RobertBurtonTaylor's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

[Rec]
[Rec](2007)
½

I'm getting sick of the first person handheld shaky cam movies. I like proper cinematography with the occasional shackeyness when called for.

The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)

This is the first Bergman film I have seen and I definitely plan to see more. The film is filled with such sorrow and foreboding but also life and real humor. The characterization of death being unavoidable and unknowing was masterful. I can't wait to receive another Bergman film from Netflix.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Saw the new trailer before Speed Racer and of course the special effect look awesome since the prequels were practically animated films themselves. Although I already question the plot device of using a quest to find Jabba's son. Isn't he a gangster of sorts in a small out of the way solar system. Why are the Jedi even consorting with these criminal types. No wonder they fell...I just need to tell myself to just enjoy the visuals.

The Dark Knight

I'm wary of movies that are over hyped, no movie especially sequels can stand up to the expectations of drooling fan(atics). However the Dark Knight successfully gives the fans what they want while at the same time creating an accessible crime drama for those who might not be so keen on watching comic book movies.

The cast was top notch led by Heth Ledger's Joker whose unrelenting performance holds the audience captive from the magic pencil trick to the end of the film. Christian Bale performs well allowing his co-stars to shine.

The movie score is intense creating several minor motives and themes but leaving any hint of romance or high adventure to the way side. The music pushes you to the edge of your seat and beyond.

The special effects were seamless. There were no obvious CGI work to distract the viewer. And the tech and gadgets in the film all seemed plausible with only one exception with the tech presented at the end of the film that stretch the believability and reminded me that this was a comic book movie after all.

The last third of the film could have been cut. The ending I thought took away from the Joker's story. And I didn't quite understand the logic of the final decision that the characters made.

Anyway this was a great movie, critic proof, go watch it again and enjoy.

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)
½

After spending centuries clearing the refuse left behind by humanity the small robot WALL-E develops a warm personality. He spends his days piling up trash while at the same time keeping an eye out for interesting or useful trinkets. His repetitious malaise is disturbed when a craft descends from the smog covered sky and leaves behind a white egg shaped robot which is destined to change his fortunes for ever.

I'm not amazed that Pixar made another great movie. I'm amazed that they made a very good science fiction movie with themes that are relevant. The movie plays with many themes that were used in past sci-fi movies as 2001 and Silent Running. While I think Pixar hit a high note in artistic beauty with Ratatouille, I suppose a refuse riddled planet earth can never compare to an idealized vision of Paris (even if it is from a rat-eyes view.) All the technology seemed believable even if EVE looked like she was developed by Apple and poor WALL-E was a disant clone of a PC (hey PC get the job done even if they don't look pretty.) Anyway the movie has many touching moments as you would expect and I suppose they have given up on creating realistic human characters, after all Brad Bird is now making a live action film underneath the Pixar banner. So I'm not complaining - I don't go to see a Pixar animated movie for realistic humans - anyway great movie (but you didn't need me to tell you that).

The Strangers
½

The trailer basically shows all the most creepy scenes. What is left is a mess of characters doing incredibly stupid things that eventually lead to their demise. If someone comes at me with an axe on my property at night I'm not going to cower in a room and wait for the inevitable...but then again I do live in Texas.

I also could have used some motivation for the killers. One character even asked, "why are you doing this?" the reply "Because you were home." Not good enough. And the closing murder scene was filmed sooo matter-of-factly I heard several people in the audience snicker. When it comes right down to it these killers who obviously spent some time planing elaborate schemes to terrorize the occupants simply huddle around their prey and stab them. I felt some of my humanity slip away when I yawned during the scene. A scene by the way that was filmed so much better by David Fincher in Zodiac (Which is on a whole a genuinely creepy movie-then again Fincher is a genius).

On the bright side this was not torture porn. Hopefully that fad is dying in American horror films.

The film generated nice atmosphere, I simply didn't feel anything for the characters. The killer's masks were somewhat creepy but in the end it is all style over substance.

Kung Fu Panda
½

An ominous evil lurks over the valley as a fallen son plans his return to the home that rejected him. The only thing that can protect the people is the emergence of the long prophesied DRAGON WARRIOR. Unfortunately the aged master selects a fat, lazy, Panda who "accidentally" falls before him. The Kung Fu warriors must vanquish there prejudice and the Panda must succeed over his self doubt in order for the prophesy to be fulfilled. Fairly standard material from the Dreamworks animation machine. The plot follows along the same lines as Shark Tale, and Shrek. But the art design and color scheme was top notch. I loved being immersed in this world even if the story was pedestrian. Oh yes and Jack Black was not nearly as annoying as I thought he would be - Scadoosh!

Cloverfield
Cloverfield(2008)
½

Cloverfield is a monster movie. It opens with a party of vapid New York socialites wishing bon voyage to one of their own, who intends to go to Japan. Our heroes record the entire event on their trusty camcorder which has an ever-enduring battery, night vision, and resistance to all types of military ordnance (unfortunately they did not procure a tripod with this model). An explosion interrupts the party conveniently around the same time our hero's girl friend arrives with another equally insipid twenty-something. The explosions and shrapnel encourages the party to disperse to the streets where they are greeted with the head of the statue of liberty which has been knocked across the city like a beach ball by God-only-knows-what. Our heroes sensibly follow the screaming crowd for a time attempting to escape the mysterious 9/11 like conflagration. They change their minds of course and are slowly widdled down in good old monster movie fashion. Oh yes there is a monster(s)?

In final analysis this movie left me quite shaken...

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
½

Paris stinks. The worst section was the fish monger market and it was there where a infant was born with the most acute almost superhuman sense of smell. He rose slowly through the dregs of the Parisian streets to become an apprentice to a famous yet out-of-fashion perfumer. All along the way leaving a curse with any ill fated person he came in contact with. He learned the ancient art of perfuming but was dissatisfied with merely capturing the scents of roses and wished to capture the glow and charms of a budding young damsel. Now that is where you get in trouble!

I liked the Dustin Hoffman scenes especially when he explains the Egyptian perfumer legend and shows how 17th century perfumes where made. Alan Rickman's performance was also good. But I can only stand so many close ups of flaring nostrils. I think this movie would have been great if it was made in the 30's or 40's in stark black and white staring Peter Lorre and with none of the modern excesses that this film suffers from such as orgies yes that's right full tilt Matrix style orgies.

If you are fan of zombies you might like the final scene which has a zombierific undertones which I thought was Grrrreeeeat!

Rambo (Rambo IV)

Sylvester Stallone is experiencing a nostalgic renaissance. Trudging through his back catalog of characters we find John Rambo living the life of a river boat captain just outside of war torn Burma. He spends his days catching King Cobras and his nights haunted by the past. His static malaise is broken by a group of missionaries led by an idealistic woman. The group wishes to go into Burma but the country is kind of a war zone. Rambo is not too keen on the idea but he just can't say no to this pretty little lady. Unfortunately and predictably the missionaries get into trouble with a Burmese warlord. Now the only thing between Rambo and the missionaries is a Burmese warlord (man it must suck to be a Burmese warlord.)

I liked the movie. It was very violent but most of it seemed computer generated and therefore blunted the visceral impact. I recognized the blood splatter to be similar to what was seen in 300 and Sin City.

The movie is simple and does not demand much of the ole intellect and just like Rocky Balboa we leave the character in a better place.

Its the feel good hit of the winter...

The Eye
The Eye(2008)
½

The Eye is a safe and unassuming horror movie with few thrills or original ideas (it is after all a remake of an Asian horror movie). I would say that the only reason to see it is to ogel Jessica Alba, but I won't sink to that level of depravity. Although there is a rather tastefully gratuitous shower scene (hey! I already said that the movie plays it safe even with the sex). Our star Alba plays a successful classical musician who has been blind since the age of 5. She once had a retinal procedure but it did not take. Now as a result of stem-cell research a successful transplant operation has been performed (the stem-cell plot point is not pursued I guess it was too politico). It turns out that our star did not particularly want the operation but her sister feeling guilty persuaded her to have it (this angle is also not pursued leaving Parker Posey little to do). After a short period of blurry shaky cam shots our star's vision returns with the added ability to see spirits. The rest of the film follows similar plot lines of other Asian horror imports (think Dark Water/the Ring).

I did not care for the Reaper/Spirits. They are computer generated garbage. Not scary/not believable. In final analysis this movie scared the crap out of me.

Son of Rambow

Son of Rambow has a warm heart filled with imagination and wonder. Two boys set out to make a film based upon their common love for war movies i.e. First Blood. However tension arises when the boys film garners the interest of a popular upperclassman. Along with threats to their friendship from peer pressure and family the boys struggle to complete their vision.

This movie has all the charm and warmth of Be Kind Rewind along with character depth that that movie sorely needed.

Village of the Damned

If you are paranoid about exceptionally smart children with poorly fitting white wigs and eerily glowing eyes, then this is the movie for you. If you like 1950's style sci-fi/horror that hints of Red Scare paranoia then this one is also for you. For the rest of us the Village of the Damned is beautifully shot in glorious black and white with a wonderful cast and a slow brooding plot. I highly recommend this one.

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)

The Seven Samurai is a daunting movie to write about. It deserves its classic status and anyone who watches it will be rewarded through repeated viewings. I myself thought the movie was OK after my first viewing but had my eyes opened when I watched the film with the Criterion Collection commentary track.

The film is deceptively simple a farming village decide to hire samurai to protect them from raiding bandits. The seven samurai spend the last half of the movie fighting the bandits. It seems simple but Kurosawa demonstrates his cinematic prowess on every scene. He controls every aspect of his film - nothing falls outside his grasp. Not the sun, not the winds, not the rain. The director uses everything at his disposal to serve the themes of the film.

Unlike many films of this type that shows battle as exercise of complex choreography; the fighting in the Seven Samurai is brutal not ballet. It is realistic and all the more human and real.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer(2008)
½

Frenetically paced film that is both a faithful adaptation of the source material and a satisfying use of modern computer generated 3D film making. The race scenes were interesting but lose their appeal as the movie progresses. I liked it but wonder why they felt the need to make this "live action".

Soylent Green

I was really impressed by this movie. Charleton Heston is, well Chuck Heston. Edward G. Robinson gives a warm yet world weary performance and the twist end that we all probably know by now is just perfect. All this being said the environmental plot device seems to be just as relevant today as it was for the anxiety prone people of the 70's.

Hulk
Hulk(2003)

While not perfect this is a classy super hero movie made by a great film maker. The middle portion of the film captures the spirit of the Hulks early adventures. Unfortunately the film falls apart at the end. It does not deserve its reputation as being a bad film...

Bad Taste
Bad Taste(1989)
½

Gore, violence, and silly humor all abound in this sci-fi horror flick. You also get to see Peter Jackson run around like a homicidal dog with a machete. All that and a blown up sheep. That being said Peter Jackson does show some awkward directorial style that would be developed in later films.

Strait-Jacket

A trippy attempt by William Castle to make a classy psychological thriller on par with Hitchcock. On paper everything is there. Robert Bloch (writer of Psycho) Joan Crawford (the star), the showmanship of Castle himself. Thankfully this is not a Hitchcock film it is so much more. A delightfully fun B-movie hag film.