Movie Reviews (1451-1500)
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A rich picture book that has more plot, details and attention to characters than tons of normal books I have read. The film also has an insanely cute leading actress that makes me think of another Audrey no longer with us. Fast edits, cool camera angels and unique ideas. It is a shame that life can't be enriched more by people like Amelie.
Remake with a better budget with more detailed, gorier death sequences. It is a typical Michael Bay production - a lot of spectacle but it is as brainless and heartless as everything else that he put his hands on. L. Ree Ermey have fun as another crazed military-like sheriff and Jessica Biel look delicious in super tight jeans.
Zombie splatter movie made by people who genuinely love the genre done in a country where this type of film has been neglected has to be cherished for even been made. It is filled with some absurd and over-the-top gore sequences and also several disgusting scenes but none worse than a love sequences on an outdoor toilet with cutest next-door starlet Jenny Skavlan. Snow and blood mix great together. Excellent soundtrack consisting of Norwegian rock classics. Stereotypical characters and we have all seen the story about young people trapped in a remote cabin with death lurking outside before haven't we? Too serious at times.
Only memorable and noteworthy for it's "snuff" end sequence - that was added on the end of the film as an afterthought as if someone forgot to delete it before putting the film out on the commercial market - and the "outcry" that went with it. Needs to be seen only because someone wanted it banned and to see how unrealistic that scene actually is because the outcry must have been a great market ploy from the producers because the end sequence can't fool anyone except the most stupid person. The rest of the film is actually a slow-moving, boring drug movie directed with little passion.
It is made on cheap budget, but 99,9 % of films produced by amateurs on Youtube looks more expensive or have more thought and heart into it than this production. This film lacks everything: decent characterization, logic, dialogue and a script. The only thing this film really has is terrible one-liners. There is no joy or love from those involved in the production as everyone seem to have been forced by the director to appear in the film so that he could do his love project while the cast look either uncomfortable or have eyes of contempt at the director when they are forced to take off their clothes without a dollar returned in salaries for the job. Reveal of killer also doesn't make sense as it is clearly the wrong sex that goes around killing people. Bad in absolutely all department except for the good-looking nail gun.
Horrific serial killer slasher movie that is believably gory and has some memorable death sequences especially the exploding head of Tom Savini blown to bits by a shotgun and some disturbingly knife stabbings that look sickingly erotic as adult actress Abigail Clayton dies with an orgasm on her face. Caroline Munro play one of the sexy damsels in distress which is absolutely a great thing for the movie and Joe Spinell goes totally dark into the role as a maniac looking completely sick throughout the film. It is also undeniably atmospheric with a fantastic movie score that even was released as a separate soundtrack due to it's awesomeness.
Last film in Oliver Stone's Vietnam-trilogy tackles the story from the other side of the war and give even the Vietnamese resistance women a voice. Young Hiep Thi Le is a revelation in the leading role and Tommy Lee Jones is excellent as a haunted man with a war trauma. Music and it's poetic presentation shows Oliver Stone at his best as the film really want to tell the audience something of big historic importance. It is a rich film filled with story, shifting time-periods and details that it would almost have benefited the film if it had been either two films or a miniseries so it could go through with the entire autobiographical story (which would have made sense as I have later found out that this film was cut by close to an half hour during it's theatrical run). It is also sad that this film has not a director's cut when "Alexander" has gotten four.
Effective war propaganda drama from WW2 about how Germany could possibly invade the U.S. through Canada. It is one of the best films in the genre and is masterfully thought through. It must have been scary stuff in the early phase of WW2. Even more compelling and shocking is it that several of the German soldiers are played sympathetically so one are interested in their "evil" plot to take over the world (like "The Eagle has Landed"). But, Laurence Olivier's thick French Canadian accent feel close to a parody and some dialogue has some typical rally speeches to keep up the morale and support for both soldiers and public alike in Britain at the time, but which is dated now.
Too many of the later Donald Duck shorts had Donald in conflict with Chip and Dale which made them all feel very repetitive and if this one would have ended up being one of the most boring of them if it didn't have plenty of gags in it.
A powerful puppet movie for Norwegian kids about two trolls who live inside our teeth that hack away and make holes while living on sweets and sugar that kids eat. It is equally scary and fun when the young boy scream out about "how hurtful it is in his teeth" when the trolls make living quarters to themselves laughing and singing. Their demise at the dentist is also a memorable moment as there is no kid that feel more sorry for those devious trolls than the kid who could not brush his teeth and creating them in the first place. Only problem with this short now is that it is not "political correct" as kids actually take the side of the antiheroes and are willing to eat even more candy and sugar so that the trolls can get more "friends" in their teeth.
Ivo Caprino do his puppet treatment on Norway's number one fairy-tale hero, Askeladden (Ash Lad), and deliver a short filled with national romantic feelings and dress him in our national suit, Bunaden. There are some memorable supporting characters like a man that eats rocks, a man who blow winter and summer winds and a man who can run faster than the speed of light that is fun and there is beautiful designs in the film. A charming nostalgic production that kids in all ages in Norway cherish. Hopefully other nationalities will too.
A classic Norwegian fairy tale done with the unique puppet style of Ivo Caprino. Charming as all his shorts but patience is tested with a long introduction in live-footage where a fairy-tale collector meet a family and is introduced to the story.
There is a great premise at the bottom of the movie of how pets live when no one sees them, but it ends up being unnecessary violent and annoying as there is of course "bad guys" (abandoned homeless jealous pets) that put our heroes into a situation where they they have to fight for their survival in some rather gloomy and scary situations. It is fantastic animated though and Manhattan has never looked better. The opening of the film is the best though.
An unique Japanese take on "The Little Mermaid" story mixed with "Ride of the Valkyries" but with the mermaid/supernatural creature changed into a goldfish with a human head. It is pretty cute and refreshingly without any kind of villain characters or noisy scary moments even if there are a big storm and a lot of water putting characters into peril. The water sequences look beautiful and like nothing seen in handmade animation I have seen before. Excellent voice cast as well even in it's English dub. A film with a heart as big and vast as the ocean.
No one does it better than Walt Disney classic animated movies in retelling old-fashioned fairy tales in a fresh way that still works for modern audiences. The wonderful use of hand-animation is still top-notch and the songs are memorable. The suspenseful sequence when she runs from the donging clock is a classic cinematic moment but the most powerful scene is when Cinderella's dress is ripped off her perfect body which is a shocking moment for such a family movie.
There is a lot to cherish in this live update of the beloved Disney animated movie, especially in it's decor, gorgeous costumes and beautiful sets. Cate Blanchett predictably steals the scenes appearing as the wicked stepmother and Lily James melts not only the heart of her Prince Charming. Special effects are fantastic especially the scene when the magic returns to normal after the clock strikes it's final tone of twelve. Unsurprisingly the characterization is paper thin and there is taken no risks with the source material. Helena Bonham Carter do another of her eccentric Kate Bush-like witch roles that feels tired by now. Not as emotionally fulfilling as it should have been.
If there was anyone suited to play a younger version of Father Merrin it had to be Stellan Skarsgård, but the movie never stood a chance with a climax that ends up looking more like a sorcerer's showdown than a religious confrontation. The British soldiers are also an unnecessary addition and leave bigger plot holes than anything meaningful to the film. The story never manage to engage me either, but the African atmosphere is interesting and there is some good pointers on faith and how man has to fight evil at every turn. There is also a disgusting birth sequence crosscut with a surgery scene that make me squirm and the massacre sequences is also devastating, but the film look more interested in the gore than making some meaningful out of it.
The studio approved different alternate version of Father Merrin's first exorcism is a more traditional horror story that even include an obligatory shower sequence by Izabella Scorupco, but this version goes too far and over-the-top even if there are elements in this film that are also superior to the first attempt. What doesn't work is Alan Ford playing a drunken, horny bastard. Characters lacks much more depth in this film and gory scenes taken from the original cut makes less sense for the viewers here as they are taken completely out of context. An interesting "parallel story", but both versions are clearly flawed films.
Atmospheric horror from the new wave of Asian horror films. It is basically a "Ringu" remake but the videotape is substituted to more modern technology. It also remakes elements from Korean movie "Phone". Again we also have a white girl with the long black hair trying to scare us. "Surprise ending" is predictable. A fun highlight and inspired spoof is when a TV show put a doomed girl live on their show with a panel of so-called experts commenting her upcoming doom while she stands shocked awaiting her own death.
Sequel has plenty of atmosphere with a lot of rain and darkness, but predictability is this film's hardest enemy with too many false jump scares. The acting is also not the strongest aspect here. Characters from the original film are also discarded and terribly written out of the film.
Sequel tries to explain the origin of the Pumpkinhead curse and who the monster really is. It is a more humorous affair and the effects are satisfying for a direct-to-video production. Andrew Robinson have fun in a supporting role as a sheriff and fans of Linnea Quigley gets to see her topless...again. There is a nice tie-in with "The Evil Dead" films as the "Book of the Dead" appears inside the witch's house. Strange choice of using country music during scenes when the monster kills and no one cares about the teenage characters. The monster also should have stayed in the shadows as it is shown in all it's rubbery glory here.
Some fun moments coming from this comedy about a lawyer/liar who suddenly can't stop telling the truth and not lie anymore. Jim Carrey's rubber face saves a lot of situations. It is on the top of the actor's more grounded, mainstream and family-friendly movies so it should be at least one joke everyone likes. Amanda Donohue is a delicious evil rival and an excellent femme fatale. The annoying "Father disappoints kid, father saves situation and becomes hero" plot seen numerous times sadly is the main story and the premise loses it's steam long before the movie is over.
The Ups: Most films deserve to be seen at least once......except this crappy comedy that has not a single comedic moment or laugh as it spits in the face on anyone who is not plastic fantastic like Paris Hilton. Story is obvious drivel and there is not a single actor who deserve praise except perhaps Paris Hilton who manage to be second-worst to the male lead who is as charming as a sweaty shoe.
In an attempt to make a fast-paced high octane action movie inspired on the "Fast and Furious" craze we get this action drama with motorcycles. Sweet motor-sounds and cool designs help, but the film has a lot of terrible acting and I hate the boring subplot about a young son who wants to get approval from his father.
A lot of fast cars take the main focus in this drama about drag racing. The racing sequences has a realistic feel and it's very believable as the film was produced where the action really takes place. John Saxon is perfectly cast as sleazy business head. This is probably the most straight-forward movie that David Cronenberg has directed and I find it sad that this film hasn't found a bigger audience.
A film that give celeb nerds a face and there a couple of sexy ones there. The director manage to give the games a cool and glossy look where one get inspired to take out ones old console again. Some great comments about the cultural importance of video games too, but the cut scenes reminds me too much of all the games I would have loved to have played but never has taken the time to - and there is thousands of them that I should play. Documentary is also unsatisfying in both it's editing and story telling as it jumps back and forth in time to tell it's story but also never really explain what makes the games important historically nor go into detail about them but instead is that typical story about the video game manufacturers and some of their highlights. Too short a documentary that even forgets to mention several of the video game consoles. Only good as an introduction movie for those unknowing of the video game world.
The definitive funeral song for Atari as we get to see it's final resting place and the game that allegedly killed it: E.T. There are interviews with some of the developers and the sentimental nerds from the 1980s and beyond. Nothing really revolutionary comes out of it and it clears the game developer's name from this entire disgrace and scandal (as allegedly Spielberg liked the game!!!!) as it is always the money men on top who pressure the workers to make them worker faster and faster until they are bound to do a mistake. An average documentary though.
No wonder Arnold Schwarzenegger became both an actor and a governor as he shows in this documentary that he has always had plenty of charm and loves to be in the center of things shaking hands with anyone he meets. The movie is about seeing "The Terminator" compete against "The Incredible Hulk" in body-building events. Incredible dialogue when Arnold compares himself to sculptures and dreaming of dictators and Jesus. Arnold, always "the big attention queen" probably invented many of the stories for the screen so that he could seem to be more interesting than he really is.
The Ups: One of the first movie adaptations of "Alice in Wonderland" in glorious black and white and produced in the glorious days of silent film. Things done here is still copied in stage productions throughout the world, but sadly huge chunks of the movie is lost so scenes that tell about when Alice shrinks or meet the Mad Hatter are gone forever. Since it is also a crude and primitive production the movie is mostly interesting for film historians, silent movie fans or fans of all things "Alice" in general.
This was the movie that on it's own revived the Gothic horror genre again and made the careers of both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and a scream queen out of Hazel Court. Even Robert Urquhart did an engaging heroic role, a character that usually is the worst part. It is a mostly perfect timed production too that builds-up the suspense before the scares. It shocked many with it's use of severed body parts, dismemberment and erotic passion but today we will call these scenes classy made and with beautiful finesse. I also like that the film is not a straight version of the book (as there is enough of those films too now) but more like a re-imaging of the story.Taken on it's own it is a classic even if it is inferior when you compare it to the 1931 version in some aspects - but what few seem to forget is that in a perfect world there is a room to different versions just as it is room for different James Bonds, Batmans, Supermans, Star Treks and/or you name it/them.
Horror comedy that unites several horror stars together: Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and a upcoming star in the genre, Jack Nicholson. We even get horror femme fatale Hazel Court as the bitch that decide to swap sorcerer and bed. This was made during a time when it was possible to do quirky, light-hearted and laid-back stuff that didn't need to be too serious. I like Roger Corman's cliched but always watchable Gothic atmosphere with cold castle walls and costumes that seem to have been bought for a Halloween celeb party. The movie is also full of fun dialogue and is entertaining to watch as the actors clearly are having a ball with the script. A pure camp production, but the animated visual effects are weak and seem to be for a different production all together which makes the final sorcerer duel (fun as it is) a letdown.
"Final" movie that bookends the series answers some questions for fans of the original TV series that had an open ending. This time it is leading actress who gets to put on the prisoner uniform, but mostly this feels like an episode on auto-pilot running on it's old hits but doing a season long story in one and a half hour. This is clearly a movie only for fans with too much old characters and history that is addressed that will make no sense for newcomers. I hated the ending which was dumb, but luckily that was changed for the reboot series.
It is nice to see Michelle Pfeiffer in a tougher role but as an ex-marine? She arrives as a new teacher in a troubled school but she manage to give in some discipline. I have seen the story numerous times before since "Blackboard Jungle" arrived on the screen and it is impossible to envision classy Pfeiffer as an ex-marine.
Richard Roundtree is the definitive Shaft returning here for the second film. The atmosphere and streets still feel authentic and real, but Shaft is also more an action hero than a detective now as he have to battle against a helicopter and do slow-moving fighting. This sequel is not as fresh and cool as the original and the original Isaac Hayes' theme song was so iconic that it is sorely missed as the new song (though interesting) isn't effective.
The movie that immortalized the Tarzan myth forever. It has the legendary Johnny Weissmuller cry, Maureen O'Sullivan in tight wet clothes, cool sets and a lot of trained animals on display. Some stiff acting from supporting actors and a terrible combination of stock footage in some scenes took me almost out of the story. Story is not of this character's most memorable ones either even if it lay out the foundation for numerous sequels and remakes. The film has too many action set-pieces where Tarzan fight an exotic animal which becomes tedious.
2nd chapter of Godzilla don't waste any time in giving us some monster action and now there is two monsters wrestling for the price of one. The speeded-up footage of the two monsters fighting add to the fun of it all. Miniature buildings are thrown around and/or blown up killing civilians. It must be a downer in Japan where the government has so much control over you that they even can turn off the headlights in automobiles when necessary.
One of the greater Norwegian silent movies with a dramatic love story that turns sour and it becomes more interesting because of it. The film try to recreate the most national romantic painting that we have and it is easy to understand that it's success would lead to similar films during the final years of silent epics in Norway. The leading actress, Åse Bye (a forgotten starlet for everyone else then the film historic interested), is also engaging and do a great lasting impression and would had a recurring appearance in this type of films for the next years. Alfred Maurstad is also memorable as a drunken laughing selfish son of a bitch.
Stop-motion animated movie based upon one of Norway's most beloved children's books by Torbjørn Egner. It is about the animals of Hakkebakkeskogen and how the fox Mikkel and the other predators has to learn stop eating the other animals of the forest so that all can live happy together. It is filled with songs and dialogue that every Norwegian kid learn to sing and say from kindergarten. The characters are marvelously designed in this film and it is among the best family movies that has been produced in our country. Hopefully the rich dialogue and songs also is possible to translate over our borders as it deserves to be seen by a big audience.
One of the most believable and dangerous dragons that has been on screen and that actually (for once) is blood-thirsty and eat young virgins. I like the use of light and the music and cinematography is top notch. Peter MacNicol is also good cast as a nontraditional hero. The story has some flaws and the pace is slow, but it is hard not to be impressed by the dragon and the ambition of the film.
Dyanne Thorne looks and act like a horny and diabolical evil Nazi commander who treats female prisoners as shit and f%¤/! their men. Some lovely titties too and it is not unbelievable if someone has seen them in some hardcore XXX action movies as well. It certainly works as a sick exploitation movie with disgusting torture sequences where girls get maggots poured into open wounds, are boiled alive or puke out their insides. It is hard to find entertaining these kind of scenes.
What do you do when the comedy doesn't work and everything from acting to production is terrible? Put it in a science fiction setting so that at least there is some nice decor and color to look at and make sure it is the most expensive science fiction comedy flop ever made. Bottom-at-the-barrel stuff and this is among Eddie Murphy's worst moments which says a lot. Annoying Randy Quaid makes the movie even more unbearable. Rosario Dawson looks embarrassed throughout the film (2002 was a terrible year for her as she also did the equally disappointing Men in Black II the same year!).
I only watched this film for Emma Caulfield, who was one of the better actresses in "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" at the time so I thought it would be fun to see her in a dramatic role. Well it was anything else than fun. Boring stuff with a lot of running in dark corridors. Emma is terrible and can not do wonders with a role that lacks warmth, humor or even sex appeal. The monster looks stupid and this movie can only scare kids under 13.
A distinctive style of depressing and moody darkness. If one manage to see through this movie there is no way that you will ever attempt suicide as you have gone through the most hopeless and sad feelings. There are some striking images and strange symbolism, but this is a hard film to like and most fun for those who find the bleakest Bergman and von Trier films to be happy comedies. The version I saw also had the worst subtitles and translation I have ever seen so much of the film's dialogue was lost on me. I couldn't get into it at all but since even my Lithuanian wife gave up on it and said that this was "not a particularly good way to sell Lithuanian films" I guess I leave it at that.
I can not deny that the movie has a historical interest since it document and tell about the genocide on the Lithuanian people who fought against communism and the occupation from Russia. The black/white footage is great as it give the movie a more timeless feel and the music give depth, but the movie would have benefitted from a better written script, dialogue and flow. It is possibly not very accessible for other than Lithuanians and those with huge historic interest.
There is a potential in this remake "kind-of" made by Roger Vadim who also directed the original. Rebecca De Mornay looks great as the desired woman, but this one lacks direction, is unfunny and corny. Characters lacks depth and it is charmless. Maybe the humor was harder to do in American than French?
Spinoff movie to tell more about the Clone Wars than the trilogy of films ever did. Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels and Christopher Lee repeats their characters and do voice work, but this was actually an introduction movie to the series that would come shortly after. Some designed moments and action work more smoothly than the the first two movies and the story makes more sense. Anakin Skywalker also feels more alive in this film than he ever did under Hayden Christensen's performance and when he snaps at his apprentice it works better and we can understand his darker side much better than when he had his soul-searching and emotional scenes with Padme. John Williams' iconic music is not used before at the end of the film which is hard to accept if this is supposed to be in the same universe and humor is clearly targeted to kids.
Johnny Depp look normal for a change without resorting to behave like a weirdo, is eccentric nor crazy. This was a thriller and attempt on a real-time motion picture made several years before TV-series "24" made it popular for the mainstream masses. Christopher Walken do one of his better villainous role as he forces Depp to kill a politician in order to see his daughter again. Sadly, the action sequences are weak and looks produced for T.V and the conspiracy plot ends up being predictable.
With it's beautiful cinematic scope and James Horner's music landscape we get a epic that try to tell a man's life over two hours and fifteen minutes. Time has been good to this movie as I skipped this numerous years because I thought it to be a melodramatic romantic movie when in fact that is only a small facet of this film that tell about family, man's hunt for his own individuality and how to overcome darkness in life's most troubled times. Acting is top notch from Anthony Hopkins and the three brothers (Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas), but Julia Ormond's character is the least developed and seem more to do actions because the script tells her to and not because of any true inner motivations which is a shame as her journey and voice would also have been interesting to follow too.
At first glance this should be a winner. It tries to go back to the roots of Robert E. Howard's dark adult sword and sorcery stories bringing to us magnificent vast landscapes, rich cities and violent sword fights. Ron Perlman appear as Conan's father who is the definition of a strong masculine man and Morgan Freeman give the film some gravitas by giving narration to it. Rachel Nichols is also a spicy little redhead who almost made think we suddenly were in the reboot of Red Sonja instead for a true Conan film. Sadly, the director blows the potential by doing several terrible executed scenes where violence is shown but there is nothing to gives us reason to care about it. Jason Momoa has the body and elegance that is probably closer to what Howard envisioned but he gets nothing to act with as he only goes around growling and posing and we have no heart or passion from the character. Even worse are the villains with a hammy Stephen Lang who hisses and barks with wild eyes and Rose McGowan who brings bad acting over to a new level here. I would rather have seen a movie about Nonso Anozie's pirate character well he seem like a genuine interesting guy. Dialogue is also pathetically written and there seems to be a lot of ideas put into the film but nothing that makes much sense with no build-up at all. The sad part is? There are brief flashes of something epic here and the design and production values sure are up to the task.
It completes the "new" trilogy of "The Hobbit" and sets up some of the story for the "better" story in "Lord of the Rings". As the first two movies this film lacks the emotional and epic heart of "Lord of the Rings" and there is really nothing that makes us feel why the battles are important or why the dwarfs NEED the gold and the mountain. The resolution to the fantastic build-up from the second movie is anti-climatic and a major disappointment too as I was expecting major dragon kick-ass action and it fades out. Even more sadly is that there is not nearly enough to connect these films with "Lord of the Rings" and I see it as a big missed opportunity not to show more clearly how especially Saruman becomes corrupted by evil and therefor turning to the "dark side". Also...too much Orlando Bloom....way too much Orlando Bloom. Billy Boyd has a bitter-sweet song called "The Last Goodbye" at the end. Some impressive "big boss" fights look good but end up being overlong and seem to never end. The added-on romantic subplot turned out to be become one of the few better enhancements to the story in the end though and Richard Armitage manage to give gravitas to the sad story of Thorin. But this was a trilogy with enormous potential that never was fulfilled.
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