Reviews written by registered user
ceejay-cj

9 reviews in total 
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4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
This is not a remake of Episode 4!! It is however the perfect start to a trilogy!, 20 December 2015
8/10

For those who think they know about Star Wars and deem this a reboot due to its similarities with A New Hope. They obviously have done no research into what they claim to be a fan of at all. The movie, just Episode 1 and Episode 4 are always meant to follow the classic template of the hero's journey as stipulated in Joseph Campbell's "Hero With a Thousand Faces". Lucas has talked about this time and time again and JJ Abrams clearly is fan enough to stick to that.

The point is to show that events and circumstances in time always repeat themselves despite the protagonist be it father, son, or whatever Rey's relation to the Skywalker line yet to be revealed. The ramifications of the choices they make is what defines the 2nd and 3rd pasts of each trilogy within the entire saga but the 1st movies in each trilogy are bound by that template.

Phantom Menace and A New hope both took their heroes from desolate worlds, accepting a calling to a higher purpose, responsibility and adventure, a mentor figure, a loss etc.. These templates are essential to those first movies. What you should not be doing is focusing ONLY on the similarities so much that you fail to notice and enjoy all the new elements that make each film different from the next.

The movie weighs in a lot of homage to elements that have gone before, the feeling of familiarity is what you're meant to have, its not rebooting or remaking anything in doing so. What it does well is introduce new characters in a dynamic not presented before in the saga against similar threats of the past. There is no princess in peril and there is not double-act of robots trying on a secret mission to find an old Jedi to safely deliver plans to rebel base. There is however a similar circumstances to those regarding finding a lost Jedi and pieces of a map to his whereabouts to maintain the similar theme for the sake of the patterns of reassurances in patterns from the other two movies (A New Hope and Phantom Menace)

Its the best shot, best performed and most dramatic Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back 35 years ago. Basically makes the prequel films look like X-Box video games. Shooting on film, using real life locations and building real sets makes a hell of a lot of differences to the visuals and having a director who is more concerned about getting performances instead of digital alterations in the editing room has resulted in a movie with a genuine soul. Gone are Lucas's attempts to make a science out of the magic and mystery of the Force, here its back to being that mystical energy field and used as such with more invention beyond simply lifting stuff and throwing it. Light and dark side perfectly showcased for their benefits when calm or in rage making for an excellent contrast in characterization on screen.

Do not let the cynical and uncultured fans who lack the ability to read beyond the surface of basic film convince you that this is just a remake or you will miss out on a rare thing, an actual well made and genuinely good Star Wars film!

107 out of 196 people found the following review useful:
Another two hours of a dead horse being flogged sold to the public by Hollywood., 4 July 2015
3/10

The story ended with T2, Cameron told all the story needed and moved on unlike fans of this sorry forced franchise and the three studios that each picked up the rights and made one contrived cash-grab after the next before passing it on one after the other like a dirty whore.

This is the worst rehash of old ideas ever resold to a desperate fanbase. A baby-faced Sarah Connor who looks like she should be getting ready for a prom date unlike the hardened paramilitary character that Lind Hamilton trained like a madwoman to deliver in looks and performance. Some 8-ball headed actor trying to pass of John Connor, an Asian Robert Patrick doing all the same stuff we saw 20 years ago and an old age pensioner Arnorld Schwarzenegger being made to do everything in CGI his awful frame lost the ability to do decades ago.

Only Hollywood would flog a dead horse so continuously and still find an audience however small and desperate, to watch and cheer every single swing of the lash.

53 out of 108 people found the following review useful:
A movie with less brains than its hybrid dinosaur!, 23 June 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Any movie that starts with the world's worst parents sending their children to a dinosaur park on their own is not going to win any awards for best picture. At least they had an electrified fence in the first movie keeping the dangerous creatures out, this one had a mere 18 foot wall That any smart animal could put something against and climb over. And guess what? They actually made that "smart" animal and he actually kept making attempts to get over before he succeeded.. Genius.

Todays audiences simply don't bother with demanding intelligent movies anymore, a film this brainless shouldn't be making literally billions of dollars. That's a sad reflection of the mentality of this generation I guess. A movie a smart and inspiring as Tomorrowland flops in the same year a movie where a dinosaur park is run by guys who don't actually have an effective containment process let alone adequate weapons or basic sleeping gas.

Between Starlord struggling to keep Raptors under control and some idiot thinking that means dinosaurs ready to replace perfectly standard soldiers who basically follow orders without intense concentration and hand movements, or even the woman outrunning a T-Rex in her high-heels.. I pretty much saw yet another really dumb action movie applauded by critics who seem to have an agenda to push some films and ignore others regardless of true movie making quality. 

28 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Separates the imaginative from the cynics, an inspired work by a true artist., 5 June 2015
10/10

Brad Bird has yet to let me down, this movie has divided audiences but the division is pretty much down to those who share the quality of imagination and creativity as opposed to those who have nurtured their cynicism to the point of interpreting everything as a negative. That basically is what this film is about in a nutshell, its made to inspire hope from the creative among us who are not living our potential due largely to the multitude of negativity, conflict and selfishness the human race seem to have become comfortable in wallowing in.

If this film had been released 20 years ago, I might have never given up my previous profession of drawing comics for a living. This is the first movie that's ever made me reflect on my choices in life and feel ashamed that I "fed the wrong wolf" so to speak. If you have kids then take them to see this movie, inspire them to dream, create and be positive now more than ever. Ignore the critics and the negative reviews, this movie is nothing short of superb family fun with a message more important today than any film you'll probably ever see again.

Brad Bird and Michael Garaccchino are the new Steven Spielberg and John Williams, the music in this film is outstanding and will stay with you long after you leave the theatre. This movie has earned a very special place in my heart and up there with Mad Max Fury Road for best movies of the year so far.

Gravity (2013)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The greatest example of visual narrative I've ever experienced., 9 March 2014
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Warning, contains some plot spoilers*

To the average-Joe, this film is just boring about a woman stuck in space. To those who love movies and the art of making them, this is simply a rare thing in cinematic history. A movie that actually pioneers the spirit of making movies and pushes the medium beyond what the average film is capable of.

If you listen to most reviews disappointed by the movie, you can tell these are people who barely scratch the surface of films. On the surface its a movie about a woman trying to survive a disaster in space. Under the surface if you are capable of reading visual narrative, it is about a mother who lost a child and with it all that motivates her in life. The movie is about her rediscovering her desire for life through the experiences she faces while desperately seeking a way to survive.

It's a film of outstanding metaphors on existence, the obstacles and hurdles one experiences in life are obviously represented by the recurring destructive debris she's faced with overcoming. The very planet Earth itself is the sole representation of all that is beautiful and attractive in life and that which is her goal to return to. There is even a rebirth scene where her real fight to return begins in the docking bay of the station that she finally manages to get to. A stunning example of visual metaphor at its finest with her in foetal position, zero gravity, straps like fallopian tubes and in foetal position. It's a striking image in a movie full of striking imagery and cleverly seeded props that aid the visual narrative. Nothing is wasted, every anecdote Clooney recounts, the photo of the dead astronauts family even the unknown voice on the radio with the baby. Everything seeded to give the characters their background as well as indicate an aspect of the life she has long lost the desire to reclaim.

Again, the excellence of this level of visual plotting is lost on those who simply can't begin to interpret its fine art. The use of sound is like no other film I've ever known, truly original use of sound editing through everything they touch and way beyond your average orchestral music composition. George Clooney's character is a perfect polarising attribute to Sandra Bullocks Ryan Stone, he is essentially everything she's lost in terms of enjoying life. He has stories beyond stories of experiences and in her darkest most rock bottom moment that spark is ignited in true style of his character in one of cinema's most well delivered subversive dream sequences. The ending itself is worth every penny watching her literally re-evolve from her experience from one element into another delivering the story of life and everything that grounds it to us like a punchline.

This movie is a rare perfection, a true cinematic experience and everything movie-making exists for. Emotional, thrilling, visually stunning and with a beautiful score. Truly worthy of every award it got and more, by far and away the best film of the year and one of the greatest movies ever made.

154 out of 300 people found the following review useful:
Third time's a charm for Bay and the Bots!, 27 June 2011
7/10

There is a simple rule to knowing if its worth going to see this film..

If you enjoyed the first film regardless of what you thought of the dubious second movie, then get your damn tickets! If you hated both movies then stay the hell away because there will be nothing new for you this time around.

Quite simply this is the most outstanding action flick you're likely to see this year let alone this summer and it's a successful return to what they managed to deliver with the first movie. Make no mistake about the toilet humour, sometimes screwball acting and silly jokes. That stuff is still very evident but unlike the second movie where it went spiralling out of control and dominated the picture, here it is kept firmly on a leach. In fact it is very much a film of two halves, the first half has an even mix of humour an action but it doesn't go too over the top to the point where we see robots doing embarrassing things like peeing or showing their balls etc, and there is a lot of human death unlike the other films. You see the innocent getting wiped out not just building collapsing and explosions. The second half is very much a tour de force of action scenes that are either nail biting or breath taking, not much letting up once it starts going and the finale is very satisfying! This is no movie with an agenda to deliver some life changing tale, it makes no attempt to equal the Bard with its narrative or plot. This is a movie based on popular toys for boys. Expect that much and you will be entertained because they actually set up this movie with a very clever conspiracy theory based on the NASA missions to the moon and weave that into the roots of the franchise. Shia Lebeouf is without his sidekick for the last two movies in Megan Fox but finds a more than worthy successor in supermodel Rosie Huntington Whiteley who plays a part that's very difficult to see Megan ever pulling off. Sure these girls are meant for mostly eye candy but where Megan's hot lipstick and deep pencilled eyebrowed, glam-pornstar look got more slutty with each picture, Rosie's supermodel grace and fine English accented charm brings more class than candy. Sorry Megan fans but no way would she pull of a semi-rich bitch who's been to finishing school and back! In fact her part is essential in the few well executed plot twists and deceptions this movie presents that were never as potent in its predecessors.

All this builds up to last hour of back to back action sequences of spectacle, stealth, barbaric violence and utter heroics that will please the masses and outrage the critics who can never assess these kind of movie based on what they aim to be rather than what they don't! Transformers Dark of the Moon delivers a picture worthy of ending any action series, this is what makes buying a movie box set on home video worth parting with the cash even when one of the films is totally duff. Bay's even managed to show the industry how to use 3D with easily the best 3D presentation since Avatar. Whoever takes over this franchise has a mighty jump to make because Michael Bay has placed the bar pretty damn high!

22 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Green as in "Jaded" and about as bright as cigarette butt!, 18 June 2011
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just watched this flick and what a load of crap! Every Green Lantern can fly across galaxies and is protected in space by their ring yet the dying Abin Sur in the opening needed a space ship? Sure its the comic but it was stupid then and one of those things you need to change for live action to make better sense, that's why they call it "an adaptation"!

They put a mask on this guy to hide his identity yet he spends the entire film revealing that identity to almost everyone he knows even the villain. Worse still his girlfriend recognises him in 5 seconds flat despite his green make-up!

This yellow menace is supposed to be ultra powerful yet it takes the entire movie to get across the galaxy to Earth which took the dying GL in a life pod 5 minutes! For an entity that lives and thrives on fear for its power, it doesn't even harvest that terror on any other worlds on its way through the movie! When it gets to Earth there is no retaliation from the military of ANY KIND, it has time to pick a fight with GL in the warehouse, wait for him to fly Carol away to safety and have a heart-felt chat about fear (again) then finally decides to kill some people before he turns up to fight it with silly green shapes and STILL NO MILITARY RESPONSE!

Hal flies millions of miles across space to ask the corps for help defeating an enemy they're already gearing up to fight and yet despite thousands of them shown in the beginning and the constructing of a secret weapon in the yellow ring, not one GL turns up to help? They don't even grace the badly edited scene with a reply from the cops, and these are the guardians of the galaxy are they not? In fact the thousands of other Green Lanterns on OA were lazy in a worse fashion than the Jedi in the Star Wars prequels, they did nothing despite the universe's supposed greatest threat moving at snails pace to destroy them. In fact the biggest use of their collected power was shining a green beacon into space TWICE in the film and nothing else. Worse still they turn up 5 SECONDS after Hal's destroyed Parallax to congratulate him when they could have pushed the stupid yellow thing into the sun themselves with all the collected power of their rings!

The entire collection of green constructs this guy made to fight throughout this film were ridiculously over the top to utterly stupid. A race car and track to stop a falling helicopter? Jet Planes with a body harness to help him defy the sun's gravity in SPACE!!??? How is a couple of jet planes gonna propel you faster than the speed the ring uses to get you across the entire galaxy? When he tries to save Amander Waller from falling from the splintered glass she'd been stuck to like a pancake on a ceiling; he makes a pool of water for her to fall in and possibly drown in stead of a simple giant hand to grab her or an even simpler force field to encase her in and lower her gently. It was loony toon cartoon level constructs all through the film, no wonder it gets reviewed as a kiddie superhero flick.

And the presentation of the clandestine organisation "Checkmate" was utter crap, Amander Waller had no staff! They even had to get a doctor from outside the organisation to perform an examination on an alien and hope he keeps it secret, an examination he also performed with no team of assistants! It's a freaking Alien for crissakes, he's hardly a lone expert in that field!

X-Men has James Bond level coolness to it, its got a far more mature conception and story integration with historical events and Thor simply has better common sense despite being based in utter mythology! You need to be 12 years old or a retard to give this film the thumbs up let alone claim it better than either Thor or X-men which had far superior narrative and presentation than this turd! Some of the FX in this film were Scorpion King level poor!

For selectively blind and forgiving fanboys only! 4/10

8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Spoofed beyond all recognition!, 19 January 2011
3/10

It's only because The Green Hornet is a lesser known comic superhero than the likes of Batman or Superman, that a movie like this can make a single penny at the box office. You take any film, book, or comic series you like and have Hollywood adapt it into another Action Comedy and you'd be naturally outraged! Here is a film that pays no heed to the integrity of the source material, where once the lead was up for grabs by the likes of George Clooney, Greg Kinnear and Mark Whalberg not to mention Jake Gyllenhall. Now its passed down to goofy, oafish Seth Grogan and played strictly for laughs. Kato's role once made famous by the Legendary Bruce Lee is amped to fill out the both shoes of Sidekick and main lead because Grogan is utterly useless. That said, Jay Chou does his part well enough but his fight scenes are mostly CGI aided affairs not designed to display martial artistry or even awe inspiring choreography as in the Matrix.

The fact most people haven't any idea what the Green Hornet was supposed to be means it can be spoofed to a safe box office success. This is what Hollywood does when they can't make an adaptation properly, it instead turns into a vehicle for visual spectacle in the form of an Action-Comedy like the recent Star Trek, Charlies Angels, Sherlock Holmes or even Starsky and Hutch. Grondy's innovative MTV nurtured director's eye makes for some fresh camera tricks but behind that thin curtain is yet another movie driven by Grogan's need to show the world just how good he is as being an ass! Entertaining as hell if stupidity is your thing but as enjoyable as a root canal if you hate dumb characters in movies! You keep wishing someone will kill Grogan's Green Hornet so that Kato could take over the rest of the movie by himself and make the ticket worthwhile! Cameron Diaz has her worst ever outing in a movie, literally performing in two rooms and the back of a car for the entire flick.

For once I side with the fan-boys on this one, no point in taking somebodies creation if you're not intending to do it any justice in an adaptation. This sort of thing should be outlawed in my book, this is the first movie in a long time I wish would fail just to teach Hollywood a lesson in integrity!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Greater is in this picture than many will ever know!, 18 December 2010
10/10

Some films simply slip under the radar when it comes to accolades and praise, they remain almost cult or legendary in their status to a few. In a lot of cases these films are not "that" good, just simply have a special appeal to generate a cult following. But in the case of a special few like 'Millers Crossing' or 'Glengarry Glen Ross', these movies are truly amongst the leaders and very best in their field, to the point that as soon as the credits roll, you wonder how the hell you've never watched this before or why it didn't make greater box office or claim any major awards.

The Way of the Gun is like the bastard child of a Western and a Gangster flick, holding many of the attributes of both genres and belonging to neither in whole. It centres around two wayfaring career-criminals who stumble into a kidnapping that leads to a great deal more than they bargained for. Every character in this film has game, everyone brings something motivated to the table with a twisted angle or a revelation. This movie oozes cool in almost every scene with Benicio Del Toro leading that emphasis with inspired panache! Ryan Phillippe has never performed this well again and both James Caan and Taye Diggs excel in their roles. If writer-director Christopher McQuarrie ever blesses us with another specimen presented as brilliantly as this then we should consider ourselves truly fortunate.

If ever a movie was worthy of 10 stars, it's this one. Everything from the well paced, unfolding plot and the riveting chess-like gun-play to the awesome musical score that hits the nail on the head like Elmer Burnstein's Magnificent Seven or John Williams's Superman theme. A hidden gem that's well worth discovering for the first time as much as it is revisiting, superb!