Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Blood Simple. (1984)
Auspicious debut for the Coen brothers.
The Coen Brothers initial foray into feature films, "Blood Simple." is a great little bit of noir, which almost has you rooting for the wrong people. A bar owner (Dan Hedaya) attempts to hire the private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) he has had investigating his wife (Frances McDormand) whom he suspects is having an affair with one of his bartenders (John Getz.) However, the detective turns the tables on the owner as he kills him for the money, figuring he could pin the murder on the couple by using the wife's handgun. However, the bartender discovers the body first, suspects the wife, and tries to get rid of the body for her. If it wasn't such a thriller, it could actually be a black comedy. Along the way, they encounter the detective, and twists ensue, keeping the viewers glued to their seats. A real good debut.
Sub-par Frankenheimer film.
A doctor goes to the state of Maine to investigate problems that a paper mill is having after protests by local Native Americans over the pollution the mill is causing. Upon arriving, he notes that the situation has become violent between the natives and the mill workers. Also some strange happenings and disappearances have occurred which escalates when a family of campers are killed. The doctor finds out that mercury run-off from the mill has caused mutations amongst the animals of the area, and soon he and his group come face to face with the most terrifying of those mutations. As far as the movie goes, it's hard to believe this was directed by John Frankenheimer, as it has the feel of a '70s made-for-TV Movie of the week. Horrible effects when it comes to the monster, bland acting, and mediocre dialogue really hurt this movie from reaching its potential. It DOES have the typical '70s environmental message, which is a good thing, but the movie's quality pretty much assured the message was not seen by a lot of people.
Inane horror film
The biggest question when watching "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)is "Why???" What was the motive for the doctor to try this hideous experiment. Why was this movie even made? If it wanted to be shocking, why cut down on the gore and real terror? This film, about a mad German surgeon famous for separating conjoined twins, who now wants to CREATE triplets conjoined by their gastric systems is just revolting nonsense. The tension in the last scenes involving the policemen, and some believable ways it was shot, earn the film whatever stars I have given it, but from a script standpoint, it is utter nonsense. The acting is passable, but this is NOT a film to be put into a class with ANY great horror film.
A story of vengeance.
Based on the true events that followed the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes by Black September terrorists, "Munich" covers the Israeli government's secret mission to exact justice and kill the terrorists responsible who escaped. Steven Spielberg once again tackles a controversial subject without making judgment on the protagonists himself. We follow the leader (Eric Bana) of the group sent on the mission of vengeance. His group is funded secretly by the government of Israel, but has no contact with them. They must find their victims through leads or info they get on their own, mostly through nebulous sources, who might be playing both sides against the middle. Noticeable is a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig who shines as one of the group members. Bana's character leaves his life behind for the mission, missing the birth of his child after his wife moves to Brooklyn in the USA. He struggles with the separation, as well as struggling over dealing justice in this manner, and possibly endangering his family. The film itself stirs up tension, but might have been edited a little tighter and less lengthy. Also, there is slight difficulty in some scenes in identifying who exactly is who when differentiating between the good guys and bad.
Shaft is back! And arguably better!
An homage to the blaxploitation films of the late '60s, early '70s, Samuel L. Jackson stars in the title role of "Shaft". More of a sequel to the successful earlier series that starred Richard Roundtree than a reboot, it follows the exploits of John Shaft, the nephew of the original detective John Shaft, who is once again portrayed by Roundtree. Shaft is a New York City cop who arrests a racist rich heir (Christian Bale) who beats a black restaurant patron to death for no reason. The heir gets bail and skips town, but returns to years later. Shaft makes it his business to hunt him down. He also is hunting down the sole witness to the murder, who doesn't want to be found. When he finally catches the heir, he is once again given bail, which causes Shaft to quit the force and take measures into his own hands. The heir enlists the aid of a local Hispanic drug lord to hunt down the witness to silence her. This film is VERY relevant to today's ills of society, and the tension between the races that exists today. It also is a throwback to the old series, with MUCH better acting, as Jackson and Bale both command the screen. Good turns by Vanessa Williams as Shaft's partner and Toni Colette as the witness, and a great, over-the-top performance by Jeffrey Wright as the drug lord makes the movie much superior to its predecessors. Great flick for action movie fans.
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
An overlooked film, a borderline masterpiece.
Steven Spielberg's ambitious undertaking of an idea by Stanley Kubrick, he threw himself headlong into the project after Kubrick's death. Almost a retelling of the "Pinocchio" fairy tale, the film is set in the future, after all coastal cities are destroyed by global warming, and strict limits are put on the human populace's ability to reproduce. A family who seemingly has lost their son to coma becomes the perfect test family for a cybernetic child who has been programmed with the ability to love and feel. When the couple's real child recovers, he becomes competitive with the robot for his mother's affections. He makes the robot seem hostile, and the couple decides to return the robot. However, a return means the robot's destruction, which the mother can't bear, so she sets him free in the woods. The child now goes on a lifelong search for the mother, as well as the "Blue Fairy" from "Pinocchio" to make him a real boy so she could love him. Excellent effects and cinematography highlight the film, whose only drawback might be its length. Kubrick's fingerprints are all over this movie, as Spielberg shot it in a style that his friend might have had he lived. The ending can be a tearjerker to some, and it's a great story which has gone overlooked in Spielberg's legacy.
RoboCop 2 (1990)
Due to the enormous success of "RoboCop", the producers went ahead and green-lit a sequel. In their haste, they forgot to include the humanity that the first film had, not going further into the personality of Officer Murphy, his relationship with his partner and the police force, instead just going for violent action sequences. A little more camp humor is injected into this sequel, making it amusing in places where it shouldn't have been. RoboCop is chasing down the dealer of a new narcotic, "Nuke" while he is being undermined by the company who produced him, who wants to produce a more efficient, controllable model. The film almost has two endings, as he does take down the dealer (Tom Noonan), but the dealer's brain and nervous system is installed into another cyborg, forcing another showdown with RoboCop. The action can keep fans interested, but the lack of character development as compared to the first film leaves the viewer feeling less sympathetic.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Not as bad as advertised
Although the critics and some fans ripped this entry into the Spider-Man franchise as the worst of the Sam Raimi directed pictures, it's still an action packed entry as a superhero flick. Peter Parker thinks his life is good as his girl Mary Jane has gotten a part in a Broadway musical. However, his best friend, Harry Osborne is still hellbent on vengeance for the death of his father, the Green Goblin. A two-bit criminal, who has been discovered to be the REAL killer of Ben Parker gets exposed to a scientific experiment while trying to escape from the police, and his molecular structure has been changed to that of sand. In the meantime, while the city celebrates Spider-man, an alien symbiote crashes to earth and invades Peter's costume, creating an entity that brings out Spider-Man's dark side. When Peter rids himself of the costume, an ambitious photographer takes over the costume and becomes the entity Venom. It takes teaming with harry to defeat the Sandman and Venom. Although some of the action is far fetched, the action makes up for it.
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The Fabs on screen.
A made for British TV film, "Magical Mystery Tour" was what John Lennon called, "the most expensive home movie ever made." The film is about Ringo and his Aunt Jessie taking a "mystery" bus trip. On the trip, they are joined by Paul, John and George and a cast of unusual characters. Done with no script, and basically the brainchild of Paul McCartney, the film lacks aim and structure, not to mention plot, etc. However, it IS the Beatles, and, as McCartney has noted, where else can you see them perform "I Am the Walrus"? The music, needless to say, is fantastic. Unfortunately, except for performances like Victor Spinetti's sergeant major, the laughs are sparse. Although, once again, you do get to see the Beatles for an hour, so how bad can it be???
Dance of the Vampires (1967)
A good spoof of old-time vampire movies.
Roman Polanski directs and stars in this spoof of old-time vampire movies as he plays the assistant of a bat researcher (Jack McGowran) who is intent on discovering vampires in Transylvania. Polanski's character tries to protect the young daughter (Sharon Tate) of an innkeeper from the advances of the local vampire who has been terrorizing the countryside. Ironically, this is the film where Polanski met Tate, who was soon to become his wife, which indirectly led to her being a murder victim herself in the Charles Manson murders. The vampire hunters hunt down the vampire to confront him and save the townspeople, whose number of vampire casual;ties have risen dramatically over the last year. A lot of humorous moments, while also adding some real tension.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
A tenser sequel!
"28 Days later" was a surprise hit when released, and though it didn't do as well at the box office, I feel its sequel "28 Weeks Later" is a much more action packed thriller than its predecessor. It is 6 months after the rage virus has swept through London. The city has been cleared of all infected victims, and is now starting to repopulate. However, when two children are reunited with their father, who survived an attack at a farmhouse, and seemingly saw his wife killed, they find their mom has also survived, and is an immune carrier of the virus. She inflicts the virus at the hospital where she's being treated, and hell breaks loose as a doctor tries to save the children from the onslaught of infected, since they might carry a cure in their bloodstream. A great turn by pre-"Hurt Locker" Jeremy Renner as an American soldier who tries to aid the escaping group, as well as Rose Byrne playing the sympathetic doctor. In my mind, much more action than the original movie, and the film keeps you on your seat's edge.
Amusing salute to childhood and friendship.
More than a salute to all things "Star Wars", "Fanboys" also tips its cap to childhood friendship and hero idolatry as kids. A band of "Star Wars" geeks plan on fulfilling a childhood dream of breaking into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch. They also want to steal a print to see the then-new "Star Wars: Episode I" before the passing of one of them, who is suffering from terminal cancer, which causes the only "responsible" member of the group to rejoin them. The film shows their journey from Ohio to the Ranch, and what they encounter. Some great cameos occur throughout the pic, and there are tons of movie references to satisfy all of the "Star Wars" fans. There are laughs throughout the film, but one has the feeling the movie could have been even funnier if not done so casually. A good video watch, but should have been better.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
60s Series Reborn On the Screen
Tom Cruise stars in the rebirth of a 60s TV staple as he brings "Mission: Impossible" to the big screen. The popular TV show is infused with new blood as we follow the trail of Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) as he is framed for the death of his team while on a mission. He looks up disavowed members of the force to form a new team to help him clear his name. Standout turns by Jean Reno and Ving Rhames as new members of his team, they look to find the "mole" who has betrayed the Force as well try to find out who is looking to steal the list of identities of all the IMF agents. Brian DePalma directed this initial entry of the new film franchise, which was controversial upon its release due to its treatment of one of the original characters, Jim Phelps, played by Jon Voight. Although fans of the original TV series were up in arms, the film was still enjoyable, with enough intrigue and twists to keep viewers interested.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
A thrill ride!
J.J. Abrams adds his stamp of excitement and twists in his feature film directorial debut as he ups the ante in the third installment of Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible" franchise. The film opens with Ethan Hunt rescuing one of the IMF agents (Keri Russell) who has been captured by enemy agents. Unfortunately, she is killed during the rescue and Hunt assembles a team to track down the villain (Philip Seymour Hoffman) responsible. When he escapes capture, he tries to take personal revenge on Hunt by kidnapping Hunt's new wife (Michelle Monaghan) as a threat and to ensure Hunt steals a weapon for him. Some excellent, well-publicized high tension stunts done by Cruise highlight much of the action sequences, which are top notch, as Hunt's team travels the globe from the Vatican to Shanghai in search of Hunt's wife and the "Rabbit's Foot" weapon. A great thrill ride, and a sign of things to come for Abrams, putting him on the forefront of action films.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
An acting seminar...
An all-star cast delivers top notch performances in Stanley Kramer's excellent courtroom drama, "Judgement At Nuremburg". Maximilian Schell is a revelation in his Oscar-winning turn as the defense counsel for four German judges being tried for war crimes during the Third Reich's reign in Germany.The judges are charged with handing out morally wrong convictions handed down to citizens who opposed the state, or were politically affiliated with parties who opposed the Nazis, and then passing cruel sentences to those citizens, which included women and children. Heinous punishments which included sentences to concentration camps, sterilization of citizens and mass executions are discussed at great length. Kramer gets superb performances out of Montgomery Cliff and the great Judy Garland, as broken victims of these verdicts. It includes messages of how the military establishment will continue to repeat mistakes of the past, as well as the message to the whole world that we should never forget the sins of war, whether it affects millions, or one human life. A powerful film, whose 3 hour length flies by as the drama grips you.
Although the movie has been "Disneyed" (however, less than the usual Disney fare) the film is an inspiring recount of Secretariat's run to the 1973 Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing. The horse itself inspired admiration from many sports lovers, and even the casual racing fan, as being a "special" athlete, albeit the four-legged variety. He made many lists of the top 100 athletes of the 20th century, and has been memorialized continuously by the horse racing community. This film puts his legend on celluloid for everyone to see. It also tells the story of Penny Chenery Tweedy, who elbowed her way into a man's world to save the family horse farm. Some of the facts might be stretched and dramatized, but the message it sends is one of remarkable will and measures the heart of a champion. A good watch, especially the Triple Crown re-creations.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
A more tongue-in-cheek sequel to Hellboy.
Some references to the plot follow. In this sequel to the hit "Hellboy", director Guillermo del Toro adds a little more humor to the mix as the team has to save the world from a paranormal Prince who is trying to summon the "Golden Army" his people had created to get rid of mankind. The added humor makes it a breezy and enjoyable watch, despite not being as close to the tone of the source comic. The main players are back with Ron Perlman once again bringing the Dark Horse character to life. Hellboy is now known to humanity despite the efforts of bureau head Manning to keep his identity a secret. A new team leader, the gaseous Dr. Krausse is sent by Washington to keep an eye on Hellboy. While still having spats with Liz, he has to find a way to investigate and find the aforementioned Prince. An enjoyable "popcorn" type flick.
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
A film that documents the greatest entertainment phenomenon in history.
If anyone wants to witness the phenomenon that was "Beatlemania" in the 1960s, all they have to do is view "A Hard Day's Night". Although it's a fictional account of two days in the life of the rock group on tour, it captures the essence of what their life on the road was actually like. It also served to enhance their "personalities" as individuals, as well as show their spirit of fun-loving lads as a group. And as a bonus... the music throughout is superb! Sprinkled with Beatles' hits, Richard Lester's film almost serves as a blueprint for the music video form that took over the airwaves in the 1980s. Filmed with humor, great tunes and fast-paced editing, "A Hard Day's Night" usually never fails in delivering smiles and pleasure. If you're a music fan, and a rock and roll buff, the film is a must!