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.

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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.


Friday the 13th

April 18, 2011

One line review: The film that represents so many of the horror genres has not aged well as it’s shock value diminishes.

Movie Title: Friday the 13th

Actors: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan , Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Peter Brouwer, Rex Everhart, Ronn Carroll

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Year: 1980

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 60% – …perhaps more than any other film, it helped to popularize the slasher genre and codify the formula.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I think this movie servers as a good example for why psychological horror movies deserve to be promoted so much higher over those that rely on shocking, gruesome deaths. Nightmare on Elm Street shows some of it’s age, but it’s still a unique idea that can haunt you when you sleep. Friday the 13th seems to have had almost no impact on me. It probably doesn’t help that some of the more memorable scenes are ones I’ve already seen clips of, just because this movie was so iconic. It may have influenced many before, but it seems to lack something original.


The Blues Brothers

January 2, 2010

One line review: Perhaps if I was more of a fan of the music, I’d be a fan of this movie.

Movie Title: The Blues Brothers

Actors: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Carrie Fisher

Director: John Landis

Year: 1980

Genre: Musical / Comedy

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 84% – Too over the top for its own good, but ultimately rescued by the cast’s charm, director John Landis’ grace, and several soul-stirring musical numbers.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Once again I feel that nostalgia has blinded people to how good this movie is. Back in my Caddyshack review I complained that every person had seemed to forget that about half of Caddyshack focused on teenagers and their problems. However, with the other half being a fantastic comedy, it all balanced out well. This movie on the other hand is 90% musical, 10% action / comedy. That action / comedy may be pretty dang good, but it by no means makes up for everything else you have to sit through. Unless you love the music, this movie is just boring.

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Star Wars

December 8, 2009

One line review: The Original Star Wars Trilogy truly is a fantastic story that has an epic feeling to it.

Movie Title: Star Wars (IV: A New Hope), (Star Wars V: )The Empire Strikes Back, (Star Wars VI: )Return of the Jedi

Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Phil Brown, Shelagh Fraser, Jack Purvis, Alex McCrindle, Eddie Byrne, Billy Dee Williams, Frank Oz, Jeremy Bulloch, John Hollis, Jack Purvis, Des Webb, Clive Revill, Sebastian Shaw, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Pennington, Kenneth Colley

Director: George Lucas / Irvin Kershner / Richard Marquand

Year: 1977 / 1980 / 1983

Genre: Action / SciFi

Method of Viewing: Television

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes:
Star Wars: 94% – The action and special effects are first rate.
The Empire Strikes Back: 97% – This is argubaly the most powerful, compelling, and entertaining of the series.
Return of the Jedi: 75% – Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least):
I’m grudgingly giving this trilogy a 5 star rating, because going in I wanted to not like the Star Wars Trilogy. I was tired of hearing people so surprised that I had never seen it before. However, I can’t deny how well each movie works individual, and how together the trilogy results in an absolutely epic story. Despite the fact that I knew the major plot points before going into it, watching this unique little world unfold was very enjoyable. These films have held up extremely well, mainly because the story they tell is absolutely timeless. It is a fantastic trilogy.

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Caddyshack

September 13, 2009

One line review: Rodney Dangerfield = Happiness

Movie Title: Caddyshack

Actors: Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray

Director: Harold Ramis

Year: 1980

Genre: Comedy

Method of Viewing: Netflix Online

Location of Viewing: Waiting Room of Hospital and Home

Viewing with: No one

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% – Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.

My rating:  **** – A Legendary movie, but with some flaws

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Thank God for Rodney Dangerfield. I honestly feel that without him this movie would have been just okay, but every time Dangerfield was on the screen I was either giggling or laughing out loud. Something about his face, his mannerisms just makes me smile. While I understand the purpose of Bill Murray, I didn’t enjoy the low brow and slap stick humor he provided. Chevy Chase’s character didn’t feel like it was meant to be laugh a minute funny so much as one-liner funny. I suppose the end result is three characters combining different comedic styles to make an awesome movie.

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