cine-11

IMDb member since July 2000
    Lifetime Total
    25+
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    IMDb Member
    21 years

Reviews

Johnny English Strikes Again
(2018)

Best of the trilogy
Rather than a tired retread, I think this was the best of the trilogy. Actually had a good, engaging spy plot, and this time they portrayed English as a competent, but hapless agent, rather than an inept buffoon, which helped the plot, and made it more interesting. Lots of gags sprinkled throughout. Rowen did a great job with the character.

House of 9
(2005)

Let me save you some time
This movie was obviously a Saw wannabe and failed miserably. The plot was minimalist, the acting wooden, with typical Hollywood 'been there, seen that' stereotypical characters. Watch the first 10 minutes and you have the basic premise. Now skip to the last 15 minutes and literally you'll have seen all that's worth seeing in this movie and saved yourself the interim 75 minutes of mind numbing drivel that would put Freddy Kruger to sleep. (Seriously, this is how I recommend you watch this movie). At least with Saw (a brilliant, though brutal movie), you learn something about the architect of the 'game' and his motives. Here, you're shown nothing of either, a complete void, as if the writer couldn't be bothered to actually develop a plot because he had his twist ending and that was enough. It wasn't.

A Scanner Darkly
(2006)

This movie was AWFUL!!
I'm a big fan of Philip Dick; he was a very imaginative scifi writer, whose stories and novellas translated into very entertaining movies: Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall, Paycheck, etc. So I was excited when I saw the trailer for yet another PKD story made into a movie. And then the super rating at IMDb clinched it. I wondered, though, why it did so poorly in the theaters, when the others had done so well. And then I saw this movie with 3 other people, and, I'm not exaggerating here, all three variously nodded off at some point during this boring, pointless, vapid excuse for a story. I kept waiting for something- anything - to develop that I could feel a spark of interest in. Nope, 90 mins of cinematic diarrhea. The rotoscoping was impressive, but I don't see how it served a purpose (as it might have if Sin City were done that way). Philip Dick fans (and everyone else), skip this one.

Superman: Brainiac Attacks
(2006)

Even kids would get bored with this one
Although I'm a college educated adult, I actually like the Superman, Batman and Justice League cartoon series (I'm sure I'm far from alone on this one). The plots have been excellent examples of sci-fi writing and can be quite clever,complex and entertaining. Not so this one. The vast majority of this movie consisted of Superman and Braniac pounding each other into the ground, throwing each other through buildings, etc. The encounters went on for so long I got bored and fastforwarded through the monotony. There is a weak plot that holds this together, but it's not strong enough to redeem it. The phrase "phoning it in" leaps to mind. If you're a Superman fan, you're going to be disappointed in this.

Soldier of Fortune
(1997)

Utter garbage
This DVD movie was made by combining two episodes of the syndicated series of the same name. I never got to see the series, because it was never picked up by a local affiliate, but if this movie is representative of the rest of the episodes, I can see why the affiliates avoided it, and so should you. If there's a plot in this, you'd need a microscope to find it. It opens with a mission gone wrong that is shown over and over again, the same lame action sequence repeated monotonously from each team member's point of view. The requisite drawn out recrimination scene comes next. Now comes the revenge sequence, but do they now have a master plan? Unh, unh. It's almost the same mindless 'action' (read: everyone incessantly firing machine guns at each other) sequence as the beginning, but now it somehow goes right. Cue credits. Utter formulaic garbage - there is nothing clever, imaginative, or exciting in this movie. I wonder if the producers needed a tax write-off.

Pure Pleasure 3D
(2004)

Boring!
If you're the type that likes to take long car rides and look out the window, or sit for hours and watch the grass grow, then this DVD is for you. The background music is OK, and the 3D is passable (though present on only half of the scenes). However, the scenes are boringly repetitious. I was hoping for something visually stimulating, something like the video/music montage seen in the suicide room at the end of the movie Soylent Green. Instead you get monotonous scenes like the same school of fish swimming by the screen for 10 minutes (as an ever repeating video loop), or the view from a train and a car window as the houses and telephone poles pass you by (literally, the camera was just pointed out the window of a car and a train for 12 mins each).Some may find this relaxing, but I think most would find this dull.

Primer
(2004)

Not worth it.
When the day after tomorrow is yesterday, today will be as far from Wednesday as today was from Wednesday when the day before yesterday was tomorrow. What is the day after this day? Got the answer yet?...No? Well, if you don't have the patience or the interest to work through this, then you won't care for this movie. The movie is about a couple of engineers who stumble onto an elementary method of time travel while working on another project in their garage on their off time. The plot then literally grows as convoluted and hard to understand as the previous question. Now, I'm a big fan of sci-fi movies that present a challenging plot, that make you think. The BIG problem with this one is that to really understand it, you have to watch it several times, and even take notes, but it's very slow and excruciatingly boring - almost the entire movie consists of two people talking and standing around, so it's not really worth the effort to anyone but the most die-hard geek. It also suffers a lot from poor production values, as it was done as an indie film on a shoe-string budget (I read $7k), and has the dismal look and sound of a student film.

A Sound of Thunder
(2005)

This movie got a bad rap
Having read the numerous negative, and even vituperative comments this movie has gotten here, I felt compelled to write to say that this movie doesn't deserve them and probably only the people who really didn't like it bothered to weigh in, giving the ratings an unbalanced perspective. Well, I'm writing to help correct that. I'm a big fan of classical science fiction - not bug eyed monsters or fantasy sorcerers and dragons, but of imaginative stories that are based on hard scientific data of today, with allowance for some poetic license, and I think this movie fits that description. It's based on a Ray Bradbury story, beefed up and modified for the screen, and I for one think they did a good job. Yes, the special effects were a little weak in some spots, but overall this was a good scifi movie with an engaging story, lots of action, and some edge of your seat thrills. It's out on DVD now (as of 3/28/06), so if, like me, you like good science fiction, give this one a try. Who knows, you may be the next positive commenter.

Master of the Game
(2002)

Mediocre movie
I felt I had to write a review to counter the exorbitantly excessive other reviews on this site that spurred me to see this movie in the first place. Most people will not find this movie a "thriller", an "intriguing journey", "ingenious", or "riveting". I think most people would find this movie boring and ridiculous.

It starts out with a promising premise: in trying to escape, a Jewish concentration camp prisoner ironically comes upon an abandoned camp in the woods that just happens to be housing a group of Nazi soldiers isolated by the inclement weather. In order to delay his execution, he proposes playing a mind game, which the bored soldiers agree to. It's from here that the story falls apart. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that although the "game" is set up to be a clever psychological ploy, it ends up falling flat, playing out like a staged play, with the behavior and reactions of the soldiers utterly scripted and unrealistic. Holes like Swiss cheese - you know the drill. Don't bother.

Ju-on
(2002)

Now I've got a grudge against this movie
I thought I'd check out this movie as it became available on DVD while its American remake, "The Grudge", was fresh in the theaters, and other reviewers had said that this movie was even scarier. Well, they must have been on LSD, because this movie was pathetic. I squirmed throughout the movie - not because I was scared, but because I was when-is-there-going-to-be-a-plot bored! The movie looked liked it was made on a budget of 12 yen. The "evil spirits" looked like actors who accidentally fell into a vat of Welches grape juice. At the intended "scary" moments, instead of reacting with "Oh my God", you end up thinking "Oh, You've got to be joking". If you liked The Ring, and thought this would be in the same vein (as I did), you will be very disappointed.

Quicksand
(2003)

Enjoyable and engrossing
I'm so glad I decided to ignore the other negative comments on this page and take a chance with this movie, as it turned out to be excellent! It involves Michael Keaton as a banking executive who travels to France to investigate possible financial irregularities, only to be ensnared in a cleverly engineered frame when he gets too close to the truth. He's then on his own to figure out who's behind it, why, and how he'll extricate himself. It's a taut thriller with a steady pace that keeps your interest. The supporting characters are also interesting. Definitely worth your while. There's nothing more to say but I'm including these other lines to meet the idiotic requirement of a minimum of 10 lines that IMDb has apparently instituted. I don't want IMDb readers to miss out on this one, so I'm willing to keep adding superfluous lines to meet the goal.

Bad Santa
(2003)

This was awful!
When this movie first appeared in the theaters, I thought from the trailer that this was a bomb. It did bomb at the box office, but when I checked out the IMDB ratings for the home video release, I was surprised to see a 7+ rating! Boy, I must have misjudged this one, so I rented it based on this - and am I sorry I did. My intuition was right on the money - this movie STINKS! It really has no plot and what there is of a story is ambling, dull, and full of Hollywood cliches. It's funny in about 3 fleeting spots - that's it. I don't know how this got the rating it did (the work of a Billy-bob Thornton fan club?), but I'm writing to warn those like myself who rely on these ratings for choosing movies that you will be very disappointed in this one - despite the glowing rating. 2/10.

28 Days Later...
(2002)

Don't believe the hype.
I saw this movie based on its hype: modern day sci-fi thriller that is head and shoulders above the rest - a treat to see. Don't believe it. This is nothing more than yet another run of the mill postapocalyptic virus/chemical toxin/nuclear radiation-turns-people-into-zombieoids-that-the-survivors-have-to-spend-the-whole-movie-continually -avoiding movie that's been done ad nauseum. This would make at best a mediocre tv movie-of-the-week. The plot is minimal and incomplete, nor are there any special effects to redeem it. Don't bother. 'The Return of the Living Dead' did it much better.

Hollywood Homicide
(2003)

Wow, what a stupid movie!
This movie was such a formulaic, phone-it-in effort at making a typical Hollywood action film that it was almost a parody. There were about 20 mins of plot in this 2 hour movie (any Law and Order episode would blow it away). The rest was filler using sappy relationships, the usual police trouble with internal affairs (with a cop-out (heh, heh, get it) resolution) and the standard car chase seen at the end that went on so long, it began to get boring. Avoid this one.

The Core
(2003)

Excellent scifi movie
I don't understand why this movie didn't do better in the theaters - it deserved to. If you like science fiction and suspense, you'll like this movie. Excellent plot and solid scifi story, great special effects, a number of suspenseful moments throughout, this movie seems to have it all. Grab your popcorn and prepare to be entertained!

Final Destination 2
(2003)

Yes, more of the same - but better!
Final Destination was an OK movie about a teen and his friends who collectively avoid a tragic death due to a prophetic vision he has, only to each then die anyway in a series of mishaps, supposedly to "maintain the balance". (If they weren't supposed to "cheat" death, then why was he given the vision to begin with?)

This sequel follows the same formula, but I must say, this one does it much better. The deaths, though quite gruesome, have an "Omen" kind of style, and it's actually intriguing to watch the series of innocuous events that cleverly culminate in the death of each person. Also, the director and writer include fake-outs to keep you off guard. The story is also more involved and complex, subtly tying into the first movie. I definitely enjoyed this one, but be warned - it's not for the squeamish.

Le pacte des loups
(2001)

Basically a good movie, but in serious need of editing
This movie was certainly different. It's a mystery story that takes place in the mid 1700s France, in which a nobleman is sent to investigate a series of grisly murders that may not be what they seem, sort of in the vein of "Sleepy Hollow". However, it's quite the ecclectic mix, with excellent martial arts and fight scenes interspersed with suspense, political intrigue and philisophical discussion. The special effects for the "murderer" are quite good, as are the overall production values and acting. My one criticism, though, is that this movie runs 142 minutes, when it should have run 100. There are a lot of superfluous scenes that do nothing for the story but slow it down to the point of boredom. I recommend this movie, but only on tape or dvd, and have your remote ready for fast-forwarding at the right parts.

Old School
(2003)

The trailer for the movie was far more entertaining.
If any awards, besides a Razzie, were to be given this movie, it should be for the trailer (commercial). When I saw the trailer on TV, it made the movie look funny and nutty. Based on that, I rented it. I would have had more fun watching corn grow. This movie was unbelievably BAD! Literally, the trailer contained every funny bit in the movie. What was left was a dull, formulaic, meandering plot that seemed like it was patched together with the hope that its resemblance to Animal House would carry it off. I kept waiting for it to get better - it just kept getting worse. I give it 2 stars (7 stars for the trailer, though, for duping me into seeing this thing).

The Hot Chick
(2002)

Could have been stupid, but was actually very funny
Yet another variation on the "switching bodies" theme (Freaky Friday, Like Father Like Son, etc). This one was different, though, in that it involved a transgender switch and that, along with convincing acting by Rob Schneider, made it work. A little slow to start, but once it got going, I found myself laughing repeatedly throughout. A comedy well worth watching for lots of laughs.

Ghosts of Mars
(2001)

Been there, seen that
I'm a big fan of John Carpenter. He's done some great work in the cinema fields of horror and science fiction. 'Halloween' and 'The Thing' are truly classics. He did an incredible job adapting 'Memoirs of an Invisible Man' to the screen. However, I was disappointed with this, his latest film, because it was an obvious rip-off of two of his earlier films, 'Assault on Precinct 13' and 'The Thing'. If you've seen those two films, you've seen this one - it's a hybrid of the two with some minor changes. Even if you haven't, you'll feel like you have, because the plot is a formula in horror movies: the good guys fending off hordes of the evil, killer bad guys. Although this device can work if it's done with some imagination and special effects (eg, Resident Evil), that wasn't the case here.

The Night Visitor
(1971)

Looks like a cheesy slasher movie, but is actually a brilliant thriller
I wasn't expecting much when I saw this movie some years ago, but was I pleasantly surprised. This is a highly underrated suspense movie that is one of my favorites. It grabs you from the very opening ("why is that man jogging through the snowy countryside in his underwear?") and delivers a clever plot that deals with a series of murders with a Columboesque twist - you're shown who's doing them at the beginning, yet you're also shown that it's physically impossible for him to be committing them. The story then involves why he's doing them, the cat and mouse interaction between him and the police inspector investigating the cases, and the amazing way he accomplishes the seemingly impossible. Does he get away with it? You'll have to see for yourself. This one won't disappoint mystery fans.

Vanilla Sky
(2001)

The old bait and switch
The trailer for this movie made it seem like an exciting murder mystery, action packed, full of twists. Caveat emptor (paraphrasing: viewer beware)! The movie is actually a painfully slow jumble of disjointed segments that only make sense in the very end, and by then you don't give a crap anymore. Don't waste your time with this one. Check out Jacob's Ladder, instead.

Donnie Darko
(2001)

Donnie Darko? Should have been called Donnie Dumbo
I rented this movie on the strength of the ratings and glowing reviews at this site. "Brilliant", they said. "Dark and beautiful", they wrote. 8.4 stars. Well, all I can say is, these people must have been on some serious drugs when saw this totally inane movie. The cinematography has the look of a student film. The plot (and I use the term for lack of a better word) is disjointed and meandering, not really sure where it wants to go, and that leaves the viewer not really caring. The ending, I suppose, is meant to be a twist, but ends up making little sense and falling flat. Donnie Darko, by the way, is actually his real name (ie, the Darko family), not an intriguing nickname. I give this movie 1 black hole.

Along Came a Spider
(2001)

Now THIS is pod racing!
If you like mystery thrillers, you're in for a treat. This is one of the best. No boring dialog; no long, drawn out character development that's irrelevant to the story and slows it down; no car chases and 10 minute gun-fire scenes to pad the movie. This is solid plot that keeps you glued to the story, constantly trying to guess what happens next, and builds to a surprising climax as it moves along.

The Tailor of Panama
(2001)

Genre: Comedy/ Drama/ Thriller - actually, try insomnia cure
There have been a number of John LeCarre's books adapted to movies, usually with good results (most notable are The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and The Russia House), so I looked forward to a ripping good spy yarn with this one. What I got was a ripping good YAWN, or two, or a dozen. The "plot" was lame and predictable, never catching my interest, never really prompting me to care about the characters. The one bright spot in this drivel was Geoffrey Rush, who seems to make each character he plays quite different from the next (Pierce Brosnan just plays Bond turned venal). If you decide to watch this movie, don't say I didn't warn you.

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