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

Earth Girls Are Easy

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:22 (A review of Starman (1984))

An alien being comes down to Earth, morphs into a human form in order to understand our species & then begins a race against time to meet with his star-faring rendevous party before the government military can get it's hands on him/it. But not before he/it can get a girl pregnant.
Simply put,
this movie is E.T. for adults.
Or at least, it's for those of us whose mind's are mature enough to understand that when it comes to traffic lights, red means "stop", green means "go" & yellow means "go very fast".

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Run For , well, y'know...... Your Lives.

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:18 (A review of Monsters vs. Aliens)

A tribute to all those 50's black & white sci-fi horrors flicks, but now in cool 3-D-like computer graphics. And in full color.
The graphics are absolutely top-notch,but some of the sheen has been lost due to the fact that they're also something that I'm sure viewers are pretty much starting to become accustomed to by now. And teen-agers today, let alone the more targeted little kid audience, will barely, if at all, get any of the connections to Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, Black Lagoon & the like.
Now don't get me wrong. I think that this film comes off as entertaining enough, but to some, it may feel like it came out a fews years too late.

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Stop That Penguin!

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:16 (A review of The Wrong Trousers)

Stop-motion with a British flavor, that doesn't try to whack you over the head with it's look, humor or more importantly, with any kind of "universal life-lesson".
With it's distinction from other films is much more subtle and evenly consistent, the overall result of The Wrong Trousers left me not so much with a roaring laughter that other animated features try to shoot for, but more with a satisfying smile that was firmly set in place from beginning to end.

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Monster House review

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:13 (A review of Monster House)

Tho the animation in Monster House doesn't have the chance to get as creative as comp.-animated movies that focus on non-human subjects, they do very well with what they have. The facial expressions are choice quality & the movements during the action sequences are both smooth & dynamic. For what it is, the story is well done, the characters are engaging & the action scenes are very high in the area of thrill.
Even tho the animation in this film doesn't have the chance to get as creative as other comp.-animated movies of this generation & that focus on non-human subjects, this movie does very well with what it has. The facial expressions are choice quality & the movements during the action sequences are both smooth & dynamic. While there have been many animated films that have come along that look "better", this one for me, is one of the rare ones that have the whole package. The story is does not insult the intelligence despite being based on a child-based fantasy genre,
the characters are distinguishly engaging,
& the action scenes are very high in the area of thrill.
Monster House flows with the same roller-coaster ride that was felt with some of those high quality Spielberg-ish action flicks of the 80's.


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I Have Seen The Future. And It Works.

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:10 (A review of WALL·E)

It seems like these days, every season, an animated movie comes out displaying the next level of computer-generated visuals. For the year of 2008, it was this film & Kung Fu Panda. While not so surprising in that I (we?) expected the details in the graphics to be as detail & realistic as they were, it's still quite stunning to behold.
And even though Wall-E contains the basic formula elements one would expect from such a family film, it's still quite surprising how often & consistantly filmmakers are able to intergrate the amazing graphics into the quality of the storytelling in a manner that seems fresh & keeps the messages from feeling too cliche. At the rate that these types of highly sophisticated computer animated flicks are being released, it's remarkble that the ratio has been so much more good than bad.

A futuristic story that despite it's epic themes of environmentalism, technological over-dependence & the effects of idleness on the soul of humanity when it is stripped away from the natural strife of life, at it's heart, it's also an effective story of loneliness & longing between two computer-animated robots that despite their mechanical make-up, offer up enough heartfelt human emotion that is depicted with just a simple vocabulary that consists of nothing more than their names & a directive.

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The Magnificent Seven (1960) review

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:06 (A review of The Magnificent Seven (1960))

Y'know, there may be cowboy movies that are better filmed, with stories that are better written, that capture the western history more accurately, that have an impact that is more poignant or even have characters that are more iconic.
But very few other cowboy flicks (those being a couple of them that were made with a dash of spaghetti sauce on 'em) were more bad-ass than this one.

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Grey Hats

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:05 (A review of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966))

At the outset of the first western movies, the cowboy characters had been categorized between two basic types: Those who wore the white hats, & those who wore the black ones.
As time passed though, the hat colors began to blur between who was bad, who was bad, & then to eventually who was just plain ugly.
Though the final film in the "Man With No Name" trilogy, IMO, the best & most definitive one of the three.
It's almost impossible to think of the genre of the spaghetti western, let alone this particular series & not think of the iconic trio of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef & Eli Wallach.

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Even Tho It Hits Like A Girl, It Still Hurts

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 05:03 (A review of Million Dollar Baby)

The chemistry that results from Clint Eastwood's & Morgan Freeman's presence in this movie epitomizes the main thing I like about Million Dollar Baby. These are two seasoned actors so comfortable in their craft, that they both simply move in this film with a flowing ease of two veterans of their field who are just willing to allow the emotion of the story & the naturalness & trust of each other's acting ability to drive the momentum of this movie. And their chemistry of friendship, as cliche as it sounds, truly belies on the phrase of that "indescribable something" & yet, it's so tangible that the much younger yet equally talented Hilary Swank can't help but to follow suit in doing. It all leads to an overall performance from the trio that makes this a film whose power stems not from the boxing themes that one would usually expect from a boxing flick, but more from the emotions that weave & tie the characters together & allows the plot to unfold at it's own volition. In the end, it seems almost overkill to describe Million Dollar Baby as anything other than a boxing film that focuses on the female contingent of the sport directed by & starring Eastwood, along with Hillary Swank & Morgan Freeman.
Or in other words, a film that had me at "Mo Cuishle".

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My Favorite Movie Of All Time

Posted : 8 years, 10 months ago on 11 September 2009 04:55 (A review of The Godfather (1972))

Top 10 reasons why the Godfather is my favorite movie of all time:

10. The late great John Cazale.
An actor who in his short film career, never starred in any movie rated less than an A+.

9. Marlon Brando is back with a performance uniquely his own.
Reportedly, at the time, his career was seriously on the wane. But then Fate steps in & hands him a role of which would become one of the most iconic in film history.

8. James Caan.
IMO, his best performance ever & the best character in the movie.

7. All the "oranges=death/violent act" scenes.
Many were impressed the way directors like M. Knight Shamalamadindong with the color red or Quentin Tarantino with scenes of John Travolta in the toilet, used tools of clues for the audience, to gve 'em hints on what's coming up in future scenes. But Coppola had already taken this style of storytelling & showed them how it is done in this series.

6. Apollonia!!!

5. Vito Corleone's "...And that I do not forgive" speech during the meeting of the criminal masterminds.
I always thought that people who memorized large chunks of speeches in movies as a way of entertaining & impressing others were nerds. Then one time, on a date, I found myself actually reciting this entire speech to the young lady whom I was with. And I didn't even realize that my mind had subconsciously memorized it. It's amazing the things one can find out about one's self when they're trying to get into a girl's pants

4. Lines like "Sleeping with the fishes" or " Time to take out the mattresses", phrases that have since become part of popular culture.

3. Sonny's death scene.
Considered as needlessly ultra-violent at the time, but for me, impactfully powerful when such a character seemed to take on such a role of almost indestructibility.

2. The theme song.
One of those rare times when the music is so tied with the film, that whenever I hear it, I instantly get in the mood to watch the entire trilogy all over again (yes, even the third installment. Which, even though I don't find matching in quality with its predessors, I still tend to disagree with the public opinion on this. IMO the Godfather: Part Three is a quality film. B#tchez.).

1. Francis Ford Coppola's masterful use of foreshadowing.
Example:When Luca Brasi (the guy who ends up sleeping with the fishes) goes to make a deal with the rival crime-family, he walks thru a glass door that leads to the bar where his fate will become sealed. As the door closes, the scene is shot looking at Luca from behind, setting up the shot to so that you will notice the fish designs that have been engraved into the glass & it will visually give the impression that the fish are surrounding Luca's body.
Simply awesome.


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Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 7 May 2009 08:55 (A review of The Incredibles)

So far, this is my favorite animated feature of all time.
One of the best voice castings for the lead roles I've seen (or is it heard?) & it has a great story, full of charm, wit & family chemistry. I always thought that Hollywood never seem to be able to put out 100% in any feature dealing with superheroes, but they really did with this one. The effects are incredibly cool, the over-all visuals are stunning & the characters are all drawn with an equally high level of quality & dynamicism (.... is that really a word?). Added with the "Jack Jack Attack" story on the DVD, & I know that it will probably be a long time before the family "I's" get dethroned from #1 on my list of fave computer animation movies.

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