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Confusing and a lost opportunity
There is a reason why, for example, music artists have a producer - it's hard to notice one's own faults, and the producer can to a much higher level see what can be improved and steer the project in the right direction. The same goes for films of course, and here is a film that is written and produced by the same person - J.K. Rowling. And my guess is that no one dared challenge her on this idea and how it should be written.
The main problem is that the script is bad. It lacks character development. It lacks humour. It lacks flow. It lacks sharpness. It is confusing most of the time. On numerous occasions I found myself not understanding what I was watching. That is either explained by a very bad storytelling, or a sudden onset of dementia on my part. Who are these characters? What do they want? Why are they there? Why is Graves involved with some sort of orphan boy, looking for a special child? Who was this child supposed to be? I never found out! The idea is good, it's just not handled well. Rowling could have skipped that dark part of the story and just concentrated on the fantastic creatures and the fun things they would do. It lacks OUMPH as it is now.
Another problem are the actors. Stiff, stale-faced people with no quirks or interesting personas. The only one I found interesting was Alison Sudol portraying Queenie. Great energy and charisma! She could go far. The rest, including the more famous actors, acted poorly to say the least.
Sharpen up next time! (Hire me)
The Golden Compass (2007)
A great achievement
I love the books and therefore also understand the complexity of the story. And the story is not easy to portray in a film just 113 minutes long. But seeing the film for like the fifth time, now on bluray, I now realize that even though I think that the screenplay was too compressed, the film itself is really, really good. All the right details are there. The costumes are spectacular. The music score is great. The actors are spot on - I love Kidman and Richards especially - but all did a very, very good job. The special effects are truly great, everything from the alethiometer to the daimons and ice bears. Exceptionally well done. So it's really sad to realize that there will be no sequels. Pity that the producers didn't do all three books at once. But at least we can still enjoy this great piece of filmwork, because I think it is a great achievement made by people with true talent.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Well suited junk
I gave this one a "2", solely due to the fabulous suits. Damn they look nice! But all this talk in the film about being a gentleman is poorly reflected in the dialogue and the horrendously violent action scenes. I'm sorry, but I immediately feel disgusted and come to think of all the massacres and horror that's going on in the world. I don't want to watch that as entertainment. That is just sick.
The movie also lacks something else: easy going, "real" characters. As it is, everyone behaves and talks very strange. Harry Hart, for example, is as stiff as a tree. A smile and a joke, or a witty reply to the villain would have been in order. Valentine's motives are unclear, or at least difficult to understand, and so are many of the other characters actions too. They just don't seem real, any of them, except Eggsy, who is very well played by Egerton.
I love spy movies, but this one could have been much better with a different approach. As it is, it's more or less junk and leaves a bitter after-taste due to the violence.
After watching the entire series on bluray, I have to say that the overall quality of every episode is remarkably consistent. Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard is undoubtedly brilliant, and Brent Spiner is not far behind playing the android Data. The rest of the "gang" fits in nicely, although I don't enjoy the character Worf as much and every episode with him as the main character is not as good as the others. But on the whole it is a great show with interesting reoccurring moral predicaments and philosophical questions about the understanding of humanity. As someone pointed out, the world would be a lot happier place to live in if its leaders would sit down and watch the show and learn from it.
After you finished watching the series, the perfect "epilogue" would be the only really good Star Trek film, Star Trek: First Contact (1996). An excellent finale of the whole Star Trek TNG experience, which also connects with the episode Q Who? (S2E16) where the Federation first encounter the Borg.
So, if you've never seen Star Trek before, this is the way I would start, because it is simply the best of Star Trek.
What a let down!
Let me first say that I thought that the first Hobbit movie (An Unexpected Journey) was great, the second movie (The Desolation of Smaug)a bit too stretched but still good. This third part was bad. Just so very, very bad. Why? Maybe it's because of the 144 minutes of total run time, 140 felt like it was just one long, boring battle. Or maybe it's the total lack of intelligent dialog: It lacks humor completely, it is full of empty words and is downright awful. At times I really cringed at the incredibly overstretched, laughable "performances". Or is it the fact that a modern, major (family) movie is without any female contribution of importance? No, I don't count Tauriel's constant, meaningless glaring or Galadriel's tiny, uninspiring part as anything worth mentioning. "Blaah!" is a word that sums it up for me. By all means, go and see it if you'd like to see orchs growling and Thorin looking troubled for two and a half hours.
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
They don't make'em like this anymore
I've watched this movie many times, the first time around 1987 as a teenager. I watched it again today, and I still love it. First of all, it is very well made in every aspect. The music score by Maurice Jarre is especially amazing and as good as it'll ever get. Listen closely to it and you'll notice the outstanding quality. Not many composers are in the same league. The cast is great (including Tina, and what a great title song she delivers) and Mel Gibson is simply perfect for the role. On the whole, the movie stands out as the best post-apocalyptic movie there is. It somehow sets the mood and ambiance perfectly, with the dry, desolate, windy landscapes, and with just a pinch of romantic and comic undertones. Love it! The filming locations and sets are perfect - Aunties home and the Thunderdome - expertly made. Well, I've run out of superlatives, so just buy it on blu-ray and enjoy!
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
I used to think that this was one of the poorer Bond-films together with Live And Let Die, Quantum of Solace and maybe a few others. But I've come to realize that it is very enjoyable for the most part. There are some very good sequences; the Tae Kwon Do-nieces, the young thai salesman, the car chase and so on. And the settings are great - Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. And, for once, the Bond-women are actually very good. Maud Adams plays her part very nicely, and Britt Ekland is fun as the whimsy assistant. The dialogue is great, and I enjoy the chemistry between Moore and Lee - both are excellent actors. And, of course, we see big explosions at the end.
A View to a Kill (1985)
One of the best - beware of spoilers
I think Moore does a great job in this his last Bond-film. Actually, I think he's better than ever. Just as Connery is in Never Say Never Again, Moore is here much more confident, charming and delivers his lines superbly. And he's very funny at times, especially when nagging with his "servant" in France. I love the classy style of the film, with the upper class suits and environments. The music score by John Barry is the best ever in a Bond-film. Even the title song with Duran Duran is great. The opening sequence is great, apart from the Beach Boys music (what were they thinking?). Grace Jones does a good job, and so does most other actors. Tanya Roberts, on the other hand, brings the experience down quite a bit. So does the strange massacre at the end, which is pretty gruesome actually and not really necessary. The female KGB-agent is also more looks than brains and is not very believable . Other than that - great action and a really fun Bond-film!
The Out of Towners (1970)
Very funny and original
I love this film. Jack Lemmon is outstanding and Sandy Dennis is great as the supporting wife (she's very sweet and I love the way she says "I'm getting a bit irritable" about half way into the chaos). The script is superb with funny, witty dialog. The direction and camera-work is great - sometimes almost documentary in style, sometimes very original and groundbreaking. I also love the 70s style with the cars, signs, colors, interiors and clothes. And the music! See it, buy it (if you can get hold of it). It's a film worth seeing many times. I've already said my piece, but, you know, there's this 10 line requirement, so I do a bit of rambling here. There, now it's gotten through....
A great but very difficult film
Playtime is probably one of the best movies that is the most difficult to like. That's because it's very strange. Masterfully directed and photographed, but with a story that is as elusive as a greased snail. Long scenes, often with no apparent content or meaning, makes it difficult for the viewer. If you look closely, you'll notice little details that you love to giggle at, and one would more or less involuntarily make interpretations of what is really happening. Monsieur Hulot, who figures in Tati's films (Tati himself), pops up here and there in the film to a backdrop of a newly built and modernized Paris. There are certainly several interpretations of the basic plot, but my own is that Hulot represents a type of man who feel alienated in this increasingly technology-dependent world, where greyness and rectification is taking over and people are getting increasingly further apart. Hulot stumbles aimlessly about in this newly built world and messes things up most of the time. You get the feeling that all these career -seeking , money-driven people around him are unhappy and most of all looking for company. They grab onto Hulot in different situations, seeking contact, maybe because he is the only true original. The long restaurant scene is an example of how our true nature is revealed when the alcohol loosens the shackles of conformity and we begin to act like people. The orchestra, playing relaxed jazz in the beginning, gets more primitive the longer the evening goes, and eventually making the guests dancing like monkeys. No one is satisfied until half the restaurant has collapsed. The end is sad in an elusive way - it's like social progress has already dictated how we should live. The old, simpler, more human life lies behind us and will never come back .
Me and my wife really love this movie. We usually see it every early summer before vacation sets in. It's a fun satire of modern day career-building and the alienation of family members due to lack of time an over-use of technology. It is beautifully shot in the south-western US with lovely colours, sharp picture quality and good camera-work. Good soundtrack too. The script is well paced and the actors are spot on, portraying a lot of fun characters. The film only has one minor flaw in an otherwise solid storytelling- it's the scene where Cassie Munro gets a "no meat" meal from a friendly camper. That could have been kind of funny, but the scene is a bit misplaced and chopped up. On the other hand last only a few seconds, so what the heck. Recommended to everyone who likes to get outdoors and meet new people and experience this wonderful world of ours.
Yogi Bear (2010)
Fun family movie
With so many bad reviews, I felt I had to give my own opinion of this one. Seen on DVD (I've never understood the point of 3D) and with Swedish (excellent) dub, I have to say that it is a well crafted movie for the whole family. Even my two-year old loves this movie, and after a few viewings he could actually remember some of the lines. Yes, it is kind of silly with comedy mainly based on slapstick, but that's the point I guess. It's pretty funny most of the time (even for me) and above all - good natured, which is important for the younger ones. Overall good acting as well, especially Andrew Daly and Nathan Corddry. Recommended!
Tonari no Totoro (1988)
This is a great film!
There is no compulsory villain in this wonderfully animated film, no moral lessons, no standard blue print story, and the characters will definitely not break out in a song. Thank God! It's simply a great film for all ages. Don't mind if the soundtrack isn't dubbed to your native language, my kids (4 and 6 years old) could easily follow the story with just a few helpers. Japanese is a wonderful language. The film has great direction, beautiful backgrounds and a mystical, pleasant aura throughout. There's nothing like this, I promise you. It's idyllic, for the most part, but still with an exciting story that unfolds into something very unexpected.