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Iron Man (2008)
I Can't Believe I Liked This
I really enjoyed this movie, and am still surprised. It was funny, action packed, interesting, the acting was solid, the story was reasonable (for a comic book movie) and they stayed relatively true to the source material. I was expecting this to be bad, and ended up feeling excited, sitting on the edge of my seat, and was really impressed. Even the CG was really well done and looked great.
To help you understand why liking this came as such a big shock to me, here is a list of Marvel based movies I really didn't like: X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, X2, Hulk, Spider-Man 2, Elektra, Fantastic Four, X-Men: The Last Stand, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
I heard Iron Man is the first movie to come out of Marvel Studios. If this is a sign of what Marvel Studios is going to do for these movies, then I think there's a chance I may not be disappointed in the future. I thought the new Hulk movie looked pretty good from the trailers, but if Iron Man is an indication of what Hulk will be like, I can only imagine it will be fantastic.
Silent Hill (2006)
Great Adaptation - Mediocre Movie
I like video games, and I like movies. I've never played a Silent Hill game all the way through, and I've only gotten a chance to play 3-4 hours of Silent Hill 2 (or maybe it was 3, I can't remember) and a little bit of Silent Hill 4.
That being said, from my limited experience with Silent Hill I thought this was a great game adaptation, but a mediocre film. Just like the video game the movie had a confusing story and cheesy acting. Also, just like the video game, the movie was visually beautiful, and had some parts that were 'scary' (I put scary in quotes, because I thought there were a few things that were creepy/had me on the edge of my seat, but for the most part I thought it was just weird. The girl I took to see it, though, thought it was VERY scary, so it's really just a matter of what you think is scary.)
I was really looking forward to this film, and was both disappointed and pleased after seeing it. On the one hand, I was glad they did such a good job turning the game into a film. On the other hand, as a movie, it just wasn't very good.
I can't recommend this movie to everyone. If you want to see a horror flick, this is probably a pretty good choice. If you are a fan of the video games I'd recommend it. If you want to see a good movie, this probably isn't for you. If you're a HUGE fan of the video games and know every in and out of the story and the characters, seeing it may just anger you.
This is probably one of the, if not the, best video game to movie adaptation I have seen yet (I thought Doom did a pretty good job as well) If you look at it as a movie by itself, without it's video game heritage, its visually very appealing, but can't stand up on its own.
If you HATED Cabin Fever, you probably won't like this
In my opinion Hostel was great, but I also really enjoyed Cabin Fever. I wouldn't vote Hostel as a horror in the traditional sense, but the same elements that made Cabin Fever good are what make Hostel good as well. The things I am referring to are the "gross out" factor and the horror in realizing "this could happen in real life."
Hostel wasn't scary. It had some pretty gruesome scenes, but I almost expected more. There was heavy drug use, sex and lots of nudity. If I rented a movie LIKE Hostel, I probably wouldn't think it was very good or recommend it to anyone. But the movies isn't LIKE Hostel, it IS Hostel.
A quick summary: Two friends travel to Europe at some point, I think the summer before their senior year in college. They meet a European guy (Ole) and travel as a trio. Their main goal: getting drunk, high and laid. After traveling all over Europe they realize that everywhere is overrun with Americans (like themselves) and they want to get somewhere a little more secluded, with hotter girls and less tourists. After a random encounter with a guy in Amsterdam, they are on their way to a small town in a Slavic nation (on his advice, of course). Once they arrive they meet the hottest girls on their entire trip and have lots of sex and drink lots. Ole vanishes and they try to look for him. They decide to wait a little while, when the "nice guy" of the duo also goes missing (both people missing include scenes of torture/death and a not so clear but easy to figure out message that is the main point of the movie). Finally the cocky guy demands to the people they have met to be taken to his friend, and he is taken to a gain warehouse where the torture/death takes place. As it turns out, he is next. I won't explain more, as it would ruin the ending (which I found surprising).
Most people look at Cabin Fever (and I think eventually Hostel will be looked at the same way) as a horrible teen horror movie; sadly these people miss the point. The overarching factors that turn Hostel from a mediocre, gruesome, B horror flick into a cinematic... well not masterpiece, but something really good... is the fact that A) this could really happen, and for all I know does happen and nobody knows about it (the actual horror element) B) Eli Roth KNOWS that's (not good) what the movie seems like, and makes his "horror" a bit... lighthearted... which gives it a little something extra C) Roth makes so many homages to old horror movies, you know he appreciates the genre and lastly D) He (Roth) never wanted to make crappy horror flicks, so he's taken a general idea and made it something all his own.
If you absolutely HATED Cabin Fever, you probably won't like Hostel. If you go into the movie expecting to have your pants scared off... you're out of luck. If you expect this to be something it's not (so far what the general public seems to have expected of this flick) then you will be disappointed. If you're ready to see something with a good story that utilizes a great idea, some pretty gruesome and interesting torture/killing scenes and enjoy yourself for 95 minutes OR if you "got" Cabin Fever and "get" Eli Roth - this movie was made just for you, and you won't be disappointed.
I liked it a lot
Although a lot of people have trashed this movie, I really thoroughly enjoyed it. Keanu may not be the best actor in the world, but as this dark character involved in the supernatural I found him to do a great job. The plot, I thought, was pretty sound. Many others have said it leaves out all background story of other characters involved, and it does so for Chaz (Shia LaBeouf) and Beeman (Max Baker), but it's not very difficult to figure out background for some of the other characters. It's not exactly obvious or evident how Constatine comes to be who and what he is throughout the movie in his life, but it's pretty unimportant.
I didn't think the special effects were bad, as not all that many or extensive effects were used, and thought the wings on each of the "half-breed Angels" were totally awesome. I liked the minimal use of specific physical weapons and more the use of religious icons and symbols.
This may not be the deepest movie of the year, as it's pretty simple and surface, but I thought it was enjoyable, fun, interesting, had enough action to keep me interested without making it what I would call a purely action movie. I enjoyed it enough to see it twice opening weekend, and I'd recommend it to most everyone I know.
The West Wing (1999)
this show is AWESOME!
I just started watching this show 5 days ago. My family received the first 3 seasons on DVD and I put it in and started watching. I'm on the 14th episode of the third season now, and having sat here for 36+ hours watching, I must say this show is intelligent, witty, funny, reasonable, has wonderful acting and actors, writing, and is a great look into the White House and the government of this country.
I'm only on the 3rd season and I don't know how long it will take for the others to come out on DVD (as i won't be watching the show on TV, since i don't want to miss anything) but up to this point, I LOVE this show, the characters and will continue to watch it at any opportunity available to me.
Out Cold (2001)
Love it or hate it, I think it's great!
Out Cold is one of my favorite movies. It's not intelligent, the acting isn't anything special and the plot is sub-par. But it's hilarious, and as a snowboarder wildly entertaining. I watch it in the summer when I miss the season, in the fall when I'm waiting for the season, in the winter when I'm NOT snowboarding, and in the spring when the season is ending. There is so much truth to the movie in some aspects that it just feels right. The movie is so funny in so many little ways, and if you open your mind and are willing to accept it for what it is, I think you'll love it as well. It has a great soundtrack featuring a LOT of Jack Johnson, some Weezer, Sum 41, other stuff, all of which is good. Jason London is great as Rick Rambis, Zach Galifinakis is hilarious as Luke and whoever plays Pigpen does a great job of acting dumber then you would think anyone could actually be. You'll either love it or hate it, but if you snowboard or like to have a good time, I think it will be the former.
National Treasure (2004)
Terrible waste of 2 hours
**could be spoilers**
National Treasure is like an even more pathetic version of The Da Vinci Code.
To start with, the movie is totally unoriginal. Ripping off a book like the Da Vinci Code was a poor choice, since the book was terrible. This movie is worse. The plot twists don't make much sense. As many other people have attested to there are "aha!" moments that seem to come out of no where. Deus Ex Machina is the only way Nicholas Cage and his band of misfits (including the enemy - guy willing to kill people over history) could figure out totally inane clues that make no sense. I don't think even the smartest history buff in the world could figure half of them out, and a few of them were ridiculously easy. Why would the founding fathers try to hide this treasure? This is a question that runs back and forth in your mind the whole time. The movie says "so the British wouldn't get it" but that makes little to no sense. The treasure wouldn't have helped the Brits win the war, so it was pretty confusing.
The acting was terrible, especially for Nicholas Cage who I've enjoyed in the past. Riley (wierd computer hacker guy) was entertaining and broke away from the monotony of the hackneyed, over played, subparr acting of the other characters. Jon Voight was also relatively entertaining, but that's because he's Jon Voight.
I will deter and admit that the movie was mildly entertaining. It's a waste of two hours, but if you have the time to kill and don't mind spending the cash you might consider seeing it, after seeing everything else out. Maybe wait to rent it, but for the price of a rental you could see it in the theater as a matinée. I'll give it 7/10 stars for entertainment, but 1/10 for quality, intelligence, worthwhileness, originality, acting, and everything else.
25th Hour (2002)
Excellent, and read the book
My desire to see this movie stemmed from my complete love of Edward Norton as an actor. He rarely disappoints (The Italian Job is the only one i know of to date).
Having seen the movie and read the book, i feel that the story is amazing in itself. When Monty (E. Norton) realizes that everything in his life, everything he will be losing by going to jai, seems artifical, fake, superficial and just plain wrong there is such a humanistic quality, something everyone can relate to.
I also have to appreciate Spike Lees directorial choices, most notably the decision to change the script/story to fit in with the recent (at the time) events of 9/11.
One scene that stood out, and always has, was in the bathroom at his father's restaurant. In the book the scenario and the word choices were a bit different, but the same idea was there. I don't want to give anything away (which seems somewhat counterproductive), but I felt that that scene alone was worth watching.
Overall this is the transformation of a man from his "tough street persona" into a real-life, living breathing person. There are intense messages that are somewhat obvious, somewhat not, but it's in my list of the best movies i've ever seen.
New Port South (2001)
Possibly the worst movie i have ever seen
OK, not possibly, honestly the worst movie i've ever seen.
this made absolutely no sense, there was no plot, no characterization, no acting, just nothing.
here's what i thought when i first saw it may 28th, 2003 **caution, this is a spoiler alert. it's also alot of me complaining about how bad the movie is::
ok so the movie begins and the characters are introduced, but there is no character explanation. as far as i knew the main character was new to this school, but apparently not. also it appeared that he lived by himself... then that he was a foster kid... then that his mother was a raging alcoholic who lived with him still. also all his friends apparently had no parents and lived by themselves.
now we come to a main plot point, this insane guy has broken out of the insane asylum and is running rampant. now our main character is obsessed with this guy and focus' intently on him for the contingency of the movie. i think i must have missed a main plot element here, there was no REASON for the main character to get hooked. even if that's the point, having no reason, why do all his friends, who are skeptical like 5 minutes before, suddenly follow him and do what he wants.
so the movie continues on, and it gets all right. they're running havoc on the school, blah blah blah. but wait a minute... suddenly everyone knows that the main character is running the 'show' here. wait a second, didn't the insane guy specifically tell the main character NOT to do that? it was supposed to be anynomous.
ah another important plot element has been skipped over... the insane guy was supposed to not be insane... everyone said he wasn't insane. but as the story goes on, he is VERY CLEARLY OUT OF HIS MIND. but i thought the news people said he wasn't... hm...
now the movie comes to a close. THAT WAS THE CLOSE? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? not only did the ending not answer any questions about the main character, it didn't answer any questions about the insane guy. are these people in the same situation? if yes, then there are some very basic story lines that do not tend to this. if no then what is the point in saying "that's you in two weeks."??
*end of the thing...*
that's what i thought then. that is pretty much what i still think now. it's 6 months down the line, and if i can get it for free, i might give it another chance, but i doubt it. i highly doubt it.