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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
James Gunn thinks he's an "auteur"
I like this film (acting, cinematography, costumes, makeup, and effects), but the script sucks eggs. Why? Because James Gunn thinks he can write. Direct, yes, and very well; But write, definitely not. In preproduction Gunn took the script out of the hands of better qualified writers and screwed it up. He is not qualified to write like Lucas, Spielberg, or Besson, but he thinks he is and, unfortunately, so did the ignorant producers. Continuity between scenes and even (cartoon/comic book) science was completely screwed up.
I rated this at just 4 because of the horrible script Gunn stuck his fingers into. It could have been better if he had just stayed behind the camera.
The Flyboys (2008)
An impressive and mature film with few flaws...
This is an impressive and mature film with few flaws... but there are flaws. For example, Kyle starts out as a smart and self-sufficient kid. About 30 minutes in he loses it and becomes average. His precocious wisdom and talent comes back, but the script needed that lapse to create the subsequent story. That was a shame. The young actors playing the two principle boys were breathtaking. Overall, this script is great, but I'd be willing to wager that the stupidities I noticed were put there by the producers or the studio execs who had no confidence in the original script. Fortunately, something good was left after their dissection... a rare event.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
In the first 10 minutes, this continuation of the Star Trek saga (compared to all media, even fan fiction) breaks all the Star Trek rules. The actors are great (as they were in the last one) but the script is garbage if considered within the canon of ST. Are all of the writers of the last decade deliberately making Kirk a fool and Spock emotional? That's already been done ... to death. Didn't anyone follow the "canon" up to this point? Is this because of their opinions of William Shatner (if so, agreed, for that period of his career. He's better now as can be seen in several television series.)? The previous Star Trek (2009) was "worthy" within the canon of the universe of ST. This film is weak because of the very poor writing. ... but it's always the writing, isn't it? I accept it a bit as an amusing SF film. As a part of the Star Trek canon... never.
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Well acted, but the script reduced the level of the original.
I voted a 4 for this film and the only reason it arrived there was the cast and the quality of their work. They were all marvelous with a low- quality and repulsive script. The scenarist decided that the middle class of Chicago are dumb and kept them that way for the entire film. The original story was more in the suburbs of the films of Stephen Spielberg mixed with "Desperate Housewives".
Don't get me wrong; the casting was great and so were ALL of the actors' work, but the script was a perversion of the work of a great film, television, short story, and novel writer. (The author of the original book was, among other things, one of the major authors of many classic episodes of the original "Twilight Zone".)
The story was ruined by that change, but all of the "grunts" (actors, crew, director of photography, etc.) did great work. ALL of these actors are worth watching in this film... even if the "powers that be" ruined what could have been a good, new variation on "6th Sense".
I realize that the producers need to make money with this story. So, they lowered the class and the IQ's of all of the characters so that a "middle American" audience would "identify with it". That's a sad fact for the film industry (especially in our epoch), but it's common for at least 30 years. That's why comic books (the same story several times over!) and even boardgames and toys are being transformed into "blockbusters". Writers in Hollywood have had almost no original ideas in the last 30 years, but since producers have no idea what "writing" or "originality" are, they produce and make money with middle America with stories that are the lowest common denominators in the field. Welcome to the industry of "art".
I have a large DVD collection (more than 500 titles), but this one won't be added. ... However, I will write to the actors' agents so that I can pass the message that they did great work, nevertheless. (I'm a voice actor and I know we as actors are not responsible for the scripts: we just need to keep working like any employee and do our best.)
Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Well done, but disappointing
Let's get the compliments out of the way first: The acting and casting (minus the leads) was high quality as was the direction.
Now for the important stuff... the writers should be shot. They never read the classics (or never understood them, which is more likely) and just put an action sequel on the page with no thought to the source material (which, to it's credit, the "first" ...and the remake... films tried to do).
The casting for the first roles was horrible (the work/acting was very well done, and it wasn't Sam Worthington's fault because he is an excellent actor who is "up and coming", but the Australian accent was often incomprehensible and, of course, unbelievable in his role.) I feel so, so, sorry for all of the great actors who did so well but who (clearly) needed to make a few dollars by doing this piece of c*** script.
For those who know something of Greek mythology (the minority), this film may be amusing. I hope the viewers will realize that. (But that's unlikely...)
Nevertheless... kudos to Jonathan Liebesman for turning a garbage script into an interesting and entertaining stand-alone action film that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Greek mythology.