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(NOTE: There are those I already *know* I will watch in the near future, so Nightmare On Elm Street 5-7 are not on the list)
Anyone is free to offer me more suggestions.
Note: Only movies I rated at least 5.5 or higher in entertainment value can be on a list like this (although the lowest here is a 6). Movies rated lower might still be funny to some extent, but more questionable. Also, at least half of the movie has to be at least amusing, or it's just a bad movie with a handful of good "comedy".
(It has to be mostly unintentional, so the two Jack Frost movies as well as Leprechaun sadly couldn't make the list)
The order doesn't really matter, so I'm not bothering with the numbering this time.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Holy shi't, James Wan!
Are you trying to give me a heart attack?
You want to talk scary? THIS is scary. 2013, Wan came out with another horror movie, called The Conjuring. It didn't take long before it got hailed as one of the best new horror movies. And I couldn't help but agree. I hadn't found a movie so scary in a long time.
Then I today went to the theaters to see the sequel. I was hopeful, despite the common once-is-enough rule when it comes to horror movies. But I gotta say, this movie was fantastic. I loved it even more than the first one! First off, if there's anything Wan knows how to do, it's an opening scene. If you're not invested from the start, it's a little harder to get into a movie meant to be frightening. But he succeeds with exactly that, and I feel exhausted before the title scroll even has shown up. The story when you think about it, is pretty similar to the first, but with the big difference that not only the family with the haunted house in the danger. Ed and Lorraine themselves are too! And I have to give credit for how their characters were developed in this movie. The movie delves very deep into the personalities of them, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga doing an extraordinary job making them likable. They are well-written not only as two people really passionate about their unusual profession, but as a loving and caring couple as well. The scenes where they show their affection for each other are superb.
But of course, I'm mainly here to talk about whether or not it was effective as a horror movie. And it sure as hell was. Jumpscares or not, when you think about it... Doesn't Crooked Man just scare the s'hit out of you? And doesn't it feel disturbingly surreal when a girl suddenly gets the palest face and starts smiling evilly, all while speaking with a rusty old man's voice? And doesn't it make you uneasy when something simply supposed to be a painting comes to life?
The Conjuring 2 is more than just the half-creepy/half-amusing horror movie you watch and then forget about. It's an experience. One that makes you speechless with wonder.
9.5, the rating is only knocked down by a few cheesy moments and (very intermittent) parts of off pacing. I recommend it to anyone desperate for a revival in the genre. Because real horror... is finally back.
Gran Torino (2008)
This movie proves what a wonderful actor Eastwood is.
People raved about this movie, but for a long time I had never seen it. Judging by the title I thought it was a movie about a race car contest and wasn't interested. I read the full synopsis eventually though and finally gave the movie a watch.
And wow, it was fantastic. The script is an intelligent commentary about generational and cultural differences, and the dialogue is some of the most quotable I've ever heard. The directing is subtle, but essentially very effective, and helps strengthen the power of the story. I love the score by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens, which far too often goes unmentioned. The plot revolves around a man (played by Clint) who is very bitter and mostly just keeps to himself. His grand kids are selfish and uncaring, not to mention he went through a horrible war. Hell, his granddaughter literally just waits for him to die so she can inherit the car, a Gran Torino. But when the Hmongs move in next door, his life starts to change...
Seeing Walt Kowalski rant about all kinds of things and talk with people in the most disjointed of ways is not only incredibly entertaining, but also makes for an eminent character study. We might not side with him at first, but as the movie goes on and we learn more about him, he becomes easier to root for thanks to Eastwood's three- dimensional performance. His friendship with Sue is great, and don't you just love it when he mouths off to the street gang by blurting out "What are you spooks up to?". Comedy is something this movie does well too, and it definitely shows through Walt's golden platinum one-liners. I could mention my favorites all day.
The one thing holding this back from a full 10 is one of the actors. I mean, not all of them are great, but I really like Ahney Her and Bee Vang is not as bad as people say. But Christopher Carley on the other hand (who played Father Janovich) was just godawful. That guy should never have made it into the movie. Even a tomato could act more believably than him. So due to Carley's acting, the movie dropped to a 9.5/10. Don't let that stop you though.
You see a little bit of Dirty Harry here, but you also see a shattered, lonely old man in a growing world. Clint has still got it!
88 Minutes (2007)
88 mediocre minutes.
In later years, Pacino has been criticized by people for taking roles in crappy movies and constantly phoning it in. This is one of the most prime examples.
Personally I think the movie is not that awful, but it's certainly severely disappointing. The story is relatively intriguing. Jack Gramm (played by Mr. P) gets a threatening phone call which tells him he only has 88 minutes to live. This is right after he has been a assigned a brutal murder case. Yes, the race-against-the-clock formula has been done a lot of times before, but with the right director and a competent script, it can work. Look at 24 for example, a show which follows that kind of format every episode. But to my dissatisfaction, the plot is a jumbled mess. It starts out pretty good, and someone writing to Jack inside of his classroom his "remaining time" was really creepy. I'm also just as curious as Jack, what could this possibly mean? Who's after him? It doesn't help either that there's quite some controversy since there apparently is proof he has catched the wrong guy... After 30-40 minutes or so however, the movie starts to fall apart. There is an overabundance of people acting suspicious, to such a degree that it gets ridiculous. I mean, what the HELL was up with that motel owner? The scene with him and Jack was so laughably cartoonish. And why is someone attempting a murder on him BEFORE 88 minutes has passed? Isn't there a reason for that running time? As for the actual calculation of time, this is is where it gets incredibly stupid. Either the characters completely spill it by stopping and talking instead of, you know, trying to hurry... or they manage to be SO FAST transpiring between different places that you start to think "What is this, a Marvel movie??". Al Pacino does a decent job. It's for sure the weakest I've seen him in a movie since he sometimes doesn't sound emotional enough when he should be, or has that confused look on his face like he doesn't understand the script... But he still in a sense is the guy I know and love, I blame it on poor directing. John Forsythe is great, even though his character is... uuhm, odd. But as for the REST of the acting... It's all bad. The prisoner, the annoying guy who keeps following Jack, the motel owner... and most of all Leelee Sobeiski and f'ucking Alicia Witt! They were so terrible that whenever they spoke, I felt like my ears were bleeding. Who was the genius that casted these two?! Witt spoke her lines like she was a child, and Sobeiski made me literally squirm in my seat. There is the unintentional comedy keeping this movie sort of afloat. Pacino's hairstyle and his over-the-top behavior had me laughing the whole time, and the scene with the motel owner, as irritating as it was, also was strangely hilarious in its absurdity. Just take this as another Wicker Man and you might be entertained.
An okay movie, but could and should have been a lot better. Only for hardcore Pacino fans. Everyone else will really, really hate it.
Californication: Mia Culpa (2009)
Quite possibly the best episode
Hank Moody always battles with his demons, but here even more so than usual.
The tense atmosphere when Mia and Hank talk is excellently done, you can tell he's screaming inside, wanting to get himself out of the nightmare you call a life he got into. And the scene at the pool where he hallucinates and past flames show up is beautifully directed by Hopkins. You feel with him, it's painful how aware he is that hell will break loose at any moment as something he hoped would be a secret forever now is ready to burst out like an alien bursts out of someone's chest. His angst, anger and frustration over the situation he finds himself into has never been better depicted and Duchovny proves to us once again why he is such a wonderful actor. And it's not only Moody who has a day day, Charlie also does. He gives his career up and declines Sue's offer, only to discover Marcy still hasn't changed her mind about divorcing him. It's incredibly heartbreaking, since you know that without her he's just like Moody: trying to sexually relieve the pain away.
I am sad at the end of many episodes, but if there is one that truly tears me up... it's the ending to Mia Culpa. Hank has literally lost any chance he has gotten at establishing happiness, and the scene where he confesses his crime to Karen... I was shook. The police arrives and we have the song "Rocket Man" playing to describe Hank's despair over losing control over his life and taking the road down to hell... It's so goddamn depressing.
This is up there with the season 1 finale of 24 as the saddest television episode of all time. At worst, Californication is still entertaining. But man, at its best... it's a work of art.
S1m0ne - a film about the realest animated person you'll see
Viktor Taransky is a director who is very ambitious about his work, but both critics and the audience think his movies are awful. The only reason he still makes money is because of his main star. But when the spoiled actor Nicola quits (who is in all of his movies), he has to get a new one. That turns out to be more difficult than he expected, but one day a mysterious figure approaches him and offers up an unusual solution: a computer generated woman...
Al Pacino has a few underrated movies under his belt, and this is one of them. It kinda is a science-fiction comedy, except it interestingly enough is not as far from reality that you'd think. Considering how much technology has advanced and that there already have been several instances of fake "actors" used in movies (like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Salvation), who knows when this actually might become a reality?
The funny thing is that even with his new star, Taransky doesn't seem to accomplish what he wishes for: that people recognize the MEANING of his work, not just the face of them. It's a great satire on how shallow media has become, that stardom and popularity is all that matters, not movie making itself. The obsession goes so far that he gets pressured to make her really appear in front of everybody, which causes problems. The comedy in this movie is well-executed, but if you are looking for non-stop belly laughs this is not where you'll find it. It's very dark, and sometimes the jokes are uncomfortable and sad at the same time as they are funny. You really do feel sorry for Taransky, and Pacino does an absolutely wonderful job playing him. I know this is not his most popular movie, but his performance was Oscar-worthy. The acting from everyone else is mostly, you know, fine. I do however really like Rachel Roberts as Simone, who has a few very funny moments. You can almost understand why she would draw attention, she has that face you don't forget.
There is quite a bit of drama as well, maybe more so than there is comedy. But it's done very well, and Taransky struggling with getting recognition in life and juggling his relationship with ex-wife Elaine and manufactured Simone makes for some heartfelt moments. The dialogue is well-written, almost poetic at times. And the way this movie ended was nothing short of perfect.
I'd say it's very good, in spite of the low rating and negative reviews. This movie won't suit everyone, and might make some people confused or frown. But I suggest you give it a chance if the premise interests you and you want something out of the ordinary.
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
I'm sure a lot of audience members would like their revenge for this movie...
We all knew it would come to this sooner or later. Jaws... is a masterpiece in horror movie making and is considered by many as one of Stephen Spielberg's best (rightfully so). Jaws 2 is decent, flawed but saved by Roy Scheider's great performance. Jaws 3 is... a funny movie.
But then there is Jaws: The Revenge... Why was this movie made? Did they really expect us to go "Oh, that makes sense" at this egregious premise where a shark goes after Martin Brody's wife as revenge? This doesn't make any sense whatsoever considering the shark Martin hunted DIED. All right? He killed him. But considering we now have a shark which is so p'issed off it swims aaaaaaaaaall the way to Bahamas, that has to mean it's another shark who was informed one of his friends died and so now decides to go after Ellen. You might believe this is a joke, but it's not! This is what actually happened!
The acting is a joke. Lorraine Gary is decent for what she has to work with, but the rest? Not very good. I don't remember much about Michael Caine's performance (he probably tried, but the stupid script didn't give anyone good material to work with), but Mario Van Peebles... He was absolutely ABYSMAL! What was up with the hokey slang he had to speak all the time? He sounded like an idiot! Whenever Jake (that's his character's name) was on screen, I was either laughing or shamefully shaking my head.
The shark itself looks... weird. It's very different-looking from the other sharks, although mostly in a negative way. It has a really silly design and makes you chuckle rather than horrified. Christ, the shark in Jaws 3 was at least believable enough to make the movie work. What I'm seeing here though, is a plastic toy. Was the budget a nickel or something?
The worst sin though is how boring this movie is. There are several scenes where you hear these knuckledhead characters "talking" with each other and you are just waiting for it to END already. If you are gonna develop characters... GIVE US CHARACTERS WORTH DEVELOPING!
It's funny because it's so bad... but it's groan-inducing for the same reason. I wouldn't say I don't recommend this movie, but I only recommend it if you want to see something which at least almost is unintentionally funny. If you are looking for what resembles even just an OKAY installment in the Jaws franchise... you've got better shi't to do.
Mister Ed (1958)
A true one of a kind.
This show always brings me a smile in my face. Whenever I watch an episode, I enjoy it not only for the laughs, but also because it's so different. Where there really any shows like this at the time? The plots can go from simple to absolutely outrageous (Mister Ed digging a long tunnel all by himself, nearly going to space, writing his own memoirs) and the chemistry between Mister Ed and Wilbur avoids the clichés of animal-owner relationships we otherwise see. You see, Wilbur never hates Ed for anything he does. And Ed never annoys Wilbur just for the sake of it. Mostly, it's his own silly personal problems which just happen to put Wilbur in trouble as well. And despite how tough Ed can make Wilbur's life, there are several examples (both direct and subtle ones) of how much he loves him. Sometimes he denies it, but whenever his friendship with Wilbur is threatened, he can go crazy and desperately wants to make sure it doesn't have to be that way. And as much as ol' Wil loves his wife, he equally (if not more so) cares about his horse. To quote Ed:
"You love me more than you love your wife, don't you, buddy boy?"
Speaking of quotes, this show is shockfull of great ones. The humor is sometimes subtle, and it happens that I have to think before I get a joke, but then burst out in laughter as soon as I do. Some of the funniest lines I've heard in a sitcom are in this show.
There's a little bit of everything for everyone. And it occasionally gets pretty mature. There are episodes dealing with gender roles, teenage recklessness, making fun of Clint Eastwood, satirizing the peace corps... not to mention there's a lot of clever innuendo. Yep, you heard that right! Most of it comes from Mister Ed and is sometimes so obvious I wonder how they even got away with it, haha. But for those just seeking out that warm, fuzzy feeling, there's plenty of that too. Ed and Wilbur's relationship is truly touching and the chemistry between Allan Lane (who's voicing the horse) and Alan Young is simply amazing. Hell, even the horse itself is a great actor! And aside of those two, we also have Roger and Kay Addison. The hilariously broken couple who somehow still are perfect for each other.
The only flaws I have is that Carol is not a very funny character and can get on my nerves. And I personally think the Kirkwoods were too similar to the Addisons. Anyway, if you are looking for that 60's charm and want something special, Mister Ed is a terrific pick.
I'm hoping it with time gets more recognition! :)
Final Destination 5 (2011)
Decent final destination. Way better than the fourth, for sure.
Remember The Final Destination? Yeah, I prefer not to...
But with this one, they kinda get back-on-track. It's still flawed, but brings back some of what I like about this franchise.
First off, the characters. There were actually some pretty good ones. Sam is far from my favorite, but he's a better protagonist than the previous one. Molly is cute, Nathan is fine too, but best of all is Peter. He was by far the most interesting one, and got some great development in the movie. The actor playing him, Miles Fisher, was absolutely incredible. He gave the character true diversity and was also the most believable one when it came to dealing with death. He acts like a real person would, someone who becomes very down and might even panic. I won't say more than that, but he's a highlight in the movie.
The plot, while not exactly original, has enough new things going for it. For example, Bludworth shows up and informs the group of another trick they can use to (maybe) cheat death. Speaking of Bludworth, I'm glad they brought Tony Todd back. He was at least voicing a roller-coaster announcer in the third, but in part 4 he was absent. And once again, he is a scene stealer. Not only does he have a perfect smooth, creepy voice, but he also has a face you can't forget.
The deaths themselves are for the most part very good. Several of them have pretty intense build-up and I sat there nervous, hoping nothing terrible would happen as most of the characters you can root for. Sometimes it gets pretty damn crazy, and while it often is ridiculous I go along with it and get some solid chills and laughs. But it's not an all-out comedy like TFD is, it does try to be engaging and make you invested in the story. And if you ask me, not a half-bad job. The cinematography is all right. It's not the best I've ever seen, but it's perfectly fine and I really like the lighting in the last scene.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of holdbacks. Like I said, the plot is not so original. I appreciate that they are trying to honor the audience who fell in love with the first, but perhaps they tried a little too hard. There were moments like I felt like I was watching an updated version of the original, which was a little jarring. And not ALL of the characters are good. Olivia and Isaac had some chuckleworthy bits, but for the most part they were just annoying. Olivia in particular was a complete dumbass, who at one point blurted out such a ridiculous comment when everyone was at their most grieving that I wanted to punch her. Isaac was the typical ladies man character which the series always has a tendency to include since the third. The first of them was by far the funniest, Isaac only p'issed me off. He got on my nerves with his obnoxious braindead lines he would blurt out and in all honesty is the character I had least sympathy for.
Final Destination 5 might not be the most memorable of the bunch, but I was satisfied enough that I can safely assure I had an enjoyable time. A worthy watch for all FD fans.
"I miss you... I miss you..."
Finally. FINALLY. This is the movie which completely overwhelmed my expectations and blew me away.
Romance is actually one of my favorite genres, but unfortunately it has let me down a lot more than once. Not the case with Carol. This has a strong possibility of being the best movie of 2015.
Therese is a woman working in a store who has an interest in trains and photography. But her hobbies is not enough to escape her boring and quite uneventful life. Carol has a wonderful daughter and is doing fine financially... but has an husband (whom she is trying to divorce) who won't leave her alone and makes her feel miserable.
These two people meet, and... they connect.
First off, the story itself is already incredibly captivating. It takes place during a time period where homosexuality was not only frowned upon, but there were even laws against it. So seeing the two of them facing struggles in order to keep in contact with each other is fascinating to behold. And it is because the love story is so damn beautiful. There is a lot of visual language. Eye contact and body language often speaks for itself. And it's excellently executed, as you sometimes know exactly how these two character are feeling without a single word spoken. And even the dialogue itself has subtlety to it. There are plenty of times where either Carol or Therese insinuate feelings by using seemingly casual sentences. "Your perfume... it smells good." is really just a synonym for "I want to kiss you". "Oh stop it, you look perfect!" can very well mean "I want to spend the rest of my life with you." The lines are not obvious giveaways and I love it. The audience gets to think for themselves.
But what really makes this movie work is the acting. It's absolutely
amazing. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are at their best ever. They make the characters so real, so human, that you wish they actually existed. Kyle Chandler also throws in a remarkable performance as the husband. You root for the two girls... but you don't hate Harge either. There is one scene where he has gone so far as to get himself to the house Carol and Therese is staying at for the weekend. And when he's told he can't have her, I was really feeling bad for the guy!
I can't remember the last time I have been as touched by a movie. It hit my heart just in the right places, and when I walked out of the theater I felt like I had just experienced someone else's life.
Okay, the trailer revealed too goddamn much from the movie, so several important plot details I already knew beforehand. But even that couldn't stop the perfectly orchestrated ocean of emotions it bathed me in. Carol will stick to your brain like glue after you've watched it. Oh and the movie too ;)
Don't worry. It's great!
Do you remember when people used to joke around about another Star Wars movie being made? Well, now we actually have one!
Now, writing this review without spoiling anything is pretty difficult, but I leave out at least the VERY most important details in case you want to avoid accidentally spotting them.
The new main protagonists, Finn and Rey, are both well thought out. A stormtrooper protesting against his clan is surprisingly enough a story which never has been done before, so I like that they took on that concept. Rey is also a likable character, and also a real badass when it comes to fighting. Together, they also make a solid duo. But of course, we also have good old Han Solo joining in too, along with his best friend Chewbacca. Isn't it great to FINALLY after 32 years hear Han Solo's classic one-liners and see him handle dangers with such a charisma again? He's not the only one back though, we also have Leia, C3PO, R2D2 and even Admiral Ackbar! ... and Luke Skywalker. What his role in the movie is, has been debated about most of all since we didn't see dust of him in the trailers. So I won't spoil, but it was wonderful to see him again.
The new villain is Kylo Ren, as well as Snoke, who's his leader. And while they of course will never beat Darth Vader and General Palpatine, they were still intimidating (Kylo Ren for the MOST part, we'll get into that later), and were well-portrayed by the actors.
J. J. Abrams, he did a great job directing. I didn't care for Super 8 and his work on it was just okay, but here he knew exactly what he was doing and was the perfect guy to direct the first part of this new trilogy. Some shots looked absolutely incredible, and the cinematography was gorgeous. The opening disaster, the winter landscape... all photographed with such affection and care. The story is not shockingly original, but with the variant on the old done in such an impressive and respectful way, does it really matter?
Most of the actors gave in very good performances as well. It was nice seeing John Boyega from Attack Of The Block make his big break, Daisey Ridley I knew absolutely nothing about but felt very confident with her character and actually was one of the best in the movie. Han Solo is great of course, who is surprised? I felt Carrie Fisher wasn't quite as charismatic as in the previous movies, but she was still fine and it still made me happy with her in the role of Leia again. Adam Driver was good as the Kylo Ren, along with Andy Serkis as Snoke.
But even with all the praise I'm giving it, there are some flaws worth addressing. For example, while I liked Driver's PERFORMANCE as Ren, how he looked like kind of put me off. I didn't really like how they in the end barely showed with the mask at all and his face didn't scream "I'm the most evil guy in the world!!".
The comedy could have been toned down. Some of it was very funny, but occasionally I also felt "All right... A little too much."
And also, I thought the CGI for Supreme Snoke was pretty bad. Serkis gave an awesome performance, but I just wasn't big on how Snoke looked like.
All right, get your tickets and go see it! Missing a new Star Wars movie is like forgetting your heart medicine! :)