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His best since The Sixth Sense.
19 July 2006
I saw this movie at a free pre-screening in Atlanta, and I have to say I was a bit surprised by how good this movie was. I am a fan of all of his movies, they are unique works that you don't find very often in the movie market. That being said, Lady in the Water fits his profile and improves drastically on it. It's his most simple, most straightforward, and it is compelling and beautiful. It's a modern day fairy tale set in an ordinary place, where the mundane blurs together with the extraordinary, and the people are willing to accept it, because they miss the day when the impossible was as close as your thoughts. It's sad, but not melancholy like his previous film, The Village, or even Signs, it's hopeful, it's funny (hilarious in many parts), and it may very well be his best since The Sixth Sense. He's made quite a step forward with this film, and I look forward to what next he has in store. Highly recommended.
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Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill follows in the footsteps of its source material
20 April 2006
This is simultaneously a good and bad thing. The atmosphere is there in full force. It is pretty amazing how well they captured it, and it is VERY, VERY creepifying. It definitely sucks you in, and dammit you want more. The acting is capably done. (Well, of course, it has its share of cheese, but what can you say) The effects are awesome. It is definitely creepy. Seriously, for the first hour and a half, you are on the edge of your seat, eyes glued to the screen, but then...

The story IS different from the game, but it's just about as confusing, and will probably leave you scratching your head. The ending, while not entirely disastrous, is definitely not satisfying. It's just....weird. It'll definitely end with you wanting more. And this is probably the fault of the execs, but right before the final climax, they just forcefeed you the backstory that you SHOULD have figured out yourself by now. We are not that dumb. Please stop doing that. Compared to the rest of the movie, the last 30 minutes SUCK royally. It's like the games, they built up this world, and this story, and they have no idea what to do with the end, but unlike the games, the movie can only have one ending. And it's empty.
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Slither (2006)
As pure B-movie fun, Slither pulls no punches.
30 March 2006
It is absolute fun, plain and simple. It gets in, does it scares and it's laughs, and gets out quick. As what it was meant to be, it was absolutely brilliant. It does its own thing, and it does it perfectly, and the result is pure entertainment, nothing more. So, if you like movies like Shaun of the Dead, Army of Darkness, Dead Alive, Gremlins, Tremors, or anything in that vein, you will like this movie.

Or if you just wanna see Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) again on the big screen and wistfully wipe a tear or two away, you can go see this movie too.

It's creepy, it's gleefully gross, it's HILARIOUS, and I don't think I wasted a single minute watching it. Great movie.
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Going Home (2004)
Touching and Heartwrenching
5 August 2005
I saw this movie on a flight out of Japan, and what a treat it was. Kikyo (Going Home) is about everyman but perhaps a little lost in life Haruo (Hidetoshi Nishijima) who returns to his hometown to attend his widow mother's marriage. Once there, he meets an old flame, Miyuki {Reiko Kataoka) working several jobs and raising a 7 year-old by herself. After a reunion one night, Miyuki asks Haruo to visit the next day. When Haruo comes to visit, all he finds is the 7-year-old Chiharu. What starts as a quest to find Miyuki together becomes a lesson in life, love, responsibility and bonding for Haruo and Chiharu. This may sound hokey, but the movie is anything but formulaic. The acting is superb, even by the young Reiai Moriyama who plays Chiharu. I don't know if this film will ever make it to the states, but if it does, I will definitely see it again. It's hard to explain what exactly makes this movie so appealing, but everything, the camera work, the acting, the story, was perfect. Everything was in tune and everything felt right. It felt like going home.
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Sin City (2005)
Dead on.
2 April 2005
Ever since I saw the trailer I've been waiting to see this movie. Just the look of it caught my eye, and it has addicted me ever since. After seeing the movie, I can say that Sin City definitely did not let me down. I read the graphic novels awhile back, but after seeing the trailers I had to go revisit them to get ready for the movie. Even in the first scene of the movie, you can tell that a movie has finally retained the artistry of a graphic novel in its conversion to cinema. Finally, the spirit of a comic book has been kept alive in the transition. Finally, a movie has been made that is incredible faithful to the material it is based off of. Finally, a movie has been made of which you have a hard time saying, "The book was better." Well, to clear things up, this movie is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is chock full of violence, has a bit of nudity (though not really sexual), and is full of those themes we love to hate such as pedophilia, prostitution, torture, etc. Yet, the movie doesn't really hold any of things seriously. It's hard to explain. In some way, they were able to make this movie full of glorified violence (though much of it is "comic-booky" meaning lots of fake blood spurts, think Kill Bill Vol. 1) and immoral EVERYTHING and do it in a properly tongue in cheek manner. If you let yourself laugh, instead of sitting there shaking your head at how the world is going to hell because of movies like this, you will enjoy yourself.

Finally, the movie is good at telling the story. You would think that the plot would get lost in all the bloodbath, but it doesn't. Of course, the plot isn't incredibly deep full of twists and turns, but it gets the job done in that properly retro-noir flavor. And for once the big name actors are there for a reason. They can almost make you take seriously the purposefully cheesy dialogue that hearkens back to old Film Noir movies. And even though I knew what was going to happen, they kept me glued every minute.

If you are looking for a visually stunning and incredibly entertaining action flick, go see Sin City. But leave your morals at the door and not take everything so seriously, and you'll be in for a hell of a ride.

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