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King Kong (2005)
A Brilliant Remake....
16 December 2005
We can all say that we have seen great films, we can all list our favorite classics but every so often a film comes along that utter floors you. A film that pulls the rug out from right under you, leaving you so stunned you don't know what hit you. Films that engage you so intensely that once the credits have run you're emotionally exhausted, you're eyes a swollen from the tears you've cried and your hands are noticeably shaking. For me personally there are only three films that come to mind that have affected me in such a way. The first is the original 'Manchurian Candidate', the second is Darren Aronovsky's 'Requiem for a Dream' and the third is Peter Jackson's 'King Kong'. Although this film is by no means perfect, I challenge anyone living, anybody that can call themselves a human being, to watch this film and be totally unmoved by it. Although I had my doubts about this project, I am so glad that Peter Jackson made this film. He reminded us what film making is all about and showed us that film always has the potential to truly move us through the telling of a great story. Thank God there are still decent film makers out there that remind us why we still go to the cinemas, why we still watch films. Film's like Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' are the reason why.

I urge anyone who intends to see this film, to go and see it at the cinemas, trust me, this is an absolute must. Despite this review not mentioning anything that happens in the film and containing only long spouts of rambling praise, although I could go on for days about the various technical aspects of film, I won't. Instead I urge anyone who has loved any film to go and see this film. You won't regret it. It's not every day that a truly 'great' film comes along, one that has to be seen to be believed, to be experienced before it can be understood. This film is something truly special and is unlike anything I've ever seen before (and probably will see again).

All praise to Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Richard Taylor the entire cast, (particularly Andy Serkis and Naomi Watts) and the entire crew for making this incredible picture!
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Terrible... Unforgivably Terrible...
1 July 2005
A Director's job is to engage the audience and in that respect War of the Worlds failed miserably. This film fails on virtually all counts for me as it was distinctly Americanized. The script was simply awful and although the actors did their best with the woeful material they were given, it wasn't enough to revive this mess. This has got to be a modern-day portrait of the typical U.S. family with a teenage son who is seethingly angry at father and a head-case daughter suffering from claustrophobia and panic attacks. The whole lot of them seem ready for the loony bin. Absolutely no reason is given for the son's behaviour and he seems angry at nothing. He later develops into a living embodiment of 9/11 revenge mentality and his behaviour is made even more irrational as he hopes to go up against apparently unbeatable enemy and consequently exhausts the audiences patience through behaving like a Rambo wannabe. Cruise although working within a clunky script, was miscast in this role as he is simply not a powerful enough actor to carry this sort of character off. In many respects Cruise appears to be acting as though he were wearing a blindfold, but all of these faults would have been forgiven had I actually been able to empathise with him and actually care about his struggles. Robbins provided a good performance but could anyone please explain to me what the point of his entire sequence was? Was the violence the sequence ended with really necessary? I realise that people panic in horrible situations but in some scenes this panic went beyond any kind of rational explanation. I must say the special effects were great and the film managed to create a feeling of imminent extermination. While there was a good performance from Fanning, there was nothing in the film that made you care about the characters in the slightest. It didn't really matter whether or not the characters lived because the film just simply failed to engage. This film if nothing else is a demonstration of always making sure that you must have an up-to-scratch script put together before you start shooting, otherwise you can end up with an apathetic, self-indulgent post-911 revenge mode tripe such as this.
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A Satisfactory, However Disappointing Ending to the Trilogy
9 November 2003
The first time I saw 'The Matrix', it left me with nothing but respect for the Wachowski Brothers for their rather ambitious project that could have gone wrong in so many ways. The 1st film was great, but the 2nd and 3rd films were not so great.

I will say that in Revolutions they seem to have taken a page out of X-Men 2 where they had integrated several simultaneously running plot lines to bounce back and forth between, to maintain audience interest. Furthermore the fact that this film was not so focused on the romance/love between Neo and Trinity was another asset to Revolutions. I will always stand by this opinion and that is there nothing wrong with having a lover/love interest, but Reloaded really did trip because it was so heavily focused on the relationship between Neo and Trinity when, in relation to the rest of the story i.e. Humans vs. the Machines, such an exercise seemed rather pointless.

Reeves and the other actors did exceptionally well given what they had to work with, however, compared to Reloaded, the dialogue is much better in Revolutions. There were quite a few great moments in the film i.e. the Night Club sequence, the Oracle/Agent Smith sequence, the piloting of the Mechanical Line sequence and virtually all of the battle sequences. The final battle sequence between Neo and Agent Smith seemed a little labored at certain points (i.e. when they are locked together beating each other up in mid-air) however I did like how the battle between the two characters was ended, it seemed rather clever (if not being a slight rehash from final battle between Neo and Agent Smith in the 1st installment of the Matrix Series). The first two thirds of the film were quite good it just really trips at the finish line.

Revolutions is far better than Reloaded, however there were quite a few problems that I'll briefly mention, the first and biggest problem was the ending which left room for another installment in the Matrix series. The rather poorly handled ending was exactly that, an open ending, and not much more. I'm not going to mention anything else in relation to problems with the ending, as I'll probably give the ending away, but the way the film ends didn't seem to sit too well in relation to the rest of the story.

A lesser problem was where the Frenchman's character was re-introduced but then disappears as his and Persephone's characters dropped like a hot rock (supposedly this plot line will be taken up again in the next installment in the Matrix Series, although it is extremely doubtful that the studios will agree to make another one), then there was the slightly ridiculous death scene (I won't spoil it for those who haven't watched it) where the dying character seems to talk an awful lot for a person that sustained those injuries.

The special effects however (which, lets face it, is what everyone watches the film for) are top notch and fight scenes in this film (thank god) looked a lot more convincing than the well rehearsed ballet dances that they tried to pass off as fight scenes in Reloaded. Also the casting of Jada Pinkett Smith in this film was a master stroke. She is a definite asset to the series and she is great in all the shot's she's in. Also Morpheus's character was far less preachy, which in itself was a breath of fresh air

Don't get me wrong, it is definitely a film worth watching and is far better than most of the trash that's out there, but don't expect it to surpass the 1st, and in my opinion, the best installment in the Matrix Trilogy. I give this film 6 to 6.5 out of 10.
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A Superb Noir Film
23 December 2002
If you are a noir fan then this film is an absolute must see. The screenplay itself is a work of art in its charater construction, plot structure and dialogue which is delievered by an ensemble of first class actors divying up first class performances. Barbra Stanwyck as the deadly, smouldering, scheming Phyllis Dietrichson turns in a performance that is right up there with Mary Astor's Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Fred McMurray delievers a performance of a smart but desperately lovelorn patsy and Edward G. Robinson is perfect in the role of Barton Keyes and just about steals the moment every time he appears on screen.

I personally love a good Noir film and this is right up there with the best of them. Billy Wilder should be proud of this work eventhough the Academy didn't see it fit to reward him for his efforts, however I personally think this film is an absolute winner.
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