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Another GREAT Marvel Comics Movie!!
As the release date of Daredevil approached, I became more and more skeptical of Ben Affleck's ability to actually pull-off a super-hero movie. After seeing it last night though, I no longer doubt this ability, nor do I doubt anybody else's abilities in the all-star cast.
The fighting scenes were excellently done. The presentation of Daredevil's superhuman senses was even better than I imagined. Jennifer Garner is one of the hottest actresses who can kick anyone's ass. Michael Clarke Duncan's gave a great performance as the Kingpin. Collin Farrell is one of my new favorite villain's in Bullseye. Everything about this movie is just as dark as it is truly beautiful.
There were two major elements about the movie that made me give it a score of 8 instead of 10 though. First, when Daredevil kills that rapist in the subway, the problem is that in the comic books, Daredevil has never maintained a "criminals must die" mentality. He has actually gotten into fights with other superheroes over this belief, so when this happened in the movie, I was a little miffed. Somebody has brought it to my attention that Daredevil actually killed his first criminal on his first outing in his hero persona, but my only response to that would be the fact that the incident in the subway station was presented as not being Daredevil's "first time".
Second, the god-awful soundtrack is touted around scene after scene in the movie. The main problems with this is that: a.) The music really, REALLY sucks; and b.) The music dates the movie. Watching the movie 10 years from now when our culture's preferences in music have changed will make us more critical of this movie in the long run. Nobody is going to remember these songs or the people who sang them in ten years, and I wish that they were not there to begin with.
Other than that, I can't understand why there are so many people who didn't like this movie. If you liked Spider-man, you'll like this movie even better because, simply put, Daredevil is a better movie. The plot is well-written, the characters are as likeable as they are believable, and the special-effects/fight scenes are top-notch. It really is great that the Marvel superheroes are getting treated so well in the film industry.
Tim Burton's Best Movie!
In today's world, we are now in the midst of a super hero movie revolution. We have seen comic books such as Blade, the X-men, Spider-Man, and now Daredevil made into movies. And while most of these movies are great (with the exception of Daredevil because I haven't seen it yet), there is one movie in particular that came out in 1989 that stands head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
Batman is a dark movie with dark characters in it. It isn't light-hearted nor are there amazing CGI fighting scenes as there are in Spider-man. However, there were four main people involved with the movie that really made it work.
First, the director Tim Burton. Burton is a dark director with a distinct vision of the world that makes his style easy to separate from the rest of Hollywood. If Batman were directed by anybody else when it was made, it would have bombed miserably. With Burton at the helm, the audience was not only able to witness Batman take on the Joker, but they also got a good look at the psychology of good vs. evil. This was an approach that works with Batman because when the utility belt and bullet-proof costume are taken away from him, Bruce Wayne is an ordinary man with no super powers like those possessed by Superman and Spider-man.
Second and third, the actors Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. While Keaton gave a great performance as the psychologically scarred caped-crusader, Nicholson stole the show with his rendition of the Joker. Could anybody have played these roles any better? Keaton's private and reserved approach to playing Bruce Wayne was well done, and Nicholson is just his same brilliant self throughout the movie. This duo had a great chemistry that could not be repeated with other actors in the three Batman sequels.
Forth, Danny Elfman. The music that was composed by Danny Elfman gave the movie itself a dark sound that helped set the tone for this dark movie. Elfman and Burton have worked together on many projects before and after this movie, but it is Batman that remains one of the best works for both men. Elfman's somber musical tone not only reinforces the dark aspect of the movie, but in some cases, it stands out on its own.
With the presence of these four people within this movie, there is no doubt that Batman will withstand the test of time as being one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Le pacte des loups (2001)
A Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon For the French!
First off, I have to say that this movie had some of the best fight scenes that I have ever scene. It was an experience comparable to Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (although Brotherhood was not as deep as CTHD).
The movie is subtitled, yet it's really easy to follow. Each character in the movie is unique and well-played by their respective actors/actresses.
Aside from the great characters and the glorious fight scenes, the true gem that lies within the movie is the plot itself. What is this werewolf that is killing the townspeople? When the mystery of the beast is revealed, I was truly surprised and I must say that the final fight scene is 100 times better than any fight scene that appears in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
The camerawork in The Brotherhood of the Wolf is fantastic in the sense that it really captures the isolation of this French village as well as the haunting presence that the landscape creates. The emotions of the characters are caught by the camera and presented in a way that leaves the impression in your mind long after the movie ends.
Definitely an 8 out of 10 for being a fantastic action movie.
Someone Like You... (2001)
It's Like Watching Ashley Judd in a Train Wreck!
I don't like to brag, but I'd like to think that I'm a pretty good judge of movies and whether they're good or not. When I saw this movie in theaters, I was with my girlfriend at the time. While I usually like the romantic comedy genre, I seriously wanted to dump my girlfriend once this travesty ended.
One could ask themselves, "What's wrong with this movie?" But the answer itself is the very broad question, "What isn't?" Ashley Judd plays strong, sexy women very well, but she does NOT convince me when she plays a character whom is heart-broken and borderline desperate.
Not only is Judd's character not believable, the actual plot pertaining to men behaving like cows who need many "places" to plant their seeds is just stupid. There are about a million and a half romantic comedies that are better than this, and I recommend all of them wholeheartedly over this joke of a film.
(PS - Believe it or not Hollywood, many men are actually able to commit to one person.)
A Walk to Remember (2002)
Another FAILED Nicholas Sparks Movie!
For those of you who don't know, Nicholas Sparks wrote the book version of this movie. I read the book with my girlfriend a couple of years ago, and we loved it. Nicholas Sparks as an author is one of my favorite authors of today, but when he agrees to let his books be turned into movies, the movies generally suck. Case-in-point: Message in a Bottle (with Kevin Costner and Robin Wright-Penn).
Mandy Moore and Shane West are no better at acting than Britney Spears is at writing her own music (or acting for that matter). Compared to the personalities and emotions conveyed in the book, I'd say that these two teenage meatheads never even come close to getting their characters spot-on.
If you have an opportunity to see this movie, don't go see it. I saw it by accident on a movie channel and once the movie ended, I called up my TV station and demanded a month of free cable in order to make up for the time I lost to watch this movie.
If you want a real drama, read the book by Nicholas Sparks. Movies like A Walk to Remember and Message in a Bottle do nothing but harm the reputation of Sparks as a writer, because each movie based on his books is done horribly.
Score: 1 out of 10 (IMDB should allow for negative scores because this would get a -50,000).
American Pie (1999)
A Teen Movie That Works (Spoilers Included)
While I usually hate teen movies, the only series that I think has the ability to stand above the whole lot of them would be the American Pie series (that being American Pie & AP 2).
What worked for the first release was the colorful characters, who at the time of this release were pretty much unknown. While there was a lot of crude humor, high school itself for most people was probably the time in their lives where they were at their crudest levels. Basically, the message of the film boils down to a teenager's view on sex (especially from the perspectives of 4 male virgins).
The humor of American Pie depends almost solely on the presence of Steve Stifler, who was played brilliantly by Seann William Scott. He plays the sexually active, egotistical jock that was worshipped by his friends, and while loathed by the band geeks and computer nerds, everybody really wants to be like him. This character DEFINED Scott's career, and it is a character which he is truly a master of.
Now, about the virgin teenager male's perception of sex. What's great about this film is the presentation of the humor and seriousness about losing one's virginity. On one side, we see the semi-nerd Jim have a laughable encounter with the band geek, as well as Finch pulling of a Graduate-esque romp with Stifler's mother. On the other, more serious side, we see Kevin wind up doing something with his girlfriend which he ultimately winds up regretting in the morning; and Chris, the love-struck jock/choir boy who actually gets this sex thing right.
Ultimately, this is a great coming of age film that does a great job showing us that while sex can be fun and really enjoyable, there are serious aspects that need to be addressed as well. And honestly, who doesn't remember themselves or other people doing the stuff in this film when they were in high school?
Harrison's Flowers (2000)
I've never seen any other movie like this before!
I've never seen any other movie like this before! Granted, my exposure to movies where photojournalists are in the midst of war, it gave a stunning portrayal of how these levels of violence affect the people who take the pictures that we see in magazines.
If you want to read about the plot, then you should read the other comments about this film. However, if you want comments, then consider these: While the movie does have a love story plot (wife tries to find husband in war-torn Eastern Europe), the presentation of the war scenes within the movie are phenomenal, giving it a "Saving Private Ryan" feeling.
As Sara (the wife) and the photographers look for Harrison Lloyd, not only do you see how far a wife will go in order to find her husband, but you also witness just how far photojournalists will go in order to save their own.
And if you ask me, the "Hollywood Ending" was absolutely necessary in order to justify showing the rest of the grim war scenes throughout the movie (they can be disturbing, but they aren't gory). Had the movie ended any other way, I think that the majority of the viewers would feel extremely depressed after sitting through a two-hour movie.
Definitely a great movie! This is one that will get a lot of playtime in my DVD player.