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The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
I think the problem with this movie is that having Eddie Murphy as lead raises expectations in the audience that it's going to be a full-blown comedy.
The simple fact is that while the movie has plenty of funny moments, it is at heart a sci-fi action B-movie - and a pretty good one at that. Think more along the lines of "Total Recall" but less harsh. Hardly Oscar material, but it's not trying to be.
The robot sex jokes do get a bit tiresome after a while, but otherwise the movie has no real weak points. The CGI is more than passable, the acting is surprisingly solid, and the plot, though not particularly serious, moves the action along nicely.
I recommend this movie for a rainy day or lazy evening at home. Just remember that this movie is action first, comedy second.
7 out of 10
Arashi no yoru ni (2005)
The basic story is wonderfully simple: Mei and Gabu, a goat and a wolf - natural enemies - become friends by chance. When their friendship is discovered - and forbidden - by their respective groups the two decide to run away to a place where a goat and a wolf can live together in peace.
Yet overlaid with this simple tale are some rather deep themes - identity, society, and even war. There are moments of comedy, sorrow, action, and drama. The plot never lingers too long, but does slow down at just the right times. Children will enjoy the movie for its surface themes but a watchful adult will be able to pick out and appreciate some of the more subtle story elements.
Gabu and Mei's growing friendship is the source of most of the emotion delivered by this film - and it is at times very powerful, such as when Mei, seeing no other alternative, tells Gabu that he should eat him so that at least one of them will survive. Their friendship grows seemingly stronger even as it faces tremendous adversity. The moral - stick by your friends and your convictions - has the same beautiful simplicity as the story and both are delivered flawlessly.
One IMDb reviewer mentioned that Gabu and Mei's relationship had an "unintended layer of sexuality". I didn't see this, but it should be pointed out that the word "friends" doesn't quite do justice to what Gabu and Mei are. There is something... MORE.. to their relationship, for which the English language doesn't have exactly the right word. Gabu and Mei are happiest when they are together, both trust each other completely and each is willing to die for the other. They *love* each other, in the classical sense of the word. It is perhaps a sad reflection on our society that such a relationship might be seen by some as necessarily sexual or even "creepy" as I once heard elsewhere.
The animals in this film are somewhat anthropomorphised, but to a level not often seen: they use human gestures and are able to use their "hands" as humans do (by grasping things), walk bipedally on occasion and of course talk. Yet despite this, they usually walk on all fours and their behaviour is very animal-like much of the time (but especially when fighting or running). It's something audiences may not be used to, but I think it was executed very well.
There is only one flaw that this movie has, and it concerns the animation. While the backgrounds are breathtaking, the character designs are a bit too childish. The characters seem too much like caricatures, and there is in many places a definite clash between the realistic backgrounds and the characters' rather unrealistic appearance. Still, there is a certain charm to it and as the movie progresses it is easy to simply accept and enjoy how the characters look. It is also an interesting change from both American animation and the more common anime style most westerners are familiar with.
All in all, this is a great movie, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to see something with a simple yet well-told story of friendship over adversity. And a happy ending. :-)
So let's see: The American Navy is testing a new missile, somehow manages to miss the fact that a passenger airliner is in the test airspace, missile hits plane. Explosive decompression somehow lasts TWO FREAKING MINUTES, and sucks many people out of the plane. It's powerful enough to rip a set of bolted chairs out of the floor and out of the plane .(It's about 15 minutes into the movie, and already you can tell the people making this movie have no clue about airplanes... or basic physics for that matter.) Captain dies from lack of oxygen and the co-pilot is in a coma for the same reason. (What?!) A "weekend pilot" takes over the controls and has to land the plane. Meanwhile, both the Navy and the airline's insurance company are independently scheming to secretly destroy the crippled plane, so they can hide their idiocy and save money, respectively.
Thanks to a "sympathetic" admiral, who for much of the movie stood by while orders to destroy the plane were given and almost followed, but then declared self-righteously that his report to the Pentagon would tell it "like it happened", we can assume that justice will be done.
Of course the heroic pilot manages to bring the plane in for a dramatic landing, everyone is happy, and thanks to evidence he gathered, the insurance guys will get their just deserts as well.
The plot is unbelievable to say the least. The actors are variously over-acting, under-acting, or acting dead. (The last group did the best job, I think.) The music screams: THIS IS THE EXCITING PART! THIS IS THE SAD PART! BE ANGRY! CRY! ON THE EDGE OF YOU SEAT, NOW! After a while you tune it out. The whole movie, I mean.
Save yourself two hours, and don't watch this piece of crap.
The only reason this is getting 2 out of 10 and not 1 is because I have seen a few movies that were worse... but very few.
Not a worthy sequel... but watchable
Alright, the movie starts off with a few brief scenes on the Sulaco. There's an Alien egg there (what?! how?!). The facehugger which hatches cuts itself on glass (I thought even the facehuggers had a bit of intelligence!) leaks acid, and starts a fire. The Sulaco's computer doesn't even attempt any kind of fire-suppression (where are the sprinklers?) and quickly ejects the hypersleep pods in an emergency escape vehicle.
The EEV, apparently without any means of propulsion, crash-lands on Fiorina "Fury" 161 (come on! It's an escape pod, but it should have *some* means of propusion or a way of making successful planetfall).
Newt and Hicks are killed. Bishop is severely damaged. Barely ten minutes into the movie, and a huge chunk of "Aliens" (in particular, the rescue of Newt) has been effectively wiped away. Don't worry, by the end, the rest will be, too.
With such a dismal beginning, the movie actually picks up. The premise, an all-male prison facility where the inmates have "found God", is weird, but workable.
The Alien has to be there, of course. A facehugger impregnates a dog (or an ox, if you watch the Assembly Cut), which in itself is impossible, since it had already impregnated Ripley on the Sulaco, and hence should be dead. That, or there were *two* eggs on the Sulaco, which is twice as ridiculous as the idea that there were any at all.
The rest of the movie basically deals with trying to capture/destroy the alien, and eliciting the wary prisoners' help to do so. All the while, communications from the Company indicate that they want the Alien and are coming as fast as possible to get it.
Ripley has been impregnated with a queen embryo (how'd that happen, anyway?), and becomes resigned to her fate when she finds out.
The latter portion of the movie works pretty well, although there are notable plot holes and problems with pacing (some of which are corrected in the Assembly Cut).
(Mostly) good visuals, a few jokes, (way too many) motivational speeches, and good old-fashioned gore at the hands of the Alien keep the movie going.
After the Alien is killed (after having survived being covered with molten lead? These things are tough, but come on!) Ripley must make the ultimate sacrifice. With Company personnel urging her to come with them, and (not all that convincing) promises that the Alien embryo will be removed and destroyed, and that Ripley can still have a life, she makes the choice to destroy the Alien... and herself along with it.
This moment makes the movie worthwhile, though just barely.
The movie itself is good. Not great, but good enough. It does not, however, fit in with the previous Alien movies. A huge chunk of "Aliens" (especially the rescue of Newt) is effectively erased to make this movie happen. And one can't deny that if Ripley, Newt, Hicks, and Bishop had all died back on LV-426 in the middle of "Aliens", we'd have essentially the same end result, minus a few deaths on Fury 161.
The movie thus sets itself to be ultimately pointless. Ripley's final sacrifice doesn't carry the same impact when you realize that if she'd just died *earlier*, things would have actually been *better*.
In my mind, there are only two true Alien movies, those being Ridley Scott's original and James Cameron's sequel.
"Alien 3" is perfectly enjoyable, if you don't consider it in terms of the series. It's paradoxical, since the movie *needs* the previous two as its set-up, but works much better if one doesn't think about them.
I won't comment on the problems Fincher has with this movie, but I'll just say that out of that mess came something palatable. Don't think too much about the previous two movies when watching this one, and *certainly* don't think about this one when watching the previous two. If you can do that, you should be able to enjoy it.
"Good enough" is my rating, 5 out of 10.
It's 1994. I'm 11 years old, riding on a bus with my mom. I look around at all the advertisements, and one catches my eye. ReBoot. After all these years, I can still remember the tagline: "In Mainframe, no one dies. They are erased."
Of course, back then I had no idea what exactly ReBoot was. But from the moment I saw Megabyte in "The Tearing" some weeks later, I knew this would be one of my favorite shows.
I was fascinated by the computer animation, seeing that the computer we had at the time was a 386SX. That's what initially got me hooked. The show aptly filled the role of a "cartoon", but I could also see that it was much more than that. As the show progressed the characters became more real, more defined. Even then, I had a nasty habit of pointing out inconsistencies in TV shows, but ReBoot performed admirably in this area. The stories were never boring, and often cleverly incorporated details from earlier episodes. All the loose ends (the web, the twin cities, Lost Angles, Dot's father, etc.) that I feared would never be explained, were.
As the fun-adventures-of-the-moment turned into the dark, painful struggles of season 3, I was completely mesmerised, and felt for the characters as if they were real, and then rejoiced when everything turned out alright at the end. Very few presentations on either the big or small screen have ever elicited such a strong reaction from me.
In every sense, ReBoot was a great show. The characters, the plots, the visuals, it was all amazing. I'm only sorry season 4 ended on such a cliffhanger. More episodes, I say!
5 out of 5 stars.