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Best movies ever!
-SPOILER WARNING! THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS!-
I first read the Lord of the Rings books in third grade. Saw the movies not long after. I love them both. The LOTR trilogy is easily the best book-to-movie adaption I have ever seen. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Return of the King, but I consider the trilogy one long book/movie in three pieces. I found no flaw in any of the books, nor with the movies, except for one picky little thing that's really just me in the Fellowship movie. Peter Jackson and many others brought the Lord of the Rings to life on the silver screen better than anyone else could have. The movies are long, to be sure, but they are so wonderful and absorbing that it's worth every second. I cannot praise these highly enough, but I'll try.
First off, the cast. Completely perfect and beyond. If I had to pick out a single favorite, it would be Ian McKellan as Gandalf, but I still love everybody. The whole Fellowship is perfectly suited to their roles. Elijah Wood is extremely convincing (and sometimes creepy) as Frodo, and Viggo Mortensen is superb as the rugged, hard, yet inwardly confused and gentle Aragorn, just to name two that I thought were especially good. Another was Sean Astin as Sam. I just love it in the Fellowship when Frodo gets in the boat and starts to row off. "Sam, I'm going to Mordor alone." "Of course you are! And I'm comin' with you!" My God. Merry and Pippin are laugh-out-loud funny, and of course have all the intelligence of a brick, yet they do it very well. Orlando Bloom is the perfect Legolas, and John Rhys-Davies as Gimli is also brilliant. Gimli, I thought, was somewhat like Merry and Pippin with a beard and an axe. Lastly, Sean Bean as Borormir. He actually, in my opinion, delivered the best performance. Boromir constantly has a slightly crazed look in his eyes, and it flares every time he sees the Ring. So when he dies, you really feel it, and can't help cheering Aragorn all the way as he cuts off the Uruk's maggot-ridden head. And the other characters are just as good. Cate Blanchette and Hugo Weaving are wonderful as Galadriel and Elrond, the two elven rulers. Hugo Weaving is particularly great, seeking to shelter Arwen from any harm and make her leave, yet, I think, slightly reluctant to give up hope completely. Liv Tyler as Arwen is also great, though she never does much more than look pretty. Still, if you want someone to just stand there and look pretty, pick Liv Tyler. And the men (and woman) of the West: Denethor, Faramir, Eowyn, Eomer, and Theoden, are perfection. Denethor is the slimiest tick-infested, low -down biased deuchbag ever to walk Middle-Earth. And kudos to John Noble, 'cause not many people could make you hate them that much. Faramir endures Denethor with a pained resolve, which sometimes causes him to behave irrationally. But he has great self-restraint. If I were him, I would've chopped off Denethor's head when I was a toddler. What a ********! Eowyn is much like Faramir: Reckless, ambitious, and has to endure one of the people closest to her not even knowing who she is. Eomer is also great, though he doesn't have a ton of character development to work with. Not so with Theoden. Bernard Hill did the best anyone could do, and you feel his death almost as much as Boromir's. Finally, the villains. Lawrence Makoare makes a very menacing Witch-King and Gothmog, but he can't do much apart from look ugly and smash stuff. (You see Gothmog's teeth and you wish Sauron was a dentist.) Christopher Lee is also great as Saruman (has he ever played a good guy in his life?) Same with Brad Dourif as Wormtongue. (Where's the nearest sink?!) And the plot. They stuck with the book's storyline almost completely for the whole trilogy, making only a few alterations and cuts, and I think some of the former were actually better than in the book, like the elves at Helm's Deep. (I never quite got who the heck those mountain men were in the book.) And the music! Quite possibly the best score I've ever heard for a movie! Ba-Da-Duuuuuum! Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum! Every note is perfect. Overall, read the books and see the movies! Then do it again. And again. And again and again forever and ever.
P.S. Get the extended editions for the movies. They're much better.
-SPOILER WARNING- I have read Eragon about 7 times through. I have read Eldest (the sequel) about three times through. And while they are not as deep as The Lord of the Rings books (which I also love) they are still wonderful. Paolini, as a teenager, writes much better books than most adults. So it really is sad to see such a talented work get turned into this piece of crap. Even if you have never read the book, i think the movie would still stink. And if you have read the book and have not seen the movie, I have one word for you: DON'T! It is a total waste of time and money, except for the dragon. Rachel Weisz does a brilliant voice-over as Saphira, but the rest of it is junk. It's a 500 page book, people, and a 90 minute movie! Even so, it could have been mediocre if the acting was good. But it's not. Eragon-bah! My dog could have done better. Jeremy Irons as Brom made a good effort, but he was let down by the crummy writing. As for everyone else, they actually did alright, but with the plot they made, Brom, Eragon, and Saphira are the only roles that really require any effort! I mean, Ajihad, Murtagh, Durza, Arya, Jeod, and Hrothgar, all major characters in the book, get about 5 minutes of screen time each! The only ones who get more are Durza and Arya, and they don't do anything! I mean, for crying out loud! We never even hear Hrothgar's name, and Jeod isn't in the movie at all! And the minor characters are no better! The Ra'zac look like reject designs from The Mummy, when they're clearly described in the book. Earth to stupid, I don't think people will react normally to someone with maggots crawling out of their eyes! And the Urgals look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with tattoos and red eyes! Plus, half the main events are completely missing! Overall, get the 2 books, read them, reread them, and wait eagerly for the third! Meanwhile, pray for a remake and that they won't come out with an even worse Eldest.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
It really is sad
WARNING! THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS! I am a huge fan of the Spider-Man movies. I loved #1 and loved #2 even more! So I really felt bad after watching number 3. I know I'm sort of beating the dead horse, but sometimes you've got to let it out.
First off, they tried to do WAY too much with SM3. Particularly the villains plot bit. Harry, Venom, AND the Sandman all in one movie?! Sorry, folks, but it's not gonna work. If you ask me, I think that they should have gotten rid of Venom (though Eddie Brock was good). He is so obviously just THERE all of a sudden that it makes me sick. Save Venom for number 4 or 5 or make him the ONLY villain, which isn't gonna happen when you introduce him about 15 or 20 minutes before the end of the movie! And Sandman! He really could have been made interesting, but the movie was divided into SO many characters and SO little time, that he never really gets anywhere. It seems like they started with a good idea with his daughter, but then just let it die. I know this is just another re-make idea of millions of others, but I'm going to say it anyway: I think they should keep Sandman and Harry. Harry using M.J. against Peter was actually alright. James Franco actually seemed like a bad guy (though maybe that's just because he can't act very well) and you really didn't like him too much. Keep that and the Sandman's daughter, then have Sandman wreak havoc for his kid and that, in turn, forces Harry to join Spidey to stop Sandman. Sandman kills Harry, and Spidey forgives him for that and Uncle Ben's. Sandman then leaves like he did. (I know that sort of leaves Sandman hanging but he could easily be brought back and bumped off in number 4.) Maybe developing all that well would make for another half-hour of run time, but I doubt any of us would be bothered by that if the movie worked.
Next, Spidey himself. My big complaint: WHAT THE **** IS UP WITH THE BLACK GOOEY STUFF?!?! Isn't it painfully obvious how much that ruins the plot?! If you put it in there, everyone says, "Spidey's gone bad! Oh no! Let's blame it on the black gooey stuff!" But remove it, and you have to start questioning Spider-Man's will, and whether he's really strong enough to resist revenge. (I like the black suit though. Keeping that and saying his emotions caused it probably could be passed off.) Last, the acting. What can I say? Everyone was Mary dang Poppins in the first two: "Practically perfect in every way." Willem Dafoe: Great schizophrenic. Alfred Molina? Also a wonderful villain. Uncle Ben and Aunt May? Great! In # 3, I think the only one who does as well as they did before is J.K Simmons. (Even Rosemary Harris didn't do quite as well as before.) And Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst? I almost threw up.
All in all, it's an alright film, but it had the potential to be the best of the Spider-Man's, and it came out the worst. Why is it that so many great movie series fail at number 3? The Godfather, The Terminator, and of course, Spider-Man, were all brilliant in the first two, then failed and died on the threshold of a wonderful number 3. To me, it's a mystery. I hope and pray that someone, somewhere, will solve it.