Why I Didn't Like : 'The X-Files : I Want To Believe' (2008)

Why do I do this? Read the Manifesto

"It’s like a really, really bad Christmas Reunion episode with no ambition, and Not even joy at getting the band back together"

Movie Pessimistically Appraised : The X-Files : I want to Believe (2008). First watched : 2013 (DVD). Subsequently rewatched? Not a f**king chance. Review written (2013, 2016)

Score out of Ten : 4.5
Score out of Five : 2
Good or Bad : Bad
Recommend Watching : No

Watching this years after it was released to basically unanimously bad reviews was my own way of saying : I wanted to believe that this movie could somehow be good, on curiosity basis alone. And about half an hour into this movie, it was clear that it wasn't good. Not just 'not good' but bafflingly bad. Baffling because this couldn't possiby have been made by anybody with an inkling of what made the TV series it was adapted from good.

If it was sufficiently about the characters, then regardless of plot I could see myself liking it. But it’s not. It’s about a plot, but that plot is just so… so… arbitrary. Things happen and people say things and the same people who move heaven and earth to get things done profess a short time later that they no longer have faith in what they did. Anddon't get it - were the writers themselves hating writing this? If so.. then why write it. And after professing to have no faith, the characters do it again and claim the same thing again. That's truly AWFUL screenwriting of a kind that needs to be quarantined in case it spreads... writing so poor that from this point on I would see 'written by Chris Carter' as a definitive warning sign. Because surely nobody actually intending to make a good movie to a TV series would stray so far from what they surely must know their fans would want.... and make this movie.

Honestly, I have great difficulty in theorising the reason why this attempt to revive the X-Files franchise was even made. Usually I’d say “money” but this movie honestly seemed not to have these aspirations, like, at all. It felt like a movie wanting desperately to figure out its own reason for existing, as if everybody had forgotten what made the X-files work. But this strays so far from that I refuse to believe it's possible to have happened by accident, and it's so earnest it doesn't feel like a 'fuck you' to the fans either. It's just singularly, entirely, and without hesitation, terrible. And that's.... that's actually rare.

Additionally, even in the Extended edition it felt like a truckload of scenes were deleted. One second Scully and Mulder are back after years apart, the next they’re in bed together the next she’s saying they’re not agents they’re two people who share a home. I’m sorry : where did these scenes take place? This level of cinematic shorthand works when you don’t have YEARS of slow-paced TV show storytelling telling you that things don’t – ever – move that fast. It’s ridiculous.

Even more so, one second Scully is in surgery, the next she basically types “Stem Cell Research” into Google to get ideas on treatment for a kid. What the hell, dude? Google? For medical professionals at the (supposed) top of their game? That's a flat-out insult.

In the end, this movie is a slightly better filmed (ie. it's in widescreen aspect ratio) but inferiorly plotted extended TV episode, coming years after the series ended. It’s like a really, really bad Christmas Reunion episode with no ambition whatsoever. Not even joy at getting the band back together. That's what's baffling. Utterly, disoncertingly baffling.

If this had been a standalone movie with no prior existence within a TV show there is no way this could be considered even good. It relies entirely on goodwill from its source material, but given it is from a TV show, it is insane that it deliberately seemed to not care one iota for what anybody who watched the show might actually be interested in watching.

It might be worth a full-scale investigation into the mental states of those involved here... but even that would probably be futile. This movie's failures don't come from hubris, and not ambition, it's not somebody's reach extending beyond one's grasp. There's no story here, and there's no story behind the story that I can fathom.

I want to get angry... but even stating my disappointment seems unfair, beause this is like a five year old stating uncertainly that one plus one equals five. It gives me no joy to prove them wrong.... but where do you even begin? And these are full-grown adults.

Movies Pessimistically Appraised : The Manifesto

I am a person who is over-analytical and also a pessimist at heart.

I love watching movies - but perhaps even more so I love the *process* of watching movies. I'm an analyst by day, and as a matter of course I can't simply switch that part of myself off when I watch a movie. For this reason, even when I like a movie, I can't help but analyse it as well. Could it have been better? Would I have done things differently?

I love watching movies, but I also love *the process* of watching movies.

Not because I'm an egotistical f**k (although perhaps...) but purely because I can't not. In part I'm also a frustrated writer. In part perhaps I also *wish* I was a perfectionist, and in part I also wish others were perfectionists. I don't like having my time wasted (or money wasted) by bad movies... but at the same time I feel little bits of frustration when I see GOOD movies where I think that maybe, with one or two changes, those movies could be even better. I also hate it when I watch bad movies - especially bad movies that seem to have arisen out of errors even I can identify. Because I'm not *that* smart and I have nothing at stake : why aren't people smarter and more talented than me.... BETTER?

It's very rare that I wholeheartedly love a movie. I can certainly love a movie, but there will always be something, somewhere, that I think could have been done differently. Most of the movies I watch tend to disappoint me in some way - they might be average, they might be adequate, but it sucks when movies are merely adequate and not better. And even if they're great... well, there's always one or two things to nitpick over. Not to be an asshole, but to genuinely try to understand the WHY of storytelling.

For these reasons, I find it almost cathartic to put down my thoughts whenever I watch a movie - to write down my impressions and thoughts. I've been doign this for some time, and I collate them in a powerpoint file - one page per movie (font size variable depending on how much I write). Since late 2012 I've kept them all in a document called 'First Watched' and they represent my initial thoughts upon first watching a movie, when my opinions are at their most raw and 'real'. As at January 2016, this powerpoint presentation is over 1,000 slides in length and contains over 460,000 words. This is both something I'm proud of and something I feel might be a problem!

I ultimately want to watch every movie I’ve been to the premiere of. Yes, even THAT ONE.

But there are many movies I've watched more than once, or prior to 2012. And I've gone to a lot of movie premieres. And that's where I devised an insidious idea : to ultimately watch EVERY movie I've been to the premiere of. (Yes, EVEN THAT ONE) No matter what. And of course, on top of that, write an analysis of the film. Not just a 'first watched' raw response, but a detailed analysis. But written from MY perspective. As a person who is over-analytical and also a pessimist at heart.

Hence the working title "Movies Pessimistically Appraised". Or, to be more catchy and eye-opening, "Why I Didn't like...."

And who am I to write about movies > do I think I'm better than Spielberg, Nolan and Tarantino? No, of course not. But when I watch a movie I think is sub-par, I think it's like paying money for a plumber who has done a poor job. I don't have to be a better plumber to say with some certainty that the kitchen is flooded, and that as a consequence the plumber has done a bad job. It doesn't matter that I can't do better : I paid the plumber - they should be the one who's better. And if I've commissioned an Artist to paint my house, then yes, they're an Artist. But I'm the client. I still get to have an opinion. I might not be able to paint the Sistine Chapel but I can still point to a part where that one dude is cross-eyed and decide for myself whether that's appropriate.

And that's where I stand on movies. Basically, I'd like it if movies were better. No movie is perfect, and no movie is made for me. But these are just my views. The process of finding flaws isn't an ego-trip, it's a form of analysis, of problem-solving. It's a way to show I'm either so engaged in a movie that I'm not judging it anymore (at least on first viewing) or its a way of dealing with the fact that the movie is failing to maintain my interest. It's something I can't turn off, so I might as well use it.

And since I go to a lot of premieres in London, this represents the other side of the coin : I love photography. But I also love movies. I'm always looking to improve my photography... likewise I'm looking for movies to get better.

You don't have to agree with what I write. You can have a different point of view. I bring my prejudices and predilections to every movie I've watched. I bring every movie I've already watched INTO every movie I watch subsequently. I've probably averaged about 200 movies per year for the past four years. That's not something I write to impress anybody, it's an excuse : an excuse for why I can't accept the same cliches because I've invariably seen them before. And I openly admit that this makes me non-representative of many people who watch far less movies than I do, and it certainly doesn't make me right. I've become accustomed to the idea that most movies are not made for people who watch too many movies! (Although paradoxically they're often made BY people who have also watched a lot of movies) (or made by shitty committees filled with accountants, yes-men, know-nothing focus groups, and people determined to take no risks whatsoever).

Long story short, our tastes may/will differ, and that's fine. Feel free to have an opinion that's 100% different to mine. It's okay to like what you want to like, and it's okay to hate what you want to hate. It doesn't make you a bad person, necessarily.

These are just my opinions, expounded at length.

Why I Didn't Like : 'The Dark Knight' (2008)

Why do I do this? Read the Manifesto

"The Joker is defeated by a PLOT MACHINATION rather than by Batman, AND My heart breaks for THE JOKER... KIND OF.".

Movie Pessimistically Appraised : The Dark Knight (2008). First watched : 2008 (cinema x2). Subsequently rewatched : Numerous times. Review written (2016)

Score out of Ten : 8.5
Score out of Five : 5
Good or Bad : Good
Recommend Watching : Yes

It's weird that I love a movie that has so many weaknesses.

Obviously this movie is superb. I watched it in cinemas the day it came out, and a second time in another cinema aftewards. As a movie-going experience it was fantastic, the mood and the tone and the subject matter is about as dark as it's possible to reasonably get for a film in this genre, I think. The theme, the score, the direction, the scale of it... it's amazing. Heath Ledger is kind of edge-of-the-seat gripping every time he's onscreen - he's a character of whom you'd literally believe anything is possible because not only does he act without any real thought to consequence, but for various moments it feels like, as the Joker, he's actually not aware of the ratings boards and what it deems as acceptable behaviour for a movie of this classification.

But... this is 'Movies Pessimistically Appraised', not 'Movies Lauded and Applauded', and despite my unremitting love for this movie, there are some pretty decent-sized issues I personally had even upon my initial viewing. Not enough to prevent further viewings... but still, they're there. And the issues fall under four main categories.


Firstly, there's the plot. Actually, I love the plot. I love idea of a complete psychopath who is loose in your city who can't be captured, can't be bought, and can't be stopped (although I wish to clarify : I don't want this psychopath loose in MY city). For the sheer 'what if' awesomness of the conceit, it's brilliant. Which is why in some ways my heart breaks a little for the Joker when his ultimate gambit doesn't pay off. I'm serious! Quite simply : I don't believe it. I don't believe it would play out as it would, I DO think people would tear each other apart, and to have an extended period of excruciating tension over it feels very false. Actually I want to clarify this too : the tension ISN'T whether anybody on either of the two ferries will Press The Detonator, but rather the tension in the horrible way that the Joker is having to confront a plot that won't let him win, even though he should. Even upon first viewing I felt the ferry scene was false. I'm no game theory expert but to me one thing was very, VERY clear : if neither boat explodes within a minute of the rules being explained, both separate populations can safely conclude that the OTHER population isn't going to detonate it. The 'game' if played as such would and should have immediately ended with a race to pull the trigger first. Seconds later, there's no need to pull the trigger anymore, because the other side hasn't pulled theirs yet so you know that either they're really stupid or they're also waiting in the hope that you're as charitable as they are. Which is why the rest of the scene is such excruciating viewing : on one boat some assholes want to take a vote - hold an election - which is totally moronic because what do they think is happening on the other boat? The entirety of this scene is an anticlimax to anybody (like me) who would have pulled the trigger immediately. The fact that one is made up of prisoners and one is civilians is also a screenwriting cop-out as it paradoxically REDUCES tension : it would have been MUCH more exciting if it was two civilian ferries because then it becomes about whether good people will turn evil against other good people, and not whether good people will kill evil people or evil people will kill good people. It was a silly decision. And in any way you look at it, I believe the Joker would have AND should have won this conundrum. And that's a real pity. Finally, as a coup de grace of the Joker's plot, it's actually rather low-key. Blowing up a hospital is a much bigger deal.

2. I don't care much for Batman

Secondly, I think there is a problem with Batman. Or rather, with Batman/Bruce Wayne. I like Christian Bale, but I don't like his portrayal of these characters particularly much. I prefer my Bruce Wayne and Batman to be two distinct characters. For example, Michael Keaton played Bruce as socially inept and quirky, and Batman as brave, bold and decisive. Even if I disagree with that precise choice, I respect the fact that there's a delineation. The problem with this movie is that broadly, Bruce Wayne has the vaguest mild sense of humour and/or melancholy, while Batman is just Batman. The two aren't particularly different - one just wears a mask. And what's worse (or rather I feel 'an incorrect decision') - Bruce Wayne is running around making 'Batman Decisions' far too often : he's basically acting like Batman while being Bruce Wayne. It's like there's three characters : Bruce Wayne Civilian (barely seen), Bruce Wayne Detective (every time he speaks to Alfred and Lucius), and Bruce Wayne Wearing A Mask Being Batman (which feels almost rare). I find the scenes he (or rather any of the three) are in rather... well....dull, if I'm honest. Batman is Batman and that's fine. But Bruce Wayne isn't particularly likeable indepenently, or even much of a character. I know it's typical for superhero movies to rotate around their villains more than the character of the hero... but given we've got a pretty great actor in the lead hero role, I actually see this as a lost opportunity. A Bruce Wayne in tears, disconsolate at the death of his 'girlfriend' would make a bold decisive Batman much, much more resonant.... but a grim determined depressed Bruce Wayne isn't dissimilar enough to Batman. In a movie about the Dark Knight, not fleshing out that character is a lost opportunity.

3. I really don't like Two-Face

Thirdly, Two-Face shouldn't have been in this movie. Harvey Dent should have been, and you certainly could have had his 'origin', but after the confrontation with The Joker, he should have disappeared to reappear at a later date (ie.. movie). The problem the movie seemed to face is that it needed to introduce Dent so it can turn him into Two-Face so he can be killed to set up the pretext for the next movie. That's not just unfortunate, that's almost cheating. Because in Harvey Dent / Two-Face you alternatively have the chance at creating a great separate movie in and of itself, rather than have him introduced to merely be a throwaway sacrifice. Here's my take : Batman is a vigilante with a Code, but Two-face, written correctly, can be a vigilante WITHOUT a code. And there's your chance for conflict : Batman versus somebody who is conceivably better and/or more effective a vigilante because they're not constrained by a code. Batman gets away with a code because he can survive because he's got billions of dollars and high-grade technology. Two-face doesn't have that, but he has brutality and a purity of vision to 'protect' him. How would Batman respond to the possibility that he's not as effective as a crime-fighter because he's not tough enough when it counts? How does he deal with the fact that people die when he captures criminals only to have them inevitably escape. To have Batman have a moral conundrum over the insufficiency of his 'code' in succesfully taking down villains, especially those who are aware of his weakness, would make him going up against Two-Face quite the morality showdown, and worthy of a full movie I think. Instead, we get two Face as a cameo loose cannon in a movie that's already got a SUPERIOR loose cannon in the form of The Joker. It's a waste of time to have Two-Face stealing screen-time from the conflict between Batman and The Joker, and the more times I watch the film the more I dislike every scene Two-Face is in. Especially the end one, where his behaviour is aberrant and emotional and childish. It doesn't work for me.

4a. The ending doesn't fit this movie.

I still don't get it. The Joker and an unknown number of associates and goons run rampant in Gotham, some police get killed and somebody somehow makes the call that the best course is to BLAME BATMAN? While this results in an incredible 'to be continued' ending that's both triumphant and ominous, it doesn't make any real sense at all. It's so easy to blame The Joker for this rather than 'admit' to it being Harvey Dent's fault. And also, there's the problem that a post-traumatic-stress-disorder Batman (who's probaby just suffered a concussion from a heavy fall decides) comes up with this solution and a post-traumatic-stress-disorder Commissioner Gordon (who almost saw his wife and kid get killed) agrees to it... it actually feels more like two dumb people making a dumb decision than a momentous and brilliant nobody-would-have-expected-this denouement to a landmark movie... even though it's kind of both. And yes, I actually think there's another explanation, which is even darker : which is that governments and police and security services NEED to find something for people to be scared of so that there's pretext for passing the kind of laws that would otherwise be unpalatable in a reasonable society. With the Joker captured and Two-Face dead, a relieved populace could conceivably return to their homes, reassured that the danger is over and that it's an aberration and it's business as usual....

4b. Unless it does fit this movie

I guess you could argue : what if the police wanted MORE power to make MORE changes? Wouldn't it be better to have somebody to blame who is still OUT THERE? Have Batman as the scray boogeyman you need to protect everone from? That's terrifying, and it's brilliant..... But I just don't believe two PTSD-suffering people could come up with it on the fly like that; and additionally I don't think Batman, who agrees that his own technology is a step too far in aid of a surveillance state.... would agree to a pretext that would create more of such a society.  (Even more so given where the character ends up in The Dark Knight Rises, unwilling to give the police even any assistance in solving crimes).


All said, it's surprising that I still think this movie is still a towering achievement. But I do. It's the full realisation of the notion that you could make a comic book movie that's so 'real' that it's *almost* plausible that it exists in this world, which is OUR world. A world that plays by our rules and our physics and our technology and our society AND morality, and makes you leave the cinema thinking we're pretty much only one young healthy multibillionaire who is sick and tired of crime and corruption away from having an ACTUAL Batman on the streets.

I love this movie. It's not without flaws, but it's awesome nonetheless. It's a shame that the Hans Zimmer / James Newton Howard score got no love from The Academy

Oh, and one more thing...

I think it's a shame Katie Holmes didn't reprise her role in this film, by the way. Tell you why : Batman is a mysterious rich, powerful, ninja-trained hero operating in darkness.... but Gotham's Assistant DA is a fragile(ish) girl who operates in full view during daylight. In many ways, she's more heroic than Batman because she doesn't wear a mask - and when she slapped Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins for even thinking about committing a vigilante act, it is SO POWERFUL because she's not a physically tough woman, but will STILL hit a guy for breaking the law. Replace her with Maggie Gyllenhall and you replace her with a woman who IS physically tough, whose right cross would happily knock me off my feet without problem. In that casting, you remove a subtle heroism from the character that I felt was great in Batman Begins, and replace it with something considerably less.

But like I said : this is a movie so good that even with considerable flaws, I still love it.

Best Part : Every scene The Joker is in becomes a scene where almost anything is possible.

Movies Pessimistically Appraised : Even masterpieces could be better!

Why I Didn't Like : 'Wall-E' (2008)

Why do I do this? Read the Manifesto

"Is it wrong that I'd let my own species die iF IT MEANT seeing more of the love story between two robots?"

Movie Pessimistically Appraised : Wall-E (2008). First watched : 2008 (cinema). Subsequently rewatched : Yes. Review written (2016)

Score out of Ten : 8
Score out of Five : 4
Good or Bad : Good
Recommend Watching : Yes

This movie is great. Or rather, its sequentially Awesome, then Very Good, then Okay. Net result (on slightly skewed maths) - it's still great.

The first part of this movie is the masterpiece : basically a silent movie about a lone robot programmed to keep cleaning up an Earth that's long since been abandoned by humanity. It's a mystery, it's an adventure, and it's glorious. Give Pixar the Best Animated Short Oscar for the first part of the movie ON TOP OF the one it won for Best Animated Feature for this film, I say.

The second part of this movie is very cool : another robot shows up, and an unlikely robotic romance occurs as our lonely beat-up dishevelled unlikely hero falls in love (?) with a sleek, curved, female (I guess) iRobot who has no programmed interest in him whatsoever as she pursues her own programmed duties (it's like they're stealing my life story...)

"The movie then, sadly, decides it needs to get to the point. And I'm not sure it needed to do that"

The third part of this movie is where the movie decides it has to get to the point, which .... I'm not sure that it had to. It decides that we don't care about robots and we don't care about love : we care about the missing humans that are no longer on Earth. And maybe I'm this planet's biggest misanthrope (and perhaps I am) but I didn't give two sh*ts about the humans who ruined their planet and hightailed it into outer space to escape the consequences of their actions. Or their descendants. And then we meet them : several generations later humanity is a bunch of obese overweight lazy space-consumers in floating lounge chairs, existing in some kind of American Shopping Mall Spaceship Ark. Basically the movie decides to start a new story, which is about these human being allowed to return to Earth for a second chance at living on Earth, and the antagonist will be the onboard robot sentience that prefers to keep humanity coddled in comfortable consumer dependency. I can not stress enough that I don't care about this story. For one, I think these humans should be kept away from Earth, and that while evil, the sentient onboard computer is right to keep these lazy fat clowns under its 'thumb' until those humans eventually DECIDE to rebel of their own accord, and not merely when some Jesus-like robot arrives to show them the way.

"Dear movie : please do not assume I have any loyalty to my species."

Humanity sucks in this movie - both the idiots who ruined Earth and the idiots that remain. I didn't want to experience their story, I didn't care what happened to them, and I resented having the story I loved being hijacked by the assumption that I cared about the obese represenation of the species I'm a part of. I'd have preferred Wall-E (or Eve) to have combined to search for humanity, rather than actually find them.

The humans in the movie are caricatures, ugly lumpish 'American' things and I don't care for them - visually and stylistically it's a deliberate choice to have the robots be either smooth or battered and have the humans as doughy meatbags. But the movie never asks why I would care for them. My opinion : do not assume I have any loyalty to my species, movie. Quite simply, after I spent half the movie loving the robots, I had no reason to care about their interaction with humans.

To be fair, the second half of the film isn't bad per se... it's just both a little more obviously preachy and features characters I care much less about, introduced too late for me to build up any real empathy with them. So that's that then - a lesser story following on the heels of two great ones, albeit one that does include lessons and morality and a sense of hope for our species.

But is it wrong that the human element of the story didn't move me nearly as much as a love story between two robots?

Probably, but I stand by my opinion.

Best Part : First fifteen minutes as a brilliant self-contained short film.

Movies Pessimistically Appraised : Because no movie is perfect.

Why I Didn't Like : 'Hancock' (2008)

Why do I do this? Read the Manifesto

"This movie derails itself so effortlessly you almost HAVE TO theorise that it was done deliberately".

Movie Pessimistically Appraised : Hancock (2008). First watched : 2008 (cinema). Subsequently rewatched : Yes. Review written (2016)

Score out of Ten : 5.5
Score out of Five : 2
Good or Bad : Bad
Recommend Watching : No

I hate this movie to the point that it makes me angry. Why? Because it's a fundamentally great idea, but it's squandered utterly. It's like giving a lamborghini to a teenager : it's noisy and glorious, until you extrapolate it to real life, and real people start getting hurt and actual damage is created, and you see people crying because they've lost loved ones. Then, when you try to explain that it arose from a funny idea, suddenly in a moment of too-late enlightenment, you shamfacedly have to admit that you actually never thought about the consequences....

.... allow pause for silence.

But how cool is this premise : a person with superpowers who sees utterly no desire to use them for good whatsoever. It's that simple. Not only is that a fantastic idea, but so is casting Will Smith to be that character. Moreover, the idea is given plausibility within the premise : with no compelling reason to use his powers, and utterly no reason to get an ordinary job, our main character becomes a homeless bum, a literal tax paid by the citizens of the city he chooses to slum in because he does whatever he wants. Which to be fair, isn't much. But it involves a complete lack of accountability and public drunkenness, safe in the knowledge that nobody has the power to stop him.

Absolutely fantastic. Add in Charlize Theron and this movie should be brilliant.

And it is.... sort of... for the first half of the movie, until the movie derails itself so effortlessly it can only be as a result of conscious effort, unfathomable though that might be.

"Rather than progress our character; or show him the error of his ways... or even have him revert to being a person who cannot relate to people... the movie decides instead that we need to know... his backstory?"

WTF? And this backstory isn't a lightning strike or a virus or a radiation surge... no. This movie introduces a complicated and entirely unnecessary Norse mythology background, depressing past lives and tragedy and repressed memories, overlaid with arbitrarily decided-upon rules, caveats and relationships that are not only entirely unwelcome to the story, but undermine it. And the rest of the movie becomes about that. Which is INSANE.


Not only is this a breathtakingly stupid idea, but to me it is completely unfathomable that somebody writing this story would not have realised that this entirely new story, being so tonally different to the beginning, would alienate the viewer. Hell, the people in charge of the marketing certainly realised the problem, and chose to limit all trailers to the comedic elements of the film, thereby enacting a complete bait-and-switch on an unsuspecting audience who then got Norse mythology and unrequited love thrown at them instead of an adventure comedy.

But what puzzles me is WHY? Why make a movie that completely stops being about its comdic social-commentary premise it started with and instead becomes a contrived melodrama? I don't understand this. Why not create the movie that the audience wants to see, based on the excellent premise you came up with? What changed? Who changed it? And why?

What's worse, the movie doesn't even play fair with its newly introduced "rules" that limit the power of our "hero" under certain circumstances. In order to maintain 'the twist' it believes will make it great (?), it disregards several instances where its own rule should have been enacted!

Words don't do my disappointment with this film justice. A shitty movie that's shittily executed is one thing. But for a movie to destroy itself for a concept that was this good that verges on unforgivable. If this was a rom-com and you wanted to do something crazy as a gamble, that makes sense. But this movie doubles-down on insanity when it had no reason to. And they somehow thought they'd get a SEQUEL to this?



Best Parts : Charlize Theron is pretty, the premiere was my first, and some of the instrumental cues by composer John Powell are good. First half of the movie is also entertaining.