Elf

Overall, Elf was a decent movie. Decent storyline, decent acting, decent comedy, decent everything. But it wasn’t anything more than decent, or anything less. Probably the best holiday movie this year and a pretty good family movie that should be enjoyed by everyone. You should try to go see it if you have time, but if not, it’s really not a big deal.

Elf has a pretty creative story. Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) is a human boy who snuck into Santa’s Bag one Christmas Eve night and was taken back to the North Pole and raised as an Elf. As Buddy becomes older, he realizes that his toy-making skills just don’t compare to those of the real Elves and he must return to the human world. So, he journeys several thousand miles on foot, from the North Pole to New York City, with nothing but the clothes on his back. This is the best part of the movie: watching Buddy explore the human world as an elf.

After Buddy is done exploring New York City however, the movie begins to get a little dull. Somehow Buddy finds his birth father with only a picture and knowing that he works in the Empire State Building. However, his father is a cold, heartless, businessman who doesn’t want to take in his son. So Buddy spends the next hour trying to get the heart of his father as well as the heart of some girl dressed up as an elf at the mall.

One thing that kinda bothered me about this movie was that it sorta changed genres halfway through the movie. In the beginning, with Buddy checking out New York City, it was a comedy. But towards the end, it was more romantic/holiday corny stuff. Buddy goes from being hilarious to love bird, and it is not a good change. He follows this girl all through out the city, even into the shower. At first, she appears to have no actual point in the movie besides distracting Buddy from his ultimate goal: getting his father to like him. Of course in the end though, everything ties together. When Buddy and Santa are in dyer need of “Christmas cheer” later in the movie, this girl and even the whole town come through.

The acting is okay, besides Will Ferrell nobody else really stands out. It’s not really that hard to play Buddy’s father, the scrooge in the movie, or some quiet girl who works as en elf in the mall. So, the acting was decent overall. Nothing else really positive or negative strands out to me. Elf was just a decent movie.

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Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life

I just have to salute this movie for being so much better than the first Tomb Raider movie! While saying this Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life is definitely not a great movie, but in the end you are fairly happy with the movie. At first while seeing this movie your saying to yourself “Why did they even make this movie!?”, but then once Lara Croft, played by actress Angelina Jolie, and Terry Sheridan who helps Lara in this movie, played by actor Gerard Butler, jump off a building and fly to the bottom the movie takes a 180 degree turn and is actually quite good.

The reason why the beginning of this movie was just so bad was that it was poorly cut, had horrible cgi, and the scenes just seemed pointless.

The beginning of this movie just jumped around so much that it was hard to get the mood of the movie. You understand what the movie is going to be about, what Lara’s mission is, but it is more or less why everything is happening that you don’t understand. Like how did Lara have a Great White Shark take her up to the top of the ocean!? Little things like this ruin the movie from being any better. But as the movie went on it all got better. The music had a total impact on this. You really felt that Lara could have been killed, a feeling that you have never had during this movie nor the Tomb Raider first movie, which is great! You actually feel for Lara by the end of the movie, with the choices that she had to make. I had a tear in my eye at the end of this movie for I really did feel sorry for Lara.

The cgi at the beginning of this movie was horrible! The cgi shark was just ugly as well as everything else that was under water. Though the worst effect in this movie was when Lara Croft was in this temple to get this ball that was in fact a map. She was climbing on some statue and while this part was the all real when she jumped up onto some wires of some sort they got rid of Angelina Jolie and replaced her with some Playstation 1 Tomb Raider graphics for a mere 10 seconds so few people actually even notice this effect at all. But that cgi just killed me right there in my seat it was just so nasty for a movie to have! Thank God that they actually improved on the cgi as the movie went on. It seemed as if money or time limits were the problem with making the cgi quality the same throughout the entire movie. The cgi for the monsters at the end of the movie was very cool.

One of the best scenes in this movie was when Lara finally got to Africa and was driving in this Jeep with all these animals like Ostriges and other African animals running away from the car, it just was cool. The funny thing is that it is very hard to understand Terry Sheridan in this movie. The actor’s accent is so strong that it really annoyed me while watching the movie. Also it seemed as if once all the Chinese characters died in this movie, the movie had already became so much better. It was just that Chinese gangsters aren’t really scary nor seem that tough. They were more like a pain to this movie. I don’t want to seem raciest, but I was glad when all the Chinese people died in this movie.

This movie is definitely not a most see movie for the summer, but if you liked the first or hated it I beat you that this movie will be a lot better!

School of Rock

Finally, here is a movie that is actually better than what its trailer made it out to be! When I first entered the theater I was expecting a mediocre film based on its trailer, which had a few funny jokes. I had thought that my expectations were dead on in the first 10 minutes of the film, but as it kept going and the lead character Dewey Finn (played by actor Jack Black) begin teaching the movie suddenly was extremely funny.

The best thing about this film is that the message from the film can be interpreted in just so many ways. This movie can be seen as an educational film on rock ‘n’ roll, a huge advertisement for rock ‘n’ roll, or never lose faith in what you like to do, etc. Few movies allow you to talk about this kind of thing to friends/family after you have just seen the film because most of them are very 2d/flat.

During this film you just want to get up out of your seat and jam with them…of course your in a movie theater…so that’s kind of hard to do…yea…

Another great thing about this film is that the storyline is very solid. It is just an easy story to get into. You get to see the transitions of these kids who don’t know anything about rock ‘n’ roll, to true rock ‘n’ roll stars. Each kid is just so talented (saying that they all can play these instruments so well, as I don’t know if they do or don’t).

Also the acting in this movie is just great. Each character is really believable. When I came out of this movie’s showing I could name almost every character in the movie that has a counterpart in the real world. It was kind of like smelling the fresh air and waking up to see how boring it really is here in Maryland. Everyone here is just all stuck up about grades and what not, that they lose sight of all the fun things in life, which this movie teaches you not to do.

With that said there is really not much more to be said about this film…I would not be surprised to see this movie doing equally or even better in box office sales numbers for its 2nd weekend as the word of mouth will definitely spread for this movie.

At the end of this film you truly feel like rock ‘n’ rolling on your guitar, except reality hits you and you can’t play for squat…

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over

It’s AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE STORYLINE SUCKS, THE WAY THE STORY IS TOLD SUCKS, THE 3D IS GOD AWFUL, AND THESE KIDS CAN’T ACT FOR BEANS!

I actually think that this movie could have been more decent then it is if there were no 3D effects in it! I mean if you want to see good 3D go to Disney World! The effects are just so lame in this movie! You’re at least expecting a hand to be right up in your face, but nothing happens, its just one huge gimmick!

The ending was the worst! Everyone from all the Spy Kids movies came back to help out, but none of them actually do anything as they didn’t show any of them fighting! It was just here are the glasses you go fight while I stay on the ground looking all cool with these glasses! The parents of these kids don’t even show up till the end of the movie and that is only for 5 seconds!

The worst part about this movie is that you have to follow Juni Cortez, played by Daryl Sabara, and not Carmen Cortez, played by Alexa Vega, the character that everyone actually likes. Cameron is really in this movie for about 5 minutes while only having less than 10 lines to say!

While making fun of the Matrix, Spy Kids 3D falls into the Matrix 2’s curse of being a crappy movie with all this cgi effects with no story to back it all up! I mean if I wanted to see all this cgi in a movie with no story I would go out and play a video game! At least there I could control what the character does and have a mediocre time doing it….

What’s funny is that Spy Kids 3D actually makes fun of games, but of course you have to be a gamer to really enjoy these jokes. One joke is when the kids are racing and call they it Megarace (which is an actual video game), then when they ask why do all games have lava in them and they go on this whole thing talking about the video games Halo: Combat Evolved and Metriod Prime, and finally there was this one about Sega and Nintendo. But even this is not able to hold up the movie. The rest of the jokes are ok, it’s just that the Grandpa has a lot of them and they don’t have a close up of his face or anything when he says something so it’s like he is saying it in the background, which no one is paying attention to!

I just hope that in the DVD of Spy Kids 3D: Game Over they cut all of the 3D effects out and just make it plan 2d so you can actually watch this film! The 3D was just god awful ugly! Trying to wear those glasses for basically the whole movie (except some 15 minutes at the beginning) is awful! You can’t even see the world of the game nor any other bright colors at all! What I thought would happen is that they tell you every now and then to take on and off your glasses, but no you have to keep them on for the entire movie, which ruins everything! I tried moving around the theater to see if it was my seat and no, nothing helped at all!

What I am curious to see is if the 3D effects look any better in HD Theater, but even that is unlikely…

Otherwise this movie sucks and I am telling you this now, PLEASE DON’T go out and see this movie, to support this horrible movie!

Terminator 3

Written by: Dustin Stewart

Let me first say that I thought this movie was amazing. I do have a couple of complaints, but I’ll get to those later. If you’re looking for a great action movie, you’ll love T3. If you’re looking for great special effects, you’ll love T3. If you’re looking to be entertained, you’ll love T3.

The effects were jaw dropping, and though the Matrix/Reloaded did some amazing things, I liked T3’s effects better. The action was near non-stop, you never really get to ponder what’s going on, because five minutes into the movie, the Terminators arrive, and from then on it’s gogogo. Which is great if you want to be entertained, but slightly (only slightly really) disappointing if you were looking for the emotion and character development in T2.

One of the main actors has a couple of people this person really loves die pretty much right in front of them, but the movie doesn’t give the audience time to even feel sorry for this person, because it’s moving right back into the action again. T3 is about 30 minutes shorter than T2, and I really wish they would have added that extra 30 minutes into the movie, and develop the characters some more. You never really got the feeling that you knew who John and his girlfriend were, like you get to know John and Sara (and even the Terminator) in T2.

One thing that REALLY surprised me was how damn funny this movie was. I laughed harder in this movie than I did in a lot of comedies, and I wasn’t alone, the whole audience was cracking up with me. You would think that this would take away from the dark nature of the series, but in all actuality this is the darkest Terminator movie yet. For those of you who have seen the Special Edition of T2, when John teaches Arnold how to smile, it’s got funny moments like that one all through the movie. It keeps things from being too over whelming with this movie going a trillion miles a minute.

There is actually a great story in this movie, and it did fill us in on a few things that were left out of T2. I still wish that they spent a little more time on the story, but at the same time it may have been repetitive since T2 explained so much already. I’m also glad it didn’t get all philosophical like Neo and the Architect in Matrix Reloaded.

The acting was pretty great in this movie too. Arnold IS the Terminator, he fits this role better than any role he has ever played before, whether he is the good Terminator or the bad Terminator. A couple of his lines made me wince because they were a bit stale, but he played the part very well, nonetheless. Nick Stahl played John Conner very well, he’s a great actor, and a lot less whiny sounding than Ed Furlong was in T2 (although I think Eddy has gotten much better since then–check out his awesome performance in “American History X”– and it woulda been kinda cool to have him back). I really didn’t miss Furlong because Stahl stepped into the part brilliantly. Claire Danes was great as usual, and she probably had the most emotional of all the performances. She handled it pretty well, and I’m glad they picked her to play the girl friend. Kristanna Loken had some of the sleek/creepy look that Robert Patrick had in T2, but not as much of it. She was good in it, and I never felt like she shouldn’t have been cast in the part.

If you like action, you will like this movie, no doubt about it. You may be a bit disappointed that the story and emotional side is nothing next to T2, but not so disappointed that you should not go see this movie ASAP. The ending surprised the hell out of me; I really didn’t expect what happened. If they DO make a Terminator 4, it will be a LOT different than the first 3, because a lot of things changed in the last few minutes of this movie.

DareDevil

I have finally figured out why DareDevil fails in comparision to other Marvel movies like Spiderman and X-Men. It’s not that it is filled with action, but it is that of which it is filled with to much. The story falls flat on its face it’s just so boring. It’s not the premise that is boring, but the story itself is just all told in a flash back and you know that DareDevil will at least survive to the point at which the flashback occurs. The story suffers from it’s supporting characters not at all getting developed as the story goes on. There was that reporter guy, played by actor Erick Avari, who seemed to be important, but you never get an understanding of who he really is. You understand that by the end of the movie that he must be an important guy, but you don’t get what he does for DareDevil.

Also the cinematography is just bad, at least for the action scenes. The camera is always either way to close or way to far from the action. It never allows you to get a true grasp of what is going on around you, which gets very annoying. Another bad thing is the music at the beginning of the movie. When we first see DareDevil diving down from the skyscraper and landing on those window washers ladders the music is just awful. The music does not follow DareDevil at all. You would think that the music would increase in volume to make this big noise as he lands on each of the ladders, but no they don’t do that. The music just keeps on going and it just doesn’t help this scene at all.

One cool scene with the music was the first fight scene with DareDevil when he fights in that bar trying to seek justice against the rapist. They do this effect that they dim the music whenever DareDevil is trying to locate a person by using echolocation, by tapping on a bar or something.

The actors/actresses in this movie are all fine, except for Ben Affleck who plays DareDevil. I think he should have been a bit more tired and groan more whenever he talked. Just imagine being a super hero and yet not having any super strength. So basically in every fight it hurts like none other, especially when you get into them one after another. But that’s really the only problem that I had, in this subject.