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(no subject)

Final Fantasy- Advent Children (2006)
(voice) Acting: 2.5
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 3
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A direct sequil to the Final Fantasy VII video game; 3 lesser clones ov Sephiroth (the main villian from the game) attempt to bring him back by finding their genocidal "mother". The sulky hero Cloud opposes them.
Comments: This is a very simplified explaination ov the plot- it's actually very complicated, and I would imagine incredibly hard to follow if you don't have at least some idea ov what happened in the game. I thought it was ok (much, much better than the first Final Fantasy movie ("Spirits Within") which was awful), but didn't have enough with the other main protaganists from the game. The fight scenes go on too long, and my main issue with most ov these game movies (and action movies in general) is that nobody ever gets hurt! People fight for seemingly hours, beating the crap out ov each other, guns blazing, motorcycles careening, etc., but no one is ever hurt. Very unrealistic. And annoying.
So, over complicated plot, kinda bad voice acting, ridiculous fight scenes that go on too long where nobody gets hurt, and not enough ov the cooler characters from the game- yeah, I guess it's not too good. But much better than the last one, so it seems better than it actually is.
chim

(no subject)

Silent Hill (2006)
Acting: 3.5
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 4
Entertainment value: 3.5
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A little girl named Sharon keeps sleepwalking, and having dreams about a town called "Silent Hill". Her mother locates the town (which is deserted and filled with scandal and controversy) and takes her there. After Sharon gets lost, her mother begins an unescapable descent into a nightmare.
Comments: This movie is based on the first "Silent Hill" video game (with some characters from the second one), which was about as close to participating in a virtual nightmare as you can get. The movie follows the game very closely (some scenes look like they came directly from game screen shots) until about halfway through, then kinda branches out on it's own (and becomes closer to "Hellraiser" territory). I kinda wish they had kept more ov the game plot to the end, with the doctor and all that stuff, but this was ok. I don't know how much people who haven't played the game will like the movie- it's definitely a style over substance thing (like a video game), with characters doing things that people would never do, but that happens in nightmares so it's ok in this movie's case. The atmosphere is so thick and creepy, and the imagery as well, I liked it a lot. Probably one ov the only video game movies I've ever seen that I actually can say I liked a lot.



Slither (2006)
Acting: 3.5
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 4
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A small town man is infected by an alien insect and begins transforming into a monster; meanwhile his sapwn are turning the town into a bunch ov zombies.
Comments: I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It makes me think quite a bit ov a lot ov those mid-80s splatterpunk gore/ comedies like "The Return of the Living Dead" and "Re-Animator", crossed with a bit ov "Society" and "Brain Damage". It's ahrd to mix horror and comedy- it fails more than it succeeds, but I think this one works. There are a lot ov horror movie tributes and homages, starting with "The Blob" and going right through several ov the above mentioned movies. Nathan Fillion has great comic timing, and I'll be watching his career- hopefully he'll get better and better parts. Michael Rooker ("Henry- Portrait of a Serial Killer", "Mallrats") does very well as well.
chim

(no subject)

Stay Alive (2006)
Acting: 2.5
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 2.5
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A new video game is imbibed with the essence ov Countess Bathory, who is trying to return to life by killing as many people as possible (and if you die in the game, you die the same way in real life).
Comments: This movie barely met the basic requirements for entertaining me for 85 minutes. I always say I'm not going to any more PG-13 horror movies, then for some reason I go see one every once in awhile. Nothing spectacular or paticularly interesting happens, but some people (tho not enough) get killed, so that counts for something.


V For Vendetta (2006)
Acting: 3.5
Plot: 3.5
Cinamatography: 3.5
Entertainment value: 3
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A freedom fighter rescues a young woman from a fascistic government in a futuristic London, while trying to topple that same government through terroristic actions.
Comments: This is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, who's other comics that were made into movies (such as "The Swamp Thing" and "League of Extrordinary Gentlemen") were not done very well. This one is quite a bit better than those, however it's still not up to the level ov the book. A lot ov people seem to have a problem with making the main character a 'terrorist' (as in he blows stuff up and kills to make his points and try to topple the oppressive government), but to me it's really not that much different than something like "Star Wars" (except a lot more people were killed in that). Both movies ended with something big being blown up, but I guess the building in "V For Vendetta" hits a bit closer to home than the Death Star.
All the actors do well (though John hurt borders a bit on overacting), and tho it's just a little too talky in places, it keeps a decent balance for the most part.


The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Acting: 3
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 3
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: An average all-American family on a cross country road trip runs afoul ov a gang ov mutated cannibalistic creeps in the desert.
Comments: I've had it with remakes. Everybody said this one would be different, because Wes Craven (who wrote/ directed the original) produced it, and Alexandre Aja (who did the bloody but mediocre "High Tension") directed it.
The original has never been a fav ov mine, so I wasn't as against this remake as I have been about some others, but it still wasn't very good. It definitely wsn't horrible,and could have been worse, but I want something spectacular, not tepid. There were so many missed chances for greatness, it's really a shame. It was an ok movie, but overall fairly forgettable.
chim

news

Two bits ov news for Stephen King fans...
His short story 1408 about a paranormal phenomina debunker who spends a night in a haunted hotel room now has a director and a star. John Cusack is to play the debunker, and Mikael Hafstrom's set to direct.
In even more exciting news, Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) is going to direct The Cell, which is my second fav Stephen King book ever...
chim

(no subject)

Ultraviolet (2006)
Acting: 2
Plot: 2.5
Cinematography: 2.5
Entertainment value: 2.5
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A new blood born disease that turns people into vampires has ravaged the Earth. The government has waged war on them.
Comments: This movie is dumb. Almost nothing that happens in it makes any sense. It also looks about as close to actually watching a video game as you can possibly get (if the main character had used a cheat code to be invunerable and have unlimited ammo). Somehow, instaed ov going straight to video, it went to theaters (probably because ov Milla Jovovich's participation. I like her, but this movie blows). Avoid it.
chim

(no subject)

Dungeons & Dragons- Wrath of the Dragon God (2006)
Acting: 3
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 2.5
Entertainment value: 3
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: Five heroes set out on a quest to sieze a magic orb from an undead wizard and defeat an evil dragon.
Comments: This movie didn't have near as much money or as many actors that I like in it as the first one (Dungeons & Dragons- 2000), but it was actually a little better (tho that's not saying much). It's main downfall is indeed lack ov money, and it shows. The actors are all decent (with only one returning from the first movie) and likeable, and the adventure is fairly entertaining- let's face it, I really wasn't expecting much at all (I believe what I said when I rented it was "There's no way this can be any good, but I'm gonna check it out anyway) so it was a lot better than I thought it would be. It's gone straight to video, but it's worth a rental if you like fantasy or D & D, because it's obviously done by people who care about the game. With a little more time and money, I think it could have been above average. As it is, it definitely could have been much worse.
chim

(no subject)

Final Destination 3 (2006)
Acting: 2.5
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 3
Summary: After a girl has a premonition ov her coming death aboard a roller coaster at her high school's pre-graduation party, her and 6 classmates get off the ride before it crashes, killing everyone aboard. Death begins taking them in the order they were supposed die on the roller coaster in increasingly intricate ways.
Comments: Basically, if you liked the other two Final Destinations, you'll probably like this one. It adds the gimmick ov having the photographs taken ov the future victims show clues as to how they are going to die, but other than that it's more ov the same. The characters are ridiculously stereotypical and stupid, but that doesn't matter as much in a movie like this as long as they get chopped up or disemboweled or whatever before they become too annoying. I had read that this one wasn't going to be as gory, and more suspensful than the last two, but it seemed pretty gory to me (which is good). My fav death is the nail gun one, but they are (mostly) all pretty interesting, and it actually was a little suspensful in a couple ov places.
Nice to see they brought Tony Todd back in an uncredited cameo (well, his voice anyway).
chim

(no subject)

Hostel (2006)
Acting: 3
Plot: 3.5
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 4
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: 3 friends travel Europe looking for adventure and sex, and happen upon a hostel famed for it's loose women. This turns out to be true, however it also turns out to be a cover for something far more sinister...
Comments: The plot for this movie is very simple, but done well and it entertained me. It is very cartoonish in places- the story and gore (although some ov the gore is pretty realistic), which might put some people off, but it didn't bother me. It isn't as silly as director Eli Roth's other movie ("Cabin Fever"), and I liked it better. The first half ov it is almost like an '80s teen sex comedy- like "Porky's" or "American Pie" or something (but with even more nudity). Then it gets pretty violent and gory. Overall a pretty damn entertaining movie.
chim

news

Tim Burton's new movie "Believe It Or Not!" will be a bioptic on Robert Ripley, the famous collector ov oddities. It's scripted by "Ed Wood"'s Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, and will star Jim Carey!
chim

King Kong VS. Godzilla

King Kong (2005)
Acting: 4
Plot: 2 1/2
Cinematography: 3 1/2
Entertainment value: 3
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: A rogue movie production crew journey to an undiscovered island, where they encounter many creatures thought to be extinct or nonexistant, most notably a giant gorilla the natives call Kong.
Comments: I really, really wanted to like this movie. But it just had so much stupid stuff, that it kept pulling me out ov the fantasy! I kept going "What the hell? That's just stupid!". Almost no person or animal acts in any way realistic (with the exception ov Kong himself)! Award winning director Peter Jackson has been bad about having stupid things happen in his movies so that the story can move forward to a predetermined arch on several occasions (most notably in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"), but he does it the worst in this movie. And it's annoying that all these movie critics who'll go on and on about how stupid the characters act in a low budget horror movie will ignore the fact that every character in this movie acts even more stupid, because it's done by an academy award winnier and has academy award winning actors in it. That's the bad.
The good is Kong himself. He is awesome! All the acting is top notch in this. I've always considered Naomi Watts to be pretty boring, but she is very good in this. I've never liked Jack Black, but he wasn't too annoying in this either. Still, Kong is the stand out.
I bet most people won't be as annoyed as me at the large amount ov stupid stuff in this, but I just kan't help it.


Godzilla: Final Wars (2005)
Acting: 2
Plot: 3
Cinematography: 3
Entertainment value: 4
(ratings: 0 = absolutely terrible in every way; 1 = bad; 2 = below average; 3 = average; 4 = above average; 5 = good; 6 = excellent; 7 = perfect! couldn't be better)
Summary: Godzilla has finally been defeated and put on ice for several years, when most ov the other monsters begin attacking cities around the world. A monster-fighting task force, comprised mostly ov superhuman 'mutants', is having trouble fighting them off when a friendly race ov aliens vanquishes them for humanity. All is not well, however, when the aliens turn out to be evil and again set the monsters on the world. Humanity's only hope is to thaw out Godzilla to fight off the other monsters.
Comments: This movie is like a cross between "Destroy All Monsters", "The Matrix", anime, and several other sci-fi movies. Tons ov kung fu, monster fu, wire fu, motorcycle fu, and most any other fu you can think ov. Almost constant action, with mutants vs. aliens, humans vs aliens, humans vs mutants, mutants vs monsters, monsters vs monsters, mutants vs mutants, etc. etc. It's almost like a live action anime in places. All the anime cliches are there- the special mutant, the American gruff general (it's always humorous to see Americans through the Japanese eyes), the little kid who befriends a monster, etc. Almost all the classic Godzilla monsters are in this (except for some reason Megalon, Mecha-Godzilla, and a couple others). I enjoyed it (tho I wanted a little more monster fighting, and a little less human, alien and mutant fighting).