Wayne’s World (1992)

Wayne's World Movie Review

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Wayne’s World Movie Review

Wayne’s World is a 1992 comedy film starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. It is a highly overrated, unfunny film.

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No Stairway. Denied!

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Wayne's World Movie Review

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It follows two slackers who have their own show and try to make money off of it. That is the core here, but in my opinion this movie doesn’t really have a story. It is very uneventful and slight and when you think about it, it doesn’t really go anywhere as evidenced by its very annoying non-ending or a parody ending of whatever you want to call that scene.

Mike Myers is weak at first, but he got better as the movie progressed. He is certainly more memorable than Dana Carvey who never really got much to do here. I liked Wong quite a bit and as far as I’m concerned, the only strong reason to see this film lies in that romance between her and Wayne. It is very charming, sweet and overall quite good and unexpectedly strong. Other than that, the film is a waste of time.

Wayne’s World is a waste because it is a comedy but it is just never funny at all. At least it wasn’t to me. I guess that people who were like Wayne and Garth back in their youth or they know somebody like them can empathize and find it funny, but I am not a part or a fan of this particular culture and thus I found the entire film boring. True, great comedies transcend their premises and characters and offer great humor for everyone and this is simply not that film.

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Wayne's World Movie Review

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So not only is the humor weak and most of their catchphrases aren’t all that interesting as the movie makes them out to be, but the mockumentary approach is also very silly, unnecessary and mostly it did not pay off as it was used quite often, but not often or strongly enough. The direction is weak, the structure is odd and the acting is not the strongest. The script is also bad and although the film has its sweet and endearing moments, it mostly fails to connect emotionally.

Wayne’s World has a couple of fine scenes and the romance is actually quite good, but it is overall a hugely overrated comedy which is just never funny or memorable in any way. The plot is non-existent, the film is too limited in its appeal, the mockumentary approach did not work particularly well and the ending is very annoying.

My Rating – 2.5

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor among others. It is a first film in the prequel trilogy.

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Mom, you said that the biggest problem

in the universe is no one helps each other

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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Now I found this film to be okay and passable. Certainly not very good, but definitely far from bad as many do say. That is too harsh a statement as this film has a couple of standout scenes in it and those help it a lot. But nonetheless, most of it was a bore to me.

So it is a prequel set 32 years before ‘A New Hope’ and here we follow Anakin Skywalker as a kid and young Obi-Wan Kenobi with his master. Those two interested me as they were important. However, the other subplots are entirely unnecessary: either downright silly in the case of Jar Jar or downright tedious in the case of Padme. The one is too ridiculously childish and the politics was so pointless and not sophisticated at all but rather dull.

So let’s talk about the characters. Some are pretty good, but some are definitely weak. I really liked Qui-Gon Jinn. He is an excellent, caring and memorable Jedi master and I loved his relationship with Obi-Wan. Liam Neeson gave the best performance in the movie for sure. Obi-Wan is also excellent and I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor in this role, actually much more so than Alec Guinness before him.

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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Padme is bad, I never really liked her and her affection toward a kid basically is rather odd. And she is just a boring, underdeveloped character. Anakin is fine, but Jake Lloyd is so terrible in the role that he really hurt the entire character. I loved Palpatine and I wanted more from him and the same goes for Darth Maul who is underutilized, but so cool and a badass villain.

The robots are entirely forgettable here. Yoda is great of course, but he is better off as a puppet. And of course what is there yet to say that hasn’t been said before – Jar Jar Binks is such a horrible creation. Not only is he never funny or endearing at all in any shape or form, but he is also oddly designed and his effect is the only one I did not like in the film. I really disliked his entire species and he ruined this entire trilogy unfortunately.

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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The Phantom Menace is definitely gorgeously shot and with absolutely amazing, groundbreaking for 1999 special effects. They are indisputably mesmerizing. I loved the visuals and I loved the score, but the action was overwhelming and mostly dull and not particularly exciting and of course the script is weak and overly complicated with a particularly mediocre dialogue and most importantly awful humor.

The Phantom Menace has a lot of those insufferable, stupid “humorous” scenes and a lot of boring politics in it. It is a quasi-sophisticated film and never truly clever at all. However, as I said above, it has two absolutely brilliant sequences and those are worth giving the movie a shot alone.

The pod race sequence is simply fantastic – beautifully shot and executed with terrific, exhilarating action and the film is long, but never dull owing to how fun it is. And of course the duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is one of the best lightsaber duels in the history of Star Wars – beautifully choreographed almost like a dance, so cool and ending in such an emotional, powerful way.

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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The Phantom Menace is far from a great Star Wars film, but it isn’t terrible either as it has its particularly strong elements. It is an okay film which could have been much better had it not been for overwhelming action, mediocre dialogue, some weak performances and bad humor. Jar Jar Binks is a horrible creation and he ruined this movie plus the politics is unbearably boring and unnecessary. But the special effects are absolutely amazing, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson are great as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon and the film has two simply fantastic sequences that it’s worth watching just for them alone: the pod race sequence is brilliantly executed and a lot of fun and the lightsaber duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is so cool and beautifully choreographed.

My Rating – 3

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Three Colors: Red (1994)

Three Colors: Red Review

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Three Colors: Red Movie Review

Three Colors: Red is a 1994 French Polish mystery film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. It is a solid, but still overrated film.

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I feel something important is happening around me.

And it scares me

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Three Colors: Red Review

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The main problem I’ve had with Three Colors: Red is the implausibility of its plot. It just seemed almost impossible to happen. I admittedly liked some of its thought-provoking themes and the film definitely can be smart in certain scenes with particularly strong dialogue, but the plot remains problematic.

Not only do the two main characters meet so coincidentally, but they also continue to have really unbelievable experiences and most of the film was actually quite difficult to buy in terms of actually happening in real life.

I did think that Kern and Valentine were well developed, but not the best. The acting from both Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irene Jacob is very strong and they both gave such good performances. But the direction from Kieslowski continues to be the problem for me.

He just does not direct his films in the most interesting fashion. I do think that the story, though implausible, is interesting on paper, but in execution it wasn’t as the film is once again very slow and at times even boring. It lacks energy in both character interactions and dialogue.

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Three Colors: Red Review

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Three Colors: Red is undoubtedly in the middle when it comes to this Three Colors trilogy. It is infinitely better than ‘Three Colors: White’ but I would say that ‘Blue’ definitely is the best of the bunch. Overall, this one is solid, but again highly overrated.

Three Colors: Red is another overrated entry in this trilogy which definitely has an interesting plot, but that story is also highly implausible in too many of its plot points. The characters and acting are strong, but the film is again not particularly involving to watch. It is obviously better than White, but inferior to Blue.

My Rating – 3.5

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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Mrs. Doubtfire Review

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 family comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and starring Robin Williams and Sally Field. It is a flawed, but charming film.

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Broke my bag, the bastard. Ooh!

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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This is surely one of my childhood favorites as I have watched it on TV as a kid multiple times. As an adult, it is nowhere near as magical and some ugly flaws are revealed to me now, but it still holds up pretty well and is a good film overall.

All of these drag comedy films such as this one and ‘Tootsie’ are pretty dated in today’s society where trans women and drag queens are getting more and more recognition and respect. And surely enough, there are some scenes here that are awfully uncomfortable, dated and transphobic with the urination exposition scene being the most obvious offender.

Still this film is so charming, wonderful and endearing that you can’t help but enjoy it tremendously. It did not need to last for two hours, but it is so entertaining and wonderfully childlike that it mostly flies by and I’ve had such a great time watching it. The overall story promotes fatherhood in a great, meaningful manner and I honestly loved that the two did not stay together, but found a way for both to have a lot of time with the kids. That was great.

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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Robin Williams’ humor is pretty dated in my opinion as it is overly theatrical. And this movie is never truly hilarious and although funny at times, it should have been much funnier having in mind it’s a comedy. But still it is amusing and his character here is amazing and really well developed and imagined. He definitely gave one of his stronger performances here.

Sally Field is also great and reliably fantastic in the wife’s role. I loved the relationship between the two and to me the film succeeded in realistically portraying a marriage that is ending. The kids are fine, but should have been more memorable. And Pierce Brosnan is very well cast as this potential love interest for Miranda and he did a good job in the role.

Mrs. Doubtfire is the best in the scenes with the character being in the house with the children and talking with the wife. I wish it had more such scenes. The restaurant scene is very typical in its situational comedy, but still very well done. I also really liked the animation scene at the beginning.

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Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Review

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The movie is very well made and superbly acted and also directed by Chris Columbus who was a perfect choice for this family flick. It is long, but entertaining and mostly solidly paced. Of course the make-up is amazing and deservedly won an Oscar. I definitely thought that the film was overly sentimental at times, but still undeniably sweet and moving in those scenes. Overall, it isn’t quite as good as when I saw it as a kid, but it still holds up well.

Mrs. Doubtfire is a childhood favorite that is overly dated in some of its humor and sometimes excessively sentimental, but still it holds up pretty well thanks to Robin Williams’ very strong performance in a highly memorable role, some charming and funny scenes and a great ending. It is a very flawed, but undeniably sweet and pleasant family flick.

My Rating – 4

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Three Colors: White (1994)

Three Colors: White Movie Review

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

Three Colors: White is a 1994 French-Polish comedy drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Zbigniew Zamachowski and Julie Delpi. It is a weak sequel.

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What counts on bridge is memory. And mine is excellent

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

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It is about equality with the film depicting Karol Karol, a shy man who, after being left by his wife in humiliating circumstances in Paris, loses his money, his residency, and his friends. As a deeply ashamed beggar in Warsaw, Karol begins his effort to restore equality to his life through revenge.

The film may sound good on paper, but in the actual execution it is far from good. Whereas the previous film in the trilogy was very much a drama and a tragedy, this is more of a comedy even though the circumstances are not really comedic. It is a black comedy in its style.

And that did not work for me at all. Kieslowski just does not know how to do comedy and he should have done a straight drama instead as the humor here wasn’t great and the film is not funny, at least not to me. I also really did not like its crime elements introduced later on.

Karol Karol is a fine protagonist and I sympathized with him. Zbigniew Zamachowki definitely gave a very strong performance in the main role. Julie Delpi, on the other hand, is just not as memorable as she plays a basic bitch and nothing more than that.

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Three Colors: White Movie Review

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Three Colors: White is weakly directed by Kieslowski and ‘Three Colors: Blue’ was in my opinion a much better, more emotional and overall richer film. Here only the first act worked as it was quite moving in its couple of scenes and I rooted for the main character and felt sorry for him. The movie then lost all of its power when it tried to be funny and it went into an odd black comedy territory that just did not work for me. It isn’t a bad movie, but it is pretty weak overall.

Three Colors: White is much inferior to its predecessor. It is well acted and I liked the first act. But the rest was just not good. The film then went into odd black comedy territory and that just did not work for me as it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t interesting too. It’s a weak sequel.

My Rating – 3

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Three Colors: Blue (1993)

Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

Three Colors: Blue is a 1993 Polish-French drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Juliette Binoche. It is a solid, but boring film.

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Now I have only one thing left to do: nothing.

I don’t want any belongings, any memories.

No friends, no love. Those are all traps

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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It is about a woman who loses her husband and child in a car accident and tries to live a normal life afterwards. She tries to get rid of all their things and forget but the past still haunts her and her husband’s past ties catch up with her and she has to deal with them.

The plot itself is quite good and the film is thematically very solid. It deals with grief in a very solid and realistic manner and it portrays a broken woman in a very honest way. However, it isn’t as deep as it thinks it is and it doesn’t have anything deeper and new to say about grief and loss and it just sort of presents its story without diving deeper into it.

I found Juliette Binoche’s performance to be superb here and it truly is one of her career best works. She had to play a devastated woman and she did bring it emotionally. She gave a magnetic performance in her movie as this entire story relies basically only on her as we got to see a couple of more minor characters and that’s it.

Three Colors: Blue definitely is a slow movie. But it is not a slow-burn in a positive sense. It is mostly a very boring, tedious experience that is slowly paced for the sake of it and mostly pretentious and not truly artistic.

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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I found the direction solid and the cinematography is excellent. Some choices are great such as the use of the color blue (liberty) as well as that interesting editing technique with interesting cuts that – when over – bring you to the exact same scene. The film is definitely very well crafted overall technically and it is powerful in its emotion at times, but it is too depressing, too slow and ultimately an overrated movie that gets too much credit. I do hope that the rest of the trilogy is more interesting.

Three Colors: Blue is a very boring and depressing movie that is solid but far from great. The film is technically accomplished with excellent cinematography, editing and direction and the performance from Juliette Binoche is terrific. It also has its emotional scenes. But it is way too slow and tedious and it doesn’t delve deep enough into its themes.

My Rating – 3.5

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Of Mice and Men (1992)

Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

Of Mice and Men is a 1992 drama film directed by and starring Gary Sinise with John Malkovich being the other actor. It is such a stupendous adaptation.

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A guy don’t need no sense to be a nice fella

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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I am a big fan of the Steinbeck novella and I have to say that I wasn’t too thrilled with the 1939 movie adaptation which was good, but flawed. This one, however, is the definite cinematic version of the novella, at least of what we got so far and I did not expect that as this movie isn’t particularly well known which is a shame.

Let’s talk about the plot. It is very faithful to the source material and it actually doesn’t take any chances with it meaning that it is pretty traditional and old-fashioned in its approach which I naturally loved. I loved that the beginning was more extended and that we actually got to see how they ended up in that forest and I actually preferred the ending here than in the book because it is much more natural and realistic, at least in terms of George’s character. And it is very moving. All of the other plot points are basically the same as they were in the novella.

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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The characters are excellent. I loved George and Lennie here and they were so well portrayed and their friendship was definitely felt. Highly moving stuff and thus the ending was all the more powerful and just beyond heartbreaking. I really liked Slim as the only good man out of the ranch guys and Candy and Curly were both very well realized. The same can be said for Carlson and Crooks, but Curly’s wife is as weak of a female character as in the source material.

The acting is powerful in this Of Mice and Men. I have to say that I am not a fan of John Malkovich at all, but he was definitely good here and most of his choices paid off as this is how you basically portray a special needs person. All of the other actors also did a very good job, but in my opinion the highlight is Gary Sinise who is absolutely terrific as George, highly believable and he conveyed emotion beautifully.

My major problem with this movie is that somehow it did not feel cinematic enough, at least it did not feel that way for me personally. Certainly better done, much better, than in the previous version, but still I would have liked a more epic, sprawling approach.

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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But otherwise this is technically such a polished feature and we got here superb cinematography. Some of the imagery such as the forest and the fields was fantastic and the film really transports you to the 1930s time period thanks to terrific attention to detail and some gorgeous shots. I liked the dialogue and although the film was never as clever as the source material, at least these actors talked like real people from the thirties which I appreciated strongly. The score wasn’t that great and some choices were odd, but I loved how the film looked and how it stayed away from any modern or more violent approach. Gary Sinise did an amazing job in the directorial chair and as an actor and he propelled the film to great heights for sure.

The 1992 cinematic adaptation of Of Mice and Men is much better than the 1939 version thanks to a more faithful approach, excellent cinematography and such a great, different ending which I actually preferred over the novella one. Certainly it isn’t too sophisticated or cinematic, but Gary Sinise propelled this film to great heights as his performance in both acting and directorial chair is respectable and the film is pleasantly traditional in its approach.

My Rating – 4.5

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My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

My Neighbors the Yamadas is a 1999 anime comedy film directed by Isao Takahata. It is Studio Ghibli’s most underappreciated film.

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My father and mother and grandma and brother all got lost

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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This film is for better and for worse a series of vignettes. That means that it has no story, but just various unconnected segments that tell the tales of the Yamada family through hardships and foolishness. It may seem at first that it is too disconnected, but I honestly found it thematically connected as the film shows the power of family and that the family union can help you stay afloat in this dark and cold world.

Let’s first talk about the characters and then I will touch upon its segments. There are basically only five characters in this movie and those are all the Yamada family members. I love movies with less characters so naturally I really enjoyed this one as well.

Nonoko is their five-year old daughter and although she was less prominent in the second half of the movie, she was wonderful in the first half and so incredibly funny at times. I really liked her and she is such a wonderful kid. Noboru isn’t as likable and is more typical, but still really well developed and his romantic as well as school problems were really well portrayed.

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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Takashi works too much to support his family whereas Matsuko is very much just a housewife so in that regard the film is overly archaic in gender roles and family structure. However, they are still both amazing characters. He is relatable for all great workers whereas she is pretty funny as this clumsy and forgetful housewife. The relationship between the two is great as it is such a realistic marriage filled with love and respect but also childish arguing and bickering.

Of course Shige is the highlight. She is the grandmother in the family and, ironically for the oldest member of the family, she is the most energetic and the most lively of the bunch. And needless to say, the funniest. She made me laugh the most with her many funny lines and actions. And the fact that she is the most adult and responsible and that she basically brings the whole family together was a strong statement on how important the elderly can be. Loved it.

As for its segments, the beginning was too silly and not my favorite. The family losing Nonoko in the shopping mall is easily one of the strongest segments here as it shows how irresponsible parents can be but in a very lightweight manner. Their scenes in the car are great, but Nonoko’s scene with that little, also lost, boy takes the cake as the funniest and most wonderful for sure. She thinks the family is lost and not her and thus they so amusingly and realistically show us the childlike innocence and cluelessness.

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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The next scene shows how the entire family is unorganized and how everybody wants to do their own thing and nobody wants to do the cleaning. Again another truthful segment. The next segment is all about the Yamada marriage and how chaotic it is. The standout scene is the remote sequence as it was hilarious seeing the two fight over TV. A typically silly anime humor is used here to elevate the material superbly.

The male bonding is also pretty solid as a story about the age gap and the distant relationship between fathers and sons. The next two segments focus on Takashi being a great father model but nobody notices that. The next two segments (umbrella and sushi) aren’t as essential but the breakfast scene is hilarious as always having the same meal is unfortunately very relatable to me personally.

Ginger Morning is so funny! It basically showcases the forgetful nature of all five of the Yamadas to a hilarious effect. A great use of situational comedy. The next two segments are about Noboru (school and romance) and although quite well executed, they are not my favorites as he is my least favorite character in the film.

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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The next couple of vignettes center around wonderful Shige and the highlight is the scene in which she takes back the ball that went over the fence to some kids and rewards them with another ball but the two boys eventually come asking for that ball. I laughed out loud here. Such a funny scene. And of course the grandma taking the action against bikers into her own hand was a great subversive scene where the woman takes action instead of the father figure.

The business speech of Takashi’s was very good and of course the ending is so great as it utilizes the power of Que Sera, Sera. I love how Ghibli once again used one of my favorite songs in their movie after Take Me Home, Country Roads in ‘Whisper of the Heart’.

My Neighbors the Yamadas features a very different animation from the regular highly stylized anime style of their other efforts and thus this makes it unique and singular. It employs computer animation in the creation of watercolor, comic-strip style in its animation and the results are wonderful despite the excessive use of the color white. I loved its fluid and simplistic look and the character design is excellent.

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My Neighbors the Yamadas Movie Review

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So My Neighbors the Yamadas is a very uneven film with uneven pacing and quality of the segments which is to be expected from its vignette format. But it is still such a good film that is probably the studio’s most underrated and it was much better to me upon second viewing. It employs a very good score and superb dialogue with many memorable lines. It has no story, but it is observational in message and themes and everyday life thanks to its wonderful slice-of-life storytelling. And the humor is just magnificent and I laughed more than a couple of times. It is another strong work from great Isao Takahata.

My Neighbors the Yamadas is probably the most underappreciated of all Studio Ghibli’s films. Its approach as a series of vignettes instead of a full story definitely led to its uneven quality and pacing, but the film features such a unique watercolor, comic-strip style to it and a superb dialogue and excellent humor with many hilarious lines and situations. The Yamadas are such a wonderful, relatable and endearing family and I’ve spent such a wonderful 100 minutes with them.

My Rating – 4

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The Piano (1993)

The Piano Movie Review

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The Piano Movie Review

The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand historical romance film directed by Jane Campion and starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Anna Paquin. It is an extremely overrated movie.

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Undo your dress. I want to see your arms. Play. Two keys

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The Piano Movie Review

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It is about a mute piano player who tries to regain her piano after it is sold. She is in a loveless arranged marriage, but meets another man and the two start a passionate romance. I honestly found the story not all that interesting to begin with and, needless to say, not particularly authentic. Its mid-19th century period and the setting of New Zealand make the difference, but other than that, it is a regular story.

My main problem with The Piano is that it is not romantic. At least it wasn’t for me. It relies too much on erotic scenes and those scenes weren’t as erotic or as romantic as the movie thinks they are. Everyone talks about how incredibly romantic and sweet the film is, but I never felt anything whatsoever and to me it the atmosphere was too cold to make me feel anything.

There are some good scenes such as the ending and some of the piano scenes were quite wonderful, but most of it was honestly not great. The cutting of the finger plot point was unnecessary and too gruesome and the film was obvious in its storyline and character relationships from beginning to end and highly predictable.

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The Piano Movie Review

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This may be the most controversial thing about my review, but I have to be honest and I have to say that even the acting is overrated. I don’t mean to say that these actors were bad, they were definitely quite good, but to me not as great as the showering praise they received would make you think.

Holly Hunter gave the best performance, but her character is too underdeveloped to lead to an amazing performance. So it wasn’t her fault, but the character’s fault. And that is why I don’t blame the actors as the character development here is quite weak. Harvey Keitel is fine in a different role for him, but not great. Sam Neill is typical and Anna Paquin did a good, but not great job and I just really disliked her character. She betrayed her mother and that was just glossed over which was to me highly problematic.

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The Piano Movie Review

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The Piano is definitely well shot, but mostly too dark and its atmosphere is too depressing. The film is well edited and paced, but it was still boring to me in its first half and I found some of the scenes in the second half rushed. It is well scored, but the direction from Campion is quite weak. It got eight Oscar nominations and three wins. The actresses deserved the nominations, but not the wins. And all of the other non-technical nominations were not deserved at all. It is one of the most overrated films from this period.

The Piano is the definition of an overrated movie which is okay, but far from great and I just don’t get the praise that it gets. Almost everything here is just okay and even the acting is not great and Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin did not deserve their Oscars. All of the performances are fine, but not great as the character development is so weak and most of the characters are unlikable. It is a well shot and scored film, but I just never felt anything as it was too cold for me so it utterly fails as a romance. It is a quasi-romantic, quasi-artistic film.

My Rating – 3

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Lepa sela lepo gore (1996)

Lepa sela lepo gore Movie Review

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Lepa sela lepo gore Movie Review

Lepa sela lepo gore (Pretty Village, Pretty Flame) is a 1996 Serbian war film directed by Srdjan Dragojevic and starring Dragan Bjelogrlic and Nikola Kojo among others. It is a Serbian classic.

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Pretty villages burn pretty and

ugly villages remain ugly even when they burn

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Lepa sela lepo gore Movie Review

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The film is set during the Bosnian War and it tells of the story of a group of Serb soldiers trapped in a tunnel by a Bosnian force. But it also employs a flashback structure to it as it showcases the past of these soldiers, especially focusing on the friendship between Milan and Halil. Now these flashbacks sometimes were too convenient and rushed (the schoolteacher flashback should have arrived much sooner), but they were mostly really well incorporated into a coherent whole.

The script is excellent here, really well crafted. The film has a strong anti-war statement and it doesn’t take sides which is very commendable. It is moving in emotion, epic in execution and it tells its story so well and is incredibly involving throughout its whole runtime. The ending is good but not my favorite and I liked the flashbacks quite a bit and some were great, but the standout is definitely the tunnel storyline and thankfully it took the majority of running time. The highlights were their humorous conversations as well as that scene with the woman which felt really suspenseful and was stupendously well shot and executed.

Let’s talk about the characters. I have to say that the character development is terrific here, stupendously so as I felt as if I met these people. They felt so real owing to their realistic portrayal and superb performances from a very talented cast. I admit that I wasn’t a fan of Milan and Halil as they were incredibly underutilized as adults and I preferred their flashbacks as children much more. But others are mostly much more memorable.

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Lepa sela lepo gore Movie Review

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Velja is one of the highlights. Overly crass, but highly realistic and he had some fantastic scenes. Brzi and Profesor are somewhat less memorable, but Marko has his moments and Viljuska has some highly amusing lines of dialogue and is entertaining as this over-the-top but highly likable character. Gvozden as this huge Tito fanatic is also very well developed and he definitely left a big impression.

The acting is phenomenal in this film. It is the kind of strong, subtle and realistic acting that I favor over the more theatrical and unrealistic acting that unfortunately plagues Serbian cinema and TV these days. Milorad Mandic is funny and great, Bata Zivojinovic is reliably competent and Nikola Kojo is the standout here as his performance is so great and subtle and real plus he carried a lot of the movie taking the significant amount of screentime. Everyone did a great job here honestly and they brought a lot to these characters becoming so realistic and like everyday Serbs.

The dialogue in Lepa sela lepo gore is also fantastic and again so naturalistic in its quality. The humor is phenomenal as the film is surprisingly funny and sometimes even hilarious with its very dark, but highly amusing black humor. Most of the scenes with that American female reporter were hilarious and the piss scene was an example of black humor done so well.

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Lepa sela lepo gore Movie Review

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I am generally not a fan of war movies, but this one honestly surprised me how strong it is and it surely is a modern classic from this region. The direction from Srdjan Dragojevic is highly competent and fantastic, the editing and pacing are both superb and the film is also very well shot and also scored. It succeeds as a strong war drama across the board.

With highly realistic and such well developed characters, superb dialogue, fantastic black humor with many funny lines, competent direction from Srdjan Dragojevic and naturalistic, superb performances from its great cast with Nikola Kojo, Milorad Mandic and Bata Zivojinovic being the highlights, Lepa sela lepo gore (Pretty Village, Pretty Flame) is a strong war drama across the board. It is so well shot, moving in its emotion and epic in scope that it easily ranks as one of the greatest classics of Serbian cinema.

My Rating – 4.5

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