Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Experts (1989)

Travis and Wendell are two dim-witted but hip down on their luck New Yorkers who want to own their own nightclub. Until one night when a man named Bob Smith follows them in a taxicab who just happens to have a nightclub in a small Nebraska town and is interested in them to manage it. They think it’s too good to be true. Bob recruits them as “Experts” of America to modernize the town. Little do they suspect that they were really abducted by the KGB and the town they’re in is not really in Nebraska but in the heart of the Soviet Union. This movie is great fun; funny, with terrific performances, and a dance scene that can only be described as unbelievably hot. Starring John Travolta, Arye Gross, Kelly Preston, Deborah Foreman, James Keach, Brian Doyle Murray, Charles Martin Smith 7/10

The Man with Two Brains (1983)

Martin plays a recently widowed, brilliant neurosurgeon Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr, whom one day accidentally hits a young woman named Dolores with his car and is instantly smitten for her. He operates on her and saves her life by using a technique he invented: a cranial screw-top brain entry. When Dolores recovers from her surgery, she and Michael get married. But Dolores is only out for the money and Michael just can’t seem to get over his previous wife, keeping a doll replica of her in his car and a portrait of her in his house. While on a trip to Vienna to attend a medical conference, Michael finds out about his wife devious plans and divorces her. He also meets a mysterious Doctor Alfred Necessiter and becomes tangled in a series of murders being committed by infamous Elevator Killer. By far one of Steve Martin’s best comedies; Kathleen Turner plays the evil femme fatale to perfection. Starring Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner, Paul Benedict, Richard Brestoff 7/10

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

The third film of the Griswold saga; this time set at Christmas time. Clark invites the in-laws to his house for an old-fashioned family Christmas. But all doesn’t go too smoothly when the Christmas lights don’t work, his cousin shows up for a surprise visit, Uncle Lewis burns down the tree and Clark doesn’t get his long-awaited bonus check which he wants to use to put in a swimming pool. Hilarity ensues. One of the best and most humorous Christmas tales. Starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Diane Ladd, Doris Roberts, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Juliette Lewis, John Randolph, Brian Doyle-Murray, William Hickey, Johnny Galecki 7/10

Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins is exactly what the title says; the story begins with Bruce Wayne as a boy, whom his parents are murdered in cold blood in front of his eyes. Years later when he becomes a man he vows to get revenge. With the help of his mentor (Neeson) he learns how to confront his fear and fight the enemies of Gotham City, and does so by donning the black mask and cape to become The Batman. A fresh, new, grittier look to the Batman franchise. The story is awesome, the cast is all top notch and the effects are spectacular. Starring Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy 9/10

Cry-Baby (1990)

Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker is the coolest juvenile delinquent in his Baltimore high school. His ability to shed one tear drives all the girls wild, especially Allison Vernon-Williams. A beautiful rich Square, Allison finds herself drawn to the world of Cry-Baby and his Drape pals. She falls in love with Cry-Baby, but must choose which side she wants to be a part of, the Squares or the Drapes. A cute comedy/musical that will have you singing along with the catchy tunes and watching over and over. Starring Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrell, Polly Bergen, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, Troy Donahue, Iggy Pop, Willem Dafoe 7/10

Mermaids (1990)

Cher plays an attractive young mother with two daughters, the self-conscious teenager Charlotte and the adorable swimmer Katie. She tries to deal with life’s everyday problems while being a single mother. Ryder plays Charlotte, trying to cope with her embarrassing mother who dates married men and moves her daughters around with her from place to place. When they relocate to the town of Eastport, Massachusetts, Charlotte meets a handsome young neighbor Joe Paretti who just happens to be the caretaker at the local convent. She thinks that this is a sign from God, seeing as she wants to be a nun. Charlotte learns about herself and her surroundings, all the while thinking about her father and wondering if he’ll ever come back. Ryder is terrific as well as Cher in this story about life, love and the need to belong someplace. Starring Cher, Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci, Bob Hoskins, Michael Schoeffling, Caroline McWilliams, Jan Miner 7/10

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Roberts and Gish play sisters Daisy and Kat, Taylor plays JoJo their best friend. All three work at a local pizza shop called Mystic Pizza, named after the town of Mystic, in Connecticut which is owned by Leona. Each have obstacles; Leona’s pizza shop is in financial danger, and depends on a good review by the food critic to drum up business, JoJo faints at the altar of her wedding, and has trouble with commitment, Kat is supposed to start Yale in the fall but is poor financially and things are complicated even more when she finds herself falling for an older man when he hires her as a babysitter while mom is England. And Daisy who is a hothead and stubborn but with a lot of talent is being courted by a rich guy. They share life’s ups and downs and learn that friendship is forever, even if love isn’t. Starring Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio, William R. Moses, Adam Storke, Conchata Ferrell, Joanna Merlin, Matt Damon 7/10

Grease (1978)

Greaser Danny Zuko and good girl Sandy Olsen spend a great summer of love together, but when the summer ends Sandy has to go back to her home in Sydney, Australia. Danny goes back to Rydell High School and meets up with his buddies the T-Birds, What he doesn’t know is that Sandy has had a change of plans and is going to the same school. She makes friends with Frenchy, and also meets The Pink Ladies, led by the brassy and tough Rizzo. Danny gets the surprise of his life when at a pep rally, they reunite. But Danny trying to act cool in front of his friends, pretends like it’s nothing special. Social differences complicate their romance. One of the greatest and most enjoyable musicals ever to hit the screen, with interesting characters and a fabulous soundtrack, it’s a timeless classic. Starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Didi Conn, Jamie Donnelly, Dinah Manoff, Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon, Joan Blondell, Ed Byrnes, Sid Caesar 8/10

Point Break (1991)

Reeves plays FBI Agent Johnny Utah, who is sent undercover to investigate a series of bank robberies in Southern California. Veteran cop Pappas believes that the robbers, who dress up as the ex-Presidents are surfers. While attempting to surf Johnny meets a tough chick named Tyler, who agrees to teach him how to surf and Bodhi, who surfs for fun and will do anything for the ultimate adrenaline rush. Fast-paced action film with spectacular surfing and skydiving scenes. Starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John McGinley, Tom Sizemore 7/10

Psycho (1960)

Leigh plays Marion Crane, a secretary who steals money from the bank she works at, and runs away until the stormy weather makes driving difficult so she decides to stay at a motel for the night. She happens to stop at a motel that is right off the highway named the Bates Motel, owned by the seemingly normal but awkward Norman Bates. But everything is far from normal. Norman Bates has a split personality of himself and his mentally ill mother. After Marion’s ill-fated death in the famous “shower scene”, her boyfriend, sister and a private detective set out to investigate her disappearance. Excellent horror film that still gives you chills. Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, John Anderson 10/10

Coyote Ugly (2000)

Violet Sanford is a small town girl from South Amboy, New Jersey who moves to the Big Apple to become a songwriter. But it isn’t easy. Broke and alone, she tries to find work. She ends up getting a job as one of the barmaids at the hottest bar in town at the wild and crazy Coyote Ugly, where they serve behind the counter but dance on it as well. Not only do the people come for the drinks, they come to see the sexy barmaids and their wild entertainment. With a rocking soundtrack and an amazing cast, this is a great inspirational story of dreams come true. Starring Piper Perabo, Maria Bello, Adam Garcia, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan, Melanie Lynskey, John Goodman 7/10

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Millionaire Fredrick Loren throws a party at the house on haunted hill. He invites five people and offers them each $10,000 to spend the night in the old mansion. But this is no ordinary house; it’s haunted. In spite of its reputation that it’s haunted, they’ll have to stay there if they want the money. Vincent Price is terrific as the eccentric millionaire. Good to see late at night, snuggled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, this is one of those rare black and white movies that never ceases to be entertaining. Starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig 9/10

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1979)

The newest pledges Pinto and Flounder first visit the colleges’ sophisticated fraternity, The Omegas, but find the Delta House, the worst but most fun fraternity at Faber College much more interesting. Bluto Blutarsky (Belushi) and his pals have fun every night drinking, partying and having sex. But when Dean Wormer decides to put the frat under “Double Secret Probation”, the Deltas rebel and have a Toga Party! But unfortunately their wild antics get them suspended, but that doesn’t stop them from getting even by making a float and crashing the parade. The slapstick is hilariously funny, the characters are lovable and the music is infectious. This is how a screw-ball comedy about college life in the early 60′s should be! Starring John Belushi, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst, Mark Metcalf, Kevin Bacon, Karen Allen, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert 7/10

March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934)

When the meanest man in town Silas Barnaby, threatens to evict the Widow Peep out of her shoe, he makes a deal that if Bo Peep agrees to marry him, then he will forget the mortgage that is due. But Bo Peep doesn’t want to marry him because she’s in love with Tom-Tom, the piper’s son. So it’s up to Ollie Dee and Stannie Dum to come to the rescue, with the life-size wooden soldiers that they make in the toy factory by mistake. Despite the fact that this film was made in the thirties, it never ceases to get old and never ceases to be funny. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Henry Kleinbach, Florence Roberts, Charlotte Henry, Felix Knight 9/10

Chattahoochee (1990)

Based on a true story, Oldman plays Emmet Foley, a decorated Korean War hero who has a difficult time adjusting to life back home. In his desperation he tries to kill himself so his wife can collect the insurance. But instead he survives and is put into a mental hospital named Chattahoochee. He soon realizes the abuse and horrible conditions that the inmates are put through and with the help of a fellow inmate Walker, he starts to record all the incidences down and tries to figure out a way of changing their sadistic practices. I’m very surprised this film isn’t more popular because it is very compelling, and the performances are outstanding, especially Oldman. Cool Hand Luke meets The Shawshank Redemption. Starring Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Frances McDormand, Pamela Reed, Ned Beatty, M. Emmet Walsh 8/10

The Shining (1980)

Jack Torrance is a writer who becomes the new caretaker of The Overlook Hotel in the secluded mountains of Colorado. He brings his wife Wendy and son Danny along so they can stay with him while he looks after the hotel until May the first. But during their stay, strange things start to occur as Danny sees gruesome and horrific images with a very special gift he has called “the shining”. Jack suffers from a major writer’s block and along with the demons of the hotel haunting him, he ends up having a mental breakdown and is told by the previous caretaker to murder his family. By far one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen; and even though I’ve lost count how many times I have viewed this film, it still scares the hell out of me. With terrific direction, incredibly creepy music and the brilliant Jack Nicholson this is a great horror film. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson 10/10

The Odd Couple (1967)

Based on Neil Simon’s outrageously funny play, Lemmon plays the fussy, clean freak Felix and Matthau plays Oscar, the complete opposite as the mess cat. Recently divorced and depressed, Felix wants to end his life, but is less than successful so he goes to his friend Oscar’s whose having his card game with the boys. When they find out that Felix’s wife has divorced him, they try to prevent him from killing himself. Oscar offers to have him stay at his apartment until he can get his life sorted out. Hilarity begins from there as the two divorced men share a New York apartment and eventually drive each other crazy, with Oscar’s messiness clashing with Felix’s neat freak habits. One of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen, Lemmon and Matthau are great together. Starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau 8/10

Sid and Nancy (1986)

The story of Sid Vicious, the bass player of The Sex Pistols, the English punk rock band and his American punk rock groupie girlfriend Nancy Spungen, how they fall in love and become heroin addicts. Two misguided people so completely, desperately in love, that they won’t leave each other, even though they are probably the worst people in the world for each other. This movie doesn’t glamorize drugs but portrays it as a disgusting addiction that can destroy your life. Oldman and Webb are both unforgettable in this moving, heartbreaking, though often funny film despite the subject matter. Starring Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop, Andrew Schofield, Xander Berkeley, Perry Benson, Courtney Love 8/10

A Summer Place (1959)

Millionaire Ken Jorgensen, his wife Helen and young daughter Molly vacation at the Maine resort of Pine Island. While there, Molly falls in love with the owner Bart Hunter’s son Johnny. And Sylvia, his mother whom used to be long ago sweethearts with Ken the once lifeguard there, rekindles their love at the fateful reunion. Helen finds out when she pays the night watchmen to spy on them and contemplates how to get the most out of a divorce, which includes having custody of her daughter. Passion and Scandals ensue. Sandra Dee is perfect as the young Molly, who wants to be a good girl despite her ever growing desire for Johnny. Starring Sandra Dee, Troy Donahue, Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Arthur Kennedy, Constance Ford 8/10

Badlands (1973)

Holly Sargis is a teenager living with her father in Fort Dupree, South Dakota. She takes music lessons and can twirl a baton. One day while practicing she meets 25 year old garbage man Kit Carruthers, whom she thinks he looks like actor James Dean. They start seeing each other and when her father finds out he shoots her dog, forbidding him not to see her. So Kit comes back and kills him, then burns down her house and makes it to look like a suicide. He and Holly leave town and while on the run, they briefly live together in the woods and go off on a killing spree throughout the Midwest. The plot and characters of Kit and Holly are based on Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, who in 1958 embarked on a murder spree that horrified the country. Both Sheen and Spacek give astounding performances as the young but troubled lovers. Starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates 8/10

Air Force One (1997)

The President of the United States is on his way home after making a interesting speech (which they affectionately call the “Be Afraid Speech”) about not negotiating with terrorists. Ironically, a few hours later while on Air Force One, Russian terrorists pretending to be newspaper reporters hijack the plane. They want the President to make a call to Moscow and release General Radek. They believe that the President has escaped in the pod, but unbeknown to everyone on the plane the president is really still on board on the baggage deck below and attempts to regain control of the plane and to rescue his wife and daughter. This film is incredibly exciting, with non-stop action and amazing performances by Ford who plays a terrific President and Oldman, who plays a heartless, and incredibly evil villain. Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, William H. Macy, Liesel Matthews 8/10

The Wedding Singer (1998)

Sandler plays Robbie Hart, a sweet and likeable guy who has a job singing at weddings. His dreams are shattered when his fiancee stands him up at the alter of his own wedding. While trying desperately to move on, he meets and becomes friends with an adorable waitress, and finds out she’s about to make the biggest mistake of her life by marrying a jerk that will ruin her life. A wonderful romantic comedy with a great 80′s music soundtrack. Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Angela Featherstone, Christina Pickles, Jon Lovitz, Billy Idol 7/10

Tiptoes (2003)

Steven trains firefighters, his girlfriend Carol is a painter. They’ve been living together for months and plan to get married soon. When Carol finds out that she’s pregnant, Steven is hesitant because he thinks that they rushed into it too fast. Matters are complicated even more so when the same day, Steven’s brother Rolfe stops by and Carol discovers that he is a dwarf, as is Steven’s entire family. This surprises and concerns her because she is afraid her baby will be born a dwarf. So Rolfe brings her to meet Steven’s family so she can get some helpful information about the challenges of raising a dwarf. Steven is confused and frustrated by the whole thing and that makes his relationship with Carol both distant and awkward. Interesting story with good performances by Beckinsale and Oldman. Starring Gary Oldman, Peter Dinklage, Kate Beckinsale, Matthew McConaughey, Patricia Arquette, Debbie Lee Carrington, Ed Gale, David Alan Grier 6/10

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Tony Manero works in a paint store and lives with his parents in Brooklyn. Trying to escape from his dead-end job and nagging parents, on Saturday night he and his buddies go to 2001 Odyssey, the disco nightclub where everyone worships him. While dancing there and impressing everyone with his cool moves, he sees Stephanie and is in awe because she’s such a great dancer too. He meets her at Phillip’s Dance Studio when he’s practicing for the dance contest that’s supposed to be held at 2001. He suggests they become dance partners and think that they could be a terrific team together. So as they practice together they become friends and eventually fall in love. Meanwhile at home Tony’s brother Frank returns home and decides to quit being a priest which shocks the family. When Frank accompanies Tony to the club with his friends he encourages Tony to do something about his marvelous dancing. With an amazing soundtrack and intense performances, this is one of the best dance movies to see. Starring John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pape, Donna Pescow Julie Bovasso 8/10

Die Hard (1988)

Willis plays John McClane, a tough New York City cop who’s visiting his estranged wife Holly in Los Angeles for Christmas, who moved to LA because of a job at the Nakatomi Corporation. During a Christmas Eve party at the Nakatomi Plaza Hotel, terrorists enter the building he’s in and take the people inside, including his wife hostage. John tries desperately to stop the terrorists while keeping himself hidden. Awesome stunts, hysterically funny dialogue and superb acting makes this one fun and exciting action film. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, Alexander Godunov, William Atherton, Hart Bochner 9/10

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

It is New Years Eve on the SS Poseidon, en route from New York City to Athens on its last voyage when it’s hit with a huge tidal wave and capsizes. A group of people, led by the tough no-nonsense Reverend Scott travel from the grand ballroom through the up-side-down ship to reach the propeller shaft to survive. The group includes a New York detective and his ex-prostitute wife, Mike and Linda Rogo on their second honeymoon to Italy, Susan Shelby and her younger brother Robin who are meeting their parents in Greece, retired hardware store owner Manny Rosen and his wife Belle are going to Israel to meet their two-year-old grandson for the first time, haberdasher James Martin, Nonnie Parry, the ship’s singer, and Acres, a waiter from the ship. With an all-star cast, this is by far one of the best natural disaster films. Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, Pamela Sue Martin, Arthur O’Connell, Eric Shea, Leslie Nielsen 9/10

The Towering Inferno (1974)

It is the premiere party for the world’s tallest skyscraper in San Francisco, The Glass Tower. Among the guests are the mayor and his wife, the senator and the builder’s daughter and son-in-law. But unbeknown to the 300 people who are at the party on the building’s 135th floor, some faulty wiring causes a fire to start on the 81st floor. While the party is going on, Doug Roberts, the architect inspects the wiring in the building and discovers it is much too hot. In the Security Headquarters, a guard, Jernigan sees smoke crawling out from under a door on one of the cameras, and activates the fire alarm. The fire department arrive quickly, commanded by Chief O’Hallorhan. From there they try desperately to put out the fire and it’s a race to save the people trapped on the promenade floor. Although the film starts off slow, it picks up momentum by the second half. Despite that it has great special effects and a star-studded cast. Starring Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner 8/10

Raising Arizona (1987)

H.I. McDunnough is a convenience store bandit who vows to go straight when he keeps getting caught. While being booked he meets the police department’s photographer, Edwina and is immediately smitten. He proposes marriage and she accepts. They are a happy couple until they find out that she’s infertile and to make things worse they are turned down by every adoption agency because of H.I.’s criminal record. So when H.I. and Edwina hear about the Arizona quintuplets born to a furniture tycoon named Nathan Arizona, they think it’s the only solution to their problem and as Edwina tells H.I. “they have more than they can handle”. Desperate for a child they long to have, H.I. kidnaps one of the Arizona babies, Nathan Junior and they try raising it as their own. But when Nathan hires a Harley-riding bounty hunter to get on their trail, things start to get dangerous. A hilarious and wacky comedy from the Coen brothers. Starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Frances McDormand, Sam MacMurray 7/10

Nobody’s Baby (2001)

Oldman plays Buford Dill and Ulrich plays Billy Raedeen, who met when they were children at an orphanage. Buford had taken care of Billy since then. They’ve lived their lives in and out of jail, and are at ease as long as they’re together. But when aggravated judge decides to separate them for their next sentence, Billy and Buford stage a getaway during which Billy is separated from Buford anyway. While trying to a hitch a ride, Billy rescues a baby from an automobile crash. When he goes to a local coffee shop for milk for the baby, he meets a young waitress and she invites him to her house in a little trailer park community in the Nevada desert. He also meets other misfits that include some prostitutes and a wise and spiritual Native American. Billy soon gets in touch with Buford, and tells him about the baby he rescued. He rushes over, thinking the two can make a profit from the baby. But things have changed, as Billy grows fond of the adorable bundle of joy. A cute and underrated comedy, with an unrecognizable Gary Oldman as the Southern petty criminal who uses ChapStick for jean burns. Starring Skeet Ulrich, Gary Oldman, Radha Mitchell, Mary Steenburgen 7/10

Down in the Valley (2005)

Tobe is a rebellious sixteen year old girl living with her younger brother Lonnie and father Wade in Los Angeles in the present day San Fernando Valley. She and her friends are headed to the beach on one sunny, hot afternoon when they stop at a gas station and are greeted and full-served by an attendant named Harlan, who instantly catches Tobe’s eye. She invites him to join them at the beach, but if he does he’ll get fired from the gas station. He goes along with them anyway. Almost immediately they spark up a romantic affair, even though Harlan is twice her age and despite the fact that her overbearing, short tempered father forbids Tobe from seeing him. Wade is suspicious of Harlan, and believes he’s much more than he claims to be. Both Norton and Wood are amazing in this great underrated story. Starring Edward Norton, Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse, Rory Culkin, Bruce Dern, John Diehl, Geoffrey Lewis 7/10

Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965)

Henry Thomas is out on parole after serving time in prison; he is a wannabe rockabilly lead singer in a band and has a wife and young daughter. His wife Georgette, and his young daughter Margaret Rose unexpectedly come to a small Texas town to live with him. Things are complicated even more when Henry’s foster mother pushes him to go to night school to earn a living instead to pursuing a music career. Against her wishes, he wants to sing and be like Elvis Presley. But his hot temper and constant fights jeopardize that and Georgette’s wish for them to have a happy life together as a family. Both McQueen and Remick give incredible performances in this little gem. Starring Steve McQueen, Lee Remick, Don Murray, Kimberley Block 8/10

Laurel Canyon (2002)

Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam brings his fiancee Alex to his mother Jane’s house in Laurel Canyon, while they try to find their own place to live. But to his surprise she’s still living there. She insists they stay there while she’s producing a record for a band, with whom she’s sleeping with Ian McKnight, the lead singer. She’s a free spirit who has wild parties and smokes weed while Sam is the complete opposite, serious and hard working. While Sam is at the hospital, Alex is working on her dissertation but finds herself distracted and intrigued by Jane’s lifestyle. Sam is equally distracted by an attractive Israeli doctor named Sara. Good story and great characters despite the open ending. Starring Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone, Alessandro Nivola 7/10

High Anxiety (1977)

Brooks plays Doctor Richard H. Thorndyke, who becomes the new administrator of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous after the previous doctor died. He meets some very odd characters including Nurse Diesel and Doctor Charles Montague. When he’s framed for murder, Richard has to confront his own demons, suffering from a fear of extreme heights called “High Anxiety”. With the daughter of a patient at the institute named Victoria Brisbane, he tries to clear his name by finding the real killer. A wonderfully funny comedy that pays homage to the films of Alfred Hitchcock; with parodies of famous Hitchcock scenes from The Birds, Psycho, and Vertigo.
Starring Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Dick Van Patten, Barry Levinson 7/10

The Pirate Movie (1982)

Christopher stars as Frederic (without a K) a lovesick ex-pirate whose duty and honor has called him to devote his heart and soul to exterminating the pirates. Kristy stars as Mabel Stanley (also without a K), the youngest daughter of the Modern Major General, who dreams of one day finding love. They meet on the beach and want to marry but she can’t until her older sisters are. A fun spoof of The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan, with infectious music and lots of double entendre jokes. Starring Kristy McNichol, Christopher Atkins, Ted Hamilton, Bill Kerr, Maggie Kirkpatrick 7/10

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

The small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio buzzes with excitement when the hip-shaking rocker Conrad Birdie (a parody of Elvis Presley) comes to their town. Young and wise Kim McAfee, a resident of Sweet Apple is chosen to be kissed by the swooning crooner on national television, despite her parents and boyfriend’s objections. Leigh and Van Dyke play Rosie and Albert, two people very much in love and want to get married, but Albert, a songwriter has yet to sell a song and considers quitting to become a chemist and also because of his demanding mother, played by Stapleton. From the Broadway hit, Bye Bye Birdie is great fun, with catchy songs and funny dialogue that the whole family will love. Starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margaret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Paul Lynde 8/10

Sabrina (1954)

Hepburn plays Sabrina, the chauffeur’s daughter to the rich Larrabee family. She’s in love with David, the playboy and youngest son but he doesn’t even know she exists. She goes away to cooking school in Paris and comes back a sophisticated young lady which immediately catches David’s attention when he’s driving one day and sees her stranded at the train station. But he does not recognize her until later when she reunites with her father and the staff of the Larrabee household. David invites her to their party, and Sabrina think it’s a dream come true. Until the older brother Linus sees them dancing together and devises a plan to get Sabrina back to Paris so David can marry his fiancee Elizabeth Tyson, so Larrabee Industries can merge with Tyson Plastics. A wonderfully romantic comedy with the three leads giving terrific performances. Starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, John Williams, Walter Hampden, Martha Hyer, Nella Walker, Ellen Corby 9/10

The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Stone plays Ellen, a tough female gunslinger who rides into a small and dirty town with a secret. Hackman plays John Herod, the owner and ruler of the town. She finds out that he’s set up a gun-fighting competition and the prize is a pot of money. So everyone signs up but for different reasons; some revenge, others respect. Herod, who is the fastest gun in the town is also in on the contest, as well as his son “The Kid”. Cort, a local preacher and former henchmen to Herod who refuses to use a gun again is forced by Herod to be in it too. Intense and fun western, the best gun fighter flick. Starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio Keith David, Lance Henrikson, Pat Hingle, Gary Sinise, Kevin Conway 7/10

Jaws (1975)

A New England shore community is terrorized by shark attacks so a local chief of police named Martin Brody, an ichthyologist from the Oceanographic Institute named Hooper, and shark expert named Quint set out on Quint’s boat The Orca, to kill the great white. One of the best thrillers ever made; the script is great, the cast is brilliant and the score is outstanding. Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Grey, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Peter Benchley 10/10

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Oldman plays Dracula, who was once a Romanian knight fighting against enemies of God, but his bride Elisabeta believing him to be dead takes her own life. So he renounces God and vows to rise from his grave and avenge her death. Four centuries later, estate agent Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to Dracula’s castle on behalf of his firm, while his fiancee Mina stays with her friend Lucy until his return. Dracula eventually finds out that Mina is the splitting image of his lost love and she becomes the object of his affections. Meanwhile, Doctor Seward calls for Professor Van Helsing when Lucy starts to get weak from blood loss. Van Helsing discovers two bites on her neck and believes that she was bitten by an animal or monster. In my opinion one of the the best films about Dracula, with amazing performances by Oldman, Hopkins and Ryder. Although it is not entirely similar to the Bram Stoker novel, it is still entertaining. Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Bill Campbell, Sadie Frost 8/10

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just Friends (2005)

Chris Brander is an awkward, overweight young man who has a crush on the beautiful and fun Jamie Palamino. He wants to take their friendship to the next level, so he writes his feelings in her yearbook. But unfortunately the jock Brett who also likes Jamie reads the note to their class at the graduation party at her house and Chris is humiliated. Even more so when Jamie tells him that she thinks of him as “just friends”. Chris rides off on his bike, vowing to everyone that he’s going to be someone important someday. Ten years later, Chris is a fit, lean and successful record producer in Hollywood. It’s Christmastime and he’s on his way to Paris with an up and coming performer named Samantha James, who has a creepy psychotic crush on Chris. When an accident occurs on the jet on the way to Paris, Chris is forced to return home with her. He sees his mother and his brother, who has a thing for the pop star diva. He also reunites with his friends and Jamie, and plans to be more than “just friends” with her this time around, despite Samantha’s manipulative and jealous behavior and a competitive rival suitor named Dusty Dinkleman. One of my favorite Ryan Reynolds films, a hysterically funny and cute romantic comedy. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette, Julie Hagerty 7/10

Stand By Me (1986)

Four friends- Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern live in a small town called Castle Rock, Oregon. When Vern learns about a missing teenager’s dead boy he tells the others and they set out to find the body, thinking that when they find it they’ll be heroes of the town. But when they encounter Ace and his delinquent buddies who are also trying to find the body, they refuse to give in. A funny and suspenseful coming-of-age story of friendship and growing up. Based on the novel “The Body” by Stephen King. Starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cusack 8/10

Some Like it Hot (1959)

When two struggling musicians; a saxophone player and a bass violin player witness a mob hit on the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Prohibition-Era Chicago, they think it’s wise to leave the city immediately and find another job somewhere else. But the only gig they can get is in an all-girl band. So they dress up as two women; Jerry (Lemmon) as Daphne, and Joe (Curtis) as Josephine. On the train to Miami, they meet Sugar Kane (originally Sugar Kane Kowalczyk) the lovable, bubbly vocalist/ukulele player for the band. Joe and Jerry become instant friends with Sugar. Joe tries to romance Sugar by pretending to be Junior, a stuffy, frigid millionaire with a yacht and founder of Shell Oil, while Jerry is courted by Osgood Fielding, an older millionaire. One of the funniest films I’ve ever seen; Lemmon and Curtis are a perfect pair, one of Marilyn’s best roles. Starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, George Raft, Pat O’Brien, Joe E. Brown 10/10

Uncle Buck (1989)

Buck Russell is a sloppy person and not a reliable one. He’s a bachelor who likes to smoke cigars and gamble. But when his brother Bob Russell and his wife Cindy (Buck’s sister in law) use him as a last resort to babysit their children Miles, Maizy and Tia. Buck agrees to fill in while they go to Indianapolis to visit Cindy’s father, who just had a heart attack. So he comes over to watch the kids, while dealing with commitment problems with his girlfriend Chanice Kobolowski, who he’s been seeing for eight years. Miles and Maizy get along with UB (as Miles affectionately calls him) while Tia, the rebellious teenager, hates him with a passion as he tries to protect her from her boyfriend Bug who only wants to use her for sex. My favorite of John Candy’s comedic roles, this film never gets old. Starring John Candy, Jena Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Macauley Culkin, Amy Madigan, Laurie Metcalf 7/10

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Jim Stark is a rebellious young man who is the new kid in town. He got in trouble in his previous town when he got into a fight with a kid who called him chicken, which was the reason why his family had to move. On his first day in a new school, he meets Judy and John (nicknamed Plato). Judy has issues at home as well, with a father who doesn’t give her love and affection, and Plato because his mother is never around and his father is dead. Jim’s first day isn’t easy when Buzz, the leader of a gang takes the air out of Jim’s car tires and forces him to a knife fight to test him. He challenges him to race cars known as a “chickie run” at the bluff. After the race ends in a tragic accident, Judy, Jim and Plato go to an abandoned mansion to escape their tough home lives, finding friendship and belonging that they so desperately want. One of the greatest movies ever made, James Dean gives a powerful and emotional performance in his most famous role. Starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, Edward Platt, Dennis Hopper 10/10

State of Grace (1990)

Terry Noonan is an undercover cop who used to live in the New York City area known as Hell’s Kitchen. He had been in Boston for a few years but now he’s back, reunited with his old childhood friends, the crazy hothead Jackie Flannery and Stevie McGuire, while secretly trying to take down the Irish mob which Jackie’s older brother Frankie is the leader of. Terry also reunites with his old girlfriend Kathleen, whom is Jackie and Frankie’s younger sister. This intense and gritty but violent film is amazing and terribly underrated. The three leads are all astounding, most especially Oldman who completely steals the show. Starring Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John C. Reilly, John Turturro, Burgess Meredith 9/10

Immortal Beloved (1994)

The intriguing story of the legendary composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. The movie starts off with his death and goes through a long series of flashbacks as Ludwig’s secretary/assistant Schindler attempts to find the secret love of Beethoven’s life, the “immortal beloved” that he bequeathed all his music and worldly possessions to. A very underrated film and I think much better than the more popular “Amadeus”. The music is extraordinary and the cast is brilliant, especially Oldman in the lead role who is passionate and intense but in some ways still sympathetic. A great fascinating story. Starring Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege, Valeria Golino 10/10

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis needs money so he can pay off his debts. While trying to outrun the creditors one day he gets a flat tire and turns into the driveway where there is a big decadent mansion. What he soon finds out is that the place belongs to the aging, former silent film star Norma Desmond. Norma and Joe make an arrangement; he can stay there until he can get his car fixed and in the meantime he can help her edit her screenplay. Norma believes that she will make her comeback with the screenplay but little does she know that she is from a forgotten era and the world has passed her by. Joe becomes the gigolo as well as her lover, and she buys him a lot of fancy trinkets and new clothes if he can help her make a deal with Paramount to make her next movie. But when Joe falls in love with the young aspirant writer Betty Schaefer, whom he is also writing a screenplay with, Norma becomes jealous and goes completely insane and eventually her madness leads to a tragic end. Swanson is fantastic as the eccentric film star, and Holden is equally great as the young screenwriter. Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton 10/10

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

The true story of British playwright Joe Orton, and how he was murdered by his gay lover Kenneth Halliwell. The film starts where they find the two dead in their London flat. From there John Lahr, the investigative reporter begins piecing together Orton’s life and his relationship with Halliwell, with the help of Orton’s agent Peggy as we track back and forth from past to present day. For some this movie can be quite shocking, as it shows the relationship between two homosexual men, when being so was considered illegal and the extent of Joe’s rather naughty sex life. Everyone is in fine form, most especially Oldman, whom bears a great resemblance to the real Joe Orton and Molina as his insecure and needy companion. Starring Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances Barber, Julie Walters, Wallace Shawn 8/10

Regarding Henry (1991)

Henry Turner is a loathsome and merciless trial lawyer who has a pretty good life in New York City. Until one fateful night when he gets shot in the head during a robbery. He survives the injury but has severe brain damage and loses his memory. So with the help of a psychical therapist, he re-learns how to speak, walk, and function normally. And since has lost his memory, he has to adjust to his family life despite that fact that he doesn’t remember his wife and daughter. But through this ordeal Henry becomes a different man from before, a more loving and affectionate man. Harrison Ford is superb in playing two roles as the cold businessman and the wonderfully sympathetic family man, a very heartfelt film that is definitely worth a viewing. Starring Harrison Ford, Annette Bening 7/10

Leon The Professional (1994)

Mathilda is a twelve-year old New York girl living a tough life with her half-family. Her father stores drugs for a corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield. One day, Stansfield and his team take revenge on her father for stretching the drugs a little, so he murders the whole family. Only Mathilda, who was out shopping, survives by finding shelter in her neighbor Léon’s apartment, so she doesn’t get killed herself. When she finds out that Leon is a hit man or “cleaner” as he calls it she tries to seek his help in taking revenge for her little brother. Soon enough he’s teaching her how to handle weapons and become a professional hit man. Despite that Léon serves as a father and friend to Mathilda. This film is absolutely amazing, with great performances (especially Natalie Portman in her debut role) and intense action it's truly a masterpiece. Starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello 9/10

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

A young nurse named Ana returns home from her day shift. She spends her time with her husband Louis. The next morning one of the neighbor kids bites him on the neck. He dies but comes back to life, trying to bite her. Ana runs out of the house and finds it’s chaos in her neighborhood, people are being eaten by flesh eating zombies. She gets in her car and drives away from town but she loses control and crashes it into a tree. When she comes to, a black police officer rescues her and they run into three more people who tell them the same thing is going on where they came from. So they all take shelter in a closed mall while they wait for help to arrive. But they’re running out of food, ammunition and time as the zombies are multiplying in great numbers outside. So they come up with a plan to reinforce two shuttle buses with weapons and a battering ram to get through the massive crowd of zombies. They drive to the boat docks where one of them has a boat so they can take it to one of the islands. A gory and bloody but exciting remake of the original 1978 version. Starring Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Matt Frewer, Michael Barry 7/10

Airplane! (1980)

Ted Striker is an ex-Navy pilot, still traumatized after an incident during the war while trying to quit his drinking problem. He follows his long-time girlfriend Elaine onto a plane that she is the flight attendant for, as he tries to get her back. But while in the air, the passengers start getting sick, even the pilot and co-pilot because of a deadly virus. They try to find someone who can fly the plane and the only person who can do it is Ted. Despite his fear of flying because of his bad memories, he realizes that the fate of the passengers depends on him to land the plane safely. The best spoof of the airport disaster movies. Starring Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 8/10

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Johnny and Barbara, brother and sister travel by car to a rural cemetery to visit their father’s grave. There they are confronted by a pale-faced man man who staggers toward them and attacks Barbara. Johnny fights with him, but is knocked unconscious when his head is hit on a gravestone. Barbara runs back to the car, but Johnny has the keys so she puts it out of gear but it crashes into a tree. So she takes off running away from the man until she finds a farmhouse nearby and takes refuge. There she is met by a man named Ben who arrives in a pick up truck who protects her and barricades the doors and windows to prevent the creatures from coming in. Later on they discover people hiding in the basement, a young man and woman, and a husband and wife with a sick young girl who was bitten. The news broadcast being televised explains that the dead are coming back to life and eating the flesh of their victims. Running out of time because of the growing masses of zombies outside, they devise a plan to get fuel from the gas pump outback for the truck so they can get out of there. A terrifying and bone-chilling horror classic. Starring Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne, Judith Ridley, Kyra Schon 8/10

Keeping the Faith (2000)

The story of two friends, Jake (Stiller) and Brian (Norton); who grew up together and hung out as young boys. They meet a young girl named Anna whom they also hang out with. But she moves away. When the young boys are adults, Jake becomes a rabbi, and Brian a priest. Years later, Anna visits New York on business and reunites with them. Soon the two men find themselves both falling for her. But because of their religious beliefs they are not allowed to pursue her; the priest cannot break his vow of celibacy and the rabbi cannot marry her since she is not Jewish. A wonderful romantic comedy, with religious humor and quick-witted dialogue. Starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman, Anne Bancroft, Eli Wallach, Ron Rifkin, Milos Forman, Holland Taylor, Lisa Edelstein, Rena Sofer 7/10

Wild at Heart (1990)

After Elvis wannabe Sailor Ripley breaks parole for manslaughter, he and his blonde bombshell girlfriend Lula Fortune leave town and take a road trip to New Orleans. Lula’s mother Marietta, protective of her daughter hires a hitman and private detective to hunt down the young lovers. On the way they witness a young woman dying after a car accident, and Lula believes this is a bad omen. When in New Orleans they meet a bunch of weird characters, including the evil and psychotic Bobby Peru, who convinces Sailor to help him carry out a bank robbery. Typically bizarre David Lynch film, with references to The Wizard of Oz. But despite the strangeness of it, the love story between Sailor and Lula is the main focus. Starring Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Crispin Glover, Diane Ladd, Isabella Rossellini, Harry Dean Stanton, Sherilyn Fenn 9/10

Pretty Woman (1990)

Gere plays a wealthy business tycoon who happens to meet Hollywood Boulevard hooker Roberts while driving in his lawyer’s sports car one night. He hires her to be his escort for a week, takes her shopping for new clothes to change her look, and eventually falls in love with her. A great romantic love story that is extremely likable, mostly for Julia’s performance. Starring Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Jason Alexander, Hector Elizondo, Larry Miller, Amy Yasbeck, Laura San Giacomo 7/10

The Illusionist (2006)

Norton plays Eisenheim, a famous magician in 1900′s Vienna. One night when he’s on stage, the Crown Prince Leopold makes his fiancee help out with a magic trick. When she approaches the stage Eisenheim instantly recognizes her; it’s his childhood friend Sophie whom his father was the cabinet maker that made her family’s furniture. But her parents forbid her to see him. He left and they lost touch. Now they’re reunited. They fall in love and he wants to runaway with Sophie but she knows that Leopold will hunt them down and kill them. She doesn’t want to marry him, and afraid of his plans to overthrow his father. So Eisenheim devises a plan, his greatest magic trick of all. Giamatti plays Inspector Uhl, hired by the Crown Prince to investigate Eisenheim. A beautiful romantic story, with great performances from Norton, Giamatti and Sewell. Starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, 8/10

The Prestige (2006)

In Nineteenth Century England, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants to a magician named Milton. Along with Robert’s wife Julia McCullough they perform tricks for the public. During a performance, a magic trick goes terribly wrong and Robert’s wife dies. The men become enemies, Robert blaming Alfred for his wife’s death. They both become admired and famous magicians, disrupting and damaging others’ performance while on the stage. An intriguing story of fixation, deception and jealousy with deadly consequences. Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie 8/10

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Sonny Wortzik and his friend Sal rob a Brooklyn bank one hot summer afternoon to pay for Sonny’s boyfriend Leon’s sex change operation. But before he can get the money and leave, he gets an unexpected phone call from Police Captain Moretti, who tells him the place is surrounded by the city’s entire police force. So having few options under the circumstances, Sonny demands an escort to the airport and a plane so he and Sal can go out of the country. In exchange, he will release hostages. One of the best 70′s films, and one of Pacino’s greatest performances. Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning, Chris Sarandon 9/10

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

The story of Christine, a young and aspiring chorus singer who dances at the Paris Opera House. When the opera house’s leading diva Carlotta resigns, Christine is chosen to replace her. She sings one night and catches the attention of The Phantom of the Opera also known as the Opera Ghost. But he’s hardly a ghost; it is a disfigured musical genius whom has been hiding in the Opera House for years because of his facial disfigurement. With the Phantom’s help, Christine becomes his leading lady. But he doesn’t realize that she’s in love with the handsome, noble Viscount Raoul De Chagny, whom they were once childhood sweethearts. He proposes marriage, she accepts and the Phantom feeling betrayed makes plans to get Christine back even if that means forcing her to make the ultimate decision; be with him or sending Raoul to his death. With an astonishing cast and an outstanding soundtrack, this film will take your breath away. Starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver 9/10

American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman is a wealthy twenty-seven year old man working as a broker on Wall Street. He dresses nice, he has a rigorous exercise routine, and lives in a expensive and modern suite in an upscale apartment of the city. He looks normal from the outside, but inside he struggles with an unquenchable blood lust and lack of sympathy for fellow human beings. So at night he puts on gloves and a raincoat so as not to stain his clothes, takes a spotless axe and hacks his co-worker to pieces. No one suspects him of anything, even his lawyer who thinks he’s joking when he confesses all the people he’s murdered. A bloody good dark comedy; Bale is flawless in the role as the clean cut, eccentric music lover Patrick Bateman. Starring Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe 8/10

Footloose (1984)

When city boy Ren McCormick moves to a Midwestern town, it isn’t easy fitting in, especially when he finds out that dancing has been banned because of an accident where drugs and alcohol were involved. He meets Willard and the rebellious minister’s daughter Ariel and they fight back to convince the citizens of the town, most especially the Reverend Shaw Moore who believes in keeping the peace that dancing can be a good thing. One of my favorite dance movies; the cast is hot, the soundtrack is awesome and it has a terrific story, loosely based on actual events. Starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow 8/10

Criminal Law (1988)

Oldman plays Ben Chase, a defense attorney formerly a prosecutor who defends a man named Martin Thiel, accused of murder. He gets him off with a verdict of not guilty. But when he finds another body in the woods one rainy night he eventually realizes that it’s Martin who is guilty and out killing again. Martin wants to retain Ben when suspicion falls on him for the second murder that Ben knows he committed. Ben wants to change the first not guilty plea so he agrees to work as Thiel’s attorney, hoping for inside information that will convict him. Both Oldman, who plays the protagonist and Bacon, the complete opposite as the creepy psychotic villain are amazing in this underrated thriller. Starring Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tess Harper, Karen Young, Joe Don Baker, Michael Sinelnikoff 8/10

Superman (1978)

Christopher Reeve plays The Man of Steel in this action/comedy. As a baby, he is sent to Earth when his home the Planet Krypton explodes. He lands in a small town in Kansas named Smallville, is raised by his adoptive parents and named Clark Kent.
When he finds out his true identity, he decides to go to Metropolis to fulfill his destiny. While having dual identities, the red-caped wonder Superman and Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter of The Daily Planet, the city’s citizen’s are fascinated about Superman because of his great strength and super speed and wherever there is trouble, he is there to rescue someone and help out in any way possible. Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of our time (to him at least) is also fascinated and devises a plan to get his attention so he can destroy him.
Very good special effects and great acting by Hackman and Reeve makes this movie a fun ride. Starring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Mark McClure, Sarah Douglas, Terence Stamp, Glenn Ford, Valerie Perrine 10/10

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lolita (1962)

Humbert Humbert is middle-aged college professor of French poetry who arrives in Ramsdale, New Hampshire looking for a place to stay for the summer until he starts his teaching in the fall. He agrees to stay at the house of Charlotte Haze, a lonely widow but only so he can be around her fourteen-year-old flirtatious daughter, Lolita, whom he is entranced by at first sight. When Charlotte tells him that she’s going to send Lolita to an all girl’s camp for the summer, he decides that the only way to be around Lolita permanently is to marry Charlotte. But when a tragic accident occurs one rainy day, for Humbert it is heaven sent because he can have Lolita all to himself. They travel together to Beardsley College where he has a teaching position but their lives are interrupted by a scheming con artist named Clare Quilty. Mason is amazing, Sellers is fantastic and Lyon is terrific in her film debut. Starring James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers 9/10

Harsh Times (2005)

Bale stars as Jim Luther Davis, an ex-Army ranger who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and finds himself going back to his old life of crime, booze and drugs when his LAPD application is rejected. His plan was to join the police department so he can marry his Mexican girlfriend Marta. His best friend Miguel ‘Mike’ Alonzo is also being pressured by his girl Sylvia to find a job as well. Jim is eventually offered a job from Homeland Security, assigned to go to Colombia while Mike lands a dream job. They celebrate by inviting their friend Toussant to spend the weekend in Mexico, and he agrees to go with them. Jim introduces them to Marta and her family and they go to a party to dance and drink. But when Jim finds out that Marta is pregnant, he can’t deal with it and goes on a violent rampage that leads to a tragic end. Bale gives a compelling and strong performance in this captivating drama. Starring Christian Bale, Freddy Rodriguez, Eva Longoria Parker 7/10

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Wilder plays Doctor Frankenstein (that’s Fronkensteen) a young neurosurgeon who lectures at an American medical school. He inherits the castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein and despite thinking that his grandfather was a sick man and his work was “doo-doo” he decides to go. Leaving his fiancee Elizabeth behind, he travels by train to the castle in Transylvania where he is meets a funny hunchback named Igor, a pretty assistant named Inga, and Frau Blücher, an old housekeeper. When one night he discovers the book where the mad doctor describes his reanimation experiment, he decides to try it out himself. Frederick and Igor steal a body but unfortunately, when Igor is told to get a brain he takes an abnormal one, and the creature becomes an out of control monster, wreaking havoc on the town and its people. One of Mel Brook’s greatest comedies; Gene Wilder is amazing, Marty Feldman is hilarious and Peter Boyle is perfect as the Frankenstein monster. Starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Gene Hackman 10/10

The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976)

The classic story of Cinderella; her parents are dead, she lives with her horrible stepmother and spoiled, demanding stepsisters. In the tiny kingdom of Euphrania, the King and his royal court are very anxious to get the Prince Edward, heir to the throne to marry, but he wants to marry for love. So the King and Lord Chamberlain decide to have a bride-finding ball so he can choose one, despite Edward's objections. Meanwhile Cinderella is forced to move into the cellar or go to an orphanage. She stays and is assigned long and grueling tasks. But one day she meets a cheery fairy godmother who helps her complete the tasks. And with the help of magic, she gets to go to the ball in a fancy gown and a beautiful carriage. Edward and Cinderella meet at the ball and instantly fall in love. They want to marry but the King and Queen can’t consent because the Prince must make a marriage of alliance with a princess of royal blood, otherwise it could lead to war. This is by far my favorite tale of Cinderella; with an interesting plot, wonderful songs, and delightful performances. Starring Richard Chamberlain, Gemma Craven, Annette Crosbie, Michael Hordern, Edith Evans, Margaret Lockwood, Kenneth More 9/10

Masters of the Universe (1987)

The evil Skeletor and his army have taken over Castle Greyskull on the planet Eternia. He holds The Sorceress prisoner until He-Man the mighty warrior agrees to kneel before him. He-Man meets up with Duncan the Man at Arms, his daughter Teela, and a dwarf inventor named Gwildor and while trying to take back The Sorceress they accidentally finds themselves on Earth by The Cosmic Key, a device that Gwildor invented that can open portals to anywhere in the galaxy. While on Earth they meet musician Kevin and his girlfriend Julie, and along with their help they attempt to save The Sorceress and Castle Grayskull from being ruled by Skeletor. With a memorable score and great action, this eighties film is terrific fun. Starring Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, Billy Barty, Courteney Cox, Robert Duncan McNeill, Jon Cypher, James Tolkan, Christina Pickles 7/10

Romeo is Bleeding (1993)

Jack Grimaldi is a crooked New York police sergeant that leads a double life as a guard for the witness protection and informant for the mob. Everything seems great for him until he's paid to bring Russian mobster Mona Demarkov to the safe house for the Feds. But he has no idea what he’s in for. Mona makes a proposition to Jack: help her fake her death and he will be paid two-hundred thousand dollars. But the problem is that the mob, led by Don Falcone, wants Jack to kill her or they will kill him. This film is a modern day film noir and an underrated gem. And once you see it, you have to watch it again because it’s just so good and so entertaining. Oldman is brilliant; despite the characters' corrupt nature, his infidelity and betraying his friends by getting mixed up with the mob you can’t help but sympathize with him, and Lena Olin’s Mona is by far one of the most evil and cruelest femme fatales in cinema. Starring Gary Oldman, Juliette Lewis, Lena Olin, Michael Wincott, Annabella Sciorra, James Cromwell, Roy Scheider 8/10

Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972)

A beautiful young Parisian woman named Jeanne looks for an apartment when she has a chance encounter with an American expatriate named Paul who happens to be in the same apartment she goes to. Instantly drawn to him and him to her, they start an erotic and passionate affair. She wants to tell him about herself but he tells her he doesn’t want to know anything about her, that there’s no need for names. While that is going on she goes to see her fiance Tom, whom is making a documentary about her and Paul is trying to deal with his grief over his wife’s suicide. Many consider this film too explicit because of the NC-17 rating it got, but it’s much more about the character’s lives and their need to escape than the sex scenes. Unquestionably one of Marlon Brando’s greatest performances. Starring Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Gitt Magrini, Jean-Pierre Léaud 10/10

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Bale plays Dan Evans, a rancher and ex-soldier who lost his leg in the Civil War. He owes a large amount of money to a man named Hollander. But he’s poor and doesn’t have the money so he goes into Bisbee to ask for more time. While there a man named Butterfield needs men to help him escort cold-blooded outlaw Ben Wade to Contention and on the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. Desperate, Dan volunteers to do the job for the two-hundred dollars cash reward that is offered. One of the best westerns I’ve ever seen, with lots of action and a great cast. A fantastic remake of the 1957 version starring Glenn Ford. Starring Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol 9/10

Golden Boy (1939)

Holden plays Joe, a young man in his twenties who aspires to be a boxer, despite his father’s wish for him to be a violinist. With much determination and persistence, Joe becomes a sensation, with the help of Menjou his manager. He ends up falling for girlfriend Stanwyck and after a tragedy in the ring realizes that fighting isn’t so important anymore. Great performances all around, especially Holden whose film debut is quite impressive. Starring William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Lee J Cobb 8/10

The Dark Knight (2008)

In the sequel to Batman Begins, this time The Batman is fighting the mob and the most recent psychotic mastermind, The Joker. With the help of the new District Attorney Harvey Dent, The Batman does eventually catch The Joker who’s obsessed with knives and wants to create chaos by blowing up things with dynamite. But The Joker does escape and wreaks more havoc in Gotham City by having two ferry boats rigged with more dynamite; one with innocent civilians and the other with convicted criminals. This movie is a roller-coaster ride that doesn’t let up and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The special effects are outstanding, the action is nonstop, and newcomers Ledger and Eckhart are both fantastic in their roles, as well as the returning characters of Gotham. Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy 10/10