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If you are a fan of the books...
I won't bore you with another detailed review of "Allegiant" It's been well covered already but I will say that if you are a fan of the books...
No need to freak out! Was "Allegiant" the movie perfect? No. Not by a long shot. It obliterated and basically stripped many of the complex and more interesting layers that brought the characters body and soul in the book. We were left with a very skeletal, fractured and less interesting story. The movie did veer from the original work quite a bit but the substance of the story was still there...it wasn't lost. We still get the point of what the purpose of the experiment cities were designed for. We get the struggle for power and the fight for humanity to fight for its survival against what seems like insurmountable odds. We get the theme of loyalty and family, ambition and greed vs sacrifice and selflessness. All the elements are there.
Was I annoyed that this movie is part 1 of 2? Not really. I look forward to seeing how the writers and director will adjust the story. Many fans were unhappy with the ending of the book anyway and would like to see it fixed. We'll have to wait and see if the powers that be stick to Veronica Roth's vision or create an alternate. But really, there is no need to feel disappointed or distraught. It is after all an adaptation!
Theo James as Four was awesome, though I felt his character wasn't given much substance in this flick, still he was fun to watch. Bill Skarsgard who played Matthew was a nice surprise. I loved every scene he was in and Miles Teller stole the show as the always self-serving jerk, Peter. We didn't get much from Zoe Kravitz and Maggie Q was great as Tori. Shailene Woodley was OK. She could only work with what she was given. But the fellas carried this movie from beginning to end. Even Jeff Daniels had his moments.
Overall, I thought it was entertaining. Not perfect but I give it a pass.
Star Trek (2009)
Don't Listen to NaySayers!! This Is A MUST SEE!!
This film was rocking AWESOME! I grew up on Star Trek and loved everything Star Trek except the DS9 series. I was skeptical at first about this movie. I worried it would be stupid and cheesy. I am happy to say it was above and beyond anything I could've dreamed for a NEW life in the Star Trek world. Don't listen to the NaySayers! This TREK is NOT supposed to be YOUR FATHER'S version! It's new and fresh and blasts off to where no other Star Trek has gone before. It's cool, the cast is incredible the CGI believable and the character development beyond words! To all you NaySayers out there: THIS IS THE STAR TREK FOR THE NEW GENERATION! Get over it! Go see this movie yourself! STAR TREK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It WILL live long AND prosper!
I went to see Poseidon hoping that this was going to be, if not a great, at least a good movie. Sorry to say it is neither. This movie is just plain bad. The only thing worthy about this flick is the special affects. The characters are nothing more than a crew of puppets moved about a sinking ship with absolutely NO personality. The characters are so underdeveloped it really gives the audience (ME) no valid reason to care if these people come out alive! The acting is bad and suffers extremely from just a plain bad script. It seems that certain characters (Richard Dreyfuss) are implanted in this story just as fill-ins and others (Kurt Russell and Emmy Rossum) lack chemistry all together. If you really want to see this go to a Matinée or wait for the rental. If you haven't seen the original "The Poseidon Adventure" please do! This sad remake pales in comparison.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
Better the second time around!
I cannot say how badly I was waiting for this movie to hit theatres after I saw the trailer months ago. This was on my top "To See" movies of 2002 and I just have one word to describe it: WONDERFUL!!
I am not one who gets too excited about movies because the finished product is more disappointing than the actual trailer as was the case with "Planet of The Apes", and I was really hoping "The Count of Monte Cristo" wouldn't follow that dreadful pattern. It didn't.
This movies kept me wide-eyed and on the edge of my seat throughout. The story was wonderful, the actors were great, the scenery was marvelous and the costumes were breathtaking. I liked everything about this movie.
The character development of Edmond Dantes was masterfully done. We see him in the beginning as an innocent, good-hearted, good-natured and trusting, God-fearing man who is betrayed by his closest friend and the transformation he undergoes makes your heart ache for him...he is now full of bitter hatred and vengeance and his outlook on life revolves on this thirst to quench his revenge. Jim Cavaziel portrays Edmond perfectly, as does Guy Pearce as his best friend Mondego...though I wished his character had had more screen time...he is a villain you despise from the very outset. Dagmara Dominczykz is not only naturally beautiful but an excellent actress. I enjoyed Luis Guzman as Jacopo and Richard Harris portrayed an endearing, colorful character as Abbe Faria.
It is good to see Hollywood take the time to actually develop the main character in a movie that speaks of such a deep subject as revenge. I was personally delighted to see the director not rush through this pivotal period in Edmond's life but gave us something to chew on...the misery, the time it took for Edmond to gain a knowledge that could be useful in the outside world, the realism of years having taken their toll on his psyche, the brutality he experienced all those years. His relationship with the priest gave us a glimmer of hope that Dantes wouldn't allow his hatred to destroy him.
In an age where vulgarity and extreme violence are becoming the stuff audiences are being fed, it is so refreshing to have a story that's well told, well acted and overall a story that doesn't need all the hype and blood and sex to make it WONDERFUL! I liked this movie so much I just got back from seeing it again and it's better the second time around! I can't wait to own it on DVD! Kudos to the makers of this movie. You've made many people happy by putting out a product that not only works but leaves us feeling good in the end!
10 out of 10 :)
The Warriors (1979)
I Want Them All!...I Want All THE WARRIORS!
I am truly amazed at the following this movie has! I thought I was the only one and my brothers who love this movie! I first saw "The Warriors" when I was 10 and it hooked me then and still to this day, whenever it comes on t.v. I can't help but be hooked all over again! This is one terrific movie!
From the very opening scene to the last, your eyes are glued to the screen. It's a shame that edited versions have taken out the opening flash sequences where the members of The Warriors are given instructions before going to the big meeting. It sets the movie up perfectly, because it gives us a glimpse into the importance of the big meeting for these men.
I won't go into details about the movie because many of the posts here have covered the plot. But I will share what made me fall in love with this flick. First off, the notion that a city like NY had so many gangs! That was really cool. The thought that all these gangs comprised together could overtake the city was very intriguing. The finger pointing to the Warriors as having committed the unspeakable act and the chaos that ensued was so superbly orchestrated and filmed, it still leaves me wide-eyed. The Warriors' cluelessness as to why the gangs are after them is great because they are fighting for their lives and don't know why they're the main targets.
One of the best sequences was when our guys meet up with the very intimidating, scary Baseball Furies, (my favorite gang besides The Warriors) which are the badest looking bunch you'll ever see. The face paint alone scared me, not to mention those bats! The fighting in this sequence was also the best! Don't you just love Ajax and Swan in this part? Totally cool dudes!
The radio announcer added so much to the film by making their trip that much more difficult. I always thought just when things can't get worst they do as she updated the city gangs to their whereabouts. I loved it when she apologizes so cooly in the end: "Sorry 'bout that."
And...who can ever forget the famous chant: "Warriors, come out to plaaaay." How cool was that?!
I tell you this movie rocked then and it rocks now! It is one of the best movies of the 70's! The characters were cool, you rooted for them from the very beginning and hoped they would all make it in one piece back to Coney. Loved Swan's words: "When we see the ocean, we know we're home."
The sceneries were amazing, the park, the subways, the grungy ghetto streets. The music was fantastic. How can you not sing, 'No Where to Run, No Where to Hide' How can you not remember that great bathroom fight?! And all the running! The filming was just overall amazing!
If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen it in awhile, go back and get acquainted with an old friend. You won't regret it!
After Everything Is Said, Best Cinderella Ever!
From the very opening scene of this film I was intrigued. I knew it was a Cinderella story and I wondered what the difference to this version would be. I was expecting the usual pumpkin turning into a coach, fairy godmother, magic tale we've all been fed with since the first time we read Cinderella. I have to say, this was the best Cinderella movie EVER! The fairy tale spun into a more reality based life story was done so expertly, it's almost believable!
When we hear the Grimms' Brothers talk about the contrived story of Cinderella, the glass/fur slipper, and all the rumors around the story itself, we're intrigued further as how one of her great, great grandaughter's sets the record straight giving us the push we need as an audience to see, even consider how in the world could this ever have taken place? How are the writers going to pull this one off?!
I have to say they did an excellent job! The storytelling was awesome. It was written so beautifully that it does give you an entire different appreciation for the Cinderella story.
The acting was wonderful. I liked the fact that although handsome, Dougray Scott wasn't the perfect vision of Prince Charming in all respects. He had many flaws to his character which made the story realistic. Drew Barrymore made me laugh and cry as Danielle and Angelica Houston was excellentally cast as the wicked stepmother...even her name sounds wicked, "Baroness Rhodmila De Ghent" The two stepsisters were also great. Marguerite was totally detestable, I mean *really* whereas Jacqueline was sweeter and you got to like her being the least favored of the Baroness' daughters.
****Mild Spoilers***** If you haven't seen it.
There were so many touching scenes that made this movie memorable. Two of my favorites: (1) The scene when Maurice comes back home after Danielle buys back his freedom and his wife sees him in the distance and they just run to each other. Beautifully acted and filmed! It gives us a glimpse into what this story is all about..."true love" (2) The royal court scene when the Baroness is interrogated by the King and Queen. The spiciest part of this segment is when Henry calls out to Marguerite and announces his wife. I just clapped! Talk about sweet, sweet revenge!
Overall this is a wonderful movie! Don't bother with the accuracy of history or the other little insignificant stuff others have nit-picked about this movie. It is still just a story. Beautifully acted, beautifully filmed and written. Whoever didn't like this must've either been too blind or spaced-out and missed the entire basis of the movie. It is very much worth your time and money. If you don't have it on video or DVD, what're you waiting for? I've watched it about 15 times already! It's one of those movies you can never tire of watching.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Unless a period film is well adapted it tends to be long, boring, and tedious for the viewer. Not so with "Sense and Sensibility" It is one of the best period pieces in years. Emma Thompson deserved the Oscar for her adaptation of this Jane Austen classic novel. Not only did she do a great job as a writer but as the protagonist of Elinor Dashwood, she was excellent! The whole cast ensemble was remarkable.
Kate Winslet portrayed the not-so-reserved Marianne Dashwood to perfection. Your heart fell to pieces for her character as her love for one man Willoughby was dashed, while the admiration of Col. Brandon she dismissed just as quickly. Alan Rickman played the role vividly and soundly and you could grieve with his anguish as he attempted to win the affections of the younger Marianne.
Hugh Grant was lovable as the timid Edward Ferrars and I can't think of another actor who could've pulled this role off as well as he did!
The film takes its time telling this most touching tale of two sister's who are left dowryless by the greed of family members at the death of their father, and are forced to live almost in poverty according to the day's standards. It was a time when a dowry was the most important thing a woman could offer entering a marriage and if you lacked one, your chances of marrying well were relatively non-existent.
The struggles we endure with the very two opposite Dashwood sisters was so well told and acted that you felt you were right in the room with them. I hadn't cried for years during a movie until I watched "Sense and Sensibility". It will touch your heart and if you're not a fan of period films, this one will surely convert you into one! It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Jurassic Park (1993)
A Classic Amongst Classics
Wow! It doesn't matter how many times I watch "Jurassic Park" I always come away with the same expression...WOW! This has got to be one of the BEST movies ever made. Some may think it an exaggeration but I reckon that if you can watch a movie over and over again and still be glued to the screen as if it were the first time you'd ever watched it, then I say it's no exaggeration. It is a classic amongst classics.
This movie had something for everyone. The dinosaurs of course were the real stars of the show and how could they not be? They were so realistic, so scary and menacing...even the nice gentle ones were awesome! They played their roles perfectly!
There are so many things in this movie that I liked, too many to mention here but I have to say that one of my favorite sequences was Tim and Lex being stuck in the kitchen with the Velaceraptors. Talk about scary! I don't know what I would've done!! The chills, the intensity, the fear, those Raptor noises, those Raptor eyes...brrr...gives me chills just thinking about it.
I have to say that the whole premise to Jurassic Park was brilliant. A "Dinosaur Disneyland" for everyone. Of course, I never got chased by a Raptor at Disneyland and hopefully they never introduce that attraction there either but the story itself was great. It's a wonderful fantasy, the stuff scientists dream of.
I loved Sam Neill from his role in "Hunt For Red October" and can't imagine anyone else playing Dr. Alan Grant. Laura Dern was great as Ellie and how could you just not love Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm? Bob Peck was very likeable as the Park's Warden and Wayne Knight as the very detestable Dennis. The actors had great chemistry and stronger hearts to survive all those dino chases!
All in all "Jurassic Park" ranks up there with such sci-fi's as "Star Wars" and "Jaws" Those are films that will last forever in the annals of film making. Add "Jurassic Park" to that list. It'll be spoken off when we're all old and gray and we can say, "Hey, I was there!"
American Outlaws (2001)
A Fun Western!
I like Western movies. I wished Hollywood made more Western movies. So, when Hollywood does decide to quell the hunger of a Western flick fan by making one...how can one resist?
I have to say I enjoyed "American Outlaws". It isn't hard-core Western but a fun, likeable summer movie. I liked the cast of this film. Colin Farrell was fun to watch as Jesse James but I absolutely loved Gabriel Macht as his older brother Frank. Bill McCormack was funny as Bob Younger and even Scott Caan, whom you aren't sure if you should like or not gave a good performance as Cole Younger.
I liked the twist this movie offers painting the James/Younger gang as the good guys and the Pinkerton's as the bad guys. It was different and that's what made it fun.
Sure this film isn't historically accurate but who cares?? Some have complained that the shooting scenes weren't realistic enough...who cares?? Do we really need so much violence to feel satisfied? Do we need to see how a bullet ravages the human body to feel that a Western is worth while? The point is made well enough without all the blood and gore. Don't let these pointless anecdotes deter you from watching this movie. You might be surprised! I certainly was.
"American Outlaws" is a fun, family movie. We should thank Warner Bros. for making a film/Western that our kids can watch without all the other junk (bad language, nudity, sexual innuendos etc.) that inundates most movies today! If you like Westerns and even if you don't, check this one out!
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Not Going Ape For This One
I had anxiously anticipated the release of this movie since I first saw the trailer. It looked promising, exciting and fun. As I sat through this movie I was wondering..."Why am I sitting through this movie?" "Planet" leaves much to be desired. The only thing great about this movie are the visual effects. If you love effects, you won't be disappointed. I like effects but not in place of a good story line which this movie certainly lacked. I saw the original and was floored by the awesome story told. This version said nothing. It had no balance, no texture, no nothing but lots of awesome effects. I guess Hollywood thinks audiences today are too brainless to follow a plot that they feel they need to entertain us with an all you can see buffet instead of giving us some credit to THINK! I was disappointed to say the least. But the effects were great! :)