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The Road (2009)
28 Days Later, minus the humour and the horror
So this was based on a book.
I imagine the book must've been very good.
But the movie was a terrible bore.
I suppose it was meant to be moving, poetic, or summat.
But it was none of those.
It was more like just a terrible satirical version (or more like a "reverse" unfunny satire) of 28 Days Later.
28 Days Later had at least as much of the moving/poetic/deep moments as this movie.
But it had a lot more than that (obviously).
So this sucked.
Don't waste your time on it.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Run-of-the-mill superhero movie - a disappointing and unworthy sequel to The Avengers (2012)
In my opinion, The Avengers (2012) was one of the best movies ever. If you disagree with me, you are an idiot.
I watched The Avengers (2012) while on a plane and deeply regretted not watching it in a cinema instead, because it was so focking awesome. After landing, I got a digital copy of it (through entirely legal means of course) and watched it about 10 times within a two- week span. I ALSO proceeded to watch ALL the previous MCU movies, none of which came close to being as awesome as The Avengers, although some (such as the very first Iron Man) were very damn good.
I vowed that I would pay to watch ALL sequels to The Avengers in a proper cinema. I also forecast that the series of Avengers movies would be the best/greatest/awesomest trilogy (or quadrilogy) of all time.
So imagine my disappointment when, three years later (i.e. today), I had to sit through 2+ hours of an utterly pedestrian superhero movie. I felt like crying when, after random things blew up and rocks flew around and they went to "The New Avengers Facility", I realized the movie was coming to an end.
Because you deeply value my opinion, here are my rankings for the 11 MCU movies released so far (as of May/June 2015):
#1 Avengers 1 A++ One of the best movies ever #2 Iron Man A+ #3 Captain America 2 A #4 Guardians of the Galaxy A #5 Iron Man 2 A (unlike most, I actually liked this) #6 Thor 2 A-
#7-#10 B+ (Run-of-the-mill, predictable superhero movies) The Incredible Hulk Thor 1 Captain America 1 Avengers 2
#11 Iron Man 3 B- Total Scheiβe (compared to most of the other MCU movies). I hated this particularly bad.
3 Idiots (2009)
Too long; gets much better towards the end; ripe for a Hollywood remake
A wonderful and uplifting if at times cheesy movie. This is quite possibly the first Bollywood film I've ever watched ---I am glad to have done so.
This would have been a much better film had it been say 1 hr 50m instead of 2hr 50m in length. Cut back on some of the school and antics stuff. (But perhaps a lengthier film is standard in Bollywood? I do not know.)
The 10 years later stuff especially was good and should have taken up half the film rather than just one third.
All the suicides and suicide attempts were a bit too melodramatic and unbelievable. It'd be fine if it were really a reasonably accurate portrayal of school life in India---suppose say the average person attending one of these top schools is likely to be acquainted with at least one person who has attempted suicide primarily because of such matters. But I doubt there is anywhere in the world---even in India, China, Japan, Korea---where things get that extreme.
The Right Stuff (1983)
The Right Stuff for 1983
Way too long at over 3 hours. (But not unusual in 1983.)
Sexist - wives are just stammering fools, sitting and fretting at home while their husbands go do heroic stuff. (But not unusual in 1983.)
'Real heroes' with "The Right Stuff" sit in a plane or spaceship, flip some switches, and watch the nice scenery go by. Get glory and accolades if they live. And get immortalized if they die. 'Real heroes' also get their own Hollywood movie. (Not an unusual notion even today and certainly not in 1983.)
Too much American patriotism bullshit. (But again, not unusual in 1983.)
Altogether a worthy performance for 1983, but mostly puke-worthy today.
No worse than any of the first three!
I just watched all four in the series (over the course of a month). I thought the first was pretty mediocre, but could see why it would have been awesome in 1981.
The next three were the exact same thing, over and over again.
The only reason why "Indy 4" got such bad reviews is because it's no longer 1981. What was once fresh and awesome is now stale and cheesy.
Format: Movie begins with Indiana Jones embroiled in some tricky situation, at some random exotic location. He gets out of it unscathed, of course. Bullets fly everywhere but none will ever touch him.
We then move on to the main story. Indiana Jones for some reason needs to recover some artefact which we know will turn out to be somehow magical. Lots of villains (Nazis, Indians, Nazis, Soviets) also want the artefact. They keep trying to kill Indiana Jones. They keep capturing him, but every time they capture him, they have some reason (or not) to keep him alive. They keep him guarded by one or zero guys so he can escape. He escapes. While dodging as usual several thousand bullets.
The villains are all incompetent klutzes who consistently get whooped, even if it's 5-on-1 and they are all armed and Indy just has his bare fists. They often like to stand around and laugh evilly for no apparent reason. (In this regard, Indy 4 was slightly better, as Cate Blanchett was a little less incompetent than the usual Indiana Jones villain. Though most of her Soviet soldiers were still comically retarded.)
There is some good looking chick for Indy to screw in each movie. Except for Indy 4 of course, because it's gross to even hint that a 65 year old is capable of intercourse.
We get to the end where the artefact is recovered. The bad guys always happen to be there as well, often prodding Indiana to get it for them.
But of course the bad guys don't fully appreciate the power of the artefact, and so they all get annihilated by the magic of the artefact, while Indiana and friends get out nice and safe. You know, just in case there is another sequel and a few hundred more million to be made.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
I'd like this movie more if it was more believable
Haven't read it, but probably the book was better. So much moral complexity and layer upon layer of conspiracies cannot be done in 110 minutes, especially when it's an often deliberate, dramatic 110 minutes.
55 minutes into the movie (halfway mark), kidnapped girl is supposedly drowned. Body is never found. We know that obviously there is something more to this; and we're willing to bet that she is still alive, since this movie is obviously nowhere near done. We just don't know where this could possibly be headed.
Another 20-25 minutes pass and we discover that girl's uncle and Ed Harris have something to do with it. Seems they did it for the money. Hrm OK sure, a bit of a stretch, especially since the movie is ending soon.
Then bam! 10 minutes later, we're slammed with the jaw dropping revelation that ex police chief Morgan Freeman had something to do with it. About 5 more minutes before everything is clarified to us. Apparently uncle, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman were good guys trying to do the good thing and had set up this *massive* conspiracy to rescue this particular little girl from her mother.
Then just another 10-15 minutes to mull it over and the movie ends.
Altogether this movie was very well done, but the *massive* conspiracy at the end was just too much of a stretch. If it's not a superhero or fantasy movie, you need to have at least a little bit of plausibility.
Couple of cops in Boston manufacturing a gigantic, insanely complicated conspiracy to save a girl from her crack-addicted mother? When
(i) there is great uncertainty about how the girl will turn out (probably the majority of kids whose parents are crack addicts turn out fine);
(ii) there are, besides kidnapping a girl and manufacturing a conspiracy, a quadrillion other options to making sure the daughter of a crack addict turns out OK--
(a) call Social Services, as boy detective suggested;
(b) offer to adopt the kid from the mom;
(c) offer to take care of the kid at least occasionally if the mom doesn't want to give her up;
(d) keep a vigilant eye on the kid at all times
(e) etc etc etc.
Felt like a propaganda reel extolling the virtues of American democracy
Altogether this was a decent movie. I can see why Americans who've been taught all about the Civil War and how wonderful and great Lincoln was might thoroughly enjoy this movie.
But for the remaining 7 billion of us on this planet this was a bit of a yawn. While getting a constitutional amendment to pass is exciting fare in the US, those of us who have not already been thoroughly suffused with this aspect of American history are, like, whatever.
Too slow paced. For example, for a 2.5 hour movie it could've shown us a bit more of the Civil War to spice things up (rather than just some burning buildings and corpses strewn about). I guess Spielberg and producers wanted this to be exclusively a hagiography about Lincoln, but I'm sure there are already lots of American high school history textbooks for that. C'mon! Give us some explosions and gun battles and boom-boom-pow!
And finally, for the 7 billion of us who don't think the US is the greatest country on the planet, a lot of the movie felt like a cheesy propaganda reel.
Iron Man Three (2013)
Iron Man = Very awesome Iron Man 2 = Slightly less awesome but still very damn good. The Avengers = Officially one of my top 10 favorite movies ever.
Iron Man 3 = WTF??? It was like some bad James Bond movie from the 1970's.
Random bad guys doing random bad things. Room service comes to hotel room and out pops the bad guy just behind room service. Girl in bra gets tied up and waits to get rescued. President of da USA gets involved. Bad guys hijack good guys' equipment. Lots of random explosions.
No explanation of how the bad guys can mysteriously take over all the TV channels in the USA. No explanation of how the bad guys have this super magic super powers, that allow them rip Iron Man to bits or melt down Iron Man, even though Iron Man has previously had no trouble taking down an invasion of aliens swarming into Earth through a wormhole. Etc. Etc.
Random lame jokes where Iron Man gets hit by a trailer and breaks into bits. Mark 42 comes flying in to the rescue and trips over something and falls into bits. Haha. Why not have Iron Man slipping over a banana peel?
The anxiety thing was I guess a modern (or "postmodern" touch), but made ZERO sense. It didn't fit in at all and just seemed like a random monkey wrench thrown in to spice things up.
The plot, writing, and dialog were just total crap. This was easily the worst movie of the 7 movies released in the Marvel cinematic universe to date.
After Iron Man 1 and 2 and the Avengers, I was starting to fall in love with Robert Downey Jr. He was still an amazing actor in Iron Man 3, but with such crappy writing and dialog I don't know how he was even willing to be in this movie. (Well probably helps that they paid him a little.)
The Wolverine (2013)
WORST X-men movie ever (by far).
Usually plot holes are isolated. This movie was however one giant plothole.
This is what I understood at the end of the movie: Turns out Grandpa is a bad ass who just wanted to magically suck Wolverine's healing powers and live forever. So what he did was (i) Invite Wolverine to Japan; (ii) Fake his own death; (iii) As part of his plan (?) inject a spider onto Wolverine's heart so that he loses his healing powers--What in the world did this achieve for evil Grandpa?; (iv) As part of his plan (?) allow his granddaughter to be subject to multiple assassination attempts, just so that Wolverine will keep following her; (v) Then after leaving a trail of crumbs for Hansel and Gretel, captures his granddaughter, and lures Wolverine to some sort of lair, where his powers can be sucked.
The (?)'s indicate where I am not sure if it was really part of Grandpa's plan or things just worked out this way.
Given the tremendous amount of uncertainty involved in the above plan (e.g. Wolverine might've been killed, in which case no powers to suck; his granddaughter might've been killed, in which case end of story, and Wolverine would've returned to the Yukon to chill out with grizzlies), you'd think there'd been a simpler and cleaner way to do all this. But no.
All this is quite forgivable, compared to other things that went wrong.
What the hell is motivating her? What does she want? Is she working for herself? Or is she working for Grandpa and if so, why?
How did she inject the spider onto Wolverine's heart? Just by kissing him in the middle of the night? (This was never clarified.)
(3) Japanese Father and Japanese Fiancé
OK so it turns out the whole family (except pretty granddaughter) are a bunch of one-dimensional assholes. This is clichéd and boring and stupid, but still acceptable if you at least make some effort explaining what exactly was motivating them.
Japanese Father wants to kill his own daughter just because Grandpa willed her everything? (Oh, and this too was part of Grandpa's grand masterplan?)
Japanese Fiancé is just some asshole who's engaged to pretty granddaughter (this, BTW, is explained for us gaijin simply by the line that "You're not Japanese, so you won't understand"). He's the minister of justice or something. And he likes to have white hookers in his hotel room. Uh, and what else do we know about him? Nothing! Basically he's just some asshole who somehow wants to do bad things.
There are many other things wrong with this movie. E.g.,
(4) Totally artificial and forced chemistry between Wolverine and pretty Japanese granddaughter.
I literally cringed whenever they hooked up.
(5) Jean Gray bad dreams BS was just LAME
I can think of only two things I liked about the movie: (A) The Nagasaki A-bomb scene. Pretty sick, think it's the first time I've seen it portrayed up-close in any movie. (B) The black ninjas, doing their thing in the middle of the night and flying across roof-tops.
Other than that this movie was total scheisse.
Jûsan-nin no shikaku (2010)
First 15 minutes: The half-brother of the Shogun is a stereotypical Japanese psychopath who likes killing and maiming his servants for sport. He'll soon be promoted to some Council where he'll have more power to do bad things. Therefore he needs to be assassinated. Let's call him Bad Boy.
Next 30 minutes: Recruitment of the 13 Assassins.
Next 30-40 minutes: Bad Boy is travelling from some part of Japan to another part of Japan. 13 Assassins plan their attack. They buy over some village that they know Bad Boy will pass by. and set it up Home Alone-style.
Final 1 hour: Bloodbath. And surprise, surprise! Bad Boy gets killed in the end!! End of movie.
Review: Everything is utterly predictable and stereotypical. Bad Boy is just the usual psychopath. The samurai assassins are your usual samurai. The story develops EXACTLY as predicted. Nothing interesting. No character development, no nuances, nothing.
When it finally gets to the bloodbath you are a little relieved because it has been a total bore so far. The initial Home Alone-style surprise attacks and explosives are somewhat amusing.
But when it gets to hand-on-hand (sword) combat it is just STUPID. The sword fighting had all the realism of a bad 1970's Hong Kong movie. All the bad guys (supposedly 130 of them) just dicking around, hovering in the background, while each assassin gets to pick off the bad guys one at a time. Each bad guy waits patiently for his turn in the queue to get sliced up.