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'Alias' Seen It Before
Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) is a College Student and a CIA Agent (or so she thinks). Her boyfriend Danny Hecht (Edward Atterton) proposes to her and she (very, VERY stupidly) blabbers to him about her spy job (which she had sworn to keep SECRET). Her boss Arvin Sloan (Ron Rifkin) somehow finds out and has Danny killed.
Sydney, having revealed herself a threat to SD-6 (what Sydney has been told is a branch of the CIA), is next on the chopping block, but is saved by her father Jack (Victor Garber) who reveals himself as a SD-6 agent (and come on, how -stupid- is Sydney not to understand that 'selling airplane parts' is an obvious cover, just as much if not more than her working at 'Crèdit Dauphin'? Next time, choose a better cover, JJ) who's also a double agent for CIA, since SD-6 is actually a part of the Alliance of 12, a terrorist organization.
So, she becomes a double agent herself (Agent 00Drama Queen - License To Overdramatize Everything) and her handler is young CIA Agent Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) whose father, also a CIA Agent, was killed on duty by ruthless Irina Derevko (Lena Olin), who also ends up being Sydney's mother... and all of this while maintaining her college-girl facade for her friends - the useless Francie Calfo (Merrin Dungey) and the reporter Will Tippin (Bradley Cooper) who has decided to find out the truth about Danny's murder...
'Alias' is a high-octane and kind of pretentious divertimento, which can engage your interest as much as a Steven Seagal action movie can, if you ignore some enormous clichés, some of the weakest female characters ever seen - especially Rachel, who may have been named after the actress to help her remember how to act - it didn't work - and was just dreadful, Sydney, whose character sometimes is a grown woman, but for the most part is an insufferable teenage girl, Francie the human black hole, who really served as practically nothing until she was killed and replaced by a clone and about the writing for her - when she was good, she was bad, but when she became bad, she was awful, but Irina excluded, some really contrived plot twists (Season 3 especially) and a lesson in how NOT to develop an on-screen romance (the Sydney-Vaughn relationship was twisted and turned so much it looked like a spiral at one point).
Basically, it's fun fluff, and can be exciting, but if you're looking for gripping spy drama, go somewhere else.
Take a picture... and you'll see the truth.
Thun, a young photographer and his girlfriend, Jane, accidentally hit a woman while driving. They decide to leave the dead woman and drive away.
Later, Thun discovers an unexplained event when he finds a mysterious shadow appears on his photo..
And the mystery gets deadlier as Thun's friends begin to kill themselves... What's the truth? A really entrancing horror/drama from Thailand, 'Shutter' intrigues and creeps out with a ghost that at the end turns out to be in love with her 'victim'. Everybody is in part, the direction is appropriate, and the script doesn't seem to have any plot hole.
And, even though I have only seen the trailer and bits and pieces of the remake, I'm sure that it's grossly inferior to this one.
Shutter (2004): 9/10.
Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)
'You will regret this moment later'. But you'll never, ever regret watching this movie.
Corea. Su-Min and Su-Yeon are coming back to their beautiful yet creepy home after having been in a psychiatric hospital for unexplained reasons, and come home to the Father and Stepmother.
But right from the beginning, something feels very wrong, and the atmosphere between the three women, thanks also to terrifying and unexplained accidents, gets tenser by the second, up to arrive to the breaking point, which will disclose a world-shattering truth to Su-Min...
It's kind of hard to talk about 'Two Sisters' (yes, that's the Italian title) without spoiling the Big One, but the brilliance of this movie can't be denied. It deservedly enters into the Horror Classic, managing to be both very tense and extremely sad, once you get to the end, without faltering once.
Yes, the praise is certainly deserved.
Janghwa, Hongryeon: 9/10.
Prom Night (2008)
The Italian Title Is Right: Let The End Begin!
The inflatable doll Donna Keppel (the bot-ox-looking and completely unable to act her way out of an open door Brittany Snow) is going to Prom with her cardboard cut-out boyfriend Bobby (Scott Porter, who's done way better), her best friends, the PC Prom Queen Lisa (Dana Davis) who shows that Hey! Black girls can be morons too! and the hot but 'lights are on but nobody's home' Clair (Jessica Stroup, who at least is pretty) and the respective boyfriends, Michael and The Black Dude.
But a man (go figure) from Donna's past is going to be at the Prom too; it's Richard Fenton Quackshell (Jonathon Schaech, who looks like a poor loser, and I was too busy laughing at him to find him even remotely scary), the science teacher who's obsessed with her - and since Snow is as attractive as a piece of glass stuck in my neck my question is 'WHY?' - and has killed her family three years prior, for 'us'. Yeah, buddy, killing a girl's family will really get you into... jail. And he's going to kill again... WHY? Why not just kidnap the bitch? Since the police doesn't seem to care, especially Detective Wynn (Idris Elba, who should really get a better agent) - I mean, the dude escaped from the stupidest High Security Prison In The World and they come to know this only THREE DAYS LATER???, nor seem to do her uncle and aunt, who ask the police 'not to ruin Donna's prom' making me believe that the whole family got into the gene pool when the Lifeguard wasn't looking.
And so, the End - of those Body Snatchers and of all good sense, if there was ANY in this movie to begin with - begins, and Donna is going to feel the terror... yeah right.
The 2008 'Prom Night' is not a remake of the 1980 original if not in name and setting (a small town's high school) - or not, since in this movie it looks like the local high school's prom night is some sort of Academy Award thing - and that's just as well. As Fangoria said, this movie, even with the Godawful remakes like 'Hitcher', 'April Fools' Day', 'Black X-Mas', 'HalloweeN', 'Psycho', Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'One Missed Call', 'Shutter', 'Day Of The Dead', 'Dawn Of The Dead' and 'When A Stranger Calls' and many others, manages to be the very worst of the recent slew of remakes. It's nothing but a series of clichés rehashed under a dubious semblance of plot, with characters who have no personality at all, nothing but a face and a name, situation that when are not contrived (I mean, the whole ending is an exercise in stupidity) they're impossible (the moronic Donna going upstairs on the elevator to get her mother's shawl while there's a fire alarm - the elevator wouldn't budge off the ground) or ripped off (Silence Of The Lambs anyone?), and the direction is flat and lifeless... did a zombie direct this? Or Michael Bay? Anyway, I'm afraid of what these tools are going to do with 'The Stepfather'... let's keep our fingers crossed.
Prom Night (2008): 1/10. (If I could give it less, I would.)
The Meaning of Life (1983)
This is the Meaning Of Life!
*Monty Python's SPOILER WARNING*
Various sketches by the iconic British comedy group of Monty Python about Life, Death, their meaning, and everything in between.
Their sardonic outlook doesn't spare the Catholic Church ('Every Sperm Is Sacred'), the Protestant Church, affluent couples, big corporations, restaurants, soldiers... and managing to stay ultra-fun.
The most memorable part is obviously the one about the VERY FAT guy who literally explodes when being given a mint, but honorable mentions go to the six people who have an uninvited guest - nobody but Lady Death - at their dinner. 'Every Sperm Is Sacred', and to a disturbing interpretation of 'Organ Donor'.
Monty Python's Flying Circus: 9/10.
Duck Soup (1933)
We think we're going to war!
Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) becomes the new Governor of Freedonia, and things start quickly to go right down the drain in the funniest, most whimsical way, especially when Firefly starts courting Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), a rich widow who donated $20 million to Freedonia's cause.
The country ends up going to war with a neighbor country, Sylvania, and the war won't stop until Sylvania's scheming Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) is caught by Firefly, his assistant (Zeppo Marx in his last appearance in a Marx Brothers Movie), and two former spies of his, who now have switched sides (Harpo Marx and Chico Marx).
This is the plot, threadbare as it is; the genius of this movie (which bombed when it opened in theaters, go figure) is interweaving the subtle satire with some of the funniest physical (the mirror gag, the aborted trips of Gov. Firefly, and the very end, in which a knee-jerk patriotic act by Mrs. Teasdale is rewarded by the Marx brothers with a rain of apples on her are a few examples) and dialog (at Chicolini's trial, Firefly declares 'This guy may act like an idiot and look like an idiot, but don't be fooled; he really is an idiot!') comedy moments of all time.
This is probably the Marx brothers at their funniest; see to believe.
Italian Title: La Guerra Lampo Dei Fratelli Marx (The Marx Brothers' Lightning War) Duck Soup: 9/10
Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) is a young TV Anchor, who works for a local network hosting a program called 'While You're Sleeping' which this time is gonna document a typical night in the life of Firemen, in particular two, Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Alex (David Vert). The night goes slow, and Angela and her cameraman, Pablo (who we never see, except for his shoes and a hand once in a while, but who is voiced by Javier Coromina) are hoping for an exciting accident to come their way.
But when an assistance call for an old woman in an old apartment building takes a turn for the weird, the two begin to regret their decision, as it seems they've ended up right into a deadly and terrifying infection...
REC has the audacity and inventive to mix two kind of horror movies that we thought would end up being horrid together: the 'first person' Cannibal Holocaust-Blair Witch Project-Cloverfield-Diary Of The Dead movie and the 28 Days Later-Night Of The Living Dead movie, with amazing results, managing to draw you in at the beginning and then keep the tension going even in the quiet moments with the menace still looming, and having a lot of terrifying scenes - think about the woman handcuffed to the stairs while the infected run in, or the Ninha Medeiros attacking Pablo, or Alex being thrown down the staircase, or Angela being taken away by the Ninha.
A movie not to miss!
Cold Case (2003)
Justice Never Forgets
This show takes place in a seldom used city in TV shows such as Philadelphia, where the Cold Case Unit of the Philadelphia PD tackles a case each episode.
Being a Cold Case unit, the cases take place in the past, whether recent or remote; they solved cases that range from a few months ago (August 2007) to 88 years ago (May 1919).
The main character is Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), who until Season 3 was the lone girl in the cast. She seems to have a knack for this kind of cases, and she moved to this unit from Homicide. The other members of the unit are John Stillman (John Finn), who's like a father to Lilly, her partner Scotty Valens (Daniel Pino), with whom she forms a winning squad, Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford) who can make suspects and witnesses chirp out whatever they may try to hide, new addition to the team Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms) and Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), who's been in the PD for enough time to know where all the bodies are buried.
Together each week they reopen a case (and sometimes more than one) and try to find out the truth, by interviewing anyone involved in the case and studying the evidence.
Whenever a suspect or a witness begins to talk, we see a flashback scene that is filmed with footage of the year of the crime, in the style of the time, and with well-known music of the time to comment it.
To tie the flashback scenes well with the contemporary part of the show, whenever a character related to the murder is introduced there is a brief flash showing him/her as how he/she looked like when the murder was committed.
At the end, a ballad from the year of the crime plays while the murderer is arrested - with a flashback showing the younger self arrested -, the reactions of the people involved in the case, both the witnesses and the cops, and one of them 'seeing' the victim for a brief second.
'Cold Case' is probably the most engaging crime drama in years, bar none, and the only one I make an effort never to miss.
Watch it, and you'll understand why.
Cold Case: 10/10.
Donald, Goofy And Mickey Strike Back!
*The Three SPOILERS*
A young turtle gets the chance of his life as for a fortuitous accident, he gets to narrate a TV Special.
The story he decides to tell is one of how Donald, Goofy and Mickey, after having been saved by the Three Musketeers as kids, made their life goal to become Musketeers themselves.
Sadly, Captain of the Musketeers (who all look remarkably like Goofy) is none other than Pegleg Pete, who quickly deems them too chicken (Donald), too stupid (Goofy) and too short (Mickey).
Soon after, though, he makes them Musketeers and instructs them to protect Princess Minnie and her Maid of Company Daisy.
Why? But because he's counting on their incompetence to be able to kill the Princess and become King himself! So, to save the Princess and the Kingdom, our three will have to grow up and act quickly...
It's an enjoyable movie, even though they over-exaggerated Donald's lack of courage. Ideal especially for kids.
The Three Musketeers (Donald, Mickey and Goofy): 8/10.
An inspired fairytale
A young thief, Philippe (Matthew Broderick, 'Wargames') is saved from sure death by the enigmatic Navarre (Rutger Hauer, 'The Hitcher'), a cavalier who travels with his trusty hawk.
But the more time he spends with Navarre, the more Philippe thinks something weird's going on. Every night Navarre disappears and a big black wolf appears, as does a mysterious young woman named Isabeaux (Michelle Pfeiffer), while the hawk also vanishes.
Soon Philippe finds out that Navarre and Isabeaux are in love and under a curse cast on them by the Bishop (John Wood) which make Navarre become a wolf by night and Isabeaux a hawk by day.
The two will need to face the Bishop as man and woman for the curse to end... but how? Beautifully shot and acted, 'Ladyhawke' is certainly an interesting and creative fairytale, which inspired also a Charmed episode (Magic Hour). Watch it, you won't regret it!