Antonio Gibbonio's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Man with the Golden Gun
23 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Another that tries a cultural and genre mash-up and feels stale and out of place nowadays. This time Martial arts was popular so Hey presto! Schoolgirls in mini skirts doing martial arts! This along with Live and let die can be forgiven for being 70s movies and they are very much part of that era representing what was popular in cinema at the time.
Clifton James
as Sheriff J.W. Pepper returns for some unnecessary comic relief but is involved in the most memorable stunt in the movie.
Still, an entertaining action movie that will keep fans happy...and things would get worse for Moore!

This is one of the fun-est Bond movies and as a kid it was a film i watched countless times. Christopher Lee as Scaramanga is a highlight and the duel between him and Bond is great popcorn fun. Moore's first 3 entries are very over the top but also very fun, not the best Bond movies but great Sunday afternoon entertainment.

Gadgets 3/5 again, more silly over the top stunts but the golden gun is cool
Girls 4/5 Britt Ekland is so unbelievable as an agent but is an undoubted beauty and adds some fun. She is very memorable. Maud Adams not so much, not sure how she got 2 Bond movies?!
Villain 4/5
Christopher Lee
as Scaramanga and Herve Villechaize
as Nick Nack are the highlights of the movie. The showdown at the end is great but we just needed more of these 2
Bond Theme 4/5 Lulu screams her heart out in this one and delivers a funky 70s theme

I would definitely recommend this entry for sheer entertainment.

The Terminator
23 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This is a near perfect 80's action movie. A very violent and chilling thrill ride that is expertly written and directed.
This film is often overlooked now because of the big budget sequel that followed it but this is the film that shows why they have had such a hard time building a franchise and carried on rebooting it.

This film is a classic of its era and that is very important. James Cameron, I am very sure was aware of similar type films failing because they become silly and dated quickly. You can see a lot of decisions for the villain and the future were probably due to budget constraints but with hindsight they kept the film focused, gritty and real.

Cameron decided he wanted this to be gritty and believable, people have to buy into it from the get go and not laugh at it. A lot of films about time travel fail because of their vision of the future or what they bring back from the future. So as a plot device Cameron kept it simple. The two characters sent back from the future arrive naked, no futuristic weapons or clothes and just a name of a woman They both have to track down the same woman, one to protect her and one to kill her. Its very simple and it keeps the film grounded.

The sequels (bar T2) have failed because this film was not written to have a sequel, it is a stand alone film. It says that at the beginning. The fight for the future will be fought tonight, in our time.

We are given a brief outline of a future. There was a nuclear war, Skynet, a defense system attacked the human race after becoming self aware and caused a nuclear war. The few survivors band together and hid underground, so Skynet built infiltration units, cyborgs to blend in and wipe out the few survivors. The T-800 sent back through time is a newer model. Undetectable, it has living skin over a metal skeleton.

We are not given much else. Skynet HAS BEEN DEFEATED IN THE FUTURE. The war is over. The survivors formed the resistance to fight back and they broke into the lab with Skynet and blew it up. It's over. Again, "The fight for the future will be fought tonight"

The resistance is lead by John Connor, After getting into Skynet they find out Skynet as a last act and chance of defeating the humans has sent a Terminator back through time to kill John Connor's mother-Sarah Connor, hoping this will alter the war in the future.

Due to the nuclear war the records were lost. The film is set in '84 and the war began on August 29th 1997 so it is believable as most records were paper and we did not have the internet or social media like we do nowadays. The year the Terminator is sent back is 2029 so John Connor is the leader of the resistance but was very young when the war began and there were virtually no records on his mother is a viable target.

This is all told through Kyle Reese's character and very quickly. The future is never dwelt on and other than a few visions of his nightmares this is all the information we are given. He is later arrested and explains a little about time travel and the Terminator but this is not world building, Cameron wanted the focus on the here and now.

When questioned by the police he is asked why he did not bring back "ray guns" he replies "nothing dead will go" (The Terminator has living skin)
They can't go back to the future "It's just him and me" as after he was sent back they blew up everything, including the time displacement unit. The war was over and Skynet had lost. He does refer to skynet as a villain but it is left to our own imagination as to what Skynet actually is.

This film was never written to have a sequel. It works very well in the era it is set and the villain, Skynet is really just a plot device to explain the Terminator. We are not given much detail about it.
We know there was a war and to alter the outcome of the war a Terminator has been sent back to stop John Connor being born,
John Connor we are told lead the resistance and defeated the robots and is a war hero.
The clever twist is Skynet essentially kills itself by creating a time loop, if you will. Connecting the future to the past as Kyle Reese is John Connor's father and has only been sent back because of Skynet sending a Terminator back through time. This is not fully revealed until the final scenes in the movie so it is a nice moment to take away from the film.

The film itself is a very violent and very dark movie. It can not be replicated nowadays and is still one of the most violent movies ever made.It is very chilling at times. Since T2 every sequel has been a PG-13 and it is a stark contrast to its original source material. That has become the problem, this film should be regarded as the source material the rule book but every sequel has focused on copying and imitating the sequel to this film and that has resulted in 3 sequels that are so far removed from this movie they are hated and became failures. If you watch this film and then watch Terminator Salvation there is no connective tissue other than the property-Terminator.
The glimpses of the future Cameron shows in this movie are frightening. The soldiers are all hiding in a very desolate future and being hunted down. The scenes are very short but for any fan the images all was stuck with you. When you see the future war in Terminator Salvation...It's all very, very wrong. The vision has been lost, the fear, the dread, the destruction, the end of humanity is gone.

The 3 leads in this movie are all very good. Nowadays It is odd to think of Arnie as scary but in this film he is an unstoppable killing machine. He is absolutely perfect and every scene with him in it is breath taking. His character is genuinely scary as it hunts down Sarah Connors through a phone book one by one until it finds it's target.

Due to records being lost The Terminator has no information other than a name and a city so The Terminator is working his way through the phone book killing off Sarah Connors. The opening scenes with The Terminator are brutal and the film is almost like a horror movie as he guns down numerous women with ferocious accuracy.
The film is mainly filmed at night too and gives off an air of a horror movie.

This would launch both Cameron and Schwarznegger's careers and it is easy to see here. His presence is immense and every scene is so memorable. It created 2 icons of modern cinema.

Biehn plays the soldier tasked with protecting Sarah Connor and later falling in love with her. He is perfect for this role and he is always a soldier, he barely cracks a smile through the whole film and his serious performance adds to the cranked up tension that is built throughout.
Linda Hamilton is a great Sarah Connor and the role would be expanded on and become iconic in T2 but her performance in this film is probably forgotten a lot but it's a shame as she is very good here.
When we are first introduced to her she is a young waitress and seems like just a pretty L.A. girl and during the film she transforms and defeats the Terminator herself fulfilling her own prophecy. The final scene with her at the gas station is a highlight and wrapped up a terrific film that ends with the war looming...

This film stands the test of time and does not need to be remade but i do feel if they want to expand on the Terminator name/brand they should take a closer look at this film and study the rules created within this film. The inconsistencies in the later sequels just annoy fans, and studios need to understand this and T2 are the only films with Terminator in the title that anybody liked!

Special mention to Brad Fiedel who did the soundtrack to this and T2, it is absolutely superb. He never returned for the sequels and his music to the first 2 movies is mesmerizing at times...if you ask anyone who has seen this movie to hum the music i am sure they can! it was so memorable and is vital to this movie.

The Lost World - Jurassic Park
23 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I recently re-watched this film and although it is probably the best sequel, technically it is a very flawed movie. The film was over hyped upon release and was seen as a let down. With fresh eyes you can see why. The film feels very much like the other big budget films of the 90's namely Independence Day and Godzilla., very surprising from Spielberg.

I watched Jurassic Park first before watching this film and that highlights the stark contrasts and problems with this sequel. Its not a complete disaster and i can sit through for parts of it but overall i always feel a sense of let down...even 20 years later.

The main issue or flaw is Jeff Goldblum, he was a standout in the first film and the early scenes with him and John Hammond are welcome and enjoyable. Goldblum delivers some great dialogue on the dangers of sending people to another island populated with dinosaurs and we get a brief cameo of the kids from the original movie.
Although i liked these scenes as a fan of the first one i was unsure why Jeff Goldblum's character was the lead in this movie? he is not a dinosaur expert and if you brought back the kids and John Hammond why not use them more?! It all seemed like a waste.

So, we get a few scenes to explain the basic plot they came up with for a sequel. Although Spielberg himself set up a potential sequel with his first film by having the samples buried in mud and/or the hatched eggs they found this is all thrown out the window. Instead it turns out there was another island where dinosaurs roam free and Dr Hammond wants to preserve the island so sends a small group to document it in the hope of getting public backing?? He tells Goldblum's character he has been ousted from his company and they plan to recoup their losses by exploiting the dinosaurs. Not a great basis for a sequel but it is brief and after 20 minutes we are on our way to the island.

My biggest disappointment was not seeing Sam Neil back in his previous role. I thought he was a great character and showed he can be very effective in the action scenes. His character was also a dinosaur expert. This time going to the island we have 4 characters, 2 of which are Documentarians, a specialist in African predators and Jeff Goldblum's chaos theory dinosaur experts.

The predator specialist is Goldblum's characters girlfriend and they use her to get him back to the island. In doing this they ruin his character completely! His daughter is introduced and is very annoying and manages to drop into an argument she got dropped from the gym team(this lazy bit of writing will eventually kill this movies best action sequence)
Goldblum learns his girlfriend is already on the island so decides to go to the island to save her. His daughter stows away on the ship for reasons i still don't understand and we eventually arrive on the island, site B.

Site B was apparently where the dinosaurs lived before being moved to Jurassic Park to be exhibits. In the four years since the first film they have been kept secret from the board and public due to Hammond who is trying to protect them...with his elaborate plan to expose them to the public!

The set up to this movie, unlike the first film is slow and complicated and does not build tension. We are introduced to some boring characters and some new dinosaurs to marvel at but at this point it is really only the impressive visuals of the dinosaurs that get you interested. The CGI is very impressive even by todays standards.

Julianne Moore plays Goldblum's girlfriend and although i like her a lot as an actress she never gets to grips with this character. Her and Goldblum bicker back and forth and unlike Laura Dern and Sam Neil they show no chemistry and their interactions are boring.
In introducing new characters the film takes a step back before it gets started. Goldblum's character in the first film was like a rock star. He was charming and funny and a great highlight. In this film he whines constantly and says "I told you so!"

During all the set up a mysterious crew of hunters arrives on the Island to capture dinosaurs, sent by Hammond's board and lead by Pete Postlethwaite who, is an expert hunter of predators and immediately tells us he is there to hunt a T-Rex. There is no more set up for his would be interesting character. I did see a deleted scene where he is introduced at a bar as a big game hunter but it did not add much either. It was a fun scene though.

The group of hunters captures dinosaurs and cages them and it turns out Hammond expected this as one of the Goldblum's group is actually a professional saboteur and animal rights activist (again really lazy writing)
He frees the dinosaurs and they cause havoc to the hunters crew. During this the saboteurs find a baby T-Rex that was being used as bait and is wounded. They take said dinosaur back to their camp and finally we get some action!

The scene with the 2 T-Rex is pretty well done. The close ups of their heads is menacing and they are here for their young baby so we get some exciting action scenes.
The scenes are good but it stops pretty abruptly after one of them is eaten, with Goldblum and his team still hanging from a cliff the dinosaurs just walk off...
Also, prior to this Goldblum put his daughter in contraption up in the trees, close by to watch all this alone...surely she would scream or the dinosaurs would attack her?? a missed opportunity for some more action involving the T-Rex

Instead they are rescued by the hunters and they all quickly decide to band together to further the plot, to get off the island.They are struggling to get a signal to contact anyone off the island to summon a rescue but there is an old lab in the middle of the island where they can use a phone...?
This film feels like the script was not fully fleshed out at this point and they were making changes on a whim. I don't think they had a solid plan and that's why it all feels wishy-washy.

The beginning of this movie or the whole build up to the actual meat of the film took an hour and other than the T-Rex scenes it is pretty bland. When they band together there are just too many characters and no real tensions. It's very artificial.and lazily. Spielberg must have been on auto-pilot during this film as the lack of interesting dialogue or tension is surprising. The film was hugely anticipated and maybe the pressures from above and interference was rife but this film feels very hollow compared to other Spielberg movies, the characters are just so bland...and the lack of children, who in the first film were a highlight, leaves little tension or scares. None of the crew seem too bothered to be there and until attacked, they are all calm and happy??
The first film had Sam Neil stranded with the 2 kids and you felt a real sense of danger. This time you don't know who to care about and there is no sense of dread...or drama.

Spielberg opted to use the opening build up to this film to wax lyrical about the evils of mankind on animals and it's admirable. His point is blunt but effective. Basically we should hope dinosaurs are not brought back as we would hunt them, imprison them and just be awful human beings like we already have been...
I believe it was so you would root for the dinosaurs against the greed corporations but its hard when they're eating people! the film is clumsy and these elements are thrown together.

This is in stark contrast to the clever and philosophical opening of the previous film that had Goldblum delivering wonderful moments to ponder without bashing you on the head. Did we really need to be told after the first film what a bad idea this all was!

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines
23 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

To get this out of the way i was never happy they were making this film and it got worse when Cameron dropped out and Hamilton dropped out. I do not like this film and it is not because it is the worst film ever but a film that followed T2 should have been better, you have to judge a sequel on how it measures up and this film did not. As a generic action film for casual fans who do not care about T1 or T2 you could find some enjoyment. But, compared to what came before, this film is anemic.

Out of James Cameron's hands and into the frying pan comes this watered down version of T2 aimed at kids and hoping to make lots of money. Apparently Schwarzenegger signed on for T3 after T2 so was contractually obligated to make this movie and it shows...he phones in his performance. Cameron advised him to get as much money as you can and he was paid a whopping 29m even by today's standards that is huge.

So, at the end of T2 the series was wrapped up really well Sarah Connor described the future as an open road. The war in the future has been stopped and humanity has another chance. Then this film plopped into the bowl...

I have heard and read some people say they liked that Judgement day was just postponed and they did not stop it in T2, which is fine but i don't buy it, personally. This film being made actually ruins the end of T2 (if you let it) as Arnie's sacrifice is in vain and the optimism Sarah and John Connor found is lost.

We shall digress. So judgement day never happened, this was an opportunity to try to reboot and try something fresh. Sarah and John Connor's story is over and if the war was postponed we could have moved on without them along with Skynet.
This film had the chance to rewrite the future and chose to just remake T2 in a very ham fisted way.
We could have had judgement day happen in say...2029!! have a new leader of the resistance, update the villain and the Terminators but no, we just got a retread of old ideas.
This franchise is stuck inside copying T2 and can't get out!

Linda Hamilton did not want to return without James Cameron so they killed her character off? Edward Furlong was recast with a pale imitation and they added a love interest. The ideas in this movie are just to make a movie...they do not forward or add to the story, i say movie, really it is just an excuse to get Arnie into leathers and shades and to make millions of dollars and it is a shame as they could have done so much more.
If you remove John Connor and start the story with Kate Brewster it would have been familiar but would have been more interesting...who is she? Why is there a Terminator trying to kill her? Yes, familiar but in a different way. With John Connor we know everything. Also, the writers insisted on making references to T2, John asking Arnie about Hasta La Vista? really?!
If we had a film focused on Kate Brewster we could have got an altered version of the future too...a different timeline.

The female Terminator is sent back to track own a lot of different targets. Future generals in the future war. Already this deviates from the timelines talked about in T1 and T2 as we are given the impression Skynet had lost and been destroyed, as a hail Mary, a last act. Skynet had lost the war. it had sent to Terminators back through time in hopes of changing the outcome of the war.
We are told thay did not stop judgement day but just postponed so everything else happened? why is Skynet still sending Terminators back through time? why are the Terminators more advanced? Why only send one?
This film creates the awful sin of leaving the back door open in a time travel movie. There are so many flaws in the plot and writing of this movie that it detracts from the movie itself. It is really lazy writing and spoils the earlier films that thought out all these problems and tried to solve them!
This must infuriate Cameron!.
As it infuriates fans. If you're a fan of T1 and T2 just ignore this.

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park (1993)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A stone cold classic and a blue print of how to make a summer blockbuster.

I just re-watched this movie and it is still a remarkably good film. Yes, some of the effects have dated as time moved on but the big memorable scenes, namely the T-Rex scene, are still very impressive.
This movie arguably kicked off the huge summer blockbuster/special effects extravaganza of the 90's and it has still not been topped!
Due in large parts to other directors not understanding that you still have to make a compelling film with compelling characters and not just rely on CGI special effects.

As i said this is almost a blue print of how to make a movie like this. The set up to this movie over the first 15 minutes is swift but builds the expectation, it's brilliant. You know the dinosaurs are coming but Spielberg keeps his cards close to his chest. Much like in Jaws and it builds anticipation.
One of my favourite scenes is when they are all talikng about the moral implications of bringing back dinosaurs, it's a classic scene and Jeff Goldblum is on terrific form for most of the films early scenes...but all of this is entertaining because Spielberg's characters are compelling. This helps when the dinosaurs show up as we are invested in these characters.

The action in this movie is top notch. From the early T-rex scenes that still have you on the edge of your seat to the kids being chased around the kitchen by the velociraptors. All of the action in this movie is memorable and it is some of the best action sequences Spielberg had done since Raiders of the lost Ark.

An absolute delight to watch again and again and not one of the sequels has come within spitting distance of this movie.
A classic.