Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by casual-jedi, Aug 3, 2006.
Not enough batman. Bit long. 7/10.
PS Joker = doubleplusgood
The X-Files: I Want to Believe is not a sequel to the first X-Files movie. Where that film revelled in the big screen budget and an epic conspiracy arc, this is effectively an extended standalone episode, and not a particularly ambitious or action-heavy one at that. This is not criticism. I'm simply highlighting the "apples and pears" scenario.
Think of this as a TV movie that just happens to be set on the big screen: a reunion/relaunch special, written with a much earlier release date in mind, which serves as a pilot of sorts for future movies. Read over this carefully, and you'll be in the right frame of mind to appreciate this story.
I was surprised at just how low-key and introspective this movie was. The core mystery takes a back seat to the characters of Mulder and Scully themselves, but their story is handled with maturity and thoughtfulness. The movie-length running time doesn't add scope to the adventure (which, by the show's high standards, is honestly a bit tame); it simply gives the two characters room to breathe.
For perhaps the first time, their romantic involvement (which, thank god, isn't over-emphasised) feels like a natural extension of their long-running partnership. Chris Carter knows these characters inside out, and David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson act with the confidence that can only come from playing the roles for so long. This is why I was so moved by the very first shot of Scully: you really can see the last decade in her eyes.
While I'm not realistically expecting it to happen, I sincerely hope the movie does well enough to keep the franchise going. As I said, it feels far more like a re-introduction than a coda. It's the only way the choice of story makes sense. But if this is the final word on the franchise, I can live with that. I Want to Believe is true to the two characters at the heart of The X-Files, and that's a pretty nice note to go out on.
It certainly wasn't the movie I expected, and for that reason, I still haven't reached a final opinion. All I can say is that the more I think back, the more the it grows on me. I think...
Yes. I'm pretty sure I liked it. A lot.
The X-Files: I Want To Believe
A pleasant surprise, this film was as good as any of the episodes back in the show's heyday. The movie's ambition is fairly small; it's constructed like an extended episode of the series, with a good horror/sci-fi plot at it's core and plenty of meaty character stuff for Mulder and Scully to play with.
The leads are good and completely in character; this is the same Mulder who threw himself onto moving trains and fought alien bounty hunters in arctic ice, and Scully has the same fire to challenge what's in front of her. The hook to do this has been criticised, but I felt it actually worked rather well. I was surprised at the jokes they made about it though.
There's a weird moment with a photo of George W. Bush...would someone kindly explain that at some point?
I probably cheered a bit too loudly when my favourite character turned up, but it was the right time for them to do so (though I couldn't remember if they were still alive or not) so was glad when they did.
The only fault is that the script felt like it was meant to be set shortly after the series ended rather than the real time delay, as Mulder could not have been on the run for such a long time in the capacity that he is here. However, it's kind of amusing to think Mulder isn't actually as smart as he thinks, and the FBI simply don't care
In all, this felt like a reunion film; the kind of thing Fox would show on a Sunday night and bill as an event movie, but I am glad it got shown in the cinemas, it's entertaining enough to justify it. And hopefully this will lead to a larger film project down the line.
If you're a fan, check it out. And my thanks again to HB for the ticket.
Be seeing you,
The Bush photo was definitely strange, yes. It felt like an incomprehensible in-joke between Chris Carter and composer Mark Snow that nearly broke the fourth wall in the process. Happily, that's the only point I felt even slightly removed from the X-Files universe.
The "hook" worked well for me, since Scully the Conflicted Catholic Scientist was guaranteed to have a strong reaction. It was a good way to restore Mulder and Scully to their iconic believer / sceptic roles without backpedalling on nine years of character development.
Incidentally, Billy Conelly pulls off the tortured dramatic role well, to the point where I wished he had more screen time. It's funny how that same manaic delivery can translate so well into a "real" performance. Not once during the film did I think of him as That Crazy Scottish Comedian.
Well finally saw Dark Knight.... Honestly? I'm not sure about this one yet. Being one who lets a film progress without trying to second guess the ending I found myself overwhlemed at times and at others just confused.
In short, just not sure.
Been a while since I posted here, so there's a back-log.
Pleasantly up-lifting, despite feeling a little self-conscious at being one of 3 males in the whole cinema. Oh, & Pierce Brosnan can't sing! LOL.
X-Files 2: I WANT TO BELIEVE IN THE QUEST FOR PEACE.
Definately a smaller film than the first. Kinda felt like a 2-hour TV reunion. Nice foot-note on the X-files timeline though.. A 'where are they now' of sorts.
The Love Guru.
Goodness me, the chuckles were there.. but then again, I am an idiot.
Somewhat of an Asian 'Lord of the Rings', without the trilogy/walking. Crouching Tiger without the hidden pretenciousness. Seriously, Jackie Chan & Jet Li, re-telling the legend of the Monkey King... You had me at Hello!
Mamma-mia was a pleasant watch..and no Pierce thinks he can sing..can't, but still manages to sound fair. Meryl was good.
The Robot movie we saw here: Yeah really cool film. Quality was as poor as we thought, although I did forget it at times. Simple but good story. Laughed, giggled and it should look and sound like magic on the mungous screen.
Hoping to see a couple of movies over the weekend if anyone is interested. Savages on at the Dendy Portside is the main one. Would like to see X Files and Forbidden Kingdom at some point.
Went to see Forbidden Kingdom some time in the last week and I rather enjoyed it. It isn't deep, but it looks pretty and you have Jackie Chan and Jet Li making it awesome. I absolutely loved all the stuff with the Monkey King. He was a riot. Felt like watching a Monkey Magic movie.
Finally saw the Forbidden Kingdom. I really thought it was forgettable unfortunately. Entertaining, and the fight scenes between Jet and jackie were awesome, but I just thought the rest was too much like Karate Kid meets Kung Pow, Enter the Fist ( both of which I enjoyed..hmm )
I do like the odd martial arts movie and enjoyed Crouching Tiger and that series, so I'm just not sure what it was that i didn't like...just didn't go..COOL or FUNNY, or THAT WAS GREAT as much as I should have.
Fun movie, glad i saw it. Won't 2nd viewing it. 6/10
Forbidden Kingdom's enjoyment kinda hinges on your reaction to this statement: "and Jet Li as The Monkey King."
It was fun; I could have done without the modern bookends (was very much like the old Warriors of Virtue); the Asian lass was a terrible actress, the American kid (from Sky High, incidentally) wasn't as annoying as I thought he'd be, Jackie Chan and Jet Li got to be awesome.
This is "Journey to the West" filtered through a teenager's imagination and impressions of too kung fu movies; it's why Jackie Chan and Jet Li are reduced to their most famous roles (a silent monk and a drunken master), and Lady Snowblood turns up for no apparent reason.
Still, it makes me want to see an actual production of "Journey to the West", with Jet Li as Monkey, Jackie Chan as Pigsy, Chow Yun Fat as Sandy, Zhang Ziyi as Tripitaka, and Michelle Yeoh cameoing as either Buddha or The Horse
The Savages is about something a lot of us have gone through or will have to go through or have seen others go through; a family member getting too old to look after themselves and being put in a nursing home. It's sad and morbidly funny, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as brother and sister having to do this for their estranged and unpleasant father. I can see why it got rave reviews and impressed at Cannes.
Pineapple Express is the touching story of the lengths one man will go to to save his drug dealer This got compared to Hot Fuzz to me to entice me to go; a comedy that turns into an action film. It's nowhere near that good, but it is surprisingly funny with some neat action scenes.
Finally, Taken, or "Lian Neeson kills loads of people to rescue his daughter." This is a real throwback to 80s action movies, very simple plot, but well shot and well acted. It's brutal, but all the brutality is happening to very bad people, so you can almost suffer no guilt for watching these horrible things that happen (with one notable exception, you'll know it when you see it).
There were some surprises; Holly Valance turns up as a pop star Liam Neeson's character is working for. His ex-spy buddies were neat; could have had them more involved. The scene where he tells the head of the slavery ring that he's looking for his daughter draws embarrassment from the hoods surrounding him; they're legitimately sorry when confronted with a side-effect of their repulsive line of work.
My favourite scene; Neeson surrounded by thugs and he identifies the one whom he speaks to on the phone in the trailer. The cinema went dead silent when he whispered the line, "I told you I'd find you..."
Be seeing you,
the American kid (from Sky High, incidentally)
That's why he looked familiar! I knew I'd seen him somewhere...
Oh, Taken is out? Nice. I'll have to go see that. 2 hours of Liam Neeson kicking bad dudes' asses is worth 10 bucks any day of the week.
Now, my outlook on this movie was always going to be biased because, as most of you know, i've spent the last year working on two war films (not to mention the rest of my life) so this film looked like a great satire of the genre and the industery in general. That, and i'm a big fan of stiller, Downey, black and tom cruise. (stiller having 4 or 5 credits - directing, writing, producer, story, acting!)
I haven't laughed in a long time as much as i did watching this film. Everything was pitch perfect of how things go down, how actors behave etc. From little 'fake' trailers at the start before the actual movie (brilliant!) to little things you see 'on the set' the movie was just a blast of fun.
I know most of the crew from 'the pacific' was looking forward to it as well, a good way to laugh at ourselves.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army - If I hadn't just seen The Dark Knight recently, this would easily be the best movie of the year for me. I really enjoyed the original Hellboy movie but it had it's problems and you could really notice the studio involvement and lack of budget sometimes.
That never happens in The Golden Army - this movie is frickin' awesome on every level. Characters, action, FX, Animatronics and Puppetry, script... everything! I also never thought I would say this either but Luke Goss (formerly of the 80s boy band, Bros. and then later the mutant-vampire villain of Blade 2) really needs to be given more work as an actor. His portrayal of the Elf Prince in this movie is so nuanced and filled with real emotion that's still evident through layers of make-up.
I think this opens in Australia next week - go see it!
I thought the original Hellboy was a decent enough, but for me, the story (especially in its final act) didn't really do justice to the entertaining premise and characters. But while I wasn't wholly satisfied with it as a standalone film, it functioned well enough as an introduction to the universe.
After seeing Pan's Labyrinth, and reading everything he has to say about The Hobbit, I've grown to trust Guillermo del Toro as a filmmaker. Considering he has more creative freedom this time around, I'm very willing to believe the series can pull a [Spider-Man 2 / Superman 2 / X-Men 2 (circle preferred superior sequel)].
Nice to know you liked the movie, Neech. This bodes well.
"Bode". Why don't people use that word more?
Heh, someone else who remembers Bros. My condolences, Neech
I'm looking forward to Hellboy 2, though I do still plan to watch the original beforehand, a film I have little memory of.
People still use bode, don't they??
Anyway, I also saw Tropic Thunder today, and thanks for putting your review up Luke, I was going to ask you your opinion on it next time I saw you. Saves me some time It is reassuring to hear that someone in the industry got the joke and appreciated it.
It's good and funny. The trailers at the beginning are hilarious and right on the money. The only thing I think would have made it a better film was if Ben Stiller and Matthew McConaughey switched roles; Stiller didn't work for me as an action star (though I'm prepared to admit bias as I'm not a fan of him or his work generally).
Tom Cruise as a sort of modern Al Swearigen movie mogul has got to be seen to be believed.
I'm trying to work out if this is the best comedy I've seen this year. Looking through my ticket stubs accumulated so far, it's a toss up between this, Juno and Death at a Funeral. I think Juno wins just on principle, but this is damn good. Given the subject matter, i found myself comparing it somewhat to Hot Fuzz. it doesn't reach those dizzying heights, but it comes close.
Be seeing you,
Hell, i got it. So many nods and comedy takes on scenes from other great war movies too - Platoon and pvt ryan are the most obvious. Although i was the only one laughing in my cinema when you first see 'behind the camrea' and as stiller is talking to the director those crew jump out and, seems quite rudely, start tweaking his headband and taking pics etc - cause i had to do that every single take
Despite some peoples distate for stiller, you gotta admit he really bulked up for the role. I've read some interviews with him and you could tell he was really passionate about the production, had it in his head for 10 years or so.
A very black comedy starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as hitmen forced to lay low in Bruges, Belgium. It starts out relatively lightweight, with Farrell's rookie assassin moaning endlessly about the location to Gleeson's senior character, who's happy to play the dull tourist. Then a flashback reveals exactly what went down on their last job, and the tone takes a sharp nosedive toward the bleak: just the first of several unexpected shifts in direction.
The movie's biggest accomplishment is its seamless mix of the tragic and hilarious. It gets laughs out of horrible situations and turns comic moments into full-blown drama. Every character is likeable for his or her eccentricities (especially Ralph Fiennes as the principled, potty-mouthed mob boss), and developed well enough to end up in utterly ridiculous situations (most memorably, two grown enemies logically choreographing the gunfight to follow as to not harm a pregnant woman) and remain completely believable.
From the trailers, this could be mistaken for either an upbeat buddy comedy or a Guy Ritchie style crime flick. While it has elements of both, the end result is something much more: an intimate, bittersweet, very human story. With generous doses of human blood.
In Bruges just might be my favourite movie of the year to date. Certainly the best to be set outside Gotham City. Its run in cinemas has all but finished, but if you enjoy the darker side of humour, it's really worth going out of your way to catch it.
The Darjeeling Limited
...is the fifth film by Wes Anderson.
This is a review in and of itself. It immediately tells us the movie contains the following:
-An estranged family
-Emotionally detached characters
-Meticulously symmetrical camera angles
-An excellent soundtrack
-A cast including two or more of the following: Bill Murray, Angelica Houston, Jason Schwartzman, and at least one Wilson brother.
The Darjeeling Limited is no exception. Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman (check) play three estranged (check) brothers trying to regain a family bond on a "spiritual" train tour across India. The soundtrack is indeed excellent (in this case harvesting, in equal measure, tracks from Bollywood films and The Kinks' Lola vs Powerman and The Moneyground) and yes, Bill Murray has a very memorable cameo.
I really like Anderson's work. As a filmmaker, he puts a meticulous amount of planning and care into every single shot, and his characters, while detached and deeply flawed people, usually become endearing through the tinest quirks. However, his style is so distinctive it's downright polarising: if you don't love it, it will just annoy you.
For this reason, I'll leave my review there. It's difficult to describe a Wes Anderson movie to someone who hasn't had the experience, and anyone who has will probably already know where they stand. I for one found it funny, moving and just plain charming. If you, too, enjoyed The Royal Tenenbaums, your appreciation should carry over to this. If you didn't - and I won't hold it against you - this probably won't change your mind.
The Life Aquatic is still my favourite Anderson film. (Not technically his "best", but come on. Pirates and David Bowie.) While TDL dosen't top his past work, it's certainly up there as a worthy addition.
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising.
I was thinking about it... not even for a 5 year old??
I took my dad to see these two films;
Hellboy 2 - The Golden Army
An Elf Prince, long dissatisfied with how humans have violated the truce between their race and the fey races, has declared war upon the humans, and plans to reactivate the goblin built mechanised Golden Army. After an attack on a New York auction house, the BPRD are called in to investigate, with Hellboy in the lead.
Beautiful to look at; the cinematography, production design and effects are gorgeous, well acted, well written, yet I feel like I'm missing something with this one. Reviews have been universally positive, putting it in the same ballpark as The Dark Knight; a superhero film that is art. But I just don't see it.
I felt like I was watching the same film those reviewers had seen through a filter; watered down and impure. The fight scenes, while good, are nothing to rave about. The villain is implied to be sympathetic, but something stops it from really coming across. The moral quandary Hellboy is meant to feel due to this villain is glossed over. The romance between Abe Sapien and the Princess seems a little rushed.
Complaints aside, the movie is good, but lower your expectations a notch or two perhaps. My dad liked it a lot, but he doesn't read online reviews
The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Set after the Second World War, Rick and Evie O'Connell are retired from adventuring (and bored witless) and estranged from their son, who unbeknown to them is in China unearthing the tomb of Emperor Han, a despot who ruled China over 4,000 years ago.
When the British Secret Service ask the elder O'Connell's to do one last job for them (apparently if you were an archaeologist/adventurer prior to WW2, an intelligence outfit snapped you up for the duration of the war); escorting a priceless treasure back to Shanghai. But other factions are seeking the artifact in the hope they can use it to resurrect Emperor Han to brign about a new golden age for China.
I was hoping this would be great; early reviews suggested otherwise. Ebert's surprisingly positive review said it best; if you go in expecting a mummy, a tomb, a dragon and an emperor, you'll be more than pleased.
That said, this is a Mummy movie, which equals Fun, regardless of any problems the film otherwise has. And it's got a few.
What isn't a problem is Maria Bello, who replaces Rachel Weisz as Evie O'Connell. I think Bello plays an older Evie rather well, though her accent is a bit meh, but far too many negative reviews focus on that.
Brendan Fraser does his thing but injects it with a sense of ennui; Rick O'Connell has seen it all, done it all and survived; he's allowed to be unimpressed. The fact that he has to deal with his own mortality in this is nicely handled; he's getting old after all It's also amazingly entertaining to watch Fraser beat the ever-lovin' crap out of Jet Li; given his size and bulk compared to Li's, he's one of the few guys in close quarters you'd believe could get away with it.
Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh are criminally underused, Jet Li moreso. The fight scene between them should have been epic; instead it's very sloppily put together.
John Hannah doesn't get much to do, but it's nice to see him regardless.
The main problem I had is that the guy they got to play Alex O'Connell is a bad actor in this, and they take the character in places I don't like and have a hard time believing in. Young Alex O'Connell from The Mummy Returns is arguably the second greatest kid sidekick ever, behind only the great Short Round. He's grown up into an arrogant snot with honking great big daddy issues. The idea that Alex O'Connell is trying to be his own man is a neat one; he's in the shadow of two living legends after all. But the idea of estrangement didn't sit well with either myself or my dad; I'll be the first to admit that we've got our own bias on that though. But to put in an estrangement just to add Drama (tm) is pretty poor; you can have happy, functioning family units i
I'd hardly rate Hellboy 2 next to The Dark Knight. Frankly, I think it's a very weird comparison. The Dark Knight is only a comic book film by association, and because it happens to have Batman in it for like 5 minutes. Other than that, it's an epic crime drama with perhaps some interesting allegory in how far one can/should go fighting terrorism. Hellboy 2 is a fun and quirky comic book film with interesting characters and a much better, much more cohesive and comprehensible storyline than #1. The only real thing that sets it apart from the pack (besides the intricate mythology, but what comic doesn't have that these days?) is the absolutely gorgeous direction of Del Toro. It's a beautiful film to look at, and the prosthetic and animatronic effects are simply amazing. I had a great deal of fun watching it, and laughed a lot, but I don't think I liked it as much as some of those aforementioned reviewers did. It's miles and miles better than the first one, though, primarily because it takes itself a bit less seriously and because you can actually figure out just what the frak is going on in the story. It also feels a whole lot grander. I caught the last half-hour or so of Hellboy 1 on TV just after getting back from seeing 2, and was somewhat surprised by the lack of any excitement during the finale. It felt...boring and lacking in any energy. I dunno, maybe it was just me. The finale of The Golden Army is great fun, however, and I like the whole vibe that this is just another day at the office for all those guys.
So yeah, I had a lot of fun watching it, and would certainly recommend it. You might have a hard time understanding some of it if you hadn't seen the first one or didn't otherwise know anything about the Hellboy mythos, but it shouldn't be too hard to pick it up. It's no Pan's Labyrinth (or Dark Knight) but it's beautifully shot and directed, and just a good, fun time at the cinema.
Was looking forward to this but after the first half hour the movie dives into very familiar territory and the viewer is treated to a silly plot and a theme we've seen many times.
Which removes your eyes out quicker? Spoon or Fork? Then start thinking about your ears.
No. Nup. Never.
Max Payne suffers from one major flaw above all others. To be fair, it's a shortcoming shared with every other movie in existence (bar one), but this film is guiltier of the crime than most.
It's not Clive Owen's Shoot 'Em Up.
Shoot 'Em Up, a film with no desire to waste time with characterisation or exposition. A film in which Clive Owen kills not one, but two men with a carrot, and by the end, literally shoots bullets with his bare hands. A movie so fast-paced and so completely in on the joke that it's damn near impossible to dislike.
This was the exact template Max Payne needed to follow to work. The moment Payne gets home, he needs to be out for revenge. I spent the most part of 90 minutes waiting for that movie. It's as if those adapting the game tried to capture the spirit of the less important panel-by-panel, dialogue-heavy interludes and ignored every other aspect. We meet so many characters, yet so few have anything interesting to say, and even fewer have any real importance to the storyline.
In distancing itself from the video game, Max Payne becomes less entertaining as a movie. It just doesn't have the substance to hold up during those vast expanses of dead time between the occasional short action sequence. At the end of the day, it's still a movie about a cop with nothing to lose called Max freaking Payne. The worst thing a film with that premise can do is take itself seriously.
I can't say I had high expectations, but I had at least hoped for some silly fun. As much as I try to see the best in every movie, this one just wasn't memorable or entertaining.
Dead Or Alive remains unchallenged as the definitive Endearingly Bad Videogame Adaptation. If you're going to crash and burn, do it in style.