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WrestleMania XIX (2003)
Much better than expected...
A great pay-per-view event and one of the best Wrestlemania's of all time, in my opinion. Now on to the match descriptions and comments.
1. Cruiserweight Championship: Matt Hardy (Champion) vs. Rey Mysterio- This was a good opener, though it should've been about 4 minutes longer. Finish saw Hardy roll Rey up and use the ropes to retain. 7/10
2. Handicap Match: Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train-An all right match, really should've had 'Taker win by DQ instead of beating two big heels, but the match wasn't all bad. Nathan Jones run in at the end was nice, as was the Tombstone finish. Limp Bizkit doing Undertaker's intro. was awesome by the way. 6/10
3. Triple-Threat Women's Championship: Victoria (Champion) vs. Jazz vs. Trish Stratus-Not too bad actually, Victoria's actually a decent wrestler, though Jazz is and was clearly the better one here. Finish saw Trish hit a chick kick out of nowhere for the win. 7/10
4. Triple-Threat WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Angle (Champions) vs. Los Guerreros vs. Rhyno and Chris Benoit-A good though very short match, nothing really noteworthy though. 5/10.
5. Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho: Great back and forth wrestling contest, actually though Michaels was going to lose, and thought he should've. The finish was nice, a roll-up out of nowhere by Michaels. 10/10
6. Pillow Fight: Catfight girls vs. Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson-Purely pointless, could've used the time and added it to other matches. 0/10.
7. World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (Champion) vs. Booker T-Pretty good actually, Booker T proved he deserved the title and I wished he would've won, thought he did win, when he hit that sick Harlem Hangover off the top rope. At least the finish was clean, HHH hit a pedigree in the middle of the ring for the 1-2-3, to retain. 8/10.
8. Street Fight: Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon-A hugely entertaining match, actually thought this was going to be a sluggish bout, but it stunned me. The leg drop off the ladder from Vince on Hogan was sick. Piper's return was a little weird. Finish came with three Hogan leg drops. 10/10
9. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock: A good match, and a good way to close out Austin's active wrestling career. Nice to see the Rock go over even though he left a month after this event. Finish came after a third rock bottom to Austin. 8/10
10. WWE Championship: Kurt Angle (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar-A great match, even with Kurt's neck hurting him like who knows what. Great back and forth exchanges, and the botched shooting star press by Brock, was one of the sickest landings I've ever seen in wrestling. Amazingly, Brock got back up, F-5'd Angle and won the title. Afterwards, Brock didn't look like he knew where he was. 10/10
Overall I thought this was a great Wrestlemania, all the matches ranged from good to great, except for the Handicap and the Triple-Threat Tag match. 9/10.
WrestleMania XX (2004)
It sorta all began again
Wrestlemania XX probably had the most hype of any WWF/E event since the first Wrestlemania and possibly XIV as well, and for the most part it delivered. At least some of the matches delivered, I'll run them one by one:
1. United States Championship: Big Show (Champion) vs. John Cena: Good opening rap by Cena, as for the match it was basic, might have helped if Show wasn't battling knee problems and if it wasn't so obvious Cena was going to win. Nice finish with Cena using the knucks and hitting the F-U. 5/10.
2. Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Championship Match: Rod Van Dam & Booker T (Champions) vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Garrison Cade & Mark Jindrak vs. La Resistance: This one wasn't needed, I like that WWE got as many guys on the card as they could, but this was a pretty boring match. RVD and Booker T retain the Tag Titles, thankfully. 3/10.
3. Chris Jericho vs Christian: A good match actually, went on longer than I thought it would, but that wasn't a bad thing. Plenty of back and forth exchanges, and the finish held a surprise, with Trish turning heel and joining Christian. 7/10.
4. 2-on-3 Handicap Match: Rock 'n' Sock Connection vs. Evolution: A pretty good match, Randy Orton and Batista were just finding their niche at this point, but they both did a good job. It was nice to see Rock and Mick Foley back and I liked seeing Flair wrestle (the fact he could at his age is amazing to me). Finish saw Orton hit the RKO out of nowhere on Foley for the pin. 8/10.
5. Playboy Evening Gown Match: Sable & Torrie Wilson vs. Miss Jackie and Stacy Keibler: Not evening worth talking about. 0/10.
6. WWE Cruiserweight Title Open: Chavo Guerrero (Champion) vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Nunzio vs. Tajiri vs. Shannon Moore vs. Billy Kidman: A good idea, though the match wasn't all that good. Nice spot by Kidman performing the Shooting Star Press to the outside and almost snapping his neck. The finish was typical, Rey lost when Chavo got help from his dad. 5/10.
7. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar w/Stone Cold as Special Guest Referee: This match sucked and the fans watching agreed, it took almost three minutes for the two to lock up and even longer for the match to end. It was great to hear Austin chants while both Goldberg and Brock got booed, though there were more for Brock. Finish saw Goldberg spear and Jackhammer Brock for the win. Nice post-match stunners from Austin to both guys. 0/10.
8. Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Title Match: Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi vs. APA vs. Basham Brothers vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team: Not as good as the Raw Four-Way, thankfully it ended quickly. Rikishi and Scotty retained. 3/10.
9. Women's Championship: Victoria (Champion) vs. Molly Holly: If Molly loses she gets her head shaved, well five minutes later she loses. It was a basic match, finish was a backslide pin. The post match stuff was nice, seeing Molly lose her hair gradually.
10. WWE Championship: Eddie Guerrero (Champion) vs Kurt Angle: Good match, though it should've been better. Finish saw Eddie cheat by rolling up Angle and using the ropes. 7/10.
11. Undertaker vs. Kane: Great entrance by Undertaker, until you see him that is. The biker/dead man mix didn't work so well, and it was an okay match. Finish saw Taker hit the Tombstone for the win. 5/10.
12. Triple-Threat World Title Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (Champion) vs. Chris Benoit: Best match of the night, one of the best Wrestlemania main events ever. It was great to see Benoit make Triple H tap, so that slug finally dropped the title to someone who deserved it. 10/10.
This was a good event, though a few of the matches were lackluster. namely Goldberg/Lesnar & The Evening Gown match. 7/10 overall.
WrestleMania X8 (2002)
Good, but not great
Okay, X-8 wasn't was good as X-7, not by a long shot but it was still good, to a point that is. I'll run the matches by one-by-one.
1. Intercontinental Title; William Regal (Champion) vs. Rob Van Dam: This was an all right match, I've always liked Regal's counter wrestling and RVD's style is just well unique, thankfully RVD stopped Regal from using his trademark brass knucks, so the finish of the match was clean. 6/10.
2. European Title; Diamond Dallas Page (Champion) vs. Christian: It was nice to see DDP back on PPV, though it was a fairly short and therefore somewhat boring match. Diamond Cutter finish was nice though. 4/10.
3. Hardcore Title; Maven (Champion) vs. Goldust: There was no reason for this match. Maven was too green, hadn't really proved himself and there were a few missed spots. Thank god it was over quickly, though numerous title changes happened throughout the show, none of which were very interesting. 1/10.
4. Kane vs. Kurt Angle: Good match, plenty of good spots, wished Kane would have won though. Angle cheating at the end sorta tainted the match. 7/10.
5. Ric Flair vs. Undertaker: Best match of the night in my opinion. Both guys put on tremendous performances, and the finish was pretty cool. Actually thought Taker was going to lose when Arn Anderson spinebusted him, but a tombstone later and it's 10-0 for the Dead Man. 10/10.
6. Edge vs. Booker T: Decent match, but it wasn't really necessary to have this far up the card. 6/10.
7. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall: Good, but very short match. The finish was good as well, Austing stunning both Hall and Nash was nice. 6/10.
8. Four Team Elimination Match, Tag Team Titles; Billy & Chuck (Champions) vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The APA vs. The Dudley Boyz: An all right match, Hardy's (my fav. team) got in some nice double team offense as did the Dudley's, but this one didn't seem to have a lot of energy throughout. 5/10.
9. The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan: All the hype, all the excitement built towards this, surprisingly okay match. It was great to hear the crowd cheer Hogan and boo the crap out of The Rock, but the match was really just a fluff piece, okay for the first few minutes and okay again at the end, but besides the crowd's energy, it wasn't all they made it out to be. 6/10.
10. Triple-Threat Match, Women's Championship; Jazz (Champion) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Lita: Another decent match, with the right person winning, though I would've liked to have seen Lita (my fav. diva) win. 5/10.
11. Undisputed Championship; Chris Jericho (Champion) w/Stephanie McMahon vs. Triple H: One of the dullest matches on the card, and easily the dullest main event ever. Everyone dead and alive knew that Triple H was going to win and it was nice to see him Pedigree Stephanie, but boy did this match suck. 3/10.
It was overall a good show, but it wasn't there best and like another reviewer said began the decline in the WWF (now E) quality.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
It's a labor of something all right....
(Possible Spoilers) Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has been called a labor of love, among other things. Well it probably is and I applaud Gibson for having the guts to produce a film about such a touchy subject. Well, personally I don't care how accurate this film is, I found it boring. I don't see that as an attack on the movie's subject matter so much as the film itself. It is just a movie after all, Gibson's interpretation of the events. I don't know how these events go, I haven't read the bible since I was 8 and I won't again, if I have anything to say about it, so I'm not an expert, nor do I plan to be, but I just found this film boring.
The acting by Jim Caviezel as Jesus was good, as was Maia Morgenstern as Mary. The cinematography is excellent, but the pacing movies like a snail stuck in molasses, the film itself seems to go on forever and the much talked about brutality, is nothing to write home about, there a couple of cringing moments, but overall not that brutal. I'd like to close by saying that I work at a movie theatre and I've received some backlash, first for not seeing the film, then stating my opinion on it. I don't see why personally, I'm not attacking the bible, or the beliefs, just the film and that's what it is just a film, nothing more nothing less. *1/2 stars
The Omega Code (1999)
Eh, it's all right...
(Possible Spoilers) sure it's not a great movie and yes the acting, special effects and pretty much everything else had a very Cable TV feel to it, but "The Omega Code" is certainly better than it's horrific sequel, "Megiddo." Yeah, Casper Van Dien is pretty bad, but when you're high point picture was "Starship Troopers" it shouldn't come as a shocker. The story is pretty ship shod but at this one had a story, "Megiddo" sure didn't. The special effects are okay, I've seen better, but there all right given the $12 mil. budget.
Overall, it's not great, but there is something more enjoyable in "Omega Code" than in the atrocious "Megiddo." *1/2 stars.
The Crawling Hand (1963)
Push the red button...
(Possible spoilers) not many people may know this but "The Crawling Hand" was an early MST3K episode from about '89, I think. Personally, I don't feel this was anywhere near being the worst movie they ever did, but it was still pretty bad. The story consists of an astronaut (whose lines consist mainly of "Push the red button" and "Kill" during which he sounds like a William Shatner wannabe) who is blown up and his remains, but mainly his hand are discovered later on a beach by a frolicking couple, a Swedish chick who has to read cue cards and a James Dean clone. For some reason the "James" guy goes on a killing or a dutch rub spree for any one whose seen the film all the while to NASA scientists (I think) and a dumpy sheriff (Alan Hale Jr., whose surprised)are trying to track him down. It's not really a very good movie, though the MST version was quite funny, for an early episode.
(Possible Spoilers) Anyone who wants a detailed version of the plot look at another review, this one's simply a bashing session. Ang Lee's "Hulk" has got to have the most boring exchanges of dialogue in recent film history, the actors seem like they would rather be someplace else (though not nearly as bad as the cast of "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones") but it's still pretty painful to watch sometimes. Eric Bana is okay as Bruce Banner, Jennifer Connelly ("A Beautiful Mind") is sorta dull as Banner's ex-flame Betty Ross , Sam Elliott is way to dull as an Army general whose also Betty's father and Nick Nolte as Bruce's father just sounds wasted whenever he talks and that's when you can understand him.
The movie takes way too long explaining the origin of Bruce and by the time he transforms into the Hulk, about 45 mins. in I was about bored to tears. The only time I was even sitting up in my chair was when the Hulk was running from a couple of Army helicopters, while hopping throughout the canyons of Arizona or somewhere in the southwest. Then the movie lags back into more dull discussions, that finally drove me to the point where I just wanted the film to end and it seemed to last forever, especially after the last action sequence, the next scene where Betty and her father talk via cell phone just about drove me mad, because it was so pointless.
The special effects were nice, the Hulk looked real (well about as real as a 10-15 foot green monster can look), though the Hulk dogs looked absolutely terrible and as I said before the sequence where he's evading the Army was intense. This was a terrible movie for the most part, the only saving grace were the special effects. If there happens to be another one, take this in mind, less talking, more hulking. *1/2 out of 4 stars.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Better than the original....
(Spoilers) but that's still not saying much given the fact that the first film was a complete and total waste except for Vin Diesel's presence. The sequel cleverly titled ('snicker') "2 Fast 2 Furious" has Paul Walker being recruited by the FBI or CIA or whatever to help them catch a columbian (or mexican or whatever) drug lord (yep, no type casting here at all), so Walker gets his childhood friend (R&B singer Tyrese) to come along for the ride. A lot of car chases ensue, and I mean lots. There's no Vin Diesel this time, so the sources for acting are Tyrese (who's okay) and Walker (who makes Keanu Reeves' Ted seem like a genius. Basically the only saving grace in this movie is one sequence where our heroes pull into a parking garage that's quickly surrounded by police, only to have the squad cars of the said police crushed by souped trucks that come pouring out of the garage, then the remaining cops chase after numerous cars that come pouring out. That's about it, the rest of the movie is loud and annoying. 0 stars.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
It's finally here....
and you'll probably like this film (if you're a big horror or Rob Zombie fan that is). If you're not then you'll likely find it to be boring and not terribly horrifying. (Possible Spoilers) That was my impression of it at least. I'm not the biggest horror movie fan around, not that I don't like them, I've just never gotten around to seeing a lot of 'em. But I don't have to be a big fan of that genre or any one for that matter to know "House of 1000 Corpses" is a really, really bad movie. I can usually ignore plot and character development if the idea interests me, but despite these low standards for horror flicks, "Corpses" was more or less an irritating mess, with very annoying actors, not the characters, the actors themselves. I'll say this the camera work was interesting, even at times fancy (not very though) and the whole film seemed thrown together. Finally, for all the hype I heard about how bloody, gory and disturbing "Corpses" was, it didn't scare or disturb me at all. I was actually laughing quite a bit, especially during that one scene where there's what seems to be a never ending pause until the cop is shot by one of the killers, it was quite laughable. My overall impression is this film was really not worth being delayed time and time again, because it was too gory and disturbing, if anything it should have been delayed because it's a really, really bad movie. 0 out of 4 stars.
The Core (2003)
You'll laugh.... you'll laugh some more.... then
you'll likely die from laughter, "The Core" and the recently released dreck "Dreamcatcher" are easily two of the most laughably awful big budget flicks in the past 10 years, but during "The Core" I certainly didn't feel for the characters or ever consider one frame of this good at any point.
(Possible Spoilers) First off, the plot has to do with the Earth's core suddenly coming to a halt. This will ultimately cause the end of the world in about a year. This coming disaster needs to be stopped, so the government enlists the help of a college professor (Aaron Eckhart), a NASA pilot (Hilary Swank) a cocky scientist (Stanley Tucci) and finally a nutty scientist (Delroy Lindo) who has developed a metal that can withstand the intense pressure of the Earth's core, and he has the plans to build a ship out of it all he needs is $15 billion (or maybe it's $50 billion, I couldn't really tell), which the government gladly pays and thus the construction begins. Now I'm not much of a science wiz, but it seems pretty unlikely any type of scientist would be able to develop a metal that could withstand the intense pressure of the Earth's mantle and especially the core itself. But then again any disaster film has plenty of sizeable leaps in logic, which can provide some good, if somewhat cheap fun, ("Armageddon" comes to mind).
However, "The Core" is such an obvious and badly acted movie that any possible fun is washed away in the first 30 minutes, then the movie goes on for about another 2 hours, which just becomes a major exercise in patience after the first hour. Now onto the acting, Eckhart is laughable as Dr. Keyes, however it's not his fault, Swank is just stone-faced as Major Rebecca 'Beck' Childs, Lindo is just there as Dr. Edward Brazleton and Tucci chews up the scenery (if you want to call it that) as Dr. Conrad Zimsky. Of and there's also Tcheky Karyo (the French soldier from "The Patriot") and DJ Qualls ("The New Guy"). The special effects are pretty lousy, especially during the shuttle landing sequence in the first 20 minutes of the movie and the whole movie seems way overdone, while not accomplishing much at the same time. Overall, "The Core" is a disaster (literally and figuratively) and will hopefully put the dying "world in peril" or "disaster" genre to rest until a decent movie can be made or even a fun one. 0 stars.
Hmm.... let's see here...
"Dreamcatcher" sucks, plain and simple, (which the movie isn't, simple that is) and it took me a couple of days after seeing it to arrive at that decision. (Possible spoilers ahead) I agree with anyone who says the early scenes that introduce the four friends and their ESP gifts are quite effective and feel very real, having Jason Lee and Thomas Jane helped out quite a bit and Damien Lewis was very good. But what does not feel real or in the least bit effective is the remaining 2 hours of the movie. The introduction of the aliens is ridiculous and the special effect are just silly most of the time. The second half of the movie really lost me, like when Morgan Freeman and his army wage war on an alien craft that's nestled in the mountains nearby (located somewhere in Maine, I think). The rest of the flick is a very shoddy mess and only the scenes where we see the inside of Jonesy's (Lewis) mind are noteworthy. It's really an overall giant waste of time, money and talent. Lewis is quite good as Jonesy and Mr. Grey and Jane is good though seems quite dumbfounded by what's going on (as we all are). I found the best line that sums up "Dreamcatcher", while I was watching an MST3K episode called "Future War" and near the end an explosion in a church, happened for some weird reason (that I will not discuss during this review) and one character (Mike) said "Huh?" and another (Tom Servo) said "The movie that delivers more huhs, per second." That I believe is the best way to describe "Dreamcatcher." 0 stars.
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
You're getting sleepy, very sleepy....
(Spoilers) that is what I felt was being said to me throughout this very typical and very obvious romantic comedy. That being said I was awake enough to notice the on-screen chemistry between Fiennes and Lopez was considerably better than in most standard issue romantic flicks. The plot involves Lopez working as a hotel maid, who through a series of events is mistaken for a hotel guest by New York Senatorial candidate Chris Marshall and sparks fly between them almost instantly. It's obvious these two will end up together by the time the film ends, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, unless of course you've been living under a rock and have never seen a romantic comedy before. Of course the big scene pops up towards the end where the guy finds out the girl has lied to him, but not to worry (I pity you if you have up to this point) for the guy will forgive her as is obvious from the first 20 mins. of the film. I have seen far worse movies of this genre than "Maid" but that doesn't mean this is a great or even a good movie. It's decent, though sleep inducing for anyone who has seen this stuff before. ** stars.
Die Another Day (2002)
Just a big noisy dud...
My summary says it all, not only is it very noisy but it's very pointless and quite annoying at many points. Now I know it's a Bond film and the emphasis isn't usually on plot, if at all, but this has to be one of the most poorly written movies in recent years. Sure 'some' of the stunts look cool, as do 'a few' of the action sequences, but most of the time they look very fake and quite unconvincing. Halle Berry looks good, great in fact, as a bond girl, there's no doubt about that, but the character becomes fairly annoying especially towards the end. Pierce does a good job as 007, but he may want to call it quits after the next one (yes he's signed on for at least one more) and move onto better things. The bad guys are pretty standard and pretty bad, though Ronny Yu at least has a little fun in his limited role. This is just a truly boring mess of a movie, that will hopefully signal an end to the franchise of four decades. -** stars.
I Spy (2002)
Fine casting job, but very bad results
(Possible mild spoilers) A movie that stars two hilarious guys like Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, sounds like a great idea, so why was "I Spy" such a mess of a movie, with so few comedic moments? The answer is, the script stinks, there are only a couple of scenes where there's anything remotely funny, like when Wilson sings "Sexual Healing" and near the end when he and Murphy get confused over who is on what side, that's a good scene. But too much of the movie is spent going over the plot, which actually becomes less clear the more the movie reveals. It's basically a waste of talent, but it's an even bigger waste of time (mostly the audiences') and a good wad of cash was wasted as well, on this film. *1/2 out of 4 stars.
Great animation, nothing else.
(Some possible spoilers)
I'm not too sure what Dreamworks was thinking when they decided to plunk $80 million down on this extremely tired and lame animated flick. They probably thought the spectacular animation would be more than enough to bring audiences (mostly families) to see it in droves. Well it seemed to work for the opening weekend, it made $26 mil., roughly and has made $38.1 mil. total (an estimation for this weekend). But I think audiences that came during the weekend saw pretty much the same thing I did, when I saw and they spread the word. This is one majorly lame movie, apart from the animation everything else, mostly the script seem to be done by a three year old.
The movie is only about 80 mins. long, but it feels like a three hour epic. A few sticking points for me are, well the irritating narration is one of them, and it's so obviously written. At one point he escapes from some captors and even though you can see the horse is obviously scared, up pops the narrator (the voice of the talented Matt Damon) to clear up any misconceptions (which would only happen in the simplest of mindsets.
Another one is the constant pop up of Bryan Adams songs, now I'm a fan of his music, I think he's good, but come on did Dreamworks really think audiences would be able to handle 8-9 of his songs throughout such a short movie, I certainly couldn't. Finally and here's a spoiler, a horse gets shot at point blank range by a member of the calvary, no less, she (the horse) then falls into a raging river, Spirit (the focus of the movie) tries to save her, but they both go over a waterfall that must have at least a 50 foot drop, well later in the movie near the end we see that this horse is alive and well. Now I know this is a kids movie, but even that little amount of realism is unacceptable.
To sum up, this is a really lame movie, I'm not saying kids won't enjoy it, but anyone else will be checking their watches just waiting for this tripe to end. Definitely on my Top 10 worst list of this year. -** out of 4 stars.
On the Line (2001)
... hey I'm awake, I'm awake. Well anyway, as for the movie, "On The Line" is a boring and predictable romantic comedy aimed right at the pre-teen crowd. Does it succeed as a film on that level? Kind of. On any other level? Not at all. But I will say this I've seen films that were much worse than this, but I'll name some of those in a bit, first here's a brief review of the film. Lance Bass is not too bad, and Joey Fatone is passable, the rest of the cast is not all that good though no one is overally irritating. The story and plot are simple yet full of holes, but at least the film goes by quick. But those who don't care for N*Sync, will likely be lulled into a deep sleep. Now for the most part though it is a bad film, but now I'm going to list some that are much worse. Now in no particular order, they are, "The One," "3000 Miles To Graceland," "Just Visiting," "Original Sin," "Rat Race," "Freddy Got Fingered," "Monkeybone," "Scary Movie 2," "Domestic Disturbance," "13 Ghosts," "Exit Wounds," "Ghosts of Mars," "The Fast And The Furious," "Tomb Raider," "Glitter," "The Musketeer," "Megiddo: Omega Code 2" and "Soul Survivors."
There that's a good amount of films that are worse than "On The Line." Mind you it's still a bad movie, but not nearly as bad, as those listed above. * out of 4 stars.
The One (2001)
Just plain bad....
(A Spoiler or two)
Jet Li stars in "The One" a silly and over the top sci-fi oriented martial arts movie that doesn't really care whether the audience understands or cares about it's characters, or the plot for that matter, and goes for straight up action from start to finish. The only problem is even the fight scenes become tiresome and very quickly I might add.
The concept of "The One" deals with a bad guy named Yulaw (Jet Li) whose been jumping between parallel universes and destroying the other versions of himself in an effort to become 'the one', hence the silly title. As explained by an agent (Jason Statham, "Snatch") every time one of them is killed their energy divides among the survivors.
This is an interesting concept that is never really fully used, instead director James Wong, who did "Final Destination," decides that non-stop action sequences will take place of any reasonable explanation of the movie's plot. Now this would have worked had these fight/action scenes not looked so silly and if they hadn't gotten so boring after the first two had passed.
Li doesn't really do a bad job, but he seems to be having just a little more fun playing Yulaw than the good guy Gabe. Carla Gugino is a bore as Gabe's wife and as well as being Yulaw's partner in another universe. Delroy Lindo is just a bore as an agent hot on Yulaw's trail, though Statham is at least passable as Lindo's partner, whose trying to help Gabe. Well anyway, this just isn't a good movie, some of the fights are sort of interesting but after the first 30 mins. or so I was checking my watch constantly, just waiting for the end, which leaves "The One" wide open for a sequel. Oh, please no more. I give it * out of 4 stars.
Domestic Disturbance (2001)
Predictable and pathetic
While watching "Domestic Disturbance" I began to remember many other thrillers of the past. In fact almost every single of that I thought of, a few of them ranged from '96's "Eye For An Eye" to the recent doped-up 'thriller' "Don't Say A Word, had more going for them that this dismal piece of (expletive deleted) did. "Domestic Disturbance" is a hardly original, and very uninteresting thriller that tends to move along at such a brisk pace that we, the audience, barely have any time to get to know the characters. Not that that matters since these characters are so one-dimensional that they're hardly worth rooting for, let alone caring about, in the slightest bit.
The acting isn't really that bad, the characters are just really poorly written and developed. Well anyway, here's a moderate description of the story, John Travolta plays a father, who shares custody with his ex wife (Teri Polo, "Meet The Parents"), he's a loving dad who really cares for his son, oh and he also builds boats, which is something that apparently his grandfather and father have been doing for many years, or something like that.
His son, is just a little upset that his mother is getting married to a new guy, (Vince Vaughn, "Psycho," "JP2" and "Swingers") whom he doesn't care for at all. He's afraid he won't be able to spend as much time with his dad once Polo and Vaughn get married. Well anyway, as shown in the trailer, one of Vaughn's old buddies shows up at the wedding (Steve Buscemi, "Armageddon") and of course he's soon offed by Vaughn, for reasons which are never fully explained. Ah, but here's where 'the twist' (and boy is it a big one, 'note the sarcasm') comes in, the boy is hiding in the backseat of Vaughn's car and soon after Vaughn finds out what his new stepson saw he becomes rather menacing towards the kid. As said before "Domestic Disturbance" is hardly original but what makes it even worse is that it seems all too rushed, especially the ludicrous ending, which almost made me die from laughter, though for the sake of anyone who was interested in the film up to that point, I kept it to myself. Travolta is okay, but his character is all too one-sided and the same goes for Vaughn (could he be any more over the top?), but Buscemi does a good job, though he's not on screen for very long. Polo is just bad as the mother, but Matthew O'Leary is decent as the son. This is overall one of the worst thrillers I've seen in a long time, there's next to no character development, the plot is full of holes and the movie quickly turns into a sequence of one boring scene after another. * out of 4 stars.
Riding with Death (1976)
"What a turkey..."
well let's just say that one line from "Riding with Death" completely summarizes the type of movie it is and that is a big, fat turkey.
This one was deliciously roasted on MST by Mike and the oh so funny robots, with many references to how dopey the hero, Ben Murphy really is.
The flimsy plot jumps from an explosive being transported in a truck to another explosive substance being used in a race car to kill off some people for no apparent reason. The reason for the jumping of the plot most likely stems from the fact that the movie is no more than 2 episodes of a short lived 70's T.V. series, slammed together and released in theatres. Oh well flimsy plot aside, the rest of the movie is just plain horrific, most of the bad stuff is in the form of awful acting, which raises the question as to how this got made into a T.V. show to begin with.
Well, the MST version was a lot of fun, though this is still an incredibly bad movie. 9 for the MST version, none for the actual film.
The Ninth Gate (1999)
I'm not sure what Johnny Depp was thinking when he took this part, but he must have not been thinking too clearly because this is easily one of the worst films in a long time. Now to his credit Depp isn't bad in "The Ninth Gate," quite the opposite, he's actually good. It's just that the rest of the film isn't at all. A short list of problems are, the story which makes next to no sense, the rest of the acting is horrible, the climax is one of the worst in cinema history and there's no real direction the movie is going in. I'm glad turkeys like this may be a dying breed of film, I don't know how many more of these stinkers I can take. 0 stars.
From Hell (2001)
Good, good stuff, with one really big flaw.
"From Hell" is a visually arresting thriller that follows the killing spree of the oh so infamous Jack The Ripper, which take place in 1888 London, according to the film that is. Johnny Depp plays Inspector Frederick George Abberline, a man who can see the murders before they happen, which is done by taking lots of opium and then slipping into a dreamlike state. The murder victims are prostitutes and soon after inspecting a couple of the bodies Depp begins to realize that the killer may be killing these ladies as a form of punishment, not for money.
The story of the film, although confusing at times, does make quite a bit of sense and the movie's pretty intriguing, until the last five to 10 minutes, which seem very rushed and because of the not very good, when compared to the rest of the picture.
That's just the one problem that hurts the film. The other one is Heather Graham, whose phony and downright ridiculous accent plagues any scene she's in and just proves how miscast she is in the movie. Her acting isn't all the great either. Oh and also Ian Holm plays an old doctor, who is pretty fascinating to listen to, even if he seems a little off. But Holm does play his role well and does add some depth to the cast of the movie.
Depp is by far the best of the bunch, as he always is. I'm not sure why he hasn't gotten noticed as much as actors like Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford (to name a few famous ones), he's just as good if not better than all three. But Depp does turn in a great performance as Inspector Abberline, his British accent is very convincing and he delivers his lines with a lot of power. "From Hell" is not the best picture of the year, but it does come close on some fronts, with only the ending and Graham's performance keeping it from being truly fantastic. But the visual style, both in the real world and in Depp's visions is very impressive and for the most part the acting is exceptional, again, except for Graham. Sure the film is pretty gory in certain parts but that's what you should expect from a movie whose villain is Jack The Ripper and the violence doesn't hurt the picture in any way. I'll say ***1/2 out of 4 stars.
I didn't really understand the movie when I saw it on MST, and I'm not so sure anyone involved in the film's production understood the concept either.
There's something here about Raul Julia, getting lost somewhere in a computer program, where he must go into the past to get out, at least I think that's it. The movie's point is never really clear or ever fully explained, but after the first 30 mins. it didn't really matter. The acting is pretty bad, but the whole execution of the plot is what sinks this one. MST had some fun with this one, with mixed results in my opinion. 7 stars for that, none for the flick.
Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001)
I'm back again....
to ask why this film is getting so many high ratings and good reviews. I honestly don't see this as being any different then most of the mainstream Hollywood action films, with the exception of some lofty overdone religious themes that gets muddled in about the first 20 minutes of the movie.
I'm not trying to knock on any religious person who adores this movie. But I just don't see the appeal of it. Well that's what I think, and I still say the acting and special effects are among the worst ever in film.
That's just one of the many lines that take on a whole new meaning of annoying in "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders," a wonderous film all right. It's a wonderous film, all right, one that cries out for a severe bashing from the get-go. Thank the stars, for MST3K, their witty remarks made this quite enjoyable, despite being two horribly done short films slammed together. One is about a writer who dabbles with Merlin's spell book, with unfortunate results and the other is from one of the director's other flicks, "The Devil's Gift," which was about an evil toy monkey.
Neither of these stories are very scary or interesting for that matter. What makes them even less interesting is they are being told to a little boy by his grandfather Ernest Borgnine (or however its spelled).
Well to sum up, the acting is bad, but the fact that the second film is from the '80's and they try to pass it off as the '90's, makes the acting seem passable. 9 for the MST version.
A decent concept...
that got destroyed quickly by the poor quality acting, cinematography, numerous pointless scenes and a terrible villain. Well let's see Joe Estevez is bad (as usual) but he isn't the only casting problem, writer Vivian Schilling is no great actress, in fact, well she sucks. Her script isn't so bad, it's just bad directed. In fact if the direction had been better and if better actors had been cast, this could have been a really good film.
But alas, with all of these problems "Soultaker" fails to be even kind of passable as a horror movie, plus the pacing is just awful too.
The MST crew had some fun with this one but it definitely wasn't one of their better efforts. 5 for that, nothing for the original.