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Individuals do stand up for what they believe in
In what is a very powerful told story about the German Nazi regime during world war II, Americans get a glimpse into the fact that not all Germans were in support of Hitler's actions. This movie portrays the story of the final attempt on Hitler's life and the events that took place. The men involved were compelled they "have to show the world that not all of us are like him."
Most anyone watching the film will know the end of the story, then again who knows with the American education system. But even assuming that you did learn a thing or two about history the story is engaging and does keep you wondering what will happen next. The better question is that it begs what if things happened just slightly different then the events that occur in the film depict.
Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast do an excellent job in displaying the characters of the film. The sense of tension and urgency comes through from the actors on screen and you are drawn into the feelings that the real life person's must have been feeling in these intense life and death situations. From argumentative discussions to the planting of the bomb to the silent looks and glances the film does an outstanding job of letting the audience feel like they are right there in the scene through out the film.
The re-telling of the famous Stauffenberg is very worth of it's own film and the story is quite interesting. It gives an alternative view point of Germans during world war II and allows the movie watcher the chance to see that on this earth we are all human.
Novel idea, poor execution
In the style of the half budget b-grade sci-fi films Antibody delivers just about what it promises. Low quality acting, writing, sets and special effects. The film takes at least a novel approach in trying to come up with a new idea for a sci-fi film. Gaynes, played by Lance Henriksen, is a bomb specialist who botches an assignment. However it was a mistake because the technology was brand new. The unlikely hero finds himself in the right place at the right time when the technology comes around again. That new technology being the bomb detonator being implanted in the person themselves and linked to their vitals. The person with the detonator dies, the bomb goes off. So how do you figure out how to disarm the bomb. While you shrink yourself down in a ship that can travel the human body and disarm the bomb. From ridiculous dialog too poor acting this movie is mostly a waste of time. There is a scene in which two characters, who are members of the shrunken crew, discuss the fact that they have to lie about what they do for a living to their parents. The first states " my parents still think I work at Starbucks." The response, "I told my parents I'm in the XFL" "Aren't you worried they will find out you are lying?" "Are you kidding no one watches the XFL." Buh dun clash... There the best part of the movie removed so you can save the two hours it cost me to watch it.
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Hot tubs are so awesome they can send you back in time!
I can just imagine the person trying to pitch this movie. "Ok so here me out now we are going to have these older guys travel back in time in a hot tub! And they will be back in the 80's and it will be hilarious. And we will put in references to other movies and just make it soooo funny" Oh yes that sounds super duper awesome! or not. Seriously I don't know how this movie was pitched because anyone who looks at a script and sees the title HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, has to ask "seriously?!?" That said this movie is surprisingly a well rounded flick for something that looks and sounds like it would just be a pile of used socks outside of a Goodwill donation center. It's go some great throwback references to classic 80's ski movies and time travel movies. And heck we even have McFly (Crispen Glover) in the movie. Now of course he is a different character but that is just obvious casting to use a Back to the Future actor in a movie about Time travel and the 80s.
The rest of the cast does an excellent job playing their characters. From straight humor to being an asshole to the emotional tornado that is John Cusack from so many other films.
This film is definitely a stupid humor movie. Don't expect any Oscar awards for this, but do expect to laugh a good amount. The humor is definitely a bit more directed toward guys and likely it's not a very good date flick. But if you expect to see a movie about a hot tub and a time machine and cheesy 80s hair styles this will fit that very specific bill.
Shutter Island (2010)
who is 67?
A fresh attempt to make a story with an unexpected twist to keep the audience guessing until the end is just what this films attempts to do. Attempts but doesn't quite succeed as well as others have before. The film does leave the audience wondering what really is going on. We have two detectives that arrive at shutter island and must figure out the mysterious disappearance of a patient.
The set design and production values are well accomplished. Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are accompanied by Ben Kingsley and perform outstandingly through the film. The acting isn't over done and is spot on for each character. The acting really brings to life the story. Although in parts the plot is quite disturbing and can make one look away and cringe for the most part it isn't full of holes and does all tie together.
This film falls short however in the fact that it's so much of a tale about trying to figure out exactly what the real story is that you already guess what the real story is and then have to sit and wait for the picture to tell you what you already know. It's like watching the DaVinci code and knowing what the solution to the puzzle is, the intrigue loses something when you already have the answer to the riddle.
All in all the film is something fresh and tries to be new, It's acting is superb and story line flows fairly well. It simply falls a little boring once you know the punchline. The ending line of the movie however does bump up the score one point just simply because you don't really know how it ends even after you know how it ends.
The Guardian (2006)
The legend of the man in the sea
Casting Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in the same film easily could scream major flop, however this movie is actually rather engaging. Kevin does an excellent job of portraying Ben Randall a US Coast Guard rescue swimmer who on a rescue has a shocking accident that leaves him in a mental state of disarray.
Ben is then sent to teach new recruit rescue swimmers how to save lives. As the expert enters the classroom we witness the clash of power as the previously taught theory mixes the real world application that Ben brings with him.
Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) is of course the star swimmer turned rescue swimmer fresh fish who may just be there to break records. Ashton does a surprisingly well played performance in this film. His character has a very serious internal struggle and Ashton portrays the emotional aspects very well, dismissing the type cast role as a goofy funny guy that is usually reserved for his acting ability. Jake's constant struggle and drive to be the best connects to the audience and we get to really root for the guy.
The story touches on some personal hardships that many people face in their lives and it does well to not try and solve them in a two hour time span, but rather lets them play out.
There are some scenes that do drag a little and with any film with montages there can be some scenes that drag or become repetitive. How many times can I watch them swim back and forth already. That said the story does flow along at a good pace for most of the film although at times it does have a bit of a jerky pacing with parts being very rapid and then very slow.
The only other draw back is that ending is the atypical typical ending in that what you have expected to happen happens and then what you didn't expect to have happen happens. It's like they couldn't decided if they really wanted to not have the happy ending or have the happy ending.
Although the film has some minor flaws it's a well entertaining look at a profession and position that most individuals would never even think about. Rescue workers risk their lives tremendously to save people every day and even each other. It's good to have a film that pays tribute to that and it's great that this film is a good one.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Can you stand on your head?
Tim Burton's wonderful imagination has brought another film full of fascination to life. Alice in Wonderland supports a wonderful cast of actors and characters that can't help but suck the audience in and make them feel as much a part of the world as Alice her self.
The visual entertainment of this film is exceptional as the dimensions and sizes of the world and the characters in it seamlessly shift from one perspective size to another. The sets and proportions of the world are all displayed together on the screen and never seem odd or out of place regardless of how they change.
Casting on this film is excellent with Johnny Depp putting on his stunning show as the Mad Hater. The red queen Helena Bonham Carter displaying her quirky and magnificent exclamation of "Off with her head!" And the wonderful portrayal of Mia Wasikowska as Alice is very memorable.
The film sucks the audience into the world of Alice and does well to keep the audience engaged for bits and pieces with the mystery of discovery of the world as well as the comedic shots that leap around in scene to scene. However the film does have just a slight lacking of fulfillment. It feels like there is just a small piece missing that one can't quite place their finger on. Perhaps it's simply that even with all the right pieces in place there needs just an extra piece to fully congeal into a masterpiece. That said the film is still an excellent rendition of the classic Lewis Carroll fable and recommended.
Sliding Doors (1998)
What if you had just made that stoplight, if you had just been a second sooner. What if you had just turned the corner a moment faster and avoided the splash from the car driving by that just soaked your pants. What if a child blocked your path and made you miss a train. What if is the basic premise of the film Sliding Doors. What path does fate take your life down if you just happen to miss or make a train.
For Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) we get to witness the parallel lives take place and get a glimpse of what may or may not happen as one's future plays out down two separate but similar paths.
The films director (Peter Howitt) does a decent job of story telling by swapping back and forth between the two parallel lives, even jumping from one world to the other with out a cut.
What has potential to be a delve into concepts of fate and decisions boils down to a toil of annoyance for the audience as Helen's character has to go through one existence with a total loser boyfriend Gerry (John lynch) who treats her horribly. It's one thing for a relationship to stay together if the person cheating shows some likable aspects but the film is absent of any of these about Gerry. As the story unfolds the two twists of fate that are being braided the audience has a harder and harder time to find any likable quality about Gerry in either story.
Although the movie is lacking in places it's still an enjoyable and at least in some fashion unique. At least someone's attempted to answer what if in some way.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
A great movie anytime
Full of one-liners and hilarious scenes "The 40-year old virgin" is a comedy that delivers. Andy (Steve Carell) has managed to go through life with one mishap after another and as the title implies has ended up a virgin still at age 40. In this day and age with sex as pervasive as it is in our culture it's surprising to think that someone could end up at 40 a virgin if they didn't actually choose a life of chastity as an ordained minister or nun. The film is ultimately a romantic film about love and the relationship that we are all looking for. As part of the film's message that sex definitely complicates a relationship we get to witness the amusing dating that takes place when sex has been moved off the table. Full of a cast of supporting talent; Cathrine Keener, Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, and others the film is a continuous crack up throughout. Yet it still remains sincere in it's message and depiction of what really is involved in a loving relationship and courtship. Although there is crude humor this is a perfect date movie anytime as men and women will both enjoy it equally.
Japanese Story (2003)
What makes the film boring
I'm not sure why people liked this film so much. It's slow, really slow. The soundtrack is nothing special, it fits the film well in parts, but the music drags on at the end and please use more than one song, the whole end of the movie is the same music over and over.
So the film is a touching romance between two people from different cultures. When nothing about the cultures is really explored. Ok, so now if I get lost in the Australian outback I know not to leave my vehicle. They have the whole side plot that she is supposed to be a geologist/software developer, which doesn't matter to the films core, but then they give you all this extra development that's mostly pointless. The only thing that it does, and what I actually liked, was show great shots of the outback and the vastness of Australia.
As a love story the film is very weak, I don't really buy the romance between the characters at all. People seem to be more focused that the "twist" of the film is something new or special and that the acting during that scene can forgive the rest of the film. The acting in that scene may have been decent, but the rest of the acting, especially the other actors besides Toni Collette are pretty bad.
If you could sit through "The Hours" and not be bored out of your mind maybe you can watch this film. Personally I think a Huge Grant film has more romance than this boring sequence of overly drawn out shots.
Xi yang tian shi (2002)
What makes this film work.
This movie is a sleek action spy cool girl film. Complete with its classic genre of gadgets and technology and whozits galore. Along side the action kicking kung-fu and gun fights of a Schwarzenegger film. Now with all that to compare it to you think the film would blow chunks. But it actually doesn't.
The film is well put together. Basically two sisters take high profile contract jobs, corporate espionage, hitman contracts, etc... A new cop on the scene may try to take them out, but who is really working for the better cause. The plot doesn't try to be overly complicated but still is enough of a plot to keep the audience engaged.
The action sequences are well shot and move fast and well. The technology of the cool watches and spy satellites isn't completely unbelievable and does actually add the appropriate amount of 'cool factor' to the girls and film. The story isn't anything overly complex or lower IQ simple, but does keep the viewer interested. Everything works just the way it should and it fits together like interlocking puzzle pieces.
I expected this movie to be something akin to "Charlie's Angels" the first one. This movie is much better. If you were to compare it to eating different brands of ice-cream "So Close" would be your favorite brand and flavor, and "Charlie's angles" would be like a nasty banana split. Not to say "So Close" is completely mind blowing, but it does what it sets out to do and leaves you with an extremely satisfied flavor in your vision. A definite recommendation.
One more thing the english dubbing of this film was quite good. Although the subtitles don't always match, the story line is still the same. You don't even need to have the subtitles on if you are lazy and just want to watch it in english you won't notice almost any times when the characters mouths move different from what they say.