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National Treasure: Fool's Gold
I liked the first installment. It was a friendly and warm Indiana Jones like movie. The ending pretty much showed that a sequel is really not the plan. It ended, everyone was happy, the end......? Too bad it wasn't.
Along comes "Book of Secrets" with the original cast, a new quest and none of the charm and fun and excitement of the predecessor.
Here's a quick rundown of the sequel: More of the same, without the charm.
That is it. Okay, here's more: Seriously, this felt like a complete rehash of it's predecessor. Ed Harris is the threatening bad guy, like Sean Bean, but without the collective intelligence and presence. The thrills were a very close duplication like the balance test was much like the elevator scene in the first.
The comedy was like a sitcom. Uh, this was bad.
Green Zone (2010)
The Bourne Conspiracy
Green Zone is nothing you would not expect. Judging by the previews alone, those previews pretty much give you a telling of what this is about.
Matt Damon is a soldier and this takes place in the past, supposedly true, (basically false) a conspiracy unravels and the hunt is on to find out the "truth". This is the typical conspiracy theory flick done in by usual clichés, like the committed hero, the a-hole bad-ass, the corrupt politician, and the many army guys with the many curse words.
Matt Damon to me was like Jason Bourne in the desert. He is definitely action star material, but I kept thinking he was playing the same character rather than a U.S. soldier. This is not a stretch.
This is what I expected Green Zone to be. A no good conspiracy flick by someone who can't stop watching MSNBC.
Swing and a miss from Matt Damon.
Machete Deserves Better
Who knew that a simple fake trailer from the "Grindhouse" movie would actually become a feature film? The trailer was fun and was awesome. Fast forward three years later and Machete is born.
Danny Trejo is Machete, a former federal agent who is a rough vigilante, and really does not like the bad guys. Really. You don't mess with him, he will let you live, mess with Machete, and you die. Painfully.
Storywise, don't be blown away. The plot is quite predicable and can be seen coming from a mile away. Though, this movie isn't looking for an award for best screenplay, so that is just a minor setback. The real treat here is, what else? Machete kills! Upon watching this, I could not help but admire Robert Rodriguez' craft. He has a awesome vision for a good bloody action packed smack down. Some scenes have you gasp, others have you jump, and overall have you roar at the stylish brutality. When it comes to R rated movies, Rodriguez is truly unique.
Don't forget about a big cast of characters. Danny Trejo of course, who is nearly 70 years old, is a perfect choice of the title character. Lately, age does not mean jack. If you got the chops, then show us the strength of your bite. Also, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Robert De Niro, Jeff Fahey, all do just fine here. Cheech Marin is also awesome and really delivers the laughs. Michelle Rodriguez is in my opinion, is one of the hottest ladies out there and is used well here. And yeah, Lindsay Lohan. It is really obvious how she got this role. Let's just say it isn't a stretch for her. Last, Steven Seagal. Different seeing him as a bad guy, and he really has lost his action chops. Weird considering Danny Trejo is a lot older.
The MAJOR flaw here is the politics. Whether or not I agree with them is not the question,(I don't) When I go see a movie, I want to escape from the world, not be swallowed in it. The politics are not everywhere, but it was told strongly and I just quite frankly do not want to hear from either side. I just want a good movie to let myself go in. Lay off the politics and stick with the action.
With all is said and done, Machete is a good, bloody slice of brutal action topped with all the fixings and then some. This had the drive in style violence, but suffered huge to racist bullshit politics.
Red Is Not My Favorite Color
Thank goodness for sneak previews. You'll know why.
RED is from a D.C. comics graphic novel about a group of former operatives that are now retired and taking it easy. I have been very fickle about graphic novel adaptations with Sin City being the only standout, as Sin City that also had Bruce Willis, really worked.
Can't say the same thing for RED.
RED is pretty much your redundant run-of-the-mill action flick that has a unoriginal plot, slick action, and hot and cold comedy. Bruce Willis is the lead man Frank Moses who is suddenly is a target for unknown reasons and is ridiculously unstoppable. Makes me wonder why he even retired despite age.
He goes on a mission to find out why he is a target and you could almost recite the rest of this movie as it has action movie clichés:
Conspiracy, check. The sharp weirdo, check. A pointless character,(or two) check. The one committed to his job, check. Cliché villains, check. Lack of time-frame, or sleep, check.
The only saving grace here is John Malkovich, who steals every scene and is really quite funny. Willis is, well Willis, not a stretch. Helen Mirren, who looks excellent for her age, is fine here for a change of role, Freeman is really criminally underused, and Karl Urban is quite talented and is becoming very versatile.
The action is rather slick and is none too loud enough or too low as well. If you like explosions, this is for you. Seriously, some action scenes here were quite good, other scenes were like watching a video game.
All in all, don't expect anything original, or good. It's not terrible, just below average.
Because of the sneak preview, at least this was free.
Preposterous, Inane. An Action Movie For Idiots
Review:Jason Statham. How you try to wow us, try to impress us and try to become a star. Statham is like a roller coaster, it goes up and goes down. Up with Cellular, down with the Transporter. Shame that most of this coaster is spiraling down and really down with this slab of garbage known as "Crank", a blatant and pathetic ripoff of Speed. How original. Allow me to elaborate:
Crank starts off with our hero watching a tape of a group of bad guys near our unconscious hero. They inject him and now he is going to die if his heart rate is below a certain rate. Why the bad guys just did not finish him off there is beyond me as that would be a lot more simple than slow death, but that's what happens when I apply logic to idiocy.
Anyway, Chaz has got to keep himself pumped till he gets the bad guys and will do whatever to do so. Many of these said things are lame and boring such as raiding a store for energy drinks or trying to head-bang to crappy music. Needless to say, the screenplay is terrible and this was a disaster from the start.
I am unsure of why Amy Adams is here, buts she is and clearly did not enjoy herself in a drab and forgettable performance and the same goes for Statham. He can be a good actor, just most of the time it's rinse and repeat for Statham as the predicable tough guy. The action is cluttered and boring, the editing is atrocious, the bad guys are one dimensional and the ending is truly insulting to your intelligence.
Crank is first grade trash. Do not even bother with this and find something else to do with your time. Really, anything. How can anyone with a brain like this? I am trying to root for Statham to be the next big thing, but I am running out of patience.
Star Trek (2009)
Breathing New Life Into The Universe
Star Trek (2009)
Ah, Star Trek. While a short lived t.v. series from the 60's has spawned a legion of fans throughout the years. Perhaps it was the concept, maybe the characters, or maybe leaves people wondering what will the crew encounter next? Anyway you look at it, Star Trek has hit the cinema more than ten times. It's time for another brave voyage.
We have seen a lot of origins lately and now it is Star Trek to shine and finally understand the origins of the original Star Trek crew. This is an excellent character study of the history of the originals. From the beginning, we get already a huge understanding and knowledge of two of our main stars in the first thirty minutes than the entire hour and half of Wolverine, and I still do not know everything about Wolvie.
However, there is more, we learn about Dr. McCoy and how he got the nickname "Bones" and I must say that Karl Urban does have a rather strong resemblance to the original "Bones" McCoy that I swear they are related. There is Sulu, who is more slick than first thought and get to see Sulu in a different light, not in a bad way mind you.
As if the casting was not enough, what is better is the fact of pure attention to detail. Not everybody is perfect and can make a mistake. There are some genuine moments of good humor here and it is mostly in the delivery of well said one-liners, although the humor is great between some fine interaction between Kirk and Bones early on. Pine and Urban have such fine chemistry. I really can't complain about the acting at all, everyone was in top form, especially Zachary Quinto as Spock.
The screenplay is a success. Everything is explained in intricate detail. We got a true villain and a prime motive to explain his actions. There is a fine level of true emotion felt as I really cared for the crew of the Starship: Enterprise and even though this is a origin story, there are some good moments of suspense too as well as some moments of genuine fear. The level of action is quite awesome. It's slick, stylish, and gave Star trek that extra edge it needed.
This is truly a strong take and a bold one for Star Trek, but it's a solid one. Solidly directed by J.J. Abrams, this is a excellent summer movie. This will appeal to the old trekkies and has the edge and style to attract new fans as well. I know I am now one of them.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Dull Blades and Plot Holes
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) This is the origins of the most popular mutant. Every one has a past. nobody can figure out Logan. Well, here we get answers, well.............some of em anyway.
Origins has the exploits of Logan from the early childhood to his supposed immortal life. No answers. We see montages of his later days. No answers. He and his brother, Victor throughout the years. Still no answers. Then Logan and Victor, join an elite squad of soldiers on top secret missions. By the way, not much answers here either. Notice a pattern? Origins is all about the clawed mutant and his past that we got curious about in the first two X-Men movies. Here, it is somewhat explained, but not really. He is with a group of soldiers, then they disband, no answers. We have a huge group of mutants, just forget about character development as there hardly ever looked upon, and shockingly not as much on Logan and hardly on his brother Victor, who by the way is "Sabretooth" who in the first X-Men movie did not even mention that Logan is his brother at all. There is even an appearance by a somewhat known mutant that was given as much screen time as Kurt Russel in "Death Proof". And character development? Forget it. Did I mention that I caught some plot holes that the filmmakers did not. It was easy as you probably did too. There are also some scenes here that can go from plain bad to unbelievably cheesy. I found myself rolling my eyes at some, and found myself laughing when I was not supposed to, and not laughing when I was supposed to. Ouch.
Hugh Jackman has lost the passion and spark of Wolverine. He just does not have it in him anymore as was evident in the last X-Men movie. I noticed that Ryan Reynolds is here and gives a really bored performance as well. As a matter of fact, nobody here seemed to enjoy themselves. The action movie chiches' are far too much and this is not what we wanted.
Origins is supposed to give us answers, not leave us with questions. There are far too many questions to come across. This does not give as much of a deep insight into the clawed mutant that I originally thought. This is not like the first two X-Men movies, which were fun and exciting, this is like the awful third, uneven, unfocused, and unnecessary.
Jesus Camp (2006)
Drunk With Power
This is a terrifying movie. I still cannot believe what happened at this place. This documentary scans a camp where a bunch of kids are sent to during one summer and see exactly what these kids are being taught.
Jesus Camp needs to be seen to believe. We get to witness the kids become soulless and judge-mental. As the camera scans the campers, some of the kids even mention that they are not allowed to watch Harry Potter movies for a truly ridiculous reason. We get to see some of the adults running the place and what they do to scare the kids into believing and the manipulation could have not been done better. It's utterly despicable.
These kids are taught one thing: that this is the only religion. No messages of love or respect. These kids get involved in politics, dragged into protest rallies, and the worst, never question their own beliefs. It would be amazing if any of these poor souls will ever live a decent life.
These kids parents must be ashamed of themselves. The only time the parents show any emotion is when they see their young take the bait. What got me the most is when the kids meet Pastor Ted Haggard, who is apparently 100% heterosexual despite having a three year meth-laced affair with a gay hooker.
This is a truly disturbing documentary that breaks the boundaries and may cause great anger among many. In our world, it's full of colors, in their world, it's truly black and white. This did send chills up my spine. Everyone needs to see this. A remarkable piece.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Sadistic and Gripping
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Review: The Coens are back. This is not your kooky movie or silly humor or silly accents. This is a truly sadistic tale. Time to get serious.
No Country for Old Men is a good movie. The plot is that an ordinary man winds up finding a gruesome scene of possibly an aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong. Along with the deceased and many weapons, there is a briefcase filled with tons of cash. From here, his life is forever changed. For the better, or worse? This movie works in so many ways. First is the scenery is terrific. If you like the southern Texas desert, then this is for you. Just breathtaking. Second is The wonderful casting From Josh Brolin(who has been making some great decisions lately), Tommy Lee Jones and the psychopath, Javier Barden who gives a truly chilling performance as a fiendish air gun wielding maniac. And lastly the movie has no background soundtrack. NONE. All you will hear is either the footsteps, the guns, the telephone, the wind, or vehicles nearby. This gives the viewer the feeling like you are there at the same time! It adds the suspense by a huge margin than the usual "shock" value that does nothing for me.
The suspense....this movie has a death grip on suspense. You cannot deny how gripping this truly is. Many scenes had me on the edge of my seat...really! Just get ready to hold on when we get a excellent scene in the city streets.
The Last Word: Solid. As for the ending....I did not get angry or anything. Don't hate this because of that. You cannot deny the level of suspense that this movie carries. We have not seen suspense like this in years. Kudos, gentlemen, kudos.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Huge Hype, No Payoff
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Review: With Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard, the hype is huge. Once again, hype is still my worst enemy. Will it ever deliver?
The Da Vinci Code is a dreary, ugly, boring and lousy movie all in one. Yeah, i'm all too familiar with the Hanks' hairdo, but this movie is worse. The story is not compelling in the least. I'm not at all a religious guy at all, but this is just flat out boring. In a another way: It did not get my attention.
With the talent pool at an all time high, even they could not save this. Another downfall is the fact that filming this across the sea, Ron Howard did not take advantage of the many scenic locations over there. The scenery because of that was awful.
The Last Word: Don't Bother. This is too long with no payoff. Booo, hiss.
Planet Terror (2007)
Rodriguez Pays Tribute. A Fine Tribute Indeed
Planet Terror (2007)
Review: Planet Terror is the First of the Grindhouse. I save the best for last.
Planet Terror is all about fun. This is a fitting tribute to the schlock value and the zombie genre. Not only that but Rodriguez actually redefines the zombie genre. This starts off with a awesome mock trailer of "Machete". A hoot all the way. Then the movie begins.
The music is the first thing I notice and it is perfect for Planet Terror. It's stylish and cool to listen to. Planet Terror actually has a good story and plot to it. We get a excellent talent pool to swim in. All the characters are quite likable especially J.T.(Best in Texas)
Rodriguez bring on the buckets of blood and then some more with some witty humor and Planet Terror is not afraid to make fun of themselves in the process. The movie has an age feel to it. Rodriguez has done a masterful job of adding the age to the film to bring back the "Grindhouse" feeling. The action is tight, the zombies are disgusting, and the humor is cheap and to the point. The only thing missing to fully tribute to the olé B-movies is the nudity. O well, beggars can't be choosers.
With Bruce Willis, Micheal Biehn, and a very memorable performance from Josh Brolin, you cannot go wrong. It's a shame that this did not bold too well in the theaters. I had lots of fun while watching this is the theater. Lots.
The Last Word: I dare say it, but Rodriguez should get an Oscar nod for his directing. It's sensational.
The Exorcist (1973)
They Should Air This On Comedy Central
The Exorcist (1973)
Review: Once again, this movie topped the most scary movies list. How? Do people who get the survey get paid to say that?
This is possibly one of the most unintentionally funniest movies ever. How on earth did this get voted best horror movie ever? This movie had me on the floor laughing so hard I was in convulsions!
Seriously, what is the big deal? Do people follow the leader and say this is pure horror in order to keep their popularity, or do they really think this is scary? I am aiming to the former. This is actually funnier than "Repossesed", a movie with Linda Blair and Leslie Nielsen that was labeled a comedy.
The Last Word: Stop it. 100 years from now, our descendants will look in the history books and see that in 2007 that this was the top horror film. They will then say, "Wow, our ancestors were such babies." Well, I didn't even flinch.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Review: We are introduced to Freddie Kruger. A new villain is born.
A Nightmare on Elm Street devises a story in which a child killer gets burned by the townsfolk in an angry uprising believing that justice was not served to Kruger. Kruger now will hunt the dreams of all kids and teens to get revenge.
Nice screenplay. Freddy has the signature hat, striped shirt and of course the razor-sharp claws on one hand. He is played beyond well by the cult icon Robert Englund. He is sinister. Looks to be enjoying himself in a sadistic glee.
No matter how old I get, this movie still gives me the creeps. This is indeed horror done correctly. Freddy is an awesome villain and we also get a great level of suspense(what makes horror work)and the violence is here, just does not go overboard which helps unlike the so-called "horror" movies nowadays or as I call them, "torture porn", this is a true horror movie that sends those chills up your spine and sends some fear into going to sleep.
The Last Word: A timeless classic. Don't let the bedbugs bite.
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Review: Well, the mind of the young really astounds me. I remember seeing this and really looking forward to it. I barely remember it from then till I saw this again just recently and now I know why I forgot about this....
Super Mario Bros. is a live action take on the classic duo. What's wrong is highly evident right away. The video games were given a sense of pure style and beauty. The mushroom kingdom was a magical place with coins, bricks, power mushrooms, and is full of life and colors. Here, the kingdom is a desolate, ugly, and depressing modern day hellhole.
Also, Bowser was not a turtle. He was the king of all Koopas. Where did this descendant from dinosaurs come from? Poor Dennis hopper. They did mention princess Daisy witch was a surprise considering Daisy was not very well known in the games at this time. Mario and Luigi are BROTHERS. Hoskins was well casted as Mario, but Leguizamo looks NOTHING like Luigi. How can we believe that these two are related? The only thing here that is close to the games is the Bo-Bomb.
No mushroom powers, no fire flowers, no coins and worse yet, no plot. This was the first offering of what helped usher in a swarm of awful video game movies.(The first Mortal Kombat aside)
The Last Word: Play the games instead.
Ah, The Good olé' Days...
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
Review: So Beavis and Butt-Head got a movie. It's really something.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America has something not truly evident in the series and that's a quality story and a decent plot. That's the big surprise. Also, our heroes or idiots, are pretty funny as well. We got a great song to start off the flick with Isaac Hayes. A nice touch and well done animation of the duo in 1970's form. It's a hoot.
What also helps is the voice acting. We got a many from Judge of course to Bruce Willis and Demi Moore as well as the late great Robert Stack. And the show stealer is the fantastic animation of the twisted Rob Zombie. It's mighty short, but sweet.
However, the humor does get old after a while and is the type of movie I would only see maybe once every couple of years.
The Last Word: I like it. The series was however much funnier and gets much more replay value than this.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Spiderman 3: My Take
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Review: I enjoy Spider Man movies. The first was a nice start and a fitting welcome. The second was one of the best superhero movies this side of Batman Begins. Now we reached the climax(Maybe), and is this good? Here's my take:
Spider Man 3 has a problem, it cannot decide what kind of movie it wants to be. We have Peter Parker(Tobey Maguire), living in a REALLY rundown apartment and his squeeze Mary Jane(Kirsten Dunst), who wants to sing Broadway. That's sounds fine and all. What we encounter is too much smooch-smooch talk that is highly evident in your average chick flick.
What's worse is that we are given Flint Marko(Thomas Hayden Church), a escaped con who winds up in some sort of experiment that turn him into the Sandman. Sandman has many inconsistencies. He has escaped police custody and is doing this risky stuff all for his daughter. The Sandman is a total second rate "villain". More on this later.
Then we got Harry Osbourne(James Franco), who has not forgotten about his father's death. He attacks Peter to give us one neat action sequence that Harry winds up hitting his head hard and suffers short term memory loss. He then becomes a unwitting rival of Parker for guess who.
Then there's Eddie Brock(Topher Grace), who is a rather desperate reporter that will do anything to get work. More on this one shortly.
As you can tell, there is WAY too much going on here and to top it off, we have some relationship troubles with our hero to add to the already crammed mix. But it's not over, a strange substance from outer space falls down and latches on to Peter's bike and follows him home. This substance make the host body act differently in many ways, especially aggression. Right. So The transformation starts off right with an impassioned Spidey taking on Sandman.
Then the worst happens, Spidey-Peter goes EMO on us. He does the stupid thing with his hair and dresses in black clothing. His attitude is laughable and painful to watch. It does a good job on making the Emo look bad as it should, but I cannot watch this without wincing in pain. This is not the way to undergo a transformation to the dark side. More like the douche bag side.
This movie has it's good. The action here delivers enough. The FX are nice if not a little cartoon like, but overall is nice. Bryce Dallas Howard is here and is just stunning. Too bad she is trapped in a helpless role as Mary Jane's rival. And the best scene of the movie belongs to Mr. Bruce Campbell. He is always funny and here he is a treat. The boss of the Daily Bugle is also hilarious.
Now for the bad. The Sandman apparently killed Peter's uncle. This is so bad. Then what was he locked up for in the first place than that? Also, Eddie Brock inside a church says to the Jesus symbol, "I Want You To Kill Peter Parker." Gahh. The character Venom is, here anyway came off as a second rate villain. He is suddenly Venom and knows all about his powers in record time. He finds Marko in even faster time and allies with him just like that unaware of the fact that he is merged with some type of monster talking to a guy who can transform sand. They just met and suddenly..."Okay." Just like that they ally.
The Sandman despite killing Spidey's uncle and almost killing Spidey himself is forgiven. Whaaa? I would have him locked up. Despite his intentions, he killed someone and tried to kill you. I would hold a grudge to be honest with you. Not to mention could have killed a armored car driver and many other innocent people in the process.
Did I mention the Emo? Ick.
In conclusion, Spidey 3 has too much story, too much sappy relationship issues, too little substance and not enough action.
The Last Word: A terrible mess. There are not enough janitors in the world to clean this up. From the chick flick stuff to the bad Emo stuff, Spidey's main problem is that it could not decide what type of movie it should be, A chick flick, a teenage Emo flick, or a Spider Man flick. Pass this one up. Even hardcore fans might hate this.
30 Days of Night (2007)
30 Days of Boredom
30 Days of Night (2007)
Review: Now the new genre is on graphic novels. Here is another one.
30 Days of Night is one kind of movie. This is a attempt at suspense horror, but fails on a lot of levels. Josh Hartnett plays the local sheriff of a small Alaskan town that winds up arresting a local stranger for a disturbance and locks him up. This stranger is just that, a total nobody that gives the rest of the crew the creeps about "them".
Enter a bunch of no name characters with almost no development and the very pretty ex-girlfriend and that's our cast. Then the vampires show up and kill. They start by killing helpless dogs just because of the barking. I am a dog person, so I hate it when dogs are killed. This still did not make much sense.
Enter the vampires. These have to be the most least frightening vampires since "Blade:Trinity". Their mouths morph in need of a bite and most look like a bunch of Emo-goth rejects with the utterly lame head vampire. They also speak in a native tongue not English. That really bothers me. It was irritating as hell.
At least there was something cool here. Great character actor Mark Boone Junior is here and has the best scenes in the movie by using a snowplow and a tractor to slay some vampires. These scenes are far too short, but well done.
30 Days of Night suffers from many plot holes. How did the people know exactly what day is it? Why did the vampires have the stranger creep out the local folk? Could they just invade without warning instead? How is it that being without a shower for so long can they still look good? Wow, for being without a bath for so long, her platinum blond hair is quite stunning.
Josh Hartnett needs that one and only vehicle to launch his career into orbit, but this is not the way to start it. Nice try kid. Better luck next time.
The Last Word: Quite bad. At least I saw a trailer for Beowolf, so it wasn't a total loss.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Fans of The Evil Dead Need Apply
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Review: How bout this? George Clooney in a different role? Yep. For once he tries something different.
From Dusk Till Dawn is something else. This is about two criminal brothers(Clooney and Tarantino)wind up taking a family hostage to make it across the Mexican border to a meeting point, a bar called the "Titty Twister". That's where the Gecko brothers are to meet another group of crooks.....at dawn. This bar is open from dusk till dawn....and is filled with vampires.
This movie starts off as something else at first. More like a gritty crime movie, then becomes a total spatter-fest. This isn't at all bad, just takes a total turn. The vampires here are a bunch of ugly as hell monsters. Think of the Evil Dead movies only the undead zombies and skeletons are vampires instead and that's the score with the very small supply of vampire slayers to take them on.
Like I say, if you are a fan of the Evil Dead movies, then this is the treat for you. It does not have the amount of silly humor like them, but has the gore nailed just right. The makeup effects are dead-on as well. This just happens to be more gritty than the Evil Dead.
The Last Word: I like it. Good for your October needs. Did I forget Salma Hayek and Cheech Marin? They are here as well. Good bloody fun.
Kyûketsuki hantâ D (1985)
Quite Old, but A Definitive Classic
Vampire Hunter D(1985)
Review: I have seen this a number of times. This has aged well. I remember on the original VHS copy on the back saying, The First Animated Movie For Adults! Indeed.
Vampire Hunter D is a classic in it's own regard. The story is straightforward and effective. A village girl has been bitten be Count Magnus Lee and now hires The Dunpeal to take care of him. This movie has the old feel of the modern vampire lore like crosses work as well as garlic. This also takes place in the very distant future.
Here are the basics: The animation: Subpar. Not bad, but could be better, but this is 1985, so I can definitely give them a break. It's still not that bad.
The Voice acting: Pretty good with the exception of Doris' little brother sounding way to much like a girl. I always hated that. Otherwise fine.
The Characters: All not fully developed, but that was not meant to be, but there is some development and it works. Just enough character. Does not suffer from over crowdedness.
The Last Word: The good olé days. This is how the anime genre got it's grand start. Takes me back. This has aged well.
My Name Is Earl (2005)
I No Longer Fear Hell.......
My Name is Earl(2005)
Review:......For I have seen this.
This is something else. First off, how is this rated so high? I cannot understand that. This "show" is filled to the top with either annoying people, stupid people, or just plain unlikeable. The "gags" are hideous.
I saw one episode where the wife of Earl's brother wrapped and washed herself with dead fish. Not kidding. That wasn't funny, that's repulsive. Then she and Earl's extremely stupid brother(and I mean stupid) then had sex. I nearly threw up.
This has to be one of the most desperate attempts at comedy in a long time. Jason Lee is a talented actor, but is trapped in a helpless role in this horrible "comedy".
Earl is now in jail for this current season. Let's hope he gets the chair just so this show gets put out of it's misery.
The Last Word: This show would be funny to people who think Larry the Cable guy is funny. To the rest of the world, NOT A CHANCE. Avoid like the plague.
Ghost Rider (2007)
A Mixture of Good and Bad
Review: After seeing this a few more times, my perspective has grown. Here's my official take:
Ghost Rider has good and bad all over it. This is a rather screwed up movie at times. Let me sum it all up.
The Good: The special Fx are stunning. Ghost Rider looks quite amazing. The effects enough do justice for the Rider. There is quite a good level of character development too. We learn about the sorted past of Johnny Blaze and how he became cursed. There is also a some good action here. It's enjoyable at times. The Rider's voice is demonic. He sounds cool. "Look into my eyes!"
The Bad: The dialog of the Rider is small, reduced to such corny lines like, "Back to hell" or "You're going down". The Rider does not have much dialog and most of it isn't that good. Nic Cage is good as Blaze, but at times over-acts. I do agree that he isn't the best choice, but beggars can't be choosers. The are some very noticeable continuity errors. The scene at the jail rubbed me the wrong way and felt flawed. The Rider's penance stare scenes are way too long. Should have ended after 10 seconds, not over a minute. The villain looked like a Emo god, and his subordinates are merely nothing more than that. One fight ended too quickly.
Overall, Ghost Rider suffers from lots of flaws, but I was entertained enough. This is by no means terrible, not at all. Just above average and rather cheesy.
The Last Word: Enjoyable, yet corny. This could have been far better, but could have been much worse. Not bad, just not good either.
Kaubôi bibappu (1998)
So Much Potential Wasted.......
Review: Ah, hype. My friend and enemy, will you ever learn?
Cowboy Bebop is a mixed bag. Here's why: We have a cast of some likable characters and only one season of a show. We have only twenty six episodes or "sessions" if you will. That right there is the first drawback. How can a show that was on for one season be considered "great"? Not in my book.
Sure there are some good stuff here and there, but the great that this show has is so few and far in between. Episodes like "Asteroid Blues" and "Cowboy Funk" are just plain fun and not much else. Episodes like "The Ballad of Fallen Angels" and "The Real Folk Blues pt.1 and 2" are the great here. And the rest besides The Jupiter Jazz episodes are mostly filler. The thing is that our main guy Spike Spiegel is the man. Not only has a cool voice, but has a dark past. Whenever Cowboy Bebop has episodes that have Spike's past coming back to haunt him, we have great, compelling stuff. Otherwise, things are a mere blah.
Most of the sessions are hard to understand and some are just not compelling enough or not good in the least with either no story(Sympathy for the Devil) or are just plain awful(Toys in the Attic). Some of the humor is either good(Bohemian Rhapsody) or bad(Boogie Woogie Feng Shui).
The voice acting is great. Nothing wrong there. The animation is great too. Especially during session 20. Too bad that session had no story and a super disappointing ending. Good action though. The main problem is simple: little story, far too much filler and not enough greatness. Cowboy Bebop had SO much potential. Unfortunately, it was rarely seen. Not to mention that this lasted only ONE season. I also was not too fond of the ending either. Sure, it's well done, but I still believe it could have ended differently.
The Last Word: The best Animated series ever? Not a chance. Great? No way. Good? Nah. Mediocre? Yeah. Would I watch again? Maybe, if nothing was on and I was bored out of my mind.
Good Stuff, Better Than The Series
Cowboy Bebop The Movie(2001)
Review: After one season of a series, Cowboy Bebop return with a movie, so the story isn't over after all.
Cowboy Bebop the movie is a rather fun ride with the characters we all know. I admittedly was not a huge fan of the series, but it had lots of potential, here's where the potential was finally unlocked.
The Story: Not too much to say. The plot is rather hard to understand. A man who lost his memory wants to wipe out all mankind. Perhaps because he believes he died long ago maybe?
The Voice acting: Just as good as the series. The cast has not lost a step and Steven Jay Blum has got to have the coolest voice over ever.
The Animation: Awesome. The animation is great. How anime has improved over the years. Especially the scene where Spike defends himself with a broom. It looks fantastic.
Well, that's a lot here along with a pretty cool villain as well. This also has a much better conclusion than the series.
The Last Word: Fun. Possibly for the fans only. Bebop should make movies from now on. A solid presentation.
Beautiful, But Painfully Cliché
Review: This is the new wave. Motion capture is taking storm and it looks good, but beauty is only skin deep.....
Appleseed is none too different then the usual cliché. You will notice right away that it's beautiful. The first anime I saw that finally used motion capture instead of animation. No question it looks fantastic, but it's ultimately wasted here due to a flat and cliché story.
For example, our hero is the ultimate fighter, has special parents, is significant to our story, and cliché villainy. I would like something original like maybe our hero is a nobody and has no special significance to the story and had worthless or just regular parents and nothing more. The clichés were just too much for me to digest.
Also things get a little to over-dramatic as well. The action is good, but not enough. With the use of motion capture and the stunning visuals, I wanted more action.
The Last Word: It's worth looking at, but that's it. This is otherwise nothing special. The use of motion capture and the visuals are impressive. I would like to see this art used more often. Hopefully next time, we get a good and original story.
Mighty Overrated, Possible the Worst Anime Ever Made
Review: I remember when about 15 years ago when my brother rented this movie and was excited about it. I never heard of it, but had an open mind. Here's my take:
Akira is possibly the most overrated anime ever. I do not understand the love. It's been hailed as a classic. Tell me why you loved this. Is it because of the convoluted story? Is it because of the lifeless and dull characters? Is it because it is really long? Is it because of it's many scenes of unnecessary violence?
Seriously, I do not get it. The characters were dull, the story is contrived and confusing and the violence is far to much and some of it is towards the kids. It gets rather hard to watch. I found no joy in this. This movie overstayed it's welcome. It's just too damn long.
However, I must give credit where credit is due. The animation is really good here. For 1988, it's mighty cool.
There are many Anime that are great like Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust, Princess Mononoke, and the Cyber City Oedo miniseries. Akira just does not satisfy at all. It's a boring and unpleasant experience.
And to finish my story, halfway though Akira, my brother who was excited fell asleep and I was really drowsy. True story.
The Last Word: I hated this movie. Through the test of time, Akira will remain the most overrated piece of Anime garbage. Good visuals do not make a good movie.