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The first trailer for Vacation was hilarious imo for the kind of film it looked to be. The second trailer wasn't as good. But still, I was looking forward to it.

The first reviews and ratings are extremely bad though, both from critics and regular movie goers... Guess the film didn't turn out as good as it seemed in the first trailer.



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Mouchette (F, 1967, Robert Bresson) -


I can't see what others see in this movie. It's solidly made but i didn't find it very convincing, both story- and acting-wise.
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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."




My Girl (1991) - Howard Zieff
Schmaltzy nonsense. The kids weren't great but what makes this a really bad film is that the adults were worse. I wish Dan Aykroyd's character had also been stung to death by bees ... preferably whilst the opening credits were still being shown.



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Gerry (USA/ARG/JOR, 2002, Gus Van Sant) -


Interesting, beautifully shot and well played experimental movie about two guys getting lost in the desert. The second half of the movie dragged a lot.




My Girl (1991) - Howard Zieff
Schmaltzy nonsense. The kids weren't great but what makes this a really bad film is that the adults were worse. I wish Dan Aykroyd's character had also been stung to death by bees ... preferably whilst the opening credits were still being shown.
Saw this at the theater, I would have been around 15. I think even then I was too old for it. I have to admit I remember the bee sting scene though.
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Vacation

I made a huge mistake. You guys were right, this movie was god awful. Ed Helms was ridiculously unfunny and although Christina Applegate is crazy fun, she just didn't help at all. There really was no chemistry. Only redeeming qualities would be Charlie Day's cameo (I was actually laughing my ass off for the first and only time in the movie) and a part of Hemsworth's. I gave it a one because of those cameos only. If they didn't include those, it'd be a .5 or 0. Atleast I got to watch it at the Alamo Drafthouse, the one place where it can make a terrible movie watchable. Do. Not. Watch. This.

Even being a Helms fan I have no interest. You should have seen Mission Impossible.





I can see why this would be called the Citizen Kane of Noir. Not only in it's story structure of multiple flashbacks to tell the tragic back story of The Swede, but also that they have some really great technical skill behind the film. There is a fantastic long shot in the heist at the hat factory, lots of shadows, and a treasure trove of Noir tropes. Cops, crooks, washed up boxers, femme fatales, hit men, and double crosses. Another fantastic Noir!




I'm really looking forward to getting to that GS, looks like my kind of noir. Did you know there's a remake of it from Don Siegel (I think) too? That looks interesting as well.
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I'm really looking forward to getting to that GS, looks like my kind of noir. Did you know there's a remake of it from Don Siegel (I think) too? That looks interesting as well.
Yup. I bought the Criterion Blu Ray, so I have that Don Siegal movie and a Tarkovsky short on it along with the 1946 film. That should be great too.





I can see why this would be called the Citizen Kane of Noir. Not only in it's story structure of multiple flashbacks to tell the tragic back story of The Swede, but also that they have some really great technical skill behind the film. There is a fantastic long shot in the heist at the hat factory, lots of shadows, and a treasure trove of Noir tropes. Cops, crooks, washed up boxers, femme fatales, hit men, and double crosses. Another fantastic Noir!

I love the story structure so much. Really great Noir. One of my new faves. Your rolling Slinger. Have you seen Out Of The Past yet?



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Circus (USA, 1928, Charlie Chaplin) -
+

The weakest Chaplin feature that i've seen. It's nowhere near being a bad movie but it doesn't have the depth of Chaplin's other films. It's "just" a fun movie.



Merantau
(Gareth Edwards, 2009)




The main reason I've started exploring martial arts films is because The Raid 2 left me panting for more. I enjoyed the first film a lot, but the sequel was a kinetic, ass-kicking masterpiece. Merantau is basically The Raid-lite: same director, same leading man, same fighting style. Iko Uwais isn't playing Rama from The Raid, but it's still easy to view Merantau as a spiritual prequel. The thin story takes awhile to develop. A young martial arts expert moves from the village to the city, sees corruption, develops a relationship with a young woman and her little brother, incurs the wrath of a crime boss, then proceeds to beat the living hell out of countless goons. It's basically a live-action version of the side-scrolling beat-'em-ups I used to play on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I mean that as a good thing. The choreography isn't as jaw-dropping as it would become in The Raid and The Raid 2, but the fight scenes are still fantastic -- especially a showdown in an elevator involving Yayan Ruhian (another familiar face from The Raid movies) and a climactic battle in a shipping dock that's drenched in reds so heavy it would make Nicolas Winding Renf jealous. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of flaws. Some of the wire work is too noticeable. The extreme juxtaposition between the MC's idyllic village and the corrupt city is cartoonishly extreme. The bookends are overly sentimental. In The Raid 2, before all hell would break loose, director Gareth Edwards would slow things down, allowing the tension to swell through pregnant pauses. Each fight was like watching an action movie version of a spaghetti western duel. That tactic is absent in Merantau, so fight scenes don't have that extra oomph. Still, this is an exciting film and highly recommended for fans of The Raid and The Raid 2. Just temper your expectations a bit.




Merantau
(Gareth Edwards, 2009)




The main reason I've started exploring martial arts films is because The Raid 2 left me panting for more. I enjoyed the first film a lot, but the sequel was a kinetic, ass-kicking masterpiece. Merantau is basically The Raid-lite: same director, same leading man, same fighting style. Iko Uwais isn't playing Rama from The Raid, but it's still easy to view Merantau as a spiritual prequel. The thin story takes awhile to develop. A young martial arts expert moves from the village to the city, sees corruption, develops a relationship with a young woman and her little brother, incurs the wrath of a crime boss, then proceeds to beat the living hell out of countless goons. It's basically a live-action version of the side-scrolling beat-'em-ups I used to play on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I mean that as a good thing. The choreography isn't as jaw-dropping as it would become in The Raid and The Raid 2, but the fight scenes are still fantastic -- especially a showdown in an elevator involving Yayan Ruhian (another familiar face from The Raid movies) and a climactic battle in a shipping dock that's drenched in reds so heavy it would make Nicolas Winding Renf jealous. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of flaws. Some of the wire work is too noticeable. The extreme juxtaposition between the MC's idyllic village and the corrupt city is cartoonishly extreme. The bookends are overly sentimental. In The Raid 2, before all hell would break loose, director Gareth Edwards would slow things down, allowing the tension to swell through pregnant pauses. Each fight was like watching an action movie version of a spaghetti western duel. That tactic is absent in Merantau, so fight scenes don't have that extra oomph. Still, this is an exciting film and highly recommended for fans of The Raid and The Raid 2. Just temper your expectations a bit.

I loved The Raid, and liked The Raid 2 quite a bit. Will have too see this eventually.



Air Force One
(1997)

Air Force One is a very self-congratulatory movie. If this was a satire on America's selfish nationalism, it would have been more intelligent. Unfortunately, it's not. There's a scene where the Russian general, Ivan Radek (Jürgen Prochnow), is shot and killed. The board members of the presidency all cheered in harmony, including the president (Harrison Ford) himself. It represents the kind of ridiculous Americanism you'd see in so-called 'patriotic' action movies. Thank god this was released in '97, not during the Cold War era, or people would've faced some kind of nuclear Holocaust upon the film's release.

And why is this such a bother in the movie, as opposed to other dumb action movies like Commando and The One? It's because the beginning of the movie felt realistic enough to convince me that this might not just be another dumb action film, only to disappointingly turn into one by the end. Despite stringing along several familiar action cliches like a Frankenstein's monster, I actually found some of the scenes quite refreshing because I wasn't aware that the tropes were in fact cliches. Questions were asked about the terrorists' easy infiltration of the plane ("No, you would have to generate fake ID, photo, fingerprints."), the pilots were willing to sacrifice their lives before they'd listen to the terrorists' demands; it's these little neat details that had me fooled that Wolfgang Petersen was going for a more realistic approach. And then I realized there's a secretary of defense, Walter Dean (Dean Stockwell), who's as much a trigger-happy a**hole as any generic military affiliates you'd see in other movies.

Gary Oldman gave such a believable performance that I almost bought into his sympathetic story about America's killing of innocent Russian citizens, but then the ending came along, and not only did it not have any resolution to the foreign relationships between America and Russia, it gave us a lengthy action sequence with the last of the survivors leaving the plane, showing an anti-climatic villain-showdown between James Marshall and the traitor among them, the secret service agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley). If you wanted a climatic ending, tell me again why you didn't just end it with Ivan's death? That would have at least saved the film from the horrible special effect sequence when the plane crashed into the ocean.

Of course, it's only when the movie is over, when I look back at it, that I realized how dumb the film really is. I mean, you have an F-15 pilot taking a missile for the president without hesitation. Aren't they trained to eject their pilot-seat for that kind of thing? This is a totally different kind of self-sacrifice from earlier, when the Air Force One pilots rebelled against the terrorists; this is just an act of stupidity or inexperience. And then you have the terrorist cannon fodder who check on the noises one at a time so that an aging Harrison Ford would have an easier time taking them down. Don't get me started on the leak of information to the press; I'm pretty sure the presidential board members are more tight-lipped about this. Moreover, they are probably not going to have petty fights and arguments among each other like little children either.

Having said all that, Harrison Ford at this time still proved that he could sell himself as an action star. Although his 'Crystal Skull' sluggishness was starting to show, Ford still managed to squeeze that last remaining physicality in this movie. He's still clearly a great actor at that point of time, because he sold me really well on the opening speech about America's negligence on the loss of lives. Too bad the speech never got paid off with any satisfying conclusion.

(Disappointing)
Enjoyability: High... until the airplane bungee-escape at the end, then it tumbled down like Gary Oldman on the chute.



@Spaulding gave the same rating and thought just about the same as you about it.

It isn't near the Raid films, but it is a fun lower budget prequel to those films. I enjoyed it for the fights and such, but yeah they were missing a build-up and a proper set-up throughout. They were nicely designed but not nearly as elegant as with the Raid films. I actually decided to check it out way back when, for the same reason as you. And with a combination of watching Jackie Chan films for a few days. All that had me like, "I need more martial arts in my life!" Though I already had plenty at that point.

Good review. But why not post them in your review thread?



Good review. But why not post them in your review thread?
Because I'm not self-centered like the rest of you.

A year ago I didn't know how to go back and find my own posts in other threads without exhaustively visiting page after page, so I created the "Cinematic Catalogue" so I'd have all my write-ups and reviews stored in one place. Now I know how to find old posts with ease, so if I ever need to quote one of these write-ups in the future, it shouldn't take me but a minute or two to find it. Also, this thread is probably the most popular thread on the forum. The average number of +rep each post in here receives is typically higher than you see in most of the "film diaries," which are unfairly ignored by a lot of members. I'd rather post in here than my own thread simply for the sake of increased visibility.

When the day comes when I decide to add a Best Reviewer MoFie to my mantle of trophies, I'll resurrect my thread and resume writing much longer, more in-depth reviews.