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.

My review of 2012

One of my big problems with Roland Emmerich's films is that he uses all of this scientific and technical terms that there is no way that anyone without a bachelor's degree in science could understand. It's pretentious. He either assumes we're too smart or too stupid. "look how many big words I can use"

Acting/Characters: well, John Cusack is playing John Cusack just like he has in every other film that I have seen him in. even the good ones. And since this is a bad movie, it is a very bad thing. the rest of the cast was pretty darn lousy as well. I am still deliberating as to whether or not Woody Harrelson did a good job. His character was certainly the one with the most life to it. He was definitely the most interesting character to watch. However, I feel that he was overacting a bit too much for my taste at the end there. But whether or not he was overacting, he was still by far the most interesting character and the most fun to watch. That is more than I can say for anyone else. Everyone acted like they didn't want to be there outside of the big earthquake scenes where they just ran around screaming. I can understand why they didn't want to be there as it is a Roland Emmerich disaster film. 2/10

Plot: Here is the plot in a nutshell: earthquake, then dialogue. Earthquake, then dialogue. Earthquake, then dialogue. Earthquake, then dialogue. Earthquake, then dialogue. It goes on like this over and over again for 2 1/2 very long hours. Dear god was it horrible. I know that the disaster scenes are the saving grace of films like his for a lot of people. They are the one thing that may be minutely interesting in all 2 1/2 hours of this nonsense. Well here even they were horrible. The scene where our protagonists are trying to escape Los Angeles was one of the worst I have seen in a film like this. The effects were laughably bad and the whole concept was even worse. Plus since we have the POV of our protagonists we know nothing is going to happen since Emmerich wouldn't kill off all of his main characters halfway through the movie because it would end it and he knows how merciful that would be so he does not do this. As such, all suspense is gone from the scene because we know nothing is going to happen. Not that we actually care about any of them anyways. To Emmerich's credit, he does manage to have a scene or two that are actually interesting and engage the viewer however briefly. But for every successful scene there are 10 more that do not work in any way. I shall leave you to do the math on that one. 3/10

Screenplay: I do not remember the screenplay as it was so bad that I forced my brain to tune out whatever the characters were saying so as to make my lack of enjoyment of watching this film as minimal as possible. Experience has shown me that the screenplay is always the worst part of films like these. From what I remember, this is no exception. Who wrote it a 4 year old? No offense to four year olds. 0/10

Likableness: Like I said, there were a few bits here and there that actually worked and that I enjoyed. But the plot repetition combined with the horrible script and the laughable effects lead me to the conclusion that this film should be watched by no one. it was even worse than The Day After Tomorrow. It was way too long as well. Half an hour could have been cut from the film and we would still have gotten the full story he wanted to tell. But as I mentioned before, Emmerich isn't that merciful. 3/10

Final Score: 8/40 20% (S)
Tomatometer rating: 39%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 39%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The President's first and last names are the same as the 28th President in real life. Woodrow Wilson's first name is actually Thomas.

2. In an interview by USA Today, Roland Emmerich has stated that this will be his final disaster film: "I said to myself that I'll do one more disaster movie, but it has to end all disaster movies. So I packed everything in."

3. The character Jackson Curtis is the real name of 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) backwards. Director Roland Emmerich is a big fan of rapper 50 Cent and wanted to name his lead character after him.

4. In the film, many cultural and historic icons are destroyed, including Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, and the Vatican. Director Roland Emmerich also wished to depict the destruction of the Kaaba in Mecca. The idea was scrapped however, when producer and co-writer of the film Harald Kloser opposed the idea. He later stated that he made the decision because he did not want a fatwa issued against him by radical Muslims. (Interestingly to note, a fatwa is not an Islamic death sentence, as Kloser thought/stated; it is actually an opinion made by an Islamic leader or scholar concerning Islamic law.)

Pictured: one of the deleted scenes from the movie

My review of The Truman show

I had seen the last 3/4ths of this film years ago but that was pretty on-and-off. This time was the first time that I had grasped just how well this film was made as well as the first time I had seen the whole thing.

Acting/characters: This is definitely the best thing I have ever seen Jim Carrey do. I do admit that I can see why people would be upset that he wasn't nominated for his role in this. Do I agree with those angry mobs that he should have won? Nope. Yes he did an excellent job, but Tom Hanks and Roberto Begnini were better. Ed Harris did a good job but I am surprised he got a nomination for an Oscar considering that he had very little screen-time at all and he didn't do that much for a lot of it. He kinda just stood there and barked out orders. He didn't do a bad job don't get me wrong, but it wasn't an Oscar nom worthy performance. Carrey stole the show though (nyeh nyeh nyeh) and as such the film was really good. He gave it everything and you can definitely tell. 9/10

Plot: This one is definitely social commentary. It is a satire on how the population at large demands to know all of the private doings of celebrities who for the most part, just want to try to live ordinary lives much like Truman here. yes you do have those people who are in tabloid magazines so much that it seems like they are trying to get in but i digress...It was a highly entertaining film with a great range of emotions too. It could be funny, it could be uplifting, it could be sad, it could be heartwarming, and it juggled all of them so well. I was thoroughly entertained throughout. it was very well done. 9/10

Screenplay: I imagine that most of the lines that are a bit flimsier than the other ones can be attributed to the world of the show itself. Does that make sense? Any lines within the confines of the show that we may see as questionably good can be attributed not to the actors in the film but to the actors in the TV show. I hope I'm getting my point across here. Aside from the script in the world of the TV show itself, I enjoyed the script from the world outside of the show. They were two totally different worlds and I think the great script did a good job with making the differences apparent. It wasn't flawless but it was pretty darn good. 9/10

Likableness: This is one that I had wanted to see for a long time but I had never gotten around to seeing the whole thing. I am glad that I have now. it was a highly entertaining, brilliantly acted, original movie that I have no problem suggesting to anyone. It may go down in film history as a classic. The social commentary is definitely as applicable now as it was 13 years ago when this film was made. I think it will continue to age very well. The film isn't perfect but it was really good. Definitely deserved to take Shakespeare In Love's spot for Best Picture nominations for 1998. 9.5/10

Final Score: 36.5/40
Tomatometer rating: 95%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 95%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Dennis Hopper was originally cast as Christof, but walked off the set after his first day. Ed Harris replaced him and went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

2. People on the set were forbidden from uttering phrases from Jim Carrey's past "silly" movies.

3. David Cronenberg turned down directing duties. Sam Raimi was also considered to direct and had met with Jim Carrey.

4. Just before the boat stops, we see the number "139" prominently displayed on its sail. The ensuing dialogue between Truman and Christof contains some paraphrased references to Psalm 139, as do many other aspects of the film.

5. The Trumania bit, where Jim Carrey draws on the mirror with soap and acts strange, was completely improvised by Carrey. In another take he drew long curly hair and a dress.

6. Every street name in Seahaven refers to a movie actor, e.g. "Lancaster Square" or "Barrymore Road." All of the "cast" members are likewise named after movies stars - Meryl, Marlon, Lauren, Kirk, Angela, etc.