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Finding Nemo (2003)
Where's the music?
Being a fan of Pixar, I saw Finding Nemo on opening day, surrounded by a host of individuals whose years are mere fractions of my age. Regardless, I was memorized by the film visually, I thought the emotional depth was well beyond what many past animation films have gone for, and I thought that it was one of the most entertaining films of any kind produced in recent years. My only problem? The music. It is not the score was particularly bad. In fact, it was quite engrossing, but what I have come to expect from animation films is a type of sing-along, the modern American musical, and I thought that that was sorely missed. Many will scoff at my request for this type of music in Nemo, believing that it would demeaning for such a good film. But music does not lower the artistic level of such a film, indeed, for a film with this specific audience, songs can be the best way to bring individuals into the story and raise audience involvement. I believe that a more traditonal animation soundtrack would have greatly increased the effectiveness and longevity of Finding Nemo.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut is first and foremost a beautifully shot picture. Great care is taken to make every shot pleasing to the eye. The slow following of Tom Cruise throughout the movie (rather than keeping the camera stationary) is a wonderful technique that submerses the viewer into his character. The colors are fantastic. The angles extraordinarily complex and dramatically moving. As for what the movie's about? I don't know, for sure. I think I know, but I don't think anyone knows for sure what this movie means. I don't think even Stanley Kubrick knew when he made it. But regardless, like most of Kubrick's work, this film will persevere through our time, and I imagine one day it will be raised to the height that it deserves, a beautifully complex film for all time.
albeit an interesting start of a story, playhouse is just that, a start. In horror movies, every question you ask must be answered and playhouse just doesn't cut it. On the verge of being a really good horror classic, it faltered. and just because it bothers me! Why does the ten year old "prince of evil" wear modern-day street clothes?! He's supposed to be hundreds of years old! It doesn't make any sense!
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
A Striking Experience
It is hard to evoke emotion with a film. Very few directors in this day of age can even hint at emotional realism, but The Royal Tenenbaums has done just this. It was a remarkable storyline. Honesty, comedy, and tragedy all captured frame by frame. The characters are so far removed from ourselves, but yet we find some part of ourself in each and every member. The mixure of emotion one gets from watching this movie is unbelievable. In one way envigirated, happy in life, but at the same time insanely depressed. The combination is a sobering experience. Innovation lies at the heart of this movie. Undoubtably, it pushes the boundary of film. Told, as if it was a literary classic, it claims its mark in our film world.
IN today's world of computer technology, the 100 million easily built the cities, creatures, and effects in Lord of the Rings. But clearly Lord of the Rings stands out, as a film, against the technology-ridden films we are embarrassed with today. Most films are reliant on their computers, and therefore limited by them. The strength of this film, however, is not found on its dependence on computer technology, but on its independence, leading to its most innovative use. Indeed, Lords of the Rings stands out today was being unique because it relies heavily on the (old) tricks of the trade. Camera angles, miniatures, re-shoots, costume design, make-up, and the latest in computer animation all combined made this film to produce a visually stunning experience. I was awed at the beautiful use of color throughout the movie. For the first half-hour, as we are emerged in to the Shire, the greens and yellows of the hills are shot with amazing clarity and realism. As the story line travels darker, so too does the film. Many scenes that could not be created by hand, contained some of the best use of computer technology to date. The scenes seem so real, the depth-perception so well done that I found myself in many of the shots on top of the high tower feeling like I was going to fall, a feeling I do not feel that often. Indeed, I didn't know I was afraid of heights untill I saw this movie. The vision of this movie is surreal and it is extremely well done. A monumental visual achievement.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
"jeepers, creepers, where'd you get that crappy plot?"
It is my love of horror movies that forces my comments on this unworthy piece of trash. It may be, incredibly, the worst horror movie ever made. Like most, I was excited when I began seeing previews that looked like they were showing a good movie, with that enduring song, "jeepers creepers" ( which, by the way, that dang song has always scared me), but unfortunately, this movie just did not deliver. But it is possible that I'm just too hard on this movie. After all, I like decent acting, real-looking special effects, and, oh I don't know, plots, and maybe that's just too much to ask. But I can only tell you that this is the only movie I have ever seriously thought about leaving to see something else. Indeed, I might have left if not for that fact that some of the people who came with me were taking a little nap because it was so bad. I sat through the entire film, first wondering "What's going to happen next?" Then asking, "I wonder why it does that?" "Why does it do that?" "Is there a plot?!" "Why does it look so crappy?!" "Why did I spent six d*** dollars on this crap?!" "Can I get my f***ing money back?!" and finally my friend beside me summed up the whole experience. . . "This is the worst movie I have ever seen . . . and I watched Waterworld."
Not a boxing movie, a landmark film
Well, if you went to Ali to see an boxing movie you might have been disappointed, but if you went to see a great film you hit the mark. The hype was due. A conglomerate of great acting, great direction, and a great story has made Ali a landmark film. This film is socially important because it raises up one of the most notable and underappreciated figures of the twentieth century, Ali. Many considered Ali just a boxer with a big mouth, but this film finally exposes him for what he truly was, one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time. The film makes subtle but amazingly-done comparisons between Ali and other civil rights leaders, notably Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and highlites Ali's influence with theirs. This theme is climaxed in the beautiful scene of Ali (Will Smith) running down streets in Africa with local chidren chanting his name. At this moment in the film, we understand as viewers that Ali did not fight for fame or fortune, but he fought for his rights and the rights of all black people in the United States and the world. No other film has exhalted Ali's influence in such a way. It was beautifully done. Ali will become one of my favorite films of all time, and I believe will be remembered years from now as the crowning achievement of both the main actor and the director. I applaud their efforts
john goodman makes this movie
John goodman has proven his acting ability with this movie. It should be considered the height of his career. It is extremely doubtful that any actor could have played Huey P. Long with such conviction and believability as John Goodman. Combined with a lovely performance by anne heche, the movie is an acting coup. A must-see for lovers of historical films.
Far and Away (1992)
Who will deny Ron Howard his due?
Tom Cruise may have the "worst-looking" Irish accent on the face of the planet, but it is undeniable that he and Nicole Kidman are sizzling on the silver screen together. Their intensity shines as well as their artistic ability to envelop a character and relate their thoughts to a viewer. Besides their very well done performance, the film is absolutely beautiful. Kudos to the set and costume designers that spent long hours on Far and Away. But he real story in this film is Ron Howard. It is simply a asthetic masterpiece. I spent most of my time wishing that he had just set his camera up on the prairie and filmed the grass growing. It was truly beautiful. Incidentally, sometimes one scene just makes a film. Brings it up from a good film into near 'masterpiece' status. This is one of those films. The music (the best soundtrack of the year thanks to Horner) combined with Ron Howard's vision made the "land race" scene of Far and Away and classic within itself. Put this scene up there with the chariot race in Ben Hur and the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commmandments, it is just that good. This is, far and away, one of the best films of the year.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Modern American Film At Its Best
Amazing direction (Oliver Stone), amazing acting (Tom Cruise, et al.), and amazing story (Ron Kovic and the United States military during the Viet Nam war). This alone sums up Born On The Fourth Of July, a modern classic. May it always be remembered as a great film. Its stunning look at the Viet Nam War and social and political aftermath through the life of one person, played by Tom Cruise, must go down in cinematic history. May writers, directors, and actors in this country forever have the courage to make films with such passion and such heart. Watch it. Watch it with your children (older ones). Watch it with your parents. Watch it in your classrooms. It will leave your soul searching searching. America is the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and one of the reasons is because we have the ability to revisit, question, and atone our past like this film does.
Top Gun (1986)
The Greatest Date Movie Of All Time
With something for everyone comes Tom Cruise's hit movie, Top Gun. Guys, grab your favorite girl and rent this movie today. You will love the heart-pounding high action plot of smooth pilots and fast planes. She will love, well, Tom Cruise (and Val Kilmer) and also the steamy love story spliced between action shots. And even if you're a film buff, you cannot change the undeniably American plot of an all-American boy living his father's dream, and the tragic scene's of a great loss (watch the movie!). Containing one of the most quote scenes of all time, re-made in a dozen movies and every bar in every city in the world (at least once!), Top Gun is an ultimate feel-good-about-living-in-America movie. What more could you ask for?
Touch of Evil (1958)
story! story! story!
Touch of Evil is one amazing story, told by the greatest story teller of all time. Before we could use computers and digital effects to make a surprising, twisting crime drama Orson Welles was doing it with style. Visually, this movie is stunning. Going from dark to light, creating mood like nobody else can. Using angels to add another dimension to a character. And the acting! What else could you ask of Orson Welles?! His performance is spectacular! Charleto Heston also gives a good performance. And goshdarnit, who doesn't like seeing Janet Leigh on the screen! Touch of Evil is a truly intrigueing film, one of the greatest in history, perhaps on surpassed by Orson Welles' other masterpiece, Citizen Kane. You simply must see this film!
Citizen Kane (1941)
just on look, and I knew
Few directors have understood the complexities of film like Orson Welles. To him, lighting set the entire mood, the angle told the story, and the looks were dialogue. Perfection was his goal, and no film ever got closer than Citizen Kane. At once, enthralling, depressing, thoughtful, and uplifting, the greatest of this film is ineffable, its impact undeniable, its vision unforgettable. This film changed making movies forever. Every director that has made a film since has strived to be Orson Welles. Every actor that has acted since has wanted to act like Orson Welles. Every lighting designer, every cinematographer, every screenplay author, they have all wanted to be Orson Welles. This film is what we measure all over films by. No, it is not as action-packed as Star Wars, it is not as scary as Psycho, it does not use the digital technology of Titanic, but let us get one thing straight, none of those things are what films are about. Film is about a story and how you tell it. Nobody told it better than Citizen Kane.
Slaughter High (1986)
Pure Horror-at its best
It appears that I am in the minority, but I loved this movie! First, let us not pretend that Slaughter High is anything more than a slasher flick. It never pretends to be anything else. The focus is on how flesh and blood a director can pack into 90 minutes. I'm saying that it deserves an Academy Award, but I enjoyed every scene.
What gets me in Slaughter High is the irony. I love how the classmates hurt each other. Also, I think the clown mask is as scary and enduring as the Jason's skimask and Freddy's scissor hands-it simply sticks with you.
To be perfectly fair I thought the "dream sequence" near the end looked very very bad, but the ending made up for it-a classic twist. Leaving the viewer wanting more. I think it's great-I gave it a 6.