On a par with Toy Story, Monsters Inc is a company that generates power by making kids scream ('we scare because we care'). The scarers are just run of the mill Joes who clock on and off during their shift, and aim for the exalted title of scarer of the month. Sully is the king of the screams, a big bluey green bear like monster who wins scarer of the month time after time. His friend and sidekick is Mikey, an eye on legs basically, who is the comic sidekick to the rather more serious Sully. Mike and Sully work on the factory floor as a team, Mike controls a conveyor which brings the doors which allow Sully access to the kids via their closets. When Sully goes in, does his act to make the children scream, Mike collects the energy, which is used to power the City the Monsters live in. The monsters work under the myth that if a child touches them they die, which gives some comic touches. One monster who comes out of a bedroom with a sock attached to his back is 'decontaminated' by the Monster Inc equivalent of SWAT. Things get more complicated when a door is left on the factory floor one evening and when Sully goes through it to check who's scaring in it, he accidentally brings back a human infant with him into the monster world. This causes all sorts of mayhem as the monsters search
for the little girl, and Sully tries to keep her from harm as he gets to like her more the longer she's around. You really have to see it to understand the story but it well worth it. As with the latest trend, especially from Pixar there are a few in jokes, the main one being Mike taking his girlfriend to the poshest restaurant in town which is called Harryhausen's, with his girlfriend bearing more than a close resemblance to one of Harryhausen's best known figures Medusa, from Jason and the Argonauts. Again a trait of Pixar's is the out takes at the end so make sure you don't leave before the credits finish. A great family film from Pixar, who seem to be the next generation Disney and as long as they keep this standard up, they'll certainly be up there with them.
In the same way as monster movies hit a new level with Jurassic Park, War films did the same with Saving Private Ryan. I would put this film on a par with SPR, in other words both great films. Imagine the battle scene from SPR and make it about 2hrs long, add another 20 mins at the start to set the scene and you end up with Black Hawk Down. I don't know if it was just living in England at the time or what, but I don't really remember seeing much about the action it's based on, on the TV or in the papers, and if I hadn't heard it mentioned that it was based on a true story I don't think I would have known. Anyway to the film, it's the story of a group of Delta Force soldiers and US Rangers who are dropped by chopper into Mogadishu, (the capital of Somalia), with the aim of capturing the warlord's, Farrah Aidid's closest advisors, with the intention of shortening the civil war.
The plan is they go in with the cover of helicopter gunships and the larger Black Hawk choppers, which are to give cover while the troops are lowered to the ground.
In theory the aim is to get in and get out in about 30 mins, the building where the targets are located is highlighted by the driver of a car, so it seems a straightforward plan. However with the local melitia groups intent on shooting anything non indigenous, the plan starts to go wrong when a Black Hawk is shot down. The tropps are then put in the situation of trying to establish a perimeter around the downed aircraft whilst trying to remove the captives from the town. Futher complications are added when another Black Hawk, trying to give cover to the rapidly spreading soldiers, is also shot down.
The camera work is great, some hand held stuff, some Point of view with the soldiers and with the choppers, gives a feeling of the enormity of the task ahead of them. ie shots of crowds of locals heading for the fallen choppers with about 6 Rangers and Delta Force troops, trying to get there first and hold them off.
Although the character development is overlooked a bit, it's the sort of film where you don't really want 45 mins of the life story of each soldier, it's an action film, where the action kicks off about 20 mins into the film and doesn't stop. Still there are some good performances, from Tom Sizemore, Josh Hartnett, Sam Shepard and Ewan McGregor especially.
The film does a good job of showing what war is to most people, bloody, dangerous, noisy, quite often pointless and mostly done for no good reason other than some guy who's not in the action says it's a good idea. It makes you wonder what the soldiers who were there, think of it, given the hollywood penchant for artistic licence. It must have been a very hard film to actually bring to life, without re-writng history too much. Yes I know some cynics might say that's never stopped Hollywood before, given films like U-571, but to me Black Hawk Down is a great film, with great perfomances, with a story line made even more dramatic due the fact it actually happened. Being more contemporary than SPR it will no doubt have more of an impact on todays audiences, but young or old, whether you've seen combat or not, this film cannot fail to have an effect on you one way or the other.
Definatley worth a view, no matter what you think to war films.
I'm afraid I have to agree with another viewers comments
"The film as a whole, therefore, is a bit of a s**t sandwich. But if you like warm homemade granary bread and don't mind a tasteless filling, then you'll get along with this film fine."
It starts of well, building up the tension nicely for about the first hour or so and then looses it big time in the middle, where it muddles along as best it can.
The ending is a bit abrupt but for me was the main redeaming feature, definately not run of the mill and well worth seeing, so if the middle bit tempts you to leave 1/2 way through, my only advice would be don't.
It's nice to see a director who stands by his convictions and goes with a more unconventional ending.
I liked the film even with it's plot holes, ie who or what the hell is this thing, why is it so p****d off, and why is it killing people and with the disappointing bit in the middle, but if you like horror I've definately seen worse.
It lacks the humour of Scream and Scary movie, but is definately worth a look. But hey judge for yourselves, this is someone who thought 'Blair Witch' and 'Scary Movie' were both bloody terrible.
Made when most of the names were well known but not major stars, if they re made it now with the same cast, one of the names would probably get more than the entire cast of Silverado.
The cast list reads like a who's who, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brain Dennehy, Rosanna Arquette, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline and even John Cleese makes an appearance.
But what really keeps this exciting and fresh is the performances.
No-one is really the star and the story weaves in and out of short stories of each character which regulary overlap with each other, Costner is a sharp shooting kid full of youth and exurberance, and Scott Glenn his older and wiser brother, they are on their way to California and meet various people on the way. One town they stop in has John Cleese as it's sherif, this is were they also meet Danny Glover. Cleese's performance is a bit short lived but great nonetheless.
Jeff Goldblum is good as a card sharp baddy and Brian Dennehy is a menacing sherif, without being too OTT. For me it's not quite up there with Unforgiven, but it's certainly not far behind.
This is feel goood film for the whole family, if you like westerns You'll love this one, and if you don't, you'll love it because it's a good film.
The story may be a bit worn, a ship crashes on a unknown planet and slowly the crew get wiped out one by one, but it's still well done. The slight twist to this plot is the planet the surviving crew are stranded on is due to experience an eclipse. They of course find this out after finding some rather less than sociable creatures who are only able to get around in the dark.
The creature design was good and the animation for the CGI stuff was excellent, making the threat of the creatures realistic and believable.
The crew are working on a way to get of the planet when the eclipse strikes sending them into a claustrophobic darkness.
The characters are very good, Vin Diesel giving it his all as Riddick, an escaped con who, having served time on a planet where light isn't permitted, has had his eyes genetically altered to let him see in the dark. the story slowly weaves it's way through the different members of the crew, with not all of them being what they first appear.
If you like suspense, a well made film, the odd fright and a good cast then go see this.
I'd ignore the bad comments you here about this, and go and judge for yourself, cos it really would be shame to miss out on a film this good just because a mate of yours doesn't like it.
Bill Murray is pretty good as the comic relief in the shape of Bosley, the link between Charlie and the girls. John Forsythe reprises the role of Charlies voice, heard but never seen. There are some good moments and some good one liners, right at the beginning we have Drew Barrymore, in disguise as LL Cool J, watching the in flight movie, which is TJ Hooker and she/he says "Oh no not another film from an old TV series" The Chinese fighting muffin scene is quite good as well, the idea behind this is Alex's (Lucy Lui) ability to kick butt, diffuse bombs all that secret agent stuff, but can she cook .....Hell No! If you've seen the TV series go watch it for nostalgia, if you haven't, go see it anyway cos guy or girl, this has something for everyone. The only thing I have to pick fault with (and this would be a very minor one) is to me Lucy Lui is the only credible one among them, Cameron Diaz is in usual goofy mode, perhaps a bit to goofy even for this, and Barrymore is the sweet, innocent one who you can't really believe would kick a stuffed toy let alone all those mens butts, but hey as I said who the hell cares, roll on the inevitable sequel.
It's unfortunate that being a shark film it will get comparisons with the great flick 'Jaws', and the only thing I can say about that is it makes me wonder just how good Jaws could have been if they'd had the CG technology fimakers enjoy today. (No offense to Bruce, who did a superb job in Jaws) Anyway back to the point, Harlin's direction is up (or down depending on your view) to his usual standard, and there are some really good moments that build up the tension through the film.
Faults aside, and I'm sure if you tried you could find quite a few, its a good film which I enjoyed, and it's worth watching for the CG characters which frequently scare the shark out of you. If you fancy a film that doesn't require to much thought and gives you the odd good scare then this is for you I'd give it 7/10
The script is a bit predictable at times maybe but some of the one liners are great, and the interaction between the characters is well done, no-one particularly steals the show (apart from Hayek when she does that dance) and Tarantino and Clooney as the two convict brothers are really good.
Brilliant film, that's different enough to make it interesting and as with any film that has Tarantino's influence it has a stonkin' soundtrack.
This series comes a very close second to an animated film that's just come out called Ogri, if you get the chance see either of them they are both brilliant.
Out of all the best known names James Doohan, George Takei and Denis Quaid, you figure they surely don't need the money, and if they did do they need it this badly.
This film can't seem to make up it's mind what it wants to be, if it's meant to be a straight, creature horror flick, it fails miserably, and if it's meant to be a tongue in cheek spoof, it fails miserably as well, in fact the only good thing about this film is the consistency, it starts of really bad, continues to be really bad in the middle, and, shooting a slight hole in my own theory, it actually gets worse at the end.
I kept expecting James Doohan to revert to a Scots accent and Say "Ya canna break the law of insects Cap'n' and perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad if he had, it did make a change to her him with, what I assume was his natural voice, for those of you who didn't know he is in fact Canadian, and George Takei as an insect scientist OH MY GOD! (this needs to be said like Janice out of Friends) Another thing I couldn't handle was the size of the town and the women, before you all go crazy let em explain. I live in a tiny little village in England, when compared to the size of the States would probably be of equivalent size to the town this is set in, and most of the women in my village are either over 60 or under 6 or married with kids, we have no incredibly sexy blonde scientist, no beautiful single brunettes and certainly no gorgeous nymphomaniacs taking the men skinny dipping at night. To think I've met people who've had really good ideas for films if only they'd had the chance, and to see a film like this just confirms there is no justice in the world, well in the film industry anyway. If you don't like bugs you'll hate this film, come to think of it even if you love bugs you'll probably hate it.
The animation is brilliant, the facial expressions on the animals especially the monkey characters is great and the meteor storm that forces Aladar and his adoptive family to flee is just spectacular. I've read some of the other comments about this film, and some of them, seem to be picking holes for the sake of it, one stated that the dinosaurs were the wrong colour and they walked differently, to me this is just sematics, if you want realism to that extent, you want 'Walking with Dinosaurs' from Discovery not Dinosaur from Disney.
I must admit finding the talking idea a bit hard to handle to begin with coupled with the ultra realism of the dinosaurs but after a while you just accept it, although I am glad they drew the line at having the dinos sing a la the usual Disney style.
The story is well worn, and taken straight from 'The Land Before Time', you have the feeling that with the amount of films that seem to have this story all the dinosaurs would be living in happy retirement in a green, sunlit valley.
All in all a good film, fairly typical Disney, brilliant animation - regardless of the story (which I would have to say is the only real down side to this) the good guys (plant eaters or Veggie Saurus as the are referred to in Jurassic Park) and the bad guys meat eaters - (if I was A T-rex or similar creature I might want to sue for deformation of character) and a meaningful story, in this case, survival of the fittest may be the case in the Jungle, but when your a Disney Dinosaur you take care of the smaller and weaker guys as well, proving that team work is the way to go, which to me isn't such a terrible message.
some who take small children might want to look out for the 'Bad Guy - Meat Eaters' happily chomping a on some of the smaller less fortunate creatures, nothing gory, but some younger viewers might find it a bit too 'real'.
Remember this is a film and a Disney film at that, it's not a documentary, although it seems at times the film isn't to sure of this point. I know with the realistic dinos you figure if Disney go this far, why not go the whole hog and get every little detail right, well I'm sorry but that's nit picking, films in general no matter what genre, Live Action, Animated or a mix, have a degree of artistic licence which you have to accept. Go see this for what it is, a Disney film with some lovable characters, good cinematography and some great animation.
All the cast do pretty well, Belushi as the confused Larry, not quite sure if the new version of his life is what he really wants, Linda Hamilton as his original wife, who seems to be the thing Belushi misess most, Rene Russo as the prom queen wife Belushi gets in life 2, and Courntey Cox as a psychotic spurned secretary/fork lift driver, who is having an affair with Larry in life 2, but of course Larry doesn't know this.
Most of the cast are big names now and probably make more in one film that the entire budget of this one, still it's fun to watch. One for the six pack and curry brigade.
The music was good also, not usually my style some of the music in this, but the song that Charlize Theron, sings to Joe to get him to sleep is just beautiful. Sometimes films can get a little too effects laden, but this has a nice balance. The only minor disagreement I have with this film is the ending, but you'll have to see the film to get what I mean, but still it's a small glich in a great film. If only Rick Baker had waited 'til now to do the re-make of Kong.