Movie Review: E.T. (1982)

I can already hear some people mumbling “This isn’t horror, why the hell are you putting it in the Month of Spooks?”. And here’s my reasoning: It’s set during Halloween, which technically makes it a Halloween movie, which means that it works for Month of Spooks. Loophole, motherfuckers. So let’s talk about an alien non-invasion.

Ladies and gentlemen… “E.T.”!

The story follows a boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) as he one day finds and befriend and alien that he goes on to call E.T. And so we follow Elliott as he tries to keep his new alien friend hidden while trying to find away to contact E.T’s species. So now we have our family friendly alien non-invasion plot. And even when I put my nostalgia aside, I fucking love this plot. It’s a fun twist on an alien coming down to earth, usually we get aliens coming down to murder all of us, but this is about a friendly little guy. And the people behind the scenes of this manage to make it endlessly engaging, fun, charming, and just plain entertaining. It’s perfectly paced while still telling an emotionally investing story.

The characters in this are fun, interesting, and overall entertaining. First up we have young Henry Thomas as Elliott, the child at the center of the story. He has a bit of a troubled life, with his parents getting separated, among other things. But he’s still a good kid, and it’s fun to see his evolution after he meets E.T. And Thomas is great in the role. Next we have Robert MacNaughton as Michael, Elliott’s older brother. He’s kind of a jerk, but he does get some decent development throughout the movie. And MacNaughton is really good in the role. Next we have a very young Drew Barrymore as Gertie, Elliott’s young sister. Not only is she absolutely adorable, but she’s also a fun character that adds a little extra charm to it all. And Barrymore is really good in the role. We also have Dee Wallace as Elliott’s mother. She’s under a lot of stress, and Elliott’s misadventures certainly isn’t helping things out. But she’s still a loving and caring mother. And Wallace is great in the role. Yeah, ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was of course composed by the one and only John Williams. And as one would expect from that legend, the score here is fucking fantastic. The theme is as memorable as all his other ones, and the rest of the score of course has that magical, whimsical, and emotional quality that Mr. Williams is so damn good at. I don’t need to say more, you know how good this score is.

Written by Melissa Mathison (R.I.P), this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, and of course he did an excellent job with the direction. He has a way of creating magic and excitement from the smallest of scenes. It also helps that the writing here too is absolutely delightful. But seriously, Spielberg could direct a movie of someone reading the phone book and it would be charming. Probably starring Tom Hanks. Anyway, not only does he capture the childlike wonder of Elliott discovering this alien, he also manages to create some eerie and outright disturbing moments throughout. And the cinematography by Allen Daviau is absolutely breathtaking.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 91/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best sound, Best visual effects, Best sound editing, and Best original score. IT was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, Best original screenplay, Best cinematography, and Best film editing.

So yeah, “E.T.” is considered a classic for a reason. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “E.T.” is a 9,88/10. Which means that if (of course) gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “E.T.” is now completed.

My blog, my Month of Spooks, my rules.

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

img_2275

Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of “Indiana Jones” reviews. I apologize for it being a bit later than expected though. I had planned to release it on Monday, but I got really sick so I wasn’t able to do anything. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I chose to just relax and recover from the rest of it. But now I am feeling well and ready to review the movie for you… so let’s end this damn series, already.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back aaaand he’s old. This time he goes on an adventure where he has to find the mysterious Crystal Skull. On this adventure he has teamed up with a young man named Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) to do this. He is also always in the sights of a bunch of Soviet soldiers (No Nazis? That’s kinda refreshing) and their dangerous leader, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett). And the plot in this movie is, it is… it’s… I don’t know what to say. There is a MacGuffin… but there are also a few small twists on the “Formulana Jones” as I’ve decided to call it. I don’t know how to talk about the plot anymroe without going into spoilers… it’s kind of weird. I can say that I didn’t enjoy the plot as much as in the previous three films, but I didn’t think it was offensively bad either.

Where the plot might lack some in enjoyment for me, I think the characters almost make up for it. Harrison Ford is still great as Indy, even though it had been almost 20 years (Jesus tapdancing Christ) since he had played the character last time. He gives a really good performance as Indy, even managing to portray that Indy had aged quite a bit. He also still has that awesome smirk that I just love. I know that Shia LaBeouf is made fun of a lot these days for being… weird (to put it gently), he isn’t too bad in this movie overall. His performance is just fine, it’s the writing he got that isn’t really too great… it’s not very good. If only they had written him a little better, I wouldn’t have any problem with him at all. Cate Blanchet: beautiful woman, great actress… odd villain. I’m not saying that she’s a bad choice, au contraire, I love the idea. Her performance is still good, and she works fine as the villain I guess, even though I don’t find her particularly intimidating like Toht in “Raiders” or the Kali Ma guy in “Temple”. Then we also get some good supporting roles too, such as that of Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Karen Allen (welcome back). Jim Broadbent is also in this movie.

The score for this movie was just like in the previous three, composed by the one and only John Williams. And again, it is great. Let’s face it, John Williams is a masteful composer of music for films, and the “Indiana Jones” movie have some of his best tunes ever… even if I think his best song might be the “Jurassic Park” theme, but that is a story for another day… NEXT PART.

Steven Spielberg decided to come back to direct this fourth installment of the franchise and I guess he did a good job. I mean, his direction overall was pretty good, it’s Steven fucking Spielberg we’re talking about… but there is a thing that prevents me from appreciating it as much as I should… This movie looks fake as shit. CGI here, CGI there, CGI EVERYWHERE! There is also a shit-ton of green screen, not very well implemented if you ask. It all looks so artificial that I was actually groaning when I watched the movie. Sure, some of teh visual effects looks fine… but a lot of shit just looks… BLEH! Sure, there are a few actual sets in the movie as well, and they look terrific… props to the people who put those together. But the action in the movie (while ridiculous) is actually pretty good. Ford still gets to kick a bit of ass in the movie, and LaBeouf gets to have some fun himself… except for that “Tarzan” bit… *Shivers*. But there’s also some pretty good humor in the movie to help try to balance it out… *under breath* god damn it, Lucas…

This movie has certainly gotten some mixed reception by people and critics alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The story is averagely enjoyable, the characters/acting I enjoyed, the music is great, the directing is, but the CGI/green screen isn’t that great… at least the action and humor is pretty good. Time for my final score. *DUN DU DUN DUUUUN*. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a 7,45/10. While not one of the better movies in the series, I’d still say that it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “Indiana Jones and the Kingomd of the Crystal Skull” is now done.

I still have one more “Indiana Jones” related post planned in the future, so look forward to that. Other than that… I am done with these movies (on my blog, that is).

 

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

lastcrusade

Time for the third part in my series of “Indiana Jones” reviews. So I guess it’s time to just stop with these formalities and just get on with it.

Ladies and gents… “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back… again. He is looking for another MacGuffin… again, but this time he is looking for the holy Grail. He is also trying to find his missing father (Sean Connery). He also have to avoid being killed by nazis and death traps and I am starting to see a pattern here. Yes, all of the movies have the same basic plot and that might bug some people… but I don’t mind. I find the plots engaging, entertaining and interesting. So yeah… I like the plot.

The characters in this movie are just all kinds of entertaining. Harrison Ford still knocks it out of the park as Indy, there is no other way of putting it. Sean Connery is fantastic in the role of Indy’s father. But here’s the best part… Ford and Connery has some of the best chemistry I’ve seen in any movie ever. I totally believe their “father/son” relationship, which is kind of funny considering there’s only 12 years between the two actors. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover and River Phoenix (R.I.P).

The score for this movie was (like the previous two) composed by the one and only John Williams who again managed to make an absolutely fantastic collection of tracks that perfectly fit the film they’re used in. Seriously, the music’s great and there was never any doubt about it.

Steven Spielberg directed this one as well and once again he did a great job, the shots are great and everything is terrifically done. What I can add here is that I think this movie might have the best action scenes in this franchise. They are fast-paced, well shot, very real and simply fun. From the opening scene with young Indy & the train, to the tank, to the… everything. This movie is constantly moving, never really a minute passes by without SOMETHING happening. It’s an incredibly fast-paced movie that just blew by. It’s also a very funny movie, most of it being the banter between Ford and Connery.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10 and is ranked #103 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best sound effects editing. It also got an additional 2 nominations in the categories of Best sound and Best original score.

Guys, this is a really fun movie that has a good plot, great characters/acting/chemistry, great music, great directing and great action. Time for my final score. KALI M- wrong movie. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is a 9,90/10. It does most definitely get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is now completed.

Ya know, after my discovery in the plot department I feel like a certain post is in order (at some point).

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

pnB1ubmGqt085fxQprQuT0m0l3S

So now it is time for the second part in series of “Indiana Jones” reviews which pretty much started on pure accident. But here we are, and we’re gonna have a good time.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is… “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.

Indy (Harrison Ford) is back for another adventure, however this time he isn’t looking for MacGuffins in the desert. Instead he is looking for it in a jungle… let me elaborate. Indy is in India, and after having escpaed death at a party he ends up in a small Indian village where the villagers ask him to go to a palace and find their (supposedly) magic stone. But he isn’t gonna go on this advnture alone, oh no! With him he got his little sidekick named Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) and a singer named Willie (Kate Capshaw). And honestly, one should not expect the most original of plots from this movie, but all we can at least hope for is a well executed and entertaining plot. And I would say this movie has it. There are no real twists or big revelations to be found, but there is a lot of enjoyment to get from it and I feel like that is the thing that counts. The plot was entertaining and I feel that it was overall pretty good.

Where the story was good and felt very natural in it’s style and execution, the characters… less so. Indiana Jones is still a great character and Ford is as great, if not even better in this second installment. It’s when we get to the supporting characters that we start experiencing some… less than stellar stuff. Short Round as a character kind of works because he gets shit done and actually helps out throughout the movie, even though his voice is terrible (mainly because he shouts everything in such a high-pitched voice). But Willie… oh lord, Willie. She is a useless piece of shit that doesn’t do much other than scream and whine. The few times she actually does osmething useful is because Indy basically tells her what to do, and she then does it… reluctantly. Willie sucks. The bad guys are pretty cool though, an evil cult who use voodoo an’ shit.

The music for “Temple of Doom” was composed by John Williams who as you msot likely know, also did the score for the first movie too… and for “Star Wars”… and “Jaws”… and “Jurassic Park”… and “Schindler’s List”… and what I am saying is that I’m derailing this train because I love John Williams. So you can suspect that I loved the music for this movie.

It’s not often you see Spielberg do sequels to his movies, but this was an exception. Once again he shows why he is one of teh best directors ever. His directing here feels a lot more intense, but that just might be because this movie focuses more on being an intense action-adventure and not so much an interesting historically foucsed adventure with action in it. But the action scenes we get in the movie are intense, brutal and very well filmed. The movie is also a whole ot darker and brutal than the first movie, with some pretty disturbing shit going on at times. So if you don’t like seeing blood and creepy animals and voodoo, do not watch this. But I do have to say that maybe you should still check it out for some of the sets in this movie because they look absolutely incredible.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best visual effects. It also got 1 additional nomination in the category of Best original score. 

While I don’t think “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” deserves the hate that a lot of people give it, I do agree that it’s not the best of the series. It has a good plot, good acting with some meh characters (Ford’s still great though), great music, great directing, great action and some pretty great sets. Time for my final score. *Dun du dun dun*. My final score for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is an 8,95/10. While not as good as the first one, it’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is now done.

Kali Ma…

Movie Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

raiders-of-the-lost-ark-40995-1366x768

Most movies I review are ones that I have never seen before, but on occasion it happens that I do one that I have seen before. This is such a movie. The backstory to why I chose to review this movie was that I caught it on TV this evening with my parents and thought “Hey… let’s review it since my thoughts may have changed since last I saw it”. So, let’s review us some adventure stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

The movie follows history teacher and archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as he is sent by some US government people to go and find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. On the way he meets up with his former lover Marion (Karen Allen) abd it’s up to them and some other people to find the Ark before the Nazis get their terrible hands on it. While not having the most original of plots since it’s been done in old adventure serials, it still delivers a lot better than most movies of the same genre. It’s intriguing, interesting, fast-paced, fun and just overall very well told. There are so many tiny nuances that gives the plot of the movie the edge over most movies in the action-adventure genre. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*.

The characters in the movie are all just a load of fun to watch do things… yes, even the nazis. Harrison Ford had already proven himself with “Star Wars” and “Empire Strikes Back” that he was a really good actor with tons of charisma, but then he did this role and proved he isn’t just a pretty face in a spaceship. He showed that can be a tough badass with tons of intelligence and charm as well. Seriously, his performance in this movie is great… he is also one sexy motherfucker. Karen Allen gives a great performance as Marion, a tough-as-nails woman who still shows that she is vulnerable, which makes her character a lot more compelling than your typical damsel in distress. We also get some great supporting performances from John Rhys-Davies, Paul Freeman and Ronald Lacey. If you want good acting, look no further.

The score for “Raiders” was composed by the legendary John WIlliams and it’s definitely one of his finest, being able to ramp up the tension and excitement in the different scenes of the movie. It’s also jsut overall really fun to lsiten to and would definitely be something I could listen to in the car… if I had a car, that is. And I will just briefly mention the main theme which is simply one of the greatest main themes to anything ever.

This movie was the result of directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas bumping their heads together to create something interesting and entertaining. And that they did, with George doing some writing/story for it and Steven doing the directing. And that was a great decision because this is one of the most well directed action movies I have ever seen. The shots look terrific, with Spielberg showing that he is one of the best directors ever. And the action scenes are so great to watch as well, with everything clearly visible, with no dumb editing or unnecessary shaky-cam… or CGI. Sure, there is a scene with some sub-par green screen effects, but that part doesn’t really take away from the overall experience for me. The fights are also really brutal and hard-hitting. Combine that with some overall disturbing imagery and a scene featuring a shit-ton of snakes, I am almost a bit surprised that this movie is rated PG and not R. There is also a bit of really funny humor that is surprisingly low-key for this type of film.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #36 on the “Top 250” list. It also won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best sound, Best film editing and Best visual effects. The movie also got an additional 4 nominations in the categories of Best picture, best director, best cinematography and best original score. 

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a classic within the action-adventure genre. It features a great plot, great characters & acting, fantastic music, great directing, great action and some really good humor. Time for my final score. *Dun du dun dun, dun du duuun*. My final score for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is now completed.

So, yeah… look forward to reviews coming soon for the rest of the series…

Movie Review: Munich (2005)

munich_film_movies_1280x800_hd-wallpaper-8758

Politics is something that I kind of follow but at the same time have a deep hate for because of it’s unnecessary complexity and tendency to start terrible conflicts. That is why I am worried that the world will plunge into the darkness faster than we can sing “We Will Rock You”.

Ladies and gentlmen… “Munich”.

In 1972, several olympic athletes were kidnapped and killed by a group of terrorists known as Black September. This led to the creation of a special task force which was led by a man named Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana). The mission of this task force was to locate the people responsible for the terrible massacre in Munich, Germany and then kill them. And we get to follow this task force on their mission which takes them all across Europe. And it was quite the ride, I tell ya. What we have here is a plot that is set over a good amount of months yet never feels like it’s dragging or rushing or anything, but instead it manages to pace itself in a perfect way that allows for both the suspenseful scenes where they need to take someone out and for the character-buidling moments. It’s a very dramatic movie with a good amount of suspense and excellent drama… kind of like “Saving Private Ryan” which just like this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg. This is also a movie that manages to be very politically even-handed, never pointing any fingers at who is the guilty country here, but rather focus those things at the individuals involved. There is no side taken here, everything’s up for the viewer to decide which side they wanna stand with while they watch the task force do their thing. And I absolutely loved every second of it.

The characters in this movie all feel very real and I think that might be because of the actors. The actors chosen for this movie weren’t really major Hollywood stars when this came out, rather they were good, natural actors… kind of like when they cast “Jurassic Park” back in the day. Eric Bana plays our main character Avner and he was absolutely great in the movie, worthy of an Oscar nomination in my opinion. Daniel Craig was also really good. Everyone in the movie was good, simple as that.

The score for the movie was provided by the one and only John Williams (why am I not surprised?). And once again, he fucking nailed it. Sure, it isn’t as memorable as some of his other scores he has composed throughout his very long career, but it was still really great. Basic explanation: It’s great, but I’m not really gonna remember it as much as the score for “Jurassic Park” or “Star Wars”.

Like I previously stated, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and with that said, I think you can figure out what I’m gonna say about the directing of this movie. But for the sake of redundancy, I’m still gonna say it. This movie is very well directed… but what else should one expect from Steven Spielberg? And as with a lot of his movies, he brought in Janusz Kaminski to do the cinematography for the movie and as per usual, it looks absolutely fantastic. And the action scenes in the movie are pretty well made. They don’t aim to be giant action spectacles that’ll entertain you for a few minutes, but instead they aim to be part of this surprisingly action-packed and suspenseful story. I do have to warn however for squeamish people that this is a violent and uncompromising movie that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to what it shows. So if you don’t like realistic violence and lots of blood… maybe skip it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie also nominated for 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Munich” is a Steven Spielberg movie that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. And I find that weird because it has a great story with a lot of suspense & human drama, great acting/characters, great music, great directing and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *AAAAHHHH*. My final score for “Munich” is a 9,89/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” is now completed.

Bana Banana

Movie Review: Schindler’s List (1993)

Movie_Classical_schindler_s_list_hands_movie_123903_1366x768

 

If everything looks dark it might be impossible to see something good. But remember that even if everything looks dark, there is still a light waiting to pierce through and help you through the darkness. Never give up hope, it might be what saves you one day.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the final day of summer I present to you… “Schindler’s List”.

In this movie we follow industrialist and ladies man Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who starts getting concerned about his Jewish after seeing what the nazis do to them. And I’m not gonna lie, it was quite riveting. I was engaged and invested in this story throughout the entire three hour runtime. Rarely has a movie that long been able to keep my attention and be this interesting. The story is dark, beautiful and even a little bit scary. The shit that happened back then, the dark side of humanity, that is what scares me. But it also showed the kindness and courage people might show during these harsh times and that is what makes this plot so fantastic.

When the characters start feeling like real people in these terrible times, that is when you know you got some great characters. A lot of it comes from the excellent writing, but most of it comes from the fantastic performances. This is definitely the best I have ever seen Liam Neeson, he really disappeared into this man and he was no longer Liam Neeson to me, he was Oskar Schindler. Ben Kingsley also did a phenomenal job as Schindler’s Jewish bookkeeper. And Ralph Fiennes (Pronounced Ray Fines, by the way) was pretty amazing as well, playing a major douchebag who at a lot of times is conflicted about what he’s doing. Every actor in the movie was pretty great and no single performance in the movie stood out as “bad” or even “mediocre”.

Considering that this is a Steven Spielberg movie, one should not be surprised that the score for the movie was done by John Williams. Not that it’s a bad thing at all, Williams is a fantastic composer. Anyway, Williams did it again. He managed to compose a score that made you feel all of the emotions. Especially sadness, a lot of it thanks to violinist Itzhak Perlman helping out in a lot of tracks. The score is really beautiful and perfectly complemented the movie.

Like I said, this movie was directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg. And as always, the movie was incredibly well-directed. A lot of it can also be attributed to the fantastic cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. The movie looks beautiful. Some might call the whole black and white style a gimmick, but I call it beautiful art. I would say that it really improved upon the movie and did a lot to make it even better than it already was. I do also appreciate the selective coloring throughout the movie. If you’ve seen the movie you know what I am talking about. Here is also a fun fact: Kaminski has also provided the cinematography for some other Spielberg movies such as “Saving Private Ryan”, “Minority Report” and “Catch Me if You Can”.

This movie has gotten pretty much universal acclaim (the hilarious part of that statement is that Universal is the studio behind it). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating (100% if you go by “Top Critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,9/10 and is ranked #6 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 7 Oscars (Wow) in the categories of Best picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Set Decoration, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. The movie was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (Neeson), Best Supproting Actor (Fiennes), Best costume design, Best sound and Best makeup. 

“Schindler’s List” is a movie with a beautiful and haunting story, excellent performances, fantastic music and excellent direction & cinematography. Time for my final score. ACHTUNG! My final score for “Schindler’s List” is a 9,89/10. It deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Finally, “Schindler’s List” is now reviewed.

Wow, 1993 was a great year for Steven Spielberg. Both this and “Jurassic Park”.

 

My Top 20 Directors

Film-Directing

 

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.
42873

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.
coen_bros_split_2011_a_l

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.
james-cameron-wiki-660x469

 

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.
hayaomiyazaki-retirement

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.
c32d81fa7541a85fbfed6dc2262fa043_b

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.
gambling-celebrities

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.
CDSAqKhWIAAVupO

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.
Denis+Villeneuve+Prisoners+Premieres+Beverly+gwCEx-W0xpOl

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.
clint_eastwood_motivater_by_mixallen-d2y144a

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.
ridley-scott-blade-runner-secuela

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.
BigSlider-727x400

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.
i

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.
BryanSingerExcalibur_1

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.
Quentin-Tarantino-665x385

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.
duncanj-times_lifbghnc

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.
3409168_XwxEzC

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.
Christopher+Nolan

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.
Sergio-Leone

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!
David Fincher

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: Minority Report (2002)

42ada0ce

With sci-fi being as big of a genre as it is I find it very interesting how many different types of movies you can find. You have your typical “Pew pew” sci-fi like “Star Wars”. Then you have the more methodical and realistic/dramatic sci-fi like “Moon” or “Sunshine”. Then we have the kind of sci-fi that falls somehwere inbetween. It is action, but it is also realistic/dramatic. And that is the type of sci-fi we are taking a look at today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Minority Report”.

In the future, crime has been completely eliminated! And by crime I mean murder and by completely I mean in Washington D.C. Let me elaborate; there are these things/people called “Precogs” who can see murders before they even happen. So then it is up to a bunch of police(ish) officers to locate said murder and prevent it. And in this movie you follow Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) who one day gets accused of committing a murder… in the future. So now he is on the run, trying to clear his name and find out what the hell is going on. Okay, so it sounds like a sci-fi version of “The Fugitive” at first, but when you watch it this movie feels very fresh and original in it’s execution. Not only does the story present an interesting chase thriller, but it is also a story of human emotion which director Steven Spielberg is excellent at showing in his movies. The movie also gives us an interesting look at the future that really hasn’t been done before(ish). It is a very thought-provoking movie with a lot of good emotion and thriller elements behind it’s story.

Since this is a Spielberg movie, you know the characters will be really good. That is somethign I really respect about Spielberg, he makes sure his movie are more about the characters rather than the presented theme of the movie (theme of this is sci-fi chase thriller). So I am glad to see that the characters in this movie are as interesting as in his other movie. Tom Cruise is excellent in the lead role as John Anderton. He has to show a lot of emotion but also a lot of authority in his role and he does it perfectly. Colin Farrell also plays in the movie as this snarky/asshole inspector guy, and he’s great. The third actor I wanna go in depth with is Samantha Morton who plays the Precog Agatha. Holy shit, she is amazing in this movie. She shows off as much emotion as you can and she also manages to be emotionless at the same time and I honestly think she was worthy of at least an Oscar nomination because she was amazing. Every actor in the movie was in fact great, they all did a great job.

Like in most Steven Spielberg movies, the score was done by the one and only John Williams who once again blew us away with his amazing talents as a composer. The score is adrenaline pumping, the score is heartfelt, it is suspenseful, it is everything you need for this type of movie. In other words: it is fucking great!

Like i have stated about 40 fucking times already, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and he did a terrific job doing it. His shots look great and he really managed to keep my attention throughout the movie. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski was also pretty fantastic. The combination of Spielberg’s direction and Kaminski’s cinematography gave the movie a unique look that I have never seen in any other movie which gives it a bit of an edge over other sci-fi movies. Also, this movie is apparently based on a story by Philip K. Dick who also did the story for “Blade Runner”. Remember, he only created the story, not the screenplay. And in other news, I should probably go and read some of his books/stories soon.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound Editing.

“Minority Report” is a very original sci-fi movie with a thought-provoking story, excellent performances, fantastic music, fantastic direction and cinematography and some genuine suspense. Time for my final score. *Ahem*… My final score for “Minority Report” is a 9,86/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Minority Report” is completed.

Murder…

 

 

Movies left in 2015 I am looking forward to

Movies

How are you doing, guys? Personally I am doing great with summer vacation going on. Anyway, I am here to just tell you what movies left in 2015 I am excited about. And to be completely clear, these are in no particular order, these are just movies in general I am looking forward to. So let’s stop standing around like a bunch of jackasses in a circle and get this going!

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Star+Wars+The+Force+Awakens+3

 

Let’s get the obvious shit out of the way first with what I would assume will be the highest grossing movie of this year, “Star Wars episode VII: The Force Awakens”. Just like everyone else I am looking forward a lot to “Star Wars” because it is motherfucking “Star Wars”! Some people are skeptical because of J.J. Abrams directing, I however am excited to see what he brings to the table considering his “Star Trek” reboot was fucking awesome (in my opinion). So yeah… “Star Wars”.

Ant-Man.
ant_man_mask_and_costume_wallpaper_118_images_backgrounds

Again, getting the obvious stuff out of the way first. That’s right, I am really looking forward to seeing Marvel’s next movie “Ant-Man”. If you remember a long time ago, I did put it on my “Most Anticipated Movies of 2015” list. It was fairly high on that list. And even though Marvel can do no wrong these days I might be wrong about it. I mean, I was wrong about “Blackhat” which turned out to not be that great… but this is Marvel, not modern Michael Mann, so I think it will go well.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
mission-impossible-rogue-nation-hd-wallpaper

You guys all know that I love Tom Cruise, he’s a great actor and I have a lot of respect for him as well for doing all of his own stunts. And this time he has out-triumphed himself with his foolishness by climbing on a plane taking off. First the Burj Khalifa, now a plane. What’s next, riding on the outside of a real life rocket? Tom, if you’re reading this… DON’T, NO!

Spectre.
spectre_daniel_craig_james_bond_2015_101313_1366x768

IT is a new “James Bond” movie directed by Sam Mendes who did “Skyfall” (which I have not seen yet, I know, shame on me). But I did see Mendes’ movie “Road to Perdition” and that movie was awesome and I did see “Casino Royale” so I know Daniel Craig will be great as Bond. This will probably be a great movie as well.

The Martian.
martian1

It is a sci-fi movie starring Matt Damon (who is awesome) and is directed by Ridley Scott (who is awesome). What is not to be excited for!? Okay fine, Ridley Scott has had some missteps these past few years, but remember that this is the same guy that gave us “American Gangster”, “Alien”, “Gladiator” and “Blade Runner: The Final Cut”. Trust me, I got hope in this project. Also, come on guys, “Prometheus” wasn’t THAT BAD!

Bridge of Spies.

Next up is a spy-drama with the always successful combination of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Now they are taking on the cold war and spies. This is what dreams are made of, all of these awesome details. This will probably be great based on the earlier collaborations of these two.

Southpaw.
Southpaw-Trailer-1280x853

 

This movie has such a combination of factors that it is almost unbelievable. I will try to round them up as decently as I can because this movie over the past few months has earned my interest more and more to the point of it becoming one of my most anticipated of the year.
1: The plot is about a boxer’s life going from hit to shit… that sounds great.
2: It is directed by Antoine Fuqua who made “Training Day” and “Shooter”, both of which I haven’t seen in a long time. But I remember liking them, so that’s something!
3: It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, one of my favorite actors who has proven himself these past 10 years that he is one of the greatest actors living today.
4: It is written by Kurt Sutter, the creator of “Sons of Anarchy”, one of my favorite TV-shows of all time. And I remember that show having some great writing, so that is good.
5: The soundtrack was done by Eminem. If you don’t like his music, that’s fine but don’t scold me for liking it! I like his music and I do think it might fit in this movie. And that is the final nail in this coffin.

Sicario.
SICARIO-2015

This might be the movie I am looking forward to the most out of all ones left this year. I know, more than “Star Wars” which I am still looking forward to more than you’d believe. But there is a strange allure to this movie that just makes it more interesting to me than “Star Wars”. I guess it might be because of the excellent cast including Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. It might also be because of this movie being directed by Denis Villeneuve who made “Prisoners” which most likely will stay my favorite movie of 2013 because of how amazing that is.

So those are the movies I am most excited to see in the second half of 2015. What are some of yours? Comment below and let me know!

Have a good one!