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Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Epic 70 Minute Takedown of the Phantom Menace

You think you hated Phantom Menace? Well… not as much as this guy! YouTube contributor RedLetterMedia has upload an incredible 70-minute critique of George Lucas’ much maligned Star Wars prequel.

I wonder if any film has ever been the subject of this much derision. It wasn’t just a bad movie — to a generation, it felt like a betrayal.

But 70 minutes of criticism? That might be overkill. Still, it makes for entertaining viewing… arguably more so than the film itself. If the holidays put you in a bad mood, and you’ve got a lot of time on your hands… check it out! All 7 parts.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 1 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 2 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 3 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 4 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 5 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 6 of 7)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Part 7 of 7)

[via Slashfilm]

Cool Star Wars Merchandise

Star Wars Chop Sabers chopsticks

Should You Go See Avatar in 3D?

How many opportunities does one have to see a film which truly pushes the envelope? Avatar, in 3D, is one of those experiences. It will change what people expect from blockbusters. My skepticism is gone. Believe the hype, and disregard naysayers as attention-seeking contrarians.

Pocket WikiReader

Not Everyone Loves The Road

The Road has been one of the season’s most anticipated and critically acclaimed films. But not everyone is on board… especially a gentleman by the name of Fiore Mastracci, a critic recently featured by The Guardian in an article titled “Why I love the world’s worst film critic”.

And, indeed, Mastracci’s review truly is bad. He uses the most amateur similes imaginable (“excrement on celluloid”), makes fun of children (“McPhee is an irritating dirty faced boy”) and employs the most groaningly obvious, timeworn references (the Energizer bunny? Seriously?). It’s no help that his English is piss-poor.

But somehow, he’s “made it”, in at least some sense of the phrase. He has 204 god-awful reviews published on Rotten Tomatoes and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. It’s almost enough to make you weep… if you weren’t laughing so hard. Mastracci makes it a point to hate every movie which is critically lauded, and his reviews are laced with scatological references, racism and homophobia. The Guardian’s Stuart McGurk notes that “In a pièce de résistance, he gave Transamerica 0/10 solely for being about a transsexual.”

Still, scrolling through his reviews at least makes for a great way to waste some time… I especially love the outraged comments at the end of each. So keep at it, Mr. Mastracci! I get the sense that you feed on hate.

Gift Guide 2009

Seven Thieves – Analysis at Senses of Cinema

1960’s heist caper Seven Thieves is the subject of a excellent article by Pedro Blas Gonzalez, an associate professor of Philosophy from Miami, at Senses of Cinema.

Not many users at Criticker have seen this film, which on its surface seems to be an unsophisticated crime film. Joan Collins stars, and the plot concerns nothing more than beautiful people, casinos and crime. IMDB’s reader reviews are middling.

Given the film’s age, standard-issue plot and mediocre reviews, one wouldn’t expect it to be the subject of a lengthy, academic analysis. It’s an interesting challenge — to say something interesting about a film no one remembers, and Gonzalez’s essay rises to the task. Though focused on Seven Thieves, is a meditation on the higher purpose of film in general and crime films in particular. Read it, if you have time for 6000+ words, and the stomach for sentences like:

But despite the imaginative conventions established by any art form, human reality remains the anchor of how much we can actually reap from imagination, our inherent regulator of possibility.

… It took me 4 re-reads to understand that.

It’s possible to write an intelligent, thought-provoking article about any film, though critical attention is mostly focused on the abject successes or the total failures. By tackling of Seven Thieves, Gonzalez proves that a film need not be memorable to provide food for thought.

Read the article at Senses of Cinema.

Seven Thieves @ Amazon

[●REC] – Film review by a simple film buff

I was never an easily scared person, and most horror films were and still are merely jokes for me. By third grade I was seeing ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ and thinking, “Now that just doesn’t make sense”. Because you see, there’s a new sub-genre going on in cinema – for this case, let’s just call it old-concept-remade-with-certein-factors-jumping-at-you-out-of-the-darkness-every-few-minutes-and-trying- to-scare-the-shit-out-of-you horror films, and you might as well have some examples to present of this new sub-genre. So They came and showed me this trailer for a film, it’s called ‘Rec’ they said, and all I saw in the two trailers was a girl screaming and people screaming while watching the film. Yawn. Takes more than that to scare me. But hey, I’m a curious person, so I had to check out what was all that screaming about.

I wish I hadn’t. Though I’m still pleased I did.

The main character in [●REC] is Ángela, a spanish reporter portrayed by Manuela Velasco (that, if I may say, is so hot that she actually manages to distract you from the horrors on screen at times), that together with her cameramen is out on the field checking out how firemen do their job at night for a TV show. When a low priority call about an old lady screaming in her apartment reaches the headquarters, Ángela and Pablo, her cameramen, rush to the scene together with the firemen to check out what’s going on. They find out the police is already there, and they go up to the apartment to find an old lady, covered with blood and looking like she’s about to bite somebody.

And she does. The policeman.

Having a fatal wound, the firemen take the policeman down so they can get him on an ambulance, but discover that the police, together with the army, has the building on quarantine. And things are about to get stranger…

Oh shit, just don’t make me think about it. [●REC] belongs to the subgenre known for us as old-concept-remade-with-certein-factors-jumping-at-you-out-of-the-darkness-every-few-minutes-and-trying- to-scare-the-shit-out-of-you horror films, but it does it so good that you will barely notice. I don’t know what was it, but I literally felt pain with every zombie jumping on screen: the atmosphere was so intense and everything before it was so damn scary that at some point you want to grab your keys and run the fuck away from your house. I nearly gave up on this film, at least once for sure.

Did I say atmosphere? Well, let me explain. For those of you who don’t know, [●REC] was filmed, as it’s premise hints, in one hand camera, and the cameraman himself is a character in the film, as you might remember. Of course you will inmediatly say ‘Blair Witch Project’, but believe me, everything that The Blair Witch Project lacks this film has multiplied by 10. This was as scary as… I don’t know what to compare this with. This really was one of the scariest things I ever saw, though to be honest, 90% of all horror films I ever saw were crap.

And the great thing is, all you need to do [●REC] is the will to do it. You don’t really need much – camerawork is mostly spontaneous, dialogues are most probably improvised, and you don’t need more than class B actors and one seriously hot reporter. All you really need is a good location, knowing how to work out well a basic concept and one hell of a make-up department – and these three and perfectly covered.

So in a few words, what makes [●REC] better than other low-budget horror films, or so many films in general, when it’s actually quite a simple film? Well, it’s planned extremely well. The atmosphere, as I mentioned, is built so that it reaches a point where you believe it can’t get more intense, and then a zombie jumps out, kicks you in the stomach and prove you oh so wrong. It’s really a film I wouldn’t miss if I’m looking for a good scare; sadly enough, next year the american remake is coming out and will obviously ruin everything [●REC] managed and will become a low standard old-concept-remade-with-certein-factors-jumping-at-you-out-of-the-darkness-every-few-minutes-and-trying- to-scare-the-shit-out-of-you horror film. But this here, this spanish low budget horror film, this thing I can’t get off my mind – oh, this is some serious shit. Even if you’re not much into horror films, I think you can’t miss this one. What is it I enjoyed so much about nearly crapping my pants? I don’t know, but whatever it was, I enjoyed it. Oh, and did I mention Manuela Velasco is fucking hot?

We Love Getting Reviewed

Criticker User Bkudria just published a great review about Criticker on his site. He also found a great use for our “Recently Ranked Movies” RSS feed, combining it with Yahoo Pipes. It can be admired on the right hand sidebar of his main page. Thank you very much Bkurdia!

I’m a big fan of great films. I try to seek out and watch those great movies that awe and inspire, that are beautiful and tragic, and those that are a work of art. And after I’ve seen them, I like to rate these movies, look for similar movies to watch, and give and receive recommendations. After searching low and high on the Internet for a site that would let me do this, I passed up several (IMDB, Flixster, and Rotten Tomatoes) I found one: Criticker.com.

Link: Full Review

3 Free Andy Dick DVDs

We got 3 free DVDs (region code 1) of Andy Dick’sDanny Roane: First Time Director” and don’t want to keep them just to ourselves. So we’re giving them away to our users… this is the kind of film nobody should make money on. We’ll ship it for free to the first 3 users who leave a comment here expressing interest. Please be willing to write a review about it (which will be published on the blog) and make sure to leave your Criticker user name in the comment.


Here are my 2 cents:

Why does Andy Dick even bother with a mockumentary? Danny’s story seems to be 95% based on Andy’s real life, and a straight-up documentary would be a lot more interesting:

Does Andy really need this movie to come clean with his past? Is it OK to laugh about your excessive alcohol consumption, if you do it behind the winking “hilarity” of a mockumentary?I don’t think so!

The movie actually had more laughs (2) than I was expecting (0), but the last 30 minutes are almost not worth watching.

Link: Andy Dick’s oficial site

Music Link: DRM Free Mp3 downloads