Movies seen in 2004 (Part 1)
Submitted by directorspen on Sun, 01/04/2004 - 02:04
- 100) The Ring: B...very interesting stuff and it was fun to compare it to Scary Movie 3 which I saw before this. I liked when a character would see something in real life that they saw in the videotape, it thought that was a cool idea. The acting was average but the editing and direction were well done. I heard about the ending before seeing the movie and I was thrilled to see that the ending was not saccharine sweet like it threatened to be.
- 99) City of God: A...still extremely brutal and great and man is that photography amazing. I think so anyway.
- 98) Matchstick Men: A-...still great on a rewatch and as usual with the Spoiler: Highlight to viewtype of ending this movie has, you tend to notice everything better the next time around.
- 97) Wet Hot American Summer: B+...definitely had it's moments of gross humor which I wasn't too fond of, but there were way too many moments of absolute hilarity that made me like this film a lot. I love the pot breaking sound they used about 20 times for various reasons and I loved so much more.
- 96) Brazil: C...there had to be something I didn't get, had to be. Sure there was some fine imagery a few times but it isn't be enough to make this great. There's got to be some amazing undertone I didn't catch so that this movie doesn't fall to pieces on a rewatch. Can anyone give me some insight?
- 95) Happy Gilmore: F...sorry, I had this listed as Big Daddy. I can't believe I used to like this movie, what did I even like about it? I saw nothing here, absolutely nothing. I know this is just a comedy and that rating it so harshly is rediculous, but this sucked worse than most movies I detest.
- 94) Freddy vs. Jason: D...another awful movie which doesn't take itself seriously of course. Nothing to say besides that it stunk.
- 93) Garden State: A...this film could have ended at almost any point in the movie and it still would have been awesome. There were so many times in the dialogue between characters where I thought to myself, "That's exactly right," Things that I had thought or felt before, things so absolute. Perfect acting by Braff and Portman and Sarsgaard is so stunningly amazing. The ending is good and Braff was smart to cut it where he did. What a beautiful soundtrack, especially The Shins (who I'm listening to now), a new favorite. I'll need to see this again.
So while browsing through different forums on the Garden State board on IMDB I saw a thread labeled "WORST MOVIE EVER!" and I had to check it out because there is no way this is even close to the worst movie ever (at least not in my opinion). After a few bashings of the original poster, she came back and said that she hadn't seen the movie, though planned to and just started the thread so she could be blunt. Be blunt about what? An opinion of a movie she'd never seen. The poster sounded like a stupid teenaged girl. Anyway, on that particular forum, I read some reviews on the movie and in one, a poster said that the movie wanted to be weird for the sake of being weird. Now, while this is the poster's opinion, what follows is mine: I thought this notion and comment are truly irrational because what if Zach Braff just thinks of his screenplay as normal? The poster said it just wanted to be weird, I don't think it's weird, it's life. Now, there are a few oddities, but not enough to make me uncomfortable, as in movies such as Requiem for a Dream. Also, other posters were comparing this to 'The Graduate.' Why? Because it may have had the same feel to them. Heavily break down any film and you will find the similarities to other films' plot structure and elements is rediculous, the parallels are so obvious but they may had been covered by overtones. Anyway, when a writer writes a film, when they get ideas for a film, when something comes to them, they usually write it down so they can recall it later. Many of the times these ideas will come from the subconscious after another part of the brain triggers it. Even if the idea is a spin off of another idea used in a movie previously or a variation on it the writer thinks of it as new. When a viewer watches the movie, they may compare it to a film or piece of media they've seen before that reminds them of the feeling from the previous piece and think what they're watching is trying to emulate it and rip it off unrightly. Anyway, it's my opinion, you're entitled to it.
- 92) Johnny Toothpick: B+...this film had many moments of brilliance even though I've seen this style of set up for laughs before - mix ups - mainly in Charlie Chaplin films and other silent movies, heck, I even used it in my last movie, it works. I know people diss Benini, but as this is the second film I've seen him in (the first being Life Is Beautiful), I think he's pretty darn good.
- 91) The Village: B+...much better around on a second watch after getting over the fact that movies are hardly what I expect them to be, for good or bad. James Newton Howard's score is amazing again with more violin than I've remembered in his previous work. More thinks clicked on this viewing as they should, such as the I heard more sighs from a much smaller crowd when the movie finished than the first time I saw the film. Everyone's entitled to their feelings and opinions, but it would be nice to hear about more people supporting this movie.Spoiler: Highlight to viewWalker Preserve Security, the security company funded by Edward Walker's father's estate to protect those families in the village.
- 90) Signs: A...still as good as it always has been for me. Nothing new to say except that you know you're watching a really good movie when you can mute it during scenes or parts where the score is playing with no dialogue and think it's good but then to turn the sound back on and reach a state of elation. James Newton Howard takes me there everytime, his conduction is amazing. I've been listening to the Peter Pan soundtrack lately and it's more modern but still beautiful. Same great direction from Shyamalan though I was enjoying it more tonight than I had when I'd watched this movie before. What a wonderful ending.
- 89) Go West: B...same great jokes I'd expect from a Marx Brothers film but with larger gaps in between the jokes. Still, some very highly memorable moments, my favorite being the ride on the stagecoach:
Groucho: "Excuse me miss, why is your baby constantly crying?"
Lady with baby: "He can't stand all of the jerks in the coach."
Chico and Harpo proceed to exit the coach. Some classic stuff.
- 88) The Great Escape: B-...directed in a very plain way which wasn't completely dull but didn't distract from the story. This is one of those films that's like that one kids' baseball movie where the team the audience is rooting for doesn't win in the big game in the end. A bit long but still a good film to see.
- 87) Breakfast at Tiffanys: B-...another movie where the moments of brilliance even out with the uneven script. Not much to say about the film but it might need a rewatch.
- 86) L.A. Story: B-...a movie whose clever moments can even shine through the whole movies uneven pacing. The opening car drive to work was brilliant and Sarah Jessica Parker is plays her character flawlessly. Unfortunately, the writer (which I just found out is Steve Martin) seems like they wanted other people to think they were cool by knowing stuff they liked, so they had Parker's character ask Steve Martin's character questions about classic movies and shows, like 'The Maltese Falcon' and 'You Bet Your Life' so that someone watching would think, "Hey, I know that answer. This writer is cool." Ok, I don't know who thinks that, but the movies flaws (to me) even out with its moments of brilliance.
- 85) The Sixth Sense: A...amazing for the second time I've seen it. The first time I saw it, someone spoiled the ending for me. But that doesn't prevent the waves of chills to roll over me at certain points in the film...every time I watch it. The only way this story would work is to have it be a movie...which it is. If we actually saw Malcolm But kept as film, it's great.Spoiler: Highlight to viewevery day trying to talk to his wife and other people, we'd see the answer right away.
- 84) Bubba Ho-Tep: B+...total camp but very enjoyable. I really liked the idea of seeing Elvis and JFK together, it made everything else work out well. The film has a few flaws (in my eyes), such as some of the writing (i.e. the 'Ding Dongs' dialogue), but then has moments of serenity and a feeling of coolness - namely, the sequence where Ho-Tep walks down the hall of the retirement home and stops and shares glances with Campbell. I can't say enough about Campbell. Why isn't this man in more movies? He was perfect.
- 83) The Village: B/B+...I would not be surprised if I liked this a lot more on a rewatch. After getting over the initial shock of being completely different than what I expected, , I realized how good the ideals of this movie are. It's not that I had an idea of what the plot was (besides what the summary is on imdb.com) or that the movie failed, I just felt like it should have been so much more, on par with the thrill factor I had wanted in the film. Not nearly as eerie or with as much "made me jump" factor as his past films, The Village keeps the humanity through its morals and characters as Shyamalan always has in the past. M. does another great job with directing and writing and the score was just amazing (and I wouldn't expect anything less from James Newton Howard, who shares my birthday). Another Howard, Bryce Dallas, is great as well. The dialogue between her and Joaquin whenSpoiler: Highlight to viewthough I called the ending, but disregarded the thought of it because I didn't think it would be true and wanted to go into the theater with a clean slateThe more I think about the film further from the time of viewing, the better it seems. I need to go see it again, probably tonight.Spoiler: Highlight to viewhe is outside on her porch one night was perfect.
- 82) The Others: B...the film started out pretty lame, I thought. Nicole Kidman looked like she was trying too hard. The little boy did a fantastic job acting, but his sister wasn't so hot. Anyway, the film got much more interesting Spoiler: Highlight to viewnear the end when we get twist after twist.
- 81) Spider-Man 2: A-..."this may be the best super hero movie I've ever seen" say the previews (and Roger Ebert, respectively). It is very good, but still not better, in my opinion, than the two X-Men films. The CG swinging shots still aren't perfected but much improved since Spidey 1. I thought Doc Oc was going to be great...and he was. I was glad that his character had a much darker side than what I thought it was going to be. I've never read the comic books, so I don't know what direction any character is taking (i.e. Doc Oc). I'm looking forward to the next film and hoping Venom will be in it. I'm also looking for Bruce Campbell's next cameo.
- 80) Being There: B+...quaint film with the great Peter Sellers. I could see how some people would think this was boring, but I enjoyed it a lot, especially the ending.
- 79) Fehrenheit 9/11: A...sure you may not fall to Moore's editorial style which drowns the audience and sways ideas. But when it all comes down to it, this movie is one man's opinion expressed further than most of us can express ours. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day (for the first time) and a 16 year old girl wanted to go to her local theater to protest the film. Not only had she not seen it, but she wasn't of legal age to, unless she had a guardian. If that's her will to protest a film she hadn't seen just because it's political points didn't coincide with hers (i.e. her parents', respectively), then picket on! I consider myself to be an extremely rational person, I always try and think of what other people are thinking, doing, and act/react accordingly to satisfy their needs. This does not mean that I limit myself so that I don't think or feel how I want to. While watching this movie, I was aware of all the people of the world. As absurd as it may seem, I thought of what everyone's job is, how they live on a daily basis, what religion they follow, if they follow one and anything else they may go through. I try and consider every possibility so that I can imagine what life is like for them. You may say that I cannot possibly imagine everything like that. It's true that I can't, but I'm trying. I believe all is fair in war and because I believe that, I can't believe that terrorists shouldn't be able to do what they did on 9/11 and I don't, despite how tragic it was. Whatever anyone does to another country or another person anywhere around the globe, they're doing it because they want to or because they believe they should or because they think it's right. What is right? Many people say what the Bible says is the truth and is right and that what anyone says against it is wrong. How can they tell someone else they're wrong? I just try to see both sides of everything, but many times it is difficult. Again, it is all opinion and that is all it will ever be. As for the movie, it was excellent. I enjoy what Michael Moore does and am waiting to see Roger and Me. I can't image the amount of time he and his edior went through the footage presented in the movie. But it comes out stunning and quite convincing. Moore was right to present certain events the way he did, such as There are moments of humor, sadness, lonliness, but in the end, I was quite moved.Spoiler: Highlight to viewkeep the screen black while hearing the sounds from 9/11.
- 78) The Terminal: B-...while this is a good movie, not great, there's nothing special about it when it felt to me like there should have been. Tom Hanks is good and Spielberg's fine behind the camera like usual. The premise was interesting as is the real life story of the man in the De Gualle airport in France. There were two instances of extreme cheesiness which could have been altered and been better, but I'm not the writer, just the critic.
- 77) Dead Presidents: B...I had wanted to see this movie for quite a few years and then I was over at my friends house not long ago and it came on, so I decided to watch it. It turned out to be not what I had predictions, and it shows why I don't predict movies anymore, because I'm usually way off. I thought this entire movie (after the Vietnam War part I read about) was about robbing banks, turns out The direction is quite good and the story isn't bad either, but something minor was missing that didn't draw me in completely.Spoiler: Highlight to viewonly one is robbed and in the very end.
- 76) Behind Enemy Lines: C-...all credibility of my rating goes to the cinematography in this movie. It's very interesting, though the shaky cam gets irritating by the last 1/3rd of the film. The film's plot could be slightly changed to fit into another situation with different character names - it's nothing special.
- 75) Sleuth: B+...it's amazing what you can do with And Olivier and Caine are great.Spoiler: Highlight to viewonly 2 actors in a 2 hour movie. Good actors that is.Spoiler: Highlight to viewAnother case of the back of the movie box reading "surprising twist ending." Luckily, the twist isn't held until the very end, but multiple twists occur at various times and are welcomed.
- 74) High Fidelity: B...good comedy which runs a few minutes too long but is never uninviting. John Cusack reminds me of my dad who used to own a record store and has a collection of over 5,000 records currently. There are some brilliant moments in here, others are just annoying, mainly Jack Black, who's character is supposed to be that way.
- 73) Fargo: A...much better this time around than when I saw it at 15 and am now versed in the Coen Bros.
- 72) Singin' in the Rain: A+...well I loved this film despite my usual distaste for musicals, this one is head on. It really romps in its first half hour and is still great after that, but not as flat out funny as it was. Also, the hilarity picks up whenever Donald O'Connor comes into frame. I loved when Lina and Don are trying to record a sound picture for the first time - it's comic gold! The friendship between Don, Cosmo and Kathy is felt when they decide to turn the Dueling Cavalier into a musical early in the morning. They sing and dance together and while that may seem silly, I could feel the friendship between the characters was solid, it reminded me of staying out late with my friends in college (minus the song and dance number). Through the glee of friendship, I can see why Gene Kelley wants to sing (and dance) in the rain, and he does so superbly. At the premiere for the Dancing Cavalier at the end of the film, I couldn't contain myself when Along with everything I mentioned before, the radiant technicolor was great and the stunts in the dances (namely Cosmo's "Make 'em Laugh" bit) were stunning as were the rest of the phantasmagoric numbers. The "Make 'em Laugh" scene was my favorite of the film. This is a movie that loves movies and Cosmo imitates Al Jolson before they even mention The Jazz Singer being released. Not to mention the 4 references to some Marx Bros movies, namely Duck Soup: 1) Cosmo's piano playing the first time we see him paralleling Chicos, 2) the violin bit between Cosmo and Don reminding me of Harpos deal while playing the violin in the raucous "We're going to war" bit in Duck Soup, 3) also in the violin scene in Singin', the two men say "With a hey nanni nanni and a ho cha cha," just like Groucho does in DS, and 4) when Don makes the crack about rather kissing the tarantula than Lina which sounds a lot like Groucho's "Run out and get me a four-year-old child" joke. Wow...I'm elated, great film. I was afraid I wasn't going to like it because it was a musical, I'm glad I gave it a chance.Spoiler: Highlight to viewDon, Cosmo and R.F. Simpson drew the curtain to reveal the true voice behind Lina's singing. It was riotous.
- 71) Patton: B...classic war film and another good job directing by Franklin J. Schaffner, but not much that sparked my interest here. George C. Scott is good but Michael Bates was bad as Montgomery. I really don't have much to say about this.
- 70) Planet of the Apes (1968): B...while the story is interesting, I saw the 2001 version first and had the Minus marketing and Heston's acting (minus his characters arrogance), this was a good movie with fine direction by Franklin J. Schaffner.Spoiler: Highlight to viewending of this movie spoiled for me. They even have the Statue of Liberty on the cover and back of the VHS box, not even remotely trying to conceal that Heston's on Earth all along. And when they slap a preview together to advertise that they're showing the movie on AMC later in the month, they have the clip of Heston kneeling before the statue. Oh well.
- 69) The Night of the Hunter: C-...an absolute disappointment. There are many faults with this movie (I'm surprised this film is currently #139 on IMDB), which begin with the atrocious acting sans Mitchum. I forgave the acting because I thought that the movie would get better, but it just sank further. There are some notable parts, but unfortunately, like the rest of this movie, those parts don't flow with the scenes or story. How don't they flow, you ask? I'll take one of the ending scenes in which Oy vey. I hope someone found this as disjointed as I did.Spoiler: Highlight to viewRobert Mitchum finds Pearl and John at the orphan home. The lady running the home calls on John and Pearl and they come out to see Mitchum because he asked about them. For (almost) the entire movie thus far, they have been fleeing from this man, and when the lady called for them, they could see he was standing at the front portch way before they got up to it. Why would they continue up to him when they fear him? Anyway, so then some stuff happens and Mitchum gets arrested by the state troopers and goes to court. We don't see him in court, we only see John not being able to answer one of the lawyer's questions. So after that, a mob starts, involving what looks to be the entire town. Only about 4 people cared about these kids before, but apparently, now everyone does. Even if that's true, we see about 8 seconds of the mob, then the shot cuts to Mitchum being taken away in the back of a car. Scene cuts to Christmas time at the orphan home and the movie ends after some weak wannabe character development at the end when no one wants it. The flow...well, there isn't much of one.
- 68) Sixteen Candles: B-...another fun one from John Hughes, though while having those magic scenes of dialogue between a few characters, it lacks heart for the most part. The comedy is still quite good and I'll probably watch it again, this time not on AMC.
- 67) Apocalypse Now: A+...stunning in every sense of the word. 2 1/2 hours isn't enough for this masterpiece, I wanted it to be longer (though I heard the footage for Redux wasn't so hot) because it was amazing. Masterful direction by Copolla and great cinematography by Vittorio Soraro which won the Oscar for its year. This will definitely be high up on my Top Movies list.
- 66) Shrek 2: C+...there's just enough credible material here to keep this out of benign mediocrity. There are indeed some fine moments of humor, but they mostly do not constitute the main characters. Though there are one or two scenarios with the main characters which were uproarous, namely the The characters of Shrek and Fiona feel like (since it's a sequel) there are two new voice talents who enjoyed the first film a lot and are really excited to work on this one to replace Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz. The actual talents didn't feel like they were giving it their best. The animation is incredible in the film, minus the mouth movements and hand/arm gestures.Spoiler: Highlight to viewCOPS spoof.
- 65) Raising Arizona: B+...flat on your face raucous comedy from the Coen Brothers which moves with a very quick pace and finished before I expected it to. Fun work with the funniest material being when any character gets rediculously emotional about something.
- 64) Mulholland Drive: C...well this was a step above some of the wackiest independent films I've seen, and I've seen quite a few. I've read that people liked Lynch's "artistic" style, but I haven't warmed up to it yet. I would guess by watching the film that the man was in his early 30s due to the feel and genre of it...but he's 60 years, that's nearly 80 years (Family Guy quote). And it's fine for him to make films of this type, but as disturbing films usually go with me, I didn't enjoy it that much. The acting could use some work and I realize now as I did after finishing American Psycho, that it's supposed to be the way it is. Well, the film proved better on a rewatch. And though I didn't thoroughly enjoy it, it was much better this time.
- 63) La Strada: B+...a very fine Fellini film. Character driven in every aspect, characters I cared about and by the end, sympathise with, despite their attitude. I'm referring to Zampano mainly, who was probably raised poorly which is why he treats Gelsomina and anyone he runs into with disrespect. When he's I was told this was Fellini's best and I agree...so far.Spoiler: Highlight to viewcrying on the beach in the end, I can see he truly misses her and regrets the way he treated her.
- 62) The Sting: B+...stupid synopsis on the back of the videocase should not read Why? Because then I try and think about what it will be and it ruins the experience for me. Oh well. This is a fun movie to watch, reminds me of the crime/comedies which have come out recently. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are excellent as usual as is Robert Shaw. I thought some of the movie was rediculous, but still kept fun.Spoiler: Highlight to view"with a surprise ending!"
- 61) It's A Wonderful Life: A+...fantastic sugary sweet (the ending anyway) fable about friendship and trust. The way I put it makes it sound lame, but it is a very good tale. I knew Jimmy Stewart was one of the hailed actors of the past and a few years I wouldn't have commended him (other than in Rear Window), but lately, I've been seeing the movies he's in and why he's hailed. He was amazing in this as he was in Mr. Smith. Another great, heartwarming (sounds lame) film from Frank Capra.
- 60) Braveheart: A-...aye, a pretty durn good movie it is. I enjoyed the first hour of it the most. Again, I don't have much to comment on, sorry about that. Overall very good movie.
- 59) The Godfather: A+...I have absolutely nothing to contribute to what has already been said about this incredible film. I had seen the first 3/fifths of the movie during different times, so I wanted to watch it in one sitting. Robert Duvall is my favorite character as Tom. Copolla contributed amazing direction as well as the script, co-written with Mario Puzo. The Godthumb by Steve Oedekirk is pretty damn funny, so check it out if you get the chance. One of my favorite parts of that 1/2 hour short is when the Godthumb introduces his adopted son: "This is my adopted son - Adopted Lawyer Son." The last 15 minutes of The Godfather were the best.
- 58) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: A+...this is a type of movie I love to watch. Stewart is amazing here and starts off giddy about Washington D.C. and the bill he wants to pass. I felt giddy along with him because his point is true and honest, just like he is. Simply fantastic film which I will probably watch again very soon. Moments powerful enough to make you think he has a chance and put a big, goofy smile across my face. Moments like seeing Perfect moments such as those that give this a spot, hands down, on my top 100 list which will probably end up near the top. Amazing performances by everyone, especially Claude Rains before his role in Casablanca and Jean Arthur is beautiful. Awesome, awesome, awesome.Spoiler: Highlight to viewthe President of the Senate cover his face because he is smiling about what Mr. Smith is talking about. Or the note that Saunders sends down to Jeff midway through his almost 24 hour rambling.
- 57) Irma La Douce: A...started out amazing came to a bit of a halt once Jack Lemmon ran . But after heSpoiler: Highlight to viewthe same course as Irma's previous "boyfriends", their relationship felt good and whole again. Lemmon is smashing good in his British get up. The set of Irma's apartment is gorgeous as is the set of the street most of the film takes place on. Another great Wilder film, he always has a way of sedating me with his movies.Spoiler: Highlight to viewgets arrested and returns to Irma
- 56) Red River: A...another great film from Howard Hawks, who is rising up my list of favorite directors. Tense at the right moments with the characters involved in their relationships perfectly. The obvious truth that sticks in your thoughts for the last half of the film and brings about ideas of what the finale will be. It turned out much different than I thought it would, but the real ending is fantastic. Bringing in theSpoiler: Highlight to viewDunson is going to kill MattAn awesome western.Spoiler: Highlight to viewdeus ex machina which is Tess Millay.
- 55) The Shawshank Redemption: A...well, sure it's good, but #2 on IMDB? I guess it's one of those that everyone can identify with. Amazing acting by everyone, totally believable. A good story and another great score by Thomas Newman, my favorite film composer.
- 54) In the Heat of the Night: A...wow. A fine film my dad recommended to me which I just loved. Fantastic all around, directing, acting, photography. A solid and involving film.
- 53) It's a Gift: B+...this was great for my first W.C. Fields movie. The humor was excellent and well laid out, though some skits dragged on a bit. I didn't like how everything bad kept happening to Fields but the good ending made up for it. My favorite part was watching him and his family bounce up and down in the car against the projected screen to make it look like they were riding across a field.
- 52) Enter the Dragon: B+...my rating is solely based on the kung fu fighting. The acting and plot are recycled but Bruce Lee rules and the fighting is what shines. It was a lot of fun to watch.
- 51) Apollo 13: B-...this is another film which I hadn't seen in years which I felt needed a rewatch. Well, it didn't live up to my first watch of it about 7 years ago. There was no flare in style, and while there doesn't have to be, it got to me that Ron Howard just used a general shooting style. Otherwise, the acting was good and there were quite a few moments of high tension.
- 50) The Lady Eve: C...a highly forgettable Preston Sturges film. I suppose someone will find random things and objects falling onto the head and into the lap of Henry Fonda funny, but I didn't. Though, there are two memorable bits: when Mr. Pike is getting impatient about waiting for his breakfast, and the bit on the train where the Lady Eve keeps bringing up fiances to Charles Pike. Everything else can be left out.
- 49) Seven Samurai: A+...damned near perfect. Toshiro Mifune is great as the emotional and nutty seventh samurai and everyone is equally great in their parts. Not much to comment on except for the smashing direction by Kurosawa. Amazing stuff.
- 48) Return of the Jedi: A...well I hadn't seen this in years and remembered that I didn't like it much the last time I saw it because I thought it was childish. That must have been when i was 13 or so. I guess I didn't remember how powerful this movie is. For me, this shines over A New Hope and comes close to Empire. I will definitely have this on my top 100 list.
- 47) Kill Bill: Vol. 2: A...Tarantino really holds his audience with building tension and uncanny pacing here. This film triumphs over Vol. 1's squirting blood and flashy style. Even the fight scenes in Vol. 2 are held with much more elegance and timing. The flashback to The Bride and Pai Mei is fantastically photographed with the style and grain of kung fu films from a few decades ago and is fabulous. Truly great work on this volume. When I see it again, I'll post a rewatch. And again, another killer soundtrack.
- 46) Kiki's Delivery Service: B-...while this movie is quite good by itself, I couldn't get past that this didn't feel like a Miyazaki film, storywise anyhow. It just doesn't have much of his magic here, though there is some. Gigi was very cute though the voice from Phil Hartman didn't always go through well. Kirsten Dunst didn't voice Kiki very well either, though this film is one of the better Miyazaki dubs I've heard, with Totoro being the best. I'm looking forward to Totoro getting the good treatment on DVD by Disney to be released August 31 this summer along with Nausicca and Porco Rossa.
- 45) The King of Comedy: B-...good direction by Scorsese as usual and De Niro played his crazy character very well, but I didn't enjoy this film much. Interesting story and I wouldn't be surprised if there were obsessive people who have thought of actually doing what De Niro and Abbott did. Well done but not appealing.
- 44) The Ladykillers: D...radically unfunny film by the Coen Bros who I respect even if I don't enjoy their films (The Big Lebowski). But this film just fails in every aspect. I think I chuckled once, but I could be wrong. Marlon Wayans is awful and the constant unnecessary swearing was dreadful, as were the performances by everyone. The direction was mediocre to fair at best. I was truly disappointed with this one.
- 43) Requiem for a Dream: C...I couldn't give this film any less than a C because it was extremely well done overall, but I hated it because it's one of those films that is disturbing and makes me unbearably uncomfortable - I forced myself to finish it. If you like the way this film made you feel, then you may also like Who's Afraid of the Virginia Woolf? and Midnight Cowboy, two other films I didn't like at all because of how they affected me, but that were well done. The quick cuts of someone doing drugs was really cool the first few times I saw it, but it wore out its welcome halfway through the film. Oh well...
- 42) The 39 Steps: B+...a very choppy film from Hitchcock, very good but very choppy: many of the cuts didn't flow well or at all and that threw the film a lot. Intriguing story and it was good that it was kept short.
- 41) The Cooler: B+...Stephen Baldwin may have been robbed at the Oscars, though Tim Robbins was equally as deserving. I thought this would be a totally depressing movie which would have been interesting, but I'm glad things looked up a bit. Good peformances put in by everyone.
- 40) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: A...incredibly well done. Another great script by Charlie Kaufman and another one that will probably make my top 100. Carrey is very good, Winslet is great, Dunst is pretty good after she There are all the weird aspects of a Kaufman script jazzed up with some great direction by Gondry and some of the most incredible effects I've seen recently. Sure you can put a bunch of CGI in a movie, but can you make it look as good and flow as well as the effects do in this film? Some great work here, and though I wasn't confused by the plot, some people might be, and they may not like the movie for it. But it is what it is to each person.Spoiler: Highlight to viewgets stoned.
- 39) Once Upon a Time in the West: A...while the story is very good, what really shines is Leone's direction. I've safely put him in my top 3 favorite directors. It's stunning how he can hold a brief moment for minutes and keep it thrilling. There were some amazing shots and edits which went together perfectly, especially when Stunning work.Spoiler: Highlight to viewMcBain's son gets shot and the cut seems like it's a blurry bullet flying toward him when it's just an out of focus train locomotive.
- 38) 25th Hour: A-...this movie had a very interesting premise but I never got to it while it was in the theaters. Norton plays his character well but isn't stunning (with the exception of the 'Fuck You' scene). Lee used a type of editing I disliked for the film - you'd see someone give another person a hug, then the shot would cut and you'd see the hug for a second time. I didn't like the style, but the plot and acting was exceptional, especially Barry Pepper toward the end of the film. I loved when I've said it before, I'm a sucker for great endings, as long as the movie can back it up.Spoiler: Highlight to viewNorton's father is telling him what he should do if he decides to duck out on doing time. I knew that the ideas his father (Brian Cox) was giving him would turn out to be what didn't happen, and it was saddening. But I thought that idea was fantastic.
- 37) Pieces of April: B+...I'm still tired of the digital video approach, but then again, that's what I'm working with currently. The story's not incredibly interesting but the family theme is known by those who watch. We've all had problems in our lives, some more than others. The acting is fine, nothing over the top and it shouldn't have been.
- 36) Witness for the Prosecution: A+...stunning. I'm a sucker for courtroom/courtcase dramas (i.e. 12 Angry Men, Adam's Rib, Anatomy of a Murder) and this was no exception. I loved it. Especially the very Another great by Billy Wilder.Spoiler: Highlight to viewtwisted ending. If I had left that without spoilers, it would, for those who haven't already seen it, make them try and figure out a conclusion where what they should do is just watch and enjoy and be thrilled by it.
- 35) Ran: A-...finely directed by Kurosawa and the presence of Shakespeare is definitely felt through the story. That's what I really couldn't love this film for, I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare and his King Lear is the basis for this film. Great costumes and scenery, but I didn't care much for the story.
- 34) The Philadelphia Story: A-...a very nice romantic comedy which starts out staggering but stables itself with the acting. Jimmy Stewart is the best I've seen him here. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are very good but aren't as radiant here as I've seen them before. The direction is only moderate but at least the film has a fantastic script.
- 33) Spellbound: A...an incredible film by Hitchcock. It's very subtle and so is the twisted but fantastic ending. The Dali dream sequence was as good as it should have been. A top 100 contender.
- 32) His Girl Friday: A...another great comedy from Howard Hawks who is moving up my list of favorite directors. Cary Grant is the best he's ever been in this film. Fantastic stuff here.
- 31) Rat Race: C-...well, mostly, this movie was dumb. But it had some very clever/hilarious parts in it, namely John Cleese and any time his group bet on something crazy, like when the Spoiler: Highlight to viewhooker came in and the guy with no personality asks her how much it will cost to get naked, sit in a tub filled with Pepto Bismol and a few other crazy things and the lady says "About $3000" and the men come out from hiding behind the curtains and Cleese says, "Johnson was the closest with $2800."
- 30) Throne of Blood: A...what would have happened had no one talked of the future for the rulers? Another great by Kurosawa. Very good direction and a great role by Toshiro Mifune. I've got Kurosawa's Dreams on the way from Netflix...I'm excited.
- 29) Touch of Evil: A+...wow, this film is incredible. I thought it wasn't going to be so hot becuase after the awesome opening shot, and after the car blows up, the dialogue seems a bit forwarded and misplaced, but that's the only flaw with this masterpiece. Now I can say Welles is probably my second favorite director since I've seen more than two of his films. The cinematography is brilliant here and so is the direction. Welles is amazing as the corrupt officer and Heston is not bad. Leigh could have touched up her role a bit, but that's a very minor complaint. Awesome, awesome, awesome. This will be high up on my top 100 movie list come next revision.
- 28) 50 First Dates: C-...reason for watching: I'm writing a paper for my English class on how comedy has changed over the years, how the Production Code had an effect on the subtlety of the themes, but how that was exploited later on. Not so much on the Code, though that had a big part on keeping the jokes clean with underlying sexual themes, but more about the quality and originality of the jokes. Anyway, here are some of the jokes I wrote down on my notepad about 50 First Dates while watching it tonight (in no particular order):
"Yeah, well you're the state idiot of Hawaii."
Diving in a barrel of fish
Peanut butter cups
10 second Tom
Just end it already. I understand that this is not the only type of comedy that comes out. I highly respect the Coen Bros. when they attempt comedy and the Scary Movie films have their moments, but nothing is as solidly hilarious as Marx Bros. films and other comedies from the first half of the 20th century. Maybe I'll post the paper when I'm finished. Ciao. (P.S. It's hard for a movie when 95% of the jokes fail...and Dan Aykroyd is so awful I would enjoy watching Coneheads compared to his role here)
- 27) The Lost Weekend: A...a very good drama. Fine acting by Ray Milland who deserved the Oscar he won. Not much to comment on other than an overall very well made film.
- 26) The Triplets of Belleville: B...a very strange film by those wacky French. Great animation - I loved seeing some of the sketch lines in the cels rather than the doctored Disney flicks. They're not bad, but they're so perfected. There are some incredible scenes in Belleville Rendezvous, my favorite beeing the ocean liner deporting and the tipped over maitre'd. I might have to go see this film again.
- 25) Yojimbo: A...fantastic film by Kurosawa. His style is so different than any I've seen in films before, it's so extraordinary that I get taken with it. Some very good humor though not a comedy and a great story which reminded me of Leone's 'Man With No Name' trilogy. A superb score to boot. This will probably make my top 100 next time around.
- 24) At the Circus: C-...an incredibly weak Marx Brothers film, probably the worst I've seen. The jokes didn't get many (or any) laughs from me which is depressing. The singing is awful and this is just a rework of some of their others and is not good. There is one great scene and that is the very final scene. At least they saved it for the end.
- 23) Rio Bravo: B-...well I got this film from Netflix because it's on IMDBs top 250 list. It's not bad, but I watched El Dorado years before this film and I enjoyed that one much more. I am comparing these because El Dorado is a rewrite of this film. I couldn't get past the similarities, so for someone who hasn't seen El Dorado yet, this may be better on its own. Stumpy is very annoying and many of the characters' emotions basically come from no where. And I really didn't like the scene where Spoiler: Highlight to viewDean Martin lip synchs.
- 22) Kill Bill Vol. 1 (rewatch): C...there still are some great parts to this movie - my favorites - But there's just not enough here. The coordination in the ending fight scenes is great but I didn't enjoy theSpoiler: Highlight to viewwhen O-Ren and her top 88s are walking in slow motion through the restaurant, the split second cut of one of the 88s flying back with an axe in his head, and the soundtrack.this time.Spoiler: Highlight to viewsquirting blood
- 21) Monty Python's Life of Brian: A...another fantastic masterpiece from the Python crew. Complete brilliance throughout the film with my favorite part being the The humor is first rate here.Spoiler: Highlight to viewJudeah's People Front's Suicide Squad.
- 20) For a Few Dollars More: A...a great way for me to finish off the trilogy, because I began with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, then watched A Fistful of Dollars, now this. Awesome direction by Sergio Leone over the entire 3 movies. My favorite trilogy and they're so much fun to watch. Clint Eastwood rules and so does the score.
- 19) Rashomon: B...well I wanted so much to love this film. I was so excited about watching it, so excited about getting to see it. But maybe I hyped myself up too much to it. I bet I'd like it more on a rewatch which might happen soon. Interesting...but not what I had hoped for.
- 18) Daredevil: C-...ugh, well this was another favorite of my friend who told me about True Romance and Rules of Attraction, but he does have some good movies on his lists. I thought maybe the critics were overlooking something here. No, they weren't. Most of it's just awful. I didn't care about any of the characters and the fight between Matt Murdock and Elect Your Nachos was so rediculous that I got up and paced around, it was so bad. The direction is nothing at all, it seems like it was done by a kid in the second year of his television production classes and who thinks CG is cool. Nothing to see here except when Murdock/Daredevil is listening and we see the soundwaves - that's cool and that's about it.
- 17) American Splendor: B+...well I really liked a lot of parts to this movie. Some were odd, but it's Pekar's story and it is interesting. I especially love the old Jewish grandmother bit. Good work on the opening credits as well.
- 16) Ninja Scroll: B+...this movie is nuts. Most everything in here is rediculous but is beautifully animated. Crazy stuff, but still a lot of fun to watch.
- 15) House of Sand and Fog: B+...wow, I wasn't expecting Moderate direction by first timer Vadi Perelman but the cinematography is key here. It is stunning, we see what Connelly is fighting so hard for. The acting is good for the most part, not exceptionally strong, but I'm not so sure that it needs to be. The house is worn on the outside, but the inside holds so much more. Though still very nice, if you listen closely to the score by James Horner, it's a very close rework of his beautiful score on "A Beautiful Mind." Morbid tale which twists and curls up until there's nothing left.Spoiler: Highlight to viewthings to take as dark of a turn as they did.
- 14) Matchstick Men: B+...another case where I think the preview looks aweful but the movie is (very) good. I am shocked to say this, but Nicholas Cage did a fantastic job in this film. He did well in Adaptation, but it is rare for me to like him. He played his sickness perfectly. And I surely didn't see My one complaint is the tired style they used toward the very beginning - showing a character (Cage) doing something (sitting on his bed trying to call his ex wife) and the editors cut it up so he jumps from sitting to having the phone in his hand. They used this in the first half hour and never again. A greatly photographed/edited part was on the first scam where the lady lets the dog out. Definitely a fun movie.Spoiler: Highlight to viewthe ending coming. Phew...what a great twist. Brilliant.
- 13) (Sigmund Freud's) Peter Pan (rewatch): C...on rewatches, I notice things more...like Jeremy Sumpter's acting, oh well. There still are some beautiful parts, namely Also good is Jason Isaacs and Olivia Williams. I wish this was entirely an adult themed movie, it would be so much better, but the company would never go for it. Here's to hoping...Spoiler: Highlight to viewwhen the 4 children leave the Earth's atmosphere, the CG sun when we first see neverland, the cotton candy clouds, Tinkerbell, how the mermaids weren't gorgeous, the dance with the fairies while Hook and Tink watch, when the Jolly Roger returns the kids to London, and James Newton Howard's score.
- 12) Dirty Pretty Things: F+...let's break it down: direction - so sloppy it's awful, characters - emotion from nowhere, dialogue - forced, plot - uninteresting. I heard this movie was good. I must have been sick that day or some situation where my ears would be clogged. I hated this movie. The humor is awful and the acting is as good as the humor. I know where this movie can go!
- 11) Big Fish: B...while it's being praised nation wide, I thought it was good, not sure if I would praise it, but there are some very nice scenes in this movie. Nice - what the heck does that word mean in this context? Get it outta here. Big fish have big tales and lead big lives and Albert Finney, on his close ups at angles, looks like a fish...his mouth anyway. He's destined for the ending and did anyone see Quite interesting and a great way to seal off the movie withSpoiler: Highlight to viewthe skull in the sinker (angler, hook thing, whatever you call it)in the beginning?So until next time...Spoiler: Highlight to viewCrudup's story.
- 10) Something's Gotta Give: B...some fantastic humor covered the first half of this movie. I laughed quite a bit. But then the pace slowed, and slowed, and slowed some more. And I felt it could have been cut down or ended earlier. That's the only thing that affected me most. I say the only thing, although really, it was quite a big thing in the end. Good script though, should have been quicker at the end.
- 9) 21 Grams: A...great stuff here. Another depressing tale of true life. Too true. The acting is stellar and so is everything else about this movie. The cutting back and forth was good, some people I've talked to didn't like it. But I always like putting things in order. And the characters try to put their lives in order and the script is fantastic. A solid 'A'.
- 8) Paycheck: C- ...hey, I know, whenever I'm in a jam, why don't I reach into my bag of tricks and pull out my way outta here? I know, I know, everything and every discovery had to be made at the right time in order for everything to work. But it came off as cheeky. And the feel of Minority Report was abound, especially during the opening credits. But I'm not here to compare films so...I loved some of the ideas in this movie. I even really liked some parts. All that credit goes to the great mind of Phillip K. Dick, a fantastic writer who wrote other greats like Minority Report and Blade Runner. I would commend this film, but take away the story and all you've got is mediocre to poor direction and poor acting. Too bad, this could have been great.
- 7) In America: B+...the kids steal the show here. I've never seen children act so well (no pun intended). Ariel's face lights up the screen every frame she's on, and Christy is the key here, she documents the family and is like their analyst. The best part to me was It's brilliant.Spoiler: Highlight to viewwhen she tells her dad to say by to Frankie in the end.
- 6) Rules of Attraction: C ...sex...drugs...sex...attempted suicide...drugs...sex...suicide...I know the game. I've seen this movie before in other movies. Stylistically, this movie would get an 'A,' I like the telling. But other than style, there's not much here. I realize it's a satire but again, like American Psycho, which was a book written by the same guy that wrote this book, it was turned into a movie, but it just doesn't work well.
- 5) True Romance: D...well I couldn't have cared much less for this movie, which is unfortunate because it's on a good friend of mine's top 10 list. He has some other questionables on there, so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised. It's violent and the dialogue is awful:
Christian Slater - "There's a train coming." (he and Patricia Arquette are 20 feet from the tracks and the train is at most, 100 feet away, I think she knows)
Dennis Hopper - "He's right, she does taste like peaches." (this is after Slater's wife Arquette kisses Hopper on the lips longer than necessary to set up this stupid line)
There are others, but I don't care to remember them, those are just the ones that sucked...I mean, stuck. Only thing I liked about this movie was the soundtrack, and I only liked it the first two or three times I heard it, not consistently like it was played throughout the movie. Unfortunate.
- 4) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: A ...the following are parts of a quiet conversation my friend Brett and I had while watching this movie with quotes from the movie in as well -- (in the scene before Blakeney (Max Perkis) and the doctor (Paul Bettany) show the captain a bug who has disguised itself as a stick so it doesn't get eaten)Spoiler: Highlight to viewCapt. Jack disguises the crew, etc,
Brett: "They're going to disguise the ship as the ocean."
Me: "Noooo...they're going to disguise it as a stick."
Brett: (personifying the stick)"Don't mind me.."
Me: "I'm just a piece of driftwood."
In another part of the movie, after thehe tells Blakely he needs him at quarter mast, or something --Spoiler: Highlight to viewyounger boy gets the position of sail master,
Brett: "I wonder why they didn't call him to arms..." (either you need to have seen the movie to understand the joke or, here -)Spoiler: Highlight to viewearly on in the movie, Blakely has his arm amputated because of gangrene
I thought this movie was extremely well done, acting, directing, everything and it created tension and feelings of clever discovery and triumphs at all the right times and had a very clever ending.
- 3) Cold Mountain: B ...the way the characters and story were set up came off leaving me not caring about them too much. I did enjoy the story, though many ideas were recycled for the movie. But there were also some really well thought out ideas, But then some things were set up just so there could be more dramatics -Spoiler: Highlight to viewi.e. looking into the future inside the well.Overall good, though.Spoiler: Highlight to viewthe scene in which Captain Teague and his men block in the ladies and tell them they are wanted for treason - one of his men, I think Bosie, rides off even though he has a gun. He does this so that Jude Law's character can have a shootout. He wouldn't have ridden off like that after shooting all the other people in the movie. It was a bit contrived.
- 2) Peter Pan: B+ ...the most enchanting scene to me was when I love that feeling and the way it was put was perfect. There is too much CG, I think, but that's the way to do it these days. This is not a great movie heresay, but I always have loved the thought of doing what the Darlings do (flying and going to a mythical land) and how great that would be and the reason why it only stays in the imagination. That's what I really liked about the film, also the underlying Freudian themes, of which there are too many to name. This review was cut off due to exceeding my word limit and I forgot the rest of this review.Spoiler: Highlight to viewPan and the kids leave the earth's atmosphere in an amazing shot and they fly out into the galaxy.
- 1) M: B+...Peter Lorre is fantastic and Fritz Lang's direction is very good. Not a bunch to comment on...I liked it.