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United 93 (2006)
10/10
A Stunning Experience
30 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
As we all know and remember, United 93 is based on events that took place in America on September 11, 2001. I have heard many people say that it is too soon to have made a film about that day. Our wounds are still fresh; our anguish, still palpable. On some levels, I understand, and agree. The emotional impact of 9/11 still has many of us reeling in stunned disbelief that we were attacked so brutally and unexpectedly. I went into the theater with a pocket full of tissues, and a hope that maybe, just maybe, seeing this film would somehow help heal those wounds inflicted upon us, and embedded deep in our souls. I was not let down.

From the first moment the film came on the screen, the audience seemed to be gripped with tension. A feeling of tightness took hold in the back of my throat, and a heaviness set in on my chest, making it difficult to breathe. I sat there, stunned, my entire being overwhelmed by the impact of the emotions I was experiencing. The film hooked me right in, and it never let go. Even after the ending credits had rolled, and almost everyone had already left, I remained in my seat, amazed. Never before had a film so completely taken me in. It was stunning. Absolutely stunning.

As most of us remember the events that were portrayed in the film, I needn't give a scene by scene breakdown of the story. There are three things; moments really, that I want to share. The first was the audience. I noticed as the theater began to fill up, that most of the people coming to see the film were older. There were no children or teenagers present, only a handful of college types or twenty somethings, and a few more thirty-somethings. The rest of the audience appeared to be 40 and up. A "mature" audience, if you will. The second thing was the reaction of the audience to one scene. The scene takes place in New York. Three people are in an airport tower, trying to make a visual contact of one of the missing airliners. They spot it, and a second later watch in horror as the plane smashes into the second tower of the World Trade Center. At that moment, the theater went completely silent. No one spoke, moved, or even breathed. All had been stunned by the impact of the moment. Several agonizing seconds went by; then very slowly conversations between audience members in hushed tones could be heard beginning again. It was a moment felt and shared by all.

The third thing, or moment was the ending. The final scene had just ended, and the credits had not yet began to roll. Again, the entire room went still. No one spoke or moved for several seconds. Then slowly, almost hesitantly, a lone audience member began to clap. A few others joined in, but the applause only lasted a few seconds, and then died out. As the audience began to leave, very few spoke, and those who did, used very hushed tones. I sat transfixed in my seat as I watched the credits. I couldn't move. It was as if I felt it would have been irreverent to not acknowledge all that had been involved in the making of the film. That I would insult the memory of those who had lost their lives on 9/11, if I didn't read every single name passing by on the screen. It wasn't until the screen was blank, and the lights began to come up that I was willing to leave. After a few more minutes of stunned silence, I was finally able to breathe easy and release the emotions that had gripped me so tightly during the film. Then slowly but surely, I felt the healing begin.

We may never know exactly what happened on flight 93, but that is not the point of this film. United 93 is a stunning portrait of heroism, faith, and love. It is an honest and heartfelt tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. For those who are ready, this film can be a balm to your wounded souls if you let it. For those who aren't, wait until you are. In time, we all will heal; but we will never forget.

10
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7/10
blood, guts, and gore; no more!
5 February 2006
The question of the day is; How much is too much? That was the general impression I was left with after watching Underworld: Evolution.

Now I enjoyed the story, and the characters were interesting. The problem was the fight scenes were too bloody, too brutal, too long, and too many. I mean, how many times do we have to watch someone bite someones else's neck half off, or tear off their jaw? How many rounds of bullets do we have to see being plugged into another body to figure out that the guy is gonna die? How much blood has to fly through the air and soak everything in sight for us to realize that killing someone is, well, bloody? I do admit, for all the skin they showed us in the lovemaking scene without revealing Kate's boobies or Scott's donger was impressive. Good uh, camera angles and editing on that, I guess you could say. But the rest? It was just way too much.

The first installment, Underworld, was violent and bloody, and yes, there was sex too. But the action was not so overwhelming that we lost the story in all the blood, guts, and gore. In Evolutions, there were times when I literally turned to the person next to me and asked if this story was going anywhere or was it just one blood spilling ultra violent scene after another? The person didn't know, but did say that they thought they had seen enough blood, guts, and gore in the first five minutes, and that they wouldn't allow their kids too see this movie until they turned twenty. I must say that I agreed.

So with the next installment, I make but one request. (we know there will be another, they left it wide open for one) A little more story and a lot less action would be nice. We saw all the blood, guts, and gore we could handle in part 2.

my vote: seven out of ten
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Jaws (1975)
10/10
30 years, and still afraid of the water
20 December 2005
At the tender age of five, my loving father took me too see this movie. It is now 30 years later, and I still will not go into the ocean more than ankle deep. And, every time I am flipping channels, and I see that Jaws is playing, I watch it. Sometimes I pull out the DVD and watch it. My son and I have been known to watch it, watch the special features and the documentary, and then watch it again all in one afternoon. Why do I do this? Because this is simply the best film I have ever seen.

This film has everything! Drama, comedy, horror, romance, touching family scenes, interesting scientific facts and statistics, a moving tribute too a historic event, special effects, a spine-tingling soundtrack, you name it, it's in there. And even though the film was made in the 70's, the story is still current. The movie grabs you right at the beginning, and plays so smoothly throughout that you don't really notice the funky, out-of-date clothing. You are too caught up in the story and the characters to care about the dated hairstyles the actresses are sporting. All you care about, is whether or not they can kill the shark before it kills them. And when it's all over, even if it's thirty years later, you are still afraid to go in the water.
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9/10
The best of the series so far
16 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The fourth installment in the Harry Potter series sent me on a thrill ride of emotions. The director did a wonderful job of balancing the humor amidst the horror of the events that took place in the film. It left me anxiously awaiting the next film too come.

Overall, I thought the movie held fast to the most important story lines in the book. The first 15 minutes were a bit choppy, but it's hard to compress eleven chapters of material into that short amount of time, so I'll forgive the loss of bits and pieces of storyline that were left out in the beginning. Once the film got into the tournament, most of the major story elements were left in place, and the film progressed fairly smoothly. The end was a bit choppy again, and I felt some points that were left out and/or glossed over should have been left in, so those who have not read the books would understand why the Ministry of Magic would choose to hide the fact that Lord Voldemort had returned. The entire premise of the next book in the series is based upon this disbelief, and how Harry is made to suffer for telling the truth. It will be interesting to see how this problem is addressed in the next film.

As far as the characters go, I was pleased to see Fred and George, and their antics, take a seat front and center. They were by far my favorites. All the actors seem to be more and more comfortable with their roles, and the acting is improving with each film. Again, it will be interesting too see how much they have grown and matured when the next film installment is made. I just hope we don't loose any of the major cast members before the series is completed. (I still picture Richard Harris as Dumbledore, even though Michael Gambon is doing an excellent job in the last two films) All in all, I would say this is the best of the four films thus far. I am eagerly awaiting Order of the Phoenix.
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8/10
Good script, good acting, what could go wrong?
24 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
******* WARNING: SPOILERS *******

There are two things I usually like to harp on about movies these days. Poor scripts and bad acting. For the first time in my film reviewing career, I can honestly say that I have nothing to gripe about with either of the aspects with The Bourne Supremacy.

Having remembered the characters from The Bourne Identity, I was anxious too see how they had changed or moved on in the last two years. I wasn't disappointed. Seeing Jason struggle with his headaches and nightmares, still unable to piece together the lost years of his life was touching, and immediately pulled me in and got me interested. You could plainly see that his love for Marie was the only thing keeping him together, and keeping him going. Then a-whamma-bamma-boom! Jason is set up for a crime he did not commit, and his beloved Marie is gone. So, what does he do? Exactly what he said he would do in the first film. He goes right to his accusers front door and shoves it right back down their throats. The tag-line was right; they should have left him alone! Step by step we see Jason battle with his fellow patriots, his inner demons, and his enemies. It all leads up to a climactic high-speed chase through the streets of Moscow, and a life and death confrontation between Jason and Marie's killer. The moment that passes between them speaks on so many levels, as Jason realizes; this nemesis was only doing the exact same thing that he had been trained to do. I was truly impressed. I loved the character change in Jason because of his love for Marie, and the ending leaves you guessing when and where he will turn up next. The script and the plot were solid, the film was well-paced, and the character development was outstanding. And get this, there was little if any profanity in this film, and no long, drawn out sex scenes. Wow! A well-scripted, well-characterized, well-paced action film with no profanity and no sex. I loved it!

I also loved, (and this takes me a lot to admit) Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.

I thought he did a good job in Identity, but in Supremacy, he nailed it. Everything he did in this film convinced me that no other actor could have filled this character's shoes but him, and this is high praise considering the onslaught I usually dish out at male lead characters in action films. In fact, I don't really have anything negative to say about any of the cast.

They all did their characters justice, and then some. Bravo, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Julia Stiles, and so on. You all did a great job!

But, there were some major problems with The Bourne Supremacy. The camera work and editing. Now I am all for creative cinematography, but what's with all the sloppy hand-held shots, the out-of-focus shots, and the badly cropped shots? And what's with all the jump cuts during the action sequences? Yes, when used correctly, the combination of these shots and edits can make for some interesting film sequences, that I admit. But there was just so much of it in this film that it left the me feeling slightly disoriented after each scene, and headachey by the film's end. The first scene with Jason and Marie is a perfect example. This is a beautiful scene, in which Jason expresses his love and devotion to Marie. The hand-held shots is this scene were so bad they completely distracted the viewer from the intimacy of the scene. And the jump cuts during the action sequences were so jarring and so numerous, that the viewer was dizzy and confused by the end of them. I mean, when you are watching a high-speed chase, the jerky movements caused by the action itself is enough to give a hair raising effect. But adding in montages of jump cuts full of out of focus shots and jerky hand held shots on top of it is just overkill. At times I felt like I was watching a student film made by and overly ambitious freshman cinematographer that was trying to impress the professor by throwing in every different type of eye-catching shot they could think of. Comon' folks! We invented tripods for a reason!

Overall, I thought this was an excellent character-driven action film (yes, they do exist) with a great script and some outstanding performances. If I could rank it by these two aspects only, I would give it a 10. But, since all aspects must be accounted for, I find I cannot. So, take some tylenol or advil with you so you aren't completely disoriented and headachey by the end of the film, and you should have a great time.

My rank: 8/10
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8/10
Emotionally devastating to see
19 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
********Warning, Possible Spoilers*********

I will start this review by saying that I watched this movie for one reason, and one reason only. Meryl Streep.

I have admired this woman since I first saw her in 1985 in the film, Out Of Africa. Even though I was only a teenager, I recognized that Meryl had a gift. She could touch the heart of even the toughest critic with her amazing abilities. I was aware that she had been in previous films, so over the years I have tried to catch up on her work that I had missed. I didn't realize until a short time ago that Sophie's Choice was the only film I hadn't seen. So, I rented the video, snuggled up with my hubby and some popcorn, and settled in for the evening to watch this much acclaimed film.

Boy, was I ever taken for a ride! I had no idea that the movie was about a woman who had survived a concentration camp. I thought, (because of the picture on the cover of the video) that this was a movie about a woman having to choose between two men. At certain points I almost gave up on the film, because it seemed to drag at points, and then throw unexpected curves at me that I couldn't quite follow. I just couldn't understand why Meryl was having such a difficult time choosing to stay with Kevin Kline, because Peter MacNichol seemed like such a geek I could hardly stand him. I firmly believed that she was out of her mind when she told decided to go to the farm with MacNichol. Then I discovered what choice she truly had too make. I was absolutely devastated emotionally after that scene. I had to stop the film for a full ten minutes before I could bear to watch the rest. I could hardly sleep that night either, myself being a mother of two children; one a boy, age seven, and a girl, age 19 months. I was tormented by the thought of what I would do or say if faced with the same choice. I could never have forgiven myself no matter what choice I made, just as she could not.

So now I understand what Sophie's Choice was all about. Overall, I thought the movie could have transitioned from scene to scene better, so that the viewer would not have been so completely horrified and taken by surprise when the true "choice" was revealed. Had I seen this movie in the theater, I would have completely missed the ending because I was so shaken by the previous climactic scene. But as far as Meryl is concerned, 10+++++++ in my book. Bravo, Meryl, bravo!

Rank 8/10
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)
10/10
Amazing, Spidey! Truly amazing!
7 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
*********** WARNING, POSSIBLE SPOILERS ************

Finally, a sequel that outdoes the first film. I have been waiting for this one since I saw the first one on it's opening day, and it was well worth the wait. This film is amazing, and then some.

All the questions I asked at the end of the first film are answered in the second. Will Harry find out Peter is Spider Man? If he does, will he forgive him or avenge his father? Will he tell Mary Jane? Will she stand by him if he does? What if Aunt May finds out? I won't tell you the answers, but these questions and more are revealed; and there are clues given at the end that possibly set up who the villians will be in the third film.

I am aware that some of the CGI seems a bit "cartoony." This didn't bother me, because after all, the movies are based on comic books. I think the obvious cartoony moments add to the film, as opposed to detracting. I loved the scenes where Dr Octopus shakes everything in sight as he approaches. It was as if Sam Raimi was nodding his head to this effect used in the Jurassic Park films, as well as Godzilla.

But what I loved most was Mary Jane's refusal to just accept that she and Peter cannot be together. She wasn't worried that he might not always be able to be there for her. Instead it's her that is going to be there for him. Woo-hoo! Talk about girl power and women's lib and all that. A woman who takes care of herself and her man. You go girl!

So now I must humbly bow to the genius of Sam Raimi. In the immortal words of Wayne and Garth, "we're not worthy!" Sam, you have captured the spirit of Stan Lee's Spider Man with eloquence and grace. Your vision has translated into two films that go beyond expectation, and will be remembered and cherished by many. (Okay, so I'm laying it on a little thick) I can hardly wait for the third film. Keep up the great work.

Rank: 10
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Shrek 2 (2004)
9/10
Fun fun fun
3 June 2004
I usually don't like sequels. They tend to be stale, start out slow, and most of the gags are reused from the first film. But if all sequels were as good as Shrek 2, I would go see all of them.

Things did start out a bit on the slow side. There were several new characters to introduce, and how they fit into the story had to be established. Once this was done, the movie picked right up. I was laughing so hard in some places I scared my 18 month old daughter, who was sitting next to me and enjoying the film more than her popcorn. Think about that too. The movie made an adult laugh, and kept an 18 month old interested for an hour and a half. Good going Dreamworks!

Suffice it to say, if you like Shrek, you'll like Shrek 2.

Rank: 9
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Miracle (2004)
10/10
Wow!
23 May 2004
When I see the tagline, "based on the true story," I get wary. Nine times out of ten when the story is translated onto the big screen, the story isn't done justice. In this case the movie makers did it right. Miracle is truly an excellent movie.

I was only ten when the US Hockey team beat the Russians, and went on to win the gold. I remember how inspired my entire family was when it happened, because so many other things were happening in our country that were negative. Watching this movie brought all of that back. The movie not only did a convincing job showing us how the team was formed and trained by their coach, but also showing how the country desperately needed something or someone to give us hope that things could get better. I felt that pride and hope all over again watching the movie, and I was only ten the first time. That's how good this movie is!

The casting for this movie was brilliant. Kurt Russell was perfect. But the best was the casting of the hockey team. These were actual hockey players, playing hockey players. Sure, some of them were also actors, like Eddie Caghill, but he had to audition as a hockey player, not an actor. And it worked. The hockey scenes were so good, and some of those hockey players were not only very good actors, but downright good looking too. I was impressed, and I tend to be very critical of actors, since my background is performance in theater and film. These boys did great playing hockey and acting. Bravo, boys! Bravo!

So, if you haven't seen this movie, see it. You won't be disappointed.

Rank: 10
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Paycheck (2003)
8/10
Better then I thought it would be
23 May 2004
Being a woman and generally not an action movie lover, I was suprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. John Woo seems to come up with more creative and interesting action sequences with every movie he directs. This movie capitalized on that talent, and the result was a great action flick.

The only thing I disliked about the movie was Ben Affleck. He just didn't seem right for the role. In fact, I would have preferred him to switch roles with Aaron Eckhart, and see Eckhart as the hero and Affleck as the heavy. That definately would have given the movie an interesting dynamic. But alas, I am not a casting agent. Uma Thurman and Paul Giamatti turned in convincing performances, and kept the movie rolling along at a good pace. I just would have liked the movie better if they had chosen a different actor for the lead.

So all in all, a pretty decent action flick.

Rank: 8
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8/10
Fluffy little film
18 May 2004
I admit it. I saw this movie simply because I wanted to see something light and fluffy. I got what I wanted.

Yes, it's a chick flick. Yes, it's predictable. Yes, it has the typical Hollywood ending. But the film never said it was going to be anything but that, and that's why I liked it. No political agendas. No heavy drama and/or gut-wrenching scenes. In fact, there really wasn't anything in this film that was really negative. It was just a cute, fluffy little film that was intended to make you fill light-hearted when it was over. And for me, that is exactly what it did.

Rank: 8
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9/10
Go Johnny go!
18 May 2004
When I first heard that Disney was making a film based on the ride, "Pirates of the Caribbean," I was excited. This was by far my favorite ride at Disneyland as a child. I could just imagine the swashbuckling hero battling the pirates and saving the fair maiden. And sure enough, Disney delivered. I loved this movie.

My favorite part of this movie was: an actor. Johnny Depp. The man is a master. Even with his slurred speech, matted hair, and half black/half gold teeth, I was amazed at how sexy a character can become when Johnny Depp is bringing him to life. I have seen this film four times now, and every time I sit impatiently until Johnny first appears on his sinking ship. Then I am glued to the screen for the rest of the film. Now I'm not saying that the rest of the cast wasn't good. Kiera Knightly was absolutely beautiful, and Orlando Bloom is as cute as he was in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But I was just completely captivated by Johnny Depp in this film. I can't think of any other actor that could have filled the shoes of Captain Jack Sparrow with such life and zeal. So bravo, Johnny! I can't wait for the sequel.

Rank: 9
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7/10
Unstable and Eerie
18 May 2004
A house built upon sand will fall. Fog is depressing and eerie. Somehow these are the two themes this movie tries to instill. The result is a somewhat thought-provoking film that leaves one with conflicting emotions. You don't know if you should hate the film, or love it.

The same can be said of the characters. You feel slightly sorry for Jennifer as she struggles with loosing her husband, her home, and her sobriety. But at the same time you think, if she had just read her mail, things would have been ok. You also feel badly for Ben Kingsley and his family. Forced to leave Tehran lest they be killed; we see a man working two jobs to support his family, and finally gets a break by purchasing a home through a government auction. Why should he give the house back? He's done nothing wrong, and is only trying to provide for his family. So, with which character does your sympathy lay? Just as you are feeling justified to side with one character, you get pulled into being empathetic towards the other. Then the film climax. How depressing! It literally made me shudder in my seat.

So decide for yourself if you see this film. Me, well, I still can't decide if I liked it or not. I'm still feeling a bit gloomy.

My rank: 7 out of 10
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10/10
Go Quentin!
18 May 2004
Quentin Tarantino is the master. As a fan of his genius, I can only say, "bravo!" You have struck gold again.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is cinematic art at it's best. Uma Thurman kicks butt (literally) as an assassination survivor out for revenge. And she looks great too, prancing around in her Bruce Lee yellow leather outfit. (I wish I had looked that great a year after having a baby.)

The film jumps around ala Pulp Fiction, but what do you expect? This is, after all, a Tarantino film. Any other director would not have dared put in so much blood-spraying and whacking off of body parts. And this isn't even a horror movie.

The cherry on top of the cake was the casting of David Carradine as Bill. Yes! All Kung Fu fans the world round are cheering. And we don't even get to see him, but we know. Oh, we know. I can hardly wait for Volume 2, so I can see the resolution.

What else can I say that hasn't already been said in so many other reviews. If you are a fan of Tarantino films, you will love his efforts here. He delivered exactly what he promised. A great film.

Rank: 10
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Big Fish (2003)
9/10
A delightful and charming tale
17 May 2004
A story isn't just a story. A story is shaped by the people who lived it, the people who heard it, and the people who repeated it. And that's what the movie Big Fish is all about.

I love stories. I love hearing them, telling them, reading about them, ect... And when the main character of the stories is Ewan MacGregor, you've got me. All of the actors did this story justice. I especially loved Jessica Lange and Albert Finney. I truly believed in their love for each other. Bravo, actors! A job well done.

The movie did start a bit slow; it took me about 25 minutes to really get into it, but then it took off, and I was enthralled. I loved the ending. This was one of those cases in which a "happy Hollywood ending" was not only expected, but needed. I loved it.

Rank: 9 out of 10
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Love Actually (2003)
8/10
A good film that takes cheap shots
17 May 2004
Love Actually is a good movie. I enjoyed watching the scenes go from one story too another, and how they all came together at the end. Not everyone ended up happily ever after, and the film left you wondering what happens next with all of the characters.

The only thing I did not like were the pot shots at America. It was blatantly obvious that the director had an axe to grind, and so he took as many cheap shots as he could in his film. I guess I thought that after the incidents on 9/11, Americans would receive love and support from our allies. Instead everyone has become a critic about everything we do, and we are forced to endure political agenda being shoved down our throats in the movies we go to see for entertainment purposes. Ah, silly me. I guess there really are a few British left that are still sore about what happened between our countries in the late 1700's. (Hey, I'm an American. I'm free to take as many pot shots as I want too.)

Political agendas and pot shots aside, this movie was very well made, and fun to watch.

Rank: 8 out of 10
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Underworld (2003)
8/10
pretty decent flick
16 May 2004
Considering the onslaught on vampire films we have had in the last couple of years, this one actually came out pretty good.

Kate Beckinsale delivers two punches in this one. She looks great in her slinky black leather get-up, and actually does a fairly convincing acting job. Scott Speedman is as hunky as he can be, and even looked good after he turned greyish-blue. The plot ran along as it should, with well timed twists and turns, and the story itself was fresh and interesting. Different from your typical vampire fare, especially since more vampires got their throats bitten then anyone else. It did get pretty violent in some spots, but it wasn't so gory that I felt like I was going to loose the popcorn I consumed while I was watching it.

Overall, I liked it.

Rank: 8
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Runaway Jury (2003)
10/10
Loved it!
16 May 2004
This movie is fantastic! As soon as I finished watching it, I called almost everyone I know and told them it was a must see.

From the very beginning I was hooked. The set-up for the trial, the jury selection, everything. This movie flowed so well that by the time it was over, I couldn't believe that two hours had gone by. It was just incredible.

The casting was superb. In fact, I was suprised that this film was completely overlooked when it came time for Oscar Nominations. Any of the performances were worthy of a nomination; especially John Cusack and Dustin Hoffman. I guess the film was just too smart and the performances too sharp for the Academy too catch on.

Since I don't want to give anything away; I will just say, if you haven't seen this movie yet, see it soon. You'll love it!

Rank: 10
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7/10
A flawed performance
14 May 2004
The Last Samurai was a decent enough movie, but I don't think it lived up to the term "epic." It had everything it needed; a time in history with endless possibilities, star power, gorgeous scenery, action filled battle scenes with exceptional stunt work, and even some romance. But somehow the movie just fell short of being powerful enough to stir up any emotional response from me. And I think I know why.

I have always found the history of Japanese culture to be extremely fascinating. The traditions, the religion, the framework of their social structure. It's so different from any other society that it stands out with a unique richness and beauty. If all the elements of this society were woven together, the tapestry created would be full of vivid color and breathtaking images. It would be "epic." The problem with the film is that one key element that was flawed.

The story itself is simple enough. An American soldier is hired to train a new army for Japan. During a battle he is captured by the enemy. During his stay he learns the way of the samurai, and eventually embraces it. All the elements are there. The problem was Tom Cruise. His portrayal was so flat that I didn't care about his character or what happened to him. I couldn't grasp the passion of the samurai, or at least the passion Cruise felt for the samurai, because it wasn't expressed. So the film fell short. It was good, but it wasn't epic.

My rank: 7 out of 10
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The Alamo (2004)
5/10
Hooray for Billy Bob!
12 May 2004
If it hadn't been for Billy Bob, this movie would have put me too sleep in the theater. Yes, I know the story of the Alamo is important American history. Yes, the movie did a good job of keeping the facts straight, and even had a few scenes that were done exceptionally well. But this movie just didn't depict the events that occurred there in a way that kept an audience interested. I couldn't tell you why either. Maybe it was the slow pace. Maybe it was the mediocre acting. Maybe my panties were in a bunch and I was just uncomfortable sitting there. All I know is that I left the theater feeling like I had seen a movie that just should have been better then it was.

Now the one thing I did like was Billy Bob as Davy Crockett. No, I take that back. I loved Billy Bob in the movie. He captured the character in a way that kept my eyes glued to the screen in every scene he was in, and I am not a Billy Bob fan. But he sold me with this performance, and in my opinion, kept the movie from flopping completely.

So, if you're a die hard Billy Bob fan, this movie is probably right up your alley. If you're a history buff, and want to learn more about the events that occurred at the Alamo, spend two hours at the library reading up on the facts, and save yourself the money you would have spent on your movie ticket.

My rank: 5 out of 10 (5 for Billy Bob, nothing for the movie)
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Mean Girls (2004)
8/10
One mean movie
11 May 2004
Mean girls was a tough movie for me. I enjoyed the humor, the girls were beautiful, and it was a very good depiction of how cliques can make people feel either completely and totally accepted, or rejected. And as much as I hate to admit this, I do believe that every high school girl has the potential to be a vicious bitch when she is pushed too far.

I enjoyed the witty banter of the characters; and the scenes comparing teenage behavior to that of animals in the african wilds were a scream. The movie did a great job of developing the different characters, their personalities, and the clashes between them. It seemed too be building up to a great climactic moment, and I was eagerly anticipating the ending. But when the ending came, in turned too syrupy sweet for me. It was as if the movie makers said, ok, we showed them all the problems, now let's fix everything by slapping on an ending in which everyone gets what they need to live happily ever after. Well, I hate to spoil everyones fun, but let's face it, high school is not that easy, and problems don't just resolve themselves after one talk. I guess I was just hoping for more reality and less typical Hollywood ending.

Overall, I did like the movie. Lindsey Lohman is beautiful, and her talent shines brighter with every role she performs. I'll be looking forward to her next film.

My rank: 8.5 out of 10
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Van Helsing (2004)
5/10
I can't make up my mind
10 May 2004
And neither could this movie.

Now I appreciate it when a movie does a good job of combining several genres, and I could see what the makers of Van Helsing were trying to accomplish. Unfortunately that seems to be the theme of movies today. Trying.

The first try was the horror aspect. There were times when I literally jumped in my seat from fright. At one point I almost screamed. But these moments were so few and far between that calling this a horror film just doesn't quite fit.

The next try was the CGI. A bad try. The effects were sloppy at best, and so over the top in their attempts to make the actors look like they were the greatest gymnasts ever born that they were laughable. Come on moviemakers! Whatever happened to a good old fashioned fight without having to hurl characters all over the horizon?

The third try was comedy. This actually worked. The friar who was a Q ahead of his time was hilarious. If only we could have seen more of him and less of the action sequences!

The fourth try was action-adventure. The problem was, instead of making Van Helsing a truly original character, they made him into a Wolverine brooding, Indiana Jones wannabe who dressed like a character from the Matrix. Now I'll give kudos to Kate. She looked awesome. Better then I've ever seen her. And the vampire brides were absolutely stunning on the ground. Too bad they turned into really bad CGI whenever they took flight.

So, what did I think of the movie? I found it trying.

Rank: 6 out of 10
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9/10
Cute and sweet, but not too gooey
10 May 2004
Ok, ok, so it didn't have the sophistication and wit of "Big," but it was still a charming little movie.

This film is perfect for the audience that also enjoy such fare as "The Lizzie McGuire Movie," or Mary-Kate and Ashley's newest venture, "New York Minute." Those of you who enjoy more action and /or heavy drama, may prefer to skip this one. I thought Jennifer Garner was delightful and believeable as a 13 year old girl who suddenly finds herself not only in a 30 year old body, (yes, complete with boobs) but also working for her favorite magazine. As she fumbles along trying to find her way she begins to discover that having the perfect body and dream job doesn't always guarantee happiness. Some of the scenes were precious; their honesty and innocence reminded me of what it was like to be a confused teenager. No longer a girl, but not ready to be a woman. Sure these scenes were sweet, but they never became so syrupy that they made my teeth ache. What can I say, I liked it. I thought it was a cute movie that will appeal to it's target audience.

My rank: 8
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Van Helsing (2004)
5/10
This movie was confused
7 May 2004
I'm not sure Van Helsing knew what kind of movie it wanted to be. It started out dark and horrific, and ended up being a comedic, action-adventure ala bond flick.

The story was different then your typical vampire flick, which doesn't say much. The CGI was terrible. It was grossly overdone, and just looked fake. The movie would have been better if it hadn't relied so heavily on special effects. As for acting, Hugh Jackman seemed more like a cross between Wolverine and Indiana Jones then an original character. Kate looked great, in fact, better than she ever has, but her acting fell flat. The best character was Frankenstein, and we didn't get to see him nearly enough.

I guess all in all the movie was ok, but not really. Considering how much money is put into films these days, it just seems like it should have turned out better then it did.

My rank: 6
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