yarn that will keep you entertained and that's a fact!
War Horse (2011)
An absolutely stunning film
I'm not a 'horse person', but I think horses are noble, beautiful animals. The story is ultimately one of the bond between a young man and a horse, separated by World War 1. There's a well-written story line behind the war action sequences and the cinematography is excellent. The cast all did their jobs admirably and the direction is very good. Edited well, the film has a very good flow and there's pretty much not anything to complain about (which, for me, is somewhat rare!). There's enough suspense to keep the viewer engaged, yet one just knows that young man and horse will ultimately find one another just as they need each other the most. This was an altogether completely enjoyable film and I believe that almost anyone would like it.