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The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King (2003)
Fight Club (1999)
Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars, Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman Begins (2005)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The Prestige (2006)
The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers (2002)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Star Wars, Episode VI, Return of the Jedi (1983)
Lat den Ratte Komma In [Let the Right One In] (2008)
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Xing Xiong [Hero] (2002)
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Bourne Identity (2002)
The Matrix (1999)
Die Hard (1988)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Wrestler (2008)
Michael Bay has done it again: and "it" is garbage.
I'll say this right off the bat: I didn't like the first film. I thought it was mostly dull, made little sense, and mostly just an excuse to have chunks of metal thrown at each other. However, after watching this sequel, I almost want to watch the original again just to get the bad taste of out my mouth.
This movie, really, deserves only 1 star. The story is beyond clichéd (bad guys want to destroy the universe). The dialogue is terrible, always trying to be funny or cute but always at the wrong time. The acting is sub-par, although I can't blame Shia LaBouef for taking a job in a money-maker like this. Many of the elements of this film sound like a 6 year old wrote it off the top of their head: for example, at one point for no apparent reason, the entire crew of protagonists just teleport to the middle of a desert. No warning. Nothing ever referred back to it. They just teleport. I laughed out loud.
Another major problem is the blatant humorless racism that is prevalent throughout the entire movie. The characters travel around the world, giving the writers and Michael Bay a chance to throw out every ridiculous stereotype that they can: French people eating snails, Black people with golden teeth, Arabic people who are short and envy Americans (Is that even a stereotype? It sure appeared as one). I usually don't mind racial humor, but frankly, this isn't humor, this is just ignorant bigotry.
I'm giving the film 3 stars because, honestly, it looks very good. The action scenes, few there are, are directing a bit better than the prequel, so I could enjoy them a bit more. Granted, it is often hard to tell which transformers are the Autobots (good guys) and which are the Decepticons (evil guys), but it is satisfying just to see action considering how boring and senseless most of the rest of the movie is. The visual effects are very good, albeit again sometimes hard to distinguish. The production value is very summer-movie-esquire.
If you want to see a fun summer movie, go see Star Trek again. Go watch Terminator Salvation, which maybe wasn't perfect, but is far better than this. If you are a major Transformers fan, I personally am not, I would wait and rent it. Even if you liked the first one, I have serious doubts that this movie will satisfy you. There are plenty of things that added to the atrocity of this film (robots with testicles, robots that can turn into people, inconsistency with language, plot holes), but I'll try to keep this shorter than the two-and-a-half hours I just spent watching this garbage. It really appears as a film made by six year olds, for six year olds, yet six year olds who think racism and bad sexual references are hilarious. Avoid this one, I say.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
Horror without the horror
If you heard that this is based on a true story, then don't be afraid; there's nothing scary about it.
Haunting in Connecticut tells the story of a family who moves into a creepy, run-down house (which happens to have a crematorium in the basement, go figure) so that the son can receive cancer treatment at a nearby clinic. The son begins to hallucinate and slowly a story unravels about past owners of the house, ghosts and the generic morons who refuse to leave a haunted house.
The problem with contemporary horror is the absence of...horror. This film relies heavily upon the use of jump-frights, where either a loud noise or kind of-weird looking figure appearing in the background will yield the screams of a few younger teenagers in the crowd of the theater. Granted, throughout most of the movie, the actual "horror" is shown to be the hallucinations of a clearly deranged cancer patient, so you don't at all feel scared or tenuous. In addition to the mild aspect of it, this film has atrocious dialogue which kills almost every scene that is meant to be dramatic.
Granted, it is not a pure, awful, Disaster Movie-level of garbage. The directing is fairly decent, and the acting is also good. The problem lies in the horrible script dragging the performances down. Additionally, the idea to evoke fear through hallucinations and flashbacks is good on paper yet portrayed poorly throughout the film. If you are a horror buff (unlike me), I would recommend you rent it and decide for yourself, but this isn't worth the $8.50 it cost me to see in theaters.
The Dark Knight (2008)
This is not a superhero flick; This is an Oscar-worthy crime drama.
Terrifying; Spectacular; Deep; Powerful; Long (but not Lord of the Rings long); Just a few of many words capable of describing this amazing work of film making. A picture is worth a thousand words, and the Dark Knight is worth many, many more.
Christopher Nolan's reboot of the Batman franchise began with Batman Begins in 2005, a film focusing on Batman's origins and the internal and external conflicts he faced as he attempted to save Gotham City from a world of crime and corruption. The Dark Knight picks up around where Begins left off, with Gotham's crime lords now in fear of the menacing, nocturnal protector who delivered Gotham's greatest crime lord Falconi to the police, something they failed to do, and killed the infamous Ra's Al Ghul who was attempting via gaseous poison to destroy the city completely due to its corruption.
Superhero movies this summer have, although many of them decent, been pretty traditional in terms of being flashy and superheroy (that's a word...now). But the Dark Knight is not. The Dark Knight is a crime drama, the psychological analysis of the maniacal and clever villain The Joker who not only laughs as he carves the faces of his victims but causes the city to erupt in widespread panic on several occasions. The Dark Knight is a dark, tragic romance story, written so tensely and deeply that if it wasn't for minor flaws in Maggie Gyllenhal's acting it would be just as great as its parallel story lines. But it is also a superhero film, where Batman must fight an inner struggle of whether or not to break his unspoken rule never to kill his enemies, only to deliver them to justice.
It seems unnecessary to deal out praise to the great writers and actors that made this film the masterpiece that it is, but there a few people who haven't been getting what they deserve. Of course Heath Ledger was phenomenal, as you've likely heard by now, but someone who should be praised just as much is Aaron Eckhart, who plays Gotham's conflicted District Attorney who Batman believes can be the hero the city needs and can look up to, is extremely moving in his performance especially when Dent becomes dark and villainous, transforming into a well-known character who seems just as unstoppable as The Joker.
This film is a work of art. It surpassed all of my expectations. Go to see this movie expecting a dramatic crime story, though, not some action-packed superhero flick with little plot and lots of explosions (although several fight scenes in this film are particularly cool). This is definitely my favorite film of 2008 and is quite possibly the greatest superhero film of all time. Aren't you intrigued to go see it now (as if the explosive viral marketing campaign didn't do it for you already)?
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Take out Zak Penn and you'd have a brilliant film
This has been a summer of superhero flicks. Ironman, Hancock, Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight and Hellboy II have all topped the box office and all in all, none of them were really bad (I have yet to see Hellboy, though). The Incredible Hulk is no exception.
The Incredible Hulk starts off with about a five minute background story during opening credits, just to quickly tell the origin of the character. If you don't already know, Bruce Banner was experimenting with radiation, he gets exposed, and now whenever he gets angry (or excited) he turns into this big green monster known as the Hulk.
If you compare this reboot to its 2003 predecessor, you'll be able to clearly see the good things this film did. Ed Norton, playing Bruce Banner, is a great actor, and he puts on a great performance. The film is also extremely well paced; you should never get bored, because the action scenes (about 3 big ones) are so well balanced and spread out. Liv Tyler, playing Banner's love interest Betty Ross, does an alright job but it doesn't really take away from the movie. I'll just say that the whole beginning of the movie, where Bruce Banner is on the run from U.S. forces and trying to find a cure for his problem, is probably the best part, but the movie stays pretty decent throughout.
The worst aspect of the film is likely the dialouge. The was (mostly) written by Zak Penn, known for the last two X-Men movies and Behind Enemy Lines. I'm not going to say he's a terrible writer, but he's got a lot to learn about dialouge. Particularity during fight scenes; characters constantly exchanging silly taunts that take away from the action. The Hulk talks, and it sounds god awful.
All in all, this film is very much worth watching. Great visual effects, including the coolest helicopter crash I've seen in awhile on film, good acting and great story progression. If you're looking for a very good action and superhero film, this is it.
Remarkable for a Television Adaptation
*Caution, this review contains minor spoilers*
Serenity, the story of a crew of the Firefly-class spaceship "Serenity" who struggle to survive the dangers of the universe 500 years into the future and learn the frightening truth about a lost world on the edge of the galaxy, is without a doubt one of the greatest Science Fiction movies ever. One could even call it better than Star Wars, as I sure do.
You may choose to skip this film because you never watched the TV Show Firefly, off of which Serenity was created. Let me tell you that when I saw this movie in theaters, I hadn't even heard of the show Firefly, and so I felt no fan boy bias whatsoever. And even after watching the entire series (short as it was) and the movie again, I still feel the same emotion and amazement that is illustrated in this movie.
Serenity, like its television counterpart, is more than a Sci-Fi fan flick with spaceships and laser guns. Serenity tells a story of the losing side of an intergalactic war between humanity, similar and inspired by the US Civil War. It is, in genre, a SciFi-Western, where many references and similarities can be found between this and western films as well as science fiction films. One who enjoys either genre more than the other can enjoy this film, nevertheless.
The film's visual effects are stunning for a low-budget adaptation like itself, and the camera work takes you into the action like it was filmed by passersby with a camera in hand. There is humor throughout to balance the dark storyline, and the characters are lovable (and hate-able).
One of the best Science Fiction movies to date, Serenity takes one to a universe that is very different yet very similar to our own. It is definitely a film worth seeing, even is Science Fiction or Western is not your favorite genre. Give this unique film a chance, and I'm sure you will enjoy it.
After almost 10 Years it remains the greatest game of all time
Although I'm not sure why they show video games on the iMovie Database, I still feel inclined to review this game.
It's been almost ten years since this masterpiece was released on the N64 (which I was still playing 2005, I didn't have a Gamecube and my 360 had broken too many times), and no game has managed to beat its remarkable storyline, its great gameplay, and its adventurous feel.
There are many parts of this game which make it the greatest game in the world, but I only want to touch on a few. First off, this game has amazing graphics for its time, and each object was quite detailed compared to other games of the mid-90's. Another aspect of the game which adds to its superiority is the huge landscape and available areas to explore. There are numerous side quests which provide the player with lots of fun even after the game has been completed. There are many villages and towns to traverse, and Hyrule Field is immense and full of secret locations and hidden items (keep in mind that I'm not comparing this to Twilight Princess, which is much more immense).
I could spend hours talking about the great cutscenes and fun parts of the game, but since this game is classic and you can find a much more in depth review on many a game info site, I'll end the comment here. If you have a Wii, you MUST purchase this from the Virtual Console!