If you’ve never seen Speed, I’ve no idea what you’ve been waiting for; and since you’re reading this right now, I command you to go and buy the DVD, or rent it, or do whatever it is you do and finally see this movie. Your life may not change, but Speed is as unique as it gets. Starring Keanu Reeves, the late Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, and Jeff Daniels, as well as few other well-known faces but unfamiliar names, Speed takes a premise we’ve never seen before and puts us on a really wild bus ride.
You see, the movie doesn’t start out like you thought it would with people getting on the bus and driving and then all of a sudden mysterious serial killer calling cops and a rescue operation. Instead, movie starts two days before that event and somewhat introduces us to the characters and circumstances surrounding this particular event. This is how we learn Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels work for L.A.P.D; that Jeff Daniels is a bomb expert, and Keanu is a great tactician. Dennis Hopper’s character, on the other hand, is cold and calculating, and I’d dare say resembles a Unabomber kind of persona; definitely one of the most evil characters ever simply because he’s willing to kill innocent people for something they have no control over. And this all happens inside an elevator shaft on 31st floor before we ever get to the famous bus drive.
The day after the next some people get on the bus, Keanu Reeves gets a phone call and things start happening. It’s a pretty fast-paced movie for the first hour. Second hour is a bit slower and none less exciting. Theme song plays a big role because it plays every time excitement picks up.
Speed is truly one of the most iconic and best action movie not just of the 90s but of all time due to its premise, plot, and execution. I give Speed 8/10.
Originally when it came out Avatar was 2 hours long, and for this review I watched the extended version that is almost 3 hours long. Another thing to bear in mind is that I never liked trailers for Avatar and I wasn’t excited for this movie, even though I liked it first time around. What bothers me the most about this movie is that it steals from World of Warcraft and Halo; which are both well-known video game properties; and that’s something I noticed just from the original trailer alone. This is something that bothers me a lot about Avatar, even if James Cameron says that he’s been developing Avatar since 91, and even if no one else noticed the similarities between all the properties mentioned. Anyway, that’s my beef with it even if no one else notices it and even if no one else agrees with. Now on to the movie review.
What I like about Avatar is the huge exploration premise of going into space and finding planets that can help humanity in one way or another; and that’s pretty much all I knew about the movie before seeing it first time around. And now watching the extended version, I was hoping for a better experience.
One of the first things you’ll notice are cliches, mainly portrayal of the future and few of the characters. However, Avatar does a pretty good job of adding cliches – even the few within dialogue – and mixing it with unknown possibilities that are about to transpire.
When it comes to the weakness of the plot, there’s more to the story that’s being told between the lines because Avatar is much deeper than it appears on the surface. Just think about it – humans are aliens in this movie. The future is bleak and it’s basically Independence Day in reverse. Yes, plot and characters are generic, but when you look beyond that, you’ll see the greed of humans which is fueled by the need to survive next to making a profit. You will also notice the struggle of the natives to survive under the oppression of the aliens, who are in this case humans. Cameron takes us to a completely different world where we learn the ways and the culture of the natives; and then we become one of them – or at the very least learn to identify with them because we can connect with them in different ways. When you combine that with amazing visual and sound effects – we get a great movie.
Despite my beef with Avatar, I can’t help but answer for myself the hard questions Cameron presents so well. Not only that, but what Cameron does is show us the darker side of humanity as well as its beautiful side and conflicts them in most raw way possible. It is the type of movie that will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to change the world as well as enjoy every second of the amazing trip we take. I give Avatar 7.5/10.
I can see the cringing look you’re giving me reading that title. I don’t care about it. You know why? Because this is the first live action movie that I ever saw in cinema. I was only 6 or 7 years old when this movie came to my town. Back then there was no internet and movies took time to get here, so it may have been 1994 by the time I saw this movie – I don’t remember the exact circumstances around it. I only know I saw this poster all around town and it filled me with wonder and excitement as well as uncertainty of the unknown. I didn’t know who Arnold was at the time, and I certainly had no idea who Indiana Jones was yet, but this poster just screams Indiana Jones with a kid aboard. That kid is what caught my attention back then. That, and the fact that the guy who was holding him was probably saving the kid from certain but unknown doom; and he looked like he could pull it off too. This is the movie that made me get excited about new movies, and above all it’s simply magical. Magical in that it can draw me in and capture my attention in a way that makes me feel like I could be the kid he’s saving. And that’s what Arnie did for me, and that’s the reason he’s my favorite actor. Several years later, I found out that I share birthday with Arnie to the day, and that’s what sealed Arnie for me.
Back to the movie, and your concerns about it. I didn’t know what movie cameos or one-liners are back then, but “I’ll be back,” “Who says I’m fair,” “To be or not to be,” and “Could I speak to the drug dealer of the house, please” are some of my most memorable movie quotes. And watching Arnie as Hamlet made reading Hamlet 10 years later a lot more easier on the brain too.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, or you think the reviews are so bad that they make you not watch this movie, you are missing on a great action movie that is loads of fun and will experience a movie unlike ever before. Yes, this movie has its issues, like too many one liners, and over-developed story that kind of drags, with characters that are predictable and seen too many times before. I give it a solid 7 out of 10 because I am a fan. Get to da movie!