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The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Boring. Might contain spoilers and offensive language.
After the hype and the media attention, I decided to rent this movie the day it came out, because I like historical dramas and since I am a horror movie fan, I was looking forward to the torture scenes being as brutal as they were.
I was disappointed in both aspects of the movie. The first half hour is exceptionally boring and emotionless, while the other hour and a half is just the same thing over and over again.
He gets whipped. He bleeds. He gets whipped with a bigger whip. He bleeds more. He gets whipped with the biggest whip. He bleeds most. He walks for a while, falls down a couple of times, get nailed to a cross and disappears in the end, leaving everybody mystified.
Nothing we haven't already seen and heard a thousand times before. Of course we can't expect an original story when the bible is made into film, but surely we can expect an original interpretation, right? Thereby come the historical inaccuracies like the nails going through the hand (they went through the wrist, otherwise the hand would just tear and he wouldn't stay up.) and weak attempts at creating story lines that include Pontius Pilate being so reluctant to crucify Jesus. Where's that? I certainly never read that in any bible.
Compare this movie to classics like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments and it pales in comparison.
Mel Gibson just wanted to cash in on making a controversial movie. I don't buy for one minute that he honestly wanted to make a realistic Jesus flick.
Nothing spectacular, but a solid thriller that makes you think.
***This review WILL contain spoilers***
Well, I for one liked this movie. British movies are just not cut out for people who drool over Hollywood crap like Troy and Harry Potter. They often expect the viewer to be able to think and to fill in the blanks, which I appreciate. Especially the ending is quite good.
Brief summary: Mental patient desperately seeks female companionship, but it usually goes wrong and he ends up killing them instead.
A duo of cops, one old and male, one young and female, try to find out what's going on and finally there's a showdown.
What I found interesting about this movie is that we never actually see the killer and more mysterious, even, we never even find out the gender until the very last second of the movie. I personally thought the killer was a guy, but in the last scene he suddenly has boobs? Is it female? Male transsexual? In any case, it's a very confused and abused individual.
Sure there's ripoffs from here to Tokio and back, most notably from Seven and Silence of the Lambs, but name me one movie that's been made in the past 20 years that isn't at least a partial ripoff of a book, other movie, TV show or what have you and I'll re-vote this movie lower. :-)
Worth watching, nothing spectacular, but solid thriller, is my opinion. 7 out of 10.
Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält (1970)
OK, so I might be a die hard horror movie fan that's pretty much seen it all, but I still don't see what the fuss was about with this movie. I was quite prepared to watch truly gruesome scenes, but when "The End" finally appeared, I felt cheated. The torture scenes are fairly tame, especially when compared a movie of true horror brilliance as Cradle of Fear. Admittedly, the main bad guy, Cumberland, was well cast and Udo Kier does well as his assistant, but I've been a fan of Udo's for a long time now and there's little he can do wrong in my eyes.
But anyway, on a scale of 1 to 10, for gruesomeness, I give this movie a 5. Watch Cannibal Holocaust, Cradle of Fear, Beyond Re-Animator for some really gory stuff.
Oh my god! (includes spoilers)
This is a story about how the movie Unbreakable was created.
Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are sitting in their favourite bar together drinking beer. When they are both flaming drunk, a conversation occurs. Samuel L. Jackson says to Bruce, "Hey Bruce, have you realised that in just about all of your movies, you get really badly hurt, enough to kill most ordinary people, but you shrug everything off and continue killing the bad guys? It's like you're superman, man!" Bruce Willis replies, "You know, man, you're right. It's like, I step on glass, and I run across the snow right after, and I get shot in the shoulder and then I punch someone. No matter how badly I get hurt, 2 minutes later, I'm right back into the action. But something like that goes for you too, you always play some freaky guy, even when it's supposedly normal characters. Like your eye always leaks, or you're this super negotiating guy, or this wacky mafia dude, you never play normal characters." Samuel L. Jackson nods to Bruce and says, "We should make this movie that has you as this dude that is really impossible to hurt, like he really is superman." Bruce laughs and nods, "And you should play some freaky guy that gets hurt all the time. That'd be fun." At this point director M. Night Shyamalan walks in, drunk himself. "Hey, we'll call it Unbreakable. It has you two in it so people will be stupid enough to like the movie, too!"
And the rest is history...
Not a bad rip-off (spoilers included)
While this film is entertaining if you like violent mafia related movies, it's wholly unoriginal and confusing to boot. The main ingredient seems to be Denis Leary being violent, causing violence and enjoying it all. This is also the best ingredient. The other main ingredient is Joe Mantegna being, well, Joe Mantegna like he always is. Not bad either.
But the plot is weak. It's Cape Fear combined with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. But the main rip-off has to be John Woo. For two scenes. 1) The scene in which the 7 hitmen shoot eachother is a classic John Woo scene. 2) The final scene where the 4 people hold guns to eachother is basically a clone of the classic standoff scenes John Woo always uses.
Furthermore, the scenes of the trunk copy John Woo. The usage of two guns copies John Woo (Dan "Iceberg" Eagan) and the list goes on and on.
But hey, not all movies can be original.
The Convent (2000)
Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!
This movie is BAD! It's basically an overdone copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller video, only worse! The special effects consist of lots of glow in the dark paint, freaky slapstick fastmoving camera shots and lots of growling. I think the dog was the best actor in the whole movie.