fearfulofspiders

IMDb member since August 2008
    Lifetime Total
    100+
    IMDb Member
    14 years

Reviews

Legend of the Seeker
(2008)

If Only We Could Get More Series Like This...
I absolutely love fantasy -- I can enjoy the greatness of the best of the genre, and enjoy the campiness/laugh-ability the worst of the genre can offer. Legend of the Seeker is somewhere in-between, but it's good nonetheless. From what I've watched, it's not that deep, but if fantasy/adventure wasn't so risky to produce on television, I'd demand more shows like this.

First off, the acting in this is okay. There's familiar faces like Bruce Spence, who can really do his character justice (seem powerful, yet provide some comic relief). Craig Parker is okay as well, as he's hardly in much of the show so far. The lead is a great choice (name escapes me as I write this, forgive me). The female actress (forgive me again) is also quite well.

Action and Adventure actually is provided to this series. The slow-motion used is effective most of the time -- mainly in fight scenes. The special effects are modestly okay. The costumes are pretty good, and, of course, New Zealand always makes a surreal and stunning backdrop.

All in all, Legend of the Seeker is a show any fan of fantasy should watch. It's clean enough for the whole family -- which some seem to have a problem, and to them, all I can say is, even without the hardcore sex and gore, that they refer to, this show is still effective in providing action-adventure and the stuff in-between. The stories are slightly simple, yet I'm glad they are, because most of the week I'm still wrapping my head around what just happened on LOST.

So, if you're a fan of fantasy, catch Legend of the Seeker. It has the atmosphere of a fantasy like The Lord of the Rings, but simplified to a style more like Eragon, yet deeper, such as -- and this is kind of going out of this particular genre -- Star Wars.

Enjoy.

Fire & Ice
(2008)

Okay Production Value, Mediocre Story, All Equaling One Snooze-fest...
I was actually quite excited to see Fire & Ice, simply because the Sci-Fi Channel rarely makes fantasy-productions, as they tend to produce more horror and natural disaster trash than anything else.

The acting is okay in this, John Rhys-Davies and Arnold Vosloo were the strongest, and the rest of the cast were ho-hum. The special effects are predictably terrible, however, that only applies to the stingray-like dragons because the landscapes are quite enjoyable to look at. The dragons do not look good, and it was quite a letdown to be honest.

The other flaw would have to be the cinematography and editing. I don't think there's one shot that doesn't try to be "artsy" and "flashy", as the majority of shots are all done in a sweeping-pan. Another flaw would be the mediocre story. The problem of the fire dragon is so quickly solved, that defeating it is the remaining two acts.

The music is bland, and hardly worth listening to a second time. The action is dull, and poorly shot and edited.

All in all, Fire & Ice has an overall okay production value, making it seem like an expensive project, but with a mediocre story, all it really adds up to is a snooze-fest. It's a good thing i recorded this, because I fell asleep the first viewing and unfortunately had to re-watch it to know how it ended... which is predictable, go figure.

I highly recommend on skipping this, unless you, like me, are into Sci-Fi's lame productions.

George and the Dragon
(2004)

Simple Fairy Tale...
Well, it's definitely not like the rest of the scum material produced by the Sci-Fi Channel's numerous production studios, but it's no gem either. While flawed, it's a nice and simple fairy tale that children under the age of 10 may find interest in.

The acting is hammy from everyone. There's not one solid performance at all, but even for such lame acting, everyone seems to have had a good time making this little film. Val Kilmer is pretty much wasted here, as well as Patrick Swayze. Michael Clark Duncan is okay, but just like Kilmer and Swayze, his screen time is so limited, why they didn't go for someone "cheaper" is beyond me. James Purefoy and Piper Perabo both had nice chemistry, even if they tended to overact most of the time.

The writing is where the film is vastly flawed. The story is so simplistic, that the core of the plot is pretty much hard to be seen. This airs on television under the name Dragon Sword, yet there's hardly any dragon, and no sword that serves a purpose to a title like that. The title of George and the Dragon as listed on this site is also a little misleading, as any dragon seen in this film is only on screen for maybe 10 minutes all together. The plot seems to center mainly on protecting a dragon egg, rather than anything else. The romance is contrived at times, and the villains are clearly marked.

The music is very overbearing and repetitive. It does provide a good atmosphere to some scenes, but as a whole, there's not a lot to warrant a purchase.

When the dragons do finally show up, the special effects are mediocre. They're not as bad as one would think for such a low-budget production, but for what they were worth, they are easily forgivable. The action is very short, and not at all edited nor choreographed well.

All in all, this is a film that really passes the time, that is the only major positive thing I could grant George and the Dragon. The acting, while hammy, is okay; the special effects are mediocre; the music is less than desirable; and the film is just WAY to simple for mature audiences.

I highly recommend this for children under the age of 10.

Cheaters
(2000)

Guilty As Charged...
This is, without a doubt, an absurd television show. Cheaters is the kind of show that you can only handle a few episodes at a time, mainly because most episodes are redundant, but all are always predictable. There was one episode where they showed segments of where people were not getting cheated on, but still got divorced/unengaged/broken-up-with, which is sad but still something new that hasn't been covered before -- and what makes viewers question as they see the guilty party get the snot slapped out of themselves.

The host(s) are okay, though the way the confrontations go down could REALLY seem less hostile, which would make things go a little smoother, rather than bad grammar and swear words go flying all over the place. It really is comedic in a way, because all the people that come on this show are ghetto-trash or white-trash, and to hear the idiotic things these morons say is hilarious and pitiful at the same time.

All in all, Cheaters has some serious flaws, however it is a guilty pleasure that I watch when nothing else is on. There's key episodes of Greco getting stabbed, arrested, etc. but those are so far and few between the ranting, that it comes off as lackluster.

If you're a fan of Jerry Springer and COPS, I could recommend this. It is trash TV, but considering nothing else is really on during that specific time-slot, then watch it.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
(2005)

Gets Carried Away...
Kathy can be funny, but she can also be downright obnoxious. Her stand-up comedy is okay, but none of it is laugh-out-loud to me. My mother and grandmother adore her (and her mother), and seeing how I am a straight-male, I guess some of her jokes may come off as passable.

Her show provides some interesting details as a celebrity living in Hollywood -- even if she is D-List. That being said, I must point out the reason I'm not the world's biggest fan and that is because Kathy and her posse are very two-faced. They talk behind everyone's backs in such a prissy school girl manner, and some of the things they say are pretty spiteful.

The organizations Kathy goes to are ridiculous -- and a waste of money, at times. Her brazen attitude can get out of hand, as running around with your pants down is only funny if it's in public.

All in all, this is a show I recommend watching only if you're homosexual (no offense), a Kathy Griffin fanatic, or are into raunchy comedy -- even if it tends to fall flat.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
(2007)

Save It On Your DVR For Another Time...
Okay, if you're expecting comedic genius from Foxworthy, you will be sadly disappointed; while his one-liners can do the trick for the audience, the viewers at home will shrug them off and say, "Please, get on with the show." The children seem bored out of their little minds if they're not up helping some of these idiots that can't point out the U.S. on a map. When they do come up, and it's their turn, they still seem bored.

The questions range from "it's so simple, how could you not know that" to "ya, that's one of those questions that, still, to this day, has no use in life". The length of pauses it takes for these people to analyze and talk is so boring, that they really could cut out 10-minutes, so that another contestant can show what they know, rather than us look at our watches.

All in all, the atmosphere is nice, and Foxworthy is the real entertainment -- sometimes. I highly recommend it to fans of game shows, but to the average viewer, I say, "Save it on your DVR for another time."

American Idol: The Search for a Superstar
(2002)

Gets Old... Fast...
I started watching American Idol when it first premiered, fortunately, I stopped after the tryouts were done. Once the competition itself begins, there's nothing that makes it intriguing, funny, or suspenseful.

The judges are a good trio of people. Paula is the judge people would look for when it's down to a sympathy vote. Randy Jackson can be, too, but he tends to have a different taste than his two counterparts. Simon is the best, simply because he does not BS anyone, and his criticisms are true, even if they do come off as harsh.

Well, that's all there is to say about American Idol that is positive. Other than the judges and the tryouts, there is nothing that garners this multiple viewings, and I am quite shocked at the phenomenon it has become. None of the songs are the contestants' own, just the voice -- so what makes them an artist?

I highly advise anyone who is on the fence about watching this show, to stay on it. Unless your into the tryouts, skip this.

Grendel
(2007)

Very Bad, But Had Potential...
First off, this is no where near as bad as some of the other trash the Sci-Fi Channel has produced; that isn't to say that Grendel is a good film, in fact, it is very bad, but it definitely had potential to be a lot better. The flaws of the film come from character design, character, absurd additions to the story, the visual effects, the music, and for the most part: the acting.

When speaking of character design, I, of course, mean the way our heroes and villains look. Beowulf and the other Danes seem like ridiculous Vikings, rather than warriors of brute strength -- that helmet our main protagonist wears is just too silly. Grendel looks like the Hulk but with strange tentacle-attachments to his elbows.

The characters are very limited. Beowulf is same from beginning to end, however Finn -- a useless sidekick -- achieved some two-dimensionality, due thanks to his romantic subplot, and Unferth gets some notion as well, as he becomes less conceited.

Much like Finn, there are useless additions to this story to make it its own, while still holding to the source material. The crossbow that is gifted to Beowulf is so ridiculous, I'm surprised the cast didn't walk off the set. Besides additions, there's omissions, such as the underlying themes of Christianity and Paganism, as well as the consequences of lying.

The special effects are mighty terrible. Grendel and his mother Hag are poorly conceived, and as such, they're portrayal on screen is less than believable.

The music is overbearing, especially when a character dies.

All in all, this is not Sci-Fi's worst film to date. No. It is actually one of the better films, though trash it still it is, it is good trash, making it a guilty pleasure at best. The only thing that works is the dialogue, which is still wooden here and there.

I highly recommend you skip this film and watch Robert Zemeckis' take on the ancient story of Beowulf, simply because this film (Grendel) is only half the tale, and not the whole thing, which garners this movie a three-star review.

Creating the Lord of the Rings Symphony: A Composer's Journey Through Middle-Earth
(2004)

Inspiring, Insightful, and Gorgeous...
As a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings films -- as well as books, etc. -- to see a documentary video of Howard Shore's masterful scores for each part of the trilogy is a great treat.

Shore's devotion to making three complex, unique, and operatic scores is not only inspiring, but thanks to this documentary, it is an insightful learning process into the compassionate mind the composer had for The Lord of the Rings, and the gorgeous end-result.

To type much more would seem inappropriate, as there's enough heart, passion, and depth to make these film scores go down in history as masterpieces, and this documentary is proof of such praise. I highly recommend one see this, particularly those that are fans of orchestral music.

Attack of the Show!
(2005)

Not For Everyone, But It's Okay...
I watch Attack of the Show daily, as it tends to cover subjects that are passed by other, bigger news shows. The flaws that come with watching this tends to come from the hosts of the show and the lackluster comedy here and there. While good to look at, the hosts are not the most charismatic bunch of people, in fact, I don't think a lot of people will be able to relate to them. The comedy really falls flat, as the segments and skits they produce are nicely conceived, but poorly executed.

Other than the comedy, the only reasons to watch the show are...

THE FEED - A short, five-minute segment discussing the current events dealing with pop-culture, such as films, TV, and games.

DVDUESDAY - A segment that usually airs on Tuesdays -- sometimes it is pushed back a day or two depending on releases -- that is good to get comments on new releases, though Chris Gore has a one-track mind, and what he finds as bad/good, you might find good/bad. His appreciation of films would make other critics look away in embarrassment, at times.

THE LOOP - A ten-minute (can be longer and shorter) segment delving into a subject recently mentioned in a prior show or from The Feed. It is a conversation between the host and a guest (sometimes more than one) that can be easily passed-on due to some of the lame topics they discuss.

All in all, there's just not enough intriguing stuff to keep this show afloat. The segments get disappointing should nothing "big" be happening, the hosts are lackluster, and as far as entertainment, it is scarce.

I could only recommend Attack of the Show to gamers and fans of anything technological.

Fans of anything pop-culture, you may want to stick with the parts I listed above.

Saw II
(2005)

Sure Enough to Make One Stop Watching The Rest...
The first Saw was heavily flawed, grotesque in appearance, and very mediocre. To give that movie a four-star (out of 10, mind you) review was hard, as I don't think there was anything to give it higher than one-star. However, compared to Saw II, the first installment was far more entertaining, which is where this one fails.

The only thing I can say about Saw II that is not negative, is that the devices used for killing these morons are actually quite clever and intriguing in design.

Down to the acting; this cast is ridiculous. Donnie Wahlberg's performance as the harsh, detective father is very lame and uninspired -- probably the biggest cliché of the movie. Tobin Bell is okay, but the material he is given is poor. Everyone else can be tossed back on the street for all the yelling they do; that's acting? The characters are terribly written. There's not one person worth rooting for but Wahlberg's, and to show how stupendously moronic these people are, the writer(s) decided to turn this into a movie more about cabin fever, rather than "let's get out of here, ALIVE". For example, the Hispanic male goes on a killing spree, hyped-up on the desperation of not dying, but in-turn, what good is he doing himself? Another example would have to be a device disguised as a glass box with two slots where one would insert their hands to retrieve something of desire. Now, one of the protagonists wants this object, for without it she will die. She puts her hands in very nonchalantly only to find that she is caught in it, with razor blades twisting and slicing up her wrists as she desperately tries to escape. Now, no matter how desperate people may get, there's always common sense thrown in somewhere, and none of these people comprehend that working as a team might be a more proficient way of living, rather than aimlessly walking around trying to die a ridiculous death.

Anyway, there's a lot I could argue with anyone about on this movie. There's nothing to like, and to give it a one-star would be a little mean, as I did laugh at how bad it was.

After viewing Saw II, it certainly has done something victorious, and that it is the sequel that has made me stop viewing the rest of the series, as I was hoping there would be improvements made from the last one's flaws... nope.

Skip this and the rest.

Saw
(2004)

The Buildup Leads to a Lackluster Ending...
What to say about Saw? Probably that as thrilling as it may come off from all the sequels, there's nothing that makes these films, nor this one, remotely good.

This is a very ugly, grotesque, and disgusting looking film. From atmosphere down to the settings, this movie has no aesthetics. The acting is terrible; why on Earth Danny Glover is in this film is beyond me. I was sincerely shocked that Michael Emerson was in this, but at least he provided an ideal performance; one that all the other actors could look up to. Karl Elwes is very uninspired, as all he does is talk in a raspy voice and yell a lot.

The terror that is in this film is hardly terrifying. Is it thrilling? At times, yes. Is it at all memorable? No. With all the running around and yelling, it all builds up to one of the most lackluster endings of the decade.

James Wan's story and direction would make Se7en quiver with flattery, as this film contains no depth, nor reality to maintain it as a memorable thriller. In fact, the screenplay is so limited, that when these guys are given a time limit to escape, all they do is reminisce about what they were doing before they ended up in Hell's restroom; very silly and highly stupid.

All in all, I highly advise anyone seeking a movie with thrills to watch it, because, after all, that is the intended search. Then again, those impressed with films like Se7en or The Silence of the Lambs, will find no film equivalent to them. Instead, they will get a mediocre story that has spawned numerous, unoriginal sequels that one can only pray ends sooner rather than later.

Skip this film, please.

Braindead
(1992)

Totally Deserving of a Nine-Star Review...
The imagination, comedy, wit, and gore makes Braindead (Dead-Alive) one of the best horror-comedies ever made. Peter Jackson's direction is so twisted and hilarious that it makes this film totally deserving of a nine-star review.

The acting is very good, despite a list of unknowns. This is one bloody, violent, and gory movie. Even the first three-minutes provide some nice hacking at limbs; but the monumental status this film hits is in its third-act, as all Hell breaks loose in Lionel's (the main character) house, as there is non-stop bloodshed -- and it's actually quite inventive. As for where the comedy plays in, it is all over the place, even though it primarily clings to slapstick, there's plenty of laughs to behold as there's a karate-chopping priest, a demented zombie baby, and intestines that come alive and cause our main protagonists quite some misfortune.

Overall, anyone looking for something hilarious to watch on a Friday or Saturday night is sure to find great enjoyment with Braindead. Definitely see this movie.

Anaconda
(1997)

Pass...
This definitely is one of, if not, the worst films of the decade. From the cast of actors being poorly used in such cliché roles, to the snake itself, there is not one redeeming quality Anaconda possesses.

The acting is very wooden and stiff -- though this is what should be expected from an Ice Cube and Jennifer Lopez movie. The music is lame and worthy of being tossed off a bridge. As far as a monster movie goes, this is no where near the guilty pleasure status of the cheese that was produced in the 30's to late 60's; the Anaconda is wretched looking, and its use in the film is totally underplayed. To anyone looking for a decent ending, keep searching, because there's none to be found.

All in all, the films the Sci-Fi Channel produces and airs is worth your time and not this. Even for a giant snake movie, there's no enjoyment to be had from Anaconda, and I highly recommend you pass on this trash.

The Silence of the Lambs
(1991)

Horrifying and Excellent...
First off, I will recommend this film right now to anyone who can take in this truly horrifying story, as there is not one minute where even we, the audience, feel safe. The Silence of the Lambs is right in my top-10 list for the best films of the decade (1990-1999), and after viewing it, it may be in yours too.

The acting is brilliant from all involved. Jodie Foster's performance is one to cheer for every step of the way, but the real star of the show, even for how his character plays out in the "big picture", is Anthony Hopkins. There's not one scene where we do not fear what this psychopathic genius Hannibal Lecter knows, and every moment he appears on screen your heart will sink -- even if his screen time is VERY short. Ted Levine is very good as Buffalo Bill and sightly underrated for his performance.

Howard Shore's music is haunting, terrifying, and uncomfortable, making it a score I'd recommend to anyone who listens to orchestral music. From tone to realization, Shore's intense music sets the stage for what we see, making it a great achievement -- probably the best of the decade as well.

The story is very graphic. The violence is pretty heavy, and the first scene between Clarice and Hannibal are disturbing -- especially the moment when she is about to leave; definitely not for young viewers.

The story is very enthralling and extreme. The mystery and suspense works every time, and Jonathan Demme and Ted Tally deserve every award they get.

Overall, I highly recommend this film to those who can watch such an intense film with deeply disturbing subject matter. This is just one horrifying and excellent masterpiece that you must see.

Forrest Gump
(1994)

Beautiful and Inspiring...
Forrest Gump is full of triumph and heroism, that it is rightfully placed with the classics. From overcoming his inability to walk, to succeeding in life while playing with the cards he was dealt. This is truly one beautiful and inspiring film.

The acting, all around, is great. Tom Hanks's performance is one of the top-5 of the decade (1990-1999), and Gary Sinise plays Lt. Dan with such empowerment, sometimes we are conflicted on who to root for in the long-run. Sally Field does a nice job as Forrest's mother, and Mykelti Williamson (had to look his name up on IMDb) is very good as Bubba.

The story is hilarious, endearing, inspiring, and a near-epic at times. The laughs mainly come from Gump's incidents and dialogue, as well as historical moments seen on the television or milestones in each decade the film takes place. The moments in Vietnam are when the film reaches near-epic status, as Zemeckis has us wandering around the jungles listening to Gump's narration, when suddenly his troops come under-fire. The scenes of war are shot tremendously well, especially when Forrest shows his heroic side. As the story progresses, we see him get reality check after reality check, developing his overall character to the point where he still has a mentally-challenged mind, but with experience and understanding many folk cannot come near to.

Alan Silvestri's score is uplifting and very engaging. Quite arguably, this is possibly Silvestri's best ever. I highly recommend this to any one who likes orchestral music -- especially film scores.

The writing by Eric Roth is spot-on; completely deserving of an applause. Zemeckis's direction is grand, and this is the best film he's ever done; far more depth and love than anything else, this film has a lot of heart.

Overall, this is the best picture of 1994, and will go down cinematic history as a classic. I highly recommend Forrest Gump to fans of Tom Hanks, people looking for an inspiring and hopeful film, and any one who is just looking for a good time.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
(2003)

Improves On Some of the Flaws of The Two Towers, But Is Still Equal...
If you enjoyed The Two Towers game back in 2002, then there's no doubt you will like The Return of the King. With more advanced gameplay, more characters, and great graphics, this gaming-sequel fixes some of the predecessor's flaws, but is still equal overall.

Much like the prior game, The Return of the King follows the storyline/time-line of the films. However, unlike the theatrical cut, the Black Gate of Mordor level includes the Mouth of Sauron -- which can be seen in the extended cut. The Minas Tirith levels are grand -- a more expansive map would've been spectacular. However, with even some of the more epic levels, the ones including Frodo and Sam are rather disappointing, as they're the easiest of the bunch; these levels require a sense of direction, rather than strategy.

If I had to point out the hardest level, it would be a tie between the Crack of Doom -- as defeating Gollum is harder than expected -- and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields where you have to duel the Witch-King.

There's more combat moves for each character, which improves on the stiffness of the ones incorporated in The Two Towers -- however, once again, they're ninja-like, even for Gimli.

Overall, this is definitely worth your cash. It's fun, and can be beaten in about five hours -- which is both a pro and con. I recommend it to fans of The Lord of the Rings, and to those who enjoyed the previous game.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(2002)

Fun Game, and Good Companion to the Film...
I'm a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings films, and have recently began reading Tolkien's work. Along with that, I have been playing what games are available for The Lord of the Rings, and as of 2002, The Two Towers has been the first to be enjoyable -- unlike the ridiculous version of the The Fellowship of the Ring that was released by a different company other than EA Games.

The gameplay is very simple, and depending on the difficulty level, a gamer may find easy-to-forgive flaws, and some added bonuses for dedicated playing. The levels require a degree of strategy, as some levels -- primarily the final battle at Helm's Deep and the trek through Fangorn Forest -- may prove the use of an online walk-through.

As a companion piece to The Two Towers (and a little of The Fellowship of the Ring), this game is very good at maintaining the atmosphere and settings of the films. The characters (though with more ninja-like moves) are nicely detailed, and with varying combat moves, there's a lot to enjoy.

Overall, while definitely not up to some of the more hardcore gamers' tastes, as movie-games tend to be easier than the average RPG, The Two Towers is a nice welcome to those with a PlayStation 2, Xbox, or Gamecube.

The Mummy Returns
(2001)

(REVIEW #100) The Special Effects Are This Film's True Handicap...
If you fell in love with 1999's The Mummy, then there is sure to be some likable factor in The Mummy Returns. Everyone is back for a second adventure, and with a pretty good story, the film's only major handicap is its special effects.

The acting is hammier than the first, I must admit. Frasier is one-dimensional in this sequel, being that there is no real impact on his character that makes him any different from the first, or the beginning of this one; Weisz is misused as well. Even with the expansion of their characters (as being reincarnations) this only makes them subpar of two-dimensional. Oded Fehr's return allows more depth to his character, and he is probably the only one worth rooting for, as Arnold Vosloo is more convincing as a decaying mummy than he is in flesh. John Hannah's character, whom I left out of the first movie's review, is back, and is great as the comedy relief, but then again, even that title is limited, as The Mummy Returns delves more into comedy, rather than action.

Special effects allow for viewers to become entranced, and makes the story being told more believable. Yet, there is not one moment of realistic trickery, making this sequel worthy of a minus-three stars in total. The Scorpion King is so fake looking, as well as when Imhotep sucks the skin (or how ever he does it) makes the movie lose any grasp it once had on the viewer.

The music is disappointing, as there is nothing new or impressive about it. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, as you could just listen to the first's and still get the same quality.

All in all, with bad acting and special effects to boot, this film is worth five-stars out of the possible ten. While providing escapism, the film loses to much believability to regain its seating as rousing fun. Instead, it's a disappointing adventure that I can only recommend to faithful fans.

Chappelle's Show
(2003)

Hilarious...
There's no way I would call Chappelle's Show the funniest show ever, but as far as sketch-comedy, it achieves far more than the recent years of MAD TV and Saturday Night Live. From Dave's impersonations as Rick James, Prince, and Samuel L. Jackson, there's truly a laugh-a-minute with those bits. The comedy can fall flat in some skits, as it goes too far in raunchiness and loses the comedic effect intended -- but this is rare. Dave's skits are hilarious, from The Mad Real World to Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories, there's a lot to enjoy.

All in all, while Chappelle's Show ended very prematurely, what episodes remain are enough to garner repeat viewing -- I recommend maybe once every six-months, so that the comedic genius remains. Definitely watch this show; white, black, orange, blue -- this show is for everyone.

Die Hard 2
(1990)

Almost As Good As The First...
As far as sequels go, Die Hard 2 is worthy to be called "almost as good as the first". The story is slightly less engaging than the original, but John McClain is just as exciting and heroic on this venture. The acting is grade-A all around, and the violence isn't as extreme -- though a bad guy does get an icicle to the eye. Just like the original, this has all the fun, drama, and comic relief.

All in all, while this is a short review for such a grand film, I simply cannot express in words is impact, because it has been years since I viewed it. From memory of experience, everything listed above remained intact with me, so much that I recommend it to anyone who loved Die Hard.

Dragon Storm
(2004)

It Tries, But Too Hard...
This is another in a long line of films that I can only recommend as background noise, or entertainment that one can laugh at more than take to seriousness. Dragon Storm really tries more than the other productions Sci-Fi has aired, but too hard. The acting is really forced, and the only performance worth highlighting is John Rhys-Davis, as his portrayal as the treacherous king is given such Shakespearean bravado that it's actually quite good. The special effects, for what they were worth, are okay, though they use the same templates over and over again to exhaustion. To touch the tip of the iceberg, those are the few good things of this film.

What worked was the film as a whole: it had good pacing, and even for a guilty pleasure as it is, it is very easy to watch without getting impatient. It's such a ridiculous film that it succeeds in keeping the audience pulled in to continue.

What didn't work was the film's overall lackluster appeal. The costume designs seem very lazy, and the hunter's wig will provide a lot of laughs to how feminine it makes this grungy guy look. Another flaw would have to be the aforementioned lame acting. The scene with the teenagers wandering through the forest (drunk on mead, and with two girls) was so hilariously awful, that how the director thought that that was a worthy cut to include in the film is beyond me.

The characters are not very original, and are the clichés that must fill the inevitable team of slayers. The recruitment scene (with the hunter and "scientist") was slightly funny, but the slow-motion to make the China-man's karate see more effective was hilarious in its poorness. The final flaw would have to be the ending; none of our characters get real conclusions befitting them -- and beforehand, the deaths of some of the main people were ridiculous and did nothing for the story.

All in all, there were a lot of poor decisions with this film, and the director should never get to make another film -- unless it was meant to be this bad. Not a lot works in this film, and I can only recommend it to people who, like me, get a kick out of watching bad movies.

The Medallion
(2003)

Chan's Film Drowns In Its Aspirations of a Guilty Pleasure...
I love Jackie Chan, so much to the point where he inspired me (partially) to start doing karate (Tang Soo Do) and after sticking with it for three-and-a-half years, I finally achieved my black belt. In a way, Jackie is one of my all-time heroes.

However, this film is probably his worst yet -- possibly ever. Every single attempt at comedy falls flat, which is a real shame, as I was expecting a lot more from the star of Shanghai Noon and The Legend of the Drunken Master. Chan's performance is lackluster, Forlani is okay, John Rhys-Davis seems bored and unenthusiastic, and Evans is total lackluster in every way.

The action is mediocre, and to finally see a film where Chan didn't do the vast majority of his own stunts was sad. The lame attempts at resembling an old (corny) martial arts' film and possibly The Matrix at some points, made me cringe too much. The final battle is preposterous and made me lose a lot of hope for Chan's future career in film.

All in all, with very bad acting, story, and action to match, there's just nothing to appreciate from this movie. Nothing works, except to bring another guilty pleasure into my collection. This is a film I highly recommend to anyone who likes to make their own commentary, as I can't think of any discernible reason as to why someone would have to endure this. I give it three-stars for the fact that it really is a guilty pleasure for its extreme lameness. Don't watch this.

The Mummy
(1999)

Fun Adventure, Despite Some Flaws...
While not nearly as engaging as Raiders of the Lost Ark, or funny as The Last Crusade, The Mummy (1999) is a nice filler for those waiting for any more Indiana Jones films, or something like it.

From beginning to end, The Mummy is very simple, and not one second of it is incomprehensible to a young audience member. The pacing is great; the buildup to the resurrection is actually a great success, and the adventures that ensue are horrifying, hilarious, and adventurous. Brendan Frasier gives a very nice performance as Rick O'Connell, and Rachael Weisz is just as good as Evey. For what he's given, Arnold Vosloo is very menacing as Imhotep, and Oded Fehr's character could have used more screen time to allow us to appreciate him more -- though plenty of that is in the second. The action flows, and is shot very well. The special effects are really good, and I don't think there has ever been a cooler-looking mummy. Jerry Goldsmith's score is decent enough to warrant a buy, though not nearly as sweeping as it could have been, it's still a decent collection of music.

Overall, there's a lot of fun to he had from The Mummy. It sets out exactly doing what it intended, and never exceeds that or disappoints. I highly recommend it to fans of adventure films, Brendan Frasier, and those looking for a good time on a weekend night.

The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
(2000)

No Way...
I was a dedicated fan of the cartoon; waking up every weekday morning when I was very young to watch the misadventures Rocky and Bullwinkle use to share. This full-length live-action movie shares none of the charm or comedy the cartoon so beautifully executed.

The acting is nothing impressive nor comedic. The story is very, very formulaic, so much that to call this a Rocky and Bullwinkle feature is to be an insult. The pacing is off, so much so that I doubt any child, big or small, will find enjoyment.

All in all, I highly recommend the cartoon original, as it contains all the necessities of a great time. Skip out on this live-action feature that contains none of the spirit.

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