I can see how most fans wouldn't like episode, especially compared to the others, but what Black Mirror is known for is its unique individual stories based on technology affecting society. This was no different, but more evident.
In short (and short and sweet and to the point this episode was), the entire struggle was to obtain something innocent and special for obviously a child, and it shows that human nature will ignore even danger to achieve a goal that will make that child smile... all based on a promise. Its portrays human emotion, kindness, resolve, and much more. Then it shows that technology simply does not care and does what its goal is, no matter what, and in this case its to destroy humanity.
You don't need a back story or character development nor plot twists and turns to get the point across as well as this episode did. Barvo! A well deserved 9/10
Another obvious identity issue of this film was the score - one minute a suspenseful tone, the next a Western themed acoustic guitar, then some great sci-fi undertones. This film was all over the place trying to be an intellectual art piece, then a mind-expanding mystery, then a lethargically paced pretentious plot mess, then a cinematic masterpiece, then a Hollywood big-screen sci-fi.
No wonder the executive producers where bickering throughout the production and final cut including where/how to distribute this film.
The slowly paced almost 2 hour length really needed to be cut down to 90 mins max and much faster paced.
The lead actors were also rather bland, but I blame the director for failing to direct them properly and his slowly paced screenplay.
My initial rating from the start of this film was only a 4/10. I added 2 stars for some incredible visuals, and another 1 star for the last 20 mins of the film that actually felt like I was watching a great sci-fi.
Thus my final rating is a 7/10 which is a shame, as this film had the potential to easily be a 9 or 10/10, but instead flopped at the box office by suffering its identity crisis.
Mitch Gould's attempt to write and direct this film failed miserably. The only redeeming quality and the reason for a 3 and not a 1/10 is the concept of the story, and the fairly decent costumes of the 'drones'.
The dialogue was so cheesy, it made Louis Mandylor's character unbearable, as was his acting, and for that matter the rest of the cast. The blame for the acting failure goes primarily to the director for failing to direct his cast properly.
The slow-mo action scenes were also unbearable. This entire dragged out film was basically me watching a 5 year old play a video game and pause to change the viewing angles in slow motion. Right from the starting credits, I was hoping I wouldn't see any more of this cheesy directing, yet the film was full of it. Then you have the endless dragged-out gun fights of constant back and forth shooting where both sides just keep missing. Did a 5th grader write the screenplay? And what's with the western themed score?
Any comparison to Predator, the A-Team or the Expendables is an insult to either franchise.
I'm guessing either someones rich dad funded this mess or someone won a lottery - and wanted to become a filmmaker.
This film hurt to watch. Don't waste your time with it. A very generous 3/10 from me.
He teams up with (his brother) Alston Ramsay's first ever role as writer, and together they create a wonderfully tense, low-budget film noir that benefits greatly from its perfect length, pace, tautness and lack of pretension.
By focusing more on suspense and tension with a perfect touch of gore, the Ramsay brothers have crafted an economical and effective alternative to the many disappointing big-budget entries into this genre.
The primarily novice C-list, and a few B-list actors were surprisingly impressive. The score was perfect. The cinematography on point.
Yes there were a few light plot issues, but still much better writing than some seasoned professional high-paid Hollywood writers.
Aside from that, this film was pretty much flawless - considering its a low budget and B-grade entry level film. Would I see it again and recommend it? Absolutely! A well deserved 8.5 rounded up up a 9/10
Bruce's direction of the cameras in general was ok for a b-grade film, but he failed in directing some of the celebrity actors and made them seem like amateurs, as where the rest of the cast. James Caan was the only convincing character, and in a distant second place was Mark Hamill.
The score was atrocious... something that at times belonged in a Disney adventure film. The editing was just as bad.
The only reason I gave this film a very generous 6/10 was for introducing and telling the viewer the true story of Barry Minkow (who was also in the film as himself). I ended up learning more of his story by Google-ing him. Would I see it again or recommend it? Nope. But if you're into these type of white-collar criminal biographical films, it may be interesting enough to see.
The futuristic sets - even down to the detail, were amazing. It's a shame this film failed miserably with a screenplay that seemed written by a 5th grader. After ridiculous red herrings, pointless side-plots and inconsistent characters you just give up.
This film was way too long and needed to be cut down to a max of 90 mins and also needed proper editing. Directing and was decent and the acting and score were on point.
The best way to enjoy this film is muted (no pun intended) as a background screensaver whilst you are blasting your favorite playlist. It's eye candy and that's it.
A shame such an amazing production was dumbed down with so may plot issues from what felt like amateur writing.
A generous 7/10 mainly for the visuals. Had the writing been tighter, this could have easily been a 9/10.
It's a cute film directed fairly decent, but with a sloppy story that really had no point to it, and was certainly not a comedy (I did not laugh once).
It's clearly a low budget Aussie flick that made a decent attempt to tell a story, but failed so in the screenplay. In the beginning, it was hard to tell which twin was in certain scenes. Although the story was based on the struggles of one of the twins chasing her acting career and riding the coattails of her sister, at the end of the film you are left saying "that's it? so what?". There was no point to this film.
The acting was however fairly decent, the score a little too obvious in certain scenes, and the editing could have been tighter. This film missed the mark in telling the story better. Certainly not 10/10 material the other two fake reviewers posted, of which are clearly a spoiler plot summary. Would I recommend it or see it again? Nope. It's a very generous 6/10 from me only because it's a low budget indie Aussie flick and for its "cuteness" factor.
This film stars and was also produced by Danny A. Abeckaser, who made his directorial debut, and his second writing credit, shared with co-star Jon Carlo. Harvey Keitel played the perfect Russian mobster, and it was nice to see some eye candy that can act, Charlotte McKinney and primarily co-star beauty AnnaLynne McCord.
If anyone is expecting to see a huge big budget Hollywood produced gangster film, this is not it. But it achieves its goal in keeping the viewer submersed and entertained. The pace was perfect, the directing and screenplay on point, and the actors, although not all seasoned A-listers (except for Harvey Keitel of course), performed quite well and convincing in their roles.
It's a shame reviewers will slam this film by comparing it to Hollywood gangster films and expecting so much more from such a small indie production. I for one am impressed and give this a well deserved 7.5/10 rounded up to a 8.
So here's what I think happened. Ron Shelton's 5th grade grandson wrote and directed this nonsense but was too young to be named in the credits, so grandpa steps in and enters his name.
Next, Waze (the phone GPS app that was product-mentioned) funded this 5th graders film, and paid these A-list actors their wages so people will go see this mess, then leave the theater and download their app.
What else can it be? These huge actors did their worst... they hardly made an effort. The entire set was probably the after-party set up for when filming wrapped, just for the A-listers to have incentive to do some type of performance.
The directing and editing was, well, that of a 5th grader.
What a waste of talent on such a garbage screenplay.
A sympathetic 3/10 from me, only for the all star cast that got duped into making this nonsense.
It is not your typical big-screen huge budget Hollywood action blockbuster with A-list actors, and thus should not be compared (as other reviews have) to The Shape of Water. Instead, it's an artistic piece shot extremely well that was written by a Spaniard and presented by a Frenchman - definitely no Hollywood here.
The directing, cinematography, landscape, vfx/sfx and score where outstanding - near perfect. The actors (never heard of either) performed exceptionally well and were very convincing.
Yes, there were some avoidable obvious plot issues, which was disappointing considering how great the rest of the production was. However I'm thinking that it was an editing issue and cutting scenes to get the length down to 108 mins, of which considering the slow pace, I'd be complaining on the length, yet it didn't feel that long. It could also be a screenplay adaptation issue from the two novice writers - they did squeeze in as much as they could from the novel, but maybe should have cut certain scenes shorter to fill in the blanks.
I've read some reviewers had questions about certain things that happened. Some of those issue are answered if you stop and think why this happened and/or dig a little deeper into the meaning. Others, you will need to read the book. I did, and have nothing to question, but do understand how others who didn't read the book would have questions.
A very impressive film, unlike any other I have seen, and needs to be appreciated for what it is, and how is was shown. Would I recommend it or see it again? Absolutely. Had better screenwriters adapted the novel, this would have been a perfect 10/10. But still is a well deserved 8.5 rounded up to a 9/10 from me.
Next plus was the good choreography for the action scenes, especially the last 20 mins of the film.
The story itself (although we've seen it before) wasn't bad, but wasn't written well into a screenplay. Although the pace wasn't slow, the 106 min length felt longer with the long dragged out scenes and cheesy prolonged slow-mo parts. This film needed to be edited down to a max 80 mins.
Most of the subtitles didn't make any sense, but I'm guessing some 3rd party translator messed those up, so I wont consider that in my rating, but it did make the sub-par acting from most of the cast look very amateurish, as I didn't get to fully immerse myself in each character.
Then there's John Woo's directing, which at times felt like it was his early amateur work, and at other times felt like some grade 8 drama student put it together. He failed to direct his actors properly, as some performed certain scenes so badly, the director should have called a re-shoot. Clearly not his best work in the directing, writing and editing departments.
Throughout the entire film, I had already decided to give this film a 4 or 5/10, but the last 20 mins of fast paced action, plot twists and good choreography redeemed the score to a slightly better 6/10. Had the writing been tighter with less 'cheese', it could have been a 7 or 8/10
Having said that, what stood out foremost and was annoying was the score, just terrible. Had it been better, the film would have shown better. The sound was also off (should have had the boom mics closer to the actors) - sometimes the score overpowered the dialogue.
The screenplay was ok aside from major plot holes (especially the ending that I guess was supposed to thrill the audience, but failed as a ridiculous amateur move) and a very slow pace. This film needed to be edited down from 90 mins to 75 mins tops. Some of the slow-mo scenes were overly dramatic without cause, and other normal scenes dragged out and extended too long and needed to be edited down.
Although the actors were C & B-list actors, I felt even the experienced ones failed to produce, and I feel part of that blame falls on the director's failure to instruct his actors properly. It seemed this was the kid actors first ever acting gig.
But on the positive side, John V. Soto's directing, cinematography and the story/premise were decent and enjoyable.
A very generous and honest (look at the other 3 fake hi score reviews who only rated this film lol) 7/10 from me. Would I see it again or recommend it? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Sure, because I had no other movies to watch.
The story was ok, but nothing overly exciting. Way too much spotlight on the Black Panther conflict here. I feel the story would have been better told had there been another villain.
The acting also seemed either way too overboard for some of the characters, while others under-performed.
Nevertheless, enjoyable, but certainly not even close to "the best" Marvel movie. It's only a 6/10 from me.
Novice director and writer Reese Eveneshen did a surprisingly impressive job with directing the cameras and scenes, and for the great cinematography and decent score (the only reason I rated this high), but poorly in directing his actors, and even worse in the writing and screenplay.
How can anyone let certain scenes make the final cut? For example at the start, Rhett's sister gets shot and Rhett just stands there like an idiot. Seriously? Then his sister towards the end of the film says she doesn't know how to use a gun, but starts shooting like a marine. And there's much more in between.
This screenplay needed a huge make-over and needed to be cut down from a ridiculous 101 mins to around 70 mins with a faster pace. Many scenes were dragged out far too long with annoying, confusing and unnecessary dialogue. Had the producers invested in a better screenwriter instead the costs involved for the lousy, unnecessary and ridiculous gore (was this film even rated horror/gore?), this film would have been much better.
The acting was atrocious, part blame the actors and part to the director for not directing them during their scenes. The only decent actors were Rhett's sister and Dennis Andres as Pierce. Colin Paradine's character Rhett was unconvincing, boring and very stale. All the rest were pretty much embarrassing.
I know this film will get slammed as most amateur IMDb reviewers will rate this equally and comparable to a huge Hollywood blockbuster production, so I am giving it a generous 6/10 for the great cinematography and directing, and for a fair attempt to produce this type of film on such a small budget.
Novice director, writer and editor Jameson Brooks (this was his first major film aside a handful of short films) did an impressive job for a novice director, but his writing was way too lose, and his editing was terrible.
Although only 95min length, it felt much longer with certain dragged out and slow-mo scenes that took away from the impact of those scenes. The pace needed to be faster, edited (cut) unnecessary prolonged scenes, and rid of some of the slow-mo shots that dragged the film. For the large amount of producers involved with this film, someone should have spoke up to re-write the screenplay to make it tighter.
Additionally, leaving out the fact the jock didn't get away without jail time (albeit for parole violations), detracts from the satisfaction (for karma) of some form of justice. This should have been displayed in the closing credits along with all the other factual notes: In June 2001 Camp was apprehended for underage drinking and was arrested for being a minor in the possession of alcohol. Michael Camp, father of Dustin, attempted to cover for his son's probation violations. Michael Camp was formally charged with making false statements to the police. He was sentenced to 60 days deferred adjudication (a type of probation) and a $100 fine after a plea bargain. In September 2001, Dustin Camp received an eight-year prison sentence for violating his probation.
Nevertheless, an enjoyable film worth seeing. It's no big Hollywood blockbuster, but yet pulled off quite well with B-grade actors and a novice director/writer. A well deserved 8/10 from me.