A Christmas Story (1983)

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

A Christmas Story is a 1983 family comedy film directed by Bob Clark. It is a pretty solid, but overrated holiday flick.

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No, you’ll shoot your eye out

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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Now I have to say that I found watching this movie really odd owing to its structure. It has a main story but it wanders off of that course pretty regularly to present us a series of continuing vignettes. So in that way, the vignettes are bad and the main story is quite good leading to one good movie here and one bad film.

While watching the first half of A Christmas Story, I was really shocked. Not only disappointed, but honestly befuddled. Not only did I not see why people think it is great, but I also thought it was a very annoying, frustratingly cloying film that got on my nerves pretty quickly.

That is because those vignettes just did not work for me. They never did and thus they ruined the movie for me. The main story is so strong that it saved this film from being a total disaster, but still those detours were pretty insufferable. I disliked the lamp story, the dogs’ plot was also weak and every scene in the school was overly childish and highly annoying.

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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But the second half fixed all that by getting back on track with the main storyline which is great. It is both charming, old-fashioned and highly endearing and even funny. The highlights are the two scenes that are so great that the film is worth seeing just for them alone.

One is the Santa Clause sequence which is absolutely hilarious and oh so truthful. I was scared of him as well and thus I found this scene very relatable and honest. The entire scene is so funny how bizarre it is. And of course the second great scene is the presents scene which is just lovely. It was wonderful seeing the whole family open presents and I adored those moments. The ending was so charming.

The film is weakly directed and edited, but definitely well acted and shot. I found its narration so annoying as that adult voice is very unappealing but the humor is great in the second half even though it was very bad in the first one. The characters are solid, but underdeveloped, Overall, it is a solid, but highly overrated, odd film.

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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Watching the first half of A Christmas Story, I was utterly befuddled by what I was seeing and I found myself thinking – Is this really considered a Christmas classic? The narration is very annoying, the humor is odd, it felt too childish and those vignettes did not work for me at all as I found them very frustrating and mediocre. However, the second half fixed all of those problems by getting back on track with its main storyline and giving us two truly terrific scenes: one is that wonderful, charming presents sequence and the other is the Santa scene which is hilarious, bizarre and oh so relatable. So in the end, the film was saved by its second half from being a total disaster, but it still remains only solid and far from a classic deemed by so many people.

My Rating – 3.5

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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is a good, but flawed conclusion to the original trilogy.

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You underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny

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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

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Certainly both ‘A New Hope’ and especially ‘Empire Strikes Back’ are better than this film as they are more serious. This one concludes the story quite well, but not well enough and a lot of problems plague it. Let’s first talk about the positive things. I loved the entire third act of course. It was great seeing Luke’s struggle, Emperor Palpatine got his menacing moment to shine there and definitely the highlight was the ending.

Darth Vader proved that he is still good inside and saved Luke and killed the Emperor. The face unmasking sequence is incredible, the emotion is definitely felt and it surely is the most defining moment of any Star Wars film. I loved it as it was highly emotionally rewarding. The celebration scenes at the end were beautiful as well.

Another thing that I loved was Leia’s storyline. Luke learning that she is her brother, then her coping with it and Han being funny about it – that was all great stuff and I wanted more drama like that honestly.

But unfortunately what we got was a children’s film if you discount the aforementioned stuff. And there is nothing wrong with a family film and I love those, but in this instance it was odd as the first two films were more serious and focused on humans and this one focused on creatures and childish aspects. It just felt like a different film in the same trilogy.

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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

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I disliked that the first act went on for too long. Jabba the Hutt is memorable and the various creatures there are fun, but those scenes were silly and campy and just way too extended. They grinded the film to a halt and just when it started.

But I did like the Ewoks, I have to say. Again they are too silly and childish plus it was of course unrealistic that they managed to beat the superior enemies, but there is no denying how cute and endearing they are. I loved their forest houses, weapons, sounds that they made and their designs. Excellent characters for kids.

Lando is forgettable and Boba Fett remains the most ridiculously overrated SW character for me. I liked Leia here quite a bit and Han was also likable. The two are a great couple. C-3PO and R2-D2 actually got a couple of very funny scenes. Luke is fine, but again Mark Hamill’s performance leaves a lot to be desired.

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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

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I loved everything about the Emperor. He is very menacing and his voice and manner of speech are superb. Yoda’s scene was heartbreaking and poetic. Darth Vader’s storyline is of course iconic and the scene where they put Anakin’s ghost from the prequels made my day. Such a great choice.

Return of the Jedi definitely has overwhelming action, but some of it is highly memorable including the entire last battle between Luke and Vader as well as Emperor. But the air battles went on for too long. The humor is quite solid and the effects are once again excellent and the puppets looked great. This surely is a puppet feature in the vein of Muppets which was weird to witness, but fun.

Return of the Jedi is a good, but flawed conclusion to the original trilogy. Leia’s storyline is good, Emperor Palpatine is a fantastic villain and of course Darth Vader’s story is iconic. The entire final battle and the face unmasking scene are amazing. The film is pretty much a creature feature – very fun, endearing and great for children, but thus it felt like a different film when compared to the previous two. I liked the Ewoks and the droids quite a bit here, but they took too much screen time from the humans nonetheless.

My Rating – 4

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Victor/Victoria (1982)

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Victor/Victoria Movie Review

Victor/Victoria is a 1982 musical comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Julie Andrews and Robert Preston. It is a wonderful film.

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Oh, God…

there’s nothing more inconvenient

than an old queen with a head cold

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Victor/Victoria Movie Review

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It is about a jobless singer during the 1930s who gets pressured by her gay friend to develop a new persona. She will be a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. Needless to say, this story is very original, exciting and just a lot of fun while also containing very sharp social commentary in it.

The film showcases homophobia during the thirties but it above all else showcases sexism and how for women it was even more difficult in a way than for gay men living in this period. When Victoria says that living as a man liberated here, you believe her and that moment truly is the most powerful in the entire film.

But Victor/Victoria handles those themes subtly and stupendously without ever getting in the way of its humor and the humor is terrific. The film features such a great mix of old-fashioned slapstick comedy and more insightful humor such as clever dialogue and back and forth between the characters. Both work to the fullest extent and some of the highlights are the restaurant scene as well as all of the romantic scenes between Victoria and Marchand.

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Victor/Victoria Movie Review

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The film is also a musical and even though it is better as a comedy, it is still quite good as a musical as it features fittingly retro musical numbers that transport you to its wonderful time period really well.

Gay Paree is amusing and, well, gay. The Shady Dame from Seville is repeated throughout and that was a great choice as it is the most catchy and infectiously exuberant number in the film. You and Me is also solid and the other songs serve their purpose, but are somewhat forgettable. But still this soundtrack is pretty good and the score itself is excellent.

The casting is the film’s only and unfortunately big problem. Andrews, Garner and Preston are all magnificent in their roles, there is no doubt about that. But I just never bought any of them in their roles. Garner is not manly enough for the role, Preston isn’t gay enough and Andrews isn’t androgynous at all. And because these three are the most important, essential characters, the fact that I never bought them in their roles was troubling.

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Victor/Victoria Movie Review

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But the acting remains fantastic. Lesley Ann Warren is suitably over-the-top and frequently hilarious as ditzy Norma Cassidy, James Garner is charming as Marchand and Robert Preston is sweet and subtle as Toddy. Julie Andrews definitely steals the show from all of them and deservedly was Oscar nominated. If it wasn’t for Meryl Streep in ‘Sophie’s Choice’, she would have won. She is radiant, beautiful and always wonderful and charming as the protagonist of the film and I simply loved her here. An elegant actress in an elegant role.

Victor/Victoria is a consistently entertaining film which is never rushed and never prolonged. It lasts for just the right runtime and always delivers. I loved its very clever dialogue and couple that with terrific acting and fitting music at display and you’ve got a wonderful homage to the best era in filmmaking. It is also superbly directed by Blake Edwards.

Very insightful in its social commentary but never forgetting to be funny and it truly is hilarious, Victor/Victoria also has fittingly retro, solid soundtrack and it thus succeeds as a phenomenal musical comedy set in wonderful 1930s. The casting is pretty bad, but still everyone did a great job – Lesley Ann Warren is hilarious, James Garner is charming, Robert Preston is likable and Julie Andrews steals the show in a powerhouse performance playing wonderful, elegant and charming Victoria. The movie fires on all cylinders and I’ve had a blast watching it.

My Rating – 4.5

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Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 science fiction fantasy film which is the second installment in this saga and easily the very best.

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No. Try not.

Do… or do not.

There is no try

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

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This is the pinnacle of all Star Wars. The only SW film which is truly great, at least in my opinion. Let’s first talk about the story. Certainly the film started off on a wrong foot as it was very much ‘A New Hope’ once again, but then it pretty quickly changed tone and went into a completely different territory.

It became much more mature, sophisticated and infinitely more involving in its second and third act. It also became a much better crafted, much more engaging adventure with some incredible high-spirited sequences such as the asteroid chase scene which is the finest action scene here. Lando is solid but not too memorable and Boba Fett is entirely forgettable and overrated, but the part with Han and Leia is still excellent and very well done.

But of course the highlight is Luke’s storyline. It is the greatest Jedi storyline so far and the one which is emotional and also stupendously well told with great dialogue. I loved that swamp planet and it was a perfect location for Luke’s training. And of course the fight with Vader is unforgettable, the twist remains great to this day and the ending is an excellent tease for the sequel. The film is very much a second, middle chapter and although some may have a problem with it, I really liked that it did not have a proper beginning and ending. It truly is the ultimate middle chapter in a trilogy.

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. Most still remain problematic to me and overrated, but the character development is admittedly very good so it renders their likability unimportant. Luke Skywalker is much more memorable this time around, but I have a big problem with Mark Hamill’s performance here which required emotive acting and he just did not deliver as he has never been a great actor.

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are terrific and surely Leia and Han Solo’s relationship is typical, but really well done nonetheless. They have great chemistry and dynamic together and they are certainly the best characters here. Well, the best after Darth Vader of course who is even more menacing this time around and his every scene is atmospheric and quite memorable.

Lando Calrissian was again not needed, but he is still a solid addition and I liked his friendship with Han. Boba Fett is such an overrated character who is underutilized and underdeveloped. He gets such a short screen time that I do not get why he is so beloved. And I am constantly annoyed with Chewbacca who only yelps and cries and never does anything else. He remains a stupid, pointless animal with a bad design and there’s nothing more to him.

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

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The robots are much better. They are still added for children, but they work because the interactions between C3PO and R2-D2 are so strong and some are even priceless. A couple of their lines were so funny and they share such an endearing, funny relationship.

Of course Yoda is one of the standouts. The puppetry and voice acting from Frank Oz truly is magnificent here as Yoda looks very much alive and real. I love his way of speaking backwards and he truly is one of the most spiritual and mystical aspects in the entire franchise. Such a memorable, fascinating creation.

The Empire Strikes Back once again features that iconic score from the previous film and again it has amazing, breathtaking special effects. Not only the puppets are great, but the cities, the planets and especially the ships look so real and they have not aged a single day from its release. This was surely a big-budgeted affair and it paid off as it has a timeless look to it.

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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

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It runs for the perfect amount of runtime at two hours and only the first act is somewhat less involving, but the rest is spectacular entertainment. It is very well edited, acted, directed and above all featuring better themes and dialogue than the previous film. It is much better than the original in almost every way and much more entertaining and sophisticated.

The Empire Strikes Back has a somewhat less involving first act, but the rest is phenomenal entertainment. The film is much better than the original thanks to a more engaging, mature, darker and ultimately better approach at storytelling and thanks to the addition of Yoda who is a fantastic character. The score and special effects are once again brilliant, the action is much better executed and less overwhelming this time around and the dialogue and characterization are strong. The film is a perfect middle chapter in a trilogy with no apparent beginning or ending and I loved that structure. It is one of the best sequels of all time and undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Star Wars franchise.

My Rating – 4.5

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Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 family science fiction film starring Joey Cramer. It surely is one of the better family sci-fi films out there.

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Correction, I need the SUPERIOR information

in your INFERIOR brain to fly this thing

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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It follows a 12-year-old boy who gets abducted by aliens and ends up on Earth 8 years later. It is a very interesting, somewhat original tale which was very involving to watch and, thanks to its short runtime, quite entertaining and consistently well paced and even riveting.

It has some typical 80s trappings such as some goofy moments and humor, but it manages to be better than most of its family counterparts thanks in large part to the inclusion of science fiction elements. Sci-fi family films are rare and this one manages to be a pretty strong SF film in its own right and a particularly strong, wonderful film for children.

It only has a handful of memorable characters as it mostly relies just on David the protagonist. His family is sweet and I especially liked his brother and their relationship was strong and very realistic. Sarah Jessica Parker was just around 20 when filming this movie and it was very interesting seeing her so young in a role and she did a really nice job as charming Carolyn.

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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David Freeman is a charming, likable kid. He should have been a bit better developed, but he is so endearing that I ended up caring and rooting for him. Joey Cramer’s performance is frequently weak, but he is definitely charismatic and likable in the role that he managed to overcome his lack of strong acting abilities.

Max is problematic and the only problem in the film. Now I admittedly really liked him at first, but I ended up being annoyed at the choice to have him upload David’s memories and thus he got some speech patterns and voices of humans. Those were way too goofy, overloud and annoying. Because the new voices were childish, their relationship, at first strong and moving, was later somewhat robbed of its impact. They are still a great duo, but I just wished that he retained that old robotic voice personally.

Flight of the Navigator has a bunch of memorable sequences such as every flight sequence which were all wondrous in quality and the ending is very sweet of course. I loved the aliens’ scene and they mostly looked really well. I could see that they were puppets, but the one he took to take care of was the highlight in terms of the design. The film is somewhat slower in first half and more dramatic with the latter half becoming full-on science fiction. I liked that quite a bit and that structure and pacing were excellent here.

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Flight of the Navigator Movie Review

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This charmer undoubtedly features some of the best special effects of any 80s film. Wow, does it look great. The creatures looked fine and cute, but the robot looks great and especially that spaceship looked amazing and how it flew and moved around was very realistic. This is early CGI and having in mind that it holds up so well even today definitely is remarkable. But it does open itself for future remakes which they are making as I am typing this. The score is incredibly beautiful as well and the film’s strong technical aspects really propel it to a classic status.

Flight of the Navigator is at times a bit too goofy, but mostly a remarkable family science fiction tale. Max and David are memorable characters, the flight sequences are wondrous in their quality and the ending is very sweet. Thanks to its imaginative plot, beautiful score and simply outstanding CGI (certainly some of the best of the 80s), this flick remains endearing and moving today just as it was back then.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Name of the Rose (1986)

The Name of the Rose Movie Review

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The Name of the Rose Movie Review

The Name of the Rose is a 1986 historical mystery film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Sean Connery and F. Murray Abraham. It is a pretty good historical film.

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Adso, if I knew the answers to everything,

I would be teaching theology in Paris

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The Name of the Rose Movie Review

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This film is based on a famous novel and is basically a murder mystery similar to Sherlock Holmes but set in medieval times. I thought that it was way too slow in pacing and that robbed it of excitement, but it is so well crafted and well told in terms of storytelling that it mostly succeeds as a solid film adaptation and even an underrated one.

The characters are very good and highly memorable. Sean Connery plays William of Baskerville who basically plays us the audience as he is the only remotely likable and modern person in this film. Connery had a bit too much fun playing this role, but his performance is still very good and he is very well cast and likable here.

F. Murray Abraham should have arrived much earlier and that was a big problem for me. When he arrived, he was great per usual and I really enjoyed his villainous character. But he needed to be in the movie much sooner and much more. Christian Slater is boring as is his character, but the hunchback is memorable and so well played by Ron Perlman who is so well cast. I liked the reveal at the end and the murderer was interesting and well realized.

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The Name of the Rose Movie Review

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The Name of the Rose has a weaker structure along with the pacing. I liked the reveal and although it should have been more spectacular, it was still really well done and I loved the third act. However, it was a bit rushed as the first two acts are a bit slow. But still it is a pretty engaging, really interesting and highly moody mystery to follow.

The score is solid and the direction is mostly excellent. I particularly liked its cinematography and the various sets and imagery were amazing. The castle looked great as did the library and the film recreated its period superbly.

The Name of the Rose has a weaker structure and slow pace, but memorable characters and a well told, intriguing story. It is a historical mystery that works mostly thanks to very strong acting across the board, great cinematography and particularly phenomenal sets that recreate the atmosphere and the mood of the medieval period remarkably well.

My Rating – 4

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RoboCop (1987)

RoboCop Movie Review

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RoboCop Movie Review

RoboCop is a 1987 science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. It is a campy, but surprisingly solid genre flick.

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I’d buy that for a dollar!

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RoboCop Movie Review

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I actually enjoyed this movie for the most part and that I did not expect at all so it was a pretty pleasant surprise over all. In particular the storyline is the strongest aspect here along with the emotional resonance. The film has some quite moving moments and I really liked the main character and his solid development.

Officer Anne Lewis is also pretty solid and those two share the best moments with all of the other characters being forgettable. The acting is nothing to write home about, but at least the characterization is pretty solid.

I do not know what critics find that is clever or thematically rich in RoboCop as to me it is just a sci-fi action flick and there is nothing wrong with that but I do not like when they assign more to a pretty straightforward film which has pretty good storytelling and many memorable plot points and scenes, but it is just never smart.

As for its problems, well RoboCop is basically your regular eighties movie and by that I mean that the camp excess is evident from the get-go. The film is very campy, very silly and at times quite cheesy too. The scenes where he fights crime were easily the worst offenders here as they were beyond silly and campy.

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RoboCop Movie Review

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But it is mostly a very well made film which takes its time to get there owing to a somewhat standard first act, but the third act is the highlight and the second act is fun despite it being very dated and silly in approach.

The special effects are not the best and the android does not look great at all. He is memorable in his design, but not really great or inspired. I also thought that the action was fun, but definitely dated in execution. The pacing and editing are solid and the direction is fine. It is mostly a solid blockbuster flick which is as good as these 80s action flicks can be.

RoboCop definitely is incredibly silly, campy and cheesy in a typical 80s fashion, but it is actually a surprisingly solid, even charming sci-fi action flick with solid characters, fun action and a particularly entertaining and at times even emotionally resonant story with a couple of memorable plot points and sequences.

My Rating – 3.5

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Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner Movie Review

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Blade Runner Movie Review

Blade Runner is a 1982 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. It is one of the most overrated films from this genre.

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I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhuser Gate.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to die

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Blade Runner Movie Review

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I have to say that upon second viewing I confirmed my dislike for this film. And I don’t mean dislike in a sense that I hate it. I don’t. It is not a bad movie by all means and it is actually rather solid. But having in mind that it is so acclaimed and is considered to be the best science fiction film of all time along with ‘2001’, I do not consider it nearly as great and I am definitely not a fan of it subjectively speaking.

The main problem here is that it isn’t a science fiction film at its core. It is just as much a neo-noir, if not even more. And that’s a problem for me not only because I prefer pure sci-fi cinema, but also because I just wasn’t a fan of the crime angle here. The action was overwhelming, the storyline was too convoluted and not in a good way and sometimes it felt that the movie was just going through the motions, going from one plot point to another, almost like a video game.

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Blade Runner Movie Review

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Another aspect I dislike is the pandering to men. I dislike eroticism in movies and here everything was done to please the male viewer as you have this giant emphasis on women’s bodies and nightclubs and prostitutes. That took away from my enjoyment of the film as it was not connected and not really necessary for the overall story and almost came as a detour.

Whereas I dislike the neo-noir elements strongly, I love the sci-fi elements in Blade Runner and it truly is a smart film, at least from time to time as it sadly focuses little on those elements or certainly not as much as it needed. The entire idea of these Replicants who have shorter lifespan, but the emotional capacity of humans is excellent and I did see an early shade of ‘Ex Machina’ here. The film explores quite well what it means to be human and the A.I. versus human. That ending is just beautiful, highly emotional and it just leaves your breath away. It’s a shame that the rest of the movie wasn’t as glorious as that finale was.

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Blade Runner Movie Review

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But the characters are quite weak here except for Roy of course who is excellent and so well acted by Rutger Hauer. He’s the standout here. But Rachael is not all that well developed and Rick Deckard is a very boring protagonist. I have never been a fan of Harrison Ford and here he gave a fine performance, but he wasn’t great and a different actor would have been much better for this material.

Blade Runner admittedly has superb technical aspects and that is where it shines honestly. The visuals are mesmerizing and the color palette and the overall design of the buildings and the overall city is highly memorable and the film oozes future in its every scene. It does succeed as a futuristic movie even today, let alone during the eighties. The dialogue is good when it needs to be which is unfortunately rarely as it has too much action and crime in it. The emotional involvement is strong and the score is simply iconic to this point, gorgeous and highly moving and timeless in quality.

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Blade Runner Movie Review

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Now I can confirm that upon second viewing I am still not a fan of Blade Runner and it is one of only a few acclaimed science fiction films which I deem to be very overrated. Certainly the score is highly iconic, the visuals are mesmerizing, the sci-fi elements are great and its ending is simply remarkable and immensely moving in its score and emotion. But unfortunately the rest of the movie is not as great with an unfortunate emphasis on neo-noir instead of science fiction. The crime elements are weak here, the action is overwhelming, the characters are mostly bland and boring and the film is mostly just a blockbuster masquerading as serious science fiction when it is regrettably intellectual just in a couple of scenes.

My Rating – 3.5

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Predator 2 (1990)

Predator 2 Movie Review

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Predator 2 Movie Review

Predator 2 is a 1990 science fiction action film starring Danny Glover. It is the second entry in the Predator franchise.

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It’s all right! I’m a cop!

I don’t think he gives a shit!

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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I actually liked this sequel. It isn’t a great film and certainly the original is so much better, but it is a pretty solid film nonetheless that surprised me how fun it ended up being. It surely deserves its cult status as the critics were overly harsh to it in the first place. Again it is nothing great, but as sequels go, it is above average.

The movie at first annoyed me as the first act was very frustrating as it started abruptly and Jamaicans and Colombians were pitted against each other in the streets of Los Angeles in the near future. That felt entirely unrealistic, stupid and not to mention racist. Also, I wasn’t the biggest fan of taking the action to the streets in the first place.

But I eventually warmed up to the idea as it felt different from the original and I guess having a jungle again would have been repetitive and rehashed. But because the city was so well utilized for its action, the end result was quite solid and worthy. The movie was a bit too violent, but I liked how this Predator was again very competent and such a great villain.

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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The characters and actors are forgettable besides Danny Glover of course who is very good in the lead role and honestly a surprisingly solid substitution for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a bit too heroic and competent, but again that is necessary if you want to take on this creature and he did fight him really well and the final third was honestly very entertaining and I loved it. It certainly made the movie much better than it would have been without it.

Predator 2 has some great action scenes. Not as inventive or as fun as in the first movie, but still pretty solid and again his gadgets are very well utilized in the fights. But let’s talk about that very interesting, thought-provoking even ending.

So he found his way into the creatures’ spaceship and after killing the Predator in a great fight, others arrive to take his body and they give him a pistol as a trophy. That reminded me a bit too much of how Arnie was deemed worthy and thus spared in the original, but it still worked here and it was a great scene as it showed us that the Predators have been hunting humans on earth for at least three centuries as the pistol is from 1715. That was interesting as well as the Xenomorph skull Easter egg which showed us that they have been killing them as well. A lot of interesting hints were given here.

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Predator 2 Movie Review

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Predator 2 is weakly paced and again the film is so uneven as some parts work stupendously but others felt either racist or annoying or even dated. The police was forgettable as were those gangs and those humans who wanted to use the Predator for his weapons were overly typically in their goal. But the film is quite entertaining and even intriguing at times that it does succeed as a pretty solid sequel in the end.

Predator 2 is very annoying in its first act. The war on the streets felt stupid, unrealistic and even racist. And the setting of Los Angeles was unappealing to me at first. Eventually, I warmed up to this idea as the city got utilized in the action scenes so well. Danny Glover is very good as the hero here and the final act was excellent and very intriguing in its imagery and Easter eggs. So it is in the end a flawed, but definitely quite a solid, fun sequel.

My Rating – 3.5

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Predator (1987)

Predator Movie Review

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Predator Movie Review

Predator is a 1987 science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is such a good, memorable action flick.

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You’re one ugly motherfucker!

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Predator Movie Review

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I loved that the film revolved around an Central American jungle as that was a very good, interesting setting for an action film. The plot is simple, but good. The men get taken down one by one by an extraterrestrial creature. Now the main reason why I really enjoyed the film lies in its structure. So it basically follows an action video game structure where you have a lot of the stealth elements, many fights and even with the full-on boss fight at the end. A very interesting choice that paid off significantly.

So let’s talk about the characters. They are the weakest part of Predator, I have to say. Very weak, underdeveloped and basically disposable. The protagonist is your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger macho guy and he is so underutilized and we do not learn anything about him. I liked how smart he is along with being physically strong, but still he was shallow even for the genre standards and I continue not being a fan of Arnold’s acting.

Carl Weathers is much better, but even his character is boring. Anna is memorable, but typical. I also liked Billy Sole and the film is interesting for being very diverse as it has two African Americans and even one Native American in its cast. Mac is the best of the bunch as a relatably scared member of the team and he got some really moving moments.

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Predator Movie Review

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But this is all about the Predator and he is the most unforgettable part of the film. I love this creature. Now the Xenomorph from ‘Alien’ is still much more original and even more formidable an opponent in my opinion, but Predator is interesting for being an extraterrestrial human and not an animal while also strongly relying on technology. His gadgets are a lot of fun and so well utilized, I liked his “ugly motherfucker” face and of course his vision is so great. All of the thermal sensor scenes were my favorites as they so effectively built up suspense.

Now Predator does have a less memorable first act, but the second and third ones are great. There is too much action here and not enough calmer moments, but still this is as great of an action film as they come as the action is exhilarating in quality and so perfectly executed almost in every scene.

The highlight is definitely the ending. It was a prolonged fight, but very well choreographed and very well thought out as the two tried to best each other with incredibly entertaining results. I loved how smart the protagonist’s tactics were, but still not too smart and the film ended really well. The action was also realistic as one Predator couldn’t have possibly killed all of these people and he did get hurt and eventually killed.

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Predator Movie Review

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The film is so well filmed and its jungle setting is a lot of fun and perfectly used for bigger suspense. I also thought that the film was mostly very lean and deft in direction and pacing. The score is also excellent, very effective and memorable. So I liked this movie much more upon my second viewing and it truly was a great start for the franchise and it gave us an unforgettable alien creature.

Predator has very weak and underutilized characters, but apart from that, it is actually as great of an action film as you can possibly get. The jungle setting is used to great effect, the score is memorable and the action sequences are so well thought out and all are a lot of fun and exhilarating in quality. Its action video game structure is interesting and the standout is of course the creature himself who is unforgettable and so well imagined with his look and his many gadgets and weapons.

My Rating – 4

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