Reviews written by registered user
newfiesailor

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44 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Dark and well acted, 31 August 2006
8/10

I went into this movie with high expectations. I was somewhat disappointed, but this is still a good film.

Acting was great, great, great, especially Billy Bob and Paxton. Paxton surprised me with the depth of his acting and I walked away with a new respect for the man. Billy Bob Thornton is just, you know, Billy Bob, so he always gives a great performance. A magnificent supporting cast of Bridget Fonda, Brent Briscoe, Chelcie Ross and Gary Cole lend some real grit to the story. So the acting I cannot fault.

The cinematography is unreal. Some of those snow covered scenes took my breath away, sending me back to my time spent in the woods on snowy evenings as a kid. Just incredible.

The story was nicely developed as well. However my problems lies on how long it took for something to happen. It would be no problem leaving at least 15 or 20 minutes of this film on the cutting room floor, and it would add so much more to the pace and excitement of this movie. Some films, like Blind Horizon and Blood Simple, rely on a slower pace to add more to the plot development. However, this is not the case for A Simple Plan. It is what separates this film from being good and from being great. Hat's off to Mr. Raimi for his exploration into new territory for him with this film, but like Spiderman and Evil Dead, there can be too much of a good thing.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great Setting and Atmosphere but Movie so-so., 24 July 2006
6/10

I recommend this movie for the scenery and atmosphere alone. The viking ships skirting ice floes, the horse rides on the spume flecked beaches and the lonely fog enshrouding the wooden hall is worth the price of admission. You won't have to be a fan of the story to admire the work that went into this film.

Unfortunately the acting and story do not share the same drive as the sets. Everybody here seems to fall flat, the only charismatic performance by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson as Grendel. To his credit, he nails his part, revealing the rage, anguish and loneliness felt by the forlorn monster.

The rest of the cast, (even Stellan Skarsgård who flawlessly executed a similar role in King Arthur) seems to be going through the motions, so this film plays like an expensive made for TV Sci-fi channel movie rather than a film on screen. It's really too bad because the story is exciting and the potential was there but it simply didn't deliver.

Gerard Butler wasn't bad as Beowulf, but he never really shone either. Sarah Polley was terribly miscast as Selma, her flat and inexpressive tone seemingly inappropriate in a cast of rich accents.

I didn't really get caught up in this movie as I did with similar films such as the Thirteenth Warrior. So I can give this film a marginal recommendation for the sets and the performance of Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson as the torn troll.

28 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
This is a great movie!, 27 August 2006
8/10

Don't let the rating of the IMDb fool you. This is truly a great movie, very comparable to Blood Simple. Both movies revolve around a magnificent representation of small town southern US, and the setting plays a huge role in both.

The acting is peerless in this film, with Val Kilmer at his finest and notable supporting performances by Sam Shephard, Amy Smart and Neve Campbell. I would imagine most people who voted poorly for this movie were put off by it's slower pace but to myself, it was sheer magic. This movie hits every right note.

Val Kilmer plays Frank Kavanaugh, a man who wakes up in a border town with amnesia after being shot in the head. The rest of the movie is Frank recalling tiny glimpses of his memory brought on by sudden triggers involving the President of the United States, scenes of violence, and mental images of people and places. Neve Campbell plays Kilmer's suspicious wife, Amy Smart is Frank's nurse and Shephard plays the small town sheriff investigating Frank's shooting.

The difference in this movie and some of the big budget Hollywood films is how they manage to capture some of the smaller scenes so right. The seedy bars, the desolation, the cheap hotels, the small hospital. Incredible and has to be seen for that direction alone.

If you are a fan of truly great direction on a lower budget film with grittiness, plot twists and amazing performances then look no further. This is your movie.

Classify it under "The Hidden Gems" category.

10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Not Bad, 31 August 2007
7/10

Watching the first 15 minutes of this movie gave me that uh-oh feeling of: I just paid money for this. Seemed pretty cheesy and too sweet and cliché as we are introduced to the family. Acting wasn't too hot by Bacon either as Kelly Preston upstages him in every scene. Kind of knowing what was coming allowed me to bear through it.

When it got going though, the movie started rolling pretty good. Lots of no holds barred fights with blood and bone, gunshot blasts and vicious stabbings. Great scene in the underground garage that was the highlight of the film. Hard to believe undernourished Bacon could portray a man on the warpath well, but he dished it out pretty good. I was actually kind of shocked in some of the scenes with the pure nastiness, but it is a vigilante movie.

This movie borrows a lot of material from other sources: Dirty Harry, Max Payne, Death Wish and some scenes straight out of Taxi Driver. But it worked. If you are into ultra violent flicks with weak plot line, little emotion and brain splattering gore, then this is your end of the summer Christmas gift. Pretty good for what it is.

12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Good flick, 6 September 2006
7/10

Great shots of the abbey in the mountains and the film really captures the feel of the era. Stellar acting, especially by Mr. Connery and a strong cast makes this one of the better eighties flicks. A cerebral mystery, the different setting and time draws the watcher in a little deeper than your ordinary whodunit.

A young Christain Slater adds emotional content to the movie as his first sexual encounter with a village girl bonds him to her, despite their class. There are secret passages, the quest for the lost tome, cloak and dagger mystery and a wide array of characters to appeal to the imagination of fans of fantasy settings. The inquisition turns up to add a little flavor and intimidation factor to the movie as Sean Connery's character has been previously tangled up with them. Poison, murder, torture, lies all abound in this medieval setting thriller that should not be missed.

Dungeon Siege (2002) (VG)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining, but not much Depth., 29 April 2006
6/10

This game was a visual stunner in it's time. The release of such games as Doom 3, Far Cry and Elder Scrolls 4 exceeds the main draw of this game however. It has been outdated. There is not much role playing or side quests here; just a huge hack and slash game through some cool environments.

Not to say, this game isn't fun. There is a huge pile of unique equipment to give to your party of up to eight members. Then watch them unleash death. It's what Diablo 2 should have been.

The basic quest is your character seeking revenge on those who razed your farmland. It ultimately leads to a hell like environment and the ultimate showdown with the usual suspect. Along the way, you will pass through pastures, towns, temples, ice caves, seashores and forests, all inhabited by a wide assortment of enemies. Some of the boss creatures are really well crafted such as beholders, dragons and giant spiders. The settings are detailed magnificently. Fans of Eye Candy, take note!

However, there are some real issues with the game that give it negative replay value. Character AI in a click and point, hack and slash is just terrible. Sometimes my characters disappeared off the screen, chasing enemies and waded alone into a wall of monsters. Instant death. Hordes of monsters overwhelm you and you better keep a close eye on what's happening. The magic system is confusing, and I basically set one spell for my wizards through different parts of the game. It's too bad, it might have been a real exciting development given the number of spells available. The sheer size of some of the environments is annoying as you have to backtrack through them to town to sell and buy equipment. A Town Portal spell would have sure come in handy (the second game addresses this issue).

All in all, it is an interesting game with some annoying glitches. The settings and micromanagement involved will appeal to many fantasy fans. It is a lot better than Diablo 2, so fans of that game will enjoy this. Given the limited number of Fantasy RPG's out there, it is probably worth the purchase. Just don't buy the Expansion Pack, Legends of Aranna

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great performance by Diesel, 13 August 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went into the first 10 minutes of this movie and couldn't see past Vin Diesel being Vin Diesel. Halfway through, I couldn't see Jack DiNorcsio being anybody but Vin Diesel. An Oscar nominated performance? I certainly think so.

This film tells the story of Jack DiNorcsio and the mob trial of 21 members of the New York Lucchese crime family; the longest trial in American history. It's an entertaining yarn, not worth a 2 hour plus screen time, but it keeps you interested. Some great performances give it a huge plus, notably Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver, Alex Rocco, Linus Roache and an absolutely riveting performance cameo by Annabella Sciorra.

But watch Vin Diesel turn from cardboard, action hero into a three dimensional, sensitive everyman. Some scenes were simply amazing to watch, notably the visit of his ex wife while he is in jail, his treatment by mob boss Nick Calabrese as Jackie tries to eat lunch with his peers and as Judge Feinstein breaks the news to DiNorscio of his mother's death. Vin Diesel wins you over as the likable mob soldier as I am sure Jack DiNorscio won over members of the jury.

It's nice to see Diesel rebound from some poor movie choices and head into uncharted territory for him. I hope his reputation and roles improve.

What I didn't like was how this movie was obviously on the mob side. Guaranteed there are some likable, charismatic mobsters like DiNorscio, but there are some vicious, dominating killers like Calabrese too. The problem was the tactics brought on by desperation and obsession by the prosecutors buried their case. The mobsters became more relatable to the jury than the cold, calculating almost sinister prosecution. The mob guys were smart enough to shut there mouths, except for Jack Dinorscio whose joking style and likability was a huge bonus for mob's side in the swaying of the jury. I am sure if the prosecution hadn't relied on subterfuge, perjury and shadowy tactics and hadn't underestimated the intelligence and charisma of the mob's side, they would have won the case. An interesting look into the American justice system.

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Most immersing game ever!, 6 April 2006
10/10

To any of the Dungeons and Dragons fans out there who haven't played this game, it is high time you did. This game does for RPG's what Star Wars did for Sci-fi. Cream of the crop. Hands down.

You are thrown into a dungeon at the beginning of the game with nothing but your bare skin. With the help of your longtime friend Imoen, you have to find a way out. Along the way, you find friends, armor, weapons, potions and magic spells. You fight enemies such as golems, goblins and mephits along with a sprinkling of other various D&D monsters. Various puzzles need to be solved, traps disarmed, creatures helped and the character of your tormentor begins to unravel. But what happens after you finally escape the dungeon of your foe is the magic of Shadows of Amn.

Enter into a huge world that is simply overwhelming at first. Inns, shops, quests and enemies lie everywhere in the main sections of the city. Not only that, but as you meet people in your travels, your quest log requires travel outside the city to numerous other sites and towns. Huge!

The characters of your chosen party of six reveal their personalities and specific quests through dialog initiated by them. The sheer number of simultaneous quests that can occur is mind boggling. Not only that, but the huge selection of spells, armor, weapons and items make it a micro manager's dream. Along with the leveling of characters of a wide assortment of classes and races, each with their own perks and drawbacks, you could easily spend up to two to three hundred hours of game-play.

The main quest involves the tracking down of your tormentor, Jon Irenicus, an evil yet charismatic mage of considerable power who has kidnapped your childhood friend, Imoen. However as the story progresses, the reason behind the kidnapping and your destiny unfolds. Along the ride, you will battle dragons, liches, beholders, dark elves, golems, trolls, mind flayers, vampires, mad wizards, demons, sahauguin, thieves, rakasta as well as many other classic monsters from the D&D game. Your travels will include settings such as graveyards, thief-ridden dives, fallen temples, detailed towns, a druid grove, an underwater city and an underdark city of the drow to name a few. The final battle in the beautiful, fallen elven city is just simply spectacular.

How much thought, effort and artistry went into this game is not only to be commended, but to be marveled. I sat there and just shook my head in awe at various points. No game, from the many I have played, from Doom 3 to Diablo had the effect this game had on me. Has to be played to be believed. 15 out of 10 stars.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great Hack and Slash with D&D name., 29 April 2006
8/10

This game is unlike it's counterpart, Baldur's Gate which relies heavily on a story driven plot line and a feeling of freedom to explore surrounding environments. This is a well laid out hack and slash spanning a direct path through some well crafted settings. It's not quite the game of the Baldur's Gate series, but it is fun in it's own right.

The choice to create all six of your characters is a great development. I wished the Baldur's Gate series had followed this direction. Once you have created your party, you explore a town in the Icewind Dale region of the Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons setting. You are encouraged to join a fateful expedition that leads into the main quest of your party. What unravels is a sheer joy in plot development.

You will explore lost temples, ice land settings, a fallen elven city, dwarven caverns and huge lairs. Gameplay is kept competitive with the sheer number of monsters, but it gets frustrating later on in the elven city and the dwarven caverns. The artwork is beautiful and some real imagination went into the sets. There is plenty of original equipment, evil bosses and different environments to explore. Any fan of Bioware's RPG's( Baldur's Gate, Planescape:Torment, Fallout) will enjoy this chapter in the series as well.

Hostel (2005)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not bad!, 17 April 2006
7/10

The thing about Hostel that separates it from movies such as Saw and other gross out films is it is built on a premise that could be very real, knowing the fall of the USSR. It is an original idea. I recently saw a Law and Order episode where whole blocks of a city in Russia catered to child prostitution so this is not much of a stretch. The gloomy look of the worn out city captures much of the fallen society it is portraying and it's medieval atmosphere. Those two aspects work great.

However what it does wrong is it doesn't take time to make us like the characters headed into the lion's den. I didn't feel anything for any of the suffering characters except for likable Oli, but we don't really experience his pain. Pot smoking, partying teenagers is too much of a cliché and we kind of know where they are headed from square one. Because of that, it loses much of it's impact. The ending escape scene just seemed rushed, contrived and resorts to gross out tactics. This is where Wolf Creek becomes a better film. Wolf Creek went for an unprotected jugular and never let go. Although it resorted to unabashed torture and cringing acts of dominance, torture is never something that should ever be portrayed lightly. This is where Hostel should have went with it's real and horrible subject matter to make it a real classic shocker.

Still I recommend this to anyone except those with no aptitude for watching graphic violence depicted on the screen. It's premise could very well be real and the look of the old city of Bratislava is the stuff horror movies are made of.


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