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Django Unchained (2012)
Samuel Jackson is well-known for roles that elevate African-Americans above whites, which is why I was surprised to see him play the role of the Uncle Tom in this movie. Between Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, the dialog is sharp, witty, and at times humorous. To be sure, this movie is not a "white-bashing" fest, rather it differentiates between the decent white man and the slave owner. It is satisfying to see what many black folk would have loved to see happen during the days of slavery, as those responsible for the cruelty inflicted upon the slaves are held responsible by paying the ultimate price for their crimes. The music can be a bit annoying from time to time, but it seems to serve a purpose as it's reminiscent of the blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Leonardo DiCaprio has indeed grown up and has come a long ways since the days of "Titanic." I wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone who lives to see justice doled out the way it was before current laws protected the criminals. I normally don't care for Quentin Tarantino films as they seem a bit odd and beyond full understanding, but this movie is an exception. Well done! I cannot imagine how he could possibly follow this up with a sequel, but one can only hope that he outshines this one if he does.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Fairly good movie, couple things wrong with it...
This movie sticks fairly close to Jay Anson's novelized account of the Lutz family's ordeal at 112 Ocean Avenue. There are some slight changes, as noted in other reviews, to heighten dramatic effect; however, none as horribly disfigured as the 2005 remake, which completely obliterated the "known" facts about the incident. My problems with it, personally, are their choice of Margot Kidder to play Kathleen Lutz. I didn't even care for her performances in the Superman franchise. Just something about her rubs me the wrong way. Much of the incidents revealed in the novel were omitted from the movie mostly because it was a low-budget film, the last from MGM before they merged, and the money just wasn't there to make it into a high-grade spectacle that would do it justice. Still, stripped to the bare bones, it conveys the basic message of the story and, in my opinion, is the best of the entire Amityville franchise. My suggestion: read the book first!
The Amityville Haunting (2011)
Another pathetic work of fiction passed off as fact...
Like the Paranormal Activity franchise, this is another rip-off utilizing the style first introduced to the world in The Blair Witch Project. I couldn't sit through much of this garbage. I've had a fascination with the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, Long Island almost since the Lutz family made their famous departure or escape from the activity contained therein. I've even been to the actual house, which has a different address and appearance to try and deter the curious. Fact: the house was not empty for very long after the Lutz incident. In fact, it recently sold for $950,000.00 (U.S.) It's in a peaceful neighborhood with houses so close on either side that you couldn't imagine anything happening there without the neighbors knowing about it. Ed & Lorraine Warren visited the house about a month after the Lutz family left, confirmed it was haunted by demonic forces, cleansed the house, taking the demonic presence home with them where they struggled before finally subduing and disposing of it properly. Since that time, the house has been occupied fairly regularly with no further reports of paranormal activity. There may be a disclaimer at the end, I don't know. I didn't get that far. In fact, the only reason I checked off "contains spoiler" is because I'm ruining the suspension of disbelief by providing details here that the entire movie is fiction. Don't rent, buy or even borrow this movie. It's time to stop allowing Hollywood to feed us mind-numbing garbage and start turning out some real good stories.
Yes, like most "kids" movies, it had it's corny, funny, sometimes just plain silly parts, but... Paranorman left me pleasantly surprised. First and foremost, if you didn't like this movie because you compared it to Caroline, that's your problem. This movie stands well on its own and it's completely unfair to make comparisons. By the time the movie had finished, the beauty of it shone through and, without hesitation, I would say it stands up very well against "blockbuster" films designed for mature audiences. It's neither vulgar or obscene, but there are a few parts in the movie that will go straight over the youngster's heads but you will most certainly get it if you're over the age of thirty and haven't been living in a cave. If you take your kid(s) to see this, be ready; there are a few intense scenes that might have them a little frightened. Regarding the poor guy who didn't want to see the Expendables 2, I didn't see it, either, but I sure heard it. They poorly placed this movie the very next theater over from it.
The Odd Couple (1968)
Hilarious! Just like an old married couple!
Felix Unger and Oscar Madison are like a married couple. The humor hits harder if you're also married. The two are constantly at odds as Felix nags Oscar, even though he claims he's trying not to. Oscar's trying to help Felix get his obsessive-compulsive disorder (the only sickness Felix really DOES have) under control. I truly believe that if married couples watched this movie together and kept an open mind, they'd realize just how much they have in common with the Odd Couple. Each of them tries to hide their humanity deep within, as was prevalent with the times. The movie set the stage for a successful television spin off, but there is nothing like the original movie, save the stage performance which, sadly, is long gone, though pieces of it may be seen on YouTube. Send the kids out to grandma's house for the night, this one would go right over their heads.