Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Or Reset Your Avatar
James Cameron's best movie
Because of all the hype over Titanic and the Terminator films, it's a shame that hardly anyone brings this movie up with James Cameron in mind. It's a very good continuation of the first film, and it's one of those rare sequels that are done by a differebt crew and is just as worthy as the film it succeeds.
A few spoilers ahead...
Aliens faithfully follows the concept that movie monsters are best seen midway (or later) through the film, even though we had already caught a glimpse of what one little soldier alien looks like at the ending of Alien. Then we finally see the queen...holy cow! What a nasty creature! It's probably the most hideous monster in movie history. The scene with Sigourney Weaver going down the elevator and loading one gun after the other until we see the doors open and reveals Ripley and her one-woman arsenal is awesome. It made us realize that a woman with a well-written role can be a tough-as-nails action hero in a non-comic book fashion. Bill Paxton is hysterical in this film, and his final few minutes in the movie are classic. And when we see our few remaining heroes in a room lit by only by a red emergency light as Hudson anxiously reads from his little radar is one of the best scenes in all of sci-fi history. The intensity of this scene soon ends and right away the film kicks into high octane and never lets up. The film is relentlessly exciting from this point on, and the excitement continues even after a brief moment in which we think the movie is about to enter a sappy ending. And when we see the bay doors open and Ripley walk forward in the giant robot is the epitome of the word awesome...and then her first line from that point puts on the exclamation point. It's a shame that this movie was followed by the awful Alien 3 and the even worse Alien: Resurrection (one of the worst movies I've ever seen). I'm still awaiting for that rumored Alien 5, in which the aliens make their way to Earth. If the idea ever turns into a production, I'll be satisfied if it's only half as good as Aliens is.
The first time I saw this movie we were forced to leave the theater 20 minutes before the ending because of a power outage. I finally saw it in its entirety recently on The Movie Channel. It's thouroughly entertaining, and the dry humor that lingers during the whole film is a plus. I liked how it's all a bunch of villains. Everyone we meet is a bad guy! From a multimillionaire corporate mobster to the cops down to a Vietnam vet who "needs change so he can walk again." Okay, the female heroin is a hooker, but maybe she's not considered bad, because like every hooker in the movies, she's one with a heart of gold. I enjoyed Porter having to deal with so many of his adversaries. He claimed that he didn't just have a monkey on his back, instead he had three. Shoot, seemed more like a dozen to me. Every time he was finished taking care of one guy who got on his nerves, in came more guys to tick him off. I found it neat in the way the cinematographer gave Chicago a hazy, bluish tone. Chicago always appears dreary and overcast in films anyway, so he just went went along with that common method and gave it an added twist. I just wish one day that Chicago will appear in a movie as great looking as the city usually looks.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
An almost perfect film
It's fun to watch this movie a second time and pick up some things you never noticed the first time. So many things simply went unnoticed (Andy writing into the wall, his little geology tool, the "sex symbols throughout the decades" posters) and suddenly wind together to grab our attention and make this a wonderful movie. The film was fascinating in the fact that it showed us how "lifers" could only witness the change of culture in the outside world by observing the prisoners that come and go over the years, and this being the only glimpse on how the world is changing, they become institutionalized, and actually fear their freedom. I actually found myself feeling sorry for murderers, and I debated with myself on whether or not they should be released if they truly become rehabilitated. The determination and hope transpired by Andy brought our hopes up: Most movies bring our hopes up only to bring them down, but when we see him running through the pond and standing in the rain with his arms raised and the great music accompanying the scene, our hopes our fulfilled. This is one of only about three or four films that had great smarts and left me completely satisfied. 10/10.
Crimson Tide (1995)
Wow! What an adrenaline rush!
Crimson Tide is awesome in the way it creates intensity and non-stop adrenaline rushes using scenes full of action, and scenes that aren't. The torpedo attack with the Russian sub was so fast-paced and packed with energy that it makes you bounce in your seat. Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington gave awesome performances, and their growing tension towards each other is enough to keep the excitement at a consistent high through the last half of the film. I don't appreciate how Hackman's character is regarded by most moviegoers as a mad man. He is just simply a seasoned, tough-as-nails military officer who must assume that the US is in danger, and he must stick by the orders that require him to go to drastic measures to protect us. The director did a good job at raising the tension, even though the ending was very predictable. The message at the very start of the film set the perfect tone. The entire film is in a way scary by making us wonder if what would happen in a situation like this, and how could the military establish proper operating procedures for it. However, the message at the end of the film re-establishes some hope. 9/10, and I love the creative title.
Perfect example of the "dark comedy" genre
The first half of this film plays like a comedy. It's very funny in a dark kind of way, especially the deadpan comments of the two crooks and the perfect timing of the direction. Then, all of sudden...BAM...the smalltwon sheriff is graphically shot in the head. You then find yourself saying, "Wait a minute...that wasn't very funny." The movie just gets more interesting at that point, especially when we are introduced to our hero...a pregnant police chief named Marge. Huh? It's neat how this film shows us a thriller played out by simple smalltown folk. William H. Macy does an excellent job portraying a man who is frustrated and can't seem to get a break. And even though he's about to have his own wife kidnapped and scam the hired thugs out of millions of dollars in ransom money, his humbleness and frustration causes us to relate with him, and we feel sorry for him (until the end, at least). The film reminds us all of a time in which we had a good thing planned out and going good for ourselves, only to watch someone else ruin it for us. And on a final note: The accents in the film, although funny, are greatly exaggerated. Many people who live in the region are embarrassed and offended by it. But guess what? Movies have been doing the same thing to people from the South for a long, long time (Watch any movie that has a Yankee actor using a ridiculous "southern accent"). I think it's time for the Midwest to stop complaining, Fargo is one of the best films of the nineties.
A wonderful premise, and the movie builds on it
Dave works well because it presents us with a wonderful premise and it just keeps branching from it. Most movies don't work well that way, but this one does. The filmmakers simply tell us a story, and they do it well. But it contains a strong message: Dave and the vice president are simple, good-natured men. Dave runs an employment agency, and the VP is a former shoe salesman. I love the way this film suggests that the common man makes for a better politician, because the common man can become overwhelmed with his position and would want to serve his term with good will. Most candidates are already powerful, and are simply seeking more power. They view getting elected as more of an accomplishment, and they care more about themselves than those they represent. Dave is a fantasy, and like most good fantasies, such as The Truman Show, it has a reality check and makes a powerful statement.
P.S. The very last shot gave this film a perfect ending
The Patriot (2000)
Innovative in it's way of telling a 225 year old story using modern movie-making style and techniques.
Warning! A few spoilers!...Roland Emmerich directed this film, which is the reason I was skeptical as I walked into the theater. Then as the ending credits rolled I realized that I had wrongly underestimated Emmerich. His films have had very good direction, just lackluster screenplays and careless editing (Independence Day was written in less than a week by Emmerich and Dean Devlin while the two were vacationing in Mexico, and a good portion of Stargate was removed which resulted in Act III lasting only 10-12 minutes). Now, working from a screenplay from Saving Private Ryan pen man Robert Rodat, The Patriot works well with Emmerich at the helm. Most compare it to Mel Gibson's Braveheart. Why support a film that glorifies another country's independence more than a film that glorifies our own? British actor Jason Isaacs finally gets to show off his fine acting skills in a good film, and I thought he was wonderful as the evil Redcoat Colonel (Many British were offended by this character, but he was based on a real officer under Cornwallis's command). He played an evil man almost as effectively as Ralph Fiennes did in Schindler's List. Isaacs would be the perfect bad guy in a Bond film. I loved the vicious "cannonball to the face" shot, and the slo-mo attack on the Redcoats led by Martin's eldest son. And I heard more sniffles when Martin's youngest daughter begged for her father to stay than I did when Leo sunk to the ocean floor at the end of Titanic. The only thing I didn't like about this film was John William's score. It was cheesy and gave some of the "serious" battle scenes an almost cartoon feel. I wish David Arnold, who usually scores Emmerich's films and the new James Bond flicks, had done this one. Arnold is an overlooked talent and is (in my opinion) the best composer in the business today. And although it effectively and brutally showed us how young children saw the carnage of this war up close, I seriously doubt that Martin and two young sons could have killed that many British soldiers. We also never find out what happened to the loyalist who, like a coward, succumbed to carrying out Tavington's order to burn the church. Overall, it's a film worth seeing, and it shows us what those flute and drum-fanfared History Channel specials couldn't quite get across about the Revolutionary War, even though the film uses the war as a backdrop to the main story.