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A high school satire with a dark twist
"If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn't be a human being. You'd be a game-show host."
Wow, I didn't expect this level of satire from this movie. The comedy is dark enough for me to enjoy it without being disturbed. Bulimia, suicide and gun violence - at first glance, the movie makes a joke out of these very serious topics but the twisted humor actually pokes fun at the way society reacts to certain situations and has a way of romanticizing suicide. "Heathers" makes fun of society every chance it gets.
I loved Christian Slater's and Winona Ryder's performance in this movie. Christian Slater's crazy persona with homicidal tendencies is also evident with his performance in Mr. Robot and Winona Ryder's crazy acting powers were put to great use in Stranger things over 20 years later. I love how these actors from two of my favorite shows were working together all this time ago.
Song of the Sea (2014)
I almost want to believe that magic is real after watching this movie
I didn't expect to shed a tear after watching this movie but I did. The story was rich with themes of love and loss and every song, inspired by Celtic folklore, has the melancholic and lilting Celtic sound fitting so well and hauntingly with the story's emotional mood. I couldn't keep my emotions sealed in those jars since this movie took me to emotional heights that I'm yet to get down from and haven't visited for a while.
I'm pretty much used to the 3D computer-animated styles of Disney and Pixar so the animation over here was like a fresh breeze of air to me. It kind of reminds me of old Russian cartoons with a bit of a modern touch. Yes, it's a bit unusual but in all the best ways because the visuals are stunning. It swirls with pastels that morph into imaginative lines capturing humans and mystical beings in their primitive, yet imaginative, visuals. The character design is charming without being too cute or stereotypical and every character looks unique. I almost want to believe that magic is real after experiencing these visuals.
Eerie and fascinating
I'm amazed by what this movie managed to accomplish with limited recourses of that era. The surreal use of shadows and haunting storytelling was impressive and combined with the eerie atmosphere, created mostly by the visuals and good usage of sound and silence.
V for Vendetta (2005)
Telling the truth with a strong vocal script
Artists use lies to tell the truth while politicians use them to cover the truth up.
V for Vendetta was surprisingly good and, for a movie with over 2-hour runtime, it went by surprisingly fast. The plot was interesting and it captured my attention at every moment. Oh, and the dialogue was magnificent, a lot of classic literature references were used in an orderly sophisticated fashion and the speeches just glow with strong emotions.
More of a domestic drama than a samurai film
This movie is... oddly unsatisfying. It felt longer than it actually is and all the domestic drama thing got old quick. I think I was close to falling asleep a few times during the run but even though the movie develops slowly, I must admit, the story is quite told in quite a good manner. It might not have been the most exciting way to tell the story but it is pretty memorable.
Throughout the whole movie, I expected all the drama and tension to explode into an epic climax with an actual rebellion where the samurai would overthrow the lord but that just doesn't happen. We only get a small clash that feels like it's influenced by Shakespeare with bad dialogue and cliche action scenes. It also is memorable but not for the best reasons. And it's a bit sad the most exciting part of the movie is just not exciting or epic as I wanted.
Overall, this movie is more like a soap opera than a samurai film. But if all soap operas had storytelling like this, we would live in a better world.
Evil Dead (2013)
A good adaptation of a classic franchise
I love that this adaptation of the Evil Dead is way more horrific than the original and the two sequels that followed it. I mean the gore was crazy intense. The dialogue was a bit grotesque and kind of kills the mood at certain points though but at least the horror was on point. It might even be the best remake/adaptation of a horror movie I've watched.
There were a lot of familiar scenes that I loved in this adaptation. The whole story felt way more polished too.
Kamera wo tomeruna! (2017)
This movie reminded me to expect the unexpected
This movie confused me, bamboozled me, made me interested and left me satisfied. I just didn't know what to expect and even when I did, I still didn't. It may seem a bit frustrating at first but once it gets to the climax and everything falls into place, the watching experience simply becomes amazing. The ending is just so fulfilling.
At first, like many, I wasn't too interested and the only thing that kept me watching was the impressive acting and good camera work, all captured in one take, but it didn't take too long for the plot to capture my curiosity too. I found some of the bad acting hilarious in the first act of the movie but the 3rd act changed my whole perspective. The depth of this movie is impressive, all the long shots and improvisations to explain the 1st act are satisfying and the comedy is bizarre but joyful and enjoyable. I just can't give it enough praise, I love what this movie did with the action sequences.
Scream 4 (2011)
A good jab at all the horror movie remakes
More of a cliche movie than a commentary on cliche movies but I appreciate how Scream 4 corrected the tone of the series after Scream 3 strayed too much towards comedy.
It came out when everything was being rebooted, horror franchises included, and, being meta as always, this movie kind of takes a jab at the reboot frenzy and introducing us to the rules of horror movie reboots. Though I'm not sure where the fact that you have to be gay to survive a horror movie reboot comes from. Maybe I just haven't watched enough reboots but that just seems a bit forced into the script.
La maschera del demonio (1960)
loved almost every moment of it
This is the kind of horror that I enjoy. Most of the scary stuff was created by the sound, and not the visuals, but that was enough to create an eerie atmosphere, that is intense and a bit of spooky. The silent bits with where only a few gusts of wind can be heard were the creepiest.
I personally enjoyed the acting and the story, the lore was quite deep and the action sequences were deliberate. The only thing that this movie lacks is a good ending since the one that we've got was not very fulfilling.
Army of Darkness (1992)
Too goofy for my taste.
The horror genre has been left completely with this entry in the Evil Dead universe. Army of Darkness is more of an adventure, action and fantasy flick and it went too far with comedy, a lot of scenes were too goofy for my taste. I'm just really happy that the "Groovy" line made it's way into this movie too.
Scream 3 (2000)
Lived by the "rules" but didn't live up to the hype
To me, this movie feels like the embarrassing third child of the Scream franchise, a child so trapped in the shadow of it's older siblings that it can't help but just not live up to the expectations. Comedy comes in threes and the third entry certainly felt more like a comedy movie than a horror flick.
The Black Cat (1941)
Pretty good flick with a great cast
This is an excellent movie from the black-and-white era with seasoned bits of humor, where greed walks hand in hand with murder.
You could be in the crappiest mood on any given day but, when you're done watching this movie, you're laughing your ass off and smiling, forgetting about what got you angry and aggravated in the first place. Yes, this that kind of a movie - it's got horror, it's got comedy and this formula somehow works here.
Also, this movie is quotable as hell. From the mean spirited groundskeeper saying "Here kitty, kitty, kitty" in the most heartwarming way possible to the sarcastic "He thinks he's Sherlock Holmes", it is full of great gags.
Evil Dead II (1987)
I lost my "what the f..." count at 37
Wow, this movie really felt like an enormous drug trip, didn't it? It was so comical, compared to the first one. What got me the most was probably Ash's attaching a shotgun to his missing limb, flipping a shotgun and just saying "Groovy" with the most serious face he could make while the camera zooms in on his face.
Talking about the kills, they are memorable, though some are off screen. Jake's death is probably most memorable but it's comically over the top... The thing that disappointed me the most were the deadites since they aren't as scary or as gross looking as in the first one, they look much worse and and they got way more goofy. And they weren't the only weird and trippy thing that this movie got to offer. I lost my "what the f..." count at around 37 (without even seeing half of the movie) out of pure confusion because I'm just not sure where this movie tried to take me.
The bizarre nature of the movie has it's charm and the craziness of it all was entertaining to digests. I had no idea what was going on for the most of the run but after some time I gave up trying to understand and it got somewhat entertaining. I'll probably start quoting "groovy" subconsciously now. Even though I enjoyed the first movie more, this will leave a mark in my memory for all the crazy things it put me through.
Scream 2 (1997)
Surprisingly a good follow-up to the original
The original covered all of the horror movie tropes and the sequel covered all of the horror movie sequel tropes, which I find both meta and awesome. I don't think this is as good as the original but it had some good kills and the mystery element is in the atmosphere throughout the whole movie. Too bad we don't get too familiar with the bad guys before they are revealed, they sit in the shadows for most of the movie. Also, just like in the original, I would love to praise the soundtrack for giving this movie some extra life.
Red Eye (2005)
Even though this isn't a horror movie, it sure got blessed with the Wes Craven treatment.
This movie entertained me by playing on both the fear of flight and the fear of captivity. The suspense was around every corner and the presence of the creepy villain, played by Cillian Murphy, who appeared in some of my favorite movies like 28 Days Later, The Dark Knight and Inception, kept me on my toes to the very ending. And don't forget Rachel McAdams, who we know better as the girl from Mean Girls, she delivered a perfect performance and alongside Cillian and other passengers, we get a natural performance that feels more real than it should.
The Evil Dead (1981)
Product of low budget but it has marking of directorial acumen
I'm not sure where to start with this movie. On one hand, it's unique and a wonder to behold but on the other hand, the acting is amateur. It horrified me, I'm not gonna lie, and the screeching laughter sticks in my head.
The first person shots were eerie, the whole demon perspective was a really good touch for the movie. The moment where the first person shots of the evil forest are knocking down trees, coming for Cheryl, kept me in suspense since I didn't know what was coming at that moment and when Cheryl got tangled by the tree branches, it both terrified and disturbed me. In retrospect, that whole sequence was awesome and it's one of the better scenes of the movie.
The first look at the possession was haunting. I didn't know what the hell has just happened and the change of the voice was disturbing, to say the least. The dead eyes are damn terrifying. Then Shelly got the same treatment. That whole segment was bizarre since Scottie barely reacts to the possessed Shelly and Ash stands just a few feet away with a poker face, just enjoying the view but the dismemberment of Shelly was satisfying and gory as hell. Then came Linda with the creepy laughter. It wasn't scary but the crazed laughter made me feel uneasy, so good job on that, movie.
When Ash is left all alone, the movie got a bit of a psychedelic treatment - a pipe burst, spraying Ash with a ton of blood, blood begins to drip from outlets, from the walls, into the lightbulbs, which particularly looked awesome, even the projector starts playing on its own and we get a bloody projection. The camera angles even get wacky - either their upside down, the perspective is from the ceiling or they are closing in into Ash's face. The last thing I want to mention is the mirror scene - it was both unexpected and it looked awesome. The cinematography, for a low budget film, is of high quality and I appreciate what the crew managed to accomplish on a small budget.
So far I said mostly positive things about the movie but overall, as much as it fascinated me, it was messy and the acting is the biggest culprit. The lack of expressions on the actors' faces just doesn't fit the situations they are in at times and when they do show their emotions, they look exaggerated to hell. Like how does everyone stay calm when Cheryl starts freaking out and a branch breaks a window or how do Ash and Scotty barely react to possessed Shelly?
Enjoyable for all ages
I enjoyed this and so did my niece who's only six years old. We've heard fun songs, we've got blown away by an unexpected twist, we learned something and we've definitely enjoyed this movie. I'd even go as far as to say that this is one of the best animated movies that I've ever seen.
The story is fascinated me as Pixar once again played with my emotions and got me thinking about my relatives and the afterlife. We celebrate All Saints' Day in Lithuania and the holiday is a bit different than depicted in this movie but the idea is more or less of the same, the one major difference is that we go to visit the ones we miss instead of putting a shire to them at our own homes.
The music has a special charm since it's in Spanglish and the tone is cheerful, it made us laugh, it made us want to sing along and it was very heartwarming.
I'm not sure if I'm a big fan of the final chapter and the epilogue. Yes, it was the most emotional part of the movie but the whole sequence was a bit too much for me. I still enjoyed it, almost shed a tear myself but it feels like a bunch of different ideas were combined into one big one that kind of lacks structure. The ending is satisfying though and seeing everyone reunite was sweet and touching.
America then, as told by America now, is a memorable performance that left me in awe
Hamilton is a musical that never left me bored throughout it's almost three hour runtime. For years I thought this musical was kind of on a meme level because it's a musical mixing hip hop music, as well as R&B, pop, soul, and traditional-style show tunes, with history of the birth of United States of American and it's been parodied mercilessly, mostly by Jack Douglass, better known as jacksfilms, who created multiple videos of that sort and probably is one of the reasons why it's a common belief now that Alexander Hamilton was a president of the United States of America. In reality, the musical was really good and I enjoyed it. It's really memorable and I felt happy, motivated, proud, anxious, and sad - that's a lot of different emotion that I've felt for a representation of one the american founding fathers.
The lyrics are surprisingly good, even memorable, some of the choruses are still at the back of my mind, and I liked the performance by the cast. By the end, where everyone took a bow for the audience, I was even surprised because I thought there were more actors on the stage than there actually were.
I also really liked the comedy aspect of the musical. Some rhymed dialogues really made me laugh, chuckle at least and I really appreciated the humor.
Had it's moments but overall it's just a beautiful mess
I loved most of the Eurovision material, a lot of familiar faces made it in here and the singing numbers were really cheerful and fun, but I also hated most of the screen time with Will Ferrel, the humor that he and everyone else in this movie brought just didn't resonate with me, so it kind of evens itself out into a neutral rating.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
What was the right thing to do?
Without knowing a lot about the context behind making of this film - I would say it was made from someone who read a book on stereotypes as most people are portrayed as irresponsible and disrespectful. Maybe Spike Lee intended to shoot it from the perspective of a white american, I'm not sure, but the plot takes us though the micro climate of the projects and the struggles of american racism on one of the hottest days of the year.
Right out the bat, we get a powerful intro with "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy and a lot of hip hop influenced dance moves. It's a really good song but it kind of got worn out through out the movie since it's played multiple times. We also get introduced to a wast majority of the characters that we'll get to follow through out the movie. At first it's kind of hard to follow all the plotlines but it gets better once you get familiar with all of them. Some you'll love immediately, some you'll grow to love, some you'll hate but at the end there wasn't really anyone I was cheering for.
What probably irritated me the most was probably that the whole chaos by the end was caused mostly because one nincompoop got angry because no people of color were hanging on the hall of fame at the local restaurant in the neighborhood. When it eventually leads to inevitable violence, all hell breaks lose and police brutality claims another victim and, consumed by rage, Sal's pizzeria is destroyed.
Overall, I really loved the acting of the whole cast. The plot was above average with some minor flaws and what hurt this movie misdirected anger through out the movie. Nobody did the right thing here and I'm not sure what Spike Lee intended to say with this film.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
What we stay alive for
The film stars the late Robin Williams, which is already a treat, as Mr. Keating - with charm of comedy and with, his dialogue exercises love for poetry and, more importantly, life itself. Using the unorthodox teaching methods to make his students think for themselves, exploring the whole concept of "Carpe Diem" and focusing on different viewpoints for every poem or even everyday situation, that's just a part what Mr. Keating managed to do in short span of about 2 hour runtime but those ideas stick in your mind.
One of the main characters, a student named Neil Perry, who was played by Robert Sean Leonard, is an academic prodigy but he also dreams of pursuing acting. Unfortunately, his parents disagree with this decision and would rather force him to seize the opportunity they'd given their son to become a doctor. Neil, deciding to seize the day, still pursues his dreams and after a successful play, where he emerged as a young rising talent, he is brought down to the ground by his parent who instead only feel disappointment for his sons disobeying actions. Neil, feeling like he was just a dog, whose only purpose is in life was to follow his parents will like a dog, decides to end it right there and ends his life. No doubt, this was the saddest moment of the movie. His father might be happy because Robert Sean Leonard, who portrayed Neil, ended up being a doctor in a hit TV series "House" 15 years later but his strict behavior without any freedom of his choices for his son just cost him a son. The key underlying theme, following this movie, was to make your own choices. Poetry can't be measured with math, creativity can't be bred in a strict classroom and you'll never think for yourself if you just follow other people's will.
"Things in life ain't always quite what they seem / There's more than one given angle to any one given scene / So bear that in mind next time you try to intervene / On any one given angle, on any one given scene" - I think this short little verse from "Angles", performed by Scroobious Pip, can sum up the movie quite well - Mr. Nolan, the headmaster of the fine institution, blames Mr. Keating for the death of Neil while in reality Mr. Keating is the one who opened Neil's eyes. Todd, who underwent the biggest character transformation in the movie, is also a good example for that verse since he started out as a shy kid who didn't believe he had any talent or courage but display them both in fascinating manner when his poetic genius slipped out of his conscience for a brief moment during exercise with Mr. Keating or when he stood his "ground" at the finale of the movie.
Low kill count but at least there were a bunch of horror references
The movie had one of the best starts for a horror movie ever. It set the tone for the entire movie (and, I assume, the sequels too) and it deserves a legendary status in my book.
After that, we get a bunch of references to classic horror movie titles and tropes, which includes Carrie, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Hellraiser, A Nightmare on Elm Street and so on and we even get a quote from Psycho. I'm sure there's more and I'll need to watch the movie again just to catch them all.
I tend to focus a lot on the soundtracks when watching movies and I was certainly pleased with the soundtrack of Scream - from the romantic alternative version of Don't Fear the Reaper by BOC to Whisper To A Scream by Soho, this movie picked perfect songs for the right scenes. Youth Of America by Ammo stood out for the ideal transition to change the scenery and the mood that the film was taking at that moment.
Now let's talk about the characters and the action - it was cute that Dewey and Gale were making eyes at each-other through out the movie so much that David Arquette and Courtney Cox ended up marrying (and later divorced) years later and a light, slightly comedic, tone managed to lift up the mood of the movie but the oblivious nature got old quite quickly to the point that it was just plain weird and slightly stupid. I don't know if Tatum's clothes would fit any school dress code back in the day and the whole scene in the garage, even though it was one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, felt more like a parody of a horror movie. The twist that followed later was cool, I'll admit that, but everything following it was a bit dull - it seems Billy decided not to shoot Gale just because he needs to see Monica end up with Chandler next season. Also, somehow nobody dies and everyone manages to just get up after being shot, stabbed and injured in any other means. I enjoyed most of the acting, with Billy being the chaotic evil and Stu being the chaotic good and the most comical diabolic psycho, only matched by the Three Fingers from the Wrong Turn series with his laughter, and most of the characters seemed either likable or interesting in some means, I don't recall anyone being plain and boring.
In the end of the day, it is a descent horror film about horror films and it deserves a watch. Love it or hate it, this movie is important for the horror genre for inspiring countless movies that came after it.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
This is a good film but it fails to be interesting
The film is a visual masterpiece but it somehow fails to be interesting, despite having a talented cast and taking place in one of the most devastating periods of out generation. The action sequences and acting in general was very dull and forced - every conflict doesn't even try to look real. Also, through out the movie, you can clearly notice messy cuts between different takes of the same scene with some questionable movie editing.
From my understanding, the story is told (shown) from the boys perspective but it still fails to display a world of childish curiosity and rather introduces us to not so fascinating and uninspiring plot.
And the last thing that bugs me is the title. Empire of the Sun, also known as Imperial Japan, doesn't really have a major role in the movie and the movie is not about the empire. So the title doesn't really fit the movie.
Overall, I was impressed with the cinematography and emotional messages that this movie send but the acting, dull action sequences and visible post-production work throws this movie into a neutral territory.
Chilling and with a twist
The first part of the movie raised a lot of question, I even started to question whether this is a science fiction movie or not and as soon as I accepted the fact that Madeline was possessed by the ghost of her past, I was hit by the twist. I'd say that's some good screenwriting.
The whole movie has that older vibe. Of course, living in the current situation I can't know how everyday life was for people back then, but watching movies from past decades make me appreciate how much effort was put into dialogues. It sound both natural, not over the top and charming.
The only problem I had with the movie was that it's too bland at some parts. Don't get me wrong, San Francisco looks great in the movie but nothing really impressed me in terms of soundtrack or cinematography.
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut is a success
Booksmart can be described as another cliche coming-of-age story, taking place during the last day of school, just before graduation. Just by saying that, most of us can picture what we can expect but Booksmart manages to bring some new light into the genre.
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut is a success in my eyes. Even though the dialogue made me cringe or feel uncomfortable during several occasions and several scenes were way exaggerated but it makes up for it with a vast cast of likeable characters. I don't think there's a single character I despised. And, just like with graduation, I kind of feel like I've parted my way with them all at the end of the movie, just to, hopefully, stumble upon them in other works they might appear in in the future.
The production and cinematography were better than descent for a comedy movie. Like the skateboarding with a fire extinguisher scene or everything turning into complete silence between the two lead roles, only with faint music and people observing and filming the argument with their phones in the blurred out background, these kind of quality pictures make the movie more memorable in my book.
Booksmart is kind of bizarre, even surreal at some moments and that fits the coming-of-age genre like a charm. It may not be perfect, but it certainly is enjoyable to watch on a boring evening to cheer you up.