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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:30 am

Yes he will

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:33 am

Camp Rock
I believe full disclosure needs to happen before you can listen to what I have to say about this film. Essentially, it's a film that is meant to showcase two talents. The first is Demi Lovato, while the second is The Jonas Brothers. I'll tell you know that I'm a fan of the former, and am indifferent towards the latter. I think that announcing those biases before the real review begins will better help you understand where I am coming from, especially considering this is a musical.

Camp Rock takes place primarily in the titular camp (although it's more like "Camp Pop"). Our lead is Mitchie (Lovato), who is so desperate to go to this camp that she puts brochures all throughout her house. After coming home from school one day, her mother and father tell her that she'll be able to go because her mother's catering business is going to cook the food for the camp. This is the only way, we're told, because their family is not all that wealthy, and this is a camp for rich families who typically have one or more famous parents.

Our secondary character is the rock star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas), who is the lead singer of the band "Connect 3". They're like the real life Jonas Brothers, except that Shane has an anger problem. He walks off-set during one of their performances, and is sentenced to teach dance classes at this camp as punishment. No, that doesn't make much sense to me either, but let's roll with it. on the first day of camp, he hears Mitchie singing, but she leaves before he can find out who it is. He spends most of the film trying to find out who the mystery voice from earlier was.

Mitchie, on the other hand, is dealing with social issues at the camp. She doesn't fit in, so she lies about who her parents are. She eventually gets in with the popular kids, led by camp diva Tess (Meaghan Jette Martin). The rest of the film consists of the characters dancing, singing and preparing for the Final Jam -- a singing contest where the prize is getting to record a duet with Shane Gray.

Along the way, characters need to do a lot of growing, although since this is a Disney Channel Original Movie, there isn't going to be a lot of depth to this growth. Characters start one way, and often do a complete 180 by the time the film concludes. They're not complex or deep, and serve more to teach lessons to the young audience that the film is targeted towards.

For a film that is targeted towards the under-15 crowd, you have to give it credit for giving them relatable characters and good messages to take from it. The lead, Mitchie, is an insecure girl just trying to fit in, claiming to only have one friend back home, and neither of them is popular. It's a feeling that a lot of people have felt, and giving the film an empowerment message can give some people a great feeling.

The songs involved are hit and miss, with some of them being enjoyable to listen to, but others feeling both unnecessary, (even for a musical), and kind of dull. The first full-length song of the film is meant to introduce a character who maybe gets five more lines of dialogue for the rest of the film, and also serves as the film's lowest point. It's simply annoying, with a chorus that almost made me want to turn the film off. Luckily, it got better after this point, with some songs actually being fairly catchy, or helping hammer home the empowerment message that the film likes so much.

I wonder if Disney movies like this even care if their actors are good or if the film was actually well-made. In terms of acting, the young stars are, well -- at least they're enthusiastic. Maybe a little bit too enthusiastic at times, as it seemed like they couldn't be real people with how much energy they always seemed to have. It's overacting thanks to over ambition, which I'll take in this type of film over being dull. The one good actor in the film was the one who runs the camp, Shane's uncle (Daniel Fathers).

The film is clearly not well-made though. There are editing errors all over the place, some of the actions of the characters don't make the slightest bit of sense, and the dance choreography is, at times, not the greatest. Again, I wonder if this matters. Does anyone actually care, and will the target audience notice these things? Will it detract from their enjoyment of Camp Rock? I'm going with a "no" in this case. That doesn't excuse the problems, but it makes them inconsequential.

At this point, knowing as much as I do about the stars, I question how different these characters are from their actors. The Jonas brothers are rock stars in real life, and while I haven't heard anything about Joe Jonas blowing up on-set, he may be the most animated of the group. Demi Lovato has said before that she wasn't the most popular girl growing up, and it seemed like she was playing herself, just a slightly more cheerful and energetic version. It's like all of the lead actors were playing caricatures -- over-the-top versions -- of themselves. Or at least, that's my guess.

I know a lot of people not in the target demographic aren't going to even give this film a second thought, but for what it's worth, I didn't think it was bad. Poorly made, yes, but that doesn't stop it from being enjoyable, because the songs and message it was trying to give were (mostly) well-delivered. If you are on the fence about seeing this, then I say give it a look.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:52 pm

Marter sold out to Disney. How many more young souls will it consume?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:29 pm

Nah, just wait for the Camp Rock 2 review. You'll see that I haven't sold out. :p

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:37 pm

You should prove you haven't sold out by watching A Serbian Film.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:40 pm

If I can find the DVD of it, then I will.

No, I'm not going to stream/torrent it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:41 pm

You'd love it. It's about amateur filmmakers.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:44 pm

I know what A Serbian Film is.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:45 pm

It's a romance.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:46 pm

I prefer to think of it as a dramedy, but it certainly has romance elements.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:48 pm

Marter wrote:I know what A Serbian Film is.
Freebird wrote:You'd love it. It's about amateur filmmakers.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by reg42 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:08 pm

The end is certainly very romantic.

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Oh, let me get a nickle bag

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:27 am

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Why? Why did we need this. Why did anyone think that making this film would be a good idea? There is almost nothing to praise here, with the entire production feeling like a huge mess, which is hilarious considering it's actually a better made film on a technical level that its predecessor. Oh, there was also one song that I enjoyed, but just one.

The film begins with our lead characters all returning to the camp of the title. Once again, "Camp Rock" is filled with much more pop and R&B than rock, but I digress. But there's a twist this time around: There is another camp that is operating on the other side of the lake called "Camp Star". That camp has higher production values, and after their introductory dance number, a lot of the staff and a couple of the members of Camp Rock decide to jump ship.

This leads to a wager made between the competing camps; the final jam for this year will be a competition, with the losing camp being forced to close next year. Most of the film is seen more as a training montage than an actual film, because all it features is a bunch of people doing things to get ready, with random songs being sung throughout. Oh, and our leads, Mitchie (Demi Lovato) and Shane (Joe Jonas) are having slight relationship troubles, but only for about five minutes before everything is solved with a song.

Now, I've already shared my feelings about the first Camp Rock film. It was poorly made, but had some catchy songs with a good message behind them. That's about all it really needed, so even though the editing was off and the characters weren't exactly believable, it was still an enjoyable experience, especially for its target audience.

But then this film was made, which featured poor songs and was left without a message, except for maybe one of "crush your competition whenever you get the chance". In fact, almost all of the character growth from the previous film was negated here, or completely reversed. Take our lead, Mitchie, who in the first film found out that taking charge of your life was a good thing, and that you shouldn't stand in the background for anyone else.

Here, she is the lead singer, as she rightfully should be, (Lovato has the most talent here), but she allows her friends to sing backup for her. This didn't make any sense to me, but I went with it at the beginning of the film. But after the bet is made, Mitchie begins to act exactly like Tess (Meaghan Jette Martin) did in the first film, which could actually confuse some of the much younger audience. Here they are, having watched this character learn to be assertive in the last film, completely crushing other people under her footstep.

To make matters worse, there are completely pointless moments in this film. I suppose that in order to top the previous Camp Rock film, they had to do something bigger. So they had all of the Jonas Brothers play central parts. One of them ends up falling for one of the Camp Star pianists, but it didn't really go anywhere, and took away attention from the pressing issue of the final competition. Apart from that, there was already the troubled romance angle from Mitchie and Shane, making this one completely redundant.

In another attempt to one-up the first film, Camp Rock 2 has bigger musical numbers, with more dancers and more locations. While the first film actually had the plot give them reason to sing and dance, this one has them break into song whenever it feels like there are dull parts. Most of these felt similar, with everyone facing the cameras, doing (somewhat) synchronized dance numbers. It feels far more theatrical, which isn't a problem by itself, but when the songs are worse, they lose excitement.

The best song comes early on, and is titled "Can't Back Down". I liked it, because it actually had a message, (one that isn't really echoed much throughout the film), and because it was catchy. The actors performing the song didn't seem to have the level of energy required though, which is how a lot of the film felt. Even the final musical number was a tad uninspired, at least, on the side of Camp Rock. Camp Star's performance was actually better, and if I had gotten the chance to vote, that's who I would have picked.

I suppose the ultimate test of whether or not you should watch this film is whether or not you watched the first film, and what you liked or disliked about it. If you liked how many characters there were, if you liked the songs, and if you liked its message, then you'll probably really dislike this one, like I did. If you wanted more focus on the Jonas Brothers, and if you wanted the characters to be inconsistent when looking at the previous film, then you should give this film a shot, because you might actually like it.

For me though, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is a complete waste of time. I liked one song, the film didn't have a message, and it more or less negated most of what happened in the last film when it comes to its characters. It was better made, and more theatrical in nature, but I wasn't enjoying myself for a variety of reasons. Unless you wanted more Jonas Brothers, skip this one.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:17 pm

Dude, I fucking loved that film. Fuck you.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Terria on Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:10 pm

Yeah Marter, maybe you should stay away from the classics from now on. Dissing such a great film is only gonna piss people off.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:32 pm

Marter: HURR DURR I HATE A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED FILM, I ARE SO EDGY

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:16 am

Hancock
Hancock has many points where it's well worth watching, and a few others were it falls really short. The parts that are good deal with flipping the stereotypical good guy superhero on its head, while the negatives come from inconsistent characters and the fact that, with a superhero movie, there is no real bad guy. That's inexcusable in this type of film.

The story begins with a hungover John Hancock (Will Smith) waking up on a city bench, presumably after a night of heavy drinking. He gets up after a kid insults him, and then decides to go for a little sight-seeing tour -- by flying Neo-style through the city. He lands in the car of some burglars, who shoot at him, before he takes their car and subsequently cause damage to a few city buildings. The news report claims that over $9 million dollars in damages were caused by his latest shenanigans. This is apparently a new personal best.

Enter into the picture Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), who is a public relations spokesperson. He's caught in traffic, and ends up on train tracks with a train approaching. The door's handle is broken, and he can't escape. Hancock drops in and saves him, although he causes damage to a few cars, unnecessarily, and smells of booze. But he still saved Ray's life, so Ray decides to try to turn Hancock's life around, turning him from a drunk, barely functioning, disliked superhero into an upstanding citizen. Okay, I've heard crazier ideas before. He does this with a two-week prison sentence though, and at point, Hancock gets all better. Well, that was easy.

At this point, we've almost hit the one hour mark, and the only conflict has come from Hancock being a stubborn person and not wanting to give in to the public's demand. So we need something else to keep us interested. Well, once our main character has been released from prison, (crime rates rise by over 30% in the first five days that he's in there), he begins to lose his invulnerability. He can still fly and still has superhuman strength, but he can be bruised, or eventually, shot.

The reason for this comes in the form of a plot twist, meaning I can't tell you it. However, I can say that it's an effective, if not completely arbitrary twist that comes from out of nowhere mostly because it doesn't make all that much sense. At least, not at first. After it's explained directly to us, we can kind of get behind the reasoning, although it would make a lot more sense if there was some mention or hint earlier. Hancock has no memory before 80 years ago, and the reason comes from something in his past. I'll give you one hint: He's not the only one of his kind.

The main problem that Hancock has is that it stuff a lot of content into its short runtime, but then forgets to include one of the most important elements of a superhero film: The villain. It tries to give us a deep character study, a fun action hero film, and a comedy. It doesn't become a success in any of these areas, while the final film only ends up being okay, but not the great film that you would hope for.

To be a character study, you need to have characters that are both relatable and consistent. We get the first part down, with the super-being Hancock dealing with normal people issues. But he doesn't stay in character, or at least, what we'd expect from him. He gets turned around far too easily by the simplest of actions, leading me to wonder if he actually suffers from some sort of multiple personality disorder. He goes from being a jerk to being a super nice guy to being somewhere in between incredibly quickly, which makes it hard for him to be a character we can watch for depth. And then there's those looks that he and Ray's wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), share, which serve in an attempt to create some tension between Ray and Hancock, but don't actually. Instead, Bateman gives Will Smith a couple of nasty looks, but that's all that ever leads to.

In terms of being an awesome superhero film, it also fails. The action scenes aren't all that exciting, mostly because of how powered-up our lead is. He's invulnerable, can fly, has superhuman strength, and doesn't age. He's effectively perfect, meaning we'll always know who is going to win. But when he does become mortal, there's no big bad guy to take him down, because that part of the story was forgotten about. Instead, we get a bank robber.

The comedy aspects of the film actually end up working the best, although they're too spread out to make a big impact. But I did laugh at points when the film was clearly trying to make a joke, so consider that part a success, I suppose. But then again, laughing at the drunk ramblings of an alcoholic is kind of sick, isn't it?

The special effects, when used, aren't all that impressive either. The flying feels unnatural, and it's very clear that Will Smith was in front of a green screen when it was happening. Luckily, we don't watch Hancock fly all that often, and after he becomes grounded, the special effects serve their purpose just fine. It's most apparent in the first five minutes of the film, which is actually for the best, because we're not involved enough for bad effects to take us out of the experience.

Despite the fact that it doesn't ever completely come together, I still had a good enough time with Hancock. It had enough going for it to make it watchable, despite the fact that its individual elements were very lacking. It feels inconsistently paced and put together, but as a story about a man who needs to do some growing up, it was good enough to entertain me.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:55 am

I could have sworn you'd reviewed this before.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Pararaptor on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:02 am

That was my thought at first too...
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:23 am

Yeah, I think you have Marter.

Not that we can really blame you for forgetting, this is like the millionth review.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:26 am

Everyone! Comb the archives! I'll take pages 1-10!

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:27 am

10-20

WHO WILL TAKE 20-23?????

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:29 am

10-23 all clear. Also.

"I can take a fairly good stab at which character comes back to life.
(If you know anything about Marvel at all, it's an easy guess.)
But I won't, cause I'm not an asshole."


Ha. Herald thinks he isn't an arsehole.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:32 am

Yep, apparently we all just had deja vu or something. Or maybe he did it before he started putting them up here.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:33 am

Either way, Marter LIES!

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:33 am

Escapist maybe? Idunno

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:33 am

LIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:22 pm

I had never reviewed Hancock before...

I keep all my reviews in text files in one folder, and there wasn't anything named "Hancock" there.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:24 pm

MIND LINK

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:40 am

Crank
Hitman Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) wakes up in his home, feeling unwell. He stumbles around, eventually making his way to the television set. On it is a DVD, which shows him that he's been injected with a poison, one that acts on his adrenal gland. Within the hour, he is told, his body will shut down, leaving him dead. The man behind the poisoning is Ricky Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), who is punishing Chev for performing a hit on the leader of the Chinese mafia.

Chev makes his way to his car, and begins driving. He phones a couple of people. First is his girlfriend (Amy Smart), who isn't there. Second, he calls his friend, Kaylo (Efren Ramirez), who will locate Verona so that Chev can kill him. Third, (although it would have been my first choice), he calls his doctor (Dwight Yoakam). He's told that the best way he can stay alive is to keep a constant flow of adrenaline, because it will keep the poison from working on his heart. Or something like that. It doesn't really matter. All that we care about is that it's an excuse to have an all-out action film.

That is exactly what we get, although I'm not sure that the word "fun" can describe it. There are definitely some fun moments, but a lot of the film is simply gross or depraved. That doesn't stop it from being entertaining, but it's not always a fun watch. There are moments where I actually wanted to look away such as a moment when a man's hand gets caught in a sewing machine. The film is, at times, really disgusting, although I suppose that could appeal to some people, so for those people, they've got something to look forward to, I suppose.

For most of the film though, we watch Jason Statham go from place to place, doing crazy things at each locale, before moving on to the next one. He encounters some interesting people, takes a lot of drugs, swears a lot, and has a bunch of action scenes. That's really the best way to describe this film, and is also just about all that there is to it. It's a simple concept with a basic execution that is ultimately a slight bit less enjoyable than it should be.

The action scenes, for how often they occur, are actually quite creative. There are a lot of electronics scattered throughout, all of which used in unconventional ways. There are also a few interesting driving scenes, and some boring gunfights. It's mixed, but mostly entertaining and unique. And since the action scenes dominate the film -- seriously, 90% of the movie can probably be considered an action scene -- having a few that are more conventional is okay in my eyes.

The plot, which is incredibly basic, does try to trick you with a late twist. If you've seen a revenge thriller before -- and yes, one will probably be enough -- then you'll get the twist before the film tells you. But then the twist is kind of ignored anyway, only really serving to give another big bad for Chev to shoot at in the film's climax.

The best thing about Crank, apart from the fact that it doesn't give you a moment to breathe, is that it's quite funny. Chev is a character that we grow to like, despite all of the deplorable things that he does to himself and others, and part of his charm is how he doesn't take anything too seriously. Even though his life is at stake here, he finds the time to joke around with both his allies and enemies. I was laughing early and often, even if the humor does kind of dry up by the end.

For a low budget film, (for a film like this, $12 million is low budget), there are quite a few special effects throughout. It's unfortunate that they're not very good, and you can easily tell when CGI is being used. The directors, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, tried to hide it by not ever giving us a clear shot of scenes that use CGI, but they weren't fooling me.

Speaking of hiding the special effects, the camera work was often quite poor. There are far too many close-ups, shaky-cam usage, quick cuts and overall distracting camerawork. I have a feeling that this was done to make sure that the budget was the reason for this, forcing the directors to make sure that we can't ever see everything that's going on. Or maybe it's just because of a lack of talent, I'm not sure, but with the amount of stuff going on throughout, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt here.

But I don't think that any of the film's problems are going to matter to the people who want to watch this film. Those people are going to want to watch an action film that doesn't give you much opportunity to catch your breath, and that's what you'll get here. If you're not wanting that though, and instead want a character focused revenge thriller, you'll want to look elsewhere, because this isn't a film with deep characters or an interesting plot.

At the very least, Crank gives you a solid reason for its lead character to be put through action scene after action scene. I'm thankful for that, and since I had a good enough time while watching it, I'm willing to forgive most of its flaws. It's not a film with good characters, special effects, plot or cinematography, but is instead a film that has relentless action that is occasionally offensive. I say watch it if that's what you want from a film, because it will entertain you.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:38 am

Crank: High Voltage
In Crank, Jason Statham's character, Chev Chelios, had a good reason to pull of crazy stunts: He would die if he didn't. There was a poison in his body that would send him to an early grave if he didn't keep the adrenaline flowing. In Crank: High Voltage, Chev is told directly, multiple times, that performing strenuous activity will kill him. So he does it anyway, because this is an action film.

High Voltage picks up directly where Crank left off, before quickly fast-forwarding three months. Chev Chelios, who is still alive, has his heart removed for reasons that are revealed later (but don't matter). The doctors plan to remove other parts of his body, so he decides that he's done lying on a hospital bed. He gets up, kills a few people, leaves and begins to get in touch with characters from the first film.

He decides that the best idea would be to hunt down the person who stole his heart. Most of the film plays out like an extremely long chase sequence, surprisingly not featuring any car chases. Oh, cars are used, but they are used solely as a means of transport, which was nice. He encounters his former girlfriend, Eve (Amy Smart), and gets in touch with his doctor (Dwight Yoakam), who informs him of his current situation. An artificial heart was put in Chev's body, one that needs to constantly be charged up, or he will, once again, die. I wonder what happened to that poison from the first film, but it isn't mentioned except for off-hand references.

This gimmick is far less effective than the previous one. For starters, we're told that he should die if he exerts himself too much, meaning all of the running, jumping, shooting, and all the other typical things that happen in an action film that he does is counterproductive. In the first film, it was necessary. It also means that he has to constantly find something to recharge the battery of his new heart, which gets tiring after a while.

When the heart gets low is arbitrary as well. At some points, it will stay charged for twenty minutes. Others, it will be dead after five. And I checked -- the action on-screen does not impact the time it takes to become discharged. When it gets this way, we get to watch Jason Statham get zapped with electricity. I would guess that this would still hurt him, considering it's still passing through his body to get to the heart, but instead it turns him into the equivalent of a superhero for a few minutes.

But this difference in what Chev needs to do in order to stay alive is essentially the only main difference between the first Crank and this one. Here, you get almost the same thing, just bigger and louder. There are scenes that have identical set-ups, such as the public sex scene, a random gang showing up to have a big gunfight, and a couple of characters functioning the same way they did before, performing all of the same functions that they did before. If the first Crank felt original, this one will feel like the reheated leftovers.

Although I don't think anyone would call the first Crank "realistic", it wasn't all that far-fetched when you think about it. It was at least believable, and you could understand how something like its plot could occur in real life. You know, as long as we get a lead character seemingly made of titanium, stupid characters who go along with his crazy schemes and likely the worst police officers in the world. This time around, Chev is more like a comic book character, and the film completely loses its touch with reality. In fact, it does this completely in one scene, turning two combating characters into giants, while dolls representing two construction workers watch on.

Somehow, I still don't think this matters to many of the people who are going to watch Crank: High Voltage. I wager that most of them will just want an action movie that has gunfights, fist fights, and other types of fights all throughout that will keep you entertained for an hour and a half. Who cares if it makes sense? Well, I do, although I doubt others will. And I suppose, if all you want is a mindless action film, you could do a whole lot worse than High Voltage.

The action scenes and set-pieces in this film are actually quite well-done, just like they were in the first film. Gone is the poor CGI, which was distracting last time around. The action scenes aren't as creative though, mostly because they're just rehashes of the ones in the first film, with more emphasis being placed on guns. But they function in being entertaining, which is their only real purpose.

What High Voltage misses is the humor that was found throughout most of the first film. I was laughing quite a lot the first time around, but for a franchise that prides itself on taking itself too seriously, High Voltage was a bit too serious. The moments of levity and joy were gone, which just left an action movie with people getting shot and dying in its wake. I mean, it's still somewhat entertaining, but it's not the same.

Crank: High Voltage has its main character getting jolted a whole bunch of times with electricity, but that's the only electrifying (Get it? Yeah, the film pulls that pun on you as well.) moment in the entire film. Sure, there are some entertaining fight scenes, but they don't pop off the screen like they did the first time around. High Voltage follows the formula set down by the first film to a tee, and I think that is the main reason it isn't as good. We've seen it before, and it isn't as fun the second time around.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:23 am

Different planets.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:39 pm

CRANK 2! I remember that shit from Ireland. The puppet battle was fucking awesome!

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:48 pm

Best film to watch stoned in the fucking world. It makes just as much sense either way.

But honestly, I think it's one of the first truly innovative action films I've seen in years. It's a hyper-edited internet hip nightmare of a film, digital and retro at the same time, pointlessly violent and racist and starring one of the most likable action stars around. The first one's great too, and the ending is much better, but the second is ADHD in movie form.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:16 pm

I don't remember it well enough. Just remember what the fucking over the puppet battle.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:18 pm

I watched that with you?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:20 pm

Yeah we did. After rampage I think.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:28 pm

Here's a quick challenge for you: What was the plot of Reservoir Dogs?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:04 pm

EEEEErrrrrrrrr..... EEeeeeerrrrrrr. Men in suits walk about? Someone is shot in the stomach?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:46 am

Crash
Imagine a world where everybody spoke what was on their mind, without worrying about offending anyone else unless offending them would lead to negative consequences for you. Political correctness doesn't appear to exist, meaning if a thought about race, culture, gender, societal status, or anything else came into your mind, you wouldn't be afraid to state it. Now, populate that world with racists, bigots, rich, poor, thieves and police officers, and the world you imagine would probably become similar to the one that Crash represents.

There are far too many characters and storylines to accurately describe them in text. All of these characters are different in their own ways, but like the point the film tries to make, all the same as well. What happens throughout most of the plot is that one character will appear, meet another character, and based on stereotypes about their race or current economic situation, will react to one another in a way that wouldn't be deemed "correct" in a polite society, even though they're almost always wrong.

I'll give you a couple of examples. The first one involves a spoiled, upper class white woman (Sandra Bullock), who has just been carjacked. Upon returning to her house, with police officers from all different backgrounds present, she starts ranting and raving about seemingly every race that isn't white, with most of her insults directed toward the man currently changing the locks to her door (Michael Peña). While she does leave the room to do this, it becomes pretty clear that everyone in the house can hear her. She believes that the locksmith will go and sell the keys to her house to a gang, and demands that they change the locks again in the morning. When he leaves, we see that the locksmith isn't a criminal, but a family man, with a wife and daughter he takes care of. He even left a dangerous neighborhood to protect them.

The second situation involves an Iraqi named Farhad (Shaun Toub), who opens the film wanting to buy a gun. The shop owner is less than friendly to Farhad, who is eventually thrown out of the shop due to the racism exhibited by the shopkeeper. Eventually, Farhad's daughter, Dorri (Bahar Soomekh), manages to get the gun from the abusive salesman. It turns out that the pair only wanted the gun to protect their shop, in case more thieves were to come in.

That doesn't make the Iraqis innocent in this film, definitely not. Almost every character has both redeeming moments as well as inexcusable ones. For most of the time, I figured it would be one or the other; either the characters would be completely good, or completely bad, but that isn't the case. By the end of the film, most of the characters will have learned a lesson, one that can be boiled down to their prejudice being right or wrong (in their eyes, at least).

What this results in are deep, realistic characters that all have problems and need to do some growing up, and learning about other cultures. In fact, most of their problems come from sheer ignorance, something relayed to us in one of the film's final scenes, where a white, off-duty police officer (Ryan Phillippe) picks up a hitchhiking black man (Larenz Tate), and they get along well enough for a while, despite the fact that one's a white cop, and the other is a black thief (although neither is aware of the others' "occupation").

I think I could watch these people for hours. This is an ensemble film, and as such suffers from the main problem that almost all films with such a cast suffer from: Not enough time is spent with each character. If Crash ended up being 4 hours, I think I'd be okay with that, because these characters are ones I wanted to watch for double the time that they got. There are a couple of characters that feel really shortchanged, only really getting three or four scenes throughout the entire picture.

I wanted more, which is a good sign that the movie I was watching was of high quality. I was not bored for a single moment while watching Crash, which is praise in and of itself when you're talking about a drama. Despite that it is a drama, the amount of tension you get from each film makes it seem more like a thriller, and I was certainly thrilled. Whenever a scene started, I knew I would be in for something exciting. Crash didn't disappoint in this aspect.

While I didn't get tired of the film's message, I'm sure that it might become redundant to some. It is delivered over and over again throughout the film, which is about as close as the film comes to having a problem. This can turn some people away, I'm sure, because being told multiple times that being racist and assuming negative things about people not exactly like you are bad qualities to have ends up getting stale. But I think that because the film delivers that idea with multiple ways and scenarios, it doesn't get stale, but instead, becomes stronger and will stay with you after you it, even if you weren't someone to need that being told to you.

Crash is a great film that deals with racism and different societal classes. Is it perfect? Not quite, but it's very close. It gets its message hammered home in multiple ways, using realistic and intriguing characters to captivate us. It's more thrilling than a lot of thrillers, and manages to find a balancing point between being too over-the-top with how bigoted these characters are, almost always giving them a chance to redeem themselves. Definitely give this film a watch.
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