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The Carbonaro Effect (2014)
Sometimes it's quite amusing - but it's more of a themed story than a real magic show. Obviously it also depends heavily upon the reaction of the subject, so you're being exposed to mostly to people who give good TV reactions - this gets a little boring (you know nobody will challenge him when he's coming up with completely ridiculous and implausible explanations and his favourite reaction has to be people who go along with his explanations and find them realistic...).
It's one I reserve for TV dinner wallpaper.
Horrid Henry: The Movie (2011)
Sick of stupid reviews
Well I found it perfectly watchable, for me it's a solid 6. My son (who is 7) watches the cartoon series. He told me 'nothing less than 10'.
He loved it - and as this is for the target audience of cartoon viewers - he's the one who should get the rating (not '2 for me and 8 for him = 6'.
Go home stupid adults, let the kids rate their own movies.
Dragged Across Concrete (2018)
Worth persevering with...
This isn't a kids movie - so don't expect to start with a bang and have tension built with loud noises and music. It's very nice to see Mel Gibson playing a cop - an old fart in a new movie - an old familiar face looking a little out of place in modern society and casting him in the role adds the flavour (we actually KNOW what kind of cop he is, right? Good guy but a little loose on the rules and not too politically correct).
The tension builds as you follow the story and see things unfold. You feel sickness - understanding what characters are thinking and hoping things don't turn out as badly as they expect. There are a few surprises here, and none disappoint.
The story is excellent, you constantly revise your sympathies and opinions until the very last minute of the film.
The Chi (2018)
Remember the wire?
Love the character development here. Love that there's some more reality behind the good/bad guys - and to understand them, however bad they are, means you can't help but feel a little love for them.
San Andreas Quake (2015)
Best bad scene (actually I missed MOST of the movie):
Girl and Guy drive along, looking ahead. BANG!!! The guy didn't see what it was, they get out and find a HIPPO. He hit a hippo, driving at maybe 20mph looking straight ahead... Not only that, but the car stopped DEAD (actually jumped up) but there isn't any sign of denting... Mother hippo then chases them up the road, and we see a cloud of light brown dry dust superimposed upon the very dark, wet, muddy road surface as the hippo runs.
Okay, they're in a MUDDY road in a wet and dreary woods, ahead is a house with a dark muddy hill behind it. When the camera shows them looking out of the windscreen surprised... I'm not surprised. What they see is a Giraffe in a heat-haze field of dry brown grassland...
There isn't any attempt to match even the direction (looking out the side window) and the cut-to camera view (over the steering wheel).
Trust me, it's not even entertaining to 'spot' the mistakes. The whole movie is just a pile of scraps pasted together.
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
I must say the picture - animation - as well as the soundtrack are beautifully crafted.
I love animations - but this one just left me cold, like getting a lovely easter egg with chocolate that has no taste. I found myself drifting away, my son also picked up his books and decided to read instead.
Sorry guys, this just didn't engage me at all beyond the first 5 minutes introducing Jack Frost... I guess the storyline is good enough, and the ideas in the movie are not wholly original which is not a bad thing.
It reminds me of movies produced by someone working hard to get rich, and trying hard to put magic in - but there's just no dust in it for me.
I sat through some of this thinking it would become funnier...
Cool - here comes Vinnie Jones, whom I'm a big fan of & Dominic Purcell.
The aircraft scenes look like they're shot in a hotel - very confusing. Do they really have glass fruit bowls sitting on polished wooden tables? Or cargo bays with cars inside, fully pressurised and air-conditioned with extensive lighting and stairs leading up to the passenger compartment?
The action... they do a clever job of avoiding any real action on screen - and there is no excitement or suspense.
The budget for this movie obviously wouldn't even cover the price of admission. The story was so bad, and the plot so sad, that I had to resist the urge to turn it off for a while. Initially thinking it was going to be a pythonesque slow starting rip roaring comedy...
The joke's on me for wasting 40 minutes on this trash!
The Hangover Part II (2011)
Impossible to watch...
I tried - having lived in Bangkok I thought this might be fun. The film was also made in Bangkok... but it seems not one single Thai would appear in the movie. Quite a few people got up and left the theatre before half time, and I only sat through it because someone was coming to meet me outside at the end... and I thought there must at least be one or two good moments worth waiting for...
I'm a fan of bad movies, but this one couldn't raise a single chuckle. I'm curious - if they make a version based in Paris will they include Big Ben? It seems they do just about everything they can to mess this movie up, and we can only wait for Hangover 3 to see if they could actually manage to mess it up any more than they did.
Things that were funny in the first movie are done again - but second time around you juz think 'not that again!'.
It's a real tribute to American culture that this movie could ever raise more than 1 to 2 stars... I can only imagine that people who hated it didn't watch enough to bother writing a review.
Lots of reviews...
Given that the storyline has many elements that give an appearance of a depth that doesn't really exist in the movie (for example, the idea that everything is totally planned out - but it doesn't quite turn out that way)... However, reading a review that points out similarities with a Scientology theory I can quite easily see a parallel and possible hidden agenda.
It's quite a shallow film with some imagined depths - mostly supplied by the viewer. It gets you thinking a little, and it's an enjoyable movie. It tends to fall down and frustrated me a little toward the end; but then the end is a cool ride that leaves you feeling good (even if it is trashy).
It's not too hard to zone out and suspend brainpower. After trying to work things out for the first half, you're ready to watch the second which delivers a shot of endorphines and leaves you not feeling too bad about being cheated.
The Social Network (2010)
Another misleading fabrication from Hollywood
Taken out of context, this would prove an entertaining movie. However, the story is based on a character assassination. As the real characters have said - the movie focuses on being extremely accurate by portraying the wardrobe accurately, and then blowing up minor truths which were not important in real life and distorting the facts to offer us a perverse version of the truth.
This smacks of mudslinging on the big screen, and I don't like that - though I did rather enjoy watching the movie, it was for me more a commentary on the Hollywood licence to lie and cheat us out of the truth because it's too boring, instead presenting us with a fake dramatisation and passing it off as a true story.
Truth has little to do with this story - Hollywood is indeed the Lord of Lies - not something to be proud of.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Leave in the middle....
The beginning of the movie is wonderful, the Victorian Christmas looked wonderful with it's sparkling frost.
However, Disney took over the Dickens story - saying it's faithful because they lifted text from the book. The introductory flying camera view of London was lovely, with great music.
After that, it's all tosh - scary moments punctuated with silly chases (the final ghost is postponed for ten minutes whilst Scrooge is inexplicably shrunk to a midget and slides around flat surfaces accelerating as if down a mountain).
Jim Carey draws a fine line between humour and annoyance - and in this movie, playing a seriously scary ghost with his smug grin just failed miserably. Let's face it, nobody can love Carey more than he loves himself. Generally they didn't make too much of a mess of pretending to be English, but the ghosts came up with some seriously silly accents and it just wasn't English. Can't they afford good British actors? Or is it Disney's business to take good classic originals and spoil it by doing a 'fresh take'? Why can't they stick to writing their own stuff if they want to do that?
In typical US Television style, (referring to the way the credits whizz up the screen at a rate that ensures you can't read them unless you record it and freeze frame) , they wrap up the HIGH point of the movie, after showing the depressing life he led, the missed opportunities, and the terrible horrors to come, they wrap it up in seconds by having him order a turkey, but the movie is too lazy to follow it through to the climax of the story. We never really saw a changed man, it was not at all plausible ...
This scrooge looks as if he just ordered a few changes quickly before the end of the movie and it really fell flat.
Trust me, I love Disney, I loved Polar Express, and I read Dickens - if you get this movie, turn it off after 15 minutes and have a happy memory...
Better still, watch a better version. Black and white is nice - from 1950 I think it was with Albert Finney. Now there's a movie that will make you cry (not because you wasted the time to watch it!) Rubbish.
Well I can't say it was really so bad. The images and sounds are entertaining enough and the story is simple enough, just one bullet is more than enough.
Interesting how the dealer here is so quick to turn against his own crew and stick a new guy (who he met once in the past and was saved by him) and promote him to be number one guy, without knowing anything about him.
I'd say the reality is that these guys got to hang out, and get to know each other pretty well.
Val Kilmer was just so sulky and suspicious looking that he wouldn't have made it further than the first meeting.
Smart People (2008)
Haven't seen Accidental Tourist yet...
Well it's cold. Music is nice, there's Autumn weather, and the music is good, and the lack of music is better. The faces are fascinating. Ellen Page (daughter) reminds me a touch of Jane Fonda - intelligent and both smart mouthed and capable of swearing with good effect. Everyone outside the family just appear so normal and so easy going - though nobody seems happy in this movie. It's a very depressing setting, but the movie isn't really depressing - it's nice.
Comedy is quirky - it makes you smile, but it's damp and cool like the Autumn weather - Winter is coming.
The professor is just so deeply fascinated by his subject. He reminds me of a seminar I went to last year, a professor trying to stick something on the board and needing help.
These people are so smart, they can't see anything. Maybe the film isn't very good - but then I guess my taste isn't very good. I think most people don't have good taste and will really enjoy it in a quiet and quirky way.
Eagle Eye (2008)
Something old, something older
Action steamrolls, with the aid of a fast shaky digicam. Computers can make anything (I mean ANYTHING) happen - in this film (not giving any spoilers here) the idea is that if they can tap into your phone, it means they could also turn it on and spy on you after you turned it off. That means they could remotely control anything remotely electrical even if it's not in any way linked to any network or internet.
The first Bourne was great, the second was super hot, but less realistic - and this movie takes all of that, along with all the bad 'net spying on you' themes and ramps them up to a completely incredulous story that will have everyone saying 'wow, NO way'.
Sorry, but the action isn't as good as other movies, and there's nothing in the story - so why bother?
Too many things to ignore...
The girl is quite sexy, but the guy is too much of a poser. After being stripped of all belongings, including shoes - he manages to obtain new clothes from a shop, and then has a nice car and keys for it too. Too many times you have to swallow your tongue 'Where did that come from?' and then there's the part where 3 very professional hit men decide to get involved with a very silly fight, first unloading and throwing away their guns. This is sillier than Transporter 2, without the polish.
Hollywood can only sell this film on the pretext that you find one of the stars sexy, I think this is the only selling point - but then you dn't really get to see anything you couldn't get more easily from Youtube! Give it a miss!