30 June 2012

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

          Essential plot rundown:  It starts out with apes, followed by some space stuff and ends with one of the greatest WTF moments ever put to film.  So, needless to say, it's a very good film.  However, it is not for everyone.

          2001: A Space Odyssey runs about 2 and a half hours.  But, unlike other movies of equal length, like The Avengers, A Space Odyssey is not packed full of action to keep the audience's attention.  In fact, it is quite the opposite:  slow moving with little going on.  Out of the 141 minutes, there is only about 40 minutes of dialogue.

          But, there is something about this film that is alluring.  It has great visuals and it is intriguing to watch what is on screen.  There are beautiful shots of spaceships floating in space, accompanied by classical music that make it feel like a ballet.  With its minimal use of dialogue, A Space Odyssey is mainly a visual film.  And the the visuals are strong enough to carry it.

          The sound is well done too.  From the score to the sound effects to complete silence, the use of sound here is amazing.  It either adds intensity to the scene or grandeur to the image.  And it seems like no sound is used in excess, only when needed.  It is amazing how the imagery and sound can propel the film forward, even with its lack of dialogue and coherent plot.

          The film seems, to me any way, largely metaphorical.  There are no explanations given as to why different things happen in the film.  (Though, I understand the book by Arthur C. Clarke actually gives explanations).  With the movie, however, things happen and it is left up to the audience to decide what they mean.  So, I'm not going to try to explain anything, because I don't understand whats going on.  But, I will mention one brief thing.  The film is divided into segments.  The first one is called "The Dawn of Man" (or something) and is about monkeys.  At first they are just hanging out, but then one picks up a bone and uses it to kill another monkey.  So that's the dawn of man?  Discovering how to kill each other with weapons?  But thats just how I interpreted it and it made me a little sad inside.

          But, overall, it's really interesting (and boring at the same time, oddly enough).  The imagery is captivating.  However, it runs for about 2 and a half hours and it feels that.  So, because of it's slow pacing and unclear plot, A Space Odyssey is not for the average movie goer.

     But that's just my opinion...

23 June 2012

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

          Essential plot rundown:  A shipwrecked man ends up on Dr. Moreau's island, where some crazy experiments are going down.  So, this is based on the novel by HG wells, but only with a much cooler name.  So, I was kind of worried about watching this movie.  While considered classics, some of these films (such as King Kongage better than others (like the The Wolfman).  But, luckily, Island of Lost Souls is still a great watch even 80 years later.

          For the most part, the movie has aged well; however, there were a few things that didn't.  But, they were small things that didn't detract from the movie:  a couple of scenes or lines of dialogue.  Instead, they just added some campy fun.  However, I was kind of surprised at how creepy it was.  It is not super creepy by today's standards; but considering its age, there were a few parts that gave me the chills, most notably the "giving of the law" scenes.

          The best part of the movie, however, were the performances by Stanley Fields and  Charles Laughton.  Fields has a minor role as Captain Davies, but he is sure fun to watch.  He's a really funny character, with lines like "Now men, stay sober! Any drinkin' to be done, I'll do it myself."  His lighthearted performance provides a nice contrast to that done by Laughton as Dr. Moreau.  Dr. Moreau is one disturbing guy.  Laughton plays the character with subtlety, a bit of insanity and a dash of creepiness.  It's not enough to make you say "Ok, he's definitely a wacko" but it will put you on edge.  Actually, if they had two other actings, giving lesser performances in these roles, I don't think I would have liked the movie.

          So, overall, Island of Lost Souls is worth checking out.  It's a classic that's still enjoyable to watch.  And with a running time of just over an hour, it makes for a nice, quick watch.

     But that's just my opinion...

20 June 2012

Music Videos

          Here are a few music videos I watched recently and liked.  Not only are the songs good, the videos themselves are pretty interesting.

          "Pursuit of Happines" - Kid Cudi.  One of my film teachers showed us this a while back and I've been planning on sharing a link, but I forgot.  But, now, here it is!  I'm not even sure what to call it (set, props, art?) but it makes for an interesting, kind of trippy video.

     HERE is said link.

          "Run Boy Run" - Woodkid.  I just thought this was a cool music video.  Black and white isn't used much anymore, especially in music videos.  But it creates some great images.  The style of the video has a great feel to it.

     Check it out HERE.

          "I don't even know what to put here" - No idea.  We've all seen the use of a screen within a screen, but this video takes it to another level.  And it has a lot of bright colors!

     Click HERE if you want.

     But that's just my opinion...

19 June 2012

Of Gods and Men (2010)

          Essential plot rundown:  A group of monks are threatened by increasing terrorist violence.  This is based on true events that happened in 1996 in Algeria.  And this movie was not what I was expecting.

          When I heard that it was about a group of monks being captured, I was expecting an intense drama.  I thought that the first half of the film would slowly build up and then they would be captured, leaving the second half of the movie to deal with the interaction between the monks and terrorists.

          But, that is not at all what this movie is about.  It starts off just showing the daily lives of these men.  Then, after some people get killed, the rest of the movie basically follows the monks as they decide if they should leave and save themselves or stay and help those in need, while risking death.  They actually don't get captured til the very end.

          This movie moved too slow for my liking (especially for being 2 hours long).  And with it's longer running time, I never really felt that I got to know any of the monks.  There are 8 of them, but I only get to spend time with three.  I didn't think that there was enough character development to make up for the lack of action.

          There were also a few things/people that I didn't understand.  Wait, now who is that guy?  What is that helicopter doing?  One thing that I don't like about watching these historical type movies is that I'm ignorant when it comes to history, so I have a hard time following.  I'm sure that if I was more familiar with the actual events that happened, the movie would have made more sense.

          Like I said, the majority of this film follows the monks as they decide to stay or flee.  And, for the majority of the film, I did the same thing.  I kept thinking What would I do?  Would I stay or go?  I feel like I should stay and stand up for what I believe.  But, then again, me getting killed doesn't really help anybody.  But, unlike the monks, I was unable to make a decision.

          My favorite part of the movie occurs at the end.  The head monk, Christian (played by Lambert Wilson) has a voice over monologue.  (I don't if it's from a letter, journal or what, but it's in the movie).  In part of it he says,

     "My death, of course, will quickly vindicate those who call me naïve or idealistic, but they must know that I will be freed of a burning curiosity and, God willing, will immerse my gaze in the Father's and contemplate with him his children of Islam as he sees them."

I just thought it was a really interesting thing to say.  It really defines the character and what he believes in.  I liked the mental image of Christian, sitting with God, talking about Muslims.  But, then again I am extremely fascinating by religion in all its forms.

          Overall, it's not a bad movie (it did win Grand Prix at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival) it's not my cup of tea.  That may have been to what I was expecting.  Oh, and it does have a scene featuring some music from "Swan Lake", so that was kind of cool.

     But that's just my opinion...

16 June 2012

Hulk Comparison

          Ok, since 2003, the Hulk and Bruce Banner have been portrayed by three different actors in 3 separate movies.  He was played by Eric Bana in Hulk in 2003, by Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk released in 2008 and recently by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers.  So, let's take a look at those.

          Let's begin by comparing the two Hulk movies, starting with Betty and General Ross.  I preferred Jennifer Connelly and Sam Elliott from Hulk over Liv Tyler and William Hurt.  For some reason, I'm not a big fan of Liv Tyler.  Whenever I see her, I see Steve Tyler's daughter, not whoever she is playing.  I thought Jennifer Connelly did a pretty good job; I saw her and saw Betty.  I also though Sam Elliott did a better job than William Hurt, thought I did like Hurt.  I think part of it was due to Elliott having more to work with.  Hurt essentially just orders people around, while Elliot has a backstory and more of a personal connection with the other characters.

          One thing that stood out to me about the two films was Betty's relationships.  In Hulk, the relationship is more with her father and she spends more time on screen with him.  In The Incredible Hulk, the focus is on Banner and she's pretty much with him the entire time.  In Hulk, Betty is constantly with General Ross, trying to convince him to leave Banner alone.  They also have a broken relationship they are working with.  I really liked Connelly and Elliot's chemistry; I felt they were good together.  On the flip side, The Incredible Hulk has Betty always with Banner, to calm him down.

          Another thing that was different was how Banner's "hulk-outs" are managed.  In Hulk, he starts breathing heavily and his faces starts to turn green.  And he then proceeds to change into the Hulk.  However, with The Incredible Hulk, we only see Banner's eyes become green.  The actual transformation is hidden by gas or pavement or something.  I liked seeing Banner change into the Hulk, but I didn't like how Bana portrayed it.  I never understood why he was always breathed funny.  I don't know, maybe he does that when he gets mad.

          I know that about 99% of my peers will disagree with me, but I liked Hulk better.  I liked the visual style and it touched on family issues, making for a deeper movie.  But, yes, I know, the dogs were dumb.

Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross
Sam Elliott as Gen. Ross
          Let's move on to Bruce Banner.  None of the three particularly stood out to me as Banner.  I know a lot of people really like Ruffalo in The Avengers.  I liked how Ruffalo played him physically.  He moved around like he was nervous, afraid to run into something that would make him mad.  He always seemed on edge.  Which would make sense if you were trying to keep a "giant rage monster" under control.  (Though, the reveal at the end of the movie makes his caution seem unnecessary).  However, I didn't like the delivery of his lines.  They seemed too monotone or something.  I'm not sure what it was, but it seemed off.  I had the same problem with Norton's delivery.  What I did like was his physical stature.  He looks smaller than Bana and Ruffalo, making a strong contrast between Banner and the Hulk.  However, if I had to pick one, I would probably pick Bana.  Not sure why.  Maybe because he was the first and I've seen him as the Hulk multiple times.  (Whereas I've only seen Norton and Ruffalo as Banner twice each).  But I really not care who is Banner as long as they have the Hulk down.

          Next: the Hulk.  I didn't have any problems with Hulk's Hulk.  Considering he was the first big screen attempt, I thought they did a pretty good job.  (They even included his purple pants).  Actually, I had no qualms at all.  It wasn't until after I had already seen it several times that I heard somebody complain about the color, that it looked too cartoony.  And after giving it another look, I realized that it was slightly off.  But not enough to bug me.  

          However, the second reincarnation of the Hulk I did not like at all.  I thought his color was super weird.  So was his teeth.  And I guess with this version, they wanted to make him ultra lean: all muscle and no fat.  So, you could see his muscle fiber and everything, creating a goofy texture.  Really, the only thing I can say is that he looked weird and I didn't like him.

          Finally, the Hulk from The Avengers.  I liked this one the best.  They finally got his color down to a good, realistic shade.  And he even looks like Ruffalo, whereas the other two didn't really look like their Banners.  Out of the three, I thought he was the most realistic version.

          Oh, I almost forgot the most important part:  the movie poster!  I thought the poster for The Incredible Hulk was flippin' sweet and way cooler than that for Hulk.

          There you have it.  A quick rundown.  Best standalone Hulk movie: Hulk.  Best Bruce Banner:  Eric Bana.  Best Hulk:  The Avengers.

Original source HERE

     But that's just my opinion...

14 June 2012

3 Ninjas (1992)

          Essential plot rundown:  A bad guy tries to capture three kids in order to blackmail their FBI father.  I remember watching this show as a kid growing up in the mid 90s.  So, I decided to re-watch it to see how it held up over the years.

          Well, it definitely did not age well.  However, it is still a fun movie.  3 Ninjas is full of zany 90s music and goofy sound effects.  The stunt double for the kids' grandfather/teacher doesn't even look like him.  Half the cast is wearing the "traditional" ninja garb, dressed in all black; and they look ridiculous.  Three beach bums try to kidnap the kids and for 20 minutes the movie gets confused and plays out like Home Alone.

          Actually, the beach bums were probably the best part of the movie.  (Even though they totally feel out of place).  They are your stereotypical surfer "Dude, that's gnarly, man!" type guys.  And they played that part well.  They were pretty funny, with a couple of good one liners.

          So, if you grew up watching it, are a little kid, or just like bad movies, then you might like this.  If not, then you probably won't.  But, it's a fun movie, good for a chuckle or two (but not more than that).

     But that's just my opinion...

09 June 2012

Prometheus (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  After discovering matching images in ancient hieroglyphics, a team venture out into space in search of our creator.  I had mixed feelings about this film.  Some parts were really awesome, others not so much.  It felt like there was too much going on, like a hodge-podge of ideas.  Also, I think all the hype built my expectations to high, making it hard for the movie to meet them.

          I know trailers are designed to entice people to come see the movie.  But sometimes they do their job a little too well, leading people to expect one kind of movie only to see another.  The trailers for Prometheus made it look like an intense, edge of your seat horror-thriller.  But it wasn't.  Yes, there were a few intense/action packed scenes, but that wasn't the tone of the whole movie as I was expecting.  It's more philosophical based than action.

          Which brings me to the biggest flaw of the movie.  The movie has it's central plot and them:  Trying to find who created us.  Which, in and of itself, is a great concept and would've worked fine by itself.  However, the movie tries to to make connections to Alien and so it adds two things/events.  And these two things are cool, but they don't work in the overall theme of Prometheus and feel out of place.  If they were saved and used in a different sci-fi movie, they would have worked better.  Prometheus is more about philosophy and beliefs, but these two things (I'm not even sure what to call them.  Subplots maybe?) are more about monsters and horror.  So, they didn't really work in the film.  Yes, they do provide for some intense and scary scenes; but on the grand scheme of things, don't fit.  Also, they don't make any sense at all.

          When Scott first starting making Prometheus, he said he was doing a prequel to Alien.  Then he said he changed it to a generic sci-fi film.  What it felt like was he was making a normal space movie, but then changed his mind again and wanted to tie it in to Alien.  So, these two parts were included.  I think it would have been a lot better and more thought provoking if these two parts were excluded and more time was invested into the creator-creation relationship.

          They did do this to some degree with Michael Fassbender's character, David.  Just like in all the Alien movies, David is the token android.  There are a couple of scenes where the topic of creator/creation is discussed in regards to David and the people who created him.  It fit in nicely with the theme of the movie; I just wished they would have developed that more.

          Michael Fassbender gave a really believable performance as David.  I'm no actor and I know nothing of acting, but I thought all of the main characters did a really good job.  Noomi Rapace gave an outstanding performance as one of the scientists who heads the expedition.  Tom Hardy was good as well, playing her college and love interest.  Charlize Theron and Idris Elba also delivered.  All of the other characters are just there and don't do much besides die or nothing.

          The visuals were great here.  The costume and set design were on par. The SFX were awesome.  Overall, it was a mesmerizing film visually.  Everything looked amazing.  And the 3D here is used expertly.  When I saw this from the trailer

I knew the 3D was going to be awesome.  In this scene, David activates a hologram of the universe and it is spellbinding.  It was beautiful to see in 3D.  It's this type of film that proves 3D is worth it.

          The music I found distracting.  Well, one song in particular.  It has a lone horn, playing a melody.  And every time I heard it, it drew me out of the film.  I kept thinking Jurassic Park or something.  It just didn't fit with the feel of the movie, drawing attention to itself.

     You can hear it HERE

          OK, for the next two paragraphs, I'm going to go into spoiler territory.  So, continue on at your own risk.  *Spoilers*  There is one part that bugged the hell out of me.  When they find out that Shaw is pregnant with an alien, they try to put her in one of those sleeper chambers so they can remove when they get back to earth.  However, she hits them and runs away to the medical chamber.  She then has it remove the alien baby.  The whole time I'm expecting the people she ran away from to come after her.  But, they never come.  They'll like "Ah, she's too quick.  Let's not chase her and stop her from possibly contaminating the whole ship.  Do you want to get a coffee instead?"  She even sees them literally five minutes later.  And nothing is said of what just happened.  Nobody asks what she did with the alien baby.  You just can't ignore that!  Acknowledge it or something!  Shouldn't you make sure she's not going to spread a disease or something?  And what about the alien baby?  Shouldn't you go find it?  Needless to say that it frustrated me a little.  However, the scene where she removes the alien baby is probable the best part of the movie.  That scene had the intensity that the trailer portrayed.

          And the movie raises more questions than it answers.  Here are a few:  Why is she pregnant with an alien baby?  And why does it look like an octopus?  Why is that guy a zombie now?  Why are all of the engineers dead?  Why did they want to destroy earth?  Why did the engineer, after being woken up, kill everybody?  Does he know what happened to the rest of his crew?  Why was he sleeping to begin with?  Why did that guy disintegrate at the very beginning?  How does an alien baby (though, no longer a baby) create a xenomorph by face raping an engineer?  There are too many unanswered questions.  And I think a lot could be answered if they removed the two things that felt out of place (Shaw becoming pregnant and that guy becoming a zombie) and focused just on the main theme.  *End*

          This film is not a direct prequel to Alien; it's more of a prequel to a prequel.  It sets the stage for what will happen, but there is still plenty that happens in between.  It does explain who the Space Jockey is and where the xenomorphs came from.  However, I found these explanations less than satisfactory.  This may be one of the cases where things are better left unknown.

          Overall, it's a good film.  The SFX, acting, and visuals are all well done.  The story itself could use some work.  It doesn't know what it whats to be; and thus, I can't decide how much I like it.  I think it would have been a lot better if it scrapped every connection to Alien and been its own story, focusing on our quest to meet our creator.  Then the story would have felt less jumbled and could have answered more questions.  However, these questions may be answered sooner than we think.  It's a good film, worth watching, though not as intense/scary as the trailer makes it out to be.

     But that's just my opinion...

08 June 2012

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

          Essential plot rundown:  A man marries a widow in attempts to find the decease husband's buried money.  I've been reviewing a lot of recent Hollywood blockbusters lately, so I thought I'd turn to a classic for my next watch.

          This was an interesting film.  The basic premise is good but the overall movie was kind of a mess.  The man is looking for a huge some of money and only the kids know where it is at.  So the whole time the guy is trying to get the kids to tell him.  It's kind of an uneasy feeling watching him go after the unprotected kids.

          But as a whole, the movie doesn't flow.  The first 15 minutes were super choppy and I was a little confused.  Then things get going, with the tension slowing building.  Until the third act, that is, where it totally stops.  The momentum comes to a complete halt and it kind of feels like a different movie.  And the ending doesn't flow either.  During the whole movie, there are little odd things that don't really fit (whether it's a scene or something a character says or does) that hinder it.  Also, there is no indication of time, so I had no idea how much had been passing.

          The acting wasn't anything special.  Sometimes it would cut to the boy's (played by Billy Chapin) face and he would look like he's not sure what he's suppose to do.  (But then again, he's just a kid so you can't expect too much).  However, I did like Robert Mitchum, who was the antagonist; he played the role with a good level of intensity, thought, it did get too high sometimes.

          The best part of the film was the cinematography.  Stanley Cortez (DP) uses high contrast, creating a lot of deep, dark shadows.  He then uses these to composite some pretty aesthetically pleasing shots.  There are a lot of beautiful and haunting images here.

          So, overall, the film doesn't really flow very well.  It's not bad, but it's definitely not the best made.  But I would say it's worth checking out for the cinematography, if you're into that type of thing.

     But that's just my opinion...

04 June 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

          Essential plot rundown:  After being pumped full of steroids, Captain American must stop the Red Skull and his Hydra forces.  So this was the last stand alone film to be released before The Avengers came out.  And I would have to say that I'm not a big Captain America fan.  Out of the five films, this was probably the worst.

          The biggest problem was probably that it wasn't what I expected.  I know nothing about Captain America and his history.  What I was expecting was a war movie, but what I got was a comic book movie.  (Oddly enough).  With all the laser guns and the enemy in identical, goofy costumes, I felt like I was watching a GI Joe movie or something.  I was wanting to see battles and war but saw SFX instead.

          But other than that, there's not really anything wrong with the movie.  There are a few places where the SFX weren't up to par, but that's about it.  Ok, that's not all.  The way Cap picks his men is dumb.  He doesn't know any of them and doesn't have any reason to choose them over anybody else.  And the ending didn't fall right with me.  He does something drastic when it seems that there different, less drastic options to choose from.

          The story is good enough.  I thought Cap's costume looked real; they did a good job translating it from a comic setting into the real world.  I thought all of the actors gave believable performances.  Chris Evans was Captain America; he wielded the shield nicely.  Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci also were great in their supporting roles.

          There's nothing really wrong with this film.  I'm just not that into Captain America.  It's worth checking out, but I don't think it is nearly as good as Iron Man or Thor.

     But that's just my opinion...

03 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  Snow White must stop the Evil Queen.  So, I was actually pretty excited to see this movie.  The trailers made it look really epic and awesome.  However, I was a little disappointed.  I thought the idea was really good; they just didn't execute it properly.  It had some things that were really cool.  But, it also had a lot of things that were stupid and prevented me from liking it as much as I wanted.  

          Normally, I try to keep my reviews spoiler free, but I feel I'll need to mention specific things in order to really get my thoughts across.  Be ye therefore warned.  Let us start with the things that bothered me.  Like I said, I really liked the idea and concept behind SWATH, there were just too many little things that held it down.  I'll just go through them in no particular order.

          The first thing is the troll.  Snow White (SW) and the Huntsman (HM) encounter a troll.  Said troll then proceeds to beat up HM.  SW then comes out and yells at the troll.  They then stare longingly into each other's eyes and have a moment.  The troll then leaves.  Why does all of this happen?  I don't know.  No explanation is ever given as to why she scared the troll away.  As I was watching, I was thinking Wait, what just happened?  That doesn't make any sense.  Another thing that doesn't make any sense is the horse that is lying around on the beach, waiting to help SW.

          She then rides the horse to the Black Forest.  And everyone in the film is scared of the forest and won't go after her.  They have to get one of the few who have traveled it before to go in after her.  So they get HM.  But he finds her literally in 2 minutes.  The way everybody talked about it, I was expecting him tracking her through the forest to be a decently developed portion of the film.  But nothing of significance really happens and they are out of there in 5 minutes.  So, that was a little disappointing.  Black Forest?  No big deal.

          They then meet up with the dwarves.  However, instead of casting real dwarves, they use normal actors, pulling a LOTR and making them look small.  But, they just looked weird.  They didn't look like real dwarves, but rather some kind of cheap trick that didn't work very well.  They are not convincing.  Also, one of the dwarves is killed and there is a big 'ol dramatic let's-burn-him-instead-of-burying-him scene.  Everybody is sad and there is music playing.  But the thing is...we don't know him nor care for him.  The only thing that sets him apart from the other dwarves is him asking SW to dance.  I didn't even know his name; why would I care that he died?

          Also, SW runs into a magic elk.  The dwarves act all amazed and there is super dramatic music playing.  So, clearly this is an important event.  But nothing happens.  I don't know who the elk was or why the dwarves thought it was important.  I was waiting to care about what was happening; I never did.  Though, I did laugh when the elk subsequently got shot.  Also, there are a lot of CG animals (which I don't like) and poorly designed magic creatures.

          Speaking of under developed characters, let's talk about another one.  His name is Will (I think).  Anyways, he hangs out with SW when they are little and then are separated.  Once he finds out she's still alive, he goes after her.  But we know nothing about him other than what I just said.  The Evil Queen (EQ) then disguises herself as him and tricks SW into eating the apple.  But the whole time I was confused.  At first I thought he was really bad and was helping the queen.  But then it shows that he's not.  But the thing was that he was so under developed, I didn't know what to expect; I didn't know how to react.  Sometimes it's good to thwart expectations.  But, because I didn't know him, I didn't have any.  That scene just didn't work for me.  It would have been better if she impersonated HM instead.

          SW then eats the apple and dies.  HM then kisses her and she comes back to life.  Seriously, that is literally how it happened.  There's no big struggle, no obstacle to overcome to bring her back.  HM doesn't have to fight his way in to reach her.  Nothing.  He just walks in and kisses her.  It was so simple to overcome that there was no real reason for it to be in the movie.  Nothing really changes because of this event.  Well, one thing does change:  SW is all of a sudden a warrior.  After waking up, she's all gung-ho and gives a not-very-inspirational speech to her people.  And then she leads to them battle.  What?  When did she become all battle ready?  She's never fought in her life!  How can she lead an entire army?  Just because HM kissed her?  But luckily, the movie redeems this fact a little when she finally faces EQ.  During the climax, it is clear that SW can't fight.  Which is a good thing cuz she can't.  However, the bad comes when she does kill EQ.  She basically kills her by chance.  During the whole movie, SW is made out to be the savior of the kingdom that will restore order.  But she only kills EQ because HM taught her one thing in passing.  She just gets lucky that EQ fights her physically instead of using magic on her.

          And on the note, they wait too long to explain EQ's magic powers.  At first, I thought that she seduced men and then stole their life.  That's how the movie made it feel like.  But she actually steals it from beautiful ladies.  Maybe I'm just dumb, but the movie should've clarified that sooner.  And I thought Charlize Theron, while good most of the time, over acted.  There were times when she would get super upset or something and it didn't feel natural.

          And finally, my biggest complaint:  Kristen Stewart.  She cannot act.  At the beginning, she is blowing on some sparks, trying to start a fire.  And I kid you not, I literally did not believe that she was blowing on a fire, her acting was for bad.  If you can't get me to believe that you are building a fire, how do you expect me to believe you when you lead an army into battle?  Also, the whole point of this movie is that SW is fairer than EQ.  But there is not a chance in hell that Kristen Stewart will ever be fairer than Charlize Theron!  Stewart is cute, yes.  But Theron is sexy.  That is the biggest plot point of the movie and I didn't buy it.

          Well, that's about all of the things that bothered me.  Let's talk about the good stuff now!  I liked Chris Hemsworth.  He was convincing.  He was the best actor in the whole movie.  I would say that I'm a fan.

          There were also a few things that were cool.  There is a scene where EQ bathes in milk.  This confused me as well.  (I guess I'm easily confused).  The trailer made it appear as part of her rejuvenation process.  So I was expecting that; but it wasn't.  This is what is looks like:

The milk coats her entire body.  Now, I'm not a doctor, but I don't think normal milk would cover a person like that; so that threw me off.  However, the real reason is much cooler.  There is a shot of milk flowing from a fountain and people fighting to drink it.  It then cuts to EQ talking to her brother, telling him how good she is to her people.  She then disrobes and jumps in a pool of milk; which I then assume empties out the fountain.  She is essentially giving them her bath water to drink.  I thought it was a nice way to build her character and flesh her out a little bit.

          Another part is when, after turning into crows and flying away from HM, she returns to her castle.  The crows just crash into the floor, turning into a puddle of black goo.  EQ then crawls out of the goo.  A few of the birds didn't crash into the puddle, but landed next to it.  The whole time EQ crawls from the  goo, these crows are flapping and twitching on the ground, like they are dying. It was visually cool and kind of creepy.  Just another cool moment.

          Overall, it's not a bad movie.  I really liked the idea behind the movie; it just wasn't executed well enough.  I thought it had a lot of potential.  And that is actually the worst part, because I was let down.  I really wanted to like it more, but there were too many small things that stopped me.  Though, it is still a fun movie.

     But that's just my opinion...