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Avid book reader "grand_clown" (Nevada)

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Childs Play
Childs Play
4 used & new from CDN$ 29.95

1.0 out of 5 stars Laughable at least, Oct. 9 2003
This review is from: Childs Play (VHS Tape)
Child's Play is the kinda movie one would think up in a nightmare: an evil doll who runs around with a knife stabbing people. I know this film tried to be scarey and tried to give a reasonable explanation for why a doll is going around stabbing folks, but it didn't work.
OK, Chucky is a doll possessed by some evil guy's soul thanks to some voodoo dude. Already this is laughable. So this doll, for no real reason, goes on this rampage of stabbing anybody it wants and laughing as he does it. I mean, nothing is scarey about this. One minute a woman is walking around in the house, the next thing you know there's this red-headed doll, in overalls, screaming and stabbing her. Then after it does its butchering it scurries away laughing like a A-typical villain.
Please, if I took my teddy bear, installed fake dracula fangs in its mouth and gave it a cattle prod as a weapon, my form of "child's play" would be much more scary.
Not to mention the way this doll talks is funny. It cusses, it makes these stupid grunts, and these "one liners" that does little to entertain you. It would be far more entertaining if Chucky accidentally drowned himself in the washer or finds himself getting molested and torn to shreds by the family's super horny pet.
And this is yet another monster movie where the monster won't die at the end. That's right, you kill it, but it comes back. You kill it again, think it's dead, but suddenly attacks you again around the corner. Kill it again, think it's dead this time, but comes after you again. Then when it dies, you think to yourself "why am I watching this movie?"
I'm sorry, nothing proves to be a bad movie than a monster that has to die a million different ways before the film can end. I would rather have seen someone just flush Chucky down the toilet than have this stupid head lying on the carpet saying "get them, get them!" How utterly stupid.
I don't suggest you watch this movie. But if you get your kicks by watching corny horror movies that are meant to make you scared but end up making you get belly aches from laughing, then be my guest. Otherwise, find a quality movie.
Grade: D-

Crimson Tide [Import]
Crimson Tide [Import]
10 used & new from CDN$ 2.56

5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is crimson, Oct. 9 2003
This review is from: Crimson Tide [Import] (VHS Tape)
Crimson Tide is a high adrenaline drama, with a solid cast, and a terrific and engaging plot. Probably the best submarine movie since Hunt for the Red October, Crimson Tide does everything it can to create instant suspense and interest in this movie and it succeeds. The movie stars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, who play off each other brilliantly.
Washington plays Hunter, the Executive Officer (Exo) of the submarine U.S.S. Alabama. Hunter is the play it straight, humble but serious, follow the rules kind of officer. Hunter follows his conscience and what he knows is right, and is not easily persuaded. This is the trademark character of almost every character Washington plays, with the exception of his role in Training Day.
Hackman plays Capt. Ramsey, the hard-nosed, bull-headed, confrontational captain of the very same submarine. Ramsey doesn't believe in advice or even his conscience, just his orders and making no exceptions. Hackman, whose personna often comes across as arrogant and head strong, is a the exact kind of actor one would want for this part.
As noticed, Ramsey and Hunter are almost opposites, which leads us to the conflict of characters. It's analogy can be described as hot air and cold air mixing...and one should know what that forms. This is picked up very early in the film, when Ramsey is interviewing Hunter to be his next Exo.
This was the signal that Ramsey is not easily impressed nor does he truly think highly of Hunter. A problem that does not go away throughout the film.
The plot is a little complicated, but it can be summarized. Basically, it's about Russian rebels who seize Russian warheads. These rebels then begin making threats towards America and Japan. Enter the US Navy, deploying it's nuke subs all across the world to be prepared to launch if needed. The U.S.S. Alabama is among them.
I think this is a terrific plot and I think the movie did an admirable job in attempting to make it appear real or quite very possible. They did this by including live footage (obviously from other wars), interviews with the madman or leader of the rebels, and creating a series of events that quite possibly could occur. I was really impressed with how they did all this in the beginning of the movie, so we all got a sense of what the movie was going to be about.
Unfortunately, I'm not all that impressed with some of the criticism given to this film from fellow reviewers. The biggest gripe is that this film does not portray submariners accurately, that the way they acted is not possible and it's a slap in the face to our Navy. Look, I have no doubt that there are inaccuracies in how Navy personel are "supposed" to act or how submarine life persists. But that doesn't mean it's a slap. It just means it isn't portrayed accurately.
Not to mention, this criticism is over-blown and it isn't what the movie is about. I think people who get all upset over this film, as far as the portrayal of submariners, need to get a grip. This film is about two things that not even the US Navy is immune to: human judgment and human error. In order for that concept to be applied in this sense, you can't have all the submariners acting all perfect and do nothing wrong and create no conflicts on board. This is a drama. That stuff must occur otherwise it's a boring movie. So wake up, get off your high horse, and just enjoy the movie. The movie is about a broader scope than the portrayal of our Navy. The movie is about the possible break down of our system, the break down of officers, and the forever curse of human misjudgment.
This film will make you think, and that's what I like about it. You're entertained and you think about this movie during and after you see it. This movie was made to create drama at the ultimate expense in the worst of times. So if you want to see what I consider the best submarine movie out there, go see Crimson Tide.
Grade: A-

Aliens [Import]
Aliens [Import]
4 used & new from CDN$ 9.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Like no other, Oct. 7 2003
This review is from: Aliens [Import] (VHS Tape)
Aliens is one of my favorite films ever and has to be among the greatest movies ever made. It's a film that I want to see again and again, because it provides a thrilling plot with terrific storytelling. When I first saw Aliens I was scared out of my wits, had nightmares for two weeks, and swore I would never see it again. But I did see it again, and things changed. It's a freaky, suspenseful flick the first time around, after that it's just enjoyable.
Aliens is the sequel to Alien, which was an OK film, but not as good as its sequel. After Aliens came two horrindous follow ups that were crappy and not thought through very well. So I have to say this is the best Aliens film out there and I don't recommend the others, except maybe the first.
Aliens takes place 50+ years after Ripley's run in with the first of what turns out to be many Aliens. She learns that the world in which the alien she had encountered came from has been colonized by colonists. One thing leads to another, and Ripley finds herself on another mission this time accompanied by marines. Well as you can imagine, all hell will break loose.
Ripley's character is unbelievabley real. I think Sigourney Weaver will forever be tight casted for these kind of dark roles, even though I believe she is a better actress than what most think. But she envelopes the character Ripley so well, it's the perfect role for her. Ripley is the female version of John Wayne: no nonsense, do it herself, take charge kind of person. Other female leads have attempted to do this as well in other movies, but mostly aren't as successful due to the unrealness of their characters. But Ripley's female "machoism" works because it's believable, and that's because she's a great actress.
You have other characters like Bien who plays Hicks, one of the few marines that get along with Ripley. There's Burke, played by comedian Paul Reiser, who is this sleezy pencil pusher out to make a buck on everyone's demise. And Hudson, played by Bill Paxton, a whiner who uses the "F" word in almost every sentence. A great mix of characters who all bring conflict to both the plot and each other.
But besides the characters and plot and suspense, that isn't necessarily what makes Aliens so great. What makes it great is that it's a pioneer of a film. And I don't mean special effects. Science fiction combined with horror has had dismal performances in the past, present, and probably future. But Aliens is a success because it combines these two genres into one movie and creates realistic, and comprehensible events within this unrealistic storyline. In other words, it makes the unreal suddenly real to us all. This is the mark of a truely good movie, especially if it is sci-fi or horror.
This is accomplished by good acting as well as great directing. It is also accomplished when the intensity of the plot never fades, it keeps you on your toes, and this is done by giving multiple problems for the characters of the films to solve. And this film is a problem solver film 101:
problem 1: find the aliens.
problem 2: find a way to kill the aliens
problem 3: find a way to survive from the aliens
problem 4: find a way to escape from the aliens
Boom, boom, boom, boom. One problem to hurdle right after another. Great storytelling, with believable characters, with the aid of intensity through compelling problems. Most horror films lack at least one of these. Aliens does not.
The only thing I recommend to beware of is the excessive cussing in this film. In some cases I find it over used and unnecessary. But that's Hollywood for you. The violence isn't so bad, despite what you may have heard. I don't think you'll be disappointed in this film, at least after the second time around. It's a film that will amaze you, terrify you, and entertain you like no other.
Grade: A

Batman [Import]
Batman [Import]
Offered by Jevidy Industries.
Price: CDN$ 23.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Batman is the man, Sept. 29 2003
This review is from: Batman [Import] (VHS Tape)
Batman was really the first of what would turn out to be a decade and a half blitz of superhero movies taken right out of the comics. The following movies have sprouted as a result to the snappy success of Batman: Spider man, The Hulk, X-Men, the Rocketeer, Daredevil, and of course its three pathetic sequels. What the movie Batman did was bring to life superheroes, take them out of its animated comic book form or simple-minded tv series and try to make them believable.
Let me say first off that Batman is in no way the perfect film out there. There are some things about this film I would've done differently. Such as some corny scenes and useless characters who are more decorative than important. However, these are quite minor errors when you look at how big this film is, and I don't mean length or size. Big as in depth. The plot is intriguing, engaging, exciting to viewers. The character of Batman/Bruce Wayne is so very believable combing darkness with sophistication. The villain the Joker is the ultimate bad guy, combing violent humor with unimaginable insanity. This film is ENTERTAINMENT, with serious depth in plot and character.
I know that Michael Keaton has unfairly gotten some heat for playing too dark a Batman. But these people who say this apparently don't know jack about the comic "The Dark Knight" and don't understand the character of Batman himself. Batman is supposed to be a dark superhero. I mean, he's a "Batman", bats are dark creatures. Michael Keaton who is among the most underrated actors ever, can play the perfect Dr. Jackyll and Mr. Hyde character with the dark, forboding Batman to the brainy, social Bruce Wayne.
I'm sorry but Val Kilmner and George Clooney played two pathetic superheroes in replacement of Keaton with the sequals. They were more Bruce Wayne than Batman. While Keaton makes a great balance between the two.
Jack Nicholson is phenominal as the Joker. And it makes sense for him to be casted as this for those of us that have seen "The Shining." He makes a good psycho, who knows how to laugh at all the wrong moments, and makes the character believable. I can't think of too many other movies that take the time as this one did attempting to create a serious amount of character development and explanation on why the villain became the way he did. This made the depth of the film complete and the showdown between the Joker and Batman worth watching till the end.
Unfortunately, the love interest Kim Basinger plays Vicky Vail, who is a worthless character in a lot of ways. Other than being fascinating with "bats" and being stalked by the Joker, she plays no huge role. It would've been great if her character had been this assertive reporter, torn between whether Batman is a villain or hero, than be this dame in distress and lusted after by the main villain. Although her character is hesitant over Batman, she is all too willing to share a bed with Wayne, thereby this strength in her character is lost.
Other characters like Grissom (played by Jack Palance) had a minor role that makes sense on why it was so minor. Then you have a dufus like Alex Knox, another reporter, who is what Vail needed to be: assertive. But he's annoying as hell and not funny. Again, this film isn't perfect, but it's still great.
Overall Batman is a superhero form of Dr. Jackyll and Mr. Hyde. Only neither side of Bruce Wayne is clearly bad. Dark, yes. Bad, no. I think Batman is a unique superhero, because he is a no nonsense, dark character. He's not like a Superman or Spiderman who make witty remarks and are kind and caring towards all. He's a loner, a survivelist who has seen horror in his life that changes him forever. This film does such a great job pointing this out, explaining again and again why Batman is the way he is. Only the dense would miss it.
I recommend Batman to anybody who wants to see a great movie with a good storyline and good characters. It's entertaining, it's dark, and it's worth the experience.
Grade: A+

5 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Contact makes rough contact, Sept. 28 2003
This review is from: Contact (VHS Tape)
Contact was a film that interested me from the get go. I loved the idea, and I guess I still do: a chance to make contact with Alien life and making it come across as real. There is no question that this film provides a realness, an authenticity of plot mixed in with good acting. What Contact lacks however is some contact with originality and general audience appeal and satisfaction. Now what in the world did I just say? Well let's analyze this movie:
Arroway played by the supberb actress Jodie Foster is a scientist who goes out of her way to be the first to make contact with recent Alien life that eventually becomes national, meaning it becomes obvious to the public. Now two good things here that I liked:
1. It pretty much avoided the cliche of the big "government conspiracy" that so many sci-fi films feel they must have (until the end). The government and public are just as surprised by the sudden alien contact as any one else.
2. You don't get to see Aliens, they are left up to the viewers imagination. Another words, you don't know what this out of space life is. This maintains interest and suspense.
Now, here's where it lacks originality. Arroway is not an original character. She's a scientist, a believer in new life out there, explorer, etc. This is the character "we" as the audience would expect to be the main character. Although it may be what we expect, that doesn't make it original. What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind better is that the main characters were ordinary people, with no expertise, learning and changing and developing as the film progresses. Arroway changes hardly at all, because practically the film is about everything changing for HER. Everything opens up to her from opportunities to beliefs. We don't sympathize with her because she doesn't grow, only the plot grows around her. And it should be the other way around.
Another cliche is Skerritt's death. I'm sorry, you knew that was going to happen. You knew some accident was going to take place to keep him from going up so Arroway could go in his place. This plot is good, but it is at the same time predictable. And because it's predictable, some of suspense goes down the drain.
Now the worst of all worst cliches in the movie is when she makes actual "contact" with a being that's in the shape of her father. How utterly stupid. How many films have I seen now that have this? Visited by an image of her father, a ghost like figure, so many films do this. They have to ruin this film by making the "contact" turning out to be a relative of hers. There is no satisfaction to this, all the suspense during the whole film of wanting to know WHAT is trying to make contact is answered by adaptation of her father?! What a waste.
That costed it one star, the cliches and the wasted suspense of this movie. What costed it another star was that I really did not like the political/religious bias and slams and cliches in this movie. I'm sure Athiests love this movie, because religion is dissed big time in this. Half this movie was not about the contact from another life form, but rather the struggle between theoretical differences (Athiests vs. Religion). This did create drama and friction between characters such as between Arroway and Palmer (Matthew McC.). However, it came across as if this film had another objective in mind. As if it was on a mission to show up religions and make it appear as if "religion is the doorstopper in progression."
I'm not the only one who thinks this, who was a little offended by how someone who believes in God is represented. Sorry, Palmer didn't make a very convincing religious person. He basically shies away from Arroway when the topic comes up, as if "he knows she's right." And naturally for villains, the director has it be these religious wackos. Then when Arroway is being interviewed by world leaders, they make it appear as if she's being persecuted for not having a religious belief.
Again, these are all slams and cliches against religion, and some of us like to see better representation in movies if it's going to be an essential element of the movie. Not that the issue has to be ignored in movies, but create a balance not a bias. Otherwise, leave the subject alone if you can't accurately or fairly represent the other side. Because quite clearly there was an anti-religious agenda in this movie and I felt it uncalled for.
Other than the biasness and the lack of originality in climax and character, this film has a good storyline. It has great acting, it is a very believable film. And if not for these blackmarks, I would've considered among my top favorite sci-fi films. But the director made a classic mistake in dividing the audience by slamming a belief system rather than telling a story without the anti-spiritual agenda.
Grade: C

Longest Day [Import]
Longest Day [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 26.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Longest Cameo Day, Sept. 24 2003
This review is from: Longest Day [Import] (VHS Tape)
The Longest Day was one of the most anticipated films ever when it was about to hit the theaters over forty years ago. A lot of people really love this film, and don't get me wrong, this isn't a terrible film, but I don't love it and I don't see what makes it so special. The Longest Day is a long movie, which is a given, but the movie is a one time watch. After seeing it for the first time, I know for a fact that I doubt that I shall want to see it again. Again, it's not because it's a bad movie, or I don't like historical war films, it's just that it does very little as far as entertainment value and progression of the characters.
I gave it three stars because it is historically accurate, it is pretty easy to follow (the battle of Normandy I mean), and it does use some live footage that helps enhance its realness. This earned it three stars, but there is more to a movie than just realness or accuracy. There are things like character development, or main characters at that. Also, there is something called a consistant storyline, something within the plot that tells of a story. These things lacking reduces the star count to three and no more.
Let's talk about the missing consistancy in the story. Now, what is a consistant story? It's a story that has a beginning and an end, a conclusion. There is no one single consistant story in this film. The movie is about the Landing at Normandy, but it has a bunch of scenarios that kinda pop up during the film. These are the storylines, but they aren't consistant. For example, within the first hour of the film the story of the French Underground prior to the Landing is told. But it goes for say 20-30 minutes and then it just quits. The film doesn't go back to it, it just leaves it and its characters that they were shaping kinda out in the dark, forgotten about. This is a no no in story telling. You don't introduce characters, tell a story with them in it, but never go back to them. But rather just introduce new characters in new situations and scenarios. This isn't a consistant storyline, it's bouncing from one scenario to the next, shuffling characters and sub-plots around like some talent show.
Let's talk about the character development, or the characters in general. Most of the characters in the film are historically true. But like the storyline, it shuffles the characters in and out like a talent show. In fact this movie really is more talent show than movie. The reason why I say this is because this film has no real main character or even primary characters. Because it has so many scenarios, and different characters within those many scenarios, no character or characters emerge as a focal point.
However, this isn't a bad thing necessarily. Take a film like Tora! Tora! Tora! and this multi-scenario/lacking main character(s) chemistry works. But it doesn't work with the Longest Day. Why? Well in Tora! Tora! Tora! the cast consisted of nobodies. There really isn't an actor in that film that one would expect to take a leading role. In the Longest Day, there is an arm full of actors that you would expect to be the focal character. Not to mention, the characters and scenarios in Tora! Tora! Tora! didn't just vanish like they do in the Longest Day.
The Longest Day is not a film with an intent to tell an entertaining story, with characters you can follow. No, it is rather just a cameo movie. Think of it, would this film have the reputation, the prestige, the admiration if it didn't have an all-star cast? It is because it has an all star cast that people like this film, primarily. It's a cameo film. In this cameo film is where none of these "famous" actors really play a leading role, they just kinda poke their head into the film, supposedly play the role of a historical figure, and that's all there is to it. Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, these actors and more only have like 15 minutes in the film each. So it's quite clear that this is nothing more but an all-star, cameo movie. And because it lacks a consistant storyline, with consistant characters who last the whole film, the only way this film could get the admiration it desired was to plug in big names in small roles.
I see the Longest Day as more of a tribute film than a movie. It's intent was to round up big names and put them in historical roles, although minor roles mind you, and tell the story of June 6th, 1944 in a condensed form. And this isn't a bad thing, again, necessarily. It's a film worth seeing once, you'll learn something of the battle of Normandy. But with me, I like characters that last, I like a storyline that doesn't jump from scenario to scenario leaving sub-plots unfinished, untold. Not to mention, the ending of this film is for the pits. Apparently, they were spending too much money for these big name actors that they ran out of budget to end it right. The abrupt ending is just another black mark against this film. And it is indeed the Longest Cameo Film ever.
Grade: C+

Twister [Import]
Twister [Import]
Offered by WonderBook-USA
Price: CDN$ 8.99
19 used & new from CDN$ 1.71

4.0 out of 5 stars Twister is a twist, Sept. 2 2003
This review is from: Twister [Import] (VHS Tape)
Twister is a film that I first saw in high school, and going into seeing it I had some doubts. Truth is, I was highly entertained. I really had a fun time watching this movie. *sigh* Alas, it's another movie that had great potential to be a five star film but underachieved.
The plot of Twister is very simple, but applicable, you can follow it and I think the plot and storyline were well defined in this movie. It's basically about Tornado Chasers who are trying to make history by finding a way to learn more about them. It's an ingenius idea they come up with, don't know how real it is though.
The characters in this film are quite entertaining. I think Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton play off each other quite well. Bill Paxton's character, Bill, is a weatherman who seems to have a nose for storms (human barometer). Helen Hunt plays Jo, the soon to be Ex-wife of Bill's. Jo is rather obsessed about this idea of theirs, called Dorothy, because she lost her father in a tornado. So right away, both characters have an interest, a purpose to the storyline which I really liked.
As far as the other characters go, they have either small parts or they are meant for comic relief, but do little to contribute to the plot.
You have Jonas, the rival to Bill and Jo's party, who steals their ideas and is rather a cheap skate all together.
Then you have Dusty, who's uglier than sin, but is a funny guy and I liked his character. I failed to really see the contribution of his character, however, at least as far as how he aids to the team.
Then you have Melissa, the soon to be new wife for Bill, who is a therapist who stupidely tags along and while finding herself in these life and death situations constantly is on the phone to a client. Her character wasn't really needed, other than for comic relief. She's always a step behind everyone else, and the movie attempted to portray her as an air head or some naive city girl with no clue about storms. Again, her character was worthless other than the humor she indirectly brings.
And there's a bunch of other guys part of this Storm Team under Jo and Bill that really don't have much of a part at all, other than witty comments here and there and little bits of advice and information they just happen to share.
To be blunt, Jo and Bill pretty much hog this film. The other characters are...well...just kinda there. I think it would've been great if the movie had just severed out Melissa's character all together and give the other Tornado chasers more time so we at least know who they are and why they are vital to this team. Because for the most part, you don't really learn any of their names but Dusty's.
This shying away from the other characters is one of the reasons why it lost a star, the other is that this film had almost too many unreal parts in it.
Unreal part 1: Jo and Bill huddle under an old wooden bridge together as a tornado blows directly over them. No sir, that bridge would be ripped to shreds and so would they. Unreal.
Unreal part 2: Jo, Bill, and Melissa get cut off by two sister twisters who spin around their truck, making the truck spin around on the road, but doesn't get damaged, doesn't get thrown around. This was pretty bad, because I don't think this was even close to real.
Unreal part 3: Jo and Bill's truck gets stuck on a branch and can't move, while the tornado slings a gas truck at them. The gas truck hits them, dislodging them from the branch. Later the gas truck blows up in front of them and they drive through the flames. OK, a gas truck semi hits them and it just spins them free? No, I think it would do more than dislodge them. And driving through gasoline flames? Uh-uh, if any of those flames hit your gas tank you're history. Too unreal.
Unreal part 4: Jo and Bill out run a tornado on foot. Then they anchor themselves to a well and while being sucked into the air, they look up and see the center of the twister. Um, I don't think it's even remotely possible to out run a twister on foot. And I don't think you could look up into a tornado because I think there would be so much dust, you wouldn't be able to see.
So, despite all these unrealalities that take place in this movie, it's still quite entertaining. Unrealism doesn't bother me unless there's an abundance of it. At least the characters recognized they were lucky, and didn't get away with these unreals because they were skilled.
On the plus side:
1. Pretty good acting, with some cliche parts and lines.
2. Very suspenseful
3. Awesome sound and special effects, can follow the sequences of the action all right.
4. Great storyline and plot, with sub plots that present challenge to each of the main characters.
5. Drama and action mix well in this.
6. It does provide some education on twisters and how they form, what they are, the classes of twisters, and the different types.
7. Helen Hunt is stunning in this *wink*
So overall, this is a film worth owning. It's entertaining, it's fun, it's a pretty good disaster film considering it. My only complaints, and what brought it down to four stars, is the lack of involvement in other characters and an abundance of unreal parts that almost took away the credibility of this film; as far as how much Hollywood really knows about twisters or how much they really cared about being accurate.
See this film, you should enjoy it, but I think you'll agree with me when I say this film could've been even better. But it's good enough.
Grade: B+

Tora! Tora! Tora! [Import]
Tora! Tora! Tora! [Import]
Offered by thomas video
Price: CDN$ 17.84
6 used & new from CDN$ 17.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The true Pearl Harbor movie, Aug. 31 2003
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a highly historical film that made an attempt to cover the entire ground of what happened on December 7th, 1941. And I think they succeeded in doing this, giving us an education on how Pearl Harbor came about, why the Japanese bombed us, and what went wrong. I was very pleased with how this film was molded and crafted and how real the movie was.
Reading from other people's reviews, I have found that some complaints are about the length of the movie and that it is boring. Well it is boring if history being converted to film bothers you. But if you like to get down to the skinny of things and kinda find out why things happen, why 12/7/41 occured then this film is fascinating not boring.
Another complaint is how the Japanese are shown as smart and wise and the Americans as stupid or slow. Well, to be honest, history says that is a correct analysis of the way things were. Our command at Pearl Harbor was inept, they did stupid things, they made poor decisions, the White House made serious flaws that made way for the attack to become imminent. And the Japanese were very determined, very ingenius on their planning of this attack. They had a lot of time to think about this raid, so naturally when one is well organized that person is going to be portrayed as smart. The Japanese out smarted us on that day, or as the film shows, that year of '41.
I liked how this film led up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, beginning several months prior to the raid. This gave us an idea what was going on in both sides' minds. It gave equal time to the Japanese strategists and to American high command and intelligence. If anybody has a problem with a war film giving each side an equal balance in a film, as far as point of view, then don't watch this film.
My only concern for this film, that costed it one star, is that you never get to know any of the characters. They are kind of distant characters, obviously just imitating historical people long gone, but even then I think the viewers would like to get to know the characters. Because there were so many characters, and the point of views switches so often, I can see where this is a problem. But it's the sacrifice you give when you have lots of characters you want to give equal perspectives to. Still, one character you could really get to know in this film is something I still expected.
As a result to no real deep character you can follow in this film, this movie is nothing more but a historical documentary with movie drama and sequences. And this is OK, it's a good 4 star war movie. But it isn't the most entertaining either. I do recommend this movie, but please don't watch it with the expectation of being entertained with action. Watch it because you want to know more about what happened before and during December 7th, 1941.
Grade: B-

Deep Blue Sea [Import]
Deep Blue Sea [Import]
Offered by WonderBook-USA
Price: CDN$ 5.00
6 used & new from CDN$ 5.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Deep Blue Cheese, Aug. 30 2003
This review is from: Deep Blue Sea [Import] (VHS Tape)
Deep Blue Sea had a monument of potential and they dropped the ball by becoming over-engrossed with shark attacks and sudden deaths of likeable characters, and unrealistc parts. It's too bad, because I thought the sharks were cool in this, and Saffron Burrows was a joy to see because I thought her character came a long way up until the director makes a real bone head mistake in the end with her.
Deep Blue Sea is about super smart sharks that are being used to find a cure for Alzheimers. Saffron's character is motivated to find a cure from these sharks because she lost her father to it. This is good, gives her character an emotional connection to this film, a point for this pretty lady to be here. As predictable as night will come, the sharks get loose and start eating everybody in the study facility.
I really don't see the point going over the characters that much because the majority of the characters had no development at all. It's interesting how this film begins with Saffron Burrows and Samuel L. Jackson as the lead characters, the film practically following those two around. About mid way through the film, the point of view shifts almost entirely to the shark trainer guy, Carter, and we know nothing about this dude. This is just terrible directing and character view point. So now, we have no idea who the main character is!
Then the sudden death of one of these main characters, mid way through, during a lengthy speech just ruins the film. It's too sudden, and because his character was taken so early it was as if his character never contributed to the film at all...except for the speech. Before a character, a main character mind you, should be killed off he/she needs to contribute first so when the person dies it doesn't make us say..."OK, um, what happened?" In other words, it just confuses us not scares us.
Plus, my favorite character in Saffron, who is developing during this entire film gets the shaft in the end. This is totally uncalled for. I wish I could go into more detail but I've been instructed not to give away important, specific things. But it is very disappointing and very unnecessary, but again this director real had no idea of the potential he had because he was too obsessed with the sharks.
There's too much sudden shark attacks. All these worthless characters have no point to the film, they are just there for future shark bait. You need characters to contribute to a film, to have a point. They shouldn't be there to fulfill the director's surge for carnage.
I give it two stars because it is suspenseful and it can be scarey at some points, and I do like the story, even though no character establishes him or herself as the main character. So because it does these things well enough, I give it two stars which means it is worth watching, but I assure you this film is not very satisfactory. It kills off too many well liked characters.
The only reason why you would like this film is if you are one of those that likes any film that scares you or provides thrills. But if you want substance, and character development that isn't cut short by a shark's jaws, then you better go see Jaws again because it is still the king of sea horror films.
Grade: D+

True Grit 30th
True Grit 30th
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5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit has real grit, Aug. 30 2003
This review is from: True Grit 30th (VHS Tape)
True Grit was a film when I first saw it I didn't like. I thought it was dumb because of the main character who, by contrary to what a lot of people think, is Kim Darby. John Wayne is not the main character, he is the big name in the film, he is the character that defines this movie and makes it what it is, but he isn't the character you end up following. You follow Kim Darby from beginning to end, not John Wayne. Wayne doesn't enter the movie until twenty minutes into it. Although one would think this as a bad thing, it actually turns into a good thing.
True Grit is and isn't an ordinary John Wayne western. It has his style in it, but the character Wayne plays is so very much enjoyable. How could you not like Rooster Cogburn? The character has personality, wisdom, yet with obvious weakness, and typical John Wayne grit. Cogburn is a drunkard, who is blundering, yet trustworthy. It's this trust we feel in his character that allows us to forgive his character's sorry state (or in lamen's terms: when he's drunk).
Kim Darby almost steals the show from Wayne, but she doesn't. They instead create a balance, with a conflict between two personalities both different yet alike. Mattie Ross is her character and she is very precise, observant, demanding, stubborn and a natural take charge kinda gal. I like this personality of hers, it's so much refreshing from a lot of other female leads that are only in the movie for pathetic love interests.
Glen Campbell is also in this film, and although I didn't care much for his character, he is sort of the dork of the film, not Darby. Campbell is often the brunt of many remarks and cracks from Cogburn or Ross, which makes me laugh. I'm fine with his character because he's full of flaws like the other two characters, there's nothing macho about him, his character is believable, which works for me.
True Grit has plenty of humor, but also drama. I love this mixture of emotion, and it is so very apparent in Mattie Ross. Her character's purpose is to hunt down the man who shot and murdered her father, and although it is an emotional time for her and she is very determined to find him, she still remains in character the entire film. With Rooster Cogburn it's the same deal, he's hilarious one moment but full of drama and grit the next. This is character development.
The plot is solid, although some of the shoot outs are a little unrealistic, such as Cogburn's famous charge at the end, it doesn't really matter. It's a story about the hunting down of a murderer and the grit and determination of a daughter and a U.S. Marshall to bring him to justice.
My only complaint about this film is the scenery. This takes place in Missouri or in Texas, and yet this thing was filmed in Oregon. Obviously, there is a huge difference between Texas land from Oregon land. Mountains and forests and clean looking rivers are not aspects of Texas, trust me. So that's a little incorrect.
This is now my favorite western, and my earlier perception of it has changed very much because now I understand Darby's character a whole lot better and I can see how she adds to this film. You want to see this film. You need to see this film if you are a Western lover.
Grade: A+

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