8 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Nobody of a Sound Mind Would Like This
19 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I don't even know how to properly express my anguish. I suppose it would be fair to admit that I am, usually, an avid lover of terrible movies. "The Room" was a work of brilliance, and it really doesn't get much better than "Birdemic: Shock and Terror".

"Howard the Duck" was crossing the line.

This transcended the threshold of "so bad it's good". It wasn't bad in a "Ghost Rider" way. It wasn't even bad in a "Dogma" sort of way. This movie has put to question what terrible cinema truly is, at its core. I'm honestly disgusted with myself after having seen this movie.

Crusaders in its defense have united in a joyful cry of Howard's "originality" and "playfulness". Pray tell, what exactly about it is unique? Aside the fact that our main protagonist is a space- duck... what else? The story itself is deeply wanting in creativity, as are the painfully wooden characters, and campy, repulsive dialogue.

The special effects, while acceptable, were not mind blowing. Especially Howard himself. The "good guy" should never give you nightmares. Howard was trollish and creepy. Not to mention, seriously flawed in his character. What a jerk.

I'd also like to address the idea that this movie was some sort of B-movie phenomenon. This movie, believe it or not, was made in a very serious way. I think the mere fact that George Lucas was somehow attached to this project ought to demonstrate that. That in consideration, there really is no excuse for how vile this movie was. This wasn't a movie that was parading its own flaws, that wasn't "egotistical" or "vain", and it certainly wasn't aiming to please the cult crowd. The sorry truth of the matter is, Howard the Duck was spawned in the same ambitious way as Star Wars. THIS was supposed to be an epic.

That's just unacceptable. This whole movie is unacceptable. I feel betrayed.
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Spider-man? Yes. Amazing? Not so much.
11 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I feel like I'm being a little harsh, giving this movie a mere 6/10. If I could do such a thing, I'd actually give it more like a... 6.4.

I saw a 3D viewing of this film (my first ever 3D!) with a friend of mine who is more of a respective Spidey geek than I am. My apologies, I'm more of a Batman kind of gal. It doesn't surprise me that she gushed praises for this movie as we left the theater. I half-heartedly concurred, though I felt somewhat unsatisfied.

I'll begin with saying that Andrew Garfield was an excellent choice for Peter Parker/Spider-man. The role of Peter did his talents and nerdy demeanor justice. I wasn't very surprised; Andrew Garfield had already impressed me with his performance in The Social Network. I was expecting this kind of contentment with his Peter Parker. This character version of Spider-man, however, fell a little short for me. Garfield's physique is much more true to everyone's vision of Spider-man than that of Tobey Maguire. But, yeah, that's basically it. I found myself liking Maguire's Spider-man more. I feel like Spider-man is a friendly figure, thus "Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man". (That line, unfortunately never made an appearance in this movie. Sad face.) This vision of this Spider-man is a little too dark and far too two-dimensional to flatter Andrew Garfield's skills as an actor.

For me, personally, the villain makes the movie, especially in the "Comic Book Adaptations" genre. The Lizard was an unfortunate failure. Also, the significant lack of confrontation between The Lizard and Spider-man was stressful. I don't know... I guess I can only say that, despite best efforts, The Lizard was a flat character. Nothing he did surprised me. I wasn't scared of him. And although this menacing creature was the spawn of a brilliant scientist, The Lizard didn't come across as a particularly smart villain. However, I thought it was very clever Dr. Connors became The Lizard because of his missing arm.

I'd also like to file a complaint about Emma Stone. Why was she even there? Her character in it of itself wasn't very prominent (save for the cliché "love story" aspect of the movie) and she did NOTHING to heighten Gwen Stacy's role in the plot. I feel like you could've used any actress to replace Stone and it would've meant nothing.

And it all comes down to this: the plot. The story. The meat of the movie. And if I had to choose one adjective to describe the plot of this movie: meh. If I could choose a second word, it would probably be: typical.

I mean, honestly.

I appreciated all of the modern twists about the creation of Spider-man. Cross species genetics! Whoa! This movie has a scientific one-up over the 2002 version. The acrobatics of the fight scenes were spectacular! This Spider-man is a very graceful fighter, and I enjoyed that.

But everything else fell short! A lot of the scenes felt rushed. Too rushed. The kind of rushed that left us hanging with a desire for a little more. Some scenes felt flat-out unfinished. And most of these scenes were important emotional scenes. The whole mystery about Peter's parents never really came to fruition. And the relationship Peter shared with the The Lizard, that he "created him", was vague and cheesy. Too often, I found myself whispering "of course" when we discovered something critical or a major plot element unfolded. Not to mention, The Lizard's entire ultimatum (releasing mutant-lizard creating gas over the city) felt like a huge knockoff on Batman Begins. I have a problem with that, mostly because, in the theater, I felt like I'd already seen the movie. What a waste of 11 bucks.

What I really enjoyed about the 2002 Spider-man was that the entire movie had a heavy comic-book feel to it. It was fun, stylish, with its own scruffy charm. This version was much sleeker, more modern, and much darker. Not that it was lacking style at all, but this is not what I expect from a SPIDER-MAN movie. Spider-man, to me, should not be the city's personal freak-vigilante/heretic. That's just wrong. Not only did the characters perceive Spider-man that way (especially the cops), but they were right! This Spider-man didn't seem to be saving the people to me. Each time a cop or another character said something slanderous about Spider-man, I didn't cringe with wrongfulness of the statement. I didn't feel justified in defending Spider-man. I did back in 2002.

I honestly expected a lot more out of this reboot. I gave it a 6 because, well, it was entertaining enough and a little better than average. There was nothing new or fresh about it, nothing mind-blowing or terribly exciting. By all means, see it for yourself. I may or may not watch it again.
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Seriously Trippy
11 October 2011
Okay. This movie was weird. I don't know why I was so drawn to it or why I even wanted to finish it in the first place. It was WEIRD.

You have to love the concept, or at least identify with it. We've all done some hectic last-minute shopping, and it never goes well, does it? So here you have an extreme: literally everyone and their uncle is after the Turbo-man action figure. They're basically foaming at the mouth for it; they're breaking things and throwing each other everywhere, fist fights are breaking out. I love it, it's hilarious.

I'm telling you, it is basically one huge hallucination. Odd things happen, the freaking mail man (Sinbad!) is a crazy, obsessive maniac. There are life lessons, a few tears, the meaning of Christmas, and characters that will make you laugh for whatever reason.

It's so stupid and absurd. Enjoy it.
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Batman (1989)
My Conflicted Account Of Mediocrity
10 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Well, let me offer my formal welcomes to the Batman/Batman review. I can try with all of my willpower, but that can't stop me from comparing Tim Burton's interpretation of Batman with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. I PROMISE I will keep things in perspective and be as fair to Batman as I can. Just know that I'm a youngster and Christopher Nolan's Batman films are what I'm accustomed to. So, these are simply my OPINIONS in black and white. You don't have to agree, I'm just putting them out there. Please don't hate me for having them.

And here we ... go!

Michael Keaton vs. Christian Bale. This round goes to Mr. Bale by way of total knockout. It's much easier to compare these two Bruce Wayne/Batmen than the Jokers because the their portrayal isn't radically different. Granted, Bale's Batman is more of an outcast, more of a vigilante than a hero, unlike Keaton's Batman, who ends up a rejoiced symbol. That aside, Batman still has the same "birth", if you will, the murder of his parents before his eyes. That is what changed Bruce Wayne. And I think Michael Keaton was a little too timid in his performance to really delve into the psychological aspect of that initiation. He seemed... terrible. His performance as Bruce was very... diluted. Mr. Bale was more erratic and obsessive, he truly captured an edgier side of Mr. Wayne. As far as the role of the Batman, Michael Keaton was fine. Just fine. I missed the guttural voice. Michael Keaton played a stonier Batman, Christian Bale played a more crazed Batman. And it may be due to the suit, but Bale's Batman was a bit more graceful.

Jack Nicholson vs. Heath Ledger. Ah, the famous Joker debate. I've wanted in on this for a LONG time. But it's a difficult comparison, the direction of the characters are opposite the spectrum. So I'll tell you which Joker characterization I liked best: The Dark Knight's. Ledger's Joker was more obscure, he had no past, no name. And he wasn't, at all, silly. He was an intelligent, lethal, psycho with an OBJECTIVE. He was tormented. He was more realistic. I liked that better than the clown-like Joker we saw in Tim Burton's Batman. Nicholson's Joker was just deranged; his weapons were sophomoric. But he was funnier. All in all, The Dark Knight's Joker wins. As far as Jack and Heath's acting as their Jokers... I think they're on par with each other. Heath Ledger was amazing in The Dark Knight. Period. He made the movie darker, wittier, and a lot more terrifying. Jack Nicholson was also incredible. He was engulfed in lunacy, dancing and grinning with gusto and charisma. And just because I lean more toward Ledger's side in this epic battle, I still love Jack Nicholson. He was a great Joker, and he is a very talented actor. I couldn't think of anyone else to portray Tim Burton's Joker, it was his Joker.

Alfred. Michael Caine wins. No argument. He was a wiser, more compassionate, stable figure for Bruce. Michael Caine's Alfred is a real story component.

Burton's Gotham. Tim Burton... I love his vision. His movies always have an eerie, Halloween quality that is very stylized, and this movie was no exception. The city was creepy, burned looking. Ruined, terrified. It was great. Burton had HIS exclusive vision of Gotham, and he saw it to fruition. The execution of his Gotham was, again, level with Nolan's sleek, corrupted Gotham.

The plot. Eh, I didn't like it. At all, to be honest. I'm used to a sophisticated Batman, and this was a bit ridiculous. The flying Bat-plane had me face palming. The Joker's origin was just plain asinine... Jack Napier falling into radioactive fluid. Really? Being shot is one thing. But surviving radiation is a bit of a stretch. Tainting the cosmetics was interesting. Just... weird. And the love story. Don't get me started. I strictly believe in a movie like this, romance should take second place to action; I felt like Michael Keaton was more often Bruce Wayne than he was Batman. The Bat mobile was a little cheesy looking. But I said I'd be fair, it looked good for its time. The Tumbler is just cooler. As for the plot twist, this means more spoilers: I HATED IT! Jack Napier being Bruce's parents' killers! It was like writers were looking for a good Batman-Joker confrontation outlet, it was bad. And the fact that Jack had pointed the gun at Bruce, and then just decided, never mind. And the whole idea would have been better if Michael Keaton had played up Batman's anger: if Batman had REACTED!

The ending. Again, a total opposite from The Dark Knight. As I mentioned previously, Tim Burton's Batman ended up the hero. Which wasn't so much bad as it was predictable.

I wanted to like this movie more; I have high expectations for Batman, and I'm a huge Batman fan. I just don't think all the elements were there, even with the story it presented. It seemed to me to be the rough draft of a potentially cool Batman movie, and I say this without The Dark Knight in mind. Some things about this film were pinpoint, others fell flat. Which is why, I give this movie a 5/10. Feel free to disagree.

Thanks for reading!
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Inception (2010)
Surprisingly Spectacular!
1 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was a bit hesitant to watch this movie for the first time. Raving reviews from friends was one of the convincing factors. But just walking around everywhere and seeing Leonardo DiCaprio's name headlining the DVD cover was putting me off, I've never really been a fan of his. It wasn't until I found out who directed the, to the best of my knowledge, mainstream masterpiece. Christopher Nolan: the man who brought us Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Judging by the outstanding quality of those two films, I gave in, and settled down for a long two and a half hours.

And by the end, I was surprised. Literally stunned silent, until I could finally say, "That was better than I expected."

No synopsis to be found here. I'm sorry, it's a long movie. Peruse the other reviews, I'm sure you'll come across at least one.

So, as I mentioned, I'm not a big DiCaprio fan. Again, I apologize. I just wasn't impressed by his Romeo, nor was I ever keen on watching him die in Titanic. But here, I was extremely satisfied with his performance as the emotional component of the film. To be frank, I just expected him to be the name carefully selected to draw in a female audience. Well, I will gladly admit I was wrong. If the characters in this movie are personifications, DiCaprio's would be feeling. Desperation, guilt, regret, torment. He portrayed the emotions near flawlessly, which I felt was his most important task in this role, as Cobb. Kudos, sir.

I had never even heard of Joseph Gordon-Levitt before, but I feel like I need to give him some mention, considering. I was pretty impressed by his portrayal of Arthur, the steady, no- nonsense, yet very clever ("elevator" scene) aspect of Cobb's team. A thoughtful kind of guy, described as having no imagination ... why so serious? In all honesty, I was impressed by Gordon-Levitt, what a phenomenal bit of casting! I suppose the real reason I feel he deserves, let's say, honorable mention, is because I recently learned he did all of his own stunts in the "revolving hallway" scene. Okay, maybe I was bit overly impressed, but hey, it looks difficult. Kudos to you too, sir.

The rest of the cast was well picked, but not very surprising. Cillian Murphy as Fischer, we saw him in Nolan's Batman flicks, along with Michael Caine. Ken Watanabe, Saito, we know him from Batman Begins as well. Marion Cotillard as Cobb's wife and antagonist, Mal, was great. I recognized her from Public Enemies, with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale... Christian Bale. Two degrees to Batman? Ellen Page did very well as Cobb's outside voice of reason and architect, Ariadne. Tom Hardy as Eames was fantastic, the perfect creative man to match unimaginative Arthur. Superb casting, overall.

I will tell you, though, the plot is incredibly detailed, well written, and enjoyable. Of course, it's a little ludicrous, but it's so amazingly different and so finely depicted it's almost perceivable. It is the kind of story that even when you can predict what will happen, you're stunned when you see it. Thanks, in part, to the eye-pleasing, fantastic visuals. Excellent scoring, too... REALLY excellent. I was also impressed by the repeated dialogue throughout the scenes, it was powerful and emotional.

The only negative is that, at first, this is definitely not a sheer entertainment film. If you're tired from a long day's work, I wouldn't recommend picking this one up. That is, if your initial intention was to gape at explosions, regardless of the plot. This movie requires thought.

This is getting to be lengthy.

Okay, the ending. Endings can be famous for ruining movies, we all know that. And it's devastating. Seriously. But Inception ends with slight ambiguity, and you may be left wondering... *** SPOILER*** is Cobb still dreaming when he's reunited with his children. ***END SPOILERS*** I particularly enjoy films that have endings designed to be interpreted. Kind of gives you the opportunity to decide how it all ends.

In short, I had a lot of faith in Christopher Nolan's directing coming in, and nothing disappointed. I really enjoyed this movie, it was very quality work, far exceeding my expectations. From the acting to the effects, I was very, very... entertained. Highly recommended.

Thanks for reading!
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Another Marvel Atrocity
26 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Gee, what a waste of money. I was unfortunate enough to catch a viewing of this, uh, film on its opening night. And I honestly had high expectations. But, not unlike Thor, it fell very VERY short.

Here are a few of the problems I had with the movie.

1. No development. With EVERYTHING. No character development, no plot development, and no emotional development.

2. Mediocre acting. Enough said.

3. It was too over-the-top. And this is coming from a Batman Begins/Dark Knight fanatic. Red Skull was a seriously lousy villain. He was more laughable than frightening, especially his cheap looking face.

4. The plot itself. I was honestly looking forward to seeing Captain America fight the Nazis, not HYDRA. And the dumb Hydra salute made me gag. I also wasn't sure what was going on at times. The magical "cube" (Transformers knockoff?) wasn't settling with me. I expected this to be more about WWII itself, not some stupid mystical idea that was more sophomoric and typical than interesting and captivating.

5. The technology. This was the WWII era. And there were little reminders everywhere that said, "Hey! It's the 40's!" But then... Hydra's, uh, "ray guns" for lack of better terminology were somewhat thrown at us. I didn't like it. And the likely hood that a bunch of drunks with 40's weaponry could survive such combat.

6. The romance. Ugh. You can integrate a romantic subplot in a "superhero" movie and do it well, I've seen it done (Spider-man 2, The Dark Knight). But this was much too Thor-esque. I'm sorry, let me specify. You could see the chemistry between Steve and Peggy right away, but it just kind of sat there until, all of a sudden, love! And, of course, with romance comes automatic romantic tension. Blonde kisses Steve. Peggy gets mad/jealous. Wow. Didn't see that coming.

7. The "theme". Red Skull believing he's so god-like. I liked the idea. And I figured it would destroy him in the end. Hubris often does. It simply wasn't explored enough, and it really didn't end him. I was left wondering whether it was a good idea to introduce it in the first place.

8. And so we've arrived at Red Skull's death. This was TERRIBLE writing, an asinine story component. You know, when you watch a movie like this, and come to accept that it's mostly just raw superhero element, you want the HERO to kill the BAD GUY. That's a formula we've seen from box office hits to Scooby-Doo. But no, this film neglected even THAT. All Red Skull did was look at and hold the cube, and he burned. What a let down.

9. Captain America's sacrifice. Ah, sacrifice worked so well in The Dark Knight! And it almost worked here. Corny scripting ruined the moment. After Red Skull's demise, Captain America had to get the militarized aircraft far away from the USA, so its weapons wouldn't kill people. So what do you do? Nose dive into the ice caps. Naturally. Well, I guess it was "his choice".

10. The ending. Well, it was necessary. And it was okay. I could live with it. UNTIL Steve chose to utter, "I'll be okay. But I had a date." or something to that effect. More corny scripting.

11. Hey, all faults aside, at least we had some good old action to keep the grin on our faces. Nope. The action was thrown wayside. The taking down of every Hydra facility was just clips of Captain America shooting a gun or jumping his motorcycle. That, along with generic and easily forgettable scoring.

Only a few funny moments and the fantastic CG "scrawny Steve" got this to three stars. Please, stop comparing this unexceptional film to things like Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Dark Knight or any of the greats. This film was average at best. Marvel Studios is not preparing well for The Avengers. Based on this and Thor, I certainly am not stoked for its debut.

Thanks for reading!
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Only Watch It Once
17 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Okay. I first saw it in theaters, and we all know the theater produces a much different atmosphere than home sweet home. Evidently, the theater quality feel worked in this film's advantage. Aw, I may be acting a bit cynical. I honestly do believe this is a first-time/one time movie. Maybe that's just because it's very "same old, same old". You can only handle so much of a slightly varied cliché.

The more I watch this movie (because, yes, it was gifted to me), the more I realize some very irking things.

1) Alex Pettyfer, although attractive and decent as far as his acting goes, just looks a little too old to be a 16-17 year old high school student. Perhaps that's just me being picky, but it was one the FIRST flaws I noticed.

2) It was much too full of cringe-worthy lines and moments that seemed okay at first, but got old quickly.

3) For those seeking a true Sci-fi action, you'll be disappointed (and most likely sickened) with a thick layer of romance... a lot like dust on a potentially interesting picture. And it was almost instantaneous and very teen "I can't live without her" true love. And, in turn, felt very forced.

4) Apparently, directors and producers have expected you to have read the book beforehand in order to understand, because there isn't a lot of explanation offered. Confusion is never fun while watching a movie. Many of my friends who hadn't read the book (like I had) complained.

5) Some of the acting just wasn't... eh, adequate. It kind of just comes down to fatal flaws. Alex Pettyfer has a deep voice, but he isn't articulate, and I couldn't really understand what he was saying at times. And, of course, it was his job to narrate... which only added to the confusion. Dianna Agron has the same sort of problem as Kristen Stewart. And that is this: the constant looking down and eye flickering that seems like a twitch... and I think it was intentional. Teresa Palmer's character was reduced to "that nameless chick, you know, Number 6" and bad sexual jokes. Callan McAuliffe was WAY too awkward. Sure, he was the nerd, but there was no "middle emotion". Just happy, sad, eager, and angry. Timothy Olyphant played his character up a bit too much: too intense and at times whiny.

All that being said, this movie had its own elements that set it apart from The Lightning Thief and The Twilight Saga.

1) The humor! Whoa. It actually had funny moments.

2) Most importantly, this is a relatively family-friendly movie. There wasn't sexual content or heavy cursing. Just good old action.

3) The acting was good at times.

4) The special effects were great, as were the action sequences.

So, all in all, this was a decent movie. A fun first watch, but more and more annoying and sophomoric the more I watch it. Your kids will like it. Fans of the book... hit and miss, really.

Thanks for reading!
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
Pixar Doesn't Disappoint
11 July 2011
Well, as always with Pixar, I expected something great. No disappointment. Absolutely none. And this is coming from a 15 year-old who enjoys action violence, Batman, Star Wars, Terminator, Bourne, and American Psycho. All that in mind, I can honestly say the Toy Story trilogy is one of my favorites. Yeah, I'll admit.

The opening was creative and perfect, drawing from memories and lines dating back to Toy Story's first installment. It was warm and really sets an innocent mood. The "home film" flashbacks were another layer of cozy memories, and then fading music fast forwarded us to a harsher time. Flawless.

Andy's age was the perfect way to explain (of sorts) the time lapse. I loved that they didn't try to just throw us back into the past. And now the gang was facing the impending doom Toy Story and Toy Story 2 warned them of. Again, flawless.

And things turned out well for our beloved characters. And new beloved characters were introduced along the way.

After I saw this film in theaters, what I could mainly focus on was the attention to detail. (What crisp animation!) If you've ever owned or had a child who owned one of those toy babies, then you know one eye ALWAYS starts to droop after a while. That made me laugh. Every scuff on a plastic surface, every graying of a stuffed animal, was convincing.

The plot was great! It hard serious comedic moments that had everyone in the theater laughing. And honestly... this movie had actual moments of suspense. I won't give anything away, but it was fantastic. At one point, I even think I was tearing up.

I would go ahead and say this movie, this whole trilogy, is EXCELLENT. Classic is more like it. The ONLY reason I didn't give it a 10 is because I can't quite put it up there with some of my favorites. No critique, simply personal. If you haven't had the chance to give this movie a viewing, I suggest you find the time to pick it up.

Thanks for reading!
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