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wji222

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5 reviews in total 
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Iron Man (2008)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Whats With The Hype?!?!, 18 June 2008
6/10

Everyone LOVES this movie.

I just like it. I don't really see what all the hype is about and why everyone thinks its so much better than all the other big summer blockbuster hits that shamelessly parades PG-13 violence and charming entertainment but lacks clear narrative, dialogue, or character development. Out of all these comic book adaptations, Spider-man has been the only one that has touched a human nerve and it was still rather corny. This movie is absolutely unbelievable (not just unbelievable in the "comic book" sense), but rather because the plot is completely undeveloped! Robert Downey Jr. makes his big comeback as charming bad boy Tony Stark but fails to save the entire movie with only his blindingly white smile. Paltrow is horrible and needs to go back to acting school (which is sad because I rather liked her in Shakespeare in Love which proves that she does have the chops but is just dusty from being out of the game for so long). Stark's "helper" machines provide some comic relief in a scene that is memorable only in its absurdity and the bad guy is so cliché he reminds me of the kingpin from the summer flop: "Daredevil".

Overall, its good entertainment but it doesn't deserve a high rating. It is mindless fun, it doesn't make you think but may make you laugh, it doesn't call for intense emotional investment but it makes you feel good and happy at the end. All in all, its rather conventional fare and so it deserves a rather average rating.

On the other hand, I rather enjoyed The Incredible Hulk with E. Norton. So if you have to pick between the two then pick Norton, who brings vulnerability to his role and who actually has chemistry with his leading lady (Liv Tyler).

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Why is it so hard for Americans to find a good movie these days?, 18 June 2008
7/10

Because we're looking in all the wrong places.

Don't get me wrong, Shyamalans new flick is not perfect in any sense of the word. The dialogue is chunky and awkward, the acting follows accordingly into sometimes seemingly mild absurdity. The R rating is completely wasted, especially since it was hyped by the media. And worst of all, Walberg is miscast in his role as the leading protagonist.

But the message and theme remains and it is clear as a bright blue morning.

To say that this movie is a walking "green" advertisement would be to oversimplify. This movie is about the power of fear, the complexity of human relationships which are at the same time beautifully simple in moments of extreme duress, and most of all, a nod towards the overall discourse of our modern world towards trying to find "simple" answers in regards to unexplainable phenomena. For those critics that slam this movie because it leaves us with a hanging string would be to prove Shyamalans very point: that as a society, we have become unfamiliar and yes, uncomfortable with whatever does not hand us answers in percentage, mathematical, or clear cut formulas. This movie is not supposed to provide any clear formulaic answers, merely present us with an exaggerated situation and then allow us to come to our own epiphany.

How do I know this to be true? For the reviewers that have actually seen this movie, then you know that there were those moments of complete quiet on screen. Where only the wind breathed life and the grass swayed ominously and Walberg and Deschanel ceased their constant running and looked fearfully out into the open green fields. What were they looking for...what were they running from? They didn't know, not for sure...only that something was after them, something they could not stop, something that they could not see, touch, taste, or hear. Only something that they could feel. If not clear enough, these intense moments of human frailty are then reiterated in the form of a child running limply beside Deschanel's character. In those moments, Shyamalan's brilliance takes center stage, allowing us as viewers to pause and consider and finally realize, along with Walberg and Deschanel, that the glory of being human is our ability to choose love over fear, that within our most frail moments we have only two things: our fellow humans and the beauty of the physical world that surrounds us. Everything else fades into obscurity. This was meant to be the only answer and ironically, within our modern age, it was the one answer that most viewers could not seem to grasp.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Please do not be stupid enough to discount this movie, 8 January 2008
9/10

I have been reading reviews on this movie and I must say that I think people have this movie all wrong. It is very obvious that whoever wrote the script for this relied on certain stereotypes of both American and Middle Eastern origin, however what we must all admit as both human beings and as Americans is that we rely on stereotypical narratives in order to be intelligible to each other. These narratives are what govern our view of the world and the discourses in which we reside. So the fact that this movie utilizes stereotypes is not surprising, as without these stereotypes, the MAIN MESSAGE of this movie would not be so transparent.

What is the message of this movie? It is the message that despite our differences of culture, religion, or whatever else makes us want to bomb the hell out of each other...at the end of the day, we are still the same. We are human beings, and we breathe, bleed, love, and raise families no matter the religious or cultural differences that separate us. The relationships that intertwine within this film displays this, and it is an attempt to make us see this.

It would be easy to write off this film as nothing more than just another bloody and violent action escapade that carelessly utilizes existing narratives to justify the amount of gun play that fills the screen. However, the main brunt of this film is not its guns nor its blood (of which it allows an ample amount of both), it is about its relationships, the relationships that exist between the American FBI team and their families, the relationships between the terrorists and their own families, and even perhaps the relationship that can be formed between Americans and Muslims...if only we would set aside all our differences and instead see our commonalities. That is the message of this film, and at the end of the day, I, as a human being, see that as a message worth seeing.

The Invasion (2007/I)
117 out of 185 people found the following review useful:
Taunt and Smart, Kidman shines here., 31 August 2007
8/10

First of all, this is not a scary movie. Instead, there is an atmosphere of tenseness, especially when Kidman and Craig's characters must pretend to have already changed in order to survive. Kidman easily carries this film, and she makes you believe the plot line that another actress would have easily made ludicrous. I have read some critical reviews questioning the casting of Kidman in this role, mostly due to the fact that her icy demeanor is seemingly miscast in a role that calls for emotion. However, I believe that it is this very demeanor that allows her to be believable in this film. She plays an extremely smart psychologist who catches on to the situation fast. She is an analyzer, and it is her lack of deep emotion that allows for her to think quickly and critically, without it, she would have easily succumbed to the body snatchers and there would have been no movie. There is indeed a liberal undercurrent through this movie. It questions our role in Iraq but more importantly, it questions our actions as a species, our emotions, our anger, our selfishness, and their effects on our society. To create a world in which everyone is equal, rational, no war, no disease, no famine, no inequality is what the body snatchers are offering...and for this movie goer, there was at least one point in the film in which I found myself asking whether that would be so bad. Sure, the ending was a little too quick and tidy, but overall, this was a great movie.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Coppola's greatest talents shine in Marie Antoinette, 20 October 2006
8/10

Having had read the biography by Antonio Fraser that this book is based on, I must say that it is a very close representation of Fraser's work but with the visionary ideals of Sofia Coppola. Coppola is known for being a visionary director, she is a queen of understatement, saying much without saying much. Coppola is also an extreme connoisseur of imagery and therefore it is not a surprise that this movie is a plate of visual decadence. However, it would be unfair to say that eye candy is all it is because it is much more than that. Coppola tells a tale of a young woman whose personality, desires, and weaknesses are all very much like ours. In truth, Coppola delivers the message that the much hated Queen of France was in fact, very very human. Antoinette was a victim of fate and destiny, slave to an arranged marriage to France by her domineering and powerful mother (Marie Theresa) and subjugated to be stripped of her homeland and relegated to live in France within the gilded cage that is Versailles. There is the message that despite history's harsh recollections, Marie Antoinette was simply just a girl in a world that was changing, a world that had no place for people like her and she was simply swept away by the tides of destiny. Sitting through the movie I couldn't help but think that there is not really that much dialogue throughout the movie, but that is because one of Coppola's greatest talents is her ability to show emotion through action. Watching this lonely girl surrounded by lovely things in a huge palace makes one reminiscent of a lonely doll forced by fate to be bigger than she was ever meant to be. As for Kirsten Dunst, her performance here far out-rivals anything she has done before. Her innocence literally permeates from the screen to the viewer, it is really that strong. And that is probably exactly why Coppola chose Dunst, because despite the fact that Dunst is not the strongest actress, she brings a sense of lively innocence and haunting tragedy that literally blankets her from the top of her feather coiffed hair down to her Manolo Blahnik shoes. Dunst plays the role exactly as Coppola imagined it to be, and she gives Marie Antoinette a very human like quality. Overall, there will be many who do not like this film, especially those that think Marie Antoinette does not deserve a sympathetic view (like the French). However, it is an extremely good portrayal of a prominent misunderstood figure in history. Dunst gives her strongest performance to date and for the first time, we begin to see Marie Antoinette as simply and very realistically, a human being.