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The Social Network (2010)
Critics got it right...
It's nice to see that the critics hadn't blown this movie hugely out of proportion like they did to the last film I saw in theaters *cough* (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). The Social Network, with a 98% on RottenTomatoes, is my second favorite film of the year thus far (number one being Inception). Kudos to David Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg and the rest of the cast for bestowing us with some the most compelling characters I've seen in what seems like an eternity as well as a clear-cut drama without being too vague or melodramatic. I honestly didn't believe, at first, that a great film could be derived from a topic involving Facebook, but... there you go. Anyway, most of the film isn't about Facebook at all, but rather the people in the told events. What do I recommend? Give it a shot, is it a ground-breaking film like the Matrix. No, but still there is entertainment and intellectualism to be found here (although I felt it featured more of the latter rather than the former). I must say though, if you don't no much about business politics , you may be out of luck. Keeping that in mind, however, go SEE THIS FILM!!!
Death Proof (2007)
Why all the hate !?
I throughly don't understand why this film is so disliked today by so many. Every person I've met who has seen this movie (which granted isn't many), doesn't like the film. The most often response for this film is that it's "boring." While that it may be true that almost the first half of the movie is dialog, I found it highly entertaining. Is it better than other Tarantino films such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs? No, so don't expect it to be so. Is it better than Planet Terror, its Grindhouse counterpart? No, but it is a worthy counterpart nonetheless. Those of you who have seen it and disliked it, ask yourself "what did you expect?" In my opinion, it surpassed my expectations (which were that the film would be decent). Those who are Tarantino fans, check this out indefinitely. For anti-Tarantino fans, there is a large chance of disliking this wicked piece of work. For those indifferent to Tarantino, here are so pro and cons to look for:
Pros: 1. Highly suspenseful (which was probably its goal) 2. Cool action scenes for the action junkies 3. Interesting dialog (for some).
Cons: 1. May have too much dialog and not enough action (for some, but for me it find a very nice balance between the two). 2. Could be a little too violent for some to bear.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
An Absolute Masterpiece
This is an edited version of my original review, which mostly compared "Reservoir Dogs" to "Pulp Fiction." Quentin Tarantino's first film is not just the movie that set his career, but his finest work. I find it hard to explain, but this movie defines some of the super-violent crime thrillers we see today. Each character is well- developed and causes me to be emotionally attached. Each character is set to act in a certain way that inevitably leads to conflict. Those who see will understand that statement. Here are some pros and cons (the cons do not apply to myself because I don't see them as such). Pros: 1. Symbolic (again, hard for me to explain but those who watch intently will pick it up) 2. Suspenseful and nail-biting action. 3. Amazing Performances
Cons: 1. Neo-violent (not for anyone with a sensitive stomach) 2. Bleak (again, depending on the viewer).
Shocking... in a good way
I'm still trying to take this film in. It was definitely the gayest film I've ever seen, this I know for sure. Please don't think of me as being prejudiced, I'm just stating it for what it is. I did, however, feel like shoving forks into my eyes at certain scenes. All I can say is to know what you are in for when you go see this. If you are squeamish towards certain human private parts; I highly advise you to STAY AWAY. If you thought "Borat" was shocking and awful, again I strongly advise against seeing "Bruno." Most definitely bring somebody with you to watch this, male or female; DO NOT watch it alone. The reason I liked the film was two reasons: 1) Very funny... like gut-bustingly funny (both in clever and low-brow ways). 2)It had some "good" shock-value in terms of being funny. As opposed to something like "Hostel II," which tried to be scary by being shocking, but just ended up looking pathetic. Anyway, I advise the following if you are willing to see this: 1) Bring friends with you to see it (preferbly ones who already have). 2) Bring a paper bag, for vomiting may occur. 3) DO NOT expect a movie that you will ENTIRELY like, especially if you expect another "Borat," for Borat was better by a lot. There you have it, do with this what you will.
The Grudge 2 (2006)
Very scary... but not enough to save the film
This seems, to me, to represent an opposite stance that "The Grudge" had. Where the first "Grudge" was not very scary at all, but with a decent storyline; this film was very scary, but with not much of a storyline. I can honestly say I almost wet myself watching this, but everything else (plot, acting, etc.) is poor and laughable. I believe that being simply scared in a horror film is not enough (many will disagree). It seems that few horror films can deliver on both scares/ thrills and storyline. A few good examples are "Poltergeist," "Friday the 13th" (the original) and "Devil's Rejects." The Japanese horror films seem to best left with... well, the Japanese. I seem to be one of the few people who disliked "The Ring" due to its nonsensical plot. Anyway, if you are content with scares and not much else, go see this NOW. If not, stay away from it, for you will probably be disappointed.
Friday the 13th (1980)
A fantastic movie of fantastic influence
This IS one of the greatest horror films ever made, period. Its mass influence inspired nine sequels, a spin-off film (Freddy vs. Jason), a remake, a T.V. show, a comic book series, and other related merchandise. Despite everything that is tied into the franchise is awful, again, it's the impact that made it amazing as well as being a cornerstone in the horror genre. The plot twist at the end was one of the greatest of I've ever seen because, let's just say that, due seeing it for the first time only recently; had expected something different. I don't wish to spoil the movie for anyone, so please go rent it and keep in mind the horror genre is not COMPLETELY dead. Films like this, "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Saw," "Saw II," "The Descent," "Alien," etc. make me really appreciate the genre. "Nightmare on Elm Street" is a great movie, but is complete garbage compared to this. Again, go see this NOW, especially if you plan on seeing the remake, because I (although I have not seen the remake) can guarantee the original is better.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Basically an enjoyable snuff film
Despite the fact that what describes a snuff film is an actual death of a person or persons captured on film; I think my caption suits "The Passion" very well (espically if Jim Caviezel is six feet under right now). For most of the film, Jesus is ruthlessly tortured in several graphic ways. As far as movies go though, this one entertained and satisfied me. Movies are, after all, made for one's enjoyment. As crazy as it sounds, the graphic torture scenes amused me. However, this did not excuse the lack of actual plot (even if it is based of the Bible in someways). Despite Mel Gibson's obvious religious lunacy, I respect the man. Braveheart, for one, is one of my all-time favorite films. Apocalypto and Lethal Weapon were also very good. People can look down upon Mr. Gibson, but most will have to admit that he is at least a good actor (and/or great director). Now, instead of rambling on about something unrelated to "The Passion," I will identify the pros and cons (some I may have covered already)
Pros 1. Definitely keeps you in your seat for the duration of the film 2. Possibly changes peoples' lives in a positive way. 3. Fantastic Cinematography
Cons 1. Mostly a WHOLE lot of gruesome torture 2. Very little plot 3. Maybe very offensive to certain religious groups.
Once again, this is basically a snuff film. However, as false snuff films go, this is the best I've seen. Hostel two is one of the false "snuffs" that make me wish the director (in this case, Eli Roth) would just roll over and die. All I'm saying is to go see this if you are interested in seeing a new look at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but DON'T see it you don't really care for religious stories, or are squeamish.
Gran Torino (2008)
Eastwood's best since "Letters from Iwo Jima"
This film starts and finishes strong. Eastwood is, as always, Oscar-worthy in this drama of family, friendship, and, like most of his movies, the consequences of violence. Right up to the near ending, I was laughing hysterically. The ending becomes intensely bleak and then back to being spiritually uplifting. The rest of the cast is decent as well. "Gran Torino" focuses on the forgiveness of one's sins as well learning to like what you once hated. The subject of "life and death" is brought up quite often, which becomes an intriguing topic. Although "Torino" is no where near "Unforgiven," (my all-time favorite film)but it is up there. Then again, I love every Clint film. Don't let my opinions make this seem biased though. I definitely suggest seeing this film, it's worth the money and the time.
10,000 BC (2008)
Worst film of the 2008, hands-down
Let me a tell a true horror story. My friend and I had went to a real decadent theater near his house, we were bored and thought "O.K, this film looks good." The next we know we are dying in our seat from start to finish, it was 109 minutes too long. Now, I'm not saying "dying" as in laughing hysterically, but "dying" as in actually dying. My brain cells were being disintegrated and my heart rate went down very low. It also is excruciating to watch. I came out of the theater 10,000 times dumber with a frown on my face and a lighter wallet. The only pro of the movie was the visual effects, which I had to admit were at least decent. I should have listened to my other friend, who said it was awful, but I figured "how bad could it be?" This was incorrect thinking on my part. There was a brief moment of intelligence in the film, that was completely erased a couple minutes later. I only sat through the whole thing because I knew that if I could sit through "Hostel II" and the remake of "Halloween," I could survive this. Still, the one thing I don't understand is how Mr. Emmerich could screw up so bad. "The Day After Tomorrow" and especially "Independence Day" were fantastic and then he comes up with "10,000 BC," in which my two thoughts throughout the film were "Where did you go wrong, Roland?!" and "I want to punch Mr. Emmerich in the head for helping create this disaster." My warning to all is this "STAY AWAY" and spend money on something worthwhile. Buy your wife a ring with that money saved up and forget you even thought about putting yourself through physical torture.
Mystic River (2003)
Another Clint Classic
If anyone read my "Unforgiven" review, you will know that I am a Clint fan-boy, so I will try not to sound biased. This is my second favorite Clint film, next to "Unforgiven." The film, like most Clint films, embraces the consequences of violence and crime. It also focuses on people with regrettable past and just wish that they could forget about it, but they can't. The cast is flat-out incredible (except for Laura Linney, who I thought could have done better). Sean Penn and Tim Robbins provide convincing, uncompromising characters. Kevin Bacon, as always, does just as well. The only negative to this wonderful mystery thriller is certain unbelievable characters such as the Savage brothers. That, however, is not really JUST my place to decide. Still, I believe this should have been the Best Picture winner in place of LOTR 3. Don't get me wrong the Return of the King was fantastic, but it still didn't top this. Many people seem to complain about the ending and all I can say (because I don't want to give away anything) is that it would have been almost betrayal for Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) to act against Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn) for what he did (in his own mind). Also Devine implied he would eventually "get" Markum. I just wanted to stop the naysayers here and now. Go see this regardless of whether seeing it already because those who have seen it may enjoy it upon second viewing, like in my case with "Iron Man." 9.5/10 stars