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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Lacking Originality, Wit, and Soul
This movie really felt empty. And yet it had lots of potential. With special effects being so amazing these days, you would think that a film like TMNT could finally be made effectively. Oh well, we were wrong... Because apparently they forgot what makes Ninja Turtles great: fun. Oh yeah, and an interesting story with interesting characters.
This film was presented to us as if we already knew the TMNT storyline. It's a lazily done remake, although the sound and special effects were incredible. The sole reason I am giving this a 4/10 is due to the extremely good work done on bringing the turtles to life. However, as good as the special effects are, they cannot revive a dead script to life.
With so much incredible TMNT canon & material to draw from, it's exceptionally surprising that this film couldn't seem to present us with an amazing story. The introduction to the story was bad and seemed as if it was thrown in rather than thought out. The main villain (Shredder) seemed like an afterthought. Splinter didn't resonate with me like he did in the original comics, movies, and cartoon series. The turtles themselves were OK, but lacked something simply due to the story. I didn't mind Megan Fox (who played April O'Neil) but her character was a bit blahsee... to her credit she didn't have much to work with, so we cannot fault her on bad acting. Same with Will Arnett. He's the right guy for the role, and a great actor, but he's given so little to work with. I don't even know what Whoopi Goldberg was doing in this film.
There was so much potential here, from the actors to the ability to create amazing effects. I just wonder why they didn't select a good script/story? Why did this get overlooked so badly? Sadly, the film from the 90s overshadows this one still as the best TMNT screen adaptation. While the 90s movie certainly is far from perfection, it at least has a certain amount of charm and watchability. The story is at least coherent and interesting to a degree. This one is not.
Yeah, I found this movie incredibly boring and lacking a certain charm I had been expecting. The film takes itself way too seriously on one hand and much of the conflict seems fabricated. I'll admit that the film tries a little at being funny in certain places, but often the humor falls flat and forced.
4/10 stars (for the special effects)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993)
I found this series quite lacking in anything interesting. Don't get me wrong, I can see why some people enjoy it. It's a sci-fi, it takes place in space, it's Star Trek. I am a pretty big fan of The Next Generation and find some of the movies quite enjoyable. I never thought Star Trek truly lived up to its true potential in all of its incarnations, and Deep Space Nine epitomizes the reason why so many find Star Trek tough to latch onto.
Bland characters: The acting throughout the whole series has ups and downs. Some characters have their shining moments, but all in all, there is too much drabness. Too many convoluted and unrealistic actions and reactions. The main characters didn't really grow on me, as I hoped they would. The guest characters per each episode were so contrived and their motivations so cardboard. I guess I could see how these types of characters would appeal to a younger viewing audience (teenage males) but I personally believe more socially adept individuals would find the relationships between characters in this series a bit contrived. The biggest stand-out in bad acting would be the relationship between Odo & Kira: it felt like two actors pretending to be in love, but hating the idea of it. It was weak acting. The actors didn't pull off what they should have, and you could tell the scriptwriters just needed to spice things up... so they wrote it in. Not great. Weak.
Bland set: The set really got on my nerves. The endless monotonous brownish palette. The panning scenes where characters talk amongst the backgrounds of people walking by in their brown/clay-colored bodysuits. It's a very stale environment, a bit boring, and perhaps that is realistic... but it makes for lackluster visuals.
Bland Story, themes, action: Just like the uninteresting characters who fill this universe, the stories, situations, etc., all feel contrived and done to death. I felt beat over the head with the Bajoran-Cardassian thing. We get it. Lots of talk of wars, but it's just that... talk. When "war scenes" happen in DS9, they don't impress visually. Action scenes tend to be lackluster. The religions, prophets, cults, "magic," were all done rather unimaginatively. In all, the themes, story, and action seemed drawn out in a series that one craved such elements.
I think that DS9 must have had a very small budget, and it shows. Although I enjoyed a few episodes here and there, I often found my attention drifting and finally getting bored enough of the episode to turn it off. Other times I would watch them in halves, as I could only take so much DS9 at a time.
I really feel like DS9 tried, but failed, at creating an interesting sci-fi TV show. It's just a drama, but with weak acting and dull writing. There's a reason those who are not hard-core fans do not watch this show: it's just not interesting...
VeBaYom HaShlishi (2010)
I have to say I enjoyed this rather unconventional movie, even if it took a while to get going. It features many people living in Israel and how their lives intertwine with one another. They are all going through harsh times, almost as if experiencing a living hell. It depicts a country where people are corrupt, society is breaking down, and even good people end up doing terrible things... things which their enemies have been doing. It's as if the film portrays Israel as a society suffering and rotting from the inside, but also affected negatively by external politics. Several scenes whisk by crying people. Looks of pain on people's faces. Strange selfish behavior is carried out by many characters in the film...
The 'hellish' existence becomes even more apparent during the film's ending, which I must say served for an excellent climax. It's interesting how the film starts with such a happy, festive scene, which really contrasts with the ending with a society on edge, and then finally, a giant breakdown.
So.. I would recommend this movie. If you get through the first 30 minutes, the rest of the movie is quite enjoyable.
Anyhow. Here's the breakdown:
Acting: 10/10 Story: 7/10 Direction: 8/10 Technical aspects such as light & sound: 9/10
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Alright. First of all, there is no point debating whether the film is a hoax or not. Firstly, the people in the supposedly "real" footage are actors... who have been in films. You can find it out on IMDb. The "real" Charlotte Milchard is an actress from the UK:
Plus, the people in Nome Alaska were angry that the film attributed the missing persons (who probably died from the rugged, harsh, cold terrain if anything) to UFOs and aliens. And the Alaska Press club successfully hired an attorney to make Universal pay a settlement of $20,000 for the fake news stories. Simply go to Google to confirm this.
If this story were real, it wouldn't have been released in a film, it would have been all over the news and possibly be a bigger story than Roswell... or even 9/11. It would be all over the place. But I hadn't heard a thing about it, other than an interview on Coast to Coast AM where a UFO investigator was shooting down the film for claiming it was "real" and making the actual people in UFOlogy look bad, and giving lesser credibility to real, actual stories. Shame on the producers of this movie.
As for the footage you think you saw, you probably mistook it for something else. Go get the DVD and watch the "original" scenes. Apparently, you can hear someone yell "action" in the supposedly real footage just before the man shoots his entire family.
Personally, I think the movie was a bit of a failure, unless the person viewing it actually believe it to be real. It felt a little bit like they had no budget, so they only had enough money to hire a couple of good actors, throw them into a poorly scripted movie (with an unconvincing actor as the police detective...) Some overhead shots of a city in Alaska, and wham, you have a film...
The only positive thing I can say about this film is one major highlight: indie film-making getting big... the film-makers got away with making some good cash with little budget, interesting but poorly executed marketing plan, they could afford decent actors (like Milla Jovovich and the guy who played the male psychiatrist)... I did like how you never get to see the aliens. But what's up with the scene aboard the alien spacecraft with the drills about to drill into Milla if they're not gonna show anything? Scriptwise, story-wise, it was unoriginal and uninteresting. The main problem was the slow pace of the film, lack of anything interesting that I haven't seen before in an X-files episode... And why do the aliens use Sumerian? Can't they take English lessons if they're smart enough to fly across the universe? And the biggest flaw of all? The poorly executed "realism" of the film which I could instantly tell was not "real"... all the scenes purportedly shot in 2000 had fake digital interference which can easily be done in computer video-editing programs like Vegas.
Overall, not impressed. 3/10
I have to say I was a little bit confused as to why this is supposed to be a good movie. Am I missing something? I thought the movie lacked an interesting story, interesting moments, good characters, well-written dialogue, and just didn't do it for me.
Yes, the visuals were OK, but nothing that truly stunned me. Nothing that makes me go "wow." In fact, I don't think I'd recommend this movie to anyone... maybe Terry Gilliam's hardcore fans... however, I thought I was such a fan. Maybe not, after all. I love his other movies, but I give this one an "almost failing grade" and admit if it wasn't done by Gilliam himself, I could even give it a score as low as 4 or 5. But my bias, and love, for Gilliam, makes me give this one a 6.
Well, I'm going to have to give this movie a full rating because it really lived up to my expectations.
We have here a science-fiction epic set on an alien world. It's a classic story of a "good-guy" hero who must overcome a battle within himself to do what is right.
Although the movie doesn't exactly have the biggest twists, turns, or surprises, it simply sets out to do what movies like "Star Wars" (the ones in the 70s, and 80s, that is) did... to stun us a little with the latest in special FX, give us a classic "Romanesque" story, and enchant us with a very creative world. This movie did what it set out to do, perfectly... and maybe even a little better than perfect.
The world is so detailed, and rich. Every animal looks as if it is real... and everything just matches and seems convincing. The "humanoid" race that inhabits this world is very interesting, and the way the world works "together" is amazing. This may be one of the few sci-fi adventure movies where the computer animation actually works in favor of the storyline. Animals and beings do not look like animations. This realism, this pushing of the limits, is what science fiction is all about.
But you obviously cannot have just a beautiful movie without no storyline or character to back it up. There is a lot of character in this movie. All of our human characters, the alien race, and the avatars all equally have great character. And the storyline, although nothing extraordinarily original, is chiseled from "classic" storytelling. Good versus evil... doing what is right... all spun neatly together.
What a wonderful escape this was! It was dazzling, and even got me thinking a little about what life is really out there on the various billions of stars that make up our galaxy, and the other billions of galaxies out there.
And that's what movies like this should do.
The Universe (2007)
Too Sensationalist and Dumbed Down
This program must have been made for the Joe Bloe uneducated TV viewer. Most of the time, the information being presented is not new or interesting, and it feels as if the writers & producers of the show had to fill up a large time slot with very little source material. So what you get is a bunch of information repetitively going on and on about how "dangerous" gamma ray bursts are, or how imminent asteroid collisions are, blah blah blah. Yes, we all know about these things, but the way the program makes you sit through an hour meagerly trying to make you sit on the edge of your seat for a statistic of like 1 in a billion billion (as seen with the gamma ray bursts) that the Earth will be destroyed by some calamity. Yes, we know already! They could have been done with it in 5 minutes, but no, it's stretched to an hour long program! The sensationalism of this program is just too over-the-top, from the drawn-out "fear factor" bits, to the announcer's XTREME TRUCKS style voice. They obviously should have saved him for the Monster Truck series...
Another thing that bothered me were all the "analogies" that took away from the true dynamics of how certain things in the universe work. For example, dropping a Yogurt container to show how a death star works... or a sprinkler for showing how a spiral star is. While these are "cute" they are indeed more annoying than useful, and assumes a real lack of intelligence of the viewer. Just tell us the science behind it without treating us like 5 year olds.
It really is a shame. This program could have been so much more informative and hosted by a much better narrator (writers are to blame too, of course). There are indeed moments where I laughed out loud because of how dumb the narrator's comments were.
On the bright side, however, the computer effects were done well enough. It is an interesting subject, so that's why I gave it a 5. But all in all, terribly done for such a great topic.
Excellent, Epic, Tragic... Brilliant.
The reaction this film got at the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) in Pusan, South Korea, was better than any of the other big movies there.
This movie gets a 10 out of 10 from me. It is a harsh story about Germany in the 30s as the Nazis were rising and wishing to prove to the world that they were the best. The tale is about two German men who take on a very difficult climb. The story is quite riveting, and human. Full of laughs, tragedy, and ... a little bit of a love story.
Although the movie starts a little slowly, it really picks up about one third the way in. The main characters (the two mountain climbers and the one female love interest) are all solid actors, well directed, and well casted. The director did a great job at capturing the climb. Everything was so convincingly shot, it makes you wonder if they actually filmed some of it on a real mountain. I suppose they must have used CGI, but it was used so sparingly and realistically that it must be commended. The contrast between the plight of the mountain climbers and that of the rich bystanders makes the movie so much more emotionally riveting. Some people in the audience cried.
This is a tragedy that must be seen. It captures humanity at its best and worst... and shows us that sometimes nature rules our lives, and that it is not forgiving.
Overall, I felt this movie was a small masterpiece. One that will probably not be seen by many. But for those who do, you will get a very special treat...
It was especially amazing to know that you, as the viewer, had more than a telescope to watch this climb with... unlike the bystanders in the movie, we were able to see more than just the ascent and the final moment. We saw the part that mattered the most: the climb.
10,000 BC (2008)
Why is this movie so bad? Let's see...
- WEAK NARRATION: You don't put in narration if it is not absolutely needed. Anyhow, an English accented narrator tells us what is happening, to "move the story forward." This jerks us out of the fantasy setting back into reality, wondering who this narrator is and why does he have an English accent?) - SOPHISTICATED English ACCENTS IN A PRE-HISTORICAL WORLD: it seems like they tried to give them English accents. Hmmmm, cave men using sophisticated English accents. That is just... wrong on so many levels. Where is their tea and biscuits? Didn't the producers realize that it is absolutely ridiculous to have cavemen with spears and dressed in face-paint, dirt, carrying spears, speaking in English accents? It would have been better to develop a language for them and use subtitles. But the director doesn't have much faith in the intelligence of the audience.
- BAD CASTING: multicultural looking people in the same tribe??? For example, at 8:16 into the movie, what is up with the black kid being from the same tribe as the white guy??? Also, why do they all look like Calvin Klein models with lots of dirt on them? - ROMANTIC THREAD LACKS ANYTHING INTERESTING: The romance between the main character and his lover is so by-the-book lacking any complexity or interest... It's even worse than the love story in the news Star Wars movies. And that is tough to beat.
- MOTIVATION & CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT & DIALOGUE: No real surprises in the motives of characters... you can almost predict every scene before it happens. The dialogue is so forced and unrealistic. Thus, the characters would not develop and their names, faces, and everything is lost.
Absolutely not entertaining. A sad mess of a movie. And will that narrator shut up!?
Very Intelligent Action Flick
Truly science fiction action-film at its perfection. Director Paul Verhoven (of Total Recall) paints a distopic view of future Detroit, a crime-ridden city where cops are threatening to go on strike. A large corporation that practically runs the United States Military comes out with a new machine: Robocop.
This film explores the hauntingly Frankenstein-esque life of a man who has died and been transformed into a machine, or rather, super-human. The film asks questions, like what does it mean to be human? We explore the human side of robocop, as he uncovers his mysterious past. He finally gets to confront, and possibly get revenge on his killers.
The film also challenges ideas of growing corporate control, as shown by the corrupt nature of OCP, a corporate entity who becomes "above the law." It explores the city, a corrupt city much like an American version of of Moscow, where criminals have infiltrated the highest levels of corporate power. The distopic city has been so neglected that there is a "New Detroit" or "Delta City" where there can be hope, the rich can live in, and be away from the unsavable crime of "old detroit."
Although the film was made in the 80's, it is definitely still watchable today. It has much violence and gore, and is quite realistic in its special effects which are mostly animatronic. The special effects still live up to this day, and give the film a certain "edge."
In addition, this film challenges certain notions about corporate control of the military, and how the military-manufacturing industry, when out of control, can become dangerous to the common man and common society. It is an important watch in the strange world we are seeing develop in the United States.
With such great questions & futuristic action, this film wins in both the action & science fiction category, and is easily one of the most perfect marriages of the two genres. It even has good acting, which can be rare for both of these genres. 10/10!!! (rare)