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Old Movie Review Thread

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by $100T2, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. downndirty

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    From Dusk Til Dawn

    I got sucked into the tv series and re-watched this with my mom. This is probably the last of the non-CGI monster movies. The pancake-syrup blood, rubber mask, exploding vampires is gleefully cheesy. Clooney is at his most charismatic and Tarantino is probably the only guy who could give me, another guy rape vibes. Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, young Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin make this an awesome cast that you couldn't assemble for such a project nowadays.

    Also, Salma Hayek is a stripper.

    This is also the last horror movie that doesn't have the stupid-ass yet obligatory "my cell phone doesn't work" trope in it.
     
  2. E. Tuffmen

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    The first hour of this movie had me fooled when I first saw it. It's like when they get to Mexico they just said ahhh, fuck it. Vampires! Yet it works so well.
     
  3. Crown Royal

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    It was an old script Tarantino dusted off. All those guys with Tom "Sex Machine" Savini at his table when he steals the beer with his whip is Greg Nicotero and the Nightmare Favtory-- Savini's make-up apprentices who do all the practical effects for Tarantino movies as well as The Walking Dead. That's Nicotero with the long blonde hair and switchblade.

    Fun movie. Tarantino and Rodrigeuz no doubt had a blast casting the film, and it has my favourite line ever:

    "PSYCHOS DO NOT EXPLODE WHEN SUNLIGHT HITS THEM, I don't give a FUCK how crazy they are!!!!"
     
  4. stopthemonster

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    I used to host men's night every week and we'd watch old spaghetti westerns. My favorite was "A Fist Full of Lead." It was so bad it was good. I'd recommend everybody watch it.

    Another older movie would be "Pump Up the Volume" with teenage Christain Slater. Another one I love that's horrible...
     
  5. Czechvodkabaron

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    I rewatched Kevin Smith's six films that are set in the "View Askewniverse" not too long ago. I have been a big Kevin Smith fan since I was in high school, but the movies he's done outside of these six have been mostly garbage (I'll admit that I actually thought Jersey Girl was decent). Here are my reviews of the six films:
    Clerks (1994)
    This highly praised film looks at a day in the lives of two college aged slackers named Randall and Dante, who work at a neighboring convenience store and video store. The movie also introduces the drug dealing stoner pals, Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), who do their dealings in front of the store. There is not really a plot; the film centers on Randall's and Dante's interactions with each other and their customers. The movie is in black and white with subpar production values and horrid acting, but the writing more or less makes up for it. There are a lot of pop culture references and funny philosophical musings that are made in Randall and Dante's interactions, and several hilarious sequences occur that involve their customers and peers who visit the store. While the movie is a little overrated it is still a solid comedy that Smith deserves a lot of credit for making at like 23 years old and on a budget of about $27,000.
    8/10

    Mallrats (1995)
    Smith's second film, it is actually set on the day before the events of Clerks and follows two college aged best friends named Brodie and T.S., who are dumped by their girlfriends and head to the mall to take their minds off the heartbreak. While they are there they run into the aforementioned girlfriends, along with Jay, Silent Bob, and some other amusing characters. While this is usually considered Smith's worst film, it has always been my favorite. Honestly, I think that it is a much funnier film than Clerks, and most people I know who have followed Smith's career agree. While the acting is mostly bad, the main and supporting characters are more fleshed out than the ones who are featured in Clerks. The Brodie character makes the movie and has a lot of funny lines, as does Jay. The only dead spot in the film was the fortune telling scene. Aside from that there is a very good laugh per minute ratio, which makes this one of my top three favorite comedies ever.
    9/10

    Chasing Amy (1997)
    This is the only film in the series that is a comedy-drama and not a pure comedy, and it is really more on the dramatic side than the comedic. Ben Affleck plays a comic book artist named Holden, who meets another comic book artist named Alyssa (played by Joey Lauren Adams). The two become friends and start spending a lot of time together, and Holden falls in love with her. He soon finds, however, that Alyssa is a lesbian. Holden ends up confessing his feelings and the two start dating. Although Smith's humor is prevalent throughout, the movie contains a lot of insightful dialogue about love and relationships, and unlike Smith's last two films this one features lead characters who you actually care about. The film does a good job of avoiding cliches, as Holden's and Alyssa's relationship is anything but a fairy tale romance. The only glaring weakness of the movie is that some of the dramatic scenes are dragged out longer than they need to be.
    8/10

    Dogma (1999)
    Smith's most controversial film, this one is a comedy that follows two fallen angels named Bartleby and Loki (played by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) who have been banished from heaven but may have found a loophole that will allow them to return. If they succeed then they would prove God as being infallible, which would wipe out all existence. An abortion clinic worker who lives in Illinois named Beth finds out that it is her responsibility to travel to New Jersey, with Jay, Silent Bob, and Rufus (the 13th apostle, played by Chris Rock), to stop them. Most of the scenes feature either Ben Affleck's and Matt Damon's characters together or Jay, Silent Bob, Beth, and Rufus. The scenes that feature Affleck and Damon are generally overlong and only sporadically funny. Most of the ones with Jay, Silent Bob, Beth, and Rufus are hysterical. This is easily the best use of the Jay and Silent Bob characters out of all of Smith's films, as most of the movie's really funny lines belong to Jay. The movie is too long, at about 129 minutes, but it contains plenty of clever satire about Catholicism and organized religion in general as well as the pop culture references that Smith is known for.
    8/10

    Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
    Originally supposed to be the last movie in the series, it follows Jay and Silent Bob on a road trip from New Jersey to California. They find out that there is a movie being made that's based on the comic book characters that they are the basis for (Bluntman and Chronic), and they seek to sabotage its production after they find out that they won't be receiving any royalties from the movie. Unfortunately, this is by far the worst film in the series, even though the movie starts out promising. In fact, the first 30 minutes or so of this film is one of the funniest "movies" that I have ever seen (kind of like BASEketball). Once the jewel thieves enter the picture and the road trip starts it becomes apparent that the Jay and Silent Bob characters aren't deep enough to carry a movie on their own. It also becomes obvious that Smith wanted to give a cameo to everyone who would ever want to be involved with him, as there are more than I can even count. A few of them are hilarious (George Carlin, Carrie Fisher, James Van Der Beek, Jason Biggs), but most of them don't work. It ended up being a good thing that Smith didn't end the series with this entry.
    6.5/10

    Clerks II (2006)
    Randall and Dante are back, and they're now working at a fast food restaurant after the Quick Stop burns down. Like the first movie, this one largely follows Randall's and Dante's interactions with each other and their customers. This movie has a little more of a plot than the first one, as Dante is about to get married and move away but still has to deal with his feelings for his female boss (played by Rosario Dawson). Like the first film this one is mostly carried by the dialogue between Randall and Dante, with almost all of the really funny lines belonging to Randall. Along with Randall's lines there is another thing that makes this a very good comedy: Rosario Dawson's phenomenal performance as the boss and Dante's other love interest. I don't know if there will be a Clerks III, but I'll be satisfied if it's as good as Clerks II.
    8/10
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    Tarantino hits the ground running with a wholly original crime caper, complete with zero weak performances and a mortality rate not seen in films in some time. Firebrand performances especially from Harvey Keitel as career criminal Mr. White and Michael Madsen in his most celebrated role as the sadistic "Lee Marvin Fan" Mr. Blonde. Bare bones budget (actors had to wear their own suits to the set) only adds to the good vibes and plausability, plus an offbeat soundtrack the made Stealer's Wheel a household name.
    8.5/10

    Pulp Fiction (1994)
    Wildly quirky and funny, an instant American classic and easily Tarantino's most widely-loved movie. Another all-star cast that gives flawless and amusing performances (although Amanda Plummer's nasty banshee is hard to take), Samuel L. Jackson leads the charge and his thick-witted convos with Travolta are cinematic folklore. Endlessly quotable dialogue and unexpected plot shifts make this a can't-miss. Wonderous.
    9.5/10

    Jackie Brown (1997)
    Slow-moving but otherwise electric adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch has Pam Grier giving her (by far) best performance as a sly but cornered flight attendant working for smooth-talking gun smuggler Samuel Jackson. Another collection of great characters and performances, but a lack of story and slow pace bog it down a bit. Nonetheless its still a fully watchable and entertaining film, with Robert Forrester outshining his more famous stars in a magnificent role as bail bondsman Max Cherry.
    7.5/10

    Kill Bill vol. 1 (2003)
    Tarantino goes batshit nuts here, and turns what could have a been a martial arts tribute into an epic pop culture centrifuge, tackling and endless amount of references (Shadow Warriors, The Street Fighter, Lone Wolf & Cub as well as Shaw Brothers movies) for a gruesomely violent Hong Kong-fused phantasmagoria. Uma Thurman is excellent (and has some truly ugly feet) and the final showdown in the Teahouse Of Blue Leaves is an absolutely stunning display of stylized violence and bloodletting. Hypnotic.
    9/10

    Kill Bill vol. 2 (2004)
    I won't make any friends here: this is my favourite Tarantino movie. Not nearly as exciting as Vol. 1 but completely engrossing and directed with absolute brio, Tarantino channel surfs left and right, paying homage to spaghetti westerns, The Shaw Brothers (again), and adds in his own original style and pace. David Carradine has what I think is the best role of his life as the wily and malevolant title character, not at all the disembodied voice he was in the first.
    9.5/10

    Death Proof (2007)
    One half of Grindhouse as Tarantino tributes drive-in exploitation films, particularly Two-Lane Blacktop and Vanishing Point. Here's the problem: Tarantino likes having strong female characters, why does he make most of them so goddamn obnoxious in this? He stylizes it well with the imperfection of 70's cheese, but there's something wrong when you're rooting for bad guy Russell. The only female character to like here is stuntwoman/Tae Kwon Do master Zoe Bell, who in the climax puts on the what is easily the most dangerous and palm-sweating practical stunt piece of the last twenty years. A near-miss.
    6/10

    Inglourious Basterds (2009)
    QT's homage to the anti-war movie is an odd, original and electrifying WWII comedy-thriller that plays of like Hitchcock: it consists of a dozen or so long scenes instead of quick cuts, many of them brilliantly building up suspense like a tightwire before cutting loose in grand fashion. Brad Pitt is an absolute riot (and criminally underused) and Chris Waltz magnificent as the quietly sadistic Gestapo inquisitor. Not for all tastes, but undeniably awesome-- especially Michael Fassbender's final scene in the basement tavern.
    9/10

    Django Unchained (2012)
    Operatically gory, in-your-face hybrid western has a typical A-list cast giving A-list performances. Jamie Foxx wisely holds back as the impressionable and somewhat stoic title character, Waltz is (again) brilliant as his overly-articulate and peculiar mentor and DiCaprio gives an amazing pulp-villain performance in one of his most atypical roles to date. Unpredictable, exciting and gorgeously shot on beautiful Wyoming, Louisiana and California locations. Tarantino doesn't hold back on slavery atrocities while throwing in old-school quick draw western gunplay. Another in a long line of winners. That's the original Django, Franco Nero who has the great wink-wink moment with Foxx at the Cleopatra Club bar.
    8.5/10
     
  7. Kampf Trinker

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    Hell and Back Again (2011)

    The fact that this documentary is so criminally under seen shows how detached America is becoming from our military operations. Nobody in the civilian population seems to really know what's going on out there, just that we aren't accomplishing our goals and the war seems to go on indefinitely. No one really wants to sympathize with the enemy either (like the Vietnam era) so we support the troops and are left feeling ambivalent about the war itself.

    The documentary follows the story of a sergeant (Nathan) who fought in some of the most intense combat zones of Afghanistan, being under gun fire day in day out, and hunting the Taliban through various village regions. The mission his unit is given is virtually impossible. He's supposed to root out the Taliban and finish them off while winning the trust the of the local villagers. However, after decades of conflict; the Russians, endless civil wars, now the Americans, the villagers aren't willing trust anyone. They see the problem simply, it's the soldiers themselves regardless of what country or what banner they represent. They don't seem particularly interested in American aid, or money, or a new Afghanistan. After all, they've been told about the 'grand future' by so many different insurgent groups at this point it might as well all be the same bullshit.

    When Nathan returns home after a career ending injury, he tries to recover and rejoin the marines, even though we know that it's only a delusion. He's become mentally unstable, and after wanting to be a soldier his entire life he's stuck in limbo. There's some really grueling scenes with his wife, to the point you wonder if she'd be better off just getting a divorce.

    I'm friends with one of the guys who served in the company the documentary is centered on. He doesn't talk much about it, just mentioning here and there that all the combat has made him paranoid. It's one of those things I accept that I'm never really going to get, so I leave it at that.

    10/10
    One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. It only has 27 reviews, but it currently has a 100% rating on rotten tomatoes.
     
  8. Kampf Trinker

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    Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

    The first Sin City is one of my favorite movies. The dialogue, the over the top gore, the revenge theme, the black and white noir style, loved every bit of it.

    Typically, there's a drop in quality with sequels, but this didn't even seem like a sequel. It's hard to explain. It seemed more like a parody of the first movie than a sequel. It's the exact same style except absolutely terrible. In fact it's so bad it almost falls into that so bad it's good category. There was some parts that were so outrageously awful I actually did laugh out loud, like the part with the cop who shoots himself and his partner. The entire Eva Greene storyline was just so fucking absurd and bad. I'm not sure if the timeline worked out so that Marv could have been part of every story, but I don't care nearly enough to give it much thought.

    0/10

    No idea what the fuck happened, but this is quite possibly the most one sided turn around in quality in movie franchise history.
     
  9. Czechvodkabaron

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    Boyhood

    I just watched it for the first time. While most of the actors were good and I respect what Linklater was able to pull off, the fact is that if you take away the gimmick then this is a mediocre coming-of-age drama. The problem was that the enormous scope of the project put major constraints on being able to write a good script. I didn't like the way that the movie was paced, as some of the year long intervals that we saw in the lives of the characters went by way too quickly without us seeing any major developments--yet the whole film was still 2 hours and 45 minutes long! The long running length may have been okay if the movie had been made in the traditional way, but there was not enough substance story wise to justify the length. As far as recent coming-of-age dramas go, I recommend The Spectacular Now (2013) over Boyhood.

    5.5/10
     
  10. Parker

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    Neighbors

    Popped up on HBO go, watched it with the GF and we were laughing out asses off. It's not a Wedding Crashers with a ton of memorable lines, but there were very few stretches when we weren't laughing. The amount of cameos were great and the premise was just fun as hell. I think everyone should see it once and if you thought this movie wasn't funny at all, I firmly believe there is a huge stick up your ass.

    7.5/10.
     
  11. Crown Royal

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    No Country For Old Men (2007)

    "...I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something that I do not understand."

    Tommy Lee Jones' haunting and terrifying opening sets the course for absolute dread in the instant classic based on Cormac McCarthy's thriller is as brilliant as any classic American film ever made, another genius and masterful work of cinema by the Coen brothers. This one finally gave them the Oscars they deserved after being robbed for Fargo a decade earlier by the overrated, audience-pandering shitpile known as The English Patient. Josh Brolin stars and gives and utterly real-life performance as an everyman (who really knows his guns) being ultimately hunted down by a force of nature he simply cannot outwit or outfight. That force is Javier Bardem playing the most menacing and relentless villain since the original Terminator film.

    The Coen's remarkably lucid welding of cinematic technique is on full display here. When Joel Coen directs a scene, he doesn't just direct what the audience sees. He directs what you CAN'T see. Shadows walking behind doorways. People shooting at you from unseen locations. Conversations behind walls that can't be heard. Shootouts AFTER they've taken place. It all comes together beautifully and anchored by the unforgettable performances of Brolin, Jones, Bardem and Kelly McDonald as Brolin's naïve, child-like wife. And then in the last few scenes the rug is completely pulled out from under the viewer in a blaze of sheer "Fuck You" that the storytellers almost seem to relish. Everything about this flick rings true.

    The Coens have made some boring films. They have made some good films. They have some GREAT films. And they have also made perfect films (Fargo and Raising Arizona). This movie also perfect.

    10/10
     
  12. CanisDirus

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    What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

    So take a mockumentary, Blair Witch-style filming, and add in a bunch of vampires living in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand, and you've got a really funny comedy on your hands. This film plays vampires to the basic horror tropes they inspire; they can fly, they have fangs, they don't sparkle, sunlight is bad for them, they can turn into bats and other animals, they enjoy the blood of virgins, etc. The funniest thing is how the vampires are as characters. One vampire, Peter, looks like the most Nosferatu guy around, with stony-toned skin, eerie eyes, only mumbled, hissed or growled dialogue, and is the sort of patriarch of all the other vampires. Viago, a flamboyant yet surprisingly kindly vampire, acts mostly as the house's big voice of reason and compassion, and would almost be the movie's straight-man, but we'll get to that in a moment. Then we've got Vladislav, a vampire that is Eastern European and very much a Dracula or Vlad Tepes stand-in: arrogantly boastful, proud of his sexual prowess and constantly searching to slay his ancient worthy foe; the mysterious Beast. Then there's the former SS vampire Deacon, who is hot-tempered, and who keeps a loyal human servant named Jackie, who arranges for the vampires preferred food-humans, and works for them in the daylight. She's increasingly getting disgruntled, as per her agreement she should be eventually transformed into an immortal night-walking corpse as well, and Deacon continually balks at it. Then, there's Nick.

    [​IMG]

    Nick is 'accidentally' turned into a vampire, having been brought as a human 'sheep' for our vampire friends to eat. We see him make the transition well into his new un-life, figuring out how to fly, hunt and feed effectively and even bringing a new element to his old-fashioned new friends with his mate-since-the-schoolyard days Stu, who as a man who works with computers shows the vampires the wonders of the Internet. Every actor in this seemed utterly invested to their lines and parts, and for just one dialogue before I spoil the whole damn movie, but made me explode in laughter by its delivery, was: "I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool." "I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it."

    9.8/10
     
  13. Kampf Trinker

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    The Perks of Being a Wall Flower

    There's only been two movies that actually reminded me of high school. This is one of them, the other being Dazed and Confused. They're both coming of age stories, but the similarities end there.

    This movie captured everything for me. The emotional ups and downs, the confusion, the constant use of dark settings. It's not so much that it's dark in theme, (although it somewhat is) more that it mostly takes place at night. I was swapping old high school stories last weekend and got reminded of this movie. I think I'll rewatch it tonight.

    Great acting, compelling story, and while it was a little melodramatic at parts it's never over the top and it never bothered me. The only bad thing I can say about it is that the twist at the end (I saw this coming like 1/3 into the movie anyway) didn't add anything to the story at all, and I really have no idea why it was put in. For that reason I withheld the last point.

    9/10

    The Room

    This movie is fucking hysterical. It is the epitome of so bad it's good. Not one minute goes by where you are not in absolute awe of just how awful this movie is. I think it outdoes even Plan 9. It can match it for terrible production value, but the acting is even worse. On top of that there are totally random scenarios thrown in like 'guys being guys' and tossing a football back and forth 2 feet from each other while having a conversation so dumb it makes your eyes budge. It's full of seemingly major plot elements that evaporate almost as suddenly as they appear. There are a number of bizarre phrases no one has ever used (Keep your comments to your pocket!). The terribleness of the acting is such that at times it becomes so awkward it's hard to watch. The sex scenes are unnecessarily long and overly indulgent. There's a weird teenager living next door who keeps coming over to hang out for some reason. The best part is the protagonist has an accent that is so fucking funny and I seriously could not trace what sort of accent it is.

    Just an all around brilliant accomplishment.

    10/10
     
  14. Currer Bell

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    Hawking

    I've been binging Benedict Cumberbatch movies. Since it is Motor Neuron Disease month, I decided to watch this version of a Hawking biopic rather than the Redmayne one. It came out in 2004 and only covers the portion of his life from when he is diagnosed to when he completes his dissertation at Cambridge. I don't know much about Hawking, so it was pretty interesting. I think what I liked best about it was the way the movie juxtaposed his goings on in the mid 60s with these two physicists who won the Nobel Prize in the late 70s who were being interviewed about their attempts to uncover the source of the hissing noise. It kept going back and forth between them and Hawking, and since I knew jack about what was going on, it made for a satisfying ending when the two storylines converged.

    Only a $1.99 on Amazon video.