Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scanners (1981)

A science fiction directed by David Cronenberg.
A homeless man is captured by government-looking guys and finds out that he is a "scanner" and can link his nervous system with other people's from across a room. He is sent to track down an evil scanner and finds the help of other good scanners along the way.
The characters were identifiable and the plot was easy to follow. There wasn't too much action, but it kept me interested. The style was lacking, probably because of the date. I'm rating it o.k.

Purple Rain (1984)

A musical directed by Albert Magnoli, starring Prince.
A night club musician has trouble with his parents and with his band. He also meets a girl.
I used to read guitar magazines and they went on and on about how Prince was this great guitarist, but in reality, he barely touches the thing. He does, however, spend a whole lot of time on a purple motorcycle. I'm unsure of how much motorcycle magazines mention him though. The songs were simple and boring except for the little shreddy bits (the only time he actually plays his instrument) in the first few songs. The last songs were really bad. I mean REALLY BAD! The plot was hinted at, but no real story took place. The girlfriend has a group called "The Apollonia 6" that only contains 3 women. Am I missing some inside joke? This is not good. It is bad.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Private Lessons (1981)

A black comedy directed by Alan Myerson.
A rich boy's new maid wants to seduce him, but the butler has shady plans about that.
My first thoughts on the film are that this is the luckiest boy in the world. I wish that when I was 15, I had a hot maid chasing my one-eyed monster. Otherwise it was nothing special. Everything was mediocre. I'm rating it o.k.

Out of Africa (1985)

A drama directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
A woman from Denmark marries a friend who she doesn't love and they move to Africa together to grow coffee. The local tribe work on the coffee plantation and the husband is always away hunting. While alone on the plantation, the woman receives male visitors, one of whom she falls in love with.
At about two and a half hours, this isn't just something to watch quick and forget. The characters and plot are good and I like the ups and downs of the woman's relationship with the African tribe. The style was good and there were many good outdoor shots. Sadly, there were some shots that looked like they were a primitive attempt at CG, with people standing in front of a screen to imply where they were. The pacing was obviously slow, but not too bad. I'm rating this adequate because it had enough good qualities to avoid being just o.k.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kill the Irishman (2011)

A crime film directed by Jonathan Hensleigh.
An Irishman tries to make his way to the top of an organized crime syndicate.
I thought this was rather bland for a crime film. I guess I just didn't like the style. The plot was decent, but the characters were not unique enough. Oh, and the Walken-beast made an appearance. I'm rating it o.k.

Ordinary People (1980)

A drama directed by Robert Redford, starring Mary Tyler Moore.
After a young man's brother died in a boating accident, he tried to kill himself and was admitted into a sanitarium. The film starts when he just got out and goes to see a therapist. He has trouble relating with his mother.
There was one question that I was left with at the end of this film: Why make this a movie? Nothing really happens, people just have problems with social and family relationships. Also, nothing really concludes, it just kind of leaves things unfinished. The style and pacing were alright, but the characters all looked and acted the same and the plot was sub-par. I'm rating this poor because I just don't think it's worth watching.

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

A science fiction by Stephen King, starring Emilio Estevez, with music by AC/DC.
Mechanical items go crazy and gain a mind of their own when a comet passes earth. A group of people survive by hiding in a gas station, before they escape to the forest nearby.
This film is popular for a reason. There are lots of crashes involved. Cars crashing into gas stations, trucks crashing into people, bulldozers crashing into buildings, etc... A kid on a BMX even gets chased by a lawnmower. Apparently, I got the uncut version because there were scenes that I hadn't seen before. I'm rating this good because it's Stephen King and for entertainment value.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Humongous (1982)

A horror directed by Paul Lynch.
A woman is raped at a party and dogs kill the assailant. Years later, a group of teenagers crash their boat on the island on which the woman had lived. Rumor had it that there were dogs protecting the island, but no living dogs are found by the teens. They find the woman's diary in which she writes about her son, whom she kept secluded on the island. The son was not normal and this explains the fact that their friends are missing when they split up.
The son is either black (of 2 white parents) or invisible because he is never seen. I would have thought my computer had black-screened me several times during the film if it didn't look so grainy. There is a lot of spooky music and some gruesome visible scenes involving skeletal remains of the dogs. Also, one of the teenage girls has a high quality upper torso (if you know what I mean). I'm rating this poor based on quality. If I could have seen what was going on, it may have gotten a better rating.

Night of the Comet (1984)

A science fiction directed by Thom Eberhardt.
Everyone in the world is very excited to see the return of the comet that supposedly killed the dinosaurs. They are all outside to watch except for a few people who just happen to be indoors where they can't see it. Everyone outside turns to dust and the few survivors wake up the next morning in a city that is empty, besides a few zombies. At the same time, government scientists have hidden in their base and go out to find survivors to make an antidote for the zombie disease.
This is very post-apocalyptic and also very '80s. That about covers it, but I want to mention a funny scene towards the end. 4 people are standing at an empty street, waiting for the traffic light to change because they are still upholding the old values of society. 1 person across the street tells them that they are insane and just starts walking across. Right then, a car speeds onto the scene and stops just short of the person crossing the street. The driver says "you shouldn't have been crossing against the light!". I'm rating this o.k.

Never Cry Wolf (1983)

An adventure directed by Carroll Ballard, produced by Ron W. Miller of the Disney corporation.
A scientist goes out into the Arctic wilderness to see if wolves are really responsible for the decline in caribou population. He settles down for the summer near a family of wolves and watches them closely.
This is a lot like White Fang. In the beginning of the film, the main character spends all of his money to stock up on beer and accidentally drops his toilet paper out of the plane. Is this a good role model for Disney-watching kids? By the end of the film, we find out that many corrupt men are running shady business in the area, but the main character can do nothing about it, as he is only 1 man. This is an idea that is often enforced in the media to make us feel powerless, despite the fact that we are many and they are few (the corrupt men in the real world that is). I'm rating this adequate because it has good entertainment value, but the ideas involved are repulsive to me.

My Dinner with Andre (1981)

A drama directed by Louis Malle, starring Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn.
2 men meet at a restaurant for dinner. They haven't seen each other for a long time and one has been living a very conservative life in New York city, trying to be a play-write. The other has been on wild adventures.
This is what good movies are made of. They made an interesting film out of 2 men talking. Andre, the man who has been going places and doing things hits the nail on the head repeatedly about how society malfunctions and how people are living lives that aren't real. To this, Wallace Shawn (in Princess Bride fashion) says "Inconceivable!". I hope you get that referential joke. I'm rating this awesome.

Night Shift (1982)

A comedy directed by Ron Howard.
A morgue worker gets transferred to the night shift and gets a new co-worker. After helping his prostitute neighbor, the 2 morgue workers decide to start being pimps.
This was supposed to be funny? I didn't even find it mildly entertaining and the plot was stupid. I'm rating it bad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)

A musical comedy by the Monty Python team.
Comedy sketches and musical numbers are shown with the purpose of telling the meaning of life, although this never actually happens.
This is a very popular film and I don't wonder about the reason. It's stupid. There are some funny parts, but overall it caters to the "lowest common denominator". I'm rating it o.k.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

A comedy directed by Tim Burton, starring Paul Reubens.
A young man's bicycle is stolen and he tries to retrieve it.
This film has some style. I didn't know that Tim Burton directed until I just looked it up. Makes sense. I like the Rube Goldberg machines and the Twisted Sister video clip the most. It is a very simple film, but holds some sentimental value to me. I always remember my sister being afraid of large Marge. Hence, I'm rating it good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Lost Boys (1987)

A comedy horror directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman.
2 brothers and their divorced mother move to a new town to live with their grandfather. The older boy gets turned into a vampire while chasing a girl and the younger meets a pair of vampire hunters.
Everybody goes on and on about how good this film is, but I just don't think it's as cool as they say it is. It is, indeed, very popular, but that says nothing about quality. The soundtrack of mediocre and boring rock tunes is my main beef. The characters and plot are good, but the style wasn't to my liking. I'm not saying it's a bad film, just not as good as it's hyped up to be. I'm rating it adequate.

The Last Unicorn (1982)

An animated fantasy by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules bass, starring Christopher Lee, with music by America.
A lonely unicorn leaves her forest to search for others like her. She is captured by a freak show and along with the show's wizard, she escapes. They travel together to the kingdom where the red bull has chased all of the other unicorns away.
Rankin and Bass make some cool films, but there's always something REALLY hokey in them. In this one, there were a couple of musical numbers that seemed forced and didn't sound right. There was also a pirate cat, complete with eye patch and peg leg. The animation style makes up for any shortcomings. I'm rating this good.

Lost in America (1985)

A tragedy by Albert Brooks.
A husband and wife decide to "drop out of society". They quit their jobs and get a motor home, but the wife gambles away all of their money and they are stuck in Arizona with a motor home, but nothing else.
Wikipedia said this was a comedy! HAH! THAT'S comedy! This is the tragic tale of a couple who lose everything. The plot and characters were boring and the style was nearly worthless. I guess the pacing was alright, but diarrhea is shit no matter how fast or slow it comes out. This wasn't painful to watch, just crappy. Hence, I can only rate it bad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lucas (1986)

a drama directed by David Seltzer, starring Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder.
A dorky kid is attracted to a new girl in town and they become friends. When school starts, the dork is picked on and the girl becomes the romantic interest of the captain of the football team who protects the dork from the other football players. The dork quits band and tries to play football with the expected results.
This was really sappy and quasi-romantic. The part that I found funny was the ending. The Professor Brothers describe it best in their video, Fliff Night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp3wTXYoCCg . One brother is describing to the other how he felt when he was buying drinks for people at a party and it's EXACTLY what happens at the end of this film. Anyway, I'm rating this o.k. because it was totally predictable and mediocre.

The Green Ray (1986)

A drama directed by Eric Rohmer.
A Parisian woman gets time off of work to go on vacation with her fiance, but just before the vacation he dumps her. She takes the time off anyway and travels from place to place, never really being comfortable with the situations there and always leaving very quickly. At a beach, she hears some people talking about a mythical green ray of the sun that is seen when it sets. This green ray is supposed to give the viewer understanding of themselves and others.
The style of this film was great and the pacing was very slow. There was only one main character, but that worked for the better. On the topless Euro-beach, there is only 1 breast shot and they are saggy and pointy (not my preference). This is a nice change from all the popular, cheesy '80s films I've been watching. I'm rating it good.

Iria: Zeiram the Animation (1994)

An anime directed by Tetsuro Amino.
A young female bounty hunter fights against a supposedly immortal monster.
This is one of the animes that I really used to like when I first got into the genre. The style (as with most anime) is really cool and the characters are very unique. This is supposed to be a prelude to the live action film (which sucks monkey balls, to put it nicely (think Power Rangers)), but I prefer to just watch the OVA series as a standalone set. I've seen it strung together as a full-length film, but what I just watched was the OVA series in 6 episodes. If you've been paying attention to my female breast critique, you may note that Iria's cleavage is very wide, as her boobs are spread apart by the armor that she wears. I'm rating this good because it's cool anime.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eating Raoul (1982)

A black comedy by Paul Bartel.
A couple accidentally kill a man who is trying to force himself on the wife. They take his money and throw his body into the trash compactor. When they accidentally kill another man for the same reason, they decide to make this their business.
The plot and characters were good, but the style was very primitive. This may have just been the date of the film showing through. I'm rating it o.k. Although the picture is in black and white, the film was in color.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Innerspace (1987)

A science fiction comedy directed by Joe Dante, starring Dennis Quaid.
A pilot in a pod is miniaturized to be injected into a rabbit, but burglars raid the laboratory and a scientist escapes with the syringe. After being shot by a hit man, the scientist injects the pod into a nervous man who is then chased by the burglars and the hit man. The pilot establishes contact with the man and tries to guide him through the problems that arise.
At 799 posts, I'm getting tired of this. Anyway, it was ultra-'80s and a little cheesy. The characters were good and the plot kept me interested. As a side-note, the credits mention "co-starring Kevin MaCarthy". My neighbor's name is Kevin McCarthy, but I didn't see him in the film. I'm rating it adequate.

Foxes (1980)

A drama directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Jodie Foster.
A group of teenage girls have misadventures.
This film is very well made and the style is really good. The plot and characters were somewhat lacking. Every teen cliche is used, from the loss of virginity to problems with drugs. I'm rating this o.k.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greystoke: The legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)

A drama directed by Hugh Hudson.
A boy is raised by gorillas until a European explorer finds him and brings him to Europe.
The plot and pacing were good and the characters were identifiable. The style was a little bit lacking because the monkey suits looked really fake. I thought this was mediocre at best and I have no sentimental attachments to it. I'm rating it o.k.

Flash Gordon (1980)

A science fiction directed by Mike Hodges with music by Queen.
A mad scientist captures a man and a woman who crash an airplane into his lab. They all get in his rocket as the moon is about to fall on the earth. They take off and confront the aliens. There are many factions of aliens, all ruled by Ming (who looks a lot like Anton LaVey).
There were freemasonic symbols everywhere in this film! It was hard to watch a whole scene without seeing the square and compass (or compass and compass in this case). The film was really cheesy and the Queen music helped this along. The special effects were absolutely horrible and the plot was not so great. The pacing was quick and it's so cheesy I can't rate it bad. I'm going with o.k.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Project A-ko (1986)

An anime directed by Katsuhiko Nishijima.
3 schoolgirls have adventures. The older 2 usually fight over the younger one.
This is a really cool anime with some sexual innuendo spread liberally throughout. The other OVA episodes are Plot of the Daitokuji Financial Group, Cinderella Rhapsody, Final and Uncivil Wars. Uncivil Wars is a 2 part section taking place outside the normal A-ko world. In Uncivil Wars, C-ko is kidnapped by a magician who wants to use her body to contain the spirit of a witch to call the dragon god and destroy the universe. In the other episodes, there are aliens that want to retrieve C-ko from earth. They are women who look like men and their Captain is an alcoholic. I'm rating this best.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

A comedy by William Dear, starring John Lithgow.
A family hits a Bigfoot on their way home from vacation. Thinking that he is dead, they tie him to the top of their car and take him home. The Bigfoot then recovers and the father finds him in the kitchen.
More '80s cheese. I believe I'm getting tired of reviewing these films, because sentimental value only counts for so much on a film blog. I like John Lithgow's as an actor. He's the old guy from the TV show, 3rd Rock from the Sun. Well, I'm rating it adequate because there's nothing left to write.

Flight of the Navigator (1986)

A science fiction by the Disney corporation, starring Paul Reubens a.k.a Pee-Wee Herman.
A boy goes for a walk and is missing for 8 years. He is committed to a mental home/army base and finds the spaceship that kept him for that time there. He boards the ship and flies it, returning information to the ship's computer (Pee-Wee Herman).
Despite this being from the freemasonic Disney corporation, it's an '80s classic. My favorite character is the Puckmaren, the "harmless" alien species that David befriends. There are very few main characters and the plot is super-clear. The picture is a not so great shot of the Puckmaren. I'm rating this good despite it's evil origins.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raging Phoenix (2009)

A kung fu directed by Rashane Limtrakul, starring Yanin Vismistananda.
A girl's sister is kidnapped by perfume making organ bandits and the girl is rescued by 3 drunken Thai boxing masters. They teach her their style and she initiates an assault on the bandits.
Do you like fu? Then this is for you! Yanin is versatile and creative with her kung fu styles. Anyone who knows me can tell you I can't resist watching every drunken kung fu movie ever made and this is no exception. There is a scene towards the end with a guy who uses traditional drunken boxing style kung fu, but it's pretty short. Most of the action happens in Thai boxing mode, and there is a lot of it. Sole from behinds and flip-kick combos abound as knee and elbow strikes rule the screen. Can you tell that I liked it? OH! I forgot to mention the awesome training scene/montage! It's really cool too. I'm rating this film best.

Celia (1988)

A drama directed by Ann Turner.
During political unrest in Australia over communism and rabbit overpopulation, a little girl stands up for what she believes in.
Wikipedia worded the description differently: they said that the film follows the girl's "descent into madness" which I didn't see at all. I saw a brave girl whose country, classmates and neighboring parents shit on as hard as they can. She's had enough of it and fights back any way she can. The plot was disjointed and the style left lots to be desired, but the overall story was good. All of the characters were very similar and somewhat difficult to tell apart. I'm rating this o.k.

Dreamscape (1984)

A fantasy directed by Joseph Ruben, starring Dennis Quaid.
A man with psychic powers re-enters a scientific experiment that has changed since he left. They now link 2 people's dreams together. He finds out that there are powerful government agents working with this project with evil goals.
I knew the main character looked familiar. He's Davidge from Enemy Mine and Jerry Lee Lewis from Great Balls of Fire! This film was on the cheesy side, but that's o.k. I liked the dream sequences and the plot seemed plausible. I'm rating it adequate.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

A science fiction comedy directed by Garth Jennings.
A very stupid man is rescued by an alien just before the earth is destroyed. They eventually meet up with the president of the galaxy and follow him on his quest to find the meaning of life.
The characters and humor were good, but most everything else was so-so. There was one scene in particular that really amused me. The main character is on a spaceship that changes into a random object every time a button is pressed and one time it turns into yarn. The character pukes a multicolored mess of yarn because of motion sickness. I'm rating it adequate for being slightly amusing.

Come Drink with Me (1966)

A Shaw Brothers wuxia directed by King Hu and Sammo Hung, starring Cheng Pei-Pei.
A group of bandits has a political prisoner and the government has a bandit prisoner. The sister of the political prisoner is sent to get back her brother. She is aided by a drunken beggar.
For such an early date, this really is a good film (me agreeing with Wikipedia: may never happen again). The plot is extremely complex and the main characters are all very good and identifiable. The style reminds me of later kung fu and wuxia films, probably because they copied it from this one. There is wire involved as well as special effects to illustrate magic kung fu powers. If you like fu (and I know you do), this movie is for you! I'm rating it awesome.

Dune (1984)

A science fiction directed by David Lynch, written by Frank Herbert.
An ambitious prince and his family land on a planet that produces an important resource. The prince goes to the people who live on the planet and becomes one of them. He leads an attack on the corporations that run the resource trade.
This film is very close to what happens in the book. I have to give it credit for this. When most books are made into a film, they only vaguely resemble the original work. Alejandro Jodorowsky was originally supposed to make this film, but things got complicated and he didn't end up doing it. Luckily, they handed the project over to someone else who was capable of doing it right. The characters and plot are clear and the style fits the story. I'm rating this good for staying true to the original work.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dragonslayer (1981)

A fantasy directed by Matthew Robbins.
A group from a village that is plagued by a dragon seek a sorcerer's help. When asked to prove his power, the sorcerer is killed. His apprentice takes on the task set by his master.
Early '80s cheese. I remember watching this film when I was very young and thinking that there should have been more dragon in it. I still feel that way, as the dragon has a small percentage of screen time. The plot and characters were alright and the style and pacing were o.k.. I'm rating this adequate because it's better than most of the shit out there now.

Dogs in Space (1986)

A drama by Richard Lowenstein.
A group of punks in Australia act like Australian punks.
This looked like a home video and there was no plot. The characters all seemed the same, which made it hard to tell them apart. I don't know if it's supposed to be crappy on purpose, but regardless of the cause, it IS crappy. There's not much more to write, so I'll just rate it shite.

Delicatessen (1991)

A black comedy directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
A ex-circus performer takes a job as a handy man at an apartment building over a butcher shop. The butcher always kills the handy men and feeds them to the tenants of the apartment building.
This is a french film, so there are subtitles. The style is really cool and the pacing is good. In the beginning, there is a timing sequence with synchronized movement and sound. The humor is weird, but almost funny. I'm rating this best.

Friday, April 15, 2011

1969 (1988)

A drama directed by Ernest Thompson, starring Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland and Winona Ryder.
A pair of friends go back to their home town and one's brother goes to fight in Vietnam. They have various adventures until the soldier brother comes back dead.
I thought this was boring. Winona Ryder is always attractive and she was the best part. The plot was unnecessarily convoluted and the style was bland. I'm rating this poor.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dead Ringers (1988)

A drama directed by David Cronenberg.
Identical twin Gynecologists sleep with the same women and progressively go insane, inventing sugical tools to operate on mutant women and slipping into drug addiction.
The style of this film is so unique that it can't be described with words. The plot is great and they did a good job of choosing identical actors to play the twins. The picture is of the invented tools. I'm rating this awesome based on style alone.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

A fantasy by the Disney Corporation.
A boy spends time with a girl who moves in next door. They "create" a world of fantasy around their tree house.
My intentions going into this were to get the new movie and the old TV version. The TV one wasn't available and the 2007 movie was already downloaded, so I turned it on. I got about 13 minutes into this load of crap and had to turn it off. The style was so fake and new Disney that it felt like having an RFID tag implanted under my skin and a barcode stamped on my forehead. "No one shall buy or sell without the mark of the beast!". The female lead looks way too old to be in the class with those kids. I bet they had to tape her breasts like Judy Garland and I guarantee the script was written in Bohemian Grove. Movies about kids usually piss me off anyway. I'm giving this the worst rating available: shit.

Bad Boys (1983)

A crime film directed by Rick Rosenthal, starring Sean Penn.
A young man is sent to juvenile prison because he ran over a fellow criminal's brother while being pursued by the cops. He beats up the lead prisoners and takes their place with his cellmate. They try to escape after he hears that an enemy raped his girlfriend and he makes it all the way to her home before being captured. The enemy whose brother he killed and who raped his girlfriend is then sentenced to a prison stay in the same dormitory.
Sean Penn plays the opposite role in this film from what he did in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He's quiet and serious as opposed to jovial and talkative. The characters in this were good and the plot kept me interested. The style was necessarily dark. I'm rating it good.

Back to the Future series (1985, 1989 & 1990)

A comedy science fiction directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
A scientist invents a time machine that sends himself and his assistant through time, but when events are changed in another time, they have to use the time machine again to fix the problems created by using it the first time.
Another classic '80s flick. This is a very bright set of films, which is not really my style. There are "cliffhanger" moments throughout, as the scientist and his assistant try to accomplish tasks on a tight schedule. I'm rating this awesome just because I like it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

A comedy directed by Amy Heckerling, starring Sean Penn.
Students at a high school work part-time jobs, have sex and get stoned.
Ah, more classic '80s cheese. I possibly can't get enough of it. This film is very dated and shows typical teenagers doing what typical teenagers do best. The characters are very good and the style works very well. The convoluted plot was necessary to show all of the aspects of teenage life. It comes from the same year that Iron Maiden released Number of the Beast and Slayer released their only good album, Show No Mercy. I'm rating this good for being an '80s classic.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mad Max series (1979, 1981 & 1985)

An adventure directed by George Miller, starring Mel Gibson.
A lone man travels across a post-apocalyptic landscape battling gangs with stylized costumes and vehicles.
Mad Max is the first film, Road Warrior the second and Beyond Thunderdome is the third. I actually managed to watch all 3 films consecutively in one day, which is a mark of quality. Mel Gibson's character changes through the films quite well, as he was young when the first one was made and not so young in the others. The style is so cheesy it hurts, but the pacing is nice. I'm rating this adequate because I didn't really like the style, but everything else works great.

Ghostbusters series (1984 & 1989)

A science fiction comedy directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis.
A team of parapsychologists start a business of capturing and containing ghosts, but get in trouble with the government until something really big happens and they are pardoned to go fight the supernatural crisis.
This is some classic '80s cheese. Spin-offs abound, but will not be reviewed here. I don't feel like watching the whole cartoon series or any other knock-offs. The characters and plot are bold and the style and pacing are right. I would have liked the ghosts and monsters to be more gruesome, but that would have gone against the comedy element. I'm rating this good because I like cheesy '80s films.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Great Dictator (1940)

A comedy by Charlie Chaplin.
A soldier saves the life of a commander during world war 1, but their plane crashes and the soldier ends up in the hospital. When he gets out, he goes back to the barber shop that he owns to find that fascists have taken over the country and are terrorizing his neighborhood. The commander who he saved is leading the local brigade and stops them from being a menace there. For this, he is accused of treason and the soldier and commander are both hunted down and thrown in a concentration camp.
This film is a parody of the Nazi party during world war 2. They used absurd names for people and places for the value of mockery. Adolf Hitler became Adenoid Hynkle, Goebbels became Garbitsch and the swastika was turned into a "double cross" (which is an evil enough symbol on it's own. Have you ever been double crossed?). There is some slapstick and physical comedy, but not to the degree that I've come to expect from Mr. Chaplin. I always compare to The Adventurer which was about 20 minutes of ass kicking. I'm rating this poor because I had a hard time watching it and had to take it on in chunks.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

13 Assassins (2010)

A samurai film directed by Takashi Miike.
A small group of samurai plan an attack on a larger group in a small town.
There were some continuous battle scenes, but I didn't notice because I was playing guitar. Can you blame me? The beginning was so boring that I had to do something! The style was good, but the pacing was unbalanced. I'm rating this adequate.

Chocolate (2008)

A kung fu directed by Prachya Pinkaew, starring Yanin Vismistananda.
A mentally handicapped girl's mother used to be a gangster, but got in trouble and was kicked out of the racket. The mother gets cancer and the daughter gets good at muay thai kickboxing. When the daughter's friend finds an old account book with money owed to the mother, the daughter goes out to collect.
There is some good fighting in this film. Yanin has agility and grace, but lacks the power of Tony Jaa. The warehouse fight and the butcher shop fight are pretty good, there's a short kung fu savant vs. kung fu savant fight, but the real action is the end fight. I don't want to spoil it because it's really cool. I'm rating this awesome and getting Yanin's other film, Raging Phoenix (2009).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Rite (2011)

A thriller directed by Mikael Hafstrom, starring Anthony Hopkins.
A young man enrolls in seminary school. He doesn't find it to his liking, so he tells a teacher that he wishes to leave. The teacher enrolls him in a class at the Vatican on how to perform exorcisms. Still doubting his faith, a teacher there sends him to talk to an older exorcist.
More dogmatic christian bullshit, just what Hollywood needs. The skeptical priest has his faith confirmed and everyone lives happily ever after. This is because they are totally blind to the truth. They end all of their prayers with "amen" and think that they're praying to a christian god. No. Amen-Ra or Amon-Ra was the name of the Egyptian sun god That's why the sun has "rays". I don't have the time to go into any more of this right now, but I'm sure something will come up that will provoke an outburst like this again. I'm rating this movie poor because I could tell that very little effort went into making it.

The Godfather series (1972, 1974 & 1990)

A crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino.
A gangster family does gangster stuff.
This has to be the most boring film series ever made. I barely made it through the first one (this is after like 4 tries) and couldn't watch the whole second film. Obviously, I won't be watching the 3rd. The pacing is so slow it hurts and the style is bland. The characters are unidentifiable except for a select few. I have to rate this bad for trying to bore me to death.