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Independence Day (1996)
I D 4 = great Star Wars movie in modern world
Though some many harsh critics and bad attitude toward this movie, I know that. The story is cheesy, the plot is stupid, and no depth in the whole movie...alright, that can be true. However, undoubtedly, this is still a very good summer popcorn movie and indeed it hit the box office with no surprise. The Visual effects and Special effects during 96~97 were still stunning. Basically, it is quite similar to the classic Star Wars trilogy...aircraft chasing and mother ship attacked. In my personally opinion, the story itself is still interesting. The script writers actually did a good job. They created not single-dimension crisis at the same time, and when people resolved one crisis and then another one just appeared. It made the story intensive and easily grabs audiences' tension. Besides, the reason why there were still so much people feel like it was so realistic during watching in the theater was because the whole story was set in modern world. The Big Apple (where I live) and other important capitals around the world. People are familiar with these places so that people may feel very realistic at that time. Besides, I do love the first person shot and the score. The first person POV shots are really good in the battle scenes. The director Roland Emmerich is really doing a good job - to provide a good and exciting entertained movie during the summer. The score composed by David Arnold is excellent. After seeing this movie in the theater, I just ran to CD store to buy its soundtrack. The music in this movie is definitely can be placed among John Williams' classics. There is no need to take such a exciting sci-fi movie too serious.
My rating 10 out of 10.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Good Job! Alexandre Aja! A very disturbing Good horror movie!
After seeing this movie for the first time in the theater, the only thing came to my mine was : WOW! What a horror movie should be! Indeed, this movie is outstanding of its genre. The atmosphere set in this film was brilliant. Fast pace, and bloody which is necessary for this kind of film. Everything is perfect including the scoring. The whole movie is quite disturbing - which is the major reason I would give all my credits to it. Very disturbing. The best scene, personal opinion, is the trailer scene when the burning on the body tied on the tree and the rape is happening in the trailer. Very disturbing and scary as well. I would say the trailer scene can be one of my ten favorite "scary" or "disturbing" scenes. Very brilliant. Good job director Alexandre Aja!
Fail and Disappointed
Basically, the original idea (or the original Japanese version) is good and interesting. The original idea can be a good horror story, but they fail to do so. Except the good original idea, the directing, editing and even the music score are bad. Not to mention the lack of logic and everything becomes "too easy". All these bad elements waste a good idea, even they get more money to shoot the film and have better effects. The only good thing about the film, my personal opinion, is the moment when the whole city is "occupied" by them. The atmosphere and the setting are not bad, but still, overall, Disappointed. Only good original idea can not save the whole film.
Road to Perdition (2002)
the only thing I can say is: Beautiful
Simply, the only thing I can say is beautiful. This whole movie is just beautiful as a poem. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman show their best acting in this film. I have no idea why Tom Hanks was not nominated in Academy Award? The directing and cinematography are really good. Sam Mendes is bringing different style this time, I think. The style this time is quite different from what he did in American Beauty. I love the composition and structure of every scene in this film. The use of color in this film is perfect. It deserves to win Best Cinematography. It really creates the atmosphere and the "old days" feelings. The movie score by Thomas Newman is touching. I would say no more. Just buy the DVD and then you will love it.
the hell of up side down
basically, this short film by Wolfgang Petersen has simple storyline. I wouldn't's say it is that bad just like most other audiences' point of views, but the story is hollow and not interesting at all. The director Wolfgang Petersen should make more effects on these main characters like Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas and so on. The most impressive is its visual effects and the opening scene when Josh Lucas appears at the edge of the upper side of the ship. The camera movement of the first scene is creative and interesting. The ship sinking scene and water splash scene are quite impressive and realistic. However, that's all about it. Nothing else special. By and large, even though the director has a lot of damn money in "eye ball dropping" visual effects, this still can not save the hollow story and boring characters. Poor Poseidon.
Titicut Follies (1967)
After seeing this documentary "Titicut Follies" by Frederick Wiseman in 1967, I find this movie is very disturbing to me. This documentary basically describes mental problem patients in the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Bridgewater. This highly controversial documentary may present moral issues. Some institution staffs laugh at the patients when they try to help them. At the beginning and the end, both of them show to other people (including audiences) these people are improving. Actually, rest of the part of this movie shows that these people have no privacy, even in front of the camera. This movie also shows what these people like - I mean their weird and crazy action. However, I also wonder if it is real or not. Because these people may know there is a movie camera in front of them or the director asks them to do something, these people's action could be not real. After all, camera may influence what it is filming.
After seeing this documentary "School Prayer: A Community at War" by Slawomir Gruenberg and Ben Cranein 1999, I think this movie is interesting. It talks about religion freedom in a small community. At first, after seeing this movie, I think it is quite fear between the two side - one side insists that all students no matter from what culture should pray in the morning and another side insists that people should have religion freedom and they can do anything in an "American way". Besides, this short documentary was shown on television, so the director tried his best to keep everything even. Audiences can see and hear the two sides' opinions. However, when I see through the structure of this movie, I find that the basic story line is based on the woman - Lisa Herdahl. Then audiences may easily take her side and follow her story. Besides, the director put her as a victim and took her as a hero at the end of the movie. I think more or less the director had already chosen one side as his opinions.
After so many years, every time when I see this movie again, it always makes my eyes water! This is basically a simple story. However, the script writer by Bruce Joel Rubin and the director by Jerry Zucker are intelligent. They made the simple story a touching, interesting one. I think most people cried at the end of the movie. This reminded me another commercial successful movie "Titanic" in the year 1997. The music (composed by Maurice Jarre) was so moving. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore played well, not to mention Whoopi Goldberg. Her performance was amazing!(she also had excellent acting in Spielberg's early masterpiece "The Color Purple") The visual effects by ILM was extraordinary in that time. By and large, this touching movie is not only a huge commercial success, but also a classic!
Ceský sen (2004)
After seeing this documentary "Ceský sen" (Czech Dream) by Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda in 2004, I do really love this documentary. It is funny and creative. It basically describes two film-making students made up a supermarket which did not really exist and did all kind of advertisement to grab people's attention. Finally, thousand of people came to the "fake" supermarket and then they found themselves cheated by these people. In the process of making all kind of advertisement, such as post cards, direct mails and so on, we can see the sound guy, microphone and all other devices and equipment while they are interviewing with others. In most documentaries, directors may prevent audiences seeing the equipment they are using, but in this film, they purposely showed that to the audiences - remind us this is a movie - this is a game - a fake one! It is ironic that people think documentary should show the reality and the truth. However, people in this film thought that all these were fake - not real. However, in my personal opinion, these two directors did not just "cheat". I think they just used different ways to achieve their purpose. "Cheat these filming people" is merely one way to achieve their goal. Just like Discovery Channel, if directors want to film animals, they also have to do some "particular" ways to achieve their purpose. In this film, the filming objects become from other animals to human being. Thus, I do not think what they did is cheating. Instead, what they have done is just one way to achieve their goal - to see these people's response and show how important the mass medium is. Besides, these consumers did not lose anything - including money. In addition, they have warned people in advance, so I think what they have done is okay. This documentary can be seen as a psychological experimental documentary - then their "cheating" just becomes a way for testing. All other crews who helped make posters, painting and advertisement were not right or wrong. They just did what they did - which were just like props in most films. Besides, they used "tax money" to set up everything and then filmed them out. I did not think they wasted the money, because their movie became many people's discussion subjects and made people think more in mass medium and advertisement matters. By and large, the money they spent is worthy. The dream the two students made up for people was just like a bubble. Eventually it would disappear.
Nobody's Business (1996)
After seeing this documentary "Nobody's Business" by Alan Berliner in 1996, I find myself love this documentary. This sixty-minutes-long film talks about the director Alan Berliner's father and his background. I think the basic element in this film is to identify the director and his father's families. The son persuaded his father to face his past and his lost memory. Thee director used his personal story as basis (his father, his grand father, his family, and so on) to talk about human's communication and the relationship between a father and a son. I think this movie is about the memory his father had. In contemporary society, people do not care about other people and their families - just as the title of this film, and the director tried to show that people are actually connected to each other. Sometimes, we may have to concern about other more. As the movie goes on, it also showed the loneness of people (he took his father as example). Basically, the editing and the sound use in this film are fantastic and unique. My most impressive scene is that when the father and the son had argument, and the images are cut to boxing scene. This brilliant editing made audiences understand what is going on at this moment and the boxing scene also represented their conflicts. This movie at its surface level is to show a story between a father and a son. However, behind the scene, it actually showed "generation to generation" - that means the problems and questions the director and his father may have also existed in all other people and their families. Although this seems to be a serious issue, the director used very interesting and humorous way to discuss this serious issue and introduce his family. Moreover, the clever editing and sound use are to grab audiences' attention and then they would not feel bored. By and large, this documentary is really interesting. The director used his father and his family as examples to remind other people (including me) to try to talk to and care about their families and relatives more whom they haven't talked to for a long time. It is everyone's business!