Marter's Reviews

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:50 am

Dammit, films these days are getting so indistinguishable.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:56 am

@Furburt wrote:Dammit, films these days are getting so indistinguishable.
I don't know what you're talking about.

Did you happen to notice that I initially posted the same review a second time?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:20 pm

...Maybe.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:14 am

The Painted Veil
W. Somerset Maugham is an author who I'll admit I've never heard of. I don't do much reading, particularly from older works of literature, and therefore have never read any of his novels. He wrote "The Painted Veil" in 1925, setting it during the time period in which it was written.

The Painted Veil has been adapted to film three times. The first was in 1934, and was titled "The Painted Veil" as well. This version didn't follow the novel all that closely, not even getting to the end of the novel's plot; it ended part-way through the story that the novel had. In 1957, the book was adapted again, this time with the film titled "The Seventh Sin". It starred Bill Travers and Eleanor Parker in the lead roles.

The third adaptation is the one I ended up watching, once again titled "The Painted Veil". This time, it stars Naomi Watts and Edward Norton in the title roles, and focuses on the relationship between the two. This is also different from the book, so I'm told anyway, as the character that Norton plays actually doesn't appear all that often in the novel. At least, he doesn't show up much after the pair go to China.

It's in China where the majority of the film takes place. Walter Fane (Norton) is a bacteriologist who needs to go to China to treat victims of a Cholera outbreak that has begun. He makes his wife, Kitty (Watts), come with him on the threat of divorce. See, earlier on, Kitty had an affair with another man, Charles Townspenny (Liev Schreiber), and this angered Walter. Divorce is apparently something that Kitty doesn't want, at least, not a public divorce, so she agrees to accompany her husband to China.

While in China, things start to go to wrong. Not just for the couple, but also for everything else in the backdrop. Cholera, as the film depicts, is something that you don't want to get. It's a painful infliction that will kill you due to dehydration after 36 hours, or so Dr. Fane tells us. At this point, I called out "ONE OF YOU WILL DIE BY THE END OF THIS MOVIE", or at least I would have had I not been so enthralled by the experience I was having.

Even though I felt the plot was predictable, or at least, I did at that point, I was immersed enough by the story to not want to say anything bad about it. This feeling stayed with me throughout the film, and also after I had finished watching it. A feeling I didn't realize I was feeling while watching it was one of connection to the characters, something that seems really strange to me.

See, usually when I'm watching a movie, I am able to discern whether or not I'm connecting with the characters. There are usually clear-cut reasons, one way or another, why this is. In The Painted Veil, I didn't realize how much emotion I felt for the characters until after it concluded. It hit me like a wave from the ocean following the end of the film, and that's something I didn't expect.

I think the reason for this was because of how conflicted I was when looking at each character. They're all flawed, greatly flawed, in fact, and this makes it hard for you to initially root for them. While they progress and overcome their flaws throughout the course of movie, your opinion on them will change, but not necessarily to one of respect or admiration.

It takes quite a while to re-build trust once it is broken, but not as long to forget things that have happened. This makes it an odd decision to have Kitty's indiscretion brought up once again near the end of film. I had almost forgotten--as had the characters--and then it is brought up again. It isn't addressed directly, I'll admit that, but it is brought up, and makes both characters feel awkward about it. This just felt odd to me.

There was one other thing that didn't feel right to me about The Painted Veil, and that was the way the actors communicated with each other. Don't get me wrong, each actor did a great job, but when they were communicating with one another, it didn't feel natural. Nobody seemed to have much chemistry with anyone else, which is even stranger when you consider that two of the actors, Watts and Shrieber, are engaged in real life.

But those two things, which aren't exactly something I would call "problems", are about the only faults I can find in The Painted Veil. The scenery of China is beautiful, and it is captured on film in a majestic fashion. The soundtrack is also worthy of praise, both setting the mood, while also being a beautiful thing to listen to.

By the end of The Painted Veil, I was thoroughly engrossed by the story. I ended up caring for the characters more than I thought I would and I became emotionally invested in the experience. And yes, I will call watching it an "experience", because that's what it is. It's wonderful film, and I highly recommend giving it a watch.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:18 am

In regards to your review of "Mean Girls", you should always keep in mind that Tina Fey is a robotic concubine that was constructed to suck Alec Baldwin's dick. I haven't seen the movie, but the portrayal of high school only makes sense if you keep in mind that it came from the mind of Tina Fey, the biggest shill/whore writer in the entertainment industry.

I really didn't have much of a reason to post this. Only to take shots at Tina Fey, because no deity has seen fit to have her trampled to death by hippos.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:37 am

Dead Herald LXI wrote:In regards to your review of "Mean Girls", you should always keep in mind that Tina Fey is a robotic concubine that was constructed to suck Alec Baldwin's dick. I haven't seen the movie, but the portrayal of high school only makes sense if you keep in mind that it came from the mind of Tina Fey, the biggest shill/whore writer in the entertainment industry.

I really didn't have much of a reason to post this. Only to take shots at Tina Fey, because no deity has seen fit to have her trampled to death by hippos.
I've only seen Mean Girls from her, and nothing else, but I'll take your word for it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:47 pm



Review this. IT'S ONLY 18 MINUTES

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:13 am

@Hubilub wrote:

Review this. IT'S ONLY 18 MINUTES

"There was a paper bag."

Good review, amirite?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:15 am

Atonement
No, no, no, no, no. I refuse to believe it. I can't believe it. People must have been lying to me. There is no possible way that Atonement should have gotten as much praise as it did. I can't see any brilliance here. This is a film that deserves to be absolutely destroyed critically, with absolutely no remorse for what I want to say about it.

So...why can't I think of anything bad to say about it? Why am I finding it hard to critique it? Well, the reason for this was because of how much I failed to care about it. Normally, even bad movies can provide some entertainment in one way or another. At least, if they're really bad, you can laugh at everything that's happening, and actually enjoy yourself. That doesn't happen with Atonement.

No, what happens is that you sit in front of the TV for a slight bit longer than 2 hours, and then you come away with nothing, except for a larger disdain for Keira Knightley than you already had. At least, that was my experience with it. Actually, that's not entirely true. When the film was over, and the credits finally began to roll, I was angry.

The reason I felt this was because there was one part of the film that I was enjoying. The second-to-last scene of Atonement was actually very good. I don't feel bad about spoiling it, because out of context, it won't make any sense. So, Vanessa Redgrave's character is talking to a reporter about a novel she's written. She claims that it'll be her last novel, because she is slowly dying due to dementia. She says it is an autobiographical novel, more or less retelling the events that we've seen within the film. I liked this part, because it had a good actor saying things that I felt were interesting.

Here is where I'll issue a *Spoiler Warning* here, because I'm going to give away the final plot twist of the film. It still won't make sense without having seen the movie first, but if you do choose to watch it, it might ruin your enjoyment of it. Skip the next paragraph if you don't want to find out.

Okay, so, Vanessa Redgrave tells us that a couple of earlier scenes didn't happen, and that two characters were actually dead. Effectively, this means that Atonement uses the "it was all a dream" cliché, albeit in a somewhat different way. It also means that there was no point to showing these scenes, and that they were shown just mislead the audience, so that this final reveal seems like a big twist. No it isn't! It's just a waste of my time! I liked listening to Vanessa Redgrave talk, and then the film pulls this on me. I was fuming.

I suppose having the film make me feel some emotion at the end was better than nothing, because for the previous 2 hours, I felt absolutely nothing. I thought that the film was trying to make me feel something--bad things happen, characters are deceitful, and there are reasons to feel emotional. Or, there would be, if you felt any relation with the characters.

Absolutely none of the characters warranted any sympathy from me. They are all flawed, yes, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, and can actually be very good, but in this case, the characters have no redeeming qualities to make up for this. A large portion of the story revolves around one character lying about something that she saw. This character already was annoying me, and then she does this out of seemingly pure anger at another character. This isn't an endearing character trait, and made me dislike her even if she is mistreated.

If the acting had been good, then maybe Atonement could have been saved. At least good acting is always something you can watch, even if the movie around it is terrible. This isn't the case here, because none of the acting is what I would deem "good". It isn't terrible, and some of the casting decisions, like the aforementioned Vanessa Redgrave were great choices, but the main cast just felt stale to me. The actors were dead-pan serious, despite not being able to pull it off.

I really didn't like Atonement. It was one of the more disappointing films that I've seen, and I didn't even know anything about it going in, meaning I didn't set my expectations very high. It was just a really poor film. The story was boring, the ending angered me, and the characters were dull and unlikable. Almost nothing of the film was of any worth, and save for the one scene that Vanessa Redgrave, I was completely bored while watching it.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:56 am

Disappoint

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:05 am

Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation is a film I am very confused about. I'm not quite sure what to think of it, and yet I have many different thoughts and opinions as to what I thought worked and what didn't. Unfortunately for me, and ultimately for you as well, being confused about a film doesn't allow for me to write a great review. Or at least, I don't think it does. For all I know, this'll work out really well.

The plot follows two people who are visiting Japan for very different reasons. One of them is Bill Murray, playing a failing actor named Bob Harris. He's in Japan so that he can make two million dollars just for shooting commercials advertising whisky. He's got a wife and a couple of kids back in America who miss him--he seems miserable in his own right. He's alone in a different county, where he doesn't understand the language, and doesn't know anybody.

Thankfully, while Bob is sitting at a bar, Scarlett Johansson's character, Charlotte, appears. After some time, they become friends. She's married to a photographer on assignment in Japan, and decided it would be fun to tag along. He leaves for a few days, allowing her to get closer to Bob Harris.

And that's just about all that happens; Bob and Charlotte do things together in Japan, things that normal tourists would do. They eat at different Japanese restaurants, go to various tourist locations, and most importantly, talk a lot. That's what they do the most of, meaning that their relationship feels natural and realistic, while we get to learn about each character in great depth.

If there is one great strength that Lost in Translation has, it's in the way it makes its characters relatable. Maybe not to everyone, as we've all had different experiences, but to the majority. Most of us have, at one point in time, felt incredibly alone in the world, just like Bob. Another large portion of the audience will also have felt unsure of what to do with their lives, just like Charlotte. And, the vast majority know what it's like to fall in love, just like both characters.

And even if you haven't had any of those experiences, I'm sure you can at least imagine what it would be like to be placed in that position. And, if you still can't do that, the characters are likable enough for you to empathize with them. This also happens due to how well both lead actors play their roles. Seriously though, the characters are what drive this film, as the story isn't all that interesting, and it isn't exactly something I would call "incredibly funny".

I mean, don't get me wrong, it has its moments when I was laughing, but these moments were too few for it to be called a great comedy. I mean, as a drama, it works fine, and should likely be judged as that, but I just didn't find it all that humorous. Although, if you look at it as a drama, that should mean that it should have a compelling story, which Lost in Translation does not possess.

The main plot of Lost in Translation is actually just a series of somewhat connected events that serve only to develop the characters. The narrative isn't something that makes you want to keep watching, because there isn't a whole lot of flow to it. At least, it didn't seem like it when watching it. We are given a sense of time, with Bob only staying for a week, but that's about it. Days just continue to go by, with characters living them about as normally as you would expect them to. There isn't much surprising about it, plot twists don't really exist, and the entire thing is wrapped up with an ambiguous ending.

I don't actually have a problem with ambiguity to end the film, and I especially don't when it leaves us wondering about the characters. That's what happens here. The ending doesn't bring much closure to the lives of the characters, but it doesn't have to. You can draw your own conclusions, and decide how it ends for yourself. In a film where the story isn't all that important, except to facilitate the meeting and development of the characters, this ending works, and in this case, works really well.

Lost in Translation didn't blow me away, but it did have some of the more relatable characters I've seen in a while. That's just about all that I saw that was worthy of great praise though. Well-developed, fleshed-out. and acted characters that appear in an uninteresting story. For a comedy, it wasn't that funny, but I do like to look at it more as a drama than anything else. The conclusion fit well though, and watching it isn't a total bore--just an unmemorable one.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:38 am

Valentine's Day
And here I thought that a movie that involved a rather large number of overarching storylines would be hard to follow and pay attention to. Turns out, it wasn't. After a while, you come to realize that there aren't as many characters as you thought, or at least, it didn't seem that way. We become familiar with most of them, so when they appear on-screen, it doesn't become a surprise after a certain amount of time has passed.

Now, I hate to sound like a contrarian here, but I enjoyed Valentine's Day. I've come to realize that I actually enjoy these kinds of movies, even if they are clichéd, predictable and poorly acted. I guess I just like laughing throughout a film, and still have it hopefully end happily. These types of films are good to watch in between the heavier dramas, while still giving you some of the humanity that you need in order to relate to them.

There are too many subplots and characters to realistically describe them all. The easiest way to do this would be to get you to think about almost any romantic comedy you can think of. Scrape that down to the most basic idea you can, removing all of the important plot elements and twists within it. That story is likely one of the many that take place during Valentine's Day.

I think, to describe the acting, I will just list actors who both did, or did not, do a good job, and then state why I believe this was. If an actor is not mentioned, then assume they were fine in their role. Topping off my "bad actors" list would be Jennifer Garner, and following her would be Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner. Garner is the biggest offender--she plays a bigger role than either Taylor, and therefore has more of an opportunity to fail--as she shows here that she doesn't understand how to time her lines in order to make the audience laugh. The Taylor couplet, playing young lovers within the film, doesn’t feel believable at all, and while their story is short and sweet, neither actor proves they belong in the film.

In terms of good acting, there isn't much to be had. The other characters all play their roles fine, for the most part, but there aren't any standout performances. The only lead character would be the one played by Ashton Kutcher, and he is the character that the film both opens and closes with. He is also one of the only characters who interacts with almost all of the other cast members, and, if you are playing "Six Degrees of Separation", he only has to go as far as the number 2 with every other star.

I think that if there is a problem with Valentine's Day, it would be how cluttered it is. Not in its plot, which, like I mentioned earlier isn't all that hard to keep track of. There are just too many subplots that have to be wrapped up, and some which just don't get the time they require in order to be fully fleshed out by film's end. Many of the stories felt like they were an abbreviated version of an actual romantic comedy, and since we only get a few minutes for it, it means that fleshing characters out is difficult.

Take, for example, the two plots involving high school students. One of them involves the couple (Emma Roberts and Carter Jenkins) wanting to have sex on February 14th. That's the entirety of their story. The other high school couple, the Taylors, choose to stay abstinent. That is also all that comes from their story. We get about 3 or 4 scenes with these characters, and that is all. It's not hard to keep track of, but it is hard to care.

The other problem that Valentine's Day has is that because it includes so many characters, it's difficult to keep track of their names. You'll recognize character by the face of the actor playing them, not by the character themselves. This both makes the film feel distant, and also means that discussing it after you watch it is difficult, especially if you don't know who some of the lesser-known actors are. It also, on occasion, makes you wonder for a second what is happening, because a couple of the male actors look similar enough to confuse for a moment.

There are some humorous moments in Valentine's Day, and I am incredibly thankful for that. It is a romantic comedy, after all. Had it not been funny, even if there are are only a few real "laugh out loud" moments, it would have failed. There are some moments where you will laugh, as well as be able to remember why you laughed. By that I mean these parts are memorable, and will likely stay with you for a short time afterwards.

If this is your kind of movie--a happy-go-lucky, all problems will probably be solved by the end, sometimes humorous romantic comedy, then Valentine's Day is a film you should probably watch. If it isn't, and these kinds of films bore you or make you angry, then stay away, far away. The ensemble cast doesn't get much development, or even character, but you do end up becoming familiar with them. It's not a great movie, but I enjoyed it a lot despite its flaws.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:39 am

Can you review something where more things explode?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:07 am

Dead Herald LXI wrote:Can you review something where more things explode?
I was doing a "Valentine's Week" thing, where I did "romantic" films for a straight week. It's now over, and after the next two reviews, I'll do a film which has explosions.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:10 am

Marter wrote:
Dead Herald LXI wrote:Can you review something where more things explode?
I was doing a "Valentine's Week" thing, where I did "romantic" films for a straight week. It's now over, and after the next two reviews, I'll do a film which has explosions.

I don't mind romance, it's just Hollywood kind of sucks at it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:11 am

Dead Herald LXI wrote:I don't mind romance, it's just Hollywood kind of sucks at it.
Kinda true. And there are a serious lack of explosions.

Although I enjoyed more than I disliked from this week.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:15 am

Cut it straight, doc - is Valentine's Day a rehash of Love Actually but not at christmas?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:36 am

@GrinningManiac wrote:Cut it straight, doc - is Valentine's Day a rehash of Love Actually but not at christmas?
I've never seen Love Actually, so I don't know.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:37 am

Don't. It's utterly insipid.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:09 am

Just Peck
If you decide to watch Just Peck, (and I recommend you do, it's fabulous), and expect a light-hearted comedy, you should probably switch it off at about the 1 hour mark. Yes, you will miss its conclusion, and yes, that will suck, but if you only want something that is easy to watch, then this isn't the movie for you.

The reason for this, is that around the aforementioned point in time, it takes a really, really dark turn. Now, I expected as much, there are little hints everywhere throughout the film, character quips and comments that might lead you to this conclusion, but I had no idea as to how much it would affect me emotionally. In hindsight, I probably should have recognized that it would, but that's the thing about hindsight--it's always 20-20.

The plot revolves around one 15-year-old named Michael Peck (Keir Gilchrist). He's not exactly what you would call "popular", and is in fact one of the lesser known people in the school. Even when he gets put into detention for trying some weed, the principal has to ask if he's a new student. He had never been in trouble before, mostly due to the fact that his parents more or less control his life, all the way down to what extra-curricular activities he partakes in.

Here is a child who has had little-to-no freedom for his entire life. He still gets everything picked out for him, and the day he finally is allowed to drink coffee is the biggest day of his life. His friend is a bit of a jerk, and they don't seem to be all that close. Although don't think that he's one of those "goodie-two-shoes" types of people, because he isn't. He--wait for it--skips school one day.

It's on this day when he and his friend, Geiger, come across to other students skipping school. They're girls, something that almost seems like a foreign concept for our characters. "I get the blonde", Peck says. They meet the girls, and manage to get a ride back to school with them. After arriving, they decide to smoke some weed, something else that seems like a foreign concept to Peck.

After this "experience", Peck and Geiger become closer to the two girls. One of them, Emily (Brie Larson), becomes much closer to Peck, even, at one point, asking him to come over to her house so they can get high once more. The only problem with this is that Emily and her friend are popular, while Peck and Geiger are not. So, yes, this is another story about class breaking in high school, and if you are already sick of that style of story, then you might just want to forget about Just Peck.

Or at least, that's what I was thinking near the beginning of the film. See, there were only two things that kept me watching in the first half of the film. The first was the subtle hints dropped about Emily's parents, and the second was the script. The writing was something that I came to adore by the end of the film. It did a decent job of capturing the high school experience from the view of a "loser" like Peck, (or at least, how I would imagine it would be like...), and it also did a good job of being constantly humorous.

While it was certainly tamer than high school actually is, I could see that they were trying to make the script edgy enough to make it seem like the children were rebellious. There were also some moments of brilliance, particularly when the characters were insulting third parties, seemingly coming up with said insults on the spot. Whether or not these scenes were improv is something I'll likely never find out, but if they were, good job actors!

You know, I thought I was going to get tired of Keir Gilchrist in the lead role. I think it has something to do with his voice, although I'm not exactly sure. Five minutes in, I was already ready and willing to bully him, just as the kids at American High were doing. He did manage to grow on me though, possibly because of good acting, but also because of good characterization. None of the acting was poor, with the school principal, played by Camryn Manheim, being the stand-out performance. And mention must be given to the turns provided by Alan Arkin and Marcia Cross, who play Mr. and Mrs. Peck. They provide a lot of laughs as the stern, overbearing parents.

Like I mentioned above, the characters were well-developed. Peck and Emily both got enough time to develop as a character, while also becoming characters that we will grow to care about. They each have problems, most of them stemming from their parents, and we get to learn, or infer, what these problems are and how each character deals with them. Some of them are heartbreaking, and ones that I could personally relate to--possibly being the reason I enjoyed this movie as much as I did.

It's still really unfortunate how misleading this movie is. The turn near the end was really dark, and hit me like a wall. Again, this could be just because of how well I could relate to the characters involved, but man, that was hard to watch. I'll admit, I shed more than a singular tear at this point, as I could really empathize with the characters. Up until that point, it was a fairly light-hearted comedy, but here it turned into a very serious drama. It was an odd turn, but one that I did end up appreciating, because it means that you do get some sort of emotional release, even if it isn't the kind you want.

One thing that I would like to point out is how American the film does feel. I mean, I'm not going to criticize it for this, because it doesn't get in the way of the overall product, but the Just Peck does feel like it's from the United States. The school is called "American High", the pledge of allegiance is done at least 3 times, and the American flag is shown prominently many times. I'm almost wondering if this, combined with the slightly over-the-top principal was used as a means of satirizing some part of American culture, which, I suppose could be true.

What I'm getting at here is that I really enjoyed Just Peck. It felt like an authentic high school story, the characters were deep and changed as the film progressed, the acting was solid, and the attempted humor succeeded in making me laugh. I had no idea I would grow as attached to the characters as I did though, meaning the unexpected dark turn in the story hit me like a brick wall. That's not necessarily bad, but if you go in expecting a light comedy, (I hope you don't now, otherwise I haven't done my job properly), you'll be greatly shocked by this turn. I would definitely recommend giving Just Peck a watch though--it's just too enjoyable to pass up.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Wayward on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:52 am

OMG I LOVE MARCIA CROSS!

ahem.

Your review inspired me to watch this movie (just now!) and I'm very glad I did. It struck me as a campy caricature of the American high-school experience. Very over-the-top, as you said, and also very enjoyable.
However, I felt like I was missing the "dark turn", as you put it, through most of the movie. Here I was, bracing myself for the likes of something that belongs in The Gory Thread, and then the movie started wrapping up and I was all, "Huh? Was it... Oh, that part? That was it?"
I'm glad I finally read your reviews because I never would have known about this movie otherwise. I had fun watching it. Now I have to read back through the rest of this thread to see what else I haven't seen that looks good.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:57 pm

@Wayward wrote:OMG I LOVE MARCIA CROSS!

ahem.

Your review inspired me to watch this movie (just now!) and I'm very glad I did. It struck me as a campy caricature of the American high-school experience. Very over-the-top, as you said, and also very enjoyable.
However, I felt like I was missing the "dark turn", as you put it, through most of the movie. Here I was, bracing myself for the likes of something that belongs in The Gory Thread, and then the movie started wrapping up and I was all, "Huh? Was it... Oh, that part? That was it?"
I'm glad I finally read your reviews because I never would have known about this movie otherwise. I had fun watching it. Now I have to read back through the rest of this thread to see what else I haven't seen that looks good.
cheers

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

I got someone to watch Just Peck. My life is now so much better! I'm glad you liked it.

As for the "dark twist"...well, it had me in tears, so I consider it "dark", especially in comparison to the rest of the movie. I'm sure a lot of people won't experience it in the same way, but I've gotta describe my own experience with the film, and, well, yeah....

Very glad that you watched it though. Just woke up, and my day is made!

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:30 am

The Big Hit
...

i reley dont wan to say this, but i have to now.
this movie is so boring. i mean, all they do is shoot the guns. thats it! how is this an comedy anyway? they cant contrail anything but where the bullets go! what if i didnt want the bad guy to die? what apout reolading? all you can do is shoot? there is no way they can lose to the boss at the end! this film is crap! its not even an comedy at all! i mean look at it! in what way is this supposed to be an comedy if you can shoot guns and stuff? all you do is press the triggar the entier time! explain to me! the athore reviews al totol lies! is it supposed to have no chartacer devepolmant? i dont even know how this damn movie got made, or a rating of 41%! (On Rotten Tomatoes).
pepole think this review is worthles.
go ahead! say it! i dont care! im just trying to make a point here!
blam this piece of crap!!!!

P.S the only reson im giving this a pass is beacuase the marky wallberg where pretty good. but thats it!"
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:56 pm

I see what you did there

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by ggggggggggg on Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:12 pm

Drinking and typing is dangerous.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:42 pm

Icy Lemon wrote:Drinking and typing is dangerous.
Joke missed?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by ggggggggggg on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:19 pm

Oh, I think I see it.

So you were just taking the piss out of some game review or something? At least that's what I think since you say trigger and reloading...

Or am I just missing something glaringly obvious here?


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:23 pm

Icy Lemon wrote:Oh, I think I see it.

So you were just taking the piss out of some game review or something? At least that's what I think since you say trigger and reloading...

Or am I just missing something glaringly obvious here?

I'll direct you to this:
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/495903

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by ggggggggggg on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:31 pm

Ah, all is clear now.



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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:44 am

Role Models
Somewhat attractive stars and a shockingly profane child do not make a good movie. Now, if I just made you want to watch Role Models, then have at it, as you'll probably enjoy it. On the other hand, if you are in agreement with that first sentence, then you will probably not want to waste your time with the film, and instead should go watch a better comedy. Preferably one that is actually funny.

Role Models is probably one of those movies that is very dividing with any potential audience it has. On one hand, it has shocking situations, strong language, often uttered by a child, and breasts. For some people, this will make them want to watch the movie more, but for others, it will turn them off, revolting them, especially when the situations aren't funny, the characters are meaningless and there is nothing that is fun about watching it.

That's not completely true. There are a couple of humorous points in the film, and the conclusion does have some tension and reward to it. The climax of the film takes place during a LARP (Live-Action Role Playing, for those unaware) battle royale, where one of the characters, an introverted nerd must overcome his adversary, the king, in a make-believe sword battle for the crown and--

Nah, I'm joking, it's just really, really silly. Which is too bad, because Christopher Mintz-Plasse definitely knows how to play a nerdy character well, and the finale could have meant a lot more than it inevitably ended up being. I mean, if I was given reason to care about him, or any of the other characters within the film, then maybe this "epic battle of the ages" might have been entertaining. But no, that didn't happen, and instead, I was wishing that the pretend swords were replaced with real ones, just so that characters would actually die.

I suppose I should mention what the actual plot is, not what happens during the climax of the film. Basically, two people do some stupid things, and they get sentenced to 150 hours of community service babysitting two kids. Paul Rudd looks after the already mentioned Mintz-Plasse, while Sean William Scott takes care of the profane child Bobb'e J. Thompson. The counselor of the nursery is Jane Lynch, who gets the funniest parts of the film.

Bobb'e J. Thompson's character Ronnie is a back-talking little brat, who doesn't listen to his "big brother", while Rudd and Mintz-Plasse get along fine. We initially hope that the first pair will become friends, but soon realize that they will, and that it doesn't honestly matter if they do or not. Once they do, their story arc doesn't have any humor to it, because the child not listening to his sitter was the only part that was funny about it, and removing that is like removing the strings from a guitar.

So, once that happens, the group kind of comes together, "funny" things still happen, and it is all to set up the epic battle that I alluded to earlier. That's about all there is here. Random events, poor subplots, and a fight scene that would only be funny and entertaining if real swords were used to decapitate the characters that we don't care about.

This is one of the biggest issues I have with Role Models. It tries to make us care for its characters, except that none of them warrant any affection. Maybe Jane Lynch's character, because she's apparently overcome alcoholism and drug addiction, but neither the two adults or the two children deserve to be adored by me. I don't even respect them, (they're constantly seen doing stupid things), so why should I care about them? That's right, no reason, except that the film tries to make them out to be "everyman"--people we are supposed to be able to relate to. Sorry guys, not feeling it.

My biggest complaint is the fact that I didn't find much of the film to be funny. Early on, yeah, there were some humorous moments. I didn't think it would get so boring later on, but it did. I kept hoping for things to take a comedic turn, but instead, the film insisted on staging random events that were neither funny nor entertaining. I was yawning constantly by the end of the film, and if I'm yawning more than I'm laughing, and in this case, a great deal more, then the film has not done its job.

"Trash" is just about the best word I can use to sum up Role Models. It just felt dirty to me, mostly stemming from the fact that most of its humor was derived from the profanity-laden child within it. I wasn't entertained, I wasn't laughing, and I ended up being sick of almost every character within it. If only there was a real sword battle, where if a character was hit, they'd actually lose a limb. That would've been cool.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:40 am

I thought it was alright, for one of those types of movies.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Dead Herald on Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:29 pm

Sounds like the kind of movie Rob Schneider would be in.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:55 pm

Antz
Antz is a film where you have to look past its problems, mostly the fact that it feels really dated, in order to see its true glory. Yes, it is a moderately enjoyable film, and is probably one of the best animated films that Dreamworks has ever made. It also feels very much like a 1998 film, in that its animations are sometimes lacking, and all of the CGI work feels incredibly dated.

What I mean by this is that technology has advanced quite far in the 13 years since this film has been released, and with the quality of the animations and the improvements in the CGI department, Antz just doesn't look and feel right any more. It's like going back and watching one of the first movies filmed in color. Of course it isn't going to have the same depth and range as films nowadays do, and you have to look past that and appreciate it for what it was.

What Antz used to be was one of the most advanced animated films at the time. It was also only the second one to be released in America, being preceded only by Toy Story. Talk about some big shoes to follow. What's surprising here is that Toy Story was released 3 years earlier than Antz, but actually holds up better in the animation category. Maybe this comes down to dedication, or possibly just better resources or more skilled people.

Anyway, Antz takes place in an ant colony, and primarily follows a single ant named Z (voiced by Woody Allen). Z is an individualistic ant, who is tired of doing things for other people. At the bar one night, he meets the colony's princess (Sharon Stone) in disguise, and the two get along well together. Unfortunately for him, she will never see him again, or so she says.

Eventually, in a crazy plan created just so that Z can meet her again, he switches places with a soldier ant (Sylvester Stallone). He believes he is only going to a pep rally for all of the soldiers, but in reality, he is going to war against a neighboring termite army. Z is the only one to survive, but ends up escaping the colony with princess in tow, in search of a place called "Insectopia". He is now a wanted fugitive, while she slowly befriends her captor.

And that's about where the actual story kicks off. There are some points early on about the benefits and drawbacks of both individualism and collectivism, a notion that kind of gets dropped mid-way through so that we can focus on the duo's attempts to find Insectopia. This part is interesting, because it actually feeds the mind. After it is dropped, things start to get boring, and this happens way faster than I thought it would.

I guess I just didn't care about random ants enough to care when two of them got separated from the group so that they could pursue their own little adventure. That has to be it, because not much else changed. Yes, the political ideology battle is removed, but the dialogue was still funny, and the characters were still the same. Just removing politics from the picture can't have been the reason, could it? I don't even like politics much!

Hmm...maybe it was the fact that, once anything that could challenge your way of thinking was removed, Antz suddenly felt like a movie aimed at children. This is what I'm going to go with, because it's the only thing that I can really come up with. The characters are solid, but they aren't deep. They each get a distinct personality, but not much else. The story is bare-bones, and nothing surprising ever occurs. It actually does feel like a film, after a certain point anyway, that is only really to be enjoyed by children.

This is a weird change, because there are some events earlier on that would never make it into a G-rated kids show. Things like mild profanity, or ants being melted or burned alive. Those types of things just aren't shown in films aimed at children, so including them seems like an odd choice to me. It's like Antz is trying to be edgy and cool, so that it'll appeal to an older crowd, but then it takes that away part way through. This makes no sense to me, because, by that point, none of the younger audience will still be watching--their parents won't have let them. Or maybe I'm just out of touch with what the under-6 crowd watches nowadays. Maybe people can, or at least, could, include such content and get away with it.

Near the beginning, I liked Antz. It was funny, charming, had a real edge to it, and also possessed some intellectual merit. Then, mid-way through, it took the final two parts of that away from me, and left only a film that seemed aimed at children. For an animated film to be a great success, you need to leave something in it for all audiences. If you do, the crowd can look past some dated animation in order to appreciate the film underneath. In this case, I couldn't.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:27 am

Ah, Antz. So much better than A Bugs Life.

Also, I was wondering how people would feel about a general review thread? Considering Marter's reviews are the only regular things here, it might make more sense to just have one big thread everyone posts their reviews on. I doubt it would get too crowded, as like I said, Marter's the only regular reviewer.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:32 am

But I like having my own thread... :p

And yeah, A Bug's Life sucks! Or, what little I can remember of it does.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:34 am

Well, the vast majority of the reviews would still be yours.

I could make you moderator of the review section, if that would be better.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:37 am

I suppose that would be true...there's been, what, 4 reviews from other people since I joined?

And, sure, I'll do that. Although, what do mods do here anyway?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:39 am

Edit each others post to make it look like we're gay, continually change the website banner, randomly censor words.

It's a tough duty.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:40 am

Sounds like fun. ^_^

Mod me! =D

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:07 am

I aspire to be a moderator one day, and through perseverance and hard work I shall reach my goal.

I'm sorry for wasting your internet with my drivel oh mighty moderation team please forgive me.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

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