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Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Total disappointment :(
So when the first RE film came out, I was happy. It did everything a film based on a video game like Resident evil should do; it created a new storyline with new characters, it introduced a new audience that had not heard of said game without making the gamers repeat a story the already saw, it gave cool nods to the franchise that us fan boys can smile about, it entertained us, scared us a bit, it didn't try to add characters from the franchise into its storyline solely for fan service (a mistake later made by its 3 sequels), and most importantly, it made itself seem like it was part of the same canon of the video game and fitting just fine (My geek out moment was when they said "Take him to the Nemesis Program") :D
So as the series went along, it became clear that not only were films not part of the same canon as the video games, but the film series seemed to distance itself from their source material.
Anyway, I was excited with what Afterlife might bring to table, especially after the ending in Extinction, with Alice starring at dozens of her own clones. But then the clones get killed off before the first act of the films is even half way through, so I felt cheated. But what mostly bothered me was how much the film seemed to borrow from Resident Evil 5; to the point things don't even make sense. I mean, where did the Axe guy come from? Did Wesker send him? Was he the result of a previous Umbrella experiment that just happened to break loose during the outbreak? Of all the places, why is it in L.A? The licker in RE 1 had reason for being there, Nemesis also had a reason and Dr. Isaac also had its reason for why he became the way he did. But where does this guy come into play? I know he isn't the final villain but regardless he is simply an unexplained plot device used to move them from point A to point B and he is also there because he was in RE 5. Why does it borrow so much from RE 5? Now I understand it is a film adaptation and my problem isn't that they use too much or that it shouldn't, it's that after having their last 2 films fall so far away from the video games' set storyline, they start borrowing ideas for its plot? Why? I thought heading further away from what the games did worked for it, in fact, the other reason I disliked the film is because the story of RE5 wasn't even that great, or interesting. The mind control devices, Jill Valentine at the end (with the same look and everything), the Axe monster, the new zombies with huge mouth, Wesker, I mean come on.
And there were also things I hated about it that have nothing to do with what it borrowed:
1. Alice loses her powers, yet still manages to survive a helicopter crash. 2. The clones die too early (I know I already mentioned this) 3.It's good to know that even though the world is taken over by zombies, women will still use a lot of make up 4. If Alice survived the helicopter crash and was able to walk out of there, why didn't Wesker do the same and manage to capture her then and there? 5. Alice just stands there while Chris and Claire fight against Wesker, oh and so do Wesker's hounds. 6. What's with the coin bullet thing? I would make sense if this had been added in Extinction but they don't even explain why she does it exactly. I mean where did this idea come from? 7. Who better to play Chris Redfield than Wentworth Miller (the guy from Prison Break) especially because he knows to get out of the prison! 8. The athlete guy jumping, grabbing the end of an airplane and manages to balance it out before it falls off a building. (Dunno if this is physically possible, but the scene just bothers me because it makes him look too super powered, although if the scene is possible then I don't care.) 9. Wentworth Miller isn't a good Chris and neither is the Chris in this movie. 10. Also, Alice loses her powers, and later in the film she gets stabbed in the arm, and she genuinely seems to feel pain, but then she uses that arm just fine, and apparently she must have contracted Wolverine's healing factor because the wound isn't even there anymore nor is it even acknowledged that ever happened. What the hell? Did she lose her powers or not?! Did she retain some bits of her powers? I don't care what the explanation is, I just need one.
Most of the things they did were simply done because of the success of RE5 and because they wanted to cash off the success of 3D. It's that simple, the plot isn't there because they don't care about it, and they were just looking to cash in on the success of something else. Sure they were doing that before, but it at least made money for its own merit and not so much from what it borrowed. It wasn't trying to cash off the success of the RE games, otherwise it wouldn't have distanced itself from it at first. To me this is makes the makers of the franchise seem either hypocritical or just plain greedy, or maybe both.
This is coming from someone who has been enjoying the franchise so far. Sadly I must give Resident evil Afterlife 1/10 stars. There was no pay off, too many plot holes and unexplained plot devices, the characters seemed too powerful to be human and too much was borrowed for its own good.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
This is a tale of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront this is not a love story
Unlike most romantic comedies, 500 days of Summer speaks of something more real than just boy meets girl, it speaks of a simple relationship and nothing more special than that. While it may sound uninteresting you'd be surprised its much more entertaining, combining two distinct minds, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), believing in true love and fate and that he'd never be happy 'til he meet his soul mate, while Summer did not believe in love nor fate, and they simply get together out of simple fun. Having an interesting way to express what love may really be or what it even is. The film is just simply fun, has good laughs and ultimately leaves feeling good about yourself, whether it makes you fall in love, well thats another story.
whats the big deal
I've gotten a bunch of comments and friends saying that this film sucks and that i should stick with rec, as far as I'm concerned its the same movie, just a different language, its a shot for shot remake, with a few differences here and there, but in the end its the same thing, Jennifer carpenter definitely best horror film actress (probably giving her to much credit) shes good and she still screams a good as in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.
What can i say? saw Rec first and i thought this film wouldn't frighten me but it did, maybe not in the same scenes but it pretty much scared where it counted.
don't bash too quickly just for being a remake, its probably one of the better horror film remakes, though an un-needed one its still a good one
Group Breaker Reviews: the cat in the hat
Well, I was 9 when I saw the film and I had read the book before this and so I was excited to see this film, in group breaker, I talk about films I didn't like but many loved and films I loved but many hated, this is where the cat in the hat comes in.
Now first problem people have is that its targeted for kids and yet has some adult jokes like Super Hydrolic Instant Transporter (S.H.I.T) or when the cat says, dirty ho, people start thinking that this is a problem, but not really, I saw it when I was 9 and I didn't know what he meant til I was 13,the purpose of this film was to entertain children, I was a kid and laughed my ass off so job well done, it entertained them.
Now speaking as a 17 year old, its still funny, but comedy is so subjective, you have to understand the type of humor this film has, though it may seem a little underrated for kids, most kids won't understand the joke and the ones that do will still laugh. If you like toilet humor, then you might enjoy this like I did. But know that as an adaption it doesn't seem that good, I mean after all, the book was so short it was hard to imagine it becoming a full length feature film, so obviously, characters had to be added, and other more things had to happen. And honestly, I have to say that if the film wouldn't of had the toilet humor it would have a dull children's movie, don't get me wrong its meant for children but the idea of the humor was so that it would be enjoyed by both children and young adults or teenagers, it would be like watching a winnie the pooh movie, only kids will find it amusing and we will just be seating for an hour and a half trying to make the best of it.
Don't be so hard on this film just cause you're not into the humor, the film is good fun for the whole family.
Jurassic Park (1993)
My all time favorite film
This film, to me, is the one I've enjoyed the most out of all the movie I've ever had the chance to watch.
Story/directing: Jurassic park is a 1993 adaption of a book written back in 1990 (I think that's the right date) and of course it has several differences from the book, the story revolves around Alan Grant (Sam Neil) a palaeontologist who next to his partner/lover Ellie Saddler (Laura Dern) are call upon by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to check out a park that he has began to build, a theme park, and he wants them to check it out before really opening the park. Once there Alan and Ellie find out it isn't any ordinary park, but a park filled with live dinosaurs. The storyline of the film is a nice sci-fi tale about cloning and being able to genetically manipulate the extinct species of the dinosaur race, though there are small curse words in the film and some obvious death scenes as well the film can still be enjoyed by children of course with a bit of parental discretion. Now from the beginning to end, the story begins to developed better and has you changing moods to the situations our protagonists find themselves in, one can feel the suspense during the kitchen scene with the raptors and the children, you also feel the delight that Alan and Ellie feel when they see a real dinosaur for the first time. As for the direction Steven Spielberg does a nice job in showing off some nicely executed scenes, giving us a full perspective on the entire island and of course some very original and classic shots such as the t-rex chasing the jeep scene, which is definitely one of the most influential scenes I've seen (aside from several others).
Acting/characters/interaction between them: Now Sam Neil is not a bad actor, not the best there is but he ain't a bad actor, he does a nice job of giving Alan Grant to life, he is able play very well during the scenes and has us believing he is really being attacked by dinosaurs, as for his character, Alan has some nice development through out the film as at first he does not really like children and is excited about the idea of the park being made but by the time the film is near an end Alan becomes more fond of children and obviously is no longer supporting Jurassic park at all. Now I could name another actor but they're not the main appeal of the film (not that they're not great) the ones that really have you at the edge of your seat are the dinosaurs, man, this film was made in 1993 and the visual effects are still awesome, the dinosaurs look so realistic, still these visuals are so much more breath-taking than films like district 9, star trek, avatar, terminator salvation, (all of which I really liked), etc. Now another aspect of the realism of the dinosaurs is how the actors interact with them, when Tim is on the tree and begins to pet the brachiosaurus did seem very natural, and also their struggle when running away from a t-rex or when they're fighting the velociraptors . And between the actors their interaction was pretty nice, you felt these characters were real people trapped in this situation.
Visual effects: Now man, the visuals are awesome, even today I'm amazed this film was done the way it was and the sound of the dinosaurs stomping through the park and pushing the vehicles against the wall, I mean man these visual effects and all of the sounds are just great you hear the roars and the falling cars so well I mean you feel you're there with them.
Overall this is a very exciting film with some great visuals and very incredible sounds as well as a nice scifi story with good acting, to me its the best film I've ever seen.
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Batman we were waiting for!
This is one of those films that I just couldn't stop seeing more than 3 or 4 times in a row, no joke.
Now the direction/story: What I loved about the dark knight, personally as a Batman fan, was how the story is very well adapted from the comic series itself, it brings stories from the comic into a realistic point of view and that really amazed me about both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Now as a film the story is very good as well, its not your typical superhero movie with the hero narrating on and on as if you didn't know what was already going on(except at the end, where James Gordon and Batman narrate a bit), the script is also very well portrayed thought out the movie, good kick ass action for the guys, a bit of romantic moments for the girls, and for the kids we have Batman (of course this film's joker isn't really kid oriented). Now what is also great about this story is how well it can have multiple plots without losing grip of the audience, I mean this film has a lot of things going on but not like in the spider man 3 kind of way, its much better how all of these plots seem to come together perfectly, Rachel Dawes dating Harvey Dent while at the same time wondering her feelings towards our protagonist Bruce Wayne, meanwhile The joker comes to Gotham and begins to position himself in the criminal underworld while also attempting to force Batman into revealing his identity, also Batman becoming more brutal and mean as he tries to stop the joker, and so on. The dialogue isn't too cheesy, like in most superhero moves, its more realistic and very well performed. Another great aspect is how the story is much darker than in Batman Begins, of course, in here Gotham city seems brighter and thus a bit happier than in Batman Begins (of course, I guess that's due to Batman's arrival, Gotham became a better place), now by a dark story I mean ending result of the film and what it shows, a tragic tale about justice, how far a hero will go to pursue it and how hard will he try to maintain it. Now for how it was directed, as I said earlier in here Nolan makes much brighter aspect of gotham city, its not as dark and obscure as seen in the previous film, but that doesn't matter very much, it actually works in a better tone with the story. Most of these scenes were beautifully executed and they will be sure to entertain you and keep you hooked til the very end.
Now the acting/characters/interaction between them: For the lead performance we have Christian Bale, who portrays our caped crusader once again and not in a bad way, though this time, portraying a darker side of our hero as Batman becomes more brutal in his pursuit to stop the joker (which can easily seen during the interrogation scene), this time Batman came back tougher and meaner than before. Now the joker... Man what a performance, Heath Ledger left us with one of his...no... One of the most amazing performances I've seen ever, he took a simple character like the joker and turned it into a true psychopath, he may be wearing make up but you wouldn't want to mess with this guy. A truly macabre look at this classic comic book character, Ledger embraced who the joker truly was, a mad man who was just looking for a laugh in the death, pain and suffering of others and also someone who was personally responsible for tragedies in Batman's life. Now don't get me started on how well were the scenes between Batman and Joker, when you saw those two face each other I felt the same energy that I felt watching Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker face off...remarkable, I hadn't seen that kind of good guy- bad guy interaction in a long time. Now as for the secondary characters, they were not just standing there I can assure you, Gary Oldman does a very good performance as commissioner Gordon, Aaron Eckhart portrays a tragic character like Harvey Dent/ Two-face without the goofyness portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones (which is good), and Maggie Gyllenhal also does a well job in portraying Rachel Dawes, they all were very well acted characters that won't have you feel like you wasted money on it.
Especial effects: Now from what I could see there was no CGI used in this film, but the visual effects are very well done, the cars exploding, the truck being turned over, batman gliding from the top of a huge building, etc. I was actually glad with the lack of CGI because I'm somewhat getting tired of watching very awful and unrealistic computer generated explosions or vehicles crashing, it was much better and more realistic the way they show it in this film.
Overall, the dark knight is a well executed film and a great comic book adaption. This film is more than just Heath Ledger's performance, its an epic and tragic tale about justice that should not be missed by neither fans of comics or just average movies viewers.
District 9 (2009)
Original, visually stunning and one of the best sci-fi films seen in a long time.
One of the most original science fiction films that have come out in a long time, District 9 has all the right elements to be one of the best sci-fi films ever.
Let's begin with the story/directing: Now ever since E.T., I've been waiting for a science fiction film that truly had something interesting to say and of course combine it with some good old fashion sci-fi style action that we all love. Some elements of this film have been seen before, but only in very little and unimportant aspects, in here the aliens come to our world and become minorities, segregated from other humans and kept in closure inside the very small area of District 9, where particularly a man working for MNU (which is a fake government agency invented in this film), Wikus Van de Merve, is sent to transfer the aliens to a new sector, oddly enough he becomes infected with a certain chemical which begins to mutate his body, eventually finding out what the real reason why the prawns (aliens) never left earth, and also becoming the most valuable artifact in the world. The beginning of this story itself is very original, it doesn't do like most movies would, it begins fast, quickly explaining the cultural and economic situations that Johannesburg is in, also it's a much better beginning because this way you don't get too confused focusing on secondary characters rather than the main ones (Wikus Van de Merve and Christopher).The direction was fundamental to district 9's originality, it's like a combination between documentary and regular film style, the beginning might seem boring to some, but i found it to be great, quick and informative about the story, we see and learn all we need to know about the film with the quick 5-8 minutes of documentary like footage. The story develops well from the moment it started until the end of the film, of which I will hope that Blompkamp makes a sequel of.
Now the acting/characters/interaction between them: First of all one must cut some slack for the leading actor Sharlto Copley (Wikus Van de Merve) because this his first big film, and I must say for being his first time, he does it very well, not like an outstanding actor, but for his first time it's very well done and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised for his performance, his character Wikus is not meant to be an all powerful savior or hero without many exceptional capabilities (except that he is the only human who can use alien weaponry), he is more of the working class type of person, who isn't picked by fate or anything, he was just a regular guy whose life changed in within a matter of seconds and I liked that rather than a prophecy hero of legend or a man on a mission, Wikus could of been anyone of us. Now Christopher, despite being an animated character with no one in particular giving him a voice, is a very important character whose personality moved me, being him one of the few prawns that actually had a plan or at least seemed to be smarter and much willing to do things for his people and his son, I found him to be a very important character that if done differently it would have compromised the great story this film brings. The interaction between both Wikus and Chris is original as well, if you're expecting the E.T thing where they becomes friends out of nowhere then you'll be disappointed, in here it's much more realistic, Wikus and Chris don't necessarily become friends but merely work together due to a quid pro quo case where Chris promises to stop Wikus' mutation and cure him if Wikus helps him get his fuel back so that he'll return to his planet, thus this means that they aren't mutual friends, they were not suppose to have this type of E.T scenario where I will cry if you go away. No, it's more realistic in this sense. Now as for the acting from the secondary characters and their interaction, they were also very good. During the documentary style beginning everyone (prawns included) made it feel real and believable, and for the non-documentary scenes, characters such as Koobus (David James) are the great villain cliché we all like to see, mean, evil and typically has a problem with our human protagonist.
Special Effects: Now don't get me started with the special effects... they're just marvelous and outstanding, the main thing that helped keep the realism of the film was how incredibly realistic the CGI was, now I know that CGI doesn't make a film great, but unless it's story requires good effects than it might as well have some decent CGI. What is also great is how dirty and grungy the aliens, and their technology is rather than shinny and new, made it feel all that more amazing.
Overall, the film delivers well thought out story, with amazing jaw-dropping special effects and great acting. Definitely one of the best science fiction films I have seen in a long time.
One the few films that still scares me today
I'm not a fan neither of Mel Gibson or M.Night Shyamalan, but when I saw the trailer for signs I thought that it might a decent film, but it was more than decent it was brilliant. Mel Gibson plays an ex-priest who gave up on praying after his wife past away. He and his family start to experience strange things, like finding crops circles and seeing weird creatures outside the house. The storyline of the film is solid and very entertaining, there is no gore in this movie which is a relief because even a gore fan can get tired of to much blood in movies. The acting is good and very well done, now for the scary parts, they didn't show perfectly the aliens which wasn't that bad, there were scenes that did make me jump and did give goosebumps, though some scenes may be a little bit too predictable the movie is still very well done. Signs may not be a masterpiece but it is a very frightening film with a well scripted story and superb acting.
John Q (2002)
Denzel Washintong plays as John Q... and that was all the motivation I needed to see it
Denzel Washington plays as John Q. a man who has come to very desperate moment in his life when his son suffers from a heart attack and after placing him in the hospital he finds out the hard way that he has no insurance to pay for a heart transplant, you know what they say "desperate times call for desperate measures." Denzel's acting in this film is predictable... and by that I mean that it is typical Denzel Washinton, superb, overwhelming and beautiful. He really knows how get into the characters he plays, James Woods is not a bad addition to this either, those two actors in this one film and with such a touching and dramatic story that will most- likely have everyone in the audience weeping with such emotion that this film provokes. A father with no other choice, original and totally a possible these days. This film is a must see film and great way to spend your movie money on, after watching this movie you will have no regrets and you will want to watch it more than 8 times.
Good but not that good
OK, I was went with my friends a weekend and we chose to see this film because, well, there wasn't anything else. I saw that Brendan Frasier would be in the film and that's good he's funny, but the switched Rachel Weisz for some other chick, what the heck?! Other than that Imhotep will not be included in this film, instead you get Jet Li playing as the new mummy, some things of this film are going to be annoying but there were some upsides to this movie. This film does contain good humor and does make you laugh, not as much as the first 2 but something is something. It'll have action and it will be entertaining, so don't worry, and the obvious expectations for a fight between Jet and Brendan in the film, won't say how it'll turn up but at least it happens. This film is OK, but only as like a once a month thing, it's a good family picture, if you expect this film to be as good as the original films then you will be disappointed, but other than that this movie isn't that much of a waste of time, it's an entertaining way to spend time with family and a have a few laughs.