Movie "Reviews"
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My wife says I'll watch anything!  She's mostly right. I'll start to watch most anything, but that doesn't mean I'll stay awake for the end or not leave before the film's over.  What she really means is that I'm an avid movie watcher, while inferring that my threshold for qualification as a "good" movie is one that didn't make me get sick.  Since THAT'S never happened, I suppose you could assume I've never seen a "bad" movie.  Maybe, to some extent that's somewhat true.  Since I'm probably an optimist (evidenced by the fact that I actually thought I could build a website that SOMEBODY would find the slightest bit interesting), I guess you could say I'm always willing to give things a chance to do what they're supposed to do - entertain me.  Contrary to what I read from most "critics", not every movie is made to be a masterpiece, have deep meanings, or even make sense.  The vast majority of movies are made solely as an effort to entertain somebody or actually anybody!
I am probably proof that premise is not far off.  I usually enjoy most anything I see for one reason or another.  Sometimes the film may have one really good scene amongst a bunch of garbage, or one actor who makes you wonder how he/she ever got involved in this mess.
Therefore, don't read these "reviews" thinking you'll get anything more than one guy's general opinion about any film listed here.  I will tell you, however, that there are going to be the occasional films listed here that may be genuine diamonds amongst what most consider the mediocre.  I will tell you when I find a flick that I think has been either underrated or under appreciated (and why I think so).  That doesn't mean I think I'm right or that everyone else is wrong.  It just means I don't think you'll see the subject film and walk away wishing you'd missed it instead.  Oh - by the way - since this is "Fictional Worlds", remember, just because a movie listed here isn't Fantasy, SciFi or Mythological, all movies are FICTIONAL WORLDS (even some "documentaries")!
All that being said - here're of few of my thoughts on the following flicks...
By the way, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) links below let you see how the public has voted for movies:
IMDb top 50 SciFi Movies IMDb Top 50 Fantasy movies
SPECIAL From STARWARS.COM (© Lucasfilm 2004. All rights reserved.)
Episode III Release Dates Announced
April 05, 2004
The circle will at last be complete when Star Wars: Episode III is released to theaters in the United States and Canada, with a near-simultaneous release around the world, on Thursday, May 19, 2005. In Japan, Episode III will be released in July, the traditional month for Star Wars premieres.
Exact information for other countries outside of the U.S. and Canada will be coming shortly, so keep checking for full details as May 2005 approaches.
In North America, May has been the traditional release date for Star Wars films since the first movie in 1977. The North American release dates for the previous films in the Star Wars saga are:

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - May 25, 1977
Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back - May 21, 1980
Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi - May 25, 1983
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace - May 19, 1999
Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones - May 16, 2002


little-eyeball=take a nap little-eyeballlittle-eyeball=occasional yawns little-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeball=worth the time little-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeball=I liked it

little-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeball=don't miss it!

Movies with titles that are links have pages here at Fictional Worlds

Underworld - Link to Official Website"UNDERWORLD"
(2003 - Directed by Len Wiseman)
We saw this the weekend it came out.  You probably know the story deals with a war between vampires and werewolves.  I enjoyed the film, though I agree there were only a few scenes where the antagonists used their innate supernatural powers instead of guns with "special" ammunition.  Overall, the film has plenty of action, with obvious influence from "The Matrix" (as do most post-Matrix action movies). The special effects were good, most everyone was (naturally) clad in black leather, and, no surprise "merely" human - for most of the movie, anyway.  I found Underworld to be a good way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy North Florida afternoon.
(Review posted: September 30, 2003)
Watch for an "Underworld" page here after the DVD is released!
Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within"FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN"
(2001 - Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Moto Sakakibara)
There's no doubt in my mind this movie's greatest draw is the superb animation.  We're getting really close to seeing a movie and not knowing where characters are real or CGI.  Hair movement, really coordinating speed with fluidity of motion, and subtlety of expressions all still need a bit of work on human subjects, but we all know that from "Jurassic Park" to the new "Star Wars" films and "Lord of the Rings", all those neat creatures are just about (if not already) perfect.  The only thing about this movie that didn't impress me was the story, although I guess I'd have to say I did like the movie.  Use this technology in a well-adapted Jack Chalker "Well World" series and you'll pack 'em in.
(Review posted: September 30, 2003)
(1978 - Directed by Richard Donner)
Though a somewhat "old" film, the Christopher Reeve version of the classic DC Comics hero is still one of the best of the superhero genre.  With many little sight gags (I love the one where Clark Kent tries to change in a "phone booth") and quite a bit of humor (the dynamics between Gene Hackman as "Lex Luthor", Ned Beatty's "Otis" and Valerie Perrine's "Miss Tessmacher" for example), the tale of our visitor from the planet Krypton is best told in the first two films (which should have been one - as they were filmed).  I think a "super" DVD would combine I and II into one movie. The cast was great, as each seemed just right for their roles. I still watch them both (usually I then II - right after) about once a year.
little-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeballlittle-eyeball(hard to beat)
(Review posted: October 3, 2003)
(1984 - Directed by David Lynch)
The theater version of the Frank Herbert classic was originally longer than VHS released. I thought the movie was fairly good, however, that was because I had read the book. Most people I know that never read the book had a hard time figuring out everything that was going on. I have always been a bit mystified by the way people who are supposed to be of the same families all have accents that are different from their parents or their siblings! Though not one of my all-time favorites, I still find myself watching it occasionally. The special effects were usually best when they involved the sandworms. I'd like to find a DVD of the original theatrical version. I won't do this (link from here) often, but for some thoughts by others on this film, check out this IMDb forum.
(Review posted: October 3, 2003)
Ladyhawke"LADYHAWKE" (1985 - Directed by Richard Donner)  Any movie that combines the talents of Michele Pfieffer, Rutger Hauer, Leo McKeon, and Matthew Broderick can't be all bad - and "Ladyhawke" is far from bad, in my opinion. It's not really "Ferris Bueller Goes Medieval", but then again, maybe it is.
(Review posted: October 3, 2003)
The Abyss"THE ABYSS"
(1989 - Directed by James Cameron)
If you watch this, you really should watch the Special Edition Director's Cut.  I won't ruin anything by telling you what's different, but suffice it to say that there's about 20 minutes or so - especially near the end - that are added back that I would argue should never have been cut out. It made a great film better and a little spookier. This story could have taken place in space, but was way more effective in the deep blue. Good cast. Ed Harris was the consummate easy going but strict boss, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio the perfect "bitch" ex-wife, and Michael Biehn was just right as the gung-ho military jerk who's much too macho to admit his "depth perception" is off. Don't miss it (DVD-SE)
(There will be an "Abyss" section here at Fictional Worlds in the near future)  (Review posted: October 3, 2003)
(2002- Directed by Sam Riami)
"With great power comes great responsibility" is a line from Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) to Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) just as Peter begins to discover the powers he obtained from the mutant spider that bit him on a class field trip. Marvel characters are invading the big screen and looks to me like they're pretty good at entertaining us. This was FUN!
(Review posted: October 3, 2003)
Shrek"SHREK" (2001- Directed by
Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson)

Okay, this has been one of my favorite animated films of all time. If you can park in "Lancelot" and not even feel a twinge of a smile, well I don't know what to say. This is a flick that's really made for the family to go see as a group - and all should have a blast. I can't wait for Shrek 2!
(Review posted: October 3, 2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN" (2003 - Directed by Gore Verbinski)
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Johnny Depp is just great, as is Orlando Bloom. This one has it all - action, romance, humor, ghosts, derring-do, and of course, PIRATES! The curse of all curses haunts the waves as our heroes true to right the wrongs and recover the lost treasure and of course, The Black Pearl. What and where is the Black Pearl? You've gotta see the movie to find it all out. Pure fun.
(Review posted: October 30, 2003)
The 10th Kingdom "The 10th Kingdom" (2000- Directed by
David Carson and Herbert Wise)

Okay, this made-for-TV mini-series movie is perfect for DVD. At 10 hours, you can either tough it out and watch it all at once or just watch one of the three sides at a time. Either way, it's a fun romp through fairy tale land where an evil queen (Dianne Weist) has turned a prince (Daniel Lapaine) into a dog. It just so happens that during the chase to recapture the dog-prince, some of the characters enter a magical mirror that's a portal leading to the mythical Tenth Kingdom, which just happens to come out in Central Park!
It's a great flick to watch with the kids, who'll have fun watching the ordinary mortals Virginia (Kimberly Williams) and her dad, Tony (John Laroquette) meet up with trolls, goblins, a wolf (Scott Cohen) and some familiar fairy tale characters, including Snow White (Camryn Manheim), the Troll King (Ed O'Neill), Cinderella (Ann-Margret), Little Bo Peep, and a mysterious hunter (Rutger Hauer).
It's not "The Princess Bride", but it is kinda fun.
(Review posted: August 29,2004)

Excalibur "EXCALIBUR" (1981- Directed by
John Boorman)

This one's NOT for the kids. At least not the younger ones. But it is the definitive movie relating Sir Thomas Malory's tale of King Arthur. With a great cast including Nigel Terry, Nicol Williamson, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay and Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson (all before these three became well-known actors), the film is 2 hours and 20 minutes of classic Arthurian legend. All the familiar characters are there, with Williamson a Merlin to be reckoned with. There's no doubt about who are knights of the round table. Their armor has more chrome than a car show full of street rods.
The battle scenes are grand and of course, bloody, and the whole movie puts you in the midst of all the action. This is a must for every DVD collection.
(Review posted: August 29, 2004)

Dungeons & Dragons"DUNGEONS & DRAGONS" (2000- Directed by
Courtney Solomon)

If you're a fan of the original DnD RPG games, Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale or most any Wizards of the Coast PC game, or any of the Forgotten Realms Books, don't expect to see anyone you "know". Though I recognized some of the player-types - you know - mages, a few thieves (and a guild with a puzzle, of course), a dwarf, elves, and the required dragons, beholders and other creatures, there were none of the well known characters we would be familiar with.
The movie is not terrible, but it could have been better. Most special effects are pretty good. I would have liked to have seen more interaction with the beholders (which looked pretty much as I have always envisioned and true to the PC games images). The dragons are all pretty good, with the best scenes during the final battle.
Get out the popcorn & have a look when you're ready for some magic, a few laughs, and a bit of adventure.
(Review posted: August 29, 2004)


"FREQUENCY" (2000- Directed by Gregory Hoblit)
This is one of my favorite movies. Just so happens I went to see it on Father's Day with the wife and my three sons (sounds like a TV show). It was the perfect Father's Day movie.
What would you think if by some freak of nature - in this case the aurora borealis ("northern lights") made it possible to communicate with your Dad by ham radio? Oh - did I mention that your Dad died 30 years ago?
It's a time-travel movie where nobody travels in time, however, they do communicate. This is the first movie I saw with Jim Caviezel and I was impressed. I've always thought Dennis Quaid to be much underrated as an actor, but I wanted to see the movie because he was supposedly the star. I found a (then) new (to me) young actor in Caviezel who impressed me with his work.
This film is a great father-son flick that I put on my must-watch list for every Father's Day (even when the boys aren't here).
Dad (Quaid) was afirefighter who died in a building while trying to save a girl. Son (Caviezel) is a cop - didn't follow in Dad's boots. Nature allows them to "meet" via Dad's old ham radio one night when Son just happens to decide to fix the thing that's been lying around the house for so long. When he gets it working, an unexpected and unbelievable thing happens. He talks to his dad - but his dad is back 30 years before.
If you have never seen this movie, you've missed a goodie! Plenty of action, suspense, intrigue and a great story about relationships between parents and their children. Don't miss it! Buy it on DVD & watch it at least once a year - on Father's Day!
(Review posted: August 30, 2004)

Logan's Run"LOGAN'S RUN" (1976 - Directed by Michael Anderson)
When I first saw this in a theater, I enjoyed the film, but was not really impressed with the special effects or the sets. It's obvious most scenes are filmed in studios and the city looks like a sophisticated train set on display at Macy's. The irony: it won an Oscar for Special Effects. Then, along came Star Wars & the bar was raised about 10,000 feet! But, I did say I liked it (especially the "futuristic" 70's costuming).
(Review posted: Nov. 13, 2004)

Labyrinth"LABYRINTH" (1986 - Directed by Jim Henson)

A young Jennifer Connelly, a petulant David Bowie & a lot of Muppets! What more could you ask for in a fantasy flick? This is a DVD worth getting just so you can watch for all the little stuff happening in the background. Who hasn't wished that the King of the Goblins would kidnap their younger, pain-in-the-rear sibling (or an older one, even)? Would you journey through the Labyrinth to find them? Follow Sarah - it's fun!

"GODZILLA" (1998- Directed by Roland Emmerich)
Okay, some folks don't like remakes. I think Matthew Broerick & Jean Reno do a pretty good job and I actually liked this movie and still watch it periodically. There's a few good laughs & plenty of action. One of my favorite scenes is when Harry Shearer has his back to the window obliviosly complaining on the phone about not having a news story as Godzilla lumbers by the window outside.
(Review posted: Nov. 13, 2004)
HULK!"HULK" (2003- Directed by Ang Lee)
Unlike :Spiderman" or "Batman", the change from "regular guy" Bruce Banner to "alter-ego/hero" Hulk is so drastic he becomes ... CG! I mean after all, how can you expect anybody to "beef up" from about 6 feet to a 12-foot-tall, 800-pound green gorilla? But it is kinda fun watching him spin around & fling a tank about a mile away. Besides, here's another movie with Jennifer Connelly as the heroine (I may have to start a JC page just for her F/SF roles)! Nick Nolte does a pretty good job being the dad you love to hate and Sam Elliot is a convincing stubborn Army colonel.
(Review posted: Nov. 13, 2004)
"MISSION TO MARS" (2000 - Directed by Brian de Palma)
The makers of this and most other SF films of the recent past seem to think someone in government cares about what's going on in space. I don't care if the ship does look like a glorified space shuttle, I don't think humans will be anywhere near Mars by 2020 at the rate we've been going. We haven't even established anything on the moon yet. another "we are not alone" story that's not bad, but not really great, either. Pretty good effects and everybody seems to be trying, but I wasn't all that impressed. I did buy the DVD, though, so I guess it's worth a look.
(Review posted: Nov. 13, 2004)
Red Planet"RED PLANET " (2001 - Directed by Anthony Huffman)
At least this one takes place in the mid-21st century. As if we need another "killer robot". Keep this up, and robotics & computers will be feared by all. First HAL, now AMEE is around, mucking things up. I do really like SciFi, but like all other genres, not all are masterpieces. It's watchable, and I bought the DVD, but I never "got into" the characters in this one. To me, Carrie-Anne Moss' character is the only really likeable one in this movie.
(Review posted: Nov. 13, 2004)

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