darth_sidious

IMDb member since November 1999
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Reviews

Gremlins
(1984)

Juvenile fun
Re-watching Gremlins after many years, I found myself a little bored with the opening of the picture. The first 30 minutes range from good to bad, I found the characters boring. But once the Gremlins come into play, things get much better, infact, I couldn't stop laughing at the juvenile jokes and stupidity. The Gremlins are the stars of the show, I didn't particulary care for main human characters...they seemed so poorly written, or lacked good direction.

The photography is servicable, but the directing seemed a little uninspired to me.

The Gremlins are excellent puppets, you do believe that they exist. Technically, the film is fine, but I wish more thought was put into the characters, and the first 20 minutes were condensed into something more interesting than the usual introductions.

Die Another Day
(2002)

Absolute DISGRACE!!!
A total disgrace, James Bond has been murdered, and unfortunately, I witnessed it on the big screen. I simply cannot believe what I watched unfold before me. To say I'm disgusted is an understatement; I'm livid that the producers, Barbara and Michael, let this offensive film ever be shot. As a Bond fan, I was expecting Michael's experience to bring Bond back to earth and give Pierce a spy adventure, instead we get a boring Triple X-esque movie, which panders to the lowest common denominator AKA MTV crowd. Bond has always been a unique franchise, you can always distinguish a Bond picture from the rest, but today, that's not true - Bond has become generic, an action hero, lacking a style.

There are 8 fundamental problems with Die Another Day: 1. Invisible car - Bond has had some outrageous gadgets, but this one is FAR OUT and does not belong in the film. 2. Christian Wagner's MTV pretentious editing calling attention to its self - "hey look at me, I'm MTV" AWFUL. 3. Some terrible blue screen work - Bond surfing on ice water? pleeeeasssseeeee! 4. Plot is boring once we reach the ice palace. 5. Villains are boring. 6. Jinx has little to do unlike Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies 7. Bad writing, scenes lack cohesive binding 8. David Arnold's score (please bring back John Barry) is totally drowned out by foley work. 9. Madonna's song is awful, the worst of the 20. Why did the producers let her? Because she sells records? The marriage of the song and score are no longer part of the Bond tradition since Goldeneye. 10. M doing the same thing again!!! YAWN!!!!! Give her a bigger part

There are some bits in the film, some okay, some brilliant:

The pre-credit sequence is exciting. Bond getting captured - finally they made it happened, but spoilt by getting it out of the way too early. Bond looks healthy, I mean 14 months didn't take much out of him? John Cleese as Q, he makes the role his own. Difficult act to follow, but he manages it. Thank the lord that he doesn't act like a buffoon! Brosnan is comfortable. Pike is a terrific catch, beautiful Bond girl. A lot of the minature work is perfect. David Tattersall's photography is good, as you would expect from a BSC member!!! Moneypenny gets a funny sequence...but out of place, totally detatched from the film. Nice homages to previous films, it's unfortunate that those scenes were some of the best in the entire picture.

As I said, Bond has lost the identity, arguably Britain's favourite son has been sold out to the teen audience. Where's the class? Bond should appeal to all ages, it's that reason why the franchise has been so successful. I'm all for Bond going into new directions, but certain elements can't change, but there is plenty of scope to explore. Licence to Kill is the perfect example of exploring Bond and keeping it in line with the series. Goldeneye was the last decent Bond film. Pierce Brosnan deserves a better script. I believe it's time to bring in new writers and ask John Glen to return, he made 4 decent Bond films, lets bring back experience!!! Oh, bring back the character down to earth as well. Bond is human, not a Superman!!!

I'm really disappointed in Tamahori, I still think he's a good director, but maybe he has been found out on the biggest stage?

So, Die Another Day is a colossal disappointment, can it get any worse? Yes, it can, if the producers decide the fate of Bond is now in the hands of MTV!!!

15 Minutes
(2001)

Excellent
One never gets tired of a social satire on the media, which affects our lives, weather we like it or not. The media manipulates to make you believe things, it pays through the nose to get ratings, even if it means hurting their best friend.

15 minutes is about fame, it shows that evil crimes = money for film studios, book publishers etcetc

15 minutes may not be a perfect picture, nor is it focused, but damn, it really is reflective of today's world.

The film is part thriller and part satire, sometimes the film gets lost but it does work well. Can't believe how underrated this picture is.

De Niro and Burns are excellent as are the villains, who you really hate them!

Overall, excellent direction, but the writing could have been more polished in certain scenes.

Joy Ride
(2001)

Fun!
Joy ride is fun, this one is made for a Friday night with your friends. I do recommend that you don't think too much, there are plot holes, but some can be accounted for if you think after you've watched the film.

The film is tense, there's some excellent editing to keep the picture flowing. The film does use the DUEL premise to a certain extent.

The direction by John Dahl is superb, but I guess the screenplay wasn't always perfect. The film required a bit more thought, some scenes were very frustrating to watch.

The acting is actually pretty good, there's a lot of chemistry between the characters.

Overall, a fun picture, which deserves a rental.

3000 Miles to Graceland
(2001)

Disgusting piece of cinema
UGH! Horrible is not the word for this horrendous trashy garbage. I simply cannot believe why the director, Demian Lichtenstein decided to direct this the way he did!

From the opening crap CGI-fest, which was so pathetic, I thought I was watching a video game. The whole style of the film is disgusting, at times it was mimicing John Woo's style, then suddenly it all slows down to a snail pace. The whole set-up of the picture is wrong, instead of trying to have a serious attempt, the film mixes in pop video junk and violence. The film could've been good action fodder!

The acting is rather bland, even Costner's bad guy does nothing, he has hardly any good lines. Kurt Russell can star in better movies than this! Cox was the only redeeming thing about the picture, she is very hot here. The kid does a pretty good job with the material.

I'm not even going to bother to put down the screenplay and music. This is a bad movie, certainly deserves to be locked away forever in the vaults.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
(2001)

Hilarious
Switch your brain off and enjoy this foul-mouth experience. This is a very entertaining picture. The plot is not important, come on, this type of film is just a chill-out! The story is very simple, and you have a fair idea how it will end. The film is about the journey, the characters they meet on the way. Cameos from Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will have you in fits of laughter!

Is Jay a strong lead character? Probably not, but I didn't care. Silent is a good sidekick, though. At times the film seems to be pushed towards the folks who know everything about the previous films, so for newbies, I suggest watching Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma first. Of course, there is a lot of crude and immature jokes, but you can't help to laugh at it all.

The acting is actually very good, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith are very comfortable in their roles. Watch out for the hot looking ladies, you can't miss them!

The direction is pretty good, this is Smith's biggest film to date and he does take care of things very well here.

Jay and Silent Bob is fun, forget the plot, it's not important. Just enjoy the adventure.

Adventures of Don Juan
(1948)

Excellemt entertainment
Errol Flynn is once again cast in a swashbuckler, this time playing Don Juan. The film isn't fantastic because it's a bit hard to believe the whole Spanish material. The accents are way off, but it shouldn't hurt your enjoyment of the picture. Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk and Robin Hood are tough acts to follow, but Don Juan is still a decent feature for a Sunday afternoon with the family.

Errol rocks in the role, although don't expect anything knew, the plot is very simple. The fight scenes are quite fun as well.

What stood out for me was the terrific Korngold-esque score by Max Steiner. It's fantastic, rousing and a lot of fun.

The direction and screenplay are decent.

The Adventures of Don Juan doesn't provide much new material for Errol Flynn, but you can't help but enjoy the picture especially if you love his previous work!

Moulin Rouge!
(2001)

Entertaining Post-modern picture
Post-modern? YES Enjoyable? YES Over-the-top? YES Moulin Rouge is an excessive piece of film-making. Make no bones about it this film doesn't break much new ground - It uses old ideas, classic songs and bright colours to throw you into a chaos world. There isn't much to say about the plot, the film is about set pieces, it's loud, everything is big, everything is theatrical.

The film is about love! The first part of the picture is interesting but so damn excessive, it's all a bit too much. 100 shots in 1 minute is headache-inducing! Tailor made for the Mtv generation!

The film does work despite the post-modern ideas. I think the eye-popping features have to be the extraordinary sets! There's so much detail, without it, the film would be flushed down the toilet!

The acting is okay, only Jim Broadbent really shows the class. Nicole Kidman is very sexy, fits into the world perfectly. Ewan is okay but seems a bit lost with the material.

The direction is hyper-active, it lacks subtleness. Where the film does not work is the MTV editing, it's rubbish. There's no need to edit like this, it's worse than Michael's Bay cutting. Just because you can edit so quick doesn't mean you should. I know that the director wanted the film to be hyper but please! Where's the control?

The use of classic songs sang in operatic fashion is quite fun, I don't think I've ever seen it done like this before.

Overall, Moulin Rouge is entertaining but lacks a strong story, I guess it's all about the experience!

Ghost World
(2001)

Excellent
It's about time we had an attempt at a serious teen picture, Ghostworld is an interesting piece which should be viewed! It's not an over-the-top happy picture, but a true reflection of teens who do not seem to fit into the world. The picture follows 2 girls who are eccentric, have their own views on being cool and not following the typical trend. I guess they are attempting to find their place in the Ghostworld.

The film's screenplay is very good, act 3 does suffer, it seems a little tagged on and does drag at the end.

The direction is simplistic but very effective, don't expect any elaborate ideas, this is text book stuff.

As I said, the film does suffer towards the end, but there's lots to enjoy. The characters are rich and interesting.

The acting is top draw! Buscemi is terrific, the role was made for him. The acting by the girls are awesome, especially Thora Birch who just fits into this world like a glove.

Forget the current teen dross, this one is a very decent look at teens who rebel against the norm!

The Man with the Golden Gun
(1974)

An all-time low?
After a lacklustre debut in Live and Let Die, Roger Moore is back as 007. The Man with the Golden Gun is a weak film, all the potential is replaced by boring exposition and boring set pieces.

There's nothing very interesting, they had Christopher Lee, but didn't make good use of him. He had nothing to do, even the finale was flat. Roger Moore was getting more comfortable, but he seemed to be doing a Sean Connery Bond instead of adding something unique to the role. Moore's style would change in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'.

The Bond girls are boring, Maud Adams has little to do. Britt Ekland is very average, nothing to shout about. The Nick Nack character is boring. Boring is the operative word to describe this film. Don't get me started on JW! Not a very funny character, why he's here is a mystery!

The direction is lazy, the script is terrible. Mankiewicz went in the wrong direction. The film is very cheap, didn't have a sense of size to it.

Overall, Moore's 2nd outing is boring and lazy. The potential to have Lee and Moore at their best is not realized on screen.

Things were about to change, Moore relaxes to become a fun Bond in the next film... ...The Spy Who Loved Me!

The Final Conflict
(1981)

Rubbish
Omen 3 rounds off the trilogy, but in an unsatisfactory way. It lacks suspense and an explosive finale, the film falls flat. There's not enough in the story, it's very lazy. The film never lifts itself. The plot is boring, there's not much happening. There's no conflict in the film.

The casting is quality, Sam Neill is very good as Damien, but didn't have enough to do!

Jerry Goldsmith's score is fantastic, adds an epic feel to a rather average film. The score deserved an oscar.

The direction by Baker is average, he seemed more of a yes man rather than someone who could create his own vision. The screenplay is lacking in every department, it features loads of plot holes! The film limps to the finale, and we get to the end, it just dies! Not even the best director could've worked with this terrible script! The photography is excellent, really brings out the English countryside!

Overall, a disappointing end to a promising trilogy.

Damien: Omen II
(1978)

Not as good as the first one.
Omen 2 is not nearly as good as the first one, now Damien is a teenager, who brings hell to the people who oppose him and his destiny. Again, top casting, getting William Holden is terrific continuity. Lee Grant is also top class.

This time the film goes for the gory approach, it was inevitable I guess. The film does lack something, it's very uneven and not well written. The writing was rushed, it required more development. There's a whole chunk of development undiscovered in this film, really a big shame because this could've been a terrific picture. It's not that the writing is bad, it's just undeveloped, desperately required another 2 drafts!

The acting is good, Holden and Grant are perfect. The kid who plays Damien is very good also.

The direction is okay, but required a Donner touch. There's something missing from the picture. The wide-screen frame is used very well. The music by Goldsmith is not as good as the original, it sounds rather messy to me.

Overall, Omen 2 is notch below Donner's original.

The Omen
(1976)

Innovative!
The Omen is a psychological thriller rather horror, this is the film that made Donner! You know the story, it's very simple, some people think it's absurd, and would've been a total disaster if the cast didn't believe in it. The film does have plot holes, but it works because the film is grounded in reality, using the Bible as a source of information, which could be true!

The film doesn't rely on gore, but threat, there's a unique atomosphere to the entire picture.

Gregory Peck adds verisimilitude to the picture, you believe what's happening because Peck is in the picture. Lee Remick is very good, too, she adds a lot to the film. David Warner is brilliant, as is Billie Whitelaw, who adds a certain unique uneasiness to the proceedings! The kid is also very good, especially in the finale!

The direction is excellent, Donner makes good use of the panavision frame, make no mistake, this is a film which can be only seen in wide-screen!

The score is superb, the use of the chorus is chilling! Goldsmith won the oscar, he deserved it.

This is a film you want to watch on your own because it does scare you, especially if it's your first time!

Omen 2 came next!

The Rock
(1996)

Entertaining!
I don't like many Bay movies because he has very little skill in crafting a honest and detailed movie. Armageddon was a horrendous piece of donkey dung, everything that's wrong with Hollywood was detailed in that schlock!

The Rock is a slightly different proposition, it's entertaining and never tries to be anything but! The story is thin and the dialogue is typically bad at times. The action is excellent and Sean Connery makes the movie work!

The direction is very Mtv, the editing is silly at times - what's with the quick cuts? Why can't I enjoy the compositions? Pathetic! But still, the pace is consistent.

The acting is okay, Connery's presence elevates the material. Ed Harris is always dependable and Cage is pretty funny as Goodspeed.

The music is very patriotic and but fun.

Overall, entertaining, switch your brain off! After this, Bay descended into familiar MTV garbage!

Meet the Parents
(2000)

Derivative
Derivative! Meet the Parents is quite boring, there's nothing knew here to enjoy. The story is, obviously, very predictable!

The film never attempts to go that one step further with the jokes, they sort of fall flat.

De Niro does his job as does everyone else, but don't expect anything special.

The direction is safe, the screenplay is boring and the music is forgettable.

Overall, a derivative and boring picture - I expected much more!

Akira
(1988)

Interesting innovation
Akira is an interesting concept, it's an animation for a mature crowd. Sit back and enjoy the visuals, Akira works on a visual status, so you have to listen to the English dub.

Akira's animation is moody, dark and unique in design, although it has been copied, I'm guessing not many have attained the God-like status of Akira.

What is it about? I don't quite understand it all, it does require a few viewings.

The English dub isn't perfect, ideally you want to read the subtitles and listen to the Japanese soundtrack, but the visuals make it impossible to do this for the first few viewings.



Enjoy Akira, it's a unique animation picture.

Don't Say a Word
(2001)

Unoriginal and way too conventional
Don't Say A Word is just so damn conventional in virtually every scene. The film plays safe throughout, there's nothing knew. As an actor, Douglas is terrific, but sometimes he picks roles which are too easy for him and thus we get the same ole routine.

The film does feature some excellent acting by the young Murphy, she certainly has the skills, very nice! Famke is okay, not much to do really and Sean Bean has a lousy script. Oliver Platt is grossly underused!

The opening of the film is the only true highlight, everything else is just to conventional! Let's not talk about the female police officer, totally boring character!

The direction isn't bad, but the real inspiration was lacking in the script.

This one is for the Douglas fans, for the rest, there's nothing knew here!

Bring It On
(2000)

Guilty pleasure - not that bad!
Being a film snob, I was taken back at how much I enjoyed Bring it on. The film is a notch about the average teen flick. Obviously, there's very little story to eat into! But, the film is a guilty trip of pleasure. How can you turn down Dunst in that cheerleading outfit!

The choregraphy is excellent, really top class! The cheerleading songs are quite funny as well!

Dunst does a good job with the material, she's very hot in this one! Forget the others, they are just there. Dunst rules the flick!

The direction is simplistic, does the job well without over-stretching!

Have fun, a guilty pleasure for us snobs!

Unbreakable
(2000)

Nearly a comic book masterpiece
Make no bones about it, Unbreakable is one of the best comic books to be ever filmed. The film has so much detail, so many layers that anyone who didn't understand the picture should have another viewing.

It's easy to dismiss Unbreakable as slow and pretentious! You know, sometimes the camera work borders on pretentious, but the innovative approach to the storytelling and style is breathtaking.

The film is basically one act of the story, the 3 act structure is dismissed, instead the director/writer has chosen to take the origins of the comic book character and tell its story, not its heroics, but its birth!

The whole comic conventions are placed in the story, interwoven into a non-conventional screenplay.

The performances are magnificent, quality acting by everyone!

The direction is stunning at times, method approach was used consistently. The panavision frame was used perfectly, making the film unbearable in pan and scan, which should be banned, anyway.

The score is perfect, adds a lot of atomosphere.

Unbreakable is an innovative piece of film-making. I think the film is much more appealing to folks who understand the director's vision.

Planet of the Apes
(2001)

No point to this film - avoid!
The original Planet of the Apes is a much more satisfying picture than this pathetic attempt. There is no point to this film. There's no strong narrative, there's no strong plot, and a major miscast!

Marky Mark gives his worst performance yet, there are no layers to his acting in this one! He looked bored!

The film lacks original plot ideas, anything new is laughable. The humans serve no purpose in the film, there's no conflict amongst them. The whole slave thing is old and tired.

The make-up is tremendous, Baker deserves all the accolades! The direction by Burton is easily one of his worst, he needed a lot more time to develop the picture. Visually, the film is excellent, dark and moody at times. A sequel might be better handled by Burton, I think it's suited to his eccentric style.

Stick with the original, miles better than this post-modern work.

The Fast and the Furious
(2001)

I want my 2 hours back!
What a waste of time this film is! Don't bother wasting 2 hours of your life on this trashy work. What's wrong with this film? There is NO plot, nothing interesting happens inbetween the racing. The characters are dull, there's nothing remotely interesting about them.

The film has no 3 act structure, the picture never builds up to the finale. There's hardly anything for the actors to do. Everything is a mess.

The cars are nice to look at, and we do get an excellent stunt sequence, but that's it. The film is so conventional, there's no set-up to the story.

The direction is not the problem as much as the writing, terrible screenplay!

Don't want to waste anymore time with this trash!

The Score
(2001)

Enjoyable, but story is conventional
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching The Score. The plot is derivative, there's not much original material here, but somehow, I overlooked this and was immersed in the film. There's little point discussing the plot points because I feel one will enjoy it more by not divulging anything.

The film features an extraordinary acting performance by Ed Norton, in my opinion, this guy will just get bigger and bigger. He outshines De Niro, in my opinion, Norton is the star of the picture. De Niro doesn't have to do much, his screen presence is enough to enjoy. Marlon Brando gets third billing, it's nice to have him in the film, but his performance is not good as De Niro and Norton.

Angela Bassett is a disappointing character, I wanted a bit more from her.

Frank Oz does an excellent job with the material, he certainly knows how compose shots for the wide-screen format. Placing characters at either ends of the frame are a feast for the eyes. The screenplay lacks originality, but not a bad job. The film is very character based and shot in a down-to-earth location, very ordinary feel to the picture - a sense of realism.

Overall, an enjoyable heist picture, just don't expect too much original material. Ed Norton acts his pants off in this one.

Alien
(1979)

Terrific
Ridley Scott's ALIEN is an example of great horror film-making. It's not the creature, but the design of the locations, the smoke, claustophobic rooms and atomsphere. The characters are nicely written, this is not your post-modern horror!

ALIEN has a distinct style, the pacing is deliberate, the tension builds and builds. The film is a real master stroke by Ridley Scott and his team.

The acting is excellent, I can't fault anyone. Weaver has the lead was a gamble, and a brave choice by all concerned. I'm happy to say that it pays off! The design of the ALIEN is fascinating, work of a genius.

The special effects are tremendous, again, there's a distinct style, it's so fantastic!

The score by Goldsmith plays more like a special sound effect, but it does fit the mood of the picture.

The wide-screen frame is used to the max, do not watch this in pan and scan!

ALIEN is a film which should be studied and studied, tons of details in the entire picture.

Oliver Twist
(1948)

Lean does it again - A Masterpiece
David Lean spoils us yet again, Oliver Twist is an amazing piece of work. I regard this version of the Dicken's classic as definitive. No one could capture the eerie quality and the authentic style better than Lean.

The film is quite dark, strong blacks dominate the canvas.

The acting is extraordinary, Alec Guinness as Fagin steals the film. Perfect casting. Robert Newton is equally superb as the drunk, Sykes. John Howard Davies as Oliver is fantastic, he fits the character perfectly.

The direction and screenplay are awesome, I can't put into words how perfect everything is.

Watch the greatest adaptation of Oliver Twist by David Lean, it's a masterpiece!

The Third Man
(1949)

Slightly disappointing
I can't deny that Carol Reed was an extraordinary director, so I was expecting The Third Man to be perfect, but it wasn't. Maybe I'm jaded, but This film didn't punch him. The story was disappointing, it seemed just too simple. Visually, the film is perfect, the ruins of Vienna are unforgettable. The photography is mindblowing. The acting is quality, you can always rely on Trevor Howard. Cotton is perfect as is the master, Orson Welles!!!

The music is rather annoying, but surreal at the same time, it doesn't quite fit the images - Very deliberate in my opinion.

The story didn't hit me, I don't understand why!!! Still, everything else is terrific, especially the finale.

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