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Make sure to notice this in the movie
I would have given the movie a 10 if it weren't so preachy. Visually it is a masterpiece. It has the best CGI sequences ever made. Avatar is to believable CGI characters what Jurassic Park was to dinosaurs. Many of the story elements are preachy, anti-"American," anti-military tripe. Just as Battleship Earth was a front for Scientology propaganda, Avatar is the same for the Eco-religion. Lines are shoe-horned in like "fight terror with terror" and "shock and awe." You could have shortened the movie by 15 minutes by just inserting 10 seconds showing Bush as Hitler.
Make sure to notice what is happening in the story when he says the "terror with terror" line. It's laughable.
They hit most of the bad dialog mines. Nothing too horrible though.
The 3D is good but unnecessary. Cameron has created an utterly beautiful, believable, fantastical, organic world.
The Happening (2008)
This is a great movie. At Disneyland, they used to have a ticket book where you'd have A through E tickets. Whereas an E ticket ride might be Space Mountain, a C ticket attraction might be Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. So...just because Mr. Toad's Wild Ride isn't an E ticket doesn't mean that it isn't well done nor enjoyable. I think this film is an extremely well done C ticket. Why does every film have to be a masterpiece? Why can't a film be like a fun, read-on-the-beach mystery? M. Night is still a master of unfolding a story. Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I find his style engaging. If you liked the "hand held cam" shot in Signs, there are similar, creepy moments in this movie to enjoy.
First movie of the summer that I went back to see again!
Really fun! This film has some eye popping visuals. Dear Michael Bay, I humbly...honestly humbly, ask you to stick to this kind of movie. No more Pearl Harbors. THIS is your forte. It's fantastic. I also liked that this film (mostly) steered clear of the action sequence-sarcastic comment/catch phrase attempt convention. Shia did an excellent job. I look forward to his future. If you are on the fence about whether or not to catch this film, I say go see it. It has some extremely creative action sequences and likable characters. There are a couple of lines of bad dialog, but nothing unforgivable. There are also some seemingly tacked-on plot points. Overall though, a good time!
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Are you kidding me?!
I wanted to like this film, but I didn't. It is extremely shallow and disjointed. Here are just a few examples without spoiling anything:
1. Peter and MJ's non-reaction to the thing that happens near them close to the beginning of the film. 2. Eddie Brock's attitude and line to Captain Stacy after the "incident." 3. The Butler. THE BUTLER!!!!!
The dialog is atrocious. The action sequences are pretty good. I wish someone had given me the time codes for when the action sequences occur and I would have sat in the hallway until the times came up. I felt embarrassed for Topher Grace. I think he succeeded in making the best out of an extremely poorly written role. James Cromwell. Tobey did fine, but the director needs to remember that less (weeping) is more. (Future directors of Claire Danes, I'm talking to you.) Some of the emotion that Tobey was forced to create from thin air (due to the lousy script) also made me feel embarrassed for him. I fear that some of the odd choices he appeared to make were actually the fault of the editor or director, because several times I found myself asking, "Why did his eyes just widen like crazy? Why is he making that face?" James Franco did fine with poorly written dialog. Kirsten Dunst obviously knows where a body is buried. She emits zero honest emotion in her performance. I defy you to watch a scene from the first movie with your hand over her eyes and then distinguish any difference in the emotional output of her face. I WANT to like her. It's as if she's never gotten out of the line delivery from "Interview with a Vampire." Also, I'm sick of movies preaching to me. Desiring justice and being filled with revenge are NOT the same thing. Reacting to a violent attack with violence does not ALWAYS make the attacker and victim equally guilty of wrongdoing. Did you notice "James Cromwell" earlier in this paragraph? "Why was he stuck in there?" you might ask yourself. That's the same question you'll ask if you see this movie; such is the case with many poorly executed character arcs. Thank God for J.K. Simmons. The audience I saw this film with seemed relieved and appreciative to finally be hearing some good line delivery. Thanks J.K! Bruce Campbell also did a good job. Other comedy in Spider-man 3 feels so contrived that it cheapens the entire film. I'm not saying it's not funny, but...well, you'll see. You'll see when you no doubt pay to go see this film and you, like me, will probably have to look at your shoes during the scenes with some of the worst dialog since Jar Jar Binks.