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The Creator

Creator's Corner - Year 6

  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Will your film be number one?

    • Yes
      1
    • No
      6
    • Numbers' will of course!
      4


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First review...

 

THE SOCIAL NETWORK: PART DEAUX

 

a.k.a. CYBER

 

I don't know if "Cyber" wanted to be like "The Social Network" (although I get the feeling it did), but it certainly came off like a Networkite. Is it as good as Network? Absolutely not. It's not anywhere close.

 

...but that's because "The Social Network" is such a great movie. So "Cyber" would have a lot to live up to. Throughout the movie, I got a number of eerie vibes linking the movie to "Network", and that somewhat detracted from my experience, because it made it seem less original. The entire dorm sequence in the opening portion of the movie, and the sections involving the diminishing status of Thomas's friendship with his college mate and the influence of a hot shot hacker over Thomas, draw parallels to similar sequences in "Social Network" that consequently make this less enjoyable, less original. And that definitely was a low point for the film.

 

But the high point is its ability to diverge from that. It does still follow a very typical route for a film of this genre. Indeed, it doesn't end unexpectedly, nor does it diverge in any creative, spontaneous ways, but it is well-rounded and enjoyable, for the most part, with a story that is fleshed out, with characters who are, for the most part, believable, and with some surprisingly fine acting. "Cyber" haa had its share of mixed reviews, but I say, it's not a mixed movie at all. It's definitely not the highlight of the year, nor is it a masterpiece, but it is a film of solid, and at times great, quality. It falls short in the ending, where things feel botched down. The entire Hack-a-Thon sequence felt redudant and forced, and Thomas's appeal to the public felt choppily handled and even unnecessary. Some of the themes seem a bit jumbled and pushed, as if the writers were trying too hard at times to get the points of social liberty and individual rights across.

 

And yet, the film manages well on its own. Despite these few flaws, it is still a well-crafted story. The characters are, for the most part, realistic and life-like. Thomas feels down-to-earth, human, and dynamic...his idea transitioning as his perspectives change across the film. Patrick is the static antagonist who still comes off as a very alarmingly prominent and influential character. The acting is decent, in fact, at times, it is great. Aaron Paul delivers as Patrick, and Nicholas Hault's performance is solid in the lead role.

 

My biggest qualm with the chracters is the irrational handling of both Joseph's and, to a lesser extent, Patrick's deaths. They felt forced, especially Joseph's, whose death came off as unexplained and not very well fleshed out. After it happens, it feels like it is ignored for the remainder of the movie, and unanswered riddle that bogs down the film.

 

But overall, "Cyber" is a pretty good film. It's submersive, meaningful, and entertaining, and the acting ain't that bad. I would watch it again.

 

 

 

Two thumbs up out of five stars of letters A-F.

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AVARICE

 

Yeah, so, it's pretty good, not gonna lie. That's about it.

 

 

So...

 

 

THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST DE-WICKIFIED

 

a.k.a. WICKED

 

It's been a long, long time since I last saw "The Wizard of Oz." But "Wicked" brought me back to that world in a much different fashion, and the experience was quite phenomenal. Indeed, the musical is a very powerful fantasy whose focus on the antagonist of the original "Oz" movie is a nice twist on the story. It's a fresh perspective, and the characterization of Elphaba is handled terrifically. There is little room for error in a movie of this caliber, and while musicals are not typically my flare (or perhaps never my flare), "Wicked" certainly triumphs as one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I've had all year. Surprisingly, it has heart and character to it, and the acting is particularly surprising. I found myself hooked to the plot and couldn't get up to release my bladder. A fascinating movie, and a fun musical to boot. I'd definitely recommend it, even if you're not an Ozzie or a musical buff...neither of which I am.

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HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THIS TIME, WE ACTUALLY GET SOMETHING RIGHT

 

a.k.a. SOCIETY

 

It's a hard film to digest. On the one hand, it tries to be too many things at once, and that makes it inedible. But on the other hand, it succeeds at being one of the best films I've seen all year. Like a Starburst, it is bursting with contradiction.

 

"Society" is bogged down because of its excessive ending, where some shit goes down that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don't want to really get caught up in my dissatisfaction over the ending because for my full thoughts on the ending, you can read Numbers' review, which reflects my own feelings on the ending. The ending is the low point for the film, and it leaves a sour final impression that lowers the film's overall quality.

 

Which is a tremendous shame. Because "Society" is a wonderful film. It's very original for a "cliche-type" film, despite falling into some of the common traps for a high school drama. While the characters and their motives seem forced at times, the execution pays off wonderfully, and the acting is surprisingly refreshing and vivacious. The quality of the film is superb, with a story that is laced with complexity and simplicity at the same time...again, a Starburst like contradiction. Its perspectives on high school life are a bit far-fetched, but where it hits the nail, it hits it hard and pushes it in until it's sinking into your brain. The accuracy of some of the elements portrayed in the film is quite lifelike, real, and meaningful. While it does go off on some unrelatable extremes, it overall paints a very descriptive, if flawed, image of high school social life.

 

It's hard to picture it as a musical, however. I just don't really see it as one. In a sense, it adds to the film's uniqueness and creativity, and that's a plus, but on a negative side, it seems to detract from the film's dark tone. Again, a contradiction of Starburst proportions. But the tone of the movie is quite impactful, the characters meaningful, and the scenes surprising. There are a couple scenes that come out of nowhere but really blow you off your feet, especially their aftermaths. I was impressed and didn't expect to find that kind of material in this film.

 

It's a difficult film to digest. I love it, but it has a number of flaws that keep me from wanting to love it...if you know what I mean. It would be my number something of the year for sure...now it will be a number something else this year. Oh well.

 

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HIGH LIFE

 

A solid film about one immortal's quest for mortality...or even, perhaps, his own demise...and his difficulty finding it while trying to maintain a life of normalcy with the woman he loves.

 

 

451

 

A great adaptation of the classic novel, Cauron's "451" does not disappoint and is probably one of the best films of the year.

 

 

 

LAST DITCH EFFORT

 

I'm not going to lie and say that I overly enjoyed this film, nor that it was the most poetic historical epic of its caliber that I've ever seen. In fact, "Last Ditch Effort" left little impression with me. It's by no means a bad film...it's just forgettable. After finishing my viewing, I was left with the thought: "That's all?" Something about it felt incomplete...or maybe the film was just a bit uninspired. Regardless, I didn't find myself moved by the story, and that's unfortunate as "Last Ditch Effort" could have achieved greatness, and many critics have called it one of the year's greatest films.

 

The acting is decent, but there are no stand-out performances. I was never really attached to any one particular character. As for the story, while it is forgettable, it is well paced and not clustered, so it's easy to follow. The action that exists in the movie seems few and far between, but those scenes are decently exhilerating. Overall, the effects are pretty nice, the costumes and make up and cinematography dazzling, but the film lacks in substance. A bit of a misfire.

 

 

 

PORTAL

 

I used to like this game...but it seems so long ago. "Portal" does a fantastic job of bringing me back to that game, of letting me relive it without actually playing it. In that sense, it's a good movie, and it certainly is enjoyable. The biggest problem is the pacing. It felt very rushed, with very little room for character development (sad, given there's only two characters). It's a hollow movie, with most of the substance centerred around action sequences (which feel rushed), and little focus on characterization. With the amount of time given to focus on one character, you would think we could attach ourselves to Chell more easily, but unfortunately, that is not the case. There is one scene, though, where Chell seems human: the euthanization of the Companion Cube is the best scene of the movie, and one that's truly quite gripping. Otherwise, there are no standout moments in the film. It mostly just feels like the video game, with no major plot substance. It's definitely not bad; in fact, it's quite enjoyable. But it's not excellent either. It's good, though, and it succeeds where it can.

 

 

 

L.A. NOIRE

 

A decent crime thriller, "L.A. Noire" doesn't do much to step out of its comfort zones. While the acting is solid and the story is decently developed, it doesn't offer much new in the way of the crime genre. Overall, it's actually quite forgettable, and by the end, I felt no attachment and little surprise.

 

 

 

Can anyone see the order in which films are being reviewed?

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THUNDERBALLDIAMONDSAREFOREVERSKYFALL

 

a.k.a. EXPEDECADE

 

 

"Expedecade" felt like a cross between many past 007 films. It has some of the good qualities of the better ones (a la "Skyfall" and "Thunderball") and some of the poor qualities of the worse ones (a la "Diamonds Are Forever"). In many ways, it tries most to mirror "Skyfall", which is a problem, because it makes it less original, less inspiring, and less unique...and also because it falls short.

 

Hyped as the best 007 film in years, "Expedecade" had a lot going for it. Nolan directed, Fassbender starred, and a story that intended to blow our minds. It seems, on paper, like it really could be one of the best Bond films we've seen in many years. We have the introduction of Bond's archnemesis Blofield, played by Christoph Waltz. We have the establishment of SPECTRE. The dark tone sets in. This looks like a picturesque Bond film.

 

But it's not. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot actually. But it did not feel like a Bond film. At times, the plot was convoluted, and that bogged it down. The deaths of Q and M felt forced. M's death felt tossed in, while Q's felt more painfully forced because it was awkward for him to be in field combat to begin with. What was more confusing was the ending, where Bond gets labeled as a traitor because somehow he has been blamed for M's death...although I fail to see how he was, but maybe I missed something when she died. Another point of annoyance was the overly silly portrayal of Blofield, who has always been quite silly to begin with (and in that, at least, Expedecade does succeed in establishing familiarity with the rest of the 007 films). But because "Expedecade" was trying to be more realistic, darker, and more dramatic than other Bond films, Blofeld should have been less dumb...but he wasn't. He felt really awkward in fact, and his death was uninspired.

 

However, my qualms aside, I did enjoy "Expedecade". At times, it was actually a rather good movie. The distance between it and "Lord Madship" leaves a lot of unnecessary questions that we can't answer, but it offers some new perspectives and new characterizations. The death of Monts is well executed. Fassbender does a fine job as Bond. And although Q's death and his entire involvement in combat seems offputting, the character was more alive than ever before, and we got a lot more time to see him and Bond get close, and that was unique.

 

Overall, a decent Bond film, one I'd probably put somewhere in the upper middle range, quality wise.

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THE STORY OF DANIEL RIGGER

 

I wouldn't say I was blown away. But I was blown.

 

"The Story of Daniel Rigger" is a pretty complex movie for something that seems so simplistic, well kind of simplistically complex or complexedly simplistic. It's neither of those things, and nothing of simplicity, it is complex and dynamic, and that makes it a picture worth viewing. "Daniel Rigger" happens to be one of the best movies I have seen so far this year (albiet, because it's a January release, at the time of my viewing, that's not saying much). It's highly original, and the multi-layered plot is thick and enriched with characterization, progression of detail, and the establishment of feeling. Yes, "Daniel Rigger" is very much a movie of feelings. One may argue that makes it "chick-flicky", but it's not. It's a universal film, and I'm going to compare it to the most similar film this year..."High Life."

 

Like "High Life", it's kind of a "coming-of-discovery" film, discovery in yourself, in your love, in adventure. Both are a bit morbid in a sense, but "Daniel Rigger" exploits it better. Indeed, for the most part, I'd argue "Rigger" is the better film of the two. While "High Life" is more straightforward, "Rigger" is more unique, more fleshed out and thoroughly composed. It is a wonderfully artistic portrayal of a man's plight into the unknown, his dreams, his memories, his life experiences. Liam Neeson invades the titular character's role with oogles of awesomeness, delivering a stunning performance. In acting aspects, it rivals "High Life," in story it matches, and in complexity it surprasses. Indeed, "Daniel Rigger" is a complex, but unconvuluted, high film, a great experience, and a surprise gem to discover this year. Definitely caught me off guard.

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Finallly got a chance to read these next two...

 

 

The Beginning To UP Made Into An Entire Feature-Length Film With Eternal Sunshine Elements Tossed In

 

a.k.a. TO THE MOON

 

Wow, I was blown away. I hate to start a review like that, because it makes me feel like I'm giving away too much of my optimism at once, but I can't help it. I have rarely seen a movie so impactful as this. I'm truly stunned. It's the emotional little bits that pack a huge punch, and by the end of the movie, you feel so connected to Johnny and River, that the whole wipe-out sequence is bitter to watch. Yet, if that doesn't bring tears to your eyes (then you're a heartless bastard), then the end itself will, when Johnny plays on the piano and says "For River"...and the last line of the movie couldn't be any better.

 

I really can't think of any negative points to bring up, and I don't want to. My review does not deserve to have any negative comments, because this movie is way over what I was expecting.

 

...I'm impressed. I can think of very, very few times I have ever written a review like this, one in which I can't even talk about the movie because I'm just too wrapped up in it, or blown away by it, that talking about it makes me want to re-watch it (and I simply don't have time for that).

 

 

 

And of course

 

 

 

 

CHUCK NORRIS AND LIAM NEESON VS GIANT SPIDERS

 

L.O.L. This movie was actually smartly fleshed out and so unique from the other "Norris/Neeson" movies that I actually really, really enjoyed it. I have rarely had so much fun in the movies this year. The movie is full of outright absurdity, but the deftity with which it handles it is amazingly executed. Dumb as all get out, but enjoyable as hell. The run time is way too excessive (a major quibble of mine), but it's a hell of a rollercoaster.

 

 

...next, Top 25.

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