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Attack of the Gryphon (2007)
Really really bad
The fact that so many fantasy movies turn out to be unforgivably bad, is something that surprises me every time. It is beyond me how anyone can turn fantasy into total boredom, but it is obvious that there are many people that can do just that. Of course, Gryphon is no exception and it probably is one of the worst fantasy films ever made. Why is it so bad? Let's see: 1. the story is boring and unimaginative. 2. tons of clichés that don't even make sense 3. mediocre - and often bad - acting 4. lousy CGI effects - it reminded me old movies like Jason and the Argonauts, except when they made those movies they had an excuse 5. uninteresting direction 6. the main monster is a ...gryphon? To be honest this should have tipped me off from the start 7. the people that made this film don't know the first thing about fantasy 8. I could go on but what's the point?
So, was there anything good about this film? Well, yes. It ended. All in all, a total waste of my time. Watch it at your own risk. You have been warned. 2/10 for this one.
Tristan + Isolde (2006)
Not a very good movie
Reading all these good comments and praise about Tristan + Isolde I began to think that there must be something wrong with me, cause I did not like this film. But try as I might I can not bring myself to find anything that's good about it. So it seems most people don't agree with me, but for what its worth here's my opinion on this movie.
Granted, the production aspects of the film are OK and the acting is decent, sometimes even good. The real problem of Tristan + Isolde is its story and the way it is narrated. It goes for both action and love story and fails in both (although the love story part is better than the action part)to the point where I get the feeling it could have been two separate movies. At one point I got so bored I actually had to fast forward so as not to fall asleep.
I also have several problems with specific parts of the movie, either because the progress of the story did not require such huge sacrifices of realism or because of the fact that scenes that were supposed to be grand and maybe epic were reduced (probably due to budget constraints) to comically smaller scale.
****** SPOILERS******* For example, as far as realism is concerned, the two heroes are caught in the act when everyone in the wedding rides out to honor the full moon tradition. They only see the horsemen when they are right next to them, yet the riders would have been heard from a great distance. Not to mention the fact that riders knew where to find them, when nobody knew for all the time they were seeing each other. While this might not seem enough to spoil the movie, too many such little details can really spoil the mood.
Another good example of what I didn't like about this movie, is the tournament. To put it simply I've been in grander, larger and more impressive tournaments as a kid, playing with my friends. And this was a tournament were all the lords of England were competing for the daughter of the King of Ireland....
*******END OF SPOILERS******** To sum it up, there was a good story somewhere in the film but it was bogged down by bad narration, laziness and clichés. I give it 4 out of 10.
Politiki kouzina (2003)
Surprisingly Good Greek Film
I kept putting off seeing this film, because there was so much fuss about it, I was sure I was going to be disappointed. Well, I finally watched it last night and I was pleasantly surprised: This film is actually as good as most people say it is. At first glance it seems to be a film about food (which is not bad - hey, I love food), but turns out to be so much more. The reasons I liked it? Well, read on.
First of all, it is a way above average production for Greek film standards. Music, camera-work, photography, CGI, script,acting, everything is very well done. Some people complain about the CGI used, saying that it looks fake, that it looks more like a painting (mostly the shots of Istanbul), that it looks unrealistic. Well, they are probably right: it does look a bit unrealistic, but I think this is intentional. We see someone's memories and memories tend to be polished and larger than life.
Second, it is probably the only Greek film I've seen that, while dealing with a subject that only Greeks and Turks can really relate to, you don't have to be a Greek to enjoy it. It's easy on the eyes, it's touching, it's well written. And, amazingly, it deals with Greek-Turkish relationships without passing blame: it provides the facts but avoids passing judgment (this is actually very rare, as both Greeks and Turks tend to blame each other when these events are mentioned).
Finally, you end up feeling better (and hungry) after watching this film, which is reason enough to watch it. Highly recommended to everyone, I give this film 10 out of 10.
Could be the beginning of a good series
I didn't even know this film existed until I saw it on the shelf of the DVD store. The cover said "Quentin Tarantino Presents" so I thought I'd give it a try. Fortunately I was not let down. Of course it is not a great film, but it is good enough for an entertaining evening.
I really liked Modesty's character and all the background info we get to discover about her. The whole movie screams "first of a series" and I really am looking forward to watching the rest. I just hope it doesn't stop on this one.
Only problem was the movie is a bit slow, viewed as a standalone film. But as part of a series of films, this may not be so bad. As a standalone film I give it 6 out of 10. As part of a series I would probably rate it higher.
Van Helsing (2004)
Decent, mindless entertainment
Decent, mindless entertainment. That's all I really need to describe Van Helsing, but since I must write ten lines or more I'll try to elaborate.
This movie is, obviously, no masterpiece. But then again I don't thing it was meant to be one. Viewed as an action movie paying homage to old monster movies it provides enough entertainment, so that you don't feel sorry about wasting your money or your time.
On the good side, Jackman and Beckinsale are good enough, there is enough action to keep the movie going, the effects are decent (not too bad not too good) and it's always good to see the classic monsters. On the bad side, this movie has the worst Count Dracula ever (which really hurts the film), the CGI effects are overused and the script is below average.
To sum it up, it's probably worth a viewing, just don't expect too much. I give it 6 out of 10 (mostly because the main villain was laughable).
Matrix meets 1984 meets Fahreneit 451
While this movie borrows quite a lot from other films or books (both in terms of visual style and story) the final result is decent enough. If one views it as an action film with a bit of sophisticated backstory then it might actually provide some entertainment.
The main flaw of this movie is that it contradicts itself. Throughout the film people show emotion when they are not supposed to, thus making everything hard to believe. Of course all human emotions can not be totally neutralised but an anger outburst such as the one the head of the clerics displays at some point would not be tolerated according to what we see in the film.
And, of course, some scenes being almost identical to some of the Matrix scenes don't help make this film better. All in all, worth renting for an (moderately) entertaining evening. I give it 7 out of 10.
The first clue that a movie is not very good is when the title has absolutely nothing to do with the movie itself. Of course you won't know that until after watching the movie and then it's too late. Gothika is yet another example of a movie with a good director and very good actors that just doesn't deliver - the outcome is much poorer than one expects it to be.
One the one side you got an accomplished director, good actors (though I have to say this not one of Downey's best performances) and adequate technical execution. On the other side you got a plot full of holes, total predictability and unconvincing special FX. Plus the film is not scary (it's hard to be scary when you're not making any sense).
Sure there is potential here but what it comes down to is that this is a film that you are going to forget as soon as the credits roll. Recommended only if you don't expect too much. I give it 6 out of 10
I'm a comic book fan and generally try to watch any comic book adaptation to film. Spawn is one of my favorite comic book characters and a movie about him sounded exciting. Unfortunately, this film is a classic case of "great source material, bad execution". The film suffers from a very bad script (idiotic at some points), bad acting and some lousy CGI effects (not all CGI effects in the film are bad, just the parts in Hell). On the plus side the atmosphere of the film is quite good and Spawn's armor is rather good (best part of the film is when Spawn fights using his armor).
What bugs me the most about this movie is that it could have been so much better. Spawn is a great character, a badass anti-hero with some really cool powers (which come from his armor) but in the film he comes out as a weak and not very intelligent man, easily manipulated and led on by almost everyone he meets. I guess the fact that there is no sequel says a lot. Recommended for comic book fans. I give it 5 out of 10.
Great Animation Film
I only recently watched Akira (though I have heard a lot about it) and I must say I am impressed (so much that I bought the DVD). This is, beyond any doubt, one of the best animated films in existence. Visually impressive, solid direction, with a compelling story (if a little complicated), just the right amount of character development, good and very appropriate soundtrack and an extensively detailed New Tokyo, Akira manages to be as groundbreaking as it was when it was first released.
It's only drawback is that most people (including me) will probably have to watch it again (and again maybe) to completely understand the full story. Highly recommended (especially to anime fans). I give it 8 out of 10.
Life of Brian (1979)
Classic Monty Python satire
I first watched this one 15 years ago and it instantly became on of my favourite movies. Having watched it several times since then, I can honestly say that it still manages to make me laugh out loud at some scenes and generally put a smile on my face for it's entire duration. Next to Holy Grail, this is definitely the best Monty Python movie and one of the best satire/parodies ever filmed.
The Monty Pythons crew play a large number of roles, doing an excellent job each and every time. Some scenes are hilarious (like the stoning, or the Biggus Dickus scene) and the rest will put a smile on your face without even realising it. And the best part is that there is more to this movie than just humor.
Highly recommended to everyone (especially Monty Pythons fans). I give it 8 out of 10. An remember: Always look at the bright side of life!!