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canadasbest

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33 reviews in total 
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Sicko (2007)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Somewhat biased, phenomenally eye opening, 4 December 2007

Michael Moore isn't exactly known for being objective, but Health care is a far less politically charged issue than the terrorism he attacked in Fahrenheit 9/11. I think it's the lack of political rhetoric that lends this film one of its many strengths.

I am Canadian and I watched this film with my American fiancé. As we watched, we kept a running dialogue going about the differences and our own experiences in our respective health care systems.

The Canadian system is not as perfect as Moore depicts, we have problems with health care too. However, we are miles ahead of the U.S. and after watching this film I felt so thankful to live in a place that offers universal health care. However, I was also tempted to move to France.

A government should take care of its PEOPLE, not its CORPORATIONS. This is what the U.S. has backwards, the government exists only to benefit profit driven corporations.

The story of the man who was denied his bone marrow transplant or the little girl who died because the hospital the ambulance took her to would not admit her made me want to put my foot through my TV in anger. Had I grown up in the U.S. I may not have lived to write this. When I was 4, I had a high fever, similar to the girl in the film. Doctors told my parents I could have easily died if I hadn't been treated right away upon reaching the hospital.

By the end of the film I was extremely thankful for our imperfect yet universal system and my American fiancé was in tears at how poorly her own people were treated, especially after watching the segment where the 9/11 rescue workers were sent to Cuba.

Cuba is only an enemy of the U.S. because the U.S. Government tells the people that country is evil, the truth is far different.

Excellent film that everyone should see, if you aren't much of a Michael Moore fan.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Could've been great, but doesn't quite make it., 4 May 2007
7/10

Spider-Man 3 seems to follow the same basic blueprint of Spider-Man 2. Peter and MJ start to have relationship troubles, he begins to consider what Spider-Man means to him and how it's changed his life, all while a new villain is created and hatches a plot to get spidey.

But where it was done so wonderfully in Spider-Man 2, it suffers in this film. This is due mainly to two things. Firstly, we've already seen it before so it doesn't feel fresh as it did in #2. Secondly, Spider-Man 2 had only one villain so the story focused completely on Doc Ock and as a result he became a very multidimensional and compelling character. In this installment, the villain duties are shared between Venom and Sandman, and neither character is developed anywhere near the level Doc Ock was. Venom in particular is presented almost as an afterthought, though Topher Grace does do a good job as Eddie Brock.

There's a sequence in the film where Peter, possessed by the symbiote (the thing that gives him his black suit) starts doing some crazy things behaviour-wise. Although it's meant to be serious, they seem to go way over the top with it and it comes off seeming like little more than comedy relief. This particular sequence doesn't really seem to fit in the film very well.

The Harry Osborn story gets mixed up here too as he takes not one, not two, but THREE character turns in the course of the movie and the subplot involving him seems underdeveloped and rushed.

On the plus side, the special and visual effects are spectacular, save for one particularly cheesy scene where Spidey just happens to jump right in front of an American flag. The main actors do a passable job, Kirsten Dunst likely gives the strongest performance as MJ, also Rosemary Harris delivers another sweet yet strong performance as Aunt Mae.

The other bright spots acting wise were J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and the incomparable Bruce Campbell as an extremely funny french maitre'd in one particularly memorable scene.

In conclusion, the film is a bit of a letdown, but the disappointment is compounded by the fact that all the pieces were here for a great story, but it just didn't pull together like it could've. Definitely worth the price of admission though, even an average Spiderman movie is a pretty darned good superhero flick.

Vacancy (2007)
5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining, but not spectacular, 20 April 2007
6/10

Vacancy is very much a mixed bag as far as horror films go. On the plus side, it doesn't resort to using teenage actors which makes a big different. The atmosphere is excellent and the pacing is top notch. There's never too much going on, but never a lag either. The film does transition well from suspense to calm to suspense again in just the way every thriller does.

Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale also turn in solid performances, Wilson's in particular was pretty good. He played a perfect "scared guy" believable and not over the top.

On the negative side, the movie does use a ton of already massively overused horror movie clichés (middle of nowhere, car breaks down, characters find run down gas station/motel/store with creepy manager, etc.) . Now to the filmmakers' credit, some are done quite well, but that doesn't excuse the fact that most are tired and overdone as it is.

There also seem to be a few problems with the plot that weaken the film somewhat. Firstly, in the snuff videos that we see characters view, there is clearly sound, suggesting the cameras in the rooms can pick up audio. Despite this, the bad guys never seem to overhear all the plans the main characters make while trapped in their room.

Secondly, why are there no traps in the underground ducts liked barbed wire or rusty nails or something that would impede the progress of anyone trying to get through? I find it hard to believe that our two heroes were the first people to ever find and use them.

Thirdly, as a previous reviewer mentioned, it seems odd that despite all the murders that have been committed, the bad guys are still allowed to do their thing, you'd think someone would have investigated and busted them, especially with tapes and tapes of evidence sitting around.

And finally the ending just didn't seem to work. They went with an open ending approach, where there's no real wrap up and the audience is left to figure out how the story ends on their own. This type of thing can work effectively if used well, but it just falls flat here and seems to sudden. Instead of thinking "ohhh, I wonder how it turns out?" the audience instead thinks "what happened to the rest of the movie?".

The sad part is that the movie came so close to being a really clever suspense flick. Imagine if Luke Wilson's character had deliberately taken the "shortcut" to lure his soon to be ex-wife (whom he is already upset with) to the Pinewood and was in on it all along? That would be a great ending, but sadly this film suffers a decided lack of plot twists.

Probably not worth checking out in the theatre, but will make a great rental in a few months time.

United 93 (2006)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Moving, terrifying, surreal, 10 September 2006
8/10

We all know the story here.

United 93 offers great tension and drama all centered around a very real event. The fact this is based on a real life attack which most remember vividly makes it far more powerful than any fiction could be.

One of the constant themes of the film is confusion. So many times throughout the characters on screen are asking "what the hell is going on?" or some variant there of. Different agencies getting different information from different sources, with so much uncertainty it's not surprising the response was so slow.

The film's pacing is slow, but methodical, peaking every few minutes with another major event (one plane hits tower, second plane hits tower, plane hits Pentagon, air traffic grounded).

Sadly, you can't help cheering a little bit for the passengers of United 93. You know they won't succeed but it's hard not to find yourself hoping they will.

The filmmakers made a very wise choice I think by using almost no background music throughout the film, this made it seem much more realistic to the viewer.

There are also a couple of interesting 9/11 facts revealed at the films conclusion. Perhaps most disturbing of all, the authorities didn't know United 93 had been hijacked until four minutes after it crashed.

See it if you can handle it, it will tug at your heartstrings the whole way through.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining but disappointing at the same time..., 20 May 2006
6/10

It's hard to say for certain if this movie lived up to the hype. It provides a good two plus hours of entertainment, but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression and you probably won't want to see it again.

In my places the movie plays it too safe, it's almost as if Ron Howard is terrified of doing anything that might offend the Catholic Church. As a result, the film does not push the envelope as much as the book does.

Tom Hanks does a decent job as Robert Langdon although he seems to be without emotion for much of the performance. There also seems to be a lack of chemistry between his character and that of Audrey Tatou.

The best performances in the film come not from Hanks but from the supporting cast. Ian Mckellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and to a lesser extent Alfred Molina account for most of the films more dramatic moments.

Yes there are many changes from the book, but the central plot twist revealed at the end is the same in both. In the movie though, savvy viewers will probably figure it out about an hour before it is revealed as it seems to be pretty well telegraphed through most of the films second half.

The film also seems to suffer from lack of comedy relief. There are perhaps two chuckles in the whole film. Granted, this is a serious subject, but even a serious film needs a bit of humor.

Is it worth the price of admission? Probably. Is it one of the best films ever made? Definitely not.

After more than 20 years, this movie is still fun to watch, 24 April 2006
8/10

One of my favourite movies as a kid was this one, as it both made me laugh and scared me at the same time. I recently picked up a special DVD set of both Ghostbusters films and I still love watching them.

As a child of the 80s, I had all the Ghostbuster toys, the GB action figures, Ecto mobile, Firehouse. I only wish I'd kept them. My brother and I even dressed up as Ghostbusters one Halloween.

The film itself is very entertaining and really makes me miss good, intelligent comedies. There is not one single fart or sex joke in this entire movie and yet it's still really funny in some parts. I often wonder if good comedy movies like this still exist, one can only watch so many fart jokes until they get lame and boring.

Although some of the effects to seem dated, they hold up pretty well considering over two decades have passed since the production of this movie. The Stay Puft man is still one of the coolest bad guys ever.

If there's something strange in the neighbourhood...who you still gonna call?

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Conform or Rebel..., 20 March 2006

No matter how much control a government may wish to exert on its citizens, there will always be resistors, those who simply will not allow their own minds to be taken from the. This was the base theme in 1984 and it's the base theme here.

V for Vendetta is not a straight up action movie, but if you are into politics and history to an extent, you'll find a lot to think about in here. The film really addresses a number of issues all to prevalent in the post 9/11 world: spying, government monitoring, controlled release of information/misinformation (spin).

The character of V is given a good deal of personality despite the fact he never takes the mask off, which will no doubt disappoint some. Natalie Portman, despite the forced accent is probably one of a select group of women who look about as good with a shaved head as they do with full hair. She wasn't overwhelming here, but she was certainly adequate.

V for Vendetta is a great film for anyone who is looking for a good story wrapped around some very cool action film fight sequences. Yes, the Alan Moore purists have come out in force pointing out all the problems with this movie, but the same thing happens with any other adaptation (remember Asimov fans tearing up "I, Robot"? The best advice is to treat the movie and book as two separate entities and judge each on its own merit.

Firewall (2006)
49 out of 74 people found the following review useful:
Terrific first half, disappointing ending., 27 February 2006
7/10

First off Harrison Ford is still capable of playing these roles, he certainly did not come off as unbelievable for the most part.

The first hour or so of the movie is top notch and plays out exactly as any good action film should, the bad guys outmaneuvering the good guy at every turn so the audience hates them even more.

Unfortunately the second half of the movie is nowhere near as strong and I believe part of this is because Paul Bettany just does not play a convincing bad ass. He's a good actor, don't get me wrong, but he's far too lenient and soft compared to similar characters from other action movies. There is a scene where Ford and family attempt an escape, only to be foiled by their captors. Following this, Bettany does respond with a nasty act, but I kept expecting him to shoot (non-fatally) one of the family members or beat them with a club or other blunt object. There were also some logic issues that bugged me, but I won't get into them here as I do not want to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it.

Despite what I mentioned above, I found the movie to be well worth the cost of admission and a fun way to spend two hours.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
It's loud, it's crappy, It's brainless...I love it, 19 February 2006
7/10

3000 Miles to Graceland didn't win any awards, but it was never meant to. It was intended merely as stupid fun, a good way to enjoy a movie without having to think much.

I usually like heist movies, though this is nowhere near the Italian Job or Oceans Eleven it's still a fun romp and the Elvis element really gives it an interesting quirk. I don't really buy Kevin Costner or Kurt Russell as Elvis impersonators but then again, they are supposed to be criminals playing Elvis impersonators and in that respect they do fine.

I'm usually a sucker for these types of crappy movies but even I know that on most levels the movie doesn't get anywhere near good. You know what though? That's just fine with me because this movie's all about being bad.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Interesting twisted fairy tale...., 8 September 2005
7/10

I wasn't really keen on seeing this movie but one of my friends wanted to go and so obliged.

I wasn't particularly won over by it, but it does have some strong points.

I liked the way many of the memorable fairy tales we all grew up with were interpreted and in some cases warped in a rather dark and foreboding fantasy world.

Brothers Grimm is an experiment for sure, a unique movie that is almost without comparison because few other films have attempted to go where it does.

That being said, despite the fact this film has a fairy tale hook, the plot line is somewhat weak. I won't give too much away, except to say that there aren't many surprises awaiting the viewer.

Damon and Ledger are actually quite good as the Brothers, but the person I found most entertaining was the bungling French soldier assigned to them for most of the film.

Certainly not the best summer movie, but well worth a look if you have nothing better to do.


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