Tag Archives: 2005 movies

Fantastic Four (2005)

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Fantastic Four (2005)

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Violence
Cast:
Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
Jessica Alba as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman
Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/Human Torch
Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing
Julian McMahon as Dr. Victor von Doom/Doctor Doom
Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters
Director: Tim Story

Four astronauts have their lives changed forever, when they end up being hit by a cloud of cosmic radiation. Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) now has the ability to stretch his body like elastic. Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) is now the invisible woman. Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) becomes the human touch and Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) becomes the ‘Thing’, a man made out of rock. But there is one problem. The journey’s sponsor, Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) has also been affected and with full power, is a dangerous force which needs to be stopped, before it’s too late.

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After hearing about how bad the latest Fantastic Four movie was, I decided to check out the first attempt at a Fantastic Four movie. Fantastic Four came out in a time when superhero movies were trying to be good with Batman Begins, X-Men and Spiderman, so naturally this wasn’t appreciated upon its release. While I don’t think it’s a horrible movie, Fantastic Four is not by any means a good movie. It has two dimensional characters, not much of the Fantastic Four doing anything and the cheesy tone which really worked against the movie.

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The worst part about Fantastic Four is that they don’t do much with their powers. There’s one incident (which was caused by them) which had them save people and then there’s a fight with Doom at the end, that’s it. The rest of the time they are just dicking around with their powers. There’s so many opportunities for the Four to do stuff but they never do much of value. This is also a lighter hearted comic book movie, which I’m not against, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favourite Marvel movies. But the jokes are so cheesy and sometimes terrible and works against the film significantly.

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The acting wasn’t great and the worst part is that all the characters felt two dimensional. Ioan Gruffudd in this movie was very bland and didn’t leave much of an impression. The worst casting for me though was Jessica Alba as Sue Storm. I think this might be the worst casting in a Marvel movie, even though Alba looks the part, she’s supposed to be playing a scientist, and there’s no moment where she reflected that. Also she and Gruffudd share no chemistry whatsoever, despite there being a ‘romance’. I will say that Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans are actually well suited for their roles and do fine with what they have. From what I hear, Victor Von Doom in this movie is not comic book accurate but he even fails as a villain on his own. He is such a cliché villain and by the end, you are left wondering what Victor’s plan was, the film forgot to give a reason for him to be a villain.

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The effects can be pretty goofy, Human Torch’s flames and Invisible Woman’s shields have pretty fake CGI but Reed Richards’ stretch powers is some of the most cringe worthy effects I’ve seen in a superhero movie. To be fair though I don’t know how it’s possible to show it on screen without it being silly. The Thing is shown by using a body suit, which wasn’t the best option. I know that if they went with CGI they would make him look terrible but still, he looks like something out of a B movie.

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I can’t say that there isn’t any enjoyment in the movie, when the action is on screen, it is entertaining, if badly done and fake looking. I also don’t hate this movie as much as everyone else but it’s not a good movie either. The effects are terrible, the humour is annoying and there isn’t enough of the Fantastic Four actually doing anything. I’ll have to check out its sequel and the reboot but I hope that they aren’t worse than this film.

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005) Review

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Star Wars Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Medium Level Violence
Cast:
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu
Christopher Lee as Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Frank Oz as Yoda
Director: George Lucas

It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from General Grievous, the commander of the droid armies, but Grievous escapes. Suspicions are raised within the Jedi Council concerning Chancellor Palpatine, with whom Anakin has formed a bond. Asked to spy on the chancellor, and full of bitterness toward the Jedi Council, Anakin embraces the Dark Side.

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Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars prequel that I can call in good conscious good. Everything has improved over the previous prequels like the acting, writing, dialogue, special effects, overall everything, along with adopting a much darker tone. It doesn’t get everything right, sometimes the dialogue doesn’t always work and Anakin’s turn to Darth Vader could’ve been done better but I do think that the pros outweigh the cons.

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The most notable difference between this film and the previous prequels was the darker tone, this is to date the darkest Star Wars movie and this really helped the movie. It also helps that this is the story that we wanted to see in the prequels, Anakin’s turn into Darth Vader. I do think that was the weakest element in this movie. It isn’t terribly done but I’ll just say without diving into spoilers it could’ve been done better. Occasionally this film does suffer from some stiff dialogue and some bad lines but for the most part the dialogue works. The story is actually great and it actually delivers. It’s not always executed in the best way (like Anakin turning into Darth Vader) but I do think that it works for the most part, probably because it is the story that we actually wanted to see.

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The acting has improved from everyone. Ewan McGregor like in Attack of the Clones is a great Obi Wan Kenobi. Hayden Christensen also has a lot more material to work with, I said in the past how he at least does well visually acting, he gets a lot more opportunities to do that here. Even Natalie Portman has improved, in fact I felt that there was actual chemistry between her and Christensen and their scenes (for the most part) were well done. Ian McDiarmid is also great as the Emperor, he’s the one shining point in all the prequels. At times he can be a little too over the top in this movie but even that’s fun to watch. Everyone else, even Samuel L. Jackson who I thought looked bored in the previous films, actually seemed like real characters here. All of the cast at some point have to deliver some bad dialogue but the actors still seem credible.

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The action scenes have improved immensely. The CGI has changed from Playstation 2 graphics to fantastic looking CGI, I still do think that there is too much of it used but at least it’s good CGI. Occasionally there are some scenes with noticeable CGI backgrounds but that’s it. The lightsabre fights are also greatly improved and exciting, even though at times it feels choreographed. It’s almost pointless bringing up John Williams’ score, because once again it is great.

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Revenge of the Sith isn’t a perfect movie but it’s a great improvement over the past 2 movies and at sometimes takes the series into a great direction. Despite the prequels not being up to par with how Star Wars movies should be, I do think that Revenge of the Sith deserves some credit for its qualities. Looking back at the prequels, I do think that all of them have some elements that added to the Star Wars world, so even though they are disappointing, none of them are not without their positives.

BloodRayne (2005)

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Bloodrayne

Time: 95 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and sex scenes
Cast:
Kristanna Loken as Rayne
Michael Madsen as Vladimir
Matthew Davis as Sebastian
Michelle Rodriguez as Katarin
Ben Kingsley as Kagan
Director: Uwe Boll

Rayne (Kristanna Loken) is a half-human half-vampire Dhampir out for revenge for the king of the vampires Kagan (Ben Kingsley) who killed her mother. In her journey she meets Vladimir (Michael Madsen) and Sebastian (Matthew Davis), the leaders of the fortress of vampire hunters Brimstone, and joins their society to face the forces of Kagan.

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Uwe Boll has been called one of the worst filmmakers of all time; because Bloodrayne was on TV I decided to check it out, and I’m now paying the consequences. It has wooden acting, a shallow, uninteresting plot, and poorly done action scenes. I haven’t played the video game it’s based on but I feel sorry for the fans who were subjected to this abysmal adaptation.

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The plot goes so fast it’s hard to understand what’s going on. We also don’t know anything about these characters so we can’t really care for them; they make the characters from The Happening look like the Guardians of the Galaxy. The dialogue is not used well; it is either used for backstories, moving the plot, or exposition. The movie doesn’t even say what time period it’s in or where it is set. The film also has some odd ideas such as having normal water hurt vampires; here they are like the aliens from Signs. The last scene is a montage of whenever blood has been spilt and is nearly 4 minutes long; it comes out of nowhere and doesn’t make any sense in any form of context. Surprisingly, the screenplay was written by Guinevere Turner, who previously wrote the screenplay to American Psycho. It turns out that Uwe Boll demanded that she handed in a rough copy of the script and that he went with that version, so that explains a lot of the problems.

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Kristanna Loken was quite wooden here and barely showed more emotion than the T-X in Terminator 3. Michelle Rodriguez doesn’t give that good of a performance either, however she does seem like she’s trying to give a good performance. A stand out bad performance is from Michael Madsen, who doesn’t show any emotion throughout the movie and looks drunk (which he was) and bored; even when he’s fighting people, he doesn’t change his expression. There is a major thing that happens to him near the end which I won’t spoil (in case some of you actually want to see this movie) but he doesn’t even change his expression for that. He really looks like he doesn’t care, just look at this image down below, he’s not even holding his sword right.

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Billy Zane is only in a few scenes in this movie and doesn’t make any impact on the plot. Ben Kingsley plays the villain and most of his scenes are very short, barely lasting for 30 seconds; his performance is unfortunately phoned in, which is a shame. I won’t even go into the hammy performance from Meat Loaf as he was only in one scene.

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The action scenes are not done that well; there is a fight between Rayne and a big monster; there were so many cuts in that scene that I wonder how much of the footage was cut at just the right moment. The blood in this movie is so exaggerated that Quentin Tarantino would probably roll his eyes at it. There is one moment where a guy is cut in half at the waist but if you slow it down, you can clearly see his real legs behind some fake legs. The costumes are also questionable, particularly Rayne’s, one has to ask what type of person would wear that in any time period.

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Bloodrayne is a terrible movie; it’s not a so-bad-it’s-good sort of bad movie, it’s just boring. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to watch this movie (then again if you already know about Uwe Boll you probably weren’t even thinking about doing that) as there’s nothing enjoyable about it unless you are someone like me who wanted to make fun of it.

Sin City (2005)

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Sin City

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence
Director: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Cast:
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Clive Owen as Dwight
Bruce Willis as Hartigan
Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
Benicio Del Toro as Jackie Boy
Brittany Murphy as Shellie
Elijah Wood as Kevin

Three tales of crime adapted from Frank Miller’s popular comics which focuses around Marv (Mickey Rourke), a muscular brute who’s looking for the person responsible for the death of his true love, Goldie; Dwight (Clive Owen), a man fed up with Sin City’s corrupt law enforcement who takes the law into his own hands after a mistake and Hartigan (Bruce Willis), a cop who risks his life to protect a girl (Jessica Alba) from a deformed pedophile.

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This is the only comic book movie that has been translated from the graphic novel to the big screen. As someone who read the graphic novels (in preparation for my viewing of the movie) I am blown away at what Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller managed to do with this movie. Robert Rodriguez was the perfect director for this movie, managing to create an film adaptation that every Sin City fan will enjoy.

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The first thing you need to know about this film is that it does have an unusual structure. It mostly focuses on three stories and it shows one story at a time but isn’t necessarily placed in chronological order; chronologically they are happening around the same time. Some of the characters like Marv aren’t just in one story, and may make an appearance in another. All of the dialogue and some of the pictures drawn in the graphic novel are in the film. In many ways, this is the first movie based on a source material that didn’t really need to be adapted; it was just put on film. It was like they scanned the pages of the graphic novels onto the big screen. There is also a guest director appearance from Quentin Tarantino, directing a great scene between Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro.

The actors in this movie successfully embody the characters they play. Sin City has a huge cast; with actors like Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro and many others. Like I said earlier, the dialogue from the characters in the graphic novels are the dialogue here, and each actor delivers the lines just as I imagine the characters would. Everyone here is good and all of the actors seem to be the characters, just as if they have been taken from the comics.

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One of the best things and stand outs about Sin City is its style. The graphic novels have a black and white “noir” look about it. Not everything is black and white, sometimes some things in the movie actually have colour, such as a red dress or golden hair. The violence in this movie is also stylized – most of the blood seen is white and only in some cases is red. This stylistic approach to a comic book adaptation is a first of its kind. This film can have a lot of engrossing investing moments, especially with some scenes where there isn’t dialogue and it allows viewers to take in the giant scale of the locations. This also means the action is filmed very well, and this fact isn’t surprising as this comes from action director Robert Rodriguez. The score mostly composed by Robert Rodriguez is also great and really adds to the atmosphere.

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Anyone who has read the graphic novels will be very satisfied with this movie. This is my favourite movie by Robert Rodriguez and it is hard imagining him outdoing this movie with the upcoming sequel: Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For but I’m still excited to see what he brings to it. As for this movie, the style, the performances, and just the tone and mood make it great. I don’t know if people who haven’t read the comics will like it as much due to the different structure but in my opinion, this film is one of the best comic book ‘adaptations’ that I’ve seen.

Batman Begins (2005)

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Batman Begins

Time: 140 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Michael Caine as Alfred
Liam Neeson as Ducard
Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes
Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow
Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan

As a child, a young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) witnesses the death of his parents at the hands of a criminal. As an adult, Bruce travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice. He lives among the boroughs of criminals and thieves in central Asia. Eventually, he meets and is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) who are part of a group called the League of Shadows. When he returns, Bruce finds that Gotham City has become overrun with crime and corruption. Discovering a cave under Wayne Manor, Bruce assumes the identity of Batman to take on the criminals and organized crime underworld of Gotham.

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After Batman and Robin, the Batman franchise desperately needed a reboot. This is the first superhero movie that tried to take the movie into a more realistic direction and changed the way superhero movies are being made today. This movie does take its time to set up its plot and characters’ backstories which will put some people off as usual superhero movies set up their backstories fairly quick. Unlike other adaptations of Batman, this shows how Bruce Wayne became Batman. One thing that I found better in this movie compared to Tim Burton’s version is you get to learn more about Bruce Wayne. In the 1989 film it immediately starts and Batman has existed for some time. There are lots of superhero movies which show the main characters’ backstories such as Spiderman and Superman but this was the first superhero that really spends a lot of time delving deep into the psychology of the character. The movie isn’t predictable at all; it takes many twists and turns. With Batman Begins, everything is played as realistic as possible; the characters mostly feel like real people and it somehow manages to make the idea of a millionaire dressing up as a bat and fighting crime somewhat plausible. As much as I like Tim Burton’s Batman, this is the first adaptation of Batman that for me got the character right. It is also the second representation of a superhero that I felt was perfect after the original Superman.

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When it comes to playing Batman, the actor actually needs to play two characters: Bruce Wayne and Batman. Michael Keaton in Batman nailed that role, Val Kilmer did an okay job in Batman Forever and the less I say about George Clooney in Batman and Robin the better. Christian Bale managed to pull off both parts off well as Batman, even as well as Keaton. He managed to personify Bruce as a millionaire playboy and Batman as an intimidating presence (with a raspy voice as well). Also great in the supporting roles are Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy. The characters felt and were acted like real people.

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Hans Zimmer’s and James Newton Howard’s music in this movie is very effective and atmospheric. The action is filmed very well: one thing about the Dark Knight Trilogy is that most of the things that go on look like they could happen in real life, this includes the action scenes. This Batman Begins’s cinematography always seems to give this atmospheric realistic feel to me. When the action scenes are paired with the score, it is a masterclass of filmmaking. The best example of this is a scene with the tumbler, Batman’s
car.

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This movie changed the ways comic book movies were made, no longer did they just focus on just action (which still was fine) but also focused on character development and plot. The Dark Knight Trilogy goes beyond just being superhero movies. This film is both a fun action movie and a thrilling drama that takes many twists that will keep the audience of the edge of their seats.