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Te jing xin ren lei 2 (2000)
I somehow managed to make it all the way through this movie, but was dumbfounded by the complete lack of entertainment delivered. My friends and I are fans of HK film, but WOW. This movie has it all, and by all I mean everything a movie shouldn't have. Underdeveloped and stereotyped characters, way over-the-top overacting, cheesy special effects, talking robots, no less than 20 double-foot jumpkicks, impossible situations, unfunny "gags" and "jokes", elementary school premise, mindless killings, and too-long running time for the material. Throw in the fact that Gen-X Cops was a decent film and this movie becomes even harder to bear. Quite simply, if you're entertaining the idea of watching this film...don't.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
A bit of a disappointment
I got this movie yesterday on a blind buy because I heard good things about it online. And while I will admit that it is better than the recent Resident Evil films, it is still lacking in some areas.
I really enjoyed the first 10-15 minutes of this film because the pacing was fast and everyone is clearly panicking. Unfortunately, the film seems to hit a wall after this.
Most of the characters are random and meaningless. There are however, two memorable characters. CJ, the head mall security guard, is a great character until his magical change of attitude halfway through the film. Also, the man on top of the gunshop, Andy, is the best character in the film. I felt much more empathy with him than I did with anyone in the mall, and he doesn't even have any lines except through a walkie-talkie. Furthermore, I agree that his character should be killed off, but they didn't do it as effectively as I would have liked.
The whole appeal from this film is clearly the gore, with even nudity making several appearances. Most of it is over the top and unnecessary. Maybe if I was 10 years younger, it would appeal to me more. As it stands, the cheesy violence is forced and gets old quickly.
The editing at the beginning and end of the film is tiring and annoying. Sometimes attempts at being artsy fail miserably, and this is one of them. When will directors learn that camera tricks and clichés don't make for a great film?
The best zombie film I have viewed recently is still 28 Days Later. And by no means do I think that is the best the film industry could do. Just look at the Resident Evil games. If something of that quality could be transfered to the film medium, maybe a zombie movie would exist that is infinitely watchable. Luckily, I still haven't watched the original Dawn of the Dead, and I am very much looking forward to viewing it.
My all time favorite film
Most people view this film with a feeling of nostalgia, myself included. However, Tron is more than just a piece of the 80's. Some of the most creative and unique action scenes ever put on film are featured here. David Warner and company create memorable and believable characters. Tron employs some of the best cinematography ever done; when you see the close-up of Sark's eyes at the conclusion of the ring game, you feel the tension. The crew put in an untold of amount of hours to manually insert the brilliant colors seen throughout the film. Wendy Carlos and Journey both contribute to a superb soundtrack. Tron is a surreal experience that remains a true science-fiction classic.
The Matrix (1999)
A modern classic
This movie blew my mind when I saw it in the theater in 1999. I imagine Star Wars viewers felt the same way back in 1977. Agent Smith is the highlight of this film as a convincing computer program that exists only to eliminate security threats to the Matrix. The breakthrough bullet-time shots are stylish and well done. The atmosphere in the film, both in and out of the Matrix, is eerie and moody. Keanu Reeves is once again enjoyable, the first time since Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Lawrence Fishburne puts in a satisfying performance as Morpheus. Overall, this is a must-see movie that will continue to entertain for years to come.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
This is one of my personal favorite films.
Agent Smith and the Merovingian are two of the most memorable characters to hit the screen in a while. I imagine people felt the same way about Darth Vader 25 years ago as people feel about Agent Smith now.
The soundtrack is fantastic, especially during the action scenes.
This movie has one of my all-time favorite scenes, the burly brawl. For me, it rates right up there with the trench run in Star Wars and the lightcycle scenes in Tron.
Overall, an underrated movie that was dismissed by many as too stylish or too wordy.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
About what I expected
Paul Anderson does it again. Here comes another standard, sub-standard movie which is wildly debated on online message boards. Here is my take on the film (contains spoilers).
Alien Vs. Predator is just standard Anderson fare. No spectacular battle scenes or meaningful dialogue here. We do get an incoherent storyline, action scenes filmed by a 5-year old, and almost no character development. Instead of just critiquing and bitching about the film as a whole, which would take way too much time, I thought I would list the positive, if brief, aspects of the movie.
Both the ship that looked like a Queen alien and the actual Queen alien chase scene in the snow were impressive. I enjoyed the Predator's stylish reverse jump slash. My favorite shot by far was the laser shooting from the Predators' ship. Well, that's about it.. .
I seriously wonder if Paul Anderson thinks scenes like the buddy-cop team-up between the lead character and the Predator are good ideas. The shield and crude spear? Or the slo-mo dash which had the audience in stitches?
5/10 (Watch it when it comes out on DVD unedited and pray it gets a 6/10)