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108 reviews in total 
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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Absolute Garbage in Every Conceivable Way, 28 September 2009
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**WARNING: REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!**

Essentially, this film's plot is a broken mess. Let's just call it a flat-out stupid version of the first film where everything that was done right before is now done horribly, horribly wrong. The only "new" thing for this film is the introduction of the "super bug" that apparently controls all the bugs, and the haphazard manner in which it ultimately becomes hunted. I should tell you that I sighed heavily as I wrote this paragraph. Worst of all, for no real apparent reason, it has even hammier and fistier subplot concerning religion.

The Good:

-Nothing.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

-There is brief, though nonsensical nudity that's always entertaining.

-Final super-bug alien is almost cool in a Lovecraftian manner, but is also quite ridiculous.

-The brief gore effects are generally competent.

The Bad:

-First off, the writing gives new breadth to the term "ham-fisted" with some of the worst dialog imaginable. It's unrealistic, it's forced, and pathetic. Take some of the worst Star Wars dialog you've ever heard and multiply it by a thousand and you have the best dialog in this film.

-Laughable technology. For such a futuristic film, the technology in use still seems like it came from the 1980's.

-Inexcusable special effects. This is the third feature-length installment in this series and the special effects shouldn't be getting worse over time.

-Meandering nonsensical plot that is a broken mess through and through. Feels like plots were written for three different films and then compressed together in an unnatural manner to create this mess. Even when the film attempts to tie them altogether, it ends up falling flat on it's face with new characters introduced an incredible TWO-THIRDS of the way into the film.

- This future media in this film is extremely obnoxious.

-The "Marauder" suits suck. Let me just say that for the whopping three minutes that they appear in the film, they failed to do it any justice. The battle sequence is dull, the robots are overly rigid, and it's pretty much the lamest thing you could ever see in a film.

-There appears to be some retarded war protesting going on in this film pertaining to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Worse, and don't quote me on this, but it seems like they're referring to the "bugs" as "Arachnis" and damn if that doesn't sound like an awful play on words to illicit the term "Iraqi."

-Lame, overall, view of anything military. Unrealistic portrayal of individuals and ranks.

-There are a few points of subplot that show up and are cast off rather quickly or ignored outright.

-The atmosphere is severely lacking. This is largely due to the nonsensical and overly hustled manner in which the plot progresses. Sequences simply run through far too quickly to ever build much actual atmosphere.

-The pacing is atrocious. The first act squeals by, attempting to cram far too much into a claustrophobic garbage dump of barely perceptible information. This is made all the worse by the downright awful dialog. Old friendships are essentially revisited, rediscovered, and betrayed all in a matter of a few on screen minutes.

-The first act ends without closure or explanation.

-The music ranges from lackluster, totally average sci-fi/action tunes to generally being a major nuisance. Even the stuff meant to be tongue-in-cheek bad ends up being just plain old bad. Some of it is inappropriately annoying.

The Ugly:

-Forced religious propagandizing bogs the film down and totally ruins it. Everyone who is "anti-religious" is seen as some kind of overbearingly evil lunatic ass-hole, including, and I'm not kidding, the heroine. There are even ironic smacks that certain religious beliefs can be "wrong." Yet, the overarching theme of the film seems to be about the "incredible healing power of faith."

-Every single character sucks and lacks any kind of development.

-When characters die, you don't care. You can't. In fact, there were some characters introduced early on in the film, and I can't even pinpoint the moment in the film when they either died or vanished.

- *SPOILER ALERT* This film ends, I kid you not, with Jolene Blalock and another girl actually praying to God to help them survive all the "bugs," and all the while we end up bombarded with face-palm worthy religious iconography.

- On the one hand, the franchise appeals to science fiction fans with a taste for the old ultra-violence in their entertainment, and on the other hand, it's heavily geared towards Christians. The Jesusy overtones will only serve to annoy most ardent sci-fi fans, and the routine violence and general profanity would tend to be a turn-off to religious types. What the hell is going on here?

- Throughout the entire film, there is little more than a "been there, done that" feel to absolutely all of the action, with the exception that it's all grossly less entertaining than the previous films.

-Ridiculous views of the government system and of war protesters. Conversely, while the government is viewed as a mean old freedom-gobbling team of tyrants, it's also seen as working against odds to maintain peace, protect the people, and inspire patriotism.

-For a film which purports (or rather, attempts to) such a positive message in the finale, the majority of the film is awash in negativity and derision. Instead of countering all the negativity throughout the story, the brow-beating religious sentiment ends up insulting the viewer rather than saving the film.

-Probably one of the most trite, cliché, ham-fisted, piles of crap I've ever seen. No new ideas are expressed and no, one new super-bug and mechas don't count. It's completely a thoughtless action entertainment failure.

Not recommended to anyone, ever.

1/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Better than the first film, at least., 4 June 2008
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS MARKED WITH "***"

Brief rundown edited from full review which can be found here: http://www.residenthazard.com/essays_avp-R.htm

Here's the breakdown:

The Good:

--With the last film, I found barely any quality moments which earned a positive point. One of those was the special effects with a disclaimer: The special effects were damn near perfect from the very beginning of either Alien or Predator series—so they should still be awesome today. And that's true. The effects of the Aliens and Predators are awesome, the designs are fairly standard, though good. And for the most part, even the CG effects are exceptionally well done.

--Yes, it earns that "R" rating. For one, the first two people infected with aliens are a little kid and his Dad who are out hunting. There is "adult language," plenty of violence and gore.

--Heavily borrows the music from previous films (especially Predator), and it still sounds good.

--Strong female lead is still no Ripley, but she's much more likable than that awful woman from the previous AvP film.

--Stupid, nonsensical plot elements kept to a minimum. For instance, the characters who would be a burden on the heroic characters tend not to last very long.

--Human characters are better and typically more likable than in the first AvP film.

--Whereas the last movie totally failed to give us the signature shocks and gore of these two franchises, this film does not fail. We see a couple heads explode, inner-mouths of aliens smashing people's heads, chest-bursting surprises, and acid blood burning the hell out of some people.

--There is only one real Predator in the film and a plethora of aliens. This actually worked in the benefit of the film because we finally got some expansive story on the Predator species that doesn't go out and contradict some things that we already know. This one lone Predator seems to be playing as a one-man clean-up crew to erase any evidence of either Aliens or Predators on the planet. Rather than having the sometimes ridiculous nature of the previous film where there were just seemingly random shots of Aliens and Predators fighting each other, we had the lone hunter again—not really seen since the first Predator film. This, for me, was probably the most enjoyable part of the film overall.

--Queen Predalien actually looks pretty cool.

--Much improved horror atmosphere, but somewhat average cinematography overall.

--Remember in the previous AvP film where the Predator decided he was going to team up with the "heroic female lead?" And he gave her a laughably stupid weapon and ridiculous "shield" which was little more than just an alien head? Yeah, nothing quite that stupid going on in this film.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

--Usually, when a film late in a series pays homage to previous films, it's pretty cool. Here, it felt a little over-obvious. "Get to the chopper!" is yelled, the Predator removes his mask in a rather cliché manner (exactly duplicated from the first film), and a couple other moments.

--Acting pitches and wanes in quality. It's never perfect, but typically it's pretty good. There are moments where it's just average for a film of this nature "to carry the story until the movie gets gory."

--Burgeoning love story between two of the main characters is pretty weak.

--Follows somewhat typical horror-action film format where we are introduced to a bunch of seemingly random characters who all end up working together for a common goal in the end. Hey, at least the horror elements are back.

--Character development is typically pretty light—which is par for the course of this type of film. Better than the last film which had next to none.

--Predator under-utilizes his cloaking ability. While it makes sense for us moviegoers to see him, logically for his character, I'd have expected him to use it more.

--Action hero moments a la the Predator series are still here.

--Story picks up right after the dreadful first film.

--Occasionally bland or cliché dialog. --The previous film ran at a bare minimum 84 minutes—this one at least fills the time with a more workable story at about an hour and forty minutes.

The Bad:

-- *** There is some real plot confusion at an unfortunate key moment in the film: The National Guard is called in to help the people in this town, yet, it seems the information on the Aliens creeping around is yet unknown. So, this is to aid a town whose only power station was completely destroyed. Yet they all have guns drawn, and weapons a bit more "automatic" and powerful than you'd expect. It almost seems as though the government is aware of the "infestation," but clear links aren't easily made.

-- *** A bizarre new development was spawned with this film—and maybe it's intended to be a side-effect of the Queen also being the Predalien, I don't know, but she seems to have cut out the middle man. She moves in to a victim's face, spreads the Predator-like appendages, then plants that inner mouth inside the mouth of a human—and lo and behold, she's playing the role of an instant-face-hugger. While it helped speed the action along, it violates some of the "known rules" of Aliens.

--Aliens were still born and grown to adulthood a bit too quickly.

--Strange occurrence of a large spaceship crashing in the mountains in the US and pretty much no one in the nearby small town hearing it. Perhaps this relates back to the explanation of why the military took such serious notice—but then, this whole part of the film could've used a lot more explanation all around.

Final Score: 6/10

www.ResidentHazard.com

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Just plain stupid., 31 May 2008
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***POTENTIAL SPOILERS*** (Not that they'll hurt this trite.) My Mom has a tendency to buy some generally crappy box sets of generally crappy old, forgotten-for-a-reason horror movies that even the most ardent horror fans look at with confusion at the sub-substandard films listed therein. That's where I found this little gem. In a box set I swiped from my Mom. There's a reason some of these movies end up stuffed into half-assed box sets. Let me enlighten you on the many reasons this claptrap ended up stuffed away in a bottom-feeding box set.

First off, wow. Just, wow. The movie starts off right from the gate with crappiness as the opening title is painfully lame. It's a "rustic" ye olde west style font with bright yellow and orange colors and a faked 3-D look. It slides into view from the right of the screen akin to the first PowerPoint presentation of a high school student who just learned how to have a text box slide into view. The film revolves around a national park/campground which, despite being unfinished, is now open for business. Most of this "terrifying" film takes place in daylight, by the way, so picture that atmosphere. Well, there appear to be some omens afoot, all of which appear to look bad, none of which are ever investigated—like the deaths of two dogs, theft from the park manager's office, a window knocked out of a storage shed, stuff like that. All manner of clichéd guests arrive and stay at this campground which, mind you, doesn't even appear to have camping spots fleshed out so that we are met with a montage scene of people haphazardly setting up camp, backing over trees, chopping down other trees (one of which, mind you, falls over below the level at which it was being cut) and stupid stuff like this, all accompanied with dreadfully happy music. Turns out, there's hardly a massacre going on here at all (another one of those old horror films with blatantly misleading titles to draw in an audience), just some stupid mountain wild-man dressed in cliché caveman garb who terrorizes people. By the way, he's also the long-lost son of someone important in the film—a fact which is all-too-easily figured out--so don't try to call me out on that as a spoiler. This film has all the clichés: The old guy who dramatically tells of mysterious backgrounds, the badass biker gang, the slutty chick and obnoxious teenagers, the tough guy connected to the plot twist, and the lone sweet girl who predictably falls for the "handsome" hero guy.

There are some occasionally nice death scenes, but some of them could've used some foreshadowing or additional thought. There's a big trap built by the wild-man just like the one in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto (which I've also just recently seen) but some foreshadowing would've been nice to tie to the beginning of the film to the end—just like Gibson did in his film. Here, no such luck. The trap comes out of nowhere and makes little sense compared to extremely simple nature of the wild-man. There is no depth at all and the acting is just plain bad. Boring, mundane, clichéd characters that have little to say that's even remotely interesting or for that matter--plot relevant. Zero atmosphere. Also, I don't think a series of killings done over a few days by a scared/crazy guy trying to (apparently) protect his territory necessarily count as a massacre. Stupid things like the wild-man supposedly starting a tractor and allowing it to run into a building happen that don't make any sense. Hell, several people are killed by simply not walking away from their respective threats! The old man storyteller is set on fire and everyone just watches him run past in flames. No one tries to help him! They just watch him slowly saunter past with "Gosh! Look at that! It's bad!" facial expressions. Aside from a scant few fairly interesting kills and some partial nudity (in a sex scene where you really see nothing), there is no reason at all to watch this film. The base concept behind the story isn't terrible, but since everything else was just done way wrong, there is no redeeming value. Not recommended for anyone.

2/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
More excellent, though bizarre, Italian horror., 31 May 2008
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

This is a bizarre piece of Italian cinema. For one, it takes place somewhere in England and it is also filmed in English. To that point, one can't really tell that it really is Italian horror, except for that signature Italian "class" that lightly coats the film (like Suspiria or Opera). However, it was directed by an Italian filmmaker, Michele Soavi, who is known to be associated with the likes of Fulci and Argento. It stars Rupert Everett and the super-gorgeous Anna Falchi. And it has zombies. And a love story. And a fat retarded guy.

Rupert Everett is the caretaker of a cemetery and the local mortician. His cemetery has a problem: Corpses tend to return from the dead seven days after dying. So he doesn't get much sleep as he and his bumbling retarded counterpart spend a lot of nights fighting off zombies. Early on, an old geezer dies and his sexy wife (Falchi) attends the funeral where Rupert Everett sees her and falls madly in love with her. Of course, when he finally talks to her and starts having sex with her, her husband returns and bad times are had by all. Believe it or not, a big chunk of this film is Rupert Everett dealing with trying to find love and humorously, he meets three women who all look like his dream goddess (Falchi again), who all in one way or another end up breaking his heart. On top of this, there are countless people dying in this humble burg and a great many zombies to deal with (many are Boy Scouts from a bus crash). Then, as if there wasn't already enough going on, Rupert Everett starts talking to Death and then he goes nuts. This movie is totally packed with weird content! And the best part is: It's all wonderfully entertaining!

The acting is actually done really well,with a good deal of class thrown in. The zombies look decent and are pretty entertaining and Anna Falchi looks hot, on top of which, she is nude for a cemetery sex scene which is very amusing. The film has an artistic flair to it and the atmosphere is actually very appropriate to a horror film, which is a fantastic point since there is so much going on that could have detracted from the atmosphere in a lesser film. The story is the highlight here as it doesn't really have twists and turns so much as it's filled with weirdness and surprises as well as some truly entertaining characters. You can't help but laugh the third time you see Anna Falchi show up as a different character, or when the retarded guy vomits on the mayor's daughter. Overall, it's a charming horror film that never fails to entertain. The weirdness and abstract nature of the film continues to build right to the head-scratching ending. About the only problems with Cemetery Man are that is seems to drag on with no actual ending in sight at a few points (because the story is so weird and the film is roughly two hours long) and there are some truly cheap special effects with "spirits" in the cemetery. They're balls of fire hung on string. And the strings are very visible. Otherwise, it's highly recommended to fans of horror and weirdness.

8/10

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Boring for Hell is more like it, 31 May 2008
4/10

Naked Massacre (as it was titled when I viewed Born for Hell) is a thriller from the 70's which dances around not knowing whether it's horror or exploitation. Essentially, it's too weak to be true exploitation (like I Spit on Your Grave), and lacks the proper atmosphere to make a real horror film. So, it's more like a murderous thriller or a slasher film without the usual flair or atmosphere of either said genre.

This film follows an American Vietnam vet fresh from deployment who has been plunked down in England and is looking for a way to get home. Why didn't the Army send him to his actual home? Hey, if character development was a big deal here, we'd probably know the answer. Well, eventually, our poor and generally homeless war vet ends up stalking and killing a house full of nurses and/or nursing students. He kills them in boring ways like stabbing or strangling—the hallmarks of the movie killer-man, right? The interesting part of this comes from the fact that he forces a lot of the girls to be naked before he kills, humiliates, or slightly tortures them. He forces one to perform oral sex on another with little success. I figured the title (again, it was Naked Massacre when I viewed it) was just to get some attention and that there was likely not much nudity. There actually was a decent amount of nudity—not a ton, but a bit more than I expected. Remember though, I expected very little because films of this nature from the 70's (60's and 80's, too) often had wildly misleading titles that didn't deliver the goods. Essentially, delivering the goods (naked chicks) is about all this movie does well.

The acting is drab—not terrible, but not very interesting. There are no truly interesting characters, the killer included, and the atmosphere is painfully weak. The music is average 70's fare that does a decent job of feeling dated. The film offers little in the way of unique or interesting moments and overall just feels very average. However, the film is inspired (very obviously) on actual events. The place was Chicago, I believe, the 1960's, and the killer was Richard Speck who did kill eight nursing students in a single night in the house/tenement building they all shared (also, I believe, this was lifted as a plot in an episode of CSI as well). So that does add some level of interest to the film. Not really recommended otherwise.

4/10

Invader (1996)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Alien rip-off #407573-B, 12 July 2007
5/10

Lifeform (AKA Invader) 1996 R

This film is about a team of scientists and military yahoos that end up fighting an alien creature. It's that simple. It's yet another film like Alien or Leviathan (which itself was a direct rip-off of Alien) or Species. In this one, intelligent life that reproduces asexually sends a Viking probe back from Mars (because Mars is new territory in the world of alien encounters you know), and that probe has been modified to carry this creature along with it. Of course, the alien gets out and gets hunted and gets killed.

Overall, the acting isn't too bad, and the special effects are competent. The alien is intelligent, so of course, the one woman in the film feels sorry for it. The design of the alien itself is kind of like those half-human, half-horse creatures. You know, a centaur. It looks all terrifying on the outside, but then it extends it's little alien body up (the part where the human part of the centaur goes) out of the normal trunk (the part that is the horse), and it looks all benevolent. The military base they're on is rather bland, and of course, Big Brother shows up and spoils the show. The Army folks saunter about trying to kill the alien and they're all afraid it may have some contagion that it's spreading around.

The atmosphere isn't bad, but the film is somewhat shallow—it's just a straight-forward science fiction/horror flick with some decent gore and a humorous kill (guy is stabbed with the blunt end of an M-16). Nothing really special, but nothing really horrible. Recommended to hardcore SF/horror buffs. And that's about it.

5/10

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Proof God doesn't exist, and if he does, he hates humanity., 12 July 2007
2/10

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie 1987 PG

I'm sure a lot of us remember the Garbage Pail Kids. Especially us old geezers like me who grew up in the 80's. They were like the grotesque, mutant versions of the cute little Cabbage Patch Kids. Essentially, they were the Cabbage Patch Kids made for boys. Instead of unnervingly cute dolls, they were fun and gross collections of art printed on cards, like baseball cards. Printed by Topps, who made baseball cards. And no, they weren't like those modern Garbage Pail Kids, the ones we had in the 80's were fvcking nasty. Cards laden with feces, vomit, mutilation of others, self-mutilation, gore, violence, and just about the sickest crap you could come up with. That's why they were so great. The recent GPK cards they've made are just plain stupid. Trust me, these new cards are like making a PG-rated Predator film. That's how tame they are compared to the past ones.

Of course, as with anything that's even remotely popular, some genius decides that, hey, there should be a movie to go along with this latest fad. Now, a lot of things that seemed like fads or trends that get turned into movies typically get turned into… crappy movies. And this has to be one of the worst. The rude, crude, vile, disgusting, offensive Garbage Pail Kids are little more than gross misunderstood aliens who… (sigh) live in a garbage can. Believe it or not, the main focus of this film is about a boy trying to impress some shallow skank with, what else, 80's fashion sense. That's right! The Garbage Pail Kids film is about fashionable clothing! Not that any of this stuff is fashionable in the least! In reality, it's disgusting! More disgusting than the pathetically tame Garbage Pail Kids who, and I'm not making this up, actually have a sing-along number wherein they sing about the joys and benefits of teamwork and helping people. And they design "killer 80's clothes!" The film is the very definition of shlock!

Alright, the reason I saw this is because my wife found it in some DVD discount bin (big surprise, I know) for what must have been 27 cents and got it as a stocking-stuffer for my three-year old son last Christmas. This film is so wretchedly bad, it's almost indescribable. The acting is bad, the atmosphere is bad, the special effects are bad, the music is cheesy (bad cheesy), and the story is ludicrous to say the least. The Garbage Pail Kids aren't even gross, offensive, or for that matter, interesting. A lot of one-liners and cheap gags that do nothing but agonize the living. Honestly, what little boy who enjoyed little cards of pudgy little girls bleeding to death and disgusting corpses doing stuff would want to watch a puny little movie about teamwork, loving the ugly, and 80's fashion? If ever there was a film that "missed the point," it was this mess. Only for the cinematic brave, I gave it a two only for the sheer wackiness of it's very existence.

2/10

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
If you pay to see this, you just offended your wallet., 12 July 2007
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Zombie Nation 2004 R

Hey, I was bored. I looked in my Comcastic little box to find a movie to watch. Zombie Nation? Hey, I love zombie movies. Says the filmmaker has some sort of cult following in the description. Funny how it doesn't warn me not to watch this film. I could've used that advice.

Zombie Nation is just like Troll 2 in that it's completely misnamed. It has little (if anything, depending on your point of view) to do with zombies, and takes place all within one city. This film revolves around a crooked cop, who acts as badly as possible (he has to be trying to suck this much), while he arrests women for trivial bullshit and then kills them. Yup, he's a serial killer cop. Not only is this film flawed in thinking that it's a zombie flick, it also gets its serial killer facts completely wrong. Serial killers enjoy killing, they live for it and they get down and personal with it. This guy knocks out the women, and injects them with some poison. He doesn't even have sex with the corpse or dismember it. Talk about boring! Eventually, one of the whopping five women he kills has Voodoo protection done to her and for no apparent reason, all five come back to life and head off to kill this guy. They were all buried or tossed into the ocean, but you wouldn't know it buy the sharp clean clothes they're all wearing. The women then act very poorly and take their revenge. Oh yay.

This film was crap in every category. Crap acting, crap writing, crappier sets, and crappier make-up effects. The women don't look zombie-like, unless you count really dark make-up around the eyes to be the de facto definition of what makes a zombie. They can all talk, behave, think, and act perfectly human. The gore is weak compared to even many PG-13 films and the nudity is beyond brief. You see glimpse of breasts in the opening sequence... Then the exact same breasts later! Go figure. Guess only one actress was willing to go topless for this trite. The police station is so badly constructed that you can see where they stopped painting the walls of the warehouse they're obviously filming in. You can see the pipes and the bad lighting and the overly sparse set-up and even, unless you are blind, you can see the director failing. Steer clear, it's a waste of time.

1/10

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Weird but well done and interesting., 31 May 2006
8/10

Slaughterhouse-Five -- Drama/Science Fiction/Fantasy -- 1972

This film is not at all what one might expect in our world where we're familiar with horror and slasher films. It doesn't take place in a slaughterhouse and nor does the number five play a strong part in the story. In reality, "Slaughterhouse Five" is the address in which some American WWII POWs are housed by Nazis under a work program.

But, this is not a World War II film. Not in the least. It's, in the simplest of terms, a film about a man, Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks) who is "unstuck in time." Meaning, he's living various moments of his life over and over again, but fairly randomly. They take place in the 70's when he's an older man, with grown up children. They take place during WWII as he's captured by Germans. They take place when he meets his big fat wife who always promises to lose weight--and never does. And at various other moments in his life. Up until we find out why all this is happening.

Here's the breakdown:

The Good:

--Very good story. Like the much more recent 21 Grams, we see bits and pieces of the overall story, from different time periods, until we're able to assemble them for ourselves to know what's happening.

--Some excellent cinematography. The film is assembled brilliantly. We have scenes of the protagonist's life bounding back and forth from one era to another, but with actions mirrored from the various times and events.

--Excellent acting over all. Michael Sacks seems a little dry at times, but it seems as though this is a side-product of his being launched back and forth to live and relive moments of his life. That would get pretty dull after a while. Rather than emotionally reliving many of these moments, he views them with wonder, as though looking at them in a different way.

--Generally good writing and dialog.

--Genuinely humorous moments.

--Excellent editing carries along the brilliant cinematography. Those back-and-forth scenes darting from two separate, though similar moments, are really well done.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

--This is a weird story when you get right down to it. The ending is very much in the realm of Fantasy/Science Fiction. It's like it was plucked right from the "Twilight Zone."

--Some scenes do not directly involve the hero, which is mildly troubling only that this is supposed to be his life that's being lived and relived--not someone elses. In a sense, it feels that we shouldn't be seeing things that the main character himself couldn't have seen. However, these scenes also add an extra layer of depth to the film so we know what's happening around the main story.

--Relatively light nudity and sexual themes.

--Mild violence, no real gore except for the decayed, crippled and blackened foot of an American soldier--which is actually focused on quite a bit. The blood that we see is an odd color.

--The film focuses fairly heavily on the hero's life in reference to his time in and around WWII.

The Bad:

--While it's similar to 21 Grams in execution, the story in Slaughterhouse-Five itself isn't quite as tight or fulfilling. It more or less just "is." The ending is more philosophical than satisfactory.

--May not be enough of an SF film for Science Fiction fans. But may also be too odd for drama purists.

--The Science Fiction weirdness in the end of the film look pretty decent, but are also dated and do occasionally feel a bit cheesy.

--These flaws may look numerous, but are typically pretty minor.

The Ugly:

--Despite the overall quality, there is still some really awkward and bizarre writing and dialog every now and then. It's stuff you hear where you go, "man, what an odd thing to say. Who talks like that?"

Memorable Scene:

--The wife's psychotically emotional "driving the Caddy to death" scene.

--The Brits greet the Yanks in the German Prison Camp. Wacky.

Acting: 8/10 , Story: 8/10 , Atmosphere: 7/10 , Cinematography: 8/10 , Character Development: 8/10 , Special Effects/Make-up: 7/10 , Dialog: 7/10 , Music: 7/10 , Direction: 9/10

Nudity/Sexuality: 4/10 , Violence: 4/10 , Gore: 1/10

Cheesiness: 2/10 , Crappiness: 0/10

Overall: 8/10

Overall, and despite the setbacks, I still think this film deserves and "8 out of 10," because of the creativity of the story, the strength of the story, and the high quality of the cinematography and editing to tell the story. This is definitely a movie worth checking out.

www.ResidentHazard.com

http://bartboard.proboards3.com/index.cgi (Movie themed message board)

25 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Seeing is believing--looks maybe can't kill!, 31 May 2006
7/10

Eyes of Laura Mars -- Horror/Thriller -- 1978

This is an old supernatural thriller of sorts from way back in the 70s'. It revolves around a female fashion/glamour photographer who lives to make crude photographic nudie art that sepcializes in scenes of violence. Some people find her "art" to be rather disturbing and horribly offensive. So someone decides to go around killing her friends and acquaintances. To make matters worse, Laura Mars can see the murders happening--through her own eyes!

Here's the breakdown:

The Good:

--Clever story, and fairly original. Adds a nice twist to the usual cops-hunting-murderer story.

--Good acting all around. Brad Dourif is creepy, Tommy Lee Jones is cool, Raul Julia is... kinda weird...

--Good atmosphere and cinematography all around, with some strong direction. The tense moments are generally pretty well done.

--Some nice, genuine, surprises throughout the film. It does manage to successfully keep you guessing just who the killer is.

Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:

--Contains a decent amount of fairly well-known actors including Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif (better known as Chucky from the Child's Play series), Raul Julia, and Rene Auberjonois (famous for his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine role). It was also co-written by John "Halloween" Carpenter.

--Quite a bit of nudity. She is taking pictures of naked "victims of violence" after all.

--Somewhat grotesque 70's music permeates here and there.

--Some decent character development and depth.

The Bad:

--Not quite as scary or riveting as I'm sure it was back in '78. This review being written in 2006.

--Some "logic" problems every now and then. For instance, when Laura Mars sees someone being murdered, that's all she sees--yet there are times when she seems to be able to move around, once even driving a car, with more competence than one would expect from someone who just instantly "went blind."

--Occasional dips in the quality of the atmosphere and writing.

The Ugly:

--The make-up used on the models in the 70's. Holy crap!

Memorable Scene:

--Nice climax to the film.

Fun Fact:

--The photographic art in the film is actually from professional "glamour" photographer Helmut Newton.

Acting: 8/10 , Story: 8/10 , Atmosphere: 7/10 , Cinematography: 8/10 , Character Development: 7/10 , Special Effects/Make-up: 7/10 , Dialog: 7/10 , Music: 6/10 , Direction: 9/10

Nudity/Sexuality: 5/10 , Violence: 6/10 , Gore: 3/10

Cheesiness: 2/10 , Crappiness: 0/10

Overall: 7/10

Finally, I would recommend this to hardcore horror/thriller fans or film buffs. John Carpenter or Tommy Lee Jones fans will likely enjoy it. The movie is not without its problems, small though they are, but may not be enjoyed all that well by many modern viewers.

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