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King Kong

The archetype of remakes
After a long anticipation for this film, I was truly blown away by it. Never has such a Hollywood-ish movie met my expectations so highly and then some. This film is truly amazing. Even with taking the modern-technological advantages out of the equation, King Kong 2005 dwarfs its 2 predecessors in every aspect. Never has a fantasy action movie had more heart and soul than this one. Peter Jackson's motives are even more prevalent here than in all 3 Lord of the Rings put together. He is a filmmaker truly interested in the movie itself. His work now feels so signature, as no other director manages to submerse its audience within the film so intimately. From a simple, almost silly premise of a movie, Jackson (and co-screen writers) have expanded King Kong into a dramatic 3-hour epic that will leave you breathless. Excellent performances from all 3 leading cast members, notably Jack Black, as he shifts from typical funny-man to a serious and complex character. His work is easily worthy of a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

King Kong was definitely my favorite, and probably even the best movie of 2005. I hope it is embraced as warmly by the Academy Awards as Jackson's last film was.

Mean Girls

Hilarious, perfect, great cast and perfomances
From its trailer MEAN GIRLS looked too good to be true and having longly anticipating this movie (being an SNL film, looking hilarious, and with a cast of really hot girls) I braced myself for a let-down, thinking that the trailer might have given away all of its funny parts.

However, I soon found that this was the funniest movie since School of Rock, Old School, and The Hot Chick. The jokes were totally original (although some might find them a bit offensive) and the complete idea for such a movie was perfect and executed without flaw.

The story is also very engaging. There are twists and surprises and even some meaning at the very well-decided ending.

Last but not least, another one of this movie's very strong aspects was its cast.

Lindsay Lohan has definately matured as the young actress she was in THE PARENT TRAP - her acting is excellent because she captures the character of a high-school junior completely oblivious to such a complicated and foreign culture of teenagers. She is funny at times and carries the story very professionally.

Rachel McAdams, a newer actress landed her first lead role in this film after a somewhat recent and smaller part in THE HOT CHICK (2002). In MEAN GIRLS McAdams convincingly plays the antagonist "Regina George" and is one of the funniest parts of the movie.

Tina Fey, being the writer and a former SNL star, is great too. Lacey Chabert was probably the best performance in the film because she was outright hilarious and perfect for the part.

Mean Girls was very funny but would probably appeal mostly to teenagers in the American school system because of how suprisingly closely we can relate to the ridiculous events and characters in this movie. Teens from all high-school cliques and stereotypes will get a kick out of it. It is definately not a chick-flick, guys will like this movie all the same because of so many dirty jokes and skimpy playboy Halloween costumes. Excellent movie. 9/10

How to Deal

Nearly perfect for everything it tries to accomplish!
How To Deal was a movie that I, even as a guy highly anticipated long before it's release. With a well-selected and not over-done cast and a promising trailer, I looked forward to seeing Mandy Moore's second leading role in a film. Her performance in A Walk to Remember was excellent reguardless of the fact it was her debut. Allison Janney is another actress I respect, ever since her small role as the grouchy secretary in 10 Things I Hate About You. Her role did not require as much "involvement" as Mandy's and Trent's, but she did well and contributed to this movie's good quality. Trent Ford was a debut and his acting was the bets in the whole movie. I also respect Alexandra Holden, probably the most, because unlike some young actresses like Hilary Duff, she is building up a slow, steady, solid foundation of experience and fame as she climbs up the Hollywood ladder of sucess. I think she will be a very big star by the end of the year.

Anyway, I personally found this to be one of the best movies in a long time. Yes, it was tacky, pervasive and thematic at many times with it's dismissed and glorified themes of teen sex, teen pregnancy and teen drug use but it conveyed itself in a way that has not been used as often lately and in a way that i truly enjoyed.

I don't know if it was the tone, cinematography, costumes, art direction, or a little bit of each which made How to Deal a pleasantly enjoyable movie. It just was in its feeling, that made me and others who enjoyed this movie forget about the abrupt and awkward wrap-up of the story towards the end.

The story is thick in sub-plots, characters, and their problems and relationships to others. This is what made it seem like a less of a thin movie than some may argue it was.

The plot was interesting and almost kept you on the edge of your seat as you watched Hally struggle and hoped things would work out for her.

This movie should have done much better and received better reviews than it did because it was quite a new experience that few appreciated. I give How to Deal an honest, generous 9/10

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Well if you were expecting a simple quick movie than Ballistic might not have been a problem for you... but with a ridiculously misleading title, trailer, and plot line, this movie arguably sucked ass.

First of all, it was 90 minutes long. This is about enough time for some good characterization, an action sequence or two, and a cool final 20 minutes with interesting twists and the good guys winning. HOWEVER, due to a crap screenwriter and an asshead director with no creativity whatsoever, these producers allowed one of the poopiest "thrillrides" possible, and completely wasted their mere 90 minutes on pointless crap. About 25 minutes total of this movie were good, but the other 65 were worthless. What the makers could have done, was add another 30-40 minutes to this flick, and be able to develop some real talented stuff. Lots of WELL-EXPLAINED twists, good characterization, a longer feud between Ecks and Sever, more about th e microdevice. Instead they just got bored half way and tried to quickly wrap things up. The special effects were beautiful and it is a shame that the rest sucked.

The R rating restricted many eager 10-16-year-olds from seeing this movie. With slightly crap acting and a thin plotline, younger audiences would have been MUCH easier pleased, but instead MPAA decided to go out and get drunk before rating this movie, and gave it a rediculous R rating for "Strong Violence" Honestly, if a movie like Red Dragon is R for the same "reason" and the Ring is PG-13, why the hell does an innocent action film with practically 0 blood and no more action than 007, M:i, or XXX get ruined like this? Legally no teen with protective parents was allowed to see this movie, and the people that were, had a reason to hate it!

Oh well I think Warner Brothers was able to recover the loss with HP2 (which sucked as well) because the SFX in Ballistic sure as hell beat the ones in Die Another Day, and so obviously they costed a pretty penny. It is a shame that movies have to suck every now and then but it gives a chance for lame people like us to sit around and discuss them.


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