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An exceptional film
Felidae is a noir cartoon about cats and murder, based on the best-selling novel by the same name. It is very rare and unique in its genre - an animated animal picture with some of the most disturbing and dark subjects in film.
A serial killer slaying fellow cats in gruesome manners when they are on heat with the wrong race. There are visions of hell, animal experimentation, dead mutilated bodies, sex scenes and race purification - very much like Germany was during the Nazi regime.
It starts out as a plot similar to Basic Instinct, has a human-like tone just as Watership Down had, gruesome murder notions and Satan worshiping somewhat akin to Angel Heart and a few tragic characters like in Apocalypse Now.
Not recommended for children of course! But it is true to the novel and shows the world as we are in now, violent, hateful and cruel and more so in the past but with a future that still leads a way to hope.
American Beauty (1999)
American Beauty - Cannot think of a better title
For this wonderful masterpiece of a film. Such brilliant direction, powerful acting and superb writing that is hard to measure up to nowadays. The list of characters is one of the most astounding creations of story-telling ever.
First off is Lester Burnham, a self-pitiful somewhat loser who goes through a midlife crises. His overbearing, sexually frustrated, all-too-perfect wife Carolyn drives him into rebelling against her outrageous authority and control over his life. His snotty spoiled brat of a teenage daughter, Jane, is not so popular at school, unlike her 16 year old friend Angela Hayes, who raves about her sexual encounters with various men. Much to Jane's repulsion, her father develops an obsession for Angela, having sexual fantasies about her, surrounding beds, bathtubs and kisses with rose petals. He also meets an unforgettable character, Ricky Fits, his next door neighbor, son of Colonel Frank Fits, an open and proud homophobic who is tightly closeted himself. These reasons become Lester's ultimate wake up call and he starts living his life as he has always dreamed it, like quitting his job to work in a fast-food restaurant, smoking pot and lifting weights to "look good naked".
Ricky Fits, who becomes Jane Burnham's boyfriend, sees the world through a different perspective, like a painting of the world, rather than what it naturally represents.
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."
Poetic Justice (1993)
Poetic Justice - Not poetic enough
I was hoping the main character, played by Janet Jackson, would lead to more adventures, like making a career out of her poetry composing, or befriend a nicer guy than Lucky (Tupac). After her boyfriend is killed at the beginning, Justice dives into despair and writes poems to escape her depression. She is dragged along for an anonymous ride with her friend and her boyfriend plus Lucky, which ends up in nothing but arguments and domestic violence.
Why is Justice hanging out with these people? She could have made it big with her poetry and gotten out of South Central, get her dreams started and move on from her harsh life. Instead nothing really happens except that she and Lucky seem to share the same views on violent social life, which turns out to be boring.
John Singleton seems to put in more bitchy, annoying domestic and social arguments between his characters in this film, Higher Learning, Baby Boy and this film unfortunately lack the deepness of his outstanding directional techniques he used for his first feature film, Boyz In Da Hood. 2fast 2furious and Four Brothers are taken out of the ghetto, but they don't share the rawness and desperation of Boyz. Shaft, on the other hand, is a change to the director's inventory and also shines a few "behind the camera" genius sparks he first showed us in his Oscar-nominated film Boyz In Da Hood.
Frankie and Johnny (1991)
A true and successful romance film + brilliant direction and acting
This is definitely one of my all time favorite movies. It has an amazing positive atmosphere, great romance and a good handful of funny moments. But it also has serious stuff in it that connects to the realism of love. It shows the damage of what love does to people and when the right person comes along to make it better.
Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer) has had bad experiences with love in the past and it causes her to retreat when Johnny, (Al Pacino) an ex con newly hired in the restaurant where she works, asks her out. With the help of her friends, she agrees to go on a date with him. But the more their romance blossoms, the more Frankie becomes scared of being hurt again.
There are important things to learn from this movie. If you found someone really special, don't let the mistakes of the past ruin it for you. The film itself has a lot of references to songs which makes it even more romantic. Romantic dramas often end in tears, but this one doesn't. It's truthful and simple. 10 out of 10.
An important lesson in romance education
Hitch tells the story of a man who helps other men to get a chance to do the right thing when it comes to getting the right women. When he himself finds the right women, who is a journalist, his business falls apart.
This film has the same fun education in life as Sex and the City. It's light, hilarious, sweet and interesting. The performances from the actors are neither over the top or underacted. The film runs smoothly, turns to dramatic sides on occasions and is filmed in the Big Apple as many other films are.
Will Smith's first attempt at a romantic comedy is a pleasant surprise and a success. He has a magnetic charm that makes the audience feel comfortable. Eva Mendes plays a tough realist journalist who also has a few vulnerabilities of her own as Hitch does.
Hitch also shows that a small little nobody like Albert Brenneman (Kevin Smith) can get a chance with a celebrity such as Alegra Cole. It shows that anybody anywhere can get a chance to find the perfect partner.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Donnie Brasco: A true FBI story
When a book is being adapted on the big screen, or the little screen, the director does his or her own version onto the screen. The Donnie Brasco film is somewhat 97% Hollywood and only 3% of the book. Although no film adapted from a book is 100% of the book since it often has a lot of information. But the information in this one is mixed and not always the truth. So when people see a film based on a true story, they think everything that happened in the film was real. That's why I think it's always better to read the book first before seeing the movie.
Besides all this, the film had a heart to it and a good motive. Though not as accurate as Goodfellas, it portrayed in an effective way the ways of the Mafia. The acting by Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Michael Madsen was VERY good. I also liked the relationship between Lefty (Pacino)and Donnie (Depp). It had also despite the differences, the same feel as the book; Dangerous conversations, situations and relationships - that all lead to the collision of the mob.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
It's rare that a performance such as Al Pacino's Sonny Wortzik in this film is matched. Others like Jack Nicholson's Randall McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest or Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight give young actors a chance to prove themselves and show exactly what great talent they possess.
Dog Day Afternon is about a young bisexual man Sonny(Al Pacino)and his friend Sal (John Cazale) who try to rob a bank to get the money for Sonny's male lover for his sex-change operation. However, things get out of hand when the police get involved and surround the bank with armed gunmen.
The film's most famous sequence shows Sonny walking up and down the pavement unarmed with policeman all around screaming "Attica! Attica!". Attica in question is a prison where, according to the main character, guards killed at least 100 people, innocent and guilty.
This movie certainly is very different from other Al Pacino movies in the 70s (With the exception of the two Godfathers) and the direction from Sydney Lumet is very well structured.
Righteous Kill (2008)
They just cannot fail
This is by far my most awaited movie of this year. I finally watched it and once again, we get to see Al Pacino and Robert De Niro doing what they each do best in a police detective movie. On the negative side, I thought the script was a bit weak and the movie was too focused on the twist but Bob and Al make all the difference in the world. They make it click. They just can't screw up. At the end (Spoiler) just like in Heat, one of them kills the other, but as one of them is dying, they both share a moment of mutual respect. I think that's genuine in real life. Al and Bob share a mutual respect on and off the screen. They act really really well together and I honestly think they should make more films together.