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8/10
Maybe through education, we can prevent another Holocaust
13 October 2019
This consists of interviews with the survivors, those working on the Foundation, those exposed to it, narration by Morgan Freeman, and footage of the use of the visual history by youths.

It's 11 and a half minutes long. This is found on the 2-disc DVD release of Schindler's List.

They talk about collecting the stories. The Armenian Genocide and others that are also less well-known. How it affects you to view the videos.

I recommend this to everyone. 8/10
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8/10
What if we had someone on the grassy knoll
12 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 15 and a half minutes long. This is found on the DVD of Vantage Point. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about the depth of the script. Comparing it to a puzzle where you can't really take any piece out. It started out as pondering the Kennedy assassination and imagining what someone would think if they saw the second gunman. Making the news media one of the perspectives, what you would have seen, sitting at home. Originally Rex was male, but they wanted at least one strong female lead character in there. How she's a control freak, and she's "seen everything", so when the initial shooting shakes her up, it's all the more effective. If there is a main protagonist, it's Thomas Barnes. His journey through it. Taylor originally joined the Secret Service with good intentions; however, something switched along the way, and he became a sleeper. The relationship between the two of them is father-son, or older-to-younger-brother, Cain and Abel, that sort of thing. Lewis is the everyman thrown into the nightmare world. Enrique evolved a lot. Veronica and Suarez are both independent and that's what makes them interesting. They tried to make the President one that you would vote for. Javier is forced to do things he doesn't want to do. They felt that he lacked motivation to do bad things before they came up with the idea of his younger brother. The handing over of the bag caused a lot of problems, as they tried to change one thing and then had to adjust everything else. Making sure each of the stories has a twist.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
You get to be a star for 15 minutes, then you're a glorified extra for the rest of the film
10 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 25 and a half minutes long. This is found on the DVD of Vantage Point. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about how your perspective changes over the course of it. How media shapes how we see things. Script and cast being the two most important decisions that a director makes. How once you know he's a bad guy, when you look back on what Kent Taylor did, it was not nice but actually, as they put it, "barbed". All the running they had to do. The difference between the two versions of the President. Discussions they had on set, about everything under the sun. The reasons for casting Weaver, Noriega, Ramirez, Zurer. How difficult it was to shoot in Mexico city and the various challenges involved in that. The weather was the one thing they had no control over. Why they chose to use handheld camera. Making sure that it was consistent when they had two different perspectives on the same events. Keeping the same action fresh. Cliffhangers at the end of each segment.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
The week fall, the strong reign supreme
8 October 2019
A regular predator fights two of the bigger ones, and if they defeat him, they will crucify him.

It's 2 minutes long. This is found on the DVD of Predators. This is a motion comic, with pretty good animation for what it is. It's a prologue that helps explain and make explicit some of the mythology the movie. The audio is well done and that helps bring this to life.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
We're gonna need a montage
7 October 2019
This is made up of effect shots: some unaltered original footage, others, work in progress. It helps you appreciate just how much effort went into just this one particular aspect, and how impressive the FX were for the time.

It's 4 and a half minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

We see the red suit, distinguishing the performer from the green jungle background. The first design of the creature's body, thankfully scrapped. Camouflage tests.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
How to make them distinct
6 October 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 4 and a half minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

They talk about characterizing via props, such as the specific weapons used by the individual leads. Duke's knife and razor. Chaves' grenade launcher. Black points out how little it makes sense, him being equipped with a red beret(which he was allowed to get rid of) and the wide-rim glasses(rather than goggles), and why he got to tell the two jokes he did.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
We've got fun and games
5 October 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 3 minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

They talk about giving a sense of place. As it was isolated, it had theatrical possibilities. They had to create a jungle environment in a more accessible location. Valleys were some of the best areas. They added trees to make it more primordial.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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Joker (I) (2019)
10/10
Chilling and deep
5 October 2019
Arthur(Phoenix, Oscar-worthy yet again) is a clown for hire. He wants to cheer up the world. And to experience human connection. For someone to notice him without becoming verbally, frequently even physically, abusive. To be treated like a person. He struggles with mental illness. Both finding successful treatment, and for others to stop responding so negatively to his diagnosis. And while he feels perpetually lonely, he's not the only one to realize how bad things are getting, and how little those with money and influence do to help anyone but themselves.

This is deeply messed up. It makes your mind go places you never thought it would. Including, maybe especially, when funny. In other words, it nails the core, managing to also put a fresh coat of paint on an icon with nearly 80 years of history. This explores how little sympathy and empathy(the lead only loses the audience's once he becomes a monster) is shown towards the least powerful people in society. However, it's not exclusively(albeit chiefly) about those with psychological issues. It also goes into poverty. How little those that could easily address these things even try to properly comprehend the problems. I'm not saying there's a solution that would not require time, political will and accountability for those who use their clout to try to fight these efforts. What I am saying is that we need those I'm talking about to join in the process.

Taxi Driver very clearly shaped a lot of this, to incredible effect, and this film is as amazing as that one. This is the first live-action version(at least in the last 30+ years, I will grant that I am not very familiar with the takes that go back further than that) where you can understand how the Joker ends up with his signature look in a realistic world. A vigilante using martial arts and gadgets would have felt hugely out of place in this, so I'm thrilled nothing like that appears(Bruce is a child here), and I hope that this remains standalone, rather than Joaquin facing off against Batman. Keeping in mind that I love The Dark Knight trilogy.

I rarely give anything the highest possible score. To me, it means that while the movie isn't perfect(that is a status that should be strived for: it can never truly be reached), there is no weakness within it that is not greatly outweighed by its positives. That's not even a contest when it comes to this. I can't put into words how grateful I am to everyone who worked on this for being able to say that about it.

There is some bloody violence in this, a little of it immensely brutal. I recommend this to everyone who is passionate about the titular character. 10/10
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Predator: Camouflage (2001 Video)
8/10
The heat itself does something to the skin
4 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 5 minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about making the cast distinct from one another via the camo they wear. Strong lines for Arnie. Landham has war paint. Weathers has subdued, since he's CIA. It's less after several days. Black wanted to keep the dummy of his dead body.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
A gentle giant
3 October 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 4 and a half minutes long. This is found on the special edition DVD of Predator.

It's focused on, and a tribute to, Kevin Peter Hall, who played The Predator in the first two movies. They talk about meeting him for the first time. That he made a credible threat to Arnold due to his massive size. He never complained and stayed in the suit for many hours which must have been exhausting. They did take the head off which helped a lot. He was a ballet dancer and a martial arts expert.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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The Squad Declassified (2016 Video)
8/10
Are the streets really safe with this team of super-villains?
2 October 2019
This consists of clips from the movie, narration, and graphics that explain the details of the members: their skills, equipment, and weapons.

It's 4 and a half minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad.

This examines the first fight they're involved in. Harley's revolver and her athletic ability. Killer Croc and his strength. The Captain's, well, boomerangs. Deadshot's custom rifle, his monocle, and his wrist guns.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
I think the audience feels when it's real
1 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 11 minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about doing things practically. How much fun they had doing the action. They did movement studies for the Avocado-men, or as they call them, EA, "Eyes of the Adversaries". Instead of going on the actual streets for the rigging for the parkour, they built a city block on a backlot. It was an overwhelming experience. That chaotic since there were 7-8 people fighting in the same room. They did use an actual flamethrower for when Diablo lets loose on the guys on the scaffolding. The three encounters were intentionally designed to be distinct from each other. For the hurricane wind of the machine(the "swirling ring of trash in the sky", or, rather, the bottom of it), they set up fans and soaked the set.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
She has this little writing on her thigh: it says "my sword sheds blood"
30 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 12 minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad.

They talk about the props and how much it helps the authenticity. How much care they put into choosing and designing them. Some of Deadshot's would actually be able to fire bullets. Fukuhara was very worried about hitting people with the katana, so she went through a lot of rehearsal. The Aussies boomerangs are chipped, beat up and worn, since the character isn't the type to throw those away. Harley's baseball bat was made fun and friendly, since that's who she is, even when bashing people over the head with it, which both actress and stunt double always had in hand when on set. While Margot loves all the guns, hers is her favorite, in particular because it says love and hate on the cylinder.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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Making 'Taxi Driver' (1999 Video)
8/10
Oh mom, he knows
30 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie and behind-the-scenes footage.

It's 71 minutes long. This is found on the library copy of the DVD release for Taxi Driver. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about how it got made, including writing the screenplay. Scorsese had no track record at the time. Mean Streets proved he and DeNiro made a good team. At first, Keitel was supposed to play Tom, and he was more interested in the pimp role, which he helped develop further, from being 5 lines at first. Shepherd felt like the original script gave her a nothing part, but through improvisation(also how they got to "are you talkin' to me") it was improved. Schrader had Foster meet a real teenage prostitute, who had lived a life similar to the character, and she ended up playing the friend who pulls her away when they step out in front of the car. Martin's storyboards were not very artistic, which really helped get across what he wanted. The camera crew were initially reluctant to move the camera away from the star, and had to grow accustomed to that being the style they're going for. Brooks had to find the fine line that he's not supposed to be funny like a comedian, rather, like a real person, at his job. Cybill liked the challenge of working across from Robert, who underplays masterfully. The director taking on a small role, to replace the actor who had an accident while working on something else. Jodie was wearing clothes and make-up that she never would in real life, which caused her a lot of distress. She had to meet with a psychiatrist, and some suggestive stuff was done by her sister, who was 8 years older. The mohawk was done with a bald cap. How the effects for the climactic killings were done. It was fascinating, some of them say. The pull-out shot took effort. Due to child labor laws, they had to work very quickly, despite how complex it was. The zoom in on the glass with the fizz was made longer, not shorter, which made the audience more invested, trying to figure out why it stayed on it. To get the R-rating, they had to desaturate the colors in the ending, something that the editor thought was unfortunate, and the negative has now deteriorated, so they can't change it for new versions. Hermann's score. They discuss the responsibility to analyze the Travis Bickles of the world, since they exist whether or not art is made depicting them.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
There's this sort of edge to all these characters
29 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 9 minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad.

They talk about how important it is for the actors to be able to move and fight. How great it is to share the passion for it. Margot does 97% of her own stunts. She had to learn how to be comfortable under water, and ultimately could hold her breath for 5 minutes, and was very impressed with herself. Making sure the cast could do as much as possible themselves. SEAL training. Will really did learn how to shoot like that.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
Yay! First day of school! So many people to play with, it's great
27 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 14 and a half minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad.

They talk about Joker being the most well-known DC villain. Not tampering with him, yet reinventing him. Jared disappearing into the character, and him going to a place he never had before. His voice changed, and only spoke as Mr J conducted himself as that. His similarity to contemporary gangsters. We see the transformation as he gets shaved, and gets the grills. Harley is the most famous female villain of the DC universe. It took hard work to get her just right, but Margot did it. After painting her entire body white, they put the 20 tattoos on her; it took 3 hours in total. The romantic relationship between them can be antagonistic and isn't healthy. Seeing the two actors together was special, unique and jaw-dropping. Those scenes were the only ones they didn't rehearse, and it made them really unpredictable.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
It's just an odd angle choice
26 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 9 and a half minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad.

They talk about making it gritty, so that it feels like you almost could see Deadshot or Harley Quinn and the Joker in the real world. Ayer had friends that work in prisons, and they gave him information. Making sure the costumes are not over the top. The extensive tattoos - we even see see them getting "Skwad" inked on). The look of the Avocado Men came to David in a dream. He applied his military knowledge, and the experts helped a lot as well. They spend a month defining the characters.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
I like being the badass
25 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 23 minutes long. This is found on the first disc of the Extended Cut Blu-Ray release of Suicide Squad. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about the different incarnations of the titular team. Members die along the way. Amanda Waller and her background. Rick Flag, both Sr. and Jr., and their expertise. Deadshot, his skills, and his family. Harley Quinn, her fans and her flaws. Killer Croc, his condition and his isolation. Captain Boomerang and his status as a bogan. El Diablo, how rare Mexican-American characters are in comic books and the level of acting talent required to get him right. Katana and discovering Karen. The main cast bonding, including Cara, who's not part of the squad itself. How much they loved working on it.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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Predator: Old Painless (2001 Video)
8/10
It makes no sense out of the context of a film
24 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 3 and a half minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

They talk about how ridiculous, amazing, phenomenal the minigun is in action. It took hours to resquib after a take. How improbable it is to carry around all the ammo on your person. Even the stunt guys were speechless.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
Charisma
23 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 4 and a half minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

They talk about how much of a star Arnie is. How professional he is. He pays attention to everyone, even the less powerful and noticed ones. Treated the two unknown brothers who wrote the script well, met them in the steam room. Always a cigar in his hand, so it was put in the flick itself. He turned Weathers onto them, even though he'd never touched tobacco before.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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7/10
Remarkable, albeit could have been more
23 September 2019
Rambo(Stallone, adding a new dimension to an already nuanced character) has spent the 11 years since we last saw him, on the family farm that we were shown him arrive at. What we didn't know before this was what he did there: he helped raise a bright and driven young woman, Gabrielle(Monreal, charming when she isn't being frustratingly naive). This helped bring out the humanity that we knew was in him, but had been buried pretty deeply for the 3 to 4 decades before. When he can help, he's saving lives in the local area, relying on his tracking - not his talent for ultraviolence. Don't worry, there is a lot of that, although it takes a while to get there. And then it's ridiculously gory. The action comes as a close second to the incredible character exploration as the most compelling aspect of this. While the pacing is unexpected(I've seen others compared to a 70s revenge flick, an assessment I agree with), it's pretty good, as are the technical aspects.

The traps he sets and how effective they are is awesome to behold, as the trailers promised. Honestly, like a lot of recent ones, they do give away a tad too much. On the other hand the voice-over is amazing. I don't know, start them playing on YouTube then shut your eyes and only listen? That should work. Aforementioned "adoptive daughter of sorts" goes to Mexico to ask her father, which one of her old friends just found again, why he left her and her mother. One of the drug cartels wants her as one of their prostitutes, which of course Sly is not going to just accept. So as usual for one of these, he is a champion for a group of people who needs one. It is very satisfying to see him take them on.

I recommend this to those that it will appeal to. 7/10
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7/10
Remarkable, yet could have been more
22 September 2019
Rambo(Stallone, adding a new dimension to an already nuanced character) has spent the 11 years since we last saw him, on the family farm that we were shown him arrive at. What we didn't know before this was what he did there: he helped raise a bright and driven young woman, Gabrielle(Monreal, charming when she isn't being frustratingly naive). This helped bring out the humanity that we knew was in him, but had been buried pretty deeply for the 3 to 4 decades before. When he can help, he's saving lives in the local area, relying on his tracking - not his talent for ultraviolence. Don't worry, there is a lot of that, although it takes a while to get there. And then it's ridiculously gory. The action comes as a close second to the incredible character exploration as the most compelling aspect of this. While the pacing is unexpected(I've seen others compared to a 70s revenge flick, an assessment I agree with), it's pretty good, as are the technical aspects.

So. The political aspect. Anyone who says that it's not a problem, I'm not calling you a bad person, I'm just asking you to please, really consider what we progressives are saying on this. And don't insult everyone's intelligence by pretending that this is only something that people on the left are reading into the movie. Regardless of the exact goal of doing so, this film was very carefully crafted to put Donald Trump's infamous claims that Mexicans are nearly all drug dealers and rapists up on the silver screen. At a time when immigrants are put in detention centres, denied soap and toothpaste, with families being separated, the depiction of Latinos in this is ugly and deeply irresponsible. There already is a lot of violence against this powerless group of people in the US, and this might worsen that. The frustrating thing is that this iconic hero doesn't have to represent the worst American right-wing. They could easily have gone in the other direction: have the villains be terrorists, and Sly defending innocent Hispanics against them. After all, the other sequels have had him fighting for those who need a champion.

I recommend this to those that it will appeal to. 7/10
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8/10
We've created the illusion
21 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 5 and a half minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator.

They talk about how fun it was to do the action scenes, especially the gunfire. How detailed it was in planning. Every aspect itemized. The leads are near explosions, making it more convincing. We see what some of it looked like before editing, and it's already very impressive, with a lot of fire and squibs on location.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
No, that's the Shatner version
20 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This consists of interviews(some from when it was made, some from when this documentary was being put together, in 2001) with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 29 minutes long. This is found on the second disc of the special edition DVD release of Predator. It spoils a lot of the film, and so will this review, so that I can go into more detail.

They talk about the origins of the concept. How the script was picked up. The similarity to The Wild Bunch and The Magnificent Seven. Ventura had to be told to be more subdued, at first. The big personalities on set. Arnie was who got Duke onto this, after they enjoyed working together in Commando(he also brought Winston on, due to their experience on The Terminator). Sonny could only work on it if there was a bodyguard - not for him, for everyone else, to protect them from him. Elpidia really understood her character, and had great instincts, never had to be corrected. They had to be taught how to be convincing as SEALs... except Jesse, who was one, and, well, he "wouldn't want to take these guys into combat". Competitive iron-pumping. Schwarzenegger bet The Body a bottle of champagne on who has the bigger arm. The jungle was intense. How they approached the FX. Black's mother didn't leave during the jokes about female genitalia, though she did when she realized his character was about to die. The flick remains beloved 15 years after, and Bill gets recognized on the street from his role in this. As the credits run, several of the people involved do their version of the line, "you're one ugly motherf'r".

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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8/10
I've announced my retirement a dozen times
19 September 2019
This consists of interviews with the cast and crew, all of whom have something compelling to add within their area of expertise(and there is a very clear love of what they're working on), clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and incomplete effects shots.

It's 13 minutes long. This is found on the double disc DVD of Men in Black II.

They(primarily Elfman himself) talk about Danny's score and his influences(chief among them Bernard Hermann). His process. Working with the orchestra. The difference between composer and orchestrator, which is clearly very important to him. Why Pete Anthony makes such a great conductor. How similar getting the timing right on the action scenes of the flick is to that of classic Looney Tunes. Leaving a hole(silence) for a joke, instead of playing to it. How hard the work is.

I recommend this to any fan of the property. 8/10
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