Not recommended for the average Joe, but highly recommended for horror buffs.
Not recommended for the average Joe, but highly recommended for horror buffs.
Unfortunately, it still isn't that great. In fact, it's the most over-hyped and overrated movie of the year. Anyone wanting more than special effects (intelligence? god forbid) is not going to have fun at this movie. I suspect that the more movies you've seen, the less Avatar will impress you. Of course, even the critics (inexplicably) think this is the greatest thing since canned spam, so perhaps I'm wrong.
The biggest problem with Avatar is that its story is mind-numbingly generic, mediocre, unoriginal, predictable pap. It's Ferngully with better special effects. There weren't any twists or surprises here to engage or interest me in the slightest, which made for a dull and sometimes extremely boring film. The film's fans claim that "every story has already been told" and therefore we shouldn't criticize it. But that's nonsense. If no new film ever had any suspense, people would quickly stop watching them.
And then there's the running time. At 80 minutes, Avatar might have been tolerable. At 162, it's an endurance test. Especially with the lame characters and recycled story.
Honestly, I don't think I could even sit through this bore a second time.
Nonetheless, Paranormal Activity is a definite success as far as I'm concerned. The characters are totally believable, the build-up is excellent, and the pacing is perfect. Whether or not it will make you "jump" in your seat depends on how well you take horror films. I almost never jump in my seat (this film included), but was still able to appreciate the suspense and sense of dread created by the "night" scenes. When I was 12 years old or so, I was scared to death of being home alone in my house, especially at night. Every small creak in the floor boards meant that a possible stranger was there, in my mind. Obviously, I've long since grown out of that mindset, but PA helped bring it back a bit! The movie isn't so much "scary" as it is just plain creepy. I'm glad they went with the "demon" angle, because a ghost just wouldn't have been as eerie.
If there's any downside to the movie, it's that it ends somewhat abruptly (perhaps just a hair more information would have made it more satisfying) and feels a little short.
Aside from that, I greatly enjoyed the film and am not sure how much more I can write about it without giving stuff away. If it sounds like your cup of tea, give it a go!
Relying mostly on anecdotal evidence, Sicko cherry picks the absolute worst stories from the US and the absolute best stories from other countries. When he does give actual statistics (which is rare), they're often misleading. It's beyond the scope of this review to dissect all of them, but I recommend you do a Google search for Greg Mankiw's article, "Beyond Those Health Care Numbers." Nonetheless, the movie is well-made, fun to watch, and highlights important issues. It's a shame that Moore's methodology and total disregard for the other side of the story make it feel incomplete.
Some will dismiss it as a slasher movie, and while it is in some sense a "slasher" film, it is far from the "masked killer carves up dumb teens" movies. And the ending is almost touching in a sick, twisted way.
A word of advice: skip the edited R-rated version (which is all Blockbuster has) and watch it uncut. The R version takes out the most gruesome and effective scene.
Excited for Dark Knight, I bought this DVD because it was dirt-cheap. I've loved batman since I was little, especially the Tim Burton movies. Even with some Smirnoff in me, I simply couldn't enjoy this movie.
Where to begin? Bruce Wayne's "training" feels like a deleted scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2. The whole scene feels out-of-place, as if it belongs in a different movie. The part where his parents are shot is nowhere near as haunting or effective as in the original Tim Burton version. The plot is just ridiculous, and the villain isn't the least bit menacing or interesting.
Christian Bale, who was fantastic in American Psycho, gives a very boring, stiff performance here. He provides almost no personality to Bruce Wayne at all. The movie is overlong and drags horribly in several scenes. The fight scenes (the few that are in there) are poorly directed and shockingly underwhelming.
Sorry, but I can't recommend this one. And I really wanted to like it!
If you're a big Saw/horror fan, I would recommend waiting for video (or better yet, until the Sci-Fi channel shows it or something).
So when I heard Rob Zombie was going to remake a classic like Halloween, I wasn't sure what to think. On the one hand, I largely enjoyed Zombie's previous movies (particularly The Devil's Rejects). On the other hand, I wasn't sure if I wanted *anybody* remaking Halloween.
Now, a lot of rock stars think they can make horror movies, but end up sucking big time at it (coughdeesnidercough). The rock star who can actually do film is pretty rare. As a lifelong horror fan, I can say that Zombie IS very good at it--so good, in fact, that I think he pulled off what not many directors would be able to: a decent remake of Halloween. The remake keeps most of the best parts of the original, but expands on it much more, especially Michael's backstory. Zombie's Michael Myers is more brutal, vicious, and corrupt than John Carpenter's.
A lot of people complained about the babysitter, but I thought she was cast perfectly well: she seemed like a perfectly ordinary teenage girl. Was she not in it enough? Well, she wasn't in it much, but the original was already centered around her. Zombie's remake is far more about Michael than the babysitter. His additions to the story are effective and interesting. He doesn't just "go through the motions" of the original and then cash his paycheck, like most worthless directors do with remakes.
All I can say is: thank god Zombie remade this before some other stupid hack director remade it into a crappy PG-13 snorefest. I don't want to say too much more about the movie, but if you're a horror fan who is curious,check it out! You might end up enjoying yourself.
The Simpsons is a truly excellent series, but one that should have been ended around the years 2000-2001. The creators of Seinfeld knew to quit while they were ahead. The Simpsons, unfortunately, is not the show it used to be. Granted, it would be impossible for it to be the same after so many years and hundreds of episodes, but that's the reason why most television series eventually have to end. In the "Poochie" episode, Lisa makes the same point about the Itchy and Scrachy show to a man wanting feedback: "Um, excuse me sir. The thing is, there's not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy show, it's as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can't have the same impact they once had." This is a pretty good summary of the gradual decline in quality the Simpsons has been experiencing.
I first saw a teaser ad for The Simpsons movie sometime in late 2005 or early 2006, I believe. I thought right off the bat that it was a bad idea. South Park and Beavis & Butt-Head had churned out movies relatively quickly, when the characters and material were still fresh, which was the wise thing to do. If there was ever a time for a Simpsons movie, it would have been in the mid-to-late 90's.
Nonetheless, I knew I was going to be dragged to the movie by my friends one way or the other. I went hoping for the best, and was even excited that I would at least get to see The Simpsons on the big screen.
So how did things turn out? Well, it at least kept me entertained and involved throughout, and it was better than I expected it to be. It's nowhere near the hilarity of the show at its peak, but far better than the most recent episodes. The first half hour is particularly decent, because it's close to an early Simpsons episode.
While I of course enjoyed the mocking of the US government, I have to admit that I just didn't really care for the "sealed in a dome" story and wish they had come up with a different plot. It seemed like they just wanted the most "huge," "epic" plot ever, so they came up with the dome thing. But the stories on the show were rarely "epic." They were totally asinine and got laughs because of the ridiculous behavior of the characters (like when Homer and Bart make "garbage angels" on the floor of their living room). You have to wonder what kind of opportunities they missed by introducing such a gargantuan idea for a plot. Oh well.
The Simpsons movie is an easy and fun watch, but by the time the credits roll you realize how underwhelming it is. Maybe I'm being too hard on it, because my expectations were so high, but dang it's The Simpsons movie, man!! Ah well. It still has its moments. Who can possibly keep a straight face when Moe yells, "The top of his head is showing! Claw at it!" Not me.
All in all, while not a classic, The Simpsons movie will probably keep most fans entertained throughout.
I guess I don't recommend this sucka to the general populace, but it's great stuff if you're into the horror genre. Non-horror fans probably shouldn't bother. Same for the squeamish. But eh, I had a decent time with this piece of cheese.
And seriously, how many ridiculously elaborate set-ups could a serial killer (even an inventive one) come up with? How big is the size of this warehouse--a city? How many billions of dollars were spent on these schemes? Where did the money come from, and how did a highly-wanted serial killer come up with it? Just a few questions to ponder..
A) Write a silly anagram for "Da Vinci" in an obscure place for someone to figure out, then go to Da Vinci's painting and write "so dark the con of man" in writing you can't see without an ulta-special light, and hope the person is with a professor who knows what it means (even while the professor is being ruthlessly hunted and endangered)? or
B) Simply walk up to the person and say, "Hey, you're a descendant of Christ. Pretty cool, eh?"
Hmm...now, I don't know about you, but I would go with choice B. No rational person would ever, ever do anything like choice A. However, without planting a bunch of stupid codes everywhere, there would be no story and no movie, so we as an audience have to suffer through the oh-so-clever Hanks et all dissect all the ridiculous clues, so we can finally go home. Sound like fun? Well, it's kind of interesting I guess, and maybe I'm going too hard on it, but it just felt drawn-out and talky to me. See it if you care.
Yes, I admit I had fun watching this, and I don't care how big of a minority that puts me in. ;)
Overall though, it's not too shabby. Just don't watch the TV-edited version, whatever you do.
That being said, there were still a handful of moments that grossed me out (however fake-looking they were), so if you're a big, big, big fan of freaky, gross-out stuff like this, I suppose I would give it a very minor recommendation. I give it a 6/10 for adventurous moviegoers, and around a 3/10 for everyone else.