July 17, 2011

One line review: Jaws is a horror movie that rises above it’s genre to become a classic.

Movie Title: Jaws

Actors: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie, Jonathan Filley

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1975

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% – Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): It’s become obvious that horror will never be my favorite genre, but I can appreciate this film none the less. Jaws is the father of many classic moments of fear and shock. It also has the impressive ability to keep the tension up constantly, whether there’s a shark around or not. This movie doesn’t use gore and blood to get it’s scares, which guarantees it can stay fresh for years to come. The stars also manage to outshine the villian, which is a rare treat in most horror movies. A film that makes me reconsider what can be done in horror.


E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

March 21, 2011

One line review: The classic film may be impressive to children back in the 1980s, but it doesn’t hold up when an adult views it in modern times.

Movie Title: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Actors: Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, K.C. Martel, Sean Frye, C. Thomas Howell

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1982

Genre: Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% – It’s a simple beautiful story about loneliness, friendship, and the bittersweet pangs of childhood.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I just could not enjoy this film. Anything that is considering a childhood classic usually has trouble holding up for me. Further add in that a large portion of the excitement for this movie stems from Speilberg’s special effects. Even though the special effects stand the test of time, they are no longer something wonderful enough to carry the movie. What’s left is a harmless, innocent tale, but nothing that interests me in anyway. I really think the majority of the fun from this movie has to come form a child’s view, and I can’t appreciate it for any thing else.

Indiana Jones Trilogy

November 6, 2010

One line review: A fantastic trilogy of action packed movies that have helped define more genre cliches than almost any other series.

Movie Title: Raiders of the Lost of the Ark / Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Actors: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler, Anthony Higgins, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone, Roy Chiao, David Yip, Ric Young, Chua Kah Joo, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody , John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne, Kevork Malikyan, Robert Eddison, Richard Young, Alexei Sayle, Alex Hyde-White, Paul Maxwell

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1981 / 1984 / 1989

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes:

Raiders of the Lost Ark – 94% – Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – 85% -If it was a sign of the times for Indiana Jones to take on more of a comic-book aspect, the film’s accomodation of darker themes and explicit imagery came as something of a shock to many.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – 89% – Last Crusade is pure kicks, and I would never fault this spunky blast of quips and near-misses for trying to vanilla its way back into the hearts of millions.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): The biggest thing I’ve learned during this little experiment is just how many movie references and cliches have been ripped from previous movie series. Indiana Jones borrowed it’s fair share from things like Zorro or cowboy films, but the sheet number of films that have eithere made vauge references or just straight up copied the entire movie is amazing. The Indiana Jones Trilogy still rises above any of those other movies because it is just a constant barrage of action. These movies know exactly what they need to do to entertain their audience, and they do it well. A fantastic trilogy

Saving Private Ryan

October 17, 2010

One line review: A war story that manages to both embrace all of the standard stereotypes of a war movie and also breath fresh new life into genre.

Movie Title: Saving Private Ryan

Actors: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Jeremy Davies, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Paul Giamatti

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1998

Genre: Drama

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% – Anchored by another winning performance from Hanks, Spielberg’s unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This is another example of a movie that might not be my personal favorite, but I can recognize it as a powerful movie both visually and emotionally. It certainly show a lot of effort for how much each character is cared for and fleshed out. I admit I wasn’t as impressed by the war scenes as other reviewers have been, I either don’t have an appreciation for the complexity of the effects, or I’ve been spoiled by CG graphics. The movie certainly accomplishes something I didn’t think was possible, giving me the impact and legacy of World War II. Impressive.