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65 reviews in total 
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Astonishing! A dazzling masterpiece!, 19 December 2002

"The Two Towers" is every bit as good as "The Fellowship of the Ring". Why? Because it is pretty much the same movie. Stylistically, the movie hasn't changed from last year, and that's a good thing. It is just a continuation of the classic story, now with more characters and action, but the heart and purpose the same. People who didn't see last year's film are going to be hopelessly confused. Go rent it! The new characters in the film are truly great. Bernard Hill was wonderful as Theoden. Brad Dourif was simply a marvel to watch, and Miranda Otto was great too. Gollum is going down in cinema history as being the most realistic computer creation ever. The filmmakers could not have done a better job. I was stunned and shocked at how glorious he was. Andy Serkis is a genius. The Ents are also smashing. In the beginning they are the definition of cool, in the end they are the definition of killing machines. Quite something to behold, indeed! Like last year, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellan, and Viggo Mortensen are terrific, as well as the rest of the cast. Shore has a sure score again in this one. There are also many simple and beautiful visual touches that add a lot of cinematographic artistic dimension to the piece. Of course the movie does have flaws. Much is lost from the book, the result being that the movie feels extremely unresolved. There just seems to be too much Peter Jackson is going to have to squeeze in for "The Return of the King" next year. Also, there are many things that happen in the film that don't happen in the book at all. Some are really cool, and some are completely unnecessary. But still, overall, these are shaping up to be the movies of the century. These films are so good, they are positively going to stand the test of time. Keep up the good work, Peter! I'm breathless. 10/10

Signs (2002)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pure cinematic terror and fun!, 30 August 2002

Shyamalan has done it again, this time with "Signs", and I consider it to be his best effort. This undertaking proves to be much more entertaining than his other two endeavors, "The Sixth Sense", and "Unbreakable". And although I loved these two films, "Signs" surpasses them immeasurably. The basic plot is that a family living on a farm discover crop circles in their fields, the first of many bizarre occurances. Like a good episode of "The Twilight Zone", the movie keeps the ambiguity flowing dramatically throughout. Mel Gibson is fantastic. The actor plays a man who seems always together, even when fantastic things are happening all around him. Joaquin Phoenix is good too. He is sort of where most of the comic relief comes from in the movie. That is another thing about the movie: it is very funny. Typically, movies that try to be funny AND scary end up being a big mess. "Signs" is genuinely hilarious. But then it will turn around and be absolutely horrifying and sometimes disturbing. It succeeds. Many have complained about the film's religious undertones overwhelming the sci-fi premise. This simply is not true. The two themes go hand-in-hand with eachother as one story. Shyamalan has eased a bit off the artsy camera angles, something I kind of miss. The dialogue and characters are more realistic in "Signs", and therefore makes your feelings for the people much stronger. Howard's music is not very versatile, but he has many variations of the theme and it is very effective and makes the movie even creepier. "Signs" is probably the most pop-culture-friendly Shyamalan movie, but considering how good this one turned out, maybe the other two needed some of that. I loved this movie. Everything about it was lovely and entertaining. Heck, even the kids were excellent! I can't wait for M. Night's next project to crop up! 10/10

Memento (2000)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One of the most ingenious films ever devised!, 26 May 2002

Christopher Nolan's "Memento" anything but mediocre. It is the most beautiful, poetic, and strangely told thriller I've ever come across. Some people are probably not going to like "Memento" because of its overwhelming complexity. But the fact that it is so hard to follow is part of the point. Nolan made an effort to allow an audience to be able to tap into the mind of a person with short-term memory loss and be just as confused as Leonard Shelby, the protagonist with the strange condition. He does this, as everybody knows, by telling the film backwards, though all the clues are laid out for you and characters are introduced to you like you're watching a regular movie. Amazing. And of course, an amazing concept like this calls for equally amazing actors to carry the story. And they more than rise to the occasion. No one could've done a better job than Guy Pearce. He is simply spectacular. As is Joe Pantoliano, who brings a charismatic comic relief to the piece (which is certainly needed). And Carrie-Anne Moss does a good job of changing your perceptions of a character just by adding more facial expressions. This movie is perfect, innovative, and down right awesome! 10/10

Dark, dangerous and disturbing! Restores one's faith in the prequels, it does!, 18 May 2002

Well, it looks like Ol' George hasn't lost it after all! "Attack of the Clones" is pure Star Wars from beginning to end. It is lovely, dark, and can sometimes get a bit creepy. Those other critics don't know what the heck they're talking about. Take Roger Ebert, for example, who has panned "Clones" but gave "The Phantom Menace" an extremely positive review back in 1999. "Menace" wasn't horribly atrocious, but it was too kiddy-friendly, had crappy acting, and a story and feel that just didn't feel like our beloved Star Wars. But now fans are rejoicing! Not only is there pretty good acting this time, but the movie is relentlessly dark, has a great story, and contains all the elements and formulas that made the old ones so awesome. It also has more Yoda. Truly spectacular! Ewan McGregor has a young version of Alec Guiness down to a tee, Hayden Christensen has good facial expressions and seems to be trying hard most of the time. Natalie Portman is also better this time. The acting, though it CAN get a little poky is very satisfying overall. Everything in this one works, from the great settings (some will be all too familiar), to the truly astonishing CG work. There are also many treats for fans and surprising lead-ins for the original trilogy. I cannot stress more how much of an improvement "Attack of the Clones" is from "The Phantom Menace". The Force is back! And certainly everyone should be excited! 10/10

Spider-Man (2002)
The best comic book adaption ever!, 4 May 2002

Wonderful, colorful, and extremely well made, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" undertaking has proved its worth and some. It is a very satisfying vision of the comic book that stays very true to the source material. The story, characters, and overall feel of an actual comic book have never really been faithfully adapted to a motion picture until now. The acting is pitch-perfect as well, from Tobey Maguire's nearly heartbreaking portrayal of Peter Parker, to Kirsten Dunst giving Mary Jane a very insecure persona. And Willem Dafoe, of course, hams it up appropriately as Norman Osborn, whose hidden agenda is Spider-Man's arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin. The special effects sequences are truly a spectacle. They are thunderous, stunning races through Manhattan's concrete jungles that blur the line between CG images and reality. My only gripe about the movie is that it moves at a cheetah's pace, sometimes at the sacrifice of some of the movie's dramatic punch. But hey, that's excusable due to the fact that the film is based on comic book, and shouldn't pretend it is based on Shakespeare. Another lame bit is the presence of Macy Gray, which for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, kind of detracts from the movie (though only in a small way). If she's gonna be in films she should stick to the stuff she did in "Training Day". But even with these two barely significant quirks, "Spider-Man" is an exciting, and fantastic movie with awesome acting, characters, music, and special effects. Go se it, even if you just go for J.K. Simmons' hiarious performance as the liberal media tyrant J. Jonah Jameson. The movie is a thrilling experience and we can only hope that Raimi and company reunite for a sequel in the future. 10/10

Panic Room (2002)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, thrilling, and a joy to watch., 7 April 2002

David Fincher's "Panic Room" does everything right. Writing is excellent. The people seem to say things that would be natural in a situation like the on presented in the movie. Acting is pitch-perfect. Jodie Foster is fantastic. Kristen Stewart is a child actor that rivals Haley Joel Osment. And the thee crooks, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam give memorable and fascinating portrayals of their complicated characters. Another extreme pro of "Panic Room" is the cinematography. From the opening credits to the end of the movie, each frame has its own unique, "artsy-craftsy" persona that can be sometimes subtle, or fantastic with computer animation. Fincher is a director I have admired for a long time and each of his movies are astounding both in material an visuals. Howard Shore's music sets the tone of the movie right. Another thing I loved about "Panic Room" is that although the robbers can be humourous, you still don't like them. Other movies have tried to make villains funny and gross at the same time and it ends up being excrement (John Travolta in "Broken Arrow", for one). It somehow worked here, something I thought would never happen in movies. "Fight Club" wasn't terrible, but making "Panic Room" has assured me that Fincher hasn't succumbed to the Dark Side. This one is on par with his other works- "The Game", "Se7en", and "Alien3". "Panic Room" is a colossal experience. See it. 10/10

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Never mind the 5.8 rating! This is an EXCELLENT sequel!, 3 March 2002

What does everyone NOT see in this movie? Sure, it's not as dramatic as "Mad Max", or as exhilerating as "The Road Warrior", but this is still an amazing, action-packed adventure from Kennedy, Miller, Gibson, and company. Max needs his stolen stuff back an agrees to fight an enemy of the ruler of "Bartertown", Aunty (played by Tina Turner, who's presence certainly doesn't mire the experience). He must fight this guy in the "Thunderdome", and that's all I'm gonna tell you. But rest assured, the movie doesn't go downhill. It gets better. There's as much to like and dislike about this movie just as much as the other "Mad Max" movies, but I guess everyone didn't see it that way. In my optimistic opinion, the film ends the world of "Mad Max" in a brilliantly concieved way, and by the end you really feel you've got your money's worth out of this awesome series. An astonishing trilogy with an astonishing finish, is what I say! 9/10

Mad Max (1979)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Love the story, hate the style., 3 March 2002

Any fan of "The Road Warrior" who hasn't seen the first entry in the "Mad Max" series simply hasn't lived yet. You see, this tells the story of how Max became the ruthless renegade that he is in the two latter films. Although I love the story, action sequences, characters, and overall atmosphere of the movie, some of the stylistic choices should have been left out. Music seems to occur at the wrong time and scenes seem carry over to the next one too quickly. Of course, these little quirks don't mean much if your a big fan of the series. But to me, it sort of brings the whole experience down. But hey, that's just me! This is an awesome movie with substance and raw, powerful material. 8/10

Proves that an excellent story and solid acting isn't everything., 12 February 2002

Usually when I view a movie, I look for light in two places: acting and story. That mainly makes a good movie, right? Wrong. I'm not saying "The Mothman Prophecies" is utter garbage, but you certainly feel gipped when the credits begin to scroll down the screen. Richard Gere displays some curiously awesome acting capabilities in this film, as does Laura Linney. These two have some really good stuff for us to admire, but that and the interesting, supposedly true story are the only things going for it. What makes this movie not-too-hot? Mainly the disjointedness in the way the characters and plot moves are played out. I do admire Pellington's pacing and subtleties, but it eventually overwhelms the story's central core: a mysterious figure is seen in a West Virginia town, giving residents hints of future disasters. It all eventually sinks into a long, sometimes boring foray into how a movie can go wrong. The characters never seem to talk about this figure. Instead, they begin to seem like they're talking about their cousin's DUI charge. See it and find out for yourself.


2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The most "solid" of the two, but is it better than the first?, 30 December 2001

I was really looking forward to this game and came across a review saying that the story goes into "vague, lame, philosophical, and political points that causes it to lose some of its punch". I thought, "How could that be? This game's story HAS to be very good (afterall, it is from Kojima-san himself)". But now after completing the game I realize it is not as good as the first in my opinion. I do say that the second game has a very heart-pumping gameplay style that beats the crap out of the first's. I also say that the graphics are exceedingly lovely. Boy, if only ALL games looked as good as this. But if I had it my way, I'd fix up the story. Sure, most would say that it is more interesting and more intricate than than MGS's story. Although I found MGS2's story to be compelling while I was playing it, it wasn't that memorable to me. Also, the game's bosses and fights left a lot to be desired. They weren't varied and different enough. Vamp's fight is very trite and boring. The first Metal Gear Solid had many dramatic, varied, colorful boss-fights that were very memorable. I know I'm the minority and I sound like a grump, but that's the way I feel. That being said, I don't discourage anyone at all for buying MGS2, in fact, I recommend it. The graphics alone are worth that. I also appreciate the amount of effort that went in to this project from Kojima and company. It took a lot of work and blood to make this game happen, and I just can't deny that it really, really shows. 9/10

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