I recently finished watching the original Dragon Ball anime series, and although I’ve avoided it until now, I decided to see how bad this was. And guess what? It’s really, really bad. As an adaptation, it’s an absolute travesty. It actually makes The Last Airbender (2010) look halfway decent. They take only small parts from the story, and suck out all the charm. The plot is very weak, making little to no sense. The main character is nothing like his anime counterpart. It really doesn’t help that Justin Chatwin isn’t a very strong actor, either. There are some good actors in the rest of the cast, but they’re completely lost in the sea of awful dialogue and bad visual effects. I wish it was just a failure as an adaptation of the anime, but even if you’d never heard of the source material, there’s pretty much no chance you could enjoy this. It’s definitely one of the worst big-budget movies I’ve seen. It’s also quite frustrating because I think a good movie based on Dragon Ball could be made - it just needs people behind it who actually care about the series, and know how to make a film. Instead, we got this lame cash-grab.
I don’t know a lot about John F. Kennedy or his assassination, so this was pretty interesting. I really have no idea how historically accurate it is, but it brings up some interesting questions. Regardless, it’s an entertaining and well-made film. Oliver Stone’s direction coupled with the editing makes for a compelling watch. I can definitely see how it informed the way he directed Natural Born Killers (1994) a few years later. Kevin Costner is as dull and uncharismatic as always, but the rest of the cast are great. It’s well over 3 hours long, but it’s worth it just for the climax alone.
This film is about a man who discovers the dead body of a man in the hotel room next to his and decides to take his identity. And that’s very much what the film is about - identity. Not being satisfied with who you are and wanting to be someone else and how that’s not necessarily a good idea. The direction was good, with a couple of very impressive one-take shots. And Jack Nicholson gives a good performance, too. It’s rather slow-moving and I didn’t think it was as good as its reputation, but I can admire the filmmaking.
There’s some good stuff in this movie, but it didn’t all quite come together for me. I liked the themes of love and death and faith that it explored and the general melancholy feel that it had. I just didn’t totally connect with the characters or the story, but that doesn’t mean that Woody Allen’s direction and writing wasn’t good, or that the performances weren’t good either, because they were. It’s not one of my favourite Allen films, but it’s still one of his best.
I was all prepared to really dislike this movie, and maybe it’s because of the low expectations, but I didn’t think it was too bad at all. I had a good time watching it. Now, that’s not to say it was a great film. In fact, it’s a deeply flawed one. The plot is a convoluted mess, straining to be a cohesive story. The villains are pretty weak - their motivations are flimsy and silly. The music, both score and source, is pretty obnoxious. And yeah, it’s super-obvious that the film functions very much as a set-up for future entries in the franchise. But you know what? I didn’t really care! The movie was entertaining, and I didn’t need it to be perfect. It was just a silly popcorn flick, and that was just fine with me. It does do some things right though. Andrew Garfield continues to be a great choice for the lead role, giving me the wisecracking Spider-Man I love, and making me forget about Tobey Maguire’s version. And the chemistry between him and Emma Stone is still appealing. I thought Dane DeHaan was good - up until the end, that is. I didn’t think much of Jamie Foxx’s performance, but to be fair, his character was pretty superfluous. The action scenes and visual effects were really good, with the sequences of Spider-Man swinging through the city looking better than they ever have. I thought it was better than The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), but I do hope they can drastically improve things in The Sinister Six (2016), The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (2018), and whatever other movies they’ve got planned.