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10-8: Officers on Duty (2003)
Very weak and clichéd police show
This show was really bad, and it was so clichéd that who ever green-lighted it should be put in a dress and a blond wig and thrown into the showers at Riker's Island. The main character, Amonte, who is fresh out of the academy and very idealistic, is paired up with the veteran, Barnes, who seems cynical but is really a good guy and a faithful community servant. And of course they come from different cultural backgrounds. This is so predictable, and basically out of the "T.J. Hooker"-handbook for creating a mediocre cop show. The worst part about the show, however, is the voice-over done by the Amonte-character. There is a voice-over throughout the show and always a closing epilogue, just to make sure that we, "the stupid audience", understand the vaguely hidden moral points of today's episode, here are some examples: "Cops may seem insensitive but it is a necessary facade", "It is important that kids have positive role models", "Violence never solved anything". If you find this show to be anything than a huge insult to your intelligence, then you probably think that "The Simple Life" is a greater cultural gem than Shakespeare's "Macbeth".
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
I'm too old for this sh*t
I still consider myself a young man. I am 23, but every once in a while I realize that I am getting older. Back when I was a teenager I probably would have found this movie entertaining to some degree, but not now. The movie contains blood and gore ad libitum and clearly the special effects and make up teams had to earn their keep on the movie, but the story is both stupid and predictable, containing all the horror movie clichés from "bad guy being more stealthy than an F117", "good guys failing to realize that staying together might be their best option, deciding instead to split up at every possible moment", and of course the classic "bad guy has been blown up, shot, stabbed, beaten, and burned yet rises again for one last fight". If you simply want blood, gore, and cheap (very cheap!) thrills then this movie might be for you, but if you looking for a little more to rattle your cage, then do pass on this garbage.
"Shaft" is a weakly done action thriller. Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of the Shaft-character never reaches that level of coolness his character had in Pulp Fiction. The story is somewhat tedious and never really captures the audience. The "Peoples Hernandez"-character, played by Jeffrey Wright, never manages to become the menacing bad guy it was intended to be, throughout the movie it appears comical partly due to Jeffrey Wright's physical appearance, which is very non-threatening. I also noted that several times during the shoot outs in the film the characters were discharing their weapons despite the slide being locked back, indicating that the weapons are our of ammunition. On a big Hollywood production like this, something like that should be corrected. All in all I would not bother with this film if I were you.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- CONTAINS SPOILERS -
This movie was surrounded by quite a lot of hype when it came out. I am sad to say that for me, this movie failed to live up to its expectations in a big way. I have seen it twice now, and I got more scared watching "Junior" with Schwarzenegger than I did watching "The Blair Witch Project". The biggest issue I have with this film is one I have with many sub-par horror flicks; the characters act totally irrational and stupid, and as the movie went on, I started cheering for whatever was hunting the characters. I felt no sympathy for them, and frankly could not wait for them to be punished for their stupidity. Examples: A) One of the characters purposely throws away their map. B) When they realize something is hunting them, they still continue log around all their equipment, in stead of discarding everything except the bare essentials in order to be able to move faster. C) The characters are scared out of their mind and they come to a house in ruins with strange figures outside it. In stead of bypassing it, they f_ucking go in. (At this point I not only wanted the thing to kill them, I wanted Jack Bauer to jump in and torture them first!) D) The whole time they are being hunted they never put down the camera. I know that the point-of-view thing is the whole concept of the movie, but it is just so unrealistic that a person in fear of his life will continue to film, in stead of picking up something to defend himself with. All in all I give the movie 3/10 because of its originality and clever marketing.
Funny stuff - too bad it was censored.
Dave Attell does his stand-up routine. He is funny as hell. Most of his material centres around crazy stories, many of them involving heavy drinking. In that respect he is a lot like fellow stand-up comedian, Doug Stanhope, who is also one of his personal friends. Attell has got a lot of self irony, making fun of his own appearance, weight, and "bad" habits, such as smoking. Seen as if this show is on Comedy Central it is censored, which is a kind of shame because it takes a little of the edge away. Unlike many other contemporary comedians, such as Jon Stewart, George Carlin, and Lewis Black, Attell does not focus very much on political topics. If you like this show, I recommend his CD "Skanks for the Memories".
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Not Leone's best
I know some people consider this to be Leone's best movie. I must say I strongly disagree. The acting in the movie is solid, would you expect otherwise looking at the cast. The story, however, is another matter. The movie is based on a book, and it shows. Despite lasting more than 220 minutes the movie still leaves a lot of characters very underdeveloped. The fact that the story stretches over the entire lifetime of the characters also constitutes a problem. The different events in the characters' lives we are shown are not very well connected. We are unable to contextualize the events and therefore the characters' motivation is difficult to comprehend. In short, the story is fragmented. As for the ending, well I am not going to spoil the movie for anyone, but I will say that it is a bit far-fetched.
So unbelievably stupid!
This film revolves around a group of people who are trying to act out their inner idiot. So they are running around acting like their are mentally retarded. Sounds annoying? Well, believe me it is. This is without a doubt the worst dogma-movie made. I am unable to concentrate on watching this movie for more than 3 minutes at a time because it is so incredibly stupid. I will admit that I have never been a big fan of Von Trier, but I really think he should do time for committing the crime that is this movie. A lot of Danish film critics gave the film good reviews, but in my opinion this is only because the entire dogma-concept at the time was hip, trendy, and the latest and greatest in the Danish motion-picture industry, and the critics certainly did not want to appear as if they were conservative or not "down with the beat". To all non-Danish readers: Neither the film, the actors, or the director are in any representative of the rest of the Danish motion picture industry or Denmark as a country. If you want to quality Danish films then check out the films made by director Nicolas Winding Refn.
In part 2 of The Second Renaissance the trade war between the humans and the machines which began in part 1 now escalates into a shooting war. The war scenes are excellent and shown in a frantic pace with a heavy techno beat, not unlike the one we hear during the lobby-scene in "The Matrix", along side. The movie (part 1+2) answers many of the questions you are left with after seeing "The Matrix" regarding the development from our time to the time when "The Matrix" takes place, such as who started the war, how man scorched the sky, and how the surface war between man and machine went. For anyone who wants to learn more about the whole Matrix-universe The Second Renaissance is highly recommendable and for others I can only say that the movie is highly entertaining. 9/10 May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins
The Way of the Gun (2000)
An overlooked flick
This movie was not a very big success, a fact that eludes me. I found it highly entertaining. The movie's strength lies in its ability to constantly change to the way you view the characters. It is in no way clear who is good and who is bad. Ryan Phillippe gives a surprisingly solid performance as Parker; Benicio del Toro is great as always in portraying Longbaugh. Another great aspect of the film is that we do not have long monologs in which the characters justify their motivation; it is revealed though their acts. For some reason I have always harvested a deep personal animosity towards Juliette Lewis and her being pregnant certainly does not change that, so that is something I resent about this film. But generally the movie is nicely done and provides for some solid waste of time. 7/10