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The Mist (2007)
A movie that teaches to never give up...no matter what!!!
Say what you will, but I'm sticking to the title of my comment. It's been a while since a movie played me like the piano, and Frank Darabont's "The Mist" managed to permanently etch itself into my mind for numerous reasons. But I'll skip most of them and name just one: it has one of the most memorable endings I've ever seen. The whole movie is pretty good, but the ending made it a great one. The last 5 minutes are simply WOW! This is because Darabont manages to easily add a surprising new aspect to the already multi-layered story and characters...it is undoubtedly the most powerful one in the whole movie, and it fits the mood of the last act PERFECTLY.
Whatever the reason to change the original book ending was, the director knew exactly what he was doing! He successfully avoided the lame, ambiguous anticlimax of letting the viewer decide the fate of the survivors for him/herself...and I have to admit, I really thought I saw that one coming.
Instead you see exactly what happens and how the story ends. Darabont knew there were already too many things left unexplained as it was, so he concluded what he had at his disposal...the human character. This ending is where I got the inspiration for the title of my comment because that's exactly what "The Mist" taught me! ...this is where I part, dear reader. If you haven't seen "The Mist" yet, you have something to look forward to:)
Despite a captivating 1.st half and good acting, "1408" fails to deliver as a unique and original scary movie
Haven't we all seen this somewhere before??? Somebody trying to escape a haunted place, ...c'mon, whoever thinks "1408" is fresh and unique is either a total movie layman or has a short-term memory. There is nothing new here, sure, the acting is pretty good (especially Sam Jackson's character), and the tension at the beginning of the story is great, but is there a law somewhere that clearly states that sometimes all further potential should be flushed down the toilet...I'v seen too many movies that go down a similar road and loose themselves in cliché's and copy/pasting of other movies.
Director Håfström has a great sense of character development and knows how to shot truly captivating dialogs, but whenever there was action instead of drama he became tepid and boring...the second half feels looooong and forgettable.
And some of the scenes in "1408" were truly stupid and boring...like Enslin trying to escape the room through the window...most people would first probably try knocking down the door for like two hours before even thinking about pulling a stunt like that, but Enslin is all prepped and ready to go just because the door didn't open the first time he kicked it. Then of course, you have to have the painful memories of seeing a home video and flashbacks from your past (something that in "1408"'s case is so obviously thrown at us beforehand I couldn't stop but just anticipate and expect it) Then there was the matter of lousy effects that made the old victim flashbacks more annoying than amusing.
I hate this movie, not because it's bad (cos it's not, the first half is actually great), but because it's like so many other failed attempts of trying to give us a scare, and also because the only thing I'v heard about it were rave reviews about how unique and horrifying it is.
One Hour Photo (2002)
Sy the good guy
Perhaps most people got this movie as a cynical psychological thriller (which it most certainly is), but I was surprised that practically no one mentioned or recognized its truly important constant positiveness and overall moral message.
This picture-like movie to me was a reminder of how good a life I live, of how good I really have it going. It reminded me that I fail to understand and appreciate this on a daily basis, that I fail to recognize that the warmness of my home, the love from people around me and the overall good that is the result of all this, is something I neglect and pay very little attention to. As did the picture-perfect family in this movie. And here is where the true meaning of "One hour photo" lies: it's not a story about a psychotic, neglected and non-social little man that took comfort in pretending to live a different life. It's about showing how even the ones that have it perfect don't always know how much they should be thankful for it...and in some cases even mess it up completely.
The more I think about it, the more I actually see Sy as a sort of personified, flesh & bone guarding angel. The soft and white tones of his hair, clothes, car and apartment further help make my point. When at the end of the movie he actually got into the position where he could have committed a serious crime, he instead punished the swindling couple by giving them both the lesson of their lives and left without a sense of guilt whatsoever. And as crazy as it sounds(even to me at this very moment), he was almost entitled to do what he did. Throughout the whole movie he was the voice of everybody that is less fortunate, of people that suffer through their lives and hope and dream of living a better one (hence his immense obsession with the Yorkins), and he was more than justified to act:
he merely gave a reminder, nothing more and nothing less... ...It's a reminder that I'll need to be taught over and over again: to respect, love and appreciate what I've got.
Kissing the ground I walk on should become my daily habit!:)
The movie I can compare this one the most is definitely "Hard Candy", especially for the very real and possible story, as well as for the immensely brilliant aesthetics and detailed perfection of them both.
Highly recommended, especially on a very laid-back night.
Feeling just slightly sub-par compared to the Pixar "greats"
I'll be quite honest, I think this is definitely Mr Bird's weakest feature film so far, but that's not really saying much since "Ratatouille" is still pretty darn good (...plus I should also mention that "The Iron Giant" and "The Incredibles" are my favorite animated movies).
Bird's great and very distinctive sense of humor is still here, but not in abundance like I was used to from his previous work, which is probably what I missed the most. "Ratatouille" is luckily faaar superior to last year's "Cars", it's got great visuals and truly incredible voice-overs, but it mysteriously failed to impress me. My best guess is that Mr Bird has so far managed to set the bar so high it simply wasn't possible to go anywhere but down. But not severely, I respect the man for trying different stuff every time, for finding mesmerizing and captivating stories and bringing them to the big screen, and for always having great sense for everything, be it random details, voice actors, character animation.
I hope this movie positively surprises at the box office, so far the buzz has been kind of mixed, which is to be expected since last year's Pixar's weakest and dullest entry "Cars" failed to make an impression.
In the long run I predict "Ratatouille" will be fondly remembered, adored by some, but mostly feeling just slightly sub-par compared to the Pixar "greats". But let's not forget how high their average is;)
If you value your time don't even think about watching this movie
IF you value your time don't even think about watching this movie If YOU value your time don't even think about watching this movie If you VALUE your time don't even think about watching this movie If you value YOUR time don't even think about watching this movie If you value your TIME don't even think about watching this movie If you value your time DON'T even think about watching this movie If you value your time don't EVEN think about watching this movie If you value your time don't even THINK about watching this movie If you value your time don't even think ABOUT watching this movie If you value your time don't even think about WATCHING this movie If you value your time don't even think about watching THIS movie If you value your time don't even think about watching this MOVIE
And it takes a lot to provoke a 1/10 from me!
(gasp) Aaaaaaw...Timmy, look at the nice lesbian lady, isn't she great
I know I'm probably gonna get a lot of negative votes on this comment, but this was honestly one of the least enjoyable stand-up routines I've ever seen...and I've seen many! So on to my personal reason why I was barely able to watch this till the end:
Ellen to me is like a person in a wheelchair who everybody feels sorry for. Because she got treated badly after she "came out" there's now almost this unwritten obligation and sense of right to applaud to everything she says and does. It's pathetic! I condemn the spiteful reactions towards her coming out & everything, but empathy stops at a certain point. What's happened in Ellen's case is that now her loving and devoted fans are mostly people who've been hurt themselves. So they gobble her every word as if it came from high above...Ellen is to her fans what the AMWAY director is to his devoted fanatical ant workers.
The most she made me was smile on a couple of occasions, but the crowd seemed to want to eat her up. Everything was to-die hysterical to them and I couldn't fathom it. Her material wasn't really bad, but her delivery and timing were painful to watch. She was waaaaay too predictable and what's even worse, she went for the cheapest laughs: "God...is a She" (and the mostly female crowd bursts into applause)
Somewhere towards the end she even steals stuff from other comedians, but by that time I had already begun writing this woeful comment. Why I bothered to watch this till the end I honestly don't know. Maybe it was the empathy in me, trying to want to approve of this woman's comedic skills. She has none!
Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2007)
Star Wars...Robot Chicken style
This special's not bad, loved the "yo mama jokes" clip, "pervert Bobba Fett", "Jar Jar" etc, but overall the episode wasn't the surplus I was hoping for. Mostly because out of the 26 minutes almost half of them are clips we've already seen, so since there's only about 13 minutes or so of new material I felt almost, kind of, maybe, a little, well, ripped off. But that's definitely too strong of a word, "Robot Chicken" is one of the best shows ever, and I'd be immensely happy to see the 3rd season come to life. I know the older clips are here simply because they're ripping on Star Wars too, but we've all seen them so many times before that they were really slowing the otherwise great pace. It's like stand-up comedy, once you tell a great joke on TV you really shouldn't repeat it again on a different show, it feels kind of cheap (at least to me). Better to come up with new material and make the show shorter. Ooooooor, make the show so much longer that the stuff you repeat doesn't overtake the new stuff.
I guess THAT'S the point I've been trying to say: Robot Chicken guys, make your shows last longer!!!:)....
But otherwise, this is great fun, and it really shows that these guys have a lot of devotion to the Star Wars world, they even convinced the high and mighty Lucas to help them out. Restecpa!
...When two brown snails making love looks like one of the most amazing things you've ever seen
That's how good this documentary is! I simply mentioned the snail couple because that particular scene made such a strong impact on me. I never saw more affection and love in the animal world...the two brown snails were, honest to God, kissing. Actually, they were all over each other:)
I find it a little disturbing that some previous posters don't qualify "Microcosmos" as a documentary. I think that it didn't need to narrate and explain what it was about, but it indeed documented something, a part of the beautiful nature that surrounds us. The fact that so little human "presence" is required makes it even more enjoyable and somehow, pure. It is truly mesmerizing and captivating, like watching a beautiful moving painting that relaxes the body and soul. How better to honor nature?
Rear Window (1954)
Is this REALLY the best Hitchcock had to offer???
In IMDb's "Top 250" this movie ranks in the top 15, it's Hitchcock's highest ranking movie, so obviously many people see it as an exceptional one. I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about. I was eager to see it and perhaps I was expecting more, but frankly, is that so much to ask from supposedly one of the best movies ever made?
+To not come off as a lover of criticism, I truly have to commend the excellent use of sound effects throughout the movie. I realized on many occasions just how smart and practical the director was in making the outside world truly come into the viewer's life. I even realize how the whole concept of the movie must have been "fresh" back in its day, but here's where the lauding stops.
-I found "Rear Window" as a movie that definitely hasn't passed the test of time. The main set (around which the whole movie revolves) looked really fake...I mean come on, besides the incredibly wide windows that were just convenient enough for a peeping Tom to get a frigging panoramic view of everything, all of the apartments looked like two-dimensional sets from a drama play, even Jefferies's) The plot itself is almost laughable in its simplicity and more so painfully predictable. The first 30 minutes or so nothing much happens, there's a romantic subplot etc etc and when the main, murder plot comes into focus I simply realized there wasn't enough time left for it to turn anything BUT murder. So the supposed "thrill" of the movie mystery never even got to me.
I read that the scene where the murderer returns to the apartment and finds Lisa snooping around is apparently a "classic". LOL!!! The whole time I couldn't stop but wonder why Jimmy frigging Stewart didn't jump from his chair and limp like crazy to that apartment!!!?!!? All he could do was cling his teeth. Now that's love for you;)
Overall, way to many subplots and no real plot. Decent acting. Great sound but poorly-made sets. Bad ending. Bad premise actually. Not Hitchcock's finest moment. Honeslty, it's one of his weakest ones!
And just a personal observation that I find rather amusing: If the pianist was heard all the way to Jefferies's apartment, wouldn't any of the other residents ever get pi**ed at him for always playing that piano??;)
The Number 23 (2007)
Not exploited enough
Like this year's "Next" with Nicholas Cage I can't stop but feel this movie had so much more to offer. Although the execution of the movie was somewhat superior to "Next", they both follow a really similar storyline AND they both failed to use what was laying around their backyards.
I missed those goose-bumpy feelings, the ones I get when something falls so perfectly into place that it simply couldn't have been done any better...after all "The number 23" is a thriller, and the 3rd act is always the most important...Sadly, the end result is too Hollywood for my taste, the idea of somebody writing a book and forgetting about it is pretty interesting, but it could have been done much better.
I missed more explanation behind the "infamous" number 23 itself, how it came to be, why it would pop out on every corner of human history etc, after all the movie revolves around it, and the whole ordeal simply felt just like an excuse to make a story for a movie...Sadly, it remained so throughout the whole movie.
I missed more of Jim Carrey's book narration, to me the absolute best part of this movie was when he starts reading it and narrates us through the author's words...that's when the movie really got my attention...Sadly, the remainder of the book doesn't come anywhere near these moments and looks and feels like about a gazillion other popular movies with flashbacks.
A movie, that like "Next" could have been a masterpiece had it been done 20-40 years ago by a more daring crew of filmmakers, a movie that like "Next" failed to explore the very interesting topic it imposes on us (quite stupid really) and a movie, that like "Next" bombed at the Box office....Destiny...?;)
MY MORAL OF THE STORY: A potentially good story for a movie is surprisingly rare to come by these days. The right people should know that it should be treated with the utmost care by a far superior director