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Overwrought, intelligence-insulting blockbuster tripe. Nolan dines with Shyamalan & Lucas
Nolan gets lost/off in the baroque intricacies of his "mind-bending" plot at the expense of pretty much everything else. The talents of the many excellent actors thrown together to create this pretentious, money-sucking crap are simply wasted. Don't expect any fire from these pieces of wood.
Nolan asks the viewer to turn his brain on just enough to try to follow the idea (you have to suffer through an unbearable amount of exposition), but then hopes that enough action, effects and oppressive soundtrack will stun that same brain into not questioning the ridiculous character motives, sloppy plot contrivances, and breaking and bending of his movie's own rules. If you feel like you haven't heretofore been sufficiently crushed by suspension of disbelief and reason, then this is your movie.
As an aside, the movie felt like a converted book or graphic novel and it's likely this non-existent original medium would have allowed for a more credible attempt at floating this turd.
Children of Men (2006)
Overrated: Great camera-work, but simplistic plot and weak acting
It's a paper napkin idea fleshed out just enough to make a decent action movie. Though the director makes little use of his actors' talents, he puts together some fantastic action sequences. The first 10-15 minutes are filled with painful explanatory dialog, just to make sure every moron and his jumbo Diet Pepsi gets what's going on. Yes, we get it, all women have become infertile and the world is f^cked.
After the oddly abrupt ending, I walked away disappointed that this movie was the same one that so many reviewers have raved about. The rendering of our potential future dystopia is deeply disturbing, and if you're inclined to get depressed about our world going down the toilet, you might want to stay away.
War of the Worlds (2005)
It stinks. It really does.
For you effects lovers who don't care about much else, stop reading and see a matinée. For the rest of you that think effects should be subservient to worthwhile plot and well-crafted editing, read on. (I'll be as brief as IMDb allows).
As others have said, the first 45 minutes or so of this flick are worthwhile. Good tension-building and good action. It's a steady and painful decline from there until, after a couple of unintentionally funny military lines, your jaw drops in utter horror at how ridiculously Spielberg finished the film.
WotW gets 3 stars from me because the first 45 minutes were a 7 the ensuing 1'15" a 1. Please don't support this kind of substandard entertainment by paying full box office price as I foolishly did. I should have surmised that the advertising onslaught was a desperate attempt to rack up as much 1st week cash as possible before the word got out about how bad this film is.
In Good Company (2004)
hackneyed humor. Little chemistry
Though I hadn't spoken to anyone who'd seen this, the ratings were pretty favorable. I also had enjoyed About a Boy, which Paul Weitz also directed. Unfortunately, this thing is a stinker.
The writing is uncreative and the attempts at comedy hackneyed and forced. There is no chemistry between Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansen and in all but one scene, I did not buy that Dennis Quaid was her father.
As far as Ms. Johansson goes, I'm surprised she's lasted beyond flavor of the week. Sure, she's pretty and sweet, and has a cool name, but she's also extremely limited and bland. She plays every role the same. If she'd died after Ghost World, she'd have been a minor cult figure. Now, she's just boring.
Other irritations in this movie: too many montages, too many utterances of the word "awesome".
Search your feelings. This is NOT the redemption people say it is
If Ep1 and 2 disappointed you, then this will disappoint you only slightly less. If you think I'm being generous by using the word "disappointing" with regard to the Ep1 and 2, then save your money and wait for the TV premiere. The acting and dialog are still terrible. And the only way Lucas makes up for it is with more fighting. However, if you get off on space battles, saber duels and wide establishing shots of futuristic cities, then by all means, take your Vaseline and join the dark side.
As an aside to fulfill my 10 line quota, I was distracted by the conspicuously rushed efforts to change designs of ships and uniforms just to make a smoother transition to Episode IV. Yeah yeah, those are the precursors to the X-wings, the Star Destroyers, Storm Troopers, tie fighters - we GET it.
Scotland, Pa. (2001)
Choppy, occasionally funny
I don't know much about McBeth and really don't care how this relates to it. This movie felt a little disjointed at times. I wanted to laugh more than I did. If you're a Christopher Walken fan, you'll still like him. He's the brightest of the few highlights. Some other funny characters like the deputy kept me interested enough until the end.