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Paranormal Activity (2007)
At long last, I have seen it. ''Paranormal Activity''. Now, some people have said this is "the scariest movie of all time". It's not scarier than the original ''Halloween'', or ''Psycho''. But, it is very, very, and all the verys in the world, scary. First off, Oren Peli did an absolute phenomenal job making this film. For this to have been a big of a hit as it was is quite extraordinary. Not much money went into making this movie. The film was shot in Peli's San Francisco home. There are only five actors in the entire film, all virtually unknown. Peli certainly made the best out of things. This is a genuinely thrilling, nicely crafted film that builds and builds on thrills and suspense, rather than gore. The bedroom scenes are such a masterwork of sheer, and utter terror, that I find myself a little uneasy about going to bed in my bedroom again. I think I'll sleep on the sofa tonight. This is what true horror is supposed to be. The performances by the virtually unknown cast make the film better. We don't get horror films like this often, that's for sure. See the phenomenon.
The Karate Kid (2010)
This film absolutely took me by surprise.
I wasn't really expecting much when I went to go see remake of one of my favorite films. I thought this would be just another failed remake. By the time the movie was over, I was so pleased and surprised. This film proved me wrong. One of the wonderful things about this movie is the setting. Instead of the main character moving from New York to California in the original, it's Detroit to China in this one, which is a positive. It makes the character seem much more lost in a completely different country, language, and culture. The film is more authentic this way being set in China, because this is after all ''The Karate Kid''. I'm still a little confused why this film is called ''The Karate Kid'', since the film deals with kung fu. Jackie Chan gives a good performance as Mr. Han, replacing Pat Morita's iconic role. And, of course, the young Jaden Smith is a surprisingly good fit replacing Ralph Machhio as the ''The Karate Kid''. The cinematography in the film is very well done. You can compare this with the original. But there are many, many differences in this film that separate it from the original, and somewhat make it it's own. I'm pleased with how the movie turned out.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
One of the greatest achievements in movie history.
Just how good is ''Toy Story 3'', you ask? It's simply one of the greatest achievements in movie history, I answer. This film, right now, should win the Oscar for Best Picture, hands down. I honestly doubt there'll be a better film than this all year. That's how absolutely brilliant this movie is. Pixar is officially king of everything! This movie is smart funny, thrilling, engaging, and, most importantly, it taught me about friendship. It taught me to stick by my friends, no matter what. The final sequences of the movie are absolutely breathtaking, and I couldn't help but shed a few tears. It doesn't feel like you're watching an animated movie. In some scenes it feels like you're watching an Alfred Hitchcock film, due to the great thrills, and others you can't help but cry over due to the togetherness of the whole gang. One of the film's themes is obviously never give up. This film can really inspire you. This film is also about loss and letting go. Who knew a film about toys could have such true themes on life. This is a masterpiece, one that once again pulls you in with the characters from the second it starts. Don't go see the grotesque Adam Sandler comedy ''Grown Ups'', or the action flick ''Knight and Day''. Go see this. This film is about a quintillion light years better than both those films. This beats, as great as they were, the first two ''Toy Story'' films. It beats them by a lot, actually. Take your family to go see this, but also, if you're an adult, go see this with adult friends. This is a film to go see with friends. This is the best from the greatness that is Pixar. 10 out of 10, a miraculous, comedic, inspiring, joyful, entertaining, adventurous, smart, tear jerking, and enduring film to cherish until the end of time.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
The best romantic comedy of the decade, and the freshest. Pure Originality.
Do you have any idea how many terrible, dry romantic comedies there have been this past decade. Its almost uncountable. From awful ones like ''What Happens in Vegas" to "Gigli", from "The Break-Up" to the recent nightmare "All About Steve", the genre romantic comedy was dying off. But then, this miracle came along. "(500) Days of Summer" is an absolute fresh and original film. This is solely original. Its not the usual fall in love, break-up, get back together romantic comedy. Not at all. This film makes you feel good. And its smart. It recounts the 500 days of a relationship that went wrong. Its about a man who wants a woman to love him when she doesn't believe in love. How fresh is that! You might as well call this the freshest comedy ever made. I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. Its totally unique. And its smart. A lot of the things in the film I have never seen before. Go rent this movie RIGHT NOW! You will be amazed and be prepared to laugh! 10 out of 10.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Doesn't reclaim the originality and fun of the original, but it'll do.
I went to go see this with a friend on Saturday night. Now, I heard the film from others that this a step or two below the original, but I went in with an open mind. By the time the movie was over, I was pleased. But then, after thinking about it more, this is a disappointment. The film is drastically different in pace. Honestly, it gets a bit of a bore for awhile, which never happened in the original. Sometimes, its just hard to take this film seriously as a superhero film. In my opinion, the overwhelming number of laughs and silliness in this film makes it hard to take seriously. There is a large list of new things in this sequel. First, we learn much more about Tony Stark's father than we ever did in the original. Its quite interesting. Jon Favreau has a much, much bigger role in this film than the original, and I absolutely loved his role in the film. We learn his character has a personality. The talented Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Rhodey,and I actually liked him better in the role. They both seem so different in the role. There's Scarlette Johansson as Black Widow. I was honestly disappointed with her role in the film. It was too small, I thought. Mickey Rourke is raw and sinister as Whiplash, the main villain, and its a perfect fit. He does an absolutely perfect Russian accent. Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer is a good fit for the most part, although it was hard for me to take his character seriously after awhile as a villain. Sometimes, it seems like all his character does is be funny. Samuel L. Jackson has a much bigger role in this film as Nick Fury (he had a credit ending scene in the original). In a way it succeeds over the original, but for the most part it doesn't. It's missing some of the excitement and originality that made the original a truly great achievement in film. This is quite a bit different from the first, and you may not like how different it is. I certainly didn't. Many new actors, and a whole different type of ballgame. There's a bit, I think, too much silliness in this film. But still, it'll do. Go see this. Its not as fun as the first, but its not as disappointing as Spider Man 3 was. And do be sure to stay after the credits if you're a fan of Marvel Comics. Make sure you notice Stan Lee's cameo in this as well. Its rather brilliant. Overall, good film.
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
The Greatness the Afflecks have reached.
I've been thinking a lot about this movie everyday since the day I saw it seven days ago. The fact is this movie really makes you think. Its like, what did I just see? It actually disturbed me a little bit. This is a completely thought provoking film. Its about bad parents, a city's willingness to find the truth, and a missing girl. Secrets are uncovered throughout the film, dark, unthinkable secrets. It completely takes you by surprise. Ben Affleck has suddenly become a powerful filmmaker, showing us our world's dark side in all it's horror and disgrace, and beyond that, our weaknesses. Perhaps more perfectly than any other film I've seen, this film shows us in a completely shocking way, how far some people are willing to go. The tag line to this film sums it up perfectly: Everyone wants to find the truth... Until they find it. The picture starts with Casey Affleck's character talking about the city of Boston as we see different shots of the city, its really beautiful, and right then, I knew this was going to be no ordinary movie. From the beginning, the director makes you feel what the characters are feeling, this dark atmosphere. The ending of the film at first was not what I wanted, but when I think about it, the film would not have been as good without it. If you have yet to see this film, prepare to ponder it for a long while after witnessing. 10 out of 10.
"Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty."
There are films that you simply sit astonished at by the film's acting, and this is one of them. Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are a striking pair to put together. It was not just them, but Amy Adams's role in the film as well, maybe even better than Streep and Hoffman, that made this a MASTERPIECE. I could go on for days about the film's acting. The acting was so great, I didn't know who to believe, and that's what this film achieves. The film starts off really slowly like an alligator creeping up on it's pray, pure silence, then it attacks, like a fierce cheetah, grabbing a hold of you and never lets go until the sad end, and you're sad that the picture is over. But from the beginning to end, its so very mysterious. It doesn't reveal too much. A tragedy that its over now. It's an absolute thrill watching this film. You get to really know this characters, and in a way you don't. It's a mystery. It's interesting. In the end, you feel, really feel, for the plot's loser. That's acting. I was constantly in thought during this film. Amy Adams's performance is magic, bringing to viewers I think a kind of sorrowfulness, great character, and remorse. The writing is flawless and the directing is so visionary, what can I say? John Patrick Shanely, adapting the film from his own play, knew exactly what his vision was for this film, and he achieved it. The close ups in this film are masterful. Meryl Streep is sort of like a villain in this film, seemingly cruel, but sticks to her mind, and Hoffman is the priest, but you know he has a secret, from the very beginning. How this was not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, I don't know. I wish to thank every single person involved in the making of this picture, all those who were on the credits, and those who weren't. Thank you for this experience. A perfect 10 out of 10.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Only a special effects movie.
I would say this is definitely more of a special effects action film than anything else. If your looking for character development, and plot, then you probably won't like this movie. The film is based around Perseus (Sam Worthington) son of the mighty god Zeus (Liam Neeson) who must go on a journey to defend Earth against Haitis (Ralph Fiennes), and the underworld. I never cared at all for these characters, but it did certainly a good job at keeping me entertained throughout the film. I saw this film in 3D, which didn't really make any difference to the film, maybe because it was converted to 3D at the last second. Sam Worthington has been in quite a few blockbusters lately (Avatar you may have heard of, Terminator Salvation, and now Clash of the Titans). Liam Neeson gives a nice performance as Haitis, although he was barely in it, but that's the best you'll get in the acting category. Overall, this is a fun popcorn movie sure to please, well, any popcorn movie fan. 6/10.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The dysfunctional family for the ages.
The Hoovers. What a dream. This is one of the most unique, funniest comedies I've ever seen. Richard, played by Greg Kinnear, is a family man who takes his family to California, where his daughter Olive, played lovably Abigail Breslin, will compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant. Along the way, they go through so much hell, but its funny. Extremely funny. And its heartwarming, really. The ending is absolutely hysterical, and when it ends, its tragic. Its one of those movies that you never want to end. And why not? It has one of the most interesting families in a long time. You just fall in love with this family. All the characters are very unique. The son that purposely hasn't said a word in nine months, Alan Arkin as the foul mouthed grandpa is an absolute gem of a performance (he won the Oscar for this), and Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, and of course, especially Abigail Breslin all deliver good performances. So what's not to like? Absolutely nothing. I'll always be willing to take the same ride with the Hoovers over and over again. 10/10.
Man of the West (1958)
A highly underrated classic.
For me, it's hard to believe this film doesn't have that great of a reputation. Gary Cooper is in full form here as Link Jones, a now harmless man with a haunting past. He goes on a train looking for a school to hire for the new school they have in his town. While on the train, he meets Billie Ellis, a beautiful school teacher, played by Julie London. The train is attempted robbed, and Link is reunited with his old gag, who is led by Dock Tobin, Links's old and psychotic mentor, played superbly by Lee J. Cobb. Link is unlike the sadistic gang at all now, he's a hero, and he tries to stop them from doing any more damage. This is a film of great chemistry between Cooper and London's characters, a film of enough action and romance to satisfy any western fan, and of course another great performance from Gary Cooper. You have to admire his character."That's the ugliest thing I ever saw in my life", says Cooper's character. "You've never seen my ex- wife", Arthur O'Connell's character responds. This is a classic western.