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After a certain point, I'm certain the precise ranking isn't accurate, but...
Surprisingly Homophobic for a Movie About Guys Who Like Sparkly Ponies
My biggest disappointment is that this film isn't at all funny.
It's primary reason for existing seems to be to proselytize the virtues of the cartoon and justify the reasons grown men are fascinated by it. If you aren't a brony, you aren't going to find much in this film, because it doesn't have a sense of humor about itself.
There is room in the market for a film like this, and because it was for a group of fans that seem a bit obsessive, it will probably make a profit. I can't really say it shouldn't have been made, simply that it does not speak to a broader audience.
The one thing that I did take away from the documentary was that even simple stories, if made with quality, can find an audience. People that have trouble relating to one another and develop real world friendships find a lot to love about a show that explains why friendship is magical. At least that's what I saw as the plot of this film.
Okay, now why the summary headline. . . I found this movie a bit disturbing for one main reason. Every My Little Pony obsessed man in this film felt they needed to tell us "I'm not gay." Like that makes their passion socially acceptable. They might as well be saying, "Sure, I like pink unicorns, but it's not like I like men! THAT would make me weird a pariah!" It's a rather homophobic view, in my opinion, and totally undermines the movie's supposed message of acceptance.
So it's not entertaining, particularly educational, or social conscious, but if you obsessively collect everything with a pony on it, you'll probably like it.
The Great Dictator (1940)
One of the Most Overrated Films of All Time
This is supposed to be Charlie's masterpiece, but I will contend that it is actually one of his weaker films. First of all, it's not funny. Not one thing in this movie made me laugh. Okay, there's a quick jump into a box that was a giggle, but that was one of desperation. The Tramp's first - and only - talkie where he speaks (he sings in an earlier film), but his flat dialogue shows us exactly why he was such a joy to watch in "Modern Times" and "Gold Rush" - two films that are at least ten times better than this film. There's literally only one good scene in this film, the one where Hitler plays with the globe like a beach ball. That's it.
Okay, so it gets a lot of praise for being the first film to wage war, even long before we entered the war. Nope. Not true. Simply not true, so that praise can be turned down a bit. The Three Stooges did it on January 19, 1940 with "You Natzy Spy" - ten months earlier than the October release of Chaplin's film - and that movie was actually funny! If you want to watch Chaplin's greatest film, watch this only for reference. And then pop in "Modern Times", "Gold Rush", "City Lights", "Limelight", "The Kid", or even "Tillie's Punctured Romance".
Horrors of War (2006)
Lions and Tigers and Werewolves and Nazis. . . Oh my!
If you're into war drama and horror, this movie is fantastic! If you're into war drama and not horror, skip it, it's too bloody for you. If you're into horror and not war, skip it, it's not bloody enough for you. You pretty much have to be into both, because this movie works so well at being both.
In the indie film world, you cringe at most film festivals. You feel like you have to forgive the filmmakers. In this case, I was wholly satisfied. More so, I was amazed by how much more was on the screen than I had imagined. And I had read the original script! The way that both segments, written and directed by two different people, were woven together was incredible. There didn't seem to be any kind of indication that hands were being changed. This can't be said for most movies like this. "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Sin City," "Four Rooms," "The Time Machine," etc. Time and time again, when directors change, there's an indication of it and the movie suffers for it. This movie is clean and comprehensive.
The acting is good (aside from maybe one or two line reads that fall a bit flat, but aren't laughable at any stretch of the imagination). The filming was great. The make up was pretty good too (I think Yvette's was a bit overdone). The only thing I had a bit of criticism with was in the battle scenes. This is purely my opinion, and it is based only on seeing the film once. I had trouble following the combat scenes. I've found that the clearer the establishment of a battle in a war movie, the more the film lends to the drama of the situation. While there were parts that were very clear, most of these scenes were a fury of running and shooting, and I had a bit of trouble keeping up with the objective that is usually highly important in a war movie. That being said, for a first movie, this is a very small thing to look past. I wouldn't have a clue as to how to shoot the scenes even half as well as they did. Most importantly, the scenes still worked.
This movie is worth a watch. Heck. It's worth a purchase!