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All reviews - Movies (146) - TV Shows (12) - Books (1) - Music (6) - Games (30)

Incredible Adventure

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 10 August 2007 09:02 (A review of Jurassic Park)

This ranks up there with the best adventure films every made. Who could not love the first time they've seen this film, and the 'thump' 'thump' tremors of the approaching T-Rex. Crichton wrote an incredible book and Spielberg turned it to life like no other could've done. The special effects were incredible for its time (some scenes do look a bit 'fake' by today's standards) and this film single handedly started up huge marketing storm of dinosaur-anything for many years to come.

The original JP was also helped by having Crichton in control of the screenplay, whereas the sequel, Lost World, though based on a true book sequel, had someone else in charge of the screenplay. And JP3, well its a mess, only based on JP characters, with an entirely Hollywoodized screenplay. So there is definitely a big drop in quality between JP1, 2 and 3. Lost World is watchable, but do yourself a favor and avoid JP3 like the plague.

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same formula as Shrek

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 10 August 2007 07:28 (A review of Shrek 2)

The first time I saw Shrek 2, I actually didn't like it that much, because I found most of the jokes too similar to the ones in Shrek 1. But after repeat viewings (thanks to my 3 year old kid) I've grown to like this version. Still prefer the original, but the sequel offers up some great memorable moments such as the giant gingerbread man, Shrek waking up in stable as a hunky man, and lots of scenes with Puss'n'Boots. Only reservation I still have is they throw way too much at you in terms of 'spoofs' of other fairy tales and movies. I think it would've been better if they stuck to an original story better rather than relying nearly entirely on those spoofs to win over the laughs.

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Burton does it again

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 10 August 2007 07:15 (A review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Many thought this movie should be filed under 'never should have been remade' because the original was such a classic. During filming, even the producers and Depp were nervous about how it would be received, because it was quite an expensive movie to make and remaking a classic is a very touchy subject. Imagine someone re-making NeverEnding Story, for example. And Gene Wilder, star of the original, was apparently quite hostile towards this film as well.

But I saw this film with a clear viewpoint; as shocking as it may be, I've never seen the original - only heard about it and knew its famous catchy oompa loompa tune. lol

And I must say, I absolutely love this Burton version of 'willy wonka and the chocolate factory'. The effects were amazing, weird, and very wacky, typical for anything that Burton touches, but I also loved the storyline and all the cast's performances were perfect. Depp especially was beyond perfect as the eccentric chocolate factory recluse, but even all the child actors were each so unique and so well played. My applause goes to the casting folks that managed to find all these young stars.

Now I can't write a review on this and not compare it to the original film, so I did watch the 'Willy Wonka' shortly after I saw 'Charlie' and even though it may cause big disagreements, here's my opinion on the two: I think Willy Wonka may have been good for its time, but it simply doesn't hold a chance versus it's much more superior Burton remake. I found Wilder's character too insane, angry, and at times just plain annoying, while Depp's character was pure eccentric and crazy, while still retaining a great feel of a 'kid that won't grow up'. And Freddie Highmore is beyond compare leaps and bounds better than his earlier equivalent child star. The kid from the original was way too whinny, i found. Also, the effects were much better (no surprise there - technology helps so much these days) but also the songs found throughout were funnier and a lot more entertaining. And this version also has a lot more subtle humor and comedy than the original; even though both are clearly 'family friendly' films, I think adults would find 'Charlie' version more watchable.

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Ferrell & Heder = tons of laugh

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 9 August 2007 12:04 (A review of Blades of Glory)

The script flowed very smoothly, the 'bad guys' played by Arnett and Peohler were hilarious characters, the love interest between Heder and Jenna Fischer was adorable, and the whole premise - first man-man figure skating pair, was pure genius comic idea. As they said in a line in the film, "as if figure skating wasn't gay enough already". lol

Other great memorable scenes was the 'botched' Steel Lotus routine that occurred in North Korea (can't give it away, but i nearly wet myself laughing), the first time they hit the ice as a pair, Heder's solo skate at beginning called 'the peacock', and of course the chase on skates thru streets and malls of Montreal -- anyone that has tried to walk on skates up tiled stairs, you won't stop laughing. Oh, and the accidental shooting of 'Snowflake'. lol

I especially though the chemistry between Ferrel and Heder was perfect - Ferrell plays a man's man, a sexual addict, a ladies man - and paired up with a very efeminite looking shy geeky Heder was great.

I also like how several TV comedy stars are finally getting their breaks on the Big Screen - namely Jenna Fischer's major role, as well as Arnett from Arrested Development fame - but also the short role from Rob Corddry from Daily Show was memorable. I don't think there was a single miscasting in the film. And for figure skating fans, there's more famous skaters cameos than you can shake a stick at.

A must-see if you've enjoyed other Ferrell or Heder hits and their absurd comic styles, and if you hate their style, still worth a one-time viewing just for those memorable scenes mentioned above.

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Brilliant spin-off from Daily Show

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 7 August 2007 12:52 (A review of The Colbert Report)

A mock-style show that pokes fun at politics and mainly the far-right talk shows like Bill O'Reilly, and it works like magic. Colbert is a genius, exposing the hypocracy of the right wing neo-cons by acting like one himself. He hates gays because they are always trying to make him gay by tempting him with their hot bodies, he hates mexicans and illegal aliens but gets all his gardening and housework done by his mexican workers at home, he hates evolution theory because its promoted by a bunch of monkeys, he loves his SUVs, he believes Global Warming is caused by Al Gore's hot air, he supports his president no matter what, wants to invade every other country, Jesus is the one true religion and everyone else is going to hell, he's a big ego-maniac, and absolutely hates bears for they are godless killing machines.

I think it's a lot more fun-natured then the Daily Show, which makes it a perfect watch to help unwind after some of the gloomy revelations on Jon Stewart's show, but the amount of irony and satire in Colbert Report is just brilliant and so well written. The only slight flaw in the show is that when he brings on a neo-con author or think tank, interviews can get a bit awkward, but it's hard to interview a neo-con while 'acting' to be one yourself and also try to throw in a few ironic zingers in there to show the flaws in the guests' way of thinking, and to do that all on-the-fly. When he interviews liberal guests, its a lot more fun, as he just butts heads with them with the cheesiest arguments that neo-cons typically use, and it comes off very well to expose their hypocracy.

Brilliant, very intelligent show. Some of the more simple minded viewers simply won't understand what he's trying to do with his reverse-psychology style of show, but that's ok, since the show is not for them anyways. They can just switch over to Jay Leno and listen to Osama and Michael Jackson jokes and look at misprinted newspaper clippings and laugh silly.

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Absolutely fantastic performances

Posted : 13 years, 2 months ago on 7 August 2007 12:24 (A review of Notes on a Scandal)

I've been delaying seeing this film, mostly I think because seeing a wife cheat on a family with a 15 year old boy, and then get blackmailed by a crazy old witch didnt seem like a fun night at the movies, a bit too MUCH drama if you know what I mean, but the performances were so riveting it just drew me in and I kept watching and was stunned by how well the film flowed. So many mind-blowing lines were delivered, some hilarious (but he's mature for his age!), some very deep and philosophical, like most of Judy Dench's lines, and some emotional and perfectly delivered, almost tear-enducing, such as the whopper Bill Nighy delivered near to end to his wife:

"I knew who you were when we met. You were young. I knew it might get tough, but I was prepared. You're a good mother, but at times you've been a f**king lousy wife. Why didn't you come to me? You could have told me how lonely you were. You never trusted me to help you. I'm not saying that I was so f**king fabulous, but I was here."

Loved the film. One of my favorite psychological thrillers/dramas. Really makes you question 'loneliness' which both main characters suffered from, but each took a different approach to it.

and doucedouce, to comment on your review, I too felt there was lack of 'chemistry' between Cate and the young boy, but I think it was intentional. This film wasn't about the boy, or about trying to explain why a grown woman would fool around with a young boy. There was no 'love' between them, which explains lack of chemistry; it was meant just to show pure lust on her part and to keep it simple, while rest of the complex story has room to expand.

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My new favorite CGI film

Posted : 13 years, 3 months ago on 3 August 2007 02:45 (A review of Surf's Up)

This movie just blew me away. I was expecting a Happy Feet rip-off or yet another over-done over-used CGI mess, but I must say this is my new favorite CGI film, even better than Shrek 1 & 2 (3 was a joke) and all those Pixar flicks. Everyone just waits and waits for Pixar to produce the CGI hits, but do yourself a favor and check this gem out. The animation will astonish you. Some scene look so damn authentic I swear they used real video footage, especially all the waves and water effects, but also one part at night in the jungle in the rain, with a bunch of flashlights shining around. Wow. Sony's animation division set the bar a lot higher for all future Pixar and Disney films.

CGI effects aside, its the rest of the story and the humor and great soundtrack that got me so hooked to this film, and also its unique (for a cartoon) feel of making it like a mockumentary. Hoodwinked did that a little bit, but this film when all out, showing aged grainy and still animated footage of old video clips, flashbacks to interviews, and very authentic hand-cam wobble effects throughout.

And it's definitely geared more towards adult audience than the kid-friendly Happy Feet. Very young kids might be a bit bored by the story line and frequent flashbacks and subtle jokes, but they should still be into the whole 'penguins surfing' bits for sure.

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Hollywood 101 Filmmaking

Posted : 13 years, 3 months ago on 2 August 2007 12:10 (A review of Shooter)

Sorry, I respectfully disagree with all previous reviews. This movie was utter and complete crap. It looked promising at the beginning, but quickly turned into a pure Hollywood predictable mess full of plot holes and 'wtf??' moments. The script is what killed it for me. It's like someone was told "make a movie, lots of action, and make sure to include the following; sexy girls, lots of big guns, hunting with your dog, wilderness survival, make explosives out of hardware store items, at least two 'save your buddy' moments, one that ended badly and one where you redeem yourself, shady conspiracy people in black SUVs, car chases, car crashes, and also make sure those same sexy girls get to use the guns too". I think this movie must've been a big hit in redneck hick towns where everyone is a member of the NRA.

And the plotholes. ugh.. I'll just mention the worst one picture two fugitives in Virginia, they kill off a main bad guy (that was protected by about 20 complete idiots, it seems, judging how easy they died), and then other bad guy calls you and says they have your girl hostage (another typical Hollywood scenario) --- and next thing you know, they're meeting via helicopters up in the snowy rocky mountains??? ugh...

and the plot twist at the end where the good guy gets off the conspiracy against him? "oh, you're free to go because your super quick improv demonstration proved it wasn't your gun that shot the guy" --- LOL!!! wow, quick trial. oh, and I guess everyone just forgot all about the car thefts, car crashes while evading police, assault of FBI officer, and what.. 20, 30 murders and a few home explosions he's done? they even had his fingerprints from the big shoot-out in Virginia!.. but no, you don't match the gun at beginning of movie, so you're free to go... and Secretary of Justice even gives you a big *wink wink* that going after and finishing off a senator, a colonel, and his entourage of hired guns is ok - after all, its good to take the lawy into your own hands once a while.. and besides, how could they just arrest the senator - especially if they killed his DOG! its revenge time, baby!!!

There was a few anti-government stabs in the film, but they were so brief and preachy that it had no effect on the action-centered plot; they mentioned something about Abu Graib prison, and a little something about going into countries for Oil, not for Freedom... but in the overall message i felt the movie sent out was "Guns = Freedom" and conspiracy in government never directly involve the president or other top guys; only one or two Senators + a secret organization of contract ex-military killers.

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cute family, but not too funny

Posted : 13 years, 3 months ago on 25 July 2007 07:56 (A review of Evan Almighty)

I expected a lot more laughs out of this one, because of two reasons: the hilarious concept about a modern-time Noah's ark, and the lead star - Steve Carell, who is usually side-splitting funny in everything he does.

We all know it was a box office mega-bomb, but let's not judge a movie on how much money it makes. You don't see any of that money either way, so put that aside when you watch this film.

I think where it failed was that it should've been marketed more as a family film, which it really is at the core, but since Steve Carell's previous '40-year-old virgin' was chock full of sexual references and f-bombs, it may have drawn out the wrong crowds to see this film, hence the poor reception. I don't believe there's any swearing throughout Evan Almighty.

There was only a few good laughs, but they were quite good, and nearly all from Steve Carrell. He's the only reason I made it thru the film.

The things that annoyed me about this film was the horrible mis-cating of his wife, Lauren Graham. Sorry, when I think of a married woman with 3 kids, she's about as far off the mark as i'd expect. And the scenes when as a family they're building the ark and cheezy music is playing, that was hard to sit thru.

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cute, but awful message

Posted : 13 years, 3 months ago on 25 July 2007 02:38 (A review of Bob the Builder)

When you're a kid, it's one of the only times in your life you can dream to be a pilot or an astronaut or some other high profile person and get away with it.

so why are these new kid shows teaching them to shoot for the stars... and become a construction worker? woooooo..

and it teaches such great life lessons to kids.. like 'don't be late on a project', and 'if you take shortcuts, your work will collapse and you'll have to re-do it' .. oh, and 'teamwork'... all valuable lessons on a 3 year old. haha

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