Author Topic: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010  (Read 176530 times)

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #585 on: November 29, 2010, 04:01:32 AM »
Gorillas In The Mist



Title:Gorillas in the Mist
Year: 1988
Director: Michael Apted
Rating: PG-13
Length: 129 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Sigourney Weaver
Bryan Brown
Julie Harris
John Omirah Miluwi
Iain Cuthbertson

Plot:
Based on the true story of young anthropologist Dian Fossey (Sigourney Weaver) who travels to the African mountains to study the rare gorillas. In this incredible paradise which she describes as being "as close to God as you can get," her interest in the gorillas turns to passion and finally obsession. Not even her lover, photographer Bob Campbell (Bryan Brown), can tear her away—or stop her from risking her life to protect the gorillas from poachers and animal traders. Desperate to save her "family" from extinction, Fossey searches for justice, but in the end settles for revenge.

You may applaud what she does. Or you may condemn it. But you will never forget the passion that turned her into a legend.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Production Notes
DVD-ROM Content

My Thoughts:

Love this movie! Seen in before probably close to 10 years ago now and it still fascinating to watch the story of Dian Fossey and her beloved gorillas.

Sigourney Weaver was the perfect choice to play this driven, tenacious and eccentric woman who went to extreme lengths to first study and then protect these endangered primates. Weaver has always pulled off roles as tough as nails women and near the end when she is starting to lose her grip, being ferociously protective of her gorillas her acting is brilliant.

Bryan Brown, a favorite of mine and one of the most underrated actors out there gave a great performance as well as the National Geographic photographer who falls in love with her but eventually has to leave her behind as he knows that he will always be second fiddle to her obsession.

Fossey's murder still remains a mystery but there was certainly no shortage of suspects including the poachers whom she tried her best to eradicate, the government who tired of her running off the tourists and some speculate even the men who worked for her may have killed her as they feared both her and her wild actions that could have rained trouble down on them all. Her actions defied all and angered many people but her sacrifice saved the species.  :bow:

KC

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 04:26:10 AM by KinkyCyborg »

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #586 on: December 07, 2010, 03:53:30 AM »
Stormy Monday



Title:Stormy Monday
Year: 1988
Director: Mike Figgis
Rating: R
Length: 93 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Pan & Scan 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Melanie Griffith
Tommy Lee Jones
Sting
Sean Bean
James Cosmo

Plot:
Melanie Griffith "oozes sensuality" (''The Today Show''), while Oscar® winner Tommy Lee Jones and rock legend Sting face off in a deadly game of cat and mouse in this sexy, "extremely stylish film noir" (Leonard Maltin). Written and directed by Mike Figgis ('Leaving Las Vegas'), 'Stormy Monday' is a sizzling thriller that "holds its audience rapt with the promise of imminent danger" ('The New York Times')!

Corrupt businessman Frank Cosmo (Jones) arrives in Newcastle, England, determined to muscle his way into owning the entire town. On his payroll is Kate (Griffith) - a tantalizing beauty Cosmo "loans" out when he wants a favor from the local officials. But when Kate's new lover ends up working for Cosmo's latest target (Sting), Kate must choose between the man who "owns" her and the man who has stolen her heart.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

I had an extremely hard time getting into this movie as it crawls at a very slow pace... at times I caught myself nodding off.  :yawn:  It does achieve a satisfying climax but not good enough I believe to make up for the rest of the movie.

Tommy Lee Jones was good, having never had problems effectively playing a sleazeball. He's the man pulling all the strings. Very low key performance from Sting who exudes quiet confidence. Everyone's favorite rocket scientist Melanie Griffith is predictable, floating prettily from scene to scene, buoyed by the air in her head. Early role for Sean Bean who will go on to have better and more meaningful roles.

Save for about 15 minutes near the end this one is very dull.

KC

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KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #587 on: December 09, 2010, 04:55:20 AM »
Music From Another Room



Title:Music From Another Room
Year: 1997
Director: Charlie Peters
Rating: PG-13
Length: 104 Min.
Video: Pan & Scan 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Jude Law
Gretchen Mol
Jennifer Tilly
Martha Plimpton
Brenda Blethyn

Plot:
Jude Law (Road to Perdition) leads an exceptional ensemble cast, including Gretchen Mol ("Girls Club"), Academy Award® nominees* Jennifer Tilly (Monster, Inc.) and Brenda Blethyn (Lovely & Amazing), as well as Martha Plimpton (Beautiful Girls), Jon Tenney (You Can Count on Me) and Jeremy Piven (Black Hawk Down), in this enchanting, "sweet love story" ("Hollywood Online") of a romance born with a little help from destiny...and a few determined matchmakers!

When five-year-old Danny helps deliver a family friend's baby, Anna, he tells his father that he will one day marry her. But it's not until he moves back to America – twenty-five years later – that fate steps in and literally knocks him off his bike – and into the arms of a beautiful, grown-up Anna (Mol)! And while destiny may be on his side, Danny (Law) discovers that time is not...because Anna is not only unsure of her feelings for Danny, but she's also engaged to be married to someone else!

*Tilly: Supporting Actress, Bullets over Broadway (1994)
Blethyn: Actress, Secrets & Lies (1996); Supporting Actress, Little Voice (1998)

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

Great date movie. Despite the comedy that peppers the film throughout, this movie is all about passion and following your heart.

For anyone who has ever stereotyped Jennifer Tilly as a ditz capable of only drab comedies or worse (Seed Of Chucky!) needs to watch this movie. She is breathtakingly beautiful and outstanding as the blind sister who, terrified of the world she can't see, sets herself free to experience life, thrills and love. This was actually secondary to the main story played out between Jude Law & Gretchen Mol but was the far more interesting of the two.

It's too bad that they didn't make Tilly the female lead as I didn't find Mol to be very convincing. Not to mention that the bossy little priss that she portrays makes her completely unattractive.

This would fall into the chick flick category but I think a lot of men would be surprised to find they enjoyed this film very much.  ;)

KC


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KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #588 on: December 10, 2010, 04:15:08 AM »
Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within



Title:Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Year: 2001
Director: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Moto Sakakibara
Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Commentary

Stars:
Ming-Na
Alec Baldwin
Ving Rhames
Steve Buscemi
Peri Gilpin

Plot:
The year is 2065 AD. The Earth is infested with alien spirits, and mankind faces total extinction. Led by a strange dream and guided by her mentor, Dr. Sid, scientist Aki Ross struggles to collect the eight spirits in the hope of creating a force powerful enough to destroy the alien presence and pure enough to protect the planet. With the aid of the Deep Eyes Squadron, Aki must save the Earth from its darkest hate and unleash the spirits within. FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN is the groundbreaking new CGI film from the creators of the Final Fantasy Video Game Franchise.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Bonus Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Gallery
Production Notes
Multi-angle
Music Videos
Storyboard Comparisons
DVD-ROM Content
Closed Captioned
Scene Editing Workshop

My Thoughts:

Film adaptation of the immensely popular gaming series, I did not see much of a resemblance between the two either in characters or story. It is however cutting edge CGI animation and it is stunning to behold.

I've never been a fan of the anime genre. Actually I shouldn't say that... I've never really given it a chance. If all anime were like this, life like in appearance with characters that look like real people I would likely watch more of it. I have no interest in watching the anime where all the 'toons' have big saucer moon eyes and triangular heads.  ::)  Just not my thing.

I found the story of this confusing, even when it was being explained to me near the end I still wasn't entirely sure what was happening. Something to do with indigenous earth Spirits clashing with alien 'phantom' Spirits with the solution being to collect 8 roaming spirits and channel them through the lead female in order to dissolve the alien 'ghosts'. Again very confusing but the spectacular imagery more than makes up for it.

I always have fun trying to identify the voice talent in animated movies. I was able to pick out Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Donald Sutherland, James Woods and Keith David. It was bugging me who was doing the voice of Aki Ross and was surprised that it was Ming-Na and not a more recognizable actress.

Had they stuck with a less complicated plot I think they could have hit a home run with this but if you leave the viewer puzzled it can detract from planned sequels (Advent Children).

I still haven't watched Titan A.E. and I'm curious to see how it stacks up to this.

KC

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Critter

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #589 on: December 10, 2010, 04:58:12 AM »
Advent Children isn't really a sequel to this film. You will see I have reviewed both of them in my Animated Movie Marathon. Both films have nothing in common at all, not even in visual style for most of the time. While The Spirits Within tried to be as realistic as it could, Advent Children was still amazing animation, but it kept the characterized versions of the characters. They still looked amazing, but not photo-realistic.
Also, you mentioned that you like this more because visually it is so realistic. I find that interesting. I personally think realistic people work well in video games etc, but I'm not the biggest fan of it in animated films. Animation differs to live-action in many ways, one of them being how you can manipulate the appearance of a character, sometimes to match their personality. It's one of the wonderful things about the medium. If I see an animated film with photo-realistic human characters I can't help but wonder why they made it animated at all? It so easily could have been a live-action film with a lot of CGI work (the spirits etc). Also, if you found the story here slightly confusing then don't have high hopes for Advent Children. I personally love it, especially on blu-ray it is astonishing visually, but half the time I didn't know what's going on. Apparently if you haven't played pretty much all of the games which I haven't, then it's really hard to follow. It doesn't bother me though, I just sit there staring at the breathtaking visuals and enjoy it all the same.

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #590 on: December 10, 2010, 05:16:07 AM »
I too enjoy this kind of movie more for the fantastic visuals more so than the story. My son I'm sure could make heads or tails of it as he is the penultimate gamer.

If I see an animated film with photo-realistic human characters I can't help but wonder why they made it animated at all? It so easily could have been a live-action film with a lot of CGI work (the spirits etc).

Very true! I sometimes wonder if the reason for these ventures is just so that these CGI geeks can beat their chests and say 'See what we can do!?' But once they make their animation so lifelike as to not being able to tell the difference from the real thing then what is left for them to do?

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #591 on: December 11, 2010, 06:38:08 PM »
American Buffalo



Title:American Buffalo
Year: 1995
Director: Michael Corrente
Rating: R
Length: 87 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: French, Spanish

Stars:
Dustin Hoffman
Dennis Franz
Sean Nelson

Plot:
Two-time Academy Award® winner Dustin Hoffman and two-time Emmy Award winner Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue") deliver tour-de-force performances as volatile small-time hustlers in this edgy, electrifying story of trust, betrayal and loyalty gone dangerously awry. American Buffalo is a riveting study in human virtue and vulnerability from Pulitzer Prize winning writer David Mamet (Wag the Dog, The Edge, The Untouchables) and director Michael Corrente.

For down-and-out junk dealer Don (Franz), life goes from unlucky to unbearable when he discovers that the rare, buffalo head nickel he just sold for $90 is worth ten times as much! Refusing to let himself be out-swindled, Don enlists the help of a young protégé (Nelson) in a scheme to steal the coin back. But their plans are suddenly altered by the intrusion of Teach (Hoffman), a disturbingly aggresive would-be thief who badgers Don into cutting him in on the heist – a decision that carries explosive consequences for everyone involved.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

Story about three loser scam artists who plan to steal a coin collection.

This movie is not for everyone, and as I reflect, not for me either. Even if I hadn't already read on the dvd artwork I would have known quickly that this movie was based on a stage production play, in this case written by David Mamet. A cast of three with almost the entire 95 minutes taking place inside a junk store, it's one of those micro-managed films that plays like a hamster in his wheel, running endlessly but never getting anywhere.

The entire film is spent planning this daring heist and it never happens. I had a sneaky suspicion this might be the case but I was holding out, hoping it might. Bah!  :thumbdown:

Dustin Hoffman is good, the similarities between this role and Ratso Rizzo in Midnight cowboy are uncanny. Both are greasy, fast talking manipulators with major character flaws. Hoffman could always deliver colorful tirades among the best.

Dennis Franz, best known for his days on NYPD Blue plays the man with the plan but unwillingly lets Teach (Hoffman) in on the deal and things quickly fall apart. Franz is ok, but he doesn't exceed his limits which in movies is little more than a bit player.

If you are looking for action this is not for you. If you want to watch a dialogue driven study on human nature than give it a shot.

KC

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KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #592 on: December 15, 2010, 04:51:36 AM »
Windtalkers



Title:Windtalkers
Year: 2002
Director: John Woo
Rating: R
Length: 134 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1, Pan & Scan 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Nicolas Cage (1964)
Adam Beach
Peter Stormare
Noah Emmerich
Mark Ruffalo

Plot:
In the brutal World War II Battle of Saipan, Sergeant Joe Enders (Academy Award® winner* Nicolas Cage) guards – and ultimately befriends – Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach), a young Navajo trained in the one wartime code never broken by the enemy, the Navajo Code. But if Yahzee should fall into Japanese hands, how far will Enders go to save the military's most powerful secret? John Woo directs this "exciting" (Premiere) "against-all-odds battle adventure" (The Toronto Star) written by John Rice and Joe Batteer and inspired by the true story of the Navajo soldiers whose courage and sacrifices helped win the war in the Pacific.

*1995: Actor, Leaving Las Vegas

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Bonus Trailers
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

Bluray #2 : Windtalkers

Here's a question... Isn't Blu-ray supposed to be the superior format? I bought this bluray brand new and was stunned to find out there are absolutely ZERO special features on this disc. Nothing... not even the theatrical trailer. The only thing it does have is the Smart Menu Technology that allows you to access menu features without even leaving the movie. Great! Except the menu features lead you to no where.  :thumbdown: Blurays can hold between 25 - 40 GB of content. If you are going to hype that, use it! This is just pure laziness.  :redcard:

Onto the movie. True story about the Navajo Indians who were used as code talkers during the Pacific campaign in WWII. I like this war movie as it has more sustained battle sequences throughout than most war movies and yet still manages to tell a story along the way. It's intense, graphic and thrilling.

This was one of Nicolas Cage's better performances which recently seem to be on the decline. He embraces war as he has little or nothing else except the haunting memories of men and friends lost, in his mind because of his perceived failures. He later wins redemption though at the ultimate cost while protecting his Windtalker and friend despite his orders to protect the Code at all costs.

The last couple of Adam Beach movies I've watched (Flags Of Our Fathers and Nemesis Game) presented performances by him that left a lot to be desired. I was starting to lose faith in his ability but watching this again reminded me of how good he can really be.

As much as I despise the lack of content on this bluray the visual presentation itself was top notch whether I was watching the rocky deserts of Arizona or the lush tropics of Saipan. It could only look better if I were in those places for real.  :thumbup: Non stop action revealed a bit of motion blur which I'm going to have to resign myself to until I upgrade my TV once again.

I'm enjoying watching movies again in bluray as I likely would never get to review some of these movies otherwise given my eccentric movie watching practices.  :stars:

KC

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Offline Achim

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #593 on: December 15, 2010, 05:33:34 AM »
Here's a question... Isn't Blu-ray supposed to be the superior format? I bought this bluray brand new and was stunned to find out there are absolutely ZERO special features on this disc. Nothing... not even the theatrical trailer. The only thing it does have is the Smart Menu Technology that allows you to access menu features without even leaving the movie. Great! Except the menu features lead you to no where.  :thumbdown: Blurays can hold between 25 - 40 GB of content. If you are going to hype that, use it! This is just pure laziness.  :redcard:
I guess what adds insult to injury is, that the previous DVD release of this film actually had some extras! That is what bugs me the most of this kind of releases...

I have allowed myself to double-dip these (for films that are important ot me), since I would have the special features on the DVD, but if it's a first-buy, then I will refuse to buy such inferior products, trying to send a message to the studios.

Najemikon

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #594 on: December 16, 2010, 12:01:01 AM »
Being completely, brutally honest? A half-arsed blu-ray release for a half-arsed film. Sorry. :bag: I thought it was pretty awful.

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #595 on: December 16, 2010, 04:45:50 AM »
Being completely, brutally honest? A half-arsed blu-ray release for a half-arsed film. Sorry. :bag: I thought it was pretty awful.

Really... what about it did you dislike so much?

KinkyCyborg

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #596 on: December 16, 2010, 04:54:40 AM »
Changeling



Title:Changeling
Year: 2008
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rating: R
Length: 142 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Angelina Jolie
Gattlin Griffith
Michelle Gunn
Jan Devereaux
Erica Grant

Plot:
Clint Eastwood directs Oscar® winner† Angelina Jolie and Oscar® nominee‡ John Malkovich in a riveting and unforgettable true story.

Los Angeles, 1928. When single mother Christine Collins (Jolie) leaves for work, her son vanishes without a trace. Five months later, the police reunite mother and son; but he isn´t her boy. Driven by one woman´s relentless quest for the truth, the case exposes a world of corruption, captivates the public and changes Los Angeles forever.

This emotionally gripping story illustrates the profound power of a mother´s love in "a mesmerizing film that burns in the memory" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

†Angelina Jolie, Best Supporting Actress, 1999 Girl, Interrupted
‡John Malkovich, Best Supporting Actor, 1984 Places in the Heart, 1992 In the Line of Fire

Extras:
Scene Access
Featurettes

My Thoughts:

I was rather harsh on old Clint with my last review of one of his movies (Flags Of Our Fathers) but I think he'd like this one.

Stunning look at the corruption of the LAPD in the 20's-50's era entwined with the disappearance of a young boy. These true events not only uncovered a gruesome massacre of 20 young boys but also revealed truly despicable acts by a dirty, intimidating Los Angeles Police Department.

Great work by Angelina Jolie who forces you to concentrate on her performance as her sexuality is virtually stripped away in the fashion of a prim and proper lady of the 1920's. She's relatively quiet and reserved but fiercely determined to find her son, adamantly refusing to acknowledge the boy they brought back to her as her own child. Jolie embodies this woman, Christine Collins, perfectly.

The cinematography and finely detailed production designs are a marvel to look at, giving you the feel of life back in the roaring 20's. Eastwood tells this story in such a compelling way that despite the slow pace you are still on the edge of your seat. Nicely rounded cast to compliment Jolie including John Malkovich, Colm Feore, and Geoff Pierson from Dexter fame as attorney S.S. Hahn. His courtroom interrogations were masterful.

Something that I think is ofter overlooked when looking at Clint's resume is his composing skills. The entire musical score for Changeling was composed by Eastwood and it is great albeit somewhat similar in nature to some of his other films. It has an even flow to it and at times can be very haunting.

This one is highly recommended!

KC


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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #597 on: December 16, 2010, 06:05:22 AM »
I thought this one was very good too.  Given the subject matter, it isn't exactly fun to see, but it is very well done.  Eastwood really is a good director.

Critter

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #598 on: December 16, 2010, 09:02:19 AM »
This movie!!!!!!

I watched this film I think last year, and was actually depressed for about a month afterwards. As in, really depressed... because of this film! It haunted me, and while it was amazing, outstanding direction, brilliant acting (anyone who says Jolie can't act obviously just haven't seen her in the right things) but really, what a shocking film. This movie made me hate all police for a long time, not to mention almost all men as well until I slowly came back to reality. Such an awful, terrible, sad, depressing yet amazingly well done film.

Dr. Hasslein

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Re: KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010
« Reply #599 on: December 16, 2010, 09:11:26 AM »
Talk about police corruption! And I thought Sydney police were bad.  :laugh:

I thought it was an brilliantly directed film. I almost cried during one scene in particular.
Angelina Jolie is a very talented actress, it' just a shame there isn't much to like about her out of acting.