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Better than I though
There have been a slew of movies based on comic book characters, some of them were so horrible that I don't even want to admit I even liked the comic lest someone have only seen the movie and judge my taste by that (see: Punisher or Captain America.. or rather, don't see them).
I was never a Spiderman fan. But Sam Raimi is such a god I decided I would go and give it a chance. I was thrilled I did, I am definitely a fan of THIS Spiderman. Which is odd because part of the charm is that they followed the comic storyline so closely that it really did justice to its origins, in fact somehow was better than the comic ever was. I never liked Spiderman, I think because Peter Parker always seemed like such a pansy, he had these great abilities but never seemed to overcome being an annoying geek. Don't get me wrong, I love the geek turns cool' storyline, or geek gets superpowers' but Parker always came up short in my opinion, he never made me care about him. Luckily for me THIS version of Spiderman captured the nature of Peter's geekiness without making him obnoxious. I actually LIKED Peter Parker, and I cared about his character. The film's actors were well worth watching and incredibly engaging. I was thrilled beyond words to see Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi in their respective roles. I walked out of the theater listening to a myriad of voices saying, `That was great.. ` and even though I had walked in with the opinion I probably wouldn't like it; I had to agree. If you want to see a great film about a superhero, check out Spiderman, its well worth your time and money. I gave it 9 out of 10 because it was exactly what it advertised it was going to be, a great superhero tale, with fantastic acting, and great effects.
Dr. Katz is desperately missed
I adore Dr. Katz, there was no darker day than when I heard the series was going to end. I have every episode they showed on Comedy Central. My tapes are so worn they are getting hard to watch. I should have made tapes of my tapes. I wish they would release the whole series on DVD. The animation, which seems to have annoyed some people, never bothered me at all. I enjoyed the show on every level, and every time I watch it. It is a fantastic series, with brilliant acting and perfect comedic timing, a must see for anyone who truly appreciates good comedy.
Pitch Black (2000)
Worth watching if you dont mind a main char dying for no reason.
I'm not going to actually go into a lot of detail here, plenty of other people talk about the amazing effects and fantastic acting, etc. What I would like to say is while I liked this film, I wouldnt watch it again. When a movie ends badly it pretty much ruins the rest of the film for me as well. The acting was great, I am a big fan of Vin Diesel, though I really didn't think I would be, and he played the anti hero to perfection.
However, just as I will not watch Starship Troopers again (for the insanely ridiculous way they killed off Dizzy; I mean there were no aliens around for MILES in a flat desert and suddenly one pops up at about 40 feet high, out of nowhere and kills her? I hate when writers kill off characters we like for NO reason. If there is a reason, fine, whatever). Anyway, that's what I didn't like about this film. I will refer to the character that I feel should not have died as 'that character' so as not to give it away for those who have not seen the film) They killed off a character I liked for NO reason, and in fact I think it would have been a much more interesting and intense ending had they NOT killed that character. Also since they are making the sequel I think that character being alive could have added a lot to THAT score too, the interaction between that character and Riddick was really the highlight of the show, giving it depth and making it thought provoking as well as causing us to really care about the characters. It could have added a lot of depth to the sequel as that character could continue to interact with Riddick making it impossible for him to hate everyone and maintain, as he did at first, that all people were, at heart, bad. But also giving that character more depth as well by Riddick's effect on them (as we saw in the movie, they both changed each other). If a character dies heroically or for a reason, fine, but when they are killed off in a way that could never have happened, I get annoyed. If you have seen the show and aren't certain what I mean by that remember that Riddick can see in the dark, saw the aliens with ease, they were in fact to him, bright, and the aliens don't like the light, even a lighters worth, so there are two reasons (just to start with, not even counting the big one of WHY?') the death couldn't have happened the way it did. So anyway that's my beef with this film.
great martial arts, poor dialogue
Perhaps in its native language this film doesn't have lines as silly and hokey, but you can't use that excuse for some of the foolishness of the plot. I was hoping for another great story with fantastic dialogue and amazing martial arts (like Crouching Tiger, The Sword, etc). I didn't get it. The martial arts were astounding, don't get me wrong, it's worth seeing just for that, if you like that sort of thing (which I do). However, the bad guys' were more like bumbling idiots (I was, several times, reminded of Schultz from Hogans Heroes) and as I said the dialogue made me cringe in parts it was so bad. The good guys' had average dialogue, it didn't make me cringe, but I didn't walk out impressed with it. If you are looking for martial arts and great fight scenes GO, if you want a good story and intelligent dialogue, you can still go if you don't mind the fact that this movie won't have it. I'm not sorry I saw it, but I won't be watching it again. I gave it a 7 for the outstanding martial arts.
The Others (2001)
A truly worthy tale of suspense and intrigue
I walked into The Others not expecting much. Most 'ghost stories' today are just bloody messes with no real plot, nothing to keep you interested. I constantly find myself looking around the theater to see if anyone else is as bored or disgusted as I am. Not The Others. First let me say, I am a huge fan of literary ghost stories, well done, frightening tales that don't use blood or gore or any other media than written word and your own imagination to scare you. I was pleasantly surprised. The acting was amazing, the plot very well thought out, and remained true to what I consider real Suspense. This film proves you don't have to be a bloody gore-fest or a plot-less, mindless killer-kills-all-girl's-friends-in-really-bloody-ways-for-no-real-reason. No suspense, no intrigue, no thought needed the only thing that scares people in those films is the gore, not the story. The Others really takes you into it, I forgot completely I was in a cinema, and was completely engrossed. Having read, as I said, a great many 'suspense/horror' novels I kept mentally trying to see where the story would go, but while I did guess a few things, I could not guess it all and was thrilled beyond words by the cleverness of the tale by the end. I was truly held in thrall every moment waiting to see what would happen next and was blissful with the style it was carried out in when I left the theater. I cant say enough good about this movie. Nicole Kidman (who I thought was amazing in Malice and Moulin Rouge, and Far and Away) really astounded me. Her performance was stupendous. I dislike Tom Cruise as an actor and a person, and I don't want to give him any credit for this fantastic tale, especially since he was just one of 9 producers and they really don't do much but pony up some cash, so give the credit where it is due, the actors (especially Ms Kidman), and the writer and director, Alejandro Amenábar. A truly worthy tale of suspense and intrigue that Rod Serling, Shirley Jackson, and Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of.
The previews didn't lie, you get what you see.
I gave this movie a 9/10 for this reason, if you have seen the previews, you know what you are going to see. You are going to see a movie that is exactly the kind of humor that the preview TELLS and SHOWS you it contains. They don't expect Oscars, and arent even trying for them. This movie is not to be taken seriously, its for FUN, people. The movie's main characters did great jobs, and had good charisma between them, there were tons of other actors putting in small bits (some of which were amazingly funny, I laughed out loud in a few parts, and I almost never do that). There were some truly funny moments, moments I found much funnier than I thought the film would be. When I told friends and family I saw it they all said, `You did?' when I said I liked it they said with even more incredulity, `You did?!' because I don't like certain kinds of stupid humor. I liked the Three Amigos, but hated Austin Powers. Potty humor doesn't do it for me. But this movie was surprisingly witty and funny without thinking it had to be disgusting to be humorous. There were a few parts I could have lived without, gladly, but overall you get what you think you are going to get, and more!
Hard Ball (2001)
Not a revelation but worth seeing
I didn't really want to see Hardball, I went in with low expectations. So I was almost surprised when staring at the 'rate this movie' screen I gave it 7/10, but let me tell you why (and trust me I thought about it for a few long moments deciding what to give it and why). First the downside: the story was predictable in every way, it was almost painful for me to see children so young using such language and being abused in so many ways, but it was realistic. The high rating I gave it was because the young actors were so very talented, and while the story was obvious it still managed to make me care what happened and what was happening. I wasn't engrossed, I didn't sob like a baby, I didn't find it a revelation on life and death. However, it was very much what it purported to be, a story about showing up. And it did have an interesting message about how something, that to one person can be so insignificant, can be so profound and life-changing to others. Keanu Reeves gets a lot of bad press about being a 'bad actor' but I found him very believable and thought he did an extremely good job. He has a lot of charisma and an amazing ability to make you care about his characters, and want, in the end, the best for them.
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
Not a 'feel good' flick
I don't want to put a whole lot into this, I'm not a professional reviewer, but I just want to say what I wish someone had told me, about this film: if you go to this movie with the expectation of a happy ending, or of leaving and feeling good, you will be disappointed. I found the whole film to be a downward spiral of depressing plot twists, one after the other. So just FYI, if you want to go see a show that you will enjoy and leave the theater feeling good about life in general or to have a good time, don't see AI. If you want to see neat sets, good acting and cool effects and don't care if the main goal of the film is to depress you, by all means, go. Im not saying the movie wasn't well done, it was, but it wasn't a good time, or something I enjoyed or was happy I spent my money and time on. Don't get me wrong, I don't usually mind sad endings or sad stories when done right, (see Moulin Rouge, an AMAZING film all around) but in this case I left the theater feeling that I wasted my time, nothing was resolved or accomplished in the plot of the film, and not a moment of it was a happy one.
The Patriot (2000)
Not your average review
The Patriot is worth seeing for several reasons. It has great acting, I was thrilled to see Heath Ledger given a bigger role, and allowed the chance to prove that he could carry it off (which he did with style and ease). Of course Mel Gibson was fantastic (I would be surprised to get less from him), but my main point of writing is to tell you what no one else here has (yet). This movie is not a "feel good" film. I didn't walk out of the theater thinking how entertained I was, or how happy I was to be alive. I walked out wondering if it would be better if we were all dead. Those people that found Braveheart to be entertaining will find this to be so as well. However, I am getting slightly tired of writers (directors?) who think that the "bad guy" has to be more than bad... You know, after he murders an innocent child, I think everyone was sufficiently ready and happy to see him die, must he get worse? As if the murder of one child isn't enough for us, the writer feels if the "bad guy" doesn't just KEEP doing horrendous acts, we might not feel he needs to die. Must he top every horrible act with one more gruesome and depressing to the audience? Every time the movie gave me hope that some semblance of happiness or justice might come out of the show, it tore it away in the most cruel manner. Every time I started to smile at the scenes of loyalty and love, I was stunned and shocked back into my state of horror, and despair for those in the movie. When it was over, unlike the teenage boys sitting in front of me talking excitedly about how much blood there was, I felt numb. The acting was superb, the sets and costumes lovely and the filmography, fantastic. The story left me numb by the end and today, when I think of it, I wish I hadn't seen it. A lot of reviewers (professional and otherwise) like movies full of despair and without hope when they are done well. For me, I see enough of that despair, death and misery in real life, that I want at least a glimmer of hope when I spend my hard earned money to be "entertained". So If you want great acting, sets, and action, and you don't care about being depressed, see this movie, it truly delivers the goods. If you DON'T want to spend your money to leave the theater with a feeling of despair, I wouldn't go.