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9 reviews in total 
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Thought-Provoking with a Great Emotional Impact, yet Still Lacking, 24 October 2009

Where the Wild Things Are is one of those films you just can't be indifferent to. You'll either hate it, love it, or be left with a melancholy feeling of indecisiveness. I belong in the last category. When asked whether I liked it or not, I can truthfully say "I have no idea". Visually, it was fantastic. As a film that deals with themes of childhood, fantastic. As an adaptation of the source material- not so good. As a children's movie..... well, that's not what it is, so never mind.

The film starts out well, with a realistic portrayal of childhood and great characterisation complimented by a good performance from the young lead. I admit to enjoying the first part of it, mostly because it isn't what I expected at all (though I do have some complaints about excessive use of the shaky cam). Then, the film- to my disappointment, I admit- does not follow the book and Max is not sent to his room without supper, but there is, instead, a rather violent confrontation with his mother resulting in him running away from home. This bit I can't say I cared for much. A long, tedious section then ensues where Max arrives at the island followed by an unimpressive introduction for the Wild Things.

Then, however, the film becomes interesting again (though not in a way you may expect). It is very emotional and there are a lot of deep themes that children will not understand (and some downright disturbing scenes), which is why I would not really recommend this to children. It also contains a lot of lighthearted scenes very abruptly juxtaposed with emotionally intense ones which made me a bit uncomfortable, not to mention young children.

I will not spoil the ending, but I can say that the movie definitely left a mark on me. I didn't go in expecting an accurate adaptation of the children's book (considering its length) and I'm glad I didn't, because it really is not an adaptation of the book at all, save for the characters. Even the themes presented are different from those in the book. I would definitely recommend seeing it, but I cannot assure you that you won't despise it. It is a very thought-provoking film, and I'm not going to say that children shouldn't see it, but I am warning that they may not enjoy it- especially if they are expecting a light, fun flick (HINT: it's not).

7/10 for being a captivating movie.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Fun and Well-Written, 28 September 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was (thankfully) one of those films that both parents and children can enjoy. It contains both slapstick humour and more subtle satirical jokes. The writing is superb as is the directing. The animation, on the other hand is unremarkable and the voice-work was mediocre, as well. This is, however, overshadowed by a fantastic plot and great jokes.

First of all, just because the people who do the voices are famous, does not mean they are necessarily good voice actors. With the exception of Mr. T, the acting ranges from mediocre to weak. This is really my only complaint and I think it's time we get back to actually hiring real voice-actors as opposed to random celebrities. Bill Hader did a rather poor job, I'm afraid.

The story, however, is excellent, brilliantly expanding on the original book. The dialogue is funny and often very witty as well. There are very well-done dramatic scenes and also some very humorous ones. The film starts out strong and keeps the viewer interested. Slowly, as the problem with the food escalates, the film becomes darker and more emotional. The main romantic story is handled very well for a children's film and has a great (albeit not very original) theme of individuality. The film also incorporates Flint's conflict with his father in a clash of technology and old-fashioned values.

The animation I am divided on. Unlike most films viewers, the visuals are of secondary importance to me. The directing was excellent and most of the animation was actually really good- that is, the setting, the background, the food etc. The only part of it that I disliked were the characters- I'm not sure why, but.... meh.

I definitely recommend this film for both children and adults as it contains plenty of entertainment for both. Its flaws are steamrolled by an excellent script and great humour.


1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An Absolute Masterpiece, 7 September 2009

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is without doubt one of the best films ever made. The acting, the direction and the script are all top-notch making for an extremely enjoyable film.

This film features one of the best casts in cinematic history with Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson and Vincent Schiavelli; needless to say, all of their performances are fantastic. The story is captivating and there are plenty of emotional moments.

The movie likes to play with emotions a lot, which is part of why it so great. One moment you're laughing your ass off, and the next scene you are sitting on the edge of your seat in tension. Not many films/directors can do that.

All in all, everybody should see this movie because it is just.... well, good. You'll enjoy it throughout and then you will be blown away by the ending (one of the best endings ever, in my opinion).

Among only three films (the others being Pulp Fiction and Taxi Driver) that have satisfied both my entertainment-seeking and art-admiring desires enough to deserve a 10/10.

Changeling (2008)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Very Enjoyable Film!, 31 August 2009

I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. I expected it to be cliché and dull, and Angelina Jolie to be completely out of place. Boy, was I wrong.

The film's story is its strongest point. It is based on a true story (always a plus for the makers and the audience) and never do we forget that through the movie- there aren't any cheap Hollywood aspects that would make The Changeling unrealistic. I felt that the direction did somewhat lack creativity (i.e. I expected a bit better from Eastwood) and the storytelling did consist of pretty ordinary and unremarkable flashbacks. Overall, however, it is very enjoyable to watch and the story-telling is very coherent.

The acting was another pleasant surprise. It was hard for me to imagine Angelina Jolie as a grief-stricken mother in the 1920s, but she nailed the role and proved her worth as one of the best actresses around today. And there are not many big stars who can play a character so far from their Hollywood image. The rest of the cast was very good as well- particularly John Malkovich and Michelle Gunn. The characters were deep and never boring.

One complaint I have is the depiction of the time period it was set in- some of the dialogue just took me out of the '20s/'30s and I never really felt like the movie took place in that decade.

However, any complaints I have are minor compared to how well-acted and written it is. I recommend this film to any film-lover (and anybody who thinks Jolie is not a talented actress). Consider my score an 8.5/10

Hostel (2005)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Total Garbage, 30 August 2009

Please stay away from this film at all costs. It is honestly one of the worst films I have seen, with little to no redeeming qualities. The characters are flat. The dialogue is generic. The acting is mediocre. The gore is laughably fake. The story is next to non-existent.

To be fair, the idea was a decent one, which is why I give this movie a 2/10. The concept of an international torture ring is genuinely engaging. However, the idea fails before it is even introduced into the movie. It starts off in what was supposed to be the Netherlands, but extreme inattention to detail resulted in many many inaccuracies. We get some soft-core pornography to start the movie off with some T & A for..... some reason. We are also introduced to several dull, stereotypical and unsympathetic characters. After a lame discussion between these characters, we learn that there are apparently no males in Slovakia due to a "war"..... which one, I'm not sure. So, our dull, stupid characters go to Slovakia for the noble cause of scoring some pussy. Follows, several minutes of generic and pointless dialogue.

Then comes the gore. For a few seconds when the main character enters the torture building, we get the feeling that the film might actually become good at this point.... it doesn't. We see the violence from a distance at first and the directing is quite good- very creepy. Then however, the crap-fest continues. Horrible acting is complimented by lame special effects and dumb horror-movie clichés. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but rest assured it's no better than the rest of this garbage.

In short, this movie has mediocre acting and directing, little story, no character development- no scratch that, no real characters at all. It is completely inaccurate in just about everything it portrays from violence to the Dutch speaking German to portraying Slovakia as a 3rd world hellhole. There is even a little WTF sequence where a group of bubble gum-addicted gypsy kids rob people by broad daylight.... of course, at that point in the movie, it didn't really even surprise me. Please do not watch this movie. It is not scary, cool, deep or anything. Lastly, just because Tarantino attached his name to this turd, doesn't make it any the better.

17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable Children's Film, 13 August 2009

As my title implies, most children will find this film enjoyable. I went to see it with my younger brother and he loved it. Does "Aliens in the Attic" have content the parents would enjoy? Not really, and no it doesn't have the depth of humour that Pixar or the older Disney films have. It's just a fun kids comedy with plenty of slapstick to keep them amused throughout.

Overall, this movie was decently acted, with some very funny moments (and I'll admit I laughed a few times myself). The CGI aliens are pretty poorly done unfortunately and the characters are nothing new; however, if you see this film for what it is- mindless entertainment- you just might enjoy it. At the very least, the children will.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Benjamin Button: An Interesting Concept Slightly Flawed in its Execution, 12 August 2009

Benjamin Button is an enjoyable film. There is humour, drama, emotion, and action. The idea of a man ageing backwards makes for an interesting film and is an original way to explore the themes of life and death. However, the theme exploration is one of the areas where the film falls flat.

First off, the acting and the characters; Brad Pitt was not a good choice as the lead, in my opinion. I would probably have gone with an actor who is less of a typical Hollywood leading man: e.g. Gary Oldman. That said, he does a passable job in this role albeit seems to lack emotion at key times in the movie. Cate Blanchett was, I believe, a considerable better choice that Pitt- she out-acted him despite her character being arguably the less interesting one. The characters narrowly avoid being dull clichés and stereotypes with an extra touch of depth to each one, keeping you rooting for the protagonists. The supporting cast was excellent; no complaint there.

Next; the story and the way it is presented. The story, like the characters, avoids the general clichés and pitfalls of a lot of these types of films. I felt that the story was one of the stronger points of this film- it seemed like a more believable version of Forrest Gump. One of the flaws in the storytelling, however, was the narration. It's a cheap trick to move the story along and did very little in Benjamin Button; generally, when a film has a narrator, I expect some extraordinary insight and commentary from the narrator- that didn't happen (with the exception of the favourite scene in the film involving a long chain of events, I'm not going to spoil it), and I got the feeling that the only reason the narration was in the films, was so the entire audiences follows the story (very old and overused trick).

I mentioned theme exploration earlier; well, let me return to that. Benjamin Button has very strong themes, I can't deny that. They are sufficiently explored through some interesting (albeit simple) motifs: e.g. man getting hit by lightning, hummingbird etc. Despite this, I felt the themes of life and death could have been explored much more in-depth through the plot. I mean, this is a supernatural story- the makers had a lot of artistic license and could have used this to their advantage. I finished the film feeling that the point of the movie wasn't used to its fullest potential.

I will end this review on a high note: the directing and overall cinematography. First, I will do what I rarely do and compliment the special effects; the make-up used on Brad Pitt was extraordinary (especially towards the end where he easily passed for 17- very subtle touch of special effects there). Second, the directing was excellent and there are several very beautiful shots in the film, so kudos to David Fincher; the directing was often enough to divert my attention from often-times bland dialogue. As a piece of film-making, Benjamin Button is unique, interesting, and simply very-well done. Hollywood hasn't made a good period-piece in years (I mean, one where I actually believe for the entire film that it takes place in that era); The Curious Case of Benjamin Button comes close (if it weren't for some unrealistic 21st century-esquire lines).

Overall, I would recommend this film to anybody who doesn't mind watching something that isn't mindless action for almost three hours. It won't keep you glued to the screen the entire time, but I found that the movie had my full attention most of the time. If you liked Forrest Gump, I think you will find Benjamin Button enjoyable.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Royale with Cheese, 20 July 2009

What can I say about this film? It's genius. It's innovative. It's entertaining. It's just about everything I look for in a movie. Pulp Fiction is like no other movie before it. Actually, correction, it's like several movies before it- Pulp Fiction pays homage to so many styles of art, it creates its own style. The great thing about Pulp Fiction is the lack of overlying story; it's almost as if the characters, style and dialogue is the story.

First of all, the dialogue- you will not find more realistic dialogue in a movie than Pulp Fiction. The entertaining musings of hit men discussing hamburgers and foot massages will not only keep you interested, but will also reveal the characters the film is based on. The directing is strong- we see our fair share of Tarantino trademarks: the trunk shot, the long take etc. The acting is incredible as well, the cast being one of the best ever assembled including John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis and Eric Stoltz.

What really sets Pulp Fiction apart, however, is the style of storytelling. The most obvious technique used is non-linear time-line of the film. Tarantino picks and chooses which events we are to see and when. The effect of this style is fantastic and the movie ends on a thematically relevant and somewhat ironic moral point. Pulp Fiction is most likely the best film of its decade and a must-see for every film-lover.


2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Greatest Television Show I Have Ever Seen, 2 July 2009

I am not a person to throw around "best ever" or "greatest in history" lightly, so when I say that "AD" is the greatest television series I have ever seen, I am being completely sincere. I first became aware of AD just after it got cancelled (and regret I never caught it when it was on the air!); it was on CBC (here in Canada) in the afternoon, where they aired reruns of the series back to back several times, and I started casually watching it, though I didn't get into until later, after I got to know all the characters.

I can say that Arrested Development contains some of the wittiest, most intelligent and subtle humour I have ever seen. The brand of humour AD employs is entirely unique to the show and the embodiment of a very distinctive type of satire that does not rely on gratuitous cultural and political references. This character-based humour, coupled with a great cast (without a single weak link) and intertwining episode plots- especially in season 1- make Arrested Development one of the funniest things in recent years.

I can continue to list reasons why AD is excellent (including Ron Howard's sharply witty narration and unique hand-held camera shooting style) but I am going to make a bold statement and say: Watch this show. Watch it, laugh till you cry and you will not regret it.