Reviews

32 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Does Labute's vision surpass the original? What do you think?
20 August 2007
Hollywood's flash of remakes isn't a flash at all. It's been going on for quite a few years now and some see it as a quick way to re-market a classic when it isn't needed. If only appreciators of the original films had the guts to admit to themselves that they are slightly curious to what a modern look to a classic tale has to offer them.

It's a lot easier to say that a film, which has stood the test of time, as well as gained a strong backbone of fans, can never, and should never be remade. However it is a lot harder to swallow your pride and see for yourself. The most pleasant way to view this predicament, is to think of these remakes as the only way for a great story to reach a younger audience who deserve to see a cracking good film. With little hope of them digging through old video collections, or purchasing the over-priced 2-disc DVD, we can only assume its easier for them to sit back and enjoy a modern revision through a lens they understand.

The new film to try and do this is "The Wicker Man' starring Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn. Based on the 1973 British cult classic of the same title, the film looks to blatantly Americanise the original story of a police officers search for a missing girl, on an island inhabited by locals who follow a mysterious religion. The investigation is set under way, and our protagonist uncovers a strange trail of lies, which leads to a truly bold climax of cinematic horror and deception.

Various changes to the script are made off course like most remakes and for the first 25 minutes this plays out well. The changes will be noticeable to those familiar with the story, the most obvious one being that director Neil Labute sets his scene in America just off an Island in the state of Washington, as apposed to the original taking place on an Island in Scotland.

Nicolas Cage does his best as the eager police officer, and his enthusiasm for the role overflows to a degree where he really leads blind to how awful this film really is. Ellen Burstyn is convincing as the town leader and you can't argue that she was a bad choice for this new idea. She adds her own contrasting approach to a very different film, and it's a relief to see another person who can act in the picture, even if you are scratching your head wondering why she signed on for it in this first place.

Tragically this film has nothing else going for it, and the director falls flat when it comes to directing his supporting cast, which was the key to successfully misleading the audience in the 73' version. Your left feeling angry and unfulfilled at how a decent character could be mislead so easily and unrealistically in this contemporary world, and this is a character played by a good actor no less. An actor who also thought it'd be a good idea to co-produce this abysmal calamity of film. As a stand-alone film this movie has a lot to answer for, which it really has no power or will to do so. As a remake of an oldie, you'll be injected with frequent spontaneous moments of discomfort and queasiness in amounts guaranteed ruin any film fans evening.

The only way to deal with this feeling is to head down to your local retailer and snatch the closest copy of Robin Hardy's version if you haven't already seen it. For those already in possession of the film, hold it tight and ease your suffering as you sit down to watch it one more time. Both choices will make you realize how a remake has pushed you to love the original even more so unintentionally. Well at least it's good for something. Are such statements too harsh?? I think not. Find out for yourself and don't say I didn't warn you.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
More of the same makes this top notch fun!
20 August 2007
The last time we saw Jason Bourne, he was on a search to find the one's who killed his girlfriend, finding those responsible he dealt with them. Before that he was on a path to recovering his mind with questions flying everywhere. Fighting his way through two movies with a strong silent sadness, we all know what he's after. Answers. Where did he come from? How was he made? Is he just the product of a company running experiments on mind control, or is he something special? This is a man, who can't remember his past, or how he can kill the way he does. All he wants to do is remember…and he wants it very, very badly. If you've been living in a place that doesn't recognize some of the best spy-thrillers in recent years, The Bourne franchise is an espionage Hollywood actioner based on the books by Robert Ludlum, and helmed by director Doug (Swingers) Liman and since the second film, Brit maker Paul Greengrass. What makes these films affective is that it is blockbuster action, done by filmmakers who are very comfortable in the low budget independent world of film-making. Without the use of over the top special affects and unbelievable plot lines, we have a new franchise that is taking things back to basics, successfully drawing in the audience with its powerhouse rawness and suspense high enough that the skin around the tips of your fingers will surely bleed due to the absence of fingernails. So in the third and unlikely final installment of this now trilogy, how does director Paul Greengrass keep the hits coming? Merely days after The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne gets sucked into the killing of a British Journalist who was close to uncovering the truth behind the CIA's involvement within the Treadstone project. A new conspiracy emerges, people start chasing him again, and so Bourne follows his new leads with the help of some old friends. The story gives the audience answers, and since Greengrass has more than proved how capable he is at handling this material ("Supremacy", "United 93" anyone?) he raises the bar with the action even higher. The film moves with a pace so fast you can get lost in where a cut is made in the editing, and where another begins. The shaky camera work (although hated by many) stems from an independent field of movie making which beautifully and sometimes disturbingly puts the audience right in the middle of Bourne's confrontations. This is more than "edge of your seat action"; this is an adrenaline cocktail of stunning camera work, great choreography and state of the art stunt work. Its swallows other films of the genre with an expressionless modesty, with the director unwillingly proving to us something he already knew long before we did. Paul Greengrass has to be the most promising filmmaker of the genre today, and his time to shine is very much upon us. With a satisfying gulp of closure oozing down the throats of those going to see The Bourne Ultimatum, the long hard impatient time of waiting for the follow up will begin the moment the credits role. Or if we are lucky enough, our man from London may grab the reigns of another soon to be made project, which will undoubtedly hold infinite possibilities in the progression of indie film-making, and some solid action movies. This films holds a lot of what many of us have been waiting for, and feeds us more Bourne than many of us will know how to chew. An action trilogy is now complete, yet many of us will still shout out "Bring on Bourne 4", oh please do.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Contemporary romance at it's best....
15 April 2007
"Think of this as time travel" Jessie (played by Ethan Hawke) says to Celine (Julie Delpy). After spending moments on a train with a beautiful French student, an inclined cocky young American utters these words in a proposition, which sees two people embark on an impulsive journey around Vienna, where romance slowly flourishes.

I've seen Before Sunrise several times now, for the first time a year after its release, and years later when I revisited the film after buying it on DVD. Still years later, the film maintains it's independent glow, and beautifully eloquent dialogue. Jessie and Celine walk the streets of Vienna, visiting cafés, shops, and parks like a pair of tourists on an ignorant quest to discover the real Vienna as well as themselves. The two discuss situations, and exchange thoughts and ideas in an articulate skillful approach that accompanies their yearning to learn more about each other. The film works because the director clearly spent blood and tears painting such complex characters. Their discussions are so private and truthful you have to feel almost ashamed that we cant allow them share their moments on their own, and yet we feel so blessed that we are able to witness these situations. Before Sunrise is above all an honest perception of modern relationships and social interaction. It is a film that carefully expresses its need to believe in love, as it exists today through the eyes of two total strangers who derive from different worlds. This truly is one of director Richard Linklater's most personal films, and it adopts a very European independent style of film-making, which embodies everything that defines Linklater as one of the leading indie masters of our time. It raises questions through its ambiguity and forces the audience to question their own beliefs and approaches to our own unsettling need to find a connection with someone, just like the characters. There are clearly very few films like it, and it successfully raises the bar for which other contemporary drama/romance films will find it difficulty to reach within its depth, intelligence and warmth.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Munich (2005)
9/10
Excellent
27 January 2006
"It's strange to think of one's self as an assassin". The quote that stirred me in the theatrical trailer of "Munich", and the dialogue that stuck with me every step of the way today when I sat down to watch Spielberg's latest venture into cinema. Where does one even begin todiscuss a film that has created endless discussion before it's generalrelease? Simply in the same way Spielberg handled the material when he set out to make such a complicated film, "With careful hands". In a film that follows a team of Jewish assassins requested, to retaliate against Palestinian terrorists after the events of the Munich Olympics, there is nothing but pure cinematic tension from beginning. However difficult it is to begin watching this film, without your own personal views on the bitter conflict resurfacing from time to time, you can't look away from the dilemma on screen, or reframe from feeling nothing but sympathy for both parties. The violence within the film, although you are perfectly aware is just around the corner, hits you creating a pumping after effect and never fully allows you to recover. Spielberg tops scene after scene with his handling of dramatic materiel, and while the cause for conflict slowly disintegrates as the film progresses, we are left with nothing but remorse for the violence that never seems to end. The acting is spectacular with stand out performances from Eric Bana to Geoffrey Rush. While Spielberg is renown for his ability to bring out the most within his actors, it still to this day dazzles me how well this filmmaker can dabble in the different genres and still bring, living, breathing characters to the screen. While most of us will do our up most to enter the theatre with strong feelings determined to tackle this film, it's hard to walk out not feeling that you got a taste for this films endless pain and awakening perspective. Those determined enough to sit down to it, will be inflicted with the endless discussions that are presented before them. This is important storytelling for our era that will live with you hours and maybe even days after your first viewing. Without doubt Munich is Spielberg's bravest film to date, that requires only one sitting to grasp how upsetting violence and revenge really is, how it's ability to corrupt what appears to be the most noblest of intentions, and how the darkest part of mans soul can easily live with it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not hard to have fun with...
29 August 2003
Having grown up with the hard kicking classic martial art films from the likes of Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan. I'm always welcome to a modern piece of fun that connects a punch or two while also paying homage to the great flicks that created an inspiring original film genre. Hollywood has certainly taken a liking to the Martial Arts world ever since films like `The Matrix' brought the action fun back into our lives.

Our next flavor of the punch is director Paul Hunter's `Bulletproof Monk', starring `Chow Yun-Fat' as a spiritual monk that has been chosen to protect a sacred scroll for the next 60 years. As our protagonist travels lands doing good over the years without ageing a day, his eyes are caught by the potential of young pick-pocket named `Kar' (Sean William Scott) that could very well be the next protector of the sacred scroll. With a rather unpleasant team of men after the scroll hoping to use it to re-shape the world in there own image, our characters are on the run fighting there way through fun to watch situations and more than entertaining fight scenes. What I liked about the movie so much was its attempt to re-create a fantasy story of courage and strength with a grinning student teacher tale on the side. Ok, so maybe we've seen a lot of this stuff all before with it's occasional cheesy acting and predictable plot work, but that doesn't seem to stop the films drive of successfully delivering us a fun way to kill 104 minutes. Nowadays a lot of our martial arts films are ruined with its unrealism and breaking the laws of gravity for no apparent reason thing. While this film does almost near the line of being too much, it's B-movie style is broken with a rather entertaining swing of the occasional comic relief which succeeds in reminding us all that it's all just good fun and that we shouldn't take it all to seriously. With all it's action and predictability, cheap acting but yet decent entertaining story, `Bulletproof Monk' is simply a nice little movie for the fans of the Martial arts page and worth a peek for those daring enough to watch, enjoy and forget. For the others out there, I mean the title says enough, it's just a bit of week fun that will grab you clearly relying on how much want it to.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
No argument about it... it's good!!
22 August 2003
After years of waiting, it seemed that one of the most magnificent Science fiction movie franchises of all time was set to rest and lay as nothing but a dusty piece of old gold in the treasure chest. Now in 2003, director Jonathon Mostow attempts to pump up the volume as he tries to fit the classic shoes James Cameron was made to wear in the director's chair of the Terminator franchise. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a desperate attempt to revive the all time classic story of war against the machines, once again bringing back big `Arnie' in the role we all love to remember him by. As a huge fan of the previous films I had been waiting for T3 ever since the credits rolled at the end of Terminator 2. With the thick perfect story that ended the second film, how can the generation of film lovers get it all back in 2003. Without a single tone of regret I can say it was all made possible in this years hit movie. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a worthy sequel that treads carefully on science fiction grounds without trying to be too cocky. Now with use of more enhanced CGI effects, the story can be told with a deeper sense of visionary and style. With a neat plot that pushes the story of it's predecessor further without it seeming ridiculous, fans of the movies can walk out grinning with the fact that they finally know how the whole story ends. It's a charm to once again see `Arnie' in the boots that he was born to wear. He is without doubt the character he plays and never fails to deliver the comic relief and the sheer guts the role brings out in him.

The new `Terminatrix' was a daring original touch of careful script work that succeeded in giving something new to the whole Terminator story. The life of our human hero `John Connor' was a story just waiting to be told, and this film gives us that extra insight into the characters dilemmas and fate. `Nick Stahl' gives a worthy performance as the soon to be future fighter, although my mind couldn't help but wish `Edward Furlong' stepped back into the role that made the character so natural and innocent, as well as head strong and courageous. After all said and done, I can't debate which film of the now trilogy stands superior to the other two. `Rise of the Machines' tops it all off with a great climax with even decent potential for another film that could be fantastic. Although I am as satisfied as I am with the result, there still stands the most important question this film continuously resurrects. How would the film had turned out if it's original creator `James Cameron' had once again stepped in to direct and finish a complete trilogy? The answer we'll never know, but while you think about it, check out Jonathon Mostow's vision, it ain't at all bad.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Phone Booth (2002)
7/10
Tense, nail-biting edge of your seat entertainment.
9 August 2003
In the world of New York City, one mans day of routine lies and betrayal becomes a situation of unexplainable events that pushes his own ego and life to the limit of collapse and heartbreak. Stu Shepard is a successful publicist who works the job of deceit living with it all in complete comfort disregarding those who are not valuable to his wallet and style. On a very well moving day, a trip to the nearest phone booth becomes a tiring battle for survival as he is held hostage by an anonymous sniper with the intent of punishing him for his sins and endless roads of lies. Collin Farrell leads the scene away into movie in his most groundbreaking performance to date, along with a great matching supporting cast of likeables such as `Forest Whitaker' and the chilling `Mr. Kiefer Sutherland'. `Phone Booth' is almost as good as the tension can get these days with Hollywood rapping up any half decent story they can find and throwing it at us with the hope that we'll actually pay to go see it. Fortunately, for us all, and with my intentions of laying my cards on the table, this is not one for those films. It is mind-teasing break into the world of suspense using very crafty plotting and camera work. Director Joel Schumacher has finally struck gold in this modern piece of entertainment by involving us into the feelings of the movies protagonist. We get our grins and edge of our seat moments by really beginning to care for our character and the ordeal he is going through. The whole movie gives a great sense of real time clockwork that adds up to the whole thing as the audience is thrown in to the situation of the whole `gun-point' scenario with great front row tickets. Topping it off with a cute twist along with a neat non-stretched time frame and were given a satisfying piece of filmmaking that's not attempting to be more than it is. `Phone Booth' gives us all the goods and I like the fact that you don't really have to go looking for something personally entertaining when you watch it. Sit back and enjoy the flick because finding a movie these days that really does put you on the edge of your seat almost throughout the complete feature time is pretty darn hard to dig up.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Confidence (2003)
Modern, stylish and fun.
25 July 2003
Director `James Foley' has had a very unbalanced career for quite some time, with very few hits stirring away at the video store and few films hitting the local theatres. Finally striking it clean with a saucy enjoyable piece that deserves almost everyone's attention comes the slick movie `Confidence'. Edward Burns plays con artist `Jake Vig', a man making his way through life pulling off clever tricks to obtain large amounts of cash with the help of his partners who he has a healthy friendship with. When a local job leaves one of Jake's crew members dead and with the rest of them owing a large sum of money to a famous mob leader `The King' played by non other than `Dustin Hoffman', our main character re-gathers his smart team along with some new recruits to pull off one big last heist to repay his depts. It was really great to see Edward Burns dabble with style as the leading role who always knows what to do in the worst off situations. He played the character very cool with very little surprises up his sleeve. This worked out well for a plot that has been re-written many numerous times to suit our generation, and at no point in the film did the acting seem over done. Rachel Weisz provided the sex appeal to fill in the wholes although I couldn't help but wish that her part could have given the film more depth and meaning to `Burn's' character. Her performances was pretty much forgettable but nice to watch. Which all in all is a shame because she can clearly do more than look good in tight dress. Dustin Hoffman's portrayal as the mob boss `The King' was by far the role that stood out from nearly all the rest, giving the film that extra edge that labels the film as having something new to see, but not mind blowing. At such an age in his career is so wonderful to see an actor experimenting with new and different roles in upcoming movies. What I loved most about the movie was the key lighting that really gave off the realistic effect of the lives of the criminals, and their hangout places as well as their gatherings. The cinematography was simply modern fun that kept the plot that seemed a tad dull at times, a joy to experience.

`Confidence' is definitely worth a trip to the theatre and for some of you, a really great movie experience that might be worth another look someday. It's a hard film to dislike with its snappy moments and enjoyable twists. It can do nothing but create a cute grin on your face. How long the grin stays on your face will depend on your ability to appreciate films with nothing new to offer and a little something for the moments that carry you away in it's predictable charm.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Mirror (1975)
A masterpiece!!!
25 July 2003
An involving piece of cinematic history that reaches out to it's viewers in it's own personal way. `The Mirror' is an ageing landmark in film making from Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky and those who have been privileged enough to witness it are either temporarily or permanently changed in there own unique way. The film follows the life story of a man during every aspect of stressful times that shape him out to be the human being that we are all left thinking about. From growing up with parental divorce to dealing with the complications he has with the mother of his child. The audience follows the protagonist's views on everything that's happened to him with a touching dip into the lives of those he is emotionally attached too. We see our character grow up from a child to a father based on everyone else's character development, without ever actually getting to see our protagonist with our own eyes. The effect is an explosive journey into the mind of our character and his thoughts that our poured into sound through his poetry and interaction with those dear to him in his life. What made the films spirit so dramatic and touching was the director's ability to create our main characters world for us so clearly that we feel we could almost touch everything that was caught on camera. During which we get a very beautifully constructed authentic image of the time frame flowing throughout Russian history. This creating the atmosphere that much more interesting without changing our own personal ideas of the characters, but in fact enhancing there images on screen along with the lives they are all living. The mystical poetry dialogue that flows through out the film from time to time is one of the most important pieces that label this film as an individual growing art that we all see for what we are, and not so much for what the director wanted us to see. Most films nowadays are made to entertain the audience with nothing but cinematic elements to keep us happy. This film is more of a piece of art with a cinematic touch that I feel was made to satisfy the creator himself more, and the audience just being the lucky ones along for the journey. Excluding the strong Russian history that almost embodies the story, this film gives of the strong impression of being labeled as the soul conflict between human life and nature. Human life being something that flows with almost every distortion until it's day of corruption, and nature moving on without cause and with every beauty human life has to offer.

`The Mirror' is a haunting piece that grows with age. Letting all those who feel this film know that only the reflection changes when time goes by, but not the mirror itself.
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Everything I expected, But not what i hoped.......
12 July 2003
The angels are back in there very own sequel, dedicated to making it harder, funnier, cuter and with more suspense than ever in `Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle'. Director McG returns to his favorite chair to make it all happen the way he did 3 years ago with the first movie. The film features pretty much everything the first one gave us from cheesy jokes, over exaggerated fight scenes to blown out of proportion action stunts. Never really being a fan of the now franchise I still pushed myself to the ticket man with the hope that maybe the sequel that had been so hyped up over the passed few months, could in fact deliver what it's predecessor tried so hard to do. Once again I noticed a generation of films that have been wasted and fed into the minds of people who are simply satisfied of seeing, no story, three unconvincing pretty girls that are failing in the quest for humor, and un-thrilling over done action. What is happening to those great popcorn flicks you enjoy and then forget about with no hard feelings? This film features three decent actresses that are wasting there time with a director that blatantly pawns of his modern style of filmmaking from people who have created something new with the intentions of using it intelligently. I could count the number of times I chuckled through this film on one hand, and truthfully say that I was never under the spell of suspense at any moment because it was all so unconvincing. Which sadly enough is a shame because we all see these movies to drop reality for a few hours un-intelligently. Demi Moore's feature comeback as femme fatale `Madisson Lee' was the only cheer raiser in the film. Not having much screen time gave the famous actress that extra edge that made her glow and simply stunning. After having said that, those who considered the first `Charlie's Angles' a gripping piece of blockbuster fun, will undoubtedly enjoy this feeble piece.

As for those who feel my poor appreciation for the first film, this sequel has something for us to keep us in the cinema but not enough to gain the title of `decent trash'.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Identity (2003)
A good piece, and so much more!!
5 July 2003
With the all-famous scenario of a group of strangers brought together by a struggle, and the horrors that rise upon them as one by one, they mysteriously end up dead. We the audience, are once again brought into the world of spine chilling fun but this time from director `James Mangold' who previously helmed drama piece `Girl, Interrupted'. Our director is covering new territory this year, with a body of Hitchcock ready to bring us all into this thoroughly enjoyable piece of cinema. `Identity' sees a group of strangers both with there own unique character spirit stranded in a motel on a rainy evening. With no where to go and no one to help them, the group find themselves being stalked by someone or something with the intentions of putting them all to rest before they can even realize who dunnit? The film follows as an almost classic stalker/slasher flick that never fails to deliver the excitement.

This is achieved by the clever twist and unpredictable events that bestow as soon as one believes to have figured out the film. The cast more than delivers what is required from a genre that is almost put to rest itself due to lousy attempts to revive it. But then again this film is not one of these attempts; it's a psychological thriller that helms all unpredictability in the body of a worn out story that has been revived relentlessly over the years. John Cusack delivers one of his most daring performances to date, by dabbling in the field and crossing new territory to something you never thought he could pull off. He's bold and always a pleasure to watch.

Ray Liotta's portrayal is nothing except what you expect, he's been marked as the aggressive tough guy for his recent roles and it's getting difficult for him to play anything else. Amanda Peet makes a smart move as the character who is almost out dated with predictability, but her cunning attempt to make it all interesting is simply a grinning joy to watch. I enjoyed the directors plot to delve into a genre he seems to know nothing about, and clearly a little ignorance can be a good aspect. I just can't help but think after watching such a treat, if the directing could have been bettered by a crusader who wanted to make a psychological thriller with a slasher genre touch, than a man trying to make a tale of murder with a psychological twist.

Nice overall twist's that are guaranteed to make every smart movie watcher's head spin, but simply lacking the vengeance that makes all good psychological thrillers stand back in pride for re-inventing the way all great films are made.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Two Thumbs Up!!!
23 May 2003
After 4 years of anticipation for the long awaited follow up to 1999's blockbuster hit, `The Matrix: Reloaded' has finally arrived to resurrect the mind blowing story it's predecessor successfully delivered to us years before. Upon watching such films, one has to attempt to categorize this complete tale that has plagued our minds with perfection for so many countless hours in front of the screen. The matrix has set the ground rules for near perfect science fiction films, and action suspense. Its follow up has more to offer than it's 4-year-old tale of awakening and truth. Reloaded continues the story of the war against artificial intelligence by giving the audience more of what was once seen before. We are witnessing more fights, more intense action and more amazing special effects, with a mighty kick to boost us up beyond comprehension to a whole new other level of filmmaking. The film adds a deeper story to Neo's ability and everyone's purpose in the story of it all. But witnessing such a successful sequel, I couldn't help but notice the endless opportunities the franchise has. The story is deeper, and more sophisticated with endless tones of enjoyment.

The story is really moving ahead by really spicing everything we've seen to a whole new product. For people who were satisfied by the effect `The Matrix' gave them back in 1999, and for those yet to experience it, `Reloaded' is the story that was simply waiting to be told in it's purest form 4 years ago. I think it has to be acknowledged that the first part was simply an introduction to the characters with a touch of the real story getting underway. Like the Starwars franchise, these films are better appreciated when one views them as the complete story they are and not the separate chapters sequels label them to be. If you saw `The Matrix' then don't stop at the beginning, push through till the end and then label the story by preference. `Reloaded' is cracking stuff with a cliffhanger to make you go wild, it's still your Hollywood film that boasts as one hell of a good follow up, but it's one of the only films that allows the audience today to choose how much you get involved with the story, and which area you decide to focus on.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
X2 (2003)
8/10
Great Film, Great Sequel, Great Fun!!!
2 May 2003
By successfully giving more of what the first film so desperately required, Bryan Singer's sequel to X-men is a frightening success. X2 picks up where the first film left off with a stack of new characters to spice things up and a more intriguing story to sit down to. From edge of you seat action scenes, to light yet tragic romance. X2 is the freshest example to date that can erase all past mistakes from it's predecessor, with a clear statement speaking out true potential in film sequels actually fulfilling everything it needs, in allowing follow-ups to be exciting. The real gem to be discovered here, is the in the depth realism every character has the ability to reveal in this movie. We get to see real emotion and truth from most of the leading cast precisely when it is to be expected in order not make the films heart throbbing moments seem too corny or fake. The scenarios give a more comic book feel than the first film did and with the introduction of new characters such as the eye catching `Night Crawler', and `Ice-man', we can hardly wait to see what director Bryan Singer cooks up for the sequel that is screaming to be made. To conclude, X2 is your more than satisfying movie entertainment, that will give a kick to all those who are wanting a piece of the extreme thrills and a grin to all those just wanting some mindless fun.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Your typical Sequal
19 April 2003
Death is back with a vengeance in this new tale of escaping the inevitable, as director David R. Ellis takes the front with an attempt to fill in the shoes of the witty success `Final Destination' so cleverly brought us. `Final Destination 2' brings us a new story of it all, following a young women's pre-vision of a horrific car crash and her escape from the jaws of death along with other feeble characters who were conveniently at the right place at the wrong time. You can pretty much guess the rest if you've all seen the first movie that was so unique in delivering a fresh taste into the world of horror creating our perfect Friday night popcorn enjoyments. This is a predictable sequel that clearly decided to pawn off all the great elements that the first film had for us and polish the scenarios up tightly to create a film that is bloodier, cheesier and flat. Expect more original death scenes as death decides to off every character using everything from barbecue grills to falling objects. The cast unfortunately wasn't decent either; the story left us with a bunch of rejects from the first movie that obviously never made it to the audition. Their attempts to play characters whose fates were entwined by death along with their flaccid abilities to portray fear was insulting to the movie viewers eye. This film almost directly disregards everything the first film stood for by trying to resurrect the scenarios and attempting to continue the story of the first film that was clearly finished years ago. If you enjoyed the first film so much then clearly this film will ruin the affect of everything the first film gave you. `Final Destination 2' is a definitive example of why most sequels are regarded as trash. The film is nothing more than a semi- decent video rental that tried so hard to better the original.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Frida (2002)
Is it worth all the Hype??
19 April 2003
A film a about a young women's life filled struggles and emotions, love and tragedies, all through her passion of painting. Salma Hayek is `Frida' a young talented bisexual women with an undying passion for expression through her paintings, and a women dealing with the all-popular struggling tale of love and life. Taking place in Mexico City during the 1920's, the film delivers a successful look into the lives of those who were there to experience the city for everything that it was and everything that it could have been.

Clearly the main thing to look for in this piece is Salma Hayek's most glorious performance to date and Alfred Molina's successful portrayal as her husband. Director Julie Taymor certainly made the film's performances stand out with it's interesting approach at using the characters artistic expression through painting, a communication tool for the audience to delve deeper and deeper into the minds of those that this story is so clearly about. The scenery is outstanding with its marvelous costume designs that allow the audience to really get the feel of the environment of the old Mexico City and it's culture. The films main key here, into reaching the characters is it's depiction of the art world as a message to those who were ever privileged enough to see the paintings. Everything the characters felt and wanted to say was revealed in the paintings and as much as this aspect made the film more interesting, I felt that it could have been bettered in giving us more insight and character developments so that we mite get a bigger opportunity to feel for everything the characters stood for. Another thing that caught me as a disappointment was how little we got to see of Antonio Banderas and Ashley Judd. These two actors delivered such dazzling performances for the almost 15 minutes that they were on screen for. If the film had been tighter with it's supporting cast by giving them more time with the audience I believe it would have given the minds of the leading roles the freedom of speech we so desperately cried out for. We don't ever seem to feel for the characters except for one or two scenes that would've made even the coldest person feel something. This is simply not enough for a film that is so blatantly character based.

In the end we are feeling empty with not enough emotion for the characters to smile upon. With a possibility in creating a better script adaptation from the book, or with a better director I think we could have gotten the opportunity to see the film `Frida' with the respect it deserved.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nothing to lose or gain by watching it...
12 April 2003
After the success of Antoine Fuqua's hit movie `Training Day' we can only hope his next directional piece lives up to the praise of its predecessor. `Tears of the Sun' hits the big screen with Bruce Willis leading a team of soldiers deep into the jungles of Nigeria to recover a young doctor (played by Monica Bellucci) and deliver her to safety before a team of ruthless rebels get there hand on her first. It was certainly entertaining to see Mr. Willis once again portray his masculinity and cold self as leader type figure in this action/war type flick. His character is totally professional and emotionless with a drive to get the job done whatever the cost. His sensitive side is revealed piece by piece during the film with his men along for the ride as they decide to accompany the young doctors patients to safety as well. As you could guess, this film clearly has a lot of action with a pace to make it all worth the wait. With the films decent pacing, Bruce's extreme bold character development and Monica's beautiful touch, this film just can't seem to hide what it so blatantly is. This is your standard Hollywood film, with predictable scenarios and action. I felt somewhat cheated by the fact that I knew pretty much which character was going to make it alive and which one wasn't. The film makes strong attempts to shock the audience with tragic scenes of violence and rape in order to bring something new into the genre.

Sadly I felt the film failed miserably in that respect. Most of the lines are corny and cheap and the director obviously tried to make up for this flaw but attempting to grasp the viewer's attention with sympathy for every important character on screen. But the truth is, is that we just don't see enough of the characters, and the result is just totally unsatisfying with not a single feeling of respect for any of the powerful characters this film tries so hard to create. To sum up, this film is your standard video rental with the words `Predictability and Staged' written all over it. It's nothing new and you certainly won't lose or gain anything by watching it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Daredevil (2003)
Decent, satisfying, "Pawn Off"????
12 April 2003
You either enjoy your cinematic experience or you don't.

That seems to be the case here with director `Mark Steven Johnson's' latest film. Daredevil is your basic comic book adaptation hitting the big screen with Ben Affleck filling in the shoes of the mysterious masked hero who fights crime in the New York's area of Hells Kitchen. With a sinister gothic approach into the world of the characters, we get a pleasing glimpse of a well-created comic book scenario filled with some pretty entertaining action scenes and ruthless villains. Seeing Affleck in front of the camera in all his glory as a blind super hero certainly delivered the goods considering that we are used to seeing the guy as a drama/romantic comedy actor. This actor is finally showing his true potential by experimenting with the role he was so rightly given in this film. Another satisfying performance in the film comes from upcoming Irish boy Collin Farrell. His performance landed him the role as villain guy `Bulls Eye' who surprisingly enough comes from Ireland. Mr. Farrell succeeded in bringing us a unique comic book villain to the big screen; by adding a tasty touch into the humour of his character, clearly we can all hope to see our man back for the sequel. What I felt the main con was from Daredevil was the memories and comparison to Sam Raimi's last years hit `Spider-man'. The action scenes didn't seem to deliver anything new even though they were entertaining, for those comic book fans who smiled at the success of `Spider-man', I feel that your going to be comparing this flick to last years `Spidey' film. The question is off course, if Daredevil had been released earlier and shortly after Spider-man, would the arrival of praises for this film been greater?? I can't help feeling that this film took a lot from `Spider-man', along with the depth it attempted to portray into the sophistication of the characters. Could it's somewhat gothic direction in everything it tries to be, been taken from 90's cult classic `The Crow' which in fact was based on a comic book as well. The questions are endless, and my reaction was a satisfying `pawn off' of our past greatly appreciated comic book adaptations. We can only hope to see more effort into the originality of the script for the sequel. Hopefully the future delivers something fresh and new for this possible franchise that is clearly filled with potential.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wonderful, tender and irresistible...
28 March 2003
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest directional piece comes from a place of pure originality and wonderfully presented performances. Punch-Drunk Love follows Adam Sandler at his most dramatic spellbinding performance to date, as young man attempting to deal with his sad anger and humiliation of un-satisfaction in which his life is currently filled with.

With no clue or idea in his mind as to what purpose he serves except his hatred, the film sees our character being pursued by a woman (played by Emily Watson) who sees him as everything she ever wanted in a man. With plenty of humorous fiascos along the way, this film successfully delivers a heart-warming tale of finding love when you need it the most. Paul Thomas Anderson's quality in directing has always been his success in portraying realistic down to earth mind boggling characters, that seem to go through his stories slowly, overcoming realistic obstacles that allow them to become the people they so desperately desire to be. Punch-Drunk Love is no exception, although we do see alternate directional approaches, with the audience questioning the plot of the story from time to time. There where numerous cases when I questioned the story trying to figure out where exactly the film was going and what was to be the outcome. The result when the end credits appeared, was a satisfying fulfillment in originality and performances, and topped off with a label that pretty much puts this film up at the top as one of the greatest romantic comedy's in years. Although I didn't really want the film to end as quickly as it seemed to do, I think we can all walk of loving the characters that made this movie so funny, touching and romantic.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Hours (2002)
A Film We All Deserve To Watch...
22 March 2003
Stephen Daldry directs this compelling unforgettable piece about the lives of three women, the soul that binds there hearts together and the experiences of life we can all relate too. `The Hours' is a beautifully constructed piece of cinematic drama that quite simply deserves every inch of praise it receives. Filled with jaw dropping mesmerizing perfection filled performances by Kidman, Moore and Streep, this film succeeds in reaching an extremely high note on the complexity of life and every emotion we are all blessed with. Following the lives of three women who's passions and struggles all reflect the life of our main character and writer `Virginia Woolf' a tale of entwinement and the search for our hearts begins when the story follows the characters live a day of discomfort and life altering moments, all in very similar ways. Each main character is blessed with there own time frame that reflects an era of life with a thick layer of un-satisfaction with the world they tried so very hard to create for themselves. The gift the film delivers is its mind-blowing performances by the three main leads and its success in allowing the audience to delve deeper and deeper into the characters that are so blatantly realistic. The film offers a very large slice of realism into its story and I strongly believe that one would be lying if they said that they in no way felt a tragic sad connection to the material this film portrays. This film has every thing to offer the audience, with our perspectives on life, and how we deal with things that don't go our way.

`The Hours' is a film we all deserve to watch, and one that will be very hard to forget. It would be a crime to turn down a film that delivers so much more than a few hours of entertainment, when it fact it's an awakening that we can all follow up to with smiles and tears.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hollywood's best movie of 2002!!!
14 March 2003
After years in the making, this story of history, honor, revenge and violence will one day be labeled a Hollywood classic that everyone must respect enough to sit down to at least once. Martin Scorsese's tale of a life during the days when violence was a way of living in the streets of New York is simply overwhelming to the human eye. By setting the scene beautifully with every perfection in detail we successfully witness the birth of a city and the horrors that took over it during a period of struggling conflicts between the Native Americans and the Irish immigrants. The film follows young Amsterdam Vallon (played successfully by Leonardo Dicaprio) as he re-enters the underground world of New York City to revenge the death of his Father, who once stood up to the violent hatred of the Irish immigrants as the leader of the `Dead Rabbits' gang. The quest for revenge leads him to the hands of the man who runs the underground circuit nicknamed `The Butcher' magnificently played by Daniel Day-Lewis. With a lengthy time run, this film delivers a very complex reality in the world of the politics, crime lords, thieves and the one man who stands in between all of them. This is a cinematic piece with extreme desire to stay true to the historic events that once occurred, and has posh touches of Hollywood glamour that makes is all the more entertaining. What I couldn't stop thinking about was how many different ways the film could have been approached and maybe the only problem with what it is, could be that the director tried to hard to make it everything, when it could have focused more on either the depiction of violence in the old Gang Wars, the political issue's the people trying to run the country had to deal with or either just focusing in the way of life these citizens were unwillingly forced to deal with. Instead the film contained all of the above, successfully and without fail. But I find it hard to believe that everyone who has seen the film didn't want something a little more to suit there own personal satisfaction, be it a tale of violence, a story of revenge and anger, or simply a historical piece of truth. The film has it all and has endless opportunities for the audience's satisfaction, there isn't a soul around who will not find something they love about this overwhelming Hollywood movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Adaptation. (2002)
Interesting, smart and clever
7 March 2003
Adaptation is a very troubling piece to comment on due to its complexity that is the script and the realistic characters that the film follows piece by piece. First off, Nicholas Cage plays a troubled Hollywood screenwriter whose terrible low self-esteem and writers-block assists him as he slowly drowns in his own misery and shame. Our character is set on a task to adapt a ground breaking novel into a movie that is supposed to live up to the semi-documentary style of writing that was portrayed by a women's quest for truth and passion through the beauty of the Orchid flower. During the movie we are pushed through both the characters minds taking us deeper into their passions, realities and eventually self-destruction.

What satisfied my hunger for character development was the slow transformation as every character was slowly pushed over the edge with a sense of realism and complexity that is every human's reality through their darkest days and happiest moments. Meryl Streeps portrayal as a soft hearted reporter studying the beauty's of the Orchid flower and everything she ever wanted, is without doubt one her finest performance to date. The film is filled with a dark sense of comedy as we see our main character played by Cage, as he's tries to overcome his difficulties on his quest to enter the mind of the writer and the way we follow through all his situations as his inner monologue narrates bringing constant laughs. The film focuses strictly on the characters and every person who can successfully maintain an open mind through out the film will be able to walk off feeling they've had there share of sophistication and in-depth complexity, depending which character they decided to focus on more. Spike Jonze's piece can only be viewed so many times and can be compared realistically to his previous well-known film `Being John Malkovich' which surprisingly enough the film is related to and mentioned numerous times, as the film, within the film. Unfortunately there is no straight answer one could gain after viewing this film; it is undoubtedly a film that grows on you and a film that has different perspectives through out almost every scene. But one thing is clear and that is that it is one of the most interesting and unique cinematic experiences of the year that no one should ever turn there back on.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Chicago (2002)
Typical Hollywood
28 February 2003
The undying quest for fame, the realities of loosing it in a single moment and the music of jazz. Chicago is Hollywood's tale of it all packed into the performances of the well-known `Reneé Zellweger' and `Catherine Zeta-Jones'.

The film itself is a musical filled with vast attempts to portray an unrealistic women's quest for fame, through her musical fantasies and the murder of a man who promised her the dreams we so vividly see her in. What struck me most about the films greatness were the extremely sparkling glamour of almost every song, and the well-presented use of lighting.

The light itself added emotion into every characters performance as a musical visionary. Along with enjoyable tunes that carried the film away into the Jazz world, sadly I feel the film tried to hard to bring something new into the classic Hollywood musicals. The film felt very thin to play along with for those expecting something more sophisticated and touching. The film went along with the two lead actresses and made it almost impossible to focus on with other characters that could have given the film the depth and feeling it deserved. Although every character was blessed with a musical performance that granted them an opportunity to get in touch with everything that they were, I couldn't help but feel somewhat cheated with what I got. The film clearly tried to hard in that aspect and it could have been bettered in the respect of giving the leads more emotion instead of ignorance and stupidity. But aside from the above, I'm pretty sure that this film will not fail to satisfy those who feel the need to sink their teeth into a juicy musical. I just always thought that music was a communication tool that could be interpreted in endless ways, but for those looking for something superficial and straight forward, ladies and gentlemen, look no further.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Spielbergs Jack-Pot
28 February 2003
The latest in Spielberg filmmaking, and clearly not what you expect. `Catch me if you can' gives something a lot more than your usual family movie time in which Mr. Spielberg is so clearly great at delivering. The film sees Leonardo Dicaprio play a young con artist who successfully became a millionaire by forging checks all before his 19th birthday. An interesting game of cat and mouse begins when a determined FBI agent finds it in himself to devote his work into catching the youngster before he gets himself into more trouble. Instead we see our director taking a different approach in his career by exploring the undoubtedly entertaining scenarios that sees our lovable character go over the edge into sadness and fear. Dicaprios outstanding performance as a confused minor certainly gains our sympathy as he lives his life with his money and games along with his struggling attempts to accept his parents divorce. We are all reminded throughout the film of his characters undying love for both his parents and most of all to his father, whose unforgettable performance belongs to Christopher Walken. Tom Hank's sophisticated performance of the man hot on his trail is definitely something we are all expecting from the well know actor. I always felt that Spielberg's movies were never to be taken seriously although at every climax the audience is unwillingly left with something special they can take home with them. Unlike most Spielberg films, this movie will leave you with a lot to think about with open arms to whatever this smiling piece has to offer you by the time the end credits hit the screen.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sad But True
26 February 2003
After over 20 years of satisfying horror flicks, the Halloween franchise came up with their 8th installment in the series. Halloween: Resurrection sees Michael Myers back again in his very own home to do a bit of the old slicing and dicing with his kitchen knife just one more time. This time with 6 college students, who are spending the night in the house where it all began, broadcasting a live interactive show over the Internet. The good points of the film sees the franchise moving ahead with a semi-reality style which in someway is portrayed through the whole `Big Brother' thing with the whole camera's in every corner. Its certainly spices things up a bit, and just like every Halloween movie, there's plenty of Mike. But what I couldn't help notice was how much the film tried to give something new to a franchise that was simply satisfying the way it was before. Why change it?? The cast was filled with a bunch of nobody's that made there acting debuts in low down cheesy teenage movies. What is the franchise coming too!!! Halloween: H20 delivered a loyal more than satisfying ending to the films by visiting the old cast and not getting sloppy where a few of the other films had in the past. It ended perfectly with intensity and mind, and this film is sadly a low attempt to revive a series that was triumphantly put to rest years ago. My say is this, if the Halloween movies provided you with years of classic horror entertainment and you feel as a loyal fan of the series that you absolutely `MUST SEE MIKE MYERS' just one more time, then get down to your local video rental store. But sadly I have to inform you that after you watch this one, your going to be telling others like you that the once great slasher flicks of the Halloween series, has sadly gone down the toilet and been flushed for the crap this film is. To give the fans what they really deserve it's going to take a hell of a lot more than a corny plot and cute camera tricks to resurrect the series.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Taking a step Forward, In style
31 January 2003
From the director of `Trainspotting' and `The Beach' comes a satisfying original horror movie filled with all the suspense and all the fun. Director Danny Boyle delivers to the audience your pretty standard zombie flicks that we used to watch on late night TV. With a few great special affects and catchy cinematography, the director turns your average late night movie into something else entirely. 28 days later revolves around the all-popular plot of survival during zombie-infested moments. When a young man wakes up in a hospital bed to an empty quiet London city and not a soul in sight, havoc begins when he realizes that the city has been over run by flesh eating psychotic human beings (zombies). The plot revolving around something I'm pretty sure we've all seen before and laughed at is sophisticatedly spiced up with raw cinematography and clever work of sound and lighting that sets the scene perfectly.

The compelling performances by an excellent cast along with the powerful message the plot attempts to send out can only succeed in burying us in our seats as we nervously bite our nails till the film is finished.

With an open mind along for the ride I can definitely say that you can walk off feeling you watched a pretty darn good horror movie, that stays loyal to the likes of classics such `Night Of The Living Dead' without trying to be to much that it isn't. Could this be the beginning of the genre moving ahead with originality, without breaking the rules that make horror films so satisfying? After watching this one… a spark of hope shines in the distance.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.