Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Evil Words (2003)

"MALIGNANT!" "Um... no... not Evil SYNONYMS"

Genre: Action Horror Drama Thriller (Canada)

Starring: Michel Côté (C.R.A.Z.Y.; "Omerta"), Patrick Huard (Bon Cop, Bad Cop;

Directed By: Éric Tessier

Overview: After a Horror writer is committed for chopping off his fingers and attempting suicide, a psychiatrist tries to understand the connection between the writer's novels and a school bus shooting rampage.

Acting: From time to time the acting bordered on the cheesy. Though it never crossed the line for me, I often read along with the subtitles, and the translation was weak enough that it might make people think less of it. Definitely the emotions of the actors are a little dramatic, as is normal for horror thrillers, but if you speak French, you'll like it better, doesn't lose as much. I really liked how these people acted, even though the plot led them to things that were a little too extreme or severe.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The look of the film was good. Between some scenes they had these 6-8 sec moments of blurry art bodies in blood or flame, a nice little "what's that about?". It does get explained and the blood and gore effects are nice. It's great when murder happens during the day, in the light. Then you can see the blood and guts even better.
Rating: 8

Script: As mentioned in the acting category, the translation is not as good as the original French, Also those of you who live in or at least remember spending considerable time in Quebec will appreciate the subtle language nuances, the Quebec only slang happens once of twice, and rare moments are lost in translation. Still the story is well told, though a little too much Spielberism, that being the cramming of symbolism down our throats, just in case we weren't paying attention. I prefer subtle, but this yells out loud and clear what's going on. If this were plain old English, this would get a 7, but because I liked the original version in French better, it gets...
Rating: 8

Plot: The story is actually quite intriguing. A horror writer is committed after witnessing a cop mow down a whole bunch of children, because he chops his fingers off with a paper slicer (ew). Turns out he feels guilty somehow, and the cop that did it had no plans on going to commit the act, just a spur of the moment type thing. This psychiatrist asks around and ends up in the writer's home village, and the connections all link up in a really neat dramatic unraveling. The end is pretty damn good too.
Rating: 8

Mood: The overall mood was enhanced by the moments of artistic blood and gore, though the hyper dramatic feeding took away the "being right there" feel, since it was almost as though every scene added "Get it?" elements. The backstory and the characters were interesting enough, and though good, nothing special.
Rating: 7

"Here's a nice blanket for the crazy man, there now..."

Overall Rating: 78% (Wicked!)

Aftertaste: This is one of those films that you are pleasantly surprised with. Another one of the wonderful moments of ON DEMAND television and I'm glad I chose this, otherwise I never would have even heard about it. A little medium budget film from Quebec with a nice storyline and some realistic and decent gore without too much melodrama. A horror story with a solid premise and a great little unfolding plot. Happy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Final Cut (2004)

"Way to have a respectable high paying job... LOSER!"

Sci-Fi Thriller (Canada, Germany)

Starring: Robin Williams (Life According To Garp; Death To Smoochy), Mira Sorvino (Summer Of Sam; The Replacement Killers)

Directed By: Omar Naim

Overview: In a world where the Zoe Implant allows you to record your life's memories, a cutter (or post-mortem memory editor) is haunted by his own memories.

Acting: Whenever I see Robin Williams in a dramatic role, I cringe at the possibility that it'll be another What Dreams May Come, knowing that I would be satisfied with One-Hour Photo, and hoping it'll be more Life According to Garp. We all know how great an actor he is. He's amazing here and the rest of the cast does a great job too... Better than One-Hour Photo. The role really let him shine. Sadly, this category takes a knock because James Caviezel's obviously fake hair and beard was so distracting as made me pine on the reason why it looked so bad, and he, himself, seemed fake as an outcome.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The look of the world and the subtle special effects were very professional. It seemed like the film was ultra crisp and super clean, which added to a symbolic purity of the present reality rather than the past edited by a stranger. Either way, no issue here, no sir.
Rating: 9

Script: The writing didn't stand out as being particularly good or bad, except that scene where our hero, the cutter, goes and gets a gun from a thug, intimidating him with the words of his past deeds. The motives of the characters however were all very honest and the humanity of them all was very well portrayed overall.
Rating: 8

Plot: The movie looks good and sounds good, but the sub-plot of the cutter's own dilemma and haunting memories really seemed out of place, like they had to make up a story for him, which they really did not have to do, given the external plot of the story, in which the cutter is doing the re-memory editing of the life of the Zoe Implant CEO. His unedited memories are sought after for scandal by a rival cutter. Good plot but messy compartmentalization.
Rating: 6

Mood: The world they create makes us ask, "Is this today with a twist, or is this actually the future?" because the past looks like the fifties, and the future does look pretty advanced, but not too much. The world is completely immersive and the natural backlash of the invention that changed the way we look at life is truly impressive, a nice fleshing out of the universal principle that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I've seen films that have a futuristic premise but in the end don't seem to really mesh with humanity. Well this is not that, my friend.
Rating: 9

"Hmmm, this masturbation scene is really artistic...maaaaybee..."

Overall Rating: 80% (Don't Cut This Out of Your Repertoire)

Aftertaste: Why the hell did I not hear of this?! It has the same feel (and is completely as underrated) as Minority Report. The world is one that you can see yourself existing in, just like Philip K. Dick pulls off. Though the world itself is less bleak, the tale itself is dark.

And we all know how much I like the dark. Highly recommended.

Around The Bend (2004)

Who left the two big urns without a chaperon?! Look what happened!

Genre: Drama

Starring: Michael Caine (Sleuth; Batman Begins), Josh Lucas (Hulk; Sweet Home Alabama)

Directed By: Jordan Roberts

Overview: When a man dies, his quickly scrawled will inspires a road trip through the man's life and his past, the lives of his family, and even a few KFCs.

Acting: The casting in this is spectacular. A mix of super well knows and not so populars, the big hit here of course is Christopher Walken. Does anyone hate this actor? You know what? Toss me a comment if you don't. I'd like to hear from you. There must be SOMEONE out there who can't stand him. Throw in the reason why, too. That's important. Either way, his dancing? So good!
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The images along the road trip, panoramic night driving scenes, and silhouetted dusk introspective moments, absolutely impressive. Nice editing, nice flow. I must say however, the KFC signs in the way get a big -1, just because I'd rather be seeing something other than evil enterprises flashed at me every 10 minutes. This has nasty sponsorship all over it, a la Castaway. Terrible.
Rating: 7

Script: "I'm dancing for my tribe." You'll get it when you see it. So many deep and meaningful lines are spoken in this film that I was amazed that I saw two such movies in a week. The delivery of the lines always makes the script important, and they were said perfectly. They didn't make the kid a genius with a 30 year old's vocabulary, and they didn't weigh us down with too much suspense or vast relevance. It's an effin' great telling of the tale that unfolds, if I may say so myself... Given that this is my website, I MAY say so myself.
Rating: 9

Plot: The story is a road trip tale with a twist, a scattering of ashes along the way. Ok maybe not that much of a twist given that it's similar to Highway 61 (which is amazing by the way for you Canadian content people), but simplicity has it's place and the scenes are appropriate and the unanswered questions all get resolved, and the suspense is just right, the theme just important enough. A nice little movie for everyone.
Rating: 8

Mood: The trip is quite a trip. Sadly the corporate slant on it offended me, even though there were some hilarious and important scenes that took place in or around KFC, but must I be reminded of an organization being harassed by animal rights activists, health and safety organisations and anti-corporate groups alike? Those of you who love digging your fingers in the gore of corruption and lickin' em good will most likely find this to be a real cute additional touch to the trip. That would most likely add to the mood for me too if it was anything else less evil. You can go ahead and call it an 8, as for me...
Rating: 7

"So which of these blankets smell more like grandpa?" "Oh I thought that was cat piss..."

Overall Rating: 80% (Get Around to Seeing This)

Aftertaste: This is a great movie, go see it. It's not so morose that you'll consider this "tragic time", it's not so funny that you won't learn anything, and it's a great story all around from beginning to end. Don't pass up Christopher Walken dancing, he's the bomb. Nice ending too.

Monday, September 26, 2005

AVP: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

"High Five!" "Yo Dawg!"

Genre: Action Horror Thriller Sci-Fi (USA, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, UK)

Starring: Sanaa Lathan (Out Of Time; "Nip/Tuck"), Lance Henricksen (Aliens; "Millenium")

Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil; Event Horizon)

Overview: When heat signatures are found over an Antarctic wasteland a team is sent to see what the cause is. They soon find themselves caught in the middle of a Battle Royale...

Acting: The thing about the actors is, just looking at the names you don't recognize them, but once you see who it is, you think, "Oh! That guy!". Ewen is the famous Coco Bryce of The Acid House (highly recommended), Lance Henrickson is Bishop, and the girl guide, well I don't know where she's from but she's from around. They picked em well, and directed em decent, if a little hammy, but what Action Horror isn't?
Rating: 7

Cinematography: Special effects go a long way, my friend, and no less here. Maybe it's because the Aliens and the Predators are so cool that you're glad to watch em fight, but the temple itself is also pretty to look at, especially with all the sacklings and face-huggers running around. Good stuff, I know I was surprised too. Not enough gore!
Rating: 7

Script: The script, you guessed it, weaker than a good drama. Still, even though trite at times it wasn't poorly written, just seemed convenient that everyone was the best expert in their field... EVER. Too bad about those miner dudes... The premise was good enough though, and gets a better than not rating.
Rating: 6

Plot: Rootin' for the underdog as I always do, I was all about Alien getting on top. When I mean underdog I of course don't mean human, duh. Either way, the story unfold not TOO formulaically, and it wasn't one that insisted on constant and ever-shifting suspension of disbelief. That's worth points, my friend.
Rating: 6

Mood: There's a very distinct 'tribute' feeling to this film, rather than some lame rip off. My personal favorite was Mr. Bishop, the Cybernetics mogul, yes the same Bishop who was the cyber dude in the Aliens movie. And he does this little thing with a knife jabbing between his fingers, just like that, a little aside, alone in his office. Nice touch. As for the temple itself, it was pretty good, seriously. No really I was LOOKING for bad! Looking for it. Couldn't find it!
Rating: 7

"Excuse me But I asked for well done, not extra rare..."

Overall Rating: 66% (Hey, I Expected Tons Worse)

Aftertaste: Impressive eh? I don't know why I watched this, I knew it was going to be not so good. Frankly I was expecting ass. But ass isn't what I got. I got a nice little entertaining movie and I was looking for it, looking for a terrible piece of trash. I've seen some real atrocious films and this was certainly not one of them. I actually got rather excited from time to time. Hell I'd even see this again... Not that I will though...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My Life Without Me (2003)

Mmm, death around the corner calls foooor... PANCAKES!

Genre: Romance Drama (Spain, Canada)

Starring: Sarah Polley (Beowulf & Grendel; Dawn Of The Dead), Scott Speedman (Underworld; "Felicity")

Directed By: Isabel Coixet (The Secret Life Of Words; Paris, Je T'aime)

Overview: A woman dying of terminal cancer decides to keep the secret from her family, and truly live as much as she can.

Acting: How rare is it to see an accomplished female director? Pretty rare. I dare you. Think of a female director who isn't Copolla. Right. Sadly this director hasn't done too much I know about mainly because it's French and Spanish, but I'll see the next one, for sure. With a nice mixed cast of huge names and sort-of-recognizable, including two people from Pulp Fiction, this category gets a super high rating. Even Blondie's in this!
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The images weren't high art, but there were definitely moments of poetic displays. The whole mood of the impoverished trailer park and the janitorial job make for relatively static scenes, but they went out of their way to make set the scenes well.
Rating: 8

Script: The writing is one of the best scripts I've heard. After a while I decided to start painting and just listen. Ever so often i would just say, "Wow" at how the writing was honest, dramatic and entertaining throughout every single scene. Especially those few scenes with the doctor. I wish there had been more.
Rating: 10

Plot: The story is amazing. This is simple. A woman's going to die and writes a list of what to do before she passes away and does as many as she can squeeze in. I don't want to ruin a single one of the choices she writes down, but some are controversial, and you find yourself quickly forgiving her list. See this, really.
Rating: 9

Mood: The mood could have stood to be a little better, certainly compared to the rest of the amazing work. I found the light-hearted Milli Vanilli moments not so appropriate (though they were funny), but characters like Blondie, who plays her mom and the actual home they live in and the place she works really makes you realize that her options are limited.
Rating: 7

"Um, the next thing I was to give away is my red sock collection... but I want to make sure it never gets split up..."

Overall Rating: 86% (Life Without This? Not recommended.)

Aftertaste: The options were Alien Vs. Predator, Garden State (which I've seen already) and this. Am I ever glad! Perfect movie to paint to. A nice couple of hours, definitely. Highly recommended for the feel-good tragedy film (yes, they exist, just think Mar Ardento).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My Name Is Modesty (2003) * Worst Hits *

Yeah?! Well... mine... ISN'T! HA! So there!

Genre: Action Crime Drama

Starring: Alexandra Staden, Dan Astileanu

Directed By: Scott Spiegel

Overview: A croupier at a European Casino finds herself trying to wrest control of the robbery taking place by gambling with the ringleader.

Acting: These people are no-name, low-budge, looking-to-get-out-of-smalltime. They wonder why they haven't made it yet, and it because no one does them justice with these scripts and direction. They all have potential, all of them, but that which surrounds them is cancer eating away at their meager, unpolished talent that will never grow until they get out. Sad and pathetic.
Rating: 4

Cinematography: The unoriginal and uninspired shots are not complimented by the fact that the cameras themselves have that gritty unpolished look about them, not is a cool way, but in a 'too poor to make it look cinematic' way. The guns were fine, and um... yeah.
Rating: 4

Script: I call Bullshit big time on the script. I don't know if this was translated from comic, but whoever wrote this did it poorly. I never read the comic, mind you, but it can't be bad, since they make bad movies from good comics, right? "She's in trouble and the boss is dead". This is deduced from a phone conversation having no hints and clues to the audience, enter Deux Ex Machina. Blah! And I don't care about her stupid life, shut up and take the money! Stop talking to her, she's not even that hot or interesting or anything!
Rating: 3

Plot: The only saving grace to this "film" is that is was short, like an hour and fifteen minutes. Well it's funny because an hour in, I couldn't see it being so short, then all of a sudden POW - BANG - ACTION - WHAM - BAM - END. This was a bad story and a bad movie. Can you ever tell this was a bad comic book once... Let me just add, if you're a robber enamoured with a victim, don't start playing roulette with her to reveal her secrets. Stupid!
Rating: 4

Mood: "Brought to you by the same studio that brought you Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction". Learn this lesson kids: if people have to tell you that a restaurant is delicious by putting the word DELICIOUS in the title of said restaurant, DON'T EAT THERE. The mood was the best part, but still less than good.
Rating: 5

Now try shooting the arrow with some below the belt distraction!

Overall Rating: 40% (My Name is Banalia)

Aftertaste: I hated this. Someone presented this to me saying it was good. Well, watch my wrath, you suck. Low budge! PISS! I'll never believe you, especially when it comes to films that are straight to video.

The Aristocrats (2005)

The talking dawg tells the joke best!

Genre: Comedy Documentary

Starring: Penn & Teller (Penn & Teller Get Killed; "Bullshit"), Howie Mandell (Gremlins; "Deal Or No Deal"), and dozens more comics

Directed By: Paul Provenza

Overview: There's an inside joke among comics, that goes by the name of 'The Aristocrats'. In this documentary, we learn the origins and the evolution of the world's raunchiest joke

Acting: These people are made for the screen, and they act just as well in their natural settings as they would scripted. There's an enormous bunch of comics: Lewis Black, Jon Stewart, Whoopie Goldberg, Drew Carey, Billy Connelly just to name a few. This ride's all about them, but the real filthy surprise is Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried. Without them this wouldn't be as funny as it was.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The quick shots and camera angles make the film dynamic and entertaining to watch. Granted it's not all panoramics and special effects, but they actually go out of their way to make stuff look neat. Good job.
Rating: 7

Script: The jokes are more than the static retelling of 'The aristocrats'. They explain such sexual terms as Dirty Sanchez, felching, the rusty trombone and strawberry shortcake. That Andy Dick is a laugh riot. The permutations of the actual joke and it's history is also rather interesting. Real fun to watch with friends. Oh and they say 'cunt' 19 times. That gets points :P Howie's got a real pottymouth.
Rating: 8

Plot: This has enough versatility to keep you entertained the whole way through and also, too, it throws in a nice couple of candid moments. My favorite part was the mime doing the joke, the card magician doing the joke, and the comics telling it to their one-year-old kids. That's gold, my friend, gold.
Rating: 8

Mood: The whole theme of the film is filth. 'How dirty can you make this joke?' is what it's all about. Like they say, it's the trip, not the punchline. As light-hearted documentaries go, this is one fun film.
Rating: 8

Actuaqlly when the adults tell these filthy ass jokes to their newborn babies, that's the best!

Overall Rating: 78% (So Sophisticated!)

Aftertaste: See this if you're into dirty jokes. Dirty jokes alone are great. Add half a century of context and you really feel like you're learning about a slice of history instead of just hearing a bunch of guys say the word shit 37 times (no, I didn't could how many times they said shit, but the cunt count is very accurate).
This is my kinda movie.

Romper Stomper (1992)

Australian white power punks are the hardest corest cause they tell even the Aboriginals to go home!

Genre: Action Drama (Australia)

Starring: Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind; Gladiator), Jacqueline McKenzie (Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood)

Directed By: Geoffrey Wright

Overview: With focus on the alpha male leader of a gang of Neo-Nazi skinheads, we witness the curse of a lonely girl who gets between this group of fanatics.

Acting: Russell Crowe, though a little too melodramatic (throwing his plate of pasta around cause it's wop food), still did an amazing job. I blame the writing and the direction for the moments of 'over-the-top'. This was an amazing role and frightening in it's realism. All the other main characters were also good, though often melodramatic as well to the point of disbelief, but again, blame the director.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The look of the scenes were low-budget, yes, but it was still professional, and the gritty look actually made it seem more skid-punk, enhancing the mood of the thing. The visuals weren't full of wonder, but the party scenes, and the inside of their squats and those battle scenes really looked good.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing was decent and though a little meshed around the overzealous direction and plot-cramming, the words exchanged are still great.
Rating: 7

Plot: The unfolding of this tale is AMAZING for the first half, and we learn our lesson. As soon as the second in command leaves, and the aftermath, the movie should have ended there. Instead it takes a turn and it's like they crammed it in our faces so FULLY as to make sure that we got it, a touch of 'Spielbergism', shall we say? Either way, the story takes brotherhood and makes it a little too black and white. Seriously melodramatic, too much so, but still a good story!
Rating: 7

Mood: The look of skin, the punk, the poverty and parties, the gang mentality, the battle royale, it's nice. They convince you that you're living the low life. Those outfits and tattoos too, holy that gets a point all on it's own. A really immersive scene.
Rating: 8

Sweet, check out the punchin' arm!

Overall Rating: 74% (A Kicker)

Aftertaste: This is one of those totally underrated films. All anyone said about this was, "Oh, it's ok." I think it's certainly more than ok, but don't get deceived by the first half of the movie. Unfortunately this film has Full Metal Jacket syndrome all over it, that being the fact that it's a terrifically amazing movie that ends up going someplace it shouldn't have. Too much melodrama in the end made this seem more like a teen public service announcement than an unique and exciting tale that the beginning was. I recommend this to anyone interested in Sub-Culture film. A good Industrial-Goth film would be nice huh? Oh, right. Dracula and Hardware are already out there...

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Last Minute (2001)

Oh, it sucks to be ugly...

Genre: Drama Mystery Thriller (USA, UK)

Starring: Max Beesley (Torque), Emily Corrie

Directed By: Stephen Norrington (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Blade)

Overview: Billy Byrne's rocket to the top ends in a big crash. Throughout, he contemplates the worth of his life against the ticking of the Big Clock.

Acting: The acting was pretty spectacular I must say. From those ruffian drug lords to the main characters, consistently impressive. Those kids are certainly sure to get another role or too as well. I must say the direction and the characters were top-notch.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The look was appropriately hip and/or bleak, there were a few neat effects, but this isn't what I'd say was particularly drawing to the film. Good and professional, that's about it.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing was very decent, it was nonsensical when it had to be, and the rest of the time we understood Billy's selfish drive, his obsession almost. Again though, nothing grand.
Rating: 7

Plot: The plot throws you for a loop frankly, and I'm not talking in that The Life Aquatic kind of way. It's genuinely as though they took important plot elements directly out of the movie on purpose because they couldn't come up with the "Art" that was the subject of his rise and fall. As for the whole ticking clock thing, it was a decent character drive, but it didn't seem to mesh as a goal with his actions.
Rating: 6

Mood: One thing that IS consistent is the constant reminder to the audience about what's really important to our main character, "spending our time" wisely. The film opens up with a mathematical declaration that our lives are shorter than we expect. He breaks it down (which makes us a little queasy, frankly) and throughout, it is the constant theme. It's a good one, but overall the film had me lost. If they whole premise at his failure is a bad art show, then why can't we see the art, the very subject of his failure?
Rating: 7

The real mystery is why I bothered...

Overall Rating: 72% (Might be Worth Your Time)

Aftertaste: Not something I'd recommend unless you're really into Brit film. I personally don't know anyone who's "really into Brit film", so be cautious. If all these actors were in something else I'd see it. Jason Isaacs was my favorite of that bunch, he plays Malfoy's father in the Harry Potter series, and his role of Percy was really important in putting this film into the "decent" category.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hood of the Living Dead, The (2005) * Worst Hits *

Oh, I get it if you REFERENCE a movie people have heard of on the cover, it doesn't seem as crappy!

Genre: Zombie Horror

Starring: Chris Angelo, Ed Quiroz

Directed By: Ed & Jose Quiroz

Overview: In Oakland, a scientist uses a formula to bring his brother back to life, though the untested serum proves to cause the regenerated to hunger, and his bite is infectious.

Acting: Ok Jesus, fine. Impulse buy, knowing that it was terrible. Some of the worst acting you'll ever see in your life. For a grown man to whimper like a girl consistently and throughout the thing, as if. You'd think there would be a character arc here and there but no. The whole crowd of these guys make bad movies and can't act. When you and your friends got together and made that movie that one time? Riiight. Now you get it.
Rating: 2

Cinematography: The look of the film actually has some decent gore here and there, but it was certainly, without a doubt, an Amateur Zom flick, with one of the lowest budgets you could imagine. I must say however that the guns seemed really realistic and well used.
Rating: 3

Script: The writing is ass. It's like certain characters said, "I want to have a line here! Um... What would I say?" Then they tried something and kept it. It's times like these I'd like to step in and write a scene or two for them. GOD!
Rating: 3

Plot: Fine, it sucked, is that what you wanted to hear? It's like they took a movie, wrapped it in another movie, then added a pinch of 28 Days Later (running zombies) just to add the elite twist to it. At least there's lots of shooting, and you know what? I don't care how it ends, it's funny and the outtakes on the DVD, funny too.
Rating: 3

Mood: Yet another film I must defend. You know what? I'll admit it. It's terrible. I seen worse moods in bigger productions, namely Phantasm. That piece of turd didn't look like it was low-budget. At least these guys have an excuse. You know, it's Oakland, there's gang stuff, and hey, it's zombies, sort of. There's that much at least.
Rating: 4

Dude, that is one nasty case of the clap, seriously go see a doctor, it's clearly not going away on its own.

Overall Rating: 30% (Ghastly, but Not in a Good Way)

Aftertaste: Shut up, it's a zombie movie. So what? I like the shit. Leave me alone.

Seriously, Eff off.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Prophecy, The : Uprising (2005)

Class, please skip the next chapter in horror and go right to chapter 666...

Genre: Fantasy Action Horror Thriller

Starring: Catalina Alexandru, Sean Pertwee (Equilibrium; Dog Soldiers)

Directed By: Joel Soisson

Overview: Angels have returned to search for a biblical tome that could mean an end to the eternal struggle in Hell.

Acting: The crew and their director obviously had a decent budget, obviously had time to shoot and reshoot the odd scenes over to get the moment just right. These guys did their best with what they had, and the occasional element of fear and sadism were well portrayed.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: Slow-mo shots and wide panoramas were something I didn't expect from this production and I was happily surprised at their presence. There was definitely some high art in this. Decent.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing on the other hand was not the best. The issue was one of plot though. How many times can you say the same thing? All this explanation. I think less would have been more for this, and imagine a film where you get what's going on on a basic level, but it's so way over your head there's no reason explaining it. If this had had the silence of 2001, I think it would have done much better.
Rating: 5

Plot: The plot was overall rather weak. It captured none of the mystery like the original Prophecy did. It's like we all knew what the deal was, so they didn't have to rustle us in (another reason why the overall mood suffers). This film was too short, but at the same time not short enough. The plot was the worst part of this story.
Rating: 5

Mood: There were even some recurring themes, like still shots of angelic statues with clouds flying by. The subtle special effects like the shadows of Belial, or that angel that is simply golden rays of light is what made this movie for me and my guest.
Rating: 7

You know what's NOT intimidating to an angel? Average Joe Guy with bug eyes. Nope, they don't even flinch...

Overall Rating: 62% (Predictable)

Aftertaste: Yeah, yeah, straight to video. I've seen Prophecy 1 through 3, it's one of those things I had to watch, cause I like angels and demons that much. I was quite impressed with the look and feel of the production, and as straight to video niche sequels go, it's good, but stand alone? Really, not that exciting. Don't bother unless you're a hardcore fan.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sound of Thunder, A (2005)

Sadly there's nothing as cool as hand-eating killer moths in this...

Genre: Sci-Fi Action Adventure Fantasy Drama (USA, Germany, Czech Republic)

Starring: Edward Burns (Ash Wednesday; Sidewalks of New York), Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast; Supect Zero)

Directed By: Peter Hyams (Timecop; End Of Days)

Overview: Time travel safari tours takes groups to the past to hunt a dying T-Rex. One trip however causes the future to change. Our Hero must find that thing and prevent it from happening in the first place.

Acting: Ben Kingsley, they advertised. "Can't be that bad", I thought. Guess who the best actor in all this was? Ben Kingsley. Right. The actors I suppose do the best with what they're given, but the secondary characters are stupid caricatures. I hate that. Ben Kingsley brings it out of the mire. Obviously, he took a big cheque for this one. Come on Ghandi, think harder about your roles.
Rating: 6

Cinematography: The standard look of the cinematographic genius shots were all replaced by CGI. Fine. I'm ok with that. The special effects were ok too, granted. Certainly the budget went to this, because it sure as hell didn't go to script or plot or whatever else. Look all I gotta say: Mandrilizard.
Rating: 7

Script: I've heard of this story. You know! "The Simpsons"'s episode where Homer finds that magic toaster that takes him to the past? That's right! Well, the writers of that episode should have written this too. It really seems obvious that no talent went into the screenplay. Just to warn you in future, Thomas Dean Donnelly also wrote Sahara, and really doesn't seem to have a career besides that. Maybe he's someone who's in witness protection and they gave this loser his dream job, who knows... Either way, his next writing project includes such promising titles as Cowboys and Aliens. Shudder for 2006.
Rating: 4

Plot: I really must admit how formulaic this was. One of the first action scenes (once everything gets started with the 'Time Waves' - yeah, you heard me) has them traveling from the building to two blocks away, where they encounter danger. The second time they have to travel, it's halfway through the city. I knew that they would be driving and that they would get there without incident before it happened on-screen. Little things like that lingered throughout this film, in "deja-vu" feeling inducing moment after moment. It's too bad, the world was looking pretty interesting. It seems that they left the beginning of the original Ray Bradbury tale untouched, then to stretch it out for time, they had a bunch of Brukheimers come in and dictate the rest of the boredom. Lowest Common Denominator Factor wins again, and that's why you get a "Suck".
Rating: 4

Mood: The future started off so good, then I noticed little weird things, like there were only 5 different types of cars, fashion was the same as it is today... TIME WAVES. I swear the Bradbury story was probably terrific. This seems like it was molested by the unimaginative.
Rating: 6

Look, seriously, any science expedition that looks like a ride at Disneyland.. not professional enough...

Overall Rating: 54% (Guess What Else Sounds Like Thunder? Right.)

Aftertaste: The second free movie sneak preview in a week. I must say the price was right, but my guest thought that the busfare might have been pushing it. I thought sneak previews were there so you could tell people how GOOD a movie was? Free previews tend to remind me how bad a film is going to be. But I still cling hard to the fact that I saw Shaun of The Dead and Sin City as a free preview too. Save your money, save your time.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

2010 (1984)

Michael Jackson was all over the premiere of this one...

Genre: Adventure Mystery Sci-Fi Thriller

Starring: Roy Scheider (Marathon Man; Jaws), John Lithgow ("3rd Rock from the Sun"; Raising Cain)

Directed By: Peter Hyams (A Sound Of Thunder; The Presidio)

Overview: In this true sequel to 2001, the crew that sent the ship 'Discovery' to Jupiter is sent there to learn what happened on that first mission.

Acting: The cast and crew are as professional as you would have expected, even the kid was a good choice. Top notch professional production. Of course it's not directed as well as the original, but that's Kubric for you.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The images are far less like the high art of the original 2001, but there's much more story, so in all fairness... The future looks pretty cool though, with the fancy spaceships and the SAL9000 (sequel to HAL). There's some pretty good special effects and the ships really keep you in the zone.
Rating: 8

Script: Not only are the interactions between the programmer and the silicon intelligence very original, but the whole angle of the Russian Cold-War feeling throughout and the lines, though sometimes a little trite is really good.
Rating: 8

Plot: The story is, as stated above, a true sequel. They go to where the old ship was, but obviously this is an adaptation of a novel that was not too molested by Hollywood. You can see the originality, and that's why this is a good sequel. It's so hard to make the next one good, but this has it's own tales and it's own lessons, making it a worthy film.
Rating: 8

Mood: The setting, the mystery, the fear and the bravado of space travel, it's awesome. Really seems realistic. I mean you get that sense of "Oh my God, no one's ever done this" and that carries you through to the terrific ending. Really plants you solidly with the rest of the crew, be they Reds or Red, White and Blues.
Rating: 8

"It's true, playing catch in space with live nukes definitely spices up the game!"

Overall Rating: 80% (A Good Sequel, But See the Other One First)

Aftertaste: This is one of those films that makes you glad to see the sequel as a tale completer, as a depth adder to the last one. But if you're not really into 2001 in the first place, I know it's different enough to stand alone, but why bother seeing the sequel to a movie you never liked in the first place? I won't presume to stay it's broken out of the mold. I think it's good, but not too may people will see this, and I guess that's life :P