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Silent Hill (2006)
Fans will be pleased but wanting more.
Silent Hill is far from a perfect movie. But, Silent Hill is also one of the best video game to movie adaptations out there. That's really not saying much. If you were to watch this movie without playing the games, you might as well bring your pillow. Fortunately for me, I've played all 4 games in the series multiple times, and it was for people like me that the movie was made in the first place. The plot of the movie steals familiar elements from the games. But, it doesn't tie into the games. They combined the plots of the first two games, changed the focus around, and ultimately steered away from the MUCH darker and much more confusing plot of the games. The fans will either be smiling with glee or reliving their darkest nightmares as the movie tosses fans a lot of bones. There are EXACT shots recreated on the silver screen that were used in the games. Multiple times I THOUGHT I knew the direction in which the movie was going, because it was so familiar, and then they'd go in a completely different direction. It was actually irritating at first, but once I got over that, I just enjoyed it for what it was. Do NOT expect to watch "Resident Evil" with this movie. While they may share similar genres, that's where the comparisons end. MUCH like the game, the movie is slow, and it's scares rely on a creepy, skin-crawling feeling rather than "jump" scares. But, the acting is actually what impressed me. Some may see it as annoying, but those that played the game, will actually feel like they pulled dialogue directly out of it. And, Radha Mitchell does a good job acting like a frantic mother searching for her child. I will admit though, at times I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration because her character actually hardly does anything. She just runs around, chasing after a little girl that she thinks is her daughter. Did no one learn anything from Event Horizon? If they run AWAY from you, they are playing a game with you. Apart from minor annoyances with her character, the other characters were bland and flat, but hey, you can't have an "R" rated horror movie without a high corpse count. Although they did take the "survival horror" to the extreme with the survival part. It would've been nice to see some of the violence directed at the creatures. C'mon, you beat them senseless with lead pipes in the game, but that was lacking. Sean Bean could've helped make the movie all that more stellar, but he's kind of a side-plot. Without giving too much away, there's some closure to the movie, but it would be naive to say they wouldn't make a sequel starring Sean Bean, unless, of course, he was only a "draw" to bring more to the movie. The cinematography and camera angles steal from the game, but they are effective and well done. The sound was superb, with many sound bytes from the games, and a lot of eerie effects for the creatures. The gore was a little over the top, and like mentioned earlier, needed to be directed more at the creatures. All in all, the movie felt like a throwback to the games, putting in as many elements that made "sense" with the movies plot, to make the fans happy. Those unfamiliar with the series, MAY appreciate it for what it is. Basically this- it's a creepy and gory distraction, that's pretty boring as is, but given that it's based off of a video game that's just a creepy and gory distraction, that's pretty boring as well, they're a perfect match. Just remember that it's probably the best video game-to-movie adaptation out there (need I bring up Uwe Boll?), but leaves it's fans wanting more. Thankfully, the movie industry milks licenses for all they're worth, and we'll probably see a sequel sometime in the future.
Here's a simple guide to Jarhead, without an agenda.
I am not a professional writer, I am not a director, I am not important. I just enjoy movies. I'm not writing this to convince you of my opinion. I'm not even here to give you a professional review of this movie, or sound educated and witty. I'm here to give a layman's take on the movie and not be concerned with politics or agendas.
1: Cinematography is downright beautiful in this movie. There are some unforgettable shots. Easily a contender for this year's cinematography award.
2: This is not an action war movie. If you want it to be, find another movie. Black Hawk Down might be closer to what you're looking for, although finding an action movie about Desert Storm is kind of hard.
3: This movie will invoke emotions. And just about any person can pick out a lot of evidence to support why they liked it and why they did not. A person can pick out a lot of evidence supporting the military, and at times make it look like a recruiting tool, or it can show anti war, anti-Bush, anti everything. It will make those that like to argue and takes sides, have a wonderful time with it.
4: The acting is good and realistic. It shows the happy carefree side of war, and also the darker undertones, and not-so-under-toned evils of war.
5: The military prepares people to become soldiers, just like a coach prepares people to become athletes. And once you are one, it is hard to switch it off once a person goes back to normal life. Even quote/ unquote "desk jockey's" and those that aren't in the actual combat but provide support roles, are still trained to fight.
6: Media and movies have not helped our perception of war and those involved. They've been putting a spin on things for a while now, and they like to beat a lot of dead horses.
7: This is based on a true story. No matter how "Hollywoodized" a movie can get, it's basic concepts and ideas are still generally intact. And Swoff was actually there. I was not.
8: To me, Jarhead felt like the Full Metal Jacket of this generation. With extreme's of both "anti's" and "pro's" you take it or leave it. Full Metal Jacket is a good movie for taking the approach that it did. Jarhead is no different.
9: Don't hate on anyone trying to do their job, if you see someone in uniform, don't think negatively or positively, unless you know the person. You don't know their story. If you want to find out, just listen. That's all, nothing more. Don't just wait for your next chance to speak.
10: Find a way to see Jarhead, reserve your judgments until afterward, and if you're a jerk, then give all the snotty, ignorant, or mean opinions you want. You won't change anyone's mind, just tick them off.
To finish up, this movie will make you feel something. Let it go. No wonder people's stress levels are high. If you offend easily, lighten up. If all you can do is go around in life and get offended, then I am truly sorry for you. Now, I'm going to grab a beer from the fridge, sit down and watch a movie, to have something to do. Nothing more.
Good acting, dumb movie.
This movie follows in the vein of Memento, it even states it on the back cover. But, unlike Memento, if you were to watch this movie in sequential order it would be like listening to that "boring person" telling a story at a party that had the potential of being interesting, but when they get to the end you want your hour and a half back. Good thing it wasn't in sequential order. It was entertaining at most, but the plot was a little watery, and the connection to the characters was weak. Patrick Swayze was the only real reason I picked up this movie, but Rachel Leigh Cook kept my eyes glued to the "big parts" in the movie. The acting was actually done really well, and thank God it didn't have any voice-over's, which make for a bad movie that only works in a few situations (Fight Club, Apocalypse Now). The music was extremely irritating and did not fit the movie at all, unless I'm completely missing the point. Back on track, the plot had a few twists, but the whole thing was so painfully obvious that I kept second guessing, thinking or hoping it would be deeper. Don't go in thinking this movie will be as deep as Memento or Fight Club. BUT, it is still confusing. Not in plot since, but I had to re-watch parts in the movie just to make sure there weren't plot inconsistencies. I hated how the direction of the movie would focus on something minute and it really didn't have anything to do with the plot, or if it did, it was something bland and not a key element of the plot. If you enjoy lesser known, smaller budget movies, or indie films, this will probably be right up your alley. If you're expecting every small role that Patrick Swayze picks to be in a gem like Donnie Darko, you're going to be disappointed. This movie makes me wonder, how on Earth did the writer get the green-light for this film, unless they knew they would already have some of the actors on board. Because with a boring plot line, and seeming like a clone of it's better counterparts in the genre, I know I certainly wouldn't have. That is a lot to gamble on, but thankfully the actors delivered, too bad I can't say the same about the plot or music. Bummer.
Never watch this movie sober
This movie sucked. While I do indeed love cheesy horror movies (I've seen all of the Howling movies, and I'm in my 20's!) this is not one I love. I make it a point to get together with some guy friends, get stupid, and watch cheesy horror movies. If it gets too boring we fast forward, like we did many times. The dubbing sucks, although it is in Italian. My first comment when I saw all of the actors was this "I bet there's boobs in this" and sure enough great 70's lesbian lovefest, complete with some nice "sets", which is pretty uncommon for 70's chicks (in movies where boobs are shown). Other than that, my friends and I had a blast making fun of the movie, but for the life of us could not figure out a few of the character's "deadly sins" because they could all fall under multiple categories. We wanted to know so badly that we stopped FF and actually went back to the beginning and watched it normally. Could not decipher it. I mean, cmon, the glutton is only kinda overweight, not obese. Lame, and they didn't really even die because of their sins. They just did. This movie is to the 7 deadly sins like 'Seven' is to the Teletubbies. It's entertaining if you're drunk, but I've hardly seen worst, but at least I knew what I was getting into.
My take on Waiting with a few references from the movie, while trying not to spoil it.
Okay, yeah, I'm that 21 year old demographic that this movie was geared to and love it. I work at a movie theater and I see a lot of big budget crap I would never pay for, like I do anyway. But that's beside the point. My point is, Waiting... is one of the funniest movies, and grossest I've seen in a long time. And this is coming from a guy who loves Family Guy, Wedding Crashers, Van Wilder, and even some of the less witty comedies, like Dumb and Dumber and even the Naked Gun series. But this has been the only movie I've watched three times in the span of it's opening weekend. However, I do admit that I laughed harder in Both Wedding Crashers and the 40 Year Old Virgin, but it was a more consistent laugh with Waiting. I've come to the conclusion that Ryan Reynolds would probably be one of the coolest dudes to hang out with on and off the set. His character is a little less dynamic and memorable as Van Wilder is. (I took notes on how Van Wilder handled himself with people) Monty just seems kind of shallow and empty in perspective. I dunno, maybe it's just me. But, the supporting cast adds more depth, even if the movie didn't really need it. It's a movie about a restaurant.I believe, in terms of quotation and mimicry (good quotes AND fun games...) that it puts to shame Napoleon Dyna...who? Waiting is the quotable movie for those people who don't like boring PG movies. Even though High School girl's can't seem to get enough of it. All in all, Waiting is funny, in a dirty way, but has some genius "funny because it COULD be true" moments. And my final words of advice, the 'brain' is worth 2 points, and beware of bush...