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Astronomical mystery movie trailer
I love documentaries. They are a great way to learn because a picture is like a thousand words. Now with advancements in computer animation things can be presented that no one could possibly videotape. For astronomy, it's a great benefit as lots of things are just photos or theories. Lately, a few National Geographic/BBC type astronomy documentaries have come out that are full of visual effects. This one stands out as clearly overdone. It looks like a trailer of space photos and animations designed to dazzle more than teach. But the most annoying thing about this film is the narrator's voice. Sean Pertwee sounds like he's inserting "Oh, my God!" between every other word. I'm not saying he should sound like a robot, but he's clearly over-excited, anticipating where he should just be narrating in a normal tone. Come to think of it, practically all mystery/horror movie trailers use this tone of voice.
This movie is a complete waste of your time. I implore you not to watch this. This movie is causing headache by killing braincells. It looks like someone tried to play a sick joke on the viewer. It makes no sense, you constantly wonder what's going on, why are they showing me this or that. I quit watching this nonsense after about 10 minutes through an incomprehensible pile of moving images. God forbid you try to pay for this! This is a showcase of why we should not pay for a movie. But I don't see why anyone would buy a DVD of this to make a rip and trow it into P2P networks. It's not worth watching even if downloaded for free. Thankfully, I came across an online stream, but had to turn it off after 10 minutes for reasons described by all viewers who gave it a 1 star rating.
Collateral Damage (2002)
Somewhat cheesy, but fun to watch
There are two types of action film viewers--those who are looking for realism and those who want entertainment, even if it differs from expected, most probable course of events. I think you can strike a balance between these two ways of making movies.
Those who blame action film makers for lack of realism forget that an average person already has realism in his life with its limitations, rules, laws, bureaucracy, politics and lack of interest in your personal troubles. If I need realism, I can just go to Chicago south side, get robbed by some friendly neighborhood minorities because I'm white, only to see complete lack of action or response from the Chicago police, because they are playing politics and will not protect me for fear that those same "neighbors" who robbed me will start yapping all over, call Jesse Jackson and it will affect them in an undesirable way (I'm citing an actual reported incident here). Sorry, folks, but that's the ugly reality.
An action hero is a way to relax and get away from all that and finally see a man get things done and set things right, for once be strong and empowered. People identify with a hero. They sympathize, they believe it would be great if they were so empowered. That is why people watch action movies.
"Collateral Damage" is somewhat far-fetched, as others have mentioned, but it does give you that feeling of empowerment, that an average Joe can, in fact, stand up and avenge the death of his family in spite of all those political games our government loves to play.
Two things I found irritating in Collateral Damage was the ending and Francesca Neri's silicon lips that make her look like a cheap blow-up doll (pay attention to her face when she examines photos at CIA headquarters). Arnie closes the door and an explosion takes place behind it. The heavy metal door gets blasted off with the concrete wall so hard that it flies and Arnie is dragged across the floor. He walks back and is attacked by the terrorist who isn't even burnt, even though he was in the middle of the explosion (not like Arnold behind a concrete wall.) I think that was making it too far-fetched.
But don't let the ending discourage you from watching the movie. It's really not important, we all know the bad guy always dies in these stories. It's the process we are after, the action, ass-kicking, explosions...There's plenty here. There is a "Whole lot of Collateral Damage".
Daylight Robbery (2008)
Better spend money on Inside Man
The plot is just a paraphrased copy of Inside Man, and a poor one at that. Nothing original whatsoever, which makes this movie a really dull one. The second they go in the back and start checking that floor you can predict how the story is going to develop. You already know there must be someone from bank staff helping these robbers. And sure enough he appears. Characters are not believable at all. Serious people planning a serious robbery do not take village idiots with them on the job. They also are smart enough to finish up fast without playing testosterone games.
What killed me is the stupid ending. The newsman says that robbers were caught landing in Germany. In 2 hours? No one knew who these people were, faces were covered, they escaped and covered their tracks. Then all of a sudden they get caught in Germany? Apparently, the English police used its psychic powers and figured everything out in minutes and had time to warn most of Europe by sending out identifiable information...Sure. Why then did they look so puzzled walking out of the bank? And how exactly did they put in jail 6 people arrested in another country without any evidence and with a good alibi. To sum up, this film is inconsistent, unoriginal, poorly written piece of cinematic garbage. If you want to see a good movie, try the original version of this plot--the Inside Man.
Promising at first, but falls completely flat at the end
The movie raises good questions. With the level of technology we have today and the number of fake sex tapes out there, can anyone be blamed if one pops up? Does anyone have a right to add anything to what you permitted them to film? Do they even ask permission to film? And what is your recourse if a tape actually damages YOUR reputation? I agree Emma made some stupid choices, but she should have been able to get protection from the law. Not from boob flashing, no, but from a non-permitted taping of this being turned into a hardcore XXX. To all who intend to blame Emma, imagine someone drugging your daughter and doing the same to her. How would you react? If mine said she'd never done it and proved it to me like Emma, I would be this close to finding the bastard who made it and taking him out when it's dark and no one can see. Say you interview for a job where reputation is important. Someone could film you walking at the beach and erase swimwear, then YouTube the video and send a link to your interviewer saying you are a devoted nudist, which may be viewed as improper. By the time you sort things out, position is filled, time is lost. Is it fair? Think before you blame Emma saying "she had it coming". What's a girl to do these days, not come out the door for fear that she might get her reputation damaged the way I just described and it's her fault no matter what?
This, however, is where the good stuff ends. The story falls flat at the end. What could be easier than setting up a microphone in that bra and taping the distributor, the tape maker and his rape threats. Note: This is admissible evidence without warning the other side because it is a criminal matter. If I were serious about getting these people I would have used every trick to get them, microphones, tiny camera in a purse, whatever. My sympathy for Emma ended where a seemingly intelligent girl (and her family) became completely stupid and did zero to gather any evidence, even though they easily could. The end was frustrating and lame.
To sum up, this movie did not impress me. Good start, coughed and died.
Annoying, invertebrate whiner
"If I had known I was a genius"--it would change nothing! Here's why. So, he's very smart. He knows it. Why does he end up working at Walmart? With gifts such as his, becoming a loser is not fate, it's a choice. Why do you need to know your IQ anyway if everyone says you are very smart and you know you finish tests perfect even in a really good school? If you indeed have high IQ you would figure things out, or bypass your mother and ask plenty of other people who know the number. You could do all that if you really were smart. But he chooses to cry about it and blame his mother instead. He gets a TV show career where being test-smart is useless (we all know how "smart" most Hollywood is) He needs to grow a spine, too. His mother tells him he cannot become an architect because "everything's built already". Well, if you can put 2 and 2 together (high IQ) you would say "ridiculous"! But all his life he can never stand up to anyone, make his own choices without listening to all these idiots around him, including his mother. No wonder he ends up such a loser. The whole movie is just like that--a whiny guy who never makes his own career choices. No amount of IQ can compensate for that. You could build those rockets, boy, if you only made a decision to.
Then there is the idiot mother. You are comfortable telling your son all his life he's ugly (how inspirational is that!) but the minute he gets 165 IQ you resist like crazy telling him he's a genius. You yell when he wants to become an architect but are OK with a career proposition of a weird drama class teacher? Wait a minute, you said your son was ugly, how can you let him on TV? She would be much more useful as a mother if she died at his birth.
I could go on and on about it, but to anyone who, like myself, will sit through the entire film hoping this guy would finally turn around and kick everyone's rear end, forget it. He never will, and I bet, in real life, someone like that would continue working at Walmart.
Another Gay Movie (2006)
It should be renamed "American Fudge"
As some reviewers noted here, this movie is a gay version of American Pie. I therefore propose it to be renamed "American Fudge".
The film "Another Teen Movie" was a spoof on most teenage movies, the way they are made and their story lines. I thought this would be parallel--a spoof on most gay movies. But the director's creativity stopped at just rainbow-coloring the American Pie.
I'm not going to criticize sex scenes--they are quite adequate for the film's rating. But if you are going to make a movie about gay teens, at least enable it to get a rating for them to see it. I did not like any of the sex scenes that were not funny, nor did I like any kissing etc., but this opinion is biased since I'm straight.
I must add I was particularly disgusted by the scene with the old man and the "girly" boy. We hear too many times about this type of homosexual men going for underage boys (sometimes even early teens). They like their boys young and quite often the law is disregarded when no one is watching.
I found the scenes with the teacher to be funny, not because of gross stuff that happened there, but because of the situation the character found himself in. To me it looked like rude humor. I also like the helpful daddy with all those butt plugs (he's a wonderful parent, ain't he?!)
To sum up, I wouldn't say the movie was awful. I'm a psychologist and I bet there are a lot of men out there with homosexual curiosity who never admit to anyone they have it for various reasons. They might be buying/renting this movie to safely satisfy this curiosity, as it is disguised as a mainstream comedy. So for the right audience, this film is great. It's very gay, it's nude and doesn't stop at cuddling. Does it correctly portray real-life gay relationships and emotional issues? I don't think so. "American Fudge" is a movie, and it's a spoof, not a documentary.
This is just about as phony and cliché as an action flick can get. It is so phony it almost looks like a spoof because every element a spoof would laugh at is in Lethal. You have everything--an evil psychotic Russian mobster, an ass-kicking bimbo, professional terrorist mercenaries who can never hit a target 20 yards away in the open and never shoot together (they pop up one after another just to miss their target and be killed by the bimbo waving a machine gun at them). The bimbo can walk, look straight ahead and still see a guy aiming at her from behind. And of course, they all love holding a gun to your head and telling you all about their emotional problems leading to them becoming terrorists, giving you plenty of chance to escape. Watching this movie, you almost scream "will you shoot her already!" To add insult to injury, a building where they develop space-age military technology must be guarded by a horny useless nerd. You can get in with someone's ID and of course the entire office floor is conveniently empty in the middle of the day, no computer is locked, no files are encrypted. But I'm sure if they were, any bimbo could quickly "break" the encryption or guess the password. And you guessed right, dear readers, you hear a police siren literally a second after the last shot is fired.
Oliver Twist (2005)
Mr. Polanski's chainsaw massacre of a great Dickens' story...
Polanski either suffers from amnesia due to his age, or didn't have enough money to hire actors for key story characters.
Where is Monks? Rose? Mrs. Mayley, her son, doctor Losberne? If you managed not to lose the chimney sweeps guy, how could you lose these? Where is his friend Dick and his "God bless you?" They are necessary to show that despite all, there is humanity in many people and you shouldn't give up, and that's what carries Oliver on (otherwise he'd just succumb and die). This story, through Oliver and others teaches about people and issues at the same time. That's its substance. It's packaged up into adventure novel. Polanski, however, manages to remove both the substance and the packaging. Nothing is left.
As you read, you realize that each character is a mirror in which you can see inner Oliver, through his interactions with this character, because on the outside Oliver is not much more than a pale poor boy whom everybody uses left and right. The story truly needs some happy parts where Oliver is grateful to his benefactors and shines as a loving and caring person to contrast with gloom surrounding his life. Polanski removed them and the movie is almost entirely gloomy (except summer-fair London sets), which means children are not going to like it. He then proceeded to remove the suspense element, which is the mysterious, evil and powerful Monks' plotting against innocent Oliver without him knowing it, so you are no longer on the edge of your seat or care to see what's next. He then took out emotional parts where Oliver is redeemed for his suffering and has a chance to show himself. What more do you need to make a gloomy, boring movie? No wonder the box office results were boring and gloomy.
Some will say those are subplots and can be removed. But just as you don't remove (because you are such a celebrity) parts from a Mozart symphony, you don't cut up a Dickens' story, because in the end, everything makes sense, comes together, and makes for a great experience. A great story is like an organism, and no matter how famous a doctor you are, if you remove key organs, your patient will die.
Somebody said that eliminating Brownlow's ties to Oliver's family was justified because it was improbable that they would meet in real world. A lot of things are improbable in the real world, but they happen and this teaches us not to lose faith the greater good. Plus, I find it even less believable that in the real world, if Oliver didn't remind Mr. Brownlow of Agnes, he would even consider raising him. In the movie he says "there's something interesting about this boy" What is interesting? Maybe the fetching good looks? The colorful brown rags he's wearing? What?
Finally, where is Dickens London? Where are those shabby, barely standing, ugly buildings? Everything's clean, pretty, and I repeat, summer fair looking.
I finished reading the book this morning. The story is so interesting it makes you turn those pages, you are "on the edge of your seat". Quite a contrast to this "adaptation", which is not really Dickens story at all, except maybe character names.
I'm surprised at the rating and number of positive reviews for such a dull, uninteresting film.
P.S. Ladies and gentleman, a small correction! Oliver Twist story is NOT set in Victorian era, as the queen in question was crowned three months after publication.