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Amazing effects but no Story
There were some amazing special effects, lots of excitement and tension, in the film Gravity. However, it lacked enough back story about the characters involved so that we could care about, worry about, and hope for them. If we had known more about who these people were, not just a few paragraphs about them, I would have been much more excited about their reaching earth safely. I'm sure it would have been possible to balance the excitement along with the sense of why I am worried about them, caring about them, and what it will mean if they don't make it safely to earth. And who will miss them should they not survive. Besides the viewer, who in their lives would be distraught about their loss, if gravity won? I love special effects, but I love the drama in the characters lives as much. Since they just gave gravity a Golden Glob award, I find myself disappointed that a film with such a weak story, has won. I wanted to like this film more, and granted there were a lot of exciting scenes, but it just wasn't enough story about the humans involved. Like the title, Gravity was the only star. Too bad. It could have been so much involving. I went home feeling an odd loss due to not caring much about those who were prey to gravity.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
A wild ride through space
I went to see the movie but was prepared not to really get excited by it. But watching this movie, I had a blast. And the audience applauded afterward. I was fortunate to see the very first episode of the original TV Star Trek. Became an instant fan forever. However, there were a few minor things that I think would have made it even better. The first one: Spock looked a lot like the original, but his method of delivering lines should have been more precise so he sounded less like the other crew members. I knew Leonard Nimoy at the Pasadena Playhouse School and even then his speech was perfectly clipped to play Spock. The second thing: The movie was a bit overdone. Some action scenes lasted too long. Overkill is not always that enjoyable. The third thing is that at the very end they should have said "Course Captain?" "Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning" Of course it's a quote from Peter Pan, but it's remembered just as much from Captain Kirk in Star Trek. It is incredible that a TV series that was canceled almost before it got a good start has lasted so long, and fought and won the hearts and minds of so many fans.
Season of the Witch (2011)
Welcome to a whole lot of nothing
There is one really good thing about this movie. There are a lot of extremely nice shots of parts of both Austria and Croatia. Wild ragged mountains, desolate forests bathed in fog, and dying castles.
Otherwise, use your time to do something worthwhile.
I only paid five bucks to see this movie at our cheapie movie theater so I guess I got my money's worth by looking at all the good shots of scenery. Costumes were way over done, but then aren't they always in this kind of film. The movie 300 did it the best way, with a cape and not much more. And of course it had Gerard Butler wearing nothing at all in one scene. I was happy to spend a little more money just to see that.
A story about exess, with too much excess in it
I have been a big Gerard Butler fan since 1997 when he did Mrs. Brown. And I had high hopes for GAMER as I liked the concept. But the directors do not seem to realize that less is more. That to show a lot of bad and disturbing things with so much excess lessens the impact. It's over kill. I remember a film director who bought a script from me saying, "Never show the "monster" too soon. Once people see the monster, it is no longer as scary as it was when you were only imagining it." That is pretty much what Neveldine and Taylor did with Gamer. They brought out ALL the monsters at once and beat us in the head with them. No longer scary. Just tiring.
They also promised us there would be a GAME. A computer type game. But it wasn't there. No strategy, no cleverness, nothing at all like the games on a computer. It was just run, shoot, run, shoot, on and on. The only clever part when Butler peed and puked into a car's gasoline tank.
The action and excess overshadowed the great actors who played in it. And it's really difficult to overshadow Gerard Butler. With about 30 films under his belt, he's pretty damn good on the screen, even when the movie he's in isn't all that great. Michael C. Hall faired a little better and stood out some as the movie went on.
If you like shaky cams, unbelievably long actions scenes doing the same thing over and over, and an excess of almost everything else in the movie, then by all means take a look at it. I love action films, horror films, murder mysteries, suspense thrillers, comedy, drama, and any other genre you can think of. But I did not like GAMER. Didn't hate it. Just plain didn't enjoy my time spent with it. The DVD will be out on Tuesday January 19. Who knows, YOU may like it a lot. DottyinCA
A little too much Tim Burtonish.
A movie with strong performances by Alan Rickman and Johnny Depp. A lukewarm one by Helena Bonham Carter. But the real stars were the sets and costumes. However, the mood of the film was too strongly flavored by the spice of Tim Burton. For Burton fans, it's a great film. For those of us who have seen two other films of this story, and numerous stage versions, it was rather difficult to adjust to so much of Burton's influence.
If one dosn't mind the really horribly bloody gore through out the second half of the film, then ya might enjoy it more than I did. Funny thing is, there wasn't all that blood in any of the other venues I saw it in and it came across just as scary. Or even more so. It's said that the less you see a monster, the more frightening it becomes.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Why did the Coen's make this film?
This isn't the worst film I've seen this year, I didn't hate it. But I didn't like it either. It didn't seem to have any reason for being. It didn't reveal any truths about human nature, except that some people are frightenly mentally ill and should be exterminated. The editing was awful, leaving the main character lying dead in a scene where you couldn't tell it was him. People all over the theater were whispering to each other about where that character went. And no, it wasn't boring, but it was most unpleasant to watch. In order to get involved with a movie I need to care about at least one of the characters. In a lot of the films out right now, this just isn't possible. Although, I did care that the villain in this movie got wasted, that's about it. A total waste of time that I'll never get back.
Give me a movie like 300, or an old Cary Grant movie. I'll be a lot happier. DottyinCA
The worst film I've seen this year, bar none!
I was so excited to go and see Atonement. Friends told me to bring a box of Kleenex, that it was a tragic love story, that it was just fantastic! So I went, and found here wasn't any love in this story, no reasons for crying, and no real atonement. What on earth makes people think that lust and love are the same thing, and even lust was sparse in this film. The sets and costumes were lush and nice, but the method of presenting the story was so jumbled it was pathetic. I couldn't get to know, or care about anyone, except for the really mentally sick little girl who needed treatment.
What a disappointment! I wanted to love it. I hated it. The director went overboard trying to be artsy fartsy so people who didn't know better, thought it was real art. Where have all the wonderful types of movies that were made in the late 30's, 40's and 50's? Movies that make you feel something about the characters, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you understand what the heck they are all about? There are just two movies nominated that are worthy of an Oscar, this certainly isn't one of them.
Dracula 2000 (2000)
Don't believe movie critics about this one. It's great!
This is such a beautifully filmed and acted film that it's a shame for anyone to miss it. The cast is just excellent, especially Gerard Butler as Dracula. His role is slightly underplayed which works beautifully for THIS Dracula whose real self is only discovered at the end of the movie. Wes Craven used everyone in the film exactly the way they should have been used.
This is not a slasher movie. Although there is violence and blood the rest of the movie actually subdues this. It is a thoughtful movie that sets up the ending slowly, step by step.
If you haven't seen it, by all means, give it a try and watch with an open mind and see if you can figure out WHO Dracula really is. (besides the hot Scot, Gerard Butler, who is just fascenating in this film)
Lady in the Water (2006)
A Sweet Summer Treat
Don't believe one word of any of the negative reviews you may have read concerning this movie. It's obvious that those doing the reviews have no idea what this movie is about, and could care less. M.Night's Shyamalan's work is too intellectual, and too brilliant for them to understand. A superb cast, an exceptional script, fantastic photography, and delicious humor, make this one of the best summer movies around. The twists and turns it takes are Shyamalan's cleverest yet.
The cost of a movie here is now $10, and this movie is worth every penny of it.
Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
A Gem: Not to be missed!
I was fortunate to be able to view this film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival early this year. Remembering Beowulf and Grendel from a college class I wasn't certain what to expect when I viewed this film. It turned out to be a delightful surprise. Slightly off center, laced with unexpected humor, and rich with wisdom, I found it a rare gem.
This is the story of a hero who is asked to help kill a king's enemy. As always the hero sets out to do just that. But along the way he discovers facts that make him wonder if his favor for the King is a heroic act after all. Gerard Butler is perfect as Beowulf. One of Butler's most priceless talents is his ability to give the viewer a glimpse of his inner thoughts by just a small precise change of expression on his face, or a subtle flicker in his eyes. This subtleness matched with Butler's perfectly made body and deliciously handsome features makes him totally believable as the working hero. The rest of the cast is remarkable in numerous ways, as well as in its ability to convince the viewer that he has actually been transported to the distant past. Don't expect a high tech spectacular movie here. This is a film that needs a viewer to just settle in and listen, watch, and think. You'll go home with a great many questions and ideas invading your mind.