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Lazy remake of episode IV. Star Wars in name only. Abrams ruins Star Wars.
First off let me say that I actually enjoyed the prequels. To be sure, they had an overabundance of CGI and some wooden performances but they had the involvement of George Lucas. And he was true to his original vision. All of the situations in the prequel trilogy were in his early drafts back in the 70s. Of course they weren't as good as the originals but how could they be. I hated JJ Abrams Star Trek movies he essentially destroyed the franchise by disrespecting the fans and the material. Here he does the laziest thing imaginable. He recycles the first film(which by the way is the best one to me at least-better than the Empire strikes back because it is the only film in the series which stands on its own. There were a hundred different ways they could have gone with this and he chose to remake Episode IV. Daisy Ridley is good but the character of Finn was a joke. And Kylo Ren?! Are you kidding me? Say what you will about Hayden Christensen in the prequels at least his fall had resonance. Kylo is a joke. Why does he wear a mask? He doesn't need it. Other reviewers on this site have mentioned the plot holes and I will only touch on it briefly. Finn knows how to use a lightsaber?! And Rey knows how to use the force so quickly?!. Even if she is Luke's daughter which I suspect she is she shouldn't have learned that quickly. Lawrence Kasdan who was the co-writer should be ashamed. I think he did it for the paycheck This movie is a cash grab nothing more. It will make a ton of money and sell a lot of toys. The worst part was the death of Han Solo. This was such a cheap moment and played strictly for shock value. This character, one of the greatest in movie history deserved a better ending than this. This is cynical lazy filmmaking. It is essentially a bad fan made film. The best thing about it was the use of practical effects. The original trilogy(and to a lesser extent the prequels) gave you a sense of another time and place. This movie didn't There was no magic. The worst part was how did the First Order come to be? The Empire was destroyed at the end of Return of the Jedi. Was the Republic that careless that they would have allowed this to happen again? This movie is Star Wars in name only. If you want to see the real story watch the prequels and the original trilogy. George Lucas was involved in those films for better or worse and they are his movies. This is a copy and a cheap one at that.
The best horror film of the year.
People have accused the film of being one sided. Well, considering that Sea World declined to be interviewed for the film, it is kind of hard for the filmmakers to be balanced. And the main character is unable to speak for himself. A previous reviewer stated that this film will not win any Oscars but it is eligible for the best documentary Oscar and CNN which aired it on it's network is increasing it's visibility. Tilikum, a 12,000 pound orca who is responsible for 3 deaths over 20 years is the main focus of the film. I had the pleasure 20 years ago while whale watching off the coast of Orange County, California of encountering 2 wild orcas. This was pure happenstance, we were looking for the Grey whale. Seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat with the erect dorsal fin standing as tall as a man was a humbling experience. But in captivity you are stifling the animals natural instincts, You can't deny 65 million years of evolution. If the film does win the Oscar and I predict it will, hopefully it will change peoples views and be a force for change. This is one of the best films of the year documentary or otherwise.Update 2015-Sea World saw a drop on attendance at all of it's parks after the release of the film. A number of Rock and Roll artists cancelled performance at the parks in protest. In November of 2015 Sea World announce plans to end Orca shows at it's San Diego park. So the film has had a substantial impact. It is probably one of the most influential documentaries in history. It is more relevant now in light of these recent event.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Great family film.
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
A review by Craig Barron.
In "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", a 1988 film by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Castaway,
the Back to the Future trilogy) Zemeckis masterfully combines animation and live action in one of
the most technically challenging and innovative films ever made. It the not the first film to mix
live action and animation together but it is hands down the the one that does it best. It succeeds,
however because the filmmakers don't show off their technical expertise we also get a very
witty and sharp satire that affectionately parodies the film noir genre as well as the detective
dramas of the 1940s.
Bob Hoskins as the detective, Eddie Valiant, gives a flawless performance one of his best.
And Christopher LLoyd creates one of the most memorable screen villains of all time as the
menacing Judge Doom. The big reveal about his true identity (which I won't spoil here) is
delightful and given the identity of the actor playing the role a natural one as well.
My main complaint about the film, ironically enough is the actor who provides the voice of
Roger comedian Charles Fleischer. I found the voice the be somewhat annoying and grating.
This however is a minor quibble as this is one Zemeckis's best films and one of Disney's best
Zemeckis has always been an innovator in the use of special effects in his films and this one is
different. A superb family entertainment for both adults and kids alike it it highly recommended.
The Kid (1921)
Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" Chaplin's first feature length film is also his most whimsical. Showing the tramp in a somewhat darker vein (Smoking, engaging in petty theft etc) it is also the only one in which the character gets to be a father figure to an adorable little tyke played touchingly by Jackie Coogan. This film is not as accomplished or as revelatory as his later work ( "The Gold Rush", "The Circus" or his great masterpiece "City Lights" but it does demonstrate his matchless gift for physical humor. It features one his most accomplished bits of slapstick as the tramp fights a bully who is larger than he is. Chaplin when he started this film had just experienced the devastating loss of his infant son and the resultant end of his first marriage. I believe this film represented a sort of catharsis for the filmmaker as well as a sort of wish fulfillment, The film is unique in that at the end the tramp is reunited with his son and with the boys mother. Although not shown it is implied that they will all live happily ever after as a family unit. Thus the film marks the only time the tramp had a completely happy ending. Interestingly Chaplin, an aetheist fills the movie with religious imagery. It is interesting that this non religious man was one of the most spiritual of filmmakers. In the end the film is about redemption. The Tramp is redeemed by his love for his son and the boys mother who abandons him at the beginning achieves her own redemption when she is reunited with her lost son. The film contains a charming dream sequence which although somewhat silly is full of pathos. Although not as good as Chaplin's later work his genius shines through and this is still a beautiful story about the healing power of love.
Les Misérables (2012)
You won't see a more thrilling piece of cinema this year
"Les Miserables" is the most thrilling piece of cinema i have seen all year. Director Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar for the "The King's Speech" has succeeded brilliantly in bringing the hit musical to the big screen. The only weak link is Russell Crowe who is a mediocre singer. His acting however makes up for it. Hugh Jackman is a revelation as Jean Valjean. His singing gets better as the picture progresses. As for Anne Hathaway they should cancel the best supporting actress category and just send the Oscar to her already. When "One Day More" started the my hair stood on end. I saw the stage version 3 times and wondered how they would pull this off but Hooper makes it dazzling. After the screening people cheered and clapped. The live singing was revolutionary but it worked. This is one the best films of the year and one the best musicals ever made. The finale with the entire cast singing is the most exciting ending you will see in a film this year. The order of the some of the songs have been changed but this is actually an improvement. Even if you don't like musicals you will like this film.
One of the best musical scores in TV history
Another user on this site has commented on something about this episode that i noticed when i first watched it on DVD. Due to the higher resolution of the format there are certain shots when the actors faces are in shadow and you can see they are not made up. This is not enough to ruin the episode however as I'm sure when it originally aired it was a stunner. The one element however that makes this episode standout is the reveal of Janet Tyler unmasked. The camera pushes in and the doctor looks over his shoulder revealing his features. The director Douglas Heyes stages this so well it rivals the unveiling of the monster in "Frankenstein". The strongest element however is the music during this sequence by the legendary Bernard Hermann. Pay attention to it the next time you watch it. Low dissonant percussion. Even with the twist ruined by the DVD's higher resolution this sequence with this music makes up for it the music sends shivers down my spine. One of the best scores in TV history. The music starts at exactly the moment when the doctor looks into the camera. It raises this shocking scene into the stratosphere. Never has been music been used in a film or television show so effectively.
The first Bond film with a legitimate shot at a Best Picture nomination.
Bond is back in the most spectacular fashion imaginable. In his 3rd outing as Bond, Daniel Craig now owns the role and is likely to have it for as long as he wants it. Director Sam Mendes, an Oscar winner for "American Beauty" has given us the best Bond film since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Bond has never been so human. Mendes's background as a theater director serves his especially well here with the spectacular entrance of the best Bond villain ever, Silva, played brilliantly by Javier Bardem. He also reintroduces the classic Aston Martin DB5 in another brilliant entrance. Judi Dench as M does her best work in the role and her final scene is one of the most poignant in the series history. Lest we forget this is a Bond film and as such has its share of great action sequences, the highlight being the best precredit sequence in series history. Ben Whishaw makes a delightfully droll "Q" and the final scene is utter perfection. This is one of the best films of the year and may be the first Bond film with a legitimate shot at a Best Picture nomination.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The greatest superhero trilogy ever made.
With "The Dark Knight Rises" Christopher Nolan brings his Batman trilogy to a triumphant conclusion and completes the greatest superhero trilogy ever made. Christian Bale does his best work yet as Bruce Wayne giving us the most human and tortured Bruce we have yet seen. Anne Hathaway does some of the best work of her career as Catwoman. Joseph Gordon Levitt gives a career best performance as John Blake, an idealistic Gotham cop. I saw the film in IMAX really the only way to see it. The opening plane hijacking ranks as one of the greatest action sequences in history. In my review of "The Dark Knight" I wrote that the film was about the choices made by Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Here we see the consequences of some of those choices. Gordon has lost his family and Bruce has lost himself. Bane represents the most lethal villain Batman has ever gone up against. Tom Hardy gives a great performance as Bane, while not as memorable as the late Heath Ledger's towering performance in TDK, he is still a chilling creation. The only major flaw for me was that the film almost seems overstuffed. There is almost too much going on. TDK was more streamlined and had the most visceral storytelling of the trilogy. However TDKR is still one of the best films of the year and again Nolan provides the most thrilling ending of the year. Not as good as TDK but a more than worthy ending to one of the great film trilogies.
True Grit (2010)
Shouldn't call it a remake
I saw this film on the second day of general release. Turner Classic Movies had shown the original the night prior so I decided to see the new version and compare. First off it's important to note that this should not be called a remake. Other users on this site have mentioned that is isn't as good as the original because it has many of the same scenes and dialogue. Of course it does it used the same novel as its source material. It is not uncommon for a noteworthy novel or play to be filmed more than once. Look at the number of versions of "Hamlet" or Sherlock Holmes films out there. This new "True Grit" must be judged on it's own. And on that basis it succeeds brilliantly. And yes it it better than the previous version which let's face it was really not a very good film. The production values were amateurish and the acting with the exception of Kim Darby was hammy. Those who call it a classic are allowing their admiration of John Wayne to cloud their judgement. Wayne made better movies and gave better performances in a number of films. "Red River" and "Stagecoach" come to mind. The Coens version succeeds because it has much better acting and production values and more importantly it follows it's source much more closely and places the emphasis where it belongs on Mattie. The titular grit doesn't refer to Rooster but rather Mattie. And despite Jeff Bridges top billing the real star of this show is Hattie Steinfeld who makes a spectacular debut. Jeff Bridges however does do an excellent job and if his performance seems less memorable than Wayne it's precisely because of the understated manner in which he plays it. Wayne was hammy and mannered, Bridges is all gravelly menace perfectly conveys Roosters boozy weathered demeanor. This is the best western since Unforgiven and one the best films of the year. Especially noteworthy is the cinematography of Roger Deakins and the score by Carter Burwell. Note: I am in the minority when it comes to the Coens, I don't find them to be the most brilliant filmmakers out there the only film of theirs I have liked outright was the hysterical "Raising Arizona". IMHO they are hit and miss filmmakers but with "True Grit" they have a hit on their hands.
Nolan misses the mark.
First off I think it's important to state one thing. I am a fan of Christoper Nolan's work. I think "The Dark Knight" is one the best films of the decade. His follow up however while visually exciting wastes a lot of potential. The ideas is very intriguing but Nolan doesn't explore it to it's full potential. I mean we are talking about manipulating dreams here! They could have had bullets flying out of their eyeballs or fingertips. For that matter why use bullets at all? This is the same problem I had with the vastly overrated Matrix. The world of dreams is by its very nature illusory and vague. People say something feels dreamlike but the only thing that is ever truly dreamlike is a dream. Hitchcock's "Spellbound" with it's brilliant sets by Salvador Dali and Wes Craven's original "Nightmare on Elm street" are in my opinion the best portrayals of the world of the subconscious. Craven in particular with the lighting and camera angles really gave it a dreamlike feel. Nolan is a visually interesting filmmaker but here he misses the mark. However one misfire doesn't mean the end of him or his career. All good directors have had the occasional dud. Does anyone remember Spielberg's "1941" Nolan is a good director who has made good films in the past. One film does not define him. People who rate this as a masterpiece are looking at it through the haze of fanboy admiration for Nolan's earlier work. Judge it independently as you must with every film. Nolan has made good movies in the past and will do so again. This one however while visually dynamic falls short on story. And the surprise ending hardly original. Bottom line=fast paced action but not nearly as visually interesting as it could be
Män som hatar kvinnor (2009)
This is how a thriller should be done.
My wife rented this one from our local library. I remembered reading Roger Ebert's review of the sequel "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and being intrigued by this one. I personally am a huge fan of foreign films having seen entries from Mexico, Japan, Germany, Spain Italy and China but other than Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander" I was unfamiliar with Swedish cinema. I think it is the best film I have seen this year, a Swedish "The Silence of the lambs". It is much darker than anything Hollywood puts out but to European audiences the graphic violence and nudity i'm sure is fairly routine. The two leads Michael Nyqvist and especially Noomi Rapace are brilliant with Rapace especially deserving mention. Her Lisbeth Salander is the year's most nuanced female performance. When she is on screen you cannot take your eyes off her. Hollywood is already planning a remake of this to be directed by David Fincher. It can't top this one and no other actress on the planet can play Lisbeth after Noomi Rapace. If you can handle the subtitles and the graphic violence plus the 2 hour and 25 minute run time you won't see a more compelling piece of cinema this year.
redefines what film can be
I just saw the film today in IMAX 3-D. Cameron has an intrinsic understanding of what film can be. People who criticize the story (or lack of one) and the superficial characterizations are missing the point. Film is a visual medium first and foremost. It tell it's story through pictures not words. Filmed science fiction has been notoriously hard to do well because generally our imagination can't catch up with the authors. For the first time I felt like I was truly transported to another place and time which is what the best films do. The 3-D was seamless and unobtrusive and the cgi ranks as some of the best I have ever seen. Interestingly enough when Star Wars came out everyone called it groundbreaking because of the visual effects. But it's story was no better than avatar's. Yet 32 years later it is still a classic ranked as one of the greatest films ever made. Why? Because it does what films are supposed to do brilliantly. It transports you and enthralls you and draws you into it's make believe world. Cameron's films have never been known for their subtlety but for being stunning visual experiences. Avatar redefines what film can be. Seeing it in any other format than IMAX you will be doing yourself a disservice. This is one of the best films of the year.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Inaccurate overrated movie
First off let my start by saying that I am a 3 time veteran of Iraq. This has been called the "definitive" Iraq film. Is is not. The definitive Iraq film has yet to be made and probably won't ever be made. It always amazes my how the critics laud the inaccuracies in these films and call them "masterpieces". To us vets, however they are as phony as can be. To cite just 4 examples of what is wrong with this movie: 1. When the lead character Sergeant James encounters a car bomb filled with explosives he immediately removes his protective suit and begins to rummage around looking for the trigger wire. I have met EOD guys and have a lot of respect for them but I know for a fact that they WOULD NEVER EVER DO THIS. If any self respecting EOD soldier did that he would be court- martialed. No soldier would ever remove all his gear especially in the middle of a city. The critics showed his as being brave but this was plain out stupidity. 2. When James encounters the body of a young Iraqi boy he had befriended and sees that explosives have been placed in his abdomen, he attempts to find out who killed him. He does this in the most implausible way possible. He gets into the car of an Iraqi merchant dressed only in his fatigues and with no gear on points a pistol at his head and orders him to drive him to what he thinks is the boys house. Upon arrival there he finds nothing so what does he do then? He WALKS ALL THE WAY BACK FROM THE HOUSE TO HIS BASE WITH NO PROTECTIVE GEAR IN THE MIDDLE OF BAGHDAD AT NIGHT AND NO ONE NOTICES HIM?! This defies belief. Again no soldier would ever or has ever in 6 years in Iraq ever done this. It could not happen. 3. After defusing the car bomb his fellow soldier a subordinate punches him for taking off his radio headset. In real life that soldier would be done. He struck a superior?! No way. 4. During a climactic battle sequence the aforementioned soldier takes off his helmet while firing a sniper rifle. Again this would never happen. 5. Last but not least at the end of the movie the lead character has returned to Iraq after an unspecified amount of time at home. The scene shows him walking towards another bomb with his suit on. The caption reads " Days left in Alpha company's rotation-365. This is also wrong as all soldiers coming to Iraq train at least 2 weeks in Kuwait and this is counted as part of your year there.
At the end of the movie the credits list the main character as a Staff Sergeant but in the movie he is wearing the rank of Sergeant First Class. This may have been an intentional error but it is still an error.
When "Apocalypse Now" came out critics called it a masterpiece, the definitive Vietnam movie. Vets I talked to however said by and large it was garbage phony as hell. It wasn't until "Platoon" came out that the vets were pleased. "Platoon" was written directed by Oliver Stone who was a veteran. To me it is the definitive Vietnam movie. I believe when and if the definitive film about the current conflict comes out it will be made by a veteran someone who really knows what went on over here. I believe this film does not portray these soldiers heroically but rather as gung-ho reckless cowboys. The real heroism displayed by these guys every day is not shown at all. Hollywood owes it to us veterans to make a film that is honest about this war and not resort to phony heroism when there is plenty of real heroism out there every day. "The Hurt Locker" is well acted and well made but utterly preposterous and not a realistic portrayal at all.
District 9 (2009)
Science Fiction Classic
I was in my 3rd deployment to Iraq when I saw the trailer on IMDb for District 9. From the trailer I knew the basic story and being a fan of Peter Jackson this instantly went to the top of my must see list. I was fortunate to come home on leave from Iraq during the time the film opened and went to see film opening weekend. After one viewing I want to see it again, this is one of the best films of the year. The movie tells the story of a gargantuan alien spacecraft that stalls in the sky over Johannesburg South Africa. When no contact is made by the aliens it is we humans who become the invaders and the movie turns the usual science fiction conventions on it's ear by showing us as the monsters. In a nice bit of irony the aliens were more human than the real humans. The best science fiction holds a mirror up to our world and this was a refreshing change from the usual. Just from the trailer I could tell that the movie was an allegory for apartheid and to his credit director Neil Blomkamp doesn't hit us over the head with it. The film's 30 million budget shows that what intelligence and creativity can do. The production values are all top notch with the special effects being among the best I have ever seen. The titular slum far surpasses anything in Slumdog Millionaire and further adds to the realism. The 3rd act of the movie is the weakest being a shoot em up but it is so well done that the strengths outweigh the weaknesses.The performance by Sharlton Copley is brilliant. He is a revelation and this a star making performance. This is intelligent absorbing science fiction of the highest order a true classic of the genre not to be missed.
Not a balanced portrayal.
I'm a sergeant in the army and have served 2 tours in Iraq and am preparing to go a third time in December. This film was irresponsible and not balanced in it's portrayal. First off every single soldier has an 8 year commitment. However long your initial enlistment is (3,4 years etc) you then serve the remainder of your time as part of the IRR (indivdual ready reserve). Moreover every single soldier knows about stop loss. It wouldn't have been portrayed the way it was in the movie. He would have known about it ahead of time. They don't tell you the day you get out and make it a surprise. Especially as an E6 a staff sergeant. The combat scene was not realistic. Soldiers guarding a checkpoint WOULD NEVER leave it to chase a vehicle. That is general order no 1 every soldier is taught that from day 1 of basic training. Furthermore the portrayal of PTSD was not wholly accurate. The army has programs in place to treat it. The character played by Joseph Gordon Levitt would not have gotten a bad conduct discharge for breaking a window. He would have received punishment under the uniform code of military justice. For a bad conduct discharge there would have to be a pattern of behavior over a period of time and then every effort would be made to rehabilitate that soldier. The discharge would only come after that had occurred. Finally the scenes of the authorities chasing Ryan Phillipe is BS. The army does not pursue you if you go AWOl. For short awols the soldiers usually receive punishment under UCMJ. For long awols over 30 days the army drops them from the rolls and stops their pay and benefits. If you attempt to get a federal job your name is entered into a database as a deserter. Lastly the final scene is total nonsense. Assuming he was awol less than 30 days he would have been demoted at least 1 grade. He would not have kept his current rank. The soldier was portrayed as a coward. Bottom line. I know personally soldiers in my unit 1 in my squad who have been stop lossed and although they may complain EVERY one of them will do their duty honorably. This movie claims to be pro soldier but it does not portray our soldiers in an honest way and that is dishonoring the memory of all of our soldiers both alive and dead who have served and are still serving over there. Also in response to adx2-1's comment he is right about the policy. 90 days before deployment and 90 days after the unit returns to home station. And under the current dwell time policy it would have been at least a year before he returned. Although it is never stated how long it is suggested that it is less than a year.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Imax format is the only way to see it
I watched "The Dark Knight" in IMAX today my second viewing of the film in Austin, Texas. I had only seen one other IMAX film prior to this a documentary about Antarctica at Paramount's great America in Santa Clara California. I can truthfully say that I have never had my jaw drop open as I did with this. The IMAX scenes are stunning and add an almost David Lean like spectacle. In fact in an odd way it reminded me of "Lawrence of Arabia" Both TE Lawrence and Batman were men who were tormented by various psychoses and both became unconventional heroes. Lawrence, like Batman was both a hero to some and a villain to others. And like Batman both had personal traumas that shaped who they were, Bruce Wayne witnessing the murder of his parents and Lawrence being sodomized by the brutal Turkish bey. The brilliance of Leans masterpiece was that it also was a character study as well as an epic drama. TDK is much the same way. Film is after all a visual medium first and foremost. Nolan's imagery is almost operatic and especially in the truck sequence. It is so visceral so alive and so kinetic that it makes for one of the most exciting sequences in years rivaling the truck chase in Terminator 2. I will not waste any more time talking about the actors, particularly Heath Ledger as the Joker. I can add nothing new here. Seen in Imax format however he becomes more than just a man but a demonic force. His first scene when he takes off the clown makeup is sweeping. His visage fills the entire screen and the clarity of the format is such that you can see the rot of his face which reflects his rotting soul. The sequence in Hong Kong shot almost entirely in IMAX is a masterpiece of editing and cinematography. Nolan has created an epic crime drama as well as a Faustian drama. The joker has not just sold his soul to the devil he's the devil personified. Batman almost loses his soul. The film in the end is about choices. The choices we make every day. Throughout the film characters are given choices to make. The joker chooses anarchy and chaos over harmony. Batman chooses to save Rachel and in the end loses her. The passengers on the ferries are given a choice. The citizens of Gotham are given the choice to kill the man who knows Batman's identity. And in the end Batman makes the ultimate choice. He chooses in Alfred's words to "make the choice that no one else will have to face." And of course both the Joker and Batman made monumental choices in their pasts that shaped who they were. Batman chose the path of good and the joker chose the path of evil. The film shows how making choices for better or for worse can have profound impacts on our everyday lives. It also shows how the line between heroism and madness is sometimes very thinly drawn. The best comic book movie to date and one of the best movies of the year with the most thrilling ending in recent memory.
Amy Adams- a star is born.
2 words make "Enchanted" magical. Amy Adams. I'm 41 years old a Sergeant in the army. I saw this movie believe it or not in Iraq at Camp Anaconda one of the largest bases in the country. There is a movie theater on post there that shows first run films. What an absolute joy it was to see an audience of hardened combat veterans laughing with joy at the antics of the chipmunk. Amy Adams was a revelation. Following up her Oscar nominated performance in Junebug she proves herself to be a comedic actress of the highest tier. In my opinion the only reason she didn't get another Oscar nomination for her performance was because this was a kids movie. Remember her name. We'll be seeing a lot of her in the years to come. The hardest thing for any actor to do is to take a fantasy character and make them believable. Adams owned this role. In fact I can give her no higher praise than to say that there is not an actress out there who could have played this role better. She gave one of the years best performances-comedy or drama. She is radiant and she makes the movie. See it if for no other reason than her performance. She makes the movie live up to it's title.
Blade Runner (1982)
visually stunning but one glaring flaw for me ruins it
I saw Blade Runner on cable when it first came out. The best science fiction shows us a future that could possibly exist. The problem i had with Blade Runner then was the same problem I have with it now. It was released in 1982. At the time the year 2019 was only 37 years in the future. Extrapolating on current technology there was no way the world visualized in the film would exist only 37 years in the future. Advanced human androids, flying cars, and planetary colonies? I don't think so. This for me made the whole film strictly a fantasy. If the filmmakers had set it in the year 2119- a simple fix by simply changing the opening title card, it would have been much more believable. Even now with the year 2019 only 11 years in the future the world of Blade Runner is at least 150-200 years in the future.
Granted you could make the same argument for 2001 but that film was more accurate in that it showed a Pan Am shuttle(foreshadowing the space shuttle) and an orbital space station which is currently under construction(Albeit in a much simpler form).And there was nothing in that film which couldn't have existed if the Vietnam war had never happened. Blade Runner is simply not realistic given it's historical context. So while brilliant visually the film as science fiction doesn't work but as fantasy works very well. So simply put Blade Runner shows a world that could exist---BUT NOT IN THE YEAR 2019. 2119 yes. 2019? No.
The Unit (2006)
takes some liberties but not that many
I have been in the army for 8 years just completed my second tour in Iraq. After seeing tonight's episode i found 2 mistakes one glaring and one not so glaring. In the beginning the British intelligence guys refer to Jonah as a SGT when he is in fact a Sergeant Major. In real life these guys would know his rank and address him by it no SGM I know would ever tolerate being called just Sergeant. Also in the show when Brown is promoted to SFC the ceremony is not done verbatim the way the army does it. The wording is more dramatic. But that is Hollywood. On the plus side Scott Foley was wearing his Army Combat Uniform(ACUS) exactly right. He looked like a real soldier. So the show got that right. And there was a nice scene between him and his wife when she said that she couldn't take care of him when he is deployed and helping the suicidal woman gave her a sense of empowerment. I know a lot of wives who have voiced this exact sentiment which is why many of them are active in the community. Also one viewer said that the actors were too old and out of shape. Scott Foley is in his mid 30's. His character was just promoted to SFC. I personally know of two SSG's that made SFC who were older than Foley's character. These guys were my bosses. Infantry and special operations tend to get promoted younger and faster than the rest of the army due to the nature of their jobs. The portrayal of army wives is fairly accurate with the exception of the silly contrivance of Tiffy sleeping with the colonel this is typical Hollywood soap opera. Overall though the Unit is a good show and honors these brave men.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
don't think too deeply overrated film.
Planet of the apes is an overrated film. When i saw the movie all the way through for the first time in 1998 on the films 30th anniversary it's faults became glaringly evident. First off if a nuclear war occurred in 2000 years humans would have rebuilt their society. So why were the humans dumb brutes? You can't just throw away 100,000 years of evolution. Secondly Manhattan island would have been intact only the buildings would have been destroyed there is no coastline in New York. Also how did the apes develop the power of speech? If anything they should have developed their own language. The book by Pierre Boulle is actually more accurate scientifically because the protagonist actually travels to another planet. Since he approaches the speed of light when he finally returns to earth several hundred thousand years have gone by and apes are the dominant species there too. More realistic. What i would have preferred to see is a film with 2 dominant species apes and man and Heston sides with the apes thus lending credence to the film's tagline "somewhere in the universe there is something better than man. Interestingly enough some of the weaker Twilight Zone episodes written by Rod Serling had these same inaccuracies scientifically. Serling was better when he wrote about "ordinary" people facing the unknown instead of hard science fiction
Lambs not a sequel
First off it's important to note that "Silence of the Lambs" is not a sequel to "Manhunter". The ONLY characters that appear in both films are Lector and Jack Crawford. Both films can be enjoyed on their own terms. They stand alone. The novel of Silence however is more of a sequel to Red Dragon in that mention is made in the dialogue of Lambs to the events in Red Dragon. Lector is a different character. In Manhunter/Red Dragon he is barely glimpsed and a secondary character. The backstory between Lector and Graham is not well delineated in the film or book. In the film it states that Lector is a serial killer and that Graham captured him. That is it. Also remember that in Lambs Lector tells Clarice that he had been imprisoned for 8 years. In Red Dragon Lector comments to Graham that he is wearing the same appalling aftershave he wore in court 3 years prior. So that means 5 years go by between Red Dragon and Lambs. That is a long time. To me Brian Cox seemed bored in the role. Hopkins was genuinely scary. Also remember the 5 year span (which by the way was the same as in the film.) Lector would have had time to develop his "over the top persona" as a way of scaring people. There is something else to note. Lector knew Graham. He had a history with him and therefore there was no reason for him to manipulate him. He didn't know Clarice. And because she was a woman she was more susceptible to fear than Will Graham. Also interesting to note is that the dialogue spoken to Clarice by Dr Chilton in the film of Lambs when warning her about Lector is taken word for word from the book of RED DRAGON and was in fact spoken to Will Graham. To me Hopkins was better because you would expect a psychiatrist to be cultured and educated. Cox came across as just a serial killer. The aspect of cannibalism makes him far scarier. But Manhunter is an effective thriller with a great performance by Will Peterson and a brilliant performance by Tom Noonan. I do think Will Peterson is more effective than Edward Norton who was too young for the role. But to compare Lambs to Manhunter is a ludicrous they are separate films. The novels are related the films aren't. I saw Manhunter when it first came out and by the time lambs came out it had faded from my memory altogether. But Lambs stuck with me. There is a reason. Great film-making.
Evokes David Lean
When I first saw TFOTR I was in Korea stationed there in the military. The theater was a converted military quonset hut with bad sound and an amateur projectionist. But what struck me about it was one word: Verisimilitude. It's a word that basically means realism. Not one user on here has mentioned that word. That is why all three films work. They created a sense of time and place. I was struck by the first film in that it was unlike any fantasy film i'd ever seen. Middle Earth was more than just a place it became a character in the story. The movies didn't seem like a fantasy. They were completely real in the same way that Star Wars was 30 years ago. The costumes were weathered and look lived in as did the locations. The sets even when constructed never looked constructed. The effects in the first film some were somewhat weak but that added to the effect. Effects don't have to be real to be effective. The films evoke David Lean in their sweep and Lean was arguably the greatest epic filmmaker of all time. The extended versions are better because of small moments like the scene in the Two Towers when Aragorn tells Eowen his age. It is a lovely moment of character development. They make the entire trilogy better. The best films transport you to another time and place and the Lord of the Rings films do more than that they make it seem like the story we are being told is a historical tale rather than a fantasy. That is the highest praise I can give these 3 films.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
who says the movie is a lie?
I take issue with the people who say the whole movie cheats and is a lie. ALL movies cheat. That is why they are fiction. They are stories. Actors are acting. They are paid to lie essentially. And the best of them make you believe that they are telling the truth. If you want truth go see a documentary. That is what Roger Ebert said. Even movies that are supposedly based on true stories are still dramatizations. They are the vision of the director and the writer. They take liberties with the actual history out of dramatic necessity. And the sets and costumes are recreations of reality. So before people say that the movie doesn't play fair does any movie play totally fair with it's audience? They manipulate reality to tell their story. In fact the greatness of the film is the complexity of it. One user commented that all the suspects were dead except verbal. But Fenster wasn't killed on the boat. Was he really killed? Did he actually exist? Also what if Keyser Soze was actually 2 people Spacey and Pete Posthelwaite. That would explain why the Hungarian in the hospital saw his hair when he was wearing a hat. Spacey could have been a hit-man for Soze. In fact maybe the fax at the end was a deception. Was that Soze? The Hungarian thought it was but what if that is what the spacey character wanted him to think. Finally as to the comment that verbal was dumb to let himself get caught I say he was the smartest person in the movie.He liked toying with Agent Kujan and knew he could slip out from under his nose. Just to prove his superiority. Much like Hannibal Lecter in "The silence of the lambs"So the films strength lies in it's complexity. And multiple viewings make it more enjoyable.