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Thursday, December 30, 2010

OSCAR WATCH: Best Actress Front-Runners

Black Swan & The Kids Are All Right
This year's Oscar race for Best Actress has two prime winners: Natalie Portman and Annette Bening. Of course, only one can win, but who? After watching the two, evaluating their performances and potential for the prestigious honor, I have come up with my own verdict. And my winner is...Natalie Portman.

The Kids Are All Right - In addition to Best Actress, this summer indie hit is in the race for Best Picture, as well. I honestly didn't expect much from this quirky film, only for Annette Being to shine as the control-freak lesbian mother. The actress never disappoints, of course, however I wouldn't say she is in for an Oscar. Sure, she provided us with a powerful performance, but only because it was an indie. What I mean is, she was excellent for an indie. Usually, an indie's actors dish out weak, solemn performances, like Kristen Stewart in Twilight (only not nearly as bad). Anyway, Bening was great, just not Oscar great. I said this before and I'll say it again, the Academy will give it to her just because she needs it, like with Kate Winslet and The Reader.
As for the movie, it was utterly boring and extremely weird. I certainly will never watch it again. The young actors' performances were faulty, which is a letdown since their one of the main focuses of the movie. And Laser, really? Julianne Moore was great, though not as great as her lesbian partner. Mark Ruffalo was as he always is, only he's a womanizer rather than a sensitive sweetheart. I never really cared for him, so I didn't enjoy him here either. A movie about two lesbian moms who are turned on by gay men porn and their irritably curious children bonding with their donor father: weird, awkward, not deserving of an Oscar. Then again, the Academy may honor them since it includes lesbians. Brokeback Mountain, just saying.

Black Swan - This movie is also in the race for Best Picture, only it has a much larger chance of winning than the previous. I desperately wanted to see this film, for it looked so beautiful and extraordinary. And that it was. Absolutely divine. The ballet was a graceful part of the movie that soothed me to interest, while the gruesome images were so disturbing yet so enthralling. Although I didn't enjoy Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, he certainly redeemed himself with this marvelous film. Best Director contender, most definitely.
Natalie Portman, she was amazing as the mentally unstable perfectionist dancer. Her determination for the role was so believable and the pain she displayed, as Nina, could have easily been her own. That's how real she portrayed it all. And the fact that she did most of the beautiful dancing herself makes her performance even more remarkable. I sincerely hope she receives the award she earns. Mila Kunis is excellent as Nina's rival/best-friend/fantasy-lover, which is surprising considering this is her first dramatic role. Her nomination for a Golden Globe both stunned and pleased me, and I hope she's in for an Oscar nomination, too. This film was an artistic masterpiece in motion, I absolutely adored it. I hope the Academy changes their ways this year and give an award to someone who truly deserves it. Not because they need the award on their application but because they earned it.

Black Swan > The Kids Are All Right

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Untitled Academy Experience

With the awards season dawning upon us once again, I like to look back at the previous years' successes...but mostly blunders. A couple weeks ago, the Golden Globe nominations were announced, and I was eager to see who geniuses of the prestigious academy chose. Surprisingly, I was not angered by any of the nominees, at all. It is shocking to me because I always have something negative to say about the academy's choices. I'll get into why in a moment.

My obsession of award shows began in 2007, with the 80th annual Academy Awards. The beginning of the event consisted of honors to things I didn't really care about then, like Visual Effects and Cinematography. I was eleven at the time, you wouldn't expect me to be at the edge of my seat for awards that were unknown to me! Anyway, when the important awards arrived, like Best Actor, it was around 10:00, so it was lights out for me. It was a school night after all. The morning after, however, I rushed to the computer to see the results. No Country for Old Men had been bestowed the honor of Best Picture. I had never watched that movie (yet, thankfully) so I simply shrugged. Sorry Juno. No Country was not the only unfamiliar movie of that year, I hadn't seen, or even heard of. There Will Be Blood (Best Actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis) and Atonement (Best Picture nominee) to name a few! Then again, I was a little girl who hadn't crossed the border of PG-13 just yet. That Oscar ceremony marked my birth into the life of movies, officially. The introduction to true cinema was bittersweet, though.

After hearing all the buzz on No Country for Old Men, I decided to have my dad rent it, so we can enjoy the best movie of 2007. Instead, we watched, and fell asleep to, one of the most boring films of the decade. The first thirty minutes of the movie had Josh Brolin taking a bag full of money, and hiding it; the rest of the movie showed him searching for it, while a stern sheriff (every one's favorite robot, Tommy Lee Jones) and in the presence of a sadistic serial killer (Javier Bardem, in an Oscar winning performance). Boring as hell. Although, Bardem was excellent in the portrayal of a twisted killer, which was a heavily deserved Oscar. (Better than the other competition for Supporting Actor.) But I digress.

That horrible experience, and waste of two hours of my life, made me think "Did I watch the wrong award ceremony? Was it really the 'Worst Picture of the Year'?" And no, I was tuned in to the right program. The anti-Oscars are called the Raspberry Awards, or "Razzies". (You all know my detest for them already.) But their decision of the Worst Picture is understandable. Their amateurs. The first ceremony was held in some one's basement for crying out loud! (Yes, I use that phrase. Don't hate.) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, however, is a professional organization! You can tell by it's long title! So, I just expected a bit more pizazz from it. Too much to ask? I think not.

Moving on, I started watching the Best Pictures of the previous years, like The Departed, Crash, and Chicago (to start). And they were are exemplary films, deserving the honor they received! So, I didn't understand how the Academy went from esteeming those great movies to No Country. Then, the 2008 ceremony arrived.

At that time, I was twelve, so I stayed up as late as I could. (Partially because I was home alone, too.) Prior to the event, I watched most of the nominees that year, including Milk, The Reader, Frost/Nixon, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Now, I didn't watch Slumdog Millionaire all the way through, because it was just too fucking boring. Much like No Country actually. And guess who won? The movie that put me to sleep. Again. How coincidental that two boring movies win two years in a row! I was so pissed at their decision that I shut off my TV and threw the remote down the stairs. (Oh yes, my angry side.) I couldn't even fall asleep, furious at their verdict. I was fine, even pleased, with the other winners, like Sean Penn and especially Kate Winslet. I was thrilled, yet not surprised, that she won for her performance in The Reader as former German concentration camp guard Hanna Schmitz. She was long due for that Oscar, and she should have gotten it for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, her best acting, in my opinion. The Reader was okay, but nothing special. The Academy, honestly, just honored her as if to say "Oh let's just give her the damn thing already." I'm so crushed at that truth, for Kate is such a wonderful actress! Much better than her competitor (that year for Sunshine) Hilary Swank, who won that year for Million Dollar Baby. 'Tis be the truth. Anyway, another disappointing year for the Best Picture honor, tainted with unappealing movies.

Once again, I went back to watch more Oscar pictures, and they were all fantastic! The 1990s, especially, had the best pictures of the year, perhaps ever. American Beauty topped my chart of best movies of all time, being a movie of elegance and a pure delicacy. Kevin Spacey's best performance, most definitely in the list of all-time, as well. Forrest Gump, Titanic (cliche, I know), and Shakespeare in Love to name a few. I also added Best Picture nominees to my movie diet: Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, L.A. Confidential, As Good As It Gets, Jerry Maguire, Scent of a Woman, and Bugsy were some of the best, of the 1990s alone! As I grew more mature, understanding the nature of life and what not, I began curious, once more, of why two such tedious movies were deemed Best Picture. Then, one nominee of 2005 provided me with the reason.

Since I was such a Heath Ledger fan from 10 Things I Hate About You and Knight's Tale, I wanted to watch a little film called Brokeback Mountain. My daddy, graciously, warned me otherwise. He told me, "If you watch this movie, you will cover your face with a pillow all night". With thoughts of what-could-possibly-go-wrong, I started watching it alone. Starting slowly, apparently leading nowhere, I continued just a bit more, maybe there will be a "bang". And a bang there was. With the two leading men, in a tent, in the mountains. My reaction was that of watching "Two Girls, One Cup". Okay, close to it anyway. It was just such a shock! Out of nowhere, these two cowboys start making out! I shut it off right away, regretting every second of it. If you haven't figured this out already, I'm a tad homophobic and don't particularly care for the image of two guys sharing spit. It's just skeevy: my word for "never want to witness, ever".

Okay, back to my realization. I noticed a suspicious increase of movies that pleased certain organizations/groups during the mid-2000s, like Brokeback Mountain. And Slumdog Millionaire fits that category as well, since it was about an unfortunate Indian being discriminated out of his well-earned money because of his race. Now, this was just a theory of mine: the Academy seems to be honoring movies all based on politics, not the overall quality of the movie. My only proof was a movie centered around a gay romance and a movie about mistreatment towards Indians. But, my theory was successfully proven fact (in my eyes) at the ceremony of the most recent ceremony.

With ten nominees for Best Picture, reviving the Golden-era's tradition back in the 1930s, I'd expect a fair winner at last year's 82nd Academy Awards. Movies of excellent quality that year were Inglourious Basterds, The Blind Side, and Up in the Air, while others were decent like An Education. Although I enjoyed Up immensely, and I am happy it won Best Animated Feature, I don't believe it should have been nominated for Best Picture. That's why the Academy created the Best Animated category, specifically for great achievements in cartoons. So, they should be confined in that category only. Don't migrate to the other, official side! And A Serious Man, from the makers of No Country for Old Man, was just flat-out weird and totally pointless. Definitely did not need a nomination. District 9 was awesome and insane, but absolutely not Oscar material whatsoever. The rest of the nominations were justified, I suppose, though I was only a hardcore fan of one. Inglourious Basterds.

The film was without a doubt Quentin Tarantino's best, and such a tastefully made film, from cinematography to acting. Oh, the acting! This movie marked the debut of an Austrian actor into American cinema. His name is Chritoph Waltz, and he is one of the most superb actors of this millennium. He played Colonel Hans Landa, known as "The Jew Hunter", which his character gleefully ravished; he was so skillfully cunning and so gracefully sadistic. When he spoke, his words entranced me in such a profound way, I was hooked on his every movement. Waltz's performance was the absolute best of that year, no question, and even the best of all time. And to be immigrating abroad, this being his first American-speaking movie (besides his character speaking German and French) and he played it marvelously. The amazing director of the film, Quentin Tarantino, had much to do with Christoph's acting and overall appearance in the movie. Thanks to him, we now have an extraordinary actor to be featured in many future films.

Based on its major success, ranking number one in the all-time box office worldwide, I predicted James Cameron's massively pricey sci-fi Avatar to win. Therefore, I wasn't expecting such a huge shock that had my mouth agape. At the end of the night, the winner was...The Hurt Locker. The second-lowest grossing nominee, behind A Serious Man. The movie directed by Cameron's ex-wife. The movie about the war in Iraq. Now, tell me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this qualify as a political movie? Doesn't this count as more proof towards my unofficial theory? Well, I don't care what you think, so suck it? But, yes, I was immensely shocked at the verdict. And Kathryn Bigelow's acceptance speech, with her clutching her breast area and hyperventilating, was just annoying. That, though, did not irritate me, even if it lost to Tarantino's masterpiece. What really pissed me off was that Inglourious Basterds lost its more-than-well-deserved Best Original Screenplay award to The Hurt Locker. Its called Best Original Screenplay for a reason! How many movies are there about the war in Iraq? Or movies about wars in the Middle East in general? Too many to handle. Quentin's Basterds was beyond original, all his movies are! Of course, there are many adaptations on World War II, but not one where there is a new twist to the death of all major Nazi leaders! Just plain aggravating to me, all the unfairness.

Now, back to where we started: this year's Oscar contenders. The Golden Globe nominations. This awards ceremony never gets me infuriated, to be honest, so that's why I respect its choices more. And it separates the Best Picture into two categories: Drama and Musical/Comedy. This way, we appreciate the fantastic hilarities of the year. Last year's Best Comedy went to The Hangover, which literally had me jumping for joy. (I expected it to get a Best Original Screenplay nod, but I guess it's too obscene for the fancy, pretentious Oscars.) Plus, the previous host was the witty, wonderful Ricky Gervais. I absolutely adore that man, and how over-the-edge he gets with everything. My role-model. And he's hosting this year's Golden Globes, too! Anyway, this year the nominees, and major Oscar contenders, are: The Fighter, Black Swan, The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, and Inception. Like I said before, I'm totally fine with all these choices, which is really surprising! And I'm sure you would agree, considering my particularities with movies. However, like last year, there will be ten nominations for Best Picture, which means four more movies need to make the cut.

Based on public demand and critics' choices, I'd have to say True Grit, 127 Hours, The Town, and Toy Story 3 will get the remaining nods. Those are my predictions anyway. And I know how much the Academy loves nominating animations for the huge award, just to irritate people like me. Any movie with Jeff Bridges is a favorite of the Academy, as well. Personally, I despise the drunken-like actor, who is often used in the Coen brothers' productions. They made True Grit, actually, as well as A Serious Man and No Country for Old Men. I guess you could say I dislike them altogether. 127 Hours will definitely be nominated because 1) it's based on a true story and 2) it is directed by Slumdog's Danny Boyle.

The Town is just a guess, considering Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) is starring, and a front-runner for Supporting Actor. Fortunately, he most likely will not get it. I say fortunately because I still resent him for being a part of the government-endorsed Best Picture of last year, beating Inglourious Basterds. Christian Bale is the front front-runner for his supposedly (I haven't seen it yet) marvelous performance in The Fighter. Geoffrey Rush is another Oscar hopeful for his portrayal in The King's Speech. Newcomer Andrew Garfield is a major possibility, as well, though he probably won't receive the honor based on the fact that he's brand-new. However, Christian Bale seems to be the one to win because he had never gotten honored by the Academy before and he just needs to have that on his record. "Oscar Winner Christian Bale" appearing in future trailers with him, stuff like that. As I said, I don't mind him winning because I adore him altogether. Michael Douglas's nomination for the sequel to Wall Street is just a fluke, but I'm surprised he was honored as "supporting". (Just want to say that I hope he beats his cancer because I don't think I could handle yet another fine actor leaving us.)

Moving on. I have absolutely nothing to say about the Supporting Actress nominations. Only that I hope Helena Bonham Carter wins because I am Team King's Speech all the way! Best Actress contenders would have to be Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) and Natalie Portman (Black Swan) so far. There is are also more hopefuls like Nicole Kidman (Rabbit's Hole), Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), and an unknown Jennifer Lawrence. Which brings us to our next topic.

Critics are raving about some movie I never heard of called Winter's Bone, which might be the only thing that's pissing me off this year. The Academy just has to nominate a movie people have never heard of, right? Crazy Heart. Slumdog Millionaire. Those movies are known now because they won, but I still consider them "unknown flops". Jeff Bridges's biopic only made a mere $14.5 million prior to its Oscars! Anyway, I desperately hope Winter's Bone does not win anything. I'm a sadistic person, yes. Can you blame me for wanting an indie to lose? I'm sure you will.

For Best Actor, we have an outstanding Colin Firth for The King's Speech, which is the front front-runner this year, I believe. And the man I'd like to win the most, thank you very much. Others include Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network, James Franco for 127 Hours, Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter, and who can forget Jeff Bridges for True Grit. Fucking fantastic. As much as I despise Danny Boyle, I love James Franco and what he's doing with his life. He's like this year's Renaissance man: going to various colleges, starring in soap operas and more movies, and being extremely attractive, of course. Jesse Eisenberg was great in The Social Network. I always love a fast-talking cynic. (Robert Downey Jr., to name one.) A massive snub was given to Leonardo DiCaprio this year. Twice! Once for his mentally sick turn in Shutter Island. Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. What, the Academy had enough of the prolific director? And another snub for mega-blockbuster Inception, where he played wonderfully in dreams within dreams within dreams. Another reason for me to hate the Academy! They have never honored the extraordinary actor! He can literally play any role anyone throws at him. Oh, that's right. The Academy only honors movies that stir social conflicts and include a drunk/mentally challenged/gay/insane/transsexual/anything-to-do-with-politics plot/actor(s). My bad.

Now, to wrap up this super-ultra-mega post, I just have to say that the Academy really decayed over the years. From awarding delicacies like The Apartment and Gone With the Wind and American Beauty to even mentioning movies like (exploited deleted). It's simply tragic. I bet past filmmakers, such as Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock, are rolling in their graves. (God, I miss them.) This year, the year of 2011, is the last straw. If I even cringe at an announced Oscar winner, I'm shutting the entire thing off, out of my life for good. I cannot take anymore undeserving winners, I just can't. From that point on, I'll have my own award ceremonies, right here on this very blog. If the event turns out to be immensely disappointing, be ready to greet my own award ceremony. For now, I'll call it "The Untitled Honors". Get it? My blog is called "Untitled Criticism", so the awards are called "The Untitled Honors". I amuse myself sometimes.

Anyway, that's my story on my experience with the Academy Awards. To be continued, of course. I'm sure i offended some people, and for that I apologize. Don't like my opinions, find another blog to follow. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! And most importantly, Happy Festivus! And to all a good night!

*Apologies to any of those who are offended. That includes homosexuals, mentally unstable folk, and all ethnic groups. To all those who love the movies I trashed, I have no sorry for. My opinion and I'm not apologizing for it. Happy Holidays.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy A

Last night, I watched Easy A, a teen comedy about a rumor that deemed a then-social nobody a slutty tramp, because it looks like a movie I'd be entertained by, since I am a teen myself. And entertained I was. It was surprisingly excellent and full of actors I absolutely love (except Emma Stone). Regardless what I think of her, and how unconvincing she is for the role, she played it very well and even made me laugh at times! And she can look whoreish if she needs to.

Easy A starts out with Olive Penderghast (played by Emma Stone) filling the audience in on who she is and what her live Internet broadcast will be about. She explains that she is invisible to everyone and how guys wouldn't notice her if she was a ten-foot skyscraper. (Shocker.) Her best friend, Rhiannon (played by Aly Michalka), is her polar opposite (that's how it is for most movies anyway), being a wannabe tramp and incredibly easy. One tiny fib placed her life in a downward spiral. To get out of hanging out with her friend, she said she had a date with some college guy who didn't exist. When her "Pocket Full of Sunshine" weekend was over, Rhiannon pressured her into confessing to having sex with her imaginary date. Coincidentally, the most Christian, prissy girl in school, Marianne (played by Amanda Bynes), overheard her false confession and spread it among the school.

Now everyone knew Olive, who seemed to relish the infamous reputation she received, all because she was finally noticed. With this popularity came a price. One out-of-the-closet guy, who needed an alpha-male status to avoid constant beatings, requests one night of fake passion from her. She accepted, for, with her pure soul, she wanted to help his high school existence. This only raised her notoriety, which brought more desperate guys and an enraged group of Christians. They protested against her and vowed to have her ridden from the school. Olive chose to fight fire with fire and decorated her wardrobe with a single letter A, symbolizing what Hester Prynne, who committed adultery, did in The Scarlet Letter. This begins to concern many students and teachers alike, including Mr. and Mrs. Griffith (played by Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow), a married couple who are also fellow teachers in the school. Soon after, we discover that Micah, Marianne's equally religious boyfriend, is diagnosed with chlamydia (and we all know what that means! Mr. Hypocrite had sex before marriage!). But the real shocker is that Mrs. Griffith gave it to him, which means that they are sexually involved, and she's a cheater and could get fired for sleeping with a student. Even if he's a 22-year-old senior. (Reason for his repetitive failures is that He didn't give him the right answers to graduate.) But, of course, he couldn't say that a teacher gave him this disgusting infection. Instead, he put the blame on floozy Olive, who can't even get one true date without getting gift cards for the naughty deed.

Of course, there is hope for our dear, innocent Olive, and his name is Woodchuck Todd, the incredibly cute mascot. Together, they erase all the nasty rumors with a live broadcast explaining everything, which is where our movie began and ends. The ending is extremely romantic, where it combines three 1980-movie endings (Todd outside Olive's window, holding iPod speakers up playing "Don't You (Forget about Me)", and riding with her with fists in the air.

Easy A was surprisingly great for a teen flick, and I recommend it to people of all ages. It isn't as inappropriate as the title suggests, just enough for teenagers today to enjoy. Emma Stone was actually more than decent here, and proved to be perfect for the role, and her bitter wit was to die for. Amanda Bynes, as always, was wonderful in a role that wouldn't necessarily fit her, for she usually plays the care-free, friendly girl. And I desperately hope she isn't serious about retiring from acting because she is truly marvelous, and one of the few actresses who is not addicted to drugs or drama. Another major plus of the movie were the parents of Olive (played by Stanely Tucci and Patricia Clarkson), who were the dream parents of most teenagers, being insanely easygoing, "open" authorities. (See for yourself, they're pretty unusual.) It was pleasant to see Thomas Haden Church in this flick, for he is not often used and very under looked as an actor. Penn Badgely (Gossip Girl), who played Woodchuck Todd, was also a definite bonus, being naturally charming and very attractive.
I highly urge moviegoers to add Easy A to their list because it is delightfully original and full of humor. I give it a 74/100, because clearly the "A" stands for awesome.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Star Wars Mega-Blog: Coming Soon!

Yes! You read the title right! In a few days/weeks, I'll be writing a mega-blog on the most famous saga ever to grace the screen. From start to finish, prequels and all! With prequels, it would take a tad longer, but either way, it will be written. I apologize for writing absolutely nothing for a month! All those movies I promised won't be receiving my criticism...not yet anyway, for who knows if I'll re-watch some of them. I'm thrilled to say that horrid illness has left the building! And it was never there, actually; just strep throat. Never trust "specialists", stick to your regular physician! Anyway, for this ultra-special mega-blog, I won't be releasing them in parts; they will all appear at once in one huge extravaganza! (I really think highly of my work, don't I?)
So long for now!

P.S. I'll be starting high school soon, so my blogging won't be as often. You'll only expect my usual weekly reviews, which will arrive on weekends. Wish me luck in all my endeavors! :D

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

7/10-7/20

Weekly Review

Batman - 54/100 - "I am somewhat of an avid Batman fan, compared to all the other mediocre superheroes. When this particular installment caught my eye, I just had to watch it, for the costumes were hilarious and very comic-based. The movie itself is rather foolish and something a child would believe. Most of the villains, the big kahunas at least, are included; The Joker and his awful make-up under his awful mustache, Catwoman and her constant purring, The Penguin and his chubbiness and beaked nose, and the silly Riddler and his stupid "riddles". For families, I think this would be an excellent choice and a blast from the past. For adults, enter with caution, for you will laugh until you cry." (IMDb rates it 63/100)

Payback - 78/100 - "One of Mel Gibson's best movies, Payback is a marvelous piece of cinema, from plot to camera shots. The storyline is engrossing, causing you to be hypnotized by what will happen next. Also, the movie is incredibly stylish, from the way the camera graces the scene to the darkish blue color of the movie, making it look slightly black-and-white. Mel Gibson provides an unforgettable performance, captivating and believable. The scenes where he is severely injured, especially the hammer scene, make the auidience cringe with suffering, from the pain and for mel Gibson's character. All this hurt just so Gibson will get his tiny, well-earned portion of seventy grand. Perhaps the best revenge movie there is. (IMDb rates it 69/100)

You Don't Mess with the Zohan! - 67/100 - "In my opinion, one of the most hilarious comedies of that summer, and possibly of Adam Sandler's career, Zohan is terrific. From one scene to another, this movie is nonstop laughter! Whether it's making fun of Arab/Israeli culture or simple physical humor, you won't be able to stand. For example, Rob Schneider (one of Adam Sandler's go-to guys) plays Salim, an Arab cab driver who hates Zohan, is a source of huge hilarity, with his angry, short outbursts! There are countless examples on why this movie is super hilarious. Find them out for yourself, you won't regret it." (IMDb rates it 57/100)

The Illusionist - 60/100 - "The first time I watched this movie, I was stunned and fascinated by the movie's "magic" and thrill, up to the ending. Truly excellent, I thought. However, after watching it a second time, I was rather disappointed, for I thought my first judgement would persist. At first, the movie showed such shock and surprise, from what I remember. Another go at it, and I found the plot to be simple and sort of predictable almost. I recommend only one watch for this, for from what started as admiration for the film turned to plain decency." (IMDb rates it 77/100)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - 73/100 - "A delightfully wondrous movie about an amazing chocolate factory and having a virtuous heart describes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One of Tim Burton's most odd films (meaning it's weird that he make a movie meant more for children), this one is most superb and most colorful. His go-to guy Johnny Depp provides a fantastic performance as the zany, eccentric chocolatier, which is expected. This is a marvelous choice for "family-movie-night", if you have such a thing, and a truly scrumdiddlyumptious movie for all to cherish." (IMDb rates it 71/100)

The Muse - 53/100 - "This movie is awfully simple and, at times, plain awful. The plot involves an inspiration for screenwriters, and she's played by the great Sharon Stone. She is the only thing I like about this movie, being completely neurotic and high-maintenance. I love the fact that the movie includes various, famous directors, such as Martin Scorsese who is actually pretty funny, as cameos. Albert Brooks is utterly horrible, making constant jokes about how bad his life is. Andie MacDowell is her 'ol Southern Belle self, and I still despise her for unknown reasons. It's a one time watch, take my word for it." (IMDb rates it 55/100)

Cop Out - 59/100 - "I gave this a decent rating because I still love Kevin Smith movies. This one, however, was unlike is other ones, which was why not a lot of people enjoyed it. I could tell he made this either for the money or to try and adapt to modern genre. Either way, he shouldn't have done it. Cop Out was decent in the humor department, but kind of lacking in the storyline area. Plus, his choice of actors was kind of unexpected and I didn't care for it either, for I'm not a fan of Bruce Willis or Tracey Morgan. I did love Seann William Scott though, and he is worth watching this unsatisfactory movie." (IMDb rates it 58/100)

Dirty Work - 64/100 - "A Saturday Night Live-type comedy, and a movie about revenge in a funny aspect, this movie is a must-see. There's loads of humor, and many of the SNL cast, which makes it that much better. Chris Farley (R.I.P.) is ritiously hilarious and, as usual, incredibly loud and rather dumb. (I miss his humor.) Norm MacDonald is hilarious, being both a cynic and a coward, and starts a business with a goal of providing revenge to people who seek it. However, the overall plot, the reason why he start the business, has been done before numerous times. Either way, it's great. Find out for yourself!" (IMDb rates it 61/100)

Back-Up Plan - 51/100 - "Another 'romantic comedy', which entails its predictability and horridness, about a woman who's artificially inseminated with a baby, then finds love right after. So, what happens is a bunch of messes, some meant to be funny and some that are serious, but made funny by me. Jennifer Lopez, as usual, is the center of attention, and the only pretty lady in the entire production, because we all know she is the only one allowed to look good (my dad pointed that out). She and Stan, to me, don't have good chemistry; it's your typical cougar situation. Anyway, this movie is something I do not recommend, for it is terrible and somewhat nasty in some parts. Please don't find out what it is." (IMDb rates it 44/100)

Clash of the Titans - 62/100 - "A surprisingly adequate movie, Clash of the Titans, which I suppose is a remake of the original 1981 one, is not bad at all. If any of you watched Percy Jackson, the plot is very similar to that one, only made better and for mature adults. Also, I have to praise its visual effects because they are outstanding and look so real; it makes Percy Jackson look like a mild cartoon. Sam Worthington was a reason I didn't care for this movie too much because his last appearance as an actor in Avatar was really awful. Ralph Fiennes was great as Hades, as he always is with villainy, but I would like it if he raised his voice a bit here, for he mutters most of the time. Liam Neeson was a wonderful Zeus, and I loved the relation between him and Fiennes; it was like a Schindler's List flashback. Anyway, this film is really great and I'm sure anyone would enjoy it." (IMDb rates it 60/100)

Friday, July 9, 2010

6/26-7/9

Weekly Review

Houseguest - 49/100 - "As a kid, I remember this movie being much funnier. Now, it's kind of...lackluster. Sinbad gave too much in his performance, and reminded me of a black version of Tom Arnold...not a good thing. Phil Hartman was the best part of the picture, providing some humor for this unfunny piece of a film." (IMDb rates it 56/100)



Oscar - 99/100 - "I've watched this movie over a dozen times, and cannot get enough. Oscar is truly the most entertaining movie I've ever laid eyes on, and has the ability to make you laugh until you your lungs start heaving wildly! A movie full of disasters and wrecks at every corner, Oscar is the most magnificent movies I have watch in my life." (IMDb rates it 57/100)



The First Wives Club - 67/100 - "A very enjoyable flick for anyone, even a family, for today's standards/values are much more PG-13. Nevertheless, this movie is highly recommended, by me, and I have the proof of having watched it three times this past week! The three, prolific actresses are wonderful; Diane Keaton being meekly and vulnerable, Bette Midler being feminist yet humorous, and Goldie Hawn being the beauty and humor, as well." (IMDb rates it 56/100)

The Apartment - 97/100 - "Like the tag line states, there has never been anything so laughable, lovable and enjoyable to watch! The Apartment is truly a timeless picture that deserved its esteemed recognition. Jack Lemmon is outstanding, as usual, and is a funny adorable character. Shirley MacLaine is marvelous, and certainly deserves Lemmon's kindness and adoration. Perhaps Billy Wilder's best film, The Apartment is a must-see!" (IMDb rates it 84/100; #96 in the Top 250)

Twins - 73/100 - "Your average 1980s movie, but has extra merriment and certainly much more humor. From the overall plot, this movie has a no-lose situation! Arnold Schwarzenegger is hilarious as a strapping naive foreigner who finds his 'twin', an equally funny Danny DeVito, who is stocky and selfish. Right there, the humor is guaranteed and definitely provided." (IMDb rates it 59/100)



Wild Wild West - 78/100 - "This is one of the most under appreciated, maybe despised, movie of all time. In my eyes, however, it is one of the most excellent comedies ever devised. Again, my unconventional taste of movies operates, for Wild Wild West was the Razzie king in 1999. Nonetheless, I love this movie and wish to praise it, as it is deserved to. Kevin Kline is brilliant in this movie, as always, and was very very funny. Salma Hayek was decent in her performance and certainly doesn't deserve the awful criticism she got. I highly recommend you watch it, and ignore those nasty critics, for this movie is fantastic." (IMDb rates it 43/100)

Bird on a Wire - 71/100 - "Another average 80s action, plot-wise, but otherwise it's pretty darn good! The action seem real, more real than other 1980-era action garbage. Mel Gibson is terrific, as usual, and very charming and hilarious. Goldie Hawn is a lovely damsel-in-action, and a perfect counterpart for Gibson; they are both in sync and come off each other's jokes. Sure, this movie is highly predictable, but I'd give it a go because it's supposedly a 1980s classic and it's adequately action-packed." (IMDb rates it 54/100)

Bandidas - 77/100 - "You probably never heard of this one, but it is super nevertheless! An above-average western movie, Bandidas is immensely enjoyable and full of laughter. Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are wonderful together, and fit perfectly as an on-screen duo. Plus, they're both equally beautiful, appearance-wise. Steve Zahn is a hilarious addition, being the woman's hostage as well as a detective, which contradicts their position as bank robbers. This movie was highly entertaining and should be more known and not harmed by the critics, like Wild Wild West." (IMDb rates it 56/100)

Maverick - 84/100 - "This film is most certainly the best western-type I've ever watched, and one of the best films period. I absolutely loved this picture, and the plot having to do with constant revenge, gambling, and poker. Mel Gibson, again, is excellent, humor-wise and performance-wise, and is a true charismatic actor. Jodie Foster was lovely here, with her composed demureness, and funny yet embarrassing faults. Here, she looked the most appealing I've ever seen her. The most entertaining western I've seen, Maverick is a definite must-see." (IMDb rates it 68/100)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - 68/100 - "A film I've anticipated to watch for the duration of its production, this movie was kind of a...disappointment. From the trailer, I was hoping for the movie to be a bit more complicated, therefore required to watch more than once to understand. However, I was shot down, for it was incredibly simple and easy to comprehend. Also, the actors I awaited to see, Johnny Depp mainly, were only in the film for less than ten minutes! Plus, Heath Ledger's presence in the movie was a little uncomfortable, for his last performance as the Joker was terrible (that's right). Either way, the movie's art direction and scenery was gloriously extraordinary, deserving its unattained Oscar for that category." (IMDb rates it 72/100)

Domestic Disturbance - 46/100 - "This movie was one of the best times I had making fun of it! Yeah, it was kind of the opposite of its purpose, which was to frighten, so I decided to mock it harshly instead. Copied off of by The Stepfather's plot, this movie is about a stepfather 'who isn't who he says he is', which is so predictable, I didn't care paying full attention to. What I do know is that John Travolta was awfully horrible, acting-wise, for his character came off as frazzled, weak and especially corny. In fact, he acted like a stepfather to the son! His Razzie nomination was certainly well-deserved (for a change). Vince Vaughn, who is typically a hilarious-type of actor, was kind of convincing as a killer and was the most decent part of the movie. It's a one-time make-fun-of movie though, so it's a no-win movie. Truly awful." (IMDb rates it 53/100)

Panic Room - 60/100 - "In order to watch this movie, I had to literally be tied down, for I am reluctant when it comes to (apparent-)thriller flicks. Fortunately, it was not terrifying whatsoever, and was another unintentionally funny movie. The plot was solid though, I'll give David Fincher that, but otherwise, the movie was literally endless. One minute, it seems the criminals will give up, the next they attempt to gas the captives out of the room. Anyway, Jodie Foster was decent here, and I can see why she went into the thriller-movie business because she provides a tense performance. The criminals were a huge joke, for they had no idea what they were doing and did stuff on impulse, no plan at all. Forest Whitaker was the most calm guy there and he knew what he was doing, as well as had common sense. Raoul was the biggest joke of all, being a bus driver who came to this gig with a gun and bullet-proof vest. It's a simple house-theft, for God's sake! This movie wasn't too bad, and I'm glad I finally watched it (that's for you Daddy!)" (IMDb rates it 69/100)

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Indiana Jones Trilogy - 67/100 - "One of the most prolific trilogies of all time, Indiana Jones is a must-see for audiences of all ages and genders! Watch as Indiana explores unknown lands in search for precious treasures! Awe at the beauty of his women and the romance they share! Be amazed at Indiana's fighting abilities and root for him in all of his endeavors! America's most cherished adventure saga, ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes upon the escapades of Indiana Jones! (IMDb rates them 1) 87/100; #20 on the Top 250, 2) 75/100, and 3) 83/100; #101 on the Top 250)


Ocean's Trilogy - 72/100 - "One of the best heist movies ever, the Oceans' movies are remarkable. All the characters, mainly the two leaders, are all suave, confident, and sly. They have to be in order to rob three major casinos! And each year, they get better at what they do, having an addition of one. Also, the movies' all-star casts are a major appeal. George Clooney is super-suave and handsome, and the mastermind behind all the group's exploits. Brad Pitt is even more charming and sexy, being the group's sort-of guide or wisdom-provider. Plus the two are incredibly witty! These movies are majorly popular and majorly entertaining, a must-see for all movie goers."
(I rate them 1) 77/100, 2) 71/100, and 3) 68/100)
(IMDb rates them 1) 76/100, 2) 60/100, and 3) 69/100)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oscar


All right, I've watched Oscar so many times that I lost count, but it's somewhere around...a thousand. I absolutely adore this movie, I can watch again and again (obviously) and never get tired of it! The plot? Excellent and immensely hilarious. The acting? Wonderful and enjoyably funny. Everything down to make-up department, this movie is magnificent. Now, here we are again, with the Razzies' tremendous stupidity. Why give such an incredible film recognition for worst anything? Are they that insecure as to give Sylvester Stallone, an esteemed actor, and Marisa Tomei, an esteemed actress, Razzies for their acting? Is this some demented way of getting back at them for their success? Whatever it may be, I say fuck the Razzies, for this movie is genius.

Oscar begins with Angelo "Snaps" Provolone (played by Sylvester Stallone) arriving at his father's death bed. As a last request, his father makes Snaps promise to quit his gangster ways, and become an honest businessman (or banker, in this scenario). Months later, the day dawns upon Snaps where he may become a banker, for several bankers will be coming at noon. Everything must go perfectly, and will...until the doorbell rings.

Snaps's right-hand man, now the house's butler, Aldo, answers the door. Standing there is Snaps's accountant, Anthony Rossano, who is asking to see Snaps on a matter of life and death. After he awakens, from a startling wake-up call, he and Anthony have the discussion on the atrium (as Snaps recites from his word-a-day booklet). The cause of Anthony's arrival was to ask for a raise to make $1,400 a month, and back in the 30s it was pretty steep. Then, he says he wants the raise to support his girlfriend, who he will propose to for marriage. Snaps reluctantly agrees, telling Little Anthony to go propose...and that's when Anthony asks Snaps for his daughter's hand in matrimony. Of course, responding in his fatherly position, he tries and strangles Anthony, out of rage. That is when Anthony reassures that he has some money of his own, almost fifty grand...only he stole it from Snaps. What a lovely awakening!

After all that commotion, Snaps goes upstairs to confront his daughter, Lisa (played by Marisa Tomei), who is somewhat of a spoiled brat. His daughter confirms all his questions, about Anthony, only he didn't specifically specify his name. Either way, Lisa does have a boyfriend, who she hopes will propose to her, so she can get out of that house. Snaps denies her dreams, and rushes downstairs to meet up with the Finuccis, his tailors. Throughout the movie, he will be interrupted during his fitting, which is very funny. Meanwhile, the house's maid, Nora, suggests for Lisa to pretend she is pregnant, so she can be allowed to marry her boyfriend and get out of that house. The plan works well, and Snaps gives his consent for her to marry.

Ding Dong. At the door is a woman named Theresa, asking to see Mr. Provolone (who else?). She confesses to him that she was pretending to be his daughter, in order for Anthony to like her. So, she is the one Anthony wants to marry, not Lisa. But then who's the father of his actual daughter's baby? Either way, Snaps is thrilled his accountant isn't marrying Lisa. Next, Snaps's wife, Sofia, arrives, demanding him to rehire their old chauffeur, Oscar. Snaps says she's got more things to worry about, and tells her about Lisa's situation. The three are in Lisa's bedroom, and Lisa is fake-bawling to her mom, saying the whole problem is her father's fault because he "suffocated her" in this tiny room. Lisa, now, tells them who the (fake-)father is...Oscar. The chauffeur! The search for Oscar is now on! When they find out he left the country, Snaps decides to make Anthony marry his daughter (since he and Theresa had an argument), therefore returning the money he stole from him.

Ding Dong. At the door is Snaps's elocution teacher, Dr. Poole (played by Tim Curry). In order to become a banker, Snaps must pronounce words properly and overall enunciate his sentences. While Snaps tries to finish his fitting, Anthony devises a plan to get out of this arranged marriage. He convinces Lisa that Dr. Poole is in love with her, which she believes, therefore falling in love with him. She goes to tell him the news, and Snaps says it's all right, as long as she won't change her mind, for this is her third husband today! Snaps persuades Dr. Poole to be his daughter's beloved, and the doctor seems to be ecstatic about it after he's met Lisa.

Ding Dong. At the door is the potential new maid (since the other one quit to marry someone), and Snaps quickly discovers that this maid is his ex-girlfriend, who abruptly left him with no explanation, until now, of course. She admits to him that she was pregnant, with his baby, and she's a grown woman now, engaged to an accountant...who makes $1,400 a month. Anthony Rossano is his name, and Theresa is the new maid's daughter...who is also Snaps's daughter. So, she is his daughter!

All the mess that started this morning is all wrapped up, and now Snaps must meet with the bankers. The bankers' true idea was to simply allow Snaps in, taking his money, but not letting him experience being an actual banker. Suddenly, the police barge in, and assuming that Snaps hasn't gone straight yet, try to bust him, but instead end up embarrassed, since the money in that "little black bag" is full of underwear, not money (I'll explain). Luckily, the lieutenant crashes into the real gangsters, the O'Banya gang, and bust them.

Now, it's time for the weddings! Anthony and Theresa get married, Lisa and Dr. Poole get married. Suddenly, a man bursts in, interrupting the ceremony. The priest: Who are you? The man: I'm Oscar. He doesn't matter anymore, so out with him, expeditiously! All happy endings!

Okay, so who wouldn't love this movie? It has you action, it has you romance, and it most certainly has your uproarious comedy! Everything in this movie is ideal. Sylvester Stallone portrays the gangster Snaps Provolone terrifically, responding to all inconvenient events wonderfully, and believably! Marisa Tomei's performance was great, for she acted very well as the spoiled brat. All her lines about escaping the house were truly acceptable, as well as her floozy-ness. So, Razzies, piss off! They were fantastic!

Back to the little black bag. It all starts when Anthony brings Snaps his money, only in the form of jewels, for they were meant for Theresa. Then, Anthony admits he stole another fifty grand from him and gives it back to him, in the form of cash. Then, Nora, the maid who was leaving to go live with her fiance, has her suitcase, identical to the two other bags, full of her underwear. This bag gets switched around a lot, thanks to the maid. First, she mixes them up right before her departure. Then, she comes back to switch them. Then, a guy from her new residence comes by to switch them, since Snaps already called requesting for a switch. Then, Nora comes back and switches them, one last time.

Also, I wanted to provide some of the hilarious scenes, if you still aren't convinced this movie is outstanding. One, where Snaps disarms one of his men, Connie, who has a numerous supply of weapons on his person! Some are a medieval mace, poison, dynamite, a pipe, a slingshot, and more. Two, Snaps lies to Anthony, telling him that the Finuccis are gangsters, willing to kill Anthony if he doesn't return the money. The two tailors encounter frightened Anthony and they have a "two-way" conversation. The tailors rave about their thriving business. Anthony thinks they're talking about the business of hit men. Three, the entire movie!

I give this glorious masterpiece a 99/100. This movie is amazingly brilliant, and, like I said, I can watch it over and over again without growing exhausted. No flaws, whatsoever. An absolutely, positively wonderful work of cinema. Genius.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indiana Jones

I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark two nights ago to a) finally watch the prolific saga and b) because I was in the mood for a long series of movies [that form in a row]. I know it's awful to dis a movie that is so famous, but I'm afraid I must. The entire movie is so unbelievably corny and fake, I was falling over from laughter! So, I did enjoy the movie, even if I was criticizing it at the time.

Raiders of the Lost Ark starts with our hero Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones (played by the Harrison Ford) exploring a jungle in South America in the year 1936, with his companion Satipo. They enter a cave in search for treasure, and they do find it: a statue. Indy sneakily replaces it with a bag of sand because it is the equivalent weight of a gold statue. But, alas! The "boobie trap" is triggered anyway, and Satipo attempts to escape without his leader! The nerve of Satipo! Luckily, the traitor is killed, and Indy safely exits the cave...until he encounters Dr. Rene Belloq, an evil archaeologist and longtime enemy of Indiana. He steals the statue from his clutches! Indy, having had enough of being bamboozled, flees the jungle with the help of Jock and his seaplane.

He is now back to civilization and is offered another mission by his fellow colleague Dr. Marcus Brody. Indiana leaves, again, to Nepal, in search of Marion Ravenwood, who possesses a trinket that activates the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark holds some mystical power that the Nazis are in pursuit of, so Indy just has to stop those fiends from harming the world! Indy arrives at the bar Marion owns, and they have a little tiff, since they used to go out and it ended badly. They're interrupted by Toht and his "boys", who are some of the Nazis in pursuit of the Ark-thingy Marion has. Now, the first fight takes place! Pow, pow, pow! The bar burns down, so Marion has no other choice but to accompany Indy as his partner on their quest for the Ark.

They go to Egypt, the Ark's location, and meet up with Indy's old buddy Sallah, who happens to be "the best digger in Egypt" (had to make a note of that!). Then, when Indy and Marion are shopping at the Bazaar, they are encountered by Arabs with swords! Pow, pow, pow! They've now kidnapped Marion, because of that stupid monkey who can communicate with people.

Now, Indy and Sallah reach a point where they locate the Ark! They must, however, dig for several hours. But, since Sallah is the "best digger in Egypt", he has hookups with some other adequate diggers, and they all dig. When they're done, Indy is (practically) pushed into the chamber...where there are snakes...lots of snakes. Unfortunately, our hero is terrified by the sight of snakes, but that doesn't stop him from his mission. Together, he and Sallah explore the chamber and find what their looking for: an enormous coffin-shaped thing, known as the Ark. As they tread back to the surface, the Nazis have discovered them, along with Belloq! Since she didn't cooperate with his "seductive drinking game", he throws Marion in with Indy, and traps them in the chamber!

After the couple reunites, they salvage for a way out of there, to stop the villainous Nazis from using/entering (I still don't get the use of it) the Ark. Luckily, there were some stairs they didn't see before, so they escape easily. After a never-ending car chase, everyone is all together in yet another chamber to test the magical powers of the Ark. As the clueless Nazis figure out how to use the Ark (I'm with them on that impossible quest!), Indy already knows what to do; when they activate the Ark, Indy and Marion will shut their eyes to avoid instant death.

When all this is over, Indiana is back at the museum, discussing the Ark's mysterious disappearance. Then, Indy and Marion appear to be in passionate love (but that will change in the next Indiana Jones adventure!) and they live happily ever after (until Temple of Doom emerges!).

Overall, this Indiana Jones was not that bad; the story was all right, the acting was decent for its time (the 80s were a corny time), and the directing was beyond excellent. Harrison Ford didn't really act much, just read his macho lines and did his macho stunts. Marion was just you're average damsel-in-distress, and wasn't even that attractive AT ALL. Actually, nobody really acted, just read their lines. The plot was amazing (for its time) and I just love adventure movies, no matter what year! I give this adventure a 69/100. This one may be corny at times and is a little silly, it is nothing compared to the next one, Temple of Doom. Be scared, be very scared.

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The next Indiana Jones movie is Temple of Doom, and is considered the least best of the famous trilogy, for the others have higher ratings and have a spot on IMDb's Top 250. I agree with these "statistics", immensely. I know that it is wicked of me to offend this movie because, even if it isn't the best of the saga, it is still an Indiana Jones picture. Well, that doesn't stop me from doing it anyway.

Temple of Doom starts in a bar called Club Obi Wan (love George Lucas's Star Wars connection) in Shanghai, China in 1935. Indiana Jones is there with Lao Che, a crime boss, and they are discussing something about remains from an emperor of the Ming Dynasty. (It isn't relevant to the overall story, but whatever.) As I awaken from my almost-nap, Lao and his "boys" are laughing and they confess that they've poisoned Indy! Evidently, our first battle (with guns!) takes place. Bang, bang, bang! Indy and the club singer, Willie Scott, escape the treacherous bar, thanks to the help of Indy's (excruciatingly annoying) "sidekick", Short Round. They climb aboard on a plane and crash into some mountains (I was occupied during their conversation, if there was one).

After their journey down some rapids, they arrive in some village in India, and are welcomed by an elderly man. As if the man sensed Indy was an explorer/hero, which luckily is a fact, he gives him a mission to retrieve a stone that is sacred in their village. So, mission at hand, the trio is off to Pankot Palace, where the stone is rumored to be. After an unrealistic feast of beetles, eyeball soup and monkey brain, Indy and Willie have this odd "I-know-you-love-me" fight, which leads them to going into a secret passage. It leads the trio to a gigantic underground temple, where they discover a nonsense cult where members sacrifice random people daily and child slavery, which includes the children from the Indian village. These children are forced to mine for some stones that will help the cult, of course, take over the world.

As the heroes witness a ritual, some of the members discover them, and imprison them all. They make Indy drink some "mind-control" potion, which obviously allows the villains to control his mind. Willie is going to be their next human sacrifice, with Indy doing the honors of ripping her heart out and sending her to a deep pit of lava. Short Round is sent to the mines to serve as a slave, and his foolish attempt to cut free from his chains with a rock is hilarious and impossibly successful. Right before Willie is about to reach death, Short Round rescues Indy from his trance by saying "Indy Indy! You my best friend!" Indy, at first, slaps him (HAHAHA!), but then he's back to his senses and begins saving Willie.

Unfortunately, he must battle some thugs first, before saving the girl. Bang, bang, bang! Indy, Short Round, and Willie escape, and saved the village children and took three sacred stones. The three of them arrive at a rope bridge, and try to cross it haphazardly. But, alas, some of the cult people have them all trapped! Oh no! Indy must fight them all, because he is just so strong and manly. The other two simply sit and watch, mimicking punching movements, as if that would help Indy. Bang, bang, bang! The bridge breaks, and they're all dangling from the ropes. One last thug remains, and he happens to be the leader; he and Indy battle to the death, and the cult leader loses, eaten by the crocodiles down below.

The three heroes are back in the Indian village, with the sacred stones and children with them. As parents reunite with they're filthy children, Indy gives the stone back to its rightful owner. Also, Indiana gets to kiss Willie by wrapping his handy-dandy whip around her waist and pulling her in, for a big 'ol smooch! (Of course, our adventurer will have a new girl to smooch in the next movie) Hurray hurray! Indy saves the day! Again!

Well, that was an incredible disappointment. Not only was the story absolute shit, but the acting was even worse than the previous! Again, I am condemned to hearing another sob story about some village losing something sacred to them, and some wealthy kingdom is to blame for stealing this revered object. If that weren't enough, I'm to believe that some cult, with members from the palace's staff, is committing rituals where people's hearts are ripped out and they're sent to some tornado of fire? Yeah, maybe, if I were a Beverly Hillbilly.

And the acting was truly disastrous. Harrison Ford, still reading his macho lines and doing his macho stunts, now actually has stuff to say! This includes primitive attempts of flirtation and unsuccessful jokes. Willie was yet another damsel-in-distress, only she was the kind no one would ever want to save. She was awfully irritating, with her desperate efforts at seducing Indiana, her unforgivably snobbish behavior, and her non-stop shrieking at everything! Short Round, though, was by-far the worst character in this movie, and perhaps in history. He was reprehensibly obnoxious from start to finish, with his anxiousness to be Indiana's BFF and his constant nagging, like the terrible child he is! His character in the movie was totally unnecessary, and I hope George Lucas regrets having had him a part of this famous saga.

I give this calamity of a film gets a 58/100. Sure, this was the absolute shittiest Indiana Jones adventure so far, but the following portion is the best in the entire series! Stay tuned!

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The last Indiana Jones in the trilogy is The Last Crusade, and is believed to be the absolute greatest in the entire series (in my opinion)! Out of the three movies, this one has humor that is intentional and funny, an excellent plot, and a wonderful choice of supporting actors. For those who are hard-core Indiana fans, relax, because I will actually be praising this one!

The Last Crusade begins with a flashback of Indiana's life. He was a boy scout (shocker) and, as he traveled through the desert with his group, he rebelliously leaves and goes into a cave. In that cave he discovers a gang of looters, who have looted the cross of Coronado, a sacred Spanish-American treasure. Indiana believes that "it should be in a museum" (I quote it because he repeats it several times) and he successfully attempts to take the cross and escape. During this daring escape, with the looters on his tail, they jump aboard a circus train. This entails Indiana running from car to car, and in one car encounters his future fear: snakes. Also, he must tame a lion with a nearby whip, which he will become attached to (figuratively speaking). After all this, he jumps off the train and hightails it back to his home, where we are introduced to his intellectual father (played by Sean Connery).Then, the looters arrive, with the bribed sheriff, and steal back the cross. The leader of the gang then tells Indiana "you didn't win this time, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it" and gives the boy his fedora hat (which becomes his signature).

Back to the present of 1938, Indy is on a boat trying to retrieve that cross from the flashback, and after grabbing the artifact, he swims back to the university. He gives the object to his fellow colleague, Marcus Brody, and then escapes his students' demanding questions through a window. Outside, however, he is encountered by some guys who take him to a penthouse apartment. There, he meets Walter Donovan, who invited Indy to help him find the second half of a stone marker his oil workers found. On the first half, it mentions "the blood of Jesus Christ", which is held in the Holy Grail, which grants immortality to those who drink it.

Indy is really intrigued in this mission...especially when he finds out the leader of this project is his father, and he has gone missing! Earlier he received a package, containing his father's journal, with every piece of information about the Grail. En route to Venice, Italy! There, he and Marcus (who tagged along) meet Donovan's beautiful assistant, Dr. Elsa Schneider, and she actually is beautiful, unlike the previous women. The three go to where Indiana's father disappeared: the Venice library. In order to open up a secret passageway, they must find three Roman numerals throughout the library. Indy, being the smartest guy ever, finds them all, opening the passageway, which is on the Roman numeral ten on the floor.

He and Elsa crawl through the dark tunnel and eventually find the second marker. On the bright surface, they undergo a pursuit lead by some cult, who are chasing Indy to prevent him from finding the Grail. Via speedboat, Elsa and Indy are chased by those cult members, and Indy apprehends one of them. He explains the cult's cause (irrelevant) and tells Indy that his father is held in a castle in Germany. En route to Germany!

Indy and Elsa enter the castle and are somehow separated. Nevertheless, Indy finds his father safe-and-sound, and reprimands him for bringing his journal on this hazardous journey. Indy reassures him that absolutely nothing will tear him apart from the journal...until Elsa betrays him and steals the journal! Oh, and she's also a Nazi working for Donovan, who wants the Grail all to himself to become an immortal "king". Captured, Henry Sr., once again, reprimands Indy for getting them in this mess. Fortunately, the son gets them out of this mess, an in-your-face moment indeed. After starting an accidental fire, the father and son escape the castle via motorcycle. Whilst their ride, Henry Sr. explains his journal's importance, and that is the detail of the Grail's protection. In Berlin, Indy grabs his father's diary from the obliging Elsa. Also, the diary is autographed by Hitler. Score!

After retrieving the journal, they climb aboard a zeppelin, but it suddenly turns around! Indy comes to the rescue and commandeers an attached emergency plane. A mini-battle ensues in mid-air, with a conclusion of Indy and his father crashing into some tunnel. (I don't remember the next set of events, so I'll skip it.) Indy and Henry Sr. are now in the deserts of Jordon, where they meet up with Indy's old buddy Sallah (the best digger in Egypt), who tells them that Marcus has been captured by those evil Nazis. The trio are now trailing the Nazis convoy, and when they are eventually discovered endure a mobile battle. Wham, wham, wham! Marcus is saved, and they all travel onward to the temple where the Grail is located.

Donovan and his "boys", who were already there, have made numerous tries at crossing toward the Grail, but died trying, for the traps are vicious. Of course, the bad guys capture the good guys, and Donovan uses Indy to acquire the Grail, since he knows the ins and outs of the temple from his father's diary. To spice up the deal, Donovan shoots Henry Sr., severely wounding him, therefore giving Indy a reason to obtain the Grail (the water from it will save his life). Indy enters the dangerous pathway to the powerful Grail, avoiding all the traps (which takes a lengthy amount of time). He arrives at the Grail's tomb, where he sees several Grails and must choose the correct one, or it would've been a waste of a trip.

Oddly, when Indy arrives, Elsa and Donovan are there too, and Elsa has chosen a Grail for her master to drink from. However, the cup she has chosen was the wrong one, therefore leading to the instant death of Donovan. This was actually on purpose, Elsa admits, for she has fallen in love with Indy. After the make-out session, Indy picks the true Grail, healing all of his father's pain. However, Elsa attempts to escape with the Grail, leaving all that power to herself! (What a fucking traitor-whore.) Fortunately, she fails her rotten endeavor, and ultimately falls to her death, along with the sacred Grail. Indy, Henry Sr. and the others exit the temple and ride off into the sunset.

This Indiana Jones movie is, by far, the best in the series. It's plot was wonderfully brilliant, and I love how they incorporate Nazis into it (call me evil, but I admire Nazi inclusion in films). The whole idea about the Holy Grail is a bit religious for my taste, but is still the most believable plot element in the entire saga. Also, this movie was actually humorous, unlike the other ones! The acting was decent, like in the first one, with Sean Connery added to the mix. He was the ingredient [of the movie] in which makes it excellent! Elsa was incredibly attractive, which was a pleasant change in the scenery, for the other girls were (below) adequate. I was slightly sad to see her fall into that ditch, but the conniving bitch had it coming. Nothing to comment on Indiana in this one...reading macho line, doing macho stunts, as usual.

I give this excellent one a 74/100. Not only was it my favorite piece of the Indiana Jone trilogy, but it might just be one of my favorite movie, period! I really enjoyed watching all of the famous movies of the famous trilogy. Sure, they were corny, and in the second one's case pure crap, but I loved them all. Adventure, short-term romance, suspense, unintentional humor...all that jazz. You may have noticed I have been referring to these movies as a "trilogy" when there are four of them, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull being the most recent one. I really did not want to waste my time (again) with that utterly horrible movie. Plus, it's not really an Indy film when our hero has to ride an electric wheelchair soon. Yeah, people, Harrison Ford is pretty old to be portraying Indiana again. Give him a break, Paramount. Overall, though, the Indiana Jones series is something worth watching, and will be remembered as the greatest adventures of its time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

6/12-6/25

Weekly Review

Ed Wood - 76/100
"excellent biopic on the worst director ever...eerily enjoyable."

As Good As It Gets - 96/100
"wonderful dramedy...Jack Nicholson's performance was cynically touching...Helen Hunt is amazing and an emotionally strong character...Greg Kinnear is truly heartbreaking, and most-definitely Oscar-worthy...lovely altogether"

The Girl Next Door - 68/100
"hilarious, dirty comedy...a She's Out of Your League-type movie, about self-esteem and doing outrageous things in your life...parental guidance required!"
Taxi - 65/100
"extremely humorous flick...undeserving of its bashing by critics...Jimmy Fallon's best movie since Saturday Night Live."

All About Steve - 68/100
"immensely enjoyable and cute flick...Sandra Bullock provides a marvelous performance, despite what the Razzies say...movie worthy of praise!"

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - 57/100
"great special effects and action...thoughtless plot, and mindless acting...based on the best-selling book...mostly for kids."

The Beverly Hillbillies - 32/100
"terrible movie...acting was awful and the accents were unbearable...after watching, I felt vastly stupid the entire day; not recommended for scholars."

Bandits - 73/100
"interesting plot, with intelligent criminals, therefore good acting...Billy Bob Thornton is at his best here, in my opinion; very funny and paranoid...Cate Blanchett provides an unusual performance, reminding me of a suburban version of Clementine Kruczynski."

Tooth Fairy - 64/100
"delightful Disney tale...funny at moments and heartwarming at all times...Dwayne Johnson is officially Disney's go-to guy...Stephan Merchant is wonderfully witty and hilarious, and I hope to see more of him on the screen (in movies, not sexually!)"
School for Scoundrels - 62/100
"decent movie about 'being cool' and self-esteem...a copy-cat of Anger Management...Jon Heder is dorky, but lovable...Billy Bob Thornton is a jackass but wise and humorously admirable."

Dick Tracy - 88/100
"marvelously colored, very eye-catching, therefore entertaining...great directing by Warren Beatty, as well as acting (although he's better as a villain, like in Bugsy)...Madonna, once again, provides a horrible performance; great singing, though...Al Pacino is absolutely outstanding, with his cruel and harmful persona, very funny and Oscar-worthy, even!"