Reviews written by registered user
mrgray83

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34 reviews in total 
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The Grudge (2004)
Japanese Horror meets Memento., 5 May 2005
6/10

The Grudge is a story about how a house holds on to the murders of it's past and manifests them in the murdered soul of a cat, a little boy, and a young girl. The acting was pretty good. The script is where the problems are. There are numerous flashbacks to explain scenes that we've just witnessed. You have to pay close attention to the flashbacks or you'll get lost in things in quite a hurry because a lot is going on. The Grudge has a feel about it that suggests that it's really nothing but an attempt, albeit a pretty decent attempt, to cash in on the fame of The Ring, ie cash in on the idea of remaking Japanese horror films. At the end there's some allusion to a sequel that to me seemed ludicrous and clichéd. The jolt scares in the film were average as well. The monster jumps up suddenly and there's a loud echoing crash heard on the soundtrack. Pretty standard stuff. Nothing to write home about. The CGI and the cinematography were great.

6/10 I'd recommend it if you're just a die hard horror fan. I'm a fan of horror but I prefer the psychological stuff.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Redefining bad movies......Uwe Boll style., 5 May 2005
3/10

House of the Dead is based on the Sega game of the same name. I have never played the game myself but this movie doesn't do very much in the way of persuading one to give it a chance. The story is as follows. A group sets out to go to a Rave party on an isolated island and in their first but not last act of stupidity during the course of the film they miss the boat that was to take them. They coax a cigar smuggling boat owner to give them a ride to the island by giving him $1000. 500 to get there and 500 to get back. With all that cash floating around, the group should have skipped the Rave and went and brought some brains. Well, they get to the island and to sum the rest of the film up, there is a lot of running around, screaming, breasts jiggling, tired and I do mean tired stereotypes of every character, especially the Asian character. That was just ridiculous. Uwe Boll must think that the Matrix is the greatest movie of all time because he uses the camera tricks from that film all throughout the battle sequences, which mind you dragged on way too long. And if all of that wasn't bad enough, Uwe Boll has spliced actual game-play action into the movie. He seemed to think it added to the film, even if the scenes from the game didn't always match up with the live action. I don't even have to mention awful dialog and acting because I can forgive those nuances. They can almost be so bad they're entertaining, but some things I just can't forgive. How Uwe Boll ever got anyone to support him in this film is beyond my comprehension.

3/10 Don't waste your time. I'd recommend it to hardcore B movie fans like myself. But if you don't appreciate making fun of movies then don't submit yourself to this torture.

Spartacus (1960)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The most unKubrickian Kubrick project......but it still delivers., 1 May 2005
10/10

Spartacus follows the time of the rebel Spartacus' life starting with his life as a slave, then gladiator, then rebel, and finally leading up to his crucifixion. This film was directed by Stanley Kubrick, but if you're a hardcore Kubrick film like myself, you'll have a hard time believing it. Is it beautiful? Yes, the photography of the film is pretty top notch. Is the camera work Kubrick? To a certain degree. It's not full force Kubrick. I interpreted this as a laid back Kubrick style of filming. And the fact that he didn't write the screenplay had a lot to do with it I'm sure. Can I praise Kirk Douglas enough for his portrayal of Spartacus? I don't think so. Kirk gives one of the best performances of his career that I've seen. I still can't place his acting here above his acting in Paths of Glory though. Another great actor here is Jean Simmons, who is a hottie for real. She is absolutely beautiful. Another thing about the movie is that even though, it's over 3 hours long, I found the pacing very well done. I never found myself bored because the film has powerful dialog, which is another big plus.

10/10 Highly recommended.

Spider-Man (2002)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Big Budget B Movie, 30 April 2005
6/10

This film has raked in a truckload of cash and a score of great reviews. Well, it seems that I'll have to be the exception. I didn't contribute one cent to this film's theatrical release and I am not about to write a glowing review of it.

Spiderman is without a doubt one of the funniest unintentional comedies I have ever come across. This film has some of the most unbelievable dialog that has ever been put to film. It doesn't quite border on Ed Wood quality but it's the thing that keeps me laughing through the whole thing.

The acting was so so but I don't blame the actors too much. With dialog that bad, the script couldn't have been much to jump up and down about.

I wouldn't recommend this unless you like the 'so bad it's good' films like I do. And also there are some nice shots of Kirsten Dunce scattered throughout.

6/10

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Stanley Kubrick takes on the Vietnam War and the duality of man., 30 April 2005
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film will endlessly be compared to Oliver Stone's Platton which was released the year before it. I place Full Metal Jacket above Platoon only marginally. There's something about the way Stanley Kubrick shot that makes it stand above other films based during war times. One scene that sticks out in my mind is the one where the platoon is standing around the dead bodies of two of their fallen comrades in a circle. Kubrick places the camera in the middle of them so that it shoots a low angle shot looking into their faces. He then has them to say a single farewell statement to the fallen soldiers. The beauty in this is that the statements express each soldiers personification. I'm reminded of Citizen Kane, where the entire dialog of that film reflects each person's personification. Every time a word is uttered it reflects their personality and yet the dialog is as believable as they come. What Kubrick did in the scene I just mentioned is a simplified version of that method but it works wonderfully. He proves that it it possible to develop characters with few words and with even fewer actions.

This film is magnificent. Is it Kubrick's best? No. Is it his most beautiful? No. 2001 will always have that spot in my heart. Is it a classic? You'd better believe it.

10/10 Highly recommended.

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
I'm almost willing to say it's Spike Lee's best film., 16 April 2005
9/10

I can't forget about the extraordinary Do The Right Thing though.

Get On The Bus follows the bus trip of a group of brothers on their way to the Million Man March. The acting is top of the line. The actor playing Evan Junior is a perfect match for his character. He turns in one of the greatest performances. The script is perfect and it only proves to be stronger when you remember that the film was shot in sequence. Which leads me to another point. Anyone with even a small amount of film-making understanding knows that it would have been hell to shoot this film in 35mm, so Spike Lee recorded in a smaller print and had it blown up. The result is a film that's almost documentary style but works perfectly.

Throughout the course of the film, Spike Lee introduces us to various personifications of the black man. Notice I used the word personifications, not stereotypes. We have a self hating brother, who is picked up halfway through the trip, who puts down on black schools and colleges. We have a highly homophobic brother who's loud and arrogant at the same time. We have a Muslim brother who has no lines but is integral even without lines. There are black republicans along on the trip. Two black homosexuals. And to top it off it's filmed entirely on a bus trip except for a few scenes which Spike Lee stated were on a sound stage.

Great film. 9/10

Holiday Heart (2000) (TV)
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Ten out of Ten. Without a doubt., 14 April 2005
10/10

Holiday Heart is the tale of Holiday, a talented drag queen and how his life intertwines with the lives of a young girl named Nikki and her mother, who tries to kick a drug habit during the course of the film. Holiday is at first accepted by the mother and child after he saves them from an abusive relationship, only to be rejected by them when a new love enters the mother's life. The new love is a drug dealer, but does not approve of the mother using drugs. She eventually goes back to the drugs and he cuts her loose. After she disappears Holiday has to step back in to help take care of Nikki, which he does, even though he has dreams of getting away to Paris to start a new life since he recently lost the love of his life.

Where do I start with this film? The acting is TOP NOTCH. Ving Rhames, who plays Holiday, gives one of the best performances I have ever seen in my lifetime. Alfre Woodard, who plays the mother, just steals the show though. Her portrayal of an addicted mother is so great that words can do it no justice. It really has to be seen. The child actor turns in an outstanding performance as the child distraught over her mother's problems. I was extremely impressed at how she was so adult in many scenes, due to the fact that such a life will cause a child to grow up very quickly.

I rate this a solid 10 out of 10. One of the greatest films I've ever seen.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Even as a standalone film it's lackluster., 7 April 2005
5/10

Let's just stop for a minute and assume that Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining was never made and that this was the only adaption that was ever created. Would you still love it/hate it? I wouldn't say I hate this adaption, but it falls short all over the place. I'm not about to recant the whole story here. I'll just get right to the point.

Dialog - More laughable than anything. I recognized a lot of dialog from the actual book. It's fine in the book, but is a joke when put to film.

Acting - Actually pretty good, except for the child actor, who is beyond annoying. However, most actors are only as good as their script and their director. So I lay a lot of blame on those 2.

Length - It's just too long. It drags. Drags and drags. I'm a fan of Stephen King and while the book doesn't drag, this film does. It tries to fit everything possible from the book. Everything. This detracts from the film IMO. It opens the film up for plot holes.

The special effects are nice and the cinematography is nothing short of amazing.

5/10

Armageddon (1998)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Mindless Summer Blockbuser. But still entertaining., 7 April 2005
7/10

Armageddon is the story of a team of oil drillers who end up becoming a space crew that must destroy an asteroid the size of Texas which will destroy the earth. There, I just gave you the whole film synopsis in a nutshell. This is one of those flicks where you just have to sick back and enjoy it. You have to throw some of the things you expect from serious filming to the curve because it is obvious that the directors did the same thing.

The film defines what a summer film should be. Mindless and more mindless while making the audience laugh and cry. There is a saying that the majority of the nation's moviegoers go to the movies to get a break from reality. Moviegoers want to be shocked. They want to laugh. To cry. To have their life changed. But I digress. On with the review. We have explosions. Explosions. And in case you missed it the first time, more explosions. There are plenty of laughs, witty lines, and funny situations. And unless you're some stone hearted person, the ending of the film will get a tear or two from you. I thought the montage of Harry Stamper's daughter's life(which is in turn his life in a way) flashing before his eyes before he blows up the asteroid(and gives his life as a result) is one of the most touching moments of film I've ever seen. It always makes me emotional. I highly regret not seeing this film in theaters.

7/10

14 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Five out of Ten and I'm being generous., 4 April 2005
5/10

Night Of The Hunter is the tale of a very disturbed guy who masquerades as a preacher but in actuality is a murdering psychopath. After being put in prison, he crosses paths with a father who stole $10,000 because he wanted his wife and kids to live better. The father is set to be executed and the psychopath hears him talking about the stolen money in his sleep. He just mentions the cash though. He never says where it is exactly. So the psychopath gets out of jail and marries the imprisoned guys wife(who is a complete dunce), and attempts to get the guy's kids(who were sworn to secrecy by their father) to show him where the money is hidden.

I was led to believe that this film was supposed to be a classic. I mean I had heard really great things about it. So I decided to come into my viewing with a very clear mind, and I have never been so disappointed with a 'classic' in my life. When I wasn't laughing at how bad the dialog was at times, I was laughing at the editing, which is a step by step tutorial on how not to edit a film. Continuity is thrown to the curve on a quite a few occasion. Every film suffers from continuity errors but this was just ridiculous. Some of the errors in this film could have been corrected.

I see why it was bashed so horribly when it was released. It's not that audiences weren't ready for this type of film, it's because the film is just not good...end of story. Definitely not a classic if you ask me.

5 out of 10 because of the photography is top notch and Mitchum's performance.


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