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Echelon 8 (2009)
Intriguing, not exceptional
The movie was a bit intriguing, but not exceptional. Non of the actors are very well known and their performances are not outstanding, though I would say they are good enough to keep the story moving. I guess it was the kind of movie that was on a budget, a number of scenes just seem a bit too fake for my tastes.
For example, in one scene there are two agents that are shooting at two terrorists who aren't very far away from them; the agents are standing still, and the terrorists are standing still. And yet it takes the agents about 10 attempts with rounds of fire back and forth before they actually take out their objectives. Makes you wonder how well they did their training! They are being portrayed as the best of the best in their field, but for suspense's sake they wind up looking a bit unprofessional.
And in another scene, two agents seem to have cornered their objective (a terrorist), but there is a sniper hiding behind them, who eventually shoots at one of the agents as a warning, wounding her in the arm, after which everyone goes on talking things over for another few minutes, as the terrorist warns them "you don't want to do this, or my sniper will take her out" etc. Uhm, if the sniper is behind both of them, and neither one has even turned around to try to take him out, couldn't he just take them both out in a flash instead of chatting away about whether they'll make it or not?
This movie has some potential, but would have been so much better if more attention was paid to keeping a more professional, efficient, action-packed portrayal of our heroes. There are ways of creating suspense without making it look fake...
30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)
The title seemed intriguing, I'm a fan of Jules Verne and of "20,000 leagues under the sea" with Kirk Douglas and James Mason so I thought this might be an interesting extension to the story. I hardly got through the first 5 minutes of it and I couldn't go any further, the acting is just terrible, terrible, terrible. Actors reading their lines, and yelling them out with such a monotonous tone of voice, ugh. I can't give any kind of spoiler because I don't know how the story proceeds, I didn't give it a chance beyond the first five minutes. If anyone can confirm that it does get better I might give it a second shot.