Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (****)

I have to admit I am partial here. I love the book series and I have grown to love the movies also. After being somewhat disappointed with some aspects of the movies, re-watching them on DVD and hearing some interviews with J.K. Rowling has made me understand that her vision is intact even if the details in the movies are not all hers. It is exciting to think that she has a very open approach and it is not a purist. If the author is not, why should I be?

The movie is an action filled with exceptional special effects. The CGI only was very noticeable twice during the movie and not enough to bother me. The events felt very real and the choice to center the movie on the Triwizard tournament was the right one.

One of my disappointments were not seeing more of the world cup, quiditch is one of my favorite aspects of the book. The other was the acting. Radcliffe is not a bad actor and neither is Grint, but Emma Watson keeps on disappointing me. Her look fits Hermoine but her acting at times seems forced and unnatural. I am aware that she is acting and it detracts from the movie. Grint is probably my favorite actor of the 3, he really makes me believe he is Ron every single scene. All the casting fit the new characters except for Madame Maxine who looked nothing like I had imagine her, and Moody who was not at all like what I had pictured him my head. I also miss Richard Harris, Gambon seemed like he was going to be a good Dumbledore but his performance in this movie did not give the feel of the greatest wizard that ever lived.

The action scenes were done very well, it was exciting to watch. Voldemort was even more repulsive than I had imagined him and Ralph Fiennes’ performance was a lot better than what I had imagined while reading the book. I should not have expected less from the guy that did Red Dragon. Having the other school’s visit Hogwarts was done very well. The movie is a must watch in the theaters. Go now, what are you waiting for.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
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Jarhead (**)

Unfortunately I heard a review of this movie-before I even saw it, that said that the film did not convey the internal mental drama that the book did. I went in with lowered expectations, which normally enhances my movie viewing experience, but not in this case. I believe the movie to be substandard as a drama during war times.

I am not sure if I am just sour with the violence and pornography that is now fed into movies that really does not enhance the story. Emotion is not acted properly making it most times feel forced upon the actors. While Jake Gyllenhaal has come a long was since Bubble Boy, he still does not convince me as a dramatic actor. Jamie Foxx did a good job with his character even though at times he seemed a little crazy; maybe that is what the role called for.

While I agreed with the political subplot that the movie had, I felt it was a little to force-fed. I believe that if I saw it that way, someone with opposite views to mine would have been annoyed by it. I am not sure if a marine will feel the same way, at times their portrayal seemed a little too comical.

In the end I did not appreciate having to see all the sex, not just because of the pornography, but because I believe it sends the wrong message. I feel that a young man that sees this movie, which is probably going to be must of the audience, will see way too much infidelity and sex portrayed as a gratuitous thing. *Spoiler* I also believed that his girlfriend could have stayed faithful to him, while that might have been predictable I felt it would have been a nice tribute to all the women that are waiting faithfully for their boyfriends and husbands away at war right now.

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Sahara (*)

Matthew McConaughey plays Dirk Pitt, yea and the movie stinks just as much as the name of the main character. To say that the script stretches the boundaries of reality is being kind. Scene after scene you keep on wishing that the movie comes back to reality or that it goes into full fledge science fiction mode. I am sure that people that actually have any knowledge about Africa, sunken ship retrieval and physics had a worse time than I did trying to make sense of the miss portrayal of this subjects.

I don’t even know where to start washing this pile of dirty laundry, the futile attempt of my mind trying to forget this movie while not working its making it difficult to discern where the strongest smell is coming from. Oh wait; I see a big brown stain, fight scenes. I am an action movie fanatic, and not because of the explosions but because of the gun fights and hand to hand combat. I am not sure how much of an action hero McConaughey wanted to be after this movie, but next time just let a double do the work instead of chopping the scene into a mess of choreograph punches. My mind was remembering the old Batman action live series where the POW, and KABOOM appeared in between scenes. The fight scenes were so segmented that it felt like they had spent half of the production time just getting every punch right independently.

There were a lot of good actors in the movie; sadly none of them was acting. It was more like they all wanted a vacation so they took on the project that I am guessing was filmed in Morocco. Steve Zahn saves the movie with his comedic timing and gets the MVP award for actually doing some work. I don’t even want to start talking about Penelope Cruz who did not convince as a doctor and now that I think about it I am not even sure why she was cast. She did not bring one thing to the character, even when trying to play compassionate to the sick people she was trying to help she seemed more disgusted and ready to get out of the set into her air conditioned trailer.

Delroy Lindo shows up and I wonder if the movie is now going to pick up some speed. Maybe he will get the movie in gear and we are going to finally see some action… sadly he has about 2.5 scenes in the movie and it is almost like a lifesaver that is made out of toilet paper and dissolves as you try to hang onto it.

The final scene is both unrealistic and insulting. While it is possible to shoot down a helicopter with a cannon that has not been used in 100 years, I find it highly doubtful that the following circumstances will all line up in a real life situation.

1. That the aiming mechanism on the cannon will not be rusted together and will work like it was just oiled 20 minutes before shooting.
2. That the gunpowder and wick are still flammable on a ship that sank.
3. That the helicopter pilot is stupid enough to actually line himself with a cannon that is visible because they are aiming at the porthole where people keep on coming in and out of.

After swallowing that pill and making all that believable, I wonder how the shooters connect on their first try… Not only is the helicopter clearly out of range and physically impossible to hit with a civil war cannon but today‚Äôs helicopters can avoid being hit by rocket propelled grenades… I would hope a slow moving cannon ball would be avoidable. Let see if I can help the writers here, how about this. I give you that the cannon would fire no problem, why not have the helicopter stars of the movie get the cannon ready and then stay vewy vewy quite, then when the helicopter come to check on their demise KABOOM blow them up… but having the helicopter ready to once again shoot and line itself up perfectly for the second time (the first time the cannon did not work.) was just too much.

I have so much more to say about this dirty diaper but I must stop before my override my brain and actually commit this movie to permanent memory. Please stay away from it, please don’t see this movie, save your money.

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Catwoman (*)

Actors have to eat too, that is what I kept on telling myself while I watched this cat box that needed a litter change really bad. The only thing that I thought was somewhat salvageable was the work done by the stunt doubles. Maybe not, there is a possibility that it was all CGI.

I am not sure if the animators were actually proud of their work or not. If I was Halle Berry I would have been insulted by having so much of what I did be CGI work. I mean even a scene where she is just walking down a ledge was clearly CGI work. It was so bad that I spent more time trying to see if a scene was real or not.

Where to begin, it is hard to just start dealing with my anger at this movie, it must be done or I will not be at peace with the ‘movie fairy’. I am quite convinced that this movie was clearly green lighted by a movie troll.

Comic book movies have started flooding the silver screen. I have been very happy with most of the recent renditions from both Marvel and DC. This movie, however, shows us why sometimes a screenplay can be totally butchered and make nonsense out of an otherwise likable character. I am sure someone will come and tell me that this Catwoman was based on something other than the super villain from DC comics. Please don’t waste server space, and do not try to make it more shameful for the actors that had to deal with this piece of work.

I would have to write another review to fit in my thougths on the director and how much he really stinks like cat feces. I will however mention that the camera work was horrendous and his frantic use of angles that did not show any distinguishable action made it difficult to follow the movie. At the same time this could have been just the lead animator’s decision who should probably shared direction credit since more than half of the movie looked like it was CGI.

Lambert Wilson who by the way was born in France, and can be also see in the last two Matrix movies as the Merovingian did a dismal job trying to have a British accent. I am not sure if anyone from Great Britain will be annoyed by something like this, but I do get annoyed when I see actors portraying Colombians in a movie who are obviously of other nationalities. Their use of words never used in the Colombian flavor of Spanish makes me a little irritable because I am sure there are plenty of Colombians that could have played the part as I am sure that there was plenty of British actors that could have played the character in this movie.

Halle Berry is an excellent actress. Even thought at times I have questioned her sanity for some of the roles she has played, she does manage to always make the character the best it can be. This time I am sorry to say that she could not do much to fix the one bipolar nonsense that was Catwoman’s and Patience’s personality. I never even got a clear picture of whether one personality had any sense of the other… the whole plot did not help the story at all, it was just confusing.

Sharon Stone could have almost saved the day, but her lines were so badly written to be predictable that a Max Headroom version of her could have done the job just as well. Benjamin Bratt has never made my best list actors, but I’ve never had much expectation. He did however play an ok cop, but come on after years being a TV cop it would be difficult for him to mess up. He also stinks of cat poo since I blame him for letting them put a LIP PRINT as the evidence for linking Catwoman to Patience.

I do have to make an honorable mention here. This is what makes this movie a one star instead of a zero. Midnight, the at times CGI but sometimes real Egyptian Mau was the best actor in the whole movie.

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War of The Worlds 2005 (***)

Sure, I am overoptimistic at times, but this movie was the definition of jaw dropping when it came to special effects. My expectations were not that high, which always helps when watching a movie. The beginning of the movie was somewhat slow, but it kept me interested enough to fill the lame character buildup. At times I was too aware that I was a movie theater, which I dislike when I am watching a movie. As I started to wander if it was just that I think Cruise is a bad actor at time, the first tripod burst out of the ground and for the rest of the movie every single action sequence had my full attention. *Spoilers*
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