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Rocky (1976)
An indomitable spirit is personified!, 27 October 2002
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**WARNING: THIS COMMENT MAY INCLUDE SPOILER INFO**

It is very hard to try and put into words what this film is. This is the first movie I can remember watching as a young child and it would be safe to say that it may be my favorite of all-time.

"Rocky" is a stirring tribute to the never say die and never give up attitude that it's title character possesses and ultimately brings him from rags to riches. This film teaches us that anyone has a chance to succeed and that is a lesson that every young child should learn early in life.

What Sylvester Stallone wrote is not simply a script but a life lesson. We can easily become involved in the lives of the characters that he created. This is a great story, period.

In addition to the story, the acting, and technical aspects make this a film that ranks among the greatest of all-time. Direction, cinematography, photography, and choreography all contribute to this film's success.

The characters and the personalities are charted and developed throughout the film and the entire series. Rocky and Adrian both change each other. Rocky finds his sensitive side and Adrian opens up to him as the film progresses. Their romance is an underlying theme that in the end is the motivation that drives Rocky to go the distance with Creed. "Rocky" shows us how strong and influential the love of a woman can be to a man.

Any film fan should not only have seen this film but should also make it part of their video library. "Rocky" is a tremendous accomplishment in terms of acting, directing, writing, cinematography and photography. More importantly, however, "Rocky" is a personification of the human spirit. It teaches us that with the love of a woman and an indomitable spirit, anything is possible.

"Because if that bell rings and I'm still standing, then I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I wasn't just another bum from the neighborhood." --Rocky Balboa

Die Hard (1988)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The film that defined a genre., 9 June 2002
9/10

"Die Hard" is a film that defined a film genre. Critics and film fans alike have looked to this film as one of the most influential films in recent years. This film literally has it all. Not only does "Die Hard" give us an incredibly charismatic hero, but also villians that the audience loves to hate, an underlying love theme, action, comedy, and special effects that were very well done. The look and feel of "Die Hard" emerged from brilliant director John McTiernan. At its core the plot seems to revolve around one cop's crusade to defend innocent civilians against terrorists. However with this film the viewer must take a step back and look deeper into the film. In this film fan's opinion "Die Hard" is based on love. John McClane's love for his estranged wife is his motivation to go on and survive. McClane, our hero is portrayed in an interesting way. McClane is an incredibly vulnerable man. He takes unfathomable amounts of punishment and continues to go right at the terrorists. The broken glass in his feet, the numerous cuts and burns and the various beatings handed to him have not deterred his fight. McClane's battle is similar to that of Rocky Balboa who competed so dramatically against Apollo Creed, because of the strength and encouragement from his woman. This love theme should not however overshadow the achievement of this film in terms of special effects, plot, and directing. McTiernan crafted an amazing picture that not only kept the audience guessing but also tells a story with characters the viewer can associate with. From the beginning of the film the audience is immediately supporting McClane. This film should be recognized not only as a an action film with great fight scenes and incredible special effects but also a story about love, determination, and the human spirit.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A sequel rarely out does its predecessor, this film is no exception., 12 August 2001
1/10

American Pie 2 is not only a hilarious sex comedy but it is also an example of creative film making and great writing. However "AP2" does not come close to exceeding the accomplishments of the first film. The first installment was a landmark in the comedy genre. It was an attempt at the great American sex comedy.

The second installment is not even close to being a self-contained sequel, as most of its raunchy jokes are dependent on the audience seeing the first film. Even the "new" jokes are recycled in a way, i.e. Stifler and urine, and Jim's dad walking in on him. Don't get me wrong this film is very very funny and is well worth the trip to the theater but as far as out doing the first one I have to say that it does not.

Rocky (1976)
An indomitable spirit is personified!, 27 April 2001
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**WARNING: THIS COMMENT MAY INCLUDE SPOILER INFO**

It is very hard to try and put into words what this film is. This is the first movie I can remember watching as a young child and it would be safe to say that it may be my favorite of all-time.

"Rocky" is a stirring tribute to the never say die and never give up attitude that it's title character possesses and ultimately brings him from rags to riches. This film teaches us that anyone has a chance to succeed and that is a lesson that every young child should learn early in life.

What Sylvester Stallone wrote is not simply a script but a life lesson. We can easily become involved in the lives of the characters that he created. This is a great story, period.

In addition to the story, the acting, and technical aspects make this a film that ranks among the greatest of all-time. Direction, cinematography, photography, and choreography all contribute to this film's success.

The characters and the personalities are charted and developed throughout the film and the entire series. Rocky and Adrian both change each other. Rocky finds his sensitive side and Adrian opens up to him as the film progresses. Their romance is an underlying theme that in the end is the motivation that drives Rocky to go the distance with Creed. "Rocky" shows us how strong and influential the love of a woman can be to a man.

Any film fan should not only have seen this film but should also make it part of their video library. "Rocky" is a tremendous accomplishment in terms of acting, directing, writing, cinematography and photography. More importantly, however, "Rocky" is a personification of the human spirit. It teaches us that with the love of a woman and an indomitable spirit, anything is possible.

"Because if that bell rings and I'm still standing, then I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I wasn't just another bum from the neighborhood." --Rocky Balboa

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Schwarzenegger is back!, 29 March 2001
9/10

Very few sequels surpass their predecessor. "The Empire Strikes Back" and "The Godfather" are the few exceptions that come to mind. Add to that list "Terminator 2: Judgment Day".

This remarkable film not only beats the original but does not require you to have seen the first film. The plot of "T2" is self-contained. In this sequel we see John Connor (Edward Furlong) as a ten year old rebel. He lives with his foster parents because his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton) has been committed to a mental hospital because of her claims that a terminator had come to kill her in 1984.

A terminator has been sent back to kill John. The T-1000 (Robert Patrick) which is more advanced than the original terminator, is sent back to eliminate the future leader of the human resistance. To protect John, the resistance sent back a T-800 (Schwarzenegger). The T-800 must protect John throughout the film and as John attempts to break his mother out of the institute. The T-800, Sarah, and John must now attempt to sabotage Cyberdyne Industries the company that will eventually create the technology that will lead to the computer takeover of the future.

This film is unique in many ways. Character development is a critical element to the plot. In this sequel, we see a transformed Sarah Conner. In the original, she was reliant upon Reese (Michael Biehn). In "T2" we see her as a self-reliant, mentally tough warrior. She is in peak physical condition and trained in weaponry. She along with the T-800 take on the responsibility of protecting John, despite the fact that she must overcome her initial distrust of the terminator. We also see a development of the T-800 in a sense. Throughout the film John tries to help him act more human-like.

In addition to the plot, the cast is another high point of the film. Schwarzenegger is obviously at his best, Linda Hamilton does a great job reprising her role as Sarah. The newcomer to the film is Edward Furlong, and I must say he does well for an untrained actor. He brings attitude and a sense of toughness to the character. A great supporting cast including Joe Morton, Earl Boen, and Robert Patrick as the evil and stoic T-1000 also make this film what it is. Patrick is not physically intimidating yet makes up for it with his dark demeanor. He is the perfect villain.

Special effects are truly the highlight of "T2". The computer effects as well as the stunts and makeup are highly deserving of praise. The special effects department does a great job of bringing the T-1000's "liquid metal" effect to the screen. The stunts and fight sequences between the two terminators are very well choreographed and filmed. This film is worth watching for the special effects alone.

"T2" is one of the greatest movies ever created. It combines a great cast and story with incredible special effects and stunts. This is a must see for any film fan.

Spaceballs (1987)
May the Schwartz be with you!, 28 March 2001

It is difficult to put into words what Mel Brooks has done with this film. It is easily my favorite of all of his films, beating out the likes of "Blazing Saddles" and "History of the World". "Spaceballs" is definitely one of the best spoofs ever put together.

The one thing that I will remember about this film is that I actually sympathized with Dark Helmet, President Skroob, and the Spaceballs. It is rare that the audience will actually enjoy the success of the villians as well as the heroes.

Mel Brooks' portrayal of President Skroob is a great example of social and political satire. Skroob is the stereotypical politician--a liar, a cheat, a womanizer, and grossly incompetent. Yet most of all, these qualities make us laugh and that is Brooks' mission.

As a true "Star Wars" fan I was able to really appreciate the spoofed ideas like Lone Star, Barf, Yogurt, the conceited princess and the annoying robot. These parts were well written so as to in a way poke fun at "Star Wars".

Obviously an extraordinary cast was assembled for this film. Rick Moranis is brilliant as the evil, yet goofy Dark Helmet. He possesses the bad side of the Schwartz so he is powerful, yet he does not have any skill or leadership skills.

John Candy, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, and Mel Brooks himself are all very talented and create characters that the audience can really identify with. They offer a broad range of personalities that help the film develop its story.

This film is a fine example of everything a comedy should be. Mel Brooks does a great job creating a hilarious plot and characters. This is one of the funniest movies that one could ask for and I truly recommend taking a look.

Goldfinger (1964)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Everything a Bond film should be!, 27 March 2001
9/10

"Goldfinger" is without a doubt my favorite of all the Bond films.

It contains a great story and a remarkable cast to act it out. This film constantly changes its location. Different locations such as sunny Florida, the Swiss Alps, and even Fort Knox help the film to hold the audiences attention. This film does not have any dull spots. The story is constantly unfolding and if you take a trip to the bathroom you will miss something good.

The extremely talented and charming Sean Connery reprises his role as Britain's top secret agent. Connery is easily the best Bond to date. His presence contributes the portrayal of 007.

This film also involves two of the hottest Bond girls in Shirley Eaton and Honor Blackman. The Bond girls are a trademark of the Bond films and these are two of the best. They both bring a touch of danger to the screen despite ultimately falling for our hero.

Two of the most deadly villians in the history of Bond also appear in this film. Gert Frobe portrays the evil Auric Goldfinger who will stop at nothing to destroy Bond and take over the world's gold supply. His sidekick Odd Job, is easily one of the most memorable villians. He possesses raw strength (he can crush a golf ball in the palm of his hand) as well as a deadly weapon-his hat (which he could easily use to decapitate a human being).

In addition to the characters, the story is one of the most exciting ever. Nuclear destruction is the ultimate villian that Bond must defeat. This is one of the best Bond's ever. It contains a great deal of action, the always-present sexual inuendos, romance, humor and a great cast.

A must-see for any Bond fan!

"My name is Pussy Galore" "I must be dreaming."

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Truly the best!, 27 March 2001

"Best of the Best" is not just a great martial arts film. It is also a story that is a testament to the power of friendship and hard work. This is much more than a film about a bunch of tough guys trying to kill each other.

There is a much deeper meaning to this film. It features characters from all walks of life. The lower-middle class factory worker, a karate instructor, the egotistical cowboy, the Italian from the slums of Detroit, and the Buddhist in training all come together to work towards a common goal. In only three months, these men must develop themselves as fighters and as teammates. They must overcome their differences if they want to succeed.

The enemy in this film is the powerful Korean National Karate Team, a virtually invincible opponent. The team from the states must overcome adversity that takes many different forms in this film. Each fighter has an internal conflict that he must overcome. The coaching staff even has its problems.

James Earl Jones, Eric Roberts, and Sally Kirkland lead this great cast that turns in a tremendous performance. Being a movie about its characters each actor had to really get into his or her role. The film illustrates how each character grows as a person and as a member of a team.

As a martial arts fan I really enjoyed this film. As a true fan of film in general I feel that this was a great movie that told a dramatic story with characters that the audience could identify with.

"A team is not a team, if you don't give a damn about each other."

Traffic (2000)
Best film of the new millennium!, 26 March 2001

It is most likely an extreme feeling of anger that "Traffic" did not win for Best Picture and my love for this movie that is prompting me to write this comment.

First of all this is easily the best film of the new millenium. Hands down.

Director Steven Soderbergh triumphs in this extraordinary film which features multiple stories that are all intricately woven together by their common element--drug trafficking.

Soderbergh has a great eye for this film. The camera angles and shots are some of the best I have ever seen. The writing, directing and editing are all elements of this film that are deserving of Academy Awards.

As the film progresses these stories come together to illustrate the different perspectives that the different people hold. This film offers a great contrast in points of view. We see the problem in the eyes of the newly appointed American drug czar, his addict daughter and her friends, the corrupt Mexican police, the rich drug lord and his wife, and the DEA agents pursuing them. Combined with remarkable editing and directing these stories and their characters come together to form a film that should have most definitely won the Oscar for Best Picture.

"Traffic" has one of the best casts that I have ever seen in a film. Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, and Luis Guzman are just some of the huge names that have contributed their talent to this film. Supporting them is Miguel Ferre, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Steven Bauer, and Erika Christensen. It is very rare that this much talent works together on a single film. Each of these actors turns in dramatic performances and each plays their part as well as they could have been expected to.

I truly recommend this film to any movie fan who enjoys the best that the industry has to offer in terms of plot, character development, directing, editing and cinematography.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Do we get to win this time?, 26 March 2001
7/10

"Rambo: First Blood Part II" gets the job done in terms of following a great film in "First Blood".

This film is not only a terrific action film, but it captures the spirit of the Cold War. The historic significance is illustrated when Trautman describes the refusal of war reparations to the Viet-Cong and their decision to keep the P.O.W.'s. This was an incredibly important issue at the time and Stallone's script portrays it as that.

Charles Napier and Martin Kove do an excellent job as the bureaucrat and the mercenary, that provide the resistance to Rambo's success.

Rambo is given a second chance to win in Vietnam. His mission is to recover photographic proof of American P.O.W.'s still being help captive. Thats right, Rambo has to take pictures. He ends up going above and beyond the call of duty. Nobody expected him to return, except Col. Trautman.

Stallone brings stage prowess and a great story to the screen, and it is a great follow-up to the original. Well worth a look.


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