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Unbreakable is a very-well made movie that is interesting, complex, and emotional, but sadly isn't terribly memorable. It moves very slowly and takes its sweet time, but that's in part why it works... if it had rushed itself, the story would have been jumbled up and not as meaningful. It's a dark, slow-burning thriller drama that never really picks up speed. Even in its biggest and most action-packed scene, Unbreakable takes it easy while giving us a lot of suspense and things to think about. It's not quite a superhero movie but it's hard to categorize in the first place... except it is very good, the beginning scene in particular is outstanding: it shows, not tells what it wants us to know. Moving, interesting, but ultimately doesn't stand out.
Southie is nowhere near as bad as it may look, and actually I quite enjoyed what it had to offer: family melodrama, Irish-Catholic characters, lots of profanity. The poster is definitely misleading; it's not at all a cyber-influenced action movie. Instead, it's more of a gangster tale without the excessive violence. Donnie Wahlberg and Rose McGowan give both great performances and they elevate the film beyond the boring, tonally off-center mess that it could have been. Instead, it's full of rich characters and interesting dialogue and a main character that is fun to watch, even when not-so-fun things are happening onscreen. It's not a very big movie or one you'll want to watch a million more times, but for what Southie is worth, it's serviceable and you'll probably like it.
The King's Speech is wonderful in many senses... the direction, the acting, the cinematography, the story (which actually is based off of true events). Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush both give powerhouse performances here, and their work alone puts this movie above some of its other period-piece drama peers. It's interesting, well-meaning, and a good example of a film that kids won't be interested in until they're at least 12 years old. Don't expect the easily bored to get into it, but if you just want a nice relaxing movie to see, The King's Speech isn't a terrible option. Watch with plenty of dignity.
It's really a shame that T.I. didn't go on to go star in more movies, because he's a shockingly good actor that has way more talent than you'd except. He shows this off in ATL, a coming of age movie set in Atlanta (of course), backed by a 00's hip-hop soundtrack and interesting characters. It mixes teen relationships, financial problems, and drug issues together with cool effectiveness, and Lauren London is as pretty as ever. The tone can get a little uneven and the format is familiar, but at least there isn't a cliche drive-by scene, am I right? Anyways, ATL isn't something to skip, and it's a great ghetto coming of age story that thankfully doesn't dwell on the ghetto hardships and moves on to show how these people actually live and have fun.
Gattaca is slightly confusing and has a couple of plot holes, but don't let that stop you from seeing it. In fact, it's a lot like Minority Report: slick, smart science-fiction thriller that is good fun until the third act, which only the intelligent will understand. Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman (and Alan Arkin, for that matter) are excellent in this film, and I really don't have anything bad to say about their performances. It's beautifully shot and everything about Gattaca's movement is poetic and elegant, but it sometimes gets caught up in its own thoughtfulness, if you know what I mean. It's sleek, polished, and fun *enough*, but fun isn't the purpose, I don't think... it's how deep it makes you think and how well it's made, and in both cases, it succeeds.
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise isn't funny. That's most of what there is to say about it... I think that if you're seeing this kind of movie, you're not really looking for a great film, just to see if it's entertaining or makes you laugh. In this case, it's not much of anything. This movie is surprisingly boring, considering what it had to work with, and there are very, very few laughs, and lots of the jokes are just downright offensive. The nerds never really do get their revenge, just a cheap, over-saturated climax that isn't inspiring, it's stupid. There's a mildly amusing "Who Farted?" t-shirt and the female lead is hot, but don't go looking for anything much more than idiocy.
Red Dawn makes absolutely zero sense whatsoever but is still fun and it's not a waste of time... it mirrors some of the political terror that we are possibly on the brink of today in modern America, and it was probably even more relevant when it came out, even if it's not as well-constructed as it thinks it is. There are a lot of scenes that just aren't plausible no matter who you are, but it's got a great 80's cast and the script is a whole lot of fun, so you should be satisfied by what it has to offer. It's a little weird and violent but overall I think I'm gonna have to recommend Red Dawn to the people who are into this kind of movie.
Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I've seen since Hoop Dreams. It's uplifting and heartwarming, and it kind of suckers you into loving it but you can't really feel bad about that. It's a very well-made film that hits on all the topics: love, hate, childhood, friendship, racism, society. It's an effective throwback to Fred Rogers's show (which I never watched... I was born in 2004), and if you hadn't seen it before, it'll make you want to. The movie also talks about some things that people think and feel that most people know about but never say, and you really have to congratulate it for going to those places and saying these things we all think but never have the courage to put out there.
Scream 2 obviously doesn't live up to the masterpiece original, but it does manage to keep the suspense levels up and the kill count high, making it a great horror sequel for the ages. It's not as original as, well... the original, but that doesn't make it bad by any means. It's meta, cool, and actually very entertaining, even if it doesn't have quite the same vibe as the first one and isn't as unpredictable. The killer reveal at the end works fine, and gets the job done. It's a little messier around the edges but it's still serviceable and good. If you're looking for a great sequel to an exceptional movie, does it get better than Scream 2?
Kanye West's extended music video Runaway is honestly one of the best music videos I've ever seen, beat out maybe only by Michael Jackson's Thriller and Eminem's Stan. It's more of a Kanye West's Music: The Movie, but it serves its purpose. I did enjoy the plot aspect of it, as well as the doomed romance between West and a beautiful humanoid phoenix. There's a moment when the beat drops in Lost in the World and we see West start running through a forest, and that's when we know that he is a true genius in the creative arts world. A really impressive example of music video filmmaking.
The 'Critics Consensus' of Major League, for the most part, says what I think about the movie. It doesn't break many rules or traditions when it comes to comedy filmmaking, but that said, it is very funny, with some light, easy gags and a couple darker comedy moments that make it shine. The characters are mostly cliches, which in this instance actually serves to benefit Major League from being too bogged down with itself. It's a pleasantly fresh comedy that should make you laugh a lot. If you need a funny movie to watch on a Saturday night, Major League will get the job done. Plus, it's probably Charlie Sheen's best movie, so it has that going for it.
European Vacation is actually a lot funnier and more enjoyable than the beloved Christmas Vacation, even though it gets about half as much credit as its predecessor and its holiday-themed sequel, a fact that will forever confuse me. It starts off kind of stupid but blossoms into a well-meaning, delightfully stupid 80's comedy that serves its purpose very well. It's endlessly quotable, even though the quotes are often more memorable than the movie itself. It occasionally re-uses some of its jokes, but in the end it's worth watching if you just need a good fun dumb 80's movie.
Juno is a perfectly enjoyable, if awkward and uncomfortable teen comedy that definitely gets the job done. It's funny, touching, and it feels a little bittersweet and condescending but overall it's pretty great. Ellen Pages turns in what has to be her best performance to date, and the rest of the eccentric cast fits well with their oddball characters. It's an eccentric and quickly little film that a lot of people took liking to, and for good reason...it's probably one of the best teen rom-coms of its decade, and even though the ending isn't as satisfying as it think it is, it still works and Juno ends up being very worthwhile.
The first half of Tank is mostly just ridiculous dialogue, random plot events, and surprisingly brutal scenes about a hooker. Just when you give up on the movie being any fun at all, the second half begins: an all-out, carefree, explosive shoot-em-up comedy that is just so lovable and great. It's not exactly PG by today's standards, but kids could see it and enjoy it for the tank action. C. Thomas Howell is actually pretty good in his role, and James Garner is enjoyable as well. It's more than a little crazy, but it puts its ludicrous premise to good use and I don't see why anyone would have any big problems with it.
I was very surprised when Pumpkin, a movie that a lot of people don't seem to like, really made a big impression on me. Maybe it was Christina Ricci's powerful and complex performance? Maybe it was how well the film juggles between sad melodrama, vibrant romance, and biting satire? Maybe it was how it dealt with Pumpkin's disability, without making it too "inspirational" or sappy? Whatever it was, this movie really struck a nerve with me in the best way possible. It's emotional without being stupid, and holy crap Christina Ricci is cute. But it's more than what you'd expect... Pumpkin is honestly like nothing I've ever seen and definitely deserves a higher Rotten Tomatoes score.
The main point of License to Drive wears off pretty quickly: three teens stop caring and just go out to have some illegal fun with one of their parents' cars. The movie is surprisingly bland and unfunny, with an agonizingly stupid dream sequence to kick itself off. It plays by the 80's teen movie rules and doesn't take barely any chances. However, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim did use to be two entertaining actors, and this movie certainly isn't hard to watch, it's kind of a dumb fun. It's basic and silly and actually contains one moment of true commentary on modern teen life, but it's nothing to get all excited about. If you think you'll be impressed, you're wrong.
1992's original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Kristy Swanson as the title character, isn't exactly a great film... it's a little too fast-paced, and the characters are mostly one-dimensional. The central romance is confusing and uninspired, and even the action sequences aren't necessarily very entertaining. The saving grace of this mostly pretty bad film is the nostalgia, which is stupid for me to say, because I wasn't alive in 1992. The way more successful TV show is far better and believable than this cheesy mess.
Reality Bites, with its talkative and somewhat annoying characters, is still an effective 90's throwback and a passable romantic comedy. Some characters don't end up getting what they deserve in the end, wether it be good or bad. But it's hard to hate any of the three main actors of Reality Bites, and by the end, it wins you over with its cheesy dialogue and half-baked jokes, and honestly it's a lot of fun. It's not extremely investing to watch and you won't be thinking about it for a super long time, but in the short-term, it's a good feature from Stiller and another decent movie from Winona Ryder.
Edward Scissorhands is probably Tim Burton's masterpiece, which is honestly saying a lot. The man gets, what I think is, an unfair amount of criticism, but he is really one of the most creative forces in Hollywood, at least in the 90's and late 80's. But this movie is truly something special. Johnny Depp is perfectly cast as outcast Edward, and he plays the role with such integrity and truth that it makes the entire movie better. Winona Ryder is beautiful as Kim, Edward's love interest with a different outlook on life than her pessimistic and rowdy friends. I think that it could have focused just a little more on their relationship, but it still is very well-made, a great satire on suburban life and a great film in general.