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This list is how I honestly feel.
May contain spoilers.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
An Exceptional Ending.
The Hangover III surprised me almost as much as the first one did. Usually the last movie in a trilogy is the worst, and that's what I expected from this. What really got me with this was I am still trying to decide whether this is better than the first or not. Like a regular third instalment, rules are broken with ties made back to the first. This is the only one that I can think of that does so and still comes out the best.
Alan has ditched his medications and Doug has thought about taking him along with Phil and Stu to and intervention. When they are double crossed and Doug is kidnapped by crime boss, Marshal (Goodman) he summons them to find their crazy friend Leslie Chow so Marshal can destroy him.
This is the only one that was not about being hungover or wasted and trying to find someone. Trying to find Chow, which slips in and out of their grasp is the only thing remotely related to that topic. The laughs fly right in at the same level in the other movies, but the whole movie has a change of style, so the laughs may have a different feeling. I saw most critics poking at the lack of hilarity that this one ensued. I found this to be a bit of a dark comedy. I laughed my ass off throughout the whole thing, but this did have a darker and grittier tone. The danger is at an all- time high and I was actually scared that Phil or Alan would die in some scenes. But when they go to Las Vegas, that is when the nostalgia comes back. Jade (Heather Graham) returns and her son Tyler (as Alan call Carlos) at age four is the same baby from the first. That was probably the coolest.
The Hangover III is the last movie. I doubt there will not be a Hangover IV in another ten or fifteen years. Look at The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Scream, Wizard of Oz, Terminator: they all feature instalments decades after saying the series is finished. If this stays the last one, I will always see Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifinakis, Justin Bartha and Ken Jeong as Phil Wenneck, Stu Price, Alan Garner, Doug Billings and Leslie Chow.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
Like A Regular Sequel, It Is Not As Good As The First. But The Level Of Laughs Is The Same.
In 2009, The Hangover shocked me by being spectacular and being one of my favourite comedies ever. 2011 saw its sequel which people thought would surpass the first. I knew it would not. With low expectations like the first, I was very impressed. I wouldn't say this is better than the first at all, but I will say it is a nice confident. The guys are back and the danger is higher.
Stu (Helms) is about to get married in Thailand, his fiancée's native land. Ready to have a nice, regular time with his best friends, (Cooper, Galifinakis, Bartha) and soon to be brother in law, Teddy, Alan takes a dislike to Teddy and sets off a string dangerous encounters, leaving him and his friends with no memory and Teddy missing. Lost in a much bigger city with bigger crimes, Stu's wedding becomes more jeopardized than Doug's.
The first flaw I found was the scenes with frontal male nudity. I also didn't see why Justin Bartha had little screen time in this one too. Right before anything bad happens, he leaves the area to be with his wife who is sick and the family. Bartha was involved in Broadway plays, so I understand why they used less of him, but there's lots of people on Broadway and other things that still do full movies. The last flaw was how recycled everything was. Since the stuff used was very funny, I didn't mind. But that kept me from finding this better. There may be more danger, but it revolves around the same things. One thing I did like was Teddy's whereabouts. It is a more complex and less predicable place than Doug's in the first.
The Hangover (2009)
An Immediate Classic!
2009's The Hangover launched the careers of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifinakis and Justin Bartha, as well and revamping the career of comedy director, Todd Phillips. The four stars did star in several things before this, but where always pushed in the back and not very recognized, unless you've seen the movies many times. Todd Phillips did other classic comedies in the past such as Road Trip and Old School, but not a lot of good ones after Old School. I remember watching the trailer for this bout three times and knowing that it would be one of those typical, nowadays, dumb comedies. I actually thought this would be worse because of the lack of well-known stars. When I went to the theatres to watch it for something to do, The Hangover became one of my favourite comedies ever and one of my favourite movies in general. I was not expecting such a great flick at all.
The Hangover follows Doug (Justin Bartha), who is just about to get married and goes to have a bachelor party in Las Vegasfor the night with his two best friends (Cooper, Helms) and soon-to- be brother-in-law, Alan (Galifinakis). By morning, Doug is missing, the three boys can't remember anything and see things they did that are best kept in Vegas. When Doug is found, it is a major surprise, at first. After many watches, Doug's whereabouts become very predicable, but the laughs stay the same.
I remember watching this and thinking this was similar to Dude, Where's My Car? In that, two dudes search for their car with no memory and danger headed their way. In this three friends search for their groom with no memory and danger coming their way. But this is more serious since Dude was part sci-fi.
Since its release, The Hangover has become the benchmark and measuring stick of R-rated comedies. Because if I'm not mistaken, The Hangover is the biggest R-rated comedy ever. MacGruber, Hot Tub Time Machine and We're The Millers have all been compared in some form or another to The Hangover. I thought it was much better than MacGruber, a bit better than Hot Tub and as good as Millers. The Hangover may last as comedy's big benchmark until there's another sleeper hit.
What really makes this is the four main guys. Phil (Cooper) is a prep-school teacher who is the coolest guy of the group. Stu (Helms) is a geeky dentist and in great possession of his girlfriend. Alan is a stupid and highly immature man-child who grows attached his new friends. Doug has the least amount of screen time, but is pretty awesome when he is on screen. The chemistry and development is what makes these guys so cool. Other known stars include Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor and Mike Tyson who make the movie even better.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The First Brain-Popping Flick!
There are movies that require more than one watch to fully enjoy or understand. The Matrix and Inception are two great examples of this. I still know some people that have seen Inception many times and still don't fully get it. 1941's Maltese Flacon was (from what I know) the first movie to ever do this. A seemingly regular murder leads to another which leads to a quest for a little statue of a bird. How that happens requires many watches. What I like about these kinds of thrillers and mysteries is that I feel really good about myself and smart whenever I finally figure out everything that's happening.
I may have mentioned The Matrix and Inception earlier, but The Maltese Falcon is less comparable to those two and more to The Usual Suspects and LA Confidential. The Matrix and Inception are sci-fi/action movies that are much better pieces of film, using techniques and special effects that no movies at the time had strength to do. The Usual Suspects and LA Confidential, on the other hand, have just crazy scripts that really screw with your mind. It took me about four watches before fully understanding The Usual Suspects. I'm about half-way getting LA Confidential and almost fully getting The Maltese Flacon.
The general premise is detective Sam Spade's (Bogart) partner and a criminal are murdered after being set up by a woman (Astor). More murders and quirky characters are yet to come as the whole thing revolves around a statue of a bird. This is all I can say without giving too much away. Bogart delivers his best role as the film's first cool cop. I honestly find him better than Rick Blaine in Casablanca. What makes this so complex is all of the confusing points are explained so quickly in a weird order. That is clever, as it makes the viewer want to see it again and again. Bogart is such a cool character and the noir feel is awesome, so it is one to see several times even if it was easy to follow.
The Most Magical Movie Ever Made.
Humphrey Bogart is the coolest actor ever. Sure there are actors that are better than him, but none have his spunk that only he can deliver. After first starting off with movies, the world fell for his bad guy gimmick and he changed his birth-date to Christmas to make himself seem nicer (or so I read). His breakout role was in the complex mystery The Maltese Falcon, where he plays cop, Sam Spade, with an edge. Every cop after has just been trying to match Spade in toughness and coolness. Casablanca was the role that really made his versatility grow and made him one of cinema's greatest heroes.
During this time, there was roughly a movie a week that was released. All of them blended in together very well and nobody really cared about Casablanca. It was based on a relatively unknown play and the actors treated this as if it was just another movie. Nobody knew this would stand the test of time and become more loved over the years. When Orson Welles made Citizen Kane, he knew it would become the best movie ever. The people in Casablanca could not say the same thing.
Casablanca is said to be the greatest film of all time more than any other. The only other movie that's a worthy contender as the best ever is Citizen Kane. The Godfather is also a good rival. But Casablanca is a nicer and more feel-good movie than Citizen Kane and The Godfather,but it has mostly been Citizen Kane and Casablanca that have been rivals since the beginning. Citizen Kane changed the way movies are made with unbeatable camera tricks and the best delivery of a life lesson ever, whereas Casablanca uses just great acting, a great story, and great dialogue. It is about a tough nigh club owner in Casablanca, Morocco named Rick (Bogart) who re-encounters his old flame (Bergman) with her war hero husband (Henreid) laying low. Rick is the only one with letters of transit that can help them escape, and only she can convince him to do it.
What makes a movie so good? It has to have good acting, a good script, a good look, great filming, be relatable and emotionally connecting. Casablanca has all of those, minus great filming techniques. What makes Casablanca so special? Awesome swing music a none swing fan would like; great acting by a star-studded ensemble; a wide variety of emotions such as comedy and excitement and drama; unbeatable and quotable dialogue, more than any other in film history; and the amount of love that's in this: he is willing to sacrifice himself for her, she wants to be with Rick, and Rick reawakens his love for her. This is raved as being the most romantic movie ever. There's crappy Zac Efron movies these days that are more romantic than this. But this has the best and most original love story ever.
Since Casablanca's release, there have been various copycats and adaptations of it, but none have ever been able to capture its magic. It is the best movie that did not rely on any special effects or filming usages.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1980)
The Best of the Best!
William Shakespeare is the best playwright ever. Hamlet is the best play ever. Hamlet is also the best character ever. And the best performance of Hamlet to ever be captured on camera is in the epic adaptation. John Barrymore's Hamlet is the benchmark that is said to be the best performance on stage. But that was back in the 1920s. There is some footage of him as the Prince of Denmark, but it is too short and to quality is too bad for any justice to the role and to Barrymore. If there was more and better footage of Barrymore in the role, that would be the best ever filmed. Unfortunately, the best goes to Derek Jacobi: one of Great Britain's most underrated actors.
For anybody that does not know that plot of Hamlet, King Hamlet of Denmark has passed away and is being ignored, mainly by his brother Claudius (played here by Patrick Stewart) who has just assumed the crown. Melancholy and angry Prince Hamlet, (Jacobi) is visited by a ghost saying it is his father and that Claudius murdered him and he wants his to to avenge his death. Hamlet swears revenge, but circumstances may change.
Hamlet is the hardest character in history to play. He displays all emotions and his mindset constantly changes and there are many different interpretations of his character to make. In other words, there is no correct way of playing Hamlet, just as long as each trait is used in the correct places. So to play Hamlet the best is only playing him with accuracy. The best way of doing this is by using all emotions possible at equal proportions and all interpretations all rolled up into one. Derek Jacobi is the only and best one to do this. I bet any amount of money that this is the exact way that Shakespeare himself envisioned Hamlet. It was the way I envisioned him, the way my teachers taught him, and even better than some of the ways I and my teachers said.
Hamlet is mad, sad, happy, witty, determined, philosophical, crazy, and frustrated, all of which constantly change. That is why Kenneth Branagh's 1996 version is such a disgrace. He does a terrible depiction and the other characters are terribly depicted too. The second best Hamlet on film was Laurence Olivier's 1948 adaptation. That is a dynamic and wonderful piece of film. What makes this better is that this is isn't condensed nearly as much and Jacobi goes farther off different ends. Olivier keeps a basis of a man not being able to make up his mind. He does hold all of Hamlet's traits evenly like Jacobi, but his basis (which is a widely agreed one) keeps him fairly grounded. Olivier is witty, but Jacobi is so witty that he's almost comical; Olivier is angry, but Jacobi becomes a monster. Jacobi doesn't really seem to have a basis for Hamlet. He might, but it may take several watches.
Aside from Hamlet, all other characters are very well portrayed. Hamlet is a play where all focus is on one character: Hamlet. It is really rare that a movie or play deserves a perfect score because of one performance. Jacobi deserves much higher than 100%.
"I Wish I Was Big."
Big is the legendary comedy-fantasy that has been emulated and remembered since its release in 1988. The premise of aging very quickly hasn't been copied very much, this is the benchmark for any funny movie about a wish being made and coming true. Everything since this like from Freaky Friday (though it is a 70's remake) to Liar Liar have all been influenced by this to be as good.
12-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) is tired of being to young or too small to do things he wants. After constantly being rejected at a carnival, he makes a wish from a Zoltar machine to be big. He miraculously wakes up the next day twenty years older (Tom Hanks). With help from his best friend (Jared Rushton), Josh tries to lay low from people he knows for a while and gets a job at a toy company where he becomes an instant success and falls in love with his coworker (Elizabeth Perkins). Like any other movie of its kind, the kid at first finds it fun to be where he's at, then realizes he belongs where he started. But this has the magic, originality, and fun that no other movie of its kind has.
In a tour-de-force for Tom Hanks, he does my favourite role of his. Forrest Gump may be his best role, but this is my favourite. They way he plays a kid in a man's body really shows great acting that only the best can play. This is a comedy, but this is one of the few kinds of comedic roles that are hard to play. He is an innocent kid who doesn't get any sexual references and just wants to have fun. Hanks gives 1988's second best role (after Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man) but Hanks in this is perhaps more timeless.
The Rainmaker (1997)
A Great Look At The Law.
Most good courtroom dramas and legal movies deal with murder. Those are just simply the most fun ones to see. The ones that do not deal with murder are thrillers or are simply that good. This is one that is simply that good, because this does not deal with murder and is not a thriller. This is based on the 1995 novel by John Grisham of the same name. I'll have to admit, I did not like the novel. It was too boring with too many subplots and just dragged on about nothing. What Grisham bored me with, Coppola condenses in a way that I wish Grisham wrote in the first place.
This features a star-studded cast (Matt Damon, Claire Daines, Danny DeVito, Jon Voigt, Danny Glover, Teresa Wright, Mickey Rourke, Roy Scheider) that is bound to make this movie that much more enjoyable. The movie is about recent law-school grad, Rudy Baylor (Damon) who is assigned to a case involving a poor family suing a wealthy insurance company for not paying for their son's cancer treatments. The company hires a high-power law firm with years of experience with very little losses. Rudy has never even been involved in a case before. At first, the lawyers make him look bad. Then Rudy slowly turns the tables on them as he shows what the company has really been up to. That is what makes the courtroom portion so interesting. A youth fresh of of school successfully files a lawsuit in such an exciting and believable way. But it is not realistic how he is assigned a high-profile case right off the bat. In reality, Rudy would have to work for years near the bottom of a firm and slowly get to the position he is at in the film.
This is not as good as most of Coppola's other movies and far from 1997's best. The acting and everything might be good, but a big chunk of the movie is so gloomy and dull. But it is better than the book. Luckily, it is one of those that gets better as the minutes go. Bit by bit, the case gets more complex and Rudy tries to save the life of a woman (Daines) who's in a stormy relationship with her husband, all which make the movie a very fine watch.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Bizarre and Brilliant.
Stanley Kubrick created a deranged adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novella of the same name. The film has since become one of the most controversial pictures ever released and has become to me one of the best movies I have ever seen.
What makes this so controversial is the explicit violence and sexual content. The violence is more barbaric (which includes torture) than a cheesy 80s action movie with Sylvester Stallone, and the sex (mostly rape) is also all out with the most rape I have seen in a feature film. The movie is about Alex (McDowell) and his Droods who rape, torture and rob people for kicks. But what makes this so bizarre is the way Kubrick tackled the look of a futuristic-dystopian England. The set pieces to gain a future look are greatly weird and the ones to gain a dystopian look (mostly dealing with sex) are even weirder. So Kubrick knocked the look out of the park.
What makes this great is the character study of Alex and his delivery by Malcolm McDowell. He plays such an evil character with such a cool look and vibe to him that you can't help but be sympathetic. He's not one to feel sorry for (right away), but he still has that "cool" factor. Roughly half-way through the movie, he is betrayed by his Droods and is sent to prison. There, he is shown disturbing videos along with music parallel to his own crimes. He is released completely changed and must deal with the hellacious aftermaths crimes he committed. The study of Alex is an evil individual that is changed to a normal person by the government; a regular person with a mechanical mind. A theme that could be used is "sorry not cutting it" (not sure of a proper term for this) because he is changed but still must pay for all the wrong he did. The general structure and change is similar to Robert De Niro in Raging Bull and Edward Norton in American History X. So I totally loved McDowell's performance in this. Difference is, Alex is simply psychotic, whereas De Niro and Norton where driven by anger and personal demons. So Alex is scarier because he has no real reason to do what he does. When he changes, he becomes hugely sympathetic. Thing is, that's not him. He has no control over being good. At the end, he is "cured," reverting back to his evil self as the government is faulted and Alex is sent to be changed back. But the end is not fully explained, so it is very ambiguous and requires analyzing.
The way that society and psychology is used in this is flat-out amazing. The performance by McDowell is a rarity and the story is astonishing. This is not an easy view, but it is one that is needed.
Trailer Park Boys (2001)
A Canadian Treasure.
Before Trailer Park Boys, there was SCTV, King of Kensington and Royal Canadian Air Farce. These three shows are the only ones that I can think of that are arguably more funny and addicting. Most people that watch this show that grew up watching more sophisticated shows will not care for this at first. It is a mockumentary about three foul-mouthed low-lives in a Nova Scotia trailer park. All they do is swear and try to sell drugs. Some episodes aren't even funny. After watching several episodes over the course of weeks, it grows on you by becoming funnier and more addicting. Maybe it's just my opinion, but the show really started getting funny by the third season and the episodes started really making sense by the second season. Not that the ones before didn't make sense, the clarity just grew. The video quality also got better. Once it grows on you and becomes addicting, it becomes evident that this is one of the best shows Canada ever made.
What I like about the Trailer Park Boys is that they have very distinctive character with their own trademarks. These kinds of shows are the best ones to see. The character that started it all back when they were doing short films was Julian: the dark-haired, bearded, black t-shirt wearing, glass-holding, muscular one who is the smartest guy of the group. Then there is Ricky: the Elvis- haired, side-burned, plaid-wearing one with the most foul-mouth in the cast and the stupidest character in the show. Then there is the show-stealer, Bubbles: the blonde-haired, under-bitten, funny-voiced, cat-loving, ventriloquist who wears special glasses that really magnify his eyeballs. Then there's the park supervisor, alcoholic Jim Lahey and his shirtless assistant and lover, Randy. There's many other cool characters that are funny and memorable.
Everybody on the show do mighty fine jobs of acting. Bubbles is the most emulated character, as very few people know what he actually looks like. He looks like a cartoon character on the show with the way his hair is combed and voice changes and huge eyes. People are shocked to see what he looks like without his glasses. He looks like a regular person. Ricky and Julian are also cool to see in real life because their behaviours change and they drop their Canadian-hick accents. Lahey is probably the best actor aside from Bubbles (he might even be better) because of how good of a drunk he plays. He battles his addiction, but winds up intoxicated most of the time in such believable and hilarious ways. Easily the best alcoholic I've ever seen.
Many people that don't like this think this is real like Honey Boo-Boo. This is a show with actors playing comical characters. The actor that plays Bubbles has a university degree in English. As for the show being about Canadian low-lives, the portrayals are spot-on! I am Canadian and think think they way they capture trailer-trash in Canada is awesome. Even real trailer-trash would like this. Might as well-laugh at yourself like I do.