Month: August 2013

Anaconda (1997)

Filming a movie can be tough. Filming a movie in the Amazon rainforest, on a boat, while being threatened and occasionally attacked by a giant anaconda makes it feel as if it’s not worth the trouble. That’s the task faced with the character in Anaconda, who head to the rainforest in an attempt to document a native tribe that hasn’t been seen for years and years, despite new evidence saying that they probably are still around. The reason, I assume, that nobody has seen them, is that the area is protected by a giant anaconda, who serves as one of two villains in our film. Of course, that’s why you’re going to go see a movie titled “Anaconda,” isn’t it? You want to see the titular creature hunt and then eat all of the less important characters, while the more important ones live until the end, only to either die or kill it. You pretty much know how it’s going to play out as soon as it begins, save for its exact conclusion. You’re here for the journey, to watch how a giant snake can kill people in increasingly creative ways, and to see how the filmmakers manage to recreate a 40-foot anaconda on-screen, and have it interact with people. The answer to that last part, as far as anyone will be able to tell, is a mixture between...

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Getaway (2013)

By about the third time I had seen the same scene play out in Getaway, the premise of “let’s watch a four-minute car chase” had almost worn thin. Unfortunately, we were about 13 minutes into the movie. I estimate 13 because there are minute-long scenes of dialogue in which characters spout exposition and other things that some people occasionally think need to be in a movie in order for it to remain a coherent experience. Despite these “breaks,” Getaway barely makes sense and has nothing in respect to competent filmmaking. It is a film which briefly made me want to stop watching movies for good. Getaway stars Ethan Hawke as a man who used to be a former professional race car driver and therefore is qualified to lead an action movie. The name doesn’t matter, although I’ll note that, of the three leading actors, his character at least does have a name; I just didn’t care enough to remember it, and it’s only said a couple of times near the beginning, anyway. His wife has been taken, and now he finds himself behind the wheel of a souped-up Shelby Mustang, listening to a voice on the in-car speaker (Jon Voight, reminding us of the accent he put on in Anaconda) tell him a series of tasks he needs to accomplish in order to rescue her. He is soon joined...

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Movie Review of ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ (1997)

To this day, 1993’s Jurassic Park stands as one of the all-time greatest blockbusters in history, and its impact on popular culture cannot be overstated. With its Tyrannosaurus-sized box office returns and bevy of critical acclaim, a sequel was inevitable, yet a follow-up was always going to be risky due to its predecessor’s esteemed reputation. On top of this, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park found director Steven Spielberg at the helm of a film for the first time since winning an Oscar for Schindler’s List. Suffice it to say, The Lost World is not the knockout sequel that many had hoped for, as it’s not as intelligent or thoughtful as the first movie. Nevertheless, taken by itself, this is a skilfully-crafted rollercoaster, showing once again that Spielberg is practically unmatched when it comes to excitement, action and suspense. Set several years after the events of the first movie, chaos theory mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is approached by billionaire entrepreneur John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) with a proposition. As it turns out, there is more than one island inhabited by dinosaurs – there is a “Site B,” where the creatures are free to run wild. And Hammond wants a team of scientists to visit the island in order to study the animals. Malcolm outright refuses, but learns that his palaeontologist girlfriend Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) is already on the island, compelling him to reconsider. With the...

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Shame (2011)

They say that men think about sex every six second, and while that may be thought of as just a myth for some, it certainly rings true for the protagonist of Shame, Brandon (Michael Fassbender), who is a sex addict. While he leads a successful life — he’s charming, has a great job and a nice apartment — he can’t have a relationship for more than a few months, nor can he go more than a few hours without having to use his genitals in one way or another, regardless of where he happens to be at the time. The title, “Shame,” is fitting, because he no longer gets pleasure from his sexual ventures. All he feels is self-loathing. He hates what he is, what he is compelled to do at almost any waking moment. He becomes increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. Nothing else seems to matter. While there is currently debate in the medical profession whether or not “sex addiction” is really a disorder, it certainly affects Brandon’s life to a great deal. Shame is an unflinching portrayal of this man, and just a few days within his life. The catalyst for change in his life — and not necessarily for good — is the arrival of his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan). She needs a place to stay, and while Brandon doesn’t want her with...

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Darkness (2002)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A somewhat dysfunctional family moves into a new house, in a new country, that suffers from many problems, and might just be haunted. Oh, you have heard this before? Well, then you probably have no reason to see Darkness, because it’s essentially just another one of those. It’s a haunted house movie with about as much originality and scares as it has sunshine, which is to say that there’s not a whole lot of either. The lead is a teenager named Regina (Anna Paquin), because a teenager is apparently the best perspective from which to shoot a horror movie. She’s constantly at odds with her mother (Lina Olin), who doesn’t ever seem to listen to her — for no reason — and her father (Lain Glen) is beginning to suffer from some sort of disease that causes him to go into spastic fits every now and then. This has happened before, and while it was supposed to be under control, now it isn’t. There’s also a younger brother, Paul (Stephan Enquist), because if a young child isn’t in danger at some instance, what’s the point of making a horror movie? What’s so weird about this house, that just so happens to have been abandoned for decades, and also resides in the countryside of Spain? Well, it’s haunted, basically. The power cuts...

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