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The Martian (2015)
7.5 Stars. Entertaining but not a Best Picture IMHO.
I'll give it 7.5 stars. It's a good movie, entertaining, but I don't feel it's an Oscar-worthy "Best Picture" film like the vote-pursuing advertisements have been saying.
Damon does a very good job. The flaws in his performance are not really him; they are to be found in the writing. I saw the author (or was it the screen-writer) recently on TV, saying that he does indeed see people as having this kind of pervasive positive attitude. Personally, I want to live where he lives, as remaining 100% positive, like Mark Watney does, for so long seems to me to be very unrealistic. Still, suspension-of-disbelief is necessary in movie watching... and this is no exception here.
Recently, I believe, this film won 2015 Best Comedy on the Critics Choice Awards. Ridley Scott responded with his non-understanding question "A Comedy?" and he was the director. The humour is used to maintain the positive attitude of the stranded Watney. It appears that is has been misunderstood as the theme of the movie by many.
There are equally misunderstood leaps of logic and achievement (by the Watney character) in the film. So prepare yourself for a good film, not a great one. Be entertained and hope... hope that we have more people who could indeed be so uplifting, so positive, and so intelligent, as the Watney character is, in real life.
King Kong (2005)
This Kong properly fell from it's mighty initial reviews.
I remember when this film came out, and I went and saw it with two friends. I was blown away by how high the initial ratings were on IMDb. However, time has told the truth. It's an entertaining movie but it's by no means a long-qualified classic film that everyone must see.
The first hour is quite tedious and many on here who have written opinions are correct in that much of this could have been presented far more efficiently. One of my friends actually fell asleep and had a good nap in the theatre during this time... that is quite telling.
Excitement does begin and, while the need for suspension-of-disbelief is high (doesn't that go without saying in a movie like this?), the graphics and scene-movement are good.
Then, they get back to New York... and what we all know happens, happens.
Still, there were far too many significant scenes/performances that cause me to only give the film a 7... and it's a stretch for me to do so. Jack Black with his over-acting and constantly wide-eyed performance really hurt. So did the scenes with Kong and Ann on the little pond, playfully having fun. What the heck was that? How did that absolutely silliness get into the final cut of such a movie?
If you have 3 hours and are willing to simply be entertained at a moderate level, do so with this film. If you are looking for cinematic brilliance, you will be sorely disappointed.
I'm quite proud that the IMDb crown saw through the hype, eventually, and returned this movie to a reasonable rating. The original reviews of this film, way back when, seemed almost unanimously above "8", and closer to "9". I thought that was ridiculous then, and still do not.