Reviews

154 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
5/10
Fun at times but not great
7 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was not bad, but I would not call it good either. There were some laughs to be had at the expense of the nerdiness of the situation, but for the most part it not particularly funny. I did not like how it seemed to make fun of the LARPing community. I would have preferred to see a less patronizing portrayal of LARPers.

The best thing about the movie is the cast is pretty engaging with the exception of Summer Glau which was half of the reason I watch this movie. I have not seen in her anything other than Firefly and a few episodes of the Sarah Connor Chronicles and I was not particularly impressed. The rest of the cast really got into it and it looked like they were having a lot of fun. It was over the top with the violence and chessiness at moments, but then tried to throw in some stupid love connection that never clicked for me. Not really worth watching unless you want to see some serious LARPing going on in the background.
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7/10
Enjoyable fun film
3 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Cute movie with some decent voice acting by the leads. I thought Jane Lynch did not hit the right note, but everyone else was fantastic. I was expecting to hate SIlverman, but was extremely surprised by how much she put into the role. I was also super surprised to see that Alan Tudyk was in the movie at all and did a fantastic job as the "King". was I would not say that the movie is top of the line, but it I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the set design and the world building was pretty well done. The biggest issue I had with the movie was Ralph's motivation kind of lame and drove much of the story. As his motivations changed the story was much more relatable and engaging.

My favorite part of the movie would be the idea of what it means to be a good person. It definitely has a really good message that I would recommend kids engage with. Overall it was an enjoyable film, but there was nothing that really caught me. I would watch again and recommend it kids.
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Galaxy Quest (1999)
6/10
Not my cup of tea
25 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Quick summary would be that it spends too much time being "clever" that it does not deliver on interesting characters. Tim Allen's character is the only character with an "arc" but does convincingly deliver any real growth. The rest of the characters are barely interesting even though a top notch cast does their best with a script that puts its characters second to making Star Trek references.

It can be amusing and at times it is very clever, but I do not think Tim Allen can carry a movie of this ambition. Characters can be goofy and not take themselves seriously without being one- dimensional.

Overall I enjoyed watching it, but it did not blow me away. I understand why it is such a cult classic, but for me it did not really resonate. I was never into Star Trek, but I get a lot of the references.
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4/10
Bleh
11 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Neither one of the leads were likable. The two most likable characters to me were the two side characters. I could tell the movie was mostly improvised and the actors did not feel natural in that environment. There were times when it clicked, but not often. Some of the dialog was good in these moments, but it was never consistent. I remember laughing once during the whole movie and rolling my eyes for most of it. The two cast members, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick, were not the main focus of the movie and the only reason I watched it. In general I do not like Jake Johnson and I have no opinion on Olivia Wilde. I guess they both did an OK job, but they were both so annoying in general
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5/10
First movie of 2014
6 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I did not love this movie, but I did not hate it. I am not sure if I even liked the movie, but I did not dislike it. For every cool moment there was an eye rolling moment. I found some of the gore funny, but nothing to write home about. The witch design was the coolest part of the movie and I wished during the final witch battle that the director showed off some of the other witches more. Even with these entertaining moments there are some terrible story moments. I am not going to go into details about specifics, but there was more than one groan. The acting was not campy enough for the premise and Renner cannot pull off a Bruce Campbell like character which this movie needs. I think there is some potential in retelling of old school fairy tales, but this is a very middling affair.
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7/10
story vs artistic vision
4 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the type of movie that suffers from a clash of imagination and story telling. At the heart of this movie is an interesting take on time travel that suffers from the fact that the director's vision drew from the simplicity and elegance of the story. I want to love Gilliam, but it is not an easy task.

The story is a fairly simple tale of time travel that ends with a sufficient number of twists and turns to make it interesting and to keep the audience guessing. The execution of that story on the other hand left me unsatisfied. There were certain aspects of the movie and specifically themes that I wish the director emphasized more. The idea that Cole could have been crazy and that everything was just in his head was barely touched upon and when it was it seemed like it was tacked on. I thought that one of the main ideas was that Cole could not change the past and that we would be forced to live the nightmare over and over again was not emphasized enough.

Instead of making sure that the themes emerged it seems that Gilliam decided to focus on more visually inventive aspects of the movie. I did enjoy the design of the future, but it was too stylized for it to fit the rest of the story. The present wasn't overly stylized so it did not seem like the future fit into the same universe as the present.

The acting was really good and I really enjoyed watching Brad Pitt play against type. Willis was good, but there was nothing special. Stowe on the other hand I thought was perfect. She was sympathetic all the while being strong willed. There is a beauty that radiates from her eyes and I would to see her some more dramatic roles.

There are some strong points for this movie and it was definitely a Gilliam film. I do not think he had to compromise his artistic vision too much, which I believe hurt the movie. I do love time travel movies, but there was not a lot of connections of the present to the future, which took away from the fact that it was a time travel movie.
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Se7en (1995)
9/10
Excellent entry into the genre of crime dramas
4 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a fantastic movie and I cannot really find anything wrong with it, but in the end it is just a crime drama. The one thing that sets it apart from the rest of the crime dramas is the excellent cast and one of the bleakest ending ever caught on film. Fincher really did do a fantastic job of putting together a well-paced and surprisingly thought provoking movie.

Morgan Freeman is the constant in the movie that never allows the viewer to lose hope that the situation is not hopeless, while keeping the viewer cynical enough to make the city that they live in a land of misguided hopeless souls. Freeman has such brevity that is really just amazing to watch him. Pitt on the other hand does a very respectful job of being the young cop with ambitions of saving the world and has places well across from the jaded Freeman. Spacey of course played his character spot on and when he gives himself on is probably the creepiest thing in the movie because at this point you have no idea what he is up to, but you know that is is in total control of the situation.

I love how Fincher choose to keep the city raining and lit most of the scenes to emphasize the dark. This matched the darkness nature of the film perfectly. The fact that the last scenes was in the bright day light just made it that more shocking. One can tell that a lot of care when into presenting the world to the viewer in a way that matched the themes perfectly.

I think that car ride provided a great forum for us to get to know John Doe even though we only spend a few minutes we seems to know him so well. One can see Mills going down hill and is losing his footing on the moral high ground. It is extremely well played and I love how Summerset comes off as being a match for him. In a way I see Summerset and Doe as being similar, with the main difference of Doe being crazy.

I think this is an extremely well done and smart entry of crime dramas that really flips some of the conventions in a way that can be surprising. The fact that they do not catch the killer, but the killer turns himself in and that fact that the cops lose. They do not save anyone's lives and they fall into the trap that Doe set up for them. I very much enjoyed this film and it was paced and put together in a very effective way.
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Jane Eyre (2011)
7/10
Visually capturing and great performances, but I kind of hate the story
30 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I remembering reading Jane Eyre a few years ago and loved the writing style, the characters, and visual style evoked by Bronte, but hating the story. I think this summarizes how I feel about the movie. The story to me is boring and so overdone that I do not care one bit about it. This might have to do with the fact that I am a man, because everyone women I have talked to love this book, but every other male I have talked to has a similar sentiment about the story.

I think I am tired of seeing movies beginning with a scene from the last third of the movie and then building up to it. For most of us watching this movie we already know the storyline so foreshadowing does little for the movie. This movie is a fairly straight forward adaptation of the book in terms of story, but I think Fukunaga has captured the visual style of the book almost spot on. Bronte had a way of describing environments that I think Fukunaga really captured. His choice of using natural lighting worked extremely effectively and was by far the most impressive part of the movie. I would really love to see what Fukunaga and his DP could do with a movie shot in black and white. The soft candle light and how often times the faces were almost complete covered in shadow was extremely effective at creating atmosphere.

I really did not feel a lot of the tension that went with discovering the wife in the attic and there was little build up to the final reveal. Perhaps that is because I already knew what was in the attic, but the tension from the book was lost here.

Mia Wasikowska is obviously is a beautiful young women who managed to transform herself into the plain Jane that she needed to be while maintaining the allure that would draw Rochester in. She was absolutely fantastic in the role and it would not surprise me if she is nominated for a few awards for this performance. Fassbender was not as good, but was still alluring in his own way. I really missed some of the deeper conversations that Rochester and Jane share with each other in the book and I think the inclusion of some more of their dialog with each other would have fleshed out Rochester as a character a bit more. It was not completely convincing to me that the two of them should fall in love, but that is possibly because I am cynical.

I loved this movie visually and the lighting really captured how I imagined Bronte's world. Bookended by two fantastic lead performances the movie can be a real treat to watch. If I did not hate the story so much then I am sure this would rank higher. This is really a shame that I feel like this because this is a truly impressive film, but I will recommend to some of my friends just to see how they feel about the lighting.
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Elizabeth (1998)
9/10
Great period piece anchored by a career defining performance by Cate Blanchett
30 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I remember watching Elizabeth in high school and remember how this was the first period piece that completely drew me in. I remember the costumes being the main thing that drew me in, but revisiting it as a slightly more mature adult I realize that a great period piece like this is much more than costumes. Anchored by a career defining performance by Cate Blanchett the viewer is swept into England at a time of turmoil and uncertainty and are given a unique perspective as one of the most powerful people in history comes to power.

I really love how the writers chose to spend most of the movie showing Elizabeth as being human being with frailties and insecurities. I also enjoyed seeing her in love, but this ends up being the only weak point in the movie for me. It is mainly because I am cynical and do not buy into that type of undying love that Lord Robert and Elizabeth share with each other. That might just be me being cynical or that love at the time meant something complete different and I just cannot relate to it. It is probably because I am cynical. Other than this there are almost no faults with the movie.

One could spend pages talking about how good Blanchett is in this, but she gives us a remarkable transformation of a doe-eyed love struck girl to one of the most powerful and formidable images of power ever caught on film. Watching her psyching her self up in the mirror and then go out in Parliament and getting what she wanted was a fantastic one-two combination that really captures the transition that Elizabeth had to go through to become the leader of an entire country.

Together with an impressive supporting cast we get to see Attenborough play a role that he almost always seems to play, but plays it so well. He plays a man with nothing but good intentions in his heart while being misguided at times. Eccleston does a fantastic job of being a villain while doing almost nothing villainous. We honestly believe that he is doing everything for the good of his country, while never losing his villainous streak. Rush does a good job as her mysterious adviser and at the end I love how his intentions are made clear, but you are still not sure if you should trust him. I also loved seeing Cassel playing a character so far from what I have seen him in before. I loved picking out various actors and actress that I recognized from all over the place in small roles.

One of the most impressive parts for me was the sets. I honestly could not tell you if there were actually sets or castles that they shot on. Either way they are impressive and I was truly awestruck at some massiveness of some of the sets. As mentioned before the costumes were especially effective. I loved seeing Elizabeth going from simple dresses to some of the more impressive costumes I have ever seen, while never being out of character.

In the end this movie is one of the most impressive period pieces I have ever seen while at the same time being one of the most interesting character studies of a historical figure I have ever seen. With a timeless performance by Blanchett this movie is really a treat for any fan of film.
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7/10
Oscar bait meets Spanish Art-house
30 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"All About My Mother" is an extremely well put together film that is an intriguing combination of art-house and Oscar bait. Almodorav has managed to put together a movie with a strong emotional core all the while making some interesting stylistic choices. At the heart of this movie is a story of a mother come to terms with the recent death of her only son on his 17th birthday. We see her give up her life in Madrid as a nurse and return to Barcelona where she had a more tumultuous life before moving to Madrid.

The movie does an excellent job establishing the relationship between the mother and the son so when the son dies one can really feel the emotional impact. This is where we first see Cecilia Roth shine in the role of Manuela. We are really able to feel that this is a difficult time in her life and that when she decides to pick up and start her life over we understand. When she gets to Barcelona we are immediately thrust into the underworld and are introduced to Antonia San Juan who does an excellent playing Manuela's old friend a pre-op transvestite. She does come off as being a bit over the top at times, but is never out of character. There is a scene where Agrado was given the opportunity to put on a one women show she seems to drop the ball and a scene with a lot of potential was fairly tame.

My biggest problem with the movie is the relationship between Penelope Cruz's character, Rosa, and Manuela. I was confused on how Rosa came to trust Manuela so completely so quickly. I do not think that Cruz did anything special with the character, which was unfortunate because she is such an important part of the story of Manuela. Since this movie is about Manuela as a mother and since she adopts Rosa's baby, when she dies in child birth, it is disappointing that there was not more of a connection between Roth and Cruz on screen.

I did love some of the transition shots used and the one at the end with the train going from Barcelona and then back again was neat. These type of shots along with the soundtrack keeps this movie from being too boring and not just a rehashing of the same story. Also I like the almost meta aspect of the theater production of A Streetcar Name Desire. I enjoyed how it was interwoven into the story and how the actress and the story play itself became a part of Manuela's growth. Watching her take care of the principle actresses and Rosa allowed the viewer to never lose track of what made Manuela a mother.

Overall this movie was extremely well put together, but there were weaknesses to be had. At times the movie lost focus on Manuela and focused a bit too much on Agrado or Rosa's stories. It was a fresh take on what normally would have been a boring and bland Oscar bait movie.
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City Lights (1931)
8/10
Loved the movie, but I wish it felt more special to me
14 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first silent film that I have reviewed. This maybe the first silent film that I have ever sat all of the way through. I have not been avoiding them, but there are just so many movies to watch that I just have not gotten to any. The saddest thing about a movie as great and as influential as this is that as a modern movie goer it is hard not to be jaded when it comes to witnessing the brilliance of the original geniuses of film.

There is a lot that modern filmmakers and viewers can learn from silent movies. It is hard to capture an audience for an extended period of time without boring them especially when the movie is predictable every step of the way. Watching City Lights was an extremely predictable experience, yet it did not take away from the enjoyment of the movie. I really enjoyed watching the story play out each step of the way and the movie is made with so much heart and care that it really comes through when watching.

The movie starts with some great physical comedy while showcasing the good natured spirit of the Tramp. The sword gag really demonstrates some of the physicality that Chaplin brought to his role, as does the boxing scene, but having grown up with the Loony Toon cartoons and the physical comedians like Jim Carrey we have seen all of these types of gags. Seeing it play out on screen with real actors is still enjoyable to watch, but I am sure that the magic that others experienced watching it for the first time is lost on me.

The heart of the film is not the physical comedy, but the relationship that the Tramp has with the flower girl. It is really a touching story that really has not lost any of its poignancy. A man willing to give up anything of his own to bring happiness to a stranger's life is not a original story, but watching the Tramp put everything he has into making the flower girl smile is heart breaking. While this is a moving tale it is amazing how Chaplin balances the comedy with the heart and how the comedy is a necessary consequence of the Tramp helping the flower girl with the means that he has.

I love how Chaplin throws himself into the character and embodies the physical nature of the tramp. The walk is instantly recognizable and one can see how the great actors are able to disappear into roles by capturing this physicality with their performances. Cherrill does a wonderful job also and I swear that some of the actress from the black and white films actually glow. Cherrill absolutely glows throughout the whole film and she does have sweetness that matches the Tramps intentions. It also showcases how being physical in a role does not necessarily mean that their movements are loud and exaggerated.

The ending will go down as one of the best endings of all time, but it did not hit me as hard as I thought going into the movie. I knew the basic premise of the movie and the ending was sweet as could be, but it did not resonate with me as much as it has with other film goers. I loved watching it the smile on Chaplin's face will sit with me for a while.

I did love this film and it really has opened the door for me to want to see more silent films. It was a fascinating experience that I thoroughly enjoyed, but it did not feel fresh to me. I did not seem like I was discovering something special, but had finally watched something special that everyone else had already embraced. With a lot of these older films I almost feel as if it is my duty to watch the movie and that I am not doing it because I want to. I loved the movie and it will go done as a classic in my book, but it was not a special movie experience for me.
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Blow-Up (1966)
8/10
I am not artsy enough for this movie
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There is almost nothing wrong with this movie except that it was not made for me. There is the simple fact that this is an older film set in a fairly specific niche crowd of old school London. I am not familiar with this lifestyle at all so a lot of what I saw was weird and I was sometimes trying to figure out if what I was watching was close to reality or a glamorized movie version of the world. The mimes seemed like a surreal element of the movie, but after a little research they are not that mysterious. They still seemed weird and out of place to me, but in the make sense and in my own naive perspective they seem to fit into the world Antonioni was attempting to capture.

There is a lot of good in this movie and a lot to recommend, but in the end there was a little too much character development for Thomas. It got way too repetitive. I got the point that he was eccentric and self centered early on and certain scenes reinforced his often flaky nature in a very necessary way. The whole propeller thing with the antique shop seemed unnecessary to me and it seemed to drag on too much.

So here are the great things in the movie. First the dialog between the abstract art painter was fantastic. It set up the whole movie, while giving one of the best explanations about why abstract modern art is important. The part when Thomas is discovering the murder and is blowing up all of his photographs was extremely riveting and is definitely the highlight of the film. I also love how nothing is resolved. I saw this coming at some point so it did not disappoint me when I did not learn anything new, because Thomas never learned anything. I loved the introduction of the femme fatale and how we learn nothing of her or her relationship to the dead body. We all have our educated guesses, but the fact that we can only come up with our own conclusions makes me enjoy the movie even more. I loved how no matter how passionate about his art Thomas was he could also be distracted with drugs and sex. He was determined to get a picture of the dead body because he needed it, but ended up staying at the party instead. His romp with the two wanna-be models was appropriate, but a little weird. I wasn't sure if I was watching a rape at first or a sex scene. It was a little weird and maybe a little too long, but still effective in showing Thomas's true colors.

I would only recommend this movie to my biggest movie buff friends, but it was definitely worth my time and it probably is worth revisiting when I am wiser.
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Happiness (1998)
6/10
Interesting Premise and characters
9 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I never enjoyed watching this movie. I laughed a few times, but it was more because the situations the characters were in were so uncomfortable. Overall that is not necessarily a bad thing. The bad thing about the movie is that is filled with interesting characters that you tend to get invested into, but then you spend too much time aware from them while spending time with other characters. You would almost forget about a character and all of sudden they were back.

I honestly enjoyed all of the acting especially Dylan Baker, Jane Adams, and Lara Flynn Boyle. So Dylan Baker managed to play a sympathetic pedophile, or as sympathetic as they can be. His conversations with his son were some of the most awkward, but somehow endearing. I loved Lara Flynn Boyle's character. She was just over the top enough that she seemed to fit in atmosphere created by Solondz. I think I have a crush on Jane Adams now. For me she was extremely relatable, but at the same time kind of frustrating as a character. You just wanted to shake her and yell at her to get her life together, but then hold her and try to make her happy (she probably would break my heart just like Lovitz character though).

Overall the movie is probably filled with some terribly awkward moments that are funny but in an uncomfortable kind of way. The movie did not flow from one character's arc to another. I forgot about the characters as the movie went a long, which is even more frustrating because so many of the characters are interesting and I wanted to spend time with them. But being away from any given character for as long as you are makes it hard to invest in the characters in any meaningful way. It is an OK movie that I probably not recommend to anyone, except possibly for the overarching concept of happiness and what it means to different people and how some don't know what it means to themselves. That was interesting, but with such a terrible flow it made it hard to stay interested in anyone character's happiness.
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Blue Velvet (1986)
7/10
I am not smart enough for David Lynch
8 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I remember Mulholland Dr. being the first movie that I sat down and analyzed in depth. There was multiple viewings and with each viewing something more brilliant emerged. This did not happen with this movie. This is my second time watching this movie and it gave me the same impression I had the first time I watched it. I do love this movie and I think Dorothy Vallens is worth hours of discussions alone. In my mind she is the one of the more interesting characters Lynch has used. There is something relatable about her character more than the rest of the characters. She is scared, vulnerable, and so little of her life in her control. She wants to be loved, but is so damaged that she does not understand love in the way that does not frighten the rest of us. I do love this character, but she is surrounded by such a strange cast of characters I do not know what to think of the world she exists in. She seems to be stuck somewhere in the middle of Frank Booth's world and Jeffrey and Sandy's world.

This dichotomy is what makes Blue Velvet interesting. The opening sequence is brilliant and really sets the stage. This is a perfect example of how to create atmosphere for the rest of the movie. I think the ending of the movie involves a little analysis. The robin at the end of the movie is holding one of the beetles from the beginning of the movie, but it is only one beetle. The interesting thing that I am getting from Lynch is that the seedy underworld that the bugs and dirt represent are necessary for the rest of the world to exists in its happy little bubble. Removing one bug does not do anything to stop that world from existing, but it does in a way feed the bright world that Sandy's life represents.

My favorite part of this movie is the soundtrack and it is the only thing keeping the movie from falling apart. The two extremes do not play off each very well in my opinion. The seedy underworld is to lawless, while the picturesque world is too clean. When the two of them are interacting I am not sure how to take it. It is hard to judge the acting here, because all of it is over the top. I think Rossellini did a great job, but honestly I am not sure about the other performances. Dean Stockwell comes to mind. Either it is brilliant or terrible. I am not sure which. I am sure the performances are exactly what Lynch wanted, but to me it they seem too over the top for either one to work.

A last word about Frank Booth: Frank Booth will remain one of the most memorable villains in movie history and unfortunately this was my first exposure to Dennis Hopper so now anything I see him in I see Frank Booth.

This movie is very much a David Lynch film. There is no arguing that. It is obviously brilliant and there is some extremely tight direction, with some fantastic lighting and a soundtrack that is spot on. But overall that movie did not make me sit up. It is definitely worth a watch if you are a Lynch fan or are just looking for something new.
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4/10
Really disappointed
8 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had a lot of hope for this movie, but was sorely disappointed. It started out trying to do to much character development for too many characters that were quickly killed off. So I will use this as a transition to why I hate hand held work. It can be done well, but it was not done well here. I was not sure who was dying and never got my orientation with respect to the where the characters were with relationship to each other or who was getting shot or dying. So when people did die I felt nothing because I did not know who was dying. Also doing a bunch of character development before the action on a dark golf course does not help us identify the characters. So the biggest problems with that movie is that we do not feel any of the intensity because we do not care about the characters because we rarely know who we are looking at or who is doing what.

So here is one of my biggest complaints about the movie: the sound editing. There was also noise going on in the background. It was annoying to me. Maybe I am just getting too critical at this point in my life, but it did not match the music and did not allow for a sense of downtown for the characters which as a result detracted from any potential intensity for any possible situations.

It also feel into the problem that every sci-fi movie falls into and even use a terrible line at the end about how they need to tell everyone about how to destroy the aliens. So the fact that this ragtag group of individuals figure out how to destroy this alien race was really cliché and the whole execution. I hated how there was almost no security around the command center and that the enemies showed up in one direction in small packets of troops.

I would like to say the special effects were cool, but there only some of the shots of the city getting destroyed at the beginning. The aliens were terrible looking and I feel like we never got a good look at them. The idea of having them have their weapons part of their bodies was really cool, but I never really ever saw it and would have never known it, if they had never said it.

The under ground section was so cliché and at that point I was just annoyed.

I could keep going on about how this movie hit every sci-fi cliché and how each step was predictable. I won't. Not a good movie, but might be fun if you are looking for things to explode.
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3/10
What is this crap
28 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I have never been so disappointed in a movie. I do not even know why I had any expectations of this being good, but I figured there would be some decent fight scenes. I was wrong.

First of all the setup was terrible, but that is nothing to complain about in a movie like this. Something to complain about is that the movie felt like it was just a series of set pieces sewn together with some incomprehensible dialog. The movie made sure it gave each actor something ridiculous to do, with zero character development. For the final action sequences I could barely tell how was the good guy and who I was supposed to be cheering for. Not only because of the stupid quick cuts but also because they all looked like the same big muscled brawlers. I guess the fact that the bad guys had face paint helped a little bit, but not really.

I mentioned that the dialog was incomprehensibly, but even when I could understand what they were saying I could not understand why any human being would say those words in those order. The attempt at one liners were pathetic and when you could understand them they were bad enough that I almost wanted to groan.

I guess one good thing was Statham threw knives and that was kind of cool. The action scenes were not the worse I have seen, but the final one, which was supposed to be the crowning moment of the film was so choppy I had no idea where anyone was or why people were dying.

I am sorry, but Rourke what were you thinking. The rest of the cast I understand what is going on, but Rourke. You have a legitimate movie career ahead of you. Why waste time on this? I could see you trying with some of the dialog, but the lines were just so bad.

I do not recommend this movie to anyone except those who want to watch things blow up and do not care about anything else at all.
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7/10
A quite unobtrusive film
28 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a very quite unobtrusive film. There is very little that is bad about this movie, except that it is a pretty slow. I really did like this film, but it offers very little to the viewer. It is really held together with a stellar performance by Williams. She managed to take a fairly sparse script and put a lot of emotion and give the character of Wendy some real humanity. The scene when she is harassed by the crazy homeless guy was wonderfully acted and when she went back to the bathroom you really got to feel how small her world became even though it seems like she has lots of freedom. The end of the film is a heart breaker, but it might have been sadder if Wendy took Lucy from her new home. I think they did a decent job of creating an atmosphere for the town, but in the end I wish there was a little more. It is not a bad film, but i would not recommend it to a lot of people and I doubt that I would rewatch it. It does make me a little more interested in what Williams can do as an actress, but has not sold me yet as her being a go to actress. I honestly can say I cannot really think of many movies I have seen her in, but she is very good here.
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9/10
A truly unique experience
22 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I was totally blown away by this film. I did not know what to expect when I went into this film, but I knew that Robert Altman was a filmmaker to check out. I actually bought this film for a few dollars at a local video store and have had it for years. I am glad I did.

It starts out with a mystery noir feel to it and it really just added to the charm to film. This introduces this world that is not of any time period, but really a meeting point of old and new. There was something so classic about the film that it had me smiling through most of the film. The movie follows the cast of a radio show called A Prairie Home Companion as they perform their final show. Everyone from the performers to the producers and more feel the lose of the show and by the end you will too.

There is an indescribable charm that can be mostly attributed to Garrison Keillor. He plays the host of Prairie Home Companion a live radio show that is performed in front of a live audience. I guess this was pretty common back in the day. The single most amazing thing about this movie is that I feel as if this is what the show is actually like.

Garrison Keillor, or GK, really has a certain charm that is just missing. He plays his character as if he slightly senile, but in the end all of his stories of how he got into radio really says a lot about his character. He tells all of these different stories of how he got into radio and in end it says that everything that has happened in his life is what has led him to where he is now. It really is a wonderful character that the more you think about him the more intricate he becomes. He refuses to say goodbye to his listeners even though it is his last show. At first it just comes off as a stubborn old man, but it means a lot to him and to not to change anything ends up making sense.

I could talk about the character of GK all night, but I must say that I loved the rest of the cast, with the exception of the most seasoned actress. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin. They did a good job acting, but unfortunately their singing talent is not up to par to the rest of the cast. They are just not that good. But in their defense in one of their songs about their "mamma" I did start to feel the emotion of the song. Even if they did not sound that good they were still able to get the emotion across. Harrelson and Reily on the other hand sounded great. I was really blown away by how good they were and how well their voices came together.

The rest of the cast were all extremely well cast and played their parts perfectly. Madsen gets a lot of credit and I really bought her as an angel. I feel as if I must say a few words about Lohan and the fact that she can act if she chooses to. She was not the best actress out there, but her character brought a lot to the film. She had the largest arc out of any of the characters. She went from an attitude filled teenager to a young adult who understood what made this experience so special.

I must say it is really hard to describe this movie and it is something that needs to be experienced for oneself. There is so much to like about this movie and all of it comes together in a neat little package that just warms the heart. I loved the experience of visiting a Prairie Home Companion and Altman has really captured something unique on film and has shared it with the world to enjoy.
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Dark City (1998)
8/10
Great Sci-Fi
22 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I remember watching this movie when I was in my late teens sometime after watching the Matrix for the first time and thinking that the Matrix just ripped this movie off in a lot of different ways, even the final showdown between the hero and villain. They just combine the "brain in the vat" idea that one learns in a freshman philosophy course and this movie to get the Matrix.

I think Proyas crafted a nearly perfect science fiction film. It delves into the idea of self and what makes us human. The same questions that the Strangers ask are the same questions that we ask ourselves, but we are not closer to the truth than then are. By expanding the boundaries of reality Proyas provided us a mirror in which we may examine human existence, which has haunted us since we were able to ask ponder the concept.

At first the miniature work was off putting, but eventually it grew on me until it added to surrealism of the movie. The atmosphere was pitch perfect throughout and the lighting throughout the film was perfect. Considering the movie occurs mostly with little light I never found that the movie was too dark, but always just the right level of lighting. I loved the combination of the different periods and the noir feel that was brought to the film. I really think this movie could be considered a noir film.

I really like William Hurt in most things that he is in and here he brings all the brevity needed for a good noir detective. Jennifer Connelly was beautiful as always, but did not bring too much to the table. I ended up loving Sutherland's character even though I was annoyed with him at first. His speech pattern really elevated the sense that nothing in this universe makes sense. He is the only one that knows what is going on, but he is the only character, except for the Strangers, who does not feel like they belong. I must say that I was not thrilled with Sewell and I feel as if there may be another actor that could have pulled this role better. He was not bad by any means, but I never connected with him in the way I think Proyas intended.

This movie is really on the verge of being a masterpiece and the main criticism for the movie is the ending. I loved the idea of the ending the movie the way that it did, but at the end of the movie I was thinking that I wish the music was better. I got really pulled out of the scene because I felt like the music was not in tune with the scene. Also Sewell took to the idea that he would be the ultimate creator of the universe in stride. Maybe it was built into the memories that Sutherland gave him, but he just kind of went with it and did not really look back about it.

I really do enjoy this movie and its originality puts above most films out there. This is the type of movie that I would love to share with people and show them that film making is not just about explosions, but that atmosphere and an original story can be truly entertaining. It is just too bad that the ending fell flat for me or this would have gone done in my mind as one of the best films of the 90's.
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6/10
i want to love this movie
17 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly the kids cannot act. I know they are not professionals and that they are just kids from the outback, but I am sorry they cannot act. Also it is a very slow movie. I know it is about 3 girls walking across a desert so it cannot be too exciting, but it was just so slow. I love the story and the fact that it was an actual real life story just blows my mind, but I do not think this is something that can be filmed and be given any type of justice. The struggle that the girls go through never really comes through and one never really gets the scope of the distance. If anything there needed to be more wide shots that gave a flavor of Australia was like. I can imagine David Lean or Leon giving this movie the extra flavor it needs. The best part of the movie was the footage at the end with the real Molly Craig. There was never any type of emotional connection with the characters. The only good part about the movie was that they showed that the white people actually thought they were doing good and that their intentions were good. But in the end there is no excuse for doing what they did. Not a great movie and barely passable as good, but it had it's heart in the the right place. Unfortunately it falls short of what it is trying to achieve.
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8/10
Slow in the middle, but overall great
17 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I do love this movie. It is just a little slow in the middle. The soundtrack is amazing and the visuals are top notch. There is a reason that Miyazaki is a god among animators, but I honestly think this is one of his weaker films. The characters are one of the most important thing for a movie for me and this movie did not have the strongest characters. I enjoyed them and I enjoyed the fact that Ashitaka was consistent when it came to his moral compass, but the arcs of any of the characters are almost non-existent. There are both scare and suspenseful moments followed by sweet moments that are really enjoyable. I guess the visuals and the universe Miyazaki created is what makes this movie so special. Unfortunately I did not every connect with any of the characters. I think he does a better job with delivering his message with other movies without it being so in your face. It is a great movie, but I do not think it deserves classic status. The middle of the movie was slow because of the characters, but it was really book ended with some truly great and memorable moments. The last big action set piece is one of a kind and I would have thought he would have never topped it if I had not seen Ponyo.
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Oldeuboi (2003)
7/10
expectations ruined this movie for me
3 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I had really high expectations for the film. I think it ruined it for me. It was a really good movie, but it never flowed for me. The tone never seemed consistent to me. It felt like it wanted to be a thriller at times, an action movie at times, and a comedy at times. I do not think it blended the three themes that well. Visually it was an extremely impressive movie. There were some shots that seemed on the verge of being truly beautiful with some cool color themes, but they always fell short. The one fight scene that the movie is famous for is really one of the most impressive fight scenes I have ever seen. It was nice mix of powerful action that really gave us a feeling of the character's desperation. The relationship between the main characters always felt forced to me and the hypnosis explanation never sat well with me. I guess it explained the reason why the relationship felt forced and out of place, but without a meaningful character relationship the movie felt hallow. I really enjoyed the build up, but the twists never shocked or surprised me. I enjoyed the acting, but nothing really stood out for me as a whole. It was a good movie, but not remarkable for me.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
10/10
I love Toy Story
1 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I did not expect a lot from this movie. I went into the movie with the mindset that they could not make 3 great movies with the same characters. I felt that the movie would fall flat and just resort to clichés. The movie felt right in so many ways. The writers took advantage of the fact that there were well established characters with well established relationships with each other. The fact that I grew up with these movies and these characters really made a difference. I was 11 when Toy Story came out and 15 years later it was a perfect progression for the characters. I really saw the characters grow up in unexpected ways, but never in a way that alienated the characters. The landfill scene while action filled was so emotionally charged that it just blew me away. It is rare that an action scene is able to hold so much emotion while keeping the characters in the spotlight. The last 15 minutes with Andy was the best way for the movie to end and really brought together the whole trilogy. The movie was funny, moving and just a good time the whole way through. The movie looked great I really loved the music. Everything came together in the most satisfying way. I cannot wait to own the trilogy and share them with future generations. This movie is destined to be a classic.
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Spirited Away (2001)
10/10
this movie is pure movie magic
26 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
One of my favorite movies of all time. That is really all there is to say about it. Since I need to have a certain number of words I will just put a few things in even though I could go on and on about this movie. First of all this movie above all else looks fantastic. It looks like nothing else and really understand that film is a visual medium that can be used to tell a story and introduce a viewer to characters that they are able to become invested in. I do not know how much I relate to Chihiro, but I was completely invested in her adventure. There was so much character growth shown in obvious actions and behaviors, but it felt genuine and never forced. No Face will always be one of my favorite characters of all time and that is because of what he achieves with so little time on screen and almost no dialog. I love everything about this movie and there are no weak points in the film. This movie will always maintain a special spot in my heart and is truly one of the finest films ever made in my opinion.
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8/10
could not help but enjoy
26 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So I did not hate this movie. I did not love it. I did enjoy it. My main problems with the movie is the music. I was sick and tired of that little piece used for blondie. It got old quickly. The other main issue with it was the whole war scene. It felt so out of place and I feel as if it gave Leone a reason to throw a schmaltzy anti-war message into the film. I did not enjoy that scene and it felt forced and out of character for both the characters and did not fit into the movie. I did enjoy the little quips between blondie and "the ugly". Their dynamic was enjoyable. I do enjoy the sweeping epics with huge shots showing off the landscape. I watched this movie when it was 90 out and I felt like I could really feel the oppressive heat. The desert actually felt like the fourth character in a way that does not happen that often. The acting was alright even though it was over the top. I did enjoy all of the movie with the exception of the one scene. I really liked the opening and it really showed how to slowly build tension. The movie as a whole was extremely well paced with bits of action thrown in there to keep up an overall slow movie. It never felt slow to me and I really just enjoyed looking around. Overall a good movie and maybe if I enjoyed westerns a bit more I would have liked this movie more, but I guess that is just personal preference.
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