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Rating History

Lincoln (2012)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Is it over yet.....what a forgettable film. It was nominated for a fistful of oscars and won dactyl what they deserved, no more, no less. Production design was great, and Daniel Day Lewis gave a wonderful performance. That's about where it ends. I can't believe that people even considered this as the best movie of the year. There was absolutely nothing special or outstanding with the script, direction, score, or cinematography. To be honest, I doubt I will even remember this film in a year.

Battle: Los Angeles
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ok. If want to see a clever, script driven film; take a pass on this one. However, if you want to see a heart pounding, adrenalin thrill ride; strap yourself in, and enjoy.
Aaron Eckhart has a fair performance as Staff Sargent Nantz, but there is not much else to talk about on the artistic side. The story is simple, and straight as an arrow. The outcome is obvious from the get-go. The aliens have no back story, and only a brief CNN report suggests their motivation and power source. They are however realistic in the idea that they are not super aliens, and can be killed.
Technically, the cinematography was nice and gritty, just like you would expect of a shoot 'em up sci-fi / war flick. Nice combo of track shooting, steady cam, and hand-held to get you into the action.
Art direction was nice. Just what you would expect from a burned out LA. Sound was exceptional, with both mixing and editing. Visual effects were minimal. A lot less than you would expect for a ID4-esque Sci Fi. I suppose they were going for the "Hurt Locker" style of realism. That's not a bad thing either.
It had me on the edge of my seat for quite some time, as I tried to put myself in the action. It has obvious elements of ID4, Starship Troopers, and a bit War of the Worlds to boot. However, not as clever, or memorable as any of them. I thought it was a fun ride while it lasted, but when it was over, nothing really stood out for me.
Still, a good, no brain, action film is what they made, and a good, no brain, action film is what you will get. Don't expect ANYTHING else, and keep your expectations low, and you will enjoy it.
Happy viewing

Legion (2010)
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ok,I have a soft spot for apocolyptic films, and those with contemporary theological themes that make you think.

I liked this film.

The concept for the story is a strong one dealing with moral issues and faith. however, like any film, it has it's virtues and it's problems. I think the virtues outweigh the problems.

First off, what is the first thing that people look at when they see any film? The acting. The cast was fine. Bettany played a very good, stoic angel who carries the faith of human kind. The supporting cast was fine. I liked Dennis Quaid and he did all he could with the character, despite his mediocre dialouge.
The story was a good one, but the script lacked. The writing was corney, though it did have some good lines usually reserved for Bettany.
You could tell that ths the work of a first time director who had a vision, but was stifled by the studio who wanted more of a horror film. That is why the film doesn't really have a distinct identity, and why it failed in that respect. I always look for a knockout punch of an ending. All I got was a terminator rippoff.
Technically speaking it had some flaws. Cinematograhy was nice during both the interior and exterior daylight shots, but fails completely at night. Unfortunatly, most of the movie takes place at night. The night shots were poorly lit. You might think that night shots should be dark. Not so. Lighting in night scenes are difficult, but looks great great if you can pull it off. If you can't pull it off, it looks like this movie.Ridley Scott is the master of lighting his sctors and his scenes in dark shots. The DP should have taken page from Scott's playbook, since the film is maimly at night. I was frustrated with the cinematography in that respect.
Art direction was simple, but it didn't need to be complex. No complaints about sound, mixing, score, or the film editing. It was cut seamlessly to move the story forward. Something I can't say for the writing, for the most part.
The film was a good effort that lost it's way, but overall I enjoyed watching Bettany as the fallen angel, Quaid as the faithless father, and the concept of a theological apocalypse. The movie spoke to me like that, but I can't rate it anyhigher due to it's evident problems.
I do however reccommed it, so that you make a judgement on your own.

Edge of Darkness
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ya know, there is just something off with this movie. Don't get me wromg however; I like Mel Gibson. His performance my have been a bit muted compared to his early works, but it was still there to some degree. The first thing I usually look at is the writing. The story, then the script. The story had the potential of a decent political suspense thriller. The script did not live up to the story. It tries to be a little too much of everything. action, suspense, thriller, mystery, cop show, but it never really pulls it off in any catagory. Oscar winning writer, Monahan, seems to phoned this one in. he just didn't put his heart into it like he did with the 'departed'.
Direction is partly to blame in this case. The vision of the director clearly was not that of the screenwriter. It's like they were on completly different pages.
it was technically sound. Cinematography, art direction, sound, and editing were on par.
The supporting cast didn't really help Mel's performance either. It doesn't matter if Mel's character is a 'lone wolf' character, the supporting cast should always make the principle cast seem that much better. Opps! not his time.
This one lacked lustre, and barely kept my interest. Sorry Mel.

The Expendables
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

What a let down. I grew up watching all these guys kick some cinematic ass. I expected more. Why is it a let down? Well, let me tell you what I think.

First and foremost was the cast. Not that they were bad, not at all. They were not used to their potential. It was really just a Stallone and Statham flick. They did have good chemistry together, but I wanted to see more of Li, Rourke and Willis of course. OK, even more Dolph. Oh, thanks to Stallone for not making Austin talk too much. I was however hoping that he wouldn't open his mouth at all though.

The action was good at times but the climatic battle at the palace was just plain chaotic. The lighting was just wrong, and it was poorly edited, just a confusing mess.The cinematography was just lacking at times. For example, Rourke's little soliloquy with the blue filter was just the wrong shot. It didn't do justice to Rourke's performance at all. I did like the exterior shots of the plane flying, though I have no idea why Statham's character, Christmas, had to actually be sitting in the nose of the aircraft to fire the guns. Huh? The wind shear would have ripped his head off. Oh well, creative license.

The script was a problem (Duh, co-written by stallone). The story had some great potential, but the script turned out to be a brainless action thingy. Empty words; though the best saved for Rourke, 'cause he is the only oscar nominee among them.
Stallone's directing was similar to his efforts in the last Rambo film, maybe a little better because he got to perform with some of his old buddies. However, that's not saying much at all.
You know, I really, really wanted this movie to work. It was directly marketed for my demographic (males between the ages of 25-45). Old enough to have seen the first Rambo, or Die Hard when it was released, and young enough to enjoy some great violent action. I wish Stallone would have yielded the director's chair to a competent action director. Oh gave his co-writer more of the writing workload.
I was hoping for more, and I was disappointed. sigh.