September 12, 2005

Movie Reviews

Some time ago I had mentioned that I would be sharing my views on movies I rent from Netflix as I get about three a week. I failed to keep up on it so it's time to revive the topic. This entry reviews the movies I have watched since that last entry. Browse through it, read the whole thing, don't read a word of it, whatever, just enjoy.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as "progressive" parents...or at least they think they are. Their theory is tested when their daughter brings home her fiance who just so happens to be black. This movie was made in 1967 but unfortunately, interracial relationships still cause strain in some families out there so the movie is not dated. Well, except for the clothes. And furniture.

Anyway, the white family meets the black family and words are spat back and forth, concerns are addressed and while the mothers quickly adapt, both fathers are hard headed and are refusing to bless the marriage . Some of the characters never seemed to fully develop but it's still enjoyable. Thumbs up.

The Gods Must Be Crazy and The Gods Must Be Crazy 2

I originally watched these movies when I was a teen and remembered laughing my ass off so I wanted to watch them again.

The story is about a tribe in Africa who are going about their daily routine, minding their own business when a pilot from another country flies over head and litters his Coca Cola bottle out the side. The bottle falls to the earth and conks someone on the head and the hilarity ensues.

The basic message is that we never realize we "need" something until it comes into our existence and then when that "need" we never needed before is taken away, we get upset. We get very upset.

It takes one brave soul to stand up and say, "I'm getting rid of this damn thing because life was so much easier before it ever came here." So this tribal member spends the rest of these movies finding himself involved in many adventures with some ridiculous characters while trying to return the bottle to the gods who the tribe thinks gave them the Coca Cola bottle in the first place. Thumbs up.

Harold and Maude

This movie was both hilarious and disturbing. Harold would fake his own death to mess with his mother and this kid went all out. He wouldn't just lie on the ground pretending not to breathe, he would do things like fake hang himself in a room he knew his mother would visit eventually. His mother, used to his antics, barely even noticed and would talk to him as if he were sitting in a chair, reading a book.

The part of the movie that really disturbed me though was the fact that Harold fell in love with Maude, whom he met at a funeral...which is what he liked to do in his spare time. Attend funerals. But he's a teen age kid and she's a 60 or so year old lady and that basically disgusted me. In the end, though, Maude does a bang up job teaching this kid a few things about life, things he wasn't getting from his mother and it is because of that and the faked deaths that I recommend this movie. Thumbs up.

How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Stars Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson is assigned to write an article on how to dump a guy in 10 days. Matthew makes a bet that he can date a girl for more than 10 days. The two meet. Typical, expected scenarios play out. This movie was ok, something to rent when you feel like having a completely think free weekend. Thumbs down.

Full Metal Jacket

Young men going off to war after enduring absolute hell which is otherwise known as Basic Training. We are treated to one of the most hilarious drill sergeants ever. The soldiers eventually go off to the Vietnam war and things start to get serious but you get a small glimpse, very, very small glimpse into the world of the soldier who has honor and will do whatever it takes to protect his fellow soldier. I have seen this movie a dozen times and I will see it a dozen more. I absolutely love it. Major thumbs up.

Babbette's Feast

This is a foreign film and MY GOD was this movie excellent! Two sisters grow up in a Danish village and never leave, never marry despite offers. When they are grown, a French woman shows up at their door looking for a place to get away from the French Revolution. The woman works for them for years until one day she happens upon a large sum of money from winning the lottery. She decides to create a feast for the entire town using her skills as one of the most well known chefs in France. Thing is, no one in the town knew she was this person. The town shows up for dinner where they are met with so many different things, things that do not follow their daily routine, things they do not want to try or enjoy because it is different but Babbette has other plans. This is really a chic flick but it's really good. It's good enough to watch again right after it ends. Thumbs up.

The Lady Vanishes

You know, Alfred Hitchcock has some pretty good movies out there but this is not one of them. A young lady rides a train and befriends a passenger. Along the way the passenger vanishes causing the young lady to become very concerned. All the passengers and employees of the train deny they ever saw the friend and insinuate that the young lady is a lunatic. She is helped by a gentleman on the train who apparently has the hots for her and they come across a "sinister plot". Thumbs down.

Gone With the Wind

For the first 30 minutes of this movie I was highly offended. Every racist and stereotypical remark and mannerism seemed to dance on screen. It took me awhile to recover from the shock of that to understand that this was back in the day when this sort of thing was not only common but accepted. So Scarlett and Rhett seem to have some serious communication problems and it costs them their relationship. Frankly, Scarlett seems a little spoiled and Rhett isn't exactly the nicest guy on the planet. I rented this one just to see what all the fuss was about and it wasn't so bad. I remain nuetral on my recommendation.

The Producers

Oh bloody hell this movie was terrible. Basically a failing producer, who hasn't made anything successful in a long time, devises a plan to make a complete flop and oversell shares so he and his accountant can make a lot of money. They read hundreds of scripts looking for the worst one they can find. They come across one titled, "Springtime for Hitler" and set about to producing it. I was expecting comedy but was let down. Thumbs down.

Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned

Freaky little kids with their colorless eyeballs who cause grown ups they don't like to have fatal accidents. Not really scary but good background noise when trying to fall asleep. Thumbs down.

The Manchurian Candidate

This movie has been given high reviews in the past but I couldn't even concentrate on it. I let it play out but it was so incredibly boring to me that I only remember a scene or two towards the end. Because I'm not entirely sure what it's about, I'll have to use someone elses words to explain it:

Some thrillers remain as suspenseful -- and timely -- as when they were first released. Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is a Korean War hero with a lethal secret: He's been brainwashed into being a sleeper agent for the communist Chinese. With one phone call, the Reds can transform Shaw into a deadly assassin -- unless fellow veteran Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can stop them first!
I have no recommendation.

How to Marry a Millionaire

Three ladies move into an apartment in New York and decide that their mission in life is to meet and marry a millionaire, respectively. What they discover is that money isn't everything forcing them to choose between happiness or a lot of money with someone they don't truly love. A surprise twist at the end. Kinda cute movie, definitely chic flick. Thumbs Up.

The Seven Year Itch

Here we get to watch a married man's innermost thoughts as he meets his new, smokin' hot, (Marilyn Monroe), temporary upstairs tenant. He invites her over for a drink and intends on getting her into bed. Problem is, while he's busy living in fantasy land about what a stud he is, he also has a major problem with paranoia and he thinks that this evening with the neighbor is being broadcast across the country..especially to his wife. Thumbs up.

It Happened One Night

A socialite decides to run away from home, taking a bus to NY so she can be with the man she supposedly loves. This causes her father great angst and he has the story on the front page of the newspapers. A recently fired reporter who happens to be on the same bus as the socialite decides to use her to get the story out of her to get his job back. Naturally, things don't always go according to plan. This movie was made in 1934 so some things we take for granted today, like rail road crossings, will break that fourth wall for us at times but overall, this is cute little film. Thumbs Up.

Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn stars in this typical "princess running away from the palace to feel the freedom of being a normal person" flick. She bumps into a journalist, (Gregory Peck), who takes care of her, letting her sleep at his place and show her around town. At first he has no idea who she is but eventually he learns of her title and he and his photographer friend decide that this would make a great story for the paper they write for. Seems a lot of that reporter using high class dame to get ahead in their jobs kinda stuff going on but this movie was alright. I'd recommend it just because it's a classic. Thumbs Up.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

To be honest, I didn't know if I would enjoy this one but I was glued. GLUED to the screen. This is about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and takes us inside both sides of this war, Japanese and the Americans and what and how things eventually unfolded to become the reason America joined WWII. This film was made in 1970..if any others are made after that, I advise to scrap them and watch this one. Absolutely amazing movie. Thumbs Up.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

I'm almost embarrassed that I watched this movie. It was so stupid. Once again I expected comedy and all I got was embarrassment. I watched the whole thing but I do not recommend it at all. If you want to learn what this movie is about, look it up because it really sucked so hard that I don't even want to talk about it anymore. Thumbs Down.

Shaun Of The Dead

This is one fucking hilarious movie and British humor is some of the best damn humor in the world as far as I'm concerned. Shaun is going about his dull life, losing his girlfriend, hating his job, dealing with his asshole roommate and lazy friend when shit hits the fan. Zombies make their way to the streets of London and go about biting people, turning them into zombies. Shaun takes control and does his best to protect his friends, girlfriend and family. Thumbs Up.

The Elephant Man

Once again a movie I watched as a kid and wanted to see again. John Merrick is stricken with a terrible physical abnormality and finds himself as a circus freak, being beaten by his "owner". Enter the doctor who is fascinated by Merrick and takes him away from the circus to his hospital where he runs tests and learns that while Merrick may look horrible, he's one of the sweetest, most tender, intelligent people he's met. Can't judge a book by its cover. Thumbs Up.

Citizen Kane

Touted as "one of the best movies ever made", I have to disagree. I do not think this is one of the best movies ever made by a longshot. Orson Wells directed and starred in this movie which is really a story about William Randolph Hearst, and once again, we have the same ol' same ol' with the hero newspaper man and blah blah blah. It was ok. Not something I'll ever want to watch again though. Because I and the public do not agree, I'll leave it with no recommendation.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Mel! Kiss my grits! When I was a kid there was a show called "Alice" about three waitresses in a greasy pit of a diner who gave Mel, the cook, a hard time. This is the movie that started it all. It was ok but I wish I would have seen it on like Lifetime or something instead of wasting up precious space in my que renting it. Thumbs Down.

Mommie Dearest

Bitch. Next time you complain about your mother, watch this movie. This lady is a fucking bitch! Joan Crawford, a well known actress decides she wants to adopt children. After being rejected time and again because of her career, she finds herself with two children and all is supposed to be happy and wonderful. Problem is, Joan is a perfectionist and is as hard on her kids as she is herself. Whenever Joan meets disappointment, she takes it out on her daughter, Christina. This movie is scarier than Village of the Damned. And I highly recommend it. Thumbs Up.

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Major chic flick alert! But oh man is this movie good. Cathy and Heathcliff are in love with each other but because of class and stubborness, do not ever get together. Cathy goes off and marries someone else which pisses Heathcliff off in a big way. In the end, the offspring pay for the sins of their parents until Cathy returns and takes Heathcliff away. Thumbs Up.

And finally,

Shrek 2

C'mon. It's Shrek. And it's Eddie Murphy as the talking donkey. Who cares about plot. Eddie Murphy is a talking donkey! And he's funny as shit! You all saw Shrek...this is just as good.

Now then, we are all caught up. I seriously doubt anyone read this far. By that I mean, you didn't skim through to the last paragraph and are now reading this, I mean you actually read the entire thing. Maybe one person will actually do that. I like to think I'm a good judge of movies but I don't always agree with the general public so maybe I'm not. Or maybe it's because I don't get sucked into the hype that I AM a good judge. Whatever, when I say a movie is funny, it actually is. When I say a movie is stupid, it truly is. When it comes to war movies or chic flicks, I understand that they may not be for everyone so it depends on what genre you like. But you might want to give some of them a chance that you might not have thought to watch before. You may be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

Anyway, these will continue but will only be three a week from here on out. Stay tuned.

Posted by S. Faolan Wolf at September 12, 2005 11:50 PM | TrackBack

I read all of it. Seriously.

Shaun of the Dead and Full Metal Jacket are two of my fave movies.

Gone With The Wind was crap - I agree.

Citizen Kane is considered to be the best movie of all time because it used a lot of cinematic devices that we now consider common for the very first time. So, it wasn't as good as much as it was trailblazing.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? My father in law has never met me. Refuses to. And hasn't spoken to his daughter since she moved in with me. Unfortunately, this crap is still happening in our world.

Posted by: Maine at September 13, 2005 10:38 AM

I'm a huge Clark Gable fan so I was glad to see that you saw "It Happened One Night". That is one movie that really stands up to the test of time.

Of course, I also adore GWTW, despite it's ugly reminders of the shoddy treatment of African-Americans, both in the Civil War times and in the prejudices of 20th century America. I have read the book a million times, so you tend to get more out of Scarlett's selfish character in the movie from knowing her in the book.

Posted by: D Bunny at September 13, 2005 12:34 PM

Your tastes are similar to mine - Shrek, Elephant Man, and The Gods must be crazy was a great cult film. I don't see many movies these days, unfortunately.

Posted by: Ruth at September 14, 2005 03:35 AM

I remember seeing The Gods Must Be Crazy for the first time - in a movie theatre with my parents ... and isn't there a part where a rhinocerous keeps running out of the forest to stomp out their campfires? Am I imagining that? In my memory, it was one of the funniest most bizarre things I had ever seen. The rhino NEEDING to stomp out their campfires.

I love that movie.

Posted by: red at September 14, 2005 01:07 PM
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