Reviews written by registered user
Frogfisher

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31 reviews in total 
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76 out of 127 people found the following review useful:
Good and entertaining... but lacks the novelty of the first., 20 August 2014
7/10

A Dame to Kill for is by no means a boring or bad film. It succeeds as a satisfying sequel to the far more novel and perhaps stronger Sin City... it is bloody, violent, beautifully made, with cool deep voices, nudity and clearly fitting into the film noir genre. Where it falls short is in the charactersationssliding a bit, the strength of two original stories, the change in actors and the gap between the first and second film. There is also a desperate need for more iconic moments which the Sin City comics and the film has plenty of, but they never really come in A Dame to Kill for.

The characters seems less edgy, less strong charactered and some despite being far more stereotypical carries less of a punch. Especially Marv and Dwight who are the central characters fall a bit short. With Dwight almost feeling detached from the story he is the centre character of. I never thought I would find myself ever thinking that Owen over Brolin. Rourke however seems to have lost some of his edge again, but still causes plenty of mayhem. The new original story lines is probably as good as the rest, but it feels like we never get a very satisfying end out the first one of it especially because it plays as probably the most straightforward story with less of the iconic art work or stunning scenes put in it, it relies on Gordon-Hevitt's abilities more than anything else. The second original story however fairs better mostly due to Alba's dancing and Rourke's brute. If one has not recently seen Sin City and goes to see this it can be a bit hard putting things into place in it's sequel... most people benefit from having seen Sin City recently in order to truly enjoy the film's anachronistic narrative.

It is an awesome film, I will not argue against that, and it does give people more of what they want from Sin City. And there is maybe couple of camels to swallow. But I think in time when seen in union with it's predecessor and sequel(s) it will come out stronger than it might appear now.

I saw the 3D version and surprisingly it actually works well for the film, although I am sure the film would be just as good in 2D alone. It is worth seeing in the cinema, it has the scale/action/importance and beauty to justify that. It will not be remembered for it's visuals as much as Sin City, but it will be recognised for how it fits into the Sin City style.

Frozen (2013/I)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Lovable Classic Disney Tale with mediocre elements, 27 February 2014
7/10

I get why it is getting love... not sure why it is getting this much love. The story is nice, the animation is gorgeous, there is the standard comic relief characters (Olaf and Sven are very enjoyable) and there is a message to the whole thing... I hope because it is slightly beyond me what the message is. Face your fears? Love is the answer? Snowmen will melt in the sun? Maybe it was just below me.

Either way it is enjoyable and funny film that is entertaining and has a bit of twist to it. Which is all nice.

But it is an unimportant film with characters who adults at least should find it hard to related to as there is very little explanation or redeeming qualities to them. And the bad things they end up doing is just brushed off in the end. The songs are abysmal, trivial and really below the standard Disney set in the 90s for animated musicals.

For all the things I didn't like about the film I can forgive all except the songs. Had they dropped the songs I could have enjoyed it far more. And it honestly feel like they knew this as the end 20-30 minutes feature no songs whatsoever. Did they just drop them?

But this is me as an adult. Kids will love it for sure. All my points in the first part is still relevant. And kids will respond to this. And they might find the songs more appealing than me. And maybe not care too much about the character flaws.

So do not avoid the film... just don't expect too much for adults to love about it.

Gravity (2013)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, intense and so very simple, 11 November 2013
9/10

I like simple ideas and even more so if the results are as simple in it's execution. But to get a truly well done minimalistic result a lot of work goes in to it. Sometimes even more than on more complex projects.

Gravity is simple. Very simple really. Sure there is a storyline. But there are no twists, no surprising external influences on the course of the story. There is a very limited amount of actors and elements we need to relate to. And there is no protagonist. It is as close as you get to a real life drama.

But in it's simplicity it is also extraordinary beautiful. And here it is clear the effort to make it simple is truly complex and monumental. Cuaron is a man known for long shots, swooping camera movements, toying with effects, point of view and other visuals. And it feels like this is what it all leads to. It is perhaps the most beautiful film I have seen in the cinema. It is crisp and truly awesome images we see. Even when everything is chaos and hopelessness sets in the images are beautiful and scary. The effect are just breathtaking.

My favourite scene involves an astronaut seemingly disappearing into darkness set against the Milky Way as a background. It is such a powerful images and full of so darkness and light and infinite space. It is a scary and yet awesome.

Clooney is great, Ed Harris is comforting and Sandra Bullock is at her best. And that is all there need to be said about the cast. That is all there can be said.

The 3rd act does turn into Hollywood film territory as the fight for survival comes to an end. And the turning point is quite clear to me in retrospect. But even during this Cuaron makes the film beautiful and suspenseful. Even if we know the outcome. Almost at the very end the whole cinema literally gasped.

Cuaron has made a breathtaking film using his usual tricks and his sense of visuals. I think this is the film of the year so far. Nothing has come close to the impact this film has had. For me and clearly for a lot of other people.

And watch it in 3D. It really works.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A big entertaining western flick but maybe too big, 3 September 2013
8/10

The Lone Ranger is an iconic character. So iconic that he has inspired other masked heroes. You need something special for a character like that. At least thats was the thought behind this years film.

The story is almost identical to the classic story of The Lone Ranger. 6 Texas Rangers ride in to Byrant's Gap chasing Butch Cavendish. Only one of them survives the younger brother of the captain. Set on capturing his brothers killer he puts on a mask made from his brothers vest and sets out assisted by Tonto, his native American sidekick and Silver his white horse.

Certain aspects have been changed with all characters now being connected through their past in some way as is the custom in modern adaptions. A few bizarre and dark items have been added. But a load of humour has been added as well. The whole thing is intended as a story told to a young fan by a much older Tonto. It is a quick story that still manages to feel a but drawn out towards the end. It is broken up in a quirky way once in a while as the kid Tonto is narrating to interrupts in disbelief. And understandable feeling as the film becomes more and more incredible in its action and certainly some elements concerning Tonto. It is hard to tell how serious we are supposed to take the film with its mix of genuine drama, dark elements, dark humour, slapstick humour and fantasy action. It becomes a bit much.

Armie Hammer is better here than most of his previous work, but with the same demeanour and the same comedic touch. It is a mostly dislikable character those very typical for Hollywood. But Hammer manages to carry being the title character reasonably well with a mix of overacting and charms. Johnny Depp who is supposed to be the side kick pretty much pushes the ranger forward the whole time. And of course manages to steal pretty much every scene. It is a miracle Hammer manages to remain the main character throughout playing up against Depp. Depp is okay in the role channeling only partly his typical quirky characters and managing to find new ground. However why they gave him a fake nose which is only really noticeable in a few scenes is a bit odd. William Fichtner is alright as a dark villain playing it balanced enough not to make him too macabre despite his actions in the film. James Badge Dale has the probably most likable character in the film and he makes him more so. You feel like you want to see more of him. Tom Wilkinson is one of his sort of generic baddies and could he be replaced with any other generic baddie actor. Ruth Wilson is a bit confusing. A times acting like a tough damsel in distress who goes chasing the baddies on the side of train in a big dress for no significant reason... but she never really conveys that she can take care of herself she just acts determined.

The film does know it is a bit of hot pot of things. Tonto keeps saying "nature is out of balance" which allows for a lot of craziness but is only used in a couple of humorous situations and a single "wtf"-moment. The rest plays a long as a typical (maybe even stereotypical) western with a bit of jokes thrown in and Jack Sparrows Indian cousin running along. Until the end when the film realises the action is going to be silly and they change pace, music and location to allow for some truly grand action in the vein of Buster Keaton and co. This confuses one while watching.

The effects are great. They come off very real and match the atmosphere incredibly well. And it is very beautifully made with great shots of the landscape and toned down colours. The action pieces are a mix of CGI and stunt work. It is all seamless woven together and very atmospheric. There is no complaints about the visual side of the film to be found. Unless one counts the visual gags.

The film is a hard sell because of the label Western. It has been like that for years. But Disney probably thought that since Pirates had been a tough sell before their Pirates of the Carribbean franchise they could pull this off if they added enough Depp and effects. Adding Bruckheimer and Verbinski seems like a safe choice as well. And to be honest I can it see work without all of this... and with. It is gamble to throw money after the film to make it work. And you can feel they did. It feels and look expensive. It feels too big.

The film is a grand entertaining western probably the biggest western I have seen that actually feels like a western. But it is confused what it wants to be none the less. It is a well done film with a visually strong and talented director. But it is a bit bland story and character wise and it feel a bit long. Had the director been someone else the film might have come out worse. It is very easy to imagine so.

As my wife said: "I normally wouldn't have paid to see this film". I agree. I like it and it is entertaining. But I could easily have waited until the DVD release. However I do still want to see the sequel!

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Some pain and only little to gain, 30 August 2013
6/10

I have to be honest. With the label "Directed by Michael Bay" I have started to be more cautious getting my hopes up as he remains consistent in a way I do no appreciate. My hopes weren't high for Pain & Gain. The trailer seemed silly and the cast oddly hackled together. And even the trailer had Michael Bay written all over it. Well I wasn't disappointed or surprised going in feeling like that.

The story is almost too silly to be believable. But that is probably why they went the black comedy way with this one. I won't give a detailed summary as the information provided everywhere else is already too detailed already.

Mark Wahlberg is the clear main character and he plays the cocky, arrogant idiot quite well albeit a bit exaggerated for my taste. His accent and Mark-isms lets him down and he feels slightly out of place. Which would be fine if he wasn't supposed to have been playing a Latin guy. Anthony Mackie is an odd choice and he could easily have been replaced with any one else as he never really owns the part. And as others have said he is just not big enough to play the dumb body builder type. The Rock however is just awesome. He is having quite a busy year and managing to steal a lot of scenes in the films I have seen him in so far. Clearly my favourite performance in Pain & Gain. Tony Shaloub is good as the Sun Gym Gangs first victim and has the right demenaour to make you feel sorry for what is basically an uncharming-lucky-asshole-character. Ed Harris is the only sane person in the film and provides the reason of the film. The rest of the cast is like any Michael Bay film either directly annoying or written to be insignificant no matter who plays the character.

The film is a loud, shiny, exaggerated, silly film that despite having a trademark messy chaotic ending does have a bit of heart mainly through Wahlberg, The Rock, Harris and Shaloub. You don't feel with Wahlberg or Harris but you understand their personalities very clearly and can relate to what they are doing. Some scenes are just painfully dumb not just the characters but chaotic nature of the scenes and the repetitive nature of the director. Basically "same scenes, different actors". Sure it is well executed and beautifully done. But it makes it unoriginal and shallow. Especially the constant use of rather macabre scenes with big breasted female corpses.

There is explosions, violence, torture, severed limbs, sepia toned scenes, the underside of a plane taking off, gratious shots of Miami, fast cars (although not the gold Mercedes from the real life story), strippers, annoying characters, frog perspective street shots of characters and a 360 degree shot of the action. All trademarked Michael Bay. So much it almost annoys me.

But the film is also fun. Despite not having any subtlety whatsoever the characters are not as annoying as they could have been under the director. It is quick paced and at no point did I go "how much is left?". The characters are easy to understand and are not forcibly put through a change of character as they develop, making them all the more believable to me. The use of flashbacks, voice overs and toward the end a very awesome title card works really well for the film. It makes it feel like the director hasn't given completely up trying to develop his arsenal of effects.

In the end this feels like a Michael Bay film. No doubt about it. The directing, the effects and some of the subjects are taken directly out of films like Bad Boys 2 and his other flicks. But it is fun and it tells a unbelievable story in a quick action packed pace that suits the target audience for sure. But it never tries to be very smart or show any compassion for the real life people. But then again I don't think any one intended it to. It just wants to entertain. And it just manages to do.

An entertaining addition to the Tolkien world, 26 October 2010
8/10

I have to say this short film surprised my quite a lot and that being after I heard good things about it. It actually was extremely well done for a free internet film.

The premise is taken from The Lord of The Rings appendices where in Gandalf tells Frodo that Aragorn had been trying to capture Gollum before the Quest of the Ring began.

Basically we see Gandalf ask Aragorn to find Gollum and thereafter how Aragorn track him down and capture him. Not a very intricate story. Which it appears the filmmakers have realised. Because they have in the Spirit of Peter Jackson & Co added some romance to the story in form of Arwen (much like The Two Towers added appendix material to the story)

What one can not help but notice is the similarities with Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. The visual side as well as the narrative and audio side lifting much from Jacksons work. And as the film is a fan made film about a subject only true Ringer fans would find interesting this works very well for the film and helps us just come to term with the universe in which it takes place since we already know it.

The production value is incredible, everything from the action, the cinematography, the make-up to the few glimpses we get of Gollum. And how everything is carried out just makes the film so much stronger.

What is the films only weak point I would have to say is the story. As mentioned there has been added romance to give some meaning to the film and with a story the ultimately doesn't lead to many revelations one can come to think of the films as a "why" thing. But the strength comes in the effort and love for the project that is clear to see in the whole film. And how it with no effort actually just manage to fit right in with the films it so long to be part of.

It is well worth the hour it takes to watch it!

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful and heartwarming film, 8 May 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Plot: The boy, Walther(Osment), is left with his old eccentric and rich uncles(Duval and Caine) while his lying mother (Sedgewick) goes off for Las Vegas with her new boyfriend. On the uncle's farm he starts to learn about their eccentricities and why they left America for 40 years and finally came back. While he gets this story he experience the brothers crazy ideas and how they deal with old age. Walther has to deal with what he believes being stuck between the outrageous stories of the uncles past and his mothers lies.

The review: This movie is a wonderful movie for a Sunday afternoon with the family or girlfriend or anyone. It isn't the greatest work of art or a truly deep movie... but it doesn't really want to. The plot is easily explainable and not very original. But that doesn't matter, because it is the best version of the old men telling fairy tales about a grand adventurous past in far off countries. It does it with a glimpse in the eye and a sense of humour that is both warm, intelligent and suitable for the story, it doesn't become a comedy for the sake of comedy. And it touches softly on a range of themes, and touches the subject of truth heavily. With the central story line being a mothers dishonesty and the son's lack of trust, with the son spending time with two old men who tells outrageous stories from Europe and Africa. The main comedy elements is presented through the two old men's eccentric ideas as fishing with guns, skeet shooting, lion hunting and building and flying a plane.

Osment is solid as he was at that age. For me the real enjoyment was Duval and Caine as the brothers. Their chemistry is right for brothers and they play the old men roles good. Caine with his biting sarcasm and Duval's macho strength. They are great!

I would see this one again... and show it to others... it made me feel good... and I loved the end! What a way to go!

9/10

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Lacks heart and some edge!, 19 February 2009
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just saw The Day Earth Stood Still and must admit I have always been fascinated by the title but never saw the original! I try to keep a open mind and since I haven't seen the original I could enjoy it with a fresh mind.

One of the main problems with the movie seems to be that it tries to be the old movie and tell the story in the same way. The threat of total destruction of earth because of our ways of life and one person can of course change our faith. The problem is that we know the story, it doesn't present anything new, not only is pretty much the same story told before but we have seen various renders of this story before. And the movie doesn't manage to move out of this, instead of trying to twist things we are fed with a predictable story, one I expect most will have guessed just by seeing the trailer.

The story is pretty straight forward. Humanity is to be removed from earth because we are destroying it and the only way to save it is for a earth female to show the "diplomatic" alien that human life is worth saving. This isn't easy and extra action has been added by the fact the military and police keep trying to catch the alien. And in the end things are to be done in the last minute(as always) when the world is about to be destroyed by a storm of nano-termites.

The story is a critique of our life style and how we treat the earth. I never really got anything else from the story if there was a theme. It might be that humans are unique for our ability to love. Which of course will have a significant role in the end.

But the story is told seriously and lacks any warmth and the former mentioned love that is to save us is hardly even treated as a subject, it almost seems like the alien change his mind after a conversion with John Cleeses Scientist character. A role even John Cleese plays serious, but at least less cynical than others characters.

Keanu's Klaatu is as with many of Keanu's role almost superficial and shaved down to what looks cool on screen. Jennifer Connelly isn't the most exciting character, Kathy Bates is hard to put a finger on as a character she just plays smarter than the others. And Robert Knepper gets the only sign of humor I remember when he after a failed attack says: "Any one got any other ideas?".

The whole performance seems to be overshadowed by the "green" message and the very convincing effects. And the fact that even in the end it is more about effects than the actual story.

The movie also lacks intelligence, something challenging, we are told pretty everything by the characters, and the only interesting aspects I find is the idea of a biological space suit that seem to pull the beginning up! But it never dwells on any of the intelligent interesting aspects of the movie, even John Cleese character explains too much! So the problem as I see it is that the movie doesn't want to be anything other than popcorn entertainment... the green message and the "uniqueness" of our ability to love is forgotten in the end when we just want the world to be saved.

I gave it 5 only because the effect were really good and that it is okay decent to watch... but I wouldn't have seen it in the cinema! This is the kind of movie that will be very popular on TV and we will see again and again!

This is actually good... well done, 6 November 2007
8/10

I regret I didn't see the whole film missed some of the start, but wauw I really thought it fun and good.

I somewhat like the modest story a crime movie, that just runs amok in silly incidents, fun subplots and a good cast. I think the film works rather well and even though there are rather a lot of subplots the whole thing stick together pretty well. At no time did I feel confused or felt that the film lacked anything. It didn't try to be to much. A thing I loved was that the film was sort of a series of quit realistic scenarios and incidents that you can see happening out there in the real world. And it still manage to be hilarious. My favourite scene is the interrogation scene... I laughed and laughed and woke my roommate... and kept laughing.

This is a new favourite... gotta see all of it a some point.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Solid and entertaining..., 1 June 2006
9/10

Now I'm one of those people who loves the book mostly for the subject of the mystery.

And therefor I simply had to see this movie.

So should I make the usual comparison with the book or just review the movie?

I always try to make the best of a movie for what it is. And in this case the word "thriller" usually is attached to the movie... but as I see it this movie is more of an adventure movie... with a more realistic background than Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tombraider... but the story is still a treasure hunt.

The character work is not superficial but not that deep either, some efforts have been made to develop our main characters, but nothing big. This is probably an effect of the clearly much discussed storyline. Silas and Bishop Aringarosa is where Dan Brown himself have made most back story to show their common background...unfortunately this doesn't get as much attention as Sophie Neveu and partly Robert Langdon. But all characters are believable... and Ian McKellen is a joy as Leigh Teabing.

I for one misses the story line of Silas and Aringarosa and later Captain Fache... there is a lot of good material in this story... Ron Howard has been able to make Silas a tragic villain for sure but Silas's background and why he suddenly is the loyal servant of a bishop doesn't make it... I would love to have seen more of this... and the line "I'm a ghost" could have been used more as to show this difference between his old violent self and the new "angel" self. And the last turn of betrayal by Aringarosa and Fache turning his back to Aringarosa does nothing to make Aringarosa seem more human and tragic... he becomes more evil. I can understand why Christian would have something against the movie over the book where he is much more human, they make the church seem much more cold and calculating in the movie.

As for story.. it is highly entertaining and well put together. It is actually one of those few movies where we don't end in lose ends. We get a nice closure on most subjects. Akiva Goldsman has been able to write a rather solid script where the important things survives and only useless subjects doesn't make it. we get the story we need, but then again not much more. This is the way a movie work. I feel it is always important to view a book and a movie of the book differently. Some things just needs to be dropped and changed to make it a working movie. And for Da Vinci Code they make it work.

The Length of the film is rather long, but I actually forgot it. The pace of the film is not fast but far from slow... we get a lot of information over a short period but the mood of the film is slow, the "car chase" from the embassy where the music and the fast pictures make huge contrast is a good example and I sat there impressed i stead of one the edge of my seat. It is a slow fast movie, unlike most movies being fast. But with a lot of fast movies a lot happens to fast and we get to much information and at one point one sits and things "when is the movie over anyway?", in Da Vinci I instead was able to just enjoy the movie!

Over all this is a solid movie for what it is, not as a mind changing movie, but a highly entertaining movie with a story line that just seems to make people go nuts. A shame actually, for once some people ought to see a movie with out making it all real!

It get a 9 from me!


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