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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A really funny, but sometimes really over-the-top film, 13 February 2009
8/10

Okay, I'll have to say this first: I am not a big fan of Hollywood comedies. Last year, Tropic Thunder caught my attention because of promising trailers and good reviews. Now that I've seen it, I can say that Tropic Thunder was and wasn't the film I expected it to be.

The film focuses on a turbulent movie project called Tropic Thunder that has been hit with plenty of bad luck and bad movie making. The makers of the film want to make drastic changes to the way the movie is made. The director decides to put the main cast in the middle of a jungle and make a more realistic film in an environment that the actors will have a hard time in.

There was a lot of good stuff in the movie. The easily best part was Robert Downey Jr. His performance as Kirk Lazarus, the Australian method actor and winner of multiple Oscars was fantastic. I didn't realize he had such great comic skills! It's great that Downey Jr. has been nominated for a supporting actor Oscar for the role, because he really deserves it. The rest of the cast - apart from Jack Black - was also really good. The second best thing about Tropic Thunder was the comedy itself - which is rare nowadays. It throws some great punches towards Hollywood, especially in the beginning in the form of fake trailers, which are hilarious. Technically, the film is also very good. The cinematography is the high point here, but the pyrotechnics and intestines don't come too far behind.

But now, onto the cons. My main gripe with this film was that the dialogue was too reliant on genital jokes and f-words, instead of wit and pacing. Okay, maybe it was meant to be that way for reasons of parody, but frequently the dialogue went over the top. Another thing that I didn't especially love about the film was Jack Black. I admit he was great in School of Rock, but I felt he was almost useless in this one as a comedian. He didn't act in the whole movie - unless you call shouting and being stupid acting. The last thing, albeit a minor one, is that the plot itself wasn't all that memorable, but maybe it was like that for a reason...

In the end, Tropic Thunder is definitely a well-made comedy. The script is really funny and it has very good acting. It is not for everyone, though, because of filthy language and sometimes quite disgusting scenes. But if you like your comedies that way, you'll most likely love this one.

7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Good, but over-rated and disappointing, 9 August 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Children of Men was highly rated in 2006 and, as I write this, it's in the IMDb top-250. I saw it yesterday and I was slightly disappointed.

Children of Men is based on a novel by P.D. James (which I haven't read, by the way). The movie depicts the UK in the year 2027. Women can't have children anymore and the whole world is in chaos. In the UK illegal immigrants are put into refugee camps. Theo Faron, a former activist, gets located by his ex Julian and discovers that a woman named Kee, an illegal immigrant, is pregnant.

That's pretty much the whole story and there are problems with it.

First of all, it's incredibly shallow. No real explanation is given to the question "Why are women not capable of having children". Some thought should have been put into it. It's one of the central themes in the movie. Second, characters lack depth, especially the main character Theo. I think he is a lame excuse for a main character. Even though he's had a tragic past, I just couldn't sympathize with him at all. Clive Owen's mediocre performance didn't help, either. However, Michael Caine made a great performance as Jasper, the weed-loving cartoonist.

Although the story itself is flat as a pancake, the other elements of the movie work well. The dark tone of the movie is excellent, the camera work has been done in a beautiful but grotesque way, especially in the later scenes of the movie and the chaos is portrayed well. Those are the factors that tighten the grip of the movie.

But these elements can't completely save Children of Men. I think it's one of director Cuaron's worst movies because of the lack of a decent story and the emptiness of the characters. I think that at a length of 2+ hours this would have been a much better film. Now it's too compact for its own good.