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Really liked your review of Cowboys and Aliens...really made me want to see the movie. You mentioned that you thought someone else should have been cast in Harrison Ford's role. I'm curious as to who you would have cast in the role?



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Cheers bud!


Tbh, I don't know who could have done it, but I felt Ford was just sort of playing it by the numbers. Not really giving much to the role.
__________________
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'



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Review #212, Movie #283
TRON



Year Of Release
1982

Director
Steven Lisberger

Producer
Donald Kushner

Writer
Steven Lisberger, Bonnie MacBird

Cast
Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan and Bernard Hughes

Notes
Inspired by, of all things, the videogame Pong, writer/director Lisberger envisioned a world that incorporated videogames and real life and he initially made a 30 second animation of the character TRON based on the ideas that were in his head.

Another thing that spurned Lisberger on was that games and films were separated by the cliquey nature of the fans. A modern day equivalent is the difference between Xbox and Playstation users. Lisberger wanted to bridge the gap between the two factions and create something that both could appreciate.

After the short animation Lisberger created was met with praise though, the idea of animating the film was dropped in place of using cutting edge FX and filming techniques for a live action film crossed with computer animation and rotoscoping, eventually leading to Disney getting involved due to their high budgets, and Disney then had input into the script.

In a move that mirrored the story of the film though, Lisberger and his producer and friend Donald Kushner were both given a cold reception by Disney because they weren’t part of Disney’s own closed group, yet the two filmmakers still obviously wanted to have maximum input into the creative side of things, seeing as it was their baby in the first place, rather much like the way the “Master Control Program” in the film reacts to Flynn and TRON.

TRON is a shortened, stylised version, of the word Electronic.

The computer (yes, computer, not computers) used to put the effects together for the backgrounds in the film and some of the other animated effects like the Lightcycle sequences, had only 2MB of RAM and only 330MB of storage. My near-10-year-old phone has more than that!

This lack of computing power caused a catchphrase among the animators: “If in doubt, black it out”… which is why a number of backgrounds are simply black with only slivers of colour around them.

---

Kevin Flynn, a computer games designer and computer genius at ENCOM, has been slighted by a co-worker called Ed Dillinger.
Dillinger stole a number of Flynn’s game programs and passed them off as his own and in the process he got promoted… and then fired Flynn.
Flynn has been working hard to hack into the Master Control Program (MCP) to find his files and bring justice to Dillinger for Plagiarism and Theft. But the MCP is a cunning Artificial Intelligence that is locked into almost every aspect of ENCOM’s database and stops Flynn at every turn. So Flynn makes another move and sneaks into the building to use a computer inside….

… and using cutting edge Laser Transportation Technology developed by ENCOM, the MCP “beams” Flynn directly into a digitized world called The Grid, that is run by the tyrannical MCP and it’s second in command called SARK…


Absolute Classic.

TRON has a number of faults if you compare it by modern day sci-fi… yet for all its faults TRON has one thing that makes it stand out.

Originality.

What the viewer is treated to, is a first of its kind computerized world within a world and it never lets up in original and clever ideas that are incorporated throughout. Anything from glowing energy that programs consume like water, Lightcycles (motorbikes) that are used in death-race style games, or the very idea of having to wear particularly snazzy outfits with memory discs attached that double as weapons.

Then there’s the idea of the world itself. The Grid is basically the Granddaddy of the modern, real life, RPG game and is filled with incredible detail for history.

What makes the whole thing tie together though, is the idea behind the programs within the digital world looking physically like their Creators (Creators are known as “Users” inside The Grid).
It allows Flynn to interact with them without them getting suspicious. It means that the cast seen at the start of the film are utilized within the digital realm and allows the audience to connect with their humour, plight and tragedy and allows the audience to really get behind the characters in their quest.

Which brings me to the acting.
Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn (seen at the start as the program he created called “CLU”)… perfect choice.
Jeff has played the sci-fi and fantasy thing a few times, Starman, King Kong… but here as the computer genius with a bit of muscle to back up the brain, he really hits the nail on the head. He makes for a great, yet fallible hero with the difference of actually being a normal guy.

Bruce Boxleitner plays Alan Bradley, and also the titular TRON. A Security Program that teams up with Flynn. TRON is basically a Warrior… the modern equivalent is an Anti-Virus…
Bruce is fantastic in the part. He plays two very different “people” when he’s seen as Alan, then as TRON.

David Warner also makes a great showing as Dillinger and as SARK… he’s basically the same in both roles, but his natural talent for being stony-faced and slimy but also pathetically weak is perfect for the thief/plagiarist and second in command to the MCP.

Back up comes from Cindy Morgan, Bernard Hughes and Dan Shor, all of whom play dual characters.
Cindy Morgan in particular plays a love triangle between Flynn and Alan… and also Flynn and TRON which makes an interesting dynamic.


The effects and action though… wow.
Cut backs as I mentioned with the lack of computing power don’t actually make much of an impact. The film is stylized almost to perfection… a fault maybe is that lack of background visual detail is a problem, but it gives the digital world a great edge over other films through sheer style.
The action also rewrote the rulebook… all I’m saying is Lightcycles.
Exciting choreographically, brilliant when it comes to the fact that you care about the characters who are in peril… fantastically original in terms of the “games” that are played and filled with some iconic, and I don’t say “iconic” very often, but yes, iconic visuals.


There’s also a cracking digitized soundtrack backing it all up that throws you into the world you’re witnessing.

---

All in all, the original, original, and I’ll say it again, an iconic movie that blazed a path for modern sci-fi movies, modern movie effects and also computer gaming.

Great acting, exciting action, funny, tragic at times and filled with brilliant ideas and little snips of tech that was and still is, years ahead of its time.

My rating: 100%




Nice review Mouse I this movie
__________________
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Buddha



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Review #213, Movie #284
TRON Legacy



Year Of Release
2010

Director
Joseph Kosinski

Producer
Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver, Steven Lisberger

Writer
Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal

Cast
Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner and Michael Sheen

Notes
Writing duo Kitsis and Horowitz were both huge fans of TRON and decided to take on the sequel when they were approached by Disney, and eventually put something together that allowed new fans to discover the original, old fans to rediscover the original, pays homage to the original and also expands the broadens the world of The Grid and keeps within the realms of computer technology changing in real life since 1982, all at the same time.

The Wizard Of Oz was cited as the inspiration behind the basic plot of Legacy.

Filming only took 67 days.

Disney were a little worried during pre-production about the film failing at the box office due to a younger audience possibly not knowing about the 1982 original… and that younger audiences would foolishly calling Legacy a rip-off of The Matrix.

---



Kevin Flynn was on the brink of combining digital technology with real life, which would have meant the end of disease and even death, and an open the world to endless possibilities in technology and science… but he disappeared without a trace.

Sam Flynn, Kevin’s Son… has been living a life of solitary since his Father disappeared when he was only young, leaving him basically Orphaned.

Sam simply lives on the fortune left by Kevin, and has little interest in ENCOM even though he’s the main shareholder, apart from occasionally hacking the system and costing them money for their corporate greediness.

When Alan Bradley, the creator of the TRON program in the original film, receives a message from Kevin, Alan contacts Sam with the information… so Sam follows it up and ends up at his Father’s old Gaming Store.

But before Sam has any idea what’s actually going on with his Father, he ends up in a world he really doesn’t want to be in… The Grid

… and a disturbing truth comes to light behind Kevin’s disappearance all those years ago… and Sam must do everything he can to stop a very dangerous and highhanded program and the Army it has built from destroying the freedom of the digital world… and also from destroying everything, digital or not, that it judges as “imperfect”.




Another classic. This time in waiting.

At time of release it made a bit of a splash but seems to have died off since.

The original did the same thing though, eventually becoming a cult film. I can see Legacy doing the same tbh.

Legacy is one very special sequel. It manages to incorporate the exact same cutting edge imagination as the first film, and then builds on it over and over again until what you’re witnessing is yet another original film filled with some impressive ideas and a recognizable series of events to back it up.

What works though, is the foundation of realism the filmmakers have incorporated.

TRON was a product of its time when it comes to technology. It was blocky, colourful and cutting edge at the same time. Legacy has grown the story with real time.
It’s smooth, clear and clinical and has some of the best effects possible.
In real life, tech has changed… in Legacy, tech has also changed.

It’s very clever the way it ties into the original yet manages to be completely different.

The acting is also ramped up. This time, some of the naïve acting with the subject matter of the original has been ironed out.

Garrett Hedlund plays Sam Flynn (Son of Kevin Flynn) and it’s his task to lead the film through its many subtle levels. Hedlund is on top form too. His rebellious youthful side is almost disorienting, I thought he was a lot younger but he’s near 30 years old.

Olivia Wilde is also magnificently beautiful as Quorra.
She plays almost the everyman of the film and carries a toughness and also a brilliant childlike quality that is perfect for the role. I totally fell in love with Wilde because of this role.

Jeff Bridges is back too as Kevin. This time round he’s become old and a bit flabby but he also plays CLU… this CLU is a new version of the one seen in the first film and using CGI, they’ve “younged” Bridges. It’s a highly impressive turn from Jeff to play a younger and older version of a character he hasn’t played for over 30 years.

We’re also treated to Michael Sheen as Castor/Zeus. My word, Sheen steals this film. He’s like a cross between Austin Powers and Jim Carrey as The Riddler and then adds even more flamboyance to the role then ramps the whole thing up into what I can only describe as immense.
It’s simply raw talent from Sheen.

Back up comes from Bruce Boxleitner as Alan in a smaller role than last time, James Frain, Beau Garrett and Daft Punk make a showing too.

Incredible stunt actor and Martial Artist, Anis Cheurfa, plays TRON this time round.

The action is also good. Backed up by fantastic effects and character writing the film manages to keep you glued to the screen and gets you excited.
There are also some brilliantly realized additions and twists to the “games” we all saw in the first film.

Then there’s a revamped backing track by Daft Punk bringing the whole thing together. Containing the same notes and tones of the original but mixed up, twisted and digitized to perfection. I can’t help but get shivers when the music starts at the beginning of the film.


---


All in all… a brilliant follow up to an ancient classic. Not seen a great deal since but I reckon will start making its mark soon and reach the mythical heights of its predecessor.

Great action, exciting, yet again you care about what’s going on and improved across the board in terms of story, acting, effects and general writing. One of the best sequels I’ve seen.

Put it this way, along with TRON… Legacy is now in my Top 10.

My rating: 100%




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Review #214, Movie #285
Starman



Year Of Release
1984


Director
John Carpenter


Producer
Larry J Franco, Michael Douglas

Writer
Bruce A Evans, Raynold Gideon, Dean Riesner

Cast
Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith and Richard Jaeckel

Notes
Starman was put into the writing phase alongside another friendly alien film in the late 70s.
Columbia then decided to only pursue one of the two films, Starman, and sold the rights to the second script to Amblin and Universal. That second script was pushed through quickly and became E.T The Extra-Terrestrial.
As a result, Starman was put on hold until 1984, making the development of the film a 5 year project altogether.

Jeff Bridges also studied Ornithology so he could portray the movements of birds. His thinking was that an Alien in a strange body would be jerky and applied the movements to his role before eventually becoming more fluid as the character learns to use his new body.
Having Michael Douglas as Producer was a hint of genius. Many Directors had been considered for the job, including Peter Hyams, John Badham and the late Tony Scott... but Douglas pushed for John Carpenter as he believed he had the right style and stylised vision for the film.

---

Aliens from a far away system pick up on Voyager 2 and its cargo of a Gold plated record with greetings messages from the people of Earth, and they follow up on the invitation that we sent all those years ago and send a probe ship to make First Contact.

Jenny Hayden is a widower and is still mourning after her husband Scott died only a short while ago, and one night, she awakens to find an Alien in her home after it is shot down by the Military...

... and when it takes the form of Scott by using hair samples and seeing photographs and a videotape of Scott, Jenny is brought into an adventure of discovery, peril, love and loss as she helps The Starman travel across the USA, so he can go home to his people.

---

Sounds like a simple plot really. Alien, crashes, needs help.

What Starman has though is a brilliantly old school love story feel to it with the modern touch of Sci-Fi to back it up.

We're treated to what I can only describe as the most original take on any film of this kind.
The story is incredibly well handled throughout with the eye for detail, and for having the audience fill out the rest using their own imagination. There's only a handful of scenes that tell the general story behind the Starman, the rest is made up through the viewer's eyes.
It makes the film incredibly interpersonal.

The other thing is the dual story that goes on. We have "Scott" and Jenny on their Bonnie and Clyde style chase across America... the other side of it is the Military that is chasing them.

The Military side is also handled extremely well. There are a number of factors involved than just a bunch of guys hunting the runaway Alien... amongst them is Mark Shermin played by Charles Martin Smith who is a sympathiser of Jenny and the Alien.
Coming to loggerheads several times with the head of the Military over morality and common decency, it adds depth to both sides of the story we're witnessing.


The acting really though makes this film tie together.
Jeff bridges, in what is probably the best acting I've seen from him next to The Big Lebowski. Bridges research into animal behaviour and his natural talent for becoming the character are incredible to watch. He also portrays a wonderful childlike, yet incredibly wise essence at the same time which is a masterful stroke from Bridges.
I loved him in this role.
He's only credited as "Starman" too and it adds mystery to his character.

Karen Allen plays Jenny. She too is on absolute top form as the distraught widower who is thrown into a situation that would kill most people from sheer shock.
Her character change throughout is also brilliantly played by Allen. The character has a kind of realisation in that she never got to say goodbye to Scott... but the Alien, in a way, helps her with that and to get over her grief.

Bridges and Allen are magnificent in this film together.

Charles Martin Smith is also bang on. Playing the Civil Servant working alongside the Military and occasionally losing his rag with the gung-ho attitude of the men in charge. No matter what it may cost him.
CMS is utterly engaging as the nice guy with an attitude who chomps on cigars. Another role I loved in this film.
His final scene is also laugh out loud "stick it to the man" funny.

Richard Jaeckel isn't seen a great deal though for the main antagonist. He's good when seen though and his character lives with the viewer.




As for action exactly, there's not a massive amount on show. Instead we have a number of effects shots, some rotoscoping and matt painting and the occasional camera trick.
What makes the more perilous scenes work though, is the photography and the music that backs it up.
A couple shots are dated slightly though, particularly when the Alien morphs into Bridges.

The editing in this film makes it a hell of a lot more exciting than it could have been.
An example is one scene in particular: a car crash... but it's the aftermath of the crash and what Starman does when the music kicks in that make this film heart pounding.
The fact that you care about the people in the film also adds excitement.




---

All in all, a hit at time of release and still holds up strong today.
Full of intrigue and wonderful eye for detail and some of the best acting I've seen in a Sci-Fi movie.
It's also heart wrenchingly touching at times, exciting too, and Bridges is incredibly funny throughout as well when he gets out of his depth or doesn't understand our customs.

A Classic in every sense of the word.

My rating: 100%




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PAGE 1
1 - Young Guns 90%
2 - A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010 Remake) 2%
3 – 2012 15%
4 - Cowboys And Aliens 85%
5 – Cloverfield 80%
6 – Leon 75%
7 – Dreamcatcher 30%
8 - Alien 3 Definitive Version Vs Theatrical Release 90%
9 - The 'Burbs 85%
10 - Starship Troopers 90% [11]

PAGE 2
11 – Predator 99%
12 – Robocop 100%
13 - John Carpenter's The Thing 95%
14 - Alien Vs Predator and Aliens Vs Predator Requiem 25% & 70%
15 - Terminator Foursome (1-4) 90%, 95%, 10% & 75%
16 - The Fourth Kind 35%
17 - Jurassic Park 80%
18 - Pirates Of The Caribbean Original Trilogy (1-3) 95%, 97% & 96%
19 - The Dark Crystal 65%
20 – Tremors 90% [27]

PAGE 3
21 – Paul 30%
22 - Full Metal Jacket 85%
23 - Demolition Man 70%
24 - Dumb And Dumber 95%
25 - Ridley Scott's Robin Hood 15%
26 - Christopher Reeve Superman Foursome (1-4) And Superman Returns 97%, 99%, 70%, 0% & 50%
27 - Batman Begins 90%
28 - The Dark Knight 95%
29 – Ghostbusters 98%
30 - Star Wars Franchise (1-6) 100%, 100%, 98%, 20%, 5% & 55% [46]

PAGE 4
31 – Critters 89%
32 - The Matrix Trilogy (1-3) 90%, 75% & 75%
33 – Arachnophobia 65%
34 - Super 8 45%
35 - The Shawshank Redemption 100%
36 - The Abyss 98%
37 - Troll Hunter 10%
38 - John Carpenter's The Fog 95%
39 - Dog Soldiers 95%
40 - The Shining 99% [58]

PAGE 5
41 - Indiana Jones Foursome (1-4) 100%, 99%, 100% & 1%
42 - Robert Rodriguez' Predators 85%
43 - Sam Raimi's Spider Man Trilogy (1-3) 85%, 95% & 45% [66]

44 - Rocky Franchise (1-6) 95%, 93%, 75%, 80%, 50% & 94%
45 - The Lost Boys 95%
46 – Evolution 90%
47 - Alien Foursome (1-4
Includes A Rerun Of Review #8) 100%, 100%, 90% & 40%
48 - Jurassic Park Trilogy (1-3
Includes A Rerun Of Review #17) 80%, 65% & 10%
49 - Gremlins Duo (1 & 2) 85% & 65%
50 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Original Movie) 90%
51 - 30 Days Of Night 80% [83]

PAGE 6
52 - From Dusk Till Dawn 96%
53 - I, Robot 60%
54 - Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds 50%
55 – Blade Runner 100%
56 – Armageddon 70%
57 – Signs 80% [89]

PAGE 7
58 - The Quick And The Dead 90%
59 – Ransom 100%
60 - The Big Lebowski 100%
61 - Ghostbusters Duo (1 & 2
Includes A Rerun Of Review #29) 98% & 70% [93]
PAGE 8
62 - Pitch Black 85%
63 - The Day After Tomorrow 65%
64 - Independence Day 88%
65 - Cat's Eye 89%
66 – Equilibrium 80%
67 - Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes 100%
68 - The Karate Kid (Original Movie) 95% [68th Review 100th Movie]
69 - Die Hard Franchise (1-4) 95%, 40%, 85% & 87%
70 – Poltergeist 90%

PAGE 9
71 - The Passion Of The Christ 100%
72 - Paranormal Activity 5%
73 - Paranormal Activity 2 15%
74 - Pulp Fiction 98%
75 - Critters Foursome (1-4
Includes A Rerun Of Review #31) 89%, 15%, 55% & 30%
76 – Unforgiven 100%
77 - Black Hawk Down 95%
78 - The Fly (1986 Remake) 94%
79 - Lake Placid 65% [116]

PAGE 10
80 - Back To The Future Trilogy (1-3) 98%, 85% & 80%
81 - Lethal Weapon Foursome (1-4) 97%, 98%, 90% & 93%
82 - Star Trek Franchise (1-11) 85%, 95%, 87%, 83%, 86%, 89%, 78%, 32%, 80%, 84% & 98%
83 - Of Mice And Men 96%
84 - An American Werewolf In London 94% [136]

PAGE 11
85 - Predator 2 (
Includes A Rerun of Reviews #11 & #42) 99%, 99%, 85%
86 – Jaws 100%
87 - American Pie Original Trilogy (1-3) 95%, 85% & 85%
88 – Godzilla 86%
89 - The Negotiator 92%
90 -
The Green Mile 101% [144]
PAGE 12
91 - The Mist 98%
92 - Silent Hill 58%
93 – Highlander 86%
94 - The Goonies 97%
95 – Batman 93%
96 - Batman Returns 94% [150]

PAGE 13
97 - I Am Legend 83%
98 – Titanic 97%
99 -
Saving Private Ryan 101%
100 – Avatar 96% [100th Review, 154th Movie]

PAGE 14
101 - The Simpsons Movie 70%
102 - District 9 84%
103 – Slither 88%
104 – Wanted 68% [158]

PAGE 15
105 – Casino 100%
106 - No Country For Old Men 94%
107 - Blown Away 50%
108 - The Cowboys 87%
109 - K-PAX 83%
110 - The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (1-3) 95%, 96% & 97%
111 - Edward Scissorhands 93% [167]

PAGE 16
112 - The Expendables 90%
113 - Little Shop Of Horrors 100%
114 - 3:10 To Yuma 74% [170]

PAGE 17
115 – Trainspotting 98%
116 - A Bug's Life (
Part Of Rodent's 5 Review Pixar Marathon) 91%
117 - Cars (
Part Of Rodent's 5 Review Pixar Marathon) 38%
118 - Monsters Inc. (
Part Of Rodent's 5 Review Pixar Marathon) 100%
119 -
WALL-E(Part Of Rodent's 5 Review Pixar Marathon)101%[175]
PAGE 18
120 - The Incredibles (
Part Of Rodent's 5 Review Pixar Marathon) 97%
121 – Gladiator 98%
122 - The Dark Knight Rises (
Includes A Rerun Of Reviews #27 & #28) 90%, 95% & 98%
123 - King Kong 87%
124 - Mortal Kombat 65% [180]

PAGE 19
125 – Appaloosa 38%
126 – Legend 91%
127 - Dead Calm 92%
128 - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button 83%
129 - Top Gun 71%
130 - Mission: Impossible Foursome (1-4) [130th Review, 189 Movies In Total] 89%, 91%, 96% & 96%
131 – Twins 87%

PAGE 20
132 - Pearl Harbor 12%
133 - Tremors Trilogy (1-3
Includes A Rerun Of Review #20) 90%, 23% & 11%
134 – Paulie 86%
135 - Hard Target 78%
136 - Universal Soldier 88%
137 - Sudden Death 83% [197]

PAGE 21
138 – Timecop 92%
139 - The Crow 88%
140 - American History X 100% [140th Review, 200th Movie]
141 - Gone Baby Gone 83%

PAGE 22
142 – Waterworld 91%
143 - The Fifth Element 93%
144 - Cop Land 94%
145 - Mississippi Burning 100%
146 - Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy (1-3) (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) [208] 97%, 82% & 27%
PAGE 23
147 - Field Of Dreams (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 90%
148 - Stand By Me (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 97%
149 - Rain Man (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 100%
150 - Big Trouble In Little China (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 86%
151 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 100%
152 - Innerspace (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 90% [214]
PAGE 24
153 - Short Circuit Duo (1 & 2) (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 89% & 63%
154 - Commando (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 68%
155 - Explorers (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 88% [218]
PAGE 25
156 - The Untouchables (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 92%
157 - Flight Of The Navigator (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 96%
158 - Platoon (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 98%
159 - Uncle Buck (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 90%
160 - Weird Science (
Part Of Rodent's 15 Review 1980s Marathon) 79%
161 - The 40 Year Old Virgin 81% [224]

PAGE 26
162 - The A Team 82%
163 - Dante's Peak 91%
164 – Volcano 84%
165 – Hancock 54%
166 - True Grit Vs True Grit 96% & 96% [230]
PAGE 27
167 – Watchmen 94%
168 - John Carpenter's The Thing And The Thing (Includes A Rerun And Small Edit Of Review #13) 95% & 42%
169 – Scrooged (Part Of Rodent’s 5 Christmas Movie Marathon) 93%
170 – Bad Santa (Part Of Rodent’s 5 Christmas Movie Marathon) 83% [234]
PAGE 28
171 – Home Alone (Part Of Rodent’s 5 Christmas Movie Marathon) 87%
172 – Elf (Part Of Rodent’s 5 Christmas Movie Marathon) 91%
173 – The Grinch (Part Of Rodent’s 5 Christmas Movie Marathon) 78%
174 – Ghost 98% [238]
PAGE 29
175 – Prometheus 89%
176 – Willow 92% [240]
PAGE 30
177 – The Expendables 2 (Includes A Rerun Of Review #112) 90% & 92%
178 – Dredd 96%
179 – Repo Man 98%
180 – Alien Hunter 0%
181 – Two Of The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy 97% & 98% [246]
PAGE 31
182 – Reign Of Fire 23%
183 – Porky’s 87%
184 – Fly Away Home 95%
185 – Rear Window 99% [185th Review 250th Movie]
PAGE 32… The Start Of The New Look Reviews
186 – Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves 94%
187 – Speed And Speed 2: Cruise Control 93% & 4%
188 – Deep Blue Sea 72%
189 – The War Of The Worlds 76%
190 – The Amazing Spider-Man 95%
191 – This Boy’s Life 94% [257]
PAGE 33
192 – Skyline 7%
193 – X-Men The Franchise So Far 84%, 87%, 89%, 81% (Wolverine) & 82% (First Class) [263]
PAGE 34
194 – Vertical Limit 28%
195 – Street Fighter 3%
196 – Eraser 82%
197 – Man On Fire 84%
198 – Jeepers Creepers 87%
199 – Man Of Steel 91%
PAGE 35
200 – Judgment Night 93% [200th Review, 270th Movie]
PAGE 36
201 - Close Encounters Of The Third Kind 101%
PAGE 37
202 - The Bone Collector 68%
PAGE 38
203 - The Star Trek Franchise - 2 Part Rodent’s Revisited and Star Trek Into Darkness 97%
PAGE 39
204 - Chopper 93% [274]
PAGE 40
205 - Pan’s Labyrinth 101%
206 - House Of The Dead 0% [276]
PAGE 41
207 - Kick-Ass Duo 92% & 92%
208 - One Hour Photo 92%
209 - Lawless 97% [280]
210 - Prisoners 100% [281]
PAGE 42
211 - Coraline 99%
PAGE 43
212 - TRON 100% [283]
213 - TRON Legacy 100%
214 - Starman 100%



Leben findet einen weg...
No Spoilers Contained!!


Review #215, Movie #286
X-Men: Days Of Future Past






Year Of Release

2014

Director/s

Bryan Singer

Producer/s

Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker

Writer/s

Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman

Cast

Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Kelsey Grammer, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, James Marsden and Famke Janssen

---

Synopsis:
In the future, Mutants are almost extinct... a third world war has erupted between Humans, Mutants and Human Sympathisers.
Any Mutant or Human that stands alongside them is rounded up, and terminated.


Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr now lead a small rebellion... their mission, to contact their past selves... and stop the eradication of almost two thirds of the world's population before it even happens.

Review:
Ok...


I haven't reviewed The Wolverine yet, but I have reviewed the others and The Wolverine was in my opinion the best of the bunch...

That place has now been taken.

DOFP has managed what I thought was the impossible... they've cleaned up the continuity errors, added an extra depth to the story that reinvigorates the other films... and the filmmakers have done it with style, gusto, humour, loving loyalty and a serious tone throughout too that gives X-Fans something to really get their minds engaging with.


For a start, this film feels so much more complete than the others before it, with exception to maybe The Wolverine.
They've also incorporated a running theme, albeit in almost a cameo-of-scripting kind of way, by adding memory troubles for Wolverine.

The major difference with this film though is the story writing... even though you can look at this film as a "we're sorry for the past mistakes, we'll make up for them", the filmmakers have actually managed to fix the past errors, mostly the continuity, with exceptional pieces of plotting and sequences that are not just inspired, but also exciting to watch as they unravel.
It's definitely not contrived.

There is still one continuity error that hasn't been address directly, but it's so small tbh and can easily be explained away. So it takes very little out of the actual film.

The time travelling ploy is also used brilliantly. The writers seem to have utilised genuine quantum mechanics in terms of what would actually happen if you start messing with the past.
I give that touch 3 giant, malformed Mutant thumbs up for that one


The acting is also ramped up for this one.
The characters we all love have been twisted around, tweaked, moulded around a history... and every actor involved gives everything they have, on every front, to make this an X-Film to remember.

Rather than go into each actor though, I'll just say that seeing the talent on show here, all in one film, is a sight to see and they all play off one another beautifully.
Jackman however, carries this film even though it's not actually all about Wolverine this time round.
He has proven his solidity as a leading man in this one.


Were also treated to some exceptional action and effects sequences too.
Take the last few X-Films, they're good, but comparing them to DOFP, they're small scale. Not Superman The Movie Vs Man Of Steel small scale, that would just be a bit too much... but DOFP balances the brilliantly written story against the backdrop of genuine peril and extremely well choreographed action scenes and CGI/Practical scenes perfectly.



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All in all, the best X-Film so far, very easily.
Exciting, fantastic action, brilliantly written, brilliantly executed and filled with recognisable and not-so-recognisable characters that we all actually know and love.
It's that good, it actually makes the others better. Can't rave enough about this film, and now, about the franchise as a whole either.
My last ratings were 84% for X1, 87% for X2, 89% for X3, 81% for Origins and 82% for First Class... I'd rate The Wolverine at 91% had I done a review of it.

My Rating: 98%






Watched xmen last night. Its not getting a perfect score from me but its a solid film. I agree with everything your saying about it. Hard to make a film with this many moving parts coherent and entertaining but they do. How about the jail break? Pretty great. Probably got the biggest audience response at my theater.
__________________
Letterboxd



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I mentioned that in the DOFP thread. Never have I seen an entire cinema laugh like that.
Quicksilver is one funny mutant.


I was still giggling 10 minutes afterward whenever it popped into my head.



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Nice... I was wondering if that statue would ever get made. There was so much hassle getting it together.


That last line is good though, "... as it should be"



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Over the next few days/weeks... I'll be repeating some of my reviews...


It's so that the reviews I did of, for instance, Star Trek 1-12 can be put into the MoFo Reviews Page... franchise reviews don't really work well with the layout so basically I'm breaking them down into singular reviews.


Rep if you want, ... but you don't have to (you do)



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Star Trek The Motion Picture



Year Of Release
1979

Director
Robert Wise

Producer
Gene Roddenberry, Jon Povill

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Alan Dean Foster, Harold Livingston,

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan, Stephen Collins and Persis Khambatta

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A massive energy cloud advances toward Earth, leaving destruction in its wake, and the Enterprise must intercept it to determine what lies within, and what its intent might be.


After a long absence from anything new and audiences having to make do with reruns of the TV series, demand for more Star Trek was yearned by fans.

What we got was a pretty outlandish set of events but something that set the tone for the franchise.
The writing is fantastic, it combines a more serious side to the mildest touch of the campness that was seen in the TV series, and still makes the audience feel excited.
It starts out relatively mysterious, allowing for the audience to take grasp of the strange situation, after all, all this time away from the screen it meant the audience could have been easily lost in the strange happenings and outlandish ideas.

The screenplay is a little touch and go throughout but it works with the tone of the film. There are occasional slips in the storytelling but they’re hardly noticeable.
The humour is another touch-and-go subject. Most of it comes from in-house humour between the cast, mainly between Kirk, Bones and Spock.
But you feel included in the little back and forth conversations and the humour itself never changes itself around from being either one thing or another; it stays constant throughout.

What makes the film really work though is definitely the chemistry between the actors. Not seen on screen greatly between the TV series and the movie, they still have a friendly and pally atmosphere about them.
It's just like old friends doing what they do best after many years away from each other, which makes the performances from all involved shine through wonderfully.

The effects also, still stand out today and gladly, are a billion times better than the series ever gave the fans.
Some of the visuals are highly 70s and experimental though. Shiny sparkly light effects and so on when something unexplainable is happening but, along with the far-out story, it adds its own authenticity to the proceedings.
The model and miniature effects are top notch and haven’t aged though at all.

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All in all, it's a welcome return to the screen for original fans and has stood the test of time for well over 30 years with a newer audience. Also over the past 3 decades, it has found younger audiences and introduced millions of movie goers to science fiction film.

My rating: 91%





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Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan



Year Of Release
1982

Director
Nicholas Meyer

Producer
Robert Stallin, William F Phillips, Harve Bennett

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, Jack B Sowards, Samuel A Peeples, Nicholas Meyer, Ramon Sanchez

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan and Ricardo Montalban

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Khan Noonien Singh, whom Kirk thwarted in his attempt to seize control of the Enterprise fifteen years earlier seeks his revenge and lays a cunning and sinister trap.


Another welcome turn to the screen for fans, and so far the best of the bunch.
The writing is top notch and the creases of the first movie have been ironed completely out.
This film feels much more professional, for want of a better word, in terms of overall finish.
The filmmakers also had the gumption to bring back a heavy hitting villain from the TV series too, rather than just the separate adventure that the first movie gave us.
It adds a much more fleshed out story and makes for a more personal battle for the crew of The Enterprise.
Khan himself has often been labelled as The Enterprise’s most dangerous adversary. It shows throughout the running time too and gets the audience deeply involved.

There are a couple of plot holes between the TV series and the big screen outing, but again, as a fault, they can be overlooked. The TV series was hardly strict on continuity itself, tbh.
What does make a difference is that this film was brave in some of the scripting and plots that are involved.

The acting from all parties is ramped up in this one too.
Ghosts of the past and certain things going wrong for the main group of characters really give the cast something to get their teeth into dramatically and it makes the movie all the more potent for it.
The one-two between Khan and Kirk makes for some great theatrical cinema and some of the most recognisable and quotable scenes in cinematic history.

Ricardo Montalban as Khan though is by far the most memorable actor in the film. Not just for the fact it's his character that is in the title though, it's his sheer enthusiasm and charisma in the role that makes the audience both love and hate him. He also brings an element of campness to the role that has been missed so far since the original TV series.

The effects are also improved massively. There are still the occasional slips in general rendering when it comes to the rotoscoping etc, but compared to the first film and other films since, Wrath was really the benchmark for the Trek Franchise in terms of excitement, style and choreography.

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All in all, a vast improvement over the first movie and an absolute joyride of melodrama, peril and humour.
There’s also an incredibly bold and emotional ending to the film that makes Wrath stand out from the others.

My rating: 96%






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Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock



Year Of Release
1984

Director
Leonard Nimoy

Producer
Harve Bennett, Gary Nardino, Ralph Winter

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan, Merritt R Butrick, Dame Judith Anderson, Robin Curtis and Christopher Lloyd

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When McCoy begins acting irrationally, Kirk learns that Spock, in his final moments, transferred his katra, his living spirit, to the doctor. In order to save McCoy from emotional ruin, Kirk and crew must steal the Enterprise and violate the quarantine of Genesis to retrieve Spock's body from the rapidly dying planet, in the hopes that body and soul can be re-joined. Bent on obtaining the secret of Genesis for themselves, however, a rogue Klingon and his crew interfere, with deadly consequences.


The third of the franchise makes for extremely downbeat viewing, and then extremely mixed emotionally toward the end.

What gets me though, is that the strange and unbelievable set of events surrounding the Genesis Planet and Spock are also, strangely, very believable due to the way the screenplay is put together. Thumbs up for that I say. That couldn't have been an easy task for the filmmakers.
What the writers and producers have managed to do is take the outlandish ideas and essences that were behind the TV series and even to an extent The Motion Picture… and then run with it and have fun along the way in terms of playfulness with the suspension of disbelief and character arcs.

Acting as a “part 2” to the second movie really makes this one stand out though. It also makes the viewer feel all the more connected to the emotional struggle of the characters.
There are also more deaths involved that makes for even more emotional content to get the viewer rooting for the main cast to succeed.

The cast too are on top form with the script and really show their worth in the series of events.
The movie itself has many levels of emotion for Kirk too. Shatner really stands out in the film because of the events happening around him.
Christopher Lloyd adds his own element of theatricality to the mix as well as a Klingon baddie. I was dubious about Lloyd but his different style of acting adds its own element of villainy to a role that could have been just a generic bad guy.

The effects are about the same as the second film. There are some improvements in terms of the rendering but they’re still recognisable when put alongside the first two films.
The model work and miniatures have been upped though and you can see more time has been taken in the model shop.

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All in all, what starts out as a relatively sombre and downbeat adventure turns to an exciting but quite emotionally driven ending.

The use of far-out ideas of resurrection alongside some other playful and knowingly farfetched occurrences makes The Search For Spock a better throwback to the original TV series than the other films so far, and is done with a style that fits into the film series perfectly.

My rating: 89%






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Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home



Year Of Release
1986

Director
Leonard Nimoy

Producer
Harve Bennett, Ralph Winter, Kirk Thatcher, Brooke Breton

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan and Catherine Hicks

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While returning to stand court-martial for their actions in rescuing Spock, Kirk and crew learn that Earth is under the siege of a giant probe transmitting a destructive signal, intended for the long-extinct species of humpback whales. To save the planet, the crew must time-travel back to the 20th century to obtain a mating pair of these whales, along with a biologist to care for them.


Acting as a “Part 3” by continuing Spock's story arc that started in The Wrath Of Khan, the cast being side-tracked from their return to Earth could have been an exciting and worthwhile adventure through space.

Sadly, The Voyage Home is laden with fish-out-of-water jokes and way too much comedy replacing the mild humour of the first three movies.
It's also very cliché and cheesy to the point that it's beginning to tilt too much toward the original TV series. The Search For Spock started to do it, but Voyage is beginning to just cross that line too far.

Though in saying that, the movie as it is, is still entertaining enough for any Star Trek fan and anyone who has enjoyed the lead up will experience a relatively welcome breath of fresh air after the downbeat third movie. The humour involved makes for a very different movie altogether.
It feels like a product of its time with all the Save The Whales nonsense going on, but Voyage manages to draw the audience in without getting too mawkish and sickly in its themes.

The acting is good enough for the tone of the film and to be honest, I think the cast are in the same situation as the audience and seem to be enjoying the over-used humour.
In particular, it’s nice to see other cast members get the limelight instead of just being Kirk, Bones and Spock. We’re treated to Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols on their own little side mission… and James Doohan alongside DeForest Kelley and George Takei have their own mission to accomplish too.
Koenig in particular makes the most of his time in the limelight, he’s incredibly funny and cleverly draws on the humour with his natural childlike innocence.

The effects of the movie are somewhat improved again in this one. The miniature work and animation work involved is top notch for the time (1986) and still works today.
The filmmakers have also kept a recognisable essence to the effects as well that tie the highly different feel of the film to the other films in the series.

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All in all, more humour oriented but does make for a nice upbeat change from the sombre predecessor. It’s just that the humour is laid on too thick in some scenes and the overly used humour does get dull at times.

Bordering product-of-its-time territory with the main plot but is handled well and never gets OTT in terms of the actual message it’s trying to send. Definitely the most fun of TOS.

My rating: 87%






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Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier



Year Of Release
1989

Director
William Shatner

Producer
Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, Ralph Winter, Brooke Breton

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, William Shatner, David Loughery

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan and Lawrence Luckinbill

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A man called Sybok believes he is summoned by God, and hijacks the brand-new (and problem-ridden) Enterprise-A to take it through the Great Barrier, at the centre of the Milky Way, beyond which he believes his maker waits for him. Meanwhile, an ambitious young Klingon captain, seeking vengeance for the deaths of the Klingon crewmen at Genesis, sets his sights on Kirk.


This time around, the audience is treated to a more action and peril orientated movie.
There's a great villain and a ghost from the past for the Enterprise's crew to deal with, and there are certain elements of expansion for certain characters too.

It makes for a more rounded plot throughout and the acting involved, especially between Spock and Kirk, is all the more realistic and at times has humour laced throughout rather than just there for the sake of it.

What does let it down though is that some of the ideas involved in the plot, particularly the ending, are so farfetched that they border unbelievable. The film does go toward the feeling of the original movie and TV series. It's definitely leaning toward the outlandish feel of The Motion Picture… it’s just that it went over the line between fantasy and reality just a little too much.

Having Shatner at the helm of this one really shows too. Shatner may be an awesome Captain… but he’s not really cut out for directing a large scale Trek movie. His direction works in the smaller scenes, but as things get progressively larger during the running time, his skills as a Director begin to show their limits.

The acting involved throughout though is at its best. Lawrence Luckinbill deserves special mention for his role as Sybok. He's not a baddy as such, it's just that his demented and doughy-eyed persona and personal neediness putting everyone around him at risk makes him stand out among the cast.

The effects in this one are used with a little more panache than the predecessors, especially toward the end with some of the sparkly shiny lighting effects once used in The Motion Picture, but they do work with the subject at hand.

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All in all, not the perfect Trek movie, but certainly enjoyable and has that element of the TV series going on and has some nicely placed backstory going on too.

It could have been more exciting though if Shatner had just a little more talent behind the camera.

My rating: 76%






Nice reviews. The Wrath of Kahn has always been my favorite.The Search for Spock is probably the third best of the original crew films, after The Undiscovered Country



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Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country



Year Of Release
1991

Director
Nicholas Meyer

Producer
Ralph Winter, Brooke Breton, Steven-Charles Jaffe, Marty Hornstein

Writer
Gene Roddenberry, Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Denny Martin Flinn

Cast
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, James Doohan, Kim Cattrall, David Warner, Rosanna DeSoto, Iman, Michael Dorn and Christopher Plummer

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After their home world is wracked by an environmental disaster, the Klingons attempt to make peace with the Federation. When the Klingon Chancellor is assassinated, the crew of the Enterprise must race against time to uncover a massive conspiracy against the peace process, with plotters from both sides, led by Klingon General Chang, working with each other.


This is the Marmite movie for fans of the original movies series.
Many have labelled Country as a bland film that is lacking the fantastical side of the Trek that many are accustomed to.

Looking at it the way it is though, it's actually a very entertaining adventure.
The writing of the plotline and the screenplay are also good. They add some sombre scenes to back up some of the more theatrical battles that occasionally take place, but Country is really more of a wind-down for the series.

If anything, it's much better written than The Final Frontier and far outweighs The Voyage Home in terms of tone and feel.

The welcome twist with this one is the murder-mystery “whodunit?” that the crew have to figure out while Kirk and Bones are under arrest.
The other thing that works brilliantly is the way the film's plot is unravelled by the characters and the way it plays out for the audience.
The whole film plays out like one long voyage of discovery for the audience and never lets up in terms of mystery.

The humour involved is also the kind that works, friendly, tongue in cheek and occasionally cheeky.

Another plus is that we have Nicholas Meyer behind the camera again. Meyer was the Director behind Wrath Of Khan… and Meyer’s ability to turn up the tension and still keep within the boundaries of reality and fantasy really show in the finished product.

What lets the film down though is the slight cheesiness of the “everyone should love one another” message that is laid on thick at the end. Now, ok this is a message that Star Trek has laid on since Year Dot… but Country does get a little mawkish within the last 15 minutes.

The effects are massively improved in this outing though. Though they're used sparingly they work brilliantly and the general rendering throughout is top notch.
Gladly though, like with all of the other movies leading up to this one, the effects budget was spared… and it makes for a nice ending to the Trek we’ve all come to know and love since 1979.

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All in all, a fitting end to the adventures of Kirk's crew. Upbeat and entertaining.

It’s nice to see TOS go out with a well choreographed, well written and well acted Spectacular that gives not just a few thrills and spills, but also something the audience can get their minds working with as well due to the murder-mystery elements that are laid on throughout.

My rating: 89%