Archive for October, 2008

26
Oct
08

The Top Five Greatest Animated Films of All Time

There’s a part of everyone that still cherishes their childhood (yes, everyone.) And everyone had a favorite movie, whether it was Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, or Pinocchio. Here’s my Top 5.

The Lion King Definitely one of Disney’s finest animated films. Memorable characters, catchy tunes, an excellent storyline, and jokes that are still hilarious make this film an all-time classic. I dare anyone to argue with me.

The Land Before Time Now, statistically, The Lion King is probably better than The Land Before Time, but in my book, there is no better animated film this one. Perhaps my opinion is slightly biased as I watched this film all the time when I was younger. But, of all the films that I have seen, this one is absolutely flawless. What could be better than little dinosaurs that team up to reach the Great Valley?

The Sword in the Stone Back in Disney’s heyday, they made some really good movies. All-time classics. Now they make stupid Disney princess sequels that tell little girls to “follow their hearts,” whatever in a pink dress that means. But the Sword in the Stone is an excellent film, a superb animated adaption to a wonderful book. It was also just recently released on DVD for the first time ever.

The Jungle Book Ah, yes. Who has not seen this movie? If you haven’t, you are very deprived. No, I’m kidding. You’ve just missed a huge chunk of childhood. Every kid I know loves and adores this movie.

Robin Hood Disney had a knack for making talking animals believable (a skill that they have exercised with the Chronicles of Narnia films). Robin Hood is no exception. Disney was also very good at bringing classic books to the screen in a-made-for-kids fashion. But who says older people can’t enjoy them also?

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21
Oct
08

Actors in the Lime: Jeff Goldblum

Well, if you’re any kind of a prophet you probably saw this coming. I made the Director Spotlights so I’ve got to do something for actors. The first one is quirky actor Jeff Goldblum. He played mathematician (chaotician, CHAOTICIAN, actually) in Steven Spielberg’s excellent science fiction films Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park: The Lost World. He also played David Levinson in Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster Independence Day (good, solid summer fun if you haven’t seen it yet). However, after 1997, he kind of fell from star status. He receded into the background. He’s still a very solid actor, however. He brings to life so many quirky quotes, and his character Ian Malcolm is unforgettable. Perhaps his most famous Jurassic Park line, as he walks up to a pile of dino-droppings: “That is one big pile of s**t.”

Personally, I think he would be an excellent choice to play the Riddler, should the sequel to The Dark Knight actually get made. He has the quirkyness yet intelligence to do very well in that kind of role. (The Riddler was never a Joker-like character in the comics, by the way.) He’d be TONS better than the overrated Johnny Depp, as much as I like him.

14
Oct
08

I Am Legend

I usually don’t like modern horror films. I prefer the ’50s classics. Black and white suits horror so much better, I think. I also don’t particularly care for the modern horror genre because it’s usually just 2 hours of people (usually teenagers) getting slaughtered, with an overload of vulgarities and blood. And they usually don’t give any message, which is why I prefer classic horror, since those always had a message. So, imagine my surprise when I watched this utterly fantastic film. 

I’ve heard that I Am Legend didn’t capture the feel of the original novel. Supposedly, the novel was a huge chess game between Robert Neville and the leader of the Dark Seekers. I haven’t mustered up the courage to read the novel though, as I’ve heard it’s pretty gruesome. But, all I can say is, if the novel was nothing like the 2007 film, then the film is better than the novel, because the film was amazing. It’s a modern day vampire/horror film that has a message. How odd is that?

It definitely has some Christian themes to it. Undoubtedly. Anna’s quote “Now the world is quieter. We can hear God’s plan. All you have to do is listen.” At first it seems like a ridicule of Christianity. But at the end, Neville says “I’m listening.” Oh boy. I seriously about teared up at that part. It was such a great moment. The whole thing with the butterfly was kind of odd, but beautiful also. (Might I recommend, if you went out and bought the two-disc edition, like I did, don’t bother with the alternate ending. It has a point, but it’s kind of dumb.)

Now, there’s some language in this film (the worst being the s-word, but you’ll miss it unless you have the subtitles on) but there’s not a lot. It’s not riddled with bad language. There are also some jump moments that are definitely freaky, including a buildup of suspense. But overall, this is an excellent film. 8/10 stars for I Am Legend.

Next review: Song of the South.

13
Oct
08

The Sting

We’ve lost so many legends in the showbiz this year. Starting with Heath Ledger, we lost Stan Winston (the creator of the aliens in Alien, the Predator, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and other movie monsters), Bernie Mac (hilarious fellow, he was ‘Bobby Bolivia’, the used car salesman in Transformers), Don LaFontaine (the voice of thousands of movie trailers “In a world where…”) and now, Paul Newman. One of Newman’s best remembered roles was in the con movie The Sting, where he plays an all-around rascal, helping a young Robert Redford to beat out the villains that killed his best friend. Bad guy Lonnigan is played by Irish actor Robert Shaw (of Jaws fame), with his famous quote “You follow?” 

Now, this movie is, at its core, a con movie. Have you ever seen the Ocean’s films? It consists of guys trying to one-up other guys, tricking and lying to gain an advantage. It’s a rather genius film, as are Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13. It definitely has some questionable themes in it, including premarital relations (you know what I mean), lying, and cheating. Some harsh language also, including a G-d. None of this should ultimately take away from this classic though.

9 out of 10 stars for the gritty, realistic The Sting.

Next review: I Am Legend.

12
Oct
08

Director Spotlights: Spike Lee

I decided to add a new category to the posts I shall make: Director Spotlights. In these posts I will talk about a specific director. In this one, I shall (obviously) talk about Spike Lee. for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s an African-American director. Most (actually, all) of his movies have African-American themes. He used to be a very respected director. Note I said ‘used’ to be. Now, I respect every director out there (save for maybe Uwe Boll) but Lee I respect the least. Why? He’s incredibly racist. Ridiculously so. Perhaps you heard of his little spat with actor-turned director Clint Eastwood. Eastwood made two World War II films: Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. These two films were centered around the raising of the flag in Iwo Jima, especially the first one. What was Lee’s trouble with it? It didn’t give African-American soldiers their due. He claimed that it showed no African-American soldiers whatsoever. First of all, the films did show African-American soldiers. Second of all, there were no Afican-American soldiers in the group that raised the flag. Lee subsequently called Eastwood racist, and Eastwood, in Western cowboy-type attitude, fired back that Lee needs to “shut his face.” Now, most recently, Lee has made a film called Miracle at St. Anna’s, which tells the story of a massacre in Italy. The only problem is, he shows African-American soldiers in the film where, historically, there were no African-American soldiers of any kind. When the modern day citizens responded (many of whom lost loved ones in the massacre) with things like “you are rewriting our history” Lee told them they “need to come to grips with their history.” So he’s making up history! He’s probably the most racist person in Hollywood. Not to mention probably one of the most arrogant. He tried to sue Spike TV because they were “capitalizing on his fame” by using his name. He also thinks that his passion for Knicks baseball has cost him Oscars before, because the Oscar voters are usually Los Angeles based. “That’s definite bias right there,” he claims. Face it, Spike. You missed Oscars because your films aren’t good enough.




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)
October 2008
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