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Not Avatar the movie, Avatar the EXPERIENCE.
"Avatar" is, for all intents and purposes, hardly on the same level of visual medium as a "film". It is, it was, to me, an experience. An experience that I happened to witness in a movie theater (luckily enough in an IMAX 3D theater)...and during this experience I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I got excited, but most of all, I was entertained. Entertained, entertained, entertained.
I knew going into the theater that Avatar would be cliché. I did. And I didn't care one bit. I was too preoccupied with the mind-blowing experience before me to care about how stupid a line was or how well I could predict the plot. With Avatar, it really doesn't matter. And to say this film would be nothing without its effects is like saying orange juice would be nothing without the orange. In other words, the effects cannot be separated from the film, NOT BECAUSE the effects make the film, but because story and effects go hand in hand in hand in hand in hand in a way that is not only appealing to the eye, but for the most part, the hearts of the mass audience.
In a way, Avatar's plot not being the most original thing in the world was a good thing. Suppose it did have some wonderfully complex story - would I have enjoyed it as much? Probably not. It doesn't make Cameron lazy for not using original ideas...I mean, Pandora itself is pretty original for film-making (name a movie where a world has literally been created). This is the man who dreamed up the idea for Terminator, we know he has original plot ideas, he didn't need to prove that to us with Avatar.
Avatar is probably the greatest film experience, ever.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Quentin Tarantino is truly a genius.
You can call him crazy, you can call him violent, you can call him whatever you want, but I think Quentin has, with this film, proved he is a genius when it comes to making movies.
After it premiered at Cannes, many critics were saying it was a hot mess, beautiful and unorganized, entertaining but reckless. I agree with half of that; the film is beautiful, and really truly beautiful not just through the shots (some of which are incredible, no doubt) but through the atmosphere created by the film. It is like Tarantino took what makes him a genius and added a much needed dose of beauty and sophistication while still retaining his edge, his able-to-make-fun-of-itself-with-a-big-ego kinda attitude for his film.
I don't need to write a long review. This movie is incredible.
Year One (2009)
This movie was atrocious, and I love Judd Apatow produced comedies.
It is incorrect to assume that just because Apatow's name is attached in some shape or manner to a movie means the movie is going to be good. And I didn't really think that. Besides, he wasn't the director or the writer...who was? Oh right, this guy named Harold Ramis who made a bunch of good movies back in the 80s. And with a cast consisting of the hilarious Jack Black, the dead-pan Michael Cera, and other great "Apatow" actors, this film must be good.
Which may be why I was so, so disappointed. I don't even know where to start. It just sucked, to put it bluntly. The funniest part was actually when someone was farting. Writing a good PG-13 comedy takes skill because you are limited as far as language and situations go. Unfortunately the writing here is so immature it is painful. A fat man getting oil rubbed on his belly isn't too funny after twelve, and this is coming from a guy who, again, thought the farting was the funniest part.
The movie is awkward and even painful. I left the theater and tried to get my money back only to be told it was too late for that. Bottom line, avoid in theater, avoid on DVD, avoid on TV. It isn't worth for free, it is a waste of time, it is terrible.
The Hangover (2009)
One of the most consistently funny movies in a long time.
"The Hangover" is what a comedy should be without being a bad movie. All the ingredients of a good movie in general exist here and the film is just so, so funny...and funny consistently. There aren't huge laughs followed by gaps of plot explanation or catch up or whatever. The plot is essentially the comedy driven ingeniously by the actors. There are almost no spots in the movie where you aren't laughing...and if and when you aren't laughing you are only listening closely and anticipating the next laugh and you never worry if the bulk of the comedy is over. It is nice to see a comedy that doesn't need Judd Apatow and company to make it a good one. The Hangover leaves the sophistication at the studio and just brings laughs - some crude, some stupid, some witty, some dark, some insulting - but all worth seeing this hilarious comedy.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Maybe it will make the 7-12 kids laugh, but in technicality it is a horrible film.
If you are over 12 expect to need a lot of your friends present to make fun of it for Mall Cop to be anything near funny. The film's plot is in two parts really. Part 1 is seeing how much of a fat loser he is with his old mom and fat daughter, trying to get the girl and what not,. Part 2 is seeing how much a fat loser he is and him fighting the bad guys. The film is peculiar because it is somewhere between being a stupid PG comedy for the kids and a very bad homage to Die Hard. The funniest lines are those that aren't intended to be humorous. Seeing the bad guys jump around the mall (and I mean literally jump) spitting out their terrible lines was the best part of the movie. Some parts of it just don't make any sense. Overall if you are going to be close minded it is a terrible film. If you have an open mind, it will still be a terrible film.
...and just when you thought Pixar couldn't get any better.
Toy Stories, Monsters, Fish, Incredibles, Cars, Cooking Rats - all very good, some brilliant. It seemed like after Ratatouille, the idea of Pixar making another masterpiece seemed outrageous. And it happened. In June they came out with Wall-E, right up there with the best of the best.
Wall-E is special because for me because for a good 60% of the movie, there is almost no dialogue. In the beginning of the film, the audience is engaged by the animation, the robots, their mannerisms. Wall-E is such a vivid character that even without words we know exactly what he is thinking and feeling.
The story is great, the music is astounding, really just a brilliant, brilliant movie. Another Oscar coming.
Just...not that good...at all.
'Twilight' had potential. Harry Potter proved that successful book to movie adaptations could be done. I mean, as a huge fan of Harry Potter, I was very pleased with at least 3 of the 5 movies.
However, Twilight just fails. I am not that big of a fan of a book, I actually read it just because I wanted to see what the big deal was. I wasn't blown away at all, but it was fine, and I suppose I can figure why every female I know is nuts for it.
But again, the movie fails to do the book any justice. It isn't really a mess up by anyone in particular. Just the overall effort to make it an adequate adaptation seemed to be seriously lacking. It almost felt as if they were rushing to get it made. Some of the lines are just terrible. I never thought the actual writing of the book was that sophisticated, but the screenplay just takes the already corny lines and butchers them that much more.
If you are a fan of the book, avoid. If you want to see a movie for the sole purpose of making fun of it, go for it.
Good for the music, but beware a movie that is both cliché and begging to be Juno.
This movie tried so hard to be cool but it ended up just being kind of pretentious and average. Fifteen minutes after walking out of the theater I had completely forgotten I had seen it, seriously. There are a few lines that made me genuinely laugh, but again, there were few. Michael Cera is definitely believable and the supporting cast is fine. The plot is the main problem. The movie has a pretty good idea for a semi-indy film, but it ends of confusing itself and turning into a cliché. You can't help but feel a little annoyed that Cera's ex-girlfriend is very attractive while Nora has kind of a vampirish face and needs braces. Honestly, can we have a film where the new girl is equally as attractive as the ex? Bottom line, interesting musical entries, pretty good acting, average plot. I'd avoid unless you are really interested in the music or are a Michael Cera fan.
Hamlet 2 (2008)
Awesome. Unexpected, witty, very funny.
Hamlet 2 is a very interesting film because it doesn't go with the typical plot (if at any point the plot does something cliché, it is to make fun of that cliché), and it contains humor which is strangely unique. In the beginning I was a little worried that the film would be too awkward to actually be hilarious, but in the end, that was the point...and it worked amazingly. The humor ranges from stupid to dry to very witty, and all of it is delivered amazingly by Steve Coogan and cast. Some of the lines are unexpected almost to the point of shocking, and as long as you are layed back, you will love it.
There's not much to say. If you like ridiculous, you love it.
Disaster Movie (2008)
As you might expect, terrible.
It would be easy for someone to point fingers at this movie and say it would be terrible even before the trailer came out based on the fact that it was done by those two guys who made such crapshoots as Date Movie, Epic Movie, and the latest, Meet the Spartans. Then the trailer came out, giving us more of a reason to hate it.
And as you might expect, it was terrible. I think my reasoning for seeing this movie was because I had "nothing else to do" and I wanted something to "make fun of". This movie is so frustratingly bad that you really don't feel a desire to make fun of it. It doesn't deserve it. There is clever funny, there is stupid funny, and there is ridiculous funny. This movie just isn't funny. It is just annoying. It just parodies the summer's movies in a way that is just annoying. Iron Man, Indiana Jones, whatever. It wasn't funny.
Just stay away. You probably already knew that but if you feel like you have nothing else to do as I did, trust me, staring at a wall is better. You will come out angry and upset that anyone would actually be stupid enough to make a film this atrocious.