Dr.Tuba

IMDb member since March 2000
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    20 years

Reviews

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
(2002)

Better than Episode 1 - but still doesn't cut it as "good" **spoilers**
**spoilers may be contained in this review**

This movie was better than Episode 1... let me clear that up. On the other side of that coin, however, the improvement may have been to there being more action, and hence, less bad writing and acting.

Starting off with the appearance of the film, I'll say it's an improvement, though I agree with other reviewers in that it's too "clean". It looks, quite frankly, artificial. Lucas seems to not realize that the trick is not to overwhelm your viewers with special effects, but to integrate them in such a way as to enhance believability.

Then again, the target market of 10-and-under-year-olds who will pump their parents for the most SW toys probably don't care.

The score is like every SW movie, and like every John Williams score. Not much to say there.

The acting... well... the acting suffers. Everyone seems disinterested or distracted the entire time, and none of the characters are engrossing. It's as if all the actors are waiting for lunch or recess or something.

The overall effect is that of a movie like Waterworld, where alot of money was spent, but the payoff was absent. Some scenes, like combat, were fun to watch. However some, like the "romance" scenes were painful. One more stilted-bad love line and I'd have to drill a hole in my head to relieve the pressure.

Overall, a step up from the overflowing basket of crap that was Episode 1, but still not what I'd consider a "good" movie. This movie is perhaps an excellent example of mediocrity with money at its finest.

Lucas can continue laughing all the way to the bank.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(2001)

A landmark movie
I was hesitant to see this movie, due to the building hype. The trailers were so excellent, I almost *knew* I would be disappointed. I wasn't, however. I was enthralled... stapled to my seat... feeling my eyes dry out because I didn't want to blink.

I hate to sound like I'm gushing... normally, I'm very picky. However, this movie was over the top in so many ways that it was simply overwhelming. I've read the books, but I did not go to see the book. I went to see a movie based on the books. It did wonderfully in that. The changes/cuts made were immaterial in the end.

The movie itself was truly amazing. The visuals alone were enough to overwhelm the senses. In the face of every carefully chosen and tended location, one felt small, as if caught up in another reality. From the peace of Hobbiton to the peak of Mt. Doom, every scene was unearthly and supremely done.

The actors were well chosen. They carried their roles well enough to never really jar the senses... they maintained the crucial suspension of disbelief. One never thinks about their acting, and they were a good visual compliment to their attitudes. I expected some groaners, but they did suprisingly well. The only one that came close was Elrond, but just force yourself to forget The Matrix, and you'll find him a pleasingly plausible elf-king.

The plot? What can I say? It's Tolkien. It's nice to see a movie go back to good vs. evil for once. It's been a long time since we've been allowed to just sit and watch good guys and bad guys go at it, and not worry about who's who and why they do what they do. This is a movie, despite some moments of violent combat, that a reasonable child should be able to enjoy along with their family.

All in all, this movie is excellent. Fantastic. Wonderful. A bunch of other adjectives I'm not going to bother listing for now. I loved it, and will probably see it yet again before it leaves the theater. Go see it. If you're disappointed, it's because you want to be.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(2001)

A landmark movie
I was hesitant to see this movie, due to the building hype. The trailers were so excellent, I almost *knew* I would be disappointed. I wasn't, however. I was enthralled... stapled to my seat... feeling my eyes dry out because I didn't want to blink.

I hate to sound like I'm gushing... normally, I'm very picky. However, this movie was over the top in so many ways that it was simply overwhelming. I've read the books, but I did not go to see the book. I went to see a movie based on the books. It did wonderfully in that. The changes/cuts made were immaterial in the end.

The movie itself was truly amazing. The visuals alone were enough to overwhelm the senses. In the face of every carefully chosen and tended location, one felt small, as if caught up in another reality. From the peace of Hobbiton to the peak of Mt. Doom, every scene was unearthly and supremely done.

The actors were well chosen. They carried their roles well enough to never really jar the senses... they maintained the crucial suspension of disbelief. One never thinks about their acting, and they were a good visual compliment to their attitudes. I expected some groaners, but they did suprisingly well. The only one that came close was Elrond, but just force yourself to forget The Matrix, and you'll find him a pleasingly plausible elf-king.

The plot? What can I say? It's Tolkien. It's nice to see a movie go back to good vs. evil for once. It's been a long time since we've been allowed to just sit and watch good guys and bad guys go at it, and not worry about who's who and why they do what they do. This is a movie, despite some moments of violent combat, that a reasonable child should be able to enjoy along with their family.

All in all, this movie is excellent. Fantastic. Wonderful. A bunch of other adjectives I'm not going to bother listing for now. I loved it, and will probably see it yet again before it leaves the theater. Go see it. If you're disappointed, it's because you want to be.

Flesh+Blood
(1985)

Good portrayal of medieval brutality
This movie was definitely not for the kids. Let me get that out of the way. Very violent, very dark, very adult. I expected as much, but rarely do movies go so uninhibited when attempting subject matter such as this one.

The movie itself is deep on a couple levels, shallow on others. This movie concentrates almost entirely on personal interplay between the 3 main characters, Martin, Agnes, and Steven. The interaction is quite good and one can almost visualize the plots within plots stirring in their brains.

However, the plot suffers for it. It's really a basic movie, more of a period piece than a complete story. There are large gaps and leaps in logic, as well as believability. But this movie was never about plot. The plot was a backdrop for the interactions of the characters.

As a backdrop, it does very well indeed. Costumes are all pretty close to the mark for period landsknechts (German mercenaries), though not as gaudy as one sees in the history books. Probably because they were hardly ever clean or whole in real life (mercenaries would replace torn or worn out clothing with pieces taken from fallen opponents). The score is well done and unobtrusive, and the locations suitably bleak. Overall, the feel of the movie is authentic, plague-ridden medieval complete with life-is-cheap attitudes. I would caution, however, that this movie is not a whole picture of medieval times, but rather a look into the lives of a violent subculture (though some general attitudes are pointed out, as one reviewer posted, a conversation takes place near a hanged man with barely a thought).

Overall, how you rate this movie depends on what you get out of it. Is it a good "ride"? I'd say yes. The plot was thin, but hey, it was in the Mummy as well... and we don't go see those kind of movies for plot. The movie is immersive and very different than typical Hollywood faire. One of the better medieval movies I've seen.

But if rape, brutality, superstition and disease are not your cup of tea, there may be too much here for you to glimpse the interactions underneath, and you'll probably dislike it.

The Mummy Returns
(2001)

If your expecting art, put down your ticket and back away...
Well, let me begin by saying that this is *not* a movie to go to seeking some sort of cinema enlightenment or deep, involving plots. What it is, is the equivalent of a really fast amusement park ride. There's no thinking, no being "moved"... just gut-clenching nonstop thrill after thrill.

The movie feels like a read of a 30's pulp novel which is, of course, what it's modeled after. The good guys are really good, and the bad guys really bad. No grey, no hemming and hawing over who's right and not... just straightforward headfirst action.

Mind you, this kind of movie is best enjoyed in moderation. This kind of action film gets old pretty fast. Luckily, they tend to come only one or two a year. When they do, however, it's time to strap into your seat, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Don't come looking for culture. It's just not there. Instead, turn off the cartoon bubble for a couple hours and have some good old, childlike, cowboys & indians-cops & robbers style fun.

Event Horizon
(1997)

Excellent despite a couple shortfalls
Straight off, let me say that this movie is well done overall, though it could have been more. Whether I personally could have handled more of this is another matter.

The movie has a deliciously dark and claustrophobic feel to it... I found myself looking for an escape while watching it. Afterwards, my house felt too small and dark to be comfortable. That tells me the set design if nothing else was effective.

The acting was fair, being pretty standard and having its stellar moments (especially from Mr. Neill). There were some lines I thought the movie could do without and some bits that could have been written better. Overall, however, I didn't feel it was a sufficient enough detraction to remove from the overall effect of the movie.

The plot was straightforward and at times, predictable. I guess unlike other reviewers I don't sit at a movie seeing if I can guess what's next... I expect to be taken on a ride, not to drive. Only when a movie is so boring that I have nothing else to focus on do I worry about what's next. This one moved along briskly, and lulled at suitable moments to allow viewers to catch their breath. It interjected enough backstory to keep the suspension of disbelief up while maintaining the proper pacing for a movie in this vein.

Special effects were moderate. They were good enough not to date the movie but nothing spectacular. The set designs outpaced them handily. Combined with good cinematography, the physical feel of the movie actually had more weight and impact than the rest of its elements.

Overall, I was frightened by this movie. Watching it alone at 1 AM I almost had to leave the house after I saw it. There were moments that in all honesty kinda stank, but the overall effect was unhindered by them. The level of gore was high, but it was properly used, I think. The subject matter this movie dealt with combined the elements of gore and violence and other taboo subjects in the proper way to shock, but didn't load them up to the point of rediculousness. However, I do warn that you do prepare to be shocked. This movie, when it opens up, pulls no punches. It is a scary, creepy movie that if it had been done to some high ideal of "perfection" in what it tried to do might be nigh unwatchable. I highly recommend it for a good scare. Watch with friends. :-)

Dungeons & Dragons
(2000)

Sets new levels for making fantasy unpopular in movies.
I was looking forward to this movie. I really was. I am a long time fan of D&D and things related, and seeing the previews, was actually quite expectant.

Wow was I disappointed.

This movie was bad, bad, bad. Where can one begin?

The plot? About as substantial as a sheet of toilet paper, and not quite as entertaining. There was no backstory for any of the characters or events... though this might have spared viewers more of the horrible acting.

The special effects? Well, they were adequate for the budget. Considering everything else, however, they got old fast.

The writing? This was written by a group of guys who thought "gee this would be neat" and since they had investors and signed the paychecks everyone else agreed. Bad move. There was more garbage dialogue here than in a John Madden telethon.

The acting? Ahhh... we come to the acting. What can one say when Marlan Wayans is the best actor in the film? He's not that good, don't fool yourself... rather everyone else is just that bad. The acting was on a line with poorly put together community theater. Someone paid these people for this when they could have saved more money for better special effects raiding a local high school or SCA event. Aweful, bad, naughty, evil acting.

To sum it up... this movie I think even negated itself from having potential. It was kind of like Twister, except without Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt to carry the acting (yes... that bad). Save your money and let a delusional friend rent it before you watch.

Gladiator
(2000)

A wonderful romp through Rome.
This movie straight off will not satisfy history buffs or IFC fans. However, it is full of smooth dialogue, great lines and scenery, and tons of emotion. I didn't expect to be wowed, but some things just did it to me. I tried not to like the plot, but was simply overwhelmed by the spectacle. Still I cannot go higher than an 8 due to those plot points. (if you read any of these reviews, you'll know... i'll spare you another list of flaws).

However, this is Russell Crowe's film. He oozes dignity, machismo, bravery... he is just 'da man. Now while I'm not a huge Russell Crowe fan, this movie was made for him. He dominates it like a Colossus, overshadowing other roles as simply the coolest character around. His acting wasn't as colorful as some... Commodus was better acted... but he carried the image of the practical soldier who just wants to go home to the hilt. A hero to look up to, which is missing in the modern culture for the most part.

In all though, the film was a fantastical romp through the Roman world. Sure it had glaring inaccuracies. Sure it had silly plot leaps. But it was a movie to slam you into your seat and make you watch. A well cooked steak and potatoes kind of movie. I heartily enjoyed it.

Honor Thy Mother
(1992)

Pure, unadulterated propaganda and sensationalism.
Normally, I wouldn't even stoop to viewing trash like this, but since role-playing is a dear hobby to me, and such was the subject of the film, I did. It was garbage in so many ways that I do not know where to begin. I would rather sit through the "Plan 9 from Outer Space" marathon than watch another minute of this vomit. At least Plan 9 didn't have an agenda. How the media could capitulate and irresponsibly represent extremist agenda as fact is beyond me. It is a scary time when a whole group of people can be unceremoniously trounced with no defense and no real facts presented. I know this commentary went more social, but it couldn't be helped, as this movie begged it. Imagine a pro-nazi film being reviewed strictly on film merit. Won't happen. As it sits, the people who made this film are facists themselves, and should perhaps move into a communist enclave where propagandizing is accepted.

Cruel Doubt
(1992)

Seriously, if you liked or believed this, you need help.
This movie is a big steaming pile of horse-hockey. Can we say "slanted"? This is a movie that thousands of parents will use (borrowed from the fundamentalist's library, of course) to indoctrinate their children as to why alot of shy, introverted kids who like to game are evil... all while beating them for thinking impure thoughts. Seriously, this kind of misrepresentation and trash is best discouraged by libel lawsuits. If you take any part of this film as fact, let me sell you Florida real-estate. This film had an agenda,a big one... and set to target alot of innocent people and label them as threats to society. No, not a movie presenting "gangstas" as misrepresented youth with a few problems that putting them in time out will cure... but a movie that paints intelligent, caring and imaginative kids who are fond of literary pursuits as borderline psychotics with a thin grip on reality. When did logic get a haircut here? As far as it's quality as a movie... this thing was brutal. Perhaps I'm a bit slanted, but the plot was as transparent as a baggie. The acting was on that level as well. I've seen corporate films on steel-plant production with more drama. My recommendation, if you have a choice between contracting typhoid and watching this movie, it may be a hard one. Don't waste money or time on it. Life is far too short.

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