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15 reviews in total 
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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful, true to the novel, well acted, 1 November 2013

This move retains much from the novel, in particular the sense of desperation that drives the participants, and in that desperation, desperate decisions, and living with the consequences.

Readers of the novel will have no trouble matching the characters and situations they know. Those new to the story will have no problem filling in several gaps that are not well covered, but they may be left with a few questions.

The move is beautiful, stark, and rich. The space scenes are easy to accept as seamless. Many difficult shots look effortless.

The acting, particularly Asa Butterfield as Ender, was affecting. Harrison Ford appears to take stone-faced to a new level initially, but as the movie reveals more the subtle grace of his performance becomes apparent.

44 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
Good Fun!, 21 November 2009

This film plays with American culture. It is filled with singing cowboys, an old-time Hollywood serial framework, sci-fi adventures, glam rock, and throws in some social commentary.

It would be for naught however, if the film did not have an interesting story and characters with whom one could empathize.

The music was also interesting, enjoyable, and fun. The Billy Nayer Show provides the music. Wikipedia describes the band as "of questionable genre." I have to agree but it is in a very good way.

It is an odd film, with some odd characters and odd music. And that is quite wonderful.

District 9 (2009)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Intense, 31 August 2009

This is an intense documentary style drama with comic touches, not standard sci-fi.

It does have many violent action sequences.

I enjoyed it very much.

The documentary style draws you in. You watch in bemusement as the incompetent bureaucrat perpetrates governmental nonsense against the alien refugees. This is how things like the FEMA response to Katrina started. Your feet itch.

Then it happens. Everything falls apart. Violence ensues.

The documentary style is mixed in with gritty narrative as we are treated to the whole sordid mess.

The whole thing was believable. I didn't have to suspend disbelief to encounter the aliens. It was very natural.

Uniqueness raises this film to an 8.

(BTW: The film does bash Nigerians. Is it deserved?)

13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Trying hard, failing much, 31 July 2009

I really wanted to like this movie. I love talky, existential movies. I loved Contact. I liked The Examined Life and My Dinner with Andre, I like independent, low budget films.

This movie did not live up to expectations.

The characters were plastic and flimsy. The actors were very competent, but there was no space for them to weave something real. The reactions of the characters to the main character and to each other did not ring true.

The logic, philosophy, science, and theology employed was childish.

I got so dizzy from rolling my eyes it took my three attempts before I could get through it.

The acting really brings it up to a five, but yeesh, I wish they were given something other than cheese to work with.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Nowhere near "Bladerunner!", 5 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I especially enjoyed Michael Caine's and Julianne Moore's performances.

I also enjoyed the overall political and philosophical aspect of the movie. Seeing the words "Homeland Security" over an internment camp for immigrants was especially chilling.

The script itself couldn't decide if it was an action movie or a film with higher aspirations. It has often been compared to "Bladerunner." As a matter of fact, that's what got me in to see the movie.

This film is nowhere near the movie "Bladerunner" is. The main problem appeared to be the script. It couldn't decide where to focus and how to progress.

The first thing that struck me was the "Deus ex Machina" evident in several of the action scenes where events appeared to conveniently rescue the characters from certain doom.

The second thing that struck me was that Clive Owen's character didn't progress through the movie. You didn't get a feel for him at the beginning, and you didn't quite understand why he was doing all the things he was doing from his perspective. There is some back-story given, but it is weak.

The chemistry between Clive Owen and Julianne Moore was very good. I could have watched a whole movie with just those two.

The development of the other characters is also weak for the most part. There are the "evil guys," the coworkers, the "evil guys you thought were your friends", etc.

Besides the Michael Caine character, the only other one I really got a feel for was Marichka; a damn fine performance.

Overall, a "meh" and not what I was expecting.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great Visuals, Great performances, Excellent Script!, 3 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a big Dick fan. (Philip K. Dick you perverts.) This movie blew me away.

The script was awesome. This was the best adaptation of a novel I can recall. The choice of story elements was great. It was very faithful to the novel.

The only weakness of the movie was in the script, and that was because it stuck so closely to the novel that the last section lagged. Both the novel and the movie slammed into a wall of Jello at that point. I would have liked it better if the script had varied from the novel at this point and came to the climax sooner.

I can not come up with enough superlatives for the performances. Damn! Robert Downey Jr, Winona Ryder, Rory Cochrane (Speedle from CSI Miami), and Woody Harrelson were all just brilliant. Even Keanu Reeves was good! Cochrane and the phantom aphids was particularly stunning.

The visuals were unique and fitted and moved the story along. It was like a whole new aspect of cinema. It was beautiful and expressive.

This is not at all a movie for kids.

Anyone else must see it! See it now! Damn you!

Æon Flux (2005)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Intelligent, eye-catching, but Hollywood, 13 August 2006

This movie takes Peter Chung's ground-breaking Aeon Flux and made it into a viable Hollywood production. There-in lies is greatest strength and weakness.

Chung's work in the series was always edgy and somewhat disturbing. The storytelling was jarring. The images were stylized.

The film takes the series as as a background, simplifies it, and cleans it up. A little of the violence remains, but it is nowhere near the presence it was in the series.

It adds very a sweet romance to the core. Many women who found the series too disturbing will enjoy this film.

The visuals, though not as stylized or edgy as Chung's, are still very good. The story-telling is very good as well.

I enjoyed it very much, and so will you!

Deep Sea (2006)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Great Experience, 14 April 2006

This was a great movie experience. A major part of this was the 3D effect.

My children were frequently reaching out in front of them. To be honest I wanted to do so as well.

The visuals would be great even if they were not in 3d.

There was a lot of good information on the biology of the ocean.

Most of the film consisted of one creature eating another. My four year old seemed to be OK with it though.


A nit: At times there was bleed-through on the polarized 3d glasses. I don't know if that was due to the glasses or a general side-effect.

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Heavy on Action, 24 January 2006

This was an enjoyable movie and worth the price of admission. I enjoy "girl kicks ass" movies.

It has a lot of action and gore, but is not a horror or suspense film. I would not take anyone under twelve to it.

If you are thinking of seeing this movie I strongly recommend seeing the original Underworld. Otherwise, you will be a bit lost.

In comparison to the original, this movie is short of character development and emotional connection. Not that there was much in the original.

I liked the craftsmanship on this movie. The movie was well-paced. It didn't have incessant tiresome action scene after action scene, but neither did it get bogged down.

The CG was good except that the helicopter didn't look real when it was flying. Yes, the werewolves and vampires looked real. The helicopter didn't.

10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Very entertaining and informative, 10 January 2006

I took my kids, 4M,6M,and 9F to this.

They all enjoyed it as I did. Lots of things get blown up. Cool! I did have to explain that there was no one in those vehicles.

There are invigorating flight sequences and the narrator explains things as he goes along. The visuals lift it from a 5 to a 7.

There are continuity issues as another commenter has noted, making it difficult to follow for anyone with any orientation. This is often a problem with films. It is necessary to let go of those issues to enjoy the film.

It was difficult to keep track of the story. A more direct story line would be appreciated.

Well worth it!

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