Ah, the death of the American Dream, summarized in one final shot.… MoreAh, the death of the American Dream, summarized in one final shot. "Easy Rider" is one of those films that's basically a required viewing for almost everyone because of the effect that it had on independent cinema and the world in general, but in all honesty, it isn't very good. Besides an influential soundtrack, its relevant thematic content and Jack Nicholson's memorable performance, "Easy Rider" is easily forgettable. Not much happens in its hour-and-a-half running time, and Dennis Hopper's representation of the hippie movement is narcissistic to say the least. Most of the problems in "Easy Rider" stem from the fact that it's dated, which is almost unfixable, so there's much to do except appreciate it for what it is and move on.
It was an ambitious (yet slightly self-indulgent) decision by Bob… MoreIt was an ambitious (yet slightly self-indulgent) decision by Bob Fosse to make a movie based on his own life, let alone his death. This curious fact alone is reason enough to give "All That Jazz" a watch -- on top of its cynical themes, excellent performances, phenomenal editing and unbelievably harsh ending. In the end, the whole thing comes together quite superbly. And who knew that life within a hospital could be so darn interesting?
"Rio Bravo" has John Wayne, Dean Martin and Howard Hawks all at the… More"Rio Bravo" has John Wayne, Dean Martin and Howard Hawks all at the top of their game, resulting in one of the best Westerns to emerge from Hollywood's Golden Age. The humor is great, the action is exciting and Hawks' direction is light and appealing. Also, Walter Brennan is hilariously idiosyncratic in his supporting role. Stumpy will go down as one of cinema's most memorable characters.
Not even solid performances from Timothy Hutton and George C. Scott… MoreNot even solid performances from Timothy Hutton and George C. Scott can save "Taps," which is a generic teen drama that's often melodramatic to the point of being unintentionally comedic. Aside from Hutton and Scott, the acting is pretty weak, which might have something to do with the characters being incredibly unlikable, and the film itself has all the power and poignancy of a daytime soap opera. Nothing really ever works in "Taps," and while it isn't totally reprehensible, it's bland and forgettable and downright ludicrous.
Most would agree that "The Empire Strikes Back" is the best… MoreMost would agree that "The Empire Strikes Back" is the best installment in the "Star Wars" saga, and I'd stand right there with them. It builds upon the plot of "A New Hope" and fleshes out the characters into how we envision them. "The Empire Strikes Back" is the most memorable "Star Wars" episode and where the most happens. The plot twists are incredible, the tone switches from lighthearted to sinister a number of times, the visuals are groundbreaking and the overall narrative is really involving. It's arguably the most fun I've ever had watching a "Star Wars" film.
"Wreck-It Ralph" is a darn good example of what happens when… More"Wreck-It Ralph" is a darn good example of what happens when filmmakers combine their creative talents and make excellent use of an ingenious concept. This is honestly one of the most original ideas I've ever seen for a film, and it's such a relief to see it executed so properly. "Wreck-It Ralph" is charming, funny, action-packed, touching, vividly animated and extremely clever. It's one of the more enjoyable films I've watched in the past year.
The finest hour for everyone involved, "Cabaret" is both an excellent… MoreThe finest hour for everyone involved, "Cabaret" is both an excellent adaptation and stylish, incredible entertainment. Bob Fosse directs with as much gusto and audacity as a filmmaker possibly can, creating awe-inspiring sequence after awe-inspiring sequence. The song-and-dance numbers are really what make the experience so worthwhile, but the narrative (which deals with the rise of Nazi Germany) is just as captivating. Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey are both perfect, giving two of the greatest performances ever captured on film, and the songs are ever so catchy. (I don't recall there being one song I didn't thoroughly enjoy.) "Cabaret" is one of great triumphs of American cinema and is a definite must-see for film and theatre lovers.
George Lucas is a technical genius, but he is not efficient enough as… MoreGeorge Lucas is a technical genius, but he is not efficient enough as a director or screenwriter to be put in charge of such positions. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" is mostly a good film (largely due to its spectacular final forty or so minutes), but it fails in a lot of areas due to Lucas' poor handling of his own mediocre script. The whole thing has the look and feel of one of those melodramatic television soap operas until about an hour in, which is where the storytelling is kicked into first gear and the film takes off. There's a lot of action, a lot of drama and a lot of bad lines, but overall, "Revenge of the Sith" is exciting and ties both "Star Wars" trilogies together quite nicely.
For me, "Shrek" isn't a complete success because it doesn't feel like… MoreFor me, "Shrek" isn't a complete success because it doesn't feel like its creative concept was used to its full potential. A lot of the action feels contrived and uninspired, and while the voice acting is phenomenal and the humor is often witty and finely-tuned, I feel like much more could have been done with it. "Shrek" is good entertainment if you're looking to pass the time, and it will give you quite a few laughs, but you'll more than likely be letdown in the end.
"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" has aged probably the… More"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" has aged probably the worst of the entire series. There are some very dated elements about it, which is undoubtedly a by-product of it being made in the mid-1980s. Nevertheless, "Return of the Jedi" brings one of the best sagas to an exciting end, and it stands as a childhood favorite for most (including me). Watching it at an older age brings back great memories, but it also introduces some problems that you didn't realize about it back when you were a kid. Of course, those problems are easily overlooked. "Return of the Jedi" is cheesy, epic and fun.