Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ranking the Final Destination movies.

I recently finished watching the Final Destination series. This is my ranking from worst to best. Updated as the sequels come (I think 6 and 7 are shooting back-to-back).

#5 The Final Destination. Let's get one thing straight here before we begin, I don't flat out HATE any of these movies. They are entertaining in their own way and of someone asked me to marathon these with them, I would not refuse. That aside, I am confident that the 4th installment is the worst. it has virtually none of the freshness that made the original film likable. It was almost like it was trying to take itself too seriously. At least, that's the impression I got with the protagonist. He was not as likable as the rest of them. They didn't try to make the plot fresh at all. This series did have sequels that attempted that. It was still entertaining enough, but definitely the weakest. Plus it doesn't have Tony Todd in it like the other 4 did.

4. Final Destination 3. By this point in the series, everybody knows full well what will happen and when it will happen. By the 3rd installment, it is merely about the kills instead of a good story (something I feel that the first two excelled at). In an effort to try to make the film interesting, this one builds up the kills too much for them to be really interesting and then prolongs a couple of them to the point where we don't care (tanning salon anyone?) It is still an entertaining film, but weak.

#3 Final Destination 5 I know this may be surprising because not only did it get the highest reviews of the entire series, but it also was the only of the FD series to achieve a fresh overall rating from Rotten Tomatoes. And I do agree that it was most certainly an improvement over 3 and 4. It still focuses mostly on how much more violent the kills can be from the previous installments than it does on telling the audience a good story. I wouldn't mind this so much but I believe that the first two did focus on the story more than the kills. However, this one did focus on the characters and the story more than the other two. Heck, I even started to care about some of them despite knowing full well when they were going down. It manages to actually get some good thrills in there to boot. It is a good movie. Killer (excuse the pun) ending too.

#2. Final Destination 2 I'll be honest, this one was pretty close. I did enjoy this one almost as much as I did the first one. It is at that point in the series where they manage to almost perfectly balance the story as well as the cool kills. Plus it has actual character complexity for a few of them, something beyond "Here is this character, he/she is/ is not worried about Death getting them, he/she dies a gruesome death." I highly appreciate that. they also manage some cool tie-ins with the original film that make the story even better. P.S. do any of you think of the song "You Wouldn't Know" by Hellyeah every time you think of this movie or vice-versa? Particularly regarding the big crash? It is just me? Dang...

#1. Final Destination It's clever, original, and it sets out to tell a good story and succeeds. Is it still predictable? Yes. Is it subtle? Absolutely not! None of them are, least of all this one. If nothing else, it tries to make a film that is different from every single horror film made in the past 30 years (at that point). It certainly succeeds. It is a close race with the second one, but I think that this, is the best Final Destination movie.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What would have made The Godfather Part III better (in my opinion).

For the most part, any fan of the first two Godfather films was highly disappointed with the mediocre at best 3rd film. I know I was. The story has been burned for the horrid acting from Sophia Coppola, the poor story, and the sub-par dialogue. Coppola even won herself a Razzie for the film.

Now, I do know that it was supposed to have been better. If Robert Duvall had gotten the pay that he wanted, then the movie would have been about the final showdown  (in a manner of speaking) between Tom Hagen, the last real moral person in the Corleone family, and Michael Corleone. However, that didn't happen. So, with that not an option, here is what would have made the movie better (In my opinion of course)


So, let's start with the acting. First, we start off with killing Mary Corleone (Sophia Coppola) almost instantly in the film. It would have been the catalyst that would start the film. Sophia Coppola could have still gotten a small cameo, which would have been a throwback to her cameo in the original film where she plays the baby getting baptized at the end. Michael's kids are pretty much the only thing left in his life that make life worth living for him. In the start, you would have Michael succeeding in legitimizing the family, thereby breaking off ties to the mob. He would get out of the whole thing.

Now, it would be a good time to introduce some character that would try to muscle him back in. This would bring back the most powerful crime family in New York back in the spotlight and the character hopes to get a significant amount of control of the family but Michael will have none of it. So, Mary Corleone is killed.

As I said earlier, this would be the motivation for the film and it would spare us Sophia Coppola's acting. Michael would go insane with both grief and the desire for revenge. He would be a mere shadow of the man he once was. His grief would consume him as he spent the movie looking for revenge.

His quest for revenge would eventually lead him to shut out his grieving family members and he grows farther and farther apart from them during the course of the movie.

Of course, he will get his revenge (in the signature montage of murder of course) and he will realize that he has nothing left. His remaining children have left him, the war cost him most of his businesses and money, and he is left merely as a lonely old man with nothing left to live for. He then dies, in the same way he does in the actual GIII film, totally alone, outside, in a chair, with an orange in his hand.

That is obviously the bare bones of what would make it better, but I think you get the idea. If made into an actual movie, would it improve on the 3rd? Almost anything would have to. It's just an idea.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

I am on the verge of beating KotOR 2 for the upteenth time and I decided that it is a good idea to review the game itself.


I highly enjoyed the first game (I would need to re-play the original before a review) and as such I had high expectations for this one as well. I can say that they were certainly met. This is a game that I would definitely suggest to anyone.

I highly enjoyed how intricate the game was. the game play is set up in such a way that it is impossibly to play the game exactly the same way twice. What kind of game you play or what kind of story you live in the game all depends on things such as gender, force alignment, companions, random items you find, and the order of the planets you travel to. the storyline is also spectacularly well done and it is very gripping. I find that I like to keep playing just to see where the story will go next. As I said before, the game is set up so that the story is never exactly the same the next time you play the game (with small details of course. The larger story is set in stone in terms of the light or dark sides). The combat in the game is a little clunky but it still is enjoyable.

The lightsabers in this game are also improved. You can get a force crystal that is attuned to you and grows stronger with you which is awesome. Plus, you get some neat colors too. No more green, blue, or red. No, in the game you can get those as well as bronze, silver, cyan, orange, yellow, and purple.

you get cool force powers in the game too. However, the force powers in the game can be both a blessing and a curse of sorts. Yes it is cool to be able to clear out an entire room with one master force lightning strike, but that makes combat a little boring and repetitive after a short while. However, there are a lot of battles that are too difficult to do without it. Also, here is another flaw of combat in the game: quick, grab a sword or an object akin to that (preferably a fake one) and try and hit your computer with it (gently so as to not break it) now hit the wall with it. Did you hit the computer and the wall? If so, congratulations! you are officially way more accurate than the characters in the game when it comes to hitting objects that don't freaking move! Seriously, if it doesn't move then your character should have no reason not to hit it especially if they are a Jedi. It gets better as the game progresses and your characters are more powerful, but until then, you have to sit there while your character misses something that a drunk man could hit blindfolded while that thing proceeds to beat the crap out of you. Of course, this isn't the case all of the time...but it happens enough times in a row that it is frustrating.

A lot of the battles are really cool and fun but I do have a problem with one of them in particular.

That is Darth Nihilus. You may recognize him from the cover of the game. Throughout the game, he is literally built up to be the single most powerful character the galaxy has ever seen. A few years before the story takes place, he wipes out an entire planet in seconds by merely existing. He has grown so powerful that he is not even human anymore. So, what does it take to defeat him?

a 20 second lightsaber duel. That's it. Nothing more. You stand there and within 20-30 seconds he is defeated. In comparison this guy

keeps recharging his health over and over again until you beat him by convincing him to let himself die. He is supposed to be way less powerful. I wanted something more from the Nihilus battle especially since that is the one I was looking forward to the most.

Also, there are many side-quests that the player can do (and it is beneficial for the player to do them) during the game. The game has it set up that at a certain point, these quests are not completable and some don't even tell you what to do next. They just sit there until you beat the game. It's a little irritating.

By far though, the best part of the game is that you can turn your companions into Jedi. Everyone except the droids and one Mandalorian. Everyone else you can turn into a Jedi (if they aren't already) and that makes the game even more interesting and the way that you go about doing it shows that the creators obviously put a lot of effort into character depth which I highly appreciate. Each companion has a great back story and I highly enjoyed that aspect of the game.

Unfortunately, some of your companions are pretty useless and if they weren't in the story, it would not make a shred of difference. Two specifically (the rest are perfectly fine)

This one named G0-T0

And this one named HK-47

They really don't serve a purpose on the game. Their back stories are really difficult to learn and neither of them are particularly powerful. Sure it is kind of fun going around trying to find pieces to rebuild HK-47 and he is kind of deadly so...he's in a gray area I suppose. But G0-T0 is flat out pointless. Once you find out what's up with him, nothing happens. Nothing changes. It is more of a "oh isn't that interesting" thing. With characters like Atton Rand

If you find out what his deal is, you can teach him to shoot lightning out of his hands until all enemies are dead. I much prefer the latter outcome of a known back story.

My last major problem with the game is armor and force powers, specifically how they relate to each other. In the game if you learn a great force power, you can't use it when you have armor on of any kind. I find this pretty inconsistent with the game. If I can beat a guy who can destroy worlds in 20 seconds I should be able to shoot lightning out of my fingers while sporting armor that would stop a missile. It is especially irritating because you find a lot of armor in the game. A LOT of awesome armor. Now, you have 10 companions and yourself in the game. Two are already Jedi, three are droids, one is a Mandalorian who can't be turned into a Jedi and the other 4 can be turned. So, the droids can't wear it, the Jedi can't wear it and as it turns out, Mandalore cannot wear it either. So, you get a ton of great armor in the game and who can wear it? Nobody can. And all of the really awesome armor comes near the end when everybody is a Jedi anyways. The game gives the player a ton of armor and no one to wear it. It is pointless.

However, without a doubt, the biggest flaw the game has, is the obvious cut content.  research into this game shows that there was a lot of content that was cut from the game tanks to rushed development. Yep, this game isn't even fully completed yet. Even if you don't look into it, you find traces of that here and there in the game in things like quests that cannot be completed, rooms that it look like you can go into but you can't, etc. Even whole storylines are cut from this game. They just wanted to release it ASAP and didn't put as much time into the game as they should have. The thing is, in hindsight, the release date doesn't matter at this point. The game the developers release is the one that we are stuck with until we stop playing. Considering the replay value of the game, that will be at least 3 or 4 times through. But now we have to wonder what could have been if the game had been released in its entirety.

Overall though, the spectacular story and great gameplay make this an excellent game and one that definitely has re-play value unlike other Star wars games such as, say, Force Unleashed (but that's for another time). Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go play this game some more.

Final score: 9.0/10

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My review of Madden 2010-12 for the Wii

Okay, the games are the exact same as every other Madden game except they don't have Madden himself because he retired. I am mainly writing this review to complain. As a critic I think I can do that.

They are just Madden games except for one tiny problem: The graphics. For the Wii they are insultingly bad.

I mean, look at this, Just look at it

THIS IS INEXCUSABLE. And don't tell me that the Wii doesn't have the power to get better graphics. Let's look at a screenshot from Madden 2008 for the Wii

I have to ask the creators of the game, DUDE!?! WTF!?!?!? I mean, why on Earth would the graphics drop in quality from something that looks kinda real to something that looks like it was drawn by and for a 5 year old!! Who thought that was a good idea!? If the graphics stayed the same because of the computing power I would understand. But a DROP in graphics quality!? That's just utterly insulting. in fact, lets look at other images from past Madden games shall we?

Madden 2003 for the Gamecube
Madden 2006 for the PC
Madden 2002 for the PS2

I could keep going but you get the idea. My point is, graphics that cartoonish are inexcusable for a Madden game at this stage. Madden 2011 and 2012 are no better. So, my plea to the makers of madden 2013, Make the graphics better. Can you at least go back to how it was in the earlier Madden games? I have an XBOX 360 now so it doesn't matter anymore, but for the Wii makers, why did the graphics go backwards?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My review of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

The story for this game picks up exactly where the second one left off. I won't go into detail about that. Like the second game, this one features Desmond Miles who is helping the Assassin's fight the evil Templars by going into a machine called the 'Animus' to relive the memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore Da Firenze. He relives the memories of Ezio as an Assassin himself fighting the Renaissance Era Templars yadda yadda yadda even non-players should basically know the story.

The gameplay in this one is slightly different. This one pads the game even more than the second one did but still gets the occasional pass because, you know, you get to drive a freaking tank (and fire it) through the stretches of pointless roads....yes I know, only once though.

One new aspect of the game is something called 'fully synchronization'. That means, in order to truly beat the game you have to do exactly what the mission says with an added challenge or so help me you will not have the full satisfaction of beating the game! You wussed out on a few of those missions didn't you buddy!?

I can see why they have this. It adds additional playing time to the game. It even offers you rewards in the form of repressed memories you can go through. But here's the thing: they are still pretty darn pointless and pretty darn irritating.

For example, the first time you fight an order called the 'Followers of Romulus' you have to go through a 20-30 second cut-scene that introduces them and then you have to fight 13 of them. For full synchronization you cannot get a scratch.

In the upper left hand corner you see a bar that represents your health. Each time you get hit or fall you lose a varying number of the little squares. If you get a small scratch from a fight then one of the squares will go half empty and after a few seconds it will fill up again.

So, fighting the FOR up there I got a small scratch and healed and killed them all without another hitch...the game still didn't give me full synchronization for that minute scratch. So you have to keep trying and I must have tried about 15 times (literally) to achieve full synchronization. I had to watch that pointless cut-scene over and over again each time I got a small scratch. Eventually I realized that I could skip the cut-scene and i was very's the problem though. I skipped the cut-scene and immediately I got attacked by one of the FOR. I got hit before I could even draw my sword (the only thing you can block attacks with). So, I realized my options were to watch the dang cut-scene every time I got hit and hope that THIS TIME I will not get hit, or skip it and definitely get hit. Either way I am screwed until I get it right. I eventually stopped out of pure frustration.

In another instance, you have to escort a wounded thief to a hideout without being detected by the guards. In the game you can go into crowds and hide so that is the best way to do it...or so I thought. Turns out with the thief even if you are hidden they still find you and you lose your shot at synchronization.

And there are levels were synchronization is simple. But there are definitely times where the objective is relatively simple but very lengthy. In one instance, you have to kill a cardinal. You have to go into a crowded square completely undetected by the guards and then you have to kill him while you are sitting on a bench. Here's the thing though, doing that requires memorizing the routes of the guards and finding difficult routes to get to the bench where the cardinal is. Then you have to wait for him to actually walk around to get to where you are (he has chats with a bunch of people on the seriously he will just stop and stand there before moving on) if you get eventually do that then you are good to go. But if you mess it up, well sorry dude, you have to do that all over again if you want to get full synchronization.

I can see how it could be argued that the game designers wanted to add a new challenge to the game. But frankly it is just padding. We don't friggin' need it. If you want repressed memories find some different way to do it. Make them like the Subject 16 glyphs. If we don't find all of those then oh well. It is no failure on our part because we just didn't feel like playing that optional part of the game. But with full synchronization the designers (maybe inadvertently) mixed bitter failure with sweet success. I can't fully enjoy slashing the Followers of Romulus to ribbons because I let one nick me a bit. I know that full synchronization is optional but still, by adding that portion the game has moments that a small mistake means that failure is mixed with the success. When I finished killing all of the FOR I didn't think "man, it was totally awesome how I just stabbed that one dude in the head and then slashed another one in the neck a few seconds later" I felt more of "dang it, I let that one nick me a bit. I fail."

It's like the pointless mini-missions of the second one. Only gamers that care too much about beating the whole thing are going to spend the time and effort to get it all done. And it's not just something that you just go "ah, too bad. It doesn't matter that I didn't do it totally right." While that is true, there are apparently memories that you cannot access without doing it totally right. If you do want to spend the time getting full synchronization, you have to go back through and do it over and over again until you get it right. One of the best weapons in the game by far is the crossbow. If you beat the game and want to try an early memory again, you can forget the crossbow.

I am probably ranting here, but what I am saying is that the full synchronization thing is just plain mean. It isn't adding more challenge to the game as much as more padding and frustration by shoving failure into your face to go with the success. I can only hope it isn't in the next one.

The graphics are still amazing so that's a plus.

Also, there are moments int eh game where you get to use really cool modernish weapons (such as the aforementioned tank). Once again these missions are tarnished by the full synchronization aspect but they are still fun.

Overall I would highly suggest getting this game especially if you liked the first two. I loved playing it. I cannot wait for the next one to come out!

My official rating of the game: 9.0/10

My review of Assassin's Creed 2

I started off my Assassin's Creed experience with this game. I beat this one before I started with the first one and I found myself just not caring enough about the original to continue with it. I suppose that I wanted to see where the story went next as opposed to where it had been.

The story follows Desmond Miles who is caught up in the present day war between the Templars (bad guys who want to enslave the world) and the Assassins (The people trying to stop them from doing that). He goes into a machine called an 'Animus' that allows him to relive the memories of his ancestors so he can figure out modern day secrets. The ancestor he lives through in this game is Ezio Auditore Da Firenze (Florence) and he lives through Ezio's memories as Ezio attempts to kill the people who murdered his father and brothers as well as unraveling the mysteries of the pieces of Eden while fighting the enemies of the Assassin order. The makers of this game clearly put a lot of effort into the story and it definitely shows here. The game has a great story (complete with end-of-game cliffhangers of course) that leave the player coming back wanting to play more. I like the story because while it offers a lot of gameplay, it is not so long that you start to lose interest in the game itself.

Speaking of the gameplay, I had a blast playing it. The controls are not difficult to master at all. They kind of are at first because the game shows you symbols of what buttons to press. So, instead of saying press E to go into 'Eagle Vision' it shows an icon of a yellow head and eventually the player learns that this means press E (Unless the player has set the controls otherwise...also, as a side note, I played this on a PC). Thankfully the game teaches you how to fight pretty early on so you looking at an icon of a blue hand will make sense to you when it comes time for combat.

Another thing about this game that is really cool are that assassinations. Hiding in a haystack? With one click of a button you stab a guard in the back and pull him in. Hanging off the edge of a building? Click and stab a guard in the nuts and pull him off the building to his doom. You get the idea. One addition to this game that I loved was the duel hidden blade feature. You can now walk up to two guards and stab them BOTH in the face. With one you have to pick which one you stab and then fight the other one. In a game like this, cool kills are a must and this game totally delivers on that.

ON the flipside, this game flirts on the edge of what David Wong of calls 'padding the length of your games' There are moments (few and far between) where you have to run or ride to a destination that is far away from where you are going. It doesn't happen often and when it does you usually have something to occupy your time with (such as throwing guards off of the carriage you are driving). But it flirts the line.

Another negative of the game is the minute side missions that you can do. these are things such as delivering letters, races, and beating up people. I gotta say that while I can see why they are int here, I don't feel that they need to be. Why may you ask? Because only the most devoted player to the game will actually start doing them once the main story is over and even fewer are going to do a lot of them during the story. I mean, which would you rather do? Deliver a letter to someone else's lover or sneak into a restricted area patrolled by dozens of guards to stab an evil Templar in the back of the neck? The second one of course. This is Assassin's Creed, not Paper Boy. Get someone else to deliver your darn mail. I have to save the world dang it!

Having said that, the assassination missions, while still missions that few will actually get around to doing, are okay because when you start one you actually get to finish it by stabbing some bozo in the neck....twice if you want.

Also, the glyphs that 'Subject 16' leaves in the game (I'd go further into that but it is best if you play the game to get the full info on that) are great because they add a new challenge to the game and it adds a new element to the already great story including famous moments in time that are given the Assassin Vs. Templar touch.

Also it must be said that the graphics of the game are spectacular. I doubt that anyone knew that we would go from this kind of story game graphics

To this kind

It's amazing isn't it? That is definitely a plus.

I know that there is some controversy about these games for being too violent and especially for its religious themes. Well come on people, it is a work of fiction. Does Ezio say some stuff that I disagree with? Of course. But it is a fictional game and unless I see otherwise, I doubt that the designers would say 'Let's make this game Ubisoft's official policy on life and religion." There would be no way to get away with that.

One more negative, throughout the game you are running around and you run into people called minstrels. They run in front of you and try to sing to you. They are only there to get in your way and nothing else. No they cannot be killed. You can pickpocket them and they go away. My point is, they are absolutely pointless. There is no reason to have them at all. I hope the 4th one doesn't have them at all.

Overall, this game is really fun and I would highly suggest getting it if you haven't already. It isn't amazingly violent either. Is their blood? Yep but its not like a geyser spews out every time Ezio stabs someone. Cool kills combined with a spectacular story combined with excellent graphics game this a game worth having and worth playing.

My official rating of the game: 9.4/10

Friday, November 4, 2011

What makes The Exorcist so horrifying

As any good horror film scholar will tell you, there are 3 different reactions one can have from a good horror film: startled, scared, and horrified.

Startled would be if you scrolled down and saw a picture of the face of a spider and you didn't know it was coming.

Which I won't do.

Scared would be if a giant spider appeared behind you and chased you around. That would scare you even if you weren't arachnophobic. Or as another example, if you were scared of spiders and you thought that I was going to show a picture of a spiders face (as an interesting note, spiders have eight eyes for extended vision. That still makes them scary as f***)  the thought of scrolling down to see the face of the spider is scary to you. I know it would be to me.

Now, an example of horrifying would be if I told you that a spider had been going around to the newborn wing of hospitals and eating his fill of the newborn babies. Don't worry, that won't happen. But if it did it would horrify you to hear that right? Does that make sense? No? Too bad. For those of you that do get it, I can tell you why The Exorcist is horrifying as opposed to scary.

I know that The Exorcist has been labelled as the scariest movie ever. I beg to differ. I personally think that (and don't laugh) Paranormal Activity 3 is the scariest movie ever (I told you not to laugh...don't argue, it's my opinion) because it lets you fill in so much of the scariness of the film with your mind. Do we ever see Tobey? nope but we see the scary things he does. Good, now I see The Exorcist as the most HORRIFYING film of all time. Why? Well, I'll tell you.

First off, meet Regan MacNeil

This is Regan holding...something. A walkalazoo. Call it what you will...

So, a few fun facts (alliterations eh?) about her, first off she's 12 years old and she has a famous actress for a mother.

This one as a matter of fact

She has the kind of home life that any daughter of a single mom/famous future Oscar winner (though not for Requiem for a Dream...Julia Roberts is a thief!) parties, a nanny, she has to find ways to entertain herself (such as the above picture. She made that...kazoomadoka...or whatever)

and that too.

Well if you met her with that she'd introduce you to her friend, Captain Howdy

Say hello

That is Academy Award Winner (Don't believe me? Look it up!) Captain Howdy, he is not very pleased to meet you. In fact I'll speak for the both of us and say that we are not very pleased to meet him either. So there.

Now, I'm sure that you can see where this is going. Captain Howdy (AKA Pazuzu) possesses Regan.

Now to my points!

This is Regan post-possession

Seems fine to me

and a little later

Okayyyy a little creepy but my sister gives me that look all the time

And later


and a little later



Now let's compare some pictures here.



Now you see that? That is pretty horrifying. DID I MENTION SHE IS FREAKING 12!?!?!? I mean look at her in the previous picture. She looks so happy and care-free. She has her paper-mache Walla-Walla Washington and she looks happy. In the bottom picture it looks like Rosemary's second kid got hit by a bus.

Now if you look at other horror films, you can be horrified. In David Cronenburg's 1986 film The Fly, it is pretty horrifying what Jeff Goldblum looks like in full fly mode. It is immensely grotesque. But do you know what the difference is?

The difference is is that Jeff Goldblum's character is an adult. In most horror films it is an adult that gets the gruesome scenes.

See, in The Exorcist it is a kid. Kids are supposed to be innocent. Even in horror films where there is some external threat to the kid, some older figure will come and protect the kid.

For example, in Jurassic Park, Dr. Grant finds himself taking care of the two children after the T-Rex attack. He is a big strong man with an expert knowledge of dinosaurs and their habits. When the cowardly lawyer leaves the kids alone, Lex says "He left us! He left us!" and Grant responds with a
reassuring "But that's not what I'm gonna do!"

In scary movies with kids, there is always a figure who can guard the kid from the external threats, they keep them safe until the threat has passed.

In The Exorcist? Not an option. It is the kid herself, the sweet innocent child, who is the external threat to everybody. The worst part? The mother can't do anything about it. When Regan first shows signs of possession, Chris turns over every stone in order to try to help her daughter. Every psychiatrist and medical specialist in DC is visited. Nobody can help. Chris is filled with the worst feeling any parent can have with a child the feeling of "I can't protect my child. I can't help her. I can't hold her hand and say "everything will be okay I'm here for you" I don't even know if everything is going to be alright." Not being a parent myself I cannot imagine what that must feel like. I can imagine that it is every parent's worst nightmare.

Now, did Regan bring this upon herself with the Ouija board? Theoretically, yes. But I have to imagine that she didn't know the consequences of playing with it would be. Let's go back to The Fly, Jeff Goldblum knew there were risks to his invention. He knew that something could go wrong but he did it anyways. He knew there could be consequences and thus his whole transformation is entirely his fault. Nobody can argue that. With Regan, she was just playing with a toy to entertain herself while her mother was away. If she knew what would happen she probably would have gotten rid of the thing. She got possessed because a wholly evil entity took advantage of her child innocence.

So, to recap, her possession is horrifying because she is an innocent child who didn't know the consequences of what she was doing. Her mother cannot protect her from the evil force threatening her and she doesn't know if everything will be okay. Plus, Regan is only 12 years old. She would have to be at least 5 or 6 years older before Jason would consider going after her. It is a cardinal rule in most horror that the kid cannot suffer. Well, I think that one was broken with The Exorcist don't you? And even when two people chosen by God try to save her, they can't. Not by the ways that they know how. It takes utterly horrifying means to finally get the demon(s) out of her.

Pretty heavy stuff huh?

I'll leave you with this clip. It might lighten the mood or it might just depress you even more. But it's fascinating.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The straight truth about Hitler

No one in their right minds would deny that Hitler was an evil man. Was he the most evil man to have lived? Well, certainly one of them and make no mistake about that. In fact, it kind of pisses me off when people compare people to Hitler and the Nazis. If that person goes about committing hate crimes and/or killing people based of of race or ethnicity, then by all means compare them to Hitler. There are obviously a lot of myths about him, he isn't really dead, he is living in Argentina, he was Jewish, He was a brilliant military leader, everything he wrote about himself in Mein Kampf (man is that book stupid) and so on and so forth. There is one myth about him that irks me to no end: he was a Christian and use the bible to justify the holocaust.

       First off, the Jews are God's chosen people and there is no way that God would put anything in the bible about killing off his chosen people so don't even give me that one.It's just basic common sense.

So, I know a lot of people who are anti-Christian are very willing to grab on to the fact that Hitler made a lot of speeches in which he said that he was very Christian.

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.  It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth!  was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.  In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.  How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.  To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross.  As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…  And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."  –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed.  The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)"

Pretty hard evidence in favor of him being a devout Christian right? In fact, there seems to be a lot of evidence for it.

But if you think about it, he would say he was one way or the other.

Germany at that time had a huge Christian population. So, wouldn't it behoove Hitler to say "yes I am a Christian"? Of course it would. It would make his people trust him far more and he could have easy control over them. It would be invaluable to retain power if you say that kind of stuff. Do you think every politician who says they are a certain religion is actually telling the truth? Of course not. If Germany was a primarily Hindu state, Hitler would have said he was a devout Hindu. If it was a Muslim state Hitler would have said that he was a Muslim. You get the idea right?

In a lot of his speeches he says he is a Christian.

In a lot of his private conversations on the matter, he says he hates Christianity.

Now, which do you think would be a better window into his true beliefs?

Hitler is quoted as saying: "I'll make these damned parsons feel the power of the state in a way they would have never believed possible. For the moment, I am just keeping my eye upon them: if I ever have the slightest suspicion that they are getting dangerous, I will shoot the lot of them. This filthy reptile raises its head whenever there is a sign of weakness in the State, and therefore it must be stamped on. We have no sort of use for a fairy story invented by the Jews."

But Hitler does mention his Christianity in Mein Kampf especially in regards to the Jews:

"I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work."

What this quote tells me, is that even if he was a Christian, he was seriously misguided and did not worship the Christian God. Again, it goes back to the fact that the Jews are God's chosen people and so nowhere in the bible or anywhere else would he be okay killing them off by the millions or even oppressing them in any way.

Also, the bible clearly states "ye shall know them by their fruit" was the 'fruit' of Hitler good? Of course not. Nothing he did was good once he came to power. Anything 'good' he did was for his own ends.

We also have to look at the fact that Christians didn't escape the Holocaust either. There were thousands of clergymen killed in the death camps. It depends on the source and who you ask (I'm still fuzzy on this) but it is estimated that millions of Christians were killed in the Holocaust. We tend to forget that Hitler went after anybody he didn't like. It wasn't just Jews that he killed off. Any historian worth anything will tell you that.

But I'll throw the "he totally was" people another bone. Let's say that he was. 1. Why do you think that makes him representative of every single Christian and the Christian faith in general? Joseph Stalin said
"You know, they are fooling us, there is no God...all this talk about God is sheer nonsense"

And Stalin killed waaayyyyy more people than Hitler ever did. If Christianity is evil because Hitler was a Christian, Atheism is more evil because Stalin was an Atheist. Do you see how ridiculous that is? And I know that Atheists don't want to associate themselves with Stalin especially if Stalin said publicly that he was an Atheist. I don't think that Atheists are wrong and evil because Stalin was an Atheist. So please, don't think Christianity is wrong and evil because Hitler said he was a Christian. And I promise you he wasn't. There was nothing Christian that he ever did. Slaughtering millions of God's chosen people isn't Christian. His actions speak quite clearly on that one.

So please, do me a huge favor and drop that one. Hitler was not a Christian. Hitler is burning in Hell, Hitler's words and actions are not representative of Christianity, Hitler was not a Christian. He only said so publicly to gain power.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My review of Rumpelstiltskin

Saw the poster and I was curious as to what kind of bad this film was. My verdict: the kind of bad that one should always avoid. I had more fun writing the content advisory of the film for IMDB than watching the actual film itself.

Acting/characters: Pretty horrible. The female lead was irritating, the baby was...a baby, and the male lead was more annoying than the baby. But Rumpelstiltskin himself was horrible. Absolutely horrible. There He had pun based lines that would make Sequel Freddy say "Dude...dude...really? That's the stupidest pun I've ever heard. we get it you're from the 1400s and you're in the 90s now." Normally with a film like this the antagonist is the best part because he is the one who gets to do all of the fun stuff and it is easier for the actor to have more fun with the character so by extension, we enjoy the film a little more as well. Whelp, not here. Definitely not here. Here you just wanted the movie to end. It was only 90 minutes long and you wanted it to end 15 minutes in. It was terrible. 0/10

Plot: I don't see how it could have possibly worked. It feels like the sort of plot that has been done a million times before...probably because it has. Basic premise-wise I mean. Wishmaster was pretty much about the same thing just no baby involved: Ancient demon-type...thing. wreaks havoc in ancient times, wise old sorcerer/witch traps him in some sort of stone, fast-forward to the present, female protagonist releases him, demon-thingy wreaks havoc in the present day. I'm sure someone other than those two have done pretty much the same Leprechaun...anyways, it is highly predictable and you can generally tell how it is going to end...15 minutes in...which is when you want the movie to stop...coincidence? Nope. I don't even remember a whole lot of the movie because I just didn't care about it at all. Who could? 0/10

Screenplay: Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I mentioned before that Rumpelstiltskin says stuff that would make a Sequel Freddy embarrassed to say. I know that it was kinda played for laughs as well as 'scares' but it failed completely on that level too. Rumpelstiltskin must have made at least 2 dozen puns about the fact that he was from the 1400s and it got old...before the movie began. No one likes that kind of garbage at all. I'm just going to say it here for any budding horror directors out there: NO PUNS FROM YOUR VILLAIN EVER!!!! EVER!!! EVER!!!! Even played for laughs it NEVER works. In fact, no puns from the rest of the characters either. There are better ways to get the occasional laugh than puns. Pretty much anything will do. But pretty much everything Rumpelstiltskin said was a pun. even when he wasn't making puns the stuff he said was still stupid beyond belief. That actually goes for all of the characters too. 0/10

Likableness: The poster for the movie is infinitely creepier than the movie itself. Nothing in this movie had anything resembling quality EXCEPT...the makeup for Rumpelstiltskin wasn't horrible. It could have been better, but it wasn't too bad. There were some moments of briefly okay effects too...but yeah, the rest was so bad I don't really want to give the movie points for that...but I'll give it half a point anyways. all that aside, NEVER see this movie. Stick to staring at the poster and imagine a better movie in your head. I wish I had just stuck to doing that. .5/10

Final Score: .5/40 .012% (S)
Tomatometer rating: 0%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 0%

No trivia time for this one. Maybe I should take off that half point...


Monday, October 17, 2011

My review of May

I watched this one because I heard that this one was decent and the consensus said that it was an "above average slasher film." I must disagree with the critics on this one. I didn't find too much in the film to like. I will say that I wanted to like it. I really really did.

Acting/characters: Pretty par for the course here. A girl is misunderstood at childhood and thus she slowly turns into a sociopath. She starts out saneish and just gets more and more nuts from there. Usually, the performance of that character is the best one in the film. well, here I suppose it was too but that isn't praising Bettis (who played the titular character). She didn't do too much better than the rest of them. It's not that the actors didn't seem to be trying to do well, they just...didn't. The characters were pretty flat to me. May was the only one who had any kind of depth to her, but that's because she's the only one we have to care about so the directors decided to spend all character development time on her. The rest were merely people for her to react and interact to/with. It could have been done better. 5/10

Plot: The critic's consensus calls it a slasher film but it really isn't one until the last 10 minutes or so and even then, it really wouldn't qualify. This film is more of a psychological thriller than a slasher. It felt to me that the entire film was merely a build-up to the last 10 minutes...It was more of a "we're going to show you the reasons of why she acts like this" as opposed to "here is a story that we'd like to show you." The plot before the gory stuff is merely a means to the end of showing you the last bit. it isn't a movie really. I felt that it was more of a 90 minute intro to the 10 minutes that the director was really going for. It was entertaining enough I suppose but I would have liked for it to have been a little tighter. 5/10

Screenplay: Meh. mediocre at best. it tried at times to be deep particularly when May would have little revelations about friendships. but it just fell flat overall. it wasn't the worst thing I have come across but I would have liked the script to have been better. I really didn't care what the characters were saying in the least bit. Since I knew generally how the movie was going to end, I got the feeling (as I mentioned above) that the preceding 90 minutes was merely a means to get to the end. Well, I lost interest way before then. WAAAAAYYYYYy before the end. And I think the script is largely to blame here for that. If they don't have anything interesting to say then why bother really? 4/10

Likableness: It started out interesting and I almost started caring about the titular character herself...but I lost interest too fast for me to actually in good faith recommend this one. It had its moments where it was interesting but it was overall a bland and boring film. The performance by the female lead was all that the film had going for it and even that wasn't amazing enough to keep my interest the whole time. See it if you think it looks good enough. It'll be hard to find but see it if you want. It was mediocre at best and flat out boring at worst. 4/10

Final Score: 18/40 45% (M)
Tomatometer rating: 68%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 67%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Originally the film opened with a lengthy introduction to May as a child. But when the film appeared to be taking too long to get to its point, most of those scenes were cut. The opening with the adult May, specifically the first scene with her and her doll, were shot quickly and only to make the point that May was lonely as quickly as possible.

2. The teenage girl who asks May "got any cold ones in there" is dressed up as a zombie cheerleader in the exact same costume and makeup from Lucky McKee's very first movie, All Cheerleaders Must Die

Monday, October 10, 2011

My review of Of Gods and Men

Acting/characters: The performances in this film were pretty stellar. They fit with the overall tone of the film. Everything about the characters was very slow and deliberate and I think the actors acted their characters to perfection. You really felt the fear that they were going through despite the fact that they still managed to keep inner peace for the most part. I liked how incredibly selfless the monks in this film were. They knew what their fate was going to be if they stayed but rather than leaving they chose to stay and help the people around them as much as they could. Even though they had moments of doubt (who can blame them!?) they still managed to gain strength from God and continue their lives. It was beautifully acted. 10/10

Plot: One of the things I liked about this film was how it showed religion in a great light without preaching about religion. The film opens with the Christian monks and the Muslims in their community living in absolutely perfect harmony. They go to each other for advice, for prayer requests, they join each other in celebration, it was simply wonderful to watch. Like the monks themselves the plot moved at a very slow and deliberate pace but it did not get boring for even the briefest moments. It also did a great job emulating the growing fear that the monks had but still being peaceful at the same time. One of the best things about it was that is showed that there is a significant difference between actual Muslims and the f****** who find it necessary to blow up and kill people who do not agree with them. I liked that. I just thought it was awesome how they kept the tone and pacing of the film slow and deliberate without being really boring. That is difficult to do.

Screenplay: The whole thing is in French with bits in Arabic (I think). I think that it was a great script overall. once again, it was slow and deliberate but it was still really interesting listening to the monks talking particularly when they are deciding whether to stay or go. While some of the best scenes in the film were the ones without dialogue (particularly the excellent scene near the end where the monks are drinking wine and listening to Tchaikovsky) the dialogue heavy scenes did not fall behind. Since the film didn't rely on action or anything like that whatsoever to move the plot along, the dialogue is incredibly important because the film is carried by the characters and the dialogue. I think it was excellent. 10/10

Likableness: I liked this film a whole lot and I would have no qualms about watching it again. I would highly suggest it to anyone who hasn't seen it. It is a slow film but I don't feel that that makes it boring. The characters are very well done and the acting is superb. Plus it manages to show religion in a good light without being preachy about how religion is misinterpreted by society today. Plus there is the fact this this all actually happened which makes the story that much more powerful. It was a very good movie. 10/10

Final Score: 40/40 100% (P)
Tomatometer Rating: 93%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 93%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The official French submission for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 83rd Academy Awards.

my review of Single White Female

I watched this on a whim because I had heard of it a few times and I had nothing else to really do.

Acting/characters: Far and away the best performance in this film is Jennifer Jason Leigh as the new roommate that Bridget Fonda gets. She does a spectacular job treading the line between a helpless, needy, fragile person and a downright psychopath. As the movie progresses Leigh's desperate insanity gets more and more over-the-top but still believable. It can be tiresome but it is generally excellent. One thing that I had a problem with, is that the filmmakers wanted us to feel very sorry for Leigh and for the most part we did. But there are one or two things that she does that go a bit far. The puppy. That thing. It was gonna happen but still, as an audience member you lose a lot of ability to feel sorry for a character that does something like that. Fonda does a good job too as the character that the audience would have to relate to (God help the people who relate to Leigh more) but she is definitely overshadowed by Leigh. Also, I know a lot of people discuss how Fonda's character is kind of a jerk. Looking at their complaints I can see why. she pretty much uses Leigh for a bit of emotional support but then when she doesn't need her any more she just discards her in favor of her cheating boyfriend. There are a few other characters in the film who do an alright job, but they are less important as the film is pretty much dominated by the interactions of the two female leads and I think that it works very well here. The performances weren't perfect but they were very good. 9/10

Plot: It is one of the original 'insane roommate' movies. It is the movie that The Roommate is based off of. Now I haven't seen any other movies like this so I can't really compare, but I think that this one was really good. My biggest problem with the plot was that by the end, I had lost a little interest because I was starting to feel the running time. The film clocks in at just under 2 hours but I feel that they could have shortened it and still have made it just as good. Aside from the fact that it felt a bit long, it was a really well done story that was fascinating at the same time that it was absolutely heartbreaking and still at the same time it was horrifying. It could be very lighthearted at moments and you wanted everything to work out in the end with everybody. But it didn't. It took some very dark turns. In a good way though. The dark turns didn't turn me off to the film but they made where everything was going next more interesting. 8/10

Screenplay: I think it was alright. Seeing as how the film wasn't incredibly violent and most scenes were between the two leads (and also pretty much confined to one space most of the time) the relationship of the characters relied very much on the dialogue. Behind almost every great screen relationship there is good dialogue to go with it and I think that the film succeeded with that for the most part. it wasn't perfect but it was pretty good overall and I liked the scenes where the two leads are talking and Leigh's dark side starts to slip out while still managing to make her desperate. it was alright. 7.5/10

Likableness: Despite some flaws here and there and the fact that it can feel too long, I enjoyed it for the most part. it was a pretty decent film. The performances of the two leads, particularly Leigh, are really good and it was great to see where the film goes as Leigh gets more and more desperately insane. I would suggest it to anyone who likes a good suspense/identity crisis film. It isn't a perfect movie but I think it is a very entertaining one capped off by a couple of really good performances. I wouldn't mind watching it again. In fact, looking at the rating, I'd say it's underrated a little. But I thought it was pretty good. 8/10

Final Score: 32.5/40 81% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 55%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 56%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Like most old apartment buildings the building in this movie does not contain a floor 13. You can see the floor numbers on the elevator in a couple shots.

2. The Ansonia on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was used for the apartment building. The interiors were shot on a sound stage but the scenes in the stairwells were shot at The Ansonia.

3. Bridget Fonda had the choice of playing either the Allie role or the Hedy role. She ended up choosing to play Allie, because she said it was a harder role.

My review of Lilies of the Field

Now, let's get one thing perfectly clear before we start. THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME AND A MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE!!!! this film probably has the most heart and charm of any film I have ever seen.

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. Matthew 6:28. King James Version.

Acting/characters: As I'm sure most, if not all of you know, Sidney Poitier became the first African American actor to win Best Actor at the Oscars. Now, I haven't seen any of the other contenders (except for Tom Jones and that movie was garbage) but from what I have seen, Poitier definitely deserved the award. Lilia Skala, who played the commanding Mother Superior did an excellent job as well and it was really fun to see their two head-strong personalities clash. But the real joy of this movie is watching Poitier interact with the other four nuns especially the scenes where he is teaching them English, particularly the first time. The performances were overall very very good and Poitier and Skala did excellent jobs as the lead characters. 10/10

Plot: it is one of the best, most heartwarming films I have ever seen. Once you get a good idea of what it is about, you generally know how it is going to end and where it is going to go. For a different kind of film, that can hurt it but not this one. I found myself laughing because I was so...touched by how the characters interacted with each other. even the moments where Homer Smith and Mother Maria are butting heads, I still get the feeling that they have a mutual respect for each other even if they don't know how to show it. The driving point of the plot is definitely character relationships and boy are they really well done here. It was a highly well done and very entertaining plot that kept my interest the entire time. 10/10

Screenplay: I got the feeling that this one took a backseat to the character aspect of the film but I think that it doesn't hurt the film at all. I think it was a perfectly fine screenplay and it was very well done. It was mostly in English but it also had bits and pieces of German in there too which I think worked very well as the four other nuns who weren't Mother Maria only spoke German. Them turning to Mother Maria eagerly waiting for her to translate the last thing Homer smith said to them was just awesome and it just made them more...lovable. I think the writer did a fine job writing this film. Behind good characters and performances there is a great screenplay. 10/10

Likableness: I highly enjoyed this one and it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I am glad that I watched it. for those of you out there who haven't seen this film, GO SEE IT SOON!! You will enjoy it very much. I promise you. The performances are stellar, the story is highly enjoyable and positively heartwarming. I highly enjoyed it and I would have no reservations about seeing it again. Poitier definitely deserved his Oscar for this one. It is just an all around very good film. 10/10

Final Score: 40/40 100% (P)
Tomatometer rating: 100%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 100%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Since the story's action was tied to the chapel's construction, crew had to work through the night to keep up with it "progress" in the film. The actual building was real and could have stood for decades, but because it was built on rented property, it had to be demolished immediately after the filming was completed.

2. Actor Sidney Poitier gave up his usual salary and agreed to do the film for a smaller amount and a percentage of the profits. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his efforts.

3. Director Ralph Nelson had to put up his house as collateral.

My review of Madeo (Mother)

admit I was curious about this one before I had to see it. It met my expectations for sure.

Acting/characters: By far the star performance of the film was Kim Hye-ja as the titular character. She was absolutely spectacular as the Mother. like most titular characters, she had to be as she was the driving force behind the film. From what I understand she is a rather big name Korean actress. The other cast members do an alright job too especially the actor who plays her son. Their relationship is really good and drives the whole film. Yes he is a total momma's boy and I do feel that she is slightly domineering over him which probably doesn't help him trying to break away from her at the same time that he loves her and does pretty much what she says. it is a very character driven film and I think it does a good job at that. 9/10

Plot: It starts out kinda slow which had me glancing at the clock wondering when it was going to end but it soon got to the point where I was totally engaged in the story, wondering where it was going to go next and what really happened. For those of you who have seen the film and are wondering about my take on the ending, I think that the junkman was right. I won't say any more so as to not spoil it for the people who haven't seen it yet but I think his version was the correct one. It is a highly engrossing plot once it gets going. It is also nice that it wasn't too long. It didn't drag out too much. It was incredibly well done and I enjoyed it. 9.5/10

Screenplay: I know I keep complaining about this but I have trouble judging a foreign screenplay especially one where I have no basic knowledge of the language itself. I understand bits of German so it is easier for me to understand German language films. But that aside, I thought that the script for this one was pretty good. The film was more character driven than dialogue driven so it wasn't the most important part of the film but I feel that they did a good job with it nevertheless. 9/10

Likableness: I highly enjoyed the film and if the opportunity arose I would have no problems watching it again. it started off a bit slow for me but once it got going it turned into a really excellent film centered around the spectacular performance of the female lead. This one should have at least gotten a nod for the foreign language Oscar. If any of you haven't seen it and like foreign language films I would highly suggest this one. It was a pretty awesome film and I am glad that I saw it. it wasn't a perfect film, but it was pretty darn good. 9/10

Final Score: 36.5/40 91% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 95%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 95%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Because of phonetic differences between English and Korean, both "Mother" and "Murder" are spelled the same when translated to Korean characters. The movie title, "Madeo", is a play on this similarity, suggesting both "Mother" and "Murder".

2. South Korea's official submission to 82nd Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2010.

My review of Wings of Desire

Acting/characters: I enjoyed the acting very much. I liked Bruno Ganz as the main character and he was excellent. I did feel that as good as Ganz was, Peter Falk (playing himself) was the scene-stealer. He just took total control of every scene he was in. I found the rest of the cast a little more forgettable but they weren't in it a terrible amount so I suppose that is forgivable. They did a good job and everything they were just...forgettable. But really it was Ganz's movie and Peter Falk just naturally commands every scene he is in. They played a big role in keeping my interest throughout the film. A film like this can be incredibly boring if not handled right but their performances played a big part in making the film interesting. 9/10

Plot: Unless there is some mythology that I missed somewhere, this plot is pretty original. I haven't seen it anywhere before. I don't delve into plot details usually so I won't say more about the actual events of the movie itself. It was always very interesting but it was a bit hard to follow at the beginning. it got easier to follow once you got used to what kind of film it was. I was rarely bored something I appreciate in a film like this. it took some interesting turns too which I liked. It was very well constructed. 9/10

Screenplay: It was pretty good. It was mostly in German but there were bits here and there that were in English (anything with Peter Falk) but not being a German speaker this section is a bit hard to review. From what I gathered overall from the subtitles it was a very well written film. it wasn't the most prominent part of the film but still enjoyable. I feel that they preferred to let what you were seeing speak for what was going on as opposed to what they were saying. That is something that can be dangerous but I feel that they pulled it off well. 9/10

Likableness: Films with the kind of tone that this film has don't keep my interest as well as this one did. It had excellent visuals, a great plot capped off with great performances. My one big problem with this is that it was a bit too long and by the end I was beginning to feel the length. It wasn't so long that I felt myself looking at my watch every few seconds hoping it would be over soon but they could have definitely shortened it. But I am not upset that Mr. Hulot wanted me to watch this one. I enjoyed it very much and it is a film that I would highly suggest if you like films like this one. it was really good. 9/10

Final Score: 36/40 90% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 98%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 98%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Circus Alekan is named after cinematographer Henri Alekan.

2. The scene where Otto Sander is shown riding a bus looking morose, with his head in his hands, was shot that way because the actor had developed a large bald spot on the day of shooting and makeup couldn't hide it.

3. Filming the actual Berlin Wall was prohibited, so a replica of the wall twice had to be built close to the original. The first fake wall warped in the rain because the contractor cheated the producers and built it from wood.

My review of Birdemic: Shock and Terror

I never thought it would happen, I never thought it would happen. It just goes to show that Naseby's First Law of Film (copyright pending on that) is correct: A film can never be so bad that something else cannot be worse. Naseby's Second Law of Film applies that to sequels. Anyways...

Acting/characters: I don't even know what to say about this. I just don't. I'm not even sure there were any characters in the film. I just don't even...Nope, I have come to the conclusion that the 'people' we saw in the film were merely cardboard cutouts that got splattered with paint and stuff like that when they died. As such, there cannot be any acting. I am of course fooling myself as that would be the best scenario for this. Alas, there are people out there who act as bad as this. There are characters out there that are as poorly developed as this. Now, how is this possible? How can the acting in this be worse than Troll 2? I don't know. My brain is still trying to reboot. It attempted to shut down on me many times. But that aside...I don't even know how to describe this. It was horrible. 0/10

Plot: well the film is 1:33:00 minutes long. 45 of those minutes are spent doing...nothing really. Those opening 45 minutes could have been summed up in about 10 minutes. About 5 minutes of that were pauses in the dialogue while the camera cut to the person whose turn it was to talk next. The second half is somehow just as bad. It is what we came to see but I don't even know what happened a lot of the time. The whole reason for the bird attacks is only vaguely hinted at really. You never get a solid explanation. I would list all of the questions that I have with this film but I only have 23,278 characters left and I would run out of room on this review before I even got 1/3rd of the way done. As the final failure, IT WAS PREACHY!!!! And not just a little either, BIG TIME PREACHY!!! There was a lot about the environment and global warming and tree hugging (please kill me now) and protecting the Earth (yes please kill me now) and we are astronauts and we need to protect our spaceship. Yes, that's an actual line from the film. 0/10

Screenplay: I wouldn't call the dialogue in this film a real screenplay. No one would. I mean, how on Earth could you? it's like they just picked random phrases out of a hat that had numbers at the top and they spoke in order with the numbers. was worse than that. Somehow...No human being I know speaks like that. Except for Tommy Wiseau. But really who wrote this? It was horrible beyond belief. 0/10

Likableness: There was nothing to like about this movie. If it is worse than Troll 2. The special effects in this film would embarrass a NES game. Never watch this film. I know I had to but HEED MY WARNING! Do not see this film! Everything you need to know about this film can bee seen right here in my review. Ignore this fact, if you come across any copies just destroy them. The film only looked like it cost about 5 dollars to make so it's no great loss. There was not a single likable thing about it. at least Troll 2 and The Room had the 'so bad it is hilarious' thing going for it. No such luck here. It was past that kind of bad. 0/10

Final Score: 0/40 0% (H)
Tomatometer rating: 15%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 14%

and they made another one

TRIVIA TIME: 1. When this film was rejected from the Sundance Film Festival, James Nguyen promoted his film by putting banners, fake blood, and fake birds all over his van. He would drive around to advertise until it caught the attention of Severin Films, which then distributed this film.

2. James Nguyen spent four years making this movie.

3. James Nguyen got the idea of this film from watching The Birds and An Inconvenient Truth.

The effects are still worse than this picture indicates

My review of Mary and Max

Voice acting/characters: very emotionally deep and complex, well-rounded characters. I highly enjoyed watching them. The voice acting was pretty good from Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Toni Colette, and Eric Bana even though the last one has barely any voice time at all. But aside from the narrator (Barry Humphries or, Bruce from Finding Nemo if you will) commands most of the voice work. The characters were mostly seen through the narrator and their letters than by anything they said because outside of all of that they hardly said anything at to nothing actually. But they were fascinating and I enjoyed them very much. 9.5/10

Plot: I know a lot of you have reviewed it, but I tend not to look at plot details in reviews so as not to spoil anything for when I get to see the film myself. But from the reviews I had kind of an idea of what the film was about/like. Boy was I way off. This film was not what I expected at all. But that is good. It kept me surprised and I never really knew what kind of turn the film would take next. it could be funny, it could be very touching, it could be thought provoking, and this one surprised me, it could be very dark. I was surprised when it took some dark turns. It didn't prevent my enjoyment of the film but it did surprise me. it was a highly engrossing and very solid plot. It was admittedly repetitive though: Mary and max exchanging letters, and the narrator explaining what was going on in each of their lives at certain points. I must say that for such a repetitive plot, they pulled it off very well. Is it just me or do animated films generally try harder than most other ones these days? Not all of course on either end. But I digress...9.5/10

Screenplay: A big part of this film was the background music. That and the narrator said the most in this film. The only time anyone outside the narrator spoke was when Mary and Max were writing their letters to each other. it was kept very simple to go with the more simple overall tone of the film and I liked that very much. It was just to humans on opposite sides of the planet exchanging their letters and living their lives and it was extremely well done. I got the feeling that they were people despite being made out of clay in this instance. What they were writing to each other made them more relatable than most other characters I have seen on film in a long time. All it took was some simple, human dialogue to do that and it was pulled off very well. 9.5/10

Likableness: Isn't it amazing what they can do with clay these days? I imagine that it takes a lot of work to make a world this visually amazing but it totally paid off. I almost believed that I was in the world itself and that it was real. Admittedly some of the stuff looked really real but some of the props and sets looked lust like clay. I don't know if it was intentional or not but there were certain things in the film that you could tell much easier if they were made out of clay or not. That aside, this is an excellent film (that deserved a Best Animated Feature nod I must say) that I highly enjoyed watching. I would highly suggest this to anyone who has yet to see this masterpiece. It was amazing and I enjoyed it very much. 9.5/10

Final Score: 38/40 95% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 94%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 94%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. One Tomb Stone over from Ruby's reads "R.I.P. Adam Elliot", the writer/director of the film.

2. The street, Lamington Drive, is a play on words: Lamingtons are an Australian cake. They are sometimes used in fund-raising activities by schools and other organizations, whereby they are sold in bulk. Such activities are referred to as 'Lamington Drives'.

3. Principal photography lasted over 57 weeks, using 133 separate sets, 212 puppets, and 475 miniature props, including a fully functional Underwood typewriter. This took 9 weeks to design and build.

4. The postage stamps in the film used by Mary feature an image of Dame Edna Everage, a character played by comedian Barry Humphries, who also narrates the film.