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All reviews - Movies (107) - TV Shows (28) - DVDs (14) - Books (35) - Music (49) - Games (24)

Movie or Video Game?

Posted : 11 years, 11 months ago on 11 August 2012 07:54 (A review of The Amazing Spider-Man)

This was quite frankly, a terrible movie. It wasn't as bad some of the Marvel movies from last year (Thor leading the way here) but it's terrible nonetheless.

Problem 1: It's constructed like a video game - several action scenes strung together with cut-scenes that move the story along. The cut-scenes have all the emotional shallowness of their video game counterparts.

Problem 2: Every plot development moves along so quickly that nothings sinks in. This is the direct result of problem 1 above. While video games bring a level of immersion just because you're playing the damn thing, getting immersed in a movie requires a different sort of story-telling.

Problem 3: The motivations of the characters often made little sense to me. The cardinal rule of making a good sci-fi movie is the the only things that don't need to make sense are the sci-fi bits. The characters, their emotions, their motivations, their actions MUST make sense like in every other good non sci-fi movie.

1) Why the fuck was Uncle Ben leaving Peter such a long and clearly well-prepared speech as a voicemail message?
2) How does Gwen, an intern have access to all the high security equipment and data in the lab?
3) Why didn't anyone ask Peter for identification when he was swiping the other intern's badge? And why didn't they ask the other guy for identification before throwing him out?
4) Why do the police officers ignore the massive green lizard that was attacking police officers and causing mayhem (so obviously the bugger threat) and start to pursue Spiderman instead?
5) Why does Captain Stacy completely change his mind about Spiderman after unmasking him as Peter?
6) How did they get all the crane operators in Manhattan to co-ordinate??

So much nonsensical garbage throughout the movie. Anything for a good cut-scene, I suppose. At times I felt like I was watching a movie by Michael Bay.

Problem 4: The story and the characters were too similar to the last Spiderman trilogy, and inferior in almost every way.

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Posted : 12 years ago on 21 July 2012 06:19 (A review of The Dark Knight Rises)

Very much the worst of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale trilogy, merely being a good movie. Ultimately, it fails to stand up on it's own as a story of great substance and definitely feels like the final act of a longer story. That fact is highlighted by the multiple flashbacks employed throughout, some going all the way back to 'Batman Begins'. 'The Dark Knight', by comparison, had no flashbacks, it simply didn't need any.

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The Avengers review

Posted : 12 years, 2 months ago on 4 May 2012 09:19 (A review of The Avengers)

Finally, a Marvel movie that comes close to matching 'Iron Man'. It follows the disasters that were 'Thor' and 'Captain America' and the semi-disappointments that were 'The Incredible Hulk' and 'Iron Man 2'.

With such a large number of lead characters I was expecting a total mess, but somehow it all just works. In fact, the characters play off each other so well, that it really surprised me. I personally give credit to Joss Whedon, who write and directed this movie. He's always been exceptional good at writing sci-fi material.

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John Carter review

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 11 March 2012 08:46 (A review of John Carter)

the second half is a fun and absorbing ride and I came out feeling satisfied. Pity the first half was basically pointless. The flimsy story is shot as an epic but epic it is decidedly not. The sci-fi aspects fall flat and the characters and situations are pure cliche. This movie didn't need to be 2 hours long, 90 mins would have easily sufficed and actually improved it by removing some of the pointless fluff in there.

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Appleseed review

Posted : 12 years, 5 months ago on 20 February 2012 10:34 (A review of Appleseed)

One of the good things about sci-fi, generally speaking, is that they are set in some unknown time and place that is not linked to the time and place they are actually being created in. This should prevent them, in theory at least, from becoming dated in a few years. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. The prevalent style of film-making, music, fashion etc tend to have an influence even when the creators try to imagine what the future might look like.

Appleseed suffers badly from this problem. While it is set in some far distant future, it plays like a 80s b-movie thriller, right down to the cheesy background score. Thankfully, it is short (about 65 mins), so there are no gratuitous action sequences and story keeps humming along at a brisk pace (even if the story is rather weak, in the tradition of mediocre movies of every era, not just the 80s). There was a chance to do something interesting, but the film-makers have clearly missed the opportunity.

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The Artist review

Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 9 January 2012 07:45 (A review of The Artist)

Jean Dujardin gives a absolutely masterful performance as George Valentin, a silent movie star unwilling to adapt to the "talkies". He *is* the character, it was impossible to pick even a single false moment in his performance. Overall, the movie feels like an exercise in proving that a silent movie can be made in the 21st century and it can be fairly entertaining. The focus is firmly on the character of Valentin rather than on the story, which while entertaining is fairly run of the mill.

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The Adventures of Tintin review

Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 5 January 2012 06:12 (A review of The Adventures of Tintin)

I can't view this as anything but a disappointment. It was a reasonably entertaining movie, with some great moments but as someone who knows the [Link removed - login to see] inside out, it was a rather jarring experience. The movie started off as a modified version of 'Secret of the Unicorn', then jumped into the story for 'Crab with the Golden Claws', then back and forth for the rest of the movie.

We got all the familiar Tintin motifs and characters (except for Professor Calculus) but the result is less than the sum of it's parts. It was as if it was song made by mixing a Led Zeppelin song, a Pink Floyd Song and a song by Sarah McLachlan... despite all the beauty of the individual songs, the result will be something ugly.

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The Descendants review

Posted : 12 years, 7 months ago on 11 December 2011 05:05 (A review of The Descendants)

A man deals with the aftermath when his wife slips into a terminal coma after a boating accident. He is suddenly thrust into dealing with the care of his two daughters, neither of whom he has a great relationship with, not to mention dealing with friends and family, even as he struggles with his own conflicted emotions about his soon to be dead wife.

The movie is beautifully directed and acted. George Clooney is always superlative and the director had extracted great performances from the two actresses who play his daughters. The low key nature of the proceedings works in the movie's favour as well, keeping the audience engaged without going over the top. This movie had better nab a few Oscars next year.

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In Time review

Posted : 12 years, 7 months ago on 11 December 2011 05:04 (A review of In Time)

Another movie with lots and lots of retro-futuristic black cars. Filmmakers really need to give up this obsession with the look that The Matrix pioneered more than a decade ago. Surely, they must have the imagination to come up with a dystopia that doesn't feel like a rip-off of that movie, yet again.

Other than that, mediocre sci-fi thriller based on a reasonably interesting concept that really could do with better actors. Justin Timberlake with his wooden visage was clearly not meant to be an actor and he isn't. The story is also fairly generic with more than one plot hole, but it keeps moving along at a fair clip regardless.

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The Swell Season review

Posted : 12 years, 8 months ago on 14 November 2011 04:56 (A review of The Swell Season)

A documentary about the first tour undertaken by band, The Swell Season, the romance and the ensuing breakup of the two members of the band.

I've been a fan of their music for over 3 years now and had the sketchiest of ideas that the two member of the group were romantically involved as their fame exploded after their Oscar win. Next thing I heard was that they broke up quietly, but not much more than that. They delivered their second (absolutely fantastic) album, which was basically a breakup album but it could have been about any romance. For the first time, the movie gives fans some idea of what went down during their marathon world tour and the aftermath of their Oscar win.

The movie is shot entirely in black and white, adding to the intimacy that already exists. I'm really curious as to how the film makers managed to shoot such intimate moments without being intrusive. Did they hide their cameras or use shoot from a distance? It would be fascinating to know the details of how this film was made.

I'm not convinced that someone who doesn't know the music or enjoy it would appreciate the movie as much as I did. More than half the movie is musical performances by the duo, which I enjoyed immensely. Even if there was none of the drama surrounding their relationship, this footage would have made for a great concert/tour DVD, such is the power of their performances. I'm hoping a soundtrack makes it way to me soon.

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