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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!"




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief


Percy Jackson is one of those movies that were based on a book, so a screenplay wasn't that necessary as it would be for an original. I'm guessing, since I haven't read the book, that most of the events in the movie were accurate? Whatever, though, because I don't really care whether it was or wasn't. What I do care about is the disappointing quality of it. Also, the title is mega-long.

Percy Jackson begins with a teen named Percy Jackson goes to a museum where he encounters a creature called a "fury" who demands that he return a lightning bolt. This bolt belongs to the god of all gods, Zeus, who will do anything to get it [the bolt] back. Kind of remind me of a spoiled child insistently asking for their toy. Anyway, Percy is saved by his best friend (who is actually his "guardian" and half-goat) and the tour guide of the museum, Mr. Brunner (who is actually a centaur called Chiron). Those two freaks inform Percy that he is a demigod, which is half-god-half-human, and they whisk him away to a base camp. This camp has a bunch of demigods practicing the arts of war and strategy; kind of a World of Warcraft location.

As Percy starts learning about Greek mythology and sword-usage, Hades gets in the picture, appearing in a huge bonfire. He tells Percy that he has his mother, who was killed by a Minotaur, and he will return her once he has the lightning bolt. Now we have ourselves a thinker! Should He give the bolt to Zeus, who it truly belongs to? Or should he give it to the evil, malicious Hades, god of the underworld where horrible things occur? He makes the wise choice of going to Hades. Since the journey to the underworld is rather long and vigorous, he must be accompanied by his "guardian" and another demigod named Annabeth, who is the offspring of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Before they go to the underworld, they must retrieve three orbs that will transport them back home, once they're done with Hades, and these orbs are located in three hazardous spots.

The first stop is at some abandoned garden with a bunch of stone sculptures...but those were actual people before, for this is Medusa's lair. Medusa (played by Uma Thurman) must be beheaded before retrieving the first orb, and Percy does that part; in Greek mythology, the demigod Perseus slayed Medusa, as well. Next, they go to a museum, where the second orb is located on a statue's crown. (Don't worry, this is really a statue) At night, they must defeat several night security guards who morph into a hydra (multi-headed beast). After that's over with, they go to Las Vegas for the final orb, and it's location is in a mysterious casino. They are lured in and remain there for five days, after eating some strange pastry. Eventually, they're done collecting orbs and travel to the underworld, which is behind the Hollywood sign (that's a rude metaphor).

They go to Hades's mansion and encounter the fearsome god, only he isn't so intimidating. (He's played by Steve Coogan, who is kind of cowardly-looking, but I still love him!) Anyway, after a speedy motion of events, Percy is on the roof battling Luke, the guy who helped him in the beginning and the real lightning thief. In the end, the lightning bolt is returned to its rightful owner, Zeus, and Percy meets his father, Poseidon, for the first time. Blah, blah, blah. The end.

Well, I have to hand it to the movie that it was action-y and had decent special effects. Also, I really like the guy who played Percy, Logan Lerman, because his acting is pretty good, and he reminds me of Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson, and he is sexy;)

Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Percy's guardian Grover, gives a performance that is extremely worthy of a Razzie, and better get one! His constant outbursts of excitement, shouting out slang, and being a complete moron throughout the film are what strike me as a Razzie-worthy performance. And what was with girls flirting with him all the time? "Ohh, I love guys with goat legs." Eww.

The overall plot was kind of stupid, as I said at the start. Zeus, who has the power to do anything he wishes, pines over his lost lightning bolt? Can't he create that much power, even more? And the whole movie itself! The three teens traveled across America...to find some orbs...to go to the underworld...to save Percy's mom? All that danger over his mother, who says a man who stinks, has no job, and is abusive has been good to her and her son? I'd say "Let the bitch burn".

I give this a 61/100, for effort. The director did a decent job making this movie, it was the actors who ruined it, mostly. And the author of the book; next time, write a book that makes sense, both common and logical.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All About Steve


I've watched All About Steve three times now (this time being the third) and my opinion has not been altered, despite what the Razzies declared. I very much enjoyed this movie, for it was very cute and a little kooky. I loved the cast, and their performances, especially Sandra Bullock's. I italicize 'especially' because Bullock was the (only) member of the cast to receive a Worst Actress "award" this year [for this movie]. I was disappointed to see that she was even nominated for it, but to actually "win" it? That was plain irritating. Not to mention spiteful. What a perfect opportunity for the Razzie committee to pin the "award" on Bullock! She'd just been nominated for an Oscar (for The Blindside) and she also made a movie earlier in the year that wasn't as good. "Hey! Why don't we give her the Razzie, guys? That way, the Oscar committee might not give her the Oscar! Or she'll have both awards in the same year!" Fucking pricks.

Moving on to the movie, All About Steve is about Mary Horowitz, a kooky crossword-puzzle constructor, who falls in love with a guy named Steve (played by Bradley Cooper) on their first, blind date. Of course, Mary comes on too strong and scares Steve away, but her positive attitude doesn't stop her from following him across the country. Since Steve is a cameraman for CCN, he is moving from one location to another, along with self-adoring news reporter Hartmen Hughes (played by Thomas Haden Church).

When the CCN crew is in Oklahoma to report on a three-legged baby, Steve spots Mary there, in her bright red boots. She ecstatically rushes to him and embraces him in a forceful hug, which continually occurs since she likes him so much. He is resistant, of course, because he is not interested in her and the fact that she is practically stalking him. He informs his crew that she is on the premises, and Hartmen decides to torture him by telling Mary the opposite of what he [Steve] really feels. This makes Mary even more obsessive over him, so she chose to continue her pursuit of Steve. He is extremely giddy about that, for sure.

Later, an abandoned mine shaft has been discovered, with several deaf children trapped inside. Naturally, CCN is on the spot...and shortly, so is Mary. As she sprints across the field to Steve, she falls down the ditch. This event is stimulating across America, so Mary has become somewhat of a public icon. Also, to make that truth a little sweeter, she is a hero, as well, saving a forgotten deaf girl in the mine. After some physics experiments, Mary devises a plan that will lift her and the girl out of the mine. However, Hartmen, feeling incredibly guilty about this mess since it was him who brought Mary here with his devious tricks, dives into the mine to try and save Mary. This temporarily complicates things. But, soon enough, the three are out of the mine, Hartmen being a "hero" (and soon the new lead anchor of CCN).

During this whole stir of Mary in the ditch, she came to the realization that people are annoyed by her quirky antics, and (admirably) does not care, for she is who she is. Steve has a mini-epiphany, as well, stating (live on the air) that Mary isn't "freakishly smart" or "weird", and she's not trying to be someone else. In the end, Mary and Steve do not fall in love with each other, which is great because, if that would happen, it would be another average romantic-comedy (and a corny one).

Overall, All About Steve was an excellent movie about learning to not try and fit in with everyone else, because sometimes the ones who are the eccentric "weirdos" are the ones who stand out the most. That was actually from the trailer. (I'm kind of blocked today, I apologize)

Anyway, the acting was exceedingly decent, not at all Razzie-worthy. Sandra Bullock played her part very well, exceptional even, and she was very adorable, intelligent, and quirky. And all she did was do her job, she read the script and her acting was based on the character, and she portrayed that character excellently. Bradley Cooper was all right, too, and I love how he reacted to Mary in the desert. "Oh Jesus! She's got a machete! She's going to carve my eyes out and make me eat them!" Thomas Haden Church was the funniest of them all, playing the conceited, conniving reporter, filling Mary's mind with bullshit. (Can't remember any quotes from him, blocked)

Again, I want to rant about how the Razzies are so wrong in their decisions and how malicious they are against big-name stars. How interesting would it be to read that Robert DeNiro got a Razzie? That type of news is huge and publicity for the Razzie ceremonies (because who really watches them?). This is what happened with Sandra Bullock. She got a Razzie because she was nominated for an Oscar (and won!) which made her look kind of appalling. "Oscar and a Razzie?" Shameful. Fortunately, Sandra proudly attended this horrid event and accepted her Razzie. I don't watch those ceremonies, but I bet the Razzie people felt kind of awkward to be giving this Worst Actress award to someone of her stature. Of course, numerous famous people got Razzies before, but I highly doubt they ever attend, for it's disgraceful. But Sandra Bullock is like Mary Horowitz that way; she doesn't care what people think of her, and that is very admirable of her.

To conclude, I give All About Steve a 68/100 not only because the movie was excellent, but to contradict the goddamn Razzies. This movie was very touching and sweet, and shouldn't be nominated (or have won) any of the Razzies this year. Thankfully, it didn't get Worst Movie! (That went to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Now that I agree with). And to all those people out there who want to fit in, don't try because that will only make you look more foolish. (And, to the Razzies, up yours!:D)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

6/5-6/12

Weekly Review

The Adventures of Rocky &
Bullwinkle
-
58/100
"A cute family movie; Boris and Natasha are the highlights of
the movie"

She's Out of My League - 67/100

"A raunchy comedy about self-esteem; surprisingly excellent"

Devil Wears Prada* - 93/100

"A very stylish movie; witty and enjoyable for all genders"

Something's Gotta Give - 89/100

"Very heartwarming movie; Jack Nicholson is devilishly charming, as usual; Diane Keaton provides a wonderful performance"

EdTV - 91/100

"Hilarious comedy; excellent plot and very touching; one of the best dramedies"

Date Night - 65/100

"Situation comedy that is immensely outrageous; Tina Fey and
Steve Carell finally together in a movie that works out
humorously"

Cruel Intentions - 63/100

"Teen classic; very devious and deceitfully funny"

A-Team - 64/100

"Awesome action movie; excellent scenes that remind me of Snatch; Bradley Cooper is ruggedly sexy with an amazing body"

Cool World* - 23/100

"Terrible flick with no plot; dreadful acting and auteur
directing"







-Movies with an astrick (*) have an entire "review"

Cool World


Last night, at midnight, I watched a movie called Cool World. Since I was a fan of cartoon/human movies, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, I thought I'd give this one a try. And having Brad Pitt star in it wasn't a turn-off, either. So, I turned on the TV and my media player, and started watching it.

Cool World starts out with Frank Harris (played by Brad Pitt) as a young man returning home from the war, and the year is 1945. He hops on a motorcycle, with his cautious mother, and crashes into some drunk driver's car. The mother dies, and Frank is transported into a cartoonish world known as Cool World. Though, there is nothing "cool" about it. The animation is utterly horrible, and the cartoons' motions are fidgety and fuzzy when they move.

Anyway, we are fast-forwarded to 1992, and we are introduced to Jack Deebs (played by Gabriel Byrne), our other main character, in a prison cell. He is sketching some Jessica-Rabbit-type cartoon, named Holli, and he is saying stuff like "Ooh, baby, you look good tonight". I guess that's what prison does to you. Suddenly, he is sucked into the drawing of Holli into Cool World. As usual, he's scared shitless, refusing to believe all these cartoons are factual. There, he meets his sex-desire, Holli Would. She is "dancing alluringly" in front of horny cartoons with their eyes out of their sockets. Jack is there for about one minute before he goes back to the Real World (in this movie, real world is capitalized, to determine the difference between reality and "cool"). He is released from prison, and his first stop is the comic book store (what a geek). Here, we are now aware Jack invented Cool World, and made it into a comic. And we, also, learned he went to prison for murdering his ex-wife's lover. Not for creating such horrid comics.

We are back to Cool World and meet up with Frank, who is now a detective in Cool World, for unknown reasons. He's investigating some sort of crime, apparently, and interrogates Holli, who tries to seduce him. But Ol' Frank is too sharp for that! But, unfortunately, Jack isn't, for he eventually gets into bed with her. Yes, a human has sex with a cartoon. (But in this movie, humans are called "noids" and cartoons are "doodles".) And there's a law in Cool World that noids can not sleep with doodles. Bad Jack.

After the sex, Holli transforms into a human (played by Kim Basinger) and she's absolutely stunned at how awesome it is. She abandons naive Jack, and goes into the Real World to have sex with a lot of guys. There are malfunctions, though, because now she has these glitches that turn her into a doodle. Not her previous doodle, but a clown doodle. I don't know where that came from, but then again, I don't know where any of the shit that happens in this movie comes from.

Fortunately, I fell asleep near the end, so I don't know the resolution. It wouldn't have made a difference though, to be honest, because there was no plot in this awful flick!

The acting was terribly terrible. Gabriel Byrne was dopey-eyed from start to finish, being a complete moron with a high sex drive. Kim Basinger was even worse; she was a Marilyn Monroe wannabe, from the voice to the dreadful acting. Brad Pitt was equally horrible, and he treated the doodle characters like imaginary friends!

The dialogue was infinitely rotten, with lines like, "You're a wackadoo" and "What are you gonna do about it, pencil dick?" just make this movie that much worse. The monologues were also horrid, but I was too tired to memorize them. Plus, it would have destroyed my cranium.

This has got to be one of the worst movies ever created. I give it a 23/100. Giving it any lower would be spiteful against Kim Basinger, and I don't want that on me. (And Brad Pitt has mighty handsome here!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Devil Wears Prada


I watched Devil Wears Prada more than ten times, which indicates that I adore it, obviously. And I do, immensely. This movie is so delightfully entertaining, and I admire (almost) everything about it! The acting is excellent and very witty, and the casting is perfect. I was pleased to see golden-actress Meryl Streep as "devil-boss" Miranda Priestly, with her vivid silver hair. I love Stanley Tucci, in general, and especially here as droll Nigel. Anne Hathaway, as Andie Sachs the ambitious journalist? Ehh...

Anyway, Prada starts out with an enjoyable title sequence of Andie getting ready for the day, then shows clips of model primping to impress and adorned in big-name brands of clothing. After Andie chows down an onion bagel, she heads on down to Runway magazine's office building. There, she meets Emily, Miranda's first assistant (played by Emily Blunt), who continually insults her throughout the movie (extremely humorous, I might add!). Everyone at Runway mocks her "sense" of style, very funny and entertaining (oh, how evil I am).

Then, she encounters Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway. Curious to see if Andie is honest of her abilities (she flashed Miranda with an extensive resume), she hires her as second assistant. Now, Andie is sworn to doing exactly what her boss orders, efficiently, quickly, and without a flaw. They include getting a flight from Miami to New York during a hurricane, constructing her children's school projects, and retrieving the unpublished manuscript of the next Harry Potter book (which is out now HP fans, don't worry!).

From all this labor, Andie is "verbally abused" no matter what she does. In my opinion, Miranda is just doing her job by constantly demeriting Andie, for if she wouldn't Andie would do even worse of a job! Like Nigel said, "Wake up six, she's just doing her job!"

During her life in Runway, she transformed herself into some glamour-girl, wearing all these expensive brands, like Chanel. How she afforded all this living in a tiny apartment, I don't know. She, also, meets this mysterious, handsome (HA!) stranger named Christian Thompson. Coincidentally, Andie is a huge fan of his career in journalism, which is a great ice breaker and reveals a path to sex. Andie's "social life" with her boyfriend (played by Entourage's Adrian Grenier) and her phony friends (gay dude and black chick) is harmed by her employment at the consuming Runway. Honestly, she should have lived that Runway life, for her friends weren't that great of friends and her boyfriend was not supportive at all!

Alas, Andie does give up that glitzy life. After stealing Emily's dream of going to Paris, she decides she doesn't want the life of Miranda. This occurs when Miranda lends Nigel's opportunity-of-a-lifetime to Jackie, head of French Runway, who was about to replace Miranda thanks to the works of Christian Thompson. Seriously, Miranda did that to Nigel to secure her own job that she does extremely well! Not because she's an enormous bitch.

Anyway, Andie makes a dramatic exit from a French revue (to God-knows-where), leaving Miranda alone surrounded by cameras. Then Andie makes the dumb ass move of throwing her phone into a fountain. That was where I said, "Waste of money!"

To sum up, Devil Wears Prada is a flawless movie that I could watch over and over again! Meryl Streep's performance is outstanding, and deserved that 2006 Oscar (she lost to Helen Mirran for The Queen, which was a well-deserved Oscar, too). The quotes, said by her, in the movie are incredibly memorable.

"Please bore someone else with your questions"

"By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me."

(The best of all) "This...stuff? Oh okay. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that sweater is not just blue, it's not just turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St. Lauren, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly growed in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff."

Wow, she's awesome. Stanley Tucci is charmingly funny and absolutely irresistible! Emily Blunt provides a wonderful performance, loaded with cruel jokes regarded to Andie's awkwardness. Anne Hathaway is decent here, but kind of a hypocrite, which I don't like.

This movie would be a perfect 100...if it weren't for Andie's annoyingly gawky "friends". The scene where they play monkey-in-the-middle with Andie's phone, after she gave them great gifts, deducts some points from the score.

I give this a 93/100. Streep's Miranda Priestly is rated #69 in Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Characters of the Past 20 Years. Well-earned, I say, though it could be higher (#7, perhaps?) Anyway, I absolutely adore this movie, and certainly will watch it a billion more times.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Men Who Stare at Goats


The Men Who Stare at Goats was a critically-bashed movie of 2009, critics saying it was George Clooney's dumbest movie of the year (Entertainment Weekly). I just watched this movie a while ago, and I saw immense potential in it, for it was very decent in the beginning. Later, however, when they brought the idea of goats in play, it was all downhill from there.

Goats starts with Bob Wilton (played by Ewan McGregor), who is a reporter searching for the story of a lifetime in Iraq, when he encounters Lyn Cassady, a former member of some New Earth military program. In this organization, members of it test their paranormal powers to...I actually didn't know why they did it, they just did because of their weird leader. Their leader, Bill Django (played by Jeff Bridges), was a surviving Vietnam war hero (?) and he got shot there, which triggered some new outlook on life for him.
Anyway, Lyn tells Bob of his life, how he became "top-of-class" in the unit and how his rivalry with Larry Hooper began. Larry Hooper (played by Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey) was also a skilled paranormal-guy, and he loathed how Lyn was as good as he was, even better. So, later when Lyn left the unit (because he killed a goat with his awesome mind powers bringing a curse on the unit), Larry took charge. He accused Bill of drug-using (which we know he did) which caused Bill to be stripped of his rank as Lieutenant Colonel (or Colonel Lieutenant). Larry was now the leader, which transformed the hippie-unit to some Nazi-Reich-unit (in comparison, that's what it was). So, now those poor marijuana-induced soldiers had to actually do work for a change! Oh, the inhumanity of Larry! And in the military? Heartless, truly heartless.

Fortunately, the trio of Bob, Bill, and Lyn saved the day by drugging all the cadets and Larry with some hazardous drug, kind of like acid. Everyone lived happily ever after, even the goats.

Well, this was certainly a strange movie, but it's theories in the beginning, said by George Clooney, really showed some ability [of the movie] that it could have been exceptional. However, two things brought it down. One, the annoying, stupid goats. And two, the disgusting Jeff Bridges. I honestly strongly dislike the "Dude" because of his performance as the "Dude". I really really really hated the famous Big Lebowski, and thought it had no plot, terrible acting, and was just plain boring. Anyway, in Goats, he played the leader of this (semi-)intellectual organization, which I could not envision because Bill Django (and Jeff Bridges) gave off a...DUMB, unintellectual aroma. But, hey, that's just me!

I give this a 61/100, solely because of George Clooney and his charm and wisdom. Also, I was enormously glad that Kevin Spacey made an appearance here, for he is one of my favorite actors, and it is a shame he stopped making movies like he used to. And, like I said before, the goats were a real downer to the overall film quality. This is including Jeff Bridges.

(P.S. As you may have noticed, I only said Kevin Spacey was an Oscar-winner, when Bridges and Clooney were also winners. This is on-purpose, because Spacey's performances actually deserved Oscars)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

INFO

To those of you who actually read my blogs, I have an "announcement".
Summertime is dawning upon me, so I will be writing tons more blogs; I might even write two a day! Anyway, some of my posts might include more than one movie, so for a series of movies, I will incorporate them all into one mega-post. For example, Pirates of the Caribbean has three installments, so I will include a "review" on every one in one post. There will be many of these since I have lots of free time without school, so expect them!
I hope you've been enjoying my posts and please continue reading them. Please comment, as well because I'd like to think what others have to say about my view on certain movies!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Beautiful Mind


A Beautiful Mind won the award for Best Picture in the Academy Awards (Oscars) of 2001. I always assumed that it was given that honor because of the fact it was about schizophrenics, for the Academy usually hands out awards for political reasons, lately. Anyway, I've never had an opinion on this particular film, until tonight when I first viewed its excellence.

Mind starts out in a mathematics course in Princeton University, with John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) in the corner of the room, listening intently. After class, we discover he is not the average student. Not the average person, for that matter. He gives off an autistic vibe, for he is extremely intelligent, but rather anti-social. When I first saw John's behavior, I immediately compared it to the behavior of Forrest Gump; special abilities, physical movements, and the Southern accent (that one is just a coincidence).

Furthermore, after John graduates Princeton, he moves on to a career in teaching calculus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There, he meets his future wife, Alicia Larde (played by Jennifer Connolly). Alicia is a strange young woman, who is assertive with John, but is also fascinated by his vast knowledge.

However, after the adoring couple get married, John begins to experience hallucinations. His first one was back in college, Charles (played by Paul Bettany), but completely harmless. His second one, William Parcher (played by Ed Harris), however, proved to be quite dangerous (and a nuisence). Parcher brainwashes John into becoming involved in a mission to intercept Soviet messages by deciphering "clues" in newspapers and magazines.

Later, during lecture at Harvard, John is apprehended by Dr. Rosen, the head doctor at MacArthur Psychiatric Hospital, who discovered his antics by his concerned wife. Since John is still experiencing these odd behaviors, he believes the doctors to be Russian spies. He is given medicine to calm his actions, as well as a series of electrical shock treatments.

After a year in the crazy house (no offense), he returns home to his wife and newborn son. However, since the drugs are disrupting his cognitive process, he ceases his medication intake. This, of course, triggers him into insanity once again. There was a scene where he was bathing his son, and while filling up the tub, he wanders off, leaving the helpless baby nearly drowning. (Don't worry, Alicia barges in to save the day, as well as my tears)

By this point, I saw why this movie got the Oscar; everything about is genius, from acting to art direction. Russell Crowe, who I don't care for much, bestows an outstanding performance as the brilliant mathematician. He portrays John Nash so exceptionally, from lecturing students to hysteric outbursts meant for imaginary beings. Jennifer Connelly exquisitely portrays Nash's wife, Alicia; her devotion to her frantic husband is heartwarming and admirable. Well-deserved Oscar, most definitely.

I give this an 85/100. There were moments where I cried, moments where I laughed, moments where I smiled. The scene where John Nash sat the table, as an old, distinguished professor at Princeton, while fellow colleagues granted him with a pen was especially touching, as well as his Nobel Prize win. I cried a fountain of joyful tears, grinning cheerfully. A Beautiful Mind is truly a beautiful movie.
(P.S. I am pleased to say that John Nash is still teaching at Princeton and lives happily with his wife, Alicia Nash)