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12 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Cop out, 13 January 2014

This film had every opportunity to make a fair commentary about sex work being legitimate work. But instead opted for the softball ending. The third act was utterly disappointing in how unbelievably compromised it was. From Franco's drug addled boyfriend character turning to denigrate Cherry, to the total lack of consequence surrounding Margaret's relationship ending and her just simply replacing her former long-term live in girlfriend with Cherry. And ultimately Cherry's absurd move to being behind the camera, like it's a simple task any novice can accomplish with relative ease.

It's as though the script for this film was only partially thought out. And the characters were maligned from the moment they hit the frame. None of the characters had a genuine connection to one another, for example the Francis/Cherry relationship process and especially the Andrew/Cherry dynamic. What a complete wash of over-simplification.

This film is pretentiously fence-sitting and poorly actualized. Makes me sad, because it's a great opportunity that the filmmakers lost.

Max Payne (2008)
35 out of 61 people found the following review useful:
Don't waste your money, it's one of the worst films made this year, 19 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh Max Payne… What unfortunate series of events were put into motion to make you such a bad film?

First, the writing; knowing full well that is a movie adapted from a video game that is derivative of other films. However, as a popcorn flick, you don't expect to be challenged mentally, you see it to get your violently happy smile on. That's it. It's a simple escapist pleasure to see a movie that's dumb, but fun. The formula is that simple. Shed those completely unnecessary layers that may slow down the action and instead insert bravado into the spots between the action scenes. Crank is a good example, there's very little to that movie aside from stay hyper and kick ass.

So the first problem with Max Payne is heavy handed and droning attempt to develop a two dimensional character… Why? It's not like Max Payne needs a lot of development, he's a dude with a vengeance on, shut up and let it happen. Instead you're walked through all of these really bad scenes filled wit the worst dialogue put to page. It's like watching soft-core blue movies without a nut to bust. That's just the first 20 minutes. The movie continues, but first let me tell you how they open the film, because it really set the bar for the rest of really badness of it all.

We open on a man walking down a hallway towards a door cracked open and light bleeding through it… A baby is crying in the distance. The man moves closer to the door and on that door a big sign reading "Baby" is hung on it. First off, I ma not sure why, if they're assuming that an audience is that dumb; they didn't just put a big old title on the screen, or put an interpreter up there to point and say "Hey, there's an Freakin' BABY in there!" I know it ties with the video game, but this is an adaptation, some changes for the sake of not raping the audience's intelligence have to be made. And, believe me, it doesn't stop there, the film is filled with some of the most heavy handed art direction, really bad sound design and some of the worst editing I've seen since Live Free Die Hard. It's that bad.

Later on in the film Max and the Mila Kunis playing a Russian girl supposed to move plot, but ultimately becomes a tragic and unfulfilled, unresolved and disjointed piece of the movie; well they stop into a goth tattoo parlor, where they go through a catalogue of tattoo's and stop on the reoccurring one they see. They question the proprietor and at the drop of the dime he pulls out an old book about Norwegian mythology and starts talking about Valkyrie's, the symbol and the significance of the mark/tattoo. This brief wikipedia presentation ends with such a blatant inconsistency with Mark Walberg/Max Payne asking one more question and then the shop proprietor responding with a really big and dumb "Huh?" So in one single turn he goes from Mythology and theology expert into dumb goth guy.

The movie spends so much time building to a conflict, but without any tension, just trivial scene after scene.

There were points in the movie that we were really laughing, but they really weren't supposed to be funny. Dramatic tension was the goal, but the exact opposite occurred. In particular Mila Kunis talking to Max about how much of a dark time bomb he is. The dialogue is SO poorly written that the scene becomes comedic.

Beau Bridges line in the end is also laughably bad.

Other miserable notes… Chris O'Donnell, Yep, bad.

Nelly Furtado's cameo… Was one of the most laughably bad moments on the screen and the first shot of Ludicrous, was also really funny. Like, really, really funny.

I guess some things that should have been aborted are born, and Max Payne is one that is prospering. Which is really unfortunate.

4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Disgusting Display of Disrespect, 26 May 2008

The filmmakers clearly don't have any regard for the audience with this "For the Fans" film. All movie fans ask for is a simple and enteraining piece of work. Indiana Jones could have been searching for a bthro0om because he has to take a menacing dump, and it his stool would have been better than this film.

I went into the theater with marginally low expectations, assuming I was going to see some the traditional Spielberg and Lucas over the top fair... But, I still managed to leave the theater disappointed and bitter.

If you want to appease the audience, don't insult them with this terrifying interpretation of the fans intelligence. The "Magic" was definitely not there for this film.

Thanks for ruining a Friday night out at the movies guys :)

P2 (2007)
50 out of 85 people found the following review useful:
So Surprised How good this was...., 12 March 2008

So, P2... it looks like it would be a crap movie. But it's actually pretty good. I KNOW!!! Coming from an art background and as an avid fan of suspense and horror films I found this film was pretty smart and responsible. Rachel Nichols performance was really good, and the scenario plays out believably while avoiding a plethora of gender stereotypes, as well as confrontational stereotypes.

The characters are interesting and dynamic is great. From their first interactions, and the interplay between them it's clear how involved the process was in trying to capture those moments.

As far as the story goes, it's a pretty standard fair for a suspense thriller type of film. What makes this one work is the consideration given to selling the moments truthfully and keeping scenes honest. Right down to the end of the film. Wes Bently is a really gifted actor, his performance was candid, truthful and filled with a lot of well expressed anxiety and isolation. But never really expressed vocally, but it's always present in his character. Rachel Nichols is straight aces with her exploration of her characters pensive and diplomatic displacement in the situation she finds herself in. These two carry the film. The only problem I had was that one character was never really at the center, and I really wanted to know more than what I was being provided. I think some more time with either Bently's or Nichol's characters could have made a world a difference in really attaching us to them. I would say more so for Bently's security guard... he has an implied back-story, but I wanted to see more... how he functions outside of his job a little.

Something that really divides Seven from all it's other rip-offs and variations is the focus on the subtle specifics of Mills and Somerset's world, how definite and impractical their ethics are in the environments they inhabit. And then, how liberal and apathetic they are when faced with John Doe's absolute nature. This dynamic is that missing ingredient from P2. You're not really given an identifiable attachment to either of the core characters.

But overall, a movie I greatly under-estimated... This film does deserve a good look, but don't expect it to be something like "The Eye" or "Skeleton Key". It's a much richer and culturally considerate tapestry than films of that ilk, but isn't rich enough to be a classic like "Seven". It's a good film that I am sure didn't fully get it's dues.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Awkwardly Good, but an unfocused picture, 12 March 2008

So this movie is a mess, but a compelling mess. To start the opening sequence outlines events that were missed by the viewers in the comic prequels to a Justin Timberlake voice over, you're providing the early framework for an extremely dense and unfocused story that veers from comedy to science fiction with a heavy handed social commentary. Dwayne Johnson, Sean William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar and a slew of former SNL cast members and B-Movie stars fill the screen but mostly aren't afforded the chance to really explore their characters, with the exception of the Rock, with parts of Sean William Scott's character and Sarah Michelle's getting some good face time and play.

A very deliberate attempt at encouraging actors to be mugging during reaction shots scores through the entire film... the most noticeable is Will Sasso's overacting during his scene with the Rock and SMG. Kevin Smith's cameo is also kind of jarring, in that his character has no place.

Wallace Shawn during his moments stole scenes by just being Wallace Shawn in a lot of exaggerated make up.

Okay, so my comments on the film are starting to read like the movie does... messy.

So, overall... good watch, but don't expect the second coming here, it's a pretty looking mess, like Guy Ritchie's "Revolver" or "Shock Treatment". It's good, but has a big shadow cast over it by the director's previous film(s).

Still worth a watch if your films to read like an interpretive dance. Which sometimes can be interesting.

5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Mediocre at best, 20 February 2008

George Romero's Diary of the Deqad, is a lot like Spiderman, if instead of Sam Raimi, Stan Lee were directing it. It's a constant irritation when you're being beaten over the head with "Here's the point of this scene" dialogue. And "HERE"S THE MESSAGE" themes. I think Romero thinks we're all retarded.

And, oh dear god... some of the worst dialogue by some of the most uninteresting actors perhaps ever. This should have been a made for TV flick, at least then the camp, and the theme would fit the media and expectations of TV. This is a disposable film that labours to carry it's characters from start to ambiguous finish. Now, believe me, I get the aesthetic, I really do... Student film, meets voyeurism, meets pretentious social commentary. Overly literal dialogue and crass "disinformation" observations make this film a Coles notes of something that had potential. Also, I am pretty sure a "student" film wouldn't be able to afford a feature length DI and Color Grading. The colors of this film even add to the lameness.

Zombie "purism or not, this movie was sub par... wait for a download, an iTunes rental, DVD, Blu Ray, whatever.

It's still a better movie than ANY of the Saw franchise. So, that gives me a sense of satisfaction, I guess.

14 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Ugh., 27 December 2007

CG Villains with no real risk. A compelling story mishandled by a film-making team that is all style over substance. Will Smith is alright, and this starts off well, but soon just falls into Francis Lawrence's kingdom of retarded... It's a magical place where CG vampires wear leather vests and new characters are popping out of nowhere.

This film had the potential of being good... hence the 3 star score instead of 1.

Please Francis Lawrence, leave Palahniuk's Survivor alone. I really don't want to see another good book ruined.

What were you thinking...CG vampires, wiggly jaws and no discernible character other than lame as bad boy. What a waste of production money.

NY abandoned and Will Smith alone, that's interesting. Vampires, could have been interesting... if they were in fact you know partially human extra's and cast with real performers.

But no Francis Lawrence... you made a villain with no moral ambiguity and identifiable characteristics other than being "pissed".

This movie is a disappointment.

Wild Hogs (2007)
13 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
I cannot believe people are paying to see this, 17 April 2007

One is still to high a score... it is the lamest film I have ever seen... Thank god for the "Free Pass" otherwise I would be even more offended then I already am. I still wasted my time on watching this disastrous piece of bile.

The film is so stupid, the jokes are predictable... you care nothing for any character and the story is tiresome and pointless.

If this is what passes for culture in North America... then it's time for an enema... a right proper and painful one.

How does this... This pimple of a movie get made? Dear Lord please impale everyone responsible with something pointy, but dull so it hurts more.

Grindhouse (2007)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
This movie is a gift, 17 April 2007

Grindhouse is a gift from the filmmakers to an audience that is starving for good cinema... However, that audience has apparently been fattened by Wild Hogs and Meet the Robinsons. So now, we have these two really spectacular films struggling in their commercial release, because The American audience isn't ready for the product.

Now, within the next few years, knock off Grindhuse films are going to crop up everywhere, and they will capitalize where this film is supposed to be "failing" right now. These films are literally a gift from the filmmakers... they're giving you a gift for the price of your admission.

Now.. where this experience kind of falls short... 1) flip the order... because "Death Proof" is a foreplay film... it dangles tension in front of you and makes you wait for a pay off, really skillful and rewarding film-making. While "Planet Terror" is all out intercourse from start to finish.

The trailers... such a great filler and an amazing aesthetic device that only makes this theatrical experience that much more fun.

A lot of people are bashing "Death Proof", but mostly for the same reasons they loved either "Reservoir Dogs" or "Pulp Fiction"... Dialogue, pacing and really great performances. However, after "Planet Terror" a movie that is repetitively kicking your genitals for more... "Death Proof" comes off as slow.

But... both films are amazing accomplishments and a really great experience to be had at the theater.

It is worth every cent of your ticket price... And, let's be honest here... do you really need to be spending money on seeing films that making the public dumber? (i.e. Wild Hogs)

Go see Grindhouse, bring your friends and prepare to holler and hoot your way through 3 hours of film. It's SO worth it.

Surprising, 1 January 2007

OK, I wouldn't say this was a GREAT film, but it was certainly entertaining and completely caught me off guard. The writing is honest, the characters are believable and movie is a well articulated piece of film-making. Rocky 3 and 4 were such disappointments, and I had not seen Rocky 5, however this film had some real intelligence and a backbone of optimism that is not contrived or forced like most superhero or underdog films, the optimism is all character driven and really resignates much more fully than previous Rocky films. This film really taps the essence of what made the first film great, and is much more true to that idiom than the over-hyped film real-estate of the 80's. This film is free of forced moments and plays out as honestly as it could hope too. I really wish this film had of been Rocky 4.

By the same token... Some elements of the story push to hard too quickly and attempt to force sympathy. I would have been pulled in more by seeing a less Hallmark closure to one of the series most vital characters, and the whole story doesn't come out as simply as it could if Rocky were to experience something more everyday, and then the aftermath would be much more of a tug n the characters direction. Good things happen to Bad people, much the same as bad things happen to good. I think if it would have been more signifigant to have written something more final, but less of an end for that character. So Rocky has some sense of failure that fuels him more that just his ambition, the other side of that coin would suggest that ambitions are enough, and should always be... But, I think for cinematic reasons he should have had less esteem to work from, and more to work out. If that makes sense.

All in all, a good film, definitely worth a viewing.

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