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Could have been good - should have been better
I am sad when a movie that has so much money spent on it doesn't capture the feeling it should. To move our emotions from happy to sad, from nervous to calm, from sad to very happy is the goal of most good movies and it's not an easy thing to do. This movie did that to some extent but died in regards to Nicole Kidman. I didn't feel any "real" connection between her and Hugh Jackman (Drover) nor with Brandon Walters (Nullah). It seemed pseudo or imitation. A great actress has to make you think she is really in love with her leading man. Nicole Kidman didn't do it. I don't know if she is capable of it. She seems to be destined to make films that have a "cold" emotional state (The Others). Maybe she just can't act well enough to believe in her character as a warm individual. I know she was suppose to start out that way but the "warm" didn't replace the "cool".
The plot was somewhat hard to pin down and figure out. Maybe the movie tried to accomplish too many plots rolled into one. They didn't need the attack from the Japanese to be a part of this movie. Maybe to have saved that for another movie would have been a better idea. I think so.
Almost all of the other characters were well cast and well acted with Brandon Walters putting in a great performance for his age. Too bad it wasn't in a real good movie.
While "Australia" was entertaining to a point, it failed for two reasons...too much plot and Nicole Kidman.
Follow Me, Boys! (1966)
A Disney and movie classic.
For it's day and age (and our age as well) this is a truly fine film.
It's full of the good things many of us remember with an interesting story line and well done acting. This is a movie that I can watch every few months when I want to see a movie about a simpler time and feel great by the end.
Fred MacMurray has been in many very good movies but this one, and "The Nutty Professor", could be his best. His personality seems to fit the part of Lam Siddons perfectly.
I'm certainly glad this has been released on DVD so we can enjoy the movie like it was originally.
I love the characters and the values the movie portrays.
I put this in my small group of classics that deserve 10's.
The Generic Critic
P.S. I just thought someone should have punched "Ralph" in the nose.
The Thing from Another World (1951)
A classic oldies SciFi - a "10" for it's time!
Most everyone out there who likes good SciFi and has seen this one likes it a lot. It has well developed characters and natural dialog. It is suspenseful and humorous in the right places. The pacing is also very good. The music adds a great deal to the overall feeling of the movie.
I just bought the DVD version of "The Thing" and re-enjoyed it as the quality is much better (of course).
This is the ONLY science fiction movie that I actually decided to turn off one night as I was watching it alone. Imagine that, a movie that actually scares you.
I have tons of SciFi movies but there are only a few older classics. "The Thing" is one of them, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is another. I'm so glad they have released these oldies on DVD as all of a sudden I'm seeing them in a whole new way. With a 13 foot projection screen it's just like going to the movies in the olden days only the popcorn is cooked in the microwave.
Hey, how about "Gort vs. The Thing"!
The Generic Critic
Mary Christmas (2002)
A giant step up for "Made for TV" movies
NOTE: I work with cameras and am continually analyzing what makes good (and bad) movies so this movie review is more than just a surface thing.
I didn't see this on TV but did recently on DVD. There are so many crummy movies being made lately that all I hoped for was something decent to watch with my family. Boy was I surprised! Not only was this movie very well produced and acted but it had an interesting and novel plot (I mean how many new ways can you do "Boy Meets Girl").
I can get very critical of bad acting where the actors don't really seem like they believe what they are doing. In "Mary Christmas" there was a real feeling portrayed between the various leads as well as those with lesser parts.
I would have only made two changes in the entire movie and they were only minor but would have given it an even better feel.
Heartland Entertainment can be very pleased with all who had a part in this film from the casting, directing, and acting to the camera crew. I would love to see them make another movie of this quality. I'm going to buy a bunch of DVDs and give them away as Christmas presents.
Thanks to all for having a Hollywood look without all the Hollywood garbage. You forced me to give this movie a very high rating.
The Generic Critic
The Time Machine (2002)
Good movie-no smut or language-WOW!
I have read some of the "professional critics'" movie reviews but still decided to rent this movie after watching the original the week earlier. Not only was I surprised that I liked the movie but also that it didn't contain ANY bad language and only a slight nudity (if you can put the girls outfit in that vain). Nothing too objectionable.
The leading man (Pearce) I thought was kind of a dud at first just the same way I thought Antonio Banderas wouldn't be a good Zorro - until he made the transformation. The same goes for Pearce. I couldn't see him as a leading man until he made the transformation from the nerd that he was earlier. This is to the movies' credit.
I liked the way the film kept much of the original movie's style but I also liked the changes hat were made. I especially found interesting the part about why Alexander Hartdegen couldn't change the past. It made sense and was sort of the "hook" of the film. I had to go back to the explanation twice in order to understand it though.
Also in the area of changes that I liked were the Eloi who had some life to them. They just didn't go off to die willingly. The moon thing was cool too. I enjoyed seeing the original `Mr. Philby' in this movie as well.
This is a short review as `TheShape23' did a better job reviewing this picture than have I. Same conclusion tho.
This DVD will be added to my collection, as it deserves to be there. It is a very good action film without the unneeded "crap" the gets into other movies. If anyone knows the director or producer let him or her know there are still a lot of us out here who appreciate a "good" movie. Make some more!
The Generic Critic
The Other Side of Heaven (2001)
Full of emotion and other good things!
This is the day and age where most movies relying on an "R" rating and special effects to get moviegoers to shell out their hard earned money. At the same time their producers push the limits of good taste and see how far they can go towards the "garbage" rating. I know not all movies do this but way too many do. Even many PG13 movies try hard to promote bad taste with raunchy plots. The trouble with this type of approach is that in many cases the movie isn't even good, or even worse - junk. Now comes a real good movie that takes a higher road. "The Other Side of Heaven" stands out as a movie that tries to fill the viewer with a sense of goodness in a people and those who would serve them. In this case it is the Tongan people and the server is a young missionary named Elder Groberg and his Tongan companion. I found this movie very interesting because besides being a very good movie, I was able to learn of the Tongan customs and traditions: what they found valuable and what was important to them. Elder Groberg was a young man from the states with all of the comforts that living there provides. To leave those comforts and go half way around the world to a strange people with a strange language must have been a real challenge. It was nothing less than a whole new way of life for him. This movie has some special effects but it doesn't rely on them. It is an epic movie with a great plot, which is made even more interesting because it is based on a true story. "The Other Side of Heaven" has clean humor, tragedy, love, challenges, danger, hope, faith, and great acting. What could be better? You can go to this movie and take your kids or your mom without worrying about what they will be subjected to. What movie these days can claim that? Anyone want to visit Tonga?
The Generic Critic
Dante's Peak (1997)
Gets better with age
I'll have to say that the first time I watched "Dante's Peak" I found a few too many "dumb things" such as when Rachel Wando, the mayor, was looking for her "good jacket" and her daughter said, "You don't have a good jacket". After Rachel replied it was the red one her daughter said "Oh! Oh that one." Well, having been on the stage a few times I recognized a stage line and not a movie line. One is subtle and the other is too obvious. I know it's a little thing but since I want the move I rent or buy to be really good, little things like that bug me a bit. Then in the course of the movie we have to deal with an idiot "Grandma" who doesn't have a clue. I guess that's why she lives alone away from everyone. I found myself not caring about her when she died and didn't feel the connection between her and her adopted family. While we're on the subject, why is it that the dog that runs away is soo ugly that your glad it's gone? Did you notice it ran towards the lava that was headed towards them? No big deal because the ugly dog lives. So much for the bad, now the good. When I watched "Dante's Peak" again I didn't mind the goofs as much because I knew they were there. I liked Brosnan and even started liking Linda Hamilton in her roll as the Mayor of Dante's Peak. The hardest thing for me to do was to see her in a romantic role as the only other movie I have seen her in was "Terminator" where she was absolutely cold (which was correct for her part). Anyway, it took a second time thru to make me see her in a different role. She wasn't too bad. I guess that's the sign of a good actor. The special effects were quite good and the plot/story line moved forward correctly (for the most part). All in all the movie was a 6 and for me that's not too bad. My own rating system is based on how many times i could see it in a year without going crazy. This would be a 3 out of 12 meaning I "could" watch it 3 times during the year without any brain damage resulting. Not a lot of movies get over a three and only the best movies get a 5 or 6. I don't watch a movie that often except for "The Natural" which I made it a policy to watch every month while doing "Month End" on the computer system. That was a long time ago and it is an excellent movie. "Dante"s Peak" is good but not excellent.
The Generic Critic
Jurassic Park III (2001)
I gave this film a rating of 8.5 out of 10 (although only an 8 shows up). An 8 in my rating is considered great. A 9 is excellent and a 10 is excellent and a classic. There are only a couple of movies I give 10's to so consider my rating in that sense.
From the start I liked the way the movie was filled with suspense and stomach wrenching scenes. It had a good balance of highly volatile scenes and some calming, slow your heart down scenes. The balance is set for an action movie so there are a lot more suspenseful scenes than slower ones.
It's not easy finding a good plot that will bring us back to the island where the dinosaurs were created. There had to be a real reason to go back and something different to see when we got there. Jurassic III filled the bill.
The special effects were terrific! I watched "The Making of Jurassic Park III" after seeing the movie and found myself admiring it even more. The work that went into it was astounding in order to give us, the audience, the feeling that what we were watching was real. Make sure you watch the bonus material if you get the DVD.
This could be my favorite of the three Jurassic Park movies. I know I can watch if more than a couple of times without getting sick of it. Jurassic Park I was real good but II was kind of lame. This one was a surprise at how good it was. Who knows...maybe IV will be just as much of a surprise. That's right - them bird things...
The Generic Critic
Il mio nome è Nessuno (1973)
The way they use to be. English "My Name is Nobody"
This is the way movies should be made. Great plot, plenty of pertinent action, clever and funny, and all around well made especially for it's time and where is was made. The combination of Henry Fonda as an aging sheriff trying to retire without getting killed by every punk gunslinger that wants to test his fast draw against a legend and Terence Hill of Trinity fame as a quick draw himself who wants to "help" the sheriff go out in a blaze of glory while taking his place as the fastest gun in the west. (Wow, that was a mouthful. Since Terence Hill is "Nobody" and the final staged showdown leaves the old sheriff dead (only mostly dead)...Nobody was faster! Now the sheriff can retire in comfort as everyone thinks he's out of the picture. The new punk gunslingers can focus their hopes for glory on doing in Nobody. Good luck as "Nobody is faster"!!!! I'm looking for this movie to add to my collection of great movies. I suppose I'll find it sometime soon. If you haven't seen "My Name is Nobody" yet you're in for a treat - unless you liked "Vertical Limit". Be sure to pick up your brain before watching this.
Vertical Limit (2000)
So much money...so many goofs!
How can anyone spend so much money and make a picture like this? The effects were good but how many really stupid / bad things can happen in one film or one person's life. If only two of the many, many catastrophes that happened in the movie happened in real life it would be like lightning striking you twice. Everything that the actors did (pretending to be the best of the best climbers) seemed to go against them. Really, do you think a professional climber would leave his back pack where it could slide down the mountain? This is your life we're talking about. How about a nylon climbing rope that snaps two feet above the ground just after stopping a long fall. You can't see anyone's breath and it's cold up there. But the way, there aren't any open flame fires that I know of (unless the fuel contains it's own oxygen) anywhere near that altitude. Or how about a professional climber (who relies on good lungs) that smokes. Really, enough is enough!
If you can't think well you might like this movie but it you have some brains, no way! No real plot development - only special effects over and over and over...Unfortunately not even plausible special effects. Jumping a crevasse (didn't they know it was there before they took that route) and actually sticking to the other side. Come on!
I could go on and on but I won't. Nice scenery though. I like the actors but not in this movie.
Well, that's my take and thanks.