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Surprised by the Average Rating
I watched this on Amazon because I like Sci-Fi and the premise seemed decent and IMDb had an 8.0 rating (although only 53 votes at the time). Although I know how IMDb early votes are usually high, because they are mostly from those whom worked on the film, I figured it might be decent anyway.
I was wrong! It was a tough 40+ minutes, especially in the beginning. The acting was poor overall and the dialogue contrived. Did not expect very good SFX cause it was a short, but was surprised that they did not even use lighting well in the scenes.
The story and premise I thought might be good turned out to be mundane.
My advice, ignore the rating on IMDb, and only watch if you are extremely bored, like experimental stuff, or have seen EVERYTHING else and just want something you have not seen. Otherwise skip it!
When in Rome (2010)
When In Rome - Remember To Keep A Story
Well if you saw the trailers you know the premise, girl in Rome decides to pick up coins from a fountain, which invokes the original owner when the coin was tossed to fall in love with her....
First, they missed the comedic opportunity to have ONE of those people be a girl, but whatever; I guess it is only men who toss coins in the fountain in hope of love.
What was on the screen was fine. The actors all gave comedic performances up to that of previous RomCom formula films. The problem with the film is what is NOT there. This film seems to suffer from being over edited and cut down to 91 minutes. We get a short set-up to TRY and empathize with the leads and we get no (and I mean ZERO) background on the other men competing for love other than their career choice, before watching them behave silly. At the end we get a very brief explanation of from where each love stricken pursuer life was prior to being hoodwinked, but its too late and provides no fulfillment.
The movie plays out many jokes and gags that have no pay off since there was nothing behind them. There are a few moments where a punch-line obviously had some meaning in the relationships of the characters, but seems unfunny as the meat and plot behind the joke is missing.
In the end, we get a shell of a movie, it has a nice frosting but the cake has been stripped!! It seemed like if they had left, some of what was obviously cut, in the film it could have been really good. But the final product we get lacks anything memorable.
Skip at the high priced theater, and wait for video.
Whiteout - An Experiment In Mediocrity
I saw this film last night. I had been traveling, and did not see any advertising cause I was not watching TV. Point? I went into the film without any real expectations. I only knew the cast and saw a short blurb on the premise.
Question?? Is Kate Beckinsale's agent and representatives TRYING to Whiteout her career? Her agent should be shot for getting her involved in the films she has been associated with lately.
Whiteout has it all Starts with a long unnecessarily drawn out shower scene with a pre-shower shot focused on KB bending over, in her underwear, right into the camera. Not that I mind, but a total B-movie skin-a-max move. It is followed up with a pointless story that lacked any originality (except I guess the location) that included routine plot points and every EXPECTED twist!! We even get an uninspired, contrived history for KB's character. Add some REAL BAD dialogue at times (you know the kind the writers are not sure the audience will get the absolute obvious, so they have a character actually say the obvious out loud. They have to spell it out for all the morons they must be pandering) and you got a B-Movie with what I assume is still an A-list star??? The directing does not help, nor does the editing (whom I'll give a pass since the director handed the editor B-movie scenes). In all the film is uninspired, routine and mostly flawed with an inconsistent feel on every level.
At some points I would have given this film a 3 (mostly when that awful dialogue would proceed), a moment here and there a 5. But luckily, the best performance came from Tom Skerritt, (who managed to maintain a level of quality the rest involved could not) and his presence near the end saved a lower rating (yes, its true, parts of this film deserve lower than the overall 4).
No need to spend you hard earned money on this at the box office mess. Rent it on DVD if your REALLY bored or have an unlimited plan .or wait till skin-a-max shows it!! It may be worth the $1 Red Box rental.
I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)
Surprisingly Bad & Unfunny
After seeing a trailer that seemed to have promise I was rather surprised at how much this film lacked any laughs. This fault lies with the directing and editing. The actors seemed to give performances up to that of any other teen comedy, but the timing of the whole movie was off.....and in comedy, timing is everything! The fact that the story has little character set-up and uses every cliché stolen from numerous comedies before it does not help the ill paced scenes.
I managed to leave the theater without requesting my money back, but you know when people in the audience are having full conversations during a film, it is hardly holding anyone's attention.
Pass at the B.O. and only rent it on DVD if you have an unlimited plan and are running out of things to see.
The Informers (2008)
All This Talent......But It Did Not Amount To Much!
Well I just saw this film first thing Friday (opening). I was seated near a gentlemen who was having quite a reaction to every scene, and in one scene (not a good one for the acting - but I will get there in a minute) he literally started waving his arms and shaking his head. I look over and the man was tearing up and I though he was nearly about to breakdown in full tears. Seeing such a powerful reaction to some very early scenes in the movie, I thought to myself, "Maybe this is the guy who wrote it??" The novel I thought, unaware at the time who wrote the screenplay. So immediately upon my return, I googled Bret Easton Ellis pics and reviewed many photos. I would bet my life it was him next to me today. Hair a little longer and darker than in some photos, but same nose, and face and exact same eyes. Again he was right next to me so I was not seeing him from across the theater. I asked (whispering) if he was OK. He said yes, then a moment later (after another reaction) quietly got up and moved to the back of the theater. A while later he exit in the middle of the film.
Now, for the film itself. This is no "Less Than Zero" which would be the closest genre comparison of the Ellis filmography.
While some of the veteran actors gave decent performances the material seemed more shallow than the LA socialites the film was following. But after watching the film I suspect this is much more the fault of the directing than anyone else. It takes the proper hand and understanding of Ellis material to make it work on the stage or film. Unfortunately, two of the lesser performances came from actors we see much more in the film. Foster and Raido seemed like actors "acting" like the types rather then being the types. While the veteran actors seemed to add depth to their performances (beyond the material presented) these two "acted" on a very shallow level, as though trying to imitate the type of person they thought they were playing. Apparently giving their character little thought.
The movie sets up many broken and damage relationships and a couple of potentially heated situations, before it suddenly ends.....What??? The entire film ends up being a slice of life (many tragic life's) type of film, with little story or payoff as the ending comes abruptly. At the end I could care less about there problems or issues and the story and directing doesn't help those feelings.
Now I am not a person who goes to films to see naked women (a little to old to make that the priority and was unaware of this one), but when the movie was over all I could think was "at least Amber Heard was naked / half-naked a lot and she looked good!" In the lala land of skinny, to outrageously bony women, this one has nice curves. But its sad when you leave a film thinking "where was the story" and you know you will only remember the girl who looked good in "THAT FILM" cause the title and film itself will be forgotten quickly! Now I have not read the Ellis novel, but he did help write the screenplay. Based on his reaction, I can't help to feel this film is not what he imagined it would be. It certainly was not up to what Hollywood has been able to do with some of his other works.
To Ellis (as I am sure it was), remember the feeling you had while watching the film. And make sure the next time you sell your story to Hollywood to get paid enough money so you can take it a little easier when the "Filmmakers" butcher your work (who likely did not want you interfering with them cause THEY know how to make films, not some writer)! Or in this case, they at least produced a very unsatisfying film.
The Lucky Ones (2008)
Low Budget Film That Grows On You
So I made the trip out to one of the limited theaters showing "The Lucky Ones" which I wanted to see because of the cast. The acting is fine but the film looks and feels rather low budget. While the cast did a good job with the performances, they would have appeared better had the film been directed and edited better. I suspect it was more the director issue and that the editor did not have much "coverage" on each seen to cut any better. Many of the pivotal scenes for each character do not pay off (especially early scenes) as tension did not build. The action or reaction to the circumstances seems to play out slow. Most of the movie has limited camera angles and cuts. Added to this is the fact that music is not used much in the film (maybe budget did not allow for it) and this may be one of the reasons many scenes lack impact. The story was mediocre. It tried to give depth and layers to the characters but seems shortened. Finally, some scenes appear grainy as though shot in 16mm.
All this said, the performances of the three leads were good and are enough to win you over and leave you feeling as though you saw a decent low budget film. Far from a great film (I would not travel too far to see it) but its worth a view especially if you wait till DVD.
Vantage Point (2008)
What's The Point??
Vantage Point starts off with the incident that you see in all the trailers. An incident is all the story real amounts to. We watch the first POV from that of the news crew -- however, it is real not a point of view of any specific person, we just follow the action of certain people -- when the story reaches a certain point we quickly rewind to the next POV (kinda) from the same time (which time-code on the screen becomes part of the films laughable points) the first began.
In all, we watch a very repetitive story, and not much of an actual story at that. No character study, depth or explanation of why any characters do what they do (only a slight history on ONE character). While you do not need and in depth character study for all films, usually there is someone you emphasize with.
As I watch the film, the fourth time the story rewound, the scoffs in the theater had become out-loud laughs, and not the good kind, the kind that tells you the rest of the audience agrees with your own thought of how stupid the film really is.
In the end, there is no real story and surprisingly mediocre performances from actors who usually perform rather well. This usually indicates an unskilled director. When most actors in a film look bad, including those usually good, it is the director! Other than an attempt at a film exercise of some sort, when the film was over I could only ask, "What's the point of Vantage Point?"
All FX -- No Story
I was really looking forward to this film, as it seemed to have an interesting concept. However, the concept is basically all that is built in this movie, as it became just another film that relies on action and special effects too much and provides very little story. Further, in what little story was told the film raises far more questions than it answers and leaves the viewers to wonder why??? We are told there is a battle between two groups in this movie and other than the answer "that there has always been a battle" nothing more is explained. This is troublesome because it is the essential factor that is driving the film.
If you don't mind a movie that lacks any substance but provides mindless action and some cool effects, than JUMPER is for you. For those of you who can appreciate films that at least spend the time to answer the questions that they raise or that have a plot of some sort, spend your money elsewhere!
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
After hearing so much about the fast paced novel by Dan Brown, that everyone seemed to like, I entered the theater ready for a exciting thriller. The fact that Ron Howard was the director only kept my expectations high.
I was rather disappointed as I struggled to stay awake halfway through the film. I could not determine what happened to the fast paced thriller I had heard so much about. Also, all the plot "twist" seemed so standard and predictable. It was a formula film that lack the excitement and fast pace that I heard the novel contained.
I had only read the first seven chapters before seeing the movie, but will finish the book. I am curious as to what went wrong.
The performances were fine, Ron Howard's directing and selection of shots seemed up to his abilities. I think it went wrong in the editing. Some shots seemed a bit too long, holding after the cut was necessary, to maintain a faster paced film. Thus the film never built any tension or anticipation. I am shock it did as well at the box office as it did the opening weekend. I can only think word of mouth had not spread fast enough. I was equally shock at how some critics have given good reviews (including E&R two thumbs up). Although not a bad film, not one of the better ones. Far from it.
I Love Your Work (2003)
I was interested in seeing this picture after reading a short synopsis, which, unfortunately, was better than the film. The film has a nice cast of actors but is slow moving and does not build much momentum nor does it build any tension. The film does not set up the leads mental breakdown very well, as there is not much done to explain the pressures that are making him crack. He ultimately just seems to be a person who is ill or weak, rather than someone who broke under extreme pressure (which I think was the intention).
Watching this on DVD the sound quality was poor with low volume (had to crank the volume up higher than normal, just to hear it). Music did not aide this movie in building any emotional response. Although I wouldn't go as far to say it was a very bad film, it just was not very good. Unltimately, the failure would fall on Adam Goldberg who was writer, director & producer. Adam is a good actor, but may have possibly wore too many hats on this project.