Keyser Corleone's Movie Memoirs

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The Godfather (1972) - Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

"You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder."

For my first review on this site, I'll take on what I believe is the greatest movie ever made: The Godfather. Yes, I'm aware it's a very cliche choice. It's pretty much the same thing as saying The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction, 2001 or The Shawshank Redemption is the top-slot choice. And while I haven't seen every movie on earth, The Godfather is unique.

For a long time, I was very nit-picky about perfection. I would get annoyed at tiny things like, "Mufasa's eyes were white for a frame" or "You can see the camera rail in Citizen Kane." Although I don't feel that way anymore and believe those tiny mistakes can be made up for, I didn't notice any tiny mistakes in this one. Not only that, it has a level of character and realism that I have a hard time finding in most movies. This isn't a movie about a guy doing the impossible, it's about a bunch of people working together to do the improbable.

The film centers around two notable characters: Vito Corleone, Don of one of New Yorks Five Families of gangsters, and his youngest son, Michael, a returned soldier. As they both get involved in plots against them for Vito's refusal to share in the narcotics business, events that put the whole family in danger change lives for the family forever, and change Michael from a family man who wants nothing to do with the family "business" to a man bent on revenge for the tiniest things.

Watching Don Corleone show his keen sense of honor despite his position is pretty eye-gripping alone, mostly for Marlon Brando's performance. But the real socket-stealer is Michael's transformation throughout the movie. And his relationships with most of his family are changing as well (if you look). But my favorite thing about the movie is not the cinematography, not the horsehead that became a meme, and not even Al Pacino's performance. It's the twists the movie takes throughout all three hours, and are perfectly paced at Francis Ford Coppola's direction. For example, the movie begins with Michael's sister's wedding, and ends in her... um, anolement. That's an unexpected way to plan a beginning and ending for a couple of characters who are only in the movie as much as is necessary.

It's strange. A part of me wishes I'll never find a movie as good as The Godfather due to it having a special place in my heart. But I know I'd be a fool to act that way, so I'll keep this special place in my heart for as long as I can until some lucky movie off the streets beats it. I'm still a bit inexperienced in terms of quantity of films. But I can recognize a masterpiece when I see one, and I'm glad Francis Ford Coppola was the one to make a movie out of Mario Puzo's novel. Incredible cinematography, excellent pacing, and perfect casting choices are only a small part of what makes this movie so good.

In the end, The Godfather is a reminder of the stresses that those responsible for crime go through, and takes a straight shot into their hearts and souls to find that there's something their fighting for, even if it's through the wrong deeds. And it's something that people can take examples from, for better or for worse. I choose not to live like Michael Corleone, and remember what hell he went through to get to the hell he willingly put himself into near the end of the movie, and the sequels.

You should probably make your own thread dedicated to just your reviews.

"KeyserCorleone's Movie Reviews" or whatever title you want to give it. Create it in this subforum.

I thought about that after posting, thinking, "Ah, crap Shoulda done that. I wanted to change the title to, "The Godfather, and other cinematic tales." But I don't think I can change the title. But I'll still post other reviews here. I'm working on one for Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Platoon (1986) - Directed by Oliver Stone

"It was once said hell is the impossibility of reason. That's what this place feels like. Hell."

The first war movie I can remember seeing is Pearl Harbor when I was around 11. And while I "harbor" no special feelings for it (I am not apologizing), I can say it helped me enjoy the idea of a war movie. There are things I love about war movies, and things I hate about them. And I think this review will easily cover them with the best war movie to user for the topic: Platoon.

Platoon takes both the things I love and things I hate about war movies, and uses them at extremes. Directed by war veteran Oliver Stone, Platoon reminds the world of the attitudes of the soldiers we support, and how we as Americans can succumb to pride as much as the next country that wants to blow someone's ass off. It's a reminder that soldiers, even when in the face of the enemy, should act like a hero. That's something I hate about war movies: the attitudes people have towards each other. It's part of the reason I couldn't watch The Human Condition.

But what I love about war movies is the sense of completion, destiny, and heroism that drives people to become something, like a soldier for example. Young people are always looking for a way to make their mark in the world, and warzones test the emotional limits of each and every soldier out there. Platoon capitalized on that in certain plot points, as soldiers were pitted against the enemy (and occasionally each other) in the stressful and bloody battles of the Vietnam War. That's what I love about movies.

But these weren't the only things that made this film so special. it is a movie, after all. Platoon was occasionally even paced, and occasionally faster-paced, depending on the situations. And the action itself was incredible. I can remember being quite shaken after some of the war scenes. It takes a special kind of movie to get me shaken. The last time was with Seven, but I'll cover that elsewhere. Not to mention, Platoon's realism came mostly from the characters. Their attitudes about the many situations and surroundings felt so realistic, and even stressful to the point where I either shared the characters' pains or wished some of them to get their asses blown.

Platoon isn't a movie I can watch without getting pissed off. But I love the movie nonetheless. This is what I meant by it being a movie that took all of the things I loved and hated about war movies, and took them to extremes. And as a side note, I'll point out it's my favorite Willem DaFoe movie.

My first approved review! Platoon. I hope my Godfather review gets approved soon (by the way, the opening paragraph is a part of the review).

Cats & Dogs (2001) - Directed by Lawrence Guterman

"It appears that once again we find ourselves threatened by the great Cat Menace."

I used to watch this with my grandmother as a child, and I remember liking it a little. But years apart from views carry drastic opinions sometimes. I'm part of the "not very good" crowd when it comes to this movie.

Cats & Dogs, a movie with a similar dog-agency-versus-cat-criminals plotline to The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs, does not add anything new to children's movies. Sure, it has it's strong points. I suppose there's a cute charm to take from an early-2000's live-action/CGi hybrid film that focuses on the man and dog relationship much of humanity can relate to. But Cats & Dogs also mixes its so-called CGi "spectacle" with a Mattel-level cat vs. dog origin story and campy animal humor that wasn't funny in the action scenes, or Nick Jr. for that matter.

The casting also seems a bit underwhelming. From a movie with Tobey MaGuire, Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Sean Hayes and Alec Baldwin, you'd expect more than an "I'm here because I'm payed" acting job. I guess Tobey MaGuire got the dog attitude down, but none of the actors put their heart into it. In fact, Goldblum only put his nose into it.

I won't bother criticizing the special effects. It was early-2000's CGi in an era where X-Men was still kicking off as a movie series. It was the hip thing at the time, and it wasn't bad for the 2000's.

Cats & Dogs might make for a decent movie to spend time with your kids and watch them go crazy over animals acting human in a live-action movie. But honestly, next time just buy Spy Kids.

The Emoji Movie (2017) - Directed by Tony Leondis.

Maybe I'm meant to have more than just one emotion!"

Unlike most people, I was impressed with 2017. We had Blade Runner 2049, a rare movie almost as good as its predeccesor and well worth the 35 year wait for a sequel, Baby Driver which was an unexpected thrill ride jam-packed with jams, and It which scared the snot out of me. And then 2017 becomes the year an animated movie not only gets nominated for the Razzie for Worst Picture, but wins. That movie is The Emoji Movie, a movie I watched on a night I felt like putting myself through an atrocity.

The Emoji Movie was an attempt at anthropomorphizing the modern world (again). Following the same vein (and Spotify stream) as Wreck-It Ralph, The Emoji Movie centers around a world inside a phone for all emojis, and focuses on the efforts of a "meh" emoji who can't keep his emotions under control, and the chaos surrounding him because of it.

Now I admit I was a little impressed with the world that they built around it. It was pretty cool to see Spotify as its own world and the personifications of spammers and trolls, especially when skillful animation and decent kids-movie direction back it up. In a way, that's something relatable about the movie. But the "Let's make a world out of phone apps" bit was already attempted by Digimon. And frankly, I'd rather see marking an enemy Digimon as "read" to defeat it rather than Shakespearean veteran Patrich Stewart be brought down below the devil's feet to play a poop emoticon, and do nearly nothing with the role.

This brings me to my next point. There was little to do originality in the dialogue. Almost none of the remarks were funny at all and felt more like simple sarcastic cracks you've heard many times over that pass themselves off as "original" because they've never been used in reference to emoticons and phone apps. Any and all character development was not made interesting in any possible way (possibly due to the movie being highly predictable), and the lead human character had almost no development.

As a finisher, The Emoji Movie occasionally brought a smile to my face thanks to decent casting, a decent setting, and good CGi animation to boast. But jokes beyond "meh" and a story worth poop waste the decent cast and good setting on a thumbs-down worthy movie that not even the devil emoticon would go over.

Tomb Raider

The original film based on the classic Tomb Raider video game franchise was really just two excuses to show off Angelina Jolie in short shorts, similarly to Catwoman being an excuse to show herself off in a scanty cat suit. But in a day and age when video game movies no longer have a good excuse to be bad, Alicia Vikander's Tomb Raider is a step-up from much of what we had in the past.

The first ever video game movie was Super Mario Bros, a cult classic so bad that Mario actor Bob Hoskins himself disowned the movie. Then we had other known atrocities like Double Dragon, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat, directed by Paul W.S Anderson who is famous for the Resident Evil films and Alien Vs Predator. I remember when Warcraft was coming out. The director was Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie famous for two well recieved films: Source Code and Moon. I expected Warcraft to break the streak of bad video game movies. It didn't. Then Tomb Raider, a movie with a director behind two successful movies: a slash movie and a disaster movie (two genres which are incredibly easy to screw up), came out and my hopes were restored. While the movie is still fluxuating between 49%-50% on Rotten Tomatoes, that's a step up.

Tomb Raider is notably based on a much more action-oriented reboot of the video game franchise that was released in 2013. The game focused a lot on realistic action, something the movie itself forcused on. Thus, Tomb Raider carried the same spirit and action the video game was known for. Getting that from a video game movie is rare, and a pleasant sight for gamers like me.

Still, it was a fairly predictable movie made of rewritten bits and pieces from other action-adventure flicks. This is not to say it didn't have its moments. Much of the story was still quite cool, mysterious, a little twisty, and even thought-provocative at times. And to add to that, Alicia Vikander gave it her all as Lara Croft, and owned Jolie. I loved watching Vikander as Lara.

I recommend Tomb Raider for anyone who wants some good action. This movie is far better than the original. This film is about recreating the spirit of the video game. And while it has its obvious flaw, Tomb Raider is a grand success because of its spirit.

Black Panther

I've never been that disappointed by a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. In my opinion, the worst one is Thor: The Dark World. Even then, that one was a 7.5. They've all been worth something to me, and all added something to the series.

I've seen every one of the movies so far (of course most movie junkies probably have), so whether or not I had heard of Black Panther wasn't a factor into whether or not I'd see the movie. And I always thought the MCU was good. But I didn't expect Black Panther to be one of the best entries in the franchise.

Black Panther centers around a prince of an African tribe living beyond first-world and making themselves out to be third-world. The prince must deal with issues of family and betrayal, notably about the story of his uncle and how he must defend his country, throne, and his way of ruling. So it's basically The Lion King for comic book fans.

Storywise, it was a lot of fun to see. The secret civilization of Wakanda was not only a visual treat, but the explorations of the modern culture of Wakanda added a lot of heart to the story, as well as those aspects taken directly from Ancient Wakanda tradition, or taking influence from that culture. There were a couple of good plot twists that were played out very well, only itched by a tiny bit of predictability.

The cast members got into their characters very well. Chadwick Boseman played a great young-king-slash-hero that kept me engrossed in his character. Andy Serkis' role as Klaue was hilarious. I guess that's to be expected from Gollum. Jordan brought a real villain's soul to Killmonger. Watching him was like listening to Jeremy Irons play Scar. Excellent job. But Letitia Wright's job playing Shuri was a surprise piece of excellency that the movie put the right amount of focus on.

And don't get me started on the action. The MCU hasn't has such thrilling and well-coreographed action since the first Avengers film. The car chase scene practically kept my eyes wide-eyed throughout the entire run. I hardly noticed I was in a two-handed popcorn eating routine, slowly putting a couple pieces in my mouth one hand at a time, immediately after. By the time the chase was done, I had finished the popcorn.

Black Panther is one of the finer entries in the MCU. It's almost as good as Thor: Rangarok, and better than Spider-Man: Homecoming. I really wouldn't mind another Black Panther movie, becuase I want to see more of Wakanda and Wright.

Duck Amuck (1953)

If you know anything about Looney Tunes, you might have heard about Duck Amuck. Most people remember Duck Amuck, a serious contendor for "most essential Looney Tunes skit." Unlike most Looney Tunes that tackled the same vein as an average sitcom, Duck Amuck was something entirely different. Daffy Duck acts as the stooge for a mysterious hand painting and drawing different kinds of turmoil for the poor unfortunate black-feathered soul who just wants to make another short film.

From the first part of the segments, it may feel like just a running gag of reinventions of scenery to annoy Daffy. Then the real torture begins. Going beyond the points of slapstick, this surrealist "misadventure" on paper picks fun at the filming of a simple movie while maintaining an absolute high on the absurdity of a cartoon or a slapstick.

The thing that interests me (and entertains me) the most about Duck Amuck is its ability to shift from one "setting" to another without losing a grip on what the skit was going for. The plotline of the movie: annoying Daffy, works well for any setting you paint him in. But I suppose at the same time, one shouldn't pay attention to that if it's a surrealist movie.

I've seen a lot of old cartoons on Boomerang and just around, like Mickey, Flintstones, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, and especially Looney Tunes. Looney Tunes was always my favorite of the oldies. But I've never seen another Duck Amuck until the thematic sequel with Bugs Bunny. And that, while funny, wasn't Duck Amuck. This is proably the best short subject movie I've ever seen.

Nice reviews I've only seen Platoon of the movies you've reviewed so far, and I agree with your thoughts on it. Oh, I'm sure I seen Duck Amuck at sometime in the past. BTW, maybe consider adding photos to your reviews? You can always go back and edit them at any time. Good to have another movie reviewer here at MoFo

Nice reviews I've only seen Platoon of the movies you've reviewed so far, and I agree with your thoughts on it. Oh, I'm sure I seen Duck Amuck at sometime in the past. BTW, maybe consider adding photos to your reviews? You can always go back and edit them at any time. Good to have another movie reviewer here at MoFo
Thanks, bro. I don't know if photos are the right touch. It really doesn't help me stand out. I was thinking of adding quotes at the beginning of the review. Maybe I'll add poster images.

I'm blowing through these reviews pretty quickly. I don't know if this is some skill or its expected in a movie forum, but I used to have to spend time thinking about my reviews, and now I'm blowing 'em out Pez style, and people like them. In fact, I have a few written in a computer file so I don't flood my own forum.

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) Directed by Brandon Vietti

"I'm just something you helped make."

Batman is my favorite superhero. While I haven't seen all of the Batman movies since I've been trying to dive into other dimensions of the film industry, I still enjoy a damn good Batman movie. I've seen two of the animated Batman films, and Subzero was damn good.

Under the Red Hood was just good. I honestly expected more from a movie that had a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. But that was from a very low amount of reviews at the time I had checked it. There weren't even ten reviews there. That's something I should have taken into consideration before I saw the movie.

Batman: Under the Red Hood mostly centers around a much more personal scar (although not a bigger scar) of Batman's than the famous death of his parents that lead him to be the Batman in the first place: the creation of the Joker. As a ghost from the past haunts him, he must deal with the possible crimes of the Joker, the birth of a new Red Hood, and the death of his most recent Robin.

There are a lot of interesting plot points that will please any Batman fan as much as a t-shirt with two pop culture references pleases a comic-con nerd. And they are all resolved with gusto. But there are almost no surprises other than the fact Nightwing makes an appearance, and does not have much to do with the plot other than the fact he was the first Robin. The whole film was pretty predictable.

Still, the movie was very well directed, as expected from DC cartoons (especially Batman) And the action was eye-popping and thrilling. The casting choices were pretty much perfect as well. Overall, I'm glad I saw this movie, but it could have been less predictable.