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The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Knowing that Spielberg and Jackson were involved I expected the animation to be at a level not seen before - and it was. But I feared that the storytelling would be mediocre - and it was. You just wish these guys who can pour unfathomable sums of money into a film could make it a little more engaging. I guess showering a screenwriter with gold coins ain't necessarily gonna pay off the way pouring money into the animation would. Kung Fu Panda is the only animated film I've seen with a good script, wish there were more. But this was OK and I actually wouldn't object to a sequel. Kung Fu Panda good, Tintin not so good. 10 lines yet?
Red Dog (2011)
I thought I was in for the next great Australian movie. The movie looks fantastic, amazing cinematography, some decent character acting, but the story just doesn't draw you in. The dialogue has no wit, nothing, it's just awful. The photography kept me watching until about halfway, when I just got too bored. It's really hard to fathom the rave reviews. There was a scene, some guy gets on a table and makes a speech to a crowd, someone asks him "how's the weather up there?" and the crowd all laugh. That's the kind of wit you can expect in this movie.
Check "Restraint" from 2008 or "The Loved Ones" from 2009 for better examples of Aussie films.
Accidents Happen (2009)
average movie - ignore fake reviews
This movie did a great job with the period details of 1982 and making Australia look like America and Australians sound like Americans. One mistake though: "Horror Smash" in the newspaper headline is not a phrase you would see in an American newspaper. It's Australian.
The movie starts out alright, but the comic tone at the beginning sadly is not the tone of much of the movie. Then the film tries to be more than it is. Near the end there was this heavy emotional scene where the viewers are supposed to be moved and cry with the characters, but it just didn't work. The "Horror Smash" accident scene around which a lot of the story revolves actually looked pretty minor and how anyone could have possibly been hurt is hard to imagine.
This film has some stellar reviews by IMDb users so far. Look closely and you'll see a lot of those reviewers have never reviewed another film. Gotta make you suspicious. Maybe if you are closely tied to the production, you would really like to believe it is a monumental movie, but it isn't.
A Fork in the Road (2009)
I liked it
It's well-written, competently acted, good story, funny, what's not to like? Incredible scenery too, I don't recall any other movie shot in a place like that.
I thought I might be in for some low budget amateurish flick as I didn't recognize any of the cast, but the story kicked off, kept my interest, made me laugh, and the cast were good. Great production values. The lead girl looks vaguely familiar and I recognized her sister who is, according to the credits, Missi Pyle, although she's not listed on IMDb as of my post.
So if you like a comedy that's a little on the black side, you can do a lot worse than this.
it's actually pretty good
The previous review seems like it came from a crew member, all gushing with praise for this little movie, but surprisingly, I can't disagree much. I don't know that I'll watch it over and over, but it's certainly worth a view.
It's got great performances and dialogue. I didn't recognize any of the cast at first, until I realized the dad was from The Mummy and Deuce Bigalow from about 10 years ago. He was the long haired gigolo with the fish tank in Deuce Bigalow, and one of the best parts of that movie. One odd thing that seems out of place is that the mother has a very slight accent.
I don't know that I'd classify it strictly as a comedy, although it has liberal doses of comedy thrown in, often darkly funny.
Probably won't get much notice unfortunately, like the film Palo Alto from a couple of years ago. Another very well done movie that nobody has seen.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
While not a terrible movie....
...it ain't all that great either. Nice photography, great acting, it's fairly entertaining, but the story? I guess you've got to expect a certain amount of unbelievability in a Western, such as people running through a town with dozens of people firing on them and they don't get shot. What really bothered me was the almost surreal stupidity of the guys transporting a dangerous prisoner. His only restraint was having his hands loosely cuffed in front of him. The first night he kills one of his guards. So you'd think maybe they'd add a few ropes and chains to limit his movement. Nope, they just carry on like nothing happened. Next day he kills another one. Same reaction. Later he escapes and steals all their horses. I was shaking my head in disbelief.
If a bad guy offered me $200 to kill a good guy I'd be thinking "hmm, well he's probably got a lot more than $200 in his pocket, so maybe I'll just kill this guy and take his money".
The last movie I watched because of the over 8.0 rating on IMDb was King Kong, but don't worry, this movie doesn't suck nearly as badly as King Kong.