Posted on 5/22/09 12:43 AM
An alright movie with a few memorable moments and a multitude of lovable characters, but a poorly written plot and a vast array of plot holes keeps it from achieving what the first film did.
Fortunately, the new characters introduced held their own against the old (and not only in the literal sense, har har.) The villainous characters, especially the pharaoh, were fun to watch for the entire film. The returning characters were wonderful to see again, though their time on screen was cut drastically in favor of the new. Even then, the new characters had little time to truly be seen or be appreciated.
Even with the most casual attitudes, it's difficult to ignore the many plotholes that riddle the story. Although they may seem small, they can easily jump out even to those attempting to ignore them- A problem I had while viewing the film. Simply because the premise of museum exhibits coming to life is unrealistic, the writers are not entitled to discarding common sense. Labeling it a 'childrens film' does not entirely excuse this, either.
The parts I found most enjoyable were the ones grounded to the original characters returning from the first film, and I did not feel truly connected to the film until a return was made to the original museum. (Which, might I add, would not be possible under the time limit mentioned in a previous scene.)
Strong performances were had from everyone, which is to be expected from such an all-star cast.
Although definately not perfect and a far cry from the original, it's worth seeing at least once, maybe renting. A so-so film overall, and great to watch if not taken terribly seriously.
Posted on 5/07/09 08:14 PM
Although a fan of the franchise, I had actually seen very little of the original series. Even so, I had no troubles in feeling engaged with this movie. Early on you're pulled into the action and emotions. The characters are as lovable as they are in the previous movies, if not more so. You experience the events as the characters do, and you root along with them the entire way. Even those new to Star Trek won't feel alienated (if you'll excuse the pun) from feeling bonded to the characters.
The film managed to strike a good balance between 'updating' it for younger, new viewers, while also respecting the classic series itself. Like other Star Trek films, there's the sense of action and adventure with a good dose of humor throughout. At the same time, however, it has a younger feel, especially in certain scenes, that fit more with the style of recent movies. The acting was wonderful, and the characters were portrayed just as everyone remembers them.
The directing was smooth and fast-paced. The special effects were extremely abundant, yet they didn't have the effect as experienced in recent Star Wars movies. Despite filling the screen with dazzling visuals and epic detailed shots, it didn't distract you from the story.
Overall, a very enjoyable film that isn't restricted to Trekkies only, but anyone just so slightly interested in science fiction. Now we've only got to wait for a sequel.
Posted on 7/12/08 10:57 PM
Going to see 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', I really didn't expect too much. I read the critic reviews of the film, and knew it was a decent film if it was in 3-D. Unfortunately, my theater didn't offer it that way- but I ended up seeing it anyway.
Overall, I found it a very funny and amusing movie. Unfortunately, only half of it was intentionally made that way.
Plot holes abound, with so many I simply gave up trying to point them all out. They litter the film like holes in a cheese grater. The special effects are poorly done, and are haphazardly thrown into the story. Even the plot itself is fairly basic and predictable. The small sliver of character development and bonding is terribly handled, suddenly throwing the characters into emotional wrecks on a whim, with a touch of bad acting to give it an extra kick.
My biggest concerns, though, have to be the directing and editing of the film. The director seems to be new to the industry, making the same sort of mistakes students at film school tend to fall prey to. There are no suspenseful silences, no long, emotion filled glances from characters, no reliance on facial expressions or movements to pull things along. Instead, it is a continuous bombardment of dialog.
To make matters worse, the directing is severely lacking in both character action and in camera angles. More often then naught the camera angles are weird and awkward, poorly chosen and conflict with the flow of the movie. Even something as the romantic 'first kiss' of the movie wasn't handled well, as the camera angle chosen has the girl's head blocking the view. Um... what?
As someone experienced in working with video editing programs such as Adobe Premiere and the industry standard Avid, It shames me to see such a terrible piece of editing shown as a professionally done movie. It could be either the director, editor, or a mix of both... but a major flaw in the film's design lies in it's strange inability to keep a single camera shot on screen for more than 2 seconds. Continuously the viewer is bombarded by shot after shot, often of the same thing, and doing nothing to help the story or action.
Also, I was very shocked when I actually saw a full-fledged jump-cut. The exact kind you see on videos posted on YouTube that were edited by fans in Windows Movie Maker. A small mistake many people make when learning how to edit, or even when they're experienced. It's simply a matter of checking over the footage to make sure you don't have one. I have never seen one in an actual movie before, though. I'm still having a hard time getting over it.
Even if I was able to see this film again in 3-D, I don't see how it could possibly save this experience. While I would recommend it for children, I can't go farther then that.
Posted on 7/07/08 11:13 PM
It's hard to know where to start when describing this... interesting tale.
It's bad enough the box, as badly done as it may be, is terribly misleading, and only vaugely resembles the actual story.
The word I describe with this movie is: Pain. The main character appears to be throughly gay, and appears to be in a relationship with his magical pony, who is maniler then he is.
The boy is forced to serve a maniacle, selfish, and preverted old King, who resembles a pedofile, and places misguided trust in his shady, disturbing soothsayer, who sadly is the most normal person in the entire film.
The story itself leaves much to be desired, as gaping plot holes abound. The only women in the film (as far as I could tell), was the maiden the boy lured with food then viciously kidnapped. However, after a time lapse, she is shown to be happy and joyous upon being taken to the crazed, old King, who insisted he was in 'peak physical form' enough for her. She waved him away, as he 'could not handle her "magic".
Then, towards the end, the boy is forced to partake in strange and dangerous tasks in order to recieve the princess. He must dive into three pots- one of boiling water, one of boiling milk, and frozen water. The king sat at the maiden's side, and commanded, "Take off your clothes and do me a favor." The boy bowed, taking off his coat, and prepared to dive into the pots.
To save the day, his magical pony lover appeared, cheating the entire process and enchanting the pots. The boy jumped in, flying from the first pot to the second, before finally diving into the last. Lo and behold, he came out a man, grown and ready to marry! He then went with the maiden, as the King tried to compete, only to die in the first pot. He then went on to marry the maiden, with his pony mistress following them.
Bad dubbing or no, I really can't describe my reaction to this... interesting bit of animation. It doesn't help that the main character has cheeks that put Snow White to shame.
Posted on 5/24/08 02:31 AM
I had high hopes for the new Indiana Jones movie- the trailer showed that it held a lot of the same spunk the originals did, and bringing back Marian was something that made me giddy. Shia would do a good job, I knew. And Harrison's still at it.
I wanted to see the movie opening day- or maybe go with a large group of friends. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance. I found, however, I would have regretted wasting a Friday night on seeing this movie.
(Warning: Spoilers below!)
A year ago, if you mentioned 'Indiana Jones' and 'Aliens' in the same sentence, people would have laughed at you. And here we are- watching it in the latest movie. I'm sorry, but those are just two things that don't mix. If I want adventure movies involving aliens, I'll watch Star Wars. One of the great things about Indiana Jones was the sort of myths he explored- the Ark of the Covenent. The Holy Grail. Legends most people are somewhat familiar with, and inspire a certain sort of awe and mystery.
Apparently, Lucas had a hard time finding a suitable myth to use for his fourth movie, and turned to one of the things he knows best- aliens.
I had heard something with aliens was involved, but avoided spoilers. So, towards the beginning, when a box labeled 'Roswell' is recovered, and a strange looking hand is shown, it wasn't so bad. I thought it was a neat little allusion to the Roswell Incident, without being obvious. Unfortunately, it wasn't just that- it ended up being part of the entire plotline. Things got worse when the aliens were revealed and looked entirely sterotypical- just off of an alien fanatic's wall poster. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. I have to say, the flying saucer took the cake. Really. They didn't seem to bother with modifying the look or design of it, going directly for the sort shown in old-fashioned movies and Area 51 merchandise sold to tourists. The 'portal to a sub-dimension' wasn't much better, either.
I was actually tempted to leave the theatre right then, get my money back, and go see Iron Man for the third time. The final scene wasn't bad. It just wasn't enough to get rid of the terrible aftertaste left behind from the latter part of the movie. So I'll just stick to my original plan- There are two Indiana Jones movies: 'Raiders of the Lost Ark', and 'The Last Crusade'. All others will simply be rumors or myths, in my mind. I just pray there won't be an Indiana Jones 5- for all our sakes.
Posted on 11/27/07 09:19 AM
A great movie in every respect. The directing is exciting, fluid, and driven, while the writing was spot on. Almost every little thing in the movie- whether said in the background, mentioned in passing, or a prop in the background- plays some role in the plot or characterization of the movie. You really have to watch it a second time to catch on to the little things. It just makes the movie that much better- a quality movie that was planned out and not thrown together. While having a good story, it's funny.
The acting was perfect, with everyone suiting their characters. Editing was great was well, with tight cuts in the action scenes while slowing down at just the right moments. It's a definate on my 'favorite movies' list.
Posted on 11/27/07 09:02 AM
Though a bit of a shameless Willy Wonka spinoff, Emporium works as a charming, quaint movie, though lacking in a few key areas. The storyline was a bit deeper then expected, and it certainly earned it's 'G' rating. At many times, though, it turns into a CGI fest that can be a bit overwhelming and distracting from the actual characters. Also, while a 'family friendly' movie, most of the story is lost to younger viewers, while it remains only mildly interesting to adults. Unfortunately, though the story was set up nicely, it wasn't quite carried out. It appears that the script wasn't fully finshed, and the ending was slapped on at the last minute. Several plotlines were simply left hanging- what about the girl's song? Did she ever finish it? What about the wood box? How did she finish it? What about the woodenbox? How did it help? And why was it flying? Why did the tax man pass out? Why didn't she remember it? And why did she suddenly change her mind about the fate of the store?
It just ended with Natalie Portman waving her hand around, with sparkles making everything all bright and happy again. The End.
No one in the theatre expected the sudden ending either, wondering 'That was it?'. Be on the lookout for a sequel, however.
Posted on 2/25/07 05:30 PM
Amazing Grace is a history lesson and inspiring story rolled into one, but with plenty of witty characters and dialoge to keep you interested. Something about it draws you in, and you find yourself liking the many characters. (Though it is fairly hard to keep them all straight at times.)
Story/Plot: One of the most interesting aspects of the film. The way the story was presented was different then most, giving the story a refreshing feel. Despite going back and forth between present day and the past, it remains smooth, fluid, and fairly easy to follow. A very interesting topic in itself, going into the life of Wilberforce both politically and emotionally. Wonderful message and inspiring story.
Cinematography: So-so. Nothing particuarly special about it, but not bad enough or good enough to distract from the story. It did have moments, however, where the shots and flow were particuarly good.
Acting/Characters: Another strong-point of the film. Wonderfully developed and acted out, you grow attached to the characters through the trials and tribulations. However, it is hard to distinguish one character from another at times, which can cause some confusion.
Despite the grim topic and dark moments, the film is suprisingly enjoyable, as well as noble, inspiring, and educational. Definately one to buy on DVD.
Posted on 1/09/07 02:47 AM
I've never thought of a movie as 'zero stars' before, but it seems this movie is an exception.
While I'm a secret fan of the original manga, and some of the anime, its slightly degrading to see some lovable characters being twisted and re-made by 4kids and shoved into a hastily written 'movie' to make money off of 12-year-old boys and card-game fanatics. While the original Yu-Gi-Oh! had no movie, the distributing company themselves made one up.
Story/Plot: Missing. Gone. While the beginning slightly resembles that of a movie, it dives directly into the duel scene, which takes up the entire second half of the film. The villain is shallow and stereotypical- just enough to keep the kid's attention, really. The 'story' is completely isolated from the show, and there is nothing there to even hint at this new 'Big Bad'. Hardly the 'ultimate smackdown' it's called on the DVD box. I could cite a long list of inconsistencies- most of which come from simple common sense.
Cinematography: Shallow and dull. Several elements are thrown in for visual effect, despite being illogical and random. The animation is of poor quality as well, and often the characters look distorted or strange.
Acting/Characters: The voice acting is severely overdramatic, serving to cater to children more than anything. The characters' actions often conflict with long-established ones from the series. (For example, the main character avoided using his special 'God cards' in the series, while in the movie he flaunts them around like any card collector, almost bragging.) There is no character development.
While a terrible, fairly pointless and badly-done movie, It does serve for plenty of laughs. (All of them unintentional, of course.)
Favorite quote of the movie: 'But sometimes... even eternity doesn't last forever."
Posted on 12/22/06 06:51 PM
I don't think I can express how much of a waste this movie is. Having watched the cartoon as a child and knowing roughly what the story was about, it made it that much more painful to watch this. While superhero movies are generally action-oriented with some romance tied into the overall plot, Fantastic 4 this stands out. (In a bad way.) While the story remained true to the original, it was the plot and movie itself that failed to meet expectations.
Story/Plot: Glaringly absent. At least a fourth of the entire movie is showing simply how they got their powers from a freak accident. Then almost 3/4 of the movie is the heroes experiencing everyday life, and learning about their new powers. Expected in a superhero movie, but drawn out far too much. The enemy scarcely makes an appearance, save a short scene towards the middle, and a brief action scene at the end. The 'Romance' is pathetic, having the main character in love with a strangely character-less woman.
Cinematography: Probably one of the better things about the movie. The few action shots were done well, and special effects were up to par. 'The Human Torch' and the main villain were done particularly well, matching perfectly to the original comic.
Acting/Characters: So-so. The 'Flame' and 'Rockman' were fairly good. Their co-stars, however, still didn't quite deliver. Perhaps if the 'romance' had a bit more emotion to it, it would have been a bit more believable. For a movie revolving around the characters themselves, there really wasn't much to watch.
Overall, not worth watching. Not worth the movie ticket when it was playing, and not worth the money to rent it, either. Hopefully, with the incredibly boring introduction established, the second might be worth seeing. But I doubt it.