The acting was really good, but you were faced with the typical range of interstellar crew mates. The indecisive, yet resilient captain. The religious dude. The cop who's carrying a psycho, but doesn't do a good job as said psycho becomes loosed. The idiot who thinks everywhere in Paris in the springtime. Etc, etc. The same inane characters exist within all films of this genre. Pitch Black emerges in a different sense because it utilizes a murdering ex-convict as it's antihero and savior of the film. He has loyalties to no one and would like to help the creatures if he could, but manages to yell a monotone "Keep up" as his way of helping. Naturally, he doesn't help at all, but offers some strange sense of comfort for leading the way.
The creatures weren't all that scary. They even bled blue blood. How's that going really raise hair on our arms? It was like watching Nickolodeon's Double Dare with all the blue goo from dead creatures, not a serious "I gotta get the heck off this planet cuz these things will kill me" feel. The movie's saving grace is Riddick, because you want everyone to die anyway, as you're thoroughly annoyed with them in the first 1/2 hour of the film. He feels the same way you do and isn't afraid to show it. His questioning of God is warranted, but the holy man is merely a plot device for Riddick to tell God that he's not altogether pleased with him in truck driver language. It's watchable because Riddick is watchable. The movie fails in itself without hm and that's why he got a sequel. Maybe that's why they killed off the other characters in "Chronicles". We just want Riddick and more of him.
The movie works as a kind of story within a story. There are many layers that get revealed as the journey goes on. Zhang stars as a blind exotic dancer/martial artist who is led by a handsome costar, back to her people, who seek to destroy the corrupt government of the time. The two progress from barely tolerant to an all-encompassing love for the other as they save each other's lives time and again as they try to return to her people. He is a charming and flirty man's man who brings the challenge upon himself to woo a strong, blind woman, but becomes less task-oriented when he actually learns about her. She, in turn, lets her defenses down as she discovers that he is "her wind". They have remarkable chemistry, as they are playful and passionate in their youth and sexual tension.
It's truly a suspense, romance, and action film that looks like a water painting or ballet to watch. The fight scenes are seamed and tailored, and gorgeous to view. Both utilized such grace and style that you wanted to fight with such nonchalance. As easy as walking. I admired that it wasn't too "Crouching Tiger" in its presentation. I found that movie a little too much with them walking or flying across trees. This movie made it a little more believable by executing moves with such force and slight of hand, that it quelled the suspension of disbelief. The acting was top-notch and on par throughout the film. They were a lovable and enticing cast. In particular, you wanted to know more about Mei and her guide and you wanted them to fall for each other. The intrigue mounts as the story develops the true nature of Mei's capture and her position within her people. Her lover is left to question the very sincerity of their relationship as more plot-thickenings emerge.
I highly recommend this film to all. Don't be afraid of the subtitles. The Chinese film industry is really on a whole other level of film making than America. It's poetic with every shot and reminds you of old medieval tales in its unfolding. It is seriously a great and grand film. The fight scenes were excellent. Especially the scene of Mei mimicking the sounds on the gourds as a dance. It was sexy and delicate at the same time. The way the fabric of her clothing moved was visually stunning and breathtaking. I could immediately see this film taking place in North Africa, particularly Morocco, with black actors in the roles. The cultures seemed so similar, that's why I could envision it. Hey, it could work. Let's think about it America...lol. It was earthy, yet divine and lofty. I don't know how else to describe it. A beautiful movie by all my standards.
And why show a movie about a team that lost? I know it's real life, but who makes movies about losers? Give us some pay-off for these guys working as hard as they did with all their "conceivable" problems, darnit. We got nothing. We got a little blip at the end of the film telling us that Mojo won the next year with the 3rd stringer (Lee). Why didn't you follow that story? What were we to get out of this one? The movie led you along, but didn't lead you anywhere. I just felt like something was missing. It felt like a bad genetic cross between Varsity Blues and Remember the Titans. At least those two movies led you somewhere. Friday Night Lights was about a loser team that lost their star player early in the movie. The actor who played him was great. You were completely annoyed by him, which was the point, but at least you understood why. They made sure you understood him, but he couldn't play, so why make sure we get his issues?
And the other team in the play-offs...are we to believe those are high school teens? Those men looked like college seniors or professional player in their 30s. Who were they trying to kid? I know the other team was to look intimidating, but that was crossing the line a little. I liked the gritty element of them negotiating with the black team, but again, how did this fit into the overall theme of the film. Nothing pieced together. The characters knew more about each other than we did, and that settles weird with me. Jay's characters had absolutely nothing to add, but he was showcased. It was all just a mess. Not worth a movie ticket or a rental fee.
Ricci's adaptation of Selby irked me to no end. Why was she acting like some meek child throughout the whole film? She's usually praised as the "Indie Movie Princess", but I found her severely lacking in this film. I was shocked to find that she would continue the entire movie like a 4-yr old child. You never sensed her confusion with defining her sexuality with her Christianity. She was an odd choice to the depth and intensity of Charlize's Aileen. You just felt like Ricci was skipping through her lines waiting to hit the catered food table when the director yelled "Cut!". I was really surprised, because I would hate to think that her acting as Wednesday was better than her in this. She was like 11 when she did that. You think she'd have matured in her acting range.
The movie was deep and gritty. It was truly a great movie for Charlize that was worthy of the Oscar. I'd hate to think actresses have to play seedier elements of femininity to win Oscars, but it's a small step.
Jessica's character was so poorly developed, I'm not sure who she was. Was she a warrior poet? She was so unnecessarily sensitive, it just made you go "Huh?". Blade was a little more quiet in this one, but he's pretty monotone anyway. You can't spark much conversation with the guy. I loved the look of the new vamps. Parker Posey amused me and she did an excellent job with her character. Ryan was the amusing sidekick and added an element of, "Please, it's just a movie" for all those hardcore fans.
The first Blade was such a pre-cursor to the Matrix, it's not funny. It should continue to lead the path for excellent fighting scenes with it's smooth camera work. The second Blade was a little more boring, but you could watch it. I was a little put off when I found out Blade had to fight Dracula in the 3rd installment. Don't all vamp films end up with everyone fighting this guy? I mean, let him rest, wherever the he** he is (that's probably precisely where he is). But, Blade Trinity handled it well and in a poetic way. Can't say the same for Buffy when she had to fight him. What a poorly executed episode. Anyways, the movie is extremely watchable and fun to get into. It doesn't take itself too seriously and that's what makes it the best Blade so far. The feel of the film seems flawless, despite the numerous goofs technically. Any action film that makes me wanna get ripped and start carrying old school weaponry is a good movie!
Ryan and Rachel were adorable together. I can't imagine anyone else in their parts, but I'm sure it could be doable with other actors. These two just had great chemistry like a real relationship. When I say that, I mean, you could see yourself in a relationship like their's. It reminded me a lot of my own relationship with a significant other. Two people come into each other's lives and profoundly affect the other so that nothing can really break that bond. Not years of separation or misunderstanding. That love really does exist, and this movie visualized it for us.
I liked the singularity of Noah's character. He has one parent, one best friend, and one girlfriend. His world is very closed, and Ryan hit upon that well. As Allie, Rachel played her as a likable young girl. Not some spoiled rich chick with no understanding of life. Rachel understood Allie's confusion to play by the rules, but it was different in that she truly loved him. It wasn't some arbitrary set-up by elitist parents. Lon was very deserving of her love. James Marsden has really grown as an actor as well by being in this movie. I look forward to greater things (no more "Disturbing Behavior" films please :D). Beautiful cinematography. Beautiful acting. Beautiful music. It was a love story that was on par with "Love Story" and other greats. Truly recommend.
The guy who played the "homo" brother, according to granny, was just weird, lol. He had his face and posture in a perpetual seizure as if epilepsy was a part of his life. I didn't think it was necessary for him to stand out, but you noticed him a little more. The over-competitiveness of that reject boyfriend and the rest of the psycho-Brady Bunch was another humorous note. It was like watching an illegal American Eagle commercial with the light colored plaids and solid stripes. I felt lost and wondering what the hell was going on? Rachel just didn't sell me. The hair color was just wrong for her first off. It looked like a wig, but you knew it was her hair. I would recommend a black hairstylist. We know how to blend baby girl. However, beyond that, I felt that she was playing a character very much similar to the one she played in "The Notebook" as Allison Hamilton. It was just a more modern time. You don't get the appeal about her for Owen and she's not doing anything different than she did in that movie. She's the rich girl who doesn't quite like her lifestyle, so is amused by us lesser mortals. And why the over-exaggerated sense of her community involvement? Come on. Who in college still knows non-profit organizations like Greek-letter ones? Her character just didn't make any sense, but you could tell they just had to make her "different". No, she was as eccentric as that mad-cap family.
The period where Owen plunges into utter despair at the loss of Claire (and the alliterative/rhyming last name was a bit over the top, just a bit!) was like, huh? I thought this film was supposed to be funny. It was unneeded and unsightly. We could've gotten the point with him walking around looking longingly at other couples. It made the film longer and took it on an awkward turn toward melodrama and sincerity. All in all, the film was funny. It's really sad if people do this. I kept wondering throughout the initial segments of the film where it showed their wedding crashing montages if they'd try a black wedding. I didn't think their ruse would play out too well there. But, I wanted them to try just for the amusement factor of them being disassembled before being thrown out. Oh, we don't play with that kinda wedding crasher nonsense, lol. Do take a gander at the film. It was surprisingly funny and charming.
The premise immediately took me, and when you found out who was in it, you were excited. That's how movies should operate. I could not see Nicole playing this part. She's just not sexy enough and you wouldn't buy that she and Brad were married. I can see how Will Smith could play John, but he'd really need an actress to bring on that crazy energy and chemistry the roles require. The chemistry was important, because you had to buy that despite how much they want to follow orders, part of their attraction was real, as was their love. Jolie and Pitt played that well.
Ange could've been more strong and forceful in her role. I thought she played Jane waaaay too subdued. I understand she was playing the part of a controlled suburban housewife, but let's face it, they're more nagging and annoying than that! :) (Smile please!) I get that Jane was the cautious and controlled character, but she could have put more behind her. Really pumped her up and fleshed out her character so that she was believable as an assassin who's killed 312 people. I guess the whole point was that you shouldn't believe it, but we as the audience already knew, so just go with it. She could've let herself go more with the role other than just the sex scene. Pitt was charming as John, but his comedic delivery was a little off at certain points. He needs more practice. It's like he expects you to think he's funny because he's saying it. It's not enough. It wasn't a major emphasis of the film to be funny I think, but it warranted doing it properly. For the most part, he was amusing because he didn't seem to get that he was being amusing.
I did notice some of the technical mistakes, but it goes with the territory. Fire the script editor or something. We don't care that much. *SPOILER* When they were in the elevator waiting to shoot off the enemy in the Home Made store and the Muzak was playing, it was hilarious. Them just bopping their heads as they're about to blow some tails. Utterly amusing. Supporting actors were wonderful. Who doesn't love Vince Vaugh? Typecasting could be a wonderful thing with Vince in the driver's seat. Had some great deliveries. The action was great, the acting, the humor, and the romantic moments (if you could deign to call them that, lol). I really liked this film. Worthy of becoming apart of my collection :).
Carmen Ejogo blew me away as Sally. She's simply stunning on screen. I appreciated the fact that she studied the accents of the South during that time. It wasn't full-fledged southern twang, but a mix of various tones, since the country was still in its early inception stages. I appreciated Mare's portrayal of Jefferson's daughter who's obsessed with protecting his legacy, even when he doesn't seem too preoccupied with it. It sounds very much like his white descendants today. They aren't able to fully grasp that this man was human. The reigning social habit of the day was to take black concubines who were their slaves. It's horrible to us, but it was natural to them.
It's a little unsettling that the relationship is played so much as this Harlequinn romance novel when many similar situations were hardly that. Rape was common in these types of relationships, whether by brute force or seduction. I'm loathe to think that Sally, being only 15 or so at the time she started her relationship with Jefferon, was simply going to lie down like that and understand a loving, committed relationship. On the other hand, she was aware of her family's history of women becoming their master's concubines. Maybe she understood life at that age a lot better than most of us in our age of modernity can understand now. Their relationship touches on many levels, and the movie left you wondering. It was a nice touch, because we don't know what happened at all.
I'm big on black people getting what's theirs, and I think this story is a great example of people having a right to something. You may not like the relationship, but it happened and they're here, so give them what's theirs. America's habit of utterly dismissing the claims of blacks because we have oral histories instead of written ones, just irks me to no end. (Like someone can't write a lie) The slaves knew what was going on, so they aren't in the habit of lying about it. That kind of thing was usually done by the masters and their families to cover up their fascination with power. The movie was a little light considering the severity of the place and time, but it was still a good film. The scene where Sally's baby dies and her niece, Martha, simply dismisses her with a curt "I'm sorry" was wonderfully done. The woman had given birth to the president's child and lost it. If it was Jefferson's late wife, it would've been something completely different. And the child would've been buried in the family cemetery to boot. That's the legacy of slavery. I'm sure there were historical inaccuracies, but one comes to expect this with Hollywood portrayals.
For starters, Zelda Harris could not dance the way the character "Jessie" could in the novels. When they first introduced her, I was so pi$$ed off. I connected to Jessie's character a lot with the book because she was the only black in the group (and in the town period apart from her family) and she was the dancer. Jessie was an excellent dancer who always walked from toe to heel. It was a special dancer thing she acquired (even though I didn't and I did the same types of dance she did. an embellishment of Martin's I think), but she was serious about her technique. In the movie, they introduce Zelda with the girl just flinging her leg up into the air with a flexed foot like she has no idea what the move she did was called. I was so embarrassed for her.
The girl who played Claudia was obviously older than the rest of the girls. They barely looked the ages of 12 and 13. As I watch it as an older person, I see the youth in their faces, but it was pretty evident that these chicks were more on their way to college than high school. Beyond that, Tricia Joe probably wasn't even Korean, which Claudia was. I assuming the casting director just wanted "Asians". Like that meant anything. And Mary Ann should have had long hair, but I digress. I'm being nit-picky, but I was very invested in these characters for a long time, so I can afford to be and have the right since I have all the freakin books, lol.
I understand that when they make a movie out of the books, that it won't be EXACTLY like the book, but at least try to keep certain facets of it similar. A lot of young girls grew up with these characters, and they were the target audience. The least you could do is respect that. All in all, the movie is great for its target audience. It had the necessary forms of trouble that are believable for that age. The story of Kristy's father returning was a very mature touch and I appreciated that about the movie. These girls are at a turning point in their lives where people go to high school and change on people. They also start to deal with real-life issues that will make them do things they never thought they would. I like how the movie dealt with that. That's exactly what happens in the books. They grow apart and we can all relate to that by remembering friends we had in junior high that we didn't have in high school. It was a good story for them to enjoy the time they have before it all falls apart...how dramatic, lol.
However, I must say: I think the Disney version that came on TV was much better than the movie and more sympathetic to the novels and the way the characters looked.
I liked the true ending of the ship. It actually went down in 2 pieces rather than in all one form as other versions have implied. It kinda makes this movie the definitive version in a way, because it broke the standard. The climax was for the men. To this day, all my boyfriend talks about is the guy hitting the propeller and spinning madly to his icy death. But, the love story was definitely for the women. It was a little pretentious to think that she would have followed this man in the 4 days that she knew him, but hey, that's Hollywood. Rose was a nice insert as a person in history, but it seems fairly fantastic today that this story would ever happen. Jack was a stupid twit of a man that had no prospects and we're supposed to believe that she would run away with this cat? Oooh, rich bastard who's hot or poor twit whose only appeal is that he lives under a bridge? Oh, the choices. His nomadic existence was suppose to charm us, but all I saw was a bum. And look what happened to him. He was supposed to be so used to cold water and whatnot and the boy froze like a fishstick. If I were her, I woulda went back to Cal and said, "My bad about that spitting thing".
I loved the character of Mr. Andrews. A little stupid for wanting to die with his creation, but to each his own. I can't believe that people actually wanted to go down with the ship and kept playing music and whatnot. Absolutely saddening that they were missing the big picture. Ship sinking. Need to get off. I found the music inspiring and we'll always have Celine Dion's song to drag us back to 1997: the year it wouldn't stop playing. I never really felt the terror of being on this ship though. I found that people had plenty of opportunities to get off, but they were just too damn stuck up to try anything. Only the 3rd class folks you felt sorry for. They actually tried to keep them on the boat. You felt bad for them, because they were the ones that were gonna die, because of their low station. However, I didn't have sympathy for first class folks. And where were the 2nd class people? It was like they didn't exist. I guess they weren't instrumental to the plot, but I wouldn't have minded seeing them at times.
And of course, we're all a little mad at the old lady dropping the necklace in the water. I know it's supposed to be poignant, but give it to the granddaughter or somebody. Brock should have gotten it. I felt bad for him because he was like the rabbit from the "Trix" commercials. Just let him have it for goodness sakes! He's only devoted his entire adult life to it. No, little old crackpot decides to toss it overboard. I woulda made her go in after it...anywho, good film over all. We'll all remember it when we're old as "that" film.
The character of his mother being so tough was heart wrenchingly realistic. She was a poor sharecropper and a single mother. She didn't have the time to beg for handouts and have "crippled" children. Her tough love really resonated to me the spirit of the black women throughout history. What some might call emasculating, I call realistic and wise. I loved the scene where he was learning to see with his ears and she just watched him as he screamed and cried for her help. He finally stood up and learned to see with his ears and could hear her proud weeping as she watched him catch a cricket and simply said, "I hear you mama. You're right here." That brought me to tears! Every actor was fit for their role in this film. The children, the musicians, the producers, the women in his life, all slipped cleanly into their parts. This is an exceptional film.
I found the opening credits vastly amusing. It amps it up a lot and then you're like, "Oooh! Who is this guy?" and then the announcer says quite blandly, "He's the Beastmaster. He communicates with animals." It was so anti-climatic, it was comical. That's his specialty? Talking to animals? So he's an ancient vet? Eh, I watched anyway. His sidekick was more annoying that Gabrielle in Xena. And the heavy surfer, Californian accent was a little off in this ancient environment. I loved the character of Arina and wished she and Dar would hook up, but it got canceled before old lover boy would make a move. Heck, the way he was moving, his ferrets woulda got to her before he did.
The plots were childish, as I've said, but you still watched because it was just a way to kick back and enjoy a Saturday afternoon, no stress. It didn't require heavy thinking on my part. It also might have grown into a pretty strong show that tested waters, but it didn't last. Ah, it's OK, but you feel bad for the actors. It's like they may never get another break with this show gone. I remember those episodes with the original Beastmaster and I found him terribly annoying. I'm not surprised his movies didn't work out majorly. I caught sight of one of his versions and detested him. Daniel was better. Ah, so's the TV world.
There were memorable characters and everyone did a truly sound job within each role. I would have loved to play in a movie like this. It strives to encounter the meaning we place on skin color, the lives destroyed by other's prejudices and ignorance. Queen was an incredible woman that existed. Despite the horror and pain that filled her life, she managed to retain her dignity as a beautiful and resilient black woman. I like the subtext of her trying to define which race she was, but ultimately having to find solace in the very side that is most difficult to live with: the black side. She reconciled her dual racial heritages, but realized that she must live her life as a black woman to just survive. It's rather funny when you think about it. Playing "white" was dangerous at that time for a woman like her.
It speaks volumes about race conscious in America and the devastating legacy it has left for all of us. No one of mixed parentage should have to "choose" a side. That is unfair and makes the society seem ashamed of something that has been going on since the beginning of time. Everyone on this planet is mixed. There is no pure race, and slavery was an obvious moment in time when trying to purify the races (as the KKK tried to maintain in the film) was not going to work out as planned. These were people who worked side by side and endured the same sick environment. It is no wonder that they would turn to each other. Whether in violation of power or in love, this is humanity in all of its depravity and strength. "Queen" really makes you think about the state of America as it was then and what it is now...
We have Dawson: the horse jawed dumb*** who's hopelessly naive and simple. Pacey: witty and amusing, but hopeless and dumb and self-effacing and needs to get over himself and stop being so damned annoying and pitiful. Joey: self-righteous turned whore, turned self-righteous about being a whore, too wordy and hard to understand. Oh it must be the 75% of the words that no one uses in America because they're too LONG! Jen: Pretty much the same as Joey with blond hair and an atheist. Oh, what stories they must have to tell! Throw in some forgettable characters with more problems to mix the pot, and you have Dawson's Creek and the annoying theme song.
Leave these kinds show for the 80's and suburban kids in middle America. There are people out there with REAL problems, so let's not support the ones with fake ones. I admit, I watched it initially and was soon turned off by the what? 3rd episode? Yea, about there. It was pointless drudgery about nothing. I hate teenagers because of this show, and I'm not that far removed from being one. They're incestuous and retarded and human and I suppose. I'm bored with seeing humans with faults. Show some with integrity, now there's must see TV. This show is as stimulating as Girls Gone Wild in a room full of females and gay men. It was back and forth with the same plots. I could leave the show for a year and come back to the same plot: Joey, Dawson, and Pacey. Who will bone this week? Stay tuned for another rousing episode of "Dawson's Freaks".
I even liked the acting somewhat. Mostly on everyone's part but Dawson's. And the ending was so cliché. Dawson runs to Hollywood to make a show about them and it's running on the air forever. Please! Gimme something worthy of ruining my eyesight. Even the fake actors were pitiful. Still, the acting couldn't take away the incessant whining and "woe is me" these characters end every episode in. It's like saying you like the episode of "Three's Company" about the misunderstanding. They're all based on misunderstandings just like Dawson's Creek was based entirely on whining teens with perceived emotional distress. Thank God I never knew people like this. I would've cussed them out. And I'm glad Capeside had 1/2 black people (Joey's nephew) because they would've cussed these kids out too. And I mean kids from the same environment as these twits.
I admire the attempt at a "real" show about teens struggling for identity and whatnot, but you can't do it about a portion of the population and then attempt to speak for all teens. That's what I hate about shows like this. They're so one-sided and obviously from one point of view. Moreover, they all become like that and we're drenched with the mindless banter of nitwit teens on every channel because some teen girl in Minnesota relates. You want teen drama? Watch "Higher Ground". You want a show that everyone can relate to? Make one and stop feeding us filtered experiences from the majority group.
And what was with the eerie black mortician? Who really gets into it like that? I like Tony Todd too, but this is not the way to go after being on Hercules and Xena. I mean, the guy was like a Shakespearean actor in a kindergarten play. Take it down a notch. And furthermore, his character was severely unnecessary. They could've googled for all that information. He seemed more like someone from Conan than of the 20th century along with the rest of the cast. And A.J. Cook, I loved you in "Higher Ground", but you're slipping with this movie. Don't get me wrong, you played the insecure girl with freaky death premonitions well, but you're better than this. I guess times are hard. Ali didn't even seem to wanna be there and I don't blame her. I think she was just waiting to be blown to pieces at the end of the movie and was hurrying it along as much as possible to get out of this disaster of an idea.
The movie honestly tried, but it couldn't bite the cheese. Maybe it was supposed to be stupid, but for my money, I better get a moral to the story or some laughs along the way. I got neither. What I did get was the impression that I'm smarter than everyone else in the film. And that, I didn't need to pay $9 for.