Movie Reviews (901 - 950)
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Great pulp comic book science fiction with a lot of fun and inventiveness. Gary Oldman cleary have fun as the villain. A memorable action sequence is cross-cut with opera sung by a blue colored alien. Jean Pierre Gaultier's extreme costumes add to the fun. Chris Tucker's annoying voice almost implode both my eardrums and the movie after his entry halfway through.
The Ups: Impressive effects and great sound mix is the main reason for this alien invasion movie existing as the ending is an obvious ripoff from the climax of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" that is hard to accept.
One of the few big-budget Van Damme actioners that actually look pretty good and has a fun time-travel story. Enough humor, action and fights making most action devotees happy. Mia Sara keeps the screen hot during her scenes too. Just don't think to much about the time travel paradoxes.
Bill Murray excellent as Dr. Venkman who's deadpan humor makes him the best character in this ghost comedy movie. The Marshmallow Man climax is still a scene that linger in the brain years after as do the colorful beams that cannot cross and the excellent designed ghosts. Ernie Hudson gets all the bad jokes since he is colored and there are some dialogue and humor that could have been sharper.
Still one of the most influential action movies made during the '80s, which is pretty evident since they remade it just recently with "White House Down". It made both Bruce Willis' and Alan Rickman's movie careers as Willis from that moment was an action hero producers called for help and Rickman was called to do scene-stealing villainous moments.
Sequel that delivers tons of action and ups the danger and Bruce Willis is still a cool action hero in snowy landscapes and blasting people off on an airport, but the script rehashes the original - hell even the wife is still in danger - and the villains are boring only helped by being acted by competent character actors.
A much better sequel that opens up the "confined in a small area" stories to a bigger and broader picture that takes place over entire New York. The pace is frenetic and Jeremy Irons is an excellent addition as the villain brother of Alan Rickman. The ditching of Willis' wife is also necessary and the action is strong. The casting of Samuel L. Jackson as the funny sidekick is a little obvious attempt at using the "Lethal Weapon" formula though and while the script will never win any originality prize as it is a different take on "Speed", it is still the best of all the "Die Hard" sequels and satisfying from end to end.
Bruce Willis makes things done as John McClane again. All the stunts where there is cars involved are great and Maggie Q. do a good femme fatale. Sadly the film is embarrassing everytime he bitches with his offspring and the action sequences are clearly made with so little blood as possible to make the film franchise more accessible for teenagers. Also too much unrealistic action done this time with wires and computers.
Hand-held cameras help the action flow better as the film try to recreate a gritty and down-to-earth movie after the insanely over-the-top fourth film. The story starts interesting with a political prisoner in Russia who the government wants their hands on but it all falls apart with a "surprise" twist close to the end of the film and sadly the action sequences have a "direct to video" quality over it - with dark corridors, uninspired never-ending shooting sequences and a small cast. Bruce Willis even seem to hate his John McClane in this film as all he does is screaming profanities or look bored by his own character.
A fasinating non-historic account of the hero legend story of "Braveheart" is full of action, beautiful highlands and have a high stakes story. Sophie Marceau is added for good value as a pretty princess and Patrick McGoohan play the wicked king who is perfect for the film. It is an entertaining film but it did not deserve an Academy Award win though.
Movie about the first gangs and the creation of New York. There is a lot of visual information to process but Daniel Day Lewis look and act like a cartoon movie villain. Cameron Diaz is more believable as a whore though and Leonard diCaprio do a good turn too. It is unique to watch though and it have a great U2 song at the end showing at the same time how New York has progressed through time.
Tightly directed and written undercover cop movie with a gripping story as we follow engaging characters that are leading double lives on different sides in organized crime. It is memorably played and keep's one interest to the end of the film. Need to see the original film it was based on though.
Adaptation of Dan Brown's religious conspiracy thriller manage to recreate the atmosphere and the basic story line of the book which was an old theory made available to the big masses. Hans Zimmer deliver a nice score for the ears and I like the visual style of the film. Tom Hanks do look like an old college professor too and I found it to be an acceptable film that retain all the short-comings and what was good with the book.
Intriguing space mission movie that fascinates for a long time until it goes into horror overdrive. For a film with the title of "Sunshine" this turns into a very bleak story and the necessity of using a bad guy/monster during the film's final moments cheapen the film. Not surprising the film¨s fantastic visuals and effective use of sound is the best thing with the film but the ensemble also is good.
Fast running zombies want to bring on the extinction of human-kind. Memorable imagery like a deserted London make the first half of this film gritty, intense and exciting, but the last half loses pace when our heroes get trapped with military bastards making the film a little too much like something I have seen countless times before. It also takes down the urgency of the film a huge deal.
Sequel that tells more about the virus and how it progresses through the world. There is a bigger scope and several memorable gruesome deaths and a twist that surprises half way through. Still would have known what happened to the original characters from the first film did their stories got told parallel to this one or they die between the 8 and 28 weeks?
A cool concept where one takes a rather far-fetched idea: what if you change face with your worst enemy who also happens to be a cruel sadistic killer and add it with non-stop bullet rain that only action director John Woo can make sense of? Nicolas Cage groping a choir girl and Travolta licking Dominique Swain is several of the crazy over-the-top behavior that makes one think you see a dirty old man's dream of a film. A slow middle section of the film take down the pace of a rather fast-paced action film at the start and end.
It was the first (and probably really only) movie that scared the living shit out of me when I was a youngster. It put me through turmoil and made me hate toy clowns, closets, scary sounds and the darkness itself, but also pretty immune for anything called scary movies and special effects later on. The story itself is a typical scary house one and could just as well have been written during the silent era, but it is a roller coaster of a ride with almost anything thrown in except a possessed kid and torture porn. Zelda Rubinstein is unique as a weird medium and poor Heather O'Rourke is an unique angel of a kid as Carol Anne. Some typical Spielberg moments make me question how much directing he has also done with this film.
Sequel tries to expand on the story of the original and tell how it happened to be such a haunted house and ghost activity there in the first place. The use of the Indian helper feel out-of-place and make the film feel more like a spirtual fantasy. The actors of the original piece reprises their roles, but Jerry Goldsmith's music is pretty uneventful in this one.
The last in the trilogy also goes on step further by actually killing off characters and has a definitive end to the saga. The evil mirror images were a bit scary when I was young and I guess it was here David Lynch got inspiration for mirror images and evil dobbelgangers as his actress Lara Flynn Boyle appear in this one and gets trapped in a different parallel world. The scares and how it is directed gets repetitive after a short while though and it feels very dated now.
Fun over-the-top fantasy version of "Terminator" by instead of a cyborg sent back in time we get a evil warlock sent forth into our own time. Julian Sands has a good energy as the evil witch bastard and Richard E. Grant do his most romantic role. Long stretches of time where not much happen that Lori Singer's old woman's make-up did not work that well.
A violent masterpiece where Malcolm McDowell rules as Alex. Stanley Kubrick's total grip over the production and use of timeless classic music is phenomenal. The satiric element of the movie is becoming more and more fact and more disturbing for each new day we live as we are transformed into brainless violent monkeys through pointless programs on TV. It is a good movie that demand discussion about the use of penalties and the violent behavior of people in our society.
Beautifully decorated in it's landscapes, costumes and locations making this historical drama look like old historic romantic paintings from the period. For once I welcome the use of a narrator as it makes this story feel like a beautiful picture book too. I like the varied and different type of characters that all seem real to me. An underrated masterpiece.
Repairs some faults from the first one and makes Asgard looks a lot more realistic and Viking-like than a glossy picture. The film also has a healthier budget making it possible to be somewhere else than in the U.S. for a change and the story expands a little on the established mythology and keeps being interesting. Chris Hemsworth has also grown good into the role and the ensemble do a solid job, but the inclusion of Loki feels forced and uninspired and most of the plot twists are easy to predict. Christopher Eccleston's main villain also feel half-finished and is underwhelming. Still, it is hard not to have fun with the film.
Non-stop vampire slaying action and violence with gore and a lot of posing. Don't expect intelligent dialogue, emotions or strong acting as Wesley Snipes is so serious here that one almost hope he has a comedic plan behind it all and Kris Kristofferson seem to have taken a little too much whiskey sleepwalking through the film. But, the true bad actor here is Stephen Dorff who I only want to kick in the face.
The great touch of Guillermo del Toro give the film series an added touch of finesse, great action, beautiful effects, grotesque make-up and better acting, but even del Toro can't help a boring script and the weak dialogue - and with this second entry I'm already a little fatigued by this universe.
Expands on the Blade universe with Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel surprisingly good as action heroes. It is the most mainstream of the movies but this one also has the least interesting action I don't understand the gimmick of having Kris Kristofferson die and re-appear in every single Blade film. Terrible overacting from the villains with Dominic Purcell playing his role more like a sulking bodybuilder than a vampire. At least I get the satisfaction of watching Biel's butt dancing through the film.
Romantic road movie with bursts of intense violence and brutality. The film was based on the first script that Tarantino wrote so get cool moments like seeing Dennis Hopper getting interrogated by Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt stoned, Gary Oldman as a disgusting pimp with dreadlocks and Val Kilmer play the ghost of Elvis. Patricia Arquette is absolutely gorgeous as Alabama and it is hard to see her getting punched around in one scene. Tony Scott usually made inferior but effective Hollywood films, but this one manage to be something special and is without doubt his best directed film.
A faithful graphic novel adaptation that show on screen Frank Miller's corrupt city where good men usually die, women either get abused by men or abuses them and are either whores who love sex or man-eaters. It is filmed in glorious black and white but with some glorious blood and gore effects. Three stories overlap but some of the same characters pop up in each story and they connect into each other. The film feel perfectly cast, especially actors who only pop up for a glorified cameo (like villains Powers Boothe, Michael Clarke Duncan and Rutger Hauer) leave a lasting impression. Only wish that they had filmed all the Frank Miller stories at once and Jessica Alba's character in the books was in her birthday suit when she did striptease and seeing that would have been a highlight for life.
An intelligent origin comic book movie equal to a graphic novel story. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are spot on perfect in this film. The ending in this film surprised me more than the one in "The Sixth Sense" probably because I wasn't expecting a twist and it is probably my favorite film so far from the director with a lot of great dialogue and acting.
Christian Bale is the highlight of the film appearing in such a thin and sickly state that I questioned his health. The film is worth seeing only for him. A memorable gory moment with Michael Ironside also leave a disturbing scratch on my brain and I found the mystery intriguing mystery even if the revelation at the end was predictable.
An old-fashioned time travel story that has something naive and charming about it combined with a historic period that is easy to like. I would probably have loved the film had I been a young teenager and Anna Friel is cute as a button. Sadly the movie itself is over-dramatic with a simplified story. The wind machine that blows into the time traveller's face to bring them to the past is laughable and there is way too many scenes where characters are trapped and have to get away or out.
It is a charming effects movie with a lot of signature moments of mayhem and destruction like a 1950s "Independence Day". The acting is not something to remember and this movie inspired parody movie "Mars Attacks" so it is hard to take it serious.
Great source material as this science fiction actioner is based upon the works of Isaac Asimov that has huge epic potential. It never fulfills it's potential and is so polished and "accessible" to everyone that it drowns a great murder story and it's philosophical subject with CGI effects and action that drown much of the film's "smarter" issues. Will Smith is also too "all american hero" to become believable as a bitter and angry man that don't trust robots. Alan Tudyk manage to do a good robot portrait through the CGI though and the team of Bruce Greenwood and James Cromwell give grace and gravitas to their small thankless roles. Product placements and pure commercial talk about Converse as in this film is absolutely terrible and should have been banned from film.
There is no question about it - this film reeks of Johnny Depp overdose and they could just as well have called it "Alice and the Mad Hatter". Here Depp takes away all focus on Alice and is just weird for weirdness sake and the film loses it's way with everyone behaving is just eccentric, absurd or strange because they can and not because it works in the film. Trapped in everything is Mia Wasikowska who do an interesting Alice. The film is colorful and has a lot of great design and costumes and the image of Helena Bonham Carter as a bobble head is hard to remove from my memory. Maybe younger people enjoy it more than me.
The Ups: Legendary quirky crime/thriller writer Elmore Leonard wrote direct for the screen and told this different revenge-action movie about a man mixed up in shit when he only wants to harvest his watermelons. Charles Bronson work marvellously for this film and I almost felt realistic at times, but poor Bronson must have the worst screen hero appearance that I have ever seen in a film? Coming out the toilet door after using it?
Fitting name to this action film as it really is a shoot 'em up game movie with a lot of visual moments and strong sound. Those only there for action kicks and seeing body counts will be happy, but as in all shoot 'em ups this movie lacks a soul and depth to all the mayhem. Characterization is done as a one word description and there is not much time for breathing and processing all that happens. It is fun though.
Big robots fighting enormous city-destroying monsters. What is not to love by that concept? A lot of visual eye candy and these robots has a lot more personality than Michael Bay ever managed to get into his "Transformers" films. Ron Perlman steals every scene he appear in as the rest of the characters seem to have some emotional baggage that drags their personalities a little bit.
This is officially on my top list of "worst film ever seen". It tries to be a "Carnival of the Souls" clone mixed with a vengeful ghost story but every choice in the story and in the effects department is laughable and just spirals the film even further down the thrash bin. Acting is non-existent and the teenagers are played by 40-year-olds who couldn't get job anywhere else. The acting is topped with one of the worst "girl gets orgasm" moments in cinema history and a lot of unmemorable line deliveries from anyone who opens their mouths.
Tense submarine thriller with underwater action is a great genre that always give some entertainment and this film is no exception. Adding to this is the great teaming of Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington who are at odds against each other as officer goes against officer. It is another well-crafted Hans Zimmer score in the film too.
Orson Welles deliver another first class production. Rita Hayworth surprises with bleached cut hair as the femme fatale of the film in a film noir that deliver everything this genre should do. Only Orson playing himself as an Irish man is probably the only misstep in the film and the fact that it was not released in it's original director's cut as studio idiots had to tamper with it.
A dark grotesque movie that mixes superhero stories with film noir and direct response to the fact that Sam Raimi did not get the rights to do "The Shadow" as he wanted. Instead he makes a "Phantom of the Opera" kind-of hero that uses masks to take down villains and got Liam Neeson to act the role. Danny Elfman deliver another epic score that pulls the viewer right into the action. It would probably have been a bigger success had it premiered ten years later as this is basically the film that prepared Sam Raimi to make his more family-friendly "Spider-Man" trilogy later. Sadly, the potential movie sequel starring Bruce Campbell never happened as they went with direct-to-video sequels instead
Arnold Vosloo replaces Liam Neeson and seems to have a ball being a hero for a change and there is a logic in that "our hero" is not having the same face anymore so that he can hide himself for his old fiancee. Acceptable action if one treat it as the "Direct to video" entry that it is. More strange is how the evil Durant survived the helicopter crash with only scars over his face. An extremly low budget production and the director lacks Sam Raimi's visual flair. Kim Delaney and Renee O'Connor's roles should also have been swapped as none of them are convincing in the roles they have here and the dummy wrapped on a golf cart and dropped from a skyscraper will never foul anyone.
Another forgettable blend of low-life small crooks with machine-guns and big egos that Darkman has to fight through. The plot has little connection to the first two films. They even recycle the decapitation scene of a villain forced through a cover hole in the mid of a highway scene from the original.
Combine fantasy, magic, romance and a crime mystery and one get this satisfying story that actually manage to make sense of it's complex ideas and it has great acting and production values too. What ruined it was it's timing. Had it arrived just a year before it wouldn't have needed to be compared and had to fight against the more famous "The Prestige". Only lazy sequences at the end where one need to explain away everything wasn't really needed.
Any kid or teenager who got bullied at school would love to get trained by an expert of karate so that he can take revenge and kick some ass on those who make his life a living hell every day - and run off with the cutest girl at the end - and for those who daydream about this we have this film. Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita is a good memorable film screen duo as John G. Avildsen basically remakes his own "Rocky" for teenagers.
Sequel feels like a natural continuation and I liked that we didn't get another new tournament film even if there is a confrontation at the end. Elisabeth Shue dropped being on this film so Tamlyn Tomita becomes a new possible love object - she was probably my first Asian love crush when I saw this film during the '80s as a 10 or 11 year old boy.
Third entry wants to be epic and give a full circle feel to the series by returning to the tournament and the fight against the loose cannons from the Cobra Team, but the film end up being over-dramatic and doesn't seem to be anything new to the table and the characters are threading over old stuff. This one is only for the most devoted fans.
Wonderful effects in another of those alien invasion movies - is there really anything else to destroy and tell about now?. It is a roller coaster ride of a film taking us through a journey into hell and a surprise redemption, but I would have loved had the film been set to the Victorian era as there are already too many films that destroy modern buildings, cars and other constructions making this feel a little tired. It also a little hard to swallow Tom Cruise as the father to Dakota Fanning. The most intense scenes in the film was actually when the two was trapped with a suicidal Tim Robbins and the depressing visual imagery of death and mayhem making this alien invasion movie really look like a depressing war movie.
Famous for giving us James Cameron's CGI version of "Pocahontas" but with better effects and more impressive designs. There are few directors that manage to combine action, technology and gorgeous cinematography better than James Cameron, but here he deliver a old story about the clash between the new and old society and people wanting to harvest the nature for their own benefit. It may not have much more original to it than the effects, but we did get to see interracial alien sex and some unique alien creatures on film for the first time.
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