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The random movie review thread!

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Raven, Sep 25, 2009.

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  1. Raven

    Raven Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 1998
    It occurs to me that while we have plenty of dedicated threads to many different movies and shows, quite a few movies don't really have enough to them to really merit their own thread. Either through being mediocre, or just without enough of a following to merit a thread. So: in the spirit of "what are you reading" threads, a thread for reviews, hopefully with more substance than just a "what have you seen lately?"

    So...



    Surrogates - this movie had a great advertising campaign, a slick trailer, and a neat concept. The idea of people staying at home and interacting with each other solely through virtual means is a clear echo of the rising prevalence of instant messaging, social networking sites, message boards, and especially MMO games. It's a good concept, and it's slickly delivered. Bruce Willis does an excellent job of staring into the middle distance, tired determination on his face. The rest of the cast does an excellent job of acting stiff and robotic. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't follow through on its promise. It feels empty, hollow and heartless as the surrogates themselves.

    The action sequences are good, very good in fact in places. The scene where the Surrogate is running on top of buses in a car chase scene, jumping from the roof of one car to another, is excellent. The eye candy is nice. It's hard to place where exactly things fall flat. Bruce Willis does a fine job. The other actors don't do badly. The concept is fine. The direction is fine. I would have preferred a future that didn't look so completely 2009 in every respect, but perhaps it's set in an alternate present rather than future. It's not a huge concern. I'm going to go with the problem being a script that fails to provide the building blocks to make anything really seem, well, interesting. The conflict between the main character and his wife feels straightforward and formulaic. The death of one major character in the piece feels casual and meaningless, when a better script could have made her death feel like an event in the movie.

    This film could have been a milestone like Blade Runner or the Minority Report. Instead, for all its potential, it's just cheap and disposable entertainment. * 1/2 out of ****



    Jennifer's Body - I had expected to like Surrogates and to dislike this. Seeing Jennifer's Body is another example of why I like to go see movies I expect that I'll dislike. While this movie isn't going to make any AFI All Time Greats lists, it's still a fun film in its own right, and I'll probably end up getting it on Blu-Ray when it comes out. And the reason isn't Megan Fox, but rather Amanda Seyfried. I don't watch much of the teen horror genre, but I did appreciate that her character ("Needy", which is an initially appropriate nickname) seemed a little more aware than most that her best friend had turned into an evil man-eating demon, and stood up to her.

    Really, the lack of mindless running and screaming was a definite plus. She still really needs to turn on more lights in the house when she thinks that there's a chance that a flesh eating demon might be wandering around, but beyond that she did pretty well. The dialog is a little funky at times, but I'll go with that being a style thing. I've heard some strange slang being used years ago at my own high school years ago, I hear strange turns of phrase at work that I never hear in the real world, I can buy that Jennifer and Needy really do talk like that. At least the dialog is entertaining and keeps things moving briskly along.

    The special effects are relatively minimal, and were serviceable. I don't think that showing more Evil mutations would have helped the movie any. Beyond the Needy character the characters of the story are really, really one dimensional. And there never seems to be a parent around when you need one, always one there when you've just murdered someone. Go figure. I kind of wish that the question of whether or not Needy was really the one going crazy had been a more central plot point. It was touched on, but the audience was always aware that
     
  2. Koohii

    Koohii Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 30, 2003
    I like this thread idea.

    Here are two of my "unknowns".

    Shoot 'Em Up:
    Starts with a guy(Clive Owen) sitting on a bench eating a carrot. Woman runs by with guys-with-guns chasing her. Guy reluctantly helps here out. Just happens to be an incredible master of the ballet of bullets. Is this a fine litterary masterpiece? Of course not. It's a fast paced action flick with tons of occasionally rediculous gun-fu. Unlike Quentin (every other word is an explitive) Tarrentino, this director knows how to balance over the top comic book action and comedy with grit and grime without nauseating the viewer. No annoying shakey-cam, no excessive messing with the camera speed either way, and enough of a plot to keep going without bogging down. Excellent pacing and plot with performances about par with the respective actors' average abilities (the good were good, the average were average, and the lousy were just extras that were there to get shot anyway, so who cares). Even the animation sequences in the closing credits are worth watching at least once. Remember, this is the same studio that started out with the Nightmare on Elm Street flicks, and has about the same dark humor running through. Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel like eating a carrot.

    Sidekick
    An extermely amusing independant flick with no major name actors (Alec Baldwin has a bit part) but manages to suppose what would happen with supers in the real world before Heroes got started. Kind of a sleeper that most people missed.
     
  3. Zebra3

    Zebra3 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Resident Evil: Degeneration

    For a movie based on a video game franchise this one is actually pretty good. You don't even exactly have to be a fan of the games to understand it, though it certainly helps. As far as CG movies go I'd have to say it's top notch. It's just a beautiful movie. The story is ridiculus but then, it's a zombie movie, what would you expect? :p I think they did a nice job putting a human touch on the families of the victims of Raccoon City. As for the characters themselves, it's always nice to see Claire and Leon working together. However, it seems Leon's only expressions in the whole movie boil down to grim and severe, and while that might work in a video game it doesn't go over well in a full length movie. And what is it with Claire and kids? She got stuck with that idiot girl in RE2 (can't remember her name) and now she had to babysit that other little girl in this movie. I would have liked to have seen her do some more action stuff. Angela was an okay character, I liked her monologue when they found her brother's house burning but I found myself oddly distracted by her mole :p

    All in all, a fun movie :)
     
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