XAEEM

IMDb member since April 2005
    Lifetime Total
    5+
    IMDb Member
    14 years

Reviews

Justice League: The New Frontier
(2008)

Well executed animated film on par with S:Doomsday but gets a tad boring towards the end!
This is drawn in the style of the 50s comics which is not for everyone's taste but is a rather bold and well executed move by Warner Bros Animation Studios.

The New Frontier as you might have guessed is set in the 50s, more precisely 1953 towards the end of the Korean War. It starts out with Hal Jordan, a fighter pilot for the US coming back from the battlefield having just been told that the war is over. Hal's jet is downed by enemy fire and after he lands, has to kill an enemy soldier(who either didn't know the war was over or just wanted to kill an American) in self defense.

The first act of the film plays out like an origin story for Hal Jordan (later to become the green lantern) and for Jon Jonnz (The Martian Manhunter). It also introduces supes and the B man (in a pretty cool way I must say) but supes' and wonder woman's introduction are the best by far. People tend to forget that wonder woman is from an amazon island (only ladies) and has no notion of democracy or due process, she's a warrior, she stabs first and asks questions later and her first scene illustrates that very well. We also get a nice scene with the Flash saving Iris (his wife).

The second act continues the exposition showing us that a mysterious force called 'the centre' is zombifying people into doing its deeds and apparently 'the centre' (who is the main villain who u never see) has seen the evolution of the human race since it began and thinks that they don't deserve to exist. Which is basically an excuse for blowing up the whole planet.

The first half of the film gets you hooked on the story and characters and delves in very little action (but oh so cool action). It also shows the state of society in America with references to the Ku Klux Klan, racism and the short minded perceptions and stereotypes of humans 'different = bad'.

By the third act, we start feeling the pressure of the WB execs pushing the writers to script big frickin fight scenes with as many heroes as possible to please the crowd. They didn't push the PG-13 envelope with this one but they certainly made good use of it as we do see off screen decapitation and blood flowing in many kill scenes. Basically, a lot of fighting and killing but there is some substance in a scene prior to the Big Bash that shows the superheroes (not yet understood or accepted by society) joining forces with regular humans to fight a common enemy.

I cannot remember who said this but: 'Today there are no democrats, no republicans, just the naked simplicity of an absolute: Mankind's survival' The fourth act is super whammy hammy with a lot of comic stereotypes and feels a bit rushed in my opinion so i'm not even going to say anything about it. Except that the last monologue is very fitting of the overall message of acceptance scattered through the film. The monologue is from none other than John Kennedy and is pure gold! All in all, a very good at effort at converting a graphic novel to film. The premise is very easy to understand the character development is given a lot of attention towards the first half to setup for the mindless action in the second.

However, my main gripe with this is that it doesn't show enough of batman and treats him as a semi granted character. But the green lantern's origin is well executed and therefore a must see for all JL fans.

Spider-Man 3
(2007)

Best of the three but not flawless! :D
This was a brilliant piece of entertainment, it had drama, romance, horror, thriller, adventure, action and comedy (lots of it).

The film starts slow, putting the audience up close to the characters, getting us used to them again and putting us in their world and their family to help us understand their bond. Then the action is kick started and we get a glimpse of how good the next action scenes are going to be.

James Franco gives a very good performance as angry/evil Harry, i was surprised that such a young actor could be that convincing, though for a few split seconds i did think he was over acting.

Tobey is even better in this one than in the previous films, you actually believe that he's a grown up peter parker and that he's not so much of a nerd anymore and he's coming to terms with his identity. He plays the arrogant part very well as well.

Tobey (again) when 'possessed' by the symbiotic goo is again very convincing, you can see a total change of character while still getting glimpses of the underlying 'regular' peter parker. He excels in the scenes where he has to be 'bad'.

Kirsten Dunst wasn't all that good as her eyes don't seem to act much, her face has pretty much a basic set of expressions except when she cries. Wasn't happy with her but it was forgivable seeing as she played the distraught actress part quite well.

Church was wasted i think, he was SO good in the few scenes he had as normal flint Marco, i wish they'd shown more of him in human form.

Grace was wasted as well, not enough screen time, he definitely could NOT have been a main and only villain but he should have had as much screen time as Church did so as to establish his back story, not enough was done in that respect n i was disappointed.

Bryce Dallas Howard was very pleasant on the eyes as Gwen but again her and parker's relationship could have been explored further.

Now back to the actual on screen eye candy. Spiderman in regular costume was relegated to the background, his scenes do stand out but not because of his acrobatics but more due to whats going on around him (crane scene in trailer is brilliant). Sandman, especially the birth of sandman scene is a beauty to watch, the sand flowing with the wind, and taking Flint Marko's shape. The special effects were really well done and i do think this film deserves an award for the CGI. Venom is TOO scarce, in the short scenes that we do see him, he is amazing, the face, the tongue, the teeth, the eyes and the muscular body, even his webbing, They hit the bullseye as far as his design is concerned, I'm a big venom fan and i am very happy with the outcome of the venom design. Topher's squeaky voice is kinda weird when seeing him talk as venom but he still does look like he's enjoying being 'bad'. What annoyed me was the fact that he became more of a gimmick and had very limited lines as venom. They could have done so much more with him.

The comedy in this film will blow you away. Entertainment at its purest, i haven't laughed this hard since SO long. The dance sequences and the 'aloof' peter parker are so funny & enjoyable to watch and provide good relief from the sometimes heavy drama parts of the film.

J Jonah Jameson's scenes also provide great comic relief especially when he's trying to control his anger, that was a hilarious moment and the whole audience cracked up during those scenes.

Im not going to say more as i don't want to spoil it but just so you know the ending is satisfying and ties up a lot of loose ends from the previous films and it also gives a sense of where things are going to go if they ever make a 4th film.

Some parts do seem to be a bit too emotionally charged, some not enough and there is also the feel that some key scenes may have been edited out as far as character relationships are concerned although if you watch closely you can guess what happened just before the current scene.

All in all, the best of the trilogy for me, i always preferred spider-man 1, but this one is now my favourite. Im actually more of a batman fan but i just love what Sam Raimi did with this franchise and I'm sure as hell going to buy the DVD when it comes out. Im planning on seeing this again in the next few weeks!

Casino Royale
(2006)

Fantastic adaption of Ian's Fleming's Novel
I was apprehensive about Daniel Craig's performance at first but this film proved me wrong. He lives James bond in this film. He's got the look, the style, the voice, the body and the moves. Craig plays a very rough James bond, vicious at times which is just what i was waiting for. The story itself is grounded in reality, not so many gadgets, more about the wits of the character and his intellect, the villain funds terrorism which is a topic currently in everyone's mind and this makes it more real. The supporting characters did exactly what they are, supporting the film, the main character, this film was about bond becoming bond and the final scene gives us what we were waiting for. A sharp but gritty James bond. some of the dialogues are a bit cheesy with the James bond girls but that can be overlooked. The girls are alright, Vesper Lynd's character is a very different bond girl from what we've been accustomed to. All in all, this film shows us why Bond becomes closed on himself and how and why he looses his soul and becomes this legendary spy/soldier. Well worth the watch in cinemas!!!

Fanaa
(2006)

Romantic but thought provoking film
First of all, the pairing of Kajol and Aamir is something i have always wanted to see but never thought i would. They are a 'different' couple on screen but very believable as they are both seasoned actors that give a sense of reality to the role.

Kajol shined as always, and i hadn't seen Aamir's recent films so it was a shock to see how well he pulled it off and how mature an actor he is, as the role he took on may have been frowned upon by other actors of his caliber, he took a chance and it worked out for the better.

The director has executed this challenging story very well, not dwelling too much in the ideologies represented but just enough to make it a real story.

The music is amazing, chaand sifarish and chamka chamke are on mp3 player and are there to stay. The supporting actors are worth mentioning, rishi kapoor, who is a legend, plays Zooni's dad with a lot of ease.

The story in itself is not cliché at all, though the film is at times slow in the first half, it is generally well paced and makes for an easy viewing.

Watching this made me remember why i like hindustani films so much.

God of War
(2005)

On par with such masterpieces as Prince Of Persia: SOT, WW, TTT
I picked this up two days ago in the pre-owned bucket as couldn't afford it when it came out. As soon as it was in my slimline, AWE and AMAZEMENT, brilliant cinematics and dramatic story. It gets you hooked from the start and makes you wonder what will happen to Kratos and why he's doing what he does. The game is beautiful, frame rate is excellent even with many enemies on the screen.

A lot of attention to detail is applied to all the characters including NPCs and other 'extras' that are normally very generic. The main character himself is detailed to the bone, watching Kratos walk and accelerate into a run is a feast to the eye.

The levels are beautifully designed and the puzzles are just hard enough to keep you interested but easy enough not to get you frustrated.

The action element is very present, unlocking combos, upgrading weapons and magic spells really makes a difference to the gameplay. The combos are varied and very well animated.

Gore: this game is definitely an adult title, i have played violent games before but this is a level above, not that its any grittier but its just more stylish, there isn't loads of blood just for the sake of it, you have to execute the best combos to get the chance to see what I'm talking about but the actions of Kratos really characterize him and makes you believe in the fact that he's a seasoned warrior(thats actually an understatement)

Partial nudity in there but nothing too naughty and OMG the bosses and GODS are the very best part of this game, fighting the HYDRA is a treat and watching Ares stomping in the background while you are scouring the mountains is just one of the small touches that prove that a lot of time has been put into developping this game. Definitely worth the buy!

Harsh Times
(2005)

great acting, very human story
I'm glad i haven't seen training day or i'd feel compelled to compare. This film feels real, and the director really makes you feel like you are actually IN the film, in the situation with the characters. You feel part of their lives and start feeling FOR them. Freddy Rodriguez plays a kinda good guy with a weak will and gets roped into anything Jim(Bale) gets him into. His relationship with Eva longoria is something people can identify with. Christian Bale is mind blowing from the moment the film begins (pun intended) he is very believable as Jim and is one crazy SOB in this film, he pulls off the dialogue, attitude and body language really well, You just couldn't tell he was a Brit, let alone welsh. his acting prowess is impeccable. Miles away from the Bruce Wayne he played recently.

All in all, its a good film, i won't give away the story, though its nothing extraordinary but it gives us the feel of how life is in crime ridden cities where people fight for survival every single day.

Batman Begins
(2005)

Well scripted, filmed and acted, one of the best "superhero" movies.
I was surprised that it was this good, i just got back from the movies and damn i expected something good but this is one of the best, if not the best superhero movie i've seen. People always tend to think of superhero movies as not being able to achieve the same blockbuster status as other movies, but all that changed with Spiderman which set the bar higher for other superhero movies and i can say that Nolan has clearly found the best way to show the birth of batman. I mean come on, this batman is nothing like any other batman we've seen. Its not bale wearing a costume, its Batman, Nolan showed us how different Bruce Wayne and Batman are. The split personally shown in a very in your face way. And Bale portrayed that very well, change of voice as batman, change of walking pace and style and the way he shouted to that corrupt cop: "Swear to me" when the guy said "i swear to god" that was powerful, its the way Bob Kane wrote batman at the beginning. That is, not as Bruce Wayne in a costume but as a separate character from Bruce Wayne. The only thing in common is the compassion that he has for people and the hatred for injustice and crime.

The Scarecrow was impressive even with just the mask and not the whole scarecrow costume that we've seen in the comics. And Luscious Fox fits well in the story, as usually(in other movies) its Alfred who designs/works on the gadgets but this makes more sense. Alfred cant do everything. Michael Caine is believable as Alfred Pennyworth, a father figure and a friend for Bruce.

Henry Ducard(Liam Neeson) impressed me in the first scene itself when he beats up Bruce Wayne, he's bad. The training looked cool on screen, with the ninja outfits and armour. In the previous movies we haven't been told how batman has all these skills(in fact they don't show that much fighting skills anyway) but this one shows how, by training Bruce Wayne becomes more than a man.

He doesn't have any superpowers thats what i like about Batman, he doesn't need the powers. The way that he scares the enemies was well thought, in the first scene where we actually see Batman in action, he gives these guys the creeps. And thats what Batman is all about.

Gotham city looks great, the landscapes, buildings, the train and especially the Wayne Building. Now the Batmobile not only looks good, its bulky, bumpy but still sleek looking and its massive, the scenes where the cops are chasing it are awesome, even if its just a vehicle you can get a feel for how it relates to Batman's personality.

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