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End of 2003 Movie Round-up

Which of these big films are you most anticipating?

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World0%[ 0 ]
The Matrix Revolutions33%[ 27 ]
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King65%[ 54 ]
The Last Samurai2%[ 2 ]

Total Votes : 83

Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 3:39pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

After a somewhat lacklustre 2002, this year we have been treated to some real movie gems - especially for those of us that are interested in special effects. We had barely recovered from The Two Towers when we were hit with the double-whammy of X2 and The Matrix Reloaded. After a slight lull the big films returned with Finding Nemo, T3, Pirates of the Caribbean and, more recently, Kill Bill.

Of course, every year has its usual slew of blockbusters. What has so far made 2003 a little different is that for once the big guns weren't firing blanks, with all of the above being solid productions and some heading swiftly towards 'classic' status.

The year is far from over and there is still lots more to look forward to, so here's a quick FXhome.com selection of the films that have the potential to be a contender...

Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World
It may have a less-than-snappy title but M&C:TFSotW sees Russell Crowe back in action once more as Captain Jack Aubrey, complete with his Gladiator-style faux-English accent. The trailer is a mixed bag, but it at least seems to promise some fun high-seas adventuring, neatly riding the coat-tails of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Matrix Revolutions
Some of you might already have heard of this film. The Matrix came out of nowhere in 1999 and took everybody surprise, easily stealing the thunder in what everybody thought would be the year of Star Wars. The Matrix Reloaded was more of a mixed bag, despite enjoying huge box office success. Whether Revolutions can tie everything together and cement the trilogy into something truly memorable remains to be seen, but early reviews have been very promising, with the massive conclusion to the story impressing even those that were left cold by Reloaded.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Another huge trilogy draws to an end this Christmas, with the final part of Peter Jackson's acclaimed Tolkien adaptation. Rumour has it the third part has departed from the source material even further than The Two Towers, so the purists may have a hard time coming to terms with the changes. The rest of us, however, should have an exciting three hours, with the trailer hinting at scenes that will make Helms Deep look like a schoolyard brawl.

The Last Samurai
Giving Gandalf and chums a run for their money in the swords & horses stakes is none other than Tom Cruise, donning 19th century Japanese armour and leaping into battle armed with nothing but an extremely pointy sword. The trailer hints at more epic battle scenes than you can shake a stick at; whether Cruise's star presence will overwhelm the rest of the film is another matter. Those of you in the US get to find out in December, while the rest of us have to wait until January.

Click here to cast your vote as to which film you are looking forward to the most!
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 4:35pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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I'm looking forward to The Return of The King because.... I'm looking forward to it. smile
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 6:46pm

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potman

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ROTK will be very good if they get the dam thing finished.

I spoke to Dan Hennah (Art design and production)

He clammed that they were still filming some last minute stuff like miniatures and smaller acting rolls. This was only 3 weeks ago!!!
I sure hope the deadline does not affect the quality of the final film.
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 6:54pm

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Cypher

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Rating: +1

I have to disagree with Reloaded and Two Towers being anything but lacklustre. Neither of them had any heart, which made the original films so compelling to watch (ie Fellowship). This is the first i've heard about return of the king being even further away from the source. Peter Jackson and his cronies are not good writers, they hang just around average and their crappy 'rendition' of two towers hurt me and almost put me in a coma...well not a coma really, just sleep from boredom. I swear, if I see one more revolving aerial shot in ROTK, i will puke out any respect I may have for the DP and Jackson himself.

As for revolutions, I am undecided. I am going to watch it and have some hope, but recent footage from the neo vs smith fight in the rain just makes it look utterly retarded. The Wachowski brothers are trying too hard to be smart and just pulling out mediocre twists in Reloaded.

But whatever, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. (all you matrix anal******lovers can go suck on lemons).

Ahhhh, there vented some of my frustrations on those films.

Now, as for the others, I am really unsure as to what Master and Commander will be. Crowe is my favorite actor (watch Insider, Virtuosity, A Beautiful Mind, Romper Stomper) but somthing about this doesn't quite seem to be his usual charisma. I dunno, we'll see when it comes out.

Last Samurai looks to have some nifty camera work, but that's about it. The trailers dont say anything, so I can't judge on that.

But Pirates of the Caribbean and Kill Bill rule and are actually my 2 fav films of the year. Finding Nemo was very good and is up there, but T3 was the average hollywood blockbuster. Took too long to make and no real payoff.
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 7:33pm

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Andreas

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Well, I truly looking forward to ROTK and ofcourse the directors cut of Aliens!

Kill Bill and Finding Nemo haven't had premiere here yet, And I sure want to see thoose two!

Let's not forget Face 2 Face, is it comming before 2004 ? wink
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 7:47pm

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jessy

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ROTK is already made, they made all of the lord of the rings in a row
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 7:50pm

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Aculag

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Rating: -2

REALLY!? WHAT!? No way!
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 7:55pm

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jessy

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i said that because of this comment


"ROTK will be very good if they get the dam thing finished. "
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 8:09pm

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Simon K Jones

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The main shoot for LotR was concurrent for all the films, but each one has had additional filming take place over the last few years. In fact, rumour has it they're going to be filming something next summer too, which is a little random. Plus they've been working on the effects continuously for the last few years - in other words, Return of the King wasn't finished at the same time as Fellowship by a long way.
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 9:11pm

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Ice_Man

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Cypher, you the man, plus one for that all the way! I totally agree.
Posted: Tue, 21st Oct 2003, 9:23pm

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Aculag

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jessy wrote:

i said that because of this comment


"ROTK will be very good if they get the dam thing finished. "
And I said what I said, because EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. There is such a thing as reshoots and adding special effects and all that junk.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 12:29am

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er-no

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It has to be LOTR:ROTK.

The first two films where two of the best films ever made, if this concluding part can be alike Two Towers its going to be something the world of cinema will never forget.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 4:55am

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potman

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Tarn wrote:

In fact, rumour has it they're going to be filming something next summer too, which is a little random.
Ahh yes that (if they do it) COULD be for the extended DVD version of ROTK.

Peter Jackson has been known to say stuff like "Don't worry that shot I had to pull will be in the extended dvd".
So in my way of seeing things the 3 hour versions of the films are to keep New Line Cinema happy and the extended DVD is the real cut.
I gave my DVD copy of the Fellowship away when i got the extended DVD version. The whole movie flows better and makes more sense.
I hope that helps explain smile
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 12:53pm

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arch evil

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I realise everyone is entitled to their own opinion and here's mine.

The aerial sweeping shots - what do you expect? The movie is epic, it is part of the signature of epic films to have wide, open, (usually aerial) sweeping shots. I mean other than that, the length of the film is a pretty good give away. And you just know you're gonna get aerial sweeping shots in Return of the King.
I was impressed with the Lord of the Rings, admittedly I found the first book a bore to read. The second was a better read, but nothing beats teh third, no matter how many people bag out the end. The films, I have to say, I was impressed with the first one, it could have survived on atmosphere alone! The second one was filler that provided more of the action that fans were hungry for from the first one. I was a tad dismayed that my favourite parts of the book (Shelob's Lair and the Shattering of Sauraman's Staff) were extracted from the movie to be put into the third, but I under stand the directorial decision, besides, it's only a year to wait.

As with Revolutions, no one can really say, I guess, not at least until a few more weeks her in Australia, I hope and have a feeling that it may be considerably better than Reloaded. I have to admit, that the preview of the fight in the rain with Agent Smith and Neo is a bit of a let down, at least to me anyway. It just looks corny, but I am viewing it without context. Reloaded was just like an episode of a bigger production of the Matrix, it seemed to me like it would have fitted in well with the Animatrix episodes, and I think it was treated as such. The Matrix was the great introduction, story punctuated by small, controlled fights and effects sequences. Reloaded seemed like it took a conversation, elaborated on it and stuck it between an expanded fight scene.
Upon watching Reloaded on dvd (the second time I viewed the film) I have to say I found it a much more satisfying viewing. While the fights didn't get much better, the story did. This I think is simply due to the fact that the fight scenes didn't hold much (I'd seen it and it was nice but I didn't find a particular focus) The only thing I think I'd add to the criticism of the fight sequences is that 'Bullet Time' or the slow motion camera effect was used unnecessarily. In the original it was pivotal and used sparingly to heighten the experience of the fight, in Reloaded it was thrown in wherever they could.
Hopefully, Revolutions will tie the whole lot together, it will out do Reloaded and compliment The Matrix, thus making the entire experience of "the matrix" as three films a satisfying and complete cinematic experience.

That being said I think the same goes for Lord of the Rings.

As for other films this year, I'm upset that LXG was treated so badly, but the studios, they conpletely ruined the premise for a good film, explored in a different manner, through character rather than plot. But I guess it was good for entertainment.

Nemo I liked, I found it really funny. I think Ellen DeGeneres might have found a new neiche for voice acting, she was absolutely hillarious. But, I liked Monsters Inc. and Ice Age more. I just found them better films and also found that Nemo was trying to plug Australian stereotypes a bit too much.

T3 was ok, but I just think it leads into T4 (which will be a complete man vs. robots movie).

Kill Bill was an absolutely awesome cinema experience. I loved it. I love Uma Thurman in yellow and black leather jumpsuit wielding a samurai sword.

Other than that I'm looking forward to 'The Sin Eater' or The Order I think it's being renamed in Australia.

I guess I just felt like writing tonight. Sorry if it's too long.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 1:03pm

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meridianrising

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Rating: +1

Some others, released before the end of 2003, that could prove impressive, if only aesthetically or visual effects wise could be

Cold Mountain - The new Anthony Minghella film which currently is almost assured of the top Oscars (unless the Academy realise that RotK is amazing, as they should).

Peter Pan - Yet another Peter Pan tale that is apparently rather good, visually if not anything (personally I'm more interested in the JM Barrie biopic Neverland).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - More Charlie Kaufman insanity, with ton of visual trickery judging by the very fun trailer.

Alamo - The Civil War drama that's another Oscar contender (but Ron Howard dropping out early on doesn't seem like a good sign, oh wait, maybe it is).

Big Fish - The long awaited return by Tim Burton to his roots (we'll forgive you for Planet of the Apes) and another Oscar contender to boot!

Paycheck - Ben Affleck. Nuff said. Visually could be interesting, but let's face it, the film probably won't be. Still, could make a lot of money.

The Missing - The quite interesting new drama/thriller from Ron Howard, starring Cate Blanchett (usually, a sign of quality, as she is quite fantastic).

Add to all these, the Oscar contender dramas House of Sand and Fog, 21 Grams, Bad Santa and In America (which is gaining more buzz as time passes). Looks like the Winter has a chance to be better than the truly awful Summer of 2003. Let's hope 2004 shapes up to be better.

PJ
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 1:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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arch evil wrote:

As for other films this year, I'm upset that LXG was treated so badly, but the studios, they conpletely ruined the premise for a good film, explored in a different manner, through character rather than plot. But I guess it was good for entertainment.
I couldn't bring myself to go watch that. I'm a big Alan Moore fan, and I got the feeling I'd want to burn the cinema screen down by the end of the film....
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 2:30pm

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Cypher

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Oh man, I forgot about Big Fish. That i'm looking forward to definetly, but is it this year? Holidays, right?

Tarn, why dont you add that to the list above, it's pretty short.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 2:34pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, Big Fish is gonna be great. Not out until next year here though, hadn't realised it was out this year in the US otherwise I'd have included it in the article, darn it. smile

Looks like a return to form for Burton.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 3:44pm

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Sollthar

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Well, as a deep Burton Admirer I'll definately look forward to Big Fish!

But I'm really looking forward to a lot of films.

Mystic River by Clint Eastwood sounds very interesting too and I've always been a fan of deeply character driven films and the mix of excellent actors promises to be great!

Master and Commander looks fantastic as well.


But if I had to chose, I'm looking forward to ROTK most, as I have no idea how the story ends cause I haven't read the book and managed to get away from any spoilers yet. And I love what I've seen so far. It's gonna be sad when it ends... I know it... crazy
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 4:12pm

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Lycanwood Productions

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Even though I am waiting for Matrix Reloaded and Return of the King I really feel that most movies today are getting to big in spectacle. Don't get me wrong I love special effects and epic movies but sometimes I think they go more for scope than anything else.

Take Matrix Reloaded for example, I think they were tyring so hard to be revolutionary like they were before that they forgot how the story was. What made the first film good was that they developed the characters along with the action so you felt that there was more at stake. In Reloaded they seemed to have lost that feeling. I bought the DVD and I found myself skipping most of the movie to get to the action because I was not as impressed by the story, and that dance rave scene was awful. I wish they never showed Zion, I think less is sometimes more and they could have just implied about it. I think they took the magic away from Zion.

As for the Lord of the Ring movies, Peter Jackson had always said that this is his interpretation of the books, he never said it was a literal translation. If he were to do a literal translation then the movies would be so boring because of pacing issues. I for one think that both movies are beautifully done with very good cinematography. Yes the Two Towers has less character interaction than the first but the first was kind of like a origin movie.

There have been some great movies out this year that have kept it simple with the story. MAY was a twisted movie that kept to the acting of the individual and to a good story. Once Upon A Time in Mexico is not as good as the previous El Mariachi movies but it was entertaining and it showed you didn't need the big budget effects and what have you to make a good movie.

Of course don't get me wrong I love a movie with special effects but I feel that sometimes they think it's the focus of the movie. Case in point, the new Star Wars movies. Lucas used to believe that a movie revolves around story, now he's done a complete turnaround and make the effects more than story. I heard he is going to do another revamp of the Star Wars originals and re-do the fight scene between kenobi and vader. I hope that's just rumour but good lord.

Anyways, I know that Return of the King will be good, Revolutions I have heard from some people that have seen it, is good, better than Reloaded.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 4:14pm

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Lycanwood Productions

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Sollthar, to reply to your thing about Mystic River.

EXCELLENT movie, one of the best this year, it goes to show that story and good directing go a long way. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins shine in that movie. Definately go see it.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 4:26pm

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Sollthar

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Good good. I am expecting a lot from it, cause I think Eastwood is a very good director and I like pretty much all his films. Even the "worst" are very solid movies.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 4:28pm

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Simon K Jones

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Suicide Squirrel wrote:

As for the Lord of the Ring movies, Peter Jackson had always said that this is his interpretation of the books, he never said it was a literal translation. If he were to do a literal translation then the movies would be so boring because of pacing issues.
I've only read Fellowship of the Ring, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I think Jackson did a phenomenal job of adapting it. Every change he made either made no practical difference, or was an actual improvement.

Thank god Tom Bombadil was nowhere in sight. I loved the opening of Fellowship, was reading it and turning every page with delight. Then I got to the Bombadil segment and wondered if I'd accidentally picked up the wrong book. It seemed to be written by a madman...to this day I can't quite understand how that part is written by the same guy who wrote the rest of the book.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 8:17pm

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sidewinder

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The thing that bugged me about Helm's Deep was the obvious amount of shortcuts that were taken. There was no choreography in the hand-to-hand combat, and all it comprised of was swing-cut-hit-cut-fall-cut-swing, etc. Also, there weren't any shots of fighting among the crowd, like there was in the prologue of the first. There were only really far shots of people milling about in front of the wall. It was cool at first, but it got old when the camera never ventured in close to show the action whenever Massive was involved. I wanted more shots like the first one of Aragorn commanding the archers, or the orcs raising the ladders, or like the Mexica wave (that's what it's called when they did that word spin thingy) in the first movie.


Edit: Oh, and while Kill Bill Volume 1 was definitely worth 8 dollars, I think it's somewhat overrated.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 8:29pm

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Sollthar

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I thought Kill Bill was pretty bad, to be honest. It had some nice bits, but a lot of average or even pretty dumb bits. All in all I didn't like it.

Can't understand the hype about it one bit.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 8:55pm

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Cypher

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Kill Bill isn't for everybody; the movie is very selective, even though it employs many different genres to it's story. Kill Bill is a great example of a director doing what he wants to for himself. This is Tarantino's film made for himself. He's already a big name, he's not looking to break any records and is doing this just for entertainment.

And you also have to keep in mind that there is no one movie that everyone will love. Examples: Kill Bill obviously. 84% of professional critics worldwide like the movie, so did I, but other such as Sollthar did not. Then Fight Club. 72% or seomthign of critics world wide liked it, yet I cant stand that movie and think it's a great example of how great talent can till make a bad movie.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 9:02pm

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Sollthar

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Oh, I do keep that in mind. If people like it, fine. I won't have sleepless night cause of that. I just can't understand it. smile
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 10:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, Fight Club is my all-time favourite film. smile

But loads of people hate it. Just one of those things.

What I do find amusing about some of these audience-splitting films, like Fight Club and Blade Runner, is the way critics almost universally pan it when it comes out, then years later they kind of go on about it being a classic, just because it happens to have become a cult film and they want to sound cool. smile
Posted: Wed, 22nd Oct 2003, 10:14pm

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Cypher

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See, Fight Club is your all-time favorite film, I have an extreme dislike for it. Kill Bill is my fav film of the year along with Pirates, and Sollthar didn't like it.

Something being overrated though is a whole different bag. I think Fellowship is overrated, but still very good. And Two Towers got more praise, yet I think it's much worse then Fellowship. Same goes with Matrix.

Then other films like Titanic (even though the highest grossing film of all time, so you can call it overrated) definelty deserve it. Titanic is a true masterpeice, and although not even in my top 5, I think it deserved those 11 oscars.

For me, favorite film of all-time is without question Forrest Gump.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Oct 2003, 4:43pm

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Sollthar

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Well, overrated is anything that is averagely rated higher then you think it deserved.

So I think Kill Bill probably is the most overrated film I've ever seen yet, when I look at his 8,4 at IMDB where I'd give it a 4 or so maybe.


Calling something over or underrated is just a different way of saying the same thing as when you say I liked it or I didn't.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Oct 2003, 7:49pm

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Cypher

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Well, in that case, I believe that Kill Bill is underrated as I give it a 9/10 and it's averaging 8.2 or so. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 9:48am

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Simon K Jones

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Those of you interested in The Last Samurai might be interested that there's a newish trailer up:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/the_last_samurai/trailer
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 9:57am

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Exclamation

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Hey, what about Cat in the Hat!!

Starring Mike Myers as the cat... or the hat... no, the cat - http://www.thecatinthehatmovie.com/index.html?__source=UPMN
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 10:30pm

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Lycanwood Productions

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Kill Bill is more of a live action anime film with '70's kung fu movies thrown in. I enjoyed the movie but I take it at what it is, pulp.

Some of the good movies that I thought critics or even audience members hated where:

DARK CITY, love that movie, totally original with an ending that I never would have seen coming.

PI, a critic fave but some people are still trying to figure out what is going on with that movie. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

FIGHT CLUB: I love David Fincher and think he is a very good director, Alien 3 not withstanding. This movie is hated by alot of people but I really enjoyed the movie. It has all of the biting satire that the author would have wanted.

DONNIE DARKO: I know alot of people hated this film and didn't know what the hell was going on but if you were to pay attention it was somewhat about time travel and how his life could have been different.

HEAVENLY CREATURES: This was what got Peter Jackson noticed. The film is done beautifully with the delusions with the clay people.

THE EXPERIMENT: This is a film that I discovered at the rental store. It's German made and is based on a true story of how men would react if some were made prisoners and some made into gaurds.

RUN LOLA RUN: Another German movie that starred Franka Potente which has everything going on with it.

These are just some of many that I like but other people do not. Sometimes I get bored with the formula-type movies that are out there and try to look for something distinctly different. That doesn't mean I don't like so of the formula movies out there like say: Armageddon but sometimes you need something to inspire your creativity.
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 10:36pm

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Simon K Jones

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Suicide Squirrel wrote:

DONNIE DARKO: I know alot of people hated this film and didn't know what the hell was going on but if you were to pay attention it was somewhat about time travel and how his life could have been different.
Really? I've yet to find anyone who doesn't like that film. I've seen it with lots of different peope and have spoken to more, all of whom have wildly different tastes in films, and everyone has come away liking it to some degree - even if they have no idea what on earth was going on.

My favourite movie of 2002.
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 11:14pm

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cantaclaro

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The Alamo has nothing to do with the Civil War...The Alamo is based on the 1836 Texas revolution against Santa Anna and his army...Read up on your history son...and you Europeans say we have no grasp of history... ::Shakes fist at Meridianrising and all of Europe for that matter::

Canta unsure
Posted: Fri, 24th Oct 2003, 11:54pm

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meridianrising

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CantaClaro - My bad. I only took American History for one semester, and quickly dropped it when I learned how incredibly boring it is. So my assumption that The Alamo was something to do with the Civil War was an honest mistake smile

Suicide Squirrel - You seem to have chosen seven films that were all critically acclaimed at the time of release, and even more so since (bar Fight Club, which admittedly had a mix response). Oddly, they're also seven films who most people I know think are fantastic films. Having gladly introduced everyone I know to Donnie Darko, I have yet to speak to any of them who have anything bad to say about the film (and I'm not just saying that because it's in my top five films of all time). smile

PJ
Posted: Sat, 25th Oct 2003, 2:11am

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Cypher

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meh, I tried to watch Donnie Darko on tv once, got bored quickly and found myself soon enjoying The Daily Show.
Posted: Sat, 25th Oct 2003, 8:50am

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sfbmovieco

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I just watched Enough with J. Lo...Quite possibly the worst film I've ever seen. Anyways...


Has anyone seen Rules of Attraction? Whatd you guys think of it? Me, I really didn't care for it.
Posted: Mon, 27th Oct 2003, 6:40am

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Ice_Man

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one of my favorite examples of misunderstood cinema has gotta be Unbreakable.
Posted: Mon, 27th Oct 2003, 7:35pm

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Cypher

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Unbreakable rules. I love that film. In fact, I love all of M. Night's films.
Posted: Mon, 27th Oct 2003, 7:56pm

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anonymous

same here, Unbreakable is one of my all time favorites. but a lot of people thought the movie was boring. I think they were just expecting something a little different