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Rating History

Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

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[b][font=Tahoma]A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon.[/font][/b]
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[b][font=Tahoma]A Trip To The Moon is perhaps, French filmmaker, George Melies' most recognizable work despite producing nearly six hundred others. It is often cited as the first in both the science fiction and animation genres. The twelve-minute feature is loosely based on two popular novels from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, ?From The Earth To The Moon? and ?The First Men On The Moon?, respectively.

Director, Melies actually went broke several years after the short's release due to losing out on American distribution to Thomas A. Edison?s film technicians. A Trip To The Moon has endured over a century inspiring everyone from fellow filmmakers to Smashing Pumpkins' music videos. In 2002, a complete cut of the feature was found in a French barn, entirely hand-colored. It was restored and premiered at the 2003 Pordonone Silent Film Festival.

To be frank, A Trip To The Moon has blatant flaws, but the fact that it is a pure exploration of new mediums allows it to surpass most of the embarrassing errors. Technically, bland camera placement, shallow depth, and several tacky cuts date the short alot more than its narrative's magic innovates. Many of the actors? performances are almost too theatrical as well.

Overall, taking into account the limitations set at the time, A Trip To The Moon is a fairly entrancing spectacle that reminds audiences of some of their favorite genres? roots.[/font][/b]
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Ju-on 2 (Ju-on: The Grudge 2)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

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[b][font=Tahoma]A volunteer home care worker, Nishina Rika, enters the home of a bed-ridden patient and discovers a strange ghostly presence lurking behind a door sealed with duct tape. Her discovery unleashes a horrible evil which baffles police investigators, who find that a whole series of people have gone missing from this particular house. [/font][/b]

[b][font=Tahoma]Further investigation leads to Izutni Toyama, a former detective who handled the case of a man who murdered his wife in the house, but whose son was never found. But when the angry "Ju-On" spirit of vengeance that has infected the house reaches beyond its boundaries to kill Toyama and his daughter, Rika realizes that the horror is spreading. Worse, unless something is done about it, she feels she may become the angry spirit's next victim![/font][/b]

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[b][font=Tahoma]Ju-On: The Grudge is one of four Japanese horror flicks directed by Takashi Shimizu. The first two movies in the series were direct-to-video releases (Ju-On: The Curse & Ju-On: The Curse 2), and sequels (Ju-On: The Grudge and Ju-On: The Grudge 2) were later made and distributed in theaters. However, most American audiences are probably more familiar with the remake, The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. As of 2006, Shimizu has announced plans for a third Ju-On: The Grudge to hit Japanese cinemas and a sequel to the American version.

Like its American counterpart, Ju-On: The Grudge fall shorts of terrifying or stimulating the viewer. Obviously cashing in on the success of Ringu and, the American, Ring, Ju-On: The Grudge feels like more of the same thing. Infact, the screenwriter of Ringu helped Shimizu develop Ju-On as a feature. The ghosts are blatant rip-offs of the haunts in Ringu. Little scares, an incoherent script, and far too many repetitive scenes rob this movie of any effect it is trying to accomplish.

I never predicted I would say this, but I believe the American version is superior on a visual level. While I'll take into account Shimizu probably received a larger budget on the remake, Ju-On: The Grudge's cinematography just doesn't pull you into the picture. A forgettable score and group of mediocre performers water down the film as well.

Overall, Ju-On: The Grudge is just a failure as a horror film or a chilling ghost story.[/font][/b]

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Amadeus
Amadeus (1984)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

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[font=Tahoma][b]Antonio Salieri believes that Mozart's music is divine. He wishes he was himself as good a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. But he can't understand why God favored Mozart, such a vulgar creature, to be his instrument. Salieri's envy has made him an enemy of God whose greatness was evident in Mozart. He is set to take revenge.[/b][/font]

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[font=Tahoma][b]Amadeus - The Director's Cut is the 2002 re-release of the original "Best Picture" winner. The new cut restores twenty minutes of never before seen footage and a remastered soundtrack. Milos Forman's revision of Peter Shaffer's stage play was not only bestowed eight Academy Awards ("Best Actor", "Best Art Direction", "Best Costume Design", "Best Makeup", "Best Sound", "Best Screenplay Based On A Published Material", "Best Director", and "Best Picture") but also boosted sales for Mozart's work by 30%. The picture's score reached #56 on the Billboard album charts, making it one of the most popular releases of classical music ever, and a pop song, "Rock Me Amadeus", was even inspired by the film.

Loosely based on actual events between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, Forman's picture is a captivating spectacle from start to finish. Having never had the chance to watch the original version, I have no right to state, which is superior, but it seems the majority of viewers find both to be equally gratifying. Some claim the Director's Cut is too lengthy, while others find it to develop the characters far greater making the experience much more rewarding. I found the three-hour Director's Cut to swift by. Typically, period pieces are rather difficult to accomplish, but Amadeus has a very modern spin on it. The characters seem much more alive and believable than any others in the genre, and like any great Forman film, you laugh and cry.

Milos Forman's directs Amadeus skillfully and vivaciously. The gorgeous costumes, astonishing sets, and timeless music makes Amadeus the remarkable picture it is. Forman shot much of the film, on location, in Prague and Vienna. In fact, he was allowed to use the Tyl Theatre, where Mozart's "Don Giovanni" debuted two centuries earlier. The timeless music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is clearly a critical element to the picture. From the enchanting "Magic Flute" to the notorious "Requiem Mass", several of Mozart's classics are incorporated impeccably.

Amadeus is brimming with talented performers as well. Oscar winner, F. Murray Abraham is so genuine as Salieri that we cannot help but have sympathy for his troubled character. Tom Hulce, who went head to head with Abraham for "Best Actor" at the 1985 Academy Awards, gives a near perfect portrayal of Mozart. Whether it is his laugh or gait, no one can deny he is simply incredible. Berridge, Dotrice, Jones, and the entire supporting troupe are casted brilliantly too.

Overall, Amadeus is a glorious look at one of the finest musicians of all time.[/b][/font]

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Frankenweenie
Frankenweenie (1992)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

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[b][font=Tahoma]Young Vincent Malloy dreams of being just like Vincent Price and loses himself in macabre daydreams which annoys his mother.[/font][/b]

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[b][font=Tahoma]Vincent is Tim Burton's directorial debut, and for a five-minute animated short it is suprisingly good. The story is quirky, a trademark we come to expect from Burton, and the stop-motion animation is perfect. The black and white picture with the stop-motion animation really added to the macabre tale. Vincent Price's narration is also a nice addition seeing as the boy named Vincent daydreams of being The Vincent Price. Overall, Vincent is a nice debut for an amazing director.[/font][/b]

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[b][font=Tahoma]When young Victor's pet dog Sparky (who stars in Victor's home-made monster movies) is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked "monster" wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor's neighbors, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky's still the good loyal friend he's always been.[/font][/b]

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[b][font=Tahoma]Frankenweenie was originally despised by critics at Disney, and they were furious that Burton made such "Disturbing Trash". This little 30-minute feature is an interesting look at a Disney film with a Tim Burton touch. The story follows a young boy who tries to revive his recently dead dog. It is like a spin on the traditional Frankenstein, hence the title "FRANKENweenie". Burton's direction was also impress in this early feature. The black and white only helped the film, and the gothic dog graveyard as well as the windmill scene at the end were two stellar scenes. Shelley Duvall gave a nice performance as Susan, and Barret Oliver was awesome as Victor. Overall, Frankenweenie was a nice suprise in every way and is definetly worth a viewing.[/font][/b]