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-A SERIOUS MAN
-The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
-The Empire Strikes Back
-O Brother, Where Art Thou?
-Small Time Crooks
-The Dark Knight
-A Clockwork Orange
-Dog Day Afternoon
-Crimes And Misdemeanors
-Dead Poets Society
-The Talented Mr. Ripley
-No Country For Old Men
-The Big Lebowski
-The Social Network
-Children Of Men
-Raiders Of The Lost Ark
-The Royal Tenenbaums
-Toy Story 3
-Bullets Over Broadway
-There Will Be Blood
-Let The Right One In
-Evil Dead 2
-The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
-Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein
-In The Loop
-Being John Malkovich
-Kramer Vs. Kramer
-Life Is Beautiful
-Back To The Future
-What About Bob?
-Bram Stoker's Dracula
-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
-Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
-The Man Who Wasn't There
-The Squid And The Whale
-Withnail And I
-Little Shop Of Horrors
-Road To Pedition
-Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
-The Usual Suspects
-Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
-The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari
-On The Waterfront
-The Tree Of Life
-Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Spidey as he's meant to be onscreen.
Not since 1989's Batman has there been such a brilliant, fun, and hyperactive comic-book adaptation. Evil Dead and Darkman helmer Sam Raimi has gone back to his roots to deliver an over-the-top and energetic extravaganza that hits all the right levels of campiness and seriousness. There have been many comic-book movies in the past few years, but all of them have had a fatal flaw to keep it from true greatness. Batman Returns (a sequel I feel is better than the original) can really only be enjoyed by Tim Burton fans. Blade, although it was extremely entertaining, was FAR too over-the-top and cheesy to be anything more than a popcorn and eye-candy movie. X-Men, still one of the most ambitious comic-book movies to be brought to screen, had the flaw of taking itself TOO seriously, therefore the campy sequences felt strange and unmatched with the rest of the film. Batman + Robin, well, let's just not go there. Spider-Man gets it all right. Tobey Maguire's brilliant performance of Peter Parker, as well as the death of Uncle Ben, perfectly parallel the hyper kinetic and exxagerated style of filming (a trait from Raimi's earlier films) and the cheese wiz performance by Willem Dafoe, who seems to be having even MORE fun with his performance than in Shadow of the Vampire.
Aside from the comic-book justice, Raimi also will please fans of the cult classic Evil Dead and Darkman films. Taking a step away from his more drama-driven career turn, he returns to his unique style of filmmaking, where almost EVERY shot of film is moving fiercely or spinning around violently. The fact that the CGI is a bit cartoony fits his wacky vision very nicely. After 13 years, the long-awaited Spider-Man matches the group of classic comic-films along with Burton's Batman and Richard Donner's Superman and shows us the way comic-book movies SHOULD be.
Chasing Amy (1997)
Awesome Movie on all Levels.
Kevin Smith has an excellent resume. All of his movies have proven to be impressive. Clerks has the razor-sharp wit and brilliant writing. Mallrats has the nostalgic 80's comedy sense, plus Jason Lee in one of the funniest roles I've ever seen. Dogma had the thought-provoking storyline and the hilarious comedy (which is guaranteed in all Kevin Smith movies by now). Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was outrageous and hilarious, plus it wrapped up the "New Jersey Chronicles" brilliantly. But none of his movies could compare to Chasing Amy, Smith's third movie in his View Askeniverse, a world where all of his films connect in one way or another.
Chasing Amy had the witty writing from Clerks, Jason Lee from Mallrats (in an even better role than Brodie in 'Rats), the thought-provoking elements from Dogma, and the outrageous edge from Jay and Silent Bob (making us never look at a pair of Chinese fingercuffs the same way again).
Definitely the most serious and personal of his films, Chasing Amy is a delight for anyone that likes original storytelling and smart comedy. Ben Affleck shows that he has more range than what he showed in that Forces of Nature, Pearl Harbor, Bounce crap, Joey Lauren Adams is great as Alyssa Jones, and Lee is absolutely exceptional as Banky, the homophobic, hot-tempered inker, or tracer, of the comic book he and Holden (Affleck) created.
If for anything else, see the movie for the Star Wars discussion at the Comic-Con, a scene which is one of my all-time favorite comedy scenes I've ever seen. 10/10.
Die hard fans of the Tolkien books have torn apart this movie. All the comments are the same: DISGRACE TO TOLKIEN!!!, or NEVER HOW IT SHOULD'VE BEEN MADE!!! Please, stop!!!!! I've read the books many times, and sure, there are differences, but a movie that completely copies the reading material will utterly bore people to death. This was the best movie of 2001 and one of my all-time favorite adventure movies. And I don't care what anyone says, Peter Jackson captures the essence of the book better than anyone else could've ever dreamed. Nit-picky fans: YOU try to make a movie with more passion, excitement, adventure, and feeling! You know, I respect fans that don't think it fit with their vision of Middle-Earth, but come on!!! IT'S SO WRONG TO COMPARE A MOVIE TO THE BOOK IT'S BASED ON!!! Judge the movie on it's own!!! Oh well, people hating the movie based on book comparisons are at least better than when people complain: "That ending was so abrupt!" That annoys me to no end more than anything else.
Final Note: Anyone that would rather enjoy a movie for what it is on its own than nit-pick it to death for its differences to a book will love this brilliant movie. 10/10
The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998)
Very Fascinating Thriller
The Wisdom of Crocodiles (or the inferior video-box title "Immortality") is a very interesting and different kind of vampire movie. During the first fifteen minutes of the movie, I was very skeptical about it (especially during the first killing, which I thought would lead into another blood-and-guts vampire movie), but I decided to ride it out and give it a chance. I'm glad I did, because this was quite a moving and fascinating drama/suspense film with some excellent acting (Jude Law is undoubtedly going to rise up to become an amazing movie star) and awesome cinematography. The plot follows the tragic story of a vampire who feeds on the love of women, but he finds a girl that he truly falls in love with, and he is faced with the choice of dying to let her live, or kill her so he can live his sad life longer. The thing that surprised me with this movie was that it was a complete drama/romance with suspense and thriller elements in it, but in NO way is it a horror or vampire movie. This delighted me, because I am getting very tired of the formulaic vampire flicks (Dracula 2000, John Carpenter's Vampires). This movie, as well as the phenomenal Shadow of the Vampire, is one of the most intelligent, suspenseful, and and genuinely interesting vampire movies in a long, LONG time.
Meet the Parents (2000)
Absolutely a Riot!
Meet the Parents is the funniest movie of the year, no questions asked! Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller are absolutely HILARIOUS! I knew I would love this movie from the very beginning.
This movie works on so many levels. Not only is the movie absolutely hilarious from start to finish, it also has a lot of sad and touching elements. Ben Stiller is great as the unfortunately named Greg Focker (who does resemble his character in There's Something About Mary a little too much) and Robert DeNiro is fantastic as Jack Byrnes, a would-be father-in-law from Hell. DeNiro is much better in this movie than his terrible role in the atrocious Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle simply because he is more relaxed and has much more fun with this character. Stiller and DeNiro make such a good team in this movie, also. Both of them make the perfect reactions to all the absolutely humiliating mishaps Greg does in the movie. All the horrible things Greg does, from losing DeNiro's dear cat to breaking a girl's nose to setting the house on fire, none of them would have been as funny as they were if DeNiro didn't do such a good job reacting to the accidents when he would find out about them. And some of the scenes (Greg saying grace at the dinner table and the fabulous interrogation scenes) are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE not to scream out laughing.
And although the movie does have a little too much in common with There's Something About Mary, it still has all new laughs that are very fresh and are absolutely a riot!
A Great Blend of Action, Effects, Story, and Characters.
I have never been a fan of X-Men in my life. The characters always seemed dumb in the cartoon series on Fox Kids, and I've never read the comics of it. I wasn't very psyched that that they were making an X-Men movie, but then I found out that Bryan Singer was directing it. That seemed very interesting, because Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil (both great films) had little to no action in them. Then I also found out that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan were starring in it, along with a bunch of young actors with no really major credit (besides Anna Paquin with The Piano). That got me more interested, and once I saw the preview I knew I had to go see this movie. I'm glad I did. X-Men has so much to offer in an hour and a half, and as I was sitting there watching Toad walk on walls, Professor X use Cerebro, Magneto floating through the air, and the climactic battle scene of Wolverine Vs. Sabretooth on the Statue of Liberty, I was thinking, THIS is what you go to the movies for.
And not only does X-Men have fantastic special effects, great stunts, and X-ceptional battle scenes, it also has a good story and good characters. I know some of them deserved more screen time, but they still were such great actors who really portrayed the fact that the X-Men weren't all happy best friends. I loved the tension between Logan (Wolverine) and Cyclops. You can tell that they didn't like each other from the start. And the story was not built around special effects and fight scenes (unlike a very overrated movie starring Keanu Reeves), but it had substance. I could tell Bryan Singer really wanted to prove that a movie based on comic books could be more than a comic-book movie. And of course, this movie had the COOLEST villains in it. Mystique was a purely evil and sinister spy and had the coolest morphing ability (her power was probably the coolest out of all the mutants), Toad had a wicked sense of humor and was great to see in battle using his tongue, slime, and leaping ability to fantastic use, Sabretooth was a badass mutant with strong senses of smell and had sweet fight scenes with Logan (especially the fight on top of Ellis Island), and Magneto was played SO well by Ian McKellan you could just FEEL his presence throughout the movie. He also had such an awesome power. I'd love to be able to control all metal objects.
All in all, X-Men was one of funnest movies I've ever been to in a long time. It will never bore you and will keep you captivated with it's phenomenal special effects, awesome fight scenes, great humor, exciting story, and characters you can grow to love. Now I can't wait until the sequel. 10/10
Titan A.E. (2000)
Seriously man that was GREAT!!!!!
So far this was the best movie of 2000! Everything about was great. I want to keep this review short, so this is what's good about this movie: EVERYTHING!!!! I can't believe that some people thought it was garbage. Come on!!!!!!!! It had beautiful visuals, it had a great cast, it had hilarious dialogue, it had a sci-fi story (who cares if it was formulaic, aren't all sci-fi's nowadays like that?), it had mature elements (it really isn't a movie JUST for kids), and it was the most exciting animated movie I've ever seen. It was one of the only movies where I forgot that it WAS a movie and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. What more can you ask for a science fiction? Did you guys think it would have deep morals or oscar-winning performances. It was a space opera sci-fi serial with the spirit of the original Star Wars films and the extremely advanced technology we have now. Thank God there is finally an animated movie with breathtaking excitement and groundbreaking animation that wasn't an anime movie (Sorry guys, but I HATE anime)! Don Bluth is back and he's finally returned to his days of talent.
Final Destination (2000)
An Original and Entertaining Film.
What really had me going about Final Destination was not the terrifying and gory deaths, or the the non-stop entertainment plot, or even the most original and frightening beginning since Scream. What really got me to enjoy this movie was the completely new idea of the "slasher movie without the slasher" idea, the magnificently shot scenes which kept you so freaked out about what was going to happen, the freaky and eerie score, and the amazingly fresh plot. After three years of lame and predictable slasher movies (with the exception of the well done Scream movies), Final Destination gives us a totally new look on death. Has there ever been any way of death in movies that aren't murders, accidents, or suicides? Final Destination gives us something new: the form of death itself gets cheated by five teenagers who get removed from a plane which explodes in mid-air. They were supposed to die with the rest of the passangers. Now Death is mad, and it decides to kill off the teenagers one-by-one to balance things out, using accidents and framed suicides to hide the fact that death is on a rampage of revenge. As each character dies throughout the story, the main character Alex, who can somehow see the deaths before they happen, looks desperately and tries to find Death's pattern of killing, because if he finds that, they can cheat death again.
This movie has some problems, like the scene with the mortician, but because of the fresh story, the superb death scenes, the fine acting, and the very eerie feeling you get while watching the movie, you hardly even notice them. The movie also has great comedy in it, something only the Scream movies have perfected.
So all in all, Final Destination is a thrill machine that definitely kept me going the whole time. I very much hope that movies like these are made more often now that slashers are finally being forgotten.
Possibly my All-Time Favorite Movie
This is my second review of Gattaca since my first one was extremely short. Gattaca is probably the most underrated movie of all time. It's also very possibly my favorite, along with Dead Poets Society and The Shashank Redemption. The movie has absolutely no flaws whatsoever. Everything about the movie was so amazingly original. I was also blown away by the acting of it. I have tried to see every movie with Jude Law in it after seeing his exceptional performance in Gattaca. He is also such an unknown actor, but he's so talented (It's fantastic he's nominated for an Oscar for Talented Mr. Ripley). Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Alan Arkin also give such rich and excellent performances, too.
The film is about Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), who is born what now is the natural way, but in the future is uncommon. The natural way in the future is simply cloning a baby and letting the parents decide everything (gender, hair color, skin, personality) about the baby. Vincent has one simple goal: to go into space, but because he's not "valid" and has a 99% chance of heart failure at the age of 30, Vincent can only find work as jobs like janitors. But one day, he finally goes to extreme measures to surpass the standards for a place called Gattaca where people train to become astronauts. He illegally changes his identity and borrows the identity of a superior clone by the name of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), who is incredibly strong, but gets into an accident and paralyzes his legs. Jerome gives Vincent samples of his body to help him pass for his fake identity (blood samples, urine pouches, hair samples). Vincent is getting away with his illegal crime until a mission director is brutally murdered and a detective (Alan Arkin) finds Vincent's eyelash in a corridor, and when they find out that it is the eyelash of an invalid, the detective gets closer and closer at finding Vincent's true identity.
Gattaca is a brilliant and stunning drama that I am completely outraged that it is such an unknown and underrated movie. It has such a fantastic script, such powerful performances, and an amazing music score that it definitely deserves recognition as a film that proves that the bounderies of science fiction are limitless. Oh well, at least most of the critics enjoyed it.
Scream 3 (2000)
Much Better Than I Expected!
Through the first two Scream movies we've been exposed to many laughs, many screams, many thrills, and (sadly) a couple problems. I must admit, when I found out that Kevin Williamson would not be writing the third and final movie in the surprisingly good Scream series. I actually had very low expectations for Scream 3, mostly because I did not like Arlington Road, the movie Ehren Kruger (writer of Scream 3) wrote before this one. When I saw the movie, I was very pleasantly surprised. Sure, it had some bad acting, the beginning was sort of cheesy, and there were tons of pointless characters. But still, the movie shined very bright in both the comedy and horror elements of the script. The movie was both the funniest Scream movie as well as the scariest. I was laughing almost to tears in parts of the movie, and in all the other parts I was jumping in my seat. The movie had so many more scares in it than the first two. Scream 2 was not scary at all, and Scream had some scares, but it still doesn't hold a margin to the many, many scares in the third one. The story had some plot holes, but so did Scream 2 and even the first one. It also had some very clever and extremely fun and funny scenes. Randy's special appearance was a classic element in the movie. The characters in the movie were pretty normal and average. That's one thing Ehren Kruger didn't have, Kevin Williamson's lush and excellent characters. But still, it didn't matter one bit, because this Scream, as the others, has one goal: to entertain and thrill the audience. The killer(s) of the movie was unpredictable and unexpected, but not to the point of ridicule, as the second one did. That one element of the movie was one of two things. It was cheesy, but it also worked very well. I was pleasantly surprised. So all in all, Scream 3 is arguably the best, and worst, of the Scream series. It was definitely the scariest, and funniest, of the trilogy, but it also had the weakest plotline and characters. I personally think it was worse than the first, but better than the second. Either way, though, it was defintely a worthwhile and enjoyable ending to a great series.