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The Pretender (1987)
The Pretender is about a teenage boy who becomes a devoted Christian in order to get in a girl's pants. While this is a very true story, the way the movie is executed makes it laughable.
The acting is nothing special and the editing is awful and becomes irritating. Somes scenes are very unrealistic and make no sense. If things like this were changed people would most likely take the movie more seriously.
Overall this movie could have been good, but was poorly executed. Even with a small budget the filmmakers have common sense. Watch this movie if it's on TV and you want a few laughs.
Eddie Murphy: Raw (1987)
Terrific Stand Up Comedy
I have grown up to know Eddie Murphy as the funny guy who plays multiple people in one movie, but I also knew that some time ago he was a comedian to which no ground was sacred and who wore some crazy outfits. Luckily I was able to watch one of his classic comedy routines recently, Raw.
The greatest part of Eddie's routine was his impersonations. The voice, mannerisms and stuff the people speak about are all done perfectly. Another great thing is that he tells the humorous truth about things like relationships and how people act and think.
This movie/performance proves that Eddie Murphy is one of the greatest comedians out there. It is definitely one, for all those mature enough, to see. I will be looking out for more old Eddie Murphy stand up DVDs and I hope he goes back to his old ways.
Tha Eastsidaz (2000)
Not a good film, but you can still enjoy it if that's what you're expecting
Sure this movie has bad acting moments, weak production, poor shootouts and looks like a home video, but if you start watching it knowing this you should get some enjoyment out of it. If you still don't it's understandable though.
Those who aren't fans of Snoop Dogg will most likely never like this movie because of the reasons above and the fact that there are a considerable amount of rappers acting in it, fans may hate it too, but the later should give it a try. There are some funny moments (some intentional and some not) it has a reasonably original plot and some good music.
Overall it is a movie not to be taken seriously. It can be compared to Blaxploitation movies like Dolemite. You have to understand that it's not a good film, but you can still enjoy it if that's what you're expecting. But definitely rent it first.
An exciting and original thriller
Derailed took me by surprise as an exciting and original thriller. I wasn't really a fan of Clive Owen in the past but his recent work in this film and Inside Man made me respect him much more. Vincent Cassel did an excellent job as the villain LaRoche as well. The Rza as likable best friend Winston was great and even Jennifer Anniston did a good job. Many people say how she always plays the same person in every movie she's in, which is pretty much true, but in Derailed her character shows some differences.
The many plot twists are bound to catch you off guard at least once. It definitely has an unpredictable and original story which is still easy to understand. I'm eager to read the book it was based on to see how it compares.
People who like intense thrillers and pretty much anyone else in the age limit should enjoy Derailed. It is an exciting, entertaining, standout film.
Night at the Museum (2006)
A bit of fun
Night At The Museum is a fun family movie. It's annoying how people are complaining about how bad it was. They might have got their expectations up because of all the famous comic actors in the movie, but they forgot that the plot of the movie is "exhibits in a museum come to life at night", it's a kid's movie. And since I went in thinking just that I got more out of it than the people who wanted a comic gem.
As far as laughs go there's plenty of slapstick and cheeky monkeys, but still some good moments with Owen Wilson and Ricky Gervais's type of humor, plus Mickey Rooney's character was pretty funny.
With the different types of comedy put together, Night At The Museum should be fun for all ages as long as they understand they're watching a family movie.
Style Wars (1983)
Fantastic Documentary on Graffiti and Hip Hop in the Early Eighties
While searching my video shop for Hip Hop movies I came across this film. Having not heard of it before and the fact that it was a 70 minute documentary made me a bit skeptic about hiring it, but after reading a quote by Krs-One on the front cover saying it was what I had to see for true Hip Hop I was eager to get it out. It turned out to be a great documentary on graffiti and Hip Hop in the early eighties which I throughly enjoyed.
It was interesting to see how mixed the scene was race wise back then. This could be quite funny at times, like seeing a hardcore subway graffiti artist with a tight Van Halen t-shirt on and long red hair. This showed that graffiti, DJing, breaking and MCing weren't all considered Hip Hop back then. To do one didn't mean you were into the other.
Style Wars makes you understand the pride and enjoyment the artists get out of bombing trains, but you also realize how awful it is for the government to replace or clean trains and especially how bad it is for one bomber's mother.
Style Wars is primarily a documentary on graffiti but it also briefly touches on breaking and MCing. Funny that it doesn't mention DJing as a main part of Hip Hop, since that is considered the original and sometimes most important element these days.
Overall, Style Wars is a fantastic documentary and a must see for fans of Graffiti and early Hip Hop.
United 93 (2006)
I went into this movie not knowing much about it except that it was about the plane that didn't hit a target. I hadn't seen any trailers or anything. I was expecting that it would be more of a blockbuster type film. I was quite wrong. United 93 was a truly amazing and scary experience.
I had always found it awful of course watching documentaries on 9/11, but never really scared. Probably because I live in New Zealand. But watching this as if you are actually in the plane was frightening. I was not scared in the build up of the event, even though you see the terrorists looking nervous etc, but as soon as they started shouting and stabbing innocent people I became quite frightened.
The cast did an excellent job. It was awful to see the look of fear on the people's faces when they knew they were going to die, or how nervous they were at fighting back at the hijackers. The actors who played the terrorists were amazing as well. You hate them even more since they have a face, but are of course extremely scared of them too.
Paul Greengrass did a terrific job on this movie. Amazing and scary, United 93 reinforces how awful the 9/11 attacks were.
Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
Some flaws but not horrendous
I'm not a 50 Cent fan, but this movie wasn't as bad as some people have said. 50 Cent's acting was pretty bad and there were some stereotype characters and plot lines but it's not a one star movie.
There is some interesting parts of the story, good directing and good acting by most actors but not 50. You probably know that 50 Cent mumbles his words due a gun shot in the mouth, that may work for a unique (but annoying) flow in his raps, but it can be pretty annoying if he is the main character of a movie. Some dialogue and even narration can't be heard because of the mumble. Plus he has some pretty flat and boring moments of acting where his face doesn't change expression and his voice has no emotion.
That aside there are still some parts where 50 puts forward an OK job and like I've said before the rest of actors are good. There are also some good songs on the soundtrack from legends like KRS-One and LL Cool J, It's a shame the soundtrack released for this movie is songs inspired from the motion picture and not the ones actually in the movie.
One thing that I'm sick of though is hearing 50 Cent's story from rags (sort of) to riches. So most people will know the basic plot of this movie without seeing it, but there are more details of course to make it a real movie which is good.
Overall Get Rich Or Die Trying is an OK movie. I knew it wasn't going to be an epic classic going into it but it was still some fun. Don't go out of your way to see it but if you feel like it, see it.
24 Hour Party People (2002)
Great Documentary, Comedy and Drama
I only started to watch 24 Hour Party People because it said Sex Pistols in the summary and they featured in the trailer. Even though they had quite a small part in the movie I was not disappointed because it was still a fabulous movie.
I didn't know anything about bands like Joy Division and Happy Mondays before watching this movie but after hearing some of their great music on this films brilliant soundtrack I will definitely be looking out for some of their stuff.
Steve Coogan did a great job of playing Tony Wilson. He was very annoying and very full of himself, but I think that's what Tony is like in real life. The rest of the cast were great too, especially Andy Serkis as Martin Hannett and Sean Harris as Ian Curtis.
The movie can be very funny at points, quite sad at others and almost always explicit, whether it be drugs, sex or foul language, but that doesn't really distract from the great story.
Overall, 24 Hour Party People is a great documentary, comedy and drama. I'm sure fans of the music it is about will love it, and even people who it is new to (like myself) will enjoy it.
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
Fun and interesting movie
I began watching The Gods Must Be Crazy thinking it would be a hilarious goof ball comedy but as I got into it I found it was less funny than I thought it would be, but still very interesting. The comedy in this movie is mainly slapstick which is pretty funny but does get a little bit boring as does some of the romance in the story. The main reason I like this movie is because of all the information it gives on different people from parts of Africa. The Kalahari bushmen are an amazing people and I enjoyed learning about them as well as the other groups in that region. There are a few different stories in this movie which all come together quite neatly which is well done. It's sad to see that the writer and director Jamie Uys passed away ten years ago, he has put together here a fun and interesting movie that is definitely one to check out.