Tyler's Reviews

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Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
The Bodyguard (1992)

" Entertaining thriller."

Frank Farmer, a skilled bodyguard, is hired by famous singer Rachel Marron, after receiving threats from an unknown assailant.

An old favourite, The Bodyguard is very enjoyable and well-acted by the two leads. It has many memorable characters and sequences (the scene at the lake house is extremely tense).

I do recommend The Bodyguard; one of the best thrillers of the '90s.

"George, this is a little too much for me. Escaped convicts, fugitive sex... I've got a cockfight to focus on."

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Zodiac (2007)

"David Fincher's masterpiece"

Fight Club and Se7en are generally considered Fincher's best, by myself and others. They're both entertaining and well made, not to mention the visual look of David Fincher's directorial style. But Zodiac is his most grown-up and most challenging film to date.

Based on actual case files, the film is told from the viewpoint of two characters: San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Police Inspector Dave Toschi, who both conduct their own investigations into the murders allegedly conducted by a figure who calls himself the Zodiac.

Fincher has constructed the most gripping thriller of recent memories. It has everything a great movie needs; good pacing, excellent writing and a director at the top of his game. Fincher's superbly crafted thriller uses tense atmosphere, music and interesting characters to tell a fascinating story.

James Vaderbilt's screenplay puts two obsessions under the microscope; the ambition to kill and the need for the truth. The film is populated with many great characters, but the most challenging is Robert Graysmith. His need to know the truth is almost parallel with the viewer's need for closure near the end of the film. But the viewer does not receive that, but is given a more compelling experience: draw your own conclusions. The final powerhouse moment between Toschi and Graysmith is undeniably the most powerful moment of the film, as Graysmith comes to the end of his investigation with not what is proven, but with what he knows and what the viewer knows is true.

I've never really liked Mark Ruffalo, but he delivers a solid turn as Dave Toschi. Gyllenhaal and the rest of the cast are uniformly excellent, but it's Robert Downey Jr. as the almost comic relief character Paul Avery who gives the best performance of the entire film. It's a dynamic performance, but this is a film full of them.

I can't praise this film enough, and I can't decide what I like most about it. And that's why I think it's the perfect film. Everything is near-perfect, from the acting to the cinematography to the writing. But it's Fincher, who deserves most credit, as he provides a haunting character study that resonates long after the first viewing, and all the viewings after that.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Sunshine (2007)


Danny Boyle's interesting hit it's highest point so far with this 2007 masterpiece. Yes, I do think it's Boyle's best film to date, better Trainspotting, The Beach or Slumdog Millionaire. It's one of the most imaginative, well structured and visually beautiful films I've ever seen.

The sun is dying, and a team of eight men and woman are sent to launch a large explosive to re-ignite it. The first thing about Sunshine is the performances. The largely unknown cast delivers strong performances, as they portray interesting characters with different personalities. The most interesting character of the film is Searle, who has an unhealthy fascination with the sun, and it's light.

The visuals are fantastic. The way the sun looks is both realistic and beautiful. The rest of the film is visually awesome, but the way the film is executed by it's director is the most important factor. The film is split into halves. The first half introduces it's characters and plays out like a real sci-fi film. The second half turns into more of a horror film, slasher like even. The second half is admittedly weaker than the superbly crafted first half, but still remains a fascinating filmic experience.

I was really impressed with this film, and I do urge those who haven't seen it, to do so now.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

Not since Star Wars had a film been recived with worldwide popularity and fandom. Never before had there been a film with unforgettable characters and performances, spectacular battle scenes and superb storytelling. Until it was all embodied into The Lord Of The Rings. It's a set of films that plays with different emotions and excites beyond anything ever before seen.

Frodo Baggins is a young Hobbit, given the great burden of destroying the Ring Of Power, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron to rule all of Middle Earth. It can only be destroyed by the fires of Mount Doom, the volcano where it was forged. Along for the quest is Frodo's loyal friend Samwise Gamgee and others in a glorious story of epic scale.

The dark tone in Fellowship makes it truly haunting, with multiple scary moments, especially a superbly crafted scene with The Hobbits hiding from a Nazgul. However, the film does have it's lighter moments of humour, provided by either Merry & Pippin or Gimli.

The film has many well-structured characters, but the best of the bunch is Aragorn, who is admittedly, more developed in the later entries of the trilogy, but still makes a fascinating character in Fellowship. The battle sequences do seem lighter when compared The Return Of The King, but the moments in this film are much more in depth, following more characters than the later ones.

But ultimately, it's the simpler approach of this film that makes it work. The plot doesn't overly intercut with different plot threads and it doesn't seem overly long like the others. Instead, it explores the characters, rather than mainly focus on furthering the story.

Fellowship is undoubtedly my favourite of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Interesting characters and epic scale, it might be the greatest fantasy film of all time.

Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

Good review, stunning film!

RIP www.moviejustice.com 2002-2010
Sunshine was good until it turns into a super-villain manhunt/Alien thriller/horror type of thing. As sci-fi it worked, as the other stuff... not so much or at least it was mishandled.
"A candy colored clown!"
Member since Fall 2002
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Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
The Dark Knight (2008)

"Certainly a monumental superhero film, and a monumental film in general."

By the looks of my top 10 at the moment, it would seem obvious as to which superhero film is my favourite. But make no mistake. That one might be my favourite, this is the most grown-up, complex and stylised superhero based film to date. Back in 2008, I considered this to be possibly the greatest film ever made. Flawless in it's handling, gripping performances and maybe the greatest take on the most notorious comic book villian. I do find flaws with it nowadays, but this is still the definitive take on Batman.

Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne, a playboy billionaire who at night, attempts to clean up the streets of Gotham as Batman, while dealing with his conflicted feelings for true love Rachel Dawes. Of course, this all happens when the criminal mastermind The Joker is hell-bent on seeing Gotham City brought to chaos, and brinign it's citizens down to his level.

Christopher Nolan has emerged in the last ten or so years as a talented director and writer, and The Dark Knight remains his calling card. A bright, action packed calling card with a Joker printed on it. Nolan hasn't created a simple superhero film, with the themes of good and evil. He has created a character study of cops and criminals, heroes and villians, and an examination of anarchy. It may be a follow-up to Batman Begins, but still works entirely as a stand-alone film.

Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker is, of course, the most talked about aspect of the film. Vivid, eye-catching and undeniably brilliant, it's the performance of the decade, even though it may have a little to do with posthumous aspects, but still, the most memorable performance of 2008. But through all the scene stealing, standout work Ledger delivers, I still maintain that Batman is the main character of this film. Christian Bale delivers a solid performance as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, playing both characters perfectly, as the conflicted hero, and the cocky playboy.

The Dark Knight is a very enjoyable experience, with expert direction, acting and writing, for the most part, that it overcomes the flaws in the story (too many climaxes) and remains, 99% of the time, a quality masterpiece and the undisputed grand filmic experience of 2008.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Short Reviews

Cars 2 (2011)

Not as good as the first, and definitely not Pixar at it's finest, but this stil has enough charm and humour to it for me to at least recommend it. This film takes away the racing aspect of the first film, and follows the character of Mater a lot more. Flawed, but enjoyable.

Chinatown (1974)

A marvellously structured film, fueled by wonderful photography and arguably Jack Nicholson's best performance. I didn't like it on my first viewing, but I enjoyed a whole lot more this time around.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Cape Fear (1991)

Scorsese has made better films, but this is the one I keep coming back to. There's beating around the bush here; I flat-out adore this 1991 masterpiece. I think it has all the elements to create a generally terrifying experience. A director who can firmly handle the material, a very strong atmosphere, and a lead actor who delivers a frightening and menacing performance. All this and more in Cape Fear.

Cape Fear is basically a story of revenge and flawed people. Robert De Niro plays Max Cady, an ex-con who seeks revenge on Sam Bowden, the man who played a role in sending Cady to prison for 14 years.

Raging Bull aside, this is my favourite De Niro performance. Effectively overplaying Cady, De Niro is over the top to the point that he's almost funny, but still has a strong undertone of menace that makes him seem real at the same time.

The film is almost a vision of a slasher film, made by Oscar Nominees and given real depth to it's storyline. Marty has real fun with this vision, combining effective camerawork with excellent photography. The writing is also superb, especially it's epic conclusion, where Bobby D terrifically delivers an overblown, yet captivating monologue that does generate a little sympathy for the film's villian.

Cape Fear does have little flaws here and there, but overall, the final product is an enthralling, well acted thriller that deserves to have a larger following.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Short Review

The Warriors (1979)

Poorly scripted and badly acted, I should have hated this movie... but I didn't. How it became an instant favourite with me I still can't figure out. Still, it's a very enjoyable, iconic and quotable cult classic with a great soundtrack.

Quality Rating:
Enjoyment Rating:

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (1982)

I am a big detractor of Ridley Scott's work, but this is one of two movies by him that I enjoy. I still find flaws with it, and elements that aren't to my liking, but this widely imaginative director's cut of the fan favourite still captivates and entertains.

Rick Deckard is a blade runner, who stalks genetically made replicants. His mission is to kill or "retire" theme. The film is full of interesting ideas and plenty of imagination. It's visuals are admittedly dated, but still capture the darkness and futuristic feel of the film.

Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer both deliver solid performances in the lead roles, but I do find some of the characters not as developed as much as I would like. And this is a problem I have many Ridley Scott films, Hannibal in particular.

I do like this film a lot, but some of the flaws I found with it do weigh it down.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
The Godfather (1972)

In the small group I like to call "critically praised films I never got into", The Godfather used to reside, along with Blade Runner, Chinatown & Juno. While I still hate Juno, and feel that Blade Runner is flawed, The Godfather & Chinatown are two films that just seem to be growing on me. But, my love for The Godfather has grown stronger than the latter, with every re-watch bringing me more joy and entertainment than before. I was a big detractor of the film, and I just want to say now; The Godfather is a brilliant film from one of the greatest directors who ever lived.

The Godfather is the saga of the aging Don Vito Corleone, who transfers his control of the Corleone empire to his reluctant son Michael, who soon settles into the job.

A chilling portrait of family and violence, The Godfather benefits greatly from strong performances from it's cast, Marlon Brando & Al Pacino in particular. Al Pacino is incredible as Michael Corleone, at tuns chilling and intense, while Marlon Brando embodies the character of Vito Corleone, with each word of dialogue he delivers almost iconic. But these two aren't the only ones who stand out. Robert Duvall & James Caan are also fine form, delivering possibly the finest performances of their careers as well. And while I used to dislike this film, I always thought the acting was tops.

The writing quality is all kinds of awesome, with many iconic scenes and compelling lines of dialogue. The operatic approach is still there, but on this viewing, it seems less noticeable. This is probably due to the fact that I found each scene so compelling.

Francis Ford Coppola put a lot of effort into this masterpiece and it shows onscreen, as this is a superb study of family interweaved with gangsterism. I still don't know why I loved The Godfather on this viewing, but I did.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
I saw it a while, and I thought it was good. But I liked the remake a whole lot more, especially Marty's direction and Bobby's performance.

Good whiskey make jackrabbit slap de bear.
War Of The Worlds (2006)

Ahh, Steven Spielberg. Tremendous director, but in my opinion, he hasn't made a good film since the year 2001. This was an admirable attempt at the alien invasion film, but was seriously bogged down by it's flaws.

Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is a divorced dad, who has to protect his children during an alien invasion.

The realistic approach to this film was great. I loved how Steven Spielberg actually made it seem like this is what would happen during a hostile alien invasion. The visuals also look great, especially during the ferry scene.

But honestly, every character in this movie annoyed me. Tom Cruise played possibly the worst dad in the world, irresponsible and seemingly non caring at the beginning. Tim Robbins overplays the crazy guy to the point that I'm glad Tom Cruise does what he does. But the worst of all is Dakota Fanning's character, who can only be described as a shrieking brat. The script also really overdid the "I love my brother more than my father" routine for Dakota's character. Almost every situation in the first half, she would run to her brother.

The film should be praised for it's visuals and realism. But it's characters, performances and writing are all muddled and I find them major flaws in what could have been at least, an enjoyable film.