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JohnBoyRoy

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46 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
We're getting there, 11 May 2005
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This entry has the dubious task of linking episode I to III (the one we all want to see) as well as introducing some of the key characters from the original trilogy.

The Anakin we see in this film is an arrogant teen, skilled but hindered by his outlook. The best moment belongs to Anakin, at the point in which we see hints of Darth Vader, as he decides that the best option to solve the issue of his mothers death is to violently slaughter a load of sand people n cold blood. Top notch. He seems already on his way to inheriting his full-body asthma pump in this one.

The special effects, once again, are amazing, although I'm not sure I'm a fan of digital film. Whereas in Episode I the FX seemed natural and part of the overall film frame - integrated - in this episode it all looks a bit too clean. The effects still look slightly pre-rendered (I would have liked to have seen them slightly more 'weathered'). It's a hard concept to explain, see for yourselves.

This can't deny the fact that the action scenes are stunning and on an even larger scale than seen in Episode I. The light saber action is lacklustre compared to the previous instalment - in the sense that it is far too short. The Yoda/Dooku battle does make up for this somewhat, and is a genuinely impressive moment for fans.

No problems with the CGI yoda, he's great. Mace Windu gets a larger role in this one, and there is a memorable face off between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan (now looking like a Nicky Clarke model with his golden hair and beard).

It all seemed a bit soul-less though, we'll see how this changes in Episode III (after all they are meant to be viewed as one film, so we can let George off for now).

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Would be a 9 if it wasn't for Jam Jar, 11 May 2005
7/10

The critical backlash against this marvellous entry into the Star Wars series is what is known as unfounded favouring of nostalgia, a refusal to advance forwards and being a bunch of knob cheeses.

Apart from the annoying JarJar Binks, Episode I is an incredible film, grand in scale and spectacle, introducing and elegant and historic - rather than futuristic - feel to Star Wars, additionally offering some great new characters.

The style of the film is different to the originals in the sense that the effects, a main element of the saga, through the undeniable naturalism have lost the unique 80s style that fans have come to love over the years. Once the new trilogy is complete, however, I'm sure that a massive U-Turn will occur and suddenly Episiodes i-iii will be declared a new masterpiece.

Think about it - does the original trilogy really have a better script than the new trilogy? The answer is no, the dialogue will always be simple and clichéd (that is the way Lucas works). This, as some may disagree, is the deliberate - this is a fairy tale after all.

The introduction of Darth Maul is the highlight of the story, his appearance before the stunning climactic light saber duel the veritable money shot of the piece.

Somebody please re-cut this film without JarJar Binks and then I can rate it a nine.

Fitting but flawed final instalment, 10 May 2005
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Only now does George Lucas feel ready to invest in a more adult representation of his Star Wars Universe. Back in the 80s his creative influence over Kasdan extended to the introduction of some hairy little gimps called Ewoks.

This however, remains my only real complaint about the additional characters in the film. Its not that the Ewoks are unlikable or insipid - but the fact that these little bears are capable of defeating hardened Storm Troopers with a twig hit to an armoured bonce. This is a narrative complaint, as the characters and their environment of the Ewok village actually lend quite an evocative atmosphere to the Endor scenes - especially the saccharine sweet closing sequence.

Personally speaking I think that Han Solo should have died for his friends in this one. Not only would it have added the element of tragedy that made 'Empire so great, but made the Rebels quest for freedom all the more poignant. It all seems far too convenient that the only people we see loose their lives are some unknown rebel pilots.

The most emotional moment remains the point at which Darth Vader decides that love for his son is far greater than his desire for power over the galaxy and decides to lob the Palpatine down a power shaft that engineers (disobeying intergalactic health and safety law) had placed in the Emperor's lounge room. The score helps the tears well sufficiently at this point, as Anakins story reaches full-circle.

The special effects are second to none, their combination of sophistication and simplicity becoming a unique style of its own. Highlights include the Battle of Endor (the space part of it) and the final showdown between father and son (quite a Freudian moment for all you psychology nerds out there).

A brilliant, yet slightly immature end, to the saga. Some fun moments:

1)Luke hiding ridiculously close to Vader and not getting noticed. 2)Han Solo surviving a Wembley Stadium sized explosion by hiding behind a log. 3)The Emperor gloating that the rebels are losing the space battle despite the ships being far too small to actually see who is winning. 4)Some one shouting "Die Dickheads" as the Super Star Destroyer crashes.

One of those rare sequels...., 10 May 2005
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Empire Strikes Back is a large improvement over the original Star Wars in terms of drama and suspense. The special effects are more consistent and more impressive (but this is because of the obviously larger budget).

The most significant development is the elaboration on the Skywalker/Vader relationship, as we are beginning to understand things run far deeper than just hero versus villain. Its actually quite pshycological in the sense that it taps into the "sons" fears of becoming their "Fathers" worst personality elements.

But enough of all that what we really want to see is large scale assaults on hidden installations, breathtaking space pursuits, Vader getting stuck in with Solo and the like and Luke screaming like a little girl at the moment of revelation no body was expecting but that now seems ingrained in the public consciousness. Does anyone actually remember being surprised to find out that Vader was Luke's father? The Emperor makes his first appearance of the original trilogy in this film, and remains enigmatic and suspicious. Vader is also extra shiny and even more relentlessly evil, having no problems in cutting his own sons wanking claw from his arm.

The music is once again integral to the flow of the story, which still struggles with some particularly hammy dialogue. Still an utter classic though.

Best scene: Vader sends out the bounty hunters to track down Han Solo.

Star Wars (1977)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A New fairytale, 10 May 2005
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film represents, I think, for many people, a new and vibrant mythology that will live on decades into the future and be passed on through generations in the same way that literary tales like Rapunzel or Jack and The Beanstalk are.

The advent of the cinema means that the medium on which the story is told is film instead of paper. It's as simple as that.

There are so many great moments in Star Wars thats its hard to pick out a singular event from the story to dwell on - but now that the Revenge of The Sith has finally elaborated on the Obi-Wan/Anakin compratriotship the final light saber duel between them is given a tragic excitement that wasn't there before the prequels.

Many people will disown the special editions as OTT, ruining the original vision - b*llocks to that. See the Special Editions - they are aesthetically much better and the expanded visions of creatures and systems fits in more with the new trilogy.

Look out for the Storm Trooper tw*ting his head against the blast doors in the death star and also notice that the fat sh*t pilot at the end is called Porkins.

A timeless classic.

Predator (1987)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Pure gold, 6 September 2004
8/10

One of the best 5 action films of the 1980s and definitely in the running for the best action film tag line, Predator is an absolute treat from start to finish.

Of course, if you are a retard of film you'll probably look down on it as disposable rubbish, which it is, but that is the very reason it should be embraced.

Because this disposable rubbish is SH*T HOT! COME ON!

The ever legendary Arnie is on top form in this one - he looks great, he cracks a few decent one-liners, and the part was tailor made for him so his woodenness doesn't show one little bit.

THere are also appearances by Jesse Ventura and Bill Dukes so the 'daddies' quota is filled nicely. It's even got Action Jackson in it too.

Brilliant FX and creature work from Stan Winston is amazing. THe alien itself is a beast; intriguing as well as a deadly b*stard in equal measure, hopefully ALien Vs. Predator will go into it's culture in the ways that Predator and the poor sequel have tempted us to wonder just what that may be.

Because it's the first film in the 'series' it doesn't suffer from fan-boy syndrome and will stand in its own league as an introduction to a franchise, but a great film in its own right.

I, Robot (2004)
Plain and simple, a great blockbuster, 26 August 2004
8/10

This film is really an update of Blade Runner. It's not in the same vein as that film; where Blade Runner was a gritty noir this is shiny and clean, with a hint of corruption underneath.

The actions scenes are noting short of breathtaking, there is some hilarious dialogue and Wil SMith proves himself one again to be the daddy of the blockbuster.

The CGI is particularly impressive, but does not lead the story, just enhances it. Sonny is a brilliant character - as impressive both in performance and looks as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

People will resent the comparison with the supposed best sci-fi of all time but they can swivel - it is just as good, but in an alternative way. It takes that films best themes and puts them in a more optimistic rather than throat slittingly depressing light.

The twists and turns and little touches of genius are dotted around all over the film, but I won't ruin them if you haven't seen the film yet and are reading my review. I did however, find the reasoning behing the 'rise of the robots' as a bit weak and predictable.

See it, you'll be entertained at the very least. If not, you'll probably love it.

Alien³ (1992)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Re-born on DVD as a classic sequel, 19 May 2004
9/10

The original theatrical cut of this film, as many have already stated, was a disappointment to fans of the original two films. However, 'Alien 3' is not a forgotten film due to it's re-release on the DVD format in which it emerges as a classic film from an on form David Fincher.

If 'ALien' was birth, 'Aliens' was Life, then 'Alien 3' is all about death. THe tone of the picture is all melancholy and gritty. The characters are a bunch of paedophs, murderers and possibly cat rapists if they put them in prison, I dunno. In this sense we don't really care what happens to them and are extra stressed about the whole thing because Ripley has to worry about unwanted 'bloodsports' as well as the Alien creature.

The casting is perfect though, with a great ensemble of thesps to keep the feeling of genuinely and respectability going.

The new DVD edition is a longer film and adds some more dimensions to the alien lifecycle, offers a much more tragic element to the part of the story involving trying to capture the creature, and adds some more iconic visuals with a new opening sequence. THe intended epic nature of the film is only visible in this cut and should be the only one viewed really.

Very frightening with no 'action for actions sake'. Remember one thing - this is not a film trying to top CAmeron's effort or replicate Scott's - it is a decidedly down beat Fincher version of the world created in the first tow films.

6/10 Theatrical 8/10 DVD re-release with re inserted scenes

Goodfellas (1990)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A modern popularist classic, 19 May 2004
8/10

First and foremost, much as many so-called film conosieurs would like to think, Martin Scorsese is not an underground name anymore - and Goodfellas marked his departure from exclusive to mainstream alternative.

Try to forget the urban chique that now surrounds Goodfellas and watch with a mind to experience the visceral nature of this brilliant film. Don't think of it on terms of whats 'cool' or what 'happens'; but why and how these events are occuring.

Just try to experience Goodfellas from the perpective it was intended -of Henry Hill, not of a comfortable arm chair perspective where what is, in fact sickening violence and abuse, can appear as glorified and entertaining. Imagine it was you who were at risk and apply this to Scorsese's in-your-face-approach.

Joe Pesci is amazing in this film, and once again DeNiro commands each and every moment he does not share with Pesci, with total charisma and power.

The benchmark to which many Scorsese and other gangster films will be measured, for years to come, and a certified part of popular culture.

Stunning.

Alien (1979)
A landmark, a quality landmark, 19 May 2004
9/10

Scott's 1979 'Alien' is one of the most emotionally manipulative films out there. It is more horror than science fiction, mainly because the technology in the film is actually plausable and believable at the very least.

When watching 'Alien' again for it's special edition release at the cinema I actually found myself afraid at moments I had seen time and time again, such is the strength of the tension created in the film.

The Alien creature's life cycle seems second nature to most film fans now, but it must have been fascinating to see first time round. Such is the modern-day legend created by the film that I was already partially aware of what I'd be seeing before I watched the film, even as a ten year old.

THis is a great piece of cinema, shot elegantly and with plenty of twists and turns to keep horror, sci-fi and drama fans happy for a couple of tense hours. Don't let the entire hour of "build up" fool you-keep watchin and you're in for a hell of a ride!


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