Author Topic: Jon's Random Reviews  (Read 63113 times)

Offline Achim

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Re: Matrix ****
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2009, 05:08:18 AM »
Wanted
fact, taking the comparison with The Matrix a step further, it's more fun and better written, especially dialogue, with a stronger backstory that should be able to support the inevitable sequels. It's a bit hectic and overdone in places, which is where the smoother and darker Matrix will always win out (at least the first film), but damn, it's still fantastic!
Why, there were others...? :P

Anyway, I enjoyed Wanted a lot (in the cinema) and have the Blu-ray at home waiting to be watched. While some stuff was flat out ridiculous (the way they received their orders who to kill next :headscratch:), despite maybe being based on the comic, the action set pieces were amazing. Looking forward to see yet more from Timor Busdhwsdwedwe (:-[).

Najemikon

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Iron Man ****
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2009, 04:05:45 PM »
Iron Man
4 out of 5


A lot of you have already reviewed this and I've little to add. I'm going to though!  :laugh: I thought it was great, we film-lovers were spoiled last year by high-class superhero efforts with this and The Dark Knight. Although, has Goodguy reviewed this yet?  :P

There are basically two types of comic story; a deep, contemplative study of the human condition, or blowing shit up and looking cool while doing it! Characters like Judge Dredd can do both, Batman tends to lean to the first and that's why The Dark Knight was a perfect realisation of the character. The great thing about Iron Man is that it also feels like a perfect realisation of the "blowing shit up/looking cool" story.

It's a thin, predictable plot, broadly told, but that just makes it easier to have indulgent fun with fantastic set-pieces and a great cast. RDJ is wonderful as is his snappy dialogue with everyone, including his robots. Paltrow doesn't have a lot to do, but she looks great while doing it. And Jeff Bridges must have relished a playing Stane. He's an obvious character, but very different to a lot of Bridges' previous.

The only real problem with the film is the plot. Like many origin films, the origin takes too much of the running time (though it's always fun) and the resolution of the first mission has to be tacked on, meaning when you think about it, there's very little of substance. Comics have the advantage of being able to concentrate on Issue 1, while only having to set-up an element for Issue 2 to pick up on. And of course, they can stretch out the character arc used here for months. I still think the best origin was Burton's take on Batman because he was able to tell it in ambiguous flashback and not cripple his main plot. That said, I do think Iron Man runs a good second, certainly better handled than Spider-Man or even Nolan's first Batman film.

I'm looking forward to the sequel because hopefully they'll get into something a bit deeper (The Shiny Knight?) before getting caught up in this multi-film arc that Marvel are attempting. I'm in two minds about that. Again it's a comic staple (not literally the little metal ones), but will it translate to films?

I'm also disappointed that Trevor Howard won't be back, with Rhodes to be played by Don Cheadle. I already think his role smacks of the producers thinking they got the wrong guy. Most of his stuff is in the deleted scenes and I think a couple of them would have been great, especially one which would make it clear how long Stark was in the cave, except the running time is already over two hours. I liked him though and I'm sorry he can't expand on it himself.

And remember the conversation Pete had in another thread regarding this film: keep watching till after the credits!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 04:07:45 PM by Jon »

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2009, 04:12:47 PM »
I almost feel like watching this one again!... but no.... I will hold off a bit longer on that.  :P
Pete

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Re: Iron Man ****
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2009, 04:44:20 PM »
Karsten

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Offline goodguy

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Re: Iron Man ****
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2009, 06:46:26 PM »
... we film-lovers were spoiled last year by high-class superhero efforts with this and The Dark Knight. Although, has Goodguy reviewed this yet?  :P

No, he has neither seen nor reviewed it yet. But he has a soft spot for Robert Downey Jr., so he might be more forgiving. On a side note, he did like Ang Lee's Hulk and doesn't feel very compelled to watch the new one.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Step Brothers **
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2009, 09:42:04 PM »
Step Brothers
2 out of 5


Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) are two middle-aged loafers who are forced to live together when their parents get married. When the reluctant step-siblings' immature antics over TV privileges and personal property take their toll on the marriage, the devious duo hatch a hysterical scheme to reunite the couple.

Oh dear. It seems Anchorman was a fluke. This isn't as bad as Talledega Nights, but it's nowhere near the lunacy of Adam McKay's first hit. He needs to do Anchorman 2 now.

As far as man-child films go, Big set the bar. I'd hoped that this would be Big, with knob and fart jokes. Nope, it's a sketch show. Admittedly with one very funny fart joke. Some sketches are good (bunk beds!), some are bad (anything with little brother in), but like all sketch shows, it really falls apart when they try to build meaning in and join up the sketches with a plot that stretches the thin premise way past breaking point. It fails miserably when they finally grow-up, moving from one extreme to another.

Everything is in place for it to work. Will Ferrell does this sort of thing very well and John C. Reilly continues to prove a worthy match. Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins are very good at making the parents believable. Jenkins is very funny when he swears at the same time as telling the "boys" off and his "Don't lose your dinosaur" speech worked well. But the far more successful younger brother (Adam Scott) was terrible. I think, to be honest, he was a piss-take of a Tom Cruise style ultra control freak, and if Cruise could have done it (which I'm sure he would have considered), it would have worked. Here, surely, it would have been better for him to simply be very normal?  :shrug: Ferrell is so much of a cartoon character, it needed a foil. The affair between Dale and Alice was funny ("oooh, it's all slippery!" :devil:). The bullies were impossible to believe though and the shit-licking too far.*

But what really annoyed me is that my favourite, I-Have-To-See-This-Movie moment in the trailer, wasn't in the f***ing film. ARGH! I hate it when they do that. And this was the extended edition, too. :suicide:

*= Mind you I was shocked to see white dog shit. What causes it to be white? We had loads years ago, but it dissappeared in the 80s. The UK is all out of white dog poo! :laugh:
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 09:43:35 PM by Jon »

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Step Brothers **
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2009, 10:09:04 PM »
But what really annoyed me is that my favourite, I-Have-To-See-This-Movie moment in the trailer, wasn't in the f***ing film. ARGH! I hate it when they do that. And this was the extended edition, too. :suicide:
If it is the case never watch an Harry Novak productions, since it always happen... But I don't think the risk are high that you will watch one :laugh:

Offline Achim

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Re: Step Brothers **
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2009, 12:36:18 PM »
Step Brothers
2 out of 5
I guess I would have to give it a 2 out of 5 as well. I haven's seen the whole film so rating it a 1 would be an uneducated decision; saw it in the airplane and turned it off after 30 minutes because I couldn't take it anymore. ()

Najemikon

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Re: Step Brothers **
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2009, 01:46:12 PM »
Step Brothers
2 out of 5
I guess I would have to give it a 2 out of 5 as well. I haven's seen the whole film so rating it a 1 would be an uneducated decision; saw it in the airplane and turned it off after 30 minutes because I couldn't take it anymore. ()

You know I think it would have been genuinely hilarious if the exact same plot was done with actual teenagers, or twenty-somethings at least. It would have almost been ground-breaking because it would have been nothing like American Pie or current flavour of the month, Superbad. I know that wasn't the point, but the old-men as kids in a world that never questions the root of their behaviour ("Hello? You're 40! Stop being twats!") is one of those things that must have seemed a great idea, but quickly becomes an awkward crutch.

Offline Achim

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Re: Step Brothers **
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2009, 04:48:59 PM »
You know I think it would have been genuinely hilarious if the exact same plot was done with actual teenagers, or twenty-somethings at least.
That's exactly what the (Cool) Shite on the Tube guys said...

I agree that the whole setup was a rather bad idea.

Najemikon

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Tropic Thunder ***
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 02:18:53 AM »
Tropic Thunder
3 out of 5


A Vietnam war film is fast becoming a liability. In a last ditch attempt at realism, the director (Steve Coogan) takes his principal cast of five into the jungle and leaves them. Unfortunately a local drug lord sees them as real soldiers while they think it's all part of the production.

This for the most part is good fun, especially if you enjoy the classic Vietnam movies like Platoon and Apocalypse Now, because when it frequently rips off those movies and the conventions of so many more, it does so in the best way possible: always with respect. The story is overall badly plotted. An old idea (Three Amigos, Galaxy Quest), yet it simply isn't focused enough. The first 30 minutes or so is fantastic though with several very funny gags all firing at the same time in a sequence that sees the idiot director napalm the jungle without the cameras rolling. The image of Jack Black dangling from a helicopter while this goes on (or off?) will stick with me for a long time! :laugh:

The film only falls apart completely in the middle section, just after a particularly high point when Coogan leaves his cast to fend for themselves. Ironically this is where many of the war films it takes as inspiration also collapse. Those bits between the battles, when it's soldiers just wandering through talky scenes. It doesn't help that a couple of plot points are really overplayed while it forgets the basic appeal of actors not realising it's real; I couldn't tell if any aside from Stiller were deluded or when they realised they weren't. One problem is frustratingly Black's drug addict actor. An obvious joke that he can't seem to find anything funny to latch onto, so we end up with a strangely neutered Jack Black until he can get back to more physical stuff (which he is very good at). Another issue is Stiller's Simple Jack character that caused some offence on the films release. While unfounded, it becomes really over-used and a major plot point when Stiller is captured by the drug-lord. Who, by the way, is about 12. Very annoying, and... why? Why not a normal middle aged drug lord? :shrug: Although the henchman in drag and the stabby toddler are great!

However, all this prevaricating does lead to a jump start for the final act and it finishes as it began. Funny gags and massive explosions!  :clap:

What really enriches the film are the performances. Aside from poor plotting, the cast are really on form. Nick Nolte and Danny McBride form a bit a double-act that's simple, but works, while Stiller came in for criticism for doing the same endearingly stupid characters he always does, except, this is what he's good at and the story suits it. Black, when given the room, is always worth watching. Jay Baruchel is a good straight man for almost the whole squad and Brandon T Jackson as the only real black actor has some great dialogue with Robert Downey Jr., who's pretending. But then, everyone has great dialogue with him, because his performance is incredible. Very funny, all of the time, because his whole persona is so absurd and so much deeper than "Black face". That was another point that invited controversy by people who really missed the point. RDJ is not caught slacking on this performance for a single second and he brought almost everyone up a notch.

I say almost everyone because he didn't do any scenes with Matthew McConaughey and I thought he did a great job in a small role. He really needs to move away from rom-coms. He has so much more to offer. That he held is own in scenes with Tom Cruise is not too shabby, because if anyone could steal this movie from RDJ, it's Cruise. His extended cameo is wonderful!

It's obvious that Stiller had a gem of an idea that inspired the cast to work very well together in an environment so gorgeous it could photograph itself, so why was I left with the feeling it could have been much better? Just the plot let it down. Everything else was in place.

Offline Achim

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2009, 06:37:21 AM »
While I really liked the film and it makes me laugh a lot I agree with most your negative points, such as Jack Black's characters drug addiction being overused or the Simple Jack bit being too long. Although the latter inspired the great "You never go full retard!"

A friend of mone also complained that they didn't use real Chinese actors and the ones they used spoke terrible Chinese...

Najemikon

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2009, 11:18:30 AM »
While I really liked the film and it makes me laugh a lot I agree with most your negative points, such as Jack Black's characters drug addiction being overused or the Simple Jack bit being too long. Although the latter inspired the great "You never go full retard!"

A friend of mone also complained that they didn't use real Chinese actors and the ones they used spoke terrible Chinese...

And they needed an excuse for Stiller to go deep for Brando in Apocalypse Now, I suppose. The dialogue when RDJ tries to talk him down is great! "I'm the dude playing the dude, playing another dude. You the dude don't know what dude he is!" :hysterical:

It frustrates me because I want to be more enthusiastic about the movie without spoiling it so all that's left to talk about are the weak bits.
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Najemikon

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The Incredible Hulk ***
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2009, 09:49:40 PM »
The Incredible Hulk
3 out of 5


Ok, I know a lot didn't like Ang Lee's The Hulk, but I thought it was one of the bravest and best comic adaptations so far. It just needed more mindless action. Well, we get that here in spades. Especially the mindless part.

It was a shame they seemed to quietly disregard the first film, as it was an excellent basis to start from. While the action with The Hulk is suitably relentless and rage-filled, the action with Bruce Banner on the run is too over the top, both thanks to Transporter director Letterier. For instance, the first act was a nice plot with Banner trying to keep his cool while falling for the local girl and fighting the local thugs. It made perfect sense for that to be reason enough to Hulk-out and cause a depressed Banner to go back on the run, after demolishing the town, but no; We have to have the stupid drop-of-blood coincidence bullshit, leading to all out fucking war. Nice cameo from Stan Lee, otherwise, too noisy and muddled. Good idea, screwed up.

In the cast, they had great actors capable of pulling off the balance between drama and action, but instead they drowned them in noise. Norton was especially good at showing Banner as scared by his own memories.

The effects were very good (again, nothing wrong with the "don't make me Ang Lee" version) and the middle action sequence particularly Incredible (nice documentary style camera work) and the final battle are great fun, with cute Hulk-isms (police car boxing gloves! Thunderclap! It speaks!), but this story deserves better. It is at heart, such a sad character and is capable of Frankenstein style empathy, but a brief musical interlude and funny cameo from Lou Ferrigno is the closest I think we will ever get to the charm of the TV series, or comic for that matter. Bruce Banner may soon be lost to a complicated multi-film arc and the chance to make a really good stand-alone version has passed.

It needed bigger, greener balls, but The Hulk was a far better film.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 09:52:06 PM by Jon »

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Jon's Random Reviews
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2009, 12:05:22 AM »
You watch that before your Mario Bava's and Dario Argento's movies :shrug: