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*** Official THE CORE Review Thread


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted March 28 2003 - 11:06 AM

"The Core" is your basic roller coaster ride of a movie. The premise is that the earth's core has stopped spinning, and for mankind to continue to live on the planet, the core needs to be re-started. This is the story of 6 people in a ship that can cut through just about anything on a journey to the center of the world to jump start the planet. The setup is pretty decent, though leave your physics aptitude at the door. For a 2 hour film, it doesn't drag all that much, and the performances range from dry (Hilary Swank) to cartoonishly entertaining (Stanley Tucci). If you are in the mood for a no-brainer kind of film, "The Core" may be just up your alley. I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B- for knowing what kind of film it wanted to be.
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#2 of 6 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 28 2003 - 01:11 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Core". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:27 PM

I felt like attending a brainless action movie tonight, so I decided to go and see "The Core". There is not a whole lot that can be added to P. Sun's review of this flick. As long as you let your brain fall from your head into your ass this movie can be entertaining. It is pretty standard disaster fare with the usual cast of stereotypical characters. The movie is quite cliched in spots and, as a result, can be quite humourous.

Outside of the preposterous story, one of the main weaknesses in this film was some pretty cruddy CGI. I thought the whales that swam like dolphins or Tuna fish were hilarious. There is a setpiece in Alaska that is entirely computer generated and it is pretty weak CGI. I am beginning to wish that some of these films would go back to using modelmakers and models, instead of using poorly rendered CGI backdrops. If filmmakers are not going to ensure that the CGI integrates seamlessly into the film then they shouldn't use it.

This movie is in the "ARMAGEDDON" vein but,unlike that film, I found "THE CORE" slightly more tolerable.

Posted Image Posted Image out of four ©.
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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:46 PM

The Core (Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image out of 5)

I have no problem recommending a bad movie, given its a fun time. The Core plays like a sillier version of Michael Bay's Armageddon - if such a thing is even possible - mixed with any of the old-fashioned Quest Adventure Flicks of the 1950's and 1960's...special effects included.

Cinematic PB & J, The Core delivers precisely what it promises with no frills, no muss and very little common sense. Inspiration for my new cheeseball movie label "Marijuana Matinee" and chock-full of overbaked and comfortably familiar disaster trappings, The Core is silly and trite and altogether disposable - yet still I had a fairly good time. Go figure.

The Earth's core has stopped spinning. About twenty minutes of hastily hazy exposition supplies this news, but audiences are also treated to various sequences of natural disaster - which certainly help to keep things juicy. In an effort to jump start our planet's core, a platoon of colorful caricatures are enlisted: a vanilla-bland captain, a doe-eyed disgrace of a pilot, a lovably kooky laser genius, the world's only brave Frenchman, and our Quirky and Self-Deprecating Hero Guy.

Naturally things go horribly amiss once our gang boards their amusingly phallic ship and begins boring into the earth. Like an anthology of isolated death scenes, a series of predictable disasters begins to diminish the crew one at a time. One guy gets a stalactite to the forehead, another gets comedically crushed in a shrinking closet (don't ask), one withstands 3,500 degrees to throw the proper switch which saves everyone else, etc., etc.

The cast is a mixed bag at best. Aaron Eckhart plays the Hero role with an Owen Wilson-ish delivery that wavers between bemused and desperate; Tcheky Karyo adds his reliable moments of pointless likability as the ill-fated Frenchie; Delroy Lindo is wild-eyed and lots of goofy fun; and then there's Hilary Swank: Oscar Winner. Perhaps it's just the case of an actress wandering too far out of her (already limited) range, but Swank presents a performance destined to be remembered as one of the most ridiculous of all time. (OK, maybe not.) Her every line delivery is apt to provoke sputters of incredulous giggling, and again - this overt silliness adds to the overall Entertainment Value.

Gleefully (and blatantly) borrowing from not only Armageddon, but Aliens, Fantastic Voyage, War Games and (obviously) Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Core is nobody's idea of an original concept. But there's something to be said for a cookie-cutter genre flick that delivers its payload with a minimum of obnoxiousness. The Flashy Bits are presented on a reliable timetable, most of the cast (Swank excluded) seems well aware of the bloviated hand-wringing joke they're all participating in, and the screenplay includes just enough intentional humor to let us know we're in on the joke.

(Sure, there are several laughable moments of unintentional ridiculousness littered throughout, but one can opt to see those moments in an stupidly enjoyable light.)

So yeah: Add this one to my Guilty Pleasures list, the one that also houses Anaconda and Deep Rising and (yes) Armageddon. Don't for one second mistake my tentative recommendation for the assertation that The Core is a brilliantly crafted or visionary motion picture. It's high-concept junk, but it's more fun than many of its ilk.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted March 31 2003 - 06:38 AM

A review of The Core.

This is an earnest disaster film more in line with Meteor than with an action blockbuster like Armageddon or the emotional backstory of Deep Impact. Little time is spent on introducing humor or personal human stories in favor of just going through the disaster motions. The disaster scenes were probably built by asking a scientist what would happen if the core of the earth stopped spinning and then making that on a medium scale. The film has "medium scale" written all over it. The cast isn't as big as those in the really epic disaster movies, the scenes of disaster are pretty small scale and medium budget, and the overall sense of dread is bordering on "moderately dangerous".

I won't go into the science of the film as I'm not an expert, but there are no shortage of things that I question as a layperson. Some are basic questions like how they could communicate with the surface, how their tunneling lasers could withstand the heat and pressure, as they weren't covered with Unobtainium, and how they thought a single explosion could introduce rotation on a stationary core. I assume the disaster elements were probably amplified impacts for dramatic effect, but even them seem to be silly when the dialog contradicts them (such as the mention that birds use magnetism as long range navigation, so why would they run into close up windows?). I decided that I didn't care why a college professor was considered the best person to send on this mission.

The casting is pretty meager, with mostly B-list talent as is befitting the scale. Stanley Tucci rips it up pretty nicely as the pompous scientist. It was directed pretty solidly without any really flashy or unnecessary camerawork. Special effects wise, they did a pretty good job. The danger was trying to make the constant flying through orange stuff seem interesting or different, which they succeeded for the most part. The design of the terranaut craft was also pretty nice, with a fair explanation on how they are always on level ground. The disaster scenes seem to be a mix between a bad homage to The Birds to a nice scene dealing with Shuttle navigation.

Taken as a sum of its parts, The Core is much better than I had expected it to be. That is not to say that it is good, but it is more entertaining than it could have been.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted April 10 2003 - 12:07 PM

The Core
3.5 of 10

For the first 3/4ths of the film this is a good ride. The silly science is acted and presented with an enthusiasm for all science, silly or otherwise. That sort of respect helps carry the film through the fantasical jumps it imagines, and in that way the film strongly resembles FANTASTIC VOYAGE much more than Armageddon.

So great, you're going on a wild ride through places you could never go using science that will never exist, more science fantasy than science fiction. That's fine and the characters only add to that.

But then the film flat-out runs out of time and you are forced to sudden leaps in the story which totally undermine what should have been either the climatic tension-filled finish or shouldn't have existed at all. After the exciting journey into the core it's a painfully sloppy, stupid, and boring (in that bad, corny way) return trip.

Frankly it really feels like the film was too front-loaded with scenes like the shuttle landing sequence and just started to run too long for good action adventure which resulted in cuts, either in the script or the film. That was a big mistake and if it did need to end when it did then the film would have been much better off removing the "escape climax" end and substituted an easy escape, leaving the actual climax at the core where it belonged anyway.

The film was running a solid 6-6.5 till the last 25 minutes which destroyed all that earlier effort. In fact the failure of the film's ending left my buddy and I questioning the early sequences which we had accepted initially, as if the film had us bought in and then pushed us out so rudely that we became hostile to the earlier scenes and left with a bad taste in our mouth.




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