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 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.


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.


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 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.


The Godfather

September 26, 2011


One line review: The power and emotions of the characters overwhelm the plot and provide a powerful experience for the viewer.

Movie Title: The Godfather

Actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Diane Keaton

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Year: 1972

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% – One of Hollywood’s greatest critical and commercial successes, The Godfather gets everything right; not only did the movie transcend expectations, it established new benchmarks for American cinema.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): The Godfather is considered by some to be the greatest movie of all time, unfortunately I have a tendency to not enjoy these dramatic movie as much as the critics. I cannot deny the superb acting (even if I had trouble understanding Marlon Brando), all of these characters live and breathe with every move they make. My only problem is that I think the characters actually overwhelm the plot. The central plot to this movie is in the background, while the movie focuses on each individual character instead. It leaves you only focused on the acting rather than a whole story.