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Better than the first but not so great
I hated the first anyway. I never planned on seeing the sequel but here I am. Anyhow, the thing with this film is that you have to take it for what it is: a cheesy teen slasher thing. I wasn't disappointed partly because I didn't expect anything but crap (and breasts). After thinking about it, I felt the script had been rushed. Many good ideas fall flat and the characters look so insanely dumb! (why didn't she use that axe??) It's the kinda film that makes you wish you had been involved with the project so that you could have told everyone how to improve most of the scenes in the script. Anyway, not a bad horror film, for what it's worth. On the plus side you have the fantastic atmosphere created by the storm (very classic) and the whole isolation factor (another classic). It's also strangely fun to see Brandy fall through so much glass. And thank God, it's not pretending to be witty like Scream 2 and H2O tried to. Williamson can go back to school if he can't find anything else. Go see it if you like that kinda film; you know who you are.
A sick sick fun
This is definitely not a movie for everyone, but I liked it. . . I think. .. It's basically an outrageous collage of different genres like family drama, horror and those small budgeted films with mostly interior settings (like the French are known to make). It made me think that it could be the French making fun of their own culture and cinema like the Americans do with the Simpsons. The whole film is so extremely grotesque and dark that it makes you laugh. I'm warning you though: it is funny but it's NOT for the prude or people that are easily offended by same sex lifestyle. In the long run, you'll find this film very sick, especially towards the end, but there's a lot of little things to look for.
Empty as can be
It's funny how many people are attracted to certain films if there's a chance for them to see a pretty face or some nudity. Usually I'm against that kind of behaviour and always try to justify a film by it's other, more important contents. I found myself incapable of doing this with "54". This film is a big "So What?". No climax, no intrigue, no suspense, no drama, no exciting direction, no sex, no mood, no good. I wonder why this was made... Why? What was the intention? Is there a point? Did the characters evolve in any way? No. You're always waiting for something to happen but nothing ever does. Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time with this empty and arrogant Boogie Nights wannabee.
The X Files (1998)
Absolutely the best gift C.Carter and his crew could have given to us, the fans
The first time I saw this film I was expecting something less than spectacular because of the mixed reviews I had read before going. Was I surprised! It was one of the most incredible cinematic experience of my life, certainly of the year. Maybe you think I'm nuts and, heck, maybe I am but what I'm saying is true. I am a fan of the series and it's probably why I liked it so much. It had a great storyline that explained a lot of the mysteries that had been hanging for years while bringing all new ones. It also had unbelievable FX that never could have been made for the TV show and the aliens were just simply scary! Many many great scenes, not just a few good ones isolated throughout the film. And the ending is just fantastic, suspenseful and very intriguing. I can't wait for the 6th season to begin.
Species II (1998)
When a film is barely so-so, you don't go and make a sequel to it! This is awful, not even funny. They should show this plotless, pointless, funless(? ) sci-fi-porn-gore succession of images and sound (I can't use the word movie) to film students to show them what they should NEVER do! This is important! Direct-to-video should be the immediate solution when a Production company has a big hot potato in their hands. Throw this one away with the rest. Wow, my pile is getting bigger every year...
The Ice Storm (1997)
This is filmmaking.
This is filmmaking. True filmmaking. Not meaningless mumbo-jumbo Hollywood is known for producing. This film is subtle, tender and insanely moving. I can relate to this, not because I lived during those years; I did not. But because I feel like my family is just as broken in pieces and wrapped in silence and guilt as the ones in "The Ice Storm". Director Ang Lee really grabs our soul with a style that truly depicts the mid-70s malaise. I'll need to see it again and again to fully grasp each scene but I am already enchanted. A film nearly flawless in every area, from the actors to the mystical music. See it.
Batman & Robin (1997)
This ain't a film.
I like films. I love films. It's my passion. But like so many Hollywood productions, Batman and Robin is not a film, it is a 2 hour trailer.
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Alien=suspense, Aliens=action, Alien³=tragedy, Alien Resurrection=gore
Although it's got major flaws and some plot holes, I find myself liking Alien Resurrection a lot. First of all, I'm a sucker for horror and sci-fi movies. Second, I LOVE the Alien series, although Alien³ was a bit offbeat in the action department. Third, Sigourney Weaver is incredibly menacing as a cloned Ripley. She's always great to see on screen but this was truly something to behold. and last but not least, I loved the storyline, how they brought the genetic aspect so cleverly. It was truly a new twist on the series, although I wouldn't qualify A:R as a REAL episode in the Alien series but rather a new begining. Jean-Pierre Jeunet did a great job in bringing his fantastic style to Hollywood. The creatures were cool and scary although I wish we had seen more of the Queen; we still had the horrific Newborn which was truly demonic. Anyway, despite it's flaws, it's still a great film, although it will never be a classic like Alien and Aliens are. Now if only there could be a fifth one with a better script, more character development and more firepower.
I like this film for 3 simple reasons. First of all, it's got a great lead actress, Sigourney Weaver who has always proven to be great in the role of Ripley whether she's human or cloned. Second, the film has a really dark tone and a lot of style thanks to director David Fincher and cinematographer Alex Thomson. Third and most important, the story shows us the real tragedy of Ellen Ripley's life, how everyone around her, everyone she cares for are taken away from her by the Alien. Still she prevails. The ending left me in shivers because of Ripley's courage and sacrifice. Although all these things could have made a grand film for the series, David Fincher didn't really know where he was going. He just didn't seem at ease and the whole package feels unfinished, sometimes boring. There are very few action or suspense scenes, like I said, the film relies more on drama for it's effect which is great but not for an Alien film. It would have needed more action, more suspense, more terror and victims we care for (except for Ripley of course.) Although it's got it's share of goodies, Alien³ is mostly a disappointment, especially when you compare it to it's 2 predecessors.
This ain't a film.
THE sci-fi movie. It's nearly perfect in every way: storyline, characters, menacing threat, suspense, action, direction, music, emotion, etc... It's always been a favorite of mine and still is. To me this is not just a film, it is an experience. The adrenaline pumps like in no other film and rarely have we had the chance to see a heroine as compelling as Sigourney Weaver. She can kick anyone's ass and still keep a heart and soul. (Why she didn't win the Oscar back in 1986 is beyond me.) When the action starts, you're in for the ride of your life. Truly a milestone in movie making. Now if they could only release it on DVD...
The beginning of one of the greatest series of all time. This film will always remain a classic. It's scary, influential and insanely entertaining. Not just that but Ridley Scott actually has a great sense of style and mood and he plays with that a lot, to make us shiver. There's also an interesting mystery surrounding the Alien which we know practically nothing about. Sigourney Weaver is just as powerful as usual and really brings strength to the film; they make one. Last but not least, the musical score. Wow! It's fantastic. I think the Alien series is known for that aspect as well. Let's hope they'll continue the series and dang we need it all on DVD !
Jackie Brown (1997)
No Fancy Fireworks needed
Contrary to Pulp Fiction which had a very unusual editing and flashy situations, Jackie Brown focuses more on characters that are basically humans with very focused problems, for instance getting older which is an eminent theme tackled in the film. No one's evil in all this. They all have interestingly real personalities and I felt strangely comfortable watching them talk, eat, kill and argue with each other. Tarantino is an excellent storyteller and I wish I could write dialogues as interesting as his. The film flows with a slower pace than Pulp, with all it's many streched takes and lenghty scenes, but by doing so leaves us more time to grasp the characters with all their differences. A more mature Tarantino. Still loving what he does. And he said it himself before the film came out: "This one is at a lower volume then 'Pulp.' It's not an epic, it's not an opera. It's a character study."
Dark City (1998)
Nearly Perfect Film
I saw Dark City about 5 times now and it has clearly mind-blown me. Of course the FX are astounding (especially the end battle which is epic) but mostly the whole concept of the film. It's scary, troubling and Alex Proyas did a marvelous job in bringing a dark and paranoïd style to the film. I love almost everything about the film except one thing: we are told everything! Whenever there's a question in your mind about the mystery, a character will at one point or the other explain it in a long monologue. Mr. Proyas should have watched a little more X-Files episodes and learn that some mysteries are more mysterious if they are unresolved. I would have loved to be left with some questions to anwser by myself or among friends. Anyway, you MUST see this film, especially if you like comic books, video games or fantasy films. You'll freak out over the end battle. Rarely can I say that I've been moved that much by a sci-fi movie but this one is THE one to see. I wish I had a DVD because the DVD version has tons of cool featurettes to enjoy the movie even further. Until then, I'll enjoy the tape. And so should you.