Life and Its Puzzles: Review for Saw

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Saw is the first of four horror films. Adam (writer Leigh Whannel) and a Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) wake up in a disgusting bathroom. In their pockets are tapes that say “Play Me”. In the middle of the floor is a a dead body with a tape player in one hand and a gun in the other. These two strangers are pawns in the sick life games of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). Jigsaw is infamous for teaching sick life games in which they end up killing themselves. The moral is to not take your life for granted. As each of the strangers’ lives unravel, the sick mind of Jigsaw drives through the twists and turns. The script is extremely well written, featuring “How far would you go…?” situations and great psychological aspects. Jigsaw is extremely smart, thinking of everything before he begins. The life lessons are truly ingenious (e.g. You have this device on your head that rips your mouth open and the key is in your cell mate’s stomach.). How Much Blood Would You Shed To Stay Alive? reads the posters. But when you watch this film, think about what you would do in their situations. Though the acting from Elwes and Whannel are pretty bad (Elwes acts like he’s Whannels soccer coach), the film is a scary, smart, pyschological, suspenseful thriller. The first film directed by newcomer James Wan and writer Leigh Whannel, which is based on a short film they made in film school of the same title. Grade: B+ Stars: 4/5 Stars: 7.5/10 Writing: Grade: A- Stars: 4.5/5 Stars: 8.5/10
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A Royal Ball: Review for "Enchanted"

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Enchanted is the the cute story of Giselle (Amy Adams) who is about to marry Prince Edwards (James Marsden) in the animated land of Andalasia. She is lured by Narissa (Susan Sarandon), Edward’s evil stepmother, and is pushed down a well and ends up in…New York City. She has help from Lawyer Robert “McDreamy” (Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy), and it is up to Prince Edward and his little chipmunk friend Pip to find the soon-to-be princess. Robert, meanwhile, is trying to convince that there’s no such thing as true love, while she is still hoping the prince is still trying to rescue her. Having stayed with Robert and his daughter for two days, she falling in real love with him, not that fantasy stuff (which is somewhat controdictive to what Robert is saying). The ending, in which Narissa turns into a dragon, is exciting enough, but is unneeded. Amy Adams is really into her role. She really makes you feel for her character. The film is cute enough for kids and funny and romantic enough for adults. The sings are enjoyable, but one song in particualr, “That’s How You Know”, deserves an Oscar nod. Also an Oscar nomination for Adams, for she is Enchanting. This film is also filled with homages to old Disney classics.
Grade: A-
Adams: A++

Fa-Sin-ista: "The Devil Wears Prada"

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This chick flick based on the bestseller about a woman who works with a boss from hell was based on Lauren Weisberger’s real relationship with former boss, Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine. Young Andy (Anne Hathaway) is looking for a job in the Big Apple, and the last place she applies is the famous Runway Magazine, the fashion Bible, run by the ruthless devil Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Once getting te job as receptionist, she is taught the basics by fellow hater Emily (Emily Blunt) and learns that she would rather have gone to Hell than work for the Queen of Fashion Mean. She is met a promotion, while Emily is fired. It goes all to Hell and a hand basket from there. Meryl Streep’s preformance an the Editor in Chief from Hell is sinfully delectible, while Hathaway’s Andy is pretty good, judging from her past workd in The Princess Diaries series and Ella Enchanted. The film gets kind of yuppie toward the end and Stanley Tucci as the fashionista who works with Priestly is marvelous. Grade: B+ Stars: 3.5/5 Stars: 7/10 Since its a “boss from hell” story, it has to be here: having a boss from hell is scary.

Killer Machine: Review for "The Bourne Ultimatum"

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The Bourne Ultimatum is the third in the amnesiac spy chronicles. It follows Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) trying to find his past. He can’t remeber all the things he’s done in the past. He wants to know why he is who he is. Trying to track his maker, he gets help from a woman from the CIA, who is actually hunting him. He finds hid girlfriend from France (Julia Stiles). In a nutshell: Bourne comes home. He finds his maker to learn that he chose to be who he is. The ending is surprising and funny. The action and suspense is non-stop, while the stunts are fantastic. Damon is Bourne and Bourne is what Bond should be: a real spy. No matter how much I hate to admit it, it was better than Casino Royale. The film is well done, the acting great, Damon is awesome, and the film is Oscar worthy. Grade: A Stars: 9/10 Stars: 4.5/5

"Sense" and Sensability: Review for "The Sixth Sense"

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M. Night Shamylon’s suspense/thriller The Sixth Sense is the story of a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people. It is Dr. Malcolm Crowe’s (Bruce Willis) job to help him. Dr. Crowe is a child therapist who has been honored by the mayor the previous year. But the previous fall, before he treats young Cole, a past patient comes to visit him. Vincent’s diagnosis had been mood disorder caused by divorce between his parents. But he is scared, and the Doctor doesn’t know why. So Vincent comes back to get his revenge and shoots him, then committing suicide. Cole, the young boy, is scared and the most horrible ghosts are terrifying him. But all they need is help. Cole is hated by everypne at school; they call him “freak”. No one knows his secret. Cole, from the advice of Dr. Crowe, decides to help the ghosts and eventually outgrows his fear. Sadly, Dr. Crowe and his wife aren’t talking. The ending: I can’t tell. But this is the smartest ghost story in a long time. The acting is phenomenal. There are twists everywhere you look. Though the ending will take you by surprise, you can find all the clues if you look carefully. The story was written fantastically by Night and executed well. And it has a happy ending! Grade: A- Stars: 7.5/10 Stars: 4/5

Purr-fectly "Horror"-fying: Review for "Masters of Horror: The Black Cat"

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The Black Cat is one of the episodes in the Showtime series Masters of Horror. It appears in season 2. The film is beautifully crafted by Stuart Gordon, director of the classic Re-Animator. The film does not feature any gratuatisque scenes, like most of the other episodes in the series. It does feature blood, but with good reason to the storyline: Virginia Poe is suffering from TB. The film is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s tale of self destruction. It is about a man who is mentally tormented by this black cat, and in result, does unspeakable acts. The film plays out fantastically, pretending that Poe, very poor and depressed because of his wife’s disease, is slowly descending into madness. The accounts in the film are either something that happened in Poe’s life or taken directly from the short story. The thing I liked about it is that the film didn’t feature unneeded amount of blood or nudity, that all the elements were important to the story and not just thrown it for fun. Gordon did a great job with Re-Animator, so it was interesting to see a splatter director take on a piece of classic Gothic literature, much like he did in the first season of Masters with H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreams of the Witch House, which (no pun intended) was almost as well done as this one. The picture is almost black and white for the time setting except for scenes in which you see blood or anything truly colorful. This is the best one of the series. Poe is the Master of Gothic Horror, while Gordon remains the Master of Cinematic Horror. Grade: A- Stars: 4.5/5 Stars 8.5/10

"Live" and Let "Die Hard": Review for "Live Free or Die Hard"

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Having not seen the previous Die Hard films will make this review different. I will not be comparing the John Mclanes now and then. This film was very well made. It is about Thomas Gabriel sinking the government system via his computer. One of the compelling features of this film is that it tackles terrorism. But not just any terrorism, virtual terrorism. It is compelling because people these days are so hooked to technology, like their televisions, cell phones, and computer; and to have that used against you for fear is one of those things that could really happen. In one scene, the terrorist airs a video to every television in the country. It has pictures of the nation’s capital and a voice singing “America the Beautiful”. The voice is the quavery voice which is reminiscent to Michael Crawford’s voice in The Phantom of the Opera. And the end of the song, the capital blows up, which leads to the nations fear of Apocalypse via terrorism. the film revolves John McClane (played brilliantly by Bruce Willis) trying to capture a computer hacker (Justin Long) in for questioning. The government computer have been hacked and they want to know who and why. The film then goes into the father-must0rescue-daughter hostage cliche. But the film is quite good. Grade: B+ Stars: 3.5/5 Stars: 6/10