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5 Days of War (2011)
Biased, but necessary and entertaining film
This film reminds me of Renny Harlin's breakthrough film from 1985, Born American. The scripts are lacking in both movies, but action sequences are well made and the propaganda aspects are similar. It's no secret that these films have a heavy anti-Soviet/Russian agenda, and actually as a Finn myself, I greatly enjoy that Harlin has the b*lls to p*ss of the Russians. His 1985 movie was especially gutsy considering that it was BANNED in Finland for a short while! (The government didn't want to endanger Soviet relations.)
So it's not a neutral movie, but it doesn't need to be. Somebody had to do it, and Harlin was the perfect man for the job. Russians have their own biased movies of this war, so a counterbalance was needed, and I'm sure "5 Days of War" beats the Russian movies by far in entertainment value, and will be seen by millions more.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
B-class Jack Bauer
I did not like the Daniel Craig Bond debut, Casino Royale. The film was not a typical Bond, it was just an average action movie with weird directing and uninspiring acting, and it was sometimes even boring.
The same applies to this film, Quantum of Solace, except that it is shorter than its predecessor, and does not have many boring scenes. However, most earlier Bond films manage to fill over two hours of film without no problems.
To me, the current Bond is just a B-class Jack Bauer. Sure the movie has more dramatic action sequences than the TV-series (because of $$$), but Daniel Craig and his character are totally uninspiring and lack any charisma. He is nothing like the previous Bonds. Some people like that, but I do not.
The script is also weak and directing weird. In fact they are so bad that the film is in many ways not even as believable as previous Bond films, even though many individual scenes are more realistic and not so "over the top" as in previous films (is that a good thing for a Bond film is another question). There aren't even any Bond tech gadgets in this film.
All this means that this Bond is not really a "Bond" at all, just an average action movie with big budget. There is not much in particular to like in this film, in fact I hated most of it. Even the action sequences were not that good in my opinion.
The Truman Show (1998)
It WAS original
The Truman Show is a product of the age before reality television really took of, and maybe it even contributed to it. Another movie having a similar concept (and effect?) was Edtv.
10 years ago the concept was original. Now, the whole thing is ALMOST plausible as a television show. In fact in Germany they had a Big Brother format in which they had a whole village as their "Big Brother house". The main difference to this movie being that the contestants naturally knew that they were on a TV-show (but what if they had had babies?).
So basically this movie is not so original anymore. Except for the concept, the plot is pretty thin actually. As most Jim Carrey movies, this one relies a lot on his skills. The movie is entertaining, because Jim Carrey is entertaining.
This isn't really a comedy, and definitely nobody would even consider this a comedy, if Truman was played by somebody else then Carrey.
Eagle Eye (2008)
"2001: A Space Odyssey" meets "The Fugitive"
I think my summary "summarises" this movie pretty well, except that it's a lot worse than either of those excellent movies.
Basically this movie is about a government super-computer gone rogue. It persuades/pressurizes people to help itself in its objectives, one man in particular, who happens to be the "hero" of this movie, and who is on the run the whole time trying to outrun the officials chasing him.
I'm too smart for this movie. The concept is pure bullshit. Execution is fine and action sequences OK, but the whole concept and script are so stupid that I just wanted the movie to end as soon as possible. I couldn't care less about the fate of the main characters.
I could imagine enjoying this if I was a 12-year-old. I'm not.
One of the best of its kind
In short, Taken is a typical modern fast-paced action film with lots of detailed violence and somewhat predictable story. But it's really well made and one of the best of its kind.
Of course the whole concept and the father's paranoia about Europe's unsafeness is stupid considering that Europe in general is a safer place than the USA. Of course daddy's sick paranoia proves right just about 5 minutes after her daughter lands at Paris. Right. And I'm not considering this a spoiler.
Actress Maggie Grace is supposed to look like a 17-year-old? I'm not buying it.
2001: A Space Odyssey + Alien = Sunshine? That's the obvious plan, but unfortunately it does not quite work out.
This isn't one of those "buddy films" with good soundtrack, or soundtrack at all. This is no Armageddon, except for the general theme (saving the mankind). No, this is more of an art film.
The beginning is slightly promising, albeit boring. After about five minutes I was already thinking that this is probably not going to be a very good movie-experience for me... And I was right. I didn't like the script at all, and it got more and more stupid towards the end. I don't even know where to begin, so I don't.
Maybe if this was made more like a "buddy film" this could've been more interesting to watch, and also some kind of a prologue explaining the background of the story would've been nice. We DID have an epilogue, so there really is no excuse not to have a prologue. Well, money maybe.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
I had very high expectations for this film for obvious reasons. I must say I was a little disappointed.
The film obviously tries to be "clever" and "not so ordinary", but it ends too soon and things really don't get explained very thoroughly. This is a 2-hour film that potentially could have been a great 3-hour film.
Basically, cinematography was great, acting was great, but script was lacking.
And Americans STILL haven't heard of cell phones? Cell phones really must be a pain in the ass for the screenwriters, because they aren't used even in many new films in obvious circuimstances.
Deja Vu (2006)
Just couldn't swallow the script.
Deja Vu is a thriller based on the familiar time travel theme. Not one time travel movie is "realistic", but some of them are more "believable" or "easier to swallow" than others.
Well, this one is not one of those.
No matter how convincingly good actors try to make you believe that earth is flat, not round, you still don't believe them. (That was a metaphor. Actors don't actually try to convince you of the flatness of the earth.) That is the problem with Deja Vu. The script is just way too hard to swallow.
Otherwise, the movie has all the goods for a great action packed ride. If you are a 13-year-old kid or just mentally a little bit "sub-par", you can probably even forgive the stupid concept of the movie.
So I didn't like the script. Also what I didn't like were the constant references to god, devil, creationism, Fox News and support for war in Irak. Makes you wonder about the financing of this movie...
United 93 (2006)
If this film had been released in 1999, it would have been much more interesting... Probably not very convincing though. Anyway, now the plot was kind of "predictable".
This was basically a dramatized documentary. It had a "made for TV" feel in it. Not many (any) great visual effects, not much action, not very much interesting dialog either. It gives us an illusion of the real-life events occurring as they did and cameras just following the action.
Speaking of dialog, in the real world the hijackers had SOME dialog with the passengers? Not very much in this film...
I can't really say I was disappointed. The film was everything I expected, in a good sense and in a bad sense. But definitely not one of my favourite movies, merely an average one. Of course the ending is touching, but you could not really expect anything but.
Pretty much what I expected
Having read all the comments and reviews, this movie was pretty much what I expected. Moore does a really good job in making his point.
What bothered me a little was his black & white view of the healthcare industry - either it is public OR private. In reality, many western countries have a "hybrid" system. For example here in Finland we have a pretty reasonable public healthcare system (which by the way is not totally free for the patient, albeit very cheap), but in addition, we also have private clinics, if you want even faster service and are willing to pay extra. You can also get an insurance from private companies, which provides extra financial support and/or service in the private clinics in case of illness. Also some workplaces and institutes have free doctors.
A portion of the cost of medicines is substituted by the government in either case, and there is an annual limit after which they are totally substituted.
I think it would be pretty straightforward to establish this kind of system in the US. There is no need to socialize healthcare TOTALLY. There is no need for the insurance company to "go" (as Moore put it), they just need to step aside a little and stop being the main authority. Also, if insurance companies have to compete with FREE (health care), there is only one thing they can do: offer really good service!