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RE: Mini-Reviews......................Megan Fox's Favorite Thread !!!!

 
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RE: Mini-Reviews......................Megan Fox's Favor... - 9/7/2008 8:57:52 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Review of the Month  will not be posted until this Friday.....I apologize for the wait, people.
my bad.

Thank you in advance for your patientce.

< Message edited by wgamador -- 9/7/2008 8:58:18 PM >


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 1471
RE: Incredible Hulk - 11/7/2008 11:41:51 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Mini-Review of the Month
Presentation
June '08
 
Welcome, Mates to yet another awards ceremony. This month was full of debut reviews that surely did not disappoint. Unfortunately for some, this month also provided us with a ridiculously entertaining, passionate and very informative review, which proved too tough to beat out. But be not discouraged for it is in you too.
 
Thank you all who posted, read or just visited us this month.
Indy drinks to that!
 
 
Here are your winners:
 
 
1st Place:  Gimli the Dwarf    .......Page 48
 
 
The Original



Trilogy

 
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)



Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom (1984)

 
 
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (1989)
 
  
 
I know that there is now a 4th film, but I've reviewed that separately. A bit like my Lord Of The Rings review, I'm reviewing all three films at once. However, the main review is really very short and even by my standards, quite useless, a precursor to what follows (which is a deviation from this thread, and for that I apologise)
 
 
Positives
 
It'd be hard to praise the films without mentioning Harrison Ford. In recent years his film choices seem to have landed him in some stick, and it's sometimes easy to forget just how good an actor he is. He's never been better than he was in the Indy trilogy, perfectly capturing the roguish nature of our hero, and whether he's the action man facing impossible odds, the slightly awkward professor or the rakish ladies men, he always makes Indy believable. He's also got great comic timing, with regards to vocal delivery and mannerisms. Harrison Ford is Indy.
 
And with that, the character of Indiana Jones himself needs to be applauded.  He arrives on the screen as an enigma, but it isn't long before we feel as if we know him, and it's damn near impossible not to buy into his enthusiasm. But perhaps more important than the character himself, is the iconicness (!) of the character. It's almost as if Lucas, Ford and Spielberg knew they were creating an icon, making him tantalising from he very beginning. And am icon is most certainly what he is. Indiana Jones has seeped through into popular culture in the way that few characters do, and he's instantly recognisable. Heck, all you need to do is see a silhouette of him and you know who he is. Pictures of a hat and whip conjure up images of Indy; even the average Joe in the street knows Indy's favourite accessories (Plus he's made whips cool, no longer the tool of lion tamers and dominatrix's alone!) He also has a handful of lines that are instantly identifiable. Everybody knows who he is and can quote him. He's right up there with Darth Vadar and Mickey Mouse in terms of instant recognisability.
 
Spielberg needs to get a mention. He's long been my favourite director, and the Indy trilogy plays a large part in this. Quite possibly the most entertaining films ever made (entertainment being an ideal that is all too often frowned upon) Spielberg has a great sense of how to make enticing characters; enthralling, adrenalin-pumping scenes, and knows how to pace these with slower, more emotional scenes. Throw in some great comedy, some great imagination and an undeniable degree of skill behind the camera, it's quite easy to see why Spielberg is loved so. For pure enjoyability, these films can't be topped and Spielberg rarely misses a beat throughout.
 
John Williams. Just because the guy's awesome.
 
 
Negatives
 
You know what? I don't think I'm even going to bother here. Are these films perfect? Not at all. Look closely and they suffer, like all films do. Lines could be changed, scenes tweaked or removed, performances improved, but I stand by my belief that every film ever made suffers the same problems. There are more obvious gripes as well. Some of the effects look shonky (but always in an endearing way) and Temple especially has it's own unique set of problems (the darker tone is inconsistent, the slave labour storyline doesn't really work and Short Round is as annoying as hell). However, going into detail about the problems really does go against everything these films stand for. They are about entertainment, thrills and spills, action and enjoyment. Plain and simple they are about fun, more so than any other films I can think of, and to dwell on the negatives, go looking for negatives, isn't really helpful. Sure enough, if you simply don't like the films, the fun is missing, then, by all times, nitpick away. But for me, who loves every second of two of then and a good deal of the third, plus the fact that I do believe they are lovingly crafted by a master filmmaker, with oodles of technical mastery on display, the downsides of the film don't detract from them at all, so I refuse to dwell on them. (Yes, I realise this seems well at odds with my recent Kingdom review, perhaps even hypocritical, but that was initial reaction to a new film. These are old favourites for almost two decades, films that have practically seeped into my very being.)
 
 
 
 
 
But, now is the big question. Which of the three is the best? Well, I'm going to completely break away from tradition in this thread. I've devised a foolproof, scientifically sound series of and awards in order to answer this age-old puzzler. Each film starts out with 100 points and, based on how each film fares, points will be award or deducted. Come the end, the film with the most points is quite obviously the best. Simple.
 
 
There are plentiful SPOILERS HERE, IN BOTH BOTH WORDS AND PICTURES! so please don't even skim the page if you haven't seen the films (and if you haven't why on Earth haven't you?)
 

 
Most varied use of vehicles in chase/action scenes
Raiders – The desert chase. Horse, cars and trucks – 1 point

Temple – Another car chase, but also the most inventive use of a vehicle – the mine cart – 3

Crusade – Where to begin? A horse/car chase that becomes a foot chase on a train, a speedboat chase, a motorcycles chase, a plane chase,  plane/car chase, and a horse/tank chase. Certainly the winner – 5 points
 

 
Best use of the Paramount logo dissolving into the film
Raiders – The logo turns into a great big Peruvian mountain – 5 points

 
Temple – The logo turns into a great mountain, albeit one that appears on a gong – 2 points (1 point, and a bonus point for the gong being used in the film, whereas the other appear only as scenery)


Crusade – The logo turns into a rock formation in Forbidden Valley – 3 points




The "This is why John Williams is the film world finest composer” awards for the 15 greatest pieces of Indy film music that aren't the Raiders March
1. Belly Of The Beast (Crusade) – 15 points
2. Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra (Crusade) – 14 points
3. The Desert Chase (Raiders) – 13 points
4. The Penitent Man will Pass (features the Grail music) (Crusade) – 12 points
5. The Basket Game (Raiders) – 11 points
6. The Miracle Of The Ark (Raiders) – 10 points
7. The Map Room (Raiders) – 9 points
8. No Ticket (Crusade) – 8 points
9. The Temple Of Doom (Temple) – 7 points
10. Escape From Venice (Crusade) – 6 points
11. In The Idol's Temple (Raiders) – 5 points
12. Slave Children's Crusade (Temple) – 4 points
13. Slalom On Mt Humol (Temple) – 3 points
14. Fast Streets Of Shanghai(Temple) – 2 points
15. The Warehouse (Raiders) – 1 point
 
 
 
Best silhouette/shadows of our hero.
 
Temple - 5 points


Raiders – 4 points


Raiders – 3 points


Crusade – 2 points

 
Crusade – 1 point (not Indy, but nice to see someone else get in on the action. Nice colours too)

 


Bonus points for the single greatest "heroes riding off into the sunset” moment in film
Crusade - Actually, considering this is such a cinematic staple, I can't recall seeing that many such moments. Nevertheless, with the Raiders march pounding away, and Indy, Henry, Sallah and Brody becoming specks in the distance, this is just brilliant – 10 points




Top 5 non-Indy characters
Henry Jones – Indy dad's, as keen a historian as his son, but not so much an adventurer. Clumsy in the field at times, but his knowledge is his greatest asset. Capable of delivering a whole roster of great lines whilst maintaining his integrity (introduced in Crusade, 5 points)
 
Sallah – Indy's old time friend, a loyal companion, willing to risk injury and capture. Saves Indy's life on more than one occasion. Wears a fez, or a turban, hails from Egypt and has 9 children. (Raiders, Crusade – 4 points each) -  4 points

Marcus Brody – Indy's boss as university, always eager to help out his friend and finds a place for any artefacts returned. A scholar by heart, he really isn't built for Indy's daredevil exploits, but is always a welcome addition (Raiders, Crusade – 3 points each)
 
Elsa Schneider  - The supremely sexy Nazi sympathiser, a bit of a player as well, having bedded two generations of the same family. Still, it's very hard to actually dislike this intelligent woman. She eventually regrets the choices she made, and her death is a shame (Crusade – 2 points)
 
Belloq - The anti-Indy. Also an archaeologist, you get the impression he isn't actually a very good one. He seems to simply follow Indy round and steal whatever he finds. However, he knows Indy very well, even to the point of calling his bluff (Raiders – 1 point)
 

 
Negative points for one of the most god-awful characters in the universe
Short Round "You call him Dr Jones, Doll”. We call you annoying, oik. (Temple) – minus 5 points



Best use of an infested temple/crypt.
Raiders – Snakes, and lots of 'em. Added daredevil factor due to the fact that not only does our hero dislike them, but that iconic cobra that rears its head is actually a bit dangerous – 5 points

Temple – Bugs, various and plentiful. The one with the greatest ick factor. Still, suck it up, be a man (or a woman, as the case may be) and stick your hand down that bloody hole – 1 point (plus one bonus point for Indy actually being in danger and unable to get himself out of. When that spike pushed down on his hat – nasty!)

Crusade – Rats. Lots and lot of rats. So many rats Indy even stands on one, and a great many get barbecued. Poor rats. Still, if I was trapped in oil underneath a coffin, as sure as hell wouldn't them crawling in and taking up residence I my hair – 3 points
 


Top 5 action scenes.
The tank fight – This has always been my favourite action scene in the films. With a the rousing "Belly Of The Beast” music accompanying it, this is nigh on perfect. Some nice humour, typically boo-hiss villains, the trademark use of the whip, plus Henry and Marcus helping out, this is fantastic. (Crusade) – 5 points

The desert chase – A very, very, very close second. So close it's actually joint first. More gritty than the above, and perhaps an even better scene overall. You can feel Indy's pain when he gets shot (and later punched in the wound) and the stunt work on he underside and front of the truck needs to be seen to be believed (Raiders)– 5 points

Peruvian temple – As mentioned earlier, an instant classic, a perfect introduction to a legend (Raiders) – 4 points

Mine carts/rope bridge – The only Temple scene in the top 5 that could be considered 2 separate entries, but it's one seamless piece of action. You can tell why they made a rollercoaster out of the mine cart sequence, even watching it has that coaster feel to it, and Indy's solution to being trapped on the bridge has a whole "No, you can't be serious” quality to it (Temple) – 3 points

Motorbikes – It was tough to choose between this, the speedboats or the plane sequence, but this just wins, probably for the way in which Indy dispatches the Nazi riders with glee, only to be met with serious disapproval from his dad. Best bit is when Indy jams a flagpole into the spokes of a bike, only for the rider to be flown 20 feet into the air. Great stuff – 2 points.
 


Best leading lady
Marion Ravenwood – As it turns out, she's the only woman for Indy; they've got together three times that we know of. She's also got a lot of spunk, able to hold her own in a fight, a match for Indy almost at times (Raiders) – 3 points

Willie Scott – The most annoying of the three, more concerned about broken nails than bullets whizzing past her head. However, despite the fact that I think she gets an unfair rep, she's bottom of the list. She has a decent set of lungs though (Temple) – 1 point.

Elsa Schneider – The one lady that seems to share Indy's passion for history and archaeology. Ok, so she sold him and his father out to the Nazi's, but having a femme fatale was a change of pace, and a very good one (Crusade) – 5 points



Sexiest leading lady.  
Tough one this, as Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody are all very good-looking ladies. I'll go with the order of the above category though. None are a patch on the latest leading lady though!
 
Marion (Raiders) Raiders - 3 points

 
Willie (Temple) – 1 point

 
Elsa (Crusade) – 5 points

 


Best closing scene
Raiders - The warehouse. The ark. That bloke hiding it from the rest of the world. That music. Just grand – 5 points

 
Temple – Indy and Willie in an embrace, Short Arse laughs as an elephant soaks them, Indy and Willie embrace again, get surrounded by recently released former slave children. Not grand – 1/5

 
Crusade – As mentioned earlier, this is a superb ending. Brody failing to match his swagger as he rides off, Revelations that Indy is "named after the doooog”, the music, the sunset, Just grand. I can't pick between this and Raiders so – 5/5
 
Best opening sequence
Raiders – Golden idols, poison arrows, giant boulders. Tarantulas, sunbeam booby traps, "You throw me the idol, I throw you the whip” (If anyone has ever played the great PC game called Outlaws, a western by LucasArts, there's a wonderful nod to this line), the introduction of a true icon. A sure-fire classic – 5 points 

Temple – A nice take on a great song and I am the only who thinks
Capshaw is really sexy performing this? Maybe. I wish Spielberg would do a musical. Still last though. – 1 point

Crusade – A comical back story which provides us a glimpse Indy's childhood, and also how he came into possession of his trademark hat and whip, the origin of his chin car and his fear of snakes – 3 points
 


Best supernaturally enhanced death.
Raiders – The triple whammy face melting of Colonel Dietrich, Belloq and Toht. Plus all the nameless minions who get lightning bolts through their chests – 5/5



Temple – That poor sacrifice victim. Not only does he survive having his heart ripped out, he's then lowered down a great pit into some hellish pool of lava. Not the nicest way to go – 1/5

 
Crusade – Walter Donovan. Aging countless years in mere seconds, even doing an impression of Doc Brown, before, for some reason, flying backwards into a wall. As the knight said "He chose poorly” – 3/5

 


Best death of a secondary villain in a non-supernaturally enhanced dispatchment method                     
Raiders – The German mechanic, played by Pat Roach. This bald, moustached bastard gives Indy a run for his money, but his brains don't match his brawn and he's promptly minced – 5/5

 
Temple – Pat Roach again, this time as a Thugee warrior. Quite horribly he gets squished when his turban gets trapped under a stone crusher. Such a horrible death is this, even Indy tries to save him. Don't see that every day – 4/5 – (An honourable mention and bonus point to the sap who gets skewered by a flaming kebab!)


 
Crusade – Colonel Vogel's header off a cliff in the tank. The slightly naff model work is endearing here, but that isn't the reason why it's last. It's a good way to go, but not quite as nasty as the others, Plus, at this point, all we're really concerned about if what has happened to our hero! – 1 point

 


10 minor characters we want to know more about (although we do learn about some of them in the Young Indy Chronicles and the novels)
Fedora – Easily the most interesting minor character in any of the Jones films. Just who was this guy? How many other artefacts had he found? Was he to Panama Hat what Indy was to Marcus Brody? Let's face it, the look of the iconic character we know and love would have been different indeed had Indy not encountered this bloke (Crusade) – 10 points
 
Captain Katanga – Able to make up lies on the spot, even risks telling porkies to the nasty Nazis. This dude is cool. So cool that even Alton Towers named an area of the theme park after him (this may not actually be true!) He needs his own spin-off (Raiders) - 9 points
 
Kazim – Member of The Brotherhood Of The Cruciform Sword. Tries to kill Indy, realises he shouldn't and that gets killed by Donovan and his goons. A shame, as he was a honourable guy on a honourable mission (which he performed with more flair than Silas and co) Plus, he had a cool moustache (Crusade) - 8 points
 
The Grail Knight – I want to this man's story on film. Admittedly, once he begins his 700 yearlong guard duty it'll get a tad boring, but up until then, I suspect he had some adventures (Crusade) - 7 points
 
Wu Han – A short-lived sidekick of Indy, snuffed in his prime by one of Lao Che's sons. He did indeed beat Indy into the last great adventure *sniff* (Temple) - 6 points
 
Sapito – We don't know that much about him to be honest. He's not chuffed about spiders, he isn't really that cautious when it comes to booby taps and he's willing to betray the people he works for. Bit of a git, really. (Raiders) – 5 points
 
Lao Che – Why does he do business in a club named after a Jedi knight, what became of him and his hoodlums and, more importantly, why does one of his sons look like Emperor Ming? (Temple) – 4 points
 
Herman Mueller – Bugle playing do-gooder who inadvertently brings more
trouble to young Indy when trying to help (Crusade) - 3 points
 
Panama Hat – The white suited, moustached man who wants the Cross Of Coronado. One suspects he's more of a Walter Donovan character than a Belloq, happy to have others travel the world for his own personal gain (Crusade) - 2 points
 
Barranca – The Peruvian guide who attempted to kill Indy, only to fall foul of the poison darts of the Hovitos (Raiders) – 1 point
 
 
 
Best disapproving glances.
Raiders – Indy looks at Marion after being smacked by the mirror – 1 point

 
Temple – Indy glares at Willie after she almost allowed him to die – 5 points

 
Crusade – A switcheroo here, as it's Indy's dad that gives the glare (an extra point for the utter deflation we see on Indy afterwards) – 4 points





Best use of booby-trapped temple/character testing, erm, tests.
Raiders – As mentioned, this opening scene is a classic. You'd think it'd be hard to beat, but beat it was – 3 points

Temple – You know you're in trouble when the ceiling starts to come down and spikes appear from above and below.  You're in even more trouble when your saviour is scared of getting her hands dirty. Still, it loses points for being one single, solitary self-contained room – 1 point

Crusade – It might be considered sacrilegious by some, but the finale of Crusade trumps the opening of Raiders for me. A number of reasons for this. First, something is definitely at stake here the life of Henry Jones. Secondly, although the opening Of Raiders introduced us to an icon, by the close of Crusade we've followed this icon over 6 hours and 3 adventures, we desperately want him to succeed. Lastly, though the devices used might not be any more dangerous than those we've seen before, here they are truly testing Jones, his knowledge and his faith. This scene has more going for it than sheer excitement and an adrenalin rush – 5 points
 


Top 5 moments of awe and wonder.
Let me explain this first. (This may be old news so some that have read other posts of mine across the boards) One thing I love about Spielberg is how he can create scenes in which we, the viewer, experience the same rush of feelings as the onscreen protagonist. Think Close Encounter when the mothership lands. Who doesn't look on in amazement, who doesn't feel the same sense of excitement as Roy Neary? The same happens in Indiana Jones in both the action sequences, and, particularly, quieter moments in which we, like Indy, feel that history is being made, something truly special is occurring, for either good or bad (such scenes felt conspicuously absent from The Crystal Skulls) Elsa sums it up best with her "giddy as a schoolboy” comments. The following are all such scenes of archaeological history making.
 
The Leap Of Faith – It's hard to describe how much I like this scene, and it's hard to describe why. I'm quite possibly the most non-religious person I know, but here, as Indy has to face his beliefs and take a step to what is almost certain doom, it's almost enough to make me change my position. The music ads greatly to this scene, it's one of Williams' finest pieces of work. (Crusade) – 5 points
 
The Map Room – This is just a brilliant scene from Spielberg, everything about it is perfect. Having acquitted the Staff of Ra, and discovered that Belloq and his men "are digging in the wrong place” Indy heads down into the map Room to find the location of The Well of Souls. As sweat drips from his brow and the beam of sunlight radiates throughout the room, it's hard not to get swept up in the moment. (Raiders) – 4 points

 
Discovery Of the Ark – As the ominous storm clouds roll overhead, there's a great sense of anticipation as to just what is in the Well of Souls. When the Ark it finally revealed, pure brilliant gold, you can tell Sallah and Indy are impressed, as are the audience. (Raiders) – 3 points)
 
Opening of the Ark – When the ark opening ceremony finally arrives, the mystical object has been so built up by this point, it's hard to know what to expect. For good or bad, we know something impressive is about to occur. When Indy tells Marion to close here eyes, we figure the latter. Brilliant. (Raiders) – 2 points



The Second Marker – Less mystical than other moment but no less compulsive, Indy is genuinely happy at this point, and this obvious sense of excitement he feels finds its way to the audience as well. (Crusade) – 1 point
 


Bonus points for best nod to a previous film
Crusade – Under the library in Venice, the Ark appears on the wall and we hear the great Ark music - 5 points




Negative points for most gratuitous non-Indy stunt
Temple - During the course of the films, many of Indy's companions get into the action, usually in some kind of fisticuff or chase scene. Still, the true daredevil heroics are usually left up to Indy alone, which is why it grates me why some else gets in on the action.  Raiders and Crusade are quite free of this though. It's Temple that lets them down, with Short Round doing his bit on the ladder in the mines. Annoying git – minus 5 points.
 


"Hang on a minute, Indy's actually in a bit of trouble here” moments.
Raiders – During the desert chase, Indy receives his most obvious and, by the looks of it, most painful injury. Shot in the arm whilst in the truck, he then gets punched in the wound. Plus the fact he's got a bunch of Nazi's to fight off, and ends up working his way under the truck, the chances of a happy outcome aren't always guaranteed – 3 points
 
Temple – Once Indy is fully under the influence of the black blood, beating up Short (about time) and trying to kill Willie, things sure aren't looking good. However, the worst bit is when he's writhing around in agony once he's first drunk the blood. The darkest bit in Indy, and a rare top spot for Temple – 5 point
 
Crusade – Although the chances of surviving a 500 foo5 cliff drop are slim, and although it certainly does look likes he's made the plunge, surely everybody knows that Indy would find some way out of this scrape. It's a great moment, but last of the three - 1 point.
 
 
Optical effect
Raiders – Quite a few goodies here, mostly near the end with the Ark and the spirits. Also of note are the rolling storms clouds when the Ark is discovered – 5 points


 
Temple – The big 'ol lava pit is very impressive – 3 points

 
Crusade – None so much here and I actually think this is more of a matte painting than a proper optical effect, but the zeppelin gets a mention – 1 point
 
Make up effect
Raiders – The fantastically grim face meltings during the finale – 5 points


 
Temple – Not really anything of great note, but some of the Thugees have face paint. Hardly matches the other films though – 1 point

 
Crusade – Walter Donovan gains years gains seconds – 3 points




Sexiest exchange
Raiders - On the boat, the "Where doesn't it hurt” bit – 5 points

Temple – Outside Willie's palace bedroom, the "research” scene – 1 point

Crusade – Once the ransacked rooms have been discovered, the "arrogant men” conversation – 3 points



Best set
Raiders – A few goodies here. The desert dig is quite vast, and the Well Of Souls impresses, but it's the Temple in Peru that makes the biggest impression – 5 points

Temple – Another temple here, the Sacrificial Palace, just beats out the mines  - 3 points

Crusade – Not quite the same type of set here, the Berlin and the book burning has to get a mention. The large amount of extras help to make this scene – 1 point
 


5 Handy uses for a whip!
Use it to hang a Thugee guard from a ceiling fan! (Temple) – 5 points
Lodge it into the underside of a fast moving truck as a handy means of escape! (Raiders) – 4 points
Prevent your dad from being squished by the tracks of a tank! (Crusade) - 3 points
Lasso your girl! (Temple) -2 points
Cause havoc and set fire to a Nepalese bar when you whisk away a branding iron! (Raiders) – 1 point



Bonus points for having the audacity to use the whip against Indy – Temple – 2 points
 


Saving/rescuing/retrieval of iconic accessory
Raiders – Must get the whip! – 3 points

 
Temple – Must get the hat (but it's rehash of Raiders) – 1 point

 
Crusade – Let Mother Nature do the work for you! – 5 points

 


Top comic moments
The burning room sequence is filled with gems. "The floor's on fire. And the chair”. "Our situation has not improved” "Dad! What? Dad! What? Dad! What?” Not high art perhaps but it always makes me laugh (Crusade) – 17 points
 
The most insanely over the top howl of pain in the history of cinema as Marion swings the mirror and clocks Indy on the chin (Raiders) – 16 points
 
"How did you know she was a Nazi?” "She talks in her sleep” Made all the more funny by the wonderful facial expression that Connery gives – (Crusade) – 15 points

 
The librarian and the loud "clang” as he stamps books (Crusade) – 14 points
 
The wonderful comic fall backwards Indy makes after being punched by the mechanic (Raiders) – 13 points

 
"Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the grail already” cutting straight to a marvellously inept Brody having all manner of trouble finding his way. This scene also plays into the great line later on "he got lost once in his own museum” (Crusade) – 12 points
 
Indy shoots the Swordsman (Raiders) – 11 points
 
When Henry and Indy are discovered by the Nazi's, they raise their arms in unison, and deliver the line "What book?” in harmony, which leads to the classic "I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers”, and the scene ending with "Look what you did, I can't believe what you just did”. (Crusade) – 10 points
 
"No ticket” (Crusade) – 9 points
 
The whole "wait 5 minutes” sequence (Temple) – 8 points
 
This bit. Always make me chuckle (Crusade) – 7 points

 
Indy attempts to shoot the Thugees, in the same manner as the Raiders swordsman but discovers he has no gun. (Temple) – 6 points
 
Indy breaks away from kissing Elsa – "Ah Venice” (Crusade) – 5 points
 
Indy pretends to be a Scotsman. It's the awful accent that makes this great (Crusade) – 4 points
 
Indy joins Marcus, Henry and Sallah at the cliff top, unaware that they think he's dead (Crusade)  - 3 points

 
"Asps. Very dangerous. You go first” (Raiders) – 2 points
 
Willie gets frightened by all manner of wildlife while Indy and Shorty are arguing over a card game (Temple) – 1 points
 
  
 
Luckiest/narrowest escape
Raiders – Considering all he puts up with in this film, Indy was almost offed by some poison. Bad dates indeed. Good ol' Sallah! – 1 point

Temple – The escape from the plane was close, but the spike filled temple takes it spot here. Completely and utterly out of Indy's hands – 3 points

 
Crusade – Trapped by the strap of his bad to the gun turret of a tank. Indy's having a bad time. Scrapped against a cliff wall, with a face full of dust, Indy finds the tank rapidly speeding up towards an outcrop that'll do him in for good, Thankfully, Henry Sr sets off a gun and the ricocheting bullet happens to find the tank driver, who promptly falls over and steers the tank away. Talk about lucky! – 5 points
 

 
Daredevil Moment
Raiders – Not that there was much he could do in this instance, but his trip under the truck was his most dardevilish moment in this film – 3 points

Temple – It's a tie here. Causing the bridge you're on to collapse is quite extreme, as is using your own strength to act as brakes on a runway mine cart - 3 points

Crusade – When you're about to get minced by a propeller, it's probably not the best time to have a fistfight – 3 points 
 
 
 
Best "Oh dear god” looks
 
Cliiiiiiiiiiiiif (Crusade) – 7 points

 
Gulp! (Raiders) – 6 points

 
The Frightened Rabbit (Crusade) – 5 points

 
The "Give me a break, haven't I been though enough?” look (Temple) – 4 points

 
"Where the hell did all these baskets come from?” (Raiders) – 3 points

 
 
Too much water! (Temple) – 2 points

 
The "Dear God Almighty, what the bloody hell was that” look (Crusade) – 1 point

 
Bonus points for a non-Indy "Dear god” look
Vogel (Crusade) – 2 points




Negative points for the most unnecessary requirement of disbelief
Temple – Jumping out of the window, straight through a whole host of canopies and as luck would have it, straight into back seat of the car. Just a bit too much for me, and with none of the flair of other such extravagant moments – minus 3 points
 

 
Best snake moment
Raiders  - The face-off between Indy and the Cobra – 5 points

Temple – When Willie thinks the snake is the trunk of the elephant and Indy gets scared, it's good for comic value, but the best bit comes later when Indy is in the Temple and tips his hat towards a snake statue – 3 points

Crusade – The opening flashback when we see how Indy acquired a snake phobia. Loses marks for the naff way in which a piddly little snake allows Indy to escape just seconds later. – 1 point
 

 
Negative points for having dodgy effects
Temple – The awful plane explosion and the mine cart that doesn't seem to want to travel on the tracks - minus 5 points


 
 
Baddest act of bad guy-ness from the bad guys
Belloq – Eats a fly! – (Raiders) - 1 point

 
Mola – Throws own men to the crocs! (Temple) – 3 points

 
Walter – Shoots Indy's dad! (Crusade) – 5 points

 

 
Bonus points for single best line
"It seems to me that goose stepping morons liker yourself should try reading books instead of burning them” (Crusade) – 5 points
 
 
 
And after all that, the scores!
 
 
Raiders – 230
Temple – 90
Crusade – 317
 
Proving, conclusively and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the best Indy film. I've actually thought that for years anyway, so had I just gone with my gut I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy, but still!
-------------------------------------------------------
 
2nd Place goes to:  Piles  .............Page 48
 
The Incredible Hulk
 
PLOT AND INTRO
 
"More action!” That's what the fans called out for after the onslaught that met Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk. And that's the very thing that writer-star Edward Norton aimed to give us. When director Louis Leterrier, famous for his action-packed-but-nothing-more Transporter movies, was signed onto the project it was pretty clear that things were about to change. Empire claimed the climactic battle to be a 26-minute free-for-all spanning across Harlem. The times may be a bit off, but the action in Letterier's re-incarnation is exactly what Hulk fans will be watering at the mouth for; it's in your face, it's brash, it's crude, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. The plot sees Banner (Ed Norton) on the run from the US armed forces, who want to take his DNA for sampling so that they can mould – as Tim Roth's Bronsky over simplifies it – "super soldiers.” Banner doesn't like this. Banner hides from the army, whilst the Hulk fights with them.
 
NEGATIVES
 
The comparisons with Ang Lee's Hulk aren't really very profound, except that in both films our superhero is green. In fact, the dissimilarity between the two can be told from the off. After an intense opening credits sequence, in which we get a hulk out and an origins story in a format that doesn't do the drama justice, we get an incident ticker reading "157 Days Without Incident.” And here's where the first difference lies; Leterrier's Incredible Hulk simplifies this period into four words, whilst Lee's Hulk would take as much interest in this 157 "incident-less” period as it would the initial hulk-up. And your opinion on this as a good thing or a bad thing depends on your opinions on 2003's big green. I, personally, loved it. And no, this is not a way of me justifying myself as cine-literate just because I liked the slightly more philosophical take on the brute. I think Lee's film was something different. And that's what Leterrier's Incredible Hulk lacks; a little bit of originality. Of course, walking into the theatre ninety per cent of people know exactly what they're letting themselves in for, but that doesn't mean a bit of originality – like in Lee's film – is a bad thing. Another dissimilarity that I noticed was the climactic battle. In Lee's 2003 effort, Hulk takes on a dishevelled Nick Nolte in an abstract battle, away from all prying eyes in a private glade. The Incredible Hulk hosts its climactic scene in Harlem, with millions of prying eyes and your typical Hollywood garrison of police and soldiers. Again, whilst 2008's effort conforms to movie clichés, Lee's 2003 version strived to be that little bit different.

And 2003's version is not the only film that the Incredible Hulk has taken influence from. You don't have to look hard to see most of them. The initial (admittedly impressive) tracking shot that sweeps over the top of a Brazilian slums that Banner calls home is a throw-back to 2003's City of God (Fernando Meirelles), as if the makers are trying to get that gritty, dramatic feel. And then there's the final battle, which takes a lot from 50's Japanese film Gojira (Ishiro Honda), and even snippets from 2008's Cloverfield (Matt Reeves). There's also the relationship between Betty (Liv Tyler) and Hulk's alter-ego Bruce Banner, which draws parallels to King Kong (1933, Merrian Cooper and Ernest Schoedstack) and Beauty and the Beast (1991, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise). There's even a Reservoir Dogs (1992, Quentin Tarrantino) reference thrown in there, probably thanks to the presence of Tim Roth. Referencing each of these films is a nice touch, and one that will make a movie fan smile, but it also manages to point out that this new version of Big Green is not as good as each and every one of these films. I don't usually like references in films, unless they're inter-references between linked ones (like the final scene which I won't ruin), because linking to a film so obviously better than your own does nothing but bring your movie down.

And then there's the misplaced romantic sub-plot. Liv Tyler is not my favourite actress, and that's not just because of the restraining order. Her scenes carry a drama about them that seems misplaced, as if twenty minutes of Love, Actually has managed to sneak into the middle of an all-out action film. There are many, many superhero films where the romantic part of it is the worst bit, including Batman Begins (2005, Chris Nolan) and all three Spider-Man films. Needless to say, Hulk's Tyler-Norton love story tops that list, because the two of them have little to no chemistry, and neither of them seem to be committed to that particular part of the film. You don't care about their pay-off, and wish they'd just get it over with so we can get to some more Hulk Smash. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Tyler had more chemistry with the CGI than she did with Norton.
 
POSITIVES
 
As I've already suggested, the Incredible Hulk shines when we move into the action scenes. The initial, opening-credits montage didn't fill me with the greatest confidence. It did seem like something from a camp 80s TV show, but once we move away from the 1st person perspective we get to see a raw intensity that rivals any fight scene ever made in a superhero movie. In particular, there's a scene slap bang in the middle that stems from a Banner-Ross romantic encounter (just as I was slumping off). In the grounds of a university, we get a scene that involves, in no particular order: Matrix-esque slo-mo, Car doors used for shields and weapons, a Helicopter being blown up, a Hulk-out, a freak-out and more [bloodless] deaths than you can shake a fist at. At one point, William Hurt's power-driven General shouts out "move him towards the cannons!” Forget psychobabble or mythos, this is why people come to see a Hulk movie.

But despite the fact that the Incredible Hulk is more about Hulk Smash than psychoanalysis, there is a running theme. And, in my view, it's of Assurances. All four of our major characters have has assurances made to them that haven't been kept. Banner was lied to about the true meaning behind his experiments, and has had his good will and book smarts turned against him because of bravery. Elizabeth has been lied to about Bruce, and his true destiny. The General has been lied to about almost everything by his superiors, which has painted a picture in his mind that power is the only thing that really matters. And Blonsky has been lied to about his place in the scheme of things. He's not an innovator, he's a guinea pig. Basically, the Incredible Hulk asks us about trust, about the credibility of the assurances we get in our own life, and the reliability of the sources they come from.

So, Hulk's main competition (Dark Knight excluded, because that's in a league of its own) is Jon Favreau's very different Iron Man. And how does it come up against it? Pretty well. They're both similar films, with our hero going up against something much better or stronger than he is, but still a version of him. Both films point out the ambiguity of the notion of a hero, and both question the intelligence in putting all of your faith in this one person – especially when this person is as flawed as the rest of us. When we're concentrating on the comedy and the humour (Hulk has two funny lines; "you won't like me when I'm... hungry”, and "why do you keep hitting people?!”), Iron Man runs away with the competition. But for the action? Big Green easily supersedes his Iron-clad brother, with fight scenes that make Iron Man's final battle seem like a fight that involves cuddly, old Jeff Bridges. In truth, they're both pretty good, but for very different reasons.

Another similarity between Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk is that its worse performance comes from its female lead (as mentioned earlier), and that its best two come from its hero and arch-villain. Edward Norton's script is patchy, but his performance is excellent. He never, to me at least, seemed like the correct choice to play the Hulk, but it works. He's adept at playing Bruce, the social paranoia and the feeling that he's a pariah being heavy influences on his performances. With the Hulk, it's not really his job, more that of the CGI technicians and Lou Ferringo (who has not so much a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as a fall-asleep-and-wake-up-half-hour-later-and-you'll-miss-it cameo), who provides the voice. Superseding even Norton is Tim Roth, who delivers a hammy-yet-brilliant performance as his arch-nemesis and military mastermind Emil Blonsky. Maybe in the last two minutes, before the transformation, his tough-guy persona does begin to grate, but up until that moment its top notch stuff from a top notch actor.

In essence, the Incredible Hulk is two different films crammed into one. One is brilliant, and the other is awful, and they both seem to balance each other out. As with Iron Man, Hulk v2.0 lends itself to suggest a sequel would be a good move, and therefore the Avengers seems like a fantastic move. The Avengers will need to give its time to the heroes, and hence won't have dodgy romance (hopefully, it won't feature a WAGs subplot), and will pack Hulk's punch but capture Stark's sense of humour. It's also great how they're building it throughout the other creations, and it appears that the Avengers may just be another movie that everyone can't wait to see. Only another three years to go.

Verdict
When Hulk uses his brawn, this is exponentially better than Iron Man and up there with the best comic book movies. However, when it gets down to romantic parts and the "comedic” quips, it's a sour disappointment.
 
----------------------------------------------------
 
Honorable Mention Awards go to: Matthewforan   .............Page 49
Die Hard (1988)
 
 What's It All About?

John McClane (Willis) has been a New York cop for the past 11 years, 6 months previously his wife moved to LA to her new job at the highflying Nakatomi Corporation. He's come to LA for another shot at trying to get back with his wife Holly (Bedelia) who he feels guilty about not truly believing in. But the Christmas party he is invited to by mistake is soon interrupted by Hans (Rickman) and his group of terrorists. McClane is now a one man walking army to try to get his wife back and stop them from stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Nakatomi vault. During which time he develops a bond with beat cop Al (Johnson) in one of cinema most famous buddy cop partnerships and some of the best action you're likely to see on the big screen.


The Good

Well lets face facts if you haven't bothered to see this film yet you really shouldn't be on this website in the first palce because this is the best action movie ever made. The action set pieces are some of the best you'll see, big explosions, shoot outs and some great fight scenes. Die Hard is also the proud owner of one of the great finales of the 80's, just when you think it's all over they pull you back in with a thundering shot. Although he was not first or even second choice for the role Bruce Willis, really defined himself as a leading man and he stands out as the everyman. He manages everything from pulling off the action, the laughs and of course that now famous grin. His counterpart Alan Rickman who is without question a great actor and with one of the best voices in the business excels as the lead bad guy Hans. Who I'm sure many will agree with me when I say he is one of the best villains of the last 20 years.

Other great cast members include Reginald Vel.Johnson, one of the all time buddy cop pairings. But it's Johnson's Al that adds the real heart to the story, telling McClane about his accident and his wife expecting really adds to an already great story.  William Atherton is also very memorable as the smarmy reporter that you love to hate.

The script, there are a lot of sharp one liners, the heart to heart between McClane and Powell over the radio and of course the catchphrase that even your grandmother knows "Yippie-kay-yay, motherfucker”. The two Agent Johnson's are also worth a mention.

Also it's the best Christmas movie not about Christmas.

The Bad

Lack of score, I know it's not a big thing but I like a good score and the lack of one is disappointing. The "terrorists” are very stereotyped but then again when are they not.


The Verdict

It's one if not the best action movie ever made, it has the perfect leading man and some of the best set pieces that you'll see. It never tires with viewings, I've seen it around 20 times and never fails to impress.

90%
 
-----------------------------------------------
 
Well there you have it....another month....another award. 
The after party will be held at my house starting at 11pm sharp.
 
If you didnt win an award this month and feel a bit....
 
Dont be sad.....try again this month!!
 
Thanks everyone!!!
 
 


< Message edited by wgamador -- 12/7/2008 12:03:55 AM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to Manchurian candidate)
Post #: 1472
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 12:32:29 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Congrats Gimli, forever reinventing the meaning of "mini"  And Piles, on his first award! And matthew for an honourable mention! 

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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 1473
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 12:42:55 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Coming Soon...



"Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a busy weekend!"


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 1474
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 9:06:27 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Cheers Wags, I'm honoured


Great stuff from Matthew and Piles!

Looking forward to some new reviews Homer!

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 1475
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 12:49:03 PM   
justified by grace

 

Posts: 1551
Joined: 4/2/2007
Congratulations Gimli, Piles, and matthewforan.  Gimli--I haven't had time to read the whole review, but it looks awesome...and very comprehensive!



Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
   ***½

Positives


- It’s another Indiana Jones film!  The character is so iconic that it’s great to have the chance to watch many films featuring his adventures.  This film provides both another entry in the franchise, and also opens the door for more adventures.
- Harrison Ford still embodies the character perfectly. He still is Indiana Jones, just an older version of him.  Perhaps he can’t do all of the stunts that he used be able to, but he can still do many of them, and the character getting older makes perfect sense in the context of the story.  Besides, Indy has always struggled against difficulties and overcome them in his adventures, so getting old is simply a part of this.
- Shia LaBoeuf.  Though his performance isn’t quite as amazing as his breakthrough role in Transformers, he’s still a great actor, and makes a very good action hero.
- Cate Blanchett makes an excellent villain as Irina Spalko, and her accent is entertaining to listen to.
- Although I found Karen Allen’s character annoying and unsympathetic in Raiders, she’s actually good here.
- The CGI is excellent.
- I actually liked the CGI gophers…  C’mon, they were funny! (Of course, I’d say the same thing about Jar Jar Binks… )
- There are a couple of new pieces of music by John Williams which are actually pretty good.
- The truck chase through the jungle is quite cool.
- While it’s nowhere near the quality of Raiders of the Lost Ark or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or the high points of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it mostly lacks the unnecessary darkness of Temple of Doom, and so is probably better overall.
- In the last twenty minutes or so, everything comes together, and it feels like classic Indiana Jones.
- The hat joke at the end.

Spoilers:

- It has aliens in it!  And they’re handled really well, too.
- John Hurt makes the most erudite madman ever.  It’s bizarre, but still a strong performance.


Negatives


- As with any heavily anticipated film such as this, they’ll always be people who, when it doesn’t live up to their expectations, will loudly proclaim it as the worst film ever, even if it’s good.  It happened with the Star Wars prequels, it happened with Spiderman 3, and it’s happened here.  Of course, if people go in with an open mind and end up not liking the film, then that’s fair enough, but it’s kind of ridiculous how enraged fanboys can tend to blindly ignore the many good points of a film in their fury.
- For most of the film, while (nearly) all the elements are there, they just don’t come together in the way that they do in Raiders, or Crusade, or the best parts of Temple, until the last act.
- While John Williams has written some good new music, his Raiders March is shockingly underused.  I can only remember a fraction of it being used, once, and that just isn’t right for an Indiana Jones movie.  ("Oh, that’s not right…")
- The style of cinematography.  It imitates a 1950’s style very accurately, fitting the time period of the film, but just doesn’t look quite right for an Indiana Jones movie.
- I thought Ray Winstone was excellent in the title role in Beowulf, and while he’s not bad here, the film could have made better use of his acting ability.
- While Shia LaBoeuf is an excellent actor, and good in this film, his character here, though decent, isn’t particularly amazing, and certainly is nowhere near as iconic as Indy.  If he were to ever take over the lead, or become more prominent in the franchise, I would want his character to become significantly more like Indy.  And besides, Harrison Ford is still able to play the main character convincingly (albeit with a sidekick), and ideally he’d continue doing so for as long as he can.  At that stage, I’d be okay with Shia LaBoeuf taking over the lead of the franchise, provided that Harrison Ford would remain as a sort of Sean Connery figure (as the film-makers have stated their intention to do), and provided that Shia LaBoeuf’s character becomes sufficiently Indy-like.  At this point, I’d like to see at least one more Indy film with Harrison Ford in the lead before that happens, to give Shia LaBoeuf’s character more of an arc.

(Sorry, that last paragraph was kind of fanboy waffling—like fanboy ranting, only less interesting… )

Spoilers:

- I thought they could have done much more with the aliens.  As it is, the plot feels kind of undercooked.  After all, Steven Spielberg directed the excellent War of the Worlds.  He could have at least had the aliens try to take over the world, and then had Indy save us all, or something similarly cool.


Best scene


Without wishing to spoil anything, the last twenty minutes or so.  However, if I had to choose one moment, it would be the hat joke at the end of the film.  It’s a wonderful fanboy moment.
 
Conclusion


A pretty good adventure flick, though it only really captures the magic of classic Indy towards the end, so it’s slightly disappointing compared to what’s gone before.  However, the set-up for further adventures is promising.

_____________________________

Megamind ****
The King’s Speech ****½
Despicable Me ****½
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole ***½
A Serious Man ****
Lars and the Real Girl ***½
Lourdes **
The Return ***½
Doubt ***½
Star Trek: Nemesis ****

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 1476
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 1:43:57 PM   
Maddy


Posts: 8368
Joined: 3/10/2005
Phenomenal review Gimli! My fave parts are the Best Disapproving Looks and the Best "Oh Dear God" looks - made me guffaw!  Piles - your reviews are great! Really like your writing style

_____________________________

I'm noticing a distinct slackening of awe, a certain lack of trembling in my presence.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 1477
RE: Incredible Hulk - 12/7/2008 3:43:23 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
I shall echo that sentiment    or   I'll just agree with it like a m*******ka, if you prefer.


Piles had solid, solid reviews...i also njoyed his The Ruins one.
Homer's Incredible Hulk was also a fantastic read and could have placed if it werent for Matthewforan and Piles quality entries.
But from his above post.....im looking forward to reading all of those he has upcoming!
Mattheforan's reviews grew right in front of my eyes. When I read Die Hard, I said to myself, now there's a person, I'd like to viddi films with.
Swordsandsandals......yes, he hated Eagle vs Shark, (which i thought was brilliant at times.) but I enjoyed his review very much.

Good job by everyone! seriously.

Justified! sweet review! its nice to see you back.
Did you sign up for the Script Challenge ?




< Message edited by wgamador -- 12/7/2008 3:45:30 PM >


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to Maddy)
Post #: 1478
RE: Incredible Hulk - 13/7/2008 12:03:50 AM   
Amelie_Scotland


Posts: 17468
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: Take a guess.
The Good Shepherd (2006 - Robert De Niro)
 
After De Niro announced the possibility of making his monumental story of the CIA into a trilogy, I thought I should revisit the film. Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) is a CIA agent working in 1962 trying to figure out which of his fellow agents leaked word of a planned invasion of Cuba. During this, he reminisces about how he came to be working for the agency and the sacrifices he has made in the name of the USA, including an unhappy marriage of convenience to Clover/Margaret (Angelina Jolie) and an inability to trust anybody. His dedication to his job takes him from Yale to UK during World War 2, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
 
Pros:

* The one thing that is really clear from his movie is that director Robert De Niro really cares about performances. They're the standout aspect in the film. A lot of critics have criticised Damon's performance in the film, saying he's too dull and emotionless but that's the whole point. Edward is a man who has to hide so many secrets from everybody he knows, the smallest sign of weakness would jeopardise his job. In this case, the need for subtlety is ideal and Damon nails every twich and stare. While the cast is huge and full of actors with more Oscars than the rest of us have had hot dinners, this is Damon's film throughout.
* There are countless cameos and supporting turns made by actors with more silverware than the Queen. Particular stand outs include Michael Gambon (as a homosexual Nazi sympathising professor), Lee Pace (Ned from Pushing Daisies as a fellow agent), Alec Baldwin, De Niro himself, John Turturro, and a much talked about appearance by Joe Pesci. It is rather fun to play Spot The Thesp with the film.
* The subplot featuring a KGB defector and Edward's Russian equal, known as Ulysses, is gripping. The Russian agent is played surprisingly by John Sessions (whom I must admit to completely adoring, the fact that he's in this movie is the reason I bought the DVD, as shameful as that is to admit), an unusual turn from his work on Whose Line Is It Anyway. One particular scene involving water (don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it) is gut wrenching anf shows the darker, murkier side of the CIA. It's one of the most interesting aspects of the film.
* There is a standout performance by Tammy Blanchard as the deaf girl who Edward should have married. She's heartbreakingly good and deserves to be a massive star. There is one particular scene where you see her watching Edward talking to Clover's brother, who is telling Edward his sister is pregnant. She reads their lips and you can see the agony on her face, it's beautiful.
* It's not a spy movie as seen by James Bond. The Good Shepherd is about the dirty dealings that litter the supposed heroes of the country. Everywhere Edward goes, there is somebody who may or may not be betraying him. He firmly believes in the good of the country, even at the sacrifice of his own family. Most of the time, the action is set in the offices and dark rooms, with men discussing life together. It's less abot the big bang than the fuse being lit and burning slowly away. There's a lot of tension in the film, it's constant throughout the exceedingly long running time. The US Government doesn't come across as particularly kind. They treat people as commodities, not humans, and anybody is expendable.
* The film is beautifully shot, it looks like a film noir, very secretive and hidden in shadows. It also works as a great metaphor to show how nothing is just black and white even though it seems to be.
Cons:

* As much as it pains me to admit it, Angelina Jolie is underwhelming. That isn't all her own fault though, Clover isn't so much a character as a necessity to have some women on screen. It's a very testosterone driven film and she doesn't get much time to shine. I know how good an actress she is but Clover is such a thankless role.
* This is a long film. A very long film. We're talking 2 hours and 40 minutes long. It's a film that will divide people. You'll either enjoy the political aspects that carry the story or you'll be bored to tears.  The narrative is a bit mixed which will bore some, and the length is hard to sit through in one sitting. De Niro seems eager to put as much history into the film as possible and sometimes it faulters. It's admirable but not always a good idea.
* Joe Pesci is given a credit in the trailer but appears in the film for less than 3 minutes. It was a bit pointless and makes you think De Niro just did it to work with his friend. Other than Damon, the other characters aren't given enough time to shine. Billy Crudup also has an awful English accent in his role.
* Eddiw Redmayne plays Edward's grown up son and is like a wet blanket. You wouldn't let that boy in the CIA, he has major issues. He's a weak character. The entire subplot about Edward sacrificing his family life for the sake of his work isn't as well written as other scenes.
* There is one huge problem with this film - nobody ages. Damon looks exactly the same from 1939 to 1962. Almost a quarter of a century passes and he stays the same, as do everyone else. It's a little bit distracting because you often forget how much time is supposed to have passed on screen. A little bit of ageing make-up would have made the world of difference.
Conclusion:

I enjoyed this film a lot more the 2nd time around. I enjoyed the mood of the piece, the passion De Niro obviously put into it. There are many fauls that I can't ignore but they don't detract from what I consider a very good movie. If the rumours are true I look forward to the 2nd part of the trilogy. But please hire a make-up artist De Niro! It's not a film for everyone, but if you have the patience, you might get something from it.

8/10.

_____________________________

I'm clean, I'm conscientious and I travel with my own tits.

You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 1479
Wanted - 13/7/2008 9:46:57 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Mucho Spoilerific Content - View Film Before Reading


+

Wanted looks very, very good. We have good looking actors (McAvoy, so I'm told), good looking actresses (Jolie, very much so), respectable older actors (Freeman, who I would like to narrate my life when it flashes before my eyes just before I die) and a number of miscellaneous actors who make the film more intriguing than most Hollywood fare, a fact belied by the director's Russian origins. We start off with an excrutiating office scenario, home of the world's worst boss, the world's worst best friend, the world's worst girlfriend, and the world's most timid office worker in the shape of Wesley (McAvoy). The film balances humour and frustration well, as well as Wesley's resignation to his life.

Then we cut to a scene of Wesley's father undertaking an assassination, but meets with a sticky end courtesy of a Fraternity renegade. The actions scenes are handled with aplomb and style, and are some of the best since The Matrix (1999). Indeed, much is similar, where an ordinary schmo is introduced to a world of which not only was he unaware, but is supposedly a master. We even have a Morpheus-style leader in the form of Morgan Freeman's ordinary-monikered Sloane. (Fox knocks spots off Trinity though for both style and 'substance'.) Points go to the "leaving the office" scene for sheer laugh-out-loud brilliance.

The film sounds great, looks great, and has a far more interesting story than a lot of films out at the moment. With that in mind, it's a hard film not to love.
Nevertheless, I don't love it. All the constituent parts of the film are there, as outlined above. But those parts are like sand - you can have the best quality sand in the world, but you still can't make a house out of it. So it is that for all the style, story, it never quite gels into something cohesive and whole. The film veers wildly from style to style, but rather than improving for the variety of styles, it suffers for it. The humour of the opening office scenes contrasts with the straight-laced po-faced way that the training sequence progresses. Wesley cycles through the regime in such an obviously-constructed montage it's something we've seen time and again. Look, he's mastered that next bit of the training! Maybe next time he'll master the next bit. Ooh, he does! Superb!... It's probably the least original part of the film, and could have been handled far less obviously.

-

I've commented on the quality of acting from Jolie - she's perfect for the role of seductive killer. However, the rest of the cast come off unwieldy and miscast. Yes, we have some sterling actors, but they're in the wrong film. I can see the logic in casting McAvoy to portray the geeky office worker, and he certainly toned up for the film, but his acting style in this is surprisingly annoying. Surprising in that in his previous films (Last King of Scotland, Atonement) he has been excellent. In the car when he is picked up by Fox I just wanted him to shut the hell up. Sure, one might argue that is the point, but you're meant to root for your protagonist a little, at least. Morgan Freeman was also in the wrong role. The wrong film. When he swears at the end, it just seems patently wrong and unintentionally amusing. The humour of the situation in the final stand off is offset by the Fox-initiated murder-suicide, which in itself is a daring move for a mainstream film, I'll admit. However, this is somewhat undermined by the fact that Sloane has just been exposed as a liar with regards to the targets that they have been taking out. Why does Fox believe that he is telling the truth now, when clearly he would try to save his own life as much as possible. It seems reckless and out of character, despite the filmmakers wanting you to believe it is specifically in character.

Which brings me to the main problem I have with the film. The "twist" of who Wesley's father actually is, while unexpected, undermines the whole first half of the film, in particular the training sequence. Inspired by his father's life, he resolves himself - but the man he imagines is not his father, and makes his motivations skewed and hollow. Certainly it makes Sloane more of a bastard, but I don't think the film will stand up to repeat viewings simply because of the twist. Our hero's main band of associates who are assumed to be the good guys are all the bad guys, and he never spends much time with the good guys - his actual father, who he kills, and Terence Stamp's weapon builder - for us to associate them with him. The ending too is poorly handled, with the "decoy" being clever visually, but doesn't hold up to consideration - why would Sloane fall for someone who looks a bit like McAvoy from behind but not from in front and who googles himself?

=

The Acting - 6/10:
While we have a film with some excellent actors, the acting falls short of a decent quality. Jolie saves the day with her execllent turn as the unoriginally-named Fox (yes, yes she is one) but McAvoy and Freeman surprisingly disappoint.
The Story - 4/10: A spin on a well-known story, ruined by a jarring of styles and a poorly handled denouement, as well as an inappropriate twist and an unbalanced feel to the whole film.
The Sound - 7/10: The film does sound really good, with some good rock tracks and an interesting score.
The Look - 7/10: The film looks great, not just the people but the world realised around them. The direction is assured and only let down by the story that the film tells.
Success of Intent - 4/10: For a film that aimed to deliver a new home for action films - the 18 certificate - I was looking forward to this. So it is that the failure of the film to make an impact, for it to cohere as a whole, and for it to give the distinct impression that rewatches will be far less exciting than the less-than-exciting first watch lead this to be a film that has failed in its intent.
Overall - 28/50, or:

56%


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Bristol Bad Film Club
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(in reply to Amelie_Scotland)
Post #: 1480
Hancock - 13/7/2008 5:29:46 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
MORE MUCHO SPOILERIFIC CONTENT - VIEW FILM BEFORE READING


+

A superhero film in which the hero is an alcoholic, potty-mouthed bum who has an aversion to being called an "asshole" is a brave film. One in which said hero is played by one of the biggest movie stars at the moment is braver still. I have no knowledge of the source graphic novel, so I went into this film knowing as much as Hancock about his origins. So it came as a surprise to see that this was very much a film of two styles - one that gave us the pathos of the lonely hero, and the humour inherent in the situation. It is at times surprisingly emotional, and uproariously funny. And it gets the balance right. Hancock is a man who knows nothing of his origins, except that, as he so sadly puts it, "nobody wanted to claim him". 

As he lurches, drunkenly, from one disaster to the next, he creates more problems than he saves. We see real outcomes to superheroic antics, and our hero is thrown (by fate?) together with Jason Bateman's PR man. This idealistic man has the ideal little family - beautiful wife, young son - and sees Hancock as a job. Improve Hancock's image, improve business. But, more than just business desires, he truly wants to help Hancock, and it's this noble desire to help that makes him such a winning character. Charlize Theron as his wife often comes across as distant, but that distance is seen as justifiable come the surprise twist. Will Smith gets some time to do some real acting between the set pieces, and makes this hero believable in his humanity, with a huge gap in his past. That the explanation of that gap needs a tightening of one's suspension of disbelief is not a problem as it's handled well. We get some information, but not everything, so we have room for more exposition should there be a sequel. The sadness of Hancock at the start is fully explained come the finalé, as every step he takes away from Angel causes her to come back to life, blip by blip.

-

At times however, the film doesn't know what it wants to be. The constantly changing tone works on the whole, but at times it seems a cobbling together of different films that jars occasionally. There is a nice scene where Hancock is in his trailer, looking through a view scraps of things that we later learn are all he had on him when he was found, 80 years previously. The music is yearning and emotive, and ends rather too suddenly to be replaced by a hip hop track as the scene cuts to Los Angeles. It's a poor edit and is an example of the suddenness with which the scenes change throughout the film.

=

The Acting - 7/10: On the whole the acting was sterling, with Will Smith putting on a fine performance as the put-upon reluctant hero. Charlize Theron grates occasionally, but Jason Bateman is winning as the PR with an Allheart of gold.
The Story - 7/10: It's a nice twist on the recently over-populated superhero genre, and nice that everything doesn't quite work out neatly - Angel and Hancock have to communicate by [insert sponsor] bluetooth device, with Hancock in New York by the end, showing that they can never be together.
The Sound - 6/10: There's some nice moments which are often interrupted too suddenly for fluid scene changes. One nice touch has a superhero-cliché music as Hancock flies in after being 'allowed' out of jail to help.
The Look - 7/10: The film looks great, with Hancock for the most part eschewing traditional "a little tight" superhero costumes for baggy shorts, a hoody, and a beanie. The effects are great too.
Success of Intent - 7/10: Treading the balance between the hilarious and the dolorous, Hancock is a minor winner in this summer's battle of big films. Entertaining and affecting in equal measures.
Overall: 34/50, or:
68%


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 1481
RE: Hancock - 13/7/2008 7:24:20 PM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34875
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
THE MIST (15)
 
Fantastic horror flick that proves the only thing scarier than being holed up with monsters about to invade, is the people you're holed up with. Pretty decent effects, some good scares, and a excellent cast. Plus one of the best endings in recent memory.

4/5

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Post #: 1482
Now on to July - 14/7/2008 2:21:15 PM   
matthewforan


Posts: 21051
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My Hometown
Thank you guys for the kind words, haven't read any of the new reviews yet as I'm just back from T.I.T.P but I'll get round to it later.

_____________________________

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(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 1483
RE: Now on to July - 15/7/2008 8:11:33 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Good stuff guys! Great revew of The Good Shepherd, Amelie. I pretty much agree with all of it. The same with you Lady Vengeance review, Maddy. Also nice to see Hancock getting some love, but I certainly agree with the negative aspects Homer pointed out.




Positves
 
It’s rare that a genuinely groundbreaking film comes along and, come the mid-nineties, it had been a while since a true “first” had been seen. Here though, was a first, something unique. A fully realised 3D animated feature film. And even after 13 years, with the technology progressing in leaps and bounds, its looks remarkable. Sure, the humans and the environments aren’t so impressive nowadays, but the main focus, the toys, are still excellent. Maybe it’s the plasticy nature of such things that makes the easier to render, but the likes of Buzz Lightyear and, in particular, Rex, still stand out as being amongst the most realistic of beings in Pixar’s canon. Back on the big screen in 1995, I can only imagine what it must have been like to witness this.
 
However, it’s not just the visuals that impress. As so many similar films have shown since, great graphics count for nought without a great script and, I’m going out on a limb here, Toy Story has what is possibly the finest script in moviedom. Not as meaningful, deep or thought provoking as others, but within the confines of the film and what the film intends to achieve, it’s nigh on perfect. It crackles with a wonderful energy, nary a singling line going awry. Its flawless and, just as importantly, terrifically funny, with each character beautifully crafted. Woody, the self appointed leader, Buzz, absolute delusion which gives way to poignant awareness, Sarge, the epitome of military precision, the cynical and sardonic Potato Head, the wisecracking Hamm, Slinky Dog, ever so slightly bit of a suck up, the brainwashed aliens, and my favourite, rex, the wonderfully insecure Tyrannosaur. The one-liners come thick and fast, the heartfelt speeches never veer towards cheesy sentiment, and it rattles along at a fantastic pace. It was nominated for an Oscar but was beaten by The Usual Suspects. A fine film and a fine script, but lacking the charm, wit and inventiveness on dipslay here. It’s also the funniest film to come along in close almost 50 years.
 
The vocal casting is perfect. It seems almost impossible to imagine that neither Tim Allen nor Tom Hanks were the first choices for the roles. I’d rather not imagine what it would have been like had Bill Murray or Jim Carrey been included.  Beyond the two stars though, a whole host a talent helps bring to life the supporting characters and it’s here where the casting truly excels. Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney, Don Rickles, John Ratzenburger, R. Lee Ermy. All spot on.
 
Combine, the looks, vocals and script and you have a film which delights on multiple levels for every single seconds of it’s run time. It’s never dull to watch as, even outside the overall look of the film, it’s peppered with wonderful sight gags, some of which I’m still discovering after countless viewings (I’m particularly fond of the toy snake that coils itself around Woody when the toys think he’s deliberately thrown Buzz out of the window). Line after line after line produce a smile, a chuckle, a guffaw, even a tear, especially when coupled with the wonderful delivery. “To infinity and beyond” has rightly become a pop culture staple (not in the AFIs top 100 quotes though. Inconceivable!!) It’s the sly asides and throwaway lines that win the most “Laser envy” is a particular favourite, I love Rex “I’m from Mattel” speech and I’ve lost count of the number of times my sister and I have, complete with hushed voices of awe, performed “The claw is our master, he chooses who will go and who will stay” and “I have been chosen. Farewell my friends, I go on to a better place” (Why, I have no idea, sometimes it just seems appropriate to do so!!)
 
What else. Ah, the music! Good ol’ Randy Newman. He gives us a really fantastic score, completely suiting the mood of the film. Suitably dark at times, notably brash and heroic at others, all the while in tune with the film. Rightfully Oscar-nominated, wrongly disregarded. His best work in the film though is with his songs. “Strange Things”, “I Will Go Sailing No More” and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”. Oscar glory came close for the latter song, but to no avail, though I reckon “I Will Go Sailing No More” is probably the best of the three. It also comes at an emotional highlight of the film. Maybe it’s just my post-LOTR days that make it so, but I came close to shedding a tear when Buss realises he can’t fly. It’s a terrifically beautiful and sad sequence.
 
Which brings me to the themes of the film. Many 3D ‘toons which have followed have been happy to deliver one-liners, gaudy visuals and colourful characters; they have little heart or soul. Toy Story is packed with heart, and while character revelations and arcs may never be on a similar scale of, say, The Godfather, they are there. Loyalty, friendship and self-awareness and present and correct, never hammered home, never mawkish, but enough to make the film a little bit more meaningful.
 
 
Negatives
 
None whatsoever. I could find some if I really wanted to, but it would just be nitpicking, and why spoil the fun?
 
Overall
 
In my life there are just two films that I dearly wish I had managed to see on the big screen. One is Jurassic Park. The second is Toy Story. It’s the only Pixar film that I first saw out of the cinema. But still, when I saw it I fell in love with it. I was 15 at the time, this was not the kind of film I was meant to be love. (Indeed, I was amazed then and I am now at people who just don’t like this film) Nevertheless, love I did, and I still do today. In fact, I watched it for the first time in about 5 years just last night, and I swear I’ve never loved it quite so much. I smiled and I laughed and I cried though every single second, my face was aching at the end. And it’s a testament to the creative geniuses behind the film, that 13 years and 8 films later, they are still producing some of the best-animated films ever seen, leaving all copycats and imitators foundering in their wake. What’s more, Toy Story isn’t even Pixar’s best, film they’ve managed to better it at least twice, as well as produce a sequel that is almost as impressive. But Toy Story was were it all begin, and it’s genuine bona fide masterpiece. It’s that rare beast, a family film for all the family. I’ve even heard it said that it’s “too good for kids” and there’s truth in that, the phrase could have been coined for this film. It’s pure perfection, and that happens all too rarely. A film to be treasured – 100/100

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Much more better!

(in reply to matthewforan)
Post #: 1484
RE: Mini-Reviews......................Megan Fox's Favor... - 15/7/2008 11:24:48 PM   
matthewforan


Posts: 21051
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My Hometown
The Mist (2008)

What’s It All About?

After a thunderstorm rips though a sleepy town people go about their business getting things to sort their broken homes. Suddenly a huge mist descends upon the general store where those shut in it begin to think the worst as one of the village members comes screaming through the door speaking of a great danger that lurks just on the other side of the doors. People then begin to separate into two camps those who believe that it is the work of a vengeful God and those who don’t. What develops is a incredible situation about people trying their best to destroy each other, and I’m personally going to compare it to 12 Angry Men (apart from the bugs obviously).


The Good

I can’t start with anything other that the performances, this film has two outstanding performances and Marcia Gay Harden is in particular as scary a character ever to appear in a Steven King adaptation. It is an excellent performance that somehow didn’t manage to get an Oscar nomination, she is without a doubt the shining star of this movie as the Bible bashing blood thirsty Mrs. Carmody. The other great performance is from leading man Thomas Jane playing the devoted father and cool headed David Drayton, who plays the character with every inch of his being. There are many other good performances from the cast including Williams Sadler who you’ll probably recognise from Darabont’s first King adaptation Shawshank Redemption, also notable performances from Andre Braugher and Toby Jones as the very lovable Ollie.

The camera work on the film is also one of the high points; Darabont really cements himself as a class act director with this film. He also brings to life the actual mist making it as scary and as claustrophobic as possible and it works every time that someone ventures out into it. His crew are also well up for the challenge that this film brings, I’m not sure who it is but whoever was in charge of Sound really deserves his pay check because you feel every shudder of glass and every aftershock that the movie throws at you. Another high point is the dialogue something that has still to falter in a Darabont/King film in my eyes, it’s not only incredible smart but funny also and the bible quotes are just as scary as “all work and no play”.

Darabont must also take credit for putting his foot down and keeping the ending the way he wanted. Only the Weinstein’s would be brave enough to do it. And it is a great ending it actually left me shaking, if you don’t know it I urge you don’t spoil it for yourself.

Finally the movie it’s self is just a big plus, because it treats itself like a B-Movie. Never takes itself to seriously and is very funny in parts. I’m not even sure if it’s meant to be but it is and it’s all the better for it. It works on my different angles and will surely please any movie fan

The Bad

Some will not like the fact it’s not all out horror, but since I’m not a big horror fan I didn’t mind as much. But fans who are expecting another Shining or Alien should maybe turn somewhere else. The bugs can get a little silly but some still look great and it’s kind of like the dialogue as some of that misses the mark badly but it’s not enough to dull this film as it is a roaring success. My only real question mark over this film is how it was so overlooked in the States.

The Ugly Truth

All in all a very good movie with some great performances and yet another triumph for the director if you are a fan of the book or director then this is the film for you because it’s one of the best horror films in recent years.


The Verdict

80%

_____________________________

"The Irish have always been victims of negative stereotyping. I mean people think we're all drunks and brawlers. And sometimes that gets you so mad all you wanna do is get drunk and punch somebody"

Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose

Punchdrunk RIP


(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 1485
RE: Mini-Reviews......................Megan Fox's Favor... - 16/7/2008 12:56:04 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
MAJOR SPOILERS WITHIN THE MIST.
PEER CAUTIOUSLY WITH DIPPED HEADLIGHTS UNLESS YOU'VE SEEN THE FILM
.



+

When Stephen King adaptations are done well, they are done very well indeed (The Shining, Misery). When they are done poorly, they are done very poorly indeed (Maximum Overdrive anyone?). It would appear that Frank Darabont is now the undisputed king (no pun intended) of King adaptations with three under his belt (not including the 1983 short which he made that takes the total to four) with The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption preceding The Mist to make the triumvirate of adaptations. While The Mist did not do good business in the States (they do like the sentiment, which is wonderfully absent from this film) it is deserving of a renaissance on DVD, like Darabont's first major breakthrough, Shawshank. (And with one showing a day at the second nearest cinema, I don't see how audiences here will make a big impact on sales.)

Putting matters simply, The Mist is a B-movie schlock horror with pretensions of seriousness. It is perhaps this odd mixture of genres that so distanced audiences. The effects work is dodgy at times, and the acting can be second-rate. But why am I putting these negative aspects here? Because of those B movie roots. If the effects work had been tip top, it would have lessened the impact and the low quality forces out focus elsewhere, to the more important conflict between the people themselves. The look of aghast horror at the tentacled creatures is pure over-the-top greatness, and William Sadler continues to surprise with these smaller roles he is taking. The exaggerated acting style is continued through with Marcia Gay Harden's monstrous religious nutter - a woman so unhinged, yet so perfectly composed hasn't been seen on screen since Nurse Ratchett in 1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. She is the sort of character who you would like to see in 3D, simply to more realistically strangle her yourself. And indeed, one of the biggest cheers of the night came as she was shot. In fact, several people applauded. This was another great aspect of the film - there was a real sense of audience cameraderie borne through the wacky humour contrasting sharply with intense horror: Everyone was eeriely quiet come the finale - more on that later.

Beyond the B movie schlock was a serious film that was not concerned with the monsters outside, but the monsters within. Man's greatest enemy is man. Or, in this case, woman - one woman in particular, and her hideous twisting of religion into a cruel, self-edifying fervent mess of false ideas and poisonous concepts. The ignorance or - to use a significant word from another Darabont/King film - the "obtuseness" of the characters is frustratingly well realised. Also, considering the vast majority of the film takes place in one room, and an annex, the ignorance adds to the overall claustrophobia of the setting.

And so to that ending. In a way, I'm annoyed that Empire had said that it was a downer of an ending. I was thinking throughout what could have happened. Is everyone dead? Do they all die in the store? Do they find that the mist never clears? Well, it's a sort of mixture of that, and is so utterly awful it is beyond words. A friend of my wife's who came with us said that it was "obvious", and that it would have been better had there been five bullets. I heartily disagree. In a way that would have been less depressing - at least he would be ignorant of the awfulness of his actions. As it is, he has to live with knowing how close they were to being saved. I did think that as he was kneeling there, screaming, a soldier was going to shoot him in the back of the head, thinking he was infected or some such, but to end in such a way was a brave move. A relentlessly pessimistic ending to a superb film. It stays with you.

-

I really can't think of anything that jumped out at me as particularly bad. I was slightly annoyed by the rules of movie morals coming into play with the store manager who shot the religious nutter being killed some 5 minutes later - can't have a murderer go unpunished, can we?

=

The Acting - 7/10: Yeah, much of the acting was second rate, but much of it was really good. Thomas Jane was particularly excellent in what could have been a bland role. His primal scream at the end is utterly soul-emptying. Marcia Gay Harden is frustratingly good in a "I'd like to shoot her myself" sort of way, as well.
The Look - 7/10: As I said above, the film is largely set-bound, and when the mist comes rolling in and suffocates everything, it looks great. The effects are a tad dodgy, but intentionally so, or due to budget limitations. When the five are in the car at the end, there is a great mis-match of shot colouration on Jane's character's head that is particularly reminiscent of B movie greatness.
The Sound - 8/10: Atmospheric, haunting, beautiful.
The Story - 9/10: King's books, it would seem, were made to play out on the big screen.
Success of Intent - 10/10: As far as I'm concerned, this does exactly what it says on the tin.
Overall - 41/50, or:
82%


< Message edited by homersimpson_esq -- 16/7/2008 12:58:39 PM >


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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to matthewforan)
Post #: 1486
RE: Mini-Reviews......................Megan Fox's Favor... - 16/7/2008 2:03:16 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
Coming soon to a mini-reviews thread near you...
 


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(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 1487
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 2:46:44 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
 
INTRO AND PLOT
 
The only reason I wanted to see Journey to the Center of the Earth was because of the tag of '3D' that went after its title. One of my biggest regrets from my '07 cinema going was that I never got the chance to see Beowulf in 3D or on an IMAX screen (or at all, actually). So, when this came along – the second mainstream furore into 2D pictures – I was very excited, no matter how poor the trailer looked. Needless to say, the moment I discovered my showing would not be a 3D one, I was instantly regretting going to see it. Maybe that was the incorrect mindset to enter a film like this with, and so I tried to dispel all negative thoughts as the opening credits rolled. The plot sees university lecturer Trevor (Brendan Fraser) looking after his nephew Shaun (Josh Hutcherson), the son of his late brother. After ridiculous consequences between this weekend and the one when Max went missing, they decide to check out one of the four remaining seismic detectors located on an Icelandic volcano.
NEGATIVES
 
Let's start off with the negatives, which this film has its fair share of. Firstly, there's the fact that it's so damn predictable. Every major twist is signposted, and all of the jokes are telegraphed. There's moments that almost come with subtitles that say  'remember this, it's going to be important later'. There's one scene that comes in the middle of the film, where Trevor is presenting Shaun with a watch that once belonged to his father, which is cringeworthily predictable. The person that was with me and I were predicting the next lines, every cliché in the book from "it was... your fathers” to "he would have wanted you to have it” are spewed out by actors clearly disinterested in what they're doing. Coupled with the bits that are obvious, there are the bits that are cheesy, which Journey to the Centre of the Earth has in abundance too. Perhaps it's because it's an American film, but both the relationships and the characterisation are brimming with cliché, almost to the point where you have to look away from the screen and pretend that what just happened didn't.
 
The supporting cast is also very poor. John Hutcherson shouts his lines, not really giving any room for emotion or dramatic emphasis, only booming them out like a WWE wrestler. Perhaps it's because he's young, but he only has two speeds; nought and sixty. The range in the middle has, somewhere, been lost. But next to Anna Briem he looks like Orson Welles. When I returned home from the showing, I was shocked to see that Briem was an Icelandic native, because she flits between an American and an [unconvincing] Icelandic accent. Her romantic sub-plot with Brendan Fraser is awful, with no real purpose in the scope of the film. It almost becomes a distraction rather than a sub-plot, and the pay-off has neither worth nor significance.
POSITIVES
 
But it's not all bad. Brendan Fraser is impressive, even if he's still doing his Harrison Ford impression that he's honed to perfection in the Mummy films. He's witty, charming and – although he plays a bumbling fool – puts across an authoritive aura that makes him the only interesting thing about large portions of the film. Maybe it's the actor's charisma, but Trevor's character is the only one of the three that seems to pull any emotion out of the viewer at all. Although sometimes, you just wish he'd choke the other two to death. The film also looks breathtaking, even if I didn't manage to see it in 3D. The CGI is breathtaking. Often, it doesn't exactly look lifelike (how lifelike can a T-rex actually get?), but you have to respect the directors for their ambition in tackling such grandiose visuals.
 
And then there's the fact that it's dedicated and directed directly at eight year olds. I'm slightly older than the target audience, so I think I may have looked to deeply for hidden meanings or added depth. But for your average eight year old? This will be great fun, delivering action set ups that with wow kids and, as Briem would say, allow their minds to be blown. They won't look for a coherent narrative, impressive direction or good performances, instead concentrating on the giant dinosaurs and the CGI storms. The character of Shaun will also have more relevance to them, allowing them to become a part of the film. They, too, will have dreamed about diving straight into their favourite book, and to see Shaun doing it will be an uplifting experience. Maybe, when you take away all the technical wizardry of the CGI and the 3D, Journey to the Center of the Earth is just one for the kids.
 
Verdict
I wouldn't dissuade anyone from going to see JTTCOTE, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it to them either. You've seen it all before, and will see it again in a couple of weeks when the Mummy 3 comes out. 4/10.

< Message edited by Piles -- 16/7/2008 2:48:12 PM >


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(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 1488
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 4:28:53 PM   
igotnewlegs


Posts: 5065
Joined: 11/9/2006
From: The big blue velour marble
 
[•REC]
 


Welcome all to my first (and possibly last) review: the Spanish horror movie REC
 
Okay, I'll start off by saying that I was close to not watching this film. In part it was due to the amount of first person 'camcorder' movies that have been released recently. I did like Cloverfield but after watching Diary of the Dead (in combination with Empire's REC 3 star rating review) I was thinking maybe this genre was best suited to other more traditional film-making methods. However, some positive user reviews persuaded me to watch the movie.
 
Positives:
 
The illusion of authenticity
. Throughout The Blair Witch Project and Diary of the Dead all I could think was, 'put the sodding camera down and leg it'. That thought was less prevalant in Cloverfield but you still questioned whether they actually needed to film it seeing as how every News channel in the world would have been covering it and everyone else in New York probably has a camera phone. In REC it was far more believable that the pair making the documentary, Angela and Pablo, would carry on filming even after they discovered the apartment building was full of rabid, disease-ridden, un-dead psychopaths (or zombies, as they prefer to be known). The set-up is superb and has you believing that the pair would want to document the events with their camera. When it gets too much and their lives are in mortal danger the camera is kept in play because it becomes a necessary tool for survival (with its flash light and night vision).
 
This POV trick
is also used to fantastic effect in drawing the audience into the action. Whereas Diary had you under no illusion you were watching a film (with its use of music, contrived plot lines, strange character reactions and over-acting) REC almost pulls off the trick of making you believe you are the one behind the camera. A notable occasion of this is when we, as the camera, are forced to run past a zombie hand-cuffed to stair railings. You will the camera man to run faster!
 
The acting really adds to the realism
. The reactions appear genuine to the horror around them and in one case, where the fireman's body falls down the stair-well, it actually is (the actors weren't informed of what was going to happen). Also, the acting adds depth to the characters who, given the film's short running time, could have seemed one dimensional.
 
Lastly, the scares
. There are some very scary moments in this film and this is largely due to the good work it puts in early on drawing the viewer in and making you believe these are real people you're watching. The scene towards the very end, when the night vision is switched on, is particularly well done and was so much more scarier than anything Hollywood has produced recently. Only The Orphanage has come close to rivalling it for the 'scare factor'.
 
Negatives
 
The running time
(its around 80 mins) could be viewed as a negative but overall its a good length. There's not too much exposition and gets straight into the action. However, the running time could leave some wanting more.
 
The main character
, Angela, was not the strongest personality (although very nice to look at!). Some of the supporting characters were stronger and you really did feel for them when they were bitten or attacked by the un-dead hordes. Another character that suffers is the camera man but I feel that was intentional so that we could be further drawn into his role.
 
My one main gripe comes when it tries to explain where the virus came from. I feel it didn't need the audiotape, newspaper cut-outs and religious objects to explain the origin of the virus because as the viewer in a closed narrative I wouldn't have expected to find out.
••••
4/5
 
Not ground-breaking or terribly deep but bloody scary and a shining example of how to use the whole POV camera trick to great effect (I'm looking at you Romero).


< Message edited by igotnewlegs -- 16/7/2008 4:34:31 PM >


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(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 1489
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 4:35:11 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Thanks Igotnewlegs!  I skimmed through it since I didnt want to spoil anything for myself.

Dont let that be your last review!! Just drop a review when you watch something that you must share with others!
Thats why this thread is here!

Thanks! Piles, Homer, Gimli, DJ Rob and Matthew...for your latest entries! Cant wait to read your The Mist reviews! I posted one a few pages back.

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Post #: 1490
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 4:59:49 PM   
matthewforan


Posts: 21051
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My Hometown
Nice Mist review HOMER it seems as though you and I both feel the same about it. I'll be doing a Kung Fu Panda one later.

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Post #: 1491
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 5:20:24 PM   
igotnewlegs


Posts: 5065
Joined: 11/9/2006
From: The big blue velour marble
Yeah Homer, nice review of Mist - I'm in complete agreement though I would have had that tenticled thing as the main negative due to the dodgy CGI (regardless of its B movie routes). However, the Mist itself did a fantastic job of covering up any other flaws in the CGI beaties. Thoughtful and inventive horror.

Competely disagreed with your review of Wanted though! I thought it was fun and didn't pretend to be anything else. Some fantastic action scenes, good humour and Angelina - surely the only reasons anyone goes to watch a film like that and the reason its now had a sequal green-lit. Still, a well written review as usual.

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Post #: 1492
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 8:24:33 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
Oh, and thanks for my award! Feels good .

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Post #: 1493
Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 11:48:31 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


+

After the travesty that was Beowulf, I spent the intervening months biding my time until a decent 3D film came along, doing the mental equivalent of that face you pull when you drink orange juice after brushing your teeth - you know it tastes nice but you can't appreciate it until the toothpaste taste goes away. So it was with 3D for me. I knew it was something great, but with a film like Beowulf as the first major release in the format, it wasn't doing it any favours. So, when I saw the trailer for this film before that film started, my appetite was duly whetted.

Let's make no bones about it, a great deal of the effectiveness of this film is due solely to the 3D. It's not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is brilliantly enhanced by the superb effects. We follow Brendan Fraser's Trevor and his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson more than holding his own) as they trace the route of Jules Verne's novel, as previously trodden by their brother and father respectively. They are helped by their Icelandic guide Hannah (Anita Briem), a guide of an age roughly equidistant between the two Andersons - so much so that amusingly they both "call dibs" on her. The film is fairly simple and linear - a straight adventure that takes us to the heart of the action - and the earth. Coming to those effects in a moment, what makes this a more enduring experience is the character interactions. there is a genuine cameraderie between the trio, and you get a sense of a burgeoning avuncular relationship between Trevor and Sean, as they have that one common element - the missing brother/father. When the action lulls, the characters take over and make this a balanced film that allows us to care for the characters, increasing the tension in the action-packed scenes. The music is particularly effective in enducing tension - a tension enhanced by that 3D technology.

So yes, the effects. If you didn't see this on a 3D film you're missing, quite literally, a whole dimension to the film. The 3D is used for many purposes; comedy (spitting, yoyos), shocks (the fish), thrills (the rollercoaster ride that beats Temple of Doom's one hands down) and beauty (the glow bird). It never seems forced or laboured or obvious. Nor does it become tiresome. it does enhance a film that, let's be honest, is bobbins.

-

Yes, bobbins. It's unoriginal (not just because it's an adaptation), it's derivative, and it stars Brendan Fraser, not the actor you call if you want considered performances with depth. (This might explain why Hutcherson comes off so well in the film...) I do wonder whether, without 3D, I would review this half as well. That being said, the story is strong, and the film looks great anyway, so maybe I would.

=

The Acting - 6/10: It's tipped over the halfway point by Hutcherson, After Bridge to Terabithia and this, Hutcherson is one to watch for the future, I suspect.
The Look - 8/10: I love the 3D format. I have never looked with such wonder at a film on the big screen. Well, I did for the first few minutes of Beowulf before it all went downhill.
The Sound - 7/10: The music by Andrew Lockington is great stuff.
The Story - 6/10: I really must read Verne's novel. Not strictly archaeologically sound, but good fun nonetheless. Plus, it has dinosaurs which automatically adds a point.
Success of Intent - 8/10: With stronger actors this would have scored even higher. I have high hopes for the 3D format.
Overall - 35/50, or:
70%


< Message edited by homersimpson_esq -- 16/7/2008 11:55:23 PM >


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Post #: 1494
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 16/7/2008 11:57:52 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
Great review Homer. Obviously, I disagree, but your opening line was fantastic. Great pic, too.

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RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 17/7/2008 10:43:55 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Multiple Mist and Journey reviews, but I can't read them yet  Damn you silly cinemas for not showing them!


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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

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Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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Post #: 1496
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 19/7/2008 4:55:03 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo



Positives

Pretty much everything


Negatives

Hardly anything whatsoever


Overall

Beautiful, charming, funny, thoughtful, exciting, inspiring. The kind of film that makes me happy to be alive. Just brilliant - 10/10


(I'm so giddy with joy, it's impossible for me to write anything constructive yet)

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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

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Post #: 1497
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 19/7/2008 10:01:05 AM   
Amelie_Scotland


Posts: 17468
Joined: 13/10/2005
From: Take a guess.
Wall-E (2008 - Andrew Stanton)
 
The entire world has been evacuated after over-pollution and is left as basically one giant rubbish pile. After 700 years of monotonous cleaning and garbage square pressing, one waste disposal unit known as Wall-E has been leftover. He's somehow developed a personality and spends his days collecting bits of rubbish for his own amusement and watching an old tape of Hello Dolly! One day, an earth evaluation robot, EVE, lands on earth to look for lant life and Wall-E is immediately smitten. His infatuation leads to some attempts at wooing before being whisked away to the ship where humanity has stayed since leaving their home planet.


Pixar don't do bad film-making. Nothing in their films is sloppy or lacking detail. They are probably the most consistently excellent studio in film. I wasn't very ecstatic about their last film Ratatouille despite it's universal praise. It was a great film but not the best they'd ever made (that honour falls upon Monsters Inc. in my book) so I tried to be apprehensive about Wall-E. But after seeing the trailer and clips I couldn't contain my excitement. I wasn't let down. The film opens upon a landscape of the planet. At first it appears to be a cosmopolitan view of city skyscrapers but on closer inspection, they turn out to be horrific piles of rubbish, towering over everything in site. Everywhere you look there are signs advertising Buy N Large, a corporation that has taken over the world and supplies humanity with everything they think they need. The one moving thing amongst the chaos is a bulky but adorable Wall-E. He is a masterpiece of animation. Like Aardman animation's Gromit, most of his expression is shown through his eyebrows. It's amazing how so much feeling can be expressed through so little. When you see him try to woo the more advanced EVE, there is a real element of silent physical comedy to him. He's bumbling and occasionally stuck in pratfalls and you love him for it. The first 20 minutes are almost void of spoken words, Wall-E and EVE communicate through beeps and robotic whirls (supplied by the guy who did Star Wars' sound effects!) The film is billed as a robot love story and it feels genuine. Their courtship of sorts is sweet but never saccharine. You're willing for Wall-E to win EVE's heart (or whatever the mechanic equivalent is) When the action moves towards the humans, there is a serious message conveyed. Congratulations to Andrew Stanton the director (Finding Nemo) for doing successfully and subtly what Al Gore did with a screaming round or preachiness. The humans on the ship barely live. Morbidly obese due to degrading bone loss over the years, they have their smallest whims taken care of by robots and don't even walk on their own. It's a hard hitting message of the terrors of consumerism and the need for immediate environmental action. It will probably go over the heads of younger viewers who just want to see a cute robot. Some people - like my cousins - might be bored by the so called lack of action but this isn't a film about action. It's a character piece, with a love story and moral message thrown in for good measure. The human characters are given less to do than the robots. You don't care as much for them.

 

It's a visual treat all the way through, or as my sister would call it, an eyegasm. So many scenes make you sigh with awe, such as Wal-E and EVE's dance through the skies with the help of a fire extinguisher, or the neon lights of the space-ship's human deck. The colours and movements are expertly realised and beautiful in every way. I can't believe some people still see animation as a lesser film medium. Wall-E is one of the best movies of the year and deserves the animation Oscar now. I wish they still allowed animation to be eligible for Best Picture. Pixar have surpassed themselves again, I feel a little sorry for their next film Up! For sheer heart and ambition, you can't go wrong with Wall-E.


9/10.

< Message edited by Amelie_Scotland -- 5/8/2008 1:25:53 PM >


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Post #: 1498
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 19/7/2008 10:08:59 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Brilliant review Amelie! Glad to see someone else who saw it on opening day

Nice to know you like Monsters as well, also my favourite Pixar film.

I want to watch Wall-E again!


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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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Post #: 1499
RE: Mini-Review: JTTCOTE - 19/7/2008 10:22:01 AM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34875
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
Going out in 10 minutes to see it at 11:30, can't wait!

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