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Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Beyond Revenge - What the brainless critics omits
Twenty year ago, just to read something, I bought my first comic of The Savage Sword of Conan, after that, I watched the John Milius film and specially the books of Robert E. Howard and many more comics. I been reading many reviews and almost all the critics seems to know nothing about Conan except the movie with Schwarzenegger, a very good movie but...
Even when the new Conan The Barbarian has his flaws, a story with a few things in commons with "The lord of the rings", not so much reference to the countries and races of the Hyborian age, and a not so wonderful soundtrack like the Basil Poledouris's masterpiece. If you compare Jason Momoa with the descriptions of Robert E. Howard, the comics, he is perfect as Conan in every scene: he is rude but not so stupid as seems to be in the Milius film, he is full of anger but knows how to use it and knows how to show other emotions, even his dialog is good. Conan, Khalar Zym, Marique, Tamara almost every character show his own story not as pure good or pure evil, every one has an important part.
It began like a bad "pastiche" of JRR Tolkien and after a few minutes became a true Conan movie, with a lot of action, great sword battles, lot of blood (everyone who had read the tales of Conan knows is impossible tells his story without blood sequences) but a wonderful story not only about revenge, but also the sons and daughters thirst to keep the legacy of their parents
I love the John Milius I have seen that film more than 30 times, but I have to admit, this new adaptation (not remake) is far faithful to the work of Robert E. Howard in every single thing.
Dawson Isla 10 (2009)
I have to admit, I didn't read the book, and have not watched "la Nana" the other acclaimed Chilean film; so when I began to see this movie I wait to find something unique, the taste of the Chilean talent but after five minutes I found a few things used by others directors: camera on the hand technique and of course the good looking hero (vicuña, his acting it's very good but they could use some new face) like "Saving private Ryan" , basically in the first minutes of the movie to impact the audience with this world. Chile it's a beautiful place, and any good director (I mean like Terrence Malick)can do good scenes, but after a few minutes there is nothing more than the basic story, the good acting, and the sense they could do so much more.
------ warning possibly spoiler------- About politics, I was hoping a human side in every aspect, and for most part of the movie I found it, but there are some scenes terrible, I don't care who was the bad guy in the past, I care for the heart of the people who live it, but here Littin took his side in way almost ridiculous and in that moment I confirm I was watching the same old story about the traumas of the Pinochet time.
Frankly, I' m not a fan of the Chilean cinema, I loved "Tierra del fuego" of Littin, but watch this movie reminds me the very painful experience of "Transformers 2", counting every second to the end, feeling the bad taste of what could be.
There are many kinds of bad movie, for me this is some kind of art trash (or art of trash), I mean a film made to be a piece of art, but in the end the ambition of the director kill the poetry when he do things who seems to be different of the commercial movies, but are the same thing you can find in other better works.
After watch a movie like this cannot stop to praise "la Nana" at least to make something different.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
The Redemption of WB...But It Could Be Better
I grew up watching Looney Tunes and after watch Space Jam I really felt Warner Brothers killed the spirit of the show, so when a mistake give me the chance to watch a few scenes of this movie, I had to spend more than one hour of true entertainment, watching the redemption of WB. But sadly it wasn't all perfect.
The movie seems to have just a few bad things: 1 - Steve Martin: I don't know what's happening to him, it was one of the better comedians I have ever seen, but after "the out of towers", he overacting in every film he does, frankly in this moment he is annihilating the legacy of Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers with the new Pink Panther films.
2 - Jenna Elfman: She it's a good actress but in this film it really is at the same level of Steve.
3 - The story is really good, the jokes and themes a terrific, but there are some little things in the plot bad (I will not tell it because the movie deserves to be watched).
It's not a masterpiece but it's just a few steps to be a true return of the Looney Tunes.
Battlestar Galactica: Razor (2007)
The Same Garbage
I'm an old fan of the Classic Battlestar galactica. After watching again the whole season I truly believe Glenn Larson set many things in a very logic way, for example the martial law that gives Adama the power to command the fleet against the bureaucracy of the council of the twelve, something that Ronald D. Moore erase with the "immortal" president. I try to find something good of the new version after hear so many reviews, but I really don't understand how can they be so blind, specially with Razor, who is the same old garbage withe the same mistakes from the show.
First: Many unnecessary characters whining for everything. Second: Technology from the future or other galaxy worst than the things we have in our real world. Third: Heroes who doesn't even know how to act in a battle. Fourth: Special effects who seems to be pure CGI because there's no budget (or brain) for something better. Fifth: Collage of scenes made (as seem) with camera on the hand who rattle to make more realistic the story seem to show the guy doesn't know how to use the equipment. Sixth: Almost no music.
-----Spoilers----- The only thing new of this movie it's the chance to watch the old cylons looking as CGI Again we have pure fantasy sequence with battle procedures impossible to make in space and in the reality, these seems to be just something copy from some other war movie. Actually there is a scene almost exactly to another from Star Trek First Contact, the same message, some powerful enemy with something mechanic part in a battle with human trying to escape in a corridor of one starship (I'm not giving all details trying to avoid more spoilers) ------------------
In conclusion: Razor it's just the basic war story in the new Galactica cannon who tries to give some lessons for something we can learn in any other and more entertaining and very much realistic movie or TV show, like star trek First contact, Starship Troopers (movie with main message it's the whole new Battlestar Galactica premise) or even Babylon 5 and Stargate SG1. I recommend only for the fans of the new show how doesn't open their eyes to the fantasy world of Ronald D. Moore where realism it's only in his imagination.
Crusade The Remake
A few years ago I watch the first episode and it was the worst work I saw from J. Michael Straczynski. A nothing original basic story with somethings in common with "a boy and his dog" (from his friend Harlan Ellison and mad max 2 (the tribes). Just less that a year I had the opportunity to watch the whole first season, and after I had to look for every single episode of the second... what was the problem?, after the cancellation of Crusade, Jeremiah seems to be something absolutely different, and the first episodes are not really good, but once you began to watch it carefully you find it's the same basic plot of Crusade: the war to save the humanity, from the secret groups playing in the shadows (what supposed to be the real Crusade in the Babylon 5 spin off). There is a basic story but at the same time there is a major plot who involves the evolution of every character and new secrets to be revealed, so not even the title hero can escape from his own sins and inner battles, and that's makes Jeremiah a wonderful show, how what seems to be a simple story become something greater with so many original things to find. After season one some major plots are resolved but Straczynski really shows his skills with bigger and better stories full of things to think carefully including new characters to show how the faith it's involved in the war (yeah, in Crusade the Dhrak begin a war, in Jeremiah other one has this role as a human version of what they tried) As I said in the title of this comment, if you watch carefully, you can find in Jeremiah a more realistic version of everything created in Crusade even with good characters and incredible plots.
Garbage Sold Like Art
I heard many things about this show: the new best version of X-Files, the most original show of the year, great characters and more... At the beginning all seems fine, some kind of spin off of Doctor Who with some things in common with "millenium" (the other show from Chris Carter), specially when you look gore, and (of course) stories with lot of horror and nothing clever. Actually, Torchwood, tries to be a more serious show than Doctor Who, with some basic plot full of mysteries and a main character as the "next revelation hero", the Captain Jack Harckness, a bad intent to be a tough guy, because he talk about how to fight the evil forces, he force to the others of the Torchwood team to act as he says but...he doesn't follow his own rules,and it's not because it's a tough or clever guy playing with the destiny with full knowledge (as he tries to show) about their enemies. What it's worst this show abuse with the violence and sex without good reasons, the stories can be good but the treatment is not original and deep and the acting it's poor specially with John Barrowman the worst hero of the year, the only hero who play the tough guy with showing so much weakness. I really expect something better, I can stand a show full of violence if the stories are good, deep, with something to think, something at least original but Torchwood it's just garbage in a pretty package.
The Collector (2004)
I cannot say less, at the beginning I didn't want to watch it, I thought: "another mix of gore and mystery with nothing good to make you think" (something like millennium) But finally I found at least three good reasons because the Collector it's one of the best shows 1- Unpredictable: from the first episode you'll never know when there's a "happy ending", the stories are very dark but there's no use of unnecessary violence, everything has a reason. 2- Deep: "The collector" it's not an "easy to watch show", there's always a message to think, some lesson, reflection about life and the way we live. 3- Epic: "the collector" talks about the inner war, I mean: the battle between light and darkness of every human being, for their own private desires, the price to make the dreams come true specially when we destroy the life of other people. The stories have a lot of symbols, lot of fantasy but the way the producers use it end in a very realistic message.
More reason: the acting it's good, the specially effects, and as I said in the first point: This is the kind of show where the producer don't have fear to make the necessary changes to make the stories better, so it's very unpredictable. It's not the kind of show about mysteries: you know from the beginning the rules of the main story but as the season goes you are gonna find the details, the true reasons a secrets of every character, everything from the autistic boy to the past of Morgan has a reason, and that make this a better far better than many things we usually find in the TV.
Flash Gordon (2007)
Putting In Perspective
I have to say: I'm not a fan of the Flash Gordon comics and the last movie, but after watch the pilot even when I'm very tired of these low budged-full of CGI shows, the new vision of the Alex Raymond's masterpiece feels at least something fair for these times... I'm mean, we are not in the beginning of the "best TV show of the year", the new flash Gordon is not so original like the wonderful the animated futuristic Phantom 2040, and the acting of the main characters isn't really good, but if you think these new work as a modern day TV show, everything is in the right place: ----------- Contains spoilers -------- 1- Every character is the same thing from the old story but... with the changes needed, for example Dale Arden is not a weak woman full in love with flash. 2- Flash is not the great hero with a great life trying to save the universe, he has his own quest. 3- The new Ming seems to be less merciless and more a clever dictator. 4- The show doesn't seems to be full of action, the storyline clearly works to be take the idea of an alien invasion (from the comics) in process, I'm mean: it's not ID4 2, Steven Spielberg's War of Worlds 2, Ming needs to discover Earth and much more. But what is not good: 1- Doctor Zarkov: the actor is the worst of all but the character feels too young and too stupid. 2- Again: So much CGI in every single way, shows like Star Trek TNG, Stargate SG1 and even Babylon 5 now are the teachers about how to use it and not abuse it.
It's not a perfect show, but you cannot ask so much for a low budget and not a great writer, If you wanna a new truly good Flash Gordon you know you have to see some real good science fiction writer behind it (like Straczynski did working with Harlan Ellison in Babylon 5).
Ghost Rider (2007)
Trying to Find Make Justice
I'm really tired to hear and read so many bad reviews about this film with not a single real good reason of someone who shows real knowledge about this comic character. So take note about this points to not waist time ignorants: First: Mark Steven Johnson was right: this movie is for those who really love Ghost Rider and know it well to take every single little thing from any of the comics, by example the poster of the Quentin Carnival in the house Johnny Blaze, it's the only mention to this place but it's fair if you think abut who works the story. Second: Ghost Rider began as a mix of western and supernatural comic, and that's it's the beginning of this movie. Later it became in some kind of horror adventure so the best thing about this movie it's watch how Mark made a good mix of the different styles of (at least) three kind of comics. Third: If you read the third collection of Ghost Rider with Dan Ketch as main alter ego from character, you'll find the same spirit of this movie, the comic was dark but Ghost Rider had a code, had the weapons to avoid a transformation in a pure evil character, even when the villains were bloody monsters. Fourth: As Christian I really found here a movie who shows very well the battle of the good against't evil without contradictions in the use of any book like bible or something else, there is a powerful message about how we live in darkness, how the man pays his own bad choices.
For those who wanna know more read "Hearts of Darkness" an one shot of Ghost Rider with Wolverine and Punisher it's the basic story of this movie.
I been waiting for this movie at least 5 years, since I began to read the comics of Ghost Rider Mark Steven Johnson did exactly what I dreamed, took the characters with more respect than Sam Raimi in the last Spider-Man leaving an open door for what could be even better sequel.
Falling Out the Line
I been waiting for something like this for many years, specially after read every comic of the second saga The Sentinels trying to know what could be the complete Robotech Story. But it's a shame to find a movie full of CGI, the worst CGI you can imagine specially when you remember the original robotech almost like a "masterpiece" of animation where every character, and every scene was something unique. Not here, the story begins good with new characters and new information of somethings let out of the comics but they change many original elements from the TV show and that is a sin, just to create a story where nothing fits really well. Now, if you wanna know more and investigate some chronologies made by fans using the TV show, comics and the books, the disappointment is greater, the producers create a clever story, but with many changes away from the original storyline and, as I wrote, if you consider the very poor quality of the animation it's just a losing time watch this spawn. You can find fan-made movies of every franchise with better animation.