Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
If hip hop music means anything to you, especially if you've lived through the last 30 years of it, this documentary will mean a lot to you. VH1 gives us the definitive chronicle of hip hop from its beginnings in 1974 with DJ Kool Herc's block parties in the South Bronx to today's infusion in all parts of the country. This could not have been put together any better. I read a review somewhere that said "What PBS did for the Civil War, VH1 does for hip hop," and I think that's pretty accurate. The makers of this film treat the topic with as much reverence as Ken Burns does for "Baseball." While it won't get the credit it deserves, this probably ranks as the second-best documentary of 2004 right behind "Fahrenheit 9/11." The greatest thing about this film is how it shows the evolution of the music with vintage footage and interviews with just about all of the movers and shakers. Even for someone who thinks they know everything there is to know about hip hop, you will learn something. Thank you to the people who took the time and put up the money to make this great work.
This movie serves as a good way to judge critics. Any critic who likes this movie should be completely ignored from now on. This is bad, bad, bad. I didn't think Will Smith could get a worse script than the plot of "Independence Day" where he has to dock with the alien ship to give it a computer virus. But "I, Robot" tops it. First, you should get up and walk out of any movie that starts with a dream sequence, especially when it concludes with a dumb look of the person having the dream upon waking up. Second, the movie, I think, sets the record for the number of product placements in the first five minutes. It's a blatant slap in the face to the audience that lets them know right off the bat this movie is purely about making money rather than making a good movie. It's fitting that the end of the film says the same with the obvious conclusion that there will be a sequel. Wow, is the plot bad. It's not even worthy of a made-for-TV movie on the SciFi channel. Many parts don't really connect and the explanations are laughable. For instance, the idea that there would be a whole section on the outskirts of town with old robots -- that are still active -- is ludicrous. I mean, why would you leave this "junk" on? Wouldn't the battery at least go out on these old robots? And I couldn't believe when it is revealed that robot-hating Will Smith has -- you guessed it, a robot arm! Add another cliché to your movie glossary, Ebert. Perhaps worst of all is Shia LaBoeuf's character. After a great performance in "Holes," I find it hard to believe his career has tanked this soon that he has to resort to such a meaningless and dumb bit part. This movie is so unoriginal, the robot's voice sounds like every other robotic voice going back to "2001." "I, Robot" is by far the worst major movie of the summer so far. It is all flash, and the flash isn't even that great.
I was excited to learn that the Coen brothers were making a black-and-white film noir -- exactly the kind of movie I wish more people were making these days. While this is an extremely well-made film, I was slightly disappointed with it. I can't really put my finger on why. I guess I wish the story had been a little more complex, but then again, after watching "Mulholland Drive," every movie seems to fall short in that category. Billy Bob Thornton is great in his role, but I couldn't help thinking as I was watching how much better he would have been with a Fedora and gun. I guess I was hoping for a little bit of Humphrey Bogart somewhere in the mix.