Posts Tagged ‘must see’

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#12: The Hangover

January 30, 2011

Yes, I did watch this hungover.

So what’s it about?: Three guys wake up in Vegas after a crazy bachelor party having lost the groom and all of their memories of the chaos that ensued the previous night!

The Good: This movie is both hilarious and amazingly well structured.  And of course has the key ingredients of any classic raunchy comedy: 1 part quotable one-liners, 1 part hilarious pratfalls, and 1 part actual plot.  Not to mention the comedic combination of Zach Galifinakis, Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper is just inspired and GOLDEN.

The Bad: After watching it again, parts of this film do drag on a bit, but only to pick right back up again!

The Verdict: One of the classic comedies of a generation.  This is one of those films people will still be watching, and still be trying to copy, for years to come.  Do yourself a favor and watch it.

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#2: Full Metal Jacket

January 2, 2011

Realized recently that I’ve seen a total of maybe 2 war films in my entire life, so been trying to catch up recently (finally saw the superb Saving Private Ryan blu-ray this past Christmas, which sadly will not appear on this blog.  I know, you’re crushed).

So what’s it about?: Broken up in to two parts, Full Metal Jacket shows the mental and physical chaos that ensues as men are molded into full-fledged killing machines.

The Good: This film is intense and thankfully breaking it up in to two parts helps the brain to have a mental refresh between each section.  And, yes, this is one of the most realistic war movies I’ve ever seen.  There are no heroes in this film, no over-the-top acts of courage, and even though it has the typical quality of being almost surreal as all Kubrick films tend to be, you still feel as though this really happened.

The Bad: So, not going to lie, upon first viewing this film, after the almost heartbreaking and yet terrifying first half climactic ending, the second part seemed like a huge let down.  Let’s face it, with the exception of Joker, none of the characters are actually likeable, and the ending shootout is just kind of ridiculous.

The Verdict: Frankly, this film is a must see, just be prepared because it will keep you thinking (if you just don’t get it, watch the special features on the DVD, they’re amazing).  And, yes, if you are looking for a war film with an obvious plot and an epic, emotional victory at the end, then go watch Saving Private Ryan instead.

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#1: Mulan

January 1, 2011

First movie of the year, so why not make it a guaranteed winner?

So what’s it about?: A not so typical Disney princess, who has dishonored her family, grows a pair and goes off to war in place of her father.  With a little help from her animal sidekicks, chaos ensues.

The Good: What’s not to love about Mulan?  You have catchy song numbers, the most badass Disney princess of them all, and the perfectly magical Disney blend of humor, action, romance and universal lessons.

The Bad: Animation wise, it’s definitely not the fairest of them all.  It just doesn’t have the beauty of, well, Beauty, but really, what does?

The Verdict: Hands down a great Disney film.  It’s sad to see that this is not considered part of the elite “Disney Plantinum Series”, but on the bright side, that means it won’t be locked up in the vault!  Yay!

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#72: The Hurt Locker

December 30, 2009

The one that got away this summer couldn’t evade my viewing all year long!  Thankfully I managed to catch this one before 2010 rolled around.

So what’s it about?: A group of explosives disposal experts run around Iraq diffusing bombs, inter-team tension, and the ensuing chaos.

The Good: Not only is it one of the best movies of the year, but this is one of my favorite war movies of all time.  Granted, this is a genre I have very little experience with, but damn was The Hurt Locker great!  The whole movie was crazy intense.  And refreshingly this was not a war movie that preached for peace nor did it glorify war.  In fact it almost watched like a documentary on action movie steroids without the bias that comes from a documentary.  And Jeremy Renner is an official member of the badass club.  Extra props for this being directed by a woman.

The Bad: Do not watch this movie if you aren’t feeling 100%.  Like I said, it’s really intense, and I had to watch it in two sittings from feeling nauseated.

The Verdict: One of the best movies of the year, this is definitely something you gotta see!

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#70: Psycho

December 22, 2009

It turns out with all this movie theater going I’ve been doing recently (and who can blame me, it’s Awards Season!) I have neglected the fact that there is still a plethora of classic movies out there that I have never even watched.  And upon a recent realization that I’ve never seen an entire Alfred Hitchcock film, I figured that fact needed to change immediately!

So what’s it about?: A woman on the run after stealing $40,000 decides to check into The Bates Motel where some chaos ensues.

The Good: This movie is suspenseful as soon as the credits start and the creepy score is cued.  The shots were beautifully done, the story well formulated, and the acting was spot on.  Plus, any movie that can be suspenseful even when I know how it ends is good in my book.  Bonus points for Norman Bates being the cutest, most unassuming psycho killer of all time.  No one would have suspected him of anything, and that made it all the more scary.  And may I add that after watching this and The Haunting I’ve come to the conclusion that all horror movies should be filmed in black and white.  The shadows and lighting add a whole new level of scary and preys on a universal fear of the dark, when our eyes only see black and white.

The Bad: Frankly, despite the fact that it is wonderfully shot, the famous shower scene is, well, kind of laughable.  I mean, they did well with their limitations, but the should have done less.  Frankly, if a woman is stabbed multiple times in the back and slides down the shower wall, the wall is not going to remain white!  And I’m not saying it needed more gore (the cleanliness of the scene was almost refreshing in a sense) but the shots just needed to be retooled so there was no need for gore.

The Verdict: If you haven’t seen this, don’t put it off like I did and go watch it (it’s streaming on Netflix)!  This is a classic for a reason, and it’s a classic that stands the test of time (unlike the now laughable Exorcist).

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#69: Avatar

December 21, 2009

A movie with this much hype usually becomes a royal let down.  And back during ComicCon when we first saw clips of this, I thought it looked like an overrated mess.  But I have to say this has been the first movie whose trailer got better and better with each viewing of the trailer, and come opening day I was so freaking excited to see this movie!

So what’s it about?: In the midst of Pandora, a planet covered is lush forests, ginormous blue aliens and a mineral to solve the energy crisis on earth, an ex-marine finds himself thrust into the middle of the native Na’vi via his avatar to find out about the people, get involved in a little romance, and ensue some chaos in MIND BLOWING 3D!

The Good: James Cameron said this movie would change the way we watch movies, and let me tell you, he is 100% right.  I mean WOW!!!  Sure, some of the effects weren’t 100% perfect, but the strides this film made in technological advancement is definitely noticeable.  The fact that a staggering 60% of this movie is computer generated is truly amazing.  And the 3D adds so much depth to the film, it’s almost as if you’re there.  Naturally, with Cameron at the helm, the detail of this movie is spot on, all the way down to a brand new language (calling all nerds, now you can be fluent in Klingon, Elvish and Na’vi).  And I’m sad to admit that “I See You”, just like the film did, is actually growing on me, despite it’s sappy over-the-top-ness.

The Bad: You all know it by now, but the story is cliche.  They might as well have called this Pocahontas Dances With Ferngully Aliens.  But it’s definitely not boring and though recycled it still is a well woven story.  I only wish it had a little bit more humor to it, not to say there isn’t any, but it could have used a little more.  Sadly, this film lacked an awesome villain.

The Verdict: Stop reading this blog, turn off your computer, and run to the nearest theater showing this in 3D.  And witness the future of films!

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#66: The Princess and the Frog

December 20, 2009

2004: A little movie called Home on the Range was released and managed to not only flop at the box office but end all traditional 2D animation coming from Disney’s doors… until now!

So what’s it about?: A New Orleans girl is working hard to start her own restaurant when she meets a talking frog.  Cue ensuing chaos!

The Good: Oh Disney, it’s good to have you back!  For years we’ve had to be content with the Meet the Robinsons and Bolts of the past five years, and even went so far as just relying on Pixar for our yearly Disney, but no more!  This film is every bit as charming and smart and fun-filled as the 90s were.  Yeah, okay, it’s no Beauty and the Beast (despite many similarities, especially between Belle and Tiana) or The Lion King, but it’s right up there with Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid.  It’s just an outrageously fun ride that the whole family can go on and hopefully will lead to more films just like it.

The Bad: Okay, there are a couple bothering plot holes in it (though maybe I was just so overjoyed with seeing a classic traditional animated film I missed something).  And the music is more 70s Disney memorable than 90s Disney magical, though undeniably New Orleans.

The Verdict: Go see it.  Please.  So that it may make lots of money and Disney can realize they need to make more movies like this in the future.