Reviews written by registered user
Balidorf

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12 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Fun, exciting, a feast for the senses..., 31 May 2007
8/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a film that was made to be seen in a theater. Big sound big images, big action, and larger than life characters.

This film picks up where Dead Man's Chest left off, with the Crew of the Black Pearl looking to find Captain Jack Sparrow(Depp), and return him to the land of the living, from Davey Jones Locker. The story is convoluted, and a bit confusing. Some of the performances are wooden (Bloom), but this film is much more than just the sum of its parts. It features some of the most stunning visual effects I have ever seen. It blends comedy with action, and it succeeds in bringing to a close the events of all three films.

This movie is purely about entertainment, outside of perhaps costume and effects, it is not going to be a "darling of the Academy". Outside of Depp and Rush, few of the performances are that memorable, but the overall effectiveness of this movie lies in its ability to keep you transfixed on the screen even when you are not entirely sure what is going on. The film makers drew the story to a conclusion that left me satisfied despite the fact that it was not the ending I had hopped for, or expected, perhaps this added to the film for me in the end, as it is always nice to be surprised.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Should have been called Mary Jane Loves Peter Parker, 6 May 2007
4/10

The Romantic angle of Spiderman throughout its existence in comics, TV and Film has been an intricate part of its story lines. However it is a secondary part. In the third installment of the franchise Raimi fails to live up to the expectations set by his previous 2 forays into the Marvel Universe of Spiderman. In this third installment he spends too much time focusing on the romantic trials and tribulations of Peter and MJ, and too little time developing meaningful characters or entertaining story lines.

In Spiderman he broke new ground, and set the franchise up to be the go-to summer blockbuster for fans of both the super hero and action genre. In Spiderman 2 he raised the bar, combining incredible action with story lines that were sure to please discerning film aficionados, and comic book fans alike. Balancing perfectly The Romantic story lines, with the dramatic ones, and interweaving them brilliantly with the action sequences that we expected.

In the third installment perhaps he became a victim of the success of the first two. In this film he tries to do too much, too many characters, too many villains, getting too little screen time, and far too much teenage "romantic angst" combined with far too little Spiderman for a film bearing the title Spiderman. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, far too many song and dance numbers for a film not titled Chicago!

In addition, in a move that, much like the first 2 films, I am certain was spurred by the egos of the films stars, Spiderman takes every chance he gets to remove his mask, or at least half of it. How everyone in New York does not know that Peter Parker is Spiderman I do not know. (I guess if they can not figure out that Clarke Kent is Superman it is feasible that they would not figure this out either). Two weeks ago I would have said that Tobey Maguire was Spiderman, and losing him would hurt the franchise, however after this installment, losing all of the big three (calling Dunst one of the big three gives me a bit of a pain, but...) would probably not hurt my feelings at all.

Of course as with most films, not everything is bad, even though there is not nearly enough Spiderman for my liking, the action sequences that this film does contain are spectacular, if somewhat disconnected from the film, and if the film were under 100 min the amount of action in this "action film" would probably have been adequate, however for a film with a running time pushing two and a half hours Spiderman 3 was seriously lacking in action for stretches that seemed to drag on for an eternity while we suffer through the twist scene.

The Good News is, this movie will make a fortune, so this very bad installment will not sink the Franchise, however the bad news is, this movie will make a fortune, and therefore the mistakes that were made may go unnoticed by the film maker.

533 out of 943 people found the following review useful:
Whatever I say does not do this film justice, 9 October 2006
9/10

The Departed

The screenplay: Top Notch

The performances: all-star cast delivering all-star performances

The music: perfect

The Directing: Martin Scorsese at his finest and that is saying something.

Once again Scorsese delivers a film that meets or exceeds the expectations of its audience in nearly every way. There are moments of incredible tension, violence, and drama, moments where characters reveal their vulnerabilities and weakness. Comedic moments and moments of sadness and through it all a multi layered and brilliant story is told by an American film maker who once again proves Harvey Keitel correct when he said, "Maybe he (Scorsese) got what he deserves--exclusion from the mediocre."

This film is Scorsese's finest work since Raging Bull, but it is not simply about Martin Scorsese or the amazing screen play by William Monahan, it is more than an amazing score, and great cinematography. While many of the accolades for this film belong to those behind the scenes people who envisioned and directed this film. One would be remiss to not point out the great performances of an all-star cast, many of whom deliver the finest performances of long and storied careers. Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon deliver incredible performances.

However the performance that stood out for me was Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg's Sgt. Dignam stole every scene he was in, and he shared screen time with each of the afore mentioned actors. He gets to deliver some of the best lines, and with every scene he leaves the audience wanting more, and anticipating his next scene.

Since The Academy has had its collective heads stuck … for so long, mentioning a Scorsese picture and Oscar in the same sentence seems to be a waste of time. That being said I can not say if he will finally win the Oscar that he has deserved for so long, as his major competition (Flags of our Fathers) has yet to be released, I will say that I expect to see Wahlberg nominated for best supporting, and Leo and Damon will be pitted against one another once more, this time for best actor, Monahan will be nominated for writing, and of course Scorsese will be nominated for director. Also, it goes without saying a best picture nomination will be in order for The Departed.

That was the long version; the short version is if you like a movie with incredible performances, direction, music and visuals. If you like a layered story that is not formulaic, in short if you appreciate film making and story telling at its finest then see this film. Even with the glowing reviews of myself and others, and the high expectations they will undoubtedly bring I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

51 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
Sweet, Funny, Brilliant, & Unique, 18 April 2006
9/10

I watched this film on recommendation from a good friend whose opinion I trust, and let me tell you I was not disappointed. I think I would pity anyone who watches this film, and cannot find a way to relate to its subject matter. Most of the humor (and one of the things that make this movie so good) is that t is based on the assumption that the viewer relates to the events on screen. I can remember times in my life where I had the same feelings as Gabe and the same fears about acting on them.

The performances by the two young stars are very good, while neither of these children may have the talent of Haley Joel Osment or Dakota Fanning (although many recent Academy Award winners do not have the acting chops of Miss Fanning). None the less these kids do a wonderful job; they give performances both humorous and nuanced. These are two truly likable you actors and I look forward to seeing them in future endeavors.

This film does not break any new ground in telling a love story, but where it is innovative is in approaching the subject both from the perspective of children, and more specifically, focusing on this from specifically the boys point of view. Perhaps this made it resonate more with me, being a man who can vividly remember what it was like to first begin to experience the feelings that Gabe begins to experience in this film. However this is a film for all, and is more than acceptable for young and old. I am not certain if children too young to relate to the subject matter would have a full appreciation of the film, however the physical comedy and less subtle humor will certainly still play well with a young audience.

It is a shame that this film did not have a more successful initial run, I have yet to personally come across anyone who saw this film and did not love it as I do. I hope that people will find this movie at their local video store and give it a chance, as it is easily the best romantic comedy of the last year.

The Island (2005)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Logan's Run meets the Matrix, 23 January 2006
7/10

This much-maligned movie by often-criticized (for the most part deservedly so) filmmaker Michael Bay is not as bad as many would have you believe. I would say that what you have here is a movie that is for the first 2/3 a very good movie, and for the final 1/3 or so, just a good movie. This is not a movie that 20 years from now will be remembered as one of the great films of out time, however I still think that it is worth a look at the video store. Go out, rent it, pop it in and for 2'hours and 16 minutes you should be entertained.

Scarlett Johansson is charming and sexy, and holds her own as an action star, Ewan McGregor shows that he is more than Obi-Wan Kenobi and Renton. Sean Bean is very good, as is Djimon Hounsou, whose work I enjoy more in everything I see him in. Some of my favorite characters in this film are the supporting cast, such as Ethan Phillps who is probably best known for his role as Nelix on Star Trek voyager.

Don't be fooled by those who might tell you to avoid this film, just do not go into it expecting to see the next great Sc-fi movie. Watch this movie for its interesting if not totally original story, and for some exciting action sequences, the one thing that Bay is good for. The performances, while not Oscar worthy are more than adequate.

2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
7 out of 10 for kids, 5 for adults, 18 January 2006
6/10

This was not the worst movie I have ever paid money to see, nor was it the best. It is true that the animation is sub par, but had I not already been bombarded with opinions about how poor the animation I probably would not have really even noticed it. I also think that had I never seen the trailer I would have enjoyed this movie more, because there were ample laughs in this film, however so many of them were previewed in the trailer that when I sat in the theater the laughs were few and far between.

As I said this movie is great for kids, and I recommend it to anyone looking to take there children to this movie, they will love it. If you are going hoping that someone has recreated that magical formula that movies like Shrek and Finding Nemo managed to put to such good use (A movie that appeals on many levels to both children and adults), you will be disappointed. This movie does have several laughs that are obviously aimed directly at the adults in the audience, however if you have not figured out who the villain is by the second time that you see him you really are oblivious to the world around you. Of course this is a movie that is first and foremost for children, and as such the flaws, in what I admit is actually not a bad concept, do nothing to take away from your child enjoying this film, and as there are too few good movies out there that your children can enjoy, and that we as parents can stand to sit through I will say this in closing.

If you are looking for a good film for the whole family, then this is probably as good an option as is available in the first month of 2006, however if you are looking for a film that will appeal to a more mature film goer, and you are not taking any children with you then I say give it a pass and catch it on DVD.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
I liked this movie, 15 February 2004
8/10

I really liked this movie, it made me laugh, and that was the point. I became a really big fan of Jack Lemmon, and he and Garner had chemistry in this movie, although I am thinking that Lemmon was such a great talent that anyone could have chemistry with him. Watch this movie, I think that you will like it, and if you don't, sorry.

My rating: *** out of ****

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Huge Visuals, short on character development (small spoiler), 4 February 2004
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Master and Commander was released I saw it with high expectations, Paul Bettany and Russel Crowe bring a great deal of talent to the project. and the cinematography promised to be spectacular. Both the acting of these two thespians, and the sweeping vistas deliver as promised.

The problem that I have with this film is that it spends a great deal of time introducing and developing the characters of Capt. Aubrey and Dr. Maturin, but next to no time is spent developing the supporting characters. We learn very little about them, and really don't grow to care for these characters. this makes it difficult to feel any deep level of sadness at the deaths of several of them in the Final battle scene, beyond the normal feelings of "oh they died, that is too bad". The scene where the sailors are laid out in preparation for burial at sea draws very little emotional response, had we been allowed to get to know these characters a little more this could have been a deeply moving scene.

If pressed I would give this movie a reluctant thumbs up, based on the performances of Crowe and Bettany, and the amazing visuals, but I would not place this movie any where near the top 50 movies I have seen in the last 5 years, and if pressed for a one word description of this film, I would be forced to use the word overrated.

** 1/2 out of ****

Not the worst movie I have ever seen, but..., 17 January 2004

It was my wifes turn to choose the movie tonight, and as such I was subjected to another "Romantic comedy." I went in with mixed expectations, I am a big fan of Ben Stiller, however the Ben Stiller character, Reuben Feffer, in this movie, is little different from, Gaylord 'Greg' Focker in Meet the Parents, or Ted Stroehmann from There's Something about Mary. Along came Polly, however does not measure up to most of Stillers, previous movies, and in particular the two afore mentioned.

This movie however will fit right in with Anistons previous Film resume (The Good Girl being the exception). She has so much potential, and obvious talent, but so far has not shown a great deal of good judgment in her role choices.

My question with regards to this movie was, did Jack Black turn the producers down, because Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in a "Jack Black type" performance as Sandy Lyle. I have always called Hoffman "The thinking mans Jack Black", apparently he can also dumb it down and pull the low brow "fart jokes off as well. Hoffman, along with Hank Azaria were the two performers who actually shone in this other wise mediocre movie. I am giving this movie a reluctant 5 out of 10, Given the expectations I had for the Stars of this movie I was hoping for a 7 of 10.

Wow!, 24 December 2003
10/10

The ROTK may not be the best movie of all time, but it is definitely top 5, and without a doubt top 2 of my lifetime, only because I was like 5 minutes old when The Godfather was released, and The Godfather is a film without equal. I have always answered the question "Have you read the lord of the rings?" with the answer. "It is not have I read the Lord of the Rings, but how many times have I read the Lord of the Rings". Well my answer will be the same for these 3 films, and ROTK in particular. In my opinion had the extended version of this film (admitidly I have not seen it, and am only speculating on its quality)been the theatrical release I probably would have rated it # 1. As it is This movie and its 2 predecessors are among my favorite of all time. Peter Jackson, well done!


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