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31 July 2011

West Side Story (1961) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 18#

Directed by: Robert Wise & Jeremy Robbins
Genre: Musical, Drama
Runtime: 146 Minutes

‘West Side Story’ takes off in a Shakespearian outlet in the modern world with the implementation of several things from Romeo & Juliet. I must say it is a terrific portrayal Romeo & Juliet and as predictable as it is, the film still has surprises. If you know the story well you will understand who is being who in the story. Like how Maria is obviously Juliet and so on. This musical feels ahead of it’s time in an indescribable way because of it’s storytelling and choreography. With lyrics from Stephen Sondheim and the director of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, a decade earlier is a finely choreographed musical that is captivating and beautiful.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) [Musical Film-a-thon] 17#

Directed by: Jim Sharman
Written by: Richard O’ Brian & Jim Sharman
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy,
Runtime: 100 Minutes
If I were to rate Rocky Horror 11 months ago, I would have given it a 9/10. After giving it good thought I am now giving it a high 8/10 because as much as I love the songs, it’s plot is pretty weak. Regardless of that, I feel the Rocky Horror is a B-movie smash that is only trying to be a fun musical, and fun it most certainly is. It started in 1973 as a little Broadway show and soon became a movie, which released in 1975, but to a bad critical and box-office response. Over the years, the film just started building a cult and is one of the most musicals today. With it’s weird story and characters and amazingly catchy music (like The Time Warp) Rocky Horror a very fun and comical musical film.

30 July 2011

Chicago (2002) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 16#

Directed by: Rob Marshall
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 113 Minutes
There are many reasons why Chicago is one of my favourite musicals of all time. It is edgy, it has a dark side, the film’s humour is perfect and most of all each song is brilliant. On the time, I first seen this film I absolutely loved it and only until quite recently I realised that Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the 70’s stage play. Therefore, that would explain Chicago’s wonderful style and difference. The stage show was claimed to be a vaudeville musical rather than just a Broadway musical because of it’s style. At last, here is Chicago that was to become a film for over two decades, but Fosse passed away before he could make the film. Chicago is satirically funny, has amazing musical numbers, wonderful characters and dark humour that make it one of the perfect musicals around.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 15#

Directed By: Frank Oz
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Horror
Runtime: 94 Minutes
 If anyone has seen the original 1960 Roger Corman’s B-movie, you will see a dramatic difference with the two. It is odd to think that inspiration for a musical came from a film about a rundown flower shop and a flesh eating plant. Here Muppet show puppeteer Frank Oz as the director’s chair in turning the Broadway show into a hit film. This one stars Ghostbuster’s Rick Moranis, Ellen Green and hilarious and bright cameos from John Candy, Bill Murray and Steve Martin. For cameo appearances in films this film nails it, it is great to see stars like Murray, and Martin put into the same film. It started as a 1982 Broadway musical that sprouted into this charming comedy film. If you can laugh at the concept of it’s fun filled antics and the cliché fun poking style, Little Shop of Horrors can be a funny and entertaining musical experience.

29 July 2011

Burlesque (2010) [Musical film-a-Thon] 14#

Directed by: Steve Antin 
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Runtime: 114 Minutes
The film’s fatal flaw is that it does not bring anything new to the screen in the slightest. Even it’s title doesn’t bring originality, but I am not here to hate the film just because of it’s title. The film does not lack performances; in fact, Christina Aguilera is bearable, but nothing special. What it really lacks is story, and for a musical, it certainly will not have anyone singing along. It is far to long for it’s own good and I hate when I end up watching a film passed 100 Minutes that is bad as it feels like a waste of my time. Not to fear, this film was not bad as Grease 2. Burlesque is a flat tone-deaf musical that lacks plot that even it’s glamorous and entertaining finishing number can’t save.

The Sound of Music (1965) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 13#

Directed by: Robert Wise
Genre: Musical, Drama, Family
Runtime: 174 Minutes
There is a reason that some films live on through the years and remain resonate and enjoyable. Does sound of music live up to that? Yes, it does, even after 45 years. The Sound of Music is no doubt one of the greatest musicals there is because of it’s terrific acting, great emotion and most of all, the beautiful songs and imagery. As a family musical film that spans almost to three hours, it manages to still compel and win over the audience. Many critics have come to saying the film is no longer a classic, but I stick by saying the film is a classic musical film that is still impressive, at least a little.

28 July 2011

The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 12#

Directed by: Henry Selick
Produced by: Tim Burton & Denise DiNovi.
Run Time: 76 minutes
Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Musical
This film is a breath-taking journey into Burton’s highly original world with the great cast of characters and highly magical story. That is one of the many joys of films.  As far as concepts come, Nightmare before Christmas is one of the most original I’ve seen. The film has everything a good film should have. It has great characters, interesting storyline and great direction. Although the story is simple, it remains beautiful. The film sweeps you off your feet and takes you into the imaginative world of Halloween Town. The style is so distinctive and appealing, which makes it different from most animated movies out there. This one of the films that got me interested in films and film-making. The Nightmare before Christmas is a timeless animated wonder because of how artistically crafted it is. 

Cabaret (1972) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 11#

Directed by: Bob Fosse
Genre: Musical, Drama
Runtime: 124 minutes
Life is a cabaret! What do I think of it? I love it! Cabaret is a very extraordinary kind of musical from legendary musical director Bob Fosse. For me it is more than just musical. It is not just singing and dancing shown here, but true emotion and an honest story. Based in Germany, Berlin 1931 it is also shows an aspect of history. During the time of the rise of the Nazi Party was a rise in homosexuality, bisexuality, sadomasochism and many other activities. Times were very much changing in Germany. So is it hard to imagine a musical around this kind of theme? Well it is undeniably good and it is not what you think it is. Starring Liza Minnelli, who is a beautiful and talented woman here, Michael York and Joel Grey is a musical of a different breed very much so. With evocative musical numbers and great acting, give Cabaret it's deserving status as a stylish and socially conscious classic.

27 July 2011

Grease 2 (1982) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 10#

Directed by: Patricia Birch
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Runtime: 114 Minutes
I think the title speaks for itself. Grease 2 is one of the worst sequels I have ever seen and it lacks everything a good or even okay film should have. It’s tacky. It’s annoying. It’s stupid and most of all it just is not fun! The drags on almost 2 hours and it really depressed me half way through. I was just wishing the film would end. Whose idea was it to make a sequel to Grease anyway? In addition, I can see why half the original cast did not want to return, the only person who was enjoyable in the film was Frenchy, whose actress actually returned. The school principal and her assistant’s original actresses also returned. However, no Travolta or any of the other people you might have liked in the previous film. Oh and you remember Sandra D? Well she is not in the film. Grease 2 is not worth your time and it’s just plain insulting.

Easter Parade (1948) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 9#

Directed by:  Charles Walters
Genre: Musical, Drama
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Easter Parade features boastful emotion, solid characters and some purely magical musical numbers. Starring the legendary dancer Fred Astaire and high time actress Judy Garland it is a finely crafted musical that will be fun for years to come. The film has some of very fine dancing and not just from the acclaimed Astaire. Easter Parade is a musical with old and new Irving Berlin tunes and standout dance numbers. Even though it is over 60 years old it still has a beautiful ‘gay’ charm to it, making it an emotional and joyful musical film that can last through the ages.

26 July 2011

The Producers (2005) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 8#

Directed by: Susan Stroman 
Written by: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Runtime: 129 Minutes
Although it doesn’t compare to the almighty original, The Producers (2005) is a pretty good comedy musical and is also quite funny. The songs are comedic and fun, but not the most memorable. Former writer and director of the original, Mel Brooks stepped in to produce this film about producers and also wrote the screenplay so the film isn’t useless after all. If it weren’t for Brooks in the producers chair the film might have been a little bit worse and the thing that makes the film good is the way it reminds you of the previous if you’ve seen it. In the end the film isn’t as bad as some critics have said and still has a good spark of comedy, but not long lasting comedy.

All that Jazz (1979) [Muscal Film-a-Thon] 7#

Directed by: Bob Fosse
Written by: Bob Fosse & Robert Alan Arthur
Genre: Musical, Drama
Runtime: 122 Minutes 
"All That Jazz" tells the story of an exhausted director/choreographer who is frantically working on his new Broadway show while editing a film. The film’s inspiration was by Bob Fosse’s manic effort to edit his film while simultaneously staging his 1975 Broadway musical Chicago. The aspects of the film are of the dancer, choreographer, and director's life and career.  Without a daily dose of Vivaldi, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, Dexedrine and sex, he wouldn't have the energy to keep up the biggest show of them all — his life. It is an excellent piece of drama which makes it one of the best musicals there is with it’s It is a viciously honest portrayal that alongside it’s drama has some good eye (and ear) candy to behold.

25 July 2011

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) [Musical Film-a-Thon]6#

Directed by: Tim Burton 
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Musical, Fantasy
Runtime: 116 Minutes
I seem to like it more than most people, but I can’t help but feel that Sweeney Todd is a modern musical masterpiece. Among the film’s dark colour palette that seems dead it captures the 19th century gothic look, and it’s something only director Tim Burton could capture with his visionary grace. This is the sixth film that director Burton and acting veteran Johnny Depp collaborated, and it still seems the roles hold strength. This particular musical film is a stage adaption of the 1937 version of the musical of the same name. Stephen Sondheim’s masterful music meshes well with the film’s gory and eccentric fillings and will certainly have you on edge. ‘Sweeney Todd’ is one of the few musical macabre thriller films to exist and is among my personal favourite musicals.

Holiday Inn (1942) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 5#

Directed by: Mark Sendrich
Genre: Musical, Romance
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Most certainly one of the greatest and brightest musicals ever made in this all singing, all dancing musical extravaganza. Starring Bing Crosby and dancing legend Fred Astaire Holiday Inn is a warm, charming musical film with romance and comedy thrown into the bag. It’s old fashioned, and quite dated, but this film is classic cinema and is one exciting piece of entertainment. It is a simple and thin story of a love triangle showing Astaire at his most energetic, but alongside it’s marvellous dancing and some great musical numbers it remains a great film. The fantastic Irving Berlin Score ‘Let’s say it with Firecrackers’ (which gives Fred his finest moment) makes up for it’s thin and simplistic story.

24 July 2011

Bugsy Malone (1976) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 4#

Directed by: Alan Parker
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Family
Runtime: 93 Minutes 
All singing, all dancing in the times of the depression, Bugsy Malone is a film with a cast consisting of kids, and kids only. It’s a whole lot of fun and it’s full of some pretty good songs. The songs and set pieces are still fresh and infectious and most of the child cast are mesmerizingly good. At first the notion seems alarming: a gangster movie cast entirely with kids. Especially when we learn that "Bugsy Malone" isn't intended as a kid's movie so much as a cheerful comment on the childlike values and behaviour in classic Hollywood crime films. Despite that it’s a great film. In terms of good acting, the kids did a great job. It’s an unusual kind of film and pretty goofy when you think about it, but it’s a warm and clever experience that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Hairspray (1988)

Directed & Written by: John Waters
Genre: Comedy, Family
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Although this isn't a musical, but since I did the musical remake I thought I'd review the all dancing original. I loved the remake, and it was the one I seen first. Now I know how much of a brilliant remake it is. It nailed several of the things made in this one and my rating is a little bit higher for this film because of it’s striking originality and comedy. Director John Waters may not be a box-office booming director but his films feel sincere and warm of the craft of filmmaking. He enjoys what he does and what he writes is great. Hairspray (1988) is full of fun comedy that pokes fun at the oddity of the early 60’s, before the Beatles, before LSD’s and hippies. Waters both wrote and directed this film and did a great job at depicting the 60’s. The characters are funny, the story is simple, but shows the discrimination against black people which is the film’s important message towards the end. The film features Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry, Divine and a whole lot of great other actors. It’s a delightful fun film that is comically well written.

23 July 2011

Annie (1981) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 3#

Directed by: John Huston
Genre: Musical, Family, Comedy
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Often considered stale today but Annie still has a little spark of magic in it. An odd choice for director John Huston, the man that brought critically successful films like Wise Blood and The Man Who Would Be Kind in this sloppy stage adaption, but the kids are cute, the songs are memorable but he film’s weak narrative and characters brings it down. The casting was great, featuring Tim Curry, Albert Finney and even Ann Reinking, who previously starred in All That Jazz. In the abstract Annie is fun, colourful, filled with movement and some memorable musical numbers.

The New Certified Exellent Stamp

My old stamp looks crappy so here is a new one. More appealing and fresh looking.

Hairspray (2007) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 2#

Directed by: Adam Shankman
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Runtime: 115 Minutes
I’m not scared to admit that I enjoyed this nostalgia styled musical film and it is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s full of those cliché movie moments for sure, but they are quite on the deliberate side. And when not on the deliberate side, it’s elements of comedy. It is sort of like what Cry-baby does, pokes fun at the subject. Hairspray stars a wide cast being from musical past star, John Travolta playing the overweight house mouse mother to Michelle Pfeiffer as the ultimate showbiz bitch. I know many women love it, and that goes for my sister and mother included, and even as a boy I can’t deny this film’s fun entertaining charm. Full of bright nostalgic sets, fun characters and a plot that is simple, but nice, Hairspray is a wonderful summer movie with lots of energy.

22 July 2011

Grease (1978) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 1#

Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Produced by: Robert Stigwood and Allan Carr
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Genre: Musical, Romance
Ah yes, Grease. Grease today is considered a ‘cult classic’. It’s a fun musical with some good songs and interesting characters, but I was expecting it to be better. I haven’t seen this one in several years so I thought I’d watch it again, but as I said my expectations were a little more. But even saying that, the film was very fun, had lots of bright characters and an okay story. I enjoyed some of the musical numbers, including the classic ‘Go Grease Lightning’ song. I also enjoyed the animated intro video with the song ‘Grease is the word’. Grease is a highly enjoyable music film with hints of comedy and lots of fun characters. Although Grease is an all singing and all dancing delight, it still feels kind of week in story.

The Pixar Story (2007) Review

Directed by: Leslie Iworks
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Ever wondered how Computer Animation all started? Well this 90-minute documentary will answer this. Famed cartoonist Ub Iwerks's granddaughter Leslie turns the camera lens on the artists and storytellers behind some of the most widely hailed animated films of the modern era in this in-depth documentary. The Pixar Story is a definitive truth of how one man collaborated with others to start the computerised world of animation. And his name is non-other than John Lasseter. Like Walt Disney at his time, he revolutionised the animation industry. Lasseter was the one who pushed forward the idea of computer animation and since the mid 1980’s he has been doing that. Now he is the Chief Executive of Walt Disney Animation Studios. I have watched this at least three times, and is the most watched documentary I have seen. It’s a great history that unveils the beginning of computer animation and shows how much of an art it really is.

21 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Directed by: David Yates
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves
Based on the Novel by J.K Rowling 
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 130 Minutes
For any die hard Potter fan the final conclusion to the worldwide phenomenon will not disappoint. The story is monumental cinema that will reach out to people young or old as a message of there is evil inside of all of us, but we can overcome it. It’s full of unbelievably thrilling action, more explanation and purpose to the story and plenty of powerful drama.  Lest I forget it is also filled with powerful acting and visually dazzling effects. For any major Potter fan a feeling of satisfaction will be with you when the film ends as well as a tear for the multi-billion franchise that has spanned for a decade. This film for me has been my most anticipated since I saw Deathly Hallows part 1 and it’s the most anticipated film for me since Toy Story 3. Simply mind-blowing for sure and it’s easily one of the best films of this year. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

Directed by: David Yates
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 146 Minutes
“These are dark times there are no denying” says the minister of magic at the very first moment of the film. Things have been toned up an extra notch and now the Death Eaters and Voldemort are trying to get to Harry. Deathly Hallows is one of the best films in the series because of it’s heroic heroin charm, and most of all it’s an adventure. It is also the most emotional, complex and even scariest of the series. Once more David Yates takes the director’s chair and even screenplay writer Steve Kloves is there. The first time I saw this in cinemas way back in 2010 November, I absolutely loved it, but didn’t get some parts. I was hooked on the Potter phenomenon once more so I watched Potter 1-6 at home for that week. What I then did was go to see the film again and it still remained brilliant. It’s an exciting journey full of action, drama, adventure and plenty of comic relief to keep you sane.

20 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009)

Directed by: David Yates
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Action & adventure,
Runtime: 153 Minutes
We have seen the characters bloom and grow through the six years at Hogwarts, as characters as well as actors. Half-Blood Prince is unquestionably the most dramatic (and if you like, the darkest) so far up to this point in the Potter series and more secrets are revealed and uncovered. Director David Yates takes the chair again along with returning screenwriter of the first four films, Steve Kloves and once more both their skills have contributed to this film. The films direction is safe in Yates' hands as he deals out the cards right with the film’s fine direction. Potter 6 is full of more teenage angst, unhappy things, and serious issues, and together combines to make one exciting drama that warps us into the seriousness of what may very well be, the end. Some will detest the films darkness, possibly even boring and depressing, but the films natural flow into the darker and more serious tone is only natural. Since Voldemort returned in Goblet of Fire things have been becoming more serious and from everything that has happened to Harry and his friends, and even for the whole ministry of magic, it’s hard not for the story’s tone to become more serious.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Director: David Yates
Screenplay: Michael Goldenberg 
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Family, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 138 minutes
Most people consider this the worst in the series which is agreeable to an extent. So here we are 5 years into the series and if you’re not a Potter fan then the series doesn’t do much for you from this point. All the innocence and delight in which we known Hogwarts and the magical Potter universe is now gone as the story takes us into more serious matters through it’s complex plot and twists that will give you a run for your money. Many dislike the idea of The film’s darkness after the 4th film, but as the characters grow, the story evolves. Although the magical Hogwarts world was all magically innocent, I think the conversion of the story of Voldemort is terrific and Voldemort is simply the persona of evil and hate.

Rating system Update!

I am just back from my Holiday and during the time I was wondering what other way could I rate films better. So now I have come to terms with what I will now do. The first rating at the top wil be on a simple scale of 1-10 and the element ratings will stay the same being out of 10 (using dot-numbers). As for the bottom overall, it will be the more specific 1-10 rating shown above. Example: 8/10- bottom rating: 8.6/10. As for 10/10 ratings. They will be awarded to films that score over 9.5 fairly.

17 July 2011

Big Momma’s: Like Father Like Son (2011)

Directed by: John Whitesell
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 108 minutes (112 Minutes Extended)

Yes, it is bad as the critics say, and even the audience surely. Big Momma’s House 3 is truly a cash-cow of a film and there really was no need for it. It’s a washed up comedy with cliché dumbness and characters that will piss off the average film viewer. If you enjoy stupid simple-minded stories with Pop culture references of the ass, then Big Momma 3 offers entertainment. For those that know a good film when you see one, then your going to hate this. It is really stupid and for a comedy it isn’t all that funny. There was about 3 times I laughed and even then it was a mild chuckle. The film doesn’t have those things you like in Movies like characters, plot twists, great music and all that other cinematographic stuff that makes films great. It’s just a simple minded dumb comedy made by a bunch of immature film makers.

14 July 2011

Actor Overviews: Johnny Depp

Depp in 2011..

Actor Rating: 92/100

Personally, Depp is one of my favourite actors and one with the widest variety of film roles that I’ve seen from any actor. Johnny Depp made his way in Hollywood pretty easy, considering he wanted to be a musician with his bandsmall role ‘Six Guns Method’. Since 1984 with his A Nightmare on Elm Street role, Depp has appeared in many great films such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Finding Neverland and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He is a prize member of Hollywood yet still an individualist. Johnny Depp is one of cinema’s most enduring performers with his breath-taking performances, and struggle and rebellion with Hollywood in his early years (An explanation is fore coming). Depp goes from wild-child Hell-raiser to mainstream maverick.  This overview is rather long but it is the best way to give justice to this fine actor. Enjoy my overview of a divine actor and a swell guy!

13 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Directed by: Mike Newell
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Drama
Runtime: 157 Minutes

It may be the worst, in fact let me say it may be my least liked, in the series so far at this point but it’s still an entertaining journey for Harry and the gang, and it's when things start to get a little more serious. After Potter 4 the series gets very serious which is good because now all this use of magic and such is less kiddie fantasy and more adult themed, but at the same time, not too much. some people prefer it to be on the lighter side, but i enjoy both kinds. The stuff that happens in this film is definitely the hardest things Harry has had to do so far at his time at Hogwarts and is again a great film. At this point in the series unless you’re a potter fan, or have at least seen the previous films in the series Potter 4 will not sustain you 100% and doesn’t stand firmly as an amazing film. That’s the one downside for the Potter films from here and after.

11 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Directed by: Alfonzo Cuaron

Screenplay by: Steve Kloves

Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Drama, Family

Runtime:129 Minutes
Harry has reached his teen years, and adolescence has certainly arrived. Harry is now more confident and finally takes a stand for himself. New director Alfonzo Cuaron takes the chair and it’s a smart move to change director of the films every once in the while. We still have screen writer Steve Kloves and overall it’s once more a fine production. The great thing I love about Potter 3 here is it’s in-between the dark and light of the films fade into darkness. After this film the story spirals into the darkness as Voldemort has more of an appearance. Azkaban involves werewolves, more of that whomping tree and even time travel, making Harry Potter 3 one of the best in the series. Harry is now 13 and this time he walks out in rage and gets a mysterious purple bus that takes him to an inn of some sort and he meets his good friends Ron and Hermione. Potter 3 is probably the best in the series because it is before things get to become dark and gruesome, and it has the perfect blend altogether.

09 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Directed by: Chris Columbus 
Screenplay by: Steve Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Family, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 151 Minutes

A year has passed and Harry returns to school in a slightly more dark tones environment of trees fighting back, giant spiders, flying cars and several other magical things. Harry Potter 2 is a very worthy sequel, and is one of my favourites from the Potter series. I like it slightly more than the original, and that is unlikely with most film series. Once more we have wonderful characters and weird happenings and the film begins to unravel more of the mysteries that lay within the walls of Hogwarts. To believe this is only the beginning of the series and after this we’ll be seeing a lot more of Potter and the gang in more action, fantasy and excitement. Oh and let’s not forget about drama, lots of good filled drama.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

Directed by:Chris Columbus
Screenplay by: Steven Kloves
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Family,
Runtime: 142 Minutes

To begin with I want to say I am a huge Potter fan and It’s one of my favourite movie franchises. There are barely people out their today who don’t know the name Harry Potter, despite if they haven’t read the books or watching the films. For better for worse the series has been very successful and all the films are good. They get darker as they go along and the story unravels between films 1 and 6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone is an excellent entry into the world of wizards, witchcraft, broomsticks and a giant school in a castle called Hogwarts. The Harry Potter films have such a brilliant story, and I give huge credit of course to writer J.K Rowling. Her heart and soul truly went into this film during her hard times in the late 90’s. I have read the books 1-3 and absolutely loved them, although to keep the cinematic experience for the final film I am not touching the Deathly Hallows book. One thing to note for the films is their originality. I give high credit to director Chris Columbus for doing an excellent job in putting the film in order, and the screenplay is very true to the book.

08 July 2011

This Boys' Life (1994)

Directed by: Michael-Caton Jones
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 114 Minutes

With terrific drama based on a true story, This Boy’s Life boasts heavy emotion and a terrific story. With Robert DeNiro, film star legend on board, the film is topped off with grand acting. Starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio I must say I am very impressed with his performance and it’s clear to see how he has become renown today. Never have I seen a child star put so much effort into a role, but not only that, the role was extremely believable and his character had so much emotional depth it was terrific. The story is amazing and the transformation of the two characters, young Toby and single mother Caroline Wolfe who go on a journey to seek family life, but along the way it isn’t as sweet as they expected.

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Directed by: Christopher Cain
Genre: Comedy, Action, Family
Runtime: 104 Minutes 

I absolutely love the original karate kid film, and the remake. Heck, I even kind of liked the second and third. Then someone just had to go the extra bit further and make this. Christopher Cain (The Director) should be ashamed of this. It is a mockery to the series and makes a fool out of Mr Miagi. But that's not all. The film just isn't very good at all! I don't blame the director as much as I do to the guy that wrote the garbage, that's right I'm talking about you Mark Lee. The film is desperately dull and uninspired. Over-long and utterly predictable, The Next Karate Kid offers little excitement, even in its culminating fight sequence.

Thanks for 10K!

I have just hit 10K total blog views so thanks everyone for reading :)

07 July 2011

Cry-Baby (1990)

Directed by: John Waters
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Runtime: 76 Minutes

Cry-baby mocks the cliché teenage social scene and is actually a very funny and enjoyable movie. This is one of Johnny Depp’s early roles and he did an excellent job in this corny musical comedy. The humour was excellent because of how it poked fun at the typical teenagers and exaggerates things. Film has great characters and a few good songs. Some of the songs are deliberately exaggerated, and the film has a hint of the film Hairspray in it. The 50’s I suppose was the time when the traditional innocent kind of living was broke by rebellious teenagers, from riding motor bikes to wearing leather jackets.

Leave her to Heaven (1945)

My Rating 8/10

Directed by: John M. Stahl
Genre: Drama, Romance, Noir
Runtime: 110 Minutes

Leave her to Heaven was released in 1945, not long after WWII ended. At the end of WWII several films based on addiction and obsession where released and this was one of them. With brilliant award winning performances, Leave Her to Heaven is a story about a mad with love woman. I checked this one out because I heard Vincent Price was in it, and I have seen a good lot of his films now, so he caught my attention. So this is a pretty old film, but is in beautiful colour. The film is about a woman mad with love of her husband that she goes to extreme lengths to stop others getting in the way. The film shows that love isn’t always a good thing which is why I’m reviewing it. The first 15 minutes of the film where pretty boring, and the film is actually based on a man telling another man the story of the main character [I will explain properly later]. The acting is very well done, as it usually is with these classics, but for some reason I can see how classic Hollywood is spoofed. A lot of the time there is so much drama going on in these classic dramas, but I guess it’s in the genre title. Regardless of that, it’s understandable emotion and the film is pretty inventive and interesting to watch.

06 July 2011

Introducing...the Certified Stamp of Unsatisfaction!

So I thought to myself, why not have a stamp to award to films that suck a lot. So for every film that scores under 3/10 for me I give it this stamp to say the film is that bad. I use a picture of squidward from spongebob's unsure face to show the disgust of the reason it gets the stamp so it kind of fits well with the stamps goal.

Eragon (2006) Review

Directed by: Stefan Fangmeier
Genre: Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 103 Minutes

Outstandingly flat, boring and too quickly paced! Let me start by saying that I have not read the book and thankfully I haven’t, that would take even more of my time away. Eragon was written by a 15 year old boy, and I will quote rotten Tomatoes consensus of ‘(it shows)’ and is truly a film that obviously clones Lord of the Rings and even Star Wars. The film is full of flat acting, bad dialogue, badly paced narrative and even characters you don’t care about. The film is an utter waste of my time. Many have enjoyed the book, and many hate it. In fact I believe more people hate the book. I have not read the book as I said there, so my opinions are clearly hatred against the film. Apparently several of the chapters are skipped in the film, and actually, that kind of shows. The film’s pace and play-out is completely wrong and is unbelievably boring. So it’s clear that some youngster got a perk of his book being published, and somehow getting a film that just ended up being terrible.

Top 10 Silent Films (as of 06/07/11)

Now that my silent film marathon has come to an end, I think it is only fair that I now make a top 10 list of them. With so many great films, and not one bad one and there barely are any 'bad' silent films. From the silent films I have learnt the birth of cinema in a way. How some directors started, how the characters behaved and how the early concepts would be used repeatedly in films of the future. They are truly glorious no doubt. Not only are they fascinating to watch, but they are ultimately entertaining. Not as many people watch silent films today, among my age group or even any age group, but I say firmly that several of the silent films are in my top 20 films of all time list. So much has come from silent films, and from the ones I have watched it shows that cinema goes further than I thought. I have watched several international silent films from Germany and  France and all over the place, and now I think I will check out more modern international films. silent films are what made cinema today and they won't be forgotten. Enjoy my countdown of my top 10 favourite silent films. Just click the title to read my review of the film.

05 July 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 24# Metropolis (1927)

Directed by: Fritz Lang
Written by: Thea Von Harbou
Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 120 Minutes (147 Minutes restored version)

How can I start this review? I guess I can start by saying that Metropolis is clearly one of the earliest Sci-Fi films and shows that even during the 1920’s people grew suspicious of machines taking over. With colossal and outstanding sets, terrific acting and amazing visual effects (for the time), Metropolis is not only one of the first Sci-Fi films, but one of the greatest. Some of the acting may be overdone, but being a silent film it has to push itself and it still grasps your attention to what’s happening. For the first time since its début in 1927, a two-hour-and-27-minute version of Fritz Lang's masterwork — a version that includes 25 minutes of previously lost footage — will be generally available. To see the film as the director intended, on Blu-ray with an original score recorded by a 60-piece orchestra, greatly enhances the reputation of a film already considered one of the icons of the silent era. Metropolis may not be the best film that exists in cinema, but I say firmly it is a film to see before you die. Once more I have discovered a foreign silent film that shows that world cinema has a lot to offer.

04 July 2011

Film Master News Letter 5# 04/07/11

Well I am back with the news letter thing again but this time they aren't going to be as long because it feels kind of pointless writing news that people can get from any source basically. I am only writing what I feel is necessary.

The Silent Film Marathon
The marathon has been going on for around 2 1/2 weeks now but is coming to end very soon. After I review one more film it will all be over, and then I will be making my top 10 favourite silent films list. It has been fun watching all these silent films and I will be watching more in the future.

This week in theatres:
  • Horrible Bosses July 8
  • Zoo Keeper July 8

Best Film Trilogy and Best Actor Of all Time Poll results!

Top 5 results from the best trilogy poll are: 
5. The Godfather with 7 Votes

4. Back to the future with 8 votes

3. Toy Story with 14 Votes

2. Lord of the Rings with 16 votes

1. Star Wars (The Original trilogy) with 17 Votes

Thank you to everyone that voted!

[Silent Film Marathon] 23# Modern Times (1936)

Directed & Produced by Charlie Chaplin
Written by Charlie Chaplin & Paulette Goddard
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Runtime: 85 Minutes

This film will not be forgotten the history of cinema because of the crafted beauty. This is the last time we see Chaplin’s iconic tramp character and he certainly left with a good exit. Modern Times is almost perfect in every way. It’s full of great characters, great set design, and a terrific story and with Chaplin doubling as a composer the music was outstanding. It’s 1936 and silent films are pretty much obliterated by the rise of sound pictures since 1928 with ‘The Jazz Singer’. All the action shows the insanity of the modern world and being 1936, it’s just when times are getting better for the suffering world of ‘the depression era’. It boasts great emotion and does the obvious thing of making you laugh all in one. Chaplin planned on this film actually being a talkie film, and I am glad that he didn’t because if he did, who knows if this film would be good. Both ways I think it would probably be great and it’s great that Chaplin stuck to his guns one last time. Although using small clips of dialogue and synchronised sound effects and music, it stands with it’s intertitles and marvellous story as a silent film and is definitely one of Chaplin’s greatest pictures.

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