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Day of the Dead (1985)
Day Of The Dead: First Came Night, The Dawn Now The Day
Day of the Dead is the third movie in George Romero's Dead Trilogy (or as I like to call it: The Trilogy Of The Dead). Many of you have read my reviews of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead and if you have you know how much I just love those movies, so Day of the Dead has a lot to live up to to me. And let me say this right away it lived up to it! Day of the Dead was much lighter on the zombie vs human action but it made it up with human vs human drama, great drama at that. But I'm getting ahead of myself, the plot is that the Dawn is over now its time for the day, humans are outnumbered by 400,000 to 1 a small group of survivors live underground. Now that that's out of the way as I said the drama and writing in this movie is an improvement from the first two. The dialogue is still like George Romero's; being realistic , witty, and entertaining to watch. The characters in this one however, were much more miserable and dark. The main protagonists were good you root for them and relate to them, but they are pushed aside by three other characters Bub, Dr. Frankenstein, and Rhodes. These three characters are in no way at all alike and in no way at all people you want to relate to. Let me start with doctor Frankenstein: Frankenstein is a scientist who has to conduct studies on the zombies to determine if they can be domesticated, he is the pivitol mad scientist, he has good intentions but is driven mad by it, he is a joy to watch. Second charterer I want to talk about is Bub. Bub is a zombie that's being trained by Dr. Frankenstein, the performance given by Sherman Howard is pretty incredible, and not just for a zombie! he brings across the instinct of a zombie but at the same time you can see the learned intelligence and traits, he is a very dynamic character who changes throughout the movie, its great. And the last character I want to talk about is Rhodes; this guy is a jerk, one of the worst human beings you can ever meet. Joe Pilato gave a great performance in this role, he's angry, intense, paranoid and all around one of the best "bad guys" in movies. A big factor in this movie is its setting being underground without contact, you can truly feel the paranoia that is affecting the characters, making everyone become irritable, angry and afraid. This is where the fear comes from in the movie, not so much of the zombies but the fact that you're trapped with nowhere to go. That being said the zombies are still pretty scary! The makeup has really improved from 1978 with Dawn of the Dead, it looks incredible and is probably my favorite interpretation of the zombie "look", gore effects are incredible too with two ills that are really good, I wont tell you them but if you watch the movie chances are you'll know what ones I'm talking about. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when our protagonist enter the cave. It becomes full of red and blue light and gives it a 1950s pre code horror feel, something Romero has had experience with in Creepshow. As with the first two movies the music changes but still fits with the movie. Night had a 50s horror feel, Dawn had a much more fun but still unsettling sound to it, when day came along its music was much more ominous, dark and tells the audience that "everything is lost".
Day of the Dead. How does it stand after this many years and up to its predecessors? Very good, great actually! It has great writing, good music, make up was an improvement, memorable characters, and much much more with this movie. Day of the Dead completes one of the most perfect movie trilogies with a near perfect finally. Keeping in line with the rest of the Trilogy of the Dead, Day of the Dead gets a 9.5. I advise everyone to check it out, it's one Netflix and needs some more recognition other than "cult classic". "First there was "Night of the Living Dead" then "Dawn of the Dead" and now the darkest day of horror the world has ever known"
Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver: My Favorite
Taxi Driver (1976). A movie about a Viet Nam vet, who takes a job as a nighttime cab driver, and eventually loneliness makes him what to do something violent. Now I normally don't put this up for older movies but I must say SPOILERS, because I will probably be giving away major plot points. Robert De Niro plays our main protagonist, Travis Bickle. De Niro's performance as Travis is the best I've ever seen in a movie, he's able to be a very relatable person with a hint of insanity in him, to the second half of the movie being psychotic, but somehow still likable The rest of the cast did pretty good. Jodie Foster's performance as Iris was good especially considering she was only 14 at the time. I loved the way the movie was able to show nighttime New York. It made it seem very reasonable why Travis hates the scum in the city. The music in the movie, was just a glorious thing to hear, it was mostly the saxophone and it fit the way New York's atmosphere was set up really well. The way the camera moves and catches whats happening, the angles and all are another reason why this is a great one. Palentine is the fictional senator in this movie that Betsy, the girl Travis is trying to date, works for. Betsy is at first a very likable character, but as Travis starts to dislike her so does the audience, a very good feat in the movie. The part when Travis's psychology takes a turn is when he takes a passenger to watch his wife silhouette in another man's apartment. Its a very disturbing and unsettling scene in the movie, but it's also one of the most important moments, because you can tell from the way the passenger is talking about killing his wife with a 44. Magnum and how Travis reacts and looks, that the passenger had given him an idea. This is when the loneliness starts to turn to violence. After that Travis starts to build himself an arsenal. A very good scene is when Travis is buying guns from easy Andy, it's great because of the way it's all played out. Another great thing about the movie is how you slowly start to see what Travis's plan is . Until it's revealed that he's going to kill Palentine, the buildup to the assassination is extremely suspenseful, all the tension rises until, the assassination fails. Most people probably know that the climax of the movie is a shootout among Travis and pimps, and lowlifes to save Iris. It's a very violent and shocking part, for today's standards, I can only imagine what it was like in 76.
The movie overall, was downright amazing, one of the best and favorites of the movies I've seen. It's strengths lies in it's excellent performance by Robert De Niro, the amazing directing from Martin Scorsese, the incredible writing from Paul Schrader, the music, everything that's set into motion makes this movie as great as it is, and it earns a 10 out of 10, one of 10 to get this high of a rating form me.
Army of Darkness (1992)
Army of Darkness: Not Darker than the first two films
Army of Darkness is for sure the black sheep of the trilogy with hardly any scares it decided to be more of a horror themed comedy than a horror movie. But on with the review! Army of Darkness picks up right were Evil Dead II left off Ash gets sucked into a portal teleporting him to the middle ages. The movie may not have horror in it but as a comedy it does great, its very funny with plenty of great laughs. In the movie Bruce Campbell's acting is still the same and Ash is still our lovable protagonist. The whole time there is many great and interesting cinematography and POV shots, a main staple of the series. Army of Darkness is missing one major thing: the gore is gone, I was very disappointed by this but after multiple viewings I've learned to live with it. The humor of the movie is set up like a three stooges skit with lots of slapstick jokes. One thing that sticks in my mind is the final battle between the kingdom and the army of the dead. It's fun and funny with plenty of Ray Harryhausen inspired effects. All the chips in play Army of Darkness is a way less serious movie, with lots of humor and many things (besides gore and horror) that made the first two movies great. Army of Darkness gets a 9 out of 10.
Evil Dead II (1987)
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
The movies plot is very simple, people trapped in a cabin while demons attack them, seams simple enough, but the crazy stuff that the demons do to the people make this movie immensely entertaining. The hero of the movie is Ash, and he's already survived the first Evil Dead and now he's the only survivor. but later on the owners of the cabin return to it and then they all need to fight to stay alive. The movies writing felt very natural in the way the people talked and interacted with another, but that doesn't mean it's without it's campy one-liners. The campy one- liners are all memorable and don't hold the movie back, if anything it helps the movie. Now the main thing about the movie that holds your attention is that you have no idea whats going to be thrown at our protagonist next. It could be trees attacking the cabin, your own hand getting possessed, or an eye popping out of a skull and into someones mouth, all this zaniness really keeps your attention and makes the movie very fast paced and enjoyable. The main character of Ash is one of my favorite movie character's ever because of Bruce Campbell's performance, he's able to do serious acting when needed and at the same time he's able to be campy when needed. Whats surprising for the type of movie this is, is how good the camera work is. You get so many shots at many different things that are all edited together perfectly. But the movies biggest strength would be most other movie's biggest weakness, and that is the flaws in the movie, the little imperfections. These imperfections work in the favor of the movies campyness and they make the movie perfect because you can tell that everyone working on the movie put there best effort into it. It showed that they didn't make the movie to make money, they made it to make an enjoyable camp filled horror comedy that will stand the test of time. This movies great for it's enjoyment, horror, comedy, camp, and all around the inspiration factor that says "make your own movie to just make a movie" my rating 10 out of 10. In the words of Roger Ebert the movie is "Manic, inspired genius. A great time!" and in my own words "It's the most original, and entertaining horror film ever made"
The Evil Dead (1981)
The Evil Dead: Join Us
In 1981 The Evil Dead was premiered and at the same time a horror masterpiece was unveiled to the world. The Evil Dead immediately sets you up in a creepy mood just by the first few minutes; I absolutely love it. Now right away you are introduced to the charterers, 5 high school students (or college I don't know for sure) all of them are clichéd no doubt about it except for one, he's different but I'll touch up on that later. The story now seems very basic people go into and abandoned cabin to die in weird ways, simple but at the time that was new. The rest of the movie keeps its scary and suspenseful mood that keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for the payoff. Now the movie gets interesting; all hell breaks loose... LITERALLY! Demons start to posses bodies and tress? Thats right trees and this is shown in one of the most disturbing/ darkly comedic movie scenes depending on your sense of humor. The demon makeup is very good and the gore, there is so much gore DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH!! But the gore is a lot of fun to watch. Now to the one different character, Ash. All the characters get an equal screen time but one by one they're picked off until Ash is the survivor now in the first movie he's not as interesting as the sequels. Now lets talk about the final 5-7 minutes, it's fantastic a true display of stop motion effects, wonderful! The Evil Dead: its a horror movie with non stop scares, an incredibly fast paced movie that never lets up, its scary, its fun, and it gets a 9.5 out of 10. And one last thing about the first of the series; the ending (like very very end) is really awesome and the credits even tho nothing happens are cool to me at least.
Dracula: I Bid You Welcome
Dracula starts off in Transylvania, you're immediately set into the tone of the movie. The tone is made because of the fog, sets and scenery it puts the viewer into a strange mood that really fits this movie. Dracula himself is introduced in a pitch perfect way, and Dracula himself is brought to life by horror icon, Bela Lugosi. Lugosi gives one of the best and most memorable performances ever put into a movie, he's sinister, threatening, his stare (which is focused on many time) and the way he says his lines in that Hungarian accent all of it makes Lugosi not portray Dracula but he IS Dracula. The movie doesn't have a soundtrack at all if there's no talking there is no noise, but that's good it again heightens the mood of everything. For a movie that's 80 years + it is surprisingly.... frighting. Not in the sense of pure fear but more in the way that the whole time your kept in total suspense, the entire movie just felt like a long scene with endless suspense, this is due to the lack of music, scenery and Bela Lugosi's performance, I love the feeling of it. Now something I must say, some people may find it boring and slow, I can see how some people would find it boring but it wasn't to me. To close off this review Im going to give it a 9.2 out of 10. This is the perfect movie to watch during the Halloween season.
Raging Bull (1980)
This biopic about real life boxer Jake La Motta who is portrayed by Robert De Niro. The movie directed by, you guessed it, Martin Scorsese. The movie starts out with the greatest opening credits sequence of all time, it immediately sets you up for the mood of the movie, introducing you to the atmosphere set in black and white, the music, and Jake La Motta. He may not be speaking but just by the mannerisms you get the vibe of a cold heated, violent man, and in all honesty... he is a cold hearten violent man, you see this throughout the movie in another one of the greatest movie performances of all time again from De Niro. The other major characters are Joey and Vickie La Motta. Both performances are good but Joe Pesci is amazing as Joey the brother to boxer Jake La Motta. Joey and Jake whenever they're on screen together it's very interesting to watch. The way the two actors talk is like they're actually brothers, whether they're bickering or just talking it always feels natural. The movie's script is one of it's many high points. It's very well written that flows great despite needing to cover so many years of events. The movie's soundtrack is also a high point. A great thing that this movie was able to do was the ability to convey many emotions, the tension in the ring, the depressing aspect later in La Motta's life, and a (what I find) heartwarming scene when the audience is shown home movies of Jake La Motta, his wife and kids. The movie remains interesting because your able to witness the violent depressing life of a violent depressing man. Your able to see what to most would be something minor as a big deal in his world (for example when his wife says hi to other men at a restaurant). The boxing scenes are a highlight in the movie, most people may say there unrealistic but I don't care about it's realism, the fights are visually something great, very bloody and brutal also. In the final 15 minutes of the film you see Jake's life once he's retired boxing. Robert De Niro actually gained 60 pounds for those parts of the movie. But those final 15 minutes are actually quite sad, your able to see that his relationships have all fallen apart, his wife divorced him, has custody of his kids, and his brother wants no part of him. But yet he is at peace with himself as the biblical quote at the end explains.
Raging Bull is definitely one of the greatest movies of all time. Boasting one of the greatest performances ever, a marvelous sense of directing, great soundtrack, great script. All of this makes this movie a 9.6 out of 10.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Thor The Dark World: Three words: TOO MUCH COMEDY!
Thor: The Dark World. Now with most new movies I review this review may contain SPOILERS so read at your own risk. Thor: The Dark World improves on many flaws of the first Thor, like probably my biggest problem with the first Thor was that the 9 realms were way to polished and neat in this movie the realms look more like actual places that have dirt and muck. And also Asgard looks much more Viking-like and that makes a whole lot of sense considering the Norse mythology was created by Vikings. In this movie Thor got to do more Thor-like things with his power, and be more of a hero. Thor The Dark World also threw in more creatures they all looked pretty cool especially the secondary villain Kurse, he was big, and violent a real Challenger to Thor sadly I felt he didn't get enough screen time. Thats one of the problems with the movie, the villains were really cool but had no were near enough screen time, like Malekith, great design from adapting a comic to a movie, cool powers, good threat, worthy enemy, threatening but in the end he was only on screen for like 17 minutes, I fell they should've cut out parts of the Earth scenes and replaced it with more Malekith and Kurse scenes. On Earth there were two characters in particular that the whole movie could have doe without, the two interns (I know they probably have names but I didn't care enough to remember them) they annoyed the crap out of me, I hated them really took the movie down a notch. But out of the negatives there were some positives that outweighed them, the character of Thor was much more heroic and godlike, Loki's back and he's good in the movie and doesn't overstay his welcome, the fights were great very imaginative especially the final fight with portals and realm jumping. Now some cameos that I noticed of course Stan Lee had one and it was great as all the rest, and the one that's probably the best is a Captain America cameo, I wont tell you when were or how it happens but man it's cool. So in the end Thor: The Dark World is better than the first but this is still a flawed movie, but even with the flaws Thor The Dark World gets an 7.5 out of 10. Stay during and after the credits there's two scenes
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead: The Dead will walk the Earth
1978, a decade ago George Romero shocked the world with Night of the Living Dead, now he does it again with the ultimate zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead. Dawn of the Dead ups the gore and shows it all in full color. The gore effects are done by Tom Savini and boy do they look amazing and well thought out. The movie is full of many things that separates it from all other zombie movies. Mainly good strong characters that you root for. Other things that sets it apart is it's impact, social commentary and a well thought out script. First I'll talk about the script; unlike most horror movies the script is good, as I said it's full of good characters but also it has fun and interesting events happening and great sharp and realistic dialog. Second, this movie wasn't just a regular pure entertainment movie, yes it's entertaining but it takes itself one step further by adding thought provoking commentary, comparing mass consumers to zombies. Third, the movie had an impact, people saw it and remembered it for the rest of their lives, the movie has become a part of pop culture. Now as a horror movie it still has great suspense and such, but for me the scariest thing about this movie is seeing how society has torn itself apart, seeing the way regular people are beaten to mere shells of their former selves; that's what I found scary for the big reason that it would happen in our real world. Also, surprisingly, for a horror movie it has plenty of action, when zombies are being killed, when humans are killing humans all of it is some pretty good action. And finally before I say my thoughts, the movie has one of my favorite movie scores EVER, its a mix of rock and techno that surprisingly works incredibly well. In the end Dawn of the Dead (1978) is a zombie movie that sets itself apart from others with its, gore effects, characters, smart script, social commentary, action, music and all around fun, Dawn of the Dead is in my top 10 movies ever and it gets a 10 out of 10.
Psycho: No one. Absolutely No ONE will be admitted after the film has started
Psycho. This is a movie that basically everyone in the United States of America has seen or will see, and it should be seen by every one its a great movie. But let's take a look at why it's so great. For starters Psycho is chock full of nerve tingling suspense that's probably one of the movie's greatest strengths. The suspense is handled so well by Alfred Hitchcock , after all the guy's nickname is the master of suspense. Other great strengths that this movie offers is it's amazing performance by it's lead actor Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, he plays a great character who has been broken by his mother to insanity. The rest of the cast does a fine job too especially Janet Leight. The movie is also full of so many twist and turns most of these are common knowledge now but back in 1960 no one knew what hit them. The music, we cant forget Bernard Herman's excellent music score that fits the tone of the movie perfectly, the music was most famously used in the shower scene now one of cinema's most recognizable moments.The twist ending is great it will catch you completely off guard. Psycho; a movie full of twists and turns, suspense at every corner, perfect music, great acting and all lead by probably the greatest film director of all times, Psycho does receive from me a 9.5 out of 10. If you haven't seen this movie yet, stop whatever your doing and see it now.