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I applaud the film for being as entertaining and engrossing as it could
possibly be, considering it's about a guy who gets his hand trapped by
a big boulder and he just stands there for the rest of the film. I knew
Danny Boyle would be able to pull it off though, the guy is talented.
Aron Ralston, an adrenalin junkie, becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering by by his lonesome in Utah. He tries all he can to escape, but it's not enough, until he's faced with the alternative, death. He takes drastic measures to ensure his life will prevail.
I walked away from the film with one thought in my mind, could I do the same thing. Well, for one thing I wouldn't be alone, but in this situation, I would definitely try everything I could to try and get out of that situation first. Would I pass out from cutting off my own arm? Who knows, but I do know that the will to live is indeed a powerful thing. The film displays this tremendously.
Beautifully shot and wonderfully edited, the film grabs you from the moments it starts and never lets you go. I was astonished to hear that some people were bored by it. Given the circumstances, I asked what did they expect from a movie about a guy who's trapped by a boulder. The real Ralston has stated that the film is as close to the real thing as anything, it could be a documentary. Another feat accomplished by Boyle and Franco, to truly capture the man in his most desperate moments. Ralston gave his seal of approval to the film and the performance, so do I.
The scene in which he has to cut off his own arm is not as graphic as I expected. It surely does look real enough though. I can easily recommend this film, Boyle delivers another great film that he can add to his impressive resume. Franco gives his best performance to date.
Mike Enslin makes a living as an author, who specializes in the
paranormal phenomenon. After receiving a postcard saying DO NOT STAY IN
1408, Mike becomes intrigued. After much hassle and waring from the
hotel Manager, Mike finally makes it into the room. What at first seems
to be a normal hotel room, turns into a horrific nightmare and Mike
only has one hour to live.
There have been many films based on Kings writings. Some of these films are terrifying, such as IT and The Shinning; while others are terrifyingly bad, Dreamcatcher anyone? The latest film to be added to the list is 1408 and lucky for us it belongs to the former. 1408 works on many different levels and even throws a twist to the audience. While it's not the best King adaptation it certainly is one of the better ones and deserves to be called The Shining for 2007.
In the era when so called horror films are full of SAWS and HOSTELS, it's refreshing to see some new blood being pumped into the genre. 1408 pumps a whack of blood and a whole lot more. The film starts off as one would expect, with Mike investigating one of his routine spooky places, then goes on to show his life as a writer with not so many fans. We get a sense of loneliness with Mike, he has lost something. Cusack plays the character well. For those who think they can't get pass the fact that it is John Cusack, I assure you you will not think about it during this film. His performance is a complete 180 from his previous work and I give him credit for pulling it off. Cusack goes through a wide range of emotions through this film, most of them being on the terrified side, but everyone of them is believable. Sure there are many other actors out there who could have pulled off this role, but Cusack does a fine job. Which is a really big thing that this film depends on, because there is virtually no one else in this film. The supporting characters are lucky is they get 10 minutes of screen time. Tony Shalhoub, of MONK fame is only in one scene and Mr. Jackson shares the screen with Cusack for just about ten minutes...to explain the horrors of the room, then he's gone.
Håfström, whose work I'm not too familiar with does an excellent job of bringing King's short story to live with a vivid and creative imagination. He manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seat throughout the film the moment the terror starts. The film's intentions are not to scare you with the "jump" tactic, but tries to pull something deeper, the kind of scare the builds and builds until you can't take it anymore. The entire time we are in this claustrophobic room and we know danger is looming, but we can't escape. We are stuck in this room because Mike is stuck in this room. We know the dangers ahead, we want out, he doesn't. The cinematography is beautiful, especially considering it takes place in one room. From the icy cold snow to the green walls and even the burnt aftermath of destruction, the film is beautiful no matter what is on the screen.
Cusack talking into his recorder acts as his mind trying to grab any sense of reality in this evil room. Trying to debunk the true horrors of what is actually happening. Those true horrors are psychological. One minute something spooky is happening, then next everything is normal. This mind game has been done before and before and here it's brought to the next level. Everything that happens can instantly change. One minute you can be walking in the room full of snow, then next your trapped under water. Being confined to this one room with this one character places tension on the audience as well. We don't know what is going to happen next, but we know it's not good.
There is somewhat of a twist in the film, I won't give it away, but once it happens you see 3 things happen and in this order. One is disappointment, the next is predictability and finally excitement that what you predicted is true. During this third part of things that happen, the scene in which everything is thrown back into focus is superbly done. Kudos to that scene as it is one of the best in the entire film. The main characters life he thought he had all of a sudden comes tumbling down, literally. This whole segment does slow down the pace of the film, but it fits perfectly into the psychological torment of this character.
In the end 1408 is an excellent film that will send shivers down the spines of those wanting a good scare. If you're sick and tired of the played out genres of SAW or HOSTEL, 1408 is something new and exciting and actually good. You won't get much from anyone other then Cusack, but what he brings to the table is indeed a good performance. Every corner and every room within 1408 is something that you will have to see for yourself, you never know what horrors lie next and that my friend, is a good horror film.
Jack Mosley is an aging detective who's seen more downs then ups as of
late. As he is about to leave, a senior officer asks for a small
favour; help move Eddie Bunker, a witness, to a trial 16 blocks away
before 10:00. Sounds easy, but as usual it doesn't end up being that
easy. Now Jack and Eddie are on the run from crooked cops and Jack's
16 Blocks was a film that seemed to come out of nowhere. There was no hype about it, no talk about it, no ads for it anywhere. It kind of just hit the theatre and left in a blink of an eye. The only reason you ever heard of it was because of the star, Mr. Action himself, Bruce Willis. It wasn't bad enough to make big headlines, but it wasn't good enough either. It was just...there. 16 blocks is one of those films that if you were to ask someone if they had seen it, they would vaguely remember. That's the films main problem, there is nothing in it to make it memorable. It's a by the book film that runs it's running time and gets out of there. The whole film feels like an excuse to have one more project on your resume.
Willis does his usual routine here as a cop, the only addition is that he wears some make up to make him look a little bit older. Nothing to complain about in his performance, but nothing to cheer about either. Willis gives a basic performance, for a basic film. The same problem applies to Morse, everything he does in the film, we've seen him to before. Neither actors really give you a reason to want to see the film, other then if you're a fan of their work. Mos Def is the only one who tries to do something different here. Whether it worked or not is up for debate, but he is the only one who puts in the effort. The bad news is that while Def tries to bring new dimension to the character, the fact of the matter remains is that the character is one dimensional and boring at that. Having Willis and Mos Def together didn't really bring anything to the table either. Their chemistry is mediocre at best and can easily be forgotten after the film is over.
Donner, much like his actors, directs the film with no passion. It seems he knew what he wanted to do, but either got lazy, or didn't care enough to make it work beyond the means of the film. What we are left with is a film that doesn't try to go further to entertain, but just sees that bar and does as little as possible to reach it. I give Donner props for not having any characters jump through the air holding two guns while cars and buildings blew up in the background, but what he did give us is a by the numbers, restricted action film. I felt bored, but at the same time respected the scene I was watching. It was an odd feeling to say the least.
The film has many moments where the scene is showing two different things at once, but is made to have you believe that they are together in one piece. Having this done once is cute, twice is overdone. I can't remember how many times they actually did this, but I'm sure it was more then twice. Which shows a lack of talent on the directors part.
Can I recommend 16 Blocks? Sure I can, but it is hard to. What can I tell you that I already haven't? 16 Blocks doesn't try to entertain, it only does cause it has to. Everything that you can find wrong with it, you will. It's hard to tell if it will be entertaining to the mass audience cause viewers today expect so much more out of their films. 16 Blocks doesn't give more and doesn't want to. Everything about it seems rushed and by the numbers. Nothing is overly original and the ending falls into the category of being too predictable. You can tell that the filmmakers had something good to start with and if they had given just a little bit of effort could have walked away with a suspenseful thriller, but too many things were half-hazardously done that we will never know how good it could have been.
A guy's life doesn't turn out the way he wanted it to and wishes he was
17 again. He gets his wish, well, sort of. Instead of going back in
time to when he was 17, he turns 17 in the present. Also, Zac Efron
will grow up to look like Matthew Perry.
How many times have we seen this? Both Big and 13 going on 30 did it, only in reverse. It's exactly like countless other films in which our main character switches back to their younger self with no explanation. Magic? Who knows. Why should you see it then? I don't know, it's got teen heartthrob Zac Efron. Is that good enough? I didn't think so.
As soon as the film tells you the conflict, you know the resolution. The question is do we care about how we get there, or about the characters we are about to spend the next hour and a half with. Matthew Perry in my mind was really miscast here, he doesn't feel like he belongs. The material isn't his style, Zac Efron on the other hand fits perfectly. I'm not saying the kid is a bad actor, I actually enjoyed him in this, but he fits this target demographic and style of writing.
17 Again is what you'd expect. Obvious plot details about the father learning more about his kids when he sees them from a different light. He tries to still be their father when he's a kid himself. He falls back in love with his wife, who is currently divorcing him. No one knows about him except his best friend. Who is one of the biggest geeks of all time. Thomas Lennon from Reno 911 and countless character roles in comedy films really has the best parts. How he gets his girl in the end is interesting and funny, even if it's unrealistic.
The kids are nothing special and Leslie Mann could have done a bit more with her role, but then again how much material is there for her? How many times have we seen the wife character be written sloppy, sidetracked and never cared about? Countless times, this is one of them. She has more screen time then I expected, but it doesn't amount to anything.
The film is enjoyable on a small scale, I didn't hate it by any means. I just found it to be forgettable and that it never tried hard enough to be a standout film. It felt like the director was satisfied in knowing that his main star vehicle would get the film noticed, regardless of the quality. It's too adequate with its place in the world. Recommended for people who dig this type of film.
So, I finally saw this weird film and I still don't know what to think
of it. I'm not sure if I liked it or not. One of the weirdest movies
I've ever seen. It's brilliant visually, but......nothing happens. The
film has no substance, and it tries to fool you into thinking it does.
The classic "so weird it must mean something" fits this one like a tie.
It's hard to explain, but something about this movie I didn't like. There is VERY little story, and the little that is there is not interesting. It's an art flick, and a big leap in sci-fi films at the time, but for entertainment purposes I would have to pass on this one.
I understand that it was not meant to be understood, but why make a film like that? Maybe I'll 'get it' ten years down the road.
Very difficult to rate this film, because as an art film it warrants a 10/10, but as a film for entertainment value I see myself giving it a 4/10.
Three college students decide to travel to Florida for some fun at
Spring Break. After seeing a detour sign, they take the dirt road in
hoping to get to their destination a little quicker. Soon they discover
a little town called Pleasant Valley. Five more people show up right
after them and decide to stay the night for some celebration.
2001 Maniacs sounds promising for the old school B-horror movie fans. A bunch of young college kids, go to this town and the residents decide to kill them and eat them. Crazy isn't it? Well, what should have been and what could have been is missing in 2001 maniacs. Call it a sequel or a remake of the 1964 film Two Thousand Maniacs, 2001 maniacs suffers from trying to be over the top but failing to do so. The deaths are good to watch and with a little bit more blood, then the fun time that is suppose to be had by this film could have been achieved. You're suppose to laugh with this movie and in some cases you do, but in others you are wondering why am I watching this?
What could have, what should have, is exactly what 2001 maniacs is. With a premise such as this film has, you would expect over the top gory funny and unique deaths. You do get these qualities in the deaths, but they are not anything that one would expect. When you are about to see a women lose all their limbs from horses running in opposite directions, you get excited a little bit, if you're into that sort of thing, but in Maniacs it losses it touch.
The goal of this film is to be a throw back to the old cheesy bad horror movies, and it achieves this goal. The dialogue is cheesy, the deaths are gory (although you'd expect more), there's nudity from young hot chicks, and of course the villains are crazy as hell, so crazy that you may even root for them in their evil goals. Some things you may question in the film, such as why would such a young and hot woman, known as Kat, be attracted to a southern hillbilly with awkward teeth, or even why the one character arms wrestles another to see who will give or receive in some homosexual sex. This film definitely pokes fun at the south, having some characters chase after animals with that twinkle of love in their eye.
Maniacs has a good build up but the delivery is kind of weak. The ending horrible and tries to take the film in a whole other direction. If there were a different ending then this film would have been graded a bit higher. I can see a future for Tim Sullivan in the horror genre, if he had some better material.
So how can I give this flick a recommendation, well it lies in the over the top performance from Robert Englund, who is the highlight of Maniacs. His role is so juicy and fun to watch that every time he isn't on screen you feel bored by the flick. I recommend this flick for fans of Englund and fans of the genre. If you're into some cheesy dialogue and violence just for the sake of violence, then 2001 Maniacs is right up your alley.
2012 is a jumbled mess of a film. Roland Emmerich stated that for his
last disaster flick he wanted to make it so that no other disaster
flick could come after it. Well, mission accomplished because I don't
want to see anymore. Upping the disaster scale to the entire world
might do well for the special effects guys, buy not the paying viewer.
2012 has a very thin plot. People must survive. Is that a plot? It's more of a story. John Cusack is one of those people and he is with his ex-wife, his two kids and their step father, whom he hates. He gets the word that disaster is going to strike when a crazy old hippie guy, Woody Harrelson (big stretch) tells him about the world crumbling beneath our feet. This happens and the poop hits the fan. It seems that every single person in California dies, except for this one group. Why might you ask? Apparently Cusack, who is not only a writer, but a limo driver, has the skills and the vehicle power (a limo) to outrun global destruction.
Emmerich is not that bad of a director. He is often compared to Michael Bay for choosing big scale productions and not caring about story or characters. 2012 is the perfect example of this. In his earlier film, Independence Day, he gave us big explosions and aliens to shoot. Characters were lacking but the charisma of Will Smith, the character actor of Jeff Goldblum and Randy Frickin Quaid gave us something to smile at. John Cusack is wooden, Amanda Peet cries and a big Russian guy speaks with a thick accent. We are given zero, nadda, not even an inch of anything interesting to care about these characters. Why do I care if they live? Why do I want to spend the next 90 plus minutes with them. The answer is you don't. I wanted to spend my time with Woody I'm higher than a kite right now Harrelson.
The film is really just an excuse for the special effects guys to do their thing. Yet this is also a hit or miss. Sometimes it's actually entertaining and interesting to see the world fall beneath your feet. Other times it's painfully obvious how fake everything is. Check out the grocery store scene when the entire store literally splits in half. It's like the green screen was done in the 80's. The big event happens while Cusack and co and driving through the thick of it. They drive through buildings, jump obstacles, get covered in human feces. You read that right.
The children cry and are annoying. The older son doesn't seem to respect his dad, he calls him by his first name and not dad. Yet of course, because the world is about to end, he re- evaluates his outlook on his flawed hero of a father and calls him dad. He even risks his life to be with him. The daughter just tries to not wet her bed. The step father is a nice guy, yet for some reason who are told to hate him. The conclusion of his character is sad and a pathetic excuse to get the torn family back together. Am I really ruining anything for you?
Danny Glover is the president...remember the last time Hollywood had a black president, I think there was a giant asteroid heading towards the earth. Is Hollywood trying to tell us that we are doomed the day a black man becomes president. I wonder when that day will come...oops.
A side plot involving rich people being the ones who will be saved is tiresome. The film tries to villainize a rational man. 2012 tries to make you believe that it's a small world, all these people who meet at one point will meet again. This is suppose to be WORLD DESTRUCTION. There is another problem, too many characters to not care about. Are we really suppose to care about George Segal and the conflict with his son that lasts all about 3 minutes?
2012 is a blunder, a disaster of a disaster film. Bigger is not always better. It lacks the science, logic and intelligence it needs to be taken with any credibility. Universal Soldier, Stargate and Independence Day are all entertaining flicks in my mind. Everything since has been crap, let's just name those films off shall we? Godzilla? The Patriot? The Day After Tomorrow? 10,000 B.C. God, I forgot that film even existed. 2012 was a film to see in the theatres for the loud sound and big screen special effects. Now that the theatre time has passed, there is no point in seeing it.
That part still alludes me. Why was that the perfect time? They never
explain that, or a bunch of other things in this film that tries
desperately to be part of the cool kids, but fails to achieve the goal.
The problem lies within a script too short and full of useless bits
that distract from the overall goal of the story.
2:22 has two recognizable names in it. First is Val Kilmer, the guy who played Batman. He has a small role as a Jeweler who isn't all there. Kilmer seems to be having some fun with the role, which is nice. He has two scenes. Second is Gabriel Byrne, who looks like he DOES NOT WANT TO BE THERE AT ALL. He also has two scenes, very minor, as the detective. Somehow he manages to catch the luckiest break of all time near the end and inexplicably solve the case. I like heist films and when I see one I'm usually rooting for those stealing the loot. I unfortunately couldn't give a damn with this one. Are we suppose to sympathize with the lead characters? One of them shoots a freaking dog for Christ sake.
Anyways, the plot is more absurd. They plan to steal out of the safety deposit boxes from a hotel on New Years. Why they decide to steal at the one time where they know a bunch of people are going to be staying up late? I have no idea. Second, you know a bunch of people are going to be in hotels, so this doesn't seem logical to me. Again, they plan to start at 2:22, no mention as to why. Okay, so we get to the hotel and apparently only two people are working. The guy at the front desk and some guy in the kitchen. Shouldn't there be more staff on one of the busiest nights of the year for hotels?
The guys tie them up and get to work, but ring ring. Someone is calling the front desk for some room service. So we get some comical bits with the thieves having to answer the phone and taking care of the guests needs. One guest is planning on killing himself, they continuously cut to him either going to blow his brains out, or jump off the building. You would figure this has some significance to the plot, maybe his death will alert police to come to the hotel? Maybe he will start a shoot out? Nope, nothing comes of it. Pointless beyond belief.
The second half of the film is them trying to lay low, but failing at it. One guy gets caught and rats on his friend, which leads to a death, some revenge and then the final sequence that is irritating and unbelievable.
The film is set in America, evident by the money they are stealing, yet it is clearly shot in Toronto. They don't even seem to want to hide the fact, we see the CN TOWER design on the front door of a strip club. Ads for Tim Hortons and the TTC is seen everywhere. As a Canadian I couldn't help but laugh at this. If they are going to show a Canadian city, that is very Canadian, set the damn thing in Canada.
2:22 is a poor heist film. You'll get a bit of entertainment from the heist itself, but the film lacks focus and drive. It has no idea what it wanted to do and this is clear by all the useless crap the helps eat up the run time. Two underused actors, Kilmer and Byrne, one who seems to be trying, the other looks like he couldn't give a damn. Skip it.
A powerful virus escapes from a British research facility. Transmitted
in a drop of blood, the virus infects those and turns them into a
zombie like creature. Within 28 days the country is overwhelmed and a
handful of survivors begin their attempts to salvage a future, little
realizing that the deadly virus is not the only thing that threatens
Here is a little film that could have been a jump start in the horror genre, but with it's 2nd act, it falls apart as it tries to be something more then it actually is. It sells itself as an end of the world, fight for our lives film, and does that successfully for the most part, but when it takes a turn into a more humane state, it fizzles out and loses any interest it once had.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the field scene, that was tremendous, the cinematography was really great. The deserted London was probably one things in this movie, that make it watchable. I liked how they weren't you "typical" slow moving "grrr" zombies, but blood-coughing, running marathon zombies. IF you would call them zombies, or just people infected with "RAGE" The military characters are the worse, with the British soldiers being nothing more than your typical foul-mouthed grunts. The clever use of dialogue in "Dog Soldiers" was fast and hip, but still built characters, here it most definitely does not.
What does set this apart from your other zombie type movies is of course is isolated in London feel to it. The main character wakes up naked, sort of reborn, and finds himself in a new world where people are infected with a virus called rage, that turns them into a zombie like creature. It;s nice to see what people would do in this situation, and we get varies degrees of that.
Our heros were in more trouble with other humans then they were with the creatures. By the time we got to the climax you were cheering on the Zombies. I thought the love story felt forced because "every" movie needs a love story and I found nothing at all to be thought provoking because it had all been done before. One thing I found odd was the lack of security when the "activists" liberate the chimps.
Since I had such high hopes for this film and was totally astonished at how terrible the last 20 or so minutes of the film was, a horrible ending did the movie in for me, it became the most disappointing movie of the summer.
28 Days Later was a suspenseful, atmospheric and thrilling addition to
the 'zombie' genre. At least until the third act, when the film loses
it's direction and ultimately failed to reinvest interest. I put zombie
in quotes because any fan of the film will tell you they are not
zombies, just infected people with a virus. When I heard that a sequel
was coming out, I figured it would be even worse because a sequel being
better than the original is rare, specifically in this generation of
28 Weeks Later furthers the story, this time with new characters. The virus is gone and re-population has begun. The American army is in charge and have everything under control. That would seem like a boring movie, so of course they have to have the virus come back and wreck havoc. Which it does. In a very lame way I might add.
The film opens with an attack on a house, this is the highlight of the film. The film never reaches the same height of excitement as this, but it does keep the viewer interested. I was never bored and found that it did work well as a sequel. It doesn't have the same feel as the first. All the atmosphere that made the original good is gone here. I felt more threatened by the infected in the first because it was them against ordinary people. Here, we have guns, helicopters and apparently tons of napalm.
In one scene the soldiers bomb half the city, it looks cool, but seems ineffective, they later use gas that seems to kill everyone in sight. My question is why not use this gas first, it sure as hell beats out blowing up half the city. Small things like this are all over this film. Lead a bunch of civilians into one room for 'protection'. Of course this is one room in which the infected gain access, other people are left unguarded and creatures run around unnoticed in this government building. These things aside, the film is really well done and very enjoyable. It serves the genre well and is ultimately more enjoyable then the first.
Boyle acts as producer this time around, so the feel of the film is not all that different and the film does offer some intense moments. There is one sequence in which our characters go underground to the subway system. It's totally dark and one uses night vision from a rifle to see. They filmmakers use this to show us exactly what she sees, in a first person type of way. Very effective and scary.
The gore has been turned up a notch, with more blood splatter and a severe beating of one person that may turn some stomachs. There is another scene in which they use the blades from the helicopter to make quite a mess.
This is an entertaining sequel that manages to actually be better, albeit not by much, to the original. It adds new elements, but doesn't necessarily take the story into new directions. It is better than one would expect.
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