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The Swarm

From someone who watched the 156 minutes cut !
When this movie was theatrically released, it ran about 116 minutes. In the 1980s, a long cut of 156 minutes was released on LaserDisc. This version is the one now available on DVD. And it's what I watched, or should I say.. what I sorely watched!

First off, this is, in its core, a lovable Irwin Allen formula: A disaster that hits a lot of people, with exciting time and happy ending, done by big production and many stars. And, in a way, it can be one of his most ambitious projects too, since it centers around something new and creative, killer bees, and aside from hitting a ship as in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), or a tower as in The Towering Inferno (1974), this round, the disaster hits a whole city. However, I won't say here that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, rather the good intentions didn't pave the road to paradise!

You can sum up the problems of this movie in just 2 words: bore and naivety. As for the bore: The intro is long. The scientist's orders are numerous. The helicopter's landing shots recurred too many times to count. The dialogue is so TV-ish; namely fat and annoying. There is a scene where a father watches the number on his son's corpse; it was the top of bore, since all of the scene is unnecessary, and we don't even see that character again!

As for the naivety: How did the bees take down the helicopter?! The same question gets more provocative when the bees blow up a nuclear reactor, and derail a train (although they're scary sad events, but I got the biggest laugh during them!). The dead people has no stings on them! We see the big unreal bee, that the kid sees, from the movie's point of view, not the kid's point of view! The heroine suffers the pain of being stung, again, and nobody notices?! In the heart of the tragedy, the 2 leads are walking in the city's streets, remembering its past, as if the atmosphere is peaceful, and they have nothing to do! The last shot with the 2 of them standing in front of a massively huge fire was ironically fake. Henry Fonda's character died because he was DUMB, SO DUMB! The scene of "let's burn up the city" was even dumber! However, the rank of "the dumbest" goes deservedly to a line that Michael Caine's character says to the kid, which is something like: "Being an orphan is not recommended!", undoubtedly this is the thing that I hated the most in this movie!

Strange that the script is written by Stirling Silliphant, who did before many honorable movies as a scriptwriter, such as In the Heat of the Night (1967), Murphy's War (1971), The New Centurions (1972), or The Poseidon Adventure (1972). As you see, whatever the genre was, he never tended to commit chatter or naiveties!

On the other hand, I loved the idea of bees as monsters. The complexity of the situation was kind of thrilling; till the very end, you don't know how to beat that enemy. The special effects were overall believable. The conflict between the general and the doctor was attractive, embodying the tense relationship sometimes between militarism and scientism, or rushing heart and wise mind. Richard Widmark and Michael Caine got good chemistry. And while Caine overacts during the airdrop discussion scene, Widmark stole the show, especially when he gets desperate near the end, and jokes about it.

Everybody rave that this is the worst movie ever made, while it's really not that awful. For me, it's like an interesting sci-fi mini-series, that tries to deal with its subject seriously, however insists on having disposable scenes and fabricated calamities, wasting its rich idea and cast, and with no dazzling production values, it's on the edge of camp already. So while it possibly hoped for being a cross between The Birds (1963) and Earthquake (1974), it ended up as something between B and C movies.

Still, it's not the worst movie ever made. Maybe the worst movie of its year!

Assault on Precinct 13

The small movie that became a big joke !
I love John Carpenter for a lot of reasons. One of them is his ability to make good movies by modest budgets. And while Assault on Precinct 13 has modest budget, it's not a good movie!

As everybody said, including Carpenter himself, this is a cross between Rio Bravo (1959) and Night of the Living Dead (1968), which is a nice idea in itself. Some of the dialogue were a bit clever. And despite its profanities, which I hate, I must admit that it didn't tend to overuse them, hundreds of times, to express its characters (a kind that became a memory from the past!). Austin Stoker is charismatic, with mostly workable performance. Though, speaking about charisma and acting, Tony Burton stole the show, as the real star around, despite the shortness of this role. Carpenter's editing was fair, and more of a lead. And director of cinematography Douglas Knapp gets A-plus for his atmospheric and attractive work. So why the 5 out of 10 rating?!

As for the story, it's poor and hasty. Can you tell me why did the evil guys kill the ice-cream truck driver, and the little girl? Well, the evil guys were called the Street Thunder gang, who 6 of them were killed by LAPD officers, and the rest of them, four warlords, swore a blood oath of revenge against the police and the citizens of Los Angeles. The thing is I knew all of that from the movie's page on Wikipedia, not from the movie! How those four warlords multiplied heavily, in no time and no sense, is something this movie enjoys showing, and doesn't bother to logicalize whatsoever. Anyway, they must be silent like zombies as a tribute for Night of the Living Dead, or mysterious to have a mythical deep (??), and get the fool critics and viewers appreciation in the way as well. Because using your brain as a scriptwriter, to explain anything, and respect yourself and your audience--proved to be something silly and unneeded!

The officer respects the criminal from the get-go, so there wasn't any dramatic transformation or additional conflict. The tension was weak, next movies like The Negotiator (1998), Deep Blue Sea (1999), or Panic Room (2002) would be smarter in dealing with the elements of thrill that some lead (s) might encounter in a besieged shelter. Some serious scenes made me laugh (going to talk in a phone booth, in front of the ones who want to kill you, IS NOT a right thing to do!). And the countless evil guys got finished, or vanished, so easily in the end. Moreover, the blood was rosy not red, writing the time continually on the screen didn't develop any excitement as it was intended, and killing the little girl wasn't a cinematic victory for me; rather something done to satisfy the blood hungry viewers!

Then the performance, OH MY GOD the performance! Please, don't tell me to not get angry of the cast, since they were a bunch of unknowns and newcomers. Many movies, with other unknowns and newcomers, had way better acting (or acting in the first place!). And when Carpenter *loves* the performance of Laurie Zimmer, one of the worst actresses in history according to this movie--then I must get more and more angry! As for Miss Zimmer alone, she's something to watch, and - why not - to study, yet in terms of subjects like unprecedented horror in movies, supernatural bad acting, the psychologically distractive monotony, and the deadest eyes a living human being had (talking about zombies!). To be brief, I'll say that the performance in this movie was stiff. This is to be brief, and so polite also!

Carpenter as a musician created electronic tasteless score. While it's supposed to be creepy and intense, his music was cold and boring. And Carpenter as a director failed miserably to lead the scenes in the police station. They look as the dullest TV work I have ever been tormented by!

So it's not a good movie, and the problem isn't in that only, it's in the incomprehensible glorification that it had, and still has, too. When I read about this movie's brilliant portrayal of urban warfare, its frightening look at modern civilization, and Carpenter's absolute greatness in it, I don't think about "Ok, it's a world with too many different tastes after all". No, I think about "How anybody can get more misguided by media!". And if this movie is praised for having a black lead, a tough heroine, a mysterious enemy, and a scene of a child being shot--then The Master of Disguise (2002) must be also praised for having a lead who can imitate turtles, a mentor who appears in bubbles, a farting enemy, and a scene of eating someone's nose then putting it in its place again!

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) is lazy and primitive small movie, that has so little entertainment. Though ranking it as an action thriller classic, and one of the 1970s best, makes it a big joke for me. Big unfunny joke to be precise!

Columbo: Murder, a Self Portrait
Episode 1, Season 9

Much sex, little Columbo !
It has a lot of virtues: The atmosphere is fresh. The black and white dreams aren't a bad idea, on the contrary; it's a new element for the show, and a creative way to solve the case. And the dialogue is marvelously meaty it fitted a Russian play. Add to that, an elegant cinematography, nice music score, clever directing, and mostly fine performance. So based on the above, this is a strong movie, with high hopes to the viewer. Hmmm, I think not. Why?! Here's my reasons:

Firstly, the sex factor was overabundant. It's the cheap and disgraceful method of the post-1970s Columbo movies, where Peter Falk was an executive producer. However, this time, it reached to a semi-nude shot; which was the most impudent shot I have ever seen in an American TV material at the moment! Well, Columbo wasn't used to be exploitative, but in this phase of the show it had to, for the sake of making money yet by the lowest ways. And there is a hint to Baywatch (1989), which began 2 months earlier by the way, indicating another age of TV; where entertainment would be united with nudity, and art would be plagued by degradation!

Speaking of which, for whoever asked about the unheard line, which the painter's wife whispered in his ear before leaving him: It's clear that she wanted to enrage him, by telling him that she has a sexual relationship with his girlfriend. And it's clear that it wasn't appropriate thing to say loudly in a 1989 TV movie. And it's clear that it was dirty as a joke, or stupid as a dramatic development, which was put there to make Columbo edgy anyhow, where anything risqué goes!

Secondly, our dear Columbo wasn't there quantitatively and qualitatively. On one hand, the relationships of the painter and his women ate up the whole time. And on the other, Falk's approach of the character had gone completely comedic in an annoying manner. Why he went to belittle the character deliberately like that? For selling the show?? Oh God, the character was more attractive as a serious guy who has his accidental comedic moments. More attractive, and more respectable too!

Anyway, this is the most Columbo movie where I felt the absence of the great Lieutenant and his lovable antics. I saw him only when he was confused while meeting the painter's women for the first time, thinking that the man has endless wives. However, for the movie's rest, Columbo that you know and love isn't here. The one in hand is someone with the same name and aspect, but not that scarily smart anymore, or even close. And he's played by some Peter Falk's look-alike, who's deprived of talent and charisma. You can delete that guy altogether, and replace him with any crime solver from the American TV back then; like J.J. Starbuck, The Commish, or B.L. Stryker, knowing that none of them won the massive success, or the long years, of Columbo. It's where Columbo, as a character and performance, became lesser than itself; and what a painful irony that this movie causes!

Thirdly, the script got couple of foolish points. For instance, how the painter's sadness over his dead ex-wife vanished in the same day of her death, to the extent of talking Columbo into drawing him because of his interesting face. That was too exaggerated, hence unbelievable. It's like her killer declares from the start: "I'm happy because she died", establishing himself as a perfect suspect. And for another, the way that killer surrendered so easily in the end was mega-provocative. And according to the movie's IMDb reviews, I'm not alone on hating this!

(Murder, a Self Portrait) has its share of virtues, and vices as well. True the vices were lesser, but they were also graver. Enough to say that there was no Columbo, no Peter Falk, with much sex and less convincing ending. So, eventually, the strong movie got weaker, and the high hopes shrunk to average, if not trite, stuff.

The Spy Next Door

This is not the way Jackie Chan jumps in the malls !
Ok, this is an uncredited remake of The Pacifier (2005). My theory goes like this: it was written originally for Jackie Chan, but when he was busy with other projects, they hired Vin Diesel instead, to get the movie made anyway. And 5 years later, when Chan became available, they modified the script a bit, then made it again as The Spy Next Door (2010). However, with simple comparison, The Spy Next Door is less good than The Pacifier, and maybe Mr. Nanny (1993) as well!

I believe that this is one of Chan's worst American movies, if not the worst. He seemed in a pretty miserable condition. As if he was sick, or devoting all of his energy to talk good English; especially that he talks here more than doing stunts, which leads to the movie's most enraging points: if you need a star who can talk more than doing stunts, why to bring the honorable Mr. Jackie Chan in the first place?? Where was Eddie Murphy for God's sake?! And yeah, for the death knell, Chan looked older than his character. While being 56-year-old, he fitted more the kids' grandpa!

As for the script, the modifications that it did to be different than The Pacifier's script included: a love affair between the undercover agent and the mom, the way how the lead reaches to every kid, and the climactic fight with the bad guys. But, ultimately, there wasn't much of a difference! The scenes which carry out the development of the lead's relationship with the kids, and the solutions of their problems--were blandly written. I really wonder why there wasn't any kind of effort spent in those scenes; for convincing the poor us, and making the movie suitable for more than one viewing. Generally, the whole movie was utterly generic, and everything in it you have seen it before, and was better too!

Director Brian Levant was super in his earlier movies The Flintstones (1994), and Jingle All the Way (1996). This round, he was super.. dull. He made a sitcom, with not much of cinematic spirit. And presented the action in tight cadres, with no creativity or rather feeling. Seriously, the action scenes were few, laconic, embarrassing, and bad. For instance, in the fight beside the pool, I was highly angry and disappointed; while Chan does what we came basically to watch, why cutting to things that got nothing to do with him, us, or the human race?!! So the cat over the roof is watching him, WHY DO I CARE?!! And it killed me, along with every Chan's fan I suppose, to see our legendary star tied up, for all the time, by those flying wires, even while doing the most trivial moves!

Playing parts of Chan's old movies in the opening credits was a sign of weakness. For one reason, these movies were stronger than the one in hand. For another, using P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri's song Secret Agent Man was trite, because it was used and overused in countless spy movies and TV shows. And for a third reason already, the idea of seeing parts of older movies of a star, in his latest movie's intro, was done before in The Shootist (1976), and Hardly Working (1980). Needless to say that the first was trying to honor John Wayne in his final outing, and the second came after years of Jerry Lewis's absence as a leading man, and before his demise as one for good. It's like reminding the audience of Chan in his fading years, while the guy is still prosperous, and his position isn't that sad yet!

For any possible positive points: Alina Foley as Nora was adorable. The evil team was nice, despite the fact that George Lopez was nominated for a Razzie due to his performance. And the scene of the Russian kid was fair. The rest was frustrating; like the jump that Chan did in the mall to grab Foley. Watch Chan's jump in another mall in Police Story (1985), to know well that this is not the way Jackie Chan jumps in the malls!

The Spy Next Door is not a Jackie Chan movie. It doesn't even have Jackie Chan in it. It's a bore that I've watched before in the weakest Disney TV movies. Actually, the biggest problem with this movie is that it looks like a cheese box, which matches numerous other cheese boxes, and has tasteless cheese as well!

After Earth

Appalling Digital Injustice !
This movie was extremely cursed. But when I watched it, I discovered that it didn't deserve 90% of that hate. It was wronged by false accusations, and the scary part is how those accusations were widespread everywhere, in a world ruled by facebook and twitter!

It's a very good survival movie that has a message about controlling fear. There are unstoppable thrill and enjoyable visuals. The direction was above average. I loved the moment where the son's S.O.S travels into space as a light wave that ends with opening the father's spaceship. This creative transition reminded me with the taste of editing in Stanley Kubrick's (2001: A Space Odyssey - 1968). It's is one of M. Night Shyamalan's best moments ever.

The conflict is nearly the movie's top element. The 2 leads have many parties to face and challenge. Review with me: The father vs. death, his worry over his son, and the trials of his conscience. And the son vs. unknown nature, losing contact with anybody, losing his equipment, fear for his life, fear for his father's life, killing his sister's assumption, the runaway monster, and other monsters. It's attractive and hot, where every minute has an obstacle to overcome.

The science fiction was super, especially the techniques that provided the father with seeing and feeling every little detail around, and in, his son (I liked how the son's lie was revealed by his heartbeats). The CGI did masterfully. The Ursa monster was its highest victory. Its design was outstanding, and one of the most original since the Xenomorph of Ridley Scott's (Alien - 1979). The fight sequence with it was fabulous action, and underrated like everything here!

Actually, the reviews I read after watching the movie was trivial before being unjust. There wasn't a single review that specified the huge problems that made this movie "awful in every way" as they all agreed in such a terrifying blindness. Controlling the collective brain like this must terrify you. Because when someone is convinced of a certain viewpoint about something beforehand, repeating it till he believes it and propagates it--then it's completely dangerous and inhuman!

The movie's problems are less powerful than destroying it. Let's see: Jaden Smith's performance isn't good. His understanding of the character differs. Sometimes he's the insensitive student, sometimes he's the son who hates his father, sometimes he's the helpless child, and sometimes he's the brave hero. In the first 15 min, I watched at least 3 characters, not one!

Will Smith wasn't better off. His mistake lied in his approach to his character. He saw him a fearless man, hence played him as perfectly wooden. That's wrong, pal. Because wooden characters don't need wooden performance. For instance, if you're going to give a speech about bore, it doesn't need to be boring itself. Sorrowfully, Smith's acting missed the human warmth. And if the role was a robot, his feelings would have been more visible. That father character should have gotten out of that coldness which utterly swallowed him, to witness the human that he is; in a quiver of an eye, or a cry of pain. However, he started off as a statue and ended up as one!

As a director, Shyamalan didn't make a tedious movie as they said. It's fast-paced, except 3 shots; where I felt that editing should have been more energetic. For example, the shot in which the father opened up the spaceship's computer after having a broken leg. I didn't figure out why elongating that? I believe there was no specific emotion to be felt, or some notion worthy of meditating. And as a co-writer, with Gary Whitta, I'm not fond of the father's monologue about fear. It just needed rewriting to be less naive, and more effective.

Generally, this is an entertaining movie, that has a meaning; which is a great kind, and scarce for that matter nowadays. Shyamalan did his share of bad movies, and this is not one of them. The worst thing about it though is the appalling digital injustice which it had. This is the true monster which "fear mustn't be the choice" when it comes to it. Therefore, refuse the fear of watching the movie which everybody hates for no apparent reason, and be that determined to evaluate it objectively instead of making jokes about it!

P.S: (Honest Trailers) is a clever web series that mixes movie review and comedy, through the movie trailers' medium. However, the (After Earth) episode failed to define the movie's problems clearly, and was content with mocking at it; riding the wave back then, and throwing accusations about the movie while being ignorant of its real points of weaknesses or strengths. It's an ideal example of many reviews that cursed (After Earth) unscrupulously.

Green Lantern

A Superman Ghost !
In terms of having: origin story of a superhero, usual earthly city, unusual spatial world, superpowers that go public late, and bad guy for the sequel from the first movie's start--then this movie is influenced by Richard Donner's Superman (1978) BADLY!

The problem, rather the catastrophe, isn't in this only. It's in that script as a whole. There are many wrong things with its structure, characters, logicality, pace, climax.. etc.

Ok, let's see: Why the blabber at the beginning? How any contracting could be done after the fiasco of a performance that the lead did with the plane? Why the lead's recruitment was delayed? How he surrendered easily to the call of heroism?! Why he was chosen to be the hero while he's a determined clumsy from the get go?! And to add more nuclear fuel: How come that all the other, more strong, Green Lantern superheroes couldn't defeat the terrifying universal monster, and that poor guy could? How can I believe that??

And that villain; how can you hate him while he's a victim?! He's someone who lives peacefully, and harms no one. Then after getting infected with alien DNA, he *suddenly* sees his lethal hatred to his father, and his failed love.. where was that since day one?! He was supposed to be evil beforehand, and that yellow energy just gave him the power to carry out his wicked desires. Otherwise, every nerd out there is nothing but a crazy serial killer who waits for a good chance to start slaying people!

The movie is long and uninteresting, shouting proudly: "I'm boring!". The lead has the ring after 30 min, and gets super after 40 min. The matter of having fear, and facing it, recurred time after time, to wearisome extent. There are parts where the drama goes to sleep, and the action dies, provocatively; like the scene in which the lead tells his secret to his girl on some roof; which was similar to another roof scene in Superman (1978)!

Ask yourself: What's the necessity of having the lead's scene with his dad AGAIN in the plane?! Or having a moment in which the villain discovers that he has telepathic skills?! Or having a scene where the lead turns into the title character in front of his friend? Originally, what's the necessity of having that friend or the lead's nephew?! The answer of all of that is: Nothing. Totally Nothing. These moments and characters were better being deleted!

The training sequence on planet Oa was a farce compared to the wild nature of its characters. You can say that again about the imaginary car scene. Even the way the lead used his powers at the climax was disappointing. Well, the movie's makers were the real disappointing, with their limited imagination.

Aside from that careless script, the designing of the Green Lantern Corps characters was hideous. The Guardians of the Universe were extremely laughable. It's as if the CGI guys stole the worst designs of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and made the rest as ugly fish. Even the villain looks like the Elephant Man. I wrote in my notebook while the viewing: "Make something watchable of our own, please!".

Ryan Reynolds is perfectly unbearable. He has such a pale charisma and weak talent. His face is one-note, not during the whole movie, rather during all of his movies. I think that part of his success in Deadpool later is that his face was covered. I know that I had problems finishing Green Lantern due to that face alone! Peter Sarsgaard was worse. He screams more than Shia LaBeouf, and the makeup made him too repulsive to be watched. Tim Robbins is only 13 years older than him, so how come that he plays his father?! Robbins himself seemed joking around, as if he didn't love being in the movie, expressing that in a way!

Director Martin Campbell is considered one of the action movies' masters. So how in God's name he made THIS?! He underestimated the job, was uninspired, or worked with a material he hated (as I read indeed)??? At any rate, he delivered a pipe dream!

Any pros? I can say the glamorous voices of Mark Strong, Geoffrey Rush, and Michael Clarke Duncan. Plus, the idea of Parallax as a mix of mighty fear, huge smoke, and cities destroyer.

Long story short, this is Superman: the empty remake. After canceling its sequel, and going for a reboot instead, I hope that the producers read the observed foibles in its script, and learn themselves any lesson first. Obviously, Hollywood's main catastrophe nowadays is in dealing with a serious element like the script recklessly. If only they knew that!

Finally, I believe that this movie, as it is, has its fan base. And big part of the reason is other based-on-DC-comics tragedies that came later, like: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Suicide Squad (2016), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Actually they make Green Lantern (2011) look nice and entertaining!


When Style is The Tenet !
Imagine that you are in a hall, and someone is giving a speech by a dead language, for 2 hours and a half. Sure I can conceive your level of provocation. But what if after translating what he was saying, you discovered that he was speaking gibberish? Now, I can't conceive your level of anger!

I couldn't understand a thing from this movie. While it's 150 minutes long, I have at least 150 unanswered questions. Every second is unbearable, with rare kind of bore; the bore of watching a running corpse that speaks cryptically and acts absurdly. And I didn't enjoy anything which could seduce me to watch the whole thing again. So as a movie that has leverage, through story or visuals, it doesn't!

You read things like how director Christopher Nolan took more than 5 years to write the script. Ok, a right info, or a false publicity, both ways, this is so hasty script that didn't care whatsoever of building anything.

As for the story, forget it, because the movie itself forgot it earlier. There is a wife who wants a divorce from an abusing husband, some plutonium, gold bars, a time machine, and unseen guys from the future. Now this gibberish was being said to you by a dead language, since the plot is tremendously arduous like a complicated maze, rather unsolvable enigma. The dialogue savored not telling you one thing clearly; even the pace of uttering it was robotic. And the editing is a villain, forcing me to believe that a computer did it all. Hence, the ugly result was robots that talk and walk, made by robot that writes and directs.

It doesn't have the slightest dose of drama, overstepping abstraction to emptiness, transforming the essential into non-existent, and producing tons of confusion and repulsion. Can anybody tell me what's the lead's motive, history, or profession? What he was doing in the opera, or in the airport? And how does he survive death every time? Moreover, who is Neil? How the inverted weapons can destroy the world? What's the future guys' agenda? Just think: the heroine kisses her son, so we know that she loves him, but why not writing a situation to feel that?! The answer of this, and else, is laziness. The same laziness that made the movie's protagonist named simply "the protagonist"!

To save you more pains, let's jump to the climactic sequence: The shootout is a farce. I challenge you to comprehend who was doing what, or who came from the future to save who, and how he did it. The evil man suddenly monologues to the protagonist by a fabricated phone call. Generally, the movie has one of the biggest loads of fabrication I have ever seen. The editing is faster than your attention, and every attempt to understand a thing always ends unsuccessfully. Then a final scene that talks to itself, since the movie lost you already, and still insists on gibberish!

Nolan seems haunted by James Bond movies badly. He thinks that changing the scenery, from nation to another, and stuffing the time with action sequences, yet without real plot or logic--can make an enjoyable movie anyway. But you know what? In Bond movies, we have more solid characters, even if paper thin, more comprehensible events, more dazzling action, and - most importantly - no annoying timeline!

Speaking of which, the movie is highly annoying for the mind. The matter of moving normally in an inverted world is awfully fatiguing for the viewer, especially with the stingiest expositions, a cold-blooded killer of a dialogue, and that villainous editing!

The reviewers say strange stuff. Some said it's about technology in our lives. So how is that exactly? Is it because the leads use cell phones for instance?! Accordingly, every contemporary movie and TV show is about technology! Some say that this movie is a masterpiece. When a movie is understood only by its maker, then is it a masterpiece or self indulgence?! Long story short, these reviewers don't want to look stupid, so they blabber about anything serious, even if it was imaginary.

Btw, some reviewers say that the performance of John David Washington is good. What performance then? There weren't characters to be played in the first place. In this case, how come that any actor got the chance to show acting muscles, since there wasn't a body for him?! So when Washington was saying: "I'm the protagonist of this operation!" it was the top of naivety and patheticness. For me, his face was mute just like the movie's drama; so if he's praised for that, I totally agree!

Virtues: I liked the first conversation between the protagonist and the evil guy. The mere thought of making a thriller through an inverted world. And that's about it.

So what's (Tenet) in conclusion? I can't say it is a video game. Video games have more heat and fun. Their target is about giving you entertainment, not headache. And mostly they aren't full of pedantry and recklessness. Honestly, (Tenet) is a heartless, mindless, senseless, and joyless movie. Was it Nolan's hastiness, or ego? At any rate, the aftermath is a stupid movie that thinks itself intelligent, and if you asked me, this is the worst kind at all.

It's not "style over narrative" as much as "style runs over narrative", and the scary part is that it became a tenet in Hollywood lately.

P.S: How dare you reference (Casablanca)? It was a great movie, back when things like story and humanity were alive!

Predator 2

Predator vs. Dirty Harry !
Predator (1987) took place in the jungle, and in the present day of its year. So transporting the events from the jungle to the city, and - somehow - into the future, was too bold from its sequel's side. Because, as you know by heart, sequels that don't repeat their originals are scarce. And while Predator 2 (1990) managed to be bold and scarce, it couldn't be brilliant though.

Casting Danny Glover as the lead was beautifully different. For one reason, he's not Arnold Schwarzenegger; the megastar of the first movie. And for another, he's a black actor; and it wasn't that common to have an Afro-American as a lead of an action sci-fi blockbuster in Hollywood at the moment (even Denzel Washington wouldn't be one unless 5 years later in "Virtuosity"). However, Glover wasn't charismatic enough, despite the cool shades, and his character wasn't a real character in the first place; he's a flat version of Dirty Harry, yet against a serial killer "alien" this time!

Although the script has a few creative points; like building up a potential crossover between the Predator's and the Alien's franchises, or like the strange powers of the Predator himself. However, hastiness invaded nearly everything else. For instance: The Predator is on a killing spree, without a hidden agenda or a smart reason. The lead suffers from acrophobia inexplicably. The relationship between him and his colleagues is laconic, therefore feeling sorry for their deaths is out of the question. And not the very well known matter of: How the Predators spaceship is landed in the middle of the city without anybody noticing?, No, it's originally: How the lead found himself there that simply and quickly?! Well, fabrication was less raw in other B-movies!

Let alone some dullness as well: The lead is hanging out of the car in the first sequence, to an extent that makes him a very easy target for the gangs he was facing. The woman, who the Predator broke into her bathroom, sensed his existence so late, despite the fact that he pulled down her wall first. For a man who's afraid of heights, the lead dealt with that roof in such a competent way that miscarried a thrilling moment competently. When the Predator handed over a 18th century pistol to the lead at the end; it seemed like a pointless move (particularly with no later prequel to explain that, as it was intended). And the comic relief, through Bill Paxton's character, was horrible, serving as additional factor of horror instead!

It's obvious how this movie is affected by Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop (1987), the near hit back then, in terms of having a dystopian futuristic city, crazy street gangs, bloody and gory action, with thin satirical voice; concerning the hungry media, and the failed authority. However, I'm the world's number 1 non-fan of RoboCop, and I deem Predator 2's affection by it is one of its worst aspects!

Since my childhood, I witnessed how loading movies with sex, nudity, violence, and foul language is a must in most of Hollywood production, as maybe something desired or profitable. But now, I give up. I can't stand that at all. These elements are nothing but degeneration. And with the maximum use of them, or the minimal, they damage more than entertain. Hence, their presence in Predator 2 was nasty and annoying. Enough to recall the one-F-word-for-every-sentence compulsion!

Director Stephen Hopkins, who can make dazzling action movies like Blown Away (1994) and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), did an average job this round, knowing that he had just 2 months to shoot and edit, with no enormous budget. I liked some of the subway sequence tension, the third act chasing, and the first minute in the police station sequence as one hot and clever long shot. Nevertheless, the whole movie was another B-grade B-hubbub, and by its end you have to feel deficient and empty.

The music and the cinematography were fair. You can say that again about the special effects; which could embody subtly the Predator's steps in a wet ground by merely wind and water fans. Though, the highest mark must go to the art direction. Every scene has diligently atmospheric detailing, and that's what gives this movie its creditability and specialty.

Predator 2 wanted to be distinct, but the lack of efforts or money, plus submitting to close hits or the market requirements, diminished its freshness and attractiveness. Recently, it was considered a cult, but that wasn't for a late rediscovery of a long forgotten excellence in it; I think that was due to the lesser sequels that came after it, which made it look good in comparison. Anyway, for me it's like a Dirty Harry sequel, with the same ending shot of its movies by the way, yet without Clint Eastwood or actual fun.

Punisher: War Zone

Creating a monster !
At first, you'll notice that it strangely ignores Jonathan Hensleigh's Punisher movie, made 4 years earlier, and reboots the story of Marvel's vigilante Frank Castle. But, later on, you'll know that this is the least thing around to bother!

In terms of originality, it's nearly Batman; where a revengeful hero, with a black suit and no superpowers, fights an evil deformed joker, who has minions that seem coming from the circus. And in terms of proficiency, it has a thin plot, where everything is predictable; from making the enemy, to kidnap the lead's friends, to destroying the enemy. It's clear that, this time, it cares about providing a crazily loud shootout after another, more than anything. Think about a moment like this: after being mixed in a blender with glasses, how come that Jigsaw's face is the "only" deformed organ he has?! Well, this script won't care. Because as long as his brother manages to break all the mirrors, it's catchy enough!

So it uses flashy action to make you forget about any faults with the writing.. right? Sorrowfully, no such luck. The action sequences were less strong than the first sequence. The gang of acrobats was kind of new, but not utilized well. Despite good directing and hot editing, the poor production is shown, to the extent of having all the "It looks like a straight-to-dvd movie" symptoms badly. Some elements were awfully exaggerated; like the deformed face of Jigsaw, and the violence; especially Loony Bin Jim's. Sometimes, it's a massacre of a movie. And for all the time, the protagonist is as inhuman as the antagonists!

Therefore, while it loses the merits of the 2004's Punisher, such as the big budget, name actors, effective music, sentimental line.. etc. it attracts the hard-core fans of the R rated brutality and foul language, to end up as low budget, no stars, in your face, animally violent movie. Really, it's a 90 minutes of F-bombs, strident bullets, bloody fistfights, smashed bones, splattered heads, gouged out eyes, non-stop explosions, and always bursting shrapnel. Namely a loose celebration of punishment, no thoughts allowed. In fact, thoughts are what movies like this are manufactured to punish.

Though, lately I found myself hating how, since years and years, the cinematic violence is served to us as a tool to empty our negative emotions, and entertain our times. If you think about it, you will see something wrong. Something that hurts the humanity, inside or outside of us, especially with increasing the violence's quality and quantity as time goes by.

I used to escape from my problems to action movies. But in later years, and with more maturity, I discovered that their immoderate violence is a big problem itself, knowing how violence, even if verbally, represents a tragedy in our lives. Hence, how come that these movies magnify and glorify it? And how come that I run from my problems to another problem?!

(Punisher: War Zone) is a fierce blood bath done as pure B junk. Or in other words, some war against your daytime worries. As you see, they wanted to give you the nightmare you love instead of the nightmare you hate. However, why to give us a nightmare in the first place? And is it healthy to war our daytime worries by these movies? In any case, I don't believe that sick violence is a sound way for entertainment. It makes new negative emotions, and - worse - creates a monster too.

Cinemassacre Video

Come on down to a Cinemassacre Video, and enjoy the rental reviews !
Gathering around, in the video store, to review a movie, after renting it.. is a brilliant concept for a talk show, and nostalgia gold. I remember, rather resort to, those VHS days, especially the 1980s and the 1990s movies, which this show discusses a lot, and adores passionately. Every episode has a journey to the past (that shows any bit of a movie as if it's from an old videotape), the retrospective factor, with endless comparisons, different conclusions and - most importantly - comical altercations.

Both the host and the guests are screen freaks and super fans before being reviewers, who seem eating and drinking movies, TV shows, and video games too. They memorize every detail, and have information to tell, let alone their memories with the culture that they experienced which give the show its special flavor, and their sense of humor that cracks me up every time.

And in terms of humor, let me tell you, Antonio Piluso, or simply Tony, is a childish laughing machine, and more like 'Howling Mad' Murdock of this team. Sure he steals the lights with his explosive wit, atmospheric outfits, and lovely acting in whether the show's ads, or swift sketches.

The rest isn't less humorous; Kieran Fallon who always has a funny deep remark that works as a prefect punchline, and sings the intro adorably. Justin Silverman who sounds like the most rational, less talkative. Added to the charismatic and nice host James Rolfe. And it's wonderful to have some guest stars here and there; like Arlo, Mr. Lobo, Mike Matei, Nathan Barnatt, and yeah.. Macaulay Culkin.

Btw, the ads of the show are done subtly, totally unlike the raw, in your face, ads of other YouTubers, or the satanic ones of Nostalgia Critic!

Ok, now for things I hated. First off, the unbroken F word, or the crude language in general; originally it's strange that the show omits nudity, and yet permits profanity! Speaking about words, please guys, stop repeating the word "like", meaning "similar to", because it's said at least 100 times per minute!

The new set isn't any good compared to the old set. It's too bright and stylish, like a hip respectable store, unlike the old one with its dim lighting as if it's an old memory, and the poor vibe which the VHS supposedly gives, plus its resemblance to most of the worn out video store that we've been once. There is a certain irony between the brown wood and the white plastic where the second fails to bring out the oldie feel. And instead of the TV screen, with its vital image and running movies, we sunk into that (Mac and Me) immutable ugly poster!

Using a music track in the episode's background proved to be extremely annoying and distracting, so lose that music, LOSE IT! The host, and - occasionally - the guests, are standing for no reason, which's uneasy for the viewer in a way. Sometimes the conversation gets out of subject, and turns into blabbering about something else movies altogether (like Tony' late dog, for instance). And, naturally, I don't agree with all of the guys' opinions (Dear James, Die Hard IS NOT a survival movie!).

Cinemassacre Rental Reviews is nothing but a bunch of guys talking about old movies in old video store, and I like it. It represents the 1980s and 1990s generation, does honor to their memories as well as their devotion, and - in such an achievement - makes geeks look cool.

Ernest Goes to Jail

Why this kind movie isn't being made in our evil days ?!
One of the best Ernest movies, no arguments. Here, everything and everyone are so right. The story is simple yet convincing. The characters are unforgettably funny. It's where cartoonish can be felt in the sets, the pace, the gags, and the performances. And with that hilarious cast, headed by the great Jim Varney, then it's my ideal definition of lovely comedy.

See how it makes itself creative along the way: the metal tallboys are chasing the lead, the lead has supernatural powers occasionally (which equals his good nature in a way), there are "different" dresses of him in his house, that house itself as childish electronic miracle, the mine field of his enthusiastic neighbors, the first and last pink prison in movie history.. and so on. There is such a devotion to the cartoon spirit and its innocent fun. And every moment is filled with wonderful glee.

It's where the good parts are the whole movie. I can't refer to one sequence or scene as the best. But to name a few: Look at the enjoyable monologue of the title character when he knew about going to the death row; actually I was waiting for every speech he would give, and he gave a lot in this movie, the farcical scene in the restaurant, the intro or the end's bank extravaganza, and Ernest walking like a sudden super electric-magnetic zombie, fleeing from execution, making an enough visual havoc!

For me, the astonishingly sweet Barbara Tyson, the crazily comedic Gailard Sartain & Bill Byrge, the nice ogre Randall 'Tex' Cobb, the ultra serious Charles Napier, along with the iconic Varney made it to immortality even if they didn't do anything but this movie. Long story short, this is entertainment, ladies and gentlemen. So why I rated it 9 out 10, not 10 out 10? I'll tell you:

Why Lyle, the huge prison inmate, got sympathized with the lead? The script just forgot answering that. I believe if Ernest dealt with him in a surprisingly friendly way, unlike Mr. Nash's cruel way, offering him his own food for instance at one moment or something like that, it could have been valid to have him as an ally afterwards. Chuck and Bobby security inventions weren't all utilized in the climactic sequence, and ended up as brief chuckles. I don't like Auntie Nelda, the matter of a man dressing as a woman, or vice versa, doesn't please me. Why Charlotte went to the bank in the end? It was bluntly fabricated so she could be there while the heist anyway. By the way, it took her forever to get to her car after running away from Nash's flirting! And the end scene was too swift to unsatisfying degree; I knew lately that there was an extra scene, with Ernest having a desk job in the bank finally as a reward, however it got deleted, foolishly I suppose!

But despite that script's few shortcomings, this is a gorgeous time from start to finish. Slapstick was never droll like that unless in numbered cartoons. The fact of "The reviews for the movie were universally negative" is additional laugh that this movie gifts to us, since it will live long, and these very reviews will be universally forgettable. The thing is in our violent, sick and inhuman not world, but movies and TV shows, we need more Ernest in our lives, and more of this kind of entertainment. It's where the childhood rules, and when we forgot childhood, all what we have is monstrosity. Just compare Ernest Goes to Jail from 1990 to any of the psychopathic comedies of today's cinema and TV to know clearly that Ernest is killed, and Mr. Nash is free, victorious and multiplex!


The Crisis of This Great Show !
When you read all of the previous comments about this show, you'll note one truth; half of the comments says that this series is bad, and the other half says that this series is good. Not only this, you'll find another strikingly strange thing; every comment had "people found it useful" which's also - almost every time - the half of the showing number, that means simply that the other half of the people found it unhelpful. So what is it with this fifty/fifty case?? I'll tell you..

This show continued for 5 Seasons. I think the first 2 of them were excellent, strong and well-written. And, sadly, the other half had gone boring, predictable and turned out to be waste of time. That is the truth like it shows from the various, very divergent, comments. So the interpretation of the strange fifty/fifty case is that the lovers, and the haters, are here together, and they are equal. Like the very case of our show "half good, half bad", and that is the rare beauty of the "IMDB" the site which gives you the pure thing by putting all the contradictions of the viewers / the users, to see in all of it a possible image of the truth.

And for my own copy of it: I see that the first 2 seasons of Alias were so original as an espionage TV show, where there is absolutely no comparison or what so ever to shows like "She Spies" or "La Femme Nikita". The ideas were new, the action was too good, and there was wonderful drama and sci-fi. Truly I've had quiet a thrilling time to the extent that I couldn't watch it some times to save my nerves calm, because its very well-done thrill.. can you believe that?!

This show had some distinct valuable elements such as the love story between (Sydney Bristow) and (Michael Vaughn) which's one of the most complicated love stories ever in the history of the TV, and so is that family of spies; it's not (Spy Kids) for sure, because (Spy Kids) was a family which hadn't that kind of issues that Alias's family had, and they didn't work as double agents.

As for the music, I loved the main theme by the creator himself (J.J. Abrams), but I hated putting a slow pop song whenever there was a romantic scene; that was corny. About the acting, (Jennifer Garner) gave the most significant performance. She could make some rare stuff by her eyes in terms of faking a smile, suppressing her feeling.. etc. The worst performance came from (Michael Vartan) side, and his ever lasting one troubled face!

And for all the ones who are saying that this show is so imaginary, not that realistic, Blah Blah Blah.. Don't listen to them, it's that kind of shows which you can have fun watching only by shutting down your brain first.

One last strange thing that I wouldn't be embarrassed to declare: I was big fan of "Arvin Sloane" the head of SD-6! I liked his icy face, his Intelligence, even his sensitivity (you'll watch it, believe me!). The writers did a genius job which made him such one of a kind villain.

Despite anything, enjoy the first 2 seasons. They are powerful, catchy, and real great. But the producers wanted that same formula again and again and again.. whatever the result would be. Therefore, that formula was the success of that show and its crisis too!

P.S: I wrote a review about episode (#4.7: Detente) which you can find at that episode's user comments page as an example for this show's quality and condition after season 2. And I wrote also reviews about those episodes: (#3.15), (#4.5), (#4.7), (#4.9), (#4.10), (#4.11), (#4.12), (#4.13), (#4.15), (#4.18), (#4.19), (#4.21), (#5.1), (#5.3), (#5.4), (#5.16), (#5.17), and (#5.12) about Alias's X File or (The Silliest 15 Events!).


A Heist Movie, Where I Enjoyed The Heist But Not The Movie !
In 1999, while eating fish in our favorite restaurant, I asked my friend: "So what do you think about (Entrapment)?", which he watched alone in the theater the same day earlier, to have him silent for some time, then answering: "Right when it ends, you ask yourself: Did Connery really do all what we saw?!" I think, after watching the movie myself later on as a rented video, that my buddy was UTTERLY RIGHT!

They wanted to make an entertaining heist movie. The "job" was to hire the so old Connery (69 year old), with the so young Zeta-Jones (30 year old) to have girls who long for a father, old men who long for a young sweetheart, and some other parties who want to see a magical glamour happening between 2 dazzling stars on-screen. The thing is I'm none of those!

The details of the thefts and their complications were catchy. The surprises were unpredictable. And the cinematic elements made something glossy. However, the final product was average for most of the time, and weak for the rest.

Connery was way too old to believe him in many parts. His performance seemed blank. And there was naught going on between him and Zeta-Jones, mostly a late grandfather connects with lost grandchild (and I mean belated by "late"!). Simply nothing magical was there. And the explanation for what we saw as weird casting, and love story, is the fact that Connery was the movie's producer!

The movie is just 2 heists attached by a story which I couldn't accept. The last 5 minutes were big lunacy. While talking about beyond-forced endings, this is something to recall. It is one of those endings that could determine what side would win of a movie with few characteristics and some flaws. I was laughing after it, saying: "I can stand a lot of Hollywood nonsense, but this one is so childish!". It is the end that "ends" a movie indeed!

So, with that casting, and somewhat that script, it lost the credibility. I'm not so fond of the other mainstream heist movie from the same year, and more or less with the same characters, (The Thomas Crown Affair). But I have to admit, that last one had more entertaining elements than this one. Sure something didn't click in (Entrapment), and between it and us.

So the heist was fun, the rest wasn't. Sorrowfully they made "unbelievable" in no-believable way!

Dark Phoenix

3 BIG Mistakes !
I love X-Men movies. They're full of imagination, and their quality is always between fantastic and well-done. This time, with Dark Phoenix, everybody is complaining, heaping abuses upon it, as if it's Dark Shadows! Honestly, it doesn't deserve all of that. However it isn't super either; and that's because 3 big mistakes it did.

Firstly, the drama is a little bit strange. So the 8-year-old Jean Grey killed her parents, Ok. But that was for their refusal of changing a radio channel?! So that mighty solar flare got itself into Jean, Ok. But these evil aliens didn't interact or whatsoever? Magneto loves Mystique and wants to kill for her sake, Ok. But Mystique loves Beast?? What a flimsy excuse to fabricate a motive for him to rebel against Professor Xavier!! Magneto turns into a peaceful farmer. Ok. But how come the government left him unharmed while he killed MILLIONS OF PEOPLE in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)??

Secondly, it's lesser than the previous movies. Sure it lacks the momentum of the last 2 installments; X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) in terms of the action sequences, the impressive visuals, or even the running time. Neglecting a point like that does effect badly on the devoted fan of the franchise. Not only this, some weakness hit the supposedly trustworthy elements of these movies too. For instance, Hans Zimmer music was anything but moving or catchy, being like one lazy tone that kept recurring provocatively. It's rare, rather unprecedented, to witness the great composer working as uninterestingly as that. Jennifer Lawrence's performance was more cold than the usual. And we missed any kind of comic relief, unless they thought that Quicksilver's bragging line, after the space mission, is enough, compensating for his unique sequences in the last 2 movies!

Thirdly, and most dangerously, Sophie Turner. OH MY GOD, how can a casting decision go more wrong! Since her first appearance as Jean in X-Men: Apocalypse, I knew that there would be something ominous ahead. She assures here that she doesn't have charisma or talent, so how about being the title character! It's truly painful to watch her destroying the movie with no attraction, no feeling, and no persuasion from her side. Hence she was the movie's biggest, and most fatal, mistake!

You can say that everything and everybody else was safe. The CGI was solid, the action, even if not very much as we used to have, was fair, and the rest of the performances was good. It's not a bad movie altogether. It's average one, and that's the last thing we wanted for the X-Men series climax!

P.S: Please, why it has to rain in every funeral scene in a Hollywood movie?!!

Captain Marvel

Captain Random !
I loved the CGI that de-aged (Samuel L. Jackson), the plot twist, and (Stan Lee) cameo. But I HATED many many bugging questions that this movie allowed to be asked. Here you are "some" of them:

Did the movie's writers (8 guys by the way!) thought for a second that the first 15 min of his script was by any mean understandable? It was the best of confusion, and a brilliant turn off since the start. Any movie should learn of that part, and never make anything like it someday! How come that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) seemed in agreement with nearly every detail on earth? She rode that motorcycle so easily I must say! How dare she steal that motorcycle, along with clothes too, shamelessly like that?! How Nick Fury (Jackson) found her in the bar???!!!! And how did she know that Fury tell the truth about his past as a spy?!

Why Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) didn't kill the lead character after capturing her, and taking over the Tesseract?! How did Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening) become the bad guy in the lead's mind in the end? I didn't get that at all! How did Captain Marvel regain her lost powers, her human insistence, and her memory, plus unlock her full super capacities, all at once, after that dull encounter with her role-model-in-reality-turned-evil-in-dream?! Didn't the movie's makers see how the climactic fights were more than boring, since the baddies had no powers against the lead, hence the movie had no conflict, and the viewers had no passivity?! Why Captain Marvel didn't kill Yon-Rogg in the end? That was very poor excuse to set up a sequel! Did they imagine that this was the way how Fury lost his eye?!! That's hugely pathetic! And if Fury began the Avengers initiative in the mid 90s, who did he recruit till meeting Tony Stark in 2008?!!! (I believe he was busy feeding that cat!).

(Brie Larson) is a good actress, and academy award winner, so why she seemed like a smiling doll, acting less good than any traditional hand puppet?! And why her performance while saying: "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM!" felt nervous and fake?!

Why the line of "I just think you should consider what kind of example you're setting for your daughter" wasn't enjoyable at all? It was unbelievable to be uttered by a kid, and even unfunny as something unbelievable to be uttered by a kid! Why the editing is so hyped at times? It surely ruined the train sequence for me. Why some of the beams' sonic effects sounded like laughable, Atari game-like, ones heard before in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)?! And why the directors (2 guys by the way!) believed that adding too much flashing lightings would make up for the flimsy script?!

The answer of all of these questions are one: They wanted a Captain Marvel movie, as very soon as possible, to be released in March 2019, before the release of Avengers: Endgame in April 2019, therefore the title character could join the big war on Thanos. So they fabricated a script, which looked written in 10 days, hired some people to shoot it, and the result is a glossy bad movie. Accordingly, this is not Captain Marvel, it's rather Captain Random; and it's truly the favorite superhero, and ideal exemplar, of today's Hollywood mainstream movies!

P.S: When the first MCU movie with a female lead is released at cinema on International Women's Day--then it's smart move. But when the first MCU movie with a female lead happens to be THAT--then it's disgraceful!


If there was a Razzie in Egypt, this one could have swept !
(Mohammed Saad) is such a good comedian. Through some minor and co-starring roles in plays, TV shows and movies, he proved his talent in performing slapstick and improvising jokes. After the smash success of his breakthrough movie (Ellemby - 2000), with playing a nearly half-mentally handicapped half-stoned guy, whether the producers forced him to play variations on that character again and again, or - simply - he has nothing to do but that!

In his first decade as a star, hope not to be his last, he's always a character that has problems speaking, moving, and thinking. Whatever the name of the movie, or the name of his character is (always the same by the way) he speaks in absolute nonsense, moves in too exaggerated ways, and acts between dumbness and hysteria. Now in (Karkar), double all of that into 20!

There is nothing in this movie but (Saad). And, most probably, there is nothing he does is written. And, surely, there is nothing of his material that works. (Karkar) is not merely one of the worst movies (Saad) ever did; it's one of the worst movies ever made!

(Saad) plays half of the movie's characters, all bizarre noisy characters, using every possible way he has to make laughs, which turns out to be the ugliest: shrill screams, incomprehensible words, dead gags, nasty curses, slaps to everybody, disgusting dances, with repeating all of that non-stop to the last atom in your patience. The women he played (more of a drag queen) is emetic, the father is boring if not creepy, and the title character isn't anywhere close to be bearable!

Aside from (Saad), all who participated in this movie should be ashamed of themselves. Was there one element, rather one moment, that anybody could call creative or clever?! As for the script, it's pretty obvious that there wasn't a "real" script. Instead, a general agreement about some scenes, and all the blanks would be perfectly filled later by (Saad)'s gobbledygook!

As for the pace, it's something this movie doesn't know, so how about being a comedy? Actually comedy without pace is like beach without sea! The movie makers let (Saad) do anything he wants in front of the camera, for all the time he needs. I felt that he - for a rare time in any cinema - was left to improvise while the camera was shooting, with no editing later. Originally, forget about the editing because I think there wasn't any, maybe some moments were edited out for other actors to make you concentrate on the main star only. Look at the dance of Karkar's father, that father's speech about marriage, the madhouse's scene, or imitating the cats on the bed. OH MY GOD. It's ridiculous to tormenting extent!

As for the cast, (Hassan Hosny) does the same of what he used to do in his last 100 movies, done in the last 10 years, however with being kissed on the mouth by Saad this time! (Alaa Mourse) is here to be slapped on the face endlessly. And (Yassmen Abd El Aziz)?? How could she bear being in this?! Fairly, the sole funny thing in this movie was its leaning to be extremely serious near the end!

With (Saad) playing many awful characters, directors surrendering utterly to fulfill all what he desires, and producers spending money on things like this historical dud--then we're in a case of vanity, artlessness, and foolishness. Hence the result is something not entertaining, just painful.

"Karkar" in Arabic slang stands for guffaw. According to this movie, I don't think so. Because silliness wasn't more hard, heavy and free like that before. And during the past 15 years, the call for an Egyptian Razzie never buzzed this loud. I believe (Mohammed Saad) is a force of nature. Like the lightning's electricity, he needs to be controlled to be used correctly. Otherwise, terrible disasters, like (Karkar), accrue when he's left loose. So eventually this movie can be fit for one thing; being a good warning message for both: The producers, and (Saad). If only they would learn!

EL Kaf

Love makes better supernatural power !
Plot Summary: A man, played by (Farid Shawqi), got the palm of his hand read by one the Bedouins (it's common in Arab countries to have such a predictor; who looks at the palm of a person's hand, then tells that person's future). That fortune-teller informs the man that he'll have 3 sons, and every one of them will die in the day of his own wedding. Oddly enough, it happened with the first son. Then, with the second. And now, the third, played by (Farouk El Fishawi), falls in love with a girl, played by (Athar El Hakkeem), wanting to marry her, which leads to a conflict between superstition and science, fear and love, premonition and volition.

This is the first movie written by (Ahmed Abd El- Rahmaan), and the first collaboration between him and director (Mohamed Haseeb) who makes here his second movie. It's obvious that both of them aspired to reach an unusual area for suspense in the Egyptian cinema through the common belief in prophecies.

It may seem as a metaphorical story about the father's exaggerated love for his sons; whereas everyone of them dies the minute he leaves the dad to live with someone else. However, I think its intended message is about how believing in prophecies tortures the human, and how faith in God's supreme plan leads to the restful satisfaction. The best point is that the script makes clear that love is the power to defeat these silly superstitions and alleged fates, especially when the third son and his love survive the plane crash in the end. Generally, it's like a manifesto against astrology, and the absolute belief in it.

(Farid Shawqi) is an icon in the Egyptian cinema's history. He had been surnamed (The King) due to his achievement in acting, writing and producing a long list of successful movies since the 1950s till his death in the late 1990s. Here, he was so convincing as the loving father who suffers deep pains, for the loss of his 2 sons, and - also - for his faith in the frightening prophecy while wanting his last son to live in the same time.

Composer (Mohammed Helall) wrote such a beautiful music to assure the sad sense of the father's dilemma, and the romance of the 2 lovers. And director of photography (Saeed Shimi) is one of the best; I just recall the third son's wedding scene, where he portrayed everything through the father's tears, which turned the scene into joyful oil painting deformed by water.

(El-Kaff) or (The Palm of The Hand) deals with the matter of knowing the future through a realistic atmosphere, simple drama, and many discussions. It's serious and a bit talkative message movie, however with different source to thrill. So if you're waiting for a fantasy movie, go elsewhere. Because this one has a supernatural factor, only to beat it, assuring that love makes yet stronger supernatural power.

In the same year of 1985, the same writer with the same director would reunite again, to make another movie, produced by (El-Kaff)'s young lead actor (Farouk El Fishawi), titled (Esteghatha Min El-Alam El-Akher) or (A Call for Help from The World to Come) which was much better movie and a wholly supernatural thriller.

Batman Forever

The Bat Nipples Were Here First !
Now that's a loud matter to review!

(Val Kilmer) was just a handsome robot, delivering his lines tastelessly as if it's intentional. At one episode of "Inside The Actor Studio", (Kilmer) said that he hated the role, the suit, the whole deal, but Hey.. that's not an enough justification for not making his best, or spending any effort (or maybe what we watched was his best!).

The script provided us with many explosive situations, but it was idiotic at certain places; Bruce Wayne is thinking about bat, so he's Batman! (I may think about sea at times, so that makes me Aquaman?!!). Batman saves Harvey Dent / Two-Face from a whole deformation, so the latter wants to revenge on Batman NOT the real doer?? Moreover, the solution of all the Riddler's riddles' is the "Riddler" himself, so he was only declaring himself??

There were smart ideas along the way, which the script wasted utterly; like the character of the Two-Face as someone who lives an inner conflict all the time, and also the plan of the Riddler to take away the people's brains through TV. But who said that this movie wanted to be smart?!

The movie wanted to make crazy action unremittingly, while being a huge party of vociferous colors unlike its too dark antecedent (Batman Returns - 1992). Yes, the colors were harmonious, but their turmoil was onerous. Therefore, (Elliot Goldenthal)'s orchestrated music sounded too noisy to stand among all of this. Ironically, the movie's music video with (U2)'s masterpiece (Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me) was better than the movie itself!

Name good things IN it? Well, just 1 thing was perfect: The fact that (William Baldwin) was considered for the role of Batman and (Linda Hamilton) as his girl, and it didn't happened. Although I deemed not doing that a good thing, but still.. it's not a good thing IN it!

To everyone complained about (Batman & Robin - 1997) as the uglier one in the first franchise, telling unstoppable jokes about the nipples of the Batsuit as the lowest bottom that that movie hit--please look closer, the nipples made their first appearance in here first, where the evil seed of "silly" was sown.

To end it on a tolerant note, I'll say that this is a loud, gaudy, silly action; which's usual in most of Hollywood movies!

The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch or The Wild Hoax ?!
Oh boy. I've read about how great this movie is since I was a kid. In books, in magazines' lists for the best westerns, or the best movies of all time. I've never ever read something remotely bad about it. And I've never imagined that when I got to watch it, I would be the one to say something bad about it (actually, it's "some things"!).

First off, what a trivial script. I read that this was the ultimate elegy about the old west's end. OK, that itself is an elegy about the honesty of whoever wrote it! The movie's plot summary on IMDb says: "An aging group of outlaws look for a last big score as the traditional American West is disappearing around them". Now that meaning is embodied in that line more than the movie!

We have no character development, or characters. What we have is: a Mexican revolutionary wannabe, a man who had a fling with a married woman someday, a fat man who is called the Dutchman, and a Mexican general with inexplicably sad eyes. They don't talk much, and when they do, no valuable thing is uttered. Plus, every time the leads laugh, I don't get it. And they laugh a lot throughout the movie. These moments could have been expository, touching, or just funny. Though it ended up as incomprehensible!

Speaking of which, I didn't get why the whole Mexican village went to bid farewell to the American thieves? How a gang member complains continually about its leadership, then forgets that utterly later?! Why nobody moved when the Mexican general is killed? Why William Holden character killed the German leader? And how the gang's oldest member survived while he was left alone, seriously injured, in the middle of the desert??

The odd moments are many. At one, 2 of the gang members follow a girl in a Mexican village, while their leader jokes about the childish part in the man. Clearly the 2 men were sexually frenetic over the girl! At another, a gang member tries to detonate his fellow while the latter is about to excrete. What's the meaning of that?! Is that they're crazy?? We know that since the start. Was it a relief moment?? It wasn't played that way!! And then, a recruited Mexican child looks extremely respectful to the Mexican general. Is it about false gods?, the infancy of whoever believes in a dictator?? What was the meaning of it??!!

Robert Ryan's character is the worst conflict's party I've seen. He doesn't make a thing for all the time, being more of a laughingstock, and - worse - presented in a massively serious way!

And I got enough when the leads had THE WALK to save their Mexican fellow. Well, 4 men against 2 hundreds isn't heroism inasmuch as stupidity. And if it was made like they have a death wish, since their world was falling apart, then it wasn't built well, or at all. Btw, they were about to kill that same guy themselves after the first robbery gone sour (they did kill one of them already while the escape of that robbery!). So when some critics babble about the movie's so-called "strong thematic standpoint about friendship, betrayal, and self-destruction", you have to ask: "Where is that?". Nevertheless, I have to admit that the movie's drama "destructed itself" indeed!

I recall another critic saying: "It has legendary actors in legendary roles". OK, where are those roles for God's sake?! Nobody can evaluate acting in a movie that didn't care of making any characters!

This movie cared of 3 things only. Firstly, smashing the legend of the decent west, which was established in all the previous westerns done while The Motion Picture Production Code (1930 - 1968). Simply the past's bank robbers were super violent, prostitute-loving, and foul-mouthed; meaning a lot of on-screen violence, nudity, and swearing. However, ask yourself what was director Sam Peckinpah's true goal when he showed us bare breasts and an orgy? If it's realism, then why didn't he - with greater reason - showed us CHARACTERS?! So when violence, nudity, and swearing are all the realism you have, with the absence of drama too, then it's degenerated commercialism masquerading as art. And it's what gradually ate up Hollywood movies, of all genres, since 1968, till they became cheap exploitation, and pornography with a story! Secondly, the editing. It's a wild, rather crazy, insurrection towards the old school of Hollywood, assuring a new age, with new generation, that has new snappy pace. And thirdly, the visuals, which were beautiful and grand. Though Peckinpah had a zoom-in fetish, immersing the movie with hundreds of it.

So with all of these aspects, 143 minutes running time, and huge bloody sequence as a climax--the movie looks epic, but the thing is it doesn't feel epic.

I admired the moment of Holden character while he couldn't ride his horse, and then did it with pain and pride. It represents, single-handedly, the movie's doleful heart. Plus moments like when Ryan couldn't kill Holden, and Holden greeted Ryan sarcastically; they seem like splinters of a potential drama which was exploded by the movie's devoted frenzy. And the train robbery sequence, it's the only perfect thing here.

The Wild Bunch is a cool western but not meaningful, being a good example for style over substance. It can be a pioneer among the mindless violent movies, not one of the best movies ever. And the worst thing about it is that how critics inflated it from a bit stylistic commercial movie about a gang, to artsy thought-provoking film about the end of an age!

Stand Up Guys

The Bad Irony !
So why you felt unsatisfied after the movie's end? It's not a bad movie by all means. OK, I think I have the answer for that.

The thing is that script is all about comedy. Yes, it's a black comedy, with potential character study. Also it's thrilling, with numbered hours before inevitable, very sad, climax. Add to that, a pretty neat twist in the end, where the meaning is "leave with a bang", or "die with your friend, instead of dying alone", or maybe "let's turn our sunset into sunrise". However, the real goal that this script wanted, and spared no effort to reach it.. was comedy!

Accordingly, we have 2 problems. The first is that the comedy didn't hit a big mark. "Disgusting" is a fair word to describe most of it; with scenes in a brothel, conversations about penises, bad erection sequence, nutcracker joke.. etc, etc, till it approaches being a nasty sex comedy. That was awful, let alone boring as well. Aside from that, you'd get freely obnoxious moments like snoring medicine bills (why not swallowing them??). Disgusting comedy both ways!

The second problem is the bad irony between the light and average at best material on one hand, and the super heavyweight names in the cast on the other. When you read names like Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, you have to think Oscar worthy, deepness behind the drama, seriousness along with comedy. But sorry. No such luck. That's why it has that vibe of a very good TV movie, that should have had Danny Aiello, Chazz Palminteri, and Gary Busey as lead actors instead. Or - better - needed a wholly comic cast since the start, with better comic situations too.

In terms of faulty script, I believe Walken isn't that stupid to kill Pacino in the bathroom with no silencer (too noisy, too bloody, it would be a mess!). Pacino didn't have to tell the detailed story of killing the mob boss's kid wrongly, since Walken was there anyway. The running gag of "kicking a**es, and chewing gum" is a frank proof of writing lacking. Originally, why to borrow form another movie, and I mean (They Live - 1988), and don't make a quirk by yourself?? Plus, considering the ages of the movie's writer and director, Noah Haidle and Fisher Stevens respectively, that line could be a running gag between them since the late 1980s, not between those 2 lead characters who are much older; Pacino's character went to jail at least in 1984, namely 4 years before that movie was even made!

Yet, what irritates me more is the lost chances. While the movie had forces of nature as lead actors, it didn't try to invest them rightly. I thought that in the diner scene, the 3 characters would have some talk about the old days, with exploring their fears, dreams, joys, and frustrations. However, what I had was "I want to do 2 girls in the same time", and before you know it Arkin drops dead! Another lost chance when Pacino goes to confess in the church; I hoped to see the serious side of the movie there, but it turned out to be another attempt at comedy, which was done poorly by the way!

The oldies on the soundtrack didn't make me at ease. Although they're wonderful, but the idea of old music on soundtracks became so trite lately. Why not thinking in something more innovative?! Once, in 1949, a mystery English movie by the title of (The Third Man), directed by a good guy named Carol Reed, went to use a cherry music by a nice gent named Anton Karas, for all the dark and edgy time of the movie. Hollywood misses, or maybe forgot, that revolutionary spirit, to a degree where their soundtracks became something sellable more than distinct. A safe move, though not that artistic, and really commonplace!

Fisher Stevens did well in his directorial debut, but not very well like his performance as a comedian / actor I adore. Addison Timlin and Walken were the best of this movie. Walken, in specific, ate up Pacino all the way. Couple of lines, and I mean only couple of lines, fascinated me: "We die twice; once, when the breath leaves our body, and once when the last person we know says our name", and "They look like the sunrise but I was painting you". The painting was great. And I liked the last moment a lot, it's (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - 1969)-ish, but has its own character nevertheless.

So all the time I expected much more, to find so little. No, I won't say the publicity fooled me. I'll say it's a waste to play a potentially powerful black comedy just for laughs. And it's worse than that already when those laughs aren't even there. And it's even worse and worse when you bring 3 of the finest actors to perform no fine comedy or drama. See, it's "bad ironies" not "bad irony" after all!

Forget Paris

When jazz gets somewhat boring !
It seems like Billy Crystal wanted to make the perfect sequel to (When Harry Met Sally - 1989), a movie he starred earlier with Meg Ryan, where they portrayed 2 persons who fall in love. Now, in Forget Paris, we follow 2 similar persons who fall in love THEN get marry (You won't deny how Debra Winger looks like Meg Ryan in some moments).

Forget Paris, also, transfers you to (Casablanca - 1942), the Hollywood masterpiece, in terms of love story in Pairs, with a married woman, then the promise of "We'll always have Paris", knowing that Casablanca was the favorite movie for both Harry and Sally as well.

So Crystal decided to make use of love, as a romantic fantasy from those 2 movies, for none other than smashing it when it turns into marriage, only to build it all over again, but not before understanding the consciences and responsibilities of it. So forget Paris, but don't forget love itself.

Hence, we have: The subject of love during marriage, which's brilliant and uncommon in modern Hollywood movies. Crystal, a super comedian, who wrote it and directed it as well. Winger who's absolute magic, even if she recorded her voice while reading the newspaper's political columns. And a clever supporting cast that every comedy yearns for. So why the final result isn't as good as all of that?!

I think the script is the basic guilty. Yes, the plot of detached flashbacks is thrilling, there are classic comedic scenes; like the one with the sweetest prenup I have ever witnessed, and - in the end - it's like "Hey, all of the marriage's problems is just another dinner". Nevertheless, right after the marriage happened, the situations got colder, and the good lines got lesser. There was not enough energy, or laughing.

Moreover, the comedy leaned to being disgusting, whether with the fertility clinic sequence, or the old father sequence; which was shockingly awful, more of a crime against old people, and such a bad taste that turned me off while the viewing!

The soundtrack is beautifully jazzy. It has a golden selection of oldies. And I believe Ella Fitzgerald's cover of "April in Paris" was used in a very smart way; during the sad montage of the 2 leads' separation near the end. However, while jazz itself is a creative hint that marriage has no known system, and is based on the best improvisation you could ever do--the movie dwelled on that jazzy mood, enjoying a series of mostly uninteresting sketches, leading to common, so laconic, climax which didn't live up to Casablanca or When Harry Met Sally endings.

Forget Paris is a rom-com that wanted to be different, and it did, but lost being fast enough, and comic enough in the way. The problem is bigger, putting in mind the powerful potential, and the names involved. It's entertaining and meaningful, which's great combination apart. Though, it needed more craft to be great movie altogether.

Finally, wouldn't it eat you to not seeing Crystal in movies that deserve his talent, and utilize it to the max? In a long 40 years career, from the late 1970s to the late 2010s, I see that his closest movie to reach that rank is (City Slickers - 1991)!

Flash Gordon

May the "colors" be with you !
May God forgive George Lucas for Star Wars (1977). Its success led to such a huge wave of follow-ups, imitators, and wannabes, from America and out of it, written directly to cinema or based on old work, good or miserably bad!

Flash Gordon (1980) is one of those movies, produced by American-English money, based on old 1930s comics, and for the most part.. not miserably bad.

While it has bases to launch a saga of its own, it doesn't realize itself as an enjoyable blockbuster, or strong sequel-worthy movie. And I have 2 accused of that crime!

If this script has a mark, then it has to be that a lot of its events happen SUDDENLY. For instance, while the hero and the heroine travel by a plane, they find themselves SUDDENLY in a Russian scientist home, and within 2 minutes they find themselves SUDDENLY in planet Mongo!! While the Vultan's kingdom explodes, and the lead wants desperately to escape, he SUDDENLY finds a rocket cycle, which he SUDDENLY knows how to drive?!! While the heroine - who knew the lead since hours ago - wants to tell him a story, he interrupts her saying fondly: "Save it for our kids"??!! So he SUDDENLY loves her now, wants to marry her, and she SUDDENLY accepts?!!! I won't say more, I'll only add: "..and so on"!

For the second accused, I must recall the scene of defeating the evil guy. It doesn't exist in the first place, since the mighty and merciless Emperor Ming is finished without a proper fight. It's shown as random as a sneeze! Later I knew that there was a swordfight between Flash and The Emperor, however due to numerous production problems, it was canceled. This explains also the abundance of primitive smoky backgrounds, mostly terrible green screen effects, and obvious - 1950s movies like - miniature models. Clearly, there wasn't a budget for any Star Wars kind of respectable, or acceptable, visual effects!

I believe producer Dino De Laurentiis wanted a cheap Star Wars saga, and with the matters getting worse, the ambition changed to campy fun, especially with customs recycled from his previous movie Barbarella (1968), fisheye lens from director Mike Hodges's side, all covered with tons of gloss provided by director of photography Gilbert Taylor (who was the DOP of Star Wars itself!).

So, as you see, poor writing, as well as poor production, killed the movie's seriousness, even as entertaining action adventure, and randomness just ruled. You read things like how Sam J. Jones, as Flash Gordon, improvised the moment where he jumps into the camera screaming: "YEAH!", as nobody could figure out how to end the movie. That's why Hodges called it eventually: "The only improvised $27-million movie ever made"!

Speaking of that $27-million, where did they go?? I'll tell you. To the sole perfect thing in this movie: The Colors. They mastered that element to the max, where the viewing turned into a journey into huge sparkling diamond, filled with seas of glittering red and yellow. To my surprise, I discovered that the psychedelic color effects throughout the Ming universe were accomplished by swirling multicolored dyes through creatively-lit tanks of water. OK, they should have called it "Flashy Gordon" instead!

As for more pros, I loved watching the all serious Max von Sydow as an over the top cartoon-ish evil guy. Melody Anderson and Ornella Muti both got sweet charisma. Despite not having a long screen time, Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin stole the show from Sam J. Jones as the title character. The idea of enthusiastic and hip "Queen" songs is so creative, but they looked strange in the middle of that camp festival which enhanced the movie's campy nature though! And I won't lie, some of the adventurous spirit, which the movie apparently was based on and dreamed of, attracted me despite how that dream wasn't completely fulfilled after all.

Flash Gordon (1980) couldn't score highly at the box office, hence so long to the whole six sequels franchise which all the main actors were signed for, or at least part 2 which the last shot hints at. It is a mix of bright colors and loud naivety, and the real criminal is disappointing poorness. It feels like very dazzling suit, that when you approach it, you'll see how it's shabby, to the extent of having holes in it!

Smokey and the Bandit II

"The Bandit is Back and Better Than Ever" ???!!!
We all know that Smokey and the Bandit (1977) was a big hit which led to Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), and Smokey and the Bandit III (1983). And we all know that Smokey and the Bandit (1977) was the first, and the last, good movie in that series too!

Since the first scene with Burt Reynolds so drunk, to the extent of not being able to walk or talk--this movie establishes itself as something unfunny and boring. Reynolds wasn't there as the energetic and cheerful Bandit that we all loved once. What I watched was someone else trying fruitlessly to be him!

Once in The Twilight Zone TV show, Reynolds played a cocky actor who got punched in the face by Shakespeare. And during watching him in this movie, I was yelling: "Where's Shakespeare when you need one?!". Reynolds didn't spend any effort, thinking that HE is an enough entertainment apart. I believe his plan was: Do nothing, and your charisma and goofy smile would do it for you. So maybe he was really drunk in that first scene. Frankly, considering his condition throughout the movie, he was either drunk or sick!

If any of that is right, then it won't be the only art-being-life case in here. Sorrowfully, the love story established in the first movie is gone with wind this round. Because the real life lovers, Sally Field and Burt Reynolds, were having a breakup. So that's why the scene where Filed (Frog) announces her ending the relationship to Reynolds (Bandit) was written by Field. Simply, Reynolds let her express her feelings about the breakup on film. The thing is it doesn't add anything to the movie as a comedy, rather it's pretty sad event to be in a comedy, so why to include it in the movie in the first place??!! It tells you a lot about how EGO destroyed this movie so early. The same ego that Filed was complaining about in that very scene!

It's clear that the pathetic script continues the first movie disgracefully. The original Smokey and the Bandit was enjoyable chase of a movie, now this one is too slow for its own good, and doesn't want to fatigue itself to make action. Instead, they're chattering. Grrrr! Chattering in a Smokey and the Bandit movie is like chattering in a Star Wars movie. Wait, they have done that! But at least it took them 3 fine movies first, then 16 years to make a chatty one; between Return of the Jedi (1983) and The Phantom Menace (1999). This time, it's just 3 years, and it's part 2 already!

Comedy got nothing to do with bore, I mean this movie. Now how come that Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice isn't funny? But this is the movie's miraculous stupidity. And with Gleason playing more characters, still the result isn't funny (Fairly, it's super silly!). Even the bloopers reel isn't funny!! The same can be said about Hal Needham's direction. Surprisingly it had no sense of humor. And when you read that his response to panning the movie by critics was taking out a full page ad in "Variety", depicting himself sitting on a wheelbarrow full of cash--you have to guess that Reynolds wasn't the only one with self-destructive ego around!

And since misery loves company, there were some weird stuff going on as well. For instance, the scene of "You must love me"??, Reynolds was mocking at himself, yet in real life. So it's like inside joke that nobody would get except him, and the ones behind the camera, especially Filed. Add to that, the cloud scene. OK, what was that about?!!

It seems that the sole saving grace about it is the big action scene near the end. They as if thought that it would compensate for the endless downsides. But despite its ambitious hugeness, it didn't. It looks extremely absurd. Enough to tell you, that while watching it, I wrote in my notebook: "Cars Genocide??", "Hollywood much ado about nothing", "How they got the nerve to make THIS as a sequel?!"

For any positive points, I liked the line: "Everybody is somebody"............ Nothing more!

When an action comedy has little action and comedy, then it's not that good. And when it has no action or comedy, then it's bad. Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) is bad. It's ruined by a combination of ego and laziness, which makes its tagline / my review's title a crime of fraudulent representation. Btw, in terms of plot and characters, it looks like Clint Eastwood's Any Which Way You Can, released in the same year. I just hoped it to be like a movie released 3 years earlier named Smokey and the Bandit!

..GOD! Even the color of Reynolds's new shirt was bad!!

The Big Bus

Before Airplane, there was The Big Bus !
It's remarkable that the favorite subject for the rising trend of parody movies in the 1970s end, and the 1980s start, was the disaster movies. Just remember (The Big Bus - 1976), (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! - 1978), (Airplane! - 1980), and (Airplane II: The Sequel - 1982). Though, I deem it natural because of what the disaster movies caused of satiety during the whole 1970s decade. Plus, some real disastrous experiences that came in the late 1970s such as (The Swarm - 1978), (The Concorde ... Airport '79 - 1979), and (When Time Ran Out - 1980), which were parodies of themselves already!

As you see, (The Big Bus) took the initiative to mock at that genre, which inaugurated yet another genre. And while it isn't (Airplane), it has the seed of its fresh craziness. For instance: the matter of the lead being accused of "eating" people, the cemetery scene, and the bar fight; which's the movie's best moment.

Originally, it seems as if (Airplane) took a lot from this movie, like: the character of a pilot with a troubling past, who's needed suddenly to save the day. How his ex-girlfriend is on the same ride. Or how they come back to each other in the end. Let alone a scene where the stewardesses demonstrate to the riders what to do while the trip is in danger!

The bus was huge with fabulous design. The running gag of the bus's singer was super. And since the first time I watched him years ago, till now, I believe that Joseph Bologna is one the most underrated comedians ever. That guy was great. He could do cracking comedy with the littlest efforts. It's a shame that he wasn't a star in many movies or TV shows as he should have been.

Director James Frawley has many funny bones, and - sorrowfully - not many movies. However, his comic energy can be felt in countless TV episodes of shows like (Columbo), (Magnum P.I.), (Tales of the Gold Monkey), and (Vengeance Unlimited). Or a movie like (The Muppet Movie - 1979).

Now, to the negative points. And the first one comes to my mind is Stockard Channing. OH MY GOD, who thought of hiring her in a leading role in a comedy?? She looks like an awful version of Elizabeth Taylor, and I don't like Elizabeth Taylor! Channing has no nice presence, and no talent for comedy, so why she was here anyway??!!

The characters on the bus were few, and even fewer of them were interesting. David Shire's music is all the time excited, maybe for parodying the music of other disaster movies, but eventually it didn't work for me.

Some of the jokes didn't hit the "funny" mark, like when all the riders had to wear bizarre costumes in the end. And some of them weren't utilized smartly, like the idea of how the evil guy lives in a metal cocoon. Or attaching the scientist father into the ground against his well, which while being creative, it was used laconically.

Speaking of laconic things, the end is, with fabricated defeat for the evil guys, and such an incomprehensible surviving for the good guys; I still don't know how the lead saved the bus over the cliffhanger! Add to that, extremely dull ending shot, and you'll get why this good movie feels not so good for many viewers.

It is short, and runs out of clever idea nearly halfway through it. But for the most part, it's a wonderful comedy, little ahead of its time, and the true disaster is that it isn't any famous.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Excessiveness is no virtue !
Simply, it's The Avengers (2010) on steroids, red bull, and LSD! We have the same heroes, yet with additional ones, an army of CG shots, too much action it's going to make you sick, and the hugest amount of twaddle, prattle, and babble you'll ever experience. Well, dear writer / director Joss Whedon, excessiveness is no virtue!

The action sequences run so snappily as if The Flash directed them. It's like riding a loose roller-coaster, I was shouting "Please, make it slower!". Whether somebody pressed the Fast-Forward button while Play is on, or it has the most irrational editing of 2015 (Here's a challenge for you: Try to find Julie Delpy in this movie!).

Once the action is over, the dialogue is endless to the extent where you feel, rather live the fact, that this is a talk show more than an action movie. Bore was a superhero in this movie, and he killed it. When I recall that 15 minutes sequence in the movie's middle, where they go to the safe house, I fall asleep instantly. GOD! It's where The Avengers meets Little House on the Prairie!!

There was some relief, scary one. The tragedy is that the comic one-liners were horrible, and delivered horribly as well. No actor cared to be a bit funny while performing them. They're all in rush, forgetting to give an iota of "feeling" along the way. Actually, the performance got robotic sometimes, look at Captain America, Thor and Stark while their talk right before the ending, they were phoning in their lines in incredible frigidity!

Like the first movie, the evil guy's soldiers are still alike, and so easy to kill. Speaking of continuous downsides from the first movie, I'm still asking: What Hawkeye and Black Widow have to do with The Avengers in the first place?! THEY'RE NOT SUPER ANYTHING FOR GOD'S SAKE! And for a new downside, that maybe will continue in next movies; They made Captain America curse!!

And then we get to the LSD issue. Yes, I mean the character of "Vision". Who is that guy? And how he's even born? So Stark is capable of CREATING people now??!!

As for any pros, the CGI and all of the imaginative details were excellent and enjoyable.

Sadly, Whedon had a lust for too much speaking, too fast action, producing heavy exhaustion in a form of a movie. I was shocked when knew that the first Avengers movie ran for 2 hours and 23 minutes, and this one ran for 2 hours and 21 minutes. The shock wasn't that this one is shorter; it was that it feels like 3 days already! To tell you the bitter truth, I slept in front if it 3 times. THREE TIMES!! It didn't happen with any other movie, not to mention a supposedly entertaining blockbuster. So I had to re-watch it, while fighting sleep, to write these words.

The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron mixed Marvel's lead characters, and good action sequences, with DC's grittiness, and serious drama mambo jambo, and the result is unbearable fat movie. If I went to watch it for a third time, I believe my computer would cry entreating for help, or at least shutdown itself out of fatigue!

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