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28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Uplifting and interesting movie, 20 January 2009

I got tickets to the premiere at Sundance and must confess I wasn't that excited about going to this movie. I thought it was going to be pretty depressing.

It turns out that was pretty unfair. It's a great movie; you begin to really relate to the people and their struggles with their autistic son. The parents are absolutely saints; I have no idea how they coped for as long as they did. The backdrop of Mongolia is beautiful; and all the while, you're hoping for a miracle without letting those hopes get too far up.

Definitely worth seeing.

Awesome movie, but hamstrung by a few details..., 16 January 2003

There is no denying that Peter Jackson has done an incredible job in bringing Tolkien's world to life. It truly is a special movie... the acting and directing are amongst the best you will ever see, and somewhat unusually for a movie with this much money behind it, the special effects add to, rather than detract from, the spectacle.

However, there are a few details ('bugs' maybe?) that really annoyed me about the movie. When Aragorn, Legolas and Ghimli are tracking the Urakai across the plains, the dwarf kept falling behind but by the next cut had miraculously caught up again. Then, when they encountered the horsemen, there were nowhere near 2000 of them; yet when Aragorn confronts the king, he claims that was their number. Finally, when the king rides out for his last stand, there are very few of his men left (especially in the scenes in the hall directly before they ride out) - yet once Gandalf and the rescue party turn up, more of them suddenly appear out of nowhere.

The details that Tolkien put into his book are part of what makes the stories so great, and it disappointed me just a little that such obvious (to me, anyway) things were overlooked.

Nonetheless, an awesome cinematic experience.

The Trailer Movie of 2002, 25 July 2002

When I say MIB2 is a "trailer movie", I mean the whole thing was designed purely to make a good trailer. It had a thin plot, the SFX weren't as ground breaking as the first time round - but the worst part was, I'd seen all the punchlines from the trailer.

Whether I'd have liked the movie if I hadn't seen the trailer is debatable, but having seen the trailer (and most people would have, they sure plugged it a lot) the movie is reduced to farcical.

Save your money.

Lucas recreates the magic, 15 May 2002

Just got out from seeing AotC. Went to the midnight session in Canberra, Australia, so I got to see it before most of you guys from the US.

Thoughts: 1. The plot is starting to come together with the original three. Whereas Phantom Menace seemed totally unrelated, here the story is starting to intertwine in the arc we all know and love. Towards the end, you're really left wondering about a lot of things. For example, Dooku; I'm not sure he's as bad as they crank him up to be.

2. Ewan MacGregor puts in a good performance, Natalie Portman was excellent too (how many outfits does she have? and how come she looks incredible in all of them?!) Hayden Christensen was so close to doing the perfect job; the teen-style cheesy play-Padme's-heartstrings just doesn't quite work. But I love his evil smile, and he plays the righteous son down to a tee.

3. Yoda kicks assT

4. The Gladiator -> big fight scene is breathtaking. It had a similar effect on me that Black Hawk Down did. Gut wrenching. You forget you're in a movie, you look up and find you're clinging on to your seat.

5. But (there's always a but), despite loving it, there's just something missing. Maybe it's because I've always seen the original three together, but it kind of left me with that Lord of the Rings p***ed-off-because-you-can't-leave-it-there type feelings.

You'll like it. It's worth seeing, even if Star Wars isn't your thing. It's not a ten in isolation, but maybe if I watched it back to back with I and then III, it just might be :)

Begun, this clone war has.

-- james

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Terrifyingly addictive, 23 April 2002

Event Horizon is a movie that despite you being terrified of, you just can't drag yourself away from the screen. It's unfairly knocked in many quarters, claiming it's overtly violent. I disagree - the violence is all central to the plot, which is enjoyable (in a "give you nightmares" kind of way) and engulfing.

The thing that I found so effective about it (other than the plot) is how extremely easy it is to empathise with the crew of the ship - the characters are such that most people watching will identify with at least one of them ("mama bear", "papa bear" and "baby bear" nicknames for some of the crew make you feel like these people really have worked together from before). When you start empathising with characters in a horror movie, it starts getting under your skin... and because of this, Event Horizon is highly effective.

There are definitely overtones from aliens, but you'll get much more of a scare from this... unlike in Aliens, the enemy of this movie cannot be shot, and whilst terrorising the crew, they can't live without it. This nightmarish symbiosis dogs the crew as they slowly begin to understand what's going on with the strange occurrences within ship and what happened to the previous crew. The more the movie progresses, the faster the frights come... and some of them are very, very effective, whether overtly (where it gets disgusting) or only in your head (where you're truly terrified).

If you're into sci-fi/horror, move over Aliens, this is the definitive movie.

The Matrix (1999)
289 out of 419 people found the following review useful:
The more you watch it, the better it gets, 23 April 2002

The Wachowski brothers really did excel themselves with this movie. It's a brilliant movie on a number of different levels - the directing is excellent, the camera work is great, the visuals are stunning, the kung-fu is A+, acting is executed with style and conviction, and the plot is truly inspired. It's really hard to use enough superlatives on this movie!

It'd be a 10/10, except for the ending. Having Neo do what he does at the end really lets it down, in my opinion. However, there's a couple of sequels on the way, so let's see what the Wachowskis can do to make up for it.

Other than that, (and like I said above) the movie is operating on so many different levels that each time you watch it, you pick up something new... this isn't by accident, either. The Wachowski brothers had the actors read a number of definitive works (Simulation & Simulcra was one I believe) in modern literature and psychology, and applied liberal dashings of aspects of the major religions to provide the best sci-fi movie of the decade, if not ever.

I'm yet to meet somebody who hasn't enjoyed it. It's my favourite movie to watch on a good cinema system, too.