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Terminator Genisys (2015)
Makes "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" Look Great...
I rarely review, but this was beyond me, as I felt I had both to warn people before watching this, and give a chance to myself to let off some steam by writing a few words... It was bad... It was really bad...in several levels.
1. The script was completely disrespectful to the franchise. Well, sometimes you just need to leave a few things as they are, out of respect only. But no... they had to mess with the timeline, so much that even "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" TV show looks less complicated, in terms of story. As you may have noticed from the voice-over during the film, even the screenwriters were looking for answers, along with us, the viewers...
2. The cast was a complete fail. Sarah Connor... Kyle Reese... John Connor... wow, I mean 3 out of 3 miscast? What are the odds for such a fail? Especially Jai Courntey and Jason Clarke... I like them as actors, but the roles were absolutely not for them! I only leave Arnie out of this. He was decent and funny, and in my opinion, the only character that kept my interest going during the movie.
3. Cinematography... well, it was as if I was watching a TV series, rather than a big budget movie...the lights, the shadows, everything was wrong... and I've seen TV shows with far better cinematography than this, let alone movies...
As a huge fan of Terminator Salvation, where the story was loyal to the Terminator mythos and the cast was amazing, I felt betrayed. And I never understood why Terminator Salvation had so many enemies... amazing story, great cast, future war on screen for the first time... Why didn't hey continue the franchise from there? So many stories can be told having the future war as background. I wanted to see Kyle Reese grow up and become the faithful right hand of John Connor, I wanted to watch the latter climbing the hierarchy of the leadership of the human Resistance, I wanted to see how Skynet and Connor sent the Terminator and Kyle respectively back to 1984, but remaining faithful to the well known timeline, I wanted to see how they later sent T-1000 and Arnie back to 1994, and then what really happened to John Connor and how the T-X and the second reprogrammed Terminator were sent back to 2003... These are what the fans wanted to see. Not a reboot. I could live with a slightly changed timeline after Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines... but I can't live with a whole new timeline.
What I loved about Terminator was that it played with the inevitability of fate and events. This is what made it different from the Back to the Future movies. Well... this was a Back to the Future Part II film...not a Terminator film...
Reality vs Legend...Decent try by Dwayne
I rarely review, but this time I really had to do it. I really wanted to share my good impressions about this movie. I entered the theater with really low expectations, not to mention very different expectations regarding the plot. I expected the plot to focus at least for a while on the 12 Labors, but it didn't. But that wasn't necessarily bad. On the other hand, I also expected something like Renny Harlin's adaptation, or something close to "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" but no... What I saw really surpassed any expectation I had. Although I had never read the graphic novels, I found it surprisingly amazing... As a Greek, I grew up with these myths. Greek Mythology has always been the "fairy tales" that all Greek kids want to listen to or read about before they go to bed.. The Odyssey, the Iliad, Jason and the Argonauts, Theseus, and the 12 Labors of Hercules among so many myths. You read about people and places that were near your hometown, or the place where you live. It's not the Middle Earth, it's not Narnia, it's Athens, it's Arcadia, it's Macedonia, it's Thrace, it's Sparta...places where so many heroes walked and fought and were glorified. I was born in Arcadia, near Nemea, where the Lion killed by Hercules was supposedly roaming... What I enjoyed in this movie is the fact that it plays with the idea that a myth, a legend can be real at some point. That every legend is based on some true facts, on actual persons, on real events and this film explores the process through which a story can grow and become a legend and a myth. Hercules killing the Hydra, which actually might had been disguised soldiers, or Hercules kills with his punch, when he was actually holding a blade hidden...the legend is maintained and grows with the help of his "agent" Iolaus. In many ways it reminded me of Troy, which is a movie also "landed" on the real world, showing how a real story becomes an exaggerated legend: Achilles is found by the soldiers with only one arrow on this heel and they immediately assumed that this was his only destructible part of his body..and the legend begins... I want to give credit to Dwayne Johnson. On first look, the casting of Hercules seems a little bit out of the blue, and I have to admit that I'm not a Dwayne Johnson fan, however, I liked him a lot. And I really liked the chemistry of the supporting cast. At one point it reminded me of Arthur and his Knights' chemistry of Fuqua's film "King Arthur". The film without using mythical creatures as in "Clash / Wrath of the Titans" it manages to deliver a lot. As a Greek, I didn't feel insulted as I was in "Immortals". Good work Brett Ratner.
Fetih 1453 (2012)
The Fall of Constantinople...and the "Fall" of Truth
This movie tells the story of the Life of Mehmed II...the Fall of Constantinople...well, you don't have to be a historian to realize the unprecedented distortion of History. I watched this movie with the best intentions, i wanted to like it, since this was the first time that such a historical event as the Fall of Constantinople was depicted in the big screen. However, at the end of the film, the general feeling was lukewarm. I would like to judge this movie both as a piece of art, and as a piece of history telling.. Production was good. There was a good effort in depicting Constantinople with special effects, and credit should be given to the ones responsible for this. The "bird's view" shots of the city were impressive, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Palaces, the Gates..all can be easily compared to shots of Rome in Gladiator or the shots of Babylon in Alexander. However, there were some problematic "green background" shots where the special effects were poor and fakeness was obvious, especially in shots were actors were implemented. The script was average, not too complicated, kept really simple..but faithful to the Ottomans' point of view..and the direction..well, it was average to bad, with awkward imbalances and gaps. This, in combination with some bad acting made things worse, especially for the first half of the movie. Another issue I would like to note is the absolute miscast for the film. The actors chosen to portray certain characters were purposely selected. Someone could easily see the good and noble Mehmed II, and the "ruthless, almost satanic" face of Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. The second half of the film was more enjoyable for me. The battles were OK and, as i have already mentioned, it was nice to see at last in a movie the Siege of Constantinople, as Hollywood insists on depicting only the Crusades in Jerusalem, the Battles of Joan of Arc and the skirmishes of Robin Hood. However, I can't help it but judge the movie here as far as the history depiction is concerned...and this depiction could not be more inaccurate... Of course, from the Ottoman point of view, there were so many Turkish heroes that distinguished either with their actions of heroism, or their death. But why this story telling is kept one sided? Why is it kept secret that the city had only 7,000 soldiers defending it? Why is it kept secret that the Ottomans entered the city from a small, unguarded gate? Why is it kept secret that Giustiniani was wounded by a cannonball? Why, by the way, is he depicted as evil? And why we hear nothing about the Emperor's last stand in the battle? This is what annoyed me the most...Constantine Palaiologos was fighting alongside his troops. After realizing that the city is doomed, he tore his imperial suite and no one could distinguish him from the rest of the soldiers. He died fighting, defending his city, his people and his faith...he was depicted throughout the movie but his last stand was somehow suddenly forgot by the filmmakers...and last, but not least..without any intention to criticize the Turks but with all due respect the last scene of the film was rather funny..it is recorded in History what happened after the capture of the city, how many were enslaved and tortured..Mehmed II did indeed offer freedom to Christians, but there is no word in the film about the impaled and tortured Christians, or the fact that the Emperor's head was put in the Hippodrome.. Generally, my rating is 6/10 for the effort and some quite good fight scenes.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
I rarely review a movie here in IMDb. I would do so, only when I'm totally impressed or completely disappointed. The latter applies in this case. Stephen Sommers showed some great stuff during "The Mummy". I really enjoyed that movie. It was something different. However, after "The Mummy Returns" I think he had nothing more to show us. So, with "G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra" he managed to ruin a franchise that could have a great potential. He showed us comic book stunts meant for kids only. He destroyed the characters, he altered the whole "G.I.Joe" atmosphere. I have to admit, as soon as his name was announced as director, I saw that coming. He didn't take an example of "Transformers". He just directed a very very bad idea and let the fans down. Shame...
Mysterious Island (1995)
An early "Lost" attempt...
One of my favorite TV series about one of my favorite books. The faith to Jules Verne's book is, of course, non-existent, however, this TV show is another view or a "rewrite", which is quite interesting. The mysteries are persistent and there are times you would think "Lost" used "Mysterious Island" as an inspiration. My personal favorite is Captain Nemo, who is approached in a completely different way, making him such a mysterious character, which satisfies the term of "homo universalis": the man that has the knowledge about almost everything concerning technology and sciences, even psychology. I totally recommend it
I've just watched "At World's End" and I was very disappointed with this final film..The "Curse of the Black Pearl" was awesome, even "Dead Man's Chest" despite what most people say,was very good. These two films had something new to say, both in plot and in special effects..But "At World's End"? Even the action scenes were not so many in this third movie and I don't think there is a scene that will be memorable in this film. My expectations were great for a finale that would "rock", however, this film had nothing great in it..I'm a big fan of Jack Sparrow, but there was something missing "At World's End". The only thing I enjoyed was watching Geoffrey Rush "stealing" the show..I really missed him in "Dead Man's Chest" and I was compensated..