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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The best Harry Potter adaptation so far..., 16 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My first piece of advice is the same as it would be for any other cinematic adaptation of a book. Read the book before you watch the movie. There are a couple things (Who sent the dementors after Harry, why Fudge refuses to believe Voldemort is back, etc.) that are never fully explained in the movie. For anyone who didn't read the book and wants to know Umbridge sent the dementors after Harry in an effort to discredit him. As for Fudge: he is, to use Dumbledore's words, "blinded by the love of the office" he holds. Voldemort being back would seriously jeopardize the power he has as Minister (not to mention that the idea of Voldemort's return is just too terrifying) so he simply ignores the facts.

I was very worried that a lot of events that are so important to the book would be written out of the movie. However, the use of Daily Prophet headlines/articles to show not only the passage of time, but the happenings around the trio was fantastic! Yes, Firenze was mostly written out as no one resumed the teaching of divination after Professor Trelawney was sacked. Yes, poor Dobby was written out AGAIN. The only moment with Percy (who is on Fudge's side in the book) is a split second glimpse of him standing behind the Minister. But - in spite of all that IT WORKED! The pacing was great, there were no dull moments, you still got to see regular teenage moments (i.e. Harry & Cho's kiss) in between danger and heroism.

The only "major" change of which I do not approve is having Neville find the Room of Requirement. As the chamberpot conversation between Dumbledore and Harry was written out of Goblet of Fire there was no advance knowledge that this room existed. As Dobby was written out he couldn't be the one to tell Harry about it. I think we were supposed to believe that Neville was fleeing from bullies and needed a place to hide so the room opened, but it just didn't work. It had a very, "ho-hum look what I found" feel. Meh.

I loved the exit of the Fred & George. I loved Grawp's little crush on Hermione. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Luna!!!! She was perfect! On the whole it's the best HP adaptation yet and was a great, fun, thrilling, tense ride.

Well done!

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
This is easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen..., 5 July 2007

Okay, between this piece of crap and Dead Man's Chest, Gore Verbinski owes me about five hours of my life.

I read the reviews before I saw it so I knew it was going to be bad, but even the most scathing review didn't prepare me for just how terrible this movie was. The acting was HORRIBLE in part, I'm sure, because of the hideously bad script. The plot, what little there was, made absolutely NO sense with several plot points building up and having zero payoff.

Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (who had some sparks in the first one) had no on-screen chemistry what-so-ever.

I also REALLY hated that the mutual respect between Jack and Will was killed and disregarded by the two ensuing movies. I felt cheated.

As far as I'm concerned from here on out I refuse to acknowledge the existence of "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End" and will preserve the excellent acting, writing, and ending of "Curse of the Black Pearl."

1408 (2007)
13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Note to screenwriter - DON'T ADD!, 5 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, it started out really well - there was build-up, lines of background from the story turned into well played exposition, tense moments in the hotel room, and then...

It got weird.

About 45 minutes into the film it takes a complete departure from the short story. I know you have to add filler to turn a short story into a movie, but this was just insane. Scene after scene of a terrified looking John Cusak running between windows, in and out of the bathroom, squeezing through air vents. It was like watching an out of control train that never planned on crashing.

In the beginning of the film there is foreshadowing of a bad relationship between Cusak's Enslin and his father, but with the exception of an unfulfilling 30 second scene in the bathroom there's no payoff.

It's like they decided to replace mean daddy with dead daughter. And THAT sucked. At no point did I need or want to see the apparition of his little girl walking her bloody feet over broken glass to "die" in his arms.

The ending wasn't so bad because at least he burns the room which is true to the story.

To all screenwriters: Stop adapting short stories into movies - it DOES NOT WORK!!!

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Sooooo much better than 12, 5 July 2007

They're back in Vegas! Yay!

I really, really enjoyed this installment in the "Ocean's..." trilogy. The movie jumps right in with little to no exposition, runs non stop, and has a great ending.

As much as I love Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones it was actually refreshing to not have their characters dragging down the film as they did in "12."

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Matt Damon all put in stellar performances with their more colorful than ever characters. The entire ensemble worked flawlessly together and Al Pacino was great!!!

If you're in the mood for a fun ride, go see this ASAP!

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I wasn't going to review this movie but..., 18 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The more I thought about it the angrier I got about the two plus hours of my life I spent watching it! Yes, the special effects were great. That is the ONLY good thing I can say.

The principals were poorly and sloppily cast: Kevin Spacey (who is my favorite actor for pity's sake) seemed to have phoned in the entire performance and I have to wonder if he bothered to read the script before he accepted the part.

Kate Bosworth as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is laughable because when the movie came out she was all of twenty-three. That and she's possibly the least well-spoken person on the cast. Oh, and I know Kate has two different colored eyes, but I didn't realize Lois Lane did. They put her in a bad wig but forgot the contacts??

I'm pretty sure Brandon Routh was catatonic though the entire movie. He should go back to soap operas and let his voice-over-ed inner monologue do the acting for him.

James Marsden was the best of a bad bunch but that isn't saying much.

Casting Eva Marie Saint was just cruelty to Hitchcock fans.

There are several things about the movie that I simply don't understand:

When was this baby conceived that Lois could seem to NOT KNOW it was Superman's kid? We know she doesn't remember anything because of the kiss, but was she already sleeping with Richard then? Did she just think the kid was really premature? Does she think humans gestate for longer than 9 months? Maybe Superkids take longer to incubate.

Now, I'm not a Superman expert by a long-shot, but from what I understand when he gets close to Kryptonite his powers go bye-bye. That's how Lex Luthor and his henchmen were able to beat the crap out of him on the "landmass." So then will someone please explain to me how he was able to lift and fly the Kryptonite-riddled "landmass" into outer space while still having a piece of it embedded in his back!!??? Yes, I know he went into a coma afterward, but he shouldn't have been able to do it in the first place!!! And, while we're on the subject of the "landmass." THAT was Lex Luthor's big plan?!? Drown the US and replace it with an ugly, gray, spiky thing with dead fish for carpeting? Why in the world would the surviving members of the human race want anything to do with that? He could have at least pulled a Dr. Evil and held the US for ransom and THREATENED to drown it with Gray Crystal Palace. What he did makes no sense.

Do you know what I took away from this movie? This is what I would say was the main theme if I had to write a report on this film: Lois Lane is a whore and Superman is a deadbeat dad.

I'd like to think that ISN'T was Singer was going for, but he failed miserably.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful and witty!, 9 May 2007

"The Truman Show" meets "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in this slightly less perfect, but still intelligent and heartwarming film.

Unpredictable to the point of suspenseful this entertaining movie blends black comedy, romance, mystery, and literary thriller with almost seamless precision.

Will Ferrell manages to rein in his usual manic exuberance (for the most part) to portray the mundane and scheduled Harold Crick before sliding expertly into confused and powerless and finally acquiescent and uncomplaining. The on-screen chemistry between Harold and law-school-drop-out-turned-baker Ana (brilliantly played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) is fun and believable.

Queen Latifah proves once again her uncanny ability to steal scenes like a leading actress while supporting the hell out of Emma Thompson's frustrated, mentally drained Karen Eiffel.

The weak link in the cast, since there has to be one, is Dustin Hoffman. His Dr. Hilbert, who you immediately forget when he's not right in front of you, did not pull off "deep" or "esoteric" and was just generally annoying.

My favorite moment from the movie was easily when Harold arrives at "The Uprising" at closing time to bear his heart (or at least his libido) to Ana. And what does he bring her? Flours. It doesn't get much more perfect than that.

All in all it was clever, fun, and kept me guessing until the last frame which is always a plus. Sure there were lines and scenes that could have been better, leaving my husband to make the astute statement that the film would have been flawless had it been written by Charlie Kaufman, but it was a lovely little movie and it certainly made my weekend.


9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Close enough, I suppose., 22 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a rabid Harry Potter fan, as I'm sure most of the people who went out of their way to review this film are. I am also, however, a purist and therefore must take exception with certain aspects of this interpretation.

My main problem with the movie was that even though in an A&E special Newell complained about having only 120 pages in which to fit this 700+ page novel, he chose to add things. Granted, as my husband points out, we've never seen these kids dance, so the dances lessons scene was needed. Personally, I would have gladly sacrificed the graceful choreography of the Yule Ball for an extra scene with Draco Malfoy, the World Cup, the Dursley's, Snape, Sirius, or for heaven's sake - Molly Weasley! In a book of this size there will of course be omissions in the movie, but there were certain things missing that simply should not have been. Lessons, for example. This is still a school, yes? Could the trio's conversation regarding dates for the ball have taken place during History of Magic instead of what appeared to be a never-before-seen study hall? The first task was alright, but again, I could have lived without Harry falling all over the castle roof in exchange for another scene that was actually in the book. The second task was again not bad; however, since Dobby (and Winky and Ludo Bagman) was written out of the script there was no one to warn Harry as to what had been stolen from him - when he got the bottom of the lake how did he decide that Ron was his hostage and not Hermione? Are we supposed to believe that Harry likes Ron more? As for the third task - where on EARTH were all the magical creatures and spells?? Mist that forces the world upside down, Hagrid's blast-ended skrewts, giant spiders, and a sphinx scare me a lot more than wizard-eating roots and hedges that grow together rather quickly.

Cedric, Krum, and Hermione were completely out of character for half the movie. Cedric made a point of telling Harry that he'd asked people not to wear the "Potter Stinks" badges, but second before had laughed with his friends as they ridiculed Harry. Cedric in the maze attacking an obviously bewitched Krum? Forcing his way past Harry only to scream for his help when he was attacked by the roots? Granted, he came to his senses and told Harry to take the cup, but by and large he was not the sweet, noble Cedric portrayed in the book.

Krum's head is certainly NOT full of sawdust. He is not cocky. He REALLY isn't good-looking and graceful. Nor is he a "physical being" as in the book he tries non-stop to engage Hermione in conversation. And, speaking of Hermione. Collapsing in tears on the steps in the entrance hall - what the hell was that?! Hermione gets angry - and then cries in private, not out in the open like that.

Then there were the little things. Who is Nigel and where was Dennis Creevy? Where was Lavender Brown and why are both the Patil twins suddenly in Gryffindor? Where was the Ministry denial of Voldemort's return? All of that being said - in and of itself it was an excellent movie, if a little frantic pace wise. The SFX were flawless and the kids' acting has improved greatly over the years. I'll see it again and will add it to my collection when it hits DVD. And, to be fair as I told a friend - I probably wouldn't have been completely happy with a 6 hour version. I'm just that picky. In the end, it's still Harry Potter.