Al Reinert

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Apollo 13 Review


Extraordinary
Ron Howard has arrived.

I scarcely know where to start writing about Apollo 13, the long-awaited story of the catastrophic 13th mission of the Apollo space program. I went in expecting a whole lot from Howard and his star-studded cast (Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton), and they delivered in full, the star being Hanks as usual, who brings his usual strength and subtle forcefulness to the role of Jim Lovell, the 4-time space shot veteran who never managed to set foot on the moon.

Continue reading: Apollo 13 Review

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Review


Very Good
With a team of 200 graphic artists and animators working on this first film production from game developer Squaresoft's Square Pictures, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, inspired by the top-selling game franchise, is visually awe-inspiring and groundbreaking. No doubt, you have never seen anything like this film, and the hyperbolic fanfare surrounding its release is absolutely deserved. But why does such a tremendous feat of eye candy have to be weighted down with a problematic story, wooden dialogue and generally uncharismatic voice acting?

Obviously, the primary goal of the film is to stun and amaze audiences with extremely sophisticated CGI. Everything you see in the film is rendered in great detail: individual threads in the fabric, strands of hair swaying, wrinkles and pimples on skin, incredible water effects. Overall, the expressions and lip movements fairly accurately match the emotions and dialogue; and the times when they don't sync perfectly really stand out, since the animation is usually so dazzling. But you won't spend much time dwelling on those gaffes -- as soon as you catch one, the next stellar monster or effect will have you muttering, "Wow..."

Continue reading: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Review

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Al Reinert Movies

Apollo 13 Movie Review

Apollo 13 Movie Review

Ron Howard has arrived.I scarcely know where to start writing about Apollo 13, the long-awaited...

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Movie Review

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Movie Review

With a team of 200 graphic artists and animators working on this first film production...

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