The Review Thread!

Discuss entertainment media here, including TV, cinema, the Internet, books and literature, and other non-musical works or multimedia productions.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.09.12 (18:31)

rennaT wrote:
SkyPanda wrote:Children of Men
film
10/10
Go see this film. It is technical brilliance in a box. With thought poking and action too.

QFE. Best film of the past five years.


Absolutely.
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Postby Tunco » 2009.09.12 (18:42)

SlappyMcGee wrote:
rennaT wrote:
SkyPanda wrote:Children of Men
film
10/10
Go see this film. It is technical brilliance in a box. With thought poking and action too.

QFE. Best film of the past five years.


Absolutely.

QFE. Doubtlessly. Without a second thought.
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Postby bobaganuesh_2 » 2009.09.27 (03:04)

Tunco123 wrote:
SlappyMcGee wrote:
rennaT wrote:QFE. Best film of the past five years.


Absolutely.

QFE. Doubtlessly. Without a second thought.


well, durrrr. The strange thing is, I discovered this movie because it had an Aphex Twin song in it.

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Postby  yahoozy » 2009.09.27 (03:10)

Stop stealing my opinions. Especially you, SlappyMcGee. Poseur.

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Postby toasters » 2009.10.05 (01:54)

This thread seems a little out of place now. Maybe Entertainment?
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Postby Tunco » 2009.10.05 (17:50)

toasters wrote:This thread seems a little out of place now. Maybe Entertainment?

Not actually, this needs to be in Multimedia, but hey, we don't have a multimedia forum anymore. /blue_tetris

This Community would be all right, imo.

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Postby unoriginal name » 2009.10.05 (19:36)

Tunco123 wrote:
toasters wrote:This thread seems a little out of place now. Maybe Entertainment?

Not actually, this needs to be in Multimedia, but hey, we don't have a multimedia forum anymore. /blue_tetris

This Community would be all right, imo.

No, Entertainment is exactly right. This thread is about TV, cinema, the Internet, books, literature, music, and anything else at all really that someone would feel the need to write up their opinion of. It's not about the Metanet community, though, unless someone decides to review us.
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Postby EdoI » 2009.11.24 (21:10)

xVxCrushloaderusSupremusxVx wrote:
Tunco123 wrote:
toasters wrote:This thread seems a little out of place now. Maybe Entertainment?

Not actually, this needs to be in Multimedia, but hey, we don't have a multimedia forum anymore. /blue_tetris

This Community would be all right, imo.

No, Entertainment is exactly right. This thread is about TV, cinema, the Internet, books, literature, music, and anything else at all really that someone would feel the need to write up their opinion of. It's not about the Metanet community, though, unless someone decides to review us.

Or just opening the same thread in Entertainment and solve the dilemma?

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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.24 (21:47)

This should be in entertainment. Give me fourteen seconds.
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Postby bobaganuesh_2 » 2009.11.25 (05:34)

Not Without My Daughter
film
7/10

this is going to be a short review. if I'm not lazy later I'll expand upon it.

a short surmise (spoilers, yeah): Betty Mahmoody (Sally Field) her husband Moody (Alfred Molina), and her daughter Mahtob (Sheila Rosenthal) decide to vacation in Moody's home country, Iran, for a couple of weeks so he can catch up with his family and his culture. when they arrive Moody is pressured by his family to rediscover Islam, or at least the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini's version of Islam , and he ends up abusing and confining his daughter and wife, with his family supporting him and chastising them all the way. Betty finds herself entrapped in a "primative" and frightful country, where the common liberties she had in America are suddenly stripped from her and her daughter. with the help of some kind, anti-Ayatollah Iranians she escapes the country and etc etc happily ever after.

first of all, Alfred Molina is an incredible actor. there were a few points in the movie where he startled me. But what bothered me was the motivation behind his character, Moody. We know that he was fired from his job in the States and he wants to help out Iran by joining the medical force, but his sudden change from a loving husband to a brutal wife-beater isn't really dwelt upon. The fact that he gave his wife a good rousing at several points in the movie is enough to make the average teenage girl convert to an Islamaphobic feminists. We only see the story from Betty's viewpoint, since the movie is based upon the real life Betty Mahmoody's novel about the incident. "based" is emphasized because Hollywood likely embellished Moody and his family's negative characteristics, no doubt.

At one point in the movie, while they are all in Iran, Moody does take Betty's side in the Ayatollah Regime vs. Modern America debate that had been taking place between the two. Moody argues with his father that before the Islamic Revolution in '79 (movie takes place between '84-'86), "people were building chemical plants and oil refineries. Now they rot in the desert because no one is intelligent enough to use them. It's primitive!" I would've liked to see Moody fight himself, or how he fights his American husband self vs. his Islamic family-man self. that would really added some drama. but alas, he is never thought upon to such depths.

those are the main problem I have with the movie. and, the lack of subtitles for when the Iranian characters are speaking Farsi is absolutely inexcusable. Sally Field portrays the helpless yet determined Betty Mahmoody, and Ms. Rosenthal played Mahtob as well as a child could. I didn't really pay attention to her acting. There's no doubt in my mind that the portrayal of Moody's family was over the top, even though the depiction of the Ayatollah's harsh regime and the stiff society of Iran of the time seems realistic. And although the film is decidedly skewed, common missconceptions of Islam and all, I found the bounds of the storyline and environment where excavated well enough.

On youtube, there is a documentary that interviews the real-life Moody (who died recently) and gets side of the story, though I haven't seen it all. the insurmountable sorrow that this man must've felt is amazing in itself. I'll have to review the doc too, later.

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Postby a happy song » 2009.11.25 (09:36)

Children of Men is decent, but TDK is better. <3

District 9 is also very good, imo.
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Postby Tanner » 2009.11.26 (12:15)

brighter wrote:Children of Men is decent, but TDK is better. <3

This statement needs clarification because I can't understand it in its current form.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.26 (12:19)

rennaT wrote:
brighter wrote:Children of Men is decent, but TDK is better. <3

This statement needs clarification because I can't understand it in its current form.



The Dark Knight.
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Postby Tanner » 2009.11.26 (15:10)

SlappyMcGee wrote:
rennaT wrote:
brighter wrote:Children of Men is decent, but TDK is better. <3

This statement needs clarification because I can't understand it in its current form.

The Dark Knight.

:/ But... eh.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.26 (16:01)

Oh, haha, were you being ironic? Sorry, Polyphase has fucked my ability to read things with connotation.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.11.26 (20:36)

SlappyMcGee wrote:Polyphase has fucked my ability to read things with connotation.


Sounds REALLY good for you. I'll be interested to see the state of you after a week....
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Postby amomentlikethis » 2009.11.26 (22:15)

SkyPanda wrote:Children of Men
film
10/10
Go see this film. It is technical brilliance in a box. With thought poking and action too.


I watched it today and thought it wasn't bad, but a few things could've been done better. They kind of over-glamorized the whole being British thing.
The 2027 futuristic version of Camden (even if it was only a brief scene) was very well done.

I'd give it an 8/10, I'd definitely recommend seeing it if you haven't already.
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Postby amomentlikethis » 2009.11.27 (01:42)

I've just finished watching The Shawshank Redemption.
Rarely do I find myself 3 minutes into the ending credits still fixed to the screen in amazement.

Brilliant movie. 10/10.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.11.27 (13:17)

rennaT wrote::/ But... eh.


I suppose my main problem is, while I enjoyed both films immensely, COM didn't leave me with as much as TDK did after viewing. I've seen COM twice, and TDK three times, so it might be slightly uneven, but TDK is much more imprinted on my mind than COM.

While COM certainly contains more depth and thought provoking realism, TDK seemed to trump it for me in terms of quality cinema. TDK had one of the most iconic performances to date, memorable set-pieces and sequences, and (and this is a little unfair to COM) it remains the sing;e greatest translation of Comic book to Film that I've ever witnessed.

With COM, I remember debating the themes to myself and being left with quite a lot of emotion, but it didn't stick like TDK did, and now attempting to recall anything but the film's more poignant moments leaves me reaching. I'll watch it again to give it another chance, but I don't think I should have to...

Anyway, I'll add a couple of reviews to the thread (ones I've had kicking about for a while) while I'm here. I recently watched Moon which I'll be writing a review out when I had the time. I'll be keeping them as concise as possible, I know how ADHD everything is these days.

-

The Dark Knight - nine/10

The city that spawned the violence that gave birth to the Dark Knight himself; the psychotic emulators that Bruce unwittingly coded; the constant struggle within to maintain a strict moral code - not to lose himself completely to the darkness he shrouds himself in out of necessity... all these elements add to a dark, brooding and violent mythology that Nolan manages to capture perfectly without ever giving in to the gratuitous.

While the film is gloriously over-the-top (which is of course fitting for a comic book universe), Nolan manages to ground the larger than life characters and story arcs just enough to add a chill and striking reality to them (Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker is especially stunning).

Nolan surpasses his previous effort Begins in terms of his handling of action sequences. He's slowed things down here, added more emphasis on each movement, and we can now actually see what's happening.

My only criticisms are that the film tries (and mostly succeeds) to ground itself in reality. HOwever, some moments (like the retrieving of the finger print from the shattered bullet, and the expert timing of the Jokers escape from the bank) feel imbalanced in this regard to the rest of the film. That it's still essentially a comic book movie stops these issues from being too much of a problem. They certainly didn't drag me out of the moment the first time around.

And Bale over does the gruffness a little, but then as Gotham's most recognisable man, I suppose he'd have to do everything he can to disguise himself (especially from police detectives and some of the smarter criminals).

Minor gripes aside, this film is a perfect example of violence (both the physical now and the mental histories) and tragedy handled with real care and attention, TDK stands as testament not only as a marker for other comic book adaptations, but as an expert example of how to do darkness without dealing in the absolutes that shallow the usual attempts.

A chaotic and brilliant masterpiece.

-

30 Days of Night - five/10

Some satisfying scenes for gore fiends and some beautiful shots don't make up for a shallow script and some horrid miscasting.

Now, I know this is the bane of adaptations, but I'm going to have to whine about comic book toe film depredation:

One of the major ideas contained in the source material was completely ignored: that the vampires - having at one time in the past been hunted by man and driven to the point of extinction - had spent centuries fading into myth to preserve their species and now that security is found threatened by the actions of the vampires in Barrow.

This was a really interesting theme and one that added a lot of depth to the characters and situation. Also a side effect of emitting the above content meant losing the conflict between the vampire Elder Vicente and the hot-headed and ambitious Marlow which would have given great insight into the motives and structures of the vampire community. It added some depth to the vampires history, gave them some shape, instead of them being portrayed as almost senseless unstoppable killing machines.

It's not as if the original graphic novels were actually brilliant, but why take something average and knock it down a peg?

What we're left with is a beautifully shot yet ultimately shallow hide and seek film with plenty of gore but not enough to care about. I'd call it a missed opportunity, but I honestly don't think many people care either way.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.27 (17:07)

brighter wrote:
Nolan surpasses his previous effort Begins in terms of his handling of action sequences. He's slowed things down here, added more emphasis on each movement, and we can now actually see what's happening.



I don't want to spark up this sprawling debate we had when the film came out, suffice it to say that I disagree specifically with this statement, thinking that the action was shot very poorly 7 of the eight times I've seen this movie. Although it's a good movie, mostly.


Have you played Batman: Arkham Asylum, atob? It's the greatest interpretation of Batman ever.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.11.27 (18:10)

SlappyMcGee wrote:Have you played Batman: Arkham Asylum, atob? It's the greatest interpretation of Batman ever.


I've not, I really do want to though. The reviews really make it sound like the game is alive (the reactions of the individual members of a group of gun toting thugs as batman dwindles their numbers, for example - moving in pairs instead of alone, hugging walls, firing bursts of panic fire as they turn corners, etc..).

What platform are you playing it on? I've read the PC version is as good as the various console's.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.27 (19:36)

I am playing it on the PC, got it on Steam for twenty bucks when they were doing the first holiday deal yesterday. I've played it on the PS3, and the fluidity and gameplay is comparable. I've been using mouse/keyboard, which have been remarkably intuitive (although my mouse has eight buttons on it so it's pretty easy to be intuitive on that front). The game claims full support for an XBOX 360 controller as well, so I'mma check that out. If that's the case, it is a flawless version of the game. (Although the ps3 gets Joker-exclusive levels, which are decently cool and fly.)

If I have a complaint, even though I'm running in Steam, the game required me to install Live from Windows! and register in order to play it, which is slightly irritating.

That being said, I haven't beaten the game, but feel that I am deep enough into it to give a mini-review.

10/10. Absolutely.

The voice acting chooses the best parts of the Animated Series and combines them with a dynamic art-style that looks gritty without not looking like Batman.

The boss battles are more than simply gimmicks. They require you to think, react, and the fights with the Scarecrow are such a visual masterpiece that you literally want to die just to play it again.

The game -knows- Batman canon, and rewards you for doing so. The Scarecrow's first target in the Asylum is Dr. Murphy. Zsasz is a major character. Profiles that are up to date with the latest developments in villains characters. Like, fer' chrissakes, this game just captures the dark spirit of Batman so perfectly.

It's genuinely entertaining to hear the plot of the acclaimed graphic novel Arkham Asylum unfurl slowly for you as you decode symbols and solve The Riddler's clues.

And holy fuck! There are some 270 riddlers challenges, ranging from killing those chattery teeth to solving genuinely tough riddles (Any object can be analyzed, so it is not as simple as HOLD X ON THE GLOWING GREEN THING) to just exploring this dynamic sandbox of Arkham Asylum.

The gadgets are perfect, each one adding a new tool to Batman's repertoire that never seems forced or gimmicked.

The combat with thugs looks awesome the entire way through, and gives you tons of options when you are stringing combos. Example: Punch one guard, punch next guard, kick next guard, throw batarang, Lift guard over your head and throw him at another guard. And it's all intuitive as fuck. And fights where you do not plan ahead are genuinely challenging. They require deftness, proper use of gadgets, and observation of the situation.

And, like, another thing. There aren't really ever any glowing objects or shit that ruins the interface. You can turn on Detective Mode in your cowl and then you can see information on how nervous guards are, you can track their movements through walls. The kind of functions necessary to the game but not forced on you all the time.

And Oracle is finally a character in a solid entry to the non-comics franchise! And the Watchtower is mentioned! And Bane makes a reference to the time he crippled Bruce. And it's hilarious, and the writing is top notch.


AND HOLY FUCKING SHIT. This is an amazing game. It's definitely maybe game of the year for me. I was thinking L4D2 until I got this, but christ.
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Postby Tunco » 2009.11.27 (20:00)

SlappyMcGee wrote:AND HOLY FUCKING SHIT. This is an amazing game. It's definitely maybe game of the year for me. I was thinking L4D2 until I got this, but christ.

Play Assassin's Creed 2. (PS3) And if you played AC1, just forget about it. You'll be amazed when you play AC2.

Amazing graphics (and details- character designs), solid background story (not pointless many missions as in AC1, every mission has something to do with the story of the game and I don't even have to say that many of the characters in the game did exist in real-life), amazing scenes (best game-city since GTA 4 (PS3), also every character actually reacts to every action you do, when you kill someone in front of the crowd, and someone yells you 'Don't you have any respect to people, motherfucker!' and then you start walking towards the man, he steps back then when you have your knife off, the man instantly apologies from you and runs away. Well, this was an example I saw when I played the game, also some levels has scene puzzles like in Prince of Persia, also the athmosphere and everything is so amazing in this game, except the way you fight. It's very basic, controls/control options are kinda bad when it comes to fighting but hey, you're an assassin. Also there is one other bad factor; I can guarantee you that you will want to finish the game soon as you can, so the game is kinda short when you play it a lot (which you will), I finished it in a week or 9 days. And I have to underline this again, the scene is amazing, you will feel like you're in the renaissance Italy times, though the character vocalization is so amazing, everyone speaks in Italian accent, or you can do the language Italish itself, with the English subtitles, whatever. And the person which will help you at the most of the game is Leonardo Da Vinci. Which is cool.
Overall: 9.7/10

I guess that was a little messy review of this game, while I was trying to persuade you that this should be the best game of the year, but well, it's your opinion.

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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.11.27 (21:16)

Tunco wrote:
SlappyMcGee wrote:AND HOLY FUCKING SHIT. This is an amazing game. It's definitely maybe game of the year for me. I was thinking L4D2 until I got this, but christ.

Play Assassin's Creed 2. (PS3) And if you played AC1, just forget about it. You'll be amazed when you play AC2.

Amazing graphics (and details- character designs), solid background story (not pointless many missions as in AC1, every mission has something to do with the story of the game and I don't even have to say that many of the characters in the game did exist in real-life), amazing scenes (best game-city since GTA 4 (PS3), also every character actually reacts to every action you do, when you kill someone in front of the crowd, and someone yells you 'Don't you have any respect to people, motherfucker!' and then you start walking towards the man, he steps back then when you have your knife off, the man instantly apologies from you and runs away. Well, this was an example I saw when I played the game, also some levels has scene puzzles like in Prince of Persia, also the athmosphere and everything is so amazing in this game, except the way you fight. It's very basic, controls/control options are kinda bad when it comes to fighting but hey, you're an assassin. Also there is one other bad factor; I can guarantee you that you will want to finish the game soon as you can, so the game is kinda short when you play it a lot (which you will), I finished it in a week or 9 days. And I have to underline this again, the scene is amazing, you will feel like you're in the renaissance Italy times, though the character vocalization is so amazing, everyone speaks in Italian accent, or you can do the language Italish itself, with the English subtitles, whatever. And the person which will help you at the most of the game is Leonardo Da Vinci. Which is cool.
Overall: 9.7/10

I guess that was a little messy review of this game, while I was trying to persuade you that this should be the best game of the year, but well, it's your opinion.


I'm very eager to find AC2 when it comes to PC.
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Postby otters~1 » 2009.12.03 (17:43)

The one thing that pushed TDK over BB for me was that it basically has two male lead parts, and both of them are perfect. Two great movies, and I can't wait for whatever sequel emerges (but I do hope it's not disappointing, as it has the potential to be).
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