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Rating History

The Descent
The Descent (2006)
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=2]The wife and I sat down to watch Neal Marshall?s intense horror film The Descent. This is the only film I have seen from this director but I can tell since it was his second film he has all the potential in the world. Let?s look at The Descent. A wonderfully acted, beautifully shot film that is scary as hell and intense as all get out. First the tech stuff. From a technical standpoint it?s a masterpiece. Marshall and his D.P. Sam McCurdy use several things at there deposal to make this as atmospheric a horror film as possible.

Take for example when the women enter the cave and get into all sorts of trouble. Marshall and McCurdy use several things to light what would be pitch black as is explained in the movie. From the flashlights to the flares they are for a very practical purpose which is to light the cave but it make the cave to me anyways look absolutely beautiful. Also it gives our good friends the crawlers a more interesting look. Having watched the special features on the DVD before I can attest that there not very scary looking yet in a dark cave lit by nothing except flashlights and flares they are scary as hell.

Production Designer Simon Bowles should also be given credit for creating such a convincing environment as to which these women are trapped and the creatures can live. As for the creatures themselves they don?t appear halfway through the movie but when they do you will jump out of your seat like Mrs. Deadite and I did. Marshall himself should be given all the credit in the world for creating a wonderfully atmospheric and tense horror film. He gets lumped in with the likes of Eli Roth but in reality he is so much better then that hack.

Here he creates convincing characters that are very real. The woman in this movie are real characters and not helpless victims or clichéd action heroines. This is not Kill Bill which is fine for what it does but this is a different beast. The women he created are as real as any characters put to screen in this type of film I think. It to me makes it scarier to see real people in a situation like this because they all react differently and according to there personalities. They stayed consistent through out and a lot of that credit goes to the actresses themselves. My two favorite and I think the best performances in the film come from Natalie Mendoza as Juno and Shauna Macdonald as Sarah.

Not only is this a terrific creature flick and atmospheric horror its also a wonderful psychotically horror as well. A lot of this comes from the character of Sarah after losing her husband and child at the beginning of the film. At first some scenes seem out of place yet the reality is Marshall ties everything together. I was reminded of Ridley Scott and early John Carpenter watching this film. So I highly give The Descent a 9/10.


P.S. My wife is a horror nut and this movie scarred the living crap out of her so you know its effective.


An Inconvenient Truth
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=deepskyblue]I just saw the most important film that I?m ever likely to see. That film is An Inconvenient Truth. Yes it?s the Al Gore documentary on Global Warming. However the sad fact is that I personally believed everything that man had to say. George W. Bush himself could have delivered this presentation and I still would believe it. I simply can?t believe there are morons in this world who either want to deny Global Warming or believe it?s some kind of cycle of nature. [/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=deepskyblue]No my friends its here and it?s very real. Gore is not some prophet who is ten years in the future predicting what might happen he is saying what will happen. We are seeing its effects in India, the South Pacific and oh yea New Orleans. The sad fact is we can stop this thing and we are doing very little to change it. Take this fact from the movie. A scientific study was done on the media to about 10 % of all mainstream media articles and 53% debunked global warming and called it a theory. This same study was taken of 10% of scientific publications that was written by reputable scientists that had studied Global warming and this was 928 articles they studied. You want to know what the percentage was of people that disagreed with the so called theory. 0%. Now who are you going to trust? [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=deepskyblue]I don?t care if you if you?re a Conservative or Liberal or Republican or Democrat this crisis faces us all. I?m afraid some people are too stupid or thickheaded to believe in it but I know regular average people that are worried about it. Al Gore to me was just the messenger about I guess something I already knew. Consider the fact that according to the film and other studies I have seen which admittedly aren?t a lot the glaciers of the world are melting and even the Polar icecaps like Antarctica are in fact melting. If the western part of the ice of Greenland or Antarctica are melting that causes a 20% rise in sea levels.[/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=deepskyblue]So where does that excess water go. Gore was even good enough to explain the science in laymen?s terms about how this process occurs. Oh where does that excess water go? Right up the ass of the shoreline around the world. Consider the fact that a good chunk of China, Europe, and our coastal cities will be underwater. Kiss Florida, lower Manhattan and San Francisco all bye. This as I have had time to clam down this is mostly a reaction to the film. That?s because if you pay attention if you are willing to allow what I and a lot people smarter then Gore and I believe then you will simply feel the same sense of urgency you do now.[/color][/size][/font]

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=deepskyblue]Like Gore says this is not a political issue this is a moral issue. This should be debated as fervently as abortion or gay rights. However those are opinion issues you can believe Abortion and Gay Rights are wrong or right but Global Warming is happening. Look at what it has already done. Look at what it is going to do. I hope humankind has the good common sense to do something about it. [/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=deepskyblue]Later. [/color][/size][/font]

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Sense and Sensibility
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]Ang Lee directed Emma Thompson?s wonderful screenplay of the Jane Austin novel Sense and Sensibility. Never read the novel never has any intention to because it could in no way be as wonderful as this film. It gets a 10/10 from me. Let me blabber on and explain why. First of all one thing I don?t do in reviews is describe the plot because I?m too lazy and it?s better to walk into a film with as little knowledge as possible. However there are probably spoilers. [/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]First of all I was watching it and I decided that Emma Thompson is a gifted artist. Great screenplay adaptation of this book. She writes a knack for character and even gives what lesser writers would not do which is secondary characters humanity. Take the gossipy daughter and her cynical husband when Winslet becomes sick they immediately because of there compassion become more human. This is all of course pointed out to me in the director?s and screenwriter?s commentary. However I noticed some of it myself that they did not make a 180 but became more human. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Perfomances. Not a flawed one to be found but these are British actors and lets face those people can act. Lee assembled the best of the best I think for this film. Hugh Grant, Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Winslet all are magnificent as I guess what one would call the main characters. However I liked the character of Mrs. Jennings always gossiping however lovingly so. She was a good person I felt. However I would like to single out Thompson again. At this point she could probably do this kind of role in her sleep a period piece. What I found most remarkable about listening to her commentary on the DVD is how funny she is. Which is interesting because the character of Elinor is so serious all the time. She could have played either sister I feel. [/color][/size][/font]

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]Once again Ang Lee rises to the occasion. Directing with heart and passion using his usual shots of landscapes just like in Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee has a gift with actors because as I have said before he is the kind of director that says little but gets what he wants. Also from a production and design perspective this is a great looking film. This was at a time when so many period pieces where coming out just like the comic book movie film trend of today. However what Lee, Thompson and D.P. Michael Coulter did was to make this movie feel fresh. Lee injects a sense of humor into it and the lighting and directing style bring it and makes it feel new and original. This is not some stuffy Merchant Ivory production. This proves that Austin is as fresh today in cinema as she was in literature 200 years ago. Interesting to note that the book was published in 1811 I believe. [/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]My favorite scenes were not only the landscape ones but the candlelit scenes as well. Very beautifully shot. Lee even made especially Kate Winslet there skin tones come alive. Of course with actresses this beautiful that?s not hard to do. Lee and Thompson made a wise decision to actually listen to the studio and focus a lot on the sisters. Let?s face it they are the Sense and Sensibility of the picture. Elinor in her rigid ways but still all too human represents sense and Marianne represent sensibility. She does not give a shit about being proper she goes as her heart takes her. What was great is that these sisters were real sisters and they loved each other. [/color][/size][/font]

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white] Also interesting to note that there very personality and what they wanted almost caused them there true loves all though as to why I won?t reveal here. Well that?s it Lee created another masterpiece and I hope you enjoy Sense and Sensibility. [/color][/font][/size]

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A Prairie Home Companion
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[font=Arial][size=3][color=white]What a wonderful fact we have directors like Robert Altman. The man is a treasure. I seen three Altman films but I feel the best that I have seen is his most recent A Prairie Home Companion. What a wonderful film this is. Apparently it?s based on a radio variety program hosted by Garrison Keller that comes out of St. Paul. I have never heard it but he decided to right a screenplay around it and Altman had the good pleasure of directing it. This is one damn funny movie. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=3][color=white]The plot is basically there being shut down and this is there last night. So an all star cast and apparently some APHC regulars as well try to put on the best show they can. There is two death?s both off screen although we only see one dead body. A beautiful Angle shows up in the form of Virginia Madsen that precedes these deaths. The fact that it is there last show might be another reason she is there. This is an all star cast with not a bad actor in the bunch. Of courser with names like these which are all great and two numerous to list here you will not have bad acting. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=3][color=white]My favorite character had to be are narrator who likes the angle and is GK?s head of security Guy Noir as played by the always great Kevin Kline. Kline is a wonderful and very versatile comedic as well as dramatic actor. I?m convinced if they cast him as Iron Man he would pull it off. Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, and the hilarious due of Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly stand out especially there I love bad jokes song which had me in stitches. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=3][color=white]Now let?s talk about the direction. The thing I have noticed about an Altman film is that there is always something going on in the entire frame. Good directors do this. They make sure there is no empty space in the frame. Take for example Keller would be saying something like giving one of many advertisements and Madsen and Kline would be doing something in the background. Also he is a master at sound with his trademark overlapping dialog. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=3][color=white]This takes place mostly in one location throughout the whole film and that is the theater. Altman shows every part of it and every character seems to have something going on. Also every actor gets a chance to shine in what would be in another lesser director?s hands a bloated three hour piece of shit. Altman loves his actors but this is also a gorgeous film with the theater being shot like the camera was just there. Also the best shot has to be the Angel?s entrance into the movie. Great shot outside. Well I could jack off this movie forever but I won?t. It gets a 10/10 from me[/color][/size][/font]

Mission: Impossible III
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][font=Times New Roman][color=white]Hi. Yesterday I mentioned how happy I was that the dems took control of the House and now the senate. I still say that?s a good thing but the question I have is now that the democrats are in power what are you going to do with it. Are you going to squander it like the republicans under Bush did? Like invading countries that did not need invading and so forth. Or are you going to attempt to make great change. I think that the people of this country did not vote democrat because of party lines but because of the fact that they wanted some kind of change.
Now on to more important matters. Mission: Impossible III. This is a good to great action film. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I think Hollywood?s next generation of talent is coming out of TV. Joss Whedon being in example as is the director of this film J..J. Abrams. You would not know that this is his first movie. He directed like in old pro a combo of the grittiness of Michael Mann the visual style of James Cameron with the kinetic action of a John Woo with out really ripping off any of those guys. He took a good series and made the best one. Only Peter Jackson can make that claim about making the best third in a series. However this is no Return of the King. However it does not have to be. [/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Abrams uses in old spy plot in the fact that Ethan Hunt does not tell his fiancée about his spy life but he takes this film personally. Abrams and his writers from Alias make the characters more human and therefore they stand out more. Hunt does superhuman feats with the best of the Bonds but unlike Woo?s crappy sequel he is more human this time out. This is shown through the device of the fiancée. One of the biggest strengths this film has is a really nasty villain. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Owen Davian as played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a ruthless son of a bitch. He is truly evil and I was waiting for Cruise?s Hunt to kill him because I hated him that much. This is one of the few action films where I felt the characters were actually in danger. I did not know if there would be a happy ending of not. Abrams is that good. What I liked about M: I III is that it looks like a movie and not a big budget TV show like Serenity. However this had more of a budget so that?s understandable. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]The action sequences are among the most thrilling of this year. Abrams shows a real knack for them with no shaky cam or MTV editing bullshit to take us out of the scene. Another thing I liked about Mission is that Ving Rhames?s character of Luther is not reduced to just being Ethan?s sidekick. He still is but he is more human this time around and not just looking cool. Abrams proves to be a good actor?s director as well with a knack for casting. This is shown in his TV show Lost. I want to discuss my impressions of Abrams as a director. [/color][/size][/font]

[font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]I really think he has a great future in the movie business. He is already doing the next Star Trek and just because it?s him I sense that it will be as good as Khan or First Contact. I really think he knows how to combine the real and unreal in a way that works. This is the darkest Mission yet and I?m glad for it. Abrams you did a great job. [/color][/size][/font]

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