Marter's Reviews

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:05 am

Fuck you

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:14 am

The Truth About Love
If you've seen a romantic comedy before, you probably have no reason to watch The Truth About Love. If you haven't, there are definitely better films to watch, but this one is, at the very least, watchable. Well, it's watchable regardless, but the endless use of clichés may just bring you down, when one of the main purposes of romantic comedies is to make you feel good.

The film stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as Alice, a woman who suspects her husband of infidelity. Instead of, I don't know, talking to him about it, she decides to send him a card, then buy a new phone and pretend to be a new person who is interested in him. She calls this new person "Anonymous", based on a perfume that she sees earlier in the film. To her dismay, her husband, Sam (Jimi Mistry), decides to pursue this new mystery woman. It reminds me of the Honeymoon Suite song "New Girl Now." You know, "I've got a new girl now/And she's a lot like you."

While this is going on, Sam's best friend, Archie (Dougray Scott), is lusting after Alice. He doesn't make it clear to her, but instead, to us. He even sent her an anonymous Valentine's Day card. He's a good guy, and ends up being the only one that I could actually sit back and think that he deserves to be happy. I mean, at least he's not guilty of infidelity or entrapment, so that's got to count for something.

Throughout the entire film, there's a trial going on, that involves a footballer, (although the British tabloids still call it soccer for some reason), who is also accused of infidelity. But the trial is completely unrelated to the plot, and only serves to pad the runtime. Both Sam and Archie are lawyers working to clear the man's name, but I still can't see a reason for the trial to be included. I can only think it was meant to pad the film's runtime, but you cut out fifteen minutes and it can still be called a feature film.

The film prides itself on using random rom-com clichés. You can figure out most of the film by watching other romantic comedies, which takes away any surprise that it might have. I would have been perfectly content if it ended ten minutes earlier, because then it would have at least skipped out on a predictable ending. But that didn't happen, and instead, I was disappointed. For a moment, it did seem like it was going to end, but then it pulled a fast one on me and decided to be just like most other romantic comedies.

Most of the film focuses on Alice attempting to find out if both if, and why, her husband is cheating on her. He is, we learn this far before she does, but the why is what gets me. Casting Jennifer Love Hewitt in the lead role makes the film somewhat unbelievable to me. Who would cheat on her, with not one, but two (technically, maybe, I don't know), women? The reason given is that her husband has lost interest. Really? Fine. Whatever. I'll buy it.

But if he's such a bad person, why does she continue to pursue him? She even says something ridiculous at one point: "I'll be his wife and his mistress." She hopes that this will make him want to stay with her. I can't buy that someone would act like this, and this isn't even the craziest thing to come from her mouth -- it's just one of the more memorable ones.

The writing is all around pretty poor. Whether it be the characters, their dialogue, or the situations, almost nothing that happens is all that believable. It also seems that the writers were missing a thesaurus, due to how many times key words were used in the film. Or maybe that was intentional and the entire film was a joke or satire or whatever it is that people try to defend these types of films use. Sorry, but it isn't working for me.

However, the worst part of the film wasn't the somewhat unbelievable plot, the poor characters or writing, or the fact that I still can't believe that someone would "get tired" of Jennifer Love Hewitt. No, the worst part of the film happened in post-production, although I'm still not sure exactly what happened. When characters talk -- and this happens most of the time -- their lips don't sync up with the words coming out of their mouths. Now, this could easily be a simple error in the syncing of the audio and video, but I'm not sure it's that simple. Now, post-production dubbing happens in almost all films, but it seemed like the entire film here was dubbed over afterward. It didn't seem like a simple syncing error, because sometimes the mouthed words and the ones being spoken didn't seem to match up.

There's a certain lack of humor in The Truth About Love as well. I laughed the most during the opening lines of the film, which isn't a good sign. I was ready to laugh a lot more, but then I sat there, not laughing, and wondered how this film could even be called a romantic comedy. There's not even a lot of romance, apart from the few scenes where characters try to seduce one another. It's just kind of dull all around, while still falling into rom-com clichés.

The Truth About Love isn't a good film, but like I said in the opening, it's watchable. I felt indifferent for most of the time it was playing, but it wasn't a complete waste of time. It's unbelievable, poorly written, and the post-production dubbing and syncing definitely took away from the experience, making it feel amateurish, but I still couldn't bring myself to outright hate it. That said, there are far better films out there to spend your time on, and I'd recommend you watch those instead of spending your time on this.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:49 am

The Town
The Town has good actors, is well-made and has a couple of fun action scenes. That's as simple as it gets, and is also part of the problem. Those are the only good elements, and since most of the film dwells on a story that is a little tough to believe, they get forgotten about. Make no mistake, there are times when I was interested, but for most of the film's duration, I was not entertained.

The problem here primarily comes from the film's genre. The Town is a heist film, although there is more than one of these throughout. The film opens with a group of four men robbing a bank and eventually taking the bank manager, Claire (Rebecca Hall), hostage. For some reason, they even take her driver's license, and because they suspect she might talk to the FBI, they decide to have someone go keep an eye on her. Ben Affleck plays Doug, the man who volunteers for this job.

They first meet, (or meet for the second time, I suppose), at the laundromat. She initiates the conversation, asking Doug for a few quarters for the dryer. It eventually ends with Doug asking her out on a date, thus beginning their romance. He's attracted to her because she's unlike the rude, drunk or otherwise unsightly females that he normally associates with. And she likes him because, well, he's the lead and there needs to be a forced love story that takes up far more of the plot than it should crammed in. I guess.

This relationship is something that Doug is worried about, because he was one of the robbers that kidnapped her in the film's opening scene. She doesn't seem to think that he had anything to do with it, despite constantly questioning her in regards to the FBI, and also knowing far more about crime life than someone who breaks up rocks for a living should. His explanation is that he watches a lot of CSI, and then sarcastically says that he must know everything there is to know because of this.

I wasn't buying it. Claire seems smarter than this. She even tells him directly that she would be able to recognize the robbers' voices if she heard them again, and since Doug, the "good guy" of the group, was the only one to directly speak to her, I don't know why she wouldn't recognize his. She's far to unassuming considering how much he seems to care about the robbery, especially when she seems to only want to forget about it. Would a good boyfriend constantly remind his partner about something she wants to put in her past? Probably not.

This love story is also what dominates the picture. Since Doug becomes so head-over-heels in love with Claire, he decides that he's going to change his life for the best, much to the chagrin of his best friend, Jem (Jeremy Renner). But he has to do one more job, in a plot point that has been done so many times before it's not even funny. But skillful execution can make you forget that the plot isn't that unique, and for most of the film, it's made well, even though we're mostly just listening to two people talking to one another.

The action scenes, when they do come around, are fun to watch. They're action-packed, thrilling and all-around well-made. But they're far too few and far between to engage us enough, and only seem to come around when the film seems to really lull. It's just too bad that they wait about 30 minutes after this lull begins to show up, meaning we get a lot of time that's boring to sit through.

The actors are good, except for Affleck, who comes across as fairly wooden. He doesn't have a lot of emotion, even when he's supposed to be intense, which makes some scenes feel like they have enough passion. Supporting actors like Chris Cooper, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner are very good though, and I wanted more of them. Cooper is Doug's father, while Hamm is the FBI agent always on the bank robbers' trail. Oh, and Blake Lively shows up for a few scenes as a single mother who Doug had a relationship with at some point, representing the exact type of person that he no longer wants to be involved with.

As a general rule, I'm not particularly fond of heist films. They usually follow certain conventions that more often than not take me out of the film. The Town tries to vary things up, making this love story the central focus. But it just doesn't work here, with the actual heist scenes, despite falling into typical conventions, being far more exciting and entertaining. If you limited the relationship between Doug and Claire, or at least made it believable, you'd probably have a good film. But instead, we're left with a mediocre film that has a lot of potential.

The Town has good actors who, for most of the time, do things we don't care about. The focal point of the film is a love story between the two lead characters, but it's not believable or worth caring about. The actual heist parts of the film, when characters perform robberies involving a lot of money, are fun and exciting, but they don't happen often enough, or are not built up enough to make the film worth watching. It's not a bad film, but it's just not one that's all that good. It's there, it functions and that's about it.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:35 pm

REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:13 pm

Good old John Woo.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:31 pm

PayJ567 wrote:REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

BBC Three?

One day, they will realise they have been broadcasting stoner TV ever since its re-imagining.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Furburt on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Also acceptable, Jet Li's The One. The plot isn't quite as utterly stupid when you're stoned.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:36 pm

Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

BBC Three?

One day, they will realise they have been broadcasting stoner TV ever since its re-imagining.
Yes son. The stoners all follow the same calling.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:43 pm

PayJ567 wrote:
Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

BBC Three?

One day, they will realise they have been broadcasting stoner TV ever since its re-imagining.
Yes son. The stoners all follow the same calling.

Aha quality programming who can complain about the constant Family Guy/American Dad marathons?

You seen any of the Fringe comedy stuff?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:44 pm

Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:
Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

BBC Three?

One day, they will realise they have been broadcasting stoner TV ever since its re-imagining.
Yes son. The stoners all follow the same calling.

Aha quality programming who can complain about the constant Family Guy/American Dad marathons?

You seen any of the Fringe comedy stuff?
Nawh.

Watch Johnny Bravo stoned.

http://tv.blinkx.com/show/johnny-bravo/3JIoaFr-G9Vqs37eQbrDMeQrP90#s1e4

Hell watch it sober.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:51 pm

PayJ567 wrote:
Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:
Mr. Wiggles wrote:
PayJ567 wrote:REVIEW FACE OFF! I watched it yesterday and it was some legendarily stupid but excellent action film. My opinion may be skewed by THC but it was still damn awesome.

BBC Three?

One day, they will realise they have been broadcasting stoner TV ever since its re-imagining.
Yes son. The stoners all follow the same calling.

Aha quality programming who can complain about the constant Family Guy/American Dad marathons?

You seen any of the Fringe comedy stuff?
Nawh.

Watch Johnny Bravo stoned.

http://tv.blinkx.com/show/johnny-bravo/3JIoaFr-G9Vqs37eQbrDMeQrP90#s1e4

Hell watch it sober.

Aha that's some good shit.

Remember watching this as a kid at my nan's...

This and Oscar the flying piano

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:53 pm

Dexter's Lab was always awesome back in the day.


My favourite childhood cartoon was 90's Spiderman though. So awesome. Watching it Saturday mornings on CITV.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Walnutman on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:59 pm

My favourite was probably X-men. Now it's Batman: The animated series.

Fuck it's good.

@Joe: That was good too but this is a better theme:


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:11 pm

@WallyI cried over Clayface in those Batman episodes. Poor fella. He didn't want to hurt people! :S

All of the above shows were amazingness!

@Page: Was that the amazing spiderman ones? They were on Fox Kids all day before it became the monster it is today.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:12 pm

Walnutman wrote:My favourite was probably X-men. Now it's Batman: The animated series.

Fuck it's good.

@Joe: That was good too but this is a better theme:

Used to love that shit aswell.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:14 pm



FUCK YEAH NOSTALGIA

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:21 pm

Sheeyit that takes me back!

I used to think Kraven was the coolest followed by that lizard fella whose name escapes me.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:23 pm

All about the hob goblin.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Walnutman on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:25 pm

@Wiggles: I only saw his origin thing, fuck it was amazing.

Still amazing to think that they invented Harley Quinn and how they changed Mr. Freeze.

Watch "Baby doll" if you haven't already.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by PayJ on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:33 pm



The 90's everyone.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:35 pm

Found a Tennessee Williams/Elia Kazan of the same name. Had to settle for her wiki page.

http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Baby_Doll

That's some freaky shit going on there.... That's quality writing that still stands up as an adult as it did when you were a child. Maybe this is why all those people love MLP.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:35 pm

I can't get nostalgic without thinking of the poor children of today whose only quality show is Rastamouse.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Walnutman on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:40 pm

@Wiggles: Cool huh?

Still, this is what made the show for me:



Holy fucking shit I loved Hamill's Joker.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:25 am

The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker
The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker, is a film dealing with the problems of binge drinking, and tells you very blatantly that you shouldn't do it. It tells the story of one not very smart person with limited self-control who begins to indulge more and more frequently during her first year of college. This person is Jessie (Sara Paxton), and she ends up being the roommate of Shanna (Chelsea Hobbs), both of whom are entering their first year of college.

Jessie is a straight-A student, someone who you would never expect to turn around completely. She has a supportive mother (April Brenner) and a loving sister (Alexia Fast), and her only problem is that she doesn't think she'll be popular at college. So she decides to join her roommate in indulging in a little champagne to open up the school year. And then goes out to a party. And another one. And yet another. You see where this is going.

The film uses almost all of the clichés I can think of when looking at films involving addiction. The main character starts out completely fine, and within a few days is a hard-partying binge drinker. She gets worse and worse as the film progresses, despite others trying to help her. She only does it, supposedly, to fit in. The only surprise here comes from the ending, which actually shocked me. Apart from that, you've probably seen similar scenes in similar film before, and have no reason to watch this.

That is, of course, unless you need the film's message hammered home further, or you believe that your children, friends, or others that you care about need it. Simply speaking, the moral of the story is: Don't binge drink. I can see this film actually being an eye-opener to some, as it does have some extremely powerful scenes. The message is very clear, and comes across strongly, which, since this is the main point of the film, it succeeds.

However, there is a lot of over exaggeration and times when the film is more silly than it is realistic. For example, am I supposed to believe that every single time a character takes a drink in the film, they scream with joy? The parties in this college also seem quite a bit more professional than they likely should be, although I guess you want to initially show the lifestyle as glamorous, before showing us that it's really not all that great.

I also have a hard time imagining that a character like Jessie would fall for peer pressure quite so easily. In the film, she does this at the very first chance she gets. She's a smart person, we've been told, and she initially plans on just staying in the background and just getting great marks. But at the first offering of champagne, she ditches that, and gives in to peer pressure at every opportunity afterward.

The dialogue coming from these characters mouths also doesn't seem all that real to me. It's a PG film, (at least, here in Canada it is), but that rating cannot accurately represent a college lifestyle. While the characters don't need to swear up a storm, they do need to at least talk semi-realistically. But this is a Lifetime movie, which is essentially an adult version of Disney Channel films, meaning that isn't going to happen. This takes me out of films like this almost as much as how unrealistic the situations are.

And then there's Jessie's mother, who, like so many parents, doesn't see the signs until it's (possibly) too late. But she calls incessantly anyway. Why? Why not have her become aware -- not just speculate -- of Jessie's situation earlier? And when she does find out, she doesn't do all that much. She doesn't act like I'd expect a concerned mother to act, which is another thing that made the film seem unrealistic.

The best part of the film is its ending, which is, at the very least, not what you'd expect. Or at least, I didn't expect it. It was powerful, and if there's one shot that I'll remember for a long time after watching The Party Never Stops, it's the ending. And thankfully, it isn't an ending where you have to interpret anything. It's perfectly clear what happens, how it affects people, and what the characters are going to do with their lives. It was also just about the perfect ending that I could imagine, and if you do decide to watch this film, at least you have this to look forward to.

The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker has a good message, but if you have no fears about becoming a binge drinker, then you're fine without watching it. The ending and its message are really the only things that the film has going for it, with the rest of the film feeling unrealistic, repetitive and slightly boring. Maybe let your kids watch it when they turn 10 though, just to give them an idea of what not to do at college.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:38 am

Knowing
Knowing opens off with a girl in an elementary school classroom making a picture for the time capsule. But instead of drawing something like the other children, she's writing down a bunch of (seemingly) random numbers. But she's interrupted before she can finish, leading to an angry look at her teacher. I guess that paper was important, and we'll just have to wait until the capsule is opened. Sucks for her!

So that's what happens. 50 years later, the time capsule is opened at Caleb Koestler's school. Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) is the son of a college professor named John (Nicolas Cage). No prizes for guessing that Caleb is the one that gets this strange note. He takes it home, despite that being against school rules, where his father finds it. He reads the first few numbers, and realizes that they're the date of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The next numbers state the number of people killed that day. He continues, searching up the dates on the internet. He discovers that this piece of paper, one written 50 years ago, has correctly predicted the date, location and number of deaths for every major disaster since it was written. Weird.

John discovers that there are 3 events that have yet to occur. The death totals are not all that high, except for the final one, which may be 33, or may actually be "EE". The "EE" standing for something that the film has to reveal for you, although I guessed what it meant right away, as may some of you as you're reading this review. John decides that he has to go to the location of each event in order to see if he can prevent it. That goes just about as well as you'd expect.

But to me, that doesn't make much sense. We see John teaching one of his classes earlier in the film, claiming that he believes that "[stuff] just happens". He doesn't believe in things being predetermined, and would seem the type to believe his friend and co-worker, who tells him that people see what they want to believe. Maybe he's just linking some numbers together and they're making sense because he's believing that they are? Or maybe he's just crazy. Those seem like more valid choices to someone of this mindset.

But let's assume he truly believes that this piece of paper has predicted the future accurately for 50 years. Why does he assume that he can stop it now? If it is predetermined that all of these events will happen, how can he stop it, and why should he try? The logic of the film is what lost me more than the silly plot. John as a character just doesn't seem to act like a rational person would, which makes no sense considering the main scene which sets up the way his mind works.

If Knowing would have set him up as a person who often thinks of crazy things, then I could understand him wanting to figure out the mystery of these numbers. But it just doesn't compute when you take a look at his character, his past experiences, and his beliefs. All of which the film does a good job of building up, only to have them all negated by his actions throughout. It's like two different people wrote this film, with the first coming up with the back story and the character, while the second decided what he'd do during the film. It simply doesn't add up to me.

If you've seen one of the trailers or commercials for Knowing, you've probably got a pretty good idea as to how the finale sets-up. Something is coming to take out a large group of people, and only John is able to (possibly) stop it. The ending comes as a surprise in two parts. Firstly, it finally answers one of the questions we've had for most of the film: Who are these weird people in black robes that keep showing up everywhere? Secondly, it is conclusive while not following conventional methods. I didn't really like the ending, but I can see what it was going for. It was, at the very least, not a cookie-cutter Hollywood ending, so I'll have to give it points for being somewhat original.

The special effects are really solid, except for in once scene where a plane crashes from the sky and slides across the ground. That's the only moment that took me out of the film because of mediocre effects. It still wasn't terrible, but it wasn't on-par with the rest of the film. Most of the time though, the effects alone would almost be enough to captivate me, if only they happened more often. There's not all that much action in the film that calls for CGI -- and no, I'm not saying that is needs more action scenes -- but I would have liked to see them show off a bit more.

At least there isn't a tacked-on love story in this movie. John eventually meets (although it's more like stalks at the beginning) a woman named Diana (Rose Byrne), who is the daughter of the young girl from 50 years ago. But they don't end up getting together or even trying to form a relationship. I'm glad that this is how the film approached this, because it would have felt really cheesy to have them fall in love right at the end.

In short, Knowing is a pretty well-made film that suffers from a logical crisis that cripples it. The main character just doesn't make any sense, which makes the audience question all of his actions. He isn't consistent, and constantly counters his own beliefs and previous decisions. But the special effects are good, the ending is fairly unique, and there wasn't a tacked-on love story. It's definitely a mixed bag, but I didn't enjoy myself all that much because of the main character not making sense. Overcome that, and it's a fine film. I couldn't do that though.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:06 am

Did Sara Paxton get raped because of alcohol?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:35 pm

No.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:17 am

A Perfect Getaway
After you watch A Perfect Getaway, you'll think back and wonder if it cheated. The plot revolves around a bunch of people in Hawaii, where there is a killer -- or multiple killers -- on the loose. We mostly focus on two couples, both of whom suspect the other of being the killers, although they don't let on. There is also a couple of hitchhikers who may or may not be stalking these other people. But does the film cheat in hiding the killer(s)? I don't really think so, although it does try its darnedest to not let on.

Our main characters are honeymooners Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich), who travel to Hawaii for a hiking vacation. They plan to spend just three days there, meaning they need to get going. They're stopped before they begin by the hitchhikers (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth). She's friendly but he's grumpy, and our lead couple end up not giving them a ride. Once on the trail, they encounter another couple named Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez). The two couples decide to hike together. They talk and suspect and are afraid. But our point of view follows Cliff and Cydney, so we care more about them. And they're frightened after they learn that there is a murderer -- or murderers -- running about.

So it's a thriller, one where nobody knows who the murderers are, except for the ones doing the killing. But they won't let on, and neither will the movie. They all have certain quirks that will make you suspect them, as well as having them suspect each other. Cliff is a screenwriter who has his first script in pre-production, Nick was in the army, had a landmine blow up and caught some shrapnel in the head. But he lived, and now has titanium in his skull. Or so he says. We don't know if we can believe him, as his stories get more and more outlandish as the film progresses. The women of the film don't get all that much of a back story until all of the reveals have occurred, which happens in a monochrome flashback that lasts somewhere around ten or fifteen minutes.

I didn't like this part of A Perfect Getaway. When the film has to explain everything that's occurred so far, so that we understand what everyone's part in the mystery is, then I feel it hasn't left enough clues for us earlier. It's only after this long flashback that you understand the lengths that the film went to in order to conceal the truth. It's clever, but it's very deceptive. It'll certainly make subsequent viewings interesting, although I don't know if it'll make the film better. But you'll understand why certain characters act the way they do, and why some of their dialogue sequences have dual meanings.

But in the moment, this works fairly well. Even though I figured it out a short while before the film told me what was going on, it had me fooled for most of its runtime. I was constantly trying to figure out who was a killer, and why. You get satisfaction by figuring it out before you're told, but you have to give the film admiration and respect for fooling you for as long as it does. Since both of those things happened here, A Perfect Getaway ends up looking like an excellent thriller.

Unfortunately, after the reveal, the film still has to end. It ends with a chase scene and a standoff that involves characters we meet just for this one scene. Does that ruin the film? Not really, but it's a lot worse than the build-up. This takes place right after the flashback, making the final 20-25 minutes of the film feel far worse than everything that led up to the conclusion. Watching these people suspect one another and act cautiously, all while the audience is trying to figure out what's up, was a lot more fun than watching the revelation play out.

The script, which includes dialogue that is intentionally deceptive, actually includes a lot of funny moments. I was laughing quite a bit more than I expected throughout, which helped me like these characters. Humor is the best way to get someone to instantly like you, after all. It also helps you forget how much the film is trying to trick you, because it's keeping you in a good mood while doing it.

Take a scene in which Nick and Cliff are talking about script-writing. Nick claims that good thrillers need "red snappers" scattered throughout. What's a "red snapper"? He meant "red herrings". Thankfully, Cliff corrects him about that. The entire scene made me laugh, not only because of how it's delivered to us, but also because I knew it was a harbinger of things to come. I was not wrong in this assumption.

The actors are actually good enough in their roles, or at least, I liked watching them. Olyphant actually ends up being the star of the film, being over-the-top and crazy enough to make him watchable. I also liked seeing Zahn in a role that wasn't in a slapstick comedy, actually giving him time to act like an actual human being. The other actors are all decent too, with none of them acting in a way that you wouldn't expect. (Except for, you know, some of them maybe being killers.)

For what it is, A Perfect Getaway is a good mystery thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the end. That's more or less all you need with this type of film, so I guess it accomplishes that task. It does feel deceptive and manipulative at some points, especially when you find out what's really going on here, but it stays entertaining throughout, and because of that, is worth a watch.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:56 pm

Tristan & Isolde
Tristan & Isolde begins with an action scene, ends with an action scene, and has one action scene in its middle. The first is one that I can describe, in which England and Ireland are in constant conflict. Tristan (James Franco) is a young English warrior, skilled with a blade. He decides to go free some prisoners, and ends up killing a bunch of people, including a husky man. It turns out that an Irish princess named Isolde (Sophia Myles) was betrothed to this gentleman.

Tristan is poisoned during this battle though, although he is presumed dead. His comrades place him in a boat, set it off to sea, and shoot it full of burning arrows. Somehow, he makes it to a beach of Ireland, completely unharmed by the fire. Isolde finds him, hides him in a cave and nurses him back to full health. this would be against her father's wishes, she claims, but she does it regardless. After becoming well enough to depart Ireland, he asks her to come with him. She refuses, although her reason isn't all that clear. At first, I thought, like the advertisements told me, this would be like Romeo and Juliet, although the reason they can't be together is just because she says they can't. It doesn't turn out that way though, thank goodness.

What results later is a tale mostly of jealousy. After entering a tournament that was supposed to unite Britain, Isolde ends up becoming the bride of Lord Marke of Cornwall (Rufus Dewell). But since Tristan is indebted to Lord Marke, he can't do anything about that. And so begins our real story, which only really starts somewhere around an hour into the film. The impending doom comes from the Irish, who are set-up as the film's bad guys, because they don't want peace, and are looking for any opportunity to break their truce with the English.

The resulting love story isn't actually a bad one, and it managed to keep me entertained for most of the film's runtime. The pair sneak around behind the backs of people they love, and who love them, which causes a lot of tension any time they try to sneak around with one another. You don't want them to get caught, even though you can't agree with their actions. It creates an interesting dynamic for the audience, because you're constantly being torn in one direction or the other.

I did want more action scenes though, because the one's we're given are a lot of fun. The one to begin the film has a lot of carnage and death, although because it's a PG-13 movie, little to no blood. This continues throughout, with the only blood coming from serious injuries, instead of quick deaths. It's also odd that when a main character gets stabbed, they can continue fighting for a long time, even when that injury appears to be at their heart. An enemy taking an injury anywhere is an instead kill, unless they're one of the main villains.

I have a feeling that Tristan & Isolde could have easily been shortened if either of the main characters would have done the logical thing in their situations. When Tristan initially asks if Isolde wants to go away with him, she says "no" for almost no discernible reason. If she had said yes, they could have left and gone away together -- something she actually suggests later in the film -- which would have solved all of their problems. And why didn't Tristan at least fight for her once she becomes the property of Lord Marke? If he was truly in love, and this is another thing that is told to him, then honor shouldn't matter that much.

But these aren't things I thought about during the film. It involved me enough, and gave me enough of an emotional attachment to its characters to get my mind from wandering and thinking about its problems. That's a good thing, although it means that watching the film a second time might not be as rewarding. That's especially true when you know its ending, which, I'm happy enough to say, isn't like the ending to the story that the advertisements compare it to: Romeo and Juliet.

Actually, I don't really understand these comparisons. Sure, Isolde is Irish and Tristan is English, and yes, their different cultures are at war, but it doesn't seem like Isolde causes much of a stirring once she goes to English territory. They accept her just fine, furthering my suspicion that if she would have just left at the beginning, a lot of the problems the characters have to overcome, or succumb to, wouldn't occur. Romeo and Juliet each had other people telling them they couldn't be together, while Tristan and Isolde only seem that way because they've decided so.

I don't believe that James Franco is right for the role here, or at least, he doesn't play it correctly. There's always a tear in his eye, and he's always gloomy, even when he's supposed to be the heroic warrior. Myles' Irish accent didn't start out all that great, but she did eventually improve on it. At that point, she settles into her role and the film gets better.

Tristan & Isolde isn't an epic action film set in the 5th century, but it is a solid romance film with betrayal, suspense and some thrills. It keeps the audience involved, which will allow you to overlook some of its flaws, like how the characters' actions don't make logical sense, or how easily all of the drama could have been avoided altogether. You get caught up in the story, and while it isn't a great film, you could do a whole lot worse.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:35 pm

I know you get bombarded with this but cam I recommend Rock 'N' Rolla and the City Of Life And Death?

COLAD caused an emotional death in pretty much everyone I know but I can't actually tell whether it's well made or anything mainly because it kills me to watch it. It's just seems too petty to be doing when your watching people die. Still interested to know what the expert thinks.

I think Rock'n' Rolla is the shit but that's mostly because my mate has a lead role so my judgement isn't exactly fair. I mean, it is typical Guy Ritchie but I still think it's good.

I don't expect anything don't worry! Just would be interested to find out what someone who knows his shit thinks about it.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:20 am

I might be able to. Although I don't think either are on Netflix, and I'm not set to go shopping for DVDs for a while. Still, I'll put 'em on my list.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:29 am

Machete
For what it is, Machete is pretty much perfect. No, it's not a perfect film, but it's just about as good as it could be for what it is. What that means is that it sets modest goals for itself and either matches them or eclipses them at every turn. Granted, a lot of those goals aren't all that lofty, nor do they need all that much competence to pull off, but the simple fact of the matter is that I had a lot of fun with Machete.

We open with a man named Machete (Danny Trejo) on a mission to save a woman from someone. It's not all that well explained, but it doesn't matter. He's a police officer in Mexico, complete with tattoos, scars and an awesome mustache. He eventually rescues the woman, before being stabbed and burned alive, because this was a set-up by Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal). Oh, and his family is killed too. We pick up again three years later, when Machete has somehow managed to survive the fire, and is an illegal immigrant in the United States, working for less than $100 dollars a day performing menial tasks.

He gets seen on the streets by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey), who wants him to assassinate the Senator of Texas, John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro). Now, the Senator is up for re-election, and his only platform seems to be getting illegal immigrants out of America. Despite that, Machete initially declines the offer, but accepts after being offered $150,000 and being threatened. He's to kill the Senator by 1:04PM the next day, while McLaughlin is making a speech.

This doesn't go as planned though, because Machete is once again set-up. He gets shot, while someone else shoots the Senator (in the leg though, as it wasn't a shot to kill). Machete manages to escape the onslaught of people trying to kill him, and we spend most of the rest of our time following him around trying to kill the people who set him up, as well as avoid being killed by the rest of America, now that everyone thinks he tried to kill a Senator who wants all Mexicans out of the country.

There are some more supporting characters, so I might as well list them and their role. Jessica Alba plays an Immigrations Officer who, despite being half Mexican herself, primarily targets those who crossed the border illegally. Michelle Rodriguez operates a taco stand and may or may not be the leader of an underground resistance. Cheech Marin plays a priest who doesn't take his job all that seriously, while Lindsay Lohan plays some blonde girl who doesn't really have much point to be here, but is anyway.

These are our players, and you've already been given the scenario. The only thing left is for someone to come out and say "Fight!" so that we can begin the all-out war. That's how we end, just as you'd expect, although the sides that people begin the film on aren't the same ones as they end on. That's something I did enjoy about Machete, in that characters actually have their viewpoints altered by things that occur within the film, so that they don't stay stagnate even when they should change. They're not particularly deep characters, but at least they're not just one-note personas.

As you'd likely expect, the action scenes are bloody and over-the-top. Considering Machete was first realized as a trailer attached to Grindhouse, it keeps with the tone and style b-movie exploitation flicks. Whenever someone is shot, it looks like a bottle of ketchup exploded on the wall behind them, actors give performances that would be terrible if that's not what they were going for, while a ton of film grain and atrocious editing tops all this off. As with something like co-director Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, this is the type of film they wanted to make, and probably wouldn't work if it followed the generic Hollywood blockbuster model.

Of all the performances, most of which are terrible, Danny Trejo proves that he should get far more lead roles. He plays the good guy in Machete, and despite not smiling or showing a lick of other emotion throughout, he manages to be an imposing presence on-screen, with a deadpan delivery making a lot of his dialogue sequences hilarious. For example, hearing him say "Machete don't text" was just as funny as a line in most comedies, just because of who it comes from.

If there's one thing that's going to put some people off Machete, (apart from the large amounts of blood, gore, nudity, profanity, and all that good stuff), is how heavy handed it is about getting its political messages across. Almost every frame of Machete has something to do with immigration or class structures, and in an exploitation film, I got tired of it quickly. I wanted to sit down and watch a b-movie about a pretty much invincible killing machine who had a lot of fun action scenes. I got that, but hearing about immigration almost the entire time got tiring.

Regardless, I had a really good time with Machete. It was just too much pure fun to let its political ideas get in the way of how much fun it is. This is a b-movie, an exploitation film, and it's a very good one. It has bad actors, terrible editing and over-the-top action scenes, but it's for these reasons that it's so enjoyable. If it wasn't, then it would easily be a boring watch. But since it's made with such skill, and all of this was intentional, but fun, I had a great time watching Machete. If the words before the credits don't end up being a lie, I'm looking forward to more from Danny Trejo in this role.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:57 am

Marter have you watched Minority Report?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:01 am

Yes. It's one of my current unposted reviews.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:25 am

Do you think Tom Cruise won in the end, or that he got imprisoned and the end is just his fantasy?

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:26 am

The latter. I like that ending better.

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:26 am

HIGH FIVE

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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:28 am


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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:30 pm

Hereafter
Hereafter is a film that tells three distinct stories that, by chance, all collide. Matt Damon plays George, a man who can communicate with the dead, as long as he touches someone who knew someone who is dead; Cécile de France plays a news reporter named Marie who suffers a near-death experience and has to deal with the after effects of that; and Frankie McLaren plays Marcus, a young boy who recently lost his twin brother, and is looking for answers about the afterlife, all while dealing with the real world, which involves social services and a heroin addict of a mother.

George has given up being a psychic though, because he found the media attention too burdensome, the clients too aggressive, and the entire ordeal life-wrecking. He decides instead to take a factory job making $2 thousand a month. But he's apparently happy now. He does a reading for a person who is a close client of his brother, who tells another person, but surprisingly, it doesn't go on from there. Meanwhile, Marie is suffering from problems after she almost drowned to death in Thailand. The shot of the ocean engulfing an entire city from the trailer is where this comes in.

Also happening at this time is Marcus' home life crashing down. His mother says she's finally going to get help, although she needs to have Marcus go to foster parents for that to happen. Marcus is a troublemaker, possibly because he misses his brother, and this just escalates things. It doesn't get all that bad, and overall he seems like a good kid, so I'm not sure why that's mentioned at all, but the film emphasizes it.

There is also a budding relationship between Damon and a woman named Melanie (Bryce Dallas Howard), although it also doesn't go anywhere. That's really what happens with the entire movie: It takes us places, and then right before that area begins to get interesting, it takes us in a different direction, and forgets to give us closure to what it exposed us to prior.

This creates a problem for people who need closure for everything, because that's not something you'll get with Hereafter. Even the ending fails to give any sense of closure, coming out of the blue just when you expect the film to start picking up. I audibly yelled "Is that it?" after the credits started to roll, but only because I wanted more, not necessarily because I wanted closure. In hindsight, the ending worked for me, although I maintain that I still wanted more from these characters.

In films with multiple storylines, you can often expect the characters to be underdeveloped. That's true enough here, and is part of the reason I wanted to see more of them. They're interesting people, or so I wager, but the film doesn't do a good enough job of bringing that onto the screen. I had to guess at some of their personality ticks and traits, and while that means I was involved, it means that Hereafter didn't do its job well enough, especially when I find these things to be crucial in a drama.

Like I said though, I was kept involved. I cared about these people -- enough to try to figure out their histories -- and I wanted to see more of them. I was captivated by what was happening, even when what was happening wasn't much at all. It takes a good film to keep you interested when unimportant and mundane things are occurring, and Hereafter kept me interested, despite being filled with these types of events.

I think part of it has to do with the human curiosity with death. We get to see director Clint Eastwood's depiction of the other side, partially, in this film, and waiting for another opportunity to see this may be what keeps us interested. And then there's also the hook that the film uses, the massive tsunami that opens the film. While it may all be CGI, it looks amazing, and that's probably why it's been promoted so heavily in the trailers. While it only actually occurs the once, it will stick in your mind for the rest of the film's runtime.

This is true of what most of the film brings, for multiple reasons. This is a thought provoking film, one that will make you ponder your own thoughts about the afterlife. Possibly. Regardless, there will be questions that will pop into your head not from the film's plot, but from the premise alone. It won't let you just sit down and take in its plot, but will allow you to explore situations and ponder what they mean. While there's not great mystery to solve, it will still challenge you intellectually.

The performances in this film are mixed. While Matt Damon and Cécile de France are both good, the child who played Marcus seriously needed acting lessons. Eastwood chose a person who had never acted before to play Marcus, and while you can get a more raw performance, you often end up getting an emotionless one. That's the case here, and this child ended up being more of an annoyance than a help, largely due to the fact that he never shows emotion.

Hereafter isn't an excellent film, but it kept me involved enough to want to see more of it. It opens well, and leaves on a similar note, although far less violent, and has you exit the film with more questions and thoughts than you had going in. Regardless of whether or not the plot and the characters stick with you five minutes after the film ends, there's a good chance that you will take something deeper from this film. For that, and a solid plot of three stories, I say it's worth a watch.
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Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Vicious Pig Fecal Police on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:03 am

Bloody hell you do a lot of reviews. What else do you do in your free time?

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