Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
organize movies I saw in theaters
The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)
Perhaps a political commentary
This is one of Randall Wallace's better movies. Although not as good as Braveheart, it is better than Pearl Harbor and We Were Soldiers. It has a great cast; it is amazing that Jeremy Irons, DiCaprio, John Malkovich and Gerard Deperdieu were able to all star in the same movie. However, I have always been a History fan; and the IMDb profile claims that I like biography, history and war movies above all. Perhaps such a bias causes me to give this film a more generous rating.
One thing the film did is to cause me to question issues of legitimacy. The film is, of course, not historically accurate. It is obviously romanticized. But in real life, there had actually been a man in the Iron Mask in the Bastille prison. In real life, there had been tension between Jesuits and kings. And the movie alludes to events that would later portend the French Revolution (i.e. starving hordes in Paris). In real life, King Louis XIV also declared himself to be in charge of the French Royal Council in 1661; and the film starts off in 1662. The very fact that a 'bad' king is replaced by a 'good' king may be a reference to the latent belief (at least on the part of Alexandre Dumas) that Louis XIV had been corrupt and that so had been his Royal Council. After all, Wikipedia claimed that Louis XIV's reign had actually not been peaceful during the later part of his years.
However, the film was enjoyable. After watching the 1994 Disney version of the Three Musketeers as a kid years ago, it was interesting to see the Three Musketeers again in their older years. And just because they were older obviously did not mean they did not have problems. In fact, the film demonstrates the reality that their lives had gotten more difficult. The film also touches on other important issues that may cause heated debates. The film seemed to argue that the wars fought consumed the resources of the French peasants and urban workers. Rather than competing over scarce resources, the countries engaged in war fought for glory and ideological reasons. This may be true, but I'm not sure to what degree it is also a romanticized notion. Historians will probably duke it out.
I would recommend this film and would even do so for those who are not fans of history.
Husbands and Wives (1992)
As of now, probably would consider this his best movie
I am not going to recount the plot. All I will say is that this is his best movie out of all the films I have seen of his. Before I watched the movie, I saw that the movie was rated R. Surprisingly, the film was not as shrill as I thought it would be. There is, of course, sexual content and foul language in the movie. There are no sex scenes, but the language in the film is what ultimately gave the film an R rating.
The film works because it has a realistic tone. It may be a drama, but it is not depressing. It is also not as cerebral as many of his other flicks (i.e. Manhattan and Crimes and Misdemeanors). So it obviously is a film that has a less pretentious mood. Combining these three qualities while also balancing the rational and non-rational elements of the relationships in the movie, the film ultimately has a very natural flow to it.
The actors are all good in this movie. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow are good. Not surprisingly this is Mia Farrow's last flick; I counted her being in twelve Woody Allen flicks overall. Juliette Lewis is also good and has a role that strikingly seems to match the other types of characters that she portrays in her other films; perhaps she is typecast. Liam Neeson is decent; it is interesting to see him in a Woody Allen movie. After all, it does not seem to be the type of movie he would ordinarily star in. Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis are the actors who steal the show in the final analysis, however. Some/many will disagree, but I hold firm to my humble opinion.
For all I know, my deeming of this to be his best movie may become different. My opinion may change if I see another flick of his such as Blue Jasmine or Broadway Danny Rose. It is interesting to note that the highest rated movie of his that I rated is not a comedy. It is rather unpredictable as to whether or not I will give a thumbs-up to one of his dramas or his comedies after watching one of Woody Allen's movies.
Concluding note - It generally seems to be the case that Woody Allen's movies are getting better as the years go by. Of course, he may have some lulling periods, but that's to be expected of anyone's work. I highly recommend this movie; it teaches the viewer to be careful about who you marry. Entering into a relationship is obviously not to be taken lightly. Secondly, it also causes one to ask the question, "Will this relationship work?" And that, as one who would watch the movie may agree, is not a question that is easy to answer. Problems latent and seemingly easy to solve may blow up in the couple's face; conversely, problems that seem impossible to solve actually turn out to be more fixable than one would think.
Slow crescendo upward
Imaginarium is a film by Terry Gilliam for the contemporary age. Admittedly, the first half of the movie is boring. It gets more interesting as the story continues. The film, with its special effects, reminds me of Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. However, this is a better movie. It also stars famous actors such as Andrew Garfield and Verne Troyer.
The message of the movie is also memorable. It teaches the viewer to judge people for who they are rather than who you want them to be. Choice is also a pretty big theme in the movie.
The film is strangely fantastical for one that picks up on Judeo-Christian story elements. Perhaps that is not a bad thing. It might get more people interested in religion in an age that values science and pure reason.
In terms of humor, I would not expect that much. There is one scene that I found amusing. For spoiler reasons, I am not going to divulge it; it does involve policemen and violence, though. Since the film is one by Terry Gilliam, it is of course going to simultaneously have understated and outlandish humor at the same time. Again, the film relies on having an over-the-top presentation. In that vein, the film, out of all Terry's films, reminds me the most of his 'the Adventures of Baron Munchausen.' Both movies, if I am not mistaken, seem to tout Counter-Enlightenment values.
Mild thumbs up. 6/10
The best of the Hobbit movie
This is not a bad movie. I am surprised that it received worse reviews than the first two Hobbit films. This sequel most clearly demonstrates the connections which exist between the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings franchises. It does not have as many lulling periods as the second movie. It is action-packed and fun, and it has very few dull moments. It is probably the best movie of the year, although that may not be saying that much. James Berardinelli was astute for giving the movie 3.5/4 stars and deeming it the best of the Hobbit movies.
Although the Lord of the Rings franchise is over, the movie nevertheless says much about Peter Jackson's future. Hopefully, he will direct more movies that are action-packed like King Kong. Except for The Frighteners, many of his pre-Lord of the Rings movies were rather campy. Similarly, I was disappointed with the Lovely Bones.
P.S. One perception I've had about his Hobbit movies is that they have more of a stale Harry Potter feel. I do not consider that a bad thing; he probably needed more variety in his franchise. Unlike some others, I was not annoyed by the CGI; perhaps the filmmakers were trying to save money.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
This is a helpful movie. It shows the viewer that not all people are honest, despite Leonardo's character being likable. His world-view that most people were selfish encouraged him to trod down the path he had taken before getting arrested. The film also demonstrates how divorce affects people. The scene which sticks in my mind the most happened at the end of the movie; he met his younger half-sister for the first time. But he also discovered his French, biological mother reading a book, happily remarried and unconcerned with the troubles of his own son. The film is a wake-up call to me because it shows you that others often are generally not concerned with your problems. DiCaprio's character redeemed himself at the end of the movie by becoming a man in charge of dealing with check fraud. Overrated movie but highly recommended.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
A commentary on patriarchy
*Spoilers* I think that many people would rather argue that the suicides were obviously caused by the fact that the girls were sheltered; there can be no doubt that that was a factor. However, I have a different, idiosyncratic point-of-view. I think that the girls committed suicide because they lived in what they perceived as a man's world. There is evidence to back up my opinion. The first girl committed suicide during a party intended to keep the girls social; she probably noticed that the boys invited to the house were jerks, especially after noticing how they mistreated the kid who was mentally handicapped. During the same party, a teenager shot a dirty, sensual look at the mother (Kathleen Turner) of the five girls. The fact that she was not surprised by this behavior testifies to the mother's awareness that boys and men had been motivated by lust. The film was narrated by the teenage boys, and they even went out of their way to read the diary of the first girl. Throughout the movie, they only showcased their interpretation of why the daughters of Kathleen Turner's character killed themselves. One kid, for instance, even knew the sewer system as a way of getting into girls' houses; on a similar note, the boys collectively used a telescope to peep into the house of Kathleen Turner's family and often caught Kirsten Dunst engaging in sensual/sexual activity with a said, particular boy. Josh Hartnett's character also slept with a teacher's wife and eventually became a mental fixation of Kirsten Dunst's character. The film also displays camaraderie between Josh Hartnett and the girls' father who happened to be a teacher at the school the girls attended; such an encounter was symbolic of the cooperation which existed between men in controlling women. The event, for instance, mirrored the telescope scene. The fact that the girls did things like engage in sex and smoke marijuana testified to the fact that the girls had not been as sheltered and innocent as made out to be; Kathleen Turner, for instance, made Kirsten Dunst destroy her Kiss records. Although the relationships between the daughters and their dates were not completely unrequited, the girls were more discouraged than satisfied with their relationships. It is thus my interpretation that they committed suicide out of despair due to the fact that they could not envision a future in which they could control their destinies.
*Spoilers* Simone De Beauvoir would be proud of the movie. There is no doubt that it causes one to think. It addresses important issues such as innocence, lost innocence, selfishness, cruelty, lust, isolation, desire, relationships and disappointed romance. It is worth watching, but the overarching message can be taken too far. I find it ironic that the film's fictional setting had taken place in a suburb of Detroit during the 1970's. The film bewails the control that men have over women, but the city of Detroit soon experienced urban decay after the couple left the house upon discovering that all their daughters committed suicide.
Lost in La Mancha (2002)
Reality calling and to many people at that
* Contains Spoilers * Terry Gilliam is my second favorite director next to Steven Spielberg. And the film is a wake-up call. It shows the viewers that films are expensive and that filmmakers often have to deal with insurance salesmen and a crew which may or may not be competent. I myself had dreams of becoming a filmmaker when I was a teenager, and this film is helping me to be scared from taking that path. The film demonstrates how filmmakers have to consider the health of the cast and the locations they shoot the film in. One must always take weather and prospective noises into consideration before shooting a film. Practicability and feasibility must also be considered, especially if the filmmakers are dealing with foreigners.
Not as funny as I thought it would be, but nevertheless entertaining.
The Hours (2002)
Seems to be a commentary on class background
* Contains Spoilers* This may be a strange interpretation; it seems that the more conventional interpretation of this movie is that it demonstrates the unhappiness of women enmeshed in a patriarchal society. But if you take a closer look at the characters, you may get a sense of what I am talking about. Virginia Woolf tries to commit suicide twice in the movie and yet has servants who, at the behest of Virginia, are willing to go far into town to fetch ginger as an ingredient for a meal. Julianne Moore's character, despite having a bread-winning husband who establishes a secure, middle-class standing for her, is nevertheless unsatisfied with her routine life and moves away from her family after having her second child. Meryl Streep's character has to deal with a suicidal man who, despite having AIDS, writes a successful book that has won the acclaim of the world's best book critics. Both Virginia and the suicidal man commit suicide despite having access to the world's best doctors and psychologists. All three characters are well-off and nevertheless unhappy; they are thus all greedy and discontent. And their wealth seems to engender their unhappiness and greediness.
*Contains Spoilers* There are obviously a lot of holes you can poke in my theory. Julianne Moore's character admits that she was happier as a librarian in Canada than as a housewife in the United States. Virginia admits that everyone is responsible for her own happiness and standing in life. The suicidal man's lover admits that he was happier after leaving him, and Meryl Streep's character understands why Julianne Moore's character sought a new life. I guess I am basing my argument on the assumption that the characters were not that much happier after making the decided changes. After all, the whole movie seems morose. If Meryl Streep's character has a hard time understanding what it takes to be happy, then how can she know whether or not Julianne Moore's character was that much happier after deciding to move away from her family? (Important to note that Meryl Streep's character was unhappy despite being surrounded by successful people. The suicidal man kills himself; he does this because he never felt loved by the mother who abandoned him (i.e. Julianne Moore's character.))
Thought-provoking movie. It is not as morose as the critics claim.
The Love Guru (2008)
Has re-watch-ability value despite not liking it the first time
I saw this movie the first time when I was still a senior in high school. The two male members of the household and I watched this movie because we expected Mike Myers to deliver. I will admit that I was disappointed when I watched this movie for the first time; in fact, it was my sibling who had enthusiastically wanted to watch this movie more than I did.
However, I am a person who gets bored with contemporary culture easily. I do not like modern movies and TV shows that much; I also lost my interest in video games. So I decided to buy this movie because it only sold for $3. To my surprise, I liked this movie a lot upon my second viewing. It made a lot of good philosophical and self-help points that especially seem relevant to the problems that a lot of young people my age tend to face. Despite the fact that the movie featured tasteless humor, I nevertheless did find it funny. The second time I watched it, I had not been grossed out as much because I was obviously more mature. I also like the music and the hockey in the film.
I have the suspicion that many do not like this movie due to the fact that it features dated humor. However, I find Mike Myers' 'dated' humor to be funnier than movies out now such as Horrible Bosses, Pineapple Express and the Hangover Part III. Even though Mike Myers may be making enough money from the Shrek sequels to opt out on acting, writing and directing for now, I still do miss his comedy and would like to see more of it. I, for instance, would like to see him star in a movie with Jim Carrey eventually; maybe they can do something like the Odd Couple.
I will conclude my review by stating how surprised I am that this movie received such low reviews. I, for instance, find this movie to be better than the original SpongeBob Squarepants' movie. I can obviously see how this movie received poor reviews from critics. I am also not surprised by the negative reception the movie got from the general populace, but I am surprised by comments that the movie is bad enough to have killed Mike Myers' career. Even if the movie does feature tasteless humor, I do not think anyone can deny that it manifests glimmers of Mike Myers' former brilliance. Finis.
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
The movie was not a chore to watch. However, one would expect more. Out of all of Jim Carrey's movie, none could touch the original Dumb and Dumber (1994) in terms of its qualities; it may be a Generation Y phenomenon for young adults like me to deem such a movie to be funnier than gems such as The Mask, Ace Ventura and Liar Liar. And that, in part, accounted for the latent expectations I had for the sequel; they were probably higher than I thought.
The Rotten Tomatoes website considers this movie to not have humor as tasteless as the first movie. However, I beg to differ. The movie, in my opinion, has more tasteless humor than the original. The correction I would make is that the film is not as clever as the original. Admittedly, the movie is up-to-date in terms of its style and fast tempo. And it would be unbecoming of me to admit that the comedy in the film was not thought-provoking; one could easily feel the influence of filmmakers experienced in the art of comedy (i.e. the Farrelly brothers). However, many of the gags present in the film are rehashes of jokes already made in the original. In fact, the story structure of this movie almost mirrors that of the original. Surprisingly, the movie builds up on many latent plot elements present in the original movie.
I do not watch movies as often as I used to. I went out-of-my-way to watch this one because I really like the first film that much. (I actually have Dumb and Dumberer on my to-watch list; no matter how bad it was, it would not kill me to watch it at least once in my life.) However, I have not given up on the actors in this movie, the filmmakers of this movie or even the movie's franchise. In fact, Hollywood probably needs more older actors to keep its newly-released films classy and original. (For instance, perhaps Mike Myers and Jim Carrey should do something like The Odd Couple. Never hurts to throw out an outlandish suggestion.)