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The Mist (2007)
Another really really weak horror/monster movie
I'm so sick of horror movies that kill characters based on their perceived "moral" standing. Extremely good or extremely evil, either way you're a goner! Throughout this type of film there is a sensed god that is making these decisions based on some imperceptible right-or-wrong doing of the doomed characters. What did they do to deserve their horrific ends? The biggest teller is always when 2 relatively young people make out. It's a sure sign that the girl is gonna get hers in the next scene! And the ending! Yowsa! We are somehow supposed to feel horror at the fact that this poor loser just killed his own son and 3 other friends to keep them from dying at the tentacles of some alien creature (and frankly not that much worse of a death), come to find out he didn't have to? If this truly had happened, how long do you suppose the idiot would have spent yelling at the side of his car before he grabbed one of the soldier's weapons and offed himself? Maybe another 3 seconds? Shouldn't that have been the real end of the movie? Yet considering the perceived "morality" of the writer in choosing who dies and when in this movie, what is the lesson learned? If you're surrounded by evil, do absolutely nothing and you should be OK. Morally bankrupt!
Joe's Palace (2007)
Sorry to see it end..
It's always a bit of a surprise to visit here after I've seen a wonderful movie. There are intelligent people that see it through eyes that are as valid as mine, yet they saw nothing as I did.
I think it would be wise not to take too much from any of the reviews that you see here. If you are one of the lucky ones that see the film as I did, you will be rewarded by an experience that's as full as "Howard's End". If not, you'll likely know within the first 15 minutes and you can do something else.
I thought the acting was as good as anything I've seen in the past couple of years. It wasn't just Gambon, it was pretty much across the board. Wynter was unbelievably good. Kelly Reilly was perfect.
If you haven't read the spoilers yet, don't. This movie is subtle. Give it a try.
Death Race (2008)
That was one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Let me first say I like Jason Statham. He had better be careful though. Lately he's been doing some pretty weak stuff.
This movie could have been written by a 12 year old. No let me correct that. A 10 year old.
I hoped it would have a sense of humor like "Death Race 2000", but it's nothing like that movie at all. It's just a bunch of really stupid people driving 20,000+ pound vehicles with 600 HP engines (think about it people, these things would be moving like TURTLES!). NOTHING about any of the weaponry makes any sense at all.
Needless to say there is NO motivation for any of the characters.
Jason, you'd better get yourself together or you're gonna be doing "Hollywood Squares" in 3 years.
The worst direction I can remember
I can't remember a big budget film that had as many problems.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!
Why would the hero seem willing to accept his own sacrifice? There was no reason to believe he shared the religious beliefs of his captors, as he had no apparent knowledge of their practice of sacrifice.Why would the captives be killed after they were spared sacrifice? There was clearly a need for slave laborers.How is it that the captors were capable of such amazing feats of archery/spear throwing/stone throwing? At the distances depicted in the gauntlet run, they would have been lucky to injure one of the runners, and if they had been able to, it would have been closer to the beginning of the run. There is simply no way the shots depicted could have occurred in reality unless they were pure luck. How is it that Jag Paw outran the big cat as long as he did? Why would he run directly at the captors? The thing ran along like a 20 year old Labrador! How were the captors able to keep up with jag paw? Several times they seemed completely inadequate as trackers. Pausing for long periods to examine the most obvious signs. If they continued on as long as they did when he was up the tree, how is it they were able to track AT NIGHT as closely as they did? Why did their unbelievable weaponry skills abandon them at such close range in the jungle? Are they only capable at 200 yards? How did he gain such a huge lead when he came to the waterfall? How is it that he was able to pause for 20 seconds for us to enjoy such a beautiful view? And why didn't they just shoot him? How did they hear him deliver his speech standing at the top of the very tall waterfall? Do you know how loud those things are? Why didn't anyone die or get injured just from contact with the water? There aren't many Golden Gate jumpers swimming away from their leap. Why did the bees/hornets/wasps move with the camera? The "sinkhole" the woman was in would have had to have been a part of an underground waterway, otherwise it would always be filled with water. It didn't seem to be collecting ground water from above, otherwise there would have been torrents of water coming down. It looked like it was just collecting rainwater from directly above. if that was the case, it should have been able to drain, instead if fill up. How did Jag Paw survive lethal wounds? We never saw him drink once with that blood loss! What is with Mel's fascination with the evisceration of human beings? It's dumbfounding to make the Conquistadors the saviors. Thank heavens for Christianity Mel! Was this supposed to be realistic? Why spend so much time making this film period specific if you are going to have little girls straight out of Dune with magical abilities? What's with the timing of the eclipse and the Conquistadors? Get real!
Every one of these problems could have been corrected if the director had any concept of story,time or continuity. Mel's only ability is to make his characters suffer enough horrible bloodletting to bring out the viewers' prurient interests.
This movie should have been named Naked Prey 2. Rent Naked Prey. You'll see a much better movie, with almost no budget.
Buddy Boy (1999)
Psycho/Taxi Driver/Rear Window
This is an uncomfortable movie to watch. Not because of any of it's artistic qualities, but because of the viewer's immersion into a greasy, sickly environment that becomes real enough to smell. Aidan Gillen and Susan Tyrrell are both great. I'm wondering why I haven't seen him in big budget films unless it's because he does remind one of Edward Burns (not a bad thing). I very rarely enjoy what might be considered a horror film because the characters often do things that are so stupid that I am often relieved when they finally meet their ultimate demise. Not so here. In addition to the acting, it is well directed, written, and filmed. As my summary line hints, this seemed to be bits of other movies combined pretty gracefully, and is well worth seeing.
It's the best movie I've seen in some time.
I'm not sure how this movie could have been better acted, directed or written, and the soundtrack was excellent. Where has this thing been? The reality of the characters, their motivations.. they were absolutely spot on. There seemed to be a great chemistry between everyone involved, It would be hard to believe they didn't all feel something very special as it was being filmed. I instinctively want to pick out specific actor's performances, but it would be unfair to the rest of the cast because they were all so very strong and real. Very understated, I hope you're as surprised as I was. It's one of those films you could just slip into. If anyone involved ever reads this, thanks.