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24 reviews in total 
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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Didn't quite do it for me., 5 December 2003

All seems very authentic, and the script is quite true to the Gospel of John in the Bible. Both add a lot to the movie but if this is all there is, then it simply isn't enough for me. I could have stayed home in a more comfortable setting and read the story instead of spending 3 hours at the theatre, regardless of who I was with.

My main complaint here is that I truly don't believe that Jesus argued with the Pharisees with such desperate pleadings, nor that Jesus was as arrogant as the actor playing him portrayed, nor that Jesus was as pushy towards his apostles when explaining things. Anyone that has walked in the Holy Spirit can tell something is wrong with the performance of the Jesus character and that this was just an actor saying the lines with improvised yet incorrect emotions. I clearly got the sense that this actor has never experienced the Holy Spirit within. Either this actor was wrongly cast, or the direction was off, or something. There were a couple of other things too, one of which was that the nonstop narrative got annoying for me.

There it is. A 3 hour movie, with constant background narrative, authentic locations, wardrobe, and props, and a script true to the text. However, everyone knows that making a movie based on a great book does not automatically make the movie great. Many folks like this movie and are moved by it. For me the poor acting ruined it all, and like a bad smell in a fine restaurant, I just could not enjoy this movie because the poor acting overwhelmed the message. Still, this is one man's opinion.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Lots of Action and Moves Quickly, 23 June 2003

There's lots of action and the movie seldom slows down. It starts with a mystery combined with action, so watch for clues. Many special effects slow down the action and the people, people which we certainly know cannot do the physical stuff they do onscreen, but it's fun to watch. Contrasting locations keep interest, like dark streets versus bright sunshine, crowded places versus isolated fights. The ending was predictable.

Can be an enjoyable way to pass the time if you don't get bored with so much shootings, explosions, and smoke, which can get tedious. If you aren't yet bored with people that can flip, beat down incredible odds, and do superhuman feats, then this movie will work for you. I never saw the trailers, nor read the package, but simply liked the cover art, had a free evening, and rented it. It is what it is, and it's okay, full of action and a quick pace.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Romantic Comedy and Quinn's Last Film, 23 June 2003

This is what is termed a Screwball Comedy, a Romantic Comedy. Remember, that's all this movie is so expect foolish silliness and just enjoy with laughter. If you don't like foolish silliness then don't bother watching this film. A couple of scenes are funny just because they are so ironic.

Sylvester Stallone plays straight man to Madeleine Stowe's zany character. Both are great in their roles. I found myself laughing at things I normally would not laugh at but the timing was perfect and completely caught me without warning. This is another example of how Stallone is moving away from the stereo typical characters he has helped create; not to say he won't do more of those but he continues to branch out.

This movie is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Quinn. This was his very last film appearance. His work on this film was long enough, considering his health and age. Watch the featurette for more on Anthony Quinn. It may bring tears to your eyes to remember this wonderful man and the many wonderful performances he has given us over six decades.

There's a little mystery thrown into the movie. Watch for clues here and there and see if you can solve the mystery.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Elements of Reality in a Western Drama, 18 April 2003

This is a story about a preacher man who speaks what he understands to be the truth and willing to work hard to accomplish good. He sees trouble, understands it for what it is, and with courage meets it head on. With words or with action, he sticks to his beliefs. "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Unfortunately, he fails to see a truth too close to his heart until after it's too late, then the reality sets in and turns his heart to stone. He then goes about making payments where payments are due, hard and cold, in the only way his heart will let him. Along the way he comes across another kindred soul. The resulting reflection gives him pause. Katherine Ross later asks him, "What made you do that? Just show up here that one day and start plowing?" To that, Willie Nelson replies, "I guess I had already gone as far as I could go the other way."

After reverting to rightness he has what one could interpret as a final relapse. In working to help another man recover his pride, Nelson's character goes back to make one final payment and close all accounts.

This film didn't get high ratings but it can be riveting in its delivery. Haunting lyrics sung by Nelson himself parallel the film's drama. The single and slow guitar notes are genius. Danger is portrayed as much more than mere physical peril. Action is brutal and cold. The film's slow pace makes it a dramatic effort, with hard action for good measure. Location properties look genuine. It must have taken good work and attention to details to get them to look so real. Camera shots are good enough. Interestingly, the overall film's style resembles Sam Peckinpah in "The Wild Bunch" (1969). Although "Red-Headed Stranger" is not the best Western, it's pretty good. I consider this Nelson's best film, the ratings notwithstanding.

A mystery remained unexplained. Looking at life from his perspective with equivalent responses, how did he become a preacher? What did he do before choosing the life of a preacher?

This film was released in 1986. My short research revealed the soundtrack came from his vinyl album "Red-Headed Stranger" which came out in 1975 causing trepidation among Columbia Records management before its release. Recorded in Texas, it cost Willie $20,000 and he used his personal seven-piece touring band. All management fears disappeared after the album was released and it "launched Willie into the stratosphere," after years as a hit songwriter and modestly successful singer. [paraphrased and quoted from a review by Rich Kienzle]. So, the album came first, then the film 11 years later. Good match. Good film.

xXx (2002)
Surprisingly Good, 7 April 2003

The title XXX originally turned me off. Then a trailer slipped by and I glanced at it. I rented it and it's pretty good. Lots of action and non-graphic violence, meaning no cutting off human parts and not too much blood spurting about. Good start keeps interest. Good plot and subplots keep this moving and guessing. Some effects are stupid and some unrealistic, but they are rare. If you can overlook that then it's okay. Lots of Techno music [roar, rarr, arrr, arrr,...] garbled roars that cannot be understood so it's just noise but it doesn't overwhelm the dialog or action. Suspenseful moments heighten enjoyment of the film. Few choices on the ending but I managed to correctly figure it out. Athletics put to use in action scenes. Ignoring the CGI, the stunt people did a fantastic job because some of those stunts *had* to have been made onsite using real people and props. A lot of technology implied but little was used. Contained obligatory explosions. The red Corvette exploding was unessary. Nice movie all around.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, 6 April 2003

WANTED: Mercenary. REQUIREMENTS: (1) Must be able to hit his targets with a handgun, or at least come close to them. (2) Must be able to maintain emotional distance with his clients, or at least be able to control them to the point that the clients do not become a liability.

Too bad. I've always liked Mark Dacascos. This film just did not do it for me. It has a lot of good merits but certain obvious things were enough to turn me off to it. I expected more from the police detective. The lack of graphic violence is good, since the story involves lots of violence. I could see the ending coming too easily.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Really Bad Movie, 6 April 2003

This is a terrorist film, but remember that this film came out before Sept 11, 2001. It doesn't matter because it's still a bad film. Too bad. I got it mainly for Treat Williams.

The first two DVD chapters, 10mins, are borrowed film clips from the ending of Terminator I; not copied scenes, but actual film footage. That set my mood but no matter how positive I tried to remain, this film never did anything. Bad camera angles, bad acting, bad script, predictable, mediocre effects. Personally I would whisper if I am close to the terrorists. A terrorist that says goodbye after making demands? No depiction of recording the terrorist conversation, and no government on site; they left it up to the local small town sheriff's department. If the US government officials depicted here are a reflection of real government officials, then we are in big trouble. Relax, even the most incompetent could not be that bad. A wasted 1 hour 35 minutes, plus the DVD rental fee.

Enigma (2001)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Pleasant Film for a Lazy Sunny Afternoon, 6 April 2003

This film is mainly a mystery drama with mild romance. Some action about the middle and end pick it up a bit, with fairly well sustained suspense from the middle to the end. Light violence but nothing graphic. Plot twists keep interest. Some beautiful scenery. Fine performances by the players. Set in the early 1940s it gives an old-time feeling. Don't get hung up on the accuracy of the technical and this can be a very pleasant film to enjoy.

Blade II (2002)
Humph, 5 April 2003

Honor among vampires? Right. It looks like the extras running on all four came from Planet of the Apes 2001 and Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring 2001. Well, it's good to find a job for easy money. This film has an extremely high level of graphic violence. The last half hour seemed to drag on and seemed silly. Some bad audio effects and visual effects. Some plot twists towards the end give interest. Not all plots resolved at the end, like what happened to all of the.... Wesley Snipes is still strong in the action roles. It was good to see Kris Kristofferson is still going at it at 66 years old with over four film works per year in recent years, as of this film. Remember, if you give blood, drink some juice and lay down for awhile.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good Epic & Romantic Film with Plenty of Action, 3 April 2003

Good film at 3 hours duration. Like any film of similar length that intends to keep audience attention, there are slow parts and fast parts. There's drama, and there's action. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines romantic as "marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized." That makes this a romantic film.

Both drama and action are well spaced. The action is often fast with quick camera angle changes and short closeups, along with camera movement that adds to the live-action effect, giving a feeling of being there. The drama has plenty of conflicts which enhance the human element. The emotions soar and dive, and not all goes as one would like, much like life, but the human spirit survives to the end.

This is a film for entertainment and I've made no effort to confirm or refute the historical accuracy of any part of it. As all historical films, we know the eventual outcome of it's subject before the screening. However, this film is only a slice of the whole story and the method of telling this slice, the choices in subplots, characters, character players, direction and camera work, make it well worth the time invested in the viewing. This is a very good film.

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