Reviews written by registered user
hamtun

10 reviews in total 
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Kandahar (2001)
6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
The Melting pot does not exist, 24 February 2004

A haunting depressing but fascinating film. I used to believe (naively) in the melting pot theory but the melting pot does not exist. Some cultures are so far removed from what we have been brought up to believe in that is is almost impossible to connect with in any shape or form.

I have always believed that each culture should be looked at on its own merits and the Western Christian/Judeao civilisation is not necessarily the answer to it all. But how can anybody find any merit in a society run by someone like the Taliban. Everybody is opressed, the women more than any, but everybody lives a miserable life. There is no compassion, no respect for divergent views. The poverty is so all pervading that survival at the most basic level is all that matters.

The film is not really a coherent narrative, more a series of vignettes showing what life was like under the Taliban. Despite the amateur acting it is a powerful film. A number of powerful images, the most powerful, to me, is the scene depicting how female patients are dealt with by a "doctor". Horrifying. Western society has many many faults but by god I'm glad I live in it.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A disappointing end to the series, 17 January 2004

I enjoyed Spy Kids 1 & 2 but this one was a waste of time. The 3D gimmick was unnecessary and not that effective. I found it very blurry for a lot of the time and took the glasses off.

Daryl Sabara is not improving as he gets older, he gets more irritating. In fact most of the kids were irritating. ( With the exception of Alexa Vega and Courtney Jines). It had some funny lines but not as witty as the first two. The noir style opening would have gone completely over the heads of the main target audience. Sylvester Stallone was good as were the cameo appearances by George Clooney, Elijah Wood, Bill Paxton and Steve Buscemi.

The computer generated sets looked tacky. And the bald wig on one of the Stallone characters looked like a prop from a small town repertory theatre. I was looking forward to this but I was very disappointed. It was made by the bean counters not the creative people.

The best fantasy film ever, 27 December 2003

A very satisfying end to the best fantasy film ever. Reading through other reviews here and elsewhere I get annoyed with the little purists screaming "it's not the same as the book". Why the hell should it be.

The book was magnificent. I've read it several times. This is Peter Jacksons and his teams interpretation of the book and it is excellent. The opposite comments were made of the Harry Potter movies, that they remained too close to the books. So obviously the directors can't win which ever way they go.

Back to Middle Earth - I don't think you can say one episode was better than the other. As another reviewer said elsewhere, by being planned as one film in three parts it avoided the pitfalls of sequelitis. The CG images while superb did not takeover from the characters and the story. That's why it is so successful. The Story remained the strongest element. Performances were all good but if Sean Astin does not get best supporting actor there is no justice in the world. I even liked the multiple endings, I know many critics have carped on those. But not me, I enjoyed all the ends being tied up. Come on Peter - Please make "The Hobbitt".

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Much better than I expected, 27 September 2003
6/10

I enjoyed this. It was much better than I expected. It worked extremely well at the level of mindless entertainment. You don't expect Shakespeare from a video game. All that is required of this type of film is that the main character has screen presence. Angelina's got it in spades. In fact she is so strong no other character really gets a look in except for Ciaran Hinds as the stock lunatic who wants to rule the world. The pacing is good, special fx excellent and the use of sound increases the enjoyment. It was 2 hours well spent.

Not a Zombie film, 6 September 2003

This is certainly worth seeing despite some flaws. But it is not a zombie film. The "zombie" characteristics come about because of a fatal infection, they are not the undead. The sequences in a deserted London are superb. The use of silence is extremely effective. I note in the credits a thanks to the traffic marshalls of London for making it come about. I thought Cillian Murphy was ok as the hero but far better was Naomi Harris as the female survivor. She really made something of her character and I hope we see her again. Christopher Eccleston is always good but there really wasn't enough depth in the characterisations of the soldiers. It's a cliche that when civilisation ends, the brutish are in charge. They probably would be, at least in the beginning; civilised behaviour is a bit of an oxymoron when there is no civilisation. But overall it is good film and well worth the money. The so called alternative ending, after the credits, is really not worth staying for. Danny Boyle could have finished it effectively using either of the endings, it wasn't necessary to have two.

Identity (2003)
Good old fashioned suspense, 2 August 2003

This is a highly enjoyable film. Not a particularly original plot but it is made in such an effective way with good suspense. The heralded twist in the plot is not that difficult to work out, I didn't get it exactly as the story panned it but the gist of it was not too difficult to work out. What made it work was the use of sound and music. It did build up superb tension. 7 out of 10 for me.

The Core (2003)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good special fx, lousy dialogue, 24 June 2003

I've always enjoyed the disaster genre. Great ones like "Towering Inferno", mediocre ones like "Earthquake" This differs from them in that it doesn't have a big cast of known stars. But the actors in it play their roles well, particularly Hilary Swank and Stanley Tucci.

Special fx are good especially the three big sequences in London Rome and San Francisco. I assume the scientific premise behind the story is nonsense but that doesn't matter, suspending belief is part of the fun of these movies. (I didn't quite understand how the computers kept working with all that electro-magnetic interference). It's the script where the film falls down badly. Some really clunky dialogue and poor character development.

Still I wasn't expecting "Citizen Kane". It was an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.

The best of Hollywood style, 22 February 2003

Just watched my DVD of this. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen it over the years. It is pure Hollywood style. As Bill Cosby says in the TCM ads "No cusswords" I would not like the Hays Office back but the positive side is that it made the film makers and writers creative. It was not necessary to show explicit anything, the script and the performances got the message across

Molokai (1999)
17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Presents the best side of the human species, 7 February 2003

This was a magnificent film. I had heard that there were some creative differences between director Paul Cox and other people involved in the film.

But this does not seem to affect the film in total. I found it a very moving uplifting film that presents the best the human species can aspire to. Like Mother Teresa and Gandhi Father Damian was probably a pain in the rear to the authorities civil and religious.

But that is the way of people who are so sure of their beliefs.

David Wenham, who is well known to Australian audiences, showed yet again what a talented actor he is.

The international actors who provided cameo roles were all excellent, particularly Peter O'Toole.

I've enjoyed Paul Cox's films many times over the years. They often win awards but are rarely major box office winners, But he has the ability to present the best of the human experience. He portrays real emotions and real people.

The Ring (2002)
A reasonable attempt at old style horror, 23 November 2002

This was not a bad film. A reasonable attempt at old style horror. It does the right thing in implying that there is something nasty out there. That has always been more effective than gore, slash and gross-out. But too many things are left unexplained or not explained enough. The acting was adequate. Even Brian Cox, who is usually excellent, didn't have much to do. Did I see him in the mourning party at the beginning of the film? And if he was there, why?. But the mood and the look of the film did make it better than average. I haven't seen the japanese original and I must look out for it.