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After all the hype I heard surrounding Antichrist, I finally decided to sit down and watch it. Wow. This has to be the most disturbing film I've seen since Human Centipede.
Granted, the cinematography was very good, but the overall movie is just atrocious! Starting off with a slo-mo sex scene which leaves little to the imagination, the film goes downhill from there. After their kid falls out of a window to his death, the couple head off to their cabin in the woods to grieve. What follows is copious amounts of dialogue mixed with some of the most cringe inducing scenes that anyone has ever witnessed.
There is no redeeming value to this film, and I am shocked at the awards it garnered. Some scenes were almost enough to make me want to turn the DVD off. Despite being broken up into "Chapters" - the film has no real flow. It felt like it was 20 minutes at a time of the two leads talking, followed by what in my opinion is torture porn that would be enough for most people to walk out of the film.
Some of the more nasty highlights would include:
- Sex scenes which include shots of full on penetration.
- A scene where Gainsbourg is lying naked in the forest masturbating, until Dafoe arrives on scene and starts to have sex with her while arms emerge from the tree stump they lie on.
- An especially nasty scene where she smashes his testicles with a log and then masturbates him until he ejaculates blood.
- The follow on to that bit where she drills a hole in his leg, sticks her finger in the wound and then bolts a weight to his leg.
- And who can forget the infamous scene near the end where she slides a pair of scissors into her vagina and removes her clitoris.
If this is considered art, then cinema is on a downhill slide. This film is not for the squeamish, and I cannot recommend the title to anyone. Avoid at all costs.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
Can I have my two hours of my life back please?
The only reason this flick deserves a 2 is because they improved in the CGI department. Other than that, this film was a total waste of time, money and theatre screens. Sure, every girl from 12-16 will go see this film like a gazillion times over, but that doesn't constitute the quality of the picture.
There is no chemistry at all between any of the characters, be it Bella and Edward or Bella and Jake. The plot just jumped around all over the place. As one review pointed out, it seemed like the director was just shooting random scenes that would get a squeal of delight from the teen girls and to hell with continuity.
The werewolves looked OK, but the insta-change they did was a slap in the face of werewolf lore. Considering they already blew it with the vampires (no - REAL vamps don't sparkle in sunlight!!) And was it me or do you not one time in the entire film see ANY vampire fangs? Ridiculous.
Anyways. 2 points for effects. Other than that - a total writeoff.
Two Points for Biel's "assets" - None for the movie.
Two points for Biel's "assets". No points for the film.
Sandler follows up his performance in "Reign over Me" by reverting to shtick that has the quality of fourth grade bathroom humor. Don't get me wrong - I loved "Gilmore" and "Madison", but this film was just awful!
Pulling every gay stereotypical joke out of the proverbial hat, and then trying to back step at the end with a Seinfeld-esquire "There's nothing wrong with that" finale.
I don't think I laughed even once through this film. Kevin James just doesn't do it for me. Sandler can be funny, but in this film he missed the mark entirely.
Littered with cameos by Sandler's out of work friends from SNL, and even managing to get Dan Aykroyd on screen again - this film is beyond salvage. Even with a free rental at the store, avoid this film at all costs and watch "Reign over Me" if you want to see Sandler in a movie.
A teenage boy's wet dream
This film was an utter mess. Sure, the CGI was impressive, but it looked obviously computer generated. Most audience members would not be able to sit through this film, which relies totally on mass carnage almost the entire way through without a hint of story or character development. The only way this film has garnered the acclaim it has is from the 17 and under boys rating it an 11 out of 10.
The slow-mo kills and decapitations were overdone and the CGI 6-packs on all the Spartan soldiers looked so fake that it took away from the believability of the army.
Gerard Butler is a better actor than this and Hollywood has to learn that to rely 100% on the CGI to carry your film is not the way to go. In some scenes you can easily tell the actors have been mapped into a 3-D background. A sorry excuse for a film that no doubt appeals to the lowest common denominator.
The Summer of Blockbuster Bombs
Just saw the final (hopefully) Pirates film and wow was it a mess. Clocking in at almost three hours, the film is even longer than the second installment and even more confusing when it comes to plot (or lack thereof)
I won't even try to explain what the hell happens - since it's such a jumbled mess that I don't think even the screenwriters knew what they were doing.
For the first hour or so it's a continual stream of characters back-stabbing each other while attempting to rescue Sparrow from Davy Jones Locker where he wound up after being killed by the Kraken in the second film.
Sparrow back-stabs his allies, Turner back-stabs his allies, Swann back-stabs people, there's a sub-plot about the voodoo witch being some sort of sea goddess in human form, something about Davy Jones and the sea goddess having a thing together - like I said - it's a mess.
The final big battle winds up being just two ships - the Pearl against the Dutchman. So much for this big pirate gathering they talk about in the ads.
To add insult to injury - the ending leaves it wide open for a fourth (god help us) with Elizabeth winding up being King of the Pirate clans or some such thing, Orlando is killed by Jones, then stabs Jones' heart - thus becoming the new captain of the Dutchman after his barnacled big daddy cuts out his heart and puts it in the dead man's chest. Not the ending I was expecting - much less the fact that shortly thereafter we're treated to a post-coital moment between Will and Elizabeth as Will ends his one day ashore every ten years thing. I couldn't help but think to myself "Necrophilia in a Disney flick?"
The film has more "endings" than Return of the King, and winds up with Barbosa and Sparrow both heading off to look for the Fountain of Youth....
As I sit here typing, trying to think back to any moments that I thought were good it is all a blur of noise and cannon fire. Can I recommend the film? Well - the SFX were good - but the film itself as other reviews have noted is a bloated, self-indulgent load of excess that will hopefully prove to be the nail in the proverbial coffin.
Unfortunately, this is not the summer of the sequel. So far, of the three sequels that have hit screens, none of them have matched a candle to their original counterparts. The film will still make probably a billion dollars, but that just serves as a sad indicator of how far down the drain Hollywood has gone and simply reinforces the fact that the American movie-going audience are a flock of sheep that will throw their money willingly at any film regardless of how poor it is. I give Pirates 3 3 stars for SFX and that's it. If you MUST see this film, wait for a cheap day or better yet, wait til December and rent it on DVD.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
My Spidey Sense is tingling! Webhead jumps the shark
Just caught the film last night and I have mixed emotions.
Overall, it was an enjoyable romp for a summer movie, but not without its flaws. The action scenes were very good - albeit a LOT of CG that looked obviously so. The plot was all over the place, and character development was almost non-existent. In a lot of ways, the film reminded me of "X-Men 3" - very rushed, with a storyline that jumped between the multiple plot points way too much.
The CG effects of Sandman were hit and miss IMO. In some cases - it looked really good - and others not so much. Venom was majorly underused and when he was he looked a lot like that dog Milo from "The Mask" when he sticks the mask on - overexaggerated fangs, and lacking the protruding jaw from the comics - just something didn't look right with him. Add to that the fact that even when in full on fangs and white eyes mode - Venom still speaks with Topher's voice - no effect has been added to it at all - which quite honestly looked really off! In some cases it looked like pre-viz work almost. I knew it would be hard to pull of Venom - but with today's state of the art - I was expecting something different.
Acting-wise - well - this is a comic book film, so I'm not looking for next year's potential Best Actor or Actress nominees here...When Peter goes evil mode with the black suit, the scenes are almost too much. I'm not sure what effect Raimi was looking to convey here, but I found much of the time he was just acting plain stupid. Spidey's fights while clad in black are much more brutal - with him not afraid to go beyond what is necessary in the battle - even to the extent of playing dirty. I've long stood by the theory that Dunst can't act and she once again proves it with a 2-dimensional run at MJ. Church, as Sandman, was a throwaway character. They gave him nothing to do except be a stand in for the CG department. Topher as Brock/Venom really didn't have ample time to create anything of a character - another drawback from the loopy storyline. James Franco sways between acting like Willem Dafoe - right down to the squinting left eye thing - to Degrassi mode when he has amnesia. Like I said - I'm not expecting awards here unless they're Razzies.
The big huge battle royale has its moments of pure wow factor, offset by Venom's comical appearance. For most of the fight, Topher has the face pulled away, but you do get 4 or 5 really good looks at him in full on symbiote mode. Without ruining anything, the ending was a bit of a let-down.
The Stan Lee cameo was a nice touch, and Campbell as the French waiter was funny, but the spidey sense line was right up there with the "Holy rusted metal" schtick. Again, stuff like that really detracted from the film IMO.
All in all, I suppose it's a film worth seeing - but if you go in there thinking this is the superhero film to top the likes of "Batman Begins" or the second Spider-Man, you might be disappointed. Worth the price of admission at a matinée, and I look forward to the DVD in November in hopes of some deleted material to fill in some of the gaps and make some sense of the multitude of story arcs.
Waste of time and money
So I enjoyed the first Pirates film quite a lot. Depp brought something fresh and original to the character of Jack Sparrow. This film, clocking in at just under 3 hours in length is probably one of the worst films I have seen in a long time. Gone was the whimsical charm of the first film. Orlando Bloom is quickly proving how limited his acting ability is, and Keira Knightley just doesn't do it for me anymore. The special effects were very good (props to ILM as always on that) but it felt like the Star Wars franchise had overtaken the proceedings with Davey Jones and his crew being a load of over CGI'ed mutant forms of Jar Jar Binks. I recall seeing the initial preview for this film and thinking "What's the deal with the hammerhead looking thing?" and worrying that the film would be a mess of CGI monsters and the like. I was right. The plot was literally all over the place, the characters weren't nearly as likable as in the previous film, and the running time was painfully long. Even my two nephews who I took to see the film thought it was only "OK".... I seriously think I will not see the third one in the series, and my DVD rack will stay with only the one Pirates movie in the collection.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
What the hell happened?? SPOILERS WITHIN
Long-time fan of the comics and fan of the first flicks. That being said - this was one of the worst films I have seen in ages. Brett Ratner should be ashamed of himself.
It is painfully obvious that Ratner never read X-Men, nor did the screenwriters successfully piece together any sort of cohesion to the story. Such utter disregard for the history and development of so many beloved characters is like a slap in the face to true X-Men fans.
With just way too many random story threads running throughout the film, the movie just winds up not knowing which way is up. Razzle Dazzle SFX does not a good film make, and killing off main characters or taking away their powers is a great way to destroy what was a great franchise.
HOW TO KILL A FRANCHISE 101
Cyclops: Phoenix kills him in the first 15 mins. His death is never seen. He dies like a punk. Totally inappropriate. Anyone who's read a comic would/should know this wouldn't work.
Xavier: Phoenix disintegrates him. WTF?
Jean: Ends up getting stabbed by Logan at the end (another huge no-no if you've read the comics)
Mystique, Magneto, Rogue all lose their powers. Pointless.
Not only are there too many story threads, but also too many characters. Angel - who figured prominently in the trailers is in the film for all of 3 minutes, as is Collossus. Shadowcat and Iceman's relationship is twisted since she looks all of 12 years old. And let's not even go there with Rogue whining about not being able to kiss Bobby (hence taking the cure) and Xavier being played as an arrogant SOB.
The sole saving grace in the entire film was Iceman vs Pyro. The rest of it was an illogical hash of SFX, written and directed by an uninspired, uneducated (when it comes to X-Men knowledge), and ham-fisted ability.
The only way this film could be good is if they had hired a different director, different writers, and added about 30 minutes to the proceedings. The film ends up imploding on itself and in the end making no sense whatsoever. A dismal and disappointing end to a great franchise. A true example of what could have been.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
Mediocre at best
In a summer of terrible films (Stealth, Dukes of Hazzard, etc) along comes the 40 year old virgin. About 10 minutes into the film I had the feeling that the script was written by a couple of 16 year olds.
When did a huge amount of cursing become the basis for a movie to be funny? Don't get me wrong - I myself use the F word a lot, but this film tries to pull of jokes, which when they fall flat, are accentuated by a slew of cursing.
The movie plays like a 5 minute story synopsis dragged out over two hours. In the case of the Wedding Crashers, two hours seemed to be almost too long for the film to run. In the case of the 40 year old virgin, 2 hours feels like an eternity....
Predictable, overlong, and lacking the courage to really take things to the next level, this film was obviously rated R for the amount of foul language, since there's barely any nudity in the film....
It's painfully obvious that the film will have the ever so popular unrated tag when it comes to DVD and hopefully that will enable them to actually take some chances the theatrical version didn't.
All in all - I felt cheated by this film, which had promise, but just seemed content to go only so far, falling short of what could have made for some truly funny situations. Padding the film out with the silly side stories simply made the picture drag on too long....
Definitely one that you can wait for DVD.
Addendum: After seeing it on DVD in it's unrated version I have a new appreciation for the film and therefore rank it higher now.
Quite possibly the worst film of 2005 and definitely the worst film Cohen has ever made....
I was really looking forward to this movie. The trailers showed promise, but when I finally sat down to watch it I was let down big time.
Rob Cohen is known for doing schlock action flicks, but he also directed the great "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". Stealth is probably his worst film ever to date and he should retire and disappear after this one.
From a storyline thinner than one of the Olsen twins, to the casting, to the overabundance of CGI, this film just might fly onto DVD shelves quicker than the planes in the film fly.
The only real saving grace to this movie - and the main reason I wanted to see it - was Jamie Foxx. Just imagine my surprise when his character starts off as your stereotyped "black guy sidekick" and then winds up getting killed 30 minutes into the picture!
What we're left with is Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel to look at with some quasi love story mixed with the killer computer from 2001 and some utter re-hashes of old dialogue from better movies.
Let me list the things wrong with this film.
A) Despite the planes being stealth fighters, they do not at any time actually use stealth ability. The planes fly low enough that anyone could see them and only once is the fact that the "stealth ability" on the ship is damaged.
B) I don't know who the military adviser on this film was - there probably wasn't one - but I don't think fighter jets can do back flips while going 900mph...
C) The dialogue was either of a 9th grade English class level or "borrowed" from other (better) films. "I'm not leaving my wingman" was one such instance.
D) The camera guy drank too much coffee...There has to be a better way to get the audience into the action without just shaking the camera.
E) The film tries to suggest that collateral damage is containable to a 100% degree in combat. This - especially in this day and age - is an unforgivable oversight and a real slap in the face to people who have lost loved ones in real wars in the last few years.
F) The film attempts to sensationalize war - much like other films - but winds up making it feel like there's no consequence to an action.
G) Jamie Foxx was totally underused.
H) Biel bailing out of her plane would have been physically impossible. Despite the fact that she was upside down when she ejected, the g-force of a spin like that would pin her into the cockpit.
I) I'm no scientist - but when an object reaches terminal velocity, opening a parachute would have detached the top of the body from the bottom. When she hits the ground too, amazingly she has no injuries!?
J) The N Korean sniper with his hail mary shot that hits her from like 40 miles away in the shoulder ends up causing her to limp?
K) For not a second did I think any of the actors (Foxx included) could possibly be real fighter pilots - much less the elite stealth pilots!?
I could go on and on and on. Let's just say that if you MUST see this film, then try to get it on a 2 for 1 rental night in September when it hits DVD. Anyone who pays good money to see this crap needs their head seen to. Anyone who actually thinks this film is GOOD - well gee whiz - they're either 10 years old or as one reviewer said they would have just had a lobotomy.
If you want a good fighter pilot flick - rent Top Gun again.