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Movie review

  • 2006-04-26
Ice Age: The Meltdown
V for Vendetta
Scary Movie 4

Ice Age: The Meltdown
I wasn't as impressed with the first "Ice Age" as some 's and I'm not exactly impressed with the sequel. The ice age is coming to an end, the ice is melting, and our old friends, the saber-toothed cat, the sloth and the mammoth are fleeing a coming flood. It takes ages for "Ice Age 2" to get started, and the storyline is so thin, it never really feels like things are moving forward. The characters aren't interesting and the jokes aren't funny. It's fun to see the little squirrel constantly losing his acorn, but that run-on joke seems to be the only area where the filmmakers expended their creative energy. After that, all they had left over were some old cliches and worn-out stereotypes. 
1/2 ( Julie Vinten )

This extremely enjoyable sequel to "Ice Age" sees the same group of characters in a race against time to escape from the valley where they live. Global warming is rapidly melting the ice and their valley is threatened with imminent flooding as the surrounding ice dam slowly trickles away. The charm of the original is nicely recaptured as the misfit herd of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the saber-toothed tiger head towards safety. Ellie, the mammoth who thinks she's a possum, is an especially good comic touch. Scrat, the squirrel who obsessively pursues an acorn, gets just the right amount of screen time to qualify as the film's real star. But only Hollywood has the audacity to give extinction a happy ending. Those lovely woolly mammoths fully deserve it, of course.  
1/2 ( Tim Ochser )

V for Vendetta
"V for Vendetta," based on Alan Moore's comic book and written for the screen by the Wachowski Brothers (directors of the "Matrix"-trilogy), is a sinister and challenging feature, which draws a dark and surreal picture of a future London. The movie dares to give us an interesting male hero. He is a rebel. He's clearly insane. And he's a terrorist. You have to feel ambivalent towards him. The villain bears a mask, frozen in a stone grin and only his ominous voice breathes an incredible life into his character. With this creation, at least, the filmmakers succeed extraordinarily well. "V for Vendetta" is entertaining and thought-provoking, but sometimes the ideas aren't sufficiently exploited or effectively executed.
( Julie Vinten )

V is a masked vigilante in an England ruled by a tyrannical one-party regime that seizes power after a deadly virus ravages the country. While the premise is all too familiar, "V for Vendetta" is a surprisingly good film. It's far more intelligent than the average dystopian thriller and actually has something worthwhile to say on a range of issues, while being a riveting slice of old-fashioned entertainment. Natalie Portman atones for the shame of playing Queen Amidala in "Star Wars" with a decent performance, and Hugo Weaving is perfect as the articulate masked-avenger. The political allusions aren't exactly subtle but this vision of the future is at least rooted in a sense of history. As V points out, that abstract mass called the people are as much to blame for dictatorships as the dictators. 
( Tim Ochser )

Scary Movie 4
It isn't hard to make fun of other movies. The tricky part is to do it with finesse and intelligence, and "Scary Movie 4" has neither. Anyone can think of making Carmen Electra take a loud dump in the middle of a town meeting of "The Village," but is it funny? I don't think so. It has absolutely nothing to do with the original film. Making jokes about Michael Jackson or George Bush might be funny if they weren't so ancient. We have heard and seen them all before, and it's incredible that the filmmakers don't think they owe us something new and fresh. Basically, "Scary Movie 4" has one or two successful jokes. Other than that, it's just full of dim-witted jokes, bad comic timing and bored  actors. 
( Julie Vinten )

"Scary Movie 4" is one of those films reviewers dread reviewing because there's really nothing to say about them except how much money they make. If you saw the other "Scary Movie" films, then you'll know exactly what to expect. This time the targets include "War of the Worlds," "The Village," "Saw" and "The Grudge," among others. There are some funny moments and as someone who finds Tom Cruise utterly repellent, I enjoyed the vicious sideswipe at his infamous Oprah performance. But there is something totally unsatisfying about this sort of film. Its below-the-belt humor belongs in a school playground. But I am opining on a film that I don't really have an opinion of. In fact, it's so faint in my memory I wonder if I even saw it all. 
( Tim Ochser )
 

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