My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies

18 04 2014

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Haha! WTF? I got this picture HERE.

I’m going to be CRUCIFIED for this list! So, in the spirit of Good Friday… Let’s do this. ;-)

The fabulous Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are posted her Top Ten Nicolas Cage Roles (list HERE) and I was all “I don’t really like Nicolas Cage”. Then of course Eric of The IPC came by and was all “You suck! I hate you! I worship Nicolas Cage! Our friendship is OVER!”. Then Abbi said I should do my own Top Ten. So, screw it – I have! Remember I’m not a huge Cage fan and my list is my favorite movies he’s been, not my favorite roles of his. I don’t hate him – I just don’t exactly love him. Jesus – I’m going to get in more trouble over this list than I did for leaving Saving Private Ryan off My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies (a list I did HERE for the lovely Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger).

*deep breath*

Here we go….

My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies (counting down from ten) *going into hiding now*

10. The Croods

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9. National Treasure

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8. Adaptation

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7. Matchstick Men

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6. Leaving Las Vegas

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5. City Of Angels

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4. The Rock

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3. It Could Happen To You

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2. Con Air

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1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High

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(hahaha! yes, I know – he’s barely even IN my number one choice… sorry!)

Honorable Mentions:
Guarding Tess
Honeymoon In Vegas
The Family Man
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
Peggy Sue Got Married
Face/Off
Werewolf Women Of The SS ;-)

Not Seen and/or Saw Part Of But Don’t Remember Much: *ducks*
Raising Arizona
Moonstruck
Wild At Heart
Bringing Out The Dead
Rumble Fish

Don’t Like:
Kick-Ass
Drive Angry (but Amber Heard is hot)
8MM
Snake Eyes

Not Sure How I Feel About:
Knowing
Gone In Sixty Seconds
Next





See The Cast Of Say Anything Then And Now

18 04 2014

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Yep – I LOVE Say Anything. I know I’m getting to be totally predictable and anyone who knows me & the age I am will have guessed that I love Say Anything. Like Jake Ryan, the sweet & perfect Lloyd Dobler also ruined boyfriends for me for life. The movie is now 25 years old (man I feel old!). Here are some “then & now” photos of the cast. You can see these and more here: ScreenCrush.

John Cusack

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Ione Skye (Donovan’s daughter! I love Donovan…)

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Lili Taylor

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(I’ve always loved Lili Taylor, especially in Say Anything. Loved seeing her in the actually-very-good-horror-movie The Conjuring! I reviewed that HERE).





Twelve Monkeys (1995) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

17 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Eric of The IPC. He’s already done a bonkers review of Se7en (which you can read HERE) and now he’s back to give us another review in typical Eric-style. ;-) Thanks so much for joining in on this IMDB thing, Eric! Now let’s see what he has to say about Twelve Monkeys, IMDB rank 180 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

12 MONKEYS – 1995

We’ve all seen 12 MONKEYS, right? RIGHT??? RIGHT???!!!??? Well, since we’ve all seen it at least 30 times, I recently constructed a highly safe, comfortable, humane movie theater and screened it for twelve monkeys who hadn’t seen it. Using my high tech and professional recording devices, let’s see what they had to say.

Subject 1: Babboo Jones

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That was pretty good, Meester. That was made by Terry Gilliam?? The Monty Python guy?? Not bad, I need to see some more of his shit. Can I get my fucking bananas now???

Subject 2: Peepers “Stinky Butt” Brown

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They “live underground like worms?????” YIKES!! Also – LOL!!! “You are the most bootiful woman I have ever seen” HAHAHAHAHA!!! Even I can spell better than that I’m a shit eating monkey!!!!

Subject 3: Johnny “Stinkfinger” Harris

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Remember when Brad Pitt was cool?? Remember when he’d do character stuff like this?? Now he’s all ‘I’m fuckin’ Brad Pitt!! Look at my woman’s hair!!!” and shit. What a dope. OOOPS, sorry, just farted.

Subject 4: Daniel Isaacs (no relation)

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Time Travel, eh? Interesting. I like how it’s new for them and it’s not always correct. Hey – was that Arthur Dent?? The original one. From the TV show.

Subject 5: Raul Buena Vista De La Munoz

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What the fuck is that smell coming from the break room??? It smells like broccoli and SHIT. Excuse me for a minute.

Subject 6: Caitlynn “Like A Whisper” Simpson-Bonilla

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I like how we had to look at Bruce Willis’ butt. Not once but TWICE! MEEEEEEOOOOOW PUSSYCAT!!!

Subject 7: (name redacted)

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DID HE JUST EAT A FUCKING SPIDER??!?!!!??????!!!!

Subject 8: Lisa “The Angel” Scheueczk

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I really liked how it ended with the ki – DID I JUST HEAR A GUNSHOT?????!?!

(audible screams from outside screening room)

I have blood on my hands…. I HAVE BLOOD ON MY HANDS!!!!!!

Subject 9: Phillip “The Distance” Fudge (that’s really his last name)

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“The boy is hiding in a barn” CLASSIC!!

Subject 10: Jeffrey “Bleeding Gums” Johnson

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This is a total Sci-Fi classic – all the way! Great acting and story telling! I’m VERY hungry. VERY.

Subject 11: Jimmy “The Schnozz” Durante

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Where’s the fucking food??? HA CHA CHA CHA CHA CHA.

NOTE: At this point the subjects were becoming unruly due to lack of feeding. The Alpha soon took charge.

Subject 12: BRIAN @ HARD TICKET TO HOME VIDEO

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EAT SHIT ISAACS!!! HERE COMES A KNUCKLE BALL!!!! (flings a handful of fresh poop)

And with that, the session ended and I was left with quite a mess to clean up.

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**Terry Gilliam has called 12 Monkeys “part of a dystopian satire trilogy or Orwellian triptych” begun with Brazil and ending with The Zero Theorem. Without meaning to, I guess Eric & I have recently reviewed this “trilogy”. You can read his review of Brazil HERE and my review of The Zero Theorem HERE.





The Zero Theorem (2013) Review

16 04 2014

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The Zero Theorem (2013) (what?? it just came out in the UK!)

Directed by Terry Gilliam

Starring:
Christoph Waltz
Mélanie Thierry
David Thewlis
Lucas Hedges
Matt Damon
Tilda Swinton
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Peter Stormare
Ben Whishaw
Dana Rogoz

Running time: 107 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Zero Theorem is a 2013 science fiction film that centres on Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), a reclusive computer genius working on a formula to determine whether life holds meaning. Terry Gilliam has called it the final part of a dystopian satire trilogy or “Orwellian triptych” begun with 1985′s Brazil and continued with 1995′s 12 Monkeys.

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My Opinion:

I’ll be honest – I’m too stupid for this movie. I’m also taking a bit of a break from reviewing movies but felt I should get this one out there (especially as we have a fun guest review coming tomorrow for another Terry Gilliam movie. In fact, one of the three of the “dystopian satire trilogy” Gilliam named above, of which The Zero Theorem is the final part). As Gilliam films are very artistic & fun to look at (and confusing), this “review” is going to be full of images from the film. Here’s a cool one (not great quality – it was fun seeing the different signs in the film):

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First off: Christoph Waltz is in this. I love him. I admit that the hubby kind of had to drag me to this movie but, when I saw that Waltz was the star, he didn’t have to try QUITE so hard to get me into the cinema. I ended up enjoying this movie more than I’d expected to and that was all down to the actors & the look of the film.

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As well as Waltz, we have the very sexy French actress Mélanie Thierry. She bares a lot of skin in this and wears outfits like the one below, which should keep a lot of male (and some female) viewers happy. I ended up really liking her character, who ends up being deeper than you first expect her to be.

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Then we had the young Lucas Hedges, who I also thought did a great job in this. He, Waltz & Thierry were the highlights of the film. I enjoyed their characters which, to me, is always very important in order for me to like a movie. The typical quirky types of characters you always get from Gilliam were played by David Thewlis in a fairly big supporting role and Matt Damon & Tilda Swinton in smaller but fun roles (especially Swinton’s – I kind of really like that crazy-ass woman. She seems like she’d be a blast to hang out with in real life. And she looks like David Bowie, the coolest person EVER).

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So Christoph Waltz is trying to figure out if life has meaning and it’s driving him mad and blah blah quirky characters and yada yada cool science-looking stuff and ooh la la sexy French chick. And what’s with Terry Gilliam & bald heads??

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Summary:

Basically, if you love Terry Gilliam, you’ll be perfectly happy with this film and I’d totally recommend it to you. If you hate him, avoid this. It’s very “him”. I had fun watching it, it gives you some food for thought if you like that sort of thing and, if you don’t, it’s cool to look at. That’s it, really. If you’re looking at this being part of some sort of “trilogy”, it’s the weakest compared to Brazil & 12 Monkeys but it’s been so long since I’ve seen those that I can’t fully comment. Time for a re-watch of both of those, I think…

My Rating: 6.5/10

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finger





The Green Mile (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

15 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Zoe is loving this IMDB project – she’s already reviewed The Departed (which you can read HERE) and she’s planning on doing more! (And may have done another one already…) ;-) Thanks so much for the reviews, Zoe!

Now let’s see what she has to say about The Green Mile, IMDB rank 65 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Here’s another entry for Table 9 Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 challenge. I have been having so much fun with this, revisiting some movies, checking them all for her, some of them I have been meaning to look into again for so long, and now I finally have the driving factor. This is a movie that I hold most dear, who lived up to every inch of the book, proving that you can, in fact, adapt a book successfully if you just know what you are doing.

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“On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job?”
- Paul Edgecomb

The Green Mile is an absolutely stunning tale of the supernatural, faith, the strange things, horror, hope, miracles and all sorts of things. Naturally, when it begins, you don’t really know what is coming. I mean Stephen King is renowned for horrors, but what some people forget is that he is an exceptionally talented author who has more skills than just to terrify the pants off of you. From his strange mind he brought us an account, one that makes you smile, one that makes you sad, one that evokes anger and pity all at once. John Coffey is portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan (R.I.P.), and I think he was superbly cast to play the giant that was accused of the disgusting slayings of two young girls. He is a monster of a man, not the most intelligent person in the world, but shy, wholesome and well-mannered, very incongruent to the hulking monstrosity his physical exterior represents.

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“People hurt the ones they love. That’s how it is all around the world.” – John Coffey

Coffey’s character can only grow on you, and if it does not, then there is something fundamentally flawed in you. He was pure innocence in a world of cruelty, anger and hatred, and even though he was wronged, he did not take it out on anyone once. I loved the relationship he developed with the guards Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks), Brutus “Brutal” Howell (David Morse), Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper) and Harry Terwilliger (James DeMunn). It was great to see how they interacted with this man on death row. Then there was Tom Hanks, again pulling together a great drama role right here as Paul, the man who had to get to the bottom of whatever was going on, who was drawn in and fascinated by Coffey, a peaceful and pure human being. Naturally not everyone was going to be so nice, and Dough Hutchison did a fine job as Percy Wetmore… in other words, I really did just want to climb over somewhere and kill him. He was inhumane, he was cruel and he deserved so much more than a big, fat slap. He was revolting and evil to the core, and was intent on throwing his weight around and bullying everyone no end. People like that sicken me, and he was incredibly convincing, always selfish, putting himself ahead and being resentful at every available opportunity.

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“Try it! You’ll be on the bread lines before the week is out!” – Percy Whetmore

Sam Rockwell was simply brilliant as “Wild Bill” Wharton, and impressed me with his portrayal of the malicious and wicked man. He was undeniably cracked and never once let you forget about it. He was the very embodiment of what I expected from King’s character. I also enjoyed David Morse, whom I find to be an underappreciated actor. He lent dignity and morals to Brutus and gave him real flesh and character. The movie’s pacing was gradual though never boring, but you must not expect something gushing action in every scene, never relenting or letting you breathe. This is a film designed to make you chew over it, think about it and make decisions based on that.

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“All I wanted me was a little cornbread, motherfuckers! All I wanted me was a little cornbread!” – William “Wild Bill” Wharton

I enjoyed how the film was set in the thirties, and the appearance of the prison, the uniforms, the way of life… things was done so much differently. Coffey’s gift being discovered was a thing of beauty. Paul had been suffering for a while with a severe bladder infection, and in a moment of fear and pain, Coffey had healed him, fixed the problems. Such is the nature that shows that Coffey is special, that he is amazing and that he should not be where he is, though he is there now and will have to make the best of it. The guards all become rather protective of Coffey and develop a respect and friendship with him, though not everything is destined to go that way. Paul’s relentless need to get to the bottom of what really happened is touching, and it shows you how one person can change your perception in life as well as how you go about it.

I honestly believe The Green Mile is a classic, and most definitely something that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Frank Darabont again gave another striking vision of a King novel, something I am starting to feel only he fully grasps.

I just can’t see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child. – Paul Edgecomb





My Top Five April Fools

13 04 2014

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The beautiful Cara over at Silver Screen Serenade is doing a really fun series called “April Fools” in which we all discuss our favorite lovable idiots from films and/or television. Go have a look at all the great entries so far! You can see my list of My Top Five April Fools HERE. Thanks, Cara! :-)

And speaking of lovable idiots, I never mentioned that I also took part in Eric’s epic post about the, um, *wonderful* television show True Detective over at The IPC. A bunch of great people got together & talked about how much they love that damn show. Read all about it HERE (but maybe skip my bit if you really love the show – I’ve had enough abuse!). ;-)

And here’s a photo of Garrett Hedlund for no reason whatsoever:

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Oh! And I almost forgot – I did some bitching once again at the blog I call by its shorter title because I’m lazy: Don’t Sit By Me Ahole. Read about annoying couriers HERE and let the lovely Eric above know if you’d like to contribute to this fantastic blog. :-)





My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies

11 04 2014

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I’ve done a little top ten guest list for the wonderful Zoe over at The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Zoe has an amazingly popular blog full of movie & book reviews and I’m sure you all know her already as she’s not exactly a “beginner” anymore. But if for some reason you DON’T, go follow her! NOW! ;-)

And if you care to see the list of My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies, you can follow this link HERE. (Directed by, that is!). Thanks for letting me join in on the Top Ten fun, Zoe! :-)





The Matrix (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

10 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Chris of Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop. Thanks for the review, Chris! :-) Now let’s see what he has to say about The Matrix, IMDB rank 18 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Few films over the past 20 years or so have had as big an impact as The Matrix. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most important films of all time.

Yeah, I went there.

Some people might not like it, but I don’t think anyone can argue over its cultural significance. It’s a bit like me and The Beatles. I get why they were so big and so important but I actually think much of their music is pretty crap.

I went there again.

The premise of film is that everything we know and see around us is a lie, an artificial reality known as the Matrix created by machines who use our bodies as fuel. Only some people are aware of this and have been freed to live in the ‘real world’, although they are in a constant war against the machines. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are freedom fighters of sorts and have recognised Neo (Keanu Reeves) as someone who could fulfil a prophecy and bring peace between the humans and machines.

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It’s a pretty crazy-ass plot and can take a quite a while to get your head around, but what an absolutely phenomenal concept; the kind of idea that only comes along every so often. Think Metropolis, 1984, Blade Runner; an idea so revolutionary that it inspires people to think differently. Not many films do that.

When we first see the ‘real world’ with the scary Giger-esque machines farming thousands upon thousands of humans all sealed away in little pods, it’s simply awe-inspiring and it just gets better and better from there on in.

Just think about it. There are so many standout, memorable and groundbreaking scenes and lines that it’s almost inconceivable they’re all from the same film. The first time we see bullet time; the lobby shootout; the subway fight; the meeting with the Oracle; even the notion that deja-vu is a glitch in the Matrix; all of these are scenes that have since become engrained in cinema’s pop culture, and there are many more besides. You only have to look at how many other films have taken clear inspiration from or have parodied The Matrix to see the effect it’s had.

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It even made Keanu Reeves look like a good actor. That might be slightly unfair but there’s no denying that Reeves was absolutely perfect for the role of Neo, and there have been few cooler moments in cinema seeing Neo kicking ass.

Unfortunately, The Matrix’s legacy has been tainted somewhat by two tremendously disappointing sequels. Both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were totally unnecessary and whilst they had some fun moments were just far too complicated and self-indulgent. Despite the sequels, The Matrix remains one of the most original, groundbreaking and influential films of all time.





A 4-Year-Old’s Tribute To Italian Horror?

8 04 2014

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Has this kid been sneaking downstairs to watch 60′s & 70′s Italian horror in the night? Time to lock up Suspiria! ;-)





Argo (2012) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

8 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Mark of Marked Movies. He also reviewed Heat for this project – you can read that review HERE. Thanks for the reviews, Mark! :-) Now let’s hear his thoughts on the movie Argo, IMDB rank 195 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full IMDB Top 250 list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Director: Ben Affleck.
Screenplay: Chris Terrio.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Kerry Bishé, Chris Messina Michael Parks, Taylor Schilling, Titus Welliver, Bob Gunton, Keith Szarabajka, Philip Baker Hall.

After a great directorial debut with “Gone Baby Gone” in 2007 and a brilliant sophomore effort with “The Town” in 2010, all eyes were on Ben Affleck in his third outing as director. Questions were asked as to whether he could do it again. And the answer? The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes’. Argo completes Affleck’s hat-trick behind the camera and confirms that he’s definitely a director that has an abundance of talent and awareness.

Based on true events in a post-revolution Iran in 1979. A mob of Ayatollah supporters storm the US Embassy and take 56 American hostages. 6 officers managed to escape, however, and take refuge in the home of a Canadian Ambassador. After two months in hiding and their sanctuary becoming increasingly risky, the CIA hatch a plan to get them home and extraction officer Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is given that responsibility. His plan is to create a fake movie called “Argo” and pretend that the six officers in hiding are his crew, scouting for shooting locations within the country.

Before going into Argo, I admittedly expected a heavy-handed political thriller but that’s not exactly what it delivers. Apart from the first five minutes of a brief overview of the, questionable, political relations between the U.S. and Iran, it sidesteps any political agenda and gets down to capturing the thrilling, human drama at it’s core. I’m not adverse to political film’s at all. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy them but Affleck is wise not to get too bogged down in boardroom banter and bureaucracy when there’s an brilliantly exciting story to tell. It does share similarities with the great political tinged thrillers of the 1970′s like Alan J. Pakula’s “All The Presidents Men” or “The Parallax View“. The late 70′s and early 80′s style is captured to perfection by cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and Affleck’s orchestration can sit comfortably beside any from that great decade of cinema.

Chris Terrio’s solid screenplay delivers many dialogue driven scenes but Affleck keeps things moving at a frantic pace and not for a second, does the film ever get dull or drawn out. The tension is almost unbearable at times. Why Affleck didn’t, at the very least, nab an Oscar nomination for his substantial and well-constructed direction here is beyond me. There’s no doubt that he’s in complete command of his material as he leaps from Tehran to Washington to Tinseltown and delivers completely satisfying environments and effortless shifts in tone for the whole film to gel and come to life. He has the ability to capture a politically ravaged country; the backroom jargon of the CIA and the dark humour of Hollywood (that shares more than a passing resemblance to Barry Levinson’s “Wag The Dog“). In order to capture this ludicrous, stranger-than-fiction story in it’s entirety, it demands a maestro at work and Affleck can certainly consider himself one.

This is the edge-of-your-seat tension that “Zero Dark Thirty” wishes it had. With only three film’s under his hat, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Affleck has been at this directing malarky for a very long time. The comparisons with actor, turned quality director, Clint Eastwood will rage on and if anyone thinks otherwise, then Affleck can tell them to “Argo fuck yourself“.

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Mark Walker

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Review

1 04 2014

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**SPOILER-FREE REVIEW. I THINK!**

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Starring:
Chris Evans
Scarlett Johansson
Sebastian Stan
Anthony Mackie
Cobie Smulders
Frank Grillo
Emily VanCamp
Hayley Atwell
Robert Redford
Samuel L Jackson

Running time: 136 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America and the Black Widow join forces to stop a covert enemy that is hiding in Washington, D.C.

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My Opinion:

As I’ve said at the beginning of every superhero movie I’ve reviewed, I don’t know anything whatsoever about these things beyond what I’ve seen in the films. So, luckily, I can just sit back, eat popcorn, and watch these superheroes kick some ass without having to get all geeky nitpicky. I really enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Captain America isn’t my favorite Avenger (so far). He can be a little dull and he’s not exactly Thor-level hot. I liked the first movie fine but it didn’t exactly blow me away. I also felt the same way about the first Thor movie. But I thought Thor: The Dark World was a lot of fun (you can read my review HERE). And I think Captain America: The Winter Soldier is also a very big improvement over the first one. With the exception of Iron Man 3 (review HERE), I think these Marvel movies are getting better & better and it’s getting me very excited about seeing more.

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I’m struggling to think of what to say about this. As I said, I’m far from being an expert on these superhero movies. So I’ll list a few good & not so good things.

The Good:

- The Cast. I really can’t say anything negative about any of them. Scarlett Johansson is one of the best things about this and I quite often don’t like her much. That’s two in a row where I really liked her! (This & Her). Samuel L Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford – all good! And I especially liked Anthony Mackie. Like. LIKE! I liked everyone! Really – this is cool because I usually hate at least one person in a movie. Oh, and Chris Evans is good too but, to be honest, he’s kind of the weakest thing about the movie. (Sorry! More about that later).

- The Winter Soldier. Well, I thought he was pretty bad ass. And occasionally hot. But not from every angle. I can’t decide! Sometimes hot, sometimes not. But his metal arm is pretty freaking cool.

- Falcon & Agent 13. I like these characters!

- Stan Lee cameo. They’re always fun but I thought this one was especially cute. Am I allowed to use “cute” in this review? Screw it – I’m a girl so I can say cute if I want to say cute. It’s really cute!

- The action. There’s A LOT of it but I thought it was all really good. The fight scenes were, I dunno – really well-choreographed? That sounded stupid. What I mean is – they looked cool! And the car chase scenes were pretty damn awesome too. Now, I like some “worthy” films. But, in the UK, the first couple months of the year tend to be the time they show all the worthy Oscar-nominated movies in the cinemas. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wolf Of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Her… (not American Hustle so much). But sometimes you really just want to be entertained & have some fun and I was SO ready for a movie like that. The Winter Soldier is the very definition of a “good-time popcorn movie”. I didn’t look at my watch once. (And by watch I mean phone. Who has a watch?). But I still want a decent plot & characters (Hello Pacific Rim! You were fun but some time spent on your script would have been nice!). The Winter Soldier delivers just fine on plot & especially on characters as well as some really kick-ass action. (And, yes, sometimes there can be too MUCH action. I’m talking to you, Man Of Steel!).

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The Not So Good:

- Captain America. Chill while I explain. I’ve gone & decided to break this down into the good and not so good and have now realized that I can’t really think of anything for the not so good bit but I’m too lazy to go back & change things. Lol. So…

I already mentioned above that Chris Evans is kind of the weakest thing about the movie but I don’t really mean him as an actor – I just think they’ve not done the greatest job developing his character. Yet. I feel like we should know this guy a bit better by now plus he’s not developed much of a personality in the way they at least made Thor more “fun” in The Dark World (Although we still didn’t get anything deep from his character. I’d like Thor a lot less if Chris Hemsworth wasn’t so damn FINE). To be fair, though, it’s kind of a problem with most superhero movies. I think it’s probably also very hard with these movies to get that right balance between “too serious” and “too cheesy” but they’re getting it right more & more often these days, especially with all the Avengers-related ones. So I’m not really complaining much. Other than Iron Man 3, these movies just keep getting better.

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Summary:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, well, a kick-ass superhero movie. What else can I say? If you like all the other movies with all the other Avengers, I really can’t see you not liking this one. And I think it’s a massive improvement on the ones that have come before it. I find the character of Captain America a little bit weak compared to the others but if they put this level of effort into the rest of the Marvel Avengers films, we’re in for a real treat. I can’t WAIT to see more based on this one. A thoroughly entertaining movie.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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Scenes After Credits?: Duh. It’s a Marvel movie! Why do people rush out the second the credits roll?!

Are they worth holding your pee for? There are two: One partway through the credits and one at the very end. The one partway through is a definite must-see. Man I want to see what comes of that one!!! And thanks to the hubby for filling me in on the details with that one. The scene at the very end is worth watching if you’re a completist. I MUST stay for these scenes after the credits otherwise I get really annoyed knowing that I’ve missed something. But, hey – you’d probably have time for a quick pee between the two end credits scenes if you really can’t hold it. ;-)

**See My Top Ten Superhero Movies HERE.

By the way – I think I have a new favorite blog! :-) Click HERE.





The John Hughes Blogathon Has Officially Ended

31 03 2014

You’re still here? It’s over! Go home. ;-)

Thank you, everyone! :-)





Thanks To Everyone Involved With The John Hughes Blogathon

31 03 2014

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Wow – what a busy month! I can’t believe how many people wanted to be a part of this blogathon. Thank you so much to everyone who did a review. Or five (Eric). Or ten (Rob). ;-) I’ll include links below to all the reviews. There are 54 total. 54! That’s insane. Love it! They’ll also be kept on a page at the top of this blog.

And thanks just as much to all the people who stopped by and commented on all these reviews. That really means a lot to me (and to the guest reviewers). I do apologize for having a very hard time keeping up with replying to everyone. I’ve had a busy month (in real life!) & I’m an entire week behind on replying to comments. Sorry! I’ll still get to them. I feel awful if I don’t reply to people within a day….

It’s business as usual tomorrow but I need to take a bit of a break for a while. I’ll probably just review any movies I go to see in the cinema (plus the five I went to this past month – Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Zero Theorem, Muppets Most Wanted, Non-Stop, Moshi Monsters: The Movie). And I’ll start up the IMDB Top 250 guest reviews again next week. I hope all you great new followers will stick around & that the old ones will come back to read my usual shitty reviews of non-Hughes movies. ;-)

Thanks again everyone! You’re the best! *MWAH!*

All John Hughes Reviews:

101 Dalmatians by Fearsome 5 (and family!)

Baby’s Day Out by Film Grimoire

Beethoven by Film Grimoire

The Breakfast Club by The IPC

The Breakfast Club by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

The Breakfast Club by A Clockwalker Orange

Career Opportunities by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Curly Sue by MovieRob

Dennis by MovieRob

Drillbit Taylor by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs

Drillbit Taylor by MovieRob

Dutch by MovieRob

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Fast Film Reviews

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Dirk Malcolm Alternative

Flubber by MovieRob

The Great Outdoors by Smashing Through Life

The Great Outdoors by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Home Alone by MovieRob

Home Alone 2 by Screenkicker

Home Alone 3 by Ten Stars Or Less

Just Visiting by JJames Reviews

Maid In Manhattan by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Miracle On 34th Street by Where The Wild Things Are

Mr. Mom by JJames Reviews

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Tvor Travels

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion by Brian at Hard Ticket To Home Video

National Lampoon’s European Vacation by Tvor Travels

National Lampoon’s Vacation by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger

Only The Lonely by Ten Stars Or Less

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by Film Nerd Blog

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The Cinematic Frontier

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The IPC

Pretty In Pink by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Pretty In Pink by Tranquil Dreams

Pretty In Pink by MovieRob

Savage Islands by MovieRob

She’s Having A Baby by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs

She’s Having A Baby by MovieRob

Sixteen Candles by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Sixteen Candles by Where The Wild Things Are

Sixteen Candles by Film Nerd Blog

Sixteen Candles by The IPC

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Silver Screen Serenade

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Some Kind Of Wonderful by MovieRob

Tajna Nikole Tesle by 501 Must-See Movies Project

Uncle Buck by The IPC

Weird Science – special double review by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!) & Eric of The IPC

Weird Science by What About The Twinkie?

EXTRAS:

Don’t You Forget About Me (documentary about John Hughes) by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

John Hughes Mini-Reviews by Mr Mutant (my hubby!)

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! It’s curtains for this blogathon. :-)

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Poster by Raúl Salazar – Link HERE





CPD Classics: The Breakfast Club (1985) Review

31 03 2014

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

Directed by John Hughes

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Emilio Estevez
Anthony Michael Hall
Judd Nelson
Molly Ringwald
Ally Sheedy
Paul Gleason
John Kapelos
John Hughes (uncredited – as Mr Johnson)

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Breakfast Club storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal.

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My Opinion:

I figured I should end this blogathon with my review of my very favorite John Hughes movie: The Breakfast Club. So don’t worry everyone – THIS IS THE FINAL REVIEW OF THE JOHN HUGHES BLOGATHON. (Unless I quickly watch the DVD I just received in the mail). ;-)

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As always, I struggle the most when writing about the films that I really love. What is it about The Breakfast Club? Why do so many people of my generation hold this movie so dear? (And some from a whole new generation. Or two. Or three. HOW many generations have there been since I was a teenager?? Man I’m old…). All I know is that we have John Hughes to thank for it. The actors chosen all did a great job and everything but it’s the writing of John Hughes that really spoke to teenagers everywhere. And he’s never been bettered. Why can’t they make teen movies like these anymore?

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For me, I could really relate to The Breakfast Club because it felt EXACTLY like my high school. My high school was also very small, in the Midwest (not far from where the fictional Shermer, Illinois would be), and it was full of cliques. And the thought of a group of teens from these different worlds coming together and finding that they had a lot more in common than they realized was such a lovely thought. Okay – I’m not completely sure how realistic THAT was but it was still great watching the relationships develop between the characters in this movie.

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Most of all, it was seeing that each of these teens had their own problems & fears (even the popular princess & the athlete!). And having five such different characters meant that every teen watching would be able to relate to at least one of them. Me? I was a combination of the basket case, the brain, and a tiny bit of the princess. My boyfriend was the criminal (Totally. He even looked a bit like John Bender). So the one I could relate to the least was the athlete (But this was probably the largest social group in my school. Stupid sports! I sucked at sports. I had no chance of being popular!). Well, I was a cheerleader. Shh – don’t tell anyone that. How freaking embarrassing… Rah rah rah and all that bullshit. Blech!

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Summary:

The Breakfast Club “spoke” to me as a teenager the way it did to countless teens then and even to some of them today. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so different after all. We all have the same thoughts and fears and we all just want to belong, whether we admit to it or not. John Hughes knew exactly what was in a teenager’s heart and mind and was able to beautifully capture this in the teen movies that he wrote. This is the most apparent in The Breakfast Club, which is why it’s my favorite John Hughes film and a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9.5/10

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John Hughes Movie Song Of The Day: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

31 03 2014

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John Williams – Star Wars (Main Title) (featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986)





Don’t You Forget About Me (2009) Review

31 03 2014

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Don’t You Forget About Me (2009 Documentary)

Directed by Matt Austin

Written by:
Matt Austin
Michael Facciolo
Kari Hollend
Lenny Panzer

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Don’t You Forget About Me is a 2009 Canadian documentary film about screenwriter, director, and producer John Hughes. The film specifically focused on Hughes’ fade from prominence in the early 1990s. It details the journey of a group of young filmmakers who go in search of the reclusive icon, documenting their search through interviews of the people with whom Hughes had worked and fans of his films.

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My Opinion:

Obviously, I was interested in watching this documentary as, like the filmmakers, I grew up with and love John Hughes teen movies and was sad that he stopped making those types of films and that he pretty much disappeared from Hollywood. I think it’s quite a sad story and, as we know, he died too young from a heart attack at the age of 59 on August 6, 2009, just after this documentary was filmed.

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This is worth a watch for anyone who is a big fan of Hughes but not so much worth a watch if you’re not. The best part by far was seeing all the interviews with those who had worked with Hughes and those who were influenced by his work. It’s pretty impressive that they were able to get as many people together for this documentary as they did. The following are just some of the people they interviewed:

Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Ally Sheedy
Judd Nelson
Kelly LeBrock
Mia Sara
Alan Ruck
Kevin Smith
Roger Ebert
Richard Roeper
Jim Kerr

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As for the rest of the documentary, I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth on why they thought Hughes had disappeared but we don’t really get this from the filmmakers. They talk a bit about their favorite Hughes films and what those movies meant to them but we don’t really hear anything new. I was a little confused by a couple things too. They say they spent two years (or maybe it was two and a half) on this documentary. I don’t think this is a spoiler: they drive to Chicago to try to track down John Hughes & interview him (I won’t say whether they manage to or not). But, once they get there, they sit down and start writing out some questions to ask him. Then they try to decide how to go about contacting him: walk right up to his house & talk to him or give him a letter or what. They write the letter right outside his house. In two years they didn’t think to have any of this prepared until they arrived in Chicago to try to meet with Hughes???

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Summary:

A documentary worth watching if you love John Hughes films as you get to see some interesting interviews with those he worked with and those he influenced. However, you won’t really learn anything new or get an in-depth look into the man and why he disappeared from the scene. It’s also a little disappointing that there’s no focus whatsoever on any of his movies other than a few teen ones (what’s wrong with the Vacation movies? Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Etc?). Like I say – I do recommend this if you like John Hughes but I was a little uncomfortable at the thought of fans trying to track him down as I think he wanted a peaceful life with his family. And knowing that he died so soon afterwards made watching this even harder. (Please read below the picture for something I DO highly recommend….) And for another opinion on this documentary from another fan of John Hughes, you can read Rob’s thoughts over at his MovieRob blog HERE.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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**To be honest, if you’re a John Hughes fan (or even if you’re not), I’ve been meaning to share this absolutely fascinating piece from a girl who was pen pals with Hughes from 1985-1987 (and more beyond). THIS should be read by everyone – Hughes lovers or even those who are simply interested in being writers or just knowing a bit more about the feelings of someone who was in the public eye. It’s a brilliant insight into the man & you will learn much more about him from this lovely piece written by a girl called Alison Byrne Fields than you will from watching this documentary. Please read this – It will be well worth your time (and there’s more to be read if you wish to explore more about John Hughes on her blog). Link here: Sincerely, John Hughes

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John Hughes Mini-Reviews By Mr Mutant

31 03 2014

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I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. So, since starting my little blog here in November 2012 I’ve asked the hubby, Mr Mutant, to contribute several times. I even let him go to a few movies without me as long as he’d review those movies for my blog (where’s my Evil Dead & Robocop remake reviews, dude?? Hmmm???). So, FINALLY, he’s decided he’d like to join in on something. All it took was a John Hughes Blogathon. Yes, he loves his movies too and, quite frankly, it’s a big part of the reason why we got married. So thank you, John Hughes, for helping to bring us together. For the most part. You know, on those days where we like each other. ;-)

So let’s hear Mr Mutant’s quick thoughts on every John Hughes movie that he’s seen! Thank you, Mr Mutant! *KissHugCuddle*

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(Artwork by Robert Wolverton)

John Hughes Mini-Reviews

Weird Science

Supercalifragilisticoingoboingodocious….!!

Sixteen Candles

Ranting, raving, racism and rape-ism wrapped up like a birthday gift in this often hilarious “bittersweet sixteen” moment.

The Breakfast Club

Five teens eloquently impart never-bettered observations for every generation’s inner high schooler… and take a toke while they’re at it.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The essence of teenage wisdom distilled into a day’s adventure, alongside a water tower, a symphony of synthetic sickness samples and a fake Ferrari… This film IS the 80s to me.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Clever script ruined by studio meddling.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

Cack. This helped give American tourists a bad rep in Europe for decades.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Affectionate classic festive cheese (shitter is full!).

Uncle Buck

Dated but still have much love for this one, warts and all!

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Top notch comedy worth repeat views – it’s like a pair of warm pillows – by that I mean welcoming and reassuring, as opposed to hairy arse!

Home Alone

Pure Christmas MAGIC with added sadomasochistic hi-jinks.

Career Opportunities

The essence of shit on a shiny silver disc. With added boobs.

Pretty In Pink

“Otis. I love Otis…”And even though I shouldn’t, I love this…. “Love is real… Real is love”.

The Great Outdoors

Squeak squeak squeeeeak. (Translation: gotta love John Candy but OMFG make it stop!!!)

Drillbit Taylor

Drillbit to the left temple. Next…???!!!???

Maid In Manhattan

Sappy but not as bad as I feared. A near love letter to Manhattan that fails to come close to matching his love letters to the Chicago area.

Home Alone 2

More pure Christmas magic from the tail end of that still-innocent era in American family film… with pigeons and skyscrapers to boot!

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Pretty In Pink in reverse – this underrated 80s high schooler that’s not quite as strong but has almost as many quotable lines… And the right ending!

Mr Mom

Heavily dated but the comedy encapsulates the changing family and working values of the early 80s.

Baby’s Day Out

Agony for adults, but somewhat fun for children (and occasionally for your inner child).

Miracle On 34th Street

Pointless remake still keeps the magic of Christmas alive despite serious flaws in this version.

Curly Sue

The one that made us all realise that even the mighty Hughes could lose his mojo.

She’s Having A Baby

Semi autobiographical and semi yawnsome – but did Kevin Bacon’s character here steal that yellow cab in Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Hughes fans need answers!

Haven’t seen:

Beethoven
Just Visiting
Flubber
101 Dalmatians
Dennis
Dutch
Class Reunion
Reach The Rock
Savage Islands
Tajna Nikole Tesle

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Sixteen Candles (1984) Guest Review

31 03 2014

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For this final guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon, we have Eric of The IPC – the guy who inspired me to take on this crazy project that ended up being way bigger than I ever could have dreamed. And it’s all because I decided to pick on him one day for being a teenager in the 80s yet not watching all the 80′s John Hughes teen films! Thanks for being such a good sport through all of this Eric (but, REALLY? you REALLY didn’t like Uncle Buck?! Man…). Anyway, I adore Sixteen Candles (and I reviewed it as well too right HERE. PLUG!). So let’s see how much Eric suffered while watching the true Hughes classic Sixteen Candles. :-)

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SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984)

When Cinema Parrot Disco first approached us with the idea of this blogathon, I was hesitant about watching some teen movies from my teens that I had never had any desire at all to see but then she coerced me threatened me made it her life’s ambition to hunt me down and provide violence to my flesh I happily volunteered and ordered up a few of these. If you read what I did on The Breakfast Club, you might remember that I didn’t care for it too much so I was NOT excited about popping in this one and sitting through it. But I did because I am a man of my word and I do what I say I will and I am a completist and all of that shit and what can I say but I actually liked this and thought it was pretty fucking funny. “Candles” was a little bit more saucy than “Club” coming in with a set of boobs, some cussin’ and even some implied sex. WHAT?

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Speaking of Breakfast Club, there’s something I forgot about when I was writing my piece the other day. There’s a scene late in the movie where everyone fucking gets together and smokes some dope and bonds like they’re a bunch of hippies in some commune. After smoking some weed, the jock (Emilio Estevez) goes running around the library like he’s on PCP, screaming and dancing and he might have ripped his shirt off – I forget. But I remember watching that scene and thinking – WHAT THE FUCK? I’ve smoked some grass in my days and not ONCE have I ever had the desire to go running around anything or screaming or dancing. In fact. I’ve acted up MUCH less on The Pot than when I’ve had a shitpot worth of cocktails. READ: seven Long Island Iced Teas = running around my city naked; a hit off a 4 foot bong = sitting on the couch watching FEAST trying to remember my name.

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Anyway… so SIXTEEN CANDLES is pretty funny. Really. I LOLed quite a few times. I noticed though, one thing that really bothered me and when I went looking for pics of this on the internet I can’t believe that I couldn’t find a picture of this…. somewhere after the credits, Ringwald is taking the most inappropriate test that could possibly be imagined in a public school setting but – at the top… there’s this….!

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Sorry for the poor graphic arrow but what the FUCK’s a CONFIDENTAIL???? Is that the rear end of your best friend and confidante? How did the filmmakers miss this? What kind of teacher would ask that first question?? Oh well – who hasn’t seen this except for me? It’s your typical coming of age teen movie where the chick gets the guy of her dreams in the end and the dorky guy gets laid. In between there’s a bunch of zany shenanigans and all of that, including a Chinese foreign exchange student. One of the funnier lines of the movie? Chinese dude eats a quiche for the first time ever and really loves it. “How do you spell this word ‘QUICHE’?” he asks sporting a shit eating grin. “You don’t spell it son,” says the grandpa. “You eat it.” LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA

Thanks Mutant!!





John Hughes Movie Quote Of The Day: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

31 03 2014

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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)





Maid In Manhattan (2002) Review

30 03 2014

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Maid In Manhattan (2002)

Directed by Wayne Wang

Story by John Hughes

Starring:
Jennifer Lopez
Ralph Fiennes
Natasha Richardson
Stanley Tucci (TUCCI!)
Tyler Posey
Frances Conroy
Chris Eigeman
Amy Sedaris
Marissa Matrone
Priscilla Lopez
Bob Hoskins
Lisa Roberts Gillan
Maddie Corman (Hey! It’s the middle sister in Some Kind Of Wonderful!)

Running time: 105 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Rich politician guy falls in love with a maid when he mistakes her for a guest at the hotel where she works. Blah blah. You’ve seen this before. No surprises here.

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My Opinion:

I actually went to see this when it came out back in 2002. It was needing a review for this blogathon so I gave it a quick, half-assed re-watch the other day (only one or two Hughes movies will end up not being reviewed. That’s an AMAZING turnout. Thank you everyone!). So… What can I say about Maid In Manhattan?

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Is it predictable? Oh HELL yeah! Every step of the way! Is it romantic? Meh – as much as any girly rom-com is these days. Are the characters likeable? Luckily, they actually are pretty likeable in this one, which is about all you can ask for from a lot of rom-coms. Does it feel like a John Hughes movie? Not in the slightest. The story is by him – I don’t know if there was much involvement from him beyond that. Probably not. So there’s none of the old John Hughes classic lines & characters in this movie. Don’t watch this one expecting any Hughes-ness – there’s not a trace of it to be found.

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However, it’s not a horrible movie. I am NOT a “rom-com” girl. I’m a movie lover and will watch most anything, though, so I’ve seen my fair share of this genre. This is a respectable enough entry. If you DO love this genre, I think you’d like Maid In Manhattan just fine. It’s not “smart” like something like The Devil Wears Prada (I like that one. And, hey – Stanley Tucci is in that AND this! Love my Tucci! Hmm… That sounds kinky….). BUT it’s not as dumb as, say, a Kate Hudson rom-com.

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Ralph Fiennes & especially Jennifer Lopez do just fine in this one – you like their characters & want them to live “happily every after”. I didn’t fully buy a romance between the two of them but, whatever. I really liked the boy playing J-Lo’s son – he’s smart and sweet & the two of them have a good relationship. There are a lot of good supporting characters and it’s a shame we don’t actually get to see more of them (including Stanley Tucci & Bob Hoskins). The only complaint would be that they made Natasha Richardson’s character a little TOO annoying (but you’re not meant to like her). The best thing about this movie is that it DOES manage to give the audience plenty of characters they’ll like and, as I said, that’s about all you can ask for from a rom-com. It’s really not too much to ask yet plenty movies in this genre don’t manage it (for instance – those damn Kate Hudson movies. Ugh!). Maid In Manhattan won’t change your life but it won’t exactly ruin your day either. I think this is one time where people have judged this movie too harshly (the IMDB rating is very low. 4.9? Too harsh). Chill, people! It’s a bit of light entertainment.

My Rating: 6/10

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The Great Outdoors (1988) Review

30 03 2014

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The Great Outdoors (1988)

Directed by Howard Deutch

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Dan Aykroyd
John Candy
Stephanie Faracy
Annette Bening
Robert Prosky
Chris Young
Ian Giatti
Hillary and Rebecca Gordon
Lucy Deakins
Bart the Bear

Running time: 91 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
John Candy plans to enjoy a nice vacation with his family but his annoying in-laws show up & ruin everything.

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My Opinion:

I watched this the other day just in case I needed to review it. Then the lovely Smash reviewed it for me (she’s awesomely hilarious so you should just go & read her review instead of mine. seriously – I suck). :-) So I wasn’t going to review this. But then I remembered way back to December 2013…. You see, I started this blog at the end of 2012 & then kept a very anal list of EVERY movie I watched in 2013 (list HERE). Then, by December 2013, I suddenly went a bit mental & decided that I NEEDED to review every freaking one of those 2013 movies that I’d watched and I think I still had about 12 or so un-reviewed (that’s probably not a word). So I quickly cranked out 12 or so shitty reviews. So to save myself that same panic come December 2014, I better review this fucker now! (Yeah – I’ve started a 2014 list. Here it is! I’m already behind!)

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I’m glad Smash loved this movie. I can see why. It’s the type of movie where, if you saw it at the time and pretty much grew up with it, you’ll have fond memories of it. I did see it years ago but only once and I didn’t remember too much beyond the waterskiing scene. Having re-watched it again for the first time in years, I’m afraid to say that it hasn’t aged that well. To compare it to other Hughes movies, I’d say it especially hasn’t aged well compared to Planes, Trains & Automobiles or Uncle Buck, both of which I think many people would still enjoy today even if they’re watching them for the very first time. The Great Outdoors was 1988 but something about it makes it feel even older than that. I’d say that even the first two Vacation films feel a bit more “fresh” than this one. (Sorry – don’t hate me! It’s still a fun movie and, as I said, I can understand why some would be very fond of it).

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The characters: John Candy – loveable as always. Dan Aykroyd – fine. as Dan Aykroyd-y as always. The kids – fine, nothing special (but I did like how the twin girls were a bit like The Shining twins). The wives – fine. Annette Bening’s character was a little annoying. Umm… Oh! Lucy Deakins – She’s a cutie. I don’t know why she wasn’t in more stuff. Here’s an embarrassing confession (luckily, no one reads my reviews anyway. ha!) – I LOVE a little movie she was in called The Boy Who Could Fly. That movie ROCKS! And the boy in the title was played by Jay Underwood, who also played Bug in Uncle Buck with John Candy! There you go – six degrees of Kevin Bacon (who was in Planes, Trains & Automobiles with John Candy who was in The Great Outdoors with Annette Bening who is married to Warren Beatty who has had sex with most of Hollywood which will somehow also connect him to Kevin Bacon and where the fuck am I going with this?!).

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I’m tired. The Great Outdoors is dated but John Candy is in it and we all love him so who cares. The Vacation films are better. As is Planes, Trains & Automobiles. And Uncle Buck. And Home Alone. And all of the teen John Hughes movies. But it’s better than Baby’s Day Out!

My Rating: 6/10

bum





Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) Guest Review

30 03 2014

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, once again, from Rob of Movie Rob. Thanks, Rob! He liked Pretty In Pink after just recently watching it for the first time so let’s now hear his thoughts on Some Kind Of Wonderful. :-)

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“Keith… you’re losing it. And when it’s lost, all you are is a loser.” – Watts

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Theater in 1987, cable, video and 12 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A poor kid who falls in love with a rich girl is helped by his tomboy friend in order to win her over. Little does he know, that she is in love with him too.

My Take on it – What would you do if you were one of the most successful filmmakers of 1980′s teen films and the studio forced you to change the ending of your movie?

You’d do what John Hughes did.. Remake the movie with slightly different characters and keep the ending you always wanted.

I use to love this movie as a teen because it showed that sometimes as a teen you don’t know what’s right for you and are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. And then in a moment of clarity, you realize that you made a mistake and are able to rectify that mistake.

Wouldn’t it be great if life was so simple?

That statement is both allegorical to this movie and to the situation Hughes was in himself when he chose to make this movie.

Hughes was so adamant at making everyone know about his frustration that he ever wanted to cast Molly Ringwald in the Main female part. She declined and was never asked to be in another John Hughes movie ever again.

In her stead, Hughes hired Lea Thompson who ended up falling in love with the director of the movie Howard Deutch and they have been married ever since.

Besides Thompson, this movie features Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson (who I still have a strong crush on to this day).

The themes and situations of this movie and Pretty in Pink (1986) are so blatant that you would have to be a complete idiot to not realize that they are basically the same movie but with different happy endings.

Having only watched Pretty in Pink (1986) very recently, I actually think the opposite. In my mind, this movie is the original with the correct ending and the other is the “remake” with the wrong ending. :)

Bottom Line - Great “remake” of Pretty in Pink (1986) that actually has the proper ending. Excellent cast.
Recommended!

Rating – Globe Worthy





Drillbit Taylor (2008) Guest Review

29 03 2014

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rhetologue’s Movie Logs. Thank you for the reviews for this blogathon! Let’s see what he thought of Drillbit Taylor. :-)

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Drillbit Taylor is the tale of an ass kicking hobo that has the hallmarks of a John Hughes’ movie but in Seth Rogen’s hands. Movie Logs reviews this odd team up for Cinema Parrot Disco.

Drillbit Taylor follows three high school friends who, in finding themselves mercilessly bullied, hire a homeless man pretending to be a martial arts expert to defend them while at school.

Now, I was previously under the impression that Drillbit Taylor was the work of Seth Rogen but that’s only part of the story. It seems John Hughes pitched this story under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes, obviously a practice he was in the habit of doing when the idea was a little bit…poop. Drillbit Taylor is within a list that also includes Maid in Manhattan and the Beethoven franchise. In fact, Drillbit was Hughes’ last film before his death in 2009.

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For Seth Rogen, being a part of this project was probably an amazing opportunity. His own career has been tremendously influenced by an irreverent and teen-centric world. From Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) to this year’s Bad Neighbours, his work must have been influenced in some way by the coming of age tales of John Hughes.

Drillbit does have a whiff of the John Hughes about it with its irreverent themes, smartass kids and bizarre story. Yet it’s not particularly strong and that’s kind of the point. This is what John Hughes thinks is sellable but not worthy of his name. How strange is it that what Hughes considered poor seems awfully similar to what Seth Rogen made his name pumping out? This is the biggest problem with Drillbit Taylor – it seems at odds with itself.

The premise is pretty sweet and finds Owen Wilson as an affable wanderer that finds his opportunism and inspiring words fusing into a conscience.

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Though this dynamic is at times compelling it’s never really funny…it just happens and you watch it because it’s there and that’s fine…I guess. Owen Wilson truly holds this movie together with his personal charisma. As Drillbit moves into the school to protect his wards, posing as a substitute teacher, the novelty of the story peeks out from under the banality.

However, when Drillbit starts a relationship with deluded teacher Lisa (Leslie Mann), he finds it harder to keep his old life a secret. He finds himself going head-to-head with two mindless school bullies, played by Drake and Josh’s reformed fat kid – Josh Peck – and the unflinching Alex Frost.

The lies, the economical attempts at romance, the suspense of finding ways to come to his wards’ rescue all help to make Drillbit Taylor watchable yet the balance of humour is not weighted in its favour.

With the help of the near faultless anxiousness of Leslie Mann, it gets so close. Then there’s Danny McBride and Reno 911’s Cedric Yarbrough playing a couple of homeless opportunists that are practically the 3rd baseman waving Owen in for a homer…yet somehow it doesn’t quite get there.

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That might be because the movie struggles to generate empathy for the kids, who are the now generic characters referencing WASP and Jewish culture.

You know, they’re your quintessential chubby and short kid (Troy Gentile as Ryan), skinny and tall kid (Nate Hartley as Wade) and nerdy kid who probably smells of cough syrup and sea salt (David Dorfman as Emmitt). Those character profiles have served Seth Rogen well, as he’s built his whole career on them and hasn’t stopped using them yet. However, in this incarnation, it’s all too predictably placed and paced.

With Rogen writing and producing SuperBad a year earlier it also feels like a bit of a cheeky replication of characters. The kids are a little younger and we gain a little bit more back story, yet it’s ultimately covered ground. The battle rap scene is particularly cringe-worthy and is indicative of how 2000-and-late these characters seem in their contrivances.

This all helmed by director Steven Brill, who is not particularly in the business of making good films. This is the man that has brought us the likes of Little Nicky (2000) and Without a Paddle (2004), being just two of his affronts to cinema. Drillbit Taylor may be his bets movie to date yet it feels more like a weak version of an Adam McKay (Step Brothers, The Other Guys) movie, without the humour to back it up. Visually, Drillbit Taylor is nothing to write home about, and delivers some engaging sequences in all the predictable places if only to keep our attention.

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Last words

“What more could you really want?”

I actually like Drillbit Taylor. It’s a fun movie even if it is pedestrian. It’s enjoyable even if it’s not particularly funny. It delivers some twisted moral but is still somehow inspirational. It achieves some poignancy without being particularly layered. Drillbit Taylor is simultaneously a terrible John Hughes movie, as it has none of the heart of his fare, and a passable Seth Rogen slam piece, as it exists to amuse and to fund Rogen’s money making habit. That’s quite the achievement.

Drillbit Taylor could never be considered a John Hughes movie in its finished form but in some respect it is the same concept as Weird Science – some nerds want to stop being bullied so employ the powers of a magical being to protect and empower them. In the case of Lisa, she was a sexy computer generated genie. In Drillbit’s case he’s a hobo who will say and do anything to make an easy buck until somehow his lies manifest in magical truth. Either way, they end result is still the same and it is that subtext that maintains the spirit of the movie despite its weaknesses.

Truly, Drillbit Taylor is the type of movie that forces you to ask yourself, on a lazy weekend when the remote is just out of reach, “what more could I possibly want?”

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Pretty In Pink (1986) Guest Review

29 03 2014

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of Movie Rob. :-) Thanks again, Rob! Let’s hear his thoughts on Pretty In Pink

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“We don’t have none of this stuff in the boy’s room! Wait a minute! We don’t got none of this… we don’t got doors on the stalls in the boy’s room, we don’t have, what is this? What’s this? We don’t have a candy machine in the boy’s room!” – Duckie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A poor high school girl is pursued romantically by a rich kid and also has a best friend who is in love with her. She must decide between the two.

My Take on it – I can’t even explain why I’ve never gotten around to seeing this one being that I am a big fan of most of John Hughes’ 80′s teen movies.

Because of this blogathon, I was inspired to finally watch it and I must admit that I somewhat regret never having seen this back when I was a teenager myself.

What’s good about that now is that Hughes was so adept at making us feel as if we were a character in the movie whether it meant spending Saturday in detention, taking a day off of school to have fun or even wanting to be part of the popular crowd that watching this movie made me feel as if I was once again back in High school in the 80′s.

I always liked the Molly Ringwald kinda girls and hated the preppy guys so I could relate. I could probably actually compare myself in some ways to Duckie since I was always friendly with a number of girls in my class who I had hoped would eventually turn into something (but never did) and ultimately felt spurned when they would one night talk about how much they hated so and so and then a few days later would be going out with him.

Never could understand that. (still don’t cause none of them ever married those guys)

John Hughes himself was very upset about the fact that the studio forced an ending of the movie on him that he didn’t want. I agree that this ending was not what I had hoped for. This actually lowers this movies rating a bit for me.

The cast for this movie is filled with numerous up and coming young brat packers; Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, John Cryer, James Spader and Gina Gershon.

Nice cameo by the Diceman, Andrew “Dice” Clay.

Bottom Line – A pretty good Hughes film that once again perfectly captures the high school mood and makes us feel like we are back in time to our teens years. Great cast of brat packers who still are around 30 years later.
Recommended!

Rating – Globe Worthy





Savage Islands (1983) Guest Review

29 03 2014

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**Savage Islands (aka Nate And Hayes)

This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of Movie Rob! Lol! Seriously – thanks for all the reviews, Rob. :-) Especially of these obscure Hughes films! Now let’s see if Rob liked Savage Islands (aka Nate And Hayes)

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“You should feel flattered, missy. Not everyone gets offered to the gods.” – Ben Pease

Number of Times Seen – at least twice (on cable in the 80′s and 14 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A pirate adventure movie that takes place in the Pacific during the 1800s where two men vie for the affections of a beautiful woman.

My Take on it – This movie is one that I recall enjoying as a kid, but couldn’t remember a thing about it. Even when I watched this, nothing seemed familiar until the final scene which I did actually remember in full.

This movie is basically an attempt to create another kind of Indiana Jones type movie but fails more than miserably because none of the characters are fleshed out at all and we just don’t care about any of them no matter what they do.

The plot and script are both pointless and I’m glad that John Hughes wasn’t shunned in Hollywood after writing this drivel because then we would have missed out on his masterpieces which came out not long after this one.

Tommy Lee Jones and Michael O’Keefe are both wasted here as is your time if you actually watch this

Bottom Line - Terrible script and plot not helped in the least by talented actors Tommy Lee Jones and Michael O’Keefe and being written by the then unknown John Hughes

Rating – Razzie Worthy








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