Airplane!

May 30, 2012


One line review: Airplane goes with the shotgun approach to comedy and gets quite a few hits.

Movie Title: Airplane!

Actors: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays, Leslie Nielsen, Lorna Patterson, Robert Stack, Stephen Stucker

Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker

Year: 1980

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% – Though unabashedly juvenile and silly, Airplane! is nevertheless an uproarious spoof comedy full of quotable lines and slapstick gags that endure to this day.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I’m surprised how much I enjoyed Airplane! Normally the shotgun approach to comedy turns me off as one joke after another falls flat. Not only did I enjoy the majority of the jokes that we’re performed but even when a joke fell flat it didn’t ruin the fun. I believe what sets this apart from most “shotgun” comedies are the running gags which keep building on one another until you have to laugh. This is the kind of movie that you could probably pick up at any point in the film and start laughing in a few minutes. Damn good movie.


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

May 22, 2012

One line review: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is a fantastic Western supported by great characters and an larger than life plot.

Movie Title: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Actors: Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Enzo Petito, Claudio Scarchilli, John Bartha

Director: Sergio Leone

Year: 1966

Genre: Western / Action

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% – Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is the best western I’ve ever seen and has given me new found respect for Clint Eastwood. All of the characters are three dimensional and fun to watch, but Clint Eastwood steals the show as the calm and collected bad ass who always has an ace up his sleeve. I was surprised at the Civil War background, but it served the movie very well in the end, adding to the world at large and providing an appropriate backdrop. An extremely entertaining movie that may have just made me a Clint Eastwood fan for life.


National Lampoon’s Animal House

May 15, 2012


One line review: Crude humor, pointless scenes, and all around an empty movie.

Movie Title: National Lampoon’s Animal House

Actors: Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst, Mark Metcalf, Mary Louise Weller, Martha Smith, James Daughton, Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller

Director: John Landis

Year: 1979

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% – The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live’s irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.

My rating: *

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Animal House is a pretty basic film with a lot of one liners and gross out humor. I could notfind anything redeemable about this movie that would make me ever want to watch it again. Maybe I could understand if you watched this as a teenager and the concept of a boobie in a film was incredible then this movie could hold some nostalgic value. I did not enjoy watching this movie, did not laugh at any of the jokes, and I have no intentions of watching any of it’s sequels. Just a waste of time and energy all around.


Apocalypse Now

May 7, 2012


One line review: Apocalypse Now does a fantastic build as the audience goes on the voyage into the darkest part of the human psyche.

Movie Title: Apocalypse Now

Actors: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Albert Hall, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper, G.D. Spradlin, Jerry Ziesmer, Scott Glenn, Bo Byers

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Year: 1979

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 99% – Francis Ford Coppola’s haunting, hallucinatory Vietnam War epic is cinema at its most audacious and visionary.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I had actually read Heart of Darkness before watching this movie, but didn’t realize that Apocalypse Now was more or less a modern update of Heart of Darkness until Walter E. Kurtz’s character showed up with a bald skull. Once that connection was made it all synced up for me and I realized what I was watching. This movie does a fantastic job of building up the suspension and fear, all the while delivering a message about the humanity of man. This is one of the few dramatic movies I’ve found where I completely agree with the critics. A fantastic movie.


The Departed

April 29, 2012


One line review: The Departed is a gritty film that’s constantly changing and forces you to hold on for the ride.

Movie Title: The Departed

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Corrigan, James Badge Dale

Director: Martin Scorsese

Year: 2006

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes:93% – Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast that includes Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality that has infused director Martin Scorcese’s past triumphs.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): There is so much plot and character development stuffed into this movie that it’s difficult to keep track of. The constantly shifting perspectives leads to sharing the same chaotic feelings that the main characters have. Unfortunately that also ends up being my biggest complaint for the movie. Edits are thrown at the user so fast that it’s hard to catch up when you’re in a new scene. This is especially difficult early on in the movie. Everything about this movie was impressive, if it weren’t for the difficulty with following the edits and time jumps, I’d consider it a perfect movie.


The Boondock Saints

April 22, 2012


One line review: The Boondock Saints is a dumb movie with so much style that it almost passes as good.

Movie Title: The Boondock Saints

Actors: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly, David Ferry, Brian Mahoney, Bob Marley, Richard Fitzpatrick

Director: Troy Duffy

Year: 1999

Genre: Action

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 17% – A juvenile, ugly movie that represents the worst tendencies of directors channeling Tarantino.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This movie is absolutely stupid. The protagonists are ridiculously lucky, their enemies are idiotic, and everything seems to conveniently go there way. However this movie also has about a gallon of style and cool shots poured over it. The end results is a movie that you can somewhat enjoy with your mind turned off. I completely agree with the critics that considered this to be an ugly action movie, but it has a handful of cool moments that at least made it not a complete waste of time. I was braced for a bad action movie, and got what I expected.


Fargo

April 15, 2012


One line review: Fargo is well loved by many fans but it simply didn’t click with me.

Movie Title: Fargo

Actors: William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd, Harve Presnell, Tony Denman, Gary Houston, Sally Wingert

Director: Joel Coen

Year: 1996

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% – Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.

My rating: *

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): A dark comedy has to hit a very fine line to succeed. In my opinion, Fargo wobbles all over that line. At times the comedy is so odd and jarring that I just end up staring at the movie trying to figure out if that was supposed to be a joke. Other times I’m amazed at how dark a scene will be and wonder how this movie is supposed to make me laugh. The most aggravating part of this movie was the accents, which made me want to punch the screen. This movie just hit all the wrong notes with me.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

April 7, 2012


One line review: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid doesn’t have a lot of depth to it, but it’s a fun movie and holds up well.

Movie Title: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Actors: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, George Furth

Director: George Roy Hill

Year: 1969

Genre: Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% – With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-’60s American cinema.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): While it’s a little hokey, and can initially be annoying, eventually the team up of two criminals who are complete opposites will warm you up. The movie is probably best remembered for it’s dramatic conclusion and I have to admit that the ending really won me over. Without a powerful ending I probably would have considered this a bit of an aged movie with some hit and miss comedy. Only when I take in the movie as a whole do I get over the odd bits and enjoy it. I would recommend anyone who enjoys action or westerns to watch it.


Beverly Hills Cop

January 27, 2012


One line review: Beverly Hills Cop is a mix of comedic pranks and buddy cop action, and it’s average in both.

Movie Title: Beverly Hills Cop

Actors: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Ronny Cox, Steven Berkoff, James Russo, Jonathan Banks, Stephen Elliott, Gilbert R. Hill, Art Kimbro, Joel Bailey, Bronson Pinchot, Paul Reiser

Director: Martin Brest

Year: 1984

Genre: Action / Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% – Classic ’80s Murphy vehicle; fun but foulmouthed.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): So apparently Dr. Dolittle made Action/Comedy movies before making a ton of family crap, and it didn’t impress me too much. A lot of this movie depends on your enjoying watching Eddie Murphy laugh at his own jokes and enjoying the same electronic music over and over again. The comedy was hit and miss, and I quickly got annoyed with Eddie Murphy, while the action was just slapped on at the end. This is at best an average movie, and I don’t see why it ended up being so memorable. Maybe other people appreciate Eddie Murphy’s antics more than I do.


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

January 22, 2012

One line review: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Movie Title: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Actors: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Dan Shor, Tony Steedman, Rod Loomis, Al Leong, Jane Wiedlin, Robert V. Barron, Clifford David,    Hal Landon Jr.

Director: Stephen Herek

Year: 1989

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% – Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure manages to find the perfect mix between goofy comedy and annoying characters to come out as an absolutely fantastic movie. I can honestly not put my finger on what allows it to hit the sweet spot. Other movies have had annoying and obnoxious comedic duos and they sometimes fail horribly. It might be something their relative innocence that makes them endearing. One final note, the abuse of time travel logic in the final scenes in jail was the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a while. This movie is just fun, silly, and a good time.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.