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Captain EO (1986)
Horrible excuse for a "movie" (mostly just an extended music video). What's wrong with it:
1. It proved what a terrible actor MJ was.
2. Effects were mediocre even for the time when it was made. Terrible stop motion effects when the robot turned into the drum set. Terrible green/blue screen effects: When the orange gerbil flies around you can see where the puppeteers hand goes in it's backside.
3. Puppets and creature costumes you'd expect to see in a cheapo Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday morning kids TV show (like Liddsville).
4. Group dance routine that looks like a lame retread of Thriller and Bad.
5. The same group of recycled MJ dance moves he used in EVERY music video: thrusts crotch, wiggles fingers, does some "walk like an Egyptian" move, grabs crotch, moonwalks, repeat, etc.
6. Completely forgettable song.
Absolutely nothing original. The only entertaining part is when a character exclaims "Captain, there's something weird out there!" and I'm thinking "What, something even weirder than Michael Jackson?"
King Kong (2005)
King Kong is Lucky Charms
When I was a kid I used to eat a cereal called Lucky Charms. It had wonderful marshmallow treats mixed in but you had to eat a lot of crappy cardboard tasting cereal along with it. King Kong is much the same. Some of it is jaw dropping amazing but a lot of it is awful.
The character King Kong is simply the most amazing creature ever created for film and the CGI is peerless. The other CGI characters (dinosaurs, slugs, centipedes) are also amazing. Naomi Watts is excellent as Ann Darrow. She's classy even when asked to do ridiculous slapstick. The battle between Kong and the dinosaurs was great (up to a point - see the bad below). The climatic battle on top of the Empire State Building is spectacular and surprisingly very sad.
Now the bad. Geez, is this the most needlessly overblown and bloated 3 hour film I've ever seen. If you want to save some time for last minute Xmas shopping, skip the first hour. Trust me, you'll miss absolutely NOTHING. Jack Black is horribly miscast. Adrien Brody is also a very strange and unconvincing choice for an action hero. The dialog was embarrassingly bad in many parts. Supposedly, Peter Jackson has been planning this remake since he was 9. You'd think he'd have come up with a better script in that amount of time (especially when he had an established classic story to start with). The pacing and editing were also very weak at times. The whole father/son relationship between Hayes and Jimmy was stupid and needless. The Kong vs. Dinosaurs battle started off great but went over the top when they went into the vines and Ann was bouncing from dinosaur head to dinosaur head. Someone needed to reign Jackson in and say "OK, enough already!". The dinosaur stampede also needlessly went way over the top when it ended in a never ending orgy of tumbling dino bodies which the main characters somehow managed to dodge through. Yes, it's a fantasy film but at some point you just shake your head at the level of disbelief they expect us to accept. Like the scene where Jimmy uses a machine gun (which he's never used before) to get rid of the crickets crawling over Jack but without filling Jack with lead. C'mon, even an expert couldn't have done that.
The quantity of very bad far outnumbers the quantity of great, but boy the great stuff is really great! A definite must-see experience but not anywhere near a great film. Even though I couldn't stand the bland cereal in Lucky Charms, the marshmallow treats were so good, I loved it anyways. For much the same reason, I ended up enjoying King Kong, even with all it's very numerous faults.
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
The best Killer Doll
I loved reading the comments everyone has made regarding the third segment. I also remember seeing this on TV when it was originally broadcast in 75 (I was 13) and, like so many others, was absolutely terrified by the killer doll. I remember the next day at school, everyone who saw it was talking about it and those who didn't were upset they missed it. I must have drawn pictures of that doll on every notebook I had that year (the teeth were awesome). It's one of those movies that I have never and will never forget.
Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
Boring with capital B
Great cure for insomnia. Where to begin... pointless story, terrible script, and the worst performance by a kid actor in a lead role since Nathan Watt in "Unstrung Heroes". One of those films I wish I could sue to get my ticket money and 2 hours back. Very disappointed.