Michael Ferris

Michael Ferris

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Surrogates Review

Lean and sleek, this futuristic thriller propels us entertainingly through its story without pausing for breath. Perhaps director Mostow was hoping we wouldn't notice how clunky the script is, with its rudimentary dialog and paper-thin plot.

It's been 14 years since a scientist (Cromwell) invented surrogates, robots controlled by brainwaves that let us experience anything. Now some 99 percent of the population has one, and people spend their lives in darkened rooms living virtually. Then FBI Agent Greer (Willis) and his partner Peters (Mitchell) discover that a guy (Noseworthy) has a weapon that can kill both surrogates and their human controllers. But the hunt for this weapon opens old wounds with the humans-only religious fanatics who live on reservations and follow the word of their Prophet (Rhames).

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Terminator Salvation Review

Sound and fury overpower story in Terminator Salvation, which applies big-budget defibrillator paddles to the hulking franchise but can't breathe fresh life into the now 25-year-old concept.

That's how long we've been hearing about humanity's war against the machines, a battle James Cameron first initiated in 1984 when he sent Arnold Schwarzenegger back in time to terminate an unsuspecting Linda Hamilton. Armageddon was averted, then later triggered, in subsequent sequels before arriving at Salvation. But our predestined, apocalyptic future looks a lot like products from Hollywood's past. Specifically, imagine the love child of Mad Max and The Matrix as delivered by Michael Bay, and you're beginning to get this picture.

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Primeval Review

If there was ever a film that was so awful it practically begged for the resurrection of the cult TV show Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or MST3K), where geeks made fun of films while watching them, it's Primeval. Not only is this killer croc flop not frightening, it's insultingly stupid. The plot is a flimsy mishmash of every nature-run-amok and adventure-in-Africa film of the past 50 years, and there are sequences that feel so old -- so moth-eaten -- that I expected a man in a gorilla suit to appear and carry off the leading (white) lady.

So, this killer crocodile, with the absurd handle of Gustave, is munching on Africans in war-torn Burundi. And he's like super hungry. Given that he can live to 100 years and eats hundreds of people a year, the croc's a one-lizard population safeguard. Unfortunately for the villagers who live in fear of this monster, there's another Gustave in the bush: Little Gustave, a nasty decapitating warlord. (His name is a great example of Hollywood slap-your-forehead allegory.) When an American news network sends in a television crew to film the capture of the croc, they run afoul of both the cold-blooded river beast and the hot-tempered warlord. Hysterics ensue.

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The Net Review

This just goes to show that not only can Sandra Bullock not act, she can't even pick decent projects. Sucked from the Hollywood buzzword list like a bottom-feeder looking for sludge, The Net is trite idiocy that is socially irresponsible and irredeemable. I puked out loud.

I honestly can't believe a movie like this was made. Basically, it's the story of Angela Bennett (Bullock), a superstar computer hacker who runs across something she isn't supposed to, then finds her identity erased, her friends killed, and herself hunted down. Obviously a rush job to beat the other impending computer movies to the market, The Net is one plot hole after another, with technological impossibilities filling the space between.

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The Game Review

Any more of that brooding atmosphere and I might have to strangle myself. I don't know how Michael Douglas does it, much less manage to keep himself alive and kicking through two hours of torment, all of which may or may not be a fantasy "game" his brother (Sean Penn) has enrolled him in. Douglas plays an uber-rich tycoon who has everything he could want and is bored to tears with all of it. When kid brother promises the game will fill in what's lacking in his life, Mikie finds himself drawn to it, and a labyrinthine all-too-realistic game of murder, deceit, and betrayal begins. Set in my newly adopted home of San Francisco, I find this city full enough of intrigue even without machine gun-toting assassins and attack dogs chasing me around back alleys. And I can't imagine what I'd do if a cabbie drove us into San Francisco Bay... but I suppose that's why you have to watch the movie.

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Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines Review

When Arnold Schwarzenegger first uttered, "I'll be back," nearly 20 years ago, someone should have asked him, "How many times?" Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines marks Arnie's third go-round as the futuristic cyborg, and tweaks the formula just enough to keep us entertained.

Already, T3 has a strike against it. Sequels with "Three" in the title tend to reek, from The Godfather: Part III to Jaws 3-D. Strike two comes in the form of high expectations. Twelve years ago, James Cameron raised the bar with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a superior sequel and a long-standing leader in the high-tech special effects field. The shoes director Jonathan Mostow (U-571) was asked to fill look mighty big.

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Catwoman Review

After Catwoman, I feel I've learned a lot about the furry beasts. For instance, did you know most cats are amazing martial artists? Or have C cups? Or have an innate sense of style that makes them be able to go from the last girl in New York that can't match her clothes to a magazine model? Or have the self-confidence to let them look and act like they're auditioning for Showgirls? It's all true!

Catwoman is the result of four actors without a leg to stand on, three lonely writers with an unhealthy obsession over leather and cats, and one director with a problematic penchant for photogrammetry.

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Michael Ferris

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