Alien

January 22, 2012


One line review: Alien mixes mystery with creepy imagery to create an extremely good horror movie.

Movie Title: Alien

Actors: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Bolaji Badejo

Director: Ridley Scott

Year: 1979

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% – A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): The praise for this movie is extremely high, and it pulls some tricks with the horror genre that are completely unique. On top of that it featured an impressive set of special effects and a memorable cast. While I probably won’t put this into my personal favorites, I can recognize a well put together film. What holds me back from going all the way was just some confusion I had with the plot and details of the alien. I ended up having to look up online to understand some details. Perhaps that’s my own fault, but it’s still a great film.


Dracula

October 18, 2011


One line review: Dracula manages to hold up suprisingly well for it’s age, dependent mostly on the acting of Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye.

Movie Title: Dracula

Actors: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade, Joan Standing, Charles K. Gerrard

Director: Tod Browning, Karl Freund

Year: 1931

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Bela Lugosi’s timeless portrayal of Dracula in this creepy and atmospheric 1931 film has set the standard for major vampiric roles since.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Providing a great contrast to The Shining, Dracula had very little sound effects or music as it came soon after the silent age of films. Still, the silence works just as well, often making the viewer feel trapped with Count Dracula. In addition, the slow and calculating speech of Bela Lugosi combined with the manic and insane mumblings of Dwight Frye constantly leaves the viewer on edge. My only complaint is that there seems to be some inconsistencies with the powers of Dracula and what he can do to his victims, though that’s more my inner nerd talking. A great film.


The Evil Dead

October 4, 2011


One line review: The Evil Dead combines a horror, gore, and a bit of humor to make a surprisingly enjoyable film.

Movie Title: The Evil Dead

Actors: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Philip A. Gillis

Director: Sam Raimi

Year: 1981

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% – This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I was surprised to learn that The Evil Dead and The Godfather both have 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s certainly an impressive low-budget horror movie. It manages to give a small amount of horror, a high amount of gore, and actually kept me interested in what will happen next throughout the entire movie. I’m not a fan of the horror genre, but this is my favorite horror movie. It’s very limited in it’s quiet and creepy moments, but instead starting kicking ass early and often. I honestly can’t wait to view the next movie, I enjoyed watching this a lot.


The Shining

September 26, 2011


One line review: The Shining does an impressive job of building up momentum through sound effects and a slow build, but it seems to fall apart at the end.

Movie Title: The Shining

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson, Tony Burton, Lia Beldam, Billie Gibson, Barry Dennen

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Year: 1980

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% – Though it deviates from Stephen King’s novel, Stanley Kubricks’ The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness — exemplified in an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I was ready to declare this to be one of the best movies I had ever watched in this entire experiment. This is not a movie you could enjoy if the sound was muted and you were reading subtitles. So much of this film is dependent on eerie moments of subtle music or odd effects. I was impressed that there was suspense built up so early in the movie based solely on these dramatic moments. However, the film fell a bit flat at the end, somehow all the build up didn’t payoff. I’m disappointed that this movie couldn’t hold together throughout.


Big

September 19, 2011

One line review: Big is a decent movie that actually provides some moments of entertainment, but overall the gag just doesn’t last the entire film.

Movie Title: Big

Actors: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl, Josh Clark

Director: Penny Marshall

Year: 1988

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% – Refreshingly sweet and undeniably funny, Big is a showcase for Tom Hanks, who dives into his role and infuses it with charm and surprising poignancy.

My rating: ***

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Big certainly gets credit for Tom Hanks’ performance, capturing childhood innocence and happiness, but eventually the movie started to wear on me til I was just waiting for the whole thing to end. I’d almost be more interested in a version of this cut in half. For the most part I simply enjoyed watching Tom Hanks rather than enjoying any specific joke or skit. Actually some of the sections with awkward moments were the sections I hated the most. I just wanted to watch Tom Hanks, and the movie kind of got in the way. An okay movie, not my favorite.


Johnny Dangerously

October 24, 2010

One line review: A brilliant little comedy that is a combination of spoof and celebration of gangster films.

Movie Title: Johnny Dangerously

Actors: Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne, Glynnis O’Connor, Dom DeLuise, Richard Dimitri, Danny DeVito

Director: Amy Heckerling

Year: 1984

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: My Uncle

Rotten Tomatoes: 47% – I know I shouldn’t like this film, but dammit, it’s just so gloriously exuberantly silly that there’s no use condemning it.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I have no idea how this movie got on my list of 101 films, but I’m glad it did. It doesn’t seem to be that well loved by any movie critics, but I’m telling you to give this movie a shot and you’ll find a wonderful, silly, and quirky film. You better not take this film too seriously, otherwise you might criticize it for some potty humor and some rather silly puns. However, as long as you don’t take things too seriously you’ll find a film that it full of heart, and certainly worth a shot. One of my favorite comedies.


Unforgiven

September 8, 2010

One line review: Giving the Western genre a small twist, Unforgiven gives a third dimension to it’s characters that you wouldn’t expect from this type of movie.

Movie Title: Unforgiven

Actors: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Director: Clint Eastwood

Year: 1992

Genre: Western

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% – As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Perhaps as my first Western to ever watch, this was a poor choice. This movie seemed more aimed towards either breaking the conventions you have assumed about a Western, or just to provide a fitting end to Clint Eastwood’s series of Western films. Either way, you can’t deny that it’s a great movie. There’s something so entertaining about watching a hard ass like Clint Eastwood struggle with everything from getting on his horse to resisting the urge to drink. You want to fight for him, you want to believe that there can be redemption. It’s a fantastic film, a great Western.