Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Endearing entertainment that actually has a brain.
An enchanting movie, which paints the most disturbing view of the future that I have ever seen in a children's movie. It would be safe to say that it would have terrified me as a kid, despite the adorable robots. Even in my twenties parts of it were quite chilling. Not that it is violent or scary (this is after all Disney that we're talking about), it just shows a possible future for this increasingly apathetic culture, that sometimes was a little too close to the truth, but this is getting ahead of ourselves the fate of humanity is only a sub-plot, and doesn't feature until the second half.
The movie is in some ways quite audacious, though never too controversial (again this is Disney), but the Brave New Worldesque future of mankind is never as compelling as its hero, the intrepid little robot Walle who has been for the past 700 years or so been cleaning up the earth as the population has embarked on a "five year" pleasure cruise while he works. Once there were thousands of the little guys, but Walle was built of sterner stuff than the rest, and is resourceful enough to replace any parts showing wear and tear. The first and most successful risk of the film is to trust the first half of the movie to him. With expressive binocular eyes, and a cubic form he is as full a character as to ever grace the screen. In him and his movements the Pixar animators outdid themselves. Almost wordless the atmosphere of the first half though was put in the hands of sound engineering maestro Ben Burtt who completes the character using electronic and organic sounds, without a doubt Burtt is the best in the business, and is one of the three people who made Star Wars the masterpiece that it was (the other two being the infinitely more famous George Lucas and John Williams).
A movie could be made just of Walle's exploits on the deserted surface of the earth, and his budding romance with Eve, the beautiful robot probe who arrives in the first quarter. White, sleek, and self contained she reveals herself as the Apple product she is (Walle also seems to be running some sort of Mac software as he makes the start up sound familiar to all Apple users when he reboots, an endearing quirk that lands just on the right side of product placement (remember Pixar is in itself an Apple product)), she flies gracefully through the air and is armed and dangerous. Walle's never seen anything so beautiful, and his fascination is a mirror of anyone who has ever wanted someone out of their league.
This pairing is so lovely, so perfect and so captivating that the entire plot could have been dispensed with, but the movie isn't quite willing to go that far. The second half isn't as good as the first, but it manages to entertain while still having a brain in its head (something which most movies intended for adults these days can't manage). It shows us the best and the worst of ourselves, and has an endearingly quixotically hopeful ending, but who cares about all that when Eve offers Walle her hand?
It is surprising that a movie with so many one dimensional characters in it could possibly have gotten so much praise. Though the main character, Miles, who was beautifully and subtly portrayed by Paul Giamatti, does show depth, he is surrounded by caricatures of people in the extremes of pathetic meanness, and angelic sweetness.
His best friend Jack (who we can only assume that the reason they still spend time together is that Miles doesn't have any other friends), is vapid, self-centred, and supremely pathetic. He seems to get all his self-worth from seducing women, even as his wedding is quickly approaching. He has absolutely no redeeming features to him, and is perhaps the most pathetic character to ever grace the screen.
All of the women in the movie are complete stereotypes, from Miles' mother (who was also quite meanly portrayed), to the wild sexy Stephenie (a surprising turn by Sandra Oh, though) complete with motorcycle, and finally the lovely, soulful, and basically ideal woman Maya.
In the end it is Miles who has to carry the movie, and Paul Giamatti is up to the challenge, but is hindered by the fact that he does something so out of character at the beginning of the movie that it is hard to to believe him throughout the rest, no matter how hard Giamatti tries.
What offends me the most is that this movie received the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Even though I didn't know that it was a book before I saw it, while watching it it became painfully obvious. A faithful adaption is not a bad thing, but the dialog must at all times sound true, and especially in the speeches that were given to Maya the dialog sounded too writerly to feel genuine.
All in all Sideways is the meanest movie of 2004, and it had some tough competition this year. The director Alexander Payne always seems to hate his characters, and seems to think that if one just shows the bad things that equals a full, and realistic character. Human nature has its good side too.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Lush, and wonderful
Phantom of the Opera is a gorgeous movie, which sometimes moves into over the top territory, but never unbearably so. It has its flaws, but none that it doesn't overcome. The dialog is forced in some places, but when it gives way to music it just washes over you and you can submerge yourself into the lavish dream of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Joel Schumacher. In order to enjoy this movie though you have to let it draw you in. If you stay on the outside it might look stagy, and even a little ridiculous.
The cast is excellent, especially Gerard Butler who though far too good looking to play the Phantom gives him a dark, brooding melancholy. When his heart breaks yours does too. He is not Michael Crawford, and thankfully he isn't trying to be. His Phantom is rawer, and more seductive. Emmy Rossum is luminous, and though not exceptional she does convey the innocence, and sorrow of the character of Christine beautifully. Patrick Wilson's Raoul is the opposite of the Phantom, and creates a pleasing balance. He is earnest, and sweet, and his voice is heart-breakingly good.
This movie is not perfect, but it is a wonderful escape, and you might find yourself leaving with tears in your eyes.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Charlie's Angels was bad but fun, Kill Bill is bad and painful.
Don't kill me, while watching this I thought of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. They are quite similar but reversed, and I'm not just saying this because they both have Lucy Lui. They both have intentionally bad scripts, beautiful women who report to a man, three who are still with him, and one rebel, no sense of reality, and both are bad. There are two main differences though. Charlie's Angels has a convoluted plot, Kill Bill doesn't have a plot, and There was enough blood, and gore in Kill Bill to fill the Pacific.
Only a culture which has nothing bad going on in it can make a movie with so much gore, and call it ironic, and funny. We do not have any need to face violence on a day to day basis, so we can watch this and call it entertainment. And that is what I find the most sickening. I'll say it right now, I'm not one for blood, and gore, so automatically this wasn't a movie for me. But in addition to being bloody, it is also BORING. There is just enough of a plot so that one can argue there is a reason for all the gore, but really that's just an excuse.
I thankfully was wearing a cap with a brim so I could tip the brim down so that it covered most of the screen but I could still read the subtitles. This was extremely helpful in my ability to get through the movie. I must thank Tarentino though. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING IT OUT IN TWO VOLUMES BECAUSE THAT MEANT I DIDN'T HAVE TO WALK OUT WHICH DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF IT HAD BEEN IN ONE MOVIE.
This movie isn't all bad though. It is beautifully filmed, very stylized with some really breathtaking shots. The screenplay is very funny, and the first scene is very good when Uma Thurman fights with Vivian A Fox. Lucy Lui give a very good performance, too. But I left the movie theatre completely traumatized. I do not suggest this movie.
This movie just makes me happy.
I love this movie, and am glad that it has (finally) made its way on the top 250 movies on the IMDB. It deserves it. Pirates of the Caribbean is amazing on every level. First of all it's a movie with a screenplay. Many witty and interesting lines pepper the dialog, making it entertaining. So many movies are just there to watch, there is nothing to listen to, it is a breath of fresh air to be caught up in the words as well as the visuals. But on to the visuals, the special effects are amazing as well. Leaving the movie theatre there was only one scene where the special effects took me out of the movie, and that was the first one with the ship coming out of the fog. Pirates of the Caribbean achieves what every other blockbuster has failed, delivering great CG effects that are realistic and seamlessly woven into the movie. Now on to the acting, the weakest link in this is Orlando Bloom, but that is not to say that he is bad by any means. He has the least to work with so it isn't fully his fault. Keira Knightly is very good she is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses, and her character is wonderful. She is not just "the girl" she is one of the leads up there with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. Her character is one of the best female characters in an action movie since Princess Leia. Geoffrey Rush is one of my personal favorites and doesn't disappoint in his part as the evil pirate captain.
Now Johnny Depp, he deserves his own paragraph (as well as an Oscar nomination) for his Captain Jack Sparrow. From the moment he sashays onto the screen with his beaded dread locks, gold teeth, and slurred cockney accent you cannot take your eyes off him. He is marvelous. So off beat, and perfect that if all other parts of the movie were bad, he would have been worth it anyway, and the fact that the other parts of the movie are great makes his part glorious icing on a delicious cake.
Pirates of the Caribbean is my fourth favorite movie of all time. I give it 10* out of 10. Please excuse me though, I must go to the movie theatre to watch it again.
A fun bad movie
Was this movie great, no, was it even good, no. But what it was is fun. The Angels are as cool as ever they were, and the plot is as nonexistent as it ever was. The plot of a Charlie's Angel movie is just an excuse for the Angels to kick butt while looking fabulous. If you go without any expectations beyond this then you will be fine. If you go expecting Citizen Kane you won't. This movie is pure fun, you watch as the Angels go from one strange set to another, and one fantastic costume to another. They are having fun doing it, have fun watching it. It isn't as good as the first (I must say I do miss Bill Murray), and funnily enough it is even less realistic than the first (goodbye to all the laws of physics), but it is good mindless fun. 6.5*
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
I first saw this movie when I was ten, and my older sisters were very big on the Beatles. I HATED them, I utterly despised their music. I thought that nothing was more painful than "I Wanna Hold your Hand" well they rented this movie, and I the Beatles hater LOVED it. You don't have to be a Beatles maniac to love this movie. It is pure goodness in a film. Devilishly quoteable, and wonderfully hilarious. Yesterday my sister and I rented it again, and the dialog was drowned out by our laughter. These days I actually can enjoy the music of the Beatles, but watching this movie goes far beyond enjoyable, it is the embodiment of joy. "What would you call that hairstyle of yours?" "Arthur."
Morte a Venezia (1971)
There are no spoilers for this movie because nothing happens
I was entertained to see that some of the reviews here were topped with **SPOILERS** the joke in my family is that the only part of this movie that isn't given away on the back of the box, is given away in the title. Perhaps I am just a dense American 17-year-old who wouldn't know art if it bit me in the leg, but I prefer movies that have at least some words. This movie makes the second half of 2001: A Space Odyssey down right chatty. This movie is just so slow it isn't even art, it is merely boring. We follow this creepy guy who is following this boy around Venice. The end was incomprehensible until I read the end of book. A movie shouldn't make you refer back to the book, it should be able to stand alone. This movie has no way to stand. It doesn't even have the bones of a plot to lean on.
Ok, this is definitely not the best Disney movie out there, BUT it is the best one made for TV. It is a fun movie to watch, with characters you actually care about, and a few very witty lines "Do you think anyone in France actually misses him." Yes a few characters were created souly to further the plot, Andi's father isn't very realistic, neither Fern, and Renee's accent is horrible. Still it is a fun movie, Dean and Andi's relationship is sweet. Her mother, and two brothers are great characters. Even though it is predictable, come on guys it's a Disney movie do you think that they're going to have her bike crash and her die or something, it is a very fun watch, so fun that it is possible to watch it twice in one day without getting bored (my sister came in for the very end and then wanted to watch the beginning). So watch if it comes on TV, or it even is a satisfying rental, but don't expect it to challenge you, or to be anything more than it is.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
You've already seen this movie.
Trust me, don't waste your 8 bucks on this movie. I was pulled in because I thought that Kate Hudson had better taste than this (though I knew Matthew M. doesn't). It is laughably clichéed. During the last scene I just stared at the screen wondering how they got away with doing what everyother Romantic Comedy has ever done. Matthew M. does exactly the same performance as he did in the Wedding Planner (which though after I first watched it I gave it a favorable review here, I now can't stand). Kate Hudson is charming as ever, but definitely not as good as she was in Almost Famous (for which she should have gotten an oscar). After the movie was over I turned to my brother, and told him to never take me to another romantic comedy again. Just rent any romantic comedy if you want to see this movie, it is much cheaper. Also how did Kate Hudson win at B.S. if she still had cards in her hand, they must be a different version.