Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Honorable mentions to Gore Verbinski, Tarsem Singh, Robert Rodriguez, Guy Ritchie, and Zack Snyder for making a few very good films but unfortunately some downright awful ones, too.
Just about the worst kind of sci-fi film
Movies like Atlas Shrugged and In Time exist on a plane of existence I like to call "allegory gone wrong." Branded belongs in that same ilk, never realizing how patently absurd the rabbit hole the writers have delved into it, contending that a direct allegory is all one needs to make a sci-fi film. That's just not the case.
In Branded, a young child is struck by lightning and becomes good at advertising when an adult. Meanwhile, the fast-food companies start an advertising push to make fat sexy because, well, you know, it's easier than making your food healthier. Our intrepid advertising exec is a whiz at this, starting a bizarre series of reality TV shows and billboards that don't even come close to making sense, until he has a dream that tells him to slaughter a cow and bathe in its ashes, and then he can see physical manifestations of advertising causing people to eat more and get fatter.
Yeah, this might just be the dumbest idea for a social speculative fiction movie ever. It's just bizarre, ill-conceived nonsense that tries oh-so hard to be some kind of Matrix-style mind-bender while simultaneously trying to educate us on 9th-grade economics through a strange robotic voice-over that halts the narrative focus of the film. Also, Max von Sydow stars as the aptly named "Marketing Guru" who spearheads the marketing campaigns and magically disappears in a flash of lightning once our hero decides to start a ridiculous smear campaign that everyone follows along with in spite of them making no sense.
The entire film makes no sense, blatantly ignoring any semblance of logic, interesting points, or even good visuals. It's trying so hard to say something but its so cartoonish and garish that nothing sticks. The acting from Ed Stoppard and LeeLee Sobiesky borders on SyFy channel bad. Avoid at all costs.
The fanbase is simple wrong- Indy 4 is a great experience!
I could write a full review, but this comment is designed to quell, or at least counterpoint, the rabid fanbase reaction. I myself belong to this fanbase, having been an Indy fan since I was 10. I grew up with these films. Raiders of the Lost Ark is my all time favorite film.
George Lucas is popular to bash. I didn't hate what he did to Star Wars completely, and here the fanbase seems to be grasping for more reasons to trash Lucas.
The script is fine, it's better than Temple of Doom and very close to being as good as Last Crusade. The characters are classic, and even the new characters bring something to the table.
The real reason this film works so well is the trademark action sequences. The opening scene starts the film of right, there are two vehicle chases, multiple puzzle-solving and excavating scenes, a killer climax- everything previous Jones films do so wonderfully.
The fans seem to be averse to the use of CGI. Indiana Jones films always used up-to-date special effects, it simply would not make sense to make the effects pre-1990 just to "preserve the look." The film is different, that's for sure, but only in age and time period. This alone has caused such a ridiculous fan backlash that the film's rating dropped nearly 1 point in three days on this site.
I think too many people were just expecting the film to be horrible and just saw what the wanted to see, and nitpicked, going so far as to ridicule the film's realism. Because that's definitely what we remember the series for- it's shocking down-to-earth realism.
This film is action-packed, and it's Indiana Jones! It does nearly everything very well. I will be seeing this again soon, and will but it on DVD. Wonderful film.
Death Proof (2007)
An exercise in self-indulgence
It's common knowledge that Quentin Tarantino, the mighty, fanboy-loving, ultra-violence king of Hollywood, "borrows" heavily from other films, especially "Grindhouse" films(aka films nobody saw in the first place), and then passes them off as homages, but nonetheless as his own work. He has a trademark style, the style of the aforementioned violence, the use of 100 plus racial epithets per film, completely random dialogue, and lots of shots of bare feet.
In "Death Proof", Tarantino gives us the ultimate in self-indulgence- an "homage" to the sub-genre Tarantino has himself created. He has somehow made a movie so bad it parodies everything that Tarantino has done in the past by taking his "style" so far to the extreme that the only possible person this movie could appeal to are Tarantino and his extremely adamant fanbase.
The film starts with four women- one of which is Jungle Julia, a radio DJ. The women go to a bar and literally talk about nothing for 30 minutes or more. They stumble across Stuntman Mike(played by Kurt Russell), who is a vicious killer in the guise of a near-elderly stuntman who worked on (gasp) old grindhouse movies! More self-indulgence! Queue the only good sequence in the film- the first kill scenes. During this scene we also get the only good line of dialogue in the entire film.
Then we find Mike on the hunt for more girls- four women who look very suspiciously similar to the first four girls. But there is a difference- these girls like old grindhouse car-related movies, and proceed to talk about them for another tedious, god-awful half an hour. Did I mention the black girl uses the n-word a lot? See, that makes it not racist.
The ending chase scene is decent, but the ending is so pathetic it makes me cry. The character of Stuntman Mike, for the one scene in the middle of the film, was so excellent, but Tarantino had to ruin him. Russell only has a couple actual scenes in the film, and it's a damn shame.
The dialogue is the true abomination here. it is so inane, so boring, so useless, and so utterly masturbatory in regards to Tarantino's trademark style, that it reaches the level of parodying it. Tarantino has finally reached a "pure" level. Gone are the days he made good movies, where the inane dialogue was entertaining and gave us insight into the characters on screen. Now, it is just a puerile string of nothingness that I could make up in my sleep. There is nothing fresh, nothing clever, nothing at all.
It's just a waste. It is so unfortunate that a gem like Planet Terror and all the fantastic fake trailers had to share screen time with this garbage.
The Kingdom (2007)
Clichéd, pandering, and overall pretty boring
I hate it when films pander to a certain audience or try so hard to be a message film, especially when the message is made blatantly obvious. such is the case with The Kingdom.
Pretty much, we have, through a string of incomprehensible circumstances, a team of four FBI agents get sent into the heart of Saudi Arabia to kick some terrorist keester. We have the family man, the embittered and oppressed woman, the comic relief, and Chris Cooper(who seems to be the only character that ISN'T a stereotype). There's very little characterization at all. The movie tries to pull your heartstrings and fails.
Worst of all, it tires to be politically correct. It makes sure you know that not all Muslims are terrorists, and that we are all the same human beings deep down inside. It's a movie about the clash of cultures, but I've seen it done better(much better) in plenty of other movies. The movie tries so hard to be relevant in today's society that any actual story or characters(you know, what makes a film GOOD) are lost in the backdrop. There's a very weak payoff at the end and a very conflicting message. For a movie that's so Gun-ho about capturing the bad guys and is so amazingly clear cut about who is bad and who is good, an ending saying "we're not all so different after all" really frustrates the crap out of me.
For nearly two hours I had to sit through cliché after stereotype after political correct statement after another. It's Oscar fodder. It tries to be realistic and ends up feeling overwhelmingly fake. Just stay home and watch Full Metal Jacket or Platoon and avoid this piece of crap.
Comparisons to Boll and Sci-Fi Channel don't apply
This movie was not good. Let's start off with that. But it wasn't a one or two star movie like people are giving it.
Pretty much, the plot is decent. It's something different. It's totally corny and implausible, but it's DRAGON WARS, it's not trying to win any Oscars. to people who say the visual effects are the worst they have seen, PUH-lease. The effects are about on par with Dragonheart and the Godzilla remake. Of course, this means the effects are ten years old, and films like T2 and Jurassic Park still look like they were made last year, but that's beside the point. The effects aren't THAT bad.
The acting is average. Nothing special. Better than Keanu Reeves or Clive Owen. See, what I'm trying to do here is show you that a movie like "Gryphon" or "Raptor Island" or "Alone in the Dark" are much much worse than this. Stop giving unfair comparisons. The last 20 minutes of the movie actually had some good action, and the final battle was great. Lighten up. Just have sit back and MST3K it if you want. But it's cheesy monster mashing fun.
Starts out hot, ends lukewarm
Grindhouse is a movie that needs to be analyzed as two films, because well, that's what it is. In the tradition of the Grindhouse double features from the 60s and 70s, this film features "Planet Terror" by Robert Rodriguez, and "Death Proof" from Quentin Tarantino. The film also features four fake trailers.
First up is a fake trailer for "Machete", which is very fun. Then Planet Terror comes on. It's gory, it's hilarious, it's outrageous. It is pure grindhouse. It features Freddy Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and Michael Bein, among others, fighting against a plague of biochemical zombies. If you want gore, you won't find many movies gorier than this(this is coming from a guy who's seen Ichi the Killer and Braindead). I give it a 10/10.
Then three more trailers play, with the highlight being Eli Roth's "Thanksgiving". Death Proof starts out with a bunch of girls talking about their evening and going to a bar. For about 30 minutes, we hear nothing but talking(some of it painful) about pointless things, but the films redeems itself when psychopath Stuntman Mike(played by Kurt Russel) crashes the evening. After a truly chilling and exhilarating encounter that sadly lasts only 10 minutes, the girls end up pushing up daisies. Then Stuntman targets more girls, and more talking occurs for 30 more minutes. The film however takes a gooey and cheesy turn after a chilling first half. it ends up falling short with a ridiculously stupid revenge scene. I give it a 6/10 Overall, as a whole i give grindhouse an 8/10. Death Proof could have been so much better though.
The Departed (2006)
Very good, but not classic.
The Departed was a movie that I had wanted to see for quite a long time due to the hype. I've heard it being described as better than Goodfellas. I've heard it being described as Scorcese's best. It is neither.
Don't get me wrong, the film is good. But it's not without it's flaws. The film's strong suit is the characters and the dialog. You feel for the characters, and the banter between them is wonderful.The film does an excellent job of blurring the lines of cop and crook, but herein lies a problem. The lines are blurred so much that the film is unbelievably hard to follow, and the plot certainly has holes. There is a lot to catch, even in two hours and thirty-one minutes.
And of course the shocking ending. The last 5 minutes of the movie confused the hell out of me, and I can't help but think that if they gave the movie more time and tweaked the plot and the ending, it could have been what people were hyping it to be. It's got great action, great dialog, great characters, and great acting. What it is lacking is continuity.
Overall, it's good enough for an 8/10, but it is certainly not the best film of the year, IMO.
Smokin' Aces (2006)
Great fun movie!
Smokin' Aces delivers exactly what the previews showed. It's a fast paced, frenetic, guns a blazin' action/thriller.
Aces Israel is a famous Vegas entertainer who gets caught up in the mob. The FBI wants him to testify against the mob in exchange for immunity against his crimes. A hit is put out on Aces, and a plethora of colorful hit men race to get to him before the FBI does.Two gangsta sniper girls, three inbred neo-nazi brothers, a torture master, and a man of a thousand faces are all after poor Israel, as is a group of ex-cops led by a bail-bondsman.
Needless to say, the fast pace leads to some "what?" moments, and lead me to wish for a rewind button in the theater. But if you can keep up, the plot and rich characters make for an insanely fun time. The whole film is basically lead up to a final showdown, which culminates in a surprisingly melodramatic ending. Probably the biggest knock for me is the last 15 minutes. It's a good ending, but it doesn't feel like it belongs with the rest of the film.
Overall, it's a good action film with an amazing cast and some great shootouts.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Snakes have never been more fun!
Snakes on a Plane is a good cheesy thriller with some great laugh moments as well. It's a popcorn film, if you can hold down popcorn while watching people be viciously and gruesomely attacked by slithering snakes. It's exactly the type of movie to watch with a few buddies on a Saturday afternoon.
Sam Jackson is pretty good, but his presence is lacking at times, as the film's story(if you can call it that) focuses on many more character's, including Kenan Tomphson's hilarious character. This is a funny movie, and sheer ridiculous situations and scientific impossibilities abound(a snake manages to eat a dog in about 2 seconds).
Don't expect to be blown away. It's not a scary movie, but it's a good b-movie with a big budget and pretty good special effects. i enjoyed it quite a bit.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
One of the Worst Comc Adaptations
Warning: if you can't stand an unpopular opinion, don't read this.
I really dislike this movie. Not to the point of hate, but close. Here's why.
Spiderman 2 is the worst comic adaptation i have seen. it is no where near what Spiderman was like in the comics. i shall use three points to explain the faults.
1. The "humor". This movie tries desperately to be funny, but all it does is ooze cheesy lines like "would you like some chocolate cake" and "this is heavy", both followed by awkward pauses. Let's not forget the horribly stupid "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" sequence! 2. The Romance. Sure, there is a romance story in the comics, but it's not so soap-operatic, and Peter Parker is no where near as love struck, love-lorn, or just plain awkward. He's not as whiny, either.
3. The storyline/action. First off, Doc Oc is supposed to be a bad guy, not a mind controlled good guy. second, where were Spidey's famous in-fight sarcastic quips? Not there. Spiderman losing his powers because he somehow isn't sure he want's to be a hero. NEWS FLASH! He ain't an empath: he can't control whether or not he has powers! Also, the children's reaction in the train was pathetic. "We won't tell." YOU ARE A 10 YEAR OLD WHO KNOWS SPIDERMANS SECRET IDENTITY, OF COURSE YOU'RE GONNA BRAG! The drastic overplay of the drama and the corniness of the humor just detract so much from the film.
Kirsten Dunce(yes, misspelled on purpose) has yet another horrid acting performance. Sure, the FX were great, for the 12 minutes of action that were in this daytime soap. I guess I should have just forgotten about the source material and enjoy this as a stand alone...p-UH-lease!Skip this and go watch Sin City or Hellboy, please!