176 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
King Kong (2005)
Emotional As well As Entertaining
18 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was far from excited waiting to see Peter Jackson's next film after Lord of the Rings. Then I heard King Kong was his next project and was a labour of love for Jackson. I had heard the same about Lord of the Rings so I was confused but a little excited to.

Now that I have seen King Kong it's kind of hard to put to words how I really feel about it. Did I like it? Of course I did, with special effects like King Kong who wouldn't like it. Did it wow me as much I expected it to? Well no it didn't. Still I found this film to have great moments which will always stay with me. I'm talking here mostly about the Kong Vs T - Rex fights scenes which beats any WFF/WWE Wrestiling Chograpghy matches ever. It was perfect how they squared up and the tension was just right to satisfy all likes of people.

What didn't start Kong off well for me was how dull first act was. We see Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) as a struggling actress trying to find work, we have Carl Denahm (Jack Black)as a hard up Director trying to make his masterpiece picture. Tho Jackson plays out these characters well enough to understand who they are and what they want, I didn't really give a care in the world for these two main characters. I think to how Jackson could have introduced them better into their roles but I can't think to come up with one right now but i'm sure it will come to me. The only positive I found in the characters was Adrien Brody as play writer Jack Driscoll. The rest from there is Denham gets his film crew onto a captain boat with his actress "Darrow" in toe and sneakily kidnapping Driscoll into helping with creating his picture. From there more characters appear and then we have Skull Island which is where the movie really started for me as it had wonder, tension, excitement and much more for the film to explore and it did just that which is what impresses me most about King Kong. The introductory to the tribe and Kong himself is perfectly played out and gives you that same kind of feeling when Frodo and Sam first arrived at the Gates of Mordor.

From there thrills and spills jump at you from every turn and in between we get to know a little more about the characters and see the relationship between Ann and Kong. I think it could have been a bit more than what we were given but I'm sure with Studio Executives on Jackson's back we got more than what we could have asked for.

Overall Kong delivers a great performance from the creature itself, "Thank you Andy Serkis". King Kong has special effects which stunned me in some scenes and had me smiling in excitement as I was amazed by what I was witnessing. The story is good but straight forward, but then again a lot of it is taken from the 1933 original. Peter Jackson knows how to build a scene into something special and as he did with Lord of the Rings he continues to do so with King Kong and tho I did find it flawed and a little dull in parts I still found myself gripped to the very end where even I was cheering on Kong to take down the planes on the Empire State Building.

If you love entertainment King Kong is your baby, if you love long and drawn out moments then Kong is your baby, to be honest I feel Kong is everybody's baby with some minor criticisms in between. Great effort and fantastic scenes of sheer cinematic excitement.
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Super Size Me (2004)
Not Just Interesting But Also Entertaining
13 January 2006
I knew what to expect from Super Size Me. A load of thrilling trivia that goes against the Mcdonalds corporation and what it is doing to our human bodies but what I also found is a lot of things I already knew about what Mcdonalds food can do to our bodies.

Morgan takes us on his journey of proving a point and getting fat but what do we honestly learn from his experiment? That after eating three square meals a day that can only be from Mcdonalds can slow down your life and make you feel a little worse for wear. I don't know anyone who eats three square Mcdonalds meals a day and those who cant be a lot so what makes Super Size Me so special? For me its seeing how his life is taking a U turn health wise and what its doing to others on the way. As interesting as Super size Me is found it more entertaining than anything and though Morgan Schurlock is very straight forward on getting his point across, will it stop people eating Mxdonalds food, probably not, if anything it made me go out and buy one because the film made me crave it so if you lose your appetite then just flick this documentary on and you should be off to see Ronald in no time.

Morgan approaches this documentary in the very same way Michael Moore made Bolwing for Columibine and that was by using entertaining and fun music together with clips that intrigue us with stunning facts.

All in all a great documentary but I don't think it will change anyone's mind on Mcdonalds if thats what Morgan Schurlock set out to do.
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Collateral (2004)
Well it was good, but it wasn't what I wanted for an ending
15 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I loved the way this film looked. In parts it really looked like a fly on the wall documentary where you were actually there apart of the chaos of Max's life. If Jamie Foxx needed a film before Ray to prove his ability as an actor then Collateral is his defining moment. Cruise is excellent as always but is playing a character which has been done before with Cruise adding a few new elements to the character. Michael' Mann's direction is gritty and full of suspense with jump shots and quick cuts but when the film finally ended I felt let down to the ending. It reminded me o a certain ending from a previous Michael Mann film, not saying which one.

Max is a cab driver with dreams of running a limousine company. He does nights and meets friendly and not so friendly people on the way. One night he meets a passenger which he wishes he didn't. That person is Vincent who is asking for a drive like no other Max has taken before. After general chit chat Vincent asks Max to take him to five different places so he can get a contract signed. What he doesn't know is that Vincent is the one who has signed a contract to kill five people in each different five places, much to Max's dismay he finds himself in the middle of a nightmare which he finding hard to get out of. There is a great flow of dialogue between the two leads and each scene is relevant to the story and doesn't get boring at all. After a while the story comes together and everything about the film is looking great till the end comes which is not a bad one but is not the great one I was hoping for. Michael Mann is a great director and has made some classic films but he is not taking his new film to new depths, it just feels like the end scene is a carbon copy. The scene may be different but the tone of atmosphere isn't. In most peoples eyes the ending is satisfactory to them but the ending for me made me go back and think less of the entire film all together. Although the film has great moments, these moments are building up throughout every scene and to put up with the end we have been given is not good enough for me.

There are many questions about Max that aren't even answered at the end of the film. Throughout the story many things occur in Max's one night of hell and there is no conclusion to where he goes from here at the end, fro example when everyone believes he is the assassin as Vincent is making him pose as him in one or two parts of the film and the ones who know the truth, end up dead leaving everyone else to still believe Max is Vincent, we never see how he gets out of that. I suppose you can say "well I'm sure the cops figured it out at the end", as I am sure they did, but with film finishing under 2 hours it wouldn't have gone a miss to see Max prove his innocence.

Excellent performances all round and Michael Mann's direction never fails, but what does fail is the story which builds you up for a great finale which is what you get but not exactly the way you had hoped, for me anyway.
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Pearl Harbor (2001)
Let us forget this ever happened and if not then remember the special effects
15 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Bay, not the greatest of directors it's fair to say but always blows us away with his action sequences in Bad Boys 1+2 and Armageddon and even Pearl Harbour set's us all up for a great entertainment but with a Story like Pearl Harbour is Michael Bay really the best choice director? In my opinion then answer is no and after first seeing Pearl Harbour I thought he actually did quite a good job. The action was excellent, the sets were very standard and expected, some actors were better than others, I'm talking about Josh Harnett acting the pants off Ben Affleck. Kate Beckinsale was very good as Eve but after viewing it twice there was something definitely concerning me, the script.

This film portrays America as people who don't like to admit to their history and what's happened to them in the past. The ego of this gradually gets bigger and bigger the more the film s goes on. One scene in particular that really rubbed me up the wrong way and others that I have consulted with is when Rafe is writing Eve a letter home and a British pilot comes up to him and commends him on his piloting and then says or something along the lines "If Germany goes to war with America, god help them", I'm sure there was a point the screenwriter was trying to make but I sure as hell didn't get it, there are other scenes which I could go on about but I'm sure you already know of them so I will now judge the film on other points.

As far as action goes like I said before, it is amazing and the bombing of Pearl Harbour is really a cinematic experience. Everything apart from the Pearl Harbour invasion is very badly directed. It shows that Michael Bay doesn't really have a connection with his actors like Scorsese and De Niro do. The script is nothing but god awful. The dialogue apart from being cheesy is just terrible, it really makes the actors not do a good job when you got someone saying lines like "Japan realised they were no match for America and turn their forces back", what's that all about, it maybe true but there's no need to rub it in, that's just careless and not really something you should put in to a film like this. I was hoping to see a film that would show how much WW2 destroyed so many lives but it just seems to show how great America is and how well they can.

This is also the downfall of Ben Affleck. Armageddon was very enjoyable and his cheesy performance was just manageable by Bruce Willis stealing the show but here there is no forgiving him for his bad performance. Towards the end of the film he starts to act well but right up to the moment the Pearl Harbour invasion happens I thought he was poor, Kate Beckinsale wasn't far behind and poor Josh Harnett must have been black mailed into this because I think his performance is the best though has a few moments which I would rather turn my head in embarrassment.

Michael Bay's action sequences do save the film but his direction in other places is needed by somebody who knows how to deal with his or hers actors and actresses and get the best of them, Pearl Harbour sadly does not have any sign of that ever happening. It's fair to say that no one's career has gone on to better things since apart from Jerry Bruckhimer and at least he can say "I never directed and starred in it so don't blame me", clever these producers aren't they? Effects can only save this film with a nice soundtrack to go on top but no one will remembering this film
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Rob Zombie could be horror's worst nightmare, and not in a good way
15 January 2005
I had high hopes for Rob Zombie's directorial Debut as House of a 1000 Corpses did look like an quite enjoyable horror film from seeing the trailer and for some parts of the movie it is. Half way through though you ask yourself "have I seen this before"? Because it really is a film that has taken on Texas Chainsaw Massacre and tried to make it better and failed miserably. The atmosphere of the film feels just like Chainsaw Massacre and the parts which were thought up by Zombie weren't that good at all. The first 20 minutes intrigued me a lot with Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding but after that I wasn't that impressed as it was the big borrowing from Texas chainsaw Massacre that really bothered me. I think Rob Zombie has a glittering career ahead of him as it wasn't a badly shot film at all but it fails to deliver. Zombie's use of camera shots are quite interesting to watch but I think it's more make the audience feel uneasy which works on some level but doesn't at the same time.

I would love to talk about how great and original this film is, as I had high hopes for it because of all the hype it generated upon its release but you just can't because Zombie does a great job of making it obvious he is borrowing off other films and makes it hard for the audience to judge it as his own film. Parts which I won't mention do have some originality which you have to give it him but because of the previous scenes it does stick with you. With Rob Zombie directing as well I thought he might not make the lead character be a hot looking girl and try and concentrate on another lead instead but he has gone with the typical conventions showing us that though it's his first film Zombie is not taking us into any new and improving ways of the Horror genre.

Maybe I am making a mistake. For all I know this could be exactly what Rob Zombie intended for his film to be like which I think it is, a collection of fan boy moments from his favourite films rolled up into one movie. I do look forward to Zombie's next film as this was his first and there is plenty of effort thrown in but that doesn't mean its any good, in this case it isn't but what can we expect from his first feature film.
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Trainspotting (1996)
British Films Don't Come Much Better!
27 November 2004
If I was to call Trainspotting anything, it wouldn't be miserable or very powerful. It would be a whole lot of fun. This movie makes me happy all the way through it where I think Danny Boyle was going for a more powerful touchy feely vibe so it would hit its audience hard. I can see his point of showing what heroin really does to a person but to me this film would do nothing other than turn people onto the drug. A film like Requiem for a Dream, that would turn put you off Heroin and any drug that possibly exists in this world.

Shallow Grave was a fantastic little gem that spiralled out of nowhere to entertain us to the max whilst also putting us into a corner with these three likable characters for them to turn out to be completely different to what we had thought, well almost anyway. When I saw shallow Grave I really thought the UK had found it director to take us into the new millennium as a great country who makes exceptional films and in a way he has. Shallow Grave was great, Life Less Ordinary was odd but very good, The Beach I found entertaining and very watch able as did 28 Days Later which is Boyle's most interesting film and then Trainspotting which comes after Shallow Grave really which is a film that follows the life of a small town Scottish lad trying to get through the days with his struggle of heroin with his outcast mates. Ewan McGregor takes the lead as Renton with Johnny Le miller, Kevin Mckidd, Ewen Bremmer and Robert Carlyle who out actors everybody on the screen when his character Begbie comes into the story.

Overall the movie is mad to watch and fun at the same time with one or two powerful moments that may stay with you or not but to me this wasn't very powerful at all, just had a few messages to give out but that does not make this film a bad one whatsoever. It's the best British film I have ever seen but there are many others I am yet to see but for now this will do.
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Buster (1988)
A Working Class Film About a Thief
27 November 2004
Never in a million years would a film about a great train robber be so heartbreaking. I remember seeing Buster in the 80's as it was a film that was played a lot during my childhood but it had been some time since I saw it last when I came across the DVD free in the Sunday newspaper so I was quick to get it and re live some memories. Sadly the only thing I cold remember of the film is the music and I don't just mean the songs written and performed by Phil Collins, the actual score was fantastic and very suited to the movie and is definitely worth remembering. Another shock was how god an actor Phil Collins is. He plays Buster down to a tea and manages to hook you in with his sympathetic but inglorious performance.

Buster and his wife June are down on their luck with the life they lead. Buster refuses to go out and make an honest living, he only believes in making money the con artist way and this is where the plan comes together for what would be known later as The Great Train Robbery. Not long after the robbery, the police are on the hunt for all who took part and its not long before they have everyone in their grasp apart from Buster and his partner in crime Bruce. This makes them both flee to Acapulco with June later joining him.

The story isn't anything special, its more biographical and just follows what we know about the man himself and it's the starts of the movie Phil Collins and the great Julie Walters that keeps us watching what becomes of these people who we can really relate to.

The movie has heartbreaking moments with a Phil Collins catalogue to support it, I don't know how anybody can ever say a bad word about the movie because it is flawless but at the same it isn't a masterpiece either. its just a nice film which is very watch able and makes you feel good in the end.
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Just Brilliant
16 October 2004
Fellowship of the ring was a great start to the trilogy and Return of the King is the greatest film of its kind ever to be made so where does that leave The Two Towers. To run the story on nice and smoothly and keep everyone on the edge of their seat for The Return of the King it was important that The Two Towers made that happen and it did with flashing results. The most important thing about The Two towers was how much it was different to the Fellowship. More characterization is what makes this film a great one as we finally get to know more of Legolas, Merry and pippin and more of Aragon who is closer to becoming the King. The photography here is the most impressive out of the entire trilogy which leaves it for a great story which leads them to Helms Deep for probably the great battle ever to be screened on the big Screen.

What will remember most for The Two Towers is that this is the film that introduced Gollum. We see a snippet of him in the Fellowship but here he comes out into the light like never before. Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mount Doom to destroy the one ring, Aragon, Legolas and Gimili follow the path to where Merry and pippin have been kidnapped as well as seeing some new characters thrown into the mix. Faramir who's brother is none other than Boromir from The fellowship continues his quest and of course the re-introduction to Gandalf the grey who has now become Gandalf the white. Together they join together to fight off the evil Saurman who intends on Sauron's orders to destroy middle earth and bring him the one ring to bring Sauron to complete strength.

The Two Towers has everything you could probably want in a fantasy film and has more battle sequences than any of the films. Even though it's not a sequel, more a second chapter, it still exceeds it's critics but if I was to say which of the three films was the least watch able then it like asking a father who's his best child out of his family, you cannot simply ask a question, all I can say is that Lord of the Ring has brought a new way at looking at films which makes it a masterpiece in its own right.
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A Great Start to a Great Trilogy
16 October 2004
I knew nothing of Lord of the rings when it first came out, all I knew was about Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, apart from that I was completely in the dark. Two days into its release I decided to go and have a look and see what all the fuss was about and was I was quite simply beyond amazed. There are the people that hate films like this and there are ones who grew up on films like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Legend and Willow and would gladly welcome The Lord of the Rings with open arms, I am that kind of person, though Lord of the rings was entirely different to what I ever expected. The opening 10 minutes were just out of this world and was nothing I ever expected. It grabbed me from the second it started and didn't let me go till the end credits and the entire trilogy just left me speechless. The acting was what grabbed me the most as ever actor or actress that took part in this film out did one another, by Viggo Mortesen and Sean Bean were the two that did it for me. The scene alone where the fellowship is walking up a mountain and Frodo notices the ring is missing and Bormir picks it up and questions why we should suffer so much over something so little, that is such a key scene that it reflects on most of the movie about the real power of the ring and what it could make you do.

Peter Jackson has made some comical films but to think that he made this when watching films like Bad Taste and Brain-dead then you will never notice it but he excels himself completely and has turned himself into New Zealand's very own George Lucas. I could just judge the whole trilogy as one but I don't look at it that way cause some are better than others. Return of the King is the best because it's the chapter where the story comes to an end and has the best moments to complete the story but Fellowship had a lot to live up to as it would let people make their own minds up whether they would enjoy the other two movies and Fellowship showed no problems in that area's it is just as emotional and visually stunning as the next two. The movie is just a starter of what was to become of probably the greatest trilogy know to man, but now Lord of the rings has reached it completion, will we ever see anything else so amazing than this, in my opinion I can't see that ever happening.
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The least appealing film out of the Coen Brothers Catalogue
11 October 2004
I never got the chance to catch the original Lady-killers before seeing the Coen Brothers but I made that my point of action because it would feel like a fresh new story which it was. If you're a fan of the Coen brothers films then it will take you no time in spotting that this is a film by them cause it gives you this feeling like O Brother where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski so if you like those movies you will feel right at home.

As funny as the movie is you feel cheated completely by both brothers for their lack of characterization throughout. Tom Hanks and co just turn up with no real introduction to how they became there unit, or even why they are doing what they are about to do. This is off putting as far as the story goes because you are kept waiting to hear some of their backgrounds but you are left with nothing. Tom Hanks is excellent but after a while he character kind of fades out of interest with the rest of the film. Marlon Wayans was put there just to make the film more up to date I think as I think he was the one thing about the movie that is really off putting with his cliché jokes which we know him well for and hate hi for to. Wayans a side everyone is very good especially Irma. P Hall Who is great as Marva Munson, that's the merit that the Coen brothers deserve for the casting of her.

I have now decided to finally see the original Ladykillers but only to compare, everyone who is a fan of the original do like the remake but believe it is more updated to ever be any better than Guinness's version which I think is actually what the Coen brothers were trying to do anyway so they could see the film as their own. Unfortunately for them it kind of worked but not the way they might have wanted.

Ladykillers is most definite the least of The Coen Brothers back catalogue but it fits nicely with Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowksi. The last 20 minutes is where their black comedy humour really begins to show signs as we see more of a darker side to Hanks and co but it doesn't really save it. I do recommend seeing this though even if its not brilliant but definitely interesting enough to keep your attention.
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