Archive for September, 2009


Title: Valkyrie
Year: 2008
Director: Bryan Singer
Lead: Tom Cruise
Rated: PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.

Based on true events. The plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler takes place during WWII.

This film is great, I really enjoyed it, Bryan Singer did a great job capturing the intensity of the moment, and made you feel it. I don’ttalk about this ever because its never good enough to notice, but the costume design in this film was really well done. The cinematography was awesome, many cool shots, and Tom Cruise (I don’t care what anyone says about him, he’s a great actor) does so well in this movie. I really liked the opening scene of the film when Tom Cruise’ character is speaking in German, and it transitions from German to English, it really makes you believe everything more, it kinda brings you into their state of mind. This film is based on true events, you’llbe asking yourself during this film, “did this happen”, yes it did. It is a great film, YOU SHOULD SEE! 8 1/2 out of 10

Dirty Harry

Title: Dirty Harry
Year: 1971
Director: Don Siegel
Lead: Clint Eastwood
Rated: R

A San Francisco Police officer tracks down a killer.

You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? This movie is SO cool, Clint Eastwood is such a (for lack of a better word) badass. The villain in this movie is so weird, the creepiest, scariest villain Ive ever seen in a movie. Clint Eastwood, enough said, he makes this movie. He has no regard for the rules, and hes a jerk, but you love him, BECAUSE he has no regard for the rules AND he’s a jerk. Every Clint Eastwood fan (big or small) should see this film if you haven’t already, in fact, everyone PERIOD  should see this film, its awesome, really cool. 9 out of 10


Title: Chaplin
Year: 1993
Director: Richard Attenborough
Lead: Robert Downey Jr.
Rated: PG-13

The story of Charlie Chaplin. This is his life in a spectacular 2 1/2 hour film

This was great, very interesting. One of the catchphrases for this film is “Everyone has a wild side, even a legend.” this is so true, Charlie Chaplin was one interesting man. This film does a great job on touching every aspect of his life, and telling the story from Charlie’s point of view. This film was required watching for my film class, and for good reason. It gives a lot of background on some of the big directors, producers, and actors from that era. I felt really bad for Charlie at the end of this; he did do it to himself, but I still felt bad for him. This film is fantastic, and this is (in my opinion) Robert Downey Jr.’s best performance, He does so well! This really is a star studded cast, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Kline, and Diane Lane, to name most of them. Charlie Chaplin’s Daughter in real life, plays Charlies mom (her own grandmother) in this film, which is really cool. This film will give you great insight to the man behind “The Little Tramp”. Chaplin was nominated for 3 Oscars including, Best Actor, Best Art Direction- Set Decoration, and Best Original Score. I give this film a 8 1/2 out of 10.


Title: Everything is Illuminated
Year: 2005
Director: Liev Schreiber
Lead: Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin
Rated: PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language.

A young Jewish American travels in search of the woman that saved his grandfather. With only a photograph and a name, he and his “guides” go on an emotional journey to find her.

This film is a masterpiece. Perfectly put together, perfectly casted, perfectly filmed. Super well written from the novel to the screen. “Everything is Illuminated” is based on the novel by Jonathan SafranFoer. I felt so good watching this movie, its a great emotional ride, very heartfelt. Its also cool to see two cultures come together in ahumorous way, like when Elijah Wood’s character says he’s avegetarian, and the chef brings him out a peeled potato by itself on a plate, very funny moment. Plus the cinematography is really amazing, I think that the shot when they find Augustine’s sisters house in thefield of sunflowers, is one of the best shots in a film. Period. LievSchreiber took Safran Foer’s novel and turned it from a masterpieceon paper to a masterpiece on the screen. I saw the preview for this movie in 2004 and really wanted to see it, forgot about it, found the novel in 2007, read it, then watched the film today, and was blown away. Its on my list of favourites. “Everything is Illuminated” won several awards at several festivals around the world, you should go on, and buy it for $8.99 and watch it several times, and keep watching it, because it is near perfect. Oh I forgot to talk about how awesome Elijah Wood plays Jonathon Safran Foer? (yes the main character in the film/novel is the same name as the author) Elijahplays him so well! The way he talks, walks, dresses… he pulls it all off perfectly! Its a great film. 9 out of 10


Title: Vertigo
Year: 1958
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Lead: James Stewart, Kim Novak
Rated: G

A retired acrophobic detective gets hired to investigate a friends wife’s strange activities, and becomes obsessed with her.

This movie is awesome! So many twists and turns, it had me talking out loud by myself. Tons of weirdness! This truly is an Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece. I love how Hitchcock always gets himself into his movies, its really funny. This could be the best Hitchcock movie I’ve seen to date. James Stewart is SO awesome, he acts so obsessed its crazy. The cinematography is so cool, lots of cool, vintage special effects, I love it. This movie is fun, if you watch it closely, you can try and figure out the twists on your own. I think the ending is one of the craziest endings I’ve seen in a movie in a very long time… you need to watch this movie. Vertigo was nominated for two Oscars including Best Art and Best Sound. 8 1/2 out of 9


Title: Amelie
Year: 2001
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Lead: Audrey Tautou
Rated: R for sexual content

A girl decides to start helping the people around her, and finds love along the way.

This movie was good, very odd, and interesting. The narration at the beginning was very weird, but pretty funny. This movie is in French with English subtitles, I don’t know how anyone else feels about this, but I’m not a huge fan of subtitles, they get kind of irritating, but the movie was good enough to keep it interesting. I really liked this movie, it showed that if you do good, good will happen to you, like karma. The cinematography was really cool, bizarre shots, there were some pretty cool shaky shots. All in all this was a good movie, it has a very cool story, and they don’t forget anything they tell you, for example, at the very beginning of the film, the narrator tells you that Amelie likes to skip rocks, the whole film she is seen picking up good skipping rocks, its very cool cause you say to yourself “Oh yea, she skips rocks!” Amelie was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Writing, and Best Foreign Film. 8 out of 10


Title: Casablanca
Year: 1943
Director: Michael Curtiz
Lead: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman
Rated: PG for mild violence.

An American bar owner in Casablanca during WWII meets a former lover that complicates his life.

This is one of the great American films. Its got a great story, its really good to watch and it keeps your attention. A little tough to follow at times, but it all comes full circle at the end. It shows that there is inherent good in all people, no matter how cold their outward behavior may be. Humphrey Bogart is fantastic in Casablanca, and plays his part to perfection. This is an American classic, the acting is great, and the story is great, its even pretty sad. Kind of a heartbreak tale, but its very good. Casablanca won 3 Oscars for Best Writing, Best Director, and Best Picture. 8 1/2 out of 10.


Title: Lost in Translation
Year: 2003
Director: Sofia Cappola
Lead: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
Rated: R for some sexual content

The story of how two people come together and develop a friendship that they will remember forever.

This film is fantastic! So awesome, Sofia Cappola makes a masterpiece. Lost in Translation was shot on location in Tokyo, Japan, and the cinematography is amazing, absolute eye candy. Its also really really funny, the experiences that Bill Murray and Scarlett J’s characters have are hilarious. This movie is very emotional too, its sad, funny, and a little angry all rolled up into one film. Its a great lesson on life too, sometimes the small things in life are the ones we remember most. Scarlett and Bill play their parts perfectly, Bill is hilarious and Scarlett does a fantastic job making you feel bad for her. Its really awesome to watch two people come together and basically complete eachother, they both wanted someone to listen to them and they found it in eachother, and had a lot of fun along the way. Its a great lesson in cultures and life. Lost in Translation won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and nominated for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. See this film! 9 out of 10


Title: 3:10 To Yuma
Year: 1957
Director: Delmer Daves
Lead: Glenn Ford, Van Heflin
Rated: PG

You may be saying, “You already reviewed this.” Well, yes, but at the same time, a very resounding no. This is indeed 3:10 To Yuma, but the original. Its still about a rancher who is hired to take a criminal to Contention to get on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. That has not changed

This is the better version of 3:10 To Yuma. Granted, the 2007 version has more action and has more adventure, the 1957 version ends better and leaves you feeling more satisfied. And Glenn Ford plays Ben Wade better than Russel Crowe played him. In my opinion, the two films should stand alone, because I really enjoyed both, The ending really changes the whole plot of the movie. And in the 2007 film, there is more time for you to get to know Ben Wade then there is in the 1957 version. 2007 makes Christian Bale’s Dan Evans seem more desperate for the money than 1957. The end fight scene in 2007 is much more dramatic that 1957 but 1957 still does a fantastic job with cinematography and imagery, body language is pretty important in 1957. In my whole hearted honest opinion 1957 slightly edges 2007 on meaning and emotion, but if we were judging solely on special effects and cinematography, then 2007 is the clear winner. Each film has a little bit of all 4 of those things, so you will no doubt be able to find what you need in this film. 3:10 To Yuma won a 2nd place price at the Laurel Awards for Best Action Drama. You should find this movie and buy it, it would go great next to your 2007 version. P.S. if you have Time Warner Cable, its free in the “free movies on demand” under TCM (Turner Classic Movies). I dunno how long it will be there, but go watch it there, its free! 3:10 To Yuma, 8 out of 10


Title: A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune)
Year: 1902
Director: Georges Melies
Lead: Uncredited
Rated: NR

The first sci-fi film ever. Frenchmen build a rocket and travel to the moon, where they encounter another race.

This film is awesome! Its the first sci-fi film, first film with real effects. They are horrible compared to what we have today, but theres something about this film that makes you want to watch it over and over again. Its historical, its a glimpse into what was cool back at the begining of film. This film is so influential that directors today still use some of the techniques that Melies used. The band “Smashing Pumpkins” copied this film in their music video for “Tonight Tonight”. Virtually every scene in their music video is a scene from Melies masterpeice, at the end notice the name of the ship;) S.S. Melies. Thats the only credit they gave him, their music video went on to win 6 awards at the MTV awards including best video. Anyway, this film is awesome. Heres a link to watch it.