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The Covenant (2006)
not as bad as expected
Basic summary: Ipswitch used to be a community of witches and escaped the Salem witch hunts by forming a covenant of secrecy. The first born males descended from these families have supernatural powers, and must come to terms with the seductive, addictive nature of using those powers.
Well, I usually give movies the benefit of the doubt and start from a 5, going from there:
Production: -1 for very obvious audio out of sync, +1 for nicely done special effects, the darkling actually gave me chills, +0.5 for nice colorization (I like the dull blue), -0.5 for the stupid sound track, +0.5 for the opening sequence -- I'm a sucker for stylish compositing and flashy title design.
Story / Script: +1 for decent main idea, -0.5 for DBZ/Matrix/Street Fighter ripoff/pastiche, -1 for not explaining some plot threads very well (spiders, darkling), -1 for boring, predictable ending, -1 for gratuitous exposition, both as words on the screen and as bland monologuing
Acting / Characterization: -0.5 for bad bad acting, although it gets a little better as the film progresses, -1 for lack of character development, especially among all the females
Other: +1 for gratuitous male and female nudity, which is fun to watch, and +0.5 for no sex scenes, which for this genre are usually done very badly and end up being boring rather than hot, +1 for hitting its target audience, teenage sci-fi/horror/thriller fans, even though this movie is not exclusively any of those genres.
Conclusion: This is not a "film," this is a MOVIE. There's really nothing to analyze, it's just good, (relatively) clean fun. Lots of really attractive actors and actresses. Lots of boys fighting in the style of DBZ and Street Fighter. If you like cute actors and actresses, supernatural special effects, and/or mindlessly fun plots, this movie is for you. If you prefer Oscar-worthy, exquisitely-produced film masterpieces with tons of multi-layered, allegorical plot threads and groundbreaking visualization techniques, you probably won't like this film.
Using my twisted logic, this movie gets a 4/10.
Tube Tales (1999)
artsy, but not bad
A collection of surreal, artsy short stories that feel more like visual narrative poems. If you view it with an eye for artistic style, it's not bad. Otherwise, the plots fall short in sustaining interest, and it is hard (but not impossible) to develop a liking for any of the characters. As a work of art, 6/10. As a movie, 3/10.
This anime is one of the few, GOOD shonen-ai series. It is a story about love (not sex): the 'gravitation' of two people and how their relationship affects everyone around them. The plot is based heavily on the personalities of its diverse, interesting and overall likable cast of characters. Once you get over the notion that just about every one of these characters seems either gay or bi, it's really great fun. The soundtrack is really good, too, if you like Japanese techno.