Film Review #1

 

First rule of fight club…. um, film review…do not write about the story of the film.

Second rule of film review…you get the picture.

From the list of films presented in class, and found here, please review the site, IMDB to help find a film that is a fit.

Watching

When viewing the film, turn off all distractions, watch with high quality audio, or headphones.  Do not try to work on other homework while watching your selected film.  How will I know if you did these things?  I won’t know, but you will have wasted your time partially paying attention to a film, possibly a great film, possibly a terrible film, but you will not know if you don’t fully give the film and filmmakers your undivided attention.

Writing

Please read the following review of “Black Swan from the New York Times.  This is an example of a professionally written review; it does give some detail to the reader with the perspective that the reader has not seen the film, but it is not simply a retelling of the story. The paragraph below is a series of questions and answers provoked from the reviewer after watching the film.  Each viewer walks away with something, answers, questions, but generally not left empty.

“Black Swan” — a leading candidate for the most misunderstood film of 2010 — is the relationship, in art, between technique and emotion. Ballet, the specific art form in question, is shown to require endless practice and grueling physical discipline. Bodies, in particular the bodies of young women, are stretched and twisted into unnatural postures, and the cost of the fleeting, breathtaking grace they attain is reckoned in close-ups of battered, bloody feet and tendons pulled almost to the snapping point. The toe shoes that are among the principal tools of this torment also seem to be surrogates and scapegoats; they are scraped, mutilated and disfigured by the dancers in a symbolic re-enactment of the violence they perform upon themselves in their ruthless pursuit of perfection.

Your written response to the film needs to be a response to the film, not a retelling of the film.  Items to respond to could include the use of editing, cinematography, complexity or simplicity of the story/plot, visual styling, audio, soundtrack, effects, acting, and subject matter.  Write as if the person reading your review just watched the film with you.  What questions or answers were raised after viewing, did you enjoy the film, dislike the film, indifferent…why?  It is expected that all grammar and spelling errors be corrected before posting.  Write the response in Word then read and re-read the response out loud to hear the flow and pacing of the writing.  Response should be at minimum three detailed paragraphs.

Due 11/10/2011 @ 10:00 p.m. pacific time

74 Comments

  1. Jon Oyan

    When presented with the list of movies to watch for this assignment, I was at first overwhelmed. Looking for guidance, I asked my parents which were the best, and got about a dozen movie recommendations. That did not help my predicament. Stuck in a funk of indecisiveness, I finally gave in and drove to Blockbuster, where I checked out a copy of The Shawshank Redemption, in the hopes that I would enjoy the movie. My random selection could not have been better. From the first minute, the masterful storytelling of The Shawshank Redemption locks you in, and doesn’t let go until the credits roll.
    One of the many points where Shawshank shines is in acting. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are chameleons in their roles as prison inmates at Shawshank Prison. Without a hitch, they embody a rollercoaster of emotions: anger, doubt, joy, and pain. Overall the entire cast seamlessly delivers – each actor creates a powerfully resounding character – some you hate; most you love.
    The casts’ performances would have gone nowhere, however, without the superb editing and cinematography. Dialogue shots flowed seamlessly and action shots felt continuous. The scenic scenes of the movie – in the fields at the end, and even in the prison, were beautifully shot with a good mixture of crane shots, panning, and ground shots.
    Perhaps the sound of this movie was its strongest point. The music was impeccable – the use of a weeping string ensemble suited the scenes perfectly, and the emotion of the music fit each scene of the almost icy, multi-faceted performance of Tim Robbins’ protagonist Andy Dufrense. More than the music, the narration of the movie by Morgan Freeman moved the story along quite well. Without it, the movie would surely not be the same. Usually, narration does not bolster a movie, and can actually detract from it. In rare occasions, however, it makes the movie, as it did here, which makes this movie even more of a gem.
    Honestly, if any readers out there have not seen The Shawshank Redemptione, they should do themselves the favor of doing so.

  2. Joseph Malach

    “Pulp Fiction” by Quentin Teratino is a nonstop, action filled film with surprises around every corner. Filled by the perfect actors for the role, “Pulp Fiction” follows the events of numerous characters through the course of a couple of days, depicting a series of events of old fashioned LA Gangsters and a boxer, with betrayal around every corner. It uses many film devices such as looping in several occasions and masters the art of sound effects for every step, shot, creak, etc. portraying an outstanding knowledge of filmography. Yet, behind all the action and drama, “Pulp Fiction” displays a higher level of deeper meaning than the average film.
    Packed in between the constant betrayals and mishaps lies an underlying message throughout the film; you screw other people and you’ll in turn be screwed back. This message first is introduced in the narrative of Marsellus Wallace and Antoine Roccamora. It then transitions to Butch the Boxer against Marsellus Wallace, Marsellus Wallace and Zed, and so on and so forth. The movie’s simple, gangster related plot creates the perfect blend for the ideological aspect of the film making the messages pop right out to the viewer.
    Yet, the film goes beyond just the single theme mentioned above. In the last scene of the film, Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) repeats a line that he had stated previously in the movie before “popping someone’s cap”. The line was Ezekiel 25:17 of the Bible which states, “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will sheppards the weak through the Valley of Darkness, for he is truly is brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee”. First used as a ploy to justify the killing of another man, this verse transitions into the most dominant message of the film; to turn away from the evils of man and to sheppard the weak away from evil and towards light. This turns the film into a spectacular play of both moral and entertainment value and I highly recommend it.

  3. Spencer Davis

    For my film review project I watched Forest Gump. I had, in fact, never seen it before, but I understand now why almost everybody loves it. I suppose it was time to see it after eating at Bubba Gump’s all these years, so I watched it.
    It is funny, clever, emotional, and dramatic. There are aspects of romance, action, history, and comedy blended into a story about a special guy named Forest Gump. The movie brilliantly integrates real life events into situations in the movie, which bring the movie to life even more. On top of the great storyline, amazing acting makes the film unquestionably deserving of its 6 Academy Awards. I really loved all the amazing things that happen in the movie, but none of it matters when Forest doesn’t have Jenny. Also, the plot twist creates even more emotion with the characters. The whole story of Forest from when he was a boy to him as a father was incredible.
    I have to strongly recommend this movie for the few that have not already seen it. If you are looking to a movie with a blend of all types of genres, then pick up Forest Gump on your next visit to Blockbuster, and you will not be disappointed, guaranteed.

  4. Kekoa Barrios

    “Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” From that moment on, the movie’s mesmerizing emotion about the incredibly true story of Henry Hill pack layers and layers of drama on the set of Goodfellas. Your eyes will be stuck to the screen until the very moment of character departure and into the credits. The camera angles such as that in the very first scene of the movie stand out above your average movie by mediocre directors. Martin Scorsese truly outdoes himself in this epic movie of mobster “whacks” and a tale of love, frustration, arrogance, and last but not least, jealousy.
    The actor drafting and selection was absolutely well done. Drafting the legend, Robert Di Nero, became a perfect choice for the roll as James ‘Jimmy’ Conway and Ray Liotta as Henry Hill acted as a true pro. His emotional acting and, my favorite, his incredible laugh set him as a definite factor as to why this movie earns a 5 star rating. Joe Pesci as Tommy De Vito also intertwines the smooth gangsters such as Henry Hill and Jimmy Conway with the near-obnoxious gangsters such as Tommy. His character adds a contrast producing the effect of a balanced style whose idea of gangster life shows both spectrums of the mobster scale.
    The movie goes through a series of gradual shifts unveiling a final ending to die for. The masterful knowledge and portrayal of life as a gangster could not have been more spot on at this point. The build of the plot was magnificently well done with moments of brain busting action, love, and betrayal. The only set back is that you have probably not yet watched it because it was made before the 2000’s. Do not discredit it. It is a masterpiece worth watching and I highly recommend it.

  5. Mariela Camacho

    When having to chose a film to watch for this class my first choice was to watch The Princess Bride. I have never watched The Princess Bride so I thought this would be a good chance to watch it and finally know why everyone loves it so much. Unfortunately, I could not make it over to my friend’s house in order to watch the movie so instead I watched The Sixth Sense, and I believe that this was a better choice. The Sixth Sense is one of the best movies I have ever watched. I know this is strange to say, but that was a cute movie. That little boy is one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. When he says “you said the S word,” it takes him away from the part of him that thinks he is a freak and it makes him a normal little boy that thinks cursing is wrong. Haley Joel Osment can act really well for someone who is only elven years old. He plays the role of Cole Sear implacably, there could not have been a better choice for the job.I was surprised when I saw that M. Night Shyamalan directed this movie because some of his newest movies have been failures. The Last Airbender was one of the worst movies he has ever directed. I do not see how he can go from directing something like the Sixth Sense to something like The Last Airbender.

    There are a lot of great shots in the movie. One of theme is when Cole walks away from the table and you see his hand print slowly fade away. That combined with the music in the background and the beginning when all the cupboards are open immediately tells you that there is something strange going on with this boy. My favorite sense from the movie is when Cole gets home and he shares stories with his mom of what they did that day. You can tell that they are lying, but it is sweet to see that they are trying to cheer each other up, and that they don’t want to worry each other with their problems. One of best sense, artistically though, is when Dr.Crowe is talking about free association writing at the same time that Cole’s mom is cleaning up him room and finds his papers. The music really helps add the mood to the movie. If there was no music then the movie wouldn’t be the same.

    Through out the whole movie it does seam like Dr.Crowe is really there, but sometimes you can sense that something is wrong. You see him talking to other people, being in rooms with other people and it looks like everything is normal. You never actually see people respond to him though. The only person you ever see answer back to him is Cole, and Cole sees dead people. This and the beginning of the movie gives you the idea that something is defiantly wrong. The ending is surprising because even though you thought that something was different about Dr. Crowe , you never knew that he was dead.

    This is cheesy but my favorite quote from the movie is when Cole says” I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.” I also love how in the movie some people don’t know what Chuck-E_ Cheeses is.

  6. Jaime Vandeveer

    The Royal Tenenbaums is a movie that left me feeling fairly disoriented. The simplicity of the plot – the reunion of a rather dysfunctional family – contrasts with the complexity of its message. The members of the Tenenbaum family aren’t presented as some sort of a wacky package deal; instead, the comedy of their situations comes through to the audience by the darker themes present in each character’s struggle for acceptance and redemption. The attraction of such a film is in its portrayal of the family’s deviances from the social norm. It is by the smaller details and realizations, rather than some larger epiphany, that the film gains its respectability.
    The Royal Tenenbaums is a movie that left me feeling fairly disoriented. The simplicity of the plot – the reunion of a rather dysfunctional family – contrasts with the complexity of its message. The members of the Tenenbaum family aren’t presented as some sort of a wacky package deal; instead, the comedy of their situations comes through to the audience by the darker themes present in each character’s struggle for acceptance and redemption. The attraction of such a film is in its portrayal of the family’s deviances from the social norm. It is by the smaller details and realizations, rather than some larger epiphany, that the film gains its respectability.
    The structure of the film in and of itself sets a different sort of tone than most others – each segment of the film opens up on the first page of a chapter and is periodically accompanied by an omniscient narrator. It made me question whether this was a theatric portrayal of a novel, or a novelistic interpretation of a film. With a cast liberally strewn with more than its fair share of stars, the film had no lack of talented actors. Their expressions, usually overlaid with a thin layer of apathy, gave the film a sort of grudging tone. The overall loneliness that permeated most of the story gave credence to a more pessimistic outlook on life, but the contrast between this and the few cheerful scenes in the film made me reconsider its message. At first, I thought this film expressed a dark view on life, something like “humanity is doomed to a melodramatic end”. After experiencing the whole thing, however, I realized that the movie was less about the end but more about the journey. The characters never struggled until they reached a point, they simply struggled – not towards, but forwards.
    After showing the list of movies to my parents, my mom recommended this film as “the least bad”. Needless to say, my initial attitude towards this was more grudging than normal, but despite my initial distaste, the film managed to affect me in ways I didn’t think possible. I wanted to scream when Danny Glover proposed to Anjelica Huston in the beginning of the film. I hid behind a pillow when Gwyneth Paltrow corrected her father about her middle name at the restaurant, and then I fell in love with the look on Gene Hackman’s face when Owen Wilson asked him for advice in the elevator. While watching this film, I never looked at an actor and thought, “Oh, he’s the guy from Marly and Me,” or “Wasn’t he Elle’s husband in Legally Blonde?” Their characters were seamless and distinct, their idiosyncrasies realistic, and their family dynamic terribly reminiscent of a train wreck gone awry. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, I came to want each of them to end up with their own happily ever after.
    Although I had doubts before watching this film, I can confidently say that The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my favorite dramatic black comedies that I have ever watched. As long as you aren’t going to allow yourself to get upset by the somewhat unsavory elements present in it, this a great movie. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks that their family has problems – this will hopefully make them realize that their family isn’t so weird after all.

  7. Cara Fuller

    “The Princess Bride” is a classic story, with a humorous, modern twist. If the viewer wasn’t sure whether the movie would be serious, or comedic, you would have known at the second that the princess, “Buttercup’s” name is called that you will be laughing through-out the movie. I loved this film because it is an awesome mixture of hilarious, and serious. “Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed? IN GREENLAND?!!?” The acting skills of Andre the Giant, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon, this movie has stood the test of time. It has lasted about 11 years, and is still quotes tirelessly. I would recommend it to all viewers of all ages. I suggest you watch it about five times at least because you get more and more subtle humor with each time you watch it. Go buy it! It’s totally worth it!

  8. Joe Spota

    Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people gossiping about the movie “Pulp Fiction” by Quentin Tarantino. I never got around to watching it until a rainy day a few weekends ago. The first few scenes I began to understand the movie wasn’t an everyday ‘happy ending’ or ‘everybody wins’ story. It was different.

    The acting and storylines made it seem like the story was plausible; which is good, for a change, I’m tired of everyone being a superhero or having to overcome all the odds just to make a good movie. Pulp fiction portrayed real life scenarios (really strange real life scenarios) that were quite believable through excellent acting and amazingly intricate plots.

    I really enjoyed the intertwined story lines. Whether it be Vincent taking Mia out on the date and the eventually overdosing, or Jules and Vincent doing some hit man work, or Bruce Willis and how he ran away with all of Marcellus’s money; every story, even though initially I thought they had no point, were quite intriguing and addicting to watch. How all the storylines were interconnected and eventually merged into one finale really made me appreciate the work put into this masterpiece.

    I also notice the unique camera angles Tarantino used. Their were a lot of camera angles which seemed to be “experiments” or angles that usually wouldn’t be tried by less talented directors. The placement of the camera definitely added to the tension and emotion felt during the movie, they created a sort of ‘suspense’ usually not felt in other movies.

    I also noticed the colloquy in the movie. To say the least, im surprised most people don’t quote “Pulp Fiction” more often. In the movie, there was hilarious and really clever dialogue that surfaced among the talented actors. These are some of my favorite quotes:

    Vincent: “Why the *heck* didn’t you tell us somebody was in the bathroom? Slipped your mind? Did you forget that somebody was in there with a *goshdarn* hand cannon?”

    Esmeralda: What is your name?
    Butch: Butch.
    Esmeralda: What does it mean?
    Butch: I’m American, honey. Our names don’t mean *crap*.

    Overall I believe Pulp Fiction was a really well done movie and is, although raunchy, a classic that at some point everyone needs to see.

  9. Jared Berman

    “Seven” is a great movie full of twists and turns, it hooks the viewer and doesn’t let them go until the movie is over. The acting by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt was excellent, for the most part there were some points where I just couldn’t take the acting seriously, for instance in the ending scene where were Mills is pointing the gun at John and has an emotional breakdown I actually started laughing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xG5hSOMGn0 1:00-3:40). “WHAT WAS IN THE BOX!?!?!?!?!”. Other than that… interesting scene the acting was pretty good.
    The plot of this movie is very complex as it mixes cops, guns, and the seven deadly sins. It is definitely one of the better movie plots that I have seen. This move also had some pretty great background music, it was epic when the movie needed epic music it was sad when the movie was sad, all together it was great music.
    Over all this movie was an excellent choice to. It had everything you could expect in a detective movie. Although I would have reconsidered the directors choice in casting Brad Pitt, due to his questionable acting at the end of the move. This movie was a great film other than Brad Pits acting and I recommend it to anyone that can handle a lot of cussing, death, and gun fights.

  10. Peter Prudhomme

    Seven, starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, tells the tale of two detectives in a rainy, unnamed city who are striving to catch a serial killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. This unknown city represents everything that is ugly in urban American society. There are people getting robbed, beaten, and killed on seeming every corner, and everyone else just sits and watches. The strong, proud American will and virtue has withered and died, and been replaced with general apathy and emotional emaciation. It’s as if the city is one giant prison and the prisoners are just scrapping by, lost in their own problems, wasting away. When you enter the mind of the serial killer you begin to question your own morals. You look around at all the greed, all the gluttony, all the wrath and start to understand, maybe even sympathize with the mind of this patient, calculating lunatic. Seven shines a light on every dark corner, every back alley of modern America and takes us to the extremes of what sins we seem to have condoned, the sins we have become sensitized to. Every shot of this movie seems to have been carefully worked out to reflect a dark, filthy, decaying husk of a city, a hopeless sewerhole filled with broken people. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the ending of this film, where the one shinning light for this black city is inevitably and painfully crushed, and offers no feelings of hope or justice. I always have a preference for a happy, complete ending. This movie started hopeless and ended hopeless, and maybe that was the message.

  11. Eric Birdsall

    Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket can be seen as Saving Private Ryan, except with a real conscience. The conflicting ideas in this film were omnipresent, and could be seen in the score choice, personal vs. group mentality developed in the barracks, and especially in Sergeant Joker’s peace pin, right next to his helmet which states “Born To Kill.” The cinematography in this film is fantastic. The long slow dolly shots and steadicam movements only serve to allow the audience to saver the tense moments and heightened emotions that unfold in the film. Another highlight of this film is that is it completely unpredictable, Stanley Kubrick takes us on a shocking roller coaster ride as he explores the morality of war. One aspect of the film that I thought detracted from the experience was the eccentric score and Joker’s narration. The thoughts he presented would have been more impactful had they been shown to the audience rather than told. Overall, this is a great film that everyone should watch.

  12. Josh Featg

    The “Sixth Sense” gives the first impression of a dark mystery movie, complete with chilling soundtracks and notable silence at the peaks of the suspenseful scenes. Slow-paced yet fast enough to keep your interest, the “Sixth Sense” can seem confusing at times, as it follows a kind of stream of consciousness- jumping from scenes in some times to scenes at different times. For example, the scene where the patient of the child psychologist is in trouble for making a scene during class, he is then suddenly at another student’s birthday party.

    As for some of the mechanics, the editing was very remarkable. The bloody ghosts were pretty life-like, the plot was fairly simple- yet intriguing and interesting. The colors used in the film were mostly dark and grey, which added to the spooky mood and nature of the film. There were also some interesting camera movements and effects used throughout the film. There were several scenes where the camera followed characters running, numerous over-the-shoulder shots, and several dialogue conversations where the camera switched quickly from one speaker to the next, over and over. A shot I liked started zoomed-out of the town, and then it slowly zoomed in to the psychologist.

    The “Sixth Sense” has an ending that makes perfect sense, yet is mind-blowing and completely unexpected at the same time. Talk about finishing with a bang- the Sixth Sense was a very satisfying movie which I would definitely recommend to anyone who has not seen it.

  13. David Quiray

    “Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part.” – Detective Sommerset (Morgan Freeman). Directed by David Fincher, the movie “Se7en” takes the classic, “detectives chasing a crazy killer” idea and pushes it to it’s limits, giving Detective Sommerset and Detective Mills (Brad Pitt) detectives a very intense and, eventually, mind blowing case.

    Both Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were very well cast for the parts they play. Morgan Freeman, in his late 50s during the time of shooting, plays the seasoned and cultured veteran detective of the movie. Freeman does a very impressive job with his role, and certainly brings his seasoned actor wisdom to the movie. Brad Pitt, in his 30s while shooting, plays the rookie detective, going on high speed chases, and being energetic and passionate. Brad Pitt’s presence also brings a slightly humorous relief at times.

    The crew behind the actors also did a phenomenal job. The director of photography, makes some great shots all throughout the movie, while keeping the detail and the big picture intact. The entire sound design was carefully and effectively made, an ominous score at the right time, and sound effects going where they should, embellishing but not distracting. Not making the audience actually thing about it, but accept it as if it were reality. The opening titles definitely set the correct mood for the movie, and then the movie kept it throughout. Overall, the cast and crew did a wonderful job in creating a movie with beautiful and frightening images, witty dialogue, and an amazing story. Kudos, Se7en. Kudos to you.

  14. K Feath

    Quite surprisingly, I have only seen Forrest Gump recently, although I have read the book. I personally enjoyed the movie more since Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor, and since he brought the character to life. I also enjoyed the intense ping-pong matches, especially since Tom Hanks was playing a real life pro!

    One of the best parts of the movie is how they integrated the character into historical context i.e. shake hands with JFK. I was able to watch the behind the scenes footage and it is incredible how time consuming it must have been, yet how fantastic it turned out.

    Also, the in media res style of the story, told by Forrest Gump to strangers at the bus stop, was incredibly enjoyable and easy to follow. It was a stroke of genius and I usually hate that style of story telling, but it worked marvelously in this case.

  15. Martin Cody Chandler

    The movie “The Breakfast Club” has been a movie that show the similarity to the generation back then in the 80’s and today generation, aired in 1985 and still to this day a loved family movie that all members can enjoy. OK maybe not all member, young children because they couldn’t understand the hidden hummer and grown up language, but a teenager and parents could fall in love with this movie over and over again.
    It describes the teenagers persona in the view of five teens, and ultimately tells us that all teens are the same. When five teens are sent to sit in a room for 8 hours , told not to speak. What is the first thing they did? They yelled at each other within a ten minute period, this tells us that as a teen rebellion is a key feature to are emotional structure. The movie gave a basic understanding to the teenagers mind. They lied to each other so then they would think of each other as cool, or act out just to get some attention.
    One thing that is represented in this movie that not a lot of people know about is how a teenager has the ability to change their ideas about things, or they way they look at the world in a snap. In the case of a basket case, she became social, or a outstanding member of a family tried something on the dark side. We can be persuaded by the simplest things from a bad attitude to a room of friends, both of which can be just as dangerous or encouraging.
    Over all this movie a good choice and recommend it to all, except young children.

  16. Martin Marquez

    After given the following list of recommended movies, I decided to see City of God. Based on a true story, it is centered in the Favelas, slum town of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Using mostly non-professional actors, it is a first person narrative of how the Favelas came about through the eyes of one aspiring photographer named Buscape (Rocket). The camerawork, which was both reality and documentary style as well as classical cinematography style, took you on a roller coaster of emotions and right into their lives. And the amazing editing work, although filled with side stories, and the story itself starting from the end, did not mess with the flow of the comprehension of the whole story. The music itself, although as one knows Brazilians is very upbeat and happy, was used in this film to enhance action and suspense in certain scenes, such as the ending, where Buscape runs to the dead body of Ze Pequeno. Overall, this film, through the techniques showed the life of the Favelas putting you in the middle of it all.

  17. Kevin Zablocki

    Recently I had the fortune of catching Forrest Gump on TV from the very beginning. Aside from the frequent commercials, which were getting rather annoying, it was a great experience. The movie was first in theaters in 1994 and it was a hit. It ended up winning numerous awards, including 6 Oscars. Director Robert Zemeckis does an excellent job for the movie in a filmmaking perspective.

    The movie combines several genres into one piece. A collaboration of comedy, drama, action, and romance appeal to a wider audience while staying relevant and keeping them interested throughout the entire film. Another important part of the movie is how it shows America in the days of Forest Gump. The movie reminds us of Forest’s childhood, where America was prejudiced against the mentally handicapped and African Americans. Then it shows the U.S. during the Vietnam War, whether it was the soldiers in the battlefront or the hippies speaking against it. Also in a comedic way, the movie portrays Forest Gump as the instigator to many important events in America (for example: “teaching” Elvis to move his hips, witnessing the Watergate scandal and alerting the hotel of the event) accidentally, for Gump innocently acts for what he can understand because he is mentally handicapped. The movie also “photoshops” Gump into real footage previously filmed decades before. In it’s time, incorporated Gump into meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson and showing his wound on his buttocks, appearing on the same interview with John Lennon on TV, along with picking up the book for an African American girl trying to enter Alabama University all were a big deal to the audience, and despite those scenes looking a bit dated today, were very special in 1994.

    Overall, Forrest Gump is a must watch, because it will entertain you while touching your heart (not in a chick flick sort of way). The movie was a box office hit and widely considered a classic for good reason. Sometimes I wish I could experience such movies in theater, which include a decent storyline and some sort of emotion from the audience, unlike the comic book movies which hit the theaters today. Would I watch it again? Sure. Recommend it? Definitely.

  18. Patrick Carroll

    Fight Club is a movie that twists and turns in ways like the opening credits do, like the tiny fasciae fibers twisting and turning in a fighting movie not just about a fight club. The movie foreshadows the insanity of having another, “perfected” version of yourself. Largely male-oriented, Fight Club expresses some of the most basic ideas and wants of a man, and turns them into some sort of cult used to reset the world in “Mayhem” .
    The Cinematography of this movie is amazing in some of the shots that revolve around two members combating in a grungy, dark basement surrounded by the sweating, bloody bodies of those who fought before you. The acting, as with all exquisite cinema, made me feel as though these people were real. The use of music was relatively small, but the audio had a large effect on the movie. Each blow sounded truly as if one man’s face was being pummeled. The use of music was most noticeable in the ending scene.
    This film leaves so many questions unanswered until the end, in which everything is tied up in a flurry of epiphanies by the Narrator. Also, the sheer freedom that is expressed by the ideas showcased in this movie are incredible, yet terrible. They rely on such a foreign thought process and purposeful ignorance to the norms of society. This film, in my opinion, is great.

  19. Cindy Tanaka

    I recently watched a movie on the recommended list. At first I didn’t know what to watch, but my father checked the list and told me to watch “Rain Man”. I am glad he told me to watch it, it is an inspiring, loving movie. A man named Charlie who has a downfalling business, but soon his father die and left 3 million dollars to a mental institution. However Charlie didn’t inhertit anything but a car and a few rose bushes. As you can imagine, Charlie began to be furious and demanded to know why the money had gone to the mental institution. But when he got there he didn’t get the news he was excepting. He found out that he had a brother. His brother however was autistic and did not think like other people. Charlie shocked at the news, thinks fast and steals his brother to try to get the money by either trading his brother for $15,000 or to earn custody of his brother to be in control of the money. Charlie decides to take his brother, Raymond across the country to get to New York where his attnorneys are. But once Raymond was told to get on the plane, Raymond did not like the idea because they were not safe. But Charlie had to get Raymond back to New York so it became a cross country road trip. On the way, the two brothers began to bond and show the relationship of brotherhood. It’s a long eventful trip that will change the way you think of your sibling. This true based story will make tears and laughs but most of all make you grateful if you have a sibling. I highly recommend this movie to all reviews.

  20. Shane Ainsworth

    I was recently mugged. It was around nine P.M. and I was taking a stroll though Downtown Ventura, before I new what was happening someone ripped ten dollars out of my hand and then threw me into a dark room, they then proceeded to play some obscure video. There were three people there, I didn’t know who they were, there was a lot of strange stuff happening that I had never had seen before. After about hours of whatever that was I was released from the room. Someone told me that had just seen the new Harry Potter movie.

    So after I changed my pants and wiped the sweat from my brow I decided to reflect on what I had previously thought to be a simple alley way robbery. After I did some research to find out what Harry Potter was ,and watched the movies that apparently came before Harry Potter number 7/8, I concluded that this movie ( I hesitate to call it that) did not need to be made. Now to clarify…

    So this movie is called Harry Potter: and the Deathly Hallows Part I, this is the first problem I have with this movie; there is no reason for it to be called that. Absolutely nothing happens in this movie that has anything to do with the “Deathly Hallows”. What the Deathly Hallows are and their relevance is only vaguely mentioned in some cartoon that is just shoehorned in for no reason. This movie (again hesitating to call it a movie) also has nothing to do with Harry Potter. Nothing ties back on to the other movies and no characters seem to affect the story in any way. Any supporting characters that actually do appear are just there for novelty’s sake. Harry’s character also seems to be flattened by the stale progression of this film. He barley experiences anything through the course of the “story”. This of course contrasts greatly to the previous films were he seems to be actually evolving and changing, like a main character should do in these types of movies. I think a more appropriate title for this schlock should be; Some Guy who looks like Harry Potter: And Dull Filler Made for a Quick Buck.

    I am happy to admit that I am not much of a Harry Potter fan. I think the series had a really weak start and is obviously having a weak ending. Terry Gilliam was actually set to direct Sorcerer’s Stone instead they went with Chris Columbus because he apparently is good with kids, ahem. The series also went astray from a writing stand point, when Hermiannenana got that necklace that turned back time in the third movie. I mean, when you consider all the situations where time travel would have proven useful in these movies it becomes baffling that they only ended up usung it it to save that weird horse chicken and for Herminianiwhatever to take more classes at Hogwarts. So with this latest installment of trash fimmaking, the Harry Potter saga has, to me, solidified itslef as a compounded mess of logic errors and flaws in motivation, but really thats just greed. Take it or leave it.

  21. Leslie Cardiel

    “The Shining” is a classic film, based on Stephen King’s psychological horror novel. Although most people remember it for Jack Nicholsan’s famous delivery, “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!” there’s so much more to it. The film centers on a family who stays at a hotel with a history of violence. Despite of that, they seemed to be settled in… until everything turns upside down.
    What I like most about Stephen King’s novels is that despite being in a “horror” genre, they’re not always about movie monsters like werewolves, the hydra or Robert Pattinson. Other of his novels such as Cujo and Carrie are mostly about things that could actually happen in real life (With some supernatural shenanigans here and there). The Shining is no exception. While the first half seems to focus more on the son’s ability to see paranormal images related to the hotel’s history, the real horror centers on the spiraling madness of Jack Nicholsan’s character, who happens to be conveniently named “Jack” in the movie.
    While it’s no doubt Jack Nicholsan ALWAYS has an unsettling aura even when he isn’t playing an antagonist, his character at first appears to be a normal everyday father and husband with ambitions and goals. Him hearing about the man who killed his family right in the beginning of the film foreshadows what may become of him, but the audience still assumes he’ll just remain perfectly sane and harmless. Obviously, they’d be wrong. Not to far in the movie, Jack gets more and more enraged with just every single thing that bothers him that now the audience is waiting when he’ll finally start to lose it. That would have to be when his wife, Shelly finds out that the novel he’s been so dedicating to finish is just one phrase written over and over again in different formats. It’s an incredibly subtle hint, but it’s a very effective way to show that Jack has obviously became insane.
    If there is one thing I should complain about this movie it’s the incredibly slow pacing. Granted, it may be the directors style but at times it just gets very tedious which often leaves me on the urge to quote Monty Python, “GET ON WITH IT!!”. The worst case of this would have to be when the son, Danny is running through the maze from Jack and it just carries on much too long than it needs to be . However at times it can be used effectively to bring up suspense such as when Jack finds something rather inappropriate in the bathtub. And it makes some scenes more realistic when Danny hesitates to open a door. It takes a while for him decide before he just goes on his tricycle again and rides off. But other than that, there are some scenes I wish could be trimmed down.
    But overall, it’s a terrific movie. If you love movies that mess around with your mind and if you love Jack Nicholsan being creepy and scary looking as always. This is guaranteed to entertain you. Just don’t recommend it to someone with a short attention span.

  22. Christian Giammichele

    I in fact got very lucky for this assignment. I was scrolling down the list and found a movie that I had just seen with my family the other week. The movie was, The Departed, and it was a really good but confusing movie. The entire time you’re kept in this weird state of suspense not knowing what’s going to happen next. The plot twists and turns in many directions and the end of the movie is very unexpected. One thing that was unexpected was when they were going out of an elevator and one of the guys was randomly shot in the head with a shotgun. It was a very unpredictable movie and kind of weird in a way.
    The movie’s plot is really well thought out. Everyone in the film is connected to each other whether they know it or not. Like one guys girlfriend has a small affair with someone else and they work for the police but don’t know each other. You know everything but they don’t and it adds a sort of suspense like whether the cops who are working against each other but don’t know each other will ever find out about each other. It makes the movie very interesting and you just want to keep watching!!
    What also makes the movie really good are the actors. The actors are extremely good at portraying their characters and they each fit the part perfectly. If I saw the actor who played the top Mafia guy in the movie I would probably run away frightened that he might kill me. It’s also a really gory movie and there’s quite a bit of blood and violence so if you don’t like that kind of stuff I wouldn’t recommend it. Otherwise it’s a really good movie and I highly recommended it!

  23. Evan Link

    “Fight Club” blew my mind in many ways. First of all I really enjoyed the grainy and dark look the editors gave the film. That small touch really made the film seem more real. Some of the sences have this sense of darkness that give the film more grity and dirty, and give it more character. I honestly loved the story line. Going through this film, because of the story line, it puts you more and more on the edge of the toes. I feel that because the main character narrates everythiing I start to feel for him which is a nice touch they put on the film. The soundtrack is another element that really made the film. The song choices were interesting because they either made me feel like what is going to happen next or they got me really pumped up, and I think a good film should have both. I think what honestly made the film though was that the director was not afraid to just let everything out and show everything. In those sences when they are fighting with the blood dripping down their face its hard to look away because not many films get so close in to the hardcore grityness. I feel it was good to keep the turn of the movie until the very end because it somthing that I did not see coming and even when I did see it I didnt want to believe it. Overall I give this film a 10 all around. The style is different and great.

  24. Jack Roach

    Se7en

    The dark twisted story that is Se7en unfolds as two detective, one unwillingly, search for and hunt down the elusive serial killer. This movie will twist your stomach from the intense gore scenes, laugh, and squeal and will make you question man as the most perfect thing God ever created. Director David Fincher and writer Andrew Kevin Walker created a perfect thriller that will have begging to know how it ends. Morgan Freeman who plays Detective Lt. William Somerset, plays the tired out detective that has an eye for clues and secret. His dreams of retiring and moving to a quiet cozy country home and reading until the lights go out are cut short by elusive serial killer that is determined to make his message heard. Detective David Mills, played by Brad Pitt, is a man who wants any case to show how good of detective he really is, but is stuck with soon to be retiree on a case that will change his life forever. After moving into his new apartment, Detective David Mills is bombarded by rain and death. This new case will push the two detectives to the limit as the story progresses and they reach deeper into the mind of the killer. The lead actors, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, perfectly fit into their roles as the two detectives out for justice.

  25. Cody Rizk

    Fight Club

    First I have to say the acting by Brad Pitt and Edward Norton was amazing. Edward Norton perfectly played the uptight office worker who was unhappy and miserable with his life. His misery and depression are the basis for this great movie. This internal conflict drives the movie forward and helps unveil the plot. The main plot always had a sense of intensity to it. The narrator’s thoughts really brought the movie together although the plot was pretty complicated.

    The cinematography of this movie was almost always dark. I may be wrong but it seemed most of the bright shots were shown after the narrator slept or when the narrator was in a good mood. The “insomnia effect” was subtle frames inserted in various parts of the movie. It added an effect but could easily be missed. The actual fighting scenes were brutally intense with the camera panning around the men on the ground. The blood and the sound effects (ears ringing, crowd shouting fluctuation) were violently awesome. The changing focus between the shouting crowd and the fight made the scene feel real.

    The little details and the special effects in this movie made it much more realistic. The costumes on the narrator and Tyler (collared shirt, leather jacket) were perfect because they related to their personality. The makeup around the narrator’s eyes was in almost every scene. They looked puffy and pink (make the sleep deprivation real). Also, all the injuries on the fight club members were very well done. Lastly, the computer generated scenes (intro, trash can, condo furniture, and condo blast scene) were visual exciting. The final scene was truly epic and I have to say I consider this one of favorite movies of all time.

  26. Christian Reed

    If you are a war film aficionado, “Apocalypse Now” would just make your day. It opens as any first-rate war film would, with a powerful action scene and great sound effects. But, unlike the majority of them, it dives deeper. The movie drags on, following Captain Benjamin L. Willard up a river in Cambodia during the Vietnam War while on a top secret mission in his search of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz. This drag makes you start to feel the real effects of the war unlike any other war pictures that normally stick with battle through out the entirety of the film. It may have few battle scenes but they are quality and can even be considered kick-ass. The acting is some of the best I have seen in over ten years. Overall, this film is a fantastic show of what really happened in Vietnam and make you feel it.

  27. Dylan Falls

    I find myself quite partial to the Sci-Fi genre of movies. They are somewhat over the top and creative while at the same time can be quite suspenseful. Alien is a perfect example of a Sci-fi movie with these traits and is regarded as one of the best Sci-fi movies out there. But what makes this movie go beyond what I expect out of a Sci-fi movie are the effects, acting and the suspense that gnaws at you and almost always pays off.

    First, I want to look at the effects. Though compared to today’s “amazing” and “stunning” 3D effects and our computer animated renditions and lookalikes of famous actors, Alien had some of the best effects I have seen from a movie of this time. That’s not to say that it is the BEST, but they certainly are up there. The aliens that turn the crew of the ship into its prey are awesome to look at and do their job of freaking out the audience. Though there are a few places where the effects look kind of cheesy, an example being when the alien comes out of the man’s stomach and looks more like a puppet on a stick than a menacing creature that could potentially bring about the end of the entire crew, over all they are solid and for the most part look great.

    Now for the acting. Sigourney Weaver, acting as Ripley one of the main characters, does a great job in this movie. Her character is resourceful and alert, while having a bit of a rebellious side to her. Ian Holm, who played Ash, always is calm and collected about these horrible things which will make much more sense to you later on in the movie. I enjoyed all the actors’ performances and also enjoy some of their work from later movies.

    Alien was an action packed, edge of your seat, nail biting, adrenaline rush with a great story and an amazing cast. Topped off with a plethora of cool effects and costumes, this movie scores around an 8.6 out of 10 from me.

  28. Holly Strack, Period 3

    Pi

    To those who enjoy watching a fim with great directing and is “totally trippy,” you have found your match; to those who are cynical on their perspective of life, heavily into psychoactives, and are mature enough to find the deeper meaning behind the utmost confusing movies, you have once again found your match. I think we know which catagory I fall under. What first popped out about this spectacular movie Darren Aronofsky’s use of grainy, black and white filmography, yet produced well enough to not look like total junk. I could tell right away by the first scene it was from the late ’90s. (This movie came out in 1998.)

    Having a mathematical mind is hard–really, it is. Main character Max Cohen, as played by Sean Gullette, portrays what it is like having a mathematical mind in its most extreme cases. With a mind like Max’s, everything is comprised of numbers and everything has a pattern. When he could not find a pattern in the stock market, he began to lose it. Quick snap shots of him taking his medicine everytime he had a blaring migraine and screaching pumps of him giving who-knows-what into his arm really shows the audience what is going on inside his head.

    Aronofsky is excellent at making the viewer feel how the actor is portrayed to feel. The reoccurance of strangers (ie. man on the subway) that practically add no significance to the movie–or perhaps a huge impact–only further gives Max anxiety and makes us go, “What the heck?” and, “That guy was on the subway last time right? But, why?” While we begin to ponder, Max takes yet another handful of pills to calm himself down.

    Overall, this is an excellent movie. I would easily recommend it to anyone for a nice watch, but to truly understand it, you must be a total genius and completely insane. (That’s not a bad thing, either.)

  29. Max "AstroMax" Castro

    “Requiem for a Dream” is a gut-busting family comedy for movie lovers of all ages!

    I joke! I kid, I kid!

    Requiem for a Dream is a dark, gritty, movie about human decline. Quick cuts, gnarly audio, and a depressing story makes this movie what it is. Darren Aronofsky creates lifelike characters with extremely real problems. Aronofsky utilizes parallel story lines to create similarities between the characters and their problems throughout the movie. The soundtrack is phenomenal.”Lux Æterna”, the main track, echoes throughout the movie creating a cold, creepy, and often times discomforting. I previously mentioned quick cuts; the use of which are fan-frigg’n-tastic. Aronofsky combines extremely fast shots, snippets of dialogue, and loops it to create a sense of time passing by quickly. The use of this repetition is simply put, a trip.

    Long review short, this movie is easily one of the best I’ve ever seen. If I was “official” I’d give it two thumbs up and four and-a-half stars. The sounds, the sights, and the story make this movie a definite orgasm for cinema buffs and perhaps a smaller one for those not as interested in movies — But it’s still there! I recommend this movie to everyone and anyone. End of story.

  30. garrett slingerland

    Fight club is an ok movie. If I were to rate it on a scale from 1-5 I’d give it about a 3.
    Most people say that is great, I’ve heard it’s amazing, but after finally watching it, it’s not nearly what it’s cracked up to be. The ending really threw me off; I don’t understand why Tyler didn’t die when he clearly committed suicide. These kinds of movies that have insanity twists in them really tend to confuse me, and I don’t really like that. Some people I’m sure do, but it’s not my cup of tea.
    Watching this movie, to me, was like watching “Ong Bak the Thai Warrior” if it was a lot more drawn out, and with a lot more drama that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I will however give credit where credit is due. The acting in this movie was great. It was almost as though this could have actually happened (until the ending). I think that the angles throughout the movie really made them seem even more realistic. The realism in this movie, at least until the end, really was a WOW factor to me, even though I thought the idea for this movie was so bad.
    All-in-all it’s better than anything I could have made so I guess I don’t really have much room to talk. But I think that even I could take the ideas from this movie and make it an all around better movie. Again that’s not me trying to take away from this movie. But I guess you have to have watched it through my eyes to understand entirely what I mean.

  31. Nick Alexander

    Memento is a dark and thought-provoking film that follows a man on a mission to hunt down and kill his wife’s murderer. But there’s a catch: he has short-term memory loss. Since his wife’s murder he can’t create new memories. The timeline of the movie pieces together the events from the end expanding backward, and working the mind to make sense of all of it. The character development and story development are also skewed due to the timeline. Everything makes less and less sense as you travel backwards through the timeline, until the end pieces in the last details, tying everything together. But then you still are left wondering exactly what just happened. The confusing plot leaves you feeling just as confused as the main character, who can’t remember what happened thirty seconds ago if he doesn’t keep thinking about it. This is definitely one of those movies you have to watch more than once to know exactly what’s going on. I very much liked it and it may have been my favorite of the five movies I watched between Friday evening and Saturday night.

  32. Will Randall

    If you like bloody,Gorey movies that have dark humor mixed in with it, then you will love pulp fiction. Pulp fiction had many intense scenes of violence which if that is your type of thing like it is my type of thing, will leave you speechless with how awesome it was. But the best part about it was that many of the Gorey and violent scenes had dark humor to it that lightened up the tone in a sick and twisted type of way. If you do not like to see someones brains splattered all over the inside of a car do not see this, but if you do you will most likely laugh a little bit due to the sheer fact of the moment it happens. The acting in the movie was very convincing, from Samuel Jackson’s amazing performance that made you feel who his character was, to Quentin’s own cameo in the movie. You could easily identify the characteristics of them, such as Samuel’s character was a fearless man with a comedic sense when the time was right but when business was needed to be done he was serious about it. While john Trovolta’s character was more laid back, but just like Samuels character had a sense of humor, and also he tended to freak out in times of panic, which was far away from the reaction of Samuel’s character. At times the plot line of the movie could be quite confusing mainly because it jumps around so much telling the story of each of the characters, but most of them intertwine together and by the end of the movie you will most likely be able to make sense of it all. With the amazing acting, the Gorey and bloody violent scenes that make Samuel L. Jackson look like a stone cold bad ass, and the dark humor that will make you laugh a lot, i give Pulp Fiction a 5/5, its pretty much one of my top favorite movies of all time now.

  33. Tyler Bransfield

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD
    Well this was definitely interesting! First off, this is an excellent movie, but it curiously lacks a definite entertainment value. What I mean by that is that ‘There Will be Blood’ has all the right elements that make it a wonderful movie, but because it doesn’t try hard, and merely presents a very basic, realistic situation, it has only average ability to keep your attention and entertain. While this movie certainly isn’t one for excessive thinking, it does provoke much thought, and raises some serious questions and issues in a very ‘stealthy’ fashion, dealing with them in sometimes inappropriate ways, and not fully concluding them, leaving the viewer to decide based upon the fairly limited info.
    The audio work was excellent, it was mostly limited to instrumentals during some scenes or transitions scenes, but it was very supportive of the events onstage, and helped provide a segway between the dry yet intense dialogue and future events. In many cases, the music was used to cover large gaps of time with no other noises present. A powerful effect. During one point in the film, an incredibly intense and rather deafening track is played to the spectacular visual of a several dozen foot height geyser of fire shooting into the sky over a town, and is done in such a way that you sometimes forget there is music, as it was more easily felt than heard. On that note, while bland the visuals were masterfully done, capturing with perfect feel and color the early 20th century and its people. The first half of the movie contains lots of disgusting oil imagery, with people covered in it, and sometimes drenched, as well as bubbling surface pools and geysers. Although the visuals are great, they aren’t very strong. Very sufficient, I would say.

    The acting is superb in this movie, the main character is extremely well acted, from stony silence, frothing anger and calculated business conversations to the rare scenes of defeat. The actor of the his ‘son’ in particular was very good, as after an accident leaves him deaf, he maintains an utter silence and blank of expression, in contrast with the vibrant child seen earlier. Later, when he is older and can use sign language, (learned over a much needed happy break of music) his dialogue is spoken by someone else, but it feels very much as if it was coming from him.; Creepy. Yet cool. Probably the strangest performance is the one of the young preacher, who ranges over the movie from quiet, polite and shy to angry and in your face, but when he is put into a difficult situation he does an excellent job of breaking down into a helpless wreck, even if he is a bit too whiny.
    In terms of the story line, a rough start leads to the viewer legitimately wishing the main character will have success, but as the events progress, we become unsure of whether or not we should support him or any of the characters, as the one whose story line is remarkable has no emotion and therefore is hard to connect with, and the others are all rather disgusting as they move on. All of this concludes in a rather hollow ending with no clear victory or effective resolution, leaving only more questions with no real ways of answering. In a way, the ending is more of an ending to one of the starting subplots, leaving many others unresolved, and no otheranswers. Miraculously however, this doesn’t feel like a disappointment of any kind, which speaks to how well the plot was handled. The dialogue is excellent, each character has his own brand of speaking which lends much to the reserved yet hostile business conversations, the main character is of course particularly good at this. More thinly veiled threats and sometimes outright loss of control and shouting are great elements also.
    This is a great film, not particularly enjoyable, but very much worth a watch for it’s grandeur.
    Rating: 84/100(50 being average, not 70 as many ratings like to believe)

  34. bradnon chandler

    Brandon chandler
    from the film list that we were so pose to pick from i picked fight club. i have watched fight club before but that was a while ago and have forgotten a bought it during the time i had not watched it. fight club is a great movie and i would not understand any one who dose not like the movie. i chose fight club because it was a great movie and had not seen it in a while. the audio for the movie was good and so were the graphics for when the movie was made. it has a some what complected plot but you figure it out at the end of the movie. now it has a lot of fighting(thus the name fight club) but it all so is partly a love movie too. if i were to rate the movie out of ten i would rate it a 9 because i like that movie alot

  35. Jacob Hadland

    I saw Jarhead. I’m indifferent on this kind of movie genre, but I’ll do the best I can. Basically being a marine is a lot harder than expected. In Jarhead Jake Gyllenhall, the main character, gets shipped out to Kuwait to guard oil fields. I thought that was pretty dumb just to be shipped out. The audio was phenomenal to me. It was pretty basic music pieces but they stood out in my perspective. The shots of each character playing out their daily lives as a dog of the military was kinda far-fetched. It was a documentary like movie that showed an average day of an average marine, but it seemed like that wouldn’t happen. I would give Jarhead a 7/10 hands down. Its not a bad or great movie but if they focused on more of the average daily life than them planning to do stuff it would of been a 9/10.

  36. Ben Anderson

    For my movie review, i decided to watch jarhead. Jarhead is a great war movie and i would recomend it for anyone interested in that genre. The special efffects and audio track for the movie are very good. In my oppinion however, it is a war movie, so I would have liked to see more battle scenes. Jake Gyllenhall did an excellent job playing a marine, or “jarhead”. The special effects, again, were great. I believed, from what I have heard from ex-marines, that they captured the life of a marine amazingly. The have the scen where the soldiers are laying back, under the tent cleaning their weapons and talking about life, and te scene where Swofford is standing at the top of the trench, dazed, and mortars are hitting all around him. I would rate jarhead a 9 out of 10 due to the great special effects and story line of one marine.

  37. Kekoa Barrios

    My recent film of choice was Full Metal Jacket, which, I found was absolutely fabulous. The very long and drawn out scenes and the ironic, yet fitting, scenes during both boot camp and war, held both comedy as well as an impactful method in showing the dehumanizing process of war. The incorporation of comedy into an otherwise very serious subject only strengthened the movie’s view of realistic dehumanizing of American soldiers to make them “Born to Kill”. It shows the horrors of war, but also includes very graphic scenes to show the mental effect that war has on them.
    R. Lee Ermey plays Sgt. Hartmen in the film. The acting was superb in all shapes and forms and showed a very realistic portrayal of Vietnam wartime training throughout boot camp. The lessons learned in boot camp, especially from the point of view of Private J.T. Davis, nicknamed Joker, which was the first half of the film, was further developed in the second half of the film while in the midst of the Vietnam War.
    It is considered a war movie, though it is not the typical war movie. Blood and guts are only the surface of the movie’s true meaning, which embodies much more than just senseless violence. In fact, it is senseless people, which the movie outlines clearly for the viewer and, thus, incorporates so boldly and terrifically through the 1st person narration of “Joker”, which gives the movie a greater appeal as well as another reason to be one of the most unique war movies of all time.

  38. Jonah Berger-Cahn

    Pulp Fiction, a non-linear work of pure adrenaline(literally…). The technique used in order to portray the timeline of this film was very unique in comparison to numerous other modern works. Instead of the story unfolding in a straight forward order of events, the film is divided into segments, each of which filling in missing information of the greater story but not in a linear manner. Additionally, the acting in this film was as unique as the story and dialogue itself, even Tarantino himself having a small but well fitting role. The dialogue was intricate and fully embodied by the actors from who it was recited, and the ambiance and atmosphere of that world and the people who inhabited it seemed all to actual.

    There are no massive explosions or drawn out car chases in this film and no excessive use of special effects, something I have an extreme appreciation for. The dialogue and acting is what guides this movie through its course and it is what this movie will always be remembered for. And finally, the films soundtrack provided the finishing touches to the ambiance of the world portrayed and is one of the most suiting soundtracks in a film to date. Though it was nothing specially orchestrated or written, the placement of each track added just that much more emotion and tension to the already more than adequate actors performances.

    Out of all the films I have seen, I have and most likely never again will, see a film which has this many discussions involving the significance or quality of food. This being my favorite component of the entire film. All in all, Pulp Fiction is a sound work of modern art and a film not even the faint of heart should miss.

  39. Andrew Marostica

    For my review I chose The Departed. The Departed was a really good movie it had a great cast and a great story line the visual affects weren’t bad ether. This movie had some twists and turns in I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen next. The Departed stars Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. This is one of Jack Nicholson’s best roles he played the part really good and he was quite hysterical it almost reminded me of the joker in the dark knight. Leonardo DiCaprio also played a great role I saw him in shutter Island which is one of my favorite movies and when I saw him in this movie it was almost like he played the same character.
    This movie had some ok special effects the only thing that I didn’t like about them was that the blood splatters weren’t very realistic. This movie also had a great battle scene towards the end. That scene was almost realistic with all the gun fire. There was also a scene at the end where I thought the movie was over but then something happened and the movie continued for another 15 minutes. I give this movie an 8/10 and recommend it for any one who is a fan of action drama type movies.

  40. Kevin Fickenscher

    For my film of choice, I decided to watch Stand By Me. Stand By Me is a combination of comedy, adventure, and a little drama. I like these types of movies because they change my mood almost instantly. This is why I decided to watch this particular film. It was one of the best movies that I have seen in a long time. The sound effects and visual effects were great. The cast was amazing. The music was awesome, and I highly recommend this movie for anyone who is not in a cheerful mood because it can cheer you up in a flash. Wil Wheaton, actor for Gordie, was a hilarious young actor in the film, and Rob Reiner had a good taste for comedy and adventure.

    The effects were good all around. The sound effects of the gunshots were nicely incorporated within the film, especially toward the end of the movie where Ace, played by Kiefer Sutherland, pulled a knife on Chris, played by River Phoenix. The music and sound were completely silent during that part of the film as if something were about to suddenly make a loud noise. Then Gordie pulled the trigger of the gun, and it instantly made a big sound. This is a good way to not only create suspense for the viewer, but it would also bring them some relief through a startle with the gun. Another part of the film that had nicely incorporated audio was the part where Gordie stepped into his brother’s room. Since his brother had died, he remembered the time when his brother gave him a Yankee’s cap just before leaving for college. Viewers of this film may notice the dramatic music played shortly before the flashback when Gordie walks into the room. The blood stains on the body, which the four kids set off on an adventure to find, looked very unrealistic compared to the other effects in the film, and the body looked like it could have been alive because the actor of the body was not wearing makeup that could have made him look “dead.” The blood stains looked unrealistic because I could tell that the cast was using red paint or ketchup mixed with dirt.

    An ironic part of the film was with Chopper the golden retriever. After Chris tells the other kids about the dog, viewers may think that the dog would be a vicious type like a German Shepard or a pit bull rather than a friendly type of dog like a golden retriever. Overall, I have never seen any other film like Stand By Me, and I will give it a 9/10 and recommend it to anyone who can handle the use of profanity (there is a lot of it) and has a taste for adventure and laughs. No one should miss an opportunity to see this film.

  41. Keegan Cole

    I had the mixed pleasure of sitting down to watch American History X. By mixed I mean that while American History X is arguably one of the hardest hitting and emotionally fueled American films of the century. American History X, directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton, follows two the lives of two brothers drawn into the neo-Nazi movement. The film follows the eldest brother Derek (Norton) as he violently kills two black gang members and is sent to prison. It is at this point that the real narrative is revealed, the way in which Derek’s hate influences his youngest brother Daniel. While incarcerated Derek endures violent rape and the horrors of prison life, however during this time he befriends a black inmate and eventually begins a road of redemption. On the other hand, Daniel seems to follow his brother’s footsteps, growing more and more involved in the neo fascist life style. The audience is captivated by the struggles of a family and the determination of one man to find atonement and stop his brother from following him into a hate filled hell.
    Aside from the trance like pull of the films plot American History X acts as a cinematic and emotional juggernaut through its equally mesmerizing use of thematic style. First of all the film is largely shot black and white, a choice that is intentionally jarring and unsettling. The viewer is immediately forced out of their comfort zone. The black and white footage also portrays flashbacks into the characters lives, a time of hate and closed-minded racism. While on the other hand, Derek’s life after prison is shot in color that is reflective of his new mindset and the death of a “black vs. white” world.
    In my opinion American History X, is an excellent work of cinema. I felt it was highly engaging, however that is not to say that it is flawless. The film as a whole lacked a certain amount of comprehensiveness, never truly expanding on the world that its characters existed. My only other hang up with the film would be the lack of three dimensional character developments, Derek being the one character to grow in depth throughout. Apart from him the rest of the characters seemed disappointingly one dimensional, as though the audience was waiting for a seemingly imminent growth that just simply never arrives. With that being said overall American History X is a powerful film with an emotional message and an ending that will render its audience speechless.

  42. Veronica Lopez

    The Breakfast Club was the movie I saw. The story was about 5 teens who hardly know each other in detention together for 8 hours. There was the nerd, jock, popular girl, weirdo, and the troublemaker. At the beginning of the film I had an idea of what would happen, they would all become friends, but I didn’t know how they would get to that point; they were all very different. So that was a good part on the director to create a unique way of showing the teens relating to one another. The plot of the story was simple, just 5 adolescents in the same room having similar teenage problems and then walking out happy but it was the way the director put it together. What problems to choose, how to approach them, how they would first react, things like that.
    The soundtrack created a light, teenage feeling to the film. There were some older (for this generation) songs in there that made people that watch today see just how the generation was back then. There was nothing visually that stood out. There were no explosions, except right in the beginning, but the simplicity of the movie made it more relatable. Most teens don’t see explosions with loud dramatic music so this film was more relatable; it had sounds that were more dramatic when it needed to be and the picture was simple which showed that this kind of interaction can happen to modern teens.
    One question I had was what happened to the breakfast club on Monday or even Sunday. I saw that in the end 2 couples emerged but what about the nerd, Brian? Would they all talk together or say hi to each other? I knew Brian would because he said so in the film but would the jock, John say hi to the troublemaker, Andrew? That was the question in my mind at the end. Also another one was that there was a lot of tears, were the actors that good that they cried every time? That would be a pain. All in all The Breakfast Club is a relatable film that I enjoyed greatly. I can relate to some of the characters in there and I bet most teens today can too.

  43. Zach Dinkler

    For my film review I made the horrible decision to watch memento. Now, don’t take me wrong. I thought Memento was a bad film; it was just a very confusing one, and probably not the best choice for my first film review ever. When the movie ends (which it does rather unexpectedly) you will be left with more questions than you had when the movie first started. The plot centers around a man trying to find and kill the man who killed his wife. This man suffered a head injury when he tried to save his wife and now he has short term memory loss and can’t remember anything for more than a few minutes.
    The way the movie is filmed and presented to you is very interesting. The movie is filmed out of sequence and they start at the end of the film and slowly piece together the whole story until you end the movie at the beginning of the story. The movie also features flashbacks to when he was having conversations on the phone with someone and when he was testing someone else who had the same problem as him. These scenes are also spread out across the film and don’t really make sense until everything finally begins to tie together. Overall I thought this was an enjoyable film to watch but it’s very difficult to wrap your head around the whole movie without watching it multiple times.

  44. Mackenzie Bacalzo

    For my film review, I decided to watch The Shining simply because of the small clips shown to us last year in order to create tension within a film. I believe it was an amazing choice to demonstrate suspense in a movie because the music, plot line, and acting all worked together. The plot line was somewhat understandable but there are some scenes that I simply did not understand. What I really liked is that as the movie continued, the scenes got progressively creepier to the point where I wanted to shut it off because I was just creeped out but didn’t want to because I wanted to see what happened in the end. The cinematography also helped add tension, especially when it was from the point of view from the little boy.

    I felt that Jack Nicholson was the perfect actor to play Jack Torrance. I have seen Jack act in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and was very impressed with his ability to be so relaxed and calm on camera but suddenly change moods into an aggressive being. However, I never witnessed how aggressive Jack could act until I watched this movie. When I watched Jack in the last couple of scenes, I honestly believed he was an insane, crazy person. He really scared me when he came through the door and shouted, “Here’s Johnny!” The actor that also played Danny, the little boy, was really good for his age. I felt scared of him in a couple of scenes but mostly felt bad for him towards the end of the film.

    The music used in this film was truly amazing, I felt it made up 75% of the impact on the watcher. The volume of the music would slowly go higher and higher and higher then suddenly drop with a new scene on the screen. The soundtrack used was truly brilliant because sometimes only the music would just be playing and every time, the music would become more eerie and cold that would just make your body tense up. It was a great factor used in the making of the movie. I would recommend this movie to anybody who like suspense and a lot of creepy scenes in their films. Or if they just want to watch a great overall movie with amazing acting as well, I would suggest The Shining.

  45. Norint Tung

    The Prestige was the movie that I witnessed. The Prestige was an amazing movie that was very well filmed, by that I mean it had great changes in the camera views. The acting in this film was also an important aspect in this wonderful film. The actors were able to act the way a true magician would perform on stage. I believe that there were not many special effects in this film besides the electrical machine that Tesla had built and for a more modern movie you would think that there would be more special effects that would be encountered, but there wasn’t. There was probably a lot of editing going on in the movie because there was quite a good amount of scenes changing throughout it.
    I believe that this film had one of the most complex story lines that I had ever seen, if not be the most complex I have seen. The visual styling of the film was interesting because you kind of get to see the crowd from the magician’s point of view and then you get to see it at the audience’s view and so forth from many different angles. Now, I felt that this was a very suspenseful movie just because of the fact that you wouldn’t know when the next time one of the two rivals would be at the show of the other and sabotage their act. In the end I was surprised that Alfred Borden had a twin whom he used for his transported man trick, I was just completely puzzled to how he had done this trick, but it made sense to me when they explained this connection between the two men.
    This film was a really enjoyable one, and I am pretty sure that this was one of my first movies with magicians in it that I truly enjoyed. Well, even though I enjoyed the movie a ton, I still had many questions about the plot. One was, how did Alfred Borden’s twin brother find out where Robert Angier was? I mean, who could have told him that Angier was in that building putting away the cloning machine. Also, why does Cutter look happy when Alfred’s twin brother takes his child back, when Cutter’s friend was murdered by this man? In the end of the movie most of the questions occurring during the movie are solved, but still there are mysteries to be solved and this part brings to the movie a piece of its greatness.

  46. Daisy Castaneda

    I like movies like Se7en with twisted plots and with great performers staring in it. Seven is one of those movies that you have to pay really close attention to everything. From the dialog to the setting each scene takes place, because if you don’t you can miss a lot. My favorite scene is the last the only sunny scene in the film. I liked it because that’s when the story comes together. The movie was very sinister, mysterious, chilling, disgusting, this is not a popcorn movie unless you can hold your food down. There had been made movies with more disgusting scenes than Se7en.
    The script was brilliantly written, I also liked how it was based on the seven deadly sins I thought that was ingenious. The only thing I didn’t like about the movie was the character Mills in the beginning of the movie he was a slacker and he didn’t really seem to care about the investigation ,he didn’t worker very hard he just and he just wanted to have the case to himself. Somerset was more like his mentor and kind of straightens him up or guides him throughout the investigation.
    However, I like how they were both opposites and some how it all worked with the story. I really liked this movie I thought it was great, I would recommend this movie to someone. This movie kind of scared me because when I watched this I was by self at home and when my parents came back and open the door they freaked me out , it was just perfect timing.

  47. Matt Wasden

    Last night I watched the movie Jarhead. Jarhead was an excellent film that went out and accomplished the goal of showing us the life of a marine outside of the battles and warzones. The plot line was very easy to follow and watching the movie made chronological sense and I wasn’t confused about what was going on during the film. The movie consisted of great editing between different camera angles, awesome audio editing and an easy to follow yet entertaining plot line. The Camera angles were my favorite part of the movie. I honestly felt like I was in the movie myself witch is the goal for any film, to make it as real as possible. It went in to such detail that the viewer got to see the crosshairs in the sniper rifles pointed at the Jarhead’s enemy. The shots kept me into the movie and I never was bored or uninterested during the movie.

    The audio editing was also another key part in the movie. Wearing headphones probably helped but switching from mortar blasts and to complete silence is in my opinion a great trick to do. I could hear every sound effect clearly and I could comprehend what was going on in the movie without looking at the screen. The plot line was also very interesting as instead of focusing on the battle scenes it focused on the life of a single marine and everything else that went on besides the fighting. It also included some fighting witch was important but it went out and accomplished the goal of telling the viewer the life of a Jarhead.

    Overall the film got 9 out of 10 for its overall score due to its awesome sound, camera angles, and plot line. It gave all of us war junkies a new style of film to watch. If you are looking for hard core action and 2 hours of fighting, this is not the movie to watch. Black hawk down is a great movie about the battle scenes of a U.S. solider. Jarhead was a great movie and I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in joining the marines or any branch of military in the United States.

  48. Emily Sharp

    For my film review, I watched “A Bronx Tale.” The beginning of the film features a long introduction that is pretty lengthy in my opinion, but not uninteresting at all, as it provides insight to the town and the people in it. Of course, it’s a largely Italian population and I feel that the introduction, made of scenes displaying daily life all around the town, really gives you a good feel for the neighborhood. I also found that music played a large part in this movie, not just providing nice background noises but adding to ambience of the scene. Certain songs playing at certain times also helped to bring out the characters personalities and feelings, also occasionally foreshadowing future events. A lot of the shots throughout the film are long, smooth shots while they switch to faster shots with lots of cuts during scenes of tension, like during the bar scene fight or when the gang of kids attacks the boys on bikes. The smooth and consistent shots turn into rough and choppy cuts, and the pace of the music becomes faster as the tension grows. The character development is, in my opinion, a really strong part of the movie, as I found it really hard to make a solid opinion of a lot of the characters. The gang of kids that Cee hangs around with are not the best people, but they possess some good and bad traits that makes it hard to judge them as “good” or “evil.”

  49. Aimee Ellis

    I sat down to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, the mildly
    offending, hilarious, and must see movie that told stories of three
    intricate plots that in the end, intertwined into one. The technique
    used to show the plot was very creative and unique in comparison to
    other works of the 90’s, and exemplified a different perspective of
    story telling. Tarantino cleverly directed this film, as well as
    established a small role for himself in it. The actors used embodied the
    the dialoge to exact perfection and there was such realism in the events
    portrayed in the film that the viewer could mistake it to be real. Between the philosophical debates of the hitmen, portrayed by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, and the drug overdoses of Uma Thurman lies a humorous script and a French lesson: “Le Big Mac”. Although there were no dramatic explosion scenes, there was quite a bit on violence and gore. In most cases I am not a fan of overly violent films but in this specific one, it suited the movie perfectly and caused me to laugh. I found the angles and cuts to be very adequate throughout the film and quite suiting for the situations happening. The intricate plot and acting, topped with the witty humour, dialogue, and portrait of reality is what keeps the viewer interested.

  50. Karina Schink

    The Princess Bride is one of the most famous movies of all time. With memorable characters including Buttercup, Prince Humperdinck, Wesley, and Inigo Montoya, the plot of the Princess Bride keeps viewers interested. Though there are pirates, witches, and torturers, this movie is more of a chick flick.

    The female viewers will be hooked from the first time Wesley says “as you wish,” to the last closing kiss. The male viewers will enjoy the mind games, rodents of unusual size, and Billy Crystal’s portrayal of the old wizard. For its time, the editing and filming is done very well.

    For me, the most interesting part of the movie was when Buttercup steps out of to be viewed by her subjects. At first it just seems like another scene in the film, but then it turns out to just be a dream. The acting and the way the plot moves along all adds up together to create a very memorable and enjoyable movie.

  51. Joe Albaugh

    Casino Royale is as exciting as it is intelligent. Bond, James Bond, is back in this title with a new actor. Daniel Craig is now sipping martini’s as a successor to Pierce Brosnan. His performance is excellent and provides a tougher twist on Bond’s personality. While the older Bonds are much more elegant and not the ones to get their hands dirty, Daniel Craig’s Bond is willing to get the job done however he sees fit. The formula of this Bond movie is much more different that previous ones. Unlike its forerunners, Casino Royale gives a much more realistic side in espionage and it’s a fresh new taste to this franchise. The music and the classic theme that gets redone ties the whole thing together and elevates whatever scenario Bond is in from chases to conversations. This movie is arguably one of the best Bond movies ever.

  52. Will Randall

    Full Metal Jacket, A masterpiece of a film from the mind of Stanley Kubrick. Full Metal Jacket shows the horrors of Vietnam, from loosing soldiers to the killing of the many Vietnamese people. This movie does not show how glorious war is and that the war was a terrible thing to happen in our history. It does not leave you feeling good, it makes you feel empty, and terrible, unlike the films of today that always have to have a happy ending where America or the hero always wins. This is not the case for this movie.

    Full Metal Jacket explores the horrors of war. How everybody is not a hero, and people die often. In most war movies, there is always a hero who never dies and saves everyone, but here there is none. People die when they try to be a hero, they risk other peoples lives. War is not a glorious thing where the “good” guys always beat the “bad” guys. Both sides are just fighting for their country. The sad thing is, is that you can loose your brother, or your best friend in war, and this can be a thing that is hard to deal with for soldiers. They feel like they are responsible if their friend or family member gets killed in war when they are in combat with that person. War is not a happy thing, it is a depressing part of life but sometimes it has to happen.

    The cinematography in this movie was exceptional. The camerawork was smooth and transitions were nice. The editing work well with the camerawork as well. The fading transitions were great. I was personally blown away by how good the effects were including the blood and gore, and also the weaponry. It was not cheesily done and made me actually believe in it. The effects were better done than in a lot of movies that are out today. It had felt to me personally that the people in the film were actually dying and it allowed to me feel emotions towards the deaths. This film has what a lot of films today lack, good effects, a great plot, and a balance of some action but didn’t punch you in the face with it. Overall this film gets a 10/10.

  53. Alejandro Torres

    Pulp Fiction is a magnificent film created by Quentin Tarantino. The film takes place in Los Angeles during the early 1990s and follows the lives of many different people. The way the story is told is very complicated and hard to follow but very rewarding in the end and well planned out. One of the main things that stood out in this film was the dialog. The way the actors talked to one another seemed very natural and comfortable, as if it where real. The camera movement caught my attention as well. The way they where able to make it seem as if there wasn’t even a camera made me feel like I was in the action alongside with Vincent and Jules, even during the more disturbing parts. Overall, Pulp Fiction is a great movie with a great script and a beautiful cast. Although there where some…demented, and disturbing scenes, Pulp Fiction is a great film for the whole family.

  54. Tyler Hasty

    (Casino Royale Review) An endless array of explosions, betrayal, emotionless violence and slaughter, countless evasions of death which would be impossible to execute in real life, extremely exaggerated chaos and destruction, super human aerobatics, predictable romance, a simplistic plot that is unraveled in complicated ways as to produce a more sophisticated and complex effect; these are all common clichés of generic action films, which, in the case of this genre, includes popular, big name productions as well as aspiring series and overlooked films alike. It is due to these clichés that I am generally uninterested in movies of this genre, as I see them as mostly predictable, simplistic and desperate to attract the attention of viewers through messages of ruthless violence, impassiveness, and perpetual hatred. Previously, I have never watched a James Bond film of any sort, which I believe had both a positive and negative effect on my experience; positively, I was engaged in an unfamiliar, and therefore, more interesting, plot with unfamiliar and therefore, more intriguing characters. Additionally, my experience wasn’t affected by the whole “who plays the best Bond” debate (I’ve heard a lot of people aren’t too fond of Craig). Negatively, however, I wasn’t familiar with the story or characters, and am still uncertain as to whether the plot of Casino Royale ties in with other Bond movies; whether this took away from my experience or not, I’ll never know unless I proceed to watch more films of this series. Regardless, I wasn’t too sure what to expect with Casino Royale. Because, from what I understand, 007 is one of finer series of this genre, I found it more enticing than I otherwise would have.
    I’ll start by detailing my interpretation of the plot; I mentioned earlier that action movies generally take a rather simplistic plot and reveal it in way that makes it appear to be more complex than it actually is; Casino Royale was no exception; unless the viewer has a vast knowledge of poker (which I do not), the only way to interpret what was occurring was to observe the appearances and reactions of the characters. Concerning the plot as a whole, it seemed like the first half hour was dedicated to explaining Bond to those who were not very familiar with him (quite fortunately, for me), demonstrating the relationship between Bond and his superiors, as well as the coldhearted mercilessness he displays towards his enemies. Finally, as, the “rising action” stage of the story begins to address the primary plot, drama begins to increase, as does the hand to hand combat, and as do the stabbings, gunfights, poisonings, death threats, and heated games (if “games” is the correct term) of Poker. It is towards the beginning of the ascent of the primary plot that Bond’s female “business partner” (whose name, now that I consider it, I never did acquire, but then again, I should note, names weren’t a prominent aspect of this film), is introduced. As seems to be the case with all Bond’s companions, and as would seem to be the case with most companions in action movies, Bond’s female partner represents several different characters and relations (business partner, romance, companion, etc.). Finally the plot (which I do not mean to retell the entirety of, I simply must explain it as to justify my opinion) descends to a point where I was certain the credits would role very soon; however, much to my surprise, the plot dragged on for another half hour, where the action picked up once again, and the “happy ending” was crushed. While I believe this element of surprise was a refreshing separation from the ending I had previously played out in my head, I believe it could have been executed in a less sudden and more sensitive fashion. Overall, the end was just a bit too dark, and there was just a bit too much betrayal (Bond’s superior alludes to this fact when she congratulates him for learning not to trust anyone).
    Concerning cinematography, there was nothing particular interesting or noticeable concerning the contrast of lighting, however, color was used to express mood; when the scene was intense, violent, or depressing, the color was bland and rather dull, with a seemingly dusty-brownish hue. When the mood was happier or romantic, the colors were much brighter, and different environmental entities were used to produce more “beautiful” effects; during one romantic scene, which took place at an ocean-side setting, entities included trees and vegetation swaying in the breeze, peaceful wakes on the water when the water could be seen, brightly, richly green grass, etc. When the scene was dramatic and suspenseful, the background was blurred, and the camera was focused solely on the actor’s faces. During intense chase scenes, the camera was constantly changing angles, displaying over-the-shoulder views as well as views higher and lower respect to the character it was focusing on. There was once scene in particular that immensely inspired and interested me, in which Bond is poisoned, and walks into a bathroom; during his entrance, the camera goes berserk, displaying all different angles and perspectives of the stumbling bond as he struggles to reach the sink; certain shots looked up, from the ground, towards Bond’s face and the ceiling, while others showed only his face, and everything around him was blurred and made wavy as to produce a dazed effect. Needless to mention, the cliché “everything that is smashed or shot at explodes” concept was not neglected either, as there are several intense explosions in places they would never actually occur (ex: a large truck crashes into a bus, and the bus suffers massive combustion, I suppose this would make sense if everyone on board was made of kerosene and gun powder, otherwise, it is simply an overused concept). Other than their exaggerated nature, the special effects were pulled off in a very successful and realistic appearing manner.
    Overall, while Casino Royale exhibits many common clichés of action films, if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t care for action movies because you believe they have no sense of decency when it comes to plot, I would definitely recommend that you consider giving this one a chance, even if you know nothing about 007.

  55. Brennen Hasty

    “Casino Royale” was the first Bond film I have ever watched. I therefore was unsure of what to expect; I held in my mind the impression that it was probably another nonstop-action shooting fest with a plot that was there simply to tie the action together. Quite to the contrary, I was to discover that “Casino Royale” is well balanced with both action to keep things entertaining and character interaction to further the plot. Speaking of plot, I should say that the plot of this film, while not extremely complex by any means, was at times difficult for me to follow. There are several instances of “this guy works for that guy who works for that guy who was threatened by that guy” that can be a bit confusing. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that this should discourage those who aren’t skilled at following plots. The action is divided up fairly well throughout the movie, ensuring that there’s rarely a dull moment between an apparently peaceful conversation and a massive shootout.
    One thing I feel that the filmmakers did particularly well is ensure that the viewer(s) not only see but experience a given situation in the movie. For instance, there is a point in the movie where Bond is poisoned. You experience the same rush of fear that Bond does when the poisoned drink is brought into focus, and well placed sound effects and visual distortion give the viewer a great feeling of panic as Bond stumbles to his car in order to defibrillate himself before he falls unconscious. Sound and visual effects are used similarly to emphasize the tones of other situations as well. These are especially evident in chase scenes, such as the scene where Bond pursues a bomb-maker across the skeleton of an unfinished building structure. The soundtrack is notably good as well, ranging from peaceful background music to the classic and epic 007 theme. While the components of the film were mostly well put together, it does have its shortcomings. More than once the film feigned being near its end, with an apparently happy ending, only shortly after to have some betrayal or other occur. In small doses, these types of things may add to the plot, but at these particular moments I was given the feeling that the filmmakers just wanted to drag the movie on until everyone was either dead or disloyal.
    As I mentioned, this is the only Bond film I’ve seen up to this point, so I don’t have a standard with which to compare it, but it seems to me that Daniel Craig plays the role of 007 well, with a personality describable as lady’s man, comical, and cold-blooded agent all in one. Overall, I feel that all of the actors did their part to deliver a believable presentation, with solid acting for protagonists, antagonists, and minor/background characters alike. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this movie as a 7/10. While this isn’t my all-time favorite film, for the most part, I enjoyed it, though it seemed to drag on a bit toward the end. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a movie with a good balance of action and plot, given that the plot is not perfect but at least interesting. One last comment I have is that it would be very helpful to the viewer if you understand the game of poker, as (big shock) it is a major theme in the movie, and as I’m not entirely familiar with the game, I was slightly confused during scenes involving it.

  56. Erin Maidman

    John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club” is a quirky, hilarious film criticizing the cliques of high school. The jock, the nerd, the prom queen, the juvenile delinquent, and the basket case are all sent to Saturday detention after each doing their own special misdeed. Their common hatred of their parents and authority allows for them to open up to each other. By learning about each other, they begin to learn about themselves and view their true images in a way they never have before. The film’s scene pattern of funny to serious allows for Hughes to critique the social norm in high school without becoming too heavy to be enjoyed. Comic relief litters the film, with everything from sexual innuendos to pointless dancing to downright stupid comedy. Most any kid can relate to “The Breakfast Club,” since all of the main social groups are represented, each character is so diverse, and nearly every teenage can understand the universal theme of problems with the parents.

    “The Breakfast Club” begins with an interesting transition of shattering glass to introduce the school, which fits perfectly with the rock n’ roll music in the background. Hughes’ use of sound effects accentuates every movement, especially during silence, in order to emphasize the personalities of each student through their actions. He sparsely uses background music, usually only to add to angry dialogue or wild behavior. There is usually nothing but heavy silence behind the characters’ dialogue, probably to emphasize their significantly realistic way of talking.

    Camera movement is kept to comfortable minimum, with the majority of scenes being composed of medium-length face shots. The camera usually follows the natural movement of the characters while they are talking or moving, particularly during serious scenes. Blunter or more creative editing techniques and camera angles are used primarily during comedic scenes in order to give off a wilder tone. Each shot includes bright, clear lighting that brings out the colors and contrasts of each character’s face. This accentuates the character’s facial expressions and body language, which represents the majority of the characters’ personalities.

    The acting in “The Breakfast Club” is simply outstanding. Judd Nelson, who plays the rebellious John Bender, truly encapsulates John’s sarcastic and harsh way of talking, as well as his deeply emotional side. Ally Sheedy’s performance as Allison Reynolds was absolutely remarkable; since she gave her character such unreadable emotions and such shocking quirks. Not for a second did that audience view Allison as normal teenager because Sheedy played her so well. The other actors, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Paul Gleason, and Molly Ringwald also played their characters to the finest point, exemplifying all of their good traits and emphasizing their bad ones. The acting could not have been better in this incredible film.

    “The Breakfast Club” is thoroughly enjoyable, with a clear moral, relatable hardship, heart-wrenching romance, and hilarious comedy. Its critique on the social pattern leaves its audience thinking about themselves and how the react to other kinds of people in their own life. In any circumstance, “The Breakfast Club” is a fantastic movie that I would highly recommend to anybody.

  57. Greyson Melendez

    Requiem for a Dream is a fantastic, emotional, and intense film. Not only is it great story with clever and awesome uses of camera work, the actors are great and really get you into the movie. It sucks you in and keeps you watching, feeling how the characters in the movie feel. It really creates an emotional response in the viewer in a way most movies today can’t. It really shows you just how bad getting into a drug business can be and what could happen, in what might be the worst case scenario. If I didn’t want to do drugs before, then you can times that by ten after watching this movie. I extremely recommend the movie and dare you to not feel depressed at any point during the film.

  58. Tomas Snyder

    I watched “Fight Club” and this movie was very…. different. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. The whole movie from beginning to end was very exciting, weird, and full of action. When I realized that Tyler was actually the main character, I was stunned and I finally understood why everything was so weird between the girl and him all the time. The ending of this movie was one of the strangest endings ever. I did not think Tyler was actually going to shoot himself just to get rid of the crazy guy in his mind. The ending left me thinking about the movie and how it ended up getting so crazy in the end.
    When Bob died and Tyler called him by his real name and everyone started chanting his name after that, I was thinking that the gang was turning into a cult rather than just a little fighting club. The whole movie kind of freaked me out in general but overall I thought it was good. I tend to like freaky movies like this just because they excite me and most other movies don’t do that. I liked the humor in this film too (even though there wasn’t much of it), it made me laugh a bit and kept me entertained. The weirdest part about this film to me was how Tyler kept saying things like, “Jack’s [some feeling],” I know there was more in the sentence but I don’t remember what. In the end, I really enjoyed watching this movie and watching the story play out, it was very enticing.

  59. Jared May

    Full Metal Jacket, directed by Stanley Kubrick is a chilling story of the Vietnam War. It shows not only the actual battle that is at hand,which it does quite nicely, but also the battle inside the soldiers in the war as well. The movie follows a man on his journey of transforming into a desensitized killer. The plot is one of a kind with lessons hidden in everything yet it is not hard to follow which makes it way better. The seriousness of the plot is backed up with constant humor as well a beautiful use of profanity. Inhumane scenes are always marked with suspenseful music which never disappointed the anticipation. The sets are masterfully put together with the lighting being fluorescent in the beginning and fire in the end, which also ties into the meaning of the movie. The script also goes along with the meaning: light-hearted and humorous in the beginning and joking but seemingly insane in the end. The cast completes the movie with terrific acting for all characters throughout the whole movie. Overall this movie is three thumbs up.

  60. Grant Coe

    Directed by Oliver Stone, Platoon is a realistic look at the Vietnam War. It goes deeper into the war than most people care to think about. This movie focuses on the lives of the soldiers and their many difficulties, including the obvious one which is just plain surviving. It focuses on one man in particular, the new guy. He writes a few letters home describing the war to his grandma. During quiet moments when he is out in the jungle you hear his voice reading those letters and the slow, slightly gloomy song in perfect rhythm with his words. I think that this adds more emotion and meaning to the movie and specifically those certain moments. During moments like these you feel like you are starting to feel all the internal pain the soldiers in the movie are feeling. The movie puts a lot more attention on the little annoyances, like ants crawling all over the soldiers’ faces, than other war movies I have seen. A balance is created by the attention put to the more immediate and demanding problems, like encountering the enemy. This movie also gives the viewer a perspective on the moral problems the soldiers face, as shown by the two sergeants’ conflict throughout the movie.
    Another part of the movie that helped encapsulate the meaning and emotion of the movie were the simple effects, like a flash at the muzzle of a gun or lightening in the sky. These effects worked very well to further all of the action and intensity of the movie into reality. Although most of the movies I have seen are newer than this movie and have more realistic looking explosions and gunshots, I still enjoyed the older, fake looking explosions and muzzle flashes in this movie. These older effects seemed to fit this movie’s style and sensation. Along with the effects the audio was the final touch, the last ingredient in Oliver Stone’s incredible recipe. Throughout the whole movie there wasn’t a single moment that didn’t have any sound. Even when absolute quiet was necessary for the soldiers as they crept through enemy territory, you could hear the bugs crawling, the birds crying out, and the wind in the trees. You could also hear low, suspenseful music playing in the background that wrapped up the moment and created suspense and a feeling of foreboding.
    One final piece that made this movie so enjoyable to watch was the actors. I think that these actors were chosen very well and they are the ones that make this movie so real and deep. They make any viewer feel the intensity and harshness of the war. The only person that surprised me was Charlie Sheen. Before this movie, I only knew of him as a comedic person. I never imagined him being a soldier in a war. He exceeded my expectations of his acting skills as a fighter. I was pleasantly surprised. Overall I think the movie’s realisticness and deepness, the effects, the amazing audio, and the skilled actors are what make this movie a movie to remember.

  61. Kevin Fickenscher

    Alien: possibly one of the most overrated films of the 20th century. Seriously, it was horrible. Now I know many of you have seen it and loved it, but I felt like it was just a waste of time. One thing I hate about films is too much suspense and creepy feelings. Alien was no exception to either of these factors. It will make you jump a mile so many times. You will lose so much sleep a night because of how many times this film scared the living daylights out of you. As for the storyline, it couldn’t be any more predictable. It’s an alien and a group of people trying to fight it. Director Ridley Scott thought it would be good to make a predictable story and compose it into a film. On top of that he decided to freak people out with all the suspense. What was he thinking? Just don’t waste your time. Find some more comedic or adventurous film like Stand By Me or Forrest Gump.

    As for editing and sound, can you say unrealistic??? I know this is a 1979 film but come on! You could at least make the alien look better! The sound was of a poor quality. The music made the movie suspenseful, which is good if you want to scare your audience, but I never thought it fit in with the film. And what about the story itself? Did Ridley Scott have the part where the alien grew edited out? How in the world could an alien grow from a baby to a huge monster in just a day? I would have liked to see a series of events where the alien progressively grows throughout the film until it is suddenly a monster. Editing and sound overall just didn’t feel right for me. I would have liked to see better choice of sound effects and also a better looking alien. Man I really need to see a better film to get this one out of my head.

    Overall, Alien just didn’t work for me. I didn’t understand why the director couldn’t make a more complex plot. I didn’t see how the editing and sound quality could have made this any good. The film was way too suspenseful. I don’t normally give movies a low score, but I have to give this one a 1/10. It just didn’t work for me. I would never recommend this film to anyone. Not even those who really want to see it. It’s way too overrated. I can’t believe people actually loved this film. Next time I watch a film, I hope to see better sound effects and a better plot. Nothing too predictable.

  62. Scott Rice

    I watched fight club.This movie was by far the weirdest thing i have ever seen.The movie had constant action throughout,and i was shocked by the ending when i found out the twist of the whole movie.The story between tyler and the main girl was very hard to understand there was constantly conflict between both of them.my favorite scene was when tyler was with his boss and he got fired,the acting by tyler when he beat himself up was crazy and intense,but at the same time all really weird.I think that the fight scenes done under the bar were also very well done.the lighting below was very dark which set the scene for the whole entire fight parts. this was probably the best performance i have seen by brad pitt ever. In the end i thought this was a very freaky but good movie with a lot of excitement throughout.

  63. Tomas Snyder

    watched “Fight Club” and this movie was very…. different. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. The whole movie from beginning to end was very exciting, weird, and full of action. The ending of this movie was one of the strangest endings ever. It left me thinking about the movie and how it ended up getting so crazy in the end. The whole movie kind of freaked me out in general but overall I thought it was good. I tend to like freaky movies like this just because they excite me and most other movies don’t do that. I liked the humor in this film too (even though there wasn’t much of it), it made me laugh a bit and kept me entertained. The weirdest part about this film to me was how Tyler kept saying things like, “Jack’s [some feeling],” I know there was more in the sentence but I don’t remember what. This film is definitely one of the best films I have ever seen. I would definitely recommend this movie if you’re in the mood for some action. This movie leaves you wanting to kick and punch anything in your sight (yes, that means people too), so you might want to either keep a dummy next o you or have a room where you can isolate yourself in so you don’t kill any one. In the end, I really enjoyed watching this movie and watching the story play out, it was very enticing.

  64. Ryan Dwyer

    The Usual Suspects was a tremendous production, Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, it tells the story of a group of criminals and the police investigation into them. The twist ending was completely unexpected. Kevin Spacey played a tremendous villain in “Verbal” Kint/Keyser Throughout the entire film, I was led to believe that Dean Keaton was a villain. Once the name Keyser Soze was brought up, I was convinced that Keaton was Soze. The cast of Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, and Gabriel Byrne were excellent. When “Verbal” breaks down after the Customs agent reveals to him that Keaton had used them to get to the witness, I assumed that I was correct in my prediction for Keaton. The crew was great at portraying Keaton as a villain. When the second reveal came after the Customs agent sees the names of all the people in “Verbal’s” story, I realized with shock I would highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers.

  65. Grayson Adams

    Paul Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” is without a doubt one of the most intense movies of decade, visually and emotionally. Within the first few minutes the movie’s largest tool is revealed: its music. Throughout the movie a pounding instrumental symphony sets the scene and makes even simple conversations seem like they are deadly important. Each time the music flared up I found it hard not to expect someone to die or something to go wrong, which in many cases did happen. There are many haunting pieces that make this film more like art than a movie. Amazing cinematography also adds to that fact. Almost every scene from the movie could be taken out and used in a photography exhibit. The camera moves smoothly in every scene and never takes you out of the experience. Many shots have a high contrast in colors and shades allowing for breathtaking panoramas. There are vibrant colors in scenes where they need to be, and in others pale darkness that generates foreboding. This movie doesn’t need rendered 3D worlds to make an impact, the beautiful natural landscape is used to its fullest potential and makes the events feel weighted like they could have happened right in your back yard. What effects there are are done so well they are very subtle; It looks like they could have been filming the whole movie in real time. Story wise, “There Will Be Blood” explores the violent and tragedy filled life of a businessman, doing so with great intimacy. Each character feels unique, some showing certain extremes in behavior that the story explores. Much of the presentation leaves viewers with the sense that such events could have happened in the distant past. The story allows viewers to piece information together before the big picture is revealed, creating a momentary ambiguity that also increases intensity. Many of the scenes were so brutal they made me cringe, not only in the moment, but in thinking about the impact of such actions. Nowadays many movies indulge in gratuitous violence, and someone dying doe not create such an impact, but this movie raises the bar and feels more intense than Diehard with just the music score alone. As you watch it for the first time, you can’t help but gawk as turning points take place; you feel helpless, enticed, and filled with adrenaline. Emotions and thoughts run rampant as characters confront and conflicts resolve. And as you reach the very end, it will be hard to say anything other than, “wow”.

  66. Kallen Meyer

    While watching Pulp Fiction, I really enjoyed watching how the camera angles switched during conversations. During one to one conversation, they would only show either the back of his face or just the mouth talking to hide his identity. At one driving scene, I noticed how every time the screen got darker, his face expression changed each time. In conversations, the camera would always show the hand gestures or face expressions then quickly switch to the other person talking. In one of the scene while a man was using the telephone, the camera circled around him and I thought that someone was going to appear right behind him but no one did. There wasn’t that many light effects that I saw. There was a lot of sound effects though. For example the sword when taken out of its case. Also all the gun shots, motorcycles, and car crashes had amazing sound effects. Sometimes, they would blur the background to avoid any distraction, then suddenly when someone talks in the background the focuses on them. I like the drama effect how the camera slowly zooms into one specific thing. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie both just watching it and analyzing the camera and effects.

  67. Jonathan Ayala

    In “The shining” goose bump factor here is actually pretty high.Throughout the film We get the adventurous camera that prowls through the lavish corridors of the Overlook Hotel like it is some kind of mysterious exploration, linear tracking shots exposing the decorated interiors. It feels like it’s built on music alone, it manages to convey so many feelings. He pulls out to an overhead shot of a boy playing on a red rug. Coupled with the soundtrack it’s terrifying. This is how all horror films should be. It shows what an impact subliminal terror has – an axe-yielding maniac can only have shock and jump value; seeing something this psychologically mind-screwing is utterly gut-wrenching. There are vast, empty spaces such as the grand hall and the gold room, generally revealed to us in slow zooms. Jack is more often shown in these rooms, and they represent his growing isolation from his family and his detachment from reality. Then there are the winding passages like the corridors and the maze, and the camera explores with steady tracking shots. More often than not it is Wendy and Tommy whom the camera follows through these passages, and this gives us the sense of helplessness of their situation. I would recommend this movie to anyone but the feeling of shielding your eyes is going to be a natural occurrence, and it includes a lot of psychology so for any of you who are interested in psychology should watch it!

  68. Annalise Lewey

    Casino Royale – Is a great film and is pieced together fantastically. The audio is great giving the room the feeling that there are real explosions and the sound effects to a James Bond fight scene. The sound of running or the sound of moving objects was very pronounced. The audio sounded very realistic.
    The shots of the film are great. The film crew must have had a hard time filming Casino Royale. The angles captured exciting moments up close and got right in the action. Then the filming shots got up close to see the expressions of the actors and actresses, an example is James Bond looking at the bad guy across the table while gambling.
    The other great thing about Casino Royale was the plot. The film had action, a flare of romance, and to top it off a notorious villain causing chaos throughout the cities with their plots. Casino Royale is a great film and I enjoyed watching it. Analyzing many different effects and the hard work that goes into making great films.

  69. Andrea Fuller

    In the film “Forrest Gump” actor Tom Hanks brings mentally handicapped Forrest Gump to life in this sad yet heart warming family movie. The film sets up from the point of view of Forrest waiting for a bus and telling his life story to any friendly stranger who would sit and listen. i thought the point of view was interesting because through out the movie we didn’t just see his life visually but we had narration from Forrest too. One thing that also grasped my attention was the display of emotions portrayed on the actors and actress’s faces throughout the entire film. the actors and actresses displayed appropriate emotions for each event that was visually portrayed of Gump’s life. One last thing that was interesting about the film was the way it used actual historical events to add emotion. Events such as Vietnam, segregation, and the great Elvis Presley’s death. In all Forrest Gump was an amazing film that touches your heart and leaves you with a feeling of wanting to have a new look on life.

  70. Jared Berman

    “L.A. Confidential” is perhaps one of the best movies I have ever seen. Usually when I watch a movie I watch it more for the types of shots, the color grading, and the overall feel of the movie, this movie was different though. Between the story and the amazing visuals I was unable to watch this film as a filmmaker and was forced to watch like a normal person, fully captivated by visual story I was watching. However, there were some shots that really blew my mind; one of my favorites was during the interrogation scene when Bud crushed the back of the chair out of pure anger and hatred for abusive men. I also really enjoyed when Bud turned into the very thing he hated the most.
    The dark detective style of this movie really enhanced its visual imagery. Not knowing what came next really kept you on the edge of your seat for the whole movie. Additionally James Cromwell’s Irish accent became more and more prominent throughout the movie making you believe that he is not exactly who he seems to be. Overall this was a truly brilliant movie I have been and with continue to recommends this movie to all my filmmaking friends.

  71. Daisy Castaneda

    The Legend of 1900 has become one of my all time favorite films. I actually found this film on accident, and I am proud I did. It was so magnificent and extraordinary. This film captivated my attention in a way very little films have. The cinematography was striking. They used beautiful blues, yellows, and ambers. There were also many neutral tones found on the clothing and furniture with accents of blues or some reds. This has to be one of Ennio’s best. There is one scene in particular I believe really captures Morricone’s talent. The scene along with the music is powerful and authentic.
    After watching this film, it made me question the importance of imagination. The irony 1900 is that he used his imagination to travel, even when he had the opportunity to explore those places in real life. Therefore, it made me wonder what is more magical or powerful. Exploring a new place first hand and leaving with this magical feeling of discovery? On the other hand, is it more magical to visit that same place (and many others) through the eyes and ears of your imagination?
    Overall, this film was great. It was heart warming and passionate. I would recommend it to anyone I know.

  72. Tanner Gibbens-Matsuyama

    For my film review I watched the Silence of the Lambs. This movie was very different to what I am used to watching. My favorite part about the film is when Clarice goes to the house of the kidnapper instead of the cops going their. The cops think they have the right place and the way the movie is put together it makes you think that. They show the cops at a door and then they show a door opening and then you see Clarice next to kidnapper. It was a complete shock when I was this and was wondering what would happen next. Later in the movie it was very suspenseful when the kidnapper turns all the lights out and you get the view point of him with his night-vision goggles. I liked how they gave us the point of view of the kidnapper in the dark. The way he put out his hands to grab Clarice was strange and showed you what kind of person he was. The last part I liked about the film is when Dr. Hannibal Lecter said that he was going to have a friend over for dinner. He really meant what he said which I thought was kind of funny.

  73. Jacob Lantiegne

    For my film review i picked the movie Forest Gump. I had heard so much about this movie but never had seen it before and desided to watch it, and i am glad i did. This movie had a great story line that kept you hooked, and gave me the chills as I learned about his life when he tells his store to the many people that sit with him on the bus bench. I feel that the way they put in the flashbacks helps you to stay in tuch with what is happening and it gives a great back story to his life so that you know what has happened and why he is where he is at the moment. This movie is a great movie all around and I loved to watch it and I would recommend it to everyone because it is a great movie for young and old people.

  74. Jere Stahnke

    Entering a new school, Milam, for sixth grade in September 1946, Presley was regarded as a loner. The following year, he began bringing his guitar in on a daily basis. He played and sang during lunchtime, and was often teased as a “trashy” kid who played hillbilly music. The family was by then living in a largely African-American neighborhood.:,

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