Movie Review: The Abyss (1989)

Sci-fi. A genre that I hold very closely to my heart. From “Star Wars” to “Blade Runner” to “Ex Machina”, there’s a ton of movies/shows/books/games/etc. within the genre. And one of the main reasons why I adore the genre so much is that there are so many kinds of stories that can be told within the genre. From pew pew laser action to brain-y AI philosophizing, it’s a versatile genre. So let’s explore another one of its depths.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Abyss”.

After an American nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks to the bottom of the ocean, a diving crew gets tasked with diving down there to investigate what might have happened to it. And soon they discover something they never expected to find down there.  So now we have our underwater thriller with a potential sci-fi twist. And yeah, this plot is great. What we have here is not just people finding something strange and never before seen, but it’s also about people stuck in a claustrophobic situation and how that affects them. And it makes the plot so much deeper. The plot here is tense, engaging, awe-inspiring, and just overall enjoyable.

The characters in this are all interesting and overall entertaining. First up we have Ed Harris as Bud Brigman, who is more or less the leader of the dive team. He’s a man willing to do a lot to get the job done, but he also cares deeply for his crew, never wanting to push them too far. He’s an interesting character who gets some decent development throughout. And Ed Harris is of course great in the role. Next we have Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Lindsey, the somewhat estranged wife of Harris’ Bud. She’s quick-witted, smart, and quite tough, making her quite an enjoyable foil to the rest of the cast. And Mastrantonio is great in the role. Next we have Michael Biehn as Lieutenant Coffey, the leader of some Navy SEALs who have been tasked with helping out on this dive. He’s tough and a little bit of a dick, but he’s not a straight up bad person. And he gets some really interesting development through the movie that I won’t explain any further. And Biehn is great in the role, it’s probably the best I’ve ever seen him. And we get some supporting performances from people like Leo Burmester, Todd Graff, Kimberly Scott, John Bedford Lloyd, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri, and it was absolutely fantastic. His score has a way of evoking a sense of awe and wonder, as well as building tension. It captures many kinds of emotions, and just overall elevates the movie quite a bit. It’s seriously fantastic.

“The Abyss” was written and directed by James Cameron, and he did a great job with all that. His directing really evokes that sense of claustrophobia that a movie set under the sea should be able to bring. And this sense of claustrophobia of course gives the movie some really solid suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of it. And Mikael Salomon’s cinematography is stunning, especially in the many ways it plays around with lighting. Combine that with the absolutely amazing visual effects, and you got one of the most visually stunning movies around.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Cinematography, Best Set Decoration, and Best Sound.

“The Abyss” is a highly ambitious movie from James Cameron, and I think it worked out incredibly well. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Blub*. My final score for “The Abyss” is a 9,86/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Abyss” is now completed.

Thank god that it wasn’t… abyssmal.

The Great Villain Blogathon 2017: The T-1000 from Terminator 2

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet. Today I am giving you a different kind of post. It’s not a review, it’s not me talking about a new trailer, and it’s not me talking about music that I like. Today I am giving you all my entry for The Great Villain Blogathon (2017 edition) which is hosted by Ruth from Silver Screenings, Karen from Shadows & Satin, and Kristina from Speakeasy. So this blogathon, as you could probably tell from the title of it, is about the great cinematic villains. I was of course intrigued by this, especially since I’ve partaken in other blogathons hosted by some of these people before. But also because I like villains… as long as they’re not shit, of course. So, without further ado, here it is… my entry for the Great Villain Blogathon!

And I guess I should say this right now: Potential spoilers for all the “Terminator” movies coming up. Because I feel like I can’t properly talk about this guy without comparing him and his shenanigans to the other movies… so yeah… spoiler alert.

Ladies and gentlemen… The T-1000 from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”!

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, the 1991 sequel to the 1984 hit movie “The Terminator”. Not only did it have to be a good sequel (which is hard enough), but it had to try to live up to one of the most revolutionary movies of 1980s. It wasn’t an easy task, but James Cameron was willing to tackle it. And god damn, the crazy son of a bitch actually succeeded. To quickly get my thoughts out of the way: “Terminator 2” > “The Terminator”. Now, let’s talk about the villains. In the first movie you had Arnold playing the villain, a T-800 Terminator sent back to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). He was big, tough, and kind of scary at times. The T-800 was one relentless bastard that was intimidating as it with great determination followed Sarah Connor around. So how do you improve on that? Well, by having the villain be made of liquid metal of course. Instead of having a bulky robot with skin wrapped around it, you’d have something that could change it’s shape into anything of a similar mass.

He’s one deceptive fucker.

Sure, Arnold-bot was intimidating, but at least he had a bulky body that you could most likely destroy. But how the hell does one take out a thing that can turn into liquid and also morph itself into various shapes? One of it’s favorite tricks being to morph it’s arms into blades.

That’s what you get for drinking right out of the package, Todd.

And since he’s made from liquid metal, bullets don’t really do anything do him. Okay, they stagger him for a little bit, but he just regenerates. Since there’s no blood or actual machinery inside him, he can’t get hurt by conventional weaponry. Not even a point blank headshot from a Winchester 1887 shotgun. Just take a look at the picture below.

Now that’s what I call a splitting headache!

So we have a near indestuctible liquid metal Terminator that will not stop until it finishes it’s job. That sounds great enough on it’s own, but what really makes this character as memorable as it is is the performance. The T-1000 in “Terminator 2” is played by Robert Patrick, and he is aboslutely fantastic in the role. Sure, as a liquid metal organism he doesn’t need to show much emotion, but the cold killer gaze combined with his stiff yet fluid body movements is what makes him great in the role. And he compltely sells the action scenes. In the first movie you had Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) protecting Sarah Connor, but since he was human, he and the Terminator could never properly fight. However, since we now have a T-800 protecting Sarah and John, and a T-1000 chasing them, we get a pretty interesting dynamic. We get two Terminators, one older model and one newer, much deadlier model, fighting to the death. And it’s awesome!

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

“The Terminator” had the lumbering danger of the Arnold-bot. “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” had the sexy mediocrity of the T-X. “Terminator: Salvation” had… what did that have, can someone please remind me? And “Terminator: Genisys” had something, I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know. But none of them is as memorable or as terrifying as the liquid metal badass that is the revolutionary T-1000 from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” played by the great Robert Patrick.

I’d like to hear from you guys, what are your thoughts on the T-1000? And what are your thoughts on the “Terminator” movies in general? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments. And also, huge thanks to Ruth, Karen, and Kristina for allowing me to partake in this. I had fun, especially because it gave me an excuse to rewatch “Terminator 2”. I suggest you go give these lovely people a follow if you haven’t already… because they’re pretty cool.
Have a good one!

My Top 20 Directors

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Yesterday I asked you guys to give me ideas for a countdown, well I thank you for the contributions even if it only was one person who did it. I got the suggestion “Top 10 Favorite Actors/Actresses”. While that is a great idea, I realized that it would be too difficult for me to make a list for that topic. So it made me think of maybe talking about my favorite directors. This would be a little easier for me to figure out. So let’s go over the rules.

Rule #1: Same as always; This is my list featuring my opinions, so no bitching allowed.

Rule #2: For a director to be abled to be featured here I have to have seen at least two of said director’s movies (And of course enjoyed them). So if you don’t see a certain director on the list, then you know why.

Rule #3: The directors have to have directed at least two movies. I will not include people who have only directed episodes of TV-shows, despite how great they are.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, My Top 20 Favorite Directors!

Before we officially begin, let’s do a few honorable mentions. These are director’s I still really like, but didn’t really make it into the list. J.J. Abrams, Guy Ritchie, Peter Jackson, Spike Lee, Gus Van Sant, David O. Russell, Martin McDonagh and David Ayer. Those were a lot of honorable mentions, but that’s how life is.

Number 20: Don Siegel.

Some of you probably say “Who?”. Well if the picture didn’t give it away, Don Siegel is the director of “Dirty Harry”, a classic crime/action movie. He also the directed the pretty great “Escape From Alcatraz”, also starring Clint Eastwood. Those are the only movies I have seen from him and I am impressed by him.

Number 19: John Carpenter.
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The strange thing about Carpenter is that it’s only recently that I have begun to really appreciate him as a director. Sure, when I was younger I watched both “Halloween” and “Christine” and enjoyed them both, but it’s not until now that I really feel like I can say that I like him as a director. You know, thanks to movies like “The Thing”, “Escape From New York” and “They Live”.

Number 18: Joel and Ethan Coen.
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Some would call this cheating, but film buffs would know that what I am doing is perfectly correct. I mean, these two always direct movies together, that is kind of their thing. But at the same time it might be a little controversial putting them on this spot on the list considering how beloved they are. But they are still on the list for a reason; some great fucking movies. The ones I am mainly talking about are “O, Brothers Where Art Thou”, “The Big Lebowski”, “True Grit” and “No Country For Old Men”. The last one I should probably rewatch because it has been a few years since last time.

Number 17: James Cameron.
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This is a director who once upon a time was known as one of the greatest. Now I feel like he might be losing his mind… but only a little bit. What the hell do I mean? well he has plans to direct a bunch of sequels to “Avatar” over the coming years. “Avatar” is not a bad movie, it’s just that a bunch of sequels feels unnecessary. But at least we still have a ton of Cameron classics like “The Terminator”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, “True Lies” and “Titanic”.

Number 16: Hayao Miyazaki.
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The amount of creative and visually amazing animated movies this man has made is incredible. He has been making animated movies for so long and has retired and un-retired so many times that you never know when he actually will retire fully. Well, at least we know he has given us a ton of amazing animated features such as “Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke”.

Number 15: Michael Mann.
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This is a director who has made some pretty cool thrillers. He also makes some of the best shootouts in all of cinema. That’s right, Michael Mann comes in at number 15 because he has made some pretty great movies (in my opinion). Like I said, the shootouts in his movies are awesome, but the overall shots in his movies look amazing. Let me give you a few examples of great movies by him; “Heat”, “The Insider” and “Collateral”.

Number 14: Ben Affleck.
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Though he has only directed three movies he still fits perfectly into this list. Why? Because the movies he have directed are pretty fucking awesome. Not only are they very dark in nature, but they also feel realistic and plausible, something a lot of directors might struggle with. Make fun of his past however much you want, but his present is something to simply applaud. Thank you Mr. Affleck for your amazing movies “Gone Baby Gone”, “The Town” and “Argo”.

Number 13: Richard Donner.
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Not enough people give this man the love he deserves. He has come out with some pretty good movies that people actually admit to loving… but they never give any credit to the man who truly brought them to life. Maybe you’ll appreciate him more if I tell you that he is the man who gave us “Superman” in 1978. He is also the man behind the “Lethal Weapon” movies, which you should know I really like.

Number 12: Denis Villeneuve.
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Despite only having seen two of his movies, I am still incredibly impressed by him. Not only has he shown great promise as a director, but the movies themselves are two movies that I have really grown to absolutely adore. This has led me to be more than hyped to see his new/coming movies “Sicario”. But I still love his two movies “Prisoners” and “Enemy”.

Number 11: Clint Eastwood.
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You’d probably assume I’d put this man, myth and legend higher on the list. But remember, this list is for directing, not acting. So while I like a fair amount of movies he has directed, there are directors I enjoy more than him. But with that said, I still love him as a director thanks to movies like “Unforgiven”, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, “Gran Torino”, “Mystic River” and “American Sniper”.

Number 10: Ridley Scott.
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One of the most influential film makers of the past 50 years, Ridley Scott is an obvious addition to this list. Sure, in recent years he have had some misfires, but I still think he is a great director who has created some truly great movies. Which is why I am looking forward to his new movie “The Martian”. But until then I will have to settle with movies like “Alien”, “Blade Runner”, “Gladiator”, “American Gangster” and “Prometheus” (Yes, I liked “Prometheus”, deal with it).

Number 9: Edgar Wright.
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Is this a surprise? A director who has made some of the most hilarious and awesome movies of the past 15 years? It shouldn’t be a surprise because you should all know that he’s great. Thank you “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, “The World’s End” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”.

Number 8: Martin Scorsese.
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Martin Scorsese is a director who has been making movies since the late 60’s and is still going strong. Some would argue stronger than ever. Known for his unapologetic and give-no-shit style of film making, he has made a lot of movies you probably shouldn’t see with your grandma. Unless your grandma is a fucking badass, then go ahead and show her movies like “Taxi Driver”, “The Departed”, “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Shutter Island”.

Number 7: Bryan Singer.
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The man who has directed more “X-Men” movies than anyone else makes it onto the number 7 spot on my list. Hell, with “X-Men: Apocalypse” coming out next year he has made four movies in the series (which isn’t bad at all). But we must not forget his early masterpiece “The Usual Suspects”, since that is what gave us Mr. Singer.

Number 6: Quentin Tarantino.
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What? You think I’d forget about this guy? Not in a million years! In fact, his give-no-fuck style of film making is so unique and strong that it has burnt itself into my head. He not only has skills as a director, but he is also an amazing screenwriter. I mean, the reason people watch his movies is to listen to the amazingly entertaining dialogue. Anyway, I don’t think anyone would be able to forget him thanks to his awesome movies, such as “Pulp Fiction”, “Inglourious Basterds” and “Reservoir Dogs”.

Number 5: Duncan Jones.
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Almost there guys. At number five we see director Duncan Jones (Sidenote: Son of David Bowie). Sure he has only directed two movies, but those two have had such an impact on me that they take up as much space as seven movies. The two movies in question are “Moon” and “Source Code”. Also, he is currently directing the “Warcraft” movie which will come out summer 2016 and I’m not gonna lie… I am actually a little excited thanks to his great track record.

Number 4: Steven Spielberg.
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I don’t think I have to explain why Mr. Spielberg is on this list, you all know why he is here. I also don’t really have to mention any of his movies because you all know at least a bunch of his movies that you like/love. But I can at least say that my favorite of his movies is “Catch Me If You Can”.

Number 3: Christopher Nolan.
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Whether it’s the confusing nature of “Memento” or the complex space stuff of “Interstellar” or the dark action of “The Dark Knight” trilogy, Nolan always finds a way to captivate audiences which is why he is on my list. He has made some movies that I truly love. I mean, “Inception” is one of my Top 10 movies of all time. And I love his “Batman” movies a lot. And “Interstellar” was my msot anticipated movie of 2014, so you know that he had to be on  this list.

Number 2: Sergio Leone.
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At second place we find the Italian director of some of the greatest, if not the greatest, western films of all time. I mean, as soon as I saw that they had released a new DVD pack featuring his “Man With No Name” trilogy, I immediately knew I had to buy it. This is a director who have made a ton of great movies and the ones I have seen are movies I constantly want to return to even though I haven’t done that yet. His movies has had such an impact on me and I simply adore the man. Rest in peace, signore Leone.

NUMBER 1: DAVID FINCHER!
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You should’ve figured this out when you started reading this post. Time and time again I have stated how much I absolutely love this guy as a director. Not only does he show that he has perfect control over his actors and everything else on set, but his movies are all so refreshing to see since they aren’t your typical studio movies. His movies are dark, yet accessible. He have also made some of my favorite movies of all tiem such as “Gone Girl” and “Se7en” (se-seven-en). He also made my all time favorite movie “Fight Club”. This is a man who I have an incredible amount of respect for and he is my favorite director.

So that was my list. Did you enjoy it? Who is your favorite director? Maybe like this post, maybe not, it’s up to you. Anyway, I’m done here.

Have a good one.

 

 

My Favorite Scenes: Terminator 2 – Encounter/Chase

Thought I forgot about this segment, did ya? Well you were wrong. Today “My Favorite Scenes” returns… in a big way. The scene today is from one of the greatest action movies ever; “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. This is the scene where John Connor (Edward Furlong) encounters both the T-800 (Arnold) and the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) and becomes part of one of the best chase scenes in any movie ever. It is intense, it is badass and it is practical effects only. Oh yeah, that happened. I love this scene so much because of the reasons I just stated. So sit back and enjoy this amazing scene from one of my favorite movies!