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

Here comes the Bride, All Dressed In White

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 08:03 (A review of Kill Bill: Vol. 1)

....all dressed in white....

Only two words can be used to describe this movie: Bad @ss.
Not only is this Quentin's homage to martial arts flix, but it also includes homage's to anime & those funky, grainy 70's Bruce Lee's wannabe's that made us laugh with their unsynchronized voice-overs, jagged camera movements & b-level musical sound effects. And yet, he was able to combine all this in a manner that was just plain...
... bad-@ss.

You wanna know just how bad-ass Beatrice Kiddo, the Bride really is?
At her wedding, not only does she show up looking like she's late into her trimester of pregnancy, but also at the same time, she has enough balls to wear a wedding dress that is white, the traditional color that is supposed to symbolize virginancy.
So then, the question arises,
how does one stop such an act of blatant aborition towards such an endeared long-standing nuptial tradition?
Try sending her a Bill.

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All In The Family

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 07:47 (A review of Little Miss Sunshine)

A suicidal gay uncle, an unspoken emo brother who dreams of flying jet fighters, a motivational-speaking dad who always seems to be out of touch, a seven year old out of shape, pangeant-contesting "super-freak", and a heroin-addicted grandpa with the power to spout out Oscar-worthy expletives, all capped off by a mom who tends to serve popsicles for dessert.
Everything you need to provide a big yellow vehicle such as this with a solid push.

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Never Read The Book, Myself.

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 07:19 (A review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)

This movie had the same effect on me as The Prisoner Of Azkaban, the 1st Harry Potter film I saw. It's a project based on a book series that I not only never read but never really had any interest in.
Yet, after watching the film, I became interested in it.
As a kid, I used to think that sword & sorcery stories were supposed to be more intricate & more mature & more interesting versions of fairy tales. However, as I grew up, I found that the few movies that were made of this genre tended to fall short on either the fantasy or the consistency of the plot (for some reason, the idea of characters interacting with mythic creatures always seemed difficult for script writers to string together).
But The Chronicles of Narnia seemed to be able to aptly pull this off, at least in the 1st part of this film as the major players are introduced. Even more so, IMO, than in Lord Of The Rings.
The characters in Narnia looked just like fantasy characters were meant to look, the story came off as epic as the genre tends to aspire to be & every million dollar denomination was richly visable in the special effects.
While still not a perfect movie, for me, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe definitely was a surprise in it's over-all quality as a fully integrated movie of magic, metaphor & really cool CGI-enhanced action.

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You'll Laff Til You Bust a Gut...Or Your Cherry.

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 07:15 (A review of The 40-Year-Old Virgin)

By far, my fave of the Apatow comedies. Like Knocked Up, his best films seem to be the ones in which he does triple duty as director, writer, & producer.
In this case, this triple-combo results in a movie whose strength lies not just with the high level of comedy (which probably would've been enough), but also for the fact that at it's heart, this is a story of a "late bloomer" that is handled not just intelligently, but even more importantly, with a genuine heart.
Ofttimes, many of the characters seem to deliver their punchlines with a tempered sense of sympathy towards the plight of the lead character, even when the results lead to a an exasperated situation of disintegrated success (a tried & true formula of the genre).
This movie can be touching & even socially in-depth at times, but without any cost the number of out-loud laughs.

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Satisfying Summer Blockbuster Fare

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 07:09 (A review of Transformers)

Take a classic cartoon about a bunch a large robots from outer space that change into a bunch a cool vehicles that raised the testosterone level to the point that little boys became little "guys",
mix in a healthy batch of modern day hard driving live action peppered in with a few swear words & gritty gun play,
and top it all off with the absolutely & ridiculously hot Megan Fox,
and there you have it.
A summer super-mega-blockbuster incorporating all the things that can easily make the males of our species grunt with ultimate ball-quivering delight.

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The Highs & Lo's of The American Dream

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 11:24 (A review of American Gangster)

A great crime drama in a time when such films have become rare without the boost of big banging shoot-em up guns blasting away.
Though based on a real story of a drug kingpin & the police detective determined to bring him down, the film goes down the path of the ever prevalent poetic licensing that these types of films tend to take, in order to focus more on the story of the rise & fall of an Amarican gangster whose distrubution of only the purest of heroin whilst eliminating the "middleman" changed the way drugs became distributed on the streets.
Denzel Washington plays the crimelord who sees his only option towards the American Dream is his wry combination of street-savy intellect & non-hesitant ruthlessness. Russell Crowes seemlessly tackles the part of the leader of a police task-force whose unwavering straight-edged honesty serves as both crutch & "cure" to the corrupt laden NYC precincts.
Both actors move through their respective roles with a chemistrytic ease that can only result from two artisans both comfortable & confident with their craft.

American Gangster is definitely worth a hit.

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Not The Kind Of Guy You'd Lend Your Tools To

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 11:08 (A review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

As someone whom is often very frustrated with most horror flicks, I was very pleased that this movie's plotline came off as very genuine. While most horrors tend to want the viewer say things to the screen like "Idiot! Run outside, not to the upstairs!" or "Don't go in there, you moron!", this movie actually made the situation of the onscreen victims seem logistically believable. Therefor, their fright & inevitable demise doesn't come off as deserving as those characters in other films who make one feel that their stupidity justified their grisly end. This film story's intent was aimed at making the observer feel the fear thru the fear of the victim, not just thru the idea of a mad demonic slash-object-wielding maniac.

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Game of Death review

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 10:57 (A review of Game of Death)

Even though Enter The Dragon & Fist Of Fury often interchange with this movie as far as my being my favorite Bruce Lee film, Game Of Death is the one that I find myself watching the most.
Maybe it's cuz, with since it actually remains unfinished (in my eyes, the post-Lee parts don't count... ) it leaves plenty of room for interpretation on what could have been.
After Lee's death, martial arts genre took a real nose dive as far as the kind of quality & especially the kind of integrity that Bruce seemed to be striving for.
And while lately, the genre has taken many strides forward as far as being taken more seriously as a cinematic artform, watching the ideas that Bruce set upon this early "kung fu flick" always make me wonder about the potential that the original Dragon must have dreamed about, strived & hoped for.

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Space Is Deaf to Your Screams

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 10:30 (A review of Alien)

Ridley Scott directs a tale of "in-your-face" first contact, followed by a fatal game of hide and seek between a interstellar search party crew and a xenomorph, just one of what will turn out in following sequels to be a hive-race of double-mouthed acid-blooded slick black visitors who take the role of their hosts quite literally.
Never have the film genres of horror & science fiction been so perfectly blended as in this stylish, dark and damp first entry into the franchise which first introduced what is, IMO, one of the most unique & simply bad-ass alien life-forms ever produced for film.

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The Battle Over the Pacific

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2009 10:01 (A review of Midway (1976))

Personally, I was never a big fan of early World War II movies with the exception of maybe The Longest Day & Tora! Tora! Tora!.
But Midway is a great example of taking an important military battle and depicting the grand scale of this real life historical event on film, despite the obvious perspective to the American side (which was usually the standard back then anyway).
The fact that at certain points, the film focuses on varoius specifics of the major decisions which resulted in the manner the battle would eventually unfold, helps in adding weight to the portrayal of those in military higher-ups who were instrumental in shaping this event.
Adding to the significance of the story is an ensemble cast of heavyweights of the time such as Charles "They-Don't-Get-Any-Bigger" Heston & Henry "I'm-Barbarella's-Dad" Fonda.

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