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Veronica Mars (2004)
Remarkable show! Do not miss!
Lost, 24, Prison Break, Battlestar Gallatica, House, Bones etc all have two things in common, believe it or not; one thing is to create a continual coherent storyline that is constantly entertaining (with no plot holes), with well written dialogue, smart and sassy characters and a show stopping star. They fail. 'Veronica Mars' on the other hand, is a break from in norm for TV nowadays in that IT HAS ALL THIS AND MORE!
1) Great main character. CHECK. 2) Interesting supporting cast. CHECK. 3) Great dialogue and smart humour. CHECK. 4) Coherent and well written storyline from season start to season finish. CHECK. 5) Continual greatness in the narrative and acting of its main stars. CHECK. 6) Smart writers and producers/directors equal to the great Joss Whedon. CHECK.
All of the shows I've mentioned above are great in their own right, but they tend to lose the plot or tend not to be properly thought through, whereas you get the sense with 'Veronica Mars' that the writers are much better at planning the structure of the series ('lost' for example is not good at this). All of the shows I've mentioned above have one thing left in common; they try to aspire to maintain the continual critical success that 'VM' has achieved.
The show runners have great awareness that planning is key to a TV shows success. They also know that the story makes the character and not vice versa. They write to develop characters and to make good use of the show time they are given, even making the bad guys entertaining and also giving people a constant sense of dread, for instance, seeing as though anything and anyone could be to blame in the main story arcs of the show. This gives a continual awe shock response to some story elements.
All I can say with certainty is that this IS the show to watch. Do the show runners a favour for their hard work, watch the pilot episodes and you'll see, I guarantee it... i'd even put money on it! 10 out of 10.
How can people be giving this 7 stars, let alone just ONE!
Now I have your attention... This is a superb film. The story, the acting, the special effects and don't forget VADAR! People are bashing the film solely because they are Lucas haters, haters that have lost respect for the man after eps I&II, but even the haters have to admit that this film is EXCEPTIONAL.
Don't get me wrong, I AM a SW fan, but I have a better Sci-fi film than this, which I call my favourite of the last two years, and that film is Serenity! However, this IS something special, and for people (you know who you are) to mock it to prove a point about the previous two instalments is so harsh, so rotten, so... ANNOYING, that it makes me want to cry for my fellow "lost" geeks!
Think back to the Yoda fight, to the Anakin and Obi-Wan fight, to seeing VADAR for the first time... to everything Palpatine and the making of the monster, and what you get is the making of a complete and redeemed prequel trilogy.. for me this is, without a doubt, a film to bring back balance to the force, and a film to make you proud of Lucas' abilities once again!
Silent Hill (2006)
Not a horror film, like some people here would have you believe...
However, this is one of the most intense psycho thrillers I have EVER seen. Actually... it's more like an intense psycho "gore" thriller, which kinda makes it something new and in a genre of its own. Here-in lies the main downside to the film; it wont appeal to everyone! Let me make one thing clear first off, this is not a review of a great game>film adaptation (I never really played the games); this is a review of a motion picture, something new and fresh, something exhilarating and downright unnerving. New and fresh is where 'Silent Hill' succeeds and in which it maintains a steady radioactive pace from start to finish (well steady-ish), with scenes that will invoke so much mental anguish and fear into your psyche that it will be as though you were placed strait into the film making you believe it's YOU running from ol' Pyramid head and not the poor Radha Mitchell (stunning acting btw).
I do have minor quibbles with the pace and the dialogue, however I think they're so minor, so irrelevant and inconsequential, that to mention them would seem rather unfair to the hard work Avary and Gans have put into this project. Unfortunately, the major pyramid steak to the heart of Gans is the critical backlash the film has received. Ebert is someone that needs some mental help (and a new job), especially if he didn't understand the ending... How simple can an ending be? Gans manages to explain the conclusion with suave images, fx and camera techniques -- not one single word is uttered as to the explanation-- but its obviously there and not too subtle in my honest opinion.
So... apart from the two instances where the film falters, like the rather computer game like, find this, go there, see crazy women about a dog and to rescue my daughter from evil last act , this is, without a doubt one of the best MOVIES of the year! And when I say BEST, I don't use the word lightly and I don't mean one of the best game>film adaptations... actually come to mention it, WOW came to mind a few times throughout the film.
8 out of 10 stars. I've taken two points away due to the fact that some people just wont grasp what's on display here and that my friends is a real shame:( Christophe Gans, please make Metal Gear Solid!
The best sci-fi film comes from Joss Whedon and why would you expect any less?
This is without a doubt one of the most exciting, thrilling, painfully sad and amusing films I have ever seen. Let me start with the director, Joss Whedon.
Joss Whedon has the knack for writing great characters, that even in the heat of battle, have the ability for a quick one liner without it being seemingly implausible or silly. The man is a genius when it comes to dialogue and this film can now prove that statement to the mainstream cinema goer and Whedon haters alike, whom gave the man little or no chance in the past. Joss can create all the above mentioned emotions with just one scene and he does it with style! GENIUS. As for the characters and the film&;
Firstly, let me say that the acting is top notch is this film, Joss has the ability to cast well and get the best from his cast. They all bond and act off each other well and the timing of the one-liners is handled excellently by both cast and director. Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm Reynolds) is the star here; forget what the trailers tell you, he is WITHOUT a doubt the main star, no questions asked. Yes, Summer Glau (River) is also a star, but she is placed squarely behind Mal in the line-up and for good reason...
Nathan Fillion is going to be a GREAT leading man and I think he can pull off any action film in the world (next Indie anyone?). The rest of the cast is funny and get their fair share of one-liners, whilst River gets to kick some major butt ala Buffy style. Think Buffy on drugs.
The story is well developed and has so many meanings to deconstruct and unfold (it kind of mirrors today's politics) and it twists into so many sub-genres it's almost unheard of in any other film. For example, the way the film goes from Sci-fi to love story to family story to horror film is just amazing and I can't believe (well I can... its Joss after all) it was pulled off SOOOO well. Everything fits... nothing is left out and nothing is just filler (like SW EPII). For example, when Mal needs to get to the satellite broadcast equipment, he finds that its in an empty whole of a massive room with no way of getting to it. The audience then thinks "silly sci-fi nonsense why would that happen", but Mal replies in a sarcastic kind of worrying way "hard to get too!" Brilliant!
OK - Stop reading now if you don't want to be SPOILED!!
As for the death of two main series characters&; well they were upsetting, but Whedon is telling this story and not one person in the "verse" can make him decide otherwise. So in conclusion, great narrative, great character acting/development, great dialogue, great story and GREAT FILM! Go watch... I've already booked my second ticket!
Some main highlights: - River and Simon - Mal - REAVERS! - Reavers & The Alliance against Serenity!