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The Village (2004)
Man oh man, what a waste of 8 bucks and 2 hours...
As is generally the case with movies by M. Night Shyamalan, there is little one can say in a review without spoiling the film entirely. What I can say without doing that is that this film contains some of the worst acting, most ridiculous dialogue, dreadfully boring camera work (from the otherwise venerable Roger Deakins, no less!), and idiotic plot twists I have ever seen in a nationally released theatrical motion picture - truly worthy of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. William Hurt...well, he's always been that way...but Weaver, Phoenix, and Gleeson (who has 3 whole scenes) are totally wasted on this movie, and Adrian Brody really should fire his agent over this steaming pile. It's that awful.
Other than being just plain boring, I will give this much away, hopefully without ruining this turkey for anyone willing to take the risk I did -- SPOLIER AHEAD, FOLKS!
If you are hoping to check out a monster movie, don't get your hopes up. This movie plays like a neverending episode of "Little House on the Prairie" if it were directed by Lars von Trier with a cast of puppets with severely retarded children providing the movement and voices for them. 1/10. What a waste.
We expected it to be good, but this good?
Del Toro, who evidently used to live here, decided to screen his latest (and greatest) film Hellboy in Austin, Texas March 14th at midnight. The crowd was enormous, and Del Toro, Perlman, and Mignola were in attendance. I expected an entertaining film, but not much more. After all, Mimic was a disaster, I'm no big fan of Blade 2, and comic-to-film adaptations are almost always disappointments. I was, however, blown away. This film is not only a faithful adaptation of the original material by Mignola, but it fulfills it. Many a scene was cut directly from Mignola's amazing artwork, and the casting could not have been more perfect. This film is simply amazing - one can only hope it does well at the box office so that Del Toro can convince the powers that be than another Hellboy picture would be a good idea. And trust me, it would.
It's QUATERMAIN, for crying out loud!
Today I rented "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," but I had to turn this miserable waste of celluloid off after just 40 minutes. It was terrible for many, many reasons - but for my part, I simply couldn't stand the fact that no one in the film, including Connery himself, seemed able to correctly pronounce the name of the main character; it's QUATERMAIN, not QUARTERMAIN! H. Rider Haggard must be spinning in his grave...
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Whew! Save your pennies...
Quick warning, I'll probably include a SPOILER or two ahead!
If you have already seen and loved the original Tobe Hooper film, then you probably only want to see this one out of curiosity; that's understandable, same here. Wait until video. It's awful.
If you have already seen and hated the original Tobe Hooper film, then there's really no reason to want to view this one either. Go see something else, you'll hate this one too.
If you have never seen the original Tobe Hooper film, for crying out loud see it FIRST! Far superior to this failure of an homage to the classic, Hooper's film sets the standard for the genre. Contrarily, this incredibly bad remake sets the standard for studio produced horror cliches: cars that don't start when you need to get away, rain at the worst (and scariest) possible moment, constant (failed) attempts to startle the audience by having character pop out from off screen with instrumental accompaniment, Jessica Biel's oh-so-bouncy breasts and their oh-so-repetitvely-perverse multiple close-ups....
Worst of all, if you have never seen the original, this film will make no sense at all. The script is so sloppy and the "plot" takes so many detours that by the end credits you'll have no idea what has just happened or why. Who are these people? How are they related to one another? Why are they doing/allowing this? Is that guy really a police officer at all or merely using a disguise to lay a trap? What is the significance of the slaughter-house across the road (and why in God's name does Biel run INTO it??) And the significance of the BBQ?? All questions answered in Hooper's film, but never addressed in this drivel.
What a mess - save some time and money and see something else...ANYTHING else!
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
The best of it's variety in quite a while
Sure, "Freddy vs. Jason" is not going to win any Academy Awards - heck, Ebert apparently wouldn't even review the film, he was so certain of it's worthlessness. But then Ebert must not be a fan of either movie franchise; if he were, he would have undoubtedly loved this film. None of the Friday or Elm Street films are particularly life-affirming, nor are they on par with more serious and thought provoking attempts at horror such as "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen" or "The Exorcist." Instead, these films have set out to achieve the highest level of entertainment possible for an audience prepared to switch off their brains, sit back and enjoy. The last few installments in either series have failed to do that much (particularly "Jason Goes To Hell" and "Freddy's Dead", both of them utterly worthless), but this bigger and better addition to the 80s B-Horror-Movie mythos is absolutely certain to greatly please the fans of the genre. Funny, gory, and loaded with all of the Freddy/Jason trademarks/cliches you could want or ask for, "Freddy vs. Jason" is a success.
Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)
Would have been average at best without the 3-D...
Far inferior to it's predecessors, Spy Kids & Spy Kids 2, this third installment would have been a moderately entertaining - albeit enormously insipid - afternoon matinee, had it not been for the awful 3-D. There are newer, more advanced forms of 3-D entertainment, but director Rodriguez decided to go with the old fashioned 1950s variety - resulting in a virtually colorless mess of hazy images rushing past the audience's confused, aching eyes for an hour and a half. If they release a non-3-D version on DVD, wait for that and enjoy what little screen time was given to Ricardo Montelban, who steals what little entertainment value this stinker manages. Otherwise, save you money for a fall or winter release, when movies of any value whatsoever are typically released.
Of Mice and Men (1992)
Disappointing adaptation/remake of a remarkable story
I would not recommend to anyone to watch any version of this film prior to reading the remarkable book, but the 1939 Lewis Milestone version, which was based upon the stageplay based upon the novel, stands alone as a wonderful work of drama. This 1992 version, however - based directly upon the novel and directed by Gary Sinise - simply isn't worth it considering the competition. Forced performances, laughable miscasting, and an unneeded reworking of Steinbeck's orginal dialogue leave much to be desired. One might manage to get a good chuckle out of the ridulously obvious padding beneath Malkovich's clothes (especially the shoulder-pads) in a pathetic attempt to make him appear much larger than he really is, but that would be a high point. Normally I am quite fond of most of this cast, but Ray Walston's Candy cannot hold a candle to the passionate performance of veteran stage actor Roman Bohnen's take on the character in the 1939 version, especially in his pivotal scene concerning his ailing old dog (no spoilers here - check it out for yourself!)
I haven't been so disappointed in a film I'd expected to be fantastic in a long, long time. Worth the comparison if you happen to be Steinbeck-obsessed like myself, but otherwise choose the Milestone rendition. Burgess and Chaney Jr. will NOT disappoint like this misguided gentlemen in their undoubtedly good-hearted attempt to update a classic. (And still - read the novel first and foremost!)
Point Blank (1967)
Great action flick
I love this film, but I really just wanted to comment on the review by "keihan (email@example.com)" - if one wishes to quote English romantic poetry when reviewing a 1960s action film, one should do as one pleases...just try to get the poet's name right. William Blake wrote 'The Tyger'. The poem is not titled 'Tyger, Tyger.' Let's at the very least try to appear as though we know what we're talking about prior to our efforts to appear to well-read and intellectual before the IMDB community, shall we?
Moving on - Boorman rarely disappoints and Lee Marvin only once.('Paint Your Wagon' - Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in a musical...still reeling from that one.)
Daddy Day Care (2003)
Worse than it seems...
I ultimately decided to give this film a chance despite its awful critical reviews based upon my experience that low-brow comedies are often brutally panned when in fact they achieve precisely what they set out to achieve by providing low-brow laughs. Roger Ebert is one of my favorite film critics, a guy who does not normally hold all films against the requirements for excellence, but after I finished viewing the recent low-IQ comedy "Old School" for the second time in a row, I was disappointed that Ebert hated it so much. Thus, I figured how bad could "Daddy Day Care" really be?
The answer: really bad. Really, really bad.
You could do worse ("Wrong Turn" may still be playing at a theatre near you), but this is just the sort of formulaic Hollywood psuedo-family comedy that is so tried and true it should work, but falls short in every laughless scene. The formula is remarkable similar to films like "Liar, Liar", except this one simply doesn't have the same oomph that made that stupid comedy somewhat watchable. Most of the adult actors appear bored with the picture themselves and probably angry with their agents for letting them sign the contracts, and the only amusing moments are provided by a few of the children (a la "Kindergarten Cop") and surprisingly by Steve Zahn as a socially-challenged Star Trek/comic book geek who just so happens to deal extraordinarily well with children. (When asked why, he responds, "I read Dr. Spock's book on child development. It's not about Star Trek!")
Some might advise you wait until video or DVD for this one, but I suggest you only view the trailer - it literally contains the only good parts to the film.
Wrong Turn (2003)
The absolute worst for a long, long time...
Given that I am the sort of horror fan that delights in the gore, silly dialogue and two dimensional characters that appear to dominate the genre, my utter hatred of this putrid failure of a horror film should astound. These poorly contrived characters are so incredibly stupid, even I was astonished! A great example occurs early on in the picture - upon discovering a fresh campfire in the woods, the lead male character proudly exclaims, "There must have been people here!"
I could go on, but I really ought not waste my time ranting on such a horrible waste of time. "Wrong Turn" is truly one of the worst horror films I have yet seen - and if you're interested in the fun of bad movies, this one is so bad it's just bad. It's no fun at all - go rent a Larry Cohen video instead.
0 out of 5 stars!
Mr. Murakami's Garden (1999)
Death is like the government...
A great script, some sub-par acting on one side and a neat performance as the archangel Death in a suit on the other side, and one of the best original scores I have ever heard in such a small indie film make up "Mr. Murakami's Garden." I don't believe this is available anywhere other the film fest scene (the Independent Festival of Cinema and Technology, etc.), but it may be playing online somewhere (like ShortTV.com or Atom Films) if one was inclined to look for it. Although the acting is so-so, it's worth a look. Dark but funny, I wish I'd seen it twice for full effect. A true original!