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Very Intense and Powerful Film, Stronger Than Detroit!
I see the two low reviews for this latest film starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig and I am a bit puzzled. I watched this tonight with the wife, who thought it was quite loud and startling and because of that and the images, it's a strong film. During the chaos, just sitting in the theatre, I felt the pressure of the scene and it definitely rattled me. While I thought it ended too quickly, I really enjoyed it and would definitely buy on Blu-ray once released. For my time and $20 spent seeing it with my wife, it was well worth it. As much as I appreciate Bigelow's work, this in my opinion, was more visceral and more honest than Detroit.
The Children of Huang Shi (2008)
I just saw this in the theater and was REALLY looking forward to seeing it with the GREAT Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh, but although the scenery and large amount of money spent in making this, the film still falls flat. I am sure many people like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but this guy CANNOT act to save his life!!!!!!!! Another reviewer thought that Radha Mitchell was wooden, but I didn't mind her performance although her Aussie occasionally slipped in. Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh's performances, while fun to watch, seemed a bit "phoned in", although the supporting cast of children wasn't too bad. The script was very, very weak and there were a couple of times when they had the Japanese fighter planes strafing the ground that you could DEFINITELY tell that they were squibs and did NOT come off as genuine bullets hitting the ground (too much spark and flash). Overall, really sad considering the time and effort that went into making this film. I likely WON'T pick this one up on DVD unless it's really cheap.
Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
Great Story, Great Acting and Directing!!
Saw this last evening at a preview screening here in Arizona and it was a LOT heavier than the trailer leads you to believe, which, I for one, was grateful for! Granted, this is only MY opinion, but I think that Halle does some of her best work in a long time here and for me, ranks up there with Monster's Ball and Losing Isaiah. Of course, Benecio is a great pleasure to watch as always, playing the demonized friend of David Duchovny, but I think Halle rises just a notch up everything here and truly shines! The supporting cast is also really enjoyable to watch, especially John Carroll Lynch playing a next door neighbor who finds an unlikely friend in Benecio's character. Great camera work and great direction all the way around and although the film is a bit long, I am glad the director had the wisdom not to rush through the story. Great film and I cannot wait to purchase it on DVD!
Harsh Times (2005)
Another Fantastic Piece of Work From Bale!!!
I had heard of the film a short time ago, just keeping tabs on what was coming out and primarily, what Christian Bale was working as I really admire his work. After seeing the trailer, I was really excited by it and wondered when it would get released. I really was worried that this film would open to smaller venues and not go wide and thankfully, those worries were put to rest when it opened yesterday to a fair amount of theaters nationwide. I managed to get out early in the morning to see the first showing at 10:30AM and man oh man, what a DAMN fine movie!! I had seen "Training Day" in the past, which of course this film is being compared to and while I enjoyed "Day", I was much more intrigued by this film and pulled into it for some reason. Bale's co-star Freddy Rodríguez does a magnificent job as well, playing Mike and the two of them simply crackle on screen!! Eva Longoria, JK Simmons and Terry Crews also round out the great cast and provide some really great support to the picture. While the normal high-schoolers and wannabe gang-bangers are sure to enjoy this film, it is so much more than the cheap action fare currently circulating in the cineplexes!! I absolutely cannot wait to buy this film on DVD!! Great work from everyone on this film and keep up the great work Christian!!
Casualties of War (1989)
An Excellent Emotional Piece of Vietnam History
I was born in 1967 and can very happily say that I am glad that I never had to serve in the military, much less, Vietnam. Since I was never there, I can only read what has been published, and either choose to believe those stories to be accurate portrayals or simply embellished accounts. This story is tragic and is supposed to be based on a story that was published in a magazine, based on true events. I believe, in my honest opinion, that while it may have not been rampant, there was indeed raping and killing of Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam conflict. This story highlights one such occurrence and is gripping and tragic. The character portrayed by Michael J. Fox, must have had some very strong character, but was also very realistic in what he felt he could do. Personally, had it been me, and I was thrown into that situation where my squad decided to kidnap, rape, torture and kill a Vietnamese innocent, I would have simply wasted the squad. Screw the consequences, I would have done what was my moral obligation to prevent that from happening. If I had to go down for, so be it. But, I would feel justified in killing those filthy bastards. I hope that I am not the only person out there that feels this way and not the only person who strongly believes that we should have NEVER been there in the first place. It was their war, to win or lose. Instead, the US went in and became profiteers in this tragic piece of history, raping and gutting the country of Vietnam and playing both sides and seeking to make money off of the pain and suffering. To this day, we still seem to keep making those horrible mistakes in the name of God and country. Makes me ashamed to be an American.
Saw this last night, and all I can say is WOW! For adults looking for a good quality film, this is it folks. Top notch acting, on the edge of your seat drama, and some really great examinations of LA life. This movie is not for the easily offended however, and contains quite a bit of strong language, i.e. parents leave the yardpigs at home or with a sitter, thanks! Haggis follows us his tremendous work as screenwriter and producer on Million Dollar Baby with a brilliant adult film here and I for one, look forward to all his forthcoming work and projects. One really strong piece stands out involving the locksmith and his little girl and a Persian with a gun, that's all I will say! Kudos to all those involved in this great ensemble piece!! A+!!
A Kiss Before Dying (1991)
Decent Movie, Acting Certainly Stiff, But Entertaining None-The-Less
I for one, was happy when they finally released this movie on DVD. I enjoyed the premise, which I realize was done several years earlier with Robert Wagner (never saw the original). The acting was certainly stiff and one-dimensional, but if you look past that, the production values were good, the story compelling and really nice score by the great, Howard Shore. The touches by Mr. Shore doing the film soundtrack are very indicative of Silence of the Lambs if you listen, with some hints of what I believe are likely the notes from the original fifties score. Hey, the movie sells for $6.00 at Best Buy, for my money definitely worth the purchase.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Wonderfully Brilliant Surprising Masterpiece
To be honest, when I first heard about this movie and that it was Mr. Eastwood's next film venture, I was a bit skeptical. Even though I am a die-hard Clint Eastwood fan, even giving my son the middle name Eastwood, it sounded like a boring story and not up my idol's alley. Then of course, after watching the trailer, I became intrigued and then of course, after all the critical praise, became intent on seeing it soon. Trouble was, it was only playing at one theater in my area and a good thirty miles from home. Tonight, I decided to make the trip and boy my efforts paid off. This film starts out to be a great story and sweet, funny and visually stunning and then once it starts to reach it's climax, changes gears and goes another direction. I won't tell you where it heads, but suffice it say, this film was just marvelous. Also, be prepared, that if some films tug at your heart strings, it may be worthwhile to take some tissues with you. Just do whatever you can to see this movie, you'll be glad you did. Bravo Clint, All The Very Best And Many Years To Come.
The Machinist (2004)
Haunting and Incredible!
Saw this incredible movie tonight and all I can say is WOW!! This movie is one you should definitely see if you enjoy such quality films like Vertigo, Psycho and most recently Identity. Massive kudos to Christian Bale who turned himself into a skeleton for the role and the wonderfully articulate pace of the director! As you watched it, you knew that there were answers at the end and the journey was simply captivating! Also fine, fine work by Michael Ironside and the absolutely gorgeous Jennifer Jason-Leigh who to this day looks just as hot as she did in Fast Times! If you have a chance to see this film and an open mind, make the trip to the ciniplex! Fantastic film!
National Treasure (2004)
Great Action Movie!
Saw this at a sneak preview last evening and I thought that it was great. The audience really seemed to enjoy it and clapped at the end. I really liked how the script tried to make sense of everything and explain things, which often times movies do not, leaving you to feel like, "Well, why did they do that?" So, in my opinion, the writing was really smart and thought out. Great performances by all and a really fun, adventure movie. I think that this would have been a great movie to have been released in the summer. But, I guess with releasing it around the holidays, it will surely make a tidy sum. Can't wait to see if Nic Cage does the Ghost Rider movie. Thought that his last movie, Matchstick Men, was pretty lame. This one certainly redeems my faith in him. Go see it, you won't regret it!