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Blankments' Reviews, Y5 (Top 25 Completed!)

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    Doing something a little different this year, and by different, I mean I'm ripping off how riczhang did it last year. :P Post as many movies as you'd like me to review, and I'll get through as much as possible. They'll be at least two paragraphs each, so much more substantial than previous years.

    Edited by Blankments
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    Empty Hearth:

    Following their Western in Year 3, the Coen Brothers return to filmmaking with Empty Hearth, a fascinating examination of greed in the time of Gold Rush. Daniel Day-Lewis is perfect in the lead role, and will definitely be nominated for Best Actor come Oscar time, as his portrayal of refining himself and then slowly descending into madness is done expertly. Alhough the film does start off slow, the pacing then becomes excellent once Samuel begins his great scam. Marion Cotillard is a highlight too, giving her best performance in a long time. Tommy Lee Jones does an excellent job too, but I fear he is becoming typecast in these roles. The highlight of the film is an flashback sequence, or should I say sequences, which causes a great emotional backstory for the two non-leads and causes one to despise Samuel completely. This being a Coen Brothers movie, the direction and writing were fantastic as expected, telling a beautiful story even with only three developed characters.

    However, although some may love the end, I found it anti-climatic, as after the lengthy flashback, there was barely anymore in the present time. I would've preferred to see a much more satisfying end to Samuel, but the story works overall, despite its disappointing. The cinematography was okay for what it was, but nothing that outstanding, and while the score was fine, I feel as though the collaboration was more of an attempt to get the attention of awards voters than an actually good score. Overall though, Empty Hearth is not to be missed, showing an intriguing tale set in a time rarely seen in film.

    8.5/10

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    Understandable, but still, I think collaborations shouldn't be created in-game, AKA I'm fine with James Newton Howard/Hans Zimmer or Atticus Ross/Trent Reznor, but something like Danny Elfman/Michael Giacchino I'd just mark down. I understand where you're coming from though.

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    Psychonauts:

    Psychonauts is one of the most bizarre animated films I've ever seen. Things happen it for no rhyme and reason, and the film seems content with not explaining its intriguing world. However, that is the only bad thing I can say about it, and it's easily ignorable. The stop-motion animation is gorgeous, and one has to wonder how they shot the scene in the lungfish mind, as that in particular is a technical marvel. The models are all extremely expressive, and it's definitely a good-looking film. All the different mind-worlds are beautifully realized, and are honestly worth the price of admission alone.

    However, Psychonauts is not just beautiful, the script is incredibly funny, thanks to it being written by the man who made the video game. The best scene of the entire movie is the group therapy session, which is set in the real world; the quality of the writing really shines here. All the characters are well-cast, but only Simmons stands out, and his villainous turn steals the show. However, back to the negative, remember how I was saying it didn't feel like it needed to explain the world more? Well, the climax is really confusing thanks to this, which was just frustrating to me. Perhaps they will explore more of the history of how psychonauts came around in the sequel teased at the end. Check it out at a matinee to get the extra enjoyment of kids screaming.

    7.5/10

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    Psychonauts was kind of a wild card for me to release. Still glad that it's a positive review.This is also partially why I prefer making original films. With adaptions, you have to transfer the world to the film summary, while it comes more naturally with an original screenplay.

    Edited by Spaghetti
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    Ratchet & Clank:

    Ratchet & Clank is a very mixed bag. Although there are some moments of fun, it's ultimately dragged down by the lack of character development. Another major issue with it is the various misteps in choosing who to be involved with the film. Although Rich Moore is a good director, I don't see his influence much on this film. Tatum and Pine are fine choices, but one wonders why they didn't just go with the voice actors from the game, who would've been a much better choice. However, the biggest casting issue is Kristen Stewart, who should never be considered for any movie ever. That said, Daniel Craig shines in his role, cancelling out Stewart's terribleness. Neil Patrick Harris ain't half-bad either. The animation is fine, but you won't see anything that special here. The 3D is really good though, and may be the only reason to go see this in theaters.

    The writing on the film would be average, except for the fact that it's much too huge on mythology than actual characters. (I myself have fallen victim to this, so I won't count off too much on this.) The film is funny at points, but a lot of jokes just miss. However, I would like to say that this is a great film... for a first film from a studio. (Take a look at Blankments Productions; their first film was the terrible Consciousness Slip. ) However, being a great first film doesn't mean it's a great film. Ratchet & Clank proves painfully mediocre, and I wish I could give it a higher score.

    5.5/10

    Edited by Blankments
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