Reviews

200 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Smallville: Requiem (2009)
Season 8, Episode 14
8/10
Powerful episode with Minor setback
28 August 2010
Anyone who is emotionally involved with the characters of this show will definitely feel those strings being pulled as they watch this episode of the eighth season. Clark and Lana both enjoy the opportunity to defend Metropolis together, as superpowered beings, one natural and the other surgical. At the same time, a surprising merger between LuthorCorp. led by Tess Mercer, and Queen Industries, headed by Oliver Queen, begins to be shaken from its outset by the mysterious Toyman. These developments lead to a confrontation of the two super-beings with the very villain behind the terrorist act itself, behind the Toyman's doings: Lex Luthor. As the episode's end proves, only Lex could pull a manueveur to separate Clark and Lana forever despite the fact that they share such a bond and secret with their abilities. Though many may have believe that the Clark/Lana relationship, something explored off-and-on with the show since season 2, ended fine at season 7's end, the way this separation developed is only more powerful, because it was severed by the very nemesis of not just Clark, but Lana as well, by this point. At the same time, the viewers can see the direction that Oliver Queen is going to, and probably already has, taken in his obsession with ensuring Lex's demise, especially since learning this season about the Luthors being behind the death of his parents. This is a shift, especially in the light of Tess Mercer lighting herself up since learning that she was a pawn in Lex's bloody hand. This episode acquires a 10 through its acting and emotional pull, but there should never be any way that any media whatsoever portrays Superman, or the one-to-be, as a fornicator, as he has been both on this episode, a season 5 episode, and a brief arc in season 4, not to mention Superman Returns with the hero's connection to the boy Jason. It's for this reason that a scene of that nature bumps the episode slightly lower than it might have been, not to mention the glaring question of why Chloe isn't more concerned about her fiancée, who has been in critical condition; lastly, who gave the Kryptonian knowledge crystal back to Clark, and how the sender was able to obtain it.
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Smallville: Power (2009)
Season 8, Episode 13
7/10
Re-exploring Lana and Clark relationship
28 August 2010
From all of my readings on the fan message boards, this was an extremely controversial episode, due to the fact that the writers are once again exploring the Clark-Lana relationship. This time, it's being done through a portrayal of Lana's serach for Lex Luthor's and possible revenge, versus the truth that Lana wants to hold the same powers as Clark to do equally good in the world. I, myself, feel that though exploring that relationship is beating an old horse to death, there are some added interesting elements this time that didn't exist when Clark and Lana were portrayed in being together before- particularly the third point of the triange in Lois Lane. There's also the mystery of knowing if Lana truly did acquire these powers through "Project Promethus" only to improve herself invincible and save the world, or if she will use the powers to avenge Lex's wrongdoings. It's good to see that a particular season can't truly be judged on one episode however, because despite common dislike of the episode, the plot did reveal a side of Lana not yet seen that may have not been explored before.
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Smallville: Bulletproof (2009)
Season 8, Episode 12
8/10
View of superheroes from different perspective
28 August 2010
Though critics are right in the fact that not much of the season plot moved forward in this episode, the show did serve to reveal more about the overall storyarc, and establish more of Clark's morals. Clark makes an investigation of who might of shot the Martian Manhunter by posing as a cop, only to learn that oftentime the police force has been jealous of the crimefighting pursuits of not just the Green Arrow, but the "red-blue" blur. Clark has the opportunity to see how outsiders occasionally view superheroes. Addiontionlly, Tess Mercer's heart is shattered when she has been used by Lex ever since her life had been spared by him in South America, probably not coincidentally around the first time BrainIAC surfaced on the Earth in a mortal body. The importance of the episode is for Clark to understands more what the world thinks of him and others who possess other meta-physical beings, and to establish the truth of what Lex is using Tess for.
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Smallville: Legion (2009)
Season 8, Episode 11
9/10
Get ready for techno-exorcism, Legion of Superheroes-style
24 August 2010
Three popular DC Comics characters surface in an effort to save Clark as much as the world from BrainIAC in this tremendously fun episode of 'Smallville.' A villain from the future- in fact, the 31st century- emerges in an attempt to kill Clark and keep him from interrupting neither Doomsday nor the resurfacing essence of BrainIAC. However, that attempt is thrwarted when Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl arrive moments later. The three are part of a powerful group from the future known as the Legion of Superheroes, and they know the legend and force that Clark will be at that time. Clark learns that he will be fulfilling his calling centuries later, and that he has a significant role in inspiring other superpowered extra-terrestrials to come to earth and help protect it from the evils, crime and terrorism that takes place and will continue to take place here. The three, however, are convinced that they must kill Chloe's body in order to stop BrainIAC. But Clark, committed to saving lives in every event possible, is convinced that there can be another way to end BrainIAC, but preserve Chloe's life. This comes only after Davis, who has broken out as Doomsday, is used by BrainIAC to entrap his essence within Chloe's body. A wonderful episode that has that Superman feel. The only thing that holds it back is a tight Smallville budget that, while larger than other network shows, could sometimes be even larger to accamodate a superhero show. It will be intriguing to see how Doomsday will be stopped, when Clark realizes it's Davis, and if Doomsday is at all related to the insidious acts of the still-alive Lex Luthor, while at the same time Tess Mercer becomes a further threat to not only the Daily Planet, but to Clark, once she learns that he was the final person to see Lex before he disappeared.
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Smallville: Bride (2008)
Season 8, Episode 10
10/10
Of course, there can't be a normal wedding on this show
24 August 2010
A surprise visitor comes to the wedding of Chloe and Jimmy in this past-paced, tremendous 'Smallville' episode. Chloe can no longer remember Clark's secret, but Clark is fine with that as he no longer has to be concerned that knowledge of it will hurt her or cause her to leave his life as it has for Pete Ross, Ma and Pa Kent, Lionel Luthor, Lana Lang, and even his one-time friend, now-nemesis Lex Luthor. As the wedding reaches its happy day, Chloe cannot ignore the incessant attention of Davis Bloome, who now understands fairly well who he is, but that he feels drawn to her as well. This episode is shocking in the storm that brews up to the wedding, and surprising to see the twists at the end, especially with regards to Jimmy's future, who Davis is, and a familiar face that arises as the Green Arrow just about intercepts Lex Luthor himself.
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Smallville: Abyss (2008)
Season 8, Episode 9
9/10
The drama builds
24 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
More despair as Chloe and Jimmy's wedding draws nearer. Chloe cannot elude the BrainIAC. Despite using the knowledge he had been encoding in her to the advantage of herself and Clark, BrainIAC begins to infuse her with Kryptonian knowledge and a loss of memory of those closest to her. When the memory is limited to Clark and then Davis Bloome, she wonders inside if each man means more to her than Jimmy, not realizing that it's because BrainIAC programmed it that way to confuse her. Clark has no option but to use the crystal he had mysteriously had re-sent to him to rebuild the Fortress of Solitude and plea for the help of Jor-El. For the first time in his life, Clark calls Jor-El his father, gains trust in him, and is grateful for the help Jor-El uses to pry the soul and essence of BrainIAC out of Chloe. However, Chloe cannot remember Clark's secret any longer. Only at the end, as the Fortress becomes infused with blackness, that BrainIAC's day may not yet be over. A great episode to establish the family relationship between Clark and Jor-El. This dynamic of the episode was by far the greatest aspect of the show for me. It would have been nice to see more of how the Fortress was re-built.
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Smallville: Prey (2008)
Season 8, Episode 6
9/10
Moving closer to Davis Bloome's true identity
24 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The character of Davis Bloome is further explained and explored in this engaging sixth episode of the series. A series of attacks is occurring within Metropolis, and Clark remains on the watch during the night at the Daily Planet to make the necessary rescues, whenever possible. However, he has difficulty keeping up with the attacks and murders, and believes that it may be a result of the meteor "freaks" who have been taking therapy at Chloe Sullivan's Isis Foundation for those who deal with an acquired supernatural power. At the same time, Davis Bloome, the new paramedic in the city, begins to point the finger at himself, but Chloe, whom he increasingly spends time with, refuses to accept that it might be him. Only when Clark has a showdown with both a meteor freak and Bloome himself does he come to a realization of whom he thinks is the murderer. A wonderful episode to establish the need to be wary of not only Bloome but also those who have been taking therapy with Chloe, and also to see how the show's main characters, Clark most importantly, would be diverted from realizing that Bloome, though not responsible for all the murders, has still played a direct role several times. And then, of course, it's chilling to know that Tess Mercer knew of the meteor freaks' murderous doings.
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Smallville: Identity (2008)
Season 8, Episode 7
9/10
Wonderful episode to establish further the purposes of Clark
24 August 2010
The seventh episode of this season brought a major Superman feel to a great season thus far. When Jimmy Olsen takes a picture that captures the "red-blue blur" in action, he begins to increasingly realize that Clark fills the description, though Lois still doesn't know. It's for this reason that Clark reaches out to Oliver Queen, the partying Oliver Queen who tries to shirk from his Green Arrow calling a bit, to help him protect his identity. The way in which Green Arrow is portrayed in protecting Clark's identity is thrilling. A great way to help the audience see how Clark is realizing how he must dress and act in Metropolis in order to keep his heroism acts continuing. There was also wonderful connections to past seasons in this episode, tying in great continuity to the earlier seasons of this series when Clark was still with his mortal parents, not really knowing yet who he was or what his calling would be. Perhaps the only personal disappointment in the episode was Chloe being written to do something that is completely out of her character. It ended an otherwise fun episode on a low note.
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Smallville: Bloodline (2008)
Season 8, Episode 8
9/10
Welcome back Kara
24 August 2010
The return of Kara Zor-El is welcome in a very good episode of the eight season. Clark mysteriously re-obtains the Kryptonian crystal that created the Fortress of Solitude nearly four years earlier, having been sent in the mail after Maxima had obtained it in a previous episode. This crystal, however, sends both he and Lois to the Phantom Zone, an unwelcome return for Clark until he finds his cousin Kara there, still alive after being completely taken over by BrainIAC and sent there months earlier. In valiant attempts to free her, the wife of Zod, Faora, escapes and comes to Earth, using Lois' body to find her creation, Davis Bloome. Faora's character and visit helped Davis to further realize that he was designed to be a monster and a killer, and that with correct mindset he is invulnerable to earthly things. Through this he becomes more convinced that Lois really was possessing the soul of someone else, and that the someone else was speaking truth to him about being a creation meant to bring doom to others, on many worlds, but particularly Earth. It's also good to see Kara freed, but to also understand her need to remain connected to the still-alive city of Kandor, from Krypton, a city that has multiple connections to BrainIAC as its conqueror in comic canon. At the same time, Clark is at full understanding that although it would be great to help Kara reclaim Kandor, his calling, as he had told the alien goddess Maxima, is to remain on Earth and inspire hope in others, as he had stated in the previous episode.
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Smallville: Committed (2008)
Season 8, Episode 5
8/10
Hilarious and Revealing at the same time
24 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Both relationships and references to the future are made in this creative episode. Soon before Chloe and Jimmy's wedding, they are abducted by a jeweler whose own marriage had gone sour years earlier. He uses a kryptonite-induced machine to be a tool to forth the truth out of one member of the couple, or the other suffers. In this episode we learn that Chloe really is completely committed to Jimmy, that she really doesn't have romantic relationships to Clark any longer, and that she is focused on her upcoming marriage. Clark and Lois, then, in an attempt to save the other couple from despair, pose as an engaged couple in order to meet the jeweler, only to find themselves in the same predicament of the truth machine. Lois, in this case, is forced to admit her love for Clark- though of course she brushes it off in the Daily Planet when they both escape. Hilarious to see Clark and Lois act married, and also to see that Chloe always remains truthful to her word, whether it be protecting Clark's secret and being his ally, to her relationship with Jimmy Olsen.
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Smallville: Toxic (2008)
Season 8, Episode 3
9/10
Reveals much about background of Oliver Queen
24 August 2010
This episode served well to explain more in-depth where the character of Green Arrow actually comes from, while integrating the character of Tess Mercer into the background in an intriguing way. The episode revisits Oliver's two-year experience on an island following the crash of a cruise ship involving his parents. We learn, as we learn in the comics, that here he trained to become the great archer that he is today, and also that Tess had a role in it in being stranded on the island as well. We learn of the unique connection that Oliver and Tess have had for quite some time. This episode strengthened the audience's connection to Oliver, while weaving Tess into the comics mythos. It helped us see that they even may have had a relationship in the past, and for these reasons there is one who may want revenge on both Oliver and Tess for their escape.
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Smallville: Instinct (2008)
Season 8, Episode 4
5/10
Another DC comics enters the Smallville canon
24 August 2010
Alien Superman ally, sometime-nemesis Maxima is introduced in an episode that, if anything, at least established a connection between Lois and Clark. When Maxima arrives on Earth, she comes looking for the Kryptonian man whom had escaped his planets' destruction who might be able to withstand the same passion and power that Maxima possesses. When Maxima goes from male to male unable to find the suitor, she remains unsatisfied- until she finds who she is looking for. Only then is her heart shattered when she learns that Clark has accepted that his future is on Earth, not be be with a queen from an alien world, even though he might relate more to her than any other human woman on Earth. For these reasons, it's good to see Clark stay committed to his calling on Earth, and to see that he pulled away from Maxima's passions because of Lois' being there. But it is also largely an immoral episode that really only explored one small element of the Maxima character.
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Smallville: Plastique (2008)
Season 8, Episode 2
9/10
Great Introduction of DC character and Clark the Journalist
19 August 2010
The season didn't lose much at all from its action-packed 'Odyssey' episode with the season's second episode, 'Plastique.' The crew was smart to introduce a DC Comics villain, Plastique, into the season so early. She is younger than she would appear in the comics, but for that reason has a tendency to use her power that otherwise might be better controlled as an adult. The foreboding character of Davis Bloome (stay tuned) was also nicely introduced in a creative way. Clark is also progressed nicely by being portrayed as a full-fledge investigative journalist for the Daily Planet, something fans have long been awaiting. It was so exciting to see, especially since he competes directly with Lois for the stories, as he did in this episode. The dialogue and chemistry between Lois and Clark actors Erica Durance and Tom Welling was again phenomenal, improved upon Welling's chemistry with Lana Lang actress Kristin Kreuk, who didn't return for this season. Also smart with the character of Plastique was to connect her immediately to LuthorCorp through Tess Mercer. It served to increase Tess' standing as a threat and an evil character. This plot device, along with an introduction of a DC character to this particular universe, and to see Clark in action as a Daily Planet employee, not to mention the foreshadowing of Davis Bloome earns big pluses.
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Smallville: Odyssey (2008)
Season 8, Episode 1
9/10
My, how the Fall of a Fortress can change things
19 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The eighth season starts off with a bang with the episode 'Odyssey.' Three prominent members of the Justice League travel to the Arctic to locate Clark Kent, who disppeared with Lex Luthor after they had privately dueled in Kal-El's training ground of the Fortress of Solitude, which prefaced the Fortresses' collapse. A new CEO, Cassidy Freeman, obsessed with finding Mr. Luthor once again, startles the LuthorCorp franchise. And Chloe's abilities of knowledge are used in a way that she is most uncomfortable. The greatest element of this episode, for me, was the presence of the Justice League, and of the creative way to restore powers that Clark had lost with the fall of the Fortress. Cassidy Freeman stands a tall order to replace Michael Rosenbaum as the show's primary villain, but she had the dark and powerful aura that Rosenbaum was able to hold. We will see if she can maintain it. The only aspect of the episode that left me wondering is why, and how, did Chloe Sullivan lose her power of healing.
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Smallville: Escape (2010)
Season 9, Episode 15
3/10
Really slow
12 August 2010
This episode, in many ways, played a "filler" role in the larger scope of the season. I was impressed by the dialogue between Clark and Oliver when they run into each other at a getaway cabin, after Lois and Chloe leave. But, the funny exchange between the two is short-lived. There contain plenty of sexual humor that is uncalled for as well. The subplot of the witch from the past was also akin to the meteor-freak story lines from Season 1. Thank goodness that the season arc of Tess and Zod was explored a bit further to provide some substance and importance to the plot in the episode, as well as Clark's mentioning of his training with his father. There was a lack of energy in this episode, that just filled the time in many ways.
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4/10
Besides eye candy, not engaging
9 August 2010
"Revenge of the Fallen" contained many of the elements that made the first "Transformers" film so exciting and worth seeing over and over again: full of action, metal clanking against each other, huge alien robots creating massive destruction, a certain alien item that would determine the fate of entire Transformer race, and many returning actors. What made this movie no greater than average, as compared to its solid predecessor, was a lack of plot, brainless, inappropriate humor, and no originality in that it seemed to be almost a carbon copy of the first "Transformers." This film was painful in its sexuality jokes, nonstop the entire film. The plot was extremely choppy and very stretched, and for a movie of extraterrestrial robots the size of buildings smacking into each other for months on end, it took itself way too seriously. The Dreamworks studio, Michael Bay, Spielberg, and anyone else involved in this film's production needs to evaluate its large audience comprised of children and realize that it's wrong to expose them to such inappropriate humor, much less adults. And, if they're going for adults as their target audience, than provide a plot with substance. They seemed to have missed the mark on not one, but two demographics. Lasers and special effects are always entertaining, but without anything significant behind it for two hours can become a bit of a time-waster, especially considering the sexual filth that littered this particular sequel.
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7/10
Decent, but a bit muffled
13 July 2010
This installment of the series is strong in its portrayal of darker moments, the conflict of Harry, and of the uncertainty of Snape's motives. However, it was surprising to see the heavy focus on romantic triangles that were not so much a focus in the novel, though it did seem like there was an emphasis to draw a parallel of commitment in a relationship to the commitments that characters like Snape made to follow through with the plan set forth by Voldemort and executed by the Death Eaters. Additionally, the portryal of a particular death seemed very quick and without emotion, like the directors and producers were expecting to not have to focus on that moment much because they perhaps assumed that the majority of the film's watchers would have already been emotionally influenced through the event by having already read the book. If that was their assumption, that was a mistake. The dark emphasis was good, but glazed over story lines and key events from the book make it a film that serves only to tell the story, but ought not to be remembered as anything legendary by any means.
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4/10
What a Silly Movie... Hardly Feels Like an Indy Film
31 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm afraid to say that the big wigs involved in the making of 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' may need to admit to themselves that they need to retire. This includes Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Karen Allen (somebody, please tell her that she cannot act- that's why she hasn't been in a big movie since 'Raiders), and even George Lucas. And this is coming from a major Lucas fan and Lucas apologetic. But even this George fan has to admit when he has gone silly on us.

What a ridiculous storyline. Aliens. UFOs. I know this is set in the 1950s, when extra-terrestrial life was a big phenomena, but come on. Indiana Jones should not be a science-fiction movie like this. Honestly, it made this film seem hardly like an Indiana Jones adventure. The shot of Ford, Allen and Shia LeBeouf looking at the UFO summed up how goofy this movie got to be.

A big problem is Spielberg and Lucas' over-reliance on special effects. It makes memorable scenes like the "creepy-crawly" scenes that are part of what make the Indy movies famous seem so artificial. Same thing with the gruesome death. Where these scenes that are SO Indiana Jones seem organic because they are not computer generated from the 80s, these scenes now seem so artificial that they simply do not have the same effect on the emotions of the audience.

Right now, I am asking for no more Indiana Jones movies. This one already leaves a somewhat bad taste in my mouth. I would much rather remember the last adventure of Indiana Jones as riding off into the sunset, rather than an anti-climactic scene in a squeaky-clean chapel.
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1/10
Disney Fails
30 May 2008
Quite honestly, how many times has Disney completely failed when putting out a new feature? Not often. One of the first words that comes to mind when I think Disney is 'quality.' Unfortunately, I can't say the same about this debacle.

This movie must have been made in a day. That is how much un-creativeness is involved in this disaster of a film. Not entertaining at all, not even to my 5-year-old brother, who admitted himself that it was bad.

Don't waste your time. It's not worth it. I've probably wasted my time writing this review.
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10,000 BC (2008)
5/10
Adventurous, but with too many historical inaccuracies to ignore
30 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
'10,000 BC' represents a movie that has a high quality of fast-paced, adventurous entertainment, and if that's all you're going for, then by all means go. However, if you want a smart film that considers real-life situations, this isn't the film to attend.

No doubt, this movie is plenty exciting, and has a somewhat engaging hero's journey to boot. The film has a strong focus on those who have sacrificed protecting the Hunter, who will be D'Leh- the one who will lead a revolt and bring others to freedom. A classic hero story, to be sure.

But it's in this very prophesy where there are are problems- from a love relationship that is established on no ground, to the connection of an 'Old Mother' that is downright annoying and makes the grand plot very strange. This plot also considers a tiger looking out for a human, and trying to maintain peace between two tribes- very odd.

Also, there are so many historical inaccuracies and casting problems that cause distractions from the actual exciting and grand nature of the movie.

There are so many historical problems- great civilizations with pyramids and social class levels; saber-tooth tigers; complex vessels (no, not canoes); telescopes; and even corn and the weather don't belong at this point in the world's history. I really don't understand why they wouldn't almost fix this problem by naming the film '5000 BC,' or more accurately, '3000 BC.' Maybe even '1000 BC.' I guess they didn't care about completely being ignorant about history and looking at advertising the movie from a marketing angle. They must have found that a film named '10,000 BC' drew a larger audience than the above mentioned suggested names. I know that I would have gone either way.

The casting of Camilla Belle made for huge problems. Here we are, in this part of the world where all of the tribes and clans are dark-skinned, yet you get this white-skinned American wearing heavy mascara. Completely out of place. How they didn't consider this when casting, is beyond me. The casters could have easily found a talented dark-skinned young woman to play the crucial role of Evolet. Elisha Castle-Hughes, anyone? Aside from casting, from an acting perspective, Belle needs to be told to go back to movies where 10-year- olds don't care about the quality of acting. Yes, Camilla- go back to Aquamarine. Standing there all cute, looking distressed every single scene won't cut it in a movie that is trying to be epic and spectacular.

While not on the same level, much like 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End,' I wanted to like this movie a lot. But there are problems. Sure, it is plenty exciting. Without a doubt, worth paying $1.25 at a decent theater to go see. Heck, I'd probably pay five bucks or less for the DVD. But a strange plot, with overwhelming historical problems and bad casting make this a mediocre feature. To see a great epic film this summer, go to 'Prince Caspian.'
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9/10
Continues to do even more justice for Lewis' series
26 May 2008
It's hard for me to imagine anybody going to see 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian' and not be impressed by how well this film series is progressing. While 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' was a good film, quite honestly, 'Prince Caspian' takes the improving Narnia series to an even greater level.

Religious symbolism aside, 'Prince Caspian' is in every way better than an already-good 'Lion.' This film simply builds on everything that was established in the first, despite focusing more intensely on, or even creating new, story lines that were either toned down or non-existent in the book. Most of these played-up story lines served to improve the intrigue of the movie- most notably, the longer, more drawn-out battle scenes, just as they did with the battle in 'Lion' (a battle that was just one page long in the book). The only exception to this was the Caspian-Susan romance, a plot point that was perhaps slightly misplaced and pointless.

Quite literally, the last half of the film is nearly nonstop action, something that surprised me, but I certainly won't complain about. Also, inviting the scene with the temptation of the White Witch Jadis, and playing up the power struggle between Caspian and Peter was a brilliant move. The portrayers of the Pevensie children did a much better job in their acting. King Miraz's portrayer played the role perfectly, embodying the character to its fullest.

'Caspian' indicates that the 'Narnia' series is quickly evolving into perhaps the greatest fantasy film series to date, better than the Harry Potter movies. Keep the same direction under Adamson, and this famous book series will be done justice.
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10/10
Character Depth=Best Indy Movie
22 May 2008
With added character depth by bringing in Indiana Jones' father to the story, 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' may be the best film of the original three concerning the college archaeology professor-turned adventurer.

While the character of Indiana Jones is intriguing just based on his knowledge, courage and bravery, the fact is that the character had very little depth before 'Crusade.' But by bringing in his father, in a brilliant casting move with Sean Connery, the audience gets to see this part of the character fleshed out. If Spielberg and Lucas had gone ahead and made a third Indy film without additional character development, then this movie could have very well not been critically acclaimed as it was.

Truly, much like Alec Guiness did with Jedi legend Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sean Connery, in half a film, made an unforgettable character. His banter with an equally good actor in Harrison Ford is some of the best and most amusing two-person dialogue that you will find in a movie. Equally good was the idea to tell a brief earlier story about the younger, teenaged Indiana Jones. While short, the story satisfyingly told about how Indy gained much of the quirks that makes his character- the hat, the whip, the scar, the fear of snakes. For these reasons, adding the character depth and background to an already-loved character, 'Crusade' is the best Indy film.

Additionally, Allison Doody is wonderful as femme fatale Elsa Schneider. Boy, is she gorgeous. She is by far the best-looking love interest. Additionally, her character was intriguing in being a double-crossing agent- only to be conflicted at the end due to her affections for Dr. Jones. Another key element that made 'Crusade' so entertaining was the use of several locations- from Venice, to an Austrian fortress, to Berlin. I mean, Indiana Jones meets Adolf Hitler! What a smart, and clever move, to invite an interaction between both real and fictional famous figures- one for fictional good, and the other for literal evil.

The casting, improved story, lighter tone compared to 'Temple,' and fleshed-out character background make this the best Indy adventure heading into the anticipated 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' release.
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9/10
One of the greatest films ever
22 May 2008
'Raiders of the Lost Ark' kicks off what is a truly special trilogy. Recent trilogies like Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy may come close, but can't quite match Indiana Jones- especially 'Raiders' and 'The Last Crusade.' Truly Harrison Ford brings so much charisma and relatability to the character. Kudos to George Lucas for writing yet another compelling story, and to Steven Spielberg's direction, one of several classics that he has directed.

Bringing in an artifact like the Ark of the Covenant from the Bible surely is a risky move, but with the message that is sent to those who are evil and seek it for power, the storyline is acceptable. Besides, you can't dislike a guy who is completely human, without any added benefits, yet is willing to take on the challenge of keeping such a sacred artifact from the Nazis. Plus, the character of Indiana Jones is relatable because he's not perfect. Yes, he will think "what the heck" and shoot a master sword-wielder. Then, as a human, he does things that are partly beyond conceivable, but still perhaps possible- stunts like single-handedly taking over a Mercedes truck, including the feat of sliding under the truck. Just amazing stuff that can only be executed through proper direction.

Overall, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is one of my favorite movies, and for good reason.
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6/10
Weak link of the series, but still better than your average action-adventure film
22 May 2008
There is no doubt that 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' is the weak link of the famous trilogy (now a quadrology), but overall it is still more interesting than the average adventure movie. There are several films in this genre that are much worse than 'Temple of Doom.'

The movie starts unexpectedly, with a musical. But soon thereafter begins a thrilling fight scene and car chase, and hardly lets up from there. While there are points in the movie that are outright disgusting and utterly ridiculous, you have to realize that if 'Temple of Doom' had not had these elements, it wouldn't have made 'The Last Crusade,' an amazing movie, fresh. Had 'Temple' followed the same formula as 'Raiders,' 'Crusade' wouldn't have been as enjoyable.

Complaints about Indy's love interest and sidekick seem to be overexaggerated sometimes. Yes, Kate Capshaw's character may scream a bit too often, but she was a different sort of love interest than the tomboyish, tough Marion Ravenwood. Had Capshaw's character been similar to Karen Allen's, then the complaint would have been that Indy's women were becoming too generic. Plus, the whole "he'll be back in five minutes scene" is very funny and well-done. Then you've got Short Round, who some complain to have been far too annoying (see Jeff Vice in his review of 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.') Yes, when Shorty goes Jackie Chan on the Thuggee members, you've got to shake you're head at that. But you've got to enjoy seeing basically the same character that pops up in another one of Spielberg's works, 'The Goonies,' always giving Indy a hard time. When Lucas lets the audience see Dr. Jones from Shorty's perspective, it serves to make the archaeologist more of a hero to depend on.

So, 'Temple' is the weak link, what with ripping out of hearts and voodoo dolls, there are the comic moments (Indy not having his gun vs. the swordfighters) that don't quite make up for the overwhelming darker moments, but considering that storywriter George Lucas had been going through a divorce at a time that he wrote it, that's understandable. Overall, there's still a lot to like about the middle part of this trilogy.
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Smallville: Arctic (2008)
Season 7, Episode 20
9/10
Not the best Season Finale, but Epic in parts
19 May 2008
'Arctic' does not represent the finest Smallville finale the show and its fans have ever seen, but it does enough to leave viewers intrigued as to how Season 8 will conclude what has been left in this episode.

Kara suspiciously persuades Lex to travel to the Arctic with the knowledge that the cube-like object created by Kryptonians will protect him. Clark discovers that BrainIAC was in fact personifying his cousin, and Kara is really trapped in the Phantom Zone, a place where he once occupied for a short while. Once BrainIAC sends his best friend Chloe into a comatose state, he makes a confrontation with perhaps his most difficult foe. However, a quickly-becoming greater foe in his former friend, Lex, discovers that the Traveler is in fact Clark.

Lex discovering that much of his father's love was diverted for Clark's sake, is an epic moment that comes at the end of the show. For the character's sake, it was good to see important elements come into play, story-wise: Lana's break up with him, once she has been freed from her comatose state; Lois' increased affections for him; and his willingness to step up for his friends who have been potentially ruined by one of his foe's actions.

The episode is full of special effects; it's obvious that the Smallville creative team saved much of their budget for this episode. However, it lacks the fire that all of the other Smallville finales have had, especially with the prior knowledge that Lex's portayer Michael Rosenbaum will not be around for the show's final season. That potentially causes some big problems, as far as the story resolution goes with regard to Clark and Lex's confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude.
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