Movie Reviews (151-200)
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A delightful female villain that got her own spin-off movie afterwards is the highlight of one of the best Sherlock Holmes during the classic 1940 decade with Basil Rathbone. It really feels like Sherlock Holmes has a big challenge this time and for once smart use of propaganda in an amusement park where Hitler is used as a target in a shooting gallery with live bullets while behind the target is a trapped Holmes ready to get shot. Only a better budget would have made this movie even better.
Classic Sherlock Holmes movie that is back on track with an intriguing mystery about a "glowing killer" and some good disguises for our master sleuth. Dr. Watson falling down a stair and a ditch plus another patriotic speech where Holmes recites Winston Churchill ruin some of the movie.
A more typical chapter with Sherlock Holmes, but as always great atmosphere and an always watchable Rathbone makes this a fast passing hour.
A pretty straight forward Holmes crime mystery is saved by the return of arch villain Moriarty and a fast pace.
The most boring Sherlock Holmes movie as Holmes and Dr. Watson are bodyguards on a cruise to Algiers. The truth is that Dr. Dr. Watson is a dreadful bodyguard as he is more interested in singing and glee at young women. My least favorite solution at the end too.
Another intriguing Sherlock Holmes movie is ruined by how easily Holmes let numerous characters get killed like he's got no clue, especially since the solution is easy to predict. Dr. Watson goes around talking to owls, shoot at armor and is almost killed - all for the possible laugh or two. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of Nigel Bruce's Watson and again he ruins the show but also Holmes seem off target this time around. Great atmosphere and production values is the main reason to keep watching.
Classy atmospheric horror movie with phenomenal sexy Barbara Steele in the dual role as both a witch and as the damsel in distress. Revolutionary bloody for it's time with a spiked mask hammered into one of the most beautiful faces that was on cinema - and this happens after just one minute. A dead man gets burned so his face falls off. We see maggots in a cadaver and other gruesome masks but also beautiful gothic imagery and a great dungeon with hidden passageways, deadly traps and of course a dead witch in the family crypt. Still effective after all this time and close to a complete masterpiece. The dialogue could have been a little better.
Christopher Lee makes a charismatic and legendary mad monk. sadly it is completely historic incorrect and takes horror/exploitation liberties with the subject. Miss especially more focus on the political intrigue that Rasputin was involved with at the time. If one takes this as a full-blooded horror film at least it is fun to watch and has the charm that all old classy Hammer films have.
Still the most epic of the "Star Wars" films and it made science fiction look fantastic on film. The original effects are still great. Great characters, especially Han Solo and Darth Vader are fantastic figures in a cast of memorable performances - and it wouldn't be "Star Wars" without the sound effects and the music by John Williams. While George Lucas' idea and story steals heavily from Akira Kurosawa and his samurai films it really doesn't matter that much, but that George Lucas has changed and tampered on his original films every second year making it lousier does. Still, the introduction to this universe is still jawdropping.
The best edited "Star Wars" and the one with the fastest pace. In this one all becomes a little darker, more dangerous and it is full of space opera revelations that gets ruined if you have been dumb enough to see the new prequel series first. Excellent light saber duel between Luke and Vader that end with losing of a limb. Yoda is a fun parody of Japanese Samurai mentors and a great puppet creation. Leaving fan favorite Han Solo in a cliffhanger ending for the next chapter is a cruel blow that took long time to see resolved. The "new version" is not that good since it edit away the heroic epic moment when Lando Clarrisan rescue Luke. Is there no love for the dark-skinned "traitorous" brother?
After a terrific setup it all falls apart. Cute teddybears, villain with a change of heart. Another Death Star. Cute ending where all the dead Jedis still live in a happy afterlife. Most surprising though is that Luke Skywalker has gone around in two movies wanting a incestuous relationship with his sister and that she has responded a little on it too - something that would have been deemed too controversial in a kid movie and never passed through the censors in these days of political correct box-office films. Mostly good effects as always, but the blue screen chase in a forest looks fake even for 1983. Satisfying hero moments for all the cast as well, except for Leia, but she gets to wear THAT BIKINI forever being a "Star Wars" sex-object afterwards.
There has never been a film that huge crowds have anticipated this much as this one. It had a great movie trailer that made the wait excruciating. Than it arrived and it is a major disappointment in almost every department. Visually stunning, but it is total overkill that makes the film look unnatural and give it a computer game feel. The plot is another Death Star plot (WTF!!!) showing that George Lucas have only one thought in his head - and it drowns in political boring dialogue and confused focus. While the story hints on the creation and background of Darth Vader he is here portrayed as an annoying kid who don't understand anything. The more famous actors are either sleepwalking or unengaged, but Samuel L. Jackson is an inspired Jedi Councill member. Luckily, John Williams' "Duel of the Fates" music is epic (but underused and should have been played without interruptions) and Darth Maul is an excellent villain who sadly is underused. A pod race scene is ripped off from "Flåklypa Grand Prix" and Jar Jar Binks gives the film the kiss of death, being the most obnoxious CGI character ever that pops up and ruins almost every single picture frame. Why can't he die? Why? Why?
It could only go upwards after the dreadful snorefest called episode I. We finally get to see the plot move and touch elements that were talked about in the original trilogy and the kid is replaced by a troubled teenager who is so unlikable that it is no wonder he had to become Darth Vader. The movie do have a dreadful romantic subplot that is hard to care about as there is no chemistry between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen (and it do feel creepy that she has remembered a small kid 10 years later and seem to have had a crush on him since then). Luckily there is a more interesting conspiracy story about the clone soldiers, but it is the arrival of the new villain, Christopher Lee's Count Dooku, that the movie starts to flow again and there actually seem to be an actual threat to the characters for the first time in the film as the Jedi are too God-like for their own good and there is not a single one that gets shot by laser beams even if the screen is full of them. Therefor it is nice with a normal "swordfight" instead and it is surprising to see Dooku single-handily beats the living shit out of both the film's leading men (in what is easily the film's highlight moment) before he meets his "puppet" in Yoga. Natalie Portman is a lot sexier this time around too and gets to use a blaster and show her midriff.
With the new trilogy's final chapter do we get a good dark atmosphere, finally! I got the feeling that so much more interesting stuff happened but it all happened so fast and the entire Clone Wars that started at the end of II ends when this film's first scenes are played out which makes the build-up from the first two films and major cop-out for this third one even though we get to see the fall of the Jedis and the creation of Darth Vader. Evil emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) steals every scene in this one and is fun to watch as he manipulates and destroy everyone on his path. The patethic dialogue is still there and there is some disappointing melodramatic moments but it is the best of the new trilogy. I also hate that they built up Count Dooku as a dangerous presence and then have him taken out of the equation at once here.
A great visual homage to old Hammer films updated with a faster pace for a modern audience. It is beautifully filmed almost like old paintings. Beautiful costumes too. Johnny Depp do one of his better eccentric roles and Christina Ricci is especially stunning in this film with blonde curly hair. Excellent supporting cast too - Gambon, Lee, Jones, Richardson, Walken, Landau, Gough, McDiarmid - only getting one of them aboard would have made any director happy. Good blend of suspense, terror and laugh-out moments. Sadly the film has to end, because I would have loved to stay in "Sleepy Hollow" even a little bit longer.
At the height of the horror craze came this adaptation of the known story. Never had a "Phantom" looked better with colorful costumes and detailed sets and Claude Rains in the title role. I did think that the opera numbers were too long and dragged down the pace but I can understand why it was included since the main star is a opera singer, but I didn't feel the singing grabbed my attention and I have forgotten how the actress was in the role.
If David Lynch ever would skip his surreal landscapes, go soft and make Asian romantic dramas about forbidden love it would probably look like this with it's deep colored photography and use of music that grabs your ear. An instant art masterpiece.
Still worth a watch since it was one of the first major CGI effect catastrophe movies but it seems like the script was thrown into the whirlwind as well because it is a mess about two old lovers that reunite in the eye of the storm. Dialogue consist mainly of people screaming towards the wind machine. There are some over-the-top moments that are hilarious like the flying cow though and it is hard to hate Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as the leads.
Glorious mix of cartoon violence, satire, extreme action, makeup from Rob Bottin and a Arnold Schwarzenegger in great engaging mood makes this one of the best action films, especially since it also plays with the theme "is it all true or a dream in the hero's head?". Great supporting cast too. Sharon Stone is a memorable bitch wife. Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox are a good villainous duo. Gruesome memorable deaths with a lot of gore add to the fun.
The first film where my sights were put on the gorgeous (teenage) Jennifer Connelly stealing my own teenage heart. The film has one great idea about a labyrinth that a girl needs to crack in order to get back her baby brother - and the labyrinth itself is a superb visual moment. David Bowie add to the fun in a memorable villainous role as The Goblin King and the film is a nice alternative to the well-used "Alice in Wonderland" story which this film seem to emulate. Strangely, David Bowie is a worse singer than actor in this film and personally I think one of the Muppet characters could have been ditched.
Engaging action siege movie that almost get me to think about "Night of the Living Dead" but the zombies are replaced with gang-members carrying silencers instead. The gritty low budget give the movie a realistic documentary feel and the spare but effective synthesizer music add to the atmosphere. Even more shocking is the heartbreaking "meaningless murder" midway through the film that only the 1970s would have passed through the censorship system.
High budgeted revenge movie with sword fights, tons of blood and extreme style. Homages and nods to old exploitation films that Tarantino (and hopefully others) has seen blended with his usual flair of well-written dialogue and good music taste. What is not to like? A Japanese animation sequence added into the movie only add atmosphere to it all. Great cast is icing on the cake.
More relaxed and less of a homage film than the first chapter as it is full of long dialogue sequences that Tarantino love to write making this a total change of pace (and a good think that these films were split in two parts). Only a over-the-top and comical scene with a colorful mentor feels like a deleted scene from the first one. David Carradine steals the show by delivering his best acting gig in ages.
Impressive what can happen when snobs with eyes only for food gets interrupted all the time and have meaningless paranoid dreams. Absurd and hilarious surreal movie that may be hard to absorb after just one viewing. Needs many viewings to really be appreciated as it is fun with a lot of small details to analyze.
Hollywood blockbuster movie where we follow the people that we usually only see get killed as an special effect afterthought in one of the few great "lost found footage" films that are made. A great first half when it is still a mystery what is happening in New York - is it terrorists, natural catastrophe, war? Revelation of a monster is actually a disappointment as it would have been better as a realistic film.
Harrison Ford as the ultimate and most charismatic action hero, archaeologist adventurer Indiana Jones. Fuck Dan Brown, this is the original archaeological code-breaker and no one can top him. Great action heroine too that can handle herself and not just scream at the sidelines. Nazis as villains - it always work on film and especially here. Steven Spielberg deliver the ultimate colorized serial movie and films have never again been the same.
This sequel has some great action set pieces and such a good opening sequences that the movie never manage to top it again. Harrison Ford is still perfect in the role, but Spielberg adds his own wife to play the most annoying "damsels in distress" women I have seen on film which makes me miss Karen Allen even more. Annoying kid actor too and the material is too dark and bleak with hearts ripped out and disgusting exotic food tasting.
This was one of the first movies I remember to have seen on cinema. It is still fantastic. The funniest in the Indiana Jones series and the one that brings back the great formula of the original ("evil nazis and secret archaeological codes"). Sean Connery and Harrison Ford has great chemistry together as father and son.was one of the first action films that I ever saw.
This one I took time to see in the middle of The Big Apple while returning from my roundtrip in Central America. I remember I just had to see this film as I had waited almost 20 years for a new segment. I remember I was not 100% disappointed, but not that happy either. I loved that the man with the hat is back and thought the beginning was in tune with the usual craziness that the films had done with an insane "escape from an nuclear bomb with fridge" scene. Loved to see Marion again and the story had some similarites with the excellent adventure game "Fate of Atlantis" but the psychic heroine was now a Russian bitch that looked like a S&M cosplaying Cate Blanchett with annoying accent. Shia LaBeouf was acceptable in his role and shines over some of the more established actors even if I was not sold entirely on the likeness between father and son. John Hurt and Ray Winstone do weak roles, but what ruins this movie the most is the overuse of computer effects - what made the original trilogy great was that it was traditionally made - and the worst sequence is the "Tarzan" moment and the insane use of killer insects (which made me think that this film ripped off 1999s "The Mummy" something which is sad since that film was a ripoff of "Indy". At least I went away from the film with an acceptable content feeling but wishing more.
As all Studio Ghibli films it is an unique animated film. This one makes the heroine into an old woman and there is a flying moving castle that she needs to find. Perfect hand drawn (as usual) imagery that grabs my imagination from beginning to end. But I felt it has an too abrupt ending to be 100% satisfying.
Atmospheric post-apocalyptic survival movie with a spare, melancholic soundtrack from Nick Cave & Warren Ellis makes this one of the best in it's genre. Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce are almost unrecognizable in small supporting roles but this movie is sold on Viggo Mortensen's performance who is great. It is a very depressing film so it's ending feel almost unrealistic hopeful even when it is sad.
J.K. Rowling's unique book is made into a glossy and beautiful looking world. This first movie in the series is one of the few films that the entire family can see but the story is good enough with a couple of twists so that adults should survive the ordeal. Child actors has good chemistry together and are perfect for their roles, but I can see they lack the acting experience at this point. Good they had time to develop their roles. Chris Columbus' unfortunately directs uninspired and "safe" trying to make a movie that lacks any real ambition to be something unique in itself and some scenes drag while other more interesting stuff could have been longer. A very much hit-and-miss production but with a huge potential.
A step down from the promising first film. The movie do have some charm but the story feels like a copy of the original at times, even the villain is the same. Kenneth Branagh surprises in a light-weight comedic way in the role, but that is almost the best thing about it. Great new characters are cast though and it is a tiny bit darker than the first but it doesn't help much when they add the second most annoying CGI character in the series after Jar Jar Binks. Directing-wise the film series have the same problems as the first one.
A better directed third entry with more ambitious atmosphere and editing. The actors has also become better and literally grown up acting-wise. Michael Gambon (who replaced deceased Richard Harris) is less whimsical and comedic in presence and a great replacement for Dumbledore. There is again some great added characters in the film series. It is all very good untill the "status quo" resolution that ruins the excellent build-up of the story.
Somehow this fourth movie seem to retell the entire three films but now for teenagers and an older audience. Therefor it feels more of the same. Still the dialogue, excellent and character moments are interesting as in the prior films but this film feels overlong and the story bored me this time.
The Ups: The series continue to add fantastic characters like THAT BITCH, Dolores Umbridge and Luna Lovegood. The story seems to finally go to a resolution and become a little more ambitious. New director David Yates combine drama, humor and suspense better than any of the directors that have been involved in the films with the exception of Alfonso Curan on the third one.
The Ups: The first film where the next chapter can't come soon enough for the viewer as characters get killed or change loyalties. The story gets pretty gripping in this installment but anyone thinking this was a family movie have to rethink themselves now as this film show now how much depressing and disturbing the films have become. By this installment there is also no chance anymore to jump "onboard" as things now are moving so fast and build on things from former installments that one is either a fan or a "don't care" person.
It is the beginning of the end of a satisfying high quality fantasy action with emotional drama production. A gorgeous animation sequence midway is especially memorable, but it is clear in this film that they made this film longer only so that they could split this final chapter in two and squeeze more money out of us as the pace seem to go on halt for a while.
The film series manage to deliver satisfying character-arc and endings to the most important heroes and villains which is something unique for a Hollywood blockbuster of this type. It is also one of the more satisfying coming-of-age stories put on film as we have seen the characters grow and literary have become adults on screen in front of us. Some surprising and tragic plot twists is here too. It do have a tiny anti-climatic battle due to some off-screen deaths that should have been put there in all it's glory and (strangely) Robbie Coltrane seem to have just been written out off the films after having what seemed like an important role in the first three films barely being in the last films.
Believable realistic story about Oslo street boys after WW2 delivering an interesting document of post-war Oslo. Stiff acting and a anti-climatic ending ruin some of it's potential and the film needs deeper insight into the characters.
The Ups: Unique thriller with dark morbid comedy moments based upon a Jo Nesbø novel. Excellent characters without a moral compass make this a refreshing Norwegian movie where most films seem to have a moral at the end. A unique scene show people what they should do with a speed control in Norway. It's fun to see fish-eyed Aksel Hennie as the film's real star when it is Danish Nicolaj Coster Waldau who looks like one. A fun good ride. Only the epilogue is unnecessary and seem to be there to explain certain plot points for "Dummies" as if the director don't trust his audience 100% to understand the film's story.
It is sweet crowd-pleasing family movie. Matt Damon is solid in the lead. but the plot is predictable plot with an annoying obvious ending.
Realistic portrait of a loser. Actor Tom Courtenay steals every scene he's in as he looks like a young delinquent. The film make good use of flashbacks and is interestingly told. Only reason it doesn't feel that fresh anymore is that British cinema has used the movie as basis for any other film in the same genre.
It is fantastic how much can be done when writing over two days and is dead drunk. It is a fun dark comedy about a man-eating plant from outer space. Seeing Jack Nicholson in a tiny bit role as annoying man in a dentist chair is priceless. It do have a pretty sick ending that only Roger Corman could have come up with. The film is also short enough and don't overstay it's welcome. The leading actor is charmless though.
The Ups: Necessary rock historic festival document with a lot of memorable appearances from some of the most legendary artists. Ravi Shankar spellbinding the audience is still the highlight of the concert with Jimi Hendrix close afterwards.
Coen brothers try to make an old-fashioned screwball comedy homage. George Clooney's teeth are fascinating and he has great fun in his role, but Catherine Zeta-Jones character is so smug and without sympathy that the movie lacks any kind of believable romance in it. Great small details and fun dialogue help this movie and it is better than a lot of other romantic comedies out there, but the ending feels tacked on by some Hollywood producer.
The Ups: Fascinating story about tribal beliefs and judgement day. The mystical sounds that play on the soundtrack of natural animal sounds and the minimalistic use of music is fantastic. Love that symbolic ending that are open to interpretation. A unique cryptic film that could only have been made in Australia.
The Ups: A bunch of great jokes that has similarities to the most known story of all time, but is about a dude that just happen to have a similar life to Jesus. It is good that Christians don't sort to terror when it comes to making jokes about religion than the members of Monty Python would all have been targeted for death long time ago. Still it managed to get banned in Norway for twenty years for blasphemy by censors which could illustrate that Norwegians probably protected the comedians from death threats anyway. Fun movie though with the ultimate "happy" crucifixion scene.
The Ups: Schwarzenegger is perfectly cast as wooden Russian action hero and I love the introduction to film, but James Belushi and the movie's forced humor ruin the film for me. What is funny is that the film try to make fun out of Russians and instead the Americans come out as racist idiots. A laughable (in a bad way) villain though and the supporting cast is boring except for Gina Gershon's beautiful aerobic moving ass.
Hitchcock's best romantic crime caper movie. It has a great Monte Carlo location with sexy leads (legendary Cary Grant and soon-to be princess Grace Kelly at her most gorgeous). Beautifully photographed too. Only Grace Kelly's scary race driving feels gruesomely eerie as if it predicted her real life fate dying on those same roads a few decades later. Still this is a masterpiece of a film.
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