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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent movie about politics as usual, 26 November 2002

This is essentially a story about a young, idealistic lawyer who happens to be the son of the former governor of California and who is tapped to run for the US Senate. Robert Redford does a terrific job in this movie as Bill McKay, the main character who starts out against the political system but eventually is turned into a polished, coached, trained politician once it looks like he has a chance to win the Senate seat. It's amazing how subtle the writers were trying to be here, and less observant viewers may not notice McKay's very gradual transformation from a regular guy who speaks his mind "Every woman should have the right to an abortion" to a slick, smooth-talking politician "Abortion is something that we should study". This story basically illustrates how most people get caught up in the mess that is Washington politics, and turn from young, idealistic people with noble intentions to sleazy, double-talking crooks whose only goal is to get elected or re-elected (the late Senator Paul Wellstone being an exception). The last line just goes to show that your average politician treats Election Night as if it is the end of everything, when in fact it is simply the beginning. A terrific movie, and I look forward to Redford's sequel. 10/10.

2010 (1984)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A good movie, but nothing compared to 2001, 14 November 2002

2001: A Space Odyssey is my favorite movie of all time. After hearing a lot about 2010, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, and I didn't get one, either.

2001 is a timeless classic that shows you the majesty of space travel and weaves the special effects of 1968 in wonderfully. It also throws lots of questions at you, and I was pondering these questions for weeks after I first watched the film. It makes you think and answer the questions on your own, and that combined with Stanley Kubrick's constant use of the theme of loneliness make it, in my opinion, the best film ever.

2010 is a terribly dated, 1980s we-should-stop-the-cold-war flick with lots of easily fixable problems which, unfortunately, no one ever bothered to fix. Kubrick has a habit of keeping the camera focused on one particular point until you finally want him to change camera angles, and he does. But not very often. 2010 is not like that at all, with the director giving it a rushed feeling right from the beginning, when he simply can't hesitate to cut away the second after "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is finished.

But that is one of many problems. Kubrick's characters in 2001 appeared, for the most part, non-human, in what was probably a deliberate effort to compare them to HAL 9000 and ask the viewer how the two are any different. In 2010, the characters all have families that are shown and they all emote to degrees that would simply sicken Kubrick. What was a wonderful commentary on the human condition was thrown away so that people could be entertained. Next, simple little things in 2001 that went a long way are forgotten here, like the fact that sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, spaceships are supposed to be efficiently designed, the special effects and computer graphics are not supposed to resemble the present day in any way, shape or form, and classical music - preferably the Blue Danube - should be played when there are lingering shots of spacecraft flying around, not a cheesy, echoing narration in the form of a letter from Heywood Floyd to his wife. This same narration was responsible for giving away everything about both movies and ruining the potential for thought and debate after the movie. The viewers who like having everything explained to them (in the worst possible way, by being talked at) will enjoy it, but those viewers who want to find out the answers for themselves will feel patronized. A line was added into 2001 without our knowledge - Dave Bowman saying "My God, it's full of stars!". While this isn't a bad line to add at all, it simply wasn't there in the original 2001, and it just made me shake my head at this inconsistency. To cap off the little things that bugged me, the characters in 2010 are wearing NASA-type flight suits and modern clothes and no one wears any of those nifty-looking uniforms that were present in 2001, not even Dr. Floyd himself.

The final insult is the fact that this film belongs in the 1980s. 2001 was able to impress me to no end even when I first watched it the year it was supposed to take place, and the fact that it didn't come true is easily overlooked. Not so with this film. A Cold War backdrop is shown here, with the two powers on the brink of war with each other, which, frankly, just looks silly nowadays, with the Cold War and Central American excursions behind us. Had this not had a godawful subplot of the world about to be destroyed, I probably would've enjoyed this film a lot more.

However, for all it's problems, 2010 has its moments. It's wonderful to see Keir Dullea come back as Dave Bowman and Douglas Rain reprise his role as HAL (even though HAL's voice sounds a bit muffled in this film). I would've liked to have seen William Sylvester back as Heywood Floyd, but in his place Roy Scheider does a decent job (when he's not narrating). It was good that the makers of 2010 didn't forget about Dr. Floyd's daughter, and he mentions her in the movie. The computer report that takes place in the very beginning is a good way of showing people what happened in 2001. Finally, although Kubrick destroyed the sets of 2001, the Discovery still looks very similar in 2010, right down to the logic center where Dr. Chandra re-activates HAL.

All in all, a fairly good movie, but nowhere near the majesty of 2001. Simple tweaking here and there would've make it 100 times better. I give it a 6/10.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
If there's nothing else to something else., 17 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I watched Tomorrow Never Dies, I wondered to myself if this was James Bond or Rambo. Why did they try to cram so many action scenes into this movie? Hardly 10 minutes goes by without someone getting blown up or shot. James Bond is supposed to be about subtlety and class, wit and grace, not grabbing machine guns and shooting everything and everybody.

WARNING: This post contains spoilers!

In the opening sequence, a British Admiral fires a cruise missile at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan (!). Soon afterwards, he realizes that one of the planes in the camp is armed with nuclear weapons, and the cruise missile cannot be destroyed. Can Bond, who is in the camp, find an interesting and clever way to escape, and stop the nukes from exploding? The answer is: no. What does he do? He grabs the nearest automatic weapon, heads for the plane, and kills almost everybody (making the cruise missile useless), jumps into the cockpit, and flies away with the missiles. Pierce Brosnan, who looks at home playing baccarat in a Monte Carlo casino, has his talents wasted in this movie as he turns into a philandering Rambo.

Not to mention the whole plot is ridiculous. Someone's going to start World War Three over a newspaper? Wow. He'll make some more money. He's already obviously fantastically rich already, so it becomes a Goldfinger-type plot where we wonder why he does what he does, because no motive is given. If he was going bankrupt or something, that would've been a little better, but as it stands, there's no strong reason for him to want to nuke Beijing!

In the same vein, the whole concept of starting World War 3 has been done to death (pay no attention to the bald man with the Persian cat), and not only that, it isn't even done well this time around. Tensions between China and Britain weren't especially high when his movie came out, so starting a war between them wouldn't be very believable. On top of that, both countries obviously know that they are being set up (since they've sent Bond and Wai Lin out to investigate), so once Bond and Wai Lin report back (which could've been done before they jumped onto Carver's "stealth boat"), wouldn't everybody know that the jig is up?

Given that Eliot Carver is a pretty empty and shallow character, Jonathan Pryce overacts way too much, almost to Shatnerian proportions. It's cool to watch him make speeches with this glazed look on his face, and to watch him mutter "delicious" whenever something goes his way, but other than that, the character of Eliot Carver is pretty stale.

Wai Lin is also a flawed character, it seems that the writers couldn't decide whether she was supposed to be a tough, independent woman or a hopeless, frail Bond bimbo (much like Tiffany Case). Towards the end, she seems to depend on Bond for her survival from one minute to the next.

To top it off, there's Jack Wade. Not even he knows what he's doing in this film.

While this isn't the worst Bond movie, it is pretty awful, and I really did find the first draft of the script to be a much more believable and well-written story. There are many Bond movies that are remakes - this is a remake of The Spy Who Loved Me (which is itself a remake).

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A lot better than the reviews suggest, 3 March 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You Only Live Twice is the 5th James Bond film to star Sean Connery. Unfortunately, it is Sean Connery himself who creates the main problems in this film. Let's face it, he is completely and thoroughly bored and walks through the film, as anyone can see.

(This paragraph contains spoilers) Particularly awful is the "Little Nellie" scene, because just moments before, Q had mentioned all the capabilities of the helicopter (and thus telling the audience how all the SPECTRE agents were going to get killed), and Connery exhibits none of the fear or anxiety that he did in movies like Thunderball or Goldfinger. Instead, he pushes buttons and eliminates the opposition yet again. One can almost hear Connery sigh as he does this.

On the other hand, that's about the film's only big problem. Yes, the plot and certain scenes stretch credibility, for instance Blofeld could've just fired missiles at the spaceships instead of launching this space-faring Pac-Man up to swallow them whole and bring them back to Earth. It would have made a lot more sense. However, the film compensates for this with its unusually suspenseful music, breathtaking volcano complex, fantastic last 45 minutes, and Donald Pleasence's eerie, quietly creepy portrayal of SPECTRE's #1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

All in all, a fun film to watch, and certainly one that Roger Moore fans will like, since it set the stage for future adventures in absurdity.