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All reviews - Movies (149) - DVDs (1)

One Whale Of A Tale

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:31 (A review of Whale Rider (2002))

An island heritage that is already desperately trying to hold onto it's own identity, finds itself even more challenged when a little girl tries desperately to fit into it in a manner that would break one if it's fundamental "rules". For, in order to triumph, she must dispel the ages old belief that to achieve the mantle of a chieftain, one must be a male. And in the process, she ends up making both that old tradition and a pack of whales, her b#tchez.
Yay for Girl Power!

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I Can See Dead People

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:30 (A review of Night of the Living Dead)

This was almost the "Blair Witch Project" of it's time, in that had a very documentary realism style to it that was later further advanced by the shaky camera genre of recent years.
And to my mind, it was the first time I had ever seen the depiction of zombies as truly scary. Because, let's be honest here. Even though everyone always makes fun of the fact that they're easy to escape, the truth is, if any of us were to be confronted by a husk of rotting flesh that stood upright, just the idea that we were actually witnessing one of the "living dead" would be enough to makes sh#t out our own skeletons.
Or at least, scare us to a point of not being to think as straight as one would during such a situation.
As it is convincingly depicted in the behavior of the various characters in The Living Dead, & thus, successfully enhancing the fear of dread in this staple of the horror movie classics.

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In The Running As Akira's Best

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:25 (A review of Ran (1985))

Before movies like Crouching Tiger/ Hidden Dragon & Hero came along & added the artistically flair fantasy elements to these types of epic movies, there was Ran. Some of the most beautiful & grand visuals ever in an Akira Kurosawa film. The fact that his name was associated with this project guaranteed this film's sweeping quality. And, the added high budget seemed to compromise his vision not in the slightest. Instead, it seemed to open up the potentiality that Mr. Kurosawa had holding in his already abundant visionary dreams.
Definitely my favorite of his works.

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"Close Encounters Of The Under-Water Kind"....

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:23 (A review of The Abyss)

Or Maybe even "The Day The Ocean Stood Still".

We humans are a species capable of our own destruction. Or of our own salvation.
And though sometimes, it's can seem like we're going down the road of total annihilation, there's still enough within us to choose otherwise.
At least, that's the kind of hope the water-breathing life-forms from outer space in this film seem to hold about us.
Personally, I think this is James Cameron's masterpiece. It's actually two stories in one. The alien storyline that provides the twist for the film, crossed over with the tension building plot involving the scientific crew & the naval SEAL team. And both plots, while differently paced, are still very excellently executed. Now, while the edited version that was originally released into theatres is a fine film, for my money, the uncut version is what truly reveals just how great this movie really is.

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Where Plymouth Rock Landed

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:21 (A review of Malcolm X)

In my opinion, this is the role that should've won Mr. Washington the Oscar, even more so than Training Day. In this movie, Denzel is Malcolm X. This is one of those rare instances where an actor actually becomes the person whom he is portraying. Denzel Washington tranforms himself into the man who went from being a small-time crook named "Little", to become the larger than life civil rights leader named "X".
A great biopic that intrinsically depicts the various transitions involved in one man's spiritual journey that led a singular letter in the alphabet to become a definitive part of American history books.
Definitely my favorite Spike Lee Joint.

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He's Bock

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:19 (A review of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991))

What does pure badassery from the future look like?
A big, muscular humanoid who likes to steal biker clothes, swing his shotgun on a high speed motorcycle, wear his sunglasses even at night, and is programmed to speak with a heavy-@ss Austrian accent.
This is the series in which Ahnold solidified the catch-phrase ""Ah'll be bock."
And he didn't stop coming bock until we finally elected his blockbuster @ss into office.
I guess that's one way to stop an unstoppable killing machine.

One of those rare exceptions when a sequel is better than the original.
James Cameron, you are a god.

This movie is one of those rare times where an original that was already pretty bad-ass is followed up by a sequel that is even more bad-asser.
As someone who enjoys the category of science fiction probably more than any other genre when it comes to films, I seriously think that Judgment Day, along with his efforts on Aliens, shows why there should be a law that states that James Cameron should be in charge of directing all sequels from now on.
After a going thru a summer this year that has been epitomized by listlessly plotted blockbusters such as the other movie known as T-2 (Michael Bay's), this T-2 is a reminder that even though a certain degree of suspension of belief is required from one's brain in order to accept a movie about battling robots, you do not have to completely revert to the mind level of a five-year old in order to enjoy it.

I wish I was made outta liquid metal.

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A Roomful Of Pissed Off Guys

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:13 (A review of 12 Angry Men (1957))

12 Angry Men is such a good courtroom drama, that for me, it simply blows the majority of every other film in this genre out of the water (okay, technically this isn't really a "courtroom" drama because the entire film happens in the jury-room. But let's face it, the plot's purpose is one that leads into the most important part of the courtroom process, the verdict).
The combination of a tight script with a solid ensemble cast (oh, & lets not forget a big screen directoral debut for Sidney Lumet) make for a tense, compelling movie that even though it keeps 99% it's entire length within one room, a viewer can't help but to be spellbound.

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Coming To America.....

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:12 (A review of The Joy Luck Club (1993))

The year that this film was released, I had a girlfriend who liked to go out with me, but only when she planned it & was in control of the date. On one week-end night, I was supposed to go see Joy Luck Club with her, but since it was at my suggestion, she, as always, phoned me to tell that she felt like maybe she was (conveniently) coming down with something. Now don't get me wrong, she wanted us to see this film, just not at my suggestion (I'll skip any psycho-analyzations as to why she was always like this).
Well I had finally had it, so I called her bluff, & told her that if there was a chance she'd get sick or somethin', we should just call the whole night off.
Before she could respond, I hung up the phone & then went to go see this movie by myself, more to piss her off than anything else.
By the time this stunningly moving, mother-daughter generation-crossing epic-fare was over, my hairy pimp-ass found it quite difficult to refrain from repeatingly dabbing at that "something in my eye" that seemed annoyingly persistent during the final two sob-strewn scenes. Because of my gf, there I was sitting alone in a theatre, effeminately misty-eyed over a god@mn chick-flick.
Right there & then, I knew that my relationship with my then-girlfriend was over.
Cuz no one makes me cry my own tears.
No one.

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The Sequel Of All Sequels

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:09 (A review of The Godfather: Part II (1974))

With his position as the most powerful Don in the whole of the Cosa Nostra now set firmly in place, Michael Corleone finds that with absolute and corrupt power comes absolute and corrupt responsibility. Not to mention, a hell of alotta stress. With his marriage crumbling and the last connections of his father's regime becoming more poisonous with each day, Michael slips deeper into his devious side in order to keep the order and at the same, to find a way to manipulate his machinations in a way that will allow his family business to climb the steep and crooked ladder to legitimacy.

 [img id=1188453 width=500full]

In this second chapter, Francis Ford Coppola continues the saga of la famiglia Corleone. And even though this one lacks the presence of the trio of exemplary actors I mentioned above, those empty spaces are superbly filled up by the strength Al Pacino's complete grasp and laser-beam portrayal of the lead character,
along with an interjecting prologue story starring a Sicilian speaking Robert Deniro.

[img id=2085564 width=500full]

After lightning struck once with the first Godfather film, it was almost impossible to believe that it could strike twice in the same series, especially with the absence of Marlon Brando, James Caan and Abe Vigoda (oh c'mon! Y'know his presence added a certain dimension to the whole of the movie.....).
Yet strike it did.
And with even more intensity than could be expected.

BTW, I know that the rest of the planet says that this one is the superior film, but personally, I like the first one better. Now don't get me wrong, The Godfather Part II2 <I>is</I> practically a perfect movie.... however IMO, G-1 is just a bit more perfect. That being said, The Godfather Part II is a piece of cinema that is so good, that I believe that if all sequels could match the quality ratio that this one did with its predecessor, the world would be a much better place, in a way we probably couldn't even imagine. Heck, I'd bet that there probably wouldn't even be any more things like wars an' stuff.
B'cuz that's the power of a really good sequel.

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It Came From The Stars.....

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 06:05 (A review of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)

An extra-terrestial becomes trapped on our planet & befriends an Earthling boy who shares a it's love for Reese's Pieces. From there, these two beings "from different worlds" (one of the rare times that this phrase is meant literally), began to share each other experiences in a bond that can only result from unconditional acceptance.
A moving picture which teaches that when it come to a deep longing for love in the form of kindness & friendship we humans are not alone.
And all we have to do to get it, even on a universally galactic level, is to just "be.... good".

This movie has gotten such a stigma attached to it, that I easily forget how much I enjoy watching it. After several years of this movie collecting dust on my video collection, I watched it with my 6 yr. old niece a couple of months ago, & I'll be honest with you: I don't know which one of us was left sitting there with more childlike awe & wonder on our faces.
Her, b'cuz as a kid, she thought that E.T., was one amazing tale.
Or me, b'cuz as an adult, I thought that Elliot's mom was one amazing tail.

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