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The best summer blockbuster in years
I just came back from the premier where I live, and this is, quite frankly, the most amazing blockbuster ever in years.
To get this out of the way first, the bad points of the film were that the two human protagonists, don't seem to act all that surprised when discovering the first transformer. I feel that the film could have done without the love plot line; its too clichéd in blockbuster films these days.
Also, the story is told entirely from Sam Witwicky and the Autobot's point of view, which means the decepticons are almost never seen interacting with one another. The rivalry between Starscream and Megatron exists only in one spoken line.
Its a pity, considering how the original cartoons divided equal time between the autobots and decepticons, but I guess that is what the sequels are for.
If you are fine with that, then this movie is an absolute blast. The action scenes are lengthy and breathtaking. While the decepticons aren't given much speaking lines, there are a lot of scenes showing them wreaking havoc on anything other than themselves.
The action scenes are unbelievable. I'm a pretty harsh critic when it comes to action scenes in movies, and I have to say nothing tops the climax of this film. I won't say anything more, except to suggest that you try not to blink. You don't want to miss one millisecond of the climax, trust me.
The plot is simple, and structured well. Don't expect a deep, thoughtful storyline that is bulletproof from scrutiny, but expect something that is entertaining and follows the original cartoons in spirit. There was maybe one scene which dragged on longer than it should have, but thats about it. The whole show is quite long at 2 1/2 hours, though a movie on this scale deserves to be 3 hours long.
Overall if you can overlook the above mentioned flaws, this is the summer blockbuster to compensate for the disappointments of Spider Man, Pirates and Shrek 3. If you have to see one summer blockbuster, make it this one.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Quite an experience
War of the Worlds is an alien invasion movie unlike no other. Most movies of this kind tend to show the story from multiple perspectives, and explain everything that's going on. Not with this one. The movie rarely (if ever) leaves the eyes of Ray Ferrier, the reluctant father who has to protect his kids from the alien menace. The story is therefore tighter and you get a better sense of what Ray's feeling. The movie sort of reminded me of Dawn of the Dead in that the plot rarely explains the background of the invaders or what is going on, but rather sticks to the protagonists' struggle to survive an event that changes their lives in just moments. Having said that, War of the Worlds is certainly the best alien invasion movie I've seen so far because it truly portrays the terror and confusion one would feel in such an event.
Never before has an alien invasion movie creeped me out like this one. The tripod aliens are terrifying to behold, not only because they look so real (kudos to the SFX department), but because their design, their movement, and what they do to human beings is enough to make you shiver when they show up on screen. In the initial scenes, you have to wonder why the people on the streets stare up at the massive alien instead of run for their lives. Believe me, once you see these aliens, and imagine yourself in such a situation, you'd probably stand and stare in awe too. In Independence Day, I just didn't feel that when people on the streets stared at the alien UFO. In this movie, I certainly did.
Despite what you might think, this isn't your typical epic disaster movie. There are some pretty lengthy scenes that take place underground, when Ray and his two kids seek refuge from their oppressors. I found the underground scene with Oglivy to be very unique as there is nearly no dialogue throughout the whole thing. Spielberg also does an excellent job showing the animal-like behavior humans degenerate into in the event of a disaster like this. One of the more shocking scenes was when Ray, driving the only working vehicle in the area, is surrounded by a horde of desperate people. As shocking as it was, it was a realistic showing of how easy it is for civilized people to devolve in terms of their behavior.
The performances are pretty good. Tom Cruise proves that he can play a variety of characters, and as Ray Ferrier he portrays him as a bit of a jerk of a father who still tries his best to be a good parent. After the initial alien attack, he returns home and his portrayal at shock and confusion is excellent here. Dakota Fanning also puts in a phenomenal performance as a rather spoilt little girl who unfortunately has to witness the violence going on around her. Although her non-stop screaming and whining annoyed me at times, you have to admire such a young thing for being able to put in a performance that transcends the acting abilities of her age group.
The film did have some awkward moments, though. Ray and his son get into heated arguments in the strangest occasions, and I really felt the film would have done better without the son because he was acting like a prick the whole time. The ending also comes rather suddenly, too, and it would have been nice if there was a little more resolution afterwards. I've read that people thought the ending was 'ridiculous' or 'laughable', but honestly I don't see anything about it that was strange. You be the judge.
Overall this is a viscereal, hard hitting film. It isn't your typical epic that mainstream audiences will like, because of how it focuses on a single character the whole time, and thus lacks some of the more grand, epic action scenes that has become an expectation of these films so far. War of the Worlds is something different to watch--an alien invasion movie that induces a sense of terror like no other. Watch it with an open mind.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Darker, more outrageous, and still great
Its been expected that many people would not appreciate the Matrix Revolution. The series doesn't throw every answer in your face, therefore its probably the only major budget trilogy that requires lots of thinking to understand fully. People don't really expect this sort of thing from a big budgeted, much anticipated movie, and they hype it so much, expecting the movie to turn out the way they *expect* it to be. Then when the movie takes a different approach to what people expect, then people don't like it. Its not because of the movie that people say it sucks, its because of the people themselves. Its their expectations that cause it. Instead of having expectations, I accepted the storyline as it was told, and any elements of the story that people dismissed as "loose ends that weren't tied up" are explainable if you put some thought into it and keep an open mind.
Anyway, onto my review. Revolutions is an awesome movie that definitely takes a very different approach and has a very different feel. The first matrix was about awakening, and there was a balance of scenes in the real and matrix world. Reloaded took place mostly in the matrix, because its more or less the episode where Neo sets out on his prophesized purpose. Revolutions takes place mostly in the real world, where the events that happen in Reloaded force the humans to take up their last stand and just have a lot of faith. Just because Revolutions is not like the Matrix doesn't mean its bad, it just means its different. The movie has less talkative than Reloaded, but it still gets its message across. The action is simply over the top and very pleasing to the eye, with scenes like the super brawl where Neo and Smith fight in what I can only describe as one of the most outrageous and compelling fights ever. While this fight is not as lightning fast and complex as the Burly Brawl, it defintely has a very epic feel to it, with punches and kicks being magnified and Neo and Smith made to look like two gods in human bodies in a grand showdown. I said in my Reloaded review that it didn't hold back its creativity. Revolutions simply unleashes every ounce of it. The zion battle, because it takes place in the real world, does not feature any humans flying or doing fantastic feats, therefore it has a more down to earth feel. Still, it is probably the most intricate and overwhelming science fiction war scene, with, I can tell you right now, MILLIONS of sentinals flying around while the humans fight a desperate battle to hold them back. Let me tell you, if you don't think to yourself "oh sh**" when you see the giant swarms of sentinals, you're either too arrogant for your own good or there's something wrong with your head. The opening club shootout, as much as it was short, was awesome. It definitely makes the lobby scene in the first matrix look average, as it has people flying around, walking on the walls, and of course, shooting. All this to tune of an awesome techno rhythm. The action scenes in Revolutions, like Reloaded, are too excellent for words and definitely transcend any action scene filmed in any other movie in terms of creativity and coolness.
That takes care of the action. Now the story. The story here is definitely darker and has more despair. As you will come to realize, the movie brings forth the Matrix Trilogy's christian elements. One such element is the whole idea of faith. Despite having an army of sentinals coming at them, despite Neo not stopping them before they reach Zion, and despite how nobody knows what they can do other than fight a losing battle, it is ultimately faith that pushes Neo to do something about it, and it is faith that allows the people of zion to have the courage to fight. Probably the most contraversial thing about the Matrix Trilogy, now that it is concluded, is the ending. SPOILERS... At the end, Neo fools smith into copying him, but what smith doesn't realize is that Neo, as the oracle explained, is essentially neo, except they're the yin and yang of each other. In order for one to exist, so must the other. Thus, when Neo is copied, and ceases to exist, the balance is gone and so is Smith. I thought that idea was genius. I didn't get it at first, but like I said earlier, I thought about it, and all was explained. After that, the machines stick to their end of the bargain, and really do, this time, give them a choice, and stop attacking them. The humans and machines live in the same world, and while the machines still exist, they are neutral to the humans instead of hostile. This ending, I thought, was perfect. It brings about the Yin Yang idea present with Neo and Smith. Also, if the film ended with the humans winning everything, the sun clearing up and so on, people will say it was too happy. If it ended with a downright bad ending, that would have eliminated the whole point of the movies. So whats wrong with something thats in the middle? This sort of ending was perfect and is also different, because not a lot of movies end like this, where the good guys and bad guys stop fighting and simply live out their lives independently, instead of one destroying the other. I suppose some people are asking 'why would the machines stop attacking? Now that neo's dead, why don't they just forget about the whole deal and destroy zion?" The answer is very easy. As the architect put it, "What do you think I am, human?"
All in all the Matrix is a great trilogy. People who didn't understand the film and refuse to think about the ending will complain endlessly and dismiss it as typical hollywood trash, but in my opinion I doubt there's ever been a major budget, hugely publicized trilogy thats had such a complex, intricate story, over the top action, and overflowing creativity. It is a terrific way to end the Matrix movies, but trust me, the story will not stop there. I gladly give this a 10/10.
The Bachelorette (2003)
The bachelorette is a pretty awful premise for a show seeing as how it deals with something as critical as marriage in such a game show kind of way. Over a dozen male bachelors stay in a luxury resort while each taking turns to go on numerous dates with the bachelorette, and each episode a number of the bachelors get eliminated by the bachelorette depending on how good of a chemistry there is between her and a bachelor. The final remaining bachelor marries her. This is ridiculous. While it does make for some entertaining drama, this is real people we're dealing with here. The fact that they have to go through this show to get married is quite sad. The bachelors themselves were quite immature too. I saw one of them dump a sack of dog food on his head, and I could only shake my head at this spectacle.
The biggest kicker about this show is that the Bachelorette, Trista, was formerly a contender and winner of the previous show, The Bachelor, and that the Bachelor dumped her very shortly after she won and married him, so she signed on to be on this show to get a new husband! Is that pathetic or what?
A surprisingly good sequel with a good story and great ending
I'll admit, I was sure T3 was going to blow because Cameron wasn't directing it, and that the plot initially sounded like T2's, and was basically going to be a rehash. I was afraid this movie was going to destroy the Terminator series. Thankfully, it did not. Terminator 3 combines great acting, a story that explains itself well, and excellent action scenes.
The acting is very good. Nick Stahl plays a rather reluctant and fearful John Connor who refuses to believe that he is still being hunted by a Terminator even though cyberdyne was destroyed. Arnold Schwarzenneger, the star of the show, is also very good, retaining his deadpan, robotic behavior and tone of voice. It seems the resistance turned on his learning computer before they sent him back in time, because he is able to, well, learn in this movie (this makes more sense if you saw the uncut T2). This makes for some comic relief, that, while making the movie seem a little lighthearted at first, does not disrupt its overall dark nature. Claire Danes is also pretty good. She isn't your typical squeamish female character. While she is more fearful than John Connor, she ultimately becomes a more determined character after realizing her role, much like Sarah Connor in T1. Overall the acting is well done, and it certainly does help convey the whole despairty of the situation, and the characters' determination to accomplish their goals.
The story was pulled off well. T2 saw John Connor realize his role, and become a less worthless person into a someone who can actually make decisions. As you will see in T3, John's first real test comes in. I can't say much more without spoiling the whole thing. While the story isn't as powerful and insightful as T2's, it is much darker and is filled with dispair. The ending was very moving, with the way the narration was done, and the tone of the music.
The action scenes, whose quality is essential to any Terminator movie, were extremely well done. The car chase was very well done, because it was fast, and each crash and slam was done with the right camera angle and sound effect that you can feel the impact yourself. The camera changes are done quite quickly, but it maintains a wide angle on things, and a close angle on others so that the chase is effectively conveyed to be chaotic and messy, but at the same time you can see what is going on. The fight scenes were also good. Like the car chase, each punch and slam has a huge impact in sound and visuals. I mean, when you see one of the terminators get punched or thrown across a room, you can really feel the impact in you! They were also well cheographed. While the matrix films have a balletic and lightning fast quality to their fight scenes, the Terminator films' fights have a more brutal and hard hitting quality. Overall the action scenes were very well done. There was none of that shaky camera nonsense which I get so sick of.
There is of course, a noticable flaw to the film. While T2 explained how the T-1000 was able to track the characters no matter where they went, T3 does not. The TX shows up almost everywhere the protagonists go without explaining how it found out(Except for the cemetary). I hope that a DVD release will in some way explain this.
T3 is a worthy sequel. It doesn't have the epic quality that Cameron produced, it is still well done. To the regular viewer it is a great popcorn flick that isn't your standard hollywood action flick fair. To the terminator fan, it is a good medium to forward the story of Terminator and to show Ah-nuld kicking arse again.
Johnny English (2003)
Great spy spoof
Johnny English is a great comedy that makes fun of virtually every aspect of super spy thrillers, from the car to the female secret agent who eventually falls in love with the protagonist. The movie concocts a ludicrous plot as a vehicle for the gags that will ensue, and it integrates these gags into the plot quite well. They got the right man for the job, too. Rowan Atkinson is excellent at portraying the completely incompetent Johnny English, who's sidekick, Boff is actually a better agent than he is. Yes I know, the whole sidekick-better-than-hero thing has been used before, but without Boff, the plot probably would have never advanced because English fumbles literally EVERYTHING he does on assignment. So Boff is to just move the film along while English's job in this film is to provide the laughter.
One of the things that makes Johnny English such a great spy spoof is because the character himself, at first glance, looks and acts like he's a real secret agent, unlike Austin Powers who looks and behaves like an idiot. English is serious about doing his job, and very confident that he's the best, which is why when he screws up everything its hilarious to see how he reacts and tries to correct his mistakes. One great part is (Spoilers) how he never, ever fires his gun because everytime he does, it breaks! The mood of one of those scenes is great. English is being fired at by a thug, and this fast, action packed music plays. The whole thing plays out like your standard hollywood gunfight, then when English leans out to fire, the top slide of his gun falls off, yet the action music keeps playing.(End of spoiler)
Another excellent aspect of Johnny English is how many of the gags carry over in several scenes. This means that a lot of the gags in the movie don't just come and go; they will have some significance later in the movie that will add to the hilarity. Finally, Johnny English is also an excellent comedy because it never has to rely on sex jokes, which in many films these days, are not so subtle because they're so effortlessly made, yet they make the general audience roar with laughter. Johnny English uses some clever, original jokes that are extremely funny. Many will not like this film because it lacks sex jokes, and will simply dismiss it as being corny (which is ridiculous), but if you like a great spy spoof starring Mr. Bean himself, this is truly excellent.
Very, very clever show that is a showcase of creativity
Although I have only seen two episodes of it, Junkyard wars is an excellent show that defines the word 'creativity'. Two teams of people from various states in the US will be assigned a specific vehicle to make, whether its an all terrain vehicle or remote controlled torpedo. They have to make this vehicle out of materials found in a junkyard, hence the name. The rules of the show go nowhere into what the design of the vehicle will be, but they do make it so that extreme coordination and team work is required among the contestants. Watching the teams use their imagination and put their minds together is great. Its incredible how they manage to create something like a working ATV out of stuff found in a junk pile. The hosts also bring in an expert to offer his opinions on which team is doing well, or what style a specific team seems to be following. After the 10 hour time limit the teams sleep of the rest of the day, and on the next day they put their machines to the real test. Depending on what vehicle is required, the show will have a different obstacle course to put the teams' vehicles through. So if its an ATV they had to build, then the obstacle course is in the form of a race track consisting of various kinds of terrain. If its a remote controlled torpedo, then its more or less an obstacle course underwater. Overall this is a great show and I highly recommend anyone who has a functional brain to turn on the discovery channel and try to find the time this is shown.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Excellent on every comprehensible level
The matrix reloaded completely blew me away. I had high hopes for this movie, and reloaded completely blew me away. It has everything. It has a good amount of fight scenes, each being unique and spectacular. It has the car chase which, in my opinion, is the best, unchallenged, most breathtaking car chase ever made in history. It has the martial arts done by the actors themselves, and they are fast, yet the camera maintains a good, wide angle on the action so you don't see a blur of clothes like in many martial arts films.
One thing I like about Reloaded that many people didn't was how it didn't hold itself back on its creativity. There are a lot of scenes like the conversation between Neo and...well, you'll know, that my friends thought was a little silly. In my opinion I thought it was a chilling look at the machines and what they are. Many of today's late teen generation will be quite ignorant about the underlying story, and ignore the enormous depth to it by laughing at something they're not supposed to laugh at, and I think that is quite annoying. When I watched Reloaded, I took the film seriously, and watched the film for what it was, a moody sci fi action thriller. Many other people watch it as a typical popcorn movie. Thats fine by me, but when these people openly mock the film with baseless statements, I really get annoyed.
Anyway, about the film. The storyline in the Matrix takes new depths as we are revealed a more sinister secret that is more than just the machines using humans as batteries. We are shown the underneath of the matrix in its true form, a kind of behind the scenes look at the machines' big game. Things get more bizarre as Neo gets closer and closer to the truth, and I was quite shocked and slightly haunted when everything was revealed to him. For a movie with so much action, Reloaded packs a whallop in the storyline department. I advise you to watch it with a really, really open mind. Visually, the film is a magnificent feast of creativity. Every fight scene is unique in its own way, showcasing revolution after revolution of special effects. Trust me when I say that this film WILL blow you away with its visuals one way or another. The acting is fine, but it is Hugo Weaving who turns in the best performance as the overly evil Smith who inherits the human characteristic of being sadistic, and he gains a new ability that produces some chilling but eventually amazing results. Reloaded maintains a healthy balance of action and story, filling you in with as much of the underlying philosophy and plot while punctuating itself with breathtaking action sequences.
Personally, my favorite aspect of the movie that isn't a spoiler for me to say, is Neo's ability to fly. Every time he takes off the environment around him is affected in a dramatic and incredible way. For instance, he'd fly into the sky and the clouds would swirl in his wake.
Overall, Reloaded is easily the best film I have seen all year. Its good to know that big budget hollywood action material CAN be extremely successful, and the Matrix is the most prime example. Highly recommended. 10/10
This film is pretty stupid - Spoilers
This made for tv movie was dumb. It spent about 90 percent of its time on events with the characters. Examples are : the teacher character joins up with the army and later gets into gunfights with a gang, a gangster teams up with his girlfriend to rob a bank. I mean, what relevance do these events have to do with the overall story? The movie is about some solar pulse thats supposed to heat up the country by over 100 degrees, but instead we're shown random sub plot after random sub plot which, I'm afraid, eventually made up the whole movie. It is only during the last 5 minutes that the solar pulse actually happens, and all it does is shatter the glass on one floor of a skyscraper. Nobody is killed at all! The whole disaster came and went in a matter of seconds! Stupid film.
One Hour Photo (2002)
Terrific drama that is both haunting and moving
One hour photo is a movie about how a lonely man slowly spirals into insanity because of constant trauma, and the fact that nothing good happens to him. The audience is shown just how lonely he is, that he likes to fantasize a lot, and that inside he's a kind person. Robin Williams gives a terrific performance with his acting, and his facial expressions when he isn't speaking. There is a slightly haunting touch to how he starts to lose it, but at the climax of the movie Williams really frightens his audience when portraying his character at the peak of insanity. The ending however, is both powerful and moving and your feelings for Sy completely change. The final shot of the movie, truly, inspires a huge sense of guilt and sadness in both Sy and the audience. A great movie about a misunderstood man.
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Great action comedy
I believe this film is hugely underrated, with people comparing it to the first one. Ok, so maybe it is inferior, but that doesn't mean its bad. I like robocop 2 because of how it blends in humor with the violence. Some of my favorites are how the swinging of robocop's hands when he walks is exaggerated, and when he fires his gun he raises the other hand high in the air. I also found it hilarious how robocop is turned into a wussy who tries to use non-violent solutions to solve crimes, with very funny results. MINOR SPOILER Another funny scene is when Robocop is helping the cops take out a warehouse of criminals, and when when a bad guy is to his left, he shoots him while looking to the right, probably to look cool which i found really great. END OF SPOILER These kinds of humor that are acted out in a serious or deadpan tone really help make the movie more comedic. There is a good amount of gore in the movie, with images of a lobotomy taking place, and a couple of scenes which were censored from every form of media I've seen this. So, I advice anyone who wants to see this to just brace themselves for a couple of nasty looking parts. SPOILER!! Oh, and by the way, there are quite a number of scenes showing Robo getting dismembered END OF SPOILER. The stop motion animated Robocop 2 is both ominous in appearance and deadly in effeciency, and while stop motion isn't exactly the most convincing form of special effect, it portrays Robocop 2 in an effective way, just as the T-800 was in The Terminator. Overall Robocop 2 is a terrific film, with a good brand of humor integrated into slick action sequences.
U.S. Seals (2000)
A truly abysmal film
This has to be the king of bad action movies. The acting is really bad and the action scenes are repetitive and boring. What I found most irritating about this 'film' is that the navy seals don't use any tactics whatsoever-they always dispose of their enemies by simply gunning down the first enemy they see. Some parts are just over the top stupid, for instance during the part where the seals and the bad guys chase each other in armored carriers around a marketplace, a car just, out of the blue, drives from off screen, gets launched into the air and blows up for no reason. What kind of random stunt was that? That wasn't the first time either. Later on an enemy jeep goes up a crude ramp, explodes for no reason and flies into the water. Also the director has some strange fascination with objects suspended in the air that the good guys use to kill the bad guys. The first time, they use a block hanging on a crane to demolish a building with bad guys in it. The second time, they shoot a crane with another block suspended, which drops onto the enemies. The third time, they, using an innaccurate machine gun from a long distance, shoot another crane with a truck suspended below that drops about 6 meters and explodes onto the bad guys. This is just the icing of the cake, of course, because during most of the action sequences the seals are fighting literally an army of bad guys using weapons they aren't supposed to be using, while constantly exposing themselves the enemy fire. I'm going to list some of the most dumb scenes below.
1. The good guys can run straight towards a pillbox with about 4 machinegunners firing at them, yet not get hit a single time. They hid behind a tree, throw a grenade without even looking and guess what? It flies through the slit in the pillbox and blows it up.
2. Throughout the entire movie the seals never, ever, have to reload their rifles. I estimate that they fired about 1000+ bullets, yet there isn't a single scene of them reloading, nor do they run out of ammo.
3. The seals are deadly accurate with their weapons, and the enemies couldn't hit a house even if they were inside one. Every grenade, every burst of gunfire from the seals always hits, and only one bullet the army of enemies fires actually hits a seal. I hate to say this but I nearly slept by the final battle because it had the same turnout.
4. The seals can't get killed by explosions. One scene had shells, missiles and rockets exploding all around them, and despite the fact that most of them exploded within a radius of less than 5 feet around them, not one seal got fazed or hurt. Yet their grenades explode with a tiny bang but can kill enemies several meters away.
5. The seals behave in an extremely barbaric manner. When interrogating the bad guys, they bash, punch, smash, and torture them to get answers. If I were a seal I'd be offended at the way this film portrays me.
All in all, US seals is a bad movie, but a good comedy. I saw a preview for the sequel and it showed the seal doing flips and sommersaults while sword fighting a bad guy. It just goes to show that this movie isn't really about US Seals.
Die Another Day (2002)
It was ok
I havn't seen a lot of the Bond films, but this wasn't very good. Compared to Goldeneye and Tomorrow never dies, Die another day is below average. The first thing I have to gripe about is the theme music by Madonna. The thing about Bond themes are that they are slick and supposed to have that James Bond feel to them. This theme song does not. It is a dance/trance/techno song that does not even REMOTELY sound like it would fit in with a Bond movie. By the time it was played a second time at the end credits, I couldn't stand it anymore. The second thing I have to gripe about is how some of the scenes just go a bit too far. For example the sword fight between Bond and Grave. If i'm not wrong they were supposed to be fencing normally, but then they end up running around the building like madmen trying to chop each other's heads off with broad swords. Its hard to believe they were doing this over a bet, instead of genuinely trying to kill each other. Another thing is how Bond leaves and returns to the ice palace twice. The last thing I have to gripe about is Halle Berry. Her acting is so bad that everytime I saw her on screen I groaned.
on the good side of things, I appreciated the fact that Bond gets a car that 1.Has even more great gadgets, 2. Does not get blown up or trashed like the last 2 films and 3. Has stealth camoflauge. The car was probably the best part of the movie, and while the chase with the bad guy made it obvious that Bond and the villain were both showing off their cars to each other rather, it was still entertaining to watch. Bond still uses his great spyware which is key to every Bond film, and as usual he is his slick, deadly self. And as usual he womanizes several women while going about his job.
Overall Die Another Day, as an action flick it is fine, but as a Bond flick it is below average. I liked the idea for the car especially, but they really should have gotten someone other than Halle Berry.
Best tv series I've ever seen
CSI is an excellent series. Normally I don't like tv series because they have a lot of dull and uneventful episodes, but CSI is different. So far I have enjoyed each and every single episode of this because all the cases are clever and inventive, and its really great to watch Gil Grissom and his team study and solve crimes by building on the tiniest clues, such as one case where they solve a case by studying the patterns of blood drops at the crime scene. The show focusses more on the crime scenes than the characters' personal lives, although it effectively integrates scenes of the characters talking to each other personally or during a meal. These kind of scenes build the characters so when they investigate a crime you can recognize their style. The most noticable one is Gil Grissom who recreates the actual crime using dummies and also studies any insects or worms around the it to establish the time of the crime. Most of the characters are very likable. There are some unrealistic things on the show, but everyone makes mistakes. Anyone who gripes that this show is stupid because of one or two scenes that weren't right expects too much.
The regular episodes have the team: Grissom, Catherine Willows, Warrick Brown, Nick Stokes and Sarah Sidle work on various cases. Each of these episodes usually consists of the team of 5 pairing up to work on 2 or 3 cases at once. It may seem impossible to squeeze in up to 3 investigations into a 44 minute episode, but the episodes are very well written with each case alloted an amount of time depending on how elusive it is. The direction is effective as well. Since this show is about crime scene investigation which is its name in case you never noticed, the camera zooms in a lot to show you microscopic details of the clues. Like if Grissom held up a shattered glass bottle, the camera would focus on that bottle and zoomed in with a 'vwoom' noise and reveals blood on it. There are also re enactments, which change as each episode progresses. Example: Grissom would hypothesize what he thinks happened during the crime from his first impression of the CS, then we are shown the characters involved with the crime doing what Grissom thinks they did. Then if Grissom changed his mind about something, the re enactment will play itself over with that detail changed. The acting here is terrific. Its hard to imagine that these people aren't real CSI because quite frankly if they weren't labelled as actors then I would've thought they were real CSI.
Apart from the regular episodes, there are the really special ones that go beyond the CSI's regular jobs and into their personal lives. My favorite has to be the Paul Millander trilogy which shows how Grissom would be like if a criminal got the drop on him. It is these episodes that makes CSI more than just a show where these people go about doing routine investigations. Of course, these cases shouldn't be compared to real cases because in real life CSI could last months or several years, and the clues and outcomes of each investigation are never as interesting or surprising as compared to the TV show's. But thats a good thing because CSI aims to entertain its audience rather than bore them. Overall, CSI is the best series I've seen. It combines great stories, great plot surprises and great acting into a very memorable experience.
A highly unappreciated film
A lot of the negative reviews said things that were too general like 'the story was unbelievable, the acting was bad, it wasn't scary'. They didn't even explain WHY. Well, I'm going to explain why I think this movie is good.
Instead of being a special effects horror movie that deals with gore and hidious ghosts and monsters, Below focusses more on the paranoia and delusion the men suffer when the submarine begins to haunt them. There are many tense moments where a character is alone in a room with absolutely no noise, which usually amounts to either nothing, or a big shock. The ghost scenes are great too, SPOILERS with the voice that speaks to Stumbo, and my favorite: the mirror which lags its reflections END OF SPOILER. Many of the strange occurences need no explanation, and they don't have any scientific reasoning to them, and it is these things that drive the men crazy. Nobody is attacked by a ghost or monster, but rather many of the mens' deaths are a result of their own friends' mistakes which themselves are a result of the paranoia. The acting is spot on. Lt. Bryce is portrayed very well as the dynamic character who undergoes a character change as the truth of the strange occurences are slowly revealed. O Dell is the calm and collected hero who keeps the men sane, and Whiskey(or whatever his name is) is the comic relief and at the same time subject to many tense moments. I don't know what the people who hated this movie were expecting, because while these certainly are not oscar quality acting, they are believable and suitable for this kind of movie because the actors effectively portrayed the fear and trauma their characters go through. The direction is good as well. There are a lot of blue and black shades of color in all the scenes that are about 60 percent past the movie, which shows the grimness of the situation when they don't even have power to run the lights. The camera angles don't show a character standing in one corner of the screen and a large portion of the background filling the rest up, which implies that something shocking is going to happen to that background. Instead the angles center themselves on the characters in question and usually are very unpredictable in scenes where something frightening is going to happen. They also give a better sense of claustraphobia with their tight views as opposed to a view that shows a large part of the sub. The story is very intruiging, the largest portion of it devoted to the haunted sub playing mental tricks on them, with intervals of plot development put in between most scenes. The overall conclusion of this film is great.
BIG SPOILERS I didn't find the conclusion 'unbelievable', because it made sense as to why the ghost was haunting them. The superior officers betrayed the captain to stop him from rescuing the accidentally attacked civilians, and for that he takes vengeance on them as a ghost when the civilians board the sub.END OF BIG SPOILERS
Overall, Below is a good thriller that focusses less on the gore and action, and more on the suspense and paranoia. The acting is good, the direction gives good claustraphobic camera angles and a great sense of fear, and the story is interesting but not unbelievable. I don't believe 'Ghost Ship' is getting more viewership than this. If you havn't seen either film, Below is the better choice unless you are one of those people looking for an ultraviolent pop corn flick chock full of violence.
Gojira tai Megaro (1973)
such bad taste
The actors were annoying, especially the boy whose shorts were ungodly small they might as well pass of as his underwear. The "jet jagular' character isn't even robotic;his armor is made of rubber and he communicates using strange sign language and a set of randomly generated noises. Godzilla looks like a freaking plush toy with his big black pupils and his adolescent behavior. The bug creature and the other monster with sickles for hands behave like stereotypical school bullies who destroy buildings over and over again with stock footage. The camera editing is so incoherent you can barely make out what is going on, and don't get me started on the car chase. The climatic battle with the four rubber coated things is really childish, especially the part with jet jagular holding megalon, and godzilla doing this really strange looking flying drop kick. You have to see it to believe it. That being said this is the perfect MST3K episode, a classic. There's just so much to make fun of.
Reign of Fire (2002)
100 minutes of fun
From the start, Reign of fire is action packed till the end. There is no kissing or love scene, no part where two characters sit down and talk for a long time, and quite frankly no part that isn't without action and tension in it. This doesn't sound like a good movie, but I'd like to say that there are two kinds of movies: the kind that aims to win an oscar and place its mark in history while wowing the audience, and the kind that just wants to entertain the audience without trying to bore them. Reign of Fire is the latter; there is some drama in it but its mainly an action movie: get that in your head before you diss it. There is are a lot of pyrotechnics involved, obviously, and I think this film uses them to the greatest potential. The pyrotechnics and special effects are fantastic and very realistic, with direction that captures its destruction perfectly. There is no gore in the movie either; while characters do get eaten by the dragon, the director made the smart move to just show them getting swiped away by the dragon and thats it. Like I said, this movie is meant to entertain the audience, not gross them out(though some individuals like myself don't mind a bit of gore here and there). I would have liked the movie to have the apache choppers in the posters featured, but not in the manner Godzilla did but sadly they aren't there. The movie, as I figured, isn't about characters loading up on weapons to blow the dragons away. Its about how they used their courage, their strategic options and sacrifice to defeat their enemies. It is an action movie, yes, but not the kind where the characters are like Rambo. The acting is good too: Bale plays Quinn terrifically as the hot headed leader of the castle who's temper is the result of his desperation to protect his people. The guy who plays Van Zann is cool, too. He is a character who has continuously changing moods who really loses it once he gets excited. The female character was also good, for a change, and thank goodness she and Quinn don't kiss or anything like that. The world in Reign of Fire is terrific: there isn't a single tree, nor a single blade of grass. Its just one gigantic field of ash and rubble. The city that was london is good too; if you thought stalingrad was a mess, boy should you see this one. Overall a good movie that is a welcome watch as long as you don't expect any high standards in the drama and plot department.
My first mst3k episode, and I love it. The acting is terrible, the swords are obviously either plastic or rubber. The title says 'warriors from hell' but I do not recall any menacing looking demons or a single piece of special effects for that matter(And I'm not counting that wizard's teleportation move which was as stupid as it sounded). The lines are very stupid, and I really loathe the wizard's acting especially with his goat wandering rambling. Traxartis for some reason talks like he is out of breath for no apparent reason. The princess is brain gratingly terrible. Mr Relson was the best of the bunch, he acted like a smug bas***d really well. The commentary is great, I love the lines like 'hehe! daughter smart!' and 'I have an idea, shut up!'. And who could forget 'potatoes are what we eat!'
The Master (1984)
I've recently picked up the habit of downloading MST3K episodes, (since they never showed them here) and I have to say Master Ninja is the worst of the 6 mst3k episodes I have. Not that the commentary was bad, but the movie itself. The acting was just atrocious, even deathstalker 3 had better acting than this! The music, was simply painful to hear. Watching two ninjas fight while cheesy 80s synthsizer tunes played in the BG was unbearable. There was this one scene (SPOILER) where 3 ninjas try to kill the master. Instead of prowling on his roof or doing anything remotely stealthy, the ninjas got into these stupid poses and walked right into the master's front door where he was just standing there looking. To give you an idea, imagine 3 ninjas walking behind a paper wall so you can only see their shadows. Then imagine while they're walking, they're in these crane stances like the one in karate kid. It is dumb I know. Thankfully Joel and the Bots made this movie very funny to watch, they always do a good job of that.
Scary Movie (2000)
the definitive worst movie I've ever seen
Its hard to believe this movie actually got so much as a 5.5 rating, because Scary Movie isn't really a movie. It is actually a porn movie disguised as a parody of various influential movies. i thought this was what it said it was but it turned out to be a compilation of sex scenes, drug abuse and bad toilet humor strung together by a weak story and excuses itself as a parody. Having said what it is, I consider this the worst movie I've ever seen because it qualifies as a hollywood movie but is no different than an underground porn flick. The parodies were weakly done and overused. The acting, needless to say, was stupid. The plot, there really is none. This movie took little effort to make, yet it is popular among many of the youths today because all you need in a movie to make the general teen populace laugh is a comedic porn movie, and thats exactly what this movie is. -10/10
The Phantom (1996)
A spandex super hero with a twist
The phantom isn't supposed to be a good movie, yes i agree with that. But i liked it because its different. Usualy most spandex super heroes have a special power, like crawling on walls, flying, shooting lasers from their hands, etc... The Phantom strays away from those ideas. While he does use his fists and legs to fight, he also uses handguns! Thats something you don't see very often in these kind of characters. The costume was what I expected, but at least he didn't wear his underwear on the outside. The phantom is also not the hero who can defeat all the thugs effortlessly. He's very human in fact, and isn't as high tech as Batman. Thats what I like about the Phantom, he's different. In conclusion The Phantom is an ok movie, but the character is very unique and i liked the idea. Watch the cartoon; the art is also unique and the stories are very mature for a cartoon.
Mr. B Natural (1957)
The ideal device when interrogating criminals
This 20 minute short tries to show you the beauty of music and how you can express feelings with various instruments. That sounds like a nice premise, but the direction and characters disfigured the plot to the point of being unrecognizable. Mr. B Natural is as inane of a name as the character is. This person is a woman, but she's called a 'mister'. Is she a transvette then? Nobody will know what influenced the creation of this name. The story is about a nerdy college boy who wants to be accepted by his friends, and apparently takes a lot of drugs because when at home one day he hallucinates that he is talking to a woman dressed in a peter-pan esque outfit who is obsessed with all kinds of music. She/he is the most mentally disfunctional freak I've ever seen, prancing around like a moron in the most randomly generated dance routines. Her/his voice is also high pitched, to the point where Joel and the bots cringe when they see her in the screen. I think the director tried to make her seem like a perky, happy person who motivates the kid, but it is horribly overdone and turns her/him into a nightmare which can only exist as a bad hallucination. Imagine a woman whose eyes are wide open all the time, who always has a grin that stretches across her face and talks in a screechy voice about happy things, while dancing around maniacally. There you go.
SPOILERS up ahead, tho you can predict the whole movie by just reading the summary
B natural 'motivates' Buzz, the kid, to take up a musical hobby and after a few days of mistake-free practice, he turns into an expert in the trumpet but the tunes he plays sound stupid anyway (as joel and the bots would agree). As you would expect there is terrible acting and so on. Mr. B Natural is very painful to watch and would be more effective as a device to use in threats and torture. However, watch this with MST3K and I guarantee it will turn this short from musical-gone-wrong into excellent comedy. To quote tom servo during one of the dancing scenes, "See Buzz? its really fun to be psychotic!"
The Patriot (2000)
A good, lengthy and very entertaining movie (one spoiler)
The Patriot is a well balanced movie that has good amounts of drama and action. It is about a war veteran in the 1700s famous for leading an attack on the English. He regrets his actions because he sadistically cut the english soldiers to pieces. Now with the American Revolution on the rise, the veteran's life is starting to crumble as his sons are enlisting to fight and no matter how hard he tries he cannot stop them. To protect his sons' lives, he has to enlist himself and fight against the English again.
The movie is 3 hours long, and it uses these 3 hours effectively to build the characters' personalities. Mel Gibson gives a terrific performance as the moody, humorless ex-killer who is always reluctant to fight, but will fight well when the need arises. Heath Ledger is the patriotic son who has his father's fighting blood in him. Jason Isaacs is the English dragoon leader, and his voice and appearance is suitable for the devoted, power hungry antigonist. They are the main characters, and the movie spends a good deal of time showing you their personalities and how the war affects them. The battles have fantastic cinematography, and they portray the way armies fought in the most realistic, gruesome truth.
Another thing i liked about The Patriot is how masterfully done it is. If you like the movie like I did, i strongly recommend getting the DVD and listening to the audio commentary. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin provide very interesting facts on all the scenes, and as you listen you'll learn to appereciate the camera angles and various scenes which you might dismiss easily. My particular favorite was (SPOILER) how heath leadger takes out his knife after shooting Isaacs, and Emmerich says that Leadger is starting to follow in his father's footsteps as he is going to stab at Isaacs's body just like Gibson hacked the British soldier with his axe, and BOOM! Isaacs gets up stabs Ledger(END OF SPOILER).
So anyway, grab the dvd if you like the movie. I can assure you that it will be worth every cent. After listening to the commentary, I like this movie a lot more.
So overall, The Patriot combines great acting, great cast, a good story, and excellent movie making techniques to make it one of my top 10 favorite movies. The Patriot isn't your ordinary 'hero kills all the bad guys and he lives happily ever after'. It has lots of anti-cliches that makes it different. So there.
The Thing (1982)
a classic science fiction thriller
Being a science fiction thriller fan, I consider the alien and predator series to be the best movies I have seen. I have added The Thing to my best movies list after recently watching it. It is about a shapeshifting creature from space that terrorizes an outpost crew, both physically and psychologically. As the capabilities of the Thing's abilities are known to the crew, they all begin to suspect each other of being infected. The Thing does not just involve a monster that kills people. It also involves paranoia, and if you give it a second watch, you'll find that there's more depth to it than you could possibly imagine. A lot of scenes are left to you to decide what happened, mostly you will asking yourself when a crew member was infected and by which form of The Thing. There is a lot of gore in this movie, though some of the blood definetly looked like ketchup. Rob Bottin's fantastic work on the thing will make many cringe when they look at it. This movie is 90 minutes long, but the content could more than easily have been expanded to 110 minutes and that is my only complaint. Other than that, The Thing is an excellent science fiction thriller that is a must watch for any science fiction fan.
Event Horizon (1997)
a great, chilling horror movie.
Although this movie wasn't liked by many people, I found it to be fantastic and I wished it was longer. For anyone who is going to see this film, I suggest to keep an open mind and hopefully not be eating anything while watching it.
(Warning:Review is one big spoiler and is meant only for those who already seen the film)
Event Horizon is about a ship that is supposedly meant to be a research vessel that gets involved in an accident and explodes. Years later, it reappears and a rescue team is sent in, though the crew isn't briefed at all. Dr. Weir(Sam Neil) reveals that the event horizon is a ship made to test faster than light travel by bending space and therefore defying human laws. He also reveals it didn't explode, it just dissappeared into thin air and now its back. The rescue team is then given orders to salvage the ship and rescue survivors, but all they find are bits and pieces of the crew everywhere. Before the crew can pull out, though, their own ship is damaged in an accident and they are stranded with the ship, and the horror its brought back with it.
While this may sound like your typical sci fi thriller, I found it to be different as there were no aliens, there was no form of physical being that was the antagonist. What I found about the movie that interested me was that by bending space fabric, it therefore passed through a dimension not known to humanity. This would be called Hell. i think its good how the movie didn't at all show what Hell was like, but instead left the viewer to find out why it made the crew kill each other. Its because that by entering a new dimension, human scientific laws do not have to apply in it. This is the case in what the Event Horizon has infected itself with. The ship entered a dimension of pure chaos, where it was complete madness on the crew for as long as they were in it. Its actually quite disturbing when you think about it. A dimension where nothing we apply to science is there, a dimension which the video recording of the event horizon's crew describes perfectly. Having said that, it is possible that any scientific impossibilities with the ship would be excused by the fact that the Event Horizon became a vessel of Hell within the solar system. The grisly images of Hell are truly terrifying, as they clearly represent the more realistic image of Hell. Instead of a place where lava spews from the ground and fire rains from the skies, we are shown images of people going through what seems to be something worse than pain and death. And thats correct because thats what hell is all about, continuous, eternal suffering of the worst kind. But what exactly does hell look like? We shall never know, and nobody can imagine it. The film doesn't even go into showing us, and all the better because chances are, it is a place our minds and eyes are not ready for.
So, while many consider it a bad, typical horror flick, I consider it to be a creative masterpiece. I'm not contradicting anyone here, this is just my opinion and what i think of the film. I havn't seen a movie that really frightened me, or made me think about its plot's content for days. Event Horizon though, while it didn't shock me silly, left some very disturbing thoughts in my head and left me thinking about the implications in the story.