Keyser Corleone's Movie Memoirs

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Agree about Titan A.E.. Underrated. I think the animation style and some of the corny jokes belie its stronger qualities. Some very cool ideas (bad guys made of energy!) in there that could've made for a really terrific sci-fi film if it had decided to go in a more serious route. I'd love to have seen it in live action.

Batman (1989) - Directed by Tim Burton

"I'm Batman."

Tim Burton of all people directs a Batman movie. Who saw Mr. Pee Wee's Big Adventure making that total shift? And who saw Warner Bros. actually backing him up on that? Well, he didn't disappoint. Easily the most iconic Batman movie before The Dark Knight came out, Tim Burton's Batman redifined the superhero scene where Marvel kept failing before the X-Men franchise.

This Batman tale focuses on a reinvented Joker who plans on killing everyone in Gotham, a journalist who wants the whole scoop on Batman, and a Bruce Wayne much more scarred by his past than usual interpretations. And of course, there's a twist involving the Joker this time.

Tim Burton might not make a lot of five-star movies, but he sure makes some fun ones. The cinematography of the whole thing and the sets are absolutely perfect for a Batman film, and even better than what the Nolan series had. Whenever I think of Gotham City, my mind goes to the first shot of the whole city in this movie. And the score carries some of Danny Elfman's defining music. Who would've though Mr. Oingo Boingo would have made it this far?

The acting is top-notch. Nicholson plays the Joker, and he's a real good Joker. It's always great for me to see a clever and well-acted interpretation of one of my favorite villains. And Michael Keaton, as usual, brigs real heart to his role as Bruce Wayne, which would end up as one of several of his defining early-career roles.

There is only one problem I have with the movie. For a while, the film seems like it's shifting between main characters, putting too much emphasis on one character at a time. As a result, there wasn't enough Bruce Wayne in the film.

Still, I gotta say this is a classic superhero movie that set the standards for superhero movies in the future until the MCU redefined them. Batman is my favorite superhero, and the Batman movies are one of my favorite film franchises to go through. And it's really thanks to Tim Burton's classic.

Mamma Mia (2008)

"Mamma mia, here I go again! My my, how can I resist you?"

Almost immediately after I go to the Netflix app, I turn Mamma Mia on. I just pressed it spontaneously, just like that. I don't even know why. I had very little interest in the movie before watching it, and I'm not even an ABBA fan. Well, I watched it anyway. My plan was to review Batman Returns, but I'll get this off of my chest.

I am a fan of musicals, but usually when they're absolutely phenomenal. I have so many Rodgers and Hammenstein movies on my to-do list, but I haven't even checked them out because I don't feel they can top The King and I or The Sound of Music. So me putting on Mamma Mia was a complete surprise for myself. Given the ratings, I'm not entirely sure what my expectations were beforehand, but I was fairly pleased with the end result.

This musical chick flick is about a bride-to-be who finds out about three possible dads she could have, and invites them all to her wedding without her secretive mother (Meryl Streep) knowing about it. But there's one problem after another when she catches them before the wedding.

I'll bet this movie was better on stage. There were a couple of big problems with it. First off all, most of the voices were incredibly underwhelming to the point where I really wished it was ABBA singing "Dancing Queen" and "SOS." And Pierce Brosnan just can't sing. What the hell went through their minds when they cast him in the film when they could have gotten someone like Gerard Butler, who's singing voice was just good enough to warrant a role as The Phantom of the Opera in the live-action movie by Joel Schumacher!? Pierce Brosnan has an edgy history with polarized-to-bad movies like Die Another Day or After the Sunset, and his singing voice didn't help. And I felt Amanda Seyfield's voice was better suited for Disney Channel original movies. Good, but not ABBA good.

My second complaint is that the director, Phyllida Lloyd, clearly didn't know what she was doing. It's like she was just copying the musical's direction and paying no attention to where the camera went for most of the movie. I mean, sure, I don't expact kathryn Bigelow. But I at least expected better than this.

But despite these complaints, I'll admit I liked the movie. I don't usually do chick flicks (this might even be the first one I ever fully watched), but there was a good presence about it. Meryl Streep, the best voice in the movie, was a real treat to watch. I had already seen her in Into the Woods, and this is a woman who was made for modern musicals. Her dancing was great and her acting was even better. perfect choice for the role of the mother Donna. And the older women in the movie were also quite a treat because they were just so funny and realistic as far as obnoxious woman who desperately want their youth back go.

And since it IS an ABBA music, most of the music was pretty good. yeah, we didn't have voices like Flatskog and Lyngstad, but most of the songs were pretty catchy. The real problem with the score itself, vocals aside, is that it can be song-after-song on multiple occasions, weighing down the story. But the story that was their was quite gripping. I kept wanting badly to know what was going to happen next, right from the first couple minutes where the basics of the plot are thrown in your face alongside one of the opening songs.

I'd say this was a pretty good movie for what it was. There's a lot of room for improvement, but it does its job as a musical. Thankfully I hear the sequel is much better, so I guess I'll see that when it's on DVD. My favorite thing about the movie was EASILY Meryl Streep.

Batman Returns (1992) - Directed by Tim Burton

Gotham City was ravaged by a disease that turned eagle scouts into crazed clowns and happy homemakers into catwomen!

I grew up with the Tim Burton Batman movies (not the Joel Schumacher ones). I remember when my dad bought the first one. I have no idea when he bought the second, but this helped me rank Batman as my number 1 superhero. And Batman Returns is the best one.

This sequel to the 1989 hit with Jack Nicholson featured Michael keaton once again donning the Bat Cowl as he investigates the crime spree headed by orphaned mutant Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, Penguin's connection to corrupt business owner Mex Shreck, and the appearance of a mysterious woman who gives a new definitoon to the term, "cat-burglar."

I'm in the minority when I say this movie's better than the first. Sure, we don't have a lot of Bruce Wayne's trauma to deal with like we did in the first movie, but instead we get to see more of his bachelor side and his trouble with balancing out relations and superhero biz, Spidey style. Michelle Pfieffer plays a perfect Catwoman (don't say it) who not only looked really sexy, but brought a lot of comic-book appeal to the film. Danny DeVito as the Penguin? Wonderful choice! If they ever get another actor for the role, the actor needs to be trained by DeVito himself. And I won't leave out Christopher Walken's performance. he's Christopher Walken, so you can always expect a good, likely creepy job.

The reason I like this movie more than the first is because there's more of a comic book approach than the first film, and Tim Burton balances it out very well. The campiness of Batman villains is at its absolute best when you have Tim Burton, Danny Elfman and Danny DeVito behind the wheel of villainry.

The sets of the film are just as good as the first one. But with the combination of Burton, Christmas time, and Gotham, you gotta expact a wonderful kind of cheesiness that only DC comics could offer. And the best part about that is they add a lot to the story when you take into account visual effects. Mostly, sets are there to look pretty. This has a little more.

Tim Burton's wonderful sequel to his own hit superhero movie might not be five-stars, but it's damn close. It's well worth checking out for any fellow Batman fan, and is another essential for Michael Keaton.

Let the Right One In - (2008) - Directed by Tomas Alfredson

"Are you a vampire?"

I was just looking up some of the highest rated vampire movies out of curiosity, and the Swedish modern classic Let the Right One In ended up near the top of the list. I remembered seeing the Netflix movie popping up but always considered it a pass and go movie, as well as its American remake, Let Me In. I dismissed them as typical vampire movies like Twilight and watched other things.

I'm willing to bet I wasn't just ready for the movie. I didn't remember the reviews for the movies so I looked them up last night. DAMMIT THEY'RE HIGH. So, yeah. I watched it for the first time today and... it was so effective on me that I'm still reeling.

The film is about a bullied 12-year-old boy who wants to become tougher to intimidate the bullies. When he meets a mysterious new neighbor, a girl the same age as him, he has no idea she's actually a vampire.

I'm not a vampire guy myself. When I do horror, I usually do psychological or alien horror. And I'm also a fan of horror-comedies like Beetlejuice. I was going on an utter whim here, hoping I'll discover another gem in the realm of modern horror because I hardly find those. Even most classic horror movies didn't quite do it for me. But I'll admit, it wasn't scares that powered this movie. It was the drama between the bullied boy and the lonely vampire girl and their eventual young love. This is what Twilight should have been, not the cheesy Teen Nick turned Gothic romance but the young, innocent lovers romance. That drama kept me going on, and an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie I was so shocked by how events played out that I didn't know if I could handle the ending.

Speaking of that shock, I'll add that it felt very PERSONAL. This is key to the film's progression because one would easily fault the movie for having little character development. I refuse to fault this film for that. The effect on me, and likely most audiences, is built on the tension between the two main characters. Character development would have harmed the movie.

The ending was phenomenal. I really couldn't believe what I was watching. The best moments of direction in the film take place at the last few minutes of the movie, the great climax. Although the rest of the direction in the film shouldn't be overlooked. Where most indie movies only keep powerful characters like vampires off-screen while they use their powers due to budget restrictions and limited special effects, the effect the direction had on that recurring trait of the film only helped improve on the vampire's already mysterious character. And the eating-people scenes were a shock to the system. To think a 12-year-old girl has to go through all of that?

Let the Right One In is one of my favorite horror movies, and is a hell of a lot better than most of Swedish film-king Ingmar Bergman's films. I'm still recovering from the shock of the climax. I was planning on watching its American remake, Let Me In, right after watching this, since the remake also got phenomenal reviews but was lightly criticized for being derivative of the original film. But if the film's almost as good as its original Swedish counterpart, I really can't do it now. The Swedish one pushed my horror-drama limits quite a bit and I don't think I can go through the story twice in one day. I'm honestly ready to relax with a chick flick.

Batman Forever (1995) - Directed by Joel Schumacher

"Wholly rusted metal, Batman!"

When I first watched the first Schumacher entry of the 80's-90's Batman movies, I kind of enjoyed it for Jim Carrey's performance. But that was years ago. Now I'm not that fond of it. Batman's famous film series was turned into a barrage of colors that don't match well with black.

This time, Batman might need some help dealing with two villains at once! Not only does the former district attorney-turned-gambling crime lord Two-Face run rampant on Gotham, but a vengeful scientist sends riddle to Bruce Wayne in an attempt to get back at him for rejecting a "grand invention." It's time Batman got a sidekick, which might be the young acrobat bent on revenge against Two-Face.

My first criticism is very blatant: the colors. There were colors and colors all over the place. I'd say they put Superman's costume to shame if it weren't for the fact that THIS IS A BATMAN MOVIE. Pretty colors and Batman don't mix at all. Maybe for the Joker, but adding them anywhere you go and turning a beloved DC Comics landmark into Pastel-Gotham City doesn't help the franchise's dark mood which was so powerful in the first two movies that it hurt. I'm no homophobe or anything, but I, like many critics, believe it's Schumacher's sexuality that might have had a say, and in the end that backfired. Homosexuality in Batman is a long-debated topic. There's even a Wikipedia article. You wanna add some gay, fine. But closing the camera in on fake Bat-Nipples and glossy Bat-butts doesn't help a Batman movie, especially since Schumacher tried to defend himself by saying the suits were influenced by ANCIENT GREEK STATUES. There's the naked truth for you.

Secondly, the story. There I things I liked about the story, which I'll get to later, but part of it was thrown together with too much sci-fi influence for Batman. Maybe it's fine for a typical cheesy 60's comic book, but the Burton Batman movies already had a feel about them that was dark and quirky, and the sci-fi elements were too quirky for the darker elements to really work.

I'm mixed about the characters. They mostly felt unrealistic. But I loved some of the acting. I especially love Jim Carrey's performance as The Riddler, because he's perfect for the role of a quirky, yet kinda insane inventor who loves to tease you with riddles. Val Kilmer also did a good job as Bruce Wayne. I thought Bruce's role in the movie was a little emotionally weaker than usual, which annoyed me, but I can't deny Kilmer did a good job maintaining an air of strength throughout the role, which helped a lot. I wasn't that impressed with Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. He had charisma, but he felt more like a cartoon character than the Two-Face from Batman: The Animated Series.

I won't deny there's a good amount of action. Some of the story elements worked well with the action, and it's clear Schumacher payed close attention to the cinematography to give the film an artistic feel. The only real problem with that is that it was a little too artistic for Batman standards. But it was still movie quality. Schumacher's great with cinematography.

Batman Forever is very easy to have problems with. Thankfully I look at enough of the good things about the movie to give it a decent rating, but Schumacher shouldn't have been put in charge. Thankfully, we had the Nolan series and the animated Batman films to satisfy all of the fans.

Batman & Robin (1997) - Directed by Joel Schumacher

"Hey, chill."

Well, this is the last of the 1990's Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, and thankfully it was the last. I have a dark feeling that if Schumacher made another Batman movie it would have only been even more jacked up. This is one of the worst superhero movies I've ever seen, hands down.

This time, Batman and Robin are at odds with THREE villains! One is the unfortunately quotable polar opposite of a pyromaniac (I hope you saw what I did there), a planto-kinetic woman who's too self-aware of her appearance and powers, and a mindless brute. So, Batman and Robin are going to need a third wheel, because apparently the Batmobile lost one and the Joker ran away after he realized Schumacher's Batman is bull.

The colors. The seizuriffic colors. My hand shakes at the atrocity. Pastel goth doesn't even start! Who is this movie and what has it done with my beloved Gotham City? I would pay to get my beloved back, but I'm done paying for Schumacher movies.

And what the living hell is with the Bat nipples? Is it just me, or are they even more noticeable? I'm certain that in all of history, nipples have never been more distracting. The suits were terrible. They were overly glossy, too "armored-up," and silver isn't Batman's or Robin's color. It's such an unfitting style that parts of me honestly prefer the original Bibleman suit!

And the belt is very likely construction paper!

The plot had a lot of potential, but trying to balance out the three plotlines seemed like too much work for Schumacher, especially when none of them are played well. Shwartzennegar's character was too focused on the overdone ice puns made somehow memorable with his accent than actually freezing things. Uma Thurman's cartoon performance of Poison Ivy and her, ahem, previous form, might as well have been Nick Jr. villains. And Bane wasn't interesting or even scary at all. He was just there for the purpose of having another villain.

And much of the plot was so stupid that it might as well have been a cartoon movie. That's honestly what it felt like. Schumacher clearly tried to hards to make a live-action cartoon. In fact, the darkness of Batman was completely done away with for this. The opening scene was so lauhable I hoped the rest of the movie would follow suit, but it didn't.

The chemistry between Batman, Robin and Batgirl is oftentimes underwhelming, trying to hard to be "personal" when in reality it ended up flat-out predictable most of the time. Chris O'Donnell does a much worse job as Robin than he did in the last movie, and I would honestly prefer Hayden Christensen's Anakin.

I have one good thing to say about the movie that saved it from being a total disaster. Schumacher knows how to direct a movie well. He always did, and he payed attention to the stylistics of the delivery. At least he pays attention.

Batman & Robin is not a good movie. I pity anyone who enjoys it because they believe it's good, if I may be blunt. I'll always like the laughable feel of the opening scene, though.

Let the Right One In is one of my favorite horror movies...

Good to see others loving this too. It's probably my favorite film at the moment. It's such a perfect mix of horror, character driven drama and innocent romance.

If you're a reader I can recommend the book as well. It's very high on my book rankings too and I'd really hope that more of John Ajvide Lindqvist's books would be filmed (especially Little Star).

Good to see others loving this too. It's probably my favorite film at the moment. It's such a perfect mix of horror, character driven drama and innocent romance.

If you're a reader I can recommend the book as well. It's very high on my book rankings too and I'd really hope that more of John Ajvide Lindqvist's books would be filmed (especially Little Star).
I might. I'm trying to be more of a reader.

Open Range (2003) - Direced by Kevin Costner

"Everything they think they are or did, takes hold so hard that it won't let them see what they can be."

I watched this a while back with by grandparents who said it was a good movie. I watched it in HD, to be more specific. This little tidbit plays an important role in the review later. Right now, let me just sum up the basics by saying it was a good movie with good acting but it was a little hard to follow and needed more meat to the story.

Open Range is a western about an open-range cattleman and a scarred ex-soldier dealing with an abusive land baron who hates open-rangers and attempts to scare them away and even kill them. Eventually, the land baron pushes all the wrong buttons, and it's war.

The characters had the making of lovavle characters one could relate to, but they weren't quite developed enough, and so they weren't relatable enough. This unfortunate oversight made the characters feel a little generic. But the acting was good. This all-star cast nailed it good. And the story was a bit interesting. It needed a lot of meat to add to the plate, however, and the length of the movie occasionally kept it slow at times and boring in a couple of spots.

The scenery was all good and convincing, having that old-west open-range presence. But there's something you should know: never watch this movie in HD. There's a garden at the end of the movie, and with HD you can tell it's plastic. Well, Costner, I guess he over-spending lesson Waterworld tried to teach you didn't pan out as well as you thought.

One more thing I have to say was that the action was all fun and thrilling. My brain was on the edge of it's seat. But Costner didn't direct the ending scene as well as I had liked. It focused a little too much on being epic and not enough on the action itself.

Open Range is a fun movie, but I hardly consider it an essential figure for the western scene or for Costner fans. Maybe completionists will get more of a kick out of it.

The Sting (1973) - Direced by George Roy Hill

"Dukey, if this thing blows up, the Feds will be the least of our problems."

I've seen three movies directed by George Roy Hill (The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Slaughterhouse Five). I've also seen three Paul Newman movies... 4 if you caount Cars. The Sting is definitely my favorite involving both of them, largely due to the direction and heart put into the film.

Paul Newman reunites with Robert Redford in a Depression-era New Hollywood film about a grifter who seeks out a veteran conman hiding from the FBI in order to outcon a vicious crime boss in a grand scheme involving horse-race betting. But the FBI wants to use this young grifter to get close to their old enemy.

This was the second Paul Newman film I watched when I was trying to introduce myself to him and his art. The first was obviously Butch Cassidy. Now Newman was magnificent as Butch, but playing Henry Gondorff was a much better role for him. Newman was always great at playing the self-assured man, ever since he played in The Hustler. And Robert Redford beat his role in Butch Cassidy as well, playing a young conman that seems to have little knowledge of what he's really trying to do. But neither of them outshined the other. It takes a lot to go head-to-head with Paul Newman.

What I found interesting was how this movie pitted the famous duo from the classic western AGAINST each other at times, as if to totally shift the mood from two life-long buddies to something more mature and modern: a question of trust. That was a plot element made only more compelling by casting those two in their roles. That casting choice right there is a little bit of proof that George Roy Hill is underrated as a movie director.

And another notable thing about The Sting is its more positive outlook on the Depression, making things seem more worth-living rather than making the movie feel like a real depression. This gives you hope for the main characters to complete their goal, despite the moral conflict you may have with their methods.

I don't have any complaints about The Sting. If there ever was a must-see for an actor, it's The Sting for both Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Absolutely perfect.

Dreamcatcher (2003) - Directed by Lawrence Kasdan

"I'll show you things you'll wish you'd never seen."

I've been interested in Dreamcatcher for a while, but didn't watch it until yesterday. I expected a pretty bad movie, but I didn't entirely get what I bargained for. There were quite a few things about the movie I liked.

This sci-fi horror book is based on a Stephen King novel about four psychic friends going on a camping trip an dealing with an alien invasion. Little do they know that a government agency has been tailing the aliens for a long time and is planning on taking any risk to rid the world of the invaders.

As a movie about psychics, Dreamcatcher was pretty cool. One of my favorite things about the movie is the "warehouse" visual metaphor which one of the characters ends up trapped in. And Kasdan payed close attention to the special effects without making the movie a CGI-romp

I understand Rotten Tomatoes called it incoherent, but I don't really think so. All of the subplots in the movie that were built up were eventually explained. I was very pleased with that. And although the cast didn't really do anything memorable (except for Donnie Wahlberg as Duddits) and they only had decent development, I loved the way they got children who look and act like their adult counterparts for the flashbacks.

But the movie is very predictable. Five minutes before some of the scares, I could tell what was going to happen. Some of the movie scared me, and some of the story engrossed me, but I knew when most of the characters who died were going to. And of course, the way the first character dies in the movie is because of a stupid reason. I won't spoil it, but he did something incredibly stupid, and a monster got to him.

I thought Dreamcatcher was a decent movie. I liked a lot of the story and I wouldn't mind a remake closer to the novel, even though I've never read any Stephen King novels. But I guess if I want a really terrible Stephen King movie, I'm going to have to watch Cell, because Dreamcatcher was less of a disappointment than I anticipated. I would say it's a love-it-or-hate-it movie, but I wouldn't use that extreme. I'll say like-it-ir-don't-like-it.

The Thin Blue Line (1988) - Directed by Errol Morris

"If there was ever a hell on earth, it's Dallas County."

The Thin Blue Line is one of the most highly-reviewed documentaries in the world, and it took me a while to see it because I knew it was about police troubles. I'm going to level with you: I hate bad cops. I'll explain more about that in the review. But I've never been so engrossed in a crime-documentary in all my life.

The documentary is an analysis of the murder of a police officer and the trial and conviction of a man only framed for the murder by a braggart 16 year old. This man is Randall Dale Adams, a man with little to no history of violence and no criminal record, as opposed to the man who framed him: a convicted robber and braggart named David Harris. The film explains the many mistakes from the case and strong possibilities that he was not guilty.

The first stupid mistake the police make is trusting a braggart. Here's a stupid 16 year old everyone knows as a talker, and they think they can trust him? Second, police threatening people to sign a confession is proof of stupidity and refusal to admit their mistake. I don't mind good cops, but bad cops get my blood boiling. A lot of bad cops use their badge as an excuse to do what they want the in a similar manner to religious figures of the medieval times who used their authority to kill innocent people.

The whole Dr. Death scenario got on my nerves. Here's a man who spends most of his testimony bragging about his degrees, coming to the exact same conclusion he reaches 99% of the time no matter who he's talking about? It comforts me that in 1995 he was expelled from the American Psychiatric Association for such behavior. Yeah, I'm sorry people didn't realize how vain and clueless that man could actually be twenty years later. His job was to see if this "murderer" had no remorse, and after 15 minutes of talking with him, suddenly Adams is "Hitler" and "Charles Manson?"

And the Millers! Don't get me started on those self-absorbed argumentative "witnesses" who'll do anything for a quick buck. The sad thing is I don't think Adams would've had much of a chance if they weren't a part of the picture anyway.

Thankfully, Adams was released from prison after 12 years thanks to this film. In the aftermath, Adams was brought to a habeas corpus hearing and was released from prison. Personally, I hope people learned something from this. But I'm a little angry that it seems no one who took a part in the unlawful detention got just desserts. Maybe their reputations were a bit tarnished, but I don't really think that's enough.

The Thin Blue Line is one of the most informative and to-the-point documentaries I've ever seen. Not a moment wasn't vital to the case and the analysis, and in the end the documentary succeeded as a movie and as a serious testimony to the unfairness of Adams' incarceration. It's definitely a movie to take something home from.

Nosferatu (1922) - Directed F. W. Murnau

"Do not utter it, or the images of life will fade into pale shadows and ghostly dreams will rise from your heart and feed your blood."

Nosferatu is the only film released by the studio Prana, which went bankrupt after the widow of Bram Stoker sued for copyright infringement since Nosferatu was really an unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. Despite this, the film was a massive success with the critics. I agree a little bit, but there are problems.

This adaptation of the novel centers around the nosferatu himself, Count Orlok, making his way to Germany and begins a killing spree which the townsfolk believe to be a rumored plague. ANd the only one who may be able to stop the vampire is the young bride of a real estate agent.

To get the good stuff out of the way, the movie is wonderfully shot and directed. This is my first F. W. Murnau film, and I enjoyed the direction. I love the way Murnau shot Nosferatu's shadows, adding an essential part in vampire movies to come. I'm now greatly looking forward to his other hits like Sunrise and City Girl. And Max Schreck (not to be confused with the Batman character) plays a wonderful vampire. His over-the-top appearance and slow movements add a lot to the movie.

The first half-hour of this ninety minute silent movie kept my attention throughout most of it because the characters had their own level of attitude and relatability that fits with some of the campier silent-era aspects of the film, like... say, Schreck's makeup. And the vampire elements of the story were played well for that time.

But now I'll cover the bad stuff: there wasn't enough of Orlok. The subplot of the townspeople believing Orlok's killings to be a plague was too much of a focus. And there was also too much emphasis on the mystery aspects of the movie to the point where it didn't feel like a vampire movie. And third of all, why does the woman who can stop Nosferatu specifically have to be a sinless woman? They never really cover that.

Overall, I liked a lot about the movie, but there were some obvious things Murnau focused too much on. Still, it was quite enjoyable throughout most of it, so I'd still say it was a great silent-era movie. Normally I get bothered by things like a lack of character development and unrealistic sets, but it's still a silent movie.

Brazil (1985) - Directed by Terry Gilliam

"A ruthless minority of people seem to have forgotten good old-fashioned virtues. They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win."

I avoided watching the 1985 sci-fi film Brazil for a long time because I knew about how it ended, and it almost felt like a pro-totalitarian message. But as I thought about it for a couple of years, it seemed more like a mocking of the entire concept of totalitatianism. So I watched it today.

Directed by Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, Brazil is the not-so-adventurous story of a daydreaming bureaucrat in the future who finds the woman in his daydreams, abuses his job to find information on her, and eventually giving into his fantasies and getting into trouble.

It's obvious from the beginning from notable quotes that the film is geared to mock bureaucracy and totalitarianism, two political systems that are over-controled and annoying to think about. The movie is full of wit, and every bureaucrat-related line is not only a clever mockery of that system, but a reminder of the horrors that too much of it can display.

The sets are sometimes incredible for visual effect, but sometimes underwhelming and desolate for the purpose of reminding the viewer that not everything's chrome in the future. And Gilliam's direction is properly driven by the fantasies and cruel realities of the movie.

The last minute of the film really spoke to me. While it's not a happy ending, it said to me, "If people kept going crazy within and outside of totalitarian government, it would lead to riots, and eventually abolishment of the abuse in the system.' So while I hate endings where the good guys don't get their way (which is why I knocked a full star off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers), this ending had more of a meaning in my eyes.

If I had to fault it for anything, it's that there's very little character development. Most of the characters don't need it, but the girl needed a lot more. And there were a couple of unnecessary bloody scenes at the end of the movie that really didn't add anything except a couple of "I didn't need to see that" moments which are better left in B-rate zombie movies.

Brazil was very enjoyable. Its heart is in its true message and the satire of it all. The terrifying combination of bureaucracy and totalitarianism is only good for being made fun of, and Brazil is proof of that. And it feeds intpo my fantasies of a day and age where we won't get redirected one-hundred people to get a form checked out.

The Enemy Below (1957) - Directed by Dick Powell

"It's a bad war. It's reason is twisted. It's purpose is dark. It's not for a simple man."

I'm a fan of war movies, and I have been a fan for years. That was one reason I decided to watch The Enemy Below, a 50's war movie. The other two reasons were because it was from the 50's and the third is that I wanted to try a Robert Mitchum movie. In the end, I was glad to have seen it, but it's not that much of a classic.

One of the last films directed by Dick Powell before his death, this submarine-based film centers around a naval-officer chasing down a Nazi submarine captained by a man who questions the Nazi regime. As this battle between mind and missiles is underway, who will come out victorious?

The Enemy Below benifits from two wonderfully played lead roles by Robert Mitchum and Curd Jurgens. Both actors put a great amount of effort into the roles and they pay off considerably. Watching the two battle it out throughout the movie was the highlight.

The movie also benefits from some wonderful effects and set designs. That's the thing about war movies, especially submarine ones: they have to be just right in order to work. You can't go flaunting low production like in some cheesy sci-fi movie, or flaunt decor like in Adam West's Batman. War movies are serious and their sets need to be taken seriously.

However, the movie suffers from occasional so-so direction that doesn't attempt to emphasize the violence or the sets, or even the people. And most of the time, the dialogue gets boring and occasionally feels like it's going nowhere other than into another missile fight. And the music was so generic "50's action movie" that it didn't add anything at all.

The film also suffers from a little bit of stretching. In 90 minutes, we have a couple of missile battles and by the first hour it feels done before. But there is a satisfying ending with better direction.

The Enemy Below is a good movie for Robert Mitchum fans and might make for a good time to war fans, but this is by no means a true classic. I only watched it because it fit the bill of what I was looking for at the time. In reality, it's worth a watch but will be passible for people who aren't into that kind of thing.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - Directed by Hal Needham

"We ain't never not made it before, have we?"

Burt Reynolds, one of the worlds greatest actors, a man with the perfect combination of charisma, talent, and mustache, died on September 6, 2018. He was set to star in the new Taranino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but wont now, sadly. However, his memory will live on and so will his films like Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. But how can I talk about Burt Reynolds without mentioning what may be his most iconic film, Smokey and the Bandit?

This carsploitation cult classic directed by stuntman Hal Needham is a high-speed cat-and-mouse chase between a charming and legendary trucker and an obsessive county sheriff. Not only does he make a bet with a rich man to bootleg beer all the way to Georgia, but he ends up picking up a woman who left the sheriff's son at the altar!

The movie doesn't have a large story to it, which may be enough to knock off nearly a full star. This is even more jarring when one realizes that the characters don't have any development whatsoever.

Depsite that, the characters don't always feel flat. When you have Burt Reynolds behind the wheel, you can always expect a wonderful performance as the suave, sophisticated wisecrack with a mustache he's so good at playing. His chemistry with the flying nun herslef, Sally Field is wonderful, and between characters there are oftentimes enough quotes to fill a manual. And the movie is only more entertaining when Jackie Gleason is never too far behind on the road or in talent. His role as the obsessive and crude sheriff on hot pursuit gives a lot more than the role itself had to offer.

But the biggest attention-getter is the constant road action happening between the Bandit in his iconic black Trans-Am and the countless cops on his tail on multiple occasions. And the element of the Bandit's reputation added an element of surprise when the viewer gets to see so many truckers offering to help the Bandit on his times quest! That's charisma right there.

Smokey an the Bandit is a movie I've been wanting to see for years, and as usual, I was busy. This review is my special honor to Burt Reynolds for sharing his talent with the world. I think I'm gonna check out the other two sometime, despite the reviews. They won't change the fact Smokey and the Bandit is a classic.