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giantpanther

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52 reviews in total 
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Enemy (2013)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic, Clevel Film, 26 November 2014
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I won't offer any major spoilers and hopefully you have avoided a lot of the information on this film. Nevertheless I noted that this review contains spoilers because really knowing anything beyond the basic synopsis will spoil a little bit of this movie for you.

What makes this film great is that it has a few levels and it doesn't try to spell every single little thing out for you. On the surface the film is simply about a man who sees a doppelganger version of himself in a film and becomes obsessed with meeting him. Upon doing so he quickly realizes it was a mistake and becomes a little afraid realizing they don't just look exactly alike but also have a similar scar. Adam is a calmer more polite but subdued man he spots Anthony the actor who is more arrogant and aggressive.

What this is about on a deeper level is the loss of individualism in a totalitarian state. How they convey this is something you have to find out for yourself, this really isn't a film that can be discussed too deeply before hand. Its almost like there should be reviews for those who have seen this and reviews for those who haven't.

The Master (2012)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
a let down of a film, 10 July 2013
4/10

There Will Be Blood was a masterpiece, a truly great film. So I had big expectations for this follow up and I was let down on just about every level. The film follows Phoenix as an alcoholic war veteran who comes back from war and has no real direction, he works briefly as a photographer but his anger takes over and he can't hold a job.

Being jobless he stumbles onto the boat of a con man Philip Seymour Hoffman and thus begins a relationship thats highly unusual and destructive. Hoffman is supposed to be this L. Ron Hubbard type a man who invents a religion for profit. I thought that would be the center of the film, following Hoffman as he cons people but that is all a side note. For some reason the focus of the film is not on Hoffman's character but on the highly delusional and destructive and less interesting Phoenix.

Had they focused in on the intricacies of Hoffman's charismatic con man this film might have been better but the scenes never really explore him. The previews were all misdirecting in that sense, you were to think that this film was really a Hoffman vs. Phoenix showdown, a low level member of a cult (Phoenix) turning on the lead of that cult. That's not what this film is about though, Phoenix only once really attacks Hoffman over his crimes and lies and soon he forgets it.

The acting in this film is good and so for that reason I gave it a 4/10 but on the level of story I would have to hand this film a 2/10 or maybe less. Considering Paul Thomas Anderson was behind this project I really expected a lot more.

decent but I wasn't able to get past a few plot holes, 8 July 2013
2/10

I want to say first off that a lot of people will like this film, its light and carefree and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is good for a couple jokes. Some of the jokes are a little too gross out for me, but thats fine.

My main objection to this film is I never buy for a moment that Polly (Aniston) really actually likes Reuben (Stiller). The whole film I get the impression that she is a little inconvenienced by him and that she lets him tag along because she doesn't care if someone wants to hang out with her.

So anyways the premise is paper thin and simplistic, Stiller marries a woman who leaves him on their honeymoon and he meets Polly. The problem is Polly is care free and Reuben is uptight. This has been done plenty of times before, what would have made this project more solid would have been getting some verification that they really are both good for each other.

Without even knowing the Messing character (his wife who left him) I was rotting for her and him to get back together as it seemed far more sensible.

104 out of 171 people found the following review useful:
A Truly Bad Movie and I was a huge Before Sunrise fan, 20 June 2013
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can consider myself a fan of the before series of films, I saw Before Sunrise years before the sequel came out and hipsters started jumping on the band wagon of this film. To explain why before midnight fails I need to explain the film from the perspective of both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Now Before Sunrise was a slightly flawed yet still really captivating and original film about two people who randomly by chance meet in Europe, Jesse the American and Celine the french girl. They walk around together for a day until dawn and then Jesse must catch his plane back to America and thats it the end, they agree to meet up again a year later but as we find out in Before Sunset that falls apart.

Now Before Sunrise is cute because they are both supposed to be 23 in the film and its OK for 23 year olds to have stupid ideas or be overly dramatic because hey they are young and thats how it works. In Before Sunrise the cracks started to show, the film still held up but the plot began to meander into strange directions, first off when they meet up again they still decide to be "cutesy" around each other which is a little odd for people in their thirties to be that way. But the cuteness of the situation is allowed as they haven't seen each other in a long time, also the weakness of Before Sunset exists because get this Jesse writes an acclaimed book to get Celine back and the book is about how they both met.

The concept of Jesse as an author is weak because it is very apparent that the guy is kind of stupid and a goof, there is never any indication of depth or being an articulate human being. The other thing is in Before Sunset you get the feeling these two should not be together, they are different and Celine gets annoyed by Jesse but that of course is all very slight. The "celine getting annoyed by Jesse" plot line takes the front and center part of the stage in Before Midnight.

Really this should have just been two movies, I truly believe that. In part one they separate at the end and in part two they get back together and stay together and just leave it at that. Before Midnight first off doesn't function quite well because of this fact, Jesse and Celine still have stupid cheap back and forth banter between each other except that doesn't make sense because now they aren't 23 and they definitely haven't gone a long time without seeing each other so they are 40 somethings who argue about nothingness.

During the first segment of the movie, Jesse and Celine driving back from the airport with their daughters in the back, Celine gives Jesse a hard time about eating one of their daughters apples but in a way a 14 year old would taunt another 14 year old not the way a couple in a long term relationship would act. There are many examples of that and thus begins a two hour long film filled with Celine's passive aggressive and aggressive aggressive attitude towards Jesse.

You get the feeling Celine truly and genuinely hates every aspect of her life, she is with a guy that she thinks is dumb, she has two kids when she never wanted any kids, her environmental job always results in failures and having to work with idiots shes annoyed by every aspect of her existence and its truly miserable to have to watch her. There's nothing entertaining or charming about Celine, she is simply very very bitter at Jesse for "ruining" her life by getting involved with her.

Now the argument here is "well this is reality" OK watching paint dry is also an element of reality it doesn't mean I want to go to a movie theater and experience it. This film is different there's none of that whimsical carefree attitude that exists in the first two movies. The few brief moments of entertainment come from Celine not being around, Jesse has some conversations early on with some author who invited him out to Greece to stay with him.

Also when Jesse and Celine arrive at the hotel the owner of the hotel asks Jesse to sign a copy of the books he has written then begs Celine to sign them which she refuses because being angry and bitter is all she knows how to be in this film. Finally Jesse pressures her into signing them, but shes angry as always. Also twice Celine is on the phone with Jesse's son and then hangs up before he has a chance to chat with him, which is actually pretty rude.

This was such a garbage movie, an utter waste of time and talent, although probably not that much of a waste of time for those who made it I am sure they shot it and scripted it in about 5 days. The critics have all praised this movie but they only praise things that are different, and sitting and listening to two people argue incessantly on screen for 2 hours is certainly different but also stupid.

34 out of 67 people found the following review useful:
Ultimately a weak and cheap film, 13 June 2013

Maybe I was wrong to expect plot, character development and emotional engagement. This film is all special effects, superman running around. Whats stupid though is that there is almost zero back story what so ever. We see superman on a fishing boat early in the movie for about 2 seconds before he goes off to be a hero, and that was supposed to be like a big emotional arc ohhh he worked a regular man's job.

I found myself about halfway through completely disengaged from this film and had I not been with friends I probably would have left. Now don't get me wrong I like entertainment I enjoy Iron Man and Thor but this movie was just lacking any kind of personal connection.

There are also long sequences of Superman fighting these other alien villains in the film who are also generally unbeatable so there's no suspense and its pg-13 fighting so you don't want to actually show anything.

I wasn't expecting much going in to this film and I got even less than I expected, all the reviews that are on here are from pumped up fanboys who have been waiting for this movie for months. I am sure if you are into special effects and mindless action you will enjoy this but if you want something more you won't get it.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Pretty Entertaining, 31 May 2013
7/10

Maybe I just got my expectations down to that special level of low, I find Lena Dunham stuff to be horrible, tiny furniture was just one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. So I think seeing her name attached to this helped me enjoy it because I thought okay this will be bad, and when it turned out to be good I was happy.

What makes this movie entertaining is you can watch any of the actors involved on their own, they could have made any of the characters the lead or the main focus and you would have been into it. I actually thought the length was a huge negative, ended maybe a good 15 minutes too early, from opening to credits it was a mere 78 minutes long although it might claim to be longer.

There isn't much of a plot, an artist moves in with a family she stirs things up, I won't give away too much but she's an attractive woman around men who like attractive women so its not that difficult to figure out. The movie does a good job of just sort of moving along without being about anything. One of the weak links was this sub plot with an Italian teacher, I could have done without that it was a little odd.

The young lead actresses India Ennenga who plays the sixteen year old step daughter to Krasinski, and of course the artist woman Olivia Thirlby held it all together and kept it interesting even when it dragged along. I don't know why this movie made so little money, it was decent, maybe it didn't get a big release. I just found it via netflix as I am sure most other people found it that way too.

I would say watch this with no expectations, and if you like movies with lots of action and dramatic arcs then just skip this one, this is more of an experience film.

26 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
all the critics loved it, 26 April 2013
1/10

So yes the critics thought it was brilliant, which is usually all the information you need to know that a film will be downright terrible. the problem with film critics is they are paid to watch movies all day, as opposed to the regular person who goes in once or twice a month. Therefore the critic gets sick of anything that is similar to something else and when they see something different they praise it. Yes upstream color is different, but also it's just a terribly bad film.

I went and saw Primer just on random chance when it was in theaters, I was in LA on a trip and decided I needed to see something very indie since where I usually live doesn't have independent theaters the way LA does. So I didn't necessarily like Primer, but I made a mental note of it and told myself to remember the director. Because while Primer wasn't particularly good I could tell that at least the guy who made it had potential. My main issue with Primer was the super flat acting along with the monotone delivery of lines, and if the acting is no good then you don't connect with the characters, with no connection you just don't care.

We got the same problem here, the acting is bad but in a way where you can't really blame the actors I feel like the direction just isn't there or maybe its the script. Either way the acting is flat and dull and the reading of lines is just said in a way where it sounds like someone is reading from a page. I gave this film a solid 30-40 minutes where I refused to judge it, but after that long the film just wore me down and I realized it just was not good. I really wanted to like this one, but I mean at a certain point a film needs to like give the audience something, this is one of those art films where you would imagine the filmmakers behind it would say well we don't care if anyone sees it.

Save yourself some time and skip this one. What a bad film.

Trance (2013/I)
22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
A bit of a let down, 13 April 2013
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Full disclosure, I might not have been as harsh on this film if Danny Boyle wasn't the director but with Boyle I expect more, Trainspotting was a very cool film. I have always given Danny Boyle films a chance, even if they don't appeal to me, after Trance I will stop that. Trance didn't look that interesting to me, but I thought I would give it a shot and it just didn't quite add up. I mean at best you could say yea its an average decent film, not bad, but i was expecting good or great even possibly.

The basic plot is this, and I am sure I will hit some spoilers so be aware of that. The film starts and you aren't sure if McAvoy is a victim or in on the crime of stealing the painting, he narrates the first segment of the film and from that I was excited that this would be a good experience. So McAvoy works at an art gallery, some guys come to steal a piece of painting they get it or they think they do but McAvoy has hidden it. Problem is during the robbery he got hit in the head so he can't remember. Thus they go to a hypnotherapist - Rosario Dawson.

From there everything turns into a mess, up until he goes to see the hypnotherapist the film is at 10/10 really great. It slows down when she comes in because things start to just get illogical, she goes from mild mannered therapist to wanting in with the criminals who at this point McAvoy turns out to be in with to a degree as well.

The arrangement was McAvoy had a gambling debt, Cassell has some money so he paid the debt off with the understanding that McAvoy would assist with getting a very valuable painting. Now here's where it gets all spoilery, McAvoy really has no reason to keep the painting for himself so why would he be so stupid to keep it those thugs would just come after him. Well the reason is because he used to date Dawson the therapist and he became abusive, so she stopped dating him but he kept coming to sessions where she brainwashed him into forgetting her and bringing her a valuable painting.

OK now none of this makes sense, why would Dawson turn out to be this vindictive and willing to involve herself in crime and it is never indicated that McAvoy is a violent sociopath who would become obsessed with his girlfriend and beat her. Thats my huge problem with this film that the character make absolutely no sense. So as a viewer I feel cheated, I feel like the filmmakers think I am too stupid to question the flow of things so they can just throw stories at me as facts and I will accept it without needing any kind of visuals to back them up.

So apparently this film thought it would get points for plot twists, and while plot twists are appreciated in films you need evidence to back them up later which we do not have. There is nothing earlier in the film that would support why or how Dawson would want to involve herself in criminal activities, and there is no indication that McAvoy goes around beating women. This film demands too much in the way of suspension of disbelief.

Also they pull one of the cheapest tricks that I hate, where an action scene goes down, you are all intrigued and excited and then ohhh wait never mind all fake it was all a hypnosis dream. from that point forward I couldn't really trust this movie and I was largely just annoyed by its presentation.

19 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Really Fantastic, 12 April 2013
10/10

This film got a VOD release same day as its theatrical release which I really appreciate. I paid 8 dollars to watch it on demand and I would have paid the same or a bit more to see it in theaters with noisy people. It's not just the convenience its just I do not want to be interrupted while watching a Malick film and people's theater manners are horrible in Texas (where I live) I mean there's no sense. So I don't want to deal with laughter from people laughing at un-funny moments or things like that. I will pay to go see this in the theater next week I am sure as I want to experience the big screen version of it, but the first time I watch something I know has the potential to be great I really need to focus in on it.

I waited a few weeks to see the Tree of Life because I wanted to go when it wasn't crowded, because of Tree of Life I decided to watch this the same day it was released. I have always known of Malick more or less, or at least since I became aware of cinema and his first four movies I appreciated and respected but I didn't necessarily enjoy them. These last two I mean he has really hit his stride and I look forward to all of his upcoming stuff.

I read a fair amount of reviews before seeing this film and each one was all over the place, some praising this film others saying it failed so I went in with a pretty level head knowing this could potentially disappoint somewhat but still be beautiful to look at. I suppose the fact that I watched the trailers for this film at least 50 times should have indicated to me I would be into this style. What you need to understand is dialogue is not very important in this film but I actually found it more accessible than the Tree of Life. I really enjoyed the Tree of Life but it was pretty heavy, there wasn't too much lightness to it, which isn't to say To The Wonder is all care free and light hearted but its a little easier to swallow than Tree of Life.

The plot isn't that important, the images are whats important here, and the voice over which is all over the place. I didn't think this would be better than The Tree of Life, I mean it's no small thing to top that film but I am proud to say I think this is Malick's best it's just really very beautiful and subtle. A lot of people will go to see this and just be confused and angry at the flow of things, how the camera and scenes drift but I enjoy it.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Big Swing and a Miss, 29 March 2013
1/10

You can see what they were going for with this film, and had it gone right it would have been a fantastic film, gone down as a classic but it misses the mark. Natalie Portman and James Franco do their best, but with minimal direction and the entirety of the film on the shoulders of Danny McBride it just couldn't hold up. Basically this film failed for a few reasons but really it failed because Danny McBride couldn't piece together an interesting character, like he had material to work with he just didn't make it work. Had this film been a success then McBride would still be making films of this level.

I think the main problem is, you don't like the protagonist and the film is a little bit too crude, crude can be funny but its a delicate balancing act it can come off as just obnoxious. I think everyone involved in this film realizes it didn't quite reach the level they wanted it to. When you add it up, its actually amazing that there were no laughs in this film. Oh well, I would say skip this, if its on TV and you are too tired to change the channel then you won't mind watching it, but still its a shame because it could have been better.


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