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Good for dreamers, but great for those who never dream!!
This movie is one of my favorites, and among the most re-watchable films I've seen (almost as good as The Shawshank Redemption for pure enjoyment). This is a good movie for dreamers, so inspiring. But I think it is an even better movie for those who have never had a dream, or who have never had to work for anything... just to show them what some people will endure to achieve a goal. I gave this movie to my teenage nephew, a big boy and wonderful football player who has never had to work for a place on a team... I hope it shows him that not everyone can achieve their goals so easily. Mayhap it will inspire him in other aspects of his life. I hope so.
If you have the DVD, watch the extra footage with the "real" Rudy... he is amazing. Sean Astin did a fantastic job portraying this incredible man.
They took initiative and made the bad sequel FIRST!
I was already hesitant to see this movie, but the user rating here was just too high to pass it up. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read the reviews, as we had decided to go see it quite suddenly. The choice was betwixt this and Secondhand Lions. I wish we had seen the latter.
I know, I know... vampires can see in the dark, and sunlight is, um, "unpleasant" for them. And I know that werewolves can see in the dark as well. But, we are merely humans, and we CAN'T see in the dark! If there were any immortals in the audience I am sure they had no trouble, but I did. If I had been able to tell who was who in the initial sequences I might have been a bit more interested, but they lost me right there. Mood can be conveyed with good dialog and acting, not just with dim (dare I say DARK?) lighting and a blaring score which tried to force my attention upon a scene. I don't like being forced along by music... I like for it to accompany the action in a way that feels smooth. The music in this film seemed overly dramatic with its tolling bells and crashing crescendos. The little bit of rock music they used actually worked far better, in the two scenes in which they employed it. It seemed more fitting to the film than music which was so very serious.
And you know what? There is only so much back-and-forth superfast gunplay I can stomach... it gets very redundant and I definitely have gotten my fill elsewhere. At least the werewolves took the initiative at times and kicked some proverbial arse the old-fashioned way. I was also pleased when a sword was FINALLY brought into play. It was about time, and could have been employed more.
Also, if I had cared the least bit about any of the characters, I might have enjoyed it more. But I didn't, no matter how many times they showed Selene looking thoughtful and pensive and pained... even during her contrived-sounding speech which detailed the night she became a vampire. No offense to the actress (she has done some fine work), but she just does not seem "Death Dealer" material. Her seriousness bordered on being laughable, especially when she had to deliver some of those stiff lines. The only characters I was even interested in were Michael and the lycanthrope Lucien (Lucian?)... and only because I could identify with Michael because he was human (and confused as I was at being thrust headlong into the chaos of this war), and I knew there would be more to Lucien than met the eye. He was actually a fairly believable character. I was rooting for the werewolves, actually, the poor sewer-dwelling fellows. Talk about the short end o' the stick! But I was hoping they'd win only mildly... I found myself not caring in the end and just waiting, hoping, wishing, that this movie would end.
My husband fell asleep at the climax and when I woke him he replied he didn't care and would rather get the sleep than see the ending. Not a good sign, especially since he really enjoys role-playing games (which this seemed to be based upon). As do I. And we usually like the dark genera (we have Blade #1, The Crow #1, and The Matrix #1 on DVD), and I read horror and also specifically vampire novels. This movie felt as if they had just jumped ahead and made the bad sequel (like the sequels to the afore-mentioned films, which were all unpleasant).
This movie was nothing special, and not worth our admission price and time. My husband mentioned that he had worked for one hour to earn the admission price, and then worked two hours to sit through it. He invested three hours then, plus driving time. This was something I might have watched on television if I was bored, but it was a poor choice to see in the theater. It felt as if I had just read a long but poorly penned book... a little cheated and wistful that I could have been doing something else, like taking a nap. Not that it was awful... it wasn't quite that bad. And many will surely love it, and good for them. The sad thing is that it could have been far better, given some good writing, better lighting (ANY lighting!), and a better delivery by the majority of actors. Too bad.
All the Little Animals (1998)
Pleasant and... different. I liked it!
I could not sleep one night, and as I was flipping about the channels I happened upon this film. I had missed a few minutes, but hey! It had John Hurt in it, and Christian Bale, and the word "animals" was in the title. I do so like animals, and I loathe it when I accidentally run over one. So, I had to watch.
I had just seen (that very evening!) the nothing-special "Reign of Fire" featuring Christian Bale, and I wanted to see if he could act in a better role. And you know what... HE CAN!!! Exceedingly well!! Was this really the same man I had watched earlier in the night? I was instantly taken with his character, so innocent and sweet and wanting only to have his pets to love.
And Hurt's character Mr. Summers... now there was a man who had everything straightened out. He knew what his life's task was (to bury roadkill), and he did it without complaint.
Then there was the stepfather, known as "The Fat." Rarely have I wanted more to physically attack a film character. What a mean, mean man. Despicable. Loathesome. He made me shudder.
I stayed up until 2 am watching this film, and although by this time I was quite tired, I did not at all regret it. After going to bed, I laid awake thinking about it for an hour more. It was one of those films which I did not want to end. I only wish I had seen the first few minutes. Mayhap I will rent this, and watch it whilst more wakeful, with my pet hedgehog on my lap, a cat at my side, and my dog at my feet. I think they'd like it, too.
The Fulfillment of Mary Gray (1989)
I enjoyed this movie well enough, especially to fold clothes and do other chores by during a weekday afternoon. The performance by Ted Levine was excellent... I especially liked the way that he talked aloud during prayer and to his livestock. I do the same thing, so it was nice to see it portrayed. Many people may find this movis silly, and may wonder why in the world a husband would ever suggest that his wife bear his brother's child. I have suffered infertility and also two heartbreaking miscarriages, and while I would never resort to having my brother-in-law's child, I can see how some people would find that to be a viable option. The drive to have a child can be a strong and confusing thing.
I also liked the wife's exposition to her brother-in-law about how a woman is "tricked" when another woman becomes pregnant. I have felt the same thing many times. The fact that the couple had been married for seven years, which is the same length of time that I have been married and childless, resonated with me. Their sadness and longing for a baby does come through in their performances.
While this movie will not appeal to everyone, it did ring true for me. It was somewhat predictable, but sometimes predictability is a comforting thing. It had several strong and obvious themes, such as the loudness of the ticking clock in the childless home (which I have also begun to notice in my home). Also the stud bull which was bought to build a herd is a fairly obvious parallel to the brother, but I did not mind that at all.
There were several ways in which this film could have ended, and any of them would have satisfied me.