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23 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Jason!, 15 February 2009

I went into this movie not having seen a single Friday the 13th movie all the way through. I originally didn't want to see this one, not because it looked bad, quite the opposite: because I thought it looked genuinely scary. And I scare easily.

As 2/13/09 drew closer and I began watching the trailer more and more I decided that I really did want to see it. Overall, I liked it. I couldn't help but compare it to My Bloody Valentine 3- D which I saw a little less than a month ago, and this was without a doubt a more technically sound movie. The storyline was better, the cast was better, the dialogue was better by a slight margin. That leads me into what I liked. Director Marcus Nispel gave the movie a great atmosphere; things were almost always tense or creepy. Jason was imposing and definitely quite frightening. The situation was believable for the main group of characters.

Now for what I think hurt the movie. First of all, I am not a big fan of the decision to have two sets of characters. I understand it was necessary to introduce Whitney's predicament but I thought it really hurt the main group. The movie is only one hour and thirty-five minutes so the first set of characters drastically depletes the time we have to get to know the second set. We know them for less than a day before they all start getting picked off. I think Willa Ford's character had maybe five lines, the Nolan character less than that. I just really didn't care about the characters that much. The second thing I disliked was the backstory/captivity of Whitney. The Mrs. Voorhees part in the beginning felt jarring and tacked on and then I just felt that the Whitney in captivity part was preposterous and weird. Also, it is simply not feasible for Jason to appear everywhere completely unnoticed. He is a huge guy, there's no way you wouldn't see or hear him coming, yet he appears completely out of nowhere so many times. Jumpy? Yes. Plausible? Not at all. These elements combined unfortunately made the movie not scary. I jumped a lot during it but I was not scared afterward, not at all.

I really did like the movie, for me the detractors were not so bad that I came out hating it. It was well-done in my opinion with effective jump scares and I liked the different take on the series. Now let's see if a sequel comes out in this same vein.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Everyone Should Go to the Opera Tonight, 12 November 2008

You generally go into movies like this one with the feeling that it will be genuinely, horribly awful or so horribly awful that it's good. Rarely ever do you expect it to actually be a good movie. Given the awful critical reviews of the movie in conjunction with the rabid approval and overwhelmingly positive moviegoer reviews I was expecting a Rocky Horror-so-bad-it's-good movie. Repo way exceeded my expectations. Right from the opening sequence of comic book frames setting the scene to the climatic blood-bathed opera sequence, it captivated my attention and blew me away. It is an opera so every word is sung, or at least spoken in rhythm. The style is futuristic with soft-edged dark colors that match the mood perfectly. And the performances are all top-notch fantastic. Alexa Vega carries the movie as the main character, Shilo Wallace, proving that she can sing and act quite well. I loved Sarah Brightman as Blind Mag, it was awesome seeing as acclaimed an opera singer as her having a blast in this movie. Contrary to what some may think, Paris Hilton was great, I even found myself wanting to see more of her character. While not understated, she's not a scenery-chewing showboat either, she knows the scope of her part and plays it within those confines very well. The music is fantastic and while the movie is bloody, I (who has a weak stomach) found the violence just sparse enough to not make it hard to watch. This is a fantastic, visionary film that deserves more recognition/publicity/of a release than it's getting right now, please go see it.

10 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Funny, But Not Great, 26 July 2008

Step Brothers was basically exactly what I expected it to be. I went in with my expectations set somewhere between good and bad, that way if it exceeded them great, if not oh well. It met them right where I had them. The idea of two forty-year-old men still living at home forced to cohabitate when their single parents marry is interesting, though I thought it played out a bit one-note, I mean there's only so much you can do with the direction they chose to take the plot. I thought Will Ferrell was a bit sub-par, he kind of gets swallowed up and doesn't stand out to me as much as usual. Plus he's doing his umpteenth version of the outrageous man-child. For me he just does better when he's creating a character, like Ron Burgundy, Buddy the Elf, Chazz Michael Michaels, Jackie Moon, etc. Here he's just...Brennan Huff, the unemployed, homebound 39-year-old. John C. Reilly is good and plays off Ferrell well, but like Ferrell he's just not as good on his own in this movie. This all being said, the movie is funny; I was entertained. There were several great lines and situations, though I don't think this is destined to be as quotable as say Anchorman. The movie definitely benefits from its R rating, I don't think a toned-down Step Brothers would work as well. All in all, the movie succeeds as a light, entertaining, and funny adult comedy.

Hancock (2008)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good Movie, But. . ., 26 July 2008

"Hancock" elevates itself above the usual summer fare right off the bat with an unusual plot. Imagine a man with superpowers who then decides to become a superhero, but his rotten attitude and penchant for causing more damage to his city than good has the citizens of Los Angeles begging him to go somewhere else. It's an interesting twist on the superhero story. Will Smith plays the titular man as a surly, heavy-drinking, foul-mouthed, unpleasant citizen of L.A. As usual, he is very good, probably the thing I enjoyed most about the movie. He adds several requisite layers to Hancock but manages to make them feel fresh. Coming in a close second to what I enjoyed most was Jason Bateman as a PR exec who wants to make over Hancock's image. Bateman's comedic timing and earnestness compliment's Smith wonderfully. The effects are good and there are several moments that are quite funny. However, the film does have its flaws. The first gripe for me would be that the director, Peter Berg, seems to be an avid fan of the extreme close-up. When two people are talking he often zooms so close in on their faces that you cannot even see their hairline. I found it distracting. I also thought that Charlize Theron was miscast. I like her a lot and I think she's a great actress, but she lacked the comedic timing needed for her part as Jason Bateman's wife who is very skeptical that Hancock can change. She plays one scene in particular, a kitchen confrontation with Hancock, very straight and dour which is a jarring contrast to Smith's light comedy. Next, the story. The premise is unusual and quite good, but it looses steam less than halfway through the movie. The movie is quite short, only an hour and a half, so at least in that respect there isn't much left once the plot starts giving out. It takes an unbelievable turn in the third act that I just didn't buy. I think the screenwriters found it difficult to stretch a simplistic idea to a feature length. Also, the lack of a central villain hurt as well. Pitting Hancock repeatedly against petty criminals just did not work as well as if they had given him a main nemesis.

"Hancock" is good and quite entertaining, there are several reasons to see it. Is it a perfect movie? No, but it has enough redeeming qualities to make it the perfect summer escape.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Simply Magnificent, 18 July 2008

Right from the riveting first moment to the bleak last moment The Dark Knight had me one hundred percent. The story was sound, the acting top notch, and the cinematography wonderfully done. The movie picks up just about where Batman Begins left off and we see Christian Bale masterfully guiding Bruce Wayne/Batman through a moral conflict of sorts. Though definitely not the same level of regret and bitterness that Peter Parker experiences in Spider-Man 2, Batman is experiencing some of the pitfalls and less savory effects of his heroic efforts. Troublesome copycats are risking their lives, but a bigger problem soon manifests itself. Yep, the Joker has arrived in full force and anarchy is the name of the game. Watching Heath Ledger, it was amazingly easy to forget all of the hype and everything I had heard and see the performance for what it really was: amazing. I can truly say that he would be getting as much praise for the role if he was still alive that he is now. He runs the show in the movie. He disappears completely and creates a character that is by turns terrifying and comical. His zaniness is such that it makes you laugh at first glance, but then you realize how truly evil and disturbed the character is and then, suddenly, it's not so funny. Bravo. There are not many characters that make me unsure of whether to laugh at them or hide in fear. Christian Bale tops his Batman Begins performance, doing even better. Aaron Eckhart was fantastic as Harvey Dent. His performance is subtle, layered, nuanced, and so believable, he's a character you initially root for and ultimately feel all of his heartbreak. Maggie Gyllenhaal basically reinvents her character; it's tough because Rachel Dawes has much more screen time in this movie than BB, so watching Maggie is like seeing a whole different character entirely, but she was very good. And of course the rest of the cast was great, even the minor characters. The great triumvirate of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman was fantastic, all three men were amazing. I really liked Eric Roberts as new crime lord Maroni as well. When all is said and done, the movie is a masterpiece. Great writing, directing, acting, and visuals all combine to make the best movie I have seen this year. Bravo, bravo.

27 Dresses (2008)
90 out of 124 people found the following review useful:
Very cute, 3 February 2008

For many the plot of this movie feels formulaic and revisited. Jane (Katherine Heigl) is the people-pleaser of the century. A somewhat spineless nice girl who can't say no to anyone, she has been a bridesmaid 27 times, often exceeding her duties in every wedding. For all her romantic yearnings, she can't seem to hook her boss, George (Ed Burns) whom she has been in love with for years. When her self-centered little sister Tess (Malin Akerman) comes in and manages to snag George, Jane once again capitulates to everyone's needs but her own. In comes Kevin (James Marsden), a newspaper columnist stuck covering weddings who yearns to break out and write about more important things. Under the pretense of covering George and Tess's wedding, he really is writing about Jane and her perpetual bridesmaid stints. Complications ensue etc. etc.

For me, what really made this movie was the performances. Katherine Heigl did an absolutely fantastic job playing the woman that I'm sure everyone has felt like at one time. She brought a lot of spice to what could have been a one-note role. James Marsden is also pitch-perfect as the cynical reporter, a foil to Jane. It helps that they have good fight-and-kiss chemistry.

Also, for me the story line was not as tired and recycled as people made it out to be. It had some fresh spin and I really enjoyed it. I also preferred the ending to this movie to many chick-flick comedies which leave things open-ended and almost unrealistic. 27 Dresses wraps up all the plot lines in one neat sequence that is a truly worthy finale.

All in all, as far as romances and rom-coms go, this one shot to the top of my list.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful and Moving Film, 3 January 2008

Though movies often tend to evoke strong emotions in me, I must admit that I'm rarely ever moved to actual tears. However The Kite Runner, whether during a heartbreakingly sad scene or a joyous one, moved me to tears on several occasions.

The film is just truly well done. It's well-filmed, amazingly directed, very well-written and superbly acted. I fell in love time and time again with the newcomer playing young Hassan. He and the actor playing young Amir have such uncanny talent for expressing pure, raw emotion. They truly were the embodiment of their literary counterparts. The actor playing the adult Amir did an excellent job as well. Amir, as all who have read the book and seen the movie, is an unusual protagonist. He is not that likable and at first seems to possess few redeeming qualities. However there are two scenes that take place when Amir is an adult which finally show him growing up, and this actor did such an amazing job with them, I could feel my heart swelling with pride for his journey. I have to commend the casting directors for their choice for the adult Assef. He has only one big scene but he haunts you long after he is off screen. I was truly terrified the whole time he was on screen. The actor really captures the fanaticism and sheer insanity that is Assef, and he does it all with Assef's most haunting and important feature: his eyes. His eyes were the most frightening thing that I could imagine in a person.

As with any book adaptation, there are some key moments that are trimmed from the film, but I thought the writers did an excellent job. Everything flows and fits together seamlessly. The movie is truly an excellent film. It is so moving and it has a great message about sin and redemption and everything in between. Bravo.

Atonement (2007)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely Stunning, 30 December 2007

I have been waiting to see this movie for a very long time and today I finally got to see it. I had been trying not to get too excited in case it didn't live up to my expectations, but I needn't have worried. The movie absolutely blew me away.

First off, it was filmed beautifully. Joe Wright really has a talent for using the natural surroundings to his advantage, I also loved that in Pride and Prejudice. The now-famous Dunkirk scene was just stunning. I was really excited to see that after all I had heard and it was just amazing. Wright really captured the anti-glory of the war when WWI is often characterized by the initial euphoria of all parties involved that war had come, then the steep disillusionment that followed. I was so glad that he did the shot as one long continuous take, it was excellent.

Now, the performances. Starting with the most attention-getting, Keira Knightley did a fabulous job as Cecilia. I've read the novel and I felt that she really embodied the character. Saoirse Ronan was the most perfect young Briony. She's gotten a lot of attention as well and she fully deserves it, she was fantastic as the self-centered, ignorant, spoiled little rich girl. I felt, however, that the movie truly belonged to James McAvoy. He was so heartrending and incredible as Robbie. True, he and Keira Knightley didn't have a ton of crackling chemistry, but his earnestness and her eagerness make you really believe and feel for them.

The writers did a great job adapting Ian McEwan's sprawling novel, and they did an excellent job showing the introspectiveness that the novel conveys. Of course it's hard to get so deeply inside of each character's head the way the novel does, but the movie does an excellent job without feeling rushed or choppy. As with Pride and Prejudice, they clipped the unnecessary but kept the heart of the story.

All in all, it was an excellent, amazing movie, my definite favorite of the year and very worth seeing.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Good, but. . ., 25 December 2007

I'm in the minority, but I actually didn't like it as much as I was expecting to. It was good and well-done, but I went into it expecting the amazing movie that I'd heard so much about and left feeling disappointed. Maybe if I were to see it again I might appreciate it more. It's hard to finger exactly what disappointed me, but I guess it was just that everything could have been done better, at least to me. In one review I read it stated that the show had been cut from over three hours to just over two without losing anything. I disagree. I felt that a lot of characterization was lost and that everything moved very, very fast. I know Helena Bonham Carter legitimately won the part of Mrs. Lovett, and she was very good, but I couldn't ignore that nagging feeling that other actresses might have been better. And I love, love, love Johnny Depp, but I couldn't help but feel his performance was a note. Yes, it once again displays his chameleon talent and yes he nailed the part, but there wasn't that much to nail. There are several scenes where he's very good, but several where he gets easily overshadowed by others on screen. He also hardly speaks, Mrs. Lovett had a bigger part than him. Judge Turpin's lecherousness could have been fleshed out a lot more.

On the whole, it was very good, the style was great, the actors as an ensemble were great, but I guess to me, once I start examining the separate parts, it suffers.

I still say it is definitely worth seeing, but I'm not sure I would name it the best movie of the year.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent, 16 July 2007

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter books I always look forward to the movies. I've never been let down with any movie as I was still really young (eleven) when the first one came out so I didn't know any better. However looking back on all of them now I definitely recognize their faults and strengths. I was very excited to see The Order of the Phoenix but a little skeptical since this had been my least favorite book. I was blown away. If I could have kept any director it definitely would have been Alfonso Cuaron, whose style and touches were perfectly suited for the third movie and a welcome change from Chris Columbus's kid-glove style. Mike Newell did a decent job with the fourth movie, though it suffered from plot changes that didn't work well. I did (and still do think) that he had the toughest challenge thus far with staging Voldemort's return and he did do a good job with that. David Yates did an amazing job. I really loved that he kept the movie dark and unsettling, with a few smatters of well-done dry humor here and there. The book is dense and not a pleasant trip and he conveyed that sense beautifully. He also managed to achieve something that none of the other directors, not even Cuaron, could do: he made the movie flow. None of the first four movies flow well at all; they all feel awkward and jerky and you can almost always see when they remove something from the book and try and smooth the transition. By showing the issues of the Daily Prophet as transitions he keeps you informed on what is going on outside the walls of Hogwarts as well as inside. It was a brilliant touch that I loved.

Of course not all of the credit lies with Yates; the acting in this movie was superb. All three of the leads were at their best, although I did sense that the size of Rupert's role took a cut due to the immense popularity of Dan and Emma. Evanna Lynch was a better Luna Lovegood than I could have ever imagined. Helena Bonham Carter creates in Bellatrix Lestrange a villain that you can truly and purely hate. I always have trouble, even with the nastiest of villains, not feeling some sympathy for them or trying to understand them. I had no trouble hating the truly evil character that Bonham Carter paints. Imelda Staunton makes a perfect Dolores Umbridge. If I were asked at almost any time I would say that I much prefer Richard Harris's Dumbledore to Michael Gambon's, yet I felt that Gambon's portrayal was perfect for this movie.

The only gripe I have is that they do cut a lot out. It is the shortest movie whereas the book is the longest in the series. The movie isn't really hindered by this, but purists will be incensed. I feel that the only scene that really suffered from the cuts and changes was the customary Dumbledore explanation at the end. That scene in the book is fraught with important points and raw emotion that is not conveyed properly in the movie.

All in all I definitely felt that this was the best movie of the series and it is my favorite. Go see it.

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