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Likes:Biking, Film-making, Literature, Video Games, Comics.
Dislikes: People who use the word "Guesstimate".
Not just a film enthusiast, also a film maker!!
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The final arc in the X-Men franchise has finally landed. Let me start this review by saying that X2 was and is a hard act to follow. In my humble opinion, it might be the best comic book movie ever made. Even Bryan Singer would have had a hell of a time topping that bad boy. So does X-Men 3 live up to the hype? The short answer is, of course, no. There are some extremely fundamental problems with this film's script which should have been addressed long before one bit of celluloid started to roll.
The story opens with flashbacks of a young Jean being recruited to the school by a young Xavier and Magneto. This scene lulled me into a feeling that maybe this would be an awesome movie. The next scene, a young Warren Worthington trying in vain to slice off his wings, also works well. However, when his character amounts to little more than a glorified cameo, this scene becomes completely pointless. We're led to believe that this is a character we should care for, and then he gets tossed out almost immediately. After the set up we are thrust into the meat of the story. The X-Men are still reeling from Jean Grey's sacrifice in X2 and are training a new group of muties to fill out the leather uniforms. We get to see precious little of them working as a team, however. I thought the point of a team story was to show how they interact? Apparently, along with Halle Berry's upgraded role came the stipulation that she can only share the screen with one mutant at a time. Since most people are familiar with the plot line here's a super-short rundown. Magneto and X-Men clash and a small war breaks out. There's a mutant cure and a few members die. Boredom ensues. I've never felt so utterly detached from a movie. It could have to do with the overdone musical score, terrible dialog, or countless errors and goofs. It's a movie that utterly ruins a perfectly viable franchise. I felt pained after watching this.
WHAT WORKED- Multiple Man! This guy had like two minutes of total screen time, but he ruled both of them. He's a cocky, sarcastic mutant who is literally his own best friend. I learned more about him in two lines than I did from Storm in three movies. - Iceman/Pyro. I've always loved the way these two interact, from the first hint of rivalry in X-Men to the museum scene in X2. My only complaint was that there is no real resolution. Iceman head-butts Pyro, end of story. The entire fight was in the trailer. If there had just been a few more seconds of dialog, or perhaps a Pyro death scene, this would have been perfect. - Beast (sometimes.) Kelsey Grammar did a fine job. I dug his look and overall approach to Beast. The scene in which he meets Leech is very well done. -Fastball Special. Any comic geek will tell you that this is a classic comic book moment which is a joy to see in action.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK-Halle Berry. We get it, you're a star. Get over yourself and share the stage with someone else. Miss Berry may be an Oscar winner, but she also did Catwoman. In my opinion, two movies with storm was enough, kick her ass out and bring back... -Cyclops. Hey, here's an idea! Let's take the X-Men team leader and emotional anchor of the phoenix storyline and kill him off in ten minutes so storm can do more. Yeah, that worked real well. If his death had served a purpose I wouldn't have minded. But it seemed to me that they were killing him off just to punish James Marsden for doing Superman Returns. -Juggernaut, Bitch! Wow, talk about misused. juggernaut is a cool character and I love Vinnie Jones, but that is quite a miscast part. And he spends most of the movie looking mad and making stupid one-liners. And his big finish? Hitting his head on a wall! -Beast (Mostly.) The hook for Beast in the movie is that he's conflicted. When he first sees what Leech is capable of there is a beautiful moment where we can see his conflict. Then, like nothing has happened, he makes his choice and stands with the X-Men. That was wrapped up way too easily.
ERRORS/PLOT HOLES -In X2 the phoenix entity was fiery and red when Jean accessed it. In this one she just turns dead looking...how's that work? - The X-Men fly from New York to San Fransisco very quickly. This is, I guess, plausible because they have a super-sonic blackbird jet. However, Angel shows up in the thick of the fight as well. We can assume he wasn't on the jet because they didn't show him. Are we to believe that with his little feather wings he can fly the same speed as the blackbird? - Magneto is shown playing chess all by his lonesome in the park at the conclusion of the movie. This plot hole was so huge I didn't even pick up on it at first. Shouldn't he be, like, IN JAIL!? They spend half the movie looking for him, then when the entire U.S. army is only feet away from him, and he loses his power, he is somehow able to slip away? **Here's the grand-daddy plot hole of them all** -Jean has such a powerful mutation that she cannot control it. She claims the only way to stop her is to die, as she is constantly begging Logan for death. However, her power is a result of mutation and in the movie they have rendered a cure for that. You see where I'm going with this? Why don't you geniuses just cure her? That is the epitome of crappy writing. How a plot hole that big even made it into a second draft of the script is mind boggling.
Koroshiya 1 (2001)
Sadistic, yet likable
I heard about this movie a few years ago but it took a bit of time to track it down. And it was certainly worth the hunt. It was completely and utterly different than anything I was expecting. Everything that I had heard about it underlined the extreme gore and violence, to the point that I figured that is all it had to offer. However, when watching it, I didn't seem to notice the violence at all. I was totally engrossed in this world of criminals and assassins. I think the single most interesting thing about the entire film was the choice of the hero. Sure it's technically Ichi, but it's really Kakihara's movie. Ichi is a bit distant and overly emotional for viewers to root for. And the audience is almost forced to root for Ichi's opponent. Kakihara is by no means a hero (He tortures his way through the entire movie, mostly inflicting pain on people who seemingly don't deserve it.) and yet the audience is drawn to him. Miike deserves immense praise for taking a seemingly disgusting character with little redeeming value and making him the sympathetic lead. I doubt any mainstream American film would ever have the guts to craft this sort of narrative around a sadistic and yet (somehow) likable lead. I strongly recommend this film for anyone who is looking for a completely different cinematic experience. I also think that even people who do not typically enjoy gory films can find something to like in Ichi, it truly is a film like no other.
House of the Dead (2003)
Wow...and not in a good way.
Ok, first of all, I am a huge zombie movie fan. I loved all of Romero's flicks and thoroughly enjoyed the re-make of Dawn of the Dead. So when I had heard every single critic railing this movie I was still optimistic. I mean, critics hated Resident Evil, and while it may not be a particularly great film, I enjoyed it if not for the fact that it was just a fun zombie shoot-em up with a half decent plot. This however, is pure crap. Terrible dialogue, half-assed plot, and video game scenes inserted into the film. Who in their right mind thought that was a good idea. The only thing about this movie (I use the term loosely) that I enjoyed was Jurgen Prochnow as Captain Kirk (Ugh). While his name throws originality out the window, you can see in his performance that he knows he's in a god awful film and he might as well make the best of it. Everyone else acts as if they're doing Shakespeare. And very badly I might add. Basically the only reason anyone should see this monstrosity is if you a.) Are a huge zombie buff and must see every zombie flick made or b.) Like to play MST3K, the home game. See it with friends and be prepared for tons of unintentional laughs.
Blade Runner (1997)
My favorite aspect of this game is the way it ties story lines from the film (Deckard can be spotted in the background a couple times.) in with story lines from the novel (when the dancer calls the cops.). The graphics are so-so but the game-play makes up for it. Don't expect an action packed shooter. This a solid detective game with all the noir elements of the movie, not to mention the various endings depending on which route you take in the game. Plus it's great to hear Stephen Root do a little voice acting. There is a lot in this game that should be praised, which is why I was so surprised to find that there was so little fanfare when it was first released. A must for Blade Runner fans.