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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene)





It's An Artistic Bizarre Experience That Any Film Fan Should Watch!

Deranged Doctor Caligari and faithful somnambulist (sleepwalker), Cesare, wreak havoc in a small mountain village in Germany. Murders occur and the investigation leads towards the somnambulist, but is everything what it seems?

This is a film that is able to convey so much without ever hearing the actors speak. Yes, the film is a silent film, with the only sound coming from the piano played throughout the entire film, but that is what helps make the film so great. It makes the film more eerie and in the end, thought provoking. The story is told through a flashback from the main character Francis, the story itself is short and to the point. Yet this film manages to still be an influence today.

With a distorted set design that blends well with the inter titles, one gets an uneasy feeling while viewing the film, something isn't right...you can't pin-point it till the conclusion of the film reveals what really is happening. The style of the film influences many works of art today, from multiple horror films to music videos, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Otherside". The film has beautiful images that were created to distort the reality of the film, which makes it really stand out on it's own.

Just when you think you've been able to solve everything, the final frame of the film makes you doubt your own answers. Creating debates for years and years as to what the audience had just seen. Caligari is one of the best German expressionist films, and is able to stand on it's own today. 86 years later and it still is able to shock and please the viewer. Caligari has stood the test of time is comes out on top.

Known as the first "horror" film, it still manages to give the viewer the creeps. From the evil looking Caligara to the almost dead like somnambulist. Influencing film noir and horror, Caligari was years ahead of it's time. In the end, it's an art film. Everything about it is beautiful. The picture quality only enhances the viewer's experience in enjoying the film. I recommend Caligari to any film fan.

8/10
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Scary Movie 4 (David Zucker)




"Where Are The Laughs?"

This is the fourth installment in the Scary Movie franchise, this time we see Cindy in the middle of an extermination. With the world coming to an end, Cindy must find the father of a little boy who was killed in the house she works at in order to stop everything.

Ever since David Zucker took over the franchise it seems to have gotten less gross out funny and, well, less funny in general. In this installment, the series has gone further then to parody horror films. This time we get to see a half baked Brokeback Mountain joke and Million Dollar Baby. Whoever thought that these jokes were funny doesn't have one funny bone in their entire body.

We get the same old same old from Anna Faris and Regina Hall, who I still think serves no purpose. Anthony Anderson and Leslie Nielsen return from the third film in the same roles and newcomer Craig Bierko plays a parody of Tom Cruise.

I can say that I did not laugh out loud once during the entire film, which goes by pretty fast. I did chuckle once at the beginning with Dr. Phil cutting off the wrong foot. Other then that there is nothing else that is worth a chuckle. I'm not going to go into the whole plot of the film, as it is indeed a parody, so it doesn't really matter. I'm also sitting here and asking myself why did they show a scene with Madsen hitting a guy and assuming his identity, then donig nothing with it. I was waiting for him to do something, but nothing came of it, why put that in? It confuses and makes no sense.

Seeing Carmen Electra in the film take a dump is horrifying, not "hot" or "funny". At no point should people laugh at the film. It is an insult to your intelligence. Skip this film all together and hopefully they are finished with all the scary movie films.

3/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
City Of Rott (Frank Sudol)




"Newgrounds Flash Animation Style And A Repetitive Film Makes For A Boring Watch"

An elderly man and his trusty walker go in to City of Rott looking for some new slippers. There's only one problem, the city is overrun by blood thirsty zombies. What follows is a gore hounds dream, animation style.

What made me watch City of Rott? Well, I was attracted to it by it's cover. A cartoon zombie flick with it's main star wielding a walker. I was kind of reminded of Bubba Ho-Tep, in which the Kinf of Rock and Roll fought against the King of The Dead. I have never heard of COR, but being a fan of horror films, and being intrigued by the cover art, which is unfortunately one of it's few highlights, I bought the flick and watched it immediately. There are some elements in COr that work, but the are few and far between, much of it a a repetitive mess. Then again, what can you expect from a film that was made entirely by one man.

Frank Sudol or "FSudol" brings us a film that he wrote, directed, animated, edited, composed, produced, so on and so forth. With it's Flash like animated style, that one would find on such web-sties like "newgrounds" it stands out among other animated films, but it's unique style may put off a lot of viewers who aren't really ready for the basic animated style. Although the detail on the character are quite good and comedic. I was surprised with the variations of zombies that I found in COR, I was expecting the same face to pop up every now and then.

The main character, Fred, is alone, unarmed and going insane. Looking for a pair of slippers may sound humorous, but it wears thin after the film starts. After a few chuckles here or there, the rest of the film is not really all that funny. With the comedy not working in this film, there is really only one more thing that it can rely on. It's the gore, and the film features plenty of it.

The unrated COR features an abundant amount of blood and gore. Not only do zombies get shot in the head, but they get impaled with spikes, ran over by cars and decapitated by...yup you guessed it, Fred's walker. Fred uses his trusty friend as a weapon to kill the undead. Along with Fred there is a nurse, who quickly becomes a zombie, a random civilian with guns to randomly shoot zombies and another old man, who coincidentally carries the cure to being a zombie.

These aren't your regular day to day zombies, this time it's parasitic worms that infest the decaying bodies. It's a new way to spin the zombie tale that could work for a feature film, but here it doesn't seem to flow very well. COR would work very well as a short, but it drags on way too long and crawls pass the finish line. After Fred gets bitten by the zombies the film becomes rather pointless. The only reason for the film to go on like this is for Fred to get the cure, so you know what will happen. Basically the entire film is watching cartoon character beat the living crap out of these zombies. While it is all in good fun, much like the final scene in Dead-Alive. It becomes repetitive in the first 30 minutes, and you are asking yourself if anything new will ever come up.

I will give Frank Sudol credit for it being a one man show, it has great blood and guts and a unique animation style that could work as a short film, but COR becomes very boring, very fast. Frank, get more people on the same crew with you, put more time into the production, more then one year, and then come back with a film that will knock our socks off. There is potential here, but it's taken in the wrong direction. Which is a shame, cause the cover art is really kick ass.

4/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Over The Hedge (Tim Johnson
Karey Kirkpatrick)





"Hedge Is Better Then The Recent Flood Of Animated Films"


RJ the raccoon must repay a food debt to a grumpy old bear, Vincent. On his quest for food, he comes across a small family of animals living on the side of a hedge. With no food but tree bark and twigs for the group of animals, RJ takes charge as he cons them into gathering food for hi to give to Vincent.

I expected Over The Hedge to join the list of Valiant, Shark Tale and Madagascar as animated films that come and go. While Hedge does take a while to get to the laughs, it's the second half of the film that saves it from being added to that list. It seems that after the success of Toy Story back in the day and Shrek being noticed as a film to bring the animated films out of the closet, many actors are jumping at the chance to add their voices to the colourful characters of animation. Hedge is packed with many big names, who's voices all work perfectly with the characters. Carell is perfect as the always on the go squirrel and Shanter is genius as the always playing dead possum.

The animation is better then expected, with the fur on the tails and the blades of grass all looking very impressive. The only downfall lies within the humans. Much like Toy Story, they humans in this film look amateurish to me. Dwayne, the verminator, looks like he should be voiced by someone like Patrick Warburton, but Church did an honest job at it.

Running under 90 minutes, the film does come and go pretty quickly. It leaves one to think that they could have done so much more with the film. With a slow start, it would seem that Hedge is not really going anywhere, but with the second half of the film, mainly the house raid, Hedge is able to move ahead of the pack.

I was surprised by the amount of laughs it got out of me. Hedge is definitely better then the recent flood of animated films, and you'll be glad you gave it a chance.

7.5/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Grandma's Boy (Nicholaus Goossen)





"Less On The Weed And More On The Games Would Make This Film Funny"


After "not paying rent" in his old apartment, 25 year old gamer Alex has to move in with his grandmother and her two lady friends. Free food, smoking weed and playing games sounds like the best thing for Alex, but his grandmother is making him do chores around the house. These chores are making Alex too tired to test any games for glitches, or even finish his own game "Demonik".

This is a film that is made by the guys that you always see in Sandler's films. Why someone out there thought that they deserved their own film is beyond me, but here we have it and they missed the ball completely. With a concept that would appeal to many "geeks" and gamers alike, the film just has no really funny moments to keep the laughter going throughout. Maybe if "Grandma's Boy" concentrated less on the weed and more on the games, then this film would be a lot funnier.

With Allen Covert in the lead role (you might recognize him as Sandler's roommate in Little Nicky) I had my doubts that he would be able to hold the film on his own. While he does try his best, he gets upstaged by Nick Swardson as Jeff, the race car bed guy. Swardson manages to get most of, if not the only laughs in the entire film, whether it be his Dance Dance Revolution jig or just his tone of voice, he is without a doubt the highlight in the unfunny flick. I see good things for hi in the future for comedy. Not even the random cameo's from SNL alumni can get a laugh, with Rob Schneider, David Spade and Kevin Nealon (in a bizarre role). I'm still sitting here asking myself why is Doris Roberts even in this film.

For a film about video games and video game testers, there isn't that many moments of video games in it. Other then the final of the film, that serves no purpose what so ever...come on, the grandma playing the game? Along with one or two other moments the film is really about smoking weed and having a party. If the filmmakers had left out the whole weed part of it and added in more games and more comedy involving games, poking fun at gamers, then I could find myself enjoying it a bit more. This is also one of the few films when I question the point of having nudity in it. Is it to get a laugh with the kid sucking on the breasts?

One of the long running gags in the film is that it pokes fun at the "Matrix Geeks", with one of it's character dressing up like NEO and acting like a robot, much like Keanue Reeves acting. This character has to be the most annoying part of the entire thing. His constant robot speeches and actions get tiresome after the second time and eye rolling the third and fourth. I wanted to shoot myself every other time he did it.

There is no real plot to the film, it's just about a guy who moves in with his grandmother and has to test a game. Near the end, there is somewhat of a plot when the neo character steals the game from Alex and he has to prove that the game is his, but the answer they come up with is ridiculous. Jokes drag on way too long that aren't funny, again the matrix guy, and jokes that do work are way to short, Dance Dance Revolution.

I'd recommend that you skip this film as it has no real funny parts that weren't shown in the trailer. You may laugh at the fact that the lead character does in fact look like Mel Gibson. Grandma's Boy is a painful experience that will have you scratching your head as to why you gave it the light of day in the first place.

3.5/10



Thanks Sus, not much there to run out and see
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Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Crank (Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor)




"Crank Tries It's Best To Inject Life Into The Dead Action Films"


Chev Chelios, a hit-man, wakes up in his room and sees a disc. Upon playing it he discovers that he has been injected with a Chineese poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops too much. Now, he must keep his adrenaline up in order to exact his revenge on those who poisoned him. Creating havoc in the streets is the only way for him to survive.

The concept of Crank seems like a brainless, action film that would have no plot what so ever and bad dialogue. Crank is exactly that, but manages to have fun with the action formula at the same time. Crank takes the old 90's action films, and video games such as Grand Theft Auto and throws it into high gear in under 90 minutes. It's safe to assume that you won't be expecting Crank to win Best Picture at the Oscar's next year and if you go into the film with an open mind, you'll find it to be an enjoyable pleasure that is endless action after endless action. It's just too bad that the film's fast pace take away from the action.

Statham plays Chelios and is great for the part, even if it is basically a re-hash of every other character that he does. With stars like Arnold, Sly and Bruce taking a leave from the action genre, it appears that Statham is the next in line to take over. I stated, back when The Transporter came out, that Statham was to be added to the list of names for the next top action star, on that list included Vin Diesel and The Rock. With Crank, Statham manages to jump ahead of the pack, but that may also be credited to Diesel branching off into other directions, Find ME Guilty and The Pacifier. Along for the ride with Statham is Amy Smart, who plays the role of his girlfriend, who doesn't know that he's a hit-man. Smart serves as eye candy and is there basically for Statham to have sex with in the middle of Chinatown. It's to keep his adrenaline up, I swear.

The dialogue is pretty bad, one only has to listen to a line like "Don't pop a blood vessel you little penis." to start rolling their eyes. Statham is either spitting out bad dialogue or is yelling at objects and people. To accompany this bad dialogue is the lack of a plot. Other then the fact that Statham has been injected with poison and wants to have revenge, there is nothing else in the film. Of course there is the clichéd hit-man wants to leave the game for his girlfriend bit, but it comes out of nowhere and the film goes nowhere with it.

The film is juvenile with it's humour, having Statham have a boner because of the shot of adrenaline he took. Crank also has some pretty random comedic parts, such as having c*nt written on Statham for head in one scene and in the last minute of the film, which is basically a parody of the never ending falling you always seem to see in action films. Crank's pace is really fast and it ends fairly quickly, because of this non of the action sticks in your mind as anything special. It doesn't seem as big as it could have been, or wanted to be. Crank is too condensed in it's short time span that the action seems to little, even if that's all the film is about. With no particular scene sticking out in my mind as explosive, the build up to the so called climax leaves us wanting more. The climax of Crank isn't as big as the audience would want it to be and after all the action and build up the first 80 minutes has the last few feels like it's full of hot air.

Crank could have been a great action film that was one big explosive scene after the next, but it falls an inch short of that and ends up becoming a joke at certain points. The film is all good and fun indeed, but near the end the fun dwindles away and leaves an empty feeling. All in all it's a something that you can enjoy and possibly have a good time with, but make sure your brain is at home.

7/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Jonathan Liebesman)


"Look Ma, No Ass Crack"


"Tries To Be Better Then The Remake, But It Turns A Horror Icon Into A Mess."

On one last road trip before going off to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends get into an accident on an isolated road. The local sheriff shows up and brings them home to his deranged family, that nurtures a young man, that soon becomes the notorious Leatherface.

In 1974 Tobe Hooper gave audiences a new experience in horror and created a horror icon, that to this day still sends shivers down some spines. Spawing many sequels, that gradually got worse and worse, it was time for a revamp. In 2003 was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, this time with Jessica Biel and Michael Bay as a producer. While it did have some nice moments, it failed to capture any real sense of terror or horror that it intended. Now we have a prequel to that remake that promises gore, terror and the birth of fear. Unfortunately for the horror fans, it's yet another miss for the chainsaw wielding menace and instead of shivers being sent down those spines, it's simply agony.

Seeing the poster for the new TCM film gave me hope, it was actually good, in fact it was better then good, it was one of the best horror posters I've seen in a while. Maybe, just maybe someone could turn this franchise in the right direction. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that the direction has gone off the map. While in some scenes the film is indeed better then the remake, the film just happens to turn a horror icon into a mess. What once was a scary as hell character, leatherface, is now nothing more then just a misunderstood boy.

Right from the beginning of the film, I found myself laughing at it. Seeing the birth of fear, as they say, reminded me too much of the film Bride Of Chucky. Which could have been fine, if the film didn't take itself so seriously. It does indeed follow the horror formula, bad acting, blood and guts, profanity, somewhat disturbing images and even a ****ty script, but those things that are suppose to make a horror film fun, does the exact opposite with The Beginning.

With a short running time of 84 minutes, it seems to go on longer because your not enjoying yourself. Sure it's nice to see how things happen in the prequel that connects to the other films, but this is the case for all prequels and it's expected. Not even the deaths were enjoyable. The chainsaw death scene in "Dead & Breakfast" was gorier and more enjoyable then any chainsaw related death here...and the frickin movie is called the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There is some gore, not as much as I would have wanted, and it's not full screen gore either. It's edited in a way that you can see some of it, but not all of it. Right from the beginning with the death of the old man who owned the meat company, the cuts were too quick to see the damage that was being done. You'll see the blood splatter on the faces of the characters, but only a quick glimpse of the actual chainsaw death. I'll give this film props though for having more then one chainsaw death though.

R Lee Ermey plays the over the top sheriff again, he fits the role well, but the film put a little too much emphasis on his character. Sure he is leading the family pack, but the film is about the origin of leatherface, more on him killing the others would have been great. All the victims here are by the numbers, the boyfriend, the best friend and brother, all die. The hot lead, and boy is she hot, dies in this one. I'm actually happy with that, and the fact that the director chose to showcase Jordana Brewster's ass every chance he got.

There were certain scenes that I did enjoy though, they were shot fairly well. Which was a surprise to me. To say this is a step of for Liebesman is an understatement. After the horrible, HORRIBLE, Darkness Falls, I'll gladly welcome this with open arms. He still has much to learn, but given enough time, he can become a prominent horror director. The obligatory chainsaw chase scene was better then the remake. I felt the sense of being there on the chase, which was fun for a bit and the film does pick up from there, but there is only ten minutes left after that chase and then it's over.

The film ends with the voice over of how the murders were real and the film is base don a true story, I think after 30 some odd years we get it, no need to continue to jam that message down our throats. With so many good remakes out there, Dawn of the Dead, Hills Have Eyes and horror films that are actually good, Devil's Rejects and Silent Hill. There is really no need to watch The Beginning.

4/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Departed (Martin Scorsese)




"Scorsese Is Back To His Old Form & Gives Us The Best Film Of 2006."

Billy Costigan is an undercover cop who gets thrown into the hands of a notorious gangster, Frank Costello. Colin Sullivan is a member of Costello's gang who is a mole in the Boston police department. Once word gets out that there is a mole in the police department and a rat in Costello's gang, things begin to heat up as they try and smoke out the other.

Infernal Affairs blew me away a couple years ago, then I heard that one of my favourite directors was doing a remake. I was a little hesitant at first, I didn't know if I was going to see old Scorsese (Goodfellas, Casino) or the recent Scorsese (Gangs Of New York, The Aviator). Granted the films under his belt as of late are not horrible, in fact they're great, they just don't have that old school touch that made Scorsese such a great director. With The Departed Scorsese is back to his old form and gives us the best film of 2006.

The Departed is full of old school tricks from Scorsese. From an Iris Out and that classic Goodfellas feel, it makes for an intense thrill ride that will have you on the edge of your seat. With the crop of films this year not being all that great (save for a select few), The Departed blows them all out of the water. It's brutal with it's violence and doesn't hold back on anything.

DiCaprio and Damon both shine in their roles, with DiCaprio having the more intense part and more screen time. I only favour DiCaprio a tad more because the scenes with Damon and Farmiga are a tad boring to watch. It was a joy to watch both of these characters slowly lose their minds being on both sides of the fence. Although they both shine in this film, they can't touch the great Nicholson. He is absolutely astonishing. He owns every scene he is in, even when he starts acting like a rat. He has this evil presence about him in this film, but he plays it with such a comedic tone, you can't hate the guy, but you can fear him. After seeing how great he is in this film I'm left wondering why Scorsese and Nicholson haven't worked together before now.

Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga and even Anthony Anderson all blend well together to bring the cast of The Departed full circle. Wahlberg stands out in this list, he is just as mean and foul mouthed as Nicholson and can actually hold his own with such a prominent actor as Sheen sitting right beside him. Alec Baldwin is a joy to watch as he spits out his comedic lines left right and centre and Martin Sheen brings the missing piece that fits the thrilling puzzle that is The Departed.

There are numerous violent scenes that scream Goodfellas or Casino and it's nice to get that old feeling back. The film is gritty, brutal and violent and doesn't let you sit there and feel comfortable with any of it. People are getting shot left right and centre, beaten to death, hit numerous times with coat racks, beaten with shoes, stabbed, thrown out of buildings. The blood splashes all over the screen and with people getting shot in the face everywhere, you feel the uneasiness that Scorsese wanted. It's not as brutal as the one infamous baseball bat scene in Casino, but it ranks up there.

The film does tend to drag on in certain areas, but that's expected. With it's fast story telling pace, Scorsese slows it down a bit so we can get to know more about who these two characters are. He keeps us on the edge of our seats wondering if their cover is going to be blown cause it can be blown at any point in time. Even after watching Infernal Affairs I was still tense, wondering what was going to happen next. That is the work of a great director.

The Departed will get recognized by the Academy, but I doubt it will win anything. Scorsese is after 0/5 in that race. One can only hope though, cause he deserves it so much. This film, although definitely not his best (I don't think anything he does will surpass Goodfellas) packs one hell of a bloody punch. It has strong performances and a dark comedic tone that will have you laughing along with it. In the hands of any other director, it could have been a mess. Thank you Mr. Scorsese, for letting me have fun at the movies again.

9/10



Thanks for your enthusiastic great review, I have just read Pikeys review of this movie, you have both convinced me to see Departed as soon as it comes to town



Originally Posted by TheUsualSuspect
Where's Pike's review? Never saw it.
Were you really looking?



I posted it twice; in the Scorsese thread HERE and in the Last Movie You Saw in the Theater thread HERE.
__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Grudge 2 (Takashi Shimizu)






"Grudge 2 Uses The Same Scare Throughout The Entire Film"


After hearing that her older sister is in a hospital for burning down a house, Aubrey is sent to Tokyo by her mother to bring her back. After things go wrong, she encounters a journalist interested in the story of the house. Unfortunately for Aubrey, she then encounters the same mysterious curse that afflicted her sister. The curse not only takes over Aubrey's life, but the lives of other victims along the way, including a family in Chicago and schoolgirls in Tokyo.
The Ring brought a new wave of Asian horror cinema to North America. After it's success, it was no surprise that more studios would jump on the bandwagon and 2004's "The Grudge" followed right after. While it did nothing for horror fans, it did manage to scare the young teenage female crowd, as is the case with the sequel. Much like "The Ring Two", which lacked in scares, entertainment and a decent script, "The Grudge 2" just so happens to follow the same suit. Instead of trying to add to the original, it blatantly copies it and becomes nothing but a rehash of what made the original half decent.

There is just no originality in this film, everything it uses we've seen done before, and done better. It uses the same scare throughout the entire film. After the first 20 minutes, seeing naked albino little children walking slowly and making that eerie sound doesn't seem so frightening. It seems to rely too much on the jump scare, which gets predictable half way through. Instead of showing something really creepy and horrific, we get the something hiding in the distance scare. Whether it be behind a character in the background, or running across the back somewhere, we have all seen this before.

If you're a fan of any of the actors associated with this film, please save your money. Sarah Michelle Gellar gets a total of five minutes on the screen and about 3 lines of dialogue, which consist of, "Don't go in the house" and "Get me out of here". Getting into spoiler territory here, Gellar suffers the same fate as Jamie Lee Curtis does in Halloween Resurrection, end of the spoilers for you folks. Amber Tamblyn seems to have no idea what she is doing in this film; she only manages to showcase one emotion throughout the entire running time. All she does is have her eyes wide open and full of tears, along with her mouth wide open. That is basically what her performance consists of.

There are some random scenes that make no sense to me at all. A woman who regurgitates milk back into the container is pointless. In fact, that whole story line involving the family is pointless. You know that the Grudge follows the victims wherever they go, so you know who the person is in the apartment building. Is the end supposed to be a big shock moment? The film started repeating scenes from earlier, as if we are supposed to remember them and something big and surprising is about to show up. When it does, you roll your eyes in disappointment, or congratulate yourself for figuring it out 25 minutes into the film. Either or it's a big bore and what happens immediately after that is laughable.

All the deaths are pretty much the same, the small boy or girl grabbing the victim, and then cut to another scene. Nothing graphic happens to anyone at all, it does have a PG-13 rating after all. You feel absolutely nothing for any of these characters. I was more entertained by the old man playing peek-a-boo on the bus, then anyone else in this film. That is clearly a bad sign.

Where does the film do some good? Well, it handles the three different story lines well. You don't get too much of one and not enough of the others. The climax of the film was decent as well, inter cutting between the little boy and his family and Aubrey's story. You do get a small...very small sense of what's going to happen next feeling. It was also neat to see more of a back-story to the supposed Grudge that was left in the house, but if you would rather have it be a mystery then you'll be disappointed.

The Grudge 2 adds absolutely nothing new to the genre, it instead slaps it in the face. Nothing original, nothing scary and nothing good about this film ever came up. If you've seen the first one, then you've seen this one. Only difference is you don't need to be in the house to have the grudge come after you, you only need to be next to the person. After the original, people actually talked about it, saying how scary that sound was and that they couldn't sleep for days. You won't get any of this from the sequel, or probably even the inevitable third film, cause of course it has to end with that "There could be a sequel ending".

3/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Flags Of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood)





"Eastwood Delivers A Formulaic War Film"


Six men raised the American flag at Iwo Jima and the photograph that was taken became the most important photograph of that time. John "Doc" Bradley, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes are the only men left alive who were part of the photograph and encourage the rest of America to buy bonds in supporting the war.

Still flying high after his win from Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood teams up with writer Paul Haggis and goes after the Oscar once again, this time with Flags of our Fathers. I wasn't the biggest fan of Million Dollar Baby, it is vastly overrated, so I wasn't expecting the best with Flags, I didn't get the best either. While a lot of it works very well, it is just too formulaic and will not grab you emotionally.

Let's begin with the war scenes, which is how it opens. All the war scenes are told in flashbacks, which are scattered throughout the film, sometimes even in the most random and pointless parts. The battle of Iwo Jima is an astonishing. The gray and light blues used really add to the experience. It's realistic and honest, you feel like you are on Iwo Jima with the soldiers. The war scenes aren't as dramatic or brutal as Spielberg's war effort in Saving Private Ryan, but it places a close second.

The supporting cast shines here, unlike the leads. I really enjoyed Barry Pepper and Robert Patrick in their small roles. Adam Beach's performance is 50/50. His highlight is when he breaks down emotionally in disgust with what he has become. He never wanted to be a hero, but that's exactly what Americans see him as. He drinks his problems away, which is where the performance drags. He is either drunk throughout the film, or p'd off at himself and the other soldiers for "forcing" him to become a hero. No real range until the end, when it's too late. Ryan Phillippe doesn't really shine here either. He does a decent job, but nothing he does really grabs the viewer emotionally. You never really feel connected with any of these characters; I couldn't even keep track of half of them. If this was intentional because in amidst of the war you never know who or where anyone really is, then they succeeded, but at the price of grabbing it's viewer.

I mentioned earlier that the film's war scenes are told in flashbacks, some in the most random of places. This really hurts Flags, because it becomes really redundant (much like Beach's character). You'll have a war scene, then you'll come back to the men being praised by Americans, then back to a war scene, and we're back to the men being praised by Americans.... back to the war scene, you get the picture. You begin to lose interest in what is happening cause you saw it in the scene prior. Eastwood drags the film on in the final 10 or so minutes and you can really tell. There is nothing left in the story to tell, but the film keeps on truckin. Although, I thought they would end the film with the iconic image of the men raising the flag, I was also pleased with showing them swimming in the ocean, pulling back and revealing the American flag.

Flags of our Fathers will get it nominations, but I doubt it will win much. It looks beautiful and stunning, but it's repetitive structure and average performances hurt it in the major categories. Going into the film you would expect greatness, after all this is the guy who gave us Unforgiven, Mystic River and much to my dismay, Million Dollar Baby, but with Flags it seems that it is missing that one thing that could take it to greatness. With all it's potential, it's sad to see it miss a few steps.

7/10



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
SAW III (Darren Lynn Bousman)




"SAW III Tries To Piece Back Together Missing Pieces In The Jigsaw"

Jigsaw, who is on his deathbed, gets his apprentice Amanda to kidnap a doctor, who is told to keep him alive or she will die. Meanwhile Jeff is the next person to fall victim to Jigsaw's game.

When choosing to see a horror film, one should not listen to what the film critics have to say about it. Usually they will tear the film a new one, simply because they're not a fan, or appreciate the genre. Horror is a genre for its fans, not it's critics. It's no surprise that the critics hate the third Saw film, but the fans rejoice around it. While Saw III is not the best film of the trilogy, it's not the worst either. Improving over the mess of a sequel that was Saw II, Saw III tries to piece back together missing pieces in the jigsaw and succeeds at doing so...barely.

While many thought that Jigsaw himself died at the conclusion of the second film, we were all wrong. He's still alive and kicking, well not kicking, but alive. It's up to Lynn, a doctor to keep him alive, for her sake. She is attached to a device that will blow up is Jigsaw's heart rate stops and she leaves his proximity. Sounds very "Battle Royalish". She is only a small part of a much bigger game that Jigsaw is playing. In a couple rooms over another victim wakes in a wooden box, this is Jeff. He is unwillingly (like everyone else) thrown into this game of life or death. His so called crime; according to Jigsaw is his inability to let go of the past. A car killed his son and Jeff has yet to let go of this, so he is sent on this "quest" to get to the man who killed his son. He must choose to forgive and save three victims, who all have their hand in his son's death, or let them die. Eventually all of this somehow leads up to the films end where it throws it's expected twist, which isn't as good as either of the previous films.

Saw II didn't go over so well because it took a different angle, and failed. SAW III does the exact same thing, yet somehow gets away with it, by an inch mind you. What made the original so compelling and unique was that it took place in this dirty bathroom. In the sequels, it's multiple rooms. This is a double edge sword; while it's neat to want to see what crazy contraption Jigsaw has in for us behind door number one, two or three...there is no real sense of urgency, or confinement. Jeff makes his way through room-to-room trying to save the victims, which include drowning in chopped up pig stuff, being frozen to death and being twisted to death, yup I said twisted.

The film picks up exactly where the second film left off, you could basically splice the two films together and watch one long bloody film, no pun intended. We see Eric, the detective from the second film chained up in the same bathroom; he tries everything to escape his chains and finally comes up with an answer. No, he doesn't saw off his foot like Dr. Gordon, he smashes it with the toilet cover and then breaks it. That was the one and only squirm in my seat moment for me, as the rest if really just blood and guts. Yes, Saw III is the bloodiest of them all; You'll get foot smashing as I mentioned, heads exploding, bodies twisting, freezing, suffocating...so on.

WARNING: "SAW III" spoilers below
SAW III uses flashbacks to show us things that we didn't know about the first two films, such as the fact the Amanda has been in on it since the whole Dr. Gordon and Adam fiasco. She even killed Adam, instead of him starving which is what we were led to believe. Still to mention of what happened to Dr. Gordon though, but I'm sure we can all agree on him dying. Ever wonder why Adam and Gordon never saw Jigsaw breathing, somewhat explained here. These flashbacks seemed like they were here just to cover up plot holes found in the first two films. Yet they work in an odd way. It makes you want to pay more attention, whenever they go back to the previous films, you want to pay attention cause you start to think you may have missed something. Some of the flashbacks may take away from the earlier films, especially with Adams death.


The SAW theme music is here yet again, this time with a couple tweaks. It's the new remix, still has same effect, but possibly to a lesser degree. SAW III builds up to it's ending for awhile and once it finally hits you're left sitting there asking yourself if THAT was suppose to be the films huge twist. The twist is okay in it, but doesn't even compare to the sizes of our jaws after watching the first two. More then its blood and guts, it's a story about Jigsaw and Amanda, who become humanized with their emotional connection between the two of them. She cares for him and he cares for her.

There were many things that were left not answered here. Like who was the blonde girl in Jigsaw's dream, or what did the letter say that he gave to Amanda, why the hell did he pour hot wax on one of the tapes? Will these be answered in number 4?

I don't see how they are going to manage getting another film out, but they probably will. The Saw series will always be torturing new victims as long as we still want it to. Saw III will take you back to the beginning and will please the SAW fans and fans of something bloody, but don't expect to be surprised by their so-called twist at the end, it's a real stinker.

7/10



Originally Posted by TheUsualSuspect
SAW III (Darren Lynn Bousman)



SAW fans and fans of something bloody, but don't expect to be surprised by their so-called twist at the end, it's a real stinker.

7/10
Ok I won't Thanks Sussy for your great review