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Evil Dead (2013)
8/10
A Clever and Relentless Bloodbath of a Remake with a Dominating Female Lead
23 April 2013
In his full length feature directorial debut Fede Alverez, this film Evil Dead starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore, was the film that Sam Raimi set out to originally make. And this remake came out swinging. And this remake came out swinging. Produced and given the blessing by the creators of the original trilogy, Bruce Campbell, Rob Tapert, and man himself, Sam Raimi, this remake was indeed on the road to success.

The story stays relatively consistent to the original. A group of friends go up to a cabin, discover an evil book, and evil is awoken, only to reek havoc on the souls on the young bunch. But what separates this movie from the original is that this isn't a generic cabin in the woods, college party turned wrong movie. Many claim this movie lacks depth but what they fail to realize is that this is a remake of one of the first cabin-in-the-woods horror films. The main character Mia, played by the amazingly talented Jane Levy embarks on this trip to finally rid herself of heroin addiction and is accompanied by her brother and close friends to beat it once and for all. Might this 'Evil Dead' just be a metaphor for Mia's never-ending quench for Opiates? This level of depth was a welcomed addition to the remake and adds character development as the story progresses. As Fede Alverez first film the movie acts decently balanced. It keeps consistent with the story, plot holes are filled, the pace is okay, and the dialog is decent but nothing special.

The acting was, in comparison to the original, more evolved and surely fulfilled the expectations set by A-class movies. Jan Levy, the star of this film, dominates her dialog, executing line after line with sheer fright and is convincing the whole way through. I consider the move to have a female lead an absolute spark of genius . Audiences want more Female leads who can command the screen. Actresses like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Carrie Fisher in Star Wars and Linda Hamilton of Terminator 2. And Levy blew it out of the water. Veteran actress Jessica Lucas was also quite good. Although she didn't get the same amount of screen time as Jane Levy, she is just as good and is a welcomed addition to the Ladies of the Evil Dead. The third female character Natalie, played by Elizabeth Blackmore is mainly pure cannon-fodder. Her only purpose in this film is to be subject to the evil that lurks within the woods. I have a feeling that she was wrote in latter in the script merely to spread the carnage out throughout the actors. She does do well in some parts later on in the film, but overall she wasn't a very interesting or developed character. This is what holds the movie from achieving success. The audience needs to care about the characters and this only fueled the fire of making an unreliable film. The boys in the film aren't that much better. The brother of Mia, played by Shiloh Fernandez had his head so far up his rear-end that he couldn't focus on the acting. I think the idea that he was playing a major role in a big production film got the best of him and instead of taking charge and really understanding his role, he focused more on what his hair looked like before every shot. The last of the main characters, Eric acted by Lou Taylor Pucci only barely shines. His delivery is okay, he seems believable but the lack of screen time and character development just pronounces him as target practice for the deadites early on.

What shines in this remake is the fact that the Director and producers wanted to make it clear that NO CGI was used in this film. This is something everyone should have known going in to see this film because most people just assume everything is CGI today. "Computers did not dare try to recreate the horror that your eyes will see" should have been their tag line. On the Evil Dead's IMDb crew page, there is no listing for animators, 3d modelers, or 3d texture artists, but there are about a dozen "visual effects artist" which is quite ambiguous, but i will take the word of director Fede Alverez and original creator Bruce Campbell that there was none...Rob Tapert has hinted though that this is not entirely true during a screening of the film back in March(probably referring to the beginning scene). The film's attempt to create the "Most terrifying film you will ever see" will intrigue most, and when you understand that all the shots are essentially done with practical effects and a reported 100,000 gallons of fake blood was used to recreate this movie., the scenes then seem that much more gross and indeed terrifying.

What is also worth mentioning is the directors style. The cinematography and camera work itch closely to that of Sam Raimi but with a less jerky roller-coaster ride. The lighting, atmosphere, and color palette is quite something. Alverez shows that he is in it to win it. The film also has quite the number of nods to the original and films like the Exorcist. It acts very much like a throwback.

It ends with a revving climax, resulting in activating the gag reflexes in the audience and screams of joy from fans of the series. I have learned that if you go into a theater or watch a movie with a certain expectations then you will be most disappointed. But if you take it for what it is then your outcome will be that much more rewarding. This remake stands on its own as not only a successful addition to the series, but a decent remake worthy of recognition.

...and remember to stay till after the credits for a special treat.
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9/10
Brilliantly gory fun and adventuresome
3 March 2013
I went into this film with open arms and with no expectations. This film pays homage to some of the greats...Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead and many others. The tongue and cheek comedy, the over-the-top gore, and the sturdy acting make this at its worst a fun film to watch.

When comparing this film with the other REC films, one can quickly become thrown off and feel rigged of seeing another rehashed 3rd installment, but the Director didn't do that--he did something much braver--he went on and developed a film with a different tone, built onto the history of the outbreak and even invented his own set of zombie rules. This was a leap off faith for the director and his team. And to me this was nothing but net.

If you're expecting to see the same movie as REC 1 and 2 then this movie isn't for you. But if you want to see a fun, gore-fest ridden with superb special effects then you will have a blast.

Speaking of special effects, I have to give a shout out to the make up artists who worked on this film. Not only were the make up effects amazingly realistic, but they were also creative and scary. The make up work is even up their with The Walking Dead and even some of the other newer blockbuster Zombie flicks. Also, worthy to mention is that there was hardly any usage of CGI throughout this flick, which to me is a great plus when making a zombie movie. Most of the blood in the movie is actually there and not digitally put in later, which is a big plus in my book.

The acting was great and I thought the characters were various and balanced. My favorite character was Sponge-John who was a Sponge-Bob look-a-like entertainment performer for parties and weddings--so funny. The character development was great. You get a background of how the outbreak affected the wedding guests but still left us with questions as to how exactly it began. The husband and wife were a great duet, both believable yet also at times understandably insane. The addition of the romance element was also a breath of fresh air and quite affective as well, bringing the audience closer to the characters, and even as much as wanting to root for the couple to hopefully make it out alive.

The setting for this movie is a refreshing take on the zombie motif. Having it set during a wedding is quite clever and intriguing as well. I mean, how many horror movies take place during a wedding? It's great! I would have liked the movie to branch out a little to other locations, but I think the director was keeping in spirits with his other two previous installments and wanted to create a very claustrophobic atmosphere to bring tension to the audience.

As an avid movie enthusiasts and a hardcore zombie film lover, I am going to have to say that this film has a lot more positive aspects to it than negative. The appeal and intrigue of this movie comes not merely from one aspect of the film, but from a very well thought out and balanced execution from all departments.

Haters will hate because of their longing desire for a succinct and concise pattern that feeds on their insecurities for familiarity, but if you sincerely enjoy experiencing movies and aren't always having high expectations you will find that you will like more about this movie than dislike.

I give this movie 9/10.
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10/10
A brilliant leap in film history
5 February 2012
This film not only sets itself apart from typical lines of thought, it challenges the viewer to view life in a totally new lens.

The success of this movie is not itself in the characters or the story but the underlying message of challenging conventionalism, spontaneity,freedom and the idea that we must make the best of the time we have on this planet and savor all the beauty around us.

The film hits home because of it's effective usage of witty dialogue, interesting dichotomies, and it's thick, yet subtle suggestions about morale subjectivity.

Amist the sexual revolution, as the film does mention, the film directly takes aim at social conservative values and pierces the foundation of what love 'ought to be'. This was very appropriate for the times, as a huge generational shift in consciousness became very powerful among the youth in the late 1960s and into the 1970s--most notably through the hippie and "free-love" movements.

The soundtrack is just amazing and follows the movie to a "T". Cat Stevens dominates with a message so simple, yet so necessary for a culture filled with war and death during the Vietnam War.

"Well if you want to sing out, sing out. And if you want to be free be free. - Cat Stevens.

The film's entire premise can be added up through a very simple set of dialogue in the film in which a police officer pulls over Maude and asks for her license...."I don't have one, I don't believes in them." she replies. This film was given to us as message to challenge our own thinking patterns -- to think outside the box for lack of a better phrase. That seems so cliché but it is so true. It pushes the boundaries of what is and isn't socially acceptable.

It impacted not just my senses and exterior but I had a dramatic realization about freedom, love and personal perception that I really don't know much...like all of us. We all really don't know why or the what of our existence. The more I learn, the less I know as the famous saying goes.

I highly recommend this piece of artwork--because that is exactly what it is. This is a masterpiece in film-making where the director has effectively touched the viewer-ship. Thats what it's all about. This film is a truly beautiful work that will stand the tests of time and be a constant reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and of the importance of true love.

10/10
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6/10
Some nice action but where's the tone? Where's the mood? Where's the atmosphere?
31 May 2009
The atmosphere that James Cameron and Stan Winston had created for the first 2 films in the franchise is what really hit me and still does to this day. I think that was the key component along with consistency and approach that gave the Terminator film it's unique style and attractiveness. It's metallic-blue overlay, infused with creepy whines of music and heart pounding edge of your seat suspense was what really created this secondary reality if not for only an hour long. It made us have a connection to these characters. A sense of believability in what was really going on. But it was those elements that were able to harness the inner workings of this dark dreamland. In essence the first two Terminators were projected nightmares in a sense, as if you were running and running, but no how fast you ran, the shadowy figure on your toes just keeps closing in. THAT is what made those films so captivating.

Now these elements in one way or another were tried in this newest installment of the franchise. I see it as I've heard before as a "hit and miss" movie in which it got some key features to play out in the film, but lacked that essential tone T1 and T2 romantically portrayed.

I have talked in lengths with individuals on why this film didn't quite hit all of it's projected(we hope) targets and I haven't really heard a clear and analyzed answer. Some say it was the amount of sub-plots that were involved, the lack of plot, the empty character development, the slight cheesy factor, and or the overall weak story and unnecessary additions to the Terminator franchise. Although these all valid arguments to say the least and I would agree on them full heartily, I don't see it as the culprit of the problem here of why this film did not life up to it's expectations.

I think, like I said above in the first paragraph, that it was the direction the film was taken in perspective to it's overall tone and mood. God bless his soul, Stan Winston. For if he were alive I think we would have seen a more polished version of what we have now witnessed. I also think it was a bad part on McG for giving the O.K on the revised Terminator theme by veteran composer Danny Elfman. I don't know why in the hell the screened audiences gave the thumbs up on that one. Another issue of course is that most of the scenes were in broad day-light. I understand that McG wanted to get a different take on the war, but I don't think this was pulled off in any respects to what James Cameron had in mind for the war.(Shouldn't the sky be filled with pollution and dark particle manner from the nuclear explosions creating an ever-dark wasteland?) This was CRUCIAL and they blew it. I don't see why they didn't go with more night scenes. It is one of the strongest representative thematic elements portrayed in the Terminator 1 & 2.(I am not even going to mention T3 because of the ridiculous amount of mistakes made)

The Rating: A main point that needs to be addressed for sure is the film's PG-13 rating. Of course they did this to appeal to a larger demographic of movie-goers, but they did it in expense of the true grit and bones that T1 and T2 had. I don't see why a Terminator film should be even considered for a PG-13 rating. Anything lower than an "R" rating does not do the title justice. The series is called Terminator for a reason...They are killing machines. THAT'S IT. I think that this is one of the biggest insults to the die-hard community of Terminator fans everywhere.

There is no room for Mediocrity in trying to follow up after T2: Judgment Day. Lets hope and pray that us as an online community hold the next bunch of crazies accountable for their creative actions for the next installment of the franchise.
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Rush Hour 3 (2007)
7/10
Rush Hour 3 "Rushed"?
15 August 2007
The two buddy cops, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker meet up once again in this 3rd part in the Rush Hour series and take flight to Paris to deal with some unfinished business.

This time around the two find themselves in a too quite familiar situation connecting the 1st and 2nd film....which isn't a bad thing at all but does Bret Ratner execute? Many of the same characters from the series are brought back with some nice new additions to the cast. The overall acting is par with the series and doesn't let down on the comedic aspect one minute. The action in this movie is well put together but what lacks is the quantity of action. What action there is though holds up high. There is a serious aspect to the movie which balances the humor which in turn attach'es the viewers closer to the characters and wanting unsolved issues amended to help close the movie with a sense of resolution and completion.

In this chapter of their series Chief Insp. Lee(Chan) still holds a grudge and has a hard time with attachment and forgiveness even after 3+ years in this fictional world of Rush Hour. There seems to be a wall between Lee in which Carter can't break and what sets this movie aside from the series is that in Rush Hour 3 the two don't really resolve anything through words or actions. The movie is set for the viewers to kind of assume that everything between the two is resolved and brings some confusion to the table.

The Ending (no spoilers) ------------------------------- About 4 months back before the release of the movie I had read from IGN.com that the movie had went over-budget. If this is true than that probably explains the end result of the film and why it ends where it ends. If Bret Ratner were smart he would go do some extra post production photography work in LA and resolve the problem with the length of the film.

copy/paste link and read towards the bottom of article http://movies.ign.com/articles/749/749513p1.html The flow of the movie seems to go very well through out the entire time until it hits you. After all the laughs, running and screaming you as the audience are struck with an almost disbelief of what is happening..."Its ending???" Thats what I felt when it came on screen. The movie just started rushing it. I felt like there should have been at least 30 more minutes left in the film. The mission the two were asked to do was completed but you never see what happens to the enemies, what happens to the supporting characters(despite the obvious) and why do Lee and Carter seem fine with their friendship at the end? I recommend this movie for sure if you even just liked the first two but if your an analytical critic whose exceptions are high be prepared for some "what's?" and "huh's?" as you watch. Great movie, but poor ending.

Rush Hour 4 anyone? ---------------------- I think it needs to happen to what I saw in RH3, plus Chris Tucker said he would love to do anyone if 3 is successful and he said he would even hire a writer for him and the writer to sit down and make a pre-ready script if the movie does seem to become reality. It seems though through Jackie Chan's eye's we will have to wait for 5 years until we see another one according to an interview with Chris Tucker which said those words. You can't really tell how he is saying this in the interview because it is just a Q&A text interview online, but I'm pretty sure Mr. Tucker was...as he says in Rush Hour 1 "you know how the newspapers are, they be overizageratin" about it being 5 years until something pops up about another sequel.

Aside from the setbacks of the film, its fun,entertaining and well thought out. Bret's skill as a director is still strong in this sequel and will hold high in the buddy cop "fish out of water" genre.
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Glory (1989)
10/10
Incredible none the less
23 September 2005
This movie is a brilliant piece of filmography and I might even stretch to say its one of the greatest ever made. This movie has it all. It has this amazing story which depicts the lives and hardships the African American Soilders go through in the War of the states, or more commonly known as the Civil War. The story goes even further though, and breaks down the racial and class structures of that time and how each of every color and stature co-exist together within the same regiment.

The acting i superb. Mathew Brodrick does a great job at this role as Col. Robert Gould Shaw, considering the fact that he is still pretty young at this stage of his career and hasn't had the experience like other actors that could of had that role. Denzel Wahington's performance was great as well...and IO believe he even won an academy award for his role as Pvt.Trip in Glory. He always does a wonderful job and I wouldn't of picked another actor to do it. My favorite acting in that movie was Matthew Brodrick, but I think Morgan Freeman did an incredible job as well. As Morgan Freeman as my favorite actor, I might be going over my head and crediting him to much in this role, but I just think he was great. Although his lines in the movie are short of length compared to the other roles, he does a great job at what he was given to do. His presence and feelings you get when you watch him speak really makes you think he is part of that time period and he isn't Morgan Freeman the actor, but rather Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins. Cary Ewles (also in Robinhood and men and tights and The Princess Bride) also was not disappointing. His loyal feelings towards the Union and to Col. Robert Shaw are really brought to life with his acting. He is a very solid actor in my opinion.

The Directing of Edward Zwick is genius. Every time I watch this movie I always get the feeling like I'm actually watching a live recording of the Civil War. His angles, sets, and location decisions were outstanding I must say. The way he portrayed the life of African Americans and their struggle for freedom and equality is life like and thought provoking to the last. The fact that this movie is based on a true story makes me appreciate this movie even more and I never get tired of watching it.

the writing and screen play was wonderful as well. The main story, the true historical background, and the addition of some individual outside problems are what makes this story connect and make it a solid story. The screenplay and dialogue are both well put together. The slang, dialogue, and presence people used back then are used affective and used to a great advantage to help this movie become a classic. There seems to be not one cheesy or unnecessary piece of dialogue through out the whole movie and that said the dialogue is smooth throughout the entire film. The characters emotions, and actions are predictable enough to say that they are life like, but unpredictable the same, which helps the film not become too dull or too predicable.

James Horner's Original score for the movie was wonderful. The choice to have a classical score for this movie was the right way to go. It brought the mood and tone together in this movie and it also helped us, well me at least, appreciate war a little more with its sad tone and gave the movie a more of a professionally made edge to it as well. I think without that element in the mix, the movie wouldn't be what it is today. The music is key to a lot of movies and this movie is one that would benefit from its own music.

...and last, but not least I just would like to close by saying this movie's elements and messages of horror of war, connecting with the ones you have around you, diversity acceptance, freedom for all, and compassion and care for all people no matter what color you are, are the things that make this movie to be set aside from other war films. Its pure brilliance is showed all throughout the movie and never wavers from being interesting. If you haven't seen this movie, Every inch of my recommends it. This movie deserves the recognition equal to its greatness it is. You you like war movies, but also like a quality story within it, it will not let you down.
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9/10
Superb but lacks darkness like the original
10 August 2005
The sequel to the smash hit 1990 TMNT, starts off greatly with an introduction to a new character (Keno) and has a great pizza scene showing how the city loves New York pizza as well as metaphorically showing the viewers watching that this indeed is a turtles movie...The opening music is great and is perfect for the city scene.

The plot is not as well thought out as the original but still does the turtles a good name for them...I still feel they rushed it a little seeing that the movie was in production right after the 1st movie went into theaters...I seem to feel the super shredder was the turning point in the franchise, meaning that it went from a sort of Tim Burtan feel with TMNT 1, and ended up with a corny kid focused feeling with the introduction of the super shredder..and the ninja rap didn't help either..all though I thought it was cool....I just wished secret of the ooze was more of a dark TMNT movie....which the 1st movie held on to strong.

The addition of Professor Jorden Perry and the whole TGRI company was a great idea to explain the chemical spill and the mutation the turtles went through. His mature nature and serious tone helped the movie maintain a sense of maturity as well as stability in the plot.

The acting was great in this one as well and the comedy was just as good as in the first movie. Although Corey Feldman did not voice Donetello in this one, the replaced voice actor was great...I even might say that the actor that voiced Don in TMNT 2 is just as good as Cory Feldman's voice acting in the 1st and 3rd movie.

IN conclusion, TMNT: Secret of the Ooze is a great sequel that is both funny as well as serious and is a great movie for any age. The only thing that bothered me was that is was slightly too focused on the youth audience and didn't stay 100% with the original's dark atmosphere.
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6/10
Decent Movie
21 May 2005
Saw it 7:50pm May 19, 2005

I liked it. It was very well put together despite whatever these wise cracked critics have to say. I do not like the fact George Lucas used so much CGi though.I do miss the days when he used puppets....but whatever its OK that he didn't I guess. The force is strong with this one. In many parts it reminds me of the Original Trilogy. In a few parts I felt like I was even watching one of the originals and that feeling was great. It had a lot of flaws including a few very corny moments, weird scenes, awkward dialogue inlcuding "they killed younglings" WTF?...seriously George? Younglings was the best name you could have come up with?

Again, Hayden wasn't good at all. The dialogue was wooden and dry all around.

Ian McDiarmid was the best actor in the film. He executed his lines as if he had never left the Return of the Jedi set.

All in all, it was only decent.
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