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Alice in Wonderland (I) (2010)
Worst than Awful
20 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is so bad it shouldn't motivate anyone to take time and write something about it. But, I see it scores above 6 in IMDb and I ain't doing anything important so.. OK, why not?

First, what led me to watch this just now. I knew this wasn't a very good movie because, similar to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this had "Tim Burton butchered a classic" all over it. Interesting enough, while in Charlie and... he was making something bad over a great classic motion picture that had nothing to do with the project, this time around he is doing it for the same company (Walt Disney). Second, what led me to watch the movie. I purchased a 10 "reais" (about 3 bucks) edition of the original story by Lewis Carroll, which also included the Looking Glass bit and an Intro where some kind of book scholar meddles for several pages about how good and interesting these two tales are for children and also adults. The children part I am not so sure because the Alice story doesn't make any sense and in many parts its hard to understand (Carroll frequently changes words so they don't really exist in any dictionary and makes up poems which aren't suppose to say or mean anything). Anyway, the story is pleasant enough even though I am reading it around 150 years after it was first published. Its worth something because of Carroll's creativity in stirring illogical puzzles in a children's make believe fantastic world. In other words, it kind of make you feel like you are inside an awesome dream.

Disney's animation on the book is good, despite changing a few details and including characters and stories from "the other side of the looking glass". It is good, mainly because it preserves the essence of what one kind find when reading the book, like I have.

Finally, the Tim Burton movie. It is simply appalling. They (Tim Burton and his team or whoever made this happen the way it did) tore the story from the book to pieces and made some kind of Hollywood formula that always works. That worst of it all is that it seems to work, because it made money and now they have concluded a Looking Glass version (second movie on Alice) which makes no sense, because in the first one they have already included characters from both stories (and more that wasn't three of course).

The plot is lame to say the least: Alice doesn't want to marry some rich kid that looks awful so she runs away after a rabbit and falls in a hole. After falling violently, she finds herself in a strange world where there are fantastical creatures. Soon she learns that everyone knows her in this world, and most don't believe she is the same Alice. Up to this part it is all interesting enough and things could maybe be mended into an OK flick but check what ends up happening. Alice teams up with a beast that almost ripped her arm apart and that serves no purpose to the story except that he's the guardian of a mystical sword. So, like in Matrix, Alice is the chosen one and she supposedly will save everyone by killing a hideous monster (dragon looking beast) by use of the special sword. Meanwhile, the queen of hearts hates everyone but specially her sister, which is the white queen, and also a "I love all living things" hypocrite douche-bag. Crispin Glover plays some sort of dark knight that is queen of heart's favorite handy man to do all her dirty work.

So, with these information one might foresee everything that will happen. To populate this misery of a plot, there are about three characters that at least have something to do with the book: the Cheshire cat, which is magical and can do anything to steer the story to any direction he likes, no questions asked; the Hatter, that is this movie's Captain Jack Sparrow or Willy Wonka or a blend of both (maybe not as important to the story but with the same entertaining purpose); and the blue caterpillar, which, I think, its in the movie so that the audience might think that there are more bits from the original story.

The whole think is just too formulaic, the acting is bland, Depp almost achieved making whoever is watching vomit with his bizarre moves (including his happy happy joy joy dance) and facial expressions. Lead actress is mildly charming, but her performance overall very subtle and uninteresting. Helena Carter made something interesting with her queen, and Glover likewise with his knight. And except for some very descent voice acting, everyone else is forgettable just like this movie. Or not.. But I'll probably only remember this movie because it was so painful to watch (and because I reviewed it here), like that moment when you realize you tore your ACL and from now on you'll just have to deal with it.
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The Duel (I) (2016)
High Quality Modern western with Woody and Hemsworth
9 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I think this movie truly deserves an eight, but I am pumping it up because it has such a low score. Well, first of all, I am a fan of Woody and of Westerns, so that sort of explains my enthusiasm with this movie. But, there are flaws, and because criticism is much more interesting than compliments, I'll start with those just after a brief summary.

Texas ranger is sent to investigate the killings of numerous Mexicans, close to the border with Texas at Rio Grande (this is set around the time there were land disputes between Mexicans and Americans). He is told that these deaths may or may not be due to a ruthless man which the ranger knows to be the same that has killed his father in the past when he was just a boy. He takes his wife with him and soon learns that the ruthless man is a small town's preacher and that everyone living there is pretty much under his influence.

Liam Hemsworth plays the Texas ranger and I have to say his acting is spot on to what you would expect from this character. Harrelson, while no Brando (which would have been awesome in something like this), is very entertaining playing the part and rightly appears first in the movie's opening credits. To be a fair judge, I do think Woody could have taken the opportunity given to him in this movie to further explore the range of his acting capabilities. Alice Braga, although a Brazilian like me, falls short of doing anything memorable or even a believable role playing..

The script is kind of a hit and miss. On the upside, there is lots of action which makes perfect sense as the story unfolds. On the downside, there are many facts that doesn't make much sense like (spoiler alert): why was the woman so sick, and why would she be so influenced by the preacher? Ultimately, why did the ranger decide to take his wife with him?

Ending my review with the movie's positives. Characters were well written, above average acting, very nice costumes and overall recreation of the time period. The score is very good and leads whoever is watching to the moments of tension. The way the two main characters stand out from the rest is very meaningful, and is purposefully portrayed so that the focus of the movie remains in its title, "the duel" between these two men. They are very different, but when it comes to acting under stress they behave in a very similar manner: they become savage beasts. And few things are more entertaining than watching a high quality modern western with Woody and Hemsworth on opposing sides, both animals waiting for something to trigger their savage side. They both know it will soon happen.
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What a dumb movie
3 May 2004
This movie was VERY dumb. Can anything be dumber than the guys from this movie? I don't think so. And I ask myself, "why do I find it interesting to watch dumb people doing stupid things?" Because it's funny ! But it is not an average funny, it's a different, very different kind of funny. And I believe it works because they are the only ones doing this kind of stuff in the movie/TV business. We ought to recognize that they (the Jackass crew) broke a barrier. They crossed the other side...and nothing happened to them! It's like real-life Beavis and Butthead experience. Rest assured that whoever is planning to watch this is going to a experience some thrills and chill! There are moments in witch you are going to be like "Oh gross!" and other moments that you will be thinking "How come I never thought of doing that when I was a kid?" This said, I can assure you this: "Jackass:The Movie" is entertaining ...and cool!
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