Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is a 2002 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. It is the worst entry in the entire series.

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I don’t like sand.

It’s coarse and rough and irritating

and it gets everywhere

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Yes, I really did not like this one. ‘The Phantom Menace’ has a couple of truly great scenes, but this one doesn’t even have those. It is certainly less insufferable and less childish with a thankfully reduced screen time for Jar Jar, but the other introduced elements are worse than its predecessor’s aspects quite a lot.

I am talking about the overwhelming action and the romance. The action is fun in the lightsaber duel and some other scenes, but for the most part it was dull as it is basically a war film with the clones fighting the Jedi. Those scenes bored me and the film is definitely overlong and dragging quite a bit.

But oh boy does the romance suck and carry this entire film down significantly. This has to be the worst romance ever put on film. The relationship between Padme and Anakin is boring and uninteresting. The two actors lack chemistry and their performances are terrible. Their lines of dialogue are awful and all of their scenes are basically giant detours with no purpose whatsoever other than to make you laugh how ridiculous they are.

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Attack of the Clones is an honorable, but failed experiment. And what I mean by that is that the film tries to give us Anakin’s troubles with his temperament and we are meant to witness his shift to the dark side. It is thematically an interesting film and it does that shift really subtly and in an anti-cartoony manner. However, because the dialogue is so horrible across the board and the execution is so bad, those scenes that should have been dramatic and emotional are the worst ones here which is just unfortunate.

Natalie Portman gave one of her worst performances here. She is usually a very good actress, but here she is mediocre. But Hayden Christensen is just awful and he gave such a horrible, undeniably atrocious performance in an essential role that he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. I do think that he was cast in this role for looks alone as he has no acting talent whatsoever.

Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been used more here and Mace Windu is solid, but somewhat forgettable. The robots are quite amusing in some scenes, but mostly unnecessary. Palpatine and Count Dooku are excellent villains and again they should have been used in more scenes. Yoda is also reliably great. The fight between Yoda and Dooku remains the only truly good scene in this film as it is a great fight and easily the highlight of this otherwise unexciting film.

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Attack of the Clones has reliably terrific special effects and also some of the scenes featured excellent imagery and planet scenery. The score and the sound effects are both pretty good too. This script I think was good in its initial stages and it had potential as certainly its intentions were excellent, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire affair dead in tracks. The dialogue is some of the worst that I have ever heard in a film. That’s why it’s the worst film in the entire franchise.

Attack of the Clones looks great, the duel between Yoda and Count Dooku is excellent and the film had very good intentions, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire film mediocre. Rarely have I heard worse dialogue than this one as many lines spoken here are ridiculous and even hilarious. The action scenes are overwhelming, the film is too long and the romance between Padme and Anakin is so bland and all their scenes together are terrible. Hayden Christensen is simply an atrocious actor and he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. It is undoubtedly the worst entry in the entire franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

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The World of Apu (1959)

The World of Apu Movie Review

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The World of Apu Movie Review

The World of Apu is a 1959 Bengali drama film directed by Satyajit Ray. It is a pretty solid conclusion to this trilogy.

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What do you know about love?

You’ve never been within ten yards of a girl!

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The World of Apu Movie Review

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I actually really liked this final entry. It isn’t on par with ‘Pather Panchali’ but it’s definitely much better than ‘Aparajito’. That is because it is much more interesting in its plot. Where previously it was standard, this one is actually quite memorable and not all that cliched.

To me the film lacks focus and that could have easily been fixed with shorter running time and quicker pace. A lot of stuff goes on here and the most inspired and interesting plot points are in the second half with the first half being uninteresting, at least to me.

The film is well directed by Ray, but not greatly directed. Again the pacing is ridiculously slow and the movie is frequently quite boring. The dialogue is solid and the acting is pretty strong, but the character development needed to have been stronger to pull off its more character-driven, simpler and emotional dramatic approach.

The World of Apu actually features a very interesting second half. I loved the exploration of India and those scenes were amazing, but the scenes with Apu’s son are great. I found his eventually successful marriage problematic as it sends a somewhat problematic message for Indians and his wife needed more screen time, but the ending itself is undeniably beautiful in the father-son reunion.

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The World of Apu Movie Review

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The film is actually much more cinematic than both of its predecessors and in that area it trumps them by large and finally becomes big screen worthy. I loved the scenery of India and its various landscapes are gorgeous to watch. The score is good, but the cinematography is strikingly terrific and definitely the artistic height of the entire picture.

The World of Apu is a pretty good conclusion to this trilogy with a flawed, less interesting and slow first half, but pretty memorable, frequently wonderful second half with such a beautiful ending. It is much better than its predecessor thanks to a much more interesting plot plus the film is unexpectedly cinematic with terrific cinematography providing us many gorgeous shots of the country.

My Rating – 4

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Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

Horrible Bosses is a 2011 black comedy film directed by Seth Gordon and starring Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis. It is one of the best comedies of this decade.

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This is what’s gonna happen. I’m going to take

a two-week-long, very expensive holiday with my fiancee.

Let’s call it a honeymoon. And you’re going to pay for it!

Then I’m going to return to a nice, rape-free workplace from now on.

Because if you so much as look at my sexy little ass, Julia,

I will have yours locked the fuck up

you crazy bitch whore!

Man, that felt good!

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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It follows three men who set out to kill their bosses after they have been tormenting them for quite some time. They also have a raise in mind by doing that. It is a killer premise which did not stay unfulfilled but it also so well executed and explored. It doesn’t go too dark as some may state, but I liked that as the three remained likable that way. They would otherwise be too unlikable and not easy to root for.

Let’s first talk about the characters. And there is a lot to talk about here as almost all characters are so terrific. Of course Nick, Dale and Kurt are the highlights. Nick is the straight guy in the team but even he got some great moments to shine in terms of the humor. Kurt is this sex-obsessed, perverted guy and his obsession with sex and his looks (and ass) led to a lot of hilarious moments.

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Of course Dale is the best of the three as his various lines are the funniest here with the ending being particularly effective. He is the most likable and the funniest part of the team. That goes without saying as Charlie Day plays him. He was great in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and here he is just as good. His high-pitched voice is funny and his comedic timing is terrific. Jason Bateman and especially Jason Sudeikis are both very good, but Charlie Day steals the show here. The three have such great chemistry that I bought them entirely as friends.

I thought Colin Farrell’s character was both typical and underutilized. But Jamie Foxx is so amusing and of course Kevin Spacey is very menacing and suitably cast in the most dangerous and villainous role. The scene where he gave himself another job was so funny.

But one of the highlights is Jennifer Aniston and rarely have I seen here in a better role. She almost steals the show from the rest how funny she is. Her sexually charged, crazy character works and each of her scenes was a winner in my book. She delivered such a great comedic performance, unexpectedly great. Every scene with her and Day was the standout one in the film and those made me laugh the most.

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Horrible Bosses has its flaws – the second half is less funny than the first one, some of the scenes were rushed and some were too convenient. I think I just wanted more strong humor in the third act, but other than that, this is truly a stupendous comedy that is one of the best of the 2010s. The dialogue is great, its black humor works entirely, various lines are hilarious here and the delivery from the actors is top-notch. The script is stellar and the film is relatable. And both direction and pacing are pretty solid too, though not great. This was a really pleasant surprise and a highly underrated comedy flick.

Horrible Bosses is such a great comedy fueled by a superb chemistry between the three leads. Its ensemble cast is terrific and everyone did a great job with the highlights being Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston whose comedic timing and delivery are perfect and those two made me laugh the most. It has a killer premise, but terrific execution as well. It is a hilarious riot almost from beginning to end thanks to stellar dialogue and many memorable scenes. This is easily one of the best comedies of the decade.

My Rating – 4.5

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Dumbo (1941)

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Dumbo Movie Review

Dumbo is a 1941 animated fantasy film which is Disney’s fourth animated feature. It is one of the better and most charming Disney outings.

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What’s the matter with his ears?

I don’t see nothin’ wrong with ’em. I think they’re cute

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Dumbo Movie Review

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The story is obviously a tale of discrimination against those who are different. It examines that theme really well and is obviously highly emotional in some scenes. I liked the film in terms of storytelling as it is very short and thus very effective and getting to point and never dragging.

I do realize that nowadays the circus setting is not as pleasant, but it was timely for the forties and I thought it was very well explored. The film showcases how the animal circuses worked and I really liked that. It has its fantasy elements and it also is a musical as it has quite a lot of musical numbers for its short runtime, but it is above all else a nice family drama that is very emotionally resonant and consistently sweet and endearing without ever being cloying.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. The character development here is very strong as is expected from Disney’s Golden Age. Each character is well emphasized and properly developed and in that way the film is basically a rich character drama. The voice acting is also top-notch across the board.

Dumbo continues the tradition of Disney’s silent protagonists and of course I adored the little fellow. The choice to not have him speak paid off significantly as he is all the more endearing that way. It is impossible not to fall in love with this little elephant.

His mother is so sweet and all the scenes between the two are instantly heartwarming and pulling on the heartstrings. The human characters appear scarcely and rarely are fully seen on screen, but that worked as they are still well utilized but never taking the focus off of our animal stars.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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Mr. Stork is quite likable and I liked the anthropomorphized Casey Junior quite a bit. Those elephant “ladies” are a bit too on-the-nose, but they are still excellent and serve finely as the film’s only antagonists as the movie has no villains which was also a terrific choice. Some may consider the crows to be the villains, but I find them to be animal sidekicks and great ones at that.

I do realize that they may seem racist for today’s audiences as they obviously have those black accents, but I think people exaggerate too much. They are actually not stereotypical in my opinion but fully developed characters who helped our main duo significantly and not to mention that they are incredibly funny and unforgettable in behavior and many great lines.

Timothy Q. Mouse is definitely somewhat similar to Jiminy Cricket from ‘Pinocchio’, but still he is an excellent character. I loved how he cared for Dumbo and how he constantly tried to cheer him up and helped him. Their scenes are so lovely and he is such a nice, wonderful soul. The parody here is that he is a mouse and Dumbo is not afraid of him and I loved that they made fun of that stupid myth.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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Now in terms of animation, Dumbo is not great. That aspect is actually the film’s weakest one. I do not think it is bad and it is actually pretty good, but it is just not up to par with the studio’s three previous artistic achievements and some later movies as well. The reason why it isn’t as artistic is obvious – Disney opted to make a somewhat cheaper flick to capitalize in the troublesome war years and to recuperate from the losses of their two previous efforts.

That is why the film looks much less artistic and much more cartoony than Walt’s usual films in this period. The backgrounds are charming, but overly simplistic and less detailed. However, that is not to say that the film doesn’t have its terrific elements. The character design is one of them as all elephants, the mouse and crows look great. And of course the drunk sequence is amazing and so incredibly imaginative, crazy and just downright unbelievable and simply unforgettable. That is the only truly artistic, inspired animated scene in the film and it’s an all-time classic one at that.

Dumbo is definitely a musical which is all too often forgotten, but shouldn’t be as the film has a pretty terrific, very underrated soundtrack in its own right. The score itself is excellent and fitting in its setting and period, but the songs are mostly fantastic with three of them being classics by this point.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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I will first talk about the weaker numbers. Song of the Roustabouts serves its purpose in terms of imagery and plot point, but is entirely forgettable and somewhat annoying. Clown Song is actually pretty amusing, but way too short of course. Casey Junior also serves its purpose, but is again forgettable. Look Out for Mr. Stork is accompanied by a great sequence, truly wonderful. However, the song itself is somewhat dated and dull.

But let’s talk about the classics now. Pink Elephants on Parade is my least favorite of the three great songs here because it does not have enough singing in it, but the score itself is awesome, highly catchy and very atmospheric thus accompanying its wild, crazily nightmarish, imaginative sequence oh so well. This is the weirdest scene in the movie and it works because the animation is absolutely stellar and because the song is very strong.

Baby Mine is of course highly touching. This is one of the saddest Disney scenes of all time as watching Dumbo touch trunks with his mother who is confined is just heartbreaking. The scene works as it stops the entire story in its tracks and you are left with pure heartfelt emotion and such a terrific, gorgeously sung and simply beautiful musical number.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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And the standout one is of course When I See an Elephant Fly which is simply amazing when you think about it and oh so underrated when it comes to Disney’s classic songs. It is a jazz song which is in style and execution different than your usual Disney song and is thus highly original, but also phenomenally sung, infectiously catchy and with simply hilarious lyrics. I love it and I was happy that it got repeated in the end sequence.

Speaking of the ending, I have to talk about one film’s flaw which is minor but still relevant. It runs for just about 64 minutes which is basically an hour which is just too short. It is short, but sweet and it wouldn’t have worked if we got another thirty minutes as the story is too simple. However, the entire third act with the flying felt way too rushed. The rest of it was greatly paced, but that part was definitely abrupt. The circus action scenes were somewhat prolonged and not my favorites, but the highlights are the beginning, the ending, the crows scene, the mother-son reunion and the pink elephants scene.

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Dumbo Movie Review

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I loved the direction, the dialogue and the storyline – all are great. The film is simple but never simplistic. It works because its emotion is genuinely felt and because it has its charm in setting, music and characters. It is thus in the line of ‘Cinderella’ which is lower 4.5 rating, but still in the top twenty for the studio overall.

Dumbo is a great charmer. It is rushed in its third act and definitely short, but sweet. The animation isn’t as artistic as other films of its period, but it is still quite charming and highly imaginative and weird in the pink elephants sequence. The film is simple, but never simplistic and its emotional impact is undeniable as some scenes are truly touching. The characters are highly endearing as well with the crows, the protagonist and Timothy Q. Mouse being the highlights. The soundtrack is also pretty great and underrated as Pink Elephants on Parade, Baby Mine and When I See an Elephant Fly are all classics. In the end, Dumbo is one of Disney’s less ambitious, but sweetest and most endearing flicks.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

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The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

The Secret World of Arrietty is a 2010 fantasy anime film directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and produced by Studio Ghibli. It is a pretty good film in its own right.

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Arrietty, you’re a part of me now.

I’ll never forget you, ever

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The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

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Just as was the case with ‘Ponyo’, at first I thought it was just solid, but now I found this film to be pretty good and actually kind of underrated. It really is such a pleasant tale filled with wonder and a lot of heart. It is about Little People or Borrowers who reside in one family’s house but when one sick boy discovers them, the family has to move and the relationship between the human boy and Borrower girl develops.

I liked the story here. It is somewhat simplistic and lacks thematically speaking, but it serves its purpose and it is very well crafted and actually quite impactful both emotionally and in terms of the coziness factor. It is a very slow paced film but its leisurely pace really worked as it put me in the mood and world of the film so well.

The character development is not particularly strong here. It is good, but not great. Arrietty herself is overly good in my opinion, but still likable and her relationship with Sho is so good. I loved their romance and how well it developed. Sho is also quite sweet and I liked how the film ended on a positive note that maybe he will recover from his heart condition in the future.

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The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

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Spiller is solid but underdeveloped and her parents are quite sweet and likable. I liked Sadako Maki quite a bit and I loved Niya so much. She actually helped Sho get to Arrietty to say goodbye and that was a wonderful moment. It is rare for cats to be portrayed as heroes in an animated film and thus I really enjoyed her character here.

Haru is the film’s weakest link. She really weighs this whole affair significantly in my opinion. So she is basically the villain of the movie but the kind of overly goofy and cartoony villain who felt overly traditional and childish. There is nothing wrong with that type of villain, but in this story she did not have a place as the film is otherwise more mature and serious. I just never bought her obsession with Borrowers and why she wanted to get rid of them.

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The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

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The Secret World of Arrietty is expectedly gorgeously animated. I adored the film’s polished and computerized, but still traditional 2D animation. The film has rich details and it explores the house (both large and miniature) and the yard stupendously. It transports you to the same world but gives you a different, miniature perspective with confident cinematography and attention to realistic detail. I loved how the house looked, but the highlights were the yard and especially those gorgeous flowers and leaves.

Every Haru scene is weak, but the highlights include the elevator scene, the conversation in the field between the two and of course the ending. The ending is so wonderful and emotionally resonant as I’d come to care for these characters and it is perfect as it left us on an ambiguous, but still hopeful note.

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The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

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The voice acting is definitely stellar with everyone doing a great job. The direction from Hiromasa Yonebayashi is pretty great and he is an underrated Ghibli director who also directed amazing ‘When Marnie Was There’. This film flows well and it has that elegant, slower and serious approach that I only wish that in the dialogue and story it was more mature and sophisticated.

The Secret World of Arrietty is a somewhat too simplistic tale and Haru definitely weighed this film down quite a lot as she is such a goofy, cartoony villain who is a contrast to the film’s more mature style and approach. However, this is still a very good Studio Ghibli offering with such a charming story, likable characters and a couple of emotionally resonant scenes with a great finale. Its fittingly leisurely pace brings you fully into this world along with its simply gorgeous, highly detailed animation and excellent direction from Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

My Rating – 4

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A Christmas Story (1983)

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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

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No, you’ll shoot your eye out

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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

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

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

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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

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

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

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A Christmas Story Movie Review

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

My Rating – 3.5

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

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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

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Mom, you said that the biggest problem

in the universe is no one helps each other

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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

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

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

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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

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

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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

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

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

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

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

My Rating – 3

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To Catch a Thief (1955)

To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

To Catch a Thief is a 1955 romantic thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. It is one of his lesser, but more entertaining and charming flicks.

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So this is where you live?

Oh, Mother will love it up here!

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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Its main problem is the story which is a lot of fun but too low-key and lacking in tension and conflict. It lacks in the area of tension mainly because it is about burglars which is a lot less dangerous than murderers and thus the film is devoid of the director’s usual atmospheric and thrilling sequences.

But it does succeed as a romance far more so than a thriller. That is because the relationship between the two characters is very dynamic, fun and memorable. I loved some of their romantic scenes. Kelly and Grant truly shared a great chemistry here that even a long age gap did not hurt the movie too much. They were perfectly cast together and it’s a shame that they did not film more movies.

Grace Kelly is as elegant and as beautiful as she always is and here she is in one of her more glamorous appearances with the various wonderful gowns and dresses. She played this fun and funny girl so well.

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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Cary Grant is of course reliably great and believable not only in romance but also in action scenes. He was a great choice for this type of more fun and light-hearted movie. Other characters are unfortunately not as memorable and Danielle is solid and the twist was fine, but obvious and it needed more build up in my opinion.

To Catch a Thief has a lot of great scenes. The highlights include the entire car chase sequence as well as their picnic, the first meet up of the two and the action on the roof was a lot of fun and should have been extended more in my opinion as the film desperately needed more thriller, action elements to go with all the glamour and romance.

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To Catch a Thief Movie Review

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It is well directed by Alfred Hitchcock but this is obviously one of his more casual, laidback films where he didn’t stretch his imagination and skills too much. That is fine and the film is solid, but just not one of his more memorable works. It is well edited and stupendously shot with a great color and a lot of memorable imagery. The score is also really good and the costumes are splendid. It is such a glorious feast for the eyes that its lack of substance can be forgiven.

To Catch a Thief is definitely one of Hitchcock’s lesser works thanks to a lack of substance, more thriller elements and an absence of danger and high stakes, but the film makes up for it due to a highly glamorous feel that it has thanks to beautiful costumes and splendid locations so gorgeously shot in VistaVision. The dynamic and chemistry between Kelly and Grant are superb as well and they add a lot of playful charisma and charm to this very fun, but flawed outing.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

The Most Dangerous Game is a 1932 Pre-Code thriller film directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack and starring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray and Leslie Banks. It is a solid, but disappointing flick.

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Here on my island, I hunt the most dangerous game

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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So the story follows a shipwrecked man who enters a chateau of a rich man who like him has a hobby of hunting, but he got bored of hunting animals so he started hunting humans for sport. He eventually starts to hunt the protagonist and his newly acquainted female friend.

I really liked the clever dialogue exchange at the beginning and some of the lines were interesting later on as well. The film has a structure that goes like this – the first half is all dialogue, action-free build up and the second half is all action-oriented, thriller chase. And I liked both of them, but both are flawed.

The major problem with this film is that it just isn’t scary or atmospheric enough for obvious reasons – the movie was cut and at least twenty gruesome minutes from it are not there anymore. And that is a problem as it strips the film of its urgency and scares and it ended up being just a chase thriller and certainly not a horror.

The Most Dangerous Game is also way too campy and dated in some areas. I liked the over-the-top but memorable performance from Leslie Banks, but Fay Wray is just okay and Joel McCrea is the weakest link as he seemed bored and unenthusiastic in the role. A very mediocre performance from a usually competent actor. And I was so sad to see Robert Armstrong’s character killed and I guess that is the strength of the film that they made me feel sorry for the poor guy.

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The Most Dangerous Game Movie Review

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It is actually stupendously shot as it feels that it was shot on location but it wasn’t. I loved some of the action and chase scenes. Some felt dated, but some were exhilarating and so well imagined. The jungle and the chateau looked great. The score, on the other hand, is overly loud and just too bombastic that it annoyed me tremendously.

The Most Dangerous Game has a couple of interesting lines of dialogue, a memorable performance from Leslie Banks, it is very well shot, a lot of fun and with such a killer premise, but because it was severely cut for its release, it ended up being tamer than it should have been. Joel McCrea’s performance is very mediocre as well and the score is just overly bombastic to me. It is a solid film in the end, but very flawed.

My Rating – 3.5

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Aparajito (1956)

Aparajito Movie Review

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Aparajito Movie Review

Aparajito is a 1956 Bengali film directed by Satyajit Ray. It is a weaker film than its much more memorable predecessor.

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Why don’t you answer me… Apu!

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Aparajito Movie Review

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As a sequel, Aparajito succeeds as it follows Apu’s further story and this time around it is about his college years and young life. The only thing I absolutely loved here is his relationship with his mother. She behaves badly toward him and resents him the decision to go to college and that is very believable and sadly real as it is incredibly sad for parents to see their children grow up and leave them. I loved that aspect.

However, everything else is really uninspired and the movie almost feels like a biopic which is obviously because it contains autobiographical elements from the director himself. Now I do realize that this approach must have been new and original back in 1956, but today it is utterly forgettable.

It movies like such an ordinary biopic and at such a once again excruciatingly slow pace that it ends up being another total bore. But whereas ‘Pather Panchali’ had that sense of importance and learning of foreign culture to it, this one applies to every single country and is thus not as urgent.

The acting is pretty good, but the characterization is once again weak. I liked the mother and she is well developed, but Apu is again forgettable and entirely bland. The others serve little purpose to the story so they are not worth mentioning at all.

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Aparajito Movie Review

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Aparajito is technically weaker than the original film. It is well made, do not get me wrong, but it is just far from fantastic and is just passable. The cinematography is okay, but certainly far from great. The acting is good, but the direction should have been better and the pacing is bad. It is so slow, uninvolving and the film did not need two hours for this story. Certainly it has its very interesting moments, but it mostly bored me.

Aparajito is weaker than its predecessor because it doesn’t feel as important. The relationship between mother and son is excellent and some of their scenes are truly touching, but the film is almost too universal in its story and too much like a biopic. It is slow, uninvolving and typical in terms of storytelling.

My Rating – 3.5

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