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Rating History

The Hunger Games
10 years ago via Flixster

The Hunger Games is a film that really pushes the limit of what a film can accomplish. It's dark, edgy, frightening, and if you haven't heard the plot, like I didn't, turn away now, the more mystery in the film, the better. It has it's flaws, and it also has lots of controversy, but in the quality department, this film delivers.
The movie follows a 16 year old girl named Katniss, about a few hundred years into the future, where North America has been divided into 13 districts, and a capitol, which rules over them all. So these 13 districts decide to have an uprising, but it fails, and District 13 is completely obliterated. The capitol decided that for the rest of the districts, they would pick a boy and girl between 12 and 18 from each district, and make them fight to the death. Only 1 person out of 24 will survive. Katniss is a girl from district 12, who's sister, Prim, is picked to be one of the contestant, but Katniss volunteers in her place, and I can't reveal anything after that, because the less you know before watching, the better. The plot is actually done really well and revealed gradually, so it's mysterious and well done. Sometimes the plot feels a little far-fetched and silly, but for the most part, it's entertaining and engrossing.
The characters are really well done, and they were probably done better here than in the book! I love the book more than the movie, sure, but this is one of the few things the movie improved on. The characters in the book were great, sure, but Haymitch was just a normal drunk, and Peeta was just a whiner. Heck, even Katniss seemed like a jerk in the book! But in here, everything is done with more care and interest. Katniss is strong willed and cunning, but here, she actually seems like she likes Peeta. In the book, she does it for sponsors, which makes her less likable. Peeta is more brave in this movie, in the book, he was just annoying, and as for Haymitch, in the book, he was just drunk, nothing much else, but in the movie, he's actually intelligent, yes, 90% of the time he's drunk, but he knows when to smarten up. As for everyone else, they're pretty much the same in the book and the movie.
The acting was really good too. I was surprised, usually with a movie adapted from a book, the actors chosen usually can't deliver, but they did amazing here, especially Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Everyone fit with their characters, and I didn't see anyone who didn't exceed my expectations. However, with these characters came controversy. Many people call the film "Racist", with several cast members being African-American. I don't want to go into detail with this, but let me just say the movie is not racist, it does not portray these people in a stereotypical way, and the only people who called this movie racist were newspaper workers who are looking for something to write about.
Finally, let's talk about the OTHER controversy; The cinematography. Oh boy, so many people hated the whole "Shaky camera" aspect in this movie, and I have a few points to make about it:
1. The shaky camera has been done before, like The Hurt Locker, and with success, so why complain now?
2. The shaky camera actually adds fear and worry towards many scenes.
3. They needed the shaky camera to keep the violence minimum, so it could be rated PG-13.
However, I do admit, the action in this movie sucks, just because of the cinematography. Heck, in the first action scene in the movie, the "Bloodbath", you can barely tell what's going on! However, the focus isn't as much on the event of "The Hunger Games" as it is the two major characters, Katniss and Peeta. Still, it's something it should have been improved on.
Now, it's time for the "Best and Worst of The Hunger Games". The best of this movie has to be it's pace. Half the movie is build up towards the games, and the second half is the games. This way, you learn more about the characters and the actual games before you even start the games. I know 12 year old girls would be like "It was too long", but I personally enjoyed the suspense and hope they do the same thing for the sequel (Even though it has a new director).
The worst thing about this movie is the cinematography, like I said, though it makes things seem more quick and compelling, the actions scenes are just horribly done.
In conclusion, this movie has flaws, but trust me, it also has a lot of mystery and shock value. A must watch. 5/5.

Garfield: His 9 Lives
10 years ago via Flixster

"Garfield: His 9 Lives" is a movie that suprised me. It was only an hour long, but it left a big impact on me. The comedy is great, the story is extremely clever, the characters are gold, and it combines drama with comedy in an outstanding way.
Now, I wouldn't usually be watching movies like this, but a few days ago I was flipping through Teletoon retro, and I saw this. "Why Not?", I asked myself as I sat down on my couch to watch this, and it surpassed my expectations by a landslide.
As well, this is the very first movie I watched with multiple stories, not just one. The main purpose of this movie is to show the 9 lives of our favorite cat, Garfield. So, I shall review them all, right here. Enjoy!

In the Beginning: This is not one of Garfields nine lives, it's just basically something to get the plot going, and for people to understand the movie itself. It basically shows angels deciding to give cats 9 lives. It's a very surreal scene, filled with a shaky camera and God himself in a distorted form. It's extremely well done and memorable. It's short, but begins our story. 10/10.

Cave Cat: This is the first life of Garfield, where it shows the "History" of the cat, from the evolution to taming. It's done well, it has the humor and animation down, but it's not really a stand-out story. I guess that wasn't the intention though. 7/10.

King Cat: This is the second life, which focuses more on slapstick comedy. Yet suprisingly, it's done really, REALLY well! It's not perfect, it has flaws, but it was a story that doesn't sound amazing on paper, but really suprises you on how funny and well written it is. Definitely not one to skip. 9/10.

In the Garden: Honestly, I want to hate this one. I want to pick out every little flaw it has. However, I do admit, it has one of the BEST jokes in the whole special, near the end. The story itself done very surreal like, with the animation bouncy and shiny. However, it lacks memorable qualities, and it's dumb too. Skip this one, at least until the end. 3/10.

Court Musician: This one was pretty good. It's not very memorable, unlike the ones coming up, but it was smart and sophisticated. If you want to skip another story, go for this one, but it's still well done. 6/10.

Stunt Cat: This was the shortest one of all. He's a stunt double for "Krazy Kat", and I think you know the ending for this one. It's a simple joke, but pulled off well. Has a bit of atmosphere too, if you care for it. 7/10.

Diana's Piano: I honestly love this one. It's the best of the 9 lives. It's all hand painted, and it's where Garfield gained his love of music. It's basically about Sara, a young girl who receives a cat, Diana (The only obvious life of Garfield that's female). It's done extremely well, and the ending is suprisingly sad. It lacks humor, but it's not supposed to have humor. It's just supposed to be a sad end to the love between a girl and her cat. You won't laugh, but you'll probably tear up. 10/10.

Lab Animal: A nice and short life of Garfield. Filled with intensity and action, this one you won't wanna miss. 8/10.

Garfield: The beginning of the Garfield we know of. It's simple but it has, well, Garfield! It doesn't have many flaws, so it's basically a short you can sit down and enjoy. Most Garfield fans will enjoy this one. 9/10.

Space Cat: This is an awesome one. It basically has all the tension from Lab Animal, all the comedy from King Cat, and all the story from Diana's Piano. It's not the best, but it's incredibly entertaining, and since you're knowing this is his last life, you're really hoping he makes it out OK. Definitely another one you should watch. 10/10.

Epilogue: This one is just awesome. Garfield and Odie (Odie has 9 lives too? Weird, but oh well) are sent to the distorted God from the beginning. I cannot spoil anything, but it's funny, surreal, and it's not one of the 9 lives, but it's one of the best parts of the special. Don't leave before this one. Trust me. 10/10.

So, there you go. Now, just to be nice, I'll order these from best to worst:
1. Diana's Piano
2. Epilogue
3. In the Beginning
4. King Cat
5. Garfield
6. Lab Animal
7. Cave Cat
8. Stunt Cat
9. Court Musician
10. In the Garden

So, it's a great special, check it out! 10/10. P.S More reviews to come soon!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
10 years ago via Movies on iPhone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a great sequel to the first film, and though some of the plot lines seems forced, and being not as good as the first film, it still delivers in a unique and creative way. It stays familiar to the first, but is not completely identical. Chris Columbus really delivers on his second and last Harry Potter film (That he directed). It doesn't talk down to children like you'd expect, and any fan of the novel(s) should like this just as much as the first. The story continues to follow the immensely likable Harry, who, just like the last film, has to deal with his horrible family. Also like the last film, he travels to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he meets up with his friends, Ron and Hermione, also very likable characters. It's similar to the first movie if you look at the plot, but what really makes it seem different is the execution. This movie seems a lot darker than the first one, taking away some of the enjoyment and relaxation from it, but adding suspense and even some full on scary moments. It doesn't really catch anybody of guard, as there were dark moments in the first movie, but this improves on the fear factor a lot, which would continue it's pattern, with every Harry Potter movie getting more and more dark. It feels very natural and helps make the series more complete and together. The acting in this movie is very well done and the actors make you feel they aren't playing the characters, but that they ARE the characters! TBC.

Gone With the Wind
10 years ago via Flixster

Gone with the Wind is an epic film with outstanding memorability. When it ended, I felt as if I watched something of great worth, something that could have blown anyone's mind back in 1939, and even now, if shown to a person who doesn't follow movies, they'd probably say it was made in the 90's or even the 2000's! It was awesome back then, and it's awesome now. Some people complain that it's almost 4 hours long, but that's what makes it feel more like an experience than just another film. It's just an excellent film in general, timeless, entertaining, and groundbreaking. The story of this film is that Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, hears that her casual beau, Ashley Wilkes, played by Leslie Howard (Both males, despite the female names) plans to marry Melanie Hamilton, played by Olivia de Havilland. She meets up with Ashley, and while with him, she is annoyed by another man, Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable. I won't say any more, as a lot of the movie involves huge twist and turns, and I don't want to ruin a thing. So, as you can tell, I love the plot and all it's surprises, but do I like the characters? Well, it's hard to say. The characters all have developed personalities and are very realistic, but I didn't find a character that I truly liked. Sure, Rhett is cool, and you relate with Scarlett, but they also have annoying parts to them as well. Rhett, while cool and suave, is mean and possibly even sexist, while Scarlett, though you sympathies with her, she whines and complains about EVERYTHING. Sure, that's what makes them more realistic, as nobody's perfect, but I just wish these characters were less annoying. The acting however, was awesome. Clark Gable was outstanding as Rhett, and Vivien Leigh did well as Scarlett. Also, Hattie McDaniel was great, and I really respect the people who helped cast her and the people who wrote her in the script, as this was a time where racism was a big deal, so I really respect her casting. Everyone else in the movie did good to, I didn't see anyone that was not a good actor. Now, it's time for "The Best and Worst of Gone with the Wind". The best of this film is just how... Epic it is. So much happens in it, the characters go through so much, it makes you feel like you know the characters, as you're knowledgeable of how they would react to certain situations. Also, the cinematography and lighting were very well done, and is some of the best of those categories I've seen back then, and of all time. The worst of this film has to be... How seriously it takes itself. I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but hear me out. Whenever a scene involving a step forwards or backwards in romance, the scene immediately goes to a hilltop during a sunset/sunrise where the main character(s) stands, expressing their opinions to either the other person on the hilltop, or to themselves, and sometimes, they just stand there, doing a weird yoga pose of something. I know it's revolutionary for it's time, as no one did it before, but it just seems over-dramatic. However, besides that and a few other minor flaws, this is a great film, and even though, in my opinion, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a better film than this, this film was definitely more revolutionary and even in color, which wouldn't be replicated in a Best Picture winner until 1951! So, overall, it's not perfect, but it's extremely entertaining and very important for film history. You just gotta love it. 4.5/5.

Apollo 13
Apollo 13 (1995)
10 years ago via Flixster

Apollo 13 is the ultimate subtle film, a film that knows it's a space film, but it doesn't shove it in our faces. It's entertaining, well written, well acted, and just an awesome film in general. Ron Howard really shows us a great film, filled with everything we could ask for, with the side effect of a few minor flaws here and there. Ever since then, plenty of space films tried to copy it's formula, but none of them had the substance and charisma that this film has. It makes the film feel not as "Based on a True Story" but as if you're actually ON Apollo 13 with these characters, feeling the suspense all the way. It's just very memorable and very cool. The story is basically a recreation of the Apollo 13 moon mission, which ended up failing because of technical error. It really doesn't lead to any surprises or uncertainty, but those don't seem as necessarily as, for the most part, this is a calm film, no real action or scares, just some suspense. The characters were... pretty good. The main character, Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks, is a great character, and so is his wife, but the two other pilots, although likable, are not focused on much. It's not THAT big a problem, as it's intentions was to follow the main character, the other 2 characters, although also likable, aren't the main focus. However, it would be nice to know more about the other 2 characters, but we do learn a bit about their personalities during the actual mission. The acting was also good. Tom Hanks was not really disguising himself as anyone, he wasn't Forrest Gump or Woody, he was pretty much just being himself, and I actually respect him for that, as he did do a good job in this film. Also, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, and Kathleen Quinlan all did great. Now, usually I don't discuss this in great detail, but I feel I must talk about the special effects, and in my opinion, they were very well done. Sure, some parts, it was completely obvious the special effects were CGI, but for most of the movie, they looked really cool, almost like they were really there. They aren't the best special effects ever, but for the time, they must have looked OUTSTANDING. Now, for my favorite part of the review, "The Best and Worst of Apollo 13". The best part of this movie... Even though I'm tempted to say the cinematography, I'll have to say the atmosphere. Why you ask? Well, let me give an example: When the 3 characters are escaping the earths atmosphere and rocketing into space, you FEEL as if the characters are actually blasting into space, it makes the film seem more like an experience than just a film. The worst thing about this film is probably the other two main characters. Like I said, they're likable and all, but most of the focus seems to be on Hanks, which is OK, but in the end, you barely felt like you got to know the other two, so that got me a little angry, but to tell you the truth, the rest of the movie was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed it for the execution of the story, the effects, and of course, the experience itself. Also, in my opinion, this is one of the best disaster films of all time, even surpassing Titanic! So overall, this is an excellent film, well worthy of a watch. 5/5.