Avatar

January 31, 2010

One line review: A film that may have pushed the envelope in visual techniques, but does not fully live up to it’s sky high hype.

Movie Title: Avatar

Actors: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Joel Moore, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, CCH Pounder, Dileep Rao, Matt Gerald, Sean Anthony Moran

Director: James Cameron

Year: 2009

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: Theater

Location of Viewing: Theater

Viewing with: Family

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% – It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron’s singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This film has both been praised for it’s fantastic visuals, and lambasted for it’s basic plot. I fall somewhere in the middle. I feel that while the visuals are some of the most impressive 3D and CGI I’ve ever seen, it was still an artificial effect that felt like a gimmick. As for the plot, the basic idea may have been stolen from Dances with Wolves, but Avatar adds a few twists of it’s own to make it feel like a unique story. This film has earned it’s place in history, and I will be fascinated to see the upcoming sequels.

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The Goonies

January 30, 2010

One line review: A fantastic tale that is only entertaining for children.

Movie Title: The Goonies

Actors: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi

Director: Richard Donner

Year: 1985

Genre: Comedy / Adventure

Method of Viewing: TV

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 64% – The Goonies is a smooth mixture of the usual ingredients from Steven Spielberg action movies, made special because of the high-energy performances of the kids who have the adventures.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This movie works only as a movie for young children (despite the random cursing thrown in). Kids will be thrilled by the constant challenges and adventures the Goonies go through, however there is little else to be enjoyed. It’s actually quite disappointing, since so many of the great children’s movies that I’ve watched seem to have at least something for adults to enjoy. However, this movie barely has a central plot, and instead simply has a series of crazy, scary, and fantastic events. Still, I can strongly recommend this movie for any child, they’ll absolutely be entertained from start to finish.

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Robocop

January 25, 2010

One line review:A collection of one liners and action scenes that ends up as a pretty good movie.

Movie Title: Robocop

Actors: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Robert DoQui, Ray Wise, Felton Perry, Paul McCrane, Jesse D. Goins, Del Zamora, Calvin Jung, Rick Lieberman, Lee de Broux

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Year: 1987

Genre: Action

Method of Viewing: TV

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% – While over-the-top and gory, Robocop is also a surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This movie is considered one of the greatest of all time, completely forgiven for it’s silly plot due to it’s fun nature and over the top violence. I spent this movie either laughing with the movie, laughing at the movie, or being amazed at just how much violence was going on. As long as you’re in a good mood, you can at least enjoy this movie. The movie more or less knows that it can be over the top with the violence, while still keeping the audience entertained. I still believe the movie is overrated, but I had a good time.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

January 22, 2010

One line review: A fantastic movie for kids who are fans of the Ninja Turtles, and little else.

Movie Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Actors: Josh Pais, Michelan Sisti, Leif Tilden, David Forman, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman, Brian Tochi, Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Michael Turney, Kevin Clash, James Saito, Toshirô Obata, David McCharen, Michael McConnohie

Director: Steve Barron

Year: 1990

Genre: Action / Comedy

Method of Viewing: TV

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 46% – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is exactly as advertised: one-liners, brawls, and general silliness. Good for the young at heart, irritating for everyone else.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I was a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid, however I have no real memory of watching the cartoon, reading comics, or seeing the movies. I put this movie on the list to see if I could recall any bit of the movie. While it appears I either didn’t see it (or don’t remember it) it was a wave of nostalgia that I couldn’t help but enjoy. This movie is too silly and corny to ever be considered a fantastic movie, but it’s just a fun movie that I’m glad I remembered to include on my list.

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Ghostbusters

January 18, 2010

One line review: A fantastically enjoyable film that keeps a fast and funny pace throughout the entire movie.

Movie Title: Ghostbusters

Actors: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Ernie Hudson

Director: Ivan Reitman

Year: 1984

Genre: Action / Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Ghostbusters is an infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, featuring a hilarious deadpan performance from Bill Murray.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Each of these famous movies are forced to live up to different expectations, however this one did the best job. Within twenty minutes of the movie, all the pieces were there and the gang was ready to start busting ghosts. From beginning to end this movie is delivering sarcasm, one liners, and fantastic quotes. Ghostbusters never allows you to stop and think about the silly premise or nearly non-existent plot because there are so many jokes to laugh at. All of the actors deliver a perfect ensemble to ensure every kind of humor is here to make for a fantastic movie.

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The Silence of the Lambs

January 18, 2010

One line review: An incredibly tense and haunting tale that introduces an unforgettable villain.

Movie Title: The Silence of the Lambs

Actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald, Ted Levine, Frankie Faison, Kasi Lemmons, Brooke Smith, Paul Lazar, Dan Butler

Director: Jonathan Demme

Year: 1991

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% – Director Jonathan Demme’s smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This is yet another movie that I have heard referenced a thousand times, without ever knowing the full context. From what I had gathered, I thought this movie was nothing more than an interview between Clarice and Hannibal where Hannibal described his victims. Instead it was about a killer I had never heard of before, and Hannibal was kept extremely low key. It was that low key nature that made him all the more threatening. The movie does a masterful job of maintaining suspense as each scene seems to build on the last one. It really feels like an absolute masterpiece.

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Top Gun

January 17, 2010

One line review: Take your standard action movie, remove 60% of the action and replace it with bromance.

Movie Title: Top Gun

Actors: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Rick Rossovich, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Whip Hubley

Director: Tony Scott

Year: 1986

Genre: Action / Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 46% – Once Top Gun gets back to earth, the master of the skies is as clunky as a big land-bound bird.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): It’s difficult for me to figure out if this movie was ruined for me simply by the boring plot, or by Tom Cruise current crazy antics distracting me whenever he was on screen. Either way, this movie seems like it was made to be on Rifftrax only, and never actually taken seriously. Even if you can muscle your way through an hour of mostly boring scenes of the drama of fighter pilot school, the action itself is too chaotic to actually follow. This movie simply feels empty, as though it’s struggling to fill time with half-naked guys and playing Danger Zone.

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