Author Topic: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)  (Read 5242 times)

Offline Blair

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My ratings will likely be grossly skewed from what others think about the same movies... but so what? They are my reviews, so get over it! :P

Ratings are on a 10-point scale:





Reviews so far:
   Avatar: The Last Airbender
   Stargate
   The Prince of Egypt
   Contact




« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 04:32:24 AM by Blair »
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Offline Blair

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 11:44:56 PM »
Not the movie, but it was my first review:


Avatar: The Last Airbender (complete series review)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 11:46:27 PM by Blair »
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Critter

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 11:58:51 PM »
I love that rating bar  :thumbup:

Offline Blair

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2010, 12:05:35 AM »
Stargate

Tagline: It will take you a million light years from home. But will it bring you back?




Film Details
    Rating: PG-13
    Length: 120 minutes
    Year: 1994

    Director: Roland Emmerich

Main Cast
    Kurt Russell as Colonel Jack O'Neil
    James Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson
    Jaye Davidson as Ra
    Erick Avari as Kasuf
    Alexis Cruz as Skaara
    Mili Avital as Sha'uri
    John Diehl as Lt. Col. Charles Kawalsky
    French Stewart as Tech. Sgt. Louis Feretti
    Viveca Lindfors as Dr. Catherine Langford


Synopsis
Daniel Jackson, a professor of linguistics and Egyptology who has been scorned by his fellow researchers for his radical theories concerning the history and timeline of ancient Egypt, is hired for what initially appears to be a simple job of translating hieroglyphs. Much to his surprise, the results of this work will send him through a portal to a planet on the other side of the universe where Egyptian culture still thrives.

Both immersed and trapped on the ancient-yet-new world and accompanied by a military team, they must search for a symbolic key for opening the gateway to home while escaping the wrath of an Egyptian Godlike alien, known as Ra.


My Thoughts
While traveling to an alien world or having them visit Earth is a concept as old as Egyptian hieroglyphics themselves, I found the unique approach in this film quite refreshing. In other science-fiction films and television episodes, the typical approaches present either beings who can come and go as they please or Eathlings trapped on an alien world spending their days searching for the way home.

Rather than searching for the doorway, in this film the doorway is right in front of them. It is a door that cannot be broken through by force nor bypassed via an alternate entry. Solving the combination lock, as it were, becomes the challenge.


Although splashed with violence, the lighthearted nature of the rest of the film makes it suitable for a wider range of audiences. This is accompanied by what I consider to be a well-placed mixture of dry dialog, both dumbed down and embellished situational comedy, and simple pleasures that happen to fit within a collage of my favorite genres.

Speaking of which, this film is one of my simple pleasures.


My Rating:
    
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 07:43:15 AM by Blair »
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hal9g

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2010, 01:08:51 AM »
This movie started me down a path that continues today!   :thumbup:

I've probably watched this at least a dozen times.  It's one of those movies that when I'm channel surfing, if I run across it, I stop and watch it to the end...nuts, huh?

The original can never be re-captured, but I've enjoyed every TV series that has followed.

Offline Blair

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 02:47:39 AM »
I love that rating bar  :thumbup:
Thank ya :)

It took me longer to design a color palate that I was happy with than to design and create the images themselves. How sad is that? :laugh:


(Actually, the only reason the palate it took so long is, when I design something, I do my best to make it both red-green and full color-blind friendly. This set of colors was a nightmare.)
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Najemikon

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 09:09:15 PM »
My ratings will likely be grossly skewed from what others think about the same movies... but so what? They are my reviews, so get over it! :P

And so soon!  :tease: Stargate? Please. I thought I liked it, but when I saw it relatively recently it just didn't hold up...

Offline Blair

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 10:13:35 PM »
 :tease: It was actually because I read your negative review on that film, Jon, that I added that statement (though it wasn't why I picked it as my first film to review).

It's one of the few that I watch at least once a year.
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Najemikon

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 10:28:39 PM »
Then my work here is worth it, sir.  Even if you are extremely wrong! I mean... 10? That's at least seven more than it deserves... ;)

Offline Kathy

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 10:52:40 PM »
Sorry Jon, I'm with Blair on this one.  :tomato:

I'm going to have to watch his again - I haven't seen it in a while. I loved this movie when I first saw it and my pleasure didn't diminish with subsequent viewings.

I haven't seen the TV series based on this film so I don't know how they compare.

Najemikon

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 11:19:33 PM »
I haven't seen the TV series based on this film so I don't know how they compare.

They took the films plot and did it properly...  ;) It seems amongst fans of the show that the film has been left behind. The further the better! :laugh: Nah, it's ok, really.

Offline Blair

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Re: Blair's topic for reviewing . . . . wait for it . . . . . MOVIES! (duh)
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 10:31:02 PM »
Well, I do have difficultly rating movies in some ways. I have a set of movies that I enjoy more than any others. Stargate is among them. Why? I can't really say exactly; I just love it.

But in general, I also rate based on some specifics. Action and sci-fi that I enjoy are likely to get much higher ratings than comedies that I enjoy just as much because, even though I enjoyed the content at the same level, the sci-fi films draw me into the experience much deeper; I can listen to a comedy in the background and still laugh but can't enjoy a sci-fi movie in the same way.

I'm also likely to give animated films extra points as well simply due to my love for animation. Then, there are only "10 stars" and if I enjoy the movie enough to watch it again (which is the case for almost every one of my DVDs else I wouldn't have wanted them in the first place), I am likely to give it at least 6 stars (above half way) which doesn't leave much room for a variety of ratings. Another issue deals with sequels. For instance, I absolutely loved the first Toy Story movie by Pixar, but I loved Toy Story 2 more, and then Toy Story 3 even more than that. So my only options if I had originally given a 10-star rating to the first film are:

1) Drop the rating of the first film to 8 stars and the second movie to 9 stars so that the third can have a rating higher than the first two. However, it then looks as if I only liked the first movie as much as other movies with an 8-star rating, which isn't the case... I enjoyed it more than them).

2) Keep the rating the same which makes it look like I enjoy them equally, which isn't the case.


There's no way I can rate effectively with only 10 stars (well, only 5 for the movies I enjoy), but I don't want to get into a 100-star rating system.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 10:35:02 PM by Blair »
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Offline Blair

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The Prince of Egypt

Tagline: Two brothers united by friendship divided by destiny.




Film Details
    Rating: PG
    Runtime: 99 minutes
    Year: 1998

    Directors:
          Brenda Chapman
          Steve Hickner
          Simon Wells

Main Cast
    Val Kilmer as Moses
    Ralph Fiennes as Rameses
    Michelle Pfeiffer as Tzipporah
    Sandra Bullock as Miriam
    Jeff Goldblum as Aaron
    Danny Glover as Jethro
    Patrick Stewart as Seti I
    Helen Mirren as The Queen
    Steve Martin as Hotep
    Martin Short as Huy


Synopsis
Following the Biblical story, the life of Moses is laid out from his birth as a Hebrew and fated adoption by the Egyptian Pharoh, to his abandonment of that life of luxury in order to come full circle and save his people of birth from slavery.


My Thoughts
Often when you say that a movie is a "story from The Bible" you have non-religious people running away cringing. So, to make said events not only approval-worthy in the eyes of many religious followers but captivating enough for those who doubt said events to watch is quite a feat. This film does just that. [bonus points]

While not fully accurate to the written accounts of the events in the Hebrew Bible, as a man of religious faith I believe that the creative licensing taken was enough to help the story flow better while not trampling on the core beliefs. [more bonus points] A preface in the film even mentions this for early clarification. As an example within the film, Aaron, the blood brother of Moses, was a slave without hope alongside their hopeful sister (also a slave) throughout the movie. In the writings of The Bible, however, he aided Moses in their quest, often as the more communicative of the two. By putting all events on a single man's shoulders in the film, I feel it made the journey feel that much more difficult and focused the storytelling more.

With an all-star cast of voices driving the story, the animation is top-notch, in my opinion trumping many Disney films despite their decades of reputation against DreamWorks' newness to the field. (The Prince of Egypt, produced simultaneously with Antz, were jointly the company's first full-length feature films.) Though the film uses GC animation for some of the most complicated shots such as a moving crowd of thousands, the majority of the film was created with traditional cell animation. The beauty of parting of the Red Sea has also become an iconic piece of artistry. [even more bonus points]

The orchestration of the film (which I was surprised to hear so much of) was also very pleasing. I note my amazement in learning that Ofra Haza, who marvelously sung the opening number for the film, did so in 17 of the film's released languages! On a sad note, she died barely a year after the film's release.


In the end, I feel that it was a brave project choice for DreamWorks to take on, and it paid off in spades.


My Rating:
    
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 06:34:39 AM by Blair »
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Offline Blair

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(Yes, I know, another "perfect rating."  But if I didn't like a film, giving it a lower rating, I wouldn't care to review it either.)
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Offline Blair

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Contact

Tagline: If it's just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.




Film Details
    Rating: PG
    Runtime: 150 minutes
    Year: 1997

    Director: Robert Zemeckis

Main Cast
    Jodie Foster as Eleanor Arroway
    Matthew McConaughey as Palmer Joss
    Tom Skerritt as David Drumlin
    William Fichtner as Kent
    James Woods as Michael Kitz
    John Hurt as S.R. Hadden
    Angela Bassett as Rachel Constantine
    Geoffrey Blake as Fisher
    Jena Malone as Young Ellie
    David Morse as Ted Arroway


Synopsis
The character of Eleanor Arroway is driven by scientific discovery, particularly in the field of astronomy. Struggling against overwhelming criticism, she hopes to prove the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. On her side -- through affection yet compassion -- is Palmer Joss, a man who holds a firm belief in God expressing it through a gentle voice. When a signal from space is picked up by Arroway, new battles between her and those with their own agendas begin, putting both science and faith through a test of truth.


My Thoughts
This movie does an excellent job of portraying many aspects of the human condition: faith, depression, self-centeredness, determination, and bliss to name a few. While not all of the acting was too my liking, two key antagonists -- played by Tom Skerritt and James Woods -- expertly performed their parts making me wish I could jump through the screen and punch them. The musical score, while effectively adequate, was nothing too special... but it didn't need to be. The effects ranged from subtle yet interesting to realistic enough to not seem like effects at all.

The film as a whole is a true roller-coaster ride of highs, lows, and unexpected twists worthy of a viewing by anyone who has ever searched for their own answers to the question, "Are we alone in the universe?"


I end with a favorite set of lines which, to me, summaries the essence of the story. Ellie and Palmer debate their opposing views on the existence (or non-existence) of God:
    Palmer: I couldn't imagine living in a world where God didn't exist.
    Ellie: How do you know you're not deluding yourself? I mean, for me... I need proof.
    Palmer: Proof. Did you love your father?  (Her father has been deceased since she was a child)
    Ellie: Yes, very much.
    Palmer: Prove it.


My Rating:
    
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 06:37:21 AM by Blair »
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