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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
The Best in All Respects, for Whatever That's Worth
This is perhaps the only Twilight movie for which I had any expectation of quality, as it was the only novel that I enjoyed from the series. I am wondering what Bill will do for Breaking Dawn but having any hope for that book is along the lines of watching The Princess and the Frog as a biography. Anyway, this movie was disappointing, as I expected. It failed to capture much of the magic that made the book the only tolerable entry in the series. Much of the problem goes to the screenwriter; Melissa is 3/3 (shouldn't someone call her out?) in ruining these films. Also, the leads are impossibly boring, and after watching Adventureland, I have decided that brooding is the only emotion that Kristen Stewart is capable of conveying on screen, which is becoming less and less enduring as time goes on. The male leads are just as atrocious, and it's sad when you find yourself searching for supporting cast members (Fanning, Howard, etc.) to fulfill the need to see acting. All this being said, this was the best of the three. The pacing is much better and that goes far towards keeping things interesting. It never quite becomes involving, but it's not nearly as draining as Twilight and New Moon. What else can I say? Read the book or don't. Watch the movie or don't. Your life won't be depleted or enriched either way it goes. It's two hours of your life; is it worth the numbingly casual entertainment this film has to offer? Blah
The Golden Compass (2007)
Somewhat of a Let-Down
I love movies that whisk the viewer away to other world filled with high drama and fantasy. LOTR, Narnia, and even Harry Potter to some extent are successful in this quest. However, I am reluctant to add The Golden Compass to this list; it was lacking in the magic and "wow" that propelled the others to such success. Some of the sequences are downright boring and seem to be poorly incorporated into the story. I know adapting a book calls for changes and cuts, but this film feels as if it made very few of those tough choices, and, as a result, it is vague and meandering. I will give credit to the cast (especially an excellent Kidman), but there is not enough to give this film the 8-10 that a movie of this magnitude should achieve. I am interested to see how others will respond to this film as it hits wide release next weekend. We all paid full to see a sneak peak, and, while no one looked upset, no one looked exactly thrilled either.
John Tucker Must Die (2006)
Irresponsible with NO Intelligence
I will start out by saying that I loved Mean Girls. It was spicy, smart, but not overcooked. It worked a miracle by carefully walking the line between tweeny fun and adult raunch. That film gets a 7+ from me.
Fast forward to John Tucker. What can I say. It is a brainless wreck, that's what I can say. It is completely devoid of anything resembling smart. The four girls that fight for Tucker are completely drones and do not show any signs of being "characters" in any sense of the word. The only one I even halfway enjoyed was Bush as Beth. I give her an once of credit, but most of that results from being placed in funny situations. The other 3 are just terrible. Ashanti was just grating, wooden, and the total opposite of the sassy cheerleader she is trying to portray. Instead, she comes off as a total stereotype - the head cheerleader who wants the head player - yuck. Why do movie-makers have the idea that cheerleaders are brainless? Our 4.0 student was a cheerleader 2 years in a row!!! Anyway, terrible.
Britney Snow should hang her head in shame. Her voice comes off so annoying! I cannot think straight. Anyway, the movie does not even have an ending. One minute you are in the middle of drama and next the movie is over! Horrible editing.
Despite all of this, the worst thing about this movie is how irresponsible it is. Everybody wants to screw john tucker and nobody seems to have a problem with that! In fact, all the main character, except Snow, admit to sex with him. Maybe movies do not have a responsibility to teach good morals, but they knew this movie has aimed at 12-15 year olds with jesse's big guns etc. blah. The final word is that this movie is not that funny and totally too lighthearted in its presentation of the girls as total... well you know.
Scream 3 (2000)
This was a good horror movie, I will give it that. It was slightly original, which is rare in the realm of horrors, but it lacked the "umph" of its predecessors. Great acting, but lacked the well placed, but not over-done, gore of the originals.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Under the Tuscan Sun is truly a fun, beautiful film that delivers what so many others, Monster's Ball, In the Bedroom, etc., tried to, but missed horribly. Lane shines brighter than ever, and her delicate realism connects with even the most skeptical viewer. While the story is a bit stretched, it is easily overlookable when one considers the breathtaking scenery and light but powerful acting. Where Monster's Ball and In the Bedroom tried to pull heart-string with wrenching pain, unsuccessfully, Under the Tuscan Sun appeals more to the viewer's sense of self. It makes you consider what you are missing in your daily life, and reminds one that life has a certain charm that is not to be ignored.
I would strongly recommend Under the Tuscan Sun to any adult viewer. I believe that anyone with half a brain would find it more than satisfying. Truly Oscar worthy.
How to Deal (2003)
An eye opener
Another teen-flick, or is it?
Well yes it is, but a good one. It is more than a believable and enjoyable film, especially compared to films such as "She's All That." Moore, again shows that her acting skills shine in comparison to her singing skill, which aren't that bad either. So it's another teen-flick, so what. Would we call T2 just another action movie?
Okay, it sucked, but it wasn't the worst thing ever. Mariah got a bad wrap, especially because of the "break-down," but her acting showed a tiny bit of promise. But I digress, It sucked, the end.
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
An interesting romance that serves its purpose well.
Maid in Manhattan was a movie well worth paying 7.50 to see. Jennifer Lopez gives an excellent performance and Ralph Fiennes isn't bad either. Although I get the feeling that the writer has seen `Ever After' quit a few times, the film still has an originality and charm that is rare in the world of seemingly over-rushed movies that is Hollywood. A more than decent script is present and serious and humorous moments are well balanced; both the leading and supporting characters (esp. Tyler Posey, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, and Marissa Matrone)are well written and well presented by the actors playing them.
I must recommend this film to anyone who is tired of seeing overrated movies deliver little in the way of enjoyment. All in all, it is a nice `breath of clean air.'