Watch Just a Kid 2013 Full Movie

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Just A Kid is an independent film that follows Julie, a little girl, who misses the relationship she once had with her older brother... See more » |  »
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Watch Just a Kid (2013)
  • MOVIE Title: Just a Kid (2013)
  • Rate: (awaiting 5 votes) Your Rating: Saving vote... Deleting vote... /10 total (delete | history) Sorry, there was a problem MOVIEmeter: Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro. Director: Michael Scotti Jr. Contact:View company contact information for Just a Kid on IMDbPro.Genre:DramaPlot:Just A Kid is an independent film that follows Julie, a little girl, who misses the relationship she once had with her older brother... See more 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Michael Scotti Jr.
  • Stars: Rory Ogden, Ashley Beer, Joanne Belesante | See full cast and crew

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Plot: Just A Kid is an independent film that follows Julie, a little girl, who misses the relationship she once had with her older brother... See more » |  »

Story: Just A Kid is an independent film that follows Julie, a little girl, who misses the relationship she once had with her older brother, Edward, and does all she can to have that back but has some mishaps in the process. As children, Edward and Julie recreated their favorite films and made a few of their own with their small miniDV camera. Their relationship is strained when Edward finds a girlfriend. When they break up and Edward is heartbroken, Julie makes an effort to regain the relationship she once had with him. In attempts to mend Edward's heartbreak, Julie asks to make a movie like they used to in hopes that it will make him happy again but finds out that Edward's ex girlfriend, Lindsay, has it. Julie sets out on a mini adventure to take back their little camera from Lindsay and to get back at her but things don't go as planned - at all. Just A Kid explores family relationships by showing what bonds families and siblings together, while revealing that no one should be taken for ... Written byMichael Scotti Jr.


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Watch Until Death 2013 Full Movie

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A couple surviving the zombie apocalypse must choose between love and survival. |  »
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  • MOVIE Title: Until Death (2013)
  • Rate: (awaiting 5 votes) Your Rating: Saving vote... Deleting vote... /10 total (delete | history) Sorry, there was a problem MOVIEmeter: Up 30% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro. Director: James Boutcher Writer: James Boutcher (writer) Genre:Drama | HorrorPlot:A couple surviving the zombie apocalypse must choose between love and survival. | Add synopsis 
  • Genre: Drama | Horror
  • Runtime: 65 min
  • Director: James Boutcher
  • Stars: Murray Urquhart, Michelle D'Alessandro Hatt, Eleni Nico | See full cast and crew

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Plot: A couple surviving the zombie apocalypse must choose between love and survival. |  »

Story: A couple surviving the zombie apocalypse must choose between love and survival.


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Movie 43 (2013)

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 6:38 PM | Posted in


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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 0.5/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 0/10 (Zero)

MOVIE 43 (2013) - Peter Farrelly

.................................I.........this..........my God.........
There exists many detailed classifications of bad films. There are some that are "so bad it's good." Films like The Core and a whole plethora of campy horror films fit into this label perfectly. Then comes "plain bad." Comedies like the remake of The Pink Panther or the Clash of the Titans remake in 2009. Those films simply suffer from poor writing, cardboard characters, and lack of intriguing storytelling. Then comes "awful." Take "plain bad" and turn it up to eleven. Films like the atrocious Batman & RobinEragon, and Catwoman all fit in this category. Finally, there is The Last Airbender, known as the first and only film I have ever given a zero. Shamefully disposed of by M. Night Shyamalan, Airbender quickly took the cake as my worst film of all time, insulting the original series as well as simple plain filmmaking at the same time.

Then came a film known as Movie 43, a film that has been announced for years, with the largest esemble cast ever for a comedy. Advertised as outrageous and offensive and raucious beyond all boundaries, the film comes forth with its notorious tagline: "Once you see it, you can't unsee it." I cannot agree more. So here is a warning to you, the reader.

For a film that never explained the meaning of its title, Movie 43 is not a film, but a collection of shorts. In implication, it begins by following a crazed screenwriter (Dennis Quaid) who tries to get his script made into a film. All the shorts that follow next seem to be what this screenwriter wrote about. With a cast that include Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Sean William Scott, and a lot more, Movie 43 will inevitably be the film put on all of their "Worst Rated" film sections on their Rotten Tomatoes profiles.

Forget Hangover Part II. Forget all the lame Adam Sandler movies. Forget the lame comedies directed by David Gordon Green. This is the most appalling thing I have ever seen in my life. Whether it is a man who reveals he has a scrotum at his neck, a woman who wishes her boyfriend to defecate on her, or a boy and his brother's panic over his girlfriend first menstruation cycle, Movie 43 is nothing short of a twisted muck. Shattering all of the talented actors, who somehow managed to keep straight faces while filming the scenes, this scandalous piece does nothing that a film needs to do.

Movie 43, due to the fact that it is a collection of unrelated shorts, has no plot whatsoever. It takes no time in characterization, nor does it make any effort in telling a story. This is not a movie. This is a bunch of famous high-star actors having the weirdest of fun in front of the camera. Worse, there is no logical sense or explanation as to why anything that exists in this "film" is funny. Maybe the actors had fun on set, but sadly, those laughs do not come through the screen. To use a clever description technique from Mark Keizer, Movie 43 is "so lazy that it is utterly amazing that it had enough energy to come out of the projector."

There is really nothing much to say about Movie 43, but it is movies like these that make me give up in the world of filmmaking. In opposite to films being preserved for their significance, Movie 43 will be the "film" that holds the golden turd award for Most Copies Burned in a Pile. Again, why is it called Movie 43? We know it is not named after the number of shorts it has. We know it is not named after the number of times you will laugh. And finally, we know it is not named after the number of copies you will want to burn.

In conclusion, and I have said this several times already, Movie 43 is not a film. This is a crime against filmmaking. It is nothing but a sickening scar in the movie industry. This is one of those "films" that was made with no purpose and released to the audience with no purpose. In agreement with Richard Roeper,Movie 43 is "the Citizen Kane of awful." This is torture. This is purgatory. And how can you possibly make this worse? Have it star Academy Award-winning actors and demolish every single one of their careers. Forget Troll 2. Forget The Room. As for me, forget The Last Airbender. This is the worst nightmare for everyone. Time will stop. Existence would end. The universe will implode on itself 43 times. Hey, maybe that is why the-- ah nevermind.


Watch Stop the Pounding Heart 2013 Full Movie

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Watch Stop the Pounding Heart (2013)
  • MOVIE Title: Stop the Pounding Heart (2013)
  • Rate: 8.5/10 total 72 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Runtime: 98 min
  • Director: Roberto Minervini
  • Stars: Sara Carlson, Colby Trichell, Tim Carlson | See full cast and crew
  • Plot Keyword: Cow | Prayer | Writing In The Sand | Teenage Girl | Christian

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Story:


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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 1:02 PM | Posted in


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Film Analysis written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 8/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 5/10

Film Review & Analysis: Plot Holes and Writing [SPOILER ALERT]
STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005) - George Lucas

There are three intriguing ways to begin a film:

1. Begin with an initiating incident to get the plot going
2. Begin with a mystery, something that gets the audience to ask a question that will eventually be answered later on
3. Begin with a long single take that shows more than it tells

George Lucas shamefully tries to use Method #3 to kick off Revenge of the Sith. The drawback here is that the long single take is flooded with big ships and little ships shooting at each other with nothing but tiny and large explosions, all while the camera is following Anakin and Obi-Wan's ships. During that one long single take, which side is who? They all look the same, and the red and blue bullets go zig-zag all over the place so quickly that it is virtually impossible to tell where they came from. As a result, I am already baffled in the first shot.

Instead of portraying the beginning of the Clone War, Revenge of the Sith begins in the middle of the war, and starts with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) flying to an enemy ship to rescue Chancellor Palpatine, who has been kidnapped by the notorious General Grievous.

Before I continue on, I want to first start by saying that every question that I will ask from this point on were honestly questions that I asked when I saw Revenge of the Sith for the first time, in the year it was released. At the time, I was eleven years old, and I was not a filmmaker nor a critic but already a young movie-devoted viewer. You may choose to not believe me, but here I am being completely honest with you, the reader.

As Anakin and Obi-Wan arrive on Grievous' ship, fight through some droids, and eventually come across Chancellor Palpatine in a room that appears to be a heavy ripoff of the Emperor's throne in Return of the Jedi, they are encountered by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) once again. Again, just like in Attack of the Clones, Dooku defeats Obi-Wan quickly and knocks him out unconsciously on the side. As the individual fight between Anakin and Dooku continues, Anakin eventually defeats him by cutting off both of his hands, and putting him in the situation where Anakin is about to decapitate him. At this point, Palpatine laughs and, with a smile, orders Anakin to "kill Dooku." Although originally hesitant, Anakin complies and kills Dooku.

If I was Anakin at that spot, I would think to myself. "Why would the Chancellor, a man who is thought to be an efficient and uncorrupt leader who loves democracy, suddenly order me to kill Dooku? On top of that, order me while laughing?" To me, that was the most odd event ever to occur. Furthermore, knowing that Palpatine is actually Sidious, does this mean Palpatine intentionally wanted himself kidnapped? Did he plan this out with Grievous? Based on my observations, Dooku does not know of this plan because he makes a surprised face when Palpatine tells Anakin to kill him. Feeling betrayed, shouldn't Dooku just spill the beans right now that Palpatine is Sidious all along? What if Anakin still follows the Jedi way and spares Dooku's life? What would happen then? In other words, Dooku was disposed of without a satisfactory nor logical wrap-up.

After freeing Palpatine, Anakin runs over to Obi-Wan and is determined to carry him on his back. Here, Palpatine tells Anakin that "there's no time" in addition to telling him to "leave [Obi-Wan], or we'll never make it." Hold on, you're telling Anakin to leave behind his master? A Jedi who the Council and Republic has trusted for so many years? And what is with this sudden hurry of time that was never mentioned earlier? Within five minutes, the Chancellor has already displayed two signs of superstition, yet Anakin is still blind and stupid enough to not notice.

Later on, Anakin and Obi-Wan successfully rescues the Chancellor and brings him back to Coruscant. However, Grievous escaped before he was able to be killed or get captured. It is here where we learn that the war will continue as long as Grievous is alive. It is also here where we learn that Sidious orders Grievous to send Gunroy and the other separatist leaders to the Mustafar system, somehow grouping all of those leaders together at one place, an easy target if anyone knows where they are.

Soon enough, Grievous' location is finally tracked, and the Council assigns Obi-Wan to fly to the planet Utupau to find the cyborg, while in parallel assigns Anakin to spy on the Chancellor. However, Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) himself does not like the presence of Anakin and the Chancellor together. Then why did you put them together yourself? If you really wanted to spy on him, why can't you just use the security holograms like Obi-Wan used later on to discover that Anakin is working for Palpatine? Again, just like in Attack of the Clones, this is a perfect example of a character dumbing himself down in order to let the plot continue.

As Anakin reunites with Padme and learns that she is pregnant, he has a nightmare that she dies in childbirth. At the same time, the Chancellor starts telling Anakin stories about how the Sith can create life with the Force. If I was Anakin, I would ask myself: "Why does the Chancellor know so much about the dark side of the Force? Especially for a guy who hates the Jedi?" Again, a character dumbing himself down. 

Finally realizing that Palpatine is indeed Sidious, Anakin reveals this disturbing truth to Master Windu in a scene where they are both calmly walking in a large room that builds no tension whatsoever. In response, Windu leads a group of Jedi Masters to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. First of all, this is a Sith Lord. As a Jedi who can sense the Force, why were you unable to sense the dark side of the Force residing in Palpatine for all these years? Why can't you put him in a more vulnerable spot to see if this is true? Do something in public instead. For example, ask for a vote of no confidence, similar to what Padme did in The Phantom Menace to vote out Chancellor Valorum. Why not do a midichlorian count like Qui-Gon did on Anakin in The Phantom Menace? Or, why not just confront him in front of everyone in public? Confronting him in secret in his room only gives him a chance to fight back without anyone knowing. As a result, Windu loses three Jedi Masters as well as himself later on, due to Anakin.

Quickly and illogically, Anakin then pledges himself to the Palpatine's teachings. However, he does this under the condition that Palpatine helps to save Padme's life, saying that he can't live without her. Palpatine then says how if they work together, he knows that they can discover the secret. In all honesty, I thought he already knew how to do it, otherwise I wouldn't join him. Palpatine then orders Anakin, now renamed Darth Vader, to not only kill off all the younglings, I mean children, in the Jedi Temple, but also to wipe out all the separatist leaders on the Mustafar system. In parallel, Palpatine executes Order 66 to all of the clones, which is probably the best and most redeeming scene in the entire film. Not only was this scene done well with terrific music from John Williams, but it also does great explanation as to why a Jedi is so rare in the original trilogy. However, the failure of logic comes back to haunt us.

Within the Senate, Palpatine, now the Emperor, speaks to everyone that the Jedi Council has attempted to overthrow the Republic. Do you expect the people to really believe him? You're telling me that the Jedi, which has protected peace and justice for over a thousand generations, would suddenly just want overthrow a monstrous-looking old man like you? At the same time, the Emperor yells about how he is now converting the Republic into the first and only Galactic Empire. Really now, do the people legitimately trust this person or is everyone seriously mind-wiped? Don't mind his hood and his creepy yellow eyes and creepy voice. By the way, this just boggles my mind that a Jedi as wise as Master Yoda could have not foreseen this somewhere. This only tells me one thing, that everyone in the story is plain stupid.

With only Yoda and Obi-Wan left as the remaining Jedi, Obi-Wan flies to Mustafar along with Padme to confront Anakin, while Yoda faces the Emperor himself. On Mustafar, we get one of the most poorly written scenes of dialogue in the entire Star Wars franchise. Once again, instead of showing us things, the dialogue just tells it to us, as if we are kids. Well, the prequels are indeed made for a younger audience. After Padme is put aside, it all comes down to the final conclusive saber fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan, which did not need to run that long. I would agree that it is the fight with the best substance out of the prequels, but again, the fight is nothing but fancy choreography with Lucas finding what is the coolest location to put the fighters in. Grabbing onto a rope and hitting sabers while swinging on them? Why not just cut the rope? Besides, the point of this fight is to have Obi-Wan win and have Anakin lose, eventually becoming Vader in the physical form. However, this did not need to run so long. Because of its bloated length and extreme settings, everything becomes so unreal that we are already pulled out from the fight. As a result, the fight even becomes boring at some point. Seriously, there are moments where it does not look like anyone is winning. They are equivalently good. So why is this still going? However, the editing of the fight scene is very satisfying, especially when it parallels Obi-Wan's fight with Anakin to Yoda's fight with the Emperor. Anyways, how do we end the fight? By putting Obi-Wan on "the high ground." Honestly now, the distance between the platform that Anakin's standing on to the point where the ground comes out of the lava is seriously five feet. He can just pull a human jump and get onto the hill. What is so special about having a "high ground?" Looks like George Lucas has underestimated our intelligence as thinkers.

In the end, Anakin physically becomes Darth Vader, but finds out that he has "killed Padme due to his anger." So now that he has nothing left for him, why is he still continuing his allegiance to the Emperor? By now, he has realized that he has wronged the one he loves, wronged himself, and he did not get what he wanted when he joined the dark side. So why is he still in it? To contradict Obi-Wan's statement in A New Hope, Anakin was not "seduced by the dark side." He was "tricked."

Once again, the entire purpose of the prequel trilogy is to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker and how he became Darth Vader. Though I have already stated that this plot line is unnecessary, if you want to do it, then do it right. Talking about how Anakin turned to the dark side is simply a character study. At the same time, this is a tragedy too. He should have been someone who the Jedi Council trusted so much and we as an audience trusted so much. None of that exists in Revenge of the Sith simply because of poor writing and storytelling. We still never got to learn what kind of person Anakin is. In Empire Strikes Back, the film took a lot of productive time to let us know the full personality of Luke as he is training under Yoda. In Revenge of the Sith and the predecessor Attack of the Clones, we never saw how Anakin trained under Obi-Wan. In fact, watching him train under Obi-Wan could have solved two problems. 1. Let us know more about Anakin as a person, and 2. Show that Anakin and Obi-Wan are friends, instead of telling us through things we have never seen.

When looking at the basis of filmmaking, one would find that there is very little done properly in Revenge of the Sith. Do a little challenge for yourself. I want you to rewatch the film and count how many conversation scenes there are where two or more characters talk on a couch or while standing, and the camera does the cliche shot jumps. There is no skill or talent of direction here. It is as if George Lucas wanted to get them over with so that he can get back to the action scenes. When Anakin talks about his frustration with the Council, he and Padme are sitting in a couch. When Obi-Wan reveals that Anakin has turned to the dark side to Padme, they are also sitting in a couch. Soon enough, one of the characters would stand up, walk a few paces, then turn around again to resume the conversation. Nothing organic, no true emotions, and nothing connecting to us. As a result, half of the film is plain dull and lifeless.

Fortunately for Revenge of the Sith, the film ends with the explanation of how Luke and Leia parted ways after they were born, and really does a good job at demonstrating the phrase of "a new hope." I would say, yes the film does a nice transition to A New Hope, but there is nothing good in Revenge of the Sith that was not seen done better in the original trilogy, or even The Phantom Menace. For what it needed to do, Revenge of the Sith did have some moments that I desired to see (for example, Order 66). However, in its technicality, it suffers from the same flaws that plagued Attack of the Clones. If it was not for better visual effects and a more consistent atmosphere throughout its narrative, Revenge of the Sith would have been just as bad as its predecessor, if not worse.

In conclusion, Revenge of the Sith is yet another disappointment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. You can say that it is entertaining still with all the eye candy to watch, but not even those can save the storytelling aspect of this film. This is why The Phantom Menace is the best film in the prequels, because it never needed a heavy emphasis and attention on storytelling and character analysisIt is a mediocre film that never wanted to be a piece of filmmaking that is done in an entertaining and enjoyable fashion. For what it is worth, I got what I wanted from The Phantom Menace. For a film that is meant to have the largest transition in the plot, the deepest themes in the characters, and a large tragedy that is meant to break our hearts, we are instead heartbroken by how little attention Lucas paid to those important filmmaking elements in Revenge of the Sith.

Now, on a minor note. Many people ask the question about what order should they watch the Star Wars franchise. All the fans would say to watch Episodes 4-6 and completely trash the first three, while some others would indeed say to watch all six films in chronological order. For me, it is hard to decide. Despite Episode 2 and 3 being utterly disappointing, they still need to be seen at least once. Yet, I would not want viewers to watch the prequels first, because they really devalue many elements in the original trilogy. As a result, I would say, watch Episodes 4-6 first, and if you really want to watch the prequel trilogy, go ahead. Then, if you have the time and are still interested, rewatch all six in chronological order if you want to understand it all. But by then, you would have already sensed a disturbance in the Force.


Watch A Single Shot 2013 Full Movie

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 12:03 PM | Posted in , ,


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The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood. |  »
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Watch A Single Shot (2013)
  • MOVIE Title: A Single Shot (2013)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 404 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Runtime: 116 min
  • Director: David M. Rosenthal
  • Stars: Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Ted Levine | See full cast and crew
  • Plot Keyword: Based On Novel

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Plot: The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood. |  »

Story: The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.


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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 4:01 PM | Posted in


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Film Analysis written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 6.7/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 3/10

Film Review & Analysis: Plot Holes and Writing [SPOILER ALERT]
STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2002) - George Lucas

"You fought in the Clone Wars?" asked Luke Skywalker from the original A New Hope. What was the Clone Wars? We never knew in the original trilogy. Now that the second prequel is going to be called Attack of the Clones, are we going to see what the Clone War is? The answer is yes, but there is unfortunately nothing excited about it. Unlike The Phantom MenaceAttack of the Clones now has a main character that we follow, grown-up Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). What you did not know is that the second film would be plagued by the worst writing possible that The Phantom Menace was lucky enough to avoid.

In all seriousness, the film began with a legit initiating incident, a failed assassination attempt at Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator. What butchered this scene though, and what told me that this is going to be a complete failure, was the opening line of this incident. The security chief, who lands alongside Padme, says, "Guess I was wrong. There was no danger at all." Well, I guess he spoke too soon.

Anyways, the plot line for Attack of the Clones does make an attempt at continuing the story left by Phantom Menace, which shows promise. After the Trade Federation left Naboo, several star systems start joining together against the Republic. These group of separatists are led by a mysterious figure named Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). During this whole secession, an assassination attempt is made on Padme Amidala, and as a result, Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her while his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is assigned to investigate this assassination attempt.

As mentioned before in The Phantom Menace, characterization was indeed a flaw but was not one that I paid much attention to. Here, everything is different. Here, characters all matter, since this film dives into the love story between Anakin and Padme, as well as the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The film begins with the concept that both of the Jedi are friends. However, George Lucas displays his poor writing skills on this part. Instead of showing us their actions for each other, Lucas "tells" us that Obi-Wan and Anakin are friends by recounting things they have done in the past. These things, though, we have never seen on screen before. We do not physically see them act like friends together throughout the film. In fact, we see them arguing more.

Though I mentioned that Anakin is the main character, the film does not show that in detail, because it jumps back and forth between Anakin and Obi-Wan. In all honesty, Obi-Wan's plot line is far more interesting because he is investigating a mystery. After another failed assassination attempt at Padme, Obi-Wan uses a toxic dart used and tracks it to the planet of Kamino. Here, he not only meets a bounty hunter called Jango Fett, but he also finds a clone army secretly being made for the Galactic Republic. The true mystery is that the Kamino aliens soon reveal that this clone army production was ordered ten years ago. You would think to report this news back to the Senate and have them investigate this, because this is probably the most fishy thing that can ever happen at a time like this. However, the Jedi Council are blind enough to connect this clone army to the assassination attempt at Amidala, and they do not reveal this at all to the Republic. Maybe if this was spilled, Chancellor Palpatine's true colors would have been revealed.

As for Anakin's plot line, his assignment was to protect Padme, because there is still a bounty hunter out to kill her. However, as we progress through their days on Naboo, they do not look like they are hiding at all. From standing at a beautiful wide-open balcony to sitting in a wide-open grass field, you would think that a sniper can just easily take down Padme while the two are talking about sappy love. Speaking of love, this is where the screenwriting takes a turn for the worst, because none of it makes any sense at all.

First of all, Anakin made more negative moves on Padme than he did positive moves. These range from complaining about being a Jedi to interrupting and losing temper. As a matter of fact, every interaction between the two are when they sit or when they stand. There is no real physical interaction nor chemistry nor substance in this relationship. Oh, and did I mention that the film told us that Jedis are not allowed to love, for no explained reason. For me, this is only a cheesy effect used to make Anakin's love for Padme even more "forbidden," and as a result, more "romantic." But wait, Obi-Wan confessed that he loved Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. Is that forbidden too? A love story needs to explore characters, where it studies the personalities of both individuals, with their strengths and flaws, and slowly show how they need each other and become fit for each other. This is something called "substance." Here in Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padme start talking about love even when they do not truly know each other yet. By the way, they get married in about a week of being together. Because George Lucas is unable to tell this love story to us, he has no choice but to visually tell us. So what can he possibly throw onto the screen? How about a beautiful island that they arrive to via boat, similar to Venice? How about having lunch at an exquisitely designed dining room? How about sitting in a wide-open grass field with a lot of flowers and totally fake-looking waterfalls in the background? Nothing but visual cliches.

By the way, halfway into the assignment, Anakin diverts to Tatooine because he has a nightmare about his mother. This then leads to him watching his mother die, then leads him to slaughter entire groups of men, women, and children. Somehow, Padme still marries him. Seriously, if one takes all of Anakin's lines and analyze them, they are nothing but rants and complaints coming from a man who whines. Aren't we supposed to like him? Wasn't he "seduced" by the dark side of the Force? Shouldn't this be a tragedy story? By this time, we really no longer care for Anakin.

In fact, when looking at all the characters and their actions in this film, everyone says and does things as if they read the script in advanced, or they dumb themselves down so that an upcoming event that Lucas wants can occur. In addition, every scene that involves talking is heavily different from every scene that involves action, almost as if the two types of scenes are directed by two different people. Every time a conversation scene occurs, the two characters are either sitting on a couch or standing by a window. Every time, in the middle of the conversation, a character would look away, walk a few paces, then turn around and resume the conversation. As for the camerawork, it is nothing but standard formulaic over-the-shoulder shots. There is nothing in the environment to immerse the characters in, nothing for them to interact with. Seriously, you can put the characters talking at any place you want and it probably won't make a difference. This is what happens when you handicap the actors at nothing but a green screen wall. As a result, with a computer-generated background, everything looks way too clean, too unreal, and therefore unable for the audience to connect to. A fancy setting like Coruscant is no better than the actual set built to represent the rebel base at the planet Hoth in Empire Strikes Back

When Ewan McGregor walks down the hallway in Kamino to look at the clones in Attack of the Clones, he is walking on nothing but a green floor, staring at a green wall. The only thing Lucas can do is tell McGregor that that green wall is where the clones are at. This is why I heavily praise directors who use animatronics and special effects combined. When Spielberg does big action scenes in Jurassic Park, he uses computer-generated imagery, but when he does dinosaur-human interactions, he uses animatronics so that there is something that the actor can interact with and therefore use his/her acting skills in that scene. Here, it appears that Lucas is just using the actors as a tool to tell his badly written story. Filmmaking is a collaboration, and believe me, actors can do things more amazing than you think.

Think the Jedi are cool, right? I think so too. But never have I thought that shoving over a hundred Jedi on the screen can be a bad thing. This is a flaw that many American filmmakers do, and is a flaw that George Lucas makes a lot in the prequels: the assumption that "bigger is always better." This assumption happens a lot in comedies. To quote Wade Major, this is the assumption that "If one mouse scaring an elephant is funny, then ten mice scaring a thousand elephants would be hilarious." Here, Lucas believes the same thing, but in the action genre instead. Putting over a hundred Jedi to fight the droid army is not more interesting than watching Obi-Wan himself fighting Vader. Having Jango Fett chase Obi-Wan and repeatedly shooting, but missing him is not more intense than Luke and Solo trying to pass by the stormtroopers unseen. By the way, Attack of the Clones does a rather entertaining but bloated battle that leads to, of course, a climactic lightsaber fight, which eventually leads to a surprise fight between Count Dooku and Master Yoda. Although many fans despised this scene, I found it acceptable. In Empire Strikes Back, we never expected a tiny little creature to be a Jedi Master. The same thing applies here in a way. A little creature like Yoda can still fight fluently against a Sith, even by jumping around and doing flips. Unfortunately, this fight does not last for more than two minutes.

In conclusion, Attack of the Clones is the most disappointing thing for a Star Wars film, the worst in the prequel trilogy. Though it bears more depth and a moodier atmosphere than The Phantom Menace, it does nothing but expose Lucas' frailty in writing character development and plot development. Remember, a filmmaker's ambition generates my expectation. If you plan to make the second prequel darker and more character-driven than the first, then I expect it to be better and legitimately written. Instead, the complete opposite was delivered. At this point, I rather see a low-rank story film like Phantom Menace be done normally against a high-rank story film like Attack of the Clones be done horribly. Truly upsetting.

In the end, the Clone Army is officially made, and the Chancellor has now been given emergency powers to lead what is now called the Clone War. As the imperial march theme from Empire Strikes Back begin to play, we get a moody and rather atmospheric transition to what would soon be the last entry to the prequel trilogy. But wait, quickly cut back to Anakin and Padme and have them get married. Oh jeez. Begun, the horror has.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 4:59 PM | Posted in


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Film Analysis written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 5.7/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 6/10

Film Review & Analysis: Plot Holes and Writing [SPOILER ALERT]
STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999) - George Lucas

The year is 1999, sixteen years after Return of the Jedi was released, ending the classic and iconic Star Wars trilogy. Now, with the breakthrough of computer-generated imagery, it is time for George Lucas to bring the true visual tone of Star Wars to life, by telling an origin story of Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader.

This time around, The Phantom Menace takes place at a time when Anakin is just a little boy in his ten's, living a dangerous and unpleasant slave life in his home planet of Tatooine, the same home planet of Luke Skywalker, Anakin's son. It appears that the prequel trilogy is telling the story of Anakin and how he becomes a Jedi who finds himself slowly seduced by the dark side of the Force. Already, in this critic's opinion, this was a bad idea to start. Why? Because in all honesty, Darth Vader was not the true antagonist of the original trilogy.

Though he is the most iconic villain in the franchise, his actual presence and tasks are merely of low rank. If looked at in detail, Vader does a lot of "dirty work" under the hands of the Empire, similar to an SS general in contrast to, say, Adolf Hitler himself. In Return of the Jedi, one of the main character themes is redemption, the process of how Darth Vader reverted back to Anakin Skywalker. At this point, we only cared about him coming back to the good side. We never wanted to care *how* he went to the dark side. The only thing that the audience needed is one sentence from Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force." That one sentence from A New Hope told us everything we really needed to know. Now that we are going to have not one but three movies to tell us how Anakin became Darth Vader, George Lucas seems to be pushing the story arc a bit too much.

Well, now that The Phantom Menace is the very first of the Star Wars series, it needs to do the job of a prequel. What can the film be about? At this point, it would be awkward to put Anakin as the protagonist, because we will end up following a ten-year old boy across different planets. So how do we tell this story?

The Phantom Menace revolves around a scandal being run in the universe. The Trade Federation has started a taxation process on trade routes specifically on the planet of Naboo, led by Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). Eventually, the Federation has set up a full-on blockade to prevent supplies from ever going to the planet, and this soon leads to a head-on invasion. As the Galactic Senate continues to debate on how to settle this conflict, the Chancellor secretly dispatches Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), to discuss the dispute with the Federation, led by Viceroy Gunray. It is soon revealed that Gunray is leading this scandal with what seems to be the Emperor we have known from the original trilogy. As The Phantom Menace progresses, Qui-Gon meets young Anakin Skywalker and becomes determined to train him in the Jedi arts, under the protest of the Jedi Council.

At this point, the public audience has already commonly agreed that the storyline is utterly disappointing and boring. What cares about trade routes? Who is the main character here? Is there anything worth caring about? Though I completely understand the anger from the fans, I found myself accepting of this story in The Phantom Menace, and this is why:

When you read a history textbook, do you connect with any notable figure? Are you able to truly bond with Franklin D. Roosevelt when he desperately tried to save the United States from the Great Depression? Not quite, because those books never emphasized on truly who Roosevelt was, what his personality was. You see him as a character, but it is indeed much harder to relate to him. Yet, the whole story of him saving the nation at a time of crisis is still intriguing to tell. This is exactly how I felt for The Phantom Menace, and the reason why I accept this kind of plot line in The Phantom Menace is because of the very fact that this is the film that starts the whole saga. This is the film that introduces us to the world of Star Wars. It should be nothing but a mere window for us to peak at and observe. As a result, the storyline of The Phantom Menace is tolerable, even when the writing is sloppy at times.

After being attacked by the Federation, the two Jedis discover a droid army built to invade Naboo. In response, they stow away onto the ships, land on the planet with the army, and warn the Queen. This whole scene though boggles my mind. First, why would the droid army land so far away from the palace to begin with? Oh, so that the Jedi can run into Jar Jar Binks. 

To be honest, I dislike Jar Jar Binks, but not as much as everyone else. Yes, he is annoying and is the worst idea for comic relief in the film. However, I did like the idea of the whole Gungan race, and having a specific Gungan to be with the Jedi. But, change his voice and make him not funny, but still keep his character.

For the Trade Federation, maybe the army should have landed right in the city so they can take the Queen right away. However, if that was to happen instead, then how does that give the Jedi enough time to warn the Queen about the invading army? Furthermore, the Queen does not have her own army to protect her, just security volunteers. As for the Viceroy, he then begins pushing the Queen to sign a treaty, making the invasion legal. What would this do for him exactly? If you are planning on pushing someone to sign a treaty, you might as well forge it. Furthermore, not only does he not push right away, he sends the Queen away to be "processed," which coincidentally gives the Jedi room to come to the rescue and flee off the planet.

Come to think of it, if they wanted to escape the planet of Naboo, they should have tried to escape using a smart tactic, instead of flying a ship directly towards the blockade, which can probably annihilate them in seconds. After successfully escaping the Federation, the ship starts losing power and they land on Tatooine to fix the ship. This is where Qui-Gon meets our Anakin, and the reason why he trains him is because of his high midichlorian count. Oh wait. What are midichlorians? They are explained to be microscopic life forms that logically explain the existence of the Force. Okay. Why not just say that the Force is strong with Anakin?

After leaving Tatooine, our fellow characters then fly to the city/planet of Coruscant, where the Galactic Senate and Jedi Council reside at. Here, Qui-Gon attempts to persuade the Council to allow Anakin to train under the Jedi Arts. This is where the characters bring about a "prophecy," where a chosen one is said to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Arguably, the prophecy makes sense when looking at all six Star Wars films together. However, if you introduce a prophecy, you should tell the audience how this prophecy came to be. Otherwise, this becomes nothing but a formulaic plot device. In response to Qui-Gon, the Council all sense "grave danger" in Anakin's training, and thus refuse. However, at the end of the film, they allow the training to go on for no explainable nor logical reason. By the way, this illogical decision is made by wise Jedi Masters who maintained peace and justice for a thousand generations.

While this entire plot line of the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala's revolt, and Anakin's introduction is going on, there exists a subplot where the sudden emergence of the Sith arrives. For the people who are still not sure who the phantom menace is, it is Darth Maul. According to the Council in the film, the Sith have been "extinct" for a million years. This sudden reappearance must trigger a red flag to all of the Jedi, so why would they not group together and capture this new enemy? Instead, the Council sends only Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Why do I consider the entire Council arriving to stop Maul possible? Because the entire Council basically arrives and fights later on in Attack of the Clones.

In all honesty, Darth Maul is one of my favorite aspects of The Phantom Menace. Creating a villain is actually very tough in a film. A villain needs to have something worth remembering, something that stays in our heads and can imply more than it tells. When we saw Darth Vader for the first time in A New Hope, all George Lucas needed to do was to have his black appearance "break" the white smoke as he walks in. As this darkness of a figure walks in, we already visually know that Vader is the "baddest of them all," and we figure this out without having him say a single word or do a single action. You might not be aware of this, but your mind naturally takes this visual in. For Darth Maul, he does the same thing. His red face with black pattern designs on his face generates an appearance similar to the devil. He bears a gothic tone with his horns and facial designs. He does not need to say a word and you know he is evil. With his black hood and yellow eyes, there is no good in him. Unfortunately, this creatively made villain dies off within one film. In this critic's opinion, he should have been present in all three prequels, because he is the best Sith of them all in the prequel trilogy. With a double lightsaber, Maul is both evil and extremely fast in saber fighting. But for the saber fighting themselves, they do have big problems.

In the original trilogy, there is no grace in the lightsaber fights. The characters look like they are really trying to kill each other. They look like they are fighting. Here in The Phantom Menace, the Jedi look like they are dancing or performing. It all dives down into choreography. If you are watching the film as a kid though, you would indeed find it far more entertaining, and I would agree. However, we need a depth to things, a context to the events. When Luke faces Vader, it is never about the fight itself, but the character conflicts they have within each other. In Phantom Menace, it is nothing but the fight itself and what fancy locations the filmmakers can put the Jedi in. I would not call this bad. I guess you can call it stylish, but if you compare it to the original trilogy, it has a different meaning altogether.

Come to think of it, what are those red walls in the hallway during the lightsaber fight? Even lightsabers were unable to go through it. What were they for exactly? For me, I cannot think of anything else except for a plot device used to separate Obi-Wan from Qui-Gon so that Qui-Gon can die. What was that giant hole for as well? I cannot think of anything else except for a visual device used to show the formulaic image of the villain falling to his death, similar to falling off a cliff into an ocean or falling off the roof.

Despite the lightsaber fight having a few problems, the final fight itself within the last half hour was extremely entertaining. Although many argue that there are too many events going on, The Phantom Menace is again an exception because it tells its story like a history lesson instead of a narrative. To be honest, the final fight was well-made in the editing department, that is if the humor from Jar Jar was removed. Otherwise, the Gungan fight against the droid army is the most entertaining fight I have seen in the science fiction genre.

Yes, the writing is very sloppy at times in The Phantom Menace, but it is one of those films where it is never intended to be looked at as a cinematic work of filmmaking. This is why there is so much hate for it when comparing it to the original trilogy, because the original trilogy were indeed works of filmmaking.The Phantom Menace is one of those simplistic popcorn films that are meant to just give the audience a good time instead of really doing something a film needs to do. The film has no depth, no character study, no themes to explore, but that is completely fine, mostly because this is the origin story. As a result, there are a lot of flaws in The Phantom Menace that I honestly do not mind and let slide by.

In conclusion, The Phantom Menace is all-in-all an entertaining science fiction film, even when it is definitely inferior to the original trilogy. As a controversial opinion, The Phantom Menace is the best entry in the prequel trilogy. Why? Because it made the audience have the least expectations and because it is the origin story that sets everything up. It has a lot less elements to truly screw up on. As for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, well, I've got a bad feeling about this.


Mama (2013)

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Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 6:58 PM | Posted in


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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 6.4/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 8/10

MAMA (2013) - Andres Muschietti

A mother's love never dies.

Based on the 2008 short film Mamá, also by Muschietti, Mama is a feature-film adaptation, after Guillermo del Toro was inspired by Muschietti's short but very effective work.

The film revolves around young couple Lucas and Annabel (Jessica Chastain), who spent five years searching for Lucas' lost neices, and successfully finds them. Unexplainable on how they survived in the cabin without a parent, the two little girls gained an animalistic nature over the years, and constantly refer to an imaginary friend as "Mama." Lucas and Annabel accept to become the children's' legal guardians under the condition that they move into a special home used to perform case studies with the doctor. Soon enough, evidence is presented that "Mama" has moved in with the new family, still attached to the girls and now haunting the couple.

Mama is a January film, and for all the film critics out there, you would know that January is the worst month for movies throughout the year. For Jessica Chastain, who just finished Zero Dark Thirty with Kathryn Bigelow, it seems as if she is approaching a smaller and less difficult role. Going from Oscar-worthy performance to playing the female lead in a horror film released in January? Doesn't sound like much hope, does it? To my greatest surprise, Mama is proof that Chastain is indeed a very versatile actress. Arguably, she is one out of many great things that help Mama be a well-respected horror film.

Both actresses that portray the little girls are exceptional. For two young actresses that do not have their own Wikipedia article, they efficiently build the theme of youth in this film, whether it is chemistry with Chastain or chemistry with "Mama." However, both chemistries deliver in their own unique way. On Chastain's part, director Muschietti smartly starts with a chemistry that triggers adjectives like "awkward," "difficult," and "quiet." Along with the screenplay's pacing, Muschietti slowly mounts on this mother-daughter relationship. With the help of the performances, the chemistry grows at its most natural momentum. As for "Mama," there exists a compelling clash between the girls' innocence and Mama's violent and deranged presence.

Mama is utterly terrifying, especially for a slender contorted woman who floats in the air -- her hair flowing as if it is underwater. In my experience in watching ghosts in the horror genre, there are three kinds: The kind that is white or transparent and flies casually, the kind that looks like a pale human that either walks slowly or crawls on the floor, and the kind that looks all black and floats in the air, and moves in inhumanely fast speeds. Imagine a human spider. Creepy beyond all belief.

Though Mama is feasibly not a horror film, it is one of the most atmospheric in years. Despite the fact that other recent films like Sinister and Insidious also delivered in its tone, only Mama comes forth with a story that can emotionally connect with the audience. Again, it all comes back down to the story and characters. If you give us someone and something for us to really care about, it is much scarier when the eerie mood comes into play.

The cinematography is probably the most elegantly played component in the entire film. A skillful builder of tension and claustrophobia, Muschietti uses long single takes, where the camera follows the characters as they wander around the house. At times, even the camera itself is a character, observing things and hiding things. Many believe that shaky camerawork builds the tension in a film, because the trembling movements make the audience uneasy. After watching Mama, you will find out that a chilling scene can be delivered even when the camera is literally just standing still. It is all about framing, timing, design of the location, and what the director chooses to show you. Once again, knowledgeable camerawork can make all the difference for a horror film. Take the short film Mamá. The short is only two minutes long, only a scary scene. However, believe it or not, the whole piece is one single shot that goes from a bedroom to a hallway to even down the stairs. Fortunately, the short film is kept in the feature film, but changed in necessary ways, of course.

This is Andres Muschietti's theatrical debut, and for a director who's first feature length film is a conversion of his short film, he has succeeded past my expectations. Similar to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, the film bears a huge atmosphere that only belongs in the world of Guillermo del Toro, even when he himself did not direct the film. Surely, Mama has a few holes in its plot, but they are small enough to temporarily not be aware of. If graded on a curve, the film is definitely one of the better American horror films, especially in the supernatural genre. What a surprise for a film released in January.

In conclusion, Mama is credible old-fashion horror, where all that matters is a legit script, smart camerawork, solid acting, and creepy visuals that do not use blood. Surprisingly for a director's debut, Muschietti tries his best and impresses as a "rookie" to horror filmmaking. Well, he did make an impressive short film after all, even when it is two minutes long. With a rather knowledgeable first-time director, and Guillermo del Toro on the side chair, Mama breaks almost all the formulaic flaws of the horror genre by using classic tension building and atmosphere creating. There is also a possible chance that the imagery of Mama herself will stay in your mind for a while. Moths too.