The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 animated superhero comedy film directed by Chris McKay and starring Will Arnett and Michael Cera. It is a pretty good film.

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Black. All good movies start with a black screen

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

I liked the plot here quite a bit. It was definitely typical and so obvious in a couple of its plot points, but the overall storyline is actually quite dramatic and more meaningful than I thought it would be. Along with less action and better humor, its big heart is the reason why it is ultimately better than ‘The Lego Movie’.

As for the characters, most are really good, but some are lacking. Batman is absolutely fantastic and possibly one of the best interpretations of this character yet. He is a hero, but also arrogant and selfish. He has his problems, his past is explored and I loved his humor. He was the funniest and deepest character here and the heart and soul of the entire film.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Joker is phenomenal as well. I loved how he was funny and amusing here and what they did with their relationship was genius. They basically have a bromance here which was so great to witness, not only in terms of the humor, but also in terms of characterization as it fits these characters and explains a lot about them in a comedic manner.

Robin is funny, typical but funny at times. And I loved his relationship with Batman and how they eventually became father and son. Alfred was also excellent and his interactions with Batman were some of the best here. I loved how they made him a guardian and Bats was an angry child, so funny, yet again fitting and clever.

Barbara Gordon is okay and serves her purpose, but she was somewhat typical and I wasn’t the biggest fan of her as she is ultimately too forgettable in comparison to the other major characters. Harley Quinn and most of the other villains were seriously underutilized and there lies the problem – the film is crowded with too many characters and cameos, but unfortunately most of them come and fly by quickly and just are not memorable enough.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

What they did with non-superhero villains is a two-edged sword. Again they were underutilized as there were too many of them and they weren’t as funny as they should have been. But I liked the overall idea behind it and that subplot was actually pretty intriguing and was very well incorporated into the overall story. Lord Voldemort and Sauron are the highlights there, both are frequently funny and the best used of these villains for sure.

The voice acting is phenomenal here. Rosario Dawson is forgettable as her character is and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Zach Galifianakis’ voice or performance here, but Michael Cera was suitably casted in this role and he did a really good job. Ralph Fiennes was also very good. But naturally the standout actor is Will Arnett. I just love his work here and he carried the entire movie on his shoulders. An excellent voice and an overall terrific comedic performance.

The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t have the most memorable animation in it. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly fine and respectable with the character designs again being terrific, but I wasn’t blown away by it as a whole with not enough particularly memorable imagery or sequences.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Again the film has too much action, overwhelming at times. Its overall emotional arc is also typical and predictable, albeit very well done and with a lot of heart. As for its humor, I liked it quite a bit, but sometimes it was overly childish with typical jokes and slapstick oriented too much for the younger audience. The film overall should have been a bit more mature.

But the film did frequently make me laugh. The highlights were of course Batman, Joker and Robin. Everything surrounding Batman was great as he was hilarious with his larger than life, crazy personality. I loved his calmer moments, but his interactions with everyone were great. I loved the opening and closing credits, so humorous. His relationship with Joker also provided many chuckles and I liked the film’s various superhero and movie references, some were overwhelming, but most were clever and memorable. The film isn’t hilarious, but it is very funny at times and mostly satisfying in its humor.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie features sometimes interesting soundtrack, but it was mostly too angry and loud in tone, albeit that was fitting for the protagonist. The film is mostly quite well paced and is well directed and well scripted with some solid dialogue and a great emotional investment to it. Overall, it thoroughly succeeds as a spin-off because they picked the best character from the original and let him have his own movie and the results are more than stellar.

The Lego Batman Movie again has overwhelming action at times, it is definitely crowded with too many characters and some plot points are typical and obvious, but this is mostly a very good, satisfying spin-off with excellent voice acting, very good humor with many very funny lines and a great use of its characters with Batman in particular being not only funny, but also surprisingly well developed. It is ultimately an improvement over its predecessor because it is funnier and it has a much bigger heart.

My Rating – 4

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review

A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a 1969 animated comedy drama film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the first Peanuts feature film and actually one of my favorite animated films period.

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Well, I can understand how you feel.

You worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose you feel you let everyone down,

and you made a fool of yourself and everything.

But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?

The world didn’t come to an end.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I love this movie so much! To me it was such an almost perfect way to transition from specials to a feature and surely enough, this film is better than the majority of specials themselves, at least when it comes to my opinion. They managed to include as much of the classic Peanuts characters and humor and situations as possible and thus becoming a quintessential Peanuts outing.

I loved that it focused on the spelling bee instead of sports as that made it much more enjoyable for a non-sports fan like me. Every spelling bee scene was just terrific. Another highlight is Lucy’s scene in psychiatric booth, that was genius. To me this film is far from perfect and surely it does have too much musical numbers in it and the first act is sorely lacking in comparison to the rest of the film, but the rest is so great that I forgive those flaws.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Of course the ending makes this movie. Wow, rarely have I seen a better conclusion in an animated film. Charlie Brown loses the game and closes in his room and refuses to ever come out. Linus comes in and tells him that he failed, but the universe didn’t come to an end because of it. That line in a nutshell is the reason why I respect this series as a whole. It never sugarcoats, but actually truthfully explains to children that they may continue losing and that winning is uncertain, but it isn’t the end of the world if you lose and that you should continue trying. A fantastic message in such a brilliant, wonderful ending.

Let’s talk about the characters. Charlie Brown is excellent! Rarely has he been this good in a special before or after. I loved that Peter Robbins voiced the character and I loved that he was at his angriest and most depressing mood here. He was relatable and you root for him throughout the entire movie.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Peppermint Patty was surely missed here, but all of the others are here thankfully. Lucy is as hilarious as ever and some of her lines and moments made me laugh out loud. Snoopy was solid, but not as great as the others were. But thankfully this time around his scenes did not take as much screen time as they usually do. Schroeder and Sally are well used, but Linus is one the highlights in one of his best roles ever. I loved the emphasis on his security blanket and he is so endearing here, but he is also there for his friend which made him even more lovable.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown has a couple of songs in it so let me touch upon all of them. The Star-Spangled Banner was out of place and Failure Face is forgettable, albeit being a great scene, but I Before E is very catchy and a great way for children to learn spelling, Champion Charlie Brown is solid and the titular number is certainly quite charming and endearing. The songs are actually quite solid here, at least half of them are.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The animation is really good and as pleasant as usual with the character designs being faithful and top-notch. The voice acting is of the best variety and using the best of the earlier voices. The score is quite good and the film is stupendously well made in terms of the technical aspects. It is not only well directed, but also polished in its shots and so deft in its editing as it is never slow and never rushed, it lasts for just the right amount of running time. It is always wonderful to watch, the dialogue is as clever as you would expect from the series and the humor is some of the best of the entire series as it made me laugh more than a couple of times with many hilarious parts. I loved its skillful tone too as it balanced light tone with humor and serious tone with drama and messages beautifully. It is overall a tremendously well realized movie and one of my favorite Peanuts stories and one of my favorite animated features as a whole.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown managed to bring everything you want from Peanuts to the table and it did that beautifully. The humor is excellent and some of the lines were hilarious, the characters are superbly utilized with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus being the highlights, the film is very well made technically and of course the standout is the final scene which features such a respectable, truly great message for children and it was a beautiful, brave way to end the movie.

My Rating – 5

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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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A Serious Man (2009)

A Serious Man Movie Review……………………………………………………..

A Serious Man Movie Review

A Serious Man is a 2009 black comedy film directed by the Coen Brothers and starring Michael Stuhlbarg. It is an incredibly frustrating, weak film.

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The Uncertainty Principle.

It proves we can’t ever really know… what’s going on.

So it shouldn’t bother you.

Not being able to figure anything out.

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A Serious Man Movie Review……………………………………………………..

It follows a Jewish man whose life crumbles both personally and professionally leading him to questions about faith. The film definitely had a great deal of potential as the premise is actually stupendous. I loved its themes and it was interesting seeing the man reevaluate and question his religion. That theme and conflict is always fascinating to me.

However, the execution is quite poor and thus successfully diminishing the movie’s impact. I have never liked the Coen Brothers and their style is very annoying to me. They are definitely not my cup of tea. And I am saying that because they are the ones who are responsible for this movie’s problems as they usually are. The direction is weak and annoying with a lack of any focus and with no point to it whatsoever. It just sort of starts and ends with no message and yet it is also not thought-provoking. They wasted such a great premise on a terrible execution.

The characters are solid. They are memorable and they are realistic. But these actors are obviously of lower caliber and Michael Stuhlbarg was never great and all of the others gave quite weak, passable performances in a movie that needed better acting.

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A Serious Man Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The film is well made, it is definitely slow, but it isn’t really boring as it benefits from solid dialogue and a couple of really effective, emotional sequences. I liked the conversational scenes the most and I wish the entire movie was more theatrical in its approach instead of slower and with some scenes that do not feature any dialogue and those were my least favorite. I found the film’s prologue to be exceptional and riveting. It instantly hooked me in the story, but they never really connected it well with the other parts of the film and the ending was just so stupid. The film was basically an excuse to torture the protagonist with no point or message whatsoever. It did not deserve its Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay nominations at all and it is another overly acclaimed work from two of the most overrated directors.

A Serious Man is another very overrated work from two very overrated directors. It has its intriguing moments, the prologue is very interesting and the premise is actually quite fascinating, but the Coen brothers wasted such a great premise on such a poor execution with far from great performances and an unfortunate lack of focus plus there is no point to it whatsoever.

My Rating – 3

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Trolls (2016)

Trolls Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Trolls Movie Review

Trolls is a 2016 animated musical comedy film which is the 33rd movie from DreamWorks Animation. It features the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake and it is a surprisingly solid flick.

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Hey, I know it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows,

but I’d rather go through life thinking

that it mostly is instead of being like you.

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Trolls Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It follows two trolls who set out to save their village and kidnapped trolls from the Bergens, creatures who eat trolls. The plot here is pretty simple and also quite familiar. The biggest problem is its predictability as it is thoroughly predictable from start to finish with every plot point being expected. That was incredibly annoying. But what I liked about it is its emotional resonance as the movie is quite moving at times. Some of the emotion felt forced at first, but the third act is so moving and its message about positivity felt super simplistic, yet great for the kids.

The characters I found to be okay. They are far from great, but far from bad too. Princess Poppy was a bit annoying to me, but Branch is very likable and although a typical creation, they did the best they could with such a personality and I loved his backstory. Bridget is so endearing and she is my favorite character in the movie. I loved her interactions with the trolls as well as Prince Gristle who is also a memorable character. But Chef is such a typical, clich├ęd over-the-top villain and the weakest one for sure.

I found the voice acting to be solid, yet annoying as DreamWorks once again incorporated too many celebrities in the cast. Anna Kendrick wasn’t the greatest, but Justin Timberlake was actually quite solid and not that recognizable. Christine Baranski’s work was typical, but Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Zooey Deschanel were actually quite good in their charming roles.

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Trolls Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Now, the animation. Well, Trolls is definitely an interesting looking movie, that’s for sure. On the negative side, its bright colors were sometimes a nuisance and it definitely felt too garish and colorful in some parts. However, it felt quite charming in some scenes and I really liked the character designs. They aren’t the most original, yet they are pleasantly cartoony and endearing. But the highlight is definitely the sequence in which the trolls turn gray and then one by one, after regaining hope, they regain their true colors. I found that part to be pretty impressive in terms of the visuals and although a bit too on the nose, both the song and the animation accompanied that great scene really well leading to the best part of the entire film.

Trolls features the mix of new songs and remixes of old songs in its soundtrack with mixed results. Some numbers felt super out of place such as The Sound of Silence, but True Colors was, as I said above, well utilized and Hello was pretty solid too. Of the new songs, most felt like typical cheesy pop songs such as Hair Up, but of course the highlight is Can’t Stop the Feeling! I really like this song as it is such a catchy and fun number that was perfect for this movie and it rightfully received the Academy Award for Best Original Song nomination.

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Trolls Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I found the humor okay at times, but mostly mediocre. The tone should have been a bit darker in the more dangerous scenes in my opinion and the movie was too bright and happy, but admittedly some of those scenes felt charming. The dialogue is quite weak, childish and just immensely typical which is why those emotional sequences weren’t as great as they should have been.

I found the movie overly hyperactive in its first half plus the beginning was really off-putting and not the greatest way to start your movie, but thankfully it became much better and slowed down significantly later on leading to a pretty solid second half. The editing is problematic, but it is as good as these types of children’s flicks can be.

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Trolls Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Yes, I really liked that Trolls was a children’s film and a traditional cartoon and I don’t know why that is such a bad thing in today’s world. From time to time, I like to watch these loud, funny and entertaining kids’ flicks and this one fulfilled that role remarkably well for me. It is in the end a perfectly solid flick and actually one that received the twentieth place on my list of all the 33 DreamWorks Animated films which ain’t that bad and it certainly left me satisfied and actually surprised how solid it turned out to be.

Yes, it is overly hyperactive, most of the jokes are juvenile, the plot is familiar and the mix of remixed old and some new songs in its soundtrack led to mixed results, but Oscar-nominated Can’t Stop the Feeling! is such a fun, immensely catchy tune, the characters are solid, the voice acting is mostly good and the film’s emotional resonance was admirable and it led to some pretty great scenes. The animation is too colorful, but sometimes quite inspired. It is such a surprisingly solid DreamWorks animated film which was pleasantly cartoony and a lot of fun.

My Rating – 3.5

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Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood Movie Review

Ed Wood is a 1994 comedy drama biopic directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Martin Landau among others. It is an amazing, wonderful movie.

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Visions are worth fighting for.

Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It follows Ed Wood, an acclaimed director of trashy movies from the fifties. It follows his career while he made some of his best known works as well as his romantic relationships and his friendship with Bela Lugosi. The film is the kind of biographical picture that succeeds in almost every way and it is a rare biopic that is timeless and almost artistic in a way. It is one of the finest genre films I’ve seen for sure.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I loved its richness. The film deals with a lot of themes and it is such a nuanced, incredibly well scripted work. Of course you get his career endeavors and his artistic struggles. That was all very well done. But even better are his relationships with women as his first relationship was doomed from the beginning and it was dramatic to follow its conclusion whereas the second one was a successful one, romantic and moving. But of course the friendship that formed between Ed and Lugosi is the highlight and that was just wonderful to witness. There truly is a lot for everyone here to enjoy.

The director is brought to life beautifully and Johnny Depp has rarely been this good in a Burton flick. It is one of his best performances I’ve seen. Very charismatic and sympathetic. Lugosi is also great and those scenes where they addressed his doomed career were just so tragic and yet absolutely hilarious at the same time. Martin Landau thoroughly deserved his Oscar as he played this role remarkably well. But Sarah Jessica Parker is pretty good herself and Patricia Arquette is very likable. All of the characters here were stupendously well written and all of the actors and actresses delivered top-notch performances. The casting in this movie also couldn’t have been better.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood is an incredibly funny movie and I laughed out loud more than a couple of times because some of the lines were just absolutely hysterical to hear. Of course the humor is strong when the script is so stellar and the dialogue is just terrific. Such a well written, polished work all around. It succeeds as a funny comedy and as a serious, heartfelt drama and that is such a commendable feat.

It isn’t a perfect movie honestly. Some of the parts weren’t the greatest. I found Depp’s performance to be great in the first half and in the second one it was typical. I found the entire third act to be incredibly underwhelming. It is good, but never as great as the film was before it. It was a shame as the only film I’ve seen of his is ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ and yet that is the only movie here that wasn’t particularly well utilized when all of the others were so well depicted.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood is also gorgeous in terms of the technical aspects. This is the kind of film that just had to be shot in black and white and its crisp, polished look brought a lot of sophistication and professionalism to the picture. Many scenes and shots here are memorable and highly exquisite. The same goes for the costumes and the score. The attention to detail is evident and the direction from Burton is incredibly strong and possibly his best directed work yet. He showcased an obvious care for this subject and person and that coupled with a great talent and style led to the movie being so amazing and one of the best that he’s ever made without any doubt.

With beautiful and fitting black and white photography, possibly the best direction from Tim Burton yet and great performances from Johnny Depp and Martin Landau, Ed Wood benefited from obviously being made with a lot care and it has such phenomenal dialogue and that along with such a stellar script led to a great humor with a lot of the lines being absolutely hilarious. But it also succeeds as a drama as some scenes are poignant and dramatic. It is a wonderful, truly great film that is one of the director’s best and also one of the finest biopics that I have ever seen.

My Rating – 4.5

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Underground (1995)

Underground Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Underground Movie Review

Underground is a 1995 comedy drama film directed by Emir Kusturica and starring Miki Manojlovic, Lazar Ristovski and Mirjana Jokovic. It is a pretty solid, yet overrated movie.

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Once upon a time… there was a country…

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Underground Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Underground (or Podzemlje in Serbian) follows an epic story between two friends and it follows Yugoslav history from the beginning of World War II until the beginning of Yugoslav Wars. With this movie, my opinion of Kusturica continues to be the same – he is an incredibly talented filmmaker and even an artist, but he just couldn’t quite make a movie work as a whole. Underground is impressive in its ambition, but that also proved to be its downfall as he just couldn’t realize the whole movie in the best way. The result is a film that is sometimes quite inspired and even artistic, but sometimes quite excessive and ridiculous.

I liked the characters and although they were too crazy, at least they were memorable. Ivan is too goofy, yet very likable. Natalija is unlikable, but well developed. And Petar and Marko are over-the-top, but certainly memorable. The performances here are very good with Lazar Ristovski and Miki Manojlovic delivering the best ones.

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Underground Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Now, as I said before, Underground is just overly excessive in its ridiculousness. That is why its success as a black comedy is questionable and it succeeds much more as an epic war drama. Some of its over-the-top craziness was fun and some scenes definitely made me laugh and were one of the kind, but most were too silly and just too much.

But the film is worth seeing and experiencing for a couple of sequences that are just jaw-dropping in their beauty and authenticity. For one, the character’s realization when out of the bunker that Yugoslavia is no more was just heartbreaking to witness as you could see the sadness in his eyes. That scene was beyond tragic and unforgettable. I loved the first scenes of the movie at the zoo as they perfectly hooked me in the story. I really liked those crazy sex scenes. And of course I loved its imaginative ending which was just beautiful to behold. Watching all of the friends and family, both living and dead, on some sort of separated island celebrate a wedding was emotional and actually a very original, fittingly surreal way to end the film.

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Underground Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Underground is more style over substance, but what style this is. Of course the pacing isn’t great as the film is very long and it is difficult to edit plus his first cut was even longer, but his direction is very good and sometimes quite inspired plus the acting is excellent. I loved the cinematography here as some shots were brilliant and some of the imagery was unforgettable and very authentic. There are actually a lot of the scenes that are memorable here and that is why the film succeeds. It is very diverse, different and crazy that it stays with you. The emotion is strong and although I would have strengthened the relationships between the characters more, they were still fine and the film is very ambitious in presenting the history of the country through decades using quite memorable historical footage. I also found its dialogue to be very good, excessive once again, but memorable and sometimes very realistic with a couple of hilarious lines. All in all, it is overrated and not the director’s best, but still a solid and ambitious, if not entirely successful experiment.

Underground is style over substance and Kusturica was too much influenced by Fellini. The direction is strong, the acting is also very good, some of the scenery and shots are unforgettable and the film is admirably ambitious, but its ambition was also its downfall as it is a very uneven work with some inspired and even artistic scenes, but many too ridiculous and over-the-top moments. Because the film is so epic, ambitious and sometimes unforgettable in a couple of very authentic sequences, it succeeds, but it is still uneven, flawed, too excessive and frankly overrated.

My Rating – 3.5

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Finding Dory (2016)

Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory is a 2016 Pixar animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton and starring Ellen DeGeneres. It is a solid, but way too typical sequel.

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For a guy with three hearts, you are not very nice

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Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Finding Dory is the sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’ which came out thirteen years before and is considered to be one of Pixar’s best films. Full disclosure – I have never been a big fan of ‘Finding Nemo‘ and I actually consider it to be a bit overrated. It is a good film with its fair share of great themes and characters among other things, but it fails in comparison to Pixar’s best outings.

As for the sequel, I found it to be incredibly disappointing and nowhere near as good as the original film. In fact, this is definitely one of the most overrated Pixar films to date as I just have a big problem with critics giving it glowing reviews despite acknowledging its very obvious shortcomings. First of all, it is basically a rehash of the original. Dory goes to search for her parents and gets lost while Marlin and Nemo try to find her. That is basically everything that happened in the first movie only with characters being switched.

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Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Another problem is that this movie just fails in the storytelling department and most especially in its themes. The original had quite a lot of sophisticated themes and issues in it, but this one just focuses on her short-term memory loss and there really isn’t anything deeper in it. The story itself is definitely well told despite being overly familiar, but the ending frustrated me. To me, the film would have been much more memorable and much more mature had she not found her parents. I thought they were going in that direction with the other fish telling Dory that her parents must be dead by now, but they never went in that territory and the fact that she found both her parents and her friends was an overly happy ending, even for family entertainment standards.

Let’s now talk about each and every character, both old and new. First, Dory. I have to praise the filmmakers for managing to successfully make a Dory-centric film because that was just a giant obstacle for two reasons. One is that sidekicks and supporting characters usually have hard time transitioning to the lead role and another is that she suffers from this memory condition which is a big problem in terms of basic storytelling. But they managed to get around that and actually make a solid movie which is commendable. She is both funny and extremely sympathetic and she is just as good, if not better than she was in the original film.

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Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Marlin and Nemo are not as bad as they easily could have been, but I still found them overly forgettable. But the new characters is where the movie shines. This is a sequel that successfully adds a lot of new characters to the table which is admirable and so satisfying. Hank has to be the highlight as this cranky octopus or septopus as Dory called him. I really liked him because he is the type of character that is ripe for animated films – cranky and seemingly cold and selfish, yet with the heart of gold. That means that he is far from original, but given his humor, voice acting and incredible animation in his wonderful design, he succeeds in spades and is the film’s brightest spot.

Jenny and Charlie as Dory’s parents are solid and some of their scenes were quite moving. Destiny as this near-sighted shark is another character with a physical disability which I admired a lot and that is something that this now series is famous and praiseworthy for. And although her humor was a bit annoying, the relationship between her and Dory was really pleasant. Bailey is a memorable beluga whale and his echolocation sequences were incredibly entertaining. The sea lions were some of the funniest creatures as watching those two forbid the third one to come on the rock was really funny. Crush the turtle is as insufferable as he was before, but Becky the loon was really funny albeit the depiction of birds as these very dumb animals was troublesome on many fronts.

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Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The voice acting in Finding Dory is absolutely phenomenal. Ellen is as great as he was in the original and you can’t deny her great and emotional work here and it again goes to show that she really gave in both movies one of the most memorable and best voice performances ever in animation. Kaitlin Olson is really good as is Ty Burrell, but Ed O’Neill is just terrific in the role of Hank, so memorable, funny and just likable and I wish he’d do more roles in animation from now on.

The animation is excellent, so pleasing to the eye. The colors are wonderful and the film is so polished and just beautiful to look in its sea water imagery. However, one problem that I’ve had here is that the animation of the ocean is so amazing that the land animation seems inferior in comparison and the difference between the two bothered me. But the film is so great in presenting these fish mostly accurately and the octopus is also pretty accurately portrayed. I liked the use of Sea World, but those scenes were too similar to the original.

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Finding Dory Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Finding Dory is well edited and it quickly flies by how incredibly entertaining it is. The humor isn’t the greatest, but is quite good at times and quite funny in some scenes. It is well made and it is as good as the sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’ could have been, but it still remains awfully simplistic and too rehashed to be considered great. It has a lot going for it, but it also has a lot going against it and it is a major disappointment for sure.

Finding Dory has a lot going for it such as terrific animation with excellent character designs, pretty good humor, some moving scenes, top-notch voice acting and great character development with all of the new characters being so memorable with Hank the octopus being fantastic, but the movie is such a rehash of the original with way too many similarities between the two and it is just so thematically slight and so incredibly weak in terms of storytelling that it ended up being undoubtedly one of Pixar’s weakest films.

My Rating – 3.5

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 musical comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. It is such a fun, crazy movie.

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Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty?

You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty,

but my goodness, doesn’t it help?

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Yes, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of those classic movies that feel way too modern for its age and surely, owing to its infectious energy, weird humor and strong sexuality, it can be enjoyed immensely by today’s audiences. I admired its energy and the film was entertaining from beginning to end. Its oddball nature was perfect and the sexual aspects were so funny and delightfully cheesy.

Marilyn Monroe here proves that she was actually a very good actress. She gives such a great performance, full of charisma, vigor and charm. She was very good and of course beautiful. But to me Jane Russell was the real star here. Don’t get me wrong, both women are great, but she is more memorable and quite underrated here. She stole the show and her more down-to-earth, but still funny character was terrific. The two are so great together. The men are all fine, but these two women are the real stars.

What I found really interesting about Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is that vibrant, over-the-top sexuality. Rarely do we see women lust over men in such an evident and strong manner and this is the fifties we’re talking about. So crazy and weird. Watching Jane Russell in particular was such a delight as her obsession with handsome men perfectly clashed against Monroe’s obsession with rich, older guys.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The film to me is very good, but never great as it somewhat loses its steam in the second half resulting in the film that is much funnier and much better in the first half. And that whole shenanigans with the jewelry could have been better executed. The movie was also way too superficial at times and way too entertaining. I wish that it featured some sophisticated moments along with the fun ones and we never really get to see some sort of a commentary here which is a real shame.

But it does succeed as a comedy because it can be quite funny at times and even hilarious. It also succeeds as a musical because, let’s be honest, these songs are so good and so catchy that everyone can enjoy them. Anyone Here for Love? isn’t that memorable as a musical number, but with that infectious energy and a great turn from Russell, it becomes unforgettable. The imagery there is also truly one of a kind as we watch her being so happy surrounded by those handsome sportsmen. Bye Bye Baby is a great number as it is so catchy and just a lot of fun. But of course the real highlight has to be Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend which is not only catchy and entertaining, but also technically brilliant and filled with awesome costumes and a superb set.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

It is weird that the film was directed by Howard Hawks as this is most certainly far from his usual style, but he proved how great he was when he made it so good anyway. The editing is mostly great, the film is consistently engaging, the acting is so good and the film is so well made with some gorgeous Technicolor at display. Overall, it isn’t great, but as these kinds of comedies go, it is pretty special in its own right.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes isn’t particularly sophisticated, but it is such a fun and funny film that feels so modern owing to its awesome mix of strong sexuality, weird and over-the-top humor and an infectious energy. Marilyn Monroe is so good here, but Jane Russell is even better and the two are such a great duo. The film is such a good comedy, but also a great musical as it is filled with many catchy songs and so well choreographed musical numbers. It’s unabashedly light and fluffy, but fun and charming nonetheless.

My Rating – 4

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My Man Godfrey (1936)

 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

My Man Godfrey Movie Review

My Man Godfrey is a 1936 screwball comedy film directed by Gregory La Cava and starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. It is definitely one of the finest screwball comedies.

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Godfrey loves me! He put me in the shower!

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

The story is about a socialite who hires a homeless man to be her family’s butler. She eventually falls in love with him, much to his dismay. The script here is so stellar and just perfect. Not only do you have a very entertaining and funny story populated with highly likable or amusing characters, but you still have a satire on class relations and truly its social commentary is not only smart and funny, but relevant to this day, thus only further adding to its timeless quality.

My Man Godfrey features absolutely amazing character development, truly an example of how to properly develop characters in a film. Almost all of them are likable, memorable and even funny plus they all felt like genuine human beings and I’ve felt in the end that I’ve just met them. Everyone gets a moment to shine.

Godfrey is fantastic and he carries this entire movie, the same goes for Irene and the two are such a charming couple. I loved his seriousness and elegance and how it clashed well with her childlike and energetic personality. Cornelia is quite memorable as this cold and manipulative brat and their father is very likable. And of course the mother is such a hilarious personality and she made me laugh the most. I liked Molly quite a bit as she’s so sweet to everyone, but only Carlo is the weak link as I felt that he was unnecessary for this movie and that is the only flaw I can find here, but a minor one nevertheless.

The acting is just marvelous with everyone delivering a terrific performance. Alice Brady steals every scene she’s in with a comedic gold of a performance and Gail Patrick is beautiful and memorable. Carole Lombard delivered her finest performance of her career in Godfrey as she’s just a force to be reckoned with. But to me William Powell is the most outstanding of the bunch as he’s one of my favorite comedy actors. Here his seriousness clashed well with the craziness of the others and his facial expressions are just priceless.

My Man Godfrey features probably the best humor of any 1930s films and that is in and of itself a major accolade. Everyone made me laugh and most especially Brady, Lombard and Powell’s characters. So good. The humor is so strong, yet also smart and sophisticated propelled by such a great dialogue. The facial expressions of Godfrey and over-the-top antics from the crazy family were the highlights. Such a memorable and hilarious crew of characters.

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

My Man Godfrey is brilliantly made as there isn’t a single flaw in it in terms of the execution. The direction from Gregory La Cava is simply great, the acting is exceptional and the editing is stellar. Truly nothing felt rushed nor prolonged. It lasts for just the right amount of time and is always absolutely compelling to watch.

The script is so good, but it is the dialogue that is one of the standouts. It is as brisk and as sophisticated and biting as you would expect form a 30s screwball comedy which is why it thoroughly succeeds in this genre and why it’s one of its finest representatives. It is also one of the very best that 1936 has to offer and shame on Academy for not nominating it for Best Picture.

Speaking of the Academy, it was nominated for six Oscars. I do not agree at all with the nod to Mischa Auer as his character is the weakest link as I’ve said above, but I thoroughly agree with other nominations with Powell, Lombard and Brady’s performances all being deserving of the nomination. The same goes for the director and the script, but it is ridiculous that it didn’t win any and it just goes to show how clueless they often were during this decade.

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

The tone is great as it shifts to dramatic and serious at just the right times. The themes and message are evident and of course the film looks good and works perfectly as a chamber drama and a theatrical one as it revolves almost entirely in one house and it makes use of that setting so well. And I have to say that the movie is so charming and so romantic as its romance is so well developed and so wonderful. I loved the ending where she chased him and made him marry her. Hilarious and beautiful.

With such a stellar script, sophisticated and hilarious dialogue, phenomenal humor as the movie consistently made me laugh and such outstanding performances from Alice Brady, Carole Lombard and William Powell, My Man Godfrey is an undisputed classic and one of the finest screwball comedies that is always funny and charming, yet smart and so polished technically too. It features characters that are all memorable, likable and funny and the film is almost flawless in execution and just brilliant.

My Rating – 5

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