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No. Just... no.

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:06 (A review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest)

This will most definately be a short review, since it's sunday and I can't be bitched to write anything long. I'm writing this on a sunday since I was sick most of the week. Now on with the review:
I have no idea what this movie was supposedly about. I have seen the first part, but here there is a massive 10-20 minutes of actual story exposition in all of the 150 minutes that it takes to tell whatever the hell it's trying to tell. After I saw The Weatherman, Gore Verbinski became one of those directors who I have huge expectations to, no matter what the movie is. Here I managed to lower those expectations sufficiently, but I was still incredibly dissapointed. It's sad to see the man make pointless crap like this when he could easily be directing something beautiful like The Weatherman. This movie is just one break neck action scene after another. When there aren't action scenes on the screen, there's no time spent on character development, but instead it's used to show captain Jack throw a pointless joke or two, or simply give us useless dialogue between characters, which, agains popular belief doesn't actually develop them as characters whatsoever.

All the acting here, if you can even use such a word, is incredibly worn out and quite frankly, retarded. Johnny Depp, who is indefinately one of the greatest actors of our time, just falls into these awful manners and gives use a one-dimensional performance. And don't you even fucking get me started on Orlando Bloom. Verbinski can direct good action, but that really doesn't help much when A) we don't give a rat's ass what happens to the characters due to poor development on them, and B) when there are about a gazillion CGI effects on screen at once, all of which could have been made using traditional technology as well instead of going to a computer. There's even blood at one scene, but even that is CGI. I just don't get it. At that point the end slaughter of Silent Hill came to my head, but atleast that CGI-crap was made with style. Also, back to the storytelling, it just runs around on the same thing. When you make a 150 minute movie you should have enough story and action to fill it up, but here the creators of this movie just put in a ton of action scenes that are all very repetetive, that are basically the same damn scene all the time. And the little storytelling that we get is just utterly confusing, I still have no idea what this movie was about. Atleast the music of the movie is good, and composed by Hans Zimmer. But still, overall, this thing is a long shot from it's mediocre predecessor.

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Eragon review

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:05 (A review of Eragon)

Words fail me. This is the utmost cliched movie on the face of the earth. And I can't understand why. The cast here, besides the awful main character are all wonderful in most movies, and do do a good job here too. Robert Carlyle worked great as a villain, even though he was barely recognisable under the heavy make-up. John Malkovich does great, even though we propably see him for a massive ten minutes or so throughout the entire movie. The guy who plays the main character is terrible though, with his awful brittish accent and Orlando Bloom-ish manners. He does shout better than Orlando though, which is basically what he does throughout the entire movie.

I'm getting tired of talking about mediocre things, so let's talk about the script here, which is awful. First of all, Christopher Paolini's original is a terribly cliched book, but the script here, for some odd reason, was propably made by someone who had never even seen a screenplay before. Buchman skipped ALL the goddamn character development and overall meaningfull scenes, and added tons of utterly useless scenes such as that one where Carlyle is mad at his minions. What was the point of that scene? To show that he is a dominant force in the lines of evil? We knew that already for crying out loud. Then around the beginning of the movie, there's a fortune telling scene, because, well you know, you can't have a fantasy movie without a fortune telling scene now can you? Oh wait, I think I need to cough... *Cough*LOTR*Cough* Bless me. The dialogue is also a little too close to retarded, a departure from the relatively witty one in the book. I can't understand why they had to leave that dialogue out since it would've worked better than these classic lines like " That's the spirit - one part brave, three parts fool." Also, as a sidenote, in the movie that line sounds like the last word would be food.

Technically, this is a pretty damn mediocre movie. You have your run of the mill special effects, which should've been better since this movie is occasionally about nothing but CGI. The score.. or actually, the entire sound mixing of this movie is just fucked up. The score itself is decent, nothing to be nominated for an Oscar or such, but still. But the way it's been mixed to the movie is awful. You can barely hear the music, since for some ridicilous reason even during action scenes which really do need good music to be great the sound is just too damn low. Whoever edited/mixed the audio here was an idiot, plain and simple. He didn't know what he was doing. Which gets us to the director. Even though he kinda did know what he was doing, the directing here is simply meaningless. It doesn't feel like it was directed by a person, all the camera work and such are far too machine-like to make us feel like we would be watching something other than a movie.

I didn't like this movie all too much. It did however sorta keep me entertained and Robert Carlyle is always a blast. I still can't give it any higher than a 3/10 because some really important things were really fucked up here.

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Lost potential

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:04 (A review of Ultraviolet (2006))

First of all, this review is made based on the UNRATED cut of the movie. It does indeed contain some major changes when compared to the original, primarily the kind of stuff that you can't believe was originally left out. Anyhow, on with the review. This has got to be the most critically underrated movie in quite a few years. It has a whoopping 7% rating from the critics at rottentomatoes.com, and I am always stunned when I hear that number. I mean Ultraviolet has it's fair share of problems. The pacing does seem pretty awkward at times, and there's not much build up to the spectacular final fight to make it meaningful. Also, there's little to no actual character development on Violet, which seems sorta odd, especially since she is the main character here. But hell, are we supposed to not like this movie because of those things? I mean some issues it indeed does have, but something actually bad? My ass.

Kurt Wimmer got himself a huge fanbase back when he made Equilibrium, and trust me, this movie could've easily topped that one. If Screen Gems wouldn't have went all freelance and edited the movie from 150 minutes into 90 minutes, this would've been one of the best action movies on earth. I can quarantee that. Jovovich would've also become known as an actor again, instead of a good ass. If there's an oscar for best coreography, this movie would've nailed that and the special effects-oscar. But no. That's just me dreaming. Would've been kickass though. But still, no. What we have here now... It isn't bad. It isn't mediocre. It's in that awful stage in between. It isn't such a bad place to be in. I mean you get to hang out with Jet Li's The One after all. But why is it in that category?

Let's start with directing. Wimmer has always had an extremely keen sense of what people are able to comprehend visually. He is able to create such incredibly complex fight scenes (into which I will go further in detail in a moment), but still make them easily understandable. He is also capable of portraying raw human emotion through celluloid, and his actors do exactly what you might expect; they act. Cameron Bright is propably the best hollywood child actor out there currently. He isn't annoying like that kid who sees dead people, nor does he completely overact everything like that girl who is named after the dryest state in the states. He can act just like a normal child would in the situations presented in the movie, and that is something that all child actors should aim for. Jovovich is also good in her part, but doesn't get much to work with, and hence it's also hard to review her performance. Now, then we have one of the best villains in recent memory in action movies; Ferdinand Daxus, played by Nick Chindlund. He plays an extraordinary villain here, a man who is a narcicist and a tyran at the same time, and he does it better than anyone else who has ever attempted such a performance, not that I could quickly recall any though. He has spectacular charisma, and his voice is something out of this world. Since he basically wears a nose flap throughout the entire movie, his voice sounds twisted and, well, villanous and fiendish.

Now, to why people watch this movie in its current form: The action scenes. Are they worth renting or buying this movie? Yes they are. In the beginning of the flick, we don't get an actual action scene up until the first ten minutes or so have passed. The first one seems somewhat silly, since the goons seem to break like porcelain upon impact, but it still looks gorgeous. Right after the exhasperating scene, we get a long chase, that is just unbelievable. Since Violet has a nice toy that shifts her gravity, we see her driving a motorcycle alongside the wall of a skyscraper, and other fun things. Then, soon after this thing has gone past, at about 32 minutes into the movie or so, we get THE scene. You know how there are some scenes that simply define something? Well this fight scene right here defines just how genious Kurt Wimmer is. I won't spoil most of the scene here, but I will say that it has the best use of weird ass camera tricks ever in a film, and that ain't exaggerating. It really has. Also, Klaus Badelt composed a great score for the entire film, but here it works perfectly. You seriously need to see this movie just to view that mindblowing scene. Then there are tons of other awesome action scenes here, and even though they are all very worth mentioning, I won't do that. I will say though that the final fight is audiovisually spectacular, and almost is as good as the scene I mentioned earlier.

So what the hell is wrong here then? It sounds pretty damn great, true. But the thing is Screen Gems did butcher all the character development and such out of this, and hence it feels meaningless. Especially the final fight between Daxus and Violet is obviously meant to be something special, and even though it audiovisually is, it truly has no actual content or such in it. It just looks and sounds great. If SG hadn't screwed this movie up, it would be one of the best action movies ever. As it is, it's just an extraordinarily good looking one that entertains you throughout the movie.

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Genre schlock

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:04 (A review of Mindhunters)

Another one of these movies... Damn. They're always the same as far as plot development and such go. It all starts off the same: A group of badly charecterised people go into a A) deserted house in the middle of nowhere, B) deserted island in the middle of nowhere, C) space ship or a station in the middle of nowhere, and they get killed one by one. I don't see how it's supposed to be exciting, but since they still make flicks like this, I suppose it is. So, as you propably could already tell, the character development in this flick is terrible. We don't really get anything out of anyone up until the final twenty minutes, when we find out something "shocking" about one of the people on the island. And no, I am not talking about the killer. Also, all the characters are awful stereotypes, but the plot does require it, since the killer... well, kills them, based on their own weaknesses so to speak. Such as one person wants to smoke, so the killer kills that person using cigarettes. So yeah, that makes the kills sound somewhat original, which they are. Too bad that most special effects either look awfully CGI or simply extremely fake. And what the hell happened to realism in movies like this? Here the killer is constantly setting up new traps and such within seconds, when other characters don't look at him/her. It truly is absolutely unbelievable how fast of a runner he/she is. Also, the way the killer's identity is eventually revealed is absolutely hilarious, because Harlin uses the most ridicilous sound clip ever in that scene.

Harlin's directing in this film is terribly cliched. He can direct well, as proven by Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, but here he reveals the killer within the first twenty minutes by simply showing him/her far too little, and since the killer makes it to the final four survivors, you immediately know it's him by then atleast, if not before. Renny does do a pretty decent job in milking the fine looking enviroments for good shots, but audiovisually does badly, since he uses extremely cliched heavy metal solos or random music that apparently comes from an old James Bond-movie. It just didn't work whatsoever. I'm amazed how he got such a good cast he has here. All the actors don't give it all they could, but they're still far better than in Traditional Slasher #9645, and amp the film up quite a bit. I especially digged LL Cool J's charismatic acting here.

But the thing is, this movie is such a cliche bomb, and unoriginal on nearly all bases. Everything you've seen in this movie, you've propably seen before, or atleast read before incase you've read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. There's just no point in watching this movie, and it basically serves as cannon fodder of some sort.... Just a very average movie with a good cast.

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It's just good fun

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:03 (A review of D.O.A.: Dead or Alive)

You know, this movie has got so much shit dumped on it that I went into it expecting the crappiest movie ever, or something to the equivalent. I was positively surprised to find it an entertaining, but ultimately extremely meaningless piece of cinema. The story has a few sideplots here and there, but they're primarily meaningless, just like the main story (which is pretty dumb as well). It's basically just a bunch of extremely weak and clich├ęd characters duking it out constantly, except occasionally we get to see them talk some korny dialogue. Also, sometimes there are weird transitions, mostly using the movie's logo to change from scene to scene. Oh yeah, the story is also extremely predictable and full of plot holes. All the actors are surprisingly mediocre, even though most of them do have enough charisma to pull off the roles they're given. The only standout is the guy who played the old man who made the tournament possible. Also I would've loved to see more of Gen Fu, but we basically saw him in a whoopping 3 or 4 scenes of the movie, and never properly saw him fight, which is pretty annoying since he would've looked hilarious.

DOA is an incredibly good looking film. Every fight scene featured here is simply a great watch, because of the unique and extremely variable visuals found here. The choreography is somewhat regular, even though slightly more high flying than in most movies, but the direction makes it look about two hundred times better than it really is. Yuen uses the fact that he can do whatever he wants with the fights since they don't mean much to the half-assed story, and he uses it pretty much as well as a human being could within a limited budget. The editor also did a great job here, but only kinda... Some of the scenes are really weirdly cut. First we see someone fall down, then we see the opponent start a kick, and then all the sudden the fallen one is standing again in order to receive the kick. It just bothered me slightly, that's all. Yuen seriously did an awesome job here, and I personally would love to see more of him, perhaps next time something with a point.

That was the problem here. This movie had no meaning whatsoever. It was basically just random, awesome fights, and if you want to see something more, don't get this movie... But fuck it, I don't need anything more than that personally. This is a great movie to watch after you turn off your brain for a moment, because it is so incredibly entertaining when the fights come. Just fun, nothing more, nothing less.

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Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:02 (A review of The Host (2006))

The best monster movie ever? I seriously doubt that making such a claim would be false. Why? I plan to tell you. First of all, Gwoemul propably had the best plot I have ever seen in a movie of this genre. It all starts off seeming like some cliched Godzilla-copy, but the moment we meet our so-called main character, Kan-Du, his occasional dialogue and overall attitude prepare us for something different. The moment the army arrives, everything truly starts. The plot unfolds into social and political commentary, different than usual character development, extraordinarily well coreographed action, and it's all covered in weird, sweet sense of humour that I'm pretty sure that any possible remakes will be unsuccesfull in copying, due to it's unique qualities. Also, this movie made something not all that many succeed in nowadays: I actually cared about the characters. I didn't really notice it until one of the main characters got killed. I felt like watching Balthazar Getty's character die in the last season of Alias, I mean I just realised that I didn't want the rest of the cast die. I also loved how little the monster was actually shown in the movie. Usually the monster is nearly the star, but here it was just used to give us something deeper and more meaningful.

When it came to acting, this movie delivered and even gave us a free slice of damn good pie ontop of that! The man who played the grandfather did an excellent job in portraying a man who felt as if he needed to save all his children, and redeem himself a place in heaven. Also, Kang-Ho Song was spectacular in the main role, giving a truly memorable portrayal of what people will be willing to do for someone they love and take care of. Bong did a smashing job at the directing, bringing us an extremely realistic tale of what would truly happen in case a monster of such kind would ever emerge. Then, one of the things that are usually important for monster movies. The creature itself. It was apparently entirely created using CGI, but I'll be damned if someone is actually capable of seeing that. That has got to be some of the most impressive computer animation I've ever seen. The few action scenes that we saw the monster in worked wonderfully, and were highly more intense than in most other movies of this kind.

But, you can't have a movie that just has good qualities. There's always something wrong. In this movie's case there aren't many, but one of the nads I have for this movie was definately it's incapability to actually put the humour into the scenes that would've actually needed them (except for the funeral scene, which worked awesomely). The humour worked, but it was somewhat loose from the story on occasion. Then, the final fight of the movie was abit streched, I mean the monster should've died atleast 20 times during the beating that it received. Then there were some slightly illogical things (for example in one of the key scenes of the movie, the main character receives brain surgery of somekind that supposedly removes part of his brain, but that sure didn't affect him whatsoever), but I can let them slide for now. Are those little problems enough for me to call this movie something that deserves less than my recommendation? Not in my opinion.

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Ponderous and twisted

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:02 (A review of Ichi the Killer)

This is one of the goriest films I can quickly recall. It's known worldwide for the gore and violence in it. But it also is one of the most hilarious comedies I've seen in quite a while. Ichi works on two levels: A sick, twisted movie with violence and nudity in it brought together by a relatively meaningless plot for some. This works for the casual viewer, and if that person isn't an old lady with a wig, s/he will propably enjoy it aswell. But then there's the other level: Ultra dark comedy. It is occasionally far too hard to see beyond the visual feasts we're presented with on-screen, but if you manage to do so, you can see that below the surface this movie has a hilarious overtone to it. One of the best examples would be Ichi's self-claimed master, an old man called Jijii. In the last third of the movie, he takes off the coat he has been wearing all along the movie; below we see the equivalent of the body of The Governator. Then he proceeds to snap a man's neck in half. Some people propably wouldn't laugh at that, since the killing of a person. But the murder isn't the point; the kill is simply used to present the man's power. It's all done within context, just as all the violence and nudity in this movie; the story requires it.

Why, you may ask? Because Ichi gets some serious character development here. He was bullied as a child (there's a huge twist to that which I will not reveal), and so he kills other people; crime lords, goons and other bullies because he is so filled with anger towards all the evil in this world that he must take it out on something. Anyhow, he has some serious ejaculation problems, and after seeing a man beat a prostitute up and then have sex with her, he gets a boner... I won't actually reveal anymore, but the screenplay worked almost perfectly with Ichi's character, and Nao pulled the role off perfectly. Still, Ichi is no reason to watch this movie. The true reason is Asano's spectacular portrayal of Kakihara, the coolest masochist in the history of cinema. The man is almost the embodiment, or an epitaph of coolness. His character remains somewhat the same throughout the movie, but his witty dialogue and great performance make up for it.

Enough with the acting though, let's get to the rest of the crap: Miike is a great director. He uses flashbacks in a great way here, and pulls off some really impressive and original camera work. He really takes all the juice out of the wonderful screenplay, and some of the gore we see here is so sick that you need to laugh in order not to cry. I really don't have much else to say here... this is a great movie, even though it does tend to stir up too much violence on occasion. Still highly enjoyable, and fun to see.

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The peak of action RPGs

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 05:16 (A review of Mass Effect)

Mass Effect is in many ways the perfect action RPG. It's a roleplaying game in the sense that you delve into your own character, build him or her as you wish, and act as you would in your character. The action is, according to some, just standing behind corners and popping out to shoot things ala Gears Of War, but I say you shouldn't be playing the game like that as it's boring. In combat, just like in story, ME gives you a lot of room to do your own thing. I personally just rush everything with a shotgun at hand and hope for the best. The story is also exceptional, as it is rather surprising although might lack originality on some parts. The "fight" between you and the main bad guy in the end can be fantastic depending on your character, which makes the game very reminiscent of Fallout 1.

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Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 11:27 (A review of The Hangover (2009))

Maybe I just expected a bit too much from this movie. There was a massive hype machine going for The Hangover. Everyone called it the funniest film in years, and then when I saw it I could only say "meh." The movie is more or less a basic bachelor party-comedy, but instead of using your average chronological narrative, it shows the morning after. This idea is hailed as a fantastic solution for the movie by most, but honestly, an average comedy is still an average comedy even if you mess with the narrative. If you have a cliched story, you should naturally have good dialogue in a comedy to save it, but pretty much every single word that comes out of Zach Galifianakis's mouth sound very much so as if they were planted there. None of it sounds natural, and his character is just over the top in every aspect. The other guys I don't even remember, that's how nice they were. You know there's a problem with a character-driven comedy when the most interesting part is the last 10 minutes. When they show the wedding and the pay-off to all the hardship before it, it's actually surprisingly enjoyable to watch. Unfortunately all the hardship they go through to get to the wedding only contains a few stock laughs and a tiger, which is not the greatest deal on earth.

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Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 11:27 (A review of Children of Men (2006))

Oh, the marvel! This film is gorgeous. It's cinematography is rough, edged and jagged all around, but it makes it look fantastic. The handheld camerawork creates an athmosphere of beautiful dread that pulls the viewer completely into the film and immerses him or her with it entirely. The long single shots also do this. To me, it hardly matters if these long shots were made with the aide of CGI or not. If they were, I'm happy the technique actually helps with something other than horrible monster creatures in the latest Starshit Trotters-sequel or something. The story also has an interesting amount of depth in it's ranks, as thematically it deals moreso with the concept of hope and it's various forms of appearance (the pregnant lady being the most obvious one) rather than infertility. It also has a few things to say about racism and social issues that plague our world, and it does all this while being a balls-to-the-wall action flick with non-stop chase sequences and heartbreaking tragic events of a grand scale. If there's ever a film to deserve a ten, this is most certainly it.

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