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-James

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The Omen

Posted by james on Jan. 31, 2007

(post.rating: 4)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

The previews made it look like yet-another-demonic movie, albeit with a decent cast and some potential. However, it's all wait and no delivery with this one. Creepy people all over the movie, even the ones that are not working for the devil. Julia Stiles seems out of place here, her acting seems... incomplete. Liev Schreiber is great, I'm starting to really like that guy. The rest, blah. They picked a bad kid for Damien. He does his thing of not talking and just looking around with big blue eyes. But is that really enough for the anti-christ? Even his one chance to "shine" (the knowing I-won look at the end) seems like they cut him off halfway through and just took whatever they had on film.

Not worth watching. Pretty darn obvious plot, no real scary factor, cheesy ending, all wait and hey... where's the demons?

Meet Joe Black

Posted by james on Jan. 31, 2007

(post.rating: 6)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

Saw bits of it before, but never the whole way through. It's one of those movies where the mere premise is interesting enough to warrant a viewing. The story has enough little turns and nuances to make it fun to run over in my head. However, this is a 3 hour long movie where most of the extra time comes from long pseudo-meaningful glances between characters. That's incredibly slow and annoying, and gets in the way of the storytelling. It ends up being the lazy way of imparting the connection between characters. It also makes the movie almost unbearable to watch more than once.

Besides the no-compromises keep-every-dull-moment editing, the worst part is Claire Forlani. In certain scenes she's supposed to be a nervous shy woman, but during all the other moments she comes across as a twitchy bird; always squinting, always looking away. It's annoying. She makes it onto the list of actresses to avoid.

If those two problems were fixed, this would be a classic. As it is, it's a neat experiment and moody film that is just too much energy to watch.

Manchurian Candidate

Posted by james on Dec. 10, 2006

(post.rating: 8)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

Wow. I didn't know what to expect, but I wasn't too thrilled that Denzel Washington was in it. Don't get me wrong, he's great as an actor (minus the talking-with-gravel-in-mouth syndrome), but I was in the mood for fun/flashy/exciting/shallow, and his movies tend to be more deep, thoughtful, heavy. I wanted candy, not main meal.

But Manchurian Candidate turned out to be better than I would've thought. I didn't know how "Mixed Nuts" actor Liev Schreiber would do as a serious role, but he was perfect for it. Ironically enough, Liev also has some sort of small rock stuck in his mouth. I guess part of the mystery is figuring out exactly what everyone's saying.

Meryl Streep is creepy as the evil stepmother, Jeffrey Wright does well as the psycho. Really could've used more of him, his character piques interest.

Side track: This is becoming a more common story; I sit down to watch the movie, and a few minutes in realize this is going to be much better than I anticipated. I watch halfway through, talk to my housemate for a few minutes (an interrupted movie... breaking my rules here), but then get to the Really Good Bit... and CRASH! The movie stops because of scratches on the DVD. Thanks a lot <b>Netflix</b>, you've ruined yet another climax of yet another movie. How do they always seem to do it at the interesting bit? And how do I figure out that the movies will dump me halfway through before watching and being completely invested in it? It wouldn't be as bad if I weren't totally into a good thriller when this happened.

I hate Netflix, about 15% of the time now. We'll see if their record improves or disproves from here on out. -10 points for Netflix, and they're on notice.


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