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ashsdarr

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14 reviews in total 
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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Not Bad, yet...(small spoilers, no give-aways), 4 January 2011
4/10

Being a South African, i was excited to support this movie so i rented it from my local store. I know of budget constraints and all other challenges facing a local production, but i do feel the dialogue could have been done better, as well as the acting, it felt too South African soap opera-ish (ala Sevende Laan), the actors were not convincing at all especially the cop and the villain. As there were only 4 actors in this movie, that should tell you something. There were too may plot holes, escape for the victims could have been easily achieved. The worst line in the movie for me was "...the clock face may tell you what time it is, but i think its time for you to start telling me the truth". Some improbabilities, being able to limp off after having your knee cap drilled through, having your head smashed (really hard) into tar numerous times (consecutively) and still surviving (no brain damage) and still be able to run around as if nothing happened, being stabbed twice and not dying after hours of bleeding(not to mention bleeding form other orifices as well). The worst part for me though was the music and its timing (or lack off), there was no build up, everything was all loud all of the time, no silence before the big "ta-da", just continuous synths and strings and big bass, sometimes even drowning out the dialogue, you have to use music as if its a character in the movie. And lastly the HD camera work (doccie style) was a lil too erratic, with heavy music and a vibrating pic, things got a bit nauseous. The twist in the movie had a bit of redeeming quality, but because of the above mentioned personal issues with the movie, i was zoned out before it even happened. Can't wait for your next effort though, with constructive feedback (nudge, nudge...) i am sure it gonna be off the chain.

12 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
One of the Best Insect Movies, 16 September 2009
7/10

I am a big supporter of indie films as i believe that they (not all) are films made in sincerity with a true belief in entertainment. This one blew me away. I got it from a friend and watched it with no expectations, but man was i impressed. The FX were excellent, kudos to Dilated Pixels for a great attempt. There were a few holes ,but hey this was probably made on a $10 budget, wow. I cant sing this movies praises enough. Kyle Rankin is name we will be seeing more often in the future and i truly hope he is not blinded by the big budgets that Hollywood may have to offer. If he remembers his roots (ala Christopher Nolan) success will follow him. The acting was superb the leads lead the rest followed. Camera work and score were totally in sync and the dialog was actually delivered with effort, great effort. The gore factor was there but not overplayed, so even the gore mongers would be satisfied. Sudden scares and unexpected "boos" will get you too. If you have an opportunity get this one, not to criticize what it couldn't afford to have but rather admire for what id did for what it had.

18 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Worst Bit Of Saliva I Have Ever Swallowed, 1 July 2009
2/10

I don't understand why financiers would waste their money (not to mention time)to provide us with such inept film work. I was unfortunately sucked into this grim tale by my curiosity about he mystique and legend that surrounds the Ozark terrain.

After the opening credits (which were good, thats why it gets a 2, you start noticing the shoddy camera work and FX, jeez these were bad. I in fact thought that this was in fact a parody of movies in this Genre (in the vein of Sam Raimi or even the Wayans Bros) until i realized that this was in fact horrible attempt at entertainment. The actors were absolutely atrocious, I wanted them to get slaughtered especially the white dude. Someone inviting that much trouble ought to get it. But let me tell you, you are going to have to wait for some gore, its only in the latter part (past 40min) that you will get a dose what i consider the worst CGI i have ever seen, worst than a Mark Dacascos movie. The make ups on the deformed people where so bad, you could in fact notice that they were wearing masks. MASKS, you gotta be kidding.

As for Y2J, he acts better on a WWE episode than he ever will in a movie. The Rock, Cena even Kennedy have managed moderate to big budget roles, the rock has even made it his full time career, i don't understand how Y2J would pick a crappy movie like this. Don't believe the hype, believe the word.

Bottom Line, on my top 10 crappolla list just behind the 5th Commandment, and in front of 10 Dead Men. Jeez Louiz

Hunger (2008)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Mcqueen Dazzles with Reality, 30 January 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thanks to my 3rd world public schooling, i was never introduced to the history o Bobby Sands...maybe that was a good thing as i was not polluted by a one side conservative view of what had transpired during his time in the Maze Prison. Thanks to Steve Mcqueen i have a raw yet definitive picture of what was accomplished by this fearless individual.

As most prison movies/TV series(being fact or fiction based) usually give us this false impression of what prison life is like, almost making you say, "might be cool to be in prison". LEt me tell you this talented artist turned director chose the perfect story to set everyone straight, both the delvers in this genre as well as the en masse viewership. This down to earth movie gradually encompasses all the emotions and hardships that these unfortunate men have to tolerate. Mcqueen skillfully uses repetitive sounds and a monotonously powerful score to torture us on a phsycological level as we watch in awe of when human suffering is not in vain. I was intrigued with the half hour conversation between Bobby Sands and the priest. It really opened the main character up for me, a sort of introduction to the personality that was Bobby Sands. A debate ensues between them with Bobby Sands almost converting the priest to his belief. Again showing us his conviction.

Let me warn you, this is no flashy Hollywood biography, but a filthily poignant memoir of a truly remarkable individual. The nudity contained in this movie is necessary as it breaks the character down, as the reducing quality of being publicly humiliated does to a human being. The director draws us in with fixed panoramic camera angles that focus on a subject long enough to imprint the effect on our mind. The deterioration of Sands during his strike it expertly conveyed, these sequences were masterfully edited, to jump from one physical failure to the next so as to produce and outstanding time-line of his great suffering.

A movie I will never forget, which has elevated itself amongst my all time best. A movie not for everyone, but anyone.

Defiance (2008/I)
5 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Wrenching True Story of Impossiblity (NB: I make mention of Schindlers List as a parallel not a comparison), 5 January 2009
9/10

Movies…whats the point? Why are we so intrigued by watching a story brought to us by someone else's imagination? Many people have there many reasons but let me tell you what is my ultimate raison d'être, I watch this type of artistry because once in a while there comes a movie that reminds us that the world is much bigger than we are, reminds us that what we take for granted today was given to us for the price of someone's life. A movie that deepens your appreciation for freedom. Attenborough's Gandhi did it, Spielberg's Schindler's List did it, and now we have Zwick's Defiance.

I have my own little genre that i like to classify these movies in, i like to call it the "conscious" genre. Because we all at some point need to feel the guilt of our ignorance, so that we can always remember history so it does not repeat itself. Daniel Craig is at his best here, really sinking into his character so as to reflect the human being that Tuvia Bielski was. His accent was good, but i noticed that the English accent did come through a little bit especially when he raised his voice (that why it gets a 9), hardly noticeable, but i look for these type of things. The settings were breathtaking, which is a trademark of Ed Zwick's work (the harsh African continent in Blood Diamond and the lush Japanese vistas of the Last Samurai). I especially enjoyed the light snow floating about like burnt ash during his brothers wedding, this has been done before, but what made this relevant was the conveyance that winter was upon them, and although they were partaking in a joyous celebration, the hardest stretch of their survival was still to come. The editing was superb, showing us what the exiled eldest brother was enduring while the the rescued people struggled for food.

This movie also highlighted how human beings evolve when their very foundation are ripped from beneath us...forget fighting against Germans, how does anyone win when we start fighting amongst ourselves. The contradictory manner in which Tuvia deals with this matter is one you will debate with yourself. You got to watch this, if you are a person lacking compassion, and even if you are deserving of it. I really hope Craig gets a nom for this one. But like we saw Dicaprio and Cruise overlooked for their respective roles, i wont hold my breath. I left this movie captivated, enthralled and symphatetic.

My favorite line in the movie..."We not good for drinking with, fighting with, what are Jews good for...we are only good for dying"

Right and Righter??????, 12 December 2008
9/10

I was really optimistic about Ben Affleck creating a legacy in Movies as a writer/director. Dogma, which is one of my fave pics, was such a masterpiece at the time it was released. A rebel movie for the mid 90s teenager. And then a few years later he made Gigli, a movie i will reserve comment on as i might be banned from ever reviewing again. Im glad to say that he has redeemed himself with this absolute gem of a movie.

I wont go into the storyline as you can get that from the synopsis, but i will delve briefly into the the issues this movie tackles as well as the performance and general production value review. Casy Affleck is, I believe, a real find, a character that comes across as you average Joe, but still with a gleam of intensity. The movie is about a kidnapping but the story revolves around him. What was great was that although i wanted the girl to be found, i found myself more interested in how events would influence him. The filthiness of Boston's underworld was so elegantly conveyed by intermediate editing before focus was shifted to characters, so we are submersed (if you allow yourself to be) into the very environment that this kidnapped girl is being subjected to. The music and camera work was so perfectly in sync that at times i experienced a noir, Gothic feeling even though it was only Boston The decisions our protagonists has to endure were so emotional that you start questioning whether your personal morals and values, things you never questioned before were actually sincere to your fellow man or only to yourself. Its easy to chose between right and wrong, but what happens when you have to choose between a right decision and a "righter" one.* I hope Ben keeps it in this vain, and continues to churn out classics, that ask us to be better citizens of the world. Well Done *I still don't know which would have been the righter one. (better check it out so you know what I mean)

JCVD (2008)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
What a (Van) Damme Good movie!!!!, 11 December 2008
8/10

You know when you hear a Van Damme movie, you already have a mindset of what the movie will be like, that is exactly what the makers want you to think about this one. In this way they have the element of surprise and i think it was brilliant. This movie incorporates the real hardships that JC is enduring regarding his money problems and custody of his daughter with a wrong place at the wrong time heist movie.

The movie is majority in french, which i think was a great thing as there is a sense of vulnerability to him when he speaks his native tongue. In Van Damme's ailing career, we hear what it is like to be constantly ridiculed and taken advantage of because you are struggling. The movie contains a 8 min monologue by JC, a real heartfelt explanation of what has happened to him and why.

Lets face it, he was a real asset to action movies when his type of action was cool, so was Sly and so was Arnie. We saw Sly do the same thing when he found closure with the last Rambo and Rocky movies. And we saw Arnie redeem himself by becoming governor of Cali. Im glad JC has realized that his genre of action is of a bygone era and he needs to adapt to survive, this movie shows he's evolution into a serious actor, one that will do in the 21st century. Another strategic move was to do a movie where his real fan base is, his home country. We see the love that people have for him there, i think its more respect for getting himself out.

I think this movie is the re-intro of Van Damme to stardom. Cant wait to see if he follows his form with another great movie. Im anxious in fact, because this movie made me believe he should succeed.

So Real....Surreal?!?!, 8 December 2008
9/10

How can i start to convey the absolute truth about how unbelievably unforgettable this movie is. The writing, screenplay, dialogue and the beautiful cinematography where outstanding, but what really dazzled me was the extreme acting skill that was sieved out by the always excellent Cameron Crowe. I am not going to give away major spoilers, because i think this movie needs to be watched, as it is the only way to understand what was going on. I will give you a premise and a little to how each character contributes to the story.

Tom Cruise plays a rich kid playboy who is living the dream. He has sex with Cameron Diaz whenever he wants to but has no intention of having relationship with her. Jason Lee plays his BF and employee. In walks Penelope Cruz who quickly absorbs Cruz with those puppy dog eyes that she does so well. After spending one night together, they part with the intention of nourishes their flourishing friendship. As he leaves her apartment that is when the story unfolds. And that is all I'm saying.

Cruise brings his character to life, where you understand exactly what type of personality he is. A sincere man with money as a distraction. Although rich kids who have inherited fortunes as opposed to achieving it, already loses the character some points with the viewership but he played the role so well that he doesn't even drift to the side of irritation. As the events transpire we are swept away on a journey through David Aimes mind. The dream state and reality sweep so comfortably in and out of each other that at one point you don't know what or who to believe, which means we are now experiencing the exact emotions of the main character. A dream in a dream in a dream. You start wondering, "ok, maybe now we're fine, we're back to earth and then you realize we are deeper now than ever before. The plot is tight and the ending delivers answers to all questions asked in the 2hrs preceding. Penelope Cruz was so "the girl next door", the one you'd take home to mum. We feel her love for him, or rather what he wished her love to be, I'm still debating that one with myself.

You walk away from this glad yet sad, with a sense of victory but failure as well. These terms might be contradictory, but that is what this movie does, it makes sense of the non-sensical. I suggest this movie to everyone who likes excellent movies.

Eagle Eye (2008)
7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Drowsy, Incoherence of a Movie, 4 December 2008
5/10

I was really hyped about this one, I mean it had the right formula for a massively successful, exciting movie. It has seen success but exciting, i don't know. The plot had too many improbabilities, and holes. The editing was too quick and although i am a Shia fan, i feel he tended to get on my nerves.

I thought Spielberg would have really thrilled us with his partial vision on this movie, being Exec Prod and all. The attempt to make it quick paced and non stop action was hindered by the emotional interaction that Lebouef and his co-star had. The chemistry between them was seriously lacking. A good performance from BB Thornton just about saves this one.Rosario Dawson does not convince me as an agent, shes right home though wielding a pump action in that wife beater vest she so famous for.

It wasn't as bad as wanting my money back, but since we expect the best from the high profile team that brought us this one, it was really not up to scratch. Has everyone forgot Minority Report, that concept was so far fetched but easier to believe than eagle eye.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Impressive 21st Century Bond, 4 December 2008
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have followed the bond series due the fact that every generation of my family were die hard fanatics and I was fortunate to view all of em. Let me start of by saying that Goldfinger is my favourite but i know its not the critical best, that honour might go to Dr NO or even From Russia with Love. Although being a fan of all Bond films ,they never really had main stream appeal for viewers of my generation. I mean also being an avid action fan i revel in the viewing of close hand to hand combat, which i am glad to say, bond has finally got a grasp on, unlike the previous guys who mostly wrestled their opponents. This movie is current, fast, gritty and relentless. I say relentless because Daniel Craig comes across as a no nonsense goal orientated secret agent with no ditraction to his final goal, finding Vesper's killer. The chase scenes (both car and foot) were magnificent. I am glad there were many close up edits of Bond during these proving that Daniel Craig was very much involved in the stunts. People are complaining about the lack of bond "charm", to all of you, please remember that this is early bond, almost newly recruited, so there is still a little bit of character development before the bond we know arises from his youthful recruitment, if you catch my drift. What i did find odd and lil disappointing is the fact there were limited gadgets involved.

All in all an excellent ride for action/bond fans. 8/10


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