Castle in the Sky (1986)

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review

Castle in the Sky is a 1986 animated adventure film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is the first Studio Ghibli feature and one of their best in my opinion.

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There’s nothing worse than having your pigtails shot off!

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

The plot is so good here. The film is a fantasy, but above all one grand adventure film and rarely have I seen this spectacular an adventure before. Such an amazing experience this movie provides. As is the case with most Miyazaki films, this one features a strong ecological theme and message to it which was great. The film is admirable for being very long, clocking in at two hours which is quite a lot for an animated film, but here it was worth it as the story is so majestic and big that it needed this much time to be told.

The beginning is intriguing and I liked how it started briskly and with an action sequence. Then the rest of the first act was a bit slow, but that was essential for providing character development, atmosphere and build-up. The second act is very good and that is where we get some of the best moments from the pirates. And of course the third act is the highlight as we finally see Laputa. It was fascinating to see the entire island and city on the sky. The details are remarkable, but more on that later. I loved the ending with the spell of destruction being used. It was dark, tragic and yet necessary.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

The character development in Castle in the Sky is solid, but not the greatest. To me Sheeta is a typical protagonist, but an interesting case of a strong female character and sort of a Studio Ghibli princess. Pazu is a bit boring and too good, but he serves his purpose. The two are too heroic and sometimes bland, but the relationship between the two is sweet and they got some charming moments together.

As for Colonel Muska, he is a typical over-the-top and power-hungry villain. However, the fact why I liked him quite a bit lies in the twist in his background which was well executed and in his actions which were capable and he actually was a very competent, strong villain who posed some serious danger for the protagonists.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

But Captain Dola is easily the highlight. Her entire pirate team is a lot of fun and I love her dynamic with her sons and husband. But she is so interesting and unforgettable not only in her looks – pink pigtails is a refreshing look for an old woman – but also in her character as she is good, but still treasure-hungry and she ended up taking a lot of treasure from Laputa in the end. She is simply hilarious and all of the film’s humor comes from her and her many funny lines. She is certainly one of Ghibli’s best and most endearing creations.

The animation in Castle in the Sky is something extraordinary. As I said before, the world building here is simply amazing and the attention to detail is unprecedented. But the animation is so great that it managed to give us all of this world in the best way possible – through old-fashioned hand-drawn style. The character designs are good, the use of color is great and Laputa is breathtaking to witness. I loved its original look, those robots also have an authentic look to them, the nature is beautiful here and the city and its magical properties are so well explored. Everything looks gorgeous in the titular castle, but Pazu’s village is also beautiful to witness and very cozy. This film honestly has one of the best animations ever, that’s how powerful it is. Not only wonderful and detailed, but also stylistic and even artistic. It’s certainly miles above anything Disney produced during this time.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

Castle in the Sky sometimes has overwhelming action for sure, but still that action is surprisingly well executed and it is in fact one of the best action oriented animated films. A lot of the set pieces such as the train scene and the final confrontation on Laputa are instantly recognizable and so well done. The movements are polished and the action is as exciting as the story is engaging.

And the score, oh how wonderful the score in this movie is. It is honestly breathtaking and timeless in quality as it lifts the material and animation to even greater heights and having in mind that both were excellent to begin with, the end result is nothing sort of astonishing. A perfect, well rounded package this film is. The entire score is great and I loved the song in the end, but naturally its theme is the standout here – simply gorgeous and unforgettable. Whenever it appeared in the movie, I was mesmerized.

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Castle in the Sky Movie Review……………………………………………

So it has its problems such as the protagonists and the dialogue should have been stronger as the script demanded it, but the message is great and this is an ecological movie done right. To me this is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s finest movies and a proof of how strong his direction could be. It is also one of Studio Ghibli’s best and such a phenomenal first feature for this amazing studio.

Castle in the Sky has weaker main characters, but the villain is solid and Captain Dola is one of Ghibli’s funniest and most endearing characters. The story here is excellent, so well told and with a great ecological message. The score is simply beautiful, the world building is extraordinary and the animation is artistic, meticulous in detail and simply mesmerizing leading to one of the best animated films ever in my opinion. It is such an epic, grand adventure that is one of Miyazaki’s best and such a terrific first feature for wonderful Studio Ghibli.

My Rating – 4.5

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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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The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The Breakfast Club Movie Review

The Breakfast Club is one of the most famous coming-of-age films directed by John Hughes and released in 1985. It is regarded as a classic in this genre by many and I have to agree with that sentiment.

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We’re all pretty bizarre.

Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The story is simple. It follows five teenagers bonding while in detention and getting past stereotypes. And yes, it seems clichéd and awfully familiar in the beginning, but the movie somehow progresses past that point and becomes its own thing in the progress. The five characters definitely are regularly seen stereotypes, but that is also the point the movie tries to make, there is more to a person than just a label given to him or her by the others. That is a perfect message in a satisfying and entirely endearing conclusion that can bring a smile to your face. It is a wonderful statement that rings true and is very relevant and relatable, which is incredibly rare for the genre.

The pacing and editing are excellent. It starts off perfectly, fast-paced and introducing you to all of the characters in a great way. Then it goes to many comedic elements, then to action sequences in the hall and afterwards to singing parts ending it all in a bonding, hard-hitting drama. The soundtrack is superb and of course Don’t You (Forget About Me) is a very memorable, famous song which is catchy and fits the mood and story of the film wonderfully.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The tone is masterfully done, shifting from comedic to serious sequences smoothly with great direction, editing and script. As for the humor, it is charming with some scenes which are truly funny and serve to counteract those dramatic sequences to have come and that would come later. And both dramatic and comedic moments are delivered in evident realism with realistic characters and situations and the dialogue that is grounded and simplistic because that is the way teenagers talk in real life.

Acting is not the greatest, but given the fact that most of the cast were actually teenagers or young unknown actors, it turned out to be rather good and even stupendous at some points. And I have to add that the authentic factor is a great plus in this film because there are so many iconic sequences, especially the conclusion, the beginning and of course the dance and singing sequence which is a wonderful comedic and light moment that is so endearing and eases you a lot for those difficult dialogue sequences to come. The movie is definitely extremely memorable.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

And there are of course the characters, all of whom superbly developed, realistic and, most importantly, very likable. All are stereotypes, but all of them are more than that which we learn in the third act. Bender is a typical problematic teenager, a criminal and with the tendencies to constantly impress everyone around him. He is a typical character, everyone knew someone like him from school, and he is great in giving speeches and of course as a comic relief. Andy is my least favorite character, an athlete abused by his parents and although he has his moments including the dancing sequence, he is largely forgettable. Brian is the geek and his relationship with parents is truthful and poignant. Claire as the most popular and beautiful girl is also an archetype of course, but her character arc is wonderful near the end and she definitely influenced Angela’s character from ‘American Beauty’. Ally is the outcast, introverted and rarely speaking till the end. And she is definitely the most relatable and fascinating character to me because I was like that in school, extremely shy. She is the most likable and warm character here. The character development overall is amazing here which is necessary for this kind of film and thankfully the filmmakers realized that and made it happen.

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The Breakfast Club Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The final scene with the emotional dialogue is wonderful. And it feels forced in some parts of it, but is nevertheless a mature and insightful approach to a mature subject matter. All of the characters get their moment to shine here and it all gets so warm and relevant owing to excellent script, direction and characterization. It is a wonderful conclusion to an endearing movie.

The Breakfast Club is forced and clichéd at times, but this is an 80s classic that deserves its status and is one of the rare movies from that period that aged remarkably well. It has superb and likable characters, charming humor, excellent screenplay and moving ending. It is overall a stupendous film and one of the finest genre movies of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits is a 1981 family fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. It is such a frustrating, disappointing film.

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Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Now I obviously dislike Terry Gilliam as I do not care for most of his movies and that is why I didn’t like Time Bandits as well. He infuses this movie with his signature and very annoying style and thus ruins what could have been a great family fantasy flick with interesting time travel elements.

The biggest problem is its lack of identity. The film tries to be both a family fantasy adventure and a bizarre, odd comedy for adults and you can’t have it both ways. Some parts were admittedly funny and some scenes were very interestingly conceived and intriguing in imagery and mythology, but for the most part both of these movies failed in my opinion.

That is because the fantasy elements were mostly overly campy and filled with a ridiculous villain and many silly characters such as those dwarfs. Not only silly, but the characters are also annoying and some are even plain unlikable.

As for its comedy, it fails in that regard as well owing to its obvious Pythonian style. And having in mind that I do not like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, I naturally disliked that that humor was present here too. So disappointing and not to mention really not fitting to this story.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits does have some inspired scenes with awesome imagery and great effects for its time. Its first half contained some clever dialogue and funny lines. And the overall film is certainly original in plot and characters, but done for better and for worse. I just had such high expectations for this film and it left me feeling cold and even bored. In the hands of any other director, this would have turned out great, but in the hands of Terry Gilliam, it ended up being another frustrating experiment.

Time Bandits is such a frustrating movie and another proof that I strongly dislike Terry Gilliam’s style. It does have some interesting scenes and imagery and you can’t deny its originality, but it is tonally inconsistent as it tries to be both a family fantasy flick and an odd, bizarre comedy and it just never succeeds in either of those areas as the humor is overly Pythonian and the fantasy elements and characters are silly.

My Rating – 3

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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Octopussy (1983)

Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Octopussy Movie Review

Octopussy is a 1983 spy film starring Roger Moore which is the thirteenth James Bond entry. It is as weak as the critics say it is.

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Forgive my curiosity, but what is that?

That’s my little octopussy

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Now, this one is definitely not the worst in the series as there are a couple of entries that were weaker in my honest opinion. But it is still a mediocre film that is far from truly bad, but also far from good. The plot is as underutilized, convoluted and silly as you would expect from the series and the characters aren’t much better either.

The titular Bond girl is certainly memorable and some moments with here were quite funny in their sexual humor. Bond himself is okay, but this is still one of Roger Moore’s weakest turns as the character. Plus he was way too old for the part here. As for the villains, they are all forgettable and uninspired.

Octopussy has its strengths. Certainly its Indian setting proved to be quite memorable and a lot of fun with some very entertaining scenes and great scenery. The cinematography is really good here. The movie definitely has its charming and amusing moments, but they unfortunately come too rarely for the film to work.

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

It is otherwise a bore to sit through, overlong and slow paced. But probably its biggest problem is the pure ridiculousness of its action sequences. Not only is the action way too overwhelming here with the spy elements being lacking and never enough utilized, but some of it was so silly and even ludicrous that it was ridiculous to watch. It was undoubtedly inspired by ‘Moonraker‘ in its campy and silly tone and that was just infuriating to see. I don’t know why they would want to repeat that silly formula and they should just get back to those earlier Bond films that were much more serious in tone, but also funny at the same time. This movie isn’t even that funny with only a couple of amusing moments. All in all, it is not the worst Bond film, but certainly near the bottom of the list.

Octopussy isn’t the worst Bond film as it has a memorable setting and some amusing scenes, but it is still so bland and forgettable in plot, very weak in its characterization and just way too overwhelming and even silly in its action that it ended up being one of the lesser, more campy and ridiculous entries in the franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen romantic comedy directed by Howard Deutch, written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald. It is a really charming movie.

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I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Now, first I have to say that this is nowhere near the quality of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles, two movies that I just adore. It is more in line with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as the plot is fairly simple and clichéd, but the film does most with it anyway. Some parts of the film weren’t as great and some were even dated, but most were terrific and my favorite has to be the entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. So romantic, charming and it just brought a smile to my face. And the entire movie felt like a pleasant teen journey.

The characters are pretty good, but some parts felt false. The entire conflict that arose between Andie and Jack in that he was too rich for her was just ridiculous and not believable at all. They did the most they could do with it, but it was still somewhat silly. And I have to say that I didn’t care for him that much. Duckie was at first quite annoying and I didn’t know if he was supposed to be gay or nerd or in love with her and the last option came to fruition eventually. Even though the two were obviously better off as friends, I still wished that she chose him instead. But that ending with him telling her to go after him was both funny and endearing.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

The performances are really good as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is solid and Jon Cryer, though annoying, is quite good in his role. But as usual, Molly Ringwald stole the show as she portrayed such a wonderful character once again and her performance was expectedly great.

Certainly there is something missing in Pretty in Pink and that something is the direction. Howard Deutch is just not John Hughes and although he wrote the script, I wished that he directed the film too as it would have been much better that way.

The film is still competently made, don’t get me wrong. But it is just never as sophisticated as you would come to expect from Hughes’s movies. The script is the major problem as it just felt overly standard and typical. The execution is actually excellent and it thoroughly lifted the material, but I still wished for a couple of more clever lines of dialogue as well as a good conflict.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

But the humor made Pretty in Pink as enjoyable as it is. It is that kind of wonderful and endearing humor that seems realistic and charming instead of forced and I love that. There are some scenes here that were so heartwarming and funny at the same time that I smiled and laughed and was having such a great time. The silly clothes, the prom and of course the soundtrack all brought that very pleasant 80s tone to it and made it a very moving experience. It is far from a great movie or anything like that, but it is competent and lovable enough that I consider it very good and satisfying for the most part.

Pretty in Pink is lacking in comparison to ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ as the script is fairly typical and the conflict rang false, but it is such a lovable movie that I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless. Molly Ringwald is as likable as ever, the third act was so wonderful and the movie is well acted and made while consistently being endearing in its humor and characters.

My Rating – 4

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The Wind in the Willows (1983)

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review

The Wind in the Willows is a 1983 stop-motion animated film which is one of the many versions of this famous story. It is a solid movie.

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I’ve been told you are a criminal of deepest guilt,

and matchless artfulness and resource…

whatever that means.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

I really like this story and I loved Disney’s version of it featured in ‘The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad’. This 1983 version was admittedly solid and very well made and respectable, but it felt inferior to the aforementioned example because the story was just never as interesting or as exciting. Some plot points were excellent, but some were lacking such as that inferior, prolonged and dull beginning.

But the character development is actually quite strong. All of the characters are very well developed and quite likable. Mole and Rat were quite endearing and they served great as a team, charmingly British too. Toad was expectedly goofy, amusing and sometimes very funny. The character interactions between the three of them were top-notch.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The voice acting is also quite good as all of the voices were fittingly British and elegant in style and again quite charming. I loved Toad’s amusing voice too. However, the voices were poorly incorporated with the animation itself as it never accompanies the movements of the characters well. This is something that early stop-motion films struggled with constantly and I don’t blame them as much because the technology just wasn’t there yet, but this is one of worse examples of it as it just felt too jerky, too choppy and plain unfinished. It is the only area of the film which felt like a TV movie. This is actually a TV movie, but it never felt like it as the story and animation are great, but the movements did feel TV for sure.

The animation in The Wind in the Willows is excellent. Very effervescent and very endearing. The character designs are exquisite, detailed and all of them look great and are well clothed as well. Their movements are again subpar, but the imagery is pretty good and some of it was very pleasant and memorable.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows is also really well edited and the film flows well for its short running time, but it isn’t as engaging as it should have been and it should have had more action in it. That goes without question as the film was too mild in my opinion. The humor is pretty good and the characterization is great, but it should have been brisker and more entertaining. The score is fine, but the songs are so-so. Some are solid, but some are dull and they were overwhelming in their presence. Overall, it is a solid, but inherently flawed movie.

The 1983 version of The Wind in the Willows is quite solid with excellent animation, very good character development with great interactions between the three major characters and the film is charmingly British, but the songs are lackluster, the movements are not well synched with the voice acting at all and the film should have been brisker and more entertaining in its approach.

My Rating – 3.5

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Tender Mercies (1983)

Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Tender Mercies Movie Review

Tender Mercies is a 1983 drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Robert Duvall. It is quite a good, moving drama.

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I don’t know why I wandered out to this part of Texas drunk, and you took me in and pitied me and helped me to straighten out, marry me.

Why? Why did that happen? Is there a reason that happened?

And Sonny’s daddy died in the war, my daughter killed in an automobile accident.

Why? See, I don’t trust happiness. I never did; I never will.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

It is about a recovering alcoholic country singer who seeks to turn his life around through his relationship with a young widow and her son in rural Texas. First of all, I have to say that I get why many people nowadays would find this film overrated as it is slow and it is too simplistic and ordinary at glance. But I really liked it nonetheless mainly because it is the kind of drama that unfolds in a very simple and calm way and just after you’ve seen it, you realize how deep and meaningful it actually was. I love that quality in film which is why I admired Tender Mercies.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Obviously you have the theme of family and love. The film very clearly states that love is the most powerful thing in the universe and that it is a driving force in human relationships and that it can save people and it did save the protagonist here. I also really liked its religious themes as he became a Christian late in his life and it helped his life, but after his daughter died, he realized that Christianity can’t shield you from death and tragedy after all. The best thing about the ending is how poignant it is. It shows us that some relationships can’t be mended and how his relationship with his daughter will remain a giant missed opportunity. But it is still a happy ending as he remains sober and settles down with his new family and I just loved that conclusion.

What I didn’t love is the film’s character development as it is quite weak. The dialogue is excellent when it is there, but it is too sparse and there were too many quiet moments. The characters are realistic and good, but I wish we spent a bit more time with each one of them. As for the acting, everyone did a solid job, but Robert Duvall is naturally the highlight as he won an Oscar for this performance. In my opinion, he won because it was a weak year and he didn’t do anything truly extraordinary here, but he still did give a rather natural, subtle and even sensual performance and he definitely carried the entire movie on his shoulders.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Tender Mercies is sometimes too slow and uneventful and definitely too simplistic at times. I wished that it had more dialogue of substance and more emotion in its first half. It is still solidly paced as it flows well, it is very well directed and it is well shot too. I have to say that the soundtrack is excellent and even though I don’t quite like country music, I really liked these songs and they transport you really well into its setting. The film is quite atmospheric when you think about it. I don’t know if it deserved to win Best Original Screenplay, but the nods for director and song Over You were very much deserved as both are great.

Tender Mercies does have sparse dialogue, overly simplistic approach at first and the characterization should have been stronger, but Robert Duvall is very good in his Oscar winning performance, the direction is also strong, the film’s soundtrack is excellent and it is a story that seems too simple and uneventful at first, but when you think about, it actually has a lot of deep themes in it such as love, death and religion plus the ending is quite satisfying and moving.

My Rating – 4

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