James Berardinelli Quotes

After the second Die Hard, Bruce Willis stated he would never do another. He should have stayed firm in his resolve. If quality is any indication (and it may be, with all the available blockbusters), box office returns will be disappointing this time around and, if nothing else, that will do to John McClane what dozens of assorted bad guys couldn't manage: kill him.

James Berardinelli

The Pink Panther is supposed to use humor to uplift. Instead, I departed this movie feeling depressed. Lifeless comedies can suck the energy out of a viewer, especially when they sully the image of an cinematic icon.

James Berardinelli

The only thing as bad as bad comedy is bad action. Bad Boys II has plenty of both. In fact, those two things are all it has, unless you count the small helping of bad drama. When it comes to this movie, the word "bad" initially seems highly appropriate. But Bad Boys II isn't just bad it's a catastrophic violation of every aspect of cinema that I as a film critic hold dear. It seems to have been constructed with terms like "unwatchable" and "godawful" as its slogans. There are motion picture failures every year the resumes of Hollywood players are littered with them. But, when something this big a would-be blockbuster with recognizable names in the cast and crew collapses in such a spectacular fashion, it's worth taking note. Think of how many starving children could have been fed with the money that was poured into [director] Michael Bay's latest sinkhole.

James Berardinelli

Perhaps a better title for The Da Vinci Code might be Much Ado About Nothing. When you boil away the hype and hysteria, all that remains is a pedestrian murder mystery that isn't sufficiently challenging or scandalous to raise anyone's hackles. It's preposterous, overlong, and saddled with a sloppy denouement that defines the term "anti-climax." The film's two big "surprises" are telegraphed early, and the ease with which they can be guessed (using the "conservation of characters" process) leeches the movie of a large measure of its suspense. Individual scenes are entertaining in their own right, but the production as a whole is a lumbering mess.

James Berardinelli

Although I am not averse to wasting a few hours playing computer games, I have never tried my hand at Doom. Judging by sales figures and testimonials, playing the game has to be an infinitely preferable experience to watching this pathetic excuse for a movie.

James Berardinelli

Short of climbing aboard a time capsule and peeling back eight and one-half decades, James Cameron's magnificent Titanic is the closest any of us will get to walking the decks of the doomed ocean liner. Meticulous in detail, yet vast in scope and intent, Titanic is the kind of epic motion picture event that has become a rarity. You don't just watch Titanic, you experience it from the launch to the sinking, then on a journey two and one-half miles below the surface, into the cold, watery grave where Cameron has shot never-before seen documentary footage specifically for this movie.

James Berardinelli

Seventeen years after its intial release, The Empire Strikes Back is still as thrilling and involving as ever. Because of the high quality of the original product, it doesn't show a hint of dating. Neither [Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope nor Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi] were able to match the narrative scope of Empire, which today remains one of the finest and most rousing science fiction tales ever committed to the screen.

James Berardinelli

Since 1977, there have been many science fiction movies, but none has managed to equal [A New Hope's] blend of adventure, likable characters, and epic storytelling.

James Berardinelli

Die Hard represents the class of modern action pictures and the standard by which they must be judged. Few films falling into the "mindless entertainment" genre have as much going for them as this movie. Not only is it a thrill-a-minute ride, but it has one of the best film villains in recent memory, a hero everyone can relate to, dialogue that crackles with wit, and a lot of very impressive pyrotechnics.

James Berardinelli

Although The Terminator is arguably the more visionary of the first two films, [Terminator 2] is the more visually and viscerally satisfying. It's an exhausting experience and, even 18 years after its release (as I write this review), few films have matched it within the science fiction genre for sheer white-knuckle exhilaration.

James Berardinelli

Regardless of how Revenge of the Sith is received at the box office, it represents the conclusion to an unparalleled cinematic achievement. Finally, after 28 long years of waiting that were only occasionally punctuated by the appearance of new story fragments, Lucas has ended with an exclamation point. The tale of a galaxy long ago and far away is complete. Only now can we truly step back and admire the full tapestry that it has taken George Lucas and his ILM wizards nearly three decades to weave.

James Berardinelli

The Phantom Menace is not a masterpiece, but it's an example of how imagination, craftsmanship, and technological bravura can fashion superior entertainment out of something that is far from flawless.

James Berardinelli

Today, Psycho still holds up extraordinarily well (another reason why a remake seems pointless). With the exception of Halloween, no latter-day horror/thriller has been capable of generating as many goosebumps. The black-and-white photography is perfect for the film's tone and mood the starkness of color would have blurred the nightmarish quality. The painstaking care with which [director Alfred] Hitchcock composed every scene is evident in the quality of the final product.

James Berardinelli

As vampire movies go, few are more memorable than Nosferatu, which is not only the first screen version of Dracula, but, in some ways, remains the best. Unlike many of his predecessors who dabbled in the vampire genre, Murnau was a craftsman, and the care he lavished upon this production is evident in each shot and every scene. Alongside The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, few motion pictures have had a more profound impact upon an entire genre than Nosferatu has had upon the legion of horror movies that trailed in its wake.

James Berardinelli

It's rare that the sequel to a good movie lives up to expectations. Such is the case with Die Hard 2, the somewhat-muddled but still entertaining return of Bruce Willis' John McClane. Fortunately, the original Die Hard was good enough that there's room for the second installment to be enjoyable while still not matching the pace or possessing the flair of its predecessor.

James Berardinelli

Blade Runner is a rare science fiction movie so full of material that pages can be written about it without scratching the surface. A review like this can provide little more than an overview. A detailed exploration of the movie, its style, and its mysteries requires dedication that only someone immersed in Blade Runner lore can provide.

James Berardinelli

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