Reviews written by registered user
|52 reviews in total|
*** 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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, 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
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!
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
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.
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.
Wow. Would you actually believe that this movie is better then the
first Paranormal Activity? Even though I had lots of doubt about a
sequel to a movie that had very poor acting and little to no plot at
all, it actually pulls off the 'Blair Witchian' haunted house movie a
lot better then the first. That doesn't mean this movie is great by any
means. The 8 out of 10 rating should therefore be classified to this
type of movie only. You know the type of movies I mean; some people
videotape everything they see with a crappy camcorder, something
strange happens, people start to disappear, etcetera.
When it comes to these kinds of movies, Paranormal Activity 2 at least gives us a less boring experience then the first one. The awful acting from the first one is gone too thankfully, as the performances are a lot more convincing this time around which to me is the most notable difference. The creators tried to slightly tie in the events from the first movie, and the main actors from the first movie make a appearance here, although this is only a small reference for the people who have seen part one. Apart from that, this movie is completely stand alone and you don't need to have watched the first one to enjoy this flick.
There's not a whole lot to comment on the scaryness-factor here. I never thought the first movie was particularly scary, so perhaps less experienced horror movie watchers will get some scares out of this. But for a horror-fan like me this didn't have that much scary scenes to offer, and you can take that for what its worth. The movie does have a couple of moody scenes though, and a few jumpscares, but thats about it.
But apart from those things, I do think that the movie is a lot stronger because of the less annoying characters, and the more realistic acting. I feel like that in a lot of ways, this movie is what the first one should have been. That being said though, this series should get a close. I know there's a third one out already, but please stop it with these sequels. The things that went right here only slightly outweigh the sometimes boring scenes and stupid jumpscares, so crapping out more sequels would just ruin everything good that this movie presented.
Paranormal Activity 2 is a good movie to watch once with some friends, but after that you probably won't see it again any time soon. If you're a big fan of the whole camcorder-movie thing, then you can buy this movie blindly, but don't expect any big surprises here.
I never expected a sequel to the first-person puzzle-game Portal to be
any good, but they actually managed to create a very well-produced game
that relies on great voice-acting and creative level-design. Its clear
that Valve is pushing their aging Source-engine to the limits with
Portal 2, but they still manage to create some of the best looking
levels I've seen in a good while. The game involves a more active
story-line then in the first game, but it never distracts too much from
the brain-twisting puzzles. And yes, the puzzles are harder then in the
first game in my opinion, although they are never near impossible if
you know where to look and pay attention to the level. It also features
more levels then the original I think. The first Portal took me only a
few hours to beat, while Portal 2 took me two days.
A couple of new elements are introduced this time around, to keep the game refreshing and preventing the levels of getting too predictable. This is done in the form of different gels (liquid substances that either make you jump high, or run fast on contact). There's also a white gel that allows you to shoot portals on whatever surface it is spilled on. Regular water allows you to wash either one of the gels off. Besides that, there are also light-bridges that allows you to portal a walkable bridge to otherwise unreachable places, and some kind of anti-gravity beam that propels either you or objects like turrets and boxes into the direction it faces (which can sometimes be altered by pressing a button in the room).
Last thing I have to mention is the music. The music ingame, as well as the ending-music (which was particularly popular in the first game) called 'Want You Gone' by Jonathan Coulton are great. It all fits the game's robotic atmosphere perfectly as well as the ingame glitch-beats that you can hear mostly when the action intensifies.
As you can already make out, Portal 2 allows for some very diverse puzzle-elements, and this together with the already established portal-gun makes it a lot of fun and challenge to play. The story isn't too exciting, but the witty humour and overall superb voice-acting makes it worth while (kudos to Stephen Merchant for providing his voice-talent for such a funny villain). Its a bit early to say with such a long time ahead of us, but I wouldn't be surprised if Portal 2 would end up on many people's lists of best games of 2011. Go play it, you won't be disappointed!
Now, if Valve Software would only get some information out the door regarding Half-Life 3, I would be their number one fan!
I've seen this movie a couple of times now, all of them in normal 2D
since I think every movie should be judged by its basic format free
from any gimmick. I really liked this movie a lot, although there are a
couple of aspects that were a setback to me which I'm gonna list below.
First of are the cliché's, How To Train Your Dragon has a lot of cliché's particularly in its characters; you have the tough girl that everyone likes, the aggressive bully, the nerdy fat kid, the annoying 'funny' twins. These are all things that regular movie-goers probably won't mind, but for me they felt kind of tiresome and I felt that it didn't add a lot to the overall picture, nor do I feel that any of them were particularly funny or entertaining as characters.
The other thing that I didn't really like was the voice of our main protagonist Hiccup (Jay Baruchel). This is somewhat a hit or miss, because he does seem to do a pretty good job with the voice, and at times he does come across like he's having a good time but to me his nasally voice gets a bit irritating. But this is just a minor personal preference. The voice-cast overall is pretty damn good though, if you can at least appreciate the humour of vikings with over the top Scottish accents.
These are the few downsides of the movie, but How To Train Your Dragon luckily has a lot of entertainment to offer. To begin with, the visuals are great. Particularly the flying-scenes are easily the highlight of the movie, which I think most people would agree with me. Besides that, the movie has just the right pacing, giving us good insight into the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. The creators also avoided turning this into a typical love-story which I liked, and the ending is spectacular to say the least.
How To Train Your Dragon is a excellent movie for the entire family like you would expect from a company like Dreamworks. Well worth the money and time.
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