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The Hateful Eight (2015)
Don't believe the 1's and 2's or the 9's and 10's
The film is too well crafted to get the really low scores, the cinematography is too good, the acting too high caliber, the direction too solid, the score too nice, and the flick too engaging for such ratings.
This also applies to the other end. The "twists" are unimportant and add no spice, the pacing just slogs along, the joy too nonexistent, the characters evoke too little emotion either way, the story too light on satisfaction, the story telling too inconsistent, the length too needless,the magic (other than on the technical side) too absent, and the rewatchability too minimal for me to see greatness but maybe a second viewing will change my perspective but it will definitely be on video for me, only the lure of a hot date fixated on going could get me into the theater again other than maybe just for the experience a 70mm screening.
I'm a pretty avid Tarrentino fan but I didn't overly enjoy this effort. I more appreciate it and can't say I wasn't engaged but I also can't say that I'm eager to see it again and worse for the first time I have little inclination to do so with a flick by Q.
A generous 7/10 (rounding up from 6.5) for me but I could see ceiling of 8 and a basement of 4 at the lowest.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Not a lot for a discussion group but plenty to see
This is an extremely stylish and well directed action movie. Nothing more and nothing less. I love Kill Bill but be warned this is not about a clever script or an intricate story. No, this is an old Kung-Fu flick with the breaks off with good acting and a meticulous director at the helm. As always this Tarantino gem is very well edited, creative, and slick but it is also simple, direct, and not for the squeamish.
If you wouldn't be caught dead watching a karate flick or walked out on Die Hard this movie is not for you but if you are into some hardcore action with a sense of flair then this will be right up your alley.
Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)
Not the worst movie ever
No doubt a horrible mess with perhaps the very worst acting ever, but I laughed at the crappiness of it. So I have found it in my heart to give this turkey a 2/10 the highest mark of the series. Leprechaun in the Hood knew it was horrible and made no bones about it so there is a little respect for not taking it's self seriously. See it for perhaps the best example of bad, bad rap.
The Others (2001)
Great performances, retread storyline, slightly dull, most predictable movie ever
The Others is very well acted, the performance by Nicole Kidman is I assume is the reason people glow about this mildly entertaining movie. Also the supporting cast is very solid especially the daughter who with patience, training, and proper film selection really has a chance to have very successful career she can steal the scene scenes from the more veteran Kidman. ***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT****As far as the story goes it failed as a suspense thriller because of its utter predictability. I had without trying or thinking about it at all, figured out the "surprise" ending. I admit that even the best crafted thriller can be guessed or figured out but usually it is by actually trying to. 5min into this film literally I had already guessed every twist and turn that was to be offered. These kinds of films can be completely ruined for most by too many hints much less knowing the outcome so I won't say a word other than trust me you have probably seen this film at least a few times under different names and pulled off more successfully. Another problem The Others has is mediocre to poor pacing, it dragged and then rushed and back again. Mostly it had a slight drag which causes the movie to be just a little dull. The Others has many strengths in my opinion good acting, the direction is good but not great (the pacing), the script is solid, cinematography, and honestly a good twist on second hand concept. Still for all it has going for it The Others comes short of it's goal which is to keep me guessing and on the edge of my seat.****END POSSIBLE SPOILER****
Great suspense for those who ALWAYS say "I could never have guessed", and those who pay little attention to the visual aspects of a film. Predictable middle of the road entertainment for everyone else. WARNING this film is no classic it does not bear multiple viewings, gets more flat each time you see it. DO NOT PURCHASE. Better uses of your time in this genre may be Psycho, The Shining, and Dead Again. Perhaps if The Others was released 10yrs ago I would have enjoyed it more but I am far from certain on that point.
2 1/4 out of 5 for this overrated thriller.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
I am so sad I wasted my time
Blackhawk down is perhaps the worst war drama ever created, and this comes from a fan of the genre. I found it too claustrophobic, inane, and very BORING. If this, Scott's worst (by far) effort had not been based on actual events I would maintain that it was made up by an incompetent army newsletter writer. There are no characters that seem in any way believable nor do you have any level of empathy with a single person (and these are American soldiers). Mr. Scott should despite many glowing reviews be made to sit in a corner and really think about what a pitiful movie he threw together. Of all the films I have seen in the past five or so years this has the least (if any) redeeming qualities, it is that bad. I will not take the actors to task they had nothing whatsoever to work with, so we have no idea what the performances would be. So I will stick to the real problems story, direction, and editing. First, I love America and I respect and admire our men and women who serve. That said every conflict we take part in does not need to be captured on film. Blackhawk Down had no more business being made than Heartbreak Ridge, and the Eastwood flop is sadly quite a bit better in everyway except special effects. As far as direction I am shocked that Ridley Scott would put his name on this fiasco. He fails to get a single memorable performance or to provide any feel other than being in a coffin with explosions in the background. The guys(including the talented Scott)in the film cutting room also come up short but maybe they just threw in the best of a bad lot and hope that patriotism would cover the almost endless flaws. On a positive not the film is not extremely long and there are some pretty good effects, but too few for this to deserve much merit for them.
1/5 .5 for being a great Army commercial(though I prefer the 30sec variety) and .5 was for a token few special effects scenes that were effective. A failure on every plausible plane.
AOTC is George Lucas' finest 2 1/2 hours
******SPOILER LADEN REVIEW********SPOILER LADEN REVIEW********
First I must say that I am a longstanding fan of the Star Wars franchise, so it may be said that I see Attack Of The Clones through rose tinted glasses. That out of the way let it also be said that I consider the latest installment not just the best in the series but my all-time favorite film. After the prolog there was some serious concern due to a line of extremely poor acting by Capt. Typho. I was thinking here we go again, having my initial reaction to The Phantom Menace play through my mind. Nearly instantly my fears vanished, I don't know what happened (and I've seen this film 7x) but I was sucked in. My worries about the acting were alleviated (even from the aforementioned Typo) I believe that overall AOTC has the finest casting and acting seen in the space saga. Ewan McGregor is the series finest (with all due respect to Guinness, Oz, and Ford) he in the end out Obi-Waned Sir Alec. Every expression, look, and word was and will be for me quintessential Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hayden Christensen has been slammed for his performance as Anakin Skywalker the criticism is really unfair. I can tell he spent time studying Prowse's body language from the classic trilogy, and makes a wonderful connection to his characters destiny without a word. Hayden did a fine job of making me feel his pain and confusion, Anakin is a young man who though he can sense his unlimited potential, does not have the patience to grow up nor can he master his passions. Like most of us who have been 19 or 20 young Skywalker is not sure how and where he fits, and Hayden emotes this perfectly. It would be a mistake for this part to be recast Christensen was surprisingly good and his performance very much in context. The least impressive performance of the central characters is Natalie Portman's Amidalla, she was solid but too distant, and I think this was intentional but over done. That said it would require a topnotch performance in what would be a critically thankless role to pull off the restrained passion that I wanted from her. Supporting cast can only be beaten by the memorable performances from the first two Godfather movies. This is a huge statement I know, but in the context of the film every person regardless of lines or actual existence becomes their character no one is out of place. Also that the supporting cast serves to move the story well beyond what is normally expected. The CGI characters are lifelike and rich; Dexter is amusing and gives a sense of a well developed personality with only a brief appearance and few lines. Yoda is as real if not more so than any character in the film, Lucas wisely teams him with actors with presence, even so the Jedi Master is capable of stealing the show much as he did in Empire Strikes Back. The multilayered story is the star of Star Wars and EpII is no exception. While the themes are borrowed from the past Lucas' talent for weaving them together is unparalleled. Attack of the Clones shows the hated Sith's greatest skill is political chess. Palapatine and Dooku are very cleverly maneuvering all sides to their destruction, creating a vacuum of trust, resources, and power. The Kenobi detective scenes are among my favorites in the entire series, and provide and foreshadow much that will happen in the future. Some will say that these are the dull bits of the picture, but I found this to be the imaginative primer for the saga. Questions and answers concurrently popping in my head almost to the point of distraction. Another highly criticized aspect of the movie was the love story; overall I found this to be both palatable and believable. Much of the dialog connected to these shots is well corny, but contextual as these are two different individuals who are inexperienced in matters of the heart and in dealing with people on equal terms. The kids are anxious, uncomfortable, and divided, I think it natural that their conversations would be a little forced, just to get the words out at all. As far as Anakin's slip to the Dark Side the job Christensen does makes it poignant and real. The script while adequate to move the events could be improved and is the singular reasonable complaint on the film, if only another team up with Lawrence Kasdan (ESB, Raiders) were possible it may have polished the rough edges, even so I hold that this was the second best of the saga. Empire Strikes Back is stronger because of Yoda's moving lines and Han Solo's witty sarcasm. Yes, Yoda has the best lines in ANY Star Wars movie. Some may take offence that a non person could have the best material but I laugh at such, this is fantasy and Yoda is no less valid or real than Solo or Vader.
Attack of the Clones is the best paced film I have seen, every scene ends something like the exact moment it may go to long. The visual presentation is both breathtaking and grand no doubt the most beautiful ever shown. People say this is to be expected but they deceive themselves NO ONE has EVER used the screen as a canvas like Lucas does in this movie. George skillfully goes to the limit of the medium. Make no mistake a picture can match or exceed a written work, and sometimes says more. Mr. Lucas will take many a hard knock for bringing this style to the screen but he certainly has both my respect and admiration.
Certainly if nothing else the most entertaining film I have seen. For me that's what the medium is about, if this breaks down no script, direction, or performance can save it.
5/5 and then some. I plan to view AOTC hundreds of times.