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Rescue Dawn (2006)
Films based upon true stories, especially those involving POWs, really move me. Herzog has a brilliant little gem in Rescue Dawn. The outstanding cinematography by Peter Zietlinger has one feeling as though they are indeed stepping through the jungles of Laos. Bale, Zahn, and Davies awe-inspiring performances bring the POWs to life with dignity, grace, and humor. Herzog's script is just perfect. Telling the story of Dieter Dengler and his fellow POWs with very little melodrama, Herzog captures the spirit of Dieter in an impressive dramatization of survival. The score is hauntingly beautiful and molds to the film wonderfully. Herzog's script and direction are Oscar worthy. A must see film....
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
An Above Average Western
Disclaimer: I have not seen the original 3:10 to Yuma.
Once upon a time I enjoyed a good western. It's been a long time coming, but 3:10 to Yuma is a classic yet modern western with all the goodies. The story may not be the best scripted, but the acting, cinematography, the score, the directing, and the action are above average. Most enjoyable are the characters portrayed by Russell Crowe (Ben Wade) and Ben Foster (Charlie Prince). Wade and Prince are the 'bad' guys. Crowe and Foster shine in these roles. The hero is an odd character, but Bale portrays him perfectly for the script. The supporting cast add to the movie and do not distract. Watching this on Blu-Ray, I must say the surround sound was awesome. Overall, this may not be a must see movie, but if you ever enjoyed a good western, this one should sit well with you.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
A Cinematic Masterpiece
A film unlike any other in 2007.... Paul Thomas Anderson delivers a knockout punch with There Will Be Blood! The cinematography, writing, scripting, directing, scoring and acting blend the story of a lust for power into a cinematic masterpiece. Daniel Day Lewis has no rivals. He is the ultimate actor. The supporting cast proves they can hold the screen with DDL, even if he does steal every scene in which he appears. The beginning of the film offers such a different feel than most films shot today. It's quite refreshing. A film everyone should see, just to say they've seen it. Even if you end up hating it. (Seems the reviews are split on this one.) When 'There Will Be Blood' releases on Blu-Ray, it will become a centerpiece in my collection.
The Number 23 (2007)
The Number 23 Left Hanging...
The Number 23 has masterpiece written all over it. Anyone who has ever had a fascination with numerology or been a student of numerology could have written a better script. This film falls way short in delivering as a psychological thriller. Schumacher, Carrey and Madsen are not at fault. The direction and acting, though not stellar, are above average. The beginning of the script is good. It draws you in and holds your interest. Schumacher uses camera angles and coloring well during the narratives read from the book. The scenes allowing the viewer to see what the character is reading are the brilliant spots in this film. Once the character's obsession with the number 23 begins, the script starts unraveling. The number 23 is just left dangling. Repeatedly seeing, saying and writing the number 23 becomes boring. Character development becomes shoddy, the plot becomes Hollywood predictable and the twists and turns though existing, do not thrill. Still I can't rate the film lower than 6 stars because Carrey and Madsen worked diligently with what they were handed. Fernley Phillips needs to attend script writing 101.
Just didn't work for me....
A Stephen King short about an evil room made into a film starring John Cusack just has spine chilling thriller written all over it. Just viewing the trailer I felt the chill bumps start rising. I had to go and spoil those wonderful chill bumps. I saw the movie- chill bumps only once & jumped in my seat only twice. During the entire 1 hour and 34 minutes of this film, only one person in the theater made a sound similar to a scream. What went wrong with this film? The story is evident and John Cusack brings it all to the table. Mikael Håfstrom didn't deliver the goods. This is only the second film I've viewed which Mikael Håfstrom has directed. The first was Derailed. Could someone please ask the film companies to cut this man from their list? His direction destroys what should be really good films. The plot in this film is one that should be so intense you grip the edge of your seat the entire film. The direction instead turns out a want to be psychological thriller. I have to give 4 stars for the story and Cusack. Cusack gave 110% trying to make this film work. It saddens me that it didn't. King and Cusack fans will want to see this film. If you're looking for what the trailer promised, don't bother......
Summer Blockbuster that gets it right.....
Marvelous! Michael Bay and the entire special effects team - I am awed by Transformers. The CGI/special effects of this film are unsurpassed by a film of today. Kudos for a job well done! For starters, I have never watched the TV show, so I cannot compare the movie to what came before it. I just know a great movie when I see one, and this one is unequaled. The plot is respectable, the actors fit the parts, the film is fast paced, filled with action, and the humor is supreme.... I could go on and on, but if you want to be completely entertained, go to the theater now and see this film.
There's only one thing not to love about this movie- the bad guys. LOL Who wants to love them anyway? We love to hate them, and this is exactly how you'll feel.
Did I mention the special effects? Seriously, you will be blown away. I could have gone back into the theater and re-watched this film once again today just to see the special effects.
I simply must own this on DVD. What's the release date? : )
This one derails early.....
A moralistic look at how a wrong decision can 'derail' ones life. Combing a suspense film with Clive Owen, one would think this was a thriller not to miss. The twists and turns exist in the film, and the trailer made them look very promising. Be it lack of direction or bad acting, Aniston is much too readable and gives the plot away early on. The give away took the suspense out of the film for me. Owen and Aniston lacked the chemistry for me to believe they were 'passionate' about each other. Vincent Cassel is the gem of Derailed. It's not often I find the 'bad guy' to be the gem of the film. His performance is stellar. RZA and Xzibit are the remaining bright spots of the supporting cast. The remaining cast come across as dull, washed out and wooden. A huge disappointment as I expected much more with Owen on the bill. Owen is so much better than this film. Maybe this one was just bad scripting and directing.....
The Messengers (2007)
A good rental.....
Eerie best describes this film about a family with past troubles moving into a haunted farmhouse in North Dakota. Filmed in Saskatchewan, Canada, the scenery around the farmhouse is beautiful. Although the film is very reminiscent of The Grudge and isn't unlike many ghost stories we've all seen before, it is suspenseful, thrilling and dramatic. It is not filled with blood and gore, it does not scare you to death, but it does deliver some jump in your seat moments, along with a few chill bumps. Kristen Stewart and John Corbett make this film work. Both are intense and brilliant actors. The young child in the film is adorable, but the remaining cast isn't exceptional by any stretch of the imagination. This film belongs more to the suspense genre than the horror genre. Overall, a good rental and enjoyable film with a twist ending....
Enemy of the State (1998)
If this film doesn't provoke you into thinking about "big brother" nothing will... Gripping, fast paced, realistic (especially in the world we know today), superb acting.... This film is all about being under government surveillance and it's too relevant to ignore. Will Smith and Gene Hackman are the stars, but the supporting cast list is top notch- Gabriel Byrne, Ian Hart, Barry Pepper, Jake Busey, Jack Black, Jaime Kennedy, Jason Lee, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore and Jason Robards. Who's watching you???? If you can watch a film of this nature, in this day and age, and not ask yourself that question, then you are one of the most unique individuals to walk our earth. Conspiracy theorists, this is a must see for you.
Blood Diamond (2006)
Worth Watching But Too Political
An excellent storyline, but the political slant combined with 'Hollywoodism', keeps this movie from being a 10 star film. Hollywood should take notice that a longer run time doesn't mean a better film. This movie could have and should have been shortened. Even with the storyline and fast action scenes, the film still drags in places. DiCaprio and Hounsou are indeed the diamonds in this film. Brilliant talent shining brightly throughout the film is what will hold your interest. The accents were a bit difficult to follow in places, but not enough to cloud the understanding of the scenes. The storyline serves up political intrigue, brutal violence, child exploitation, shoot outs/explosions, car chases, greed, and even love. There are a few shots of breathtaking beautiful mountain scenery. Overall, a film worth watching, but it is a bit too long and a bit too political.