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Stone Temple Pilots...
Clearly not as good as Alien or Aliens but far better than 3, 4 or that AVP crap. Definitely see it in IMAX 3D- visuals are well worth it and it was the most visually immersive film I've seen since being wowed by LOTR. The Engineers and their technology are particularly well-rendered and create a sense of wonder rarely realized in sci-fi anymore.
Of course, some weak points like the gobsmackingly dumb geologist and biologist and the motivation of one of the character "acting against" one of the others (for no discernible reason other than malice which doesn't make sense for that character).
Well paced as well and a surgery scene that makes you think this film should come with a disclaimer warning pregnant women away.
Team America: World Police (2004)
The Right Movie
Hilarious movie poking fun at the overzealous, flag-waving red-state people in our midst, while also saving their best jibes for celebrities harboring delusions of grandeur and political savvy.
I must not be terribly sophisticated, because the very dumb jokes in the film had me cackling- "Trust you? You're a butt****** quitter!" Or "Jesus tit****** Christ!"
The final speech given by Gary, I think, sums up the ideology of the filmmakers. The US may be reckless, arrogant dicks but they're far preferable to the people we fight. And the "anti-war" people who oppose us EVEN after battle has been joined, are forming a de-facto alliance with the terrorists- as evidenced in the film.
Well-shot but came up short...
Am not familiar with the trilogy but came upon this film last night on Showtime. The film looked very well done with the set design and the cinematography, but the screenplay was stilted and wooden. The acting was fairly bad- thought the two female leads were serviceable. You never really believed anything the supporting actors said though. There were the stereotypes- bible-thumping Reverend without a hint of nuance, authoritative Captain, hot-headed soldier, etc. I am sorry to say that based on these deficiencies I clocked it straight away as Canadian without knowing it to be such-the Telefilm Canada end credits gave it away. I know I'm a horrible person.
Maybe I missed something in the beginning but the hostility towards the girls is never explained. Here they are besieged in a fort by werewolves and the men are wasting time and energy brutalizing two young women for no reason. FOCUS people. There's a bit more of a pressing situation beyond your walls than whether or not these girls are lesbians-that's just my inference for the hostility directed towards them. If they can aim and fire a gun you might as well make nice with them. The question of their "immortal soul" can be resolved later.
Also, I guess this relates to the rest of the trilogy, these girls are supposed to be the protagonists? One of them murdered the Indian guy at the end that saved one of their lives. I guess one is just a victim of her condition who can't be necessarily blamed for her actions, but the other is just a murderer who doesn't deserve her happy ending.
Love Actually (2003)
Pleasant, light fare with some obvious flaws
British romantic comedies are virtually indistinguishable from their American counterparts. This is a blessing and a curse. The characters exist in a sort of rarefied air of effortless upper/upper middle class sensibility. However, this is so endemic to films it's not really worth going into. "Kid in love" part taken a little too seriously. I had crushes when I was eleven too, but my father wouldn't spend two seconds thinking about my puppy love infatuations, kids need to figure this sort of stuff out on their own. The shy porn stars? Don't think they exist. This goes in with "unsightly Brit gets laid in Wisconsin" bit. I know the writer is going for a certain kind of absurdest sensibility in his humor, but it just doesn't play. Americans in general like British accents- it doesn't really work the other way, unfortunately, but I think the Wisconsin Tourist Board was behind this in an attempt to lure British males to the land of Cheeseheads and Lands' End. Hugh Grant was good as the PM, funny in that bit about the SAS. What was that visit by the US President though? Billy Bob Thornton was a sort of Bush-arrogant/Clinton-lewd hybrid? I think those criticisms are probably accurate, but even Clinton would never openly make a pass at a British Government worker at Downing Street on an official state visit. Oh, and the press conference! Please! Brits- you are not some put upon, bullied country! Stop acting like you are! Only one country in the world exceeds America in terms of national chauvinism and arrogance and that's the UK! I lived there, I know. I love your guys, seriously, you have a beautiful country with tons to offer the world culturally and politically. But stop your whining. By the way, it is no longer brave or risqué to be so openly anti-American, it's very trendy and fashionable. And the people that applaud this sort of "Cool Brittania" counter attack to American bullying I'll wager know the least about international politics. I wish Billy Bob would've given back in that conference. Something even Jimmy Carter would've done. And Hugh Grant had a picture of Thatcher on the wall. Was he supposed to be a Tory? If so, that press conference was even farther off base than originally assessed.