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3-Iron (2004)
8/10
Symbolic and challenging, not for everyone.
27 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Bin-Jip (2004) My personal interest in Ki-Duk Kim appeared some months ago after buying Bad Guy on DVD, that movie challenged and moved a lot, but at the end it did bother me that it contained certain plot holes. Months later my path came across another movie of his, The Isle, while this story were without obvious plot holes it failed to contain the emotional strength that made Bad Guy such a remarkable experience for me. Now, my path has crossed Bin-Jip and I must say that as an overall vote I rate it higher than both The Isle and Bad Guy, but I don't necessarily consider it a better movie. It is a challenging movie that will leave each viewer with a unique interpretation, because, as in other of Ki-Duk Kim's movies it's all about interpreting what happens on the screen.

The story, roughly drawn, is about a young man who lives an almost entirely anonymous life, breaking into various houses, fixing things, living their lives, doing their laundry for a little while before he moves onto his next location, a nomad. One day his path comes across a wealthy house in which he finds a wife beaten up. Once the husband returns he hits golf-balls at him with the husband's 3-iron and leaves with the wife, taking her with him on his journeys.

The first thing that strikes me on this movie is how extremely slow and quiet it is, it often feels like nothing is happening in the movie at all, but actually a lot manages to happen through those 95 minutes. The challenging part about the movie is interpreting the many changes of mood and morals in the movie and as always with Ki-Duk Kim almost everything is hidden beneath the surface. I don't wanna cross my own interpretation of things in this review as that is impossible without making needless spoilers.

Both the acting and the directing is really quite remarkable, the main characters of the movie hardly says anything, actually the lead male doesn't say one single word at all and the female says only 3 words, therefore it can only be considered admirable how many feelings are actually expressed through their faces and movements. The directing is equally brilliant and Ki-Duk brings a powerful and intelligent visual side as he usually does, and of course this movie also includes some fantastic music fitting the mood of the movie perfectly, another typical Ki-Duk detail.

As a final note, I'd prefer to say it very directly, if you like to think during your movies this will interest you, especially if you've found Ki-Duk's other work interesting, but if you prefer nonstop action on the screen, you'll be extremely disappointed with this one, because all the action of this movie happens inside each viewers head.

8/10
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5/10
Unoriginal and predictable, but with a few good moments. Garner saves the movie.
5 July 2004
Jenna Rink is 13 years old, she spends all day dreaming about moviestars and musicstars, while she wishes to become member of the cool clique, which is hard because it isn't her thing, at a birthday party they abuses her and she wishes that she could skip the teenage life and go straight to being 30, her wish comes true.

A very typical Hollywood movies, predictable pretty much from the start to the end, I were never really in doubt on how it would end up. But despite having this typical thing laying over it, it actually had some enjoyable moments, and I never really got bored, I guess this is one of those popcorn movies, I just don't think that it'd work as well the second time as the first time.

For me the movie were stronger on the romantic side, than the comedy side, being one of these typical romantic comedies both sides got to work in order to make a strong movie, and that just didn't work for me, but it does have some romantic moments which are well done, even though they are predictable. I smiled a few times, but I never really laughed, not that I expected that, the good thing about the humour is that the movie doesn't make up a lot of stupid comedic scenes to push the humour harder, that I found very pleasant, it made the movie feel smarter and more clever than the average American romantic comedy.

The movie however also had some poor scenes, I wouldn't call them dumb, but they should have left out the whole scene with Jenna making friends with the whole neighbourhood of 13's, a bit unrealistic the way I see it, I would expect that she'd have more of a predujice against these smalltimers now that she had become rich and beautiful, but I guess the director looked at it from a different point of view, never the less I found these scenes pointless.

The direction of the movie isn't very strong, but who could expect that from such an ordinary movie, I'd say that the strongest side of the direction was that the director avoided to bring a dumb feeling to the movie by adding a lot of dumb comedian scenes, which I liked, I hate these American teen movies that pushes the humour to the edge where it just feels ridiculous.

Jennifer Garner obviously carries the movie, she does pretty well and is quite convincing, in a movie like this where the whole plot is put on her shoulders it's good to see that she can fill the movie out.

Overall the movie is pretty okay, if one is in a romantic mood this movie would probably be one to enjoy, it doesn't bring much new to the genre, and there are definitely better movies to be found within this genre, but it's actually okay, it's just a pretty shallow movie that never succeeds in getting under Jenna Rink's skin during her transformation in her adult life.

5/10
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Hellboy (2004)
5/10
Good popcorn movie, but that's about it.
2 July 2004
HellBoy

The story about a demon, brought back to hell to serve the evil, but ended up serving the good. Approx 60 years after HellBoy was brought back, the former evil mastermind, Rasputin, returns once again to bring doom over the earth, only one man can stop him, Hellboy.

Over the lasts years the new hype are superhero comic book adaptions to the screen, some of these have failed, some have been very good like X-Men 1/2 and Spider-Man 1/2. Here comes HellBoy, and obviously the expectations are high, and I got to admit, the movie fell through for me, I'm not saying it was the worst one ever, but it never really got to me, a true popcorn movie, 2 hours to unlock the brain and watch the screen.

I'm not going to lie, I prefer movies that takes some brain work, some deep movies where you can really get under the skin of the persons, of figure out the plot. This movie succeeds in neither, it's both a bit hollow, and the characters - except a few moments with Hellboy - feels pretty empty, furthermore the attempt to bring personal situations to the superhero world of Hellboy fails badly, the chemistry between HellBoy and "Liz" (Starring Selma Blair) works not too well, and generally I just thought that Selma Blair felt very miscast in this role.

This movie is generally what I would categorize as a "Popcorn" flick, not to much brain work, but a lot of action and very often use of CGI and other similar effects, this at times feels a little like an effect war, even though much of it is well done, I can't help myself thinking that it's all effects, one of the things I liked was how obvious it was that a person was playing "Blue", instead of that being a CGI character.

The direction of the movie is okay, the action scenes are smoothly done, even though I hate the classic element of "A beats B, B beats A, A beats B, B beats A, A beats B and win.", That element is often used here, and it's kind of sad, it feels like the movie drags out a bit, it could have used the sparetime by personalizing more with the characters, anyway the action scenes are easy to follow and not confusing, well done and pretty entertaining, especially since they destroy everything around them, and I did find myself cheer for HellBoy, even though I knew he was gonna win anyway eventually. The future sight of "The Apocalypse" were the best 10 seconds of the film, a powerful sight, that may one day be even more realistic with the nuclear weapons etc. man possesses today, perhaps a hidden message here? Especially the sight of the newspaper were well done.

Sadly I think the director avoids the downsides of being a hero and all that, a downside that X-Men and Spider-Men portrays so well. There are a few moments of the film where the director tries to point it out, an example is the awkward scene between HellBoy and Liz in his room where he tells her that he wishes he could get rid of his looks and be normal, but he can't, a good promising moment there, but after that, it fades into the background and is not taken up again, unfortunately.

There is no doubt that Ron Perlman is the powerful Hellboy, also a terrific performance for him, and his good humour fits the character well, all the other characters and actors in the movie falls through swiftly, some are average performances, like Rupert Evans as the FBI agent, not a bad performance, but perhaps not really many chances for him to show some good sides. As mentioned I found Selma Blair pretty poor in this role, and well that generally went for much of the cast, even though I must admit the FBI chief I hated, but in the end he got portrayed as a pathetic character suddenly socializing with HellBoy, not too well done.

Overall: A true popcorn movie, nothing less, nothing more, it had more potential, but fails to take use of it. If you feel like unlocking your brain for 2 hours, HellBoy won't let you down.

5/10
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Die Hard (1988)
8/10
Fast paced action, a superb popcorn movie!
23 June 2004
Die Hard

John McClane is in California to visit his wife, whom he is seperated from due to different dreams of careers and he hasn't been able to handle he succes in her new job. But it's christmas so he comes to see his family, while picking up his wife at her firm, a group of terrorist shows up and holds all guests as hostages, John McClane manages to escape and is now the only hope to save the hostages and alert the police.

Overall action movies are always very similar and predictable, and this movie is too predictable, perhaps that is the only big weakness of this movie, because who can deny there is something special with Die Hard. Die Hard is simply a very progressive, accelerated and perfectly paced action movie, not only does it tell a good story, and even comes with a few complexes, it also brings some of the best and most solid action ever to be seen.

John McTiernan has proven to be a solid action director over the years, after the breakthrough with Predator he made this classic action flick, that never seems to be getting old, even now. 17 years later, it still works as well as it did 17 years ago, brilliant.

This is just what I suppose we can call a perfect popcorn movie, the kind of movie where you lean back and just let the thrill ride begin, you know things will end happily, but still it entertains for the 2 hours it lasts, and it entertains at a very high level. Perhaps one of the weaknesses of the movie is the happy ending, I would have loved a darker ending, leaving something to think about, especially since there obviously is the problematic climax involved in the movie, there are some good side stories, especially the dramatic with John and Holly's marriage. Strangely that works out perfectly and we get to know everything about it, even though the movie actually doesn't spend much time explaining, it's just done so well and perfectly direct that we basically know everything about these two when the movie ends.

I am not sure if this was a final breakthrough for Bruce Willis, but he definetely shows in this movie what great actor he is, we see a lot of different sides of him, the tough guy, the soft guy, and even better, the funny guy. I hardly ever láugh in movies, and I hate unserious movies that are trying to hard to make you laugh, but the jokes in this movie are perfect, especially the one signed by Bruce Willis, I loved his attitude, perfect performance!

To sum it all up a bit, as we always do. This is a really great action classic, an unforgettable movie that never gets old, no matter how many times you watch it, this must be like the 5th time for me, and it's still highly entertaining, it has no slow moments and just moves out there at a perfect pace for 2 hours. The weak sides is perhaps that it's such a classic and traditional action movie that we know the end before the movie starts, sadly, an ending that would have left me breathless would have been better for me, but maybe other people think differently. I just like dark endings.

8/10
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Returner (2002)
6/10
Flawed, but delivers the goods in an entertaining way.
13 June 2004
Returner

Year 2084, humans are fighting a bloody war against an alien species known as "Daggra", the war is coming to an end and it seems as if the human race will lose it. The human race however has managed to build a time machine, and in the dying seconds of the war they manage to send a girl, "Milly", back in time. Her mission is to locate and kill the first alien to land on earth, hoping that this will prevent the future war.

There is never any doubt where this movie has picked up its inspiration, movies like "The Terminator 1/2", "Independence Day" and "The Matrix" are quite obvious in the movie, but that isn't necesarrily a bad thing, all movies pick up inspiration from somewhere. The storyline isn't very original, but still in a way original. Problem with it really is that it lacks some depth, and also the 82 years war feels a little unrealistic, however the storyline is driven enough, just nothing special, nothing that will make this movie stand out, even though I think it had a lot of potential. There are also moments of the movie where the story feels a little too weak, especially the very end I disliked, just the way it went, reminded me too much of E.T, and the sentimental point of view should have been kept out of this movie.

Now to draw out the positive sides of this movie. The action scenes are great, even though they are very inspired by The Matrix they are still very good and enjoyable. I never found myself getting boring, and I think the action scenes are definitely one of the things that makes this movie worth watching. Some people say that the effects here are worse than in Hollywood, to be quite honest, I don't believe they are. I didn't find them unconvincing at all, especially the scenes with the Cyborgs were well done, the bullet-time scenes were also good, but we've seen that a lot of times before after "The Matrix" was released.

The movie ends with a small twist, a twist I personally felt didn't belong to the movie at that point, the clues given were a bit weak, and I think it was just generally a weak attempt to create a shocking end, opening your eyes, which it didn't for me, at least not when he woke up again. Had he died, then I would have been shocked and amazed.

Another problem with the movie is the lead characters. Anne Suzuki is cute, yeah, but she lacks depth and her performance never feels real. Her character felt kind of empty and that also damaged the chemistry with co-lead actor Takeshi Kaneshiro, who in the personal scenes neither was very good and convincing, but I must admit that he was fantastic in the action scenes, a 50/50 performance from him, although his character never were very believable. The star on the acting side is the guy playing the notorious bad guy, Goro Kishitani had a magnificent performance playing mr. Evil himself, Mizoguchi. This is a character I most definitely hated, and definitely one of the characters that brought life to the story.

Takashi Yamazaki obviously had a good hand on things while directing the action scenes, and also the movie contains some good cinematography. Sadly Yamakazi didn't manage to control the personal scenes of the movies as well as the action scenes, truly sad, because the movie could really have been at a higher level if the personal scenes had felt more convincing. The script also lacked some depth for each of the lead characters, the idea of the movie could actually have been a lot better.

To sum it all up a tad, a quite enjoyable and driven movie that lives on some good action scenes and one of the coolest bad guys I've seen in a very long time. The script lacks some depth and personal relations with the lead characters, the story also at times felt kind of pointless, but overall the movie managed to hold up a driven pace throughout, and even though it is flawed, it is a very entertaining movie that you can sit back and enjoy.

6/10
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Bad Santa (2003)
5/10
Has some good and some slow moments, I didn't find it very funny though.
7 June 2004
Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton is a burn out man, acting as Santa only to secure a few heists from the supermarkets he's working at. His partner is a dwarf and as an "Elf" and "Santa" they have no problems getting work, but as "Santa" falls more and more apart the work is also getting harder. He hates life, but then he encounters a boy and a woman who is the waitress he's always dreamed of, and she has a thing for Santa's.

Going into this movie i was unsure what to expect, in the later years I haven't found many movies funny, mostly because i find the humour plain dumb, movies often try to hard. Now this movie has an alternative way of using the humour, it's more raw and doesn't feel so ridicolous, instead it's almost interesting to watch how much the characters swear instead, there is never any doubt that the movie tries to bring humour from a different side than usual, and it does have some good moments. Just that overall it feels a little like it repeats it own jokes. I admit i had a few good laughs, but overall I don't think the movie is all that funny, and then the storyline just simply can't hold it together.

The thing about the movie is, that even though it tries an alternative approach to the whole "Santa story", the movie is still very predicable, typical for these movies touched by the magic Hollywood formular you can feel the end all the way, it had a small twist in the end, that I admit surprised me, but the movie still managed to end the happy way I had expected and imagined. Naturally this doesn't have to mean that the movie has a bad storyline, it can still be interesting, warm, feeling and romantic or something else. And this movie did manage to keep me interested most of the way, during the second half there is a very slow moment where I almost dropped out, but through tht end it paced up a bit, saved itself.

Besides Billy Bob Thornton, whom i found fantastic as this lowlife bum playing Santa, the crew is pretty standard. The directing is something I think every director with just a little experience could have pulled off, it has no marks, and actually I guess the director is responsible for slowing the movie down too much in the second half. There is never any doubt that this movie is dependant on Billy Bob, and it does lean much against him, and he gives a very fine performance too.

To sum it all up a bit, I found this movie partly enjoyable, despite a lot of flaws and a story that has been told almost a million times, in many different ways now. It does bring an alternative way to do it, but in the end it all ends as usual. I got a good laughs, but overall the humour wasn't really me and couldn't carry the movie through, it had some good moments, and some bad moments, I reckon it's an average movie, that can be seen, but won't stay with you for long. Unless you find the dialogue great.

5/10
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The Abyss (1989)
8/10
Quite slow, but has many good intense moments.
30 May 2004
The Abyss

An American submarine carrying nuclear weapons crashes under mysterious events, as a storm is coming along an underwater oil rig is called up for help. As the investigation of the submarine starts the wires to the controlling ship gets cut during the storm, the oil rig and the crew is stuck with a few navy seals who are afraid of the Russians, as the atmosphere gets desperate the crew encounters an unknown life form.

Personally I feel James Cameron haven't made many wrong steps in his career, his movies always manage to amaze and entertain me, that includes Titanic. So i was looking forward to watching this movie, and despite a few flaws I found it very good. There were some things which i disliked, but overall I thought it was pretty entertaining and intense.

Of the negative sides the movie is sometimes maybe moving a bit too slow, not much is happening, but actually that is sort of okay, because our interest is kept because we are eager to find out what is beneath, what is the secret. This makes the movie very unpredictable, it's sort of a mystery, and I thought i had guessed the end many times. I'll be honest, I love unpredictable movies as they keep my interest better, and I found this movie very original and unique.

Even though the movie moves at a very slow pace it still creates many very intense scenes that had my heart pumping a few extra times per second, naturally it's the whole thing with the navy seals, and there is never any doubt either where the sympathy lies, even though you may wonder if they are actually doing the right thing, but as the sympathy is far from there, their leader is portrayed as the villain and he sure is a psychopath, and a total moron before he goes insane, down there.

As always James Cameron has done a fantastic job with the directing, and especially the dramatic scenes of this movie is very well handled and extremely intense, especially the scenes where the oil rig is getting dragged towards the bottom were fantastic, another amazing job from Mr. Cameron here.

On the acting I think many of the lead ones did a good job, they were all above average and made a very believable foundation for the movie. Ed Harris had a few flaws, but I also think he had many good scenes, especially the scenes with Mary Elizabeth were superb and their chemistry very good. But for me the star of the movie is the villain, Michael Biehn, his portrait of a nervous psychopath were fantastic, I could almost feel his wrath and damn did I hate him, absolutely terrific!

To sum it all up a bit. I Found this movie very good, and it kept my interest all the way through, but even though it was a fantastic original idea and the details were thought through. But actually I have to admit that i disliked the ending, i loved that i didn't see it coming, but the final end was just too over hyped and classic for me, I was constantly hoping for a shocking end, but the end was just too melodramatic and reminded me too much of something I've seen a million times before, the classic "Happy End".

8/10
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Secret Window (2004)
7/10
Depp is outstanding in an interesting story, but movie fails to bring to bring enough depth and atmosphere.
25 May 2004
Secret Window

The famous writer Mort Rainey discover his wife cheating on him an evening. 6 months later the story picks up on him hiding away in their summer house or something similar, deep inside the woods, all alone. In the woods he has hit a writing block. One day a stranger comes to see him, with him he brings a story he wrote 7 years ago, the story is almost identical with a famous story Mort Rainey wrote, the stranger, John Shooter, wants Mort to either prove that he wrote the story first or write the ending as it should have been done properly.

I'm quite a big Stephen King fan, but that doesn't mean that i always enjoy the adaptions of his books, in fact i think many of them is a disgrace to the books, King has a fantastic style when writing. Something that apparently is extremely hard to adapt in a proper way, last one i saw was Dreamcatcher, which was one of the worst ones ever to be seen. And i saw it directly after i've read the book. With Secret Window on the other hand, i'd never read the book, but from the plot i can see that it's something Stephen King has been working with before, but i held my head high and went on to see the movie.

And this does have a real Stephen King touch, at least the storyline has a feeling of King over it, and that is basically what drives this movie forward in an interesting way, the storyline is very good and interesting. But this movie wouldn't work without John Torturro and Johnny Depp in the leading roles, especially Depp is outstanding as the writer who's trying to overcome his sorrow by sleeping his days away. Torturro also shines as the psychopath that is haunting Depp, and together they are really making a strong team, a team that is the heart and soul of this movie, because the directing isn't too good.

This movie is supposed to be a psychological thriller, and it is, it's interesting at least, but it's far from scaring anybody. For that, I think there is just simply missing atmosphere in the movie, if it hadn't been for Depp and Torturro and the general storyline, this movie wouldn't have worked at all. David Koepp can thank Stephen King for a great background story, and he can thank Torturro and Depp for bringing 100% atmosphere of the movie. The twist in the end is also strong, it really is a strong twist, but we see it all coming long before. Basically because the hints that are given are at times maybe too obvious, but also because we have seen this before.

The Dark Half anyone? The basic storyline of these two are very much alike, but this doesn't make this story less interesting. When it all comes down to it all, i think David Koepp have made an enjoyable adaptation of a real genius work, the movie has some flaws, it lacks depth and atmosphere, but overall it works out pretty well, and i really liked it.

7/10
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6/10
Classic film-Noir, mysterious and interesting, but fails to deliver a solid climax.
23 May 2004
The Maltese Falcon

Sam Space is a private detective, one day a mysterious woman comes to see her, she wants a man shadowed. Sam's partner does the job and gets killed, by who, is unknown. While investigating the murder he finds himself getting involved with dangerous men, seeking the myth of a Maltese Falcon statue, so valueable, they're willing to do anything it takes to get it.

This movie is most of the way a real original film-noir, where our head character and supposed good guy finds himself getting involved in something larger and more dangerous than he should be able to handle. Although whether Humprey Bogart is playing that good a guy in his character, Sam Spade, can be discussed, Sam Spade is portrayed as a sort of egocentric partly greedy man, who is obviously supposed to be our hero, but on his journey we see greedy and often cynic and egocentric sides of him.

The strength of this movie is the constant curiousity we have for how the story will unfold, there is always a mysterious look for the story, and it feels interesting because it is this detective story where we are participating in slowly unfolding the mystery. However, the movie has quite a few plot holes, and the many fast paced match cuts doesn't give us much time to think deeper into what's happening, everything is really going too fast, something that also means the atmosphere in the movie feels pretty non existant and my interest were never gathered 100%.

The acting in the movie is actually quite great, especially for this old a movie. In older movies I often think that the acting seems to many of the actors to be awkvard, but not in this movie, in this movie it's quite convincing, despite a few flaws, flaws though that is a part of giving this movie the charming oldies feel.

To sum it all up a bit. The movie, despite having quite a number of flaws, is overall an interesting experience, that will leave you guessing and hold your interest for most of the time, even though it has its drop downs, it's still a pretty well done mystery story, following the classic film-noir model much of the way. However despite having a good story, that unfolds good, but too fast, the movie never really managed to impress me with the climax, actually i felt the climax never reached the heights it should have. Something that leaves an overall less convincing opinion upon the movie, especially a murdery story like this, which is highly dependant on a good climax.

6/10
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The One (2001)
4/10
Occasional good action, but overall a predictable movie with the usual Hollywood formula touch.
21 May 2004
The One

The idea is, that in the future we all exist in multiverses, as in multiple universes. A new technique has been build to make it possible for one to travel between them, a former cop of the multiverse has discovered that by killing his "clones" he will unite the force of them all in himself. He has by now killed them all, there is only one left. 2 new multiverse cops are chasing him, Julaw, as he finds the last one he is seeking, whom is also a well trained police man.

It sounds a little confusing yeah, but you quickly discover the meaning of it all. Actually it's a very interesting and original plot and background for the movie, sadly the movie far from takes advantages of it, instead of building a unique sci-fi experience and experimenting with the idea, the movie chooses to build one action cliché upon another. Sadly this just fades out in the end. The movie is obviously build after a typical Hollywood formula, it has everything a modern Hollywood film needs. Romance, action, thrills, effects etc. Sadly the movie fails to succeed in all of the, everything is very predictable, and i saw the end coming after 15 minutes or so, the whole movie felt like something you've seen before, just now in a different scenario. To bad they didn't take advantage of the interesting background story, it could have been such a good movie, but instead it becomes "just another movie", which I will probably have forgotten in not too long.

The movie also takes an obvious inspiration in a movie like "The Matrix", especially the many bullet-time sequences shows that, sadly this just doesn't work as well here. The movie sort of end up with a feeling of a computer game, Jet Li's fantastic material talents are sadly wasted here by computer work, instead of showing them raw, they're altered by all kind of special effects, unfortunately.

James Wong was also behind the partly successful "Final Destination", but in this movie it doesn't feel like he got much experience, somehow he manages to turn a promising movie into a braindead action movie, that brings what a million movies have done before. This really is just another movie.

The acting isn't too good either. Especially Jet Li and Carla Gugino's chemistry was absolutely terrible. It was just so obvious that the scenes where we were supposed to see how much they loved each other, well they were like a shadow of themself, generally Jet Li's performance felt very hollow, and it was like he had no interest in the acting of the movie himself, felt like he was thinking of something else while giving us a few one liners and shallow performance.

To Sum it all up a bit. This movie could have been so much more than it became, the storyline is very promising, but the movie fails to take advantage of it. Instead this movie has become just another movie, that everyone will have forgotten soon, this is not a memorable movie by any movies. Only thing i will remember it for is how it ruined the always great Jet Li martial arts, by adding unnecessary computer effects to everything. The movie does sometimes bring a few good moments, some of the action scenes are entertaining, it's just all been seen before, but for fans of action movie it will probably entertain for the 82 minutes it lasts.

4/10
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Yojimbo (1961)
8/10
Perfectly paced movie that has created a foundation for many future movies.
21 May 2004
Yojimbo (The Bodyguard)

Sanjuro is a ronin, a samurai without a master, walking around trying to find peace. He arrives to a town divided by two gangs, one produces Silk, the other produces Sake. The Town is divided between them, both are they fighting for the being the one gang in charge, the fight has lasted long and has killed almost all business in town, except the one making coffins for all the corpses the war produces. Sanjuro wants to help, offers to help both of them depending on who will pay him the highest fee. But his real intention is to play the gangs against each other to free the town from them.

My long awaited first Kurosawa experience, and i do admit, there is no doubt he is a rare genius. This story is just so well told, perfectly balanced the movie never fails to be interesting, all the way through it kept me interested, wanting to see the progress. Pure perfection. It's one of those movies where i thought afterwards how perfectly paced it was, every second is there for a reason, there isn't a second to much, or a second to little, fantastic. Also the movie, despite being very old, is actually still today very watchable, although it hasn't aged as well as some other old movies i have seen. I can still see where many modern movies have gotten the inspiration from, the amount of scenario you can recognize here is absolutely admirable, and there has also been much talk about the storyline directly have inspired a great director like Sergio Leone, to make his western triumph "A Fistful of Dollars".

Kurosawa is the genius in this movie, in a movie that is so well construction you can tell this movie was made by a creative genius, but also a man who constantly seeked for perfection, every thing in the movie seem to be thought so well through, every little sequence. One great piece in the movie directing wise is the stunning use of the a confusing touch to the movie, the windy, cold, dirty roads of the town, it's just so well portrayed.

I haven't seen many old Japanese movies, but the acting here is brilliant, i love the passion that exists in the Japanese language. Toshiro Mifune is quite fantastic in the leading role, but i think all of the cast gives a very good performance, and there isn't a flaw to put on any of them. Especially the wife to Seibei i thought was fantastic in portraying the cold, evil and brutal women, that she played.

To up it up. This movie is almost a perfect construction. Furthermore the movie has inspired decades of movies, truly admirable. I was very surprised to see how well such an old movie manages to keep my interest up nearly all the way through, it's really a well balanced movie that never manages to get boring at all. But even though i have a lot of praise for the movie, it didn't get all the way through me, i wasn't stunned afterwards, i didn't want to become a samurai and a Japanese, that is what makes me not giving it a top grade. But i still found it a very good movie that portrayed many sides of the human mind, greed, anger, fear, evil, but most important we also got to see how Sanjuro, the fearsome Samurai, also had a heart of gold with his intention of helping the innocent in people in the village.

8/10
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The Missing (I) (2003)
6/10
Good movie, but sort of slow and lacks intensity.
20 May 2004
The Missing

Maggie haven't seen her father in a very long time, he abandoned the family while she was little to live as an Indian. Years later he returns, but she refuses to talk to him. Later her daughter is kidnapped, and she realizes that her father who is partly Indian and an expert in tracking people down, is the only one able to help her.

Well where do i start, i kinda liked the movie a little, despite it had a few flaws and failed to live up to a proud genre entirely. One of the things i disliked was the predictability, you could smell the end of the movie after like 20 minutes, and even though i still got surprised by one thing in the end, it was done in such a typical Hollywood heroic way that it wasn't really that shocking after all.

The movie is a bit slow, as many have mentioned, and it is, but that isn't necessarily the reason for it being a bit boring, actually i didn't find that the reason too it, i just thought the movie lacked some intensity, and always having a feeling of the outcome it never really made me byte my nails, during fights for example. All it took was to look at the clock and say to myself "Well this happens to early for it to succeed", a little sad.

Ron Howard have directed the movie quite well, nothing to complain about there, he takes good use of one of the things that is in all westerns, a stunning cinematography, and even though it has been seen more powerful it is still a fantastic view of the west this movie delivers.

In the acting i found Cate Blanchett quite good, she fit her role good and made a good above average performance. On another note i disliked Tommy Lee Jones in this movie, not meaning that his performance was terrible, i just had problems seeing him in this role, i think he is a bad cast for a role like this.

To sum it all up a bit. This movie is okay, i've seen better, but i have definitely also seen worse, i found it quite enjoyable at times, and other times too predictable and cliché. Western is an old genre, and a very proud one too, and this movie doesn't bring anything new to the genre, actually it feels very inspired by movies like "The Searchers" and "Dances with wolves", but it's not an embarrassment to the genre. I think the story just lacks and original touch so not everything could be spotted early in the movie.

6/10
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EuroTrip (2004)
3/10
Has its moment, but overall. Pretty damn awful.
18 May 2004
Eurotrip

Scott and his best friend have just graduated, then he is dumped by his whore girlfriend, Fiona, he is torn apart but goes to the graduation party anyway. Only to discover that she has been sleeping with another guy all along. Back home he discovers that his internet friend is actually a girl, whom he has rejected because he thought it was a guy wanting to be with him. The next morning when he is sobered up and finds out it's a girl, he is blocked from her email and decides to go to Berlin and meet her.

The plot sounds a bit weak, and yeah it is, isn't it always in this type of movies? Anyway i got this movie recommended as an "American Pie" style of movie, one of the few movies in this genre i have liked in the past, but it just doesn't even come close to the same level.

Funny thing with the movie is that the first 10 minutes are quite good, and i was actually looking forward to the rest of the movie, but when they go Europe, the movie becomes what so many other movies have become in the past years. A really cliché dumb romantic wannabe comedy from Hollywood, and the humour that they are forced to bring are just stressed in, most of it is very far from being funny, at least from my point of view, i rather found many of the scenes ridiculous.

This movie really annoys me a lot, and i think that it's mainly because there are so many of these movies lately, i don't understand how they can keep making them, how can they keep being a success. This movie was overall a pretty lousy one, and i just know for myself that one day or another i will find myself watching a movie completely similar to this, just with a different storyline. I admit the movie does have some good moments, and i did find myself laughing at the football hooligans, and Scotts little brother. But other scenes, like the one with the pope, the one in Club Vandersexxx, they are just so unbelievable pathetic, i curse the one that keeps thinking scenes like this up in different scenarios.

A thing that movies like this are very dependant on is the romantic part of it, and that is what made American Pie sweet, interesting and entertaining. In this movie, the romantic part did far from work, it was put so much in the background, and then stressed through in the end, that it wasn't even close to getting to me.

Both acting and directing is just there because it had to be, nothing special there.

To sum it all up a tad. This has been seen a million times before, the famous Hollywood formula where all you have to do is add character, the movie is overall a terrible experience, but i do admit the movie has a few moments where i found myself laughing quite a bit. But it just isn't enough to carry a movie a whole 1½.

3/10
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Blow-Up (1966)
3/10
Tries to be artistic, but ends up as a boring and meaningless art film.
16 May 2004
Blowup

A photographer is running around looking to find something interesting to photograph other than beautiful women throwing themself at him, something which he hates. One day as he walks in the park photographing he photographs are murder without noticing, but then woman is so interested in getting the pictures back that he gets suspicious, as he investigates the pictures he notices how he apparently have photographed a murder.

This movie is artistic yeah, but i think it's possible the most boring and meaningless artistic movie i have ever seen, and i'm quite a fan of unique movies that tries to stand out. This is not the case, for starters the storyline is just too slow to make it interesting, the ending is actually quite a thinker, at first i was very confused. How could it end like this?? But when i think about it the message of the movie stands quite clear with the end, but a well done ending doesn't make up for the movie in general, even though the movie have an interesting plot and a good message, it's just simply too boring.

The movie could have been made as a short movie, there are simply so many scenes that could have been cut out it's offending, there are tons of scenes where we see our head character walking down the street, walking around in the park, or just generally completely pointless scenes. For example the one at the rock concert, a scene that i have no understanding what so ever for existing, it had nothing to do with the movie really, it felt to me like it was just there for the sake of being there.

The directing is obviously one of the supposedly strong sides in an artistic movie like this, but it never really breaks through here, the work of the camera should have symbolized the story point a lot more than it did, actually i think the directing is quite weak on this one. The overdone scenes that lasts longer than they should makes it feel a bit like the directing is having problems with his self criticism, it should stand clear for anyone there are too many scenes in this movie that feels pointless. I could cut it down to 20 mins and still make the same point.

For the acting i was pretty impressed with the convincing performance of our head character, who i never managed to figure out the name of, but he is pretty much the main essence of the movie, and he does quite a good job. Although he is actually playing a character who is a complete moron, but still a very convincing performance from him.

To sum it all up. I was really disappointed at this movie, when i read the plot i thought it sounded extremely interesting, but when it all came down to an end it was just a bizarre and overdone artistic movie, that i will probably have forgotten in a while, and i don't expect to watch it again, should i even get the chance. I can't forget that it took one hour of the movie before the introduction was over and something started to happening. When the story finally got going i finally found an interest in the plot, but even after the introduction of the over and the point of no return had started, there never seemed to appear a climax, the movie went on to continue with useless and pointless scenes. And then a very sudden end that at first didn't make much end, and even though it's actually quite a good end when i look back, i still found the overall experience of the movie empty, partly boring and overdone.

3/10
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Casablanca (1942)
8/10
Truly one of the more memorable romantic movies of all time.
16 May 2004
Casablanca

Casablanca is one of the few remaining parts of an unoccupied France, still the german are around there. Casablanca is also one of the few places where it is possible to get free of charge to American, the free country during the war. Rick's Cafe is the coolest place in town. One day a known Czech underground leader arrives with his beautiful wife, Ilsa, to whom Rick once had a short but wonderful affair in Paris.

Finally! Finally, i had the chance to view one of the most famous movies in the history, Casablanca. Some may say it's a mother to all future romantic movie, and there are indeed many things in the movie that have been copied one way or the other, but that is mainly because this movie seems to have written a small manual for how to make an interesting love drama. I haven't seen many movies this old, so who am I to judge, but there is no doubt this movie has aged like a very fine wine, even today, black and white as it is, this is still a movie that will always stand as a remarkable romantic movie, maybe even the mother of all romantic movies. I can at least say that even now, so many years after, and my young age taken in consideration, this movie still has an effect on me, and it never gets boring at all, it keeps the perfect pace for all 110 minutes, which is quite outstanding.

Now for those who think Casablanca is just a romantic movie, it's not, actually it has many others aspects to it. And i think that is why this movie works so well, we see other problems being taken up, perfectly they are adjusted so there are not too many of them and the romantic issue is still the main theme, but the sub problems works well. Especially i noticed how the movie always got our interest opened for something that feels kept as a secret, for example the past of both Rick and Ilsa, before they met in Paris. That single thing was never revealed until very late in the story, which for me meant that i was constantly curious to find out more throughout the movie.

The movie is quite good directed, the director have found an nearly perfect pace for the movie all along, it never gets boring and manages to be entertaining and interesting all the way through, something that i think is quite amazing, the time flew by so fast I was amazed when it ended. And that is indeed a good thing, i hate it when movies have to bring up boring sequences, and it's something that for me drags down a lot in my overall opinion, but Casablanca really impressed me on that.

The acting is also quite good for this movie, acting in the earlier days are usually very different than modern days. That goes for this movie too. Best was Mr. Bogart, i actually thought he did a very good job playing a cynic man, who deep within had a heart of gold, all it took for it to open was the one woman. Ingrid Bergman played a fine role too, although i disliked her false tears, they didn't look very convincing to me.

To sum it all up a bit. There is no doubt this one of the greatest romantic movies of the history, and it is the work of a perfectionist, every single detail seem to be thought through, and the movie works fantastically well and has very few flaws. The movie has aged perfectly, I think one of the main reasons to this is that there are barely any use of special effects in the movie, something that is very easy to spot now a days, but this movie can be watched without problems, even now a days. If i had to point a negative side out, which I have to do naturally, the movie didn't make me cry and really feel with my heart as I was hoping for, the movie is good no doubt, but i never really fell in love with the characters. Something that i think is necesarry for a romantic movie to succed to a top grade, but there is no doubt anyway, if i get the chance, then I will watch this movie again.

8/10
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Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
4/10
Has its moment, but overall uneven, weird and quite uninteresting.
15 May 2004
Bruce Campbell plays Sebastian Haff, a person that may or may not be the real Elvis Presley, years after his death he is stuck at a rest home. There he meets what appears to be President Kennedy, they are very bored and unhappy about their current life. Suddenly a soul sucking egyptian Mummy comes to the rest home, for soul hunting naturally. There are only two who can put an end to it and save the rest home souls, JFK and Elvis Presley.

Yes, it does sound weird, and it is very weird. Some may say that its the odd style of the storyline and movie that brings the force up in this one, some may say that is what puts the movie down as being a bunch of crap. I'm holding for the second option, i wasn't very impressed by this movie, actually i was the opposite of impressed. The movie in both style and story is very weird, mostly the story is the weird part though, but also some advanced fast motion usage brings up a feeling of confusion, however this doesnt help the movie much. The storyline just doesn't get to me, the funny part of the movie is probably the crooked usage of memoral Elvis quotes and such, but i didn't find this movie funny at all, in fact i didn't laugh at all. I was just waiting for it too end. It's a special movie that some will consider cult for it's special and unique, yeah it really is unique, adaptation of the Elvis legend.

The movie can be understood in two ways, and that is the depth of the story, the only thing that will actually make you think a little. And the fact that its pretty pointless for the understanding of the movie takes out that edge a bit. Nevertheless some may think that they are actually JFK and Elvis Presley as elderly people, some may say they are living in a dream world, making up things to get a excitement into an utterly boring life, in other words. They are nutcases. I believe they are just looking for something that can catch their attention, the biggest lead towards this direction is when Elvis manages to get a hard-on due to the sudden twist in his life. He believes the hard-on comes because he suddenly feels there is a spark in his life again, it sounds weird. And it is.

Bruce Campbell does a fine job portraying an old Elvis here, actually i think he is quite brilliant in the role, not funny, but still interesting in a way, but he can't save a storyline that has no debth and makes as much sense as jumping off a cliff.

To sum it all up a bit, i found this movie quite strange and uninteresting, sadly. The story is obviously very original, but maybe that is because all other directors would know that this storyline is complete crap. The movie has a few good moments, but is overall quite boring, slow paced and just generally I felt it was pointless and as i like to call it, utterly "jibberish".

4/10
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Spartan (2004)
6/10
Entertaining, but uneven and at times shattered plot.
14 May 2004
Spartan

Val Kilmer plays a special agent in Secret Service who is specially trained and spends some time training upcoming agents, his reputation is well known and he is a brutal man. One day he is called in to help in the investigation concerning a kidnapping of a known politician's daughter, as the investigation brings him to the core he finds out that the case is much more important than he was expecting.

In the start of this movie i really had problems figuring out what was all going on, the movie leads into a million of different directions without really telling us what is going on, without explaining to us why the characters are doing what they do, or why the story even go that way. That is definetely the biggest problem of this movie, the plot itself is very fractured and there are many unexplained sitautions and there were many times where i found myself thinking why that happened and how that was possible, the movie simple feels like it have been either cut down too much, or just poorly constructed in the first place, there can be many reasons for the shattered plot, i'm unable to give a precise answer, but i felt that this was what let the movie down, quite a bit. Also this fractured plot gives a movie with quite some confusion, especially in the introduction. Most of the confusing parts are explained one way or the other later on in the movie, but that still doesn't change the fact that there are just some parts of this movie that isn't explained well enough, and just generally feels cut and rushed. ¨ The directing is definetely not too well here, for me it felt like the directing have tried to pace the movie more than it could handle. Something that makes it feel a little like it skips parts of the movie. I would preffered some explanation and a movie that were 15 minutes longer, because actually the missing explanations are mostly of smaller parts of the movie, but they are very obvious still. Also a movie that is this social realistic should remember to keep the realism as a high priority, how do Val Kilmer finance his expensive trip to Dubai, i couldn't figure it out, how did he become to wealthy?

The acting is quite okay, Val Kilmer isn't the best character actor, but he does an okay job here, it's not extraordinary and outstanding, but it works well enough, rest of the characters of the movie are just there because the story needs them.

Even though the direction and overview of this movie is shattered, it is still quite entertaining, and that is mostly due to the storyline, even though we see the coming too early because the twist appears too early. The movie is still quite enjoyable, and definetely worth watching if you are into a light thriller, because it does have some moments that are remarkable, sadly the movie are unable to receive a top grade because the story is as shattered as it is.

6/10
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Signs (2002)
7/10
Intense, but not quite as atmospheric and thrilling as Shyamalan's other works.
14 May 2004
Signs

Graham Hess is a former priest, who has lost all his faith in god when his wife died. Now he is living with his 2 children and his brother, they're living outside a small town running a farm. One day "Signs" starts to appear in their crop fields, at first they think it's made my local people playing a joke on the, but as they watch the television similar "Signs" starts to appear all the world. While this is going on Graham Hess is continues to struggle with the death of his wife and her last words "Tell Merril to swing" and "Tell Graham to see".

I am a keen admirer of Shyamalan's amazing talent to build up an intense atmosphere in his movies, especially "The Sixth Sense" gives a fantastic view into his perfectionistic feeling for movies. And while this movie is still an admirable effort, it has more flaws than the other Shyamalan movies i have viewed, it's not nearly as thrilling and the awaited twist is a bit sloopy, but the movie is still very intense most of the way. And it does have a lot of Shyamalan's trademarks, i just think that the story itself is not nearly as engaging and interesting as the others, i think Shyamalans twist is also more predictable and expected than in his other movies, there are simply revealed too much for it to really shock. You see some of it coming most of the way, but there are still some things in the end that does indeed make other things in the movie make more sense, but it's nowhere near as powerful and outstanding done as in his earlier movies, but this is still a highly original movie that brings what one expects.

I am sure that this is also one of the movies that will divide the general public opinion, the movie can really be understood two ways. Are they all living in some sort of dream? Or is the movie about faith in god and the fact that everything one way or the other, does indeed happen for a reason. I believe in the 2nd. My primary reason for this is that the movie just doesn't make sense if you understand it as a dream, too many things are revealed and too many things wouldn't make sense. If there were only 4 characters in the movie it would make sense, but there are many more, and it would all be too realistic for it all to be a dream. However the 2nd thing is what seems more real, and also what makes most sense, and i have a strong confidence that it is what Shyamalan wanted to say with this movie. "Never lose faith, everything does happen for a reason".

The directing is definitely strong here, i think Shyamalan have once again proven that he is one of the most talented and interesting new directors, and i do look forward to seeing his new project as i find his style very engaging and interesting. Also i think he has his own style which is good, you can feel that its Shyamalan that have made the movie, and the original feeling he brings adds up for a good experience in watching his movies, he is really good at creating an intense atmosphere in the movie itself, even if it doesn't work out as well here as it have done in his other movies. But who can blame him, Sixth Sense was almost a definition of a perfect thriller.

Another thing i have admired Shyamalan for earlier is his apparent skill to make child actors seem so reliable and realistic in their way, a place where many fails because children naturally aren't very experienced and generally also more immature and nervous, but this is the 3rd movie in a row where Shyamalan makes all of his cast play some very convincing roles and there is hardly ever a flaw here. Especially Joaquin Phoneis is fantastic, and i will always have the image of him with the helmet on burnt inside my eyes.

To sum it all up a bit, i am as said a big admirer and fan of Shyamalans special style, for me he is one of the best directors i have seen since Carpenters early days in building up an intense atmosphere, and even though this movie doesn't come close to the perfection of The Sixth Sense, it's still a solid and thrilling movie that will surprise you, even if you think you have the ending predicted.

7/10
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The Dreamers (2003)
8/10
Poetically brave and challenging.
13 May 2004
Matthew is a young american student in france, his passion for movies leads him into Theo and Isabelle, two twins that shares his passion, they quickly build a deep friendship and Matthew gets invited to stay with them while their parents are gone. However once he gets settled with them he discovers sides of both that he had not expected. While they spend their time talking and playing, the riots of Paris 1968 goes on in the "real world".

This is a very brave film in the way it has been build, but it is also a complicated movie that will leave you both confused and thinking, it's beautiful and it can almost be described as cinematic poetry, however this poetry also makes it a difficult one to relate too.

After seeing this film i am confused in what i feel about it, the movie feels very divided, and some times it is an extraordinary brave and experimental film, other times it is confuing, and at some times boring too. It's really a hard movie to understand because of the poetic feeling it gives, it's like reading a poem where some of the lines doesn't make sense, but i guess that could be an advantage as it can be seen more than once. I feel the strength of the movie is the way it challenges and explores like no american or typical mainstream movie would do, the often use of nudity and raw sex scenes would never be seen elsewhere, and even though it may annoy many people, Bertolucci portrays the scenes very beautiful and they never seem like dirty scenes, the most impressive scene is the one where Matthew and Isabelle have sex, never have a full sex scene been portrayed in such a beautiful and realistic way on screen. And there are many examples of this.

What brings the movie is first of all the very slow storyline, it barely moves at all, the whole 2 hours are pretty much circulating around one thing, which is the way these 3 youngsters spend their sparetime, it's an mysterious movie that really brings up interesting situations a lot of times, but other times it simply gets too slow and gets a little boring. Another partly negative thing is the understanding of the movie, as I earlier mentioned the movie is like a poem, if you have problems with a few lines the whole deeper meaning may fall apart. I wouldn't say i did not understand the fully deeper meaning of the movie, but i think each individual will understand this movie differently, due to the complex way it has been made. But i honestly think Bertolucci wanted it to be like that, a movie that will leave you thinking about many things, but i think what it really is about is finding yourself in a world where there are 6 billion people looking like you on the outside.

The movie is very well directed, a solid directing and you can clearly see the trademarks of the director, one thing i noticed was the floating camera. The floating camera gives a feeling of being there, it is mostly used in the first part of the movie where Matthew learns more about his mysterious new friends, it gives us a feeling of curiousity towards these two new persons. Two persons whom we soon discover have more to them than showing on the outside.

The acting in the movie is solid. I usually don't expect much from new and coming actors and actresses that i have not heard about before, this was also the case for this movie. But the acting is really good, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel really gives an above average performance, great to see that there are still new actors who can take over when the old ones will be gone. But the star of this movie is Eva Green, what a mysteriously and unique performance, and what a brilliant casting, she is unique, beautiful and most importantly interesting, erotic and challenging. Also i give props to all the three main characters for their brave and realistic portray of nudity and the complications of sex among unexperienced youngsters.

As i said earlier this movie is very complex, it's hard to understand, and i could probably talk about it forever, but i got to stop somewhere. I think the movie is definetely worth watching, it's very artistic and does indeed stand on its own feet, it takes chances you don't see many movies take, and it's all done very well. On the negative side i think the movie sometimes get too complex and slow, but overall i don't regret seeing it, and i think that i will be seeing it again due to the complex story, it will probably bring me new thoughts when i see it next time.

6/10
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12 Monkeys (1995)
8/10
Challenging and disturbing, a true masterpiece!
9 May 2004
James Cole is sitting in a prison in a distant future, his only change to get freed is to volunteer for a time travel test that will send him back to find the source of a virus that wiped out 5 billion people in 1996. However they send him too far, and he is arrested and send to an institute where he is defined as being insane, he makes a magic houdini escape. While being at the mental institute he meets two people that will have great effect on his "future" life.

2 days ago i saw Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, expecting a masterpiece from what appeared to be one of the more creative minds of Hollywood, i was very disappointed, but i saw the potential in the directing. Now i see Twelve Monkeys, and i must admit, this movie was very challenging, original and extremely unpredictable, it can be analyzed in many different directions, which is what i think is the strength of a true masterpiece, a movie that can have different meanings depending on how your mind is built. "A movie can have a different effect on you depending on when in your life you see it, and the state of your mind at the time" Something like that is said in this movie, and it defines the movie pretty well.

What makes this movie so damn great is the constant twists, you will find yourself guessing all the time, at times i felt very confused, at other times i thought i had everything in place, then a twist and you're lost again, this makes the movie a constant original and unpredictable experience, and the end, which can be interpretated in a large amount of different ways, is very powerfull and mind bending, which is really fantastic, this is a movie that will be looked back at in many years as an even greater masterpiece.

The directin is very firm, Terry Gilliam has his own style, which obviously includes many alternative camera angles, which gives the whole movie a feeling of being unreal and portraying a fantasy world, and i feel confident that if we asked him why he used this, there would be a deeper symbolizing meaning with them, i think they describe certain parts of the movie. This movie is a work of a true genius.

This movie would not have worked without Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, each are they giving one of their great performances of their life. Especially Brad Pitt i admite for his role as a crazy lunatic in this movie, the way he portrays this semi psychopath is just so realistic and fantastic. Bruce Willis is the counterpart, also giving a performance as a rather mentally disturbed person (That is the way i felt he got portrayed), he does an amazing and convincing job, together these are bringing the movie the energy and soul it needs.

To sum it all up. They say you can talk about a true masterpiece forever, there will always be new things to discuss, there will never be anyone with a opinion and interpretation of the movie that is 100% identical, well i feel that this is one of those movies that can always be talked about, i would love to analyze this, as especially the ending is very powerfull and unique. But also the entire movie itself, there are many things that a lot will feel differently and understand differerently. Everyone will of course understand the movie the same way, but the deeper meaning of the movie, and the actual effect of the twist, that is what makes this movie so strong.

9/10
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7/10
Quite enjoyable..
8 May 2004
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy's gang is known in the whole west, they have a wide reputation for their robbings. As the time passes the law will no longer stand back and watch them rob everything, a special team is financed by one of their often victims, and the hunt starts.

This is quite an enjoyable movie, and it has aged very well, actually there aren't many things that points out that it might be an older movie. If i had to point at something it is the different style they made movies back then and the less clear picture, but that is okay, becuase it gives a dusty feeling, which is good in this case because it is a western. The movie is also very beautifully photographed with many silent and beautiful images of the west, something that is a must-have for a western. But even though this is quite a good movie, there are still some flaws. One of them i think is that the movie is a bit long, i actually didn't get bored, but i still felt that some of the scenes are a bit too long, especially the first part of the movie, which somehow actually manages to last an whole hour. Also there aren't many action scenes, which is something i love about westerns, this movie seems to avoid them to focus more on the friendship of Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy, and also we see them robbing almost a million banks.

Robert Redford and Paul Newman is a fantastic couple on screen, i loved them both together here, their chemistry is very good, and is very important as their relationship is the main essence of the movie. Robert Redford is the mr cool as Sundance Kid, while Paul Newman is the smart and clever Butch Cassidy, who ain't much of a killer though, together they work very well.

To sum it all up a bit, my honest opinion is that this movie is quite enjoyable and i feel confident that i will watch it again some day, it's not the best movie i have seen, but it works well and i didn't find myself waiting for it to end. I could have wished for some more action and some scenes cut down shurter, but i was actually positively surprised how well this movie has aged.

7/10
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5/10
Weird, absurd and very twisted.
7 May 2004
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr Gonzo is heading for Las Vegas to cover a desert race, their car is packed with drugs and their only intention is to get as drugged up as possible while their company is paying for their press coverage of the race. From here the movie follows their rampage in Las Vegas.

Well, this is one of the most crazy and pointless movies i have ever experienced. To be quite honest the movie is actually very well constructed, Terry Gilian uses the camera very well in symbolizing the situation using crooked camera angles and a good amount of color impressions, however this can't save the movie from having no depth at all, all it simply does is giving a shallow description of drug abuse, it doesn't go into any deep moralizing questions about it, it doesn't bring any discussions up, it just describes and portrays, something that at first seems ok. But as the movie passes on it feels like everything is repeating itself, the same thing happens in a different way, it's pretty much the same, nothing that makes us think happens, and then it ends. The movie is simply too hollow and empty for being a great movie, all it describes it madness, pure madness, and the effect and possible feeling of drug abuse.

I guess this has become a cult movie because of the madness it describes, in a very wild and obscure way, but towards that i can only say, cult movies does often divide the audience, and this time i got stuck on the negative side. Because this madness it describes so pointless just doesn't get to me, actually i found myself rather bored at times and especially towards the ending waiting for it just too end, i hated how the movie avoided all possible moral questions. Just as you thought it was gonna go in the depth with something, it turned around and walked out of it, something that for me made the movie feel very pointless and empty.

What saves this movie is the great directing, and especially the amazing performances given by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of skill it have taken to play these two odd balls in this movie, this movie really shows how talented they REALLY are, if the acting had been awful in this movie, it would have been a completely useless movie, but somehow this does manage to squeeze in a few enjoyable scenes in a movie that pretty much makes no sense.

To sum it all up, a crazy and absurd movie. However it's just too empty, the description of the state of being drugged is well done, but the movie avoids too many things and focuses only on a portrait of being drugged, it's a crazy movie, that some will like, and others will disllike, i disliked it. But it's worth checking out Del Toro and Depp showing off their talents.

5/10
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Friends (1994–2004)
9/10
The end of an era!
7 May 2004
Friends

For 10 years i've lived with this show, as far as i can remember back i have been watching this once a week, taped a lot of episodes and collected them, this is by far the best tv show i have ever seen, and i ask myself now, will it ever be beaten? I think personally, no. Never have i been able to identify so easily with characters of a tv-show, never have tv-show portraited things without a deeper meaning with such excellence, this show is basically about the general life of 6 friends, and it works so well, even without a moral backbone, it just flows, it is perfect.

Having just watched the final episodes, i must admit, i cried, not so much because of a sad episode, but mostly becuase i was thinking how this ended an era, an era not only for me, but for many people out there who has come to love this show.

Over the years there are so many great moments to think back at, i've come to love all these 6 "fictional" friends, my weekly friends on tv. And man will i miss this show, it's unbelivable, over the years we have gotten to know these persons so well, we have laughed, cried and felt with them, this is a tv show that should never be forgotten.

Besides this i don't know how i would describe the show, there aren't really any words for describing it, it's the best show ever, that's how i feel, and i'm very sad that it is over, but i think they ended it well. Now i will collect the DVDs.
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Donnie Brasco (1997)
8/10
Good and realistic. Depp and Pacino shines.
6 May 2004
Donnie Brasco

Joe Pistone is an undercover agent for the FBI, his code name is "Donnie Brasco", Joe manages to hook up with a small time who vouches him into the mafia, while he's doing his work he is building a solid relationship with "Lefty", the guy who vouced him. While he is working he sees the life of the mafia take him over while his "real life" with his wife falls apart.

This movie in it's style is very intelligent, it describes something that has been seen before, but in a different angle, which i think is good. It's a very realistic movie that gives a good portrait of how the mafia works. But most importantly for the movie is the new angle of the whole mob environment, because we all know pretty much how this works now, through so many legengady movies, from Godfather to Casino. While most of the other movies gives a detailed portrait of the rise and fall, this movie focuses one two thing for two different character, in Pacino's case we see the constant struggle for rising in the grades. In Depp's case we see a great detailed portrait of life as an undercover agent, and what problems it brings, also on the home front.

Depp and Pacino works really good together, and i'm gonna be honest, i'm a big fan of Depp, and he does indeed once again show me why, this man is so talented, and the way he absorbs his character and gives them a bit of himself is really amazing, he once again does an amazing job here. Pacino is playing his perfect role, the mob, how many times has he done this sort of role now? I think it's many times, but he works very well in them, his whole attitude just makes him seem like a very realistic mob guy.

The directing in the movie is basically a standard job, i think many could have done a better job, the direction doesn't feel very deep, there aren't really any things there are noticed. Something i think makes a great director is when you can watch the movie and spot who made it because he uses personal phrases in it. This could have been directed by anybody, it's the acting that kicks this movie alive, together with a good storyline.

For a sum up, i must say i liked this movie a lot, maybe i liked it better because i found the particular subject interesting, but either way. It is a good movie, and it is well done, especially the brilliant cast brings good light to a good story. A story that shows a different angle of the mob side, in a very brilliant way. It's a movie to remember.

8/10
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The Gift (2000)
6/10
Intense supernatural thriller, though flawed and filled with cliches.
2 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The Gift

Annie Wilson is the local "witch", the woman who predicts the future for some people, some believes her, some does not. Though one day the police are stuck in a murder case and their only chance is to ask help at the "Witch", as she starts on the case she finds nothing. Later on her dreams starts giving her visions of the murder though.

This movie is in a way a classic "Who did it" movie, and it does indeed keep its murderer hidden, it's not the butler, so don't expect that :) However there aren't many clues given to who the real killer is, at least i didn't see any, and the one i saw was wrong. This makes the end seem a bit like a relieve, like finally we discovered it, and it is naturally not what one expected. However the end is flawed, some of the visions of the murdering just didn't fit with the murder for me, i am not going to give to many spoilers here, i just found the end of the movie rather flawed at the twist, and especially the second twist seemed meaningless and pushed too hard to give a deeper meaning to the movie.

The movie naturally is a suspenseful thriller, however many of the shocking scenes are build upon various cliches, the movie has stolen various parts from random classic movies and already used schemes. For example one will notice that everytime there is a shocking scene the subsense technique is often used, also the use of lightning and loud sounds are often getting used together with the same music routine, i spotted it early on, but still managed to get one shock in the best scene of the movie, but it is obvious that the director have borrowed his techniques from other movies and experimentation. Therefore the movie doesn't bring much new to this genre and does not revolutionate in any way, it comes and does it's job, and it does it pretty well.

It's obvious that the director is doing a routine work, or maybe he doesn't know better, it's not very experimental and there is frequent use of basic film education, even for a basic film study guy as me, he uses the basic camera angles, music. But he uses them the correct way, a standard job for the directing, it's not spectacular, but it's not awful in any way either. I have seen better and more experimental work from Sam Raini, feels like he is having just another day at work here. The horror scenes especially, he uses the usual suspense as has been scene many times before, which is also one of the reasons they aren't always shocking, there are about 3 times where i was thrilled so i could feel it, the 3rd time was the best.

This movie has a very good cast, all of them are doing a good job, and it's interesting to see Katie Holmes stepping out of her Dawson's Creek character and try to do some daring acting, i think she succeds pretty good. The rest of the cast are all above average, and are one of the reasons the movie is interesting all the way through.

To sum it all up a bit this is quite a good movie, it's entertaining and keeps you guessing to the very last moment, ignore the end and it's even better. The movie has a few flaws, or copied moments so to speak, everything has more or less been seen before which brings the movie down a little, a little more originality would have made the movie much better. But the movie does have its moment and it never gets boring.

6/10
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