Archive for August, 2008

30
Aug
08

Top 10 Movie Villains

Many action films wouldn’t be complete without a good villain. Here are my Top 10 favorites.

  • The Joker I know, it’s probably a little early to be proclaiming the Joker as the best movie villain, but you have to admit: Heath Ledger did a fantastic job. Dialogue was perfect, the little movements he made were dead-on; the Joker is definitely one, if not the, best.
  • Darth Vader is definitely the most iconic villain. Who can forget him who has seen any of the original Star Wars movies? His deep voice, all black armor, and mysterious Force-powers make him one of the most intimidating villains ever.
  • Mola Ram If the Joker is the most memorable villain and Darth Vader is the most iconic, then Mola Ram is the most threatening. His eerie chantings of “Kali Ma, shakti de! Kali Maa, shakti de!” are just downright scary. And who can forget the infamous heart sequence?
  • Sauron Well for villains that don’t speak, Sauron definitely beats all contenders. Portrayed as a giant fiery eye for most of the movies he’s in, he’s definitely not a conventional villain; but he’s one of the best.
  • Davy Jones The movie he was first in isn’t one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but Jones is a fantastic villain. He represents the most up-to-date CGi effects yet, and his Scottish accent is charming, yet intimidating.
  • General Grievous Now, it’s my personal opinion that Grievous wasn’t given his due in Revenge of the Sith. There was so much more that George Lucas could have gotten from that character. Grievous definitely wins for downright coolness.
  • The Creature From the Black Lagoon Now I don’t know if this guy is a villain in the usual sense, but I’m going to go ahead and call him one. Admittedly, he looks cheesy: the movie that he was in was made in the ’50s, after all. But still; his slow walking and strangling people to death still makes him frightening.
  • Megatron His name just sounds cool. And he looks awesome in his alternate mode: an alien starcraft.
  • Rene Belloq Now if there’s one villain who doesn’t look like a villain, it’s Belloq. But the fact that he was always taking ‘what was briefly yours’ just speaks for his effectiveness as a villain.
  • Dock Ock Ruined, tormented, and brilliant. Wit this formula, you can;t help but get a villain out of it. And Dock Ock doesn’t disappoint. His four extra arms let him do all sorts of awesome stuff. (And here’s a little bit of trivia: the actor who played him, Alfred Molina, played Satipo in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the guide who got spiders all over him in the beginning. Talk about some foreshadowing.)

If you don’t know who even one of these villains is, then much shame on you. Much, much shame on you. Watch the movies that these guys are in immediately. (I recommend watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom anyway, even if you do know who Mola Ram is.)

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30
Aug
08

Star Wars (The Originals)

I dare anyone to watch this classic film and hate it. It’s pretty much impossible. This film has everything: humor, action, adventure, suspense, and a touch of romance. This is just about as close as you can get to a perfect film. All the characters are fantastic. Who didn’t want to be Han Solo or Princess Leia when they were little kids? Who didn’t want their own R2-D2 to trail along behind them? And who didn’t want to cruise in the Millenium Falcon, the fastest ship in the galaxy? This film gave us one of the most memorable villains in history: Darth Vader. It’s sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, gave us one of the biggest plot twists and biggest spoiler in movie history: ‘Luke, I am your father!’ But let’s talk about the themes of the movie. What is the story of Star Wars trying to tell us? To look at the themes in Star Wars one would definitely have to look at the idea of the Force. One powerful force that holds all life together. All life is born into, lives in, and dies and becomes part of the Force. This is actually a lifestyle that many people choose to live. I’ve talked with people on discussion sites that believe that everyone lives in a field of sorts, and by manipulating the energies of that field we can manipulate things that happen to us. This is pretty much the message of Star Wars. So, although Star wars is a must-watch for everyone, it doesn;t give the best of messages.

Small children may be intimated by the darkness of Darth Vader or the simple evil of Emperor Palpatine. Some may be disturbed by the image of severed arms or countless aliens. I’d recommed this film for anyone above 6 or so, although I know 2 year olds who love the Star wars films. Definitely 9 out of 10 stars.

Next review: The Matrix.

20
Aug
08

The Top 5 Best Superhero Films

If ‘superhero’ was a genre, it would be my favorite. I absolutely love superhero films. Maybe I should call them comic book films. Anyway, here is, IMO (in my opinion, for you computer-lingo-ignorant 🙂 ) the 5 best superhero films.

  • The Dark Knight Yes, you knew I was going to include this one. This is a fantastic film and very accurately interprets a comic book feel to a movie. Everything from the Joker to Gotham city, from Harvey Dent to the explosions, from Batman himself to the action sequences, were fantastic. I admit, the film wasn’t flawless (several plotholes come to mind) but still: a great film.
  • Superman: The Movie This movie is the only other superhero film to have its own city and portray it excellently. The dialogue was fantastic, albeit embarrassing in some scenes (“Pink”). And for 1978, the effects are really good.  Like, ahead of their time good. They have really stood up to the test of time.
  • Spider-Man 2 The first Spidey film was a good introduction to the character, and I haven’t seen the 3rd one yet, but the 2nd one is fantastic. Not overly loaded with action or foul language, an excellent villain, superb action scenes and a love story to boot, Spidey 2 definitely ranks up there with The Dark Knight and Superman.
  • Batman Although I prefer Ledger’s Joker to Nicholson’s, I like Keaton’s Batman/Bruce Wayne better than Bale’s. Bale is made for that kind of a role. He didn’t have to perfect a style of movement and develop a certain way of charmning people. He’s natural at that. However, Keaton, before Batman, was known for comedic roles. Fans were outraged when he was announced as Batman. He wasn’t considered the type of actor to play him. Did he do a great job? He did a great job. He did a near perfect job.
  • Superman Returns I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy this film, and I admit, it has its weak points. But the scene with the bullet smashing against Superman’s eye was simply stunning. An awesome moment. The guy threw everything he had at him, but it was worthless. Nothing fazed Superman. Most superhero films have some sort of a “redemptive” theme, but this is the only one that actually portrays a Christ-like figure. The scene where Superman listens to the world’s pleas with his arms in a crucifix postion comes to mind. Also several points in the dialogue–“…the world doesn’t need a savior, but everyday I hear it calling for one.” That is an excellent line.
20
Aug
08

3:10 to Yuma

                                                    As promised, here’s the next review. So recently I was at a friend’s house to eat pizza and watch a movie. (I had a fantastic time and would love to do it again, by the way) The movie we watched was 3:10 to Yuma. I had heard about it and seen the railer, but hadn’t given much thought to seeing it. I’m really glad I did. Not only was it highly enjoyable, it made me realize something: the Western isn’t completely gone. I always thought that no modern Western could match the glory of the classics: Big Jake, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Searchers, The Outlaw Josey Wales. I was proven wrong. 3:10 to Yuma deserves a spot up in with the classic Westerns. There weren’t many themes to talk about, other than the same thing as The Patriot: a son learning respect for his father. I did notice, however, that Christian Bale’s character says “I’ve been standin’ on one leg for three d**n years waitin’ for God to do me a favor, and He ain’t listenin’.” And the Russell Crowe’s character (outlaw Ben Wade) often quotes Scripture. So perhaps there’s something to be said there. If so, it’s pretty shallow. Also, there are some fairly intense images (a bullet being dug out of a man’s chest, several men being riddled with bullets) and one scene where you think “Eh, are we going to have to skip this?” But nothing inappropriate is seen. If you’ve seen Nevada Smith starring Steve McQueen, you won’t see anything different in this movie. Although there is plenty of language. All in all, I’d recommend this movie for anyone 14 or over, but that’s a matter of opinion. 3:10 to Yuma, 7 out of 10 stars.

Next review: .

16
Aug
08

Movies in General

Let me talk about movies in general. Some movies really have a message to tell, and they provoke a lot of thought. Examples: I Am Legend, Empire of the Sun, The Dark Knight. Other movies are mostly fun, but have a shallow message: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Star Wars. And finally, there are movies that are simply plain, mindless fun: Transformers, Independence Day, and the Pirates of the Carribean movies. So those are movies in a nutshell.

16
Aug
08

The Patriot

Well, the first post of the new Daily Fedora. I’ve gone through and looked at several different layouts, and I chose Monotone. Not sure it works, so I may change it again. But anyway, to post my review of The Patriot. Let me start and say I loved the movie. It was the first movie I’ve seen with Heath Ledger besides The Dark Knight. And Mel Gibson did a fantastic job as a concerned parent. But let’s get into the themes of the movie. There was definitely a respect for parents. Unlike some movies, where parents are shown to be annoying, dumb, uncool, and indecisive, Mel Gibson’s Benjamin Martin was portrayed as smart and decisive. Heath Ledger’s Gabriel Martin is also a good example of how a young man might mature. Many 14-16 year olds (and younger and maybe older) don’t think much of their parents. At first, Gabriel considers his father to make terrible decisions. But as the movie goes on, you can see the respect in his eyes. Now for the theological themes. In one scene, a church service is interrupted by Gabriel, who is recruiting for the army. The scene gives you the feeling that worshipping God is good, but doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t willing to back it up. I think that this is an excellent scene. I’m not saying in any way that churchgoers are lazy and cowardly. No, instead I think that this is a great way to say that Christians shouldn’t hide behind the Scripture. Christians should be prepared to back up what they say, whether it be fighting for our independence (which I doubt any of us will be doing soon) or evangelizing at county fairs.

I would recommend The Patriot for any one 14 or older. The movie has an R rating, but it’s for violence. I think most 14 year olds would be able to handle the violence in te movie, although some scenes are pretty graphic (a hatchet being embedded into a man’s head, a cannonball taking off a man’s leg).

Next review: 3:10 to Yuma.

13
Aug
08

Apologies and Changes

I sincerely apologize for not updating my blog for so long. It’s been said that my blog is “not daily anymore.” I apologize for that. But here’s some changes I’m going to make: due to a recent suggestion from one of ym friends/mentors, I’m going to change this blog into a genuine movie review website. There are plenty of movie review websites, but very few of them actually give genuine, non-biased reviews that don’t only tell you about any inappropriate material, but also underlying themes and messages in movies. Thus I’ll probably re-review some movies. Coming up though: The Patriot.




Quote of the Amount of Time I Want to Leave it Up Here

"I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've seen C-Beams... glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost... like tears... in rain. Time... to die." ~Roy Batty (Blade Runner)
August 2008
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