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Dark Shadows (2012)
Absolutely great opening scene, then terrible!
Warning: a few spoilers but nothing about the ending: I have been a fan of Dark Shadows since the days of the late 1960's and running home from school to catch the show when I was 9. I tried to go into this with an open mind. I promised myself that I would realize this was not going to be my beloved Dark Shadows but hopefully something of value to see. The entire opening sequence, where young Barnabas leaves for the United States to the building of the Collinwood estate to Josette's jump off of widow's hill had me cheering in my seat-YES this was going to be fantastic (though all of the opening storyline was terribly rushed, including Angelique putting the curse on Barnabas).
Then Johnny Depp (Barnabas) was released from his coffin in 1972. And from that point on, which was most of the movie really, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. I find it very hard to believe that Depp and Burton were also kids like me who ran home to see the original series. Why did they take this direction? I mean panties on Barnabas' face in his coffin? Carolyn saying "Yeah I am a werewolf, get over it" when the entire movie we knew nothing of her being a werewolf? I was never so ashamed of Burton and Depp like I was today.
The original cast members are there, for about 2-3 seconds, walking into a party, and in the background again for 2 seconds for a shot. They were flown to England to do cameos. For 2-3 seconds? I mean, come on! And the humor, some jokes were just plain awful.
If Burton and Depp had taken the route they took with Sleepy Hollow, this could have been one of the best stories in film this year. If they had stayed with the feeling one got in the first 7 or 8 minutes,this could have been an absolutely fantastic horror movie. Instead it not only insults (rather than respects) Dark Shadows fans, but it completely loses that great feeling that was there for the opening sequence, which I loved, when Depp is telling the history of the Collins family.
I was turned off by the rock music at the very end, why not have all the credits playing some of the original Dark Shadows music, and why couldn't Danny Elfman interweave the main theme of the original into his music somewhere. Instead, the action scenes had that "Mars Attacks" opening credits type score, which I do love, but not here. The opening credits, instead of a good horror score, had the Moody Blues? Geeeez! And Alice Cooper at a party given by the grand Elizabeth Stoddard? Unbelievable. I think someone like Glen Close or even Judy Dench would have played a better head of Collinwood, Phiffer was just too young even though she did a decent job and tried, but all she had were bad lines to work with.
Barnabas not having to sleep during the day in his coffin, but using a hat and umbrella with dark glasses to keep out the sun and the light? And couldn't Burton take a break from all the white faces again (and again and again)?
I find it hard to believe that some 18% of people gave this a 10. I guess these must be under 18. I can assure you than anyone who knows anything about the original Dark Shadows did not give this a 10. Why didn't they just make a vampire movie and leave Dark Shadows out of it and let someone make a real Dark Shadows film? If you want to see what Dark Shadows was and why it was so beloved, see the original film from MGM with the television series cast, "House of Dark Shadows." I hear Warner is going to release it at the same time they release this new piece of junk on video.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
One of the best in Horror!
I have seen plenty of horror movies in my day, and really like them when they are good, and Drag me to Hell is one of the best I have ever seen. I am not sure why there are some reviews giving this one or two stars, this has a fantastic story, is scary, has plenty of tension, contains a great musical score similar to the old horror films, has excellent acting and great visuals and cinematography.
I won't go over the story as I am sure it's been told many times and it's best you go into the film like I did, not knowing a thing about it. This was one of those Blu-ray discs I just walked by at Target and decided to buy it, hoping for a decent horror flick. I am so glad I bought it because I have already watched it twice in 4 days, and the 5 people I have shown it too all have loved it. Highly recommend this movie, expertly written and produced! If you can get the Blu-ray, that's the way to watch (and hear) it!
The Strangers (2008)
Total JUNK, this is entertainment today?
No plot, no reason, no explanation, no sense, no story, practically no dialog, this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, a complete waste of time. How can you get tense and scared if there's no reason for it? They spend the first 10 minutes explaining how this couple got to their house, and the next hour creeping in the dark, and believe me the end is worse than the middle, a complete letdown.
It's really sad to realize that these days they can make junk like this and earn money, and a 6.1 rating on IMDb? This goes to show you that there is a big percentage of teens voting here who are satisfied with nothing over something with substance. Do yourself a big favor, watch ANYTHING else, it will be a better use of your time. I can appreciate a good thriller, and this isn't one of them, it's among the worst I've ever watched. To think I wasted almost 2 hours of the bulb on my projector for this junk. To the director of this picture: Thanks for nothing, and I do mean nothing, which is basically what happens in this movie.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Who cares when a bunch of drug addicted sex addicts die? C'Mon Paramount!
What we have here is basically a soft core porno film in the first half and it seems the screenwriters went out of their way to outnumber the times the F word is used and a bunch of characters that care about nothing but partying and sex and drugs, so who cares if they die?. While most of the older filmswere about teens getting killed, and many during sex, I don't think they needed to go this far. Might as well have made it X and showed everything. In my opinion, the continuous swearing and talk about sex and the drug use really cheapened this film. There were no characters to really care about. I am no prude, I can handle sex scenes and some swearing, but this was ridiculous.
How disappointing. The movie opens well enough, like the first with the killings and then the titles (though the titles on the first movie were better). The music was not as good as the first, in my opinion the original Friday the 13th had a real orchestra and that combined with the slow motion at the opening and the titles coming out at you made for a much better opening.
I liked the way Jason found the mask and I liked the fact that they told us what happened to Jason and why. But I feel there was so much missing. Camera angles of Jason were lame, and in some instances I thought he was weak, which he never was before. When the guy starts to fight and punch him, and Jason falls back a few times, I knew this was not the same Jason I knew. I only heard the "kill kill kill ha ha ha" at the start once, and then at the end once. That is a trademark of Jason and alerted viewers to the fact Jason was near. They chose not to use it very much (in fact not at all during the film except for the start and end) and I am unhappy about it. I am also unhappy with the music score. I feel this could have been much scarier with a more intense music score with some REAL instruments (likePsycho and the first Friday the 13th).
The killings were inventive, but the characters were very lame and you really don't care if they are killed, because they are a bunch of losers..except for one of them who you do care for, and they kill that one off. Whatever happened to developing characters that you actually care about, which makes it much harder and scarier to see them killed? That's good film-making. They really had no build-up to discovering Camp Crystal Lake, which is a legend for those who know this series... the final scare was nowhere near as jolting as in the first film, and the characters were all drug addicted sex addicted losers. That's fine but it does nothing for the audience when you could care less if they die or not.
What a shame they chose this route. It could have been SO much better. Many of the first 6 sequels are much better than this one, watch those instead. They had a great opportunity to start the series over again. I think they failed miserably.
I can't think of any flaws with this film. I went into this not knowing what to expect, only reading the slight synopsis on the rental. This film, in its early reviews, fell under the "revenge" category, but that is not what this is about in any way. There is no revenge here. Avery Ludlow, played by Brian Cox, is a man who is kind, generous and well respected in his community, a small town. Several teenagers commit an act that hurts him and he wants only admission and an apology. But the guilty are children of a rich man who won't let his reputation be hurt and who has connections and uses them so that Avery cannot put to rest the act that occurred (I am not going to say what it is, not really a spoiler since it is in the synopsis everywhere but in case this is all you read, you won't know then).
There simply is no revenge in Ludlow's heart, but things get worse as he just tries to deal with what happened here, after losing his family several years prior to this. I won't go anymore into the story, but I will say that this is a great film, about morals, honor, and those with money who try to get away with anything. Beautifully acted, I always felt this was a totally realistic situation, the characters were very real to me and situations like this could very easily occur, and most probably do. I highly recommend this movie. I think it is an important film in many respects, and rarely is a story told these days where the victim doesn't seek cold revenge but just admission. As you find out about Ludlow's life, you will certainly be in sympathy for him, which only adds to the awful things that happen here. Don't miss this one!
When Time Ran Out... (1980)
Oh Come On, This was no 3.6 stars out of 10 movie, it's higher!
I really can't see why this movie gets such low ratings. The suspense is great, the special effects very good, the story decent, and it was a very enjoyable presentation on my 150" screen watching the new 2:35:1 widescreen DVD version, which was finally released a week ago (Feb.15 or so). All of the cast does a very good job, and this movie is MUCH better than many others getting even a 5 or 6 rating. I urge all of those who have not seen it to give it a chance, it's much better than some of the so-called "reviews" on here and is worth the 2 hours and 15 minutes. I'd like to see Hollywood make some more like this, with special effects today, disaster pics could be awesome. Plus, nothing like having an all-star cast unite for such a picture. To me, this film and The Swarm are much better than their IMDb ratings.
If you have a heart, don't miss this one!
I rarely take the time to write a review on any website, but after watching this film, I had to add my comments in the hopes that more people will watch this movie. This is one of the finest films I have ever seen, and to be sure, one of the most touching. Joan Plowright deserved at least an Oscar nomination (and probably a win) for this movie. There are films you see, and then there are films you feel, this is one of those you feel. I cannot recommend this film enough for anyone who loves quality movie making at its finest. Utter perfection in the acting, direction, cinematography, and a perfect musical score. I give this film an 11 out of 10. I saw it for the first time last month (July 2008) and tonight watched it for the 2nd time, and it surely won't be the last. If you have a heart, this one's for you! A touching, romantic lovely story (one of the only films I have liked better than the book) that is the type of film which is very hard to come by these days. From the moment it began until the end, I was captivated by the story and the performances of the film. I really do wish more films like this were made. I recommend this film, which is now on my list of the top 20 of all time.
Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1972)
Wildly funny and entertaining
Another of the great Paramount Neil Simon versions of his stage plays, and this one is a winner. Arkin is hilarious and perfect for the role, Kellerman is perfectly cast, as is Prentiss. This is a funny, enjoyable comedy that has been very under-rated. I can't imagine a better casting that Alan Arkin in the lead role. Actually, each of the 3 women he tries to have an affair with are also perfectly cast. If you are looking for a light, very funny comedy with a lot of winning one-liners,this is the movie.
I Mmight also recommend the other Neil Simon greats of the 60's, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, and Plaza Suite.
The Shaggy Dog (2006)
movie is a joy and entertaining
I really enjoyed this movie. I can't believe right now it has a 3.5. Does anyone enjoy a good movie anymore? I am 44 and my mother is 76 and we absolutely loved this movie. Touching, funny, messages about family, good special effects on the animals, I would say this is just as good for adults as it is for kids. Why can't movies be something to sit down for 90 minutes and just be enjoyed anymore? I am assuming some of the ratings are from teens which brought down the rating. No swearing, killing, sex or blood, so it's a piece of junk to them. Wholesome entertainment is junk to most of them. Tim does an excellent job as does Robert Downey Jr, and the rest of the cast. This is a quality family film. I highly suggest it to everyone with a sense of humor and someone who has a heart and believes in family.
Man of the Year (2006)
very good movie, give it a chance
Perhaps those who rated this so low went to see a complete comedy with Robin Williams. While the movie has some very funny humor, it is also an excellent political thriller, and my entire family loved it. It's funny, tense, and a very satisfying viewing experience. The movie also has strong messages about the political system, all of those messages are so true, it's great to see such statements from the writer and director. Robin is absolutely great, as well as the rest of the cast.
For those seeking a complete comedy, you will not get that for the entire movie, but in addition to the comedy will get a tense political thriller and lots of feeling while you watch. Bravo to this movie! Forget the bad reviews here, this is a quality movie and story and acting, with a very important message.