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Earth and Water...
"Earth and Water..." As the Persian messenger says near the beginning of the film, this is a film about an immense war over the Earth and Water in the city of Sparta. Due to the ignorant politics in Sparta, a king and his army of just 300 soldiers must defend what they love against an army of millions.
300 is an epic depiction of the battle of Thermopylae, and how 300 Spartans used strength, passion, fearlessness and tactics to fight. An army of millions means nothing next to these qualities.
300 beholds a very expertly executed demonstration of how Spartans fight. There shall be no one in the cinema audience who is not staring in awe as King Leonidas slaughters man after man after man. There'll be triumph as the Spartans turn the surroundings against the enemy, obliterating the opposition through intelligent strategies. There'll be fear in the hearts of the viewer as the 300 Spartans fight an enemy so large, their marches create earthquakes, so massive, they drink the rivers dry.
300 induces all the emotions the creators intended it to.
The use of CGI is to be triumphed over, not one creature looks fake in this movie. You may have seen in the trailer, the rhinoceros, the uber immortal, the elephants, all such convincing beasts.
The use of imagery in 300 is unlike any other movie, the style of every single frame is admirable. It overall amounts to a very powerful feel throughout the movie.
And at the end of the epic journey which is 300, you will be inspired. You will leave the cinema courageous, fearless and having seen what the soldiers did in that battle, you will feel capable of ANTHING!
There are 300 words in this review, one for every Spartan that fought that battle
High School Musical (2006)
Made to the standards of a TV show although you can't help but enjoy it.
High School Musical doesn't have many features which make it comparable to a 'professional' movie but as far as the audience is concerned, it doesn't need them. This is because High School Musical works well as a dynamic hour and a half of fun.
The storyline isn't gripping, however it is moderately involving. HSM (High School Musical) follows the story of Troy Bolton (Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Hudgens). Gabriella has just moved into town and finds that she and Troy (the captain of the basketball team at her new high school) have a love of singing. However, he is a star basketball player and she is an academic genius. An upcoming basketball game and decathlon are both just a day behind a high school musical and it seems Troy and Gabriella and destined not to be in the play (desptie both having great singing voices). Nevertheless, their passion for singing causes them to strive towards success in the auditions despite the fact that their talent is opposed by Sharpay Evans (Tisdale).
Part of what makes HSM an enjoyable film is the songs, which comes as no surprise considering the word 'musical' is in the title. Songs such as "What I've Been Looking For" and "Stick to the Status Quo" will be in your mind for weeks and will have you singing in the shower. The choreography compliments the music well and no doubt required a lot of hard work to get right. The dancing was one of the greatest achievements of this film.
However, something that nearly killed me while watching this film is the acting. Seeing Vanessa Anne Hudgens (as Gabriella) force an angelic smile for one and a half hours as if trying to convey herself as a totally innocent character can get to be quite annoying. Something about Zach Efron (as Troy) just says he's not right for the part, perhaps his lack of facial attributes. As for the rest of the cast, they put on a very corny show but hey, this IS a corny film! This last comment may seem a bit harsh on Disney but you shouldn't expect brilliant acting from a Disney cast. Overall it is still an enjoyable experience. I mar or may not choose to watch High School Musical 2 on TV but definitely won't go to see it in the cinema.
Beware of corniness.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Powefully underrated; A breathtakingly deep action flick.
If a film contained astounding visuals, well choreographed fight scenes and an infatuating storyline, would you say that 6.2/10 does it justice? The Chronicles of Riddick, an achievement in entertainment.
The creators of this film (and it's prequel, Pitch Black) obviously knew what excites the viewer. Everything from the intense fight sequences to the Leviathan structures on Helion Prime (the planet on which a lot of this film takes place) draws the viewer interest and makes them curious about this expansive universe.
Let's go into a little more detail...
Richard B. Riddick is the main character of this film. Brought to life by Vin Diesel, Riddick has become one of the coolest antiheroes in cinema history.
The film is about his journey across the universe to save the one person he truly cares for. Alexa Davalos does an admirable job as the feisty, blood-thirsty role of Kyra.
The action in this film is derived from Riddick's battle with the dark army he comes across on his travels across the universe, The Necromongers. This is an armada fighting for a religious cause, and we all know the coolest armies are the crazed religious ones (e.g. The Covenant from Halo). The Necromongers are a fascinating race and give way for amazing visuals like immense spaceships crashing into the ground or Titanic structures erected thousands of feet high. Everything from their ranking system to their transport has clearly been deeply developed by the producers of Chronicles of Riddick.
The settings of this movie are impressively realistic. You can feel the heat of the 700°C Crematorium and can sense the dramatic atmosphere of Helion Prime. The Chronicles of Riddick certainly provides a believable universe for the story to take place in.
As for the storyline, I'd rather not say much about that but I will say that it results in a dramatic unfolding of events which repeat in your mind for long after you see the film.
Flaws? Not too many but this film has been criticised for lack of wit and intelligence but the critics need to imagine the film with 15 minutes of dialogue instead of every action sequence and evaluate it then. Not very good is it? Looking through Rotten Tomatoes (http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/chronicles_of_riddick/) I also see a lot of reviews saying you need to see the DVD extras to understand but I feel this film stands well on it's own. I had never heard of the franchise until I saw this on SkyMovies and I found it to be adequate as a stand-alone film. Also, a lot of critics are using the Riddick-Ridiculous joke which isn't even funny. Ignore them.
You'll enjoy this film for what it is. An action flick which has avoided being labelled as a 'Mindless' Action flick with an in-depth storyline, infatuating universe and a kick-ass lead character, Richard B. Riddick.
See this one.
Halo 2 (2004)
The Greatest Game Ever.
Halo 2 is THE first person shooter.
Every aspect that makes any video game good, Bungie have taken and perfected it in their latest instalment of the Halo trilogy.
Halo 2 takes place... well, everywhere. While the first Halo game was mainly limited to one ring-shaped planet, Halo 2 has the player travelling from Earth, to a Halo, To a Forerunner facility to the Enemy Homeland. This is part of what makes this game the best first person shooter ever, that it is unlimited in it's settings.
Halo 2 has the player in the midst of exciting battles using imaginative weapons and following a brilliant storyline. Anyone who has read the 3 novels (soon to be 4) or will see the film will know of Halo's epic storyline about a genetically-enhanced soldier's journey to save humanity from a vicious enemy, who are fighting a Holy war against the human race.
The single-player campaign of Halo 2 isn't long, but is dramatic and intense. It is is no doubt an achievement in gaming visuals. Bungie obviously paid attention to making the environments beautiful in order to enhance game-play.
The main problems with todays first-person shooters is that they lack depth, they're shallow. They can create a situation in which you must fire a gun to kill an enemy but they can't give the player a good reason to kill the enemy. Halo 2, using it's poetic battles, artistic scenery and spectacular storyline, gives the player a strong intent to stop the covenant (human's enemy) and save humanity.
This video game has inspired tons of beautiful artwork, masses of elegant poetry and endless pages of intense fan fiction stories.
All this... from one video game? doesn't seem possible, does it? Play Halo 2. And find out for yourself.
But i'm not done yet, because if the campaign of Halo 2 is the turkey, it's multi-player is it's stuffing.
Halo 2's multi-player has up to sixteen players fighting amongst a creative landscape, with 18 weapons and 7 vehicles at their disposal. You can choose to fight on an island or a train station with a sword or a sniper. And with constant updates courtesy of Bungie, the multi-player only gets better! From the inspired campaign mode to the intense multi-player mode, there is several reasons why Halo 2 is the Best Game Ever...
...at least until Halo 3 releases :-)
The Government Inspector (2005)
Goes in depth into the subject
This political drama got a 7 from me because it goes beyond simply scratching the surface of the issue (WMD in Iraq.) It is visible that a lot of research went into this documentary as it is informative and dramatic. The problem with drama-documentaries is achieving the balance between the two and 'The Government Inspector' does this well as there are some obvious dramatic effects and it remains informative.
You may find some of the facts fascinating in this drama-documentary. If you feel curious about the issue of WMD or feel it was another of the governments countless injustices to the world, you will find yourself drawn into this film. In short 'The Government Inspector' is a tragic, informative, dramatic and well cast (apart from Tony Blair maybe) although there were parts when it did look rather cheap like when: ---Minor spoiler--- Tony Blair was giving a speech ---Minor Spoiler--- although the documentary was of an overall high quality.