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The Ape (2005)
James can act, can do comedy, but cannot write.
This movies wasn't half bad. I only bought this movie because it was his debut as a writer and a director. So the directing was pretty good, i can see a bit of Epstein talent in him but he needs to work on the cinematography, the camera stood at one angle for too long at times.
Now on to the writing part...OK ummm it was not as good. His story seemed to lack passion in it. The movie started off pretty watchable, a bit cliché at times, but still promising. Then it started to be less and less interesting towards the intimate scene with the boss (not a spoiler, it was all in the trailer). I don't know, i felt James lost interest in writing the story or he had a deadline to meet that he felt pressured to just get it over with. It just had a boring clichéd plot, and it wasn't even a good rendition of movies very similar to it. I felt James was trying to write plots in the styles of Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) but failed to succeed. There was many plot holes and a lot of questions left, but hey! Ellis' books end with cliff hangers as well. I guess Columbia or wherever he went dried up any writing talent he had. Exactly why you shouldn't study something you love, teachers just suck your talent dry (sorry off topic).
Now the acting! The whole tiny cast were really really good actors and actresses, I was very impressed! Im surprised that most of them were usual extras prior to this movie. The acting was just real! Bravo to them! James, obviously a real good actor, but there was something different about him in this film. It was as if he wasn't acting (yes i know thats what good acting is all about), it was like the character was based on the real him, so he didn't really try hard to get into character (or so i think). The only bad thing about the acting is the tension-filling scenes, they were just too choreographed. I mean watching spider man and seeing how good James is at emotional-filled scenes, this movie just did not prove that.
Now the comedic part of the film. Real funny at times, gorilla man was adorable and funny, really amazing comedic skills. James gets into a more physical comedic role, he shows us a new side to his capability at a slapstick comedy. Bravo! The movie was funny in my opinion but some people would strongly disagree because it was just too jaded. It depends on what type of comedies are funny to you. If you like the sort of "oh I just laughed because some guy fell" kinds of comedy, this movie is for you. If you like British style comedies, meh... But overall, real funny stuff! Finally, this need an honorable mention and I'm sure it has been mentioned in previous reviews- THE MUSIC! Who the heck is this musical wizard? Amazing music, not because its in the ranks of Braveheart or Gladiator soundtracks but because only a person who is that talented can make a catchy tune with like only three notes!(think Jaws theme, that won an Oscar :S)Great music, if there is a soundtrack coming out, ill will be surely buying it! Overall, i give it a 6.5 out of 10. Acting was flawless somewhat, comedy was good, music was just amazing, directing wasn't so bad but there is promise. The only problem was the story, the dialogue, the plot, just anything written! James really needs to fix up his story telling skills, the basis of the story seemed to be a good one, it just needed a lot of tweaking from an experienced superior. James should continue to direct and act, but work a bit on his writing.
Btw, sorry if there are any mistakes in my English, I'm Arab so it isn't my first language. OK well I'm off the study the human body.