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Much better than expected - Check it out
Going into this film, I had very low expectations after hearing several very negative reviews surrounding it. I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised. I want to say much about the plot but for someone who has seen a fair share of thrillers, this one certainly kept me riveted to my seat, was unpredictable and had a very good twist which I did not see coming. What made this film particularly impressive was its plausibility. This could possibly happen.
With solid performances from Aniston, Owen and the supporting cast, a tight and well-written script by eattie and great direction from Haelstrom, this thriller is well worth seeing for 2 hours of entertainment 8/10 Highly recommended
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Despite being slightly too long, well worth watching due to some excellent performances and powerful scenes
Having finally being able to see this film recently, I have to say it did live up to my expectations and is certainly a very good film. Although I don't think its as good as Apocalypse Now or other war films I've seen, it is still an interesting study of the effects of war people.
The performances are all great, particularly DeNiro and Walken during the Vietnam scenes where the terrifying and brilliantly filmed Russian Roulette sequence takes place. Although the film is slow moving during the first hour it is never boring and always keeps you interested.
An interesting and occasionally harrowing film. 9/10
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
What a wonderfully moving film
Although, I haven't seen the other 4 films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 2004, Clint Eastwoods "Million Dollar Baby" was certainly a worthy winner. Beautifully written, acted and filmed, this is the sort of film you have to sit back and experience. It is a mature and realistic story that seems so original and interesting that you can't help but admire those involved with it.
As far as boxing films are concerned this is definitely on par with Rocky and Raging Bull- possibly the two most memorable ones of the genre for the last 30 years. They each tell a different story that works in its one way.
Eastwood, Swank, Freeman and the rest of the supporting cast are outstanding and Paul Haggis' script contains plenty of memorable scenes between the characters and you really do get more and more involved as the story progresses.
I urge you to see this moving film whenever you get the chance.
Witness a master filmmaker at work
The second most suspenseful and compelling film I've ever seen (just behind Jonatahn Mostow's outstanding but heavily underrated "Breakdown") Psycho is a true classic and is rightly hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. The story is so simple and easy to follow, but Hitchcock brilliantly uses the late Joseph Stefano's screenplay to squeeze every bit of nerve and suspense out of the viewer (most notably in the two death scenes).
The performances are all terrific, but the standout performance belongs to Perkins offering one of the most chilling portrayals your ever likely to see on screen.
If you haven't seen this yet you're truly missing out on a great piece of cinema. Watch it now! 10/10
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Very funny and probably the second best in the series!
Having found the original Scary Movie hilarious and Scary Movie 2 disappointing, I believe that David Zucker and Jim Abrams taking over from the Wayans brothers is the best thing that could have happened to this franchise. I was very impressed by Scary Movie 3 which was much funnier than I thought it was going to be and I looked forward to this movie with optimism. I wasn't disappointed.
This movie is 90 minutes of non-stop laughs and is just pure fun like Scary Movie 3. I won't spoil any of the jokes for you but I'll say the best spoofs are of Saw, Million Dollar Baby and War of the Worlds.
Check this hilarious movie out! 9/10
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Despite one or two flaws, worth watching for some excellent performances and a fairly original story
Having been meaning to see this film for a long time I finally managed to last week and was largely impressed.
The film is very entertaining and has many memorable scenes of great acting and writing that are some of the best out there. I don't want to get into the plot other than say it is fairly plausible and original, borrowing from other genres but never feeling like its something we've seen before.
First of all, I'll talk about the films most impressive aspects. The best thing about this film by far is Robin Williams. I haven't seen too much of his dramatic work but his performance here is certainly the best I've seen him give and was definitely deserving of his Oscar. He wonderfully delivers some of the best emotional scenes in the film and is brilliant in virtually every scene he's in. Similarly, Minnie Driver is impressive as Will's girlfriend and brings a lot of welcome humour and credibility to her role and, along with Williams, keeps the film mature and not too immature- something I'll talk about soon. Similarly, Stellan Skarsgard is solid as a mathematician both jealous and fascinated by Will's talents.
The other good thing about the film is many scenes in the film. Many of the scenes between Will and Sean are well written and their is a fascinating and compelling speech made by Damon towards the end of the film on his refusal to work for the government.
The always excellent Danny Elfman delivers a very good score also.
Unfortunately these good aspects are held back by the completely unnecessary amount of gratuitous swearing throughout and average performances of Damon and Ben Affleck. If profanity is done tastefully and humorously (as shown by Quentin Tarantino) or is said out of desperation then that can help the material work. Here it doesn't. I didn't keep count but this film has an unbelievable amount of bad language that added nothing to the story and just felt like it was being used to fill dead spots in a conversation.
Another problem is the character of Will. He is far too cocky, arrogant and foul-mouthed to evoke sympathy and I believe his character should have been altered to make him a little more likable. Similarly Damon (despite one or two decent emotional scenes) is not very impressive either. Then again, thats probably his characters fault. The most annoying aspect of the film is Ben Affleck's character who I actually got so annoyed with I felt as though his screen time should have been shortened by half. Like Damon's, his character is the complete opposite to the one he plays in Armageddon and is largely unlikable and unappealing given he acts so stupidly throughout. Affleck (again, despite one good scene towards the end) therefore is unable to bring likability to his role either.
However, thanks to an original and intriguing story, some excellent performances by Williams, Driver and Skarsgard, the film is well worth watching.
The Good Son (1993)
A fairly good thriller worth watching thanks to some decent performances
Having heard about this movie a while back and it being a fairly under-watched and underrated suspense film with a good cast I decided to buy it for a cheap price. I have to say I was quite surprised.
The film has a straightforward plot and features good performances by Eiljah Wood and Macauly Culkin. Coming off their breakout performances in "Radio Flyer" and "Home Alone" respectively these two proved to be great young actors with potential. It is furthered here, although it now seems only Wood has taken it to the next level with Culkin not acting for some time.
Wood is exceptionally good in the several emotional sequences he has throughout and Culkin really does bring his evil character to life. The supporting cast, particularly Wendry Crawson is also very good and make this film better than it could have turned out.
The film builds up the tension and suspense as it progresses, leading to an well-executed climax. Perhaps most importantly, at just 80 minutes the film doesn't outstay its welcome.
Certainly worth a watch 7/10
Despite many memorable scenes, overall far too long and unsatisfying
Having heard about this film as having a decent cast and its fairly good rating here on IMDb, I greatly anticipated seeing it despite its colossal running time. I am capable of sitting through long films and have done so with The Green Mile, Once Upon a Time in America, THe Godfather Trilogy and Titanic. However, 5 hours simply seemed too long. Having watched both Acts of the film (running about 2 1/2 hours each) separately to ensure I wouldn't get hasty, I still ended up being disappointed.
I won't get into the plot too deeply purely because that is not what the films problem is. Simplified, it is about fascism and socialism. The biggest problem is the film runs far too long. As mentioned before, I am able to sit and watch a film if it holds my attention and constantly keeps me engaged as those mentioned films did brilliantly. This film doesn't and in my opinion runs at least 2 hours too long. The problem is there are so many pointless scenes and subplots that are often forgotten and add virtually nothing to the story that they really could and should have been cut out. In particular, I found the scenes of the leads at a younger age outstayed their welcome and should have been greatly shortened. Many others throughout follow a similar trend. Another reason the film should have been shortened is that it really is telling a simple story that doesn't require such a huge length of time to tell it. In the final hour I was getting incredibly agitated and felt the story was deliberately dragging on for the sake of it. When the credits finally rolled I felt cheated and very unsatisfied.
Despite these heavy flaws, there are things that make the film slightly worth watching. First of all are the decent performances turned in by most of the cast. DeNiro, Deprardieu, Sutherland and most of the others are fine with Sutherland making his character an incredibly evil and unlikable person. DeNiro was the main actor who attracted me to this film and it seems to be a largely forgotten role of his. Although its not one of his best performances he really is brave and committed here as he features in two pornographic sequences that I can't imagine too many well-known actors are willing to engage in.
The best aspect of the film is the Vittorio Stanto's wonderful Cinematography that makes the most of the Italian countryside and many other wonderful landscapes. Ennio Morricone's score is fairly good also.
Several scenes work well, but unfortunately I was put off by the sheer amount of pointless ones that made the film as long as it was.
I would recommend seeing this film only for the performances and cinematography. I would also recommend finding a much shorter cut because I believe it may be much better if it was between 2 and 3 hours or even less.
Overall I give the film a generous 6/10
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
An underrated and heartwarming film
I've seen this film several times and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it each time. The performances from from Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton are excellent and the Special Effects are tremendous. The film has a relatively straightforward plot, but also has some powerful emotional scenes as well. The film is well written and directed with it ensuring it appeals to children who will not be frightened by Joe. Moreover, this is not a horror film but rather a story of a misunderstood creature that wants to be at peace. Mighty Joe You is one of the better films out there suitable for both children and adults to enjoy and I highly recommended it.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Possibly the most fun I've ever had at the cinema! Prepare for a terrific thrill ride!
Having followed the hype for this film since it was announced, I, like many fans of the title and the phenomenon that followed was desperate to see this film as soon as it came out. Today was that day and I can tell you my expectations were completely blown away. The film not only lived up to its hype but actually was much much better than I thought it was going to be.
The title says it all. You get plenty of Snakes, Samuel L Jackson on top form, nudity, hilarious one-liners, jokes and spectacular shock moments in just over 90 minutes. What more can you ask for? This film is pure entertainment from start to finish and really is one of the most fun films I've seen for a long time.
With a relatively simple plot the film jumps right into the action and you'll never find yourself bored. I won't spoil some of the best moments of this film for you but all I will say is that its a film best viewed with a bunch of friends or in a packed cinema theatre. I saw it with my brothers today in a theatre and the audience laughed and jumped together. It really was a wonderfully exhausting experience.
On the technical side, plaudits must go out to the incredibly underrated and very talented Director David R. Ellis. Having watched his previous action thriller Cellular a few months ago and thoroughly enjoying it, I was pretty sure this film would be terrific under his handling. I think I was right. Ellis does a terrific job here of building up tension and suspense by pulling in the audience and refusing to let go. He is certainly a guy who knows how to handle action and, on a relatively small budget, makes the film look like it was made for much more. He really is one to watch.
The film is also well photographed and edited giving you a sense of claustrophobia and a you-are-there feel. The snakes also looked very good and I have to say they rarely seemed fake. The score is also dark and helps build up the tension.
I was unsure whether or not to award the film a 10 first but why not? It is pure entertainment and thats the main thing that matters to me when I watch a film.
WELL WORTH WATCHING AND CERTAINLY WORTH THE WAIT! 10/10