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I'm looking forward to seeing Nightcrawler because it seems a really dialogue heavy film, with a few deep characters and an atmosphere. Seeing it linked to American Psycho isn't appealing at all, so I hope I don't see it that way.
This sounds awful weird coming from you - dialogue heavy? deep characters? ATMOSPHERE?

Did you bump your head or something?



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Review #20 - Tropic Thunder:
(Ben Stiller, 2008)


Tropic Thunder is a comedy about the troubles of filmmaking, a mix of spoof and satire. Its total lack of political correctness has caused controversy in the past but frankly the bombardment of laughs had me care less of those who were offended by its contents. Ben Stillerís directed feature is hilarious and as a comedy, thatís all it needs to be.

On the subject of controversy, the two characters that were the centre of it, Kirk Lazarus and Simple Jack werenít intended to make fun of their real life versions (Blacks and The Mentally Handicapped). Theyíre simply used as a way to poke fun at ridiculous method actors and it works to fine effect, I couldnít help but laugh at the role immersion techniques of Kirk Lazarus (played by Robert Downey Junior). Robertís character is by far the most outlandish and funny in here, though hotheaded producer Less Grossman (Tom Cruise) and fatties actor Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) do give him a run for his money.

Thatís not to say the smaller parts donít have their moments, roles like the ones played by Nick Nolite, Matthew Mcconaughey, Danny McBride and Bill Hader provide a new side to create fun and boy do they capitalise on it (Four Leafís hands, agency and special effects issues and kiss assery). The cinematography goes unmentioned and thatís only normal for a comedy film (when was a comedy ever acclaimed for its visuals?) but the Jungle scenes look very nice (even when its intent is to replicate images from Apocalypse Now and Agurrie, Wrath of God) and the explosions are top-notch, the final scenes are always the biggest and Ben Stiller expresses his inner-Michael Bay with an ending thatís full of excessiveness.

Tropic Thunder is my favorite comedy of all time and its uniquely humorous take on the movie business will continue to quench my funny bone for years to come. A great film, recommended.






This sounds awful weird coming from you - dialogue heavy? deep characters? ATMOSPHERE?

Did you bump your head or something?
Ah, but that's because you don't know me. As you love Tropic Thunder, I'd like to keep it that way.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



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Review #21 - Do The Right Thing:
(Spike Lee, 1989)


Films regarding racial aspects of soceity tend to be cliche and in the end, spread a message which is wholly black and white. Spike Lee doesn't (or rather didn't) have this issue, no side taking here or trying to play his race out as the victim, it's all real to life.

Do The Right Thing is almost like a compliation of episodes, it shows people from all walks of life and doesn't shy away from highlighting their flaws. Akin to Dog Day Afternoon, taking place on a hot summer's day and I must say I duck a film when someone mentions it all happens in one day, it just gives me the notion that the director wasn't ambitious enough and chose to do something small scale and seemingly insignificant. Let me tell you, Do The Right Thing has broken that ignorant thinking of mine, it's truly an amazing film and deeper than ones that stretch across years or decades.

As like a chunk of the director's movies, Do The Right Thing is mostly centered on black people and their actions over the course of a day. Spike Lee chose to use his characters as a vechicle for the story rather than the traditional plot. It's a hard thing to do and I can only think of a few directors who excel in it (Scorsese is probably the best). Anyways, Spike Lee makes it look effortlessly easy and packs his film with lively and colorful personalities, feulled by the stellar actings of the stacked cast. The cinematography is among the most unique I've ever seen, using the hotness of the day to inject color into the environment, stylish and hypnotic.

The Ending happens to be complex, unexpected yet done with a great sense of prowess. For a real perspective on Spike Lee's ingenius creation, you should defintely watch Do The Right Thing for yourself and let the experience take hold. I won't spoil anything but one of the characters had me fooled so bad that I didn't expect what he/she does at a moment in the film, it's huge in the whole story, literally going against the title.

Do The Right Thing avoids typicalites of films similar to itself and doesn't shove the same old tired message down your throat. It's crafted with intellgence and has a take for both sides to enjoy. The characters are extremly likeable and gripping, they're the driving force of the entire film and will keep you watching until the gobsmacking climax. Already one of my favorites.






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Review #22 - War of the Worlds:
(Steven Spielberg, 2005)


War of the Worlds is Spielberg's third Alien-related film and it's unanimously the weakest, that's to be expected though as ET and Close Encounters of The Third Kind are great films and staples of the Alien genre and hard to match in any department. Cruise plays a divorced husband and father to his two kids (one played by the ridiciously annyoing Daktoa Fanning), I didn't find anything wrong with his performance but it never wowed me; It's Tom Cruise on autopilot in a nutshell.

On the scale of related movies, War of the Worlds does quite well (considering the genre isn't packed full of goodness) but don't go in expecting Signs 2.0 and I mean that both in the sense of the quality and content of the film, it's not as good as Signs and it substitutes build up through suspense with big budget, all-payoff special effects and even though that's a pretty cheap way of upping the entertainment factor, it worked for me because the special effects are great to look at, everything on the post-production side is impressive. Just don't go in expecting a slow-burn like Signs, it's more along the lines of Independance Day with a darker tone.

Other than the visuals, War of the Worlds is empty and detached. The characters are made out to be sympathetic/likeable but I never felt for any of them, it's a failure to execute, they do heroic stuff but I don't like them. A certain smug aura radiates off them that prevents me from feeling sympathey for their situation. I don't know if that's a fault on the director or actors' part but the film remains just a film because of that very flaw, it never evolves into an EXPERIENCE like most good films do, just a series of moving pictures. I was surprised by the lack of a second plot in which the government is finding out the ways to defeat the Aliens, it's pretty much the 101 in Alien-invasion films. The time taken out is wasted for meaningless 20-minute scenes like Tim Robbinson as a ground dweller patoriot and the son's army talks.

War of the Worlds is a much-lesser effort from Spielberg than we're accustom too, it fails to surpass or even equal ET and Close Encounters. Overall, a lacklustre adpation of HG Wells' novel.





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Review #23 - Walkabout:
(Nicholas Roeg, 1971)


Walkabout is a natural beauty, your holiday to Australia could just be by watching this film and you'd be satisfied, the outback is captured perfectly with almost hypnotic imagery and atmosphere. The premise is the least of concerns but for a basic rundown: a depressed father and his two kids take a trip to the outback for a small picnic, the father soon goes berserk at tiny annoyances, tries to kill his kids (failing), then commits suicide and because of all of this, the kids become stranded in the middle of the desert.

From that point forward, it's a montage of allure, that's honestly the best way I can describe it. Roeg's direction and constant use of jump cuts make it somewhat of a two-hour music video, Walkabout is mesmerizing from the kangaroo get-go.

Nicholas Roeg abandons the traditional storytelling approach for one which uses images as the foremost conveyer of story. This transforms the film's could've-been simplicity into a layered and complex feat, visuals of the sun-burnt Outback and its native wildlife give off a strange sense of ambiguity as they often go for long takes and tend to become disorientated and fuzzy. Precise editing points out the similarities in nature between western and indigenous men, two incomparable lifestyles somehow made siblings at the hands of Nicholas Roeg. The key moments in Walkabout make you question the true being of humans, their original nature and way of life. Walkabout is like a trip back to the caveman era, we see how men were as animals and how they still are but in a more structured environment. The opening scene (of the Dad going bonkers) presents the true essence of man in all his glory.

But, it's still a time of purity as much as it was a time of man. Take the aboriginal group huddling up in the burnt car and ultimately rejecting it as shelter, it's because the car is an impure haven of artifical creation. To sum it all up, Walkabout is a tremendous film with some of the best cinematography to ever grace the silver screen, don't take it for one of style over substance though, it ticks both boxes with a big swish. Walkabout is a magnificent journey into the scorching heart of rural Australia. Deep, thought-provoking and immersive. Mother nature awaits you.






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Review #25 - Deliverance:
(John Boorman, 1972)


Deliverance is the catalyst for most inbred horrors and one of the first films to present the unmanning of men in a visceral way. Most people don't look at this film as one of revolutionary impact, but 60s displayed men of the macho-istic type as the heroes, but never has a mainstream film transformed these same individuals (Burt Reynold's character in your typical embodiment of a man's man as is Ned Beatty's, who's more so cocky than manly) into an incredibly pathetic bunch like John Boorman did with his masterpiece, Deliverance. Their tough sleeves are ripped apart at the hands of the Cahulawassee River and its disturbed inhabitants in a long, brutal experience. Even though, it's not clear to the viewer, the director achieves two types of depictions here which are equally as good, a portrayal of man vs man and a man vs nature.

Both aspects are executed perfectly, from the highly accurate and intense rowing trips down the individual rapids and impressive cinematography that subtly captures both the beautiful and dark side of a soon-to-be-gone landmark, then to the infamous and sickeningly realistic rape scene made possible by the amazing performances of the entire cast. The four men being from the busy streets, there'd be a moral lesson to be learnt; city men are exterminating a natural wonder to make way for another man-made spectacle and it sickens the southerners.

Deliverance is a milestone in film, seen people compare it to Straw Dogs and that kinda saddens me but whatever, their most popular points are scenes of rape and both have crazy people who are out of the touch with current society as antagonists. It's understandable, but the difference is a wide margin with Deliverance sitting on top as perfection.






I'm really interested in watching both Walkabout and Deliverance. The former of which I have actually wanted to see for a long time, and now Deliverance has been added to my watchlist and I'm interested in watching it soon.

Great reviews as well, both of them!



I think anyone who mentions Straw Dogs and Deliverance together in that way needs to see them both again. Deliverance is a fantastic film.

A film which is often mentioned in connection to Deliverance is Southern Comfort. Have you see that? Again, they're not the same and, I feel, most people who really love Deliverance much prefer it to Southen Comfort, but I think it's well worth seeing.



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I never knew you liked Deliverance honeykid, that's great. I have watched Southern Comfort on the account of its similarities to Deliverance. Sorry but I was underwhelmed, the action was clunky and it felt very dated, Deliverance flowed better and it's years older. I don't know, Fred Ward was good though.



As I said, people who love Deliverance seem to like it a lot more than Southern Comfort, but I think the comparisson's there and that it's worth watching. It's been a while since I saw either, but while I can understand your first criticism, the second I find slightly baffling. What was it about Southern Comfort that you thought made it feel, I'm assuming, more dated than Deliverance?



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As I said, people who love Deliverance seem to like it a lot more than Southern Comfort, but I think the comparisson's there and that it's worth watching. It's been a while since I saw either, but while I can understand your first criticism, the second I find slightly baffling. What was it about Southern Comfort that you thought made it feel, I'm assuming, more dated than Deliverance?
It feeling dated is probably because of the clunky action, Deliverance has the canoe scenes which are shot with such smoothness and the scene Jon Voight where tries to hit his arrow into the hunter and the eventual aftermath is extremely tense.

With SC, from what I remember, there were no tight, intense sequences. It was all gung-ho with no buildup to compensate for the lack of creativity.



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Review #26 - Big Hero 6:
(Don Hall and Chris Williams, 2014)


Big Hero 6 is a great adaption of the comic book series, itís smart, funny and riddled with clever details on and off screen. The world is magnificently crafted, weirdly similar to that of Blade Runner, minus the darkness and deadness. Baymax is the best character of the film, he is the epitome of loveable, everything from his squishy belly, exceedingly helpful behaviour and bright personality? (can a Robot have a personality?) will have you reaching toward the screen for a warm, marshmallow-like hug. The other heroes failing to live up to his likeness is a testament to the strength of the character - born with no backstory, just a block of metal and machinery and commands stem solely from the word of Hiro. He may seem like nothing much, nothing unique but something about the way he acts and evolves over the course of the film is riveting.

Thatís not to say the rest of the gang werenít good, they were great in fact. Hiro is a fun, little and ambitious protagonist, the heroes are all likeable in their own way. I can see the blondy-girl appealing to the barbie fanatics, the reptile dude to the stoners, the very caution Black dude to fans of spoof films and the surfer chick to the tomboys and men who have good taste in women (like myself, yummy ). I loved every single one of them, fun characters with their own distinct personalities and traits. As for the actual animation, itís probably the best Iíve seen thus far. Itís truly remarkable how quick the visuals and movement of 3D Animation have grown since their only recent arrival, close to rivalling real life stuff now. The action scenes are wonderfully detailed, microbots as a weapon for the masked antagonist were effective, providing a platform for some of the best destruction in animation or film in general. Those set pieces appeared so deadly or dangerous but I couldnít help but be in awe at the heroesí powers, explosions and vibrant effects.

Needless to say, Big Hero 6 is a cartoon brought to life (quite literally) and has enough stuff going for it story-wise like upbeat humour and cool characters to avoid falling into the ďbeautiful but emptyĒ category. Itís packed with content to brim and Iím eager to revisit to catch some missed hints and details. Superb animation.