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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters and an actual story in a Science Fiction
I enjoy watching science fiction movies but find many of them today so caught up with the CGI that the story line is completely lost in translation, as if the story no longer matters today. I found this movie both entertaining and fun. It had good character buildup and did all of this with the fun of science fiction. A true gem amoung todays films. It was also nice...
Published on May 27, 2011 by reviewer

versus
227 of 279 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal and Entertaining! A Perfect Date Movie
This is the entertainment business, and you know, they try, but probably the most entertaining thing about this movie was how it came to be. There are a lot of great films based on books, and even more great books deserving film adaptations, but rather than take a literary success and bring it to the big screen, Dreamworks decided to buy the rights to, of all things, I Am...
Published on February 24, 2011 by Russ Nickel


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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters and an actual story in a Science Fiction, May 27, 2011
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I enjoy watching science fiction movies but find many of them today so caught up with the CGI that the story line is completely lost in translation, as if the story no longer matters today. I found this movie both entertaining and fun. It had good character buildup and did all of this with the fun of science fiction. A true gem amoung todays films. It was also nice not to have anything I found to be offensive in the movie.

I hope they continue this and build upon the movie with sequals but since I didn't know of this being a major blockbuster I am assuming this is not going to be the case.
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227 of 279 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal and Entertaining! A Perfect Date Movie, February 24, 2011
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This is the entertainment business, and you know, they try, but probably the most entertaining thing about this movie was how it came to be. There are a lot of great films based on books, and even more great books deserving film adaptations, but rather than take a literary success and bring it to the big screen, Dreamworks decided to buy the rights to, of all things, I Am Number Four. Oh yeah, and they purchased them a year before it was even published! All because James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, decided to start a fiction franchise that pumps out books and movies that could be marketed to teens.

But hey, why not? It was bound to be a success. A young man escapes a planet just as it's being destroyed, ending up in a quaint town in Kansas Ohio where he attempts to live a normal life, only to find that he possesses superpowers, which really throw a kink in his small-town romance. That exact story has already worked out once -- why not a second time? All you need to do is get the creators of Smallville to write the script, toss in some beautiful people and a few Michael Bay explosions, and you've got yourself a hit.

I Am Number Four opens on a scene of said beautiful people partying at the beach. Our hero, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), is having a blast with all his buddies, and even gets invited to a sexy swim with the school hottie, where she delivers such lovely dialogue as "The big dipper. It's my favorite." I doubt she could even name another constellation, but that's neither here nor there, because suddenly a scar on John's leg emits a blinding light, signaling that Number Three is dead. For some reason that may or may not be explained in the book but certainly isn't in the movie, the survivors of planet Lorien can only be killed in order, so it's time for Number Four to go on the run. He and his protector, Henri (Timothy Olyphant, whose last name always reminds me of Lord of the Rings), burn all their belongings and hit the road, but an eeeeevil gecko sneaks onto their truck.

Their flight leads them to Paradise, Ohio, where the gecko turns into a cute puppy...of DEATH! At least, that's what I kept expecting. But when the puppy passed up numerous opportunities to transform into a horrible monster and slay everyone, I ended up just being pretty confused about why they built up so much suspense.
Puppies aren't the only danger in Paradise, however. There's also Sarah (Dianna Agron), the school sweetheart. There's an alliterative joke in there somewhere. Something like "dogs are dangerous, but nothing can match the peril of the..." I don't know, some word for cat.

Anyway, Sarah is an irresistible cliché, the blonde who dated the quarterback of the football team until she picked up photography, thus gaining a lens into the soul and learning the true meaning of love. At least the quarterback is original, except for the fact that he beats up science nerds and can't understand why Sarah doesn't want him and hates John for moving in on his territory. And the science nerd isn't just a science nerd. He happens to have a dad who was totally abducted by aliens so he's obsessed with rooting out all extraterrestrials at the school. All this is nothing at all like Smallville, because in that show, the blonde photographer is the same person who wants to root out the mystery behind the alien occurrences, and a different character is the love interest.

I feel bad bashing this formula so much, because I have to admit, the characters really were hot, which is what really matters. Dianna Agron of Glee fame is a girl next door of no compare, and Alex Pettyfer is, undeniably, a beautiful piece of man. I mean, in his next movie, he literally plays a guy whose main character trait is that he's really really ridiculously good looking. Based on that alone, I figured I'd be able to enjoy their romance, but man, was I wrong. This was supposed to be a superhero movie, darn it, and we end up sitting through more than an hour of plodding romance with no action whatsoever. And it's not good romance either. It's just like Twilight: all meaningful looks, lip biting, and a thirst for blood.

Maybe not the last one so much, but when this movie wasn't Smallville, it really was Twilight. The main guy has a secret that makes him an outsider at the school, but a beautiful girl is intrigued by his mystery and they fall for each other. And Loriens, unlike humans, only fall in love once and it lasts. Isn't it romantic? Blehck. Males everywhere will squirm in their seats. On the other hand, it's a perfect date movie. The guys will be excited to go, the girls will acquiesce, and then the girls will be so pleasantly surprised by the fact that the guy took them to a chick flick that they're sure to sleep with them. Except studies show that scary movies are much more likely to get you laid, so oh well.

Although the whole first hour had me teetering on the edge of boredom, what's scary is how much I actually ended up liking the movie, because, you see, the last 20 minutes kick so much ass! The action sequence is the only place you feel like Michael Bay was attached to this, and it shows. Number Six (Teresa Palmer) arrives, and she's this hot, sarcastic Aussie girl with wavy blonde hair who can kill the evil Mogadorians like nobody's business and deliver one-liners right after. She slides on her knees, hamstringing baddies while Number Four deflects plasma gun blasts with his hands, shooting them back at his foes. Six can turn invisible and teleport and generate a fire shield and all this sick stuff. Which brings up the question, why is John's main superpower the ability to turn his hands into flashlights? I mean, like, I guess that would be sort of useful, but I'd way rather be able to turn invisible. The movie has to find all these excuses to have the battles take place in dark places so that John's power is useful, and it's amusing to see how often they work it in.

Number Six was so cool that she saved the movie.The fact that she arrived at the end meant that I left feeling super stoked, which colored my whole experience with such a positive light that I couldn't help but enjoy myself. I don't know why she wasn't in the movie the entire time. Having someone fun and sarcastic was exactly what the plot needed to keep it from taking itself, and the romance, way too seriously.

So, way too much slow, clumsy romance (and don't get me wrong. I love Titanic and The Notebook), and not nearly enough action, but the premise is good enough (even if it's stolen straight from Superman), and when the fighting actually starts, it's awesome (explosions, fireballs, plasma guns, giant winged monsters). If they made a sequel, I would definitely see it. Therefore, I give I Am Number Four:

3/5 Stars

Why did John decide to reveal himself to so many people in Paradise? The film made it look like he'd had a ton of close friends at his old school, but the second they found out about him, he fled. Within days of moving to Ohio, he was willing to confide in all sorts of people. Seems pretty fickle for a Lorien who's supposed to bond forever, but maybe that same fickleness will mean that Number Six is a love interest later. Who wouldn't pick Number Six over Sarah? Honestly.

That about sums it up. Check out more on thenickelscreen on wordpress
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70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mindless entertainment when you just want to unwind in front of the tv, June 3, 2011
I hesitated renting it online when I saw that the initial review were horrible, but I rolled the dice and am glad I watched it. It's not an Oscar-winning performance, and certainly not going to inspire deep, intellectual conversation afterwards....but if you're looking for something entertaining to watch just for fun-- then you'll love this movie.

Great action sequences towards the end, semi-intriguing story, you can answer your text messages and microwave some popcorn without losing track of what's going on on-screen. Unless you're in a film-snobbish mood, this is well worth getting.
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53 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than a lot of #2 I've seen lately, March 15, 2011
Out of 9 Loriens on Earth, there are only 6 survivors. When the alien hunters known as Mogadorians kill the third survivor - killings are sequential - the fourth Lorien knows it's time to put on his track shows. Sounds good, right? Well wait until the YA source material kicks in.

Number 4 is "John Smith" (Alex Pettyfer) a kid whose appearance was perfect for casting purposes, but moronic for plot purposes. You see, John wants to fit in, to blend, to hide in the shadows. Despite his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant, who gets far too little screen time) possessing some serious powers and better computer hacking skills than those in Napoleon Dynamite's dreams, John is nonetheless going to stand out since he's the prototype for every "big man on campus" since the 1950s. In their new location, John goes to school and immediately bonds with Sarah (Dianna Agron), the clichéd social outcast who is far too beautiful to actually be a social outcast in any school known to humanity. The two soon spend time together admiring Sarah's photography, John's ability to throw a pigskin a quarter mile, each others' attractiveness. The Twilight formula ensues: staring contests, inane dialogue, more staring. Then the Mogadorians show up to kill John.

We don't really know WHY they want to kill John, or why they're going in order. Maybe it's some sort of celestial Hatfield vs. McCoy thing? We also don't know what's up with the one-by-one approach to the murders. Maybe they're following some interstellar Lorien phone book like Arnold in Terminator? Maybe this is just a poorly done YA version of the Predator series? And that's probably the biggest flaw of this movie. Too many loose ends. There are several more that I haven't mentioned. Nearly nothing is revealed about the feud, the extermination, the history. Do they live next to Alf or Klingons? Do they have special powers on their home planet like they do on Earth?

The aspect I quite enjoyed was the combined special effects and action. There were clear, crisp renditions in which the scene could be realized, absorbed, and appreciated. The fighting scenes, with or without magic, were well choreographed and fully developed. Special powers are appropriately extraordinary, with lasers and lights popping up with vibrancy and power from just about every orifice. Even when John's "dog" gets in on the action it's exciting and filmed from appropriate angles and speeds. Take note special effects coordinators and cameramen; the shaky-cam is not necessary. In fact, we're sick of it.

Since the source material was originally for doe-eyed, hormonally imbalanced 14 year-olds, you can guess where this film ends up. Rest assured, goodness and justice prevails, with hints of future righting of the universe's problems. I guess the intended audience would be perpetually distracted by the cast's dreaminess, which is fine for this type of movie. The subplots were too underdeveloped for me, however. Decent popcorn movie for date night.

Jason
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! AWESOME MOVIE!, May 28, 2011
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didnt know much about the movie except the very few and short trailers i had seen. what a great movie from start to finish. i was on the edge of my seat during most of the movie and found myself wanting to fast forward the movie to see what was gonna finally happen. i highly recommend this movie if you like suspense/thriller types. buying the ble-ray right now.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good story, a fun movie, July 17, 2011
This review is from: I Am Number Four (DVD)
I've seen some reviewers (negatively) compare this movie to Twilight. I would only guess that the majority of these reviewers haven't actually seen Twilight - because, aside from young people and romance (which describes quite a few movies out there...), they have nothing in common. This movie is interesting, exciting, and light on emo; the story is one of survival, rather than a lengthy romance seasoned occasionally with just a pinch of adventure. This is an adventure complicated by romance, rather than a romance complicated by adventure. All of which isn't to knock Twilight - it achieves what it tries to do successfully - but to point out that this is not Twilight. At all. So, enough about what it isn't. Now onto what it is.

(spoilers)

I am Number Four is the story of a young alien who has yet to come into his powers; he is one of 9 gifted alien youngsters who were destined to protect their (now destroyed) planet. After Number 3 is killed by the marauding invading aliens who destroyed Number 4's planet, Number 4 and his protector flee to Paradise, Ohio. Number 4 (now "John Smith") gets involved in some teen drama (football players who pick on the science nerd, Sam [who claims that his father was abducted by aliens]) and falls for the football player's ex, Sarah. While highschool trouble brews, the evil aliens are getting closer and closer to discovering them; when "John's" protector goes missing, he and Sam set out to find him. Things go south from there, ending with a spectacular showdown that includes a fight between dragon-like monsters and a dog/dinosaur-like "pet".

(end spoilers)

I won't say that any of this is original (it's not; it's mostly all been done somewhere). But it is good, and it's done well. The acting is good, the interactions are more or less believable (even with the well-used bully-football-players theme), and it's quite interesting. Would see again. A friend of mine put it like this: "This was a movie about aliens *and* teens - by all rights, it should have stunk." Maybe so, but lucky for us, it didn't. 5/5 stars
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dug it, May 30, 2011
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I enjoyed it. Thought it was a decent super hero flick that didn't get bogged down too badly in the teenie bopper puppy love crap that seems to kill so many films these days. Wasn't too cheesy on the action and the effects were solid. Worth the rental for sure. Hope they make the sequel.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really underrated movie!, May 24, 2011
This review is from: I Am Number Four (DVD)
Really liked the movie, all the way up to the end where all the action happens. I hope they come out with additional films, they kind of leave it hanging.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it all the way through!!!!!, March 17, 2011
Though I have not yet read the novel on which this film was based,I
REALLY loved the movie!!!And though the plot is hardly an original
one,ALEX PETTYFER and TIMOTHY OLYPHANT do turn in great performances
as the 2 Loriens: John and Henri.The film,itself,is basically like taking "TWILIGHT","SUPERMAN,"and the tv series,"ROSWELL",and putting them all in a blender and coming out with:"I AM NUMBER
FOUR."But don't let that part discourage you from seeing the film!!
The great thing about this movie is the character-driven part of the film before the action-and-special effects galore-climax!This
one is a REAL PLEASER for any one who is out on a date for their
first time!The CGI effects REALLY ROCK when it comes to the: monsters,John's legacy powers,and the big laser-gun fight at the
end in the high school's football field!!!And I hope to God they
turn the sequel novel: "THE POWER OF SIX" into a film with the
same cast!!!!!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome movie, July 12, 2011
This review is from: I Am Number Four (DVD)
this is a great movie. the story and actors are great. the special effects are awesome in this movie. if you have not seen this movie then i recommend you do.
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I Am Number Four
I Am Number Four by D.J. Caruso (DVD - 2011)
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