Rocky

February 28, 2010

One line review: It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand different ways, and yet Sylvester Stallone manages to make it entertaining.

Movie Title: Rocky

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Jimmy Gambina, Bill Baldwin, Al Silvani

Director: John G. Avildsen

Year: 1976

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: Netflix Instant Watch

Location of Viewing: Work

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone’s script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This movie surprised me in it’s ability to make me fascinated with it’s characters. In the end, there’s probably only 15 minutes of actual boxing in this movie, and yet I wasn’t bored in between. The characters of Adrian and Rocky fascinated me, and I enjoyed watching them evolve and change as the movie went on. I still feel that this movie isn’t as epic as people seem to remember. It actually feels completely inappropriate to be to call it epic, because this movie tells the incredible story of a nobody who became a somebody through his own will and strength.

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Super Size Me

February 21, 2010

One line review: Morgan Spurlock combines humor with shocking facts and results to make an extremely impressive documentary about McDonalds and the fast food market in general.

Movie Title: Super Size Me

Actors: Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs, Lisa Ganjhu, Stephen Siegel, Bridget Bennett, Alexandra Jamieson

Director: Morgan Spurlock

Year: 2004

Genre: Documentary

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Entertaining doc about the adverse effects of eating fast food.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): After watching and enjoying several episodes of 30 Days, I figured I should watch the movie that launched Morgan Spurlock’s career. I was pleased to find the same combination of fascinating information and humor was in the original project, just as I found it in the TV series. This isn’t just a documentary that tries to tell you fast food is bad, it breaks down how food, exercise, and advertising affect the lives of all Americans and the world. I strongly suggest everyone watch this movie, not just for the information, but because Morgan Spurlock managed to make it rather entertaining.

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Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

February 14, 2010

One line review: A film that once again suffers from over an hour of plot holes and stupidity before finally getting to some decent superhero action.

Movie Title: Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Actors: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Clifton James, E.G. Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp

Director: Richard Donner

Year:[Superman II] 1980 / [Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut] 2006

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: [Superman II] 87% – The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.

[Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut] 83% – This version of Superman II is a triumph of intention, sending the imagination soaring again over this new angle on a very old question mark.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I simply can’t understand why either of the two Superman movies I saw are considered so good. If this is considered good I can only dread what the sequels would hold in store for me. There are enough plot holes in this movie to make my mind melt, there are enough stupid actions by characters to make me wish I could smack each and every one of them up side the head. I’m now convinced that there is no live action movie that truly captures Superman, they seem too busy trying to make Superman a comedy rather than an action movie.

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Casablanca

February 9, 2010

One line review: A fantastic romantic film that manages to drag you into the lives of the main cast.

Movie Title: Casablanca

Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, S.Z. Sakall, Madeleine Lebeau, Dooley Wilson, Joy Page, John Qualen, Leonid Kinskey

Director: Michael Curtiz

Year: 1942

Genre: Romance / Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% – An undisputed masterpiece and perhaps Hollywood’s quintessential statement on love and romance, Casablanca has only improved with age, boasting career-defining performances from Humphrey Bogart and Ingred Bergman.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This, like Citizen Kane, is an example of a movie that I can recognize is fantastic, even if it won’t ever be considered a favorite of mine. This movie accomplished something absolutely amazing, in somehow not only making me emotionally invested in a romance, but also made me feel the impact of a war through only the emotions and actions of the main characters. I absolutely love Humphrey Bogart’s character. Something about the ultimate cynic finally being turned around by the power of love seems beautiful. It’s just another example how great story telling and acting is all a film needs.

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Superman

February 1, 2010

One line review: A superhero movie that seems to be short on action, and big on Superman’s boring origin.

Movie Title: Superman

Actors: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Trevor Howard, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Maria Schell, Terence Stamp, Phyllis Thaxter, Susannah York, Jeff East

Director: Richard Donner

Year: 1978

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): It first has to be said that I didn’t watch the original film, I saw the director’s cut. Perhaps that why I felt this movie spent far too much time on Jor-El, or young Kal El, rather than just telling a Superman story. In the end, Superman’s story is not interesting, and somehow this movie made it even less interesting. Only after Superman starts acting like Superman did I start to enjoy this movie, and even then it was over too soon. It’s also difficult to forgive this movie’s numerous plot holes and silly special effects. This movie hasn’t aged well.

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