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Resident Evil (2002)
It's a zombie flick loosely based on a video game. I had no other expectations other than to be entertained for an hour-and a-half. But the movie went far above my expectations. Yeah, there are similarities to "Aliens" and every other George Romero Dead flick, but it didn't detract from my basic enjoyment of the film. With the exception of one or two exposition scenes in the middle, the movie was non-stop. Milla and Michelle were great. And the Red Queen was a nice touch.
I can't believe how many people are nitpicking over the inconsistancies between the game and the movie. See it again and suspend your disbelief. I did and enjoyed it. And I own the first 2 games myself.
Good insight into the minds of stupid people.
Disturbing and engrossing documentary about the Manson family as well as the murders they committed. The title's a bit misleading, as the bulk of the docu is about his brainwashed family and other people who crossed paths with him, although clips of interviews with the man himself appear here and there.
Highlights of the film have to be the interviews with Squeaky Fromme and friends where they proclaim Manson is Jesus reincarnated and present their own skewed philosophies on their way of life.
The One (2001)
"I am Yulaw! I am nobody's bitch!"
`The One' is very predictable and uses almost every action movie cliché in the book. And I loved it.
Glen Morgan, James Wong, and Jet Li just wanted to make an action movie, that's all. They are guilty of that and nothing more. The action sequences were well done, the special effects were cool (love the transporter effect), and the use of parallel universes was interesting. And hey, Jet Li makes a really cool villain. (This movie also features the cat who usually jumps out from behind a piece of furniture and scares a jumpy cop and/or frightened teen-ager. That cat gets a lot of work )
Gabriel Law's ending is pure 100% cornball au gratin, but the final fate of his evil twin more than makes up for it (It almost qualifies as a happy ending for that character).
Passage to Marseille (1944)
A Casablanca Rip-Off By Any Other name...
Passage to Marseille remains an entertaining film despite the fact that it's riding on Casablanca's successful coat tails.
The movie has an odd flashback-within-a-flashback-within-a-flashback structure, and the acting is fine (although there's little chemistry between Bogie and Michele Morgan). The boat battle near the end is pretty good. Bogie's actions during the fight must have seemed particularly shocking at the time of the movie's release. With the French resistance theme as well as the presence of Bogie, Claude Raines, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and even Helmut Dantine (Garou), who had a small part in Casablanca, it couldn't be anything other than a movie capitalizing on Casablanca's success. But it's a good movie, nonetheless.
After wading through several ideas for Doctor Who's one `official' spin-off (including a UNIT series I believe), John Nathan-Turner decided to base a series on K9. After all, there were times when the metal dog had received more fan mail than Tom Baker.
In short, the pilot episode has an older and wiser Sarah Jane Smith returning to her home village. She finds a box that the Doctor sent her years ago containing K9 Mark 3. Being the nosy investigative journalist she is, Sarah Jane soon become involved in stopping the activities of a coven of witches. Thank goodness she has K9 and her geeky cousin Brendan helping her.
It doesn't look promising from the first second of the theme song (something I'm sure Nathan-Turner wrote during lunch one day), and the plot is not all that engaging. In fact, there are times it seems you're watching bits of some of the Earthbound Doctor Who episodes cobbled together. Perhaps because of these factors, K9 & Company didn't make it to Episode 2.
For completists only.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Wanted to fling my feces at the screen
Argh. There was a time when Tim Burton had a flair for the visually interesting. Remember Gotham City? Sleepy Hollow? The Afterlife waiting room in "Beetlejuice"? Not anymore. Here he had a chance to re-create a whole planet and my response was a huge yawn. The movie's not all that good either. It's not sure what it wants to be at times - a run-of-the-mill action flick (With cliched dialogue); a remake of the original; even an English bedroom farce (when Marky Mark & Friends escape they HAVE to run through the bedrooms of each important ape in the city, apparently). It also criminally mis-uses Michael Clarke Duncan and Tim Roth. In the end, the whole thing ends like an episode of "Sliders".
Weird, fun, and a little embarrassing to watch at the same time. The first 3 minutes alone feature more scene-chewing than a normal Dr Who episode. In the first scene we see the evil Rani barking orders at her studly young assistant while clay heads of the late William Hartnell and the late Patrick Troughton spiral around her TARDIS console room. If that's not enough to make you think you have the DTs, we're then presented with a scene with Tom Baker's Doctor in Tetris-land kicking the OTT - meter up a notch.
I still enjoyed this story, though, even if it didn't make a lick of sense. It was cool seeing all those Doctors and companions stirred together in one big mix (Seeing the 3rd Doctor paired with Melanie and the 6th Doctor paired with Ace was bizarre). Jon Pertwee and Colin Baker in particular seemed the most enthusiastic to be involved in the project.
So, if you're a Doctor Who fan, try to find this story. It has an infamous reputation, but it's well worth at least one viewing.
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
Better than the first
A lot of the previous comments for this movie had me chuckling. Some of the posters here seemed to think they were going in to see Masterpiece Theatre. As a fellow "Imdb plaudit" I enjoyed this movie for what it was - a Hollywood action movie with a paper-thin predictable plot featuring Chris Tucker and a slightly over-the-hill Jackie Chan. The two work well together, there's a great use of the locales, and a hilarious cameo from Jeremy Piven.
Sure, it's got it's negative points - they totally missed the boat in not having Jackie Chan/Zhang Ziyi fight - but the action sequences were great, and, for the first time, I actually found Chris Tucker funny.
Bring on Rush Hour 3.
Condom Wearers Beware!
Motivations are important. It's not the end-all and be-all of the movie for me, but they have to be there. And they have to make some sort of sense. One character strangles her roommate because she nags her too much. Another character is raped by two men, and meekly takes it, but when her brother swears to avenge her, she shoots him in the head. Huh? These two women meet in the most poorly scripted and contrived scene in the movie and, shortly afterwards, begin a crime spree, which involves screwing and/or killing men (with the occasional female victim here and there). The sex scenes (hardcore though they were) were either boring, or got a few giggles from the group I was with. The violent scenes were poorly staged as well, with the immediate aftermath, not the actual act of' usually being shown.
The `theme' of this movie: All Men are garbage
at least after you've had sex with them. I'm sorry, but `Base Moi' adds nothing significant to the Natural Born Killers On The Run genre except the French language.
Sleeper Hit of '01
Wow, a sci-fi movie with an interesting, original, pseudo-scientific plot. Don't see many of these anymore. It was able to balance all of that with some incredible action sequences. And the computer animation was incredible down to the last detail, whether it was depicting the fall of New York under a horde of spirits, or a character moving through a spacestation in zero gravity. Forget what the naysayers are saying about how `fake' the people look (It's called suspension of disbelief. The same people probably had no problem with the human characters in `Toy Story'.).
`Final Fantasy', along with `Memento', is probably the only movie I've seen this summer that hasn't disappointed.