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The Claw

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6 reviews in total 
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A modern Classic, 13 May 1999

To say that 'Saving Private Ryan' is a war film would be like calling a Corvette a wagon. War films tend to glorify war, and show the other side as being Supermeanbadguys (new word!). But 'Saving Private Ryan' can be more accurately described as a war drama. In it, the war is anything but glorified. The scale of the war is shown on both a massive size (the Normandy invasion) and on a more personal level. The Germans seem bad, but they're just doing what we would do under the circumstances. However, even with this in mind, the audience can't help but hate them. This is the most dynamic part of the film; and is enough to make us forget the appallingly deflated character's in Speilberg's 'Schindler's List.' And, of course, there's the acting, with Hanks at his best, and the rest of the cast (Tom Sizemore and Jeremey Davies in particular) shines as well. Overall, a great film. And an utter travesty that it lost the Best Picture Oscar to the massively inferior 'Shakespeare in Love.'

The Mummy (1999)
May the Band-Aids be Damned!, 9 May 1999

Show of hands: who remembers the original Mummy? Looked like some freak covered with Band-Aids, right? Well don't be expecting anything like that in the newest 'Mummy.'

'The Mummy' staring Brendan Fraser, has been able to shed the infamous bandages of previous mummies, making our dead dude look more like a melted Jujubee. But after he (at this point, he's really more of an 'it') wakes up, the film shifts gears from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to 'Lifeforce' when the Mummy starts to suck the life out of those who opened his tomb, making him more alive. It's now up to our hero, O'Connell (played by Brendan Fraser, who looks as Irish as Otto Von Bismark. But I won't complain.) to stop the mummy from taking over the world.

While 'The Mummy' may be short on originality, the effects are a kick to watch, and the humor is surprisingly witty. Overall, 'The Mummy' is undeniably fun, and worth the price of admission.

Casablanca (1942)
The last word in movies., 29 April 1999

Few films have ever been made with more class than 'Casablanca.' And no film yet made has ever been more solid and well acted. Yet for all its great dialogue and wonderful characterization, the script to 'Casablanca' was only half finished when production started! The final thirty minutes were being written an hour before they were shot.

But 'Casablanca' comes off looking anything but rushed. The acting shines from start to finish. The camera work progresses from normal shots in the beginning, to close-ups that fill the screen near the end. And let's not forget symbolism; A Free-French soldier being shot down in front of DeGaul's poster; and the characters, who mirror the European half of World War II.

'Casablanca' is not artistic. There are no fancy angles, weird-beard lighting effects, or enigmatic scenes. 'Casablanca' is not artistic because it does not need to be. At the end, good has triumphed over evil, the good guy walks off a hero, and his fate is simply left to the viewer to imagine. But beware of the dreaded colorized version.

JFK (1991)
3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Refusing to believe the lie., 28 April 1999

One of the best films of all time, and the best of the '90s, 'JFK' is the multi-leveled saga of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, who discovers the enigmatic truth behind the Kennedy assassination. Besides the story, the film itself stands out, featuring the best cinematography seen since 'Apocalypse Now.' The acting is superb, especialy Costner and Pesci. And, thanks to great directing and camera work, the movie offers a new revelation with each viewing. To say any more would ruin the suspense, so watch and judge for yourself

166 out of 254 people found the following review useful:
the horror, the horror..., 20 April 1999

So just how insane is 'Apocalypse Now'? Well, let's say that it is the kind of film that makes you want to bang your head against the wall. The beginning has no credits or titles; nothing. The whole film seems like it's taking place on a different world, and as the story moves on, sanity itself is shed. There was a French plantation scene that got cut out, and an alternate ending that would have had a massive battle scene outside Kurtz's compound.

'Apocalypse Now' is not a realistic film in the sense that the presentation of the Vietnam War is far from correct: helicopters going in BEFORE the napalm strikes, a USO show in the jungle at night, and the final bridge all lit-up like a Christmas tree. (for more realistic 'Nam War movies, try 'The Deer Hunter' or 'Platoon')

But what 'Apocalypse Now' lacks in historical accuracy, it makes up in artistic and dramatic scripting. Some of the best photography and lighting ever can be found here.

The film also raises some severe philosophical issues, and gives us entirely new ones. When the movie begins, the war is raging around us. It is chaotic and nerve-racking, yet still rational. When we finally get to Kurtz's base, the action has died down, but rational thinking has long since been vanquished to the point of total lunacy. This shows us the truth about men of war in times of war and peace. The voyage down the river has a sense of time travel (a sense that would have been much more apparent had the French Plantation scene remained.) And when you get to the end, keep in mind the old phrase: The King is dead... Long live the king.

Is Kurtz insane? Or are we not yet ready to understand him? These questions and more are up to you as 'Apocalypse Now has no easy answers.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
From one thing to something else completely different., 11 April 1999

It could be said that 2001: A Space Odyssey is really four separate, smaller films connected by a single object: the Monolith.

First off; The Dawn of Man. This must've really p****d-off a lot of people, who were expecting a space movie, but get out-takes from "One Million Years B.C." The scenery, however, is amazing.

The second part is really something. Even if you're not a classical music fan, the flight to the moon, aptly paired with Johann Strauss' 'The Blue Danube' is truly breathtaking.

The Jupiter Mission: The highlight of the film. Mixed with some great suspense is a look into the monotonous world of astronauts. And, of course, there's HAL 9000: A computer with a creepy monotone voice, a large motherboard, and kills of fellow crew members for kicks on a Saturday night.

And now we come to the ending.

'Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite' might go down in history books as the worst ending ever. Even if you understand it, it's still a waste, and the mystic wonder of Clarke's book is completely lost.

Over all, "2001" is a marvelously directed film, but an unworthy adaptation of the original book.