Posts Tagged ‘ movie ’

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Review)




*Spoilers*

Now I will preface this review by saying that I entered the movie with a bias in my mind. That is obviously something I try to avoid, however it was very hard to shake off. This strange feeling kept creeping up on me as I was going to waiting for the movie to begin. I was afraid of the repeated Marvel formula again. During the release of the first Iron Man movie hype was through the roof. Marvel seemed to have hit all the key spots that they wanted with that movie. It had humor, action, a plot, and many more. Even though it wasn’t my cup of tea I still appreciated that this is the direction they wanted their movies to go in. Now keep in mind this is the time in which The Dark Knight Trilogy was coming out, and DC was going for more of this serious and dramatic feel for superhero movies. Marvel on the other hand went off and started their line-up with Iron Man and built up their hype. Unfortunately every other Marvel movie that they followed with had the same formula. Cheesy one-liners, rehashed sub-plots, and worst of all mindless action. That’s what I hate most about it, if you want to make a summer action blockbuster then go right ahead. But don’t just rehash your same formula and plot into every one of your movies. I say that while they are all rolling in money but that’s how the world works. Nevertheless, Marvel needs to seriously rethink their model of how they are going to continue forward with their line-up. Now that I got that out of the way let me talk about the movie itself.



So the Avengers: Age of Ultron played a lot like the first movie. They just took it safe and did the same thing. The plot doesn’t really have that much creativity into it. The movie is just filled with one-liners that act as transitions to the next scene to keep you laughing so you don’t notice how badly they are setting the stage for the next part of the scene. There were many parts where they were trying to get this character development between The Hulk and Black Widow but it ended in such an unsatisfying way. Other than that all of the other characters have not developed yet and are able to maintain their witty and cheesy characters even in the face of total earth annihilation. I have to say though, the villain was actually not that bad. Many people just think of Loki whenever they hear of a Marvel movie, and they are right because Loki had such a strong presence. I think Ultron had that too, but it was unfortunately again just inspired by Loki because they made him menacingly funny instead of just a menace. I feel like even though its redone, their villains capture the spirit that the first Iron Man movie had, it had this own charm that didn’t take itself too seriously. What they are doing with the Avengers is that they are REALLY not taking themselves seriously, they cant spend a moment of seriousness without breaking it with a one-liner. The problem with these one-liners are that they take you out of the atmosphere of the movie. They are written or intended for the audience and not the film itself. So what happens is that the script gets diverted and lead to a direction just so that the audience can laugh. What should be done is to have that integrated into what they are talking about and have something funny but still have an impact on the plot itself. Do you know why they always transition after a one-liner? It’s because you can’t follow up with anything else, it is not intended for the plot. Imagine if they kept a scene after a cheesy one-liner, it would be awkward to follow up anything with it. Anyway I feel like I have ranted too long about the plot and one-liners in the movie, I will talk now about the action in the movie.



So the action, that is the meat of these blockbusters. They try to fill empty time in the movie with mindless action. However it doesn’t have to be mindless action but that’s how it is unfortunately. I want you to go back and watch the first Avengers, and watch the last battle in New York City, now come back and think of the last battle in the second Avengers. See the similarities? It feels almost identical. Big city with aliens invading while the Avengers are killing everything while also saving the civilians. Now I’m fine with this I don’t care, but what I did notice this time around is why I don’t enjoy this type of action. I feel like I can’t see what is actually going on in the fight. I mean I know who is hitting who and who is getting hurt, but I am talking about the camera perspective. Everything is in bite sized bits during fights and it is always filmed with a close shot. Now I know this is the norm but I am sick and tired of it. I can’t SEE what is happening. This technique is usually used to show the force of each hit, however I would much rather enjoy seeing it in a wide shot with a little less cuts. Even if we don’t feel the impact with every punch, at least we are able to see what is going on clearly. A great example of this is the corridor fighting scene in the Korean movie Oldboy. That is a scene where it is shot with a wide angle and no cuts for 5 minutes give or take. And you know what, it was so good to watch. Even though it wasn’t as hard impact as what they are doing in these movies, but it felt good to watch. It felt better, because there was this natural flow in the action and combat rather than 500 little bite sized punches and kicks. I’m not saying that every action movie should take the Oldboy approach. What I am saying is that there is a grey area, its not always black and white. There has to be some balance and I felt that it was lacking in this movie. Now with all that said, I have to say I enjoyed the fight between Iron Man and The Hulk. It was really fun to watch. The Hulk is really a character I like because he has so much power yet he has no control over it. That’s what makes him great, not like Superman or Iron Man. Because with them you know nothing will go wrong with them, the situation will go wrong but not them. Whereas the Hulk can’t control his rage so there are many factors that could go wrong with him which is what I love about his character. Though they didn’t show him a lot which disappointed me to be honest. Now I will side tangent and rant about Ads placement in movies.



 

A side tangent here but I really wanted to talk about this issue because it really bugged me in the Avengers. I am getting tired of Ad placements in movies. I see movies as an immersive experience, its a way to get out of the world you are currently in and live for a short while with someone else. You experience their emotions and their hardships, all of this gives you such an immersive experience that can’t be stimulated in other ways. However when they start putting in Ad’s in the film it takes me completely out of the film. So the world is under danger and life on earth is going to be destroyed. Oh wait that’s fine, let me just take this Audi car and drive it to where I want to be. Seriously? It so took me out of the movie, and the worst part is that it was the climax. That is the time where they should bring in the viewer and have them on the edge of their seats. But they decided to have a 30 second Audi commercial during the middle of the climax of the film. It really pisses me off. I know that they want money, everyone wants money, even if they are already swimming in it. This just makes me feel like they don’t care as much about the movie than about the money they are going to make. Which saddens me since many people don’t have a chance to let out their creativity because of a lack of capital, and they are here ruining their film for a few extra dollars. So yeah its really disappointing. I mean even during a moment where Black Widow is serious and developing her character as she is sad about the Hulk. They shove in they new and improved Galaxy S6 edge with its shiny new look. I really hate how they ruined it for themselves by having these Ad’s, and I wish that this trend would decrease rather than increase. 



So all in all, I know I have been harsh on the movie but it is with good reason. I don’t like to bash something that I haven’t seen or experienced myself. And honestly I always try to give the benefit of the doubt however it didn’t happen with this movie. I know that so many people love this movie and franchise which is why I suspect that many will disagree with what I might say, but at the end of the day these are opinions.  Reviews are supposed to be subjective because they carry the flavor of the reviewer. If we don’t have any subjective reviews all of them would be the same, and that’s not fun. So I hope you respect my opinions and I would love to hear yours as well.

Verdict: 4.3/10

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15 Great unscripted movie scenes


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It has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog unfortunately. So I decided to come back with a list of some of my personal favorite unscripted scenes in movies. I will mostly include scenes that are confirmed to be unscripted so the Midnight cowboy scene which is disputed upon by the director and Dustin Hoffman will not be included, or any other similar scene.  The list will just be ordered alphabetically instead of keeping them ranked, since it will be hard to put criteria on unscripted scenes. Without further ado here are 15 of the many great unscripted scenes that made it into the final movie cut.



 1) Annie Hall (1977) “The sneeze”

Widely regarded as Woody Allen’s masterpiece, Annie Hall had one of the most famous sneezes in cinema history. What is mind boggling is the fact that it was never intended in the final cut, and was filmed during screen rehearsals. Woody Allen’s character Alvy was at a party where he is offered a tin can filled with cocaine. As he takes the tin in his hand he has a violent erupting sneeze which sends the white powder flying everywhere. All the actors started laughing uncontrollably which was so genuine and spontaneous that Allen decided to keep it in the final cut.



2) Being John Malkovich (1999) “Think fast!”

A disturbance on set is usually something that can turn the day sour instantly. Whereas for this movie a disturbance added more to the characters frustration during the scene. After Malkovich meets Craig Schwartz on the side of the road, he wanders off mad and annoyed. As he walks off a car passes by with a man leaning out of the window. The man throws a can while yelling “Hey Malkovich! Think fast!”. The can hit Malkovich in the back of his head which induced genuine frustration which felt believable in the context of the movie as well. The extra who threw the can was actually given a raise upon having the scene placed in the final cut instead of being fired!



3) Blade Runner (1982) “Like tears in the rain” 

*Spoilers*

During the final battle between ex-blade runner Rick Deckard and replicant Roy Batty, as Rick tries to exterminate Roy. He puts himself in a very awkward corner on a rooftop ready to meet his demise. Rather than killing Deckard, Roy shows mercy and rescues him from the edge of the roof. He gives a final monologue before he dies. As he thinks about his past and the short life he lived, he says “All the moments will be lost in time…” Hauer then adds a very powerful phrase “.. Like tears in the rain” The line was so good it was it had become one of the most memorable of the entire movies.

 



4) Casablanca (1942) “Here’s looking at you kid”

This timely classic had so many memorable lines which stayed in the mind of the viewers. But the line it is most memorable for and most accredited for wasn’t even in the original script! The scene where both Ilsa and Victor are put on a plane bound to america one last line is uttered to Ilsa by Bogart’s character. “Here’s looking at you kid” instantly became the quote of the movie. According to some reports, it is said that Bogart would say that line to her as he was teaching her poker during the breaks.



5) Clockwork Orange, A (1971) “Singing in the rain dance”

*NSFW*

Kubrick’s incredible movie about the tale of a mischievous young man is not only one of his best movies, it is also one of three movies of his on this list. The scene in which the gang break into a random house is considered to be one of the most popular and disturbing parts of the entire movie. After shooting the scene many times, Kubrick wasn’t happy with the result. He finally suggested to McDowell to dance a little bit during the scene. McDowell did an excellent spontaneous dance that Kubrick was very pleased and kept it in the final cut.  As a side note, the scene was actually so difficult for the actress originally cast, that she had to quit and have her role recast.



6) Dark Knight, The (2008) “Slow clapping” & “Delayed explosion”

I have previously explained my problems with TDK and Nolan, yet I am not here to do that now. For me Heath Ledger was the savior of the movie and he showed it when faced with these spontaneous situations during filming. He perfectly stayed in character which should be a huge credit towards him. The first unscripted scene happened when The Joker was  incarcerated in the police department. As the mayor gives the news that Gordon is now the new commissioner. As the officers in the room applaud loudly, Ledger begins to slowly clap without changing  his expression or breaking out of character as he improvises. The improvisation is very subtle and simple, but it brought a very dark feel to the scene and added another layer to the character. The other important scene which showed how genuinely, even facing a spontaneous  event, Ledger was able to stay in character was the hospital scene. As The Joker was exiting the hospital wearing his nurse’s outfit, he pulls the trigger on the explosion and the fireworks begin. But as he was further away the explosions suddenly stop. Improvising, Ledger doesn’t break character and starts fondling with the remote. He brings out a hint of the style of Joker that is found in other renditions of batman in what was supposed to be a serious scene. The explosion goes off and he genuinely gets startled and runs off to the bus.



7) Dr. Strangelove (1964) “End Scene” 

*Spoilers*

The second of Kubrick’s movies to make it on the list. Dr. Strangelove was known for its improvisations when Kubrick gave Sellers three roles to just improvise all he wants. Kubrick and his co-writer actually had to “retroscript” and change a lot to be able to include many of Sellers’ improvised lines. However, personally the end scene with Dr. Strangelove is my favorite unscripted scene in any movie. As we are coming to the end of the satirical movie, Dr. Strangelove who has been confined to the wheelchair suddenly stands up. At the very end in spontaneous fashion Sellers stood up and delivered the most brilliant unscripted line “Mein Führer! I can walk!” which was followed by the explosion compilation.  That line also created on of my favorite ending scenes in cinema history, and I applaud Sellers for his ability to improvise such great lines and ideas.



8)  Full Metal Jacket (1987)  “Drill Sergeant” 

The third of Kubrick’s movies to make it onto this list and for good reason. FMJ felt like it was split into 2, first showing the actual real hardships that soldiers go through in boot camp, and the rest was on the actual war and how it really is. As for the first part, R. Lee Ermey wasn’t even cast for the role of the drill sergeant. Ermey later sent a video tape to Kubrick of him spewing insults at soldiers for 15 minutes straight. This lead to an immediate casting of Ermey. Ermey then wrote down 150 pages of insults and submitted them to Kubrick! The director admits that more than 50% of the dialogue was improvised by Ermey and one of the few times Kubrick has allowed this much improvisation.



9) Godfather, The (1972) “Take the cannoli” & “The cat”

Widely regarded as on of the greatest movies in cinema history just by sheer brilliance in hitting the mark on most aspects. The Godfather actually had two scenes which were not in the original script. The first one though not as well known as the cat, it still gave this great taste to the scene, and created a famous line for the movie. As Clemenza was ordered to carry a hit out on Paulie, he approached the bullet covered car.  Castellano’s original line was “Leave the gun” but reminiscing an earlier scene, he improvised “Take the cannoli” which was the creation of this famous line. The other unscripted scene in the movie had to do with Don Vito’s cat in the beginning of the movie. The Godfather was known for being very coldblooded, ordering for a man to be beaten for the beating of another man’s daughter, all the while gently stroking a cat. The insane thing about this is that the cat was never even part of the original script. Yet it has evolved into becoming one of the most memorable scenes of Don Vito. As for how the cat came to be in the movie. Some people say that Coppola just plopped the cat onto Brando’s lap right before filming. Other reports say that Marlon found the cat wandering around set and he carried it with him to filming. Whatever the reason may, I’m  sure I am not the only  one who is happy that the cat ended up on the final cut.



10) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) “Gun vs. Sword”

Though I am not a hardcore fan of the Indiana Jones series, I can still appreciate the hilarious unscripted scene which became an iconic part of Indiana for all his fans. While Indiana is hurrying to rescue the damsel in distress he stumbles into a huge sword wielding man dressed in black. The bad guy shows off his sword skills for a while to scare Indiana. Instead of fighting him, Jones just pulls out a gun and moves along. This was not intended to be in the movie, it was actually supposed to be a very long sword fight between the two. Unfortunately the day of shooting Ford had a bad case of food poisoning and didn’t have enough energy to film a long fight scene. After a discussion with Spielberg, the scene was changed to the now famous Gun vs. Sword fight.



11)  Reservoir Dogs (1992) “Can you hear me now?”

*NFSW-ish*

Tarantino’s first movie, the independent Reservoir Dogs, contained many memorable scenes, but not more memorable than the torture scene by Mr. Blonde. One of the most gruesome scenes of the movie had Mr. Blonde torture an officer by slicing his ear off.  Tarintino never really gave Madsen any direction or instruction as to what to do after the cutting was done. So he eventually improvised all his actions and lines while shooting. This led to an incredibly cold blooded scene which included the great unscripted quote of “Can you hear me now?” as Mr. Blonde says it to the cut off ear.



12)  Silence of the lambs, The (1991) “The hiss”

For anyone who has seen this movie, they know that Anthony Hopkins gave one of the greatest renditions of Hannibal Lecter to ever be on screen. Though I may not be a fan of Hannibal Lecter and his story, I appreciate the movie and Hopkins’ role. Even though he only had 16 minutes of actual dialogue to be said, it was enough for him to portray his character and the many layers perfectly. It was also enough for him to receive an Oscar. From his 16 minutes his most memorable would be his story he told to Clarice about eating a liver with fava beans and Chianti. After it though Hopkins gave this eerie Hiisssss sound which added a huge amount to the creepiness of his character. The hiss however was never in the script. It was said that Hopkins did it during rehearsals just to creep out Jodie. The director was very pleased with the hiss, that he told him to keep it for the shooting of the final cut.



13) Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) “I know”

Again same issue with Indiana Jones, not a hardcore fan to adore this line but I do appreciate it.  This unscripted line is here because Harrison Ford was able to add a line that just summed up the entire smug character more than any other Han line.  As Solo is about to be cased in carbonite, Princess Leia finally reveals her affections for him. She went on and said “I love you”, and the script originally had Solo saying “I love you too” Ford decided that Solo wouldn’t say anything like that so he changed it to “I know” making it a perfectly fitting way for smug Solo to reply to Leia.



14) Taxi Driver (1976) “You talking to me?”

Taxi Driver, known to be one of the greatest movies ever is chock full of incredibly memorable scenes which included the insomniac Travis. One of the key scenes was when Travis is seen talking to himself in the mirror. Yet all the script had written for that scene was “Travis talks to himself in the mirror” and nothing else. Everything that was said was improvised by De Niro on the spot. This led to an interesting set of lines of a man who had started to loose it. The famous line of “You talking to me?” eventually came out of De Niro as he faces himself in the mirror. To this day that line is stuck in everyone’s head as they see themselves in the mirror.



15) The Usual Suspects (1995) “The line up”

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie apart from the ending is the line up scene in the beginning.  For this scene the writer (Christopher McQuarrie) just wrote this line “Give me the keys you fucking cocksucker!” for the line up scene. It was on each individual actor to say it however they wanted. McQuarrie actually played the cop in the scene speaking to the suspects, and he had to say “In English please” to Del Toro for not being very clear. His reaction after that was completely natural and unscripted and created a great comical moment for the character. Also according to some interviews the laughing during Del Toro’s turn was due to the constant farting on set! In the end the opted to keep it for the final cut of the movie.




Conclusion

Thank you all for reading this, I know it has been a while but I have been under a lot of stress with university. All in all I hope you enjoyed this list and hopefully I will be bringing back the reviews for the 1001 movies to see before you die book. Finally if you ever want me to write about anything either a review or a list or just a general article please feel free to contact me in any way, all my contact info’s are in the “contact us” page. So yeah please tell me what you want to see because I sometimes have writers block and never know what to write about.

Thanks again, Omar

1001 Movies Challenge: The Apartment (1960)


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I’ve been sort of having a marathon since I just came back home, and I am so happy to have seen The Apartment. It is also the first Billy Wilder movie I saw which gave me a good impression of him. I apologize in advance for not writing anything for soundtrack.

-Summary-

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own occur.

-Story/Script 8.8-

Though it may seem like a simplistic gimmick on the romantic comedy genre, the story is actually very unique and clever. While watching the movie I thought to myself “huh, this is actually very clever”. The layers and the characters were laid out so neatly in their own cluster of strings intertwining each other from time to time. It’s the characters that make the story not the apartment. C.C. Baxter’s lines as well were just superb and very well written which really surprised me. I went in the movie with zero expectations and came out with a good impression of it, opinion-wise. 

-Acting 8.9-

The acting in this movie was superb. Especially between the two main leads of Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Jack Lemmon to be precise was really great and on key with every line. He really fit the role and it suited him well. His scenes when he was sick were just great and made me smile and how good he was at it. On the other side of the spectrum we see the female lead who gave a very opposite feeling. A very dry and needing feeling emerged from Fran as a character. She and Baxter complimented each other well as a mixture of quirky and dry. The only complaint would probably be that some of the minor characters really annoyed me with their accents, as some of them felt really forced. Other than that the acting was great. 

-Directing 8.6-

The directing was great from Billy Wilder cinematography-wise. The scenes in the office building were genius. I loved the endless rows of employees all working, its something I envisioned for a project I’m thinking of. Some shots though in the apartment felt very repeated and overused, though that might be because of the limited space of the room itself. Nevertheless I would’ve enjoyed more creativity with that room as he did in the office building. Maybe he should have taken a page out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope”. All in all the pacing was great and I loved the curve that he decided to go with the movie. It always kept us engaged and enthralled as to what might happen next. I hope to see Wilder’s other works and see if they are as good as this.

-Average Score 8.76- 

-Should you watch it?-

Absolutely, this movie will be great for anyone. People who would just like to relax and watch a simple movie will love it. Like-wise, people who enjoy great and acting and looking at detail will enjoy it very much. It is a black and white movie yes, but that shouldn’t put you off of it. These movies are just as good and in my opinion way better than most of the stuff people find popular these days. 

Thank you for reading.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Review


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I knew that this would happen when they announced that The Hobbit would span out into three films instead of one. I knew that when they announced The Hobbit they could go two ways: either doing one 3 hour movie which just goes by the book, or span it out into 3 movies and add a ton of bullshit. They essentially went with the second choice which in my opinion for a content creator is a bad choice. All they had in sight was the money that they could make by advertising this brand new epic trilogy that will be as bad ass as The Lord Of The Rings, yet still stay faithful to the fun style of the book. Nothing worked out for me to be honest. Lets talk about the issues one by one.

-The CGI-

It’s gone, the feeling of middle earth is gone. The over use of CGI is just awful. When someone wants to create this magical fantasy universe they should try their best to make it as immersive as possible. You want us to feel like we want to be part of the world and make it have a specific look and feel. What you gave us was something I couldn’t watch to be honest. I felt like after every cut I was somewhere else, a great example is the river rapid scene. It was literally a joke. I felt like it was 5 different places. The far shot looked like middle earth in terms of the colors and the feel. They turn back to a close shot and they look like they are standing behind a horrible projected screen as the actors ride the rapids so unnaturally. Then we finally get this weird first person view which looks like its been filmed with a flipping phone from the stone age. I don’t understand it. Why would you want to disconnect us from your world. I understand the use of CGI for mythical creatures and what not. What I don’t like is the use of CGI for everything except the humans. I mean the landscapes and the areas of LOTR were what made the movie iconic. It gave us the right taste of middle earth. It never took us on this incredible art gallery then suddenly threw us in the janitors closet. We felt that human touch and struggle in LOTR, this just feels like dead. The thing that annoys me the most is that now with double the budget of the first trilogy, they could have expanded their search of areas. They could have focused more on real sets and real areas, not just green screening everything and wasting every cent to the graphics department. I guess my only compliment of the CGI was that Smaug did feel very terrifying. Though when again a lot of times he just felt out of place which was again, sad. I know that this might be very negative, but this is not something good for the film industry. Same goes to many other mediums which have advanced, they started to forget the core of the art itself. Remember when movies had no sound, what did they do? They were creative. Look at a trip to the moon for gods sake, that movie was more immersive than this one, and that came out A HUNDRED AND ELEVEN YEARS AGO. Sigh, I don’t want this to start being the norm. We have these movies which are being praised by mainstream public, and when I see a beautiful modern movie with core film elements it gets shat on by everyone. I don’t know, I hope the public will start to change their taste and not stand by overuse of CGI and not allowing it to become something normal.

-The Story- 

I can explain the entire story of the hobbit with one sentence. A journey with countless impossible situations and last minute bail-outs. This is one of the worst trends I’ve seen in movies. This “trope-y” style has to stop. Every popcorn movie nowadays seems to just put the main character(s) into impossible situations over and over again and have them magically escape them. This is merely there to elongate the story as they have clearly made one book into three movies. They just make everything drag on and place a few funny one liners to lighten up the mood. The Hobbit was a joyful lighthearted adventure as opposed to the LOTR, and I am okay with that. What I am not okay with is what they did in the movies. It feels like a tug of war between trying to create an epic-er trilogy while still holding true to the lightheartedness of the book. It won’t work like that, each piece of content should be given what it deserves and shouldn’t be based on what it’s predecessors did. If you want to create something new, you shouldn’t just go off, of the nostalgia factor. Give it what it deserves and it will be something different but it will still be good because it is what was needed for that piece of content.

-The Verdict-

This review is short but that’s only because I just came back from the cinema and I haven’t had a chance to let my thoughts sink in. I usually tend to steer clear from these cult movies and popular mainstream movies. The reason is that my opinion isn’t a very popular one, and I am not here just to bash on these movies for the mere fact of being cynical. I just say what I think and that’s all that matters, and whatever your opinion is I respect that as well. It is just helpful I believe to write something even if it isn’t a popular opinion. If it is presented well maybe some might agree, or no one would, that is fine, it is good to have two sides of an argument instead of one. At the end of the day, if you enjoyed it, that’s really great and that’s all it comes down to. Finally, I want to emphasize that my negative remarks towards this movie were not just out of hardheartedness. This review  comes from a fan of the Lord of the Rings series. I am a person who doesn’t really enjoy fantasy that much, yet I adore the LOTR series for what it presented. It gave us that immersion and that connection to the adventure and the hardships. I wanted this movie to be a joyful adventure which stuck true to the fans and the contents. I don’t want to see another LOTR, I want to see The Hobbit, on it’s own as it should be. Anyway that is my very short review feel free to discuss and give your points, I accept any criticism and feedback no matter how harsh it may be. Visit the contact me page if you want to talk  to me anywhere about whatever~

Thank you for reading.

1001 Movie Challenge: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


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Finally got around to watching this movie, its been sitting there for a long time. Without further ado, the second review in the 1001 movie challenge.

Summary:

A family filled with a mix of unique of characters go on an adventure to get the youngest member to a beauty pageant which she has been waiting for her entire life.

Story/Script 7.9/10

Now from far away the story may seem like a very generic movie that would be forgotten quickly. The story works because of the mix of unique characters tied in with the great choice of actors to play them. when it started in my mind I was like oh this will go this way and happy ending and done. But when it veered a bit off of the way I thought it was good. The script could have been a bit better, but the story carries it well I think. I think that making a good casual movie is very difficult. Of course not as difficult as complex movies, but still, to make a simple movie good is a challenge, so I commend them.

Music/Soundtrack 7.4/10

This was honestly a tough one to decide on a score, because casual movies are very easy to choose a soundtrack for. There are like 3-4 scenes where I feel like the track didn’t match the emotion that was projected from the actors and story. In other parts it really matched well with a calm and catchy tone. Usually for me, if its a casual movie, I would enjoy something like the way “The Terminal” did it. Spielberg did a very smart move in putting a very catchy tune, it fit with the movie and it ended up in everyone’s head when they were done with the movie. So I feel like if Little Miss Sunshine had “that” track and tune it would’ve benefited it, instead of just a jumble of casual tracks.

Acting 8.1/10 

There are two reasons why I gave this category the highest of my ratings: Paul Dano, and Alan Arkin. I don’t even need to explain it, Paul is a phenomenal young actor who chose many eccentric roles rather than regular ones that teens choose. Even without having to speak, he is able to portray his character brilliantly. Also Alan Arkin who received a well deserved Oscar for his role in this movie (Though Wahlberg deserved it too for The Departed). Some of the other actors really didn’t stand out as much. Steve Carell was good in my opinion but wasn’t as good as Paul and Alan. As for the rest, they were just okay in my opinion. (I am very strict with acting, to most people they might like them all so this is just my opinion)

Directing 7.9/10

For me, both directors did a lot of things right and missed on a lot of things as well. I feel like this is the case with me and dual directors. I never seem to get the movie as much as with a single director. The Coen brothers too I just cant get them (I’m gonna get flack for this). But yeah it felt like the movie was done by two people, and not the idea of one. If you notice like a lot of the montage clips which goes from one character to another has a certain style in which it was made, but it does not match as well with the other. There were some brilliant scenes that were shot and made overall. I think it was one of the best movies both of them could have made but I don’t think they will ever be able to top it. 

Average Score: 7.825

Should you watch it? 

Honestly I would recommend this movie for two people. One, for people who always look for something simple and casual in movies something quick that they can watch with nearly anyone. Two, for the few truefilm audience who appreciate movies that can nail a casual one. If you are looking for something complex, well directed, or a movie that will blow your mind this is not it.

 

Thank you for reading, suggestions and feedback is always appreciated.

1001 Movie Challenge: Boogie Nights (1997)


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Okay for the first review of the challenge I will start off with the most recent one I have watched. Before beginning, I will say that I am biased towards Paul Thomas Anderson, because I love him so yeah.

Summary

A movie revolving around Eddie Adams, a young highschool dropout who is trying to to enter into the porn industry. The tale goes through many ups and downs with a wide array of unique characters.

Story/Script 8.6/10 

Now boogie nights is a very odd movie when someone tries to explain it. I think it’s because of how unique the idea is. Porn really hasn’t been explored that much in the big screen, in a serious tone that is. I think it was actually a great idea for PTA to go with this story and theme because it was very very interesting. The characters were really great because they all tie in together and go through all the ups and downs together. The script I think could have been a bit better. His writing has gotten much much better throughout the years. All in all the story is so unique, yet the script could have been a biiit better.

Acting 8/10

Here is the thing about the acting, since 80% of the actors are really good, not a lot of people stand out as much as they need to. Without a doubt it was Mark Wahlberg’s best performance. He was great in the movie, at some parts he seemed cheesy but it was on purpose because of the tie in with porn. As for all the others, they were all great overall. I did not really enjoy Burt Reynolds as much as I should have. His acting is a bit generic I guess which is what turned me off of him. Philip Seymour Hoffman as usual is freaking amazing (super biased). So yeah acting is great but no one really stood out.

Music/Soundtrack 8.9/10

As expected from any PTA movie, the music is phenomenal. The movie really engrosses you into the time of the movie. I really felt like I was in the 1970’s not just because of the clothes, and aesthetic, but the music played a key role. The movie is basically an up and a down. The music was true to each part. The uphill part of the movie had really perfect disco music and stuff that just blended in perfectly. And when everything starting going downhill, the music was so intense. Repetitive slow drum beats just hits you. The intensity is perfect and the soundtrack perfectly plays with the plot.

Directing 8.7/10  

I feel like Paul Thomas Anderson was handicapped with this project. It his basically his first full work that he did, with directing, and writing. He was under a studio which was very skeptical about what he wanted to do. As much as I adore his directing, I feel like it was the weakest. Because he evolved so much it is just amazing to see how he started. His following shots are pure genius. The follow a character and move along to see what the other one does. It is amazing. But honestly, I feel like if this was the only I watched of his I would have given a higher score. Because I have seen his evolution and increased skill I feel like he could have done better. I consider this movie as a first step and an experiment for him. All in all, there are so many moments in the movie which were pure genius, while others could have honestly been done way better.

Average Score 8.55 

Should you watch it?

Honestly for a PTA movie this would be one of the only one of his movies that I wont be scared to recommend to anyone. It is casual enough for “normal” people to enjoy, and complex enough for truefilm lovers to enjoy and analyze. If anyone wants to see the experiment of a great director, or a movie with a very unique story, this is the movie for you. I really appreciate, respect and love this movie. It was a great watch.

1001 movies you must see before you die challenge


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   Well i decided to start something on this blog. Since I have been aiming to complete this book for the past year. I thought that it would be a good idea to review every movie I watch from the book. The format and length of the reviews is still unknown. Honestly I think I may just tackle subsections like, directing, acting, script, and give each one a score out of 10 without going into detail a lot. Then finally ending with my opinion and if you should watch it or not. I currently own this edition of the book which is limited to movies till 2009. 

 

   If anyone has any other idea for a review format for this series it would really be appreciated. As always feedback and suggestions is always appreciated.

Thank you for reading.