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Ghost Busters (1984)
Need a good movie to watch! Who are you gonna to call? Call, Ghostbusters!
Directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis. The movie is pretty original with its concept. The original script call 'Ghostmashers' had a very different story than the film we got. The script had traveling through time, space and other dimensions to fight large ghosts. It was deemed financially impractical and the movie was rewritten. They had written roles specifically for Belushi, John Candy and Eddie Murphy, but were forced to change the script after Belushi died and the latter, when the other actors couldn't commit to the film. The movie was saved from being scrapped by the charm of Bill Murray, who took John Belushi's original role as parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray). Most of Bill Murray's lines are ad-libs, and his performance was great. Along with Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), they set up a ghost-catching business after a series of apparent paranormal activities seem to come alive, when an uptown high-rise apartment building becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient Sumerian god, Gozer. Gozer become an ever bigger threat to the entire world and the only team that can stop it, is the Ghostbusters. The visual effects for this movie is amazing. I love the proton packs and how they work. The stop motion animation is bit odd, but still pretty impressing for the time. My favorite monster is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I like how they were able to pull off the man in the suit attacking a city visual effect. This movie has one of the best movie theme songs ever, written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr. Without him, catchphrases like "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!" and "I ain't afraid of no ghost", wouldn't be there. The song was a huge hit. Still, the song does sound like Huey Lewis 1983's 'I want a New Drug'. He sued Ray Parker, Jr. for plagiarism, claiming that Parker copied the melody from his 1983 song, but it was settled out of court. In my opinion, the Ghostbusters song will outlive the drug song with each generation of fans. The acting is very good from all of the Ghostbusters. Even the not so attractive, Sigourney Weaver as the love interest, Dana Barrett was made sexy and charming. Even side characters like Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) and William Atherton as the villainous prick, Walter Peck was fun to watch. William Atherton later states that the role kinda ruin his life, because fans would often treated him badly or start fights with him. As a kid, I always thought the man playing Walter Peck was Kenneth Branagh. Another villain Gozer, was originally to appear in the form of Ivo Shandor, a slender, unremarkable man in a suit, played by Paul Reubens; but the role was played by Yugoslav model Slavitza Jovan. Her role was short, but Gozer used to creep me out with that both sex evil form. What is really odd is how a really old deity, know what a Stay-Puft Mashmallow Man was. What I didn't like about the film is how downplay the role of Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) is. Had Eddie Murphy accepted the role of Winston, the character was actually meant to appear in more of the film. When Murphy declined the role, the script was re-written to have him appear about half-way through the film to show that they need help to cope with the demand of catching ghost. He seem to lacking a lot of things. Not much chemistry between him and the others Ghostbusters. People often forget him, and remember the first three. He doesn't help move the plot. He is just there to be there. I would love to see more of him. I like how the films are very, very thoroughly researched in the paranormal. Nothing in the film sounds too Techno Babble far off from real exorcists and psychiatrists dealing with possession. In addition, all of the books Ego and Ray mention actually exist. The film produced a popular Animated Adaptation, The Real Ghostbusters in 1986. Then a sequel in 1989. In 2009, a video game adaptation was released. As of this writing, no third movie. With the death of Harold Ramis in 2014. It's most unlikely. Many sequences were shot but removed from the film, but put into the DVD as extra. They're worth watching like the scene where a policeman tries to ticket the Ectomobile, but the car won't let him or Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd play two bums that witness Louis being chased by the terror dog. Bill Murray acts like Carl Spackler from 1980's Caddyshack in this scene, so check it out. An awful lot of swearing and sexual innuendo for a family comedy. Not to mention the fairly obvious sexual symbolism of the key and the gate. Some children might fear the Demonic Possession, and the ghosts. Surprising there is lot of people think the movie is a metaphor to a lot of things like the war between Religious Vs Science because the scientists kill the Oldest known civilization 'God' with nuclear weapons. The reason why some people got angry of this, is because historian often state out that the Hebrew Yahweh AKA God is often model from the Sumerian folklore. Then there are people that think the film is pointing to an Illuminati threat. The character of Walter Peck can seem like liberal government bureaucrat who barges into a small business and his interference causes disaster that some conservatives find funny. Of course, the homo-erotic implications of men fighting with phallic science-stick. It's pretty Freudian. The movie is smart and deep, even pointing out if Ghost have civil rights, but I think these people are over-thinking the film, but I do like their discussions. It's worth talking about, but in my opinion, just enjoy the film and see it as it supposed to be. A really good supernatural comedy. Overall: They came. We saw. The movie kicks ass.
Yûsei ôji (1959)
I kinda space out during this film. It was pretty bad. Yet somewhat good.
Directed by Eijirō Wakabayashi, this movie was adapted from a tokusatsu superhero series known as Planet Prince. The series was a rip off of another show, call Super Giant AKA Starman. In fact, the title hero whose alter-ego was Waku-san AKA Wally is played by Toshio Mimura whom bore a strong resemblance to Super Giant. Instead of getting the same actor to play the hero in the film, they got Tatsuo Umemiya and got a new costume for him which kinda kill the whole fan base. In the edited US version, he is call Prince of Space and has no superpowers other than the invulnerability of his costume. He uses weapons like a wand-like laser gun that looks like a butane grill lighter and flies a small spaceship that looks a upside down wheel barrier. The company that produce the film, Toei: made two movies that featured this character titled Planet Prince and Planet Prince - The Terrifying Spaceship. For release in America, these two movies were compiled into a TV movie titled Prince of Space. Depending what film, you watch, the incoherent plot is really hard to follows, but it goes something like this, Prince's enemy's Ambassador Phantom of Ginsei AKA Ambassador Dictator Phantom of the Planet Krankor (Joji Oka) is trying to conquer Earth for rocket fuel. The villain travels through space to the planet Earth, so that he can steal a formula for rocket fuel that will allow him to travel through space? This is even hand-waved in the film itself, by a group of journalists who ask the head scientist why such an advanced race needs Earth technology. The scientist's explanation is that their fuel technology lags behind ours, which is just explain anything. If The Phantom Of Krankor could observe the Humans from space, and peek into anywhere in the world, why didn't he just observe the creation of the formula and take notes? This movie makes you have a headache if you think too hard of the plot. Anyways, with his chicken-like alien henchmen, he kidnap the world leading rocket scientists to force the world's leader to give up their world to him. I'm sorry, but I can't take this villain serious even with the cartoony evil laugh. I can tell he is avoiding undergarments, because most of the film has him running around with his 'junk' visually showing through his sweat suit costume. Krankor sounds like crank whore in this film. He does look like one with drooping football pads under his tights looking like he's going to suck some Planet Prince's penis. The Phantom of Planet Krankor looks like Penguin from Batman mixed with Wario from the Mario Brother Video Games. He's so clumsy, and mismanage, that the whole alien invasion plot is so subverted. He also use the same weapons, time after time again on Prince of Space even after Prince of Space mention his weapons are useless. Even the bare fist fight scenes are laughable. Prince of Space can't really get hurt in the US version so there is little to no suspense. Having the hero have immortality doesn't make good story telling, as the hero is never put into any real danger. I know this was a translation error in the English dub. Prince of Space imply in the US version that he is invulnerable to all the weapons. In the Japanese version, this line simply had him implying that their weapons were useless because he was capable of dodging them. The English line leads to confusion as the Prince is constantly shown running away from the lasers that he is supposed to be invulnerable to. To add to the insult, there are plenty of scenes that are never explain Prince of Space is able to survive near disasters like Prince's ship getting shot down, and only to come back, a few minutes later in the film with the same ship not scratch. The model ships are so Ed Wood like, as it just awful to watch. The scene with his ship fighting a giant Ferengi Shrek on a planet surface is laughable. The whole scene looks like a man in bad make up on a soundstage. Also so the ray gun strips people from their clothing before oblivioning them is a bit off. Reminds me of 1953's Wars of the Worlds which had better special effects than this. You could think 1959 would have better effects than 1953, but no, this movie proves it. The sound effects are some of the most annoying sounds, I ever heard. I just couldn't stand hearing the turkey like Krankor ship leave and enter. My ears were bleeding because of it. Another thing, I found dumb is the fake nationality: Obviously, the movie try to make the Japanese people look American with English names and badly done English dubbing. It's weird to see New England and New Yorker accents in this film as it doesn't match the lips. I know the film was made for kids, but gees I hate the kids in this film. I really do. Small Japanese boys run around giving orders, having access to restricted government property and getting in danger. At less, the second part of the film got a little more serious. Overall: it's one of those movies, 'so bad, it's good'. The movie is a bit rare so it might be hard to find. If you can't find it, just look up Mystery Science Theater 3000K Season 8, Episode 18. Some people can find it, watchable, but most can't. Hints why there wasn't no sequel to this, and the producers went on to make a better show with Mirror Mask. I wonder if the Prince ever went back to his shoe shine job?!
This was a pretty freakin' good movie, but it's too all over the place.
In my opinion, Freakonomics works a lot better if it was a documentary TV Show series like 2003's Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t because it's focus on a lot of different topics ranging from Sumo Wrestlers to naming your child. Putting all these topics in one hour and 33 minutes isn't enough to cover all the subjects, with its brief running time. Honestly, these unrelated topics don't even match well together with multiply directors with different styles of filmmaking. It felt like they were trying to put their small pieces into one giant puzzle and the pieces don't fit. The tone of the film change from silly segment to serious segment in a blink of an eye that the film felt like bi-polar economist. The film is all over the place. I don't think the director (Heidi Edwing) in charge of putting these smaller films together did a good job. I really didn't know what was keeping these topics, together. It felt like the big thread connector, 'Economics' was missing in some pieces. It look and sound more like sociology or criminology at best. It felt rush, and directionless. Based on the book, 'Freakonomics' by economist Steven D. Levitt and writer Stephen J. Dubner. The book is a collection of 'economic' articles written by Levitt. The book is covered in six chapters of different social topics. The movie only covers four of these chapters, leaving out the topics of Chapter 2: Information control as applied to the Ku Klux Klan and real-estate agents & Chapter 3: The economics of drug dealing, including the surprisingly low earnings and abject working conditions of crack cocaine dealers. In the 2005's "Revised and Expanded Edition" of 'Freankonomics', the Khan part was considerably too exaggerated and left out of the film for that reason. Chapter 2 was merge into topics into smaller sequences between the bigger pieces. These smaller sequences are directed by Seth Gordon of 2007's King of Kong's fame, but it felt like rambling than anything really important. Like the potty training sequence, it was just a turd to watch. Another sequence, I didn't like was the 'Roshanda By Any Other Name' which is Chapter 6 in the book. Super-Size Me, Morgan Spurlock's investigation of the possible implications of names, especially racial names, in how personal development and social advancement. Common names are more liking to have success than exotic foreign names in America. The comedy timing in this sequence was a bit off. I didn't find, myself laughing as much as others. There was also a great chapter similar to it, call Chapter 5: The negligible effects of good parenting on education. They kinda merge Chapter 5 with 'It's Not Always a Wonderful life' AKA Chapter 4. 'It's Not Always A Wonderful Life', narrated by Melvin Van Peebles and directed by 'Why we fight' director, Eugene Jarecki. This is the most controversial segment in the film. It explores the theory that the increase of birth control & abortion has led to a decline in the urban crime rate in the US during the mid- to late 1990s. The movie states that 1973 US Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, in the US permitted people to have legal abortions, leading more wanted children with better upbringings than ever before. This also key into 'Can You Bribe A 9th Grader To Succeed!' AKA Chapter 1: Director Rachel Grady documents an experiment in Chicago, Illinois to determine the efficacy of paying students to achieve higher grades. The whole sequence was annoying as they got some of the worst kids ever to do this study and the results are meaningless. So, it felt like a waste of time. Gees, it was hard to get through that. Chapter 1 also explain in Director Alex Gibney's exploration of the Japanese concept of yaochō match fixing in Sumo wrestling. Yaocho is when a secured position tournament fighter allows the other person to win to get in the tournament to ignored getting hurt or allow his buddy to get a win to look better. That was probably the best sequence in the movie, but so out of place. In my opinion, this topic deserve a 2 hour documentary of its own. It doesn't really relate to any of the other topics, but it relates more to economics than most of the film. The various topics and scenarios presented kinda loses sight of what they were presenting and never really manages to find its proper balance. Overall: The movie does a bad job at selling the book, but the use of trendy pop culture, quirky characters, special graphic effects, and interesting topics made it entertaining. So get your freak on!
I did not Dredd seeing Dredd. It was surprising a pretty good movie.
2012's Dredd did enough to help wipe out the memories of the Sylvester Stallone's 1995 film, Judge Dredd. Directed by Pete Travis, written and produced by Alex Garland, this gritty movie is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Like the comic book, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is a law government police officer given the power of judge, jury and executioner in a vast, dystopian overpopulation crime full metropolis called Mega-City One that lies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dredd teams up with an apprentice partner, Judge Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) a powerful psychic. Both of them, find themselves trapped in a 200-storey high-rise block of flats call 'Peach Trees' with a ruthless former prostitute turn criminal drug lord, Madeline Madrigal AKA Mama (Lena Headey) whom producing a drug call 'Slo-Mo" that slows the user's perception of time to 1% of normal. It's never state out, if the drug is harmful or not, but when used, it's beautiful to watch. Great use of phantom camera, combining high-speed photography and color saturation as visuals. It's nice to watch even if the scenes are gory as hell. It's great to watch in 3D. Lot of excessive violence that match the comic book feel, but the movie lacks the satiric British humor elements. Most of the film is humorless. Thank goodness's no Rob Schneider in this movie. Also, the whole scope of the film seem limiting, as the film only keep the action in one area. No scenes in the wasteland. Megacity 1 here, doesn't look like the comic book. It was markedly less futuristic than the comic in order to be believable. I think they did it better here. It's hard to tell where the real slums of Cape Town, South Africa and New York City's landmarks end, and where the CGI fantasy made city began. Future cities less than hundred years might still look like this. The budget limited Mega-City One of such characters as robots and aliens. The Peace Tree building felt like a 1988's Die Hard because of the one area action sequences. The film seem a rip to 2011's The Raid in premise. The movie had a video game-like precision. The lawgiver gun has a lot of different settings like a game ranging from regular bullets to hotshot, incendiary, armor piercing, stun, and high explosive. Lawmaster motorcycle was a bit disappointing. The body count was really high in this film to the point, that I found that to be a bit unrealistic and the judges being untouchable. There is a few cheesy clichés like the speech on the loud speaker than reminds me of other action films like 1982's Rambo: First Blood. Lots of cheesy one liners as well. Dredd seem cool in the film, but I always thought of him as being bulky. Karl Urban is fit, but his body doesn't look like Dredd from the comics. Plus, I think that helmet was a little too big for Karl Urban. He look a bit silly, at times. Still, he does a good job. He never did once in the film, take off his helmet which comic books fans would like. He's supposed to be the faceless representative of the law and I think that works with his appeal. His raspy harsh voice can be go overboard like Christian Bale's Batman at times making it hard to understand what he is saying, but for the most part, he sound like what Dredd is supposed to sound like, Dirty Harry. Dredd did have more epiphany than deadpan that made him more human. In the film that definitely change over the course of the movie such as him joking or stunning some punk kids trying to kill him, instead of killing them. Regardless of his motives, he is also shown using the proper amount of force when needed and doesn't shoot to kill until the other options are expired. I like that Judge Cassandra Anderson can hold up her own, most of the film, and isn't a damsel in distress nor love interest type character. It was 100% professional between them. She give the movie some emotional depth that Dredd is lacking. Lena Headey is great. Before Headey was chosen, the character was described as a heavily made-up, scarred and obese older woman. I really don't see anybody pulling that obese woman off. Still, it would be cool to see the undead Judge Death in the film like one of the earlier draft had. I love all the background Easter eggs references to the comic book, from story lines, including "Democracy" (1986), "Origins" (2006), " The Day The Law Died' (1978), (1995) 'The Pit' and (1980) 'Judge Child". The Judge Dredd comic strips were originally conceived as UK satires of the Thatcher government and its authoritarian police like state. It was then put in a Reagan-era fantasy about the liquidation of the underclass. Many critics may hate the movie due to its incorporating obvious fascism, but it's never mention in the film. The Judge Dredd comics were not really about action or story-telling, but about showing how crappy extremist police states are. I never got that, as it's seem crime and chaos is winning this war. The movie is more anarchism than fascism. Dredd represent fascism/order and Ma-Ma represent anarchism/chaos both resort to fairly brutal means of killing their enemies and finding a way to scare the people for their personal will. To make the metaphor visual: when Ma-Ma get hurt, her blood briefly forms the red pattern that appears on a Judge's helmet. At less, the movie portray female characters great. Anderson as repeatedly shown to have power over men who underestimate her, while Ma-Ma displays more intelligence and sadism than any of her male gang members, and neither woman interacts with the other on the basis of their gender. Overall, my last judgment is that it's a good film.
The Happening (2008)
What happen to M. Night Shyamalan? The Happening happen and it was a huge disappointment.
Director M. Night Shyamalan use to be a really director, but as of late, he has been producing a lot of awful movies. Is he really trying to make us kill ourselves, after watching his films?! I use to love his films, but The Happening is one of the biggest letdowns, I ever witness. The film is about a mysterious event happening all over the East Coast of the United States, where people all over are killing themselves for no reason, and there's no explanation to these mass suicides. Nobody can stop it, and no-one can escape it. It doesn't stop, High school teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) from trying to escape its death grip. With his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel), fellow teacher Julian (John Leguizamo), and Julian's daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sachez), they hope to survive by escaping the cities and try their luck elsewhere. The movie takes mostly a Hitchcockian approach to the horror, in which, the suicides happen without much explanation. You see, the movie even references a lot of Hitchcock's films. M. Night is even famous for the Cameo like Hitchcock. M. Night Shyamalan plays Joey, with whom Alma had an affair. Although his character is never seen only his voice. The movie could be describe as a badly written, 'The Birds' meet 'Psycho'. There is some examples in the film that were very smart writing such as the mood ring symbolism. There is a lot of use of the color, yellow that can represent a lot of things like being positive in life, than self-destruct. Some people think it has this 'Cold War' or 'New Terrorist or it's the Government" hidden message coming out of this film due to the talks of extreme talks about government trying to depopulation their population, but I can't find the bearing to this film. Without spoiling the plot, I think the opening lecture by Elliot Moore gives too much away of the plot too early. The movie is really out there with its Gaia's Vengeance's plot. I like how all the suddenly, these 'things' evolve to emit neurotoxin. All species of it. Simultaneously. The Happening has this post environmentalism theme that seem a bit too preachy. I don't get why people in the park would get attack, because it's seem that the park is helping nature. I don't think M. Night Shymalan knows how science works. Science solves the mystery, not give up explaining it. Science Cannot Comprehend is just a lame excuse for bad writing. Then there is way too much exposition speak throughout the film, as if the audience was too dumb to know what is already happening. I wish, the movie explore more of the conflict between Elliot and his wife, maybe it would help the story better. The whole cheesy power of love will stop the tragedy is not well-played. This movie could had work, if only the deaths weren't so cheesy. For some reason, the film's R rating was a huge marketing ploy because before this movie, most of M. Night's horror films were PG-13. M. Night can see that with an R rating, he was able to get away with a lot of things that he would had to tone down if it was another PG-13 film like extreme violent, gore, or digging into more serious disturbing adult themes. Rather than making a serious, in depth horror film. He made fun of the horror genre, by going with an 1960's sci-fi/ horror cheesy B-film style with over the top's deaths like a man getting eaten by a lion or another man getting run over by a lawnmower. Even the children getting shot is pretty dumb. It was supposed to be shocking, but it wasn't. Anybody can see it, a mile away. M. Night really try to make the wind seem scary, but its fails to be. If anything was scary, it was the crazy doll lady. Mid-through the movie, it seems like we jump into another horror movie with her. It was a bit distracting from the main plot and never really goes anywhere. I felt like it was supposed to symbolism, where Alma and Elliot's relationship was going, but it's never truly explain. Most of the people in the film, give out dull expression when seeing people getting killed. The worst is Alma. Zooey Deschanel's acting is so bad, I just hoping she was going to die in the film. Mark Wahlberg isn't as bad, but his delivery feel like he was neutered. He didn't had any balls in it. I understand why he was so monotone in his underacting because of the plot needed him to be, but gees
it was too passive aggressive. Still, he had some of the most quote silly lines ever like 'What? No!' or 'Come on, take an interest in science'. The rest of the characters in the film are just awful cartoony people such as the hot dog guy and the cheese and crackers army dude. The camera work is just bad. I like how the characters don't notice the bodies hanging from the trees until the camera reveals them, even though they had been driving straight towards them for a good 30 seconds. I dislike how in the end, half of Alma's face is missing from the frame. I was redder than roses, redder than poinsettias seeing that. Overall: I would watch it, if you like 'so bad, it's good' type films. It's pretty much laughable. Besides that, we sensed it, we saw the signs, but this movie doesn't have anything good happening.
Wake up from your daydreaming and go see the Secret life of Walter Mitty. It's pretty alright film
I glad it was finally made after going through development hell, but it doesn't really follow the 1939, short story by James Thurber. It's so loosely based on. The 1947 movie of the same name was different from the book to the point that the author hatred the film for its crude humor, but as less it was follow the book more closely. This 2013 adaption directed by Ben Stiller is very different from the original. In this film, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a negative assets manager of photographs at Life magazine who frequently daydreams of fantastic adventures, and has a crush on his coworker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). When he lost a very important photograph from Photojournalist Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn). He is forced to stop daydreaming, and live life by finding Sean O'Connell across the world and recover the MacGuffin type missing specific negative Frame 25 call '"Quintessence" of Life" before Life Magazine final print issue converts to online status. In the short story, it deals with a vague and mild-mannered man who drives into Waterbury, Connecticut, with his wife for their regular weekly shopping and his wife's visit to the beauty parlor. During this time he has five heroic daydream episodes. These heroic episodes should had been in this film, or at less, mention, because the movie is really slow to start off. It takes a very long time, before Mitty is call to adventure here. Surprising, the movie doesn't have that many daydreaming sequences which kinda bug me. It lacks the satirical over the top tone of the original story. I would had love to see him as a magnificent surgeon performing a one-of-a-kind surgery, then as a deadly assassin testifying in a courtroom, and then as a Royal Air Force pilot volunteering for a daring, secret suicide mission to bomb an ammunition dump. I guess, jumping into an ocean with sharks and escaping a volcano is daring, but it's less Mitty when you think about it, because he does those things for real, not imagining it. The best thing about Walter Mitty was the daydreaming and how it was fantasies by details of Mitty's mundane surroundings. It was cool to see what triggers them. The movie could use the symbolism better, like the Stretch Armstrong scene. It's weird to see, Walter Mitty had an over the top fight with obnoxious corporate transition manager Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) over it, then easily give it away to some kids for a skateboard, seeing that his family got it for him. The Stretch Armstrong toy could represent a lot about his child life nature, and him slowly getting over it, to grow up. Surprising the daydreaming scene weren't that funny, it felt really dumb, than smart. One joke kill it, Benjamin Button. The only time, it was semi-funny was when reality hit in. I love the whole isolated frontier humor. I do love the film for its great use of music. David Bowie's "Ground Control to Major Tom" was the highlight of this. I do like the Life magazine symbolism as he works for a magazine, when he doesn't have little to no life of his own. Still, the film put Life magazine in a negative light with how they supposedly treat their workers, badly. I surprised, Life magazine allow them to use their brand. I do have mixed feelings about the use of pop culture references such as Papa Johns and E-Harmony. The movie has way too much product placement. There isn't much of a secret life of Walter Mitty as everybody can tell that he is daydreaming all the time. Also missing in the film is Thurber's love of wordplay can be seen in his coining of several nonsense terms in the story. What I love about the film is that Walter Mitty doesn't intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not. He's pretty honest about who he is, and what he does. Still, it bit unrealistic to think that Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty was once a skater. In this film, Walter stops being Walter Mitty and more like Edmund Hillary halfway through the film. It seem really unrealistic for him to become that good in hiking in two weeks. Honestly, it felt like a movie about mountain climbing. It was pretty beautiful shots of Iceland throughout the film. Then there was a pretty good scene with Mitty trying to photograph a rare snow leopard that represent the whole film very well without being too preachy. In my opinion, they could had stop there, and I would be happy with the ending. The true ending was a bit lacking. It felt like his unrealistic romanticism of his fantasies were coming true. That isn't what the film should be telling as it became too predictive. It should be telling, how to understand disappointments in life, and move on and keep dreaming. Overall: This movie lacks a lot of things that the original done well, but it shows the 'Be in the moment' lifestyle in a good light that it's worth watching.
Great Scots! Watch this movie! Every man dies, not every man truly lives to see a great film like this.
Braveheart is one of the best medieval films ever made; but also been described as one of the most historically inaccurate modern films of all time. Directed by Mel Gibson, the film is about a 13th-century Scottish warrior, William Wallace (Mel Gibson). King Edward I AKA 'Longshanks" (Patrick McGoohan) of England invade Scotland in 1280, murdering many of Scotland's people. Patrick McGoohan is just chilling as Longshanks. What a great performance from him. In the film, Wallace, at first, tries to live a normal life with his childhood friend turn wife, Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack), but the horrors of life under Longshank's reign became too much for him. With his fellow Scots, he launched a revenge attacked against the English causing the First War of Scottish Independence. Randall Wallace, the writer of the screenplay, has acknowledged that Blind Harry's 15th century epic poem 'The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie' as a major inspiration for the film. The film takes creative license on the piece, to make the film, more gripping like the like the hanging of Scots nobles at the start of the film or Wallace's getting help from Princess Isabelle of France (Sophie Marceau). I have to say, Sophie Marceau was a great actress for this role. In real life, Isabella was 3 years old and living in France at the time. She was not married to Edward II until he was already king and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died. This aspect of the plot may however have been inspired by the play, 'Wallace: a triumph in five acts' by Sydney Goodsir Smith, which historically has adult Isabella present at the Battle of Falkirk longing for a real man. Yes, it's a bit historical inaccuracy, but it's brings something to the table that works. Little things complains like the Scots not wearing kilts at the time could be passed over. The belted plaid (feileadh mór léine) was not introduced until the 16th century, 500 years after Wallace's death. Things like Jus Primae Noctis plot that supposedly allows the Lord of a medieval estate to take the virginity of his serf's maiden daughters is still up to historical mystery. Still, there were some historic inaccuracies, I couldn't accept, like the film showing England's occupation and rule of Scotland being much longer. In fact, the English occupation of Scotland was just 2 years old before the battle of Falkirk. Prior to that, the Kingdom of Scotland was separate and fully independent. It was the Scots that gave power to Longshanks when they couldn't decide a king. I will defend the film for the depiction of the Prince of Wales, Edward II (Peter Hanly). His appearance in the film as an effeminate homosexual drew accusations of homophobia against Gibson. In real life, Edward II was believe to be bi-sexual who was very unpopular with his wife, the royals and the people of England. Many historians believe Edward II wasn't gay at all and that it was made up to discredit him. One of the few things, the film go semi-right was the portrayal of Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen). Angus's performance is amazing in the film and my favorite character in the film. Some Scottish people got offended of the negative portrayal of Robert the Bruce whom is more a Scottish hero than Wallace. Even, the title 'Braveheart' is often refers in Scottish history to that of Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace. He got to play second fiddle. Other key figures in the war of Independence was cut out in the film like Bishop William de Lamberton and Andrew de Moray. They were replace by other characters such as Brendan Gleeson as Hamish, and the Irish Steven (David O'Hara). Madman Steven has some of the great one-liners of the film. A lot of Scots might hate the film, due to this misleading history, but in my opinion, a lot of Scots should be thankful because the movie brought a lot to tourists to their country. Some of the English media accused the film of harboring Anglophobia. Yes, because there is going to be a negative portrayal of antagonists in any war film. Doesn't matter if English or not. The action scenes were great. The battle of Stirling was missing the bridge part. The war tactics are not historical right, but it was still well done. It was brutal, bloody, and in close quarters. It's scary to think that men fought this way for years. Even the fake horse dying look real, that even Animal Welfare investigated the film. Gibson toned down the film's battle scenes to avoid an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, with the final version being rated R. Some gory scenes are still disturbing, and disgusting for some viewers. Not a film for any young children. Still, there is some beautiful scenes in the film. I like the way, he shot the landscape even if it's Ireland, not Scotland. Braveheart theme song by James Horner is just beautiful to listen to. It's a very smart film. Then there is the famous quotes that continue to be overplayed whenever, the film comes on such as "They may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!" The film quote capture the spirit of Celtic heroism. The quote 'Every man dies - Not every man really lives' is from 19th century, American poet, William Wallace, no relation to the William Wallace in the film. I still love it. Overall: it was worthy of winning the Best Picture at the Oscars in 1995. It's still worthy to watch even with today's films.
Dead or alive, you're gonna be a little bit disappointed. Redo-Cop was just alright.
2014's Robocop is far from being good. Directed by Jose Padilha, the movie is a loose remake of the 1987 film of the same name. It was an alright film, that supposedly satire many of the major issues the world faces today; much like the original did back in the 80s. Both films, really reflective of times, they were made. The original Robocop satire was about American society's consumer culture, urban decay, and economic disparity. This remake satirized globalization, corporate government, infotainment and the Imperial like state of the American military. The film also tackles trans-humanism, the freedom of choice, and the question whether it's ethical or legal to eliminate the human factor in law enforcement by making RoboCops. Both movies had a lot of character development. The different between them is that this movie is much slowly on producing it. Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) really doesn't become Robocop until nearly the end of the film. When you think about it, there's no real moment when Murphy turns into RoboCop. He's normal at the beginning and just kind of fades into RoboCop mode for a small bit, then fades out again just as inexplicably later on. There's a small chuck of the film of the just Det. Alex Murphy doing police work, until he was severely injured by a car bomb planted on orders from the crime boss, he was chasing. Then from then, on, the action dies to a slow, slow, pace as people from the multinational conglomerate that supply the US military with mechanical soldiers that are used overseas, OmniCorp debate on how to sell robot soldier technology to civilian law enforcement in US. OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) and scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), spend ¾ of the film creating a new law enforcement product by combining human and machine that he believes can be sold to the American public. Truly, like the audience, people wasn't buying this for a dollar. I still turned off by the black armor tactical redesign even by the end of the film, but I do understand why they did it. Makes sense to wear black, into battle. Alex Murphy becoming RoboCop is way too slow. Don't get me wrong, I like Alex Murphy transporting from a human into more machine until he finds his humanity in the end. I love how it really dives into the question of how a person is to cope with being an amputee. Also, how his family and him are to learn to accept his new circumstances. Still, I wanted an action film. This movie is not action pack at all. I don't want mindless Michael Bayism action, but I wanted some realistic depth action. The whole 2028 Detroit, looks way too clean to believe that it's going through a huge crime wave. The violence is way too tame to believe that the police needs to create a RoboCop to hunt these criminals. When we get a fighting scene, its CGI moves in such an unrealistic shaky cam way, that its hurts to watch. It goes way too fast, and it ends way too quickly. The original movie use the over the top, slow action violent that bring the horror out in the violence. In this movie, it give audiences an unrealistic interpretation of violence. The movie was way playing it too safe in the satire. Samuel L. Jackson as an O'Reilly-esque character, Pat Novak who constantly defends the use of robots overseas was interesting. His outbursts took enormous amount of screening time and completely irrelevant to the story. Most could ended up on the cutting floor. This would have made for a much tighter and more focused movie. For most of the film, the biased media propaganda approach was just bit annoying and pointless. It was really unclear what the film is trying to say. It look like it had this Anti- war message with the robots supposedly representing drones in this film. Rather then tackling the real consequences of drones, like spying and killing innocent and unarmed women/ children. The robots shoot suicide bombers, and even the boy we're supposed to feel sympathy for. The boy was trying to attack them with a knife. How are you supposed to make an anti-war argument, if you show the reasons why the drone program is needed? In this film, the villains are disappointing. There is no Clarence J. Boddicker type villain in this film. The villains that cause Alex's injures, are quickly taken out ¾ in the film, and the movie is left to make a new antagonist for the last few minutes of the film. It comes out of left field and it seems forced. Instead of building up an arch-enemy for Murphy to fight to the death with, it toys with different characters as his foe, never really committing to one or the other. The only one that could seem menacing is Jackie Earle Haley's character, Rick Mattox, but both times, Robo Cop get the best out of him and quickly end the conflict. The acting is pretty good in the film. The best is Gary Oldman, whom is outstanding in the role of a good intentioned man whose ambitions lead him too far down the wrong path was great. I like how the movie use the original music, character development, and how it update it. I genuinely believe that an edger PG-13 rated movie might do better. The original Robocop franchise died when they aimed at a younger demographic. It can work with the right director. The original has such a huge fan base that a reboot seems like blasphemy to most. I went in with fairly low expectations but still somewhat open minded. Still, after seeing it. I can only recommend this as a rental to interested sci-fi fans.
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
In my opinion, this movie is Phillip Seymour Hoffman's finest hour
Coming from the mind of writer/driver Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York is a very interesting movie. The plot follows an ailing theater director, Caden Cotard (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) as he works on an increasingly elaborate stage production about his life, whose extreme commitment to realism begins to blur the boundaries between fiction and reality due to suffering from numerous physical ailments and growing increasingly alienated from his wife. The film's title is a play on words. Schenectady, New York, where much of the film is set, and the concept of synecdoche, wherein a part of something represents the whole, or vice versa. The movie has this odd concept, that symbolism a lot of the film themes about choosing how to live life. Both Caden and his wife Adele (Catherine Kenner) are artists, and the scale on which both of them work during their lifetime becomes increasingly relevant to the story as the film progresses. Adele works on an extremely small scale, while Caden works on an impossibly large scale. Adele's work getting smaller and smaller, while Caden constructing a full-size replica of New York City in a warehouse, and eventually a warehouse within that warehouse, and so on, continuing in this impossible cycle. In the end, saying to focus more on small tasks, than trying to continue on one impossible big task. The burning house early in the film represented dogmatic choices. Caden buries himself ever deeper into his magnum opus, blurring the line between the world of the play and that of reality by populating the cast and crew with doppelgängers almost like a weird Capgras delusion. Capgras is a disorder where sufferers think family & friends had been replaced by identical imposters. The movie has this William Shakespeare's meta-referential feeling to it, as it portrays a play within a play or mise en abyme. Indeed, the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Great supporting cast from a lot of great actors like Samantha Morton as Hazel, Tom Noonan as Sammy Barnathan, Caden's double, Emily Watson as Tammy, Hazel's double, Dianne Wiest as Millicent Weems who plays Ellen Bascomb and another of Caden's doubles, Michelle Williams as Claire Keen. In short, when you physically sit down and watch the movie, the beginning of the movie is not actually the beginning. We never see when Caden actually gets the grant in this interpretation. The movie presents itself as being in the 'real world', but without spoiling too much, there are a lot of hints that it isn't. Like Cotard's portrayal of Death of a Salesman, the film use young actors is represented the old and aging. The film mirrors how Phillip Seymour Hoffman's life. He also started in Death of a Salesman in 2012. I have to say, this is Phillip Seymour Hoffman's greatest acting. I really think it mirrors a little bit too much of his real life and how haunted he may had been. Pretty scary performance if you think about it. Sad, to see him gone. RIP. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. While, others choose to live life different with more positive creative uplifting that leads to more success. Caden continues to have little success due to his negative view of life. As the years rapidly pass, the continually expanding warehouse is isolated from the deterioration of the city outside represent depression and finally when the warehouse is left in ruins. It represent death. Even his last name Cotard, references to Cotard delusion, which means one believing to be dead or that one's organs are missing. Caden feels that his male sex organs are missing. Many people have compared the plot to Jungian sexual psychology. Caden feels small compare to Adele's work, mirrors penis envy or sexual inadequacy. He feels that Adele is more of a man that he would ever be. Hints why Caden is always making things bigger and bigger to over top Adele's success. One theory behind this is that we're seeing things from Caden's perspective, so we see him as an ugly failure and see the women in his life, as ideal beauties. He wants to be a woman, or in a way, is a woman. The movie use symbols like paint to mixed themes like homo erotic with incest that many homosexuals wouldn't like. It paints a negative image toward them. Tattoos foreshadows a lot of events in the movie as if Salvador Dali dream imagery painting. We see a flower tattoo wither away. There are tons more symbolism in the film that you just have to find out for yourself. Also check out, the delete scenes about Squishy the Dog. It's too bad it was cut, because this is actually one of the few hopeful symbols. It's a good movie, but way too depressing. It does have powerful disturbing scenes like the masturbating booth, or Ellen's apartment that merits more discussion with smart movie lovers. This movie is not for weak in heart. The film is a mash-up of Meta Fiction, absurdist theater, Freudian, surrealism, recursive reality, post modernism and mind screw into one. Would you expect any less from a Kaufman movie? Charlie is all about leaving his films open to interpretation, and he's gone all out with the obscure nature of Synecdoche. There is no way to dissect 'Synecdoche, New York'. The central narrative, muddy as it is, smart. It's confusing, but it makes you think.
This Is the Army (1943)
An inside look of life during war time Americana. This movie is pretty entertaining, Mr. Jones!
This World War 2 movie directed by Michael Curtiz of 1942's Casablanca fame, adapted from the 1942 Broadway musical by Irving Berlin was designed to boost war time morale in the U.S. Film was made for the Army Emergency Relief Fund and it made lots of money. The stage version had no plot, but this film is a lot better with a story, even if the story is very loose ended. The movie is mostly about Irving Berlin's time in both wars trying to pull all soldier show. Irving Berlin's story is being told by the character of Jerry Jones (George Murphy) who served his country during World War 1 by putting up a musical call 'Yip Yip Yaphank'. Like Berlin, he notice how successful, it was, with his enlistment son, Johnny (Ronald Reagan) try to use the show to gather up money. George Murphy was amazing in the role. You can't help feeling emotional when he reunited with his old war buddies to do the 'Yip Yip Yaphank' number again. Reagan looks fantastic in this film where he plays stage manager Johnny Jones. Its sucks that he can't sing, but at less, he can acted. Both pair of future California politicians were great. Irving Berlin even show up in the film. He composed most of the film's 19 songs, and broke screen protocol at the time by singing one of them. He performed, 'Oh! I hate getting up in the morning'. I have to say, while Berlin is one of the greatest song writers in the world, he isn't one of the best singers. The movie very mirrors, how the stage play went, even to the point, where the entire cast march off to 'We're on Our Way to France'. One song he didn't use was 'God bless America' which became a huge success later on, when singer Kate Smith sang the song on Armistice Day in 1938. Her performance in the film is probably one of the main highlights. Kate Smith is not the only personal celebrity to be in the film, as there are many others. One of the weirdest ones is boxer Joe Louis. Thank Goodness, he didn't sing at all, but honestly, he can't even act. I can't barely understand what he was saying. Besides because use for marketing to get Black Americans to see the show; he was pretty much useless. Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with this movie when dealing with black characters. For good side, I'm glad, Berlin integration the army before the army did. Still, it was a bit 'mess up' to see soldiers in black face doing musical numbers. Then have Blacks dancers appear on stage simultaneously. I really can't love the "That's What the Well-Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear" and 'Mandy' number, but it was well done. I know it came with the times where minstrel shows were popular, but gees "politically incorrect" right there. Also, I didn't like the dance number because it had little to do with the Army life. The whole Latin American dances seem out of place. I know US was trying to gain Latin America's countries support for the war effect at the time, but men in drags wasn't what Latin Americans wanted to see it. It was deem offending to them. Another scene that seem out of place is the whole celebrity spoof impersonation about hamburger. It's spoof Broadway stars, but it wasn't really funny. The comedy skit, after the first dance number was a little better. The whole Canteen scene was a bit odd. I had this whole vibe that it was supposedly a brothel due to the lyrics. Plus, they even had a madam type character in the play. I know, the burliest of the men in drag was used for laughs AKA "Ladies of the Chorus" number, but the whole scene in the Canteen had this homosexuality sexual orientation feel to it. I didn't mind it, but I thought women who served were under look in this movie. I know it has a all-male military-cast; but as have a Army Nurse Corp number. Frances Langford sings "What Does He Look Like" was great. Needed more of that. I love how the show is nearly hijack by the US Navy. I also love the Air Corps number, "American Eagles/With My Head in the Clouds". What an emotional number. Although the core of the movie consists of the musical numbers, the movie also contains a veneer of a plot involving the wartime love interests of both the father and the son. A sub-plot running the movie was Johnny telling his sweetheart that they cannot marry until he returns, since he doesn't want to make her a widow, but they find themselves going against their feelings. Glue together by this plot, this movie is 2 hours of great variety of entertainment, from show-stopping tap dance numbers, an acrobatic number, and even magic tricks. I love the comedy of the magic tricks. Overall, my favorite song is "This is the Army Mr. Jones". The only other song contemporary audiences might still recognize besides 'God Bless America'. "This Time We Will All Make Certain" was a great song for the ending. Some critics hate it for being propaganda. My answer to that is yes, it is propaganda and so what. It was better than what Europe was propaganda at the time. The film hasn't aged well, as it full of scratches and discoloring. At times, a few seconds of film seem to be either cut out of the film or just lost over time. The sound quality isn't that good as well. Some DVDs out there have a horrible quality so watch out. Since the movie is in the Public Domain, you can pretty much find it anywhere. A good quality is kinda rare. Though far from being great, this film has qualities that deserve the highest merit.