View Full Version : films today..simple opinionated review.
09-20-2003, 08:32 AM
I recenctly saw a couple of newre films in the theatre this week.. first i watched the film "no good deed goes unpunished" with samuel jackson. i was bored at first, because i didnt know what to expect, and the film is pretty slow.. my freind and i decided to see it simply becasue we were by the theatre, and we didnt know anything about it..so why not go see it and find out! anyhow.. by the end of the film i was very much into what was going on and even after leaving the film resonated in my mind even up untill today.. and i have to say.."wow that was a very refreshing film.." my freind agreed..it was great to see such a good peice done without huge money thrown at special effects and other gimmicky things to try and make the viewer forget that the actual plot of the film smells like doo doo. i give the film an A+..and would encourage anyone interested in the great art of storytelling through film to check it out. then just yesterday i saw the new film "underworld" with vampire hottie kate beckinsdale(or whatever her last name is) anyhow..as a fan of dark films ie: the crow- the matrix trilogy- lord of the rings trilogy..ect i wasnt expecting much from the film because the previews wer a bit overplayed and seemed to look like they tried really almost too hard to get that dark gothic genre feel.. in my lacky opinion . but the film kept shells dropping and bullets zinging by in dolby with cg werewolf transfomations flashing on the screen like a strobe light, which had my eyes none the less glued front and center.
it was entertaining, but for some reason, i felt as though i had watched the film before.like i knew what was going to happen - like this film as flashy as it was, was just another disney written classic case scenario wearing vampire clothing.
the film did have a few suprises which kept me from dipatching with the plot altogether and nodding off in between gunshots, but when i walked out of the film i was inherantly left with nothing.. but the feeling that i had just watched yet another entertaining but in the end meaningless film. dont get me wrong , the film was great fun, but i didnt really identify with the characters at all ..or their epic plight in the midst of the underworld war.. simply given to the fact that none of the main characters had any real human qualities or behavior to relate to .. i couldnt really identify with any of the characters.. their struggle was based on myth..their origin was based on myth.. and their manurisms and attitudes were based on a comic book feel.. (the film felt and watched alot like the movie "blade" )there was nothing there to relate to but fantasy.. in the end i wouldnt have really cared if they all died, because the character development amounted to "hi im a cold hearted vampire..oh hi there im a primal fury instinct operated werewolf..ok .. now theres a love story in here somewhere..hold on..let me pull one out of my butt" well.. you get the idea anyway.. i kindof felt like it was made for goth lovers so that they wouldnt wear out their copies of "the crow" and "braham stokers dracula" . but again ..it was great fun to watch and i would also recommend this film for people who like the whole guns vampire darkness stuff..it was actually pretty cool, but when i left the theatre.. the movie stayed there.
so in my small opinionated view both of these films were satisfactory, but a year from now "underworld" will be even further behind me ..while i will hold the lasting impressions from the simple nuances of "no good deed" for quite some time.. what does this mean to you...whatever you want it to i guess.. but im just writing on 2 films today.. just a simple opinionated review.
09-20-2003, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the opinions. I have yet to see either one, but my first impression of UNDERWORLD is "Oh, look. A Blade like film". It does look fun and I have an interest in vampire and werewolf films, even if most of them are sh*t.
One of my goals in the filmaking world is to put my own stamp on these genres, because I feel I can do better (Don't we all?). Kind of like the Mummy movie. I thought it was entertaining, even if for popcorn purposes, but I told my wife, I'd love to make that film except mine would be Rated R and not so damn "corny" for lack of a better term. Mine would scare the crap out of you and be taken somewhat serious by the characters...
I think there is a reason there are films that are crap, okay and Amazing. It's the Amazing ones that hold timeless and become classics we share with our children. We almost need to have crap in cinema to distinguish the classics from the forgotten. Besides, when I see a film that just does not 'stick' with me, it just makes me relaize I have a fighting chance in this industry. Another thing I always say to my wife is "Honey, look at this crap. I could make that. I could make crap"
09-22-2003, 05:29 AM
10-10-2003, 09:00 AM
I figured I would put this into this thread.
I recently rented the DVD's THE ITALIAN JOB & HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE. I don't get to go to the cinema as much as I used to (married w/child = other obligations) but let me just say:
I thought both of these films just plain sucked. Technically, they were fabulous, but as far as being good or bad, I just thought they were horrible. I would expect more from a Ron Shelton/Harrison Ford vehicle, and it was soooo bad.
And the chemistry in The Italian Job was, well, not even there. I wonder; was it an excuse to show mini's? The only good thing about the movie was watching Charlize Theron.
Anyway, it's the cafe, I had to get this out. Remember:
WE CAN MAKE CRAP LIKE THIS!
10-10-2003, 09:23 AM
.. you know i cant even remember the last film i was actually not dissapointed by. too many people are in hollywood making technically glorious - wanna be fresh but really just more of the same old rehashed crap films. i used to see alot of films , but now its quite a while between anything seemingly worth seeing, and most all of the time if i go to see somthing i walk out thinking.."well that wasnt absolute crap, but i certainly could care less to ever think about it again". you know they just sit there trying to think of ways to show sex drugs and violence accompanied by smart alecky humor in some new and blockbusting way, while really only people of relatively low intellect are still lapping this garbage up..(or in our case those who have nothing better to do, or are not expecting anything great from the film they just payed 7.50 to watch) cmon.. give us some real content.. *some real characters, and blah blah..im getting upset now ..better sign off. anyway . yes we could make that crap.. we just dont have 10 gazillion dollars to market our crap like they do.. they spend so much trying to make their crap look like its solid gold. but in the end.. its just crap.
10-10-2003, 09:33 AM
Word to Spielbergs mother. And here's another thing:
What's up w/ Steven? This guy was, and I say, was, my childhood idol (Think Jaws, Raiders, E.T. Poltergeist (We know who really directed it) and some of his modern films:
SPR, Amistad and of course S.'s List. GReat, great stuff.
Which brings me to complain now. As cool and groundbreaking as Jurassic Park was, did it seem like it was geared towards the 'family?' I would love a shot at doing that and making it Rated R.
And what's up with each new INDY film just sucking. I mean, they get hokier and hokier. I can't wait for INDY 4; but you know, and I know, it's gonna be campy, funny, ha ha, silly. The original Raiders KICKED MAJOR ARSE; then they just get 'family' like.
And what's up with Jeff Goldblums daughter doing the gymnastic stunts on the Velociraptors in part 2? I mean, did Steven even see the final cut?
Okay, now I trippin...
10-10-2003, 10:12 AM
..funny you should mention the gymnastics, but at the very beginning of that film when we found out that the lil girl was trying to walk in mary lou rettons shoes, i said to my freind .."watch..she going to do backhandprings over the t-rex and save the day.." when she did that i actually busted up laughing out loud in the theatre..i couldnt control the outburst for a moment, but other people laughed as well. (yes .. i still wonder what the heck that was.. a little 90 lb girl just winds up and swing kicks an extremely agile and perceptive 300+ lb dinosaur like a football..i think that moment was for the kiddies in the audience, but really, cant they just make a cartoon version where the dinosaurs are marshmallows that magically come out of the kids cereal and they all have to work together to stop some evil scientist or somthing.) yeah the indi films are gettkng hokey as well, but thats the beauty of sequels.. just look at the batman films.. the first one was well almost actually pretty cool, and then someone got a great idea to have all the sequels be comlete failures as theatrical representations of a comic book legend. (wow big suprise..seems alot like almost every other comic to movie film ever made!!) now well i dont mind films being family oriented as im not a big fan of deteriorating our country's society and intelligence through glorifying sex drugs or violence and all that, i mean if you have to be explicit to tell a story thats one thing. but putting it in there to try and make the actuall story worth paying attention to is another. thats how we end up with alot of this crap to begin with..
but i do have a problem with someone taking somthing that should not be watered down and watering it down.. like soda..you dont put water in soda.. you can run the lemonade thin but dont put water in my soda ... indiana jones is soda.. jurassic park i thought was fine as it was, but the sequels were lacking. so if a saving private ryan sequel is ever made it better not have foam tipped whammo brand guns in use.
10-20-2003, 07:06 AM
One of the problems with making an action/adventure movie today is the jaded sensibilities issue. "oh, another gunshot, another chase scene...." This jaded reaction can blind us to some hidden gold (I caught myself falling into this)
While I noted that you found the movie enjoyable, it seems that you might have missed the two love stories buried in there. (rather than one that was pulled from a butt..)
I was delighted with the revelation of the original cause of the war (a tragic love story). I loved the emotional tension at the end as the dying man who lived a life of lost love and vengeance witnessed the blossoming of the new love (the life he might have lived if only....).
The pace of the action, the powerful presence of the Eldest vampire, the slip of the tounge that lets the heroine know that something is up, the lack of true power that the weasel masks with constant snarling and false rage.
I thought the movie was a real breath of fresh air in the whole Vampire/Lycanthrope/Action Genre. This movie has some legs.
10-20-2003, 07:30 AM
i very much agree with the desensitization to anything that has been seen before. that was the biggest boundary for that movie to cross in my mind, and just because i wanted to see somthing fresh and new- which it did deliver in its own way and time. -- i thought the love story was weak between the two protagonists(vampire and human turned werewolf turned blue) simply because the story was seemingly supposed to have taken place over one night which is too short to develop anything too meaningful, but i felt it fell under the "strong destiny love at first sight "catagory with some flair.... yes though in the end it was all very enjoyable..just notmemorable for me. :)
10-20-2003, 09:42 AM
I have not seen it yet. And it does look 'entertaining'. Here is my take:
I like a lot of the 'film looks' that are being done (Matrix, Underworld, Black Hawk Down) but wouldn't a vampire/werewolf flick be even more scary and real if it was shot using, how do I say, a gritty realism look? Like, how it would be in real life. I think with making it look 'blueish' (cold) it takes away form the plausability of it. I'd rather it be in a more real fim look. Am I making sense here? Are you picking up what I'm putting down?
10-20-2003, 10:07 AM
i agree.. immediatly after watching the film i said to my friend.. didnt it seem like they were trying a little too hard.. as in it seemed like they were trying so hard to have this fashionable matrix esque(but blue..not green) styalized film that was supposed to look darkly hip and goth.. but i felt that the same notion transcended into the charachters as well .. as in they were all so blah.. there were no suprises.. not much charachter development at all .. you pretty much knew everything about each charachter as soon as they hit the screen. not thier history of course, but their personality.. you knew how they would fit into the story immediatly. like watching an old episode of batman. but that said ..it was still entertaining.. i wasnt disappointed, just not really impressed.
10-20-2003, 10:13 AM
Which makes it, watchable. I'm a film whore. Which means, I can dig almost anything just for the sake of it being a film. It seems to be the trend these days with 'stylized' horror looking films.
Remember the real freakin scary films?
Halloween, Friday the 13th, Rosemary's Baby, The Excorcist, Texas Chainsaw, Carrie, The Shining...
All of these films were shot looking very real, very gritty. Very scary.
In fact, I can't even remember the last time I felt 'scared' watching a supposedly scary movie. Maybe Signs? There were some parts in that movie that gave me the 'heebs' (heebie jeebies).
Oh! And guess what? No film look! Real looking, in a farm house. Maybe we are onto something?
10-20-2003, 10:30 AM
On a side note (This being the Cafe and all..)
My wife and I purchased 3 pumpkins this weekend. BIg one for me, middle one for her, and a little pumpkin being for my 3 and ahalf year old (We are a unit). Anyway, my son wanted a ghost face, so I busted out the 'Scream' face on his lil' pumkin.
My wife wanted the face from Halloween 2. Kind of a jagged, fire looking face.
For my face, I carved the pumpkin from the original Halloween opening credits (see below). We lit them up and put them on the fireplace last night. ANd you know what? The Halloween one looked scarier than all of them. It is very simple, very rough, very, hmmm, less is more like. Kind of like what we are talking about. My wife couldn't get over how freaky the Halloween pumkin looked. SHe said it looked as if a child had carved it. VEry simple and scary.
Anyway, just wanted to share.
10-20-2003, 11:47 AM
funny thing bout pumpkins..when i was young i used to smash them with friends on halloween .. years later i find out my wife used to live in my neighborhood and i bashed her pumpkins with my hommade ninja swords every year.. her little brother cried once.. man. "for every action .. there is an equal and opposite reaction."
10-20-2003, 11:59 AM
10-20-2003, 09:36 PM
Very nice observation regarding the pumpkins!
Regarding Underworld, keep in mind that they were not going for scary, they were going for action adventure with a goth twist. *I think they knew that the time for vampires and werwolves to be scary has long passed. *I think that was the point actually, they have been accepted into the culture now to the point where they are romantic and almost cute.
As far as "trying too hard" goes: *I suspect that since we are kind of "in the business" at a low level, we can fall into the analysis trap very easlily. *I am not going to get into an opinion tug of war here, but as far as predictable goes:
**** Major Spoilers******
- How many people had already guessed what the cause of the war was.
- Was I the only one who was pleasantly surprised at how skillfully we went from rooting for the Vampires to rooting for the Werwolves? (and then oscillated bit afterwards?)
- Was I the only one impressed with the actor who played the eldest vampire?
- Was I the only one impressed with the pseudo technology behind the UV bullets and the less clever but logical response with the silver nitrate bullets?
- Was I the only one who was worried for the safety of the freshly revived eldest vampire, only to be surprised at how powerful he turned out (and therefore must have been at little risk even though he looked like "death warmed over").
- Did anyone else appreciate the clever twist with the high-tech shurikens?
- Was I the only one moved by the betrayal at the train station (some brilliant cinematography there) We saw it coming, they let us see it coming and yet I was moved by it.
- The revelation of who really killed her family was a surprise for me.
- This movie stuck with me, partly because of the very clever twists on old themes, but also because of the dual love story tragic/hopeful dynamic. The entire plot pivoted on the original tragic love story that was slowly revealed through the acquired memories of the slowly transforming man.
- The evolution (in our eyes) of the Head of Household vampire from being a nasty angry son-of-a-gun to being a wimpy weasel that hides his weakness behind tantrums and bravado while plotting to betray his own kind for power.
- The evolution (again from the viewers perspective) of the eldest vampire from being a lofty noble creature of integrity and strength to being simply a bigger stronger, more classy version of the weasel.
Each to their own opinion, but it certainly did not feel like any episode of Batman that I ever saw. To me it was a breath of fresh air compared to the latest car chase movie or lets murder a bunch of teenagers movie.
10-21-2003, 06:04 AM
..you really liked the movie didnt you? :) .. not to worry , as you know i enjoyed it as well. just varying opinions is all. so whats with that kid making those distasteful commercials on the 2-pop site.. theres somthing i should think we can all agree on ...lol
10-21-2003, 09:30 AM
I agree on your take "the time has past for Vamps and Werewolves being scary".
You are correct. And if I ever get the chance, I'd like to change that. I mentioned once beofre regarding The Mummy movie. Although I enjoyed it for popcorn purposes; I would love to have seen a Rated R scary as hell take on it.
I have some ideas (like all of us I'm sure) to make a vamp and wolf feature that would be, well, scary.
10-21-2003, 09:50 AM
Yes, a really scary movie would take some major talent to pull off effectively. I have not seen "The Ring" yet, but a friend of mine said she had nightmares after that one. Now, she is not "in the biz", but a civilian. I suppose part of the problem is that with all these "the making of" specials, the man behind the curtain has been revealed.
The Blair Witch Project generated immense buzz at first because people thought it was a genuine real deal. After it was (very correctly) revealed as a work of fiction, the enthusiasm died down considerably.
10-21-2003, 10:01 AM
Yes. The $7 Million dollars spent on marketing that film helped. I think what can make a film scary (or at least help) is taking it somewhat serious. You know, if it's not possible, is it at least plausible?
Goes back to the Jurassic PArk 2 scene:
Is it possible for DINO's to run rampant?
Is it plausible to show a little girl doing the Gymnastic stunt on a velociraptor?
Sigh. Those Hollywood people.
10-21-2003, 10:35 AM
she was obviously hopped up on some drug...
anyhow i think screech is on the right track about making somthng scary.. people are scared of what they do not know or understand. their imagination taps into their own personal fears, which is usually worse for them than what a certain filmmaker may find scary.
10-21-2003, 11:20 AM
Good point about personal fears, this is another way to get people wound up. Get them to start to care about the character and suddenly it's personal. You have an investment in that character.
Ok, guys! now that we are all experts at this stuff, let's make a classic!
At the very least, Iamloser and I could start our own "At the Movies" review thread where we choose opposing views and argue in public.:)
10-21-2003, 11:27 AM
Oh sure. You and Iamloser. Like I would to be a part of that anyway. :'(
I guess it all goes back to the story element. INvest some time in your characters and people start to feel for them. Then, WHAM! Kill one off and they are like "WTF?"
10-21-2003, 11:51 AM
the problem is i dont think we would actually disagree that often, at least not often enough to keep it interesting. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * but *i could play devils advocate and be real adamant to keep the ratings up.. like" your opinion is very wrong..mine is very right.. " how was that? :)
or i could just type out strange garbled words so that people would think im a maniac...or a genius. that would add some suspense.
..oh yeah and i agree john with the charachter development, but the timing has to be right too, and the charachter cannot seem dispensable. they have to seem like one of the people that your going to see through the whole film, and then die when you least expect it, not when theres a good chance they may die inthe very end. * *a good example from a horrible film would be samuel l. jackson in " deep blue sea"
what this does is open up the audiences mind to the fact that there is a real danger to central charachters, and they wont just say "duh you know hes not going to die..he has to save the day.. instead theyll be thinking .. i wonder if theyll all die?...i wonder who will make it? and actuall y be scared when the main charachter is in a clutch.
10-21-2003, 11:54 AM
Oh sure. *You and Iamloser. *Like I would to be a part of that anyway. :'(
I guess it all goes back to the story element. *INvest some time in your characters and people start to feel for them. *Then, WHAM! Kill one off and they are like "WTF?"
HA! Sorry, I didn't mean to leave you or anyone else out it! *Just a spoof on Roper and Eggbert.:) *Besides, the more people, the bigger the arguement. *It reminds me of that great old Irish saying: "Is this a private fight, or can anybody join?"
Regarding killing off one of the characters, if you want to tweak the audience you do that, if you want to keep them in suspense, you just threaten the heck out of the character. (then kill 'em all off at the end if you REALLY want to get people peeved).
The Jaded audience factor might actually force you to kill off an important character in order to keep the audience guessing. *"The director is bluffing, he won't kill off Bambi, well, maybe he might, he killed off Winnie the Pooh....."
10-21-2003, 12:12 PM
Deep Blue Sea (which was the major disapointment (( which by the way, how many films can Renny Harlin do before someone relaizes he has no talent? No, really)) is a good example of SLJ giving the troops a speech and then, WHAM! Everyone in the audience is like "Huh? what just happended?"
And yes, daring to kill a central character, or at least threatening to is very cool. (Think Gladiator. Think T.Hanks in SPRyan) I was pissed on both of these developments, but they are 2 of my favorite films to come out in a long while.
How about Roger and Eggbert and that John guy in San Diego?
Is iamloser the funniest forumdude ever? I laugh everytime I read something from him. The ATARI symbol helps. YEah, I actually had a 2600.
10-21-2003, 12:51 PM
hmmm... im actually a pretty serious guy.. ive been in the hospital 2x for panic attacks that had me convulsing. (no joke..wish it was) i have a chronic stress dissorder you might say. not that i want to get into my history on the net, but ive got my reasons to be serious, and my reasons to be silly i guess , just as long as my humor dosent detract from the information i provide i guess...
10-21-2003, 01:05 PM
Wow. That's funny. Not funny HA HA, but funny in that I once had an issue with the whole panic attack thingy. (Here we go telling everyone our issues now - that's what the CAFE is for, I guess)
I have combatted that issue, but at one time in my life I was trippin. No med's, no physce, just literally told myself to knock it off. And I did. Weird, huh?
I am deifinatley one to be sarcastic and joke around alot. I have heard more than one time in my life that people were grateful that I "kept things light". In bootcamp (USCG) all the other dudes were like "Hudson, how do you do it? You are always smiling and positive" I was like "S K I L L S".
I am very serious. I think my brother, my wife and my BIZ partner are the only ones who really know what my "BUsiness Mode" is. My wife hates it. Why? Cause I make her laugh. It's my job to entertain her. BUt, WHAM! I go into business mode and she hates it.
Okay. I'm getting off the couch now.
And yes, I have had the paramedics called due to my 'panic attacks'. Hyperventilation, everything. Classic symptons.
It's weird. I'm like the artist (oilpaint/guitar playing/fim junkie picses) and my other half is jock (wook out/bball/surf/skate/tennis).
Way too much info here.
10-21-2003, 01:12 PM
yeah... i the art guy too. composer- artist poet(ive got some peoms in the american national book) and all that fruity stuff , but i wakeboard- rollerblade- extensively practise martial arts and weapons tactics, and other genx sort of hogwash, but ive got a family and know exactly what you mean.. i can be laying on the floor one minute, and sipping some apple juice with my little daughter, and the next 4 hours ill spend at the pc eyes straight forward. *my wife thinks my pc is the devil.. but its work for me.. its an unhealthy obsession to make somthing of my life through self expression *due to less than perfect childhood conditions.. i dont mind spilling it - we all have it to some degree. *got to prove myself to myself i guess.
10-21-2003, 01:20 PM
due to less than perfect childhood conditions..
Oh my god. Are you like my long lost brother?! I can spill with the best of them. My dad was, er, IS a *****.
My wife is the same way "filmisthedevil". But she accepts it as such. I always tell her, since my son is more and more like me everyday (By the way, isn't it cool being a Superhero?) that he's gonna be this basketball playing, surfing, filmaker kid.
You gotta spill it. It's cheaper than therapy! ;D
Hey. what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. (and a better filmaker) ::)
10-21-2003, 01:33 PM
So, back on the 'simple film review' topic (before everyone get's scared)
I'd also like to do a real freakin scary 'ghost story'. Can you believe the crap that 'they' have put out lately on this genre? They are sooo concerned with CGI BS than actually a good story and being scared.
HOuse on Haunted Hill
These films were entertaining in the sense of having an excuse to eat popcorn; but was anyone here ever really scared during the film? I'd love a chance to do a Ghost story.
Gotta keep it real. All that CG spetacularness (is that a word?), over the top BS.
Put me in house and scare me. The original Amityville. Now that was scary.
10-21-2003, 02:20 PM
Just wanted to chime in - I really enjoy all the postings here, quite a refreshing bunch of long lost brothers from other mothers (There are probably some sisters here as well, it just didn't flow when I tried to make it politically correct).
Scary about the similar backgrounds too... and if Martial Arts and weapons tactics are typical gen-x stuff, then I suppose I am in good company. I was running a school for a while 20 years ago.
Movies - oh yes. It has been a long time since I have been really creeped out in a theater. One of my pet peeves is the "bug hunt". Hey, I've got an idea, lets split up, we'll die much faster that way. Geez.
One of the best I had seen recently was a British production that I think was called "Dog Soldiers" or something similar. Very nicely done.
10-21-2003, 02:29 PM
Yes. Dog Soldiers was not bad at all.
I agree. I hate the "What the hell are they thinking?!" approach in films. Splitting up when YOU KNOW there is some bad things happening.
When I write, I really think about "Would a person of any sanity really do this?" - I think not.
10-22-2003, 05:41 AM
..personally i dont really care for horror films. im a big thriller fan. thrillers can get the pulse rate up, be scarey-suspenseful- realistic- sci-fi - imaginative, and clean all at the same time. like the movie "signs" or "the ring" that was pertty creepy, and very well done- masterful suspense, and a few jump scenes - was definitely worth watching, and i can wacth it with my whole family, and thats important to me. also im0portant to the pocketbooks of the filmmakers!
10-22-2003, 08:25 AM
Agreed, I never was a huge horror fan. If it has an intelligent twist, or a scifi angle, then I'm on it.
10-22-2003, 04:35 PM
I AM A FILM WHORE. I suppose I'm not the biggest fan of Comedy (I'll watch it on HBO). I like a comedy when I actually see it (Shanghai Knights, Austin Powers, etc) but I like:
Horror, action, Scfi, Thriller, Drama,
BAsically, I'm easy. HEnce the comment up top.