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King Kong (2005)
King Kong...not the best movie...
I've read comments by others saying this was the best movie of the year and that this rivals Jurassic Park and one person went so far as to say it rivaled Titanic. Now, let's all just calm down and think about this rationally. There are several moments in this movie which are "yeah, right" moments. Obviously, we have to allow some, we are talking about a giant ape on a monster infested island. But there are some moments which supersede the audience's suspension of belief and bring us into a cartoony and laughable movie. There is no great message about love in this remake, at least nothing that was not offered in the original. There is however a bunch of cartoon dinosaurs tumbling about the island, machine guns with magic bullets and Icecapdes galore. Please now, let's all calm down. Peter Jackson did give us Lord of the Rings, and we are grateful, but had he made this first, we would have been very suspicious of him bringing Tolkein's world to life. This film is too long and too boring. Random sequences of slow motion are generally used to highlight important events, but not in this movie. Apparently random things such as opening a door to the bathroom are worthy of about thirty minutes of our time (that scene was cut from the film, you won't find it unless you pay the $150 for the director's diary DVD, a great marketing scheme for a lousy movie). And if that doesn't convince you, think about this: you may leave the theater thinking Jack Black actually has talent. That, my friends, is a place in the history of film into which we do not want to go ever again.
Holy Batmania (1989)
Luckily I was wearing my thermal underwear...
A nice pleasant but disturbingly short documentary on the Batman tales from comic strips to the big screen. Although well intended and well needed, it focuses too much on the Batman of the 60's and fails to acknowledge his development up until the time of 1989. Also, it uses too much archive footage. "Too much?" you say. "You can never have too much Batman." True...but you can have have too much Adam West in his old bat-uniform telling bat-jokes at a bat-car lot or something to a bat-crowd of about 20 people. (Sorry Adam...but I loved the DVD release of Batman The Movie with you and Burt commentating..that was nice) It also briefly discusses the Batmania of its day. Since this was made in 1989, it could have dealt more with Tim Burton's Batman and more with the controversy surrounding it. Perhaps it had been made just a few months later, we could have gotten that. Nevertheless, if you can get your hands on a copy, it's worth watching. I work at a video store and saw it sitting around one day and took it home and watched it. A rare find.
The Disney Machine pumps again
So, I really didn't want to watch this. I work at a video store so I get to watch everything before everybody else. Usually that's a good thing. Cinderella 2 is just one pointless movie. One little plot point after another that simply joins characters back together again. Don't ruin the first by watching this one. Walt had the idea. No sequels. Too bad he's still not around to enforce that idea.
Mercy Streets (2000)
Finally, a non apocalyptic film!
Most Christian oriented films deal with the apocalypse and impending doom brought on by a devil possessed child or adult, and planes falling from the sky. This movie is not about that.
I found this something enjoyable to watch because it's not normal. Sometimes the frame will stop or it will sink into slow motion and we just ask "Why?" but we really don't care all that much, because we know we are getting a good movie. And might I add, that Eric Roberts is totally awesome, despite his one liners and the one that is plastered on his shirt in short cooking scene...
Definitly worth watching
The Fountainhead (1949)
Good movie...with too much thrown at us
Watching this movie, I knew it would be more philosophy than story. And that's the problem. Rather than using the story to weave the philosophy, the story takes a backseat. I realize that the view taken by Ayn Rand (author of the book and screenplay) is important, it should not have been dialogued into the character's mouth every line. Often, I felt I was attending a seminar it would be just laid out for me. Which was good in a way. We definitely get the author's intention. But the story, what most people pay to see, was hardly memorable. Otherwise, it's a great movie, and worth seeing. Ayn Rand apparently reflects her philosophy because she must have pushed to have this done her way.
Big Top Pee-wee (1988)
Where is the fun?
So, I think I may have laughed once. Maybe twice. But it wasn't really because the movie was funny. It was just really bad. The first one was great. Tim Burton with his great style made it work. The second lacked Tim Burton, lacked Warner Bros., and poor Danny Elfman couldn't even use his original themes from the first one, so even that was changed a little. No longer is Pee-wee in small time suburbia, but in the hickville farmland with a talking pig (??) which isn't funny, and a symbolic hot dog tree that speaks metaphorically to give us some sort of hidden meaning about life. The movie was terrible having no semblance to the first. Even Paul Reubens struggles to keep the PeeWee voice in some areas often allowing Paul to take over. It really is a dissappointment. Glad I didn't pay to rent it. Don't look for this one on DVD anytme soon. And if you do find it, burn it so we can forget about it. Cover it up like a scandal...hmm...there's an idea...
Wide Awake (1998)
I was awake with my eyes wide!
I didn't think I would stumble across this movie unless I bought it online but then I got a job working at a video store and there it was. It was an absolute joy to watch. I have seen 'coming of age' movies before but none can come close to this one. The cinematography and music was excellent. It was funny and tearful at the same time. I recommend it to everyone. It is an obvious work of M. Night full of his trademarks and his certain touch! Go watch it!
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
I'm listening to reason...
I saw the last ten minutes of this movie at a friends house, and laughed my head off. I saw the DVD for sale, and said, why not? And I'm glad I did. Tim Burton does an excellent job keeping it realistic yet cartoonish (after just coming off the animation circuit) and does a fantastic job! Danny Elfman making one of the most memorable scores ever! (They play it a lot at Kings Dominion or one of those parks, and I've had it stuck in my head since, never knew where it came from until now). Paul Reubens, a glorious job before his senseless fall from the character. Pee-Wee at his best.
Titan A.E. (2000)
If it helps any, it's colorful...
I anticipated this movie wouldn't do well. After all, an animated sci-fi adventure, with the storyline cliche and touch of Waterworld?? What were they thinking! It did much worse than expected (I attribute it to poor release date and marketing). I did not see this film until it's dvd release (and even then, I borrowed it from a friend). The opening is great, the animation superb. The dialogue and storyline is a little cliche, but we can look past that. The big problem lies in the fact that we don't know why the humans were attacked in the first place. Nor do we understand how a ship can help the entire human race (and when we finally do, we don't care anymore...). The ending seems abrupt. Fortunately, I watched it a second time with the Director's commentary turned on. I think that was better than the actual movie. Overall, the subplots were better than the big PLOT. But it's worth seeing nontheless. (Just one question: What's with the random rock songs springing up at the times where orchestrational music would be masterful?? Watch it and you'll know what I mean..)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
There is Conspiracy Here...
This is one of the great ones of the day. I enjoyed the storyline's twists and turns, it made me want to watch it more and more. You will not go to sleep watching this. It also has it's bits of humor as well from minor actors. I found this film very entertaining. There are a few problems though. The 'romance' aspect of it is casually inserted wherever it feels necessary and we really don't understand why. Bogart's acting is superb as usual, but the real delight comes from the way we are drawn into the story. It is definitely worth watching.