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James Cameron had better make sure he brings his A game!
Dear Mr. Cameron,
Mr Emmerich just raised the bar on what special-effects look like in terms of "reality", and by doing so has issued your AVATAR a direct challenge. My question is, can your film meet this challenge?
OK, it ain't a great movie. Does that really surprise you? Roland Emmerich's such non-classics as GODZILLA, INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, and the utterly turd-tastic 10,000 BC.
But, a lot of us bought tickets, so he got another chance ...
And this time, he hits a solid home run (though it may be an inside-the-park home run). Roland throws all he has learned about massive, earth-destroying special effects on the big screen and a large chunk of it sticks. There are several bravura sequences in this huge, HUGE film. Since the film is short on any real plot, and the acting does not go much further than the talented Chiwetel Ejiofor saying "oh my god" ominously (though, the humor brought by Oliver Platt, Woody Harrleson, and John Cusak is greatly appreciated). And let's face it, you didn't buy this ticket to see any acting ... if you did, you made a big blunder.
And finally, two other nice touches ... and here is my SPOILER (telling you what you WON'T see in this flick) ...
---------------------------- SPOILERS ---------------------------------- ---------------------------- SPOILERS ----------------------------------
1- You will NOT see any leftist "we-killed-the-earth" discussion here ... the cause of the problem is identified and, rather than pointing fingers (which is what we do in real life), these characters simply take action.
2- Citizens of NYC, you are spared. That's right, this may be the first film in many, MANY disaster films that does not show the destruction of The Big Apple. Mr. Emmerich actually shows filmmakers that there are other iconic monuments around the world that one can crush with massive special effects.
So, go see the film for what it is ... a really big, technically excellent ride of a film. If you want to see acting, buy a ticket for AN EDUCATION instead.
2 Stars for Mila's cleavage
My headline says it all ... the only reason to see the film is Mila Kunis' cleavage. Those hoping for a film even near the original in quality are going to be sorely saddened. So, I'm not going to spend more time on this film. And, you can probably get screen caps of her "cleavage scene" on the web for free, so stay away from this and save your money/time. My headline says it all ... the only reason to see the film is Mila Kunis' cleavage.My headline says it all ... the only reason to see the film is Mila Kunis' cleavage. My headline says it all ... the only reason to see the film is Mila Kunis' cleavage. My headline says it all ... the only reason to see the film is Mila Kunis' cleavage. Sorry for the repeats. 'Nuff said.
Training Day (2001)
Here's the deal. This movie SHOULD really get a 6 out of 10 from me (I gave it a seven). The problem? The script. The script is pretty good, but it has two major problems. The films these-types-of-cases-can't-go-to-court-type ending really cheapens the rest of the film. And then there is the vice that really gets Denzel Washington's character in trouble ... it just does not jive. Like Snoop Dogg smelling the scent of rookie cop on Ethan Hawke, Mr. Washington's vice smells of plot device (as opposed to character). Now, sure, lot's of films make this mistake but what makes it so grating here is that the film would have been really good without it. You see, Mr. Washington's character simply is too smart for this vice to be a character flaw. It just does not work, and with the easy out ending, it cheapens the whole effect of Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Anton Fuqua's work. A six out of ten knocked up to a barely passable 7 simply because I know that it is the script that betrays everyone else who worked on this film.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Naturally assumes its rightful place among the great sports films of our time. It can easily go punch for punch and hit for hit with ROCKY, THE NATURAL, or FIELD OF DREAMS. It is the classic story of the underdog beating all of the odds to succeed on his own terms. Sean Astin doesn't perform Rudy, he simply is Rudy, and on his shoulders we are carried along on a great ride (and on a second viewing, for fun, try to spot SWINGERS buddies Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau). A great sports movie, a great family movie, a great movie. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Lonesome Dove (1989)
TV History In The Making
Shows that sometimes that work done for the small screen sometimes surpasses that which is done for the big screen. It also shows that a well written script, with well thought out characters and an intelligent plot can draw even the biggest of movie stars to the small screen. This little tv western not only sports two Academy Award winners, but also Danny Glover, Steve Buscemi, Chris Cooper, and Angelica Houston. Add in Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, plus words by Larry McMurtry and you have something special. That something special is called "Lonesome Dove". Required viewing for all!
The Job (2001)
Not Supposed To Happen!
This type of show is not supposed to happen on television. This is the type of edginess usually reserved for independent film. This is what only HBO is supposed to do. Fact is that Denis Leary has managed to come up with one of the best television shows ever, easily joining the ranks of THE SOPRANOS, OZ, ED etc.. Kudos the gang at ABC for showing that NYPD Blue was not a fluke, and to Mr. Leary and his gang for creating a truly unique viewing experience. My only complaint is that the show is not long enough ... an hour would make it better, but I can't wait for the next episode!
This film should put Guy Pearce back on track ... he is astonishing here. There is not a single flaw with this amazing little film. True, the concept is a bit of a gimmick, but it is so well executed by the creators that it does not feel gimmicky the way most movies do. There is a sustained eerie feeling throughout as you never know exactly how long it has been since the central crime was committed (and there is a great reason for this). And Carrie-Ann Moss proves that a woman need not show everything in order to be completely and utterly enticing in a film. Kudos to all involved.
That Thing You Do! (1996)
There is something inherently infectious about movies, theater, and television that we see where we can tell that the cast is just having a great time. From CATS to SEX AND THE CITY, this shows. So, what do we get in THAT THING YOU DO? Well, it's slight, light, breezy and proud of it. Tom Hanks and his casting director have managed to find and draw surprisingly fun and energetic performances out of Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry, Liv Tyler, Rita Wilson, Tom Everett Scott, and Jonathan Schaech (sp? - burdened with playing the requiste moody and serious artiste')and out of Mr. Hanks himself. The supporting cast is great also. Light, breezy, smiling, bouncy, and energetic.
Maybe there is some kind of comfort in seeing two actors take their age in stride. Seeing Kris Kristofferson and the living legend Willie Nelson do this good a job in what is basically a made-for-cable (complete with Zalman King stalwart Joan Severance) film just brings a fat smile to my face. Kudos also to director Bill Bixby. Is this worth seeing? Definitely!!!
Boys and Girls (2000)
Boys + Girls Apparently Equals CRAP!
Pure drivel. Who would ever think that putting two mildly interesting lead actors and one hot leading lady in a movie would equal this piece of bull? There is no doubt in my mind that Freddie Prinze Jr. can act a little when given material to work from. Claire Forlani is in the same category. Jason Biggs proved in American Pie that he can really deliver when the material is there (and he is probably the only one who comes out unscathed from this debacle). One thing struck me as funny while watching this junk ... Freddie and Claire are seen walking in to (what I presume to be a double feature) showing of SIXTEEN CANDLES and THE BREAKFAST CLUB. While all three movies mine some of the same material, this film, BOYS AND GIRLS, is nowhere near the league of intelligent and funny films such as SIXTEEN CANDLES and THE BREAKFAST CLUB. One reviewer called this a WHEN HARRY MET SALLY for teens... that person must have seen another movie.