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Boogeyman (2005)
Unique horror film. *** out of 5
26 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
You'll see a plethora of negative reviews for this one. Most stating it was incoherent and didn't make any sense. Personally I've always felt if done right, it's a good element to have in a horror film. Many Italian horror films lack coherency and focus on being more surreal and non-linear.

"Boogeyman" isn't exactly in this vein but just slightly and it's far from a horror masterpiece, but it isn't the conventional standard 'horror' flick manufactured by Hollywood either. The score is really well composed which compliments many of the atmospheric moments this film has to offer.

The first 30 minutes I found to be quite unsettling. I can relate to being in the bed in the dark looking at something across the room that resembles someone standing there looking at you. We've all been there. What happens in this movie is exactly what we've always feared that something would do.

Moments like these really stood out.

The middle isn't as strong as the beginning or even the confusing ending but the entire film has an unsettling feel about it. Never a joyous moment. There are a lot of flashy camera movements which have gained a popularity amongst most horror films these days. Honestly I'm not a big fan of these MTV style techniques. Ultimately it's the main factor in why I felt it could have been a better film. I can take a certain amount of it but this movie just had a bit too much of it. And every time the dude touched a door knob you just knew there was going to be a noisy flashback sequence. Also, I'm not sure if I can take anymore little kids trying to be all creepy and scary in horror films. It's cliché' and frankly I'm a little sick of it.

At one point I started to wonder how the boogeyman played into all of this other than the precredit sequence. There seemed to be a great deal of possible psychic phenomena within the central character and none of it seemed to have anything to do with a boogeyman. Eventually the boogeyman does show up finally towards the end. A lot of people felt it was overly CGI'd. Maybe so... I wouldn't argue, but the boogeyman did look pretty creepy in my opinion. I honestly can't tell you how the hell the main character defeated the boogeyman. It was kind of bizarre and I can see how some would find it silly. It was a bit over the top if anything. But I'm just still not sure what happened.

Then again Fulci's "City of the Living Dead" is one of my favorite horror films and that ending still leaves me scratching my head to this day...
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The Omen (2006)
Surprisingly good remake! **** out of 5
14 June 2006
The Omen has always been one of my favorite horror films so of course I'm going to be somewhat hesitant on seeing a remake of such.

Secretly though for years I had always fantasized about how I would remake the film and add little touches here and there. Nothing that would improve upon the original but just things I felt would go well with a retelling.

Thankfully this film is pretty much the route I would have gone with. Many people have complained about how it is so much like the original. Personally, I felt even though the story structure and most of the death scenes were alike, it wasn't shot by shot the same film (like the Psycho remake). It went in it's own direction.

I'm glad David Seltzer, writer of the original, came back to spruce up things.

The kid who plays Damien is absolutely fantastic. Cold and emotionless he had an aura about him that certainly felt evil. Liev Schreiber is great as always. By far one of the greatest and most underrated actors today in movies. And I loved the appearances by Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Gambon, and Mia Farrow.

I was bowled over with excitement that Marco Beltrami was on board to score the film. To me he has been the Jerry Goldmsith of the 21st Century and it was only appropriate that he score the remake of a film Goldsmith had scored years ago. He does a great job at doing his own thing and only hints at the themes that were used in the original. It's not a landmark score and of course doesn't surpass the classic original, but it's still a non-conventional, appropriate and effective score.

There are nuances and subliminalities here and there which I appreciated. A key moment I loved was when Stiles is in the bathtub and sees her 'son' watching her. What happens during this scene will really disturb you. The scenes that were best recreated in my opinion were the 'falling over the balcony' scene where Stiles is pushed over by Damien and the cemetery scene where the dogs attack. There was an unexpected moment of humor before the infamous 'nanny hanging' scene where not just everyone is staring but also two Punch and Judy puppets.

It's directed well, atmospheric, and even emotional. It may not be a classic, but no one should have ever expected that. This is one of the remakes that succeeds.
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Nothing special and surprisingly boring. 1 1/2 out of 5 stars
12 February 2006
The problem with this video cheapie isn't necessarily the concept. Sure the concept is cheesy and all but the film itself should abide by the rules of a good cheesy movie. Instead half of this film focuses on a teenage love triangle in bakery one scary night. It's like watching a soap opera called 'General Bakery'. The biggest plot hole here is that everyone stays inside the friggin bakery and lets a Gingerbread Man chase them around! No one ever thinks to get out or go get help when someone is hurt. Also there is no explanation whatsoever as to who the guy with the black cape was that brought the gingerbread dough to the bakery (I'm supposing it was Darth Vader). Of course it takes a little blood mixed with this dough to make an evil gingerbread man, so it just so happens someone cuts their finger while getting out the dough and viola! Vader knew it would happen.

The first couple of scenes with the Gingerdead Man made me laugh. I think it's funny to see Busey in gingerbread man form. It's just weird. But there isn't enough of him and the good stuff that makes a good cheesy straight to video flick.

The problem with this film is that it isn't fun enough. They tried to be a little too serious at times with the love story and the attempt at humor, especially the one guy acting like a superhero-ninja wannabe, can be particularly painful to watch.

I love Charles Band, his movies in the late 80's and early 90's have and still entertain me greatly, but this stuff coming out lately just ain't what it used to be.
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Hate to say it... but it's the worst G Flick since Godzilla's Revenge. *1/2 out of 5
4 January 2006
Oh the disappointment. I have been waiting eagerly for this film for years now. I couldn't wait to see what was supposed to be the greatest kaiju bash of all time.

Unfortunately the director took the opportunity of a lifetime... the opportunity to have some serious kick ass monster fights but instead decides to make a film that is essentially a Matrix rip-off. A film that hardly focuses on our beloved monsters whatsoever.

The first twenty minutes are a bit slow but as a G-Fan I know this can sometimes be expected, unfortunately I had no idea really what was going on except that there was a force of mutants that are here to protect the world. Anyways, after this we are treated to a scene that last maybe five minutes long where a bunch of familiar monsters to wrecking havoc upon the world. I was literally jumping up and down with pure glee. But the film totally shifts gears and focuses on nothing but the war between the mutants and the aliens that brought the monsters to earth. I'd say you don't see another monster for a good 40-50 minutes. I can't tell you how bad everything between the monster stuff is. It's excruciating. I realize with most G-Flicks there maybe some cheesy drama thrown in to thread together a storyline, but most of these story lines are completely watchable. In Godzilla Final Wars the storyline makes little sense and features the type of characters the audience absolutely HATES. Older story lines may have been unbelievable but they were fun. Here, the story tries to be hip and cool and just makes you shake your head. You're main alien bad guy here is a loser who laughs like a little girl and overacts to the extreme. He jumps around pitching hissy fits whenever one of his monsters loses a battle. Battle? Did I say battle... whoopsee me there are hardly any battles here. Most all of these foes are shamefully done away with once Godzilla breaths one atomic fire ray on them. Cut to: alien baddie jumping up and down in fury.

When Godzilla first meets Gigan he blows the cockroaches head off. The alien baddie jumps up and down screaming like a baby "No!" Then thirty minutes later exclaims 'Release Gigan!' Only this time Gigan has the big bad forked Chainsaw hands. Pretty cool, only it doesn't make much sense because he had his head blown off thirty minutes before.

Ah, it's too bad these small battles are so badly done because the rest of the film is nothing but a series of badly done Matrix scene ripoffs. Some have said 'Well, the matrix was inspired by manga and anime'. Maybe, but this movie was clearly a ripoff of The Matrix Trilogy. You could tell there is a scene where they want to rip off the great chase sequence in Matrix Reloaded, but of course they could not. Not only is it a sad case of ripping off, but why the hell is 3 and 3/4 of the film nothing but stuff that has nothing to do with monsters in a movie that is supposed to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Godzilla?! And the score? Worst score in the history of Godzilla movies. They went for a techno Don Davis (again Matrix here) style score which is enforced and intrusive and is featured in some of the most unnecessary moments.

Folks, this is one bad movie.

However I gave it one and a half stars and I will explain why. Those five minutes like I mentioned before were quite cool. The American Godzilla surprisingly probably gets more screen time than the rest of the monsters other than Godzilla and Monster X. I did like the way they didn't treat him as something shameful. In fact he is treated with some respect and shown to be quite a menace. Of course he is disposed of in a matter of seconds towards the end, but he actually puts up a bigger fight than many of the other monsters.

I liked Angillus' rolling method of trashing cities and what not. And overall it's really neat to see all of the monsters even if it is for just a fraction of a fraction of the movie.

There's just too much silly 'trying to be hip' in between anything that is remotely cool.

I didn't expect a good storyline... in fact with a movie that was supposed to feature all of these monsters I didn't expect much of a storyline at all. But the fact that they did take a complex, confusing, stupid, cheesy, Matrix Ripoff storyline and focused almost entirely on that rather than focus on what should have been nothing but big badass kaiju fights is beyond disappointing.

This is one of the worst Godzilla films of all time.
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Excellent first rate cult flick! **** out of 5
13 November 2005
Not sure what's with the low rating here but this is really a cult classic. Having just watched this for the first time last night I was somewhat expecting a shoddily made terribly written trash epic, that would have been cool too cause being a fan of cult film, I like that stuff. But imagine my surprise when this turned out to be a well directed film that featured good acting and fantastic suspense sequences.

There is nothing about this film that glorifies rape. It is filmed in such a way that we detest what is happening on screen. It baffles me how Roger Ebert (my favorite movie critic by the way) can call this the worst film ever made and praise Wes Craven's "Last House On The Left" (He gave it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars!). I always had a problem with that film because it tried to incorporate scenes of a bumbling sheriff and his deputy in between the rape scenes, which to me, just felt wrong and out of place and anything but funny.

Basically in the first hour of I.S.O.Y.G. it is about a young woman who comes decides to vacation at a lake for the summer and as soon as she arrives, she's raped by four men. The second hour is about revenge.

The film features many memorable death sequences but the castration scene is by far the most harrowing and suspenseful scene that I have ever seen in a film. I have never cringed so much in my life.

Admittedly the film isn't flawless. There are times where things work out a little too conveniently for Jennifer. But we might not have the film we have here if they didn't.

It is a must see for any horror fan. But be warned... it can be very hard to watch. It is a true cult classic.
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Suspiria (1977)
One of the best horror films of all time! ***** out of 5
6 November 2005
This is the 'Once Upon A Time in the West' of horror movies. It's beautiful, breathtaking, haunting, and even delivers the gory goods.

You don't really get films like this nowadays. It's all about trying to make people jump and the majority of the horror films these days feature an unrealistic looking cast and overly CGI death sequences. Blah to that I say.

Suspiria still stands out as how horror films truly should be done. Dario Argento's visual style is absolutely unprecedented. Everything is lit with the most bizarre and bright colors you've ever seen. The blood is much brighter than real life and this just adds to the surrealism which most Italian horror films thrive off of.

Sure things often don't make much sense, but it's supposed to be that way. When things are too coherent or too literal it isn't quite as nightmarish. This is widely known for being a horror classic but I have noticed that younger people who have seen it for the first time just don't seem to 'get it'. Unfortunately they might feel a horror film is supposed to follow a certain step by step linear form that has become staple in horror films today.

I suggest if you are viewing this for the first time that you get a feel of what Italian horror films are all about. Mood, atmosphere, music, sound, surrealism. All of these elements for films like these are often more important than logic.

After just watching it I am surprised to say that there is only one minor problem I have with the film and that's towards the beginning when the two girls get in a fuss with one another. It's the 'names that begin with an 'S'' scene and the two get in each others faces. It seems kind of out of place in the film but it does induce something of a chuckle.

Aside from that everything is perfect in mine eyes.

The music by Goblin is disturbing. The themes throughout the film will forever stick in your mind. The camera work here is superb. It's one of the best looking films you'll ever see. The actors and actresses that played the school teachers are truly creepy. Down to the little boy in a suit and knee socks.

Quite possibly the best Italian horror flick ever made and definitely a top 10 horror film for me.

"WITCH!"
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Touch of Death (1988 Video)
Not a bad Fulci flick... **1/2 out of 5
5 November 2005
For an 80 minute TV flick from Italy you could do a lot worse I'm sure. It's got a made for TV look. I'm guessing it was videotaped rather than filmed since it was made for TV. That is the main downfall in what is otherwise a pretty decent horror flick.

We have some top notch splatter here. Very disgusting and vile. Nothing pleasant whatsoever. But it never really takes itself seriously since it's a black comedy. Portions of the score are good and then portions are atrocious making this TV cheapie seem even cheaper.

Fulci does what he can with the budget and provides some interesting camera work and makes us laugh at some nasty stuff (interesting since Fulci didn't do too many straight up black comedies). As with many Fulci films, the ending leaves one with a feeling of 'WTF?' Which is exactly what we should expect from this king of horror.

Not a great film by any means but if you're a Fulci fan, pick it up.
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Zombie (1979)
A Fucli classic! **** out of 5
5 November 2005
I love zombie movies... and I especially love Italian zombie movies... and I most especially love Fulci zombie movies! Zombie has everything going for it. Good cinematography, not that bad of acting (that's pretty good for an Italian horror flick), and gore... gore galore! And some more gore! Also the atmosphere and mood is quite nitty gritty. Be prepared. This ain't a walk in the park. When flesh is ripped blood flows like red waterfalls.

There is also the memorable eye piercing scene. It must be seen to be believed. I made the mistake the other day of eating pizza while watching this movie. Not a good 'eyedea' if you know what I mean.

And what a fantastic moody score by Fabio Frizzi.

Watch this between Fulci's 'The Beyond' and 'City of the Living Dead'. Trust me. You won't be the same again.

They are going to eat you.
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The Fog (2005)
The Fog remake is 2005's worst horror movie... * out of 5
26 October 2005
Woo Wee! This here is one stinker of a movie and an insult to both Carpenter's original and the entire horror genre.

In the original the radio host was a respectable likable lady. Here she just seems like a slut. She's not the only unlikeable character in the movie... in fact EVERYONE here is unlikeable. GO PIRATES! Oh yeah... you don't really root for them either. Basically the people who made this movie didn't realize what made the original so good. It's the mood and atmosphere. It's the way you really can't see those pirates except their silhouettes. It's the way the characters didn't look like they came straight out of an Abercrombie catalog. It's the way the music helped to create a sense of unease.

Speaking of music, I have nothing against orchestrated scores, I'm a huge score buff. But in certain horror movies it's best to throw away the baton and get a guy with a Roland. It just is.

Also this features one of THE worst overly CG'd death scenes in the entire history of cinema. It's when the nanny's flesh starts to rot or burn or whatever when those arms reach out and grab her. Boy what a wretched eye roller of a death. I'm all for CGI in a space epic or something like that. It even works to a degree in a horror films, but not a scene like this. CGI hasn't got to the point where a death scene like this looks genuine. It looks TERRIBLE. Get out the prosthetics and make up for once! GEEZ! Speaking of scenes that make your eyes roll... I should have known the obligatory 'kids partying on the boat' scene was coming up. With the token black guy who always has something funny to say of course.

BOO! I want my money back.

I'm giving it one star since I liked the way the fog chased the kid. But you saw most of that in the trailer.

Clusters of hemorrhoids.
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Michael's return to form... A solid sequel! ***1/2 out of *****
26 October 2005
This to me is a huge step up from HalloweeN 4. Not that I felt HalloweeN 4 was a terrible movie, but I don't think Dwight Little knew how to make a scare scene and provided very little suspense.

The director of HalloweeN 5 gives us all that was missing in the 4th installment in order to make a solid sequel.

For one here we have the camera follow behind Michael Myers. We can see him observing his surroundings. We also see him in the distance many times just watching his future victims. I don't believe you had ANY of that in the 4th film. It's an element that was so memorable about the 1st and 2nd films and it continues here.

The lighting and editing is also very good. And Michael Myers' mask is truly scary looking in this film.

It isn't without it's flaws. The house looks entirely different looking from the previous movies. It really makes no sense. But the biggest flaw of the film is the terrible 'goofy' sound effects that play a couple of times when the two stupid deputies show up. It completely takes you out of a film that is a horror movie. It just plain doesn't fit and is guaranteed to make even the most faithful of HalloweeN fans roll their eyes. I certainly did. And perhaps Michael shouldn't be seen in a cell after being captured by cops.

But look past that and you'll find that this is one of the best sequels in the entire series.

The boogey man is back.... with a vengeance.

SCYTHE WATCH ALERT: In one of the best scenes in HalloweeN history, Michael Myers actually uses a scythe to slice a victim!
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HalloweeN 4 doesn't quite cut it... **1/2 out of *****
24 October 2005
It obviously has it's fans, but I've never been a huge fan of HalloweeN 4. In fact I feel it's the worst in the series. Michael Myers just isn't captured in a scary light. The director seems to not know how to set up a genuine suspense scene.

I'll give it kudos for portraying some sense of the Halloween season, especially over the opening credits (which happen to be my favorite part of the film). And Donald Pleasance is great as always.

The film has it's moments where I think it shows it could be something really good, but then there are chunks of the movie that are just plain dismal. Especially when the gang of rednecks go out to get them some Myers. That was silly and Michael Myers also looks kind of silly.

It isn't anywhere as good as the first two entries. There were times where I wanted to give it three stars but the film as a whole doesn't completely gel with me. It's passable entertainment, it's not terrible, but it's nothing to praise either.

The series does get better though.
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One of Carpenter's most underrated and best! **** out of *****
9 October 2005
The great thing about John Carpenter's films is that almost all of them feature a great sense of doom throughout the picture. Think about it... HalloweeN, The Fog, Escape From New York, In The Mouth of Madness... pure doom and gloom. And they are all accompanied by equally brooding soundtracks.

Prince of Darkness has all of the elements of a classic Carpenter flick. I think it's finally getting the recognition it deserves and is gaining a small cult following.

The acting for the most part is really good. There are some very memorable lines of dialog and I think the script is very well written. Again music is key here. The music helps with the feel of the movie which is very unsettling.

Also, Alice Cooper has a very small but memorable roll. His song 'Prince of Darkness' from the album 'Raise Your Fist and Yell' can be heard during an incredible suspense scene.

A must see for the Carpenter fan. In my opinion it's in his top five.
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Duel (1971 TV Movie)
Fantastic breakthrough by the legendary Spielberg! ***** out of 5
14 July 2005
Perhaps the best way to describe this film is to say that this is one long sustained suspense sequence. It hardly ever let's you catch your breath. No wonder Spielberg went on to become the filmmaker he is. He was original and had an eye for visuals like nobody else. Central characters in his films have almost always been about someone that is just like you and me, your everyday average guy and we are placed in an abnormal situation.

The villain here is a fuel truck that becomes a character itself. We can never quite see the driver and that intensifies things.

There are some key moments here and there that crosses this fine line between suspense and humor not unlike the approach in later Spielberg films. For instance when the truck nearly runs down Weaver as he is in the phone booth, the truck hits cages full of snakes. While Weaver is quickly getting back to his car this old lady is running in the background screaming about her snakes. Little things like that make a movie for me.

It's a must see and a must own for the Spielberg aficionado and the DVD contains some really great bonus features including extensive interviews with the great filmmaker.

"C'mon you miserable fat head get that fat ass truck outta my way!"
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Fantastic Four (I) (2005)
A solid comic book film. ***1/2 out of 5
10 July 2005
Forget all the bad reviews you may have heard, I'm not sure what the critics were expecting. Not every comic book film can be a Spider-Man or Superman.

Being that the film is about 4 central heroes I feel the film fleshes the characters out quite well. My disappointment was that there wasn't that much Dr. Doom in full form (he's rather weak when he's not). But this is a movie that tells us how the four became the Fantastic Four and that is more important at this point. We see the conflicts they have with one another and excepting what they have become. We will have plenty of Dr. Doom in the next installment.

There is a great deal of humor and I felt it was essential to a comic book movie like this. It all worked quite well too. One of my favorite moments being when The Thing sees his very own action figure. "It's clobberin' time!"

It's good comic book fun and I highly recommend it. Can't wait for the sequel!
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A sequel that lives up to the marvelous original! ***** out of 5
10 July 2005
Where the original film captured a sense of awe and wonder this film captures a sense of danger and darkness.

That's not to say the original film didn't have it's dark side, but this film is a lot darker in tone and look. It's not pretty and bad things happen to good people. It's also a sequel that follows the rules of what a good sequel should be. It has a lot more of what we liked in the original (more dinos and action sequences) and it's bigger in the sense that it goes all out and puts a T-Rex in San Diego.

The story enriches the world of Jurassic Park. We find that there is yet another island where dinosaurs are roaming free and Ingen wants to bring those dinosaurs to the main land.

All of the dinosaurs that were in the original are back in this one (minus the Dilophosaurus) and then some. We have Stegosaurus', Pteranodons, Compys, and others. We also get to see the Parasaurlophus a lot more up close and personal whereas in the original they could only be seen in the background with the Brachiosaurs.

The film features a wide variety of very interesting characters. Peter Ludow's character played by Arliss Howard happened to be one of my favorites actually and Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcolm and happens to have a ton of very memorable lines in this film.

Perhaps my main problem with the film was when the girl Kellie does her gymnastics thing and kicks the raptor out of the window. It just didn't fit but it's a scene that is overwhelmed by all the good stuff. And believe me there is a ton of it.

And the climax in San Diego is fantastic. It's outrageous and almost surreal because everything has always taken place on the islands. So when a T-Rex is attacking people on the streets it leaves one sitting there with their jaw dropped open! The music, as always in a Spielberg film, is by the great John Williams. He returns with those wondrous themes we remember so fondly from the original and uses them here and presents us with new darker ones.

It's a fantastic movie that doesn't let up. It's one of Spielberg's most action packed pictures and contains one of the longest most drawn out suspense sequences ever put on film.

For a sequel I couldn't have asked for anything more! Welcome back to Jurassic Park!
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10/10
A Fun Return to Isla Sorna! ***1/2 out of 5
10 July 2005
Jurassic Park III is the first one to be directed by someone other than Spielberg. Joe Johnston does a really good job though. It's obviously going to have a different approach to the material because of this, but ultimately it works quite well.

Admittedly, it's a significantly different kind of film. It's extremely fast paced and by this I mean you have the cast already on the island and being pursued by the main dinosaur on the JP3 logo within the first 15 minutes! There are some things that seem unanswered in the film but overall I feel these things can be looked over. Also the sprinkled attempts at humor had me laughing but at the same time had me raising my eyebrows because it felt slightly out of place in the world of Jurassic Park.

The film is a lot shorter. It's about an hour an a half as opposed to the other films being over two hours long. So overall as you can see, it's quite a bit different from the other two. But this is a Joe Johnston film, not a Steven Spielberg film and I feel the director shouldn't try to totally duplicate what was done before him and that he needs to make his own movie. Just so long as he doesn't change things around so drastically that it is no longer the same. Thankfully Johnston still captures that old adventurous Jurassic Park feeling and provides highly memorable and breathtaking action sequences. Sam Neill, who is one of my favorite actors, is back and reprises his role as Dr. Grant and it's really great to see him back in the hat! While the plot may be very simplistic the film does enrich the world of Jurassic Park. Obviously Ingen is still up to no good and creating dinosaurs that weren't originally 'on the list' as was stated. Here we have the addition of the Spinosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and various other dinos.

The music by Don Davis is superb. He integrates the memorable themes by John Williams and uses them superbly in his own original music.

The special effects by ILM are terrific as ever. Some of my favorite big moments being the confrontation between the T-Rex and Spinosaurus, The Bird Cage sequence (especially the build up to where the Pterondon is walking on the bridge) and the Brachiosaurus greeting the boat. It's a fantastic quick journey back to the island of dinosaurs and I must say it's a fun and highly memorable one!
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Dinosaur (2000)
Fantastic awe-inspiring family entertainment! ****1/2 out of 5
8 July 2005
This is a film that will delight viewers time and time again.

It's terrific family entertainment that isn't afraid to venture into darker territory. There are carnivorous dinosaurs chasing herbivores and a giant asteroid that crashes towards earth. As tense as these scenes can be, it's okay. This is a Disney film that shows us in the end we can get through things by sticking together. Ultimately I feel that is the moral of this film and it's a good one.

The music by James Newton Howard happens to be one of his best. It's beautiful and adventurous with themes that evoke a sense of wonder.

The look of the film is fantastic. The dinosaurs look quite real and the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking.

It's a film that contains all the right elements for a family masterpiece. Perhaps, my only wish is that it was a bit longer, but it is what it is and I am more than happy with it. It's a film that earns it's place along the great Disney classics such as The Lion King, Toy Story, Mary Poppins, and all the other classics.

Bravo Disney!
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Dreamcatcher (2003)
Brilliant, Excellent storytelling and film-making! **** out of 5
7 July 2005
This is a film that is both horrifying and exciting. It's thought provoking and visually stunning. This is one of Stephen King's very best films.

In fact, it's almost like Stephen King's take on 'War of the Worlds'.

The first time I watched this was opening day. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat confused. It was a bit different from what I was expecting and there were a lot of twists and turns. I enjoyed it though. But upon watching it the second time it all fell into place rather well. This is basically a culmination of different sub plots. First and foremost though this is a movie about what happens when there is an alien invasion and these aliens come in contact with a band of psychics. When the two come in contact things get really weird. To me, this is an excellent concept and it is executed brilliantly in this film.

Throw in a subplot with Morgan Freeman as a man who has gone raving mad because he has been hunting down these aliens for 25 years and you have what I call one of the best films of 2003.

The special effects are astonishing. The one scene where this is most evident (and it is my personal favorite scene in the film) is where Morgan Freeman and a team of helicopters fly down on the aliens' crashed ship.

Terrific score too. James Newton Howard provides what I consider one of his very best scores. It's both creepy and bombastic.

The direction is superb and flamboyant. The story is told with a lot of style.

A must see King film!
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House of Wax (2005)
Delivers the gory goods! **1/2 out of 5
6 July 2005
I really dig these Dark Castle films. They're a lot of fun.

While I didn't give it a solid three stars, I wouldn't tell you to pass this one up.

I feel it's definitely got a slow (and often dumb) first half and that the majority of the characters are completely unlikeable. For awhile I was scared this would be a Dark Castle film I didn't like. So the first half is why I found it hard to give it a solid three stars.

However things take a drastic turn for the better and totally picks up pace. In this second half the audience is presented with gore galore and most importantly SUSPENSE. There's a ton of it.

Also, the climax is quite thrilling as it all takes place in a melting house.
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Con Air (1997)
A Mindless Adrenaline Rush of a Movie! ***1/2 out of 5
6 July 2005
It's interesting because I don't think I've ever seen a film where literally from beginning to end it's as non-stop and as fast paced as this one. Sure, there's plenty of movies that don't seem to let up, but this one in particular seems extremely anxious to get to the next big scene. It's almost in a rush at the beginning as to say 'Let's hurry up with how Nicholas Cage got into prison' and get on with the fun stuff.

And for this film it really works. The action here is INSANE. This is popcorn entertainment at it's best. There's planes, explosions, special effects, and all the razzle dazzle we've come to expect from a Bruckheimer film.

The cast itself is a real solid one. We have Nicholas Cage who's always a likable guy. John Malkovich who plays a really great lead villain and has some of the films best lines. Steve Buscemi who hands down is one of the coolest guys in all of Hollywood.

It also features a rousing score by Marc Mancina and Trevor Rabin. Always has the action packed, heroic, Bruckheimer feel to it.

Great stuff.
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Resident Evil (2002)
An excellent first rate zombie film! **** out of 5
4 July 2005
I love this film. Paul Anderson is a great director. Bold statement I know. A lot of you will disagree with me and I will tell you that you are probably just one of those guys who have seriously jumped on the bandwagon. Because that's basically all that it's amounted to. Paul Anderson has had the opportunity to direct films that have a extremely high expectancy level to them. And this alone is probably the reason he is lambasted so. Because no one can live up to a lot of fan boys expectations.

I myself am a fan boy, but I'm an open minded and not such a nit-picky one.

Anderson really knows how to construct a movie and tell a story quite well. The scares in this flick are anything but cliché. He knows how to scare us by providing an extremely high level of suspense.

The gore is low, and that is my main problem with the film. It's based on a video game that has buckets of it. There is some though. It isn't completely bloodless. But at least there is plenty of suspense and terrific action sequences. In the end that's what really matters.

Everything else though works completely. We are introduced to characters we genuinely care about and are sad to see it when they ultimately meet their untimely demise.

The special effects are terrific and the music by Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson is pulsating, creepy, and very unsettling.

It's a superior horror film that I highly recommend.
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A genuinely good survival film! ***1/2 out of 5
3 July 2005
Not really sure what all the lambasting and bad comments are for, but I felt this was a terrific film.

It's too bad this didn't do that great at the box office.

This is further proof why I never listen to critics and box office receipts.

The acting here, especially by Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi, is terrific. We really get to know and care about the characters even though at times there are one or two we aren't entirely certain as to where their motives lie.

Contained within the film are terrific and genuinely suspenseful sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The score by Marco Beltrami is superb as always and there are some terrific songs sprinkled throughout the picture including Massive Attack's 'Angel' in a one of the films most memorable sequences.

Thumbs Up!
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A really fun sequel. *** out of 5
3 July 2005
I don't know about you but I found the first Resident Evil to be a lot of fun. And I don't know about you but I feel the sequel is a lot of fun too.

I will say I was disappointed on some levels. Let me go ahead and get this out of the way.

Gore is a problem here. And it was a problem in the first film. For a film to be based on an extremely bloody video game I think it should have more of the stuff.

Secondly, there is very little suspense. That was an element the first film had PLENTY of. But I believe this is compensated for by providing more action sequences.

Lastly, the zombies themselves are seen very little. And when they are shown they often use a filming technique I practically loathe. It's kind of a slow-mo 'every other frame' technique and it just comes across as ineffective and distracting.

Other than these problems this film provides plenty of the goods. We have lots of lickers and dobermans again. It's been said that the lickers seem to be beaten rather quickly in this flick whereas one single one posed such a threat first time around. I have to agree with that to an extent, but it didn't really bother me at all. I was just glad to see lickers again.

Tons of cool action sequences. None of it is very realistic, but why sacrifice outrageous crazy fun for realism all of the time? Sometimes it's best to turn that brain off and forget reality for awhile. This is a video game movie we're talking here!

We get a wise-cracking black guy which may seem kind of cliché but I have to admit the man made me laugh! Some of the most memorable moments feature this dude.

Milla Jovovich returns and I can't imagine a Resident film without her. Her character is definitely bad ass.

Also the Nemesis turns out to be a real bad ass as well. I really liked this character and how he'd stomp out of the darkness just to nuke people.

Can't wait for 3 and 4!
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Van Helsing (2004)
Van Helsing is excellent summer movie fun! ***1/2 out of 5
1 July 2005
I really like this film. It features non-stop eye candy, a likable hero, spooky settings, and tons of monsters, what's not to like?

Stephen Sommers is a director who basically goes all out and likes to pack on action sequence after action sequence. He isn't someone out to make a dramatic Oscar winning film, he's just out to make good, fun, likable, special effects laden popcorn films and I respect that.

The monsters here are well done, especially my favorite monster, the Wolfman.. er.. Wolfmen. They are quite scary looking actually and definitely how I feel werewolves should be portrayed.

Alan Silvestri really packs a punch with his flamboyant and highly original score. One of his absolute best.

There are action films and then there are action films that literally don't let you catch your breath. This is one of the later.

There are a couple of small cheesy scenes and lines of dialog, but I believe they can be easily dismissed as the script really isn't bad at all. In fact there are some pretty good memorable lines here and there.

What can I say? I enjoyed it unlike a lot of reviewers here... but then again, I think a lot of people really enjoyed it. It made a killing at the box office.

Here's hoping for Van Helsing's Return!
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Not that bad at all! *** out of 5
29 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is the one that gets lambasted quite a bit, but I'll be honest I've always felt it was a pretty worthy successor and a heck of a lot better than 4.

I like the fact that Rick Rosenthal returns who directed by favorite HalloweeN sequel, HalloweeN II. He's definitely got a flamboyant touch and uses his filming techniques quite well in this film. The opening is actually my favorite scene in the entire film. Then again I'm not too fond of the fact that Laurie Strode was killed. BUT... well, it works. It's just that I hate that Laurie Strode survives three films only to be killed at the beginning of the fourth. Oh well, it's constructed well and it is a suspenseful chase scene.

The rest of the film features a cast of unlikeables actually... but Bianca Kajlich was likable and yes... I found Busta Rhymes to be an alright kind of guy in the film. I laughed at his scenes anyways!

Michael Myers was a real bad ass for sure here. His mask is more terrifying than ever.

The music Danny Lux is very good and he really does a great rendition of the spooky HalloweeN theme.

It's definitely a solid HalloweeN sequel even if it is nothing but a bunch of hack and slash. It's fun. And scary.

I mean, it made my friend's popcorn land in my lap. So there.
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