Movie Review: Goodfellas (1990)

Yes, you got that right. I only now got to this “must watch” piece of cinema. Shut up.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “Goodfellas”.

As far back as he could remember, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) always wanted to be a gangster *brass music plays*. And throughout the movie we follow his rise within the mob, giving us all the ups and downs. And yes, we’ve seen this kind of shit in a bunch of movies before. But I don’t think I’ve seen it done this well before. The movie is two hours and twenty minutes long, but you never feel that runtime thanks to writing that is equal parts dramatically compelling and pure entertainment value. It crackles along at a good pace, while still presenting us with situations that last with the viewers, even after the credits have rolled. It doesn’t do the slow, methodical approach that “The Godfather” used, instead opting for a more popcorn-friendly style still rises above most basic gangster stories.

The characters in this are flawed, nuanced, colorful, entertaining, and just overall really interesting. Ray Liotta plays Henry Hill, the man at the center of the story with dreams of being the next big gangster. His journey from small time crook to where he eventually ends up is quite fascinating, and he’s one of the most compelling protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of following in anything I’ve watched recently. And Liotta is great in the role. Next we have Lorraine Bracco as Karen, Henry’s wife. Seeing her journey alongside Henry is quite interesting, especially since she becomes a bit of a conflicted character that has a really interesting rapport with Henry and his story. And Bracco is great in the role. Next we have Joe Pesci as Tommy, Henry’s friend and a fellow gangster. He’s a very short-tempered guy who makes for a lot of unpredictable scenes, which is all I’ll say about him. And Pesci is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

What’s interesting about the music in “Goodfellas” is that there is no typical score. No composer, no orchestra… jack shit. Instead there’s a lot of licensed music, mostly period accurate rock songs, that get used throughout to help set the mood and tell the story. And god damn it, the use of said songs here is fucking spectacular, partly because there’s a lot of music in there I genuinely like in general, but also because the director (and possibly editor) has a good fucking grasp of how to utilize a song throughout a scene.

Based on a book called “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi, the movie was co-written by Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, with Scorsese of course handling direction. And really, what else can I say that hasn’t been said before? This shit is immaculate. The blend of the writing and directing here creates a crackling energy that makes it an absolute blast to watch. Never does it feel dull. There are a few moments where it risks slipping into it, but then it picks up again, like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #18 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best supporting actor (Pesci). It was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actress (Bracco), Best director, Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing.

I don’t think I’m bringing anything new to the table when I say that “Goodfellas” is fucking rad. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Goodfellas” is a 9,88/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Goodfellas” is now completed.

I see why people like this so much.

My most anticipated movies of 2019

Hello and happy new year, guys! I’m back from my… two day break. Okay, I wasn’t gone for long, but I’m excited to be writing again. New year, new opportunities, new movies! And it’s that last one that we’re talking about today, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you guys, since this blog is mostly built on movie stuff. So since the year just started, I think it’s only appropriate to talk about some movies that I’m excited for this year. Will all of them be amazing? Probably not. But I’m just looking forward to watching them all, and I thought I’d share some of them here with you today. A few stipulations for both of us here.

Number 1: Please be respectful. I’m asking you to have the exact same opinions as me, I’m fine with disagreement. Just don’t be a dick about it. I’m all for friendly discussion, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Just be nice. This is a friendly space, yo.

Number 2: I’m not gonna talk about movies that had limited releases in 2018 that then get worldwide releases in early 2019. This is for those that have their first release in 2019. Understood? Cool.

Number 3: These are not ranked. These are just a bunch of movies I’m looking forward to a fair bit.

That should be it. Let’s get into the movies.

Glass.

First movie on the list is the first one I’ll probably see in the cinema this year… which would be pretty much unlikely a few years ago. A January movie by M. Night Shyamalan? Ew. But this is something I am genuinely excited about. So spoilers for previous Shyamalan movies, I guess. In 2000, he gave us “Unbreakable”, and it was amazing. In 2017, he gave us “Split”, and it was really good. And at the end of “Split”, it was revealed that it was a secret sequel to “Unbreakable”, which blew my fucking mind. And now we get the culmination of those two movies with “Glass”, and I am really hyped.

Avengers: Endgame

Yes, I talk about a lot of superhero movies. And yes, I am aware that a lot of people are either sick of or just don’t care about them. But you can’t deny that what Marvel has done with their cinematic universe is really impressive. And now we get the ending to it… sort of. It’s the sequel to 2018’s “Infinity War”, and it will be the end for a lot of these actors in this universe. It’s kind of bittersweet. Bring on the endgame.

Captain Marvel

Another superhero origin. This one starring Brie Larson. She’s a good actor. This looks pretty good. Has a stellar cast. It’ll be fun.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I am a fan of the 2014 “Godzilla” movie, so I was already excited for a sequel. Then it was revealed that some classic monsters would be involved in it, which got me even more excited. Then this trailer came out and showcased some gorgeous imagery, and it got me even more hyped. So yeah, this is one of the biggest ones for me this year.

Star Wars Episode IX
It’s “Star Wars”. The end of this new trilogy. It’s “Star Wars”. How could I not be excited? “STAR WARS”.

Spider-Man: Far From Home
I am a huge Spidey-fan, been for most of my life. And this is a sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, which I liked a lot. Tom Holland is a fantastic Spider-Man. So I’m excited. Plus, Jake Gyllenhaal.

John Wick: Chapter 3

“John Wick” was one of the biggest surprises of 2014. “John Wick: Chapter 2” was a great sequel. And in 2019 we’ll get the third part in this series. The hype for this one is real.

Knives Out
No footage. No on-set images. All we have is a good director, a star-studded cast, and the vague premise of a murder mystery. And that is enough to intrigue me. Let’s go.

In the Shadow of the Moon
Like with “Knives Out”, we know practically nothing about this. But at least “Knives Out” has a vague premise of what it could be… this one on the other hand doesn’t even have that. So how could I be excited? Well, it has several good actors involved, and it’s directed by Jim Mickle, who I’m a big fan of. I’ll be supporting him any way I can.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

What do you get if you take one of the most star-studded casts even assembled and combine it with the mind of Quentin Tarantino? You get “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. Anything that Tarantino makes, I’m already excited for. But add all those cast members and an interesting setting, and you most likely have my money as well.

Lucy in the Sky
*Starts humming The Beatles*. Oh shit, you’re still here. Right, so what’s this? It’s a sci-fi movie, starring the likes of Natalie Portman, Dan Stevens, Jon Hamm, and Zazie Beets, and it’s written/directed by Noah Hawley, who brought us two of my favorite shows; “Fargo” and “Legion”. That’s all I need. Bring on the weirdness.

The Irishman
Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro. Joe Pesci. Al Pacino. Bobby Cannavale. Harvey Keitel. Jesse Plemons. Excited yet?

Jojo Rabbit

A World War 2 satire from Taika Waititi? With said Kiwi playing Adolf Hitler? And a good cast surrounding him? Yes please, hell yeah, this is interesting.

So those were a bunch of movies I’m looking forward to. I’m sure more will be revealed throughout the year, but these are my current picks. But I also wanna hear from you guys. What movies are you excited for? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

Movie Review: The Color of Money (1986)

Pool. Also known as billiards. Something I’m not particularly good at, but I still enjoy playing it with friends. Now let’s see how well that sport can translate into a movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Color of Money”.

The story follows former pool hustler Eddie Felson (Paul Newman, R.I.P) as he starts delving back into that world when he takes young Vincent (Tom Cruise) under his wing. So now we have a road movie/comeback story/passing a torch kind of story, and it’s a good one. While it tries to have several kinds of story at the same time, it never feels cluttered or messy, as it blends these elements quite well. Now, it does feel a bit uneven in parts, but it doesn’t break the movie for me, more like bring it down a notch. But overall it’s still an enjoyable and pretty interesting story.

The characters here are colorful, layered, interesting, and overall entertaining. First up we have Paul Newman (may he rest in peace) playing “Fast” Eddie Felson, a former pool hustler who now seems to be making a living selling whisky. But he finds a new purpose when he discovers this young man he can teach. He’s a complex man who goes through quite a bit of development throughout the movie. And Newman is of course fantastic in the role. Next we have a young Tom Cruise as Vincent, the new protegé of Felson. He’s an energetic, fast-talking, and skilled pool player that at first seems reluctant to be taken under Felson’s wing, but soon warms up to it. He too gets a fair bit of development throughout the movie. And Cruise is good in the role. And then we have Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Carmen, Vincent’s girlfriend. She’s tough, she’s independent, and quite clever, she’s really a good foil for Vincent’s energetic and fun nature. And Mastrantonio is really good in the role. We also get some supporting performances from people like John Turturro, Helen Shaver, Bill Cobbs, and more, all doing quite well in their respective roles. So yeah, it’s a well acted movie.

The score was composed by Robbie Robertson was good, had a fun, slightly blues-y feel to it that worked well for the movie. Then there were a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, and not only were they pleasing to my music tastes, but they worked incredibly well within their respective scenes, elevating them a fair bit. So yeah, this movie has some damn good music.

Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, this movie was directed by Martin Scorsese who I think did a really good job. He really managed to catch the fun but also somewhat unpredictable nature of bars/pool halls, and even managed to keep a good bit of energy going through it all. I also have to mention the cinematography by Michael Ballhaus, because it’s fucking excellent. Not only are there a good amount of stunning shots, but the camera work here is really playful and makes for quite a fun watch.

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 77/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Actor (Newman). It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Mastrantonio), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Set Decoration. 

“The Color of Money” is an enjoyable little sports drama. It has a good story, good characters, really good performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Though as previously mentioned, it is brought down a bit by the plot feeling a little uneven in parts. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Color of Money” is an 8,82/10. While flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “The Color of Money” is now completed.

Guess I should check out “The Hustler” at some point.

Beyond the Cover Blogathon: Shutter Island

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Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internets. I believe you’re asking yourself what the hell is going on here, and don’t worry, I will explain it all to you. I decided about a week ago(ish) that I would take part in a Blogathon held by the terrific Kristina of Speakeasy and the also terrific Liz of Now, Voyaging. The theme of this Blogathon is “Beyond the Cover”, or “Movies based on Books” as the simple man would call it. I found the idea rather intriguing and had the thought “Hey, I read books and I watch movies… maybe I should take part?” and then I signed up. So now we’re here, ready to take on this topic.

The book/movie I have chosen is “Shutter Island”. The book came out in 2003 and was written by Dennis Lehane (Sidenote: He might honestly be my favorite author). Then the movie came out in 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley. As you might’ve been able to tell, this isn’t going to be a conventional review. Instead I will see what the movie did different to the book and also compare the characters and their interactions (Minor spoilers might occur). But I might still give you a normal review of the movie as well in a separate post because, why the fuck not. So let’s do this stuff.

Teddy Daniels
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Edward “Teddy” Daniels is the main protagonist of both the book and the movie (where he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Overall there is no major difference between the two characters, both are U.S. marshals from Boston (Like all Lehane protagonists), both have the same backstory. The only real difference is that there is a slight difference in how he’s physically described in the book and how he’s portrayed in the movie. In the book we get a brief mention that his head is shaved and that he’s a pretty big guy. He is also supposed to look pretty rugged. And in the movie he has a decent amount of hair on his head and he is also not a particularly big guy and he has the face of a DiCaprio. He’s pretty average when it comes to his physical attributes. He is a troubled character, but that is one of the things that make him interesting. DiCpario also does a good job of playing him.

Chuck Aule.
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Chuck Aule is the partner who had been assigned to help Teddy with the investigation of Rachel Solando’s disappearance. In the movie he’s played Mark Ruffalo. What makes this comparison interesting is that there are some differences in both physical description (sort of). In the book he’s described as being about 5’9” (180 cm) tall and a maybe not in perfect shape. He also has hands that look a bit too small in proportion to the rest of the body. In the movie (like I said before) he is played by Mark Ruffalo who is about 5’8”. But with the rest of the appearance (hair/skin) it seems they are pretty close in resemblance. But the biggest difference comes to how he’s portrayed. Ruffalo plays him very well, actually nailing the essence of the character. But in the book he is fucking hilarious, constantly having great lines. In the book he acts as both a comic relief and a serious marshal who helps Teddy. But in the movie he doesn’t have nearly as much awesome stuff to say which is a little sad.

Dr. John Cawley
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Generally speaking, he’s the same. Nothing to add really. Ben Kingsley’s great.

 

Story
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The basic story is (for you unfamiliar few) that two U.S. marshals are sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient there. Basic plot is pretty much the same in both the book and the movie. The only differences come in the form of parts being left out. There is for example a part in the book where Teddy has an argument with his dead wife Dolores which ends with him accidentally cutting himself while shaving and being pissed at her. The ending is basically the same as well, I won’t go into detail about it because I’m sure there are at least a few out there who haven’t read the book or seen the film. I’m just saying, they’re basically the same with minor changes done in the film.

Dialogue

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LD – “Ya know that asshole, Markus?” BK – “Yes?” LD – “Yeah, he’s got a great blog.”

This might seem like an odd topic to bring up, but it’s one that I’ve been givin’ some thinkin’ over the past… day. To prepare for this post I read through the book (for the fourth time) and also rewatched the movie (third or fourth time seeing it) and I noticed some things regarding the dialogue in the movie. While the basics of it is intact, a good amount of dialogue has either been altered or removed. I mentioned before how Chuck doesn’t say as much fun stuff as he does in the book, and that’s just the start of it. Relatively large chunks of dialogue that existed in the book has been removed, including a good amount of dialogue from the final confrontation near the end. Having read the book and then moving on to the film in such a quick succession makes these changes very clear which actually annoys me a little bit. I guess a lot of these exchanges were cut out to keep the runtime on the shorter side, but I wouldn’t mind if they made the movie a bit longer to keep those really interesting bits of dialogue in it. But I guess they wanted to keep it at a higher pace and not keep people watching for “too” long… *sigh*.
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What the movie did well
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The previous bit might’ve made me sound like I was just complaining about the film, so let’s just relax and quickly talk about what it did right. The plot holds very well, Scorsese’s directing is terrific, all of the performances are somewhere between really good and fantastic, the music choices (though few) are great, the cinematography is gorgeous and the ending (if you think about it) is absolutely terrific. The movie is also very suspenseful makes for a really interesting and gripping watch.

Conclusion
So those were my thoughts on the book/movie differences for “Shutter Island”. What do you think of this movie? What do you think of the book? Leave any and all thoughts you have in the comments. Also, I might post a regular review for it as well in the near future. So maybe look forward to that! With that said, I will now leave you with a goodbye of some kind and my favorite image/still from the movie.
Have a good one!
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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.

 

 

Movie Review: Taxi Driver (1976)

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Martin Scorsese is known these days as one of the greatest directors of all time, and for good reason. He has made some truly great movies such as “The Departed” and “Shutter Island”. But now it is time to take a look at one of his oldest movies which a lot of people call one of his best IF not his best.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Taxi Driver”.

In this movie we follow mentally unstable Vietnam war Veteran Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). Since he has trouble sleeping at night he takes a job as a nighttime taxi driver (roll credits). When driving around like this he sees every type of person New York has to offer… and that is not really a god thing. All the scum and assholes make him want to take action against it all to both try to stop it and also to save the life of the really young prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster). And with that said we have a psychological and powerful tale from the point of a mentally unstable man. Seeing the plot unfold was really interesting. The further Travis went down the rabbit hole, the more interesting everything got. And seeing as the plot never once got boring, that is awesome!

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first… Robert De Niro was FUCKING AWESOME in this movie! I have always liked the guy, he is a really good actor, but here he gives one of the greatest performances I have seen from anyone ever. De Niro was perfect at portraying the psychological decline of Travis. And Jodie Foster in the movie was also really good. When this movie came out in ’76 she was really young, yet her performance was still really good. And every other were also great in the movie. This movie was like “Weak performance? What the hell is that?”.

The score by Bernard Hermann was a mix of soft jazz and darkly haunting tracks. Seriously, the soundtrack will haunt my dreams after this… which technically isn’t a bad thing. And with that said, the soundtrack was great. It all fit so well into every little part that each track was used in.

When “Taxi Driver” first came out in 1976 it cause a fair amount of controversy and there were two main reasons for that. The first of them was the pretty graphic violence which I can kind of understand. But at the same time, comparing it to “Clockwork Orange” might be a bit of a stretch. Sure the violence here was graphic, but it wasn’t as disturbing as “Clockwork Orange”. The second of the reasons this was controversial is a reason I really do get. *Ahem* They cast a 13-year old girl as a prostitute! And while she is never shown naked and/or having sex in the movie, I can still kind of get behind the argument why that would stir up some controversy. Now with that informative stuff out of the way, this is a great looking movie! Scorsese is a master director who knows how to make a scene look fantastic! And he showed it fairly early in his career with this movie.

“Taxi Driver” has been VERY well-received over the years, being called “One of the greatest movies ever”. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating wit ha “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and later added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #79 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 4 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Foster) and Best Original Score. 

People, “Taxi Driver” is a great movie with a terrific plot, fantastic performances, a great score and some great direction/camera work. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Taxi Driver” is a 9,89/10. This is a fantastic movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Taxi Driver” is completed.

You talkin’ to me?

Movie Review: The Departed (2006)

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Martin Scorsese, you motherfucker. Woaw, woaw! I did not mean that in a bad way. I’m just saying he got a tendency to make good movies with a fair amount of well known and good actors. Take for example “Wolf of Wall Street” or “Shutter Island”. But those are the more recent examples. How about we go back a few more years. Not all the way back to “Goodfellas”. But back to 2006, which was a good year for movies. This year, Scorsese made one of the so called “powerhouses” of the year. But what does this dude think of that specific movie.

Boys and girls…”The Departed”.

We are now in Boston. The story follows several different characters. But the main focus is set on two characters and their separate…yet connected storylines. First up we have the one of Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a recently examined undercover state cop. But he isn’t there to be a cop. He was pretty much planted there by mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to be a sort of mole for him. Then we have the second main storyline following William “Billy” Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is set as the sort of polar opposite of Colin. He is sent by Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and the asshole known as Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) to infiltrate Costello’s gang. And both main characters (Sullivan & Costigan) are trying to figure out who is the rat of each respective crew. So it is pretty much a game of cat and mouse, but without a specific cat/mouse…kinda like “Death Note”. So yeah, the story is pretty damn interesting with this Cat and Mouse game. Fun fact about the story: It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie “Infernal Affairs”. Another good point to mention about the story is that Damon’s character strikes up a relationship with psychiatrist Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga). So I really like the story because of how engaging it is and how it never gets boring, even though it’s two and a half hours.

The characters are complex and I want to hit them in the fucking face. Except for Costello, but that is because I love Nicholson. But these characters are complex and well acted…I fucking love that. I have nothing more for this.

The music in this is really good. It is a combination of licensed songs, most notably the song “I’m Shipping up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys. Then there are a whole bunch of original songs composed by the fantastic Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hobbit movies, Hugo). So yes…the soundtrack is really awesome.

This movie has so much talent under its wings. Here I will list up a lot of the great actors:
Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Corrigan, Robert Wahlberg…this list is massive. Also, this movie looks beautiful, it is really well directed.

Reception for “The Departed” was overall good. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% rating and a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic gave this movie an 86/100 rating which is pretty high for their standards. Roger Ebert gave this movie 4/4 stars and said:

“It is intriguing to wonder what Scorsese saw in the Hong Kong movie that inspired him to make the second remake of his career (after “Cape Fear”). I think he instantly recognized that this story, at a buried level, brought two sides of his art and psyche into equal focus.”

I know it doesn’t sound too much like praise, but I couldn’t find a good quote…so this’ll do.
imdb.com gave this 8,5/10 and it is ranked #46 on their Top 250 list. Also this movie got 4 Oscars. It was nominated for 5 with the fifth being for Mark Wahlberg as “Best Supporting Actor”. But he lost to Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine”.

So the story is good and intriguing, the characters/acting are awesome, the music is awesome and it is beautifully made. So I am giving this movie a 9,6/10 and a personal recommendation to buy it. It is great. Sure, you can choose to rent it if you want or stay the hell away, but this movie I actually recommend to buy. I also give this my Seal of Approval. That is a thing now…so whenever I give something that seal…it’s good.

“The Departed” is at last reviewed.

So long, boys (and girls)!

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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Movie based on something that actually happened are often a hit or miss. A lot of ones I have seen have been hits (Walk The Line, Argo, Schindler’s List etc.). So when I heard about this supposed “over the top but real” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio it raised my curiosity quite a bit. Especially since this was yet another collaboration between DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. So I took a look at it, and here is my review of it.

People, the biography of a man containing such great actors as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau and many more talented people…The Wolf of Wall Street.

This movie is set in the 1980’s or something. It tells the story of young to-be stock broker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is on the rise on the infamous Wall Street. He becomes one of the biggest and greatest stock brokers ever and starts doing all kinds of drugs, sleep with hookers and just be a rich fucking ass-hat. The story is delivered with such energy and awesomeness that it feels really well done and dare I say it…good. But that is to be expected in a Scorsese movie…well, for the most part.

I’m gonna be completely honest and say that the characters are fucking awesome. They are so well acted (Yes, even Jonah Hill) that they feel alive and really, really good. Sure, they can be over-the-god-damn-top sometimes, but that is why they are so entertaining to see in this movie.

The soundtrack for this movie is like I said about the previous entries on this review…great. It is a great mix of good songs. It is mainly songs that are fairly easy to dance to, or at least follow the rhythm and have fun. So yeah…it is great.

The reception for this movie was pretty much off the fucking charts. A lot, and I mean A LOT of people liked this movie. Unfortunately Roger Ebert had passed away before the release of this movie. IT would have been interesting to see what he would have said about it.

After saying all this good shit about the movie, then you probably expect me to give it a good score. And you would be correct on that note. My final score for “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a 9,3/10. This movie is THAT GOOD and deserves to be seen and even bought (when the DVD/Blu-Ray is out).

The Wolf of Wall Street has now been reviewed by me.

I’ll see you soon enough!