Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You Don't Know Jack (2010)

An American made for TV drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Al Pacino and John Goodman.
Doctor Kevorkian helps terminally ill people to commit suicide. This is frowned upon by the legal system, but they have trouble actually pinning the blame on him.
Not bad. The plot was interesting, although there was a little too much courtroom for my taste. The characters were great. Al Pacino and John Goodman make a very good team. The video included a few artistic close-ups of medical equipment, but was otherwise straight to the point. It showed what was going on clearly. The audio was on the plus side. I could hear what everyone was saying and the soundtrack didn't fet in the way. Overall, not too shabby. I rate this adequate.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Just Happened (2008)

An American comedy drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, John Turturro and Bruce Willis.
A film producer has problems with his divorced wife, a film with a shocking ending and an actor who refuses to shave.
This was no good at all. The plot seemed pointless and the characters were despicable. The only redeeming qualities were the fictional film's shocking ending, the audience's reaction and the crazy, british editor. The audio and video were run of the mill normal. Overall, it's not worth watching. I rate it bad.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wag the Dog (1997)

An American comedy directed by Barry Levinson, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and William H. Macy.
The current president of the United States of America is having trouble and is not going to be elected for a second term of office. He has his press team hire a Hollywood film producer to help them fabricate stories to make him look good.
One note before I start, we NEVER see the president and he is not named. That is not good writing. The plot seemed to settle on the "fun and games" section for most of the duration. There was minor conflict at the beginning and end, but mostly it was this team making up fake news for TV. Again, bad writing. I liked Dustin Hoffman's part as the film producer who could fix anything. He basically led the film. I didn't notice anything amazing or horrid with the video. Some would say that means it was good. I say not good enough. The audio featured Willie Nelson singing and playing guitar solo, which I liked. Overall, the flaws outweigh the strengths. I have to rate this poor. It wasn't painful, but it's not worth watching.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Toys (1992)

An American comedy directed by Barry Levinson, starring Robin Williams, Michael Gambon and Joan Cusack.
The owner of a toy factory dies and leaves a military uncle in charge. He immediately begins work on military applications of toy technology. The rightful heir must work with his friends to dethrone the militarist.
I liked this way more when I saw it in 1992. The plot was not believable. In fact, it was totally absurd. The characters were extremely stereotypical, although Robin Williams was very good. He's one of those magic men who can shine in any scenario. Most of the dialogue was hokey and none of it seemed natural. There were some very interesting visual elements. The grassy hills was a surreal setting that the machinations of the toy factory expanded upon. The dollhouse room inside the matching real room was genius and I really liked the rolling hills hallway with duck crossing (picture). The audio was not to my liking. I could hear the dialogue, but the soundtrack irked me. The happy workers song and the military "HOO HAH!" was way overdone. Overall, a movie with a cheesy gimmick that was poorly written, but with good visual elements. I rate it o.k.

Tin Men (1987)

An American comedy drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito and Barbara Hershey.
Aluminum siding salesmen get into a car accident that begins a feud between them. One of them goes as far as stealing the other man's wife in revenge. A home improvement commission is also evaluating their sales techniques, which are mostly hustling, lying and cheating.
Pretty normal flick. The plot held my attention and I think it was written well, with twists at the appropriate times. The characters were acted and cast well and the dialogue seemed natural. My favorite video scene was Danny DeVito smashing the windows of his enemy's car. They used fast editing to get a series of climactic moments of glass breaking. The ending shot was framed very well, but I won't spoil it. There was also a repeated shot showing the back ends of a row of Cadillacs at the aluminum siding office. The audio was decent. I could hear all of the dialogue and it was accompanied by '60s music to complete the setting. I believe that the video of musicians playing was actually real, a very rare thing in movies. Overall, a regular flick with some positive aspects in production categories. I rate it adequate.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Humbling (2014)

An American drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Al Pacino, Dianne Wiest and Charles Grodin.
An aging actor collapses onstage. He spends some time in a recovery clinic and makes friends with a younger female patient who wants to kill he husband. When he gets out, the daughter of a friend contacts him and they have an affair. She is supposedly a lesbian who has had multiple relationships and her past partners show up at the actor's house.
Pretty cool. The plot was complex and left me wondering what was real and what was in the main character's imagination. The characters were cast very well, the dialogue was written well and everyone acted their parts accurately. Video and audio were pretty normal and tame. I didn't see or hear anything that really blew me away. The closest it got was the waiting room scene at the fertility clinic. I like that this played on the edge of drama and psych thriller. Overall, a very nice film to watch. I rate this awesome.

The Bay (2012)

An American found footage horror directed by Barry Levinson.
An independent news reporter covers the 4th of July festival at a small town, but people are becoming sick from something in the water. It turns out that mutated aquatic organisms are eating them.
Not too bad. The plot came together really nice from the multiple sources of footage. The characters weren't anything special, but that's standard for horror films. The poor video quality worked favorably by mimicking what would be shot on a cell phone or security camera. The audio was authentic as well, but could have been normalized for volume better. I thought it was convincing and relatively believable. Overall, a pretty cool horror flick. I rate it good.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tape (2001)

An American drama directed by Richard Linklater, starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.
A man lures an old friend to his hotel room to get him to admit to raping a woman 10 years ago. Then the woman shows up.
This took too long to say too little. That would be a plot problem. The characters were believable and well acted, but I think the dialogue was too verbose. The video was all fast cuts and quick editing. It didn't let me become comfortable with any scene before moving on. The audio was not the best. The actors whispered most of the time. Overall, not a very pleasant viewing experience. I rate this poor.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Man of the Year (2006)

An American comedy drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Robin Williams, Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum.
A comedy talk show host jokes about running for president. Because of popular response, he does so. A woman at the voting machine company discovers a problem with the voting machines that causes him to actually be elected.
This was not too shabby. It had pros and cons like most normal movies. The plot was good and held my attention. The comedian's political campaign being based on honesty and common sense was awesome. I think that casting went awry with the inclusion of The Walken Beast, but Robin Williams almost leveled that out. The audio and video were pretty normal. I could see and hear what was going on, but didn't notice anything noteworthy. Overall, a regular movie. I rate this o.k.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Boyhood (2014)

An American drama written and directed by Richard Linklater, starring Ethan Hawke.
A boy has a sister and lives with his mother, who has divorced the father. The kids spend weekends with the father. The mother marries an older man with anger and drinking problems.
This was TERRIBLE! The first thing that irked me was the music selection. It was all of the worst pop music from the past few years. Then came the sparse plot, with time filled in by mundane activities in daily life. Kids being annoying is just such great fun to watch. The only thing I liked was the angry, drunken check writing scene. The asshole scribbled on the check like he didn't care in a most comical fashion. I turned it off at 1:15 out of 2:45. Just couldn't take the mediocrity anymore. It was very well produced. Everything looks and sounds top quality. It was missing style. That spark that makes you want to watch it? None. I rate this shit because I turned it off and am glad I did.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979)

A sexploitation written, produced and directed by Russ Meyer.
A couple are having sexual difficulties and turn to infidelity to solve their problems.
This film dances on the thin line between sexpoitation and pornography. It's basically all about sex, but without showing the juicy parts. The minimalist plot and barely developed characters don't help. There was humor involved and female anatomy points. Lots of big boobs. That was about it. Very basic, carnal and lewd. I rate this o.k.

The Bad News Bears (1976 + 2005)

American comedy films directed by Michael Ritchie and Richard Linklater, starring Walter Matthau and Billy Bob Thornton.
A baseball coach who had a small amount of fame long ago is now an alcoholic and coaches an underdog kids team.
I haven't done a comparison review in a while. As always, the original is better. Walter Matthau faced tougher odds because the parents funding his team told him to shut it down. That was the main plot difference. The characters were relatively similar, except for Amanda. She was older in the remake and had a clothing shop instead of selling maps to the homes of stars. There was a gigantic difference in production. The remake blew the original away in this department just by camera technology alone. What separates good movies from alright movies is clearly demonstrated if you watch these in a row. It's that undefinable thing that I call style. Some people call it spark. It's a combination of all the film elements that is just right. The original had that. The remake was an overdramatized, vulgar and stupid imitation. It had most of the same ingredients, but the chef burned it. Overall, I say the original gets a good rating and the remake a poor rating.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Newton Boys (1998)

An American crime comedy directed by Richard Linklater, starring Matthew McCoonaughey, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio.
A team of brothers rob banks. They get a list of banks with a certain kind of safe that is easy to open from a banker. One of them starts a relationship with a woman who attends the counter at a newspaper stand.
This was not too shabby. The plot was relatively simple, but played out quite well. I liked the interviews with the real Newton brothers during the end credits to wrap things up nicely. The characters were all acted very well and the dialogue seemed natural. There were a few montage scenes and songs that broke things up a little. All of the video was made very well. I could tell that they were thinking how to get good shots and creative camera angles all the way through. The audio was not the best. It was standard issue "too wide a dynamic range" with characters whispering and then loud music. Overall, a decent flick with pretty good production. I rate this adequate. You might want to check it out.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Avalon (1990)

An American drama written and directed by Barry Levinson.
A Jewish family lives in America. One of the men is a salesman who opens a store with his partner. The family has issues with when to cut the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.
What did I just watch? It was a very long film about almost nothing. Barry stretched that threadbare plot out over two hours just because he could. It was very well made and the production was top quality. It's just that the content was so dull and mundane! The only real action was when the boys made "cliffhangers" by igniting a stream of glue to their model airplanes. And JEWISH! Barry Levinson is as Jewish as Spike Lee is black. I think stereotypes are funny once in a while, but these guys make a career out of them! Overall, two hours of well produced Hebrews just going about their day to day lives. I rate it tolerable.

Space Amoeba A.K.A. Gezora, Ganime, Kamēba: Kessen! Nankai no Daikaijū (1970)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Ishiro Honda, starring everyone from all the crappy Godzilla movies.
Monsters attack. Seriously, that's all that happens.
This is the worst daikaiju film I have ever sat through. The threadbare plot was accompanied by bad writing and poor acting. That pretty much did it in. Some of the monster scenes looked cool, but it's not worth watching just for a few seconds of some giant squid, crustacean and turtle. I don't feel the need to write more about this trash. I rate it bad. DO NOT WATCH!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rad (1986)

An American action romance directed by Hal Needham, starring Talia Shire.
When a national BMX race comes to town, a local boy falls in love with a female racer and competes in the race.
This is the best BMX movie ever made. The tricks are incredible and feature vintage components like framestands and forkstands. I saw Skyway mags and colored tires. Pad sets and number plates. For vintage BMX freestyle and flatland enthusiasts, this is the film to watch. It has all the cool tricks of the '80s with bouncing and spinning, body and bike contortions and balance demonstrations. The plot is admittedly not the best and characters take a back seat to bicycle stunts. The video production is really well-done. They concealed a male rider in the female costume during the bike dancing scene and composited her on the bike sitting still while the lights moved. Overall, it's about the vintage parts and tricks. It's not about acting, writing, etc... but it is about correct video recordings of BMX stunts. I rate this best because I grew up as a BMX boy.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Liberty Heights (1990)

An American drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Adrien Brody and Joe Mantegna.
A Jewish boy has a father who is a gangster. The boy's friend becomes obsessed with a girl he meets at a Halloween party and the father runs afoul of a black drug dealer. The boy himself falls in love with a back girl in his class at school.
That story took two hours to tell? The plot was a shambles. Totally jumping around between people and going off on side-tracks every few minutes. There was no real focus. The characters were likeable and made themselves known to the viewer very quickly. I attribute this to good writing and acting. I didn't notice any visually powerful scenes. The audio stayed in the background, except at appropriate times. Multi-racial record listening, the James Brown concert and the burlesque theater scenes accentuated the music in a good way. Overall, It left me wondering what was going on, but was pleasant to watch. I rate it o.k.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

An American comedy directed by Richard Linklater.
A college baseball team move into their house together. Fiercely competitive, they try to outdo each other in every type of competition available for the two days until school starts. They also try to meet college girls and have sex.
Standard college comedy. I really don't know what else needs to be said. I was heavily reminded of Animal House (1978). The plot was just an excuse to show college students engaged in every kind of debauchery that comes with that territory. The characters were mildly interesting. I thought it was cool how they went to bars with differing musical themes and some of them changed their wardrobe to fit in, while others looked out of place. The romantic interest was a minor component. Audio and video were fine, although I could have done without the mandatory "singing in the car" scene. Overall, just a newer Animal House. I rate it tolerable for being unoriginal, but almost pleasant to watch.

Dazed and Confused (1993)

An American comedy drama written and directed by Richard Linklater, starring Jason London, Milla Jovovich, Wiley Wiggins, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey and Matthew McConaughey.
It's the last day of school in 1976. Some teenagers are out for violence, others for sex and others for pot and beer. They all intermingle to get beaten, stoned, drunk and laid.
Another Wiley Wiggins film. Please refer to my previous and unlabeled posts including him for more info on that. I had actually seen this long ago, but realized that it was not included in my blog. So I watched it again. It's not bad. The plot is simple, but there is an absolute army of characters. Getting everyone in the right place at the right time must have been difficult, which may explain the fast editing cuts and short shot lengths. If you like '70s rock, the soundtrack is good. I appreciated the two Alice Cooper songs so close together. My favorite moment of video is Wiley Wiggins pitching baseball while the seniors threaten him with custom-made beating sticks. Overall, it was more fun to watch when I was closer to the age of the characters. I rate it adequate.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bugsy (1991)

An American crime drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Warren Beatty, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley and Joe Mantegna.
An aggressive gangster moves to Hollywood when he is sent there on a short business trip. He has an affair with a woman and works on opening a casino in Las Vegas.
Not really my cup of tea, but it was alright. Gangsters interest me about as much as romance. I saw mirror scenes that I recognized from other crime films. The main one was the father/gangster mixing his crime job with family life at the wrong time. In this case, it was his daughter's birthday. The plot sprawled out over two hours of duration and I tended to pause and go do other things frequently. I think that the dialogue was very well written and believable. The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone blended in seamlessly with period big band music. I didn't really notice much about the video, meaning nothing was horribly wrong or fantastically right. Overall, another gangster flick. If that's what you're into, check it out. I rate this o.k. because it barely held my attention.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jimmy Hollywood (1994)

An American crime comedy written and directed by Barry Levinson, starring Joe Pesci, Christian Slater and Victoria Abril.
A failed actor in Hollywood has his car radio stolen. He is so angered by this that he enlists his buddy as a camera man to catch the thief. They do and deliver him to the police with car radios, the video tape and a poorly written note. The police believe that there is a gigantic vigilante gang because of the note and the failed actor takes on the role of the gang leader. Together with his camera man, they engage in more vigilante activities with video until the police catch on to them.
This started out foolish and hokey, but ended up being not so shabby. I initially hated Joe Pesci's character and thought that he was over-acting and horribly cast. As the plot went on, it became more clear and I liked it more. The video and audio were pretty standard for 1994. I think Levinson made better musical choices in the '90s than the 2000s. The ending made sense to me, but I won't spoil it. I noticed product placement on the Sony Watchman at 1:26:00 and that they ran past cleaning carts at 1:29:52. There was a repeated scene where the friends were sitting by the pool and the main character's phone would ring. He would always say "Is that my phone?" and his buddy would always tell him "No.". It was actually always his phone. Overall, a movie that develops as it goes. I rate it adequate. If it had been as strong at the beginning as at the end, it would get awesome or best.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

An American comedy musical directed by Rod Amateau.
A prepubescent  boy works in an antique shop and tries to hit on a teenage girl. The girl's pimp/gang leader torments the boy whenever they meet. During a scuffle in the shop, a garbage can is tipped over and lets out disgusting characters.
This is on everyone's list of worst films ever for a reason. I was prepared to accept the absurd romantic interest and the crappy puppets, but then they started singing. That's when I turned it off: 37 minutes and 50 seconds. From reading my reviews, it may appear that I dislike music. The absolute opposite is true. I like music so much that it hurts me when it is misused and abused. Overall, I agree with general consensus on this one. I rate it shit. You've been warned yet again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

An Everlasting Piece (2000)

An American comedy drama directed by Barry Levinson, written by and starring Barry McEvoy.
The barbers at an insane asylum meet a new inmate who was previously the only wig distributor in the area. They get his client list easily, but are unsuccessful salesmen.
Not bad, but not good. I will explain. The premise was good and had lots of possibilities for "hair-brained schemes". The plot faltered though. The pacing didn't feel right because of bad choices in writing or directing. The strife between catholics and protestants, set in Ireland with such a large part played by the IRA seemed wonky for an American film. Then I discovered that Barry McEvoy, the writer and star, wrote the story about his Irish father. Some authenticity may have been lost over time and this is the only film he ever wrote. The soundtrack was just a tad on the annoying side, as Levinson's musical selections tend to be. The video was mostly very well done, besides a few underexposed scenes. When McEvoy returns to the barbershop after a rough adventure, he knocks over his friend's milk. There is this wonderful little sequence of the friend filling his coffee from the milk dripping off the table and then placing the jar under the drip. Overall, a regular movie with flaws and strengths. I rate it o.k.

Rock the Kasbah (2015)

An American musical comedy directed by Barry Levinson, starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis and Kate Hudson.
A struggling musical talent manager accidentally meets a man who books USO shows in the middle east. They sign up and go there, but the manager's star is unhappy. She steals his wallet (with passport and money) as well as his car. The manager gets reeled into a shady arms deal in the desert where he finds someone who might help him.
I wanted to turn this off as soon as I heard Kid Rock on the soundtrack. I should have done so because it didn't get any better. Yes, the soundtrack was my main problem with this. It seemed like they wanted every song to be the climax of the film. Murray's performance of "Smoke of the Water" in the desert camp was one of the worst I have ever heard. Acting came next. I usually like Bill Murray and Bruce Willis. Murray was turned into a name-dropper who can't even take care of himself. By process of elimination, this brings us to writing. Mitch Glazer must have really dropped the ball there. Overall, bad writing and annoying soundtrack should have been apparent when opening weekend sales did 1/4 of expected profits. I rate this bad. I wish I had turned it off and rated shit at about the 30 minute mark. DO NOT WATCH!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer (1985)

An American French Japanese animated fantasy directed by Bernard Deyries and Kimio Yabuki.
Spring doesn't come on schedule because bad stuff is happening. Rainbow Brite teams up with a boy on a mechanical horse to defeat an woman who wants things.
Terrible! Horrid! The people who made this must have known that they were creating a monster and done it anyway. This is one of the worst films ever made. There is no premise and the plot doesn't make sense. The characters are terrible and the animation style is so "normal cartoon" that it can't be complimented in any way. I seriously wish I had not watched this steaming pile of feces. I rate this shit. DO NOT WATCH!!! It's not even o.k. to torture your enemies by making them watch this!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Son of Godzilla A.K.A. Kaijū-tō no Kessen Gojira no Musuko (1967)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Jun Fukuda.
A baby Godzilla (Minya/Minilla) is born on an island where a military compound is stationed. Godzilla teaches the child to use the breath weapon as they face off against insect monsters and the military people try to escape.
Not bad. There was a little bit more coherent plot in this one and fewer main characters. I've always liked the spider monster, Kumonga/Spiga as a side-monster, but using it as the main opposing kaiju is a little anti-climatic. The full use of breath power negates the plot of All Monsters Attack, which I see as a sequel to this. Godzilla and Minilla's acting was on the plus side here and more expressive than in other films. Overall, decent. I rate this adequate because it was far less painful to watch than many others in the franchise.

Godzilla vs. Gigan A.K.A. Chikyū Kōgeki Meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan (1972)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Jun Fukuda.
A group of aliens have taken human bodies as disguises and plan to take over the Earth. As a small group of humans uncover their plan, the aliens summon Gigan and Ghidorah who fight Godzilla and Anguirus.
Not so great. The main problem is that underexposure ruined the whole monster fight. Other than that, it's the same as all the other Godzilla films. There was also some re-used footage. I rate this poor.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Leprechaun 6: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)

An American horror comedy written and directed by Steven Ayromlooi, starring Warwick Davis.
A group of ghetto-ass hood-rat niggers find the leprechaun's gold and spend it on foolish purchases. He comes after them to get his gold back.
This is the second worst leprechaun film, following the one without Warwick Davis. The plot was threadbare and absurd. There was too much darkie drama and not enough leprechaun. The stereotypical characters hurt the film in this case. I watched the "hood" leprechaun films right in a row like tearing off a band-aid or drinking Robitussin, just to get them over with. I'm glad that's done. There was a good special effect when the leprechaun tore off the cop's leg. Yes, the leprechaun smokes a bong (picture). Overall, a piece of crap. I rate this bad. DO NOT WATCH!

Leprechaun: In the Hood (2000)

An American horror comedy directed by Rob Spera, starring Warwick Davis and Ice-T.
A pimp steals the leprechaun's gold flute, which grants him power over people. Years later, a young rap group steals all of the leprechaun's gold from him and sets the leprechaun free. Caught between an angry pimp and a greedy leprechaun, they try to save their lives and win a rap competition.
This was actually not bad. I know it sounds like a disaster, but I thought it was funny. The stereotypical characters kind of worked for the premise. I think it was cool that they included a Chinese shopkeeper to round out the ghetto cast. The leprechaun smoking a joint with Ice-T scene was interesting. His rap at the end could have been skipped, but I was expecting it from the beginning. You know, leprechaun limericks rhyme, rap rhymes... It's just natural that they did it. There was an ungodly amount of cross-dressing involved. From the drag queen to sneaking into the leprechaun's hideout, too many dudes looking like ladies. Overall, not as bad as it seems. I rate this adequate.

Godzilla 1985 (1985)

A Japanese American daikaiju science fiction directed by R.J. Kizer and Koji Hashimoto.
Godzilla arises from the ocean and begins destroying Japan. The only American journalist to survive his previous attack is called in and a small team work on using bird sounds to lure him into a volcano.
This was no good. The plot failed to hold my attention and there were too many characters. Godzilla was badly acted and the overall presentation was seriously lacking. Overall, not worth watching. I rate this bad.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Encino Man A.K.A. California Man (1992)

An American comedy directed by Les Mayfield, starring Sean Austin, Brendan Fraser and Pauly Shore.
A pair of unpopular high school boys find a frozen cave man and thaw him out. They teach him to live in the modern world and he makes them popular by association.
I saw this when it first came out. It's one of those feel good buddies movies. The plot is not a main focal point in this case. The characters take center stage. They are cheesy, hokey and play to the gimmick. Some people don't like Pauly Shore, but I think he works well as a character actor in this type of situation. Video style was not a main focus of this film, but the soundtrack was. Because of how extremely dated the songs are, I think they are appropriate. Also, we have Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy", the first speed metal song ever earning points in my view. I think this was made with the premise in mind and it conveys that scenario very well. Overall, don't try to overthink this one. Just chill, buuuuudy. I rate it awesome.

Sleepers (1996)

An American crime drama directed by Barry Levinson, starring Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Brad Pitt.
After a prank goes horribly wrong, four boys are sentenced to a juvenile detention center where they are abused by the guards. Years later, two of them kill the guard who treated them worst and a trial is held.
This was pretty good. The plot held my attention and the characters were memorable. I thought the video style was a little over-dramatized, but the audio was good. I could hear all of the dialogue and the soundtrack was appropriate. I think Kevin Bacon gets type-cast as a child abuser quite frequently. Overall, a regular movie that fills in all the correct check boxes on my list of criteria. I rate this good.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mothra vs. Godzilla A.K.A. Mosura tai Gojira (1964)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Ishiro Honda.
Godzilla attacks Japan after a giant egg is found. Mothra fights and dies before the egg hatches. A pair of small women are connected to these events.
Standard issue Godzilla flick. If there ever was a standard to judge Godzilla films by, this is it. It's just cheesy enough to notice and conforms to all of the Godzilla criteria. The human drama is meaningless and the monster fight doesn't make sense. The special effects are crude, but functional. Overall, middle of the road in mediocresville. I rate this o.k. so it can blend in and normalize like it wants to.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Leprechaun (1993)

An American horror comedy written and directed by Mark Jones, starring Warwick Davis, Ken Olandt and Mark Holton.
An old man traps the leprechaun in a box in his basement. Years later, a father and daughter move into the house. They befriend the painting team and accidentally let the leprechaun out.
The original Leprechaun film. Obviously, one of the better ones. It reeks of Full Moon. The theme music, camera-work, editing and credits font all reminded me of Puppet Master and Subspecies. I really like the leprechaun as a comedic villain with limericks and clever puns. The painting team was cast excellently. They really fit their roles. Overall, major points for seeming like Full Moon. I rate this good.

Envy (2004)

An American comedy directed by Barry Levinson, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Christopher Walken.
A pair of friends live across the street from each other. One of them invents a spray that makes poop disappear and gets rich. The other is envious, gets fired from his job, makes friends with a bum and kills the friend's horse.
My three most hated actors all in one film? Why haven't I watched this before? The intro was extremely disorienting. This rolling/pivoting camera gimmick made me woozy. The plot is not bad and the audio/video was clear and appropriate. Although filled with terrible horridness, I didn't mind watching it. I know it's bad, but somehow I enjoyed that. According to Wikipedia, the filmmakers publicly apologized for making this. I think the real issue was casting. Let's take idiot Ben Stiller as a main character, add annoying Jack Black as second AND THEN top that off with The Walken Beast. It's a recipe for disaster! Apparently, I like bad movies though. I'm giving this a weird pink rating because I HATE the ingredients, but the end product was tolerable.

Destroy All Monsters A.K.A. Kaijū Sōshingeki (1968)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Ishiro Honda.
Aliens from space take control of people and monsters with remote devices. They want to rule the planet, but a team in a space ship finds their base on the moon. With humans in control of the Earth's monsters, they battle against Ghidorah and a flying saucer.
This was alright. Nothing really special. The visual effects were hilariously bad. I could easily see when they were using miniatures or a painted background. Recycled footage also made a few appearances. There were some sections that had no music for some reason. It made some of the action scenes a little weird. The climax fight between many monsters was cool. Overall, just another Godzilla flick. I rate it o.k.

Bandits (2001)

An American crime romance directed by Barry Levinson, starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett.
A pair of men break out of jail and rob banks. They are known as "The Sleepover Bandits" because they kidnap the bank owner the night before and politely ask for the money. A seemingly unstable woman falls in love with both of them and their getaway driver is a self-proclaimed stuntman.
Not bad. The plot had some good twists at just the right times. Characters couldn't be better. I think the casting was this film's best attribute. Video featured a little more hand-held fast camera movement than I would have liked and the soundtrack had too much pop music. I really liked the Led Zeppelin song when the main characters are using a cement truck to break out of jail. Overall, pretty decent mix of good and not so great qualities that was nice to watch. I rate it adequate.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack A.K.A. Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Daikaijū Sōkōgeki (2001)

A Japanese daikaiju science fiction directed by Shusuke Kaneko.
Godzilla battles Baragon, Mothra and Ghidorah as well as the human military. You know, just for the point of fighting.
This was terrible. It failed to catch or hold my attention in any way. Three tries and the slightest distraction was more important than this. I would chalk that up to bad directing. The modern production methods used in these newer Godzilla films make everything look fine. Even though you can still see the actor's head in Godzilla's neck, at least his breath looks good. Ghidorah is cool and I kind of liked Baragon. He's not the best monster, but I think he was acted well. Overall, one of the worst Godzilla flicks. I rate this bad.