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Rating History

Manos: The Hands of Fate
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[i][b] Manos, the Hands of Fate[/b][/i] was my first encounter with MST3K, brought to me by my American fiancÚ. After viewing the movie, I started seriously questioning the truth of his supposed love for me. No loving man would subject his future wife to this horror.

[i] Manos[/i] is, undoubtedly, the worst movie I have ever seen. All through the movie, there are about five (not even major) events. A family decides to spend the night in a house inhabited by the mysterious and apparently mildly retarded Torgo, Torgo's master comes back from the dead, a dog gets killed, a bunch of women wrestle, and a couple of thirty-year-old teenagers make out before the disapproving eyes of a police officer (for what appears to be twenty four hours on end).

I just don't know what to say about this movie. There are ten seconds of non-existent plot for twenty minutes of driving, making out, wrestling or Torgo attempting to touch the main female character, and even Joel and the bots can't fill in all the blanks. And even when something is [i]actually[/i] going on, it's mostly Torgo repeating the same sentence two or three times in a row, to the point that if you removed all the doubles, there would be around 20 seconds of dialogue in the entire movie.

I have seen more MST3K episodes since then, and I have to say [i]Manos[/i] was the least funny of them, commentary-wise. Which, honestly, can't be blamed on Joel and the bots. Not only is [i]Manos[/i] so bad that it will render most people incapable of speaking, but it's also very hard to make fun of a movie in which absolutely nothing happens.

I have to give this movie credit for one thing: once you've seen it, all other movies suddenly become much more enjoyable.

The Crazies
The Crazies (1973)
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I watched George Romero's [b][i]The Crazies[/i][/b] with my boyfriend a few days ago. Like -I suspect- most people, all I'd ever seen from Romero was zombie movies (which, admittedly, I'm a big fan of).

I didn't really know anything about the movie before I started watching it, so for once I didn't have any expectations, aside from the fact that it was supposed to be a horror movie.

The movie follows a young couple, David and Judy, as they try to escape their town, quarantined after the "Trixie" virus, a biological weapon that turns ordinary townspeople into murderous maniacs, was accidentally released. Along with their friend Clank and an old man and his daughter, they have to try to avoid the military, fight for survival, and hope not to catch the virus.

One good thing I have to say about this movie is that I liked the main characters from the moment they appeared on the screen, and actually cared about them and their survival. They're very human, very attaching, and I was very surprised by the quality of the acting - I generally expect any movie made before 1975 to be acted kind of poorly (to my taste, anyway), but most actors in [i]The Crazies[/i] deliver a great performance.

That contributed to setting an awesome atmosphere of mild paranoia and constat anxiousness. Like in John Carpenter's [i]The Thing [/i]where you end up believing everybody's the thing, [i]The Crazies[/i] makes you constantly worry that your favorite character might have caught the virus - aren't they acting a little strange? Would a [i]normal[/i] person be smiling at that moment? Aren't they [i]all[/i] acting strange, now that you think about it?
You find yourself watching the every move of the characters, waiting for them to betray or innocent themselves every time they open their mouth, and I think that's the mark of a good movie.

Unfortunately, there are also downsides to this movie.
To start with, it gets [i]really[/i] long at times. I realize that the whole situation should be explained to us poor viewers, but the neverending talk scenes between scientists and military people had me nearly give up on the movie a couple of times.
Aside from that, and despite the very good acting, it still is extremely obvious that [i]The Crazies[/i] was made in the 1970s, and as much as I don't have anything against the seventies, it makes it kind of hard to take the movie seriously sometimes.

It's one of those movies that I would love to see being remade, because the idea is great, and it's an awesome movie for its time, but as well executed as it is, it just didn't age too well.

If you're considering watching [i]The Crazies[/i], though, don't let that discourage you. It's a fun, well made, chilling movie. I definitely don't regret watching it, and I don't think you would, either.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Alright, so, continuing my catching up.

I loved [i]Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl[/i]. I was kind of apprehensive about [b][i]Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest[/i][/b], because as [i]The Matrix[/i] taught us, there are few things that can ruin an excellent movie better than a horrible sequel.

I must admit I was slightly disappointed by [i]Dead Man's Chest[/i], but not to the point where it tainted the first movie in my eyes. Not even to the point where I didn't enjoy it, actually. I just thought it could have been better.

I have no complaints about the plot - the ever charismatic Captain Jack Sparrow is in trouble (for a change). He made a deal with undead pirate Davy Jones, and now he's supposed to give him his soul. And so, for two hours, we follow Jack as he tries to sail his way out of the deal on the Black Pearl. It's interesting and fun, and it brings new characters onto the screen, most notably Davy Jones and his crew of "sea-people", for lack of a better term.

Speaking of which, I was really impressed by the CGI on those characters. It looks real and particularly gross at times (I was staring in disgust at the little breathing holes on Davy Jones's face for most of the time he was on screen).

The acting is excellent, just as it was in the first movie. Johnny Depp is once again amazing, and even though the rest of the cast do a brilliant job as well, he is the one who truly holds the movie together.

Now onto the things I didn't like - there aren't many, but they need to be mentionned.
First of all, the pace is exhausting. There is very little time to rest your ears and eyes between fights, escape scenes and heated arguments, and sometimes it feels a little unnecessary, like they're so scared the audience is going to be bored that they just throw in random action (and a lot of noise) just to keep our attention. I was kind of annoyed at that.
The second thing that disappointed me is the ending. It came across to me as an obvious marketing ploy, and that really annoyed me. Maybe it's my backwards logic, but it made me want to abstain from going to see the third movie just to spite whoever thought that ending was a good idea.

Of course I'll go anyway. Because despite those flaws (which have been seen by other people as good points, so what do I know), [i]Dead Man's Chest[/i] was fun and entertaining and beautifully shot and acted, and I suspect I wouldn't have had anything to complain about if it weren't for the fact that I loved [i]The Curse of the Black Pearl[/i] so much. On its own, [i]Dead Man's Chest[/i] is still an awesome movie.

Superman Returns
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Alright, I feel bad about not having reviewed any of the movies I've seen this year, so this is me trying to catch up. Also, I should be doing actual productive things, so of course I had to find a way to procrastinate.

So, a while ago, I went to see [i][b]Superman Returns[/b][/i] with my friend Lionel. To be honest, he dragged me to the theatre. I hate Superman, I think he's one of the lamest superheroes. I guess I don't need to tell you I wasn't expecting much from this movie. Which of course might explain why I was pleasantly surprised.

Not so much by the plot - as the title suggests, Superman returns (from a sabbatical 6 years), tries to get Lois Lane back, and fights Lex Luthor who hatched yet another diabolically dumb plan to take over the world by going from evil overlord to evil landlord.
Had I known about the plot, I don't think I would have let my friend convince me to go at all.

But it's a good thing I didn't, because I found it fairly easy to overlook the ridiculous storyline and instead focus on the things the movie did succeed at.
For one, I loved the aesthetical feel of the movie, and the way it seems suspended in time - it could be the 40s, it could be the 60s, it could be 2006. In terms of photography, [i]Superman Returns[/i] is a beautiful movie.
The actors also did a pretty good job. Kevin Spacey, in particular, is an awesome Lex Luthor, which is pretty impressive considering Lex Luthor in [i]Superman Returns[/i] kind of sucks. Brandon Routh is a believable Superman, and Kate Bosworth is a lot better as Lois Lane than I expected her to be.
A mention goes to James Marsden for still being good at the role he does best - the charming, irreproachable-but-somewhat-boring rival to the main character in the romantic interest's heart.

To tell you something about this, movie, I had to go to IMDb to read about it before I wrote this review, because I'd mostly forgotten everything about it. The reason for that is that [i]Superman Returns[/i] is not a memorable movie. It's entertaining and pretty to look at, but that's where it stops. Which, honestly, is already more than I expected.

Little Miss Sunshine
10 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I haven't written anything here in a long time, but seeing [i][b]Little Miss Sunshine[/b][/i] made me want to talk about it for hours, and I figured this is the place for it.

I went to see [i]Little Miss Sunshine[/i] with my sister, and we kind of chose the movie by default - the one we wanted to see wasn't playing that night.
I was really apprehensive for the first few minutes of the movie. I'd been told it was funny, but this didn't look like much fun. Richard, the father, wouldn't shut up about losers and winners despite clearly being a loser himself, Frank, the uncle, had just tried committing suicide, Dwayne, the brother, hadn't talked in nine months, Granpa was a drug addict, and Olive spent her days rehearsing for a beauty pageant. Only Sheryl, the mother, seemed somewhat normal, but she was completely overwhelmed by the insanity of the rest of the family. On top of that, no one in the family save for Grandpa and Olive seemed to really like eachother all that much.
So, yeah, I wasn't really looking forward to the rest of the movie.

I don't really know when it happened, though, but at some point I found myself loving the Hoovers as if they were my own family. The interractions between the characters seemed so natural, it was suddenly obvious that they loved eachother. Paul Dano, particularly, did a spectacular job as Dwayne, the angsty teenager who claims to hate everybody but demonstrates that he would do anything for his family. Him and Steve Carell as Frank were an awesome duo, and you could just see their bond tighten throughout the movie.

And I could go on and on about how moving [i]Little Miss Sunshine[/i] is, but I need to talk about how incredibly funny it is, too. I can't remember ever laughing that much in a theatre. Once again, I attribute it to to the actors, who delievered everything so naturally that nothing ever felt forced, even in the most ridiculous situations. The scene where the family gets pulled over will stay in my mind as one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie, along with one of the last scenes which I won't spoil for you, but you'll recognize it.
Actually, that scene sums up the whole movie for me. It's hilarious and moving, and it shows how a completely dysfunctional family is still a family above all.

I would recommend [i]Little Miss Sunshine[/i] to everyone, if only because I think it's the only movie that ever made me cry, and then laugh, and then cry tears of laughter, several times in two hours.

Definitely a movie that I'll want to watch again, many times.