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Jaw Droppingly Bad.
The mind boggles at what was in the heads of the writers, director and actors of this laughably, so bad-its-almost-good, romantic melodrama about two lifelong friends and middle aged women who fall for each other's sons.
Nobody in this film seems to have a believable job or life set in idyllic beachside locations.
Despite the provocative concept, this movie plays out like a torpid middle aged romance fantasy novel - the characterizations, dialogue, directing, acting (apart from Robin Wrights impressive Aussie accent) and music is dull, one dimensional, utterly unimaginative, sometimes almost amateurish and often cringe worthy.
Perhaps Watts was desperate to work at home and bring another distinguished actress with her, but despite their obvious skills, they have to deliver some shockingly dopey lines and can't save this woeful middle aged soap opera which seems desperate to find a deeper vein where there is none.
The definitive Dredd movie, perfectly written and cast, and gorgeous looking to boot
As a 2000ad reader of 30 years, there can be no question whatsoever that for a relatively low budget film, this is a creative, visually spectacular and utterly faithful rendering of the original future lawman Judge Dredd.
It's a shame that we've endured successful but utterly derivative variations including Verhoven's Robocop (which shamelessly directly stole from the design of Dredd) to wait for this, but we get a nicely taut simple 'rookie induction' narrative.
Writer Garland (who clearly saved this film by taking control of the edit over director Travis) and Urban obviously understand the gritty humor and ultraviolence of the world of Dredd, but even more standout is the superb art design.
Each frame feels like a comic composition and yet never distractingly so.
The use of 3D is also commendable, used extremely creatively in the ultra slow motion sequences and thankfully left flat where gimmicky use of dimension serves zero purpose for action or narrative.
The action is also nicely played out and I would argue superior to The Raid which began shooting AFTER Dredd...The Raid tends to go into absurd and gimmicky stunts and wears in the final climax...in Dredd, it's smart and purposeful.
The Dredd universe is enormous and has literally thousands of great cultural narratives and humor.. but that requires HIGH budget for a Mega City full of robots, plastic surgery monsters, obese people on wheels, flying machines etc... This film puts a first step in the right place where Stallones was a bumbling but fun watering down for the uninitiated.
Go see it, rent it, buy it...
In Space nobody cares about the whining of Alien fanboys who can't let go and enjoy a great romp..
OK time for a little balance.. put down your xenomorph figurines and stop your whining!
Prometheus is nowhere near the supposedly 'awful/woeful/appalling' insult to the apparently sensitive intellects who have posted so many negative reviews..
In fact it's quite a fine, if imperfect, film which demonstrates that Ridley Scott still has a firm grip on crafting stunning looking (acknowledged by almost everyone who loathes it yet almost immediately & conveniently ignored) engaging movies.
The leads, both Rapace and Fassbender do a fantastic job and in many ways they're the glue that holds together the weaker parts of Prometheus.
There are a few standout scenes of humor, horror and action and though the pacing is somewhat erratic and some of the dialog a little undercooked - and please, NOWHERE near as insulting as many like to pretend - Scott still manages to touch on themes that have resonated through his previous efforts such as Blade Runner (what does it mean to be human?) and reference classics such as Star Trek and 2001. That's no mean feat. Sure, the basic narrative is the same..boy and girl meet planet and find ugly stuff going on! But since when did anyone hold that against so many other beloved films in the genre?
Sometime last year i remember reading an IMDb review that lambasted the original Alien film as 'boring and not scary at all'.
I only bring that up because I think Prometheus in many regards is born into a very different world than Alien and just like it, will find an audience who are not so obsessively tethered to the halo that fanboy tragics have created for the original Alien film which it is somewhat connected to.
Personally I think it's a modern classic alongside District 9, Sunshine and Moon. Switch off the internet and go for the ride..
Children of the Corn (2009)
Anyone who would suggest this version of Children of The Corn is in any way superior to the original 1984 adaptation is completely out of their freakin' mind!!
This is 'MOVIES' we're talking about here...not a 'MOST FAITHFUL STEPHEN KING ADAPTATIONS COMPETITION'. Films have to be entertaining and dramatic. Like Kubrick's Shining, the choices made in the earlier adaptation were obviously smart and effective (not designed to please the author, but to please AUDIENCES)...but here..oh dear
The script, acting and execution of this Children of the Corn 2010 version is probably one of the most embarrassing train wrecks, even for modest budget horror I've had the displeasure of sitting through in many years.
Kandyse McClure's performance is particularly noteworthy as embarrassingly hysterical and silly. Watching two actors work you can always tell when someones out of their depth watching their eyes as the other actor delivers lines. When she's not shrieking every line, there's nobody home at all. David Anders does a pretty OK job and he's obviously in another league to Ms McClure..but he has some genuinely awful script to wade through also.
The eponymous 'children' are all limp and ineffective showroom dummies who seem to be rehearsing their lines...not even the vaguest hint of sinister! They don't even make believable religious fanatical drones! You know a horror film is failing dismally when you don't even get a hint of satisfaction when the irritating lead characters get their well deserved end! Avoid this like the plague...its not BAD FUNNY, its just really BAD.
I'm Still Here (2010)
Well meaning exploration of fame and the media falls flat
Hmmm dunno, the first time I read about this film I thought...'Why not leave this to a real expert like Sasha Barron Cohen?'.
Having seen 'I'm Still Here' it feels very much like a misfire, partly because the gag is out of the bag half way through when even the media who is being mocked can tell a put on when they smell it.
Toward the end Ben Stiller mocks Phoenix's 'character' at the Oscar's and it's pretty hard not to feel like the wheels have already fallen off this intense but basically ill conceived faux documentary - probably because pretty much everyone except the dumbest you tube commenters seem to get what's up.
I'm not sure much is really explored here we haven't seen already in other serious documentaries or comedies.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Woeful and not in the slightest bit frightening...
Hard to tell if this mish-mash of alien abduction gibberish is intentionally bad or not..
From the get-go, the introduction by Jovovich claims we are about to see a dramatization of events, intermixed with actual footage...but it's immediately clear to anyone with a brain, that's a dirty fib as clearly the 'found' footage is as phony as the 're-enactments'. That immediately gives this film a very wobbly start.
It's all downhill from there in this attempt to clearly cash in on films like Paranormal Activity whilst throwing in a bit of Hollywood style production...it simply doesn't work. There's some pretty lo-fi acting going on and it's quite difficult to stay engaged with this snoozy and silly film that never manages to be convincing enough to be even slightly frightening.
Moving and compelling period film
Beautiful, moving, wonderful direction and costuming. This film, set in the Edo period, really captures the hardship that all facets of society experienced throughout this turbulent time in Japanese history. A sweet romantic story balanced by the harsh and unjust cruelty that was metered out by corrupt authorities. A simple story on honour and justice. The director, Tetsuo Shinohara, shows a wonderful maturity in his direction, with pace and beauty moving the story along without wallowing in too much sentimentality. A beautiful balance of all the elements of film making; performances and direction, score, editing, script and art direction come together make this film a captivating experience. Rena Tanaka and Noriyuki Higashiyama are wonderfully poised and moving in their performances, both beautiful and completely look the part. I was so moved and completely drawn into this film. Beautiful ideas, beautiful images, moving score and above all, it comes together to tell a story that is a timeless classic. Mesmerizing.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
A disappointed fan...
Many reviews you will read here claim that this is a return to form for Tarantino...
I went into this film absolutely open minded and ready to be entertained, the first 'Chapter' is certainly promising with it's taut tension and fantastic climax...
sadly its a wobbly roller-coaster all downhill from there...despite some excellent performances (though i hardly think Brad Pitt in 'boofhead / Burn After Reading mode qualifies as one of them), but the tension builds and dissipates unevenly, even the standout scenes such as the cellar and cinema climax. Part of the problem is there's just SO MUCH going on, a subtext on both films and violence,knowing references to other war, spaghetti western, European art and exploitation films that Basterds is a twitchy and uneven mess despite some wonderful moments.
The plot is two converging but extremely predictable lines, and in a sense that is one of the problems, often we know whats going to happen and don't care much when we get there...this is a marked contrast to the snappy editing and craft on display in his earlier films.
The titular Basterds themselves (please dummies who question the intentional spelling need to watch closer!) are not much more than a weak half baked exploitation ensemble/distraction/ device from the main action with our heroine whose own plot seems to career to a predictable campy end...we hardly 'know her' enough to feel much in amidst the heavy handed 'cleverness' of the final cinema scenes...
Personally i did not find the film very violent compared to most, and that's more to do with the uneven suspense I think...it will be interesting to see how time treats this film. Perhaps I'll grow to love it, though i hardly feel compelled to see it again.
My gut feeling is critics are praising it more for the heavy handed cinematic subtext and Kubrick-esquire attempts at humor - however lame. It's never completely boring during it's 2 hour plus duration, nor is it very compelling or involving... It's also possible younger cinema fans feel like they're discovering Tarantino for themselves...hopefully they'll do a little more exploring to discover that this is a much weaker effort than his previous work.
Go in with extremely low expectations..or just go next door to District 9 for a real hoot..
The Thing (1982)
A Masterpiece of Sci-Fi and horror...a gift that keeps giving.
Now and then you find yourself looking up a personal favorite film on IMDb, both out of curiosity for it's score and to check out other viewer's comments.
Firstly let me say, that the current score of 8 for The Thing grossly misrepresents this extraordinary work - and as you wade from the reviews from the 90's to more recent.. you notice a sad slide from appropriate adulation by audiences who love cinema and recognize this horror masterpiece for what it is...to the current dregs, the typical 'its boring' kind of glib comments minuscule minds with microbial attention spans can only manage.
These withering mental midgets - the visually and dramatically ignorant, whose idea of character and suspense is gleaned from bad computer game dialog and garbage like Cloverfield where one dimensional characters (the kind they obviously identify with) are terrorized by absurd CGI monsters...all given the most obviously phony 'reality TV' style shaky cam to give it 'authenticity'.
The ultimate in fake...manufactured 'reality'.
But back to The Thing, which suffers none of those ills...part of the reason this film never found it's audience in the 80's was that it was released in the glow of one very friendly alien cheeseball known as ET. Carpenter's bleak meditation on paranoia and suspicion in a claustrophobic and isolated environment was simply way ahead of it's time and ill suited to the times. On the heels of Close Encounters and ET, audiences were perhaps enamored with the idea that aliens would be friendly cuddly creatures hoping to be our friends.
When you compare The Thing to quality contemporary horror such as Let The Right One In, it's easy to draw comparisons with the building suspense and isolation of The Thing - it's probably the most powerful reinvention of a horror story/film ever made.
Horror movies are a thrill ride in uncomfortable emotions..thats what they're for..people who complain about this film, simply don't like horror as a genre but are too stupid to realise it themselves. They want all their experiences watered down or handed on a platter.
From the pitch perfect acting, superb design, mindblowing and inventive physical effects by Bottin (where are you dude?, WE NEED YOU) and Winston, incredible throbbing drone of Morricone's theme...The Thing is the gift that keeps giving.' I must have watched it a good 20 times and never tire of the deft craft in play. The film delivers on two major fronts...both psychologically (who is the Thing?!!) and visually (some of the most boggling and crazy icky stuff committed to screen).
The Thing continues to deserve it's place toward the very top of ANY ultimate horror or sci-fi film list...26 years later, this film deserves to be honored by cinephiles, not derided by small uneducated minds whose tastes are more suited to the middle of the road in happy hopeful endings..
Science Fiction Masterpiece...ignore the little trolls with no brains.
Ah, here we are....the dregs of the IMDb reviews, where teenagers and 20-somethings who have rarely seen a film made before 1980 tell us how a masterful film like Alien is boring and slow..These poor mentally crippled creatures know no patience, know nothing about the craft of cinema except what their short attention spans can consume in junk food bytes (pun intended).
Ignore these little trolls...Alien is a landmark classic of cinema with it's horror suspense and extraordinary visual design (Cobb vs Giger) - a film that still haunts the imagination all these years after i first saw it as a teen. Like 2001, the images are unforgettable, a cinema experience you can become completely immersed in.
The late 70's, my youth, were in many ways were an incredible rebirth of science fiction and horror cinema, and it's worth noting how Alien in a sense bookended Lucas' fantasy reinvention of sci-fi with Star Wars. Ridley Scott's great vision in bringing all these elements together in Alien and Blade Runner literally changed the course of fantasy films alongside Lucas'.
Many comments here also focus on comparing Alien to Aliens, which is ridiculous..It's simple...Alien is a horror masterpiece, and Aliens is a brilliantly executed action film using Alien as it's inspiration.
If you don't like Alien, you don't like films...it's that brilliant.
The Lena Baker Story (2008)
A little better perspective...
Here's a second, more sober and realistic review.
This film has a very made-for-TV quality, and despite a decent cast, the acting and script is quite plain and corny..
.the music in particular is very hammy in some scenes (clearly the producers and directors thought gospel singing throughout quiet dialog scenes was required to INSTRUCT the audience how to feel - a mark of poorly executed drama). The music cues are horribly instructive and rob most of the scenes of genuine depth.
It's always a shame when a worthwhile story is told so poorly, but this reeks of misconceived earnest intentions. You feel the desperation of the creators to elicit emotion, but it's so bogged down in contrived melodrama it misfires completely and will greatly disappoint anyone looking for an insightful racial drama.
That IMDb score needs to come down a bit closer to reality..it's no Oscar material, that is most certain.
Gran Torino (2008)
Extremely flawed film, which still packs a punch...
Gran Torino is a film with a lot of problems, which ultimately packs an emotional punch which will affect most audiences..
Part of the problem here is that the subject matter feels like a well worn path - mined in so many previous films - gang violence, racism etc..All treated with equal measures of serious drama and humor.
The script is also very clunky, and some of the scenes seem woven together just that little bit too perfunctorily..It's somewhat surprising that Clint, who i rate as a cinema legend (actor and director) couldn't beat this into a tighter, leaner film...The performances are all fine, the racial slurs appropriately confronting in the script..but there is a definite lack of style and the deft touch required to make this kind of subject go from over-earnest preaching to greatness However flawed, by the time you hear Clint refrain the theme in his gruff voice as the credits roll the powerful message of this film should have had its impact.
Flash Gordon (1980)
A Campy Colorful Barbarella meets Logan's Run romp
This film has a wonderful comic book style design and color, it's light as a feather and surprisingly entertaining and Queen's score is similarly surprisingly accomplished (Mercury's camp and May's melodic talents prove to be the perfect match for the way the action is pitched) In retrospect the temptation to somehow match Star Wars visually would have been a great temptation at the time, but clearly De Laurentis and Hodges knew just how to treat the source material. Von Sydow's casting also seems to be a masterstroke..keeping Ming just that little bit more creepy than camp.
Poor old Sam Jones' overdubbed voice is a bit obvious..but that's the funny thing about this film, everything wrong with it kind of just makes it that little bit better!
Boarding Gate (2007)
Only people with zero taste could dislike this inventive and interesting film..
...possibly due to a diet of putrefied garbage, - some of the criticisms of the film are precisely the things that make it so brilliant and engaging..particularly the soundtrack which is superbly understated, very cool in a minimalist electronic style and used only at very critical moments (something Hollywood, with its blustery,instructive , pompous and intrusive boring scores would do well to pay heed to.. it's time to revisit the way music was used minimally and more effectively in the 60's and 70's) Yes there is some silliness in the sexual relationship between Masden and Argento..but there's a realism in the surrounding silence and a sense of lost souls in a bleak and empty corporate world...something Syrianna also evoked quite well - a sense of the moral vacuum that business operates above.
Be deeply suspicious of the intelligence and taste of reviewers who diss this film, it has a lot of original and interesting things to offer - Argento in particular is brilliant in the main role.
The Elephant Man (1980)
OK, yes you are shallow
Ya got a problem if you find a film as insightful as this boring.
It works on so many levels, from superb performances, to an interesting real life character..all through Lynch's unique vision..surely if there was ever a subject and director made for each other - this was it. A better match in many ways than Dune, which worked stylistically but made no sense as a script in either long or short form.
What Lynch does here, which eluded his previous work is bring a deft touch to the narrative whilst taking us on a nightmare ride into the darkest and saddest corners of humanity.
Now that is much more than entertainment...that's art..unashamed and brilliant. If you want just 'entertainment' go watch some other slop.
Beverly Hills 902 9:11 meets Godzilla Crab Witch, via a pointless Lost plot
Most of the audience in the screening I attended with my wife (we're both ardent horror and sci-fi film fans) giggled (i was too stunned by how bad it was to laugh) whilst the 19yr (ish) kid 3 seats down kept gasping 'oh my god' sitting on the edge of his seat.
I pity that kid and how easily entertained his generation is by smoke and mirrors that only lead to yet more smoke and mirrors (incidentally, like Shaymalan before him, producer JJ Abrams seems stuck using this tedious trick) Cloverfield spectacularly fails its very own premise : a monster movie shot in a faux documentary style(and you would have to be pretty willfully stupid to not see how obviously it feeds on 9/11 fear using incredibly similar angles as the TV footage we all saw that day).
Here's the problem - to be real, you must commit. But we are presented with a cast of one dimensional cyborg 'beautiful young things' who are all impossibly perfect and all just so 'cool' hanging out together like they've all just stepped out of a alcohol ad. Their dialog feels empty, trite and fake and directly at odds with the direction of the film. OK so this is real? Why are these people just like the bad actors we see in so many other movies? We care about people with imperfections, we immediately want to see clichés like this die as soon as possible. (something Starship Troopers understood perfectly). Yes real life is mundane, but its not nearly THIS mundane or plastic.
We are fairly successfully teased by snatches of the monster when it arrives, but why it seems to be selectively picking on certain bridges and buildings, much less why it seems to confine itself all night and in the relatively small area of Manhattan seems not so much a mystery but just an embarrassing void of sense we're not meant to notice because of the unfolding 'terror'. Sadly the film is riddled with silliness that just sucks the air out of any potential for true terror or fear. Electricity seems to magically continue working where it shouldn't, digital cameras are now stronger than the tanks being squashed...the 'realistic' camera shaking neatly settles down for the corny 'hero saves girl' scene in the toppling building 'set'. The monster, despite the fact we can clearly now see it's scale and position, seems able to reach much higher into the sky to knock a helicopter down.
OK so you think that's just me being picky? Here's a reminder..remember we're being presented this as a 'hyperreal' account, thats the extra big SCARE right? How can you hope to do that when you are trapped by Hollywood contrivance and cheese...the answer is you cant.
In some ways the film is bold, there is no music. But even here there are problems...we get Hollywood style sound design and effects. So again, it's raw but utterly pretentious.
Some of the CGI is quite skillful, some looks downright phony. But in the end, unless you are easily amused (and many are) you feel the film is a conceit that just didn't work. You feel cheated the way many Lost fans (and before this i had NO opinion on the projects of Abrams) seemed to when the box within a box trick just became boring.
There is some suspense created in the tunnel scenes (which felt uncomfortably loaned from some other film) but overall this is neither a scary or effective film.
Since reading some of the reviews here though, i have realised the film's true capacity for terror : you can actually fool a lot of the people a lot of the time with the most paper thin ideas by simply remixing genres and techniques. When the smoke and mirrors clear up, we are not left with a classic of any genre, just a blancmange of cheap tricks we've seen before in different and more effective incarnations.
There's nothing in the box, just more boxes.
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Actually a great Alien film, just not the one fanboys wished for..
Easily stands up to repeated viewings and the director and designer's fresh take actually bring something genuinely quirky and interesting to the Alien series. It's a shame this film is much maligned, it's actually a fantastic film with some genuinely suspenseful and icky moments... There was never going to be a point in retreading Scott's or Cameron's takes..and after what the studio did to dir Fincher on Alien 3 the franchise definitely needed the touch of an auteur with an inventive vision.
I just saw Heaven's Gate after many years of reading what a terrible film it supposedly was - only to discover it's actually a great film... I hope time is the great equalizer for films like AR..many appalling films get lauded and do very well commercially whilst often audiences and critics don't understand or appreciate certain others because they do not suit the times or fashion..
Alien Resurrection is one of those breaths of fresh air that operates on a level above what many so obsessed with the genre are able to appreciate.
When you consider how truly awful the AvP films have been this is easily a masterpiece by comparison!
Worth the spectacle of Imax 3D, effective but not perfect..cynical, boring and serious people will hate it.
I went to be entertained..I was..
Was it a little silly? well yes..but that's Hollywood for ya Did i care less about the original poem? no...get real who in their right mind would expect it to be even vaguely faithful knowing its a Hollywood film? Was the animation good? hell yes Was it perfect?, well of course...no, yes bits look fake, some look amazing.
Is the 3D fantastic?, yes indeed you would have to be a pretty overly indulgent and mournfully serious dull person (well obviously if you read this far you can see there's plenty of those on the planet) not to have engaged with the spectacle this film creates in Imax 3D.
It's simply amazing and well worth the visit to an Imax theatre.
The rating i would have to say seems somewhat bizarre. Various morons had brought their little children (who were terrified). Unfortunately we all have to realise you can simply NOT legislate against sheer willful stupidity..otherwise we should have license systems for parenting and having pets.
Did you find the review helpful? I don't care :-P
A visually hypnotic and surprisingly touching film by electronic music legends!..not for the attention challenged.
It doesn't bother me in the slightest whether people think this film references others or not. That's irrelevant because it just works - it's delightfully simple, beautifully shot, visually arresting and surprisingly poetic.
Part of the charm of this film is both the fun (the makeover) and then the quite moving climax in the desert. It works against all your expectations of Daft Punk (and their music) and in many ways this is what makes this also quite special. The choice of music is sublime, and the pace itself becomes quite hypnotic. In fact the pace seems to be one thing that people use to critique this film as though it's somehow pretentious..which itself is an absurd and dimwitted comment really, because the playful charm of the silent characters themselves is anything but pretentious. Hell, if that's pretentious, the world needs a lot more of it because we are drowning in the bile spewing from the Hollywood trough.
As an older Daft Punk fan, probably more in tune with their own age and tastes i loved this film. Also worth a mention that there's a very Kubrick-esquire 2001 look to one scene (thumbs up there!)
Ignore the doubters. Sit back and immerse yourself in Electroma. In time this will definitely considered a classic concept film by one of the more innovative electronic artists of our age.
Human After All