Saturday, August 26, 2006

Movie Reviews

While claiming I have had no time over the last couple of months, I've watched a whole bunch of DVDs. Here's my take on them:

1. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Austin Powers goes to battle Dr. Evil's latest plan involving an evil villain (name a villain that isn't evil BTW) Goldmember and save the world as usual.

A plotless movie with hopeless jokes. Similar in content and style to Scary Movie 1/2/3.

I haven't seen the previous Austin Powers so I'm probably missing some in-jokes. According to the credits, Mike Myers plays several of the main characters - must be one incredibly good actor with one incredibly good makeup artist.

The only funny parts worth mentioning are the incomprehensible "English English" (English that only makes sense to people from England, not even Australia or New Zealand) and Powers' reading of some subtitles (for some evil dude who chooses to speak Japanese, even though he knows English).

2. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

The next ice age has arrived. People are frozen solid. Some people are trapped in a library. Overrated. I could continue with more short sentences. Action story with plenty of special effects. Overacted vice-president. Nice watch but not exactly the greatest movie.

3. The Grudge (2004)

Remake of a Japanese movie - even parts of the DVD extras are in Japanese with no English subtitles. Buffy (not her real name), a health care worker, goes to a haunted house but does not feature as prominently in the movie as the trailers might have suggested. Spooky, inconclusive plot - little is actually explained. A refreshingly different approach to horror movies. Think Tarantino style but not boring.

4. Interview with The Vampire (1994)

One of those deep, artistic movies tend to win awards. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and a young, Kirsten Dunsk (Bring It On, Spiderman). Unnecessarily excessive use of horror in some places and fairly lacklustre. Something you might watch for a literature course (to appreciate otherwise unappreciated movies) but not for fun. If you liked Fargo (1996), The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988), The Piano (1993) or other such boring movies, you'll like this one. But I'd rather have gone to sleep (why did I stay up late to watch this one?).

5. The Island (2005)

A bunch of human clones (oops, spoiled the plot, sorry :)) live in a world where they are constantly watched and are not supposed to have the intelligence to question their purpose.

A disturbing movie about human behaviour and survival incorporating elements from Blade Runner and 1984/Brave New World. Plenty of nice action sequences (the DVD extras said that they really did blow up a helicopter!) but fairly drawn out.

Probably only sold because of the trailer and Scarlett Johansson who I did not recognise from The Horse Whisperer (1998).

6. Miss Congeniality 2 (2005)

Sandra Bullock needs to save the kidnapped Miss United States (from the previous Miss Congeniality (2000)). Some funny bits esp. when her attempts to foil a bank robbery are foiled by her own fame but not as good as the original.

7. Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Reese Witherspoon has moved to New York and has just released a fashion line. She is about to marry a high profile politician but has an unfortunate problem: her previous husband in - you guessed it - Alabama hasn't divorced her yet. So she heads south in order to tie up this loose end.

An unexpected twist at the end with plenty of clues that one would have forgotten by the end and don't make sense unless one watches the movie again.

One hour into the movie, there's a song "Falling Down" by, the then not famous, Avril Lavigne (who does not update her website and I can tell you first hand: she cannot sing live; nevertheless, you can't actually buy that track on iTunes).

A couple of laughs here and there but a fairly average movie.

8. The Transporter (2002)

Jason Statham goes around transporting packages for criminals. After discovering that one such package contains a kidnapped girl, an assassination attempt is made against him.

A excellent mix of action and wise remarks, between Statham and the detective, that will keep you surprised and laughing (unfortunately, IMDB doesn't list the good quotes). Die Hard without the brainless, monotonous action. Lethal Weapon but not as intense. One of the best action movies I've ever seen. Absolutely recommended.

I normally don't comment on movie goofs but this one was just too obvious:

One hour into the movie, an evil security guard puts down a bottle of beer he was not holding.


Reel Fanatic said...

Great reviews .. I'm glad to see I'm not the only who just gets annoyed by Mike Myers' "English"!

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