Josh Evans's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Backcountry
Backcountry(2015)
½

Well made, but just not worth watching. In films like this, characters have no agency other than to simply survive. It's a draining, unsatisfying bus ride where it should be a roller coaster.

Nausica of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika)

Spellbinding. Utterly uplifting and beautiful.

Argo
Argo(2012)

An entire films worth of well crafted tension is undone in an entirely un-thrilling and dissatisfying resolution. Expect a load of unnecessary swearing to artificially inflate the rating and build up scenes that never end up paying off.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

Good, dumb fun. Crafted with the glee of a toddler smashing his toy cars together.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)
½

Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, yet Warm Bodies still shambles along on an undeniable charm.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
½

A smart thriller that delivers both on unexpected plot twists and careful character development.

Frozen
Frozen(2013)
½

Several unnecessary musical numbers aside, Disney has finally proven that it's princess films are slowly starting to get with the times.

Frankenstein's Army
½

A fantastic premise and some great special/visual effects are marred by an incompetent story, amateurish camerawork, and an overall lack of restraint or pace.

The LEGO Movie

Smart, engaging, and stylish fun. This is nostalgia done right!

Escape From Tomorrow

Fatally flawed yet still utterly fascinating.

You're Next
You're Next(2013)
½

This movie is a TON of fun.
Do yourself a favor and don't watch a trailer for this one, there's too much to spoil.
Some strange editing choices and a bit of spotty acting mar this otherwise exuberant hymn to the "strangers with knives" genre.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Caps off the overrated series with a bang...heres an idea kiddies, go READ the books!!!!

The Pact
The Pact(2012)

This film is such a mixed bag.
From everyone but the lead actress, the acting is painful to watch...what exacerbates this issue is the godawful script. Much of the dialogue is entirely derivative and only points out something that is visible and obvious on screen. The film ends on a high note, but has that "we'll defy logic and undo everything we've done right just for a single-shot gotcha moment" scene at the end that leaves the viewer wondering if the director is baiting a sequel or just being a jackass.
Despite these many flaws, there is a truly interesting story here with some genuinely gripping and tense moments. The entire "big reveal" is surprising yet logical, and the resolution of this reveal in the third act is nail biting and terrifying.
I recommend this film but with hesitation, but an editor willing to stand their ground against the director's bad ideas, better actors, and most the dialogue cut...this would be a horror film that would be looked at in a decade as one of the greats. As is, it's too flawed to be remembered...which is a pity, there's some great stuff here.

Kill List
Kill List(2012)
½

A lot of excellent and tightly wound build up only to suffer from a non-ending so camp that it nearly comes off as a parody.
Avoid.

The Awakening

Beautiful, intelligent, and chilling.
Hits the same fairy tale sweet spot that made The Orphanage and A Tale of Two Sisters so wonderful as well.
Fully recommend.

The Bay
The Bay(2012)

An interesting premise and some really effective creature fx are ruined by high-school-level-bad acting and horrendous editing.
Did you like a specific shot earlier in the film? Don't worry, you'll see it again several more times in one of the multiple unnecessary flashback sequences. Any tension that could have existed is entirely ruined by the most grating of all voice-overs.
I don't know how in the world the lead actor landed this role, but I do so hope the casting director was fired. This film is painful to watch for all the wrong reasons.

The Innkeepers
½

The film does an excellent job at delivering a tense build-up, interesting characters, and a serviceable plot hook...but ends up relying heavily on poorly constructed jump scares and a third act that is not only unsatisfactory but ends up rendering all the carefully constructed tension in the first two acts feeling completely empty.
When the credits roll, you'll only have the prevailing feeling of "that's it?", which is a bloody shame because the director had all the pieces in place...he just failed to use them.

Cockneys vs Zombies
½

Some decent laughs. Offers nothing new to the genre.

My Amityville Horror
½

Sort of debunks the whole "true story" aspect of the films.
Just a bunch of nutjobs and fame seekers. Glad this doc came out to help people see that.

A Cat in Paris
½

Great art style. Lacking much depth.

Grindhouse
Grindhouse(2007)
½

Poorly filmed, smarmy trash.

Pontypool
Pontypool(2009)
½

Incredible.
Restrained, tense, and original.
The most groundbreaking film since 28 Days Later or Infection.

Twixt
Twixt(2012)
½

A great story hampered by middling performances and terrible editing choices.
There's a gem here, waiting to find the right edit. This version clearly isn't it, but I clearly see the potential. Now if only I could get my hands on the original footage to make the cut I imagine...

Thor: The Dark World
½

Better than the first and a whole lot of fun to boot.
First film I've seen in a long while that is content to have fun with its core concept rather than taking it deadpan serious.
Great film.

Room 237
Room 237(2013)

Unwatchable mess of pretension and overindulgence.
Go watch The Shining and ignore this tripe.

Shaun of the Dead
½

Solid, but not nearly as brilliant as the fanboys would have you believe.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Has wonderful antagonists and a beautiful pace that is undermined by a distinct disintrest in any kind of character development. At the end of the film, you just don't care. That's most damning criticism for any film.

Little Miss Sunshine
½

A triumph in the study of the death of dreams. Beautiful. Moving. Funny. You can't ask for much more in a film.

Phase 7
Phase 7(2011)
½

This film is not at all what you would expect it to be.

Silent Hill: Revelation

The opening footage plays like a student film attempting to scare the viewers by cranking up the volume of sound effects rather than actually, I don't know, attempting to scare. It transitions into a double dream sequence...how...advanced. The writing is abysmal, the visuals are distractingly bad. It's a slap in the face to anyone who has ever enjoyed the games. Video games can make great films, this is not one of them.

Atlantis - The Lost Empire

Disney takes some bold creative risks here and, in the long run, it really pays off. Sadly, for all the interesting things they do with the film, story and humor fall short. This film is judged pretty harshly but it shows some true creative spark...and that cannot be ignored.

Rubber
Rubber(2011)
½

A stylish film that is filled to the brim with snark and zany storytelling methods that is held back by it's own unwillingness to contextualize.
There are moments when the director seems to be on the verge of making a brilliant observation on the relationships a film has with its audience, yet every time the narrative comes close to stimulating the viewers intellectually, it scuttles back into surrealism.
The film comes across as a string of brilliant ideas that were never thought through to completion and coated in pretension. Had there been more meat to the concepts behind this imaginative tale, the stuck-up pseudo-art stylings would have been the perfect counterpart. Promises much, falls flat.

Triangle
Triangle(2009)

Way underrated psycho-headtrip meets slasher mashup. Great film that keeps you guessing and frightened!

Star Trek Into Darkness

A blast. From scene 1 to the end. Has minor hiccups along the way but is utterly satisfying and leaves the audience begging for more.

Moon
Moon(2009)
½

An amazing movie heralding the return of intelligent sci-fi...only to be later ripped off by Oblivion.

Martyrs
Martyrs(2008)
½

Do not watch this film.
It is one of the greatest films ever made.

Not only does the story twist and convulse almost lyrically, but it will shatter, devastate, and call into question everything from your churning stomach to your view on life, death and existence.
It offers a new benchmark in onscreen torment while simultaneously serving up deep characters and ideas. Nothing occurs that is not necessary to the narrative, yet it will often feel like an endurance test for the audience.

I felt physically and spiritually ill after giving this film a fair viewing.
It is art of the highest form and I can recommend it to no person in their right mind.

There is no exploitation here, but it will destroy the audience nontheless; toying with their hearts, minds, and threshhold for visible atrocity.

The Croods
The Croods(2013)

Actually really enjoyed this film. There's nothing particularly layered or intellectual about its narrative construction, yet not a moment is unenjoyable. The visuals are complex, some times incredibly realistic, other times violently cartoonish.
This is a film worth seeing with a heroine worth watching.
Dreamworks has my respect.

The Dark Knight Rises

A film where a beat-cop proves more interesting than a man in a giant bat costume has some serious issues. Hathaway's Catwoman makes Halle Berry's look inspired in comparison. The film is bloated, largely vapid, and features a storyline that would work better as a short film...somehow stretched to the 2 hr 45 min mark.
Bane is utterly charming and would have done well with an added laugh track for every line he delivers.
Overall though, this is a better movie for people who don't like Batman or know much about him. Take all the problems of the Dark Knight as expand them like so much yeast overnight, one might say, the Dark Knight Rises.

Doomsday Book

Wildly uneven.
The three short films are only connected in the sense that they share a vague apocolyptic theme. The first is a zombie film that is, while decently inventive, spends a majority of the time building itself up as a romantic comedy (most the comedy falls flat) before devolving into pseudo-science that is utterly illogical. I don't need for zombies to make perfect sense, but so much time is spent on a build up that is quite simply ludicris.
The second film has the best idea and plays off like I Robot meets Blade Runner, yet honing in on the philosophical aspect. This short would be perfect, yet the lack of budget really brings the piece down. The robot is entirely a physical effect and at time is simply unconvincing. I wish they had the budget to throw some cg into the mix. The ending is not unexpected but it sure is shocking.
The last short is hilarious. Plain hilarious.

I recommend Doomsday book with reservations. Great ideas meet uneven delivery.

Gantz: Perfect Answer
½

Unforgettable.
An experience rather than a film. Truly the sequel to end all sequels.

Gantz
Gantz(2011)

HOLY AWESOME. This movie blew my mind. Loved it.
There are logic gaps in the third act but nothing a competent editor couldn't fix. Minor problem in the grand scale of things.

Whispering Corridors

Intellectual, character-driven, slow burn horror.
A beautiful story that unfolds in methodical layers of mystery. It's an odd film, very little horror and very heavy characterization...not for the twitter obsessed adhd crowd.

Defendor
Defendor(2009)

An overlooked gem of a film. Truly wonderful.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
½

A fantastic end to an amazing trilogy...God forbid they make more of them!

Bernie
Bernie(2012)

Based on a true story, Bernie features excellent acting and a lazy script. Expect no real humor or social commentary, just Southwestern exploitation played straight for laughs without any intellectual or even humorous payoff. The film looks down its nose at its subjects and never bothers to turn the characters into humans, just despised "smallfolk" going through the motions. There is a chance for real depth here, a chance not only missed but directly scoffed at. The only thing that translates from this film is cynicism for its subject matter and a direct hatred for its story...doesn't make for compelling filmmaking.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Loses track of itself near the end of the second act and the beginning of the third, but makes up for it with a truly engaging first act and an ending that is sure to be divisive. I greatly enjoyed this movie and thought the ending was perfect.
The lead protagonist could have easily strayed into hipster-esque territory, but is fortunately reigned in and never works very hard to be likeable. I question the importance of the secondary characters as, after the first act, they literally become dead weight to the plot.

Catwoman
Catwoman(2004)
½

Not the utter trainwreck you may have been led to believe this film is.
While Catwoman will surely induce many unintentional laugh-out-loud moments, it is entirely enjoyable. The film seems to have no clue what Catwoman is or even how to begin turning her into an interesting character/anti-hero...but it approaches its ignorance with such zeal that it is hard to be seriously angry with the warping of such a beloved character. The experience is like the youtube video of the 6 year old talking about Star Wars...sure she gets it horribly wrong, but that's part of the charm.

Not for Catwoman purists or those looking for high cerebral entertainment, but also not the travesty its detractors have claimed it is.

Lawrence of Arabia

Some portions have aged better than others, but the core story and most the visuals remain utterly arresting and moving. A classic that truly deserves its status.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)

Surprisingly competent and entirely watchable.
Black widow was an excellent addition and makes up for boring villains with little to no depth. Stark is equal parts charming and aggravating per usual, good sequel.

Sid and Nancy
½

Excellent performances of thoroughly despicable people. Great music.

Top Gun
Top Gun(1986)
½

Overrated and boorish Tom Cruise vehicle.
Unlikeable characters in situations that are far from being slightly compelling.
Avoid...unless you enjoy military chestpounding with little plot or action to match.

Monster
Monster(2004)

A well acted film with very little of interest occurring within. Sexual deviants make terrible choices and then must suffer the consequences, somehow typing that is more interesting than watching the film. I presume the screenwriter was more interested in relaying the events as they actually occurred rather than creating an interesting narrative.
There are many excellent movies about serial killers, this is not one of them.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Not even half as clever as it thinks it is. Makes use of the same tired and stilted strategy that it pretends to condemn. Although I disagree with how the MPAA handles itself and goes about its business, this documentary actually had me siding with the ratings used as an example in the movie...sort of the opposite of what the director was playing at.

Altogether, shoddily edited and just as propaganda-oriented as the "secret society" it attempts to take down.
Disappointing.

The Invisible War

This movie will hurt you.
It is filmed with as much sensitivity and grace as the subject matter will allow, but the issue raised is both grave and largely unrecognized.
I have nothing critical to say of this documentary, I only wish the ending were happier...yet this would be an issue of changing reality.
We can only dream.

Quite sorry for the lack of review, I'm going to go cry for a while.

Tokyo Godfathers
½

Walks a very fine line between slapstick comedy and outright tragedy. Satoshi Kon is able to pull off the very difficult task of remaining reverent of who/what is at the center of the joke while still pulling off some genuine and funny moments. The story meanders a bit, but then, so do the protagonists so the pacing fits the film entirely.

Wonderful film, targeted towards adults so don't mistake the friendly cover and animated genre to mean that it is for younglings. This is an intelligent romp through back alleys and closed doors of the heart.

Resident Evil: Retribution
½

This movie plays a villainous trick indeed. The first half of the film had me convinced that the series was maturing up, gaining plot intelligence, and moving in a coherent and well-crafted direction...that is, right up until the plot literally became the entire end half of Aliens as told by a toddler. From there, the film quickly devolves into the inane, silly slog that I've come to expect from these movies. I'll probably enjoy this more with repeated viewings as I won't feel cheated by the sudden shift in originality and intelligence that occurs midway through the second act.

Marvel's The Avengers

Better than it has any right to be.

Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue(1999)
½

Displaying a rougher visual style and more restrained animation than Satoshi Kon would display in later films. Though not as layered as his later efforts, Perfect Blue is a compelling head-trip that has moments that are genuinely affecting and difficult to watch. Perfect Blue is a sniper bullet to the head of the Japanese pop idol and actress culture as well as a thrilling game of cat and mouse. This should not be anyone's first Satoshi Kon experience, but is a wonderful addition to his legacy; it is incredibly easy to see where the inspiration for Paranoia Agent and moments of Paprika came from after watching this film. In my mind, I imagine a trilogy from Mr. Kon with Perfect Blue, then Paranoia Agent, and ending in Paprika.

Quantum of Solace

Drops the ball a bit from the glorious character study that was Casino Royale. Bond seems to make decisions that go directly against his character as set up in the first film and the entire narrative seems dead set on turning him into a standard action hero as opposed to the super slick, disaffected hero we all know. That being said, not a bad film...it expands on the story in the first of this series and goes in some interesting directions. Worth watching if you enjoyed the first, just come into it with lower expectations.

Casino Royale
½

Having never seen a Bond film before this one, I had very low expectations. I came away wishing the narrative had spent more time on the character himself and what precisely made him tick, but all in all I greatly enjoyed this episode of the very long saga. Solid movie, nothing earth changing but enjoyable nonetheless.

Planet Terror (Grindhouse Presents: Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror)
½

Tokyo Gore Police, Machine Girl, and George Romero get ungracefully mashed together in this (attempted) parody of 70s grindhouse flicks. Unfortunately, making fun of terrible dialogue, bad acting, silly gore, and exploitation by featuring terrible dialogue, bad acting, silly gore and exploitation does not make for an interesting or amusing cinematic experience.
Derivative, unimaginative, and unfunny; Planet Terror is the holy trinity of precisely what not to do when lampooning a genre.

The Addams Family
½

Above average comedy with razor sharp writing; walks the fine line between too morbid or too silly with ease.

WarGames (War Games)
½

There is good fun to be had here, yet the stakes seem raised to a level so high that the way the third act plays out seem to cheapen the ideas. Excellent script dampened by pandering to a pre-teen audience.

The Last Starfighter

Classic game-oriented sci-fi thriller, good fun and groundbreaking technology for the time.

Pi
Pi(1998)

Quite possibly, one of the best films ever made. I do not say this lightly, watch Pi.

Los ojos de Julia (Julia's Eyes)
½

Solid terror film from some of the talented crew who created The Orphanage. Highly overlooked, Julia's eyes preys on the single greatest fear humanity endures...fear of the dark.
Classical pacing and excellent character development pair with a plot that keeps the audience guessing all the way until the third act, when all manner of terror breaks loose.
Highly recommend

Gedo senki (Tales from Earthsea)

Beautiful visuals accompany a story that never quite adds up. Gaping plot holes are not even glossed over, but ignored entirely and the standard level of Ghibli emotional resonance is entirely absent. The script, pacing, and climax are all off kilter in the worst possible ways.

Worth seeing for beautiful animation and gorgeous visuals, otherwise, skip this one.

Them
Them(2007)

You've seen films with this premise before. The plot twists in a direction that is entirely unexpected and, surprisingly, is based on a true-life, documented incident. A slow start without much character development bring the first half to a slow grind, but once the pace picks up it never backs down. Often these kinds of films run into the problem of having annoying and logic-deficient protagonists, Ils has interesting and likeable leads; the audience just never learns much about them (or the antagonists for that matter...but don't let that put you off, the antagonists are truly something special).
I'm pleased to report that there are zero jump scares and that, yes indeed, the film is quite tense for over half its running time.

Alligator
Alligator(1980)
½

Terribly dated visual effects, a by-the-numbers plot, strange pacing issues, stale performances, and not a single scare to be found; Alligator breaks all the horror/creature feature rules for quality. Despite literally everything going against it, Alligator remains mildly entertaining in an awkward "Godzilla eats children" sort of a way. Tell me you don't want to see a wedding interrupted by an alligator the size of a car and I'll call you a liar.

Not recommended unless you are really scraping the bottom of your "films to see" list, even the, there are only moments of pure schlocky fun in store.

Open Water
Open Water(2004)
½

An exercise in rote filmmaking with limited pathos, unintentionally hilarious music choices, and (worst of all for a film of this type) very few actually intense/fear-inducing scenes.

If you need a shark movie and a genuine scare, check out The Reef.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk
½

I really wanted to like this.
Oddball, dark humor in cult-horror films is my thing; not to mention the innate bias I hold towards loving both foreign and independent films by default.

Perhaps my rating is too harsh, perhaps I should have watched more than 20 min of the film before forming an opinion, and perhaps one day everything will be free and we'll swim in seas of jello whilst eating rainbows.

Honestly, on every level, this film objectively sucks.
If I had watched it all the way through would it redeem itself?
You know a film is terrible when that possibility means nothing, simply due to how wretched the beginning was.
Walking out on a film is something I take seriously.
Hopefully the makers of this film will read this and take my opinion seriously.

The Reef
The Reef(2010)

More terrifying than Jaws and featuring actual great white sharks (not to mention very accurately based on a true story), this movie is pulse pounding every single min of screen time after the first act. That being said, the film isn't much fun, so if you watch films simply to be entertained this is by no means the film for you. If you're looking for a realistic, no frills fright, The Reef comes fully recommended.

Bait
Bait(2012)

Surprisingly solid.
Some poorly written dialogue and spotty acting take a shark sized bite out of an original concept. Great pacing, decent effects, and some genuine human moments keep this Bait afloat.

One of those films were the audience is left suspecting that nobody who worked on the film knows how guns are supposed to work...yet it manages to punctuate the logic gaps with audible-gasp-worthy moments of badassery.

A good, dumb film.

Battle Royale
½

Amazing, brutal, emotional, and humorous.
Every single viewing of this film (loosely based on an equally impressive book of the same name) is a treasure to behold.
Feeling hungry but sick of childish games?
Battle Royale is a full course meal.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Underplayed, yet thought provoking.
This film gives the viewer a lot to chew on intellectually and emotionally but, at the same time, never stoops to the level of artificially upping the ante or shoehorning in an antagonist/climactic action nonsense.

This is a wonderful film. Light in tone and deep in theme. Fully recommend.

Good Hair
Good Hair(2009)
½

A film about racism and cultural brainwashing that never stoops to the level of bluntly saying so. This film is respectful, hilarious, and enlightening.

Splice
Splice(2010)
½

Great message. Excellent first act and intriguing second/third. Drops the ball a bit at the end but the message carried through.
It is unusual to see a film that says in essence, "Don't blame science, blame the people and politicians who refuse to fund science on high moral ground so that these experiments cannot be carried out in a safe and controlled setting".
Overall, very interesting...more about the characters than the "Frankenstein-esque" subplot.
Recommend with reservations. Pacing drops at the end and the film is VERY disturbing.

Hobo With a Shotgun
½

An exercise in terrible film-making, questionable taste, and banality.
A great litmus test, if someone recommends this film to you; their opinion is to be always ignored when it comes to entertainment.

The Pacifier
The Pacifier(2005)

Resorted to cheap jokes and overused gags to sell what could have been a really good movie!

Shrek
Shrek(2001)

Funny the first time, silly the second, and trashy the third!

Chicken Little
½

Suprisingly funny and clever. See it at least once!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Much better than temple of doom yet still not up to par with raiders and crusade.

A few silly scenes aside, this is an totally enjoyable Indiana Jones romp from start to finish. It gets an undeserved rap from "die-hard" fans.

Watch first. Form opinion second.

The Matrix Reloaded

Loses the element of suprise that carried the first film, but makes up for it with its twisting plot, amazing acting, and dazzling action sequences!

The Matrix Revolutions

Did not like the ending...but it was a great way to cap off a revolutionary trilogy!

Jumanji
Jumanji(1995)

The perfect balance of tension and humor mixed with a healthy dose of imagination!

Flubber
Flubber(1997)

This movie would make me laugh EVERY single time I watched it as a kid!!

Pride and Prejudice

Skillfully acted and shot...this movie will bore the guys and thrill the girls. Very touching :D

Batman: The Movie
½

Satire at its best. A tongue in cheek send up that is now especially relevant given the overzealous trend of "gritting up" superheros.
Great silly fun, also, shark repellent.

Hero
Hero(2004)
½

Beautiful in every way. This film will move you. That is all.

The Fox and the Hound

Still packs enough punch to bring about tears even to this day...another Disney succes!

Swiss Family Robinson

The acting and sheer length of this film tends to drag on a bit but, all in all, this is one of the ultimate classic family movies!

War of the Worlds
½

Terrifying and relevant...Speilberg does it again!

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
½

Rivals the 6th in sheer impact. Totally destroys any argument the nay-saying old trilogy fans had about the prequels!

The Raid: Redemption

Pick a given film genre and strip it to its base elements. Proceed to execute those elements better than any related film. This is The Raid: Redemption.
Forget character development or insightful plot, The Raid is an action film with no peer. It would be tempting to pass it off as Die Hard meets Ogn-Bak but, let us be honest, this film transcends both in spades.

An hour and forty minutes long.
An hour and forty white-knuckle, gasp-inducing, and adrenaline-laced minutes.

Teenage Paparazzo

Fantastic documentary about the link between celebrity and fans.
Layers of contrivance, showmanship and personal violation are peeled back and added on in equal amounts.

Babies
Babies(2010)

Loved every second of this film.

There Will Be Blood
½

With almost no redeeming characters, There Will Be Blood is a magnificent study of the dark sides to both existentialism and spirituality. Daniel Day-Lewis is magnificent and dominates every frame of this film.
The score is a bit jarring but it works in the films favor so the juxtaposition it creates is very carefully calculated.
Enjoy feeling unsettled and disturbed by nearly every character in a film?
I know I do! If you are anything like me then you will greatly enjoy this film (which has surprisingly little blood).

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)
½

This was def the best in the series! It tied up the plot lines of the last two movies and satisfied completely...Prepare to laugh, cry, and totally enjoy this fine film. Quite possibly the best of the summer!

Falling Down
Falling Down(1993)

You want to root for both protagonists, despite them being pitted against each other.

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

THIS is how you make a movie! Intelligent plot, engaging characters, and visually stunning effects!

Wallace & Gromit: The First Three Adventures

Cheeky brit humor and classy claymation make these three short films worth watching again and again!

Galaxy Quest
Galaxy Quest(1999)

Perfect script and cast...every person shines! Excellent ballance of terror and humor!

Poltergeist
Poltergeist(1982)
½

Parts have not aged well, yet the films ability to hold tension throughout the entirety of its running time has not diminished at all. Wonderful, imaginative film!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Still the best of the three...One of the best movies of all time!

Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins(1964)

Perfection in motion...

Batman Begins

After Mr. Carpenter trashed two films, Batman seemed dead.
Batman Begins is his (short lived) return to glory! Unlike the inferior Dark Knight, Batman Begins plumbs emotional depths unparalleled in any other film of the franchise, displays excellent character development, and manages to have (count 'em) THREE riveting bad guys in one film.

Mob boss toying with Gotham.
Ninja clan out for purifying vengeance.
Psychotic mental health expert who tortures his patients.

Batman Begins is the best film our caped detective has yet received!

Ratatouille
Ratatouille(2007)
½

A modern masterpiece that does not cheapen its artform to pander to the kiddies or shoot sex jokes to the adults. This film has fully developed characters, a fine (if oddball) plot, and a stunning execution and style. Go see it...now! Animation is not a genre. You will enjoy this!

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
½

This film defined cinema as we know it today...watch it right now and prepare to be amazed!

Suicide Club
Suicide Club(2002)

Can you watch a film through your fingers?
Can you watch a film that does not exist in a narrative form but a purely metaphoric one?
Can you identify and switch off your American/European instinct to connect with an individual character rather than view the whole of a film as a piece of pluralism?
Can you set aside several hours after a film to dissect every scene in order to determine the deeper meaning within?

If you answered a hearty YES to all of the above questions then you may enjoy the Unrated edition of Suicide Club.

I did not enjoy the film too much while watching it (as it requires quite a bit of wincing and confusion) but, in retrospect, it is now on my top 20 films list.
Now to watch the prequel, Noriko's Dinner Table.

Noriko's Dinner Table
½

One of the best films I have ever had the pleasure to see.
A commentary on life, family relationships, and our role in the universe.
Slow, methodical, and gristly. Noriko's Dinner Table takes the conclusions Suicide Club drew and runs with them. This is truly a masterpiece of cinema and social commentary.

[REC] 3 Genesis
½

This movie will surely rustle the jimmies of any fan of the first two REC films looking for a third in the same vein. There will probably be a lot of nerdrage from fans, which is a real shame as this is a top-notch horror comedy.

REC 3 takes the surreal setting very seriously, it may take a good half hour for the uninitiated to catch on to the genre shift.
Although it was not terribly necessary to the narrative to ditch the handheld approach, the transition is done with style and helps clue the fans in to what they are about to see.

I personally hope the next REC movie will be more in line with the first two (as that is what I was expecting), that being said, this movie was wonderful in its own right.

Who Killed Nancy?
½

Is more of a documentary about Sid and Nancy's relationship than anything else, but it does indeed raise some interesting and valid concerns about elements of the murder that simply don't add up.

Danny the Dog
½

A good script, excellent concept, and some great performances are held back by some seriously silly art direction. The drama works and Jet Li gets to really show his acting abilities, leaving the audience wishing for more of Danny's story and less contrived action sequences with groups of Mad Max wannabes.

If they had stuck with the gritty British-gangster tone set at the beginning, this film would have been much easier to recommend. A truly missed opportunity.

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (Saibogujiman kwenchana)

Severely adorable and occasionally brutal, "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok" is my favorite romantic comedy/drama I have yet seen.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Cute if viewed only once...repeated viewings grate on your eyes...

Miss Congeniality

WOW! A chick flick that caters to both audiences! Sandra Bullock makes the film truly something amazing.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

Coming from one who has NOT read the books (and has little interest in doing so), I enjoyed this film entirely. Not only was it thrilling and well acted, but the plot lines were drawn together very subtly and snugly. I know some Potter fans may have had issues with tidbits left out or added, but for mere Muggles such as myself this movie is a delight to behold! I shall now go watch every single one of the films in order. Good day.

Moulin Rouge!

Great movie...slightly overused plot devices but the musical score makes up for it!

Men in Black
Men in Black(1997)

Fresh and funny...It's good to see Will Smith have this much fun!

Coraline
Coraline(2009)
½

A fun, streamlined, and imaginative romp through a dark world.

Bakjwi (Thirst)
½

An excellent first act makes the plodding and lackluster second and most of third acts feel like pages from a different script. The ending is quite good and the third act does perk up the plot a bit, but it closes on a note of "too little, too late".

As a fan of Chan Wook Park's other films, Thirst is a bit of a letdown.
Avoid unless you simply must watch every vampire film in existence.

In Bruges
In Bruges(2008)
½

NOT a comedy, the trailer lies.
A thrilling, hard-hitting, hitman film that serves as an excellent character study.
Expect a lot of jarring racism, unapologetically realistic carnage, and witty banter.

Millennium Actress (Sennen joy)

I cried.
Satoshi Kon never disappoints.
That is all.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
½

Melodrama and bloodshed. Great for high school children who want to play at musical theatre whilst still feeling "edgy".

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
½

Starts off with Spurlock playing the detective who has a case to crack before taking a turn from playing conspiracy documentary to being an educational one about Hollywood and corporate sponsors. Still a great film, not as controversial as it would like to be though.

The Chaser (Chugyeogja)
½

Brutal and modern. I see it as the spiritual sequel to "Mother".

Wake Wood
Wake Wood(2009)

After a lengthy build-up with explicit gore that is entirely unrelated to the central plot-line (cow Cesarian anyone?), Wake Wood settles into an inexplicable rhythm. It becomes a standard demon-child slasher film, with little subtext or grace. This is one of those films that ends with the main character preparing to do something edgy or subversive, but first looks into the camera and winks just before a freeze-frame occurs. Seriously.

Dead and Buried
½

Dated special effects and a few spotty performances aside, Dead and Buried is an unexpected gem of a film. It manages to transcend the overall campiness of the proceedings with a genuinely interesting and puzzling central mystery. An original, Twilight Zone-esque film. This one seems to have been largely overlooked as one of the horror greats of the 80s.

Son of Rambow

Charming and kind-hearted look at a mean-spirited boy and the love of his life...his videocamera.

This movie will win almost anyone over.

Catch Me If You Can

Silly escapism posing as the real truth.

Let the Right One In

More tame than I was expecting.
There is possibly the best execution scene I have ever seen, you will know it when you see it!

Fargo
Fargo(1996)
½

A well-acted film about stupid people who do stupid things. Nothing surprising or terribly interesting happens, yet the film is more than worth watching for the charm of the protagonist. A word of warning: Hipsters love this film, if only to watch ironically whilst making fun of the accents in the movie.

The Cat Returns
½

Perhaps one of Ghibli's silliest films, yet never to its detriment.
The world Studio G builds in The Cat Returns never reaches the level of complexity that they are known for but, once expectations are adjusted, it is quite a cute film.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

An entire film of hipster-pandering. Attempts to gain some level of depth by ripping notes from classic (high school level) literature. I'm sure many a thirteen year old has written an essay about all the parallels for their English and Literature classes.

Burn After Reading

Inane.
Attempts to appeal to its audience with formula quirk while backhanding them at the same time.
The point of the film is that there is no point to the film.
I'm amazed that nobody sued after being robbed by this film.

Silent Hill
Silent Hill(2006)

They nailed the atmosphere and feeling of Silent Hill without bothering to look into silly little details like character or plot. The film would have still been passable had it not jumped the shark hard at the midway point, one must admire the tenacity of the director though.

End of the Spear
½

A great story, hampered by amateur actors, direction, and an uneven screenplay. Read the book.

The Exorcist
The Exorcist(1973)

This is how horror films are done.
The Exorcist does not disappoint, not even in 2012. It will shock even the most jaded of film-viewers and delight even the most hardened horror fan. This movie is a treat.

Brazil
Brazil(1985)
½

An interesting world filled with cliche stereotypes. The plots never amounts to much and the supposed trick the screenplay attempts to play on the audience at the end is both transparent and redundant.

I, Robot
I, Robot(2004)

Glossy aesthetics and Will Smith playing Will Smith. Not much to see here.

Willard
Willard(2003)

Loses steam and almost never displays much tension. Glover's performance, however, is more than enough to keep the audience watching until the final credits. The narrative structure is a bit of a mess and some of the character arcs make little sense, that being said, this tale of the duality of one man's soul manifest in two very different rats is definitely worth watching several times.

The Last Exorcism

Methodical and unsettling pacing make this a film I enjoyed most the way through. As soon as things hit the fan, however, the film loses track of itself entirely. Without spoiling much, yes there is a demon. No it does not do anything novel or even subversive. The tension that the first two acts of film work so hard to build is sucked entirely from the film in the last act and the ending plays as though pages of screenplay had blown off the writer's desk.

All in all, a great disappointment. I came into the film expecting it to be subpar and was pleasantly surprised when it proceeded to be a tightly wound and carefully planned thriller...for two-thirds of the running time that is.

The movie's undoing seems to be that somewhere along the line they chose to jump the shark, but in such a way that it pretends to have never had rails in the first place. The way the final shots are planned seemed to be in a way that the director thought the end shot was a big reveal. It wasn't. It was just uninteresting.

Watch the film if you must, but the level of quality set forth at the beginning will surely betray you at the end.

Trollhunter
Trollhunter(2011)

Thrilling yet slightly silly fun. Fortunately the film is in on the joke and pulls it off in good humor. The movie spends very little time on any real character development and narrative, but makes up for it by being a sly and uncompromising modern take on classic Norse mythology! Recommended, one of my personal favorite popcorn movie.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

Overrated and overtly obvious pseudo-intellectual film that is little more than a string of catchphrases for frat boys to spout whilst imagining that they enjoy high art with deep meaning. This film is so transparent and on-the-nose in its delivery that the "big twist" would have been to have no "twist".

Hard Candy
Hard Candy(2006)
½

Excellent shot composition, color palettes, and deep characters cannot make up for the uneven pacing and the overall sense of "we want this to be edgy but don't know quite how to pull it off". What similar, and better constructed, films have done to circumvent falling into the trap of the Torture Porn genre is to add layers of social subtext that drives the narrative. Hardy Candy fails to do this by keeping us guessing who we should root for, as if that were a new trick in the filmmaking handbag (it is the ONLY trick this film even brings to the table).

Beautiful, pretentious, and flawed.
Might be the most boring torture porn film I have every seen, but at least it had the best dialogue.

Changeling
Changeling(2008)
½

Excellent film with a gripping story. It throws several unexpected plat twists at the viewer and (often to the detriment of the pacing) unveils a sprawling tale that charts the course of many years. Several notable child actors aside, Jolie throws herself into the role to great effect, John Malkovich restrains himself just the right amount, and Jason Harner chews scenery withe eerily likeable gusto.

The film holds back a bit on what could have been a harrowing journey (perhaps to retain the PG-13 rating) but remains a gripping tale of one woman's growth through her journey.
Fully recommend.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side
½

Makes the double mistake of not only being a bad sequel, but an all around bad movie. Goes from tepid to putrid from the opening credits to the closing.

Drag Me to Hell

Balances being silly with being scary quite well, then topples the plates and trips over the wreckage in the last five min of film. Disappointing. In the end, just comes off as an attempt to re-make Poltergeist while still being "hip" and "subversive". Waste of time.

The Dark Knight

Weak, illogical, and downright silly. Mr. Nolan has sucked any sense of Batman from a Batman film...that took some doing.

The Loved Ones

Starts off with some interesting ideas, then quickly devolves into torture porn.

God Bless America
½

A charming, angry, and wry narrator draws the audience into caring about the situation long before the characters work their way into our hearts. The story takes very few narrative turns but makes up for it by having such a strong and well fleshed out concept, that nary a second is spent looking at the clock during this film. This is a film that constantly asks big questions. It occasionally insults the viewer and questions their validity as functional members of society. This movie never stops taking on big societal issues and taking aim at everyone and everything in its path, expect to think and laugh a lot. Many of these characters are people you already know. From entertainers to politicians to the couple next door who are eerily similar to the ones in the movie, God Bless America nails our current culture in terms of characters and how they affect society in general. The two central characters represent two different, yet equally disturbed, points of view on the current situation in the United States. Frank, our protagonist, is developed extremely well and his character arc alone is fascinating to watch. "I would defend their freedom of speech if I thought it was in jeopardy. I would defend their freedom of speech to tell uninspired, bigoted, blowjob, gay-bashing, racist and rape jokes all under the guise of being edgy, but that's not the edge. That's what sells. They couldn't possibly pander any harder or be more commercially mainstream, because this is the 'Oh no, you didn't say that!' generation, where a shocking comment has more weight than the truth. No one has any shame anymore, and we're supposed to celebrate it. I saw a woman throw a used tampon at another woman last night on network television, a network that bills itself as 'Today's Woman's Channel'. Kids beat each other blind and post it on Youtube. I mean, do you remember when eating rats and maggots on Survivor was shocking? It all seems so quaint now. I'm sure the girls from '2 Girls 1 Cup' are gonna have their own dating show on VH-1 any day now. I mean, why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?" -Frank

This quote occurs at the beginning of the film. This movie is one intelligent and angry breakdown of society after another, you need to watch this as soon as possible. God Bless America has a message that needs to be spread.

Super
Super(2011)
½

Strangely emotionally resonant and thought provoking.
As silly as it is violent. When it came out, critics didn't know what to do with it, they approached it as a Kick-Ass knock off...in truth I find it to be superior to that film in many ways. If you like gonzo-style cult film with a mean streak, this is a good movie to check out!

Hanna
Hanna(2011)
½

This is a film you need to see.
It is uncompromising, funny, heartbreaking, and strangely hip.
The movie combines the snark of Quenton T with the gritty grounding of Children of Men.
There was not a moment of this film that I was not enjoying myself, there are zero weak scenes and (gasp) every character is developed quite nicely.

Seeing this film in theaters supports great writing, acting, effects, music (entire score by the Chemical Brothers), editing, direction, and cinematography.
As far as negatives go, I have two minor gripes.
1) There is no way this film should be PG-13. This is coming from a person who thrives on horror films. Hanna should be R, no questions asked.
2) There are only hints of emotional depth, but I cannot hold it against the film as it takes the same restrained approach to sentiment as the protagonist does.

That is really all as far as cons to the pros go.
Hanna, on both a dramatic and popcorn level, is quite the success.
More please.

Yogen (Premonition)
½

Allow me to begin with the following statement:
This is a C+ film with an A- of an end sequence.
Is the end really that good? YES.
It will have you gasping for air, wracked with tension, and squirming like a worm on a hook with suspense.
Now for the bad news.
Aside from several genuinely creepy moments there is not much to this film other than character development. Normally that would be a good thing but in the case of this film, it passes itself off as a thriller early on but then displays strong signs of becoming a romantic comedy for the remainder.
Without much romance...or comedy.
This film could be described as a slog, but with a very satisfying and gripping consolation prize at the end.
Is it worth sitting through for the amazing short film that exists as the ending (which capitalizes on nearly every scene in the film up until that point so youtubing it will only confuse you)?
I think it is worth it, perhaps you will as well.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you ignore the fact that you ever saw the first...this movie exeeds expectations and provides a more accurate telling of the story.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
½

THIS is how to make a good fantasy movie (lotr and eragon should be taking notes!). It moves at a lively clip and displays charactors bold enough to rival the amazing effects!

While You Were Sleeping

Cute and very bearable for a romance film...

Apollo 13
Apollo 13(1995)

Amazing acting, decent tesion...yet...somehow, not as epic as it could have been. Came off as being dusty!

Chicken Run
Chicken Run(2000)

Cute and skillfuly made...yet dull and dreary in the long run.

The Parent Trap
½

Lindsay Lohan before her downfall...what can I say? Adorable fun!

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Disturbing and shocking...Lucas falls into the sequel trap but pulls it off quite nicely!

Jurassic Park III

Despite a worse director...Jurassic Park three does a better job of capture the flavor of the original film.

X-Men: The Last Stand
½

Slightly dissapointing...

The Lost World - Jurassic Park

This film had a tough time following the near perfect first movie...still an amazing film in its own right!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

They sure don't make them this good anymore! Sean Connery adds the perfect touch to an almost perfect series!

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Horrid songs + a fantastic realization and readaption of the original tale = Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The Legend of Zorro

A bit sillier than the first, Legend of Zorro serves up the action and Zorro-like thrills!

Air Force One
½

Rough, intense, and starring the amazing Harrison Ford...This film has me on the edge of my seat EVERY time I see it!

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

WOW! Lucas ties up perfection in this flawless cap to the Star Wars saga! Luke's transformation is complete, Vader is redeemed, Han (finally) gets the girl...and C-3po is believed to be a god by the ewoks (small teddy bear looking creatures native to Endor)...
I love it...even the song at the end!!!!

The Mask of Zorro

Moving, epic, and cinematically perfect!

Fantastic Four
½

Slightly dissapointing...however, once I re-watched it expecting nothing...it turned out to be a decent little super flik :)

Disturbia
Disturbia(2007)
½

Great plot, fantastic acting, new way of attacking an old idea...fantastic film!...Go see it now!!

The Eye 2 (Gin gwai 2)

I enjoyed the first Eye film but did not expect much from the second.
I was wrong.
The Eye 2 has a very strong narrative that will keep you guessing and, once you have figured the film out, on edge...unsure of how it will play out regardless of the revelation.
Excellent performances, horrid cg, and a very intelligent/well-told story.

If you are a fan of well-made, creepy yet ultimately touching horror, the Eye 2 is worth your time.
Was it better than the first?
I don't think so...I find them to be quite equal in quality...very different films though.

Bunraku
Bunraku(2011)

A halfway decent script would have saved this oragami, Kung-Fu, and Pseudo Noir flick. I'm sure there were interesting ideas somewhere in the process of making this film...but the visual style ends up being the only thing that kept me watching.

Just a series of mediocre fights with little reason behind them.

Yeogo goedam 4: Moksori (Whispering Corridors 4: The Voice) (High School Girl's Ghost Story 4: Voice Letter) (Ghost Voice)
½

A surprisingly delicate and emotional love story that takes brutal twists and turns, exploring different social bonds and what they can mean.
There is a plot twist that ruined the film in its entirety for me the first time I watched it, I found it to be unrealistic to the characters as they were portrayed, however, upon viewing the film a second time about half a year later, the twist had plenty of hidden evidence in the first and second act.
I can now, after shifting my perspective whilst viewing the film, buy the twist as well as enjoy the final act though-rally. Despite what the US dvd cover would have you believe, this film is by no means a gore-fest and is quite restrained in execution. Don't expect a spooky creep out of a film either, while there is one genuinely terrifying segment, what will stick with you is a sense of melancholy and slight dread.
If you are the kind of person who cannot watch a film without talking, this is not the movie for you. Expect to feel a lot of carefully constructed emotions with this one.

Livide (Livid)

This beautiful French film takes a while to get going, but once it did it had me gripped with sheer terror! It is a fresh and fairytale take on a familiar setup.

Do yourself a favor and DON'T watch the trailer or read too many reviews before watching the film. The surprise with the direction the film ends up taking is more than worth it!

The Road
The Road(2009)
½

This film provides an unflinching look at life after the death of humanity. It holds no punches and never panders to the viewer, this may prove a bit too unrelenting for those who prefer formulaic action or comedy vehicles. The film has more in common with an emotional, sometimes horrific, ride that relies on a tempered and purpose-driven pace rather than rushing along the path like so many other post apocalyptic tales. This is no "I am Legend". Visual effects make the world of this film fully realized and all actors involved turn in truly stunning performances. The Road is a coming of age story that will leave you breathless and nauseated. If you like fine cinema and are ok with a little depression, see it today!

Update: Upon viewing the film a second time, my love for this film grows exponentially. It rubs me raw emotionally every single time. I can't recommend this film enough.

Battle Royale II
½

An excellent concept and terrifying changes to the core mechanics of the game are dampened by amateur direction and horrid acting (with a few very notable exceptions).
The original film is a modern masterpiece, the sequel suffers from pacing but has a great story at it's very core.
I am very sure that a careful re-edit of this film could produce something very good, but in its current state this film is best avoided or approached with very, very low expectations.

Death Note: The Last Name (Desu nto 2)
½

Expands on the first film to great effect.
Stakes are raised and ideas are expanded upon.
Not as fresh a concept as the original but that is to be expected...great sequel but be sure to catch the first one before viewing!

The Secret World of Arrietty
½

Adorable and delightfully understated, this new Studio G film really hits the spot. I watched the version without english dubs, so the acting in the Japanese audio track is spot on...you'll find yourself gasping aloud at the lush backdrops in the film.
See it immediately!

[Rec]
[Rec](2007)

Manages to scare while tightening a claustrophobic noose around the viewers neck through it's relentless camerawork. Each performance is frenzied without ever going over the top and we genuinely care about the characters by the end. The ending is excellent and ties directly into the second film, watch them back to back for maximum effect!

Jaws
Jaws(1975)

Steven Speilberg strikes gold in his first big film that redefined movies and how they were made...still scary to this day!

The Woman
The Woman(2011)
½

Excellent idea is upended by blatant man-hating on the part of the screenwriter.
The concept is stellar, the acting is convincing, and the climax is grisly indeed.
I enjoyed moments of this film but cannot fully recommend it.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
½

A comedy Josh actually liked?
Will the wonders never cease.

I Saw the Devil
½

A nightmare of a film.
I can recommend this movie to only those with stomachs of iron.
I saw the Devil is introspective, intelligent, and perhaps the most realistically violent film I have yet seen (for those of you who know me, that's saying a lot).
It ranks up there with A Clockwork Orange and Oldboy.

This film is a masterpiece in it's own right, just be very very sure you are the target audience before even attempting a viewing.
I loved it for the same reasons most sane people will despise it.

The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del diablo)
½

My expectations may have been hindering any appreciation I had for this film. This movie works best as a wartime drama with horror themes rather than the scare-fest it sells itself as. The narrative is strong but the preformances do not match the high standard set forth by the writing.

This one is only good if you lower your expectations. I may have really enjoyed this one if it were a 73% rather than a 91%.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)

Allow me to begin by saying that this movie is NOT a children's movie...do not bring your kid to the theater simple because you saw a child in the trailer. That being said, Super 8 is worth every cent. There is not a second of film that I did not enjoy.

The mystery was very well delivered, the action was visceral and raw-feeling, but above all: the characters were so beautifully developed that the audience was truly invested in the events that unfold.
This simply cannot be said about most films today.

I could honestly rave about this film all day so I will force myself to end with this:
Super 8 is funny, terrifying, melancholy, and above all, honest.

Do yourself a favor.
Go see Super 8.

Sakebi (Retribution)
½

I did not see this one coming.
This is a film that understands how much audiences love to try and guess the ending before the opening credits have rolled and boy does it play its audience and string them along!

If you are the kind of person who becomes easily annoyed when a film requires you to make logical deductions and connect the dots as an intellectual entertainment consumer then Retribution is not for you.

Expect several very fresh, unexpected twists and one standard, overdone, yet still unexpected reversal.

This is not a scary film and it contains very little horror.
It is mysterious and perplexing, but it never attempts to grasp its viewers by the throat.

Several scenes could have been played for scares but instead are, in a rare show of directorial courage, ethereal and lightly sweet in a melancholy way.

This is not a beautiful film, but the pacing is spot-on and character development builds to a nice crescendo.

No matter who you are, no matter how good you think you are at guessing film endings...there are portions of Retribution that you will NEVER SEE COMING. This is a fact.

Watch this on a rainy day, mug of chai in hand, with those you love nearby. You will need someone to hold that you care about.
That is all.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Uninspired and overwrought fight scenes are forgivable in this light-headed/hearted romp about a man-child who learns the value of responsibility and servitude.
Although we see decent actors delivering hammy lines convincingly, there are many moments of real heart in this film and these scenes save the film entirely.

Thor comes across as a genuine person, full of life, mischief, and ego. The rest of the cast gives it their all and we are even treated to several delightful cameos from the Marvel universe.

In all:
The sights are beautiful, the story simple, the characters heartfelt, and the action tepid at best.

Most people will see it for the action and remember it for the laughs and chemistry.

It is not art, but it IS popcorn very artfully presented.

Infection (Kansen)
½

This film is a masterfully crafted work of music.

The beginning strings are plucked as the hospital and its staff are introduced. Each person is unique, decently well developed, and a little bit off. There is the strong vibrato in the air as the melodies of the hospitals financial issues and the staffs clashes are slowly played.

This tune launches into a powerful melody of drama with a subtle horror harmony weaving its way in and out as a situation occurs that stretches our characters both ethically and emotionally. Personalities clash and the building percussion of a terrifyingly and straight-forward infection-style storyline are built when BLAM.

Diminuendo.
The story eases off a bit near the end of the second act to allow the audience to catch their breath while still maintaining a razor sharp string of underlying tension to pull them along.

Just when the audience is losing interest and has decided that they have heard this tune before, the composer rips the heart out of the melody and grinds the song into an entirely new direction.

The climax and resolution of this piece are jarring.
They are unexpected.

Before seeing Infection I expected it to be a mindless splatter-fest with no real redeeming qualities. The film I viewed instead was an experience that held me breathless for the first act, smug for the second, and stunned for the third.

This is by no means a flawless execution, so expect an unintentional chuckle here and there. For the most part though, Infection rises above its genre and proceeds to challenge, terrify, and unsettle on an intellectual level.

Allow this film to suck you into it's reality without putting up too much of a fight.
You will truly enjoy the ride!!

No Country for Old Men
½

The film is a giant letdown.
It begins as a tightly wound and competently written slasher/chase/gangster style film with beautifully developed characters and elegant pacing but quickly runs out of gas midway through the second act. The film chokes along on fumes to a series of entirely underwhelming conclusions.
Many films get away with a twinge of identity crisis to pay the bills but this movie feels as though it was nearly finished when an executive decided to market it for awards and tells the screenwriter to "throw in some poetic stuff". The third act is downright boring and will leave you in apathy toward each character that the directer worked so hard to construct.

The acting is wonderful for the entire film (it's great to see Tommy Lee Jones dust off his cowboy boots). But the movie is not able to pull off offering adventure and delivering thought-provoking drama.

Ever been stuck at a family reunion where the elders of the family would not let up about "old times" and would not allow anyone to speak of anything else?
Yeah.
This movie is a lot like that.

Re-cycle (Gwai wik)
½

The only reason this film should be critiqued at all is in the editing and a botched effect here and there.
Most of the time the CG (and there is a LOT of wonderful set extension) is quite good but occasionally there is a noticeable problem. It never takes away from the story. Speaking of plot, Re-Cycle's plot is ANYTHING but recycled. It begins a bit abstract and continues in this vein until the very end where it all comes into focus in a span of about three minutes. The story (in the 3rd act especially) is moving, vivid, and shocking in the twists it takes. If you can hold your questions until the end and just enjoy the ride up until that point then you will have no trouble.
The biggest issue I have with this film is the amateur editing job on display. There are random cuts to black within scenes that only distract, too many crossfades, and (gasp) TONS OF REDUNDANT FLASHBACKS. *breathes slowly* Ok I'm fine now. The only reason that the, sometimes muddled, editing bothers me is because the acting is so good, story so fresh and interesting, and the imagery so beautiful that to have it mucked up by a hack editor is terribly sad.
See it.
Enjoy it.
I warned you about the editing.

Rango
Rango(2011)

Probably the most beautiful CG film I have yet laid eyes on. Pretty basic story but it is pulled off with so many zany quirks that it really just ends up working. It loses a bit of steam in the third act but you'll leave the film with a smile on your face.

The Host
The Host(2007)
½

Boasting very strong visuals (thanks to Weta and Orphanage VSFX companies), The Host is one of the most unusual and jarring films I have seen in a long time.

One second you will be wracked with emotion for the characters, deep despair...then the director pushes it a bit further and you wonder if the scene is a joke. Just when you are comfortable enough to assume that the scene in question is a joke and laugh at it, the director throws an emotional or terrifying curve-ball that instantly sobers you and induces a bit of guilt for even laughing at the cleverly constructed joke. This entire process happens many times during the film and can last anywhere from 10-20 seconds.

The Host is filmmaking at its finest. No joke.
Very few films can elicit genuine laughs without shattering the tension and integrity of the characters, and this is a VERY character centered movie. It is a sly combination of Little Miss Sunshine, Jaws, and Jurassic Park.

I could keep drooling over how wonderful this film is but, honestly, what would that accomplish.

There are two major flaws in this film:
1) The Premise:
How the creature comes to exist is terribly paper thin...we're talking 1950's comic book thin here. However, in the films defense, the plot uses the creature as a means to tell a powerful and compelling story through excellent and memorable characters...so the origin story doesn't actually amount to much. I would have been happy if they had just left it out entirely.

2) The way the creature moves:
When you first see the creature you will be disappointed. Promise. It gets better. I have analyzed the film to figure out why this shift from not believable to convincing (through the movie) exists and I can tell you this: it is not because of the graphics. They are beautiful start to finish. I think it is because when you first see the creature, it is hunting for the very first time and it moves super clumsy...like a toddler monster. We are not used to our cinema creatures being so inept so I think that throws western audiences off to begin with but, as mentioned, the film will quickly suck you back into the land of believability.

Those were my only two complaints about the ENTIRE film.
Really.
Go see this today.

The Fall
The Fall(2006)

I love this movie...deeply.
The story flits along like a butterfly in a rain of arrows, both beautiful and fragile while maintaining constant juxtaposition and the occasional disturbing flash of deep darkness.
Starring Lee "that one guy from Pushing Daisies" Pace and a brilliant newcomer, the adorable Catinca Untaru...both actors turn in captivating performances.

Although not everyone will enjoy the story (it maintains a careful balance between heady and over simplistic, after watching you may agree), I feel as though anyone watching will come away with a distinct appreciation for the beautiful cinematography.
The color, lighting, and composition of nearly every frame is a treasure that will be hung in the gallery of your mind.
A visit to The Fall is well worth the time.

The Book of Eli
½

This is one of those films where, if you get it...you'll love it. Excellent acting, effects, and quite good writing.

Probably the best Christian film to date.

A Tale of Two Sisters

This methodically paced and hauntingly beautiful tale is truly one of a kind. "A Tale of Two Sisters" is one of my favorite films and it exhibits a freshly ground blend of beautiful cinema, excellent performances, and careful writing. This is no American shock film and any person who quickly tires of its classic tempo is better off watching Twilight or Transformers 2. The tension is composed in layers, with each veil of suspense building upon the last. Everything turns around in the last act and the plot leaps forward pulling the viewer behind it, leaving them gasping for air. Watch this only with people who don't talk during films, constant conversation is a buzzkill and this movie is too precious to chance.

The Orphanage
½

One of the most beautiful and moving films I have ever seen. Not only is this film both terrifying and interesting, but it boasts strong performances from every actor involved! You NEED to watch this film.

The Incredibles
½

Staggers between mocking the super hero fad and becoming it. A great action flick with a soundtrack to die for!

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
½

Fantastic film...instant classic!

Shrek 2
Shrek 2(2004)
½

More of the same...mostly watchable fluff.

King Kong
King Kong(2005)

Peter Jackson needs to go learn how to make a decent film...ugh...bitter dissapointment!

Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey
½

Fantastic flight of fancy...tear-jerking, laugh inducing, and totally lovable!

A Charlie Brown Valentine

Cute little cartoon that taps into everones feeling of unacceptance...

Accepted
Accepted(2006)
½

Cliche teen humor filled with stereotypes and sports a "I wish I had a better plot hook" feel. Between the gross-out gags and innuendos, this film very quickly loses its intended audience.

Stranger Than Fiction

Dull and full of plot holes, this titanic of a film sinks slowly.

Robin Hood
Robin Hood(1973)

Long and often boorish yet still maintains the classic Disney charm.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan(1953)
½

Good clean family fun!

Cheaper by the Dozen
½

Pathetic and unfunny remake.

Cool Runnings

The only sports film that does not least a stale "been there done that" taste in your mouth. Very funny!

It's a Wonderful Life

Classic feel-good movie that stands up to the test of time!

Three Amigos!

Good silly fun...inspires nothing but laughter!

Dumbo
Dumbo(1941)

Adorable and saddening...:(

Happy Feet
Happy Feet(2006)

Like a penguin trying to fly, this movie really tries to be something big...

Pocahontas
Pocahontas(1995)
½

Partially nude native american girl plays floozy with surfer looking pioneer...

Fly Away Home
½

Tear jerking and, in the long run, horridly boring!

Singin' in the Rain

THIS is how to make a movie! The best dancing, lines, humor, romance, and action ever! If you have never seen this movie...you have never watched fine cinema!

Miracle on 34th Street
½

Heart warming christmas film that barely avoids becoming commercialized fluff!

Doctor Dolittle
½

Uber long and glorious...occationally wretched songs mar this brilliant movie!

The Mighty Ducks

Predictable paint-by-number plot with very few laughs in between.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Better than the fanboys claim it is...Depp turns in another perfect preformance!

High School Musical

Makes me want to gag myself with a plastic spork and then vomit all over these nicely dressed, preppy dancers!

101 Dalmatians

A remake that p@wns the classic...amazing cast!

Without a Paddle
½

High school comedy at its annoying peak...90% immature shenanigans and 10% good fun!

The Princess Diaries
½

Fell in love with the actress...but not the film!

Ice Age
Ice Age(2002)
½

Cute animals freeze their rear ends off...

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
½

An amazing example of how to destroy a good idea...battle scenes rocked...thats about it!

Hook
Hook(1991)
½

A worthy addition to the ongoing legend of Peter Pan. The cast is spot on and the film frolics along at a piratey pace! Definitly a keeper!

Brokeback Mountain

What was hollywood thinking?

Eragon
Eragon(2006)

Go read the book and ignore this rubbish...

Mulan
Mulan(1998)
½

WOW! The music alone could carry the movie...fortunatly it does not have to. The stylized animation and quirky jokes added to a decent amount of tension makes this film a Disney cartoon worthy of the title CLASSIC!

Cinderella
Cinderella(1950)
½

Gave me unrealistic expectations about love...

Home Alone
Home Alone(1990)

Jolts between amusing and painful to watch...you hate the bad guys but cannot help but feel sorry for them...they had NO idea!!!!!! :D

The Lion King
½

Long and overrated...this almost shakespearian "tragedy" fails to inspire any fond memories within me...

George of the Jungle

Ridiculously amusing and fun to watch over and over. Nothing really intelligent here...just good fun!

Aladdin
Aladdin(1992)

Robin Williams keeps this otherwise stale tale from sinking beneath the sand!

Stuart Little

Adorable and rather sad (in parts). This so called "childrens movie" nearly made me cry...GOOD SHOW HOLLYWOOD!!!!

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump(1994)
½

Long, tear-jerking, and boring as all get out. Forrest Gump itself does not annoy me, it is the immature people watching it who make fun of his every word that does!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
½

Classic tunes and Dick Van Dyke...what more could you possibly ask for?

X2: X-Men United
½

Ups the ante that the first film set up. A solid sequel...for once!

Back to the Future Part II

A dark and frightening sequel that contrasts with the peaceful suburban setting of the first one. The actors and plot is fantastic!

Cars
Cars(2006)
½

Rather funny, yet far too long and tedious for somebody who is not at all into nascar type sports...

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
½

Big...Fat...and, uh, very Greek...

The Jungle Book

The music is (as usual for Disney) amazing...the ending always bothered me as a child though!

Lilo & Stitch

Adorable anti-hero (Stitch) and plodding timetable :)...mixed feelings

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
½

Cute, slightly interesting historically, and totally outdated!

The Princess Bride
½

Adorably heroic and stunningly amusing...not to be taken seriously!

Alice in Wonderland
½

Simplified version of a lovely tale, told with the finesse of a bulldozer!

The Da Vinci Code

Boorish rubbish that really wishes it could be as cool as Indiana Jones or National Treasure.

The Emperor's New Groove
½

One of the most intelligent/sarcastic/fun Disney cartoons in a good long time!

The Little Mermaid

Bratty pre-teen runs around wearing shells and complaining about how parents know nothing...Lesson learned: swapping your family and everything you hold dear for a pair of legs is a good trade!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
½

Long and disturbed...This would-be amazing film suffers from a plodding and horribly paced touch from the infamous Peter Jackson...a dissapointment...

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
½

Scrat and Scrat alone kept this iceberg of a film from melting completely...

101 Dalmatians
½

Classic animation, scared me as a young lad...but I think I'm over it now :)

Night at the Museum
½

Despite being rather flat and unoriginal, Night at the Museum serves up the laughter in large doses! It was also great to see Dick Van Dyke again!!

X-Men
X-Men(2000)

Pleases both fans and noobs...wolverine's character actually improved in translation!

Bambi
Bambi(1942)

I still cry when his mother dies...:(

Bedazzled
Bedazzled(2000)

hated it...ugh, stupidstupidstupid

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)

Solid film with the heart and soul so many other action movies lack. Toby is perfect for his role as Peter Parker!