Monday, April 30, 2012

Amélie (2001)

Rating: 90%
Now once again we come across a really awesome movie that I've never seen before. And apparently it's a good deal that I've seen it now because this is actually one of my dad's favorite films. And he's a pretty skeptical guy. So if this movie was one of his favorites, then you know I have to see it. But anyway, here's my review for Amélie.

Plot: Amélie Poulain is a young woman who lives in Paris who works at Cafe des 2 Moulins and has a unusual active imagination. Then when she hears the news about the death of Princess Diana on TV, she drops a bottle cap that knocks over a bathroom wall title and loosens it. she find out that behind it is a box of treasures from a boy that lived in her apartment years ago. She finds the boy who is not a very old man and gives him his box back which makes him very happy. So she makes it her goal throughout life to bring happiness to others.

This was a very unique and enjoyable movie. And what's even better is that it's a romantic comedy. I say that because it's completely different from most romantic comedies that we have nowadays. Because when we think romantic comedies, we think of the stories about 1) a man and a woman who fall in love, break-up for some reason and then get back together, (ex. Corrina Corrina, Return to Me and even sadly Bridesmaids at the end of the day)  2) one is engaged or thinks is in love with a man or woman, but he/she starts to fall in love with his/her love interest's friend, or brother/sister, or someone no one knows or something like that. (ex. While you are Sleeping) and there's plenty of other ones stories that are often used that I can't think of.  Sadly we only think of romantic comedies that way because that's just about the kind of stories we are often going to get when we have romantic comedies or often than not. So that's why I enjoy the story to this movie, because of how it's one of the few romantic comedies that we have received so far in the 21st century that has a totally different style, concept, and story all around such as Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love, and Big Fat Greek Wedding. It's partially different because the actual romance doesn't kick in until later, but even when we do, we see close to no kissing or sexual content or anything like what we usually get with this genre, we just get the story about it along with all the side stories, and that's basically it. Now this movie is also known for its very well done art direction. And one time when I told a friend that I finally saw the movie, he asked if it was just all artsy. Now is it?... depends on what you mean by 'just all artsy'. Honestly, based on how I interpret that question, there's plenty of art to notice, but it's...I want to say simple. Just plain artsy from the way it sounds to me would be something more like the art design that they did for movies like Moulin Rouge where the direction is more complex. So from the way I interpret that question, no, this movie is not 'just all artsy'.

Acting/Characters:
Audrey Tautou/Amélie Poulain: I really enjoyed her acting. Amelie was this active, clever, and in some ways shy young woman who did indeed have quite an imagination.

 Music: I don't have anything to be completely for or against the concept of french music, but I thought it was nice.


Editing: I don't remember too much about the editing, but I think I thought it was well done when i saw it.


And that's my review for Ameile. If you want to see a unique romantic comedy with a fun main character and some very nice art design, this movie is for you. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Top Saddest Disney Moments (that's not Bambi's mom)

As some of you are well aware, I did a marathon a couple of months ago that contained reviewing all 51 Disney theatrical animated films. And there are a couple of lists that I've been meaning to do for a while. So I'm going to try to have at least one of them done right now with Disney's saddest moments. Now we all know what's truly the saddest moment Disney has done: the death of Bambi's mom.
 Because...you know. It's his freaking mother! She was protecting him and raising him the way a mother should and some hunter kills her! I mean that's why Man is #20 in AFI's list of villains.

But there's plenty of other sad moments in Disney that have yet to be mentioned. Although to be honest, I actually close to never get sad when it comes to a Disney movie since it's no surprise that it all works out. So for me, none of these moments are exactly how I feel when it comes to stuff like the ending of The Color Purple or Toy Story 3, or when certain characters died in LOST. So my opinion is biased as I do this. But that doesn't mean there are scenes that I consider to be rather sad or just plain depressing at some points when I think about that particular concept that I think is worth mentioning. Most of these everyone knows, but there's a couple that people should know or ones that are at least a little sad to me personally. So I'm announcing what are my top 10 saddest Disney moments.


10) The end of Pocahontas

Now I know there's a lot of people who will disagree with this one, but that's why it's at the very bottom. What gave Pocahontas bad reviews was mostly considering how it's historically inaccurate, especially with the relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith. But as a kid, I liked the romance between them and I still do even though it's not even close to what historically happened. But with that comes the fact that they don't stay together at the end because Radcliffe shot Smith so he has to go back to England to be healed. And it ends that way so you're left with them being separated. What really helps make this sad aside from that is the music. The music to me is really powerful even though it kind of is set to be happy ish despite what is happening. You have the music building up when Pocahontas rushes to that cliff so she can see the ship from a distance, then we get the chorus 'ah'ing Colors of the Wind as Pocahontas and John Smith say good bye. I'm sure very few people relate to that, but to be this was depressing enough to at least be at the very bottom of the list.


9) Someone temporarily dies

Now sure, sometimes main characters actually die such as Bambi's mom and a couple other cases that I will get to as the list goes on. But just because there are characters that only temporarily die, doesn't mean we can't still be sad that they're dead even though we may very well know that they'll come to life in the end. The most known cases seem to mostly be the deaths of Snow White and The Beast. Baloo's death now that I think about it doesn't really count since he probably was just unconscious, but people probably did become sad the first time they saw this movie believing he was dead.
Now most of these I close to never felt sad about, but I'll admit that went I went to see Tangled in theaters, even though I knew full well I was watching a Disney movie, I didn't feel completely sure that Eugene's death was temporal. Therefore I was depressed on the possibility that he actually might be dead for good. So even though it goes without saying that these moments don't really last long, they were done well enough that some of us have become at least a little sad for these death however short they may be.

 
8) The ending of Pecos Bill a.k.a. the end of Melody Time
 Now I'm very sure there's hardly as single one of you who have even heard of this scene or you maybe haven't even heard of let alone seen this movie. But considering what basically happens, it's at least a little sad. Pecos Bill is about a man who is raised by wolves and grows out to pretty much become one of the best cowboys in the west along with his horse who is also his best friend, Widowmaker. Eventually he falls in love with this cowgirl named Sue who agrees to marry him on the condition that she rides Widowmaker to the wedding. But Widowmaker is jealous so he bounces Sue off of him, and she lands on her bustle and begins to bounce higher and higher until she ends up on the moon and stays there and dies. So it's sad because that means we have a couple that actually doesn't live happily ever after due to either one of them dying. I find that sad not just because of that, but also because that means we actually have at least one Disney movie that actually doesn't fricking END at least a little happy!!!!!!
True, Pocahontas didn't end happy per say, but while I find it sad, it is bitter sweet at the same time. I mean even though they're separated, their love is still there, there's the whole "I will always be with you" stuff, and above all, NEITHER OF THEM DIED!!!!! But there's another reason why it's pretty low on this list besides the fact that very few of us have heard of it. While it is depressing, it's something in my point of view that we should be a little more pissed about then depressed. I mean an actual Disney animated film that doesn't end HAPPY!?!?!?! What the Frick!?!?!?! I mean yes we do have sad scenes aside form this. I mean that's mostly what this list is focused on. But it's outrageous that they actually give us a sad ending, ESPECIALLY since this is based off of something that doesn't have a happy ending. When it comes to the actual tale of Pecos Bill, there isn't a single version of it that ends happy. I mean there's this ending, of coarse, but there's also an ending where Bill rescues Sue but she ends the relationship while she's still traumatized from the experience. And there's even one where even when she reaches the moon she starts bouncing off there too, so Bill shoots her to put her out of her misery. SERIOUSLY!!! After all the happier versions they have given us throughout the years, mostly on stories where everyone (or close to everyone) dies such as Fox and the Hound, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, heck, even The Lion King trilogy which is based on Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead which are all sad stories, it turns out that one of their earlier films has a story where they actually USE THE FREAKING SAD ENDING!!!! But anyway, as pissed as you may be, that doesn't make it less sad that we not only have a sad ending, but that we as Disney fans are faced with the fact that not all of our movies end as Disney happy as they usually are.

7) Beginning of The Great Mouse Detective

This isn't one of the moments that really make me sad, but I can certainly tell how it would be for quite a few people. This starts with this mouse toymaker named Hiram who is celebrating his young daughter Olivia's birthday. But then a bat named Fidget kidnaps Hiram leaving Olivia all alone. While this is not the saddest thing I've seen, I can find it depressing over how Olivia is all alone. Especially when she's calling out to her father afterwords and there's no one else but her and the fog as the camera slowly zooms out. And I do think it's stupid that this is also one of those Disney moments where it gets sad and then completely happy. Because as soon as this ends, they show the title of the movie with the theme music that is like, really happy. It generally just bursts in right in the middle of us feeling sad that Olivia's all alone. But even then, it still gives us a fairly sad moment because her birthday is ruined due to her father being kidnapped and ending up all alone.


6) Todd getting dumped
Now as I grew up, I only saw Fox and the Hound a couple of times since my family never owned it. But when I saw this again for my marathon, I have to admit that while watching this scene didn't make me emotional, it still was sad to watch. In this part of the movie, Widow Tweed who has raised Todd for most of his life after his mother died. But after things get a little more rough with Slade wanting to kill him and all that, she sends him out into the wild. And as she is doing this, you have this sad song playing and you see how she's really depressed about all of this. I mean need I say more? She's pretty much been a mother to him and now she's put him in the wild and is never going to see him again. so it goes without saying that this is a rather sad moment.



5) The Pound from Lady and the Tramp
 This is easily the case if you really love dogs or animals all around. Why? BECAUSE IT'S THE FREAKING POUND!!!! This is a place where dogs without owners are imprisoned and are likely going to die!!!! And here we have these group of dogs doing a barber shop quartet that's mostly them just howling in a really sad way, and while that's happening, we are watching all these really sad dogs that are so adorable that you really want to do something to keep them from getting destroyed. I mean just look at them!
You can't tell me that that just makes you want to do something about these dogs. This is just a sad scene all around and...now I really want to pet my own dogs...SCOUTIE BEAR!!! SAIDERS!!!!







4) Some of the first half of The Rescuers
This is another one that I only saw a couple of times as I grew up and didn't realize how sad it was until recently. I last saw it, I realized how dark and even depressing this movie can be. I mean yes you have all the animal characters that are fun, and you have a happy ending, but there's a good portion of the first half of this movie where it's just downright depressing. I mean there's the beginning where Penny drops the message in a bottle into the river to ask someone for her help, and as we see pictures of the bottle sailing away we have the song "who will rescue me?" which is  dramatic in a really depressing way, because that's giving us the all around gist that this girl needs to be rescued from this place. Now the concept of what's happening in itself is pretty sad and dark. I mean Penny was kidnapped from the orphanage, is taken hostage in this dark and depressing swamp, and is forced by the evil Medusa and her dimwitted sidekick Snoops to go down a really dark cave just to find this diamond called the Devil's Eye. I mean I knew that was bad deal going on with her before, but when I watched it just months ago, I realize how this is really fricking sad. I mean all of that is happening to a little girl! I mean how old is she? 7? 8? I'm going with 6 at the youngest and 8 at the oldest. I mean I can only imagine what kind of hell that would be for me at that age. And this is what makes Medusa really evil. I mean to top off the fact that she's doing to this to a sweet, innocent, little girl, she just likes to crush her dreams. Cause when Penny asks if Medusa will bring her back to the orphanage so she could be adopted by someone after she find's the Devil's Eye, Medusa just says " Adopted? What makes you think anyone would want a homely little girl like you?" AAAHHH!!! YOU EVIL UGLY BI- *restrains himself from saying it* *takes a big sigh* Ugh, it's times like this where I wish I can come up with a swear of my own that while is not as foul to say is just as effective. But anyway, a movie that contains it being about an innocent little girl having all of this happening to her, The Rescuers gives us some really sad moments that can really get you.


3) Mufasa's Death
 Yeah this is a well known scene. Where Simba's father, Mufasa dies. I mean it's depressing because they killed or a main character, but what makes this worse than a lot of the good guy deaths is that  it's happening to someone's parent, and just like Bambi, that someone is just a KID!!!! So this roughly falls in line similar to what happened to Penny but worse. Because she doesn't have parents that she could really morn for, but SIMBA CAN!!!! Now there's another reason that's particularly sad - and I want to point out that I didn't think about this myself, but I saw it someone's own list and had to really agree with them - part of where it's sad for Simba is because he thinks it's his fault. That because of that roar he was working on, there was the stampede, Scar, Zazu and Mufasa come to rescue him, and that ultimately results in getting Mufasa killed. So Simba thinks that he accidentally killed his own father. And how he reacts to it is emotional and the quite music works really well with what is happening, so it goes without saying that this is a really sad moment.

2) Baby Mine
This being mentioned as a REALLY sad moment is when I finally came to realize that Disney has quite a few of them. (again, never thought about all that when I was growing up) Because when Dumbo was brought up somehow during a conversation with a friend of mine from church a few months ago, she mentioned how she didn't like it too much because of how this particular scene makes her cry every single time she watches it. And while I love the movie to death (mostly just because of Casey Jr.), who could blame her? I mean it's bad enough that because of that incident with those kids that were making fun of Dumbo's ears, Mrs. Jumbo gets locked up and branded a mad elephant, so Dumbo is left all alone without his mother and his only friend is Timothy.

 (and if you never knew that's the mouse's name, just look at this picture above from where he signed that contract at the very end. You'll see his full name is Timothy Q. Mouse)

Anyway, all that has happened to Dumbo, and he finally gets a chance to visit his mother. The rest is just moving. The song itself is a really touching lullaby, what probably makes it more sad is how while this is happening, we are getting these clips of all the other circus animals with the mothers sleeping with their kids, which makes it just as sad cause it just makes you think about Dumbo and his mother with everything that's happening to them, and heck, maybe you'll think about your own mother or your own children. So while it doesn't make me cry, this is an emotional scene to watch about innocent Dumbo who is kept away from his mother, giving us a scene of them making the most of their time from this brief, sad visit.




1) The death of Willie the Whale in Make Mine Music
You probably have never seen the movie, never heard of the character, and you probably will disagree with this choice as number 1, but this is a pretty sad moment. Willie is a friendly sperm whale that is capable of singing three different opera voices. His life long dream is to become a famous opera singer. The problem is that there's this professor named Tetti-Tatti who believes that he can't sing, but has three opera singers inside his belly. So he sails to find Willie and kill him in order to save the so-called opera singers that he supposedly ate. Now for most the time when he finally finds him, he gets easily stopped my the three sailors by his side who believe that Willie's singing talent is real and from there, they easily love to watch him sing. From here we are lead to believe that he eventually does succeed to sing in the opera and become famous, but suddenly Tetti-Tatti shoots him with the harpoon gun and he dies. Now to add to the drama that's happening in this scene, there's all of the sudden a storm, and the music is more suspenseful, an we see Willie still swimming and yanking the harpoon gun off the ship, and eventually it calms down and we see Willie's friend Whitey the seagull comes to mourn his friend's death.
Now again,  keep in mind that I'm not the most emotional guy, so it's biased on how I feel about these scenes, but I think that even as a kid, even without being emotional, I thought this was really sad. I mean Willie's an innocent, friendly whale, and all he wants is to become famous through his musical talent. And that dream gets crushed by this jerk who doesn't believe that his talent is real. True he goes to heaven where he has even more voices and becomes a star there, which makes it good that the ending is at least bitter sweet, but still...while it worked out for the better, his dead is still sad.  This scene is no match for the death of Bambi's mom, but I think it's sad enough to be at least one of the biggest, saddest scene in Disney.

And those are my top saddest Disney moments outside of Bambi's mom. I hope you enjoyed what I thought about all the sad moments the happiest place on earth gave us. I don't know if I'll do another Disney list, but until then, see you on my next movie review.  








Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Water for Elephants (2011)

Rating: 65%
Alright. Now that Bridesmaids is done, now it's time to move on to this film. 

Plot: Jacob Jankowski is a 23 year old Polish American Cornell veterinarian medicine student who losses his parents during his final exam. So he is left homeless and heads to the road. He hijacks a circus train where he eventually gets a job as the circus' vet by it's Owner, August. Jacob eventually is assigned to train an elephant named Rosie to be the star attraction along with August's wife, Marlena. But as the film continues the two begin to fall in love.

Now the general plot of coarse is not that incredibly original, but it's enjoyable anyway. It gives a dangerous but also really fun idea about the life working at the circus. Now there's not a whole lot of chemistry work between Jacob and Marlena. Would I agree to that? Yes, but I liked it that way. I thought it was nice how we had more on the development on the relationship/other things happening in the circus before it really became a big deal. This movie is probably not for people who are interested in the chemistry, but I thought it worked in order to tell us more about everything else that's not the relationship. 


Actors/Characters:
Robert Pattinson/Jacob: Now for the first...ten-ish minutes of having Pattinson in this film, he was just his normal Edward Cullen self. Not much emotions, having that...look or glare, I'm not sure what's the right way to put it, and I think he had his eye partially closed even...maybe. But somewhere around the time he saw the big top get put up the day after he hopped on the train, and after he puts Silver down, he starts to get much better with his facial expressions. In fact, I think he had more facial expressions and better use of voice and things like that than he did in the Goblet of Fire which is the only movie I've seen him in outside of the Twilight movies. So this is probably the best I've seen him do all around as an actor...which is where Pattinson fans should hope that he improves as an actor once Twilight is over with Breaking Dawn part 2 in November. 
Reese Witherspoon/Marlena: Okay so this is the first time I've ever seen Witherspoon in a live action film. Because I really don't know much about her. I know she was doing the voice of Susan in Monsters vs. Aliens, and I know she was Jill Green in a couple episodes of Friends, but never until now have I seen her in a live-action movie. Now how was she? She did a nice job. Nothing really stood out to me, but maybe that's because I don't know this actress very well and this movie probably is not exactly one of the highlights of her career. I guess we may have to see.
Christopher Waltz/August: Just. Plain. AWESOME!!! Just the guy we remember so well from Inglorious Bastards with just a different character. August was a man you did not want to mess with and wants everything his way, and Waltz shows us this character beautifully. His movement, his voice, his facial expressions, if there was only one thing that would make this movie worth your while, it would be to become easily amused by our dear friend Hans Landa.

Music: I liked the music. If there was a piece I found most interesting, it would be the music during the scene where Jacob tried to kill August in his sleep.

Editing: Editing was fine mostly, but when Marlene attacks August from behind in the end, I thought they made the cut too late. Because the way they made it was that she swings the bar I think it was, and hits him on the side, they stay completely still with the bar still touching his side for a couple of seconds and then they cut to him reacting to the hit and going from there. So I thought the cut between hitting him and his reaction to it was badly timed.    

And that's my review for Water for Elephants. We may not get a lot of chemistry, but to me, that let's us focus on just the process of the relationship or anything else that happens in the film, and plus we get some very nice performances that makes it a nice film anyway.      

Bridesmaids (2011)

Rating: 20%
I hoped this would be nice. I did. It sounded a little like it would be cute, it has a 90% on rottentomatoes.com, it sounded like it was going to be a film to enjoy. Why did it not exceed my expectations? let's find out.

Plot: Annie is a single woman in her mid 30's who is asked to become the maid of honor at her best friend Lillian's wedding. Lillian introduces Annie to some of the other bridesmaids. They are Lillian's co-worker Becca, her cousin Rita, her fiancee's sister Megan and finally there is Lillian's fiancee's boss' "perfect" wife who immediately starts to compete against Annie over getting attention from Lillian. While this is happening, Annie starts to fall in love with a cop named Nathan.

Now I've heard a couple of things about this movie, but the main thing was that it was supposedly a woman version of Hangover. And while I hate both Hangover movies, it seemed interesting considering its reviews and stuff. Now is it Hangover for women? Frick no! In fact, *WARNING SPOILER* more than halfway through the movie, the plot completely changes. Because in the beginning of the movie, heck, in the trailers, we are led to believe that this is going to be about ALL of the Bridesmaids. But instead it's stays all about Annie and her problems. I mean part of what made it interesting was that Ellie Kemper was in it (a.k.a. Erin from The Office) and she was playing as Becca. Halfway through the movie, she and Rita are talking about her marriage and things like that, and it leads you to believe that this is going to be another sub-plot...and for all I knew, a really cute one that the audience would love. But after that, the next scene we see of her is at the VERY END!!! That's not all. When we focus on Annie's problems for the rest of the fricking movie, we have the rest of the movie made half like a normal, uncreative, romantic comedy,  i.e. trouble with roommates, big fight with love interest that makes it seem like it's over but it's resolved in the end, destroying party decorations that leads to her ending her friendship with her best friend but after best friend has a problem it's all good (Funny People, sort of Scott Pilgrim with the roomatespart at least in the end, I can't think of anything else) and half made like a tv show or something where there's the competition between the main character and someone who has a whole lot of money but she wins because there's something the character with money can't do. (I can't think of any at the top of my head but I know for a fact I've seen it before on some show on nickolodeon or something) Seriously? keep it all about Annie!?!?! I mean sure have some of the stuff about her personal life, but s there something wrong with making all of the bridesmaids be part of the entire movie!?!?! I mean it's called BRIDESMAIDS!!!! *END OF SPOILER* Now I do kind of like the romance between Annie and Nathan at least a little bit, but on a whole it's an unoriginal and mislead movie with at least a scene of vomit and a collection of foul words.

Acting/Characters:
Kristen Wiig/Annie: She was alright, but what really didn't help was that her character was not that original. I was roughly okay with how she was the main character at first, but they took it too far so altogether I really don't care for her character.
Melissa McCarthy/Megan: So this is the one that gave this movie a best supporting actress nomination and all that stuff. That I do not get. I mean was she at least a little creative? Yes. Did she have a little dramatic moment...well it was nothing special but she did a good job at it. But as a whole, quite honestly I'm disappointed. Maybe there weren't a lot of special performances last year - I wouldn't know, I haven't seen everything - but from where I'm kind of standing right this second, I really don't see what the fuss is about with her performance.


Music: A couple of the songs that I did notice I liked, but on a whole, I didn't pay too much attention.

Editing: They did a good job with the editing. There was nothing bad or something good that really stood out for me.

And that's my review for Bridesmaids. It's not the film I thought it was going to be, and at the end of the day, as critic Lawrence Boyce for the The Baltic Times put it; "There are things to like here and the idea is a noble one. But in execution, "Bridesmaids" is a typical chick flick just with some extra rude words and vomit."   

Friday, April 20, 2012

Patton (1970)

Rating: 100%
Now the actual main character of this movie I was well aware of for quite a couple of years before I finally saw this film. I saw the beginning scene a few times and I even spoofed it for a project in my theater class during my last days in high school. But still, it has taken a long time for me to fully see it which I have finally done today. So here's my review for the best picture winner of 1970, Patton.

Plot: To put it briefly, the story is about General George S. Patton (obviously) during a lot of the battles that he did in World War II such as the battles in North Africa, Sicily, and all the way to the Battle of the Bulge and shows the stuff he did throughout the war and during the end of the war (I think).

To put it plainly, this was a very well done movie. It is a little long. I mean it's almost 3 hours. But they did a very good job with those close to 3 hours. the editing, the acting, the action and of coarse the way they developed General Patton. Now naturally it isn't too accurate, or at least from what I understand from looking up on Wikipedia - yes I know that's a terrible sight to use but in my experience, it's good to at least give you a good gist in covering what you're after - but it's pretty loyal to what happens regardless. I will say this though: when I started watching this movie I began to wonder if it was somewhat going to be similar to Lawrence of Arabia. I mean it sort of it in the extent that they were in the desert in the beginning of the movie and how both main characters were very successful leaders. But there's also their deaths after their parts in battle considering both of them died in a sort of road accident. Lawrence of coarse died riding his motorcycle, but - and this is not in the movie - Patton also died in the road. And that is sadder is that while Lawrence died long after WWI, Patton actually died just the day before he was finally leaving to go back to the U.S.A. Interesting thing to have in common but it's very sad regardless.


Acting/Characters:
George C. Scott/General Patton: So this is the ultimate shinning moment in Scott's career that I kept hearing about. I mean I've seen - or what's a better way of putting it; heard: him in some of his other  movies namely Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue but primarily his awesome role as the evil Percival C. McLeach in Disney's The Rescuers Down Under. But it wasn't until now that I got to see this performance that everybody knows so well. And as it probably goes without saying, he did a darn fine job. He showed us this clever, occasionally feared, stubborn but ultimately highly respected leader that took part in all these battles. But let's not forget how he has his caring side for his soldiers and was capable of admitting it whenever he was wrong. I can see why he's #29 in AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains list.


Music: I thought it was nice, though I thought some of the music sounded similar to some other pieces. Granted most of those pieces that I'm thinking of are much younger than this film so for all we know, it's just coincidence. We may never know.

Editing: The editing was very nice especially with the action scenes which is all the more reason why i enjoyed them.

And that's my review of Patton. It gives us an excellent hero that was brilliantly performed that altogether gave us a darn fine American classic. "Alright now you sons-of- &(@#&$, now you know how I feel. Oh, and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle – anytime, anywhere.
That’s all." -General George S. Patton

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rain Man (1988)

Rating: 100%
Now for me, this is another brilliant film where finally fully seeing it for the first time has been LONG overdue. Now I've seen clips of this film that I've remembered for years wanting to finally fully see. And I wanted to see it more when I learned more about Hoffman's character. So as of tonight, I finally settled the score once at for all in finally watching the Best Picture of 1988, Rain Man.

Plot: Charlie Babbitt is a car dealer whose father that he has avoided throughout his life has recently died. In his father's will, Charlie is left with his father's car and his prized roses but the three million dollars his father had is inherited to a trustee on behalf of an unnamed beneficiary. He later learns that the money is going to a mental institute where he learns that he has an autistic brother there named Raymond that he has never even heard of. Charlie, starts a custody battle against Raymond's doctor in order to at least get half of the money. Which leads Charlie and Raymond to go on a trip to L.A. in order to settle the matter in court.

This was a beautifully done movie. I mean what I especially love is how Raymond really relates to some of the things autistic people will do and what abilities they have. I mean it's not always the case, but it really works in giving us a generalized idea of what Autism can be like. And the story turned out to be way more interesting then I thought it would be when we learn a little more about Charlie and Raymond's family prior to the events of the film.

Acting/Characters:
Dustin Hoffman/Raymond: The best actor award he got for this film? Yeah, he totally had it coming. If you are an autistic or someone who knows very well about autism, you can tell that Hoffman did a lot of research at what autistic people are like. And his character Raymond was brilliantly done showing us the symptoms and skills Autistics can have. Lot's of daydreaming, can be really sensitive, like to keep things in a certain routine, not being aware of what's happening around them, having excellent memory, can be really good with math, saying things or wanting to do things for reason that only make sense to them, the list goes on and on. There's a lot of way where real autistic people differ from Raymond whether they're high-functioning, low-functioning or have a form of autism like Asperger's, but when it comes to giving the world a good, general idea about autism, Hoffman as Raymond did his job extremely well.
Tom Cruise/Charlie: I think this is the first time where I can really enjoy Tom Cruise as an actor. I mean yes, I've seen other movies where I liked him or roughly liked him like in Mission Impossible III, Tropic Thunder, and...maybe Far and Away? (I don't know, that's undecided because it's been a long time for me with that movie.) But from just a drama film, I found a way to appreciate him a little more as an actor. So now I sort of have something to like about him...other than sometimes making fun of him with the fairly well-known "Trapped in the Closet" episode of South Park. 

Music: Surprisingly, I ended up paying a little more attention then I probably normally do when it comes to watching movies I've never seen before. The score gave a nice smooth sort of music that was kinda weird considering I didn't expect that kind of music to be in this film, but turned out to be interesting, especially when I learned that the music was done by Hans Zimmer.

Editing: I really enjoyed the editing. Because to top it all off with Hoffman's performance, you occasionally get these cuts of random things that Raymond is looking at like a bridge or seeing the same program at the same time with the TV and his small TV or looking at the rail as he's riding a car and stuff like that. Autistics do like to look at stuff like that from when they're in the car and all that, and I liked how they put that in.


And that's my review for Rain Man. It's spectacular film that must be remembered for a very long time for how it give us a brilliant, generalize idea about the life of being a person with Autism.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Rating: 70%
I probably waited a little too long to review this because I borrowed and watched it the same time as Green Lantern. But who cares. I am doing it now so here we go.

Plot: Nick, Dale and Kurt are friends who each hate their bosses. Nick's boss, Dave led him to believe that he was getting a promotion and instead gave himself a promotion. Dale is constantly being sexually harassed by his boss Julia who keeps attempting to make sure that he has sex with her before he marries his fiancee. Kurt's former boss who he loved dies and his drug addict son (bobby) takes his place in the company and is ruining it. At the bar, Nick and Dale suggest that they should kill their bosses and Dale eventually agrees. So they get a hitman named "Motherf*cker" Jones who suggest that they should try to kill each others' bosses in order to keep the police from catching them, which is what they attempt to do.

This is plainly one of those nice, decent comedies that come out once in a while. Now as far as how the three main characters interact as a group, it's kinda the same thing as both Hangover movies in a sense. But the story is nice considering that the subject roughly has to do with something that a lot of people can relate to. The comedy is nice, nothing really memorable to me, but it works. And I really enjoyed how it came together especially with what happened between Dave and Bobby and how the movie went from there. I thought that worked.

Actors/Characters:
Jason Bateman/Nick: I liked how Nick was sort of the main character and the smart one in the group. Although I didn't think they laid it out as far as they should've done completely, and I'll explain that when I get to the editing.
Charlie Day/Dale: I kinda liked Dale. Just how he had this big care about wanting to be married and having a lot of messed up stuff happening to him and it seems like no one relates to him when it came to stuff like how it's not cool that Julie is trying to sleep with him and with stuff like being called a sex offender that apparently does not sound accurate. That, and I thought he sounds a lot like this guy Nate from my church. Kinda makes me want to show this movie to him and our friends and hope they see it too.
Jason Sudeikis/Kurt: I kind of liked how he was like a complete sex addict but they didn't go way to far with it...or that is to say, they didn't over develop it at least in my opinion. But what really messed with my head is how there where a lot of times that I thought Kurt looked a lot like Ed Helms. I mean when i saw the Jeremy Jahns review to this film and he admitted it himself, I was like "YES!!!!!!" because I wasn't the only one.
Jennifer Aniston/Julia: Now I've recently become a big fan of Friends and I thought it was kinda crazy to see Aniston being a completely different character. But my big issue is that she wasn't there as much as I would've liked as a Friends fan.
Kevin Spacey/Dave: Okay so this the first movie I've watched since I finally started knowing who Kevin Spacey is after I saw The Usual Suspects about four months ago. I enjoyed Dave considering how much he really was a psycho.

Music: The score is alright, but this film really does a job on you in terms of really getting "How You Like Me Now" by The Heavy stuck in your head for a while.

Editing: So my one issue with the editing was the very end. *WARNING SPOILER* The way they show how things worked out was basically showing how Nick, Kurt, then Dale where doing after the events of the film. I really think the order should've been done in reverse. Because that way would make it in the order of who kinda had it the worst in the beginning. Dale should go first because while stopping Julia was especially a big deal for him, it wasn't a big deal comparing to Nick and Kurt and his story is not one that the audience could relate to as much. Kurt goes second because he was kind of in between. Then Nick because A) he's the one we start out with in the beginning, B) he's the main narrator of the story and C) his part in the end, ends with a shot of his new boss being freeze-framed and described to what he is through text just like all the bosses were in the beginning. Considering they were going to do that for his new boss, I thought ending with that would've worked way better as an ending. *END OF SPOILER*

And that's my review for Horrible Bosses. It's a nice comedy with a nice idea, familiar actors, and came together rather well, but didn't have a completely well organized ending. But all around it worked in terms of how so many of us hate our bosses...well except for guys who like their boss like me considering how my boss is a
(see? that worked much better for an ending. and this is just on my review. case and point right there.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Borat (2006)

Rating: 0%
If there could be one time that I would've decided to sleep in and ditch class, today could've been the day. Because in my Documentary Film class, we actually watched this horrid movie, Borat!

Plot: Now while it's a documentary, it's basically laid out like a narrative film. Borat Sagdiyev, a popular Kazakh television reporter, goes on a trip to America to make a documentary film to some fictional Kazakh ministry. But while he's in new work, he watches an episode of Baywatch and falls in love with Pamela Anderson. So he deceives his producer Azamat in order to help him go to California and make Anderson his wife. Along the way he meets a lot of different people which eventually causes him to end up in a who lot of trouble.

Now from a documentary point of view, it works. I mean when we discussed the movie at the end of class, we talked about how this was well used in a reverse psychology kind of way and stuff like that. And it apparently work in terms of teaching how Documentary films aren't that different from narrative films. But there's so many things that are wrong about this movie, that it's a miracle that Sacha Baron Cohen and the film crew managed to not get arrested pretty much every time. (which there were several points where they could have.) Now I understand that there are people who love this kind of comedy. I mean half of the class was laughing as we watched this. But since I am NOT one of those people, this may as well have given me a reason to miss the twins from Revenge of the Fallen and heck, maybe even Hangover part II!!!!

Music: Annoying as heck. Didn't really help while putting up with the crap in this movie.

Editing: Well i didn't pay too much attention to the editing (especially when Borat and Azamat fight naked) But I think it worked in terms of the movie as a documentary.


And that's my review for Borat. While some may love it, it was one of the most horrid things I have ever had to put up with and I hope I forget about it long before the day is over. So if you need me, I'll be using Nostalgia Critic videos, comics, the last harry potter book, new movies from the library and heck, maybe even my Philosophy of Religion class to hopefully (if the Lord is willing) make that dream a reality.   

Friday, April 13, 2012

An Affair to Remember (1957)

Rating: 95%
Well considering that there's an awful lot of movie classics that I have yet to see, I decided that along with the VHS tapes to finally get started in seeing A LOT of movies that I still need to see and review. There's a whole collection of DVD's at home so I'm going to finally start watching a lot of them starting with An Affair to Remember.

Plot: Nick Ferrante, a well-known playboy is currently engaged and is sailing to new york to meet her. Along the way he meets a woman named Terry McKay who is also with someone, who after a few meetings in the ship develops a friendship with him. But after briefly visiting his grandmother, they begin to fall in love.

Now this is apparently #5 on the AFI list of America's greatest love stories. Now since I'm an expect in romance films, I wouldn't know if I agree to that, but I will admit it's a fairly romantic film. It's a well made romance, with some really nice cinematography. I especially love the shot of when Terry was opening that outside window when she's in New York and it's reflection is the Empire State Building. It has it's cute moments, some really good music, the acting is very well done, it's just a really nice romantic movie. It's not for me to say that it's one of the best let alone say that it deserves to be #5 on that AFI list, but it does it's job.


Acting/Characters:
Cary Grant/Nick Ferrante: ...uuuuhhhhhh...what do I need to say? I mean let's be serious. It's Cary Grant! He does an excellent job pretty much all the time. And it was no exception with Nick. He was charming, he was clever, he was just the way we remember him.
Deborah Kerr/Terry McKay: Now I'm not as particularly familiar with Kerr as I am with Grant, But she did a very good job too. She was very charming too and she had some nice emotional moments and while her last scene wasn't the most emotional, she did a good job.

Music: The song "An Affair to Remember (Our Love Affair)" was pretty nice. I mean i'm not an expert in songs from back then, but it was we made and well sung. some of the other songs were pretty good, but it was obviously that one that stood out.

Editing: I thought the editing was fairly well done. I mean it's the usual kind of style if you will that they had back them but it was still good.

And that's my review for An Affair to Remember.I wouldn't know if it really is one of the very best, but it does it's part in bringing us a nice romantic film.

Return to Me (2000)

Rating: 70%
Alright. Now here's the third VHS movie from the bag: Return to Me.

Plot: Bob Rueland is an architect who is currently working on a building at the Lincoln Park Zoo where his wife, Elizabeth is a zoologist. But then Elizabeth is killed in a car accident. At the same time, Grace is in intensive care awaiting high-risk, life-saving cardiac surgery. The surgery is successful due to the doctors actually using Elizabeth's heart to save Grace. A year later, Grace is living life to the fullest with the intention to even go to Rome. Bob meanwhile, is still grieving over his loss, so his friend charlie sets him up with a blind date. The date doesn't go well, but in the end, he becomes interested in the waitress in the restaurant who happens to be Grace. From there stay start going out and falling in love unaware that Grace has Elizabeth's heart.

Now I'm probably sure that you guys are guessing that it's not very unpredictable just like My Giant and Corrina, Corrina. So is it?...well in the general sense, yes. But that doesn't stop it from being good. Because unlike the last two VHS films it was much, much more interesting. I mean the story all around was nice, the romance was cute, and while the comedy isn't super hilarious, there were a lot of points - especially from some of the scenes with Grace's grandfather and his friends - that turned out to be at least a little funny. So yes it's not original, yes it's not a classic, but it's pretty enjoyable anyway.

Acting/Characters:
David Duchovny/Bob Rueland: I thought he did a good job with his emotional parts from after Elizabeth died. I may not be an expert on that stuff, but as far as I can tell, he did alright with that. When it comes to the rest of the film, he did a good job with giving us this character who is still going through the loss but is really loving the time he eventually starts spending with Grace.
Minnie Driver/Grace: Grace I thought was cute. I liked how she had the habit of worrying what men think about the scar she has from her transplant and how that went when she was finishing her first date with Bob and was totally regretting it and stuff like that.

Music: The music was okay. nothing really stood out.

Editing: I was fine with the editing except for the beginning. Because I felt that they didn't give us enough to show so that we knew right away that Grace is getting Elizabeth's heart. They did show Elizabeth's body during the surgery, but considering we only knew this woman for only...7 ish minutes, I at least had no idea until around 15 minutes later in the film.

And that's my review for Return to Me. It's not original, but it gives us an interesting, fairly funny, and a little romantic movie that is enjoyable anyway.   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Corrina, Corrina (1994)

Rating: 20%
Okay now here's another movie from the bag of VHS videos, Corrina, Corrina.

Plot: Manny and recently lost his wife, so he is looking for a nanny to take care of the house and his daughter Molly. So after a while, he hires one named Corrina. Through the events of the film, Corrina and Molly bond, which helps Molly after the loss of her mother.

This is not an original film. You get a good idea what happens throughout the film possibly close to right away. It's predictable, it's not all that funny, really if you enjoy family movies like this, that's fine, but it's not much of a film aside from that.

Acting/Characters:
Ray Liotta/Manny: He was okay. He was not a very original character, but he did alright considering the part he was given for this kind of film.
Whoopi Goldberg/Corrina: To be fair, I can see how the did have a sort of fun charm back in that time. I mean she was clever and had a cute personality.

Music: As far as score goes, it's not very original since this is a drama, comedy and romance movie in the 90's where we basically get the same kind of thing. But I liked the 50's songs that were played throughout the film, especially one that I'm familiar with since I work at the 50's restaurant.

Editing: The editing was okay, but some cuts needed to be done sooner than later. There were a couple of times where either they cut at a time that's a couple of seconds before we get the action the editor wanted from what was happening at that scene, and another point where after the action the editor wants from one scene, they just let the clip continue to where the character is just standing there for about a couple of seconds until we finally cut to the next scene.

And that's my review for Corrina, Corrina. It's not a very creative film, but if you want to see a cheesy movie as long as you're getting some sort of drama or comedy like this, this movie might be for you.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Rating: 100%
Now this was probably the first movie that my family got on DVD when DVD was new to the world. So whatever bit of the movie I saw whenever my parents were watching it, I thought was awesome and wanted to know what happened next. For probably around 7 years (maybe less) I waited for the day to fully see this movie once and for all. Finally after all that waiting, I saw it around the end of 2004 I fully saw it...AND I FREAKING LOVE IT!!!!!

Plot: In the last movie, Skynet sent a Terminator to kill Sarah Conner to prevent John Conner from existing. But it failed, so as a backup, Skynet sent another, this time to kill John in the year 1995 when he was only ten. So John in the future sends a reprogrammed Terminator to protect his ten-year old self and his mother Sarah.

This is one of the best movies there is. I mean the T-1000 is super creative, the plot is amazing, the characters are really lovable, the action is superb the canal chase scene has to be one of the best chase scenes there is known to man, the special effects is awesome, the things to just love about this film just never stops.

Acting/Characters:
Arnold Schwarzenegger/T-800: Arnold was awesome. He was funny, he was bad-a, he was just plain awesome!
Linda Hamilton/Sarah Connor: Sarah was just awesome. She was just as waitress and now she's just a military bad-a. Hamilton did an excellent job in showing us how much Sarah has changed since the event of the last movie.
Robert Patrick/T-1000: The T-1000 is epic. Before I fully saw this movie, I always wanted to know if there was ever a way to defeat it. The T-1000 was just suspenseful all the way and it's just one of the most creative villains there is.  
Edward Furlong/John Conner: Now some people apparently didn't completely like John because oh how he's a dick at that age. And I can understand that, but I like him anyway. He was a fun character and I liked how he interacted with the T-800. \


Music: Music Is awesome! I mean I enjoy the theme as usual. And the rest of the score for this movie is awesome...I mean it helps that it's not 80's music unlike the first film, but it's still very well done.

Editing: The editing was very well done. I mean it also was nominated for best editing that year so...what more do I need to say?

And that's my review for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. This is one of the best movies there is and one of my favorites. It's creative, it's clever, the effects and acting are awesome, it's just brilliantly done!

The Terminator (1984)

Rating: 95%
Now reviewing this movie has been LONG overdue. So without further ado, here's my review of The Terminator.

Plot: In 2029, machines come to exterminate what is left of the human race after they bombed them in August 29th 1997. The human have a leader named John Conner who lead the humans close to victory. But while they were defeating the machines, the machines' intelligent network, Skynet sent a specific machine called a Terminator back to the time 1984 to kill Conner's mother, Sarah Conner. So John sends one of his solders, Kyle Reese to 1984 in order to protect his mother from The Terminator.

Now I became aware of the franchise itself by sometimes watching scenes from the second movie whenever my dad was using it to test out our brand new (at the time) DVD. But it wasn't until about late 2004 that my parents finally allowed us to watch the series starting with this movie. And it goes without saying that it's a darn good movie. The plot is creative, the effects are very well done considering that time, and the acting was good. Is it a match for the second movie? Not even close. But that doesn't change the fact that it's an awesome movie.

Acting/Characters:
Arnold Schwarzenegger/The Terminator: Arnold did an excellent job being the Terminator. His facial expression (with there generally being none), his movement, his voice, it worked very well in terms of giving us an idea that this is a menacing machine that looks like a human.
Linda Hamilton/Sarah Conner: She did will in displaying what Sarah Conner was before T2. With displaying this person that's given this mission even though she has no idea what to do but in the end she's pulls through.
Michael Biehn/Kyle Reese: He did a very good job with his role. Showing how much he tries to stay alive and keep Sarah safe despite the fact that he was human while Arnold...well...isn't.

Music: I love the Terminator theme. But my one issue is that some of the music was more 80's which I don't think really works. I mean I know this was in the 80's. But...yeah...but then again that's just me.

Editing: I liked the editing. There wasn't anything I found wrong with it so yeah.

And that's my review for The Terminator. It may not be the second movie, but it's still a very enjoyable film.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Green Lantern (2011)

Rating: 15%
Now for a while I've heard a lot of things about this movie such as it being "just okay" at best and "Oh my gosh it's as bad as Batman and Robin" at worst. Personally, I didn't completely care because altogether, I wanted this to be bad since my loyalty in the comic world lies more on Marvel than DC. But that didn't stop me from wanting to eventually find out what is it about this film that's good or bad. So let's take a look at what I found.

Plot: millions of years ago, there was these beings called the Guardians who created the Green Lantern Corps which is basically as space police force to protect the galaxy using the green power of will. The main enemy against them was the yellow power of fear. The primary villain of fear was Parallax who was imprisoned by one of the Green Lanterns Abin Sur. But Parallax returned and attacked Abin Sur who escaped and crash-landed on Earth. During his last dying breath, he uses his Green lantern ring to summon someone on earth to take his place before he dies. So the ring summons a test pilot named Hal Jordan making him the new Green Lantern. So he eventually comes to the Green Lantern Corps homeworld of Oa to be trained.

Okay now that we have the plot out of the way, let's get the many plot holes and chessy lines and stuff I want to point out, out of the way. so *WARNING SPOILER* Okay let's start with plot holes: 1)why did Abin Sur make a prison against Parallax where we was capable of escaping if a couple of alien ever found him? I mean if that's the best he can do, he should've hidden him better. Maybe bury him deeper inside the planet or something like that. 2) why doesn't the Guardians tell Sinestro about Parallax right away? They just acted like everything is under control or something like that when things are totally not. 3) Hal discovers his power by using it to punch three guys when in fact we was intending to throw...some sort of garbage or something at them. So how did he use his power if he wasn't even aware of it. and the way he was trying to throw...whatever that was at them, it didn't look like it would help at all byt he way he was throwing it. 4) If the ring had this process where he can instantly learn about stuff like which sector Tomar-Re is guarding, why doesn't the ring to that so that somehow Hal automatically knows how to be just as good of a lantern as all the other Green Lanterns? or at least give him a quick idea at it kinda like Neo learning combat and stuff rather then just training him. Sinestro may still kick his rear, but I would think - based on how I understand the power of these rings according to this movie -  that doing something around that would save time and be a little more helpful for new Green Lanterns. 5) When Hal trapped Parallax with the sun, he used his power to create two planes to pull him away. Now I know that worked, but don't you think coming up with two space ships or something a little more powerful and faster than planes to make sure he's getting out of there alive? 6) What randomly inspired Sinestro to put on the yellow ring? He was all good with Parallax defeated and all that so why did he do it anyway? Now let's move to what's REALLY cheesy about this movie. 1) Kilowag going so far as drill sergeant as saying something even remotely like "This will be the most miserable day of your miserable life" (that's probably not what he said word for word but you get the idea) 2) the hero denies the responsibility at first...like Sam Witwicky, Timmy from Secret of NIHM 2, Moses, really there's a lot of them but let's not get intro too much detail. 3) Now here's the one that was the absolute worst in the movie. Hal refuses to fight Parallax because he's afraid. Now Carol asks him if he's father was ever afraid and he responded by saying that he would fight it if he would, which Carol responds to that by saying "There's a word for that: courage"...do I need to say more? Hal decides to be a hero pretty much by discovering (or may as well have discovered) courage...that's the stupidest thing they could've put in there in order to inspire a hero in a modern movie that's not for FREAKING THREE YEAR OLDS!!!! I mean this is Green Lantern not the Cowardly Lion!!!! In our modern age, whenever there are main villains that have to do with fear (ex: Dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Bats in Batman Begins) they don't talk about fighting fear by being just courageous, they talk about using a power to defeat fear (Expecto Patronum) or become a sort of fear for your enemies (being Batman/creating an antidote to Scarecrow's fear gas) or whatever. So it really is pathetic that they use a line like that as part of introducing this superhero in a live-action film. In fact, wasn't there already a quote for the whole deal about being afraid? That his father always said "It's my job not to be" and that he picked that line up to tell his nephew later on? what was wrong with bringing that part about his dad up to inspire him to go fight? I mean it's not original, but the quote that they went with, makes Optimus Prime saying "from here the fight will be on your own" in Dark of the Moon have more dignity... AND HE'S BASICALLY SAYING THAT THEY'RE ON THEIR OWN AGAINST THE DECEPTICONS WITH THAT!!!!! So really they should've stuck with his dad's quote all the way. 4) Just how Hal mentioned that the ring saw something he didn't see yet which Carol in a very chessy way says that she see it and she always did. 5) simply that Hal managed to draw back Parallax just by saying the oath. Now for what really stupid. 1) In order to even know what the oath was, Hal had to touch the lantern where he seemed to have gotten hypnotized by it where that way he learned the oath and said it. Now it probably wasn't hypnosis, but they way they laid it out, the lantern actually did that in order to tell him what the oath is and even use it to make him say it. And even then, there's the fact that nothing happens after that. They just leave it be until Hal got attacked. 2) Hector looked WAY to much like a Klingon. And I know for a fact that, that is only in the movie.
I mean here on the left is Hector in the comics. and on the right is Hector in the movie...now I may be pretty new to Star Trek in general, but based on how they enlarged his head and even showed his veins on the head, he may not have dark skin, but he looks just a Klingon as Christopher Lloyd was in Search for Spock for all I can tell. 6) Hal having a flashback about his father was really random. *END OF SPOILER* So as far as everything else, the idea is nice. I mean the power to create stuff through will and things like that does sound interesting. But maybe they should've had more on the stuff of Hal in Oa then anything else so that we get a little more into it. So if I want to understand more, then I guess I'll have to check out some of the comics sometime. But based on what little I know already outside of the movie, this is not exactly what some fan were probably expecting.


Acting/Characters:
Ryan Reynolds/Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern: Now again, how I thought of him as a superhero doesn't look good after the whole fear thing. But that aside...he was nice. I mean we have Hal Jordan introduced as this screw-up and pretty much a jerk and stuff, and yet still having his nice side. Actually, they don't really get into the screw-up part per say. I mean he did screw-up earlier which did have to do with him being a jerk, but how he has that rep outside of what happened in that earlier scene we never really have explained. They kind of just say it.  
Blake Lively/Carol Ferris: She was okay, but the only issue about her character is that they really didn't go far in explaining her relationship with Hal. In fact, now that I think about it, a lot of relationships such as hector and is father or Hal with both the senator and Carol's father. I mean they do give you an idea, but I feel like they should've gotten more into it. It's the same with Carol and Hal because you know they have a past, but from the way it's displayed, you want to know more about what is that past? I mean they made it brief enough that I want to know more about them then just that they grew up together and that they had a fling or something.

Music: The music was nice. I personally liked the music for when Hal was flying with Tomar-Re were flying around Oa. It sounded really nice with the electric guitar.


Editing: Editing was mostly okay, but my main issue was the scene where Hal discovered his power. Because when he was fighting those guys he originally planned to take something and throw it at them or something. and we really don't know what it is. Hal already grabbed it before we would even notice. So I'd like to know what it was and if they even had footage to show what it was before Hal snatched it.

And that's my review for Green Lantern. The idea is nice and there were a couple of things that were different in a decent way as far as character development on the hero himself, but there's a whole bunch of plot holes, and stupid stuff and especially things that are just plain cheesy. This movie may be about fighting the yellow enemy of fear, but it still has the yellow enemy of being cheesy. So in the end, the movie is - in one way - about trading one yellow enemy for another.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Hunger Games (and what I thought about Titanic in 3D) (2012)

Rating: 65%
Well rejoice if you'd like my small amount of loyal readers. I finally saw this freaking movie. It took longer than a lot of us, but I saw it. So let's take a look.

Plot: So after a big war against these rich people who live in a place called the Capital, every year, one boy and one girl between ages 12 to 18 in each of these twelve poor districts have to be selected in an annual lottery (apparently known as the "Reaping") where all 24 participants are suppose to play these Hunger Games where only one of them is suppose to come out of there alive in order to win. Katniss Everdeen's sister in district 12 is selected to be the girl this year for the games, but she volunteers to take her place. So she ends up in the hunger games along with the boy who is also representing her district named Peeta.

My honest opinion is that I hope I see more in the sequels when I read them, then I did with this movie and I possibly will when i read the book. I mean don't get me wrong, the idea is creative. But I feel that they could've shown me more than what they already show in the trailer. They did a little bit, when they actually got to the hunger games, but I feel like they could've done more. Although, in all honesty, I do feel this way because the way some people explained about the whole franchise, I thought part of the genre was fantasy in a way. Either that or that's a little bit what I probably would've done if I was told to write a story with the basic concept that I was given because of the trailer. I mean there's still a lot of creative things to enjoy, it's just that it wasn't as big as i thought it was going to be. As far as other issues, my brother warned me long before I saw the movie that there was apparently some seriously crappy camera work. Now I don't completely agree with him. I mean there was one fight scene were it was shaky enough that Michael Bay and a bunch of other action movie makers may have some competition. But the cameras after that didn't shake that much. I mean there's a lot of room for improvement in terms of lacking hand-held camera shots, but it's not that bad. Also *WARNING SPOILER* I have to admit that the whole relationship between Katniss and Peeta was a little sudden and it didn't really make a lot of sense. I mean what about that boyfriend she had earlier in the film?  I know she's going through a lot of crap with it being survival of the fittest and all, but after only a couple of days in the Hunger Games she's going to fall for the guy? Actually what's worse is kind how the falling in love started. I mean they eventually changed the rules so that two people can win if they're from the same district, so she starts finding him. Roughly as soon as the rule is changed is when she starts to really care about him. I mean they were kind just friends before, but then the rules change and then she's acting like she'd run a thousand miles to wrap her arms around him and never let him go. It really doesn't make sense to me. *END OF SPOILER*


Acting/Characters:
Jennifer Lawrence/Katniss Everdeen: She did a very good job with her acting. I think she did a decent job at her more dramatic scenes.
Josh Hutcherson/Peeta Mellark: I thought he did a nice job. But I do kinda of wonder if there's a little more to him in the book now that I think about it.

Music: I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the music. But it think it was good.

Editing: I thought the editing was good, but I thought the flashbacks where a little too quick and random. at least the first two. But it was still good.

And that's my review for The Hunger Games. It was only a nice film to me, but maybe I'll get a little more truly into it once I get into the books.


Okay so about less than two hours after I saw The Hunger Games, I went to see Titanic 3D with my sister. (Good grief it's messed up that it's April 10th 2012, which means it's already been 100 years since the Titanic departed from England) Now the 3D is just. completely. spectacular. They were really thorough with what they did. They made it look like you are really there by going 3D on every thing. I mean they even went really 3D on just the littlest of things from the rubble in the ruin of the Titanic to even the wrinkles on Older Rose. So really, if you want a really good idea on how far 3D has gone as of today, I'd recommend going to see Titanic 3D. Cause really the only down to it was that my sister had the nerve to text her boyfriend through...possibly close to the whole movie (I don't know if it's the whole movie. I wasn't paying complete attention...I mean why would I give that my undivided attention when I'm watching Titanic?...on the big screen like in 1997?...except it's in beautifully done 3D?...) If you want to know what I thought about the movie itself, here's the link to my review:  http://haksreviews.blogspot.com/2011/08/titanic-1997.html. And remember that very late Saturday night is when the terrible tragedy turns 100 years old. So if you want to do something about it that night, I say go for it. I myself already have my profile pic as a picture of Wallace Hartley in the movie on my Facebook profile, and I might see the movie again that night. So all around, I ask that you do what you feel you should do if anything at all on that night to respect the 1,514 people who lost their lives 100 years ago.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Giant (1998)

Now during my little break from writing reviews because of school and a couple of other things, there was a bag full of VHS movies that the owner somehow lost somewhere at my church. We do not know how this became the case, but my mom (who is the receptionist for the church) suggested that maybe I would like to take a look at these movies since I am technically the current owner of our old family TV and VHS player. Now out of the 11 videos in this bag, the only one I've seen and reviewed is Princess Bride. So some of my next few reviews will be over all of the videos from that bag that's not Princess Bride.


Rating: 35%
Yeah after recently thinking about it, I think it's time that my ratings are changed a little so it's not just either 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 etc and make it so i could also rate the movies as 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, etc. Probably overdue but better late than never. But anyway, here's the first video from the bag which is this drama comedy that was co-written and starred by Billy Crystal: My Giant.


Plot: Sam is an agent who just got fired by his current client who is shooting a film in Romania. While leaving the set he crashed his car and is saved by a 8 foot tall Romanian man named Max. Sam gets the idea to make Max a star, so he convinces the director to cast Max as the villain in the movie. From there, Sam tries to get him more roles and along with it, help Max find his old paramour he had 20 years ago.

Now if  you are wondering if this movie is not very creative when it comes to the concept of the story. A) Don't finish reading this review yet if you don't want to know until you've seen it because B) I'm just going to say it for those who don't really care or have already seen this film: yes, it's not a creative concept. Quite honestly, I wasn't very amused very much with a lot of the first...15 minutes give a take of this film because if you've seen enough movies like this film, you know exactly what is going to happen. Also I have to say that it really isn't much of a comedy. Because I heard one or two things that were cute, but that was really it. It mostly stayed a drama. But...when you get to the last 40 ish minutes the drama is a little nice. I mean don't get me wrong, the whole story in general is just plain cheesy, but the drama is still a little...nice. I mean it's still dumb in terms of creativity, but you could be interested in the characters enough to enjoy it anyway.

Actors/Characters:
Billy Crystal/Sam: He was just okay. Like I said, they really do much with the comedy and that pretty much went the exact same way with Billy Crystal in this movie. But his part in the drama later on did make his character a little more interesting or at least more like someone we could care for than being the person he introduced to us in the beginning.
Muresan/Max: He was nice. His character wasn't original, but if you do like a story about a nice giant like Max, he did do well enough that I think you would easily enjoy him.

Music: I didn't really pay attention to the music much. I mean it's a drama/comedy with Billy Crystal, so there really isn't anything that stands out as a score either good or bad for that kind of movie.

Editing: The editing was okay. There were one or two cuts that I didn't really think were necessary, but for the general part, they did good.

And that's my review for My Giant. It's a very cheesy film that while they lack a lot of comedy, the drama in the film no matter how cheesy it is could make it nice enough that you could like anyway.

The 400 Blows (1959)

Rating 100%
Here's another movie that I saw in my Development of Film Expression film. It's this french film called The 400 Blows. Not much else to say about it as an intro so let's get on with it.

Plot: Antoine Doinel is a 12 year old boy who is growing up in Paris. He is misunderstood by his parents, is tormented by his insensitive teacher, and this eventually leads him to steal his father's  typewriter in order to sell it and run away. but he is captured and sent to prison.

I know it's not saying a whole lot, but it's basically a very well done film. The cinematography, the editing, the acting, it's all been very well done. One thing that I particularly enjoy about being introduced to this film through my class, *WARNING SPOILER* is how I was aware...or that is to say, more aware of movies whose purpose is to just show what life is like in that particular time or occupation or all around world the characters live in. Which is where it's nice to be aware of that when it came to films like Ides of March. *END OF SPOILER* 

Acting/Character:
Jean-Pierre Léaud/Antoine Doinel: He did an excellent job with his character. He did well in portraying this boy who has gone through all these particular things in life.

Music: I actually don't remember a whole lot of the music. But I'm pretty sure it worked really well with this film.

Editing: The editing was very well done.

And that's my review for The 400 Blows. I know I didn't say a whole lot other then the fact that it was well done and a couple of other things, but maybe it's for the best that you find out for yourself if you haven't seen it.

The Graduate (1967)

Rating: 90%
Hi everyone. Sorry it's been a long time since my last review. I've had work on school and a couple of other stuff going on. But the important thing is that I'm back and it's time I continued to make all these reviews starting with one I've been meaning to write for months. So here's a classic that I saw for the first time years ago when I was visiting a relative who lived near Chicago, and one that I saw again at my Film Expression class, The Graduate.

Plot: Benjamin Braddock is a shy almost 21 year old college graduate. At his graduation party, the wife of his father's law partner, Mrs. Robinson asks him to drive her home from the party which he reluctantly agrees to do. At her home, Mrs. Robinson attempts to seduce him, but he manages to avoid her thanks to her husband coming home. But a few days later he gives in and they begin having an affair. But Ben soon has troubles with the choices he's made when his parents set him up on a date with Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine.

Now I agree that this was a very well done movie. The subtext was very well done, the acting was excellent, the list goes on. But the story is still messed up. In fact, quite honestly I had originally planned to rate this a 100% as it rightfully deserves. But since I should be honest when it comes to how I all around like the movie, I had to give it a slightly lower rating. Why? Because, as I hope at least some of you are aware after my The Little Mermaid review, where I explained that basically because of that particular film, it kind of started this little habit of mine for when I want to avoid watching a film or tv show where the main character is getting into big trouble or doing something really stupid. And this film is not an exception in the slightest. I mean I shouldn't have to explain why what happens in this film that makes it messed up. I'm a little over it now that I've seen it at least once so I know what generally happens, but I should be honest since this is also about what I personally thought of the film. So let the record show that as a film, I fully agree that the rating is rightfully 100%, and that it's only because of my one silly issue that it's even half a percent lower than that.

Acting/Characters:
Dustin Hoffman/Benjamin Braddock: So this was Hoffman's second film and I believe his first big hit. Well I can clearly see why. I mean to put it simply, he really pulled through in giving us a shy and very confused young adult that's going through all this crap. Really it's not much of a surprise that he even got a best actor nomination for that year.
Anne Bancroft/Mrs.Robinson: She did a very good job with her character. Mrs. Robinson was a woman who you can kind of understand why she did what she did. But at the same time you do have to hate her for pretty much everything that she does. So yeah, Bancroft deserved a nomination at least just like Hoffman.
Katharine Ross/Elaine Robinson:Well what more is there to point out? She did a very good job portraying as this confused young adult just like Hoffman and she got a nomination as well.

Music: The music was very well done. Sounds of Silence worked very well to what was happening to Ben. And then there's Mrs. Robinson which was very good and they also did a very good job with using the music for when Ben's car was running out of gas.

Editing: The editing was very well done. The L cut and J cut from the scene where Ben hops into the pool after having sex for the first time with Mrs. Robinson was very well done. (apology to any particular film geeks or film makers who have anything against using the terms "L cut" or "J cut"- which seems to originate from anyone using Final Cut Pro - as the way to describe the specific editing that was done in that particular scene.)

And that's my review for The Graduate. I may have my little issue that keeps me from honestly giving it 100%, but in truth that's truly the rating as a film because it's just very well done.