Posts Tagged ‘ movies ’

Suicide Squad Review (Spoilers!)


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          I need to preface this review by saying that I am a big fan of DC. Especially their comics. However I always try to not let that affect the way I assess a movie. I just thought it was important to let everyone know my bias before starting with anything. Also if you haven’t watched the movie yet, do not read this review as it will be riddled with spoilers. Finally just wanted to say that I have watched the movie twice, so I was able to get a better perspective on it.


The Good:

Let’s start this review with some of the positive aspects of the film.

  • Harley Quinn

    Let start with the obvious one. Margot Robbie smashed her performance as Harley Quinn. She is the perfect choice for this iconic character. The direction that the character was taken throughout the movie was perfect. The most concerning aspect to me was how they would show the transformation from Harley the psychiatrist to Harley the sociopath. I think the way that they did it was really good. It gives us a lot of character depth into both Harley and The Joker. It shows us how The Joker is such a good talker and manipulator, that has always been one of his main characteristics. The Joker doesn’t have any superpowers or cool gimmick, all he has is his wits and power of persuasion. And we could see that in this film, The Joker managed to sweet talk and manipulate a PSYCHIATRIST into becoming his partner in crime. It also gave us a lot of insight into the Harley herself. We could see throughout the movie, even before her transformation that she has been missing something in her life. She wanted to fill that hole in her heart. That is perfectly where The Joker fit in and she managed to do everything in order to avoid that emptiness. I also really enjoyed that she was able to carry her own, and not need anyone else to help her out. She is actually in my eyes more fearless than The Joker himself from what I saw. This is what this movie excels at, the characters and their interactions. Everything else can go to hell. If they had put more time and effort to focus on character development it would have turned out better. But all in all, Harley Quinn was amazing and I can’t wait to see more of this character.

  • Amanda Waller

       To be fully honest, Amanda Waller was the biggest surprise of this movie. Viola Davis absolutely killed this performance. These are the type of characters that we need in these movies. One of the least generic performances in one of the most generic characters. We don’t usually see these type of characters in superhero movies. Usually they are just background characters that fill in the spots in between intense scenes. However whenever Amanda Waller was on the screen she was the one bringing the intensity. The way she commands and is able to get her way is amazing. She is somewhat of an evil/selfish Nick Fury. She wants whats good for her, no matter what the consequences are. Also that scene before she left the room she was in was jaw dropping. I literally said “Whaaaaat?” out loud while I was in the cinema. Its because you never see these things happening in these sort of films. This is a step in the right direction in my opinion, and I wish both Marvel and DC will start taking more risks with characters like Amanda Waller.

  • The Soundtrack

           This was another thing that actually surprised me. I have always been saying that superhero movies need better soundtrack. As I said with my previous article, I hold all movies with the same standard. I always take note of the soundtrack of film because it is a very important element that not many filmmakers take full advantage of. You can see so many experimentation with soundtrack and how it actually effects the film. Even lack of soundtrack like the movie “No Country for Old Men” was amazing because it actually gave more tension to the movie. So you can see how important soundtrack actually is. This is why I really liked the choice of music for this movie. In the first half of the film as the characters are being introduced each was given a very iconic song as sort of their “theme”. We saw “House of the rising sun”, “Seven Nation Army” and many many more. Not only during the introductions, throughout the entire movie we see amazing song choices based on the situations the characters are in. We see Black Sabbath during a fight scene and in another time we see Eminem as the characters are getting ready. The soundtrack just worked, and I wish that more superhero movies will pay a little more attention to the soundtrack as it actually does add an extra layer to the film that many filmmakers have not been taking advantage of.

  • Harley/Joker Relationship

            Unfortunately I am not able to include “The Joker” in this category. Because the character had a few misses and some hits as well. He was just fine, he was not mind blowing and he definitely was not a flop.  He did his part well and I feel like he will be able to shine more if he is the main villain rather than just a side character. However, what I actually thought was good was the Harley and Joker relationship. Because it is something unique and you don’t usually see it. Their relationship is such an abusive and complicated one. It goes beyond what is seen on screen. Usually in these types of movies, its just this person likes this person, gets a bit awkward, the get closer, and everyone lives happily ever after. This doesn’t happen here. On the contrary, the opposite occurs. You see a person giving away their life and their past for someone else. Doctor Harley gave up everything for The Joker. We see how much torture she was put through in order to be transformed and how messed up she had become. This is not a perfect relationship, and that’s good! I usually don’t like the forced romance that is pushed into superhero films. It seems like Hollywood has this cookie cutter style when it comes to certain aspect in blockbuster movies. However I approve of the romance in this film, because of how it pushes and develops the characters in the film. Everything in a film should be put for a reason, and I feel like this relationship between both Harley and Joker really strengthens their characters. Imagine if The Joker was not in this film at all. There would be no room for Harley Quinn to grow as a character. In conclusion, this is why I feel like we should commend DC for introducing this twisted relationship into the mainstream audience and we must try to encourage more studious to take more risks when it comes to this aspect of their films.

  • Honorable Mentions

      I’ll just go by this pretty quickly:

– Will Smith as Deadshot was surprisingly good. He did well even though I had no expectations from him. He was probably my third favorite character after Harley and Amanda.

– I liked Jai Courtney as Boomerang even though the character was pretty lame. Also I liked that Flash caught Boomerang. As comics fans know, Boomerang is a Flash villain.

– The Joker being a mob boss is an interesting idea, and I like how this Joker is radically different than the others. However still not the best. But good enough, and that’s all that matters.


The Bad:

             Oh boy, here we go. Just bear in mind this isn’t the worst of the worst. If you know what I am trying to do there will be another section called “The Ugly”. So strap on to your seat belts, because we will start listing all the bad stuff about this film.

  • The Editing

          Holy crap did I have a lot of issues with the editing in this film, while I did enjoy the way they introduced the characters, which sort of reminded me of Scott Pilgrim, I hated everything else about the editing in this movie. You could see that there was a lot of meddling going into this movie. It seemed like two people were arguing as to what they wanted and they couldn’t each have their own way, so they just meshed up the two. The editing was really choppy and felt really uncomfortable. It had no smoothness to it, like it was just like scene, cut awkwardly to another awkward scene quickly so that no one would notice. It really bugged me out throughout the movie. And after watching it the second time I actually noticed it more. It seemed to be more prevalent in the final third act of the movie. With that being said, I feel like David Ayer was pushed into a corner and had no choice but to accept some of the changes that Warner Bros wanted to make. This in turn lead us to having this bad editing plague the final cut of the movie.

  • Generic Tropes

        This is something which I always seem to criticize when it comes to these action blockbuster movies. It seems that Hollywood feels like we have to stick to a certain formula when it comes to these type of movies or it wont work. It is always the same thing over and over again. I remember just last week going to see the new Jason Bourne film and a quarter of the way through the movie my friend leans over and tells me “I’ve seen this movie before”. Because that’s how it is nowadays. All movies seem to have these constants that you cannot change and then you can just wiggle around with the variables that you are given. A great example of this when it comes to superhero movies was given by a reviewer at hitfix.com by the name of Drew Mcweeny. He talks about the “glowing doodad”. Whether it be the Tesseract from Marvel or the Enchantress’ heart in Suicide Squad. There seems to always be this glowing thing that comes from outer space or another world that allows the heroes to defeat these incredible villains. It is boring, and it is so repetitive. We are sick of following the same tropes with every film. Likewise, it always seems like superheroes are going towards a huge portal or some alien flashy lights in the middle of the city that is a threat to the entire world. Why can’t the conflict just be between the villain and the hero. Why does every villain just want to go after the entire world. Why can’t it be like Civil War where he tries to cause struggle internally, or The Joker from The Dark Knight where he wanted to make a point, that even the most honest and perfect man (Harvey Dent) can turn evil. These villains were so well made, which is why those movies were good. They had a point and good direction to go to. Whereas if you just see a huge non-human entity in the middle of the city with a big portal in the sky trying to take over the world. There is nothing to that, no story, no arc, you can’t do anything new with it. Which is why I am hoping, and praying that Wonder Woman and Justice League will move away from these awful generic tropes and try to bring something new to the table.


The Ugly:

             Now, what I mentioned above was bad, but it wasn’t the worst of the worst when it comes to this movie unfortunately. It saddens me that these aspects ruined the movie, because if these aspects were done well, this movie would have been great.

  • Cringe

          The thing that I hate seeing in any movie. Cringe can ruin any experience for me. It ruined my experience with the season finale of Mr.Robot for example. It just leaves a sour taste in your mouth as you are watching the movie. Now obviously this does not apply to everyone, some people really don’t care about this at all and sometimes don’t even notice it. However I just can’t let it go. Even after expecting those cringey moments during my second viewing of the movie, it still annoyed me whenever they came up. A lot of these cringe scenes had to do with the forced in one-liners that were added later on in the production of the movie. I felt like they did not fit in at all and they seemed very out of place in the context of the movie as well. Another main cringe factor for me was Captain Rick Flag. I could not take him serious at all. Even as the movie was in it’s climax he turns to Will Smith in the most awkward of ways and screams “HER HEART IS OUT, WE GOTTA SHOOT IT”. I really hated that scene. His entire character annoyed me to be honest and I don’t think he was cast well. He was the only bad casting decision in my eyes. That wasn’t the only cringe factor in the movie. Some came from The Joker actually. I hated the smile tattoo that he had on his hand. It looked so silly and out of place. With this version of the Joker he seems so intimidating and scary, kind of like a mob boss. However when he puts that hand tattoo on his face and laughs, it just makes me want to laugh at how silly it is. It doesn’t fit with what the character is meant to do. In conclusion, I did not like the cheesiness of the movie, it seemed forced and out of place. I would’ve preferred if they had let Ayer stick to his vision of the movie and having it have a very dark and serious tone, as I feel it would fit well with the whole concept of the movie of bad guys being brought in to do an impossible mission.

  •  Structure/Plot

        This was also another main issue that everyone seems to agree upon. The structure of this movie was so messy. Jumping around everywhere just confused everyone. Especially after cutting so many Joker scenes, it made the movie even messier. Half of the time we are just following these guys and we don’t even know what the hell is going on. There is no clear direction with the film. Everyone is riding the wave and seeing where it leads us. I don’t appreciate this at all. The thing is, I really do believe that somewhere in this movie, there is an excellent film. It just needs to be rearranged in some way in order to get that sweet spot. However as is, it is not doing the film justice. The first half was really all over the place moving from flashbacks to the pentagon to the prison to joker and it just keeps on moving on and on. They seemed to want to put the origin story for every freaking character when it wasn’t necessary. There should have just been a big focus on deadshot, Harley and The Joker. We didn’t need to see Katana killing up mafia men and “avenging” her dead husband. It was unnecessary. I don’t know what should have been done to be honest. But it isn’t this. There needed to be some more thought into how the audience would think of what the characters were doing. Hopefully the next few DC movies really lock down their structure and avoid any future meddling in any of the finished products.

  • The Final Fight/Climax

          There is one word to describe the last fight and it is “Unsatisfying”. That’s all that it is. Whenever you have a superhero movie, you are waiting for the final spectacle battle that is bound to happen. When thinking of the main villain you have to keep on mind the power level of the villain when compared to the heroes. Of course you don’t want to make the villain too weak for the battle to be over quickly and you don’t want to make him too overpowered. You have to find a balance. Also you have to choose the appropriate villain for the appropriate hero. They both go hand in hand, one needs the other. Batman has the Joker, one is about justice and peace the other is about anarchy. The Flash and Captain Cold, one nullifies the others powers. These are examples of good villains that provide an interesting dynamic when it comes to the struggle between hero and villain. In this movie however, the choice that was made was so bad. When you have a villain like the Enchantress and her brother against people with pistols, baseball bats, swords and metal boomerangs, its not much of a fight is it. Nothing happened, Harley takes a swing and gets thrown to the side, Boomerang throws something and gets thrown. No one can do anything against them. This limits what you can do with the fight. All they were able to do was bring Diablo into the fight because of his powers. Which ended up being very lame due to his stupid looking “Super Form”. The fight had nothing to it, and felt very disappointing for the viewer. When you have BvS which I criticized for including Doomsday. At least with that fight there was something going on. All three heroes could do something against Doomsday. This gave us a nice battle that satisfies the viewer. When you compare that to Suicide Squad, its like night and day. It was boring, no room for choreography and also a very lame way to end it all. I just wish they had chosen a better villain. The choice of villain is as important and sometimes even more important than the choice of hero. Because the whole plot has to revolve around the actions of the villain. This is why The Dark Knight was so good, the actions of the Villain made sense in the realm of the film. All in all, it was a poor villain choice which lead to a poor and unsatisfying climax of the film.


Final Thoughts

         This movie really made me sad. I wanted it to be so good. My score actually went up after my second viewing of the movie but not by a lot, which you will see below. I love the comics that DC produce, and I just want that to be reciprocated onto the big screen. I know that there is a good movie in between all the bad choices that were made. I also know that David Ayer was forced into a corner when it comes to the decisions that were made regarding the overall tone of the film. I feel like in order for the DCEU to succeed we need to just give full creative control to the director himself. Except for Zack Snyder, I wish they would stop using him. One thing is for sure, which was proven again in this film. Batman is being done right. Ben Affleck has proven that he is one of the best versions of Batman we have ever seen put on the big screen. This character is DC’s greatest asset and I am positive that the film that Affleck is writing and directing will knock everyone’s socks off. Till that time, we just have to hope and wish that Wonder Woman and Justice League will be good.

Verdict 5.9~6.1/10

Suicide Squad: Critics, Fans, Reviews, Warner Brothers and Bribery (Spoiler-Free)


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            Last night I had the chance to go to the first screening of Suicide Squad. Now as a huge fan of comics and especially DC, I wanted this movie to be good. I wanted this movie to save the DCEU (DC Extended Universe). Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that will be the case. For so long Warner Brothers have been sticking their fingers into stuff that never needed it. However that isn’t the biggest issue that DC movies have been having lately. The greatest challenge they face is that of critics’ reviews. It seems that whatever DC has been producing lately has been getting abnormally horrible reviews. Now I am not one to go with the idea of conspiracy theories. People keep on saying that critics have been bribed by Marvel to give DC movies bad reviews. In this article I will break down what I really feel is going on surrounding everything related to Suicide Squad and the negative reviews controversy that has been happening.

Critics’ Reviews:

              I will preface this again, I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories. When the Batman Vs Superman reviews started coming out, I thought they were a bit harsh. Even though I did agree with most of them and did not enjoy the movie as much, I still thought it got more hate than it deserved. However I never thought that the reviewers were bribed. However yesterday and also today, as I sat in-front of my screen reading countless reviews from acclaimed critics and sites I could not help but wonder if something was actually going on. Some reviews were abnormally harsh to such an extent that I couldn’t even believe that they were being published. Sure, the movie wasn’t incredible. However it is no where near close to what the critics have been saying it is. I have read over five articles which state that Suicide Squad is “Worse than Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, and Jonah Hex”. Which is simply INSANE. Green Lantern was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Suicide Squad doesn’t even come close to that. How can these people really believe that this movie is worse than those god awful cash grabs. With Suicide Squad there is at least some sense of passion being put into the project.

              Now, I can’t actually prove that these reviewers were being bribed. However I do feel that there is something fishy going on with this whole situation. When you look at all of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies, the worst rated which is Thor sits at a 66% aggregated rating from critics. While Suicide Squad sits at a 38% rating. I can’t understand this. Yes, the movie wasn’t perfect, however it is not even close to a 38%. I actually do feel like Suicide Squad for me was at the level of Thor. There is some inconsistency when it comes to reviews. It seems like reviewers have been holding different films to different standards. This isn’t the way to review a film. One has to look at what the film does right and what the film does wrong and weigh out how that affects the perception of the film. The best example can be seen below:

Final

             How can any sane movie reviewer look at both these aggregated scores and think that this is fair. It seems like reviewers hold DC movies to a much higher standard. But how come? Both Ghostbusters and Suicide Squad are movies. They should be judged and given merit based on what is solely presented to the audience and not holding them up to this impossible standard. There is something wrong with how reviewers review certain movies and how they review others. When reading most of the Suicide Squad reviews all I could see were reviewers who did not even want to acknowledge a shred of goodness coming from the film. I did not like it as much as I wanted but I still do admit that it had some good parts. When reading most reviews being given, it makes it seem like the movie has no redeeming factors whatsoever. I don’t know what the issue is with reviewers and DC movies. Sure, the movies haven’t been perfect. However they have been getting an abnormal amount of hate that just seems very silly to me.

             So the big question is this. Why does this matter? These movies already get so much money as it is. Why should these reviews even matter? They matter for many reasons. But one of the most important ones is that they give a negative stigma to the film before it is even watched by many people. Since reviews by critics usually come out a day or two before the worldwide premiere, people have a preconceived opinion on how the movie will turn out.  Also it can stop people from actually going to the movie to begin with. When I was browsing the movies subreddit, I saw so many people commenting on not going to the movie due to the bad reviews that have been coming out.

          Now with all this being said, I am not saying that you shouldn’t write bad reviews about film. Obviously not. What I am saying is that the majority of the super negative reviews show that Suicide Squad has no redeeming qualities. This is somewhat far-fetched. An example if I recall correctly was that many critics used to criticize Marvel’s lack of distinct soundtrack when it comes to their movies. Usually with superhero movies their is always a distinct and prevalent soundtrack that sticks to your memory whenever you think of the movie. Many critics and myself as well did not like the fact that movies from the MCU lacked that aspect when it comes to their soundtrack. Now when it comes to Suicide Squad, the soundtrack is incredible, and in more than 20 reviews most did not even acknowledge it and some even said that “all that awesome music was too much, and didn’t help”. I find it silly how they criticize other superhero movies for not having a certain thing, yet when this movie comes and does what they asked for, it is unappreciated. As I said before, there has been some inconsistencies when it comes to reviews. Without some change, people will start taking everything that is being said by these critics to heart and not even bothering to go to the films even if it might have some redeeming factors.

Warner Brothers:

               Warner Bros…. Seriously. Stop meddling into places that you shouldn’t be meddling. If you may or may not have heard. After the filming of Suicide Squad there was a re-shooting which was requested by Warner Bros in order to add comedic touches and one-liners into the movie. That decision was really really dumb and it proves that Warner Bros are clueless when it comes to what the people want. The problem is, they do this, and make so much money. So they think that what they are doing made it work. The thing that gave the movie this much money is the intense marketing and also the brand. People will watch it regardless. So, you guys did not meddle and let David Ayer do his thing, I think that Warner Bros were gonna be on top. We already saw that Ayer has proven himself as a director when he directed the war drama “Fury”. Even certain people who watched the movie before the re-shooting were so impressed with the first edit. They loved it, and with this change they felt very disappointed with the whole thing. As am I. I really wish they gave Ayer full creative control over the movie. If he had I think the movie would have been one of the best comic films ever. However with what we have, it is just an average one. I know that this article will not change anything going forward with the DCEU. However I just wanted to let everyone know that if they keep on going this way, having popular characters is not going to keep on carrying this franchise. Hopefully Geoff Johns can save this franchise the same way he saved DC by his amazing efforts in the New 52.

Conclusion:

                   To anyone willing to go see Suicide Squad, have no expectations. Go into the movie with nothing in mind and expect nothing. Forget what the critics say and forget what the fanboys say. Watch the movie and judge it for yourself and you can see its flaws and merits. The movie isn’t perfect yet it isn’t as bad as critics say it is. Also I will hopefully soon write my full review of the movie and my thoughts on it.

 

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

Recently…


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Yes, recently I have had writers block. I can’t even review movies let alone normal posts. I have been trying everything. I usually just read blogs, think of ideas or just try to distract myself. But for the past month nothing has worked honestly. It is weird really, having writers block and I ended up writing about the thing that is not letting me write. Quite odd.

But anyway, if anyone has any ideas i’m dying to know. I’ve recently been also trying to start at writing a screenplay. It is not going so well, as the picture above I ended up with many crumbled up pieces of paper. I have just been trying to stretch out the countless ideas I have had. I’m hoping it will work out.

So yeah please help? 🙂

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

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.