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Rating History

Saw II
Saw II (2005)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Whilst creating more gore and upping the acting, Saw II loses the way by revealing too much about Jigsaw and giving us too many people we don't care who lives or dies being tortured.

We start off incredibly well, with a man forced to cut out his eye to retreive a key in 60 seconds. He fails, to Jigsaw's delight, which then attracts officers to the scene. From here, Detective Matthews discovers where Jigsaw's hideout lays through what appears to be a "clumsy" mistake.

Unfortunately, this leads to Jigsaw's lair, where he reveals a selection of monitors showing 8 people locked in a house with a nerve gas running through them. In the house is the Detectives son.

We are greeted with the return of Shawnee Smith's character Amanda, who is forced to play again, played excellently and shines in the film. Tobin Bell is great but its the fact that we learn so much about him in this film which makes it worse. Knowing more makes you care less for future installments, because you think you already know everything about him.

The traps in the movie are superb with the needle pit succeeding all overs, although the nailed-baseball bat is brilliantly inventive, with some disturbing sound effects. Each trap is designed for each person in the house, along with clues to discover why these select 8people are in the house together. The acting as a whole is improved over the 1st installment, but the characters are so nasty and vile that it is almost relief after they are killed. The finale is great and reaches a great payoff but the twist is almost implausable and requires long, confused thoughts after leaving the cinema. I mean, it makes sense if you put your mind to it, but dumbing down the franchise because of a change of new director makes the target audience different, mostly teen, which could be to blame for its change in tone.

The weakest in the Saw franchise, Saw II creates just enough thrills and gruesome deaths to stop it spiralling off course. Its not the film it was hyped up to be before release in 2005, mostly from its change of tone so it acts more like a teen movie rather than a smart, adult thriller. Nevertheless, it could have been so much worse, especially since it was a rushed production, and will certainly please well over half of the first installment's original fans.

Saw (2004)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Saw is perhaps one of the most original and horrific movies to hit the screen, which could be to blame for the torture-porn wave of movies, but has created a brilliantly inventive horror franchise with genuinely scary moments.

We start off with 2 people locked together in a room. One is Dr. Lawrence Gordon and the other is a man named Adam wake up to find that one has to kill the other by a certain amount of time, with a corpse in the middle between them.

Okay, the acting from our main 2 characters isn't great, but for a film on a $1m budget, they do a pretty good job. We see flashbacks of the 2 and who may be behind the case, a horrific serial "killer" called Jigsaw, who cuts jigsaw pieces out of the flesh of his victims after he puts them through implausable life-or-death situations, where they have little or no chance of escaping. The torture scenes are terrifying, with actual little blood shown, it is the sound and reactions of the victims that really gets to the audience, with the razor-wire victim standing out the most. Plus, that creepy puppet will reduce victims to nothing. Just look at Amanda's case, when she survives the test and receives consent from her tormentor to continue her life. Although Jigsaw puts his victims through this, she shows that he actually helped her, maybe twisting how moral his decisions actually are, which is even more terrifying.

We then see that a man has Dr. Gordons family, called Zepp. If Gordon doesn't kill Adam, then Zepp will kill his family. This leaves a tense and terrifying confronatation between the 2, which then unravels to one of the best endings in history.

Its flaws mainly lie in the acting. If we had 1st class actors instead of B-movie actors, this would have been a 10/10 experience. But you have to go with it. Considering the mess this could have been, Saw is fantastic, and is superior to each of its sequels, although with a 5th and 6th due out, and a videgame announced next year mixing with the timing of the 6th movie, we may find this film beaten by its sequels.

Overall, Saw is an immense film, leaving America with one of its finest horrors for years and defines itself as a cult classic. Its a shame that every other gory horror film took a trick out of this book.

Gone Baby Gone
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Once again, another great film I have viewed recently, Gone Baby Gone is a stunning film that raises serious questions about child abduction and solidifies Ben Affleck as one of the most talented men of his generation.

We start off with hearing that a girl called Amanda has been abducted and her drug-addict mother, expertly performed, seems a little unsure of her emotions. 2 private detectives are hired to see what they can do and uncover enough secrets to wonder what is going on with the investigation.

The film is clver in its messages and Casey Afflck is highly believable in his role, with excellent supporting roles, including Michelle Monaghan, who should be recognised more because she has been fantastic in some movies. I can't say too much as i will ruin the movie which unfortuantely leads me to write a short review for such a brilliant movie.

There is another side plot, where another child goes missing, which leads to a horrific and distrbing hunt. This ultimately leads to some horrific imagery that wll make even Saw fans wince and is powerful in its emotional impact.

The directing is done brilliantly, using wide aspects of the case to let the audience explore different angles and raises question in itself as to why this wasn't a lead in Oscar Nominations.

You can't really pick flaws in a film this good. You could argue that the controversial ending was cut a bit short but it worked.

Overall, Gone Baby Gone is a mesmerising experience that will linger long after the credits finish and raises serious questions as to what people are capable of and what extremes people will go to protect others. In short, fantastic.

Iron Man
Iron Man (2008)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ultimately one of the best superheoro pics EVER, Downey Jr and Favreau deliver a double combo to make a stunning movie that is rock 'n' roll fun till the end.

We start off with a bit of rock and roll to kick the movie into gear. Just at the opening you know this is gonna be good. Explosions, guns and death fuel the first half hour where we see Downey Jr play off his acting skills and we get a glance at his hilarious yet brilliant playboy lifestyle.

When taken prisoner, he is forced to build a Jericho missile, which the potential terrorists want to use. As the film goes on, we find out what they are really after, which I won't say in order to stay spoiler free. Instead of the missile, Mr. Tony Stark builds us the first model of the Iron Man suit with the help of his fellow prisoner. Whilst not perfect, he could build it quick enough and escapes.

Back home, he stops making weapons with his company which makes his partner mad but his assistant, the gorgeous Pepper Pots, slightly happy and 'proving Tony Stark has a heart'.

He then builds the next model of the suit and finds it doesn't work exactly how he wishes it to, following some humourous mishaps and trip-ups he makes.

Its not until the final suit that we see some stunning CGI glory. The suit is a gorgeous combination of Red and Gold, and shimmers in tense action scenes where it rivals even Transformers in technical spectacle.

By the end, we are raging for another story, especially after Stark's revelation at the end to the press.

As a whole, the film is a fantastic creation. Director Jon Favreau does the source material prud and being a fan of the comic-book myself, he has brought it spectacularly to life. CGI scenes are perfect and their is just the right amount of talk and action, to keep people from boredom from the talky scenes and people wondering whats going on in the action scenes. The cast is superb, with Robert Downey Jr outstanding in his role, playing the part to perfection. I wouldn't be surprised if this acted like the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie earned Downey Jr with a few award nods like Johnny Depp in 2003.

Overall, Iron Man isn't great, itrs amazing. Its definetly up there with the top superhero movies and movies of 2008 and will send fans into overdrive in what will be possibly one of the biggest sequels of all time. Bring it on!

Jumper (2008)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Jumper was a unique experience, that boasted plenty of potential but ultimately feels let down.

We start our story with a strong start, good at grabbing your attention. We see David Webb, a 15 year old boy who falls into a frozen lake and somehow manages to teleport into a library. After arriving home, it happens again, and to escape his abusive father he goes where he wants.

So far so good. Unfortunately, its really when Hayden Christensen enters the scene the movie starts to feel a bit flat. Don't get me wrong because this outdoes all of his acting in Star Wars in the first 20 minutes, but I just didn't feel that it worked as much as the beginning and it shifted tone too heavily.

Nevertheless, Jamie Bell is around to save the day and Sam Jackson as a psychotic religious nut to add some spice. But a wasted Diane Lane as his mother isn't good for the film.

There are some decent teleportation scenes also which add the film some energy, and put you into the teenage vision of the director Doug Liman.

Overall, Jumper isn't a bad movie, it just doesn't seem to keep its mind on one thing. It feels like the first X-Men movie, a set up for something greater and we NEED a sequel. Just don't rush it into production this time.