Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Stepford Wives (1975 & 2004)

A science fiction directed by Bryan Forbes and Frank Oz, starring (2004) Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill and Glenn Close.
A city couple and their children move to a suburban town where all of the women are too perfect to be real and all of the men meet at a secret club.
The first film was dark and tense, almost a horror flick. The new one was bright and jovial, almost a comedy. The newer one also added a new beginning and a new ending, making the plot of the first film into a shortened and dumbed down middle. I hate to see a decent film defiled like this and Hollywood always does it with these stupid remakes. This makes me rate the original better than planned and the remake worse than I would have otherwise. SO, the old one is good and the new one is bad. Simple, direct and to the point!

Remember My Name (1978)

A drama directed by Alan Rudolph, produced by Robert Altman.
A man's ex-wife comes back into his life to reclaim him.
The plot and characters were alright, but I thought that the plot was not explained well enough. It just seemed to jump right into the middle of the story. The style and production value were a little lacking. I'm rating this o.k.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Straight Time (1978)

A crime film directed by Ulu Grosbard, starring Dustin Hoffman and Gary Busey.
A career criminal gets out of jail after 6 years. He gets a place to live, a job and a girlfriend. When the parole officer comes by, he finds a pack of burnt matches and locks the guy up again. Once the man's drug tests come back clean, he is picked up by the parole officer and on the way to a half way house, he kicks the parole officer out of the car, handcuffs him to a fence and pulls down his pants. Now a fugitive on the run, the man turns back to his old ways of criminal activities.
This was fun to watch. What ends up happening to Gary Busey was SO COOL! Obviously, things didn't go well for Gary if I describe it like that, as I hate him almost as much as Christopher Walken. The main character is developed very well and I liked the plot. The style didn't really stand out to me, but that was o.k. I'm rating this good.

Two Lane Blacktop (1971)

An adventure directed by Monte Hellman, starring James Taylor.
A pair of car geeks picks up a girl who falls in love with one of them and begin a cross country race with a man in another car.
The characters did not have names and the plot didn't seem to make much sense. However, the style was absolutely the best. I don't like cars, but there's something about '70s car movies that thrills me greatly. I guess they figured that just driving would be boring, so they instilled this really cool style into the films. I'm rating this awesome.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

An adventure directed by Hal Needham, starring Burt Reynolds.
Two drivers are put to the quest of getting beer across a liquor line within 28 hours. One of them picks up a runaway bride on the way back and a sheriff looking to have her complete the marriage gets on his tail.
The plot and characters were good, the style was cool and the pacing was quick. The soundtrack was even good! I have no complaints, so I must rate it good.

Don't Look in the Basement (1973)

A horror by S. F. Brownrigg.
A doctor runs a sanitarium where he lets the patients get carried away with their personal insanities. A patient kills him on the day before his new assistant arrives. The new assistant is left with the only remaining nurse in a house full of crazy people.
The plot and characters were REALLY GOOD. The execution was somewhat lacking, being from the early '70s and all. Towards the beginning, one of the nurses is killed, but nobody seems to notice or care that she isn't there. There were some very interesting plot twists at the end and an unexpected hero arose from the mess that this created. I'm rating this good. It would have gotten a better rating if it had been made a little better.

Trinity duology (1970 & 1971)

Westerns directed by E. B. Clucher and Enzo Barboni, starring Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer.
A filthy cowboy roams the wild west doing good deeds with his brother, an ex horse thief.
The films are called They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name. They star "Nobody" from My Name is Nobody, so I thought they would be as good as that masterpiece. Unfortunately, they weren't directed by Sergio Leone. The main characters are really good, but the plots are not so great. The style is classic spaghetti western and the pacing is decent. I'm rating these films adequate.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Robin Hood (1973)

An animated fantasy adventure by Wolfgang Reitherman under the Disney corporation.
An outlaw who lives in the forest and steals from the rich to give to the poor overthrows a tyrant and wins the love of the princess.
I wish the plot of the real world worked like this. The animation style was classic Disney with anthropomorphized animals playing the roles of humans. This is one of those hidden i plain view things where if people stand up to the "powerful", the corrupt elite lose their power. I'm rating it adequate because it wasn't as good as I remembered it from my childhood.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

A western directed by Robert Altman.
A gambler and a professional prostitute build a successful brothel. Businessmen from out of town want to buy it, but the gambler refuses their price. The businessmen summon bounty hunters to kill the gambler and take his brothel.
This film was long (2 hours), but felt even longer because of the slow pace. The production quality was absolutely terrible. The plot and characters were alright, so I'm rating this o.k.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mahler (1974)

A drama directed by Ken Russell.
The composer, Gustav Mahler remembers his life while riding on a train.
This was just boring and uninteresting. The characters were not developed (besides Gustav) and the plot jumped around. The style didn't suit my tastes either. I'm rating this poor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

A western directed by Sam Peckinpah, starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson.
A new sheriff and former friend of Billy the Kid is after this outlaw because a governor wants Billy dead or alive. Basically, cowboys drink whiskey and shoot each other.
I thought this was pretty cool. James Coburn stalks the wild west with a giant flask in search of his target, not letting a scene go by without alcohol entering his mouth. Billy (Kristofferson) does the same, but he's trying to escape or hide and he's got a glass bottle. There's a scene in a bar where Coburn sends someone's lackey to give him an inventory of food items while Coburn roughs up some guys. The inventory man's dialogue goes something like "beans, spinach, beans, lima beans, spinach, beans..." Cowboys and their beans... Obviously the characters were good. I liked the plot although it was hard to follow at some points and the style was cool. I'm giving his one of those good, solid green ratings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ganja & Hess (1973)

A horror by Bill Gunn.
A man becomes a vampire when he is stabbed with a cursed dagger. A woman falls in love with him and learns his secret.
The quality of this film in the audio and video sense was so bad that it detracted from my enjoyment of it. The audio was so bad that I couldn't hear much of what the characters were saying, so I didn't really understand the plot. The video was SUPER grainy which was a good thing when the naked man on screen was taking a bath. On an interesting side note, he brushed his teeth with his dirty bath water. Yuck! I'm rating this bad because I had to turn it off.

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

A horror directed by Werner Herzog.
The Dracula story is blasphemed, as always.
Can't anyone get this right? The book is there and easy to read, why can't film makers follow it? The films seem to be made in accordance with previous dracula films, instead of the book that the story is based on. I'm rating this bad for being a total mockery and not even referencing the original story.

Friday, August 19, 2011

FM (1978)

A drama directed by John A. Alonzo.
A successful radio station is trying to be taken over by corporate marketing. The workers resist and their boss is forced to quit. Eventually, they hole up in the station and rebel against their oppressors.
This film was very slow. The characters and plot were good, but the pace was sluggish. I liked the '70s style. The soundtrack reminded me of a station that broadcasts where I live called "the fox". They play 99% of the songs in this film over and over. I'm rating this adequate. It would have gotten a better rating by quickening it's pace.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Napoleon and Samantha (1972)

An adventure directed by Bernard McEveely, produced by the Walt Disney corporation, starring Michael Douglas and Jodie Foster.
A boy and his grandfather adopt an old lion. The grandfather dies and the boy runs away with his friend, Samantha.
I thought this was cool. The plot and characters were good. The style and production value were classic '70s. It was a little bit too simple and childish for my tastes, but otherwise I thought it was good. I'm rating this good for entertainment value.

Pete's Dragon (1977)

A musical fantasy directed by Don Chaffey and Don Bluth, produced by the Walt Disney corporation, starring Mickey Rooney.
A young boy who is owned by abusive hillbillies has a dragon. The dragon helps the boy to escape from those yokels into the care of an alcoholic lighthouse keeper and his widowed daughter. While this is going on, a traveling salesman/swindler and his assistant are trying to get the dragon for their own personal gain.
This is a really crappy Disney musical, so why did I watch it? One reason: animated dragon. The plot and characters are alright, but obscured by the hokey musical numbers. I like how almost all of the characters have major flaws like getting stumbling and slurring drunk or being money grubbing bastards. I noticed that the hillbillies are always filthy and the events in their scenes only make them dirtier. I'm rating this o.k. because for a shit film, it's almost cool. There is also some sentimental value involved, as I remember watching this when I was very young.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

A musical by Brian De Palma.
A composer is mistreated by music executives and is badly disfigured. He is then hired by the same men who mistreated him to finish his composition so that they can present it. They screw him over again and he again tries to take his revenge.
This was way short (92 minutes) or seemed to be so. The music was alright, but the plot was a little cheesy. The characters were definitely cheesy and the style was no good. From what I read on Shitkipedia, this was supposed to be really cool, but failed to deliver on that sketchy promise. I'm rating it bad for disappointing me. I shouldn't be surprised though, considering the source of this information.

Orca (1977)

A horror directed by Michael Anderson.
A fishing crew catches and kills a pregnant whale. The mate of this whale follows them, seeking revenge.
This has been compared to Jaws and I can see why. The action shots of the animal killing people are very similar, as is the premise. I just thought it was lame in general. There were so many shots of the whale jumping out of the water that it got old really fast. The final confrontation scene was set among these really cool looking icebergs, but otherwise it was lame too. I'm rating this poor.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Day of the Locust (1975)

A drama directed by John Schlesinger.
People in Hollywood go about trying to become famous.
I had to turn this off at 51 minutes because it was pointless. Nothing was happening and the style was crap. I have to rate it like the shit that it is. See? Not going soft!

Serpico (1973)

A crime film directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Al Pacino.
An honest police officer refuses to take part in the corrupt activities of his fellow cops. He is ostracized and tries to get an investigation into the corruption started.
Al Pacino is cool. There's no doubt about it. The plot and characters were good and the style and production value looked like a newer film than 1973. It's a longer film, at just over 2 hours, but well worth it. I'm rating this awesome. By the way, I'm not going soft here. I just got this bunch of good movies and have give them these great ratings.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Paper Moon (1973)

A comedy directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
A scam man picks up a young girl whose mother has just died. He promises to bring her to her aunt in another town. Along the way, the girl helps the man with his scams.
This was a treat. Everything was so cool, even though it was all in black and white. The man and the girl pull so many tricky maneuvers to con people out of their money and they have so many narrow escapes. I have to rate this best. Watch it!

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

An adventure directed by John Huston, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
2 Freemasonic English men travel to Afghanistan to become kings. They succeed in uniting the land and rising in status for a while, but nothing lasts forever.
Apparently, this is supposed to be some type of "hidden in plain view" masonic symbolism film. I didn't see it. There were some mentions of the craft and some symbols, but nothing to make me say "wow! That's it!". It must have been too obvious. What I did see was a cool adventure with a 300 ending "This god bleeds!". Yeah, I spoiled it, but that needed to be done. I thought that the guys having a hard time with their journey was the best part, aside from Sean Connery's voice. There's something about Sean Connery talking that entertains me. I'm rating this as a good adventure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Inglorious Bastards (1978)

A war film directed by Enzo G. Castellari.
A group of American soldiers impersonate German soldiers in an effort to survive, but still obtain an American order.
This was totally different from the Quentin Tarantino film. The plot and characters were not the same at all. I don't even know why he named his film so closely to this. There was a lot of action and the characters were identifiable. The plot was good and contained some twists. Regardless of the newer Tarantino flick (which shouldn't have been named as such) I'm rating this adequate because it was alright, but I wouldn't save it to watch again.

Harry and Tonto (1974)

A drama by Paul Mazursky, starring Art Carney.
An old man is kicked out of his apartment because the building is being torn down. He goes to live with his son, but doesn't like it there. He arranges a visit with his daughter in Chicago, but has trouble getting there.
The plot and characters were pretty cool. I usually tend to like films about travel anyway. The style was right for the film and the production value wasn't bad. At almost 2 hours, the pace was good and they fit lots of sub-plots into that time. I'm rating this good just because I liked it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

F for Fake (1974)

A documentary by Orson Welles.
The story of a great art forger and the man who wrote his biography is told.
The plot was definitely complex, telling of people pretending to have faked things (if I understood correctly). The style was a little confusing too. The ending was awesome, but I won't say anything more about that here. I'm rating this adequate.

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

A science fiction directed by John Hough, produced by the Walt Disney corporation.
A pair of children with special abilities are picked up from an orphanage by a rich man in order to exploit their powers. They figure this out and escape from him with the help of an old man who the meet on their way.
The plot and characters were alright. Some of the absurd scenes and situations entertained me. The style was total Disney programming. There are probably a thousand ways to interprate the symbolism and hidden meanings of this film, but I don't have time right now. I'm rating it o.k.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jaws series (1975 - 1987)

A horror directed by Steven Spielberg, Jeannot Szwarc, Joe Alves and Joseph Sargent, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Dennis Quaid and Lorraine Gary.
A big shark shows up and starts killing people.
The first 2 films were alright, but after that, it got boring. The plot got stale and the style stayed the same throughout the series. Apparently, there's only so much a film maker can do with shark attacks. This review isn't short because I'm lazy. It's short because the films were so simple. I'm rating the series o.k.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

A drama by Werner Herzog.
A young man who has been shut in a cellar for his entire life is released and found by villagers in a small town.
The plot and main character of this film are very unique. They propose an interesting idea that makes the film worth watching. The version that I got was (badly) subtitled and the audio was in German. The style and production value were alright. I'm rating this good for being unique.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eraserhead (1977)

An art film by David Lynch.
A factory worker impregnates a woman. When the baby comes out, it is a monster. The woman leaves the man to look after their monster child.
This film is strange and disgusting. It is difficult to watch, even for hardcore film nuts like myself. I'm rating it adequate because it's strange but repellant.

Lisztomania (1975)

A musical comedy by Ken Russell, starring Roger Daltrey.
A famous musician gets involved in strange situations involving politics and love.
Apparently, this was based on the popularity of a real composer. The film was a Who/Beatles/Yes combination, featuring works and members from each band. It seemed very similar to Tommy, which I like. This one had more humor involved and it was humor that I found funny. I may not be totally behind this type of music, but I like this type of film. I'm rating it awesome.

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

A music biography directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Diana Ross and Richard Pryor.
Billie Holiday becomes a famous jazz singer and has all the personal problems that come with fame.
I liked the plot and characters because the film dealt with stardom and narcotics addiction. The style was alright and it was long (over 2 hours). I'm rating this good.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Devils (1971)

A drama by Ken Russel.
Sisters at a nunery go crazy because of a corrupt priest.
The plot and characters were pitiful and the style and production value were horrible. obviously there was no entertainment value. I can't help but rate this shit because I wanted to turn it off, but watched the whole thing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Conversation (1974)

A drama by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall and Harrison Ford.
A telephone spy does his job.
There was almost no plot and the characters were stereotypical. The stye was poor and so was the production value. It went by alright, so the pace was good. I'm rating it poor for being nothing but boring.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974 & 2000)

Action films directed by H. B. Halicki '74 and Dominic Sena '00, starring Nicolas Cage '00 and Angelina Jolie '00.
A group of car thieves must steal 50 specific cars in a short amount of time to satisfy a crime boss.
The '74 version had style, it had grace and it destroyed 93 cars in 34 minutes. The '00 version was over-sensationalized and had a horrible soundtrack. The '74 version had guys that looked like undercover detectives stealing the cars. The '00 version had street thugs, a woman and an old man stealing the cars. In defense of the '00 version, it had Vinnie Jones from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Big Chris). In the '74 version, the plot was simple and straightforward. In the '00 version, they added tons of unnecessary shit to the plot. Hmmm... Which one was better? '74 was just adequate, but '00 was bad.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tales from Earthsea (2006)

an Anime directed by Goro Miyazaki.
A confused prince kills the king and runs off. He is rescued from wolves by an archmage who leaves him at a farm with 2 women. An evil wizard brainwashes the prince and takes the archmage and one of the women as prisoners.
This looked similar to Hayao Miyazaki's work because he was involved and Goro is his son. The plot was a little confusing, but the characters were good. There was some uncertainty about dragons popping out of nowhere at some points, but what do you expect from anime? The style was very good and reminded me of Hayao's work. I'm rating this good.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Count Dracula (1970)

A horror by Jesus Franco, starring Christopher Lee.
The Dracula story is played out, '70s style.
Before I tell anything else, I must say that the audio was piercing. It really detracted from the film as a whole. The plot and characters are so stale it hurts and I can't say any good things about the style or production value. I guess the pace was alright. Christopher Lee is cool and all, but Bella Lugosi did it better like 20 years before this was made. I have to rate this bad for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Such Thing (2001)

A fantasy drama by Hal Hartley.
A young woman befriends an alcoholic monster and makes him known through the media. He is looking for a certain scientist to end his life. The scientist is found, but the media gets in the way, wanting to exploit the monster.
The plot and characters were great. I wish that I could watch this for the first time every time. The style and production value were decent and the pace was good. The monster was my favorite character because he was so snarky. I'm rating this awesome because I liked watching it so much.

Deliverance (1972)

A thriller directed by John Boorman, starring Burt Reynolds.
A group of 4 men go on a canoeing trip in the country. They run into some local rednecks who anally rape one of them and threaten the other sexually. One of the friends sneaks up with a bow and kills one of the rednecks. The other gets away and the men hide the body. As soon as they resume canoeing, one of the men falls from the canoe and is killed in some rapids. Then bad things continue to happen.
The plot and characters weren't my cup of tea, but the style and production value were great. It looked '80s even though it was only '72! The only part of the plot that I liked was the banjo/guitar duel which, despite popular opinion, is called Feudin' Banjos. I'm rating this o.k. for being a great production of a story I don't like.

Death Race 2000 (1975)

An action film directed by Paul Bartel, starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone.
In an annual road race, competitors try to get to the finish line first while killing as many pedestrians as possible. A group of rebels sets out to sabotage this race.
Carradine just reeks of awesome and Stallone adds his unique style to make the characters great. The plot was a little cheesy, but relevant to the way the world works these days. The women's breasts were absolutely fantastic! Giant jugs and no mosquito bites. The pace was as fast as the cars were supposed to be driving. I'm rating this o.k. because despite all of these factors, it wasn't fun to watch. The style was shallow and the production value sucked.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

A horror by George A. Romero.
A group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse fly their helicopter to a mall. They secure the mall, closing the entryways and eliminating the zombies within. It is theirs for a while, until a gang of thugs comes by.
This is one of the few zombie films that I can actually watch. Most of them are just too dark and disgusting for me. I liked the plot and the characters. The style was unique, but the production value was a little lacking because of the date. The pace was very slow and it seemed like a very long film. I'm rating it adequate.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gummo (1997)

A drama by Harmony Korine.
A young man and a boy collect dead cats to sell to a grocer in return for money and glue to sniff. The other residents of this town have similarly meaningless lives.
This is one of my favorite independent films. The style is beyond belief to the point where plot and characters become a non-issue. There is a "rabbit" character who is assaulted by some young "cowboys", but later ends up making out with "the lesbians" in their pool in the rain. See what I mean about cool style? The soundtrack features extremely poorly performed music alongside some brutal metal. Burzum is even included at some points! If you like films that I like, you will like this as much as I do. I'm rating it best.

Capricorn One (1978)

A thriller by Peter Hyams, starring O. J. Simpson.
When a mission to mars is launching, the astronauts are pulled out at the last second and hidden on a movie set made to look like mars. They fake the footage, but one of the men in the control room finds suspicious data and disappears. His friend goes on a quest for the truth while the astronauts try to escape from the government.
I really enjoyed watching this. There were 2 really intense scenes that I would like to mention. The first is the journalist driving the broken car at 100mph through the city and the second is the wife of one of the astronauts trying to read Fox in Socks to her son while holding back tears. The plot and characters were really good. I thought that the style and production value were lacking a little, but everything else made up for that. I'm rating this awesome because of how relevant it is to reality and how good a movie it is in general.