Unfair
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The first half was fantastic - good plot and character development with an intriguing story, plus a dash of action. The star-studded cast doesn't hurt matters either - creating some excellent characters. Exactly half way through it flipped and felt like someone different wrote the other half of the movie.

In a very JJ Abrams manner of destroying the film they threw in an alien wolf trying to eat Kirk, suddenly mauled by a giant alien dinosaur attempting to eat him. The shadowy opponent was promptly turned into a cliche super-villain.

I haven't watched much Star Trek so I don't know if the story fits canon, but the first half should make sci-fi fans proud. The second half should be relegated to a B-movie cutting room floor.
 
Nice to see a supernatural teen drama that doesn't involve vampires. The Egyptian mythology angle is neat, and although it's not forefront in every episode it lends a bit of historical believability to the entire story.

The first episode should have probably been twice as long - they had to use a bunch of machine-gun dialogue to deliver some of the more important details about the series. After that episode the first season calmed down and turned out pretty good. Most of the cast are just okay, but Skyler Samuels and Amy Pietz are excellent.

It's clearly a feel-good drama with a bit of action thrown in, but still manages to be entertaining - and has a storyline that promises to deliver good twists. The cliff-hanger ending of season one will make it difficult to write a script for season two that's plausible yet doesn't revamp the cast. The writers did a good job of answering a plethora of questions in the finale, not leaving the viewers hanging like Lost
 
It's a mixed bag - good beginning and end with a rather repetitive middle. Starts with some good mind-bending dream world scenes - far better than Inception. They didn't really need to spell out the five items so clearly, but that's a minor issue.

The first fight was awesome - unfortunately the next four didn't compare. It would have been better if the later fights weren't all about guns - or were filmed in a way that made it seem like the shooting was more deliberate. I think it also reduces the tension in a fight when the camera is flipping between five girls, rather than focusing on one girl and her opponent.

They also should have consistently increased the pace of the fights - rather than keeping each approximately the same length throughout the film. It did have a good sound track and decent ending though.
 
Some of the worst dialog I've seen in a big box office film. On top of that they tried to explain a lot of details in voice-overs, or forced conversations between characters about things they should already know.

Not two minutes into the film they started needlessly rewriting the original story. In many cases this poor rewriting didn't even reduce the running time of the movie, but it did manage to reduce the characters personality - making the scenes bland.

There is no conclusion to this film - it is clearly meant to be the first in a series of three or four. Additionally it seems like a few scenes were cut from the film, with characters referring to things that never happened.

The one thing they did get right was the visual feel of the fight sequences involving the bending skills. These felt satisfying and true to Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Aside from these, the only other redeeming factor was the infrequent comic relief provided by Jackson Rathbone.

All in all, an amateur production - this is a film, not an audio book - and viewers should expect to see the story, not have it told to them. M. Night Shyamalan should know by this point how to remove extraneous details from a story, and give us a visual feast with a strong narrative. Instead we are left with a cluttered heap of details and special effects that only amount to half a film.
 
There are a lot of recognizable actors in this remake of Day of the Dead - unfortunately that doesn't make up for the director constantly changing the zombie attributes.

There are zombies that run like cheetahs or do superhuman leaps; Others can shoot guns, are immune to fire, or do exorcist style running on the ceiling and walls. On the opposite end of the spectrum other scenes have the same zombies barely able to jump high enough to reach the ceiling, and being literally disintegrated by fire. It's all very incongruous and totally ruins the feel of this potentially entertaining movie.

The plot is merely sufficient enough to justify running around trying to kill/escape zombies, nothing more - but at least the acting is decent. The camera work alternated between good and totally unnecessary shaking and odd pans. If the director hadn't destroyed this movie it might have been worth watching.
 
A great cast and decent script - I want to love this film but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. It had a plodding pace for most of the movie, then at the end it felt like a scramble to wrap up the story.

Another major issue is painting every character the same shades of gray. Unfortunately that was the whole point of the movie - there is no difference which side you're on, when you're in front of the gun.

But it makes it a lot harder for the viewer to connect with one of the characters when there isn't even a villain to "cheer for", much less a hero. Don't get me wrong, I understand the movie, I just think part of enjoying a film is being able to sympathize or connect with one or more of the characters.

In the end I think the film accomplished what it wanted to, and was executed excellently - but isn't meant to be enjoyed. However, even though I didn't enjoy it, I did find it entertaining - it doesn't feel like a waste of time after it ends.
 
This film is ambiguous in the same way as good poetry - each viewer can give you a different interpretation of the message. Some people will find it especially dirty because it challenges the wholesome perception of teen girls. As the movie itself says - "they'll always believe that their ... daughters are virgins".

The film takes the parents out of the picture and treats the girls as competent individuals, not delicate flowers in need of protection. Comparisons with Risky Business are unfair, and misrepresent the quality of the film. It isn't a comedy, and the 'prostitutes' aren't legal age.

On top of all that it is well filmed and acted, with plenty of little details that are easy to miss the first time you watch it. The plot was good, and they didn't depend on excessive nudity to get the point across or keep it interesting.
 
Not as good as Iron Man, but still a decent movie. This one is heavier than the original, pulling in themes of betrayal and mortality - definitely not the light-hearted action flick the first movie was.

Don Cheadle is a great actor, but I was disappointed that Terrence Howard didn't come back, he was perfect in the role. It was also weird to see Samuel L. Jackson with an eye patch - felt very Pulp Fiction, and didn't seem to jive with the movie up to that point at all.

Between Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson the first and second halves felt like two separate acts, not one continuous film. Overall this seemed a lot more like a standard superhero movie than the first film did, but it was still enjoyable to watch.
 
On its own this film isn't bad, though when you compare it to the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory it feels a bit cheap and slightly disappointing. The oompa loompas in particular were not as enjoyable.

The narration is disastrous, and sounds like the giant from The Princess Bride, and the children look like heavily airbrushed pictures in the beginning, which was odd. Johnny Depp's performance also misses the mark a bit - more of a dark Mad Hatter type character than an upbeat chocolate baron. His childhood memories seemed a bit depressing and out of place.

All that aside, it did carry a lot of the flavor of the original, as well as much of the dialogue. A few scenes were definitely superior to the original - the boat ride in particular, but also the squirrel/golden goose room, and the elevator ride.

In the end, not the best reimagining of the original Willy Wonka, but if taken on its own it is a somewhat entertaining movie - just not great.
 
This movie had a strong indie vibe and it started out looking promising with a good thriller atmosphere. Then toward the middle, just as it is starting to get boring, the film suddenly switches into psycho slasher speed - killing off most of the cast in what seemed like a few minutes.

Unfortunately the killings weren't particularly creative, or even fully shown in the film - many times it cut to another scene a split second before the person was dispatched. After a killing blitz the speed shifts again to more of a normal action plot speed while the final events play out.

The pacing issues aside, the killer was also a failure. He came across as a slightly deranged cry-baby which totally destroyed any opportunity for the audience to cheer him on. Top this off with a strange and rather unsatisfying ending and you have a film that could have been good, but definitely wasn't.
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November 8, 2011
Youtube videos can be attached to reviews now. This should be particularly useful for video game reviews.
October 21, 2011
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October 18, 2011
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