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i get genuinely excited for new releases and i wish i had enough money to buy all the dvds i want-but who doesnt?
my taste is really broad. i like so much. i'm a huge kurt russell fan which i know is cheesy but i dont care. i dont have much time for julia roberts and i cant STAND chris o donnel. other than that, i am happy watching anything from devils advocate to the royal tennebaums.
my top ten? too difficult.
goodfellas is probably my favourite film of all time. but if you asked me what i watch a lot i would say something like the fifth element.
i like films that make ya feel something. a film doesnt have to be visual shakespeare to entertain me, and by the same token, i dont mind if a film doesnt have guns and women in it...i think the best films are the ones that have something different about them, innovative ideas and good performances. and at the end of the day you cant start comparing bird on a wire to lost in translation- and it annoys when people think thats how you rate movies.
billy bob thornton, john cusack, kurt russel, sam elliot, tom cruise and over the past few months denzel washington.
Man on Fire (2004)
is it better to burn out than fade away?
Denzel washington gives an great performance as creasy, an alcoholic with a military background who is hired to protect a young girl(played by dakota fanning). The story is set in Mexico city where kidnappers target wealthy families to make huge amounts of money from their ransom.
Tony scott directs a fine cast that includes christopher walken and mickey rourke. The whole film is a blur of various shooting techniques and a vivid soundtrack that suits the mood of a very threatening and alien Mexico city backdrop.
Dakota fanning is excellent as the young girl who creasy must protect, and washington himself is quietly convincing as a man with a past he isn't proud of and a future he knows is empty. But its his friendship with the girl that becomes the heart of the movie. As they bond after an uneasy start, we can see just where tony scott is taking us..so when things do take a turn for the worst, we are fully prepared for it. In fact, we are just waiting for for it to happen. And thats when the pace of the film begins to pick up. Scotts direction revels in showing us the mindset of each character, and soon the plot becomes a by the numbers trail of revenge and information gathering.
However, man on fires strength is the emotional weight that these scenes carry. Scotts investment in his character's relationships almost justifies the violence. And as an audience we are made to feel that creasy's dark side is completely reasonable, no matter how grisly his actions. That might disturb some audiences, but in todays society, it seems that an eye for an eye attitude is not so terrible an idea- at least in scotts vision of society.
If this film has a fault, it isn't the plot, the script or its execution. Its the wealth of good actors that are neither used or developed nearly as much as they could have been. But as in scotts earlier movies (true romance being a prime example), the cast,even if under-used, add a rich quality to the proceedings and audiences will feel in good hands throughout.
Strong story, strong cast, and confident direction make this one of the most interesting releases this year. And if you don't mind your action with a spoonful of sentimentality then you'll enjoy the fact that this film chooses to fade away instead of burning out at the end.
Misses the mark, but not by much.
I have read many reviews that seemed to think Gothika was a waste of time. Let me just say, it is not a waste of time. in fact, the film was very enjoyable. it was shot well and the special effects were sophisticated and well handled. The cast was full of surprises such as Bernard Hill(great actor but a strange role). The story was interesting and there was genuine tension throughout.
Berry's character is a doctor in a mental institute. she wakes up to find herself an inmate in the very place she works. Her colleague and friend played by robert downy jnr tells her that she has committed a horrific crime and nobody knows why. so the plot begins to wind its way towards a shadowy truth. However, without giving anything away, the key scenes where important truths are revealed to the audience are simply too clumsy. information is just handed over visually on a plate and leaves little to the imagination. some of the tension built up in
the first half of the film is lost. and the truth isn't quite as gripping and terrifying as we would have hoped(although thats not to
say it is pleasant).
Robert Zemeckis was one of the producers and i think it shows..there is some great camera work and some really interesting ideas but gothika doesn't have some of the subtle touches that What Lies Beneath had, but its easy to see some of the parallels between the two films.
Even though halle berry wears the same look of shocked disbelief throughout the film, she plays it with conviction. and a supporting role from penelope cruz certainly doesn't take anything away from berry.
all in all, gothika provides a good story, an average screen play and enough innovative ideas to keep its audience. but i would have been disappointed if i had paid to watch it at the cinema.
It ain't for kids!
Hulk is a great film made by a great director. But Hulk has two huge problems. Firstly, its audience. And secondly, its release date.
Hulk is a very insightful film about the true nature of heroism and also of identity. Its rare to see a film about a super hero that actually deals with one of the most important aspects of heroism- the fact that most super heroes would rather not have the power(s) they possess. Of course the incredible Hulk is not a typical spandex- wearing hero, and in this movie version we see Eric Bana's character struggle with his new identity. However, audiences that have been used to watching such releases as x men, spiderman, and even daredevil, are not tuned to Ang Lee's vision of Hulk. Quite the opposite is true. So the fact that Hulk tries to flesh out its characters and provide enough emotional weight to its scenes is completely irrelevant to a young and action-thirsty audience.
The special fx are awesome. The integration of cg and live action is great, and the hulk himself looks amazing when bullets are rippling on his skin and when he is bounding from place to place.
Sam Elliot plays Betty's father and gives a convincing performance as a general forced to protect his country and his daughter. Jennifer Connelly is perfect as Betty and even Bana manages to stay believable at some of the most unbelievable moments. Its just a shame that Hulk was released at a time when super hero movies are two a penny. Is Ang Lee the only film maker who realises that real comic book fans aren't kids anymore? Has Hulks box office takings doomed us to flimsy scripts and trailer-worthy visuals? Lets hope not, because i don't think i could sit through anymore spiderman films.
So the next time you hear someone telling you how bored they were during Hulk, tell them to go watch Xmen 2...then go watch Hulk with dts- a real hero film with a great story, terrific cast, and beautiful visuals(even when things aren't being blown up!) It ain't for kids!
The Bounty (1984)
Excellent performances from a great cast
I have seen this film many time over the years and i never get bored of watching Sir Anthony Hopkins give a riveting performance in this classic story of life aboard The Bounty and the events that lead to mutiny.
Mel Gibson plays Fletcher Christian who must watch helplessly as his captain(Hopkins) demoralizes his men and drives them ever closer to the brink of mutiny. The tension builds throughout the film and in no small part to the excellent score. The disgruntled crew has many recognisable faces including Liam Neeson and Bernard Hill which makes the film all the more enjoyable. Daniel Day Lewis is particularly watchable as mr. frier, showing us a rather smug and sometimes fiery officer. The film is shot beautifully and the story is compelling. Even the script holds up in a film where the best performances come from the actors with the least to say.
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
fORMULAIC BUT FUN!
The lethal weapon series has always been a mix of action and comedy. Producers must have seen the value of Gibson and glovers on-screen partnership and developed the comedic elements in the second and third films, because it is quite obvious that the first film is far grittier than its sequels.
And so we come to the fourth installment of a very popular set of films. And whilst it does feel like each film has become more and more watered down, i cant help thinking how much fun they are to watch. number four is no different. The cast has grown and each has their moment in what is actually a very family friendly film. Snappy dialogue, great chases, likable characters and innovative action provide pretty much everything you would expect. These films aren't popular because they make you think, and Gibson an glover are no spring chickens, but they get away with it because we still love em and its awesome entertainment!
Ninja Cheerleaders (1990)
They don't make em like this anymore!
What first enters your mind when watching this film is "could a film be more perfectly taylored to men?" the answer is no.this film is almost perfect and i cant wait for the sequel. hopefully it will have a bigger budget and maybe a few big names. as it is, Cameo is great and gives a convincing performance.many people have commented that the script needs a little work but i strongly disagree. When you are dealing with a cast of this calibre, it is the performances that become paramount. a clever or well thought out script would simply detract from the action and the visual awe of Ninja Cheerleaders.To summarize i would simply say that whether alone or with the family, you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer conviction of both the actors and the director.good work.