Reviews written by registered user
|14 reviews in total|
My Bloody Valentine 3D is one of those really rare kinds of horror
flicks. It delivers buckets of gore, brisk pacing, and a lot of in your
face 3D goodness. Sit close to the front of your theater for the
maximum effect (if you dare!). There is brutality in king size
portions, sure to satisfy the most hardcore of horror fans. They really
pull out all the stops with that pickaxe's of his.
Perhaps most importantly though, the production and marketing teams were aware of what it what it was. At its core, its a cheesy mindless slasher film, and rather than try to overcome this, My Bloody Valentine acknowledges this trait and works with it. It owns it. Internet ads bore slogans such as 'Its actually 4D if you're wasted.' Never does it get bogged down trying to patch together an airtight story. It just keeps its unrelenting pace up from start to finish, and delivers what the audience came out to see, gratuitous violence.
A film like this is quite refreshing for the genre, not because it is artful by any means, but because it embraces its inherent trashiness. By deliberately failing to take itself seriously, My Bloody Valentine becomes something more than the majority of its peers can ever be. It becomes fun in the same way that a Poison concert or monster truck rally is fun. Take my advice and see this thing as it was meant to be seen, through beer goggles and a pair of cheap 3D glasses. Enjoy it for what it is and don't worry about the second thoughts you might have tomorrow morning.
I'm not quite sure how director Marcus Nipsel and company managed to
take this screenplay, which had potential, and suck every ounce of
life, drama and coolness out of it. They did, though. Pathfinder proves
to be another completely forgettable historical action movie at best,
generic as hell, right down to your cookie-cutter indestructible action
hero (played by Karl Urban).
My biggest gripe with the film, and I have many, comes from how long it was pushed back for. If I remember correctly, it was first slated for release in January of '06. It was delayed well over a year, and I assumed that the crew were editing, re shooting and doing other things that might make the film better. I should have remembered what happens when one assumes. In reality, they were just waiting around for a good time to release the film, because it obviously didn't improve in that year and a half. At one point, they literally insert stock footage of an avalanche instead of creating their own CGI (or real) avalanche. Who are you guys kidding? There are about six words worth of meaningful dialog in this film. The Vikings don't even look human, nobody ever really explains why they're going out of their way to kill everyone. The Native Americans are portrayed as weak and stupid, little more than target practice. This film just lets the arrows fly and the heads roll.
The acting is horrendous as well. Its got some cool action scenes, but thats about it. It might have been a blessing having so little dialog in Pathfinder, because if how brutal the little that was present proved to be. It was like, Covenant bad. The script literally sounds like it was written by a child.
Overall, Pathfinder wastes its potential and fails to prove itself worthy of anyone's time, let alone anyone's money. No amount of good action could have saved this film from its fate.
First off, am still in disbelief at the critical reception that The
Number 23 has gotten. I did manage to enjoy it. It was clearly not the
most intelligent of thrillers, but at its worst, it was a well
executed, but horrendously written film.
23 kept me guessing through most of the film. I thought it was well photographed, and loved how the filmmakers alternated to a kind of film-noir style for the story within the book. On the other hand, some of the real world scenes looked stale and empty. It also had a serious believability issue. You need to really be able to suspend disbelief and avoid asking questions during this movie. The only really solid aspect of the 23's plot is the stunning detail they went into with the 23 enigma. The 23 enigma is a phenomenon that has been studied by mathemeticians, and the number has some positively strange literary passages, historical events and properties attached to it, but it is not enough to build a film on. Once you get past the number, you realize just how bland the characters and plot really are.
The cast did a good job with the film, with most of them playing dual roles, one in the real world and one in the world depicted by the book. I love it when people like Jim Carrey decide to take serious roles. He is a solid actor, and needs to balance out the dumb comedy.
Overall, it seemed like 23 was trying very hard to be Pi, and in most places it failed miserably. The filmmakers tried to lure you away from the static characters and lame plot by focusing on the 23 enigma, wheras Pi did the opposite. It put the numbers in the background and exposed its protagonist's slow descent into madness and chaos brilliantly. 23 mascarades as a good film with depth and a plot, but upon closer examination, has very little beneath its shiny and appealing surface.
First off, let me say this. Night at the Museum exceeded my expectations. The whole of the cast does a good job, most notably Robin Williams. The film looked pretty bad from trailers and advertisements. That said, it wasn't bad, but it was also far from good. Its obvious target is the 8-12 year old demographic, who will undoubtedly eat it up. The predictable plot and constant childish undertones will leave anyone older than thirteen disappointed. Its cheap physical humor and lectures about how working as a team and playing nice are the cool things to do also dragged on for far too long. If you have young children, bring them. They'll love it. If you do not then I cannot in good faith recommend Night at the Museum.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once in a great while, a film comes along that just leaves you staring
wide eyed and open mouthed, long after the credits are finished
rolling. Borat, I am delighted to say, is one of these such films. It
is unapologetically raunchy, but tremendously funny and oddly poignant
at the same time. Perhaps Borat's biggest feat is that it also manages
to be entirely original. Sacha Baron Cohen has crafted his masterwork,
and delivered to unsuspecting audiences on of the funniest and most
unique films of our generation.
The character of Borat was introduced on Cohen's earlier TV show, Da Ali G Show. He is a journalist from Kazakhstan, sent to America to make a film about our culture. Borat is extremely sexist and anti-semitic, but also naive and strangely lovable. He takes on any social norm in his path and shatters it into unrecognizable shards. Traveling with friend and producer, Azamat, he arrives in the U.S.A., and wastes no time shifting the focus of the jokes from himself to us. This is where the movie shows its depth. I am really embarrassed that some of the people he crashed in on share the same country as I do. For example, at one point, in front of a crowd at a rodeo, he says that he wishes to see "George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq." The crowd reacted with a thunderous round of applause. How's that for a scathing bit of satire? I'm honestly still a bit awestruck by what I have just seen. It very well may be the funniest movie you will see in years. It is obscene beyond belief, but I laughed myself retarded for all 84 glorious minutes that it lasted. Its smarter than it looks and just plain hysterical. Bottom Line: Borat is a must see. A 10/10
I walked into The Departed with pretty high expectations from Scorsese
and his cast of all-stars, and walked out with all those expectations
fulfilled and more. Scorsese makes his first film in a while that is
truly up to par with his classics. Everything about it clicks together
The acting is top notch on all fronts. Everyone in the film gives a career defining performance. Jack Nicholson steals every scene he's in, with his best portrayal of a villain since The Shining. If he does not receive at least a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars this year, I'll be shocked. Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio also turn in spectacular performances, Leo especially made the character of William Costigan his own, although the both of them tend to overdo the Boston accent a bit (I'm from Mass, and the accent just isn't that prominent). You can really feel a sense of stress and urgency in their voices that does not come off as forced. Whalberg's performance is probably the weakest of the four leads, but that doesn't really mean anything. His job was still rock solid, but just pales next to how well the others took their roles. Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, and Vera Farming all have well acted supporting roles as well.
The plot, without telling you anything about it that isn't already out there, revolves around the Massachusetts State Police trying to pin down reputed mobster Frank Costello (Nicholson). Costello's character appears to be loosely based real life Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. Each organization has a mole in their ranks, and the bulk of the action comes as they hunt each other down. It really blurs the line between good guy and bad guy. Honestly, I don't think the film had a single legitimate good guy in it. This is a film that you'll want to see repeatedly, you'll pick up new plot details every time. It's a very realistic portrayal of the struggle between the law and organized crime, and a very poignant portrayal of the struggle for identity, motivation and meaning for the soldiers on both sides of that war. Scorsese could have ended the movie at about the 115-minute mark, but chose to go on and wrap up the unresolved conflicts of all of the characters, and that is what separates this from a run of the mill crime drama.
The violence in the film is some of the most realistic I've ever seen. Plenty of gray matter paints the walls during the course of the film. The soundtrack also works very well, centrally using Boston natives the Dropkick Murphy's cover of "I'm Shipping up to Boston" to craft a great city atmosphere at the beginning of the film.
The Departed is the best film I've seen this year. It knocks both V for Vendetta and Little Miss Sunshine out of the tie for the top spot on the list. The The 150+ minute runtime just flies by. It'll grab you by the neck and pull you in to it and hang on for dear live.
Director Neil Burger triumphs, as The Illusionist proves itself to be
much more than meets the eye. Edward Norton proves himself as versatile
an actor as any out there. Its nice to see him play someone other than
his usual angry outsider role. His character is calm, collected and
captivating, and he plays the role of Eisenhiem the Illusionist with
Oscar-worthy skill. Paul Giamatti plays every role like that, and this
one is no exception. Jessica Biel is equally wonderful in her role as
an Austrian duchess, betrothed to Crown Prince Leopold and seduced by
The plot is complex and will leave you guessing until right up to the end. Everything flows naturally and the dialog is very eloquently written. This is one of those films that really needs a couple of viewings and undivided attention for one to walk out with the full experience.
The Illusionist has proved to be a ray of light in an otherwise dull September at the movies. The next time you visit your local theater, The Illusionist deserves strong consideration.
I'll be brief in my review of the Covenent. While it is nowhere near
the worst movie I've ever seen, it may be the worst theatrical release
I have made the mistake of watching in the past year. Name any area of
film-making, and the boys that worked on this one manage to muck it up
pretty badly. The only notable exception to that statement that comes
to mind is the cinematography and editing. I like that cool blue-ish
color scheme cast over the entire film, and the editing was fine.
Other aspects of the film were below par, and some were just plain abysmal. The dialog is particularly poorly crafted. It feels forced and unnatural throughout, much like the dialog does in a porno. This, however, is only about half the fault of the screenwriters. The rest of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the actors. A more generic bunch would have been difficult to cast. They're also not particularly solid as actors, but that is to be expected with such a young and unknown cast. Now that I think about it, most of the film was pretty damn generic. The story, which was set in my home state of Massachusetts, was a generic and painfully straightforward abomination on some real history. They made my state look extraordinarily generic, and they used generic, video game quality special effects.
This was one of those movies that just really managed to disappoint me. I was really expecting something from it, and it let me down hard. Bottom line: avoid The Covenant for now, and if you're still curious when it comes out on DVD, give it a rental.
Alright, lets first get one thing straight. The Protector is not a
highly plot-centric movie. The story, while damn good for the genre, is
just there as a clever excuse for Tony Jaa to fight people. That, my
fellow fans of gratuitous violence, is the real draw of the film. Jaa
kicks a lot of ass in a very short amount of time.
That being said, Tony Jaa is absolutely stunning as a martial artist and stuntman. The only barrier standing between him and a major U.S. breakthrough is that he does not speak English. He has everything else going for him. His style is pretty unique and very raw, his technique is flawless, his acting is as solid as can be expected, and his stunts and acrobatics are beyond belief. I don't understand how the human body is capable of pulling off some of the things he does. I consider myself to be in very good physical shape, and his acrobatics, speed and raw strength are nothing short of mind-boggling to me. The fight choreography, which he did a large part of, is astoundingly well done, even if a couple fights come off as a bit cheesy.
Overall, this is one of the better martial arts flicks I've seen in quite a while, and if you enjoy seeing raw, visceral, and highly technical fights, than you will definitely want to see The Protector.
If ever a movie was made to get one's heart pumping, Crank is it. It
takes a marginally believable and undeniably awesome premise, adds one
of the brightest up-and-coming action stars around, stirs in some new
ingredients that the genre hasn't really seen before, and bakes until
the final product rises beyond all expectations. The catch phrase "a
thrill a minute" doesn't really go the distance to describe how
ridiculously action packed this film is. A thrill every ten to fifteen
seconds is more like it. First time directors Mark Nedveldine and Brian
Taylor relentlessly bash you over the head with the action hammer.
Their cinematography is manic and the style is reminiscent of that used
by Tony Scott in Domino. It fits the pace of the film quite well.
Jason Statham delivers to audiences the only thing he knows how to deliver, and that is pure, distilled ass kicking. That is his job, and he is very, very good at it. Make no mistake, the film is very strongly 'R' rated. There is a bounty of flesh, and a strong smattering of violence, and drug use. Don't be thrown off by Amy Smart's name on the poster. Even though she does a fine job as Statham's on screen girlfriend Eve, hers (and every other) part takes a deliberate and distant backseat to Statham's charismatic portrayal of hit-man Chev Chelios. He also manages to wind more than a few threads of pretty solid humor into the performance. All in all, its Statham's most impressive job in a leading role yet.
In a nutshell the plot revolves around Chev Chelios, poisoned by his employer after a hit went sour with a synthetic Chinese compound that blocks his adrenaline receptors. The only way for him to stay alive is to get pumped up and stay pumped up. Anything he can get his hands on to raise his adrenaline is fair game, from drugs to energy drinks to raunchy public sex and more as he tears a path of carnage and mayhem through the streets of L.A. in search of the man who tried to kill him.
Crank is everything you could feasibly ask it to be and more. The filmmakers take an iffy premise, work their magic (read 'good casting and direction') on it, and produce reel after reel of pure adrenaline on film. It packs over the top action in with incredible stunts, clever and biting humor, a decent story and some above average acting. It's one of the most entertaining films of the year and may well be a career highlight for Statham. It's one of those films that you'll definitely want to go see with a bunch of the guys. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in pure fun and distilled manliness. A high 8 out of 10.
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