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All reviews - Movies (76)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 1 May 2010 11:57 (A review of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian)

The battle of the Smithsonian. The greatest battle the world will never know.

I lol'ed and aww-ed my way through this film. I still love the first one though, but a new cast of characters - as well as the old - provide still an excellent sequel to the first Night.
Larry Daley (Stiller) is now a top executive who heads his own company, where he sells his wacky and useful inventions, the latest of which is his glow-in-the-dark torch. During one of his visits to the National Museum, Larry learns that some of the exhibits are being moved to the archives in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., such as Jededdiah (Wilson) and General Octavius (Coogan). In order to bring his exhibit friends back to their original home, Larry travels to the Smithsonian. There, he discovers that his friends have been taken captive by Kahmunrah (Azaria), the older brother of Ahkmenrah (Malek), who is after the golden tablet. Larry meets Amelia Earhart (Adams), who accompanies him while trying to protect the tablet from Kahmunrah and his minions, Al Capone (Bernthal), Ivan the Terrible (Guest), and Napoleon Bonaparte (Chabat), who plan to open the gates of the Underworld and rule the world.
The Smithsonian is probably the largest museum in the world, so you can imagine the number of exhibits and other items which come to life during the wee hours of the night. As much as it was nice to see more historic personalities come to life, I found it a bit hard to keep up with the sudden appearance and disappearance with some of the personalities. What I really liked was the tie up of one of the earlier scenes to that of a short scene at the end. When Larry and Amelia hid in a black and white painting depicting the end of the War, Larry accidentally leaves his cellphone behind, which is picked up by one of the sailors who helped them. Later, audiences can see the sailor tinkering with the cellphone, and after his mum calls him for dinner, it is revealed that his name is Joey Motorola. Nice one.

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Daybreakers review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 1 May 2010 11:23 (A review of Daybreakers)

Immortality is the miracle, we are the blessed.

Now I know why this film garnered an R-rating; it provided one of the bloodiest vampire films I've seen. I loved the originality of the concept and how it seemed to stick to the desires of most of the teenagers nowadays due to the 'Twilight' mania. What if most of the people in the world were vampires? This film explores the dangerous if everyone - or most of the world's population - were bloodsuckers?
The year is 2019, and most of the world's population are vampires. What few humans are left are being farmed for blood in order to meet the needs of the bloodthirsty creatures. However, the blood supply is slowly being used up, and those vampires who cannot afford to buy this precious resource are slowly turning into savage creatures, similar to the batlike form sprouted by Tony Curran in Underworld: Evolution. The largest blood provider in the United States is owned by Charles Bromley (Neill), and he is determined to find a substitute for the blood at any cost. The top researcher in this facility is Edward Dalton (Hawke), who, unlike most of his kind, seems to hate having to be a vampire. He was only turned into one by his younger brother, Frankie (Dorman), who is one of the top human hunters for Bromley's company. One night, Edward almost crashes into an incoming car while heading home. The vehicle contains, to his surprise, four humans running from a policecar. Edward offers them refuge inside his car, and after the police leave, the humans thank Edward and go on their way. When they meet again, Edward is introduced to Lionel Cormac (Dafoe), who prefers to be called Elvis. To Edward's shock, Elvis has discovered a way to change vampires back to humans. He should know - he used to be a vampire himself. The discovery of this cure may very well mean the end of the blood problem, but the question is, do the vampires want to be cured?
Excellent. The final few scenes were a total bloodfest, up to the point of sheer exaggeration, but hey, you're watching a film which involves vampires whose only source of food is about to run out. You should very well expect that blood WILL flow. A fresh take on the age old supernatural creature, a film everyone should see.

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 26 April 2010 11:49 (A review of Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009))

Meet Darren. He's sixteen going on immortal.

Loved this one. I wasn't really expecting much, so this didn't disappoint me. I actually loved John C. Reilly as a centuries old vampire, plus Salma Hayek was subtly funny as a psychic bearded lady. I was expecting more of Willem Dafoe, but he only had two scenes (spoiler :p), so I felt that his presence was a tad bit underused. Still, a good fantasy film about vampires and other forms of freaks.
Darren Shan (Massoglia) used to be a sixteen year old who led a perfect life. Popular, an A-student, excellent family, lovely sister....as opposed to his best friend, Steve (Hutcherson), who hasn't seen his dad in years and whose mum is a drunkard. Nevertheless, the two are close friends, even though Darren's parents want him to stay away from Steve, since they believe that Darren won't get anything good out of Steve. Both have their own fascinations: Darren loves spiders, while Steve is obsessed with vampires. During a carnival freak show, Steve recognizes one of the performers as a centuries old vampire, Larten Crepsley (Reilly). He immediately tries to get Larten to change him into a vampire, but one of the rules of the vampires is that children cannot become vampires. Larten tests Steve's blood, but he finds it to be "bad", thus infuriating Steve, who swears that he will one day make Larten pay. Unknown to Larten, Steve, and another vampire, Gavner Purl (Dafoe), Darren is hiding in the closet. He had sneaked into Larten's room in order to get a closer look at Larten's pet spider, Octa. When the three leave the room, Darren seizes his chance and makes a mad dash for the exit, taking Octa with him. Outside, he is ushered into the limousine of a mysterious man, who goes by the name of Mr. Tiny (Cerveris), as well as his intimidating henchman, Murlaugh (Stevenson). Darren is dropped off at the front of his house, but Mr. Tiny tells him that they will "keep in touch". The next day, Steve is bitten by Octa after trying to squish the spider with a broom. The bite proves to be fatal, and Steve slips into a coma. Desperate, Darren goes to Larten and strikes a bargain. If Darren becomes Larten's assistant, he will give Steve the antidote to the spider bite, thus saving his life. The catch? Darren HAS to become half-vampire (enough so that he can still walk around during the day) and leave everyone and everything he holds dear.
Fun movie, really. The freaks are fascinating and cool, especially Evra the Snake Boy (Fugit), who is actually a frustrated singer/rockstar/songwriter. The others are a thrill to see, and I loved the visual effects. Simply stunning, although there were instances when prosthetic use revealed itself. A good family film, despite it riding the wave of the vampire trend.

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Dracula 2000 (2000) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 26 April 2010 05:25 (A review of Dracula 2000 (2000))

We're all so much more complicated than our names.

In the modern retelling of the Bram Stoker novel, Dracula 2000 presents to audiences a new look at the Dracula legend. Gone is the premise that the seductive, bloodthirsty monster was a centuries old Transylvanian prince; in his stead is a man with a connection to something...holier.
Mary Van Helsing (Waddell) hasn't seen her father, Abraham (Plummer) in years. In fact, he is living as an antiques dealer in London, where he has taken under his wing a young man, Simon Sheppard (Miller), who helps him acquire the items he desires. However, Abraham's secretary and assistant, Solina (Esposito), whom SImon has been dating for a few months, is planning to rob Abraham. Carfax Abbey is the storage place of some of Abraham's most prized possessions, and she believes that he is hiding something of great value there. She calls her boyfriend, Marcus (Epps), and his ragtag team of robbers, to infiltrate the vault. When they do so, all they find is an exquisite silver coffin. Two traps quickly dispatch two in their group, so Marcus, Solina, and their three remaining teammates blast a hole in the vault's concrete wall, taking the coffin with them. When Abraham discovers the theft, he is too late - the robbers are now ten thousand feet in the air. While one of the robbers, Nightshade (Masterson), tries in vain to get the coffin open, he accidentally slits his finger, causing some blood to drip on the coffin. He opens it eventually, only to reveal a shrivelled corpse in a mask. He discovers a cross set with rubies, but suddenly the corpse sits up and reveals a pair of sharp fangs. Dracula (Butler) has arisen. And he senses a strong connection between him and Mary; one which Abraham and Simon won't allow to be fully made.
Excellent film. I love the way the Dracula legend was remade, and all the explanations actually made sense. It tied everything about Dracula cleanly, thus leaving no loose strings. It helped that Gerard Butler was simply gorgeous and alluring as the famous bloodsucker. The cast weren't too shabby as well. Kudos to cameos by Shane West and Nathan Fillon. :D

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Bram Stoker's Dracula review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 25 April 2010 11:46 (A review of Bram Stoker's Dracula)

I am the monster that breathing men would kill. I am Dracula.

My favorite vampire film of the lot. It stuck close to the story penned by Bram Stoker (save for a few features, such as making Elisabeta/Mina Murray the resurrected wife of Count Dracula), and the way the film was made with hardly any special effects (a special request from the director) was so effective, it provided audiences with a cinematic masterpiece from the same man who directed the Godfather, another favorite film of mine. Presenting Count Dracula as a romantic being who became a bloodthirsty monster because of the sudden and tragic demise of the woman he loved was also a touch of creativity - audiences tend to find the romantic side to every story, and by giving Count Dracula as a monster who became as such because of love, well, this film can be thought of as endearing. I couldn't help but sympathize with Count Dracula all throughout the film.
In the year 1462, a Transylvanian knight, Dracula (Oldman), is forced to leave his young wife, Elisabeta (Ryder), who he prizes above everything else in the world, in order to do battle with the Turks who are invading their country. His war is successful, and he rushes home to his wife. Unfortunately, Turks have shot an arrow bearing a letter with the news that Dracula is dead into the castle. Elisabeta believes the news to be true, and after penning a letter of farewell, she throws herself out the window and into the river below. When Dracula sees the lifeless body of his beloved wife, he flies into a rage, denounces God and the Church, and swears to avenge her death with all the powers of darkness. Nearly four centuries later, a young clerk, Jonathan Harker (Reeves), is also forced to leave his fiancee, Mina Murray (Ryder), in order to go on a business trip to take care of some negotiations with one of his company's clients who lives in Transylvania. Although both clearly don't want to be separated from each other, they say farewell, and Mina goes to the house of her childhood friend, Lucy Westenra (Frost), who is a free-spirited, but spoiled woman. Soon enough, Lucy gets engaged to Arthur Holmwood (Elwes), a fellow aristocrat. However, Lucy begins her old habit of sleepwalking, and when Mina follows her, she sees a large creature biting into Lucy's neck. Dracula has arrived, and he is Jonathan's mysterious client. He had seen Mina's picture among Jonathan's belongings, and he imprisoned Jonathan in his castle while he traveled to London. Dracula is now determined to claim Mina as his own, but is thwarted when Mina and Jonathan meet in secret. In retaliation, he turns Lucy into a vampire. Jonathan, Mina, Lucy's suitors, and Abraham Van Helsing (Hopkins), who is an expert on the supernatural, have to find a way to stop Dracula in his tracks.
Fantastic. Bloody. Romantic. Seeing Monica Bellucci in this film was also a nice surprise (although when I first watched this film I didn't know who she was back then). Definitely a must see.

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The Uninvited review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 25 April 2010 06:02 (A review of The Uninvited)

Can you believe what you see?

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Obsessed (2009) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 25 April 2010 05:49 (A review of Obsessed (2009))

All's fair when love is war.

The only thing which I liked about this film was Ali Larter (Lisa Sheridan). Her performance was simply brilliant; you could definitely believe her to be the obsessed psychotic sex kitten her character really is. The storyline was.. well, typical. Successful man ends up being stalked by someone he works with because in her damaged mind, the nice things he says and does for her are signs of love. Sounds definitely like Fatal Attraction.
Derek Charles (Elba) is a successful vice president of the company he works for. He and his wife, Sharon (Knowles) have just moved into a new house, mainly because of Derek's promotion. The two have a son, Kyle. The next day, Derek meets Lisa Sheridan (Larter), whom he initially mistakes for a client. In reality, she is a temp - his temp. During the days that follow, Lisa develops mad thoughts about her and Derek having a secret affair, especially after what happened in their office's Christmas party. Drunk, Lisa attempts to make a move on Derek, but he is sober enough to escape her clutches before anything else happens. This doesn't do anything to tarnish Lisa's fantasies, however. She quits her job in Derek's office just so he wouldn't end up jeopardizing his job (she got this from something Derek said), tried killing herself from an overdose of pills, and even entering Derek and Sharon's home just to give them a scare by taking their son and placing him in the backseat of their car. In the end, it isn't the cops or Derek who finishes Lisa's madness, it's Sharon, who is determined to keep her family safe from the deranged psychopath.
Wicked catfight between Larter and Knowles, and it was probably the highlight of the entire film.

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Cursed (2005) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 24 April 2010 11:16 (A review of Cursed (2005))

I guess there's no such thing as safe sex with a werewolf.

Not exactly a lameass film, but it could have been better. I really didn't expect the twist (which is actually the point), as it was certainly unexpected. The film definitely showed the ferocity of a lycanthrope (werewolf), but another old adage (I won't say it here, since it would give the twist away) also comes into play as the events unfold.
Ellie Myers (Ricci) is a studio executive with a geeky brother, Jimmy (Eisenberg) who is plagued and constantly taunted by the wrestling jock, Bo (Ventimiglia), who has a secret of his own. Ellie is dating Jake (Jackson), the hottest and most sought-after man in L.A., who owns a museum. One night after visiting Jake and picking Jimmy up from downtown L.A., Ellie and her brother are caught in accident when a huge creature suddenly jumps out from the bushes along the highway and leaps over their car. Ellie crashes into an incoming car, which carries Becky (Elizabeth), who had just come from a carnival. While trying to help Becky get out of her car, which has flipped upside down, Ellie and Jimmy are surprised when a huge, bear-like creature grabs Becky. Although they try to save her, they are unsuccessful, and they come off from the ordeal with deep scratches on their arms. Before they can walk off, something throws the upper half of Becky's body infront of them. When the paramedics arrive, Jimmy claims that it was a werewolf, but the policeman scoffs. Ellie thinks that her brother needs help, but Jimmy is determined to prove his theory. He does some research on the subject, and all the while he and his sister experience changes (Ellie smells the blood coming from a co-worker who is experiencing a nosebleed, Jimmy easily beats Bo in a wrestling match, and both seem to exude a strong sexual appeal to everyone they come in contact with). Soon enough, Ellie and Jimmy both realize that something surreal is happening to them, and at the same time, women are being murdered all over L.A.; women who are linked to each other in some way.
This modernist take on the werewolf legend isn't an epic fail in my opinion. The many script and character changes could have been one reason why the story didn't work as well as it could have. My favorite part would have to be the showdown between Ellie and the werewolf. Gory? In some instances, yes. Boring? In some instances, yes. Amusing? Yes. :p

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Final Destination (2000) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 24 April 2010 08:18 (A review of Final Destination (2000))

In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes.

The movie that started it all. Although there wasn't a lot of CGI during these times (compared to the movies being shot using mostly CGI), this film still delivered a knockout horror film. It isn't the horror of being killed that drives this film; it's the anticipation and the anxiety and the insanity which results from waiting for Death to arrive that drives this film to horror status. Imagine yourself being able to see how you are going to die seconds or minutes before it will happen, and the following ticks of the clock are crucial to your survival (or, for the unfortunate few, demise). Wouldn't that scare the hell out of you?
Alex Browning (Sawa), along with his classmates, are on a classy school trip to Paris, France. A sudden premonition of death makes Alex cause a ruckus on the plane, which results in six of his classmates and one of his professors getting off the plane. Seconds after the plane takes off, it explodes. Instead of being grateful, everyone, save for Ale'x best friend, Tod Wagner (Donella), and the high school outcast, Clear Rivers (Larter) gets freaked out and/or defiant. Carter (Smith), in particular, believes that he doesn't owe Alex anything, and constantly gets hot under the collar everytime he sees Alex. Valerie Lewton (Cloke), Alex's professor, refuses to talk to Alex, since he "scares the Hell" out of her. Right after the incident, the survivors start dying, one by one, and Alex discovers that their deaths are linked to the seating arrangement and the way they were supposed to die on the plane. After a visit to William Bludworth (Todd), Alex and Clear discover that in order to prevent Death from happening, they have to intervene in each others' deaths, in order for Death to jump to the next person in the link.
Great great great. I'm more into the subtlety of horror, and not the full-blown "in your face" scares. Think of it as a psychological thing. Since you know it's going to happen,what's the fun in that? This film slowly creeps up on you and hits you head on with Death's scythe. Must see. ;)

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Final Destination 2 (2003) review

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 24 April 2010 07:48 (A review of Final Destination 2 (2003))

I have this really bad feeling. It's not over yet.

I LOVE THIS FILM! Okay, period of exuberance over. Lol. I loved how this film was tied to the first film, in terms of how the characters who survived the highway accident (in this film) were related to those who were killed in the first film.
Clear Rivers (Larter) is the only survivor of the ill-fated Flight 180, and after the death of her boyfriend, Alex (Sawa), she goes to a mental hospital and locks herself in. Here, she believes that Death will be unable to get her, as she has placed stringent and strict rules on anything and anyone who tries to come in contact with her. Meanwhile, Kimberly Corman (Cook), sees a vision of a fatal crash which will occur on the Interstate 180. Like the first film, she saves a handful of lives, but Death has changed its design and is now killing the survivors based on the way they were supposed to die, but in a backwards fashion. Desperate, Kimberly and the other survivors, drug junkie Rory (Cherry), socialite Kat (Tracy), cop Michael (Burke), and the ever defiant Eugene (Carson) have to find a way to break the chain once and for all, or risk dying themselves. With the help of Clear, who has grudgingly agreed to help the survivors further survive (a bit ambiguous, that), they race against the clock in order to stop Death in its tracks. Probably one reason why I loved this film was that they enlisted the help of an FD alum, Clear Rivers, but her tragic demise shows you that ultimately, Death will get you one way or another. The deaths are arranged based on the premonitions of Kimberly, and it can be as subtle as the shadow formations on the floor (this predicted Nora's death). Favorite death scene? The one which involves the car airbag. Imagine having to die at the hands of a tool meant to save you? Ironic.

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