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Rating History

Cowboys & Aliens
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I was never actually really looking forward to Cowboys & Aliens. Sure the premise sounded interesting and it had a great cast, but the appeal never really got to me. Which is quite weird, since I'm both a fan of Daniel Craig and Jon Favreau (and most of the cast for the exception of Paul Dano and Noah Ringer... just don't even). After a while, the only reason I really went to see it was because I've been having a stressful week. So, at the least you could say my expectations were low, and no, it's not awful but it's not so fantastic either.

It starts off with Jake Longerton (Daniel Craig) waking up in the desert warped of his memory. After a couple minutes, three townspeople come in thinking he's escaped from prison with a bounty on his head. He then beats and kills the three men up, steals their clothes and money, and a horse. It's a great scene from the movie since it's subtle, but it doesn't make sense that if his memory is gone and he can't remember his own freaking name, why would he remember how to load a gun? Blah, not a big plot hole but its those type of things that bother me.

We then go to the town of Absolution (or thats what I think it was called, I'm too lazy to check), where Harrison Fords dipshit son is shooting his gun at random places in the small Western Town. This scene is useless and completely ridiculous, because when the first big action scene is reached, we want the son to get abducted because he's so fucking annoying.

When the first big action scene (abducting people in the town, for some odd reason) starts, 85% of the town is abducted. Don't get me wrong, I liked this scene, but why are the people of the town getting abducted? We're told the aliens are here for our gold, so why are you abducting people? It seemed like the only reason they included abducting people was too add exposition for more action scene.

Also, why the gold? (SPOILER) Apparently, gold is a currency on the aliens whole planet but if so why would that be a reason to abduct people and take the gold onto your old ship? A more cohesive storyline would be that the aliens had crash landed on Earth and needed the gold to fuel their ship.. see, look, in fifteen seconds I created a simpler and better plotted story then it took six screenwriters to write.

The acting is fairly average. I really liked Daniel Craig, and I thought he gave in a good performance for what he was given, which was 'shoot, punch, have shitty American 1800's accent'. The rest of the supporting cast goes underdeveloped and their story lines and uninteresting. I liked the actors playing them, so it wasn't a complete waste, I just found some of them were underutilized.

The movie isn't as bad as I'm saying it though, I'm just pointing out the flaws. Despite the crappy writing that leaves 95% of the characters underdeveloped, their acting is still great, and do what they can with the roles, especially Harrison Ford. The CGI on the aliens is great, which helps. Although I found the aliens resembling a little too much the alien in Super 8 ( remember they're both produced by Steven Spielberg? ;] ) I still thought that they were pretty cool. The ship and CGI inside their ship is also awesome, and awe inspiring too. The special effects artists are the movie, and they really do the best they could. The cinematography by Matthew Libutique really goes well with the Western landscape, but I didn't think it really blended well with the sic fi aspect. The story is averagely executed but they at least got some of it right.

Overall, no, this movie is not great. It's not the summers worst offender (Green Lantern, Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) but it's also not one of the best (Transformers: Dark Of the Moon, or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II). It's the definition of a popcorn movie; fun but dumb, style over substance, etc. I was happy with how my popcorn tasted and how the action scenes kept me entertained, but it's a movie I'll likely forget when I see Rise Of The Planet of the Apes next weekend.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Let me just start off this review by saying that yes, I have read the books. All three, in fact. And yes, they are fantastic books. I've seen the first and second Swedish movies, and I was psyched to go to an advanced screening of this one. Although I never think that these movies could in fact capture the detail of the three books, I must say, all three movies are worthy.

This movie is more than less a continuation of the second movie, The Girl Who Played With Fire, (spoiler), when Lisbeth get's shot by her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a Russian defector who severly beat her mother, causing permanent brain damage. I can't say this is exactly the best plot, maybe a little more elements would have been good, because I think that they were more lazy than not on the narrative in this one. And by the way, if you haven't seen the first and second, then the third films narrative will make no sense.

The whole cast from 'Fire' has returned, and as always, they are all fantastic. I don't know how the Swedish filmakers found Noomi Rapace, but all I can say is 'WOW". She really gets in depth with her character. One of the things I find ery intruiging and that definately shows her acting talents, is that even though she rarely speaks, and looks very bleak, I could really feel her emotions (sad, happy, mad..etc), because of her facial expressions.

Michael Niqvist is also reprising his role as Michael Blomkvist, and I think that he's perfect. Although the story is focusing more on Lisbeth, I could really tell that the guy tried to work and kind of, well, get INTO his characters reactions. I don't know all their names, but the rest of the supporting cast is equally as excellent as the two leads. I do have one complaint, though. Why is Berger so old? The person who played Erika Berger seemed like she was 15 years older than Blomkvist, although that may just have been my recolection of the book.

The writing is great. You can always tell what's going on, why this is going on, why she's doing that, why he's doing this. Also, I was never, ever, ever board in the 148 minute running time. While I realize that yes, some people may be, I was always interested in what a character was saying, where the direction of the film was going. I liked seeing Noomi Rapace stare somewhere that others might not want to watch. It held my attention and never let go. The film is also very intense; I mean I was more 'thrilled' in this than I was in 'My Soul To Take'.

So...in conclusion? Yes, I do realize this film is not for everyone. Not everyone likes the lenghth, not everyone likes the pacing, but I personally do. The acting is excellent, the plot is pretty interesting, the writing is great (oh, and don't worry about the subtitles, you totally get involved in the actual movie, and even though you're reading them, you barely even notice), and it's very thrilling. Even though it has a couple flaws, and I don't think it's as good as The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo, or the Girl Who Played With Fire, this is a worthy conclusion to an excellent trilogy.

127 Hours
127 Hours (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Wow, what a fantastic movie. From Franco, to the cinematography and everything else, this is one of my favorite movies of the year. You've probably already read about how good the film is, so if you don't want to hear how good it is from my perspective then stop reading. If you want to know how good it is again, read on please.

So this movie is the story of Aron Ralston, and how his right hand got trapped under an 800 pound boulder and how he escaped This being based on a true story I didn't excpect much but bcause this is Danny Boyle we're talking about I knew it would be great. I also read the book ('Between A Rock and a Hard Place'), and reading it before hand I knew really well what happened exactly because the book is actually written by Ralston. So knowing what happens *exactly*, I was really glad to see that Boyle actually understood what happened and did his best to follow the events that occured. If you want to know, the book is a great read and really inspiring, exactly like the film.

Boyle could not have chosen a better person to portray Ralston than James Franco. I've always liked Franco as an actor, he was great in all three Spider Man movies and actually the best part in the flop Flyboys. You can tell he really tried and practised for the role because he portrayed Ralston exactly how I imagined him from the book. Franco seizes every part of the movie (and not just because for 4.75/5 of the film is him) and and really shows us what would actually happen. He really shows us every type of emotion you can feel while trapped in a situation like this.

While Franco really is the only person in most of the movie, Boyle uses music as another kind of emotion. From that inspiring music in that gruesome arm-cutting-off scene to the music in the start of the film I don't think Boyle could've chosen a better soundtrack. Also, AR Rahman (or whatever, I forgot his damn name), being the one who scored Slumdog Millionaire scores the other part of the film that isn't a soundtrack, and, as always, doesn't dissapoint. Also, the cinematography in the film is stunning. (Even though I'm not sure this counts), the split screen at the start of the movie is fantastic and well used. Also, when Aron is pinned between the rock (which is about, again, 4.75/ of the movie), the shooting of those rock parts where we're having extreme close ups of Franco's face are stunning. And when cinematographers Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak are showing semi-digitalized close ups of the water in Franco's water bottle and the pee (which yes, he drinks) are done perfectly.

I'm going to go out and say that this is Danny Boyles best film, even better than one of my personal favorites, Slumdog Millionaire, and also one of the best of the year. With a brilliant and absorbing preformance by James Franco, a perfect soundtrack and score, beautifully done cinematography and fantastic writing, 127 Hours is the best film of the year. Oh, and by the way, people who are grossed out by gruesome scenes or some who may be even tolerant of them should close their eyes when the part comes when Franco must cut off his arm. Let's just say that I like gory movies but I felt just a little queasy after watching that part.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Having not actually seen the first Tron movie, I didn't know what to excpect from this 28-year-in-the-making sequel. Was it going to be campy fun? Was it going to be a good, cool sequel to the cult classic? Was is going to be terrible, like the non-nerds said? Or was it just going to be cool, entertaining, perfectly scored, and light on story? I think I'm going to go with the last. I'm going to admit, I kind of exactly excpected this, so I'm really happy.

LLet's start off with the effects, which your probably going to see this for. And boy, if you go into this just for the effects, you will be pretty freaking pleased. Every colour, every greenscreen, mostly everything digitally animated is masterfully done. I was enthralled by all the greenscreen parts and how well the actors acted with probably just greenscreen all around them. All the effects are sleek and smoothly done, kind of like in last years Avatar. At times I could barely even tell what was real and what was fake. The car chase thing part was fricken awesome, I was like HOLY SH*T for that entire scene. The choreographing of the fight scenes was superb, along with the cinematography. Also, that airplane type climax was amazing.The acting for the most part is great. Jeff Bridges (who I think can be said, like John Malkovich, is fantastic in *anything*) is as always great, he's funny and surprisingly charismatic. Olivia Wilde (om-nom) is great, like she's in in House, and she's in a tight latex-like suit for all of the movie, so how can you not like her? Finally is the score by Daft Punk. So, Daft Punk being one of the best bands ever, I had very high excpectations of the score, and wow my excpectations were met. The score was suit exactly for Tron; I liked that it was a bit techno too (not in a bad way). It was literally music to my ears. I could seriously listen to it forever. I think I even bought it already to put on my iPod.

But yeah, there are a lot of flaws too. The only weak part of the CGI was Clu, who was completely CGI. The problem with Clu was that he never seemed to have muscles in his face, and his eyes seemed well...dead (if that makes any sense). Don't get me wrong, the CG on him was still good, just not fantastic. The stubble on his face was realistic though. The 'mostly' part of the acting part above was directed at Garett Hudland and Michael Sheen. Not that I don't like either actors, because I really do (Hudland in Four Brothers was awesome, Sheen in The Twilight movies is the only saving grace) but I didn't really like either. I really thought Hedlund had potential to carry the movie but it seemed like he didn't even try, I never really cared for him. The writing was cliche at times too. I mean come on, I love Bridges but him saying 'radical dude' or 'awesome man' was just kinda wierd. The plot is basically just 'okay, so we need to get from here to here, in this amount of time'. I wish they would have put some more substance into it. The plot was sufficient, I just wished they had put more thought into it.

You can't go into Tron: Legacy excpecting a perfect movie, because it's NOT. The writing is pretty average and some of the acting is average. But other than that, Tron: Legacy is fantastic. The special effects and CG are amazing, the colours and such are beautifully done. Acting by Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde is great, and the fight and cinematography are both fantastically done. Most of all, the score by Daft Punk is amazing and superb, a delight to listen to. It's quite a good idea to watch this if you have a good hour or two to kill.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I went into this movie not excepecting anything, and wow, I was right. I'm not even sure of the plot in this movie. Are they trying to find the seven swords? Or are they trying to defeat that damn mist? Either way, mostly all of the little charm that was in one and two are gone, replaced by bad character developement.

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of 1 and 2. I'm just not a big fan of them, so going in to this one I didn't really care for it. And guess what? I don't really care anymore now at home and watching Jay Leno. But there are a few good things, otherwise a 40% wouldn't be appropriate. The acting by the movie's four leads are pretty solid; Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmond), Will Poulter (Eustace) and Ben Barnes are all pretty solid here, really improved from one and two. Some of the special effects are pretty cool too, like that huge green sea monster thing, or some of the green mist was pretty cool. Oh, and Simon Pegg is also pretty cool as the voice of Reepacheep. The one cast member who truly shines out is Will Poulter, who is charismatic and funny.

That's about it for the good things though. Probably the worst and most affecting bad thing in the movie is the low production values. The actual water scenes are grainy and blurry; that one scene when there in the volcanic field, when Eustace is looking at all that gold, yeah, well the reflections on the gold were grainy, and some of the shots in the movie were unfocused. The plot in the movie was muddled; I didn't know what was happening or why it was happening. At times Michael Apted tries to develop some of the characters and only half develops them. Some ideas like that 'your worst fears will be brought to life' was cool, but we only see Edmonds fear, and I thought that was kinda annoying. The writing was pretty average, and cliche. The score felt too repetetive to be cool or to resonate.

So yeah, overall, this third Narnia movie didn't mean to much to me. The acting and voice acting was great, with solid preformances, and some of the effects were cool (like that sea creature thing), but the cons overrule the pros. Other than a couple cool special effects scenes, the others were too smooth to be even slightly believable. The story is incomprehensible. The cinematography is pretty average, and the score is, at times, kind of annoying. If your not already a Narnia fan, than I think this is definately a skip; even if you are one I think it may be too.