Movie Reviews (Part 1201-1250)
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Jess Franco and Jean Rollin combine their power so another set of Euro babes can take off their clothes. Some atmospheric sounds and footage is to be found in the film like a hanged father that haunts the heroine and the character The Queen of the Night. Creepy big bugged eyed men and terrible zombie men is the "scary" part of the film. The title makes you think it is a porno knock-off which it probably something that would have been better for the film.
First movie with computer generated human beings and they still look pretty good today with solid facial detail. It has fascinating monsters but it is hard to relate to plot holes that is explained away by "spiritism" but very little logic. Great voice actors help the production become more involving than it is.
Long movie form of the excellent French short computer generated animated movies about insects, ants and other bugs. One nice thing with this production is that this film is without constant chattering as in American animated films but the film has a soundtrack that use natural sounds or sound effects. It is also long lingering shots of locations and moments of after-thought. This is not for fans of high-octane action and voices that scream at their top of their lungs. The ladybug running away from flies is the one running gag from the shorts that gets boring for fans of the shorts, but the rest of the film has many unique and beautiful realized ideas.
A beautifully designed movie that manage to bring to screen the universe of Tintin with it's decor of cities and areas. Memorable characters, but it is the heavily-drinking captain that get the biggest laughs and is most memorable in the film. Steven Spielberg channels his Indiana Jones direction style in some of the more over-the-top action cliffhanging moments, but the story don't have much surprises as I can predict it's twist and turns early on. It also rely too much on a super-intelligent dog. The action I felt were more at home in a computer game and Spielberg should have tried to make it all be more realistic.
Surprisingly sweet romantic comedy homage to the Old Disney cartoons don't take itself too serious and comes off as one of the funnier and more original movies that have arrived from the company in ages. The movie is perfectly cast with Amy Adams being a stand out bringing a great mix of innocence and humor to the role. James Marsden is hilarious as Prince Charming and Susan Sarandon effective in her villainous cameo. The animated sequence that kickoff the movie gets one in the mood as well and anyone who has ever loved a world of fairy-tale and fantasy should love this modern spin on it. Hell, I even loved the singing numbers with the animals. A movie this sweet that wants to bring me back to the days of childhood should be applauded. Only the child and "new mum" on shopping spree feels untrue and more like commercial exploitation.
Good-looking adaptation of a graphic novel with Paul Newman as gangster dad, Jude Law as an assassin and Daniel Craig as the brutal gangster son with no brain doing some stand-out acting, but how can one put Jennifer Jason Leigh in the movie and not let her do anything useful? I also never felt that Tom Hanks was believable as a gangster man-for-hire trying to redeem himself.
MDK - Murder Death Kill, Last recorded offense, September 25, 2010. Sadly, It was not meant to be, but who wants to live in a society where we can get no sex in the old fashioned way? Sylvester Stallone and evil Wesley Snipes is transported to a peace and no-war society where they continue to be enemies, but it seem pretty idiotic that someone keeps all the ammunition to weapons in a museum together with the hardware. Light touches of humor help the film enormously, but the action scenes never stand out and is the weakest part of this science fiction actioner.
Keanu Reeves - How he gets to choose roles in seemingly cool projects is a big question to me. Keanu doesn't look at all like his comic book alter ego either and his character has very little in common with the Vertigo Comics figure making me question why he was chosen for this film in the first place. It is a cool effects film though with a lot of memorable visuals and the rest of the supporting characters are inspired making it even easier to see how miscast Keanu was for this film.
Interesting attempt to make the classic Universal monster movies into an effects movie. It starts nice with a black and white homage that at least tries to channel the old Universal feel and Hugh Jackman is charismatic as the leading hero while Kate Beckinsale look sexy in a corset, but that is all the good I can say about this film as the film's true intenion is to drown the old monsters with CGI monster fights where nothing looks believable. Fake Eastern Europe accents and stupid dialogue even make it even more shittier.
The Ups: What is not to like when one sees LEGO? This is also such an original movie (for Lego shorts and movies) and is sometimes so fast paced and wacko that one forget completely that it is all an attempt to sell even more toys for kids and adults.
Above average hand animation with an interesting story inspired on true events. A comedic sidekick ruin much of the greatness of this story and what is actually a rather likable heroic dog character.
A western homage that takes many of the best moments from the genre combined with the plot of "Chinatown" and give it a new animated spin. This animated feature have a darker type of humor than normal and an animated character that suits the quirky Johnny Depp appearances that has already been done on screen - in many ways it is a better character than several live figures he has done. Hans Zimmer also do a memorable music score. Sadly the Spirit of the West did not have the voice of Clint Eastwood that would have been perfect.
Likable characters and some fun gags. It is as with any Hollywood big-budget animated movie well done and looks good, but why did it need to have crazy trigger-happy hunters in it? It really makes the movie a lot more aggressive than it needs to be and not as family friendly as it could have been.
Great computer water effects and colorful sunsets make this a perfect film for surfers who love animation. The film tells people that not everyone can be winners (and who cares about them anyone as they are forgotten next year anyway) and you should just relax and enjoy life for what it is instead. Good use of the reality TV concept (at least for a while), but it should have stopped before the contest started.
Probably the best alien monster movie since the "Alien" trilogy. A good ensemble where one don't want anyone to die with the possible exception of one or two. One of the better spaceship crash landings up to that time too and Vin Diesel made his breakthrough as an antihero with glowing eyes. Sadly a little predictable with who will die as it is usually the one who is alone or don't listen to our antihero. Still, fun stuff.
I like that it is a space saga that wants to be grimmer and less upbeat and optimistic than many of the more popular epics in the genre and it manage to expand on it's universe. A lot of spectacular costumes and space ships and in some way it could be seen as a intergalactic Conan movie with a barbarian warrior fighting monsters, crazy priests and kings and having scantly dressed girls around him. Mostly good supporting actors and actresses too, but it is too ambitious compared to it's budget. Disappointing also to see characters from the original returning only to get killed so that we all are to know that this film series is only about Riddick now.
More back to basics with Riddick confined to one planet (and for a few minutes a starship) with characters getting killed off by aliens one by one. It has a great "survival mode" beginning where our anti-hero must try to survive alone on a planet and a topless Katee Sackhoff for male and lesbian sci-fi genre lovers. Weak CGI moment with flying bikes and a final hour that feels like a rehash of the original drag the movie down. The swearing can't hide the lazy dialogue either.
Clint Eastwood returning to the cranky, angry man who takes the law in his own hands and giving him a bitter-sweet realistic ending. Unsurprisingly Eastwood steals the show with his unique comments about religion and social problems and in many ways he goes full circle on his acting career ending how he started it all. Still, it is not a typical Clint Eastwood action movie even if it could seem like it by the poster and how it builds up.
Jesse James turned into the Wild West's Robin Hood and making history into legend and myth in this excellently acted and photographed western.
As sequels go this has an acceptable logic as a continuation and a plot that tries to drive the saga further along, but it lacks real tension and the ending fizzles out. Yul Brynner's cameo makes no sense either, but it is fun to see one of the first use of CGI in a film ever here.
The other great werewolf movie made the same year ("An American Werewolf in London was the other. An unrecognizable Robert Picardo as a serial killer and other appearances from genre actors is great fun. Good atmosphere and a memorable ending also help this film that even has a love-making scene with the werewolves added in for good. Only the false scares make the film feel outdated.
Poetic and beautifully filmed horror with a lot of atmosphere starring Boris Karloff in one of his iconic roles. The three minute flashback to Egypt is fantastic and even brutal for it's time. The heroine also oozes sex-appeal. They don't make horror this way anymore. Now everything is about the action, gore and sadism.
Danish underground realism about drug dealing helped a lot by the charismatic Kim Bodina in an anti-heroic role and a good support group especially a skin-headed Mads Mikkelsen and Croatian Zlatko Buric as the evil mob leader Milo. I also like the use of hand-held cameras which give this movie a documentaric feel. A grim and not very happy film with a lot of desperation, depression and people with no morale.
A zombie movie with a music score that sounds evil and really disgusting zombies infected with maggots. Blood and gore is memorable with a "splinter in the eye" scene making even the hardest gorehound cry out. The last moment of the film spells excellent doom and Armageddon in a way few films of this genre have managed. Worse is the fact that it is hard to care about the characters and there is a laughable moment underwater where a zombie attack a shark.
Beginning of the friendship of Jess Franco and Howard Vernon and their love for handcuffed young women. This movie has a classical style with atmospheric shots and a Gothic style that is not present in Franco's later color films, but the plot rips-off "Eyes Without a Face". Terrible subplot where detectives go around stupidly don't help either and there are some sloppy insert shots of body doubles who show off their tits.
The Ups: It tries to bring Tarzan to a new crowd. It has a good poster than makes you think the film will be photo realistic, but what has meteors crashing down on Earth to do with the Tarzan myth? The story lacks humor and is dreadfully somber and talky. Worst of all though is that Tarzan don't look at all like on the film poster and is very little realistic at all.
George Lucas' film debut show originality as he tells his take on the George Orwell "1984" story but here sex is evil and violence perfect for prime-time TV (sounds familiar America?). Even with a minimalist budget Lucas managed to give his film a visual palette that higher budget movies lacks. His new special edition adds some new effects that actually enhance the experience but in a different way than his "Star Wars" movies that added too much and didn't need the enhancements in the first place.
The Ups: It is a voodoo movie that has an interesting premise, but I saw the twist-ending from the get-go and found the film predictable and that made me dislike the film's heroine too for being so stupid. A missed opportunity really and not something that makes me want to revisit the movie. A one time watch only that is of interest due to the better-than-usual actors.
Standard fantasy plot that throws up no surprises and lacks any punch and originality. A miscast leading actor who had no experience, badly choreographed action sequences and underdeveloped and half-finished characters that I don't care about. I think that the dragon looks stupid and has a too long neck looking more like a sea serpent. A sequel will never happen so that one will never get the chance to see John Malkovich on the back of a big and better-looking dragon as his role here is only a tease of what could have happened. Only Robert Carlyle in a good villainous turn as evil master of dark arts and Jeremy Irons are watchable enough doing a ungrateful mentor role that he does in his sleep. Boring film really.
Forced sequel to "Get Shorty" that lacks the smoothness and finesse of the original and seems to try both too much and too little at the same time. It is not nearly as fun now and the setup seems more interested in bringing in as many celeb cameo appearances that is possible. The film also feels racist with white people trying to be fun playing Afro-American stereotypical characters when the film would have been better off having Afro-Americans playing the roles instead. The worst mistake though is that the director seems more interested in ripping from Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and he even steals the dance sequence trying to make one of the lousiest Black Eyed Peas song hip when it is as soulless and dead as this movie... And when I though Ozzy Osbourne had fallen mighty and flat on his face by doing his reality show I get to see Steven Tyler do his shitty appearance here.
When 30-year-old actors act like teenagers with no brain and a lot of naivety I just don't care much about them. At least try to cast an actor that is 18 for once and not people close to 40. The villain is stupid and would have been better in a silent role and there is a boring direction with little tension to find. Stupid American stereotypical portrait of South American people also don't help. Only some attractive girls getting slashed open may be interesting for gorehounds to see.
Action director John McTiernan joins the forces of old "Pulp Fiction" buddies John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson for a military thriller and adds Danish hottie Connie Nielsen for the ride. To be honest the film feels like a rejected sequel to "The General's Daughter". Ending that tries to be surprising but fizzles out to nothing because the story has been full of deception and false starts up to that point. Not a high point in anyone's career this one.
Underrated minor Hitchcock classic with many lovely touches, like the screen going to red anytime Marnie has one of her psychological problems. Tippi Hedren play extraordinary in her title role doing one of her signature roles and I love the scene when a office gets robbed. Sean Connery also surprises with his image fresh from 007 seemingly being a charismatic gentleman who actually is calculating and actually rape the leading actress. Super cute Diane Baker in a supporting role as Hedren's love rival is also memorable. The psychological solution to Marnie's state of mind is also very satisfying. Hitchcock's film has been an inspiration and copied to death afterwards.
First digital movie with screen capturing and the likeness between the animated conductor and actor Tom Hanks was remarkable at time. The train is also impressive and big and should be a perfect image for the smallest kids. The 3D effects are fast and with good depth and interactive enough to make one feel one is in the movie. The smallest kids will adore it. My three year-old was in ecstasy by it - me not so much. The story is in fact a kiddie version of "A Christmas Carol" about a person who don't really believe in the Christmas spirit anymore and the three persons that help him on his way to believe again. Some character work and animation is understandably dated now compared to the newer computer animated works.
Documentary that kicks the truth into the brains of those Americans that still were in support of the Vietnam War and did not understand the consequences it had on normal people. It is still an important movie to watch especially since patriotic soldiers and politicians tried their best to ridicule it at the time. Scary historic footage from what happened prior and under the war is shown through news-footage and interviews. Some stories given are so heartfelt and raw it is difficult to go through the movie. The movie also let everyone talk for themselves and there is no narration in the movie which means that the watcher need to take his/her own standpoint about war.
Impressive animation and epic feel where industry and nature clash together, Man and God. There is a lot of good moments and surprising choices taken by the characters. Interesting but also with some disturbing moments. Somehow the ending didn't grip me as much as it should.
Surprisingly likable concept and idea about crazy scientist genius youngster who manage to let the sky fall down with food. Surprising good voice actors too with distinctive voices. Sadly, ending is a boring "we have to save the world" one.
Christian Bale is believable as a upper-class bastard who likes to kill prostitutes and business rivals and it gave the actor a career changing boost. I like the fact that he based his role on Tom Cruise after meeting him. The excellent 80's soundtrack and some satiric dialogue is memorable, but somehow I feel that the material has been tamed for film as the shock value and controversial stuff from the books don't seem to pay off. Maybe it has lost all it's punch due to all those psychos and crazy death set-pieces that has flourished in the genre in later years?
It revitalizes the Sherlock Holmes myth for the box office masses and gives the sleuth better health and muscle mass than anytime before as this Sherlock also punches back. It also mixes a kind-of Dennis Wheatley devil-worship story for fun. The chemistry of Robert Downey jr. and Jude Law works good and I like the fact that this Dr. Watson is not treated as the idiotic sidekick that seem to be the case in many of the other adaptations but a man that can handle himself. While too young for the role of Irene Adler, Rachel McAdams manage to do the role likable and interesting. An interesting (but flawed) franchise start that is better than expected with lot of sharp wit and a fast pace adapted for those without attention span and who needs action sequences in order to understand how to grasp the story and mystery (which is weak) with obvious villains.
The mainstream breakthrough for Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal as siblings who are both excellent here. It is an interesting story that asks "if one can choose one's own destiny, life and eventual death when that moment arrive". Strong supporting acting help as well. That rabbit is effectively moody as is the film's atmospheric style that takes place in the time of the great 1980s. A director's cut is too long and removes some of the more effective mystery from the film and is mostly for those who have already seen the theatrical one.
A highly original romantic comedy when it premiered about a man trapped in a repeating time loop where every day is similar and only his actions changes. Now this has been done in almost any science fiction show I can think of. The funniest segments in this inventive comedy is when Murray gets more desperate and crazy over the situation and become suicidal trying to kill himself off but awake the next day getting more and more desperate over the situation.
I wanted to like this film since it is made by a director who usually make entertaining thrillers. I got the movie for free in a weekly magazine as there was probably stocks of this movie piling up somewhere in a storage room as it is clearly Brian DePalma doesn't have his heart in this shitty movie. He has tried to make a new "2001: A Space Odyssey" but fails miserably. The production is lifeless as the paper the script was written on and there is a mystery with a preachy conclusion consisting of talking heads and a preachy middle finger to the audience. When the movie finally seem to become interesting and we seem to go to a new stage in the movie it ends. The worst of all is the potential. The ensemble that is put together is good but they deliver the most lifeless performances in their career and the effects feel cheaper than old studio sets from the 1930s. Exceptionally boring.
Old fashioned monster movie where an enormous spider attacks people. The enormous spider also seem to have gotten a serum that makes it invincible as well as big. Acceptable acting too as most times 50's movies have horrendous acting. Clint Eastwood - even in his first year as an actor - saves the day at the end as we knew he would.
Based upon a Hunter S. Thompson novel, the same man who wrote "Fear and Loathing" and starring yet again Johnny Depp in a similar role. A few surprising humorous moments and political comments about what happened in Puerto Rico during the Cold War help and the film looks classy and has great atmosphere. Amber Heard is memorable as a love interest, but a tacky happy ending don't help. The movie also lacks Terry Gilliam's visionary directing style and this movie is a pretty straight forward and "safe" production with a slow pace.
Sequel to the excellent "Wicker Man" directed by the same director and having Christopher Lee appearing in it (which is sadly only a cameo) as a new actor takes over Christopher Lee's position as Lord Summerisle even "stealing his old clothes" but he never manage to be threatening in the movie. Movie lacks tension and suspense and the script feels like a rehash of the original but lacks the wit, surprise, sex, horror and the excellent folk music. It is not as bad as the remake of "The Wicker Man" though (but it comes close).
Psychological horror with an engaging mystery where things either are what they seem or not at all depending on your own mood and mind. Atmospheric it has a small vibe of "Twin Peaks" as it includes both a waterfall, scary forests and a hotel including a mysterious female hotel receptionist who seem to know more about what happens than anyone else. Kristoffer Joner also manage to deliver a role of the type that he relishes, but the revelation never pays off as it don't give any definitive answers. Some characters behave idiotic and/or threatening for no real reason either and some scares are predictable. Still not bad for a Norwegian movie of this type.
The concept is a cool one about a gorgeous blonde cheerleader girl with delicious body who becomes a vampire slaying "chosen one" - it was an idea good enough to lead into a much better TV series but Kristy Swanson never get the chance to shine in the role and only Donald Sutherland leave a memory as the all-knowing Watcher. Terrible vampires too who are all played for laughs while the leader, played by Rutger Hauer, should have kicked ass and be insanely gruesome but seem mostly bored and leaves no sparks on the screen. Luke Perry is also terrible as a romantic interest and the movie should be seen as a failed expensive pilot episode for what would come later on TV.
The director seems more interested in making a action spectacle inspired by the "Gladiator" that just happen to take place during one of history's most famous volcano disasters instead of a truthful story about the incident. The acting consist mostly of posing and the romantic subplot lacks intensity and any credibility. Worst though is Kiefer Sutherland who is totally misplaced as a Roman senator and it would have been more interesting to have seen his father in the role instead. A misfire on many levels.
Excellent superhero action with beautiful realized effect shots. Black Widow and Hulk is a cute couple together (even if Bruce Banner has forgotten Betty Ross) and I really like the chemistry between Ruffalo and Johansson. Paul Bethany's Vision is an excellent new character together with Elisabeth Olsen who is a delicious Scarlet Witch and I like the hint on the incestuous relationship that she has with her brother, Quicksilver. The film also gives some much-needed background information about Black Widow and Hawkeye. Still the film lacks the character depth and complexity that Joss Whedon usually deliver with his ensemble movies and it feels like it is too much crammed into the film with characters not nearly getting as much screen time that they deserve. The Ultron story is also not nearly as effective as it should have been and the film is more humorless than the Avengers' first outing. Was there really a reason for Samuel L. Jackson to appear in the movie and could not the rescue sequences have been given to his next-in-command Maria Ford who is just there for the cameo anyway? Too many robots are never a good thing either (unless it is an old-fashioned "Terminator" movie) as they don't feel enough real or scary as a threat even if the head leader has James Spader's voice. Sequel mostly on auto-pilot this time around.
Engaging and hugely likable classic WWII story about how one created a special force unit from two different brigades, one from Canada and one from the U.S. Sadly the film has too many stereotype war movie characters. and is a bit on the long side. William Holden feel like a bit too old for being an action hero at this point too. Action scenes could have been better as the director has mostly TV experience which is clear in the scenes that should have been a little more epic.
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