Those same friends would probably appreciate Baron Munchausen more since it does have an unambiguous feel-good ending, but at over two hours long I felt the movie had a tendency to drag on. In a day and age where every video at Ye Locale Box Store is "UNRELEASED DIRECTOR'S CUT WITH ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE" I simply can't imagine this movie being any longer. There are plenty of times when you wish they'd cut to the point, as even a dunce can figure out what's going to happen when Baron and the Sultan make a bet with a treasury payoff of "as much as the strongest man can carry." Given the chance I also would have sacked the entire segment with the Baron and Venus. I was positively bored to tears by the whole thing and Uma Thurman was much more attractive in Pulp Fiction.
The movie is visually stunning, especially given the quality of special effects at the time it was filmed, and Robin Williams was an unexpected and pleasant surprise as the King of the Moon. Regardless I repeatedly found myself wondering if Terry Gilliam was in command of all his faculties directing this film, as the kind of zany he espouses is best done in shotgun Monty Python fashion. They say no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, but expect to settle in with more than one box of popcorn and several (caffeinated) beverages for Baron Munchausen - a movie I'd have happily rated one to two notches higher if they had kept all of the same actors and special effects but trimmed out more of that fat.
special effect standards, this movie blew me away as a kid
and still looks sharp and colorful today. The neon futuristic
colors inside the computer world are as trippy as they come;
and even if the acting is not "brilliant" it's certainly more
than qualified to tell a story which is ultimately the age old
battle of good versus evil. These days PG movies which don't
feature animated characters or cute animals seem few and far
between, but "Tron" harkens back to an age when a good film
could be made for all audiences without insulting the intellect
of anyone attending. I'm proud to call this one of the ten
best movies I've ever seen.
There is no line imaginable that the film doesn't cross: childhood has never been any less innocent. Even the weak of stomach though may appreciate some of the film's finer moments; such as Bill Gates getting his just desserts or the Baldwin family finally being run out of Hollywood.. the HARD way.
Amazingly the comedic team of Matt and Trey which made the TV show so great even pull cards on the Motion Picture Association; lampooning their ridiculous double standards when it comes to gratuitous sexual body parts while finding it perfectly acceptable to see people's heads blown apart. Undoubtedly they will miss the point, but those of us who have always understood South Park is intelligent satire hidden in chubby cheeked children's pre-adolescent pranks, the message rings happily and funnily true.
For a series which has already been made the most popular animated television show ever (eat your heart out Bart Simpson) and even been nominated for a GLAAD Award promoting acceptance and love towards homosexuals, this send-up of nearly every stereotype and ignorant "hick mountain town" attitude is a crowning achievement. It's really f*****g funny, dude.
More to the point, this is perhaps the most personal and less "tech happy" of all the Bond films. It's really a shame many Bond fans never have and never will see this classic film. Bond is not just the legendary British agent with a taste for fine champagne and fine girls - he is a committed man who will do anything to save the woman he loves and wants to marry. Ironically and perhaps fittingly, this is the one Bond movie where 007 doesn't really get what he wants. He saves the world, but at a very high cost to himself.
Incidentally, the funniest moments occur during the bobsled shute chase; wherein Bond dispatches one foe to a tree and remarks, "He's branched off," and moments later when he flips off the path and a friendly St. Bernard comes to his rescue. "Never mind that," says Lazenby/Bond when the pooch gives him a lick, "go and get the brandy!"
True James Bond. :)
What's wrong with this movie? A full list would take too long to read and would bore you to tears, but a short summary would be the following: the once rather crystalline clear picture of the relationship between angels and mortals of the first film is ripped to shreds. Gabriel is turned from the rather morbid right hand of God he once was (and in this role he is WICKEDLY funny in the first) to little more than a thug for heaven. Since Walken is so good at playing heavies (we all remember Frank White from "King of New York") he is still enjoyable but the supporting cast is an unmitigated and unconvincing mess of mortals and angels alike who couldn't buy a clue for 50 cents. If you can figure out the plot you're a smarter man than I. One gets the feeling we wander aimlessly from scene to scene just to move the film along to Walken's next big line. By the end of the movie you're actually wishing he'd blow his horn and make the walls of Jericho fall on the people who made this un-natural disaster.
Bottom line - it's an insult to our intelligence that they made a sequel to this film in the first place. The original told the right story, answered the questions that should have been, and left alone the ones you were meant to ponder afterwards. There are no compelling reasons to follow these characters that was in the first - the priest who lost his faith, the little girl who kept the "big secret", the teacher who protected her children - even Lucifer himself was more interesting BY himself in the first film than all the other characters in the sequel put together. I feel sorry for anybody who sees this film and not the first because they'll probably never want to watch the original and that's a real tragedy.
This film is great on many levels - social commentary, cinematogrophy, even the choice of soundtrack will strike a chord that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. To not see this film once in your life, even as disturbing as it may be, is to do yourself a grave injustice.