King Kong (1933)

King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..

King Kong Movie Review

King Kong is a 1933 fantasy adventure film which is one of the finest blockbusters of all time.
This is such a classic movie. I first watched it about six years ago and after seeing it now for the second time, I fully stand by my original 5-star rating as it truly is as flawless as blockbusters can be. A marvelous movie by all accounts.
The story and the overall jungle setting of the film along with the dinosaur creatures is obviously influenced by ‘The Lost World’ which is such a good silent adventure flick. But King Kong managed to make even better, full use of such a premise and I honestly think that it is mostly immaculately executed.

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It was beauty killed the beast

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King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..
I loved the first act which is a perfect build up to the action, so well done and engaging. This is a monster movie done right as it introduces you to its characters in a natural manner and those characters are not ridiculously underdeveloped but are quite memorable.
Robert Armstrong is amusing as this highly business-oriented director of exotic movies. He is likable, yet realistic. I respected the movie for showcasing how box office was important even during the 30s and that Hollywood is just one giant business. He got some of the funniest lines as well.
Fay Wray is quite memorable as one of the screen’s first scream queens. She was stereotypical and too hopeless, but this role needed such a weak female character so that wasn’t a big problem for me. Bruce Cabot is immensely funny as this overly misogynistic redneck and I really liked their relationship.
But King Kong is the name of the movie and he is undoubtedly the true star here. That Beauty and the Beast dynamic was quite interesting and I really liked his behavior and that he seemed genuinely clever at times. His death is definitely felt and is the most emotional scene in the film.

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King Kong Movie Review………………………………………….
So I loved that ending and that famous quote is unforgettable to this day. The entire Empire State Building sequence is thrilling, beautifully executed and realistic. That scene is one for the ages. But the second act is probably my favorite as the jungle scenes were a lot of fun and the movie shines the most in the adventure department. It is wrongly classified as horror when in reality it is an adventure film with fantasy elements and what a glorious, old-fashioned adventure it is.
The action is so well executed and quite believable. The reason why I consider it as a full-on blockbuster despite its age is that it has quite a lot of action in it plus it is a giante spectacle that truly needs to be seen on the big screen and I am so glad that I did that.
King Kong features quite possibly the best special effects of any 1930s film. The stop-motion work done by Willis O’Brien truly is one of the finest of all time. The Pteranodon looked real, the Tyrannosaurus and the Brontosaurus both looked phenomenal and of course Kong himself is marvelous. His jerky movements only further brough the necessary realism as that large a creature would be really slow. But his face and fur are absolutely fantastic. This movie looked spectacular for its time, but it still looks pretty good even by today’s VFX standards.

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King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..
The film’s humor surprised me as it is pretty good and I laughed a couple of times. The dialogue is simple, yet extremely memorable and the editing is so deft that the movie flies by, but is never rushed too. The score is pretty good and fitting to the action as well. It truly is a wonderful experience.
With simply amazing special effects, memorable characters, excellent humor, highly recognizable dialogue and superb imagery, King Kong truly is an undisputed classic which has aged like fine wine and is phenomenally entertaining to this day. It is such a wonderful adventure which features quite a lot of unforgettable sequences, great action scenes and such a memorable ending leading to one of the best blockbusters of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Gravity Falls Season 1 (2012)

Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Gravity Falls Season 1 Review

Gravity Falls is a 2012 animated TV series which was aired on Disney Channel. It is a very popular and acclaimed mystery comedy which did not disappoint.

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When there’s no cops around, anything’s legal!

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

It consists of two seasons broken into twenty episodes each. The show definitely has its arcs and plot progressions, but because most of the episodes serve as standalone stories, I will thus comment upon each one of them from the first to the twentieth.

It follows two siblings who spend a summer at their Great Uncle’s Mystery Shack in the town of Gravity Falls. The town is mysterious and holds many secrets and thus each episode delves into a mystery of its own.

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Tourist Trapped is a very good opening for the season and the whole series thanks to a pretty involving and mysterious episode. Yes, the gnomes were too childish, but still a lot of fun. The episode’s plot twist is unexpected and it succeeds in introducing us to its characters with Mabel stealing the show here. The Legend of the Gobblewonker features a much better and more entertaining storyline than the previous plot with an overabundance of terrific humor and with such an amusing use of Soos.

Headhunters isn’t the best episode. It does have some pretty good parts, but it is mostly overly typical and forgettable as it doesn’t leave the greatest and lasting impression. I am not the biggest fan of Gideon (more on him in my character analysis later down this review), but The Hand That Rocks the Mabel is a probably the best use of him during the whole season and a great introduction to his character. I loved Dipper and Mabel’s interactions in particular here.

The Inconveniencing is such a forgettable, uninspired episode that isn’t worth talking about more. But Dipper vs. Manliness is terrific and one of the funniest episodes of the season. Dipper is so great here and although we’ve seen this premise before, this take on manliness is actually pretty inventive in its own right with some great humor and a great use of music in it.

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Double Dipper is another very inventive episode that again features a familiar premise of cloning and duplicating, but it features a great progression of Dipper’s arc with Wendy and such a charming, wonderful ending. Irrational Treasure definitely is overly silly, but still a pretty solid historical piece that excels the most in its abundant details and amusing Mabel.

The Time Traveller’s Pig is a time travel episode done right resulting in one of the best that the season has to offer. Dipper’s Wendy subplot is dealt with the best here quite possibly as we here have him give up on her in order to save Mabel’s pig. I love their sibling relationship and here it was emphasized the most. And of course Waddles is introduced here in a fine manner.

Fight Fighters is another stellar episode. Yes, Stan’s part is most certainly not great and sort of poor when compared to the main plot, but that main story is so good that it is worth the trip. I loved the parody of fighting video games and that fighter character is absolutely hilarious here with many unforgettable, truly clever lines. And this is the finest use of Robbie yet.

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Little Dipper is one of the weakest parts of the season owing to its over-reliance on derivative storyline and humor. Summerween is another uninspired episode and a pretty weak take on Halloween which is surprising and disappointing as this holiday and Gravity Falls should go hand in hand, but unfortunately they didn’t manage to make that happen for us.

Boss Mabel could have been better, but it still has a great premise and Mabel is so funny here. Bottomless Pit! is simply put great! Rarely do episodes with the structure of telling stories succeed as this one, but here we have one of the best implementations of such a structure with all of its stories working wonderfully and with the overall plot and conclusion of it being immensely original and intriguing.

Dipper’s subplot in The Deep End is surprisingly disappointing and derivative, but Mabel falling in love with a merman naturally produced many laughs and smiles. Carpet Diem does have its weak parts, but it is mostly pretty entertaining with the relationship between the siblings put to a much greater emphasis than before.

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Boyz Crazy finds Mabel at one of her funniest, but it is otherwise pretty uneventful and frankly even dull at times. However, Land Before Swine is quite possibly the finest episode of the entire first season as it is just such a wonderfully sentimental, yet funny take on all of its characters with the interactions and relationships between them being so well established and explored. Mabel and Stan in particular are wonderful here.

I have to say that the last two episodes disappointed me immensely and they are two me the weakest and the only mediocre parts in this season. Yes, Dreamscaperers and Gideon Rises are both overly action-oriented and they put too much emphasis on Gideon who is so over-the-top and frustrating in this instance.

Let’s talk about the characters. Robby is a stereotype and Gideon is overly theatrical. I think he is the most cartoony character here and was mostly overly annoying. Waddles is very cute and Wendy is solid, but serves better as love interest to Dipper than an individual character. Soos is such a clichéd stupid character, but I have to say that he is still surprisingly funny at times.

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Gravity Falls Season 1 Review………………………………………………

Grunkle Stan is a problematic character. His humor is overly aggressive and childish and some of his subplots do not work at all and serve more as annoying detours. However, he still has his memorable moments, he can be funny and he is great with the kids. Mabel and Dipper are naturally the highlights. I liked Dipper quite a bit and he is a realistic kid, but Mabel is the standout Gravity Falls character thanks to such an infectiously amusing personality and a great sense of humor. It is rare for animated shows to have this great and this lovable female characters, but Gravity Falls pulled that off remarkably well.

The animation is typical for American cartoons – overly simplistic, but with a solid attention to detail. The score is great and I love the opening theme, so fitting in tone to the style of the show. It succeeds both as a comedy and as a mystery and although this first season is quite uneven as a whole, it succeeds more often than it fails with its fair share of great laughs and inventive storytelling.

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Worst Episodes: The Inconveniencing, Little Dipper, Summerween, Boyz Crazy, Dreamscaperers and Gideon Rises.

Best Episodes: The Legend of the Gobblewonker, Dipper vs. Manliness, The Time Traveller’s Pig, Fight Fighters, Bottomless Pit! and Land Before Swine.

My Rating – 4

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 romantic comedy starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. It is a typical genre film.

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I’ve never seen my sister this happy,

Ian. If you hurt her,

I’ll kill you and make it look like an accident

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
It follows a young Greek woman who starts dating a non-Greek man much to the chagrin of her parents. Eventually the two marry through a series of traditional Greek rituals. First of all, this is an obviously stereotypical movie. Yes, comedies are supposed to exaggerate everything, but here Greeks were portrayed as overly xenophobic and traditional which just wasn’t realistic at all. Because of that, it is such a usual over-the-top Hollywood comedy.
Another problem is that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is beyond clichéd and predictable from beginning to end. That is why watching it wasn’t nearly as fun as it should have been. It is an amusing film, but I still knew every single thing that was going to happen and that was annoying. I know romantic comedy is the most clichéd of all genres, but I just cannot forgive such immense clichés no matter what.
The actors all did a nice job and I liked thay Nina Vardalos is Greek herself, that was great. She is likable here and most of her family members are memorably goofy and funny. But John Corbett was obviously typecast here and the role is boring as hell.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
Does it succeed as a romance and as a comedy is an important question. Well, to some degree, but only slightly and rarely does it reach greatness. For example, the scene where the two first meet is very romantic and charming, but everything after that was devoid of any genuine warmth and romance. The same goes for laughs. Some supporting characters are funny, but most aren’t. Some lines were pretty memorable and they made me laugh, but this is mostly not a particularly funny movie which is problematic as the premise and scenarios demand much more comedy. And I liked seeing some of Greek traditions (the score is great as is their family dynamic) and that was nice and very ehtnic, but unfortunately too over-the-top and just false.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding has some memorable characters, a couple of funny lines and it is sweet and harmless, but it is mostly too over-the-top in its portrayal of Greek people, the film isn’t funny or romantic enough and the story is awfully clichéd and predictable.

My Rating – 3

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Futurama Season 7 (2012)

Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

Futurama Season 7 Review

The seventh season of Futurama is one of the better, but not the best, ones with its fair share of excellent installments and it is a great closing season for the series.

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You can’t simply know something by assembling a committee of words!

That’s it! I’ll assemble your committee!

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Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

The Bots and the Bees is a pretty good, if far from great episode that features a solid Bender storyline in which he accidentally gets a son with a promiscuous soda machine. I liked here the most the fact that Bender proved to be a good dad. A Farewell to Arms is overly emotional and even if it was an interesting parody episode, it wasn’t the most original one.

Decision 3012 is a very good and funny social commentary on Obama’s birth certificate that featured a for once good use of Nixon and the episode is political, but also clever and frequently funny. The Thief of Badhead is such an authentic, truly one of a kind episode which again finds a good use of Bender who is great here. But the overall story is immensely original and certainly memorable.

Zapp Dingbat is such a hilarious episode. Leela’s mother begins dating Zapp and of course that was bound to get funny results. The episode is very amusing with an excellent sense of humor and a great use of Zapp who unfortunately didn’t get much to do in this season. The Butterjunk Effect is rarely funny, but Amy and Leela’s dynamic here is terrific and the setting and plot are fun.

The Six Million Dollar Mon is as boring and us unfunny as you would expect from a Hermes episode plus its robotic storyline felt pretty uninspired to me personally. Fun on a Bun is pretty interesting in its concept and sometimes amusing, but is mostly forgettable.

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Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

Free Will Hunting is another boring, typical and ultimately immensely forgettable episode with a weak use of Bender. Near-Death Wish is somewhat odd for featuring an emotional Professor Farnsworth storyline, but it still worked surprisingly enough as watching him as a kid with his parents was heartwarming.

31st Century Fox once again finds Bender at his best and he is the highlight here. But the overall fox hunting story was well animated and interesting to me plus the animal rights were so well utilized as a theme. Viva Mars Vegas is boring and forgettable and not even Zoidberg could save it with his signature humor.

Naturama is such a unique and yet odd animal-centric Futurama episode where we follow the crew as various animals done in a typical nature documentary fashion. Some parts worked better than the others, but overall it was well animated, fun, original and the highlights were the Professor and Mom of course. Forty Percent Leadbelly again finds Bender pursuing a singing career and the end result is rehashed and clichéd.

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Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

2-D Blacktop features a forgettable first half, but the second half is so great in its crazy 2-D antics which were both original and funny in the best Futurama fashion. T.: The Terrestrial is certainly amusing with a great relationship between Fry and Lrrr’s son, but the overall parallel and parody was too obvious.

The Inhuman Torch is amazing! Looking at the premise alone, I was expecting the worst. But surprisingly and quite stupendously, this turned out to be one of the best episodes of the seventh season. Bender becoming a hero, but hiding it with Fry was a touching moment for both of them. Their friendship was beautiful to witness here and this is the most human that Bender has ever been.

Saturday Morning Fun Pit features three Saturday Morning cartoons parodied. I love these kinds of episodes and it was great watching three distinctly different animation styles present here. To me G. I. Joe was disappointing and it ruined what could have been a classic episode, but The Smurfs/Strawberry Shortcake subplot was genius and funny and of course Scooby-Doo is the highlight. What they did here was to perfectly make fun of that ridiculous show and the laughs came by quickly and made a big impact.

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Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

Calculon 2.0 is phenomenal, it is actually one of the best, if not the best, parts with this character. It just might be the most important one and a great swansong for him. Watching Calculon get resurrected from death to be ridiculed for his old-fashioned acting. But he eventually delivered a great performance and died happy in a wonderful moment.

Assie Come Home puts Bender’s ass at the center and surprisingly, it is solid and actually quite moving in a weird way. Leela and the Genestalk is a very charming and sometimes even authentic rendition of this famous fairytale that was unfortunately undone by its very obvious ending.

Game of Tones features a wonderfully mysterious, always engaging storyline with a great use of Fry and his past. It is sentimental, but not overly emotional and its parody is very good and interesting. Murder on the Orient Express isn’t as funny as it should have been, but it is sometimes amusing and is mostly a very good parody of this famous movie with a couple of great twists.

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Futurama Season 7 Review……………………………………..

Stench and Stenchibility features Zoidberg finally getting a girlfriend who loves him and of course that was wonderful to witness. Such a beautiful and to me very satisfying episode as I love this endearing character. Meanwhile is of course terrific. It was a great way to end the entire show with Leela and Fry getting their very emotional and yet subtle and wonderful conclusion. I loved its time travel, I loved all of its characters and yet the highlight is its heart and the ending was fitting and satisfying.

Overall, I really liked this season. It definitely has its problems and it has its weaker episodes and it relies too much on parodies, but it features Bender at probably his best as he got so many terrific episodes here and actually all of the characters got their moment to shine. I am sad that this is it and truly the series suffered as it was cancelled so many times, but in the end, it remains one of the best and most consistent adult animated shows and with this season, it got its proper and very satisfying conclusion.

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Worst Episodes: The Six Million Dollar Mon, Free Will Hunting, Viva Mars Vegas and Forty Percent Leadbelly.

Best Episodes: The Thief of Baghead, The Inhuman Torch, Calculon 2.0, Game of Tones, Stench and Stenchibility and Meanwhile.

My Rating – 4.2

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Design for Living (1933)

Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………

Design for Living Movie Review

Design for Living is a 1933 screwball comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Fredric March, Gary Cooper and Miriam Hopkins. It is a good, but not great movie.

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It’s true we had a gentleman’s agreement,

but unfortunately, I am no gentleman

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
These three great actors play romantic lovers. Hopkins is in love with both of them and cannot decide so the three arrange to live together with hilarious results. First of all, this is obviously a Pre-Code movie and it is actually one of the bravest and boldest old films that I have ever seen. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I myself do not have a high opinion of polygamy, but I still respect the movie for not just portraying such an issue, but also for giving us an ending where the three end up together. That was unexpected and incredibly bold, even for this day and age. Actually, I have never seen a movie deal with this subject matter before, old or recent, which is why I was fascinated by this film quite a bit.
Design for Living features all three of these actors at the peak of their careers and it truly shows. I love Gary Cooper and he is one of my favorite actors, but he was the weakest of the three as his character is too brute. He definitely played against type and gave a pretty good performance for that matter, but others were better. Fredric March is more memorable and certainly funnier and he delivered a strong performance. But this is beyond any doubt Miriam Hopkins’ vehicle as she killed it here and stole the show from these two great actors.

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
She was perfect for this role and she is marvelous as Gilda Farrell, one of the most feminist characters in all of classic movies. As for Edward Everett Horton, he was typecasted here and I’ve seen him in this exact role so many times already.
Now let’s talk about the flaws. Design for Living is a pretty popular movie and it deals with a very different subject than usual. That is why I expected great things from it. But alas, the film is never great as it settled for being just good. Pretty good actually, but that is disappointing as this great material needed a much better execution.
I blame Ernst Lubitsch for that. His direction isn’t as polished as usual and he made many obvious mistakes. One is the pacing as the movie is too slow for a comedy. Another is the humor. Yes, sadly the humor is pretty weak for screwball comedy standards. It made me laugh a couple of times, but that was mostly in the first act as the other two are almost devoid of true laughs. Don’t get me wrong, the film has many highly amusing scenes and the dialogue and script are both stellar, but it is rarely as hilarious as I’d come to expect from this great subgenre.

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
I loved the ending. That was my favorite scene. And I loved the beginning. That opening was very sensual and different in its silent, almost poetic approach. I also really liked all of the scenes between all three of them which is why I found the scenes with Horton’s character te be frustrating and overly extended. The movie somehow loses its steam in the third act and that was immensely unfortunate.
Design for Living is a frustrating movie because it is never great as it deserved to have been, but instead ended up being just good. All three of its great actors did a good job with Miriam Hopkins stealing the show completely. I loved the dialogue and the dynamic between these three and some scenes such as the opening and ending are unforgettable. But even though the film is bold in its ending and very brave and commendable for dealing with the subject of polygamy, it never made perfect use of it, the pacing is totally off and, for high screwball comedy standards, it is mostly devoid of true laughs.

My Rating – 4

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Fantastic Planet (1973)

Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..

Fantastic Planet Movie Review

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 French animated science fiction film directed by René Laloux. It is the best animated sci-fi film ever made.

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What a shame we can’t play with her anymore

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
The story is fascinating and incredibly original. Blue giant humanoid Draags rule the planet Ygam and they use human Oms as pets until they eventually rebel. Needless to say, the film deals with a lot of interesting themes such as the relationship between different species, ignorance, racism and yes, even genocide.
It isn’t only sophisticated in script, but also very engaging and simply riveting to watch. It is one of the most purely imaginative and fantastical sci-fi films that I have ever seen. The level of detail exhibited here is just meticulous. The world building is extraordinary and I in the end felt that I have just set foot on this planet myself. That is how inviting this movie is.
That vastness and variety of space is beautifully conveyed through the use of absolutely fabulous hand-drawn animation with such a wonderful comic-stip sensibility to it that I just adored it. The character design is some of the the best that I have ever seen and of course the film is psychedelic and weird at times, but always beautifully animated and filled with a high level of detail that I believed this planet entirely.
The harshness and brutality of the Ygam planet is so well established as all of its animals are dangerous and all of the plants are carnivorous. The designs of all these creatures is weird, yet incredibly authentic and unforgettable. The color palette is also fantastic and the use of blue is overwhelming and interesting.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
I loved everything about Draags. Their way of living is pretty interesting. I loved their method of learning, very advanced. How they used Oms as pets raised many ethic questions about keeping smart species as pets, but I have to say that the relationship between the two species isn’t established as properly as it should have been. Some plot holes are irritating. How the Draags did not realize that Oms can speak? How did they not realize sooner how intelligent they were? All of these questions are never answered and they remain pretty obvious plot holes.
But as I said, I loved their technology and I really liked every ritual that was present here with both species. I would have gone with less nudity, but I guess it was required and the sexuality/mating element definitely was important for the story.
The character development is weak in Fantastic Planet as it doesn’t bother with creating fully personalized Draags or Oms. However, this is one of those sci-fi stories that do not need individualized characters as it is epic and deals with the whole two species and thus it does not require fully realized individuals in it. The voice acting is very good and believable. But I have to say that the mouth movements weren’t well synhronized with the dialogue and that is the only apparent flaw in an otherwise stellar animation.

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Fantastic Planet Movie Review……………………………………..
Speaking of dialogue, I definitely wanted more of it, but what we got was still great and some discussions are very interesting here. Fantastic Planet is awfully short and its ending is just way too abrupt, but I liked that it ended on a positive note and to me the highlights were the intriguing beginning, those lessons as well as the exploration of the planet. Those adventurous scenes were the standouts. Despite it being short, the editing is actually very deft and of course its score is very evocative of its mood which is dreamlike and strange. René Leloux directed this movie brilliantly and he surely is one of my favorite animation directors. I would definitely call this movie a work of art.
With beautiful, stylistic hand-drawn animation, extraordinary world building, an admirable attention to detail and such an imaginative, yet thematically sophisticated story, Fantastic Planet is also very dreamlike and strange accompanied by such a great score and phenomenal creature designs. Consequently, this artistic French classic is one of the best that both animation and science fiction have to offer.

My Rating – 4.5

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The War of the Worlds (1953)

The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………

The War of the Worlds Movie Review

The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film that is one of the most popular genre films of the fifties.
It is of course based on the eponymous novel written by H. G. Wells and even though I respect the author, a lot of the things have changed since 1898 so of course this material is going to be dated by today’s SF standards. And that is why they chose to adapt it differently and add that Cold War/atomic bomb aspect to it, but I am afraid that they again made it the product of its time.

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“We know now we can’t beat their machines.

We’ve got to beat them”

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
The aliens attacking Earth for resourses is a conventional, archetypal sci-fi premise, but here it is executed in the best way possible so I didn’t mind it as much. And even though the religious overtones in the ending are overly aggressive and came out of nowhere, I still liked that twist ending and it was the best and most interesting way to finish the movie.
The War of the Worlds is a blockbuster, I don’t care what anyone else says, blockbusters existed way before 1975. Here you have a lot of action, but also some necessary humor as well as the epic tone to it along with some post-apocalyptic sequences. And I liked that about it. Watching a 1950s blockbuster was an interesting experience and a lot of fun. No matter what you think of it, you cannot deny its huge entertainment factor.
What the movie gets wrong is the characters. The character development is truly mediocre and this is one of those movies where you don’t care for the human characters and you just wanna follow those aliens. I guess Dr. Forrester is fine as the lead, though highly clichéd, but Sylvia is just awful. Oh my god, did I hate her character! She is basically a screaming, annoying bitch and one of the 50s weakest, most frustrating female characters for sure. The acting is also not the greatest and sometimes it is quite poor.

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
But the film has some good characters that appear in very small roles such as those rednecks who get killed by the Martians first. They were so funny and they made me laugh honestly. The scene in the beginning where a man looks at his friends’ cards while he’s on the phone is also very funny and that goofy humor was present quite a bit in the film and I liked it a lot.
On a purely scientific level, the film is ridiculous. The Martians are the aliens which is beyond stupid and why would they destroy even the buildings is beyond me. But this is one of those fun sci-fi movies, blockbusters that are meant to be entertaining and watching it as such, it succeeds in spades.

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The War of the Worlds Movie Review…………………………………………
The War of the Worlds is a technical marvel for its time. Truly the special effects are groundbreaking. I liked the aliens’ design a lot and they were portrayed convincingly. And I admired the choice to have them shown in just two scenes and only once fully. Certainly some scenes are too campy, but for its time the movie is actually pretty advanced and you can see how expensive it must have been. The ships look fine and those cameras and electric eye also movie convincingly. The score is also very good and the sound effects are particularly terrific and memorable. The film is also very well edited and consistently engaging throughout its whole, quite short running time.
The War of the Worlds is certainly dated in its archetypal concept plus the human characters and acting are quite poor, but the film is a lot of fun and it succeeds in spades as an entertaining 50s blockbuster with some pretty good humor too. The special effects are outstanding for its time, the sound is great and the movie is fun enough that you can forgive it for its many flaws.

My Rating – 4

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron Man 3 Movie Review………………………………….

Iron Man 3 Movie Review

Iron Man 3 is a 2013 Marvel superhero film directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. It is one of their most underrated movies.

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My armor was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon,

and now I’m a changed man.

You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys,

but one thing you can’t take away – I am Iron Man

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Iron Man 3 Movie Review………………………………….

The plot itself isn’t the greatest, albeit it has its great scenes. I found the third act to be over-the-top and bombastic in a typical blockbuster fashion, but other than that, the film was mostly restrained from action and actually quite engaging. I liked its humor as usual and I especially liked the interactions between the characters.

Tony Stark is probably the best he’s ever been in this movie because not only is he funny and Robert Downey Jr. is as charismatic as usual, but here he also has a human side to him, he is vulnerable and watching him struggle with the events that happened in ‘The Avengers’ was the standout aspect of the entire film, very moving and serious.

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Iron Man 3 Movie Review………………………………….

I loved Pepper Potts, here she is very likable and the two probably have the best and most memorable scenes in this movie. Watching the two together was so much fun. Aldrich Killian is a typical, boring and such forgettable villain that he isn’t even worth talking about more. Maya Hansen is solid, but ultimately forgettable. Harley is such a likable kid and I loved the scenes between him and Tony and I have to say that I really liked what they did with Mandarin. Most fans were angry, but to me it was much more interesting to have this twist that he is just an actor and not a bad guy, very clever and refreshing.

The performances are as good as usual and the direction from Shane Black is surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because I disliked his other movies. I found the film’s humor to be quite good, but I also admired its more serious and dark and emotionally devastating tone which was new for the MCU.

Iron Man 3 is very well made and shot. The dialogue is as brisk and fun as usual. The special effects are quite good and some of the imagery and locations are memorable and very well used. I really liked some of the action, but to me some action sequences were overloud and typical. It also had too much action in some scenes, especially in the second half as the first half is surprisingly restrained for a superhero flick.

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Iron Man 3 Movie Review………………………………….

The villains are possibly the major problem that prevented me from enjoying this movie more. They are all bland and extremely forgettable. The same goes for some of the action as stated above. But other than that, I really liked the characters here, all very well used, and I have to say that I found the overall film to be a memorable, pretty involving and mostly very satisfying entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I do get why most people dislike it, but to me it comes right in the middle in this trilogy. It is of course inferior to the first ‘Iron Man‘, but it is miles above the quality of mediocre ‘Iron Man 2’ and it is overall one of the better, if not the best Marvel movies to date.

With very good imagery and special effects, an interesting story and an excellent twist, terrific acting, strong characterization and so well utilized characters, Iron Man 3 has absolutely mediocre villains and some of its action was dull and overlong, but it is mostly very satisfying and quite underrated and is the most human and probably the most tonally serious Marvel movie yet and it is a worthy third entry in this trilogy.

My Rating – 4

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Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

Do the Right Thing Movie Review

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 drama film directed by and starring Spike Lee. It is one of the best films about racism that I have ever seen.

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It ain’t never too hot or never too cold for fuckin’!

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

It is about the racial tension in a Brooklyn neighbourhood where on the hottest day of summer a tragedy strikes. This is one of those movies that deserve to be proclaimed important by critics as it surely is a textbook example of how to properly do a movie about this subject matter. It is probably the most realistic film I’ve seen where everyone is racist – both blacks and whites. That honest, brutally honest approach is what sets this film miles apart from the rest of the similar flicks. And it is made in a way that you never know what to think. I didn’t know who was guilty of starting this conflict and that was great. That uncertainty is palpable and again realistic as in real life conflicts are never black-and-white, but much more complex and difficult to grasp.

As for the characters, my thoughts are twofold. On the one hand, I certainly respected the movie for portraying characters that feel like real people and sure enough, this entire neighbourhood is recreated and portrayed in such a manner that it almost feels real and as if you are watching a documentary. That was certainly admirable.

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

But on the other hand, the film deals with too many characters and thus none of them are as memorable or as well developed as they needed to have been. Mookie and Sal are the best and their relationship is quite strong. Their moment at the end is certainly my favourite scene in the movie – the one that showcased that the two ethnicities can get along after all. But Italians are still stereotyped here along with those minor black characters and thus they all blend in the crowd a bit too much.

The acting is excellent. Certainly Danny Aiello gave the best, deservedly Oscar nominated performance, but the others are all pretty good too and Spike Lee is pretty solid for a director. But his direction is very strong as the film is phenomenally directed and put together. The editing is fantastic and I loved how the film flowed well and perfectly led to the tragedy owing to a great build up.

Do the Right Thing isn’t a comedy to me. There are some funny scenes in the first half, amusing and filled with really well painted, memorable minor characters (Mother Sister and Da Mayor are such a charming duo), but it never made me laugh or chuckle and I would still call it just a drama. Another problem here was that climactic third act. It was needed and very dramatic and difficult to watch in a good way, but it still lasted a bit too much and the entire film has too much yelling, cursing and is just too loud.

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Do the Right Thing Movie Review………………………………………………………………….

But it truly is a shame that it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture when it easily should have even won in that year. It is one of the rare movies with the subject of racism that is also a very good movie in its own right and not just an important film. ‘In the Heat of the Night’ is another one of those that comes to mind.

Do the Right Thing is a rare film with the subject of racism that is not only important, but also very good in its own right. The film portrays realistic characters, the direction from Spike Lee is superb and the build up in the first half is so good that it deftly led to the brutal conflict that arose in the second half. This is the film that portrays racism from both sides, it treats its subject matter in a brutally honest manner and is executed in a way that you never quite know who is to blame for the conflict which is exactly how real life works and why this film is so important and admirable in its realism.

My Rating – 4.5

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980)

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) Movie Review

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is a 1980 animated family film which is the last and to me the weakest of the first four Peanuts feature movies.

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The last time you went away, big brother,

your team won three games in a row

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

I don’t know about this one. I have to admit that I wanted to give a four star rating to every Peanuts sequel and unfortunately I just can’t do that this time around as this is a solid film, but definitely weaker than all the rest of the Peanuts entries.

Charlie Brown along with his friends goes to the French country side where he was invited by a girl to stay in the chateau. Eventually, the mystery is revealed – Charlie Brown’s grandfather helped the baron during World War II. That’s it, that is the story here.

Naturally it is interesting and the mystery is handled well, I guess. Plus the setting is a lot of fun. But it isn’t suited for a Peanuts adventure and I just always had the feeling that it lacked the entertainment factor almost entirely. There are some gags here and there, but the film is mostly devoid of humour and adventure, but rather settles on this mystery. So disappointing.

Another disappointing thing about Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is its very narrow set of characters. I mean a Peanuts movie without Lucy isn’t a Peanuts movie in my book. And Sally is basically not here either. Of those characters that went on this adventure, Charlie Brown is the most disappointing as he is never the loser he is supposed to be here. In some scenes he is pathetic and funny, but mostly he is too dull.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Linus is also pretty forgettable. Pierre has his moments and that girl Violette is likable, but also forgettable. Peppermint Patty and Marcie, but mostly just Patty, save this movie. The highlights were all of Patty’s sequences here for sure. The one where she is sitting with Chuck in the class and tormenting him is hilarious and of course the final scene where Snoopy kisses her is also very funny. Marcie is an expectedly great sidekick too.

Speaking of Snoopy, surprisingly enough, he is another one of the highlights here. He and Woodstock of course. The duo has some surprisingly hilarious scenes here and none of them stall the movie as usual, but add a lot of the charm and pleasant humour to the table. The airplane scene is the funniest, but then again each scene with these two was very good this time around.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is well directed and edited. Some of the lines cracked me up and as I said the characters here are half-good as half of them deliver, but the other half is thoroughly lacking. I liked the French and chateau setting quite a bit and I liked the journey to there with the driving and flying sequences being a lot of fun. And the mystery is fine, but I wanted this flick to be more of a comedy adventure and it too many times failed in that department. So it ended up being a solid flick, but easily the weakest of all five Peanuts features.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown has some very funny sequences, the mystery is interesting, the setting is nice and Peppermint Patty stole the show this time around along with Snoopy, but all of the other characters were lacking in my opinion and the film is rarely as adventurous and as comedic as I would have liked leading to unfortunately the weakest Peanuts feature.

My Rating – 3.5

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