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Clayton Richards
Clayton Richards 2 years ago

I don't know really. I've used my phone whenever I'm not on the computer, and I'm just in the habit of reviewing every movie that comes off the top of my head. Also, whenever I've seen a movie, I instantly review it straight afterwards whilst the opinion's fresh in my head.
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Stefan's Ratings

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

    September 15, 2014

    At first glance, it may seem like a saccharine family film, but if you watch it from beginning to end, you'll see that it's a very entertaining film that's great for audiences of all ages. The plot is simple enough, but I find that it's a very interesting allegory of what happens to people who let themselves get consumed by their own greed. I know that sounds like a pretty deep interpretation, but I found it hard to not come to that conclusion. Besides, the story and characters are so entertaining and immersive that I can easily lose myself in the setting, and this I feel is what a great movie should do. The overall style very whimsical and enchanting, with some zany and colourful visuals, coupled with genuinely amazing special effects. All that is great, but what cements this movie is the performance of every character, and should also mention the musical numbers. Not only are they short and sweet, but unlike most musical numbers, they're actually entertaining. In fact, the musical numbers are some of the best parts of this movie. To sum it up, it's an extremely entertaining and well-made movie that stands the test of time.

  • Live and Let Die

    Live and Let Die (1973)

    September 14, 2014

    For me, this was the last great Bond film, mainly because of how well it was made, and because Roger Moore proved that he could play the lead role about as well as his predecessor. The premise is an interesting departure from the usual megalomaniacal schemes, and the film seems to have tapped into some of the archetypes and clichés that were popular during the time it was made. I like the direction this film went, mainly because it creates a unique atmosphere that isn't present in any other Bond film. The characters were really entertaining, and the appealing performances from both Bond and the villains made the film more enjoyable. The film's overall style is among the best that the Bond franchise has to offer, including one of my favourite Bond themes. Of course, even though Bond is about style, I haven't forgotten that style is not as important as substance, and thankfully, this film has substance. The action scenes are done so well that it doesn't matter how Bond gets out of a nearly impossible situation, and that's because it's fun to watch him do just that. While it's not my favourite Bond film, it's still one of the greatest Bond films out there, and I'd watch it any time.

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard (1988)

    September 13, 2014

    Don't let the holiday façade fool you, because this is a quintessential action movie, but in my opinion, it's cleverer than most of the others. The plot unfolds in a way that is genuinely engaging. Even if you've seen it before, I guarantee that you'll still be waiting to find out what happens next. The characters are very well-written, with personality that really comes alive as the movie progresses. For once, it's the main villain that steals the show with his sublime acting, as well as the way he goes about being the bad guy. That's not to say that the good guy isn't any good. In fact, the main hero is awesome, and he's responsible for the film's most memorable moments. The film sports some excellent production values, but what really cements this movie is the action. When it comes to action, violence and explosions, this movie plays it cool, waiting for exactly the right moment, and it's still awesome. While it's not my favourite 80's action movie (that would be Rambo), I still consider this movie to be among the greats. It's simply too cool to resist.

  • F/X

    F/X (1986)

    September 12, 2014

    For a film about special effects, this one is more than meets the eye. The film's premise, which revolves around a special effects wizard who's hired to stage a real assassination, immediately seemed like an interesting concept, and to my surprise, it actually works quite well. The characters perform quite well, and they all work within the setting as best as they can. The plot of this movie constantly gets better, as the main character begins to fear for his life to the point of paranoia, and the film doesn't appear to have a lot pacing problems. Of course, a movie called "F/X" is inevitably going to focus on special effects, and for once, this actually makes sense within the context of the story. This film has quite a few stand-out set pieces made specifically for this movie, and they're used quite effectively. There are a few scenes that showcase SFX work being done as part of the plot, and those scenes are among the most immersive that the film has to offer. Overall, this is a movie that lives up to its name, but is also really entertaining in its own right.

  • Star Trek - First Contact

    Star Trek - First Contact (1996)

    September 09, 2014

    I must admit that my expectations for this film weren't very high, but when I watched it, I found that it's actually a good movie. Though I'm not exactly familiar with the story of the boring TV show that inspired it, I can definitely tell that they were going somewhere with the plot of this movie, even if there are parts of the story that don't make much sense. The acting is quite good, but what cements it is Patrick Stewart's performance as the lead character. I find that there's plenty of depth to the characters, and that it was pretty hard to view them as merely one-dimensional characters. For me, however, the film's forte is special effects. The film sports crisp production values, and some really eye-catching special effects that drive some of the action. There are a few things that require you to be a Star Trek fan to understand (and I'm not a Star Trek fan, so in that case, I'm kind of screwed), but aside from that, I think that this film is good enough that it might be an ideal introduction to the Star Trek series if you're unfamiliar with it.

  • Ghost Rider

    Ghost Rider (2007)

    September 08, 2014

    To be fair, this film isn't completely terrible, but there simply isn't a lot of real substance to this movie. If there's anything positive I have to say about this film, it's that the special effects are actually pleasing to the eye. The eponymous Ghost Rider, when he's actually fighting, can stir up quite a spectacle, but it's fairly mediocre compared to other action movies. While the action and special effects are mildly entertaining, I can't say the same about the plot and characters. The plot is stupid and riddled with clichés, but the characters are even worse. It's bad enough that the characters are all terribly stereotypical, but the acting and dialogue are banality incarnate, with Nicholas Cage's performance being the most indefensible. This is a movie that could have been good, but the producers were apparently too lazy to put enough effort into making an action-packed experience that's worth watching.

  • Waterworld

    Waterworld (1995)

    September 06, 2014

    When it was released, it was the most expensive movie ever made, but it failed so badly that it wound up being a waste of whatever grand ideas the writers had. To be completely fair, this actually looks like it could have been a decent movie, but I can't help but think that it's basically Mad Max if most of the world was covered in sea water. The action scenes are the best part of the movie, and they're actually quite decent. While the numerous flashy explosions are pleasing to the eye, the rest of the film is hindered by forgettable characters, a story that doesn't much sense, bland colours, and Kevin Costner on a bad acting day. If Waterworld had more of a competent cast, a story that was at least remotely intelligent, and if the film-makers handled their ideas with greater care, then this movie could actually have been decent, but instead, we get an extravagant flop that they may as well bury with Altantis.

  • American Pie

    American Pie (1999)

    September 05, 2014

    I honestly have no idea why this movie was so popular. It's just a cliché teen sex romp that promotes a maelstrom of debilitating stereotypes. I think that American Pie set the stage for the final degradation of the teen movie genre, primarily because of how immature it is, especially on sex and girls. I probably shouldn't be too surprised though, since the story focuses on nothing but the unrealistic sexual fantasies of its male cast, to the point that it is the basis for the plot. The characters are very shallow and one-dimensional, but then again, I kind of expected this, since the whole movie is about sex. Having already lived out my teenage years, I can safely say that I don't relate at all to the characters, or whatever problems they have, and I say this because the characters simply aren't realistic at all. Simply put it, American Pie is an over-glorified, unfunny cash cow that set the stage for the decline of not just teen comedy, but also Hollywood comedy movies as a whole. On the other hand, I kind of expected it to be that bad a movie.

  • The Stepford Wives

    The Stepford Wives (2004)

    September 04, 2014

    What happens when you take an intelligent sci-fi thriller with genuine social commentary, and filter it through a camp atmosphere? You get a vacuous mockery of the original Stepford Wives movie, almost as though the movie became its own Stepford wife. They changed the movie so much that it's almost unrecognisable, with none of the symbolism that was used so effectively in the original movie. The characters are all horrible to watch, perhaps because none of them develop well, and they're all bastardized versions of the cast of the original film. The worst part of the film's incredibly camp acting is that the film's all-star cast doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic at all, as could be indicated by their frustratedly sloppy performance. The film looks like a wishy-washy, saccharine sitcom, complete with the eponymous wives looking almost like plastic. The producers obviously tried making this more of a comedic take on the original 70's film, but the writing is just so abominable that it fails in every way. Finally, I should mention the ending, which is the kind of ending that just constantly gets worse. The ending starts out with a complete distortion of the original movie, then builds up to the most ridiculous plot twist I've seen in any movie, before finishing off with a vacuous female fantasy that's even more chauvinistic than the shadowy men's association from the original movie. To cut a long story short, they took an intelligent movie, and turned it into one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and in this regard, this is one of the most shameless Hollywood failures ever made.

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal ... (2008)

    September 02, 2014

    It's said that there's a point in every film series where, after it has passed its prime, it becomes absurd and ridiculous. In the case of Indiana Jones, this film would be that point. While it's not technically bad, I just felt that it was unnecessary, mainly because the original trilogy of films was already great. I admit that the film does take something of an interesting direction, but there's hardly anything that isn't similar to anything that has already been done in any previous Indiana Jones movie. Also, I find that the plot points feel rather predictable, almost as though they don't want to take a chance with this movie. The acting isn't that great, and some of the characters, including the main villain, seem more like cookie-cutter stereotypes than actual characters. Also, Shia LaBeouf's character has all the hallmarks of a rather forgettable ancillary character, but it's even worse due to his shallow personality. It seems that this movie focused on special effects, and this movie is loaded with them. Unfortunately, the special effects are quite cheesy compared to the original Indiana Jones movies. It doesn't help that a lot of the action scenes seem to rely on special effects, almost as though Indy can't do anything on his own anymore. We didn't need a fourth Indiana Jones movie, but when we got one, it was relatively unsatisfying. To say that it's awful is a bit of a stretch, but it's definitely the black sheep of the Indiana Jones film franchise.

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