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Ace_Kalibur

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153 reviews in total 
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52 out of 90 people found the following review useful:
Well made., 26 February 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not your run of the mill horror movie, The Crazies is a respectfully updated version of the original. It's not about blowing stuff up and gore and frightening chills but truly about surviving the errors and mistakes that have been created by the US. All from a downed plane. You enjoy the visual and the change of pace as our protagonists dodge 'crazies' and the military. It all works and falls into place, which is funny because some movies can get away with that yet most don't. The Crazies is what I hoped 28 Days Later would have been essentially and I recommend the film for fans of the zombie genre. With the exception of some overlength, the wit and intelligence of the script will give the film some decent legs, if not on screen, then guaranteed in the long run.  

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Disney comes back., 21 December 2009
9/10

As the 2000s exit, we can look back at CGI animation with mixed feelings. Pixar has always scored with their movies, but Disney, Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox has had their hits and misses in CGI, enough so that Lasseter has done the right thing, resurrecting the House of Mouse by bringing back traditional animation. The Princess and the Frog screams of ambition and effort. Plot, action and character are crammed firmly tight into 90 minutes of wall-to-wall animation, with the dancing, movement and Broadway scores tuned right up to 11 to create an excellent feature.

One problem with 2D animation is the generational gap. I firmly enjoyed the film but the kids around me under the age of 10 did not. One of the kids, who is 9, took out his Nintendo DS during the movie. "It's boring, I don't want to watch it." I think the hardest, yet boldest, move on Disney's part was setting the movie in the bayou. They stuck to their guns, and it's possible they invested for the long haul in Princess Tiana. Right now, in a time of Christmas, Avatar, and a whole generation of crummy 2D animated films (Home on the Range? Anyone?), that preceded this wonder, Princess and the Frog had a very big uphill slope to climb. A success critically yet underwhelming domestically, Disney has to go back to the drawing board and dig deep, now that they've dusted off their papers, pencils and ink. Which is a shame, simply because Princess and the Frog really is a smart and fun movie.

What makes Princess and the Frog great? It's largely due to character. Prince Naveen is far removed from any other prince in Disney's world. He's a layabout,  and it results in his family dilemma. He's flawed but he knows the difference between right and wrong. He's charismatic, yet it works to his disadvantage. Then there's Tiana herself, a Princess unafraid to run herself into the ground, so to speak. The Shadowman, Dr. Facilier, our main antagonist, is something or other. These characters, and everyone else for that matter, are exceptionally important to why this movie is so great. It's about the story, and Princess and the Frog has made a decent effort at providing a contemporary take on old themes. I look forward to what Disney has in store.

Avatar (2009)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Cameron aims for the knockout., 19 December 2009
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

$230-300 million later, James Cameron wanted to make the kind of movie he wanted to make... and it worked. Kids were leaving the prior screening to mine saying, "It was awesome!" Adults walked out of this theatre saying it was amazing. The guy beside me right now on the bus is telling his friends over his cell how incredible and really good the film is and he will see it again with them tonight after shopping. Steven Spielberg saw a viewing and said he hadn't felt this way since Star Wars. And in many ways, they're right. Watch the movie in 3D. It is a visual treat.

To dispense of the one standout flaw, the melodramatics and the acting, you have to really ask yourself, is all the really good action movies about the acting? Avatar succeeds because the plot is not as ridiculous as 2012 or Revenge of the Fallen. We can suspend belief because the film is not overly ridiculous, even with the 'indigenous' blue aliens. The only thing that had me scratching my head was having to buy the fact that Pandora, with the twigs, trees, glowing grass and creatures is one giant Facebook and that Aiwa is the Internet connection between them all. But if that is a complaint, I really have nothing to base it on because this is vintage James Cameron.

The theme is man vs nature and man is the bad guy. There is an image shot of the main bad guy in a mechsuit when a helicopter goes down behind him that is vintage Cameron. It shows the destructive nature of man and here he is. But that image is a footnote compared to the planet Pandora. The planet is very much full of life and leave it to the King of the Friggin' World, James Cameron, to be man enough to invent technologies and anything else he desired to realize his vision. That alone is reason enough to believe this movie will stun theatregoers. It really cannot be watched at home. Get the 3D glasses and experience it at the theatre.

6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Speechless, 24 June 2009
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow... as a childhood fan of Transformers, I'm really without comment. Maybe it's easier to tell you what I saw and you can judge for yourself but SPOILERS ARE EVERYWHERE so if you care like I once did, skip to other User Comments, read the critics who actually get paid or, if you want to, see the darn movie yourself. For a Transformers movie, there was a helluva lot more actors than robots, especially this being a sequel there should have been more of everything. I laughed once during the whole movie and it had nothing to do with robots humping, dogs humping, strategically placed wrecking balls or brownies. The big explosion you read of in trivia is not a robot blowing up. Another thing I saw is that the same writers also wrote this year's hit reboot Star Trek also wrote this film, believe it or not. I think what really left me speechless though was both Devastator and the Fallen (supposedly the first Decepticon) both died like punks, instead of some awesome fight. And instead of throwing in some saving grace at the end credits, maybe a coming of Unicron to justify why I sat down for a minute shy of 150 I get... nothing. No end credit clip. Optimus saves the day, that's a wrap. The guys beside me fell asleep during the fight scenes for Christ's sake and so did someone's girlfriend in front... So yeah. Revenge of the Fallen? Nero put up a much better fight in Star Trek. And if Unicron doesn't arrive to eat Earth and not have a pathetic death like Megatron's 'master' after this, Transformers should be graciously laid to rest. Right now.

61* (2001) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent story., 24 June 2009
8/10

An exceptional story. Brilliantly acted (excellent casting), perfect direction... Why can't films at the box office be scripted like this? Baseball films are usually well done and 61* is no exception. The story of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle coming to odds with breaking a legend's record has never been told better. They even look like the players! Great job by Billy Crystal, Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper for a great film. 61* does a good job trying to explain its very tagline: Why did America have room in its heart for only one hero? Did Yankees fans really feel that Maris was not one of the team? Did the media truly want to make his life miserable for chasing the Babe's record? The subplot is as good as the main story itself. Thumbs up.

Star Trek (2009)
1 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A successful reboot., 24 June 2009
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember in 2003 a survey in TV Guide. One of the questions was 'Is Star Trek dead?' 84% responded 'Yes.' I can tell you six years ago, I would not have thought of rebooting the franchise through recasting the original crew and providing the scapegoat that The Original Series is an alternate reality to the one we know now. And thank God, it worked. Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman have successfully revived a dead franchise, one I watched my whole sad life bringing youth, personality and a better vision of what it would be like traveling through space. I liked it. The movie as is though, does not hold up. Poor Eric Bana, not doing much of anything since Brad Pitt slaughtered him in Troy, is stuck with the tiring vengeful character that crippled the Star Trek universe in the first place (Shinzon in Nemesis, Ru' afo in Insurrection and Soran in Generations), reduced to el-lame-o lines such as 'Fire everything!' and 'I'd rather watch my world die a thousand times than give up to you,' or something or other. Next you unnecessarily pair up Scotty with a midget alien sidekick. Couldn't you at least give the poor guy a lady friend? And my last complaint is portraying an Orion girl, known for seduction, as a ditz of the highest order? *sigh* I'm done. I look forward to the next film. This could be the start of something great.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
So much wasted space..., 24 May 2009
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't mind the first Night at the Museum. Can't say I feel the same way about Battle of the Smithsonian, although in all its juvenile camp and disregard for an audience above the age of, say, 8, it's not too bad. High concept movies shamelessly spit in the face of anyone who might enjoy films in a passionate sense. Look no further than when Darth Vader offers his services to head bad guy Kahmunrah and is laughingly dismissed. Let alone seeing Vader side by side with Oscar the Grouch of all characters. So where does the movie go wrong? Well 80% of the time most of the original crew from the first film are in crates or imprisoned. Bill Hader spends 2 seconds of character development as General Custard before he gets locked up too, good God. Steve Coogan has the best returning role as Octavius and Ben Stiller, well, roles like this will be as good as they get for him and I think he's OK with that. So am I. Aside from Steve Coogan, the real treat to this film is seeing how much of a talent Hank Azaria is. There's a five minute back and forth between him and Ben Stiller that was so over the top childish I couldn't help but laugh. But don't watch the movie for that. If anything, Up is coming out next week and if what is coming out of Cannes means anything, Pixar is going 10 for 10, which is half the stars for what I can give for this sequel.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Jackman and Schreiber the lone highlights., 11 May 2009
4/10

I've always been a fan of Schreiber, and Jackman has survived well enough to earn my respect. With that said, well, Wolverine isn't bad but hardly great either. Clues throughout the film tip the plot grudgingly forward as actors say some of the worst lines that anyone can get paid to say, and if the action strays from Hugh, the film is a shameless bore. Hugh knows Wolverine and captures the best of the hero's moments despite the shortcomings of all the other characters we could hope would live up to, such as Blob or Gambit. If you have the best surround system at home with the best TV, Wolverine would be perfect for a home viewing, where any cheesiness that oozes out of the screen, can be handled with a beer, or two.... or three.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Cleverly thought short., 11 May 2009
7/10

I hunted this short down after watching the trailer for District 9. And you have to hand it to Blonkampp for avoiding a plot-driven mess that this movie could have made. It's interesting to set the film in South Africa as well. The many perceptions throughout Alive in Joburg creates the questions needed to ask about these aliens that are genuinely terrifying in appearance. And the open-ended finale can be finally touched upon 4 years after Blonkampp began this. Does anyone think Blonkampp has the chops to handle Halo if District 9 works out? The short and the trailer would have you think so, but honestly, let's wait for August to continue that debate.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fresh evolution to the status quo., 23 November 2008
9/10

Bond is definitely back as Daniel Craig has settled into the role so perfectly well. Having not seen Casino Royale yet, much of the continuation from the first movie was fresh and new, but not hard enough to pick up for someone who is new to the current status quo. Past saying that, Quantum of Solace has lived up to the reputation that has become par for Bond. Espionage, action, car chases, beautiful women, international locales, etc. etc. And it's a good thing. Heaps of praise to the men and women responsible for the excellent action sequences and a witty dialogue, all of which compensated for an overly melodramatic score and plot. "For Bond, this time it's personal!" Good grief! At least Olga Kurylenka is beautiful.

Anyways, the movie is excellent, a must for fans of Bond and anyone who enjoys a good action film. Quantum of Solace will look nice whether at your theater or on your HD screen either way.


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