Reaver's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Grindhouse
Grindhouse(2007)
½

I went into Grindhouse expecting to tolerate RR's half of Grindhouse and adore QT's, but when I left I felt almost the opposite. QT's film, Death Proof, was good and fun and all that, but RR's Planet Terror was by far my favorite film of the double feature. It was cheesy, had plenty of one-liners, and there was blood aplenty. Just a great time in the theater, and I can't wait to see them again.

Garden State
Garden State(2004)

[img]http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00005JNC2.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/img]

A film I had every intention of seeing in theaters but somehow missed, and then a DVD I had every intention of buying when it came out for purchase, it is only just now that I've finally caught up with it through the beauty of Netflix. And, I have to say that I'm sorry it took me so long. Garden State is a small film with a big heart, and though it is Braff's first film to star, write, and direct (I can't believe he did all that himself), it comes off as a very polished film. One of the best First Films I've seen a very long while.

For those who don't know, the story revolves around Braff's character, Andrew, and his trip back home to attend his mother's funeral after being away for nine years. As though that situation weren't stressful enough, he's also decided that now is the time to stop taking his anti-depression medication. He feels (pardon the pun) that he has become numb to the world and to his life, and in an attempt to feel again he has left California for his home state of New Jersey without his meds, and we follow him as he tries to reconnect with his family, his friends, and with his own heart and life.

Anyway, it is a funny movie with a touching sensibility, and I hope Zach Braff has more of this in him. This will be added to my collection soon. It deserves a purchase and many future viewings.

Oh, and before I leave, I must give a big thumbs-up to the soundtrack. A very mellow mix of songs, every track works, and I downloaded it from iTunes as soon as I was done watching the film. Nice work.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Well, I just got back from the midnight premier in my area, and all that I can say is [i]OH MY GOD!![/i] That was awesome! From beginning to end I was rocked and rolled and tossed and battered and in the end I was left sweating and shaken. Just... amazing. It was so dark and so brutal, much more than I thought it would be. The ties to the original trilogy were all there, and they all made sense. I loved all that was said and shown, and I enjoyed all the things hinted at but not said outright. Every aspect of the sound and visual effects were just tops, with my only niggle being Grevious' voice. I wish it had been stronger. But that is minor in the face of everything else. All of the performances were much stronger, and a good sight more natural, and that is a blessing. The saber duels were also amazingly done, and really leave every other one the series has had in the dust. All of them are in top form here, and it showed. I... hell, I barely know what more to say. Easily the best of the prequels, and I think it might even be my favorite of the entire franchise. It is unrelenting, it is uncompromising, and it delivers the goods like nothing I've seen in a very long time.

I rate it a solid and unflinching [b]10/10[/b]. I am a Star Wars fan, and this was everything I could have hoped for and more. Lucas, thank you.

Closer
Closer(2004)

[size=3][color=black]Finally, a movie about love where love isn't the saviour, where love doesn't conquer all, where love isn't the end-all and be-all of existance. "Closer" is a film about the darker side of love and relationships, about how love can hurt and cut, about how people can turn it into pain. Now, that isn't to say that "Closer" is a downer or a through and through drama. It isn't. There are laughs to be had, and there are moments where you can see and sense the genuine affection that these characters have for each other. But in the end the relationships they find themselves in are not what they ever expected, not what they wanted, and because of that this film brings a more realistic portrait of what real life love is than any movie I can remember. We all have this romantic notion of what love is supposed to be, built up by too many Valentine's Day cards and Meg Ryan movies, but here love is something that can and make you bleed and cry, that can reveal who you really are. The film is about truth, both in the emotions we feel and how we express them. For all of them love brings them up, and truth sets them free, but whether or not that is all a good thing is lleft up to you.

8/10[/color][/size]

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
½

I remember back a long time ago, I was sitting in my bedroom, and I was crying. Crying my eyes out. A girl I'd been dating, Jean, had broken up with me, and as youngsters are want to do I took it as my entire world collapsing. When you're a kid, every event in your life is monumental since you have very little else to compare it to, and so when I had my little heart broken I thought it would end me. My mother heard me, with her Super Mom Ears, and she came in to see what was wrong. I told her about it, my words stumbling out inbetween sobs and hiccups, and at the end of it I said, "I wish I'd never met her!"

Now, moms are pretty smart people on the whole. The older you get, the smarter your parents seem to become. She understood how I felt, and she knew what my intentions were with that statement, but she also knew that for me to move on and grow and mature I needed to see beyond that. So she said to me, and I'll never forget this, "Justin, sometimes our greatest joys can come from some of our most bitter pain." I remember that I shrugged at her remark, but she wouldn't let it go. She said, "The last girl you dated, Shelley, you loved her too, right?" I said that yes, of course I did. "And when she broke with you, it hurt, right?" Duh, mom. "But when you left Shelley's house that last time, you met Jean on the walk home. And you were happy after that, right?" Yeah, up until now! "What I'm saying, Justin, is that from one painful and unhappy moment a good one came, and so while it's natural to wish away those things that have hurt us, you might also be wishing away those things that can heal us and make our lives better."

That's been a lesson I've always taken with me. Whenever I look back on my life and I remember those things that hurt me, those things that perhaps made me cry or feel defeated, I keep in mind that those are just a part of who I am, and some good came from them, even if I couldn't see it then. We are the sum total of our experiences, good, bad, and ugly. As much as we cherish those things that make our memories pretty, we should also appreciate the scars, the wounds, the nicks and scrapes.

And that is what [b]Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind[/b] is all about. If we try to destroy those memories that pain us, if we try to rid ourselves of regrets and bad choices and all those moments both big and little that we don't like to think about, then we end up losing who we really are. None of us are perfect, and no life is without pain. We either accept that, we embrace it, or undo eveything that we are.

An amazing film, and one I know I'll watch again and again.

9/10

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

I'd give it a 6/10. Not as bad as I'd feared, and certainly not as bad as it could have been, but I felt like it was... unfinished. Unpolished might be a better word for it. It had all the elements that I wanted (some pretty good scares, some nice violence, etc), but the editing of those, the transitions, wasn't as professional as they could have been. I fell that had it had a bit more time to get some tightening up done to it, it could have been much better. Still, I jumped more than once, and laughed more than I thought I would ("GTA, motherfucker! 10 points!") I enjoyed it, as did the wife, which really surprised me. Normally she hates these sorts of films.

AVP - Alien Vs. Predator
½

Well, having seen AVP today, I thought I'd give my thoughts on it. Overall, it wasn't as bas as it could have been, but wasn't as good as it should have been. When it worked, it [b]worked[/b], but sadly those moments were sprinkled amidst long moments of boring dialogue. I'll break it down to bullet points for the sake of clarity.

The good:
* The story was actually okay. I like the [i]concept[/i] of ancient Predator influence on long ago civilizations. The execution of that story wasn't all that great, but the idea of it works. I've always been a sucker for the whole "Chariots in the sky" type of thing.

* The special effects rocked. I could barely tell the CGI bits, and most of it looked to be good ol' men in suits. The Aliens and the Predators looked fantastic.

* No nu-metal. If there was any, I can't remember it.

* The alien on alien combat was as good as I'd hoped it would be. I wish the cuts had been longer and we could have seen a bit more brutality in the fights, but what we did get was still great. I really got a sense, when an Alien and a Predator would square off, that these were two titans ready to throw down. The LFE gave a great sense of weight when bodies would drop and blows would land. I have to say again, the aliens all looked great. I especially liked the look of the hero Predator (meaning, the main one, the one that got the most screen time). He looked like a serious badass motherfucker. Watching him hand out a beatdown was thrilling.

The bad:
* Sadly, there just wasn't enough of that. It takes [i]forever[/i] for the combat to begin, and when it does it's too sporadic. The last bit of the movie is pretty relentless, but there should have been much much more Predator and Alien fighting. Most, if not all, of the backstory and such could have been done more quickly. Or, if they had to keep all that in, then at least tack on another twenty minutes or so of more fighting. We came to see Aliens versus Predators goddammit.

* The humans. Ugh. Boring. Only one of them was worth their screen time, and it wasn't Lance Henriksen. He was okay, but his seemed like more of an extended cameo role than anything else. Either he should have been more a part of the action, or he should have just waved goodbye to the explorers he'd hired and let that be that. He wasn't bad, mind you. He just didn't add much value to the picture, and I expect more from him. The rest were pretty boring too, and you could practically [i]see[/i] the red shirts on them (Star Trek fans will know what I'm talking about). But the lead actress was pretty good, so at least we humans had [i]one[/i] decent rep.

Really, that's about it so far as negatives go. Had I written the movie, of course some things would change and would have been done differently, but the story was adequate enough to explain the reason for why the Aliens and Predators are on Earth and why they're fighting. I just wish there had been more of that fighting. When it was happening, I was grinning from ear to ear and having a blast. When it wasn't, and that was most of the time, I was just waiting for it to happen again. Next time, MORE FIGHTING, dammit!

I guess in the end I'd have to give AVP a 7 out of 10. Had the film been in the hands of a more competent or serious action director, someone more familiar with the material such as McTiernan or Cameron, then I think this movie could have blown my ass away. Hell, just thinking about a James Cameron version is giving me wood. But P.W.S. Anderson does okay with it. Let's just hope that next time, should there be a next time, they'll give us more of what we want: nonstop rampant and brutal xenocide.

Collateral
Collateral(2004)

Went and say this today, and I have to say, it was fantastic. Cruise was incredible as killer for hire Vincent, but in my opinion Jamie Foxx steals the show as unsuspecting cabbie Max. Both of these men play magnificently off of each other. The story went in directions I never anticipated, and the ending came in a delicious rush, but what I loved most was the languid pace of the beginning. With the opening shots of Foxx getting his cab prepped, and then going through his early evening fares, you'd never guess at the danger and violence that's in his near future. And that's the beauty of Micheal Mann's direction. He never lets up, but he also tries to give you something you didn't expect. The cast is great, the music is varied, and the look of it is so gritty and sharp. I knew I'd like this film, but I didn't think I'd like it this much. See it as soon as you can.

My rating:

8.5/10

The Chronicles of Riddick

Wow, Universal has sent me another early birthday present.

To keep this short and sweet, Riddick kicks massive amounts of ass in all sorts of ways. I loved the sets, the costumes, the special effects. The music was okay, but never bowled me over or made me become of aware of it. Diesel as Riddick was, of course, incredible. Everyone else did okay with their roles, but you come to see Diesel, and he doesn't disappoint. Not at all. He's quiet, lethal, and just cool as hell. He should join Skywalker and Neo in the pantheon of great science fiction characters.

Anyway, not a perfect film by any means, it does further establish a great universe that will hopefully be expanded upon. Full of drama and mystery, these are chronicles that really need to continue. Great fun.

Troy
Troy(2004)

My review can be summed up in one word: Meh. Movies of this type have been done before, and been done much better. I'm sorry, but after the battle of Pelennor Fields in Return Of The King, a movie that wants to astonish me with the size of its armies really needs to work harder than they did in Troy. The solo fights of Achilles' are quite good, but those probably take up a grand total of ten minutes. That leaves another three hours or so that left me feeling rather... uninterested. My score of 6 for this film is incredibly generous. If not for the beauty of the locales, and for the good work of Pitt and Bana (the later of which owned the screen while he was in it), this film would have scored much lower.

My advice would be to save your money and go buy Braveheart and Return Of The King instead. They would both be wiser ways to spend you time and your earnings.

Van Helsing
Van Helsing(2004)

That was fantastic! Wow, what a great way to start off the summer movie season. It was bombastic, silly, over the top, completely unbelievable, and a total assault on the senses, but it was also thrilling, engrossing, and pure fun from start to finish. Everything that I thought I'd hate or grow quickly tired of, like the fake accents and overuse of CGI, ended up adding to my enjoyment. It was a great campy rollercoaster ride of a film, and I can't wait to go back and see it again as soon as possible. Jackman and Beckinsale completely own the screen. Hell, I even loved Dracula's brides.

This is one of those movies that is going to split people right into lovers or haters of the film, leaving very little middle ground. And, I can see why some might hate it with a passion. But not me, not with this movie. It was balls-out all the way through, reveling in its own quirky style and not giving a damn what other people thought. You can see Sommers' love all over that thing.

I give it a strong 8 out of 10.

Hellboy
Hellboy(2004)

[font=Arial Black][color=darkred]Alright, I am a HUGE fan of Blade 2. In my opinion it is so far superior to the first film that it isn't even funny. And, after watching all the suppliments for the movie, a large reason for that is del Toro. The guy has a big love for comic books, and he has a great sense of style. So, when I heard that he was going to do Hellboy, my interest was way piqued. I had never read a Hellboy comic, but I knew of it, and figured this was the guy to do it.

And, after seeing it today, I can safely say that he didn't let me down. Hellboy is a great comic book movie, and one that feels like one. del Toro's use of color is wonderful. Each scene and set is bathed in a particular light, and everything else plays off that. He loves to use reds, blues, and yellows, and all of them to great effect. Makes each frame seem more drawn and animated. Ron Perlman is fucking perfect as the titular character, his dry delivery and stoic air giving Hellboy a real sense of strength mixed with loneliness. The rest of the cast is good too, but Perlman is the real star here, and he carries the movie easily. The action scenes are nice, and one thing I really like is that not all of them are built up to feel like the climaxe. A lot of action movies try to make each action scene as though it were the end of the world and so you have to get everything thrown at you along with the kitchen sink, but not here. All of them have just the right amount of violence and weight without going overboard. So, at the end, when the bigger fights come in, you don't feel let down. All in all, a great effort from everyone involved. Rarely do the special effects get in the way, and so all of the actors shine through.

I still feel that Blade 2 is the better film, only because I love Snipes' fighting so much, but that might change with repeated viewings of Hellboy, especially with the extended edtition DVD del Toro has said he's going to get to put together.

My rating: 8 / 10[/color][/font]

The Matrix Revolutions
½

[color=darkgreen]Amazing. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. When I first heard that the brothers were doing sequels to The Matrix I was worried. That worry lessened when I watched Reloaded and was blown away by it. Now, with Revolutions under my belt, I'm about ready to declare my love to them. My god, that had to be the most stunning thing I've seen in years. The dock battle was epic in ways I've not watched since Braveheart, Trinity's death had my in tears, and the Super Brawl was like the most insane anime brought to dark and stormy life. Smith has to be one of the greatest villains yet put on screen, and Neo a wonderful hero. [/color]

[color=darkgreen]Anyway, I can't wait to see it again to hopefully have some gaps filled in. Reloaded and Revelations are so damn PACKED! You can't get it in all in one showing. Or even in two. [/color]

[color=darkgreen]Oh, and usually I'd refrain from rating the film individually, but for these posts we kinda have to, so I'll give it the same that I gave to Reloaded. For me, they are one whole film, just as all good trilogies are. I don't rate the Star Wars fills, nor the LotR films. They make one large whole, and so I'll just say I give the Matrix trilogy a massive 9/10.[/color]

Kill Bill: Volume 1

I thought it was pretty good, but not nearly as well done as I had been lead to believe. A lot of people I know said the action in it was better than Reloaded, but I have to disagree. The dialog was vintage Tarentino, as was the editing and pacing, which is certainly a good thing, but I thought the fight in the House Of Blue Leaves was cut to quickly and had way too many edits for it to be as good as fights I've seen elsewhere. Still, Uma was really enjoyable, the anime section was great, and the music was fantastic. But since so much seems to be made of the action in both ads and in comments from others, I have to deduct some points. Here's hoping Vol. 2 will be even better.

The Matrix Reloaded
½

[SIZE=4][COLOR=DarkGreen]Dear god, I LOVE this film. All the bashers can just kiss my keister for all I care. They moan and complain when action films have no story or plot or brains, and when one does try to be more than that, they bash it too. Well, F 'em. I thought the story, the characters, and the plot were just first rate. I can't say enough good things about it, and the Brothers W deserve massive kudos for their work. My anticipation for Revolutions is just through the roof![/color][/SIZE]