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55 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mediocre and predictable CG adventure, 23 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

People have and are generally writing favorable reviews for this movie, and I can kind of see why. When it first came out, I was eager to like it. The premise was solid from the get-go; it's a movie set around owls, and everyone knows that owls are awesome. I've always loved owls, so this immediately peaked my attention when I first watched the trailer. I have never read any of the books that this movie is supposed to be based on, so I'm going to solely judge it as a standalone flick. I've watched it two times, because after the first viewing I just considered it "okay" with nothing much to add. However, after my second viewing I think I can form a reasonable opinion in regards to it.

The first problem is something that I noticed almost right away, and that's our main character Soren. The problem I have with him is very similar to the one I have with Frodo in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies, in that he's too much of a coward. Whenever he's in shot, he has this angsty look on his face as if he's getting ready to pass out. I know they're trying to set up their main character as being humble and fragile, but this is honestly the only characteristic he shows throughout the entire film. Towards the end I pretty much stopped liking him altogether and wished for someone to put him out of his misery so that we can hopefully focus on a more interesting character. I should mention that the rest of the cast is filled with interesting characters who are all very expressive with voices to match, so why couldn't Soren be more interesting like them? The animation is considered to be great, and while I generally agree that the characters are rendered very well I do have a couple of gripes with it that kind of prevent it from being a CG marvel. The best way to describe any on-screen action is with the word "motion", because that's what almost every frame looks like. It looks like a blur of motion where you can hardly tell what's going on. Maybe that's why Zack Snyder likes to put in as much slow-motion like he does, because those are the only moments when things seem to come into focus. It's a pity, because this movie has a fairly high emphasis on action scenes, and I feel like I would have enjoyed it much more if I was actually able to tell what was going on during a lot of these moments. It's like trying to follow a wrestling match with the camera's shutter-speed set to a full second or something. It's simply unreasonable in a product where action plays such a big part.

The characters besides Soren are colourful and likable, and in my opinion they're one of the highlights of the film. The only thing I don't like about them is the writing. Some of the dialog is just very sub-par, even if you were to consider this a "kid's movie". The script also contains quite a few plot holes, but for the sake of spoilers I won't delve too deep into them. One thing I remember (and this will be the only minor spoiler in this review) is how Soren returns to the village after defeating his brother. His friends, his sister, and his parents all come to congratulate him, but his parents don't even have the courtesy to ask what became of his brother (Kludd, their own son) and they just seem to carelessly accept that he got killed during battle. I can kind of see why Soren's brother would turn against them with attitudes like that.

Things like this keep me from really enjoying it, and turn what could have been a great movie into a mediocre CG flick. A typical rental movie. You watch it once, and then forget you ever saw it. Speaking of forgettable: the soundtrack is absolutely vapid with nothing to make it stand out, save for one annoying pop-song sung by that one guy who's name I can't remember for the life of me. It's sad too, because I really wanted to like this! When I first watched it, I would have probably rated this a seven out of ten, just because of the premise and interesting characters. Right now, I can't rate it higher than a five out of ten. It pains me to say that the pretty CG is mostly just a cover for a mediocre and clearly rushed script. I don't normally say this, but perhaps a future remake will give the books the epic movie it deserves.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
What is wrong with the critics??, 6 August 2016

This is probably one of the few times where I'm just baffled at the reaction of the critics. Apparently Suicide Squad is getting mostly negative reviews, and having seen the movie in theater today, I still have no idea why many people seemingly dislike it.

Right off the bat, this movie thankfully ditches that horrible overused "dark and grim" atmosphere that has plagued action and superhero movies ever since the first Dark Knight movie was released. Don't get me wrong; the Nolan Batman movies are great, and I love them in their own way, but they helped popularize this "dark and grim" tone that honestly I'm completely sick of seeing. This tone was also one of the factors that ruined Man of Steel for me, especially because it felt so out of place there. With Batman, you could argue that his character suits the dark atmosphere. With Superman however, the character is about hope and belonging and the tone of the movie needs to suit this.

When the movie started, I was immediately surprised by the colourful opening cinematic. Colours... Actual colours! This doesn't mean that the movie is an all-out goof-fest like the Joel Schumacher Batman films though, but it's self-aware and it knows what it is. It's a comic-book adaption, and there is an obvious limit to how serious the audience can take this. That being said; the jokes are subtle enough to be noticed, but don't get in the way of the story. Whereas in something like Marvel's Thor movies for example, I thought the jokes were very cringe-worthy and were more distracting than funny.

The acting overall is outstanding, and I don't think I can name a single actor in this flick who got on my nerves, or looked like they were not performing well. Harley Quinn stands-out, and it seems like the director knew this as well, since they do focus quite a bit on her character and her antics. The Joker is a different story... It seems like you either love or hate Jared Leto's performance, but I'm personally quite indifferent to it. It seems like he's trying to find the right balance for the character, and perhaps in a future Batman-movie he will achieve this. In Suicide Squad however, I didn't think his performance was particularly noteworthy. I will freely admit though, that this is most likely due to the previous great actors having played the Joker, so there are a lot of high expectations he has to live up to. I'm not writing him off just yet.

Will Smith as Deadshot is hard to criticize for me, because it's very obvious that he's mainly just starring as himself here. He even has those typical Will Smith moments where he makes wise-cracking commentary, almost as if he's just improvising his lines on the spot. It's hard for me to criticize him, because I actually enjoy seeing him do what he does best. When I stepped out of the theater, my boyfriend and I actually caught ourselves calling Deadshot by Will Smith instead. This is by no means a bad thing though. His performance reminded me a lot of his role as Hancock, which I thought was the best part of that movie.

There's a big focus on action (rightfully so), and most of it looks great. A lot of other action movies can often get kind of nauseating because of the motion-blur and the swirly CGI effects, but this was never the case in Suicide Squad. I do have to admit that the editing is a bit choppy at times. Just by the way this movie is edited, I have a feeling that there's a lot of unused footage on the editing-room's floor (or should I say hard-drive?). The choppy editing never distracts from the movie too much though.

Another gripe that a lot of reviewers have is the music. Yeah, there are a handful of songs used in here (especially classic rock tunes), but they fit the tongue in cheek atmosphere and it never got to a point where I thought it was ridiculous. Of course this comes down to personal preference as well.

One thing that I do agree on with the critics, is the fact that the plot gets very predictable and kind of loses the audience's interest near the end. I won't spoil any of it, but it's very cliché, which is a shame. It's an obvious and rightful criticism, but I don't feel this takes away from the great chemistry that the characters share, or the great acting performances in general. Suicide Squad trumps both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman in nearly every regard, and it's an example of how to do a comic-book adaption well. It's saddening to see a lot of critics willing to burn this movie at the stake for things that are pretty minor compared to the many things it does really well (especially for a super-hero movie).

I for one hope that Suicide Squad performs well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, which I will eagerly await. If you are a DC fan and still debating if you should see this: go watch it in theaters. I can't imagine you will be disappointed.

The Mist (2007)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not that great. Your average horror pulp, 28 February 2014

It seems people are trying to give The Mist some sort of cult-status as a great horror movie these days (I've seen this movie pop up on several people's lists of 'best horror movies of all time'). To tell you the truth, this is nowhere near one of the greatest horror movies of all time. I wouldn't even call this the best Steven King movie of all time.

The plot is not that special, but it works. It's actually the lack of story that this movie has going for it in its favor. A town gets enveloped in a thick mist, people start disappearing and monsters show up. It's good that the filmmakers kept it relatively open, as to where or what caused the mist (and in return, the monsters) to appear. This way the script isn't forcefully spoon feeding the audience a story, but rather putting them in the situation, which is something I like in a movie.

So that's basically the good points out of the way. Let me list some of the things that irked me the most about The Mist; first off is the acting. The leading roles are not portrayed that well. The performances mostly come off as stiff, and it hurts the movie's atmosphere. I do have to say though that some of the side characters were done well.

Second are the special effects. Listen, I have no trouble with CGI monster designs as long as they are done well. A lot of the time in movies (although as of 2014, CGI has thankfully progressed a lot) the computer generated creature designs look like they are made of plastic, or are animated in such a way that makes them appear unrealistic. The Mist is no different in this regard: The monster designs don't look good for the type of atmosphere the movie is trying to convey. If the filmmakers used something more subtle, and something that didn't look as conventional, it would have complimented the eerie setting way better.

The last thing, because I'd like to keep this short without dragging off: the ending. I know, it's a twist ending, and yes its kinda original. But that doesn't necessarily make it good. I can make music by farting on a trumpet. You could consider that original music, but it wouldn't necessarily be considered good. I say this because I've heard some people praise The Mist's ending as one of the most 'original' endings ever to a horror movie.

My reaction? I laughed. Yeah, I know it was supposed to be a sad / downbeat ending (I won't spoil it, don't worry), but honestly the first thing I thought when I watched the last scenes was this: "Wouldn't it kinda suck if suddenly now... Oh! Well, what do you know!". So yeah; this pretty much sums up what I think of the ending. It's original, definitely, but not exactly good because it really doesn't add that much more to the movie if you really think about it. They could have just ended the movie at the supermarket, or just after that. I know it wouldn't be as much of a "OMFG TWIST ENDING!!!" like it is now, but it would give the movie a lot more closure.

Swept Away (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not THAT bad. Really!, 9 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is NOT a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. It's weird, and it's definitely pretty mediocre, but its not bad and it doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the tripe that Uwe Boll keeps putting out, just to name an example. Beware: minor spoilers ahead!

When the movie started, you can immediately notice how mediocre the acting is. The Italian accents on the boat's crew are all hammy, and none of the actors really stand out because they are all pretty much below average and stereotype characters. I have to admit; seeing this movie on television for the first time I didn't even recognize Madonna as one of the leading stars, but seeing as there are so many blond damsels like her in the acting world, you will have to excuse me.

So what is this movie trying to be, exactly? A comedy, a romance, a drama? Well... To tell you the truth I still have trouble classifying Swept Away. The first thirty minutes or so, its almost as if the movie is turning into a lighthearted comedy with quirky characters and their contrasting personalities and social stature's. Basically: the first half hour makes you want to hate this flick. After the predictable plot turn where our two main characters get stranded on a deserted island, you expect the movie to turn into a Cast Away knockoff. But instead, the movie takes a complete 180 turn and what you get is this strange, but awkwardly enjoyable psychological game between the two characters.

In the end, both of them are horrible people and it makes the audience question who to root for, which I think is actually pretty cool and daring. There's an obvious romance going on between them, but it's not going the way you anticipate it is going to be (not going to spoil anything).

The ending leaves you thinking, not on a story level, but on an emotional level which I have mixed feelings about. The ending avoids any real cliché's, which is good, but at the same time it excludes any sense of closure and I think a lot of viewers will have trouble with that.

To sum up Swept Away: is it a good movie? Not really. Although in my opinion it does come close to being good at some points, but the hammy acting is keeping it down. It's definitely worth a rent if you want a surprising fresh mix of genre's. But at the same time, this mix is also the movie's biggest downfall; it tries to combine all kinds of elements of comedy, romance and drama into this weird mishmash of one story which you can't help but admire, but as a stand alone movie it doesn't exactly work in its favor.

A fantasy story without the fantasy, 25 January 2013

I'm a bit torn reviewing this. What we have here is a competent production design with top notch special effects, and a recognizable cast including the likes of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Christopher Lee. The downside is however that the story commits the crime of not being fantastical.

The bottom line why I could never recommend this movie is because there's no fantasy here. Sure, there are talking animals, and there's a plot in there somewhere about a girl but after thirty minutes of exposition I honestly couldn't give a crap anymore. There's no amount of buildup that can justify such a thin story, and no amount of exposition that will enchant the minds of the audience.

Perhaps the problem with Golden Compass is that it tries to tell too much without capturing the elements of fantasy that we as an audience come to expect from an almost two hour long fantasy movie. Halfway through the movie, it really does become a chore to watch. The acting is half decent, but its the lackluster script that is the evildoer here; I feel like I never got a proper explanation for some of the things that were happening throughout the movie.

The story is about shapeshifting animals, which are demons, and they are sidekicks to humans in some sort of alternate dimension. How did they get that way? Do they inherit a personal demon at birth? Maybe this is better explained in the book, but I feel like this lack of depth is harmful to the story. So our main characters eventually set out to look for polarbears, which are called icebears for some reason... I don't know. I honestly was already kinda lost at this point in the movie, and it wasn't even halfway yet.

As I've said, perhaps the book is better written. I suppose the plot does lend itself for a good story, but this movie is just a bore to me and I usually love fantasy films. It's been a while since I've seen any fantasy film with such a general lack of fantasy.

Prometheus (2012/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Yet another Alien film, 2 December 2012

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that the first half of this film really makes you want to like Prometheus overall. Unfortunately, this movie is hold back by a few story clichés and mishaps. The first half introduces the audience to the crew of the space exploration ship Prometheus, and it is immediately evident how well done the set designs are, and the CGI is as convincing as you can expect from a movie this recent.

Then, after the first hour (the movie runs for almost two hours), director Ridley Scott follows familiar territory, by treading on many clichés that any scifi and horror fan can spot from miles away. Part of the disappointment of this, stems from the overall hype surrounding the movie, and from interviews with Ridley Scott in which he claimed that Prometheus would not be yet another Alien movie. Well guess what; its yet another Alien movie.

A pretty well done Alien movie, mind you, but nothing fresh. If you've seen any of the movies in the Alien franchise, you know all the similarities I'm talking about; a couple of people start exploring an alien habitat with no weapons (seriously, what?), they discover why the original crew is largely missing, and poo starts hitting the fan. Most of the characters don't even attempt to avoid any of these cliché's: in one scene, two guys discover these strange alien worm-snakes, and the first thing that he does is try touching it. So all of the great buildup and atmosphere from the first half gets lifted up like a blanket, to reveal the samey scifi horror script that anybody who was born before 1990 can count on his or her fingers by now.

That is not to say that this movie doesn't have its moments, apart from the buildup. There are a couple of gruesome killings that I'm sure gore hounds would appreciate. But the fact remains that Prometheus wasn't supposed to be another gory scifi movie, but something different, and that promise wasn't met here. I'm almost under the impression that the scriptwriters ran out of inspiration after the first half, so they decided to round it up with something familiar.

The actors give an overall good performance. Especially the guy playing David, a humanoid robot (a space crew with a robot, where did I hear that one before?) did a fantastic job. I'd say Prometheus is worth renting just once, since there isn't anything objectively wrong with it production-wise. Don't expect any original story, and you probably won't be that disappointed.

Metro 2033 (2010) (VG)
2 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Technical train-wreck, 7 November 2012

When I read a review of somebody who just played a game like Metro 2033 and can STILL give the game 8/10 because of atmosphere and graphics alone, he or she has to be really messed up in the head. Its like the first Just Cause; people seem to like to defend it because it gives them pretty graphics and an excuse to show off that new video-card they just bought.

When I play a game, I want a game that presents a good sense of immersion, and / or gameplay that will keep me interested in playing. To start off, Metro 2033 is just like any other nuts and bolts shooter and it's extremely linear. Even classic Doom wasn't as linear as this. The level of linearity of this game can be described as walking down a narrow corridor in one straight path, while sometimes the path gets pillaged by monsters that take way too many bullets to kill. This experience is also said to be scary at some point, but the only scary thing I noticed was the horrible voice-acting. Seriously, Americans doing Russian accents should be banned from videogames already.

So the game is already nothing special, as I established, but the developers still managed to screw things over in the technical department. Glitches are a natural occurrence in Metro 2033, and the first time the game tells you to replace your oxygen filter for your gasmask, you just know that this feature will come around and bite you in the ass later in the game. One of the ways it will do this, is by autosaving the game after you used up your last filter. So when you load your checkpoint, you will have exactly three seconds to run around and poke at the dirt before collapsing to the ground and try again.

"Morkulv, you noob!" I hear you say while you pound your head angrily on your keyboard. "There's nothing wrong with a good challenge!", to which I would reply: indeed there isn't. But there's a key difference between difficulty, and taking a player out of the experience. The gasmask feature wouldn't aggravate me so much if it wasn't such a hassle. Now, instead of immersing me, the player, it just draws me away from the game, which can never be a good thing for a video game. Which brings me to another key aspect of Metro 2033 that was royally screwed over.

Leveldesign. Let us keep in mind here, we are dealing with a linear shooter, so the game should be clear as to where the player should go. Especially in the outside areas of the game, the level is just a mess of snow, garbage, and nukage and it's never clear where the developer wants you to go. This shouldn't be this hard to figure out. Either make a straight path, or give me the option to roam around, but don't make it a guessing game. To make matters worse, some of the levels (like the mentioned outside areas) contain tripwires that insta kill you and are conveniently placed under water where you can't see them.

And now for the final nail in the Metro 2033 coffin: Quick Time Events! Yes, this game has QTE's. I don't think I need to go into detail why a game shouldn't have QTE's.

While I love singleplayer games, this doesn't mean that garbage like Metro 2033 gets away with it. On top of the very mediocre gameplay, the game contains many technical flaws that only make it harder for you to persevere playing. If you're really a hardcore fan of this 'post-apocalyptic FPS' type of games, go play STALKER again and leave this in the budget bin where it belongs.

Wind Chill (2007)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Underrated movie, not for impatient viewers!, 27 September 2012

Wind Chill, Gregory Jacobs' second movie in his directing career is definitely a special case. One of the reasons why this movie might have gone over a lot of people's heads is because this is not the kind of movie you see with a bunch of buddies while drinking beer. No, Wind Chill is a movie that you put in your DVD player on a lonely and rainy Sunday afternoon and totally immerse yourself into the story. If you are the type of person that gets bored quickly during movies, this is not for you. If you are, then there's probably a nice Saw movie you can rent.

One thing that is immediately evident as this movie begins is the thick atmosphere. There are few horror/thriller films that can pull off this kind of immersive atmosphere and still be engaging and 'realistic', and that is one hell of a feature. When I read the press reviews of this film after I saw it the first time, I was amazed at how much low scores it got. I've seen plenty shitty horror movies in my day, and this is definitely not one of them, and it deserves more recognition.

When the plot starts unraveling, and a boy and a girl drive off the road only to be trapped in their car and the cold outside, you immediately want to judge this movie when the girl attempts to call 911 and her cellphone doesn't work. But trust me, this is not that kind of movie. As the story progresses, the story covers elements of Nietzsche's theory of eternal recurrence, and thats when the film gets real good.

Because this movie has a great story that shouldn't be spoiled, I'm going to end the review here and say that if you like psychological horror films or thrillers with a twist, you should definitely give Wind Chill a chance. The movie's story is more rewarding if you pay attention though, keep that in mind!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Atmospheric, but misses any opportunity to be scary, 9 May 2012

To start, there are a lot of good things this movie sets out to do. First of all is the atmosphere; the mansion and all of the environments are captured with amazing detail and the camera-work is also excellent in this regard. Visually this film is very strong, but the key element that should boost the movie from being atmospheric to scary, is sadly missing.

A big part of that has to do with the fact that the CG monsters are introduced way too early in the story, and they are shown nearly all the time which kills the mystery. These are simply poor design decisions, that I feel don't do the story justice. Another thing is that the monsters look like something out of a comic book, and overall they seem designed after rats.

Troy Nixey's background as a comic book designer shines through in his directing, and he has an eye for detail, but directing a scary story needs more then just that. There are plenty of horror/thrillers that create a scary story without a bodycount (The Others being a perfect example of this, in my opinion). Acting wise the film scores pretty good as well. The performances delivered are competent and overall convincing enough.

Perhaps Troy Nixey or someone else on the team wanted to do a little too much with this reimagening. Its difficult to pinpoint what exactly went wrong during the making of this movie. It definitely scores pretty well on almost every level of production. It only needed a good scare factor to make it work, which it doesn't unfortunately. While it is not recommendable, for what its worth Don't Be Afraid of the Dark does showcase the directing potential of Troy Nixey.

Mr. Nobody (2009)
1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Engaging, but lacking in substance, 30 April 2012

From the very beginning, this movie sets out to engage the audience and confront people with philosophical questions about time, and life. While I do like this approach, I cannot praise it too much because it sacrifices the story's coherence for a lot of drama that slows the film down. It is necessary to the story though, but I think the problem lies in the way the script is build up.

Of course, this is still a matter of opinion, but to me whenever the movie got into the whole "multiple decisions in life" I thought it was very refreshing and interesting. But when the movie gets into the multiple lovers and marriages it slows down and the movie gets downright boring in some parts. Let me just clarify that I don't have anything against 'slow-paced' movies, or movies that don't focus as much on action, as long as it stays interesting or (in this case) thought-provoking. I told my friend who was watching it with me that it feels like it was directed by multiple people.

As I said, I do like the concept this movie was going for. I just hope that in the future, a movie gets to marry interesting theoretical possibility's with a coherent script a little better. Because of the somewhat fragmented result, the movie seems a bit too pretentious and overall too pleased with itself.

I'm somewhat hesitant to recommend Mr Nobody. Even though its definitely engaging, I don't think this movie will obviously appeal to everybody. Especially not to people who aren't into pseudo-scientific speculation. But if you're open to these sort of things and similar artistic efforts, you will praise this as much as anybody else.

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