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40 reviews in total 
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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
This Museum Is Boring, 19 January 2007

You would think that a movie with Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams and a big budget with great concept would be a fun family film with many laughs.

You would be wrong.

In all fairness, I can't fully review this film since my entire family (along with many other groups) walked out of the theater to demand money back (or in our family's case snuck into the amazing and wonderful film Pan's Labyrinth).

But why would we walk out of a film we had planned to see and paid good money for you might ask? In a word: boring. Boring boring boring. Not a single joke was funny, and I had a feeling that the film was going to be terrible from the second scene where we meet Ben Stiller's ex-wife's husband who talks about "Chilly Willy" and is described as being a Batman of Wall Street. There were many groans throughout the theater until we had enough.

The two positive things I can say for the film (up to what we saw anyway) were sets and CGI effects. Other than that it was complete rubbish and a serious letdown. The only reason why I imagine that this film has done so well in the box office is due to a lack of any family-friendly films to compete for the big bucks. (Or perhaps my family is part of the problem by sneaking into more deserving films from bad ones like this instead of diverting money away from them).

If I can save you time and money and aggravation from bringing your loved ones and your self from seeing this film, then I hope my family's misery has at least benefited someone else.

Cyxork 7 (2006)
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Glad this "franchise" is dead, 16 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Since you can ask your friends' opinions and read reviews about mainstream films most anywhere, I try comment on the smaller, harder to find films which have little written about them (and the few comments you will find are usually cast and crew plugging the film). Hopefully I'll help someone who is debating on whether the effort they might put into finding and seeing a smaller, hard to find film is really worth it.

That said, "Cyxork 7" - a very high concept comedy - fails on every single level. I did not laugh once during the entire film, which is surprising especially since Greg Proops is involved. Dropping the f bomb for emphasis is not funny. Having running commentary in numerous points is not funny. Kicking someone in the balls is not funny unless the setup and payoff is good. For the entire film, the jokes have no setup and what's more, the characters are not only flat and uninteresting, their motivations hardly make any sense.

Like I said, the premise of the film had me interested, which is why I saw it at the Fine Arts Theater in Los Angeles. But the film seems to have an identity crisis of whether it wants to be drama or comedy.

The editing was awful. The scenes drag far, far too long and instead of cutting on a joke or trimming needless scenes (maybe because there are a lot that don't go anywhere), they linger. In particular I think of the scene between the 2 actors who have an affair on the side and the camera pans out for a few seconds then we cut. The actors all seemed uncomfortable with their lines.

Ray Wise does a decent job and plays it straight, but the only problem is so does everyone else. This is a comedy, where things need to be over the top to emphasize the ridiculousness of the concept. Perhaps the best scene is that of the producer, which at least was colorful and he seemed like someone you could hate.

That brings me to another point, there's no sense of tone. The GNN news thing - is it supposed to be serious? Because the 2 anchors swear like sailors as though this were funny, and are very self aware of how cute they are being, which sucks you right out of the humor. (Now it would be much funnier if they played it straight but said absurd things). I mean, you have to ground this in some level of reality. Also, the text full of swears and innuendo was not funny but annoying, and simply repeating what the anchors already had said. Now if they had been established as an alternate news channel MAYBE I could buy it, but even so, it's not so much the credibility as the fact the actors seem to giggle as though they think everything they say is hilarious.

As for the plot, so many loose threads never come to fruition: the lesbian story between the news correspondent (why is she there again?) and the cam operator - I guess it's funny because they're lesbians? The nerd who is taping the behind the scenes footage and trying to direct his girlfriend act never makes sense - I thought maybe he would use the footage as blackmail, or to show he's a better director, or perhaps he & everyone else who wants to direct would create a bunch of competing directors, but nope I was wrong, this goes nowhere and just seems like a lazy cutaway to bad quality video. The pregnant actor's wife who held everyone hostage and then everything's hunky dory?

I understand this was low budget which is fine but it's not funny. I actually would have been happier to see more physical comedy which would have lightened the tone instead of everyone being so serious. Oh yes, why would nobody on the crew leave instead of risk their lives? Do they want to break in that bad? (Again, lack of motivation here).

The one saving grace was the idea of actors killing themselves to boost their careers. Could have been funny but then it becomes very dark and again the tone is awkward. Not to mention the final "And she died by a cart" post script at the end was out of place.

Pretty much I was left scratching my head. So did they complete the movie or just the shot? What happens to the franchise? To the wife? To everyone else's careers? But by that time, you'll be walking out of the theater or turning off the film because the movie doesn't seem to care and neither should you about seeing this film.

VERDICT: STAY AWAY 2 out of 10 stars

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Walks a fine line between well paced and dragging, 2 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there is one word to describe this film it is "cute." Corpse Bride is a movie that tries to appeal to everyone perhaps due to its bizarre subject matter. In fact it goes out of its way not to offend anyone (particularly Christian conservatives) as you may notice no crosses in the church (which would offend all religions in some way), marriage in itself is not necessarily mocked and neither is the idea of death. It's not quite a kids film nor an adult film so I was wondering who would this appeal to? The fact that such major talent is attached is probably the main reason this film has done well so far.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad film but the musical numbers seem a bit forced and were extremely tough to hear (it could have been my theater but the most important story of how the girl died was unclear as a result), not to mention nothing was particularly memorable in terms of lyrics. Also a lot of the scenes came close to dragging or stretching out as much as possible, despite an extremely short runtime for a feature.

But aside from all of this there were 2 major things I disliked: the very abrupt ending in which the corpse bride "completes her purpose" (a very Catholic notion of limbo thus my above comments for Christian conservatives) and the two living lovers watch as she dissipates up to heaven and then THAT'S IT?! I think this film needed just one more scene of resolution - mainly to show their parents' reactions since they never return to the picture and figure in pretty heavily throughout otherwise. (Unless this is one of those films that has a "secret scene" to reward those for watching the credits). Also my other issue was why did the Lord who married Victoria wanted to kill her? After all she had explained her family was penniless and it's not like he could gain anything from her death. Was he just a crazy murderer of brides? (In that case I wasn't quite clear if he was the one who killed the corpse bride as well, hence see my comments on lack of clarity in song).

Well it's not a bad film, I wouldn't pay to see it in theaters again but wouldn't not recommend it either. If I had kids I'd think they have to be at least 8 or 9 to see it since some of the subjects are dark and could be scary. I guess I had higher hopes after seeing Nightmare before Christmas. Not a bad Burton/Elfman/Depp picture but not the best either.

5/10 Meh.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Clever, 30 July 2005

This is a skillful combination of a documentary, art/educational film and mockumentary. I particularly liked the tongue in cheek style humor and irony throughout the film with the narration and electronic new wave style music you'd see at most artsy pretentious documentary shorts.

It was also interesting to see that there was something with substance to it - as if there could be a subconscious art movement by the government. Yet the film does not take itself too seriously.

In particular a few funny moments occur when the head graffiti removal person speaks and then his words are re-cut to "find" his "true" & "subconscious" meaning. Another great part is when the workers are not even bothering to try and match the paint with the wall.

The only major thing which bothered me was the woman on the bike. If this was a jab at artsy films it was lost on me perhaps because it came across too subtly. Anyway it drags on an otherwise clever film and I think it may explain why a previous poster felt that it was "randomly" slapped together.

Overall a really funny mini documentary with an interesting narrative perspective and stinging sense of irony. Very refreshing.


1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Boring, 30 July 2005

Yes the story is sad that the transporter's life is essentially empty and meaningless. But you know what? Most people's lives are. Nothing particularly interesting is done with the footage, shots, or voice over speech. It was interesting to see the mountains and villages of Peru and lifestyles of people across the world, but I would watch a PBS documentary for that.

I guess what bothered me was that the narrator says he's not complaining about his lot in life, etc. but then the REST of the film he basically does that and says how boring it all is, the facetiousness of people, etc. The one revelation at the end which I thought was interesting however was that he thought the rich have it easier - I think had the film gone down this perspective of the grass being greener on the other side it would have been so much richer.

Part of the problem is also that I saw this with a bunch of "experimental" films in LA and I kept thinking what is experimental about this? It felt like they stuck this in the wrong slot and it should have been in the documentary night, so the fact the visually and mentally engaging films had preceded it doesn't help it much either.

20 minutes is a long time to hear a guy complain...


2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Different, 30 July 2005

I'll give it that. Previously I'd only seen "Rejected" which nearly everyone has seen and likes. So when this came to town I was expecting something along those lines. The beginning is particularly intense with the hundreds of people walking and talking over each other alongside the Tchaichovsky music (and took 2 years to do!!). Also the creatures evolving into one another were very creative.

But I've heard and seen this all before - life is essentially meaningless hence the absurdity and pointlessness of the film. And of course there are people who do not believe this but it completely ignores that point of view.

Fortunately the film is short and has a great score and visual element but it does feel like it drags after the aliens explain the meaning of life (which of course we can't understand) since it pulls out into the galaxy and then nothing else happens for the last few minutes.

A lot of people at the screening seemed annoyed and frustrated as they watched this. Maybe they expected to find the meaning (they are idiots if that's the case) but I think they were like OK we get it.

If I were to recommend a Hertzfeld film for a person who hadn't seen his work I wouldn't use this one as a starter. If I were to recommend a Meaning of Life film I would definitely use Monty Python's 2 hour long version which is hilarious and is more about the life cycle and has a rather clever ending.

Not a bad film but you might find yourself checking your watch once or twice towards the end.


Ryan (2004)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Interesting & Unique Vision, 30 July 2005

I have mixed feelings about this film - nearly all of me likes this movie, but there was an aspect of it which bored me too. Also I don't know if I totally understood all that the filmmaker wanted me to understand.

As everyone has stated the animation is amazing and clever too. (Both the hand drawn and 3d). It's also an interesting approach for an animated documentary which I've not seen before. The character of Ryan was interesting as well as his wife and producer/friend and the ending is inspiring yet also sad and parallels his movement in past drawings. Yet I thought some stuff was just bizarre - I understood the fragmented personality aspect but is everyone fragmented? Was there significance to the colors used? Also some shots (i.e. diving into the director's mind which has a yellow smiley face) were bizarre. Nevertheless the film doesn't take itself too seriously and it is clever and worth a watch. I'd recommend it.


Fast Film (2003)
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Very cool, 30 July 2005

Fast film makes you realize how basically every film has the same plot just done differently (hero, bad guys, girl who gets captured, escape, chase, fight, etc.) and recreates it perfectly using clips of film entirely photocopied frame by frame and put on paper. That alone (the paper part) is amazing in itself.

But I found myself just marveling the entire time as I watched this short and despite there being no one main character with which to identify, I was rooting for the hero nevertheless. It was also interesting and humorous in the way that the filmmakers made the characters seem aware that they were in a film based on certain reaction shots from other films - so it was self reflexive in this way. As I watched I couldn't help think "My God, these people have an encyclopedic knowledge of every old film ever made" since the story scripted for the paper movement cleverly parallels what's going on in the film clip(s).

You have to watch this. This isn't your typical artsy short film. It is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

10/10 amazing

Very dark & compelling, 20 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kitchen sink, in spite of its name, actually doesn't have a lot in the film as far as props, set, or characters (I'm referring to the saying throwing in everything but the kitchen sink). Nevertheless, it is a creepy, atmospheric film which kept me on the edge of my seat. How many horror films today can you genuinely say have done that effectively? The premise is strange but original. The black and white shooting style which normally seems amateur works perfect in this atmosphere. It feels so cramped and tight that you feel claustrophobic too. When the fetus is taken out you're disgusted and curious. You also feel the man's pain when it grows in the water and she shaves it down.

It does become a little weird and so maybe I missed some of the larger message as far as when she kisses him despite his seeming deadness. But I love the way this film ends on the note it starts with although I am not positive what exactly the ending image means or will even produce (another fetus?). Definitely disturbing and yet no violence. Worth a watch if you're in the mood for some weirdness and to be freaked out.


3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Awesome, 20 July 2005

Wow, after seeing a long bloated artsy film nearly 25 Mons long comes Spike Jonze's amazing film.

Granted he had a budget to do the big surprise at the end (and it is) but man, you are engaged throughout. You will find it extremely cute at the beginning then the film totally smashes your expectations quite literally. Yes this film doesn't have any deep message and that's fine. Nevertheless, it does engage and keep you caring about characters, wonder what will happen next, and so forth.

It's cute, funny, violent, sick, interesting, sad, etc. need I say more? And it tells a great story in just 3 minutes - how many directors or films can do that? I'd love to see this again if I could find it somewhere. No wonder Spike Jonze is quickly becoming one of the best directors we have today.


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