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Posted on 10/28/11 05:37 PM
Puss In Boots (2D) - PURRty Good Actually
Back again, lads and lasses. Again - full disclosure: I'm a cat person so this movie was either gonna be hated or loved. Second, I've only gotten as far as the 2nd Shrek and I actually had plenty of Puss in that one flick. So I (reluctantly) went to the film - as a favor to a friend who didn't want to see it alone.
Thus nearly getting dragged to see this flick (and plopping down my own cash to watch the movie) I was actually quite entertained. I'm sure there are those who can say explain it better but this is a prequel to his Shrek appearances - an 'origin' film, if you will.
For those not familiar with the Shrek Universe, its inhabited by all those fairy tale characters who have real-world personas. Animals mix it up with humans so there's no real logic as to which animals talk and why (nor should there be - they ARE fairy tales after all). The primary characters are Puss (Antonio Banderas), Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), and Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis). Kitty is basically Catwoman in this tale (complete with 50's style Batman mask) and Humpty is Puss' VERY wayward 'yolk brother'. Humpty has a rather complex plan for all three to get rich - if only he can convince Puss that he's still a good egg (sorry).
Anyway, the usual quest story structure is used efficiently. There's the twists in both plot and colorful action to keep even adults entertained and children glued to the screen. There are also the bagful of cat jokes (which was inevitable in this movie); but not so much that they became a nuisance.
There is a rather long flashback sequence that slows the plot down somewhat (even Kitty goes "Here we go....") but it ends mercifully before you begin to think about looking at your watch.
The voice acting was quite good. Zack does an admirable job bringing some depth to Humpty Dumpty - though the script helps - and Humpty actually has the deepest characterization. Antonio and Salma seem to unpack their 'Desperado' personas and it works out great. Just listening to the voices you could probably mistake this for 'Desperado III'. The fact that Banderas and Hayek recorded together definitely allowed them to bring a level of spontaneity and naturalness that you can hear in the film.
I didn't watch this in 3-D but its obvious that there are 3-D effects often however even in standard 2D this movie was fun to watch.
FUN RATING: 9 - definitely a watchable movie. Despite some slow spots (like the flashback which seems to run only to pad the film); it tends to keep your interest and make you wonder exactly what's going to happen. While the ending has a slight 'downer' quality to it, overall it makes you feel rather satisfied in the end.
INTEREST RATING: 8 - definitely for Shrek lovers and animation lovers. Oh yeah and for cat lovers too. A family-friendly movie though some parts may be a bit much for some of the younger ones and leave them scratching their heads. Good for a look first-run and probably even a DVD purchase - which I most likely will do.
TOTAL RATING: 8 - a nice movie to spend a day with some friends with. Even if you're not really interested in going. :)
Posted on 10/25/11 03:11 PM
"Philosophy Of a Knife" - One Long, Dull Blade
Well its been a long while since I've written a review and, jeez what a way to come back....
Full disclosure: I didn't finish this film. Only once have I not finished a film (oddly, "Batman and Robin"). Mostly cause its 4 hours long and boring as hell.
First of all this movie is about Unit 731, where the Japanese Empire conducted atrocious experiments on over 10,000 people. Everything from microbiological experiments to outright vivisection. There is no denying that these crimes against humanity (and reason) are worthy of thoughtful examination and debate.
This movie doesn't even get into the parking lot of the ballpark.
Anyhoo, this movie is what I call a WDP ("Written/Directed/Produced). That makes it the Holy Trinity of Vanity Projects and - it certainly achieves that goal. Andrey Iskanov manages to produce 4 hours of utter garbage.
The movie has an excessive lengths of shots of snow falling on a building (allegedly the Unit 731 in question). LOTS of them. There are also scenes of an interview with someone who worked there (allegedly, again). And off-camera narration of a Japanese nurse. I have no idea if these are genuine or not - I didn't make it to the credits to find out.
In Iskanov's version however, the Unit is apparently made up of 6 or 7 medical staff, a couple of soldiers, and 6 prisoners. It makes no attempt to establish the scope of the atrocities. Nor is there any attempt to establish any characterization on either the staff or - worse, yet - the prisoners. There is no dialogue in the movie other than the interview, the Japanese nurse narration, and the chief narrator.
As for the 'gore' there was plenty but to say it was over the top would be an understatement. Even during the so-called "teeth removing scene" there is enough 'blood' to have had the victim pass out. The other scenes go for maximum gore and guts which is almost 'high school' level at times.
The one scene that stands out is a masked person apparently chopping up fake bodies while a Japanese woman plays a mouth harp in full medical regalia - that should give you an idea of the level of silliness I had to endure.
And before I forget, the prisoners are all young Russian women and men. Which is all well and good except that 95% of all the prisoners actually used were Chinese and Korean - D'OH! And as for the soundtrack? Trent Reznor called, he'd like his sound back.
Ok lets clean this mess up:
FUN RATING: ZERO. LOL - you're sh*tting me, right?? This was a waste of time and raw materials. I wouldn't recommend this as a coaster since someone is bound to attempt to play it.
INTEREST RATING: ONE (10). Yeah, believe it or not I can't even give this a ZERO in that department. SOLELY because the atrocities of 731 are all too real and while this movie doesn't even come close to describing the scope - it at least introduces a topic not many people are aware (or want to be aware of).
TOTAL RATING: 1
Damn, I need a drink after this waste of time.
Posted on 2/16/11 08:04 AM
Well, having not learned my lesson from "Cathy's Curse"; I decide to push forward with another film.
"The Alpha Incident", produced and directed by Bill Rebane.
Bill Rebane ... that rings a bell. But how. Let's check the ol' IMDB for directors.
"Monster A Go-Go (1965)"
Well, there's a mysterious microbe that came in on a space probe from Mars. Some guys are obviously concerned about it being infectious and dangerous. So they decided to ship it to a safe place:
...near Denver, Colorado ...
Gee, what could possibly go wrong?:rolleyes:
Then again, this is from the guy that made "Monster a Go-go".
On the train, we get a guy who apparently is 'guarding' the booty. However, he falls asleep and then this guy (hobo? railworker?) steals the guys keys 'cuz he just HAS to know what he's guarding. He goes to the lockbox and opens the case containing the virus. The car jolts, the vial breaks and viola - we have a movie.
Inevitably, the guard dude finds out the vial was broken when the train stops at Moosepoint (a podunk railway station). He calls his superiors and the area is quarantined. So, hobo, guard (now biochemist), and 3 other people who happened to be at the station are now stuck together. Unfortunately, Hank (da hobo) escapes into the woods. Not a good start.
Meanwhile, the scientists who are testing the virus have their own mystery. How the virus works and kills. Unfortunately, they have to come up with a cure for it. Trouble since they don't really know how it works yet (eg: a mouse's head blew up after being otherwise normal).
The movie ALMOST gets interesting at this point, but then the biochemist then says that they can't fall asleep because they'll die. Huh? Where did this come from? I had to rewind to make sure I didn't miss something.
Other than that, the movie becomes a long Twilight Zone episode. ("Submitted for your approval...") These people who don't particularly like each other to begin with are stuck together. Can they stay awake? Can they make it through?
There's only one gory scene in the whole film (towards the end) so this isn't for gorehounds (sorry). The final 10 minutes or so of the movie actually moves rapidly - even though the ending is lifted from a classic; its still actually good.
The movie has some really bad patches (the acting and sets are particularly bad in the beginning). The sound is atrocious at times as well. The acting is acceptable if not great; though John F Goff as the wisetalking Jack has some of the best lines in the film and makes the most of his role in this lean movie.
Carol Irene Newell, who plays Jenny has some decent moments (not to mention that fact she's actually well-endowed - as well learn for a few brief seconds).
Despite being a born cynic, I have to give them credit for actually coming up with a unique story (at least to me). Under a different director and perhaps budget; this actually would be quite effective.
Fun rating: 6 - watchable and reminds me of my "Project Terror" days. Would have been a drive-in staple back in the day. What saves this film is Goff's performance and the original storyline. Its a movie that is watchable despite obvious flaws.
Interest rating: 6 - If you're looking to re-create "Drive-In" night - this belongs on the tail end of your triple feature. B-movie fans will enjoy this. Gorehounds need to watch. Worth a view if you see it on the tube or in a multi-pack. Strangely enough, I concede this might have some repeat viewing potential.
TOTAL RATING: 6
Posted on 1/30/11 12:30 PM
Your Unca Chaoz is back from his "secret identity" and back in his little chamber of videos and DVDs. Let's see what's come up this time...
"The Demons of Ludlow" - well the film begins like a European film (simple credits and harpsicord music) but set in the small American town of Ludlow (duh). We get the pleasure of seeing a woman in her lingerie trying to figure out what to wear. After a minute or so, we move to a bluegrass band.
...huh? Looks like this is gonna be 'fun'.:(
Well, the "ho-down" is to celebrate Ludlow's bicentennial (I'd drink to that but I have no beer). During which somebody makes a speech about the town that apparently is putting the other cast members to sleep (their boredom is carved into their faces). The point of the speech is to introduce a piano that came from the English estate of the town's founder.
Now one would expect perhaps a Baby Grand, but this is something that looks like it was in saloon in the Old West. Well, you work with what you've got, right? Of course, there's always one person in the crowd who says "I don't want you to get too close to that." (Obviously, read the script!)
The story then jumps to the POV of a female reporter who - for apparently no reason - talks about the strange things that went on inside a house before jumping to a pastor giving a sermon. By the pastor's wife is the lingerie lady.
-- Skipped "Transition" class; did we? --
Well, after the sermon a lady begins to the piano (which sounds suspiciously like a Moog synthesizer) while a horny couple leaves the services. Horny couple leaves for the hay loft only to have their amorous play interrupted by the girl getting attacked(?) by a flashing hand and the guy being shot in the back by an old-timey pistol.
Confused? You should be on this side...
Well, it turns out the old town church burned down and that there's more to the town that meets the eye (*sigh* as usual). We get the usual lineup of creepy townspeople and more mystery behind the synthesizer. There's a rather good bit with a disturbed young woman and her dolls (which could have been the basis of separate film); but that's it - just that one bit.
Well, the mystery takes a while to unravel but by the time the townspeople piece together what's happening, I'm rooting for everyone to die. Sad really.
Oh - and did I mention that when I think of demons attacking; fireworks don't come to mind.
There comes a time in every movie when you wonder how long it takes before it'll end. Every movie has that moment - even good ones. The good ones make you realize that the end is almost near but you don't want it to. The bad ones make you wonder if your watch has stopped. This is definitely the latter.
The film has no real structure - it bounces from character to character. It's a bunch of scenes that are simply pasted together. The scenes by themselves are not horribly made; but the film is one of the most disjointed pieces I have ever seen. It tries - really tries to be a good film; but the true terror is how it fails.
We have a new feature to my reviews: The Joe Bob Briggs (JBB) scorecard (Hope JBB doesn't mind) - for those who like this sorta thing. We have fleeting boobage, 1 quart of blood, and 8 on the WTF scale. This is a 4 beer movie (that is, you need 3 beers to make this watchable).
Fun rating: 3 - extra point for effort; otherwise a thoroughly mundane and disjointed affair. This is an example of the whole being smaller than the sum of the pieces. MST3K fodder. Not bad as it is poorly made.
Interest rating: 2 - Not something I'd recommend to many people. I guess if you're looking for something to put you to sleep; this will probably do it. Let's put it this way - I spent the last 15 minutes wondering what to watch next.
TOTAL RATING: 3
Posted on 1/29/11 12:28 PM
After a day's rest (hey, it's not like I'm getting paid here or anything) we're back to tackle more movies.
Let's see - "Sisters of Death"
Hmm - well it seems that there's some sort of sisterhood (ie: sorority) that is having their initiation and 2 pledges are completing their final test - which apparently deals with a pistol.
Gee, I wonder what could possibly go wrong?
Well, obviously there's a shot, blood, and suddenly a dead pledge.
Skip ahead seven years. One of the sisters (Judy - played by the late, sometimes-great Claudia Jennings) receives a mysterious invitation for a reunion. Eventually, all the sisters receive the invite and soon the sisters begin their travels to the reunion location only to find their are being escort to the actual site - a nice estate out in the middle of freaking nowhere.
Of course, there's always the cautious one, Penny, who feels all this is a bad idea (dum-dum-DUM!) while the others kind of act like a bunch of hens.
After being dumped off at "The Hacienda Del Sol", they read a note that simply says to "Enjoy Themselves." Other than Penny though, none of them is the least bit concerned about who set all this up.
Eventually, the girls are joined by the escorts/party crashers and then the fun ensues.
Oh, and did I mention, this was set up by the dead pledge's father? And apparently the 'accident' was actually a 'murder'?
The video quality is poor (think 56k connection-poor) - sad since the most compelling thing going for it -- the obviously attractive women -- is now lost. 70's style T&A abounds but not actual nudity. Some of the acting is over the top but nothing at least TV-quality. The movie probably was seen on "Movie of the Week" at some point on TV - it's that tame for the most part.
The movie pacing is glacial - frankly, this could have been a hour long with all the unneccessary scenes cut. My guess, they thought of the plot and then realized they didn't have enough material for a movie - too bad they didn't at least go with gratuitious nudity (probably couldn't pay the ladies enough).
Fun rating: 3 (Eye candy abounds but little else) The mystery is functional but the slow pacing drains all the suspense. Even as the deaths begin, it all seems mechanical. I was going to reheat some leftovers while leaving the DVD playing but remembered I reviewing this thing.
Interest rating: 2 (Only for hardcore Claudia Jennings completists) The poor video quality really makes this difficult on the eyes to watch. Plus there's absolutely no interest in watching this again.
Total rating: 3
Trivia Time: Claudia Jennings was Playmate of the Month for November 1969 as well as Playmate of the Year 1970.
Posted on 9/17/10 01:44 PM
Okay, another movie - let's see if this one is better than others...
Oasis of the Zombies starts out well enough (that is two top-heavy girls in shorts stumble into an oasis). As the girls explore, they discover machinery from WWII (including obligatory swastika), suddenly they're attacked by - apparently - zombies (otherwise the movie would be titled something else, right?).
The action shifts to two treasure hunters who kill the only known person to know where $6 million in Nazi gold is hidden - guess where - in the same oasis!
Once again the action shifts to a young man who was the son of the deceased dude who knew where the treasure was. He learns of his father's death who reads his memoirs and leads us into an unnecessary (and LONG)flashback concerning what happened to the Nazis, the Allied soldiers, and the gold.
::: Wakes up :::
Hey, the flashback is over! Now a group of college-age students decide to go after the gold themselves.
So now the 'fun' ensues as the two groups begin to converge on the oasis.
Group one gets there first and begins to look for the gold only to be attacked by the zombies (finally!). You're actually glad that the zombies are attacking because of the sheer boredom. Eventualy, the group one get's eaten up except for one guy. Ok, there isn't much eating actually shown except for the sole woman of the group who is obviously naked at this point with a zombie between her and the camera who is 'eating her flesh'.
Group two meanwhile goes shopping, finds other people, and eventually meets the lone survivor of group one (who actually murdered the young man's father in group two).
If you stopped caring at this point - don't worry, so have I. This movie is difficult to watch. The story is a mess, there's no focus and the zombies look dumb. Even the couple of women in this film are just background characters and do nothing to even maintain our interest (other than 1 brief topless scene). The characters are completely nondescript and frankly there's nothing for the brain to even grasp at - eventually YOU become the zombie.
Eventually, they get to the oasis and of course zombies attack; but by then you don't care - you're just bitter.
Fun Rating: 2 (Maybe worth a chuckle to Euro-shlockers but other than that) I can forgive you for giving up on this movie midway thru and I nearly turned the player off. The action happens far too late for anyone to care.
Interest Rating: 1 (honestly, I can't see anyone who would want to purchase this film) If somebody gives it to you I suppose you could tape over it; at least that way it'll be useful again.
Total Rating: 2
Posted on 5/23/10 05:12 PM
Well, UC here again after recovering from a hangover and "Driller Killer" (that movie drove me to drink!) ready for a new round.
This time we have "Horror Express". On the plus side, it's got Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in it, so it can't be THAT bad, right?
Actually, it's quite good.
Lee plays an archeologist who discovers a frozen 'man' in China and puts him in a box. He meets up with Cushing (a bacteriologist) in Shanghai as both are moving thru China (for different reasons). A Chinese dude for some reason decides to take a look at what's in the box; he suddenly winds up dead with "Little Orphan Annie" eyes.
Suddenly, "Rasputin" makes an appearance and babbles a little bit about God and evil - the box, of course, falls into the later category. The spectral groans don't help.
Finally on the way out of Shanghai on The TransSiberian; Lee, Cushing, "Rasputin", a contigent of British soldiers, and various passengers all settle in for nice trip into horror.
Inevitably, the monster comes to life; turns out to be a good lockpicker and begins sucking out the lifeforce out of people and all the bodies are going "Little Orphan Annie".
In a first (for me, anyway) - I don't really want to tell you anymore about the story - it's really that good.
Actually, the story plays out quite well. Lee and Cushing are their usual excellent selves - neither really hamming it up. The mystery of the thing from the box deepens as the movie progress. A couple of actresses keep the allure going and of course, nobody is what they appear to be at times. A tight script and above average acting make this appear to be a 'lost' Hammer film. Also, don't miss a 'surprise' appearance about halfway through the film.
Fun rating: 10 (pop the corn and get the soda, we have a winner!) One of the better movies I've seen in a while. To me, it's quite fascinating that I have never seen nor heard of this movie before. Of course with a rather corny title, I guess that's possible.
Interest rating: 10 (Must-have library material for Lee, Cushing, Hammer, and general horror fans alike) General film fans and even the casual viewer will enjoy this flick. Oddly, enough it appears it can be had for about $1 at some Walmarts and dollar stores.
Total rating: 10
Earns the first "Unca Chaoz Seal of Cool Flicks"!:D
Posted on 3/06/09 02:44 PM
Time: August 1986 - Watchmen #1 came out and I gobbled it up like any good comic geek. As the series wore on it was obvious that it was something special - unique. It took the idea of superheroes and turned it inside out. In print, the genre would never be quite the same again.
Now - Unca Chaoz is back after a 2 year absence to write a review for a movie he was told was 'unfilmable'. Its a burden of sorts because of the love I have for the GN. So where does this review lie - geekdom or reality? Lets both find out.
You know the schtick by now: Alternate 1985, Nixon's still in the White House, we won Vietnam and people in costumes fight crime. Well, at least they did - 8 years before they were banned because the police went on strike because why enforce the law if these 'vigilantes' would only break it and get away with it?
Anyway, a string of events is set in motion by the death of one of the few active (re: "government-sponsored") 'costumes'; The Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan). This gets the attention of Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) - a no compromise anti-hero who is not afraid of breaking laws (or bones) to see that justice is served.
After some investigation he notifies the remaining former Watchmen of the news and his theory of a "mask-killer". First is Daniel Drieberg - aka Nite Owl (played by Patrick Wilson): a flabby man who hides in himself. Daniel in turn informs Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) - a man who retired before he was forced to and is now reaping the wealth of that choice (think marketing). Finally, Rorschach goes to inform Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) and Laurie Jupiter aka Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman). Manhattan is the godhead and only true superpowered hero who can rearrange the atoms with a gesture. Fortunately, he's American. Laurie was a former hero and Manhattan's lover (pet?) who feels he's losing sight of humanity amidst the quarks and neutrinos.
There are numerous flashbacks that tell the story of most of the heroes and how they came to be. The movie does it's best to merge these into a cinematic structure but some cuts come off as sudden or forced.
In the midst of this murder investigation, there is nearly-inevitable threat of a nuclear war between the US and the USSR (1985, remember?). The movie attempts to drive this counter balance (and ultimately, ticking clock) on the audience but doesn't seem to bring it to the forefront enough.
All in all the actors do their best to translate the characters from print to celluloid. Haley is simply fantastic in Rorschach but his character is possibly the most fleshed out so he had more material to work with. Ackerman is the essential eyecandy here and makes a decent Silk Spectre (her acting may still need some polish). Morgan was surprisingly good as The Comedian - whose role is limited; but he makes the most of it.
This leaves Goode, Wilson, and Crudup who seem to play their characters as almost two-dimensional as their graphic counterparts. Crudup has an excuse since he's stuck behind CGI most of the movie. Wilson plays a Batman-lite and Goode - while he makes a noble attempt - comes out as almost too wimpy to be "The Smartest Man on Earth"
And the movie - it was filmable but is it watchable? Well, yes and no - visually it's astounding and attempts to mimic much of the book. There many direct panel-to-screen moments. For the Watchmen geek (like myself) it was beautiful.
BUT - this is a movie review. On its own merits (disregarding the source material), the movie comes off as a herculean effort to squeeze 9 hours of cinema in less than a third of that time. Scenes exists with no direct correlation to the rest of the movie (the exchange between the new and old Nite Owl comes to mind). The opening montage which depicts the rise and grim fate of many of the previous generation of heroes is shown only in snippets - each begging for a separate sequence of its own. I applaud Zack Synder for the effort and care he put into the film. Really.
Ultimately, though, the movie falls into the "very nice film - what's next?" category. I am sure many will see this as a "geek wanted a direct adaptation" or "geek loves Alan Moore (the uncredited writer - by choice) so much that he wants the movie to fail". It's neither.
If this sucker grosses even 1/2 of what Dark Knight did - it would be a unquantifiable success at least for those who made it. Hell, I'll probably pay to see it again. But I'm a Watchmen junkie, go figure.
Okay - judgment time...
Fun rating: 7 - eye pleasing but the pace is so fast that the plot can barely keep up. Which is not a good thing for a nearly 3 hour movie. Note to WB and DC - next time ... think trilogy.
Interest rating: 7 - Must have for comic book geeks and people who love visually fantastic movies. Most others should at least see it in first run due to the visuals but if the theatre has bad sound - pass (there is a LOT of gutteral-like speaking here). Worth at least a rental eventually.
TOTAL RATING: 7 - nothing would've please me more than to have given this a higher rating but the truth is that Watchman runs fast and slow and needs fine-tuning.
Posted on 7/04/07 10:13 PM
Okay, you little Cinema goblins, Unca Chaoz is back with another review for you...
And guess what? It's from a movie just released!!
...will wonders ever cease, eh?
Checking in is the movie "1408". The main guy (and nearly the only guy) is one Mike Eslin (John Cusack); a writer of ghost stories who doesn't believe in ghosts. He drinks a little too much and really wants nothing more than to move on to his next book.
After realizing this was based on a Stephen King short story it makes sense.
A mysterious postcard shows up in his mail from the Dolphin Hotel in NYC. Written on it is the simple message "Don't Stay in 1408". Of course, Eslin - being the skeptical sort as it is - decides to check this out. He stumbles upon some very disturbing details about the room and ultimately goes back to NYC (having left there for undetermined reasons).
There he meets the head of the hotel, Mr. Olin (Samuel L Jackson in a small but significant part) who does everything he can to dissuade Eslin from entering that room. Of course, Eslin ultimately gets the key (otherwise, there's no movie, right?) and enters the mysterious Room 1408.
And oh, boy does the fun really start.
What follows is really a case study in classic horror. Unlike many films made nowadays which seem to rely on gore and torture to scare the audiences (Eli Roth, I'm talking to you); director Mikael Hå fströ m uses simple camera tricks and sound cues to convey raw terror. Something as everyday as the sudden burst of music from a clock radio becomes terrifying.
Admirable also is the ability to make a single room in a hotel seem like the Center of Hell. By using the available pieces of setting in the room, suddenly everything can become an instrument of fear. After a while, you wonder when exactly your planning you next trip and where you'll be staying.
Of course, this is John Cusack's movie from beginning to end and he performs very well. In my regard, a terribly underrated actor; he again brings his "A-Game" to the film. His portrayal of Mike Eslin as something of dick but with a heart allows this viewer at least to feel for his plight. Save for his handheld tape recorder (which allows Cusack to perform otherwise internal monologues) he is truly alone and cut off from the world. This is isolation you can feel coming off the screen. In the end, you wonder if he'll make it out at all.
Which, of course is, the true horror.
It would be shameful if I didn't mention the other players. Jackson is - well - Jackson. Consistent, but borders on self-parody. He tones himself down in the film and comes off well. Mary McCormack has a small role as Enslin's wife and does a decent job. Jasmine Jessica Anthony plays the critical role of Enslin's daughter, Katie. Though she may be destined to play "The Sickly Girl" for the rest of her life, she was quite good and gave Cusack's character the redeeming point he needed.
If I had to point to a single flaw, the timing of the ending seemed almost anticlimatic. Honestly, it may be an editing issue since the ending itself seemed right. I guess the payoff comes off a little skewed. C'est le vie.
Fun Factor: 9 - I very nearly give this the coveted 10, but even now the ending comes off - well, off. I can't put my finger on it. How about a 9.5? Anyway, I'm not a fan of horror films in general but this was a great one. One of the best films of the year I've seen and one of the best horror films I've seen in a long while. Would I watch it again? Actually, yeah!
Interest Rating: 10 - Worth the price of admission (even at these prices). Dollar viewers will be getting a bargain. Eventual library material for horror film buffs, Stephen King fans, Cusack fans, and even Samuel L Jackson fans (now if he could keep his scene-chewing in check more often). If you're really gonna wait - yeah, definitely want to pick it up as a rental.
TOTAL RATING: 9 - In the end, "1408" actually made me want to stay longer and enjoy the view.
Posted on 6/22/07 03:02 AM
Hi again Internet Brats, Unca Chaoz back with another cinematic review morsel to kill a few minutes out of that "productive" day your having, eh? For those of you who read this blog (the both of you) - sorry for the delay, let's see if I can get a little more regular (perhaps I need some Metamucil).
Well, this time we have "The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer".
Jeez, where do I begin? How about "Jessica Alba still looks like a tart"? No seriously, in the photos I've seen she seems to be a naturally attractive woman, but this Tammy Faye schtick is really, REALLY annoying. I'm beginning think it takes less time to make up The Thing (Michael Chiklis) than it does her.
Anyway, we start off with a bunch of weird events happening around the world (snow in Egypt, power outages) all in the midst of the "biggest event of the year": Sue's marriage to Reed.
Yeah, I didn't see it in the papers either.
So while Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), The Thing, and Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) go to the bachelor party, the US Army decides to pay a visit to the Baxter Building. Soon we all get the "honor" of see Mr. Fantastic ... dance. Meanwhile Sue Reed somehow rates over saving the world (granted Alba's hot but no one's that hot). Johnny has decided to go for the bucks, auctioning off the wedding photos and has sponsorship stickers slapped all over his spandex.
Eventually our title character finally makes an appearance 1/3 into the movie in a really need chase sequence. Granted, he's CGI, but with the voice of Laurence Fishburne, you can't go wrong.
Unfortunately, he's the only thing right about this movie.
The Mr. Fantastic comes off as a two dimensional as his comic character, which I guess is a complement. Johnny comes off as obnoxious enough to smack and Invisible Girl is bratty. True to the comics? Perhaps, but it doesn't make for great film.
To make matters worse, there's this rather pointless subplot which seems to only give the filmakers an excuse to bring in Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) and allows the Four to bicker even more than the last movie. Not to mention question themselves and their worth even more. The kicker is supposed to be how this subplot actually gives them a way of defeating Doom. Blech.
I know you'll call me a liar, but i tried to at least like this film, but this film didn't do much to engage me. But other than Chiklis, all of these actors are hopelessly out of place in this film. To make matters worse, a good chunk of the movie seems almost like a recycled television movie. If not for the - uh, fantastic - special effects; there's little to this movie I found particularly entertaining. Even the big showdown between Doom and the "Four" was not very exciting.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that the whole Galactus/Surfer saga is simply, well, "too cosmic" to be captured on screen. Maybe with a different script - and different actors - and different creative team; you get the idea.
So what's the damage?
Fun Rating: 4 - Completely a coincidence, but that's the rating it deserves. I was simply waiting for this film to end. There was some interesting moments which keep me from falling asleep; but all that did was force me to see it to the end. Also, I have to give credit for Jessica Alba for actually making me to find her annoying. Chiklis and the CGI Surfer saves this movie from worse. A fantastic bore.
Interest Rating: 6 - For hardcore Marvelites mainly. Superhero movie completists will put this in their library but probably never take it out of the shrinkwrap. For Joe Average, this is cable viewing but not much beyond it. You'll see it and forget the next day.
FINAL RATING: 5 - All in all, I'm just glad to have this out of the way.