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George Lucas in Love (1999)
I'm in love with George Lucas in Love. It's a charming little film.
May the farce be with you! This short film is a very good spoof, of two blockbusters movies: 1998's Shakespeare in Love which won the Academy Award Best Picture, of that year and the original Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983), which won multiplies awards. Not only that, the movie even mentions, some of George Lucas's other works, such as the original Indiana Jones trilogy (1981-1989), 1973's American Graffiti, and even his odd film, 1971's THX 1138. The funniest references had to be, about George Lucas's odd choice of having number titles for student films: such as 1966's 1:42.08 & 1967's 6-18-67. I thought, it was a joke, until, I realize those, were really the names of some of his early works. I do remember, when this short film, came out. To correspond with the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, George Lucas released "Special Editions" of the better edited versions of the Star Wars trilogy to theater. It was a massive hit, so George Lucas decide that the time was right for a new set of films to come out: the Prequels (1999-2004) to capitalize on the new growing technology, and ever growing fan-base. A lot of people were stoke for anything, Star Wars relate. So when this short movie came out. It was got a lot of attention. Not only was it passed around Hollywood offices as a filmmaker's "calling card", but it was one of the first short film to become widely distributed on the Internet and became a media sensation for a short time. It is generally thought of, as one of, if not the first viral film property. The film was directed by Joe Nussbaum, it tells the story of a young George Lucas (Martin Hynes) a USC college student in 1967, suffering from writer's block as he tries to write a script about space agriculture. It wasn't until, he met his muse, Marion (Lisa Jakub) that he started to get ideas from the people around him. It's a very fun watch. Everywhere he goes, we get to see characters that either resemble, or will influence the creation of his future works. It has a lot of pretty clever comedy. I love how his professor has a weird speech syntax that George, at first, couldn't understand. The twist toward the end, was laugh out funny. While, the short movie is play off, as laughs. There are some truths in this film. I love how the Jedi Knights concept came from the drug culture of the time and the opening of new wave thinking. The whole Rebel Alliance idea came from the student protest of the 1960s of the Vietnam War. The whole evil Galactic Empire stigma, came from bureaucracy corporate greed, within the film industry. The movie even touch, George Lucas's love for car-racing. For an 8 minute film, you really get to know, and understand, the times, in which George Lucas grew up in. I just wish, it was longer, and had more references or characters cameos, such as Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg. After all, he did kinda met him, toward the end of 1967/beginning of 1968. One big mistake that the film, kinda got wrong, was the whole Howard the Duck gag. This urban legend is kinda false. In truth, Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik were the actual creators of the Howard the Duck comic, not Lucas. George Lucas only served as a producer for the movie adaption and had no involvement with the creation of the character. The movie was beautiful shot. You find a lot of George Lucas's Easter eggs style of filmmaking here. A good example is the Wilhelm Scream, when the fielder get his hand, slice. Another one is the overused of wipe transitions. The acting is pretty good. The guy that plays George Lucas, does look the part. It's so surreal. I have always love Lisa Jakub. I love her work in 1996's Independence Day & 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire. She's so cute. I'm really surprise that none of the main actors, were on, to bigger well-known films, after this. I really shock that, this movie never got a sequel, after the prequels. It would have been, nice to see, a short film of George Luca's later life in the style of 1941's Citizen Kane. The film is somewhat dated. Star Wars has since expand to ever more films, since Disney got the rights in 2013. It's weird, watching this movie, in today's world where George Lucas doesn't get so much praise. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of fans that still love George Lucas, but a lot of them, have really went overboard on the Lucas hating. Many of them, fans blame the perceived faults of the series on Lucas's refusal to accept creative input from others, his infamous cheesy writing, his over-marketing greed and his ever wanting altering of his previous works. While, they're somewhat right. I do believe that, they're letting their hatedom, destroy how much good George Lucas has done for film lovers. Call me, nostalgia, but I wish for a time, where the hatred for the man, wasn't that strong. After watching this film, you can't help seeing, how much the fanboys who made this movie, endure the man. In the end, I kinda wish that would return. George Lucas shouldn't be hated. Overall: He's deserve more respect, than what some fans, are treating him, with. I glad, that Lucas is a fan of this movie, having sent a congratulatory letter to the filmmakers, which they show in a hidden easter egg on the DVD. The movie is easy to find on the internet. If you're a fan of George Lucas, go see this movie. I recommended it. You wouldn't be, disappointed.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma mia, here we go again, my my, I wish you were, a better host. The movie wasn't bad, but it's wasn't good.
No Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! More! I can't stand you anymore. Mamma Mia, now I really know, my my, I can let you go. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, the movie is pretty mediocre. Don't get me wrong, I love the Swedish pop group band, ABBA and their songs. "Lay all your love on me", "Fernando", "Dancing Queen" and "Mamma Mia" are all in my music playlist. I even love musicals, but I was never a huge fan of this Broadway hit. I'll give you, my reasons why. Like the stage musical, the movie doesn't mixed the songs with the story that well. Honestly, what does a story about 20-year-old, bride, Sophie Sheridan. (Amanda Seyfried) who invite three of her mother's ex-boyfriends: Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgard), and Harry Bright (Colin Firth), to her wedding in Greece, so that she can find out, who her father is; have to do with ABBA!? It doesn't. Honestly, I don't know why the movie isn't set, during the disco era. The movie is apparently set in the early 2000s, way past, ABBA's popularity. I guess, the movie is supposed to feel nostalgia, but the settling of Greece as the backdrop wasn't much help. Greece is a beautiful country, and the movie shot the locations, very well, but it never felt like, the place channel the feeling of ABBA. I don't know, why the movie wasn't set in Sweden, in all places. When, I think of ABBA, I think of Stockholm. Sadly, if anything, this movie should had just went into biopic musical route, like 2014's Jersey Boys and have the movie be about the band, rise and fall. It would make a better film. This jukebox musical feels like it was written by drunk people who just went through a Marryoke. Somehow, they thought that partaking in drunken karaoke with a wedding theme, would make a good musical! And you know what? It doesn't work. Jukebox musicals movie like 2007's Across the Universe & 2001's Moulin Rouge work, because they took time, to make sure, the songs they use, have some connection with that of what happening on screen. They use it to add depth, and feeling. In this film, the ABBA songs feel like distractions. The songs were so random. It was obvious that they were thrown, willy-nilly. They even add songs to pointless comedy characters that hasn't nothing to do with the main story. It just there to add to the run-time. The songs rarely fuel any real deep emotion, or make us understand anything about any of the main characters. Honestly, I still don't know, anything about Sophie and her relationship with the groom, Skye (Dominic Cooper), after their song number and they're supposed to be the main focus. The movie is just careless, about the wedding sub-plot. It almost seems, secondary to the sub-plot of Sophie's mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), getting back with one of her exes. The movie has one of the weakest reason to conflict, I have ever saw in a film. They is really nothing much in stalk. I don't want to ruin the whole ending, but it's really stupid. There was no reason for the odd twist. I really hope, people got their money, back if they helped fund this wedding. This was an utter waste. Another fault of the film comes from the acting, and singing. Amanda Seyfried is OK in her role, but her character is such a clueless idiot, that I stopped caring for her. I was really hoping for Skye to leave her for another woman. I really couldn't stand with most of her bad decision making. Meryl Streep as Donna was ridiculous. It's nice to see that, she was having a lot of fun with this film, but I wish, she took her singing a little more serious. It's sound so mediocre. The worst singing, has to be Pierce Brosnan. This was his Waterloo. He can't carry a tune. It was painful to watch. The other supporting characters are just there for comedy relief, and in my opinion, takes way too much time away from the main characters of the film. I really couldn't get behind, seeing middle aged people doing god-awful dance moves with over the top costumes, while squeeing and giggling like schoolgirls. It really hurt my eyes and ears. I don't want to see this dancing queen. The movie has a problem with being way too cheerful, hamming and upbeat. Its reasons like that, the movie fails to be, really funny. Don't get me wrong, it's OK to have an upbeat story, but the movie could have play more on the misery of setting up a wedding, to a higher degree. There was so much, they could had done, to make the movie, funnier. It feels disappointing. I do love the cameos of the band, ABBA as Benny Andersson appears as a piano player during "Dancing Queen." Bjorn Ulvaeus appears as a member of the Greek Pantheon during "Waterloo." It's nice to see them, again. Overall: There are better chick flicks musicals out there, ones that are smart, funny, dramatic, even groundbreaking, but Mamma Mia isn't that. This film is disjointed, clichés, nonsensical, and fairly cheesy. I don't recommended. Just buy the Mamma Mia soundtrack if you want to hear ABBA songs.
This French film, about unlikely friendship, is amour with its viewers! It can't be touch!
While the movie isn't that high in Avant-garde art, it's still hold Avoirdupois with its audience. Inspired by a 2004's documentary film entitled 'A la vie, a la mort', that tells the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his French-Algerian caregiver Abdel Sellou. The movie directed & written by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano, tells the story of a young trouble Senegal man from the Paris projects named Driss (Omar Sy). While, he has no ambitions to get a job, he finds himself in a job interview. The reasons why is because for him to continue to receive welfare benefits, he has to apply to, at least, one job and get rejected. Instead of being rejected by the employer; wealthy quadriplegic, Philippe (François Cluzet), hires Driss as a caretaker. The reasons why, is because, Phillippe believes that Driss is the only person, that treat him like a normal person. That, and Phillippe feels that Driss just conning the welfare system that he helps pay for. While, Driss, at first uninterested in the job and his lack of professional experience shows, Driss does well, overtime, caring for Philippe, even if his methods are unconventional. Soon an unlikely friendships grows as both men, help each other with their trouble lives. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I have to say, the movie is both very charming and moving. It's a feel good movie. Maybe, a little too, feel good. The reasons why, I say this, is because the film, feels like its missing deeper drama that should have been tackle in the film. In my opinion, the movie doesn't really dig too deep into the complexity of their friendship. The socio-economic divisions that separate Philippe and Driss aren't substantively explored, enough. Yes, the movie show the different between both men, in the fields of art, music, and social activities, but it never goes any deeper. Call it, nitpicky, but I really wanted them to tackle, the issues of wealth, race and physical abilities, more. Another fault of the film is how predictable, it is. It's so predictable, that you knew that third act, break-up was going to happen. You know, that they were going to make up and find themselves, as friends, again. There isn't anything really new that makes this film stand out. I saw this premise, in other films before, like 2009's Blind Side, 2009's Soloist, and others. It's basically the French version of the 'White savior' & 'Magic Negro' narrative in one film. Despite, all those little complains, this movie is way higher than any of those films, I listed. This movie offers valuable reminders about how you can't assume anything about anyone regardless of their wealth, race, or physical abilities. The movie is shot, very well. A good example of this was the interview sequence. When the camera pans over the men waiting for the job interview, it goes for their shoes. All highly polished, combined with ironed trousers and then it reaches a pair of worn out shoes, in which Driss is shown in establishing shot. With this simple trick audience knows how much he doesn't fit there. Very clever. The movie pacing is in good hands. I never really got bored, watching it. It doesn't go too long, or too short. The movie is fantastically acted. Both actors were great in their roles. As an American that knows little to no French; I found the French to be easy to listen to. The French dialogue is pretty clever. You don't need to know, much about the country, to get into the film. Also, the French doesn't sound rude, or uber romantic. It doesn't go, too fast that you can get lost. The subtitles are nearly in the same pace and really helps if you do. Despite, the language barrier, the movie is surprisingly a very funny film. I have to say, the whole cop chase, and the cutting of the beard, were the highlights of the film, because how laugh out funny, it was. The movie also have a great choice of music. I love the use of classical music, R&B, and others. It's nice to hear the band, Earth, Wind, and the Fire, again. It's no wonder why France selected the feel-good movie as its 2012 submission to the Academy Awards for best foreign language film, but I was deeply surprise, it didn't make the list. It's weird in a way, since the film was the most acclaimed movie of that year from Europe. The Weinstein Company, which distributed the film in the US was unhappy with the results. They note, the failure, came because, how unfamiliar the film was, to US audience and how people might mistake the film for being racist, due to the concept, of a poor black caretaker taking care of a rich white man. While, some American critics see a modern-day version of a black domestic and his white master, I see it as a movie about friendship. Like many French people, I don't find this movie offensive. I really hope, other Americans don't think so as well. While, the film has begun to receive more American attention with it having a prominent place on Netflix's Foreign Movies list. It's still clear, that more Americans need to see this film. If not, Weinstein Company might end up making an Americanized remake of this film. As of this writing, it's up in the air, if that remake is going to be good or not. I hope it is. If you like this movie, also check out, the memoirs, "You Changed My Life" & "A Second Wind". Overall: This movie is a witty and sweet. It's must-watch. I do recommended. You will have a lot of fun, watching it.
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Two Words to describe this movie: Jupiter descending
If you ever wonder what Cinderella meets Star Wars would look like it. It would be this film. This space opera movie is awful. You can tell, by the opening scenes that these two genres don't really match that, well. Directed and written by the Wachowski's siblings, Lana & Andy, the movie tells the story of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an ordinary maid that finds herself, in the middle of a millennia-old cosmic sibling's rivalry for the control of Earth and its people. It turns out that Jupiter is really the queen of Earth -- and she alone has the power to save mankind and stop the evil House of Abrasax. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I'll be upfront and give the movie, some credit. The movie had potential with its somewhat original sci-fi concept, about a rich alien dynasty wanting to destroy Earth for a youth serum. You can tell the Wachowskis put the time and effort into bringing their space fantasy to life. Lots of world-building, drawing on science, folklore, 1950's pulp sci-fi and religion help create a semi plausible and yet mythic, type of a world. It's has that epic type of a look. After all, the story was partly inspired by Lana's favorite books, the Odyssey and the Wizard of Oz. You get to witness the beautiful CGI visual effects, nice costumes, and grand soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. All of that, makes it, amazing, but sadly, with all that; the concept was still badly delivered. I think the weakest part of the film has to be the acting. Don't get me wrong, I like Mila Kunis, she's beautiful and funny, but she can't act. She has zero feeling in her voice. As Jupiter, she doesn't offers a good balance of naiveté and determination. Her character is very stupid for a supposedly smart person. She always asking questions for things that have already been spoken to her. Wowhow klutzy. She's more a damsel in distress, than a female empowering sci-fi lead. Her character is also very unsympathetic, as the movie made her seem like a bimbo, for allow her eggs to be harvest for money. The hero, wolf-man, alien warrior, Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) is dull. The movie gave his character, a cool, backstory that was rarely touch upon, by the plot. It was kinda a disappointment. Tatum isn't a bad actor, he's just remains stony faced and kinda bland, most of the time, here. For his character, has little to do, besides saving Jupiter, time after time and being force to love Jupiter, despite having little to no connection with each other. He felt like the space version of 2008's Twilight, Edward Cullen, with his dead-like appearance. Tatum looks so sidesplitting bad with the awkward makeup and elf like ears. A lot of people might like his space-like boot skates, but I found them, to be a bit silly. The three villains were very over the top to the point, they were more laughable than sinister. Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) felt more like eye-candy, than anything else. For a villain, she's really doesn't add much to the story, besides speaking exposition. I was really hoping for a bigger part for her. Instead, she kinda felt, not needed. Douglas Booth as Titus was a little better. To his credit, he does play the playboy decently to the degree that the ridiculous writing allowed and overall he seems to have made the best of a bad situation. The idea that he would try to force Jupiter to marriage with him, so that he would gain her inheritance seem a bit dated. That trope clearly has been overdone too death. I felt like it was insulting my intelligent. Balem (Eddie Redmayne), was just awful. His appearance is baffling. His choice of acting is so soft-spoken, that you can barely understand, what he is saying. Supporting characters actors like Sean Bean felt like he was just phoning it in than acting. He clearly looks like he didn't want to be there. All the characters are so shallow and lifeless. They're histories are explained and they clearly have fleshed out back stories, but they feel more like caricatures. Their relationships between them so thin that the various twists and betrayals simply fall flat. Another fault of the movie is the lack of detail to the story, despite hundreds of scenes of long exposition dialogue. There will be tons of head scratching plot-holes. Too many to count. Without spoiling it, there seem to be a lot of important themes and subplots cut from the film, due to executive meddling, like how the movie change the idea of rapturing to harvesting. I guess, they didn't want to angry Catholics. The movie seem to want to tackle a lot of philosophical underlying themes ideas like indulgences and consumerism, but in the end, Jupiter Ascending loses sight of the things that make it interesting, like its views on cosmic identity & what it means to be human. Instead, the movie gives way to sequel baiting. It focus on way too many complex things to put into one movie. The Wachowskis were basically shoveling every character and plot thread they could think of into a single film rather than focusing on one concise narrative that could easily introduce us to a world the way, their previous good film, 1999's The Matrix did. The studio felt that it wasn't that good, enough as a franchise and stopped marketing the movie. It then, resigned it to the Feb. released date, two years after production has wrapped up. The results were as to be expected with this becoming the Wachowskis biggest box-office disaster since 2012's Cloud Atlas and effectively destroying their reputation. Overall: I have to say, this giant of a movie is like the planet; full of gas & nothing really solid. Those contemplating watching Jupiter Ascending has to know, to go in with low expectations to enjoy the film. I really can't recommended watching.
This movie didn't fail. It was very successful in being a cold war thriller.
This was an excellent film. Directed by Sidney Lumet, and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The movie portrays a fictional account of a Cold War nuclear crisis, in which the Strategic Air Command (SAC) sees a threat on its radar screen and scrambles its bombers to "fail-safe points" to investigate whether it is a Russian incursion. When the threat turns out to be harmless, and most of the bomber groups are ordered to return home. However, SAC's computer mistakenly transmits a "go code" to one of the bomber groups, leaded by Colonel O'Grady (Edward Binns) ordering them to enter Russian airspace and drop their nukes on Moscow. Now, without any way, to connect the aircraft, due to Soviet radio jamming. The SAC, the Pentagon, and the President of The United States (Henry Fonda) must find a way keep the situation from escalating and keep Grady from reaching his target. The movie and book was made in the aftermath of 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis, so it was no surprised that it got a lot of notice. A lot of Americans at the time, were already on the edge, and books and films like Fail Safe, feed that fear. But as time, went by, the public fear of nuclear war, became a little too much for some people, due to the oversaturate of it, by the media. Not a lot of people went to see this ultra-realistic movie, because of that. In my opinion, I think it was just bad timing as the Civil Rights & the Vietnam War started to become more of a focus by the public. I think Stanley Kubrick got it right with 1964's Dr. Strangelove, and play his film, more like an escapism comedy, than drama, so it wouldn't damage his film's box office potential. Kubrick also decided to throw a legal wrench into Fail-Safe's production gears, stating out how Fail-Safe's own 1960 source novel Fail-Safe had been plagiarized from Peter George's Red Alert, to which Kubrick owned creative rights, and pointed out unmistakable similarities in intentions between the characters. Due to this law suit, Fail-Safe opened eight months behind Dr. Strangelove, when it was settled out of court. It hurt the film, badly. I have to give this movie, some credit. It's hard to do a straight intense film, after a film completing lampoon Fail Safe's plot, but they did pull it off. The film was shot in black and white, in a dramatic, theater-stage-play format with claustrophobic close-ups, use of sharp shadows and ponderous silence occasionally between several characters. There was no musical underscoring nor was any music played. I love how time is shown by title cards. It add more to the uneasiness. I love how the movie is full of action and suspense, without a lot of scenes depicting violence. Due to the US military, not allow them to film, real-life, bomber planes. The movie use the best of stock footage to portray the air battles. Also, the audience mostly see the progress of the attack in an Atari like video program exclusively on giant, electronic maps overlooking the War Rooms. Surprising this prop, kinda works. I love how little sets, there are. The film mostly takes place largely in the SAC war room, the White House underground bunker, the Pentagon war conference room, and a single bomber cockpit. I love how the Soviets are never seen; we only hear from them, from their voices, and from pictures. You really sense, how isolated, these nations leaders are, from each other and from their own people. When, they do talk, I love the small conversations over the phone scenes, between these leaders. While, in real life, these phone hot-lines, were more like full-time duplex wire telegraph circuit, you still get the suspense builds through well written dialog between the President and other officials. The acting by all the actors, throughout the film is amazing. Henry Fonda as the President brings just the right blend of authority and humanity to the role. I really could see him as a real-life president. Larry Hagman was really good as the President's Russian language interpreter, Buck. His mannerisms, such as the blink of his eyes, are very much in evidence as his way of conveying to the President what the Soviet Party Chairman is saying and thinking. Another standout was Walter Matthau whom played Professor Groeteschele, a sinister 'Devil's Advocate" civilian adviser loosely based on Herman Kahn, a founder of the New York Hudson Institue. It's weird to see him in a role like this. I know him, best as the man typecast in later comedy roles. Counterbalancing him is Dan O'Herlihy as Colonel Black, the voice of reason. The Black character is a framing device for the entire film; it is his recurring nightmare about the matador that opens the film and it is the reality of that nightmare that ends it. By a cruel irony, he becomes Death itself, and his tragedy is the tragedy of progressive thought. Without spoiling the bittersweet ending, I love each scene freezes, as if something bad is about to happen. Lots of 'sacred bull AKA machine' symbolism. Still, the movie does have other 'bull' moments. One big criticize is how the "fail safe" command sequence was misinterpreted and how the movie ends. I saw it as alright, but other critics found it, too gritty. What I didn't like about the film is why certain scenes weren't cut. I didn't the scene, where Groeteschele drives the woman, home. It didn't add much to the plot. It could had been replace by the delete computer room scene that was needed. Despite that, the movie was good. It was even remade for a 2000 TV film. Overall: A must-watch. Showcasing the coldest season of the Cold War, this film still has the power to send a shiver up people's spine.
I got some good words for this documentary! It's smart and it's pretty good!
This movie is a love letter to crossword puzzle lovers! This movie is intelligent, cultured, suspenseful, and lot of fun to watch. I know that this movie will be appreciated by those gamers. Directed by Patrick Creadon, the documentary go into deep detail, what it takes to compete in one of the world's toughest words tournaments and on what makes a good crossword puzzle champion. Without spoiling it, the final championship round was incredibly intense, and watching it was just, edge of your seat, thrilling. Mad props to those crosswords contenders feature in this film. People like three-time champion and professional puzzle-maker Trip Payne. Other people like Al Sanders, the middle-aged man who never seem to rank above third or the prodigious twenty-year old Tyler Hinman. They're all very well-informed. Scrabble and spelling bees require knowledge of a lot of words, but crosswords require unlimited facts, encyclopedic knowledge, and an ability to figure out the author's unstated assumptions about the nature of the clues. The movie structured remind me of two similar documentaries, 2002's Spellbound & 2004's Word Wars, in which the movie shows us, an inside look at a few of the contenders, and then see them compete against each other in the finals. Just with that along, the movie seem very standard, and doesn't really shine; but a few differences, do make this movie stand out from the rest. One big different, is that this movie introduces interviews with a lot of celebrities fans, such as Senator Bob Dole, President Bill Clinton, comedian Jon Stewart, filmmaker Ken Burns, baseball player, Mike Mussina, writer, Daniel Okrent, and singers, the Indigo Girls. While, the celebs interviewers, don't really effect, the story of the competitors. They do, give a lot of insight on how popular, crosswords are. They serve as filler. Nothing more than that. I do have to say, that the film is a bit biased, when it comes to who makes the best crosswords puzzles; all the interviewers are praising how New York Times's editor Will Shortz is, and how the New York Times is the top dog and flag bearer for good Crosswords puzzles. I really doubt that. Some really good interesting puzzles have come from widely-distributed American newspapers such Washington Post, Boston Globe, & USA Today. In my opinion, the most challenging English ones have come from international venues, such as the Times, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian & Sunday Express from the U.K. Also a lot of those good puzzles have also been found in magazines, internet sites, and even dollar store puzzle books. Will Shortz does a good job as a crossword editor, but he's no better than any other crossword publisher. I love him, reading the hate mail. That was a highlight. Don't get me wrong, New Year Times have great puzzles. I love, the ones that they showcase, here. My favorite has to be the 1996 "Election Day" crossword made by math professor, Jeremiah Farrell. I love how both Dole and Clinton remember that on the day after their presidential campaign, one clue asked for the name of the winner. Diabolically, the correct seven-letter word could be either Clinton or Bob Dole. That one is pretty crafty. Sadly, the movie doesn't really focus, too many of these. Most of the good ones are in the bonus section on the DVD with the "Every Word" music video by Gary Louris & the "Waiting for the New York Times," a short film by Patricia Erens. I felt all that, should had been added to the film. I think, another highlight from the film, is seeing famous puzzle constructor Merl Reagle, creating a daily crossword right in front of the camera, and explaining the logic behind it. I also love the idea of seeing the contenders & celebrities try to do that crossword puzzle in 2 minutes or least in one especially ingenious montage, with interlocking shots. Director Patrick Creadon made it easier to understand what's happen on screen, with graphics that show us crossword grids with the problem areas highlighted, and then we see the letters being written in. During the final championship round, with three contenders working on giant crosswords on a stage, he makes their progress easy to follow, by showing each person's process. I love how the movie is edit, each sequence kinda connect with each other, with narrative word phrasing. I love how one guy mentioning Barry Bonds, and the film cuts to stock baseball footage of interviewer Mike Messina shutting down Bonds in a baseball game. Very clever. The movie has a lot of good information, but a few things are so dated like the Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut, being the event place. It's no longer, as increasing popularity, causes it to be moved in 2008, into the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York, but beginning in 2015 the tournament will again be played in Stamford. I also love how Will Shortz says Pluto is a planet. It made me laugh, how incorrect some of these clues to the puzzles, are. Another is how computers can't do crosswords puzzles. In 2012, a robot call Dr. Fill compete in that tournament against Tyler Hinman. Another problem of the film is the lack of diversity, feature. I think a lot of minorities play crosswords puzzles, too, but the film doesn't showcase, many of them. I wish, they did. Another fault is some of what the celebrity talking heads are honestly saying. Ken Burns looks like a kook, & Jon Stewart really doesn't add much, besides yelling. It's somewhat disappointing. Other than that, the movie is pretty good. I love how the film influence, a 2008 episode of The Simpsons, "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words". Overall: Words connect us, and you can see, all its glory, here with this documentary. It's a must-watch.
Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
No luck, here. This movie is not a pot of gold. It's a pot of shite.
F*** you, lucky charms! Honestly, all the Leprechaun films are pretty bad. These movies are so embarrassingly awful, that I really wonder how something like this gets rebooted. Directed by Zach Lipovsky and produced by World Wrestling Entertainment AKA WWE films, Leprechaun: Origins tells, the story of a group of unsuspecting Americans backpacking, through Ireland. They soon, came across a sinister town, hiding a dark secret and a mysterious creature trying to hunt them down. Without spoiling too much, the movie has potential, but sadly, getting rid of the comedy elements was a really bad idea. This film goes for serious scary tone, instead of going for campy-horror schlock. In my opinion, this is not a film franchise to try do a 'legitimate' serious horror film. After all, it's about a Leprechaun for goodness sakes. I really miss, Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun. Davis had some really funny one-liners in the previous films. By not having him in this movie, made the film, a little more boring. It's OK that the movie focus more on the lore, but the leprechaun in this film doesn't even look like that, as well. They're supposed to look like fairies in Irish folklore. Most, usually depicted the leprechaun as a little old man, wearing a coat and hat, who partakes in mischief, but this movie depicted them as naked Orc like creatures who speaks in animal-like groans. It was a bit disappointing because actor/wrestler Dylan Postl better known under his ring name Hornswoggle is known for playing a Leprechaun on TV. He does have some acting chops. If you're a Hornswoggle fan, well, you're out of luck. He doesn't have one line nor do you ever see his face. He so generic in this role, he looks stupid in it. Hornswoggle is in a full prosthetic suit far too large for him. The fore-arms and legs are too long and you can see where it bends. The film is jarring in the way, he was shot. They try to hide the poverty of a rubber suit by using only quick, blurry shots of the monster. Not only, is it embarrassing, it gave me a headache. Whenever the monster shows up, we can never tell what's going on, due to how blurry, it is. This is a major huge red flag. The movie is full of shaking cam, obfuscated shots, pitch dark scenes, and awkward quick cuts. It's also funny to see that the killer cam shot has thermal vision and infrared vision as if similar to the one in 1987's Predator. Does that mean that the Leprechaun came from the same planet as the Predator? Anyways, all the crappy shots make the movie really unwatchable for the most part. The only good shots of the film is the overview shots of the lush Irish countryside. The actors playing the Irish town folks were alright, even if they playing the Irish stereotypes, way too well. Garry chalk as Hamish is by far, the best thing, about this film. The actors playing the American backpackers were alright in their acting, but they come across as very dull. The writers, didn't the actors really given anything to stand out. Most of their dialogue is pretty dumb. A good example of this, was the line 'You got a pretty mouth', a 1972's Deliverance film reference line that somehow got into an Irish movie. I know, it's supposed to represent how the backpackers felt about the local town folks, but it comes across, as ignorant, seeing how they're in Ireland, not the Deep South. For a WWE movie, I was really shock that both well-known Irish wrestlers Dave 'Fit" Finlay & Stephen Farrelly AKA Sheamus wasn't in it. They would make this film, a little more interesting. Despite being Rated R, there is lack of harsh-language, little to no gore, and no nudity. The special effects were mediocre, at best. It's quite cheap looking. The movie ends with a chances of sequel. It could happen, I hope not though. This had an extremely limited theatrical run, before going onto DVD. Overall: A film you might regret watching. Completely unengaging, and not bad enough to be funny. This franchise has gone to the deep end of the rainbow. Dirt-poor, and I watch a lot of WWE films. Avoid. This movie is far from magically delicious.
My Favorite Brunette (1947)
I hope this movie was alright and it was. I wasn't disappointment.
It's a favorite. Directed by Elliott Nugent, My Favorite Brunette is the second of Bob Hope's 'My Favorite' series of films. While, it's doesn't serve a sequel or a prequel to any of the other 'My Favorite' films: 1942's My Favorite Blonde and 1951's My Favorite Spy. It's still pretty good, in their own right. While, 'My Favorite' film chain is not as famous as the 'Road towherever' series of Bob Hope's films; I found these series of film to be a lot more clever in its writing compare to Bob Hope & Bing Crosby's 'The Road' films. Scripted by Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose, the movie tells the story of children photographer Ronnie Jackson (Bob Hope), whom secretly fantasizes about being a private detective. When a lovely baroness, Carlotta (Dorothy Lamour), actually mistakes him for one and asks him to help locate her missing husband, Baron Montay (Frank Puglia), Ronnie finds himself madly in love, and agree to assist. What comes next is, a series of danger, comedy, and misfortunes, as Ronnie find out, that maybe pretending to be a private eye wasn't a good idea. Without spoiling the film, the movie has a lot of cool twist and turns, that make this film, very watchable, even in today's high standards. While, there are a few things that seem a little dated and corny, for the most part, the jokes were really good hits to the funny bone. Bob Hope could always be relied upon to bring us the laughs with even the most average script but in this film he excels as he is given some great material to work with and certainly makes the most of it, due to his great timing. A good example of this, is the game of golf with somebody who isn't all there. That was indeed, the highlight of the film. I love all Bob Hope's comebacks and witty wisecracks, one liners. I love, how he broke down the fourth wall in the middle of a movie and talk directly to the audience. That was pretty rare to see in, those days. Another is the several in-jokes scattered through the movie about big actors playing minor roles, aim at both his friends, Alan Ladd & Bing Crosby, whom cameo in the film. I like how he deconstruct the film noir genre, but references other detective films. I love how the film is almost a spoof on the hardboiled detective fiction movies of Director John Huston's 1941's movie, The Maltese Falcon and Director Stuart Heisler, the Glass Key. You can see a lot of authors Raymond Chandler & Dashiell Hammett's detective novels in this film. He even made fun of some of the genre funny tropes and often over-used film clichés. The voice over narration is spot on, making fun of that, type of filmmaking. Even sexual innuendos got past the radar of censorships, due to how clever hidden, they were. A good example of this, is the house of 'Joes'. Still, there were a bit, over acting. I couldn't get behind Bob Hope's character awkward love subplot with the baroness. It seem a bit forced. Dorothy Lamour was pretty good in her role, as the straight girl to Hope's funnyman. She indeed makes a great femme fatale with her crazy look. While, she might be, out there, she was very easy on the eyes. She was so good, that I often mistake the actress for Oscar Winner, Bettie Davis, best known taking crazy women roles. Like Hope's character would say, about Lamour's character, "Nutty as a fruitcake, and with all that beautiful frosting". Dorothy Lamour did a good job. The supporting cast is just as amazing. I love how Lon Chaney Jr. seems to be channeling Lennie from 1939's Of Mice and Men. While, his character is bit, way dumb down. He was lovable & charming. I also have to give mad props to Peter Lorre as Kismet. Peter Lorre in full on evil henchmen mode. I love the way, he cover his tracks, using humor as a way to get out of sticky environment. His character is a knife throwing, light-fingered henchman who Ronnie amusingly calls "Cuddles", and he's awesome. The movie is also full of pretty good car chases. While, the movie doesn't have much action in it, there were enough intense suspense sequences to keep you on the edge of your seat. Still, there were some faults. One is the confusing plot. I don't believe, the movie does a really good job, explaining the exposition, well. It doesn't help that Bob Hope's character isn't bright or well-observation. The movie moves in such a clumsy, clutch like matter. Another fault of the film is how the film entered the public domain in the USA in 1975, due to the copyright claimant's failure to renew the copyright registration. Since it's in the public domain, it would mean that anybody can copy off the original film footage, which hasn't aged well. This would, make some copies of 'My Favorite Brunette' very terrible to watch. The quality of some prints, are so full of dirt, it's hard to figure out, what's going on. Others, could be so dark and inferior that it distracts from enjoying the film. The good things about it, being public domain, is the fact that it isn't that hard to find. It has been widely available on home video, with most copies varying in alright picture and sound quality to pretty bad. The movie is also, easy to find on Youtube and other media sharing sources. Overall: While, the movie isn't as popular as the previous film, its sure is a lot better than 1951's My Favorite Spy. Hope's comedic timing could not have been better. I don't know, why they never made, another one of these films. I was really hoping for a film called, 'My Favorite Redhead.' Anyways, I do recommended watching this film. It's worth it.
The movie, Chappie is indeed artificial indifferent for some people. It was a robot flop.
Chappie is indeed the black sheep of robot sci-fi movie. A lot of people found this movie directed by Neill Blomkamp to be un-artificial unintelligence. While other people found the movie to be, pretty fun to watch cautionary tale, despite its huge faults. I kinda like this movie. While, it didn't live up to 2009's District 9, it has its good social commentary, cool action, alright music and funny moments. Based off, Neill Blokamp's short trailer/film Tetra Vaal and set in Johannesburg, in a chaotic near-future, Chappie tells the story of a rogue, police force sentient robot created by Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), named Chappie (Voiced by Sharlto Copley) whom trying to find purpose in its short life, while being raised by two criminals, Ninja (Watkin Jones) & Yolandi Visser (Anri du Toit) AKA the real-life, rap group with the same names, Die Antwoord. Only given, a week to live, Chappie discovers both the best and worst of humanity, while also trying to prevent his own demise. While, a lot of people are comparing this film to a mixed between 1987's RoboCop & 1988's Short Circuit 2. I see it, more like 1940's Pinocchio, in a way, that Chappie's pure naïve side shows through his curiosity and friendliness toward everyone he meets, while his more adult side shows in his adopting of urban culture and wielding weapons. The character of Chappie alone makes this one worth the price of admission. The opening of the film tells us that police robot's existence radically alters the world, but what we aren't told is how it came to be this way. I don't know why Blomkamp set Chappie in 2016. Having a cameo from real life reporter, Anderson Cooper at the start of the film does make it seem a bit realistic, but I really doubt: crime will be that bad, that robotics in 2016 will so advice as they portray in the film. That is left up to our imagination for now, but it's very doubtful, that the future will be, like that. The movie might have a Sci-Fi connection to his previous films like 2009's District 9, and 2013's Elysium. You do see some Easter eggs references to the events of District 9, like the bulletproof vest, and foreshadowing references like Hippo, used in Elysium, but it's really hard to connect, these films, in one universe. There are way, too many differences. To call this film, part of a film series, a trilogy, is an understatement. One big complain about this movie is the lack of logic. Nothing in the film, makes much sense. It's doesn't make sense, how a top security company like Tetra Vaal would be so clueless about the building of Chappie. Main character take reprogramming chip home, spends several days with it, and no one bats an eye. Come on! Did nobody else, besides Hugh Jackson's character knew about that? Wouldn't somebody in the office, figure out that one of their robots were missing? Another thing, I don't understand, why Deon would allow a vulnerable sentient to be raise by gun-waving hijackers, even after being threaten to. He just escape, and the crooks let him be. Yet, he doesn't tell, his company about it. I guess, it's for Chappie's safety, but it's really jarring. Chappie is one of those films about artificial intelligence, but itself lacks it. Another big complain is how awkward, the acting, is. Sharlto Copley was a good lead, as the robot. You really get the guiltless robot tone with his voicing. Still, Chappie does have that repeatable reaction that could be a bit annoying. Dev Patel was alright in the role as Deon Wilson, but there were a few stupid things that he says, that made me, want to punch him in the face. The worst thing had to be supporting characters like Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser who behaved very poorly on screen, and off screen. They're so laughable, but not in a good way. I know, they're supposed to be look tough, but likable, but they come across, as unrealistic annoying and ridiculousness. Their act as being "gangsta" is a complete joke. It's near verging on racist gangsta stereotypes. The film tries to make them sympathetic criminals surviving on the streets, but most people simply found them to be scumbags who manipulated Chappie into a life a crime. It's not good. The character of Hippo play by Brandon Auret is so bad of an actor, that they felt the need to add subtitles for him. His English is really thick. I really don't see any of them, as realistic criminals. They are absolutely horrifically. Another big disappointment is the performance from Hugh Jackman as the villain, Vincent Moore. Hugh Jackman in the film is just a stick in the mud. He's bland as hell. The way, he dress in the film, remind me more of an Animal Channel host than a scientist. Sigourney Weaver is in the film, as well, but her character doesn't really do anything noticeable. Both actors have talent, but there were very misused. The action is alright for the most part, but it was indeed lacking. There isn't many of those. Without spoiling it, the last action sequence was a bit disappointing. The ending is a bit, too out there. I really couldn't get into the whole resurrection sub-plot. It felt a bit rushed. In a sense, it does ask a good answer, which is fitting for the fundamental question of the film, on what consciousness and what a soul is. Overall: Somewhere, buried in the concept of hardened criminals raising a childlike robot is a good idea for a film. Unfortunately, that idea is not well-delivered here. Some critics were brutal on the film. I glad, that most audience opinions have been much more forgiving. It's not a bad film. It's just need a little more love.
The Amazing Bulk (2013)
This movie is amazing at how bad, it is! It's semi-watchable.
The movie is funny, at first, but by the end, it's clearly wore-out its welcome. It's not even that funny for 'it's so bad, it's good'. To the best of my knowledge, the people that made this film are known; cheapskates. They're most famous for making knock-off comic book mockbusters movies like 2008's Metal Man & 2009's The Black Knight Returns; ripping off both 2008's Iron Man & Dark Knight. Both director Lewis Schoenbrun, and producer David Sterling, could really care less, if their movie sucks, as long as they make money off of it, piggy-backing on the publicity of the major film. Yes, it's a shameless con to get audience to watch their films. While, I don't agree, with their tactics, I have to say, it's somewhat works. After all, it got me, curious enough, to check out, how bad, their movies are. After viewing this, I have to say this movie has to be one of their worst looking films, ever. Even the Incredible Hulk character from the comic books thinks it need to be crushed. The movie was made to capitalize on the semi-hit film of 2008's Incredible Hulk, and cheaply made for a 2010 release. The producers didn't find, anybody willing to put it on DVD until mid: 2012. Once again, it was trying to exploit the popularity of the Hulk, when the first Avengers movie came out, also came out that same year. I don't know, who says this movie was release in 2013, because it's clearly not. Having previously produced two other superhero mockbusters, this movie is harmlessly bad, catering a lower budget of your typical Asylum mockbuster. The whole of the movie was filmed in front of a static green screen as if they were trying to go all comic book feel like 2006's 300/2005's Sin City with a computer background, but I think, otherwise. I think they just didn't feel like paying for film locations. Anyways, this meant, when actors had to act, they had to do it in one spot, so that the green screen can work. The attempts to merge it with live action fail embarrassingly. This made walking or running look really awkward. I guess, the computer company only made a few backgrounds that the film makers could use, and so a lot of those locations tend to repeat multiple times. The ones that wasn't made by a computer company, were clearly noticeable. They were NASA stock footage or home video footage of some type of state fair. Then, there are the drawings background that look like a preschooler made it with Microsoft Paint. It's missing a lot of detail. The green screen effects themselves looks dated, as if they were using a 1990s computer graphics model. This meant a lot of cartoonish 3D clip art like animation. Things in the background, looks out of place, in the wrong size, or just there for some oddly done reason. There are just way too many ridiculous objects and animals that get screen time because the CG models were pre-existing. They don't care, if the CG models doesn't makes any sense with what's going on, the screen. The movie has also, so really gimmicky with its transience editing from one shot to the other. It looks weird for the camera is zoom in, or zoom out of objects. Another thing is the monster, Bulk. He looks like a badly made computer animation, California Raisin Michael Chicklas that got beaten by an ugly stick. The CGI Bulk moves in the most non-threaten way, as it's skipping, or speed walking. In close shots, they couldn't use the CGI bulk, so they use a toy prop hand painted purple as a stand-in for him. In other shots, the movie clumsily paint the actor's back purple to make it look like, the Bulk was attacking. Wow- they don't even look the same. The human characters are just as bad with their over the top hammy, or underwhelming delivery. I can't understand, how dumb the one-liners and dialogue is. The movie tries to do some humor, but most of the jokes are misses than hits. The sex jokes are just painful to listen to. The movie pacing drags for moments, throughout the film, just to make sure, the audience gets the joke. The movie is way too long for the simple plot. The movie tells the story of Henry 'Hank' Howard (Jordan Lawson) an ambitious but frustrated young scientist, trying to develop a super human serum designed to improve muscle mass and prolong life expectancy. His boss and father in law, the evil General Darwin (Terence Lording), will not allow Hank to marry his daughter, Hannah (Shevaun Kastl), until the experiment is a success. Against Darwin's wishes, Hank attempts to propose to Hannah, but his life is shattered by a criminal, Dr. Werner von Kantlove (Randal Malone) who just blew up, most of the world, and now plans to blow the moon, due to feeling dejected. Feeling like he has to do something, Hank injects himself with the experimental serum and is transformed into the Bulk. Now it's a quest to stop, Kantlove and save the world, before it's too late. Without spoiling the movie's twist ending. I just have to say, the movie's last action chase scene is the one that broke me. I had to turn it off. It was clear, that film was made to be deliberately appalling with a semi-dull and unoriginal story. Overall: This movie has some entertaining value due to how surreal, the visuals are and it's use of classical music. Other than that, it's a piece of crap.