Reviews written by registered user
|12 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't really know how this film could have been further from the
spirit of the franchise. The ending defeated the entire purpose of the
two films that came before it. In each of the other films the main
driving goal of the plot was to save the tablet so the museum will keep
coming to life. In the first film they fight the old night guards and
race through Central Park to see that this happens. In the second film
they wage an epic battle at the Smithsonian against creatures from the
very Netherworld just to see that this happens. In the third and final
film they travel all the way to London to see that this happens....and
then just give up and decide that it doesn't matter if they come to
life or not; they're fine just being lifeless, inanimate museum
displays. If that's the case then what was the point of everything they
did before? Why not just let the old night guards have the tablet in
the first film and be done with it?
They not only basically killed off every single character from the franchise, but they did it for no good reason at all. If it was supposedly so important that this Egyptian family be together (which I find hard to care about since we don't even know these characters) why couldn't the parents just come back to New York? They didn't even try. They were just like "Nope, we're good being dead" when every film has been about fighting to stay alive. I have no clue what they were thinking here with this plot.
To make it even worse they recast the son, Nick, into this new actor who looks nothing like the other boy who probably would be of a somewhat comparable age so it's beyond me why they did it, but the far worse offense than simple recasting was to change the entire personality of the boy. For the previous two films he was a good kid, precocious, close to his dad and loved that the museum came to live. Now he's a lazy, back-talking punk who wants to drop out of school to be an underground DJ having wild parties at his dad's place at 3 in the morning and who seems to care less about the museum or any of its inhabitants. Why rewrite and ruin a character that way for some tromped up father/son angst that feels forced and falls terribly flat?
And to top it all off, not only was the plot severely lacking and filled with holes and ludicrousness (like where was security when Lancelot crashed the Hugh Jackman play?) the film wasn't even funny. I was sitting in a packed theater and there was rarely any laughter at all. I loved the first two films but I couldn't have felt more different about this one. The ending where they killed everyone off was just the cherry on top of the disdain I'd already developed for this. In my mind, the franchise stopped at the second film which had a lovely and perfect ending for all the characters. They should have just left well enough alone but they got greedy to make more money where no more story existed.
I don't know why this movie got such negative reviews. Obviously if you don't know what a smurf is or were not a fan of the original cartoon then this movie isn't going to be for you. But for a child of the 80's, like me, I found it delightful. It was a pleasant, nostalgic treat that while modernizing the smurfs a bit stayed true to the original theme and feel of the cartoon I remember. And, in a surprising twist, the film included humor throughout that was not limited to children alone but quite a few things thrown in to amuse the adults. In fact in the theater I was in the adults were laughing more than the children. Overall, I found the movie to be very cute and a thoroughly enjoyable time. Don't let negative reviews put you off. Be the judge for yourself.
Anytime an attempt is made to go back and add on to something as iconic as the Indiana Jones trilogy it runs the risk of falling short of expectations and, by relation, sullying the original work. However, this was far from the case with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Remarkably, it also avoided the trap of being nothing more than a shameless collection of throwbacks to the original series. While an occasional mention is made of past characters, this film tells a story all its own - an engaging one at that. It was a fantastic film, riveting from start to finish, and entirely worthy of standing alongside the others. While Raiders of the Lost Ark will always remain my favorite, I actually enjoyed this new entry as much, if not more, than the other two. I highly recommend the film to any Indiana Jones fan.
I just saw this film last night and absolutely loved it. Much as the plot would suggest, it's everything you would expect of a Disney fairy tale come to life, with a bit of a modern twist. Amy Adams had the difficult job of portraying a character that could have easily been very two dimensional and clichéd, but she was fantastic, making Giselle a character the audience could sympathize with and root for. The film really has something in it for everyone. The women, men, children, and teenagers in the audience I saw it with all seemed to truly enjoy it. It is an excellent romantic comedy, but also wonderful family entertainment. While it does have moments of humor and subtext meant for the adults to appreciate, this is a film you don't have to be afraid to take your children to see. It contains positive messages for both the young and old - even hints of female empowerment that are so lacking in many of the classic fairy tales. I highly recommend this film.
The first Pirates was an excellent movie, and I was SO ready to love this film. Truly, they had an easy audience with me, as I was set to enjoy the film, no matter what. I simply couldn't imagine myself disliking it - and, on the whole, I didn't. It is a good movie and definitely worth seeing. However, I've got to sadly admit that I was a bit disappointed with the film. Really, the only problem with it was the storyline. The acting, the visuals, everything else was great, but the story was problematic. I understand that being the middle part of a trilogy automatically makes it a "bridge" film, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't have stood on its own. However, as they have written it, it is simply all a lead-in to the third film. Additionally, the story keeps moving from point A to B to C to D, and on and on, without any build-up or time to contemplate what's just happened - in other words, it's a bit confusing. I could, and would, readily forgive all that, but the major problem was, as another reviewer put it, the characters (and by that I, basically, mean Jack and Elizabeth) we knew from the first film aren't always present in the sequel. It's a much darker film, with Jack constantly betraying everyone, and I won't even make an attempt at explaining Elizabeth's behavior in this film that is so at odds with everything her character thought, felt, and displayed in the first Pirates. With that said, it was, nevertheless, a good film. It just doesn't live up to the original. However, I am hoping for redemption of characters and a return to the feeling of the first film in Pirates 3.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The above quote is how this excellent melodrama starts, at it really sets the tone for the rest of the film. "Primrose Path" does a fantastic job of illustrating the lengths a person can be driven to out of sheer desperation. Ginger Rogers' acting in this film is hard to put into words. It's simply perfect. Her portrayal is at once completely natural, yet incredibly nuanced. Two scenes, in particular, when her husband leaves and when her mother dies, are excellent examples of acting at its best. Another of Rogers' films, "Kitty Foyle", released the same year, garnered more attention, mainly because it was a based on a hugely popular book, while "Primrose Path" was highly controversial. Personally, I think Rogers should have won the Oscar for this film, instead of "Kitty Foyle". I highly recommend "Primrose Path". However, be forewarned. While there is no outright violence or sex, this is not a family film, as it deals with very adult themes, such as poverty, alcoholism, and prostitution.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's hard to pinpoint just exactly what's wrong with this film. I think it's a combination of script problems and poor performance, mostly on the part of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra gave great performances in many other films but, as other reviewers pointed out, he seems to be sleep walking through this film, as if he's eager to get a take so he can leave. Nancy Sinatra is young and fresh and gives a sweet performance. Deborah Kerr does her best with what she's been given. Unfortunately, that isn't much. Dean Martin is the highlight of this film. As always, he's fun and charming, and his presence breathes into this film what little life it has. Needless to say, it suffers heavily when he's not on screen and the focus shifts to Sinatra. The plot has many problems. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense but, after all, it's just a film. I could have gone along with the plot, but the main problem is that this film's just plain boring. The basic plot goes something like this: Sinatra and Kerr have been married for 19 years. He ignores her. She complains. At Martin's urging, they go on a second honeymoon in Mexico. Once there, they get in a huge fight, and wind up with a quickie divorce. By the end of the night, both have second thoughts and decide to remarry. However, first Sinatra is called away on business and the wedding must wait until he returns. Martin is Sinatra's best friend and business partner. He leads the free-wheeling life of a swingin' bachelor, dating a bevy of girls but, mainly, his private secretary, Lola. When Sinatra's business detains him longer than expected, he decides not to fly back to Mexico to marry Kerr, who is waiting for him. Instead, he sends Martin (who professes to be an old hand at telling women he's not going to marry them) to break the news to her. In a case of mistaken identity, and before either knows what has happened, Kerr and Martin end up married (the ceremony was in Spanish). He quickly signs annulment/divorce papers, but she refuses to sign, thinking she can use Martin to make Sinatra jealous, and then he'll pay attention to her (Martin & Kerr used to date several years ago). Sinatra finds out her plans and calls her bluff, taking over Martin's pad and dating "Martin's" girls. Kerr acts as if she's mad for Martin and refuses to divorce him. Poor Martin only wants his house, life, and girl friend (whom Sinatra refuses to let him see) back. Sinatra & Kerr's poor children are stuck in between, and Martin is the only one who actually shows some responsibility towards them. Sound confusing and contrived? It is. The ending is incredibly rushed and haphazard. Sinatra & Kerr reunite, but we never get to witness their remarriage. We never get to see if Martin, who is the only one who did nothing wrong, gets his old life back. It's a very disappointing ending that leaves you flat - as this film, in general, does. If you're a fan of Martin's, you'll want to see this just because his performance is so fun, but be prepared to be bored when he's not on screen. For a better Sinatra-Martin pairing try "4 For Texas" or "Robin and the Seven Hoods".
Let me state from the start that this film certainly could have been worse. With that said, it was far from a stellar offering. The actor that played Jerry Lewis did a good job. However, the actor that played Dean Martin didn't looked at all like him. But that's just casting. The problems with this film is much deeper. To make it brief, the film is a one-sided story filled with inaccuracies, mostly in regards to Dean Martin, his life, his attitudes, and his contributions to, and feeling about, the Martin & Lewis partnership. It's easy to see why Jerry Lewis liked this film. To be fair, the film does touch on Lewis' jealousies of Martin and his need to always be the center of attention. However, it only does so in passing, and avoids really getting into the huge role Lewis' jealousies and bad attitude played in breaking up the team. Furthermore, its portrayal of Dean Martin, and his personal life, is riddled with clichés. Anyone who knows the least thing about the real Dean Martin - not the roles he played in his films or his nightclub act - can easily point out where the film substitutes fiction for truth because it makes a more interesting story, and makes Lewis come out looking better. In short, if you're looking for the truth, this film does not deliver.
If you only watch one Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers musical this should
be the one. There has long been a debate over which film is their best:
Swing Time or Top Hat. In my opinion, Swing Time definitely takes this
honor, number two being Top Hat, followed by The Gay Divorcée. All of
their films together are excellent, but Swing Time is set apart because
it takes a much more realistic look at love and life. This film handles
the love affair between Astaire and Rogers' characters in a way that
none of the other films did. The romance is touching, sweet, charming -
The songs are amazing, including "Pick Yourself Up", "The Waltz In Swing Time", "A Fine Romance", "Never Gonna Dance", and "The Way You Look Tonight", which is the greatest love song ever written. The scene where Astaire sings this to Rogers is not to be missed. His reaction to her touch - in this scene, as well as in the "Fine Romance" scene - is priceless. Watch for another not-to-be-missed moment, also in the "Fine Romance" scene, as Rogers uses every feminine trick in the book to try to get Astaire to respond.
Although this goes without saying, the dancing in "Swing Time" is superb. I hardly know words that are sufficient to describe the beauty that is the bittersweet dance number "Never Gonna Dance". The emotion in this scene is phenomenal. It is absolutely exquisite. If Fred & Ginger had, indeed, never danced - before or after - to any other number, this alone would have made them famous. It is the most beautiful dance ever recorded in motion picture history. Every time I re-watch this film, I'm always caught off guard by the sheer beauty of this one scene. For this reason alone, "Swing Time" is definitely a "must see" film.
Let me confess from the outset that I'm a huge Dean Martin fan, so I was predisposed to like this film. However, I still wasn't prepared for this film to be so delightfully amusing. I truly don't understand the low rating. My only guess is, the people who gave this movie such low marks just aren't the right viewers for this kind of a film. "How To Save A Marriage" is very much like the Doris Day/Rock Hudson films (Pillow Talk & Lover Come Back). Those films don't appeal to everyone - usually either you love them or you hate them. If you loved those films, you will love this one, as well. Dean Martin plays a man who mistakes Stella Stevens' character for his best friend's mistress. Of course, Dean plays the eternal ladies man and Stella Stevens is the nice, small town girl trying her luck in the big city. Hilarious complications ensue when Dean finds it necessary to romance her himself for the good of his friend's marriage (thus, the title). If you get the opportunity to see this (and it is quite hard to find, which perhaps also explains the low rating), you really should give it a chance. It's a wonderful romantic comedy and, aside from his Rat Pack films, one of my favorite of Dean Martin's solo ventures.
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