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Excellent, Revelatory Episode
This was a fantastic episode. The villain was truly one of the most terrifying in the Buffyverse, due to his extreme hatred of women and the sheer joy he took in watching men tear women they love to pieces. Obviously, his power was supernatural, but the feelings he spouted about women being whores who sell themselves for power, who exist to tempt men and have since the Garden of Eden, etc. are very real and have been expressed by many men in the real world. It was truly chilling.
The effect his presence has on our characters is the best thing about this episode. Cordy, seen at the beginning of the episode learning to sword fight with Angel so she can have a chance to do something more than wait to be saved, takes Billy's attacks on women through other men personally, as the reason he's free is because Angel got him out of hell in order to save her. Seeing her attempt to go after Billy herself makes you worry for her, but feel really proud at the same time. The dialogue between them at the end is hilarious, because much like in the scene with Dennis' mom in "Rm with a Vu" it shows Cordy being completely kick ass, but in her very Cordelia-ish way. She's not some women's studies major who has thousands of facts and debate points to show Billy how sick and disturbed and wrong he is. She's just Cordy, and because of that she's able to boil down his problem really simply and confidently. Her phallic weapon joke is quite cutting.
Another interesting effect Billy's presence has is on Lilah. After he causes Gavin to beat her senseless, Cordy, while seeking information, chastises her for not staying true to her 'vicious bitch' nature by protecting an evil misogynist. She gets through to her, fortunately, and in the end, it's not Angel or Cordy who finishes Billy off, but Lilah. It's one of those moments where you can't help but love her for being a layered villain who is often surprising.
The best change brought on by this episode is definitely the effect Billy has on Wesley. I don't mean the violence it brings out in him, although Alexis Denisof shows his talent off amazingly as he stalks Fred through the hotel, wielding an ax and spewing hateful, predatory words. It's quite a chilling performance, and it's great to see Fred fighting him and Gunn creatively and bravely after they get infected.
But the best of it comes at the end of the episode, when we see Wesley sitting alone in his dark apartment, consumed by guilt for what he tried to do to the woman he's starting to love. It's really heartbreaking to see how he beats himself up over it, despite Fred's efforts to convey to him that his attack wasn't something he did, but something that was done to him. We know from comments he's let slip out, and from what we see later in the series, that Wesley's upbringing was filled with a lot of degradation and verbal abuse and we know it's caused in him a slight desperation for approval. In his face, eyes and body Denisof shows us all the things that are going on inside Wesley, the fear, self-hatred, shame and sense of failure, and his ache reaches us completely as viewers and although he's been much more than comic relief for a while now, it gives Wes even more depth than before and perhaps by this episode he's already the most complex character on the show.
Overall, a completely excellent episode. The villain was really scary, Wolfram and Hart were featured in the right amount, with their employees being fleshed out a good bit more, and the character development was perfect. 10/10
Jurassic Park (1993)
Visual masterpiece, exciting adventure and pure brilliance!
I first saw this movie when I was only five years old, and it awed me in ways that no film ever had before. Thirteen years later, I remain just as impressed and the film continues to be one of my favorites. What could have been just another cheesy dangerous-animals-run-amok flick was instead a suspense filled, exciting, scary movie that also carried the important theme of showing humility before nature and having a respect for living things, as well as what the consequences can be when you don't.
I won't go on and on about the brilliance of the special effects or how amazing the dinosaurs were, because there's not much disagreement about that. The T-Rex is one of the coolest things you will ever see, and the raptors are absolutely chilling in their intelligence and agility. Your heart will definitely pound if you've never seen it before. It'll probably pound if you have too.
I have seen some complaints about the script/characters/acting however, and disagree with them for the most part. There's a truly interesting array of characters in this film. Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler, a paleontologist and paleobotanist bring so much heart to this movie. The scene where they see the real live brachiasaurus for the first time after dedicating their lives to digging up fossils and making interpretations about their behavior blows me away every time. Their awe and academic excitement is very touching, and combined with John Williams' perfect score, this scene truly is my favorite.
The way Grant is unable to even stand up because of the shock is very endearing. And later on in the movie, after witnessing deaths due to these creatures, the change seen in Grant as he throws away the raptor claw he always kept with him is powerful. His relationship with the two children visiting the park develops in a sweet way as well as he goes from being highly annoyed by their presence to risking his life to protect them when no one else can.
In contrast to the paleontologists, Jeff Goldblum gives a great performance as Dr. Ian Malcolm, an arrogant, sarcastic and very amusing mathematician who studies Chaos Theory, and believes from the start that Jurassic Park is doomed to fail. He's highly opinionated, a little on the rude side and a blatant flirt but he brings a lot of life to the film and despite his quirks is the voice of reason.
John Hammond, the millionaire responsible for creating Jurassic Park also gives a fascinating performance. For those of you who've read the novel, he is a somewhat more sympathetic character than the money hungry Hammond of the book. He is definitely stubborn and infuriating as he refuses to see the horrible danger of what he's doing, but he is doing it with a kindness and desire to bring joy to people's lives, and displays an eventual humility that makes him likable.
Overall, this movie is one of the most fun rides I've ever had with cinema, and even though I've probably seen it over 50 times, it never gets old. There are some truly hilarious lines and truly terrifying thrills and it's the kind of movie that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their age or interests. 10/10
Star Wars (1977)
One for the history books!
This movie, along with the whole original trilogy, just blows me away! It truly has all the elements a good story needs. The characters have suction cups all over them that glue them to your memory, because they're just so great! The story revolves around young Luke Skywalker, a farm boy who wants more adventure in his life. Adventure finally arrives to him in the form of two droids, sent by Princess Leia, a beautiful woman begging someone named Obi-Wan Kenobi for help. Leia is a huge part of Rebel Alliance, a group of people determined to stop the Empire's reign of terror and evil. When Luke meets up with Obi-Wan, they set out to deliver plans inside the droid to Leia's father, plans that can stop the most destructive weapon ever from destroying any planet that stands up for good. Teaming up with a cocky pilot who is more caring than he lets on named Han Solo and his CoPilot Chewbacca (big dog/ape/bigfoot like creature) the heroes are thrust into adventure beyond Luke's wildest dreams, complete with a heroine, henchmen, space ships, battles and the most menacing villain a movie has ever seen.
Star Wars is a movie you won't forget soon after watching it. It's full of excitement, humor, romance (more so in the ESB, the sequel), great dialogue danger, and a never tiresome fight between good and evil. I recommend the trilogy to anyone and everyone who hasn't seen it (that would be...3 people...don't worry though, I'm a pretty newly converted fan too!) Han Solo rocks! May the force be with you all. 10/10
Free Willy (1993)
Sweet, meaningful movie
It might not be the Shawshank Redemption or an equally provocative and important movie. But it's touching. As a child it was my favorite movie and I'd watch it every day for a period of about 3 months. It made me cry, but it meant a lot to me. It might have it's corny moments, but kids like it, and my parents liked it too. Compared to a lot of the movies kids force their parents to watch, this one isn't so bad.
It's really sweet, and it puts out a good message. It allows you to feel and care about things that go on it the world. I dug this out today and watched it again and it was still pretty magical to me, although I'm much older now. I don't see why this is rated a 5.2. I guess I wouldn't tell every adult to go out and watch it, but if you have kids, or just love animals, then give this a shot. It's a good film.
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Simply fabulous! Colin and Renee steal the show! SPOILERSSSS
"I like you very much...just the way you are"- Mark Darcy, Colin Firth
I had read both books before seeing this movie, and strangely enough, I WASN'T disappointed, as is usual for book-to-movie transitions. I mean there were a few missing elements that I thought would have worked well if they hadn't been left out, but it was really good.
Most romantic comedies are cheesy and "blah". Bridget Jones's Diary, while having those cheesy moments in it, is still one of the most lovable romantic comedies out there. Renee Zellweger is fantastic at playing out the socially awkward, quirky and slightly lonely "singleton" who gets overwelmed by all the changes in her life, while trying to manage her weight, smoking and drinking.
Her two leading men both bring great prescence to the movie, Hugh Grant as the cocky,full-of-himself, two-timing boss who has a charm and appeal that sucks Bridget in to what she believes is love. He also helps to make her dislike of Mark grow, as he makes up a lie about Mark stealing his fiance, which we later find out is a total lie...
Then there's Colin Firth, who is just AMAZING as Mark, who almost oppositely first comes off as rude and ignorant, but is really INCREDIBLY sweet and kind hearted. There is just something about the way he stares, and the look in his eyes that makes him irresistable and he plays the part so well, I just love him. My only regret was they didn't include some of those adorable short scenes with him and Bridget in them that made it clear why he liked her so much. Anyhow, this was just a really sweet movie, that restores your faith in men, and gives you a happy feeling when you finish it. And I have a feeling even the guys won't mind this "Chick Flick"
Van Helsing (2004)
Okay, So you won't leave this movie feeling enlightened or emotionally effected....so what? Not EVERY movie needs to be an intellectually moving experience. Sometimes you just need some cool, exciting fun. And that's what Van Helsing offers. Enjoyment. I really liked this movie, and as far as action movies go, this is one of the best I've seen in a while. The cast was pretty good, and I have a biased love for David Wenham, who plays the funny, genius, sidekick Carl, because of his role in Lord of the Rings. He was very good, as was Hugh Jackman. It was action packed, and interesting and no yawns were involved! If you're one of those crazily critical people, you'll be able to find flaws in this, although I couldn't, but if you go in with the mindset of being entertained, not moved, you'll embrace this movie happily.
Man on Fire (2004)
Good acting, slightly stretched out but all in all, Good Film
I enjoyed this movie but it wasn't THAT great. I found the best parts to be near the beginning, pre-kidnap, because I just loved how Creasy (Denzel) and Pita's (Dakota) relationship was progressing. It was so adorable and heartwarming...I think I would have liked the movie more if it focused on the way she was able to break down his tough coating and bring out the sweetness in him. I loved the scene where she noticed him smiling and when he was training her for swimming and advising her to burp. I think a few more of those lovable scenes would have been nice. The rest of it was good too, and kind of exciting. It disturbed me a little bit at how ruthless Creasy could be to the people he was getting information from but the action was exciting. The end, though I wont give it away, was a bit depressing. It's not the greatest movie ever, but it's not a bad one either. Good acting, good plot, good SFX.
Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)
PAINFULLY PATHETIC MOVIE
This has to be about the worst movie I have EVER EVER EVER seen and I have seen BAD movies...the lines were SOOOOO corny and the plot was just pointless. I literally developed a PAIN from watching it, and not in my eyes cuz of the glasses but my STOMACH because it was just sickening. I hate it so much. It causes RAGE in me, and I am a PEACEFUL person. It needs to be erased from my mind forever...unfortunately i dont think its possible so ill just have to have this monstrosity stuck in my head for a while. Oh God help me. I would not reccommend this film for ANYTHING...except maybe if an evil tyrant wanted advice on torture methods. It is the most evil thing ever created by man!!!! Never watch it ever! It has TERRIBLE acting, a terrible plot, a terrible script and is just literally hell to sit through. spare yourself and even your children. DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!