Marter's Reviews

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:38 am

Punisher: War Zone
Although 2004's The Punisher wasn't all that good, it still made enough money to warrant a sequel. It didn't end up with one though, because both the first film's director and lead actor pulled out of the project, citing creative differences as their reason. But, since the franchise made money in the past, a reboot was decided upon instead. What a good decision this was, even if not many people went to see it.

Punisher: War Zone re-imagines Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson takes the lead in this go-round) as someone who goes around and kills criminals. He lost his family during a mobster massacre, but somehow survived. Possibly because he can't be killed, as we learn throughout the film. He begins the film taking out a bunch of criminals, with one of them being an undercover police officer. This upsets him, because he promised that he would only ever kill bad guys.

So he wants to give up the "Punisher" persona, but after learning that the wife and child of the dead officer is in danger, he decides to go just one more time. One of the people who he thought he killed in the initial raid managed to live, but since he lost all of his skin in a brutal "killing", he was stitched back together and looks like the Frankenstein Monster. He now goes by the name of "Jigsaw" (Dominic West), and he is the one wanting revenge on both the dead cop's family, and on Castle. He frees his mentally unstable brother from a mental asylum and gathers an army to take down all of those who "wronged him".

This is how the main plot of the film sets up, although it's mostly there just to give Castle a reason to once again put on body armor, wield a bunch of guns and kill a lot of people. At that, the plot succeeds, even if there are some moments that don't quite make sense. There's some sort of deal that is planned involving Jigsaw and some Russians, but it serves very little purpose, except to give Jigsaw and his brother leverage over the police. Somehow. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but I ran with it because of how much fun I was having otherwise.

One of the other reasons that Thomas Jane, the star of the previous film, didn't come back for a sequel was because of a lower budget than he felt was required. War Zone actually got $2 million more than the $33 million that the first film was given, but he still felt that wasn't enough. If the tone of the previous film was kept, I would have agreed with that sentiment. For how much action that goes on in this film, if they wanted it to be dark and gritty like the previous film, they would have needed much more money than that.

But that's not what happened. Instead of keeping things gloomy, War Zone decided that an action film should be fun. It went with a B-movie approach, with over-the-top action scenes, and some rather poor special effects. But it works because of how crazy everything is, how well-paced the film is, and because there is always something to look at.

The B-movie level visuals do pose a problem though. Whenever someone suffers damage to the head, their body completely stops moving, even if their momentum, or the momentum of whatever hits them, would knock them over. But instead, their body goes completely rigid for a couple of seconds, and then their body falls over. It feels really unnatural, and makes you remember that this isn't a wonderfully made film. $33 million is still more money than a lot of more professional-looking movies were given, and they don't suffer from this problem. But this is a small gripe among a sea of things to like, so it isn't that important.

I mentioned earlier that it seemed that this imagination of Frank Castle was unkillable. It seemed that director Lexi Alexander was aware of this, and decided to make the potential victims the dead police officer's wife and child. That's where any real tension comes from -- when the criminals go after these two characters. We don't care much about Frank Castle, because we don't view him as vulnerable. But a helpless woman and child, they can be tortured and killed. This was a brilliant move, because it means that there are more grounded characters for us to relate to, while still having a killing machine for us to have fun watching.

This film is also much better paced than the previous film, because it doesn't stop to have extended dialogue scenes. It's more or less a film that has action after action scene, and it keeps us entertained as a result. The story itself is dark like the last Punisher film, but since the characters aren't as glum and there are actually some humorous moments scattered throughout, you can actually sit back and enjoy the vast majority of this film, as long as you don't mind B-movies.

Punisher: War Zone is a really fun movie. It's not much more than that; there's nothing intellectually stimulating or a deeper message than "crime is bad", but it's really enjoyable to watch. Since it doesn't take itself too seriously, the audience can have a good time while watching it. It's not a perfect movie, and if you aren't a fan of the action and special effects in B-movies, but if you can tolerate or appreciate a somewhat cheesy and campy action film, then you'll probably have a good time with Punisher: War Zone.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:26 pm

MARTER

REVIEW LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Alkaline on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:30 pm

Warmaster Xandus wrote:MARTER

VIEW LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

THIS.

Plus Snatch and Layer Cake.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:57 am

Traitor
Traitor is a film where the plot is less important than the actors involved in its creation. In this case, two great actors, Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce, get to play a game of chase, with Cheadle being a step or two ahead of Pearce for the majority of the film. Cheadle plays Samir, a man whose father was killed in a car bombing at the start of the film, although this scene is largely unrelated to the majority of the film.

Regardless, we see his father die, and so does a young Samir. He grows up to become an arms dealer for a bunch of Muslims. But during one of his deals, there is a raid and he is thrown in a Yemen prison -- something you don't want to have happen. Supposedly, you don't get to leave a Yemen prison once you enter. Bring in Guy Pearce, as FBI Agent Roy Clayton, who offers Samir an escape; he just has to disclose where the weapons came from, and where they are headed. Samir says nothing, and is locked away for good.

However, it's doubtful that a good movie would be made if our character had to stay in prison the entire time, (don't get me wrong, prison dramas can be good, but this is not a prison drama), so he and his new friend Omar (Saïd Taghmaoui) manage to escape and relocate. It's here when the film actually picks up. Before this escape, Samir was only supplying terrorists with weapons. Afterward, he's actively involved in using them. He doesn't seem to like doing this, but he does anyway. Why? Well, it's explained later on, but that would be spoiling what I believe is supposed to be a big revelation.

There's one other big surprise that comes around later in the film, and it's probably the best part of Traitor. Suffice to say that a suicide bombing doesn't quite go as planned, and it's all thanks to one person changing up what was supposed to happen. It's very surprising when it happens, and I was actually shocked by it. I wasn't surprised to learn the motivation of our protagonist, Samir, because it's both hinted about earlier, and not all that big of a surprise to begin with.

Among all of the things that happen is a bunch of double-crossing and conspiracy that doesn't always involve our main character. Usually it does, admittedly, but there are times when side-characters -- and only side-characters -- are used for this. The strength of the story comes from us not ever quite being sure who to trust, and why they're acting the way they happen to be at the moment. After Samir kills 8 people in a bombing, he flinches like he's disgusted with himself, but quickly states that he had hoped it would be more.

Traitor only really works when one of the three characters I've already mentioned appear on-screen, and only works all the time when Cheadle is there. Guy Pearce and Saïd Taghmaoui are both good actors, and the latter gets an interesting character, but neither characters are rich enough to carry the film. We've seen these kinds of characters before, especially when it comes to the FBI Agent character, and although Pearce plays his character well, he can't stop it from seeming clichéd.

The most interesting thing about Traitor comes from the way that the terrorist organization that Samir becomes involved in is organized. These people are clever, they plan, and they make sure that everything will go properly before they do anything. It's a good approach to showcase the group, even if their actions should be judged as horrific to the viewers. But they don't come across that way because of how good a job director Jeffrey Nachmanoff does of letting us view how they operate and what they believe they are fighting for.

Sadly, the story doesn't stay engaging the entire way through, meaning I lost interest about an hour into the film. Not enough to want to turn it off, because I was still enjoying watching these actors work, but I stopped caring and paying attention to the overall plot. I continued watching solely out of respect for the actors, and just to get a conclusion at the end. After you've invested an hour into something, if it's only mediocre, but not terrible, you want to see it through to the end. That's what happened here with me, which is a shame because there's a lot more that could have been done with this premise.

I suppose the main reason I stopped caring was because I had figured out what Samir's true intentions were far before the film told me. In fact, you may have guessed it just by reading this review, and for that, I'm sorry. But if you have guessed it, and are very sure in your assumption, then you have no real reason to watch Traitor, unless you want to know what the other surprise is near the film's conclusion. But I don't think that's worth almost two hours of your life.

Traitor is a film that's not bad, but just average. Apart from its actors and the depth given to the terrorist group featured within, there's nothing special and nothing worth seeing. The story loses steam mid-way through, and the only reason I wanted to keep watching was the obligation I felt not only to the actors, but to myself -- I needed to find out how it ended. But it wasn't worth my time, and I don't think it's worth yours either. It's not terrible, but it's not that enjoyable of a watch either.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:05 am

The Fifth Element
Would you like to know who I would be perfectly okay with removing from movies forever? Chris Tucker. I can't think of a single role where he didn't annoy me and make me wish his character dead. And it's not like he's a great actor either. No, the stand-up comedian, (I don't actually mind his standup routines), just isn't ever given good roles, or is possibly only given roles that people believe he can pull off. And since those roles are always ones of annoyance, he infuriates me when he's on-screen.

I mention this, because Tucker is in The Fifth Element, and is given a role that becomes larger with time -- as does the big enemy of the movie, a giant planet of evil. Tucker plays Rudy Rhod, a media personality who has a high-pitched voice and talks over everyone whenever he gets the chance. He's introduced to us by getting a chance to sing, but eventually becomes the stereotypical sidekick role. But he's so over-the-top and so incredibly infuriating that I just wanted him to leave the film and never return. Which happens near the end, when he announces his departure and isn't seen from any more. But it comes too late and by that point, I wanted more conclusion. I wanted him dead.

I think that if a character made me feel this strongly -- someone who isn't even the lead of the picture -- then the film has done a good job. I don't like Tucker as an actor, and I disliked his character even more, but since I wished him gone every minute he was on the screen, then the film has gotten an emotional reaction out of me, and it has succeeded in that aspect. But making an intentionally annoying character has repercussions, as I didn't like the film as much as I potentially would have had it not been included. It's a mixed bag in including things like this, but I'll call it a success here because of how strong an emotional response it got out of me.

It did this, especially in comparison to how neutral I felt regarding the film's story, which didn't make me feel much of anything at all. The story follows a couple of different characters, with the primary one being Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), a cab driver who gets a flying car because that's how it will be in the year 2263. One day, a girl falls through the roof of his cab -- more or less unharmed, I might add -- but doesn't speak English. She manages to tell him to take her to a priest named Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm), and that her name is Leeloo (Milla Jovovich).

It's at the priest's house that the film's prologue, which depicted events taking place 300 years ago, starts to make sense. The giant planet headed toward Earth can only be stopped by some mystical being who, together with four stones each representing the four elements (air, water, earth and fire) will destroy it. The title of the film comes from this being, who is supposedly the fifth element needed. Leeloo is this being.

But there are no stones. We learn where they are: They're being kept by one Diva Plavalaguna (Inva Mula) on a planet that is difficult to get to. This sparks a race from four parties: Korben and the government, Leeloo and the priest, the main bad guy of the film, Zorg (Gary Oldman) and some creatures called the Mondoshawan. Zorg wants the stones to help the evil planet, who is affectionately named Mr. Shadow, while the Mondoshawan want them to sell them to Zorg. There's essentially only two sides, and when the fate of the universe is at stake, two sides is plenty.

The story left me with indifference, particularly because of how quickly it comes to a conclusion. We see early on, when Leeloo is learning about our culture that she is horrified at the images of war. If humans are such terrible things, why should she help save them anyway? We know that this is what's going through her mind, partially because it's obvious how shocked she is, but also because of how well Jovovich has to act with only her body language. But the answer to this question comes and goes like a gust of wind, and then the film has its final scene.

I mentioned that Jovovich has to do a great job of acting here, and I stand by that, For most of the film, she doesn't get to speak, at least, not in a way that we can understand. Her character doesn't know how to speak English (although she can apparently understand it). So she has to convey emotions through her facial expressions, body language, and her eyes. And she does it. It works. We care for a character that can't even use verbal communication, because of how well Jovovich does with this role. That's not to say the other actors don't do a good job too, (apart from Tucker), but they don't have the same degree of difficulty as she does.

Since The Fifth Element is set in the future, and takes place a lot of the time in space, it counts as a science-fiction film. Now, science-fiction films generally go one of two ways, and spend all of their time after production in one of these two directions. They'll either remain timeless, despite their special effects having aged and not looking quite as good as they once did, or they can look dated very soon after their release.

What determines what way they go is not in the special effects themselves, but more in how the film is presented, how the technology is used, and whether or not we can believe that this world could be possible, or could have been possible at one point. The world created here is one that feels realistic, and the things it dreams up are imaginable. The special effects aren't even that bad, even if they are showing their age a touch.

However, this film gets worse as it progresses, largely because it has a large-scale action scene near its conclusion that felt really out of place. It's like finding a chocolate chip in your lemonade. The chocolate chip itself is good, but finding it in your beverage was unwelcome. That's what the large action scenes in this film felt like. Alone, there's nothing wrong with them, but when this film wasn't really about action, but they're thrown in near the end anyway, they don't feel like they should be there. That's really the biggest problem that this film has though, well, that, and the lack of emotion that came from the main story.

There are also some pacing issues that occur throughout. The main story takes a while to get going, and once it does, there are moments that slowed it down and seemed unnecessary. You could probably chop this film down to about 105 minutes, instead of just over two hours like it ended up being, and you'd actually have a better film. (For instance, we could remove all of Tucker's character, especially the 5 minutes of "singing" that happens when we first meet him.)

Helping to alleviate some of these pacing problems is the script, which isn't great, but some of the dialogue that comes from it is. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would thanks to this film, both from the dialogue, and from how ridiculous some of the things that happen throughout are. There are a lot of scenes where I found myself laughing, and this was unexpected. This also stops once the action scenes begin though, which is another reason that I disliked them.

The absolute best part of the film comes from how certain scenes, and the transitions from scene to scene, are structured. A character will say something in one scene, and we'll cut to another character in a completely different area, who will respond or react to what the first character said. While not a revolutionary technique, it's one that I like to see employed, so I was happy to see it happening here.

I liked The Fifth Element. It's not amazing, but it's a fun ride that has colorful characters and some solid acting. The sci-fi setting is interesting and actually a decent enough depiction as to how our society could go, which means that this is a film that will likely stand the test of time. If only I had cared more about what was happening, or if Chris Tucker had been removed from the production, it would have been an absolute pleasure to watch. As it is, a really solid film that could have been better, but still was really enjoyable.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:55 am

The Quick and the Dead
I suppose that The Quick and the Dead should be commended for at the very least trying something different in a genre that often feel stale. Westerns often seem to fall into the same cliches over and over again, rarely seeing a lot of new developments. While The Quick and the Dead certainly falls into some cliches, it did try something new. Although it feels like a gimmick, and is, taking the Mexican standoff portion of these films and trying to craft an entire film around them is at least ambitious.

There's a problem that stems directly from doing this though, and this problem is ultimately this film's downfall. The reason that Mexican standoffs are generally at the end of the film is because that's the way they get the audience to care about what will happen. They build tension because we've grown to care about one, or often both, of these characters, and we are on our toes about who is going to live. The entire plot of The Quick and the Dead is based around a tournament that has a Mexican standoff every day, with the winner of this competition getting money as a reward.

But this means that we don't get an entire film to develop the characters, and it means that when characters take to the battlefield, we have no reason to care beyond the "I wonder who is going to win" mentality. The ones that occur near the end of the film don't suffer from this problem as much, although this movie is lacking in character development, so the problem remains. Another problem also crops up, because by the time we've seen people involved in these types of fights multiple times already, we've grown tired of them and recognized that they are only a gimmick.

A tournament is what we get, however, and it's before the competition begins that we meet our main characters. From what I can gather, our main good guy is Ellen (Sharon Stone) who wanders into this town, seemingly only after money. She must be our lead because we see flashbacks of her father being killed. The main bad guy is John Herod (Gene Hackman), who collects 50% of the townspeople's money, and is therefore the bad guy. But the town runs, so I don't really see what the big deal is.

There are two other characters who we're told we should watch. Russell Crowe plays a character who may or may not be a priest, depending on who you talk to, while Leonardo DiCaprio plays "The Kid", a character who insists that he's Herod's son, although Herod claims the opposite. There's no real conclusion to that story, so you'll have to make your own judgments on this one, assuming you do decide to watch this.

If you're guessing right now that these are the four people who will make it to the semi-final round of the tournament, give yourself a cookie. The story is as basic as I've described, save for the flashbacks that Ellen continuously has, which only serve to give her a slight bit more motivation for being in the tournament, other than wanting money. But the full flashback isn't revealed until the end, and left me feeling mixed about if she had a just cause showing up in the first place.

That is about as much emotion as I felt during The Quick and the Dead, and it's in that flashback where the most emotion is shed by a character too. In this case, a child actor playing a young Ellen ends up turning in the best performance, which felt really odd. Sharon Stone doesn't show a single hint of emotion throughout the film, answering everything coldly and never speaking unless spoken to first. Our bad guy doesn't really seem all that evil, the priest doesn't have any personality, and The Kid is a stereotype. But this child actor actually showed that Ellen can feel things, or maybe why she went into such an isolation in the first place.

But this doesn't explain why the characters can't grow as the tournament progresses. Sure, we learn more about them, but they stay the same, meaning that any lessons they should learn aren't taken in, and they remain just as dull as they were to begin, only we're now sure that they're dull. I have a feeling that if I were to ever watch this movie again, it would be worse because I'd have already discovered all I could about these characters, and that knowing how poorly developed they are would lessen my experience and bore me even more than this first viewing did.

It's not like the Mexican standoffs are even that interesting. The drama usually comes from characters standing there, facing one another, trying to determine when the other will make a move. Here, they have to wait for a clock to strike 12, which reduces a lot of the tension that is already at critically low levels. These types of standoffs only really work with well-developed characters who each have a good enough chance to win, but this film doesn't have either.

Basing an entire film around what is arguably the most enjoyable part of Western films seemed like a good idea on paper, but fails because it doesn't take into account what makes Mexican standoffs so fun in the first place. Since it failed to give us proper tension, there is little keeping us watching this film, apart from seeing who will eventually win the tournament. The Quick and the Dead sidesteps some Western cliches, but falls victim to others while showing off poor execution on parts that needed to be pitch-perfect.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:47 am

REVIEW HIDALGO

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:29 am

SERBIAN FILM

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:29 pm

Why Hidalgo? I've actually seen it, (I think back in 2005/2006), but what's so special about it that you want me to review it?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:44 pm

Hubilub wrote:SERBIAN FILM

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:33 pm

Marter wrote:Why Hidalgo? I've actually seen it, (I think back in 2005/2006), but what's so special about it that you want me to review it?



I watched it when I was ten and it has a special place in my heart :3



Also, Aragorn as a cowboy racing against arabs.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:03 am

The Tourist
The Tourist is a romantic action-comedy with little action, little comedy and even less romance. It plays out a lot more like a joke film rather than a serious picture, but it didn't seem like anyone involved knew this. As a result, they play everything straight, but the film doesn't feel that way to the audience, making it feel like everyone is out of place. In essence, The Tourist is a drama, but since all of the actors appear as if they thought it was a serious romantic action-comedy, everything falls flat.

Opening in Paris, we see a woman named Elise (Angelina Jolie) walking. She's being followed, although it's unclear if she knows this. She sits at a restaurant, and receives a letter. It's from her husband, Alexander Pearce. It tells her that she's being followed, and that she should take a train, find someone on this train who looks similar to what he looks like, and make it seem like they are an item. Apparently, Elise isn't the one that is wanted, but it is instead Alexander.

Enter Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), who is the pawn that Elise chooses. He's unassuming and seemingly completely confused when it comes to communicating with another human being. And he smokes electronic cigarettes, reads mystery novels and squints a lot. Elise eventually takes him to a hotel in Venice, kisses him on the porch to allow others to see, and effectively leaves him to be captured the next morning. We find out that Alexander stole some money from a mobster and also owes over $1 billion dollars to the government in taxes. Everyone but Elise thinks that Frank is Alexander, and the rest of the film consists of Frank trying to prove himself innocent, other people trying to capture him and kill Elise, and a couple of twists that you'll probably see coming but are still decent enough revelations.

There are a few moments where The Tourist works. It is worth watching when shots of Venice or Paris are shown, which are used primarily as transition sequences. The scenery is nice, and if you want a small sight-seeing tour, then this film will satisfy that desire. These are pretty much the only moments that are worth watching though, because the rest of the film is either uninteresting or confusing. The latter refers not only to the story, but also for some of the actors.

It didn't really seem like any of the actors understood what type of film they are making. Jolie spent the entire film walking in slow motion, seeming as proper and elite as she could. Oh, and she has an English accent for little reason other than to sound more like a queen, I figure. Depp is the straight man, who doesn't quite seem to like what's going on, because he is innocent, but goes along with it anyway because that's his role in the film. His actions rarely make sense if you think about it, but thinking about his actions is probably something you don't want to spend much time on.

Instead, you should think about how preposterous the plot is, and more importantly, how such good actors were cast in supporting roles. Chasing Frank are two actors who are fairly well-known. The first is Paul Bettany, playing a police inspector. I guess his casting makes sense, because he doesn't always choose the best projects. The second is Timothy Dalton, who I was incredibly shocked to see, and who really should have stayed away from this project. But then again, so should have the leads, so I suppose it does make sense. Money talks, right?

I mentioned that The Tourist fails to fulfill any of the genres that it is featured in. Let's dissect each genre and explain why it isn't satisfied. Firstly, the romance involved includes a nice dinner and a few kisses, most of which occur in a dream sequence. The two leads have no real chemistry, which makes the already lackluster romance feel like it possibly should have been removed altogether.

Second are the action scenes, of which there are only a couple as well. There is a chase scene, and another chase scene, and, well, that's about it. One of these is on-foot, and the other takes place with boats. This is Venice, after all. Neither of these are all that entertaining, and neither is all that fun to watch. They also don't add anything to the film, because they aren't thrilling enough to excite the audience.

Finally is the comedy aspect. Don't make me laugh! Whatever humor the film has comes directly from how crazy the plot is, how out of place the actors are and how poor everything ends up being. I wasn't laughing with the film, I was laughing at it. Sometimes, films attempt this, but this isn't one of them. It's too serious to make me think that it wanted us to make fun of it.

The Tourist isn't exciting, thrilling, romantic or funny, which means it doesn't do enough right to make us feel anything for it. The leads seem lost, have no chemistry, and don't seem to be into the project all that much. The only good thing about this film is the scenery of Paris and Venice, but since we don't get many shots of just the scenery, and are instead forced to watch good actors do things that they don't believe in.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:38 am

Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Barbarian serves as both an origin story for its titular hero, as well as giving him one mission to go on while he's at it. That mission involves rescuing a woman and enacting revenge upon the person who decided it would be a fun idea to kill everyone in his village when he was a boy. It's just too bad that not all that much of this film is actually much fun to watch.

The origin story begins with Conan and his father sitting on a mountaintop, talking about life, and how the only thing that you can trust is your sword. That makes me question if you can trust the person who tells you that, unless of course they're made of steel as well. Then, a bunch of people come and attack the village the Conan lives in, killing everyone but the children, who become enslaved instead. The only boy we see after that moment is Conan though, so I assumed that the other children all died of starvation, instead of being taken away and forced to do things that aren't pushing a device around and around for years. Decide for yourself, but I will say that keeping a bunch of young boys around is just a little creepy.

Regardless, we watch the young Conan push the device called the "Wheel of Pain" for years. And then he magically transforms into the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, something he should be thanking Crom, his god, for. He gets forced into becoming an arena fighter, and like you'd expect, he wins them all. He's even given reading material and woman to occupy his time. That sounds like a pretty good life for a slave. Eventually, he's freed for no reason, finds a sword a companion (Gerry Lopez), and decides to become a thief. Eventually, he finds another thief, a woman named Valeria (Sandahl Bergman), and they end up in a relationship because, well, why not? Oh, and he also winds up finding a wizard (Mako), who doesn't really do much, but serves as our narrator.

So now that we've got a good idea of our cast, we need a story. Just watching muscular people going around stealing things wouldn't make a good movie, would it? Well, maybe it would. Actually, that might have been more enjoyable than what we ended up with. However, director Oliver Stone didn't think that was the case, so we get a plot. The group winds up getting captured, and are told that they must rescue a King's daughter, who happens to have been captured by Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man who led the assault against Conan's village. So, we get a castle siege movie for the final hour, with multiple reasons for Conan to kill people.

We don't actually get as many action scenes as you'd expect. Or maybe it just didn't feel that way, considering how long Conan the Barbarian drags on. This is a movie that lasts more than two hours, but had no excuse to go over 90 minutes. There's a lot of scenes that made me question why they were included, and I often questioned why things took as long as they did to happen. I think I just don't have the right vision of Conan as a character, but I just don't see why someone like him would sneak around for five minutes before going into an action scene, since that part is inevitable anyway. Look at him! He shouldn't be sneaking around, he should be charging headfirst into battle. We know that he's the best warrior around, so he should just go finish the job.

When we get to action scenes, they weren't all that impressive anyway. There's one thing that Conan is missing, and that's a little thing called "collision detection", something that I deem important in action movies. See, when Conan swings a sword, you know that it won't actually hit the other actor. But when you see it on-screen, you want it to feel like it's hitting the other person, even if it isn't actually. I can't recall a single moment where it was convincing that swords were hitting flesh. The fight choreography was also pretty poor, and it felt like they were making up the action scenes as they went.

At this point in his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't have a large acting resume. While he had the body to play Conan, he seemed awkward no matter what he did. Delivering lines came across as weird, while even swinging a sword didn't feel quite right. He often looked lost, and I'm unsure of how much direction he was given. Nobody else was much better, but since they weren't on-screen as often, they weren't as noticeable.

There just isn't that much fun to be had with Conan the Barbarian. Since the action scenes aren't well-made, and the plot is far too long, it's often difficult to stay awake. I shouldn't be bored while watching an action/adventure movie, but I was while watching this one. It probably should have ended up being solely about revenge, which might have made it better. I guess I have to disagree more with the choices made in its creation more than anything else, because it's the decisions that end up harming it.

There's also the fact that the world that Conan inhabits is far more interesting than he is. Conan is a lug, one with a questionable grasp of the English language, and whose thoughts involve lying with women or killing people. The world, on the other hand, contains magic, people who can turn into snakes, and a bunch of other cool things that I wanted to see more of. A mokumentary tour of this world would have been more fun than the movie we ended up getting.

In the end, I didn't have much fun with Conan the Barbarian. The action scenes have no weight to them, the plot has far too much redundancies and tiresome moments, and Conan isn't all that interesting of a person. I wanted more of the world, and less of Arnold Schwarzenegger looking awkward on-screen. It seemed like a lot of poor choices were made in this production, ones that made it too long and boring to be worth a watch. Conan is once asked "what is best in life?" Well, Conan, it's not you.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:27 am

I like you.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:57 am

Conan the Destroyer
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian, for three reasons. The first is that there is weight behind the action scenes; it feels as if sword actually hits flesh when we see it on-screen. The second is how much more comfortable Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed in his role as the titular character. The final reason is that there's no back story to Conan. What we see here is what we get -- it's like his past doesn't exist.

This time around, Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) begins sitting in a field. A queen named Taramis (Sarah Douglas) finds him and tells him that his assistance is required. Her niece, Jehnna (Olivia d'Abo) is prophesied to go on a quest to get a MacGuffin because, well, that's the purpose of a MacGuffin, isn't it? So Conan embarks on a journey to make sure that Jehnna accomplishes her task, under the promise that the Queen will bring back his dead lover, Valeria. However, what he doesn't see, but we do, is that the Queen plans to sacrifice her niece and kill Conan after the MacGuffin is retrieved.

Along the way, other people join them on the journey. Wilt Chamberlain (yes, the basketball player) is another one of Jehnna's bodyguards, and along the way, a tribal warrior named Zoula (Grace Jones) joins them. It's an interesting cast, doing menial tasks that follow exactly the story that is described off the bat. There are absolutely no twists scattered throughout, which is too bad, because it wouldn't have felt as formulaic. Everything that the Queen describes at the beginning happens, all the way up to the ending, which is where I'll stop describing. You probably won't be surprised by how it ends though.

As I said earlier, the action scenes are much better this time around, and they're also more plentiful. The plot is mostly just an excuse to have Conan going around killing people, but since they're entertaining, that's fine with me. Unlike in Conan the Barbarian, it actually looked like people were getting hit by the swords. The fight choreography, while still not great, is at least somewhat inventive, even if it does often feel like a wrestling match with swords involved.

I actually liked Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of Conan. He didn't seem like he felt lost this time around, which is really helpful the production. He didn't appear to have as much difficulty swinging a sword in a believable way, nor did he have as much trouble delivering his lines, even if he isn't given much to say. He is a barbarian after all.

Conan the Destroyer is a much more light-hearted movie than its predecessor as well. It embraces how cheesy it is, and has a bunch of comedic moments. For example, before the first 30 minutes are over, Conan has already punched two animals. If for no other reason than this, it's more enjoyable than the first Conan because it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Just like Conan the Barbarian, this is far too long a movie to maintain complete attention. There are a bunch of times when I felt like I was nodding off, especially after the fight with the most ridiculous monster ever. After this part, it felt like Conan the Destroyer was coming unhinged, and it lost focus of what it was trying to do.

Speaking of a ridiculous monster, this one was incredibly silly because of its weakness. The wizard living there summons it, and despite looking pretty silly when we first see it, we learn that swords cannot damage it. So Conan has to try to discover how to kill it. The weakness ends up being the surrounding mirrors. Destroying them ends up harming the monster. I'm not making this up, and it was at this point when I stopped caring about or believing in this production.

It still never completely stops being entertaining though, which is something that Conan the Barbarian couldn't say. Even if there are a few moments where this film drags, it still manages to have something going on that will hold your interest. The plot certainly can't do that, and action scenes that are limited to sword fights end up boring after a while. I think it's the world that this film inhabits, and the interesting secondary characters, that keep your attention.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I liked how there wasn't any depth to the characters, especially with the one of Conan. He's a man who just wants to kill people and get his dead lover back, and that's all I need to know. Anything else would be redundant information, and I'm glad it wasn't included. We don't need him to grow or have a deep back story, and we don't get that. Secondary characters don't grow either, but they're more interesting than Conan to begin with, despite being less prominently featured.

Even though I found Conan the Destroyer to be better than its predecessor, it still wasn't a great movie. It was too predictable and often too uninteresting to be worthwhile, but there's also some fun to be had. The action scenes actually feel like people are hitting one another, Schwarzenegger was a less awkward actor, while not having Conan be anything more than a hunk with a wish to kill others was a good decision. It just wasn't great. It was a better movie than Conan the Barbarian though, although that's not necessarily saying much.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:00 pm

Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:23 pm

Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.
Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:
Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian

.....

Yep, we live on different planets.

Furburt wrote:
Marter wrote:

Conan the Destroyer is a better movie than its predecessor, Conan the Barbarian



.....



Yep, we live on different planets.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:26 pm

Hub, you're stuck again. Let me bash you on the side of the head.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:26 pm

Woiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoiwoi

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:28 pm

Marter, I now have a powerful urge to see what you think of Red Sonja.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:28 pm


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:29 pm

If he thinks it's the best we will have to kick him from the site, Herald style

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:29 pm

TOXIC AVENGEEEEEEEEEER


PLAY FREEBIRD
FREEEEEEEEEEBIRD

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:31 pm

Hubilub wrote:If he thinks it's the best we will have to kick him from the site, Herald style

No, we must kick everyone else but him. Then he will be the only one left to face the badgers.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:59 pm

Furburt wrote:Marter, I now have a powerful urge to see what you think of Red Sonja.
If they actually go ahead with the rumored remake, then I'll be reviewing it before said remake comes out. Probably.

If they don't, then I'll likely forget it even exists.

Hubilub wrote:If he thinks it's the best we will have to kick him from the site, Herald style
Uh, no. I can actually deal with differing opinions.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:57 pm

Marter wrote:

Hubilub wrote:If he thinks it's the best we will have to kick him from the site, Herald style
Uh, no. I can actually deal with differing opinions.
We can't

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:09 pm

I can deal with them, as long as the person expressing them isn't fat and/or unemployed.


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:48 am

Conan the Barbarian
To simplify my thoughts on Conan the Barbarian is easy; this is a movie that is exactly what I thought it would be when I decided to watch it. It's an action movie without an original thought in its bones, with a plot that serves just to guide us through a great number of action scenes, with actors who seem largely indifferent about what's happening.

We open similarly to the original Conan the Barbarian. Our titular character, Conan (Leo Howard while he's a child), has his village attacked. His father is killed by a man named Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang), who unearths a piece of a mask that was hidden in the village. He claims that the mask will make him a god, and that he'll be able to rule much of the world once it's complete. However, once it's put together, he tells us that his mission is only halfway complete. The blood of a girl is needed as well, we find out later on, although why it takes Khalar twenty years to find her is not explained.

That's when we pick up after the village slaying. Conan (now played by Jason Momoa), who was the sole survivor, is a pirate who goes around killing people he deems to be evil. We watch him in an action scene massacring a bunch of slave traders, rescuing the slaves, and proceeding to party. At the party, he sees one of the people who was there when his father was killed. He finds out from this man who did the earlier killing (since his name wasn't revealed to Conan), and then sets out to get revenge.

It's here where we meet the pure-blood woman, Tamara (Rachel Nichols), who is required for Khalar's plot to unfold completely. Again, I don't know why he's waited all this time to find her, but he has. I wager that his daughter, the magical Marique (Rose McGowan), had to hone her tracking skills first. Maybe they were just waiting for Conan to foil them. Conan and Tamara end up teaming up, and go around the land for a while as Marique and Khalar chase them. Oh, and they have a ton of action scenes while they're at it.

A lot of the things that happen don't make logical sense. Should they though? This is a movie devoted almost entirely to its action scenes, and the way that they're strung together wasn't given much thought. The plot is a hybrid of the previous two Conan films, with some new elements added in. The goal of the villains is to resurrect Khalar's dead wife, because somehow she'll make him a god. I guess that's how Marique got her magical powers, although she's nowhere near as strong as her mother supposedly was.

I didn't expect a deep plot, and I certainly didn't get one. This is your standard capture-sacrifice affair, with little deviating from the standard in these types of films. The plot also doesn't get much time to switch things around, because action scenes pop-up every five or so minutes in order to make sure we don't get bored. Thankfully, in a movie where the lead character isn't supposed to be deep or emotional, this works better than trying to focus on him.

Another thing to be thankful for is how inventive some of the action scenes are. There are no duplicates here, which means they are always kept fresh. Whenever an action scene began, I knew I was going to have fun. For the most part, I was right. There are a couple that drag a little bit, but considering how many action scenes are there, a couple of them taking too long to finish isn't a major complaint. I was constantly entertained whenever the action would pick up, and in an action movie, that's the most important thing.

I was actually surprised by how creative some of the set-pieces were. Sword fights themselves can get boring no matter how good the choreography is, and I worried that this would be the case with Conan. That's not what happened though, as more elements are introduced, including sand monsters, a kraken-like creature, and a sword with two blades, one of which can move around. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, but it looked like it would be a pain to master.

If there is one major complaint to have with this picture, it's the complete lack of character development. Again, I'd argue that depth and development isn't essential to a film like this, but it could have elevated it to beyond just being fun to look at. Conan is angry, Tamara is bland, Khalar is determined to fulfill some prophecy, while Marique is evil. That's as deep as it gets, save for Conan and Tamara's relationship becoming intimate out of nowhere. It's not that you won't expect that development, but there's just not much to hint that it will in the film. It feels as if there were a ton of scenes between the two cut; in one scene, Conan orders her around, while in the next, they have sex. It doesn't happen quite that fast, but it's pretty darn close.

The worst action scene in Conan was actually the final one. It's anticlimactic, and given what we're promised earlier, utterly disappointing. I wanted a large-scale fight, but all I got was a decent sword fight. It's still entertaining, but it didn't live up to what we're told should happen. I'm unsure of why they took the story in this direction, because I doubt they ran out of money.

Conan the Barbarian was given a pretty solid budget of $90 million, and without big-name stars, most of the money must have gone to special effects. A large number of these effects go unnoticed, with the sand creatures and the kraken-like monster being the only heavy CGI portions. Maybe there were far more effects that I didn't notice, but these are the money-shots. One more for the ending shouldn't have been too much to ask for.

I actually didn't have a problem with Jason Momoa in the lead role. Sure, he's not as physically imposing as Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he moves around fine and can make swinging a sword look fun. The standout of the film was Rose McGowan as Marique though, as she's given both the most interesting character, as well as one that is devilish. I wanted to see more of her, even if the makeup didn't play to her looks at all. If nothing else, she's a memorable character that steals every scene she's in.

In the end, I got what I expected out of Conan the Barbarian. I didn't get a plot or characters that had depth, instead, I got a bunch of inventive action scenes that kept me entertained for a couple of hours. Was it great? Absolutely not, but it could have been if the characters had been stronger. I can't deny that I had a fun time with Conan though, whether it be sitting back and enjoying the spectacle, or laughing at how ridiculous everything that happens was.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:33 am

Furburt wrote:I can deal with them, as long as the person expressing them isn't fat and/or unemployed.

QFT

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:38 am

Click
Click is a typical Adam Sandler film in parts, but mostly it's a heartwarming -- or heartbreaking at times -- drama that doesn't dwell, focus on, or even include the toilet humor that Sandler films have come to be known for. Instead, it tells a story about a man who skips through a lot of his life so that he can learn lessons about how important family is and that you shouldn't take your loved ones for granted.

This man is Michael Newman (Sandler), who we see is a hard working architect, often neglecting his family to focus on his job. His family consists of a wife (Kate Beckinsale) and two kids (Joseph Castanon and Tatum McCann). They love him but feel neglected. They also have a lot of television remotes. So many, in fact, that Michael decides one night to go out to the store and buy a universal remote so that he will stop turning on the fan when he wants to open the garage.

Seeing that the real electronics stores are closed, Michael heads to Bed Bath and Beyond, in hopes that they'll have what he's looking for. In a room in the back titled "Beyond", he meets Morty (Christopher Walken), who has a remote for him. But instead of just controlling electronics, this remote can control everything. It truly is universal. It can turn the volume down when someone's talking too loud, fast-forward an event that you don't want to take part in, or, my favorite: It can bring up a TV screen wherever you want, so that you can watch the baseball game instead of, let's say, arguing with your wife.

Morty warns Michael that the remote is self-programming, although what that means is only revealed later on in the film. He also mentions that the remote cannot be returned, but Michael just laughs. Why would you want to return something you're being given for free? Sound logic if you ask me. Regardless, he gets the remote and starts using it. In fact, one might say he starts abusing it.

It begins with small things, like an argument or a boring dinner, but quickly moves into skipping hours at a time. Michael is in love with the device, but is soon learning that skipping large portions of his life are beginning to leave him out of the loop in terms of what's going on with everyone's lives. "Is this really worth it?", he has to ask himself. It's here, when the lessons start happening, and the film stops being comedic. That's not to say it was laugh-out-loud hilarious to begin with, but there were a few chuckles here and there that kept me in a good mood.

Of the comedic moments, some worked and some failed really badly. Things that worked, like a moment that involved Michael chasing down some teenagers in a park, were great, and I laughed quite a lot at them. Moments that didn't, however, often became running gags, like a dog that is constantly, let's say "abusing" a stuffed duck. About half of the jokes worked, and they were the more subtle ones, or the ones where characters let their id shine through. But, like most Sandler films, the toilet humor, like when Sandler breaks wind in the face of his boss (David Hassellhoff), left me feeling disgusted rather than humored.

But the jokes almost completely stop at the 2/3 point of the film, where we get our message hammered home to us, and the film turns from a laughable, but forgettable, comedy into a sappy, tear-jerking drama. The shift in tone is a bit jarring, but not enough to actually make Click unwatchable or make you roll your eyes. Sure, you'll notice it, but it's executed in a way that will make you want to keep watching, even if there are tears running down your cheeks.

What I liked most about Click is how, depending on your upbringing, age and current status in life, you'll get something unique from it. It's not just about entertainment, although that's probably what younger viewers will get, but instead about making you think about what's important in life. If you're someone who doesn't spend a lot of time with family, you may reconsider that after watching these characters progress through decades of their own lives. If you do, then you'll feel a pat on the back because you're doing a good job already.

But regardless, you'll still feel for the main character, Michael. Sure, he's a bit of a jerk towards, well, everyone, but his heart is in the right place. There's an off-handed mention that he wants to give his children the childhood that he never had, and I believe him. He's a flawed character, that, like many people, gets addicted to something that starts to send his life in a downwards spiral. It's a tragic story that only feels that way because of how great a character we're dealing with here.

Click could have completely fallen apart if Michael hadn't been played properly, and to say that this is one of Adam Sandler's most impressive acting jobs isn't an overstatement. He mixes comedy and drama well with his character, and he plays something different from the typical Sandler role. This is the kind of performance that Sandler needs to give more often, because it helps his films actually seem worth watching. The supporting cast, consisting of Beckinsale, Walken and Sean Astin is at least interesting enough and does a good job in contrasting with the flawed Michael.

Also worthy of praise are the makeup effects, which both physically transform characters, (Michael becomes quite large at one moment in the film), or is just used to make them look older. Instead of relying solely on CGI, the filmmakers decided to use makeup, and the result is something that looks more authentic. In an age where CGI is being used more and more for these types of things, it's nice to see that makeup can do a good job too.

I was really taken by surprise at how much I liked Click. Maybe "like" isn't the right word, because there are times when it is downright awful in terms of how it makes you feel, but it's still a quality film, for the most part. I can see how the shift in town from light-hearted comedy to tear-jerking drama could turn off some people, but I thought it was nice to see Adam Sandler in a more serious role. And the message the film shows us is a good one, even if it's a bit heavy-handed in delivering it to us at times.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:13 pm

Dr. Sheriff Milky, PhD. wrote:
QFT
We don't do that here, boy

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:51 pm

QUFT

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This device will make me famous
This device will make me fly
This device will make me holy
This device defies all laws

Laws that are stupid, and make no sense.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Alkaline on Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:25 pm

QUARFT

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Xandy wrote:
MilkyFresh wrote:DO MEEEE

DO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Fuck Milky I always knew you were a fag for me.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:30 pm


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Low grade acid and cocaine bumps
I can't sleep at night or hold a decent job."
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:17 pm

Your mom.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:23 am

The Boondock Saints
It's fairly easy to see why The Boondock Saints has become a cult classic, and even easier to see the glaring flaws in first time director Troy Duffy's work. It became a big hit because it allows its audience to live out their fantasies of killing bad people, without actually having to do that, go through the work that's required, as well as live with the moral repercussions. The final one of those is something that the characters in this film also get to avoid.

The titular Saints are composed of two brothers, Connor and Murphy McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus), who are Irish-Catholics with the ability to acquire weapons. After killing a Russian mobster, but not being charged because they claimed it was in self-defense, they believe that they experience an epiphany. Apparently, God wants them to go around killing people that they deem to be "evil", so that's just what they do for the rest of the film. All the while, flamboyant FBI Agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) is one step behind them.

After their revelation, the Saints team up with one of their friends, Rocco (David Della Rocco), who acts alongside them, and also picks their targets. This is the same Rocco who has an incredibly shady past, and that's putting it lightly. I guess that he knows who's "evil" and who isn't better than God does. In fact, if they were to get such a thought, he would be one of the first people I'd think they should kill. But I digress, Rocco's their friend and selective judgment is clearly used here.

The main gimmick of The Boondock Saints is that we'll see our leads prepping for their killing spree, and then we'll see them afterward, usually bloodied up a little bit. We'll then cut to our police team, and have Agent Smecker describe to us what happened, and then we actually get to see it for ourselves. Sometimes, he'll even act out the scene, while we're watching it, placing his body inside the action as he describes it. But that only happens once, if I recall correctly, which is probably the most enjoyable action scene in the film, if only because we get to watch Willem Dafoe drop down on his knees and pretend to shoot people with his finger guns.

Unfortunately, this gimmick gets tiring after the first couple of times, and it eventually feels like it happens just to pad the runtime. If we were to watch the film without the police, who are not necessary to the story one iota, we could probably save 20-30 minutes, and we could eliminate an element that isn't required. Of course, then we'd miss Dafoe overact in almost every scene, which is hilarious, but I think that's a small price to pay to improve the film somewhat.

These action scene, which have the Saints blow through dozens of people over the course of the film, are somewhat boring. The first one is inventive, and involves the use of a toilet, but after that, they all simply consist of shooting random people. Any time of action scene can get boring if we see it over and over again, and that's the case here. By the end, I was just wishing to see our leads die, so that at the very least, something would be different.

There are some good moments in the film, mostly coming from the humor interspersed throughout. There are a few moments, particularly early on, when I was laughing. These characters start out as somewhat likable, and I was enjoying being around them. Sadly, they change into almost mute hitmen after they learn of their new goal in life, and their personality is drained and replaced with someone who just wants to kill.

This brings up the moral debate. Are the Saints good people for killing pimps and drug dealers, or are they bad because they're killing outside of the law? I've got to go with the latter on this one, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are just killing people who they (or their troubled friend) deem to be bad, and secondly, their reason for doing so is lacking. Okay, I get it, they're fairly religious people, (although one of the Ten Commandments is that you shouldn't kill anyone, so I don't really know), and they truly believe that God told them to kill people, but shouldn't they have consulted a priest or something like that? And then they don't even feel the need to discuss their murders with each other. They come across as sociopaths, not as holy men, and this makes it hard to relate or empathize with them. (This is a problem that a lot of serial killer films have; and, let's face it: The Saints are serial killers.)

The Boondock Saints is a film that I recommend watching. Not because it's any good, but because then you can see why it's a cult classic, and then you can see if you want to join said cult. Hey, maybe you'll have a good time, be able to ignore its problems like its pacing, boring action scenes, as well as unlikable and unnecessary characters. But I couldn't. It was a predictable vigilante movie that felt cold and devoid of the heart that it started out with. It's not terrible, but there are much better action films out there that don't have to rely on gimmicks to pad their running times.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:14 am

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
After the first Boondock Saints was a financial failure in its theatrical run, it seemed like first time director Troy Duffy was done making films. But then word of mouth got around about a film that had two men going around playing vigilante, killing a lot of bad people in their native Boston. This appealed to a lot of people, and it became a cult classic, making over $50 million in home video sales.

Now, 10 years later, Most of the original cast has been called back to make a sequel, subtitled All Saints Day. Once again directed and written by Troy Duffy, this film finds the Saints, brothers Connor and Murphy (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) hiding in Ireland with their father, Noah (Billy Connolly). In the first film, they publicly executed someone, so they had to flee. I guess their mission from God wasn't that important after all, or else they would have continued killing people. Oh well, that small point only negates any possible motivating factors they had before.

Regardless, news reaches them that a priest has been killed, using their signature style. The dead priest was shot with two guns, and had coins placed on his eyes. Not happy that they were set-up, and also a little upset that a priest was murdered, they decide to head back to Boston to kill everyone that was involved with the murder. Logic, it would seem, is not something that the Saints use when making decisions.

The police and FBI also return, although there's no Willem Dafoe this time around. I was disappointed by that, because his overacting was the funniest part of the previous film. In his place is Julie Benz, as another FBI agent that ends up working with the local police, investigating the crimes that the Saints may or may not have committed. Once again, they serve little purpose overall, and I would have liked to see them excluded.

Seeing as how the Saints no longer have a third person in their group, they recruit someone else. While getting back to America, we watch a Mexican fighter by the name of Romeo (Clofton Collins, Jr.) who defeats another fighter while handcuffed. Seems like a good person to recruit when all you're interested in is murdering people. He serves the same purpose as Rocco did in the first film, except he doesn't get to determine who the Satins go after; they already have a target, after all.

But doesn't making this a strict revenge flick defeat the entire purpose of the first film? Previously, they only targeted bad people, and did so because God told them to. This time, they're killing select people, leaving out anyone else who's "bad", because they're focused on certain individuals. What happened? They didn't lose faith, I don't think. They still carry around crosses, and say the same lines before executions, so that can't be it.

I'll tell you what I think happened. I think that director and writer Troy Duffy spent a long time crafting the first Boondock Saints film, and never planned on making a sequel. After the disappointment box office return, and the disheartening experience he may or may not have had in getting his first film created, he never thought that a second film would be made. I figure that he returned to his day job or something. And then he was approached to make another film. But he had to get it done quickly, and didn't get enough time to think about these things. He also had to balance finding a decent enough story, while also throwing in enough things to please the devote fans that allowed him to even create another one of these.

The result is a film that doesn't make complete sense when looking at it as a continuation of the series, and also one that feels really derivative of Duffy's only other film. While the plot is different, the characters are all the same, and there isn't much different to see here. Everything that happens in this film has been seen in other films before, and easily done better.

One of the problems that the first Boondock film had was lackluster action scenes. Once again, this rings true. The only difference is that the action scenes take a long time to get going, with their only being one in the first 45 minutes or so. But once they do get going, they aren't all that enjoyable, serving only to have people shoot at one another, and have the Saints do exactly what they say they will do.

Look, there's a reason that Duffy didn't get any work after his first film: It wasn't all that good. Bad movies sometimes get a cult following, and that's what happened here. It had so many problems, and all that All Saints Day goes to prove is that the problems weren't a fluke. His writing, style -- whatever you want to call it -- that is where the problems lie. If they decide to make another Boondock Saints film, leave its creator out of it, and you'll likely get a better film.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is, more so than anything else, a cash-grab film. The first Boondock Saints made a lot of money with home media, and therefore, we got a second one. It feels rushed, going against everything that the first film stood for, while also going to prove that the first film's problems came from its writer and director, not from anywhere else. This is another poor action film, only this time, there is less action, making it even worse than the original.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:57 am

Alcohol wrote:QUARFT
Queef

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WHY MONKEY, WHY?
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No one loves a coffee sniffing motherfucker.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:15 am


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:29 am

Marter will love A Serbian Film.

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"Fuck, fuck, fuck/Mutha, mutha fuck/Mutha, mutha fuck fuck/Mutha fuck, mutha fuck/Noinch, noinch, noinch

1-2-1-2-3-4/Noinch, noinch, noinch/Smokin' weed/Smokin' wiz/Doin' coke/Drinkin' beers/Drinkin' beers, beers, beers

Rollin' fatties, smokin' blunts/Who smokes the blunts/We smoke the blunts/Rollin' blunts and smokin...

Oh, let me get a nickle bag

15 bucks little man/Put that shit in my hand/If that money doesn't show/Then you owe me owe me owe

My jungle looooove/Oh-e-oh-e-oh/I think I wanna know ya, know ya"
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Re: Marter's Reviews

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