7th Heaven (1927)

7th Heaven Movie Review

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7th Heaven Movie Review

7th Heaven is a 1927 silent romance film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. It’s a wonderful, classic movie.

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You mustn’t be afraid. I’m never afraid.

Never look down – Always look up.

I always look up. That’s why I’m a very remarkable fellow!

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7th Heaven Movie Review

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I really like this film and it is one of quite a high number of films that prove how extraordinary 1927 film year was. This is one of the better romances that I’ve seen as it is such an enjoyable, immensely romantic tale of the relationship between an abused prostitute and a low-class worker.

The film is set in 1910s Paris and the reason why it is a great, but flawed movie lies almost entirely in its ending. So basically he goes to war (WWI) and that was a typical, not particularly engaging development and afterwards she gets the word that he’s dead, but he eventually comes back and they reunite. Needless to say, this felt unbelievable, overly melodramatic and maudlin to the point of being ridiculous.

But that is the only big flaw in an otherwise stellar picture. The film features such likable, endearing characters and that is why I felt their connection as they are so charming together. This is in no small part due to a great chemistry and interactions between its two stars.

Charles Farrell deserves more respect as nobody talks about him whereas everybody talks about Gaynor. He is very charming and charismatic here owing to his very good performance as well as his good looks. But of course Janet Gaynor steals the show and this was surely an amazing year for her (‘Sunrise’ is also her movie). She is endearing and she played the part so well that I bought the transition in her character. Both of them were great and especially superb when together.

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7th Heaven Movie Review

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7th Heaven is a gorgeous movie technically speaking. It features absolutely amazing, accomplished set design and that staircase climb is one of the most visually striking sequences in all of silent cinema. The way the camera moves there to follow the action is breathtaking. Ernest Palmer’s cinematography here is simply stunning.

The direction from Frank Borzage is terrific and he surely did a magnificent job here. The score in the version I’ve watched was also excellent and I have to say that the intertitles were my cup of tea here. Not too sparse or overused, but just the right amount and with pretty good dialogue. Certainly some lines were too cheesy, but some were beautiful. The film is also very well paced, it flows so well and is engaging from the first to the last moment. It is such a charming, old-fashioned romance that anyone can enjoy it.

My favorite scenes apart from the aforementioned staircase scene are the first meeting of the two as it was very well done, the wedding dress scene is wonderful and of course the standout is the entire scene where she arrives and their scenes in the apartment were all phenomenal. I loved the view, I loved the interiors and its set design really contributed to such a romantic atmosphere within the film.

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7th Heaven Movie Review

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7th Heaven was the most nominated film at the 1st Academy Awards with five nominations. Gaynor won for Best Actress and that was much deserved as she had an awesome year there. I wouldn’t say that directing and writing wins were deserved, but I don’t mind as the script and direction here truly are excellent. And the nods for Picture and Art Direction were also highly deserved.

7th Heaven is one of the most visually dazzling and accomplished silent movies with superb direction from Frank Borzage and absolutely gorgeous set design as those wonderful sets really contribute a lot to the film’s romantic atmosphere. It has many unforgettable scenes with the staircase climb sequence being the visual highlight. Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell are both wonderful here and this is such a beautiful, immensely romantic movie that not even its overly melodramatic, maudlin ending could hurt it.

My Rating – 4.5

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Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke Movie Review

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Princess Mononoke Movie Review

Princess Mononoke is a 1997 historical fantasy anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of Studio Ghibli’s weakest offerings.

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You cannot change fate. However, you can rise to meet it, if you so choose

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Princess Mononoke Movie Review

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I never really cared for this movie and now upon second viewing, I can confirm that it truly is the most overrated Studio Ghibli film ever and also one of their weakest. That puts me in the vast minority, but I have to be honest and say that this is one of a handful of highly respected animated films which I deem very overrated.

That does not mean that Princess Mononoke is a bad movie. It is a solid film which has its strengths. Technically, the film is very strong and more on that later. In terms of story, it is ambitious and its attention to detail is remarkable. It has a strong environmental message and its characters are not painted black-and-white but are rather complex and realistic.

However, I still disliked those characters personally. That is because I could just never connect with any of them. Neither of them was remotely relatable or likable to me and that was a huge hurdle for the movie which never managed to overcome it. And it has too many characters and most are highly forgettable.

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Princess Mononoke Movie Review

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Ashitaka himself is very boring. I do not know why Miyazaki stated that he is an atypical protagonist when he couldn’t be more standard as heroes go. He’s bland and uninteresting. San is underdeveloped as is their relationship. Lady Eboshi is the only very good character in the movie as her motifs, her background and her goals are well realized and she is a complex person in the grey area of morality. But even she was not great.

As I said above, the only truly excellent thing in Princess Mononoke is its animation which is expected from such an art-driven studio. I really enjoyed the forests here and the animals are so realistically designed. The film features very polished, but still old-fashioned type of hand-drawn cell animation. The mix of traditional animation and the computer animation (present in demon flesh) is really well executed.

The film is very well animated, but even its animation is nowhere near the quality of Ghibli’s best films such as ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ for instance. The film succeeds as a historical piece as it has a great eye for detail and it recreated this period in Japan’s history so well.

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Princess Mononoke Movie Review

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But even though the dialogue is strong and the script is quite good, the execution is far from great. The film is just overlong, clocking in at over two hours. I was honestly bored. It is ambitious and epic for the sake of being ambitious and epic. I am not a fan of epic fantasy and thus this did not suit my tastes.

The film also features overwhelming action. Certainly some of it was great and so well executed with the fight between San and Lady Eboshi being the highlight, but still the film favored action and spectacle over substance. The gore is also overwhelming and not really needed so every bloody scene felt like a big distraction for me. All in all, even the environmental message is done better and more subtly in some of the studio’s previous classics so this surely is one of their weakest offerings.

Princess Mononoke is one of the most overrated animated films. Certainly the animation is excellent and frequently even stunning, the script is good and the characters are realistic and quite complex, but none of them was remotely likable or relatable to me and the film bored me with its prolonged runtime, excessive gore and overwhelming action and spectacle. And even its environmental message is done better in some of the studio’s previous classic films. It truly is Studio Ghibli’s most overrated film and one of their weakest offerings.

My Rating – 3

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is a 2007 science fiction action film and the sequel to ‘Alien vs. Predator’. It is the weakest entry in both of these respective franchises.

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Look, asshole, unless you can fly the helicopter, shut the fuck up

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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Yes, I really disliked this film. The first film was actually a lot of fun – silly but fun. This one however is no fun. It is the opposite of fun. It is the kind of modern blockbuster which I am really tired of. I am speaking about its whole execution from terrible visuals to bad action.

As the critics and fans, everyone really, have pointed out, this film is visually horrendous. Nothing can be seen properly as this grained, overly dark and simply awful look prevented it from being enjoyable in any scene and thus I was bored and frustrated.

Because I could not see the action properly, I cannot comment upon it all that much except that it looked bad. What little I’ve looked mediocre and there is not a single great fight or exhilarating scenario to be seen here whatsoever. Really unfortunate.

I do not know why this movie is called Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem as its plot has no requiem at all. The story here is overly simplistic, silly and entirely uninspired and boring. The same goes for the characters which are so incredibly thin and tedious. At least they tried to have some humans and at least some development, but they did not work for me.

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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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The concept of Predalien is interesting and some of his scenes were the highlights here but still it was a missed opportunity for great action that we just never got here. The whole movie is a missed opportunity as its predecessor was a lot of campy and silly fun whereas here we do not even get that entertainment, let alone a plot or characterization. It is easily the worst entry in both of these franchises and the only one that I entirely disliked.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is the worst entry in both of its respective franchises and such an inferior sequel to the original which was infinitely more entertaining. This one is too dark to see a thing with a horrible look to it. The characters are so boring, the plot is silly and the action is lacking leading to a big mess and a total bore.

My Rating – 2

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Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Drag Me to Hell Movie Review

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Drag Me to Hell Movie Review

Drag Me to Hell is a 2009 horror film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Alison Lohman. It is a solid, entertaining movie.

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Choke on it, bitch!

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Drag Me to Hell Movie Review

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This is the kind of old-fashioned movie that was obviously influenced by some of Raimi’s earlier genre films such as ‘The Evil Dead’. I am frankly not a fan of that movie and this one is much better to me. So this is basically a horror comedy in that eighties fashion which means that it is very old-fashioned which was refreshing, but also sometimes too eager to be traditional and thus somewhat forced.

Drag Me to Hell has solid humor which isn’t the greatest, but some moments did definitely make me laugh though they certainly were quite rare. Some of the gross-out elements were horrific, but some were funny and some lines of dialogue were quite superb, especially those coming from Christine.

As a horror film, it is again solid, but not great. Let me elaborate. This is not a scary movie by all means and the scariest, most disturbing moment is the stabbing of the kitten. That certainly was horrific, but for an animal lover such as myself, it was awful to witness and they crossed the line there for me. The old woman is sometimes cool, but too humorous and most of the supernatural stuff was fairly typical this time around.

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Drag Me to Hell Movie Review

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But it does have a somewhat original story that is original as for some reason it wasn’t done before when it is so perfect for a horror feature. Christine is a good protagonist, but Alison Lohman’s performance was not terrific. Her boyfriend was too perfect in a typical genre fashion and that psychic was forgettable. As for her Asian colleague, I found him overly vilified and unbelievable.

The film is too campy at times, but mostly a lot of fun as it is honestly hugely entertaining and even charming in its own way. It does the best it could have done with this interesting premise and the message was sound. The twist dark ending was abrupt, but definitely refreshing.

Drag Me to Hell is overly comedic and campy and the stabbing of the kitten crossed the line for me. This is Sam Raimi’s return to his roots as this is an old-fashioned horror comedy that was mostly too traditional, but still quite funny at times with a good story and message and a refreshingly dark ending. It is a flawed, but hugely entertaining horror flick.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

The Scent of Green Papaya Movie Review

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The Scent of Green Papaya Movie Review

The Scent of Green Papaya is a 1993 Vietnamese drama film directed by Tran Ahn Hung and starring Tran Nu Yen-Khe. It is a very moody film.

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You need a bit of fat to make the vegetables shiny

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The Scent of Green Papaya Movie Review

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This is the movie that proved me one thing – sometimes your mood can really impact a viewing experience. Maybe any other day, I would have disliked this, but I saw it at just the right time, when I was in the mood for something slower and more artistic and thus it ended up being a very enjoyable experience to me.

There is little plot here which was done for better and for worse. Certainly that led to such a sensual, wonderfully atmospheric and moody film, but the one which still felt too simplistic and it should have been deeper. Of the plot there is, I have to say that I preferred the first two acts to the third one because whereas the film was previously one thing (sensual and slow), in the third act it became a whole other thing with her blossoming into a beautiful young woman and starting a relationship with her master. It was a fine development, but not the best possible one for this story I felt.

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The Scent of Green Papaya Movie Review

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I really liked Mui. She wasn’t as interesting as an adult, but as a kid she was wonderful and the film made such a wise decision to make her a gateway to this word/house and I loved seeing it through her eyes. All of the other characters are not as memorable and that terrible kid never got punished which frustrated me, but Mui remains the heart and soul of this entire film.

The Scent of Green Papaya is an incredible visual experience. Everything here is gorgeous to look at and yes, the fact that it was filmed entirely on sets is unbelievable to me as this house looks so real and authentic. Tran Ahn Hung is the one responsible for this movie’s high quality as his direction is top-notch and his vision was authentic and admirable.

The film has such an immense, almost overwhelming attention to detail that it really needs to be watched closely or otherwise you can miss some interesting details. Yes, it is slow moving, but it is still very absorbing and powerful somehow. It sucked me in and it held my interest completely which I did not expect. And its almost silent approach with minimalist dialogue worked wonders for its mood.

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The Scent of Green Papaya Movie Review

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So let’s talk about that house. It was wonderful to behold. I loved how the film is a period piece but despite those curfews, it did not include any history or politics in it which was a great, refreshing choice. The house was so well explored as we got to see so many of its corners and I loved the details in it, especially those vases with lizards sleeping in them. And seeing papayas and how they are cooked was very interesting and informative to me.

As an animal lover, this was beautiful to me. You have frogs here and I loved their scenes, but the insects play the biggest part in Mui’s childhood as she kept them as pets in such an incredible, small, really well designed cage that was the cutest thing I’ve seen recently. It is those cute and heartwarming details that make this movie such a rewarding experience and it is easy to see why it got so much acclaim at various festivals.

The Scent of Green Papaya is an almost plotless movie for better and for worse and I preferred the first two acts over the last one, but its almost silent approach with minimalist dialogue ultimately worked in its favor as the film is such a sensual, lovely experience that needs to be seen when in mood for slower, more artistic cinema. It also needs to be watched closely as its attention to detail is astonishing (the wonderful house, the vases with lizards, the frogs, the insect cage, the papayas) and that approach led to it being such an engrossing cinematic experience.

My Rating – 4

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a 1971 western film directed by Robert Altman and starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. It’s a disappointing movie.

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That man never killed anyone in his life

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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This movie disappointed me on multiple fronts. It is still a solid, well made and mostly quite moving film, but because it did not decide what it wants to be, it ended up being very uneven and ultimately a letdown. It never became the big romance that it promised its audience and it focused too much on those typical western elements so for the self-proclaimed “anti-western” movie, it is surprisingly traditional in style and execution.

Julie Christie did a really good job per usual and Warren Beatty is also excellent. Their romance is sweet and it is a shame that we did not get to spend more time witnessing their relationship. For a movie called McCabe & Mrs. Miller, it is surprisingly devoid of their relationship and she is particularly wasted. As for the other characters and actors, they are fine but very forgettable.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is so well shot. I liked its score and although the song repeated throughout sometimes led to a bit pretentious scenes, I still liked that number and its somber tone. But the cinematography is excellent and frequently even superb and I really liked how this movie looks and sounds.

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie Review

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It has its very sweet moments, its tale of business and big companies is well told and it is mostly a well made movie, but it was honestly boring to me because it relied too much on business and not enough on its more fun elements such as the romance. The attention to detail is great, but sometimes the film was boring with its business details. The entire second half is very prolonged and the film definitely felt slow and too long as a whole and thus it ruined the experience for me.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is very well shot, scored and acted with some moving scenes and a well told story, but it is overlong, sometimes honestly very slow and boring and it has a lack of focus and an uneven tone. It is solid, but very disappointing.

My Rating – 3.5

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It (2017)

It Movie Review

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It Movie Review

It is a 2017 horror film directed by Andy Muschietti and based on the titular novel written by Stephen King. It is a fantastic movie.

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This isn’t real enough for you, Billy?

I’m not real enough for you?

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It Movie Review

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Yes, the hype is absolutely real and then some with this one. I could not believe how great this movie is, honestly it is an instant classic. So I was looking forward to it a lot having in mind that I am a tremendous fan of the source material which is one of my ten favorite books for sure. This film is so faithful for the most part that I adored it.

This film is very creepy and scary. That is one of its problems as it is very much a modern horror movie with a classic story, but with a full-on execution meaning that scares come and go pretty much non-stop which at times meant that it felt forced and just too much. I would have liked to have seen less action to be honest.

However, that action and those scares are just marvelous. They are actually fantastic from beginning to end. I absolutely adored all of them and they really felt serious, dark and honestly scary. This film is real horror unlike countless other horror films and it can genuinely frighten, disturb or at least unsettle you. I was honestly unsettled throughout the whole runtime and I always felt danger while watching it and you just never get a moment to breathe here.

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It Movie Review

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Violence toward children is genuinely the worst crime there is. And yes, the film went there and some scenes were too much in my opinion. I am talking about the girl with her torso ripped in half and of course the scene with Georgie’s death was unfortunate. I really disliked that scene which was done much better in the original 1990 version. They did not need to go there as it is already an iconic scene and the gore was awful and unnecessary. I was disturbed, but that also may be the point here. They felt the need to show how horrible Pennywise truly is so that we as the audience realize the danger the kids are in and I get that, but still that was excessive to me.

But apart from that scene and the sink scene which employed a lot of blood, the film usually stayed away from gore and it mostly focused on real scares including some jump scares, but mostly just the lines from the clown were creepy and especially his movements, transformations and facial expressions. The house scene is one of my favorites as it employed getting separated trope superbly for once and of course the entire final battle was absolutely amazing.

Let’s talk about the characters. It is based on the greatest Stephen King novel and the characters here are his creations and he is the one responsible for their greatness, realness and complexities. However, the film is so well adapted and faithfully that I also give the credit to the writer and the director in adapting all of them so wonderfully to the big screen.

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It Movie Review

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Bill is one of those Harry Potter-like protagonists. He is a regular hero, but his ark is so stupendous as is his willingness to save his younger brother that he still remains one of the film’s best characters. A character that is usually boring, but was here so well developed and terrific.

Pennywise is excellent. The two clowns from this version and the previous one are different but are actually both great. The previous one looked better as this one was too CGI, but this version is definitely creepier mostly because they employed so perfectly his childlike way of talking which was very creepy. Many lines of his dialogue were just so scary. And what I also loved about him is his development. He is portrayed so well here that you see why he needs to feed on children and their fear because otherwise he would starve to death. It’s portrayal of a hungry, frustrated, endangered animal was quite fascinating.

Ben is interesting as the only fat character here and he brought a lot of the heart to this film. Yes, they took his library knowledge from Mike and thus Mike ended up being less developed. But still I really liked Mike as he was very brave and the strongest kid in this group and his confrontation with Henry Bowers was just awesome. As for Ben, I really liked him and how he became the part of this gang. And of course the triangle between him, Bill and Beverly is one of the best triangles I’ve witnessed and it is also great here.

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It Movie Review

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Speaking of her, I loved how they teased her for looking pretty much like Molly Ringwald. That was an awesome reference as it not only hints on the resemblances between these two, but also the inherent resemblance between this film and those 80s teen movies from Hughes both stylistically and character-wise. I loved Beverly. She was one of my favorites here as she stole the show quite a lot from the boys and I loved that she was the bravest one along with Bill. The film is sexual at times, but mostly realistically so and even though she is sexy and the boys look at her all the time which is realistic, she is also badass and they are still for the most part friends and such a phenomenal team.

Of course her relationship with her predatory father was tragic to witness and he truly is the biggest villain in the movie after Pennywise as he was honestly very scary and disturbing but in a more real way and that juxtaposition of real and fantastical scares worked tremendously in favor of the movie. I would go so far to say that the clown may function as a metaphor, as a projection of each of their parents as each one of their parents is either abusive or distant and something is off with every one of them. A very interesting theme that was hinted upon here.

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It Movie Review

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Speaking of abusive parents, I really enjoyed Eddie. His relationship with his abusive mother is very well explored and I loved how well he was established and his coping with this placebo issue was so well executed. He is to me the most likable kid out of them all, loved him. Richie is definitely annoying with his sexual, immature humor, but again his scene where he decided to help his friend was one of the standouts here, so fantastic! Stanley was also very well developed, complex and his troubled relationship with Bill is so well hinted here. And of course Henry Bowers is phenomenal as this leader bully and how Pennywise used him was terrific too.

It’s final scene with the agreement and the hand holding was absolutely beautiful and it almost brought me to tears. The movie is so incredibly emotional, stupendously so for a horror film. It is frequently moving and consistently heartwarming and at times even funny mostly because of those kids. Yes, these actors are amazing. The characters were superbly written and the script is phenomenal across the board, but they would not work had there not been for these talented kids who knocked this one out of the park. Every one of them gave a phenomenal performance with the highlights being Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis who were absolutely amazing in very complex and difficult roles.

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It Movie Review

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It features a timeless tale of friendship and how these children’s bravery and sticking to the group and willingness to resolve this horror themselves as the adults are helpless. The story is beautifully crafted and the film is long, but incredibly entertaining from beginning to end. Even though it relies a lot on the action and scares, it finds just enough time for proper characterization and storytelling, not to mention emotional investment, and that is what makes it a future classic and one of King’s finest cinematic adaptations.

Technically speaking, the direction should have been better. Andy Muschietti did a good job, do not get me wrong. But a more skilled director would have made this a masterpiece. But the score is great and the cinematography is excellent, not to mention the attention to detail as it recreated the late eighties superbly with hairstyles and clothing. Stylistically and thematically speaking, this is very much a teen movie, but a horror one at its core and one of the best horror films of all time.

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It Movie Review

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The hype is real. It is a fantastic cinematic achievement! This is a very scary, disturbing and unsettling movie that sometimes was too gory, but the non-stop scares really exhaust you and you are constantly on the edge. The danger and the terror is palpable. But the story is phenomenal and so faithfully, beautifully adapted from its majestic source material and the film is frequently touching and incredibly moving with a lot of unforgettable scenes. The characters are awesome, all so well developed and they work as a team so well not just because the script is great, but mostly because these young actors absolutely killed it in their roles and every one of them was magnificent. They share a great chemistry and dynamic. So the film is not only very scary, but also filled with a great attention to detail and so well filmed, highly emotional and with excellent character development and storytelling. It is an instant classic and one of the best horror films of all time.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick Movie Review

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The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick is a 2017 romantic comedy drama film directed by Michael Showalter and starring Kumail Nanjiani. It is a hugely overrated movie.

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For your files. Your X-Files.

That’s your favorite show, huh?

The truth is out there!

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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In this world obsessed with political correctness, of course a movie about the relationship between a Pakistani man and an American woman is going to receive acclaim. But this was in concept basically ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, just less comedic and more dramatic in tone. So it isn’t particularly original and although I am honestly quite interested in this subject matter, it was unfortunately not well utilized at all. Let’s just say that this isn’t ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’.

The Big Sick has its moving parts and it also has a pretty observational approach in dialogue and script as at times it really understands this issue and the speech that Kumail gives to his parents was spot-on. It is a delicate subject and it was mostly dealt with smartly and subtly.

However, the movie was a slog to sit through. It wasn’t dull per say, but it was unnecessarily long. Two hours was surely not needed for this very simple story. The movie should have been simpler in the plot, runtime and its number of characters.

Speaking of characters, Kumail Nanjiani is a pretty good actor, but I am just not a fan of him. I liked his character though and I have to say that he gave a pretty good performance. As for his girlfriend, really not a fan. I understand where she was coming from, but she still seemed like a bitch to me and was too cruel to Kumail. And the fact that she is in a coma for the majority of the movie certainly doesn’t help her matter.

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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Her parents were a bit too over-the-top, especially the mother. They were fine, but they took too much of the runtime without a doubt. Kumail’s parents were much more interesting, especially in the role reversal of mother and father in a way.

The Big Sick is definitely well acted and mostly well scripted with good dialogue, but it’s a film that never establishes a proper identity. Let me explain. By introducing darker themes such as parental disownment and girlfriend in a coma, it became way too dramatic/melodramatic and the tone was just never properly established. The film never, ever decided whether it’s a romantic comedy or a drama which was problematic to say the least.

The Big Sick is a solid, but highly troublesome movie. It is very well acted, sometimes quite observational and with a particularly strong dialogue and even the script. Some of the conversations were superb. However, the two-hour runtime was just unnecessary, Emily was very unlikable to me and the film never decided whether it wants to be a drama or a romantic comedy and thus the end result is one giant mish-mash affair.

My Rating – 3.5

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Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

Alien vs. Predator is a 2004 science fiction action film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is a fun, though exceedingly silly endeavor.

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It’s a bomb. Well, I hope it kills every fucking one of ’em!

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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The critics should not be reviewing blockbuster movies like this one. Certainly AVP is not that good and it is ridiculous when you think about it, but it isn’t a bad movie, at least it wasn’t for me. That’s because the movie is extremely entertaining and that was its main purpose which it fulfilled so that is why I give it a slight edge to the fresh territory unlike Rotten Tomatoes.

Now I really enjoyed that first act, really well done. The movie started in such an intriguing, adventurous manner with no action sequence in sight which was unexpected and ultimately it led to a rewarding, positive experience. It was well setup, it looked good and I loved the Antarctic setting which was beautiful to follow and original for the series.

But then it went to typical action territory for better and for worse. The action sequences should have been better executed for sure, but they were still mostly fun and watching these two creatures clash against each other was definitely very entertaining.

That is why I don’t understand the emphasis on humans for more than half of the picture. I came for Aliens and Predators and I got humans which was a stupid choice made all the worse by their bland and poor characters with no personalities in sight.

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Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

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The acting is also not the greatest, I have to say. The actors and actresses look good physically and that is the only positive thing I can say about them. As for Alexa, her befriending one Predator and them taking on Aliens together was definitely a lot of fun to watch, but still way too silly to be taken seriously. The entire movie is awfully silly and although mostly it was positively ridiculous and done for fun, I still had a problem with its logic.

AVP is not well directed and acted at all, the pacing is so-so and the film has a weaker dialogue. But the special effects are very good and the set designs are particularly effective and memorable. The film is quite atmospheric at times.

Alien vs. Predator is of course not a great movie, but it isn’t bad as the critics say either. This is a silly blockbuster that was meant to entertain and it did just that as it was hugely entertaining to me so it ultimately succeeded in what it was trying to do. The action was not greatly executed, the humans are bland and some plot points are surely ridiculous in their lack of logic, but the movie is still fun from start to finish and with a particularly strong, atmospheric first act accompanied by memorable set designs and a great use of its intriguing Antarctic setting.

My Rating – 3

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Tangled (2010)

Tangled Movie Review

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Tangled Movie Review

Tangled is a 2010 animated musical fantasy film directed by Byron Howard. It is Disney’s 50th feature film and probably their finest modern effort.

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Go. Live your dream.

I will.

Your dream stinks. I was talking to her

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Tangled Movie Review

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This is the story about Rapunzel, but it of course differs from the original fairy tale as is usual for Disney. The storytelling here is excellent, the film felt like a fairy tale, much more so than most modern fairy tale films, and most importantly, it was very charming and incredibly entertaining to watch. It is engaging from the first to the last moment and it just flies by how fun and wonderful it is.

Tangled is the kind of Disney film that I like and I want. This is the movie that Disney would not make anymore as they unfortunately moved to more modern flicks which are not as great as this one because they are not as warm or as timeless. Tangled mixes the old with the new even better than what ‘The Princess and the Frog’ did.

I will later talk about the diverse animation, but in terms of pure storytelling, this is classic Disney 101 and something that we did not get after this movie unfortunately. You have a fantasy and you have modern action set pieces and more modern humor, but you also got a wonderful romance at the center of it and most importantly – magic. It is an enchanting, gorgeous film above anything else.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Let’s talk about each of its great characters and yes, they are excellent and the characterization here is truly phenomenal. First off, Rapunzel. Wow, I adore her! Honestly, she is my favorite Disney Princess after ‘The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and I adore Ariel. What a wonderful character and a textbook example of why this movie is better than overrated ‘Frozen’ or ‘Moana’.

Rapunzel is never a feminist character who doesn’t need a man. She gets her man and she gets her romance, but she remains incredibly strong and a positive role model nonetheless. She is bright and energetic, spunky at times and immensely charismatic and charming. I love her and she is the heart and soul of this film. She represents the greatness of the concept of a Disney Princess.

Flynn Rider isn’t as great, I have to say. He reminded me too much of Aladdin. However, he is still very funny, very charismatic and ultimately a very memorable, competent Disney Prince. His change in heart is typical, but done really well. The romance between the two is honestly probably my favorite Disney romance ever, they are quite possibly the best couple out of them all. They dislike each other at first, but eventually become friends and then partners. This all sounds familiar, but the execution is so good that it doesn’t matter. The interactions between them are top-notch and very modern. Again the mix between modern and old-fashioned is put to great use in their relationship.

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Tangled Movie Review

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This film doesn’t have that too many characters which is great as those that we do get are so well developed. The entire Snuggly Duckling pub bunch was a lot of fun and they were very endearing. As for Maximus, he is honestly a bit overrated and your typical over-the-top Disney sidekick that was meant to bring in the vast audiences. He is still good and at times quite hilarious with his humor, but he behaved too much and too obviously like a dog. Pascal was honestly the better of the two as this wonderful chameleon pet of Rapunzel’s. His facial expressions were priceless and I like that both of them are mute.

Now, Mother Gothel. Oh, where do I even start with her. She is one incredibly manipulative and extremely intelligent woman. How she tricked Rapunzel was brilliant and every plan she orchestrated fully worked and she never, ever made a single mistake. She is a big presence in the movie and a force to be reckoned with. The exploration of domestic abuse is actually quite strong here and brave to do for Disney. Without any doubt, she is one of the best Disney villains of all time and one of the most underrated ones.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Tangled features such a unique, different and ultimately refreshing type of animation. Yes, this is computer animation and the characters are your typical CGI characters. However, the film also includes hand-drawn animation into its mix and the results are more than stellar. Probably because it is too difficult to do and thus they did not do this again, but this proved how potent the mix of these two mediums could be as they complimented each other so well with both of their strengths. The backgrounds were particularly effective in recreating the fairy tale, historical feel to it with the influence being the wonderful paintings from Jean-Honore Fragonard. The film is rich in detail, fluid in execution and enchanting and unique in its style.

Tangled is a fantasy romance, but also a musical. It has only five songs, but I have to say that this soundtrack is very underrated and actually better than ‘Frozen’s soundtrack as it doesn’t rely on just one musical number. So let me comment upon each of the numbers.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Healing Incantation is short, but enchanting and it works in the context of the story so well. I loved that for once Disney utilized singing actually as a power which was interesting and smartly convenient. I loved all of the hair’s properties and how it looked. I forgot to mention above, but her hair was so difficult to pull off that they employed a new program for it and thus the film became the biggest budgeted animated film in history which is quite interesting.

When Will My Life Begin? is easily the weakest song in this soundtrack, I have to say. It does work as the “I wonder” princess song, but it is still too forgettable, too much like a modern pop song and although the sequence showcases her hobbies and talents extensively, the song itself is bland.

Mother Knows Best is a Broadway number in style, the one that uses that style the most here. It isn’t catchy and it isn’t great, but it works for Mother Gothel and is a very good vehicle for her manipulations and her deceiving character. It is in the end one of the better Disney villain songs.

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Tangled Movie Review

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I’ve Got a Dream is so entertaining! It is the kind of song that we haven’t seen a long time from the studio, the one in which sidekicks sing and it is meant to be one giant, fun, endearing affair. It showcases the heart and quirks of each of its characters and is one of the most purely enjoyable and lovable scenes in the flick. The lyrics are excellent and the song is funny and catchy.

I See the Light is naturally the standout song here. It is too modern, yes. But it does have very good, fitting lyrics for the characters and story. It is beautifully song, it is a grand romantic duet the likes of which we haven’t seen since ‘Aladdin’ and it is both catchy and sweet. It was accompanied by the movie’s most romantic and visually gorgeous sequence which just transfixed me in the state of awe just like some of the company’s best movies have a tendency to do.

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Tangled Movie Review

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Some of the problems of the movie include an overreliance on humor and sometimes a tendency to replicate ‘Shrek’ a bit too much in its style. Actually the humor is frequently excellent and sometimes laugh out loud funny (“Oh look, you’re here too” and “Your Dream stinks. I was talking to her” instantly come to mind), but the movie was the best when it was less funny and less contemporary. And its beginning and ending offered a somewhat annoying voice over narration.

So I stated that the lanterns sequence is one of the best as is the pub one. My other favorites include the cave scene and that action set piece in the canyon. The film has too much action at times, but this one set piece was absolutely magnificent and so well thought out. And of course I loved the ending which was beautifully made and incredibly touching and timeless in its silent approach. Watching her reunite with her parents was heartfelt.

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Tangled Movie Review

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The voice acting is very good with both Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi being excellent while Donna Murphy was suitably menacing and dark. The pacing and direction are both pretty good as is the dialogue with a lot of funny lines. All in all, it is the best Disney Revival film for me.

With gorgeous and very unique animation that mixes traditional and computer animation with the style of Jean-Honore Fragonard’s paintings, a very good soundtrack with a couple of terrific songs such as I See the Light and I’ve Got a Dream and many memorable, heartfelt moments, Tangled truly is a modern Disney classic. It is touching, it is also very funny and highly romantic and enchanting. But the reason why it works so well lies in its characters: Rapunzel is so wonderful and one of my favorite Disney Princesses, Flynn Rider is a lot of fun and Mother Gothel is so menacing, manipulative and smart that she’s one of Disney’s finest villains. It is ultimately the best Disney movie of the 21st century so far and so much better than either ‘Zootopia’ or ‘Frozen’.

My Rating – 4.5

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