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All Quentin Tarantino films
The Blues Brothers
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Beast of War
The Cannonball Run films
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Way of the Gun
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
All Marx Brothers films
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
All Coen brothers films
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
AVP haters don't know what they're talking about
Well after about 13 years of waiting I finally saw AVP on opening night. I was very pleased with the outcome. Leading up to the opening of the film, the net (IMDB included) was full of fanboys talking all kinds of trash. W.S. Anderson sucks, this movie will suck, blah, blah, blah. Well they are wrong! I don't know what the Comic Book Store guys of the world were expecting, but the movie kicks ass and don't let anyone tell you different. AVP haters are the same kind of people that worship the ground George Lucas walks on while at the same time ripping the new movies for "not being like the originals." Whatever. I've said my piece now on to the movie.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD The first 30 minutes or so is a bit slow, as they need to lay down the story and introduce you to the future dead humans. Wisely, the movie doesn't concentrate on the humans too much as Anderson knows who are the real stars of this show. The Predators make their entrance into the movie with a look onboard their ship as it approaches Earth. Their computer displays are all projected in 3-D, probably so they can see them with their infrared vision. The infrared vision by the way is a bit changed from the first two movies. It's more refined and not as blurry as the original movie's vision. More computerized is the best way I can describe it. The Predator's weapons are the same as in the first two films with the exception of this throwing star with retractable blades that is at least as badass as their plasma cannons, which by the way you won't be seeing as much. The Alien/Predator fights are really spectacular although in a few sequences you can barely see what's happening as everything is moving too fast and the camera is really zoomed in. It reminded me of a Godzilla movie at those moments. Still, the power of these two heavyweights is awesome to behold and both the Aliens and the Predators give and take in this battle. There are casualties on both sides, just about all the humans die,(of course) and despite the PG-13 rating, there is plenty of violence and blood. At least of the glowing green and acid kind. The Predators didn't make much use of their cloaking devices in this one. It didn't help them too much anyway. You come to see this movie for the stars, not for the acting,(sucks) or the storyline(minimal). By the way that the votes are going so far I would say that you are either going to love this movie or hate it. Oh, I almost forgot. They set it up for a sequel. I won't tell you how but it looks pretty cool. This is the best movie to come out since Dawn of the Dead. F***** awesome!!!!!!!!
Training Day (2001)
A great cop thriller
Training Day kicks ass. Denzel Washington turns in one of the greatest performances of his career and this movie never lags for a second. Some cop films make the mistake of getting too deep in the plot and leaving things like acting and action by the wayside. Training Day achieves the perfect balance.
Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke play well off each other and you end up liking each character. The supporting cast does well but it's Washington and Hawke that you are watching. Scott Glenn is good as a drug dealer that's a friend of Washington. The film takes place over the course of one day and what a day that is. From shooting it out with gang members to finding out just how dirty a cop Denzel is, Ethan Hawke finds that his first day on Denzel's beat is a very dangerous one.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend this movie. If you haven't seen it yet you're missing out. A first class cop drama/thriller.
An unoriginal but well acted teen drama
My girlfriend rented this because she wanted to watch a girl movie. I figured that I would have to endure this teen movie hell until I could watch my choices. I was not expecting that this movie would be any good but I was wrong. The acting is what carries this movie since the story is not original and the dialogue is corny. Nikki Reed co-wrote the story along with the director and is supposedly loosely based on events in her life. Whatever. Reed threw in just about every problem that a teen can be faced with. The only thing that was missing was that someone didn't get shot. Suddenly Melrose Avenue and the Venice boardwalk are the coolest places in the world to hang out. Reed obviously hasn't spent much time in LA. Either that or she's stupid. Neither would surprise me. We follow the main character Tracy as she suddenly turns from a thoughtful A student to a thieving, drug-taking slut in the space of a week or two. All because she gains entrance to the in crowd through teen vampire Evie. The story is more than a little stupid but the acting keeps you watching. Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood are the people to watch here and their performances are great. Especially considering the material they are working with.
Bottom Line: Watch this movie for the acting and prepare to be annoyed by Nikki Reed's character. Or you could rent/watch something better. The choice is yours but just for your info Holly get nekkid. If you look at Holly that way. Ok I'll stop typing now.
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Interesting look at America's relationship with guns
Michael Moore really hit the nail on the head with this movie. Instead of taking a side, Moore shows both sides of the gun lobby. Instead of putting blame on any one camp, Moore simply asks questions. Why does America have so many gun deaths when Canada, who has a large amount of guns, has hardly any? Questions like these really make the viewer think. Whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun you will like this film although this movie gives ammo (pun not intended) to both groups. Columbine is of course looked at and Moore does interviews with kids who went to Columbine as well as with people who live in the area. It's not a film that you watch to entertain yourself but educate yourself.
Bottom Line: A great documentary and one that doesn't make your brain into oatmeal. Asks some hard questions about American society and the American people and most importantly about the culture of fear that the media and the American government perpetuate.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Corny 80's gold
There are a lot of people who are going on about how much Teen Wolf sucks. I disagree because Teen Wolf has a special kind of suck going for it. Not so bad it's good but corny as hell and better for it. I've been watching this movie since it came out and I love it. How can you not love Teen Wolf? Michael J. Fox turns into a werewolf and becomes a popular star of his high school basketball team. There is even a dance at his prom that is wolf related. The whole school turns wolf crazy but Fox learns the right lesson in the end. How can you not love this corny crap. I'll be the first to admit that this isn't a good movie and is incredibly stupid, but honest to goodness crapfests don't have Stiles or a breakdancing wolf. Take that American Werewolf in London. Recently Teen Wolf has been blessed with DVD release along with it's sequel, Teen Wolf Too, on one disc. 80's fans rejoice!
Bottom Line: It isn't worthy of even trying to call itself good, but it's a classic, doesn't take itself seriously, and occupies a honored place on my shelf.
They Live (1988)
One of Carpenter's better efforts
Movies like They Live aren't made much anymore. Cheap and corny though it may be, They Live represents a dying breed. Good B-movie sci-fi. Back when John Carpenter was making good movies instead of slowly digging his own grave, They Live showed the viewer a filmmaker that always had a clear vision of what he was doing. They Live isn't meant to be taken too seriously on the surface. The biting social commentary that reveals itself when our heroes put on their special sunglasses is the real scary part of the movie, the alien masks don't shock unless you put yourself in Roddy Piper's shoes.
By far the best and most famous part of the film (besides the line "I am here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum.") is the seemingly endless fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David. Long, brutal, and started for the stupidest reason, this scene is the blueprint for the cripple fight between Jimmy and Timmy in South Park.
Bottom Line: They Live isn't the greatest movie ever or anything but it's worth checking out if you like John Carpenter or sci-fi. Rent before you buy.
Great movie but given more credit than it deserves
Scarface has got to be one of the most overrated movies ever. It's a great movie don't get me wrong and Al Pacino turns in one of his best performances ever. The movie has been elevated to a level that it doesn't deserve however. The rap community in particular have made this movie almost a blueprint of how to make it in this country. That isn't the lesson of the movie but there you go.
Al Pacino is really putting on a show here and his performance should have won an Oscar. The rest of the cast also turns in fine performances but Al carries the film. Scarface never seems to lag or threaten to turn boring. Riding with Tony Montana is a thrill ride that doesn't slow down until the film ends. The best part of the movie remains the closing when we get to say 'ello to Al's little friend. The whole film is good though and it's a classic. It isn't the greatest movie in history like some people say but it's pretty good.
Bottom Line: Scarface is a kick ass movie but it isn't the Citizen Kane of gangster films like some people say it is. Make your own decision
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Smokey IS the bandit!
Being a huge fan of the Cannonball Run films, Hal Needham, and Burt Reynolds, I was expecting big things from this movie. Hooper and Stroker Ace had let me down. I was counting on Smokey to be at least somewhat the equal of Cannonball Run. It was entertaining in parts but it wasn't what I was hoping it would be. The driving/stunts are ok and the presence of Jackie Gleason provides a little comic relief. The movie is slow moving though and the back and forth between Burt and Sally Field is just annoying. I was really disappointed. Again. Bottom Line: See this movie if you must, I'd advise you go ahead and pass up this "sumbitch".
Entertaining film but not Burt's best
So there I was walking through Target when I spied Hooper on DVD for 6 bucks. I had read an article in Maxim magazine about a stunt in the movie where a car races under a collapsing smokestack and I was eager to see that plus I'm a fan of Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham. So I bought it. Good thing it was cheap.
Hooper is just a movie about stuntmen so there isn't much in the way of plot or acting. The stunts are good but they should be in a movie about stuntmen. Burt is himself like in most of his movies. There was one thing about this movie that really disappointed me. The smokestack scene that I wanted to see, the scene that I bought the movie for, the scene that Maxim explained at length, was faked! Looking at the sequence frame by frame you can see that the car is inserted into the shot. I was a little mad to say the least.
Bottom Line: Other than the searing pain that accompanied the realization that I had been cheated, it wasn't such a bad movie. Maybe not something I would by again, but ok overall.
Disorganized Crime (1989)
Cable worthy star studded 80's comedy
I first saw this movie on cable as I'm sure most of you did. This movie isn't terribly funny but it is entertaining. The greatest advantage that this movie has is it's large and talented cast. Let's go over that cast for a minute.
Fred Gwynne, Corbin Bernsen, Ruben Blades, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Ed O' Neill all put in great performances and don't take their characters too seriously. Although none of these actors is particularly hot at the moment, all are accomplished actors. It's also too bad that Fred Gwynne has passed away. This kind of light hearted heist film can die a quick death if it takes itself too seriously. Fortunately the movie keeps it real and doesn't try to be too serious.
Bottom Line: I have this on VHS because I kept seeing it on TV and I finally broke down and bought it. Now if you like movies that you can watch, enjoy and then forget about, then this is the movie for you.
Saving Silverman (2001)
a entertaining silly comedy
Saving Silverman has it's good points and it's bad points. The good outweighs the bad though and this film manages to be pretty funny. There really isn't anything in the film that is original but it's funny all the same.
Jack Black is by far the best thing about this movie. Every scene he's in is funny and his energy makes him exciting and fun to watch. His isn't the only performance worth watching however. Steve Zahn is perfect as Jack Black's comedic partner and R. Lee Ermey is in top drill sargent form as the coach. Amanda Peet does a great job of making you hate her character. Her super bitch is the reason that they're trying to save Silverman, played by Jason Biggs. I don't know why Biggs has gotten the attention and the roles that he has considering he isn't a good actor, isn't good looking and doesn't have any charisma. He is the worst part of this movie and his friendship with the obviously much older Zahn and Black is a little hard to believe.
Bottom Line: this is a good serviceable comedy that makes you laugh and doesn't make you think too hard. Good for the kids and good for everybody, this film is pretty funny and a great showpiece for Jack Black.
A true Professional
Leon must be the greatest movie about a hitman. Luc Besson perfectly tells the story of Leon, a lonely man that only has his work to keep him busy. This film is a lot more than just a gritty story about killing though.
Jean Reno is an underrated actor and quite charming. He brings Leon to life and adeptly shows his transformation from soulless killer to a man who realizes that life involves living and loving and not killing. Natalie Portman does a fine job of being the object of Leon's affections. Although some people see this movie as having barely veiled pedophile overtones, all of the scenes with Reno and Portman are innocent and nothing is implied I think. Gary Oldman pulls off an incredible performance as the evil, corrupt DEA agent Stansfield. His performance is over the top but it's great fun to watch.
The gunfights in this film are some of the best ever captured and make this movie a great action film. Leon truly is a professional. This movie keeps you in your seat waiting to see what will happen next.
Bottom Line: This is a great, although sometimes disturbing film. If you want to see how the Europeans pull off good cinema, look no further.
The Thin Red Line (1998)
A beautifully shot but boring film
The Thin Red Line aims to be the most beautiful war epic ever shot, and considering that this film was once originally 6 hours in length, I can certainly believe it. What this film has in spades is reflections of how horrible war is and many frames of the beauty of nature, trampled by man's horrid conflict. What this movie lacks is the money shots. What I mean by money shots is the combat sequences are for the most part short and sterile. If you're looking for violent and thrilling combat scenes look elsewhere.
The first battle scene when the troops try a frontal assault up the hill is the best scene in terms of combat. An arguement between Elias Koteas and Nick Nolte is a well acted and dynamic scene. It just doesn't get your blood rushing though. The battle sequence is so long that it loses some of it's momentum and energy.
The cast of this movie is one of the biggest and most accomplished ever assembled. The fact that some of the biggest names are onscreen for only a few minutes is pretty misleading to the viewer. George Clooney and John Travolta's scenes might have been bigger but what we see is what you could loosely refer to as a cameo. Plenty of great actors fill the ranks. You just don't see most of them for very long.
The way this movie is filmed is very scenic and beautiful. You get the feeling that shots of grass blowing in the wind and flowers floating in gentle streams and the waves of the ocean at dusk shouldn't really be in a war movie. You would be right and wrong. On one hand, these shots show how important and wonderful life and nature is and how ironic it is that there is such slaughter and suffering in so beautiful a place. The other hand though, is that when audiences go to a war movie, they want to see combat. The Thin Red Line is sorely lacking that critical component.
Bottom Line: A well done, finely crafted film. Failing to deliver on the action and it's sometimes brain numbing 3 hour length are things you might want to consider before viewing. We can only pray for a Special Edition DVD to show us all those cut scenes.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
The greatest war movie ever
For better or worse, Saving Private Ryan has got to be the greatest war movie ever filmed. Far from being some artsy fartsy effort. This film is as hardcore as they come. The 20 minute beach landing scene should show you that this film isn't for the faint hearted. Spielberg has really outdone himself with this movie.
The battle scenes are unbelievable. For accuracy, blood, violence and length they are unmatched as far as my experience can say. The beach landing, the assault on the radar site, the heart pounding final battle, all of them are superb portraits of both combat itself and the men involved. All very intense and bloody. If you love movie battles then this is the film you've been waiting for.
Some might call this film porn for action junkies but it is more than that. Beautifully shot and orchestrated, Saving Private Ryan is ultimately a tale of the men in combat rather than the combat itself. Unlike a lot of war movies, in Saving Private Ryan you actually care about the characters and don't just look at them as bullet catchers.
Bottom Line: This film should be in everyone who calls themselves a movie fan's collection. This movie is not to be missed and should be mandatory viewing in schools.
One of the best vampire movies
The Blade series is a shot in the arm to vampires movies, action movies, and sci-fi movies put together. Blade remains one of the best comic book adaptations and the best black superhero. Wesley Snipes is perfect to play Blade since he has the look and physical ability to pull off the roll and since brotha Snipes isn't really given the credit he's due, this is a great vehicle for him.
The fights in Blade are the best things about the movie. Plenty of swordplay balances out the gunbattles so there is something for everybody. The soundtrack fits each scene perfectly and like the sequel's, it's a great techno soundtrack. The tone and look of the movie is dark but that enhances the look and the feel of this kick ass movie. There is not much slow time and the slow time that there is is dedicated to explaining some of Blade's story. The supporting cast also does a fabulous job. Kris Kristoffersen, Donal Logue, and Stephen Dorff fill out their characters completely and all are accomplished actors.
Bottom Line: Although bested by Blade 2, this is still a great movie and the DVD is filled with great extras. A must have if you like action films.
One of Woody's better films
Sleeper is one of the movies where you can see Woody Allen at his funniest and best. His character of Miles Monroe is typical Allen: Paranoid, oversexed and constantly freaking out. Diane Keaton plays her stock Allen character. It's pretty much the same Diane Keaton you saw in Annie Hall.
The thing with Sleeper is basically a fish out of water story. There is a lot of jokes that fall flat but there is also a lot of great humor that will have you laughing up a storm. The Jewish robot tailors, the giant vegetables, the Miss America pagent, the Orgasmatron, the list goes on. Another hallmark of Woody Allen's films is the jazz numbers that accompany all the "action" parts. Great music for great comedy.
Bottom Line: Made in the time where Woody knew what he was doing and Soon-Yi wasn't even born, Sleeper remains one of his greats.
A magical Spielberg story
Close Encounters is one of those Spielberg movies where you can really feel the magic. It isn't a downer, and it isn't the kind of movie that makes you think about the world's problems. Even the US government seems to have the best intentions when it comes to the aliens. The whole movie wears a little smirk on it's face.
Masterfully done, Encounters has some simple but effective visual effects and a emotional and powerful soundtrack. The casting is good considering it was early in the careers of several of the people involved. Richard Dreyfuss plays his character perfectly. Roy Neary is a regular joe that suddenly is confronted with some life changing events that he can't understand. The messages that he is getting in his head confuse him all the more and Dreyfuss does a perfect job of illustrating that.
The supporting cast turns in good performances as well and really give the impression that you are watching a documentary rather than a work of fiction. The best parts of the movie in my opinion is when they are showing you clips from around the world of different UFO encounters and the research team finding evidence of an alien presence. When they're in the Mongolian desert and they find the freighter Cotopoxi. The same ship that was lost for real in the Bermuda Triangle. It still gives me chills. They slowly pan across and you see a huge ship sitting in the middle of the sand. Oooooh man, great shot.
Bottom Line: This is another one of Spielberg's classics. You must get it on DVD for the multitude of extras that are on the 2 disc set. If you haven't seen it yet and you like either UFO's and/or Spielberg, you won't be disappointed.
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
The funniest Disney film ever
The Emperor's New Groove has two qualities that separate it from the rest of the Disney animated pack: humor that can actually be enjoyed by someone over the age of five and only one musical number and it's at the beginning. That's the appeal of this film. Most animated Disney films both in the past and now have just too much singing in them. Not everyone loves singing animals so Emperor's is a good movie for those of you who didn't like the squealing songs of Aladdin of The Lion King.
The cast is what really makes this movie funny. Great writing coupled with the talents of David Spade, Eartha Kitt, John Goodman, and Patrick Warburton make this movie a laugh riot. Some of the jokes are geared towards adults so mom and dad won't be bored while watching this flick.
Bottom Line: This is a good movie and one of the funniest ever made by Disney. It's good for all ages.
The Exorcist (1973)
One scary masterpiece
The Exorcist has been called the scariest movie of all time and I'm inclined to agree with that. The Exorcist is the best movie that William Friedkin ever made, and that includes The French Connection. It's hard to describe the atmosphere of the film without seeing for yourself. You get the feeling that something isn't right. Even in the beginning, before you have even seen Linda Blair, you get this feeling of dread. Not many films can do that.
I wonder sometimes why Linda Blair never went on to fame and fortune after The Exorcist. She does a fabulous job as Regan. Her performance is even more amazing considering her age (12) at the time. She had to endure some serious tortures for the role and her acting in the film is shocking. The rest of the cast: Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, and Jason Miller all turn in credible and emotional performances. Special attention must go to Jason Miller (Father Karras) since this was his first film.
The subliminal effects, makeup effects, and sound effects all turn The Exorcist into something otherworldly. When you watch this movie, you get the feeling that Satan might very well exist and he might even have had a hand in making this movie. At the very least he had a hand in destroying Linda Blair's career.
Bottom Line: This masterpiece should be on every movie fan's shelf. If you haven't seen it yet then you've really missed out.
Oh yeah, in the new version with restored footage, the spider walk scene scared the living @%#$ out of me. And I'd seen the movie countless times.
Probably the greatest murder story ever
Seven's quality puts it so far beyond most of the "cops on trail of deranged killer" genre that it comes out as a true jewel of cinema. Everything about seven is perfect. It is art captured on film. This movie is a bright spot for all of the stars who worked on it.
Brad Pitt never gets the credit he deserves for his acting because he's a pretty boy and the press is a lot more interested about how he and Jennifer are doing. That's a shame because he is a talented actor that isn't afraid to take chances with both the roles that he picks and the characters that he plays. That is quite rare in the A-list world. Morgan Freeman is a great actor. You can always count on him to do what he does best which is play a wise veteran that has seen it all. Kevin Spacey is another great actor that has great range and really puts life and personality into his characters.
The real talent of this movie, excluding the actors that brought it to life, is the director David Fincher and the writer Andrew Kevin Walker. Fincher's talents for making a visually stunning film are now well known and he often brings a dark patina to his work. Andrew Kevin Walker must have some incredible demons living inside him. Either that or one hell of an imagination for bringing the intricate story of Seven and the plan of John Doe to life.
John Doe's plan really is twisted and I won't be spoiling it here. Suffice to say I have never seen so evil and complicated a plan in a movie before or since. The cinematography of the film is dark but beautiful and throughout the film it is either night or raining or both except for two very brief moments. It is such an emotional movie that you can't keep from being caught up in what is happening. Do you understand and sympathize with what John Doe is doing or do you think him a mad killer that must be stopped.
Bottom Line: If you haven't had the opportunity to see Seven yet then you must at least rent it. It is so damn good that I know you will like it. The only reason you wouldn't is because you're just too damn fragile to take something this hardcore.
the most faithful adaptation of the novel
Bram Stoker's Dracula is most faithful to the original story and the only Dracula movie I'm aware of that takes notice of both the sexual tension of the Victorian era and the love story that Dracula presents. Dracula is a fine film that shows off the talents of all it's actors save one and the talent of Francis Ford Coppola.
The one actor to screw up his character is Keanu Reeves. They made him look like he was from 1898 all right but he has trouble bringing his character to life. That comes as no surprise to me because I've always known that he is a marginal talent that has his looks to thank for his fame. He is really Ted in every movie. In The Matrix he was Hacker Ted, in Speed he was Cop Ted, in Point Break he was FBI Ted, and in Dracula he is Victorian Ted. The fact that Keanu sucks shouldn't distract you from the great performances of his fellow actors though. Gary Oldman is probably the most underrated actor ever. He is a master at accents and is a completely different character in every movie he's in. Oldman plays Dracula without a hint of camp and with all the emotion that the character demands. Anthony Hopkins is another talent that fills the screen with his good but a little over the top portrayal of Dr. Van Helsing. Winona Ryder, Sadie Frost, Richard E. Grant, Bruce Campbell, Cary Elwes, and even Tom Waits all turn in masterful acting jobs.
The visual aspect of Dracula is it's greatest strength in my opinion. The spectacular sets really bring you into the story. The elaborate and beautiful costumes by Oscar winner Eiko Ishioka are incredible. The original score is quite moving and fits the scenes that it is in perfectly.
Basically what I am trying to say here is that Dracula is the most well made vampire movie and the best told Dracula story ever. It is told lovingly by a director who is a master of his craft and a cast that relishes their roles. Except for Ted, er Keanu Reeves.
Bottom Line: It really sucks that this film has not received the Special Edition DVD treatment yet, as the current DVD has no extras at all and not even a trailer. If you haven't seen it then rent it, see it, fall in love with it, and then wait for the Special Edition to come out. It will eventually. Look how long we had to wait for Indiana Jones.
Better than most in the series
Christmas Vacation is the second best movie in the National Lampoon's Vacation series, the original Vacation being the best. European and Vegas Vacation should never have been made but whatever. Christmas provides enough laughs that you forget about European Vacation anyway.
Chevy Chase again plays probably his funniest movie character in the bumbling family man Clark W. Grizwold. Beverly DeAngelo returns as his long suffering wife Ellen. The kids are new like in every Vacation movie but that shouldn't weigh too heavy on you because the kids always suck. Look for a pre-fame Juliette Lewis as Audrey. The grandparents are all annoying and hilarious at the same time. Randy Quaid is again in his best role ever as Cousin Eddie. This time Eddie has brought the family with him with predictable results.
The whole movie is a great holiday comedy and one that I watch around Christmas time every year. It's too bad that Chevy Chase has for some reason sank into obscurity. Maybe it's because he isn't the nice guy that Clark is in real life. Bottom Line: If you haven't been watching this then you really are missing out. It's a great christmas movie. You gotta see it.
Weird Science (1985)
THE 80's comedy
Weird Science is the best 80's comedy that was ever made. I'm saying it. Ghostbusters, Summer Rental, The Great Outdoors, Strange Brew, Gung Ho, Mr. Mom, all of these movies have their place, but none of them can match Weird Science for laughs or pure....eightiesness. Yes eightiesness is a quality. It's a corny, dated quality but one that is tangible and valued by my fellow eighties loving brethren to this day. Come back with me if you will to a time when Anthony Michael Hall was still fielding calls and Kelly LeBrock was French for sexy.
Weird Science has everything that an eighties comedy needs: A least one hot girl, a few actors who are no longer working or who do anything that will come along, plenty of dashing eighties threads, a corny as hell eighties soundtrack,(and Oingo Boingo is as corny and eighties as they get), and plenty of cheap funny jokes.
Undoubtedly the best thing about Weird Science is Bill Paxton, who plays Wyatt's older brother Chet. Chet is the worst big brother ever to grace a movie screen and is a role model for all big brothers everywhere, me included. Chet delights in extorting money and valuables from Wyatt in exchange for his silence about Wyatt's activities. The best part in the movie is when Chet gets turned into the toad thing or whatever it is. Man I love that part.
The rest of the cast does a good job of being their stock characters. Kelly LeBrock does a good job of being hot. Robert Downey Jr. shows none of the signs of future drug addiction. The film is unremarkable in the fact that it isn't anything groundbreaking or special. It's just a funny movie. And an eighties classic.
Bottom Line: If you grew up in the eighties and you never saw Weird Science then you must atone for your crimes by going out and buying it right now. Then send me an email telling me how grateful you are that I put you on the path to rightousness and eighties correctness.
Great 80's movie and great cold war thriller
Ah Wargames. Wargames rules if you didn't know that already. I know that Joshua (the computer) is outdated by today's standards and David (Matthew Brodrick) never would have broken into NORAD but it's still the best hacker movie made and one of the best cold war thrillers. Now I was only 7 when this movie came out so I didn't understand the finer elements of the story and just thought that Joshua had a cool voice. As I got older though it all started to come together.
Matthew Brodrick should have stopped acting after 1990 because he will always be the 80's teen star and hasn't done anything really good since Ferris Bueller. The same can go for Ally Sheedy. I mean really, did anyone need to see her after Short Circuit?
The story rises above our youthful stars though and makes Wargames the classic that it is. There really is a sense of menace that World War III might actually start and that it might just be all David's fault. This should serve as a reminder to never play Global Thermonuclear War when your computer has tapped into the national defense network.
The NORAD sets are pretty damn cool and they manage to look quite authentic. The soundtrack also must be given special attention just because it has that special 80's flavor and they even made it electronic sounding for the movie. In the beginning you can find a young Michael Madsen in one of his first roles. Maybe even the first I'm not sure.
Bottom Line: Wargames is a quality film that will take older moviegoers back to their childhood or young adulthood and will make younger viewers think "they had computers back then?!" A true classic and one that makes a great addition to my collection.
A modern masterpiece
It's a shame that Deliverance is mainly known as the redneck rape movie and for Dueling Banjos. Even people that have seen the film can't get their mind off of that rape scene. It's not as bad as the rape scene in Pulp Fiction. It's certainly not as bad as any female rape scene in just about any movie. People tend to miss the power of the film that contains the infamous buggery scene.
The acting, plot, cinematography, and soundtrack of Deliverance all lend a hand to it's brooding charisma. The backcountry it was shot in is beautiful and is quite in contrast to the dark subject matter. The actors both major and minor make you feel like you are rafting down that river right along with them.
The thing that separates this film from others is the tangible sense of dread that it inspires. Not many films can make you feel this creeped out. Bottom Line: This movie is a classic. I can't really say much more than that.