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Beneath the Mississippi (2008)
Audio sucks, makes it almost unbearable to watch.
Everything else aside, the sound on this film is deplorable. Extremely loud bass sounds and bangs (which can be a cool effect if used properly) followed by actors that are basically whispering. Impossible to watch normally, so I switched to headphones. Still a disaster. I really gave this movie a chance (several actually), but someone seriously f'ed up what could have been a somewhat decent film. I challenge anyone to watch this without continuously adjusting the volume on their TV. Example: at the beginning during the breakfast scene, the silverware and plate clatter is about twice as loud as the dialogue. And there are many many more examples throughout. Better luck next time guys, I don't know who is responsible for the sound levels in this film, but they should find other work.
The White Gorilla (1945)
Perils of the Jungle: 20th Anniversary Edition
OK, you know how Star Wars re-released the original 3 movies with new cg effects, sound, color, etc? They were presenting a 20 year old movie to a fresh audience. That is exactly what The White Gorilla is; everyone on here has commented on how they used footage from this old silent film... COME ON!! They didn't just *use* the silent film, it *is* that old silent film! (with a few minor additions, the gorilla scenes and the narration). I haven't sat down and timed it out, but it's gotta be 75% old movie at the very least... probably more like 80-90%. I can't imagine what they DIDN'T show from Perils of the Jungle in this film. As far as the terrible commentary goes.. did anyone notice when he just stops narrating in mid-sentence? It's at the start of the scene where he (or someone) rescues the jungle-boy from the lions by lowering a vine, he says something like, "I started wondering again about the little jungle boy I'd seen earlier; little did I know-"...presumably little-did-he-know he was walking right up on him, but it just cuts off mid-sentence and he doesn't say a word until the next scene. Believe me, it's not intentional, like to add suspense or something. It's very unnatural, you can tell he kept talking. I've managed my way through about half this movie so far, can't wait to see how it ends! :P
Why "Silence of the Lambs" was a better movie:
I just read the long comment that shows on the main 'Hannibal' page, written by an Australian that liked 'Hannibal' better than 'Silence'. While his comment was well written, I couldn't disagree with him more. I have read all of Thomas Harris' books, most of them at least twice, and really love his writing style and the characters he brings to life in the 'Lecter' books. There is no doubt whatsoever that 'Silence' was a better adaptation; it is scene by scene the same as the book. From the actors portrayal of the characters down to the dialogue, it's almost identical. It even won the Oscar for best screenplay adaption. 'Hannibal' on the other hand, is an atrocity as a movie. From the downgrade to Julianne Moore as Starling, to the blatant changes and omissions to the story, it's a sad thing that the beautiful movie hidden inside this book was never discovered by Ridley Scott and crew. Even Gary Oldman couldn't save this one. I'll spare the details of the numerous errors in judgement of whoever "adapted" this book, and convey my frustration with just one example: Verger's muscle-bound lesbian sister doesn't even exist in the movie!!! She was a major player in the story, from an awkward sexual scene with Barney to the fact that SHE KILLED VERGER... and to just omit her character completely? I won't even start on the butchered ending. That's Hollywood I guess.
Dialogue not consistent with character's character
First off let me say that I love this show. I have been renting episodes on DVD for a while now, and have grown to really appreciate CSI more than any TV show in quite a long time. That said, I had a real problem with two little lines from this one specific episode. And please understand, I am not one of those people that picks apart every little thing in a movie or show on IMDb. I love CSI. You really have to be familiar with the show and have seen this episode for me not to sound like a raving lunatic:
When Grissom, Nick, and Sarah are at the crime scene in the desert digging up the second body, they find a wallet in his pocket that helps them to identify the victim as "Ramirez".
NICK: "A 25-year old Latino and a 42-year old white guy...?"
SARAH: "Strangers. Doesn't make sense, there's no connection."
OK, come on. This is CSI! We know these characters, we've seen in countless episodes how they approach everything scientifically and without bias (or at least it's a plot-driven bias that is specific to one character in one episode, and helps that character's development by revealing some hardship in their distant past). For two CSI's to come to the lightning fast assumption that two men MUST be strangers because they differ slightly in age and ethnicity is laughable to me. These guys were 17 years apart in age. The mens ethnicity makes even less of a difference than the age gap. We are in the Western U.S., almost everyone's either white or Latino. And sure, maybe one of the younger CSI's would conceivably jump to a conclusion like that... maybe. On a longshot. But for both Nick and Sarah to be so blatantly short-sighted, in front of Grissom on top of it, and NOT have it somehow be part of the episode....?? (The two did in fact turn out to be strangers, and they never even brushed the topic again.)
How bout they work together? Go to the same church? The same bar? Share a hobby? Maybe they both have kids in the same school? How could anyone possibly say they ARE strangers with such certainty, especially a CSI?
It just rubbed me the wrong way, because it seemed so completely out of character for this group. Also, the episode ended on a bad note, with a known murderer getting away scott free, and the innocent brother killing himself.... not standard fare for CSI. I was about to question whether the writer, Ann Donahue, was any good; but then I looked up her writing credits and saw she wrote a number of CSI episodes, including the last episode from season 1, "The Strip Strangler" which thus far is probably my favorite. I'll have to pay attention as I continue to watch and see what I think of her other work.