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The Untouchables (1987)
Great directing, Awful Score
I have to say, for the longest time i felt that this film was greatly underrated but these days I'm not so sure anymore. I mean don't get me wrong, I love De Niro, and he had the look and i suppose the attitude, but to me he didn't do the part of Al Capone any justice.
I loved the directing of the move; definitely one of Brian DePalma's best. But the one thing that really really bothered me about this film was its musical score. The whole thing wasn't too bad, but at times, such as the opening credits and most of the sequences with De Niro on screen, the score had great musical themes, but was way to modernized and didn't fit the atmosphere at all. It had a hint of 80s, heavily reverbed drum beats that were entirely not necessary. Also, the use of some of the music in a few parts of the movie made the scenes seem a lot cheesier than they needed to be, and i had to sympathize with the actors that their abilities were diminished by the score.
And one other thing that i would find negative about the film is that a death in the movie was played out very poorly and dragged on to an unrealistic amount of time for the damages done.
But all minor complaints aside, the movie is very enjoyable and is definitely worth a watch. It has one of my favorite scenes of all time and probably one of the more famous scenes to ever hit the screen. But I won't spoil that for you.
Hope you enjoy it!
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A Horrifying Masterpiece
A Clockwork Orange is by far one of my favorite movies of all time, and also my favorite novel. This film takes you on a disturbing, artistic voyage through the demented mind of a young "droog" named Alex, and through this voyage we learn the importance of one's natural freedom and free will as a human being. Though absurd in morality, Alex portrays some of the most important messages in life in that we are all entitled to natural freedom, and all choices have consequences.
The film is almost psychedelic in nature with the artistic imagery used by Kubrick to the scores of classical composers such as Ludwig Van Beethoven. This film may disturb most of its viewers, but in a way the disturbing aspects of the film will bluntly express a horrifying and perversely portrayed message.
Although the book is usually better than the movie, this film is not far behind its novel. The only flaw of the transition of novel to film is that the novel and film do not share the same ending. But this is not Kubrick or the producer's fault. Unfortunately, the American publishers of this book felt that the final chapter of the book wasn't necessary and decided to cut it out. The edition of the book with it's original ending was not released until the 80s so Kubrick missed out on the ending his film deserved. But the true ending of the novel has a completely new message and is entirely worth reading whether or not you've already seen the movie.
a 9 out of 10 in my book.
Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007)
A New Age In Cinema
I suppose i was a little late one seeing this one and i wish i saw it when it was first released. This film takes the term "cinematography" and gives it a whole new meaning. The film was shot in a way no other film has been and it was utterly breathtaking.
A truly inspiring story of the power of one's imagination on top of masterful film-making makes this movie a definite must see. Purely original (well, actually adapted from a novel) in essence and life changing are the only ways I can describe this movie.
This marks a turning point in film as an art, not an industry. I can only hope that a film like this would inspire other film makers to expand their horizons and know that there are no limits...
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Not Your Typical 'Best Picture'
Hailed by thousands as an instant classic, and also hailed as a disaster by thousands more. It has been a while since a real 'artsy' type movie has been so successful at the Academy Awards, but this one is definitely deserving of all its glory.
The film's central theme is not only a changing world, but the fact that the people who kept the world in order once before have seen their day and it has truly become 'No Country for Old Men'. With Tommy Lee Jones' opening and closing monologues, he beautifully exemplifies the point the story tries to make. It isn't easy to see, i assure you, which is why this isn't really a film for everyone. But deep meaning aside, the film also illustrates excellent use of suspense, character interaction, and amazing direction.
It has been said that a single emotion can be the drive behind a story, and the emotion that really gets you while watching this film is fear. The Coen brothers brilliantly used fear to shape Javier Bardem's character as the 'psychopathic killer'. When he comes on the screen you get a sense of a dark shadow casting over the whole room and it really makes you feel like you are in the presence of true evil.
I would like to point out that there is little to no music in the entire film. The use of silence throughout the majority of the movie is very original in the sense that the music doesn't cue the viewer how to react and when.
So again, not for everyone, but if you are a frequent movie goer and truly understand the makings of a good film, this is an excellent one to see.
I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did...it is definitely worth your time.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
With the right frame of mind, this is a truly horrifying film.
*Not quite sure if what i wrote about the ending could be considered a spoiler but i thought i should warn you anyways*
I have to be totally honest, I have never really been scared by a movie ever in my life. I was sick of all these cheap horror flicks coming out that just have dark and "creepy" atmosphere, but nothing more than a few jumps that really try to scare you. But The Blair Witch Project, although very contemporary, may have been the most frightening movie i have ever seen. I mean this one truly scared me. Granted I'm already kind of afraid of the woods, but the concept and realism of the film really puts a fear into you as if you're living the experience with them.
The key to watching and enjoying this movie is to make sure you're keeping an open mind and taking it for what it is. The film is trying to portray "footage of three filmmakers who went missing in the woods" and if you can imagine yourself being the one to find this footage, it can really scare you.
Now keep in mind that this definitely is not your typical movie in the sense that there is no traditional introduction of characters, plot basis, and there is not much of a resolution. Although the ending does leave you with a certain uncertaincy that would not make the end as terrifying as it is if you had seen what they had seen. The sheer mystery surrounding the final moments of the rolling camera are what leaves you with the fear still dwelling inside and the idea of dread they must have felt.
This is a movie that almost demands your participation in the sense that you need to be living the situation with the characters to get the full effect. So please don't sit there waiting to get scared the whole time, because if you're going to sit there and try to take it all in, it's not going to happen. So be attentive and don't expect to be at the edge of your seat throughout the whole movie; the movie is very real to life in that it's like day to day bickering of three filmmakers and their experience with the myth they are pursuing.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Film is an Art
I am mainly dedicating this comment to the millions of closed-minded "film fanatics" who think the only way a movie can be "good" is if it has a distinct plot and plot outline characterized through pages of unnecessary dialouge. I found Pulp Fiction to be the perfect film to use as an example of all of the points i wish to make.
A movie is much like any other piece of art, whether it is a sculpture, painting, etc. You need to open your mind and let it speak to you through your own interpretation. I've been told by some people that Pulp Fiction has no story line and is completely meaningless. It isn't going to be spoon fed to you. God forbid you have to think a little when you watch a film and you have to form some of your own conclusions.
For those who watched this movie and didn't find it to have meaning, let ME spoon feed it to you. Pulp Fiction explores four major themes and does so through the use of multiple, sometimes inter-weaving, stories. The main themes are Friendship, Loyalty, Love (specifically forbidden love), and Revelation.
Friendship is characterized through the words AND ACTIONS (not ALL dialouge like you'd like it to be) of Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta). They play two partners in a crime syndicate and through certain events throughout their story, their friendship grows to new levels. Their constant bickering and arguing through the film shows their getting to know one another better and look at life through a different perspective.
Loyalty is portrayed through Butch's (Bruce Willace) story. He has the most open ended story of them all because it really make you wonder what happens next, but you are forced to use your imagination. His character is given a business proposition which he takes into his own hands and slightly foreshadows his ability to possibly form his own crime syndicate (but by the independancy of his character this seems unlikely).
Forbidden Love is the meaning behind Vincent and Mia's (Uma Thurman) tale. I've heard from many that this was the most pointless story of them all and i wish to have you rethink that. She is the wife of a crime boss, and he works for this boss. The thought of their love for one another was so unthinkable in their situation that it had to be expressed through actions (hence the word ACTING). A prime example was the cinematically infamous "twist" scene. It showed the parallel rhythm of their "souls" for the lack of a better word and portrayed their completion of one another.
And finally, Revelation. The closing point of the film. It starts with the life-altering event (for Jules at least) of not being hit by a single bullet shot at him. Even at that one moment he almost immediately rethinks his whole outlook on life and decides to retire. But this is only the beginning. The most powerful scene in the film is in the diner at the end. Jewels spreads his message of life and appreciation to two small time crooks who decide to rob the diner and its customers. Through a very deep and proactive monologue delivered by Samuel L. Jackson, the robber only known as Pumpkin (Tim Roth) is left speechless and in awe as he walked away with his wife and went home, hopefully to start an new life.
I hope this helped you further appreciate this cinematic masterpiece and also help you realize the importance of watching movies, or any art form, with an open mind and with imagination. Do not always dismiss something you don't understand as meaningless, in everyday life as well, for that is the ignorance this world decays from everyday.
The Illusionist (2006)
Not my cup of tea, but a brilliantly constructed film
The only reason i did not enjoy this movie was just my preference on stories; the topic just didn't interest me. But the movie told the story very well through uses of foreshadowing, great acting and great visuals.
A friend of mine always loves to point out whenever a story uses foreshadowing and when he saw this movie he almost had a heart attack. The key scene that symbolically told the whole story was the one where Sophie (Jessica Beil's character) was chosen as a volunteer for one of Eisenheim's illusions. A red robe (red also being a symbolic color of love, for example: a red rose) was placed over her and with the swing of a sword (as if cutting her), she was gone. As the story plays out, Sophie's death was faked to make her "dissapear" from her formal life of loneliness and she was to live with Eisenheim for the rest of their lives.
One can spend a long time picking apart the story which is what makes this a good film for analytical movie buffs, so I figured be giving you a brief example of one of the many things that make this movie worth watching. ENJOY!!
3 hours that I'll never get back....
I personally think that people are blinded by good filming. That's about the only compliment i can give it other than a couple good one liners. It was filmed very well, as were its precedes.
But this movie has absolutely no meaning behind its actions, no clear plot or story line, and a lot of the same cliché "adventurous" acts as most sword fighting movies have. One example would be that, like in the other two Pirate movies, there was a sword fight between two people while they were balancing on something. It's been done a hundred times before; not exciting.
The only consistent character throughout the three movies was Jack. Johnny Depp is a brilliant actor and plays his role very well as usual. But his co-cast members cannot seem to get a grasp on their character. For one, I thought Davey Jones was almost a completely different person from who he was in the second Pirates movie. That's just one example but there are others as you will see in the movie.
And also, the level of humor was extremely juvenile for the audience the movie seemed to attract. With all the violence and situations that are not so appropriate for children, the humor was that of a five year old's, with the exception of a couple one liners made by Johnny Depp.
So with a dry and meaningless plot, bad character consistency, AND clichés, this movie was one that I feel I've lost some brain cells and wasted dear moments of my life.
Also i spent $9.75 to go see it so i hope you don't make the same mistake as I did.
If you must see it, please i beg of you to wait until it reaches DVD so you don't waste so much money and you'll have the option to turn it off whenever desired.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Excellent, Witty Crime Film
Although this film is a remake of the 1960s Ocean's Eleven, and people seem to like originals better, I thought that this was an outstanding remake. My favorite film of all time is Pulp Fiction and this movie is just as witty of a crime plot, and even pretty comical.
Another thing I always love, also like Pulp Fiction and my other favorite film The Departed, is a big ensemble cast. Geogrge Cloony and Brat Pit are astounding as the leaders of the group and every other character, my favorite being Don Cheadle's character "Basher", all have there own piece of the puzzle that brings this movie to life with all sorts of personalities and points of view.
I highly recommend this movie if you've ever watched a robbery in a film and thought "I wanna do that", because that's what you'll be thinking after watching this.
The Departed (2006)
Best Crime Drama of the Decade
I haven't been so blown away by a film in a long time and this immediately got put on my favorite movies list. I've seen comments left by other users who are fans of Infernal Affairs which is the film The Departed is based on. They bashed this movie saying it was "too americanized" or "the characters were ruined" but i feel differently. The original movie Infernal Affairs was good, but I can't say I liked it as much as The Departed. Many things highlight this movie such as a diverse group of characters and personalities, a VERY strong cast, excellent acting by all cast members, and a plot that took my breath away. The moment I walked out of the movie theater I said to myself "that one's gonna win Best Picture" and it did. Enjoy this milestone of a film and remember it for years to come.