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Fear of the Dark (2003)
Watch this if you're looking for movies similar to They or Darkness Falls
Boy was I surprised when I first rented Fear of the Dark years back during my time as a video store manager. It actually scared me, which is no small feat. This one's pretty safe for kids 12 and up, under 12 may actually get too freaked out to sleep in the dark for many nights, I know I was :) And it's not because of gory or cheap scares either. This film genuinely builds the tension and suspense then BOOM! Gives you a nice jump that gets your heart racing. Not a blow-your-socks-off-hit but definitely worth the 86 minutes. The only bad note is that you may find it redundant if you already watched (and didn't really enjoy) They and/or Darkness Falls -- plot being the dark equals bad and the light is good. Still give it a go, you might be surprised, too.
I love Star Wars but to be honest I wasn't expecting to be as totally enthralled by Revenge of the Sith like I am. Knowing the final outcome I thought how good can this one be? Well, it met my expectations, and went above and beyond them. I am so overwhelmed by all the visuals, the action, the emotion ... George Lucas is a genius. Hayden Christensen pulled off the transformation (emotionally and physically) superbly. The action was non-stop as was the emotional turmoil. Many true to life themes. Wow! I just can't say enough. Everyone must see this movie. If you're not already a Star Wars fan you will be after Episode III. I feel like I finally "get" the entire series. I have closure now. This is just THE movie to see this year. Like I said not just because it's a great Star Wars movie but because it is just a great movie period. Go see it - you won't be disappointed. You might think you know what's going to happen but they give us so much more than just straight cut answers. This is so much more than the missing piece of the storyline - this is IT! This is why we were blessed with Episodes 5-6 to begin with.
Enjoyable and Heartwarming
As a single mother I really appreciated the story of a single mother dedicated to giving her daughter a stable environment in which to live, and a good life. I liked all of the actors in the movie. They were all very believable. This story was very true to real life situations as such there are some sad moments and funny times, too. The comedy in the movie is great but the drama in the story is what really touched me, and made this quite a heartwarming movie. I loved Cloris Leachman! And the little girl who played Paz's (Fleur - sp?) daughter was adorable and impressive. The pace of the film is a little slow but overall it's a good movie with good messages.
Sin City (2005)
Astonished and Thoroughly Entertained
This movie is awesome! It's a great action flick and I loved the writing. I'd never heard of Frank Miller before (*hangs head* sorry) and I loved these stories. The actors are all excellent and play their parts perfectly. Elijah Wood is amazing and very surprising, and certainly made me forget he was Frodo - fantastic young actor who I know we'll see much more of in the future. I wish Nick Stahl could get a role as a "good" guy though some time in the future. After this movie and Bully I don't know how likable he is :-) The visuals are one of my favorite aspects of this film. There's the typical kinds of eye candy but there's also so much more besides the women and violence. The use of color was something I don't think I've ever seen before except maybe in foreign films. The humor was the most unexpected part of the film but superbly done and definitely kept the movie rolling along at a nice pace. I don't want to give too much away but this is a definite must-see and must buy, for sure. I only wish I would've taken someone to see it with me instead of going alone because I could be discussing it with them right now instead of making comments here. :-) Oh, and I'm a 26 year old straight female in case that helps y'all better gage my comments. And for those people offended by the violence - hello! Did you watch the previews? It's an imaginary world and way too many people are taking it personally ... just sit back and relax - it's a movie!
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Don't See The Point
There were some really funny parts in this movie but what was the plot? And I'm sorry but Napoleon was just plain boring. Sure I know what's it like to be considered a bit of a geek but I just didn't connect with this character at all. The funniest scene to me involved the phone cord. *laughs* I guess you have to remember having those old rotary phones with the 20 foot cords. The brother, Kip, was pretty hilarious as well but when you put the movie together, as a whole, I didn't think it was as great as everyone was saying. To each his own. This is definitely a "you either hate it or love it" type of movie. I don't think there's any gray area where Napoleon Dynamite is involved. Just my opinion as always.
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
I never really found The Exorcist very scary, really. It was more a thriller in my mind - perhaps because I'm not catholic or religious. However, I did find Exorcist: The Beginning much creepier and a lot more gory. I really enjoyed getting the info on a lot of the details that were never revealed in The Exorcist, namely Father Merrin's history. I had always wondered what was up with that little stone "thing" Merrin had in the beginning of the movie.
I did feel this could've been a much scarier film but all in all very entertaining. A good twist or two as well. For those fans of The Exorcist I'm sure you'll enjoy the prequel if for nothing else than the background of the exorcist.
Open Water (2003)
Very original and innovative filming
I don't know much about the different types of cameras and film but this movie, which was shot in digital I believe, had the gritty, real life feel to it that made it 10 times better than if it had been shot with the regular type of cameras and film like most Hollywood films. The whole movie felt so intimate and real, like I was right there with this couple, experiencing everything with them.
I loved the story and the ending, which I won't even hint at because I hate it when people ruin a great thing like a movie's ending. If you enjoy original writing, great filming and a beautiful location this is the movie for you. Oh and did I forget to mention it was very creepy? The tension was wonderfully built and the jolts were perfectly timed. I loved Jaws but Open Water is my new poster child for staying out of the ocean. Seriously though, this is very entertaining, very believable - well worth the time to rent or buy it on DVD. And the DVD has some great deleted scenes and a "making of" documentary.
Good story but more of psychological thriller
Okay so in all fairness I watched The Grudge last week, which was absolutely freaky and VERY scary. I was looking for the same scares in this film but it definitely is more of thriller/suspense than horror. I liked the way the story is told and the visuals definitely set the mood. The colors and music are gripping, and you feel desperate by the time the characters/story reaches their/its climax. Elwes was a bit funny at times when he was supposed to come across stressed and worried. The guy playing Adam (sorry I didn't look his name up yet) was very good. I liked him and actually found myself cheering him on as opposed to the character of Lawrence. The graphics aren't very gruesome, which makes me wonder how much they edited to bring it down from a NC-17 rating--if it was indeed ever going to get the NC rating. I'll be looking forward to the (hopefully) unrated DVD with deleted and extended scenes (again a hope of mine). It definitely has the "feel" of Seven but I would've liked to hear more of the music rather than feel it. There were some great songs in Seven but I can't really remember any songs used in Saw. I just remember the melody, no lyrics. The twist was entertaining but a tad predictable.
If you're in the mood for a good, suspenseful, "who's the bad guy?" movie then this is it. Very entertaining thriller that was worth the ticket price but like I mentioned above I'll be looking forward to its DVD release.
Surviving Christmas (2004)
Surprised and Sore
I laughed so hard during this movie my face hurt. Ben Affleck was hilarious and reminded me of a pretty boy Jack Black in this role. Gandolfini gives his typical A performance. The entire cast is funny, the story pretty good and the comic moments awesome. I went into this movie not expecting much so perhaps that is why I was so surprised to come out of the flick thoroughly pleased and facially exhausted. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys comedy, can identify with loneliness during the holidays and/or putting up with the relatives. The best part to this film (to me anyway) were the subtle bits of humor that caught me completely off guard and had me laughing long after the rest of the audience had stopped. Namely, the scene involving the lighting of the Christmas tree. Go see it and have a good laugh!
Brilliant and Surprising
Since this movie received so much critical acclaim I was nervous as to whether I would actually enjoy it. Man, it was awesome. Wonderfully refreshing, well-written (Charlie Kaufman is truly a storyteller) and heart warming. I loved the camera work/special effects used. The characters were easily identified with and the actors played them beautifully. I could feel their emotions, and Kate and Jim seemed like an every day, real couple. I would recommend this film to anyone, especially those who've had their heartbroken and wished they could erase bad memories. Great movie!! Three thumbs up! Yeah, I know we only have two but that's how good this movie is!!!
Secondhand Lions (2003)
Heartwarming Family Movie
I have been told by many people this was a great movie and one I needed to watch. Well finally I watched it today and it didn't disappoint me. It has so many great elements to it. I laughed in some parts and cried my eyes out in others. I loved the line "...died with his (or her) boots on." It's a great statement about living your life to the fullest and believing in the things that really matter like love and honor. The actors were fabulous. I think young Haley Joel Osment has a lot to offer films and I hope we see much more of him in the future. Michael Caine never disappoints me and I love his Texas accent in the film. Overall, this is truly one movie fit for all ages. A true heartwarming film with a great message for anyone who will hear it.
Ying xiong (2002)
Overwhelmingly beautiful and tragic
When I saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon years ago I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting into but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. This movie was no different. The story is somewhat tricky to follow but in the end you know what has happened. While watching the movie though I found myself so caught up in the visuals I wasn't even reading the subtitles. The scenery, score, sounds and photography are absolutely breathtaking. The actors do such a good job conveying emotion I almost didn't have to keep reading the subtitles to know what was happening. My favorite scene was between Flying Snow and Moon. The sound, color and movement was awesome. Hero also had a really good message. Overall, I gave it 8/10 and I will be buying it on DVD. Definitely an enjoyable entertaining movie.
Exceeded my expectations...
I was anxiously awaiting the release of the X-Men sequel and it surpassed my expectations! I loved the new characters, plot, fight scenes (the opening scene was awesome! and definitely grabs your attention--after you see it you know you're not getting up because you've gotta know what that was). Wolverine my favorite character gets a lot of screen time which I absolutely loved. I'm crossing my fingers hoping for another sequel and hoping all the main characters (and actors) return for the sequel. I couldn't imagine another actor "fitting" Wolverine as well as Hugh Jackman.
Great job to all the people who made this movie--it was satisfying and most importantly entertaining!
The Ring (2002)
THE Best Scary Movie...Ever!
I'm an avid horror/suspense/thriller fan and this flick blew me away! First off with the vagueness of the trailers you really don't know what to expect and I tried not to find out too much about the movie ahead of time--my usual practice with scary movies because lately the movies seemed ruined by the detailed trailers. So going into this movie all I was thinking was "When you see the ring, you die."
The suspense was terrific! The shock/surprise of the first scary image (if you've seen the movie you know what I'm referring to) was awesome. And then of course from their it just builds and builds until THE scariest movie scene I've ever watched (to date, that I can remember). I definitely give this film two thumbs up! Don't read too much about it, if you can, it'll increase the fear factor.
And a bonus was you didn't figure the whole story out 15 minutes into the movie. I'm notorious for guessing the entire plot and then sitting for an hour and a half waiting for it to play itself out. Not with this movie. About halfway through I even turned to my sister and said "I don't know where they're going with this...I am confused." LOL it was great. So definitely give this movie a view or two. And thanks to the creators for restoring my faith in the scary movie makers ;)
American Psycho (2000)
It's been about a year since I watched this film and I still don't know what to think of it. When I picked it out at the video store, I did so strictly because it was depicted as a horror/suspense film (which I love) and it had Christian Bale in it (who I liked as an actor even though the only movie I'd seen him in was Little Women). Maybe it was the fact that I was going into this movie with visions of Laurie (Bale's character in Little Women) still in my head or that I had absolutely no idea what the plot was but I was stunned to say the least.
My family and I (all adults) sat down to watch MY big selection (which they all made sure to point out after we were done watching, and actually only my sister and myself made it all the way through it the parents evacuated not long after the first gory scene), and needless to say we were all shocked at what we were watching. My mouth literally dropped open and stayed that way until the end. I didn't know how to feel after I viewed all the cold-blooded gruesome murder scenes followed by Bateman's even colder reactions to them. Yes, the humorous actions like talking about music choice was quite funny but I was bracing myself for whatever was to come next, after all I really had no idea. It was a very realistic performance from Bale, which has now forever changed my visual image of him as an actor. I had no idea he had such range, such talent. I will forever be a fan. He really was Bateman, I got chills just watching this character, listening to him speak. But I never really felt a connection to any of the characters. They were all so materialistic and selfish it was hard to feel empathy for them.
Perhaps, one day I will brave viewing it again so I can really gauge the overall movie but for now I'm content with knowing I've seen it. The main thing I remember when I think about "American Psycho" is man, Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman was one scary SOB. Maybe I'll read the book first then watch the movie. This film definitely takes you outside the typical movie goer comfort zone so be prepared for anything. I would rate Christian Bale's performance a 10/10 but for the movie (until I can see it again) I would give it a 5/10.
Diesel Powered Spy Flick
As an avid fan of the up and coming actor Vin Diesel I was totally stoked to see his follow-up to The Fast and the Furious. I was extremely pleased. I felt the plot was pretty good, typical of most spy flicks but felt it was rushed at some points and jumped around a lot. I enjoyed the actors' characters and felt they all did a good job portraying them. However, the writing seemed to be lacking something. Some of the humorous lines weren't funny and a bit over used, in my opinion, if another actor had portrayed X some of the lines would not have went over at all. I felt Vin played this character very well and it was very believable to watch him in many of the movie's action scenes. I didn't feel overwhelmed by computer generated action either which was nice. Most of the stunts/scenes are quite believable.
I think most people will enjoy this movie as long as they go in expecting an action flick, not some thought-provoking, deeply moving film. It's not the best movie ever made but it can definitely hang with the big boys of the Bond series and spy genre. I feel this is a good performance from Vin (he keeps getting better and better) and I can't wait for his next film, Knockaround Guys.
First off, the anticipation for this movie was almost unbearable with trailers being shown something like three months before its release. I felt they really promoted the heck out of this movie, building it up like they did with Unbreakable, which in my opinion wasn't really that suspenseful of a movie but they were trying to ride the success of The Sixth Sense, and who wouldn't I guess. Anyway, I digress. "Don't See It Alone" was really the icing on the cake for me. That little tag line was like a magnet pulling me into the theater.
Jackpot! M. Night Shyamalan has to be one of the most promising filmmakers of my time. Of course, my favorite genre is Horror/Suspense/Thriller so you can understand why I enjoy his work so much. With this movie he remembers the key to making a good scary movie: music, suspense and the ever elusive leaving things to the movie goers' imagination. He knows just what NOT to show to keep us on the edge of our seats, biting our nails. Plus he knows how to add humor to make you relax just enough to scare you even more in the next scene. You feel safe while you're laughing and he knows how to get you when you're feeling safe.
I enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the overall film. The only complaint I would have (if I had to have one) is that Shyamalan messed up where a lot of other filmmakers mess up in a scary movie by showing a little too much. However, I am still extremely pleased with the movie and can't wait for Shyamalan to take me on my next ride of suspenseful intrigue and fear. Scary movies now stand a chance of being good again.