Sunday, July 15, 2007

The end-of-holiday movies/DVDs reviews

What does one do when one is on a three-week holiday and one gets to watch movies and DVDs for free? This is a review of most of the movies/DVDs I've seen this holiday. The number of DVDs outnumbers the number of movies because I'm such a tight-ass with spending money on movie tickets and all my friends wanted to do when I got together was sit around and talk or go shoe-shopping.

Let's get the romantic comedies out of the way first
Music & Lyrics. Cute romantic comedy with a plot as flimsy as the flimsiest piece of clothing Paris has ever worn. No chemistry whatsoever between the leads. Add a few bad songs and Hugh Grant shaking his moneymaker(??) on stage and you get this. All the cuteness factor comes from Drew Barrymore and one cute actress cannot save a bad romantic comedy. My verdict: don't see it if you really don't have to.

The Holiday. The best time I've had this year with any romantic comedy. That is the case because of the above movie and another romantic comedy I saw earlier this year that made me cry the whole way through. You're not supposed to cry while watching romantic comedies, they're comedies for macaroni's sake. Anyway, I digress, back to The Holiday. It's got a very simple plot but it works and it's got a great cast which have some semblance of chemistry together. My verdict: one thumb up.

That's all for the rom-coms. Next is the one and only movie that belongs to the semi-horror genre: The Messengers. I call it semi-horror because it's not good enough to be horror and it's not good enough to be anything else either. The ghosts in this movie look like something out of The Ring and they move around like spiderman suffering from Parkinson's disease. The plot is so ridiculous and blatantly cliche that it shouldn't be called a plot at all. The only intelligent beings in this movie are the crows, the whole family is stupid even the baby that can see ghosts is stupid. You would expect someone who has the ability to see ghosts to be at least extraordinary in some way right? But no, the stupid baby just sat around and stared at the ghosts. Verdict: worst horror movie ever.

Happily N'Ever After. This seemed like the longest animation I've ever seen in my life when I was watching it. I just wanted it to finish, I didn't even care for a happy ending. I didn't like the good guys, the bad guys, the sidekicks, the prince or even the main characters. First off, I have always hated Cinderella. Ok, I'll cut her some slacks for being an orphan whose meager fortune got stolen by heartless stepmother and hideously ugly stepsisters and upgrade that to I have always disliked Cinderella. That chick is the type that should really grow a spine and stand up for herself instead of waiting for a prince to come and rescue her. Since this movie is supposed to be an updated Cinderella story I expected to see some spine. But no. Half of the movie was spent to knock some sense into still-spineless Cinderella. At least there is no handsome Prince coming to the rescue this time. Instead a much more handsome kitchen-hand. Cinderella did grow a little bit of spine at the very end but still that's not good enough. Verdict: I want more spine! N'ever again will I watch this.

Blood & Chocolate. I only watched this because I read the book a few years ago. Frankly, I can't remember much about the book or the movie for that matter. This probably says something about the quality of the movie. It has a good setting, probably would have much better themes and underlining message if it had stuck to the plot of the book. As I said I don't remember much about the book, I could have been remembering a completely different book but the book's plot is much better than the movie's. I expected werewolves to be different from normal wolves so I was disappointed. Maybe I should leave logic behind when I watch movies these days, I spent most of this movie berating about how a 70-kilogram human can change into a 40-kilogram-looking wolf, what happens to the 30 kilograms difference? That's quite weird really, I have no problem with a human morphing into a wolf but I have problem with unaccounted for weight loss. Verdict: so-so, see it if you have nothing else better to do.

Shooter. I'm just glad I didn't pay to see this movie. Horrible action movie where one guy goes around and just blows up everything and kills everyone he thinks is bad. There's nothing wrong with a movie with a lot of killing and bloodshed, I like Kill Bill and Smokin' Aces because they're fun to watch. Not this overtly sentimental crap. And this has the worst villain ever. Also, it's never good to be involved with your bestfriend's fiance even if he is dead. Verdict: not good.

Smokin' Aces. I like it. I don't know why I like this but I hate Shooter. Maybe because of the believability scale. I always like action movies that are completely over the top like Kill Bill and this because they're just completely fictional. I think if you spend money making an action movie (which is always going to be fictional) you have 2 options: either be completely over the top with lots of things blowing up an lots of killing. Or make it as low key as possible which is bad for action movies I guess. They're called action movies for a reason. Shooter is somewhere in the middle of the 2 extremes that I like that's why I hate it. Back to Smokin' Aces, sort of simple, completely unbelievable plot which involves the mafia and the FBI and a whole lot of contract killers. Plus one awesome score at the end of the movie from Clint Mansell. Verdict: best movie I've seen this holiday.

Ocean's 13. This should be a quick one. I like it better than Ocean's 12 possibly because of the absence of Julia Roberts. Ocean's 11 is the only good one out of the whole franchise. Verdict: If you've seen only Ocean's 11, don't think about seeing both the sequels.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I think everyone on the face of the Earth has seen this or is planning to see this and has probably read the book already. Who ever adapted the book into this movie did a good job. Phoenix is my least favourite book of the series so far because of the shear length and lack of action. I wasn't pumped about the last book being released on Saturday but now I am. All because of this movie. I just don't remember much about what happened in Half-blood Prince though. It's probably time to re-read the book before the new one comes.

That's it. No more movies to talk about. Oh wait, I really really wanna see the Simpsons movie now. I saw one trailer yesterday with the Arnold Schwazernegger quote: "I was elected to leead, not to reead". Oh man, that was one funny trailer. Plus I never thought I would agree with Homer on anything but really the Bible doesn't have any answers.

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