Reviews written by registered user
|38 reviews in total|
I very, very rarely write reviews for films that I don't see in the
theater. However, this is a gross exception. Now you may think I am
writing this review because the film I saw was a spectacular piece of
cinema, something worth drooling over, spending $20 on and watching
every Friday night with a different group of friends. But no
writing this review to tell you that if you ever so much as THINK of
seeing it, I strongly recommend you to reconsider your decision.
Those who know me, know I love a scary film. The original 'Saw' is the only horror movie I have seen that managed to scare me. I picked up The Blair Witch Project after it had been called the scariest film since the Exorcist, genuinely frightening, and among other critics' ravings, I knew I had to give it a shot. So I made myself some tea, some popcorn, and sat down in the middle of the night and put it into my DVD player to watch on my big projection screen TV. All alone with the Blair Witch Project. Some may say, quite a daring thing to do! I may say, quite a laughable thing to do. (that is, laughable in the sense of me thinking I actually was going to be scared.) The Blair Witch Project is 87 minutes of pieces of footage collected by three young adults who go filming a documentary on the Blair Witch legend deep in the woods of Maryland. After interviewing several locals about the legend, they trudge into the woods, only to become horribly lost. They begin seeing strange thingssticks that look like witches, babies crying out in the middle of the night, rocks that magically appear in piles outside their camps you know. The stuff from your absolute scariest nightmares.
So basically we have these three stupid people who DON'T stop cursing (130 F-bombs in one film) and these poor souls just can't find their way out of the woods. About 75% of the film is made up of footage of these people crossing streams while saying "turnip! I hope I don't fall!" and "I thought we already WERE traveling south!" The other 25% is made up of them crying during the night in their camps saying "Jesus kissing Christ, what the kissing turnip was that?! turnip!" While leaves rustle outside, rocks fall, and voices murmur. Then the morning comes. And they go back to crossing streams. Except this time, their map is gone. Ooh! The Blair Witch took the map! Getting scary, eh? Yeah, right. Then the night comes again. More "turnip! ITS BACK! turnip! WHERE THE turnip IS JOSH?! turnip!" Then the morning comes .you get the idea.
I kept thinking "This has GOT to get scarier, maybe the film hasn't gotten going yet." I was saying that throughout the whole film. I was even saying it during the final scene, and then the credits came up, and I was like WTF? Is there more? Wow, guess not. To be honest, that's what the Blair Witch Project is. And I'm not being funny or making it seem dumb for the sake of this review's success I'm being completely serious.
All three of the people are laughable. Heather Donahue, who is an actress I love the work of, is the only one who seems mildly genuinely unsettled. The other two just scream like idiots. And then more F-bombs are dropped. Give me a BREAK already.
So yeah. Then we get to the final scene they find a house in the woods. Pretty scary. They go in, they hear screams in the basement, and their cameras drop. THE END! Roll credits. I was thinking to myself, "They just used an hour and a half of camera time for something that could've been shown in literally five minutes." Now, I am not saying that the three people in this situation weren't scared, or wouldn't be scared. It's a pretty creepy set-up. But watching it on a screen? Bleh. It's just three stupid people who can't get out of the woods and who scream and curse at random noises they encounter. Last night I had a dream Nathan Radley from To Kill A Mockingbird snuck into my house, hacked my computer, and stole my kitchen table. And even that was scarier than this terrible movie. I'm not trying to be funny either.
So, in conclusion: mix three stupid people, a big woods, 130 F-bombs, and a bunch of weird noises that don't make sense, and you've got yourself The Blair Witch Project. I mean come on gimme a break. Or, better yet, give YOURSELF a breakand never see this movie.
Come on, filmmakers! Give me another 'Saw' to scare me! This is your best shot?
Vantage Point was the film I chose to see this weekend at my local
theater and I went in with high hopes. The storyline, which is a
part-interlocking , part-flashback film (which, for the record, are my
two favourite film elements combined into one!) is simple, yet complex
to uncover. The film opens at a UN gathering of world leaders in Spain,
with a big crowd, in an even bigger square. Suddenly the president of
the United States is shot twice by an unseen assassin. The next thing
you know, two bombs go off, one of them destroying the square.
The film is made up of that story told five times--each from a different point of view from a different person who was there. First, we've got agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) who is back on assignment after taking a bullet for the president six months prior. He's paranoid, and picks up on any slight signal that could mean an assassination threat. Next, there's a shady looking cop who commits a strange act at the scene--is he corrupt? You decide. Third, we've got the American tourist (Forest Whitaker) who loves videotaping things. Fourth, we have the president himself, and fifth--we see the assassination unfold before our eyes. In addition to these four main characters, there are four others who are involved in the scenes, and combined, makes for a total of eight people searching for the truth--or who are somehow involved in it.
Each "vantage point" (hence the film's righteous name) offers more and more clues as to which of these people were involved in the assassination. Director Pete Travis delivers a bang-up job in making the plot line completely and utterly unpredictable. Even most people who can guess plot twists coming at any speed will be left baffled and thinking hard. My favourite aspect of the film was that it was entirely the same thing on repeat--yet different every time. There were some stupid idiots in my theater that were booing every time the scene got restarted, and that's where I think a lot of people will dislike this film, because it is undoubtedly repetitive. However, I feel the redundancy of the film adds to its original essence and its tension. The tension in the film is done very well and the first quarter of the film will have you holding on to your seat. Although there's a more than action packed climax, people who just want to see stuff blown up and people shot and car chases will be left disappointed throughout the movie. Don't worry--even throughout the redundancy there's plenty of that good stuff. My other favourite aspect of the film was its acting--Dennis Quaid was excellent and Forest Whitaker blew me away like he always does, in a role perfectly cast for him. Sigourney Weaver's brief cameos were done very well and everyone in the cast does a great job.
All that being said, Vantage Point is definitely not without its flaws. Some of the characters aren't introduced right and the execution in many scenes is done very sloppily. The climax (although ironically long) is extremely rushed and, in my opinion, was done rather poorly. Unfortunately I can't elaborate without giving away major spoilers, but it is a fun ending to watch nevertheless, and you are able to forgive the sloppy editing. The thing that made me want to cry was the horribly clichéd conclusion that shouldn't have happened. In my opinion...they should've revised the screenplay. I hope there's an alternate ending on the DVD.
So, if you're looking for a decent thriller or a movie to check out, you might just want to see Vantage Point. The classic assassination thriller, a splash of originality, garnished with great acting and an unneeded sloppy ending turns out to be one bittersweet cocktail. But mostly just sweet.
I have never been the only male person in a theater audience before.
Ever. But now as I have gone to see "Juno," I know what that feels
like. From all the hype surrounding this movie, and Roger Ebert himself
calling it the best movie of the year, I decided it would be worth
walking down to my theater in below 20 degree weather to see it at a
2:45 matinée on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So I did.
First and foremost--the film is over-hyped, but I still loved it. Juno (Ellen Page) is a weird, abnormal, yet stunningly cute teenager who messes up and gets pregnant by her best friend Paulie (Michael Cera). After choosing not to abort the baby, she decides to find adoptive parents, but in turn must face being pregnant at school, at home with her parents, and of course, trying to balance the everyday challenges of teenage life. As expected, there are bumps along the way, and that's why I think Juno is not so much a movie about teen pregnancy and the dangers that come with it--but as a dramedy about growing up.
There are a lot of original, fun, quirky ideas that come along with Juno--one, primarily, is Juno's character, who you can't help but love. She's weird and rebel, and doesn't try to be popular, yet of course, she gets some unwanted popularity eventually. Ellen Page does such a seamless job portraying the character, I would not be surprised if she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Then we have Juno's best friend Paulie (who gets her pregnant), who is the nerdy, skinny kid who dominates the track team, plays guitar, and puts deodorant on his legs. The adoptive parents--Vanessa, the baby-obsessed lady who wants a child so bad she's ready to jump off a building, and Mark, the musically obsessed Sonic Youth lover who forms a friendship with Juno. I could go on and on and on but you get the picture...the film is quirky and lovable by everyone.
The film has a very indie feel to it that is paired up with a cute, indie acoustic soundtrack that I absolutely loved. The acting is without question some of the best I've seen in 2007 films--the dialogue is very witty, quirky, and entertaining, and forces a smile upon your face. Ellen Page gives a phenomenal performance as the weird, pregnant Juno and she is paired with outstanding performances by Jason Bateman, who you might remember from Arrested Development, and Michael Cera. Unfortunately, though I really liked the film, it is extremely over-hyped. It does not deserve a Best Picture nomination and certainly not it's 8.4/10 rating on IMDb. The strongest point of Juno is its indie -feel and originality--the weakest, unfortunately, is the way it is executed. I can't help but think Jason Reitman, the director, sort of mishandled the film and couldn't decide on whether he wanted it to be a comedy or tragedy. Also the first half hour or so of the film is very, VERY slow and lacks charm that is found in the second half. The idea, story, and structure for Juno is absolutely brilliant--but it could've been handled so much better.
Contrary to popular belief, Juno is not just for preppy teenage girls who have dumb boyfriends who want to knock them up. Like I said earlier, this is much more than a story about a pregnant teenager--it's a story about growing up and facing the world's challenges. Paired with wonderful acting, superb dialogue, a cute soundtrack, and a brilliant story, Juno turns out to be a great, cute film, whether you're old or young or male or female.
What happens when in modern times, a revolutionary, almost
too-good-to-be-true solution to a life threatening, scary problem
appears and seems to be the cure for everything that goes wrong? As if
someone walked up to you one day and said "Oh, hi, here's a magical box
that if you keep it with you all the time, you will never be sick,
never have problems, and have a long lasting life." Would you still
feel the same about your life and the people in it? And would you rely
on this so much...that it would destroy you? What if that solution was
the cure for cancer? "I Am Legend" is a fascinating, new
post-apocalyptic thriller starring veteran actor Will Smith. When the
cure for cancer is brought upon humanity, and the drug is administered
to patients, hell breaks loose. A virus is created, that starts as side
effects to the drug. One day in New York, the virus mutates and ends
infecting everyone on the planet, with a 90% kill rate. The virus takes
these people and transforms them into possessive zombie-like creatures
that are deathly afraid of the light and come out at night to hunt for
survivors of the virus.
Robert Neville, a brilliant scientist, is apparently the only survivor of this pandemic, being somehow completely immune to the mutated virus. He lives alone with his dog Samantha who is also immune to the air-borne strain of the virus only in New York City, which has been completely deserted. He sends out radio signals to search for other survivors while trying to maintain his sanity and test samples of the virus in his lab he has in his basement. Everything seems OK for him, from strolling the disturbingly empty, weed-ridden streets of Manhattan, driving golf balls from rooftops, and taking unrestricted tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Until the night comes. At his watch's beep, Neville bolts himself into his house to protect him and Samantha from what's out there--the remaining 90% of the world's population who want to infect Neville and Samantha. He mustn't be seen in the darkness to avoid the zombie/human creatures who watch his every move, waiting for him to slip up. As if this wasn't enough, Neville is plagued with dreams of the final moments of human civilization, when the aggressive decision is made to quarantine New York City, and the horrific death of his wife and daughter.
I know what you're thinking--that I Am Legend sounds like a corny, cheesy, over-used, washed up, unoriginal B-movie Hollywood pile of crap. I can assure you, it is far from that. The film is scientifically fascinating (even from a person who despises the thought of science class) and is like a window onto our own current society that where we're headed, trying to fix everything, can end in horrific situations. The images of post-day New York are extremely disturbing and horrifying, especially if you're familiar with the city as I am, from living in its metro area. Images of a blowing, dusty Times Square, complete with its usual screens and advertisements, except with cracks in the street, weeds growing out, and no people--something that anyone who's ever been to New York will tell you is simply impossible.
The movie seems to be two-faced. There is a dire, extremely thought provoking sense of caution and tensity throughout the film, even in the calm scenes, that inspires otherworldly levels of suspense. You can do anything you like in the Big Apple that is now 100% deserted--except go out at night. This makes the film both extremely entertaining, very fascinating to watch, and utterly terrifying.
Apart from all of that, "I Am Legend" is the scariest film I've seen all year. By far. And it's not everyday a PG-13 receives that reward. Not only the premise of being totally alone in a disturbingly deserted huge city that used to be home to over eight million, but in other ways as well. Unlike other zombie movies, which may you leave you laughing, "I Am Legend" has got the stuff to leave you shielding your eyes and shaking in fear. I know it had me scared out of my mind. Some of the scenes are extremely intense, grotesque, and the movie is jam-packed with utterly horrifying jump scenes that had my completely packed theater jumping out of their seats (and no, it wasn't just me). I could say that this movie is scarier than all four "Saw" films combined. Therefore--unless you can take a very scary movie, it might be a good idea to pass this one up. I feel sorry for those who saw it in IMAX. But if you can take the horror, get your tickets. If one movie this season deserves your ticket money, make it "Legend." The film is extremely well crafted and executed. Francis Lawrence delivers incredibly good direction and the editing is very well done, with horrifying flashbacks to a panicked New York, and makes the film that much more fascinating to watch. There is a strange sense of realism in the movie, something that'll make you think, "Could this be where we're headed?" Not in the sense of zombies, of course, but in other disasters. The only complaints I have with this film is the ending was much less than satisfactory, and in my taste, was a bit too clichéd. The second half of the film is still very good, but fails to deliver the tensity, horror, and strange fascination that the first half brings.
So, if you're looking for a way out of a bunch of dumb laughable zombie movies, and searching for one that actually scares the crap out of you, check out "I Am Legend." You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Who would've thought that a slasher horror film franchise, after three
sequels, could STILL be one of the best things Hollywood has to boast
today? Not I, that's for sure. The intricate, original, crowd pleasing,
absolutely shocking, riveting, suspenseful "Saw" wowed audiences in
2004 and a very solid sequel did the same in 2005.
I still remember seeing Saw and Saw II for the first time and realizing how amazing they were. Yet, I was unhappy with Saw III along with many others for reasons being: it focused more on violence than plot, there was no twist, and the ending was very unsatisfying.
I know for a fact I wasn't the only person who thought the "Saw" franchise was officially over, judging by the very disappointing third film...yet, I still possessed a strange love for these films and couldn't wait to see the fourth when it hit theaters. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece at all...but I got one.
"Saw IV" is not the average horror flick. If you're a Saw fan that likes the series for its blood and guts, you're going to despise it. If you're not willing to completely concentrate on the film's every little detail, you're going to despise it. If you feel like just kicking back, watching a nice gory horror film, and not spending a night analyzing the film, racking your brain until you drive yourself insane, you're going to despise this film. Quite honestly, that's why so many people hate this film: because they were expecting something completely different. Make no mistake--the Saw franchise as we know it is now going in a completely different direction.
Here's where the line's drawn between Saw IV and it's predecessors. With the deaths of two main characters in Saw III, you can't possibly think of how Saw IV could really be close to a decent film. Instead of a basic storyline of traps, unlucky individuals who don't appreciate their lives, and suspenseful jump scenes, Saw IV delivers a completely different premise: it's darker, edgier, scarier, more complex, more intricately designed, and more controversial than its predecessors. In some ways, the most horrifying thing about the film is instead of watching people being tested on screen--YOU, as a viewer, are tested--challenged to see what Jigsaw sees, feel what Jigsaw feels...judge how Jigsaw judges. The traps aren't there to entertain, or to make you recoil in disgust...they're there to make you THINK.
Even if you don't want to, or don't feel like it, Saw IV will whisk you away into a land of nightmare where you're forced to make the choices to what happens to the individuals on screen--you're the one in control. By the end of the movie, you'll be so shaken up you won't be able to move. For me, this one "Saw IV" HUGE points because it's actually scary, unlike II and III! It's not a body-count movie--it's a riveting, mind-boggling psychological thriller in the sense of the first film. The film feels like it balances a huge amount of plot and story and a huge amount of gore and ends up taking the cake. The film is exceptionally, brutally violent (even more so than Saw III) and some scenes are very, very disturbing--not because they are violent, but because stuff so horrifying is happening you just want to vomit your brains out. Saw IV is NOT for the faint of heart and there is some very disturbing sexual violence in one scene and another massively disturbing scene where five people in my theater got up and left...and this scene has haunted me since I came out of my theater.
Though horror veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the original creators of Saw, did not write Saw IV--it almost seems better. Darren Lynn Bousman's exquisite directing incorporates a dire sense of urgency throughout the whole film, making it feel like you're watching a "24" episode.
I will warn you now the ending will confuse the hell out of you, which apparently is another reason for people to completely, wrongly condemn this film. Me and my friends spent a good two hours discussing the film afterwards and it made much more sense to us. Be prepared to watch this film with an open mind and be ready for some serious post-viewing discussion afterwards. The ending is very much like that of "The Prestige," and you may have a desire to watch "Saw IV" again the minute it ends.
If you're a Saw fan that was disappointed with the lack of psychological horror in Saw II and Saw III---fear not. Saw IV has what you're looking for and will take you to hell and back...but hold onto your dinner. I have no idea how this film made it past the MPAA without an NC-17 rating. Along with your dinner, try to hold onto your sanity while watching the film...good luck with that.
Enjoy which, is in my opinion, one of the best treats of the 2007 movie season.
Ever have that experience of a lifetime at the cinema? Walking out
having seen a film that truly reached out to you in the theater and
grabbed you by the neck and looked you deep in the eyes, making an
impression on your life that you won't forget anytime soon...and
leaving you speechless for the rest of the night.
There have only been a select few films I've seen that truly gave me that experience, and I'm beyond delighted to say that the newest edition to that category is "Across The Universe," which is in my opinion the only decent film to surface since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Across The Universe deals with six major characters--a British art student from Liverpool coming to America to find his estranged father. A preppy, pretty, high school senior whose boyfriend has been drafted into the raging Vietnam War. A black guitarist from Detroit whose son has died in a peace rally. A young Asian cheerleader, running away from her home in Ohio to go after her life. A burnt-out, wannabe singer who performs at a small club and wants to show the world her music. And finally, a college drop-out with a passion for drugs, sex, and booze in search of himself.
Somehow they are all brought together by a small apartment in New York and begin to form unique bonds with each other. In the midst of the Vietnam War, and peace movements going on constantly around them, they are drawn to fighting, drugs, pursuing their dreams, finding themselves, and above all, finding true love, which is what the movie is all about.
Across The Universe is by far one of the most unique love stories ever written and unlike other deeply romantic films you may have seen, it is not sappy in the least or aimed toward female audiences. Across The Universe is not for the faint-hearted and is surprisingly gritty, hard-hitting, intense, and even shocking in many scenes. The film is shot in an extremely awkward (in a GOOD way) "Tim Burton" style that will be admired by anyone who gazes upon abstract art at a modern museum, and I was truly mesmerized.
The film seems like it is eight or nine hours long, and in no way is that a bad thing. Coming out of the theater after a 4:30 screening, when my watch showed 6:45pm, I thought it had frozen at some time during the movie. The person I saw it with couldn't believe it either. Across The Universe feels like three or four films--all with separate story lines, and all aimed at different audiences--merged into one, creating a bold fusion of film-making art. I'm being quite literal when I say it has a little something for everyone.
And as if the intricately written screenplay and exquisite direction weren't enough, the film is paired up with astonishing performances by EVERYONE in the cast, most of them largely unknown actors, and everything is hauntingly believable. I'd say a good 60% of the movie are Beatles songs, each song seemingly about the current event of the film, and the songs are sung by the actors, all of them with great voices. A lot of times I find musicals kind of worn-out, washed-up and boring, but never in my life have I been so captured by the beauty of film and music together--as one being. It was the absolute perfect addition to the film and put the icing on an already deliciously tasty cake. If you're a big Beatles fan like I am, you'll pick up on hundreds of intimate, subtle references to the Beatles' music such as character names, locations, and events.
Quite simply, this film is nothing short of a modern masterpiece, and will sweep the Oscars come February. It's a little bit of Moulin Rouge, Forrest Gump, Ghandi, and Titanic merged into one, with a Beatles soundtrack accompanying. See this film on the big screen before it leaves theaters...it will leave you gasping for air.
Usually when one comes across this film, their very first initial
reaction is "Jim Carrey in a horror movie? Er..." Nevertheless they are
still compelled to see it. As was I--but given the absolutely dreadful
reviews "The Number 23" reeled in from distinguished film critics, I
decided it wasn't worth my time and probably was just another lame
excuse for a psychological horror film made in 2007. But today I
decided, what the heck--we'll see if it's bad or good, as I paid a
rough $4 at the Blockbuster counter to rent it.
The Number 23 is a psychological horror film that deals with a man named Walter Sparrow (Carrey) whose wife gets him an old book entitled "The Number 23," which is about a sketchy detective named Fingerling who had a life filled with tragic loss, false love, murder, and above all, an unnatural obsession with the number 23. As Walter reads the book, he notices more and more striking similarities between him and the character, and it gets to the point where the number 23 becomes his central life figure as well, and slowly he believes he is transforming into the character that he thinks is a paper replica of himself.
Pretty weak storyline, eh? Yeah, I thought so too. Fortunately the film keeps itself on its feet (sort of) through skilled directing and editing, decent acting, an eerie atmosphere, a well-written screenplay, and just the sheer excitement of watching Jim Carrey in a role that is completely polar opposite of Lloyd in "Dumb and Dumber." Some scenes are extremely intense and shocking in a good way, ways that'll make you pull the blanket up to your chin, and eagerly await what happens next.
Other times you just want to go to bed. What is unfortunate about the movie is that the bad far outweighs the good. The decently-structured film is overrun and overkilled by extremely graphic and gratuitous sex scenes (75% of which really weren't necessary), laughably over-dramatic moments, and a ridiculously clichéd, washed-up "twist" that you didn't see coming because it's just so absurd in the first place. Many of the "freaky" references to the number 23 dealing with history are also factually incorrect.
Overall, it is quite obvious this film was a failed attempt at being a remembered Hitchcock-style psychological horror film and while it was an entertaining watch, I can't help but feel cheated out of that $4 I spent today.
I await the next great modern psychological horror film since "Saw."
Seriously, just say the title to yourself. Slowly--one word at a time.
Go ahead, no one's watching. Snakes...on...a...plane. Can you do that
without laughing? I know I can't.
What started out as an EXPLOSIVE internet phenomenon in spring 2006 became a legend by August. And unless you've been living under a rock for the last year and a half, you'll definitely know something about Snakes On A Plane. When the story surfaced, I thought it was such a genius idea for a brainless summer popcorn movie, became a regular on the IMDb board for a bit, got an official T-Shirt at Hot Topic, and, unfortunately, didn't get a chance to see it when it opened on August 18th. Well, last night I sat down with a friend at 1:30 in the morning with a can of Rockstar, popcorn, and french fries and put the movie on, truly, completely not knowing of what was about to be thrown in my face.
As you can probably imagine, Snakes on a Plane is about...well...snakes on a plane. A teenager witnesses a brutal murder in Honolulu, doesn't do anything, and Samuel L. Jackson as a super-cool FBI agent must escort him to LA to testify. But the murderer wants this witness dead--so he releases deadly snakes on the plane to make sure he dies.
The film is basically made up of people getting killed in the most random and outrageous ways imaginable by this ASTOUNDINGLY unrealistic movie, and Samuel L. Jackson killing the snakes and trying to protect the passengers. Hilarity ensues--I laughed throughout the whole movie. The dialogue is absolutely ridiculous, badly written, super-corny, yet excruciatingly funny. Kenan Thompson portrays a video-game addict passenger who attempts to fly the plane and the whole thing is just really, really funny.
Aside from that, being honest--S.O.A.P is without a doubt the WORST movie I have ever seen. Ever. It has no story, it's extremely corny (even the scenes without the snakes), makes you want to kill yourself, it's terribly acted, and everything else bad you can think of. Yet, there's a little voice inside you protesting, insisting you watch the rest of Samuel L. Jackson beating the crap out of poisonous snakes. While it is the worst movie I've ever seen--I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I know this is an over-used, worn-out expression, but this is really the only film I've ever seen where it 100% applies--Snakes on a Plane is SO bad, it's good. It makes for a fantastic laugh and it's a healthier alternative to drugs to forget all your problems and worries and just enjoy a night of watching snakes kill people on a plane. Overall, the ULTIMATE summer party movie. It's original as hell, side-splittingly funny, and 100% awesome--yet it's also the worst film ever produced.
The only problem is, I have no idea whether I give this movie 10 stars or 0 stars. So I've decided on half and half--a 5.
Just see this movie. SOAP will undoubtedly go down in history as a cult classic.
United 93 was one I skipped over last year. Last year I took the view
that any film made so close after 9/11 to be distributed wide in
theaters that was about 9/11 was absolutely wrong, exploited Americans,
and did not deserve my ticket money. But considering the high success
United 93 had, the outstanding reviews it gathered, and its popularity
at the Academy Awards, I decided to give this movie a chance at
I had read all over the place before I watched it that it was an extremely emotionally intense film. I am very attracted to these types of films because many times they cut right to the soul of you and make you wonder how lucky you are. I thought I had seen everything filmmakers had to offer in this genre. I was wrong.
From the very first scene, United 93 reaches out to you and brings you back six years ago to re-witness the terror America went through on the fateful day, September 11th, 2001. In a close-to-real-time manner, we are taken through--from start to finish--the morning that America will never forget.
MANY people still refuse to see this movie and others similar to it because they believe it is wrong to make such a film after the tragedy of 9/11. I can say with full confidence that "United 93" is not a piece of B-movie Hollywood over-dramatic crap set on the day of 9/11 to entertain audiences in a summer popcorn movie. United 93 is extremely tastefully done not to provide entertainment for its viewers...but what it does provide is something much more valuable, and that is terror. From the moment you start watching, you are pulled into your TV screen and experience every single gut-wrenching moment along with the passengers on United Flight 93. As if you were one of the passengers on the plane, you experience every ounce of terror, every single moment of fear, and every single bit of hate for the terrorists hijacking the plane. You are no longer wrapped up in a cozy blanket on your couch with your newly installed HD television set you put it into impress your successful neighbour. You're a passenger on Flight 93.
Paul Greengrass delivers an exquisitely directed film (one of the best direction jobs I have seen in my years as a movie critic) and paired with extraordinarily realistic acting performances by everyone in the film. The film is shot similar to a documentary and it truly makes you feel like you are watching rare camera footage that survived the crash instead of a film made in a studio. Everything about the film is so realistic, I'm actually having trouble calling it a "film" in this review.
Of course, United 93 is not for everyone. It is without a doubt the most emotionally powerful film I have ever watched and quite possibly the most terrifying movie I've ever sat through in all my years of seeing extreme horror films. The violence is extremely strong, very disturbing, and shockingly realistic. There are very few scenes free of peril and sometimes the emotional intensity gets so high you want to turn off the movie. But then you think of the people that really were on that plane--they couldn't just turn off the movie. They had to go keep fighting, and that thought alone will keep you watching.
But even so, this is more than a film showing the absolute terror that went on in the cabin of Flight 93. This is a film that shows true American spirit, and you feel compelled to join the brave men and women who attempt to storm the cockpit. You feel compelled to take up a weapon--which is anything you can find on the plane--and join the attempted take-back of the plane. And even though everyone who watches the film will know the outcome automatically...you still see that last beam of hope inside you. The last beam of hope that maybe, just maybe, these guys can take the terrorists down. Maybe, just maybe, the storm to the cockpit will work. And that's the moment you know that United 93 is more than just a movie...it's a true masterpiece.
It was a day of laughs that started as I patiently waited in line at
the concession stand on a hot Monday afternoon ready to watch "The
Simpsons Movie." The obese woman standing in front of me dropped her
two Value Pepsi drinks on the floor and it got all over her, and the
guy behind the snack bar said dully "Thanks for putting this much more
excitement into my life" and called for a mop. Because this is exactly
something that would happen to me normally, I couldn't help laughing
until I took my seat in the theater. Little did I know I was in luck
Seriously, I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard in my life. I have been a die-hard, hardcore, extremely loyal Simpsons fan for most of my life, and there has been nearly no better treat this summer to me than watching America's "first family of comedy" on the big screen. If you're like me, you've probably noticed the last few seasons (ok, more than few, more like eight seasons) of the Simpsons have been less funny, less charming, less witty, etc. Usually whenever someone mentions a good episode of the Simpsons, it's been one of the old episodes from the early 90s. Let me one of many to tell you straight and upfront: the comedy is back. Paired up with hysterical references to the real world, classic spoofs on FOX itself (like the show is famous for), HUGE celebrity cameos (including a very popular rock band that tragically drowns in a river) even making fun of movie theaters and watching a TV show adaptation on the big screen, and even some tear-shedding tragedy--The Simpsons Movie has it all. The answer is finally true to me, and it will be to you after seeing the movie: the reason the recent seasons have been disappointing is because Matt Groening and his team of absolute GENIUSES have been bottling up a storm of side-splitting, spleen-bursting, voice-loosing, eye-tearing, stomach-bleeding, popcorn-crunching gold that would, to our surprise, be unleashed on July 27th, 2007, like a tank of Mentos in an ocean of Diet Coke. Quite simply, the funniest film I've had the pleasure of watching since "Anchorman."
Yes, it's THAT good.
Oh, and there's a lot more to it too. Unfortunately, I can't tell you anymore or else I'll spoil the insanely amazing plot line, or something that goes with it. Just see the movie and you'll be glad you did!
5-Stars (if you're a Simpsons fan) 1 1/2-Stars (if you're with "Family Guy" or "South Park" or those OTHER animated shows) 0-Stars (if you have a bad sense of humour and people have confirmed that fact for you)
|Page 1 of 4:||   |