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David's "Posh" Adventure
I would wager that the script was written by David's publicist. It seems all about trying to show David as a loving husband, a caring person, and an adventurer. In the end it gave me the impression that he is fake, self-absorbed, and somewhat boring.
It starts basically with him telling Victoria how much he is going to miss her as he says goodbye. And 20 minutes in they are sitting in a hotel room as he puts out pictures of his family, reads a letter Victoria put in his suitcase, and he talks about how much he misses them.
Just a reminder - we are talking about David Beckham who, in case you lived under a rock for 15 years, has been traveling the world as a football (soccer) superstar with his various teams, often without his wife and family. During his 15 year marriage he played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, the LA Galaxy, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. So I believe he traveled a lot without his wife and kids. so to spend the first 25 minutes of a 105 minute movie mostly talking about how much he will miss them seems quite a bit ridiculous.
Oh, and Victoria's main concern for David on this trip - that his hair would frizz up in the humidity. Posh Spice speaks again.
30 minutes in they are still in the hotel room - haven't even gotten into the amazon, let alone "into the unknown". They eventually leave, ride motorcycles for a while, have the bikes shipped so they can ride on a boat for a bit (most of the time David talking about his motorbike - not the Amazon, the trip, or the scenery). Later, reconnected with the bikes, they ride some more on a muddy road, making a big deal of them not yet being on the main road. When the bikes break down they fish with some locals for lunch and David is proud that he helped them catch lunch - BTW, something that would not have happened had there not been a breakdown.
At night they play hand-held video games - I think Flappy Bird was Davids choice. David bemoaned about being a long way from home. They showed him calling home on a satellite phone several times - exciting TV. He saw a lightening bug and thought it was his phone lighting up. He complains about not being able to shower.
I think you get the picture.
Basically it is a movie about David Beckham being out of his element, but they show little of the element that he is in. They show a rich boy "roughing it" with motorcycles, a crew to take care of him, meals prepared for him, a satellite phone to call out when he wants, video games to relieve the boredom of being out of the city and in one of the most beautiful places in the world, etc.
When he finally gets deeper into the Amazon they meet up with a local tribe that hasn't heard of him. He is clearly "into the unknown" at that point.
And again, more about his family. I am sure he loves his wife and kids. But they made a big deal throughout the show of how much he missed them (even though he called them daily) during this epic adventure. BTW, did I tell you - the trip was only 1 week.
You would have thought he was in the Amazon for 2 months the way he carried on.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
I don't understand the 9+ star reviews on here
I really don't understand the large number of 9 and 10 star reviews here on IMDb for this movie. Having seen all of the bond films multiple times, this one may not be the worst, but it certainly is not the best.
After seeing this several times, my opinion has not changed. I (and many others) found the writing to be some of the most immature and juvenile of bond series of movies. The acting was spotty and the casting ill fated. The action scenes (outside the well done opening sequence) are poorly choreographed and cheesy looking. The male villain was ... tame and not very threatening. It just didn't do too much except deliver lots of action - poorly done action, but lots of it.
The shining part of the movie is Sophia Marceau playing the sexy victim/villain. she shines in the movie, and plays all the facets of her part well - childlike victim, sexual plaything, sexual predator, conniving bitch, and slightly insane maniacal killer. I do give Brosnan some credit, this is probably his best Bond film, but he was never right for the role. Denise Richards was in no way convincing as a scientist of any kind, let alone a nuclear physicist. No-one bought her in that role. Her acting was terrible and her wardrobe didn't help - walking around in a tank top and shorts almost the whole movie. I enjoyed the view but wasn't seeing the character - only her well displayed body.
A few of the many many examples of poor writing and directing:
- the banter from Christmas and Elektra about the other woman was ridiculous. I know women swoon for Bond, but as soon as Christmas sees Elektra she makes a comment about Bond sleeping with her. And it was the same the other way around. Here are two smart and powerful women (one who was clearly just using Bond) and they suddenly get all jealous at the sight of another beautiful woman? Totally out of character and poorly written.
- the list of "goofs" in this film must be the longest of any Bond film this shows a very poor job of directing, writing, and editing. Continuity was very poor in many of the scenes. Yes there was lots going on, but that is no excuse for the switching of guns, body directions, and clothing, as well as injuries disappearing or moving, objects in rooms moving, and many other mistakes that are throughout the movie.
- the fight scene in the sub near the end was the ultimate in bad directing and choreography. When Renard knees Bond hurting him badly, his knee obviously goes next to Bond not into him. Throughout the movie punches and kicks clearly miss the target yet Renard is somehow knocked out briefly and Bond is later writhing in pain. And when they are choking each other with hands at the neck, they basically have a conversation while being choked.
- The scenes of the fight at the caviar factory and it being being destroyed where do you start. None of it looked remotely realistic. The helicopters carrying saws cutting through everything, while a cool idea, just looked so hokey. The way the buildings were cut, the way the car was cut in two, the saw chasing Brosnan down a pier, etc, etc. Every part of the scene was poorly done and looked silly. I know there is a comedic factor to these movies, but this belonged in the Peter Sellers spoof, not a real Bond movie.
I could go on and talk about all the scenes where Brosnans stunt double is clearly identified, other examples of really bad writing, and the horrible plot, but you get the idea.
There is a reason why:
- Denise Richards got the Razzies award that year - for Worst Supporting Actress.
- Rotten Tomatoes ranked this #21 of the 25 Bond Movies (right behind Die Another Day and Tomorrow Never Dies - two other Brosnan Bond movies)
- Both Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed rank it #20 out of 25
- Entertainment Weekly named Denise Richards the worst Bond girl of all time in 2008 (even worse than Tanya Robers in A View To A Kill)
- and EW ranked this the worst bond movie of all time (but that was before Quantum of Solace and Die Another Day which is now ranks lower).
I will say one more thing though, when M is captured and locked in the cell. I expected her to pull something out of her broach or a hairpin that she would use. I mean come-on, she runs the whole organization and she had nothing to work with and couldn't even pull a clock into the cell?
How to Make It in America (2010)
Good show, but not "HBO Enough"
I like "How to Make it" and think the writing is good and the acting is good. Yes, it could be better, but the first season (watching it On Demand) has kept me coming back. Bryan Greenburg, Victor Rasuk, and Lake Bell put in fine performances and I can see this as a real story line in New York. There is plenty of realism in the writing and acting.
It is not fair to compare this to Entourage, and I think those comparisons are partly why the show only lasted 2 seasons. People who were drawn to the show by this comparison and expectations of what the show would be like were disappointed. Entourage brought flashy people, a fantasy life in Hollywood, and lots of naked women, bare-chested fit men, and sex. It was a fantasy world with a few hints of reality.
"How to Make it ..." was more about reality and with no nudity and sex. So right there the majority of the Entourage audience started tuning out once they realized they weren't going to see Lake Bell, Florence Faivre, or anyone else naked. As superficial as it sounds, there are a number of people that watch the HBO shows because there is nudity. Without that, it's "just another show". They picked it up a bit in season 2 with a few nude shots - and the famous Lake Bell scene in Episode 3 that won her a Mr Skin award - to try to boost viewers. But by then it was too late, they lost a lot of the HBO viewers and ratings were down 25% in season 2.
So I think "How to Make it" didn't quite fit the bill of a paid cable channel show. If it were on a network, it might have fared better because the expectations of the audience would have been different - not lower (or higher) just different.
There are some ways where it did compare to Entourage, but that doesn't mean it was good. It was the typical up/down story line - things are going great, then disaster strikes. They work their way through it, things look good again, then something else goes terribly wrong. Then the first season ends on a high note to get you hooked for season 2 - where things go wrong again soon. That was the type of story line throughout Entourage which started turning people off after a few seasons - but the promise of hot naked women kept them coming back. As I stated above, without that lure, this type of story line got old fast and viewership dropped.
You can create drama in other ways then this constant up and down in every single episode (look at Boardwalk empire, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, etc.) but it seams that is the only way this production team knows how to operate.
So in the end, I liked the show and think Lake Bell is a beautiful and talented actress. I watched both seasons and would like to have seen more of it, but I think it just didn't have enough to keep a pay channel audience watching.
Completely lame plot with plenty of bad acting to make it funny
The plot lines in this movie are so bad, one would think this is a spoof. The redeeming factor is that the acting is just as bad so it really turns it into a comedy.
let me give you three examples.
First, Here is a critical mission to deliver 2 nuclear weapons to a site in LA, and it is "protected" by a small team in 1 truck and two jeeps. no backup, no eye-in-the-sky, no secondary communications, nothing. At one point they get stopped by the old "truck in the middle of the road" trick. They all get out and stand around when they are opened up on. These are elite soldiers on a critical mission to save the world? and they are stymied by a rogue team of bandits. And of course along for the ride is the cute scientist wearing stylish slacks and a cute sweater.
Second, there is a father/daughter team of scientists. She hates him because he was not around. And he speaks glowingly of her and her work - to the point that it is revealed that he funded her research. But several times during the movie when she disagrees with him on scientific findings, he completely dismisses and insults her. Then the plot tries to turn the moment when we sees she is right into a tear jerking scene of father/daughter love. It's a complete failure.
Third, one character hates the lead character so much that he continually jeopardizes the mission to save the world in order to make this one guy look bad.
Fourth, two characters take off in a jeep with the second nuke needed to save the world in search of the main characters daughter. They didn't think of leaving it with the main team when they left? Oh, that's right, it was needed to add a little more drama in the plot.
Fifth, when arming the nuclear weapon, the main character tells his daughter "you better step back." He's setting an arming device on a nuclear weapon and has her move 5 feet back? Oh, I see, that was needed for the bad guy to be able to grab her when he wasn't looking.
I guess that was 5 things. I could have gone on even longer, but I think you get the point.
Sappy speeches, bad character acting, typical inept politicians who can't make the right decisions and take all the credit when things go right, and a crazy serial killer in the mix who liked to threatens to burn a young woman but never seems to get around to actually doing anything.
The only suspense in the movie was what next stupid turn was the plot going to take. I have to admit, I was surprised at times - because the turns were so unbelievable and dumb.
The Deal (2005)
Basic Thriller with Poor Dialog
It's a basic thriller with an OK plot, OK (at best) acting, and sometimes silly dialog.
- business people that want the deal done at all costs
- government official that don't care about the cost of getting oil
- Russian mobsters with bad accents and stupid actions
- bad Russian accents
- stilted dialog and conversations
- no emotional attachment to any of the characters
- Christian Slater and Selma Blair have a few moments of decent acting, but even much of theirs is poor. Two scenes in particular standout - the scene where he pushes her away (breaks up with her) and the closing scene of the movie. Both bad.
Plot and Dialog:
- see the above mentioned scenes
- read the "quotes" section here on IMDb - you get a good sense of the silliness of some of the dialog
- plot is thin and the ending is anti-climactic
hmmm, maybe a 4 rating is being generous.
Pick your tag line
I really wanted to like this movie. I really like Alien, thought Aliens was a decent sequel, and have a serious celebrity crush on Charlize. But this one just didn't do it for me.
The acting was fine and there were some moments of very good acting (Fassbander in particular). The cinematography is at times stunning and the special effects are quite impressive. But the plot line and the dialog so completely underwhelmed that it ruined the movie for me.
Some people can overlook those faults and just enjoy the "make you jump/squirm in your seat" antics. But some of us can't.
That is why you see such a range of reviews and scores from both critics and fans. Even my local papers in the SF area had three quite different reviews of the same movie.
In summary my view is:
- there was no character development. I didn't give a hoot about any of the characters. to me they just seemed like dumb, unimaginative plot fillers for the aliens to eliminate. Even the surviving character(s) didn't really have a semblance of humanity.
- dialog was often childish, insipid, out of context or character, or just plain stupid.
- the plot had so many holes or inconsistencies it was distracting. Other reviewers have comments that people that complain about things being unexplained "just don't pick up on the clues". And while I often agree with that and myself love a good mystery or Hitchcock film, I found this movie's faults to be more with the inconsistency than the subtle clues.
For more detailed elements of these faults, other reviewers have covered them at length. So in summary I will point out few of the unused marketing tag lines that have been suggested for this movie:
- In the dark, no one can see your eyes roll
- in space, no one can hear you groan
- in the theater no one can hear your boredom
- in space no one can hear you snicker
Fun movie ruined by silly action shots
This movie had promise - good looking men and women in tight leather outfits, fast bikes, lots of action, a fair amount of violence, a decent soundtrack, and actually a potential plot line. And it starts out OK.
But then about half way through the movie it seems as if another director took over (or maybe Joseph Kahn started smoking something funny). It appears to me that Kahn should have stuck to music videos and probably thought that the silly quick shots from MTV would carry over to a full length movie.
In the second half of the movie the action sequences start taking on a completely unrealistic aspect to them that wasn't present in the first half. In one example the FBI agents are driving a large SUV at over 100 MPH when they hit a construction site causing the SUV to fly through the air as it flips over. The next shot shows the SUV falling straight down as if it lost all of its forward momentum. IT falls onto another car, crushing both. and yet the FBI agents are completely unharmed.
Also, in the ending action scenes there are numerous shots that belong in The Matrix or another fantasy action movie, not this movie.
I am all for slightly exaggerated action sequences and bike riding, but the outlandish shots found in the second half of the movie are totally out of line with the "realistic" story line in the first half of the movie.
On top of that, the dialog is completely cheesy, also getting worse in the second half of the movie.
So maybe another director started the movie and Kahn finished it. I can think of no other reason for such a discrepancy, other than the notion that Kahn is completely out of his depth when attempting a full length movie. Taking a video directing mentality to the full screen rarely works, and this is a good example of that.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Interesting and thought-provoking, but missing key elements
I have read a lot of 9 or 10 star and 1 or 2 star reviews of "Eyes Wide Shut" and very few in the middle. This is clearly a polarizing film.
My view is that it is classic Kubrick - thought provoking, controversial, and visionary with good cinematography. But the movie lacks a couple if critical elements. The first being good acting.
Cruise has never been one of my favorites. There are only a few movies where I would praise his acting. Kidman is more of the opposite, mostly good acting with only a few stinker performances. This movie seemed to be on the bad acting scale for both of them. They looked uninspired and going-through-the-motions for most of the movie. Their scenes where they are upset or crying were completely unbelievable.
Another part of the movie that bothers me is the score. The gloomy score that repeats throughout the movie sounds like a more redundant rip-off of the Halloween score. And it is used way too much during the movie. The first few times it does a good job at setting the tone, but after that it's just repetitive and distracting.
In the whole, it is potentially a great movie that is undermined by a number of flaws (only two are mentioned here). It could have been so much more.
I have watched it several times, always hoping for more, seeing something new each time, but also feeling that it could have been much more.