Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Cleverly made propaganda, but fails as a movie
this is what a modern propaganda film looks like. from the opening shots of "reel bad arabs" getting tortured onwards, discerning moviewatchers know what they're in for. promotion of transhumanism, royalty and aristocracy, glamour shots of weapons caches, pretending that intelligence agencies are necessary to keep the 'peace' - it's all there. in fact the movie packs so many agendas into a non-stop barrage that you barely have time to register them all.
from a propaganda standpoint, this is really well made. but as an entertaining movie it fails.
one predictable plot development follows another as if the movie was assembled from pre-fab elements off the shelf. when i thought the movie should be about to end, i checked the remaining time and was amazed to find out that there was over an hour left! yawn!
i'm sure the adolescent boys who are the target audience loved this film and are lining up to join this or that murdering intelligence outfit, expecting to skydive and f**k Scandinavian princesses up the a**.
for the rest of us - if you want to see a good stylish action orgy, watch "John Wick" and forget about this insidious piece of propaganda.
awesome cinematography and not much more...
first the good: the opening sequence is absolutely masterful and pulls you right into the world of the movie. several big set-pieces later on also look and sound great. the very creative and effective sounddesign are also noteworthy.
now the rest: was i watching the same movie as everyone else? because the version i watched had no emotional depth whatsoever, contained several ludicrous plot-devices, used 'audience manipulation 101' techniques and featured a few emotional 'character' scenes that were so badly acted it made me cringe.
after the opening, i really really wanted to like this movie, but piece by piece it wore me down until in the end i was even a bit mad at it for looking so great but being so emotionally hollow and so sloppy with common sense.
the scene where clooney untethers himself reminded me of a similar stupid pointless gesture from a movie i had hoped i had forgotten: 'vertical limit'.
the long wait for a return of good science fiction movies continues....
rating: 6/10 (slightly above mediocre)
Ender's Game (2013)
like "Starship Troopers" without the fun...
wow, what an uninspiring and bland movie.
after being on the fence about watching it at all, i finally took the plunge. i should have listened to my instincts.
the best comparison i can make is to "Starship Troopers" but without any of the humor, without the biting satire, without cool creature effects and with child soldiers instead of adolescents.
what's left over is a soulless Hollywood product that, while looking gorgeous, only manages to elicit yawns.
i know we are all starved for halfway decent science fiction, but this one should be skipped.
Hotel Noir (2012)
could have been great but just doesn't work
there are several key ingredients present here, which could have potentially yielded great results, but unfortunately a lack of aim and some grave casting errors doom this flick to mediocrity.
first the good: the picture looks great, especially considering the budget. solid but not exceptional camera-work. malin akerman, Danny devito, Carla gugino and especially Robert foster look and sound great and are just right for their parts. their efforts keep the rating at slightly above average.
the bad: the dialogue has no feel for the time period. it is full of phrases and expressions that don't feel right for the time. Rosario Dawson and Kevin connolly are completely miscast. especially connolly sounds and looks like this could be some sort of shrooms-induced "entourage" dream-sequence. his appearance immediately made me think of Tobey maguire in "the good German" who also stuck out like a sore thumb in that cast. Rufus sewell at least looks right for the part but his voice and accent do not.
even though the flick is coming in at a rather reasonable 97 minutes, these crawl by and during the Nth musical number that goes on for far too long you can't help checking your watch.
(mild spoilers) the 'joke' ending and the aimlessly wandering plot add to the somewhat unsatisfying experience.
The Hangover (2009)
wow, this movie was really over-hyped...
expecting a laugh riot after the huge buzz and the top rating here on IMDb, i was rather disappointed by this 'chuckle-fest'. the first smile didn't cross my face until about half an hour into the movie, which is way too long for a comedy.
this movie consists of a rather uninspired plot without any really fresh ideas, and of dialogue that seems mostly improvised. the endless 'beauty' shots of vegas also struck me as either needless runtime-padding or product placement.
the solid efforts by the main cast make this one barely above average.
(imdb: the 10-line minimum on these reviews is really annoying!)
Star Trek (2009)
how on earth is this in the top 250?!?!
to illustrate how far from the original spirit of star trek this parody comes consider this:
the beastie boys' "sabotage" on a start trek soundtrack?! product placement for budweiser and nokia?? kirk driving a corvette??
i am really glad i'm not one of those emotionally invested star trek fans, because if i were i'd be liable to start a vendetta against people involved in this production... ;-)
this flick is just pure garbage... nevermind the bastardizing and 'remixing' of trek history - the plot is boring and weak, dialogue is laughably bad, no original ideas at all (most seem to be lifted from other mediocre scifi movies), one predictable sequence after another, the enterprise looks like an apple store...
the only thing on the plus side are the main actors as they do a good job playing younger versions of these iconic characters.
do yourself a favor and skip this nonsense or at least go in with extremely low expectations.
J.J. abrams is fast becoming the new bret ratner... :-(
The American President (1995)
a complete and utter fantasy - but an enjoyable one!
'The American President' plays in a sort of parallel universe, one in which politicians in general and the president in particular actually have a conscience and are concerned with the well-being of the population. Aaron Sorkin is very adept at tapping into this fantasy-universe as his 'West Wing' takes place in a very similar one. but regardless of this large disconnect from our reality, this is a movie that works. fantastic performances across the board by the all-star cast, combined with slick production values and good dialogue make 'The American President' an enjoyable and emotionally involving experience. 7/10
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
How did this cost 250+ million?!
i loved the first two spidey movies and rated them 8/10 and 9/10 respectively.
unfortunately spider-man 3 is an unholy mess.
while the first two movies had a great balance between character development and action coupled with great plots, this one is about 120 minutes of poorly written romance-drama and 20 minutes of mediocre action scenes. the dialogue is so weak it rivals star wars 2 - attack of the clones in its lameness. combine this with a plot that is about as interesting as an episode of some teenage-drama on television and you get quite angry during the movie's excessive running time.
it is hard to believe the same people who made 1+2 were involved in this failure.
save your money and if you *have* to see it, wait until the DVD hits the bargain bins which should be about 1 month after it's released.
Bob Roberts (1992)
a chilling look from 1992 into the future
time has certainly given this great movie a prophetic subtext. an informed viewer will see it like a documentary but with fictionalized characters instead of the real people.
anyone who thinks this is 'parody' or 'satire' needs to stop following the news via headlines and pundits.
for example the speech by the underground reporter about Iran contra and everyone being the same players throughout the decades rings especially true and is an obvious example of how the movie parallels the political status quo today.
a 'must watch' movie, much more so today than when it was originally released.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
am I glad that I saw this on DVD and not in theaters!
don't get me wrong, this is a great movie, but after reading about the theatrical ending i just had to point out that the director's cut is far superior to the version that was seen in theaters! the movie gets a much darker tone and the new ending makes it really work.
i'm so glad i never saw the theatrical version, it would have totally ruined the experience of watching this movie for me. if you watch it on DVD, make sure to watch the director's cut first!!
--this 10 line minimum requirement when submitting a comment really blows--
The Core (2003)
Makes 'The Day After Tomorrow' look like a documentary
the whole premise of the movie is preposterous. the dialogue is cheesy. the story makes no sense.
but somehow it manages to entertain.
if you thought 'The Day After Tomorrow' was totally unbelievable and over the top, you won't like 'The Core' too much.
but if you can put your brain on standby for 2 hours and enjoy nonsense disaster flicks, you might wanna give this cheese-fest a rent.
note: a big screen TV and a loud surround system add infinitely to the watchability of this movie. intoxication also helps :-)
it seems the filmmakers didn't understand what made the first scooby-doo movie so funny and rewatchable. while i am certainly not the target audience for this (i'm 30, no kids), i loved the first movie and have watched it on dvd numerous times. the main problems with the sequel are 1) weak dialogue - while the first film was highly quotable, the lines here serve mainly to advance the story (which should be totally irrelevant - the story is the last thing why anybody would watch this movie) 2) a lackluster perfomance by the cast (with the notable exception of matthew lillard, who, once again, is outstanding as shaggy) the 'over-the-top-energy' with which the cast played their characters in part 1 is totally missing and one gets a distinct 'we only did this for the money'-vibe. 30 minutes into the film i got the same feeling i got while watching 'men in black II' - it didn't seem like they had any fun making the movie.
verdict: if you really liked the first scooby-doo, give this one a rent when it comes out on dvd 6/10
'cobb' is a very underrated baseball movie. it features a brilliant and intense performance from tommy lee jones as ty cobb and a (surprisingly) good performance by robert wuhl as the sportswriter al stump. why jones wasn't nominated for an oscar for this is beyond me. director ron shelton creates a gripping drama that you should not miss, especially if you (like me) love baseball. it's out on dvd finally! go get it! 10/10
Hollywood Homicide (2003)
i don't understand why so many people hate this movie. c'mon, what did you expect? the re-invention of the wheel? it's a buddy cop movie for goodness sake! and a funny one at that!
not a masterpiece but 2 hours of solid entertainment! give it a rent sometime.
if you expect a john woo-movie - i.e. lots of well-shot action sequences with an average plot, chances are high that you will like the movie. if you expect a serious war-film, you will be disappointed.
note: the movie gains a lot by being watched on a big-sized screen with the proper sound-equipment (subwoofer, big speakers). it's LOUD and full of stunning visuals. just don't look for the plot or the message too hard!
i loved it. 8/10
Bringing Down the House (2003)
not for people suffering from 'political correctosis'
wow, it looks from the reviews below mine that political correctness is starting to become a serious disease. i can't understand how you can find this film offensive! this is hilarious stuff! i mean eugene levy just cracked me up! and steve martin is near top form again! it's a COMEDY for crying out loud! so if you don't flinch every time someone says 'black' or 'white' - watch this movie! 8/10
Die Another Day (2002)
what a shame
well, 'Die Another Day' officially replaces 'A View To A Kill' as the worst bond movie i have seen. after an OK opening sequence the horrible title theme starts to play and actually fits perfect for the rest of the film. this movie looks like the director and the screenwriter never saw a bond movie and only *heard* about them. avoid wasting your money on a bomb like this...
Changing Lanes (2002)
Save Your Money!
the main reason i went to see 'changing lanes' was because of the 4-star review it got from roger ebert, my favorite movie-critic. to my great surprise the movie was quite bad. a plot without surprises and pointless 'artsy-fartsy' filming techniques... the only thing that saves the movie from a lower rating is the decent acting by jackson & affleck. it's not really worth the price of the ticket. rent it on dvd if you *must* see it.