ToonTownReviews

 See what movies are good and not so good... Reviews are from the perspective of a ToonTown guy and select reviewers. There are hundreds of collectible posters available thru ToonTownReviews! Click on any of the images to order safely and securely! (This is the sister site of 'OZ - The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow) ***If there is a copyright issue, please email me by clicking on 'Email ToonTownReviews!' in the Links section and I will provide credit, change it to a link, or remove the post.***

    

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ultraviolet


This was an extremely early cut of the film. The FX was not even close to done, no finished score and a lot of editing was needed. This is in by no means an 'official review'


Ultraviolet
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I've never in my life seen such an amazing movie that sucks so bad! But let me say there is A LOT of work to be done in Sony Screen Gems' 'Ultraviolet,' which stars the ultra hip and sexy Milla Jovovich. The FX work wasn't even 50% done and the movies running time was nearly two hours. There were tons of audio glitches and color imperfections- to be fair this review cannot and will not be rated (ok Mr. D?).

In 'Ultraviolet,' Milla Jovovich plays Violet, a Nurse turned Vampire during a freak accident where she gets blood in her eyes from a vampire. The movie takes place in the future and the rules of vampires have changed. They only live for ten years and then die from the rare disease. Crosses don’t affect them and some have problems with light. Point is, the rules don’t matter in this film anyways, because the only reason vampires are in the film is so the humans have someone to feud with. The only thing Violet has is extra special powers, strength (and a nice ass). Violet is on a mission for the vampires to claim a weapon that is supposed to wipe them out. She is told, "Don’t look inside," but when she does she finds a boy and decides to save the kid and break all the rules. Now everyone is after her while she tries to uncover the truth of the mystery surrounding the disease, the humans trying to kill the vamps and why the vamps are so interested in the boy. Thing is, none of this matters because the dialogue, storyline, acting and idea sucks.

So how can it suck so bad and yet be amazing? This movie has by far the best action sequences I've seen in years- some far superior to the second and third 'Matrix' films. Violet has a special wristband that can condense weapons and like in Desperado she can have them fully armed and in her hand in seconds and can chance them at will. She goes through hundreds of guns, swords and knives and unloads every single bullet. The choreography is phenomenal as the camera shows everything going on! There is no jittery quick cuts that make you squint and say, "What’s going on!" You see everything and everything you see kicks ass! The gun fights are mind blowing; I wanted to scream in ecstasy after each scene. The sword fights are impressive, especially the final battle that takes place in the dark with their swords on fire! Very cool indeed!


UltravioletUltravioletUltravioletUltraviolet
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Sure the action takes everything to a new level, but nothing can fix the cheese this movie unleashes, the only thing Screen Gems can do is remove as much as they possibly can. The acting, besides the sexy Milla, is god awful and the one-liners are so out of place. There are numerous scenes were the dialogue explains what’s going on like the audience is stupid and there are three scenes where the actors "tease" at a fight scene, which we never see. There is a transition to a park where Milla and the kid "6" are playing on a ferris wheel thing and to many flashback sequences. We don’t care about any of the characters and we find out unnecessary stuff like Violets husband is remarried after she got infected. The plot is too thick and there is a mess trying to explain it. The movie needs to be kicked in the balls and reassembled and re-cut to hell. Everyone in the focus group seemed to agree.

Back to the good, the soundtrack kicks ass. It made me remember the good ol' days when movies like 'Blade' graced theaters and blew me out of my seat. The great score with Crytsla Method blaring and swords blazing had me perked up in my seat in full attention. But the second the scenes were over I was sleeping again.

Before I conclude Id like to ruin a small scene from the movie that was so out of this world. Violet had a motorcycle that could defy gravity and she would drive up and down building and on trucks and all over the place!! This was easily the highlight of the film everyone will be talking about for years to come.

After some serious dissection, this movie could really rock my world. I’m really excited to see the finished work and I hope they really listened to us. It needs a major trimming and a new ending and of course the FX needs to be finished. I think 'Ultraviolet' will end up being the next 'Blade' if done right, if not, you’re going to have a movie that you need to turn off your brain until the fight scenes to enjoy. Good luck guys!



Reviewed by: Choco Fiend, BloodyDisgusting.com

 

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Failure to Launch


Every once in a while, there comes a rom-com which manages to buck the trend of mediocrity usually attached to the genre. There are films such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle and Four Weddings and a Funeral which all transcended their expectations and were critically acclaimed for being both romantic and funny.

Failure To Launch is not one of those movies.



Failure to Launch
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Trip (Matthew McConaughey) is a perfect ladies' man. Attractive, smooth and charming his routine is near flawless. That is until he takes the girl home for the night. Home to his parents. Trip hasn't been able to leave his family home yet and his parents are starting to tire of his constant presence. In comes Paula, an 'interventionist', hired by Trip's parents to help show Trip that life can be better on the other side. But, and you'll never guess this, she starts to harbour true feelings for her client. Yawn.

It appears on paper that Failure To Launch would prove an inoffensive little time-waster and for the first 10 or maybe even 15 minutes - the charm of the two lead stars make it somewhat bearable. But this goodwill soon falters. It's actually quite incredible how the filmmakers could turn such a light, fluffy premise into something so completely hate-worthy.

The premise as it stands is deeply flawed. What kind of job is an interventionist? In what warped world would such a stupid job exist? And why does no one in the film seem at all surprised that such a job does exist? The interventionist is played by the usually likeable Sarah Jessica Parker. One would think that with all of her experience in the genre, she would avoid drivel like this as she would the plague. This is the kind of movie her and her Sex and the City counterparts would ridicule.

Matthew McConaughey, once seen as a contender for the top, is again slumming it in a depressingly smug manner. Together, they make for an attractive yet bland couple who share absolutely no chemistry, something which proves a major problem. The filmmakers seem to lose interest with the main romance (much like the audience) half-way through and then scatter in variously inane subplots concerning their sidelined friends. Zooey Deschanel, so brilliant in films such as The Good Girl and Elf, replays her typical quirky, sardonic routine but tailored to the blockbuster crowd, meaning all of the humour and logic is taken away from her behaviour. Her main arc involves whether or not she can kill a bird.

The film also relies on stupefying slapstick comedy. Much of the 'humour' is derived from bizarre, incongruous scenes where McConaughey gets bitten by various animals. No, I don't get the relevance either. The dialogue is full of so many clunkers, it almost becomes unintentionally funny. That is if it wasn't so mind-numbingly dull. My 'favourite' line has to be "You smell of.......fun!". I'd recommend bringing a sick bag to make the script that little bit more bearable.

The climax is ridiculously familiar. If one more person quits their job and travels to a faraway place, just because their love life has suddenly failed, I am going to slit my wrists. Don't be fooled by the seemingly light, likeable quality that a film like this has. It's a deviously bad film, one of the worst that I can remember. It makes How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days look like The Shawshank Redemption. And the title? They're asking for trouble there. Too. Many. Puns.


*By Ben Lee, MusicOMH.com

 

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Running Scared


Running Scared begins with a bang and a drug deal that goes badly wrong when some crooked cops show up and the whole thing turns into a bloodbath. Low level mob soldier Joey Gazelle (Walker) is entrusted to get rid of the gun that killed one of the cops. Hiding it in his basement while he decides what to do with it proves to be a big mistake as, before he can dispose of it, his son's friend Oleg (Bright) has stolen the gun and used it to shoot his abusive stepfather.


Running Scared
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Now Joey has to get the gun back before the cops (led by Palminteri) get their hands on it and make it for the same one that killed their guy while trying to stay out of the way of his bosses who are suspicious that he hasn't gotten rid of it like he says he has. The fact that the stepfather is related to the Russian mob who Joey's bosses are in bed with only complicates things further. With Oleg on the run and everyone after him, Joey is in for a long night as the gun passes from hand to hand, always just out of his reach.

If you're familiar with video games such as Grand Theft Auto, you'll have a good idea of the flavour of Running Scared. It actually plays like a game as it takes us from level to level, confronting all the pimps, whores and scumbags along the way before finishing at the lair of the big boss. It's pure exploitation of course, the sort of movie you thought they stopped making in the '80s. It positively wallows in its excesses and emerges all the better for it, with proper violence, proper swearing and proper nudity.


Running ScaredRunning ScaredRunning ScaredRunning Scared
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Director Kramer orchestrates the mayhem with skill and gusto - the opening gunfight is blood spattered brutality of the highest order not witnessed since the salad days of Paul Verhoeven, and the climactic battle even manages to generate some tension as well as a startling revelation. Most of the actors are there more for their look than their name but everyone is very well cast, bringing presence and character to very familiar roles. Even the usually bland Walker makes for an appealing anti-hero, once again demonstrating that, in these sort of movies, it's easier to like an honest criminal than a dirty cop. Outrageously entertaining if you've got the stomach for it.


*Review by Paul Greenwood, Future Movies UK

Opens Friday Feb 24th

 

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When a Stranger Calls


Don't answer this made-for-TV style stinker.

When a Stranger Calls
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Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle) is a high school girl who gets a baby-sitting job for a new family. They live in a fancy high tech house in a remote area. When she arrives, the kids are already asleep upstairs. The parents give a quick rundown of the house, the alarm code and head on their way to dinner and possibly a movie. Within minutes after the parents have left, the phone starts ringing. Over and over the phone rings, occasionally a prank call from one of Jill's friends and occasionally a breather. Eventually, the caller talks and hangs up. Jill calls the police eventually, but they don't take it seriously until the officer finally traces the call and calls Jill to tell her… wait for it… this is the hook… "The call is coming from inside the house!" Stalker thriller ensues. Directed by Simon West, who has turned in such other cinematic junk food as Con Air and Tomb Raider, When a Stranger Calls is also a remake of the 1979 film.

It's not just that When a Stranger Calls is a dumb, by-the-book psychological thriller, it's that it is excruciatingly dull one. In fact, to use a word like psychological in association with this stinker is to give it far more credit than it deserves. There is nothing psychological about it because nothing connected to the making or viewing of Stranger requires any thought whatsoever. The events of this film take place in the course of less than a half hour in the 1979 version. Here, they somehow manage to stretch it to feature length. Key word: stretch.

Let's give a quick rundown of oversights. Jill's friend, Tiffany (Katie Cassidy), pops by for a visit and she is able to easily enter the house through the garage door despite the high tech alarm system. Have you ever heard of an alarm system that wouldn't include the garage door or wouldn't tell you a zone (the garage door) was open? It takes Jill receiving an obscene amount of phone calls before she starts to have the slightest worry that she should contact the police. When she does contact the police, she doesn't even bother to give them all the details, so they overlook the situation despite the fact that there has already been a big story in the recent news about a guy breaking into houses and stalking babysitters. Miraculously, everyone she calls is unavailable and doesn't return her calls. Even her dad. I don't know about you, but my parents are pretty easy to reach at night. Oh, and the big reveal that the calls are coming from inside the house, yeah, that doesn't work either. Every one of this guy's calls has been full of static. Why such bad reception within the house? I could go on, but hopefully that's enough to convince you this movie sucks.


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The only positive point of Stranger is a compelling young actress by the name of Camilla Belle. Some of her previous films include intriguing indies The Ballad of Jack and Rose and The Chumscrubber. She's appealing and she has talent. In contrast to her work in the two previously mentioned films, Belle's work in Stranger is unimpressive. You can't really fault her though. She's young and has the extreme disadvantage of being directed by Simon West.

Simon West is a terrible director. His films are the worst kind of schlock. There is nothing clever about this film that you haven't seen a million times before. West has mentioned Hitchcockian references in interviews, but Hitchcock wouldn't have come within a mile of a script this hammy and dull. Of course, Hitchcock also had an immense talent that could turn even trite writing into passable entertainment.

None of this matters today. See, here's the rub. North America keeps paying to go see this type of trash. On top of that, America is currently paying to see absolutely anything that in any way resembles thriller or horror. Stranger is no different. It will open well this weekend and lead to a moment far scarier to me than anything in this film… When a Stranger Calls Back (yes, that title was really used for the made-for-tv sequel to the 1979 film) which should be announced, oh, about sometime next week. God help us.


*Review by: Jeff Otto, IGN

 

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST


"Captain Jack is BACK!"

Who's in it?

Orlando Bloom , Stellan Skarsgard , Bill Nighy , Jonathan Pryce , Keira Knightley , Chow Yun-Fat , Johnny Depp

What's it about?

Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley reunite in Walt Disney Pictures', in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Films, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, an all new epic tale chronicling the further mis-adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski from a screenplay written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Captain Jack sets sail on an all new adventure - filled with more intrigue, more spectacular special effects and more comedy...


Pirates of the Caribbean


Pirates of the Caribbean
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I hate obsessed fans yet I've found myself becoming one!!!!!!!!!

I have the trailer on a continuous loop and am watching it over, and over, and over again. Everytime it finishes I give a little squeal and do a little dance. When the first movie came out I was half interested. (I bet the ride in Disneyland is cool.) But I heard it was just another action movie so I didn't see it at the movies. Instead I saw it as soon as it came out on DVD at a friends party. My mates saw it as just another action movie but I was hooked!!!!

I love Captain Jack Sparrow!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how long I can take the suspense!!! I have to see this movie!!!!!!!!!

Official Website


Have I said how much I love DISNEY????

 

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Nanny McPhee


Emma Thompson's Nanny McPhee is a screen adaptation of Christianna Brand's 1960s Nurse Matilda , with the nurse character substituted by a nanny.


Nanny McPhee
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Compared to other children's fantasies, the picture differs in that the unattractive appearance of Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) departs from the beautiful and charming Julie Andrews in the musicals Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965). Nanny McPhee moves closer to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) in its danger and darkness, while being more personal than the Harry Potter series.

In this modern fairy tale, set in Victorian times, Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) is a recently widowed father of seven adorable and energetic, yet extremely unruly children, turning the Brown's household into chaos.

Complicating matters even further is that Mr. Brown's financial assistance from his Aunt Adelaide Stitch (Angela Lansbury) will cease unless Cedric finds a wife within one month.

With the latest nanny screaming and frantically running out of the house, Cedric Brown is faced once more with the difficult task of finding a new nanny.

The nanny agency closes its doors telling him that no more nannies were available as the last one was the seventeenth one assigned to watch the Brown kids.

With no other way to turn, he heads back home. However, someone hears his desperate plea, and at his door soon appears the authoritarian and mystical Nanny McPhee.

Her frightening appearance is marked by an oddly extended front tooth, bulbous nose, and facial warts. But, these inventive children, led by Simon (Thomas Sangster), the oldest and most stubborn child, find that nothing is too scary for them. The children are fiercely determined not to have another nanny by exposing the heights their mischief can reach.


Nanny McPhee
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Nanny McPhee has a mission to fulfill and comes equipped with mysterious special powers to aid her quest. She teaches five lessons including one special one, namely that actions carry consequences. When she taps her walking cane, magic happens.

The picture is cast well and has excellent supporting performances. Emma Thompson's return to the screen is very refreshing in her excellent performance as the nanny character she wrote for herself. As lessons are taught Thompson makes a remarkable transformation in her appearance, displaying her illuminating true beauty.

The handsome and charming Colin Firth, delivers a strong performance as a recently widowed father juggling between work and personal responsibilities, while trying to maintain the cohesiveness of his family.

Several of the picture's funny moments are enhanced by the children's vivid characters, by Mr. Brown's hilarious double assistants, Mr. Wheen (Derek Jacobi) and Mr. Jowls (Patrick Barlow), the graceful maid Evangelina (Kelly Macdonald), and Mrs. Quickly (Celia Imrie), a recently merry widow, who is very interested in Mr. Brown.

Drastically departing from her previous role as Vera Drake (2004), Imelda Staunton excels in her entertaining performance as Mrs. Blatherwick, the wild ex-military cook.

Following an absence from the big screen for over 20 years, Angela Lansbury makes a comeback and captures the audience in her perfectly brilliant performance as Aunt Adelaide, a very amusing and commanding role that demands more of her presence.

Michael Howells' created a very realistic production design using lots of green and bright colors. The costumes designed by Nick Ede complement the beautiful scenes.

Nanny McPhee is sure to entertain the entire family.


*Review by By Ester Molayeme, Special to The Epoch Times

**QUAD - Size: 30" x 40"

Type: Printed on matte or glossy stock. Paper about same thickness as North American One-sheet, unfolded

History: Like a larger version of a half-sheet, has different artwork than the one-sheet for the same American movie.

 

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